A pillow to raise legs can come in different shapes and sizes. How do you know which type you need? Today let’s learn about the two main types of leg raise pillows and which one would work best for you.
Contoured pillow to raise legs
The first option we will discuss is elevating your legs on a contoured leg wedge pillow. A contoured leg pillow is made with specially designed “cutouts” or “contours” that cradle your legs. Because it is designed to support the curves and shape of your legs, there is no pressure build up on the back of your legs while you elevate.
This design is especially important for anyone with any sort of tenderness or pain on the back of their legs. Specific diagnoses that would benefit from this type of leg raising pillow are those with diabetes, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, varicose veins, or DVT.
This type of leg raise support pillow is also ideal for those with any lower body swelling. The pillow holds your feet at the highest point which improves circulation and uses gravity to help eliminate swelling and excess fluid build-up.
An angled leg raising cushion
What if you are looking for a pillow to raise your legs in bed while you are sleeping? If your primary goal is leg support while sleeping, an angled leg raising cushion may just be for you. When you use an angled pillow to raise your legs, it provides a greater knee bend. Sleeping with your knees bent at this angle is the ideal position for your knees to rest and rejuvenate overnight.
It also provides the perfect amount of support for your lower back. As you may well know, sleeping flat on your back is not a good way to sleep. Sleeping flat causes your lower back to arch. Overtime, this can exacerbate or contribute to lower back pain and stiffness. Solve this problem immediately by elevating your legs on an angled leg raising cushion.
What if I am looking for a leg pillow to sleep with, but also think I need a contoured leg pillow for a medical condition?
If you are looking for a pillow to raise your legs at night while you sleep, and you have a medical condition like varicose veins, excessive swelling, etc., choose the contoured leg wedge! You can absolutely sleep comfortably with a contoured leg wedge. The contours just may not be absolutely necessary for someone who does not have any leg tenderness or swelling issues.
Just to summarize: choose a contoured pillow to raise legs that have any sort of tenderness or swelling. Choose an angled leg pillow to raise legs that have no medical complications but need to be supported at night while you sleep. But ultimately, choose whichever wedge you think will be the most comfortable for YOU!
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy