Best Knee Pillows for Side and Back Sleepers, Hip Pain, and Pregnancy (Reviewed in 2020)


Knee pillows come highly recommended for the precise reason that they are best at facilitating the support that your body needs for a healthy sleeping position.

Not only the knee pillows are excellent acquisitions (especially, if you prefer sleeping on your side), but they are designated for various health conditions such as back & hip pain and pregnancy.

However, we know that the overflowing number of knee pillows on the market could make your search difficult. That is why we created this buying guide that addresses- the most frequently met questions on the topic, the benefits associated with knee pillows, key features of a perfect product, and our top recommendations with unbiased reviews. Let’s proceed, shall we?

Knee Pillow Benefits (Research Backed)


Sleeping with a knee pillow is linked to a handful of benefits. Misalignment during sleeping could cause strain and stress on the neck, spine, knees, legs, shoulder and other parts of the body. Here are the main benefits of getting a knee pillow:

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    Knee pillows eliminate pressure and muscle tension in the lower back. That is accomplished as a knee pillow ensures a correct alignment of the body during the sleep.
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    They diminish lower back pain, muscle cramps, and the discomfort associated with sciatica and varicose veins. In fact, an incorrect sleeping posture is, many times, the primary cause of sciatica pain or muscle pressure.
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    They elevate the lower body. This way, you maintain a straight side sleeping position that maximizes your comfort and boosts the quality of your sleep.
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    They enhance blood circulation in the legs. A correct sleeping position has a beneficial effect on your blood circulation, which translates into the prevention of sore knees, muscle tension, and achy legs.
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    They offer adequate support. A knee pillow positions the hips, legs, and spine in a proper anatomical alignment, providing support during your sleep.
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    They provide pain relief if you’re suffering from osteoporosis. This is a widespread medical condition, so using a knee pillow to support your sore joints could ease your discomfort or facilitate pain relief.
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    They prevent back pain. If you’re prone to back pain, or you’re already coping with this issue, sleeping on your side with a knee pillow could keep the pain away. Sleeping on the stomach or your back could worsen your condition.
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    Decreased stress. By using a knee pillow, you’ll find it significantly easier to get into a comfortable sleeping position. As opposed to tossing and turning around, a knee pillow will make it easier for you to fall asleep, which will help you feel well-rested the next day.

How Do Knee Pillows Work?

Sleeping in the fetal position a.k.a. sleeping on your side is the healthiest position for sleep. But, only if you can maintain the natural curve of the spine so that the body remains properly aligned during your sleep.

Here comes the knee pillow. It alleviates the pressure on your lower back and hips and distributes it evenly throughout the entire body. So, by introducing a knee pillow, you minimize leg and back tension.

Moreover, as a good side effect, a knee  pillow also relaxes your hamstring muscles, which also enhances the leg and back relaxation. It keeps the pelvis and hips in their perfect position, aligning your spine. Therefore, it will make you feel more relaxed than ever before.

How to Position a Knee Pillow, Correctly

Undoubtedly, if you want to get the most out of your knee pillow, you should position it correctly. Here's how you should do it:


As a side sleeper, you should place the pillow between your knees or thighs, when you are in fetal position. It will also prevent you from rolling over, maintaining a correct position even if you underwent a leg surgery.


As a back sleeper, place the pillow the long way under the knees to keep the knees up and take the pressure off the spine.

Knee pillows can also be positioned under body parts different from the knee. For instance, placing it under your arms as you are lying on your back.

Who Should Get a Knee Pillow and Why?

As mentioned before, this item is an investment that benefits your health. Here’s who should get one and why.

