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We get ready for bed, climb in, pull the covers up, and start to get comfortable. This is something we all recognize; however, from here, the process differs. Some people sleep with three pillows, others with none. Some prefer sleeping on their side; others report sleeping on their back or stomach. However, it’s no secret that most people can find added comfort and benefits to putting a pillow between their knees.
For side sleepers, especially, a pillow between the knees increases support while also boosting optimal spinal alignment. For pregnant women, they do it to alleviate chronic back pain or to prevent joints from rubbing together and getting warm.
While traditional pillows can work, today, we want to explore the idea of special knee pillows that have been created for this very purpose. Their design matches the body’s contours as either a wedge or hourglass shape. Normally made from memory foam, it sits between the knees and allows the body to relax enough to drift off into a peaceful sleep.
We’re going to investigate the best knee pillows in the market, the benefits of using specialty products, potential drawbacks, and the important features of a knee pillow.
Without further ado, let’s take a look!
The Best Knee Pillows
- 5 Stars United: the best budget option
- Rubark: the best pillow for knee pain
- AnboCare Half Moon: the best knee bolster pillow for back sleepers
- NATUMAX: the best knee pillow for side sleepers
- ComfiLife: the best knee pillow for back pain
- Calming Comfort: the best cooling knee pillow
- Everlasting Comfort: the most supportive (firm) knee pillow
Table of Contents
The Best Knee Pillows Comparison Table
- Multipurpose use
- Relieves pressure and tension
- Bolster pillow half moon design
- 18-month warranty
- Provides relief from back pain
- Washable and soft cover
- Removable strap
The Best Knee Pillows Reviews
5 Stars United: The Best Budget Option
For the first product, we want to offer something for those who are limited in terms of budget. With simplicity in mind, we find 5 Stars United with their half-moon knee pillow. Although there are no extravagant bells and whistles you might get with more expensive products - such as a strap, cooling gel, or advanced materials - the memory foam is of good quality, and this product has created many happy customers so far.
Our favorite feature is the double-layer design, where the memory foam top layer is infused with a lemon aroma. With this layer conforming to our body shape, the stronger bottom layer is designed to retain the structure and stiffen for your chosen pose. To protect all of this, we have a washable cover, which is also non-temperature sensitive, hypoallergenic, and breathable.
For support, this pillow is worth the investment, and it’s particularly worthwhile for back sleepers. Right in the middle between soft and hard, it offers a nice balance, and this is something users have mentioned in the reviews. If you’ve tried knee pillows before and struggled to find a good firmness, we always point people in the direction of 5 Stars United for this reason.
As we will with other products, the half-moon design isn’t exactly ideal for side sleepers (we will recommend one of the other designs for this!). On the other hand, it excels when placed under the knees since it alleviates some of the pressure on the spine. What’s more, put it under the back, and you have lumbar support or under the ankles for elevation. Either way, it improves circulation and could potentially help those attempting to avoid or reduce varicose veins.
Rubark: The Best Pillow for Knee Pain
For anybody suffering from knee pain, the product that immediately comes to mind is the Rubark knee pillow. With a soft cover and soft-touch memory foam, it has a clever design and will provide great value for money. In fact, it comes as a really nice package with the pillow - an extra cover, a set of earplugs, and even a sleeping mask. Even though this bonus kit will be useless for some, we think it’s a great addition because it allows you to experiment with items you may not have used previously.
With the pillow itself, it aims to keep the spine aligned once placed between the knees. The manufacturers suggest the design helps with tailbone injuries, lower back pain, joint pain, and ankle tension. Also, this product isn’t just reserved for those who have experienced injuries. Instead, it has value after long periods of standing, walking, and performing other everyday activities. With the legs aligned, this knee pillow also helps with hip-related and post-surgery pain.
