The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

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When you spend one-third of your life sleeping, it becomes a big deal when that valuable recharging time is inefficient. We all know restless sleep, and interrupted sleep is inefficient.

We read the hundreds of expert studies, everyone from your grandma to your doctor has advice, there are billions of dollars invested in the sleep market, yet some of us find that getting a good night’s sleep is just a challenge.

What if it came down to one thing standing between you and real rest? One fluffy, soft, supportive, overlooked little thing.

Your pillow. It’s true that one little thing is an incredibly important component to your sleep. It can make or break your night.

We human beings are odd creatures. If your pillow is too soft, your head sinks down too far, and your neck hurts in the morning. If your pillow is too hard, your neck aches in the morning from having your head lifted too high.

Find the goldilocks pillow of just soft enough and just supportive enough, and you’re, well, golden.

It isn’t like there aren’t more than 50,000 pillows available on Amazon alone (seriously, there are more than 50,000 pillows on Amazon!). Tv ads sell pillows. Any home good store or big box store has an entire section filled with just pillows! You probably have ten in your home now.

But quantity and quality are two different things.

Why Should I Care?

Harvard Medical School (and many other reputable studies, worldwide) warn us about the dangers of insufficient sleep. Besides the inevitable crankiness and inability to concentrate, continued sleep deprivation (sleeping less than 7 hours a night) raises your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Insufficient sleep can also lead to depression and anxiety, along with other mental health issues.

The University’s take on sleep position and quality is also very informative. Humans need sleep, and we’re capable of changing our habits to maximize the time we have. And we should.

Ensuring we get enough quality sleep is essential to our daily lives. It affects how we interact with each other, our performance at work, even our health. You keep hearing how important it is — don’t ignore this advice, okay? If selecting something as simple as the right pillow is what helps you live a healthier, more productive life, let’s just do that.

So Many Choices – How Do I Choose?

Gel-filled. Polyester. Down. Down alternative. Hybrid. Memory foam. What is best?

Then you’ve got the price. Pillows can range from $5 to $100. And do you want a pillow that can throw in the wash, or just a cover that’s washable? How many pillows do you need? You also have special pillows explicitly made for snorers and some designed for side-sleepers, and others made for back sleeping.

And you have to choose the perfect pillow, or you’ll never sleep right!

Maybe that’s a little dramatic. But to be honest, there is no such thing as “the perfect pillow.” Everyone sleeps differently, and everyone is built differently, so we all need a different pillow. Which makes picking the best one very difficult.

Instead of searching for The Perfect Pillow, you need to look for the best pillow for you.

Important Considerations

Let’s start with how you sleep. As in, in what position do you choose to sleep? Health Magazine outlined the best positions to sleep and why.

Overall, experts say sleeping on your back is best. Sleeping on your back causes less stress on your back, as it’s a more natural position for your spine. Ideally, doctors say you should sleep with a firm but comfortable pillow under your head, and a firm pillow under your knees.

Side sleeping is next best, again with a firm but comfortable pillow under your head, and a pillow between your knees, to keep your spine straight.

And coming in last, sleeping on your stomach. Stomach sleepers, those crazy people who don’t care what the experts say, they just like being rebels. They obviously do not need pillows.

Okay, maybe that’s going too far, but sleep experts warn against sleeping on your stomach for the same reason they recommend sleeping on your back: the position your spine ends up in for hours at a time has a definite effect on your overall health.

We’re going to assume you sleep on your back. Most people do, and if you don’t, you can train yourself to sleep on your back. Then we’re going to give you some suggestions for the best pillow for you. Then you’re going to sleep beautifully and thank us. That’s what we’re here for, and you’re welcome.

Product Reviews

We know why you’re here. Let’s not waste any more time. Here are our reviews of the best memory foam pillows on the market.

Best Overall – Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow

This Coop Home Goods takes our Best Overall prize (virtual prize, because we didn’t want to order a trophy). This premium shredded memory foam pillow takes top billing for several reasons. When sleep experts say you need support, and not just support but adjustable support, Coop Home Goods has designed the pillow to fit those specifics.

