Best Pillows for Sciatica & How To Choose

Last Updated: December, 2022

Please Note: This Post Contains Affiliate Links

Everyone has a nerve that originates from the lower back and travels down to the back of their leg. This is called the sciatic nerve. If one feels pain alongside this path, then they're said to be suffering from sciatica. This pain can be brought about by bone spur pressing on the sciatic nerve and other reasons.

Sciatica patients can also suffer from numbness and have a tingling feeling down their leg, which is very uncomfortable and makes it hard to sleep. To solve these sleep issues, you should consider getting an ideal pillow that'll provide the right level of support and pain relief.

The best pillow for sciatica is the GhostPillow Shredded 2 pack. This pillow is customizable enough for anyone to choose their desired loft and have a good night's sleep, and best of all, you get two of them. This is critical if you need extra support for your back to ease sciatic nerve pain. Read on to learn more about other pillow options and how you can use more than one pillow to support yourself.

Our Picks For The 7 Best Sciatica Pillows

GhostPillow Shredded-2pk

GhostPillow Shredded-2pk - Best Overall

GhostPillow Shredded comes with a zipper that makes it easy to adjust the pillow loft.

Amerisleep Flex-pillow

Amerisleep Flex-pillow

Aside from its breathable cover, this pillow also has MicroFlex cushions for better temperature regulation.

Layla Kapok Pillow

Layla Kapok Pillow

The mix of Kapok fiber and Shredded memory foam allows you to fluff and mold the pillow for customized comfort.

Zoma Sports Pillow

Zoma Sports Pillow

The durable blend of polyester fiber filling and foam keeps the pillow from ever flattening.

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

The Pillow's softness makes it easily moldable and can be shaped for head and neck positions.

GhostPillow - Faux Down

GhostPillow - Faux Down

Thanks to its micro gel fill and luxurious feel, this pillow offers an excellent huggable squeeze similar to a Down pillow.

Vaya Pillow

Vaya Pillow

Vaya has Vaya Base Foam which offers pressure-relieving support while relieving pain on the pressure points.

GhostPillow Shredded-2pk

What We Like

  • Removable, washable cover
  • Hypoallergenic materials
  • Suitable for any sleeping position
  • Easily customizable loft

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey for budget shoppers

Overall Thoughts: 

GhostPillow Shredded is one of the best pillows that'll allow you to adjust the pillow loft depending on your preferred comfortable position—side, back, and stomach sleeping. However, stomach sleeping is highly discouraged among those suffering from sciatica pain.

GhostPillow Shredded is filled with a blend of Visco, microfiber cluster, and memory foam. The pillow fill and the Ghost Ice Breathable Cover offer excellent cooling to hot sleepers. The Ghost Ice cover is hypoallergenic and shields sleepers from textile allergies. 

Since the loft is easily customizable, you can remove some fill to adjust the balance between your preferred comfort and support. To relieve more pressure and build a better support system, consider using a pillow between your thighs when sleeping. This is only advisable to side sleepers. The GhostPillow Memory Foam is an ideal option for the thigh placement. Not only will this help with pain relief on the sciatic nerve, but it will also promote spinal alignment.

Placing a pillow between the legs can also help relieve spinal stenosis. As you sleep on your side, ensure you're in a fetal position. This relieves pressure exerted on the nerve roots, which essentially helps relieve nerve pain. 

Amerisleep Flex-pillow

What We Like

  • Ventilated Cover
  • Breathable fills
  • Eco-friendly MicroFlex
  • Super durable
  • Best for side sleepers
  • Offers excellent maximum support

What We Don't Like

  • It may be a bit lumpy

Overall Thoughts: 

Environmentally sensitive people will like what this Amerisleep Sciatica Pillow has to offer. The pillow's fill is primarily eco-friendly micro flex cushions that feel custom-made comfort-wise. Also, depending on your individual sleeping needs, you can mold the pillow's shape to your comfort preference.

This Amerisleep Flex-pillow is super cool to the touch, which stems from its breathable cover and the fill. If you also want an excellent cooling pillow to add to your knees for support or stack up beside you for roll-over prevention, consider the Amerisleep Classic Pillow. Compared to traditional memory foam, the Amerisleep Classic Pillow has more added air channels to boost breathability. The Classic Pillow is filled with thick supportive plant-based foam fill. More importantly, each pillow has a removable cover that is easily washable. 

The Amerisleep Flex Pillow is available in two sizes the king size weighs 3.7lbs and the queen size which weighs 4.8lbs. The Flex Pillow is thick and firm to offer more support to sleepers suffering from sciatic pain. This is thanks to the incredible loft height of 6 inches. Even better, the pillow comes with free standard shipping and a 10-year warranty which ensures you get the most out of your investment.

