Are you looking for the best nursing pillow to feed your baby? A new-born feeds around 8-12 times a day, and without proper positioning can quickly lead to backache or sore arms. A good quality nursing pillow will give you much needed height and support to nurse your baby comfortably.
When it comes to buying nursing pillows there is a lot of choice out there, it’s handy to know what you’re looking for. Expressing Mama have done all the hard work, researched what’s available on the market and created this resource. In this article we’ll discuss our:
- Top 6 nursing pillows
- Criteria for selecting a great nursing pillow
- Nursing pillow buying guide
- Advantages of a nursing pillow
Let’s start buy checking out a comparison table of the most popular nursing pillows to buy.
Nursing Pillow Comparison Chart
|My Brest Friend ||O Shape||Yes||$||4.4 Stars|
|Leachco Cuddle-U ||C Shape||Yes||$||4.6 Stars|
|Boppy Nursing Pillow ||C Shape||No||$||4.6 Stars|
|NurSit Nursing Pillow ||C Shape||No||$||4.4 Stars|
|Dr. Brown's Gia Nursing Pillow||Crescent||No||$||4.3 Stars|
|Luna Lullaby ||Crescent||No||$$||4.6 Stars|
|The Twin Z Pillow||m Shape||Yes||$$$||4.6 Stars|
|Comfort & Harmony Mombo ||C Shape||No||$$||4.5 Stars|
|The Nesting Pillow||Crescent||No||$$$||4.8 Stars|
6 Best Nursing Pillow Reviews
My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow
Shape: O shape
- Storage pocket
- 100% cotton
- Supports back and arms
The My Breast Friend is the best-selling nursing pillow in the USA and even recommend by lactation consultants. The pillow is made of foam and wrap right around the body to support your arm and back whilst feeding. It has a storage pocket which is hand for extra such as burp cloths or nipple cream. The flat shape of the pillow makes is idea if you had a C-section as protects your wound.
The clip allows you to wear the pillow without it slipping, so you can even feed baby when standing. The cover is removable for easy cleaning of the odd burping mishap, although it’s a bit fiddly to get off and on. You can also buy extra slip covers so you can change the design. The foam insert really help this pillow to hold its shape over time. There is also a twin version available.
Shape: C shape
- Made in the USA
- Multipurpose with a seat wrap
The Leachco Cuddle-U is our most affordable nursing pillow option. We love that even at a low price you get the multi-function on a nursing pillow and a baby support. The inbuilt seat wrap makes it invaluable for that stage when baby is almost sitting but still wobbles backwards. As a nursing pillow it contains enough stuffing to prevent your baby rolling and provide height and arm support.
The pillow is light and easy to carry around without taking up much room. The only issue we found was that the cover isn’t removable so cleaning can be an issue. We recommend coving with a blanket when using or placing the whole pillow in the washer, however this may misshape the stuffing.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
Shape: C shape
- Easy to use
- Adjustable stretch band
- Lots of cover designs
The Boppy nursing pillow is the bestselling option on our list. Most moms add this to their baby registry and we bet at least one of your friends owns one. It’s a basic feeding pillow which can be customised with various cute slip covers which are sold separately). The covers are easy to remove so you can machine was any mess baby makes. The stuffing is similar to a well stuffed cushion or bed pillow.
The Boppy has an adjustable stretch centre which shapes to both small and larger waist sizes for comfort. Use this pillow propping baby, tummy time and sitting to build their upper body muscles without falling onto a hard floor. If you need a nursing pillow which is convenient and flexible opt for the Boppy.
Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow
Shape: crescent shape
- Angled design
- Allows different feeding positions
The Dr. Browns’ Gia nursing pillow is the best option if you need a thickness and flexibility. If you baby suffers from bad wind or reflux, the angled incline positions them upright to aid feeding. The pillows are made from a 100% natural cotton which is machine washable. You can also buy slip covers to make cleaning easier and choose your own design.
We love that the design of this pillow encourages various breastfeeding positions. The pillow is firm enough to offer support for your back, and holds it shape well even after washing. The only addition we would make is for a clip for a close fit around the waist.
