How Effective is a Wedge Pillow for Acid Reflux?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Lying down can make the syptoms of acid reflux even worse.
Lying down can make the syptoms of acid reflux even worse.

Although different methods of acid reflux treatment work for different people, some find that using a wedge pillow is an effective way to manage their acid reflux. In many cases, the symptoms of acid reflux are exacerbated when the person suffering from the condition lays down. This can make resting and getting good sleep quite difficult. For those who suffer greatly or even suffer enough to make it difficult to get proper rest, a wedge pillow for acid reflux may be very useful. By elevating the torso along a gentle slope, the pillow can help to treat the symptoms of the condition and improve the comfort of the person suffering from the condition.

Drinking plenty of water may help decrease the symptoms of acid reflux.
Drinking plenty of water may help decrease the symptoms of acid reflux.

Some people may find that a wedge-shaped pillow is unnecessary because they can simply arrange their normal pillows in a way that comfortably elevates their torsos. However, others find that a wedge pillow is so perfectly designed to assist them with their symptoms that arranging their normal pillows is not as effective. In many cases, the pillow is quite long so that it begins to elevate the body as far down as the hip area and extends beyond the top of the head. While it may be possible to mold a number of traditionally shaped pillows into a similar shape, it is not an easy task.

Gargling with salt water may help soothe a sore throat caused by acid reflux.
Gargling with salt water may help soothe a sore throat caused by acid reflux.

One of the drawbacks to a wedge pillow for acid reflux is that they seem to work best when people are sleeping flat on their backs. The shape and design of the pillow may be uncomfortable for people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs or in the fetal position. As such, it may really work best for people who are already comfortably sleeping on their backs or prefer to sleep flat on their backs.

Some people who have acid reflux find that a wedge pillow helps alleviate symptoms.
Some people who have acid reflux find that a wedge pillow helps alleviate symptoms.

In addition to taking medicine, or making lifestyle and diet changes, using a wedge pillow for acid reflux may also help to alleviate the condition. However, some people find that simply taking medicine or altering the way that they eat cures their acid reflux. In these cases, a special pillow may be unnecessary. For people who are still searching for a way to manage their condition, it may be worthwhile to experiment with a wedge pillow.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for PillowGuide, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for PillowGuide, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

anon1002856

I found a wedge pillow that has helped reduce my GERD at night to almost nothing. There are several problems, though, that no website seems to address. One, I start out to sleep on my sides but invariably wake up on my back. I don't believe that there are people who are only one or the other. That, and I have always preferred sleeping on my stomach. Can't do that with a wedge pillow.

The second issue is..it matters not if the pillow is a wedge pillow, or if you've raised the head of your bed the advised 8". No matter what, you're going to slide to the foot of the bed. I sleep naked, but even when I try wearing something to bed, in either case -- pillow or raised bed -- I invariably wind up sliding down to the foot and that negates any benefit to reducing GERD.

Inaventu

@Buster29- I'm glad you got some acid reflux help with that wedge pillow, but I haven't been so fortunate. I tried a wedge pillow for my acid reflux for a few months, but I just couldn't get in a comfortable position. I'd still experience some severe reflux in the middle of the night, but it didn't reach my throat as often. Reflux esophagitis can be very painful, and I have a persistent cough because of all the acid damage.

I'm currently changing my diet to prevent gastric reflux, but I haven't changed my sleep position. I sleep mostly on my stomach, although sometimes I'll switch to my side during the night. My doctor still wants me to consider using the pillow wedge for my acid reflux, though. I think it's too late for me to adjust to a new sleep position, but I think younger people with acid reflux problems might get some relief with a wedge pillow.

Buster29

My doctor strongly urged me to use a wedge pillow for my acid reflux, but I wasn't sure it would work. I have never been able to sleep flat on my back, for one thing. I can take a short nap on my back if my gastric reflux is acting up, but I can't get a full eight hours in that position.

After I got a case of reflux esophagitis, however, I decided it was time to try anything. I found a pillow wedge specifically designed for acid reflux at a medical supply store and started sleeping on it. It took me a week to start getting comfortable, but I found if I wait until I'm extremely tired, I can fall asleep while lying on my back. The severe reflux symptoms have definitely lessened since I started using the pillow.

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      By: nebari
      Lying down can make the syptoms of acid reflux even worse.
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