The Angle may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Should you use a knee pillow while you sleep?

Pregnant women or people with chronic back pain will certainly benefit from a knee pillow, but so will others depending on a couple of factors including how you sleep.

Getting a good night’s sleep reenergizes you for the day. If you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, it just seems like the whole day drags and is exhausting. If you go to bed and vow to get six to eight hours of wonderful sleep but wake up with aches and pains, a knee pillow may change that. You could be sleeping the wrong way, and a knee pillow will correct that.

Woman sleeping in bed with covers
Dieter Robbins/Pixabay

Help for side sleepers

Your spine is not completely straight; it is more like an S, and for some of us, each part of the S needs to be supported. If you are a side sleeper, a knee pillow can put your S into balance, and it gives your body stability to stay in a correct position.

Side sleepers can benefit from a firm pillow between the knees. Bend your legs to give more support to your lower back. The pillow should be long enough to go from your knees to your ankles.

The pillow will keep your knees and ankles in line with each other and keep your hip bones level.

Sleeping on your side without a knee pillow likely means one leg rests a little in front of the other on the mattress. That twist will put pressure on your back and irritate the sciatic nerve.

Benefits for expectant mothers

Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on the back, hips, and pelvis. If you are a pregnant mom, sleeping on your side can cause backaches because baby weight shifts the pressure points on the body. A knee pillow that is straight or hour-glass shaped will give additional support and compensate for the change in pressure points. It will help you sleep better and provide better support for the baby because it helps keep your hips and pelvis aligned.

Sleeping pregnant woman with pillowOther benefits

Using a knee pillow is an affordable way to reduce or end back pain. It can eliminate muscle cramps caused by twisted muscles and an unsupported spine or hip area.

It improves overall blood circulation, and it is helpful for those with breathing abnormalities including sleep apnea. Using a knee pillow keeps your body in a stable position, and that keeps your airway stable, so you are less likely to suffer from restricted air flow.

Back sleepers can benefit from a knee pillow put under the knees rather than between the knees. This will reduce the pressure on your lower back and keep your spine closer to its natural position. 

What to look for before purchasing 

You want a pillow that is made of materials that will retain its shape. Buy the best you can when you are shopping because the materials will be better.

If you are a heavier individual, you want a thick and strong pillow, so you will get and keep the needed support with the weight of one leg resting on the pillow.

If you are tall, you need one that is long enough to reach from above the knees to your ankles. While you can try and use a regular pillow, knee pillows are ergonomically designed to fit between your legs.

Top-rated knee pillows

The price of knee pillows can range from $5 to $100 and are available online as well as at most mattress stores. We found three that have consistently top ratings:

  • Coop Home Goods Knee Pillow — It is ergonomically designed and as adjustable as a pillow can get. It has two pieces of memory foam and a flat memory foam insert. The flat insert can be removed to adjust the firmness of the pillow.
  • Tempur-Pedic All Purpose Pillow — This pillow has a versatile design and is constructed of memory foam. It has a peanut shape and can also be used as a neck pillow for frequent travelers.
  • Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Knee Pillow — It has a design that fits comfortably between a person’s legs and is great for side sleepers. If you move around a lot while you sleep, this is the pillow for you because it comes with a Velcro strap that fits around a person’s thigh and holds the pillow in place.

They all have machine-washable covers and come with a variety of warranties.

A knee pillow is an affordable way to give you better support and a more refreshing sleep session. Better sleep means having a better day.

Editors' Recommendations