The 12 Best Body Pillows of 2023 | by Real Simple

2023-02-05 17:12:21 By : Mr. Zon Pack

Lesley Chen is a San Francisco-based freelance writer who covers shopping, home, tech, health, and general lifestyle topics for various websites.

Highlights *Her work has appeared on SFGate, Well + Good, BuzzFeed, Byrdie, and PureWow. *She has a BA in economics and psychology from UC Berkeley and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

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If you wake up feeling unrested or achy, it might be time to upgrade to a body pillow. Body pillows have extra length to support your entire body and can lead to more rejuvenating sleep, so you can wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

The benefits of a body pillow include “providing support for the back, neck, and head; alleviating pain in the back, neck, and shoulders; reducing tossing and turning during sleep; preventing stiffness and soreness in the morning; and promoting better circulation,” says Dr. Katherine Hall, a Sleep Psychologist at Somnus Therapy.

There are many features to consider when shopping for a body pillow, such as fill, firmness, size, price, and shape. Some body pillows even have cooling features to reduce the likelihood of overheating through the night. To find the best body pillows, we researched various options and also spoke to Nicole Eichelberger, a BSM Certified Sleep Expert, as well as Dr. Hall.

Our top pick is the Pluto Puff Pillow, a versatile, plush, rectangular body pillow. It has a soft, synthetic fiber filling, is washable for easy maintenance, and is hypoallergenic so you can breathe easily throughout the night.

Who it’s for: People who want a cooling and plush body pillow.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a memory foam body pillow.

Pluto’s Puff pillow is soft and supportive so you can sleep comfortably night after night. It has a superfine polyfill fiber that mimics the feel of down and a cool-to-the-touch microfiber cover, giving you the best of both worlds. The down alternative fill is extremely plush, so you don’t have to worry about the pillow losing its shape or becoming uncomfortable over time.

Both the quilted cover and the pillow insert are machine-washable, making this pick easy to maintain and routinely clean. The pillow also has a 110-night trial, so you can test it out before committing.

Price at time of publish: $95

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable body pillow.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a cooling body pillow.

Investing in a body pillow doesn’t have to cost a ton of money, as is the case with this Utopia pillow, which has everything you need at a budget-friendly price. It has a plush polyester filling and a breathable cover that you can fluff and squeeze to your liking—although take note that poly filling traps heat, so it’s not a great option for hot sleepers.

While this pillow is not machine-washable (spot clean or hand wash only), you can always purchase a separate cover for easy cleaning. That’s also good news for hot sleepers, who can purchase one in a breathable fabric to help stay cool and comfortable.

Price at time of publish: $40

Who it’s for: People looking for a cooling memory foam body pillow that conforms to the body.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for an inexpensive body pillow.

Memory foam is known for relieving pressure and body aches, and this pillow is no exception. The charcoal-infused memory foam is CERTIPUR-US-certified, which means it’s made from high quality, chemical-free foam. Charcoal is naturally cooling and odor-resistant, and when paired with the gel fiberfill, ensures you stay cool (and supported).

This pillow also stands out because it has an inner zipper section that allows you to add or remove fill if needed, allowing you to customize your exact feel. It also comes in two sizes, giving you even more customization.

Price at time of publish: From $169

Who it’s for: People who need their pillow to feel just right.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to fluff their pillow.

Finding the right pillow can be tricky—you want something soft but not too soft, lofty but not so much that you get neck pain. This adjustable pillow is for those who are finicky about their pillow (or want the ability to change it up depending on the night). The inner case has a zipper opening that lets you add or remove filling so you can customize it to your preference or sleep position.

The filling itself is made of a combination of memory foam and microfiber fill, ensuring a supportive feel, while the outer cover is made from a cooling fiber. The cover is also machine-washable, as is the pillow, as long you wash it in a commercial washer and dryer.

Price at time of publish: $80

Who it’s for: People who sleep hot.

