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How to Use a Knee Pillow

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Sleep is one of the essential facets of leading a healthy and fulfilling life. Adequate amounts of sleep (7 to 9 hours per night) allow us to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. If you struggle with pain, your sleep quality may be at risk. Sleep and pain don’t mix, making it essential to relieve pain for a good night’s rest. One method of doing so is via support cushions such as knee pillows. This guide will explain what a knee pillow is, the uses and benefits of sleeping with a pillow between your legs, how to use a pillow between your knees, and more.

What is a Knee Pillow?

A knee support pillow is a rectangular-shaped pillow with two rounded notches used to support the legs while side sleeping. These devices are typically made of memory foam to contour your body shape and keep your knees separated to promote blood flow. Some knee cushions have a convenient built-in strap to stay in place while being used. A knee pillow with a strap is ideal for those who tend to move around while sleeping.

Are Knee Pillows Good for You?

Yes, knee pillows can be an excellent source of pain relief and better sleep. Adding knee support when sleeping relieves pressure on the spine, improves sleep posture, and can relieve symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, acid reflux, herniated disc, and other sleep-related health conditions.

Carex Knee Pillow
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex
Carex Knee Pillow - Carex

Side Sleeping Made Easy & Comfortable

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"I've had this pillow for about two years now and use it nightly. It helps my lower back stay in alignment when lying on my side, which prevents pain in the morning. The cover has a small zipper that allows it to be removed and washed in a washing machine, it has withstood several washings and doesn't shrink in the dryer. The memory foam has stayed firm, but has developed some give to it over time as expected. It is about the width of a basketball, so it fits comfortably between my legs without touching my sleeping partner. I highly recommend it."

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Knee Pillow Benefits & Uses

The right memory foam knee pillow can help alleviate many conditions. In this section, we discuss the many uses and benefits of knee pillows.

Sleep pain

Pain Relief

Laying down can put a lot of pressure on the body, resulting in pain. And if you have preexisting injuries or health conditions, they can worsen. Orthopedic knee pillows help support the legs and relieve pressure to reduce pain. These pillows keep your legs separated to keep pressure off the lower leg when side-sleeping.

Do Knee pillows Help Back Pain?

Using a knee pillow for back pain can help in two ways: spine alignment and pressure reduction. Sleeping on your side can cause your upper leg to pull on your spine, causing misalignment. Keeping a pillow between your knees while sleeping prevents your upper leg from pulling on your spine. This also reduces pressure on your hips and lower back. However, it's important to have proper head support to keep your spine straight.

Knee Pain

Knee pain, much like any other type of pain, needs pressure relief in order to heal properly. Using a pillow for knee pain takes the pressure off the knee by keeping them separated. Knee foam pillows promote blood flow in the knees and prevent pooling. This can alleviate any pain and discomfort experienced while laying down.

Knee Pain

Using a knee pillow for hip pain stabilizes the hips and prevents them from rotating. This helps keep your spine aligned and relieves pressure on sensitive points. Using a support pillow for hip pain allows your hips to relax and experience less strain when laying down.

Spine alignment

Hip and Spine Alignment

While side-sleeping may be a comfortable sleep position, it tends to pressure the hips and spine. For this reason, it’s best to sleep with a pillow between your knees to alleviate that pressure—contour knee pillows aid in keeping the hips and spine aligned by reducing pressure on sensitive points.

Better sleep

Improves Sleep Posture

Good sleep posture is essential to a good night’s rest, free from pain. Sleeping seven to eight hours per night with poor sleep posture can be very disruptive and painful. Because your hips and knees dip when in a side sleeping position, your sleep posture becomes poor. Putting a pillow between your knees promotes healthy sleep posture by keeping the knees separated and the knees and spine aligned. 

