Sleeping well at the end of each day keeps you physically fit and mentally happy. Different sleepers have different needs, and it's not fair to cater to all of them with generalized sleeping accessories. If your regular bed pillows fall short, consider using a body pillow.
The benefits of a body pillow work for every sleeper. Wondering what is a body pillow and if you should buy one? Read till the end to find out!
Body pillows are long pillows designed to be cradled between your legs when you sleep on your sides. Their primary purpose is to offer additional comfort and support. It can be something as simple as a long, rectangular pillow or a big U-shaped pillow that wraps across your body.
Many sleepers use a body pillow for snoring, back pain, knee pain, and other health conditions. From emotional wellness to physical well-being, body pillows outperform regular sleeping pillows in every aspect.
Body pillows come with several benefits. Some might use it just for comfort, while others use it to relieve pressure points and sleep well.
Since the pillow height and shape primarily impacts one’s body alignment, these pillows can improve spinal alignment and overall body posture. That's why they are popular amongst side sleepers, pregnant women, and people working on improving their posture.
The right way of using a body pillow depends on the personal needs of the sleeper who needs a body pillow.
Sleeping with a body pillow is an art. Here is a guide on sleeping with a body pillow to get the most out of it.
Body pillow for side sleepers might prevent overstraining their shoulder and hip joints, protecting them from posture deformity or back pain. However, sleeping with a body pillow takes a considerable portion of that stress and offers optimum support wherever needed.
For extra pelvic support, you can also cradle it between your knees. It will reduce the pressure on your hips and keep them aligned with the rest of your body.
Finding the perfect sleeping position with your big pregnant belly and numerous restrictions can be stressful. That's why many expecting mothers are advised to use body pillows for better comfort.
The extra weight in the midsection of one's body does not facilitate sleeping on the stomach or back. A body pillow for pregnant women helps them endure 9-months of side sleeping with extra contouring and support.
Also, pregnant women often struggle with leg cramps and sore muscles. Having a pillow between their legs might minimize these symptoms.
A common cause of back pain is poor posture and lack of support at night. So what can be a better fix than a pillow exclusively known to offer these benefits?
When your back muscles are overstrained, you might feel a rising tension or pain in your back. A body pillow for back pain might be beneficial in this situation.
Supporting your back muscles keeps your neck, back, and spine aligned and subsequently reduces the chances of back pain.
Wondering what the benefits of sleeping with a body pillow are? Let's find out.
If finding a comfortable position to sleep in is a challenge for you, body pillows might help. Supporting you in every position and keeping your body aligned, these pillows might keep your body steady and reduce your urge to toss and turn.
Who doesn't like a warm and cozy hug at the end of a tiring day? If you have been missing out on nighttime hugs, it's time to get a body pillow. Having a pillow to hug might even make you feel safe and protected, which might help you sleep better.
Poor sleeping position and posture lead to spine misalignment, especially when it doesn't receive enough support from your sleep accessories. If you want your body to be perfectly aligned, use consistent support from body pillows.
While research regarding the effect of body pillows and blood circulation is limited, this study shows that the height and size of your pillow affect your blood circulation. Hence, if you manage to find the right size of body pillow for you, it might improve the overall circulation in your body.
Unlike regular pillows, body pillows come in various shapes and fill material, and each serves a purpose of its own.
To make it easier for one to navigate through the types of body pillows, we have created this quick guide:
Based on the shape, there are four types of body pillows:
Rectangular body pillows are widely available in almost every mattress store. These are best for sleepers who want to use separate head and neck pillows while getting extra knee and hip support from a body pillow. Usually, they measure about 20 x 54 inches, but you can customize them as per your needs.
Cylindrical pillows are similar to rectangular pillows in their design and purpose. However, being cylindrical, it is comparatively more manoeuvrable. Also, the cylindrical shape snugly fits between your knees to offer optimum pressure relief.
U-shaped pillows wrap across your entire body. These are best for pregnant women or patients recovering from surgeries who need extra comfort and support on either side. It's like having two rectangular pillows joined by a bridge on the top that acts as a head pillow.
As the name suggests, a J-shaped body pillow represents the alphabet shape and design. Its purpose is similar to u-shaped pillows, but it's mostly for hot sleepers who find the all-around casing of u-shaped pillows too stifling and uncomfortable.
The pillow fill material also makes a massive difference with the shape. So here are the three most common fill materials used in body pillows.
Down pillows consist of a particular type of soft feathers found under the wings and belly of ducks and geese. They are famous for their smooth, fluffy texture and comforting warmth.
However, being prone to retaining traces of dust, this material is not suitable for allergy-prone sleepers.
Sleepers who want the benefits of down body pillows without triggering their allergies can opt for a down alternative.
Made with polyester, it's hypoallergenic and safe for people suffering from dust allergies. Being synthetically generated, it's also cheaper and readily available than down pillows.
For people who want their pillows to offer therapeutic benefits along with comfort and support, memory foam pillows are a great choice. Since memory foam softens on interacting with body heat, it can also efficiently contour each part of one's body and elevate your comfort level.
Whether you use natural latex or synthetic latex, it's breathable, durable, hypoallergenic, and provides excellent comfort and support to your head and neck.
Kapok pillows are soft and hypoallergenic, making them perfect for sleepers with dust allergies. Although their soft layers contour your head and neck well, they are not adequately firm.
Polyfill is another popular choice for pillows, especially among buyers looking for a cost-effective option. It's lightweight and easy to maintain but owing to its tiny pores, the material isn't very breathable.
The purpose of a body pillow and its size go hand in hand. To help you shop better, here is a glimpse into the average body pillow size for each shape:
If you want the pillow to support your body and hit the pressure points well, you need to choose a size that fits your body type. Since these pillows are customizable, you can easily personalize these dimensions as per your needs.
For example, if you want a pillow to support your spine, it should be long enough to cover your back completely.
If you want a pillow to support your pregnant belly, choose an optimum thickness level that helps keep your stomach without overstraining it.
Wondering what you should check when choosing a pillow? Here is your ultimate checklist.
Do you want therapeutic benefits or just plain comfort? The fill material plays a huge role in determining what benefits the pillow will serve. So if you just want comfort, go for a down feather or down alternative. But if you want pain relief or other orthopedic benefits, go for memory foam.
A clear understanding of one's needs and comfort is essential in choosing the right shape. As mentioned above, each shape serves a particular purpose. For instance, rectangular pillows are just for knee support, whereas J-shaped pillows keep your spine aligned.
The firmness of these body pillows depends on their layers' material and density. Typically, memory foam pillows are firmer than down or down alternatives. So if your primary need is body support, go for memory foam, and if you want to sink into the pillow, then go for down pillows.
These pillows can weigh anywhere between 5 to 7 pounds, depending on their shape and size. Choosing a lightweight and manoeuvrable pillow can quickly move it around as you change sleep positions.
If you are looking for emotional security, comfort, and therapeutic relief all in one pillow, then body pillows are your one-stop destination. Now that you know what a body pillow is, it's clear that they come with an array of benefits. To get the most out of them, keep a list of your top priorities before you hit the store.