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The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers: Top 10 Picks with Detailed Reviews

February 23, 2022 | By Amanda Doyle | Pillows

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Written by Amanda Doyle Sleep Researcher Writer
Reviewed by Pavel Ufimtsev Sleep Science Coach

When looking for a pillow for back sleepers, you will want to look for a pillow for back placement with a cover that is easy to clean. Making sure that the pillow for back support and cover will wick away heat is also critical. 

If the sleeper is worried about memory foam and heat, new technology and foam formulation may reduce concerns. 

Finally, the ability to alter the loft and firmness of the pillow for back support may reduce worries for back sleepers.

Brooklinen Down Pillow

Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

COOP Home Goods Pillow

GhostBed GhostPillow Memory Foam

Puffy Pillow

Best Support

Puffy Pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Nectar Resident Memory Foam Pillow

The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers: Top 10 Reviews

1. Top pick: Brooklinen Down Pillow

Brooklinen Down Pillow

No matter your sleep style, you can find a Brooklinen Down Pillow pillow for back sleepers to suit your density needs. Tummy sleepers will need to stick with the firm pillow to reduce pressure on the neck and down the spine.

Because back sleepers need more support and a bit more loft, the medium plush option could be the best pillow for back sleepers. If you are a back sleeper who snores, you may have better luck with the greater elevation of the plush-down pillow.

While down pillows of the past could be challenging, modern down provides users with much more security. The Brooklinen pillow in particular is filled with down clusters treated with antimicrobial products to reduce mildew and bacteria build-up.

The edges of your Brooklinen pillow are double stitched to reduce down loss over time. While down can be a spot for heat to build up, these pillows have a smooth, sateen cover that will help to carry away heat. If you tend to squash and manipulate your pillow in your sleep, the high loft may be just what you need.

Pricing

  • The mid-plush, recommended in a pillow for back sleepers, can be purchased for less than $60.00.
  • If you need a king-sized pillow, expect to spend around $100.00 for the plush.
  • The more loft you need, the more you will pay. The king-sized mid-plush is just $75.00. If you aren't sure how much loft you need for back sleepers and your bed is large, you may have better results with multiple pillows of medium or low loft until you find the right combination.

Perfect For:

  • Sleepers of all types can find a Brooklinen to match. The firm pillow has a very low loft, the mid-plush is supportive and soft for back sleepers, and the plush is quite squishy.
  • Back sleepers will probably do best with the mid-loft.
  • If you snore, back sleepers may be more comfortable with an elevated bed or a slight bed wedge pillow with a low or mid-loft down pillow.

Brooklinen Down Pillow

  • The combination of down clusters and feathers keep these pillows even and comfortable for back sleepers.
  • The cotton sateen cover is cool to the touch for back sleepers and very durable to guard the pillow for back sleepers from loading up with perspiration.
  • The down in these pillows is sustainably sourced to provide a quality pillow for back support.

2. Runner Up: Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

If back sleepers have ever noticed that the best sleep they ever get is in hotel beds, the Saatva Memory Foam Pillow may be a way to bring vacation comfort home!

While previous versions of memory foam support may have captured a lot of heat, the new foams offered by Saatva are 100% latex. There is an inner liner filled with down-like micro-denier fiber and an outer layer of shredded foam.

The outer organic cotton cover will provide plenty of airflow for back sleepers. Back sleepers who struggle with allergies and overnight congestion, this pillow can solve many problems!

The shredded latex layer is resistant to dust mites and mildew and will keep you breathing easy.

Pricing

  • This pillow comes in two sizes: The Queen is $165.00, the King is $185.00.
  • Both pillows offer 45 days of free returns; if you don't love it, get your money back!
  • The shipping is free and there is a one-year limited warranty for back sleepers to rely on.

Perfect For:

  • This is a very stable pillow with a dependable loft. It's an ideal pillow for back sleepers that may also work for side sleepers.
  • If you are restless back sleepers who tend to abuse pillows in your sleep, this memory foam unit will hold its shape!
  • Tummy sleepers probably will not be comfortable on this pillow but back sleepers will love it.

Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

  • The cotton cover is gusseted and has welts stitched in to keep the fill nice and even for back sleepers.
  • The cover can be unzipped for easy washing; back sleepers with allergies will find this pillow much more comfortable.
  • The two layers of filling will provide both squish and stable loft for back sleepers who need support.

