Best Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux

Best wedge pillow for acid reflux

The Best Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux  

I have been sleeping on a wedge pillow for acid reflux for several years.  So I have first hand experience with what makes a good wedge pillow for reflux.  I have not slept laying flat on my back for several years.  

The Best Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux ​Reviews

I have been sleeping on a wedge pillow for acid reflux for several years.  So I have first hand experience with what makes a good wedge pillow for reflux.  I have not slept laying flat on my back for several years.  

best wedge pillow for reflux brentwood latex top
best wedge pillow for reflux brentwood
medcline advanced positioning wedge
best wedge pillow for reflux vive
best wedge pillow for reflux medslant
Brentwood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Wedge Pillow
Brentwood Home Zuma Therapeutic Wedge Pillow
Medcline Anti Reflux Wedge Pillow
X-Tra Comfort Wedge Pillow
Medslant Anti Reflux Pillow

​8-13" elevation

7-12" elevation

​​14" elevation

​12" elevation

​​7" elevation

Standard wedge. You'll need support for side sleeping.

Standard wedge. You'll need support for side sleeping.

Modified wedge. Arm cut out encourages side sleeping ​.

Standard wedge. You'll need support for side sleeping.

Standard wedge. You'll need support for side sleeping.

Made with Certipur poly foam with latex foam topping.

Available in 3 elevations (8", 11", 13").  In my opinion 13 is best.  Best bang for your buck.

Made with Certipur poly foam with memory foam topping

Available in 3 elevations (7", 10", 12").  In my opinion 12 is best.  Next best bang for your buck.

Constructed of 4 types of foam (exact types not listed on site).

The most expensive of the pillows, but highest elevation.  Encourages side sleeping.

Made from firm foam.


Good elevation height.  Reasonably priced.  But there are better options

Made with Certipur poly foam with memory foam topping

Too low of elevation for reflux, you'll need 2.  

What is Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is basically when acid and bile reflux (wash back up into) your esophagus from your stomach.  Acid reflux is caused by the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opening up or relaxing during sleep or during the day.  This relaxation allows the stomach's contents to wash up into the esophagus and even your throat.  

If you're reading this, you're well aware of the potential long term effects acid reflux can have on your esophagus:  esophagitis (infalmmation of the esophagus, Barrett's esophagus, and potentially even esophageal cancer).  UGH!

So, managing acid reflux is majorly important, if not life saving.  

​And for the vast majority of people - the most dangerous acid reflux happens at night, while they're lying down and asleep.  This is where you really need a wedge pillow for acid reflux.

Lower Esophageal Sphincter in Acid Reflux

Enter the Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux

Dr's recommend that you elevate your body at least 6", although 6" in my opinion is not enough.  I need 12-14" of elevation personally.  I'm not sure about you, but I tried putting my bed on risers - that lasted a New York minute.  

Then I turned to stuffing a bunch of pillows under my head and torso - try like 5 or 6.  This would result to me waking in the morning with all my pillows on the floor, save one or two, and the good old familiar burning in my throat.  Ugh.

Finally I broked and got a wedge pillow to alleviate my  nighttime acid reflux.

Sleeping with a Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux

It took me several weeks to get used to sleeping on a wedge, and I tried them all.  Sleeping on an incline is not necessarily the most comfortable position.  My body actually craved lying flat.  

Occassionally I would wake flat, having slide down the pillow at night.  (Not ideal).

But eventually I got used to it - and found the most comfortable and economical one - in my opinion the best wedge pillow for acid reflux:   the Brentwood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Wedge Pillow

​The Best Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux

​​Now since the Brentwood Wedge Pillow DOES NOT have an arm cut out, it is a standard wedge.  So if you are an agressive tosser while you're asleep, you may want to consider splerging for the ​Medcline Anti Reflux Wedge Pillow.  The Medcline ​Wedge Pillow has a patented design arm cut out to encourage and enable better side sleeping.  

Food for thought, the ideal sleep position to alleviate nighttime acid reflux is not just inclined, but sleeping on your left side.  

Ocassionally I would wake flat, having slide down the pillow at night.  (Not ideal).

But eventually I got used to it - and found the most comfortable and economical one - in my opinion the best wedge pillow for acid reflux:   the Brentwood Home Pismo Therapeutic Latex Wedge Pillow. 

​Bear in mind, I side sleep on it.  I use a pillow that I place to support my waste, and I hug the pillow under my head.  I've been doing this for so long that my arm and shoulder are used to this and it doesn't cause me pain.

I think though, if I were starting out with a wedge pillow, I might start with the Medcline, because of the arm cut out.  

Also note that it takes about 1-2 months to really get used to sleeping on a wedge, maybe even longer.  But in the end, it's worth it because preserving your esophagus is worth A LOT.​​​

best wedge pillow for acid reflux 1

Pros:  

  • 14" elevation (the highest elevation)
  • ​Patented arm cut out encourages side sleeping a lot more comfortably than a standard wedge
  • ​Little to no off-gasing or smell
  • 100 day sleep guarantee and return policy

Cons:  

  • Takes some getting used to (1-2 months)
  • ​The most expensive wedge pillow for acid reflux by far.  However, when you consider that sleeping on a wedge cuts down nighttime reflux by up to 93%, in the long run it's worth every penny and then some.
best wedge pillow for reflux brentwood latex top

Pros:  

  • Available in 8-13" elevations
  • Certipur foam with 1" latex foam topping
  • Little to no off-gasing or smell
  • Biggest bang for the buck - about 1/3 the cost of the medcline
  • 30 day return

Cons:  

  • No arm cut out hole for side sleeping
  • Takes some getting used to (1-2 months)
  • If you're a fitful sleeper, you may find yourself sliding down the wedge at night

What Causes Nighttime Acid Reflux​?

