A leg pillow is a specially shaped pillow that is meant to be placed between your legs. You can place it in different positions depending on your needs and comfort. A leg pillow can often be prescribed by a doctor to those who suffer from sciatic pain or other types of pain in their knees and backs, but there are also lots of other reasons as to why you could need one.
Despite being a niche product, there are lots of options available on the market. In this article, we are looking a bit closer at the best leg pillows for side sleepers and the different features of these. We will also go through the different reasons for using a leg pillow, what to keep in mind when purchasing one and how to best use them depending on your needs.
A study✓ shows that as many as up to 55% of those who suffer from chronic pain in their lower back can develop insomnia, so if you suffer from aching back, knees or legs we highly recommend that you read through this article carefully as there might be a solution to your problems. A leg pillow could be the perfect addition to your ideal night's rest.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQ's In Conclusion)
|JML||Contour Legacy Leg Pillow||Memory Foam, Polyester & Lyocell||Heart||1 Year||£19.99|
|The Pillow With A Hole||The Original Leg Pillow with a Hole||Cotton & Polyester||Rectangual||NA||£29.99|
|Meihuigo||Memory Foam Leg Pillow||Polyurethane & Memory Foam||Heart||Lifetime||£12.99|
|Jiangsu||Bamboo Leg Positioner Pillow||Bamboo-fibre, Memory Foam & Gel||Heart||NA||£22.99|
|Beautrip||Memory Foam Leg Pillow||Memory Foam & Cotton Blend||Heart||NA||£19.95|
|AOKEOU||Leg Pillow||Memory Foam, Gel & Short-Pile fabric||Heart||NA||£17.99|
1. JML Contour Legacy Leg Pillow
|• Ventilation holes in the foam|
• Machine washable cover
• Can be used in different places on your legs
|• People with hip pain|
• Side Sleepers
• People with back pain
This leg pillow is designed in a way that you can easily place it anywhere on your legs depending on your needs. Its curved shape makes it possible to use between your thighs, knees and ankles which can help align your hips and allows you to bend your knees while sleeping.
The leg pillow is made with memory foam that has ventilation holes that are meant to keep you cool during the night. One of the most popular features of this pillow is the fact that you can remove the polyester and lyocell cover and machine wash it.
The tapered edges are designed to give your knees a full range of motion and prevent dragging your sheets around when turning in bed. Depending on your needs you can use one or even two pillows for extra support. The JML Contour Leg Pillow comes with a bunch of great customer reviews, and many praise its ability to reduce pain in the knees and back.
2. The Original Leg Pillow With A Hole
|• Regulable firmness|
• Odourless filling with cooling properties
• Elastic strap to secure the pillow to your leg
|• People who don't like memory foam|
• People who suffer from sciatic pain
• People who tend to move around at night
The Pillow With a Hole ltd. initially started their company making pillows with a hole for the ear in order to treat CNH and other pressure sores. This pillow turned out to be very successful and so the family-run company decided to make yet another helpful pillow, this time for the legs.
The pillow cover is made of 100% cotton and filled with the same polyester ball fibre, just like their other pillows. This is an odourless filling, unlike some memory foam pillows so you will not have to worry about your pillow smelling funky. It has an elastic strap to keep the pillow from moving up or down your leg and a clever zipper so that you can add or remove filling until reaching your desired firmness.
The Original Leg Pillow With A Hole is primarily designed for side sleepers who suffer from leg or knee pain, sciatica or back pain. The hole in the middle together with the filling helps to make the pillow breathable and a good option for those who tend to get too hot throughout the night. The pillow measures 40 x 15 x 15 cm and is made in England.
3. Meihuigo Memory Foam Leg Pillow
|• Low price|
• Good customer service
• Lifetime guarantee
|• People on a tight budget|
• People buying a leg pillow for the first time
• People who tend to cross their legs at night
The ergonomic, curved heart-shaped design is meant to relieve pressure on your knees, thighs, ankles and calves - wherever you need it the most. It should also help improve your sleeping posture, aligning your hips with your spine and thus relieve and prevent muscle and joint pain.
The double concave shape helps the leg pillow stay in place thanks to its heightened side wings. The hollowed-out middle is meant to allow for better airflow, preventing your legs from getting heated while using the pillow. It also comes with an elastic strap to help it stay in place wherever you choose to place it.
The Meihuigo Memory Foam Leg Pillow weighs 290 grams and measures 25.1 x 25.1 x 12.7 centimetres. It is made with high-density memory foam inside a cover of breathable fabric, which you can easily remove when you want to wash it.
The brand states that they offer a lifetime guarantee and that if you should have any trouble with the pillow you only need to contact their enthusiastic customer service and they will solve your problem within 12 hours. Another positive feature of this leg pillow worth mentioning is the kinder price tag that makes this leg pillow a great budget option.
