- Body pillows are designed to create extra support so you can sleep better throughout the night.
- A body pillow can improve your sleep by providing more comfort and proper spinal alignment.
- The Coop Home Goods Body Pillow is our top pick because its adjustable to suit a variety of needs.
For many of us, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult. Sometimes it takes tossing and turning, wrestling with pillows, and conforming to uncomfortable postures. These constant sleep disturbances can be detrimental to our physical and mental wellbeing. Body pillows can provide extra support and comfort to enhance your sleep. They're typically popular among pregnant women and those recovering after surgery or injuries. But anyone can benefit from snuggling with a body pillow.
As a certified sleep science consultant, I know the importance of getting a good night's rest. I managed a sleep laboratory for over two years and have conducted a vast amount of research on sleep. I've tested products for SleepScore labs and presented my work at the Eastern Psychological Association. And one of my all-time favorite sleep products is my body pillow.
I interviewed two experts - sleep consultant Zeke Medina, PharmD and physical therapist Karen Litzy, DPT - and tested nine body pillows for this guide. I slept with each for seven nights and evaluated them on comfort, breathability, and support. You can read more about our methodology and things to consider when purchasing a body pillow here.
Here are the best body pillows in 2021
- Best body pillow overall: Coop Home Goods Body Pillow
- Best body pillow for side sleepers: Snuggle-Pedic Full Body Pillow
- Best cooling body pillow: Zoma Sleep Body Pillow
- Best body pillow for back pain: Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow
- Best body pillow for pregnancy: Moonlight Comfort-U
- Best versatile body pillow: Leachco Snoogle
The Coop Home Goods Body Pillow is soft, supportive, and perfect for any body type.
Pros: Comfortable, snuggly, and supportive; adjustable; removable cover is machine washable; 100-day trial period
Cons: Strong "new memory foam" odor can be overpowering and take days to completely fade, bulky
I'm obsessed with the Coop Home Goods Body Pillow; it checks all the boxes for better sleep. Like our pick for best bed pillow (also from Coop), this body pillow is fully adjustable; you can add or remove the shredded memory foam to suit your sleep style and personal preferences. It's also features a removable pillowcase for easy washing.
The Coop is bulky, but just the right height for me; not too low and not too elevated. It conformed so well to my body right out of the box, so I didn't have to remove any foam. It's extremely flexible, moldable, and supportive — great for any body type.
It's also the softest, most snuggly pillow I've tested. I love cuddling with it and have continued to use it for months after testing because it's really helped with my shoulder pain. It hasn't flattened out at all, and I sleep so much better with the support it provides. It stays cool throughout the night because it's made with super-breathable polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon.
Although a mild chemical odor is normal with memory foam pillows, the Coop had a very strong smell out of the box. The company recommends running it through the dryer with a dryer sheet for an hour to reduce the smell, which I did. While this helped, the odor didn't completely disappear until a week later, though I do think it's worth the wait. You can rest assured that this pillow is safe, hypoallergenic, and CertiPUR-US certified.
The Snuggle-Pedic is the most comfortable body pillow for side sleepers. It's flexible and doesn't go flat after months of use.
Pros: Free pillow customizations within 120-night trial period, contours exceptionally well to the body, provides great support between the knees for side sleepers, very comfortable and soft
Cons: Might be too large and heavy for smaller individuals
My parents sent me the Snuggle-Pedic last Christmas and I've been sleeping better with it since. It shipped in a small and compact vacuum-sealed package and expands when you remove it from the packaging and toss it in the dryer for 20 minutes, which is what the company recommends. It had a mild new foam odor that dissipated within a couple of days.
I like this pillow for side sleepers because it's firm and bulky, and side sleepers typically need more support in their pillows than back and stomach sleepers. However, out of the box it was a bit too lofty for my petite frame (I'm 5'2" and 126 pounds). I contacted the company to customize my pillow and it came back perfect. While many side sleepers will find the loft just right, it's nice to know you have the option of getting a more custom fit to your body.
