Sleep face-up? These firm and contoured pillows provide ample support.
Considering the average human spends one-third of her life sleeping, investing in comfortable bedding seems like a no-brainer. But with the number of options on the market, finding the perfect pillow to rest your head on is a little overwhelming, especially if you prefer a certain sleeping position.
For back sleepers, a firm, high loft pillow with divots for the head and neck provides the spine alignment that’s necessary for a comfortable night’s sleep. “You want a pillow that’s a little firmer so the head’s not going back too far,” says Rocco Monto, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Nantucket, Mass. “It’s got to contour a little bit better and take on the shape underneath your neck.”
Here, we share the pillows that provide support and alleviate neck and shoulder stiffness while you catch your nightly Zs.
Coop Home Goods Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
“I’m a huge fan of pillows with adjustable densities so you can add or remove stuffing and create your preferred density,” says Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution. This one, stuffed with shreds of memory foam, lets you do just that. The hypoallergenic, cushiony material will mold to your head and neck to provide support, yet the pillow’s loft is totally customizable.
Malouf Z Zoned Memory Foam Pillow with Velour Removable Cover
While the firmness of a memory foam pillow is sure to keep your head in alignment, the density of the material often causes it to heat up to an uncomfortable temperature. This pillow’s perforated design, however, ensures your head stays cool while remaining in a supported position.
Customsleeping Pillow With Shredded Gel Memory Foam Cluster Gel Fiber
“Advanced memory foams are very helpful because they move with the sleeper a little bit,” says Dr. Monto. This one’s memory foam clusters let you fluff up or squish down the pillow to your preferred height. The adjustable neck roll keeps your spine in a neutral position.
Classic Brands Cool Sleep Advanced Contour Cool Gel Memory Foam Pillow
According to Dr. Winter, gel-infused materials are another option for creating a comfortable sleeping temperature on your pillow. This pillow combines cooling gel properties with a back sleeper’s best friend—memory foam. Plus, the cutout on the lower third of the pillow cradles your neck so your upper body remains stable all night long.
Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow
Dr. Winter and Dr. Monto both recommend back sleepers seek out curved pillows with a dedicated head divot and neck contour. This design provides support in all the right places in order to create the cervical spine alignment all sleepers should aim for.