Best pillow for back sleepers to feel comfortable and supported

You'll sleep soundly knowing you've got the perfect pillow to support you in your preferred sleeping position.

Best pillow for back sleepers

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

If you fall asleep lying flat on your back, the best pillow for back sleepers will ensure you're as supported and as comfortable as can be while sleeping in that position. As a back sleeper, you'll want to choose the perfect pillow that will feel nice to rest your head against, while also making sure your head and neck are well-cradled so that your spine stays in perfect alignment during your visit to the Land of Nod.

There are several factors that impact the quality of sleep you have. These range from the room temperature and the lighting all the way down to the comfort of your mattress and pillows. Having a pillow that provides you with proper support is crucial for a good night's sleep, especially when you're a back sleeper. You need to make sure your spine stays in the right position while you're sleeping as otherwise it can cause discomfort and stiffness while you sleep and carry on into the next day, disrupting your day-to-day routine. If you regularly wake up with aches and pains after a night sleeping on your back, you'll want to invest in pillows for back pain that will help relieve symptoms over time by putting less strain on your pressure points.

Best pillow for back sleepers at a glance:

• Best overall: Simba Hybrid – view on Simba Sleep
• Best temperature-regulating pillow for back sleepers: Emma Premium Pillow – view on Emma Sleep
• Best contoured pillow for back sleepers: Groove Pain Relief Pillow – view on Groove Pillows
• Best fibre-filled pillow for back sleepers: Snuggledown Back Sleeper Pillow – view on Dunelm

When it comes to choosing the best pillow for back sleepers, there are a couple of options you can consider. We've covered these in detail in our FAQs, but memory foam (which is also fab for pillows for side sleepers), contoured, hybrid and feather or down pillows are all good options. Each type has different things that make them great, so your choice may just come down to your personal preference for comfort. Just make sure you opt for a pillow that's of medium firmness as pillows that are too hard or too soft can be problematic for back sleepers.

If your pillows have seen better days and need replacing or you find yourself waking up with pain around your spine, we're here to help you find the best pillow for back sleepers so you can sleep soundly on a pillow that is made for your sleeping position.

Best pillow for back sleepers

Best overall

Softer or firmer? Higher or lower? Get yourself a pillow that can do it all with the Simba Hybrid. It's got an adjustable and supportive inner core filled with tiny foam Nanocubes that you can remove to suit your preferences. The outer sleeve of this plush-feeling pillow is super cushioning and anti-allergenic with down-like fibres for comfort and breathability.

Our review: "Sleeping on this pillow has felt like what I'd imagine resting my head on a cloud would feel like. It's super soft while also being supportive and I love how you can take the little cubes in and out so you can make it more or less supportive to suit your preference."


  • Adjustable firmness
  • Cushioning and soft yet supportive


  • Pillowcase could get dirty more easily because it's white

Best temperature-regulating pillow for back sleepers

Are you a back sleeper that always seems to get hot while sleeping no matter the time of year? The Emma Premium Pillow will help you keep your cool as it has ThermoSync foam inside to regulate your body temperature to keep you feeling just right. Plus, the UltraDry cover helps the pillow to be breathable and wick away moisture.

Customer review: "I absolutely love this pillow! It feels that it's helping me sleep in the correct position. I'm sure it's helped with previous back ache. I loved it so much I had to buy another for the odd occasions I end up on the other side of the bed, not often but I can't bear the thought of a different pillow!"


  • Temperature regulating
  • Removable layers inside so you can tailor the support for your sleeping position


  • Doesn't come in a pair

Best contoured pillow for back sleepers

You'll wake up feeling properly refreshed after sleeping on the Groove Pain Relief Pillow. If you're used to waking up with aches and pains, this pillow will put a stop to that as it has an ergonomic groove in the middle of it that helps to keep your spine in a neutral alignment when sleeping on your back. Filled with memory foam, it will eliminate stiffness in your upper back and neck by correcting your posture while you sleep.

Customer review: "This pillow is amazing! I have scoliosis in my neck. I impulse bought this pillow at 3AM after waking up with a stiff neck and having trouble falling back asleep because of the discomfort I was in. Ever since I’ve been using this pillow, I wake up refreshed and my neck doesn’t hurt at all. I’ve also noticed that it hurting less during the day which leads me to believe I was injuring it at night. It’s definitely worth buying as it’s truly improved the quality of my sleep and, as such, the quality of my life!"


  • Reduces headaches and shoulder pain
  • Filled with cushioning and supportive memory foam


  • May take a little getting used to sleeping in the groove

Best fibre-filled pillow for back sleepers

Delivering medium support with deeper sides, the Snuggledown Back Sleeper Pillow provides fullness right to the edge to ensure back sleepers have a good night's sleep. It's filled with a clusterfibre filling for softness and it's made with a 230 thread count cotton cover to give it a touch of luxury. When it comes to cleaning, you can pop it in the machine machine and tumble dry on a low heat to bring back its freshness.

Customer review: "Over many years I have owned various types of pillows and I can say this is of the best in as much as it gives total head support with comfort and is not losing shape. The price is also great as I've paid more for less enjoyment. A great bonus for me is that it has almost totally stopped my husband snoring, I guess a few ladies would buy it for this alone."