With any foam, one of the biggest concerns is whether it will stay plump. Fortunately, the Rubark pillow uses the highest-grade memory foam. Once paired with the breathable fabric, we have a combination that should last for a good period. While others start to lose shape almost immediately, this knee pillow offers durability and resilience. You’ll have motion isolation for the legs, soothed pressure points, and a little firmness for support. Even with the inner lining of the pillow, airflow has been considered, and this prevents overheating.
Like many knee pillows, this one has been made with side sleepers in mind, and its shape helps with circulation and posture. For this reason, it’s popular in the recovery phase after surgery. The knees aren’t constantly grinding, there’s no muscle tension on the hips and lower back, and hip motion is controlled. With correct posture and little movement, sleep-related pain is alleviated.
Although we said it was suited towards side sleepers, there’s no reason why others can’t take advantage of this knee pillow. Why? Because of the maneuverable elastic strap. In terms of potential problems, it’s possible to catch the skin on the Velcro and zipper areas, but this isn’t going to ruin the experience at all.
AnboCare Half Moon: The Best Knee Bolster Pillow for Back Sleepers
We appreciate that not everybody can sleep on their side and that some back sleepers like to sleep with a pillow under their knees as well, and this brings us to the AnboCare Half Moon Bolster pillow. It sits snugly beneath the knees when lying on the back; however, it actually has several purposes, and this is why it has grown in popularity. Some use it under the head like a traditional pillow, behind the back while sitting, behind the neck while reading, and in other scenarios too.
While sleeping, this knee pillow encourages blood circulation while offering gentle support for the hips and back. Furthermore, it can help with lower back pain, restless leg syndrome, and sciatica. With the half-cylinder semi roll cushion, knee clearance is optimized, and there’s even an opportunity to place it under the feet.
Why choose AnboCare? It’s one of the most durable, comfortable, and supportive knee pillows for back sleepers. It won’t lose shape over time, it supports all the important areas, and the top layer even has a cooling gel to absorb body heat. Rather than getting uncomfortably hot and even sweating, it will keep the legs cool (thus creating an environment conducive to sleep!).
This knee pillow isn’t without its problems, and some have complained about the thickness (or lack of!). This being said, it does cater to most audiences, and this is a minor complaint. On the whole, users enjoy everything we’ve discussed alongside the zippered cover, air circulation, support, and the fact that the cover is machine washable. There are drawbacks, but the benefits far outweigh any potential problems.
NATUMAX: The Best Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers
When we sleep on our side, although considered the best position for our body, there’s still pressure on the spine and knees. With this in mind, the next pillow we’ve chosen for all side sleepers to improve alignment in the knees, back, and hips. Fitting nicely between the legs, this memory foam pillow can actually go above or below the knees, and most people are able to feel the relief in pain straight away. It can help with joint pain, sciatica, pregnancy, back pain, leg pain, and hip discomfort.
One of our favorite features is the choice of plush velvet cover; it feels amazing against the skin, which makes it easier to get comfortable and drift off to sleep. If you’re someone who likes to get cozy, this is the one for you. As you may have guessed, there is a drawback to using a velvet cover; there’s a risk of the pillow getting warm. This is a personal preference, but some users have also found this knee pillow to be too thick.
Elsewhere in this list, you will find thinner pillows, so this is something you might want to remember. Nonetheless, it’s a highly supportive and very comfortable pillow overall. With the strap, it will also stay in the same position regardless of how much you move around.
Other useful features include the zipper because this means you can take off the cover and put it through the machine whenever you want it to smell fresh. When you don’t have this option, it makes cleaning a nuisance.
ComfiLife: The Best for Back Pain
Here we want to help those who struggle to sleep as a result of back pain. Designed like an hourglass, this knee pillow has been created with all aches and pains in mind, including sciatica and even leg pain. By keeping the hips, legs, and spine aligned correctly, we can alleviate the pressure and tension in these key areas. Thanks to the shape, it works in a number of sleeping positions, and we can wake up ready to take on the day ahead.
