One of the most comforting winter activities for me is staying in bed. And this strenuous activity is greatly enhanced by a good body pillow. Whether you have back pain, a baby bulge, snoring issues, or a bad mattress, a body pillow can help.
Body pillows offer support that mattresses do not; they actually conform to the shape of your body, especially after a few nights together, and support the areas where you carry tension. You can rest the body pillow between your legs to ease pressure on your spine (lots of folks try to accomplish this with a few regular pillows, but it’s a hassle). Pregnant women report this is a great relief for their backs, and compressed nerves in their legs (as from sciatica).
If you’re prone to snoring or sleep apnea, a body pillow will support your neck and upper back muscles in a way that a mattress and regular bed pillow can’t, easing your breathing. Likewise with digestive trouble; if you eat a big meal late in the day, you’re asking your digestive system to work hard while you’re lying down—not ideal. A body pillow will better align your GI tract and take pressure off your stomach and intestines. A bad night’s sleep, by the way, kills off millions of the helpful bacteria that live in your intestines and help you break down food; it takes several days for them to recover. Gut health is directly related to emotional health—people with healthy digestion tend to have cheerful dispositions (this common knowledge has recently been studied in labs and proven true).
Another good use for a body pillow: lying on the floor and watching TV, or staring at the ceiling. They’re way cheaper than a couch and just as comfortable, and a possible lounging solution if your apartment is too small for “real” furniture.
Ready to look into buying a body pillow? Here’s a rundown of some of the best body pillows available on Amazon. I’ll list their salient features, price, size, material makeup, warranty information, and any details about their environmental impact I can find. I’m only going to review body pillows that ranked four stars or higher in lots of Amazon reviews.
1. Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Body Pillow With Kool-Flow Cover
The Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Body Pillow is a best seller on Amazon, where it sells for $69.99. This pillow, which is made in USA, is filled with a combination of shredded memory foam and bamboo. It’s designed in an orthopedically conforming shape that supports your body as you sleep on your side, stomach or back.
This pillow is machine washable and never goes fully flat. The Snuggle-Pedic is also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, and accompanied by a 90-day no hassle refund guarantee and free exchange. After this period, the product is backed by a 20-year standard wear warranty.
Sold by Relief-Mart (and fulfilled by Amazon), this body pillow measures about 54 x 20 x 6.5”—one 6’4”, self-described “heavy” reviewer said it fits him just fine. The main advantage of a memory foam/bamboo pillow over a down pillow (besides being more humane) is it doesn’t need to be fluffed every day; it retains its shape. And it’s a good choice if you’re allergic to feathers. This pillow also has an advantage over all memory foam pillows, which tend to be heavy and overly stiff. The Snuggle-pedic shredded memory foam is hypoallergenic and extremely low V.O.C. (it contains Biogreen® memory foam and CertiPur-U.S. certified foam). The “Kool-Flow” Micro-Vented Bamboo Cover offers allows air to circulate through the pillow—it’s breathable—and keep you cool all night. The pillow weighs about 7.5 pounds.
This pillow does not have a cover (this enables the whole pillow to be washable), a standard 54 x 20 inch body pillowcase or cover will fit the pillow. Besides machine washing and drying this pillow, it’s a good idea to just put it in the dryer without washing to air it out and soften it up.
2. Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow (Full Size) (*MY TOP CHOICE*)
Next on my list is the Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow, which is a generously oversized U-shaped pillow. Selling for $109.95, the Comfort-U is filled with a premium fiber called Fusion Fiber fill. It claims to be a revolutionary synthetic— an “extended polymer”—that allows air to flow freely. The pillow weighs nearly ten pounds and has garnered 4.5/5 stars in over 200 customer reviews.
The U-shape design cradles the body, helping eliminate tossing and turning. It keeps your neck, shoulders, back and hips aligned all night. This style pillow is popular with nursing mothers, as it supports the back and shoulders. The polyester polymer has extremely high heat resistance (so it can be machine washed and dried), and it’s hypoallergenic. It won’t flatten, clump or lump.
The Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow is made in the USA and measures 68″ Length x 15″ Wide x 16” Diameter. The manufacturer recommends a daily fluffing and laundering the pillow in a front loading, commercial size washer and dryer—it’s pretty big and needs the space to move around to dry. A white cotton/polyester washable pillowcase is included.
3. PharMeDoc Total Body Hypoallergenic Pillow – U Shaped
Another U-shaped pillow, the PharMeDoc Total Body Hypoallergenic Pillow has a few attractive features—including its price, $54.95. It has a 100% Cotton Cover over a firm but tender fill. The more interesting part of this pillow is that it’s not always a U; one piece is detachable, so it can turn into a L-shaped pillow. The extension zips on and off.
