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Pain and discomfort caused by acid reflux, sinus pressure, and sleep apnea can all interrupt a good night’s rest. For these and other conditions, a wedge pillow is often recommended. A wedge pillow is used to elevate the upper or lower body to help improve circulation, reduce snoring, and relieve pressure on sensitive areas.
Wedge pillows are typically made of polyfoam or memory foam, with a triangular shape that stays in place better than standard pillows. The angle of the wedge pillow can vary depending on the height of the pillow, and certain heights are better than others to relieve specific conditions. Wedge pillows are often used throughout pregnancy. They can also be used to comfortably sit up and watch television or read a book in bed.
Shoppers considering a wedge pillow should keep in mind how much elevation they need, their preferred sleeping positions, and what symptoms they may hope to alleviate. We’ll cover our top picks for the best wedge pillows on the market. Then we’ll outline how to choose a wedge pillow, who these pillows are best suited for, and other important considerations for shoppers.
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The Helix Wedge Pillow helps relieve pain and pressure with a conforming layer of gel-infused memory foam, while the 10-inch incline can help reduce symptoms of sleep apnea and acid reflux. Keeping the upper body elevated helps keep the airway open. It also helps prevent stomach acid from rising up the esophagus.
The rayon and polyester blend cover is breathable and machine washable, making it easy to clean as needed. In addition to pressure relief, the layer of gel-infused memory foam provides comfort for hot sleepers by drawing heat away from the body. The high-density polyurethane foam base increases the durability of the pillow while providing ample support.
The Helix Wedge Pillow is medium firm, so it benefits both back and side sleepers. When used under the head, the contouring foam helps reduce neck pain. Sleepers can also use the pillow underneath the knees and legs to reduce pressure on the back. This makes it the best wedge pillow for back pain.
The pillow is 24 inches wide and 24 inches long, giving sleepers plenty of space to sit up and read or watch television in bed.
Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial, so purchasers can try out the pillow in the comfort of their homes. The Helix Wedge Pillow is also covered by a 1-year warranty.
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The Sleep Number Adjustable Wedge Pillow comes in one size that sleepers can adjust for the desired angle and support.
The Adjustable Wedge Pillow contains three foam inserts, which include two 2-inch wedges and one 4-inch insert that serves as a firmer cushion. These components combine to give a supportive feel that also conforms to the body. With all three wedges, the pillow measures 8 inches thick. Removing one or more of the inserts lowers the height to 2, 4, or 6 inches.
This pillow’s customizable design allows sleepers to adjust the angle and try out different loft levels to determine which one best meets their needs. The synthetic foam is also hypoallergenic. Back sleeping on this pillow provides the most benefit, whereas side and stomach sleeping might cause discomfort.
The removable polyester cover is machine-washable, but the pillow itself requires spot cleaning. The cover has a gusseted design that fits the pillow’s adjusted shape. The cover’s zipper allows sleepers to add or remove the inserts easily.
Sleep Number offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. Sleep Number offers a 30-day trial during which consumers can return the pillow free of charge, as well as a one-year warranty for those who wish to keep it.
Best for Back Pain
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Many wedge pillows are available in a “one size fits all” design, but the reality is that the best pillow for any given sleeper depends on their height and body type. The Angle by Back Support Systems bucks this trend with four different sizes. These range from petite, which is geared toward adults and children who stand at least 4 feet 8 inches tall, to the extra-wide size for anyone who stands at least 5 feet 9 inches tall. This level of versatility ensures back, hip, and knee pain relief for most people regardless of their height.
Depending on which size you choose, the pillow measures between 6 and 10 inches tall. The steeper side is structured to elevate the legs at a 45-degree angle, which can alleviate pressure around the hip flexors, while the other side offers a gentler incline. Thanks to a solid memory foam core and a firm feel, the pillow provides long-lasting support and won’t sag or buckle beneath the weight of your legs.
Customers can choose between two types of foam for their pillow. In addition to standard memory foam, you may select a “Be Cool” model infused with cooling gel intended to minimize heat buildup. All versions of the pillow include a cover made from a breathable, moisture-wicking blend of cotton and rayon derived from bamboo. The cover is removable and may be laundered in any household machine whenever it needs to be cleaned.
Be Cool versions of the pillow cost a bit more than standard models, but the Angle is reasonably priced across the board. Back Support Systems allows you to return the pillow unopened within 30 days of your purchase for a partial refund, but all sales are considered final for used pillows.
