What Does a Knee Pillow Do?

Do you wake up in the morning and rub at a sore back or aching hips? Do you feel like your posture is off throughout the day, no matter how ergonomic your desk chair is? Do your knees bother you, and do you often get cricks in your neck? 

If any of this sounds familiar, you could benefit from sleeping with a knee pillow. Read on to learn more about these cushions and how they can help you get your best night of sleep ever. 

girl after waking up

What Is a Knee Pillow? 

As the name suggests, a knee pillow is a cushion designed to slide between your knees. This helps to support your knees as you sleep, as well as pulling your hips and back into a more natural sleeping posture. A knee pillow can be made from any variety of materials, but the best ones are made from memory foam.

In general, knee pillows are somewhat x-shaped with wider flares on each side to support your legs and a divot in the middle for your knees to rest in. They may also have a strap on one or both sides to keep them in place while you sleep. Many knee pillows have removable, washable covers to make cleaning them simple.

Common Side Sleeper Problems 

If you're a side sleeper, there are a number of common aches and pains you may run into. For one thing, the hip you sleep on might begin to ache from the extra pressure put on it. You might also notice your top hip hurting when you get up in the morning.

Side sleepers often have low back pain due to their sleeping posture. If you have osteoporosis or arthritis, it could become worse in the hip and shoulder you sleep on. And side sleepers with the wrong kinds of head pillows could experience neck pain or strain. 

Importance of Good Sleep Posture 

We all know practicing good posture is important during the day time. It helps us stand up straighter, avoid back pain, and keep everything aligned like it’s supposed to be. But did you know it’s important to practice good sleeping posture, too?

You spend a third of your day in bed – more time, even, than you spend at your desk or in your favorite armchair at home. Making sure your body stays properly aligned while you sleep can help you avoid aches, pains, and too many trips to the chiropractor. After all, what’s the point of maintaining good posture through the day if you’re going to pull everything out of line while you sleep?

Proper Side Sleeping Posture

When you sleep on your side, you want to keep your spine in as straight a line as possible. Your whole spine should be aligned parallel to the bed, and your hips should be aligned with each other and at a right angle to your spine. Your knees should be an even space apart, and should stay in line with your hips.

You need to make sure your neck is supported in its proper curvature, rather than being shoved off to an unnatural angle. Your waist needs to be supported to keep your lumbar spine in line with the rest of your back. And your knees should have a pillow between them rather than lying on top of each other, tugging your hips out of line.

Reduce Pressure

Having a knee pillow can help you reduce the amount of pressure on both your bottom hip and your knees themselves. When you sleep with no knee pillow, the weight of your legs is pressed into that hip as gravity pulls everything down. This can create tremendous pressure on your hip, which can make arthritis or osteoporosis symptoms worse.

A knee pillow helps to redistribute and support some of that weight so your hips aren’t under so much pressure. It also reduces pressure on your knees themselves. When they aren’t resting on top of one another, your knees can have the time they need to heal and recover from a long day of work. 

Relieve Pain 

If you wake up in the morning fighting aches and pains, a knee pillow could help. By separating your knees, it lifts your hips back into position, relieving strain on your top hip. This can keep you from waking up in the morning with aching hips.

Sleeping without a knee pillow can also strain your low back, leaving you in pain and out of alignment the next morning. Because a knee pillow shifts your hips into a more natural position, this can relieve strain on your spine. You won’t wake up feeling like you’ve been sleeping with your back in an S position all night.

Stay Comfortable During Pregnancy

Trying to find a comfortable sleeping position while you’re pregnant is challenging to say the least, especially as the baby grows. Sleeping on your side may be your only comfortable option, but this still leaves a lot of pressure on your back and hips. And your body is already under plenty of strain with your baby bump growing every day.

pregnant girl

A knee pillow can ease pain and pressure in your hips, keeping them well-positioned while you sleep. It can also remove any needless strain from your back. This can make it easier for your muscles to adjust to your growing bump since they have time to rest and grow during the night instead of experiencing more strain.

Keep Your Back Aligned

When your back gets out of line, it can cause more problems than just pain. If your muscles get strained, you may start to use poor posture to compensate for that pain. This can lead to further strains, worse posture, and so on in a vicious cycle that leaves you unable to stand up straight without pain.

