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Best Nursing Pillow

Updated September 12, 2020

Even when you think you know what to expect when expecting, in reality, there are plenty of surprises and unforeseen situations you’ll encounter after you give birth. And for new mothers, breastfeeding is definitely one of those aspects of parenthood that can go either way, despite how prepared you are- or thought you were. That’s why accessories designed to make breastfeeding an easier and more convenient affair can be such a lifesaver, both for the mom and the child. One of those fantastic breastfeeding aids is a nursing pillow.

A nursing pillow will keep your baby perfectly positioned so they can latch and feed in a comfortable way, while at the same time keeps your back free from aches and sores- but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nursing pillow benefits.

What Is a Nursing Pillow And Do You Really Need One?

Similar to pregnancy pillows, a nursing pillow is all about support and comfort for mother and baby both. The role of a nursing pillow is to give you a cozy position for breastfeeding, a one that will have your baby in the right position for feeding and you in a position that doesn’t require you to hunch over and strain your back and body while you’re breastfeeding. Additionally, nursing pillows can be used even beyond mealtime as you can rely on them for extra coziness and support while you read or watch TV. There are various different types of breastfeeding pillows, but the most popular design is the one that resembles the letter C as it is the most convenient to use, whether you prop it behind your back or place under your baby’s body for elevation and support.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what’s just a fad and what could be a really useful gizmo, and that’s especially true when it comes to pregnancy and baby stuff. And when it comes to breastfeeding pillows, the verdict is that they’re neither here nor there: they can be very practical and convenient, but the truth is that while there’s no denying that a breastfeeding pillow is helpful, it’s not essential. If you feel yourself straining during breastfeeding or are prone to aching back, a nursing pillow is a great idea. Similarly, if your baby doesn’t seem comfortable feeding in positions you prefer or you think they need a bit more boost to latch on more effectively, a cozy supportive pillow could be just what they need.

Features to Look for In Breastfeeding Pillows

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all nursing pillow. There are many different designs out there that use different materials for covers and stuffing and each has its own pros and cons. To make sure that the nursing pillow you chose is the right fit for your needs, be sure to look for features that meet your unique requirements- and you can’t go wrong.

Type/shape

The most noticeable difference between nursing pillow types is their shape. Some work better for back support for mom, others are meant to be used only to support the baby’s body, some can work for both, and so on. C-shaped nursing pillows are the most versatile, easiest to use, and readily available in a variety of styles and materials. These can be placed under the mom’s back or on the lap for the baby’s comfortable and elevated breastfeeding position. Similar but designed to be a good match for plus size mothers, boomerang-shaped breastfeeding pillows have a wider opening at the bottom for more space and a better fit. Wrap-around nursing pillows encircle your waist fully, offering support for the back, arm, and elbow, as well as an elevated position for the baby to nurse from. Furthermore, it is a great choice for a restless baby or when you need that little bit of extra safety and stability.

Size and fit

Dimensions are super important both for the sake of comfort and as a matter of convenience. You might prefer a compact, travel-friendly version that makes breastfeeding on the go more comfortable, or a full-size nursing pillow that would give you and your baby all the support you need during meals. Similarly, pay attention to the fit. If you’re unsure if a standard C-shape nursing pillow will fit you, go for a wrap-around option that can be adjusted with added straps to accommodate different waists widths, or, if you had a C-section or need more room for your belly regardless, a boomerang nursing pillow is the safest bet.

Material

Nursing pillows that come with a removable fabric cover are, by far, the most practical solution. There are bound to be stains and spills on your breastfeeding pillow so you want something that’s easy to keep clean and hygienic. A removable cover that’s machine washable is the most convenient choice, and it can either be made from cotton (prized for its natural feel and coolness) or microfiber and polyester-blend that are stain-resistant and durable. In case that the cover is not removable, be sure to double-check if the whole pillow can be washed in the machine and if so, if it can fit in the drum of your washing machine.

Design

Who doesn’t want their baby stuff to look cute and be functional both? With nursing pillows, you get both. There are plenty of colors, patterns, and designs (e.g. reversible or two-sided) to choose from, so anyone’s preferences can be met. Whether it’s a boyish color theme or feminine prints you’re after to complement your child’s nursery, or want something neutral and contemporary that you can take with you on travels, you won’t have any trouble finding what you’re looking for.

Best Nursing Pillows

My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow

Editor’s choice

When it comes to clever and convenient designs, My Brest Friend takes the cake. Their nursing pillow is versatile and practical and can be used for different nursing positions with the same ease. For better comfort for mother and the child both, this nursing pillow wraps around your body, supporting your back while you’re feeding the baby- the clasp makes it adjustable for the needs of different body types, too. The flattened top of this pillow makes it stand out as it prevents the baby from rolling around or falling into you while you breastfeed, and it is a very convenient option for restless babies.

The pillow core is made from firm and sturdy foam that will make your baby comfortable but still support them in the right feeding position. The cover, which is made from 100 percent cotton and comes in 9 cute and gender-neutral designs, is fully removable and machine washable, so this nursing pillow is low maintenance as well.

Who Should Buy This?

The wraparound design of the pillow and the clever features added to it, such as the storage pocket, make this nursing pillow a great choice for most mothers. Adjustable and practical, it can be used for football or cradle nursing positions, for breastfeeding or nursing, and even after a C-section.

