There aren’t many baby products that give you the amazing return on investment that you get from a nursing pillow. For less than $100 you have a product that you’ll use for hours a day, months at a time. It can save your back and shoulders, help you relax and get your milk flowing—all while keeping baby comfortable too. Sound good? Here’s your handy guide to finding the best nursing pillow for you.
What is a Nursing Pillow?
A nursing pillow isn’t just any household pillow. Bed pillows are generally so soft that your baby will sink down and throw pillows aren’t always comfy against the skin. Both types, generally rectangular or circular, are also the wrong shape. The best breastfeeding pillow is rounded just enough to snuggle against your abs; it’s also firm enough to keep your baby positioned up where she needs to nurse.
How to Choose the Best Nursing Pillow
You can nestle your baby in your arms while you breastfeed (or bottle feed), but the weight of even an 8-pound baby, held for hours a day, begins to drag on your shoulders and cause you to round your shoulders and hunch your back. The beauty of a nursing pillow is that it effortlessly lifts your baby up to the right height for feeding so you don’t have to throw your posture off. Trust the pillow to do its work and you can concentrate on other things, like perfecting your baby’s latch, breathing deeply to help letdown and chilling out while breastfeeding happens. When shopping for the best nursing pillow you’ll want to consider:
• Size. Some moms prefer a sizable nursing pillow so baby has a wide spot to lie on while feeding. Others want a more compact, portable pillow that’s easy to carry from one nursing spot to another and just as easy to pack for travel. Then there’s the twin nursing pillow designed specifically for moms of multiples.
• Price. The average nursing pillow costs between $25 to $50. For about $70, you can upgrade to a plush, monogrammed slipcover. Looking for a nursing pillow that’s organic or one designed to accommodate twins? Then you’re looking at closer to $100.
• Washability. Will you wipe the pillow down, or does it come with a removable slipcover that can be tossed into the washer? While the former is less expensive, if baby is prone to spit-up or reflux, you may want to opt for the latter.
• Design and style Nursing pillows are fabric-covered, so there are plenty of looks to choose from: solid colors, prints, even two-sided pillows that feature different patterns on either side. The variety makes shopping for one more fun!
Best Nursing Pillows
A great nursing pillow is a true game changer, making those countless hours of nursing that much easier on you and baby. Take a look at our best nursing pillow picks to see which one’s right for you.
1. Best Classic Nursing Pillow
Boppy kicked off the nursing pillow trend in the 1990s when a mom realized that the pillow she had sewn to prop up her sitting baby was actually ideal for nursing. The c-shape wraps around your waist and the firm inner pillow provides perfect support to baby. The cotton slipcover can be thrown in the wash. And, after the first few months, it transitions into a support pillow for when baby is ready for tummy time or sitting up.
Buy It: Boppy Classic Feeding & Infant Support Pillow, $30, Amazon.com
2. Best Wrap-Around Nursing Pillow
The wide, flat top of the My Brest Friend nursing pillow wins major points with moms who feel baby can roll off of other nursing pillows that don’t have a level surface. My Brest Friend also attaches around your waist, providing lumbar support for your lower back. A discreet side pocket can hold a burp cloth, a binkie, your cell phone or even a bottle of water.
Buy It: My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow, $40, Amazon.com
3. Best Cheap Nursing Pillow
One mom sums it up: “These are about half the price, are firmer, thicker and sturdier,” she says of Leachco’s Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow and More. The “more” includes a click-in strap that keeps baby securely fastened to the nursing pillow; it’s also got a concealed pocket. One caveat: There’s no removable slipcover, so you’ll have to wipe the fabric clean.
Buy It: Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow and More, $40, A.com
4. Best Two-Sided Nursing Pillow
The innovation in Comfort & Harmony’s Mombo Nursing Pillow is that each side—in addition to having a different, colorful pattern—has a different function. The firmer side is for nursing; the softer side is for baby lounging. The c-shape nursing pillow also serves as a nice armrest, with one mom saying, “the sides are long enough to rest your elbows comfortably without pulling the pillow super tight against your body.” And it’s slipcovered, so it’s easy to throw it in the washing machine when it gets dirty.