A knee pillow can help keep your back aligned from the start so you’re never fighting against muscle strains and bad posture. Once your hips and low back are in line, it’s easier to get your upper back and neck aligned properly. You can sleep with all the support you need to keep your back in line and pain-free.

Manage Sleep Apnea 

It may sound odd, but sleeping with a knee pillow can actually help manage sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft palette falls down when you sleep. This closes off the throat, and you stop breathing for a few seconds until your brain wakes you up enough to lift your soft palette back up.

Sleeping with a knee pillow can help keep your head more in line with the rest of your body. This keeps your airways as open as possible, reducing the number of times you stop breathing throughout the night. This can lead to more restful sleep, less snoring, and even less risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. 

Improve Circulation 

You might be surprised to learn that a memory foam knee pillow can actually help to improve your circulation. When your weight rests mostly on one hip, the blood vessels there get compressed, cutting off healthy blood flow to your legs. This can increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis or other clotting disorders.

Because a knee pillow removes pressure from your hips, it can help keep your blood flowing smoothly. Memory foam can also help improve your circulation thanks to the way it’s structured. It gives way under higher points of pressure without collapsing entirely, helping to redistribute your weight and keep all your blood vessels unencumbered.

Factors to Consider

There are a few factors you’ll want to consider when shopping for a knee pillow. For one thing, you need to consider how much weight will be resting on the pillow when you use it. If you’re a bigger-bodied person, you may want to look for a pillow that’s made from a slightly denser foam.

If you’re pregnant, you may also want to be selective about the shape of knee pillow you choose. You want to find one that will give you plenty of support while also allowing you to relax comfortably with your growing baby bump. The traditional x-shaped pillows we mentioned earlier are a great option.

What to Look for in a Knee Pillow

When you’re selecting a knee pillow, there are a few things you should look for. First, decide if you want a strap to keep your legs properly aligned on the pillow while you sleep. If you move a lot in your sleep, this may be a good idea to promote proper sleeping posture. 

You should always look for a knee pillow made of memory foam. This dense foam provides excellent, custom-tailored support and a variety of other benefits we’ll talk about in a moment. But your memory foam knee pillow should also have a washable cover to make cleaning simple.

What Is Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a dense polymer foam that can be molded into a variety of shapes. You may also hear it called viscoelastic foam; this refers to the foam’s two defining qualities. Visco foam is dense and provides lots of support, while elastic foam relaxes under you and may retain its shape for a time after you get up. 

One of the most remarkable properties of memory foam is the way it softens. As it absorbs your body heat and warms up, memory foam softens under the areas of highest pressure. This is how it molds perfectly to your shape, keeping you supported and aligned in a proper sleeping posture.

Benefits of Memory Foam

As we’ve mentioned, memory foam has a variety of benefits, For one thing, it helps to remove even more pressure from points like your knees thanks to its softening structure. It can also help to improve your circulation and reduce your risk of clotting disorders.

But memory foam can also give you a more relaxed and restful sleep each night. Because it molds perfectly to your shape, you don’t have to shift it around and punch it back into shape every few hours. You can just drift off to dreamland, cradled in comfort by your memory foam supports. 

Other Support Pillows

There are some other support pillows you may want to get to ensure proper sleep posture. First and foremost, if you don’t have a memory foam head pillow, you need to get one. The right pillow can give you perfect neck support and make sure you never wake up with a crick in your neck again.

You may also want to look into getting a half-moon pillow to place under your waist as you sleep. This can help keep your lumbar spine in line with the rest of your back, reducing low back pain. And if you’re expecting, a memory foam wedge pillow placed beneath your stomach can give you a little extra support and comfort throughout the night. 

Discover the Benefits of a Knee Pillow

Sleeping with a memory foam knee pillow can help you live your best pain-free life. It can keep your hips and spine aligned and make sure you stay in a good sleep posture all night. It can also help improve your circulation and even reduce the effects of sleep apnea, giving you your best night’s sleep.

If you’d like to discover more tools for living a pain-free life, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have everything from memory foam pillows and cushions to essential oil diffusers to keep you living life on a cloud. Shop our collections today and discover what a life of ultimate comfort can be like.

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