Layla Kapok Pillow

What We Like

  • Adjustable loft
  • Best for side sleepers
  • Excellent for hot sleepers
  • 120-night sleep trial

What We Don't Like

  • Requires fluffing to regain shape

Overall Thoughts: 

Once you've identified sciatica symptoms, Layla Kapok should be among your top considered choices. The pillow's fill comprises a blend of natural Kapok and open open-celled memory foam. The foam makes the pillow fluffy and light, making Layla Kapok feel like a contoured pillow to offer more support to your neck and head. Though its memory foam is slightly responsive, it provides enough support crucial for sciatica relief.

The pillow's aesthetically designed hexagonal patterns give it an appealing appearance. Also, it has a zipper enclosure which makes adjusting the loft relatively easy. The good thing is by adjusting the loft (removing or adding the fill), sleepers can customize the pillow for any sleep position they like depending on their preferred comfort. To relieve sciatica pain, you can place the pillow between your legs to alleviate pressure from the nerves on the lumbar spine region. Generally, this will help keep your spine aligned properly.

Construction of the pillowcase fabric comprises CuTEC yarn paired with Lycra fabric and viscose, making it breathable. Copper is also interwoven within the fabric for added cooling. Copper primarily prevents night sweats by absorbing and dispersing heat from your head and neck.

Zoma Sports Pillow

What We Like

  • Ideal for hot sleepers
  • Easily customizable
  • Super Durable
  • 10-year warranty

What We Don't Like

  • No trial periods

Overall Thoughts: 

Zoma Sport is a pillow that primarily targets Athletes and those who like very firm pillows. What makes this an ideal sciatica pillow for those seeking to alleviate sciatica pain is its adjustability. This involves rearranging or pushing the foam inside through pressure from the outside. The adjustability makes the pillow more comfortable and supportive for a good night's sleep. 

You can also add the Zoma Body Pillow if you're dealing with sciatica. Side sleeping will ensure you get the most out of this pillow. For instance, it'll act as a contoured pillow by placing the lower portion between your knees, promoting spinal alignment. More importantly, its memory foam can also help prevent lumbar spine pressure helping keep sciatic pain at bay.

For more sleep comfort, Zoma Sports has an airy cover with an Ultra soft shell to maintain airflow. Additionally, the pillow has a cooling gel infusion to ensure you don't suffer night sweats. Similar to the Zoma Body Pillow, Zoma Sports has a gel memory foam fill that offers an adaptive support cushion. The pillow's MicroCushion adapts to any body type for a blissful shut-eye, essentially preventing poor posture. 

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

What We Like

  • Best for relieving neck pain
  • Ideal for combination sleepers
  • Excellent temperature regulation
  • Made of high-quality materials

What We Don't Like

  • Not ideal for those who like flat pillows

Overall Thoughts: 

Since sciatica requires you to sleep on a firm surface like a yoga mat on the floor—Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow can help boost your recovery significantly. From the name, it's clear that this is an excellent cooling pillow. The cooling feature stems from the materials on the inside and outside. And since it has a soft, supportive feel, it can suit any sleeper.

The pillowcase is made of Outlast® phase-change cotton that's cool to the touch, plus it wicks away moisture from the skin. On the other hand, the AirFoam™ primarily prevents heat build-up, shielding you from sweating. 

Unlike other pillows that may hurt the neck, Nolah offers more support to the neck and the head. Also, it is bouncy enough for excellent comfort throughout the night. Another alternative is the Nolah AirFiber™ Pillow which you can mold to conform to your neck and head's shape if you're looking to stack up two pillows under your shoulder. 

With the Nolah Cooling Foam on your neck, you can have the Nolah AirFiber™ Pillow between your knees. This is to help keep your body aligned for more sleep comfort while also helping reduce pressure on a herniated disc.

GhostPillow - Faux Down

What We Like

  • Well maintained shape
  • Hypoallergenic cover material
  • Silky outer cover
  • Machine washable Cover
  • 101-night sleep trial
  • Five years warranty

What We Don't Like

  • One color option

Overall Thoughts: 

If you like down-filled Pillows, then GhostPillow Faux Down is worth getting excited about. Notably, this pillow mimics an actual Down Pillow's feel, courtesy of its micro gel fill. Not only does this make the pillow exceptionally luxurious, but also super comfortable. You can use it alongside the GhostPillow Shredded 2-pk for added support and pain relief.

The pillow can mold to the shape of your head and neck easily. This offers a tremendous amount of support required to alleviate sciatica pain and make you fall asleep faster and more comfortably. 

