Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

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Buckle up, back sleepers, because you are about to go on a journey to some better slumber. In this best pillows for back sleepers roundup, we’re going to learn all about back-sleeping and the seven pillows that perfectly suit this position. And don’t worry — we’re presenting a wide range of materials and fabrics so that everyone can find the pillow of their dreams. Of course, if you don’t find your personal best pillow for back sleepers here, we’ll leave you with some expert tips and tricks that will guide you in your search when you’re shopping on your own. Let’s get started!

Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

 

Editor’s Pick – Saatva Latex Pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow

A fluffable mix of down-alternative and Talalay latex makes this pillow cozy, cool, and great for combo sleepers.

Sleepopolis Score
4.80 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Latex

Trial Period
Trial Period

45 nights

Warranty
Warranty

1-year limited warranty

Financing
Financing

Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

We’re presenting the Saatva Latex pillow as our first pick because it’s balanced, breathable, and oh-so-cozy. It features responsive latex and down alternative layers for a medium-firm feel. Its loft is ideal for back sleepers, keeping the head elevated without craning the neck too much.

Our favorite thing about this pillow is that it not only promotes good spinal alignment but it also has a luxurious feel. In our review, we describe the Saatva Latex pillow as a hotel pillow. The outer pillow is made of microdenier fiber, giving the pillow an ultra-fluffy down feel. Its cover is organic and machine-washable.

Not to mention, this pillow is cooling. It includes natural latex in its inner pillow. This material is known to be cooling, but it’s shredded for additional breathability. 

For the full scoop, be sure to check out our Saatva Latex pillow review. And while you’re at it, you might want to dig into our Saatva mattress review too. 

Price: $165–$185, with a 45-night trial period and one-year limited warranty.

Perfect For: Back sleepers looking for a breathable pillow with a balanced feel.

Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers – TEMPUR- Symphony Pillow

TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow

TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow

The TEMPUR-Symphony is a two-sided memory foam pillow that is designed to work for all sleeper types.

Sleepopolis Score
4.20 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Polyester, Memory foam

Warranty
Warranty

5-year limited warranty

Financing
Financing

Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

No returns

Folks who alternate between back- and side-sleeping positions might be best-suited to this dual-design pillow from Tempur-Pedic. 

It’s called the TEMPUR-Symphony, and basically blends two pillows into one. One side has a flat loft intended for side sleepers, while the other side is gently arched and contoured to meet the needs of back sleepers. We found both sides to be great for side sleeping, as its lofty build and medium-firm feel served to align the spine and relieve shoulder pressure. 

We’ve actually had the pleasure of testing quite a few of this popular brand’s pillows, so take a look at how the TEMPUR-Symphony compares to the rest in our full Tempur-Pedic pillows review

Essentially, the arched side of this pillow is molded in order to fill the space between your neck and the mattress when you’re on your back. This unique construction makes it feel like the pillow is cradling the precise contours of your head and neck so that you’re completely supported. Back sleepers looking to alleviate neck pain should definitely give this one a try. 

Of course, folks who love a moldable memory foam feel are probably going to be most compatible with this pillow, as it’s filled with the brand’s proprietary TEMPUR-material. It’s featured throughout Tempur-Pedic products, and offers a classic memory-foam quality with a super-slow response to pressure. 

If you think a memory foam pillow is right for you, check out our list of the best memory foam pillows.

Price: This pillow comes in one size, costs $119, and is backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Perfect For: The memory foam fan who alternates between back and side sleeping!

Best Firm Pillow for Back Sleepers – Avocado Pillow

Avocado Pillow

Avocado Pillow

Made with all-natural latex, the Avocado pillow is both eco-conscious and supportive!

Sleepopolis Score
4.50 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Cotton, Latex

Trial Period
Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty
Warranty

1-year warranty

Financing
Financing

Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

If you’re an eco-friendly sleeper who loves a firmly supportive pillow, allow us to introduce the Avocado. 

Stuffed full of shredded Dunlop latex and a natural tree fiber called Kapok, this pillow is exclusively filled with natural materials. It offers a firm feel with a medium loft, ideal for back sleepers who prefer something more supportive than fluffy. Additionally, it’s covered in 100 percent organic cotton, making this entire pillow hypoallergenic and sustainably sourced. 