Containing premium high-density memory foam, it provides the perfect balance of support and comfort. This being said, there’s one potential problem - the lack of a strap. If you’re a restless sleeper and move around a lot, the pillow works itself free, and you go on sleeping without it. In turn, your body’s alignment is off, and the pain continues.
For some customers, they have also had problems with a lack of firmness. When more heat and weight is applied to the pillow, firmness will reduce, and it will lose solidity. We should note that this is only a problem for some users; most have enjoyed the pillow, and this is why we’ve included it in our list of example products.
When it comes to relieving lower back pain, the ComfiLife knee pillow is a brilliant option. It provides support, keeps the spine aligned, and is incredibly comfortable. If you have sciatica, there’s a real opportunity to alleviate the symptoms. Since the pillow should keep its shape over time, it’s also a good investment. The cover is both zippered for machine washing and breathable for a cool sleep. As long as you give yourself time to adapt to the pillow, results should follow.
Calming Comfort: The Best Cooling Option
For many side sleepers, it’s the warmth that generates between the knees that’s uncomfortable. If this is the case, we recommend the Calming Comfort knee pillow. With a layer of cooling gel, heat isn’t retained within the pillow, and you should feel nice and cool throughout the night.
At the same time, the pillow doesn’t neglect its responsibility in other areas. For example, the ergonomic design supports the hips, knees, back, and joints; this should relieve any tension and pain in the lower back. With everything aligned as it should be, this reduces all pressure and also encourages blood circulation as we sleep.
Why choose the Calming Comfort knee pillow? One of the biggest reasons is the choice of materials. Not only do you get the support and comfort, but it also comes with odor reduction thanks to the infused charcoal in the memory foam (this should also eliminate moisture). With a zipped cover, we can also pull it off and throw it in the machine from time to time. Since the memory foam utilizes a concave design, it keeps its shape and does not flatten over time.
Despite the positives, we should mention a couple of potential drawbacks to this pillow. Firstly, just as we saw with the first product, there’s no strap. As soon as you toss and turn a couple of times in your half-asleep state, the pillow ca fall out. Secondly, some users have found this knee pillow to be just a little small.
Everlasting Comfort: The Most Supportive (Firm) Knee Pillow
In an hourglass design, our next product is one that focuses on firmness and shaping. Users get comfort, support, and so much more for a respectable price. Perhaps above all else, we think you’ll appreciate an adjustable and removable strap. If you’re not somebody who moves much in their sleep, you may not need this feature. However, if you toss and turn in your sleep, pop the strap on and ensure the pillow stays in place throughout the night.
Thanks to the orthopedic contours, your knees are separated with ideal spacing, and the pillow also keeps your legs, hips, and spine aligned. Ideal for those who sleep on their side and for pregnant women, this particular pillow is said to help with arthritis, bursitis, joint and sciatic nerve pain, as well as treatment and relief for lumbar and spine, lower back, pelvis, thigh and leg area, hip and knee.
With this long list, it’s perhaps not surprising that we chose the product as the best for support. As 100% high-quality memory foam, the firm knee pillow will withstand the weight of your leg. Additionally, it will spring back into place in the morning and shape to your every movement. We also can’t ignore the washable cover that is easily removed with the zipper.
Though not contributing to the performance of the pillow itself, you will receive some memory foam earplugs in the packaging. Rather than cheap earplugs, the manufacturer throws in for extra value; these are high quality and have a 33 noise-reduction rating. If you travel around frequently, simply put the earplugs into the travel case.
Finally, there’s a lifetime replacement guarantee. If the pillow fails in its duty or is damaged beyond the normal wear and tear, the manufacturers will send a new one at no extra cost.
The Basics of Knee Pillows
Now we have a better understanding of what products exist in the market, let’s look into more of the basics. According to doctors and other experts, the best sleeping position for our bodies is on our side. However, this is only true if we can keep the body aligned with the natural curve of the spine. With no pillow in between your legs, the upper leg roams free and can cause stress for the spine. This can lead to lower back and hip discomfort.