Pros

  • Comfy and firm support for the back
  • Handy pocket for storing the bottle or other necessities
  • Suitable for cradle hold
  • Suitable for football-feeding position
  • The flat top prevents the baby from rolling

Cons

  • The stiffness of the foam takes away from the pillow’s adjustable
  • Some babies grow out of it fast (not enough leg room)

Specs for comparison:

Shape: Wrap-around shape

Material: Cotton cover and foam core

Dimensions: 23.62 x 4.33 x 16.54 inches

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Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner

Runner up

When in doubt, go for the classic choice: Boppy’s original design is as popular now as it was thirty years back when it was first invented- if not more so. The secret in the long-lasting popularity of this C-shaped nursing pillow is the fact that is so adjustable and simple to use. It can be used for breastfeeding newborns and infants, all the way up to one year of age, but nursing is not the only time you’ll be using this pillow. Use it as a supportive pillow for your baby’s lounging back, to prop them when they’re exploring on their belly, or when they’re finally sitting on their own to prevent toppling and give them better stability,

Both the removable cover and the pillow itself are machine washable which makes for effortless maintenance. You don’t have to wash the pillow each time when the cover gets a stain- but you can toss the pillow inside the washing machine when it’s time for a deep clean. Brilliant! To boot, if you want, you can separately purchase a waterproof slipcover to sandwich between the cotton cover and the pillow, or get a spare pillowcase if you want to have one always ready for the switch.

Who Should Buy This?

This nursing pillow might not have any bells and whistles but its long-standing tradition speaks volumes about its quality and practicality. The adaptable C-shape design makes it very versatile both in terms of supported feeding positions and uses beyond nursing.

Pros

  • Can be used throughout the baby’s first year of life
  • Suited for football, cross, or cradle feeding position
  • Plenty of practical uses beyond nursing
  • Both the pillow and the removable cover are machine washable
  • Different designs and separate pillowcases available

Cons

  • Rounded so the baby tends to roll towards the mother

Specs for comparison:

Shape: C-shape

Material: Cotton-blend cover with polyester fiberfill

Dimensions: 19.9 x 16.75 x 6.5 inches

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The Twin Z Nursing Pillow

Best nursing pillow for twins

Two babies are twice the fun and the love but also double the work. That’s why the Twin Z pillow is so great- it cuts down on time and effort needed to feed two babies and gives you the support and comfort you sorely need. The medium part of the pillow props up to give you support for the back and the two remaining pillow legs are to position you twins properly for breastfeeding or bottle feeding- both at the same time. Furthermore, this pillow can be used to give your twins safe and cozy tummy time or help them remain seated once they get older: it’s truly a design that keeps on giving.

Made from polyester blend fabric called minky, the cover of this nursing pillow is not just luxuriously soft and plush but very durable as well. It can be removed for machine washing whereas the pillow can only be spot cleaned. Low maintenance, practical to use, and multifunctional- everything a mom of multiples would want from a nursing pillow.

Who Should Buy This?

Most baby stuff for twins has to be bought in twos, but this single pillow will cradle both of your babies while they nurse, lounge, or try to sit up on their own. Convenient to use throughout the first year of your twins’ life, this pillow will make breastfeeding or bottle feeding a breeze and give you kiddos support and comfort they need during their infancy.

Pros

  • Supports your back for optimal comfort during breastfeeding
  • Allows you to feed both babies at the same time comfortably
  • Suited for newborns and older babies alike
  • Multifunctional use
  • Removable and machine washable cover

Cons

  • Not suited for plus size mothers

Specs for comparison:

Shape: Nursing pillow for twins (E-shape)

Material: Minky polyester cover with polyester fiberfill

Dimensions:    38 x 25 x 5 inches

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Lansinoh Nursie Nursing Pillow

Best nursing pillow for travel

Just because your out and about doesn’t mean that your baby won’t decide it’s snack time! Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding in public, in a car, airplane, or when you’re traveling can be a big challenge but a handy travel nursing pillow can make matters much easier for new parents. The goal of a travel nursing pillow is to be compact and portable but still be able to support your baby into a proper nursing position and Lansinoh’s design manages to pull it off. Unlike most standard nursing pillow types, this travel version has a hollow cylinder shape: you’re supposed to pull your arm through the hole and use the pillow to elevate your baby for a more natural feeding position. The unique shape and the fact that it goes over your arm also makes this a great nursing pillow for mothers that gave birth with a C-section.

The cover is made from soft and gentle cotton and the generously filled polyester fibers, which makes the whole pillow machine washable for ease of maintenance. Suited for all nursing positions from cradle to football and cross, this convenient and portable nursing pillow is a great choice for parents that need to travel with their baby.

Who Should Buy This?

Whether you’ve had a cesarean section and need a pillow that won’t lay on your tummy or be in contact with it or just want a portable and compact nursing pillow for travel, this unique design is the best option for your needs. Convenient and easy to use, it will make nursing a breeze, even on the go.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Suited for football, cross, and cradle nursing position
  • Fully machine washable
  • A great option for nursing after C-section
  • Ideal for travel and feeding your baby in public
  • Can be used for as long as you breastfeed

Cons

  • Not suited for warm weather (can make your arm sweat)
  • Might be too bulky for some people

Specs for comparison:

Shape: Travel nursing pillow (hollow cylinder)

Material: Cotton blend cover and polyester fiberfill

Dimensions:    38 x 25 x 5 inches

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Bottom Line

A nursing pillow can make matters so much easier for new mothers: a properly chosen pillow for breastfeeding will give you the support and comfort you need and make sure your baby is in the correct position to latch on. As breastfeeding pillows are available In varying designs and sizes, there is a match for every parent’s needs, whether it’s to accommodate different body types or nursing preferences.

When choosing a nursing pillow, be sure to pay attention to the type and the fit to ensure you and your baby will be comfy when using it, as well as the materials and the ease of cleaning- a nursing pillow should be washed regularly, so go for those with removable covers or labeled as fully machine washable.