Acid reflux is a condition that is often felt as a burning sensation in the chest or throat and is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus or throat. Frequent acid reflux maybe be attributed to various factors, including specific dietary choices, large meals, hiatal hernia, excessive body weight, late-night snacking, smoking, or certain medications.
In addition to implementing lifestyle changes that could help in managing acid reflux, such as opting for smaller and more frequent meals, acid reflux pillows may help to alleviate your symptoms. These pillows elevate the upper body, using gravity to keep acid down, which may help reduce discomfort. In this article we will review our top picks of wedge pillows for acid reflux in 2023.
Best acid reflux pillows: a shortlist
Our research was comprehensive, considering a multitude of factors such as customer feedback, cost, and unique features of each product. Our objective was to compile a list that accommodates diverse needs and preferences, ensuring that every potential user finds a pillow that suits them best.
Based on our research, here are the top wedge pillows for acid reflux:
- MedCline — overall best pillow for acid reflux
- Malouf — best pillow for heartburn
- Helix — best wedge pillow for GERD
- Sleep Number — best adjustable pillow for acid reflux
- Brentwood Home — best acid reflux pillow for back sleepers
How did we choose the best wedge pillows for acid reflux?
When searching for the best wedge pillows for acid reflux in 2023, we established certain criteria to ensure a thorough evaluation. These criteria guaranteed that our choices met high standards of quality, comfort, durability, and value. Let's take a closer look at the criteria we used:
|Material||Quality and impact on comfort|
|Angle of elevation||Position and posture|
|Durability||Maintains shape over time|
|User reviews||Customer feedback|
- Material. The fabric of each pillow determines its comfort and durability.
- Angle of elevation. Angle of elevation determines how much your upper body is lifted. A higher angle may be more beneficial for severe acid reflux.
- Durability. We assessed each pillow's ability to maintain its shape and support over time.
- Price. The price of wedge pillows can vary greatly. We included options at different price points to cater to various needs.
- User Reviews. We read through reviews from other users to gain insights into each pillow’s performance and comfort.
Top pillows for acid reflux: product reviews
In our pursuit for the top pillows for acid reflux, we carefully reviewed a variety of products in the market based on the criteria mentioned above. Our aim is to provide you with a selection of pillows that offer comfort and may aid in providing relief from acid reflux symptoms. Here are our top picks:
1. MedCline — overall best wedge pillow for reflux
The MedCline Reflux Relief System is a product designed to help in the management of acid reflux symptoms, particularly during sleep. It includes an inclined wedge, an insert pillow, and a therapeutic body pillow. The system also features a patented arm pocket for flexible arm positioning and is available in three sizes.
The system is constructed with multiple types of polyurethane foam that are 100% latex-free and hypoallergenic. It also features a CertiPUR-US® certified gel-infused foam that provides cooling comfort. The pre-installed pillowcases are an 80/20 cotton/polyester blend, and the system creates a 15–20° angle (approximately 10 inches in height).
Priced at $249.99, the system comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
2. Malouf — best wedge pillow for heartburn
The Z® Wedge Pillow by Malouf, with its distinctive wedge shape, may offer a more comfortable rest and sleep experience for people managing heartburn and acid reflux.
The pillow is made from hypoallergenic and dust mite-proof polyurethane foam. It comes with a soft bamboo velour cover that promotes airflow to keep you cool and is easily removable for laundering. The pillow’s height is approximately 7 inches. This design allows upper body elevation and may provide some relief for individuals experiencing acid reflux.
The wedge pillow is priced at $84.99, and it comes with a 3-year warranty.
3. Helix — best elevated pillow for GERD
The Helix Wedge Pillow is a product designed with the needs of individuals experiencing acid reflux in mind. It features a layer of cooling gel memory foam that conforms to your body’s shape, potentially offering pressure relief.