Who it isn’t for: People who want an adjustable pillow.

Hot sleepers know the struggle of waking up feeling too warm in the middle of the night—and the thought of having a full-length pillow may cause you to break out in a sweat. This Snuggle-Pedic pillow, though, has an extra breathable and washable bamboo cover to keep you cool all night. Plus, it has a lightweight shredded memory foam filling, which not only conforms to your body, but also provides better airflow than typical memory foam.

Price at time of publish: $67

Who it’s for: People who are pregnant or need extra support and want a C-shaped pillow.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a rectangular pillow.

Pregnancy can make getting good sleep more challenging, and while this pillow might not solve all your problems, it may help you get a bit more comfortable. The C-shaped design is adjustable and allows you to sleep on your side while still supporting your head, neck, back, and growing belly. The jersey fabric cover is soft to the touch and machine-washable, so it’s easy to take care of.

Even if you’re not pregnant (or you want to keep using it post-delivery), this pillow is for anyone who needs better support while they sleep.

Price at time of publish: $60

Who it’s for: People who want a cooling body pillow made with natural materials.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a firm pillow.

If you value natural (or at least eco-friendly) materials, opt for this Buffy Body Pillow. The fill is made of recycled plastic bottles (each pillow recycles about 73 plastic bottles diverted from the ocean or landfill), and the cover is made of Tencel lyocell fibers derived from wood sources like eucalyptus. The result is a sustainably-minded pillow that is soft, hypoallergenic, and cooling.

Price at time of publish: $69

Who it’s for: People looking for a soft, moldable pillow made with high-quality down.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a very firm body pillow.

Getting good sleep is one of life's luxuries, so why skimp on quality when searching for your next body pillow? If soft, moldable luxury is what you’re looking for, opt for a down pillow. The Company Store’s Feather and Down Body Pillow is Responsible Down Standard-certified with a soft, machine-washable cotton twill cover.

It’s firm (although not as firm as a memory foam pillow is), and relieves pressure on your joints without sacrificing a luxurious feel. It’s also much longer than a typical body pillow at 72 inches, making it suitable for tall people and those who want a truly full-size pillow.

Price at time of publish: $78

Who it’s for: People looking for an allergy-friendly alternative to down.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a pillow with a removable cover.

If you want the softness of down filling without the potentially allergy-inducing drawbacks, opt for this Parachute body pillow, made with a down-like microfiber fill. It has the fluffiness of down without the use of animal products, and is complete with a cambric cotton pillow shell. The cover is not removable—but you can pair the pillow with one of the Parachute covers for easy cleanings, like this breathable linen one.

Price at time of publish: $79

Who it’s for: People looking for a pillow that can be adjusted and twisted as needed.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a rectangular pillow (this one is more cylindrical).

Twist, bend, squish, or knot it—the Bearaby Cuddler is malleable to fit your unique needs. It features responsibly-sourced rubber foam that can mold to support you in whatever sleeping position you choose, whether you’re trying to alleviate neck, back, or joint pain.

The removable cover is also made of high-quality organic cotton, which is breathable and soft for even better cuddling. Overall, the pillow is fully biodegradable, so you can sleep easy knowing your pillow is sustainable, too. Just take note that it’s much longer than the average pillow at 75 inches, which is great for conforming to your needs but might not be to everyone’s liking.

Price at time of publish: $199

Who it’s for: People looking for a pillow and cover bundle.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a cooling body pillow.

You don’t have to worry about maintaining a pristine sleeping environment with the Sunday Citizen Snug Body Pillow. It comes with a super soft microfiber cover, available in nine colors to coordinate with your bedding. No need to worry about cleaning—just toss the cover in with your laundry (although take note that the insert is spot clean only). The pillow itself is made of memory foam, which supports you whether lounging on the couch or bed.

Price at time of publish: $98

Who it’s for: People looking for a pillow they can use for multiple purposes.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a traditional body pillow.

