The 10 Best Contoured Support Pillows
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you have been having trouble sleeping, it could be due to poor alignment of your neck, spine, or shoulders. Instead of tossing and turning, try one of these contoured support pillows. They are specifically designed to help you maintain a proper posture while you snooze, and are particularly convenient for people suffering from chronic pain or recovering from injuries. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 29, 2020:
We know that not getting enough sleep can be frustrating, so we've looked for contoured support pillows that make it easy to get comfortable, and that last over time. We ultimately decided to remove the Hullovota Chiropractic and the Comfylife Therapeutic, because we are concerned that they're not as durable as some other options. But we opted to keep the Coisum Cervical, even though it can begin to go flat over time. Its unique shape makes it a winner for some, especially since it offers room for your arms. Another good choice for those who keep their arms under the head is the Duro-Med Hypoallergenic, an L-shaped option that's budget-friendly but not as soft as some would like.
As for comfortable memory foam pillows, we think the Epabo Ergonomic or the Royal Therapy Orthopedic should suit a wide variety of needs. They both come in several sizes, and both arrive with a machine-washable cover. There's also the Milemont Polar Sleep, a bamboo charcoal choice that can keep you cool. Like many, it has a refund policy that allows you time to try it out for several nights, so you can see if it works for you. And, finally, for something that offers full-body support, we like the Leachco Snoogle Original. It's an excellent choice for use during pregnancy, and it replaces the Leachco Back 'N Belly, which has an oddly placed seam that can be uncomfortable.
Ecosa Pillow The ergonomic Ecosa Pillow goes where you do, as it comes with two handy bags that help you compress it down to a manageable size for travel. Unlike some hard memory foam options, it is squishy, but still provides the support you need to prevent neck pain. ecosa.com
Sleep Number In Balance Ultimate The Sleep Number In Balance Ultimate offers a contoured top paired with three removable inserts that help you customize the amount of support you receive. It's a little pricey, but it is made to last and arrives with a comfy cotton sateen cover. sleepnumber.com
Avana Kind Bed Orthopedic System You can position yourself comfortably with the Avana Kind Bed Orthopedic System five-piece set, which includes supports for your lumbar, head, back, and knees. It's a great choice for those who are on bed rest, whatever the reason, and each piece boasts a soft polyester cover that feels good against the skin. avanacomfort.com
Sleep Positions That Are Causing You Pain
Meanwhile, holding a pillow with your arms stops you from over-extending your shoulders while wrapping your arms around your upper body.
More than 30 percent of Americans don't get enough sleep every night. What upsets our sleep is a complicated issue and there are plenty of factors at play, from relationship troubles and a snoring spouse to allergies. That being said, the positions in which individuals get their rest can also be to blame. If you wake up with a lot of pain, like a stiff neck or sore knees, the way you place your limbs or crane your head at night might be the problem. Certain sleep positions have been found to be top culprits and, if they are some of your preferred ones, a contoured support pillow could probably come in handy.
Let's start with stomach sleepers. Those who lie this way tend to turn their head to one side or the other so that they can breathe. This, however, leaves the neck strained for hours at a time. Try, instead, lying on your side, with the leg you aren't putting your weight on propped up over a pillow, and the arm of that side hugging one. This keeps the body at an angle that allows you to naturally expose your airways, while still feeling like you're lying on your stomach. If you already are a side sleeper like this, then your issue might be a pain in your shoulder blades, hips, and knees. This occurs when you don't have a body-length pillow to hold onto. You need something to prop your knees apart, so as to not over-stress your hips during the night. Meanwhile, holding a pillow with your arms stops you from over-extending your shoulders while wrapping your arms around your upper body.
While sleeping in the fetal position can be emotionally pleasant for some, it is physically comforting for nobody. When one lies like this, he curves his spine and neck in a way that leaves these parts of the skeleton at risk for kinks and an excess of pressure. Holding a body pillow can encourage the sleeper to straighten the back, forming more of a 90-degree angle of the knees and spine around the item. We should wake up feeling refreshed, but unfortunately deep sleep, when spent in the wrong position, can leave us feeling aches and pains in the morning.
Other Features To Consider In A Support Pillow
There are a lot of contoured support pillows to choose from. In addition to your preferred way of sleeping, there are some other features to consider when selecting yours. If you often wake up with a runny nose and itchy eyes, then it's possible that allergies are wreaking havoc on your nasal passages when you're getting those REM cycles. In fact, dust mites are likely at fault. Along with treating that issue, you can improve your breathing experience by getting a pillow made from hypoallergenic materials like cotton or bamboo. This is especially important if you plan on putting your face on the pillow.
Others have unique shapes that, when rotated, can work as either head or body pillows.
Snoozers who like to feel like their bedding is hugging them like a cloud will enjoy pillows made of memory foam. These mold to your body, supporting every nook and cranny of your joints and effectively relieving pressure. There are, however, other sensations provided by other fillings. Some pillows, for example, feature water or gel on the inside. These might have a little more give than those with foam. Gel-infused models also tend to stay nice and cool, but a cover with a perforated surface will also help with that if you prefer another kind of pillow.
If you sweat a lot during the night or participate in co-sleeping with drooling kids, consider a pillow with a removable, machine-washable cover. As for those who like to adjust a lot, and alternate between several positions, look for a pillow with a versatile shape. Some feature curvatures that are slightly higher on one side, giving you various options of lifts for your neck. Others have unique shapes that, when rotated, can work as either head or body pillows.
Other Items That Help You Get A Better Night's Rest
Sleep is such a precious thing. Without enough of it, we can suffer short and long-term consequences, making your bedroom one place you should certainly invest in when it comes to comfort. There are a few items that will improve your chances of waking up feeling refreshed.
If even if the slightest amount of light can wake you up, add blackout curtains to your room. They'll make it look like nighttime all day, and can even reduce some outside noise.
If you or your partner still suffer from nasal passage issues that cause snoring, a CPAP mask and pillow can be very helpful.
If you still need help turning your bedroom into a completely restorative space, try adding a sound machine. You can select the tracks that are most soothing for you, from simple white noise to ocean waves or a tropical rainforest. Pair that with a sleep mask and no ray of sunshine or pin drop will disrupt you. If the air quality in your room is an issue, a dehumidifier may be in order. If you or your partner still suffer from nasal passage issues that cause snoring, a CPAP mask and pillow can be very helpful.
In addition to using your contoured support pillow, you can also add a mattress topper to your bed to make your whole body happy, from head to toe. There are gel, memory foam, and other varieties that can turn an otherwise old, stiff mattress into a heavenly place to rest. To really enhance the sensation of sleeping in a cocoon, you can get a weighted blanket. Look for a model that is 10 to 15 percent of your body weight. It will help you feel safe and snuggly, and keep cool air out. With so many products out there to help you drift off to sleep and stay that way, there is no reason to accept a bad night's rest.