The pillow is constructed with 1.5 inches of gel memory foam and polyurethane foam, offering a balance between softness and firmness. The cover, a rayon and polyester blend, provides a breathable and comfortable surface. Its height is approximately 10 inches, which may help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. However, it is important to remember that individual experiences may vary. The 10-inch elevation allows for various positioning options, and the brand is CertiPUR-US® certified.
Priced at $81.80, the Helix Wedge Pillow comes with a 1-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.
4. Sleep Number® — best adjustable angled pillow for acid reflux
The Sleep Number® Adjustable Wedge Pillow is a product that stands out for its customizable comfort. It is designed with three foam inserts, allowing users to adjust their comfort in multiple positions, whether sleeping, reading, or resting.
The pillow has memory foam layers, a material known for its ability to conform to the body’s shape and potentially provide pressure relief and support. The cover is a blend of cotton and polyester, adding a breathable and comfortable touch. This pillow’s adjustable design allows users to alter its height between 2 and 8 inches using two 2-inch wedges and a 4-inch one, providing flexibility to achieve the preferred elevation. The brand is CertiPUR-US® certified.
The Pillow is priced at $59.99, and it comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
5. Brentwood Home — best acid reflux pillow for back sleepers
The Brentwood Home Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow, with its design and incline feature, aims to provide comfort to those who experience discomfort during sleep. By elevating the upper body, it may help reduce certain discomforts like acid reflux, snoring, and neck pain.
The cover, which is crafted from bamboo-derived rayon, provides a touch of comfort. The pillow has three heights: 7, 10, and 12 inches. This allows users to choose the level of elevation that best suits their needs. The Zuma Foam Wedge Pillow is made of CertiPUR-US® and Climate Neutral certified support foam. It is firm, making it potentially suitable for back sleepers with acid reflux.
The smallest size is $54.00, and the pillow has a 1-year limited warranty.
Comparing top wedge pillows for acid reflux
For a quick comparison of the best wedge pillow for acid reflux in 2023, take a look at the table below:
|Product||Price||Materials||Pillow height||Certifications||Warranty||Our best pick for|
|MedCline||$249.99||Gel memory foam, polyurethane foam||10 inches||CertiPUR-US®||1 year||Overall best pillow for acid reflux|
|Malouf||$84.99||polyurethane foam, bamboo velour cover||7 inches||Not specified||3 years||Best pillow for heartburn|
|Helix||$81.80||Gel memory foam, polyurethane foam||10 inches||CertiPUR-US®||1 year||Best wedge pillow for GERD|
|Sleep Number||$59.99||Memory foam||2 inches, 4 inches||CertiPUR-US®||1 year||Best adjustable pillow for acid reflux|
|Brentwood Home||$54.00*||BioFoam®, bamboo-derived rayon cover||7 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches||CertiPUR-US®, Climate Neutral||1 year||Best acid reflux pillow for back sleepers|
* — prices vary depending on the size of the pillow.
What is a wedge pillow, and how does it work?
A wedge pillow is a specialized type of pillow designed with a triangular or wedge shape. The incline of the wedge pillow raises the head or legs, depending on how it is used, to promote better positioning and posture during sleep.
Wedge pillows are typically made of firm foam, and some may have a layer of memory foam on top for added comfort. They come in various sizes and inclines to cater to individual needs and preferences.
The use of the wedge pillow lies in its ability to elevate certain parts of the body. When used for the upper body, it raises the head and chest above the stomach. This position may help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. By keeping your head elevated, gravity helps keep stomach acid from rising into your esophagus, thus potentially reducing discomfort and providing sleep support.
Benefits of using a wedge pillow for acid reflux
Wedge pillows can be a beneficial addition to your sleep environment if you experience acid reflux. Here are some of the potential benefits:
- Sleep support. By elevating your upper body, wedge pillows may reduce the discomfort caused by acid reflux, which may lead to better sleep.
- Reduced reflux episodes. The elevation provided by the wedge pillow makes it harder for stomach acid to travel up into your esophagus.
