If you are reading this at 3 a.m. Then you are looking for answers and you have my sympathy.
Although acid reflux is a common condition, it’s not much of a consolation when you are propped up with every pillow in the vicinity hoping it will give enough relief to let you drop off.
Unfortunately, trying to sleep with all your pillows propped up is not only lumpy and uncomfortable but is likely to make you feel worse putting your head at an angle that can increase pressure on the stomach making your reflux worse.
Once acid reflux kick in, you will feel miserable, your heartburn or acid indigestion can last for hours and while over the counter medication is usually the first thing you will want to reach for, they can make you feel nauseated and often aren’t 100 percent effective.
Prevention is key
So what steps can you take to avoid acid reflux and get a good night’s sleep?
According to a study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology ‘Elevation of the upper body at night is generally recommended for all patients with GERD’ – ‘the height of the bed head elevation is critical and it must be at least 6–8 inches to be at least minimally effective to prevent reflux of gastric contents.’
So it’s a choice of either a full mattress elevator like the one shown below or opt for a foam wedge bed pillow.
Full-length mattress elevators are the perfect solution – if you sleep alone or have a partner who would appreciate the benefits of a sloped mattress.
You won’t find yourself sliding off it as you might with a wedge pillow, but as we’ve said, they may not be practical in all circumstances.
Wedge Pillows have the advantage of being easily portable, and you can easily just remove them if you find you don’t always need one.
They are more suitable if only one partner requires elevation, though you can find yourself sliding down in the night if the angle is too steep or too sudden.
But don’t worry we’ll take a look at those that will minimize the chances of this happening.
There are, of course, many other reasons you may need to sleep with your head elevated apart from acid reflux, if you have problems breathing, poor circulation, back or neck problems, are post-surgery or snore, for example, a mattress elevator or foam wedge bed pillow may help you enormously.
We’ll now take a look at the best ones out there.
|Editor’s Award||Brand||Click Image to read review|
|Best Mattress Elevator – New Review||Avana Mattress Elevator|
|The Best 12″ Wedge Pillow||InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow|
|The Best 7.5″ Wedge Pillow||InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow|
Also in this Guide:
Best Mattress Elevator: Avana Mattress Elevator
Best Mattress Elevator
If raising the whole mattress is a practical option, then this is your perfect solution to a more comfortable night’s sleep.
The Avana mattress elevator is designed to go underneath your mattress.
Although it’s comfortable enough to be used as an elevated mattress pad, the supportive, high-density polyurethane foam, won’t compress under the weight of your mattress so you’ll feel less like you’re being propped up and more like you would, just lying in bed naturally.
So you can basically sleep with your whole body completely flat (just not horizontal) in any position that feels comfortable for you – without rolling off, sliding down, or crunching over at the waist.
Made in the US at the Avana factory in Atlanta, by the same company who make Jaxx bean bags, this mattress elevator meets CertiPUR-US® standards for content, emissions, and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
What this actually means is that it is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants, formaldehyde, phthalates, mercury, lead and other heavy metals and is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The mattress elevator we have featured here is the 7-inch version which slopes down to a 1 – inch depth, – the perfect sweet spot between the 6 and 8 inches you need for the slope to be effective, but you can choose a gentler 5″ version if you prefer.
What We Like:
- Elevates the Whole Mattress | So you can sleep completely flat without being horizontal – in any position that feels comfortable for you.
Buying Factors to Consider:
If you have a partner to take into consideration, this may not be the most practical solution. You could go for the half mattress version or choose a bed wedge pillow – we’ll be looking at those next.
The Best 12″ Wedge Pillow: InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow
The Best 12″ Wedge Pillow
So you do everything right (usually) but one late-night snack and you are guaranteed to be up half the night feeling miserable. Sleeping on this bed wedge is going to save you hours of discomfort by keeping your upper body elevated at an angle that will keep you comfortable and reflux free.
At 12″ in height, it more than meets the minimum inches required in height to be effective against acid reflux.
What makes this foam wedge stand out from most, though, is its 1″ memory foam top layer for added comfort.
However, it does have a firm base made from highly resilient polyurethane foam and so the wedge feels medium-firm to lie on. Don’t expect to sink right into it.
As with all wedge bed pillows, you should think of it more as an extension of your mattress and you should add a pillow for head support.
Another great feature of this wedge is that it has built-in channels between the top memory foam layer and the base foam to enhance air circulation and give you a cooler sleeping experience.
The only downside is that because the pillow is quite steep, you may find yourself sliding down it a little in the night, but the fact that it has 1″ of memory foam means this is less likely since it will mold around you, keeping you more supported and in place than an ordinary wedge pillow of the same dimensions.
The Best 7.5″ Wedge Pillow: InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow
The Best 7.5″ Wedge Pillow
If you like what this wedge pillow has to offer and would like all the features that go with it, but still feel it is going to be a little steep for you, then the 7.5″ height, InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow would be your perfect choice.
Either 12″ or the 7.5″ wedges can be used in a number of ways, they are suitable for raising the legs by simply placing the wedge at the bottom of the bed to provide relief from varicose veins or swollen ankles, etc. and both make a perfect backrest when placed in the upright position for reading, watching tv or just relaxing in bed.
Although both the wedge pillows come with a machine-washable white cover, an optional 400 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton pillowcase is also available in both white and dark blue.
12″ wedge pillow 25″ x 24″ x 12″
7.5″ wedge pillow 26″ x 25″ x 7.5″
Click to view price and accessories for the 12″ wedge pillow:
Click to view price and accessories for the 12″ wedge pillow:
The Aidapt Foam Bed Wedge
Don’t expect to sink into the Aidapt like a large soft wedge-shaped pillow. You have to think of this wedge in terms of a mattress extension. Memory foam lets you sink in, high-density foam doesn’t and this bed wedge is medium/firm. You are going to need your pillow if you don’t want your head to roll over to one side or the other but if you like a firm mattress, this may be the one for you.
At almost nine and a half inches in height, this foam bed wedge is reasonably steep. It more than fulfills the minimum requirement of at least 6-8 inches required to be minimally effective’ so will keep your upper body elevated enough to keep acid reflux at bay. The light-weights amongst us, however, may find ourselves sliding down it a little in the night. If you feel this bed wedge might be a little too steep for you, please do check out the Flex Foam Bed Wedge.
The fact that the angle is substantial, does mean that the cushion may be used very effectively in the upright position, as a backrest while reading, etc. Another advantage is that unlike some wedges, spare washable covers are also available to buy separately.
View the Aidapt Foam Bed Wedge on Amazon UK.
View the spare pillowcase for the 9.45″ x 23.62″ x 2.44″ Aidapt wedge here.
Is A Foam Wedge Bed Pillow Right For You?
What if you never had to sleep on lumpy stacked up pillows that crick your neck and hunch you over, just to get enough relief from gastric reflux to let you sleep?
Remember, one ruined night’s sleep spoils the following day too so even if you are one of the many occasional sufferers of acid reflux, a foam bed wedge will make you so much more comfortable helping you and your stomach to relax.
A Note About Gassing Off
As with all new foam products, there is going to be some degree of ‘gassing off’ (that chemical smell that dissipates over a period of hours to days) and so it is advisable to let the wedge air, preferably outside on a dry day or at least in a ventilated area or room for at least 24 hours. The amount of odor seems to vary between different brands and even between the same brand. Some people are more sensitive to this than others but it is sensible not to spend several straight hours in close proximity to any new foam product without first airing it out.