The Best Wedge Pillows Make Really Good Reading and Netflix Marathons More Comfy
That wonky shape is the key.
Published May 25, 2022 1:25 AM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
We’ll level with you—wedge pillows aren’t the prettiest-looking bunch. But some things just trump looks, and proper lounging and sleep posture is one of them. “A lot of people with chronic back or neck pain can’t comfortably sleep in a bed,” explains Dr. Alicia Roth, a board-certified behavioral sleep psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center. “They’ll opt for a recliner instead, which is not ideal. But wedge pillows can allow them to sleep in bed,” she says.
A wedge pillow’s wonky shape can be challenging to work with, but New York City–based interior designer Tina Ramchandani says there are seamless ways to incorporate it into a bedroom stylishly (think: soft colors and a rich textural palette). Below, we’ve rounded up six of the best wedge pillows to support you in all your fave chill activities.
- Best overall: Helix Wedge Pillow
- Best value: Brentwood Home Zuma Wedge Pillow
- Best cooling: Therapedic Cool Gel Wedge Pillow
- Best down alternative: The Company Store Down Alternative Wedge Pillow
- Best adjustable: Ondekt Wedge Pillow
- Best for pregnancy: Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
Best Overall: Helix Wedge Pillow
Fill: Hypoallergenic gel memory foam and polyurethane foam | Incline: 10 inches | Cover material: Rayon-and-polyester blend
What we like:
- 100-night sleep trial
- Free shipping
- Made in the U.S.
- 1 size only
Why we chose it: Its medium size is perfectly suited for a multitude of activities.
At a 10-inch incline, Helix’s wedge pillow offers a middle ground between many others in the category. It can comfortably be positioned behind the back to ease neck pain or below the knees to provide back support. Gel memory foam will contour to the shape of your body for pinpointed pressure relief. And with a price tag below $100, this pillow will seriously up your sleep game without feeling like a major investment. Plus that 100-night trial means you can really try it out before committing. (When it comes to purchasing pillows or mattresses, Roth always encourages choosing companies that offer at least a 60-day trial.)
Best Value: Brentwood Home Zuma Wedge Pillow
Fill: Foam | Incline: 7 or 10 inches | Cover material: Bamboo-derived rayon
What we like:
- Affordable price
- Made in Los Angeles
- 100 percent of the brand’s carbon footprint is offset
- Sizes go in and out of stock
Why we chose it: A price we love for a pillow we love even more.
We’re fans of Brentwood Home’s commitment to sustainability and organic materials. The brand is certified Climate Neutral, meaning it powers production with 100 percent renewable energy and entirely offsets the rest of its carbon footprint (the company is owned by Domino favorite Avocado Green Brands). This budget-friendly pillow, made in Los Angeles, boasts a cover fabric derived from bamboo—a fast-growing organic plant that is regenerative in nature. You’ll find it’s on the firmer side for wedge pillows and it should retain its shape nicely without losing support over time. Brentwood Home also makes yoga accessories, so this pillow was designed with more activities than just sleeping in mind—whether you’re looking to read in bed or deepen your stretching routine.
Best Cooling: Therapedic Cool Gel Wedge Pillow
Fill: Synthetic foam | Incline: 7 inches | Cover material: Polyester
What we like:
- Cooling gel for hot sleepers
- Firm support for side sleepers
- Cover is slippery
- Very firm
Why we chose it: A miracle for sleepers who run hot.
Calling all steamy sleepers: With special cooling features, this pillow will help regulate your body temp while you sleep for a more refreshing night’s rest. If you’re looking for something very firm that will hold its form whether you’re sleeping on your back or your side, this wedge will do the trick. If it’s a bit too hard for you, try placing a thin pillow on top of the wedge (don’t you worry, the cooling benefits stick around). Take note that this pillow is slippery to the touch—we recommend adding a pillowcase to make sure you don’t spend the night sliding down and readjusting.
Best Down Alternative: The Company Store Down Alternative Wedge
Fill: Polyester | Incline: 12 inches | Cover material: Polyester and cotton
What we like:
- Non–memory foam option
- Designed for reading, lounging
- Oeko-Tex certified
- Medium size goes in and out of stock
- Heavier than others
Why we chose it: For when you feel like reading, watching, lounging…basically avoiding sleep.
We had to include an option for the memory foam–averse out there (we see you!). The Company Store’s down-alternative wedge pillow provides firm support with a fluffy finish. We also love to see the Oeko-Tex certification, the world’s strictest for nontoxic textiles. But those solely seeking to improve sleep, take note: The pillow’s shape was designed for propping you up (think: reading or lounging) more than supporting snoozes. Its two sizes are also on the bulkier side—both larger in size and heavier in weight—so keep in mind that it may feel fuller and take up more real estate in your bed.