After a few nights of sleeping with the Snuggle-Pedic, I noticed reduced hip and neck strain. I also like the bamboo, breathable cover that kept me cool throughout the night. My Snuggle-Pedic body pillow has not gone flat after months of use; it's still fluffy, soft, and supportive.
The Snuggle-Pedic body pillow truly impressed me. As a side sleeper, it can be difficult to find a restful position because the hips, shoulder, and knees are often under a lot of pressure. This pillow provided me with perfect support in all the right places.The best cooling body pillow
If you tend to sleep hot, the Zoma Sleep Body Pillow can keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Pros: Regulates temperature exceptionally well, comfortable
Cons: Washing and drying is time-consuming, shorter length might not be good for taller people, no trial period
The Zoma Sleep Body Pillow is made with high-quality materials that kept me cool and comfortable throughout the night. The cover is made from a blend of stretchy, lightweight polyester and spandex. It's filled with shredded gel memory foam intended to keep hot sleepers at a comfortable temperature. It's a very well-made, high-quality body pillow that provides great support and breathability.
It's somewhat firmer than the Coop pillow but still provides great support and comfort. The 6-inch loft is helpful for side sleepers like me who need support between the knees. After a couple of nights sleeping with the Zoma, I noticed a positive impact on my posture and spinal alignment.
The Zoma Sleep is two inches shorter than our top pick, so it's not possible to rest my head on it and have full leg support at the same time. I'm relatively short, so I could definitely see this being a more noticeable issue for taller folks who want a pillow that supports the whole body. That said, the smaller size could be a boon for those who sleep with a partner and don't want to hog the whole bed. The cover is also not removable, which makes washing and drying the pillow a lengthy process.
Despite the two missing inches and complicated washing process, the Zoma does provide excellent body support and absorbs heat well. For pregnant women, this pillow is firm enough to rest a growing belly on to relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips.The best body pillow for back pain
The Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow might just be the solution to reduce tossing and turning throughout the night.
Pros: Exceptionally supportive and versatile, removable and machine washable cover, firmness is great for heavier individuals
Cons: Firmer and heavier than the usual body pillow, might not be a good choice for smaller bodies, no trial period
This body pillow, made from Tempur-Pedic material developed by NASA, is engineered with shapeable micro-cushions that respond and adapt exceptionally well to the body. It's designed for pregnant women and side-sleepers, but people with injuries, muscle tension, and back pain can also benefit from the sturdy support it provides.
The tension relief that I experienced after sleeping with the Tempur-Pedic was incredible. I love this pillow's versatility; I have used it to prop up my legs, relieve pressure on my lower hips, and stabilize my back when I'm sitting up. No matter how I use it, the pillow always returns to its original shape.
The Tempur-Pedic is much firmer than the other pillows I tested. While this is a great feature for larger individuals and people looking for extra support, it might not be as comfortable for smaller folks or people who prefer a softer pillow. The foam is dense and heavy, so moving it around in the middle of the night could be tiring for people recovering from injuries, though the added heft means it doesn't fall off or move around the bed as easily.The best body pillow for pregnancy
The Moonlight Comfort-U Full Body Pillow provides exceptional support and comfort from all sides, which makes it great for pregnancy.
Pros: Great support through all stages of pregnancy, flexible for daytime and nighttime lounging
Cons: Larger than most, will occupy a significant amount of space in your bed, no trial period
The Moonlight Comfort-U Full Body Pillow is the best pillow for pregnancy because it provides 360 degree support and great comfort. It's filled with hypoallergenic synthetic down and made with non-toxic materials that go through extensive testing to ensure the safety of the baby and mother. This pillow is specifically engineered to help women sleep better throughout pregnancy.
During her pregnancy, Medina's wife used a U-shaped body pillow like this one that wrapped around her body. "For early pregnancy, she would put one side of the pillow between her legs to avoid her knees from being sore," he said. "In her later trimester when her belly was larger, she would use the body pillow to support her back."
This pillow can help expectant mothers find the best position to sleep comfortably — it supports the back and baby bump simultaneously and helps you avoid laying on your belly. This support can alleviate body aches that pregnant women often experience. Many also find it useful after pregnancy for nursing.