Best Pain Relief
The Brentwood Home Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow is available in multiple height options to suit a variety of needs.
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The Brentwood Home Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow is available in three height options, so shoppers can select the best angle for their needs. Its affordable price point makes it a good fit for value-minded shoppers, too.
The 4-way stretch knit cover of the Zuma pillow is composed of bamboo-derived rayon, which helps draw heat away from the body to keep sleepers comfortable. The cover is removable and washable.
The wedge pillow is made of CertiPUR-US certified therapeutic support foam, making the pillow durable and supportive. Since the Brentwood Home Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow is firm, it is ideal for back sleepers.
The pillow measures 24 inches wide and 24 inches long, and is available with a 7-, 10-, or 12-inch incline. The lower incline is beneficial for sleepers who need to elevate their knees and legs to relieve pressure on the lower back. Sleepers who suffer from sleep apnea and acid reflux may benefit more from the 10-inch wedge pillow, while the 12-inch incline is more comfortable for sitting up and watching television or reading in bed.
Brentwood Home offers a 30-day sleep trial with free returns. The Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow comes with a 1-year warranty that covers defects in materials and manufacturing.
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The Folding Bed Wedge Cushion from Contour creates a gentle incline and provides firm support to the neck, head, and torso. The angle is not high enough for most people to read or watch television. However, it does have enough height to help reduce symptoms for digestive issues like heartburn and GERD.
The pillow comes in a soft, velour zippered cover that can be cleaned in the washing machine. The pillow folds into a compact rectangle shape for easy storage, allowing it to fit under most beds. Customers can purchase additional covers and choose from four different sizes: 7 x 24 inches, 7 x 32 inches, 10 x 24 inches, or 12 x 24 inches. Of these sizes, the 32-inch pillow is the most popular model.
Contour provides free shipping on all orders over $50 from their site. Customers get a 45-day trial period and a fee waiver for returns. The Folding Bed Wedge cushion comes with a 1-year warranty.
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Overheating can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. While many foam products tend to retain heat, the Brookstone Avana Memory Foam Bed Wedge Pillow is engineered to stay cool throughout the night. Sleepers who run hot can still enjoy the contouring benefits of foam on this pillow without becoming too warm.
The wedge pillow is constructed with a 1-inch layer of memory foam over a firmer layer of polyfoam. The removable cover is machine-washable and features knit cotton on the top surface and soft microsuede on the side surfaces. Knit cotton is a breathable fabric and prevents too much heat from becoming trapped close to the skin.
Shoppers can choose between three different sizes – queen, king, and XL. Lengths range from 32 to 42 inches, depending on pillow size. The queen and king pillows have 7-inch heights and the XL pillow has a 9-inch height. The pillow inclines are designed to help alleviate issues such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or sinus problems. The foam also cradles the body and provides pressure relief for those who need it.
Brookstone offers free shipping to addresses in the contiguous United States, and most orders ship within 5 to 7 business days. Customers can return the product within 30 days from the date of purchase for a full refund, though buyers are responsible for return shipping.
The triangular shape of a wedge pillow keeps sleepers at an incline throughout the night. The height of wedge pillows varies, but most are 7 to 12 inches high. The shape of a wedge pillow is versatile, and sleepers can use one to prop up their head and neck, or support their back and shoulders when sitting up in bed. They can also be used to elevate the legs and help improve circulation.
Back sleepers and side sleepers alike have found wedge pillows to be beneficial, as these pillows can help relieve pressure on the lower back, neck, and shoulders. Wedge pillows are often recommended for pregnant women to provide additional support and pressure relief.
Most wedge pillows are constructed with foam, as this helps them maintain a consistent shape and level of support for sleepers. We’ll break down common wedge pillow materials, shapes, and uses to help shoppers determine what kind of wedge pillow will be best for their needs.
Each sleeper is unique, and shoppers will need to keep their preferences in mind when choosing a wedge pillow. All wedge pillows are designed to offer support and elevate the upper or lower body. They can be used to help alleviate a variety of ailments, but are also used to relax in bed while reading a book or watching a movie. Since there is an overwhelming number of wedge pillows on the market, shoppers should keep the following in mind to help them make a purchase.
Wedge pillows offer multiple benefits for sleepers, but there are several important factors to consider when shopping for a wedge pillow. These pillows are available in different sizes, shapes, and inclines, each of which accommodates certain needs and preferences. Understanding the following features will help shoppers prioritize what is most important to them, so that they can select the best wedge pillow for their needs.