The GhostPillow Faux-Down has a zippered cover made of Ghost Ice fabric that neutralizes heat inside and outside the pillow. The pillow's inner cover bears a thread count of 300, giving it its luxurious feel. So, overall, if you like the huggable squeeze of a down pillow, then this pillow will do wonders in relieving sciatica pain.

Vaya Pillow

What We Like

  • Best for hot sleepers
  • Best for head and neck support
  • The Pillow loft can be flattened or fluffed
  • Ideal for budget shoppers
  • Excellent for side and combination sleepers

What We Don't Like

  • It may be too soft for some people

Overall Thoughts: 

One sure way to achieve utmost comfort while resting your head and neck is on Vaya Pillow. The shredded fill foam inside this sciatica pillow offers maximum support on your head and neck, which helps alleviate sciatica pain and relieve tension. 

The pillow keeps you cool throughout the night, thanks to its highly breathable cover. Moreover, Vaya Pillow also has a foam blend that wicks away warm air, shielding you from night sweats. 

As a sciatica patient sleeping on your side or back, you can add the Vaya King Size Pillow on either side of your body to support you and prevent you from accidentally rolling over. This is only if the price tag of a body pillow isn't within your financial capacity. 

While sleeping on your back, placing this pillow underneath your knees will help eliminate tension on your sciatic nerve. Not only does this offer sciatica relief, but also tremendous back pain relief.

How To Sleep Better When Suffering From Sciatica

To help curb the pain originating from your sciatic nerve, you will need to adapt to some new sleeping habits as discussed.

Sleep on a firmer surface

Your mattress can make a world of difference for your skill taker condition. Since you'll need more support for your lower back and legs, get a firmer mattress. A soft mattress will sink you so deep that your spine will curve causing you back aches. However don't go for extra firm unless you weigh about 250 lbs. A medium firm or firm mattress will work just fine.

Sleep in a reclining position

You can do this by lying on a wedge cushion or piling two or three dense pillows (depending on their sizes) under your shoulders. The goal here is to take the pressure off your nerves so you'll need to additionally put two pillows beneath your legs to elevate them. Flat pillows are the best for this.

Knee pillows for side sleepers

When suffering from sciatica, you will be advised to sleep on your back. This is the best sleeping position for sciatica. However if you are a strict side sleeper, then have a pillow between your knees to relieve pressure and add some extra support. Avoid wedge cushions or similar when side sleeping.

Support your body with more pillows

For combination sleepers, you may experience pain as you switch your sleeping position at night. To prevent this from happening and disrupting your calm sleep, cushion your body with several pillows. If you sleep on your side, have one or two pillows on your backside and one on your tummy side. These will prevent you from rolling over. For back sleepers, stack pillows on the right and left sides to achieve a similar support system. Side sleepers can also use a body pillow for support and snuggle their way through the night.

Stomach pillows for stomach sleepers

First and foremost avoid stomach sleeping which can easily strain your neck. If unavoidable, then use a flat pillow under your head and a softer one under your stomach to relieve pressure from your waist and back.

Buying a Pillow For Sciatica

When browsing for sciatica pillows consider the factors below.

Firmness and loft

The feel of the pillow should be a bit firm and the loft higher than 3 inches, depending on your sleeping position. A firm and lofty pillow will help you support your head and neck and align your spinal cord, relieving pressure from your back.

Cooling technology

A good pillow is one with phase-changing material such as TENCEL, or one with cooling technology like gel foam used as pillow fillings. If you're a hot sleeper or during summer nights, your body can heat up causing you to sweat a lot. This could be especially uncomfortable for sciatica sufferers because they won't have the “luxury” of constantly tossing and turning to find the sweet spot. Therefore a cooling pillow will dissipate heat from your body leaving you relaxed through the night.

Pillow material

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to the material used to make the pillow. Both the outermost layer, i.e. the pillow cover, and the inner makings of the pillow should be made with materials that are cool, soft to the skin, hypoallergenic for asthmatics and allergy sufferers and should be made with non toxic substances, certified by the respective bodies. This is to keep you from skin irritations and respiratory problems.

Conclusion

Sciatica can take more than 6 weeks to recover, depending on the intensity of the condition. Therefore, you need to get a quality pillow like the ones discussed in this review, to serve you for longer. Once your pillow starts to lose its shape, replace it immediately to avoid other issues like neck pain. You can opt for a pillow with a removable and washable cover so it is easy to keep clean. Also, get a pillow with an adjustable loft so that you can find your ideal pillow height. Adjustable pillows are arguably longer lasting because as fillings wear out, you can add the ones you took out and extend its use.

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