Best Lumbar Pillows for Sleep of 2023

Ryan Fiorenzi, BS, Certified Sleep Science Coach - Updated on June 27th, 2023

The lumbar region of your back, known as your lumbar lordosis, is a common area of pain for many people. Pain in this area can be caused by lack of support, both when sitting and sleeping. Side sleeping and back sleeping positions are known at times to leave this lower back area unsupported. Adding support to this area of your back can help your spine stay supported and in a neutral position. Fortunately, lumbar pillows are inexpensive and sometimes even free, and in any case, they can be formed from a towel or other household items. Finding the right solution to support your lower back may require some trial and error, and will depend on your sleeping position, anatomy, mattress, and personal preference. 

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Best Lumbar Pillows

We’ve invested around 19 hours of research into creating this guide on lumbar pillows and how to pair them with your sleeping position. We've also supplemented our research with an in-depth interview with a chiropractor who frequently helps patients with their sleeping positions and sleep-related back and neck pain. In addition, we also purchased and physically reviewed each pillow, confirming measurements and inspecting the quality. From there, we form our recommendations. You can learn more about our review process here.


FOUSUPDT Lumbar Pillow

kasney lumbar support pillow

Best Value

  • The highest-rated lumbar pillow on Amazon with 4.5 stars and 124 ratings.
  • Can be used to sleep, drive, or in any chair.
  • Made of high-density memory foam and a 4D mesh pillowcase that's washable and breathable.
  • Available in 5 colors.
  • Measures 19.5" x 9.9" x 5.8".
  • Includes 8.5" x 5.6" travel bag.

kasney Lumbar Pillow

kasney lumbar support pillow

Best Value Runner Up

  • One of the highest-rated lumbar pillows for sleeping on Amazon with 4.2 stars and 1,204 ratings.
  • Made of high-density memory foam and has a 4D breathable and washable cover.
  • Has a curved design to fill the gap between your spine and the bed, keeping your spine in a more neutral position.
  • Can also be used when sitting in a car or chair.
  • Available in grey, black, and blue.
  • 18.5" x 9.1" x 4.3".
  • No bag included.

OPTP Night Roll Belt

OPTP Night Roll Belt - Best Lumbar Pillows for Sleep

Best for Combination Sleepers

  • Simple belt design ensures combination sleepers don't lose lower back support when rolling into a new position at night.
  • Provides excellent support on both sides of your lumbar spine, depending on your sleeping position.
  • Available in 3 sizes small, medium, and large; choose the size based on your waist size. 2" thickness, 36" length, 3" width.
  • Developed by Robin McKenzie, a physiotherapist from New Zealand who developed a system for dealing with neck, back, and other types of pain that are now used by thousands of people.
  • Machine washable cover with cotton filling.

Pep Step Cooling Lumbar Pillow

Pep Step Cooling Lumbar Pillow

Best Cooling

  • 4.1 stars with 4,431 ratings.
  • Contains cooling gel along with memory foam.
  • The lyocell fabric cover is hypoallergenic, machine-washable, super-soft, and made from recycled materials.
  • Measures 23.5" x 9.5" x 3", and it's triangle shaped to fit the curve of your lower back, so the edges are 1.5" tall.
  • Can be used while laying down under the lower back, above the hips while side sleeping, or under the knees.
  • Pep Step offers a one-year guarantee where if anything happens to your lumbar pillow, they'll send you a new one.

Pillow Comparison Table






breathable cover




breathable cover



OPTP Night Roll

Side and Back



Pep Step Cooling

cooling gel

1.5", 3", 1.5"


Alternatives to Buying a Lumbar Pillow

While sometimes buying a lumbar pillow is necessary, you may want to experiment with some household items that can be repurposed to address common problems or fine tune your sleeping environment. Here's a few alternatives to lumbar pillows.

