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Whether you experience it only on occasion (Taco Tuesday, anyone?) or deal with it almost nightly, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a painful, unpleasant condition that can totally ruin an otherwise good night’s rest. And while medications and treatments can help, they can also lead to uncomfortable and even dangerous side effects.
But what if warding off heartburn, throat discomfort and that horrid taste in the back of your mouth were as simple as changing one bedding item? According to one brand, picking the right pillow can be the solution to your acid reflux woes.
What Is The MedCline Pillow?
The MedCline Pillow is actually a multi-piece setup. It includes an inclined wedge with a “pocket” for your arm, a small pillow insert and a large body pillow, which you can curl under your head and around the front of your body. You can also opt to use your own head pillow instead of the body pillow, if you prefer.
How It Works
MedCline states that sleeping on your left side with your head and upper body inclined prevents acid reflux from occurring, as they explain in the following video:
What Customers Say
The positive reviews on the product page for this pillow outweigh the critical ones, with the majority of buyers stating that the pillow did indeed relieve heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. For instance, one customer wrote in a review that the pillow was a great solution, which worked as advertised.
“I’ve been using this for more than 6 months now and am very pleased with it,” wrote Robert Sindelar. “My GERD is noticeably better when I sleep on an incline. For years prior to purchasing the MedCline system I tried a standard wedge and several other solutions. None of them were as comfortable and without an opening for your arm, I found myself sliding off of them during the night and often woke up with a sore shoulder. The MedCline is much bigger than anything else I tried. This is a good thing as it makes it more comfortable and you are less likely to slide off of it.”
The reviews from dissatisfied customers, such as the following, seem to focus on general discomfort when using the pillow:
“Awkward and uncomfortable,” wrote customer Brandy Dallas. “I couldn’t sleep on this at all and I really really wanted it to work! Kept trying to make it work for over a week but just couldn’t do it.”
Liz Jassin from Business Insider tested the pillow for two weeks. After a learning curve, she said that it didn’t entirely cure her acid reflux, but it did make a difference. You can see her complete review in this video:
What Experts Say
Studies show that sleeping on the left side is helpful to people who suffer from GERD. Experts recommend sleeping on an incline as well. Gastroenterologist Scott Gabbard, MD of the Cleveland Clinic advises heartburn sufferers to sleep with their head and neck at least 9 inches above the stomach.
Buying a GERD-Relieving Pillow
Although the brand offers several configurations, the MedCline Reflux Relief System, which includes the wedge, insert pillow and body pillow, retails for around $280. Most private insurance carriers will not cover the purchase of a heartburn-relief pillow, but it may be classified as an FSA/HSA-approved medical expense.
Of course, simpler—and much cheaper—wedge pillows are also said to help with acid reflux, snoring and more. Are they just as effective as an entire system? The jury’s still out on that one.