What to Look for in Pillows to Alleviate Back Pain

January 24, 2023 | Casper Editorial Team

When it comes to alleviating back pain, it’s all about the curves—of your spine, that is. As you head to bed, it helps to know the proper pillow position for sleeping. How to sleep with pillows when you have back pain?

When you’re asleep, you should consider your position especially if you’re experiencing back pain, which is where looking at different types of pillows comes in. If you’re on the hunt for a pillow to help keep your lumbar in line for a rejuvenating night’s rest, the most pain-relieving pillows are typically those which help to align your spine and take strain off your neck.1 

Come with us as we explore this quick lesson on anatomy to learn what’s causing your back pain in the first place, the right pillows to sleep with, and other ways you can alleviate your back pain to wake up and greet the day with a smile.

Possible Causes of Back Pain From Sleeping

If you’re rolling out of bed in the morning with more back pain than the night before, your sleep setup is likely a contributing factor. Misalignment and pressure on the spine while you’re asleep can place stress on your back and your body, resulting in that dreaded back pain and maybe even the added neck pain. 

What’s the best way to get rid of back pain from sleep? In conjunction with a comfortable and supportive mattress, finding a pillow for back pain can help alleviate an achy back, as well as neck and shoulder pain. 

Best Pillows For Back Pain

When one part of your body is misaligned, it can have a cascading effect on other parts of your body as your muscles try to overcompensate. The solution? A supportive pillow that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine to help minimize pain in your back and spine.2 

Finding your perfect pillow will rely mostly on how you sleep and what makes you feel most comfortable. However, there are some tricks of the trade you can employ to choose a pillow for optimal back support. 

In your search, you’ll want to consider these factors: 

  • Firmness 
  • Inner and outer materials
  • Pillow size and shape 
  • Low or high loft 

Now let’s step into a few pillow categories to find you some much-needed, much-deserved back pain relief. 

Memory Foam Pillow

When you need a pillow for lower back pain when sleeping, memory foam is one of the best ways to go. Back and side sleepers can benefit from the sturdy, moldable support of a foam pillow to keep their neck and head at a properly aligned height. 

Look for types that offer breathable, cooling layers of foam that provide just as much comfort as support while keeping your neck and head in line with your torso. 

Down Or Down-Alternative Pillow

While down pillows don’t offer quite as much firmness as memory foam, they can still help build customized support around your back and joints (and plenty of fluffy comfort). 

For back or stomach sleepers, down pillows can be easily compressed and placed under your pelvis to provide lumbar support. Thin or low-loft pillows also work well for stomach sleepers to keep the neck aligned. 

Hybrid Pillow

Regardless of your preferred sleep position, if you’re drawn to the softness of a down pillow but your body is begging for slightly more firm pillow support, turn toward a hybrid pillow

Combining the support of foam and the fluffiness of fiber fill, the result is a marshmallow-soft pillow that will keep your upper body in line while you melt gently into slumber. Hybrid pillows are an optimal choice for side and back sleepers with back pain. 

Lumbar Support Pillow

Your spine will benefit from extra support when you’re laying down to rest, read, and relax, even if you’re not sleeping—because of proper alignment. 

A backrest pillow in the shape of a sturdy wedge or contoured shape can help promote proper posture while keeping you comfortable as you unwind before bed. They’re also useful for side sleepers, providing between-the-knee support that can help with hip pain and overall body alignment. 

Other Ways To Help Ease Your Back Pain

While it’s no secret that a supportive mattress and comforting pillow will help you keep back pain at bay while you’re snoozing, there are a few additional ways you can avoid or reduce back pain during the day. 

Try these tactics to help reduce or prevent back pain: 

  • Stretch in the morning – Whether it’s a gentle morning stretch when you get out of bed, like neck rolls or touching your toes, or sunrise yoga to work your body and mind, stretching can help loosen tight muscles and get you back in alignment as you start the day.
  • Exercise your core – Consider adding an exercise to your daily routine that focuses on strengthening your core. A strong core can better support your center torso and keep your spine lifted and aligned to prevent back pain. 
  • Practice tall posture – Poor posture, while we may not realize it, can cause back pain over time. Those long hours in the office chair can put a serious strain on your upper back. If you can, try to prevent slouching, and use an ergonomic chair with lumbar support pillows.
  • Seek medical support – If you have chronic pain even after optimizing your sleep space and waking life, you may want to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if there are any other underlying causes for your discomfort. 

Bid Farewell To Back Pain With Pillows From Casper

The right pillow may not provide pain relief, but it can provide extra support. We’re not throwing any curveballs here: Whether you choose our Original Casper Pillow or Foam Pillow with Snow Technology™, you’ll enjoy a better night’s rest when you find the right pillow to help relieve your back pain. 

At Casper, we have a wide range of comfortable, breathable, and supportive pillows to work with every sleep style. Because when it comes to the best pillow for back pain, we’ve got your back. 


  1. Mayo Clinic. Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/multimedia/sleeping-positions/sls-20076452?s=2
  2. Spine-health. Pillow Support and Comfort. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillow-support-and-comfort
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Why a Strong Core Can Help Reduce Low Back Pain. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/strong-core-best-guard-back-pain/
  4. CNET. How to Relieve Lower Back Pain by Sleeping With a Pillow (For Every Sleeper Type). https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/relieve-lower-back-pain-by-sleeping-with-a-pillow/
  5. Sleep Foundation. How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/how-to-sleep-with-lower-back-pain
  6. Spine Universe. Choosing the Best Pillow for Neck Pain and Back Pain. https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/sleep/choosing-best-pillow-neck-pain-back-pain
  7. WebMD. Best Pillows for Back Pain. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/best-pillows-back-pain