You’ve tried everything — from weighted blankets to temperature-regulating toppers and even the plushiest of mattresses and low-impact exercises before bedtime. Despite all this, the ultimate night’s rest still eludes you, inevitably making you feel sore, creaky, and super-cranky when you wake up. If this is the kind of situation you experience daily, you may have been overlooking the one thing that’s powerful enough to change the way you sleep for better or worse: your pillow. While a regular pillow keeps your spine neutral to prevent backache, those dealing with achy hips may need a specialized pillow for hip pain for some extra support.
These pillows are orthopedically designed to cradle your body’s curves, allowing your spine and neck to rest in an elevated position that’s neither too high nor too low. Pain-relief pillows also improve blood circulation, thus alleviating that feeling of stiffness that gets attributed to “sleeping funny”. Fixing your spinal alignment isn’t something that happens overnight, of course. However, adding a knee pillow to support your legs can restore balance in your lower body and bid forever adieu to the annoyance of tossing around all night. For an exhaustive guide to the 10 best pain-relief pillows of 2021, read on!
10 Best Pillows For Hip Pain Relief In 2021 (With Buying Guide)
This contoured pillow is constructed with 100% premium-quality memory foam to correct spinal alignment and bring relief to your body’s pressure points. It keeps your knees propped up in a neutral position without feeling too bulky or uncomfortable. Recommended by chiropractors for those who suffer from sciatica, lower backache, or nighttime hip pain, you can use this in several positions even as a precautionary measure to prevent stiffness in the morning. Whether you’re a sweaty sleeper or get too cold at night, the memory foam will regulate your body temperature to keep you warm in the winter and cool through the summer. It’s sturdy, durable, and once placed between your knees, it’ll stay there much longer than a standard pillow.
- Washable cover
- Ergonomic shape
- High-density memory foam
- Regulates body temperature
- Zipped cover for easy removal
- Suitable for back and side sleepers
- The fabric might not be suitable for sensitive skin.
Stop the pressure in your joints from building up before it even starts with this orthopedic pillow. This memory foam body pillow rests snugly and securely between your knees and comes with a crescent-shaped pelvic clearance that accommodates female and male bodies equally well. Not only does the ergonomic design mold itself to the natural shape of your legs to improve posture, but the premium foam body facilitates airflow to cool you down as you sleep. Being 20% longer than standard leg pillows, it gives you the space and flexibility to move around without restricting your preferred sleeping positions. At the same time, its smooth, rounded edges keep the pillow from tangling up in the sheets. Super-breathable, well-ventilated, and beneficial for pain relief — no wonder this one keeps getting sold out.
- Brings pressure relief
- Ventilated memory foam
- Suitable for all body types
- Regulates body temperature
- Doesn’t restrict movements
- Removable and washable cover
- The pillow cover might be slightly difficult to spot clean.
A solid choice for anyone recovering from a hip replacement surgery or for those whose legs tend to swell up, this pillow works by elevating your lower body as you sleep. Most physical therapists widely use the method to advance blood circulation and take the pressure off your legs, knees, and hips so that it’s more evenly distributed along your body. As the topmost memory foam layer contours your leg shape, the high-density polyurethane filling holds uptight and sturdy, preventing it from collapsing even after years of constant use. Whether you need relief from edema or simply a versatile pillow that doubles as a comfortable armrest, this is an ideal option for you.
- Relieves leg swelling
- Tackles body ache
- Sturdy and durable
- Has multiple functions
- Machine washable cover
- Hypoallergenic and dust-proof
- Slightly expensive
Whether you like sleeping in the fetal position or sprawled on your back, this supportive pillow is incredibly flexible in its ability to serve every kind of sleeper. Depending on where the pain lives, you can rest it under the head, between your knees, or under your feet for an optimal, pain-free, and undisturbed slumber. The thick and soft memory foam adapts to your body’s curves to stay in place through the night, and at the same time, the hourglass structure contours in all the right areas to relieve you of hip, knee, or back pain as well as sciatica. If you’re worried about weird, unpleasant chemical odors, don’t stress. The pillow is encased in a quilted bamboo fabric that cancels out the smell of foam while providing a soft, clean, breathable surface that doesn’t irritate the skin.
- Quilted bamboo fabric
- High-density memory foam
- Improves spinal alignment
- Safe for pregnancy
- Lightweight and durable
- Helps with back, knee, and hip pain
- The zipper might be a bit delicate.
What do side sleepers, back sleepers, pregnant women, and those with knee pain have in common? The fact that this orthopedic pillow is especially designed keeping each one of them in mind. Constructed with pure memory foam with zero additives, it provides maximum comfort and support to your legs without flattening for a long time. The hollowed-out design increases mobility while keeping sweat to a minimum, and the air layer fabric is super-soft and breathable, making it ideal for sensitive, allergy-prone skin types. It has an adjustable strap built-in to keep it adequately attached and aligned with your knees, so you won’t find it tossed onto the floor every morning.
