Bed Wedge Buyer’s Guide: How to Use a Bed Wedge for Healthier Sleep
Bed wedges can make falling asleep easier, but they can also assist in helping with several health and wellness problems. These include clogged sinuses, acid reflux, back and neck pain, loud snoring, and eye pressure. They also provide comfort during pregnancy.
If you’re struggling with any of these issues, it may be time to invest in a bed wedge. There are many varieties of bed wedges on the market, so you can find yourself overwhelmed when making your selection. To help you narrow down your search and find the bed wedge that best fits your needs, our bed wedge buyer’s guide outlines your options.
Say hello to a good night’s sleep soon with your new bed wedge!
What Is a Bed Wedge?
A bed wedge is a pillow that helps you stay in an inclined position while you sleep. It’s made of firm foam and has a triangular shape to gradually lift your head and shoulders above the bed.
If you have back or neck pain, sleeping at an elevation can alleviate those problems. Bed wedges also help with some health conditions, which you’ll learn about later.
How to Use a Bed Wedge
People generally sleep in one of three positions: on their side, back, or stomach. Sleeping on your side is usually the best, followed by sleeping on your back.
You should avoid sleeping on your stomach if possible, especially with a bed wedge. You have to stay flat or else risk back and neck pain, as well as digestion issues. Using a wedge while sleeping on your stomach can strain your neck due to the unnatural position. Investing in a bed wedge can help train yourself to sleep on your back or side instead of your stomach.
If you are already a side sleeper, placing a bed wedge between your legs can help you avoid sore or tight hips when you wake up in the morning. You can also sleep on a bed wedge like a normal pillow and turn on your side while using it. The contoured type of wedge gives you a natural headrest without straining your neck.
Bed wedges are optimal pillows for back sleepers because they prop you up and allow for better breathing and rest. Wedges with a lower incline are best for back sleepers because they don’t raise your head too much, which could harm your back and neck.
Some people are combination sleepers, meaning they change positions throughout the night. You can still benefit from a bed wedge if you’re a combination sleeper. Consider trying pillows of various lengths and heights to see what suits you throughout the night.
The Different Types of Wedges
Bed wedges come in different sizes. The heights vary so you can find the ideal incline for your condition. You might want a slight incline to help clear your breathing passages, or you might prefer something taller to alleviate back pain. Trial and error is the best way to find the right pillow for your needs.
You can find these pillows made from various materials, as you’ll learn about later. You can choose the material based on firmness or softness. Some materials stay cooler all night, like latex foam, so that may impact your choice.
If your discomfort comes from your legs or lower back, you can even get wedge pillows for your knees. These are triangles or trapezoids with different inclines than the head pillows. They’re typically 7 to 12 inches high to lift your knees above your hips. You can use them when you’re relaxing or even when you sleep through the night, just like a wedge pillow for your head.
The Benefits of Sleeping on a Bed Wedge
It’s beneficial to sleep on a bed wedge if you wake up with back or neck pain, or if that discomfort keeps you from getting a full night’s sleep. The firm support and a slight incline can help keep your neck and spine in alignment while you’re asleep.
Sleeping at a slight incline minimizes snoring and other sleeping problems. Because your head is higher than your chest, your breathing passages remain open. It also ensures that you’re upright enough so gravity can help your digestive system and prevent heartburn and acid reflux.
Many people find that sleeping on a bed wedge is more comfortable overall. The slight incline helps the rest of your body settle in for quality rest. It’s also a cozy way to lounge, whether you’re reading, using a tablet, or watching a show in bed.
Factors to Consider
While shopping for your bed wedge, there are multiple elements of your lifestyle, health issues, and personal preferences to think about before making your purchase. Many have return policies or offer warranties so you can try it before you commit. This option gives you a chance to ensure you’re getting the right wedge for your needs.
The Size of Your Bed
The first thing you should consider while shopping is the current size of your bed. If you have a smaller bed like a twin bed or a full bed, a larger size may be too big for your bed, and alternatively, a small bed wedge will be too small to sit comfortably on a larger mattress.
For a frame of reference, the average size of a bed wedge is 20 inches by 20 inches. However, they can come in larger and smaller sizes. You should also figure out the ideal incline of your bed wedge, which we will discuss further down.
Health Issues: The Benefits of Sleeping on a Bed Wedge
The size and slant of your bed wedge can directly assist with your health issues, so narrow down which problems you want to address before purchasing your pillow. Your bed wedge can help with the following conditions:
Sleeping with a bed wedge while pregnant helps to circulate blood flow, prevents typical aches and pains, and keeps you sleeping on your side with ease. Using a wedge keeps their spine, hips, and pelvis neutral so they won’t feel pain while sleeping. It can also decrease heartburn and acid reflux commonly associated with pregnancy.
