The Best Body Pillow for Back Pain

Many people suffer from back pain for various reasons. You might have a chronic or ongoing issue or maybe you just tweaked your back bending over to pick something up awkwardly. Perhaps you’re pregnant and have a few months of back pain ahead of you until the baby arrives. No matter what the cause of your back pain, it can be very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The tossing and turning accompanied by lack of pillow support leads to long nights and an aggravated back when you get up. Finding a pillow to help solve these nighttime back issues should be at the top of your list when trying to sleep and feel better. 

There are some great standard pillows out there that can help but if you really want to get solid support, a body pillow may be the way to go. A body pillow provides comfort and complete body support while helping to relax your back, hips, and shoulders, especially if you are a side sleeper with back pain. While body pillows are not at the top of everyone’s list, they should seriously be considered for those with either short term or long term back issues.

Needing a Body Pillow

Needing A Body Pillow

While most people use a standard size pillow when they sleep, more and more are turning to body pillows for various reasons. We spend on average 9500 days of our lives sleeping, not accounting for those times when we’re sick and bedridden. That’s a lot of time to be in bed and without complete comfort. Here are a few reasons you should look into getting a body pillow for the most comfortable sleep possible:

  • Increased ability to relax your muscles - When you suffer from back pain, you tend to breathe a little shallower as you mentally cope with the pain. Using a body pillow helps align your spine to reduce pain while allowing your airway to open up more. These pillows distribute the weight of your torso and legs equally which helps you sleep better and in a healthier way. Deeper breathing helps manage the pain while also improving blood circulation to relax your muscles. This can mean fewer muscle spasms and a more comfortable sleep.
  • Extra lower body support – While there are quality standard pillows that support the head and neck, a body pillow includes support for the lower back, hips, and knees. The extra length of the pillow extends down your body allows you to position your legs for extra support which can help alleviate your back pain. Having the pillow between your knees aligns your spinal column and allows you to adjust your arms to keep everything as it should be. This takes the pressure off your back and reduces the pain you have.
  • Pregnancy – If you are pregnant, you understand how awkward and uncomfortable sleeping can get. As you get farther along, you’re limited in your sleeping positions. If you also have back pain, there aren’t too many medications you can take to alleviate it. Using a body pillow allows you to support your stomach in a way that keeps you comfortable while lying safely on your side. Positioning the pillow between your knees also helps your lower back. While your pregnancy may cause discomfort during the day, a body pillow can at least help you feel better at night.

Choosing the Right Body Pillow for a Good Night’s Sleep

When you choose a full body pillow, look for three main features; shape, size, and material. Find the one that fits your body shape best and provides the most comfort. Not everyone will find the same body pillow helpful. Do your research and talk to your doctor if the back pain is chronic so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

This pillow is perfect for relieving back pain and helping you sleep through the night. While it is often marketed as a maternity pillow, it works well for everyone, including athletes, seniors, or those recovering from surgery. The pillows are 20.0 x 16.9 x 12.7” in size and weigh approximately 10 pounds, a great size for full-body comfort. This U-shaped pillow aligns your body from the top down so your neck, shoulders, back, and pelvis are comfortable and there is no stress on your joints or back. This pillow also helps regulate body temperature, which is great for those who are warm sleepers or pregnant plus it improves blood circulation for a more comfortable sleep. 

The organic cotton pillow cover is natural and organic plus it’s hypoallergenic and repels dust mites. While this won’t help with back pain, it can prevent allergy flare-ups. This U-shaped pillow is made from fusion fiberfill, a top of the line synthetic down fill that is an extended polymer. It allows air to flow easily through while maintaining its shape. The whole pillow, including the cover, can be washed easily in a regular washing machine. The fill won’t clump even after numerous washings. The product has been thoroughly tested and meets all fire retardant requirements. It does not pollute indoor air and contains no chemicals that are harmful to the user.

Like many body pillows, this one is marketed to pregnant women but is also ideal for others who are experiencing various forms of back pain. This pillow was designed with curves that support your spine as well as your front which works for those who need stomach and back support at the same time. It is 33 x 23 x 12” and weighs in at 8.4 pounds, a little lighter than some of the other options. It’s the perfect size to keep your spine aligned and comfortable. Placing the pillow between your knees helps reduce the pressure on your lower back by making sure your hips and pelvis are properly positioned, relieving pressure points and avoiding pain.

This product from Holy Lamb is a high-quality full-length body pillow that supports your whole body. This is a good choice if you prefer one that is not U-shaped. It is specially designed not only to support your body but also to be environmentally healthy and chemical-free. It’s great for side sleepers and allows you to hold the body pillow between your legs and arms giving you not only support but also comfort. 

As the name suggests, the Holy Lamb contains wool. It comes from the Pacific Northwest of the US and is obtained through farmers who take part in the Sustainable Wool Program. This program produces high-end very clean wool from flocks of sheep that are taken care of humanely and ethically in a chemical-free environment. The wool filling is held in a sturdy, certified organic cotton cover that holds up against extended use and also naturally repels dust mites, helping to relieve allergies. It is 17”x 53” and weighs only 3.2 pounds.

This pillow’s unique design supports the shape of the whole body from top to bottom. It features two pillow shapes that work together to offer the support, proper lift, and comfort that those with back pain need. This pillow stretches the full length of the sleeper’s body and can be put between the knees for neutral alignment positioning. The shorter curved pillow is used for either stomach or back support while the head is wide with a good length that accommodates various sleeping styles and movement. The removable cover allows for easy cleaning and washing. Just toss it in a regular washing machine, dry it, and put back on the pillow in no time. The design helps with back and neck pain along with leg swelling and digestive issues such as acid reflux. It is 36 x 22 x 13” and 6.4 pounds so falls in the middle when it comes to weight and size. 

This body pillow is one of the best for alleviating back pain. It has improved lumbar support along with a design that helps both the upper and lower body. Plus, it lets you put your shoulder comfortably into the curve to help with neck pain. Special frontal support helps those who are overweight or perhaps nearing the latter part of pregnancy. The head area adds comfort and has enough fill to so it’s the perfect height when help between your knees. This is a good option for people recovering from surgery, nursing, or simply trying to get a more relaxed sleep to alleviate back pain. The long zipper makes it easy to remove the machine washable cover plus it’s hypoallergenic with polyester fiberfill to avoid allergies and irritants. This pillow is a little on the larger size. It is 24 x 16 x 15” and weighs in at 9.6 pounds. 

Final Thoughts

While many full-length body pillows are designated for women who are pregnant, most can also be used for people who suffer from back pain, whether it is acute or chronic. It is the long design of a body pillow that makes them a great choice for full-body support. Being able to put the pillow between your knees to support not only your back but also your whole body makes them a great choice for people who suffer from various ailments, including back pain.

These full-length pillows can help other sleep issues as well. It is important to find a pillow with the right shape, size, material, and fill that works for your needs, whether you’re pregnant, have an occasional back twinge, or are living with a serious medical issue. These body pillows are often a little pricier than standard pillows but are worth it considering you spend so much in bed. 

Look for a body pillow that is firm yet flexible, hypoallergenic, and allows you to move easily throughout the night. If you are having back issues for whatever reason, you want a pillow that not only eases nighttime pain but also lets you get up and out of bed in the morning feeling better than when you went to bed. Alleviating back pain means you sleep better and feel more long term comfort so you can heal faster.

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