The 7 Best Knee Pillows of 2021

Support your joints all night long

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Pain during the day can really cramp your style and interfere with your daily functioning, but pain during the night is just as bad—if not worse. And back, leg, or hip pain can disrupt your sleep, setting you up for a whole world of problems, including depression, anxiety, and even a worsening of the pain that’s keeping you up at night in the first place.

If your pain is chronic or due to an injury or medical condition that won’t simply be resolved with a week or two of rest, you may not be able to rely on taking OTC pain relievers regularly. Instead, you may need to turn to an orthopedic knee pillow, which, contrary to its name, can help with more than just knee pain.

“Knee pillows help out with pain by realigning the spine when someone sleeps on their side,” says Blessen Abraham, DC, a chiropractor at Brunswick Health & Physical Therapy Center in New Jersey. “The hips are pushed together, which causes the knees to come together, [and] this puts your spine into an unnatural position.”

A knee pillow, Abraham explains, puts the spine back into proper alignment by lifting the knees and hips into their correct positions. This realignment can go a long way toward relieving hip pain, sciatic nerve pain, lower back pain, and—of course—pain along the legs and knees. 

We researched dozens of knee pillows and evaluated them for cushion materials, cover materials, sizes available, firmness levels, and return policies. Each of the pillows chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best knee pillows on the market today.

Our Top Picks
At a reasonable price, this memory foam pillow supports your joints while keeping you cool throughout the night.
Offers responsive memory foam that's dense and supportive but also manages to be squishy and soft, all at a budget-friendly price.
Can be opened up to provide support for both knees while back sleeping or folded in half for side sleeping.
Made from memory foam designed to prevent gradual collapsing, keeping your knees and hips in place while you sleep.
Offers memory foam construction features a breathable design that will keep you cool throughout the night.
Its elongated shape is designed to support the entire length of your legs rather than just your hips or back.
The contoured shape of this pillow supports both back and stomach throughout the night.

Best Overall: Coop Home Goods Orthopedic Knee Pillow

Coop Home Goods Orthopedic Knee Pillow
Pros
  • Removable insert gives an adjustable fit

  • Designed to regulate body temperature

  • 100-day trial period

Cons
  • May not be firm enough for some

  • Larger users may find it too small

Small, compact, and adjustable, the Coop Home Goods Orthopedic pillow is the perfect middle-of-the-road buy for anyone looking to add a knee pillow to their sleep environment. Made of memory foam and covered with a bamboo-blend fabric, this pillow is designed to be breathable and stay cool. The Coop pillow is a solid, reliable choice for people suffering from a range of issues, whether it’s back or hip pain or sciatic nerve pain.

What we like best about this pillow, though, is that it’s height-adjustable: a one-inch insert within the pillow can be removed if the pillow is a bit too thick or dense for your body type or comfort level. Plus, you get 100 nights to decide if it’s the right pillow for you (and if it’s not, it’s fully returnable).

Cushion Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Lulltra fabric (bamboo-derived viscose rayon and polyester) | Sizes Available: 12 inches (L) x 7 inches (W) x 8 inches (H), with 1 inch removable insert | Firmness Level: Medium

Best Budget: Luna Orthopedic Knee Pillow

Luna Orthopedic Knee Pillow
Pros
  • Includes ventilation channels for maximum airflow

  • Hypoallergenic and chemical-free

Cons
  • May not be firm enough for some

  • Cover and zipper could be more durable

Even at a relatively affordable price point, the Luna Orthopedic Knee Pillow doesn’t skimp on comfort; the responsive memory foam is dense and supportive but also manages to be squishy and soft, with what the company calls a “liquid-like quality.”

In addition to its flexible comfort, the Luna boasts a few other notable features, like a washable cover, a contoured design for spinal alignment, and a compact size that makes it easy to travel with.

