Best Pillows for Sciatica & How To Choose

Last Updated: February, 2024

Please Note: This Post Contains Affiliate Links

While only 9.8% of Americans suffer from sciatica, it’s still a serious issue that needs to be solved, mostly when it comes to sleeping. 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.

To solve sleeping issues due to sciatica, you should consider getting the ideal pillow that'll provide the right level of support and pain relief.

We went ahead and ran our 2 stage review process on several pillows and shortlisted them below. 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. 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

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

Fill/Material:
Combo (Shredded memory foam and microfiber)

Firmness:
Soft

Who it’s best for:
Combination sleepers, those who like a soft, moldable pillow, hot sleepers

Sizes:
Standard

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, when we resorted to stomach sleeping, we experienced some back strain. So, if you suffer from sciatica pain, we highly advise that you don't sleep on your stomach with this pillow. 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, it enabled us to remove some fill, which helped adjust the comfort and support to a perfect balance that suited our preference. A piece of advice: if you want to relieve more pressure and build a better support system, consider using another  pillow between your thighs when sleeping. We highly recommend this to side sleepers only since our test results indicated maximum comfort in this position.


The GhostPillow Memory Foam is an ideal option for thigh placement. Not only did this pillow help keep our spine perfectly aligned, but also relieved some pressure from our back. This is another reason we recommend it to sleepers seeking back pain relief, especially those with sciatic nerve pain.Upon doing further tests, we also found that 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. 


Unlike most brands, the Ghostpillow Shredded 2pk comes with a 5-year warranty and 101-night sleep trial and also ships for free to buyers within the contiguous U.S. With an affordable price tag of $99 for a high-quality pillow like this one, you can bet that adding it to your bedroom arsenal will be worth it.

Amerisleep Flex-pillow

Fill/Material:
Custom fill (MicroFlex cushions)

Firmness:
Soft

Who it’s best for:
 Side sleepers, hot sleepers, allergy sufferers

Sizes:
Queen, king

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 felt super cool to the touch. According to our assessment, this stemmed primarily from its breathable cover and the fill. And since my partner and I wanted an excellent cooling pillow to add to our knees for support or stack up beside us for roll-over prevention, we found the  Amerisleep Classic Pillow to be an incredible pick. 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. 


When I tested the pillow for back sleeping, it offered my back a gentle support that helped maintain the natural curvature of my spine. Since my partner and I are side sleepers, the pillow's incredible contouring mechanism helped reduce potential pressure points around the neck and the shoulder region. As for stomach sleeping, we felt a slightly above-average comfort, courtesy of its malleable and supportive design. Given its pressure-relieving supportive and comforting mechanism, this pillow is a solid pick for managing sciatica nerve pain.


Amerisleep prioritizes this pillow's buyers' health by ensuring it is free of harmful VOCs. Like any typical foam pillow, the Amerisleep-Flex is CertiPurUS certified, guaranteeing it adheres to strict standards for durability, emission, and performance.The Amerisleep Flex Pillow is available in two sizes the king size weighs 3.7 lbs and the queen size which weighs 4.8lbs. With the Flex Pillow thickness and firmness, we felt more support. This is among the reasons we'd highly recommend it to sleepers suffering from sciatic pain. Also, note that this is thanks to its incredible loft height of 6 inches. With a $100 price tag for a king-size option and $120 for a queen-size option, this pillow will be an incredible addition to your sleep comfort. 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

Fill/Material:
Combo (Kapok fiber and reactive memory foam)

Firmness:
Medium-soft

Who it’s best for:
Combination sleepers, those who like a soft, moldable pillow, allergy sufferers

Sizes:
Queen, king

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. Since the foam makes the pillow fluffy and light, this Layla Kapok pillow felt like a contoured model since it offered us more support around the head and the neck region. Though its memory foam is slightly responsive, the pillow can definitely provide enough support crucial for sciatica relief.We found the pillow's aesthetically designed hexagonal patterns quite appealing in appearance. Also, its zipper enclosure made adjusting the loft relatively easy. We also noticed that by adjusting the loft (removing or adding the fill), we could customize the pillow for any sleep position we like depending on our preferred comfort, in this case, back and side sleeping. 


