Best Body Pillows: Go for it if You are a Side Sleeper or Pregnant

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Body pillows are best famed for their ability to improve comfort and support, especially for side sleepers and pregnant women. As the name suggests, these pillows are designed to be life-sized. They are typically filled with soft materials such as foam and down feathers to aid them in their comfort and supportive roles.

Depending on the type and shape of the body pillow, their need has become apparent over the years. They are especially popular with pregnant women who find it difficult to sleep comfortably especially in their last trimester.

It takes more than a simple consideration of price point for you to find the best body pillow in the market. This simple guide aims at shedding some light on the benefit, uses, and considerations to be made when looking to purchase a body pillow.



The amazing benefits of body pillows

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    Pain Relief: They help to alleviate pain in your legs, shoulders, and hips as you sleep. By improving your general body alignment these pillows help to redistribute the pressure that would normally be centered on the hip points and shoulders as you sleep. This is especially true for side sleepers.
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    Enhance Muscle Relaxation: By allowing your body to take on a more natural posture as you sleep, these pillows help to relieve your muscles of the tension caused by awkward positioning of your body. This is especially beneficial to the muscles that are located along the spinal column. Another way in which this relaxation benefit is achieved is through the comfort provided by the pillow that keeps you from constantly moving about in your sleep.
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    Provide Emotional Support: Due to the shape and size of body pillows, users tend to hug them in order to fall asleep. The resultant effect is a sense of calm and relief that is often associated with hugs. The emotional support provided by these pillows also works towards calming the mind allowing users to fall asleep faster.
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    Comfort and Support: Body pillows help to improve the spinal alignment of its users as they sleep. This makes it possible for users to achieve a comfortable sleeping position. This is especially beneficial to pregnant women who find it rather difficult to find the perfect sleeping posture as their bodies are undergoing a myriad of changes.
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    Improved Circulation and Breathing: By ensuring that your body is properly aligned, these pillows enhance the proper circulation of blood throughout the body. It also helps to elevate its users and prevent them from sleeping on their backs. This not only improves their breathing, it helps them reduce their incidences of snoring, just like an anti snoring pillow.

Who should buy a body pillow

Body pillows are a great addition to almost anyone’s nightly routine. However, pregnant women and side sleepers seem to benefit the most from the use of these pillows.

1) Body Pillow is Best for Pregnancy

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Pregnancy comes with a number of challenges and several adjustments have to be made in order to accommodate it. The way we sleep is one of those adjustments that need to be made. Side sleeping while pregnant is a common phenomenon as it helps relieve pressure from the back alleviating back pain that is often associated with pregnancies.

Using a body pillow during the different phases of a pregnancy will help by providing the additional support that the body needs in order to counter the effect of the additional weight and pressure that comes with pregnancies. (Also Check: Best Pregnancy Pillows)

2) Body Pillow is Best for Side Sleepers

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Side sleepers are always faced with the challenge that is finding a comfortable height in which their head and neck are aligned. Sore shoulders, back pain, and a stiff neck are common complaints amongst side sleepers.

Just like pregnant women, side sleepers can enjoy the benefits of back, head and neck support as well as proper spinal alignment by using body pillows.

What’s more, these pillows help to keep both pregnant women and natural side sleepers in place as they sleep. This avoidance of movement is a key quality of the pillows that allow users to sleep better and enhance their relaxation in the process. (Also Check: Best Pillow for Side Sleepers)


How to position body pillows correctly

In order to reap the full benefits of using a body pillow, one needs to know how to use it right. This means understanding where and how to place the pillow depending on your sleeping position and current body condition.

Regardless of whether you are a side, back or stomach sleeper, you are bound to suffer from back pain at some point in time. When all else fails, the use of a sleeping pillow may be just what you need.

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    If you are a side sleeper looking to handle your back pain using this pillow to is advisable that you sleep hugging the pillow along its length. Regardless of the shape of the pillow, ensure that it passes between your knees and keep your knees folded towards your heart. (Also Check: Best Knee Pillows)
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    Body pillows tend to be associated with pregnancies. This is because of the comfort associated with it. Due to the pressure placed on the spine and ankles of a woman due to a pregnancy sleeping on the side is advised. Ensure that the bottom end of the pillow is placed between the knees and that your head is supported by the top part of the pillow. The length of the pillow should be placed along the back of the body to aid in providing the extra support needed and to keep pressure from building in the ankles and the lower back.
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    Body pillows are not very suitable to back sleeping and stomach sleeping. If you fall into this category check the best pillow for back sleepers and best pillow for stomach sleepers.

Different types of body pillows

  • Body pillows differ in shapes and functionality. In terms of shape, these pillows are generally categorized into full body and total body pillows. Full body pillows are generally straight while the latter takes on a more curved shape.
  • Full body pillows are generally I shaped. They are straight and long and are ideal for use where the space of the bed may be a limitation. They are also more affordable than their total body counterparts.
  • Total body pillows can either be J shaped, U shaped or C shaped. U shaped pillows take on the shape of an inverted U. They work by wrapping around the entire body and providing support to your head, front and back body as well. C shaped and J shaped pillows, on the other hand, are effective in supporting the back body, head, and knees.

