Best Wedge Pillows Buyer's Guide
Wedge pillows are sloping orthopedic pillows that enables sleepers to rest their head, shoulders, and torso at an inclined angle. This position can ease the symptoms of various medical issues, including acid reflux, sleep apnea, and poor circulation. Wedge pillows can also alleviate pressure points around the neck and spine. These pillows come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses to accommodate different sleepers, and many models are available for less than $50.
This guide will look at wedge pillow designs and medical conditions they address, and will also include some helpful tips for first-time buyers and our picks for the best wedge pillows sold today.
Common Designs and Characteristics of Wedge Pillows
Wedge pillows may be used alone, or as a base layer with a standard pillow on top (depending on the sleeper’s comfort preferences). Many different wedge pillow designs are available. Some common design features and characteristics include:
Shape: Because they are inclined, most wedge pillows are triangular in shape. Depending on the model, the pillow’s surface may be flat or contoured. Additionally, some wedge pillows consist of one piece while others are ‘pillow systems’ with multiple components, including detachable headrests.
Size: Wedge pillows also vary in terms of length, width, and height. Most measure at least 20 inches long and 20 inches wide, which is large enough to provide cushioning to head, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Likewise, these pillows will support the feet, calves, and knees when used at the foot of one’s bed. Smaller pillows are usually the best option for smaller mattresses (such as Twin and Full sizes), while larger wedge pillows will be more suitable for Queen and King sizes.
Inclination: The angle of inclination is usually seven inches or higher, with some models providing an incline of 10 to 12 inches. Generally, pillows with more gradual slopes are more suitable for sleeping, while higher-incline models are more suitable as headrests or backrests for reading or watching TV in bed.
Weight: On the lighter end, wedge pillows may weigh two to four pounds — but heavier models can weigh as much as 10 to 12 pounds. Heavier pillows tend to move less during the night, but may be more difficult to maneuver for some. Lighter pillows may not be as suitable for those who toss and turn, but they are light enough to move and maneuver for most adults.
Material Composition: With few exceptions, wedge pillows are made of high- or medium-density memory foam. Most have covers made of synthetic fabrics, such as rayon from bamboo or polyester.
Construction: Wedge pillows may consist of a single piece of foam or may include multiple layers, which usually consist of softer foam layers on top of firmer foam layers.
Lifespan: The durability of a wedge pillows often depends on the quality of the foam, as well as the frequency of use since some people sleep with a wedge pillow more frequently than others. Warranty coverage may or may not be included, depending on the manufacturer; most wedge pillow warranties cover defects in the product for one to three years.
Firmness: Wedge pillows are usually ‘Medium Firm’ or ‘Firm,’ although some models are softer. Wedge pillows may offer varying firmness settings on different sides, allowing sleepers to rotate the pillow to adjust the feel.
Storage: Many people like to travel with wedge pillows, and some can be disassembled or folded to fit more easily into suitcases or backpacks. A travel-size carrying case may be included with the pillow purchase.
Cleaning: Most wedge pillow covers can be removed and washed in a machine. The memory foam should never be machine or hand washed, as exposure to moisture can damage the foam and cause it to deteriorate. Light spot cleaning is usually the best method of caring for the foam components.
Cost: While some wedge pillows cost $100 or more, most models can be purchased for less than $50. When buying from online sellers and retailers, shipping costs should be taken into account. Also keep in mind that price-point is often tied to durability and material quality.