Shoppers should also keep in mind that bedding companies can use misleading or exaggerated claims to entice shoppers. Though a wedge pillow can be beneficial for a multitude of ailments, it is important to consult with a doctor if you experience medical issues that interrupt your sleep.
Once you have determined that a wedge pillow is right for you, the following factors can help you narrow down your options.
On average, wedge pillows measure 20 to 24 inches in both length and width, with varying heights that determine the angle of incline. The size and shape of a wedge pillow keep sleepers elevated throughout the night. Since wedge pillows can be larger than standard pillows, shoppers should keep their mattress size in mind when shopping. Those with a twin or full mattress may want to opt for smaller wedge pillows, while shoppers with queen and king size mattresses can select larger sizes.
The incline of a wedge pillow can be measured in inches or in degrees. Most wedge pillows have a height of 6 to 12 inches, or 30 to 45 degrees. A lower incline is often preferred by sleepers who use a wedge pillow under their knees and legs. Mid-level inclines are often used by sleepers with acid reflux or sleep apnea. A higher incline can be beneficial for shoppers who plan to use the pillow to sit up in bed.
Wedge pillows have a triangular shape, with a gradual slope from the low side to the high side of the pillow. While all wedge pillows have this easily recognizable shape, they can differ in size and construction. Some wedge pillows have a contoured surface designed to relieve pressure and target areas like the neck and shoulders. Others are completely flat on each side.
The weight of a wedge pillow depends on the type and density of foam used to construct it. Lighter pillows are easier to move or adjust as needed, but heavier pillows are more likely to stay in place on the bed.
Wedge pillows are typically constructed with a solid block of foam, so most are medium firm to firm. This helps the pillow keep its shape throughout the night, supporting sleepers and keeping them elevated. Medium firm wedge pillows may be more comfortable for side sleepers, while back sleepers often prefer a firm surface.
Wedge pillows are regularly used to relieve pressure in different areas of the body. These pillows can be made with memory foam, which is known for contouring to the shape of the body for top-notch pressure relief. Placement of the wedge pillow can also affect how much pressure relief sleepers receive. A wedge pillow under the knees can reduce pressure on the lower back, while one used underneath the upper body can relieve pressure on the neck and shoulders.
Shoppers should expect to spend between $50 and $100 on a high-quality wedge pillow. Price is not the only measure of quality, but a higher price can indicate that the pillow is made with durable materials designed to last.
The quality of materials used impact the lifespan of the pillow. For those who plan to use the wedge pillow nightly, selecting one made with high-quality materials will ensure the pillow maintains its shape. Low-density foam is more likely to degrade or sag with consistent usage.
Shoppers will want to look for a wedge pillow that helps regulate temperature, especially if they tend to sleep hot. Foam tends to retain heat, but some wedge pillows take measures to offset this tendency. This may include gel-infused foam to draw heat away from the body, or a breathable cover that increases airflow and wicks away heat and moisture.
Many sleepers may benefit from using a wedge pillow, including those who suffer from poor circulation, chronic pain, acid reflux, and sleep apnea. We’ll detail the kinds of individuals that may benefit from the use of a wedge pillow along with the general benefits of using a wedge pillow here.
Those with Poor Circulation
Sleepers with poor circulation can place a wedge pillow under their feet and legs to help encourage blood flow to the heart. This keeps blood from collecting in the lower legs and reduces pressure on the veins. Elevating the legs can help reduce swelling and aid in circulation to help prevent blood clots. Leg elevation is also beneficial for sleepers with varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. The wedge pillow should have a high enough incline to keep the legs above heart level.
Sleepers with Back, Neck, or Shoulder Pain
A wedge pillow can help promote proper spinal alignment and relieve pressure on the back, neck, and shoulders. Sleepers with chronic pain in these areas may want to consider a wedge pillow with memory foam that conforms to the shape of the body and helps relieve pressure. Those with lower back pain may benefit from a wedge pillow with a low incline that can be placed under the knees to relieve pressure on the lumbar region.
People with Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid enters the esophagus. Keeping the head and shoulders at an incline can help keep acid in the stomach, as gravity helps prevent it from rising up the esophagus. A wedge pillow that extends from the head to the hips to keep the entire upper body elevated may be most beneficial.