Buying Guide: Factors to consider before choosing the best body pillow

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  • Size: Body pillows are generally large and life-sized. This means that they are bound to occupy a lot of space on your bed. It is, therefore, important that you consider the size of your bed in relation to the pillow; more so if you share the bed with someone else. Opt for an I-shaped pillow where the available bed space is limited. Also, consider the size of the pillow in relation to your own size. Pillows that are 54 inches in length are best suited for average height people while those that are 72 inches or longer are suitable for taller people.
  • Material: Consider the materials used both on the inside and outside of the pillow. The filling of these pillows is often down feathers, foam, polyfill, or some form of organic filling or a combination of materials. Choose a pillow with filling that is both firm and comfortable to use. Polyfill is preferred due to its breathability and ease of use. The materials used on the outside of the pillow also differ in terms of fabric and texture. The rule of thumb here is to opt for a pillow whose fabric is soft and breathable. This will keep the pillow from retaining heat as you sleep making it comfortable to use.
  • Firmness: The firmness of the pillow is another important consideration to make. It is this feature that gives the pillow its supportive abilities. Since you are bound to spend the whole night hugging your pillow, you want to make sure that its firmness is hard enough to support your body weight but soft enough to make the pillow comfortable.
  • The Versatility Of Use: Body pillows, and especially when used as pregnancy pillows, have the ability to perform more than one function. They not only offer comfort and support as you sleep. They can be worked such that they offer support in seated positions and as nursing pillows. A versatile pillow will ensure that you make the most out of your purchase.
  • Ease Of Use: Body pillows should be comfortable and flexible. This means that they should be able to accommodate different types of sleepers. Should you find the need to adjust your position in the middle of the night, a good sleeping pillow should be both flexible and moldable enough to allow you to do just that.
  • Shape: The shape of the pillow will dictate how much support is offered to the body by the pillow. A U-shaped pillow is preferred when all round body support is needed. C-shaped comes in handy where the main areas of concern are the back body, the head, and knees. J-shaped pillows offer support to the front body, head, and knees while the I-shape pillows work best for head and knee support.
  • Warranty: The warranty of the pillow is a good indication of its quality. The longer the warranty period the longer you expect to use the pillow. Opt for pillows with a minimum warranty of 12 months.

6 top rated and highly recommended best body pillows with reviews

The need for body pillows is growing especially amongst pregnant women and side sleepers. In order to meet the growing market demand for these pillows, a number of brands have launched their products into the market.

It takes more than a simple internet search to help figure out which products are the best in the market. To help make this task an easier one for you, we have compiled six of the best body pillows in the market including a review & their pros and cons.

1. Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow

Leachco is a brand that is associated with quality and comfort in the pillow world. The Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow has lived up to the quality and comfort standards of the brand, hence its inclusion in this guide. It is designed to provide support to the neck, backs, hips and the tummy for pregnant women.

To make it easy to use and to cater to the needs of different types of sleepers, this pillow has been made in such a way that it can be shaped to fit the support needs of its users. Its size allows it to not only be used as a sleeping pillow but as a great source of support when seated in an upright position and as an alternative to a nursing pillow.

For ease of maintenance, it comes with a removable cover that is made from a blend of cotton and polyester. Both the cover and the pillow can be machine washed and the cover is fitted with a zipper to make the task of removing it and replacing it an easy one.

This body pillow is effective at providing support for the whole body when sleeping on the side and is compatible with use for people who have either undergone some form of surgery or are recovering from an injury and are looking to sleep better.

PROS

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    Comes with alternate covers
  • Effective at relieving discomfort due to injuries and, or surgeries
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    Easy to use and maintain

CONS

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    Some users found it to be too bulky
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    Some users reported it to be too soft thus making it uncomfortable
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    Some users found it to be poor at heat dissipation

2. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Combination Shredded Memory Foam Full Body Pillow

A good body pillow should not only be comfortable, it should be versatile enough to cater to the needs of different types of sleepers. The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Combination Shredded Memory Foam Full Body Pillow is capable of accommodating both pregnant women and side sleepers hence its inclusion in this guide.

The material used for this pillow is shredded memory foam that is CertiPur-U.S. certified. The material used on the outside of this pillow is a blend of viscose of bamboo 43%, Lycra 0.6%, and polyester 56.4%. This combination allows the pillow to be breathable, soft and have that luxurious feel to it.

The micro-vents of the outer fabric also allow the pillow to dissipate heat effectively allowing it to remain cool throughout the night. The shredded foam filling allows it to be easily worked into the desired shape depending on the user’s needs.

Thanks to the fill and choice of outer covering material, this pillow is said to have hypoallergenic properties, antimicrobial and dust mite resistant as well as the ability to hold its shape even after continued use.

