Which body pillow is best?
If you tend to toss and turn a lot at night because you don’t have enough support or anything good to cuddle with, a body pillow may be just what you need. These extra-long pillows measure over 4 feet in length, so you can wrap your entire body around them without having to uncomfortably curl up into a tight ball.
Body pillows come in a variety of shapes, with each designed for a different need. Pregnant women will be well served by a U- or C-shaped option that cradles their entire body and offers support to their stomach. On the other hand, if you are just looking for something to snuggle with, a straight option like the plush DOWNLITE Down Alternative Extra Long Body Pillow is ideal.
What to know before you buy a body pillow
Choosing the right type of body pillow
Body pillows come in a variety of shapes, from standard straight options to C-, J- and U-shaped models that cradle different parts of your body. There are also body pillows designed specifically for maternity that feature extra contouring on the inner edge to support your stomach, as well as options intended for certain health issues like sciatica and gastric reflux. Of course, some simply use them for snuggling when relaxing on the couch or dozing off in bed.
You’ll want to carefully consider your intended use when making a purchase. For example, if buying one for gastric reflux, it should be firm enough to keep your body propped up. If buying one for snuggling, you’ll likely be best served by a soft and plush pillow.
You’ll have to consider both your height and the available space where you intend to use it when looking for a body pillow. It should be long enough that you can comfortably wrap your body around it, or it around your body, yet not so large that it completely takes over your bed or couch.
If you have a small twin bed, you won’t want to buy a large U-shaped pillow that takes up all the available sleeping space. Likewise, if you plan on using your body pillow on a loveseat, it shouldn’t be so long that it hangs over the edge and risks knocking over a lamp on the end table every time you move it.
Just like with regular bed pillows, body pillows are available with a variety of fillings. Polyester is one of the most common and affordable. It is also hypoallergenic and can be firm or soft, depending on how tightly it is stuffed. Memory foam is another popular filling type because it is very supportive and molds to the shape of your body. It holds its loft over time better than polyester too, however it is more expensive. Both polyester and memory foam can get hot though, as neither breathes well.
If you like memory foam but tend to run warm, a pillow with shredded memory foam filling may be a better option. It is slightly softer, though still supportive, and it breathes better so it should help you stay cooler.
Some body pillows have a microbead filling, which is very cool and molds well to the shape of your body, but isn’t very plush. On the other end of the spectrum is down filling, which is very warm and plush. Down filling comes in both natural and synthetic options, with the latter being hypoallergenic. Neither microbeads nor down offer much support, though.
What to look for in a quality body pillow
Body pillows have varying levels of firmness depending on their fill material and how tightly they are stuffed. While you may be able to find information in the product listings that helps you determine how firm a specific pillow is, your best resource will usually be previous-buyer reviews.
Cover or case material
Along with the filling, the case and cover material can play a large role in how a pillow feels when cuddling or sleeping with it. Materials like cotton and bamboo are very soft and naturally breathable. The latter is also naturally hypoallergenic, but usually more expensive. Both can pill in the wash over time. Polyester is more durable, but can get hot. Cotton-poly blends offer a nice balance of coolness, comfort and durability for many people, and tend to be affordable.
Some body pillows have different material on each side of the cover. These offer more versatility, as one side may be cooler, while the other side may be warmer, softer or offer other properties of some kind.
How much you can expect to spend on a body pillow
Most body pillows cost between $20-$50. However some extra-large U- or C-shaped models and maternity options may cost up to $75 or more.
Body pillow FAQ
Do body pillows come with a case?
A. Some body pillows come with a matching case, but others do not. If you don’t want to have to buy a separate case, check the product details of any body pillow you are considering to ensure it comes with one.
Are body pillows heavy?
A. While all body pillows are going to be heavier than regular pillows simply because of their large size, the majority aren’t heavy enough to be an issue for most people. That said, certain materials, such as memory foam, are heavier than options like down and polyester.
What is the best body pillow to buy?
Top body pillow
What you need to know: Filled with the company’s polyester-based down alternative, this plush pillow is ideal for those who need something hypoallergenic to cuddle with while they sleep.
What you’ll love: It’s machine washable and dryable, which makes it easy to keep clean, and it offers just the right balance of comfort and support for most people.
What you should consider: At 60 inches in length, it may be too long for some uses.
Top body pillow for the money
What you need to know: Hot sleepers will love this gel-infused pillow that is specifically designed to keep you cool.
What you’ll love: It has different materials on each side: one that cools, and one that’s both warmer and incredibly smooth and soft to the touch.
What you should consider: Some may find it too firm for their needs.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This large, customizable pillow cradles the body and is ideal for pregnant women looking for head-to-toe support.
What you’ll love: You can unzip segments and use them individually if preferred, and the pillow also comes with a small repositionable bolster pillow. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic to help you breathe more easily while sleeping.
What you should consider: It’s best reserved for those with large beds that can accommodate such a wide pillow.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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