​If you consider that ​the lower esophageal sphincter relaxing and opening is the "cause" of nighttime acid reflux - you need to then ask yourself, "W​hat causes my lower esophageal spincter to relax and open?"

Great question - let's look at what causes your lower esophageal spincter to relax:  

  • ​Certain foods, spices, alcohol, and caffeine
  • ​Pressure from food in your stomach from a big meal, slow gastric emptying...
  • ​Hormones and chemicals in your body​ (too much or too little)
  • A hiatal hernia (Part of what helps your lower esophageal sphincter close is your diaphragm.  A haital hernia is when your stomach actually protrudes up through the hole for the esophagus in your diaphragm.  This puts added pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and prevents it from closing all the way).
  • Smoking (Smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter. 1)
  • Mechanical​ or neurological problems, as well as nutrient deficiencies (delayed gastric emptying, vagus nerve damage, a hiatal hernia...)
  • Medicines

​​All of the things listed above cause acid reflux because they weaken the LES.

​How to Stop or Prevent Nighttime Acid Reflux:  10 Tips, Some Your Doctor Doesn't Even Know

how to stop nighttime acid reflux

1 - Don't eat 2-4 hours before bed.

Seems pretty logical.  If you don't eat, you have less acid in your stomach - which is less acid that can wash up into your esophagus.  And since alcohol and caffeine weaken the LES, it's best to not drink alcohol or caffeine near bedtime or potentially at all.  (Good luck with that one, I can't resist the siren song of either of those two vices - especially caffeine.  I try to not drink caffeine after 2pm.)

2 - Avoid spices and foods that weaken the LES or are highly acidic

Beyond caffeine and alcohol, certain spices relax and weaken the lower esophageal sphincter or are well known  acidic "trigger foods" :  

  • ginger
  • peppermint
  • citrus fruits and juices
  • tomatoes
  • carbonated beverages
  • fatty and fried foods
  • onions and garlic
  • coffee (decaf included - UGH)

3 - Sleep on an incline

Gravity is your best ally against nighttime reflux.  Whether you elevate the head of your bed or use a wedge pillow, let gravity help you keep your stomach contents out of your esophagus.

4 - Sleep on your left side

You esophagus is slightly to the right of your stomach - and your stomach is left of center.  Sleeping on your right side actually puts added pressure onto your LES, while sleeping on your left takes the pressure off.

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5 - ​Wear loose fitting clothes (to bed and during the day)

​Tight clothes can squeeze your abdomen, put pressure on your stomach, and hence, your lower esophageal sphincter.

​6 - ​De-stress

​I don't know about you, but I hold my stress in my stomach.  It turns it into a rock and seems to cause it to ball up.  Psychological stress has been found to increase pressure on and inhibit the LES. (R)

​7 - Consider supplements

Consider adding some supplements to your diet that have been found to encourage and increase LES pressure:  

8 - ​Check your medication list

​Certain medications reduce the lower esophageal sphincter strength and tone (R):

  • Nitroglycerins (Isosorbide dinitrate, glycerylnitrate, itramintosylate, trolnitrate)
  • Nitroprusside
  • Anticholinergics (not when given with anticholinesterases)
  • Beta-adrenergic agonists
  • Aminophyllines (Theophyline, caffeine,cholintheophyline, glyphylin, oxitriphyline)
  • Benzodiazepines (diazepam, flunitraqepam, nitrazepam, oxazepam, triazolam)
  • Inhalational agents
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Morphine (not when given with propofol)
  • Meperdine
  • ​Nitrous oxide
  • Propofol (high doses only)
  • Dexmedetomindine (high doses only)
  • Residual neuromuscular blockade
  • Thiopental
  • Calcium-channel blockers (Verapamil)
  • ​Hydrogen peroxide
  • ​And others

9 - ​Practice proper breathing

​Since the lower esophageal sphincter is surrounded by diaphragmatic muscle, it only seems logical that stregthening your diaphragm with breathing could strengthen your LES.  In fact, it's been found in studies that practicing proper abdominal breathing reduced acid reflux. (R)

​10 - See your doctor and get checked for 

There are many issues that can be associated with a weak LES and therefore nighttime acid reflux:

  • hypothyroidism (R)
  • hiatal hernia
  • diabetes
  • delayed gastric emptying / gasteroparesis (R)
  • any other issues that your doctor will review ​
  • Also, if you see a gasteroenterologist for acid reflux, just know that there are a lot of treatment options out there that can be better longterm solutions than just staying on PPI's or other meds indefinitely.
​Other reading you may be interested in:

Supplements & Vitamins for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

FDA Disclaimer:  The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.  Please consult your physician about your health concerns.

Summary
The Best Wedge Pillow For Acid Reflux
Article Name
The Best Wedge Pillow For Acid Reflux
Description
The TOP 5 Rated and Reviewed Best Wedge Pillows for Acid Reflux. I suffer from acid reflux, so I totally understand how a wedge pillow isn't just good to have, but potentially lifesaving.
Denise
Healing Hacker
Healing Hacker
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