Nursing Pillows: The Best Pillows for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding (2019)
Here you get answers to the most common questions about nursing pillows and experience what you should pay attention to when buying. With our top 3 list, you can get an overview of the most popular storage pillows.
The range of nursing pillows is big: big or small? Flexible or stable? Which cover and which filling? As a guide, our Top 3 follows as well as explanations and answers to all questions that may arise in the search for the appropriate nursing pillow.
Top 3 nursing pillows
Boppy from Chicco
1. Theraline Original – the classic all-rounder
Theraline is the best-known manufacturer of nursing pillows in Germany. The Theraline Original is a large breastfeeding pillow with a length of 190 cm which can be used universally: in addition to support for breastfeeding in all breastfeeding positions, it is used as a side sleeper pillow during pregnancy. After breastfeeding, it forms a cuddly resting place for the sleeping baby. The flexible pillow is filled as standard with EPS microbeads, which adapt well to the body contours. Alternatively fillings with spelled chaff or polyester are available. The cover of the Theraline Original Nursing Pillow is made of cotton and is available in various designs, there is also a variant made of organic cotton (Eco-Test 10/16: “very good” including EPS beads filling).
2. Boppy by Chicco – the stable American variant
The nursing pillow Chicco Boppy can be quickly put around the middle of the body with its almost round C shape and offers a stable hold with its polyester filling. Thanks to its patented technology, the cushion adapts well to the contours of the body despite its dimensional stability. The baby lies directly on the chest, so painful tension is counteracted. The Boppy Nursing Pillow can assist the baby in its motor development.
3. Theraline Plüschmond – the handy price-performance winner
Twice in our Top 3 – Theraline’s Theraline Plush Moon is a small and handy nursing pillow that combines the benefits of a large nursing pillow with less space. The Stillmond is suitable for all breastfeeding positions and adapts well with the EPS pearl filling and cover made of soft plush terry. The cover is made of cool satin on the underside and can not be removed, but is washable together with a filling in a laundry net.
What to look for when buying a nursing pillow?
In the search for the right nursing pillow you will find a wide range: The different nursing pillows differ in their size and shape, they are filled with different materials and have different covers. Which nursing pillow is best suited for one‘s own needs depends on whether it is to be used exclusively for the more comfortable storage of the baby when breastfeeding, or whether it is already used as a side support pillow during pregnancy. The use as a cushion for the sleeping baby is possible with certain models. It is also worth taking a look at the coverings and fillings. One important point is the absence of pollutants in the materials used, as the sensitive skin of the baby comes into contact with them several times a day. Which filling contains the selected nursing pillow is not just a matter of taste, because there are pros and cons to consider. Other criteria in the selection are the possibilities of cleaning and the question of whether it should be used on the go. A pure matter of the own taste is finally the design of the reference.
Great nursing pillows
Large nursing pillows are usually up to 1.90 m long, some even 2.20 m. Thanks to their length and flexible filling, they are easy to handle. Most large nursing pillows have a banana shape, others are cut straight and are also referred to as a breastfeeding snake. Breastfeeding aids used primarily as side sleeper cushions are also available in U-shape. In addition to support in a sitting nursing position, large nursing pillows can also be used to breastfeed while lying down. Away from breastfeeding, a large breastfeeding pillow serves as a cushion for the sleeping baby during the first months of life. Folded in the middle, both ends of the large nursing pillow can be placed side by side to form a cozy resting place. Even after the end of breastfeeding, many large breastfeeding aids continue to find a place on the sofa or in bed thanks to their comfort.
Use of large nursing pillows during pregnancy
Even before giving birth, a large breastfeeding pillow will serve many mothers well: When sleeping in the recommended lateral position, it supports the growing belly and helps to find more restful sleep. The nursing pillow is placed between the knees with one end, forming a comfortable pillow with the other side, while the middle supports the baby’s abdomen. To relieve pregnancy-related back pain, a long nursing pillow can also be placed in the back while lying down to relieve the spine.
The use of the pillow in pregnancy has the nice side effect that it already takes the baby’s familiar odor of the mother and thus helps the baby to more well-being and rest. Especially in the initial phase, this can be helpful if mom and baby are still attuned to each other and breastfeeding may not work quite well.