4. Jiangsu Bamboo Leg Positioner Pillow
|• Mix of materials|
• Cooling properties
• Includes a bag to carry it in
|• Pregnant women |
• People who tend to overheat at night
• People who travel a lot
This particular leg pillow doesn’t just come with the classic, heart-shaped design as many other leg pillows do. What is interesting about this one are the materials. The orthopaedic Beautrip Leg Pillow comes with a high-density, slow-rebound memory foam, which is pretty standard. But added to this is a cooling gel pad which is designed to help reduce inflammation and, of course, to keep your leg nice and cool throughout the night.
The outer cover is made of breathable bamboo fibre and comes with a handy zipper for easy removal whenever you want to throw it in the washer. Another feature of this leg pillow is the elastic strap that will help your pillow stay in place, even if you switch position or move your legs.
If you are looking for a present for a pregnant woman or someone suffering from sciatica this could be a good idea as you can use it on many different areas of your body. As an added plus, the pillow comes with a handy little bag to carry it in and is easy to bring with you when travelling for example.
5. Beautrip Memory Foam Leg Pillow
|• Good customer service|
• Comes in several colours
• Hole in the middle for better breathability
|• Pregnant women|
• People with knee or back pain
• People who move around at night
The Beautrip Leg Pillow comes with an inner core of high-density memory foam, just like many other leg pillows do. It has a medium to firm firmness rating and the company suggests giving yourself a bit of time to get used to sleeping with it as it can feel strange at the beginning. The outer cover is a soft cotton blend that can easily be zipped off and washed in both cold and warm water.
The pillow is available in several different colours and measures 25 x 23 x 13.5 centimetres. It has a classic, heart-shaped design with higher sides to better cradle your leg and keep the pillow in place. The elastic strap is also useful in case you move your legs in front of the other one as it will still help to keep your spine and hips better aligned. It also has a hole in the middle to promote airflow and help keep you cooler at night.
This leg pillow seems pretty similar to other pillows at a first glance but it comes with a ton of stellar reviews. Customers talk wonders about its ability to help reduce back, knee and hip pain but also about the customer service of the company. Some reviews mention that they had problems with the foam splitting in their pillow but were offered a refund or a new pillow instantly. When choosing the replacement they not only got a new, longer-lasting pillow, but also an apology letter as well as complimentary sleep gadgets.
6. AOKEOU Leg Pillow
|• Double cooling hydrogel pads|
• Elastic wrap to keep the pillow in place
• Curved, heart-shaped design to cradle your legs
|• People who overheat at night|
• People who suffer from sciatica
• People looking for a medium firmness pillow
What makes this leg pillow stand out from other ones and earn its place on this list are the cooling gel pads that it features. One on each side of the pillow should help keep your legs nice and cool throughout the night. Hydrogel has a similar feeling to bare skin and helps to dissipate heat quickly.
In order for you to have as close contact with the gel as possible, it is covered by a fine mesh so that you can enjoy the coolness to the fullest. The sides of the leg pillow are covered by a short-pile fabric for a soft feel. The pillow cover is removable and machine washable.
The inner core of the pillow is made of medium-density memory foam. The brand claims that they changed to medium-density from the high-density foam they previously used based on customer feedback. This leg pillow also comes with an elastic strap to secure its placement on your legs as well as an ergonomic, curved design to fit your legs and relieve pressure where needed.
Why Do People Sleep With A Pillow Between Their Legs?
Many people love tucking a pillow between their legs at bedtime, but why is that? There are actually several different reasons. Some people do it exclusively for comfort. They feel comfortably tucked in sleeping with several pillows, not just underneath their head, but also between their legs and behind their backs.
Another reason is that some people feel calmer and safer with an extra pillow to hug, either with the arms or with the legs. Others suffer from joint pain or muscular pain and choose to sleep with a pillow between their legs to get a better night's sleep and prevent waking up feeling sore or stiff.
Why Do I Need A Leg Pillow?
A leg pillow might seem like a strange addition to your bed if you have never used one. They have an odd shape, are usually quite firm and don't seem too comfortable at a first glance. But try sleeping a few nights with a leg pillow and you might be in for a surprise. There are plenty of benefits from sleeping with a pillow between your legs, let us have a look at some of them.
Back pain can be caused by a number of different reasons and an incorrect sleeping position is just one of them. But no matter why your back is aching in the first place, sleeping with a leg pillow could potentially help to reduce your pain. When sleeping on our sides, the upper leg tends to be placed in front of the lower leg, pulling the spine out of alignment. By placing a pillow between your legs you help your body aligning your pelvic area with your spine which can reduce back pain as well as hip pain.
Better Sleep While Being Pregnant
Pregnant women often have some trouble sleeping, but placing a pillow between the legs seem to be helpful for some. There are specific U-shaped and C-shaped pregnancy pillows that are very popular but if you find these taking up a bit too much space in bed you could try with a leg pillow. This can help align your hips and spine better, taking pressure off your lower back and improving your sleep.
