Breastfeeding pillows, also known as nursing pillows, are products specifically designed to facilitate the breastfeeding process. They are available in different sizes, shapes and materials to make breastfeeding easier. The objective of a breastfeeding pillow is to make both mother and baby as comfortable as possible.

Mums are well aware that each breastfeeding session can be pretty long and tiring. That’s why it’s important to find a position that’s nice and comfortable. This is where a breastfeeding pillow comes in! This article is full of tips and useful info so you can find the perfect breastfeeding pillow for you and your precious baby.

First things first:

  • Breastfeeding pillows are usually very ergonomic so they easily adapt to both the mother and the baby’s shape.
  • Since comfort is the main goal of the pillows, they are usually lined with very soft materials which have a pleasant touch and are easy to clean.
  • There are some breastfeeding pillows that can also be used from pregnancy, as a pillow, right through to when the baby begins using the bottle.

Ranking: The best breastfeeding pillows in the UK

If you are thinking about buying a nursing pillow, take a look at the following models that we have listed below. Don’t forget that these products are designed to make breastfeeding a relaxed and peaceful time for both the mother and baby. Assess your needs and choose a model that suits you.

No. 1: Niimo Breastfeeding Pillow (100% cotton cover with polyester fibre filling)

This versatile breastfeeding pillow by Niimo is not only for use when breastfeeding, but can aid your baby from until they are nine months old! How, you ask? Well, during the first three months, the pillow acts as a breastfeeding pillow, keeping the baby upright and comfortable during feeding. For the following three months the baby can use this pillow to lie on and strengthen their back and neck muscles, before learning to sit down from six to nine months using the pillow as support!

What more could you want? Well, this pillow comes in a range of stylish designs and colours, has a removable 100% cotton cover, is machine washable and made from 100% polyester fibres which means it is hypoallergenic, there is no rustling noise and it is lightweight.

No. 2: Cuddles Collection Twinkle Star Nursing Pillow (100% cotton cover with 100% polyester filling)

This white cotton breastfeeding pillow boasts a very attractive silver star design, and is one of the cheaper pillows on the market. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality though, as this nursing pillow is strong, firm and can easily support your baby during feeding time and cuddle time!

This pillow is also multi-functional, as it can be used as a back support for mum when she’s pregnant, a sitting aid for baby and a tumble support for when the baby is learning to sit. With nearly 250 five-star reviews on Amazon, this pillow is hailed fantastic value for money.

No. 3: Niimo Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Pillow XXL (100% cotton cover with 100% polyester fibre filling)

Another product by Niimo, this pregnancy and breastfeeding pillow is perfect for when mum is pregnant and for after baby arrives. Its large dimensions (20cm x 190cm x 35cm) mean that the it’s perfect for when pregnant mum needs help sleeping during those uncomfortable nights. What’s more, the pillow is made of silicon-coated hollow fibre flakes, meaning that the pillow is stiff but it has the perfect amount of softness to ensure maximum comfort.

What makes this breastfeeding pillow stand out from the rest is that it can close at the front so can be used as a support cushion so that the baby can be positioned correctly after feeding. You can also breastfeed hands free and you don’t have to worry about sore shoulders, neck and back as this large pillow can wrap perfectly around you and baby.

No. 4: Textile Online Orthopaedic V-Shaped Nursing Pillow (polycotton cover with hollowfibre filling)

This v-shaped pillow is different to most of the others on the market. It’s very long as can be used to help mum sleep when she is pregnant, as well as providing full support for baby and mum during that all-important feeding time. You can sleep well in the knowledge that this pillow provides full back and neck support while you sleep. If you hurry, you may be able to bag a bargain with this pillow since it is one of the cheapest breastfeeding pillows around!

This pillow has nearly 300 five-star reviews on amazon saying that it offers support, comfort and amazing value for money! People even say that they just wish they had bought one sooner! So what are you waiting for? At such a low price you have no excuse not to pop online and grab yourself one of these comfy pillows, which is guaranteed to bring you and your baby comfort for a long time.

