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Best Body Pillows

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 81 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 151 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best body pillows

    Last Updated August 2018

    Everyone needs a mattress that provides proper support to the whole body, and a bed pillow that keeps their head, neck, and spine in proper alignment during sleep.

    Some people, however, feel best with a little bit more support than that. For those people, a body pillow is often the answer.

    These special pillows, nearly the size of a full-grown person, are ideal for pregnant women, people suffering with arthritis or other painful joint conditions, or anyone who needs a little extra help getting comfortable in bed.

    There are a lot of body pillows on the market however, in a variety of shapes, and with different types of fill. That can make it confusing to choose the one best suited to your needs.

    Luckily, we’re here to help!

    With their comfortable support and hug-like design, body pillows reduce restless tossing and turning, leading to a more refreshing night of sleep.

    At BestReviews, our goal is to be your go-to source for helpful and accurate buying information on all the products that make your life easier, healthier, or more productive.

    We don’t accept free products or manufacturer perks in exchange for a good review; we do our own research, take advice from experts in the field, and listen to feedback from current owners. That lets us give you the unbiased product information you need and want.

    So, if you’re in the market for a body pillow, and just want to choose one in a hurry, consider the five options in the matrix above.

    But if you’d like to learn more about these flexible support pillows in general, including how to choose and use them, read on. Up ahead: a great night of sleep.

    EXPERT TIP

    Don’t toss your entire leg over your body pillow; this strains your hips and lower back. The pillow should simply rest between your knees or thighs.


    Who needs a body pillow?

    With their large size and flexibility, body pillows are perfect for adding support, height, separation, and comfort just about anywhere you need it.

    • Many sufferers of sciatica, backache, hip pain, or knee pain find relief with a body pillow propped between their legs to relieve pressure on the hips and knees.

    • Pregnant women sleep better with a body pillow propping up their stomach, reducing strain on the back and abdomen.

    • You can curl a body pillow around your upper body to cushion your shoulders and neck, providing sweet relief from many painful conditions in these two vulnerable areas, as well as reducing gastric reflux, nasal congestion, and headaches.

    • Sufferers of painful conditions that affect multiple areas of the body, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, many autoimmune disorders, flu, and other severe infectious diseases often feel much better with a body pillow to adjust their limbs comfortably for sleep.
       

    But you don’t have to be in pain or sick to appreciate a body pillow. Many people simply like the “hug” and comfort of these large pillows.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    While body pillows are especially good for anyone with chronic pain, they are also a wonderful way to add extra comfort and support to any bed.

    Body pillow shapes

    You’ll find several different shapes of body pillow. These are the most common.

    Basic rectangle

    These body pillows look like a regular pillow, but stretched out much longer; typically, these body pillows are between four and six feet long. Rectangular body pillows work well for just about everyone, and are especially useful for propping between the knees, which helps relieve hip, lower back, and knee pain.

    U-shaped

    These extra-large body pillows make a full “U,” giving them tremendous versatility. Not only are they excellent for pregnant women and anyone with painful joints or muscles, they are also perfect for comfortably propping up the user to read in bed, lounge comfortably while watching TV, or just sleep in cozy bliss.

    When sleeping with a U-shaped body pillow, your head goes at the curve, one “leg” cuddles against your back, and the other leg supports your arms, legs, and belly.

    C-shaped

    Shaped like a large letter C, these body pillows are especially good for pregnant women. The bottom of the C is perfect for propping up a pregnant tummy, and the upper portion of the C offers support to the neck and shoulders.

    J-shaped

    J pillows are usually curved both at the top and bottom, but not as much as the C-shaped body pillow. They are good for raising the upper body slightly to relieve nasal congestion, heartburn, and headaches, as well as supporting the legs to reduce sciatica, backache, and leg pain.

    Maternity

    While pregnant women can appreciate most body pillows, maternity pillows – which can be C-, J-, or U-shaped – have a bit of extra contouring along the inner edge, which conforms to the shape of a pregnant woman’s body. These pillows not only make sleeping easier during the later stages of pregnancy, they are also good for propping up the new mother and baby for nursing.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Body pillows aren’t only useful during pregnancy. They are also excellent for comfortably supporting mom and baby while nursing.

