How to Sit Up Comfortably In Bed

Positioning your pillows correctly to read for hours and avoid neck pain

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Liz has been a professional content manager since the internet was invented. Getting better quality sleep has always been a passion of hers – especially once she had kids! Liz now writes and curates our content, making sure to test all the products she can to give you an unbiased opinion. Learn more about our team.

We all have our night and morning rituals.

Some of us jump straight into bed, get into a good sleeping posture, and off to dreamland.

Other people have to watch their favourite show (just one more episode, they say) or read a bit before sleeping. 

So how do you sit comfortably in bed without hurting your back?

This article will cover excellent tips about sitting comfortably in bed. And our favourite hacks for supporting  your back as you read or watch your favourite show before bed.

Table of Contents

Benefits Of Supporting Your Back When You Sit

Poor posture is your enemy, so you should avoid it at all costs. So whether you are sleeping or just resting in bed, ensure you support your back. Apart from making you more comfortable supporting your back in bed has a tonne of health benefits:

Benefits Of Supporting Your Back When You Sit_

Eases Neck And Back Pain

Did you know that one of the best ways to ease neck and back pain is to support your back when sitting in bed? By using a pillow or cushion to support your lower back, you can keep your spine in a more neutral position and reduce the amount of pain you feel.

You also suffer less neck pain if you support your neck as you rest in bed. This is because when your neck is unsupported, it can cause your head to tilt forward, putting a lot of strain on your neck muscles.

By supporting your neck, you can keep your spine in a more neutral position and reduce the amount of pain you feel.

Eases Stress

Back pain is consuming!

The more you think about back pain, the more your stress levels spike. This only makes the pain worse.

What if I told you you could deal with this monster in a simple way?

Sitting on your bed with good posture and a supportive pillow or cushion behind your back can help to reduce your back pain. Just make sure you follow the tips we talk about below, and your pain will slowly disappear.

Improves Blood Circulation

When you sit propped up with a pillow on your back it takes the pressure off the veins in your lower body. This improves circulation to all the corners of your body.

Doctors Recommend It

Doctors are never wrong! (or are they?)

And they recommend supporting your back when you are sitting in bed and adopting a sleep position that supports a healthy back.

So prop yourself up as you sit and get better sleep for reduced back pain and stress!

Prevents Further Damage

Rest is an essential part of the healing process, and the physical therapist or doctor may advise you to rest for a certain amount of time. This will allow your body to heal correctly and reduce the risk of further injury.

Lying in bed all day is a no, no, but so is sitting without back support.

So to fasten your recovery time make sure you use lumbar pillows to support your back and spine. that way, you will sit comfortably while preventing further damage

A freelancer writing on her laptop while sitting in bed

My Back Hurts: How You Can Sit Up In Bed To Avoid Back Pain

Poor sleeping positions, neurological disorders,  a super-thin mattress. These are just some reasons why you are experiencing back pain. Sitting with no back support at your desk when working or in bed after a long day will only worsen your condition.

So how do you sit comfortably when resting in Bed?

Here are some tips for you:

Select Pillows (Hint: They should make you feel like you are resting on clouds)

Soft and fluffy pillows in bed

Remember, the idea is to ease back pain and reduce pressure on painful pressure points. Therefore a rough flat pillow won’t work here.

Instead, go for soft and fluffy pillows, and care for them properly. The shape of the pillows is also a vital point to note, and we have recommended our top two picks below.

Place A Pillow Between Your Legs

Before supporting your back in bed, it is vital to ensure you maintain a good sitting posture. 

Make sure you put a pillow between your knees, eliminating pressure and keeping your hips and pelvic area aligned.

Arrange Pillows On Your Back

Arranging your pillows is crucial as it determines whether you will be comfortable or not.

There is no one definitive way to arrange your pillows. Some people prefer to have all their pillows in a line against their back, while others like to have them in a more staggered formation. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Don't Forget To Support Your Head

Don’t forget to support your head to avoid having a sore, painful neck. Place a pillow behind your leg to complete the routine.

Now That Is A Comfortable Position

You are done now; sit back and enjoy! You can also doze off in this position without any side effects. You won’t even need to look at a pain fact sheet to notice the difference.

A mother sleeping with her child

How Many Pillows Do You Need To Support Your Back (2 Takes The Crown)

Don’t sacrifice your health for comfort. So, ensure everything you do targets improving the quality of your life and health.

Just like how your sleeping position can affect your health, the pillows you use to support your back also have an impact.

What are we saying?

Don’t use a small pillow as it may collapse due to your body weight.

Instead, use two high-quality and good-sized pillows, and your back, neck, and shoulders will thank you for it.

The Best Pillows For Supporting Your Back In Bed

A pillow is a pillow, so any pillow you have can support your back as you sit, right?  Wrong! Here are our top two picks that will offer your back the necessary support

Wedge Pillow and Backrest Pillow

Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillows are the best for back support because they keep your spine aligned. This is especially beneficial if you are pregnant or suffer from chronic back pain.

The shape of a wedge pillow enhances the angle between your legs and torso as you sit on a chair. You can also use it as you sit in bed to support your lower back and prevent low back pain.

Backrest Pillow

A Backrest pillow is also remarkable for supporting your back as you sit. They are especially beneficial if you suffer from chronic back pain. They keep your spine in alignment, which is crucial for preventing pain.

Backrest pillows also support your arms. This is important if you are looking to reduce the amount of pain you experience in your back and neck. Your arms don’t have to swing or remain straight. You can support them, thus reducing the strain on your shoulders. Perfect for watching tv before you doze off.

How Do You Make A Backrest Cushion

Here is how you can make your own backrest pillow:

  • Get a pillowcase that is big enough to fit your pillow.
  • Sew two short pieces of fabric onto opposite sides of the pillowcase, about halfway up the case.
  • Tie the fabric together in the middle so that the case forms a loop.
  • 4 Flip the case inside-out so that the seams are on the inside.
  • Stuff your pillow into the case.
  • Tie the fabric together at the top to close off the case.


When you wake up, you don’t have to just lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. All you need to do is prop yourself with pillows and relax as you enjoy your coffee or a novel.

Ensure you support your arms, shoulders, and head to eliminate pain and stiffness. Don’t fold your legs, instead place them in a straight line and put a pillow below your knees to reduce pain in your leg muscles while improving blood circulation.

Not in bed? No problem! You can use all the above hacks when you are sitting on the floor and enjoy a comfortable, relaxed position.