No. 5: Chicco Boppy Pillow (cotton cover with polyester filling)

Last but certainly not least, we have the well-known baby’s brand Chicco, with this stylish Modern Woodland design on the cotton cover of this breastfeeding pillow. This pillow will adapt to the shape of any parent and is guaranteed to make feeding time a peaceful and happy experience.

As with the other breastfeeding pillows, this one can also be used to support mum’s back during pregnancy and can be used as a baby nest for helping your little one learn to sit up. What’s perfect about this pillow is that the removable cotton cover, along with the pillow itself, are washable and it comes with a plastic casing and straps so it’s the perfect pillow for on-the-go families!

Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about breastfeeding pillows

Nursing pillows are designed to make the feeding process as easy as possible for babies during their first months. Particularly at the beginning, the baby will need several feedings a day, which is why the mother should always feed the baby in a comfortable position. The following section details some of the key things to bear in mind when choosing the perfect breastfeeding pillow for you and baby.

The first thing to think about is the material of the pillow.
(Source: Trendsetter Images: 68751944/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a breastfeeding pillow?

A breastfeeding pillow is a special type of pillow specifically designed to make the breastfeeding process more comfortable for both mother and baby. The purpose of these pillows is to elevate the baby’s body while being breastfed, so that the mother’s neck, back and arms are not strained for long periods of time.

Breastfeeding pillows come in a number of designs and lengths and many of them look the classic neck travel pillows, which they can actually also be used for! There are other models that are longer and also useful as a pillow during pregnancy.

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Breastfeeding pillows are usually soft, flexible and lightweight.

What are the advantages of using a breastfeeding pillow?

Especially in the first few weeks of infancy, babies need several feedings a day. During each feeding session, the mother will have to be patient because the baby may take a long time to feed. Maintaining an incorrect posture for a long period of time can cause pain and discomfort for the mother and in turn, turn the exciting experience of breastfeeding into quite an unpleasant one.

Breastfeeding pillows have been introduced to correct these postures and make the lactation process much more bearable. By helping to improve the position of the baby, the baby will not have to use as much effort to feed compared with if they weren’t using a breastfeeding pillow. With this, their digestion will be much better and the baby will be more satisfied. For the mother, it helps to prevent pain from poor posture.

Breastfeeding pillows are soft and very flexible items, designed to make your baby comfortable.
(Source: Trendsetter Images: 70940325/ 123rf.com)

What are the pillows filled with?

Nursing pillows are very flexible and wonderfully soft. They are designed to adapt to different postures and positions when it comes to feeding the baby with breast or bottle. The versatility of the pillow is created by its filling. One of the most common fillings of breastfeeding pillows is polyester fibres.

The advantage of polyester fibres is that it means that the pillow will not lose its shape. Additionally, it makes the pillow firm, but no less comfortable! There are also pillows that are filled with feathers or cotton. These are great for providing warmth. Finally, we have the polystyrene beads filling. This filling makes the pillow very flexible but unfortunately, they are not as durable as other styles.

Types of fillers Advantages Disadvantages
Cotton Natural fibre

Very soft

Non-allergic

Cannot be subjected to high temperatures
Feathers Warm

Adaptable/Mouldable

Natural fibre

More expensive
Polyester fibres Non-deformable

Easy to wash

Does not deteriorate

Non-natural fibre
Polystyrene beads Mouldable

More economical

Easily deformed

Shorter life-span

Foam Resistant

Widely used

May be a bit firm

What types of breastfeeding pillows are available?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of breastfeeding pillows, based on their shape and length. Firstly, we have the horseshoe or ‘U’ shaped pillow. These pillows are great because they fit snugly around the mother’s waist, so the baby can lean on the pillow while they’re feeding. These work best when the mother is in a seated position.

Secondly, there’s the the circular-shaped pillows. These are considerably longer than the ‘U’ shaped ones, sometimes reaching up to 2 metres in length. This type of pillow can also provide support to the woman while she is pregnant as a pillow during the night.

Can the pillows be put in the washing machine?

To find out whether a nursing pillow is machine washable or not, you’ll need to take a look at the material it’s made from and the cleaning instructions provided. Bear in mind that you have to take care of both the outer cover and the filling of the pillow. There are models that have a removable cover, which means that you can easily whip off the cover and throw it in the washing machine.