- Ergonomic contouring
- Suitable for all body types
- Premium memory foam
- Adjustable elastic strap
- Removable cover
- Minimizes sweating
- It doesn’t regulate temperature and may get warm at night.
This memory foam knee pillow will help you sleep a ton better by squaring your hips in a neutral position, rectifying your alignment, and reducing hip and joint pressure. Crafted with 100% high-quality memory foam, it wedges perfectly between the knees and stays in place with an adjustable strap. Ideal for pregnancy and pre-post surgery healing, the cover is made out of a breathable bamboo fabric that doesn’t invite skin flare-ups and feels ultra-soft against your knees. Its contoured design works like a charm for side sleepers by keeping your legs, hips, and spine aligned without the foam compressing overnight.
- Memory foam construction
- Machine washable
- Removable cover
- Super-soft bamboo fabric
- Improves spinal alignment
- Not suitable for back sleepers
This is the semi-roll, M-shaped, high-density leg pillow for hip pain that you didn’t know you needed but do. It has 2 wedges that make it versatile for every kind of sleeper. Those comfortable on the side can tuck it between the knees, while back sleepers can rest their knees on top for slumber that’s made restful and undisturbed by the improved blood circulation and strategic muscle support to your body’s pressure points. Infused with Cloud Air Technology to dissipate heat away from you, this premium-quality memory foam pillow will keep you cool, cozy, and comfortable as you sleep through the night. You can even put the pillow under your neck without worrying about the smell, because the visco-elastic filling contains no harmful chemicals and emits no odors that might scrunch up your nose.
- Ergonomic contour shape
- Unique and versatile design
- Suitable for multiple sleep positions
- Super breathable surface
- Smooth zipper for easy wash
- Stain-resistant bamboo cover
- The elevation might be too short for taller people.
Say goodbye to that teeth-clenching feeling of bone hitting bone with this incredibly soft memory foam pillow that we love for so many reasons. First of all, its multi-functional abilities render it an ideal accessory for those who suffer from any pain — legs, shoulders, or hips. Secondly, it comes with a long, thin strap instead of short ones, thus keeping the pillow attached to the knee without causing any discomfort whatsoever. In addition to the unique, modern tethering system, the pillow contains 500 grams of shredded memory foam, whose specialty is getting sculpted to your body’s shape much more uniformly than regular foam. Place it between your knees, under your neck, or even attached to your car-seat for immense comfort and a pain-free sleep.
- Softer and more adjustable straps
- Can be used as a regular pillow
- Removable covers with zipper
- Cooling, machine washable fabric
- Doesn’t flatten with use
- It might be a bit thin for heavier people.
If you’re a regular driver, you’ll know better than anyone the pain of sitting in an uncomfortable, no-lumbar-support seat for prolonged periods. This pillow is designed not only to make sleeping easier but also to drive! Crafted with slow-return memory cotton, it boasts a C-shaped waist that embraces your body at the exact point where the waist meets the vertebrae. This helps relieve pressure and straighten your spine, particularly in the sitting position. It easily fits all kinds of car seats, and the 4D mesh fabric lets your skin breathe instead of getting overheated. The versatile surface structure is equally ideal for under-leg use to stimulate blood circulation. You can rest easy knowing it won’t flatten over time, thanks to an inner core that absorbs pressure uniformly.
- Ideal pillow for sleeping and sitting
- 3D curved surface design
- Breathable 4D mesh fabric
- Superior lumbar support
- Easy-to-remove cover
- Available in 8 colors
- Slightly expensive
Side sleepers seeking a thinner knee pillow to relieve sciatica, hip pain, or varicose veins, this one’s for you. The blend of high-density memory and polyfoam brings you streamlined comfort that’s less bulky than other pillows. It comes with adjustable straps that feel like petals and keep the pillow exactly where you want it to be. Enclosed in a Sherpa material that emulates the smoothness of sheepskin, it feels gentle on the skin and keeps you cool. However, the most irresistible thing about it is that it comes in three sizes to cater to different heights and weights: standard, long, and pro. If you’re looking for something to make an instant difference to your sleep quality, this one comes highly recommended by physicians and us alike!
- Machine washable
- Multiple foam and size options
- Softer adjustable leg strap
- Ideal for knee, hip, and back pain
- Sherpa fabric for baby-soft feel
- Eco-friendly and hypoallergenic
- It’s slightly expensive.
Several pain-related issues like sciatica, edema, and restless leg syndrome can be relieved by replacing your pillow with an orthopedic one. But before you decide what to buy, it’s important to understand the cause of your hip pain, so you can choose a pillow designed for your needs.
What Causes Hip Pain While Sleeping?
