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 |
Updated on

If you are a back sleeper, finding the best pillow for back pain that supports your 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, is neither ideal for a decent night’s 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 the best pillow based on the way you sleep. There’s only one kind of pillow solution, and you can read all the fluff right here…

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. This puts less strain on your pressure points. The general rule of thumb is that a side sleeper's pillow should come with firm support. Whereas back sleepers should go for a pillow with medium support, and a front sleepers' pillow should be soft. Then there are sleepers who tend to be a combination.

Best pillow for back pain at a glance:

• Best pillow for back sleepers: Emma Original Pillow - View on Emma Sleep
Best orthopaedic pillow for back pain: Orthopaedic V-Shaped Pillow - View on Amazon UK
Anti-allergy pillows for back pain: Slumberdown Anti Allergy Pillows, for Back Relief - View on Amazon UK
Budget back sleeper pillow: Snuggledown Back Sleeper Pillow - View on Amazon UK

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. If you also find yourself waking up with neck pain regularly, make sure you check out our guide to the best pillows for neck pain too.

In addition to selecting the best pillow for back pain, it might be worth reassessing your mattress or mattress topper to make sure it’s providing enough support. From soft pillow rolls to custom-fit memory foam pillows, here are the top pillow recommendations for back sleepers. There are even antisnore pillows, which feel revolutionary. Slip away in comfort...

Best pillows for back pain

Best pillow for back sleepers

Emma Original Pillow
Price: £47.25 (was £105)


The Emma Pillow is the best solution for back sleepers due to its 'endless possibilities'. The


  • Pressure-relieving foam
  • Individually removable layers
  • 2-year guarantee
  • On sale


  • Some customers experienced despatch and delivery problems

Best orthopaedic pillow for back pain

CnA Stores Orthopaedic V-Shaped Pillow Extra Cushioning Support For Head, Neck & Back (Grey, V-pillow With Cover)
Price: £10.99


In a variety of different colours, this orthopaedic pillow is specially designed to aid neck and


  • Made with anti-allergy filling
  • Different colours available
  • Good for pregnancy


  • May not work for some

Best memory foam pillow for back pain


This is designed to keep your neck and spine aligned as you sleep to try and combat any morning


  • This dual-contoured pillow has a pressure-relieving core.
  • The larger contour supports the spine alignment of side sleepers
  • The shallow one is ideal for back sleepers.


  • Some people found it was too 'high' for them to sleep comfortably.


Elviros Cervical Contour Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain Orthopedic Neck Pillow

Rrp: £59.99

Price: £30.59


The Elviros cervical contour memory foam pillow is the best pillow for anyone who needs an extra


  • Ergonomic design for support
  • Made from premium memory foam
  • Removable breathable pillowcase


  • May be too soft for some

Anti-allergy pillows for back pain

Slumberdown Anti Allergy White Pillows 2 Pack Medium Support Bed Pillows
Price: £13.99
Alternative retailers
Wayfair UK£14.99View offer


The Slumberdown anti-allergy white pillows are the best pillows for back sleepers as they are


  • Anti-allergy pillows
  • Luxurious and soft
  • Affordable comfort


  • Needs wearing in

Budget back sleeper pillow

Snuggledown Back Sleeper Pillow
Price: £19.99
Alternative retailers
Dunelm£15.00View offer
Wayfair UK£19.99View offer


Snuggledown's back sleeper white pillows are another top pick for the best pillows for back


  • Washing machine friendly
  • Anti-allergy for peaceful slumber
  • Contains a supportive, walled pillow


  • Firmness does reduce over time

Anti-wrinkle and ageing sleep pillow

 YourFacePillow Beauty Pillow - Anti Wrinkle & Anti Aging Back Sleeping Pillow
Price: £69.99


The YourFacePillow is the best pillow for not only back sleepers but for anti-wrinkle,


  • Small or large sizes are available
  • Anti-ageing, acne and wrinkle
  • Good for recovery from surgery


  • May be too comfy for some

Adjustable memory foam pillow

Price: £56.43 (was £99)


The Whole Night's Sleep adjustable memory foam pillow is a more traditional pillow for back


  • Memory foam core
  • Soft, breathable Tencel
  • 365-night trial


  • Mixed reviews


How to choose the best pillow for back pain

There are a few main factors to consider when selecting the best pillow for back pain. For those that often suffer from back pain. Chances are - you may need special, orthopaedic pillow support.

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

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.

Emily Farquar writes commercial and branded content across the full range of Bauer brands like What’s The Best, Yours, Heat, Closer, Mother & Baby and Grazia.

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