For this reason, manufacturers decided to work on a knee pillow that would fit between the legs comfortably and reduce the pressure on the hips and lower back while distributing weight equally. Although this is the main goal, there are plenty of indirect benefits to using knee pillows such as improved circulation and relaxed hamstring muscles, which also enhances the general relaxation for improved sleep.
Difference Between a Knee Pillow and a Folded Traditional Pillow
‘Why can’t I just fold one of my normal pillows and save myself the investment?’ - This is a question we receive frequently, and it seems to make sense on the outside. However, you aren’t going to get all of the benefits we’re about to explore. Unlike traditional pillows, knee pillows have been specifically designed for this very purpose. From shape to material, everything is optimized for alleviating the pain and discomfort that comes with different sleep habits and health conditions.
If we look at the material as an example, knee pillows are made of denser memory foam so that we don’t wake up halfway through the night with a flat pillow. Also, there will be ideal spacing to keep the legs far enough apart to encourage spinal alignment (the straps will also keep the legs in place).
While traditional pillows might feel comfortable initially, they lack the height, firmness, and shape. Even when folded over, they still don’t reach the levels of comfort and support provided by special knee pillows. Also, they flatten after a short while, and there’s nothing to keep them stable as you move around. If you’re going to go for a traditional pillow, we recommend choosing a high density and memory foam product because then, at least there are some similarities with knee pillows.
Benefits of Using a Knee Pillow
Now we’ve discovered why a traditional pillow doesn’t quite live up to the same standards; here are the main benefits of using a special design. Simple, affordable, and a great way to keep the spine aligned, this is just the start of why you should think about investing in a knee pillow.
Knee Pain Relief
Although it would be advantageous, we don’t really have control over the movements we make while asleep (we’ve all woken up with a stiff neck after settling in a strange position during the night!). With one wrong turn, we can put too much pressure on the knees or stress on particular muscles. Since all the body muscles are connected in some way, this has the potential to affect the whole body. With less friction, preventing knee pain is a great place to start.
When we reach the deeper stages of sleep, we tend to move around, and there’s a risk of settling in a poor position. For the body to regenerate muscle tissues effectively, we cannot place stress on these tissues, and this is where the true value of knee pillows comes in. As well as comfort, support, and everything else we’ve mentioned, knee pillows will create the right environment for tissue regeneration.
Perfect for Pregnant Women
As any soon-to-be mother will tell you, getting comfortable in bed is difficult. Fortunately, many have found success with knee pillows. By maintaining a healthy posture, the alignment that is even more important for pregnant women is achieved, and this supports the hips and pelvis.
Strong Sitting Position
As the next benefit, we want to mention the role knee pillows play in introducing a good sitting position (in a way that doesn’t place stress on the back). For those who already experience back pain, this is especially important.
Relaxes Achy Muscles
As we saw before, knee pillows encourage blood circulation, and this should prevent achy and sore legs as you lie in bed.
Upper Leg Elevation
With a knee pillow, we should also note that the upper leg is elevated; this should reduce cramps and muscle strain. Now that effective circulation is allowed, you can wake up refreshed rather than feeling more tired than the night before. With this elevation, you also prevent the knees from rubbing and causing discomfort.
Prevents Hip Rotation
Next up, a knee pillow will keep the frame steady, which means that there’s no rotation in the hips as we sleep. Without a pillow, we have little control over knee movement during the night, and this has the potential to cause issues.
With the right knee pillow and the right positioning, alignment improves across the whole body, and this means new levels of support for the spine, hips, knees, and legs. Ultimately, the lower body gets more protection, and this should limit aches and pains.
Many people have experienced a reduction in muscle cramps and varicose pain by using a knee pillow. For this reason, many doctors will actually recommend these types of products for people with arthritis, herniated discs, or sciatica.