Cushion Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Not specified | Sizes Available: 12.2 inches (L) x 10.04 inches (W) x 5.55 inches (H) | Firmness Level: Medium

Best for Back Pain: Sleepgram Contour Knee Pillow

Sleepgram Contour Knee Pillow
Pros
  • Shape is adjustable

  • Built-in cooling gel layer

  • 100-day trial period

Cons
  • Cover isn’t easy to remove or put back in place

  • Back sleepers may not have enough support in unfolded position

If you’re a back pain sufferer, it can be tough to find relief in the form of a knee pillow—especially if you also happen to be someone who sleeps on their back, not their side. The biggest benefit of the Sleepgram Contour Knee Pillow is that it can be used for both side and back sleepers thanks to its unique design: when folded over, the pillow functions like a typical hourglass-shaped knee pillow, but when opened up, it provides support beneath both knees for people who sleep on their backs.

On top of its customizable design, the Sleepgram pillow is also made of memory foam topped with a cooling gel layer and a breathable, bamboo-based cover for easy washing.

  • Cushion Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Bamboo | Sizes Available: 10 inches (L) x 8 inches (W) x 7 inches (H)

 | Firmness Level: Medium firm

Best for Hip Pain: ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow

ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow
Pros
  • Won't collapse or deflate

  • Can be used in a variety of positions

Cons
  • May not be firm enough for some

  • Polyester cover can retain heat

If you’re looking for hip support, you need a pillow that’s dense enough to hold its shape all night long; otherwise, your knees will sink down toward one another and your hips will be thrown out of alignment (leaving you in pain in the morning). 

The ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow is made from memory foam designed to prevent gradual collapsing, keeping your knees—and, therefore, your hips—in place while you sleep. It’s a little blockier than some other pillows, but for many users, that will be a plus: it’s slightly more rigid, promising a lot of firmness, and deep enough to accommodate users of many different weights, sizes, and body types.

Cushion Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Polyester | Sizes Available: 9.8 inches (L) x 7.9 inches (W) x 6.3 inches (H) | Firmness Level: Medium firm

Best for Cooling : Contour Legacy Leg and Knee Foam Support Pillow

Contour Legacy Leg and Knee Foam Support Pillow
Pros
  • Designed to fit the natural leg position of side sleepers

  • Breathable design for cooling effect

  • Longer than average knee pillows

Cons
  • Zipper may create discomfort

  • May be too firm for some users

If you are a hot sleeper, you want all of your bedding—not just your sheets and mattress—to have cooling features. The Contour Legacy Leg & Knee Foam Support Pillow's unique design features small holes in the cushion that offer ventilation for the sleeper. Additionally, its triangular shape (unlike the popular rectangular shape of many knee pillows) will fit into the area near your upper thighs and pelvis more comfortably, matching your natural curves.

Other than a slightly different shape, however, the Legacy Leg & Knee Pillow checks all the important boxes: memory foam construction, washable cover, and a firm level of support that retains its shape all night long. 

Cushion Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Not specified | Sizes Available: 10 inches (L) x 6 inches (W) x 9.5 inches (H) | Firmness Level: Firm

Best for Leg Pain: The Company Store Knee and Leg Posture Pillow

The Company Store Knee and Leg Posture Pillow
Pros
  • Elongated to support lower legs and ankles

  • Can go in between or underneath knees

Cons
  • May not be firm enough for some

Looking for a knee pillow that can support your legs as effectively as your back and hips? A regular knee pillow might not do that, but the Knee and Leg Posture Pillow by The Company Store can. It has an elongated shape designed to rest between your legs from your knees all the way down to your ankles, supporting the entire length of your legs rather than just your hips or back.

One thing to keep in mind with this pillow, however, is that it functions more like a traditional bed pillow: it’s made of polyfill, not memory foam, and has a softer level of support. It does have a crevice running horizontally down the center, though, which makes it more comfortable to place between your legs than just a standard twin pillow made for resting your head.

Cushion Material: Polyester fill | Cover Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: Standard | Firmness Level: Soft

Best for Pregnancy: Leachco Back 'N Belly Pregnancy/Maternity Contoured Body Pillow

Leachco Back 'N Belly Pregnancy/Maternity Contoured Body Pillow
Pros
  • Support for head, stomach, and knees

  • Washable cover

Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space on the bed

  • May not be firm enough for some

Mothers-to-be can get all the support they need with this wrap-around Back 'N Belly Pregnancy Pillow from Leachco. At 55 inches long, this pillow gives the user plenty of length to adjust to their comfort level. It's U-shaped design creates plenty of support for the neck, knees, and stomach, and makes it easy to switch sides throughout the night.

