Benefits of a Backrest Pillow

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On March 4th, 2024
Benefits of a Backrest Pillow

Key Takeaways

  • Enhanced Posture: Backrest pillows provide optimal comfort and support while reading, watching TV, or relaxing in bed, thanks to their high-quality shredded memory foam filling that conforms to your body’s contours.
  • Ease Back Pain and Boost Comfort: These pillows are particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing back pain, as their ergonomic design supports the lower back and promotes proper posture, leading to increased comfort during prolonged sitting.
  • Neck, Arm, and Shoulder Support: Backrest pillows offer comprehensive support for the upper body, cradling the neck, arms, and shoulders to reduce tension and enhance relaxation while engaging in various activities such as reading or using electronic devices before bed.

When it comes to reading, working, or relaxing in bed, we all want the same things: maximum comfort and support. That’s where a backrest pillow comes in.

Not only does it provide exceptional support for your back, neck, and arms, but it also delivers a range of benefits that you won’t want to miss out on. In this article, we’ll explore the numerous advantages of using a backrest pillow for enhanced comfort and convenience.

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So, let’s dive into the world of backrest pillows and discover what these amazing items have to offer.

1. Enhanced Posture

A backrest pillow is the perfect addition to your bed for optimal comfort and support while reading, watching TV, or simply relaxing. The pillow is filled with high-quality shredded memory foam that conforms to your body’s contours for ultimate relaxation.

No matter the activity, you can rest assured that this pillow will provide exceptional support for enhanced posture.

2. Ease Back Pain and Boost Comfort

When it comes to pillows for back pain, Verified Source Medline Plus Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. View source the backrest pillow is one of the best options available, and for good reason. Not only does it offer excellent comfort, but its ergonomic design supports your lower back and promotes proper posture.

So whether you’re sitting up in bed or just lounging around, this pillow is sure to make your experience more comfortable. You can even slip a seat cushion for back pain underneath you for extra support.

3. Neck, Arm and Shoulder Support

The backrest pillow is a versatile accessory that can enhance your sitting experience in a variety of ways. Its ergonomic design promotes proper posture while providing comfortable support for your lower back and arms.

Whether you’re reading a book, using your smartphone before bed, or watching TV, the backrest pillow ensures a cozy and relaxing experience.

4. Boosted Productivity

The backrest pillow is perfect for those who love to sit up in bed to use tablets, laptops, or read a book. Its soft and supportive design offers added comfort for extended periods of play or study, promoting healthy back positioning and preventing strains or injuries that can deter productivity.

With its simplicity and functionality, the backrest pillow is a must-have item for any home, whether it’s paired with a traditional bedframe, daybed, or sofa.

5. Convenient Features

Backrest pillows offer many convenient features to enhance your experience. Some options come equipped with built-in pockets, allowing you to store small items like remotes or reading glasses. Others are larger and can function as throw pillows, adding a stylish touch to your bed or sofa.

These pillows with pockets are perfect if you like to keep things organized and within reach, such as a notebook and pen for journaling before bed. The larger ones make for great decorative elements when not in use.

Picking the Perfect Backrest Pillow

With all the options available, it can get overwhelming when trying to pick out the ideal backrest pillow. Here are some key factors to consider when making your selection.


The size of your backrest pillow is crucial for proper support. Measure the width of your bed or sofa to ensure your pillow will fit comfortably without sagging or sliding. Typically, widths between 15 to 20 inches work well to span the back area.

Also consider the pillow height – around 10 to 15 inches high offers ample support for the lower and mid-back. An oversized pillow may lead to slouching.


Backrest pillow density impacts overall comfort and support. Opt for a medium-firm to firm pillow that conforms to your body while preventing sinking. Memory foam molds to the body’s contours while providing structure. Polyester fiberfill offers cushiness with bounce back.

Test out the pillow by applying pressure – it shouldn’t flatten completely or feel rock-solid. The right balance between softness and firmness is key.


Look for ergonomic shapes that contour to the back’s natural spinal curve. A contoured center paired with angled sides allows the shoulders, head and neck to rest comfortably. Pillows shaped like wedges or cylinders don’t provide customized support. Make sure to try out the shape before buying to ensure it aligns properly with your back.

Special Features

Pockets, handles and armrests allow convenient storage and easy mobility for use anywhere in the home. Removable, machine washable covers permit simple upkeep for long-lasting quality and freshness.

Some backrests feature adjustable angles to switch between upright and relaxed positions seamlessly. Others have a folded design for compressed storage and travel.

Consider which features would enhance your experience based on planned activities and usage.

Fill Material

In addition to memory foam and polyester fiber, backrest pillows may contain fills like cotton, latex foam or microbeads. Cotton and latex provide pliable support and breathability. Microbeads allow precise molding to the body’s shape.

