Best Nursing Pillow
We love the Blessed Nest Organic Nesting pillow. This pillow stands out among the competition because its filling is organic buckwheat hulls instead of foam. What the buckwheat offers is mold-ability that forms to your body and your growing baby. This superior, somewhat customizable support means no awkward hunching or utilizing additional pillows to get your baby's head at the right height for feeding. We appreciate the versatility of the Blessed Nest because it also makes a great pregnancy support pillow. This pillow with high-quality materials is sure to last. The GOTS certified outer organic cover is easy to remove for washing, and you'll feel good about your baby's sensitive skin resting on the material. It does an adequate job absorbing spit-up before it reaches the inner pillow, and you can toss the pillow body in the dryer to help keep things sanitary and free from dust mites. We appreciate the organic material in this pillow, so your baby isn't inhaling toxic fumes 5-8 hours a day.
One drawback is that the buckwheat makes this pillow heavy. At approximately 5 1/2 lbs, it can feel like a lot when you add the baby's weight on top, especially if you've had a c-section. We recommend using the "football" hold until you heal to help avoid discomfort. This product is also one of the most expensive pillows in this review, but the higher price gives you organic, high-quality materials, so you can justify the cost if your budget allows.
Read Review: Blessed Nest Organic Nesting
My Brest Friend Deluxe is a unique, wrap-around pillow. The thick band that wraps around your back provides support to help with any nursing strain, and the wrap-around style keeps the pillow in place so your baby can stay latched. Traditional C-shaped pillows tend to shift and need regular adjusting while nursing. Constant adjustment is not the case with the Brest Friend. Once it is secure, you'll have a firm but soft surface for nursing. We also appreciate the pocket feature. It is a convenient place to keep everything from burp cloths to nipple cream or your phone. When purchasing the Deluxe version of the pillow, you will get a soft and snuggly slipcover, perfect for babies with sensitive skin.
While we love many things about this option, the foam's quality is disappointing, and there is no cover besides the slipcover. Some users note that the foam can fall apart when you remove the slipcover for cleaning. Also, the wrap-around style can be a bit of a pain to put on. Connecting the straps around your body can be challenging while holding a baby, and we suspect some moms will stop using the belt over time. The wrap also utilizes Velcro. While you can remove it with the silent release straps (whew!), the Velcro sticking to other materials can be annoying. Overall, we think the pluses outweigh the negatives, making this an option we highly recommend.
Read Review: My Brest Friend Deluxe
If you have been around nursing mothers in the past 25+ years, you've probably heard of the Boppy. The Boppy is classic, and the Boppy Bare Naked lets you decide which cover you like best (various options sold separately). The most popular are the polyester/cotton blend Boppy Classic Slipcover and the utilitarian water-resistant Boppy Protective Slipcover that reduces the need for washing. Alternatively, the Boppy Luxe provides the pillow with a soft and mink feel with thick piping for extra pampering. The Boppy is super versatile in design. While most parents buy the pillow for breast or bottle-feeding their baby, it has multiple extended uses. Parents have found that the Boppy is a useful tool during tummy time, extra support for sitting up, and a comfy place for playing or resting. The great quality of the pillow allows for years of use.
While the Boppy fits a good range of body types, it is not a one-size-fits-all pillow. Some postpartum women, along with some men, will find it doesn't fit them very well. It can also shift while feeding, especially if your baby is extra squirmy. The pillow can pull away from the stomach, which creates a gap. Finally, while we think the product's quality is high and typically lasts for a long time, the pillow will flatten somewhat with regular use. Overall, this pillow is a classic for a reason; it is comfortable, versatile, and will last for years after your nursing days are over.
Read Review: Boppy Bare Naked
The Twin Z is the answer for a twin pillow. While it is perfect for breastfeeding, it can also serve other purposes. The pillow's versatile nature allows for bottle feeding, tummy time, pregnancy, support when babies are sitting, and a toddler pillow. It is a comfortable spot to lay babies down at an incline for anything from helping with reflux to looking at books. The pillow is different than other models as it has a centerpiece that folds up to go behind mom's back while feeding, offering some much welcome back support.