- Sleeping position
If you like to sleep on your stomach, or on the sides curved into a tiny ball, that could be a major contributing factor to your hip and back pain. These are generally considered unhealthy for your body in the short and long run, but if you only feel comfortable sleeping this way, supporting the front with a slim pillow under hips can do wonders for your spinal alignment. For side sleepers, keeping a firm, supportive pillow between your knees will help you raise your upper leg and restore your body’s natural balance. For better posture and long-term pain reduction, consider lying down on your back with adequate knee support or in a fetal position with a cushion between your knees.
- Mattress type
This one goes hand-in-hand with your sleeping position. If you’re a side or back sleeper, then a medium-firm memory foam mattress for hip pain will help you keep your spine straight. However, if you’re among the stomach sleepers, pillowtop or innerspring mattresses might give you the right support. When mattresses are too thin or overly plush, they may fail to provide support and keep your spine in a neutral position, resulting in back and hip pain over time.
Naturally, carrying the weight of a child can create extra pressure on your hips, spine, and joints, especially if you’ve reached the third trimester. Finding a comfortable position to sleep can be a difficult task, which is why supportive pillows designed specifically for pregnant women can help relieve some of the pressure by providing additional support that normal pillows don’t offer.
Choosing The Right Pillow For Hip Pain While Sleeping
- The pillow shape
Different shapes fulfill different purposes and cater to various kinds of sleepers. For example, hourglass is one of the most common choices for side sleepers who want to prop their upper leg to align with the spine. Wedge pillows, on the other hand, are triangular or crescent-shaped and work well when placed under the knees. However, they are also quite versatile, which means side sleepers can opt for thinner options to place them between their knees. Finally, body pillows are the widest of them all. As the name suggests, they run about as long as the human body and can be tucked under the head and between the legs at the same time. They also offer the added advantage of making you feel super-cozy, like you’re (literally) hugging someone.
- The pillow material
A majority of hip pain relief pillows use memory foam in their construction. This allows the pillow to take the shape of your body without flattening over time. However, foam is known for absorbing more body heat than, say, cotton, which could be an issue for hot sleepers who already wake up drenched in sweat. To combat this, many brands have started using cooler fabrics and ventilation technologies that increase breathability, so look out for these features as you shop.
- Your body weight
Those who are on the heavier side tend to opt for thicker pillows to prevent compression. For those who are petite, even a thinner, medium-firm pillow can provide adequate support and comfort.
Life is too short to be up all night in pain — whether it’s caused by an injury, pregnancy, or bad posture. Switching to a higher-quality mattress or a healthier sleeping position can help your aches subside, but bringing home the right pillow for hip pain can also be an excellent solution at a fraction of the cost, especially if you need instantly effective pain relief. Contoured to accept your body’s natural curves, a hip pillow comes in various sizes, foam types, and firmness levels that cater to different needs. Give your favorite pick from this list a try, and indulge in the ultimate night’s rest pain-free!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Can I use a body pillow to relieve my hip pain?
While there are few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, anecdotal evidence does suggest that a body pillow for side sleepers can relieve pressure in certain pain points like the neck, back, shoulders, and hips. A C-shaped body pillow promotes blood circulation and improves spinal alignment.
Can knee pillows cause hip pain?
Actually, knee pillows are engineered to alleviate hip pain along with other types of bodyache. However, if you choose a pillow that’s too thick or thin, then it can keep your legs too far apart and cause or worsen pain in the hips. Always check the thickness level before you add a knee pillow to the cart.
Can a pregnancy pillow help with hip pain?
Yes, it can. Hip pain during pregnancy is quite natural, especially as you enter the third trimester. However, if you feel the pain getting out of hand, a special pregnancy pillow can provide total support to your body by aligning your legs better with your spine.
Can the wrong pillow cause hip pain?
Yes, pillows that are too thin or lumpy can both cause and worsen hip as well as back pain. You might experience this in the form of a stiffness in the neck when you wake up, which gradually turns more and more persistent unless resolved. Before you choose a pillow, think about things like your preferred sleeping position, durability of materials, the pillow’s height, and its overall firmness. To give you an example, cheap polyester fibers tend to be of a lower quality and flatten after a few months of use, and thus should be avoided.
How does keeping a pillow between the knees relieve hip pain?
Placing a sturdy, durable pillow between your knees can relieve hip pain in a number of ways. It props your upper leg to align with the rest of the body, which straightens the spine and alleviates the pressure forming in your lumbar area. Sleeping in this position every night will eventually correct the body’s posture and keep you pain-free.
Does a wedge pillow help with hip pain?
Yes, it does! Wedge pillows are typically triangular in shape and constructed out of a durable memory or polyfoam that stays put as you sleep. They can be placed under the lower or upper body based on where the pain is. Either way, it fulfils the purpose of aligning your legs, hips, or neck with the angle of your spine to prevent intense pain. Using a wedge pillow under your legs can also help with swelling or edema by improving blood circulation.