How to choose the best pillow for back sleepers?[update 2017]
Back sleepers require a lot of orthopedic support since a large area of your back is in contact with the bed, which exposes your spine, pelvic bones, neck and shoulders to lots of pressure. If you have bought yourself a perfect medium-firm to firm mattress then you are on the right track. You will, however, soon notice that you need as much support for your head and neck. So which is the best back sleeper pillow? How do you know you have made a perfect choice?
Regardless of whether you are someone that is experiencing back pain or one that prefers to sleep on your back this resource is designed to help you. Getting the proper amount of sleep is important for your health and wellness. Without proper sleep, your cognitive abilities suffer, and your levels of stress and anxiety increase. Quality sleep requires appropriate bedding, which is determined by your sleep style. This best pillow for back pain and back sleepers guide will help you determine the right back support pillow to fit your needs.
A person usually sleeps on her side, stomach or back. Side sleepers need flexible support for the neck and shoulder, and sometimes they need body pillows to align the spine. Stomach sleepers need thin and supportive pillows that do not make the head rise. Back sleepers need support for the head, shoulders and neck. Any pillow with firm edges and a soft middle can work for a back sleeper. If you, or a loved one, are a back sleeper, here is a helpful pillow guide.
Criteria for choosing the best pillow for back sleepers
Here are the properties to consider when selecting a back sleeper pillow.
- Adjustable for comfort – The filling of the pillow should allow for adjustment by adding more or taking out some of the filling. This will allow you to set your pillow to the right comfort. Latex pillows are no good at this feature.
- Malleability – A pillow that is malleable and easily conforms to your head is the best pillow for a back sleeper. It means that your head and neck gets the support needed while you sleep on your back.
- Firmness – A pillow that is too hard will leave you with a stiff neck, while a pillow that is too soft will not offer any support. A pillow of medium firmness seems to be acceptable for back sleepers.
- Cooling – Since your neck and head will be in constant contact with the pillow, the pillow needs to allow for cooling via a ventilated or breathable filling and fabric. This way, you won’t wake up at night sweating or due to hot spots. This will also provide for healing properties for those with neck pains
- Size – Size is a matter of preference. You can get pillows ranging from Japanese size to King size.
Best type of pillow for back sleepers
#1. Buckwheat Pillows
Pillows with medium loft are the most preferred choice for back sleepers. This may sound like an ambiguous description but as a back sleeper, you definitely know that the best back sleeper pillow is the one with medium firmness. If your pillow is too soft, it will not provide the support desired. The medium firmness provides support for the natural alignment and positioning of the head, neck and spine by retaining the shape your head molds into it. The pillow should be soft enough because if it is too hard, it will cause soreness and stiffness on the neck.
One best back sleeper pillow is the buckwheat pillow. The pillow is called buckwheat because it is stuffed with buckwheat hulls; buckwheat is a fruit closely related to the rhubarb. Buckwheat pillows are well-known for being supportive and adjustable and for having good neck pain relief. Unlike foam, the buckwheat pillow will not collapse under the weight of your head. Back sleepers are usually satisfied with buckwheat pillows because they do not retain heat, have good air flow and can be adjusted by removing or adding the buckwheat hulls. ComfyComfy offers a reasonably priced buckwheat pillow on Amazon.com.
Top Buckwheat Pillows Recommendations
|Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow - Japanese Size (14" x 20")|
|Buckwheat Pillow - Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size |
|Balance Living Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size 20"x 30", 100% Organic Cotton Cover|
Here are our picks for the best buckwheat pillows for your back based on online reviews.
Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow
This buckwheat pillow has been made by handpicking the best buckwheat hull in the USA. Behind it is a timeless Japanese pillow making experience. Size and weight might vary depending on the quality and season the crop was gathered, but the filling is 100% US-grown buckwheat hulls. The pillow has been finished off with a cotton cover for softness and smoothness.