The way that this (and all full body pillows) work is by spreading body weight and releasing pressure, while supporting aching or strained body areas. A fitted pillow can do this in a way a mattress cannot. Some people try to relieve pressure on their backs by sticking a pillow between their legs—but it’s hard to make that work for a whole night. You can straddle this body pillow to relieve low back tension. The 100% cotton cover is breathable for great airflow—the pillow won’t overheat as you sleep. This product is Phthalate free, latex free, lead free, & BPA free. Cleanup is easy, and the durable fabric ensures a worry-free wash (again, go with a large, front loading machine). The pillow weighs 8 pounds and 6’ tall reviewers say it fits their bodies.
4. Body Pillow, Memory Foam Cool Comfort, Bamboo Aloe Vera Cover, Pressure Relieving, Hypoallergenic – Le Benton
From Le Benton comes the Memory Foam Cool Comfort Body Pillow with an Aloe Vera cover. It’s made with pressure relieving, hypoallergenic memory foam with new cooling technology. Retailing for $39, this pillow measures 17.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches and weighs in at 7.1 pounds. It features an Aloe Vera Bamboo zippered cover—take that off and the pillow is machine washable.
As with all memory foam pillows, after opening this one, allow two hours to pass before using the pillow, so the foam may return to its natural, unboxed state. This Memory Foam Cool Comfort Body Pillow relieves snoring, insomnia, asthma, neck pains and migraines (so it says). Purely body-related insomnia can be cured with better bedding, but I’m skeptical about anxiety related insomnia—that’s more of an inside job. There are a few bio tricks to get to sleep at 3 am; my favorite is to take a short shower and alternate between hot and cold water—this calms the nervous system.
5. Sealy Down Alternative Extra Long Body Pillow
The Sealy Down Alternative Extra Long Body Pillow is one of the lightest pillows on this list, weighing 3 pounds—it’s a medium density pillow, with 55 ounces of filling. This is another hypoallergenic pillow, and it’s made with EnviroLoft Down Alternative Polyester Filling. It’s hard to know how humanely geese and ducks are treated at down producing farms—choosing an alternative filling in pillows and coats is the kinder choice. Also, down alternatives are usually machine washable & dryable; as is the Sealy Down Alternative Extra Long Body Pillow.
This pillow measures 60 x 20 x 5 inches, and does not have a zipper. It’s made in the USA and feels squishy—not hard or solid—when you lie on it. The down alternative doesn’t need to be fluffed all that often, but a weekly fluffing will keep it in shape. At $43, it’s an affordable pillow that you can cram back into a box for storage (a benefit of down alternative over straight memory foam, which doesn’t shrink down much).
5. Janbutterfly Total Body Pregnancy/Maternity Pillow
The Janbutterfly Total Body Pregnancy/Maternity Pillow is another U Shape Detachable Extension pillow, but it makes the list because it’s well made and competitively priced ($59.99). I’d like to point out that while this and other full body pillows are often labeled “pregnancy pillows,” that doesn’t mean they’re only for pregnant women. Any one who has trouble sleeping can benefit from a body pillow, especially if you’re sleeping on a poor quality mattress and can’t afford to upgrade just yet.
The Janbutterfly Total Body Pregnancy/Maternity Pillow has a 100% zippered removable cotton cover (machine washable), and it’s dust mite resistant. Besides helping with hip, back, neck and belly, this body pillow also minimizes unpleasant effects of heartburn (which can affect non-pregnant people as well). Turning the U-Shape pillow into a one-legged pillow saves space in the bed and makes the pillow more flexible. The U design helps relieve sciatica and lower back pain. This pillow can be used for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding support.
6. Petite Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow
The Petite Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow is one more oversized U-shaped pillow, long enough for you to stretch out and support both sides of your body.
This pillow is made in the USA; it ships from and is sold by BACKSTORE. Listed at $119.95, the Comfort-U is filled with a premium fiber called “Fusion Foss”— an “extended polymer” which allows air to flow freely. This Comfort U pillow is a bit smaller than the other model, measuring 44″ in length and 9″ in diameter—it’s intended for shorter folks. Its shipping weight is 8 pounds. The Foss fill is hypoallergenic and machine washable, and won’t flatten, clump or lump.
Besides sleeping more comfortably, the Petite Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow also offers support while reading, nursing, or watching TV. When you sit or lie wakefully in a position that strains your back or neck, this too comes back at night and affects how you sleep. Designed for upper body and hip support, the Petite Comfort-U molds to the contours of your body. The Petite Comfort-U comes with a removable cotton pillowcase.
