Wedge Pillow

What Is a Wedge Pillow and How to Use It?

Posted By Vaibhavi K on Jun 23, 2021

Sleep apnea, acid reflux, or shoulder and neck pain are some of those annoying and painful conditions that can affect how well we sleep at night. A wedge pillow, shaped like a triangle, helps to do away with these conditions and get you some sound sleep.

Wedge pillows come in different sizes. You can choose one depending on your sleep preferences and medical condition. But, first, we will walk you through everything you need to know about a wedge pillow.

What Is a Wedge Pillow?

It is a triangular pillow that keeps certain parts of your body elevated. As a result, it helps alleviate certain medical conditions such as snoring or acid reflux. Moreover, pregnant women might find the much-needed support with wedge pillows.

Wedge pillows are also called wedge cushions. You can sit and watch T.V. or read a book leaning against it.

Types Of Wedge Pillows

While the shape remains consistent, there are a few wedge pillows to choose from based on the material and design. 

1. Memory Foam

A memory foam wedge pillow adjusts to the contours of your body. Memory foam responds to heat and pressure and retains its shape after every use. So, you will have a cushion that feels customized to the needs of your body.

2. Polyfoam

Polyfoam wedge pillows are more firm. They bounce back to shape as soon as the pressure is released. So, these wedge pillows might not conform well to the contours of your body like a memory foam wedge pillow.

However, people with certain conditions might find it helpful for firmness and support. For example, women can use it as a pregnancy wedge pillow. Its firmness ensures that you stay in a position without moving in your sleep.

3. Flat

The surface of a wedge pillow can be flat or contoured. If it is flat, you can use it as a leg wedge pillow or a back wedge pillow. If you are a back sleeper, placing this pillow under the legs will keep your spine in its natural alignment.

4. Contoured

If you are a side sleeper, a contour wedge pillow is for you. The curves and contours on it will follow the curves of your neck and shoulders, keeping your spine in perfect alignment.

It can also act as an acid reflux wedge pillow for side sleepers. Sleeping on your left side will help in better digestion. In addition, a contour wedge pillow can help you sleep on your side while relieving the pressure on your shoulder and neck. 

How to Choose a Wedge Pillow?

No single wedge pillow will suit everyone’s needs. Every sleeper is unique and has different sleep preferences. Therefore, you have to keep your comfort in mind before choosing a wedge pillow.

Moreover, you might need it to alleviate some medical conditions. In that case, you have to choose a pillow that can give you relief.

Here are certain things to consider before choosing a wedge pillow.

  • Size and Weight of the Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillows are much larger than regular pillows. So, make sure you don’t buy a size that gives no room for your partner to sleep. Buying a medium-sized pillow is the best option. Pregnant women usually need a small wedge pillow to support their belly.

High-quality wedge pillows weigh more and support your body better. For example, a latex wedge pillow is quite heavy and will provide much-needed support to your neck and shoulders.

  • Incline of a Wedge Pillow

You will mostly get a 30-degree wedge pillow or a 45-degree wedge pillow in stores. However, you will also get pillows with a higher or lower incline.

The ones with a lower incline can be used as a wedge pillow for legs. In comparison, pillows with a higher incline are used to rest your back when you sit up on your bed.

  • Firmness of the Wedge Pillow

Most wedge pillows are either firm or medium-firm. If you are a back sleeper, you should go for a firm one. Medium-firm wedge pillows are meant to sink a little and are better for side sleepers.

  • Price

Wedge pillows can be pretty expensive compared to regular pillows of basic quality.  A high-quality wedge pillow will cost you somewhere between $50 to $100.

Who Can Use a Wedge Pillow?

People with different health issues can benefit from wedge pillows. Let us look at the wedge pillow uses for each of them.

People With Neck and Shoulder Pain

If you have pain in your neck and shoulders, wedge pillows with a high incline might help to relieve pressure in these areas. In addition, it will keep your spine in perfect alignment and reduce neck and shoulder pain.

Sleepers With Lower Back Pain

Keeping a wedge pillow under your knees relieves pressure from the lower back region. A pillow with a lower incline or a flat wedge pillow will be best for this purpose.

People With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a condition where your stomach acid rises to the esophagus. You can prevent acid reflux by using a GERD wedge pillow. A GERD wedge pillow for acid reflux is larger than standard wedge pillows and extends from your head to your hips, keeping your whole upper body inclined.

When your upper body is inclined at an angle, gravity will do the rest of the work. It will prevent your stomach acid from rising to the esophagus. So, you can say goodbye to those sour burps.

People Who Snore

Yes, you can use a wedge pillow for snoring disorders. You generally snore when your airways get blocked or congested. This can happen when your tongue and throat muscles relax.

Sleep apnea wedge pillows will keep your head elevated. As a result, your airways will stay clear. 

Pregnant Women

Doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on their sides because it relieves the added pressure on the organs. Using a wedge pillow under the belly will help pregnant women from rolling over onto their tummies and maintain a side sleeping position.  

People Who Sit Up in Bed

Do you love to read books in your bed? A reading wedge pillow will keep your shoulders perfectly aligned. So, you will not experience any pain. Use it as a head and backrest while you indulge in your favorite novel.

How to Use a Wedge Pillow?

Do you sleep on the thick end or the thin end? Knowing how to sleep on a wedge pillow is as essential as having one. Let us look at the different positions you can place a wedge pillow.

  • If you are sitting in bed, place the flat end of the pillow against the wall or bedhead. That will make for a comfortable backrest.
  • When you have shoulder or neck pain, you should place it in the same position while sleeping. Rest your head on the inclined part. However, make sure your head, neck, and shoulders are in the same line to prevent tension.
  • If you have pain in your lower back, you can place the pillow under your knees to help relieve pressure in the lumbar region.
  • You can also place a small wedge pillow under your legs if you have poor circulation. This will keep your legs elevated and ensure proper blood flow to your heart.


Can you sleep on your side with a wedge pillow?

Yes, sleeping on your side with a wedge pillow will keep your spine in proper alignment. Place a knee wedge pillow between your knees, or use a large body pillow that can be placed under your hips, shoulders, and head.

What size wedge pillow should I get?

If you want to rest your head, go for a medium-sized bed wedge pillow. However, if you wish to keep it under your knees to alleviate hip pain, a small wedge pillow is best.

Can I use a regular pillow instead of a wedge pillow?

If you are comfortable sleeping with your regular pillow, there is no need to change it.

How much do wedge pillows cost?

The cost of wedge pillows starts from $50. The best wedge pillow can cost you somewhere around $80 to $100.

Is sleeping on a wedge pillow bad for your back?

No, it is in fact good for certain back-related issues. A back wedge pillow can do away with your back pain. A full body wedge pillow provides a gradual slope to the whole body, softening the pressure on the lower back. 

How do you keep a wedge pillow from sliding?

Getting a wedge pillow cover or cotton cover might prevent your pillow from sliding.

Are wedge pillows safe for babies?

Making your baby sleep on an inclined surface is not safe. You should make them lie on their back instead.