In the case of pillows made from a single piece, the manufacturer’s instructions should be checked. Remember to think about the filling because that may mean that it may not be machine washable. There are fillers such as polystyrene pearls that can actually become deformed if they are put in the washing machine.

Breastfeeding pillows allow you to keep your hands free for other tasks, like reading.
(Source: Rimma Zaytseva: 34841895/ 123rf.com)

Buying Criteria

When selecting the best breastfeeding pillow, there are several factors to consider. On the British market, you’ll find a wide variety of models to suit the different needs of parents and babies. Below, we’ll go through the criteria you should think about before deciding which pillow is right for you.

  • Material
  • Size and weight
  • Maintenance and Care
  • Design
  • Firmness

Material

The first aspect to take into account is the material of the pillow. When deciding on the material, two things should be considered: the exterior and interior. You should choose a pillow that is made from non-irritating materials that are pleasant and soft to the touch.

Breastfeeding pillows are designed to make the feeding process as easy as possible for babies during their first months of life. (Source: Kati Finell: 13153683/ 123rf.com)

When assessing the exterior material options, the pillow should ideally have a removable, washable cover made from natural, quality, breathable fibres such as cotton. For the internal material, an excellent option is polyester fibre, since these pillows are flexible but do not easily lose their shape.

Size and weight

It is very important to consider the size and weight of the breastfeeding pillow, especially when thinking about storing and transporting it. Those that are the horseshoe-type, i.e. U-shaped, are easier to store and handle than the larger pillows. They’re small so they can also be held with one hand, perfect for when you have a baby in the other!

Circular pillows are longer, usually between 170cm and 180 cm. The best thing about these models is that they not only serve to breastfeed the baby, but they can also provide significant comfort to pregnant mum when she’s sleeping, we know those nights can sometimes be uncomfortable! However, they’re much bigger and a little heavier, so they’re more difficult to store and transport than their U-shaped counterparts.

Maintenance

A breastfeeding pillow is a product that you are going to use quite often, at least several times a day. As it is a breastfeeding product, it’s likely to get dirty soiled. That’s why it is very important to select a breastfeeding pillow that’s easy to clean.

Ideally choose a model that has a removable and washable cover. This way, no matter how many times it gets stained, it can be machine washed easily. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a cover, the pillow may not be suitable for the washing machine.

Maintaining an incorrect posture can cause pain and discomfort for the mother during feeding time.
(Source: famveldman: 54638788/ 123rf.com)

Design

Like any other baby item, an obvious thing to look for is a good design. The good news is that breastfeeding pillows are available in an endless range of colours, patterns and shapes, depending on the model and brand. Some families prefer softer shades and pastels, while others will opt for bright, eye-catching colours.

It is also important to take into account the smaller details of each pillow. There are the U-shaped pillows that close together with a button or a lace to help keep the baby snug. There are also other models equipped with useful pockets in the pillows or supports for the baby’s head.

Saundra LathamInsider Picks

“Nursing pillows give babies a boost, positioning them close to your breast so you can focus on getting a pain-free latch. Some can also be used as normal pillows or soft “nests” for growing babies to lounge or sit on”.

Firmness

Finally, you should assess the firmness of the pillow. Ideally, it should be a model that has a good balance between firmness and flexibility. The filling of the product is key in this respect. A model that is soft and flexible, but firm enough to be comfortable for mother and baby is perfect!

Polyester fibre filling is one of the most popular materials as keeps its firmness for a long time. Don’t forget that the idea of using one of these pillows is to facilitate the breastfeeding process. Therefore, these items should promote a comfortable position that relieves muscle tension.

Summary

Breastfeeding pillows may not be on a parent’s priority list when preparing for the arrival of a new baby. However, it is clear that they have a very important function and, in the long run, are definitely worth buying. Not only does it help to improve the baby’s feeding, but it is also helps the mother stay comfortable during this time.

Depending on the model chosen, you can also use it at times other than breastfeeding. There are pillows that can also be used during the last stage of the birth process and when the baby begins to using the bottle. They can even be used as a small mattress for the baby to rest and relax after feeding to let the food go down.

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(Source of featured image: Oksana Kuzmina: 15644976/ 123rf.com)

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