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It’s not uncommon to experience acid reflux or heartburn, especially after eating spicy foods or a large meal. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid moves up from your stomach to your esophagus, mouth, and throat.
If acid reflux occurs more than twice per week, you may be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
You can treat GERD with antacids, prescription medications like H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, and surgery. But there are also simple things you can do at home, like using a GERD wedge pillow, to help find relief from your symptoms.
The way that wedge pillows work for acid reflux and GERD is simple.
Acid can move up out of your stomach and into the esophagus more easily when a person is sleeping on their back and using a standard pillow. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent this from happening.
When the upper body is elevated, gravity makes it less likely for the stomach acid to come back up into the esophagus. This can relieve your nighttime acid reflux.
You can use a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side or on your back without causing any tension in your head or neck. Most pillows on the market are elevated between 30 and 45 degrees, or 6 to 8 inches at the top.
Wedge pillows for acid reflux and GERD are sturdy and ergonomically designed. As time passes, however, they will lose their shape and firmness. You’ll likely have to replace your wedge pillow with another one after several years.
We based our recommendations on affordability as well as high customer satisfaction ratings.
Many of the pillows on this list have at least a 4-star review on Amazon from at least 3,000 reviewers.
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$80
- $$$ = over $80
Medslant is a 32-inch by 24-inch pillow that elevates the torso by 7 inches. The incline allows people to sleep on either their side or back. This wedge pillow can be used with or without a regular pillow.
It’s made with 100 percent hypoallergenic polyurethane and comes with a washable travel cover. The Medslant may also be placed in a crib, making it possible for infants with acid reflux to use it (though you should check in with their pediatrician first).
Measuring 26 by 25 by 7.5 inches, this wedge pillow provides a 1.5-inch memory foam top layer and a breathable case to keep your body cooler throughout the night.
In addition to easing the discomfort of acid reflux and GERD, customers also used the pillow to ease coughing, breathing problems, poor circulation, and neck pain.
The Healthex Memory Foam pillow enhances your sleep posture by providing a 10-inch incline of 30 degrees.
To avoid flat-pillow syndrome, the wedge offers 1.5 inches of breathable high-density memory foam that bounces back into shape after each use. The wedge can also be used for increased leg comfort.
This wedge pillow measures 22 inches by 12 inches and provides a 30- or 60-degree angle that supports a gradual or steep slope for just the right amount of pressure. It’s foldable and can also provide support for the back or legs.
This pillow is a 24-inch by 24-inch memory foam pillow with an incline of 7, 10, or 12 inches. It has a washable and removable cover made from bamboo.
The pillow can be used by people who prefer to sleep on their side or on their back. It’s also made entirely in the United States.
Unlike other treatments for acid reflux and GERD, including medications, there are no risks or side effects associated with wedge pillows.
You may decide to try another type of wedge pillow or stop using one completely if you don’t like it.
Elevating your head during sleep can be an effective lifestyle change for GERD.
You can also insert a wedge between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up if it isn’t possible to elevate the head of your bed. But just using additional ordinary pillows isn’t effective.
Other lifestyle remedies for acid reflux and GERD include:
- eating smaller meals
- avoiding foods that trigger heartburn and other symptoms
- not lying down for at least 3 hours after eating
- maintaining a healthy weight
- limiting alcohol consumption
- quitting smoking
Speak with your doctor on how you can further relieve your GERD symptoms.
Wedge pillows can help alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, especially at night.
By slightly elevating your head, shoulders, and torso during sleep, wedge pillows can prevent acid from leaking out of your stomach and into your esophagus.