  • Comfortable and supportive
  • 230 thread count cover


  • Quite plump so you may need to find a pillowcase to accommodate a deeper fill

Best feather and down pillows for back sleepers

Pair Of Duck Feather & Down Pillows
Price: £35 (was £52)

This duo of Duck Feather & Down Pillows will have you wanting to drift off in pure comfort as soon as you sink your head on top of them. Inside, there's a blend of feathers and down, with 90 per cent duck feather and 10 per cent duck down to ensure they're sumptuously soft. They're available in three different support levels, but we'd recommend the medium for back sleepers so it's not too soft or too firm.

Customer review: "Needed some new pillows and decided on the duck down ones. Couldn't have made a better choice. Lovely and soft and plump. if this is what you want then these are for you. Put into the airing cupboard when unwrapped and they soon plump up. Good buy."


  • Feel plush
  • Available in a choice of sizes and support levels


  • Some may not want a pillow filled with animal feathers

Best anti-allergy pillows for back sleepers

Designed for back sleepers as well as side sleepers, this duo of Slumberdown Anti Allergy Pillows will help to support your head to be slightly raised and aligned to your spine so you can enjoy a comfortable night's sleep. As well as being supportive, they're also hypoallergenic and are specifically made with an anti-allergy filling to help reduce the build-up of dust mites and bacteria so even allergy sufferers can sleep more easily.

Customer review: "Very well made, keep their shape and comfortable. Most importantly, they're anti allergy and guarantees a good night's sleep. Recommend"


  • Offers great support
  • Anti-allergy filling


  • Some reviewers felt they were too soft

Most popular pillow brand for back sleepers

Silentnight has been a firm favourite for pillows in many households for years so we just had to include an option from the brand. These Silentnight Re-Balance Wellbeing Pillows offer medium support so they're perfect for back sleepers as well as side sleepers. They're designed to restore balance as it has carbon thread weaved into the covers, which helps to conduct electrostatic charges away from your body so you can enjoy a deeper, more peaceful sleep.

Customer review: "I brought these pillows a few weeks ago and they are the best pillows I have brought for a long time they have restored my sleep balance and it feels amazing"


  • Made by a much-loved brand
  • Designed to take stress and tension away from the body


  • May be too soft for some

Best sustainable pillow for back sleepers

Using the very latest in memory foam technology, the Panda London Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow is super supportive as it allows the neck and spine to align perfectly as you sleep so it should stop you from waking up with aches and pains in your back over time. The cover is made using bamboo, which is sustainable, naturally antibacterial as well as hypoallergenic, and also breathable so it encourages air flow and coolness while you sleep.

Customer review: "I have been looking for the perfect pillow for a few years now and I have finally found it from the first night I had a good nights sleep not tossing and turning and trying to get my pillow right I can’t believe how good it is ."


  • Helps with neck and spine alignment
  • Comes with a sustainable bamboo cover


  • May take you a while to get used to the thickness

Best pillow for back sleepers FAQs

What is the best type of pillow for back sleepers?

When selecting the best pillow for back sleepers, it’s important to find one that offers the perfect balance of support and comfort while also making sure your spine is properly aligned to stop you from getting aches and pains in your back when you wake up. With this in mind, these are some of the best types of pillows for back sleepers to make sure you have a comfortable and restful night’s sleep every evening.

Memory foam pillows: These are often considered one of the best pillow options for back sleepers as they mould to your neck and head over time, providing excellent support and cushioning while lying on your back.

Contoured pillows: The unique shape of these types of pillows will make sure your head is cradled, and the curved, contour element will support your neck.

Hybrid pillows: Combining different materials to offer balance support and softness, hybrid pillows will ensure you get the best of all worlds when it comes to sleeping on your back.

Feather or down pillows: If you choose ones with the right fill density for sleeping on your back, feather or down pillows can be a comfortable option for back sleepers. You don’t want pillows that are too full/firm as these can cause your head to tilt forward, putting pressure on your spine, whereas ones that are soft with a small amount of filling won’t be supportive enough. If you want to use these types of pillows, opt for ones with a medium fill.

How thick should a pillow be for back sleepers?

As we touched upon above, the best pillow for back sleepers should have a medium firmness so that it’s not too high or too flat. This way, it offers enough support to your head and neck while keeping them comfortable and making sure your spine is in proper alignment.

If you’re a back sleeper, the trick for sleeping comfortably every night is to make sure your pillow doesn’t cause your head to tilt forward or backward to keep your spine in the perfect position, so you don’t wake up with aches and pains. If your pillow is too thick, it may push your head too far up which can lead to an uncomfortable day when you wake up, and if your pillow is too thin, it won’t offer the right amount of support that your head and neck need when you’re sleeping on your back.

How often do pillows need replacing?

Whether you’re a back sleeper, side sleeper or front sleeper, it’s important to regularly replace your pillows. Over time, pillows can accumulate dust mites and allergens as well as lose their supportive qualities and become lumpy which will impact your sleep quality as well as your personal hygiene. Typically, the best pillow for back sleepers and any other sleeping positions will need replacing every one to two years. However, you may need to replace them sooner if you’re struggling to get comfortable while sleeping and you think your pillows may be the cause.

Rosie Floyd is a Pets, Homes and Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances, décor and furnishings, as well as all things dogs. After completing her Journalism & Media degree from Coventry University back in 2015, she started her career writing about must-visit holiday destinations, moving on to creating content around outdoor living and garden buildings, before joining the team at Bauer.

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