Sleepers Who Snore
Snoring is often caused by congestion or obstructive sleep apnea. For sleepers with sinus issues, a wedge pillow helps drain the sinuses while relieving pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and the tongue and tissues block the airway. Keeping the head and neck elevated can help keep the airway open. A wedge pillow with a higher incline is usually recommended.
Side sleeping is recommended for pregnant women, and a wedge pillow can be used to prevent pregnant women from rolling onto their backs as they sleep. Additionally, pregnant women may experience acid reflux, which can be alleviated with a wedge pillow. Those who experience lower back pain, pressure, and restless legs syndrome can use a wedge pillow underneath the legs.
A contoured wedge pillow can help relieve pressure on the neck and shoulders for side sleepers. This type of wedge pillow helps keep the spine aligned while preventing pressure points from developing. A wedge pillow with conforming memory foam is especially helpful for side sleepers with sharp pressure points or shoulder pain.
A wedge pillow can help back sleepers feel comfortable by supporting the upper body and promoting spinal alignment. A lower incline is often preferred by back sleepers.
Those Who Like to Sit Up in Bed
A wedge pillow can be used as a head or back rest for those who like to sit up in bed. This type of pillow allows users to prop themselves up without the need for multiple pillows. It also stays in place more easily. A higher incline makes it easier to watch television in bed.
While there is not much variation when it comes to wedge pillows, there are differences in materials and design that can affect how the pillow performs. These differences are important for shoppers to understand, as certain characteristics may be better suited for their needs than others.
Memory Foam: Memory foam is a viscoelastic polyurethane foam that responds to heat and pressure to closely conform to the shape of the body. This results in standout pressure relief, as memory foam offers a customized, cushioning feel. Wedge pillows may be entirely made of memory foam, or they may just use a 1- to 2-inch layer of memory foam on top of support foam for pressure relief.
Polyfoam: Polyfoam, or polyurethane foam, is commonly used in wedge pillows. This type of foam typically springs back to shape more quickly than memory foam, and may not conform as closely. Polyfoam can vary in firmness and density, but many wedge pillows are constructed with firm, dense polyfoam for durability and support.
Flat: Wedge pillows have a tapered, triangular shape, but the surface can be flat or contoured. A flat wedge pillow is better for back sleepers and those who want to use the pillow under their legs.
Contoured: A contoured wedge pillow has a curved surface. This type is considered to be the best wedge pillow for side sleepers, as it helps keep the spine aligned by following the curves of the neck, shoulders, and spine. It can also relieve pressure on these areas.
Can I use a regular pillow in place of a wedge pillow?
You may not want to use a regular pillow in place of a wedge pillow, since a wedge pillow will keep the head, neck, and shoulders, at an incline better than a regular pillow. Regular pillows tend to have a flat, rectangular shape, so sleepers may need to stack them to elevate the head, neck, and shoulders. Regular pillows are also more likely to shift throughout the night. A wedge pillow can be more beneficial for sleepers who suffer from sleep apnea, acid reflux, or shoulder pain. For those suffering from ailments that a wedge pillow may help, it is important to consult with a medical professional.
How much do wedge pillows cost?
The price of a wedge pillow will depend on the materials, construction, and brand, but most wedge pillows cost between $50 to $100. More expensive models often use memory foam or high-density polyfoam for increased durability. Budget-friendly models are often made with lower-density polyfoam, so these wedge pillows may not be as durable.
How do I clean a wedge pillow?
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning your wedge pillow. Many wedge pillows come with a removable cover that can be hand washed, machine washed, or professionally cleaned. Foam should not be soaked in water or washed as this may damage it, so the interior foam pillow should be carefully spot cleaned as needed.
Where can I buy a wedge pillow?
Wedge pillows can be purchased online or in-stores. Our top picks for the best wedge pillows can be purchased online directly from the manufacturers. When shopping for a pillow online, shoppers should carefully consider the company’s sleep trial, return policies, and warranty coverage.
How long do wedge pillows last?
Like most pillows, wedge pillows typically last up to three years. That said, the lifespan of a wedge pillow is affected by the density and quality of foam, in addition to how often the pillow is used. Some wedge pillows come with warranties that protect against defects in materials and manufacturing, which can also point to how long the company expects the pillow to last.
Are wedge pillows adjustable?
Some wedge pillows are adjustable. An adjustable wedge pillow typically has a foldable design or multiple components, allowing sleepers to stack parts of the pillow for a higher or lower incline. This type of wedge pillow is less common, but still available.
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