Everyone’s Favorite New Singer Is Obsessed With This Inflatable Knee Pillow

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No doubt you’ve been curious about what celebrities rely on daily (and nightly) to survive busy schedules and frequent travel. Those day-to-day items and lifestyle tips that they can’t live without, particularly when it comes to snagging the coveted beauty sleep that keeps them looking fresh.

New York quizzed singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, founder of the indie music project Waxahatchee, about her faves, including one thing she depends on to sleep comfortably while traveling, especially since she’s nearing the start of a tour promoting the new album, Tigers Blood.  (1)

While not as unique as placing crystals on your nightstand like Jennifer Aniston or eating eggs before bed like Chrissy Teigen, Crutchfield’s must-have is practical and highly recommended by experts — a pillow that sits between her knees, but with a portable twist.

A Packable Pillow Solution for Side Sleepers

Crutchfield is a self-proclaimed side sleeper who deals with all kinds of workout-related injuries. “I really need a knee pillow to sleep. But when I travel, I struggled to pack one. How the [f**k] are you supposed to bring this thing with you everywhere?” she told the magazine. 

One day, it hit her that an inflatable knee pillow would be the perfect solution. “I looked it up and it does exist, and it has changed my life. I bring it with me everywhere,” she says. She says it takes three big breaths to blow up, and then you have a packable knee pillow that easily fits into your suitcase. “I don’t overinflate it — I leave a little bit of air out of it so it has a little bit of squish.

Benefits of Between-the-Leg Pillows

Leg positioner pillows have various purposes and come in different types, depending on whether they are designed for side or back sleeping. The most popular type is between-the-leg pillows, which help maintain healthy leg, hip, and spinal alignment while side sleeping. According to some, a pillow between your knees can even help with anterior pelvic tilt and indirectly make you appear taller.

About 74 percent of people sleep on their side, and learning to sleep with a pillow between your knees will help keep your body in an optimal position. “When side sleeping, the pelvis can be pulled from the weight of a person’s legs. This can cause rotation that may aggravate the lower back and sacroiliac joints,” explains Dr. Kevin Lees, D.C., Director of Chiropractic Operations, from The Joint Chiropractic

With the top leg bent and draped over the bottom leg, the soft tissue and muscle that runs down the outside of a person’s thigh can stretch. “After a long period of inactivity, this may develop into a tender area over the hip,” explains Dr. Lees. He adds that when only your top is leg bent, it can also cause you to turn onto your stomach, leading to soreness in your lower back and neck. Additionally, bending both knees can cause tenderness where the knees touch. “A pillow between the knees when sleeping on the side can help prevent these problems, says Dr. Lees.

Depending on the pillow type and anatomy, using a pillow between your knees can also reduce scoliosis and sciatica pain and provide pregnant people with a more comfy sleeping position.

What to Look For in a Knee Pillow

When it comes to pillows, your choice and placement can significantly affect your comfort level and prevent joint and spine misalignment. According to Dr. Lees, your pillow should be of an appropriate size that doesn’t make you uncomfortable between your legs. “The knees should be slightly bent, and the pillows should be thin enough that the top leg doesn’t rise much from its natural position,” he says

According to Dr. Lees, keeping your knees slightly bent when sleeping on your side provides more stability for the lower back and pelvis, preventing you from rolling onto your stomach or twisting them. Here are more tips from Dr. Lees:

  • An ergonomic design with indents for side sleeping to align legs, hips, and back correctly. 
  • An appropriate thickness—not too thick, which will cause your top leg to rest too high.
  • Memory foam material that conforms to your anatomy and won’t clump or lose support.
  • Removable and machine-washable cover for easy cleaning.
  • A removable and adjustable strap to keep the pillow securely in place, even if you toss and turn in your sleep.
  • Breathable material that will prevent overheating and sweating.
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  • 1. Gillespie, Katherine; “What Waxahatchee Can’t Live Without,” New York; https://nymag.com/strategist/article/waxahatchee-favorite-things.html; March 27, 2024.

  • Lees, Kevin. Author interview. April 2024.

Rachel MacPherson

Rachel MacPherson

Rachel MacPherson, BA, is a CPT, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Exercise Nutrition Specialist, Certified Pre/Post-Partum Fitness Trainer, and Pain-Free Performance Specialist. She's passionate about providing readers with straightforward, actionable tips to make living an active, vibrant, fulfilling life easier. When she's not writing, you can find her lifting heavy things, reading, exploring outdoors, or watching the newest iteration of the Star Wars Universe. She lives with her family and pets in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada.

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