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    People Suffering From Back Pain: Sciatica pain could impair your comfort during sleep, as well as our daily routines. By aligning the legs with a knee pillow, you reduce the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Did you know that sleeping on the side grows the pressure in the places where the sciatic nerves travel? However, by elevating the upper leg, the pain and inflammation are minimized.
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    People Suffering From Knee Pain: The day-to-day use of the legs could eventually lead to knee pain. That could also be a result of heavy exercising. However, the way you sleep can also influence the pressure applied to your knees. The recommended sleeping position for this scenario is on the side. By aligning the legs, you avoid putting additional stress on the knees. Your knees need a pillow to absorb that stress and support them. Furthermore, this will ease your discomfort.
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    People Suffering From Hip Pain: A knee pillow aids people suffering from hip pain as it prevents the hips from rotating when you move during the sleep. That additionally hinders your body from angling over, which could worsen your pain and discomfort. If you have a severe condition check the article best coccyx cushions.
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    Side Sleepers: If you prefer sleeping on your side, waking up, well-rested can be a challenge. That is because your bony knees could bump into each other during the night. That leads to an uncomfortable friction as they rub against one another. Getting a knee pillow combined with the right side sleeping pillows will prevent that from happening.
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    Back Sleepers: If you’d rather sleep on your back, you could still utilize a knee pillow. It can be effective in relaxing the legs and diminishing the tension applied on the lower back (provided that you use a good back sleeping pillow). Apart from that, such an item keeps the spine aligned, reducing the pressure on the tail bone.
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    Pregnant Women: Expectant mothers are rather restricted when it comes to sleeping. So, women should adopt the side-sleeping position during the months of pregnancy. It may ease their discomfort, making the baby less likely to kick so often. Plus, a knee pillow should keep your body aligned, promote healthy circulation and relaxation.
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    People With Poor Circulation: Poor circulation is another common concern for many people. It may lead to varicose veins, swollen legs, muscle stretching, etcetera. Due to gravity, the sleep position you adopt also plays a prime role in the blood circulation in the legs. By elevating your legs, the spasms and tingling in the legs associated with poor circulation are significantly reduced. That facilitates a healthy blood flow from the heart to the body.
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    People Who Had A Recent Surgery: Considering that you had surgery and you experience discomfort and pain during sleep, you should correctly align the spine, hips, and knees. A knee pillow aims at aligning the bone structure for more comfort and pain relief.
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    People With Spine Misalignment: If you struggle with spine misalignment, a knee pillow could also do wonders, for the reasons enumerated above. This item will elevate the body and promote a healthy sleeping position.

Types of Knee Pillows

Although knee pillows look pretty much alike, they are available in various types, as it follows:

1) Hourglass Knee Pillow: The most common and the most affordable type of knee pillow is that shaped like an hourglass. Its design prevents your legs from sliding out during the sleep. Additionally, you may either use it between your thighs or move it down to the lower legs, depending on your needs.

2) Strap on Knee Pillow: This type of knee pillow features a strap that you may attach to one of your legs. That prevents the pillow from moving around during the night. What is more, this pillow design is typically longer than the hourglass one.

3) Long Knee Pillow: Although long knee pillows could provide increased support to your lower body, they could prevent you from turning over during your sleep. However, these are perfect for you if you want to cradle your entire body along with the knees.

4) Wedge Knee Pillow: A wedge knee pillow is shaped in a triangle form to bring the upper and lower part of your legs in a triangular position. It comes highly recommended for diminishing lower back pain. Apart from that, it facilitates a good position for swollen feet, varicose veins or tired muscles. It is suitable for back-sleepers, as it slightly inclines the knees as you sit on your back. Note: If you are suffering from GERD or acid reflux, check this detailed guide to wedge pillows.

Knee Pillow Buying Guide: Key Features of The Best Product

When you’re looking for the best knee pillow, you should take into account some important factors such as:

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    Firmness: It pillow should present an adequate level of firmness. To be more precise, it shouldn’t be too soft or too firm. The right amount of firmness will keep the knees comfortable while providing pain relief. For the most part, medium firmness is the right one for most people, as it keeps the knees apart, which is one of the primary purposes of a knee pillow.
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    Material: Manufacturers utilize various materials for creating knee pillows: water, gel, memory foam, so on and so forth. While memory foam pillows tend to be pricier than other alternatives, they are preferred by many since they are hypoallergenic and they take the form of the body perfectly.
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    Thickness: Aside from firmness, the thickness is also important. A thin pillow won’t do a good job at maintaining a proper distance between your legs. Four to six inches of depth should offer you the greatest comfort, as well as enough spinal alignment.
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    Durability: A knee pillow is an investment, especially since some products are rather expensive. So, it should come accompanied by the manufacturer’s guarantee that it won’t flatten, clump or get damaged over time. Make sure you consider that before making a purchase.
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    Your Body Weight: You should determine the thickness of the knee pillow after examining your body weight. For instance, a thicker pillow is better suited for overweight users, and a softer pillow is fitted for skinny users.
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    Purpose: Each product is designated for a particular purpose. The same applies to knee pillows. For example, some are meant to enhance your blood circulation, while others are supposed to offer back pain relief. Depending on your need, you should consider this aspect to get the most out of your purchase.
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    Flexibility: If you want to fold the pillow when you hold it between your knees, you should look for an item with enhanced flexibility. Side sleepers like twisting or tucking the pillow. In this scenario, you should select one made of gel, shredded memory foam, water, etcetera, which would allow you to do that.

6 Top-Rated Knee Pillows with Reviews

There are innumerable options of knee pillow in the market. To ease your selection process, we have enlisted our best picks. They are worth your investment:

1. ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow for Back/Leg/Hip Pain and Pregnancy - Top Pick, Great For All Positions.

My Analysis

This hourglass-shaped knee pillow is made from memory foam that is well known for it's ability to retain heat, giving you both comfort and warmth at the same time. However, it will be a bad purchase if you live in hot weather of Florida.

Considering the pillows 60 DBS density, you don't have to be extra-careful with using it. You can squeeze it between your knees as tightly as you want and it won't go flat. It's sturdiness will make you buy pillows less often, making it a good long term investment.

I loved the fact that the cover is removable and you can machine wash it. I can relate to how painful it is when you have accidentally spilled some fluids on a pillow and the manufacturer warns against washing it. Thus, the only option remains open is to throw it away and buy a new one. 

Thankfully, that won't be the case with this product as you can easily remove and wash it's cover or, in the worst case scenario, you can buy a new cover instead of buying a new pillow.

Who's This For

Since the pillow's shape is designed to keep your knees in place, I'd suggest it to you if you suffer from sciatica or pinched nerve.  Furthermore, it's shape keeps your spine aligned that should be a priority if you prefer to sleep on your side.

Also take note that memory foam doesn't allow microbes to seep through it, making it a good option if you are allergic to dust mites.


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    Comfortable and very soft.
  • Firmer than your average pillow.
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    Comes with a 3 years warranty


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    A little large, so it will take some time getting used to it.
  • Not suitable if you suffer from night sweats. 

2. Abco Tech Premium Memory Foam Knee Pillow - Great Pillow for Back Sleepers

This knee pillow is made from a hypoallergenic material, so it is the perfect thing to sleep with if you have a deep issue with hygiene.

Having a zippered pillow case that can be easily removed and washed, you will no longer be waking up in the middle of the night, sneezing because you came into contact with certain allergens.

Made from visco-elastic memory foam, this pillow will contour itself around your knees so that you won’t even notice there’s something there. It will encourage a relaxed and aligned posture that will improve the quality of your sleep.

This pillow is soft and comfortable, but firm enough to ensure that it will keep its shape. It will uplift your upper knee so that your spine is completely aligned, therefore reducing the muscle tension. 


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    Provides great comfort and support.
  • The removable zippered cover is breathable and easy to clean.
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    The hourglass shape allows the pillow to stay in place even if you change sides.


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    Some people complained that the pillow compresses after a few hours.
  • The pillow is a bit short in size.

Cheer Comfort Orthopedic Knee Pillow - Best Leg Pillow for Side Sleepers

If you’re tired of your knee pillow continuously slipping off from between your knees, you may want to try this model with a strap. You can remove it, but if it’s used, it will keep the pillow in place if you roll over to the other side.