I love that it can be used in a variety of ways throughout the night and even during the day. However, it occupies half of my Queen-sized bed, so consider the size of your bed before purchasing. Additionally, washing this pillow was no easy task because of its size and it can take a long time to dry.
That said, I love to wrap myself around the Moonlight Comfort-U, even if I'm not pregnant or sleeping. Since working from home, it's helped me with my posture as back support and it can be a game-changer for expectant mothers.The best versatile body pillow
The Leachco Snoogle's C-shape design makes it versatile to use throughout the day and night, and may be especially comfortable for expecting mothers.
Pros: Multiple ways to align and use this pillow
Cons: Larger and firm, cover is not very soft, no trial period, short warranty
The Leachco Snoogle is the most versatile body pillow I tested. This "C-shaped" body pillow was designed by a registered nurse to create extra support for expectant mothers and provide proper spinal alignment. It features a sham-style removable cover that is machine washable and dryer safe.
I love how versatile the pillow is; it wraps around my body nicely, supporting my entire back and stabilizing my sleeping position throughout the night. The shape can be swirled into a lounge pillow, and I've used it to prop up my legs, cocoon me as I read comfortably in bed, and even as a replacement for my bed pillow. For expectant mothers, this pillow will support you all around.
That said, there are a few things to consider about this body pillow because, as versatile as it is, it might not be for everyone. First, the texture of the cover is rough and resting my face on it was uncomfortable. I also found it very difficult to remove and replace the cover for washing. Second, it's quite firm and might not be a good option for those looking for a softer pillow. Finally, it's large size takes up quite a lot of room in my bed.
Although I didn't love the Leachco Snoogle's texture and firmness, I love to wrap myself around it while I read, work on my laptop, or watch TV. It's very supportive, and there are many ways to configure it. If you want to upgrade, Leachco also makes a variety of softer covers for this pillow.What else we tested
What else we recommend and why:
- Oubonun Body Pillow: The Oubonun features a hidden zipper to adjust its hypoallergenic polyester fiber fill. It's softer than most but provides sufficient support and won't take up much space in your bed. One side is quilted, which is a nice detail. It even includes a pillow case as a bonus. I recommend this body pillow if you're on a budget; it's good value for the money.
What we don't recommend and why:
- PharMeDoc Full Body Pillow: I was excited to test this one out since it's received many great reviews. However, the quality, shape, and comfort was not what I expected. It's flat, flimsy and there was virtually no support. It's uneven and lumpy in some parts. I can't recommend this pillow because it didn't improve my sleep.
- Ikea Axfryle Body Pillow: This was an impulse buy from Ikea, but it just sits in a closet now after I used it for only a couple of days. It's flat and poor quality with very little stuffing.
To find the best body pillows, I did hands-on testing with nine different models, relied on my background in sleep research, and interviewed sleep expert Zeke Medina, PharmD and physical therapist Karen Litzy, DPT. As a sleep researcher and certified sleep science consultant, it's important for me to review items that truly improve quality sleep. I paid close attention to how well I slept with each pillow, including how comfortable, breathable, and supportive they were. Here's how I evaluated each pillow:
Setup: First, I wanted to know whether the body pillows emitted any chemical odors as soon as I opened the package. If there was an odor, I evaluated how long it took for any smells to dissipate. I also noted if the pillows were adjustable and if they included a removable and washable cover.
Specs and components: I recorded each body pillow's length, weight, firmness, and quality of materials. I also noted if they were hypoallergenic and researched if the pillows' fills were CertiPUR-US certified or made without toxic materials.
Sleeping: I slept with each body pillow for seven consecutive nights, taking note of how well I was able to fall asleep, how well I stayed asleep, and how I felt in the morning. I evaluated how comfortable and soft the materials were, whether I slept cool or hot, and how much support and tension relief I felt throughout the night and in the morning.
Return policy: I looked at the return policy and warranty of each pillow. This is important, in case individuals are unsure it's the right fit. "No single pillow is the answer for everybody," says Medina, so it's best to try out body pillows to figure out what works for you.
Long-term use: Since original testing, I've continued to regularly use our top picks and will report back about their durability over time.FAQs
What are the benefits of sleeping with a body pillow?
