Breastfeeding

Which Breastfeeding Pillow Is The Best? Our Top Picks Based On Your Needs

Updated on 8 September 2022 • 8 minute read

 

Is A Breastfeeding Pillow Useful?

Breastmilk is the gold standard for infant feeding. So, if you’re planning to breastfeed, we’re here to cheer you on, mama. (And if you’re not but still looking for ways to hang out with baby comfortably, we’re here for it too.)

Whether you’re breastfeeding your newborn baby or a toddler, a nursing pillow can be useful. Here are some of the most common benefits of using a breastfeeding pillow: (1)

  • It gives your baby easier access to your breasts while feeding.
  • It supports and provides comfort for both you and your baby.
  • It can ease the strain on your neck, back, and arms.

 

Breastfeeding pillows aren’t just for new moms, and they’re great for use from the early days of the postpartum period (from birth to six months) and beyond. Plus, they’re also great for providing head support while you bottle-feed your little one.

You might be wondering what’s the best nursing pillow for you to buy, how it works, and whether you really need one while breastfeeding. 

Find out more about nursing pillows below, and pick one from our top 13 choices for pillows to support breastfeeding moms:

 

Organic Nursing Pillows

Nook Niche Organic Cotton Feeding Pillow

  • Price: $119
  • Best features: Organic, certified non-toxic with a pebbled or dimpled surface
  • Material: GOTS cotton (Global Organic Textile Standard), a certification for products free from toxic bleaches, dyes, or other chemicals used in textile production (2)
  • Product safety: Hypoallergenic, Greenguard Gold Certified (certification for non-toxic products with low chemical emissions) (3)
  • Shape: Thick U-shaped pillow
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable cover with easy-close nylon zipper
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Cover only
  • Extra features: Allergen-free
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: It’s more expensive than the others; its pillow core isn’t machine washable

 

Blessed Nest, The Nesting Pillow

  • Price: $98
  • Best features: The fillings adjust and conform to your baby’s body like a bean bag
  • Material: 100% organic cotton canvas with buckwheat hull fillings
  • Product safety: GOTS fabrics, free from toxic flame retardants which can cause cancer, negative impacts on the immune system, and disruption of the nervous system (4)
  • Shape: Quarter moon
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable slipcover
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Slipcover only, but the core pillow can be sterilized in the dryer
  • Extra features: Pillow for tummy time with adult supervision
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Pillow core isn’t machine washable; it’s also pricey

 

Classic C-shaped Nursing Pillow

Boppy Nursing Pillow (Bare Naked) and Positioner

  • Price: $35
  • Best features: Customizable pillow for ergonomic support
  • Material: Cover made of 20% cotton and 80% polyester, with 100% 80% polyester fiberfill
  • Product safety: Hypoallergenic fiberfill, free from flame retardants
  • Shape: C-shaped
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Pairs with a pillow cover and/or protective liner (sold separately, $13 to $22)
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Yes, inner pillow and slipcover
  • Extra features: Can be used for bottle feeding, propping, sitting, and tummy time with adult supervision
  • Product recall: The pillows haven’t been recalled, but the slipcovers designed for use with this pillow were recalled in November 2007. The zipper pull can break, posing a choking hazard. These can also contain excess levels of lead, a heavy metal that can cause delayed growth, lower IQ, hyperactivity, and behavior problems. (5)(6)
  • Cons: Its slipcover had a recall.

 

Waterproof Pillow

One Z Plus Waterproof Nursing Pillow 

  • Price: $69.99
  • Best features: Waterproof pillow with full back support
  • Material: Baby-safe, chemical-free materials
  • Product safety: Free from fire retardants
  • Shape: Wraparound
  • Layers: None
  • Adjustable: Straps with buckle
  • Cover or pillowcase: None provided, but the pillow can be used without one
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Extra features: Can fit moms size 10-28; for feeding, tummy time, or playtime (with adult supervision)
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Covers are sold separately ($29.99)

 

