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Studies have identified several features of a pillow that may benefit people who sleep on their backs. Pillow temperature, support, and shape are important considerations.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

People sleep on their side, front, or back, or a combination of the three. A 2017 study found that the participants spent over half their time asleep on their sides, 37.5% on their backs, and 7.3% on their fronts.

The researchers note that sleeping on the back may lead to poorer quality sleep. Additionally, people who have sleep apnea may experience a worsening of symptoms while in this position.

The National Sleep Foundation also states that sleeping on the back can lead to snoring. When people lie on their backs, their airways constrict due to gravity. Sleeping in an inclined position, such as raising the head on a pillow, may reduce snoring.

However, sleeping on the back may prevent wrinkles. Research has found that sleeping on the side and front compresses the skin, forming creases that are distinct from expression wrinkles. These wrinkles may disappear quickly when a younger person wakes up, but older adults may develop permanent creases. The researchers state that sleeping on the back can reduce the likelihood of sleep wrinkles.

A 2011 article notes that people often ask healthcare practitioners, such as doctors and physical therapists, for advice on choosing the best pillow. However, a lack of clear guidelines makes it difficult for anyone to suggest a specific pillow.

Researchers found that, in general, people who used latex pillows reported high sleep quality, while those who used feather pillows were most likely to experience poor sleep quality.

Researchers have also found that feather pillows and foam-contour pillows were unhelpful for people with neck pain. The study found that polyester and foam pillows performed as well as the participants’ own pillows.

However, rubber pillows performed better than the participant’s own pillows. Evidence supported the use of rubber pillows to manage cervical pain on waking and improve sleep quality and pillow comfort.

Some additional factors to consider when purchasing a pillow include:

  • Price: Various factors may influence a pillow’s price, including the fill, the size, and the shape. People should consider their budget before purchasing a pillow.
  • Support and firmness: Pillows may offer different firmness feels. Companies may recommend a certain firmness for different sleeping positions. It is also important to research the areas a pillow supports to ensure it fits a person’s requirement.
  • Loft: Pillows come in different heights or lofts. Pillows with a higher loft may reduce snoring. However, higher lofts may also increase neck pain if the skull is raised too high above the spine.
  • Shape: Pillows may come in different shapes. For example, wedge pillows are thinner at the bottom and thicker at the top, resulting in a gentle head incline.

This article looks at some of the best pillows for back sleepers.

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

The user can adjust the pillow’s height by adding or removing the memory foam fill to suit their support and comfort needs.

It is non-toxic, contains no harmful chemicals, and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Parachute Home Down Pillow

This European white down pillow has a supportive and airy structure.

Although the pillow is available in soft, medium, and hard firmness, the company suggests back sleepers may prefer a medium pillow.

As this is a feather pillow, some back sleepers may prefer a foam alternative to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Chiropractors sometimes recommend sleep ergonomics to help people with chronic neck pain. Pillows that support the head, neck, and shoulders may help reduce pain.

Mediflow Water Pillow

This water-based pillow conforms to the shape of the head and neck. The pillow moves with the sleeper, reducing the need to adjust the pillow throughout sleep.

The user can adjust the pillow’s firmness by adding or reducing the amount of water that surrounds the fiber fill.

Tempur Pedic Neck Pillow

Designed for back and side sleepers, this extra firm pillow has a 100% polyester knit hypoallergenic cover made of extra firm Tempur material.

The pillow also contours to follow the spine’s natural curve, supporting back and side sleepers’ heads, necks, and shoulders.

Epabo Contour Memory Foam Pillow

This pillow may provide relief for all types of sleepers with neck pain. It contours to align the head, neck, shoulders, and back.

People can adjust this pillow to suit their height preference by removing the bottom piece of memory foam.

People who sleep on their back and then turn onto their side during sleep are combination sleepers. Combination sleepers may prefer firm pillows to support the back, shoulder, and neck during movement.

Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Pillow

A person can customize this pillow by adding or removing foam to make the pillow more or less firm to suit their needs.

The breathable cover material helps people remain cool while they sleep. Some studies have demonstrated that cool material enables better sleep.

Saatva Pillow

The Saatva pillow has a lofty and plush organic cotton-filled interior. The core of the pillow, made of shredded Talalay latex, provides head and neck support.

The responsive latex core provides support for combination sleepers.

Studies have shown that changing the head position during sleep may reduce snoring. People may also snore less if they sleep on their sides rather than their backs.

A head-positioning pillow designed to prevent someone from sleeping on their back may reduce the severity of snoring.

However, a pillow may not resolve snoring in all situations. One study showed that people who have overweight did not experience a significant reduction in snoring index with head-positioning pillows.

Weight reduction can also reduce snoring.

Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam Bed Wedge

This pillow has a 30-degree angle to the mattress, which allows the user to keep their torso elevated and spine supported The high-quality memory foam will not flatten over time.

The wedge pillow allows back sleepers who snore to continue sleeping on their backs. The design keeps the neck and spine aligned, which keeps the nasal passages open so mucus can drain away from the throat.

Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow

Made of a soft blend of cross-cut, gel-infused memory foam and microfiber, this adjustable pillow can accommodate individual preferences.

Achieving the ideal loft and density of a pillow allows people to avoid neck strain after sleeping. A person can control the height of this pillow by adding or removing some fill.

Adjusting the pillow height may help reduce snoring as well. It is suitable for back and stomach sleepers, so people who turn in the night may prefer this pillow.

Hullo Buckwheat Pillows

According to the company website, this pillow supports the head and neck with thousands of all-natural buckwheat hulls.

A person can customize the pillow to suit their needs by removing or adding buckwheat hulls to adjust the pillow’s thickness and firmness.

Hullo Buckwheat pillows contain no animal products, so they are suitable for vegans. Buckwheat hulls are biodegradable.

Some back sleepers may prefer the support that firm pillows can give:

Home Decorators Collection Pillow

Made with polyester, this firm and extra firm alternative down pillow provides a soft and moldable structure.

Suitable for back sleepers, the pillow has a 2-inch gusset that cradles the head while sleeping.

Below are some frequently asked questions about pillows for back sleepers.

Do back sleepers need a pillow?

Back sleepers who do not use a pillow may experience neck pain due to a lack of neck and shoulder support. A thinner pillow that supports spinal alignment may be more comfortable than sleeping without a pillow.

Learn more about sleeping without a pillow.

What is the right height pillow for a back sleeper?

There is no right height pillow for a back sleeper. However, most back sleepers may prefer a thinner pillow that does not raise the head too far. If a person sleeps with a higher loft pillow, their neck may be out of alignment with their spine, leading to neck pain.

Can those who are pregnant sleep on their backs?

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) states that people who are 28 weeks pregnant and sleep on their back double the risk of stillbirth.

However, the NHS also says that people should not worry if they wake up on their back. People tend to stay in the position they fall asleep in for most of the time they are sleeping. People who are pregnant should move position to their side if they wake up on their back.

Since pillows are for personal use only, some manufacturers do not accept returns.

People should always check that they can return a pillow that is uncomfortable or unsuitable.

To find the best pillow, people need to consider their sleep position, pillow height, pillow support, and firmness.

People may have to try a range of pillows before they find the most suitable one.

A pillow is not a replacement for medical treatment. Anyone experiencing neck pain, chronic snoring, or similar issues should speak with a doctor for advice.