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Hands-on Gear Review
Blessed Nest Organic Nesting Review
Price: $94.00 List | $94.00 at Amazon
Pros: Entirely organic, molds to baby for support, easy to clean, portable
Bottom line: Easy to use with the highest quality of materials
The Blessed Nest Organic Nesting Pillow won our award for Editors' Choice in part because of its small, easy to use, flexible yet supportive shape as well as the company's attention to providing a pillow made from top of the line materials. Blessed Nest excelled in every metric we tested: nursing comfort, ease of use, materials, and ease of cleaning. Its fill is unique with organic, pesticide-free buckwheat hulls that interlock to provide firm support yet move around and mold to change shape as needed. The hulls also provide nice airflow and breathability so that mom and baby are less likely to get overheated. Although heavier than other pillows in our review, its small size makes it very portable, easy to place, and is a great example of why simple is sometimes better. Without buckles to fuss with mom can focus her full attention on baby. Though you will pay practically double for this pillow, the value is there in quality, eco-friendly materials, great functionality, and versatility. Many moms are reported to use this pillow for comfort during maternity, for laptop support, and even a bean bag for older children. We highly recommend it.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Nursing Pillows Review
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The origin of Blessed Nest began as a story of two dear friends, Heather Anderson (Founder, President) and Donna Wirth (Vice President, Sales). Donna had just given birth to her first child via c-section. Her newborn was hungry and frantic while she was frustrated in pain with regular and nursing-specific pillows that were providing neither sufficient support nor a good fit. So what did they do? Heather integrated her knowledge from a career in fashion, interior design, and sewing with Donna's 15+ years experience in the children's clothing industry to create a functional, supportive, easy to use, healthy, and fashionable nursing pillow. The result? We absolutely adore this pillow. Read on to find out why.
Blessed Nest scored a 9 of 10 for nursing comfort, the highest score awarded along side the Boppy Nursing Pillow and My Brest Friend Deluxe. The slight crescent-shape can fit moms nicely three different ways; straight across the stomach, angled to the right side or angled to the left side. This way, no matter how baby is feeding, there is plenty of support. However, in our testing, taller women found that the pillow was slightly short of both elbows when they used the pillow straight across their stomachs.
The fill is unique, 100% organically grown and processed buckwheat hulls which renders it flexibly supportive because you can move the fill if you want one side slightly more elevated while baby feeds. However, what we appreciate most is how the buckwheat helps the pillow mold to the baby's body while feeding. With smaller, less stable babies, the Nest supports them well from head to toe during feeding.
Fully laid out, its surface is very wide measuring at 11.5" across the top so baby can lay comfortably while cradled in mom's arms as well as sit up on it while being burped. In addition, for newborns, the pillow's surface can be made smaller by lifting it up by one end and shaking the hulls to the bottom, then wrapping the extra fabric along the zippered seam. This also makes the pillow higher.
Ease of Use
The Blessed Nest has no bells or whistles; no pockets, straps, Velcro, or contrasting cushion options. In our opinion, we found this simplicity made it very easy to use. The smallest pillow we tested in this review, it is easy for mom to hold baby and it at the same time. In our testing, moms found that this was their go to pillow it when moving from room to room. It also stores easily, especially in comparison to the much larger My Breast Friend Deluxe or My Brest Friend Original. The buckwheat hulls adjusted to both mom and baby easily creating a strong, flat surface. And, once baby settled in for a feed, the hulls didn't shift readily, yet it was easy for mom to rearrange its internal shape. This pillow is easy to use when sitting in a chair, sitting on the floor, or in other locations or positions. It can support baby in a traditional nursing hold, football hold, as well as be used for twins (although we did not test it for twins in our review). Take a look at Blessed Nest Perch for other inventive ways to use the Nesting Pillow during maternity, while nursing, and beyond.
We found this to be the best pillow for moms post cesarean. Its shape was gentle on incisions while still providing a close fit. And, because it doesn't wrap around the entire body, these moms could easily place and remove the Blessed Nest without needing to turn or struggle with buckles.