Buy It: Comfort & Harmony Mombo Nursing Pillow & Infant Positioner, $40, Amazon.com
5. Best Twin Nursing Pillow
Two babies can fit on a regular nursing pillow when they’re newborns, but it quickly becomes a tight squeeze as they grow. Enter the Twin Z Pillow, a best nursing pillow for twins once featured on Shark Tank. It’s a large pillow but flexible enough to wrap around in different configurations so you can feed one baby at a time or both at once. One mom of twins says, “We use this pillow all day, every day. It’s a must for breastfeeding simultaneously and it can work for bottle feeding.”
Buy It: Twin Z Pillow for Nursing, $100, Amazon.com
6. Best Firm Nursing Pillow
While many nursing pillows contain polyester fill, the sleek-looking Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow uses solid foam, so baby is raised high and stays put at that tummy-to-tummy height. The machine washable slipcover also features a built-in handle to make it easy to pick up and carry from room to room.
Buy It: Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow, $55, Amazon.com
7. Best Travel Nursing Pillow
This kidney bean-shaped pillow is downright cute and very portable. Pack it in your diaper bag, carry it on a plane—this best nursing pillow isn’t one to get in the way! The Little Beam Nursing Pillow also features some of the prettiest 100-percent cotton slipcover fabrics, making them the perfect throw pillow once you no longer need it for nursing.
Buy It: Little Beam Nursing Pillows, $40, littlebeam.com
8. Best Organic Nursing Pillow
Unlike the other best nursing pillow picks on our list, the Nesting Pillow from Blessed Nest looks like a croissant and acts like a beanbag. That’s because the pillow, which is covered in machine-washable certified organic cotton, is filled with buckwheat hulls that shift and move to perfectly conform to baby’s body position. Comfy!
Buy It: The Nesting Pillow from Blessed Nest, $94, Amazon.com
9. Best Nursing Pillow Gift Set
The mom behind nursingpillow.com also invented Milk Bands, bracelets that help you track which side baby nursed on as well as how long the previous nursing session lasted. Her breastfeeding pillows come in gift sets that include a Milk Bands bracelet and reusable cotton nursing pads too.
Buy It: Minky Gift Set, $50, nursingpillow.com
10. Best Nursing Pillow for Large Breasts
This comma-shaped pillow w from Dr. Brown’s is cited as the best nursing pillow for the football hold, which typically works best for moms with larger breasts. And because the it’s angled, baby’s head sits slightly raised, which helps prevent reflux.
Buy It: Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow, $27, Target.com
11. Best Pregnancy-to-Nursing Pillow
If you haven’t given birth yet, it’s worth looking into the Babymoov Multiuse Ergonomic Maternity Pillow. During pregnancy, it helps support your back, neck or feet while you sleep. After baby arrives, it transitions to a straightforward nursing pillow that sits underneath baby like a plank while you nurse.
Buy It: Babymoov Multiuse Ergonomic Maternity Pillow, $40, Amazon.com
12. Best Adjustable-Height Nursing Pillow
Like the pages of a book, the six layers of pillows in Infantino’s Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow flip back and forth so you can adjust baby to the height of your torso—how genius is that? It’s a great nursing pillow for tall or petite women who haven’t found the right pillow for their height.
Buy It: Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow, $40, Amazon.com
13. Best Inflatable Nursing Pillow
Sometimes you need a second nursing pillow, one used for travel or to keep at grandma’s house. The inflatable version of the My Brest Friend has the same design as the original, but you can inflate it and deflate it as needed, so it can be easily stowed away when not in use.
Buy It: My Brest Friend Travel Nursing Pillow, $30, Amazon.com
14. Best Nursing Pillow For Tummy Time
The right nursing pillow can serve double duty, supporting baby as she practices tummy time. Thanks to the unique square shape, the Nook Niche has more surface area to make that happen. Plus, it's made from the same soft, organic cotton and eucalyptus Pebble fabric as the Nook LilyPad playmat, which baby may already be used to lounging on.
Buy it: Nook Niche Nursing Pillow, $100, Amazon.com
Updated March 2018