How to Choose the Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

Her head will spin all the way around if she doesn’t get the right pillow (or an exorcism)

Looking to improve the rest you get while sleeping on your back? The best pillow for back sleepers is:

  • adjustable so that it is the correct thickness.
  • malleable, providing even comfortable support for the head and neck.

First, Some Good News for Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back is considered the best way to sleep by doctors and sleep experts. When on your back, your head and neck are both in a near ideal neutral sleeping position. Your spine will be closer to perfect alignment sleeping this way than any other. If you’re able to do it, you’re in the minority. Apparently only 14% of us are back sleepers. (1)

The Thickness of Your Pillow Matters

Most people are side sleepers and require a thicker pillow to keep the head and neck aligned properly. Thus, many pillow manufacturers design their products to accommodate this majority of consumers. Most are non-adjustable, leaving back sleepers with less than ideal pillows. The first problem back sleepers generally encounter with traditional pillows is that they are simply too thick. For ideal positioning of your head and neck while on your back, you need to fill the space between yourself and the mattress with a properly sized pillow. A pillow that’s too thick will cause your head to be elevated, pushing your chin downward. As a result, your neck is bent, straining both muscles and discs. A pillow that’s too thin will result in the same strain upon your neck.

Find yourself a pillow that allows you to adjust the fill. Most adjustable pillows simply have a zipper on the side so that you can add or remove down, foam, buckwheat hulls or whatever you pillow is filled with.

A Malleable Pillow Is a Comfortable Pillow

When on your back, gravity will pull your head left or right as you sleep. As your head turns to the side, it puts unnecessary strain on your neck. The remedy to this scenario is a malleable pillow. A malleable pillow will conform to the contours of your head/neck, hold it’s shape, and will prevent your head from slumping from one side or the other.

The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers? Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows provide superior support for your head and neck, stay cool all night long and are made from all natural materials (Read more: What Are the Benefits of a Buckwheat Pillow?). A back sleeper’s requirements for both adjustability and malleability are characteristics that have made buckwheat pillows world-renowned. They’reĀ great for back sleepers, but remember that MUST have a zipper for fill adjustment. In most circumstances, you’ll want to remove some of the buckwheat hulls to make the pillow flatter. It can be hard to know immediately after changing the pillow’s thickness if it is truly a more comfortable way to sleep until you’ve tried it for an evening or two.

Be patient, experiment a little with the thickness of your new pillow and you’ll get more restful sleep.


  1. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/sleep-position-and-sleep-quality

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