Best Pillows For Back Sleepers

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Experts agree that sleeping on one’s back is the healthiest sleep position for most people, as compared to side and stomach sleeping. Still, only 8% of the adult American population sleeps on their backs at night.

The health benefits of sleeping on one’s back center mostly on the ability for the head, neck, and spine to find a neutral alignment and achieve sufficient pressure relief in this position. These are keys to a comfortable night’s sleep and will result in a lack of stress, stiffness, or pain when waking up in the morning.

Choosing a pillow to complement back sleeping and support proper neck alignment not only ensures sleepers will stay comfortable, but it’ll also help individuals avoid sleep disturbances such as snoring (and avoid wrinkles, too!).

We’ve put together our list of the best pillows for back sleepers, and we included some factors sleepers should look for when searching for the next pillow. Sweet dreams!

Latex Foam Core
Brooklyn Bedding Latex
Brooklyn Bedding Latex
Brooklyn Bedding Latex

Back sleepers who prefer the feel of a bouncier and more resilient foam will love the ventilated latex in this Brooklyn Bedding pillow, in either the high or low loft. The best deal on this pillow is just a click away at the button to the right!

Doesn't expire

Adjustable Filling
Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Home Goods Eden

Back sleepers will achieve their perfect neutral head and neck alignment with this gorgeous mix of gel memory foam pieces and polyester microfibers. The best price on this Coop Home Goods pillow can be found in the CHECK PRICE button!

Doesn't expire

Contour Shape
SpineAlign
SpineAlign
SpineAlign

The SpineAlign pillow is a contour pillow offering a combination of support and plushness with its adjustable core filled with foam and fibers. The CHECK PRICE button has the best deals on this pillow!

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Wrinkle-free Cover
Faux Down GhostPillow
Faux Down GhostPillow
Faux Down GhostPillow

The perfect loft and support for most back sleepers, GhostPillow's Faux Down pillow is also hypoallergenic and has a soft velour cover that features wrinkle-resistant fabric. The best prices on these pillows can be found by clicking the button to the right!

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Luxurious Feel
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support

TEMPUR-Down Precise Support offers the perfect mix of luxurious white duck down and supportive foam to meet any back sleeper's needs. Click on the CHECK PRICE button for the best price on TEMPUR-Pedic's current lineup!

Doesn't expire

Pillow Details

Below we’ve provided all the details on each of the pillows in our list and included links to the full pillow reviews to help sleepers narrow down their choices even further.

Latex Foam Core

Brooklyn Bedding Latex

Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex pillow is solid but lightweight, offering a great level of support and pressure relief without the slow “sinking in” feeling that memory foam provides.

This particular latex pillow comes in two height profiles, 4″ and 6″ – back sleepers will be able to choose either, and it all depends on body type. Those with broader shoulders or larger body types may want to go with the 6″. Likewise, more petite individuals should aim for the 4″ option.

The outer cover is not only moisture-wicking but antimicrobial as well; a Queen is about $89 at full price.

Pillow Details:

  • Comes in King and Queen sizes
  • The low loft is 4” tall and the high loft is 5” tall
  • Solid piece of ventilated, hypoallergenic Talalay latex foam
  • Blended Talalay Latex layer that is 70% synthetic and 30% natural
  • Medium firmness level
  • Made in the USA
  • Hyper-responsive latex foam is bouncy but supportive
  • The cover is 50% cotton and 50% polyester
  • Moisture-wicking, antimicrobial cover
  • 30-day return policy/trial period
  • Care: Wash on a gentle setting and lay flat to dry
  • Full Price: $89 for Queen and $99 for King

Read the full and complete review of this pillow.

Adjustable Filling

Coop Home Goods Eden

Sometimes I talk about a “best of both worlds” feel in a pillow – I’m referring to a pillow’s filling that’s often a mix of a type of supportive foam and then a smoothing, softer material like a polyester microfiber or Kapok fiber.

One of the best examples of this type of pillow is the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow. Similar to the original version, it comes filled with chunks of foam for great support – however, these are uniform pieces of cross-cut gel memory foam (as opposed to big chunks of memory foam in the Original). Plus, there’s this great quantity of polyester microfibers, which grab ahold of the foam pieces and smooth everything out, so no one can feel a single lump.

Back sleepers have the ability to add or remove as much of the filling as they prefer, plus the cover is an incredibly soft mix of polyester and viscose-rayon derived from bamboo, so if an individual moves to his or her side or stomach, true comfort will be waiting!