3. Most Popular: COOP Home Goods Pillow

COOP Home Goods Pillow

Fans of the DIY life are very happy with the COOP Home Goods Pillow. These memory foam products come with an extra bag of cross-cut memory foam so you can load up the bamboo cover with more fill if needed for back sleepers.

This bamboo cover can be removed for washing. If you are especially sensitive to mildew, this pillow may be your best option; you can keep the bag of latex filled and load or unload the pillow as you need per season. The cover is both durable and soft for back sleepers.

The shredded memory foam does mean that these pillows will look rather bumpy until you've slept on them a few times, but it will smooth out and look as comfy as it feels.

It is important to be sure that you don't overfill your memory foam pillows. Even if you love a lot of loft, too much fill will make these pillows quite hard over time.

Pricing

  • The queen pillow is approximately $70.00, the king is just $5.00 more. If you have the room, get the king to provide stability for back sleepers.
  • The foam in these pillows is not made from off-cuts; it's manufactured of low VOC foam and shredded for Coop Home Goods. These are not bargaining products, so they do not bargain pillows.
  • The bonus fill actually gives you a lot of options. If you have a guest coming who is a tummy sleeper, reduce. If the next guest is a side sleeper, fill it up!

Perfect For:

  • Any sleeper because it can be adjusted.
  • Anyone with allergies or fragrance sensitivities because of the washable cover and the breathable foam.
  • Folks who need variety. It's an adjustable pillow!

COOP Home Goods Pillow

  • The washable cover is a durable and incredibly soft bamboo-sourced rayon. Yummy!
  • The fill level is yours to determine for back sleepers.
  • Your memory foam pillows can be emptied for airing and re-fluffing if they start to compact down.

4. Great Value: GhostBed GhostPillow Memory Foam

GhostBed GhostPillow Memory Foam

One of the biggest hassles when searching for pillows for back sleepers, especially restless back sleepers, is that they quickly dig a trough into the center of the pillow. If you are a pillow squasher, the GhostBed GhostPillow Memory Foam is a great option.

This is constructed of layers of memory foam that are designed to breathe and move heat away from your neck, head, and upper back. Even better, the GhostBed memory foam support is wrapped in an Ice Fabric zippered cover that is designed to stay cool.

Because overheating can be a cause for restless sleeping, you may find that sleeping on your GhostPillow actually helps you sleep more deeply. You don't need to chase it and there is no fluffing required!

Pricing

  • Your GhostPillow will cost about $71.00. You can finance it for 12 months if you need to.
  • Shipping is free!
  • The cover is washable, which will extend the life of your pillow.

Perfect For:

  • This medium loft pillow can suit a variety of sleepers but is best suited to side and back sleepers.
  • Hot sleepers will love this pillow.
  • Restless sleepers will really enjoy how this pillow holds its shape.

GhostBed GhostPillow Memory Foam

  • This pillow will hold its shape for years to come.
  • The whole pillow, from the core out, is designed to stay cool.
  • This medium loft pillow offers a 101-night test drive to make sure it will suit you.

5. Best Support: Puffy Pillow

Puffy Pillow

The Puffy Pillow and mattress collection are all about comfort on top of quality support.

Tummy sleepers may struggle with this pillow, but side and back sleepers will love the boost offered by this pillow. The inner sleeve that holds the shredded memory foam at the core of this pillow can be loaded or cleared as needed to increase your loft and firmness or lower the level.

A back sleeper may need to remove foam while a side sleeper may need to add it. This cloud-themed pillow also has a bamboo-rayon cooling cover that will feel good to the touch. The cover and fill are also a great option for those who struggle with allergies.

Pricing

  • Both the standard and the king pillow are $100.
  • Shipping is free via FedEx to your home.
  • Your Puffy pillow comes with a lifetime warranty and a 101-night sleep trial.

Perfect For:

  • This pillow is ideal for those with allergies.
  • Side and back sleepers will be able to get comfy on this pillow.
  • Hot sleepers who like a soft cover will love this pillow.

