Mattress Accessories & Bedding

Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

Get the good night’s sleep you deserve with our recommendation for the best pillow for back sleepers.

By Daniel Grogan

If you’re a back sleeper, then you know how hard it can be to find the right pillow. You want something that cradles your head while also ensuring your neck is properly supported and that your airways are kept wide open (to prevent snoring). With so many factors to choose from, it might be frustrating trying to locate the best pillow for back sleepers. Luckily, we’re here to help. To improve your sleeping experience, see the best mattresses for back sleepers.

Below, we take a thorough look at the best back sleeper pillows in terms of cooling, neck support, pricing, and much more. We also include our own editor’s pick for a supportive pillow that checks all the boxes and offers one of the best back sleeping experiences possible. Keep reading to learn more, or for more general information, take a look at our best pillows guide.

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Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

Amerisleep’s Dual Comfort Pillow

Editor’s Pick

Amerisleep’s Dual Comfort pillow earns its spot as the Editor’s Pick for best pillow for back sleepers. One of the highlights of this pillow is that it not only comes in two different heights (5 inches and 6 inches), but it also features a soft side and a firm side, making it ideal for both back sleepers and combination sleepers. This means that you can easily switch up your pillow selection depending on your preference or sleep needs. All it takes is a simple flip!

Speaking of design, the Amerisleep Dual Comfort pillow is made of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur material, which consists of an advanced open-cell structure that is incredibly responsive so that your head or neck won’t feel stuck if you have to change positions. In addition to this, the sides of this pillow feature tapered edges to further support your neck and shoulders. The standard size of this pillow starts at $130, which may be a turn-off for some sleepers who are shopping on a budget, but we believe that the money is well worth it for this advanced pillow technology.

Purple Pillow

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain

If you’re a back sleeper who is tired of waking up with a sore or stiff neck each morning, then you’ll want the Purple Pillow, our choice for best pillow for neck pain. Made with unique polymer Purple Grid technology that features hundreds of open air channels, this pillow is extremely soft and supportive, gently cradling your head and neck without exerting extra pressure on these sensitive areas.

The Purple Pillow is made of CertiPUR-US and Clean Air GOLD hypoallergenic materials that won’t aggravate your skin or your sinuses, further adding to the level of comfort you get while you sleep. Finally, the included adjustable pillow boosters let you modify the pillow’s height to best accommodate your preferences. The smallest size starts at $109, which may be a bit steep, but you’ll be glad you invested the money in a pillow that will soothe and prevent neck pain as well as the Purple Pillow.

Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers

Memory foam is one of the most popular materials used in mattresses today, but it’s also becoming sought-after in the world of pillows. However, we’ve yet to find a memory foam pillow as great as Tuft & Needle’s Original Foam Pillow.

Like with traditional memory foam, this pillow’s soft, moldable design is meant to be supportive and breathable, cradling your head and neck as you fall asleep. The pillow adapts to the sleeper’s head and neck and retains its shape all night, so you don’t need to worry about it flattening over time. The memory foam design also effectively wicks away heat, providing a cooling and relaxing night’s sleep for even the hottest sleepers. The standard size for this pillow starts at $75, which is a great price for genuine memory foam options. However, if you’re not a fan of memory foam, you’ll want to steer clear of this item.

Original Casper Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow for Back Sleepers

The Original Casper Pillow is second-to-none in terms of cooling. This down alternative pillow features a unique pillow-within-a-pillow design that is supportive and fluffy enough for back sleepers, but we want to point out its impressive cooling abilities.

The 100% cotton cover is designed with a breathable percale weave, which is able to increase airflow as you sleep and prevent you from succumbing to the dreaded night sweats. The down alternative construction may not be favorable for some people, but the $65 starting price means that you don’t need to worry about dropping a lot of money on a quality, restful sleep.

Helix Adjustable Pillow

Best Adjustable Pillow for Back Sleepers

For many back sleepers (or any sleeping position really), there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution in terms of the best pillow. That’s why you’ll want to turn to an adjustable pillow option, such as the Helix Adjustable Pillow.

This pillow features a removable support layer within its construction that lets you adjust your pillow height almost instantly, so that elevating or lowering your head and neck is easy. Back sleepers and people who tend to toss and turn will want to keep the support in at night, but sleepers who want a softer feel without neck tilting may want to remove it. Either way, this adjustable pillow will rise to almost any occasion.

Saatva Pillow

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers Who Snore

One of the most annoying issues that back sleepers face is the problem of snoring. When we lie on our backs, our tongues can fall into the back of our throats, leading to snoring, which is why you’ll want to ensure you get a pillow that can keep your head elevated and supported, such as the Saatva Pillow.

Made of organic cotton, down-alternative microdenier fiber, and shredded American Talalay latex, this pillow is lofty and very supportive, giving your head and neck the reinforcement they deserve in order to combat discomfort, snoring, and sleep apnea. 

Coop Home Goods Pillow

Best Budget Pillow for Side Sleepers

We believe that it’s worth spending money on proper mattresses, pillows, and other sleep necessities, but if you’re shopping on a tight budget, there are quality pillows that won’t break the bank. We recommend the budget-friendly Coop Home Goods Original Pillow.