The Twin Z is quite large, making it a comfortable spot for twins, but it makes feeding them in a chair somewhat of a chore. You'll likely need to nurse on a couch, bed, or floor to accommodate the pillow's width. The size also impacts the pillow's ability to travel. Also, the interior of the cushion is 100% cotton and will flatten some with use. Overall, the versatility this pillow provides for parents of twins is hard to beat.
An alternative to the Twin Z is the My Brest Friend Twin Plus. Each product has pros and cons, so you'll need to consider which choice best meets your needs.
The Luna Lullaby Lil Something is the perfect nursing pillow for the mom on the go. It is compact but effective, making it an ideal fit for your carry-on bag or the basket of your stroller. This pillow is helpful tummy time support with the soft plush material and curved shape, and we appreciate that it is made in the U.S.A. and contains no flame retardants. All of this, at a great price, makes this pillow one of our top choices.
While we love this product's plush and cozy feel, some users feel the pillow is too soft or too small to offer any real support. This problem can cause your baby to sink in, the parent to hunch over, or allow the pillow to slide away from you. Also, the pillow itself is not machine washable, which seems like an oversight. While you can wash the cover, babies often make messes that penetrate the cover creating an impossible situation.
If the Luna isn't your thing, the littlebeam is another excellent travel nursing pillow to consider.
Read Review: Luna Lullaby Lil Something
The Ergobaby Natural Curve is an ergonomically shaped polyurethane foam nursing pillow. It is firm, free from flame retardants, and has a removable cover that is washing machine-friendly. The pillow's thoughtfully designed shape allows for belly-to-belly breastfeeding and keeps the baby's head above their stomach. In addition, the firmness of the material does not lose shape over time. Ergobaby claims that the extra support will help to prevent slouching and back strain while breastfeeding.
This pillow has a much more purpose-specific design and may not be as versatile as others. The qualities that make it an excellent nursing pillow prevent it from being useful in other capacities. For example, it is not soft enough to be a comfortable backrest for mom, and it is a bit too structured to use as a support pillow for baby. There is no belt strap on the Natural Curve, and some moms found that it was difficult to keep the pillow properly positioned without it. However, we found very few flaws with this pillow overall. If you are okay with purchasing a single-function product and would like something to help support good posture, the Ergobaby is a good choice.
Read Review: Ergobaby Natural Curve
The Boppy Best Latch is a dual-sided breastfeeding pillow. It offers a firm side, great for newborns, and a plush side for older babies. The softer side also feels nice on your lap. This Boppy is a thicker pillow and should work well for moms with longer torsos. The pillow offers a buckle that helps keep it from sliding around, so your baby stays nice and close to you. The pillow can be machine washed, which is welcome and rare in this kind of product. While you can't remove the cover for washing, we like knowing that a spit-up or diaper leak isn't saturating the pillow's interior.
The buckle on this product could use an upgrade because it isn't the easiest to use. The buckle sits behind your back, which can be uncomfortable to lean on. The pillow can also be prone to sagging after a few months, and you may find yourself wishing for extra support. But, overall, we like this pillow, and the dual side feature is hard to beat.
Read Review: Boppy Best Latch
The Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby is a super plush nursing pillow. Moms and babies enjoy how comfortable it is, and the cozy cover comes in multiple patterns and colors. The fabric is fleece-like and ideal for cool weather feedings. The L-shape makes it easy to use and adjust, and the shape fits plus-size moms more easily than pillows like the Boppy Bare Naked.
This pillow can be overwhelming for petite moms and small infants, thanks to its larger size. The material is so soft that it can compress, and the baby can slide into the gap. While the cover is washable, the inner cushion is not. This lack of washability is a bummer because we know that little ones can make big messes. This product is more expensive than much of the competition in this review. So, while there are some things to consider before purchase, many moms love their Bosom Baby.