Small nursing pillows
Small nursing pillows are available in different variants: many models such as the Boppy by Chicco have a C-shape and can be placed so quickly and easily around the middle of the body. Depending on the model, the pillow is more or less closed, here it is worth the practical test, which variant is more suitable individually. The filling of these preformed nursing pillows is not as flexible as that of the large pillows, but it can also hardly slip out of shape. The small and firm nursing pillow can be quickly positioned with one hand and does not need to be adjusted. Another advantage is the height of the pillow: it brings the baby directly to the right drinking height, so that the mother does not have to bow to the hungry infant and avoids back pain and tension. This type of small nursing pillow is also called American Nursing Pillow, since it is originally from the USA. Although small C-shaped nursing pillows can not be used as a cushion for the sleeping baby, their sturdiness on older babies certainly helps them to crawl or hold their heads in prone position.
For example, a small nursing pillow filled with EPS microbeads, like many large pillows, is the Yinnie by Theraline. It is asymmetrically shaped and requires less positioning for optimal breastfeeding due to its compact shape than large nursing pillows with flexible filling. Also the plush moon of Theraline belongs to the small nursing pillows as well as pillows in egg-form.
Small nursing pillows can continue to be used after the end of breastfeeding, whether as a neck pillow or pad for the laptop.
Twin Nursing Pillow
In a pregnancy with twins, the expectant mother is certainly busy with whether and how she wants to breastfeed her babies after birth. Of course it is possible to breastfeed only one infant at a time, but there are certainly situations in which both babies are hungry at the same time. With some practice, it is quite feasible to breastfeed two babies at the same time. Not all breastfeeding aids are equally suitable for this, because when breastfeeding twins a good hold of the babies on the nursing pillow is doubly important.
A frequently recommended twin still pillow is the My brest friend, also found under the name Baby Wild. With its very solid U-shaped filling and the additional back support, it can be fixed to the body with click and Velcro fasteners, thus preventing the pillow from slipping. Also suitable for breastfeeding twins is CorpoMed, which differs from other nursing pillows without any fasteners or additional supports, just because of its size and width. An interim solution offers the Bucko Pillow: It can be used with its banana shape and the flexible filling of EPS microbeads like a large nursing pillow, if necessary, the two ends can also bind together and sit so for closer fit to the body.
The cover of a nursing pillow must withstand a lot of use and should be removable for easy cleaning. The most common and practical material used to make breastfeeding pillow covers is cotton. Cotton can be washed well and frequently and is soft, breathable and at the same time adaptable. In addition, it is available in organic quality, which is an advantage with regard to an important point in choosing the right nursing pillow cover:
It goes without saying that a material that is used so often and close to the baby, should be completely harmless with regard to harmful substances. On the one hand, the Toxproof product seal, which is awarded by TÜV Rheinland and examines the materials used for pollutants that might have been used during production, offers a good clue. Furthermore, there is the certification Standart 100 by OEKO-TEX with globally uniform testing system. The test reports from Öko-Test also offer a good indication: The consumer magazine regularly tests nursing pillows and most recently published new test results in January 2018.
In addition to nursing pillowcases made of cotton, there are also microfibre covers. This fabric is as easy to clean as cotton, but it is not so breathable. A softer alternative is plush, but here cleaning is possible at a maximum of 40 ° C. Easy care and robust, but not so soft and not suitable for vegetarians or vegans is a nursing pillow cover made of leather.
If you would like to purchase a cover for the nursing pillow, it is advisable to refer to the fit of the manufacturer of the nursing pillow for the accuracy of fit. Provided with exact size information, however, it is also possible to use references from other providers. Thanks to various instructions on the Internet, it is also possible to sew a nursing pillow cover from the favorite fabric itself.
In addition to all the practical features that a nursing pillow cover should fulfill, the design of the fabric is a matter of personal taste. The choice of different colors and patterns ranges from simple and fitting to the color of the sofa over fancy to colorful and child-friendly.
As with the nursing pillow cover, when filling a nursing pillow, the absence of pollutants in the material used is important. The certification by OEKO-TEX or Toxproof should not only apply to the cover, but also include the filling.