This adjustable pillow is medium-firm and features a healthy blend of microfiber and memory foam, creating a unique but accommodating sleep environment for your head and neck. As a back sleeper, one of the things you need to prioritize is optimal spinal alignment, which you can achieve with this pillow, thanks to its ability to adjust to different lofts by removing some of the fluff. The queen size Coop Home Goods Original Pillow starts at $59.99, making it our choice for best budget pillow.

What Makes a Pillow Good for Back Sleepers

There are many factors that attribute to the quality of a pillow. If you’re a back sleeper in the market for a new pillow, we advise you to take a look at the aspects below to help you make your decision.

Loft

In the world of pillow manufacturing, the pillow’s height is referred to as loft. As a back sleeper, you’re going to want a pillow that isn’t strictly high-loft or low-loft. You want a pillow that’s right in the middle so that it can keep your head and neck level with your spine. When going with an adjustable loft pillow, you can easily adjust the loft to achieve the right amount of height, but with other pillows, you need to consider the fact that you’re stuck with the same loft, so you better be sure it’s the right one.

Support

Support is crucial for a restful sleep, especially if you’re a back sleeper. Your mattress should offer the right amount of support to keep your spine nice and straight, but your pillow should supplement that by keeping your head and neck aligned as well. If you don’t take care to promote proper spinal alignment, you can wake up each morning with lower back pain, muscle and joint stiffness, and an array of other problems.

Materials

The materials used in your pillows can have an impact on your sleep experience. Below are some descriptions of what you might be able to expect with each pillow type.

Memory Foam

Memory foam pillows are excellent for people suffering from neck and back pain because they mold to the shape of your neck and head, cradling them and offering excellent support. However, compared to other materials, memory foam pillows can trap a lot of heat, leading to uncomfortable sleep experiences for hot sleepers or people in warmer climates. Also, memory foam pillows are made with various chemicals that might give off irritating odors for a short time. See our list of best memory foam pillows for more details.

Latex

Latex pillows are biodegradable, 100% natural, dust-mite resistant, and designed to last for a very long time. You may also like the fact that they can mold to the shape of your head or neck, providing a firm sleep surface for back sleepers. Finally, latex pillows are breathable and cool, allowing them to repel heat much better than memory foam. Unfortunately, the cost of manufacturing latex pillows isn’t cheap, so you can expect to spend a lot of money on this organic option.

Down

Down pillows, similar to feather pillows, are softer and fluffier, making them a prime choice for both back sleepers and some stomach sleepers who want extra loft in their pillow. On the negative side, down pillows can be expensive due to the materials they use, and they require lots of shaking and fluffing to maintain their shapes.

Synthetic Down

Synthetic down pillows, also sometimes known as down alternative pillows, are usually more affordable than traditional down pillows, they retain less heat than other options, and they are naturally hypoallergenic and vegan-friendly. On the other hand, they’re not known for lasting a very long time (typically one or two years), the down alternative material isn’t biodegradable or eco-friendly, and they are not as soft as traditional down pillows.

Other Considerations

Before you go shopping for a new pillow, you don’t want to solely look at the pillow’s materials, pricing, firmness, or other individual aspects. You also want to look at the distributor or manufacturer as a whole. Below we review some important particulars you should look at in a company before you buy their pillows.

Shipping & Returns

Shopping for a pillow online can be tricky since you can’t physically see or feel the pillow. You’re relying on detailed descriptions and images. While most retailers do a good job of accurately portraying the pillow, it’s always good to have a little extra security in your purchase. Many pillow sellers will offer free shipping on orders to help you save money on your purchase, which can be great if you’re buying more expensive options. Also, you’ll want to buy from a seller who offers a trial period. Some pillows don’t feel right at first because they have a break-in period. Look for sleep trial periods, typically 30, 60, or 90 days, where you can test out the pillow and return it within a certain window for a total refund.

Care & Maintenance

No matter what pillow option you go with, it’s crucial that you take care of it if you want it to last a long time. A pillow, like your mattress, is an investment, and it needs to be maintained. Look over your pillow and the associated pillowcase to find out the best ways to wash them. Also look to see if the removable pillow cover is machine washable, and whether the pillow can be dry cleaned. Always double-check care and maintenance instructions on your pillows so that you don’t end up accidentally destroying them during a routine cleaning. Read our article on how to wash pillows for more info.

Pillow Warranties

Like with any big purchase, you want to ensure you have a warranty to protect it. Many pillow sellers offer an included warranty with their products that cover a wide range of flaws with the product. The most common warranty features cover physical flaws that cause the pillow to split or crack despite proper usage and handling, and deterioration of the pillow that may cause the product to not return to its original shape and size. Warranties typically do not cover damages inflicted by improper usage or handling of the pillow by the user.

Summary

You deserve a good night’s rest, and one of the best ways to achieve that is by investing in the perfect pillow that suits your sleep position. Whether you need a pillow that will keep you cool, a pillow that’s super supportive, a pillow that’s adjustable, or all of the above, we believe our recommendations can help you out.

As you shop for new, high-quality pillows, remember to think about your sleep experience. What is your biggest issue when sleeping on your back? What could possibly rectify it? When you answer these questions, it will be much easier to find the right type of pillow for you. 


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