    Different body pillow fills

    Just like regular sleep pillows, you can choose from a variety of fills for your body pillow.

    Polyester

    Synthetic fills are the most common type. These are usually inexpensive, and offer good support while still being fairly soft, depending on how tightly the pillow is stuffed. Synthetic fills are hypoallergenic and generally washable, but can be hot, and don’t breathe well.

    Memory foam

    This pliable but firm foam provides excellent cushioning for aching joints, and gently “molds” around your contours. Some people find memory foam to be hot or too firm, however, and it can be expensive. It’s heavy, as well.

    EXPERT TIP

    By slipping the bottom of your body pillow between your knees and hugging the upper portion, your spine and extremities are properly aligned, relieving stress and pressure that can cause pain.


    Shredded memory foam

    A relatively recent development, shredded memory foam is basically regular memory foam that’s been torn into small pieces, making it softer, lighter, and cooler, yet still offering excellent support.

    Microbeads

    Body pillows filled with these tiny “beads” feel somewhat like a beanbag, and are very easy to mold into whatever configuration you need. The microbeads are very light, but their support is less firm than some people like or need.

    Down

    A down-filled body pillow is like sleeping on a cloud, but does not offer the level of support you’ll find from other types of fills. Some people are allergic to down – if this is an issue for you, but you love the fluffy feel, down alternative or synthetic down is another option. Down is lightweight and breathes well, but is expensive.

    Body pillows of all shapes are best for side sleeping. U-shaped pillows are also good for back sleepers, but if you mostly sleep on your stomach, a body pillow might not be for you.

    Body pillow cover and case

    Every body pillow has a cover, and some include a pillowcase, as well. Both of these can be made from several different fabrics.

    These are the most common fabrics you’ll encounter:

    • Cotton is very breathable, easy to wash, comfortable, and durable.

    • Polyester and other synthetics are durable and washable, but can be hot.

    • Cotton/poly blends are generally fairly inexpensive, easy to care for, and hold up well to use.

    • Bamboo is very breathable, soft, and naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, but can be expensive.

    EXPERT TIP

    Unless you’re using a U-shaped body pillow, you’ll need to take the pillow with you when you turn over during sleep, then re-adjust it to your needs.


    Other body pillow considerations

    While a pillow is not a complicated or technical purchase, there are still a few helpful questions to ask yourself before buying one.

    How big is the pillow?

    Body pillows are all large, but some, particularly the U-shape, are really big. That means the pillow is going to take up a great deal of space in your bed, potentially edging out your bed partner.

    You’ll also need to store it somewhere when not in use, unless you plan on leaving it in the bed.

    If you share your bed, a basic, rectangular body pillow takes up the least room.

    Consider your bed size when choosing a body pillow. If you sleep in a twin or full bed, a basic, rectangular body pillow is the best choice. Curved body pillows take up a lot more room, so are best for queen or king beds, particularly if you share the bed with a partner.

    How heavy is the pillow?

    Some body pillows, especially those filled with memory foam, are heavy. This makes it harder to move the pillow from place to place, so if you plan on carrying your pillow from bed to couch, for example, make sure you can easily carry it.

    Does the pillow include a case?

    While you can often find pillowcases for basic body pillows sold separately, it can be very difficult to find pillowcases for C-, J-, or U-shaped pillows.

    If the body pillow you are considering includes an extra pillowcase, that’s a big plus.

    The benefits of body pillows extend beyond the physical; with their hug-like feel and person-size length, these oversized pillows also offer emotional comfort to anyone who has a hard time sleeping alone.

    Does the pillow suit your needs?

    If you’re just looking for a pillow to prop between your knees, a basic body pillow is a good solution.

    If you need support for multiple body areas, however, or are pregnant, you’ll probably find one of the letter-shaped body pillows to be a better choice.

    How much does the pillow cost?

    You’ll find very inexpensive body pillows for less than $30, but these are unlikely to offer solid support, or hold up to regular use.

    Generally, you can expect to spend between $40 and $70 for a supportive body pillow, and more than that if you choose a specialized maternity pillow.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bob
      Bob
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Michelle
      Michelle
      Writer