A lot of people immediately think they need a new mattress if they’re having a hard time getting a good nights sleep but finding the right supportive pillows impacts your sleep just as much. Whether you’re battling sleep apnea, a snoring partner, acid reflux or poor circulation, a wedge pillow is a solution for a lot of sleep interruptions. These structured, sloping pillows provide a host of benefits, but they can be a bit cumbersome. Enter: Our top picks for an Inflatable Wedge Pillow.
What Is an Inflatable Wedge Pillow?
This is a pillow that features the same sloped design as the wedge pillows on our list, but with a portable, inflatable structure. The built-in valve allows you to easily blow up your inflatable wedge pillow for travel plans, after an injury, or anytime you could use a little support. When you’re done, you can just deflate it and pack it away.
Whether you go for an inflatable wedge pillow with a pump, or opt to inflate it with lung power alone, these pillows are generally quite easy to fill up and empty. That’s great news if you ever get a bout of acid reflux that sneaks up on you.
When to Use a Wedge Pillow
Save yourself from folding your pillow over and stacking up pillows and upgrade to wedge pillow for gentle, sturdy elevation without the fuss. The sloping wedge shape is flexible enough to use in several different areas of the body, and can help you get comfortable as well as sleep easier. Many parents report that their wedge pillow was the only thing that helped their children finally sleep, too.
Acid Reflux (GERD) Relief
If you struggle with occasional heartburn, or chronic acid reflux, you know how excruciating it can be tossing and turning all night long. The Harvard Medical School explains that heartburn, or acid reflux, is caused by stomach acid leaking back into your esophagus. Over time, this leaking can result in the chronic symptoms characterized in gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). Many people swear by an inflatable wedge pillow for acid reflux. Sleeping with your head elevated may help prevent or reduce the acid from flowing back up toward your head. And sleeping on your left side may help even more, because in this position, your stomach is physically placed lower than your esophagus.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring is usually a sign of poor sleep for both you and your partner. Snoring is a symptom usually associated with sleep apnea, a blocking of your airway during sleep. Sleeping on your back can cause compression and blockage of your airways while you sleep. And when your nasal passages become blocked, it can trigger loud vibrations that fill the night.
Clinical studies have shown that sleeping with the head and neck elevated can significantly reduce sleep apnea. An inflatable wedge pillow for sleep apnea, like the ones below, could be your ticket to snoring relief. A more permanent memory foam wedge pillow may also help relieve snoring and sleep apnea, and soon you’ll wonder how you ever slept without one.
Chronic Pain, Injury & Surgery Recovery
An inflatable wedge pillow can quickly be used to elevate arms, legs, heads and more. And an inflatable wedge pillow with a pump? Even faster. Whether you’re elevating your legs to improve circulation, elevating a sprained ankle, or maintaining a side sleeping position, the right wedge pillow can do it all.
An inflatable wedge pillow can elevate your knees and relieve lower back pain. The elevation reduces pressure on your sciatic nerve, a common trigger point for pain. If you’ve felt this, you know just how difficult it can be to function with back pain. For post-op care, we always recommend consulting with your surgeon and medical care providers. They can help you decide how best to use a wedge pillow for your recovery.
Once you’ve experienced the benefits of your wedge pillow, you may not want to leave home without it, but lugging around a large, sometimes hefty memory foam pillow may not be ideal. If you or your children are looking for a great travel pillow, it could be a solid option to go inflatable. With a soft-flocked surface, these pillows are miles away from the plastic-y, squeaky pillows you might remember from your childhood.
When Not to Use a Wedge Pillow
As great as they are, there are a few reasons not to use a wedge pillow. They may be unnecessary, or actually advised against in certain situations.
Children under 2
Children less than 2 years old should not sleep with pillows of any kind, as it could increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). A wedge pillow could lead to the child falling over into a position where they would have difficulty breathing.
Discomfort or Pain
Pay attention to how you sleep with a wedge pillow. While a period of mild discomfort may occur when getting used to your new inflatable wedge pillow, pain should not. Pain in your head and neck could be a sign that you’re using your wedge incorrectly, or it may be worsening your sleep quality.
Inflatable Wedge Pillow: Our Top Picks
There are a lot of options out there, which is why we’ve tested and assembled our shortlist of ideal wedge pillows available. For an inflatable option, here are a few more of our recommended selections. These inflatable wedge pillows are ideal for travel, for acid reflux care and more.
This inflatable wedge pillow is quite versatile, and you can imagine lots of different ways to use it. With a soft-flocked surface, it’s comfortable to use as a backrest when reading or watching TV. And you won’t slide down like you would with a smooth, plastic-y surface. Measuring 23.6” x 22” x 7”, this wedge pillow is portable and weighs less than one pound. The pillow is available in wedge shape, as a leg elevation pillow, or as a combo set.
We are big fans of the Contour brand here at Pillow Insider, and this inflatable wedge pillow with pump is an awesome example of why. Measuring 32” long, this pillow provides a longer, gentle slope than many other pillows out there. Available in a 7” or 10” height, you’ll be able to find the perfect height for you. This inflatable wedge pillow includes a free pump, making it easy to inflate and deflate quickly. And whether laying down, sitting or elevating your feet and knees, you can use it in multiple ways.
Here is another great inflatable wedge pillow with pump set from Contour. Notice this pillow features a different shape from the others on our list. As a 2-in-1 model, this pillow is designed to provide leg and knee elevation support, while still usable as a head/neck pillow. With an orthopedic design, this pillow has 2 different slopes. Use it to elevate your legs, or flip it over for extra knee relief. Some may find the slope a little sharp for a headrest, but with the included pump, there’s a lot of value in this set.
The other half of WEY & FLY’s combo set, this leg elevation pillow is another multipurpose MVP. With a 45° slope and a flat upper support shelf, this pillow follows your body’s natural alignment. Reviewers love it for their pregnancy discomforts, traveling and that they can use it for legs and heads alike. This pillow can be used as a backrest, laptop rest, for nursing and plenty more.
An inflatable wedge pillow can definitely be a ‘nice-to-have’ for a lot of people. If you struggle with snoring, back pain, or other common sleep problems, it can quickly become a must-have.