A Leg Pillow Could Help Against Snoring
Snoring is a very common problem for many people, especially for the partner of the snorer. Some snorers are position-dependent and sleeping on the side can in some cases help. A study✓ suggests that certain devices that help you stay on your side can help reduce snoring in non-apneic snorers. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can sometimes help you stay on the side, rather than rolling over on your back and waking up the neighbourhood with your nightly concert. If this doesn't help you can also try with a specific anti-snoring pillow.
Relieve Sciatic Pain With A Leg Pillow
Sciatica, or sciatic pain, frequently occurs when a herniated disc compresses the sciatic nerve which generates pain from down the back of your leg and often on the buttocks. Acute sciatica✓ can often go away but about 20-30% of those suffering from sciatica can still have problems, even after one or two years.
Over-rotating your spine while sleeping can put even more pressure on the nerve and cause more pain. This can easily happen when sleeping on the side as the upper leg tend to twist your spine out of its natural alignment. A leg pillow could help to prevent this from happening and thus relieve the sciatic pain.
Choosing The Right Leg Pillow For You
Now that you know what a leg pillow can do for you, maybe you have decided to get one for yourself. However, deciding on which leg pillow to get is almost equally important as selecting the perfect pillow for your head. There is a jungle of options on the market and it can be tricky to know what to look for. We would suggest that you focus on the following areas:
- Usage/Medical needs
First and foremost, have a think about why you want to get a leg pillow. Is it because of a medical reason or because you think you will sleep better with a pillow between your legs?
The firmness of your leg pillow is fundamental, especially if you are getting one to treat a physical condition, such as sciatica for example. If it is just a matter of comfort you can go for a softer pillow if you prefer, but if you are getting one to help align your spine with your pelvic area you should consider getting a medium or firm pillow. Your knees should be separated from one another for optimal alignment.
When it comes to the materials of your leg pillow it comes down to personal preferences, but also to quality. Leg pillows are a niche product and not all sleeping brands offer them, so make sure to check the brand out to see if they seem to work with high-quality materials before making your purchase.
Memory foam is very common in leg pillows but there are also those with other types of fillings, such as ball fibre for example. Consider why you need the leg pillow and which material that best suits this purpose. However, it is not only the inside that matters. The outer cover can play an important role in your nights sleep, especially if you have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies.
Try finding a pillow that is hypoallergenic, as well as breathable. Those who tend to overheat at night should also consider getting a leg pillow that has a cooling gel pad in it. Waking up with sweaty legs thanks to your leg pillow defeats the entire purpose of the pillow.
Another important aspect to consider when it comes to looking at the materials is how to care for your pillow. Many leg pillows come with a removable cover that is also machine washable. Make sure you are able to wash your pillow every now and then without having to bring it to the dry cleaner.
Other Types Of Leg Pillows
The leg pillows featured in this article are primarily designed with side sleepers in mind. However, there are lots of different types of pillows that you can place between your legs on the market if this particular shape doesn't attract you. We have already mentioned the larger pregnancy pillows that are usually U- or C-shaped.
There are also leg elevation pillows that are made for back sleepers who need to elevate their legs slightly at night in order to improve their blood circulation or due to aching lower backs. Another similar one to the leg pillow is the knee pillow which might also be worth looking into.
Tips For Starting To Sleep With A Leg Pillow
Whether your doctor has ordered it or you have just come to the conclusion that a leg pillow might be exactly what you need, it can still be strange to add a new element into your sleeping routine. Our tip to you is: ease into it. A research-based article✓ in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that forming a healthy habit takes around 10 weeks. Give yourself time to get used to sleeping with a pillow between your legs and your body might thank you for it sooner rather than later.
If you tend to move around at night we would suggest that you get a leg pillow with an elastic strap. Even if the upper leg slides in front of the other, the leg pillow will still stay in place underneath your leg and at least keep your hips better aligned than without the pillow. This way you will also feel the pillow there and hopefully remember to correct your position as opposed to if the pillow falls out of place and you don't feel it for the rest of the night.
Should you feel any pain or discomfort that could be caused by your leg pillow you should stop using it and consult with your doctor on how to proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Leg Pillow?
A leg pillow is an ergonomically designed pillow that is meant to be placed between your legs and should align your pelvic area with your spine. This can help against sciatic pain, relieve lower back pressure in pregnant women and help reduce other types of pain in the knees, backs and legs.
Where Should I Place My Leg Pillow?
You can place your leg pillow in different positions along your legs depending on where Some place it between the thighs, while others prefer to place it between their calves or ankles.
Can Sleeping With A Pillow Between My Legs Be Bad For Me?
Unless your leg pillow is causing you any pain or discomfort it should not be a problem. However, if you are unsure you should always consider a doctor or a specialist.