Read Review: Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby
The Infantino Elevate is an interesting twist on a dilemma facing several nursing moms. Some moms feel that nursing pillows lack the height to get the baby to the breast without slumping and hunching in an uncomfortable position. The "book-like" style of the pad allows you to flip support layers to get the baby's head to the best height for breastfeeding with less strain for moms. This adjustability can create a hands-free device, which is convenient. It also assists babies that need more of an incline because of reflux issues. Also, moms with longer torsos or larger bosoms seemed to have an easier time with this pillow than moms with a more petite build. Finally, this pillow is sturdy and durable.
The middle section of this product seems to create a lump that presses into the middle of the baby's back. And the multi-tiered system can prevent getting the baby close enough to the breast. Also, while the quality is durable, it may come at the cost of scratchy material and firm padding. Overall, if you struggle to find the right pillow for your shape and size, the Elevate is a versatile choice worth trying.
The Lansinoh Nursie is a good choice for those who want to avoid wrapping a pillow around their waist. The style is different than your typical nursing pillow because you slide it onto your arm to raise your baby to the appropriate height to feed versus sitting on your lap. This design is nice for moms recovering from a c-section, as it relieves the pressure that a wrap-around pillow can place on the incision site. In addition, the pillow is more compact than its traditional counterparts, making it a nice solution for travel or to keep in the car. Finally, the soft plush material is super comfortable, and the entire pillow is easy to wash by tossing it into the washing machine.
We feel this option is great for older babies, but tiny infants or first-time nursing moms may struggle with nursing one-handed, as it can often take two to get a good latch. Also, the soft, cozy material can get warm and make you sweaty. While we like the gender-neutral design, we wish there were different covers for purchase as the white fabric looks pretty until the first stain. Overall, this pillow can fill a niche for moms looking for something specific.
The Itzy Ritzy Milk Boss is a versatile arm pillow that works well for bottle or breastfeeding and assists with burping the baby after feeding. The pillow is similar to the Lansinoh Nursie, freeing your lap from a wrap-around design, and the soft cushion helps relieve sore arms from multiple daily feedings. It is easy to use with no buckles or latches to hassle with; stick your arm through the hole, position your baby, and you're ready to go!
While the pillow is user-friendly, it can take several tries to get the best position. The cushion is super supportive but is also very thick, and those with larger breasts or shorter torsos may find that the Milk Boss raises the baby too high for comfortable nursing. The placement can be awkward and take some finagling to figure out as you struggle to adjust the pillow one-handed while holding a baby. Itzy Ritzy does have a helpful video that demonstrates how the pillow works. Also, while the pillow is machine washable, the cover is not removable. Despite the potentially longer learning curve, this might be a good choice for those looking for something different with an increased boost.
Why You Should Trust Us
To find the best nursing pillows, our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician and mother of two, helps select the competitors from the top-ranked options on the market using her personal experience and feedback from clients on nursing problems or concerns. This roundup also includes Senior Review Editors, Wendy Schmitz (mom of 2) and Abriah Wofford. Having nursed both children for over a year, Wendy brings her personal nursing experience to the table when analyzing each product and the information provided by hands-on testers. With over 10 years of combined experience, either using or testing pillows for nursing, the team brings a level of expertise not found in competing pillow reviews.
We spent months evaluating, researching, and using the nursing pillows. All of the pillows achieve the goal of bringing the baby closer to breast level, but they don't all do it in the same way or with the same level of success. There are several factors to consider when finding a nursing pillow right for you and your baby, including ease of use, materials, and ease of cleaning. These 11 pillows were used by real nursing moms who provided feedback on the critical metrics for each pillow testing them side-by-side for a great comparison experience.
Analysis and Test Results
Choosing to breastfeed your baby can be gratifying but not without its challenges. With nearly 75% of mothers attempting to nurse, the number of breastfeeding products like nursing pillows is rising. A nursing pillow can provide support and reduce effort so that you can focus on successful nursing and your little one. This review breaks down the differences between top contenders to help you choose the best pillow for you and your baby.
