Putting your feet up at the end of a long day isn’t just relaxing – for people with a variety of health problems, using a leg elevation pillow can actually promote recovery and make sleep much more comfortable.
As? Raising your legs above the rest of your body has a positive effect on blood circulation, says Raj Dasgupta, MD, a sleep medicine specialist and assistant program director at the University of Southern California. Your heart fights gravity to draw deoxygenated blood from the veins in your legs, and lifting them up can make the process much more efficient. “It’s a big journey to go all the way there,” he explains. “Just by simply lifting your legs, you are helping to supply every cell and tissue in the body with the oxygen they need.”
Because of this, a leg elevation pillow can help relieve inflammation, leg swelling, leg ulcers, and varicose veins, and reduce the chance of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis, explains Dr. Rohit Budhiraja, Brigham Lung and Sleep Specialist and Women’s Hospital.
Who should use a leg elevation pillow?
Almost everyone can benefit from a leg elevation pillow, notes Dr. Dasgupta, including people with cellulite, a history of blood clots, and swelling due to multiple problems such as pregnancy, infection, or injury. You should always speak to your doctor and address the underlying cause of these conditions, he says, but elevating the legs can help relieve symptoms and even prevent the need for diuretics (or “water pills”).
Dr. Dasgupta also uses the ICU leg elevation on seriously ill people as the practice can help raise critically low blood pressure. The same concept applies to people who have fainted, as increasing it increases the flow of oxygen to the brain.
However, there are certain cases where you should exercise caution. “People with significant heart failure or poorly controlled high blood pressure should consult their doctor about the possible effects of leg elevation,” explains Dr. Budhiraja. The practice can also exacerbate sciatic pain.
And people who deal with frequent urination and leg swelling should also be careful, as the redistribution of fluid in your body can cause you to pee even more throughout the night. Start by elevating your legs “at least an hour before bed,” says Dr. Budhiraja, as most of the fluid is displaced in this first hour. If you have an underlying medical condition and are not sure whether a leg elevation pillow will help, talk to your doctor first.
How to choose the best leg elevation pillow for you
✔️ Discover different shapes and sizes. The right leg height pillow depends on the shape of your legs, your height and your available space. Most of the options look like wide wedges, but some are narrower or more ergonomic. The most important feature to look out for is their size, notes Dr. Budhiraja, as in general you want your legs to be above the level of your heart.
✔️ Choose the right density. You need to find a leg elevation pillow with the right balance of comfort and density. “A pillow that is too soft may not provide enough support,” says Dr. Budhiraja, but “a pillow that is too hard can be uncomfortable.” Try a few, prioritizing memory foam, which is generally denser and more supportive than regular foam.
✔️ Stick to your budget. “You have to stick to what is affordable,” says Dr. Dasgupta. Frills can be great, especially if you’re looking for a durable pillow, but any option within your budget should do the job.
Keep these tips in mind and find the best raise leg pillows you can find online here.
Best overall pillow
Abco Tech Leg Raising Pillow
This height cushion is due to its. one of the highest rated on Amazon (and online everywhere). washable cover, dense memory foam, breathable material and shape that promotes posture. “The width is great along with the height,” says one reviewer. “It’s firm enough to provide adequate support, but soft enough not to rest your legs on a board all night.”
Pillows with the best value for money
Restorology leg elevation pillow
This wedge pillow from Restorology is one of the cheapest leg elevation pillows available on Amazon and still outperforms the competition among buyers with over 3,000 5-star reviews. “I like how the protective cover has a non-slip surface, “they say.” The altitude was just right. “
Best pillow for surgery
LightEase post-op pillow
One Amazon shopper says this leg-up pillow is “the only thing you should even look at.” Why? Its high ridges on each side that so your legs don’t slip off (and cause a lot of pain when recovering from surgery). It’s also long enough for everyone, contains a soft, washable cover, and has handles for easy adjustments.
Best inflatable pillow
Wey & Fly Inflatable Leg Raising Pillow
Travelers, take note: this inflatable leg-up pillow can go anywhere. It’s not a perfect substitute for a real foam option, reviewers say, but it’s far more convenient to lug around. “It’s perfect if you have to put your feet up for whatever reason,” writes one, but without an air pump.
Best cooling pad
Eletecpro leg elevation cushion
Designed with cooling gel foam, this non-slip raise leg pillow won’t heat you up on sultry nights. “If I weren’t so in love with my fiancé, I would marry this wedge pillow,” says one reviewer. “Eight months pregnant, sleep is difficult to pin down, and this wedge is helping my troubled legs relax.”
Best ergonomic pillow
LightEase Leg Raising Pillow
This leg elevation pillow has a unique shape that doesn’t squeeze your calves which means it does ideal if you are looking for comfort first and foremostalthough this is one of the narrower options on this list. Bonus: It comes with a washable cover with handles. An Amazon reviewer recommends this option to anyone who isn’t impressed with the standard wedge shape.
Best investment cushion
Brentwood Home Zuma legrest
If you have a few dollars to spare, this decked-out Brentwood option is well worth the investment. Supported by cooling, hypoallergenic, high quality foam, it will take you years. Better still, the machine-washable cover is made of sustainable bamboo.
Best one-legged pillow
LightEase leg support pillow
If you know you only need one leg to support, this slimmer version of our # 3 is perfect. With the same washable cover, practical handles and anti-slip protection, it is the key to a better night’s sleep after surgery. “I broke my ankle and had problems with swelling,” noted one reviewer. “That did the trick. It is high enough for good drainage and supports the entire leg. “
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from American Chiropractors Directory and News – Feed https://www.americanchiropractors.org/sciatica/the-8-best-leg-elevation-pillows-for-swelling-and-pain-in-2021/