Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers of 2021 [Top Back Sleepers Pillows]

While we tend to have a habit of sleeping on just about anything as a kid, our preferences become a lot different as we grow older. Especially for back sleepers, finding good-quality and comfortable pillows is nothing short of a challenge.

Not only do you need to look for a pillow that would support your neck and keep your head elevated, but you also need to be mindful of the foam and the quality of fabric the pillow is made of. If you are a back sleeper, you want to invest in a specific pillow for back sleepers that would support proper spinal alignment and offer comfort throughout the night.

If you aren’t sure which would be the best pillow for back sleepers, we have lined up all the best types of pillows and other accessories inputs that you need to be wary of.

Types of Pillows for Back Sleepers

If this is your first time looking for the best pillows for back sleepers, there are a few distinct types of pillow materials that you should be considerate of. Most of the time, you need to test out different pillows before they find an ideal option for all their needs.

For our reader’s convenience, we have sorted out some of the best options.

1. Memory foam

Memory foam is a universal type of pillow material. Not just for back and side sleepers, it is ideal for stomach sleepers too, especially because they conform to the shape of the head and neck to offer optimal comfort.

Getting a pillow stuffed with memory foam can relieve pain and stiffness around the neck and head if that is a complaint that you have. A memory foam pillow is ideal for pressure relief too. Also, the downside of a memory foam pillow is designed in a way to release excess heat and ensure that you have a comfortable night of sleep.

If this sounds enticing to you, we are pretty sure you’d love investing in the Misiki Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Pillow. This one features a unique shape but offers optimal support to your spine while you are sleeping on your back through the night.

2. Buckwheat

When talking about the best pillows for back sleepers, buckwheat is another ideal type of material that you wouldn’t regret splurging out on. Since it’s an all-natural material, this type of pillow works ideally for individuals with sensitive skin. These pillow types include a pillow stuffed with buckwheat kernels and extra hulls for a comfortable night of sleep. Like the memory foam pillows, even the buckwheat pillow has a cooling material for a comfortable night of sleep.

This Organic Buckwheat Pillow from FelixMax is a pretty good option if you are considering investing in an alternative pillow for yourself.

However, since buckwheat pillows are made with all-natural material, they are available for a higher price tag. But, they are ideal pillows for back sleepers and people with sensitive skin types. Another factor you need to be aware of is that the buckwheat pillows are the hurling noise they make when you turn around.

3. Feather

Much like the staple memory foam pillow, like the shredded memory foam, even feather pillows are ideal for back sleepers. Many users tend to confuse the feather pillows with the down pillows but that is where you are wrong. Down pillows aren’t a favorable option for back sleepers, since they squish down to a flat appearance.

In feather pillows, the insides of the pillow are stuffed with stiffer and longer quills. Compared to down pillows, feather pillows are a little less expensive. So, if you are hunting for a good pillow for back sleepers, we’d recommend that you look into getting the feather pillows.

Feather pillows are also comparatively cooler, which is perfect if you live in areas with hot and humid weather conditions. The one downside to this alternative pillow is that the feather quills tend to stick to the outside of the pillow, poking you while you are sleeping on your back.

There are very easy chances for you to mess up buying a good-quality feather pillow, especially since many brands avoid using real feathers. The Three Geese Adjustable Layer Goose Feather Pillow is a pretty affordable yet high-quality feather pillow that you can consider buying.

4. Down pillows

While we are on the subject of feather pillows, let us talk about the down pillows as well. These pillows are made from the feathers of duck or goose, unlike the shredded foam that is a lot cheaper compared to the other ones. Down pillows generally constitute a blend of different feathers, mainly including that of the birds.

However, we’d recommend that you avoid buying them if you are looking for pillows that can support your head and neck simultaneously. They have a quick dip once you sleep on them. However, much like memory foam pillows, even these offer optimal comfort and cooling throughout the night.

5. Polyester

For individuals looking for the best pillows for back sleepers within a budget-friendly price range, polyester pillows are an ideal choice. They are also easily accessible and are easy to clean as well. These are versatile pillows and support the posture of stomach sleepers too, much like the back sleepers as well.

The only downside to these pillows is that they require frequent changing since they go flat pretty easily. Also, they get misshapen often as well, so you might have to get them replaced every year or every few months.

6. Latex pillows

Last on the list of the best pillow for back sleepers are the latex pillows. Like the buckwheat pillows, even latex ones are naturally derived from rubber trees. The collected latex is processed until they reach a springy material texture after which they are molded into the staple texture pillows. Also, the reason why they are the best pillow for back sleepers is that they retain their shape for longer periods and don’t require occasional fluffing.

