Millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain and studies have found that back pain is the leading cause of disabilities across the globe.
You may think that back pain occurs because of medical conditions like arthritis, but the most common cause of chronic back pain is poor posture. If you experience back pain after waking up, it’s likely that either your sleeping position or pillow — or both — are at fault.
When you sleep, you need to make sure that your entire body is perfectly aligned. Even the pillow you choose should offer neck support and help with spinal alignment. If you use a pillow that doesn’t work with your preferred sleeping position, you end up with lower back pain or neck pain.
Our team of back pain specialists has thoroughly researched and vetted some of the leading pillows on the market to give you an overview of the best pillows to help with back pain. In this article, we’ll discuss the sleeping position, best sitting posture, and the best pillows to help with back pain.
Best Sitting Posture for Lower Back Pain
When you sit down, you need to make sure that you maintain the natural curvature of your spine, i.e., your back should be straight with a slight hollow curve around the lower back.
In order to achieve this, you should sit with your knees forming a right angle with your hips, your back straight, and your lower back arched. However, if you sit for long periods of time, this position can be hard to maintain.
That’s why you can use lumbar support or a pillow beneath your back to help maintain the curvature. The following is a brief overview of the best pillows to use while sitting.
Desk Jockey Lumbar Support — Best Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Desk Jockey Lumbar Support is the best seat cushion on the market. This is a memory foam pillow that you can strap on to your chair as lumbar support. This pillow has a slightly curved surface so it helps you maintain the natural hollowed curvature of your lower back. As such, if you’re suffering from lower back pain due to long hours of sitting, this is one of the best seat cushions you can find.
TEMPUR-All Purpose Pillow — Good Pillow For Neck Pain and Back Pain
TEMPUR-All Purpose Pillow is one of the best pillows for neck pain and back pain because it can function as a neck roll and lumbar support. This pillow has been formulated by NASA, so you can trust that it’s extremely durable and reliable. This is a handy peanut-shaped pillow that you can stuff behind your lower back while sitting to maintain your spinal curvature.
Best Sleeping Positions to Relieve Back Pain
When you sleep, you need to make sure your neck is in a neutral position and it should be perfectly aligned with your back. The following is a quick overview of the best sleeping positions to relieve back pain:
- Sleeping on your back with a medium-loft pillow under your head. This is the best sleeping position for upper back and neck pain because it distributes your weight evenly across your body.
- Sleeping on your side with a high-loft pillow under your head and a pillow between your knees. The fetal position is ideal for side sleepers because it extends the space between the discs in your spine, thereby minimizing the risk of disc herniation.
- Sleeping on your stomach with a pillow beneath your abdomen. You should generally avoid placing a pillow under your head while sleeping on your stomach as it can strain your neck. But if you must place a pillow beneath your head, it should be a low-loft pillow.
The following is a brief overview of the best pillows to help with back pain corresponding to the aforementioned sleeping positions.
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is a contour memory foam pillow with a loft height of 4 inches at the highest contour and 2.75 inches at the lowest contour. This is the best pillow for side sleepers because you can rest your head on the elevated rounded contour for neck support. As such, it perfectly covers the distance between your mattress and your head, ensuring spinal alignment.
Elite Rest Slim Sleeper — Best Neck Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
Elite Rest Slim Sleeper is a thin pillow with a loft size of only 2.75 inches. As such, you can rest your head on the pillow while sleeping on your stomach and the pillow will keep your neck in a neutral position. This pillow is made of natural latex foam, which is one of the most comfortable yet firm materials for pillows available. This further ensures that your head doesn’t sink in and remains stable on the pillow. It also has ventilated holes on the surface of the pillow to prevent heat retention and keep you cool through the night. If you’re a stomach sleeper, this is the best neck pillow for you.
Coop Home Goods Premium — Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
Coop Home Goods Premium is the best pillow for back sleepers and side sleepers. This is a shredded memory foam pillow with an adjustable loft. You can remove or add the memory foam filling to adjust the loft height — as such, you can increase or decrease the loft depending on your preferred sleeping position. It’s also extremely soft and conforms to the shape of your body, which takes the stress off your pressure points, alleviating your back pain.