Puffy Pillow

  • Soft, cool cover fabric makes this memory foam a treat to sleep on.
  • The Puffy Pillow and mattress lines are all made in the United States.
  • The cooling technology of this cover is woven into the fabric; wash it as you need and stay nice and cool!

6. Best Organic: Avocado Green Pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

Those who are sensitive to fragrances will love the Avocado Green Pillow.

This organic pillow is pure from the inside out. The fill is adjustable and loaded with organic latex and organic kapok. This inner liner can be opened up so you can reduce the firmness of your pillow.

The outer cover is also made of organic cotton. All layers are washable and the pillow comes with an additional layer of fill. Sleepers of all positions can make this pillow work to effectively support their spine.

Pricing

  • The standard pillow is $89.00, the queen is $99.00, and the king is $109.00.
  • This pillow comes with a 100-night sleep trial.
  • Your Avocado pillow also has a one-year warranty.

Perfect For:

  • Sleepers of all sorts can use this pillow since it can be adjusted.
  • Hot sleepers will find this pillow quite comfortable; the combination of cotton, kapok, and organic latex will wick away heat.
  • Those with allergies and fragrance sensitivities will breathe easy on this pillow.

Avocado Green Pillow

  • This pillow is loaded with shredded latex foam and comes with an additional bag; you can increase the firmness as you need.
  • The kapok fill is a vegan fiber that serves well as an alternative to down.
  • The cotton cover is certified organic and will wick away moisture and heat.

7. Softest: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

Designers with Tempur-Pedic have come up with an incredibly soft Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow. This memory foam unit is a single piece of Tempur-foam covered in a washable knit and hypoallergenic removable cover.

You can compress this pillow for back sleepers needing easy travel if neck problems follow you on your vacations. Just roll it up tight and squash it down in your suitcase; it will expand quickly once freed from the bag.

Side sleepers may need to stack two of these formed pillows, but these memory foam options are ideal for back sleepers. These are even gentle enough for tummy sleepers!

Pricing

  • The Tempur-Cloud is $89.00, and you can get two for $109.00.
  • This pillow comes with free shipping.
  • You will enjoy a five-year warranty after you invest in this pillow.

Perfect For:

  • Tummy and back sleepers who need a stable pillow.
  • Anyone who doesn't want to manage a bag of shredded foam.
  • Travelers who like to travel with their own pillow.

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

  • Removable hypoallergenic cover reduces risks for those with allergies.
  • Very flexible foam can be rolled into a suitcase and carried for your comfort.
  • Single formed piece of the foam means no risk of a fill spill when you remove the cover.

8. Best Latex: Purple Harmony Pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

If you have fallen back in love with latex foam thanks to the Purple mattress, you will love the Purple Harmony Pillow.

This layered design includes a grid hex layer on the outside to carry away heat and moisture while the core of Talalay latex supports you with no pressure on your neck and your upper back.

Because Purple wants to make sure that everyone gets great sleep, you can get this pillow in a low, medium, and tall loft. The low pillow is just under 6 inches thick. The medium pillow is 6.5 inches thick, and the tall is 7.5 inches high.

Pricing

  • The standard-sized pillow is $179.00 in all three lofts.
  • The king is $219.00 in all lofts.
  • You can take 100 nights to decide; delivery is free and this pillow comes with 1 year warranty.

Perfect For:

  • This will work for side, tummy, and back sleepers as long as you buy the right loft.
  • If you are a restless sleeper who tends to flip the pillow, go with a lower loft.
  • If you overheat, this is your pillow.


Purple Harmony Pillow

  • Both the top and bottom of the pillow have a top layer of foam grid for airflow.
  • The center core of Talalay latex is the majority of the height of your pillow.
  • The polyester cover is easy to spot clean.

9. Best Cooling: Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Hot sleepers will love the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow. They may already own a Brooklyn mattress that allows them to try that cooling memory foam technology.

You can get this pillow in queen or king and in three different lofts. The Brooklyn pillows have a removable cover that can be laundered while the foam insert can be spot cleaned. Like all Brooklyn products, you will have a warranty of 3 years on your pillow and a 30-day trial.

The single-piece insert of Talalay foam is also an ideal choice for anyone with allergies.

Pricing

  • The queen is currently marketed at $96.75.
  • The king is $111.75.
  • You can also get 0% APR financing on Brooklyn products.