PROS

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    The pillow is light in weight.
  • It comes with a 20-year warranty.
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    Improves blood circulation and breathing.

CONS

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    Some users found the size of the pillow to be too bulky making it difficult to use.

3. Coop Home Goods - Memory Foam Body Pillow with Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam

An easy to use pillow that offers both comfort and support is everyone’s dream. The Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Body Pillow has earned a mention in this guide due to its ability to provide its users with the much-needed support while remaining comfortable enough for them to enjoy their sleep.

For those who find plush down pillows to be rather pricey, these pillows offer a more affordable alternative. They are filled with shredded memory foam that makes it easy for the users to adjust the loft and shape of the pillow to suit their needs. The shredded foam also allows for air to circulate freely within the pillow making it effective at thermo-regulating. It is effective at offering support, especially to side sleepers.

It comes with a pillow cover made from a blend of viscose rayon 40% and polyester 60%. For ease of maintenance, this cover is both removable and washable. 

PROS

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    Comfortable
  • Effective at offering support
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    Easily adjustable

CONS

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    Some users found the stuffing to be insufficient making the pillow rather uncomfortable to use.

4. QUEEN ROSE Full Pregnancy Body Pillow

Sleeping comfortably can be a rather difficult affair for pregnant women. The Queen Rose Full Pregnancy Body Pillow has been included in this guide due to its ability to provide the much-needed comfort and support, especially to pregnant women.

This pillow is designed to be easy to use and equally versatile. You can use it to provide support and comfort as you sleep but also as you are nursing your child or as you are lounging.

It wraps around the body providing support not only for the head and neck but the front and back body as well as the knees when necessary. It is also useful for anyone who is suffering from sciatica, has undergone surgery or is recovering from a joint related injury.

The plush feel and high loft of the pillow work hand in hand to provide necessary support while relieving the back and joints from unnecessary pressure. To make it easy to clean, it comes with a removable cover fitted with a zipper. The latter works to make the task of taking it off and replacing it back onto the pillow an easy one.

PROS

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    Easy to use
  • Versatility of use
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    Effective at offering belly and back support for pregnant women

CONS

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    Some users found it to be rather flat thus unsuitable for providing the necessary head support
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    Some users found it to be too bulky and thus difficult to use

5. Leachco Back 'N Belly Contoured Body Pillow

The Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow is designed to be every pregnant woman’s sleeping companion. Not only does it cater to your back support needs, it is designed to offer your front body and your knees the support they need.

This is, however not to say that men and women who are not pregnant are not welcome to use it. It can also be used by anyone suffering from sciatica, gastric reflux, nasal congestion, and carpal tunnel.

It is designed to take on an 8-shaped contour that allows for your head, front and back body, and knees to be equally supported while giving you the flexibility to move your legs as needed.

Polyester is the material of choice for this pillow. It also comes with a washable and removable cover for ease of maintenance. Whether you favor your right or left side as you sleep, this body pillow allows you to sleep on either side and receive equal support and pressure alleviation from the back, hips, and joints.

PROS

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    Effective at providing all-round support to the body
  • Comes with postpartum and prenatal pillow covers and pillows

CONS

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    Some users found it to be uncomfortable due to the seam at the top of the pillow that tends to press into the shoulder as they slept.
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    Some users found it to be too short

6. Pregnancy Pillow, Full Body Maternity Pillow with Contoured U-Shape by Bluestone, Back Support

The Bluestone Full Body Contour U-shaped pillow is designed to make it easier for side sleepers and pregnant women to sleep better at night due to its unique shape.

It is for this reason and its versatility of use that we felt the guide would be lacking if we failed to mention it. It is also a useful sleeping aid from people suffering from joint pains, back pains, and gastric reflux.

This pillow is made to be easy to use and can thus be adjusted to provide back and neck support when sitting up or used to raise limbs and, or feet that are in pain thus helping to alleviate it. It also works well as a nursing pillow.

It is designed to follow the natural contours of the body thus providing the necessary support regardless of the side of the body that you choose to sleep on.

PROS

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    Effective at providing full body support thanks to its shape
  • Versatility of use
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    Easy to use

CONS

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    Some users found it to be too flat to provide the necessary support
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    Some users found the fabric of choice for the removable cover to be scratchy and uncomfortable


Must Read: Before you go!

Body pillows are the best sleeping aid that comes in handy especially for pregnant women and side sleepers. People suffering from joint pains, respiratory conditions, and gastric reflux issues can find the much-needed comfort from the use of these pillows.

It is important that you keep in mind the intended use of the pillow as well as the size of both the pillow and the bed you wish to use it on. There is no point in spending money on a good quality pillow that you would be unable to use due to space limitations. A multifunctional pillow is definitely the way to go. This way, you ensure that you milk your purchase for everything that it is worth of.

While shopping around, it is important to look at other people’s experiences with using your pillows of interest. The satisfaction and, or dissatisfaction of a given user when using a pillow is highly subjective. Do not necessarily take everything to heart but look for a trend in the customer reviews that will shed some light on what to expect.