The second point in finding a suitable filler for nursing pillows is that the filling does not make loud noises when moving. These can disturb or even frighten the baby. Often infants sleep while breastfeeding and any unnecessary loud noise could cause them to wake up again.
Other features of the filling of the nursing pillow are a matter of personal preference. Is a natural filler as desired, or must it be anti-allergenic? How flexible and flexible should the nursing pillow be? An overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of common fillings for nursing pillows:
The most widely used are nursing pillows filled with EPS beads. The small foam beads are available in different sizes, with the rule that the smaller, the quieter. The smallest variant is the EPS microbeads with a diameter of 0.5 – 1.5 mm. Since these microbeads are so quiet, they are the best choice for nursing pillows among EPS beads.
EPS beads are very light and durable, they are also anti-allergic and very adaptable. They quickly absorb the body heat and thus ensure that the baby keeps his body temperature. Another advantage is that they can be washed at 60 ° C and are even suitable for tumble drying. A disadvantage of EPS beads is that they lose volume when used frequently and regularly. The nursing pillow thus slips out of the desired shape and no longer provides optimal support. The remedy here is refilling (see below). The well-known manufacturer Theraline takes into account that many women already use their nursing pillows as side support cushions during pregnancy and accordingly fills their nursing pillows a little more full: with 70% filling at delivery, the filling volume is reduced to 50% until the start of breastfeeding and thus has the recommended level of filling to use the pillow as a nursing aid. Another annoying factor is the electrostatic charge of the EPS beads, which causes electrified hair.
A natural filling of the nursing pillow is achieved by the use of spelled fur. Spelled is the shell of spelled grain, which surrounds and protects the grain during growth. Spelled adapts very well to the contours of the body and thus ensures a high level of lying comfort. A great advantage of the spelled filling is also the regulation of body heat and moisture, resulting in a pleasant body climate during use. However, absorbing moisture makes nursing pillows with spelled filling more caring than other fillers: The pillow must be regularly aired and, if possible, dried in the sun or on the heater after each use to prevent mildew and unpleasant odors. The washing is not possible.
Nursing pillows with spelled fillings are heavier than those with EPS beads, which is both a plus and a minus depending on the view: the pillow stays in the desired shape, but the higher weight makes the transport more difficult and makes it more unmanageable. When moving the pillow it comes to quite high noise.
In order to avoid pollutants such as pesticides in spelled, should be paid to the purchase of organic spelled. Whether it can be used by people with allergies or persons at risk of allergies depends on individual circumstances and allergies. However, it is worth considering the anti-allergenic EPS beads to minimize any risk of allergic reaction.
Other natural fillings with similar properties to spelled are millet or buckwheat furs.
Especially American nursing pillows, so small pillows in ergonomic C-shape, are often filled with polyester (also called silicone fibers). This material is dimensionally stable, low-noise and very light, it can be washed well and is suitable for allergy sufferers. The given shape can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
A filler that is rarely found in nursing pillows is cotton. However, if it is important to have a natural filling as organic as possible, cotton flakes from certified organic farming are an alternative to the frequently used synthetic materials. Cotton is breathable and dimensionally stable, it can be washed and is durable. In contrast to synthetic materials, cotton takes on odors. The reason why cotton is not used more often than nursing pillow filling is probably the reduced adaptation to body contours compared to other fillings.
A filler that is rarely used, but can serve as an alternative to synthetic fillings, is wool. When using nursing pillows with wool balls, it should be noted that they are not washable. However, wool also has advantages as a natural material, so it creates a pleasant warmth and remains usable for quite a long time due to regular shaking and airing. Wool is self-cleaning to a certain degree. When she gets wet, it takes a long time to dry again. Who wants to take the disadvantages of wool as a nursing pillow filling, should pay attention to a product from certified organic livestock.
Nursing pillow filling – comparison
Refill nursing pillows
Especially with nursing pillows that are filled with EPS beads, it may sooner or later be necessary to fill up the pillow. Some pillows have zippers in the ticking, while the manufacturer Theraline on newer models uses an extra refill opening with self-closing tunnel opening. Other manufacturers are deliberately refraining from being able to change the filling quantity, as leaking the filling can always be a safety hazard for babies. With such models, the way remains to open the seam by hand and sew it back again later.