People that bought this pillow reported that that the pillow was great for relieving; muscle pain, neck stiffness, headaches, tension and stress. The best factor that probably appealed to all users is the zipper at the side of the pillow that will allow you to adjust the amount of buckwheat hulls in order to create the stiffness you want.
Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow
The Zen Chi pillow comes in different sizes including a Japanese, twin, queen and king size. Filled with 100% natural buckwheat hulls, this pillow will provide the desired support for your neck and head. The pillows have been perfectly calibrated but you can still tinker with the amount of hulls since it allows for refilling.
Users reported cool nights owing to the perfect aeration that buckwheat husks provided. Both side sleeper and back sleeper were content with the ability of this pillow to provide a good night sleep.
Balance Living Buckwheat Pillow
Using the Japanese technology, this pillow is 100% filled with buckwheat hulls. Like the Beans72 buckwheat pillow, its cover is a soft and smooth cotton fabric. A zipper has even been provided to adjust the balance living buckwheat pillow.
According to consumer reviews, this pillow is as advertised. It will conform perfectly to your head, provide support for your neck and relieve any pain on your neck. The support also reduces snoring which is a plus for partners. Users also indicated that the pillow has a great cooling capability which lets them sleep peacefully without breaking their sleep with sweat.
Buckwheat Back Sleeper Pillow – 100% Organic Filling and Case
Made in the USA, this back sleeper pillow has been specially designed for this style of sleeping. The pillow will conform to the shape of your head without much resistance. The aeration will cool you, and coupled with the support, it will allow for blood circulation to the nerves and muscles. Therefore you won’t wake up with hot spots, a stiff neck or crumbed muscles. The cotton cover adds to the softness and smoothness of this pillow.
Consumers of this pillow don’t remember having such a comfortable pillow before. They acknowledged the cool nights provided and the pain relieving property this pillow provided.
This are our best buckwheat pillow picks. You can also check out the Sobakawa buckwheat pillow reviews online for your consideration.
Other pillows that are perfect for back sleepers
#2. Down Pillows
Down pillows are popular with every kind of sleeper. Down pillows are lightweight, soft and quiet. These pillows are stuffed with the soft plumage found under the feathers of geese and ducks, called down. Down pillows are usually at least 75 percent down and 25 percent feathers. A back support pillow can be molded when filled with down, but the pillow might not offer enough support for some back sleepers. A good brand for down pillows, with a high customer rating, is Marrikas.
#3. Down Alternative Pillows
The down alternative pillow is another great pillow for back pain sleepers. It is similar in characteristics to the down pillow, except the down is replaced by polyester puff or gel fibers. The pillow is still as cuddly and moldable as the down pillow, but it does not present a possible allergy issue. Back sleepers are frequently happy with their down alternative pillows. The only caveat is if the loft is too little or too much. Dobby Weave offers a highly rated down alternative pillow.
#4. Polyester Pillows
The polyester pillow is another back support pillow that might suit every kind of sleeper. These pillows offer average support and are inexpensive, soft, lightweight and huggable. Polyester pillows are filled with hypoallergenic polyester fiber. Back sleepers usually give good feedback for this type of pillow. If you want to give this pillow a try, the polyester pillow by Slumber Fresh is rated at four stars on Amazon.com.
#5. Water Pillows
The last best pillow for back sleepers is the water pillow. This pillow has an interesting concept. The water pillow has an outside polyester fiber surface that supports a 5-quart water capacity. Water pillows have a great potential for pain relief, and their loft and firmness are highly adjustable. These pillows also have minimal heat retention. Customers often praise these pillows for the support. Back sleepers specifically like the adjustable loft. Two major water pillow brands are Mediflow and Chiroflow.
These are the best pillows for back sleepers. You probably noticed that a few of these pillows also work well for side and stomach sleepers. This is convenient if you want to share your pillow with family members who are different style sleepers. Just remember that the buckwheat pillow is not good for side or stomach sleepers, and polyester and water pillows don’t work well with stomach sleepers. Avoid these combinations, and you should be fine.