Body pillows are long pillows that people put on their side between their legs when they sleep. Some people find body pillows that can help enhance the quality of their sleep by increasing relaxation and decreasing pressure on the joints.
However, there are no large-scale studies that investigate the effect body pillows have on sleep, but anecdotal evidence offers these possible benefits.
In this article we speak about the advantages of eight of the best body pillows on the market.
Please notice that the declarations below are focused on analysis. No one at Nccmed has tried those products, including the writer.
Benefits of body pillows
Annecdotal evidence indicates that body pillows can help alleviate pain in the neck, shoulder, back and hip. Many advantages probably 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 practice sleeping on their side instead of their back, which can minimize snoring.
Some doctors suggest that people who sleep on their side will lower their risk of complications from pregnancy. This is, however, a widely discussed subject among health care practitioners, with mixed evidence.
A small 2018 study of 25 pregnant people indicates that someone who, in the third trimester, reduces the amount of time they sleep on their back may experience health benefits for them and their fetuses.
However, a 2019 report sponsored by the National Institutes of Health ( NIH) examined data from more than 8,700 women who participated in the Mother-to-Be Monitoring (nuMom2b) project aimed at identifying risk factors for the first-time moms.
Based on the results of this study, the researchers conclude that the back-sleeping role does not affect the risk of first and second trimester pregnancy complications.
Although the health benefits of side-sleeping are currently uncertain during pregnancy, pregnant people can often find that body pillows help improve their comfort and quality of sleep.
Best body pillows for pregnancy
AngQi Pregnancy Body Pillow
The AngQi Pregnancy Body Pillow is a body pillow shaped in U shape. For extra comfort and support it includes 6.6 pounds (lbs) or 3 kilograms (kg) of polyester filling. The pillow conforms naturally to the body , making it an perfect multifunctional pillow for sleeping, reading and nursing.
This pillow provides total body support , particularly for the back, hips, knees and neck, according to the manufacturers, and can reduce symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as back pain. It comes with a blue, purple, or grey, soft, washable cover.
Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow
The Leachco Back ‘n Belly Contoured Body Pillow is a U-shaped pillow with internal contours that form the shape of an hourglass. This ensures that the pillow will accommodate the rear and that belly at the same time.
The U-shape also helps people to change their sleeping positions all night without relocating their pillows. It comes with a reversible cover for fast laundering.
The product has mostly positive reviews on Amazon although some say it is hard to put the seams.
Restorology 60-Inch Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
The 60-inch Full Body Pregnancy Pillow by Restorology contours the natural shape of the body while supporting the head , neck, back and abdomen.
The manufacturer claims this product can relieve symptoms of lower back pain, sciatica, and heartburn that can all be experienced by people during pregnancy.
They also say the pillow is suitable for people who are not pregnant, meaning after giving birth it may be useful. This could make it more cost-effective and versatile than some other options. Also the body pillow comes with a removable cover.
Best body pillows for side sleepers
Coop Home Goods Body Pillow
Coop Home Goods offers an adjustable body pillow that is “tailored to each person and to all sleeping positions.” It provides full-body support, suitable for side sleepers and back pain sufferers. A person may also alter the size and firmness of the pillow by removing or adding filling.
This body pillow contains certified foam from CertiPUR-US, meaning it does not contain harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants or formaldehydes. It’s also hypoallergenic and fully washable by machine.
Coop Home Goods offer a 100-night sleep trial so that if they’re not happy, customers can check it out at home and return it trouble-free. Even this body pillow has a limited 5-year warranty.
Best body pillows for stomach sleepers
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Body Pillow
Snuggle-Pedic offers a high quality, breathable body pillow which contains environmentally friendly bamboo memory foam certified by CertiPUR-US. The pillow is also certified GreenGuard Gold, meaning it is hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites, and non-toxic.
Within this pillow the shredded memory foam is sturdy and breathable. It supports the lower back, the thighs and the knees. The micro-vented coating helps to escape body heat, which reduces the chance of overheating.
People are allowed to test this pillow for 120 nights before they decide to keep it. Also Snuggle-Pedic offers a 20 year guarantee.
Utopia Bedding Soft Body Pillow
Utopia Bedding provides an affordable body pillow which supports the hips, back, and abdomen. Its basic rectangular shape makes it more flexible than other items, as people can also use it to support the lumbar when sitting in bed or lying on their foreheads.
The pillow comes with 100% cotton cover and filled with synthetic ball fibre. The cover is reusable, and washable by machine.
Best body pillows for back pain
Multi-Position Body Posture Pillow
The Multi-Position Body Posture Pillow was developed by a chiropractor to enhance sitting and sleeping posture for people. It has three separate parts that allow people to pose differently, supporting the head , neck, shoulders, thighs, lower back and knees.
This innovative body pillow is perfect for people who often encounter back pain, as it can help strengthen their spine alignment and relieve pressure on painful areas.
Sharper Image Full Support Body Pillow
Their 10-foot long body pillow, according to Sharper Image, relieves pressure on the lower body and encourages proper spinal alignment which may help with back pain. The company says its pillow is perfect for anyone experiencing:
- back, shoulder, or neck pain
- arthritis-related pain
- trouble getting to sleep
This product also makes a good maternity pillow. An individual may use the pillow in its original U-shape, twist it into a circle, or use it to comfortably read or lounge.
Other ways to improve sleep quality
Although body pillows can help people find more comfortable sleeping positions, other factors, such as a person’s mattress, can affect sleep quality.
Mattresses affect spinal orientation and pressure levels on the joints. That means anyone with an unsupportive mattress will still feel pain or discomfort when using a body pillow.
It is also necessary to get room temperature. Higher nighttime temperatures decrease the sleep quality according to survey data from 765,000 people in the United States. National Sleep Foundation suggests that people set the temperature of their bedroom to 60–67 ° F, or 16–19 ° C.
In addition, other fabrics contribute to the way people feel warm or cool during sleep. Synthetic fabrics, such as memory foam or polyester, absorb heat. That can cause somebody to get too hot. People may want to use bedding with a large amount of natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo.
Body pillows come in a wide variety of colors, forms, and sizes. Anecdotal evidence indicates that they make certain people feel more relaxed when they are sleeping. They may be particularly useful during breastfeeding, or for those with back pain associated with posture.
There is little research into the possible benefits of body pillows. If anyone has recurring symptoms which interfere with their sleep, they should talk to a doctor.