What Is The Best Height For A Wedge Pillow?

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written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

What Is The Best Height For A Wedge Pillow?

Thinking of getting yourself a wedge pillow to help with sleep-related issues like sleep apnea, acid reflux, or just for added comfort and pain relief while improving the quality of sleep?

Well, finding the right wedge pillow for you is not only important but finding the right height is crucial. So before you even buy a wedge pillow, what is the best height for a wedge pillow?

This is the most commonly asked question amongst those who suffer from acid reflux symptoms and sleep apnea. Well, you really want to look at two main categories the height and the incline. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through.

Now wait, let me tell you something.

I have spent hours trying and testing different types of memory foam wedge pillows, from the low-risers to the high-risers, to find the very best incline for all kinds of users. So you’re in safe hands, really.

Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss this. 

What Is The Best Height For 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 what is the best height for those suffering from sleep apnea and acid reflux? How do you use a memory foam wedge pillow for acid reflux too?

A slight slope from the wedge pillow 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. 

So between a low-level riser and a mid-level rider.

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.

Different Inclines On Wedge Pillows:

There are a few different heights you’ll find when buying a wedge pillow, and some may shock you; it turns out higher inclines are not necessarily better.

High Risers: Roughly 15 Inches:

High risers are extremely popular amongst those who suffer from GERD and need to sit upright when they sleep. It ensures stomach acid stays in your stomach and does not rise up your esophagus, right?

Well, actually, no, this may seem to make sense, but in reality, a high incline can lead to serious issues of sleep apnea, so you won’t find many memory foam wedge pillows like this on the market.

Regardless of the purpose of a memory foam wedge pillow, 15 inches is quite a high incline, and if anything, it’s too high, so it’s unlikely that it will improve your sleeping experience. If anything, it will just make your sleep uncomfortable and even cause neck pain.

Mid-Level Risers: 10-12 Inches:

So while 15 inches is a bit too steep, those suffering from GERD will need higher incline wedge pillows than low-level risers, which are common in memory foam wedge pillows. But if you’re not a GERD patient, then 10-12 inches is not the best incline for you.

This height pillow is best for those that strongly believe that high incline means miracle wedge pillow, but those suffering from acid reflux can even benefit from an incline as low as 6-8 inches– who knew??

The Sweet Spot: 6-8 Inches:

Many of us don’t realize, but a 6-8 inch wedge pillow is enough for those suffering from acid reflux or GERD. A low-slanted pillow is the best thing you can use, according to health experts and customer feedback.

You don’t necessarily need a high incline; a shorter incline is enough– especially if you buy a memory foam wedge as it conforms to your neck and back as well as lifting your upper body, making it more comfortable to sleep in a slightly inclined position.

So 7-8 inches is really the best sort of height to go for but make sure you choose a high-quality memory foam– recommended with some sort of cooling technology if you sleep hot as this will add to the durability and overall feel of the pillow.


What Is The Best Height Wedge Pillow?

So why is 6-8 inch wedge pillows best? Well, they are recommended by professionals, and they tend to be far more accessible and affordable than higher incline wedge pillows; they also use higher quality materials for a more affordable price as fewer materials are used.

In order to provide enough support for your shoulder, neck, and back areas, you should go for 20 inches square in size, with the 6-8 inch incline– depending on your preference. This is the best design to help with back pain, neck pain, sleep apnea, and/or acid reflux.

How To Use A Wedge Pillow:

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. But do wedge pillows help with back pain?

Well, if you use memory foam, it can help 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.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, who knew the lower the wedge pillow, the better? It would make sense that the higher the incline on a wedge pillow, the better for acid reflux as it keeps your body in an upright position, but this really isn’t the case!

Make sure you do your research on the quality of the materials before you buy. High-quality memory foam offers brilliant conforming capabilities, which can not only help with GERD or acid reflux, but it can also elevate neck and back pain, so it’s worth looking into.

We all deserve top-quality Zzz’s in our life; the wedge pillow is a brilliant first step.

Related Post: Best Wedge Pillow [Review]