We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Wedge Positioner?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A wedge positioner is a type of sleep aid used to keep the body positioned in a certain way while sleeping or napping. It features a triangular, or wedge-shaped design, and consists of a thick cushion covered by fabric or waterproof plastic. Traditionally, parents have relied on the wedge positioner to help infants sleep more soundly, though modern experts have warned against the use of these cushions due to the risk of suffocation. Adults may use a wedge positioner to cope with arthritis pain or other conditions. Medical professions also rely on these cushions to properly position a patient during MRIs and other medical procedures.

The standard wedge positioner consists of a simply triangular-shaped pad, which is placed below the body to elevate the head. A flat mat may extend from the lower side of the wedge to serve as a cushioned area below the body. Models made for infants often have bolsters extending from the wedge that are designed to rest below the baby's armpits and cradle the child in place. Many are ventilated to prevent the child from overheating.

Wedge positioners first gained popularity during the 1980s, when parents used them to prevent plagiocenphaly in infants, a condition that leads to flat spots on the head. Doctors at the time also encouraged parents to use these cushions to keep the baby's head elevated, which aids digestion and reduces problems with acid reflux. Some parents relied on a wedge positioner because it simply helped their child remain more comfortable, and sleep more soundly. Finally, the wedge positioner was thought to be an effective tool for keeping infants on their backs as they slept in an effort to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.

In 2010, the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a warning that parents should stop using these types of positioners with sleeping infants. The CPSC reported that at least 12 infants had died because they were placed in the crib with a wedge positioner during the period 1997 to 2010. Some had rolled off the wedge and become trapped between the cushion and the bars of the crib, while others shifted back so their heads bent back off the high end of the cushion. Many other medical professionals enforced the warning by the CPSC to stop using these wedge positioners, and to keep all blankets and cushions out of an infant's crib.

Adults with arthritis and other conditions may benefit from the use of these types of body positioners. The cushion can be placed under the knees to improve comfort, or used to better position the body so the adult can sleep more soundly. Some doctors recommend that patients with sleep apnea use these cushions to elevate the upper body and improve respiratory function while sleeping. Finally, doctors and nurses rely on these and other positioning devices to properly position the patient and keep him immobilized during X-rays, MRIs, and other procedures.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.