Adjustable Pillow

Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $39.99
  • Best features: Unique shape with a butterfly-like multi-layer design
  • Material: Polyester (information from Amazon)
  • Product safety: Free from lead, phthalates (can cause damage to your baby’s kidneys, lungs, liver, and reproductive organs), and flame retardants (7)
  • Shape: Butterfly
  • Layers: Three layers on each side
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Cover or pillowcase: None
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Extra features: Design allows different nursing positions, including football hold at the side or cradle and cross-cradle on your lap
  • Product recall: No
  • Cons: Bulky, with lots of nooks and crannies

 

Wraparound Pillow

The My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $49.95
  • Best features: Wraparound design secured by a silent-release buckle
  • Material: 100% baby-soft cotton fabric with firm, flat polyester cushion
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: Double straps with velcro
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Not indicated
  • Extra features: With back support, elbow and armrests, and storage pockets
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Some moms complain that it’s bulky and awkward to use

 

Pillow Made For Twins

Twin Z Pillow 

  • Price: $99.99
  • Best features: Designed specifically for use with two babies simultaneously, great for double football hold
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Product safety: Hypoallergenic material free from foam, lead, flame retardants, and toxic chemicals
  • Shape: Like the number three
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable cover
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Cover only
  • Extra features: Back support; can be used for nursing, bottle feeding, tummy time, infant support, and as a pregnancy pillow
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Bulky; the pillow core isn’t machine washable

 

Nursing Pillow After A C-Section

Leachco Natural Boost Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $32.95
  • Best features: Detachable boost pillow (upper layer) that flips to different sides or can be used separately
  • Material: 65% polyester and 35% cotton
  • Product safety: Free from flame retardants or PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)
  • Shape: Semicircular
  • Layers: Two
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Cover only
  • Extra features: Boost pillow can be ideal for traveling
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: The pillow core isn’t machine washable; some complaints of the stuffing sticking out through the cover

 

Pillow For Traveling

Lansinoh Nursie Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $22.49
  • Best features: Compact, portable, and one-size-fits-all nursing pillow that fits around the arm, not the waist
  • Material: 100% cotton outer shell and 100% polyester inner filling (information from Amazon)
  • Product safety: The brand claims that the product might contain traces of fire retardants but in levels that are insufficient for the nursing pillow to be labeled as a fire retardant.
  • Shape: Tubular
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: None
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Extra features: Also ideal for C-section moms
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: It can limit your arm movement while feeding.

 

Pillows For Plus-Sized Moms

NuAngel Trinity II Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $34.99
  • Best features:
  • Material: 100% cotton flannel
  • Product safety: All-natural, hypoallergenic unbleached cotton
  • Shape: Comma or a half-moon
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Yes, pillow core and removable pillowcase
  • Extra features: The smaller end can also be ideal for C-section moms
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Some parents complained about the product being smaller than they expected.

 

Multi-use Breastfeeding Pillows

Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $59.95
  • Best features: Multi-functional pillow 
  • Material: Cotton and polyester
  • Product safety: Hypoallergenic covers
  • Shape: Boomerang or widely open V
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable with fold-over closure so there aren’t any zippers, buttons, velcro straps, or hooks
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Covers only
  • Extra features: You can also use this as a pregnancy pillow or for your baby’s tummy time (with adult supervision)
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: Some moms complained that the pillow became flat easily and the cover material was flimsy; the pillow core isn’t machine washable

 

Bbhugme Nursing Pillow

  • Price: $99.99
  • Best features: Multi-functional pillow
  • Material:  95% cotton and 5% spandex jersey fabric 
  • Product safety: Standard 100 by Oeko-tex class 1. Certified (certification given to fabrics that passed tests for over 100 toxic substances) (8)
  • Shape: Tubular but wraps around your waist using cloth straps
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: Yes
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Covers only
  • Extra features: Comes with a handy travel bag for use on the go
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: It’s pricier than the other nursing pillows on our list; the pillow core isn’t machine washable

 

Leachco Cuddle-U Original Nursing Pillow and More

  • Price: $36.09
  • Best features: Multipurpose nursing pillow
  • Material: Polyester and 35% cotton (information from Amazon)
  • Product safety: Free from flame retardants or PBDE
  • Shape: U-shape
  • Layers: One
  • Adjustable: No
  • Cover or pillowcase: Removable, sham-style cover
  • Waterproof: No
  • Machine washable: Cover only
  • Extra features: Come with a tuck seat design for infant support during bottle-feeding
  • Product recall: None
  • Cons: The inner pillow isn’t machine-washable.

