How To Use A Wedge Pillow

lauren hall 1
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

How To Use A Wedge Pillow:

Thinking of getting a wedge pillow to solve all your sleep-related issues like sleep apnea, acid reflux, or even just snoring. Buying a high-quality wedge pillow is a brilliant first step.

But how do you use it?

Using a wedge pillow over a regular pillow can work wonders for your upper body, from relieving back and neck pain to help with problematic sleeping issues or even just adding comfort for pregnant women.

Hospitals have relied on adjustable beds for many years to help sleepers find a healthier, more comfortable sleeping position. Elevating the head and legs during sleep provides relief for many sleep-related conditions like GERD, sleep apnea, acid reflux, back pain, and more. 

Good news though, using something as simple as a wedge pillow can give a similar effect. 

Luckily I’m here to share with you everything you need to know as to how to use high-quality wedge pillows for all kinds of purposes and to improve sleep quality– so you get the very best night’s rest every night.

These pillows can be used not just for sleeping too…

So stay tuned my friends and you’ll be buying a memory foam wedge pillow before you know it! They do have some crazy benefits for both your health and comfort while sleeping.

You won’t want to miss this.

What Is A Wedge Pillow?

So first things first, what even is a wedge pillow, how does it work, and why do you need one? Well, for starters, a wedge pillow is an orthopedic pillow that can help sleepers with sleep-related issues such as snoring, acid reflux, sleep apnea, neck, back, and even shoulder pain.

Many pregnant women use it during pregnancy to help make sleeping on their side more comfortable, and the gentle slope can help life and ease the belly bump while sleeping.

Wedge pillows elevate the upper body, which especially helps those who suffer from acid reflux heartburn as it helps keep the stomach from rising up the esophagus so the user can sleep with ease. 

The triangular shape keeps sleepers at an incline throughout the night; they can be used to either keep your upper body elevated or elevate your legs to help with recovery from surgery or improve circulation. Wedge pillows often range in sizes from 7-12 inches high. 

They also come in a range of shapes, some specific for your back, head, and neck support while sitting up in bed, and others that can help to elevate your legs while you sleep.

Back and side sleepers have made the best use out of wedge pillows as it helps to relieve pressure points in your back, neck, and shoulders. Wedge pillows can also help elevate legs.

In terms of material, edge pillows are often constructed with foam and sometimes with a few inches of memory foam to conform to your body’s shape and size and provide you with ultimate support and comfort while sleeping upright.

How To Use The Wedge Pillow

There are many different ways to use a wedge pillow, and this all depends on the purpose of the wedge pillow and the benefits you’d like to get out of using the wedge pillow, whether this is sleeping or while awake in bed.

How To Sleep On A Wedge Pillow:

If you’re just looking to buy a wedge pillow for a comfortable sleep position, then wedge pillows are brilliant for side sleepers and back sleepers as they can increase sleep quality and add comfort while you rest.

Side sleepers may benefit from a wedge pillow as it can relieve pressure on your neck, shoulders, and back. A contoured wedge pillow helps to keep your spine aligned while preventing pressure build-up.

Side sleepers may also benefit from pillows that are made with conforming memory foam as it allows them to sink into the pillow and relieve sharp pressure points or shoulder pain. Back sleepers also benefit from wedge pillows as it supports their upper body and promotes spinal alignment. A lower incline is better for back sleepers too.

So to sleep with a wedge pillow, you should place the wedge pillow beneath your upper body, and if you sleep on your back, you can also place a wedge pillow under your legs to elevate your legs. This will relieve pressure points around your body and offer a super comfortable sleep.

For back and side sleepers with no sleep-related issues, I would recommend either buying a flat wedge pillow or medium-firm wedge pillows for support and comfort while you sleep.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Hip Pain:

Wedge pillows are essential for relieving hip pain; whether you’re trying to sleep or watch TV, there are many ways you can relieve hip pain by relieving pressure in the hips using a wedge pillow.

If you’re working, you should set up your chair, so your knees and hips are at 90 degrees, and then place the cushion on top. This will automatically lift the hips to be just higher than the knees so the hips can open up and the pelvis is more supportive.

Positioning the wedge pillow beneath your knees can help relieve pressure. You can also use a wedge pillow to elevate your legs above your chest when sleeping. This helps enhance blood flow. This can make your body feel relaxed and relieved.

Also, by improving blood circulation, the wedge pillow can also help to refresh tired muscles, which may have resulted in fatigue in your hips. It offers much more pressure relief than regular pillows.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Back Pain:

We’ve all had back pain in our lives, and it’s the worst feeling in the world, and if you suffer from chronic back pain, then this is your reality every day in your life. But something as simple as sleeping with a wedge pillow can help relieve back, shoulder, and neck pain by relieving pressure and compression of nerves.

Just popping your body on a wedge pillow removes the pressure on the lumbar region of the back and cervical spine; it removes pressure and possible compression of the nerves while both sitting and sleeping.

Wedge pillows can also help with medical conditions like sciatica or fibromyalgia by improving spinal alignment and preventing aggravation of the pain due to sleeping incorrectly.

You can alleviate pressure on your whole back and neck area; this will help relieve pain and even help prevent your condition from getting worse over time as wedge pillows prevent the development of additional pressure points.

