Wedge pillows are designed to provide elevation to your head, neck, and upper torso in order to sleep more comfortably. The elevation can be used to address a variety of health concerns, these can include acid reflux and snoring.
This article will look at the types of wedge pillows available, their preferred fill material, and the proper wedge pillow to purchase.
Please note this article cannot and does not contain medical/health advice. The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical/health advice. The list we have given below is also not numbered based on rankings of the pillows.
The Best Wedge Pillows
What to Look for in a Wedge Pillow?
Here are a few features in wedge pillows that you should keep in mind before buying:
- Pillow Size: Wedge pillows are typically larger than your standard pillow, so you will want to keep your bed size in mind when selecting a wedge pillow. Sleepers with a double-size bed should opt for a smaller wedge pillow, while those with a king-size bed or larger can choose larger sizes.
- Pillow Incline: Keep the incline in mind when selecting, which comes in a range of 30 to 45 degrees. A lower incline is ideal for those who want to use the pillow under their knees, while mid-inclines are suitable for side sleepers and those who wish to reduce sleep apnea. The highest incline is good for sitting up in bed.
- Shape: Wedge pillows come in either a flat-sided or contour-sided shape, with the contour designed to relieve pressure in the neck and shoulder areas.
- Weight: Wedge pillows come in different weights due to their material and size. Heavier-weighted pillows typically stay on the bed, while sleepers can move lighter-weighted pillows around easier.
- Pillow Firmness: Most pillows come in medium-firm to firm levels, with the medium-firm more comfortable for side-sleepers.
- Quality of Materials: Aim for high-density foam and higher quality materials, as low-density foam deteriorates faster over time.
- Temperature: The best wedge foam pillow is temperature regulating, either a gel-infused foam or a breathable cover. Without one of these, foam pillows can warm up quickly.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Wedge Pillow?
Here are some of the potential pros of a wedge pillow:
- Acid Reflux Reduction: Wedge pillows can reduce acid reflux, heartburn experienced during pregnancy, and other acid discomforts that can be rectified by elevating the head. This happens because the head is elevated above the oesophagus, reducing any acid from coming up.
- Snoring Reduction: A slightly elevated head with a wedge pillow can reduce snoring, as it helps to open blocked or constricted airways, improving breathing.
- Congestion Reduction: Congestion from colds or allergies is reduced with a wedge pillow as an elevated head encourages the sinuses to drain.
- Aches and Pain Reduction: Pressure in the shoulders or headaches can be helped by using a wedge pillow due to its pressure-relieving support.
Here are some cons regarding wedge pillows:
- Potential Increase in Discomfort: A wedge pillow takes some getting used to and may put sleepers in an awkward position, putting pressure on the hips and possibly the lower back.
Our Best Selections
1. Byre® Wedge Pillow
- Great Multi-Purpose Design
- Super softcover
- Holds its shape well
- It may be too firm for some people
The Byre wedge pillow is a foam pillow that has a folding 5 in 1 design. It has over 1,500 ratings on Amazon with over 80% of them being 4 or 5 stars. Highlights from the reviews left on it include ‘’The light grey velvet washable cover is a really good idea as it holds you in position, you don’t slide down it’’ and ‘’For me, the cushion is hard enough that it is supportive but soft enough to be comfortable.’’
It measures 55 x 55 x 26 centimetres and weighs just 2.2kg. The cover is made from a super-soft velvet polyester which can be easily machine washed. The foam core of the pillow is not machine washable and gives it a firmer than average feel. Depending on what you prefer, the pillow can be set at a 30 or 60-degree angle, making finding the optimal sleeping position for you much easier.
2. ADEPTNA Wedge Pillow
- The gradual wedge is easier to get used to
- A larger shape that fits the body well
- Good value
- Tough to get replacement covers for the pillow
The ADEPTNA wedge pillow is a memory foam wedge that has a more gradual wedge than other wedge pillows. This can be a good option if you struggle to get used to a change in sleeping style. The pillow has over 650 ratings on Amazon with over 75% of them being 4 or 5 stars. Some highlights from the reviews include ‘’I’ve tried so many different things to help alleviate my snoring but nothing worked……………until I got this!’’ and ‘’It’s made a huge, positive difference to me and it’s worth every penny.’’
This pillow measures 51 x 46 x 20cm and features a cotton and polyester cover. It has a zipper that allows the cover to be easily removed and is machine washable. The core of the pillow is made from high-density memory foam, this gives a firm feel that moulds to the contours of the body and holds its shape well over time.
3. AviiatoR® Orthopaedic Bed Wedge Pillow
- Recently updated to be better suited to customers
- Two foam layers for optimal comfort
- The large design fits most people well
- It might take some time to get used to the pillow
The AviiatoR Orthopaedic wedge pillow is a memory foam wedge that as of December 2021 is manufactured in the UK. It has over 300 ratings on Amazon, over 75% of which rate the pillow as 4 or 5 stars. Customers have so far left mostly glowing reviews with highlights including ‘’As a GERD sufferer this product has provided me with some of the best-uninterrupted sleep I have had for a long time.’’ and ‘’I sleep really well on it and find it great for reading in bed too. I recommend it to anyone with acid reflux problems.’’
