There are several reasons you might consider buying a wedge pillow. Along with propping you up to read or watch TV in bed, wedges position your head and neck in a way that can help with snoring and nighttime heartburn. As Michael Gelb, a dentist specializing in TMJ and sleep disorders, and the founder of The Gelb Center, explains, the wedge “prevents the lower jaw and tongue from falling back into the airway while sleeping on the back [and] helps reduce the negative pressure which worsens reflux.” According to Shelby Harris, a psychologist who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine and the author of The Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia, wedge pillows can provide relief from congestion caused by colds, allergies, or sinus problems. “Keeping your head propped up helps the sinuses drain of mucus, allowing for easier breathing,” she says. Plus, Harris adds, by “taking pressure off the spine,” wedge pillows can reduce neck and back pain, and she even used wedge pillows to sleep comfortably during pregnancy.
Like anything else you buy for your bed — from your mattress and mattress topper to sheets and duvet cover — the exact wedge pillow you choose is a matter of personal preference. One factor to consider is the wedge’s angle “Smaller angles can be useful for back issues, while larger angles are typically best for apnea, reflux, and to help under the knees for edema,” Harris says. If you’re suffering from a specific condition, ask your doctor what type is better for you. Below we’ve rounded up some expert-recommended options to give you an idea of what’s out there.
“Head elevation is the name of the game when it comes to reducing snoring,” says Sarah Riccio, a senior writer at sleep product review site Sleepopolis. She’s a fan of the Xtreme Comforts memory foam wedge pillow, which has a removable bamboo cover that’s easy to clean and has a cool-to-the-touch feel.
Also one of Riccio’s picks, the FitPlus Wedge is made from soft and supportive memory foam, comes with a removable cover, and has a gentle slope for a natural position.
“You also experiment with using a wedge to keep you sleeping on your side — which reduces snoring for many people,” says Heather Turgeon, co-author of The Happy Sleeper. Turgeon loves the shape and sizes of Brentwood Home’s wedge pillows. This one comes in three different heights so you can choose one that works with your preferred angle and position.
While you can sleep on your side with any of the pillows above, this wedge is specifically designed for side-sleepers. It comes with a body pillow for snuggling up against (and for cushioning in-between the knees), and has a hole to slip your lower arm through. When we asked him about the best pillows to prevent snoring, dentist and snoring expert Jay Khorsandi called the MedCline the “Rolls Royce of side-sleeping pillows,” because “it puts you in a beautiful side-sleeping position with little pressure on your hand [so it won’t] go numb, and nice shoulder and neck support.”
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