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The 10 best pillows for back sleepers in 2020

If you’re a back sleeper in need of a pillow, you may find yourself overwhelmed sorting through the numerous choices available. From feathers, down, and down alternative to memory foam, gel, latex, and more, modern pillows comprise a lot more than the basic varieties of the past — so it helps to keep in mind the essential needs of the back sleeper.

Overall, back sleepers benefit from supportive pillows with a thin or average amount of fill to keep the neck in proper alignment. Having an adjustable fill level is optimal so they can add or remove as they wish. Memory foam is also popular with back sleepers, as is down or down alternative, as well as an occasional wedge pillow, particularly if snoring is an issue. Some people may find they actually have more than one sleeping position — stomach, side, back — or, at times, a combination of all three. For best results, back sleepers should consider our favorite pillows below.

Best pillows for back sleepers, at a glance

Best for snoring: Helix Wedge Pillow 

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For back sleepers who struggle with neck pain or require a bit of extra support for the lower back, the Helix Wedge Pillow offers superior comfort. Whether you prefer it under your head or under your legs, this pillow consists of a top-level gel memory foam that’s excellent for alleviating pressure points, holding the head in place for reading in bed, or helping to alleviate acid reflux and snoring.  Helix products are made in the U.S. and come with a one-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.

  • Filling: Gel memory foam.
  • Size: Standard.
  • Price: $95.

Shop at Helix

Most innovative design: Purple Pillow

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Thin and highly supportive, the Purple Pillow provides for the primary needs of the back sleeper, as well as a cooling temperature-neutral grid for the hot sleepers. Easy to clean and made of a proprietary hyper-elastic polymer blend, these pillows are also non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Additionally, the popular Purple Pillow won’t lose its shape, offering excellent back and head support. It’s available for a 100-night sleep trial and comes with a one-year warranty.

  • Filling: Memory foam infused with graphite and cooling gel.
  • Size: Standard.
  • Price: $110.

Shop at Purple

Best cruelty-free: Coop Home Goods Eden

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According to the Coop Home Goods website, the Eden is best for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and hot sleepers, although nearly anyone can benefit from this pillow. The customizable Eden pillow allows users to fill the inner liner with microfiber and gel-infused memory foam to its desired firmness, keeping the neck supported and in proper alignment. Certified non-toxic and made with bamboo-derived fabric, the Eden is made with breathability in mind. What’s more? It’s also dust mite resistant, machine washable, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and comes with a five-year warranty.

  • Filling: Microfiber and gel-infused memory foam.
  • Size: Queen.
  • Price: $80.

Shop at Coop Home Goods

Best memory foam: Tuft and Needle Original Foam Pillow

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Tuft & Needle’s Original Foam Pillow is equal parts soft, slim, and supportive for a back sleeper’s dream. Its silky, cooling cover keeps hot sleepers comfortable, while its custom cut foam, paired with superior breathability, allows the perfect comfort level for all. The Original Foam Pillow also works for side and stomach sleepers. It’s highly durable and sag-resistant and comes with a 100-night free sleep trial, a three-year limited warranty, and free shipping.

  • Filling: memory foam.
  • Size: Queen.
  • Price: $68.

Best choice of density: Parachute Home Down Pillow

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Parachute lets you choose your density in this sumptuous pillow, as well as your size: Standard or king; soft, medium, or firm. With their 100% white cotton sateen shell stuffed with 750 fill European white down, you’ll feel cloud-like support as well as light breathability that keeps you sleeping soundly all night. These pristine beauties are made in the USA and come with a three-year warranty.

  • Filling: European white down.
  • Size: King.
  • Price: $130.

Shop at Parachute

Best cooling properties:  Casper Original Pillow

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The Casper Original pillow is known to be superb for all sleeping positions. Its firm core, neck, and spine-aligning edges, along with the soft outer pillow, make it a fantastic choice for back sleepers in particular. Made of supportive down alternative, the Casper Original bears a two-inch gusset around the seams to keep filling appropriately distributed and a percale cover with cooling properties for those who sleep warm. The Casper pillow comes with a one-year warranty and a 100-night risk-free sleep trial.

  • Filling: Polyester microfiber/down alternative.
  • Size: Standard.
  • Price: $60.

Shop at Casper

Best for all sleep positions: Layla Memory Foam Pillow

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Another excellent option for all sleeping positions, including back sleepers, is the adjustable Layla Memory Foam Pillow, which also allows users to remove or add more of the company’s open-cell memory foam and poly fiberfill as they wish. (Layla’s website indicates back and side sleepers may feel more comfortable with slightly less fill.) Once adjusted, the pillow holds its shape and maintains thermal regulation within a unique hexagonal fabric. Non-toxic and available in two sizes, the Layla Memory Foam Pillow can be tried for 120 nights risk-free.

  • Filling: Shredded memory foam.
  • Size: Queen.
  • Price: $55.

Shop at Layla 

Best for all sleep position: Saatva Pillow

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The Saatva Pillow is a fantastic fit for back sleepers. With its removable organic cotton cover over its hypoallergenic outer pillow and inner shredded latex, this pillow is said to be hotel quality made with eco-friendly materials, dust mite resistant and mildew proof. Providing ample neck and spinal alignment, the Saatva Pillow is conveniently machine washable, hypoallergenic, and can be returned within 45 days or less.

  • Filling: Microdenier fiber & shredded 100% Talalay latex.
  • Size: Queen.
  • Price: $145.

Shop at Saatva 

Best machine washable: Riley Home White Down Pillow

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Consisting of 100% down fill, Riley Home’s White Down Pillow brings the good stuff — and only the good stuff — to ensure a great night’s sleep. With 750 fill power (this number measures the quality or ‘fluffiness’ of the down, with 600 – 950 being the typical range of good to best), Riley Home allows these cozy gems to be machine washed. Testers for Riley Home insisted the neck support and cushy feel of the White Down Pillow was ideal for back sleepers. They also raved about it being puffier than other down pillows and they loved the silkiness of the removable zippered sateen cover. What’s more? Animal lovers can rest assured that Riley Home down meets strict standards of humane animal treatment as well. Available in plush or firm (back sleepers are advised to choose the ‘plush’ variety) with a 5-year warranty.

  • Filling: 750 Fill Power white down.
  • Size: Standard.
  • Price: $130.

Shop At Riley Home

Best customizable: Nest Bedding Easy Breather Bedding Pillow

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The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow is excellent for both back and side sleepers, with its adjustable shredded foam filling and customizable firmness level. Rating #1 among all of Nest Bedding’s online pillows, this pillow’s cover is comprised of breathable and environmentally-friendly Tencel (a substance made from wood pulp, said to be highly sustainable), while it’s low on off-gassing and chemical fragrance (said in some reviews to be undetectable). It cradles the head and alleviates neck pain. Available in 5 sizes, the standard 24-inches long by 16-inches wide size is an affordable $100.

  • Filling: Shredded memory foam.
  • Size: Standard.
  • Price: $100.

Shop at Nest Bedding

Editors' Recommendations

21Oak Contributor
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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