Because of its plushy feel and moldability, my partner, who weighs 140 pounds, found the pillow highly comfortable. However, she had to reduce the fill level slightly. With a weight of 230 pounds, when I tried side sleeping, the pillow didn't grant me the level of comfort I was expecting. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it to side sleepers, especially those with sciatica weighing more than 200 pounds.


In our second stage review, we tested the pillow for back sleeping, and like side sleepers, these individuals can achieve a high level of comfort by adjusting the loft a little bit if they're weighing less than 230 pounds. And since I weigh 230 pounds, this pillow isn't tailored to my stomach sleeping needs. That's because my comfort requirement is a pillow with a firmer feel and a lower loft to help align my spine properly and prevent sinking further into my mattress.


Since this pillow possesses a fairly high loft, I didn't feel comfortable sleeping on my stomach with this pillow. However, though my partner felt some level of comfort, by that was after removing some fill. With its medium soft feel, neither of us found the pillow supportive for a stomach sleeper. So, if you're a stomach sleeper weighing more than 230 pounds, it better you opt for a firmer alternative with a lower loft.


If you're looking to relieve sciatica pain, we suggest that you 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.


For a high-quality pillow, Layla Kapok costs $109 for the queen and $129 for the king size. To make your investment worthwhile, this pillow comes with a generous 5-year warranty and 30-day night sleep trial, and it ships for free but to addresses within the continental United States.

Zoma Sports Pillow

Fill/Material:
Custom fill(Shredded MicroCushions)

Firmness:
Firm

Who it’s best for:
Hot sleepers, side sleepers, those who want control of pillow loft

Sizes:
Queen, king

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. For individuals struggling with sciatica pain, we recommend adding the Zoma Body Pillow. Generally, side sleeping ensured we got the maximum comfort level we desired from this pillow. For instance, it acted as a contouring pillow when we placed it between our knees, which helped maintain our spine's natural curvature. After sleeping on it, we found that the memory foam construction can also help prevent lumbar spine pressure, helping keep sciatic pain at bay.


We found Zoma super-breathable thanks to its airy cover, which has an ultra-soft shell that helps promote further sleep comfort by maintaining consistent airflow throughout the pillow. Additionally, I didn't suffer night sweats primarily because of the pillow's cooling gel infusion. 


Unlike the Layla Kapok, this pillow's firm profile worked best for me when I slept on my side. This is because it's designed especially for males weighing more than 210 pounds. My 140-pound partner also found the pillow equally comfortable, with a perfect balance of comfort and support for a good night's sleep. We also tested it for side and back sleeping, and we assessed that it may not be ideal for lightweight stomach sleepers weighing 130 pounds and below, or they risk developing back pains.


Similar to the Zoma Body Pillow, Zoma Sports has a gel memory foam fill that offered us an adaptive support cushion. Overall, the pillow adapted to our bodies excellently regardless of our body weights—courtesy of its MicroCushion—for a blissful shut-eye, essentially preventing poor posture. 


All Zoma pillows, including this model, are filled with moldable micro cushions and are CertiPUR-US certified—guaranteeing the pillows are free of heavy metals or harmful VOCs.


Zoma Sports Pillow is available on Zoma's official website for $100 for the queen size and $120 for the king size. And unlike many ordinary pillows, this one comes with an incredible warranty of 10 years. It also comes with a 100-night sleep trial and free shipping to buyers within the contiguous US.