Be sure to choose hypoallergenic materials if sensitive to allergens. Experiment with different fills to determine whether you prefer sinking into softness or resting atop firm cushioning.

Alternatives to Backrest Pillows

While backrest pillows provide excellent support for sitting up in bed, there are a few other options that offer similar benefits. Two great alternatives worth considering are wedge pillows and adjustable beds.

Wedge Pillows

Wedge pillows are triangular-shaped pillows that gently slope, elevating your head and torso for comfortable upright positioning. They come in various sizes, materials, and degrees of incline to suit different needs.

For example, small wedge pillows effectively provide subtle lift for reading or working in bed. Full-length wedge pillows allow your entire body to recline backwards at an angle. Using a wedge pillow can reduce back pain and aids conditions like acid reflux or poor circulation.

Memory foam, latex, and cotton wedge pillows contour nicely to body shape for customized comfort and support. The gradual incline helps maintain natural spinal alignment while opening up the chest and shoulder area.

Unlike backrest pillows, wedge pillows stay firmly in place and many can support body weight for sleep. They also occupy less space lengthwise, making them versatile to use in tight quarters. However, they lack some of the cozy, pillow-like qualities that backrest pillows offer.

Adjustable Beds

For the ultimate luxurious experience, adjustable beds allow you to effortlessly reposition with the touch of a button. Modern adjustable beds can tilt the head up to 60 degrees and even raise the feet separately, alleviating various issues like swelling or neuropathy.

This makes adjustable bed frames ideal for those with mobility challenges or who spend long periods in bed, particularly when paired with a mattress for sitting up in bed.

They promote proper spinal alignment in any position. The mattress pairs with the base to provide cushioned comfort. Adjustable beds are a pricier investment but offer customizable positioning for both sleep and awake activities.

So whether you seek subtle lift, gradual incline, or high-tech adjustments, sleep accessories exist that effectively provide aligning support and ease of use. Consider your needs, space and budget to pick the best option for upright comfort.


Can you wash backrest pillows?

Most backrest pillows come with removable, machine-washable covers, making them easy to clean. We suggest you check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before washing.

In general, we recommend washing the cover on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, and air-dry or tumble dry on low heat to maintain the pillow’s quality and shape.

Can you sleep with a bedrest pillow?

While bed rest pillows are primarily designed to provide support while sitting up, some people find them comfortable for sleeping. Particularly when dealing with certain health conditions like acid reflux or respiratory issues or recovering from certain surgeries, when it is beneficial to sleep sitting up.

However, they are not a replacement for traditional sleeping pillows designed to support the head and neck during sleep. If you choose to regularly sleep at an incline, you would be better served by using a wedge pillow or adjustable bed.

Are backrest pillows good for you?

Backrest pillows can be beneficial for various activities, such as reading, watching TV, or working on a laptop, by providing support to the back and promoting good posture. They can help reduce strain on the neck and back, alleviating discomfort during prolonged sitting.

However, individual preferences may vary, and it’s essential to choose a backrest pillow with adequate support and the right firmness for your specific needs.

Are backrest pillows worth it?

For individuals who spend extended periods sitting up in bed or on the floor, backrest pillows can be worth the investment. They offer ergonomic support, promoting proper posture and reducing the risk of back and neck pain.

Additionally, backrest pillows often come in a variety of styles and materials, allowing you to choose one that fits your aesthetic preferences while providing the necessary support for comfort.

How do I choose a reading pillow?

When choosing a reading pillow, consider factors such as size, firmness, and design. The size should be appropriate for your body and the space where you’ll be using it. The firmness level depends on personal preference, with some preferring softer pillows for comfort, while others prefer firmer support.

Design features like armrests, pockets, and adjustable angles can enhance the functionality of a reading pillow. Reading reviews and trying out different options in-store can help you find the perfect reading pillow for your needs.

Is it good to put a pillow behind your back while sitting?

Yes, placing a pillow behind your back while sitting can provide additional lumbar support, promoting better posture and reducing the strain on your lower back. It can be especially helpful when sitting for extended periods, whether at a desk, in a chair, or on the couch.

The pillow helps maintain the natural curve of the spine and can contribute to overall comfort. Experimenting with different pillow sizes and firmness levels can help you find the right support for your specific sitting needs. You may even wish to pair it with a seat cushion to deter lower back pain.


A backrest pillow is a fantastic addition to enhance comfort and support, whether you’re reading, watching TV in the bedroom, or simply relaxing in bed. Its ergonomic design not only offers excellent comfort but also supports your lower back, promoting proper posture.

The versatility of the backrest pillow makes it ideal for various activities, providing a cozy experience for both adults and kids. With convenient features like built-in pockets and easy online shopping options, investing in a backrest pillow is a simple way to elevate your comfort and support in any setting.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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