When it comes to finding an excellent pillow for nursing, we encourage you to think about how often you'll use it. Since you'll be using the pillow multiple times every day, a more expensive option will quickly break down to pennies per use. Also, most products will likely last through multiple babies, making it gear you can use for years. Pillows can also be used for comfort, propping up older babies, and for dad's helping with feeding. The Bobby Bare Naked and Luna Lullaby Lil Something pillows are budget-conscious choices, with the Boppy having lived through multiple children and years of heavy use in our homes. The Blessed Nest Organic Nesting is also a good value despite the higher list price because it provides organic and natural materials for sensitive moms or babies in addition to a versatile shape. Even if you only use it for the first year, it will be one of the least expensive items in your nursery, and it will make your life easier (hard to put a price on that).
Ease of Use
An excellent pillow for nursing should be easy to use without being something a new mother needs to master. Since a baby's hunger typically dictates the nursing location, a mom will need to breastfeed in various locations. As such, the pillow must be portable and easy to store. Extra features that make a mom's job easier, such as pockets for items like burp cloths and nipple salves, are nice. The ease of positioning and removing a pillow is also important for securing straps. We find buckles like those on the Boppy Best Latch only make a more challenging and cumbersome pillow, especially during nighttime feedings. Last, we consider how each pillow fits during different postpartum experience stages and for women with various body shapes. The Boppy Bare Naked performs well despite its simple design and lack of additional features, it is portable in size and weight, easy to position with one hand, and it fits many women well.
Having an easily portable nursing pillow to keep in the car, like the Luna Lullaby Lil Something or Lansinoh Nursie can make a huge difference when nursing away from home.
Cover and Pillow Materials
Cushion and cover materials can impact the overall quality, feel, and user experience of the pillow. Our review includes 100% synthetic, 100% cotton, synthetic-cotton blend, and foam products, and some have natural materials like buckwheat hulls and organic cotton. Each material has pros and cons, and it often comes down to personal preference, plus lifestyle to determine which is right for you. However, whenever possible, we lean toward natural products and make an effort to avoid options that can potentially off-gas.
For instance, the Blessed Nest Organic Nesting is an all-natural pillow featuring a 100% organic cotton cover and an interior filling of organic, pesticide-free buckwheat hulls. Although this pillow costs double the price of some of the competition, some parents may feel the additional expense is acceptable for the all-natural materials. However, the Blessed Nest cover doesn't compare to the snuggly softness of polyester covers, like the one found on the Luna Lullaby. Many nursing pillows utilize internal foam for firm support, which is necessary for early infancy, like the My Brest Friend Deluxe. Foam has other concerns, like off-gassing, depending on the type. Fortunately, My Brest Friend no longer uses flame retardants in their foam, and according to the Boppy website, Boppy has never used flame retardants (woohoo!).
In theory, a nursing pillow should last through the six months of nursing before your baby can fully support him or herself. Ideally, it should continue to be of use through multiple children over multiple years. Our test pillows were in play for nearly four months straight, and each washed a minimum of four times. We analyzed shape retention when we replaced the cover or when a new tester got the pillow. Some contenders look brand new after four months of use, while others grew lumpy, compressed, or misshapen.
Trust us, spills and spit-ups are inevitable. So, you'll need to clean your pillow or cover regularly. But, not all products are equal when it comes to the necessary time and effort to get them clean and back in action. With the number of times you need to use your pillow each day, you don't want your pillow out of commission for very long. The best options to clean have covers and pillows that are machine washable and dryer safe, like the Boppy Bare Naked. This design is a huge time-saver. Liquid repelling covers such as the one on the Luna Lullaby also offer quick clean-up. Unfortunately, some pillows have foam inserts that can only be spot cleaned and laid flat to dry (total time suck). While testing, we timed how long it took to put the cover back on each pillow after washing. Although this task should be simple, it took us over ten minutes to put some pillows back together.
Motherhood is an emotion-filled ride, full of learning, as well as trial and error. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle-feed, babies often eat for longer than you ever thought possible. With some feeding sessions lasting upwards of 40 minutes, we think you'll appreciate having a properly supportive accessory by your side. For this purpose, a nursing pillow can be essential, providing the physical support needed to feed your baby. Let us guide you through the details and specifics so you are equipped to make the right choice for you and your brand new little one.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team