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

Fill/Material:
Custom fill (AirFoam)

Firmness:
Medium

Who it’s best for:
Hot sleepers, side sleeper, back sleepers

Sizes:
Queen

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, this Nolah Pillow offered us unmatched support around the neck and the head region. Also, thanks to its bouncy nature, we experienced excellent comfort throughout the night. If you're on the hunt for an alternative as incredible as this model, we'd recommend the Nolah AirFiber™ Pillow. In fact, this pillow allowed us to mold it to conform to our neck and head's shape since we were looking to stack up two pillows under our shoulders. With the Nolah Cooling Foam on my neck and the Nolah AirFiber™ Pillow between my knees, I felt world-class comfort in my slumber the entire night. Because of this comfort level, I'd recommend it to people with sciatica. Combining the two pillows will significantly help keep their body aligned for more sleep comfort while also helping reduce pressure on a herniated disc.


Nolah Cooling Foam pillow's price goes as low as $77. For individuals seeking to pair it up with another pillow between their knees, the AirFiber™ model's starting price is $71. Nolah Cooling Foam pillow comes with a 2-year limited warranty and a 120-night sleep trial. Shipping is also free but to addresses within the continental United States.

GhostPillow - Faux Down

Fill/Material:
Custom fill (Microfiber gel fill)

Firmness:
Medium-firm

Who it’s best for:
Hot sleepers, allergy sufferers, side sleepers

Sizes:
Queen

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. During our test, we noticed that it mimicked 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. When we used it alongside the Ghostpillow Shredded 2pk, the comfort level was mind-blowing. My partner and I felt that pairing these two pillows together would be ideal for sciatica patients seeking support and pain relief.


Another incredible feature we noticed with this pillow is its ability to mold to the shape of the sleeper's head and neck easily. This enabled us to enjoy a tremendous amount of support for maximum comfort. Overall, sciatica patients will be glad to know that not only will this help alleviate their sciatica pain, but also make them fall asleep faster and more comfortably. 


Ghostbed designs this pillow to make your sleep sanctuary hygienic. That is why it is hypoallergenic and mite and mold-repellent. For individuals with allergic sensitivity, this pillow will be a better-fit health-wise.


This pillow was an incredible pick for us. Regardless of our body weights–when sleeping on our backs and sides–the pillow offered us incredible contouring around the neck and head regions with moderate support for utmost sleep comfort. However, if you're looking for more neck support, we highly suggest that you look for a firmer alternative.


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.


The GhostBed company offers a 5-year warranty for this pillow alongside a 101-night sleep trial. The pillow also ships for free but to buyers within the contiguous U.S. You can bet that these factors make this Faux-Down Pillow's $139 price tag worth it.

Vaya Pillow

Fill/Material:
Shredded foam

Firmness:
Soft

Who it’s best for:
Side sleepers, combination sleepers, hot sleepers

Sizes:
Queen, king

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.

 

Since we are hot sleepers, we loved how cool the pillow kept us the entire night, thanks to its highly breathable cover. Moreover, this Vaya Pillow also has a foam blend that wicks away warm air, which helped shield us against night sweats.


Vaya pillow is designed to accommodate any sleeping position. Since I'm partly a back sleeper, the pillow ensured my neck, head, and shoulders were properly aligned, minimizing strain on my back. In the second stage of our review, my partner (side sleeper) and I tested the pillow for side sleeping. We noticed that it provided excellent support around our head and shoulder region, which helped keep the air spine properly aligned with our body curves. As for stomach sleeping, I experienced some level of comfort thanks to its medium-firm feel. Overall, we would recommend it to stomach sleepers weighing between 150-210 pounds.As a sciatica patient, we highly advise that you sleep 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. 


Vaya prioritizes its customers' health by ensuring that this pillow is CertiPurUS certified. So you can rest assured that it meets the strict emissions standards, performance, and quality.


Vaya Pillow is among the best models in the industry, made of high-quality materials with an affordable price tag of $60 and $80 for the queen and king size, respectively. Even better, it also comes with a 3-year warranty and ships for free to buyers within the continental United States.

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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