What is a Full Body Pillow?
The term “body pillow” refers to pillows that are over 120 centimeters in length. These products can be filled with fabric, but most of the models available today contain hard or crushed memory foam and / or alternative polyester down. They come in a variety of shapes, including straight / rectangular, U-shaped, and C-shaped.
The usage of such products has the following health benefits:
- Enhances muscle relaxation
- Corrects and maintains the right spine alignment during sleep
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Helps reduce snoring
- Relieves back pain, headaches, insomnia, fibromyalgia, etc.
According to a small study by the National Institute of Health, reducing the amount of time women sleep on their backs in the third trimester may have a positive effect on the health of both the mother and the fetus.
Body pillows allow you to sleep in a comfortable position, with ample support, and help align your neck and spine. They are very popular among people who like to sleep on their side or stomach but wake up with a sore back after resting. Pregnant women, postoperative convalescents, the elderly, and athletes can also find support and stress relief with a suitable body pillow.
How to Choose a Body Pillow?
Before buying your perfect pillow, you should pay attention to a few points:
- The pillow filling. If you have an intolerance to certain fabrics, make sure that the pillow filling is hypoallergenic.
- The pillow case. Does the model have a removable machine-washable pillowcase? It will help to fight allergies, as you can wash it to get rid of dust mites or pollen. Moreover, it will be of great help if you use it as a nursing pillow long after delivery, etc.
- The bed size. If the pillow is so big you need to move your partner to the couch, then you need to take a look at an alternative option.
- The pillow shape. The pillow should support the natural position of the neck and the spine. Ideally, it should be snug, adaptable to different postures but keeping its original shape.
- The type of sleeper. Side sleepers had better go for a thicker pillow that completely fills the space between the neck and the mattress.
- The filling affects the hardness of the pillow, its thermal conductivity and its cost. The most popular fillings are down, polyester, memory foam and latex. Usually, the pillow filling is covered with cotton, polyester or rayon. It is better to use a removable body pillow cover, because throwing the cover in the washing machine is easier than cleaning the body pillow itself. Opt for cotton pillowcases, as these natural fibers are breathable and keep you cool while you sleep.
Who Should Use this Type of Pillow?
When used correctly, body pillows can help straighten the spine, prevent the pelvis from tilting forward, and reduce stress on the shoulders and hips. They help improve posture during sleep, easing discomforts such as snoring and body aches. You should think about buying a body pillow if you find yourself in one of these categories:
- Side Sleepers. You put your entire body weight on your shoulders and hips, which creates pressure points in these zones. You can wrap your arms around the body pillow to relieve the tension in your shoulders. These pillows flex to fit your body, providing support when and where it is needed. Sandwiched between your knees, the body pillow keeps your pelvis in line with your spine. It reduces the likelihood of spinal displacement that causes lower back pain or muscle tension. Side sleeping is healthy because it prevents acid reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea. It is better to sleep on the left side because it potentially improves blood circulation. According to this research, pillows have a significant impact on non-specific neck pain, headache, and sleep quality.
- Pregnant Women. The higher weight concentration in the middle of the body makes it difficult for pregnant women to sleep on their backs. They are advised to sleep on their side because this position not only relieves pressure points, but also prevents poor circulation in the fetus, a risk which pregnant women sleeping on their backs are more exposed to.
- People with a sore back. Placing a body pillow between the legs maintains the alignment of the spine and helps to relieve back pain. Back pain is quite common and may occur for many reasons, including poor sleeping posture, aging, and some medical diseases. Regardless of the cause, body pillows can relieve existing back pain by keeping the spine in the correct position and facilitate a good night’s sleep. If correcting an inappropriate sleeping posture using a body pillow does not ease the discomfort, it may be worth to purchase a mattress to relieve back pain. According to Harvard Health, pillows can both improve and worsen a sleeper’s well-being. Therefore, when choosing a specific model pay attention to the instructions and the features of the product.
What Types of Body Pillow are Available?
Rectangular and cylindrical models are very common, but if you research further you may find letter-shaped pillows such as U, J and C. These are the so-called “full body pillows” because they can be used to support the head, neck and back at the same time. They look like a standard bed pillow combined with a body one.
- Rectangular: They can be found in regular bedding stores. The size varies from 25 x 120 cm to 76 x 150 cm. Some are long enough to support you from your chest to your ankles.
- Cylindrical: These narrow pillows are available in different lengths and are suitable for couples who sleep in the same bed.
- U-shaped: They are mostly used as maternity pillows. These full body pillows support your back, head, neck and also fold between the legs, so you do not need different pillows to meet all of these needs.