This pillow has plenty of support, but the company has designed this pillow so you can customize the filling. You can adjust the pillow right in your home to individually fit your needs. If you’re sleeping on your back, you do not want your neck to be unsupported. Adding more filling means your neck has plenty of soft support. And if you find that your head is tilted at an upward angle, removing filler resolves that. Not many pillows have that adjustability.

Memory foam is very durable, it conforms to the shape of your head and neck, yet it’s supportive and will not collapse like down or polyester. Shredded memory foam offers the same support, but it is much more conforming to your head shape, which makes it much more comfortable.

Memory foam got a bad rap for a while because some companies produced inferior products that could potentially cause health issues. Coop Home Goods addresses that up front, noting that their memory foam is US-manufactured with no ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, phthalates, or CFCs.

That’s a lot of letters, but what it means is that they’ve made a safe, earth-friendly, CertiPUR-US compliant pillow. It’s good for you, and it’s good for the world.

The premium quilted cover, made from bamboo, is soft and washable, and the entire pillow is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. And the company seems pretty confident that this pillow works for you. They offer a 100-night guarantee, so if this pillow does not work for you, you can return it for a refund.

When you find a pillow that has more than 15,000 reviews and a nearly perfect rating, you know you’ve found a winner. The Coop Home Goods has won Amazon reviewers over with its ability to be customized as well as its comfort.

Reviewers loved how they could adjust the firmness of the pillow with the extra bag of memory foam, and many noted that the breathable cover made it stay cool all night. The fact that you could toss the whole pillow in the wash and have no problems later (try that with your pillow now, it won’t be pretty) was also a reason the Coop Home Goods pillow was a fan favorite.

The $60 price tag was what made some hesitate initially, but after purchasing (that guarantee helped them make the decision), they said it was well worth the price. Many went on to buy more for family members, they were so impressed with how well they slept with this pillow.

Runner-Up – Beckham Hotel Collection Pillow

The Beckham Hotel Collection pillow has quite the loyal following online, which says a lot for this mid-priced choice. You can get a 2-pack for just about $40, very reasonable for the quality.

People buy these, then buy more for family, and more for travel later. So you know a pillow is good when it earns return customers even though it’s well-made and doesn’t need replacing very often. I’ll take that seriously and say that is an excellent recommendation from the public.

The Beckham Luxury Linens Gel-Filled Fiber Pillows are cool and supportive. Boasting that they are dust mite, mold, and mildew resistant, they are also allergen- and chemical- free.

Whatever they make this gel fiber with, the reviewers love how crisp and comfortable the pillows are. Beckham calls how they make them “no shift construction,” meaning they keep their shape throughout the night.

It’s also notable that while some gel pillows fade or stain over time, the Beckham Hotel pillows do not. Even after washing, they keep their color and shape.

Some info to note, when reading reviews: another company created a spoof site of Beckham early this year. Amazon didn’t find out before inferior products under the Beckham name were sent to customers trying to buy the real product.

Loyal followers were quick to differentiate between real Beckham and the fake company, and they informed Amazon and those unhappy reviewers, so the phony company got shut down fairly quickly.

Make sure you’re buying directly from Beckham, as there are companies out there trying to mimic a quality product with inferior products (this is a compliment, I suppose).

Even with a short-term issue that could bring a lesser company to their knees, these pillows are a solid 4.5 stars with more than 3,000 reviews. People love them. Can’t argue with that.

Honorable Mention – Snuggle-pedic Bamboo Pillow

Because your hunt for the perfect pillow is going to involve a lot of choices, here are a few quality pillows that earn “Honorable Mention.” If one of the above pillows don’t work, try one of these.

The Snuggle-pedic Bamboo has a beautiful breathable cover with a shredded memory foam inner shell. This cover, guys. They call it “micro-vented,” and it breathes due to its combination of materials (bamboo, polyester, and lycra), which means fresh and comfy.

The shredded style of memory foam fill is cut and filled so that it does not go flat, which means support. Cool and supportive, that’s what you need when you’re sleeping on your back.

