What Is the Best Pillow for Sitting up in Bed

Have you ever tried to sit up in bed to read or watch TV and found that you just couldn’t get comfortable?

You shove lumpy pillows behind you and try to prop your neck up on those thin sham pillows. But somehow, your spine ends up aching, you develop a crick in your neck, and your hips fall asleep within five minutes.

Having the right pillow support can make sitting up in bed much more comfortable. Read on to discover which pillows you need to keep you comfortable when you’re sitting in bed.

Why Get a Sit-Up Pillow?

If you sit up in bed for any reason on a regular basis, a sit-up pillow can help you stay more healthy and comfortable.

Maybe you like to read in bed before you go to sleep, or maybe you’re pregnant and spending time on bedrest. Either way, no one likes shoving a lumpy pillow behind their back and ignoring the headboard pressing into their spine.

A sit-up pillow can make it more comfortable for you to sit in bed for longer periods of time. It can help prevent strain on your back, neck, hips, or knees. And it can help you maintain good posture instead of sliding into that half-slouch fifteen minutes into sitting up in bed.

Importance of Good Ergonomics

It may sound strange to think you need to practice good ergonomics while you’re sitting in bed. But your posture impacts nearly every area of your life, and it’s important to make sure you’re getting the support you need.

Good ergonomics help to make sure you don’t develop back pain or bad posture habits, no matter where you are.

When you practice good ergonomics, you keep your neck, spine, hips, knees, and feet all properly aligned. This helps prevent strains which can then lead to worse posture and pain. When your body has the support it needs, you can feel your best and live your best life every day. 

How to Use It

The most important thing to do when using a sit-up pillow is to be consistent.

You need to make sure every time you’re sitting up in bed that you’re using your cushion support system. Foregoing it could leave you vulnerable to a strain, especially if you’ve had previous problems with back pain or strained muscles.

Set your pillow system up as close to the headboard or wall as possible, moving your normal sleeping pillows out of the way. Then make sure you position your hips as close to the front of your sit-up pillow as possible. You want your back to be upright and your hips to be at a 90-degree angle to your spine while you sit in bed.

What Features to Look For 

When you’re shopping for a sit-up pillow, there are a few features you should keep an eye out for.

For one thing, make sure the covers are washable. If you’re using this pillow on a regular basis, you don’t want to have to worry about it getting grimy or having to take it to the dry cleaners.

You should also look for a pillow made from memory foam. We’ll talk a little more about memory foam and its benefits in a moment, but these pillows can provide you the best support. It will be more than worth the investment to give your back and hips the support and comfort they need in your sit-up pillow. 

What Is Memory Foam? 

Memory foam is a dense polymer foam that has some particular properties that make it amazing for back and hip support.

Memory foam is primarily made of polyurethane. You may hear it referred to as “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam. This viscoelasticity means that memory foam can not only mold to your shape, but maintain that form for a time after you get up. 

Memory foam can come in a variety of densities, and some even come infused with gel to keep you cool. Most memory foams are designed to soften when they warm up, especially as they’re exposed to body heat. This helps them to give way under high-pressure areas without sacrificing support in lower-pressure areas.

Benefits of Memory Foam

There are a number of reasons memory foam makes a great material for pillows and cushions.

For one, its molding properties make it an amazing way to get a pillow designed specifically for your shape. No more shifting lumps out of the way or fluffing pillows to meet your needs—memory foam creates a pillow designed for you. 

Thanks to its softening properties, memory foam also helps to redistribute your weight for a more even seat. This can help remove pressure from key points such as your hips and spine.

Redistributing your weight can also help improve your circulation, putting you at lower risk for blood clots and other health issues.

How to Clean Memory Foam

Memory foam can be somewhat tricky to clean. After all, you can’t just toss it in the washing machine in most cases.

First and foremost, make sure your memory foam cushions have washable covers. This can keep your pillows fresh and reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning the cushions themselves. 

Mix a gentle laundry detergent into a sink or tub filled with warm (not hot) water. Submerge your pillow in this water and then rinse it in cold, clean water until the water runs clear. Roll your pillow in a towel and squeeze it to wring out as much water as possible, and then allow it to dry for up to twenty-four hours. 

Wedge Pillow 

One of the best sit-up pillows you can get is a wedge pillow. In fact, you should get two wedge pillows to work in tandem: a larger wedge and a smaller wedge. The smaller one should be a right triangle, the larger should be an obtuse triangle, and both should be the same width. 

Start by setting your smaller right triangle wedge at the corner of the mattress and the headboard with the longest side facing out. Then stack your obtuse triangle on top with the longest side also facing out and the shortest side against the headboard.

This will create a slight recline for you to lean back against while still providing plenty of cushioning.

Neck Pillow 

We’ve all gotten a crick in our necks from staring down at a book or our phones while sitting up in bed too long.

Neck support is very important, and it’s hard to get your neck aligned properly without the right sit-up pillows. Having a good neck pillow is critical to maintaining good posture while sitting up in bed. 

Look for a pillow that helps to keep your head aligned over your spine and supports the base of your head. Travel neck pillows can be a great option for this, whether you’re at home or flying the friendly skies. You can also get a half-moon pillow that will sit on top of your wedge pillows and cradle the natural curve of your neck. 

Arm Pillow

When many of us think of a sit-up pillow, we picture an arm pillow, or what some of us used to call a “boyfriend pillow.”

These pillows have an inclined back rest and two short arms that rest on either sides of our hips. And they can make a great option for a pillow to support you while you sit up in bed.

An arm pillow provides the sort of gentle recline you need when sitting up in bed. The arms help to keep your hips properly aligned, as well as providing support for your elbows. Pair this with a neck pillow for an experience that will feel as comfortable as being cradled by a beloved partner. 

Knee Wedge 

When you’re thinking about pillows to support you while you sit up in bed, it’s easy to overlook your knees. But sitting with your legs extended straight out in front of you isn’t a very natural position.

Over time, it can put strain on your knees, as well as pulling your hips out of line. A pillow tucked under your knees can help to pull your hips and spine into more natural alignment, as well as supporting your knees.

Look for a wedge pillow that will provide a comfortable angle for your calves to rest on. You can also get a half-moon pillow similar to the one you have for your neck to provide a little gentler support.

Seat Cushion 

Have you ever noticed that your rear end tends to fall asleep when you’re sitting up in bed?

All of your body weight gets concentrated on your hips when you’re in this position, and it can compress blood vessels. A memory foam seat cushion can keep your hips and rear happy and pain-free while you’re sitting up in bed.

Look for a memory foam wedge cushion that will help keep your hips aligned properly. If you’ve previously had problems with tailbone pain, consider looking for a pillow with a coccyx cutout. The memory foam will help to redistribute your weight much better than your bed could. 

Lumbar Support Pillow

Your spine naturally curves in a few places, and one of the main curves is in your low back, also called your lumbar region.

When you’re sitting in bed, it can be easy to slouch, pulling this curve out of line and straining your lumbar muscles. This can also put extra pressure on your upper back as your weight lands between your shoulder blades.

A good lumbar support pillow can help you sit up straighter and remove pressure from your back. Memory foam will give your back the support it needs without placing extra pressure on your spine. Paired with a knee pillow and neck pillow, a lumbar support pillow can help keep you aligned.

girl on the couch with a knee pillow

Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

While sitting up in bed can be far more comfortable with these pillows, it’s also important to practice good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene is essentially training your brain that when you’re in bed, it’s time to sleep. This can be especially important if you struggle with insomnia or if you’re a restless sleeper.

As much as possible, try to avoid working in bed, even if you now have a remote job. Reading in bed for short periods is okay, but it should be part of your wind-down routine before you go to sleep.

In general, try to keep your bed a space you only use for sleep and sex. You’ll find that you’re much more well-rested.

Other Bedroom Comforts 

There are a few additional products that can take your bedroom from a blah space to a restful haven.

Start by getting a humidifier. These add moisture to your room by emitting a gentle mist into the air. Humidifiers can help manage sleep apnea and allergies, keep your skin glowing, and keep your paint from cracking or peeling.

You may also want to get an essential oil diffuser to put in your bedroom. These devices break essential oils into a fine mist and disperse them into your space to provide gentle aromatherapy benefits.

In your bedroom, try relaxing scents like lavender or sandalwood that can help lull you to sleep.

humidifier and oil diffuser in the living room

Find the Best Pillow for Sitting Up in Bed 

Sitting up in bed can be very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be.

Having the right memory foam pillows can create a cloud-like support that keeps you comfortable for as long as you need it. Add in an essential oil diffuser with your favorite scent and you’ll be ready to drift off to a wonderland of comfort. 

If you’d like to find more comfort in your daily 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 your most luxurious life.

Shop our back pain relief products today and start living pain-free.

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