- Potential health support. Regular use of a wedge pillow may potentially reduce the need for acid-reducing medications.
- Comfort. Many wedge pillows are made with memory foam for added comfort, supporting a good night's sleep.
According to a randomized study that included 15 subjects, sleeping on a foam wedge significantly reduced the time that the esophagus was exposed to a pH less than 4 (acidic PH), compared to a flat position.
It is important to note that while a wedge pillow can help in the management of the symptoms of acid reflux, it is not a cure for GERD or acid reflux. Always consult with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive treatment plan.
Other remedies to pair with a wedge pillow for acid reflux
While managing acid reflux symptoms, it is important to consider various remedies and lifestyle changes. These changes, along with the use of a wedge pillow, may help to reduce symptoms. Here are some lifestyle modifications that can help in the management of acid reflux:
- Dietary changes. Certain foods and drinks can trigger acid reflux. These include spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. Reducing or eliminating these from your diet may help manage symptoms.
- Weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight in people with high body fat levels may reduce pressure on your stomach and prevent stomach acid from rising into your esophagus.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, making it easier for stomach acids to reflux into the esophagus. Smoking cessation has been shown to improve GERD symptoms.
- Eat smaller meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three large meals daily can prevent your stomach from becoming too full and pushing up against the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Avoid eating right before bed. Try not to eat anything for at least 2–3 hours before bedtime. This gives your stomach time to empty before you lie down.
Potential side effects or adjustments of using a wedge pillow
While wedge pillows can be a beneficial tool in the management of acid reflux symptoms, it is vital to be aware of potential side effects or adjustments that may be needed when you start using them. Here are some common concerns that some users have raised and the reality behind them:
- Discomfort or pain. Some people may initially find a wedge pillow uncomfortable to use, especially if they’re used to sleeping flat. It’s normal to need some time to adjust to the new sleeping position.
- Limited movement. If you’re someone who moves around a lot in your sleep, you might find the wedge pillow restrictive. However, many people adjust to this over time.
- Slide down the pillow. Some people might find themselves sliding down the pillow during the night. This can usually be mitigated by adjusting the pillow's position or using a pillow with a higher incline.
Conclusion: best wedge pillows for acid reflux
This article explored the top 5 wedge pillows for acid reflux, their benefits, and potential side effects. While these pillows may help reduce acid reflux symptoms by elevating your upper body, they’re not a cure for GERD or acid reflux. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice. Ultimately, the best reflux pillow for adults should have a gentle incline and be made of comfortable material.
Further reading for sleep support
Best body pillow cover: to protect your body pillows and give them an aesthetic look.
Best body pillow can perfectly adjust to your body for ultimate comfort.
Best organic pillows for high breathability and restful sleep.
Best memory foam pillows for neck pain relief, suitable for side sleepers.
Best body pillow for back pain that will likely reduce discomfort and improve overall well-being.
How does a wedge pillow help with acid reflux?
A wedge pillow elevates your upper body and creates an angle that uses gravity to keep stomach acid from rising into your esophagus. This positioning may help to reduce the discomfort associated with acid reflux symptoms. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary.
Is it comfortable to use a wedge pillow for sleeping?
Yes. Many people find using a wedge pillow for sleeping quite comfortable. However, like any change, it may require an adjustment period. The comfort level can also depend on personal preferences and the specific design and material of the wedge pillow.
What's the best pillow angle of elevation for acid reflux?
The best angle of elevation for a pillow to help with acid reflux is typically within 30–45 degrees. This angle helps to use gravity to keep stomach acid from rising into your esophagus. It is also recommended to elevate your head between 6 and 12 inches.
How to maintain and clean my wedge pillow?
First, remove the cover and wash it using cold water to maintain your wedge pillow. For the foam part of the pillow, you should only spot-clean it using a damp cloth and mild soap. After cleaning, let it air dry thoroughly before reusing it to prevent mold growth.