That said, this pillow does feature an adjustable fill, so feel free to experiment with its loft and firmness. It’s on the firm side, but you can remove as much stuffing as you like in order to find your perfect fit. 

Keep in mind that the pillow is traditionally shaped, which means you can easily dress it with a pillowcase if you prefer. Just remember that its cover fabric is organic, hypoallergenic, and machine-washable, so you might decide to ditch the pillowcase altogether.

For all the details on this pillow, be sure to check out our full Avocado pillow review as well our roundup of the best firm pillows.

Price: $89–$109, with a 100-night trial period and one-year warranty. 

Perfect For: The eco-friendly back sleeper looking for a firm pillow with an adjustable fill!

Best Organic Pillow for Back Sleepers – Birch Pillow

Birch Organic Pillow

Birch Organic Pillow

The Birch pillow is a Greenguard Gold certified product that is a great all sleep position option!

Sleepopolis Score
4.10 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Cotton, Wool, Latex

Trial Period
Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty
Warranty

1-year warranty

Financing
Financing

Not Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

Here we have another great pick for sleepers looking to go green — the Birch Organic pillow. 

From the organic cotton cover to the internal fill, every part of this pillow is made from natural materials. It’s filled with a blend of shredded Talalay latex and ethically sourced wool, which combine to offer a plush yet supportive feel. It’s important to note that this pillow has a lofty profile of about four inches, making it best suited to back sleepers looking for more elevated support. 

Hot sleepers might be particularly compatible with this pillow because, contrary to popular belief, wool is one of the world’s most breathable fibers. Plus, it’s naturally thermoregulating, meaning it adapts to your body’s temperature. Essentially, the wool dissipates heat when you get too warm and traps your body’s warmth when things get chilly. 

One of our favorite things about the Birch is its ability to maintain its loft. The shredded latex does a really great job of bouncing back to its original shape, and preventing this pillow from going flat.

For all the details on this organic sleep accessory, check our full Birch Organic pillow review.

Price: $119–$139, with a one-year limited warranty.

Perfect For: The back sleeper looking for a lofty pillow made from natural materials.

Best Cooling for Back Sleepers – Leesa Hybrid Pillow

Leesa Hybrid Pillow

Leesa Hybrid Pillow

Look out, sleepers. There’s a new Leesa pillow in town. Many of you may already be familiar with the company’s mattress and standard pillow — but allow me to introduce the Leesa Hybrid Pillow. As its name suggests, this sleep accessory features a multilayered construction that looks and feels totally different from its pillow-predecessor. So, Sleepopolis is here to test its full performance and see what it’s really all about!

Sleepopolis Score
3.90 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Microfiber, Polyester

Trial Period
Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty
Warranty

3 year

Financing
Financing

Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

Honestly, there’s so much to like about the Leesa Hybrid, so let’s start with the cover fabric. Made from a blend of Tencel and a cooling material called Frio-Nylon, this pillow was crafted to feel soothing against the skin. For those who are unfamiliar, Tencel is a sustainable material made from dissolving wood pulp that’s also known for its super-cool feel.

But the really neat thing about this cover fabric is that one side is quilted. It features a dozen tufted pockets that are filled with a fluffy down alternative, while the other side offers a flat, traditional loft. But the traditional side has something special going on, too, with a cooling gel pad directly beneath the fabric for sleepers who run extra-hot. 

So, essentially, the cover of the Leesa Hybrid is kind of like its own pillow. You’ve got the plush quilted side, the firm cooling side… but what’s inside this pillow? Well, there’s actually another, smaller pillow tucked inside the cover fabric, and it’s filled with down alternative. It’s also removable for those who prefer softer, low-lofted support. 

Ultimately, there are several different ways to use this pillow, so get creative! And if you want all the details on this unique sleep accessory, be sure to check our full Leesa Hybrid pillow review as well as our list of the best cooling pillows.

Price: $125–$135, with a 100-night trial period and a three-year warranty.

Perfect For: Back sleepers looking for a cooling pillow with a multi-layered design.