Relieves Pressure Points
Of course, the main pressure points that experience relief during sleep are found in the knees. However, it doesn’t end there because there’s also a release of tension in the hips and lower back. With less pressure on the upper leg muscles, you get the rest you deserve.
Potential Drawbacks of Knee Pillows
As well as the benefits, we should also mention the drawbacks and who might not get anything from using knee pillows. For example, the first group would be stomach sleepers. With a knee pillow, the lower body is elevated unnaturally while sleeping on the stomach, and this can lead to discomfort. In truth, sleep experts recommend avoiding sleeping on the stomach generally, so adding a knee pillow to this formula will only make things even worse.
Next up, another drawback is the potential for retained heat between the knees. Especially for those who already get hot during the evening, foam is notorious for retaining heat, and this can quickly become uncomfortable and disrupt sleep. If sleeping hot is a worry for you, don’t discount knee pillows immediately. Instead, look for open-cell technology or cooling gels with the pillow you choose.
Thirdly, without a strap, there’s a risk of the pillow becoming redundant for most of the night. Even when switching sides, we move our legs, and the pillow moves. It might not fall out completely, but the new position might not help alleviate pressure, and you wake up no better off than the nights without a knee pillow.
Who Should Use a Knee Pillow?
We’ve seen all the many benefits that a knee pillow can bring, but we want to break down the different sleepers and how certain groups of people will enjoy such a pillow.
Surgery Recovery: Perhaps you’ve just had surgery, and you’re looking for something to make you feel more comfortable during sleep? Well, a knee pillow is perfect because you can align the hips, knees, and spine. With the bone structure aligned, you get some relief from the pain while also encouraging proper healing.
Restless Leg Syndrome: Sometimes shortened to RLS, restless leg syndrome is characterized by painful sensations in the legs, and this is frustrating while trying to sleep. Just to remain comfortable, you might have to keep the legs moving. Fortunately, stability can come from knee pillows. Especially when you introduce a strap, the legs don’t need to move around excessively, and blood flow improves too.
Poor Circulation: Though this is something we take for granted, not everybody is lucky enough to have strong circulation in the body. Unfortunately, this causes swollen legs, varicose veins, muscle stretching, and all sorts of other problems. If you struggle with this problem, sleep is a critical time because gravity affects circulation. By using a knee pillow and lifting the legs, blood flow improves, and you should reduce any tingling or spasms you normally feel.
Poor Spinal Alignment: It seems as though spinal misalignment is a growing problem, and a knee pillow can help for all the reasons mentioned previously. With a strong sleeping position and an elevated body, you can wake up ready to take on the day.
Pregnant Women: Over the years, we’ve seen all sorts of theories about how a pregnant woman should sleep. For us, the best method is to limit kicking and prevent discomfort by sleeping on the side. Then, use a knee pillow for healthy circulation and alignment (not to mention the boost in relaxation!).
Back Sleepers: Even if you sleep on your back, there’s no reason why a good knee pillow won’t come in handy. As well as removing tension in the lower back, a knee pillow will keep the legs relaxed. Of course, there’s also less pressure on the tail bone and a better alignment of the spine.
Side Sleepers: Side sleeping is widely considered the best sleeping position, but this doesn’t make it any easier when our bony knees bump and rub against each other. With this friction, it generates heat and generally makes us feel uncomfortable. Therefore, a knee pillow will make sleeping on our side more comfortable by preventing this from happening.
Hip Pain Sufferers: Another problem for the body while sleeping is that the hips rotate; over time, this can cause discomfort, and pain…but a knee pillow can help. With rotation limited, the hips are kept in a comfortable position, and you don’t wake up with pain.
Knee Pain Sufferers: While some body parts are only ever threatened with an injury during specific exercises, our legs are constantly in use, and this makes knee pain a possibility at any stage of life. When we sleep poorly too, the problem is exacerbated, and we live life with terrible knee pain. You’re probably not surprised to hear that a knee pillow is a good resolution for this problem.