Theraline offers packages with refill beads with extra pouring tubes. The inexpensive EPS beads can also be purchased from other suppliers and then filled with the help of a sheet of paper, which is rolled into a thin funnel into the nursing pillow.
Tip: The EPS beads are electrostatically charged and adhere to all materials, which makes refilling difficult. However, there is a simple trick to prevent electrostatic charging: put the package containing the EPS beads in the freezer for half an hour, the effect will be off and refilling will be much easier. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a vacuum cleaner at hand or to refill the nursing pillow outdoors in a sheltered area.
Tip: It is not necessary to immediately order a refill pack with EPS beads when buying the nursing pillow, because it is not always necessary to refill material. Temporarily, in this case, simply the filling of the nursing pillow can be pushed up from one end and the remaining fabric of the cover is tied with a hair tie.
Also, nursing pillows with natural fillings such as spelled lose their volume through regular use, as the husks crumble. Spelled fur can be easily reordered and the old filling is easy to replace: Since it is not possible to wash the spelled filling, it is advisable not only to refill the nursing pillow, but to exchange the complete filling. The spelled for this should come from certified organic farming.
It can not be avoided that a nursing pillow gets a little milk over time, either because something goes wrong with breastfeeding, or because the baby spits. For hygienic reasons, it is therefore advantageous if the pillow can be washed. The following table compares the washability of the materials used for covers and fillings of nursing pillows:
|cotton||up to 60 ° C||Yes|
|microfiber||up to 60 ° C||yes, at low temperatures|
|plush||up to 40 ° C||Yes|
|leather||only with special detergent||No|
|EPS beads||up to 60 ° C||Yes|
|polyester||at least 30 ° C||Yes|
|cotton||up to 60 ° C||Yes|
ask & reply
Which nursing pillow is suitable for babies to sleep?
Baby storage cushions are best suited for large, long breastfeeding pillows that were originally invented for this purpose. They are put together with the ends, thus forming a comfortable resting place for the infant. By adapting the pillow to the body, it provides a good border for babies who are not yet mobile, from which they can not easily roll out.
Which nursing pillow is suitable for sleeping?
In order to relieve the growing belly in pregnancy and to find a comfortable reclining position, especially a long nursing pillow is suitable. Specially designed for use as side sleeper cushions are long asymmetric cushions, for example in the form of a sieve. However, common banana-shaped nursing pillows with an EPS micro-bead filling or spelled husks fulfill the requirements for better sleeping comfort.
Which nursing pillow filling is best?
The most commonly used filling for nursing pillows are EPS microbeads, because they bring many advantages and hardly any disadvantages. However, if you place value on as natural as possible filling material, spelled fur is an alternative or even cotton. A look at our spreadsheet with all the advantages and disadvantages of different nursing pad fillings helps in making the decision.
What’s better: Nursing pillow or Stillmond?
The best-known Stillmond offers the manufacturer Theraline. It is a crescent-shaped pillow with EPS microbead filling and terry-cloth stretch cover. The Stillmond can be used to support breastfeeding similar to a large nursing pillow, but at 140 cm is only half as big and quite inexpensive to buy. The cover is not removable, but the complete cushion can be washed at 40 ° C.
Whether a nursing pillow or a nursing moon is better suited depends on one’s own preferences and also on whether the nursing mother is rather small and petite. For smaller women, a large nursing pillow 190 cm in length may be too bulky and unwieldy, in which case a smaller nursing moon is a good alternative. A further role for the choice between nursing pillow and Stillmond also plays, whether the nursing aid is to be used also on the way: A Stillmond is smaller and more handy than a large nursing pillow. So it’s more practical for transportation and positioned faster than a classic large nursing pillow. But the Stillmond can not be shaped into a pillow for the infant. The use as a side sleeper pillow during pregnancy is conditionally possible, it depends on whether the pillow should be placed with only one end between the knees, or whether, as possible with a large nursing pillow, with the other end to replace the pillow , The Stillmond is only suitable for the support of legs and stomach.
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