There are a few ways you can sleep with a wedge pillow to help with back issues:

Back Sleeping Position: Lower incline wedge pillows are best for back sleepers; sleeping on your back is one of the best ways to relieve back and shoulder pain. The gentle incline further relaxes the muscles and removes pressure or compression on your shoulders.

Side Sleepers: For side sleepers, wedge pillows can also be used, but they can cause neck pain without using a suitable headrest. Flat wedge pillows do not provide support for the neck area as there is a space between the neck and the pillow.

So if you’re a side sleeper, the best wedge pillows for you are ones that come with a headrest.

Knee Support: By popping your wedge pillow underneath your knees, you can help relieve knee pain as well as relieve pressure from the lumbar region, as this helps promote better blood circulation, which can also help with those who suffer from poor circulation.

How To Use A Pregnancy Wedge Pillow:

When pregnant, it feels almost impossible to sleep comfortably, especially as you get closer to term. This is when pregnancy pillows come in handy and particularly wedge pillows. There are a few different ways you can use a pregnancy wedge pillow.

The first method is under your belly, wedge the lower side under your belly while laying on your side; this should help promote proper spinal alignment and relieve pressure on your back and stomach when sleeping.

You can also put a pregnancy wedge pillow under your head, with the lower side starting under your neck. This can help relieve heartburn and acid reflux, as well as help relieve neck and head pain.

But you can use these pillows even when not sleeping, such as popping them behind your back when sitting up in bed or in a chair; you can still use this even after having a baby for comfort during feeding time.

You should get an adjustable wedge pillow for pregnancy, so as your bump gets bigger, the incline of the pillow can get lower.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Snoring:

Snoring is often caused by congestion within your airways and obstructive sleep apnea; those sleeping on their back are more likely to suffer from snoring as their tongue will fall back and block the airways.

Snoring and sleep apnea are often worse when resting on your back; this is because the ring of muscles and soft tissue in the back of your throat become soft and collapse during sleep.

So when you exhale, loud vibrating noise can occur as the air passes through this tissue; for those with sleep apnea, it can put pressure on the trachea and cause breathing to start and stop. 

Wedge pillows help to keep your body elevated and help to drain sinuses while relieving pressure. It also helps to keep your airway open; a higher loft is great for those who tend to snore.

By placing a wedge pillow underneath your upper body with the thinnest part of the incline resting near the middle of your back, will help open airways and make breathing much easier. 

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Acid Reflux:

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus when lying down; this can be quite painful and cause a burning sensation (also known as heartburn), making it difficult to sleep. 

But how to use a wedge pillow for acid reflux?

With a slight slope from the wedge pillow, this can help ensure the stomach acid flows down and does not enter the throat and cause discomfort. I would recommend an incline of around 35-45 degrees and roughly 8-10 inches in height. 

The lowest part of the incline should end in the middle of the back, and the highest part should rest beneath the head, so there should be around 2-3 inches of space between the head and the end of the pillow.

This can also help with issues like nighttime asthma as it helps keep the head elevated and prevents you from swallowing your tongue. It also helps your throat muscles relax in an upright recline which can also help with ventilation.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Legs:

Sleepers with poor circulation can place a wedge pillow under their feet and legs, which helps encourage blood flow to the heart; this prevents blood from collecting in the lower legs, which also helps with varicose veins as it reduces pressure on the veins.

Elevating the legs can also help reduce swelling and aid in circulation, which can also help prevent blood clots. Most wedge pillows come with enough height to lift legs above the heart.

Popping a pillow between your legs can also help keep your pelvis neutral and prevent your spine from rotating during the night; it can help reduce chronic pain in your back, knees; it can even help relieve swollen feet and legs.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow For Sex:

Want to spice things up in the bedroom? Well, who knew that a wedge pillow could work wonders for spicing up your sex life? If you haven’t tried it already, then you’re missing out!

You usually pop a sex wedge pillow under your hips with the smaller part going under your back; this ill help get you into more comfortable angles for certain sex positions. It’s all about the angles.

Before you buy a wedge pillow for intimacy, it is best that you work out what firmness level you’d like and the incline, try using just regular pillows before you buy. It can also allow relief on your pelvic floor muscles, which helps improve the feel.

How To Sleep On A Wedge Pillow After Shoulder Surgery:

Just had shoulder surgery and been told that you can only sleep in a reclined position for a few weeks after? Well, wedge pillows are brilliant for that. It is recommended that you buy a 45-degree wedge pillow to help with these issues.

You should avoid sleeping flat on your back for at least 4-6 weeks after your surgery, but if you buy a memory foam or polyurethane foam wedge pillow, this should help make sleeping in a reclined position more comfortable.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it the best ways to use wedge pillows and how to use them to suit specific needs and help with sleep-related issues as well as improve quality of sleep. The triangular pillow is brilliant for side sleepers and back sleepers.

That being said, I wouldn’t recommend it for stomach sleeping or to sleep on your stomach in general; it puts your spine in a compromised position which can lead to shoulder, neck, and back pain as it’s putting pressure on your spine.

So whatever reason for buying a wedge pillow, knowing how to use it properly will go a long way– after all, it’s all sleep science, my friend. Give some of these positions a go today; you back will thank you for it.

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