Wedge pillows are triangular pillows that are usually made of a mixture of memory foam (soft, contouring foam) and polyurethane foam (firmer, more rigid foam).
If you’re looking for a wedge pillow, it’s probably because you’re experiencing some kind of pain or discomfort while you sleep.
Unlike a standard memory foam pillow or down pillow, a wedge pillow props you up at a steeper incline. This has numerous benefits, such as helping with lower back pain, that we go over below.
You can use a wedge pillow for your upper torso, as well as your lower legs. Still, because a wedge pillow is so much more unique than a standard pillow, customers have questions about how to use a wedge pillow.
In this post, we’re going to start with the 8 benefits of using a wedge pillow, and then cover some frequently asked questions we get about wedge pillows.
If you’re looking to buy a wedge pillow, check out our post on the best wedge pillows of 2020 for leading brands, customer reviews, and pricing information.
1. Reduces Snoring and Helps with Sleep Apnea
If you’re sleeping on a wedge pillow under your torso, the upper half of your body is elevated. Most wedge pillows sit at a 30-degree angle, with their max height between 7 and 14 inches.
Wedge pillows reduce snoring because they keep you elevated, and open your airways. When people snore it’s because there’s a partial obstruction of their airway. This can get so bad, where you’re now experiencing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
By sleeping at a gradual incline, you help eliminate any obstructions that are otherwise caused by your tongue fall back into your throat.
This, in turn, reduces your snoring.
Because of this benefit, medical professionals may often recommend you sleep with a wedge pillow if you’re suffering from sleep apnea.
If you’re looking for the best wedge pillow for sleep apnea, consider the 7.5-inch silverback wedge pillow.
2. Helps with Lower Back Pain
You can also use a wedge pillow to help alleviate lower back pain.
Often, when people are experiencing lower back pain as they sleep it’s because their hips are sinking too far into their mattress. This can be an issue if you’re on an old mattress or your mattress is too soft.
And what this does is put pressure on your lower back.
To help, you can actually put a wedge pillow under your legs, elevating them up. This takes the pressure off your lower back, because now your back isn’t supporting the weight of your legs.
If you’re looking to solve your lower back pain with a wedge pillow, we’d recommend a multi-purpose wedge pillow, such as the Lisenwood Wedge Pillow Set.
3. Helps You Sleep on Your Side or Back
Sometimes you need to change your sleeping style. This is most common for stomach sleepers, as multiple studies have shown that stomach sleeping is bad for you.
It could be that your sleeping on your stomach because sleeping on your side or back is uncomfortable. If this is the case, using a wedge pillow has two benefits.
- It makes you more comfortable on your side or back, while it also. . .
- . . .makes sleeping on your stomach incredibly uncomfortable.
4. Reduces GERD and Acid Reflux
When acid leaks out of your stomach and travels up your esophagus, you’re experiencing acid reflux or GERD.
This can interrupt you throughout the night, leading to a bad night’s sleep.
A wedge pillow helps by having you sleep at an incline, using gravity to keep your stomach acid where it belongs – in your stomach.
Depending on how your body height and shape, you might need a more steep wedge pillow if you’re using it to reduce GERD and acid reflux.
If you’re suffering from GERD, we recommend that you consider the Soraken Adjustable Height wedge pillow to help with GERD and Acid reflux.
5. Helps with Allergies and Post-Nasal Drip
Allergies can keep you awake, especially allergies make it more difficult to breathe, and breathing is already complicated by sleeping: your laying down which makes it harder to take breaths, plus your blood flow is reduced as you’re not moving, plus your airway is more constricted.
By living your torso up, you’re now breathing in more air, which makes it easier to cope with the stuffed up feeling you get from allergies.
6. Great for Post-Operative Sleeping
Sometimes a wedge pillow is recommended for post-operative care.
This is because when you’re sleeping on a wedge pillow, you’re not likely to toss and turn. A wedge pillow keeps you in place, which is critical for post-operative care because when you’re sleeping – and your body is recovering – you don’t want to thrash around, undo any stitches, cause any complications, and so on.
For the best wedge pillow for post-operative care, we recommend the non-slip OasisSpace Wedge Pillow.
7. Helps Expecting Mothers Sleep Better
Expectant mothers face several complications when it comes to sleeping:
- There’s the extra pressure on their body which can lead to significant back pain.
- In the later months of her pregnancy, an expecting mother may struggle to get in and out of bed. A wedge pillow, which props you up, makes it easier to get in and out of bed.
- Pregnant women may experience a greater risk for acid reflux and, due to their pregnancy, may be unable to take medication that helps with acid reflux. A wedge pillow is a great and safe solution.
- A wedge pillow also offers more support than a traditional pillow or mattress for the extra weight that a pregnant woman carries around during her pregnancy.
Finally, some women still use the wedge pillow after labor, as it helps as nursing pillow, where the mother can sit comfortably propped up while nursing her newborn.
8. Cheaper than an Adjustable Bed Frame
An adjustable bed frame is something you put beneath your mattress. It works by lifting your torso up, with some higher-end models also lifting up your legs.
An adjustable bed frame works by a wired or wireless remote, and it helps you:
- Watch movies or read a book in bed or play on your tablet or computer
- Reduce snoring and helps with sleep apnea
- Helpers with lower back pain
- Reduces GERD and acid reflux
- And more.
However, an adjustable bed frame comes with two complications.
- Adjustable bed frames expensive. Whereas a wedge pillow costs anywhere from $30 to $60+, an adjustable bed frame (queen size) will cost $500+, with some models as high as $2,000 for a queen.
- If you’re sleeping with a partner, then you might both have to be elevated up when using an adjustable bed frame. This is true if you’re on a queen size mattress, but if you’re on a king size mattress then you can use what’s called split king mattress and adjustable bed frame combo. But then you’re now technically sleeping on a different bed than your partner, with a small gap between you.
Can You Use a Regular Pillow with Your Wedge Pillow?
Yes, in fact, plenty of reviewers say they use a regular pillow with their wedge pillow.
This is because they still want a soft, cushy feeling beneath their head.
But if you’re using a regular pillow with your wedge pillow, we recommend it’s a thin, down-like pillow that’s soft and pliable. If you’re using a thick memory foam pillow, then your head might be propped too far up, putting a crick in your neck, leading to back and neck pain while you sleep.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is meant to replace or combat any medical advice/recommendations from your general care practitioner or any other medical professional.