The best pillow for back pain

Find yourself waking up with serious neck, back or shoulder pain? We shortlist ten of the best pillows for back sleepers.


by Emily Farquhar |

If you are a back sleeper, finding a pillow that doesn’t give you neck, back or shoulder pain, can be difficult. A firm pillow which can be classed as a rock or a loose pillow that provides no support, are neither ideal for a decent night’s sleep. There’s only one kind of pillow solution, and you can read all the fluff right here…

Related: Expert tips on how to improve your sleep

If you find yourself with a pillow that doesn't provide enough support, it isn’t uncommon to experience myriad aches and pains in various parts of your body. Therefore, it is vital to choose your pillow based on the way you sleep.

Just to note, if you do experience a lot of back pain, then as long as you have the right pillow, sleeping on your back will be the best in evenly distributing your weight, putting less strain on your pressure points.

The general rule of thumb is that side sleepers go for a pillow with firm support, back sleepers go for a pillow with medium support and front sleepers go for a pillow with soft support. Then there are sleepers who tend to be a combination of them all.

Whatever you may be, ensure you buy something that gives proper alignment (side sleepers) or prevents your neck or shoulders from tilting in awkward positions (back sleepers) while in a deep sleep.

How to choose a pillow for back pain

There are a few main factors to consider when selecting the best pillow for those who sleep on their back, or often suffer from back pain:

Firmness: ensure your pillow provides medium-firm support

Loft: ensure the height and the type of fill is medium to high for full comfort. Perhaps go for an adjustable loft if you are a combination sleeper and move between the positions

Shape: keep in mind that some pillow fills such as latex and solid foam keep their shape better and require less maintenance than others

Size: pillow sizes do range, but the two most common pillow sizes include a standard (20 x 26 inches) and a king (20 x 36 inches)

Quality: invest in a pillow with high-quality materials, especially the pillow’s cover and fill to ensure durability

Reviews: a great indication of a pillow’s performance is to look at its customer reviews

In addition to selecting the right pillow, it might be worth reassessing your mattress or mattress topper to make sure it’s providing enough support.

11 of the best pillows for back pain UK

From soft pillow rolls to custom fit memory foams, here are the top pillow recommendations for back sleepers:

Where to put a pillow for back pain?

Small knee pillows are also another effective tool in minimizing back, neck and shoulder pain with back and side sleepers. Simply place the pillow under your knees if you are a back sleeper, or between your knees if you are a side sleeper.

This will secure your hip joints and ensure a natural curvature of the spine.

What to read next:

How to choose a pillow for the perfect night's sleep

The best mattress topper for back pain

The best pillow for side sleepers

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