Aug 19, 2023

9 Best Acid Reflux Pillows of 2023, According to Experts

Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Why Trust Us?

What's worse than interrupted sleep? Interrupted sleep with reflux.

TOSSING AND turning through the night, desperately trying to find that elusive comfortable spot—we've all been there. The quality of your sleep can make or break your day, affecting your energy, mood, and overall well-being. Getting quality sleep can be tough for a slew of reasons, but with the addition of acid reflux, an uninterrupted night of shut eye can be nearly impossible.

Imagine you're lying flat on your back, drifting off to dreamland, when suddenly that all-too-familiar burn creeps up your chest. Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), isn't just a daytime nuisance. It can be a major disruptor of nighttime tranquility. Luckily, simply elevating the head can help a great deal. Acid reflux pillows, or "wedge pillows," lift the head of your bed or your upper body, utilizing the power of gravity to keep acid where it belongs–in your stomach, explains Dr. Amir E. Soumekh, a gastroenterologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Read more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Nutrition Products

Not only can these pillows lift your head, but some of the best acid reflux pillows and wedge pillows are also designed to encourage you to sleep on your left side. "Sleeping on the left side appears to reduce overnight reflux by positioning the stomach in such a way that makes it more difficult for acid to flow backwards (reflux) into the esophagus," says Dr. Soumekh.

Researchers have considered all sorts of angles (we're talking anywhere from 10% to a whopping 30%) to determine what level of elevation is most effective to relieve acid reflux symptoms. As it turns out, any amount of lift under the head seems to be helpful. However, the steeper the slant, likely the greater protection (even though most folks find angles over 20% a bit uncomfortable).

So, if you're tired of battling acid reflux in the dead of night, it might be time to get in bed with one of the best wedge pillows for acid reflux relief. Keep reading to check out our favorite 9 acid reflux pillows to shop this year.

Raising the head end of your bed throws a curveball to acid's escape plan, making it harder for it to reflux up out of the stomach and into the bothersome territory of the esophagus. But it's not just a dedicated wedge pillow that can do the trick—think extra regular pillows or even some bed tilting action using blocks under the bed's head (or a true incline-adjustable mattress, if you're really fancy).

Researchers have tinkered with different inclines—from mild to steep, ranging from 10% to a daring 30%. According to Dr. Soumekh, any angle that sends your head upward seems to bring some relief with it, with higher angles possibly offering even stronger protection.

Chris Winter, MD, neurologist, sleep specialist, and host of the Sleep Unplugged podcast, chimes in that these pillows aren't just good at keeping acid in check; they're also sleep apnea's kryptonite. If you've got milder sleep apnea lurking around, an acid reflux pillow could do the two-for-one deal of fighting off acid reflux and giving you smoother breathing at night.

If you're someone who's all too familiar with the fiery annoyance of nighttime acid reflux, an acid reflux pillow might just become your new sleep-time BFF. Dr. Soumekh suggests that if you're in the squad that experiences nighttime reflux, raising the head of your bed could help you find real relief.

In addition to elevating the head and upper body with the help of one of the best acid reflux pillows, Dr. Soumekh recommends eating a smaller portion at dinner and waiting at least two hours between the last meal and bedtime to minimize reflux symptoms.

But it's not just those who've danced with GERD before who can tap into the magic of these pillows. Dr. Winter believes that anyone who's even remotely susceptible to developing GERD – meaning people with extra weight, over 60 years old, have a history of smoking, have asthma, or have anxiety/depression – could be in for a sleep upgrade with these pillows.

For those who are especially particular about getting their pillow justtttt right, an adjustable option is a no-brainer. No matter if you're a snoozer who loves sinking into fluff or someone who prefers a bit more support, this pillow's got you.

With its trio of foam inserts—two 2-inch wedges and a 4-inch one for that extra firmness—you can stack 'em up to reach a lofty 8 inches. Which means you pick the angle and support level that suits your style. Feeling like less is more? The adjustment mechanism is easy to use—pop a wedge out, or maybe two. The choice is yours.

We love that the synthetic foam makes a great hypoallergenic option for sensitive sinuses, so you can snooze in peace. Just a tip: if you're a back sleeper, this pillow feels great. But for side sleepers, the lack of contour can be tough on the shoulder.

On the practical side, the cover is removable and washable, AKA a breeze to keep fresh. Sleep Number sweetens the deal with free shipping across the contiguous U.S. And if you're not totally smitten, you've got a whole month to make up your mind with the trial period. It's even got a one-year warranty to seal the deal.