The Twin Z Pillow
Shape: m shape
- Tandem Breastfeeding
- Removable Cover
- Twin Propping features
If you have twins, triplets or are tandem feeding then the Twin Z pillow is invaluable. It has a unique m shape design which props your babies up on each side whilst the middle provides back support. The fabric is so soft and comfortable and can be removed to switch up the design or to clean.
You can use the pillow to prop both babies at the same time or a sitting support as they grow. It also allows babies to have tummy time side by side. Wins often find comfort in being close together and this pillow allows that. It’s quite expensive but we think it’s a great investment to make as it will last right through the toddler years.
The Nesting Pillow
Shape: crescent shape
- 100% organic
- Contours to baby
- Easy cleaning and sanitizing
The Nesting Pillow is our favourite luxury feeding pillow. If your eco minded the nesting pillow is cotton filled with buckwheat hulls. The unique bean-bag like filling gives flexible support for you and baby. As air can easily circulate through the pillow it prevents overheating, ideal if you live in hot climates.
The slipcover is removable for easy washing and the pillow can be sanitized by tumble drying. We love the additional use suggestion for the pillow including a laptop prop and sibling holding prop. The pillow is made in the USA and all materials are 100% recyclable.
There is a lot of choice when it comes to nursing pillow for your baby. We used the following criteria to discover how well each feeding pillow performed. Certain features will be high priority for you and therefore you should choose a nursing pillow which performs well in this category.
1. Ease of use – When testing a nursing pillow we consider how easy it is to use in daily life. The size and shape are important for a good fit for both small and large waists. A belt is good for adjusting the size or keep baby strapped in. We also considered the portability of the pillow if you are not just using it at home.
2. Comfort – The whole point of a nursing pillow is to provide a comfortable feeding position for you and baby. We considered how much support a pillow gives for your arms and back. Some pillows offer flexibility, whilst others a more rigid filling.
3. Cleaning – Feeding your baby can get messy with spills, spit up and even the occasional swipe of nipple cream. It’s important that a nursing pillow can be cleaned easily. We checked for chairs which were made from materials which could be spot cleaned. A removable slip cover was also important for easy cleaning and replacing worn out covers.
4. Durability – The durability of the pillow was dependent on the materials which had been used. Some pillows are soft and flexible and other are firmer to use depending on the support required. Eco-friendly brands make nursing pillows made from natural fibres. You’ll find some pillows will withstand machine washes, whereas some may lose shape or flatted the filling.
Nursing Pillow Buying Guide
Before you buy a nursing pillow you should know which features to look out for that will provide most benefit for you and your baby.
- Short Term – If you are looking for a nursing pillow for only the feeding stage then a basic pillow will see your baby through from birth to around 18 months.
- Long Term – Investing is a high quality nursing pillow will get yet use from birth until around 5 years old or for future babies. These nursing pillows are multi-functional and can be used as props or positional pillows for children.
Nursing pillow come in a few various shapes which offer different benefits.
- Crescent – This pillow is designed for curving around your side. It’s great for height and arm support, especially for larger women. We wouldn’t recommend this for smaller women or if you need back support.
- C Shape – This shape will provide arm support for both arms, making it easy for changing feeding position. This shape is much better suited to smaller waists, however it does not provide back support.
- O Shape – The style wraps right around your body to provide support for your back and arms. They are adjustable to accommodate both small and large sizes. The only downside is they tend to be bulky and inflexible.
- M shape – This style is like a double c shape nursing pillow. It allows you to feed two babies at a time and is the best option for twins, multiples or tandem feeding. These pillows are quite expensive but they are a fantastic investment.
- Length – Your torso length will affect how the pillow will fit around your waist. A long torso will benefit from a well stuffed or longer pillow. A short torso will benefit from a flexible filling or short length.
- Adjustability – You want a nice snug fit between the pillow and your body so baby doesn’t roll through the gap. Look out for a pillow which can be adjusted for a comfortable fit.
- Fastener – A clip belt is a useful feature as it allows the pillow to be strapped to your body or baby’s body to prevent slipping.