Stomach and Digestive Problems
Dealing with acid reflux is no fun, especially when it’s preventing you from sleeping. Sleeping on a bed wedge helps to encourage your stomach acid to stay out of your throat by way of gravity.
The slope of the wedge pillow naturally helps open your airways. People who sleep on their back will find that they get much better sleep with a bed wedge. Breathing deeply while you sleep can help you feel better rested when you wake up.
Not only can snoring and sleep apnea be a frustrating problem for you, but they can keep your partner awake. Both you and your partner will be happy to hear that a bed wedge can help prevent snoring and let you breathe easier while you sleep.
Body Aches and Pains
Spend much of your day cringing at the pain in your back, shoulders, or neck? This painful problem could be due to the way you sleep. Sleeping with a bent spine can cause pain throughout your day. A bed wedge will help straighten your spine and prevent soreness after waking up.
The reason your sinus problems seem to increase when you lie down in bed is that your sinuses can no longer drain the congestion, so it remains stuck in your nose. With a bed wedge, gravity does the work for you since you’ll be in a more propped-up position.
Eye Strain and Glaucoma
Believe it or not, bed wedges can help prevent glaucoma. Building fluid pressure in the eye can cause vision loss and even blindness. A wedge pillow with an incline of at least 30 degrees alleviates this pressure and lowers your glaucoma risk.
The Incline of Your Bed Wedge
All bed wedges have some degree of incline, but the specific health issues you’d like to address should guide your decision when it comes to selecting your pillow.
Those suffering from acid reflux, back pain, sinus pressure, snoring, or sleep apnea should select an incline between 35-45 degrees to reap the maximum health benefits of your bed wedge. This degree range falls in the average wedge’s incline of about seven inches.
Any incline lower than that is fine if you are using your bed wedge for comfort. You might want to test a few wedges to see if the lower incline is enough to improve your breathing and other sleep problems.
Anything higher than 45 degrees is great for those purchasing a bed wedge to prop themselves up in bed to read, write, or watch television in bed. These wedges are up to 12 inches tall. Back sleepers shouldn’t use something with this incline because it strains your back as you sleep.
Bed Wedge Weight
This aspect of your bed wedge may not be quite as important as some of the other factors to consider, but thinking about the weight of your bed wedge can help you as you narrow down your search.
Wedge pillows weigh more than your average sleep pillow due to their density and material, which we will break down in the next session.
The heavier bed wedges will weigh up to twelve pounds. Most people will be able to carry a twelve-pound bed wedge, but if you frequently travel, you may want to opt for something more lightweight.
However, be mindful that the heavier the bed wedge, the more support it provides. If you’re purchasing a pillow for health reasons and it won’t leave your bed that much, a heavier bed wedge is your best bet.
Bed Wedge Material
Since bed wedges provide more support than your traditional pillow, they are usually made up of memory foam to keep your body and head in place as you sleep. This foam will also mold to your shape to prevent any soreness when you wake up.
Opt for a firmer pillow if you sleep on your side, while you’ll get more back support. If you’re purchasing your bed wedge to sit upright in bed while watching TV or similar activities to wind down before sleeping, a softer bed wedge made of feather or down may do the trick.
What Is Your Budget for Your Bed Wedge?
The lower-cost end for bed wedges is around $50, but more pricey options can easily exceed $100.
While it may be tempting to go with the lowest cost option, remember that your bed wedge is an investment in your health and comfort and that in general, the more you spend, the higher quality bed wedge you will receive.
If you can’t afford to break the bank on a wedge pillow, the Mainstays Foam Bed Wedge Pillow is only around $25 at Walmart. Despite its low price, it offers decent comfort and support.
Keep in mind that if you choose a cheaper bed wedge you will most likely have to put in a little more effort in taking care of it to give it the longevity of a more expensive version. We’ll delve more into the proper care of your new bed wedge further down.
How To Care for Your Bed Wedge
Do not put your bed wedge in the washing machine (it probably wouldn’t fit, anyway). Instead, spot clean your bed wedge to remove any stains or discoloration. To spot clean your pillow, simply mix dishwashing soap with water and gently treat the stains.
If you have a cover for your bed wedge and wish to just wash the cover, you can remove it from your bed wedge and wash it in your machine with cold water. Be sure to dry it with low heat.
Now you should be well prepared to purchase your bed wedge by keeping your budget, health concerns, and needs in mind. Once you find the right incline and size of a pillow, you’ll feel amazed at how your sleep improves. Prepare comfy nights of relaxation with your new investment.