  • Pool Noodles - Most of us have some of these stashed away, especially in the fall, winter and spring. Try cutting a 2' section off and using it to support your lower back lumbar area. These seem to work particularly well for side sleepers but are often too thick and rigid for back sleeping.
  • Household Towels - Towels are extremely versatile when it comes to improving your sleep environment. Many Chiropractors and Physical Therapists recommend using towel rolls to add support for your neck and also your lower back or creating a gap between your knees. Towel rolls are great because you can control the thickness and shape depending on how you fold or roll it.
  • Small Throw Pillows - Some smaller throw pillows you may be using to decorate your couch can be repurposed as lumbar pillow.
  • Weighted Exercise Belts - Some weighted belts that use sand can make great lumbar pillows.

Lumbar Pillow Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions about lumbar pillows and back pain.

Sleeping with lumbar support can be an effective tool to address lack of support, but if the pillow is too thick it can work against your spine's natural alignment and create new issues.

Sleeping in a Neutral Position

Before we go into detail, it’s important to consider what goes into ideal sleeping positions and how to properly set yourself up for a good night’s rest. Essentially, you should try to have your spine in a neutral position where it’s free of twisting, flexing, or any tension. When you correctly identify this position you will have the best chance of reducing muscle and joint pain as well as improving the quality of your sleep. This is easiest to achieve when sleeping on your back, but it can also be possible as a side sleeper, and with a lot of fine-tuning, even on your stomach.

Why Your Lower Back May Need More Support

Your lumbar area needs support on all sides and you will see how this comes into play with these three main sleeping positions:

Side Sleeping - Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position and one of its main issues is lower back support. If you sleep on your side and especially if you are petite, have a thin waist and wide hips, or are using a firm mattress, there is often a gap or low support area between your mattress and your back just above the hip. This allows your spine to bend downwards and over time this can cause a lot of pain.

Back Sleeping - Back sleeping, while preferred and recommended by many doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors can be vulnerable to a lack of lower back support. Due to the way your spine curves inward to your body in your lumbar area, sleeping on your back can leave these areas unsupported. While elevating your legs slightly can improve support (by rocking your hips backward) you may need to try a lumbar pillow or fill the gap between your mattress and lower back.

Combination sleeping - Combination sleeping refers to switching from one position to another, often unconsciously. While it may be easy to find adequate support in your initial sleeping position, rarely will you roll or flip unconsciously into another supportive position. Combination sleepers can really benefit from a lumbar belt that goes around your waist above your hip and provides support on all sides of your lower back regardless of your sleeping position.

Stomach sleeping - Sleeping on your stomach introduces many issues, such as the position of your lower back in relation to your hips. Sleeping on your stomach can require you to flex your lower back, especially if your face and chest are elevated with a pillow. While a lumbar pillow may not help, we recommend trying a pillow below your abdomen to get a more neutral position of your spine.

Types of Lumbar Pillows for Sleep

When it comes to pillows, there are so many options, even within the lumbar category. Popular types of lumbar pillows usually fall into the following categories:

  • Foam rolls - These cylinder-shaped pillows are very versatile, as they can be used to add support to your lower back and neck, whether you are a side or back sleeper.
  • Triangular foam - Designed specifically for lower back support, these pillows are triangular in shape and often made from firm memory foam.
  • Lumbar belts - Lumbar belts wrap around your waist above the hip and provide lower back support to both back and side sleepers. This makes it a great choice for combination sleepers or those of us that move around a lot at night.
  • Inflatable pillows - These pillows allow you to control the height of the pillow and therefore the support you need. A great option if you’ve had trouble finding the right lumbar pillow.

Is Foam Good or Bad in Lumbar Pillows?

The most common material that lumbar pillows are made from is memory foam. Memory foam is great for adjusting to the shape of your body and being very soft. The issue is that when memory foam compresses, it blocks your body heat from dissipating from your body. After a few hours, enough body heat may be reflected back to you that you may notice, and it may wake you up, or it may decrease the quality of your sleep.

For some people, memory foam doesn't cause any issues. If you have a memory foam mattress and have no issues heating up, you should have no problems with a memory foam lumbar pillow. If you wake up hot due to memory foam, a better option is to look for a product that includes cooling gel, or a lumbar made from a different material.