Ease of use
Consider how easy your nursing pillow will be to use when you have a wriggly, hungry baby in one arm and trying to position the pillow. It may look good but is it practical for daily use?
- Portability – Lightweight and compact nursing pillows are best used for seated nursing but can be carried around for travelling. Firm and bulky pillows are best for feeding in the house for convenience, they are great for feeding baby whilst walking around.
- Footprint – Consider how much room your pillow will take up, especially if you’re using on a nursery glider. A large pillow offers more height and padding but too oversized and it can be uncomfortable of you are petite.
- Storage – If you prefer to store your pillow after use it’s best to look for a compact size with flexible stuffing. Pillows made from firm, foam are take up a lot of room when storing.
- Machine washable – A nursing pillow which is machine washable will make cleaning more convenient. A basic pillow should be able to withstand a spot clean.
- Removable covers – These are handy for protecting your pillow from stains and can be switched around so you can still use the pillow whilst one is being washed.
- Stain resistant – Some pillows come with a stain resistant fabric. This will prevent unsightly marks on your pillow as well as nasty smells from old milk or baby spit up.
- Eco Friendly – If you are concerned about using man-made fibres there are all natural nursing pillows. The natural options such as cotton or buckwheat are recyclable and don’t overheat baby like polyester fillings.
- Protectant – Some nursing pillows are made with fire retardant materials to prevent accidents. These can often leave an unpleasant chemical smell on the pillow. Some brands avoid these retardants to avoid baby being placed in contact with these chemicals.
- Quality – A thick, well made fabric will withstand long term use as well as washing for a few years. Poor quality fabrics may need replaced after a few months due to staining or rips.
- Padding – The volume of padding used in the pillow will affect your comfort levels. You may need a firm pillow to hold baby in place but can often be bulky. A soft filled pillow can add height and are flexible.
- Support – If you struggle to get your baby to the correct level of your breast without arm ache all pillow shapes will help with this. If you get backache when feeding its best to opt for an O or an m shape nursing pillow.
- Flexibility – A firm nursing pillow with a clip can be used when standing, however they don’t contour to baby when feeding. A soft and flexible material is great for flexibility but doesn’t rate as highly for support.
You’ll find a nursing pillow to fit most budgets. Budget pillows are great for short term use or you may want to invest in a luxury option which will withstand daily use and last for years. Expect to pay between $25 and $100 for a nursing pillow.
Benefits of a Nursing Pillow
Still undecided about whether to buy a nursing pillow? Check out the benefits of using a nursing pillow for your baby.
This is essential to preventing sore nipples or low milk supply when breastfeeding. You baby needs to be in held the proper potion to allow them to attach to your nipple without causing friction. A nursing pillow can provide the extra height that you may need.
Baby feeding will take up a lot of your time in the early weeks. You can be feeding baby for several hours a day. Without proper support for your arms or back this can quickly lead to pain and fatigue. This is something you want to avoid especially when your sleep deprived and recovering from birth.
A nursing pillow can also be used as a floor cushion so baby can have some tummy time. This activity is heavily recommend by health professionals to prevent your baby developing a flat head caused by lying on their back or in a bouncer. As you baby grows they can use it to lie down and read books or watch movies.
Your baby will soon want to sit upright, but until their muscles are developed they will occasionally fall back. A nursing pillow allows baby the freedom to build up those back muscles, with surrounding protection should they fall back.
Poor attachment, positioning and pain can strain a breastfeeding relationship. A nursing pillow can provide support, assist different breastfeeding positions and promote lots of skin to skin. This all helps to promote your milk supply and increase bonding hormones.
If your partner or a family member want to feed baby, a nursing pillow can help to hold them into the position you do when you breastfeed. These pillow are also great for supporting younger siblings to hold new born baby’s on their own but with supervision.
We recommend buying a nursing pillow whilst pregnant as it can be used to support your growing bump in the last trimester. At this stage sleeping positions can be very difficult, and a nursing pillow can support side lying positions. We also love it for optimal fetal positioning to get your baby into the right position for birth.