Perfect For:

  • If you sleep hot, this is your pillow.
  • If you tend to snuggle down or squash into your pillow, consider a higher loft option.
  • If you sweat or drool, the washable cover is helpful.

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

  • Your Brooklyn pillow is designed to wick away heat and moisture.
  • You can get this in three different lofts to suit your sleeping needs.
  • The softness is consistent no matter your loft needs.

10. Best Customizable: Nectar Resident Memory Foam Pillow

Nectar Resident Memory Foam Pillow

The Nectar Resident Memory Foam Pillow is a pillow in pillow design. The core of the pillow comes over-stuffed with memory foam that can be removed until you're happy with the density.

This pillow breathes easily and can be spot cleaned whenever needed. Tummy sleepers may be happy with the inner pillow simply removed. Back sleepers may have an easier time with a low level of center loft, and side sleepers may be happiest with the fully filled center pillow.

Simply save what you remove so you can fill it back up in the future if you find it's too flat. As a general rule, back sleepers will do better with a higher loft, especially if they tend to snore.

Pricing

  • The resident Nectar pillow is $75.00.
  • This pillow also offers 50 nights of trial, free shipping, and free returns.
  • Despite the fact that you can change the density of your pillow, the Nectar offers a 5-year warranty.

Perfect For:

  • Side, tummy, and back sleepers, but you will need to remove some foam if you need less loft.
  • Those with allergies or fragrance sensitivities will love the resident pillow.
  • If your budget is a bit low, this pillow offers a lot of variety for a very fair price.

Nectar Resident Memory Foam Pillow

  • The resident pillow has a plush outer layer that offers cool softness for any type of sleeper.
  • The plush center core comes over-full and can easily be reduced by taking out a bit of the foam.
  • The resident pillow is loaded with hypoallergenic fill material in both layers to keep those with allergies breathing easy.

Best Pillow Materials for Back Sleepers

Alignment

The best pillow for back sleepers is one that avoids putting pressure on the neck. A formed pillow made of a fixed piece of memory foam can be a great choice for some back sleepers who need their head only slightly elevated.

Elevation

Those who struggle with allergies, reflux, or apnea may do better with a fuller or higher pillow. 

For example, if you struggle with GERD or heartburn overnight, sleeping on a pillow that keeps your head above your navel without putting pressure on the curve of your neck can lessen your risk of reflux damage.

Heat

There are several pillows in this review that offer a cooling cover. Even if you live in a cold country, it’s a very good idea to choose a pillow that includes a cooling cover. 

A hot pillow behind back sleepers could lead to a lot of restlessness and misery. Experts recommend a pillow or mattress that is at least 8 degrees below the temperature of the skin.

One or Two?

Admittedly, none of the pillows on the list above are especially cheap. 

However, great sleep has a specific value that should not be discounted. 

For back sleepers that are struggling with neck position or apnea, two pillows of the different lofts may be the best choice. 

For example, a flatter pillow under the shoulders and a fuller pillow under the head could be extremely comfortable for anyone with back problems.

Return Options

If you’ve been struggling to find the best pillow for back sleepers or the right pillow for back and neck support, make sure you use your return option. 

The pricing on these pillows is high enough that you should have no guilt in returning your purchase as you try again to find the best pillow or best pillows for your need. 

You may need to get one of the adjustable pillow options as you seek out the right pillows for back sleepers.

Shredded or Formed?

If you want a memory foam option, remember that you can get memory foam support in either formed or shredded style. 

Formed memory foam pillows may be simpler, but often the best memory foam pillow is the one that you can customize to your needs. 

Be ready to test drive your newly adjusted pillow for back sleepers for a few nights before you give up and return the pillow; changing may take a day or two to get used to.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Pillow for Back Sleepers

Comfort

Memory foam supports hold their shape for years. If you don’t tolerate change well or have nerve issues, a memory foam pillow may reduce worries.

Size

The thicker the pillow, the firmer your pillow will be. If you need your head elevated, consider using an adjustable king with some fill removed so you can reshape your own wedge pillow.

Price

It’s hard to put a price on great sleep, but being able to return the best pillow for back sleepers as you try a better option for back sleepers should also reduce your worries.