- J-shaped: These giant candy-like pillows provide full body support. One end can be placed between the legs and the folded end supports the head and neck.
Our picks of pillows
You can choose the most suitable model depending on your individual needs, such as your health condition, preferred sleeping posture, height, weight and filling preference. We are going to share our favorite body pillows on the New Zealand market today and explain what makes them stand out.
Best Body Pillow: ORTOREX Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
This model follows the contours of your body to help support your back, hips, knees, neck and head for a comfortable rest. It supports the entire body to reduce tossing and turning, it improves sleep quality, and helps align your neck, shoulders, back and hips during the night. A full body pillow is an essential item for pregnant women, who know how difficult it is to sleep on their side without proper support. Additionally, the pillow can be easily adjusted to fit several positions, to raise your legs, to improve blood circulation and to reduce pregnancy swelling. Also, it is also long enough to stretch and support both sides of your body.
The U-shaped pillow rescues you from putting a pile of cushions in your bed and ensures a safe and sound sleep. The high-quality cotton material is very soft and doesn’t cause skin irritation. A durable and machine-washable cover with a zipper provides a better experience.
Best Budget-friendly Pillow: ACOMOPACK Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows for Sleeping, 2 Pack
In our opinion, this pillow has these undeniable advantages:
- Set of standard-size pillows filled with 100% crushed memory foam, with two double pillowcases. The bamboo cove makes it soft and breathable and provides a comfortable sleep experience.
- Soft memory foam pillows are suitable for all sleepers. The double pillowcases have invisible zippers, so you can adjust the pillow height by changing the amount of foam inside. Whether you like it flat or stiff, simply unzip and add or reduce foam to find the perfect fit.
- The model is filled with high-quality foam. It does not deform or spring, so sleepers feel no pressure. The material makes this pillow a great choice for back sleepers and side sleepers alike, as well as for pregnant women.
The bamboo cover can be removed and cleaned easily. All you have to do is wash the pillowcase, and remove the inside of the pillow to let the memory foam air out.
Amazon Body Pillow Bestseller: Ubauba Full Body Pillows for Adults
It is a super soft 51 x 137 cm body pillow. It gently supports your hips, back, neck and abdomen during sleep, no matter if you prefer sleeping on the side, on your stomach or your back.
- The zippered pillowcase made of viscose bamboo (43%), polyester (56.4%) and lycra (6%) keeps you cool and cozy throughout the night. The removable cover is easy to replace and wash in the washing machine. If you like a very hard pillow, you can buy two and put them together into one pillow case.
- Advanced microfiber filler. This anti-deformation microfiber is stable, durable and easy to clean. This body pillow is soft and durable, and provides support for your neck, shoulders and spine relaxing your body at the same time.
Both the pillow and the pillowcase are machine-washable. Low-temperature tumble dryer allowed.
Best Model for Side Sleepers: Cheer Collection Hypoallergenic Down Alternative
It is a large pillow that fits your body, providing exceptional comfort and relieving back and joint pain. Among the main features of this option:
- Breathable pillowcase that protects against dust mites, mildew and bacteria, ensuring a sound and restful sleep.
- Hypoallergenic filling, an ideal choice for people with allergies or hypersensitivity to various fabrics and materials.
- Entire body support for better sleep: Provides support while reducing the need for repositioning.
- Evenly distributed weight: relieves pressure points on joints, providing all-night comfort.
- Pain relief: promotes proper posture and alignment of the spine when using it as a pad between the knees.
- Ideal maternity pillow: supports the abdomen to relieve pain and pressure on the back.
- Keeping your body pillow fresh and clean is easy. The zippered fabric cover can be simply removed for machine washing and drying.
Best U-shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow: Marine Moon Pregnancy Body Pillow
The U-shape design provides adequate body support and allows the pregnant woman to find the ideal sleeping position. This pillow protects your back muscles that are at risk of damage due to excess weight and tension in the abdominal area. It also helps your pelvic bones to open while you are resting and prevents fluid retention.
This version of the sleeping pillow has a hypoallergenic inner filler. Therefore, you can be sure that there are no negative consequences associated with the use of this product. It is 100% made of cotton, pleasant to the touch and extremely comfy. The Marine Moon Pregnancy Body Pillow is an affordable, convenient and attractive option that will satisfy all your needs during the night.
When choosing a pillow for your body, consider your height, body temperature during sleep, and any medical conditions such as chronic back pain. Also pay attention to specific details related to material, breathability and durability. They are crucial in choosing the right product that will increase the comfort of your sleep. After devoting a little time to research, you will surely find a suitable option for you.