inside view of orthopaedic pillow layers

Do Orthopaedic Pillows Improve Your Sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person takes between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep.

If you’re falling asleep faster than that, you’re likely sleep-deprived. If it takes you an hour or more, you’re either sleeping too much, or you could be struggling with insomnia

Beyond the time it takes for you to get to sleep, it’s also important to consider how your body feels upon waking. If you’ve ever awoken from sleep with a sore neck or aching back, you’ll understand exactly what we’re talking about. 

A comfortable, supportive mattress (like the PerfectSense Dodeca mattress) is vital for a restorative sleep experience. For many of us in North America, a contoured orthopaedic pillow complements a quality mattress and corrects your body positioning for a perfect night’s sleep.

How Can Orthopaedic Pillows Improve My Sleep? 

An orthopaedic pillow is designed to correct body positioning in bed, or while lying on most other sleep-friendly surfaces. Its design conforms to orthopaedic guidelines to ensure the right placement of the head, neck, shoulders and upper torso to facilitate safe and healthy rest.

Pillows have been traditionally made of foam and other soft fibres. Over the past decade or so, advances in manufacturing created new types of bedding materials.

Pillows made of memory foam have rapidly grown in popularity. Memory foam is a heat-sensitive material which can acquire the shape of the body lying upon it. It often takes a few seconds to recover its original shape immediately when the body is removed from the pillow.

Orthopaedic pillows are regarded as therapeutic pillows based on claims that they can help relieve various conditions, including:  

Sleep apnea



Breathing difficulties

Poor blood circulation

Acid reflux

Lower back pain

Gastroesophageal reflux

Sciatica pain

Neck and shoulder pain


Rotator cuff injury

There are many types of orthopaedic pillows that are purpose-built for almost every part of your body.

They include orthopaedic mattresses, mattress toppers, supports, and cushions for different orthopaedic problems. Some of these bedding products can be useful in multiple positions, and address a broad spectrum of physical ailments and sleep disorders.

Types of Orthopaedic Pillows 

  • Ergonomic contour pillows: A pillow with a curved design that adapts to head, neck and shoulder contours for both back sleepers and side sleepers. May relieve neck pain, frozen shoulders, stiff neck and headaches, and can better position the breathing airways to reduce snoring and sleep apnoea symptoms.
  • Memory foam pillow with cooling gel: An ideal pillow for the summer months or anyone who perspires and their head gets uncomfortably warm when sleeping. Some types of these pillows have vented airflow for temperature regulation and comfort. 
  • Memory foam pillow with charcoal mineral and cooling gel padding: If you get uncomfortably warm, but have allergies to materials like wool, a charcoal mineral-enhanced pillow is ideal. These pillows are made to be odour-free and hypo-allergenic for a restful sleep. 
  • Lumbar pillow: This is a half-moon shaped pillow used at the lower back to comfort and relieve lumbar pain and to ensure a correct sitting position. They can also be placed under your knees for leg elevation or for neck support for relaxation or during massage sessions.
  • Knee pillow: Also known as the contour leg pillow. This is an hourglass-shaped pillow, which when placed between the legs, allows the lower body to keep a straight side-sleeping position. Some leg-wedge pillows can be unfolded and turned into leg spacers, to improve blood circulation in your legs.
  • Body pillow: A long curved pillow for total body support that cradles head, neck, shoulders, back, lower back, legs and knees. Replaces other pillows and supports side sleepers.[
  • Spinal support pillow: Orthopaedic spinal support pillow used for cervical support while sleeping.

Your head, neck, spine, and shoulders carry a lot of stress and tension throughout the day. Let that tension and discomfort dissipate while you sleep on one of our memory foam pillows.

Whether you use a single pillow to achieve your most restorative sleep or several, PerfectSense has the perfect pillows for you.

Be sure to purchase a lumbar pillow for your work or home office desk chair. 

Orthopaedic pillows and sleep positions

Back SleepersSide SleeperSuitable for all Sleep Positions

The most common sleep positions people adopt in bed are:

Side sleeping

The most common of the three sleeping positions is the “lateral recumbent” position or side-sleeping. According to the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, two out of three people sleep on their sides, with their knees slightly bent. 

This position is considered the most suitable because it reduces the incidences of snoring, sleep apnoea and obstructive sleep apnoea. It also helps release breathing airways and it is the most helpful position for pregnant women to reduce the pressure of their wombs. It is twice as common in women as in men.

The inconvenience of this position is that most of the body’s pressure rests on their arms and shoulders which produce neck stiffness and frozen shoulder. This can be solved with a side sleeper pillow that allows the correct placement of neck, arms and shoulders. 

Back sleeping

Unlike side sleeping, the supine, or back-sleeping position may encourage episodes of snoring and sinusitis, as well as back pain. This position requires soft but firm support for three critical curves of the body: 

Behind the neck, in the middle of the back and lower back. For this, an orthopaedic pillow with neck contour and a wedge under knees can allow the back sleeper to lie with safety and comfort.

Stomach sleeping

More common in infants and small children than in adults, the prone sleep position (sleeping on your stomach) is considered harmful for the neck (neck strain, neck pain and stiffness) and responsible for the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies and small children. 

These findings are from a study by the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Ready to feel restored by the perfect sleep every night? Shop now for memory foam pillows.

Orthopaedic Pillows

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