 

What’s The Best Breastfeeding Pillow?

Knowing that your baby’s safety remains the top priority, we recommend these organic, certified chemical-free nursing pillows:

  • Nook Niche Organic Cotton Feeding Pillow – $119
  • Blessed Nest, The Nesting Pillow – $98

 

However, the following nursing pillows can also suit your needs or budget:

 

Choose this if you prefer a classic C-shaped nursing pillow:

  • Boppy Nursing Pillow (Bare Naked) and Positioner – $35

 

Choose this if you’re looking for a waterproof nursing pillow:

  • One Z Nursing Pillow – $69.99

 

This can be a good choice for an adjustable pillow:

  • Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow – $39.99

 

Choose this if you prefer a wraparound pillow:

  • The My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow – $49.95

 

This nursing pillow is made for twins:

  • Twin Z Pillow – 99.99

 

Here’s a comfortable nursing pillow after a C-section:

  • Leachco Natural Boost Nursing Pillow – 32.95

 

This portable pillow is ideal for traveling:

  • Lansinoh Nursie Nursing Pillow – $22.49

 

This pillow is designed for plus-sized moms:

  • NuAngel Trinity II Nursing Pillow – $34.99

 

These are multi-use breastfeeding pillows:

  • Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow – $59.95
  • Bbhugme Nursing Pillow & Hip Carrier – $99.99
  • Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow and More – $36.09

 

What Can I Use Instead Of The Boppy Pillow?

Boppy pillows are popular. However, while the nursing pillow doesn’t have a recall, Boppy loungers had been recalled for safety issues. 

Eight infants died after suffocating in the lounger while sleeping. However Boppy clarified that baby loungers are not intended for unsupervised use. They aren’t marketed for this purpose and have warnings on the label. (9)

But you can choose any of the products listed above, including the following as nursing pillows: 

  • Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow
  • My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow
  • Bbhugme Nursing Pillow & Hip Carrier

 

Other infant loungers you can choose from: 

 

FAQs

How Does A Breastfeeding Pillow Work?

A nursing pillow elevates your baby to the right height, so your shoulders don’t do the work for you. It also supports your baby’s head.

 

Do I Need Two Nursing Pillows?

These pillows aren’t really required for breastfeeding, but having one at home can help you and your baby feel more comfortable. Still, getting an extra nursing pillow is also a good idea so that you always have one available, even if the other is being washed or upstairs.

 

How Can I Breastfeed Without A Breastfeeding Pillow?

If you’re sitting, you can cross your leg to elevate your baby to the breast they’re nursing from. You can also use a regular pillow supported by the wall or the side of your couch.

If those options feel uncomfortable, you can also find another nursing position, such as lying on your side and facing your baby. 

It’s also good to ask your lactation consultant for recommendations.

 

What Are The Factors To Consider In Choosing Breastfeeding Pillows?

  • Material – be sure it’s safe and non-toxic
  • Size – some pillows are small while others are extra large
  • Shape – some designs snuggle against your tummy or fully wrap around your waist
  • Fit – some have adjustable straps with velcro or buckles
  • Support – some offer full support to your baby’s body and head, while others provide extra arm or back support for your
  • Machine washable
  • Removable slipcovers – make it easier to keep your pillow clean
  • Price
  • Versatility – some can be used as a sleeper, lounger, pregnancy pillow, pillow for tummy time, and infant support pillow for bottle-feeding

 

Be sure to check if your nursing pillow is safe for use in these other options. Read the manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations or ask your pediatrician.

 

Other Baby Gear & Baby Products For Nursing Moms

 

 

 

References

(1) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342461510_The_use_of_breastfeeding_pillow_to_reduce_discomfort_for_breastfeeding_mothers

(2) https://global-standard.org/certification-and-labelling/certification#elementsofinspection

(3) https://www.ul.com/insights/what-does-greenguard-certified-mean

(4) https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/flame_retardants/index.cfm

(5) https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2007/slipcovers-used-with-boppy-pillows-recalled-due-to-choking-hazard-and-risk-of-lead

(6) https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

(7) https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/phthalates-and-dehp

(8) https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/apply-here/standard-100-by-oeko-tex

 

 

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