The 10 Best Elevated Leg Pillows
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in December of 2016. Using a leg pillow while resting is not just for those suffering from a specific injury. Also known as elevators, these wedges and oddly shaped pillows can help relieve back pain and increase circulation to improve your overall health and quality of sleep. Our comprehensive selection is designed to let you easily find one that is both comfortable and supportive, so you can rest easy. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 30, 2020:
We've updated the list with three highly-rated pillows that have noteworthy features or designs. First up is the Double Ergonomic Cushion, which holds both legs in place while you rest or sleep. It's ideal for those who are recovering from an injury or a surgery and have limited mobility.
We've also added the Ebung Cooling Cushion, which takes the popular wedge shape up a notch with a layer of cooling gel on top. The Contour Legacy Orthopedic is another new twist on a familiar shape; its curved profile is designed to be more comfortable for both male and female users.
The Sleep Jockey Clinical has been removed because its price was double that of very similar models with equally good (or better) reviews. We've taken the PharMeDoc Bed Wedge and the Aocome Ergonomic off the list due to availability issues.
June 07, 2019:
Here, you'll find everything from substantial wedges to small knee supports and everything in between, and they're all designed to keep you comfortable and facilitate healing. Many of these items have convenient zip-off covers that make it easy to keep your healing environment hygienic. Others have straps that hold the pillow in place as you move over the course of the night. Whether you're coping with a new injury or simply want to find a more comfortable way to sleep, you're likely to find a solution for your unique health goals here.
The Lounge Doctor was replaced with an updated model, which is available in additional colors to match different decor schemes. It features the same classic curved shape that offers pressure relief at multiple points across the leg, and it's wide enough to support both legs at the same time.
The Aocome Knee and the BeautifulLife Half Moon have also been added to give users alternatives to the standard wedge-shaped options. By contrast, the MedX Relief and Comfort Orthopedic were removed due to quality and fulfillment concerns.
Contour KneezUp This pillow has an angular shape that fits perfectly behind the knees. It's constructed from medical grade materials and is proven to relieve pressure from the lower back and hips, so you can recover in comfort. What's more, it's quite reasonably priced. bedbathandbeyond.com
The Benefits Of Putting Your Legs Up
Finding a solution is a multi-pronged approach, but you may be able to get relief simply from putting your feet up.
Nothing can ruin your day quite like aching in your knees, calves, ankles, and feet. Regardless of whether you spend all day on your tootsies or simply suffer from conditions that cause chronic pain, the discomfort can bring your whole life crashing down all around you.
That's why there are few pleasures that rival putting your legs up at the end of the day. While relaxing in this manner feels fantastic, it's likely also good for you, as science is just beginning to discover.
One of the chief benefits elevating your legs offers is improved circulation to your lower extremities. Blood can pool in your legs, putting pressure on the veins there and causing distension. By putting your feet up, you can encourage that blood to return to your heart more quickly, taking some of the pressure off of your vessels and reducing swelling.
This can help diminish the appearance of varicose veins, as well, as they're largely caused by increased blood pressure (of course, there are other factors involved, like weight, activity level, and smoking, but we're largely concerned with leg elevation here). Keeping your legs up for about 15 minutes at a time can help lessen their severity.
It's not just good for the legs, either. Sleeping on your back can put pressure on your spine, which you can alleviate with a pillow. This takes the weight of your legs off of your lumbar, giving it a little relief, as well as possibly an opportunity to heal and regenerate.
Your sleep in general should be improved when your feet are in the air (erm, we are talking about sleep here, remember). Many insomnia sufferers find that their slumber is boosted by using a pillow, especially if they suffer from chronic pain. It's also just plain comfortable, so you may find you prefer that resting position even if you don't have any other symptoms.
Don't let pain and discomfort in your legs slow you down or reduce your quality of life. Finding a solution is a multi-pronged approach, but you may be able to get relief simply from putting your feet up.
After all, you deserve it.
Choosing The Right Elevated Leg Pillow For You
While keeping your legs lifted can have a positive impact on your health, finding the right pillow isn't as easy as just grabbing one off of the guest bed. There are a variety of options out there, each with pros and cons, and since this can have a far-ranging effect on your well-being, it's worth taking the time to find the right elevated leg pillow for you.
Once you find the right one, you'll quickly realize it was money well spent.
As you might expect, the elevation is the most important factor here. Raise your feet too high, and it can exacerbate your pain; raise them too little, and you accomplish nothing. Figure out where your sweet spot is, and find an option that will keep your legs there. Some even have grooves to prevent your limbs from wandering in the middle of the night.
You should also take a long look at how well the fabric breathes. After all, being too hot at night can interfere with your sleep, as well as worsen the effects of conditions like restless leg syndrome. There are many memory foams on the market that can offer support without making you feel like you're trapped in a sauna, as well as models with high thread counts that dissipate heat.
In addition, there are various shapes to consider. You have your basic pillows, which — you guessed it — are shaped like pillows. However, there are tiered wedges, as well, many of which can offer multiple angles at which to rest your legs. Or, if you find that your problem lies with your knees knocking together, you can get round options that are specially made to stash between them.
The good news is that most of the pillows on the market are relatively cheap, so if you start off with the wrong one, replacing it shouldn't be a problem — or you could even buy several, and rotate them based on your needs. Once you find the right one, you'll quickly realize it was money well spent.
And if you do get a dud, remember that it's just more ammunition for your next pillow fight.
Other Ways To Find Relief
While investing in a high-quality elevated pillow can go a long way towards resolving leg and back issues, it's only one part of a comprehensive strategy for improving your health. Before we get into this, though, the first thing you should do (as always) is consult your doctor.
You can even alternate the ice with a heating pad, as this provides a double whammy against pain and swelling.
As you might expect, one of the best choices you can make is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, as these are the cure for literally everything. You should focus on low-impact activities like swimming or riding an elliptical, as these can improve your fitness levels without putting further strain on your limbs.
Applying a cold pack to the affected area is excellent for reducing inflammation, so arthritis sufferers or those with swelling should ice themselves down regularly. You can even alternate the ice with a heating pad, as this provides a double whammy against pain and swelling.
Another strategy to consider is regular massage. Yes, we'll twist your arm if that's what it takes to convince you to subject yourself to a soothing, relaxing, wonderful massage. Don't push us — we mean business. Even better, massage works especially well if your legs are already elevated — pretty convenient, right?
Your physician may prescribe medication, but if not, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium. These can take the edge off while reducing swelling, allowing you to tolerate the discomfort until long-term strategies begin to pay off.
With a little TLC and a few proactive strategies, you may be able to finally experience relief from your aches and pains. Seriously, though, tell your partner you need that massage — for medicinal purposes, of course.