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Many people sleep with a pillow between their knees for added comfort. This is particularly true for side sleepers, who often need a pillow for optimal spinal alignment, as well as pregnant women of people with chronic back pain. Pillows can also provide a cushioning buffer that prevents knee joints from rubbing together, which can lead to aches and pains for some.
For some sleepers, any pillow between the knees provides sufficient comfort and support. However, specialty knee pillows that are shaped to match natural contours of the sleeper’s body tend to be most effective. Most knee pillows are either hourglass shaped and intended to be sandwiched between both knees, or wedge shaped and primarily used by back sleepers below the knees. Most specialty knee pillows sold today are made from memory foam.
This guide will look at knee pillow designs and options for sleepers, as well as tips for first-time buyers. Below you’ll find our list of the top knee pillows that are currently available for purchase. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our editor’s choice for best knee pillow, the Aeris is a quality memory foam pillow with a thoughtful design and size. The rectangular pillow features a dip in the middle that cradles the knees, helping promote proper alignment of spine, legs, and hips. The Aeris pillow’s smaller size makes it easier to reposition as needed during the night. As an added bonus, the Aeris pillow is treated with a special manufacturing process that eliminates off-gassing odors associated with traditional memory foam and releases instead a soothing lemon scent.
The best knee pillows for alleviating aches and pains tend to be made of high-density memory foam, which does not sink too deeply and provides firm support. However, these pillows can be too heavy for some sleepers. The Orthopedic Knee Pillow from ComfiLife is a notable exception to this rule. At just 12 ounces, the pillow is suitable for sleepers of any size.
However, its high-density foam core provides the same levels of support and pain relief as many of its heavier competitors. The foam hugs the legs without sinking or losing shape, and can greatly improve spinal alignment. This makes it suitable for sleepers with arthritis, sciatica, joint pain, and other medical issues. It is also durable and supportive enough for most pregnant women. The Orthopedic Knee Pillow from ComfiLife is backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
The vast majority of knee pillows sold today are hourglass-shaped, and primarily intended for side sleepers; as a result, back sleepers may have a harder time finding a suitable model. The Half-Moon Bolster/Wedge from Cushy Form is our pick for Best Wedge Knee Pillow for several reasons. One is durability. The Half-Moon Bolster/Wedge is made of high-density memory foam that withstands wear and won’t sink excessively.
It also comes with an organic-cotton cover, which makes it feel relatively cool; overheating is a common complaint among wedge knee pillow users. The pillow is especially useful for patients recovering from injuries or medical procedures, as the 4.5″ profile elevates the legs to a comfortable extent and helps improve circulation. It can help reduce varicose veins, as well. The Cushy Form Half-Moon Bolster/Wedge is backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
While most hourglass-shaped knee pillows are primarily intended for side sleeping, some provide better support for heavier individuals than others. The AbcoSport Knee Pillow is made of high-density memory foam and weighs 1.2 pounds, and is a great option for individuals who typically prefer heavier, denser pillows between their legs. These sleepers include those in the average (130 to 230 pounds) and heavy (more than 230 pounds) weight groups, as well as pregnant women.
The pillow provides great support and can significantly improve spinal alignment, as well, making it suitable for sleepers with arthritis, sciatica, and other conditions that cause aches and pains. It is also easy to clean, thanks to its removable and machine washable cover. The AbcoSport Knee Pillow is backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
Many people find that sleeping with a pillow between their knees helps reduce pain and pressure, as well as improve circulation in both legs. Knee pillows are most popular with side sleepers, although back sleepers may place them beneath both knees for better support and comfort. Pregnant women and people with back or knee pain may also benefit from using them. Knee pillows come in a wide range of shapes and designs to accommodate sleepers with different preferences, and some models come with knee straps that help keep the legs in place. Most knee pillows are available for $30 or less.
This guide will look at some of the most common designs for knee pillows, as well as people who benefit from using them, tips for first-time buyers, and our picks for the best knee pillows sold today.
Dimensions for knee pillows vary by brand and model. Most measure roughly 10 inches wide, and between four and six inches thick. They are also much lighter than primary sleeping pillows. The average knee pillow weighs one pound or less.
Common shapes for knee pillows include the following:
Knee pillows are usually made of memory foam or polyfoam, which may be one piece or shredded and contained in a case. They typically have a cover made from cotton or synthetic fibers, such as polyester and/or rayon. Most knee pillows are Medium Firm or Firm. This prevents the knees from compressing the pillow too much, which can reduce support and comfort.
Some knee pillows come with removable knee straps. These straps wrap around the knees to help the legs remain in place throughout the night.
Knee pillows reduce pressure in the back and hips, and also help alleviate tension in the hamstrings and calves. Preferences vary by sleeper, but the following people tend to feel most comfortable using knee pillows:
Some stomach sleepers may reduce discomfort by sleeping with a knee pillow between their knees, but a standard sleeping pillow may also accomplish the same goal. When stomach sleepers place a pillow beneath their knees, it can elevate the lower body to an angle that creates uneven support. Therefore, a knee pillow may not be suitable for stomach sleepers.
When shopping for a new knee pillow and comparing brands and models, here are a few factors to consider:
Note that although certain manufacturers offer return policies with their knee pillows, others may not due to hygienic reasons. However, a quality knee pillow should come with a warranty against manufacturer defects that lasts between one year and a lifetime.
Knee pillows may be specially designed with the proper density, shape, and feel to maximize benefits like reducing hip strain and dissuading you from sleeping on your back. However, if you prefer to use a traditional pillow as a knee pillow, we recommend a dense memory foam pillow. Memory foam models with high densities generally are the most similar in construction and feel to knee pillows.