You will no longer have to deal with the hassle of readjusting the pillow, which means that you will sleep undisturbed.

Made from 100% pure memory foam, this pillow will remember the shape of your knees and will primarily “curl” around them so that you can sleep comfortably. It won’t flatten or lose its shape over time, so it guarantees an extended use.

This knee pillow also comes with an attractive bonus: two sets of memory foam earplugs packed in a travel case. They have an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 33, which means you’ll barely be able to hear a thing. Plus, since they take your ear’s shape, you’ll barely even feel them there.


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    Soft and smooth to the feel.
  • Stays in place thanks to the leg strap.
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    The earplugs are a nice and convenient addition.


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    You may find the zipper is weak.
  • The pillow is quite heavy.

4. Cushy Foam Half Moon Bolster/Wedge Knee Pillow for Back & Side Sleepers

If you’re looking for a pillow that offers more support, then you may want to give this one a try.

This dual layer bolsters pillow is firm and can give your knees enough support, no matter if you are a back or side sleeper.

This pillow is covered by a washable and breathable organic cotton fabric – a blend that will keep you cool throughout the hot summer nights. It acts as a multi-purpose pillow, being ideal for pregnant women or those who just underwent surgery.

This item is longer than your average pillow, which means that it will provide more coverage. It has therapeutic effects, with the materials being hypoallergenic and of durable quality.


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    Great for pregnant women who need more coverage.
  • The memory foam is firm – and can hold the firmness.
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    It can resist allergens.


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    If you’re very tall, this pillow might be small for you.
  • Some people complained that the foam has indentations.

5. Hermell Elevated Leg Rest Pillow

If you’re looking for something to bring you pain relief, then the Hermell wedge pillow is the one for you.

With its “zero gravity” alignment, it works well in releasing the tension from your coccyx and tailbone, relieving your leg and back pain.

This pillow is larger than your average knee pillow, which means that it will bring more elevation than you might be used to. It was, however, designed to be a comfortable fit for anyone.

No assembly is necessary for this pillow, and it’s also very easy to clean. The cotton cover can be unzipped and washed normally, having easy-dry features.


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    Perfect density; not too firm, nor too soft.
  • Doesn’t wobble, even on a foam mattress.
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    It offers more lift to the knees than the average knee pillow.


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    Some people claim that it’s too big to sleep comfortably on it.
  • Not for side sleepers.

6. Cushy Cloud Orthopedic Memory Foam Knee Pillow

Hourglass pillows are the favorite thing for side sleepers, which is why the Cushy Cloud one is loved by so many.

Made from pure medical memory foam, this pillow is not only comfortable but also provides superior support that lasts throughout an entire night.

The contoured design of this pillow is meant to conform to your legs so that your spine is aligned – and therefore you can sleep comfortably. The pillow will not lose its shape or move from its place even if you shift positions throughout the night.

Plus, it also features a soft velboa cover that you simply won’t stop touching. You can also easily unzip it and throw it in the washing machine each time you believe it’s in need of a thorough cleaning.


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    Soft and fluffy velboa cover.
  • Contoured design prevents the pillow from shifting.
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    The pillow will keep its shape even if you are overweight.


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    The somewhat “furry” cover may be allergenic to some people.
  • Some people say it’s too stiff.

Must Read Before You Go!

To sum up, knee pillows offer much more than pain relief. They also aim at relaxing the other connecting muscles and ligaments such as the lower back, sciatica, neck, hip, joints, so on and so forth. You can benefit from these features by selecting one of the products reviewed in this article.

Knee pillows have a mission of aligning and supporting the bone system, diminishing the pressure exercised on the spine, knees, and hips. Evidently, that result in improved quality of sleep, pain relief, and your overall well-being.

Pregnant ladies and patients recovering from surgery will also enjoy using a knee pillow. We hope that our article has offered you the background information you needed for making the right choice for your health.

About the Author Jessica Larsen

I am a big advocate that having great sleep is something everyone deserves. With over 10 years of experience in this field, I would love to use this platform as a means to help you achieve a good night's sleep.

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