This pillow measures 60 x 60 x 25cm and features a super soft 3 layer cover. This is removable and machine washable. The memory foam core is slightly softer than most wedge pillows. This is because the pillow has a 5cm layer of low-density memory foam on the top of the wedge and the regular high-density foam on the bottom. This gives a good balance between comfort and support. The foam also holds its shape well. The pillow also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
4. NOFFA Reading Pillow
- Ergonomic design fits the body well
- The memory foam holds its shape well
- Machine washable outer cover
- It may be too firm for some people
The NOFFA reading pillow is a memory foam wedge pillow that includes a head rest to help with neck support. Over 450 people have left a rating for this pillow with over 70% of them rating the pillow 4 or 5 stars. A couple of highlights from the reviews include ‘’I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for back support while in a sitting position’’ and ‘’it supports my back & head brilliantly’’
The pillow measures 58 x 45 x 28cm and weighs 1.7kg. The memory foam used in this pillow makes it firmer than the average reading pillow. Because of this, it holds its shape well over time. The soft, grey cover is also removable and machine washable, making it easy to keep clean. When first received the pillow will need to be left for 24-48 hours to allow it to reach its full size.
5. Milliard Bed Wedge Pillow
- The gradual slope is easier to get used to
- The large size fits the body well
- Good quality memory foam
- It might be too firm for some sleepers
The Milliard bed wedge pillow is another foam wedge pillow with a gradual slope. It has over 3,000 ratings on Amazon with 80% of these leaving a rating of 4 or 5 stars. Some highlights from customer reviews include ‘’It’s a bit pricey but for me worth it!’’ and ‘’Bought this to help with acid reflux, found it has really improved the situation.’’
The pillow measures approx 68.6 x 63.5 x 19.1cm and weighs approx 2.3kg. A key feature of this pillow is the super-soft bamboo infused which is also removable and machine washable. The memory foam core is a two-layered design with approx 3.8cm of memory foam on the top and the rest of the pillow is high-grade polyurethane foam. This keeps its shape well yet still moulds to the contours of the body.
What Types of Wedge Pillows Are Available?
Wedge pillows come in different shapes and materials:
- Memory Foam: This type of filling responds well to heat and pressure, giving the body-conforming and bracing support. Wedge pillows can either be made up entirely of memory foam or have an upper of memory foam of one to two inches thick.
- Polyfoam: This is a type of foam with an inherent springiness, being more responsive than memory foam but less conforming. It can also come in a range of firmness for customised support.
- Flat Pillow Shape: Wedge pillows usually come in a triangle shape, but the surface can be flat, which is better for back sleepers and sleepers who want to use the pillow under their knees.
- Contoured: This triangle shape has a curved surface, which is considered the ideal shape for side sleepers as it can more closely follow the curve of the neck and body.
What Are the Best Ways to Sleep with a Wedge Pillow?
How to Use a Wedge Pillow for Back Sleeping?
Due to the muscles and soft tissue of the throat collapsing and causing snoring from traditional pillows, a wedge pillow can alleviate this by being placed under the upper body.
The thinnest part of the pillow should be resting in the middle of the back, with the head elevated on the higher part of the pillow. Being on this incline will open up all of the airways, keeping the tongue rolled forward and making breathing easy and free.
How to Use a Wedge Pillow for Side Sleepers?
Side sleepers should use a wedge pillow with an incline of 35 to 45 degrees. You are able to adjust yourself on the pillow to find the best spot to rest your head, keeping in mind that you should aim to keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned.
Not only can this provide relief from sleep apnea, snoring, and acid reflux, a wedge pillow for side sleepers gives support to the spine, relieving tension in the back muscles. A medium to medium-firm density will also support the shoulders better.
How to Use a Wedge Pillow for Leg Articulation?
Back sleepers have the option to use their wedge pillows under their knees, relieving pressure and helping muscles to relax fully. Not only does lifting the legs increase overall well-being, but it also increases blood circulation and gives a reduction of swelling and varicose vein formation.
How to Use a Pillow for Lap Placement?
If on a rare occasion, you find yourself needing to work or complete a project in bed, a wedge pillow is useful when used as a mini desk. First, position the pillow so its thinnest part is on the legs, while the highest part is positioned on the knees. Then, a laptop or desk tool of your choice can be placed on top for easy access and less wrist strain.
The Verdict: Wedge Pillows
Wedge Pillows are going to be one of your go-to’s when it comes to giving your body the support you require as you sleep, as its memory foam is super supportive of the back and shoulders.
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API