If you are struggling with pain and muscle tension because of your misplaced head and neck, we’d suggest opting for latex pillows over the shredded memory foam pillow.

While the Bluewave Bedding Super Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow isn’t necessarily a latex pillow, the gel memory foam is a pretty similar texture and offers optimal support throughout the night. If you struggle with not getting enough sleep because the pillow is too soft and presses down, we’d recommend opting for this shredded memory foam pillow.

What Size Pillows are Ideal for Back Sleepers?

Not just the material of the pillow, even considering the size of the pillow affects the comfort of the sleeping position. Although the sizes of pillows for back sleepers generally skirt between, standard, king, and queen, there are a few other variants that we think are worth considering.

1. Standard

The standard pillow, despite the type of filling, measures 20×26 inches, which is considered comfortable enough to accommodate your head and neck and support your spinal structure too. If you tend to sleep on your back throughout the night, we’d recommend that you opt for the memory foam pillows so it relieves some of the strain from around the back and neck region.

There’s another subset under standard-sized pillows that include the Super standard. They measure 20×28 inches and offer optimal comfort around your head and neck.

2. Queen

Another popular size of pillow for back sleepers is the standard Queen size. They measure 20×30 inches and ideally the best option you can get for a single pillow requirement. Since they are slightly longer than the standard pillows, they work pretty well for individuals who have a habit of constantly tossing and turning around.

3. King

If you are one of those back sleepers or stomach sleepers that need a pillow the size of their bed, we’d recommend looking into the king-sized pillows. These massive options measure 20×36″ and offer you optimal comfort when you are moving around the bed while getting your sleep through the night.

4. Body Pillows

Some individuals don’t enjoy having a single pillow like the memory foam pillows or gel memory foam pillows to support their stature through the night. If you are one of those people who want optimal comfort, especially when you are tossing and turning through the night, we’d recommend you try out the body pillows.

They measure 30×54″ and cover the majority of your body, supporting your back and your spine while you are sleeping on your back through the night. These pillows are also ideal for the back sleepers who like to have someone cuddle with them through the night.

How to Choose the Right Pillow for Back Sleepers?

Pillows are abundant for side sleepers, however finding the correct options for back sleepers can be a challenge. Not only do you need to take care of your sleep position, but you also need to be mindful of the comfort, added chronic conditions, and other accessory issues that come with sleeping on the back.

While we have sorted out some of the most common types of materials and sizes of pillows that are ideal for back sleepers, we also understand that knowing the basics to choose the correct type of pillow for back sleepers is equally important.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back (literally!).

For your convenience, we have divided this section into two categories – Needs before Choosing a Pillow for Back Sleepers and Wants before Choosing a Pillow for Back Sleepers.

Let us elaborate on them more.

Needs for Choosing a Pillow for Back Sleepers

With back sleepers, one of the most common complaints they have with their sleep position is how badly it affects their posture. And, that is true. Sleeping on your back consistently will eventually affect your posture, especially your spinal alignment.

Here’s what you NEED to look for then.

Medium loft

If you aren’t completely aware, a medium loft pillow is designed specifically for back sleepers. They can be made with shredded memory foam like the DreamyBlue Premium Pillow or they can be a latex pillow that offers optimal support to your neck and head region.

When choosing a pillow, you need to go for a medium loft option that won’t crane your neck too high above the head. If that happens, you will be complaining about neck stiffness the next morning.

Medium firmness

Stepping off from the elevation of the pillow, another factor that you need to consider is firmness. This is a subjective choice because there are people who love sleeping in fluffy and soft pillows and there are individuals who love firmer pillows.

For back sleepers, it is ideal to pick a pillow with medium firmness. They ensure that your entire back is aligned straight with the spine so there are no complaints of pain and stiffness. The Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows and Lux Decor Collection Gusseted Bed Pillows are two of the best medium firm pillows that we’d recommend you check out.

Pressure-relieving pillow

Another factor worth considering when it comes to the best pillows for back sleepers is the pressure-relieving factor. You need to find an ideal option that can keep your head cradled so it doesn’t end up making your neck feel stiff the next morning. To relieve the pressure, some individuals even prefer piling up multiple pillows and cushions too. This works just as fine.

Wants before Buying a Pillow for Back Sleepers

With the basic needs out of the way, let us focus on some of the subsidiary factors that you can consider before buying an alternative pillow for the back sleep position.

Customizable support

The rising demand for customizations in everything has made pillow brands introduce the same in their products too. If you are one of those people who like to toss and turn in your sleep and like different levels of pressure in the pillow throughout the night, we’d recommend looking into getting a customizable support pillow like the LINENSPA Shredded Memory Foam Pillow.

