If you experience a burning sensation in the middle of your chest, you should first check with your doctor to ensure that it is in fact acid reflux. Fortunately, if it is, there are steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms at night — like sleeping on an incline, for example. The best bed risers for acid reflux achieve exactly that by preventing stomach acid from “making its way back to the esophagus, causing local irritability and pain,” according to Dr. Carleara Weiss, a sleep expert with a Ph.D in nursing. Effective options will offer the right amount of incline and still be stable and secure enough to sleep on.
Carleara Weiss, Ph.D., MSH, RN, and advisor to Pluto Pillow, has over 15 years of experience as an adult-geriatric nurse, with a master’s in science of health care and a Ph.D. in nursing. Dr. Weiss is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Sleep Research Society.
What To Look For In A Bed Riser For Acid Reflux
Ideally, you’ll want to create a “45-degree angle of inclination,” said Dr. Weiss, which (if you don’t have an adjustable bed) can be achieved by increasing “the elevation by 4 to 6 inches on both sides of the bed” up by the headboard.
Alternatively, Dr. Weiss wrote in an email to Bustle, “you can use wedge pillows to elevate your upper body” — just “remember that you must elevate the upper body (thorax, shoulders, head) and not just the head.” Whether you opt for traditional risers or a mattress wedge, be sure that it’s made from sturdy, non-slip materials and can safely support the weight of your bed, mattress, and body.
Shop The Best Adjustable Bed Alternatives
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best bed risers for acid reflux:
- The Expert-Recommended Bed Risers: Slipstick 5-Inch Bed Risers
- The Most Attractive Stackable Option: BTSD-home Stackable 3-Inch Bed Risers
- The Best Mattress Wedge: Wellness Wedge Your Mattress Elevation Solution
- The Best Foam Mattress Elevator: Avana Mattress Elevator, Queen
1. The Expert-Recommended Bed Risers
- Reinforced with steel and memory foam
- Suitable for most bed legs as well as caster wheels
- Not the most attractive option
According to Dr. Weiss, these Slapstick bed risers are a “simple option from Amazon” that work with almost any bed with a frame. They’re less than $30, yet are still made with a memory foam cushion pad and a steel-reinforced plate to boost security and durability. The recessed-cup design is suitable for use alongside most slender bed legs (round or square) as well as caster wheels.
One reviewer wrote: “I like the reinforced tops on the risers and that’s why I selected these. […] I’ve been using them for two months and they are still intact and doing the job. My esophageal reflux at night is minimal since installing these at the head of the bed.”
Height: 5 inches | Maximum weight: 2,640 pounds | Compatible with: most bed frames with 1 to 3-inch round feet, 1 to 2.25-inch square feet, or caster wheels | Other available sizes: 2 inches, 3 inches
2. The Most Attractive Stackable Option
- Attractive wood-grain appearance
- Earned an overall 4.5-star rating after more than 2,900 reviews
- Not the most durable option, according to some reviewers
For something a little more stylish, there are these wood-grain bed risers. They come in a 3-inch height, but are stackable and therefore easily achieve the 6-inch height Dr. Weiss recommends for the head of the bed. They’re available in four colors, and all of them feature a modern square design, a slide-resistant felt pad, and a non-slip rubber bottom.
One reviewer wrote: “So far works great in elevating [our] king-size bed. […] it’s working well to keep my acid reflux in check.”
Height: 3 inches (stackable) | Maximum weight: 2200 pounds | Compatible with: most bed legs smaller than 3.25 inches | Other available sizes: none
3. The Best Mattress Wedge
- Slip under the mattress for a more secure incline
- Plastic won’t flatten over time
- Interlock to create a 5-inch height
- Expensive (especially if you need two sets for 5 inches of height on both sides of a two-person mattress)
“Wedge pillows are helpful but may require replacement as they flatten with constant use,” Dr. Weiss wrote. That’s where the Wellness Wedge Elevation Solution comes in. These risers slip underneath the head of your mattress and are made from lightweight plastic instead of foam, so they won’t flatten over time. They come in a set of two, which creates 2.5 inches of lift each — but they can also be interlocked for a 5-inch incline.
One reviewer wrote: “I absolutely love them. I bought 2. One for my husband’s allergies and one for my Barrett’s or acid reflux. You get 2 in each pack. Best thing I have purchased for both of us. I no longer have that acid taste in my mouth in the morning, and he doesn’t get so clogged up he can’t breathe. I sleep better all around!”
Height: 2.5 inches separately (5 inches interlocked) | Maximum weight: N/A | Compatible with: most mattresses | Other available sizes: none
4. The Best Foam Mattress Elevator
- Made from high-density therapeutic foam
- Creates a 5-inch incline
- Full-length design slips under any existing mattress
- The most expensive option on this list
Finally, if comfort is your top priority, this Avana mattress elevator delivers. It’s made from high-density therapeutic foam that resists sinking, and since the full-length design stretches alongside the entirety of your mattress, it stays put and works with almost any type of bed. Most importantly, it creates a gradual 5-inch incline that’s designed to reduce symptoms of acid reflux, GERD, heartburn, and snoring. (Note that for the larger sizes, the wedge comes in two pieces for easier positioning.)
One reviewer wrote: “Really helped my acid reflux and my husband’s snoring. I can’t stand those triangle things. I always ended up sliding down off the pillow. Love, love this! Don’t have to mess with this at all.”
Height: 5 inches | Maximum weight: N/A | Compatible with: any queen-size mattress | Other available sizes: twin, king
Carleara Weiss, Ph.D, MSH, RN, advisor to Pluto Pillow