Back Pain Sufferers: With something like sciatica, it prevents us from heavy lifting, getting comfortable while reading, and even sleeping. Rather than living with the latter, a knee pillow will keep the legs aligned and hopefully reduce sciatic nerve inflammation. When sciatica sufferers sleep on their side, there’s pressure at the endpoints of many sciatic nerves. With one leg elevated, we can reduce inflammation and pain.
Key Features - What Makes a Good Knee Pillow?
Initially, it’s easy to think that all knee pillows are exactly the same. However, this is far from the case. When looking through the available options online and in stores, you need to know what separates a good knee pillow from a bad one. Don’t fear; we have all the key features you need in this section!
These days, you’re likely to come across four different shapes;
- Strap-On Knee - As the name suggests, this pillow has a strap to attach to a knee and keep the pillow in roughly the same position while we sleep. Generally speaking, they will be typically longer than the hourglass-shaped pillows.
- Body - Not strictly a knee pillow, but we should mention body pillows since they provide support for the knees. As a much larger pillow, it’s designed to support the whole body. Despite not every design lending itself to tucking, many people choose to tuck parts of a body pillow between the legs, which reduces friction, elevates the leg, and aligns the spine.
- Wedge - Designed like either a half-moon or a triangle, wedge knee pillows are ideal for back sleepers because they slot nicely underneath the knees. For side sleepers, they can be a little uncomfortable.
- Hourglass - Not only is this the cheapest option, but it also tends to be the most common. Perfectly fitting the contours of our body, the knees get added comfort, and both legs are held in place.
Although most knee pillows have memory foam as the main material, you will also come across the high-density foam. Elsewhere, you might even find standard foam, which is actually a great material for back sleepers and a half-moon pillow. Alternatively, a stronger material is required for side sleepers who will use the pillow to support the thighs and knees.
- High-Density Foam - Firmer than memory foam, there is a risk of back or knee pain because it doesn’t quite mold to the body, and we end up just resting on top. On the flip side, it’s perfect for those carrying a little extra weight and who have found memory foam insufficient as far as support goes.
- Memory Foam - The more common option, memory foam contours to the body while we sleep and springs back into its original position in the morning. With the very best memory foam, it should hold shape even after many months. With cheaper alternatives, support and shape decrease much faster.
We saw in the product review section that there are many different shapes for knee pillows; for example, the hourglass design is common, and these are normally smaller and lighter than others. For pillows that fit underneath the knees, these are likely to be larger and heavier. Again, it’s about finding the middle ground because it needs to make a difference without being a chore to adjust and move around. As long as you experiment with products, you’ll soon find one that keeps you comfortable all through the night.
Over the years, we’ve seen people complain that a knee pillow is too soft, and we’ve seen complaints that a particular knee pillow is too firm. With this in mind, it seems you need to find a balance between the two. With medium firmness, you can keep the knees apart, enjoy the pain relief, and all the other benefits we’ve just discussed.
Next up, we highly recommend considering flexibility in case you want to fold, twist, turn, and tuck the pillow up in different ways. For side sleepers, it’s common to play around until you feel comfortable, and a flexible pillow will prevent you from having to sleep in a position that feels unnatural. To achieve this, consider shredded memory foam, water, gel, and other materials with flexibility.
Who wants a pillow that will go flat or tear after just a couple of weeks? With knee pillows, especially, they have a difficult task because they’re always in contact with our legs. With your chosen pillow, it needs to be strong enough to deal with your weight and durable enough to last some time (even with lots of movement during the night). If you have restless leg syndrome or are pregnant, this factor is even more important.
It’s good to take advice from others with regards to knee pillows, but one decision you need to make alone is whether or not you want a strap. For some people, they’re able to insert the pillow and wake up in nearly the same position. For others, most of us, we move within seconds, and the pillow is redundant.
With a Velcro strap, the pillow will remain in position even if you switch sides and flip over. It’s an important decision and one that needs considering because some people can’t get along with the restriction while others actually like the feeling of the pillow being secure. All things considered, try to test a product with and without a strap to see what suits you best.
Regardless of how you sleep, the fabric of the pillow will come into contact with your skin, and this is why you need to pay attention to this area. Since memory foam is known to hold onto heat, we advise looking for a breathable cover; this should counteract the retained heat and ensure better airflow. For other companies, they also include cooling gels in the pillow, which should prevent overheating.
Care and Maintenance
Let’s not forget, a knee pillow is something we’re going to be using every single night. With this in mind, it should have a removable cover and simple care instructions. With a simple wash, you remove dead skin, sweat, and more. Washing makes the pillow more hygienic, and it also optimizes the comfort because you’re removing debris and potential irritants.
Manufacturer Warranty and Returns Policy
With products such as knee pillows, more manufacturers are starting to offer sleep trials, and this is great news. If it’s helping, we keep the pillow. If not, and you’re genuinely dissatisfied with the product, simply send it back, and the company will return the money. Before making a purchase, read the small print because not all companies offer this sort of trial.
Even if the pillow doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee, it should have some sort of warranty, and this is another key consideration. Protecting you against any defects or design flaws, a quality knee pillow should come with a warranty lasting between one year and a lifetime.
As the final consideration, we all have a budget. You could spend $10, or you could spend $150; how do you approach the topic of the price? If you want a perfect balance of quality, comfort, support, and everything else, we suggest spending between $30 and $50. We’re not saying that a $10 pillow won’t do the trick, nor are you guaranteed success with a $150 pillow. Consider your needs, sleeping habits, and even health conditions, and then choose a pillow that fits.
Buying Considerations for Knee Pillows
Before we finish with some tips and FAQs, let’s explore some buying considerations. You’ve seen what features make for a good pillow, but how do you choose one that’s right for you?
Stomach Sleepers - When we sleep on our stomach, gravity pulls everything downwards, and we don’t fall into a natural resting alignment. Therefore, below the pelvis and stomach, we can utilize a flat pillow and bring this alignment back into a more favorable position. Up at the other end, some experts recommend using a flat pillow (or even no pillow) under the head.
Back Sleepers - Although it sounds strange, the lack of support for back sleepers is in the lower back. In this case, either a wedge or half-moon pillow will support the natural curve while reducing stress after being placed below the knee bend.
Side Sleepers - Since side sleepers are most likely to benefit from an orthopedic knee pillow, they’re the audience that companies target. With one leg on top of the other, this can ruin the alignment of the spine and place unnecessary stress on the hips and lower back. By introducing a knee pillow, the upper leg can no longer slump over on the lower one and twist your spine.
Thanks to the special curved indentations, the absolute best option for side sleepers is an hourglass knee pillow. The thighs rest nicely on the curves, the knees are kept apart with the flat section, and there’s no twisting and turning. If you want to alleviate pressure and pain, even more, you can do so by bringing the knees upwards to the chest.
As our penultimate consideration, think about how much you move during the average night. If you aren’t sure, ask your partner. Hourglass design is perhaps the best for staying in position with movement. If this doesn’t work, a model with a removable strap may be the best option.
Sometimes affected by weight, some of us get extremely warm in bed even during the middle of winter. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you need to think about cooling features and a breathable cover. Since memory foam is known to retain heat, these additional features, though costing more money, might just save your experience.
Are you expecting a child? In order to prevent straining the stomach and back, you probably sleep on your side right now. In this case, a straight or hourglass knee pillow might just surprise you in terms of comfort and support. For some women, they even find success with a second wedge pillow behind the knees.
Don’t forget, somebody heavier will need a different thickness to somebody who is lighter. On one side, those who are lighter will be better off with thin pillows. On the other, thicker pillows are better for those with extra weight.
