Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Best Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers: A Review

I'm a Side Sleeper with Bad Knees

I have had neck problems and back problems for years, and thirty years ago a physical therapist told me that when I sleep, I should keep a pillow under my knees if I'm on my back or between my knees if I sleep on my side. I am also supposed to hug a smaller than normal size pillow. It has not been easy to find pillows that will help me sleep without  pain.  I'm sharing the results of my search with you to save you time if you also need a knee pillow.

I've always been a side sleeper. The main reason for that was that I have post-nasal drip that makes me cough during the night, and when I cough lying on my back, it hurts my ribs. (Getting old isn't much fun.) This year my knees have developed problems. I could not seem to find one of any of the numerous pillows around the house that was the right shape or thickness to fit well between my knees to keep my knees and hips properly aligned. I finally decided to get a pillow made for the job.

Finding the Best Knee Pillow

I searched several knee pillows on Amazon and decided on this one – the Cushy Cloud Memory Foam Knee Pillow. It arrived almost instantly – the very next day – although I had ordered only the standard free shipping. I was very happy about this, since my right knee, which had been my good one, had suddenly gotten so bad I could hardly walk.

The inside of my Cushy Cloud is all memory foam. The outside is a soft gray cover that I can machine wash if necessary. It has a zipper closing to keep the pillow snug inside. I love it. Although I can sleep on my back when I want to since I got my new REM adjustable bed, I still often want to sleep on my side. The pillow can be placed between my thighs or below my knees to keep my spine properly aligned and my knees almost pain-free. Heat helps, too. Now I crawl under my electric blanket for the warmth and put the pillow in place. Within minutes the pain in my knee has subsided so I can sleep.

The Best Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers: A Review
Cushy Cloud Memory Foam Knee Pillow
Almost by accident I discovered something else. When I was using an ordinary pillow under my knees while on my back, I would just switch its position to between my legs when I turned to my side. Since I got the new bed, though, I didn't need a pillow under my knees because the bed adjusted. If I wanted to turn over, I had to take the pillow off the table next to the bed and maneuver it under the covers to get it between my knees, and I always had to struggle enough to do this to wake myself up thoroughly or to set off a hot flash. I discovered that if I kept the Cushy Cloud standing tall between my knees while on my back, it was already there when I wanted to roll over, and it kept my knees warmer in the meantime. If that left knee is really hurting bad when I go to bed, I put it over the concave top of the Cushy Cloud when I'm sleeping on my back and it gives me extra support and warmth while elevating my knee a bit more. It seems to help relieve the pain.

A Pillow to Hug

In case you're wondering, my favorite pillow to hug is a camping / toddler / travel pillow. I have shown one that's the same size but a better pillow below. I have also included among the suggestions the pillow cases that fit it. I'm going to break down and buy a couple myself. The one that came with my pillow, bought decades ago, finally wore out, and substituting a normal pillow case just doesn't work well. It's easier to pick one up at Amazon than to scour the local stores in search of one, even now that I know what I'm looking for. The ones I recommend below will fit most camping, travel, or toddler pillows. They definitely match the toddler pillow I recommend below.

Sometimes getting a good night's sleep depends on having the right bed and the right pillows on it. We bought out beds after spending a lot of time trying them out in person, and that's the only way I'd buy a bed. The pillows I've recommended can be successfully purchased online. If you aren't satisfied with your Cushy Cloud knee pillow, you can send it back for a refund. I'm keeping mine.

If you found this helpful, please share with someone else. The image below is the right size to share on Pinterest. Sharing buttons are just above the comment box, below.

best knee pillow for side sleepers

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Wow, sounds like you have your aches and pains under pretty good control with the pillows and your new bed. Perhaps a pillow between my knees would help me, too. Dealing with aging certainly is a challenge, so I appreciate any advice like this I can get. Sleep well!

  2. I had to laugh at your comment about getting older not being fun. It may not be as much fun as the days of our youth, but it sure beats the alternative! It is really awesome though that there are products like these pillows that will help us get a good night's sleep. I think we all have aches and pains that disturb our rest and having a ready solution can sure make a world of difference. Thank you for the recommendations! Btw, I have yet to find a head pillow that I like and I have certainly tried a lot of them seeking the elusive best fit for my head and neck.

    1. Sometimes I think I like certain pillows and they seem good for a time, and then they don't. I thought the one that came with my bed was wonderful while I was testing the bed, but now I'm not so sure it was that much better than the down pillow. I'm tempted to try the one I keep seeing advertised on TV, but I think I can live with what I have for now.

  3. Good recommendations for pillows that help give support where needed to ensure a good night's sleep. I agree -- getting older has definite drawbacks! :)

    1. Yes, those aches and pains seem to multiply as we age, but at least they remind us we're still alive.

  4. this is good to know - I have identical issues with my knee and hips and sleep with pillows between my knees all night, tossing and turning - I even get up and put Voltaren on when I can't stand it any longer. I'll keep this pillow in mind. Appreciate the heads up on this one.

    1. We have so many more pillow choices than we had a couple of decades ago. There should be just the right pillows out there for each of our needs.

  5. Looks like something I could really use. I have two knees and wish I had none.....but that wouldn't work well either, so maybe a pillow like this one will do the trick....

    1. Unfortunately we need the knees to walk. It's amazing how fast one can stop working right, though. One morning I woke up and I could barely walk, and I'd been fine the day before.


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