Best Adjustable: Ondekt Wedge Pillow
Fill: Gel memory foam | Incline: Varies | Cover material: Polyester
What we like:
- Different configurations possible
- Use for upper body or leg elevation
- Only the top layer (1.5 inches) is memory foam
Why we chose it: Seven different configurations for the price (and space) of one pillow.
If you like to mix up your sleeping and lounging positions, this wedge pillow offers you endless options. With two detachable parts (connected via Velcro), you’re able to create several different configurations that accommodate all your aches and pains. By detaching the parts, you can change the incline to three different heights. This is a great pillow for people recovering from surgery or an injury who may have evolving needs throughout the healing process.
Best for Pregnancy: Boppy Pregnancy Jersey Wedge Pillow
Fill: Polyurethane foam | Incline: 3.75 inches | Cover material: Cotton and spandex
What we like:
- Great price
- Compact size (easy for travel)
- Transitions from prenatal pillow to postpartum and breastfeeding support
- May work better for lounging than sleeping
Why we chose it: An adaptable pregnancy pillow that will support both your prenatal and postpartum journeys.
The Boppy pregnancy wedge, a favorite of parents, provides firm support in a compact, travel-friendly size. (Deal seekers: The price is great, too.) Because Boppy products are specifically formulated for new moms and babies, the materials are extra-soft and infant-safe—honestly, a bonus whether you’re pregnant or not. On the small side (incline is only 3.75 inches), this pillow may be best when used in coordination with your existing pregnancy pillow or as an added cushion between your knees. It’s also great for lower back support while sitting in your work chair or on the sofa. Plus we love that the jersey knit slipcover comes in preppy stripes.
How We Chose These Products
Wedge pillows are, inherently, not the chicest-looking objects. But they are helpful for combating a host of sleeping issues, like back pain, shoulder pain, and more. With a design-first approach top of mind, we exhaustively researched the category—seeking out reputable brands, high-quality materials, fair pricing, and enticing perks (we love a multi-night trial or free shipping). Additionally, we chatted with a sleep psychologist to give us the lowdown on sleep health and an interior designer to let us in on styling secrets. (Though, we’re not doctors ourselves, so when treating issues of physical pain, go straight to your own trusted medical practitioner.)
Our Shopping Checklist
Design and Materials
Most wedge pillows adhere to the same design. Small variations—in size, shape, or materials—generally account for different technical elements. For example, the Therapedic pillow has cooling technology, and the Boppy pillow is intended for pregnancy. Design and material variations rarely result in an increase in style points and only matter to the extent that they’re aiding your sleep qualms.
The choice of firmness is based on personal preference. Roth notes that there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation when it comes to sleep issues and the firmness scale. “Some people love memory foam; some people hate it,” she says. “Finding the right level of firmness or the right height of incline for you is so individual. It’s about people’s own comfort levels.” Our picks range from soft to firm—there’s something for everyone.
Care and Maintenance
Most wedge pillows include a machine washable cover. That’s something you’ll definitely want to look for. Some models—like the Dame Pillo—feature an additional machine washable inner lining, which is a nice bonus. As for the actual foam pillows themselves, your safest bet is spot treating as needed. Make sure the foam has fully dried before reapplying the cover and resuming use.
Q: Does a regular pillowcase fit a wedge pillow?
Not really. Most wedge pillows (all the pillows we’ve recommended here) come with their own covers that are specially sized. But they tend to be a textured material (think: the micro-velvet feel of a Tempur-Pedic mattress) that runs very hot.
Ramchandani recommends forgoing the included pillow cover in favor of a Euro sham-size pillowcase of your choice. “It won’t fit perfectly, but it will at least be a fabric you like and that matches with the rest of your bed,” she says. “Personally, I like cotton or bamboo. People like linen, but I find that it wrinkles too easily. Just choose whatever pillowcase you feel most comfortable sleeping on.”
Q: Can you layer a regular pillow on top of a wedge pillow?
Definitely! Many people find that layering a thin pillow horizontally across their wedge pillow creates the perfect level of incline and comfort. Of course, if you’re suffering from chronic pain, always check with your physician or physical therapist for best practices.
Q: How do you incorporate a wedge pillow with the rest of your bedding?
“Make your bed as if it’s part of your regular bedding, however you’d normally style the bed,” suggests Ramchandani. If you typically cover your bed with a ton of throw pillows, continue to do that—it’ll hide an odd shape!
Ramchandani’s other suggestion is to select a pillowcase with a soft pattern or small print that will further disguise the shape. “And make sure the colors and textures align with the rest of the bedroom’s design,” she adds.
The Last Word
At the end of the day, sleep is an individual experience. There’s no one cure-all for everyone’s aches and pains. It’s important to keep an open mind and a spirit of experimentation (that’s what those multi-night trials are for) when it comes to the best wedge pillows. As long as you’re choosing quality brands, seeking out health-friendly materials, and discerning what feels most comfortable to you, rest easy that you’re on the right path.