How to Position a Knee Pillow
Often, we speak to people who don’t feel results only to then find out they haven’t quite been positioning the pillow correctly.
- For side sleepers, we recommend going into a fetal position and then putting the pillow between the thighs or knees. When placed correctly, you shouldn’t be able to roll over easily.
- For back sleepers, the aim is to keep the knees in the air, so put the pillow underneath; this will alleviate the pressure on the spine.
- If you really want to take advantage of your purchase, you can also place the pillow under body parts different from the knee. For example, some people place it under their arms as they are lying on their backs.
Let’s see if we can answer any questions you may have regarding knee pillows!
Do you have any tips for using a knee pillow?
Yes, we have three useful ones;
- Since memory foam pillows respond to temperature, don’t judge the firmness of a new product after arriving at your home. Allow it to warm up and test for a couple of nights.
- For side sleepers who like to flip every so often, go for a smaller pillow (it’s less likely to move and cause aggravation).
- If you’re worried about a pillow slipping from its position, choose a textured cover rather than a sleek, smooth fabric.
Will a knee pillow help during pregnancy?
We’ve mentioned pregnant women numerous times in this guide, and it’s because many have found knee pillows to be extremely useful during this difficult time. If you feel knee and hip pain as a result of sleep, this is something a knee pillow can alleviate. At this point, and as we encourage you to research, we should make you aware of maternity and full-body pillows, which are also available on the market. Often, these are better since they’re also designed to support the back and belly. With some offering a ‘U’ shape, it supports all the important areas while also keeping the knees apart.
Should I use a soft or firm pillow?
Unfortunately, this is an answer we can’t provide because it all depends on YOU. In terms of firmer pillows, these are ideal for anybody experiencing discomfort, such as sciatica pain. If you don’t have pain and your goal is to simply stay comfortable as you sleep, you can lean more towards the balanced and softer products. As we’ve noted before, it’s important to only buy soft pillows when you really need them because they lack support, will flatten quicker, and generally offer a lower quality than firmer pillows. With a firm pillow, you get the support you need for a prolonged period of time.
Can I slow down the flattening process?
Potentially, and the best advice we can offer is to give the pillow space to retain its shape during the day. Don’t put it under a heavy object or between the sheets after a night of use, leave it in the open and watch it reform. Also, higher quality pillows will last much longer than cheaper ones.
Can I use a knee pillow like a regular pillow?
Absolutely, but you need to be aware that they haven’t been designed for this purpose and, therefore, might not offer the best experience (just like using a regular pillow between the knees). If you try your knee pillow and it feels great somewhere other than between the legs, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep using it in this location. As long as you aren’t buying a knee pillow in hopes of sleeping on it specifically, you won’t be disappointed.
When should I replace a knee pillow?
Of course, we can’t expect any pillow to last forever. However, the value of choosing a slightly more expensive pillow often comes with the extra life you can get from it compared to the cheapest products in the market. Although memory foam shouldn’t lose shape in the opening weeks/months, we can expect some movement after a year or so. If you’re wondering whether or not to spend out on a new pillow, there’s a simple test you can try; fold it in half and see whether it springs back into shape. After 18 months, it’s probably unhygienic to keep going so you can thank the pillow for its help and move on to the next one.
There we have it, the ultimate guide to the best knee pillows on the market today. Often, people think they only offer pain relief, but these pillows actually go much further. They relax connecting ligaments and muscles, promote correct alignment, support the hips and knees, improve sleep quality, and just make sleep more comfortable. When sleep quality improves, we feel brighter in the morning and suddenly feel ready to take on the world (something that didn’t happen previously!).
Even if you’re recovering from surgery or expecting a baby, there’s something to be said for introducing a knee pillow. As long as you consider the different factors and choose one that suits your needs, you might just change your life in the coming days and weeks!