The pillow comes in three sizes and the Standard costs around $70.

Pillow Details:

  • The idea behind this pillow is that it’s made for those who want the support of memory foam and the comfort of down in one pillow
  • The Eden is adjustable – one can add/remove the filling
  • It is filled with a lush blend of gel-infused memory foam and microfiber
  • The cover is 60% polyester and 40% viscose-rayon derived from Bamboo (soft and breathable)
  • Machine-washable and dryer friendly (both the cover and inner filling are removable)
  • $80 for Queen ($70 for Standard and $90 for King)

Check out my full review of the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow.

Contour Shape

SpineAlign

Back sleepers truly benefit from the unique shape of a contour pillow and the experience is only elevated when the pillow is designed by a sports chiropractor. Dr. Loth’s SpineAlign is just that pillow – the center chamber of the pillow is made just for back sleepers, with a beautiful curve at the ends to support the natural cervical curvature of an individual’s neck.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the logo on the pillow, as that side is designed for taller sleepers, and more petite sleepers will prefer the opposite side. The pillow also has little zippers for each chamber of the pillow, so individuals can access the filling, which happens to be a supportive mix of foam chunks and polyester fibers.

The pillow seems to go in and out of being sold out but, when it’s available, expect to pay around $149 for it (comes in one size). 

Pillow Details:

  • Shape: Contour pillow
  • Two outer chambers for side sleeping and a middle chamber for back sleeping
  • Customizable to fit a sleeper’s correct posture in both the back and side sleeping positions
  • Cover: Soft Tencel blended fabric with strips of mesh built in the sides (37% Lyocell – also called Tencel, 61% Polyester, and 2% spandex)
  • Filling: blend of shredded internal fill (foam and fiber) accessible through zippers on the back
  • Has “one size fits most” design
  • Fits in a Queen size pillowcase
  • Approximately 23” x 17” x 6”
  • 90-night free trial
  • Do not wash the pillow; spot-clean only
  • Made in the USA with imported materials

Check out my full review of the SpineAlign pillow.

Wrinkle-free Cover

Faux Down GhostPillow

Microfiber gel cluster filling makes the GhostPillow Faux Down pillow the perfect feel for back sleepers. The 7″ height means heads will sink into the more traditional, fluffier feel of the pillow but won’t come close to hitting the bottom. 

Those who love – or at least prefer – the feel of a down pillow will love the hypoallergenic feature of this pillow. Plus, those who turn over in the night and end up on their stomach or the side will enjoy the soft feel of the velour-like cover, with no worries about wrinkles.

Right now the pillow comes in just one size and costs around $85 at full price.

Pillow Details:

  • As of this review, only one size is available and the dimensions are 20″ x 30″ x 7″
  • The outer cover is made of velour, which is 80% cotton and 20% polyester and the lining is 100% cotton
  • The Faux Down pillow fill is 100% microfiber gel clusters and has a feel of polyester fiber or down alternative
  • The pillow offers a soft, plush and wrinkle-free feel with a medium firmness
  • The entire pillow is naturally hypoallergenic and fully washable
  • GhostBed offers 101-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty
  • $85 full price, one size only

We’ve got a full review of the Faux Down pillow plus more.

Luxurious Feel

TEMPUR-Down Precise Support

TEMPUR-Pedic’s TEMPUR-Down Precise Support pillow is a slam dunk for back sleepers who relish that luxurious feel of down. The pillow is a 100% cotton, 500 thread count cover with a stylish gusset – inside the cover is white duck down. This classic, fluffy feel will be the first thing a sleeper experiences when he or she lies down to sleep.

It wouldn’t be a TEMPUR-Pedic pillow without some sort of TEMPUR material in the fill, which is the brand’s signature proprietary foam. In the case of the TEMPUR-Down Precise Support, chunks of the TEMPUR material are found in a separate lined casing in the center of the pillow. This allows for back sleepers to get the soft feel of down with the support of some lovely foam.

The pillow comes in two sizes, Queen and King and the Queen is $149 at full price – please keep in mind TEMPUR-Pedic does not allow trials or returns.

Pillow Details:

  • Dimensions (Queen): 25.25″ x 17″ x 7.88″
  • Cover: Premium 500 thread count 100% cotton and filled with authentic, premium down filling 51% white duck down
  • Core: The core is made with medium TEMPUR-Material (shredded)
  • The cover is removable and washable
  • Comes in Queen and King sizes
  • Full price: $149

Learn more about this TEMPUR-Pedic pillow and others in our ultimate list. 