Cooling features

We can’t stress this enough but the last thing anyone needs is to sleep on their back and have their neck and back flare up with heat and sweat soaking through the pillow. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it is unhygienic too.

There are several pillows, like the Nestl Coolest Pillow that come with a gel-infused memory foam that offers optimal cooling options so you can have a comfortable night of sleep.

Bouncy support

This is a hit-or-miss feature but some users enjoy sleeping on pillows that can help them sleep throughout the night and conform to the sleep positions of the individual. Some people prefer a low-sink pillow while others tend to consider buying the extremely bouncy options. Whatever your choice be, just ensure that it supports back sleeping and offers optimal neck support.

What Other Factors Should Back Sleepers be Aware of?

While it is true that getting the right pillow is important for back sleepers, there are a few important factors that are worth looking into. You need to find good options with medium firm textures and also consider other factors like cooling gel memory foam and support for the back and neck. Aside from the pillows, there are a few additional factors that are worth considering.

Opt for the correct mattress

Much like the pillows, looking for a high-quality mattress is equally important. If the mattress is of poor quality and firmness, it will eventually take a toll on your posture and back health, especially when it comes to spinal support. Medium-firm mattresses are considered ideal for back sleepers as they support your spine when you sleep on your back and offer optimal lumbar support as well.

While there is an abundance of mattresses available for back sleepers, TUFT & NEEDLE – Original King Adaptive Foam Mattress is a steal. This one is especially ideal for overweight or obese individuals who want better back support during their night sleep.

Place a pillow underneath the knees

While this hack is quite underrated, placing a medium to firm pillow under the knees helps in reducing the pain and to keep your spine aligned in a straight line so you don’t end up having poor posture and pain that comes with it. The pillow also helps relieve the pressure from the individual points on the back through your night sleep.

Avoid eating a heavy dinner

If you are a back sleeper, the last thing you want to do is eat a very heavy dinner. This eventually takes a toll on your stomach and makes it difficult to sleep on your back. Acid reflux is also a common complaint that people experience with back sleeping.

What are the Benefits of Back Sleeping?

Although many people have a lot to say and complain about back sleeping, there are quite a few benefits to this sleep position. The best benefit of back sleeping is that it improves the spinal alignment and relieves pressure from the back muscles and the neck and spine too.

However, back sleepers do complain about acid reflux, which is a common issue, especially in people who tend to consume a heavy dinner.

Back sleeping is also considered ideal for individuals who struggle with chronic back pain and have a hard time sleeping on the side or stomach. Also, if you have problems with snoring, sleeping on the back with a slight elevation is quite effective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it common to be a back sleeper?

Many people have this misconception that back sleeping is not a very common happenstance. That is not the case at all. Around 10% of the world’s population have a habit of sleeping on their back, which is a pretty good amount of people worldwide. However, the number should necessarily be more, especially because back sleeping is associated with a range of amazing health benefits, especially in individuals with chronic pain and diseases.

What is the primary factor to consider while buying pillows for back sleepers?

The loft and firmness of the pillow are likely the most important factors of considerations. You can manage and switch between the material and size of the pillow now and then but if the firmness and elevation aren’t ideal, you will have a hard time switching between the multiple sleep positions during the night. Also, an ideal loft is considered good for the neck and spine.

Which is the worst pillow type for back sleepers?

Too flat or too thick pillows are considered back for back sleepers. If your pillow doesn’t support your posture and keep your neck and spine in straight alignment, it will eventually catch up to your health and poor posture. Also, avoid using pillows that don’t come with medium loft because that is one of the most common contributors to neck stiffness.

Can pregnant women be back sleepers?

This is a subjective question and at the end of the day, it comes down to the kind of comfort the person needs or wants. Most of the time, pregnant women (especially in their later months) avoid sleeping on their back since it puts extreme pressure on the back and is uncomfortable too. However, experts have time and time suggested that the best sleep positions for pregnant women would be on their left or right side.

Is it better to buy pillows for back sleepers online?

There is nothing wrong with buying the best pillow online. Not only do you get a range of amazing options to choose from, but you can also dabble between the available options, especially when it comes to the quality and the overall price range of these pillows. We’d always recommend checking the reviews and ratings before you finalize purchasing one product.


If you are a back sleeper and have been having a hard time finding good quality queen and king sizes pillows for yourself, we hope this article serves you as a guide. At the end of the day, you want to keep a check on the quality, size, fabric, and also the kind of support it offers to the users. We have sorted out all the important factors of consideration with hopes that you can find one that is ideal for your needs. However, make sure that you check out all the available options online before you end up checking your option.

  • Updated last year
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