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Body pillows are long pillows people place between their legs while sleeping on their side. Some people find body pillows can help improve their sleep quality by increasing comfort and reducing pressure on the joints.
However, there are no large scale studies that examine the impact that body pillows have on sleep, so these potential benefits come from anecdotal evidence.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of eight of the best body pillows on the market.
Please note that the statements below are research-based. No one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these products.
Anecdotal evidence suggests body pillows may help relieve neck, shoulder, back, and hip pain. Other potential benefits include:
- relieving joint pressure
- promoting proper spinal alignment for side and stomach sleepers
- improving blood circulation
- improving overall sleep quality
Body pillows can also help someone train themselves to sleep on their side instead of their back, which may reduce snoring.
Some doctors believe people who sleep on their side can reduce their chance of pregnancy complications. However, this is a highly-debated topic among health professionals, with mixed evidence.
However, a 2019 study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) analyzed data from over 8,700 women who participated in the Monitoring Mother-to-Be (nuMom2b) study, which aims to identify risk factors for first-time mothers.
Based on this study’s findings, researchers conclude the back-sleeping position does not affect the risk of pregnancy complications in the first and second trimesters.
While the health benefits of side-sleeping during pregnancy are currently unclear, pregnant people may still find that body pillows help improve their comfort and sleep quality.
AngQi Pregnancy Body Pillow
The AngQi Pregnancy Body Pillow is a U-shaped body pillow. It contains 6.6 pounds (lbs) or 3 kilograms (kg) of polyester filling for extra comfort and support. The pillow naturally conforms to the body, making it an ideal multipurpose pillow for sleeping, reading, and nursing.
According to the manufacturers, this pillow provides total body support, especially for the back, hips, knees, and neck, and may reduce pregnancy-related symptoms, such as back pain. It comes with a soft, washable cover in blue, purple, or grey.
Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow
The Leachco Back ‘n Belly Contoured Body Pillow is a U-shaped pillow with inner contours that form an hourglass shape. This means the pillow can simultaneously support the back and growing belly.
The U-shape also allows people to change sleep positions throughout the night without relocating their pillow. It also comes with a removable cover for easy washing.
The product has mostly positive reviews on Amazon, though some say the placement of the seams is uncomfortable.
Restorology 60-Inch Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
Restorology’s 60-Inch Full Body Pregnancy Pillow contours the body’s natural shape while supporting the head, neck, back, and abdomen.
The manufacturer claim this product can relieve the symptoms of lower back pain, sciatica, and heartburn, all of which people may experience during pregnancy.
They also say the pillow is also suitable for people who are not pregnant, which means it may be useful after giving birth. This might make it more versatile and cost-effective than some other options. The body pillow also comes with a removable cover.
Coop Home Goods Body Pillow
Coop Home Goods offer an adjustable body pillow that is “tailored to every person and all sleep positions.” It provides full-body support, ideal for side sleepers, and people who experience back pain. By removing or adding filling, a person can also change the size and firmness of the pillow.
This body pillow contains CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means it does not contain harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants or formaldehyde. It is also hypoallergenic and fully machine-washable.
Coop Home Goods offer a 100-night sleep trial so people can try it out at home and return it hassle-free if they are not satisfied. This body pillow also has a 5-year limited warranty.
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Body Pillow
Snuggle-Pedic offer a high-quality, breathable body pillow that contains environmentally-friendly, CertiPUR-US certified bamboo memory foam. The pillow is also GreenGuard Gold Certified, which means it is hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and non-toxic.
The shredded memory foam in this pillow is durable and breathable. It provides support for the lower back, hips, and knees. The micro-vented cover helps body heat to escape, which reduces the chance of overheating.
People can trial this pillow for 120 nights before they decide to keep it. Snuggle-Pedic also offer a 20-year warranty.
Utopia Bedding Soft Body Pillow
Utopia Bedding offer an affordable body pillow that supports the hips, back, and abdomen. Its simple rectangular shape makes it more versatile than other products, as people can also use it for lumbar support while sitting in bed, or for sleeping on their front.
The pillow comes with a 100% cotton cover and synthetic ball fiber filling. The cover is removable and machine washable.
Multi-Position Body Posture Pillow
A chiropractor designed the Multi-Position Body Posture Pillow to improve people’s sitting and sleeping posture. It has three separate sections that people can position differently, to support the head, neck, shoulders, hips, lower back, and knees.
This unique body pillow is ideal for people who frequently experience back pain, as it may help improve the alignment of their spine and reduce pressure on painful areas.
Sharper Image Full Support Body Pillow
According to Sharper Image, their 10-foot long body pillow alleviates pressure on the lower body and promotes proper spinal alignment, which may help with back pain. The company states that their pillow is ideal for people who experience:
This product also makes a suitable pregnancy pillow. A person can use the pillow in its original U-shape, twist it into a circle, or use it to comfortably read or lounge.
While body pillows can help people find more comfortable sleep positions, other factors can influence sleep quality, such as a person’s mattress.
Mattresses influence spinal alignment and the amount of pressure on the joints. This means that even while using a body pillow, someone with an unsupportive mattress may still experience pain or discomfort.
Room temperature is also important. According to survey data from
Additionally, certain fabrics contribute to how warm or cool people feel during sleep. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester or memory foam, trap heat. This can lead to someone getting too hot. People may wish to use bedding that contains a high amount of natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo.
Body pillows are available in a wide range of materials, shapes, and sizes. Anecdotal evidence suggests they help some people feel more comfortable during sleep. They may be especially useful during pregnancy, or for those with posture-related back pain.
Research into the potential benefits of body pillows is limited. If someone has persistent symptoms that disrupt their sleep, they should speak to a doctor.