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Expert Shopper Bed & Bath

The best bath pillow

What does a bath pillow do?

Having a warm bath after a hard day is a great way to unwind some of that built-up stress. If you really want to enhance the experience, consider adding a bath pillow. It can add some support for your head and neck and is significantly more comfortable than a tub’s hard surface.

Bath pillows come in a variety of types, and this guide covers what you need to know about them to help you make the best purchase decision. Check out this top option, Viventive Luxurious Extra-Thick Bath Pillow. It supports your head and upper torso, and it has strong suction cups to hold it in place.

Types of bath pillows

Filling bath pillows

Air: Inflatable pillows are nice for both their affordability and portability. They tend to cost less than other types and are easy to toss in a carry-on bag to take along when traveling. However, they don’t provide a lot of support. They tend to have stiff edges, which can dig into the skin if improperly positioned.

Gel: Offering a good balance of price and support, gel pillows are a smart choice for many. They mold to your body well no matter how much you shift around, and some have cooling properties that can help to prevent the user from getting too hot while in the bathtub.

Foam: Foam pillows are the most expensive, especially those filled with high-quality memory foam, but they’re also the most supportive. As with gel pillows, foam conforms to the shape of your body.

Exterior material

Vinyl or PVC: The most common cover materials are PVC and vinyl because they don’t absorb water, dry quickly and are resistant to mold and mildew. They’re also easy to wipe clean, but some may find the material uncomfortable against the skin. Choosing a pillow with a mesh vinyl or PVC cover can help prevent the sticking sensation that smooth plastic-like materials can cause.

Fabric: Fabric is soft against the skin, but takes a long time to dry, which can lead to mildew issues. If choosing a model with a fabric cover, make sure it’s removable for easier cleaning.

Bath pillow sizes

When choosing a bath pillow, decide what parts of your body you want to support. There are small models available that just provide cushioning for the head and neck, medium-size pillows that support the head, neck and upper torso, and full-body options that line the entire bottom of the tub. Consider both your preference and any size limitations of your tub and drying space.

What to look for in a quality bath pillow

Suction cups

The last thing you want is your pillow slipping out of position every time you move your body. Choosing a model with several strong suction cups can help ensure this doesn’t happen. Note both the number and size of the suction cups, as these can be a good indication of how well it will adhere to the tub. 

Hanging hooks

Hanging hooks make drying and storing a pillow more convenient. If you choose a model without hooks, you’ll have to place the pillow on a counter or other surface to dry, which means you’ll have to remember to flip it or one side may not dry thoroughly.  

Mold and mildew resistance

Any time you’re consistently using and keeping an item in a moist location, mold and mildew can be an issue. To prevent this, look for pillows that are made with quick-drying, mold- and mildew-resistant materials, such as PVC and vinyl. Fabric covers are particularly prone to holding moisture, so these need to be fully removed and hung to dry between every use.

How much you can expect to spend on a bath pillow

Inflatable bath pillows are the most affordable and usually cost $5-$25. Gel and foam pillows are a bit more expensive and generally range from $15-$60, depending on the size and materials. 

Bath pillow FAQ

Can I leave my pillow in the tub all the time?

A. It’s best to remove your pillow from the tub between uses and hang it up to dry. If you’re set on leaving your pillow in the tub for days at a time, make sure to avoid fabric models.

Will bath bombs and bubble bath soaps harm a bath pillow?

A. For the most part, bath bombs and bubble bath soaps won’t harm a pillow. However, if they have strong dyes and colorants, they may cause staining.

How do you clean a bath pillow?

A. Cleaning a bath pillow doesn’t take too much work. If you have a fabric model, simply remove the cover and toss it in the washing machine. PVC and vinyl pillows can be wiped down with mild cleaning solutions or diluted bleach. You can also use a solution of water, white vinegar and baking soda if you prefer an all-natural route.

What’s the best bath pillow to buy?

Top bath pillow

Viventive Luxurious Extra Thick Bath Pillow

What you need to know: At 4 inches thick, this well-cushioned pillow keeps you comfortable while offering a lot of head and neck support.

What you’ll love: It’s machine-washable for easy cleaning and features a breathable 3D mesh exterior.

What you should consider: The mold and mildew resistance could be better.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bath pillow for the money

Gorilla Grip Original Spa Pillow

What you need to know: This spa pillow has a nonporous exterior that makes it easy to wipe clean, and it comes in four pleasant colors to suit any taste.

What you’ll love: The high-quality foam conforms to your body no matter what position you like to relax in.

What you should consider: It doesn’t always adhere firmly to the tub.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Soothing Company Full Body Bath Pillow

What you need to know: This is an ideal choice if you want to provide your full body with cushioning without sacrificing extra support for the head and neck where it’s most needed.

What you’ll love: Lightweight construction and the attached hook makes it easy to hang dry between uses.

What you should consider: It doesn’t fit well in all tubs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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