Best Pillow for Combination Sleepers – Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow

Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow

Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow

The Eli & Elm side sleeper pillow is one of the best pillows for side sleepers. It’s constructed in a unique u-shape to support side sleepers’ heads and necks and reduce shoulder pain.

Sleepopolis Score
4.30 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Polyester, Spandex

Trial Period
Trial Period

45 nights

Warranty
Warranty

5-year warranty

Financing
Financing

Not Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

Next, we come to this super-cozy pillow from Eli & Elm, a perfect pick for back and side sleepers. 

Now, you might assume by its name that this pillow is strictly for side sleepers… but you’d be mistaken! In fact, this pillow can also be used for back sleeping. Don’t get us wrong — its ergonomic design is great for side-sleeping, with its lofty edges offering plush support and pressure relief. But the way this pillow cradles your head when you nestle right in the center of it makes it amazing for back sleepers.

You’ll notice that this pillow kind of looks like a boomerang, with the middle area flatter and thinner than the sides. This is designed to ease sleepers’ transition from side to side but, again, that middle area makes a great pit-stop for back sleepers. Plus, it’s covered in 100 percent organic cotton and feels super-soft on the skin. 

As far as internal fill is concerned, a proprietary blend of shredded latex and down alternative combine to offer a soft-medium feel. But keep in mind that this pillow is adjustable and intentionally “overstuffed,” giving sleepers the chance to remove or manipulate the loft to their liking. 

We can’t recommend this pillow highly enough. Back and side sleepers should definitely dive into our full Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow review as well as check out our picks for the best pillows for combination sleepers!

Price: $125–$135. 

Perfect For: Back and side sleepers looking for a plush pillow with an ergonomic design. 

Best Latex Pillow for Back Sleepers – Purple Harmony Pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

The Purple Harmony is great for back and side sleepers and is extremely breathable to help you sleep cool through the night!

Sleepopolis Score
4.40 / 5 starstarstarstarstar
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Accessories Details

Material
Material

Gel Fiber, Polyester, Latex

Trial Period
Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty
Warranty

1-year warranty

Financing
Financing

Available

Shipping Method
Shipping Method

Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

If you’re more of a latex lover than a foam fan, the Purple Harmony might be the pillow for you. It’s filled with one piece of Talalay latex and lined with the brand’s proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer, both of which offer a super-quick response to pressure.

For those who are unfamiliar, Hyper-Elastic Polymer is a durable, rubbery, and bouncy material that’s totally unique to Purple. With the Harmony, it serves as the pillow’s structure, helping it to maintain its shape night after night. Meanwhile, the Talalay latex core is also quite bouncy, and provides a springy kind of support that positions the sleeper on top of the pillow. If you don’t enjoy the sinkage of memory foam, this might be a good alternative for you! 

Additionally, hot sleepers are sure to be compatible with this pillow’s ventilated construction. From the cover fabric to the internal fill, every part was designed to promote breathability and keep sleepers cool.

If you want to know more about our experience testing this pillow, be sure to read our full Purple Harmony review

Price: $179–$219, with a nice 100-night trial period to test it out. 

Perfect For: Back sleepers looking for an airy pillow with a bouncy-quick response to pressure! 

Methodology: How To Pick A Back-Sleeper Pillow

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect back-sleeper pillow, it’s important to pay close attention to loft, firmness, materials, and cooling properties. Below, we’ll break down the need-to-know info for each of these main factors:

Loft & Firmness

Back sleepers are lucky in that they have a little room to experiment with loft (height) and firmness. Stomach and side sleepers need to follow a few hard and fast rules in order to maintain healthy posture, but back sleepers can enjoy a slightly wider range of loft and firmness options (keeping in mind that neutral spine alignment is the most important thing).

That said, it’s important to take some time to determine what kind of feel and support you’re looking for. Some sleepers may find that a completely flat-back position is most comfortable, in which case a soft, low-lofted pillow might be ideal. Conversely, some may prefer a little more elevation and/or pressure relief at the shoulders, which is where a firmer, high-lofted pillow comes into play.