The benefits you get from a body pillow will depend on your individual needs and preferences, but here are some common reasons to consider a body pillow:
They relieve muscle tension: A body pillow can help sleepers ease muscle tension and stress throughout the night. "You can throw your leg over it to take the stress off your shoulder, hip, and knees," says Medina. "You can also place the pillow between your legs to alleviate the pressure between the knees."
Litzy also said that many people end up using their body pillow throughout the day to find comfort and tension relief. "They can help position people while they're sleeping and even while awake," she said. "Body pillows can sometimes be more comfortable because you can manipulate them a little bit easier as opposed to having two to three regular pillows."
They can ease recovery from surgery or injury: Similar to the benefits listed above, body pillows can be useful for correctly positioning and offloading joints after surgery, and for people struggling with pain and discomfort.
"If you're getting over an injury or surgery, a body pillow can be a way to make you more comfortable," said Litzy. That extra support helps avoid body aches in the morning by relieving muscle tension in the hip joints, neck, and back. "One thing that we know that helps with recovery is sleep," she said. A body pillow can help you get that much-needed rest.
They can increase oxytocin levels: A body pillow can also encourage relaxation after a long day. We know that hugging releases oxytocin, a neuropeptide known as the "cuddle hormone." This hormone reduces stress and induces a sense of safety. Cuddling with a teddy bear can make a child feel safe and relaxed. Similarly, a body pillow can help adults wind down at bedtime to sleep soundly throughout the night.
They can make sleeping more comfortable when you're pregnant: If you're pregnant, a body pillow can help support the baby bump. "Having 20 to 40 extra pounds in your midsection can cause all types of issues," said Medina. "A body pillow can be positioned in a way that can support the back to relieve pressure." Litzy said pregnant people typically find body pillows helpful for supporting their legs and elevating their bodies.
They can reduce snoring: Individuals who snore or have sleep apnea can benefit from sleeping with a body pillow. It can be used to elevate the head and neck to reduce snoring. Body pillows can also be a way to reduce moving too much during the night to find a comfortable breathing position.
How to choose a body pillow
There are dozens of options on the market when it comes to body pillows. Choosing the right one depends entirely on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the following factors as you search for the perfect one:
Bed size: Think about how much space you have on your bed. Some body pillows, like our top pick by Coop, can be quite large and end up taking up a lot of space. If you share a bed with someone, you might want to go for a smaller, lightweight body pillow like the Zoma.
Body size: The same applies to weight, if you're smaller you might prefer a body pillow that you can adjust, like the Coop Home. If you're a heavier individual, a firmer body pillow like the Tempur-Pedic will provide you with the support you need.
Materials: Be mindful of the materials and filling that manufacturers use, since you'll be spending a lot of nights with the pillow. You'll want to make sure your body pillow is hypoallergenic and made without the use of harmful chemicals. You can confirm the latter by checking if the memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified. Most of the pillows on this guide have received this certification.
Care instructions: Some body pillows like the Coop and Tempur-Pedic come with a removable cover that can be washed. Others like the Snuggle-Pedic and Zoma don't, and washing them can be time consuming. Like any regular pillow, it's recommended to use a case with your body pillow that you can wash often.
Customization: You want to make sure that you're getting the proper support and correct spinal alignment. What works for one person might not work for another. Consider your own needs, as well as factors such as your weight, height, and sleeping position. Our top-rated pillow is fully adjustable to fit a variety of different body types and sleep styles.
Cooling: Breathability is a big factor to consider. "You don't want to become overheated on the body pillow," Medina said. "When the body raises its temperature, it provokes a wake response." More awakenings throughout the night will result in low-quality sleep. A good body pillow will give you the support, comfort, and breathability that can improve how you sleep. Body pillows like the Zoma and Snuggle-Pedic are made with breathable materials that can keep you cool throughout the night.
Return policy and warranty: It's also important to have the option to exchange or return a body pillow if it doesn't fit your needs. So, it's always good to check the trial period and return policy in case you're not satisfied with your purchase.Check out our other bedding guides