We were pleased to find it fitting women of various sizes quite well. The combination of buckwheat and the slight crescent shape allows it to mold to moms' body, whatever her size. However, because of its smaller surface area size, there wasn't always enough elbow room for taller women when using the pillow straight across the belly. Yet, in this circumstance, with a small shift to one side, support was good for both mom and baby.
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). The inside pillow is made of 100% organic cotton canvas fabric from a US mill as well as organic, pesticide-free buckwheat hulls. The exterior Organic Nesting Pillow Slipcover ($56) is 100% organic cotton twill print with organic cotton French terry produced in mills in India with very strict human rights standards. Although this pillow complies with TB-117, it does so without containing flame retardants of any kind. In other words, their products are tested to make sure they do not pose a fire hazard. Simply put, no other product in our Nursing Pillow review comes close to the high standards of the Blessed Nest company; take a look at their company's Safety Guide. Needless to say, mom can rest easy here without worrying about exposure to off gassing for her little one.
Despite these awesome eco-friendly details, Blessed Nest's cover may feel rough at initially. After a few uses, however, we found it to soften. Regardless, do not expect a plush and cozy exterior as with the synthetic covers of the My Brest Friend Deluxe or Luna Lullaby. Don't get us wrong, plush surfaces are divine, but we value support for baby while feeding over a plush cover on a pillow that baby sinks down into.
In terms of shape retention, the pillow did lose some height over the course of our use. Overall, its shape was initially stiffer but after continual use, the hulls did feel to loosen up. While sounding like a major problem, we actually found the opposite in that this evolution adjusted to growing babies and their changing needs of support, analogous to how breast milk changes to accommodate the needs of a growing baby. Please see down below in Ease of Cleaning for specific cleaning instructions, as only the exterior slipcover can be machine-washed.
Ease of Cleaning
We found the Blessed Nest to be very easy to clean and earned a score of 9 of 10. Unlike the interior pillows of the Boppy Original and the Boppy Nursing Pillow which can be machine-washed and dried, the Nesting Pillow can only be spot cleaned with mild soap. It is also recommended to place it into the drier on medium for 20 minutes once every few months to keep it sanitized and free of dust mites. It should not be machine-washed or submerged in water as this will cause the buckwheat hulls to disintegrate much like oatmeal, pretty much compromising the supportive integrity of the pillow.
The Blessed Nest's slipcover fits snugly onto the pillow but not is loose enough so that reassembling it onto the pillow is hassle-free. The exterior slipcover can be machine washed and dried. We also like that it does a good job at beading up spilled liquid to limit washings.
We love the Blessed Nest for moms who either have a planned or an un-planned cesarean delivery. This pillow provides a close fit without putting any pressure on the incision area or causing mom to endure twisting motion when putting on or taking off. It fits smaller to average sized women well, but taller women may find the sides to be a big short and will need to rotate it to one side for proper arm elbow support. With proper care, this is one that can sustain use through multiple children.
Blessed Nest is indeed the most expensive nursing pillow we tested in this review, exceeding the next most expensive pillow by $50. Nonetheless, because it is so supportive for mom and baby, versatile, and easy to use with healthy materials, the high cost is worth it. Mothers who plan to nurse exclusively for the first four to six months and in particular those post cesarean section will definitely appreciate it. If this pillow exceeds budget, our next favorites include the Boppy Nursing Pillow and My Brest Friend Deluxe for half to two-thirds the cost.
The Blessed Nest nursing pillow is simple without extra amenities, yet sophisticated in form, function, comfort, materials, and versatility. For these qualities, it simply stands out among its competitors in our review. We highly recommend it.
Other Versions and Accessories
There are six different Blessed Nest Organic Nesting Pillow Slipcover styles, ranging from the calming vanilla bean to eye- catching kaleidoscope ($56). Though the pillow includes a slipcover with purchase, some parents may choose to purchase an additional have one clean while the other is in the wash.
An additonal accessory is the Blessed Nest Nest Egg ($45), which can be used on its own for head, arm, or breast support or underneath baby's head for extra height. Small enough for the diaper bag or stroller basket, toddler's also like it for use as a pillow.
— Meg Benedik & BabyGearLab Team
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Most recent review: May 10, 2015