Marten’s Take

When we get asked for a personal pillow recommendation, one suggestion our team makes is to take body weight and body type into consideration when choosing the right pillow. These personal attributes are important when it comes to narrowing down the right height and the right support level in a pillow – petite back sleepers need a different support level than heavier back sleepers.  For reference, I’m 5′ 7″ and about average body type and my review can be insightful, but it’s always better to add another opinion into the mix. I asked Marten, who is 6’7” and weighs 250 lbs, to offer his take on which of these five pillows would be best for heavier back sleepers.

 best pillows for back sleepers 2020 - marten's take

Hi guys, Marten here – these are my favorite pillows from Katie’s list:

Faux Down GhostPillow: This pillow offers that fluffier down alternative feel that I love in the pillow and when I lie on my back, it offers just the right amount of support for me.

Coop Home Goods Eden: I’m a big fan of the Coop Home Goods feel because I’m still getting that fluffy feel that I like but with a little bit of that slower, sinking feeling of memory foam. I feel a lot of good support on the back of my head and my neck with this pillow.

SpineAlign: As Katie mentioned, there are two sides to choose from depending on how much neck support someone needs. I chose the more lofted side, the one intended for taller sleepers. The middle chamber provided great support for me with this pillow.

What Back Sleepers Should Look For In A Pillow

As we mentioned before, people want to find a pillow that helps the head, neck, and spine all stay in a neutral position. This will prevent unnecessary stress on the joints and leave people waking up refreshed and comfortable.

The good news is that there are great pillow options for back sleepers that are made with down, a hypoallergenic alternative, memory foam, or latex foam. It’s really the personal loft and support levels that will make a difference in creating that neutral alignment between the head, neck, and spine.

One’s neck has a normal curvature that should be supported by the pillow. If the pillow has too much loft, the neck will straighten out, and if the pillow is too low, the curve will be intensified. Either of these positions will leave a person with soreness and stiffness.

best pillows for back sleepers - poor neck alignment from flat pillowbest pillows for back sleepers - proper neutral alignmentbest pillows for back sleepers - firmer pillow may cause neck pain

Related: Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Overall

When it comes to choosing the healthiest sleep position, back sleepers take first prize. The best way these sleepers can continue their healthy streak is by selecting a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck and spine and helps keep everything in neutral alignment.

There is no single “universally best” pillow for back sleepers but there are plenty of choices available in the market. From classic down, foam, and even more unique – and often more natural sustainable materials – such as Kapok fibers. Back sleepers are the Goldilocks of pillow shoppers, they are advised to look for a pillow whose loft and firmness aren’t too high or too firm, as this can push the neck up and make it harder to breathe.

Those who are unsure what to look for might be looking into pillows that offer trial periods (plenty do). This way people can sleep on several pillows for a few nights and see which one leaves them feeling the best in the morning.

FAQs

What kind of pillow is best for back sleepers?

The best pillow for back sleepers is one that will support the natural head, neck and spinal alignment of the body. Please keep in mind that this is not the same thing as an exact straight line. Our bodies have a natural curve to them – this is noticeable when sleepers place their hands behind their heads and move them down toward the shoulders – the curvature is prominent in this point.

The best pillow for back sleepers is one that supports this natural curve. One that is too firm will push the head forward, generating neck strain and discomfort. Likewise, a pillow that’s too soft or flat will cause the head to fall too far back, exaggerating the curve of the neck and increasing the likelihood of neck pain as well.

Are memory foam pillows good for back sleepers?

Memory foam pillows can be a great option for back sleepers; the natural contouring and pressure-relieving properties that memory foam provides can help support the neck and the head and keep it in the right alignment, all without falling flat or changing shape overnight. The key is to find the right support level and height for a person’s body type – not all memory foams are created the same in terms of feel or support.

Should back sleepers even use a pillow?

Yes, in most cases back sleepers should use a pillow. How tall or supportive the pillow should be will be determined by body shape and size and also how firm or soft one’s mattress is. The firmer the mattress, the more one’s body will sleep on top of the bed, as opposed to sinking into the bed. This correlates to how supportive one’s pillow should be – the firmer the mattress, the taller and the more supportive the pillow will need to be. Likewise, the softer the pillow the more someone will sink into the mattress and a flatter pillow will be sufficient.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.
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