Read more: Best Cooling Pillows

The MedSlant Folding Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux Relief offers a roomy 32 by 28 inches on its surface, and when you hit the sack, it cradles your upper body and head with a gentle 7-inch elevation. This incline is kind of the sweet spot, right between the recommended 6-8 inches, meaning it's in favor of both side and back sleepers.Crafted from 100 percent hypoallergenic polyurethane, it's a winner for those with a nose for allergens. Washing is also no sweat—the removable cover and its travel couch have your back, making keeping things hygienic a walk in the park.Baby reflux worries? This pillow is made with materials and an incline safe for the crib world, too—just check in with your pediatrician first about at what age it can be introduced. For adults, however, this pillow's a bit on the low and narrow side for some. It makes a great entrée into the world of wedge pillows for beginners or those with very mild reflux, but a little extra lift might be preferred for those in need of serious relief.

Read more: Best Memory Foam Pillows

This pillow from Helix boasts a removable cover that's not only breathable, but also machine washable, meaning you can easily maintain a clean and hygienic sleep environment. For those who tend to run a little warm during the night, the gel-infused memory foam layer is also a game-changer.

Don't let the price tag just topping $100 fool you; this pillow competes with the more high-end options with medium-firmness that is versatile enough for back and side sleepers.

With a 10-inch incline, the pillow takes a steeper stance than most to fight acid reflux and sleep apnea symptoms seriously. This highly elevated angle is geared to provide effective relief, but might feel a bit too intense for wedge pillow newbies. Helix Sleep goes the extra mile by offering a 1-year warranty and a sweet 100-night sleep trial.

Imagine slipping into an arm pocket that takes the pressure off your side and shoulder and a memory foam pillow cushioning your head. The wraparound arm and strategically placed cushioning encourage sleepers to stay on their left side, making reflux episodes less likely, according to Dr. Soumekh. The MedCline Reflux Relief System comes with a heftier price tag, but with added features and clinical trials to back it up, it’s well worth the potential benefits. Clinical trials don't lie, and this pillow's been through seven of them. Those trials give it a thumbs-up for tackling acid reflux and GERD symptoms. The package deal includes the classic wedge design, a full-length memory foam body pillow, and a smaller insert pillow—all sporting removable covers for easy cleaning. And hey, if you're a shoulder pain sufferer, it also makes a smart investment.Of course, there are a few cons to consider. If you tend to switch positions a ton while sleeping, this might not be the best choice for you. Plus, it takes up some serious real estate on the bed.

Read more: Best Mattress Toppers for Back Pain

You know what they say, bigger is sometimes better, and this baby proves it. Think of this pillow from Medslant as the Folding Wedge Pillow's big brother—it's got that extra oomph with an additional four inches of width. The 7 inches of lift is also ideal for balancing comfort with effective relief. This pillow's no slouch in the comfort department either. With a memory foam topper that's an inch thick, sinking into it is more cloud-like than some firmer options. But to balance out that cushiness, a sturdy polyurethane base acts as the backbone that keeps this pillow in shape for the long run.

If you make a habit of switching out your standard pillows regularly because of allergens, fear not, because the memory foam overlay is hypoallergenic. The microfiber cover is also removable and machine washable.

With a 30-day money-back guarantee and free shipping, MedSlant is basically saying, "Try it out, you've got nothing to lose."

A 1-inch gel memory foam layer makes those Zzz's come easy with this wedge pillow from Malouf. But it isn't just for snoozing—whether you're tackling acid reflux, sinus pressure, or a snoring symphony, this pillow's supportive enough to have your back (or front, or side—you name it) for watching TV, reading, or just hanging out.

We're looking at 29 x 29 inches of sleep real estate. But here's the kicker: a 10-inch rise that's designed to tackle serious acid reflux. While the higher the incline the higher the chance of relief, not everyone's a fan of sleeping in such a position (especially the newbies to the wedge pillow scene).

The gel-infused memory foal layer and bamboo-rayon blend removable cover are designed to keep things cool, and compared to the average wedge pillow, we found that to be true. However, if you're used to cooling standard pillows, it does fall a tad short in terms of ventilation.

If you're all about that side snooze, this pillow's contoured shape offers a sweet dose of extra support that’s easy on the shoulder. Its bamboo cover isn't just a pretty face—it's also hypoallergenic, removable and machine washable, meaning it’s easy to clean in a pinch. The gel-infused foam inside is incredibly breathable and works to keep things cool while you sleep. So, if you tend to run hot while catching those Zzz's, this pillow's got your back (and your sides too).

Speaking of sides, this pillow's got a lengthier wedge that plays nice with any bed. The gradual slope feels more like an extension of the head of the bed than a separate bolster, unlike some steeper wedge pillows. This pillow's tuned in to side sleepers' needs, but it isn’t our favorite choice for back sleepers—they might not find those wavy contours as comfy

Read more: Best Mattresses for Back Pain

This one's like the Jack of All Trades of wedge pillows, but we can't call it a Master of None. Here's why it makes a great addition to just about anyone's snooze team.