The Snuggle-pedic, constructed in the USA, and the company is careful to remind you that you buy only from Snuggle-pedic Products sold by Relief-Mart, Inc., so you get the genuine product. I guess if other companies are copying you and making knockoffs, which indicates you’ve created an excellent product!

They offer a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year guarantee, and you can request more filling if you feel the pillow isn’t firm enough for you. Customer service with this California company is on pointe in addressing concerns or answering questions.

This pillow is washable, hypoallergenic, and dust mite resistant. The company has earned the CertiPUR-US certification and are eco-friendly. There are no PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead or formaldehyde, so you have no worries there.

Reviewers were happy with the newest version of the Snuggle-pedic, as they added the option of ordering more stuffing to create a firmer pillow if needed. The washable cover and the overall coolness of the pillow were mentioned repeatedly, as well.

Honorable Mention – Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow

A mid-price option to consider is the Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow. Arriving in a pack of two, and fluffing up quickly from its eco-friendly vacuum packaging, the reviews love the plush outside and gel-filled fiber support inside.

They’re hypoallergenic, dust mite, mold, and mildew resistant. You’ll appreciate that the pillows are machine washable and are made to be fade resistant and stain resistant. They’re chemical-free, and the company says they will look and feel like new for the life of the pillow.

You’ll receive a 30-day guarantee. Plus, it’s easy to contact customer service. Most of the reviewers were more than happy to keep their cool, comfortable pillow, however, and encountered no problems. Even lifelong down and cervical pillow users were won over by the Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow. It’s worth looking at for its firm but cool and comfortable feel.

Honorable Mention – Cushyform Half Moon Pillow

You need to look into the CushyForm Half Moon Pillow for a couple of reasons. First, remember that study up top there, where the doctor said you should sleep on your back and keep a pillow under your knees? This half-moon pillow is perfect for under your head or your knees!

This firm little half-moon pillow, covered in an organic cotton washable case, is designed for maximum support. Keeping your neck cushioned while cradling your head helps with neck pain, and elevating your knees at night helps relieve back pain. If you have any back, leg, knee, or hip pain, using a firm pillow between your knees should help immediately.

Using a firm pillow between your knees or under your knees is helpful, but the shape of this one helps keep it in place. Having a pillow sliding all over isn’t helpful. Get one that does its job and stays where it’s needed, right?

Also a multipurpose pillow,  the CushyForm can be used as neck support or between your knees. It is also suitable for lumbar support when sitting in a chair, and for when you want to recline on your side. Just slip it under your arm in bed, and you have perfect support.

Reviewers said this pillow was perfectly firm, just the right size, and they had no issues with the CushyForm Half Moon Pillow. One reviewer bought it to help alleviate her back pain and found that she stayed sleeping on her back, unlike before she used this pillow. Several people also noted that they had less restless legs after a few night’s sleep.

Getting the Best Night’s Sleep

There isn’t much reason to keep tossing and turning, now that you have our guide to the best pillows on the market. While we have given you several options to making sure your pillow doesn’t hinder your sleep, we want you to seriously consider our Best Overall pick, the Coop Home Goods luxury pillow.

That premium cover, that sweet, soft, supportive filling, that eco-friendly design — it’s made to fit most anyone, back sleepers and side sleepers in particular. The ability to add or remove filler is a benefit you won’t find in most other pillows, and it’s one of the best reasons to choose the Coop Home Goods pillow. Other pillows may offer some of the qualities of the Coop Home Goods pillow, but only our best overall pick will give you every quality you need, and the versatility that makes it a worthwhile purchase.

And the ability to regularly wash your pillow? Seriously, if you’ve owned pillows you couldn’t clean without destroying them, you know how great it is to be able to throw your pillow in the wash. That feature right there helps control breakouts and keeps you healthy, as you can wash and not just spray Lysol after every virus that hits your house.

When you sleep like a baby, your health improves immediately. Your spine will thank you, your head will thank you, and you don’t even have to send us a thank you note. Enjoy, you rested thing, you!

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