Leachco's pillow has a removable cover that is machine washable, so you can reuse it throughout your entire pregnancy. Note that the pillow's large size takes up a lot of space on a bed, especially if you sleep in the same bed as your partner.

Cushion Material: Polyester Fiber | Cover Material: Polyester/Cotton blend | Sizes Available: 55 inches (L) x 33 inches (W) x 8.5 inches (H) | Firmness Level: Soft

Final Verdict

Our favorite choice is the Coop Home Goods Orthopedic Knee Pillow (view at Coop Home Goods), which offers medium-firm density with an extra, removable one-inch foam layer so you can get the exact level of support you need. On top of that, the pillow is designed to keep you cool with a breathable, bamboo-constructed cover—and you get 100 nights to decide if you want to keep it.


We recommend the Sleepgram Contour Knee Pillow (view at Sleepgram) because of its adjustable nature, making it super comfortable for back sleepers or people with chronic back pain.

What to Look for in Knee Pillows

Supportive Core

"In general, knee pillows provide support and padding to help with alleviating the pressure from gravity or your body weight during sleeping or sitting activities," says geriatric physical therapist Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness.

If your pillow feels firm when you put it into position at bedtime but quickly stops providing support, there’s no point in using it at all. Dr. Abraham recommends a pillow with a thick and firm core of around six inches deep.

“If you get something super soft, what happens is your knees will start to sink and meet in the middle, throwing your hip out of alignment,” he adds. ‘Then your back will have to compensate for that.”

Fit

You want a pillow that’s both contoured to fit snugly between your legs, says Dr. Abraham, as well as one that’s the right size for your body type.

“It should be comfortable enough that you don’t even notice it,” he explains.

You may also want to consider a pillow with a strap, Dr. Abraham says, so you can benefit from that good fit all night long; when you roll over, the pillow will roll over with you and keep doing its work. 

Washable, Breathable Cover

You might not think you sweat during the night, but chances are you do (at least some of the time!). Dr. Abraham says you want to have a pillow with a cover so you can wash it often with your sheets.

“Something that’s made out of pure cotton is recommended, because it lets the material breathe,” he advises. “There is less of a chance you will be sweating through the night, making it uncomfortable to use.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of injuries are knee pillows best used for?

    Even though you place a knee pillow between your knees, it’s not usually knee or leg pain that stands to benefit from the extra support; Dr. Abraham says knee pillows work the best for back pain. This is because a pillow placed between the knees promotes proper spinal alignment, keeping your knees, hips, and back in a straight line.


    Maintaining an improperly aligned spine for prolonged periods of time—by slouching in a recliner, hunching over in your desk chair, or lying down without the right support—can increase back pain, per the Mayo Clinic, so your posture, even while sleeping, is important. However, knee pillows can also reduce sciatic nerve pain as well as knee, leg, and hip pain.

  • How often should you clean your knee pillow?

    If your pillow comes with cleaning instructions that include how often you should wash the removable cover, you should follow those instructions—but if it doesn’t, you should plan to wash your cover as often as you would your regular pillowcases or sheets. Per the Sleep Foundation, this may need to be as frequent as once a week.


    “Maintaining proper hygiene [and cleaning of your pillowcase] is important,” explains Dr. Brown, “to minimize the development of harmful bacteria or germs that can lead to skin irritation or other harmful conditions.”

Why Trust Verywell Health

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Pacheco D. Pain and sleep. Sleep Foundation. Updated December 4, 2020.

  2. University of Rochester Medical Center. Good sleeping posture helps your back. n.d.

  3. Mayo Clinic. Good posture tips. n.d.

  4. Cleveland Clinic. Health essentials: How to get better sleep with sciatica pain. March 11, 2021.

  5. Noyed D. How often should you wash your sheets? Sleep Foundation. Updated October 16, 2020.