Blood circulation

Better Circulation

Laying down, let alone side sleeping, is not conducive to healthy blood flow. Blood tends to pool when lying down, which can increase pain levels. And sleeping on your side causes your knees to touch, which limits blood flow in the legs. Spine align knee pillows solve this issue by preventing the knees from touching so blood can flow freely.

Sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when your body’s airways are interrupted, causing you to wake up. This happens because muscles in the body relax while sleeping, putting pressure on the airways. Ergonomic knee pillows aid in preventing sleep apnea as they lower pressure on muscles to keep airways open.

Snoring

Snoring

Open airways are vital to preventing snoring. While side sleeping is generally good for snoring, adding a knee pillow can control it even further. Snoring occurs from blocked airways, and knee pillows combined with side sleeping help open those airways.

Acid reflux

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux offers when stomach acid moves its way up through the esophagus and into the mouth. This tends to happen while asleep because gravity combined with laying down allows the acid to move up the body. Using a knee pillow combined with a head pillow can reduce acid reflux experienced at night.passages.

Sciatica

Sciatica

Sciatica can cause excruciating pain and significantly impact your quality of sleep. Studies have shown side sleeping with a pillow between the legs minimizes sciatica pain by aligning the spine and reducing pressure. Using a knee pillow for sciatica relief can minimize symptoms and flare-ups.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy

Side sleeping while pregnant may be the most comfortable, but it can put a lot of pressure on the spine. Knee pillows are great for pregnancy as they open the hips up and align the spine to reduce tension. Keeping a pillow between the knees at night while pregnant can reduce hip, back, and knee pain associated with pregnancy.

Herniated disc

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs that cushion the vertebrae slips or becomes pushed out of location, causing pain and often putting pressure on the nerves. Knee pillows promote side sleeping, which is good for preventing stress on the slipped disc. If the problem persists, try sleeping in the fetal position with a knee pillow between your legs.

Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow
Roscoe Knee Pillow

A Doctor Approved Knee Pillow

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"This would be really nice as a soft pillow to keep knees separated. I actually bought it to keep pressure off my elderly Mother's heel wound. I works great. Not too big an bulky, very soft so it won't cause pressure elsewhere or cut off circulation. I took it to her doctor and he highly approved!"

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How to Use a Knee Pillow Correctly

While knee pillows are traditionally used for side sleeping, they can be used for back sleeping to elevate the knees or feet. using a knee pillow for sleeping can be a great source of better sleep. But it's important to use a knee cushion pillow correctly. This section explains how to use a knee pillow in bed when sleeping on your side and back.

Using a knee pillow for side sleepers

  • Lay on your side with your knees bent slightly toward your chest
  • Place the knee pillow between your knees with your upper thigh elevated to keep your hips neutral
  • Adjust the pillow or your sleep position until comfortable. You may find more sleep comfort in the fetal position

Using a knee pillow for back sleepers

  • Place the knee pillow where your knees or feet will lay (for knee or foot elevation)
  • Lay down on your back with the knee pillow below your knees or feet
  • Adjust the pillow until the optimal comfort level is met

Knee Pillow Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • A natural and safe way to relieve pain and discomfort
  • Can enhance sleep
  • May be awkward or uncomfortable to use
  • May wear poorly or require replacement or cleaning (if pillowcase is not included)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does putting a pillow between your legs feel good?

Sleeping with a pillow between your knees benefits you in multiples ways: it keeps your spine aligned, reduces hip pressure, adds comfort, and promotes healthy sleep posture.

Where can I buy a knee pillow?

You can purchase a specialized pillow to keep your knees apart from our support cushion collection, on Amazon, or at your local store.

Additional Sleep REsources

14 Days of Bite Size Caregiver Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Sleep

LEARN MORE
23 Tips for New Caregivers

33 Ways to Sleep Better

LEARN MORE
Caregiver Statistics

Buyer's Guide: Selecting the Right Support Cushion

LEARN MORE
How to Sleep with Back Pain

How to Sleep with Back Pain

LEARN MORE

About the Author

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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