As I’ve gotten older, it’s become more difficult to take part in the outdoor activities I love -- especially running and cycling -- because I often feel too tired. I know that it’s normal to have lost some of my youthful energy, but I’m sure that my lack of sleep is a contributing factor. Recently, I’ve been struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. I’ve had intermittent lower back pain for several years now, and I typically wake up several times during the night to change position. Sometimes I even end up relocating to the recliner in the living room.
After mentioning these issues to my chiropractor, he suggested trying a wedge pillow to help improve my sleep quality. He loaned me one from his office to try for a few nights, and I was immediately hooked. I quickly discovered that wedge pillows are incredibly versatile -- not only can they be used to relieve aches and pains (as well as more serious medical issues), but they’re also fantastic for supporting your back when you’re reading in bed or typing on your laptop.
I knew that I needed to get a wedge pillow for myself, and I was excited to discover that there are plenty of wedge pillows available on Amazon. But with so many different brands, styles, and prices -- and plenty of contradictory reviews -- it was difficult to figure out which would meet my needs.
I decided to try six of Amazon’s most popular wedge pillows in order to determine which one is the absolute best. Specifically, my goal was to find one that would relieve my backache and help me get better sleep so that I could wake up feeling rested and ready for a busy, physically-demanding day.
I know that there are plenty of other people who could also benefit from a wedge pillow, from those with shoulder and lower back pain to people recovering from surgery to those with problems with GERD, sleep apnea, or even snoring. Hopefully, my search for the best wedge pillow will be of some help to anyone looking for more comfortable sleep.
How did I evaluate the wedge pillows?
- I slept on each pillow in bed for a week
- I evaluated how comfortable the pillow was
- I considered how much my sleep improved
- I considered how my lower back felt after using each pillow
- I examined the quality of each pillow’s construction (zippers, seams, etc.)
- I looked at the materials used, especially the type of foam
- I considered how well the pillow kept it shape and firmness
- I noted whether the pillow had any lingering chemical odors
- I looked at each pillow’s textile certifications
- I used the wedge pillow as a backrest in bed and on the couch
What were the most important factors for choosing a wedge pillow?
Made with premium materials
Comfortably contours to body shape
Stays cool throughout the night
Wedge isn’t too high or steep
Breathable, washable cover
Provides good lower back support
Combines firmness and comfort
Also works well as a backrest
Made with safe and non-toxic materials
Are the budge options worth it?
As I’ve learned more about wedge pillows -- and tried many of them out -- I’ve come to realize that there is significant variation among the products that describe themselves as “wedge pillows.” There also seems to be a wide discrepancy in price, with some wedge pillows priced at less than $30.
I was obviously intrigued by these cheaper pillows, so I tried a couple of them. And although there could be some decent budget wedge pillows out there, my experience with these pillows was rather disappointing -- and they certainly weren’t the answer to my sleep problems.
Almost invariably, the budget pillows that I tried absorbed a significant amount of body heat, so they got hot and sweaty during the night. None of these pillows came with a particularly nice cover, and the material tended to be thin and scratchy. They all seemed to have an odd chemical smell that wouldn’t dissipate, even after several days of airing out.
Most importantly, though, they just weren’t very comfortable, presumably due to the type of foam. Whereas high-quality wedge pillows contain at least a thick layer of memory foam, the budget pillows never do. Instead, they use cheap foam that is neither supportive nor comfortable to sleep on, and that tends to fall apart over time.
In my experience, I found it better to spend a little extra money on a slightly more expensive pillow that will withstand constant use while providing the right level of support and comfort. After all, that’s the entire point of buying a wedge pillow in the first place!