Daily fluffing of the Comfort U pillow is recommended, and it’s best to wash this pillow in a front loading, commercial size washer and dryer (as in a Laundromat). It is also recommended to add a tennis ball or clean gym shoe to the drying cycle to evenly fluff the pillow.
7. Comfort Body Pillow
Comfort Body Pillow is another solid offering in the rather saturated body pillow market. Although it measures 119 x 4.2 x 3.5 inches, this pillow only weighs one pound, so it’s a good choice for travelers. It’s shaped like a long C, which you curl yourself inside. The curve is medically designed to relieve stiff necks, backs, and knees. This is another hypoallergenic pillow, which increases the odds of getting a decent night sleep, uninterrupted by sneezing or nasal congestion.
The C-shape is especially beneficial for side sleepers, as you can wrap your legs around the bottom curve and release pressure on your spine, while keeping your neck at the same height as your knees—that’s good for releasing back tension. The material is not itchy, it breathes well, and has a cotton pillowcase but no zipper. A custom-made, fitted cover is available to be purchased separately, available in white, blue or gray.
Oh, and one more important detail; this pillow sells for $55.95 and has 4/5 star rating in several dozen customer reviews.
8. The snuggL Pillow
The Doctor designed L-shaped total body pillow from snuggL is one more affordable choice for troubled sleepers. It sells for $74 and comes with a 100% cotton (300 thread count) pillowcase. The fill is finer than down, so you are able to compress the pillow—it has a medium firmness. The fill is a proprietary blend of hypoallergenic micro gel fibers that adapt to your body’s specific needs. The pillowcase has a zipper for easy fit and removal.
The snuggL pillow provides side sleepers with the ideal alignment of the spine reducing strain on the lower back, helping to alleviate and prevent neck and back pain. It’s a variation on the C curve pillow, and measures 54 inches long, 28 inches wide at the head “L” section. At 9.2 pounds, this is a solid but manageable pillow, and it’s well made. SnuggL Pillow comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
9. Bio Sleep Concept Organic Cotton Body Pillow
The Bio Sleep Concept Organic Cotton Body Pillow is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an entirely organic body pillow (which is not so easy to find). This pillow is handmade in the USA; it has certified 100% Organic Cotton sateen cover over 82 ounces of Organic Cotton batting. This product sells for $113.16, measures 54 x 17 x 6 inches, and weighs 6.5 pounds.
Unlike many synthetic pillows on this list, the Bio Sleep Concept Organic Cotton Body Pillow is not machine washable, because the cotton would bunch up and become lumpy. The best way to clean a cotton pillow is to either put it in a dryer at low heat with a dryer sheet for a while—this will kill any bacteria that have taken hold, along with mites—or leave it out in the sun on a really hot day (serves the same purpose, and fills it with sunshine).
This pillow conforms to your body, allowing you to find the perfect sleep enhancing position, and it helps regulate body temperature throughout the night—both features will help you sleep more soundly.
10. J Shaped- Premium Contoured Body Pregnancy Pillow with Zippered Cover
Last on my list is the J Shaped- Premium Contoured Body Pregnancy Pillow from Blowout Bedding. Again, it’s not just for pregnancy—anyone can benefit from a full body pillow. This one comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, and it sells for $41.99.
This pillow measures 60”L x 27”W x 7” H and comes with a removable zippered protector. It’s designed to help prevent sciatica, heartburn, carpal tunnel and nasal congestion. At 6 pounds, it won’t weigh down your mattress. Its J shape feels a little like being in a nest. This pillow has a curve at both ends, it’s worth noting—one side is a J, the other is a C (the C is for your neck, the J for your legs). The fill is polyester and the washable white cover is polyester, but you can also choose a soft Sherpa cover instead.
All of these body pillows will help you sleep better. If you’re having body pain at night, any kind of cushioning and realignment is beneficial. It’s hard to recommend one pillow over another, because it depends on what you’re looking for—a small and travel ready pillow or an oversize nest with maximum back support? So many choices.
If I had to recommend one body pillow based solely on price and quality, I’d go with the Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow. It’s gathered the most positive customer reviews, including many from pregnant women (and I’ve heard they’re heard to please). It’s priced at $109, which is not much to pay for a sleep enhancer, especially when compared to a new bed. Also, can you put a price on a good night’s sleep?
It’s unfortunate that most of these pillows are only available in white—I think this is because their odd shapes are costly to produce, so manufacturers won’t commit to expensive dyes—but if you shop around on Amazon you’ll find color cases to fit most of these body pillows. Sweet dreams!