We’ve included examples of both in the above roundup but, in our experience, pillows with a “happy medium” level of loft and firmness tend to provide the most balanced support for the back sleepers. For example, a pillow with a loft of 3–4″ and a medium firmness rating can relieve pressure and align the spine without craning the head too far forward. Remember, your pillow’s most important job is to promote healthy posture and neutral spine alignment.

For more info on this, be sure to check our guide to picking the right pillow for your respective sleeping position. Also, here’s a quick tip: If you’re unsure about which level of loft and firmness best suits you, aim for a pillow with an adjustable fill. Being able to manipulate a pillow’s internal fill is a great way to find the feel and firmness that meets your unique needs.

Materials

Speaking of internal fill, the next thing to keep your eye on is materials! Of course, there are a lot of different materials out there, and each one offers its own distinct feel and support. But there are a few major players within the world of pillows, so let’s take a closer look at the most popular pillow fills below.

  • Memory Foam: Folks who love to deeply sink into their pillow might be most compatible with memory foam. It’s known for its moldable feel, contouring support, and super-slow response to pressure. Unfortunately, they do have a tendency to trap heat, but many bedding brands incorporate cooling features (like Phase Change Material, cooling gel pads, etc.) to prevent that. To learn more, be sure to check out our roundup of the best memory foam pillows.
  • Latex: Eco-friendly sleepers might want to shop for latex because it’s a sustainable, natural material. Dunlop and Talalay latex are the most popular examples, with each one offering a bouncy feel and quick response to pressure. Folks who feel trapped by the deep sink into memory foam are likely to prefer the springy kind of support that latex pillows provide. For some great options, check out our best latex pillows roundup.
  • Down & Down Alternative: Down and down-alternative pillows both offer a soft and fluffy feel that’s typically best suited to stomach sleepers because it’s easily compressed. Keep in mind that real down is made from waterfowl feathers, while down alternative is a synthetic material designed to replicate the feel of real down. Those looking for a balance between plushness and support might want to aim for pillows that blend down or down alternatives with another material like foam, latex, or polyester.

Cooling & Breathability

Finally, we encourage shoppers to look out for special cooling features and breathability. Keeping your body at a cool and comfy temperature can actually help you fall asleep faster, so it’s worth taking some time to explore your options.

For example, some pillows are infused with copper or graphite, both of which can draw heat away from the body. Meanwhile, other pillows are designed to actually feel cool to the touch with advanced textiles technologies like Phase Change Material (PCM) and cooling gel pads.

PCM is a Sleepopolis favorite because it’s crafted to feel icy-crisp against the skin, and it’s typically machine-washable. Cooling gel pads, on the other hand, are usually spot-clean-only, but they’re often removable which gives you the option to choose between cool and temperature-neutral.

That said, sleepers who prefer breathability to cooling textiles should look for pillows filled with shredded or ventilated materials. Shredded or ventilated latex, for example, encourages more airflow through the pillow, which can prevent it from warming up.

FAQs

Is memory foam good for back sleepers?

Memory foam offers a uniquely moldable feel that might be particularly well-suited to back sleepers, as it tightly conforms to the head, neck, and shoulders.

What is the best firmness for back sleepers?

Back sleepers can experiment with the level of firmness that feels most comfortable, keeping in mind that neutral spine alignment is the most important thing. Sleepers who are unsure about which level of loft and firmness is ideal might want to aim for a pillow with an adjustable fill.

Do back sleepers need a pillow?

While back sleepers may find that using a head pillow makes for a more comfortable experience, it’s not absolutely necessary. In fact, some may find that a flat-back position helps to promote neutral spine alignment.

Final Thoughts

Well folks, we’ve reached the end of this review and you’re well on your way to finding the perfect pillow for your back-sleeping needs. But before you get to shopping, just remember to pay close attention to loft, firmness, materials, and cooling properties. Be sure to read our guide on the best mattresses for back sleepers, too. Oh, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Sweet dreams!

Amelia Jerden

Amelia Jerden

Amelia is a Staff Writer for Sleepopolis. She primarily covers bedding and sleep accessory products in reviews, how-to guides, and more. You can also find her over on the Sleepopolis YouTube channel. Amelia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with double majors in media and journalism and in dramatic art. Outside of work, Amelia can usually be found on a hike, traveling to a new city, or at her local thrift store.