Loft

Loft, or height, can be a hugely determining factor when choosing a pillow for back sleepers. If you’re a snuggler, a softer pillow for back positioning may be just what you need. 

However, you may feel a bit swallowed.

Firmness

While tummy sleepers need the firmest pillows, pillows for back sleepers can’t be too dense or the neck will be put under pressure. 

A memory foam support with a sleeve of cushion may be ideal. Shredded or formed memory foam can be used depending on the loft desired.

Cover

The best pillows can easily be cleaned. 

Back sleepers need a pillow that will capture perspiration from the back and the back of the head, and oil from the scalp can also lead to discoloration of a memory foam form or shredded pillow. 

Make sure you can wash the cover of the best pillow you can find to suit the back sleepers in your household.

A bit about Pillow Sizes

Depending on your sleeping partners, those looking for the ideal pillow for back sleepers may want to use a king-sized pillow. These are 20 inches deep by 36 inches long; such a pillow for back placement may be much more stable as you sink into it. 

Because back sleepers tend to stay put, a large pillow may not be problematic for your partner.

Such a pillow for back support may also help to dissipate heat as you sink into sleep. If you sleep on a foam mattress on a slatted platform, consider running a fan under your bed to carry away even more heat.

Finally, a larger pillow for back and neck support may reduce waking up in pain. A pillow for back support or a pillow for back placement to cut down on reflux can protect your neck and esophagus every night. Back sleepers need a pillow for back protection that will make it easier to stay in one place.

Additional Tips for Back Sleepers

The right pillows for back sleepers provide support without over-stretching the neck. For those with health conditions that are working to relearn their sleeping position, a cool pillow is critical. 

Pillows for back sleepers need to be stable; the pillows in this listing are soft to the touch but not slippery. If someone is working to develop a tolerance for sleeping on their back, you may need to use bedding with a bit more grab.

Pillows for back sleepers also need to be washable. Many of the pillows in this listing can be spot cleaned, but you may be happier either with a washable cover or a removable sleeve that you can wash separately. 

When purchasing a pillow for back placement, remember it will need to reduce heat and perspiration risk.

Finally, pillows for back sleepers need to be large enough to support a larger framed sleeper. While they don’t need as much loft as a side sleeper’s pillow, they will need enough height to elevate the head of the sleeper.

FAQ

  1. How common is back sleeping?

    While side sleeping is the most common, back sleepers come in second.

  2. What type of pillow is best for a back sleeper?

    You want a mid-height pillow; as a general rule, tummy sleepers need the lowest option while side sleepers need the highest loft.

  3. Is memory foam good for side sleepers?

    As long as the pillow has enough loft, memory foam pillows can work for a side sleeper.

  4. Are firm pillows good for back sleepers?

    Again, back sleepers need a middle-of-the-road firmness factor. Tummy sleepers need the firmest while side sleepers need the softest.

  5. Where can I find a pillow for back sleepers?

    Any good mattress maker can make a pillow that will suit any sleeping position. Back sleepers will need to worry about heat build-up more than tummy or side sleepers.

  6. How high should a pillow be for back sleepers?

    Most mid-height pillows are between 5.5 and 6.5 inches high.

  7. Should shoulders be on a pillow when sleeping?

    If you need to elevate your head for reflux or apnea, the best pillow choice maybe two pillows. Consider a low pillow under the shoulders with a taller pillow under the head.

  8. What is the best pillow for all sleep positions?

    An adjustable pillow that can be made fuller and firmer may be the best pillow for all sleepers, but you will need to take the time to pull or add foam. The best memory foam pillow with plenty of shreds may give you the options necessary.

Stretch Out and Relax!

Getting the right pillow for back sleepers can be a challenge, especially if they’re retraining their sleep patterns. 

For consistency, the best pillows may have a memory foam fill that can be adjusted to suit their density needs. 

To start, the Brooklinen down may be one of the best pillows to settle into before you start changing the amount of shred inside the pillow. 

Brooklinen Down Pillow

The best pillows for those trying to stay on their back are the mid-plush for support without poor alignment.

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Amanda Doyle

Hi, I’m Amanda and I'm a writer and a researcher and love writing about sleep since it's a very important topic! I'm very detailed when it comes to mattress firmness, bedding comfort! Meditation is part of my daily routine and it's awesome :)

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