Having a pillow for legs when sleeping is crucial because it helps keep the spine aligned and improve leg circulation. This article will discuss this pillow more in-depth, its uses, and the benefits you can get from it. While you can also use some body pillows between your legs, you’ll be surprised that there’s a dedicated knee pillow.
What is a knee pillow? Simply put, it’s a small pillow that you can place between or beneath your knees. It is usable both by side sleepers and back sleepers where the former place it between their legs, while the latter have them beneath the knees.
How To Use Pillow For Legs When Sleeping
Between the knees
You will read later on that there are special knee pillows that will go between the legs. However, a more common way among sleepers is to use any cushion between their legs during sleep. The University of Rochester Medical Center recommends putting a firm pillow between your knees because this will keep your spine aligned.
If you think about it, having a pillow in this area will keep your upper leg from encouraging your spine’s deviation. In turn, you’re less likely to put stress on your hips and lower back, especially if you pull your knees toward the chest slightly. The best way to use a pillow for legs when sleeping is if you’re on your side.
Under the legs
Some people also use pillows directly under the legs to elevate them. What this does is improve the circulation in this region while still keeping the upper body flat. You can use a bed wedge pillow for this practice to raise both legs comfortably.
Improving the circulation in the legs will help alleviate swelling, pain, and discomfort. However, do note that the best height is around 6 inches above the heart to help with the leg veins’ pressure. This is also ideal for back sleepers compared to the previous placement of a pillow between the knees when sleeping on your side.
How To Use Knee Pillows
Using a pillow for legs when sleeping is straightforward since you’ll only place it between the knees to keep the posture in check and under the legs to improve their circulation. There are special pillows for these uses ranging from body pillows, roll pillows and wedge pillows. However, it’s also worth noting another pillow type that’s gaining popularity.
A knee pillow is a small pillow with indentations, making it more comfortable if you place one between or beneath the knees. This way, you can place it between the knees while sleeping on your side or under the knees if you sleep on your back. A knee pillow is more customized for your legs compared to other pillows.
Types of knee pillows
The most common type of knee pillow is an hourglass-shaped pillow where the middle is narrow and thin, and the sides are thicker. This shape fits well for the uses above because the curves keep the knees in place comfortably. However, there are also other knee pillows, such as the heart-shaped ones and half-moon pillows.
The former is the smallest knee pillow, and you can use it between the knees and thighs when sleeping on your side. There’s also the half-moon knee pillow that looks like a bolster pillow but has a flat edge. You can place it under your knees or between the legs depending on your sleeping position.
Why use knee pillows
As mentioned earlier, putting a knee pillow between the knees while sleeping on your side promotes a good sleeping posture. This is because it keeps the upper knee portion from resting on the lower knee area, which misaligns the back and puts pressure on the hips. Not only will using a knee pillow keep the spine aligned, but it will also prevent body pain and joint pressure.
For back sleepers, placing a knee pillow under your knees also prevents back pain. Filling the gap beneath the knees helps maintain the lower back’s normal curvature and keep it in neutral alignment. And because knee pillows are small, you still have more space in the bed for other pillows to keep your sleeping posture in check.
Who can’t use knee pillows
While knee pillows are versatile, those who sleep on their stomachs, and people who move around a lot at night won’t benefit from them. This is because stomach sleepers are in an awkward position that placing a pillow between or beneath the knees won’t affect their posture. On the one hand, those who move around at night won’t be able to keep the pillow in place for them to benefit from a knee pillow.
One of the most common regions we neglect when sleeping is our lower limbs. However, having a pillow for legs when sleeping is also beneficial for our sleeping posture. You can use any small and firm pillow or a unique knee pillow between or beneath the legs for optimal support and comfort.
Side sleepers can place a pillow between their legs to keep the spine aligned. On the other hand, those sleeping on their backs can have a pillow underneath the knees or elevate their legs to prevent back pain and improve leg circulation. A dedicated knee pillow would be excellent because it has the proper size and shape for these uses.