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Body Pillows: What Are They and What Are They Used For?

Body Pillows: What Are They and What Are They Used For?

Nowadays, body pillows are seemingly everywhere. Even if you do not know much about a body pillow, you have probably seen one somewhere. Here's the good news: worry not if you don't know what body pillows are, their uses, and how to choose the best one because we'll tell you all that and much more.

A body pillow is a long and narrow pillow placed between your legs as you sleep. Their primary purpose is to improve the spinal arrangement and assist with pressure point relief. Body pillows are incredibly comfortable for pregnancy, healing from surgery, back pains, and overall sleep comfort. 

Good sleep is mandatory for optimum health and happiness. A good pillow plays a significant role in promoting sound and comfortable sleep. In this post, we take you through the definition, uses, and other essential things you should know about body pillows.

pinky body pillowWhat Are Body Pillows?

Body pillows are long and narrow, often tucked in between your legs. The standard size of a body pillow is 20 inches by 54 inches. Body pillows come in different shapes, sizes, and fill materials. The pillows are primarily used to provide pressure relief. They also help relieve pains and aches by improving your spinal alignment when sleeping.

What Are Body Pillows Used For? 8 Uses

Body pillows promote utmost comfort and spinal alignment, helping people experiencing pains and aches. You can use the pillows for numerous reasons. Here are some of the top eight applications of body pillows.

Relieve Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common hindrances to good sleep. It is also a typical consequence of poor sleep habits and patterns. When you sleep in the wrong position or use the wrong pillow, your spine curves in the wrong direction, causing back pain. Back pain can also stem from having a herniated disc or various spinal conditions.

Sleeping on a body pillow can help maintain your spine's correct alignment, preventing sleep-related back pain. It can also lessen your pain if you have a pre-existing spinal condition.

Helps Side Sleepers

Side sleepers experience a lot of difficulties. For instance, they suffer pains and aches since they place their entire body weight on their shoulders and hips. This leads to pressure points in these regions, resulting in aches.

Body pillows curve to the fit of your body, promoting better and more comfortable side sleeping. Side sleeping is a healthy sleep position when done right because it prevents acid reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea. It can also improve blood circulation.

Recovery From Surgery

Recovery after surgery can be a difficult journey. Most of your time is spent in bed. Doctors and other medical practitioners recommend body pillows to promote quick recovery and comfort after surgery. For instance, these pillows come in handy after a hip or knee replacement surgery.

Comfort During Pregnancy

Pregnant women widely use body pillows. The pillows support the back, making it easier for pregnant women to sleep on their side. Body pillows also support the belly, legs, and head while eliminating the need for extra pillows.

Spinal Support

Body pillows also help with spinal support, especially when they are firm. You need to cradle the pillow between your legs for support and alignment when sleeping on your side. Laying your body pillow along the length of your body will also help with spinal support.

Relieving Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that stops and starts breathing multiple times at night. It usually worsens when you sleep on your back. Body pillows allow you to comfortably sleep on your side and maintain the correct breathing position all night. Doing so also improves the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Promoting Better Sleep Posture

Body pillows can also promote better sleep posture to eliminate back, shoulder, and neck pains. It also promotes better sleep quality and eases snoring. These pillows also help straighten the spine, preventing the pelvis from tilting forward; it also lowers pressure from the shoulders and hips.

Pressure Point Relief

Your sleep position and type of mattress can aggravate your pressure point. The hips and shoulders are typically quite sensitive. When they are not properly supported, you get discomfort and aches. Body pillows support your entire body, especially your hips, promoting comfort and pressure point relief.

Lessening Tossing And Turning

Tossing and turning can prevent you from falling asleep or hinder your partner from getting quality sleep if you share a bed. Use a body pillow to avoid tossing and turning. It will also support your body, guaranteeing comfort so you can fall asleep faster.

How To Choose Body Pillows

Body pillows have many options. While this is a good thing, take your time to get the best. Below are the key considerations when buying body pillows.

Consider The Shape

Body pillows have various shapes. Each shape features its benefits and downsides. The most common shapes of body pillows are;

  • U shape. They are extended body pillows featuring a U-shape, making them great for back and frontal support. This type is excellent for people that love switching sides when sleeping.
  • C shape. This type supports the legs and neck. The pillows are typically smaller than U-shaped pillows and offer stress and pain relief from the shoulders.
  • J shape. They are smaller than C and U-shaped body pillows and are meant for tucking between the legs and run-up to the shoulders. This provides back and frontal support.
  • I shape. These pillows do not take up too much space and offer little support.

Check The Fill Material

Apart from the shape, consider the fill material. Below are the common fill materials for body pillows;

  • Kapok. It is a popular fill material, an organic and plant-based replacement for down. Kapok is incredibly soft and offers magnificent support. It is resistant to moisture and greatly eco-friendly.
  • Down or feather fill. These are durable, lightweight, and easy-to-carry materials. Down or feather fill are also warm and great for warm seasons. However, they are hard to maintain, can get clumpy and wet, can lose their shape, and do not handle moisture well.
  • Down alternative. It is a synthetic alternative to down which is hypoallergenic, easy to maintain, and affordable.
  • Memory foam. This is a comfortable and fluffy material that promotes maximum comfort. Memory foam body pillows do not clump together but they usually retain heat.
  • Latex. It is a natural pillow material made from rubber tree sap. While it can be costly, it is eco-friendly, offers seamless support, and guarantees firmness.

Size Matters a Lot

The standard size of a body pillow is 20 by 54 inches. However, the size depends on the pillow's shape. Other factors to consider when choosing body pillows are weight and price, and the brand.

Is A Memory Foam Body Pillow Worth It?

Yes, memory foam body pillows are worth it. They are comfortable and fluffy with utmost support. Again, they do not clump together. However, like other body pillows, they have a few downsides. One is that some retain heat, which makes you feel lightly hot when sleeping.

Small Vs. Large Body Pillows: Which Is which?

As mentioned before, body pillows feature numerous sizes. Most buyers get confused about the size of pillow they should get.

Small body pillows are great for;

  • Side sleepers
  • People who require a lot of support
  • Sleepers that move around more
  • Double beds
  • On the other hand, large body pillows are perfect for;
  • People who do not need too much support
  • People who sleep with partners on their beds
  • Decorations

big body pillows womanHow Much Are Body Pillows?

The typical cost for body pillows is between $15 and $40—however, some cost up to $100. The price depends on the store you choose, the brand, fill materials, and size.

More like this: What Is A Body Pillow & What Are They Used For?


Quality body pillows are a trend at the moment. You will see them in magazines, movies, and all over the internet. Now that you know how incredibly beneficial the body pillows are and how to shop for the best, we look forward to hearing about your experiences.

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