You can use the Yobio Roll in a variety of ways, whether you need a body pillow while you sleep, a back pillow when you sit, or extra seating on the floor. Unlike traditional body pillows, this one has a bead fill, which is extra moldable but might take some getting used to. The cotton/spandex cover is machine washable and comes in 17 colors to match your decor or add an extra pop of color to your room.

Price at time of publish: $109

Our top pick is the Pluto Puff Pillow, which feels as soft as a down pillow but has a supportive polyfill fiber. It comes with a generous 110-night trial, so you can take your time and decide if it's right for you. For those on a budget, the Utopia Bedding Body Pillow is a no-frills options that is comfortable and durable.

Body pillows have many fill options, including memory foam, polyfill, latex, down/feathers, or down alternative. Each fill has pros and cons, so consider your particular sleep needs while selecting your next body pillow. For example, memory foam contours to your body to alleviate pressure and bodily strain but can be hot, so if you want something more breathable you should look for shredded memory foam or gel-infused foam.

Down and polyfill are softer, allowing you to squeeze your pillow into different positions, but don't provide as much support. For a customizable pillow, look for one with adjustable fill, so you can add or remove the loft as needed.

The firmness of a body pillow will give you different levels of support and is closely related to the fill material. For example, down or down alternative is softer, while memory foam is firmer. The right level of firmness depends on what your goals are—if your primary goal is support, then go for something firmer; if it’s comfort, then a softer pillow is fine.

Most body pillows are around 54 inches in length. There are shorter ones you can tuck between your legs or longer ones if you skew taller, or want something you can really mold to your preferred position. If you intend to use the body pillow in its typical fashion, it's safer to snag a slightly longer pillow rather than one that may be too short.

The most common shape of body pillows is rectangular, which allows you to hug the pillow with your entire body. There are also U- and C-shaped pillows that provide other benefits. “For instance, some might prefer a U-shaped pillow for extra support for the back and hips, while others might prefer a C-shaped pillow for added support for the head, neck, and shoulders,” says Dr. Hall. For pregnant people, C- and U-shaped pillows may also alleviate pressure on the front and back while sleeping.

In addition to having something soft to hug throughout the night, a body pillow can help relieve pressure, especially for pregnant people, those recovering from an injury, and anyone looking for additional support. It can reduce pressure on the shoulders, neck, hips, and knees, and alleviate tension in the back (especially the lumbar section). For some people, hugging a body pillow can reduce tossing and turning during the night and provide comfort, which can result in more restful sleep.

In addition, body pillows can also help people change their sleeping position. Sleeping on your stomach can lead to neck and back strain, but a body pillow between the knees, under your head, or behind the back can help you sleep more comfortably on your side.

Regardless of the material, removable covers are easy to remove and wash regularly. The best type of cover is usually cotton, as “it’s a breathable fabric that will allow air to circulate and prevent the pillow from becoming too hot,” says Dr. Hall. Other natural fabrics like bamboo and Tencel are also breathable, moisture-wicking, and usually hypoallergenic.

Many, but not all, body pillows are machine-washable, depending on the fill and brand. Check the care instructions on the tag before throwing your body pillow in the washing machine. If your pillow is not machine-washable, add a removable cover and spot-clean or dry-clean as necessary.

For body pillows that are machine-washable, you can usually wash them in the delicate cycle on cold and use the dryer on low heat to dry and fluff the pillow back up. Eichelberger recommends washing a body pillow less than standard pillows, around once every six months.

This article was written by Lesley Chen, a contributing writer for Real Simple with six years of experience writing commerce, home, and lifestyle stories. To compile this list, she thoroughly researched body pillows and rounded up the best options based on fill, fitness, shape, and size. For expert advice, Lesley spoke to Dr. Katherine Hall, a Sleep Psychologist at Somnus Therapy, and Nicole Eichelberger, a BSM Certified Sleep Expert.

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