First things first, the versatility of sizes is unmatched. The version linked here is the 'extra-wide' model, and has a generous 31 x 31 inch footprint and a whopping 12" incline. If you're a bigger dude or a restless sleeper who tends to play pillow gymnastics at night, this extra-wide detail is a major key. No more slipping and sliding of the wedge.

If those dimensions don't sound ideal to you, stick around, because there are options galore. If the wide version isn't your jam, there's a standard 25-inch width with 12 inches or a lower 7.5-inch incline. There's even an adjustable version that lets you swap from 9-inch to 12-inch elevations. But no matter the size, they all bring the same stylish game.

That removable jacquard pillow case isn't just a looker—it's tough enough to fight stains and stand up to machine washing, too.

A cushy 1.3-inch layer of memory foam tops things off—slightly —and feels like a marshmallow in all the right places. Underneath, high-density foam keeps things firm and supported through the core, meaning this pillow has the secret sauce to maintain its shape and comfort over time.

For those lucky couples battling in the trenches of acid reflux together, a solution that elevates the entire head of the bed is warranted. Enter: the Avana Mattress Elevator. Think of it as an undercover elevation option that won’t interfere with the aesthetics atop your bed. Unlike those typical wedge pillows that hog your bed space, this elevator discreetly slips beneath your mattress to work its magic. The result is a steady seven-inch incline that feels gradual and won’t have you slipping off any which way. Unlike a standalone pillow, this elevator extends seamlessly beneath your mattress, ensuring the incline feels natural and cozy. Plus, even the most active sleepers can expect this elevator to stay put when in use. So, no matter how much you toss and turn, that incline is right where you need it. But, just like every star, it's got its quirks. It plays best with a footboard to stay in place as intended, otherwise, it might slip downward a little. And yes, it's an investment that's not super light on the wallet, but compared to purchasing two individual, quality wedge pillows, it makes a reasonable investment.

Opt for an acid reflux pillow that elevates your head by 10-30% (roughly six inches in height) above the flat position. Remember, the higher the angle, the greater the potential relief from reflux symptoms, according to Dr. Soumekh. Aim for the steepest incline that still keeps you comfy during sleep.

Our top picks for comfort are memory foam and gel-infused pillows. Not only do they strike a great balance between plushy and supportive, but they're also more likely to maintain their shape over time. To keep things hygienic, choose an option with a removable and washable cover—the ultimate convenience hack.

For an added layer of comfort, some models come with a cooling panel. This is a must-consider feature, especially if you tend to feel warm during sleep. While you're free to snooze in any position you find comfortable, certain pillows are designed to encourage sleeping on your left side (such as the MedCline Reflux Relief System). Left-side sleeping is a proven tactic for minimizing reflux symptoms that's worth keeping in mind.

At Men's Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. For this story, we interviewed experts including Amir E. Soumekh, MD, gastroenterologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Chris Winter, MD, neurologist, sleep specialist, and host of the Sleep Unplugged podcast.

Our writers and editors are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality. Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage, which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

For the past several years, Men's Health's Fitness editors and writers have been testing the best acid reflux pillows and wedge pillows for lounging and sleeping. Experts including Fitness and Commerce Editor Talene Appleton, NASM-CPT, have tested and assessed the best acid reflux pillows from top-rated brands to determine which ones are truly worthy of the Men's Health seal of recommendation. When evaluating each pillow, we looked at factors like comfort, durability, material, support, size, and cost.

Best Pillows for Neck Pain | Best Anti-Snoring Pillows | Best Pillows for Back Sleepers | Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessie, and more.

Basketball Star Kevin Love Talks Mental Health

Transcendental Meditation Changed My Life

How to Help Make Your Voice Deeper

Does Your Junk Look Smaller? How to Bring it Back

Why Your Face Is Swollen

9 Signs You Have Healthy Sperm

12 Reasons Some Guys Always Feel Hot and Sweaty

6 Harmless Reasons You Can't Get An Erection

How Dehydration Can Affect Your Blood Pressure

15 Reasons You Have Chills, But No Fever

11 Essential Multivitamins for Men

The Dangers of America's Sports-Betting Boom

TOSSING ANDRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Nutrition ProductsRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Nutrition ProductsRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Nutrition ProductsRead more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Nutrition ProductsRead more:Read more:Read more: Best Cooling PillowsBest Cooling PillowsRead more: Best Memory Foam PillowsRead more: Best Mattress Toppers for Back PainRead more: Best Mattress Toppers for Back PainRead more: Best Mattresses for Back PainBest Mattresses for Back PainBest Mattresses for Back PainBest Pillows for Neck Pain | Best Anti-Snoring Pillows | Best Pillows for Back Sleepers | Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers