We know what you’re probably thinking right now: WTF is a husband pillow? And TBH, we get it. The name is downright absurd. In short? It’s a pillow that’s designed to support your back, arms and neck while still allowing you to sit upright—something that anyone who’s ever tried to arrange a tower of pillows in their bed in order to more comfortably work from home (who, us?!) can attest is a big asset in the time of COVID. These pillows offer good lumbar support, help to ease tension in your head, neck and shoulders and can even help prevent you from slouching. Before we get into the best of the best of these über-comfy designs (which, for the record, we’ve more than thoroughly researched) however, we’re going to tell you what you really want to know: Why in God’s name are they called husband pillows to begin with?
Why Is It Called a Husband Pillow?
Yes, the name is a bit antiquated these days. But, like many other products that have carried over to modern times from the days of yore, it was coined for a reason that once made sense. The husband pillow was historically used by pregnant and nursing mothers, as it offered much needed lumbar support and mimicked the way a spouse would support his wife as she laid against his chest while with child. (Indeed, they even look like torsos with a high padded backrest that resembles a soft midsection and two "arms" on either side). As such, they can feel a bit like receiving a big giant hug from behind.
What Are the Best Husband Pillows?
Husband pillows can be made from a variety of materials, but you'll most often find them filled with a plush memory foam and covered by a soft and inviting material. It's wise to look for one that has a removable zip cover, too, so you can keep it clean or even replace it should it ever be stained or ripped.
Here's a rundown of some of the most common materials you might find both inside and out of husband pillows.
Microplush: This material is soft and has a nice, velvety texture. You'll also get good heat retention—just note that it doesn't wick away moisture as well as some others if you tend to sweat a lot.
Velvet: Other covers are made of actual velvet—a fabric that’s manufactured using natural fibers, such as silk or cotton, or synthetic ones. Velvet tends to be durable, and while it does pick up pet hair, dust and debris as easily as other fabrics, it also has a short pile, which means it won’t trap it as tightly as other fabrics might—something that makes it a surprising plus for cat or dog owners.
Polyester: Durable and easily washable, polyester is a man-made fabric. It isn't the most breathable option, so you might not want to opt for a husband pillow with this material if you live somewhere with hot and humid weather.
Velour: If you're looking for a husband pillow that will truly feel like someone has their arms wrapped around you, this is a comforting fabric—it doesn’t get much softer than velour. It’s made from a combination of cotton and polyester, and while it looks a lot like velvet, it stretches more easily.
Shredded memory foam: When it comes to the filling inside a husband pillow, this is typically a nice and cool option. Because this option is literally made of shredded pieces of memory foam, you can move around more easily on it, squishing and scrunching the pillow as desired.
Memory foam: Pillows filled with memory foam include larger pieces of filling than the more pliable shredded type. This could offer better support and is best if you have back troubles or are looking for something with the firmest support possible.
Hollow fiber: Another filling you might come across is hollow fiber, which consists of thin strands of polyester. This helps make the pillow lightweight while still keeping you warm.
Polyfill: This synthetic material is both soft and durable, as well as über-fluffy. You won't get as much firm support as you would with memory foam, but there's great pliability.
Taking all of this into consideration, we’ve found the very best husband pillows the web has to offer. Check out our top picks below.
The Best Husband Pillows at a Glance
Best Overall Husband Pillow: Cheer Collection Husband Pillow
Best Stain-Resistant Husband Pillow: ACWARM Home Husband Pillow
Best Husband Pillow with Pockets: Vekkia Husband Pillow
Best Oversized Husband Pillow: Husband Pillow XXL
Best Husband Pillow with Cup Holders: Cascadia Essentials Husband Pillow
Best Affordable Husband Pillow: Ebern Designs Lorna Husband Pillow
Most Stylish Husband Pillow: Nestl Husband Pillow
Best Husband Pillow for Kids: Zoomie Kids Husband Pillow
Best Husband Pillow for Travel: Room Essentials Sherpa Husband Pillow
1. Cheer Collection Husband Pillow
Best overall husband pillow
Made with a soft velour fabric that’s fully removable and filled with firm hollow fiber, this lightweight pick has a special detachable bolster cushion that adds comfort for your neck and head if you just want to lie back and catch some zzz’s. Another cool addition is the top handle, which makes for easy carrying from room to room.
From $90 $60 at Amazon
2. ACWARM Home Husband Pillow
Best stain-resistant husband pillow
If you tend to shift and squirm a lot while you sit or want to have better movability, this pillow is a good option thanks to the shredded memory foam filling. You’ll also get a bonus leg pillow with it, so you use it to kick your feet up and truly relax, or use it for for additional lumbar support. The pocket at the back can hold a magazine, newspaper, book or tablet, and the carrying handle is a nice added touch. Keep in mind that the fabric cover is not removable, but it is stain-resistant. This pillow is also larger than average, so you'll want to make sure you have space to store it when it’s not in use.
3. Vekkia Husband Pillow
Best husband pillow with pockets
With this soft velvet pillow, which has a removable and machine washable cover and is filled with shredded memory foam, you can store a magazine, book, or tablet along in the back, plus your smartphone or the TV remote on the side, making it the perfect companion when you're in couch potato mode. The bungee neck pillow is detachable, so you can use it as a lumbar pillow instead if desired, and the built-in carry handle will come in handy when toting this pick around your home. If you find that it isn't supportive enough, it includes an extra 200 grams of foam that you can add (or remove) as you see fit using the concealed zipper. It’s a bit pricier than the others, but with all the added features, it's worth the few extra bucks.
Best oversized husband pillow
As the largest husband pillow of the bunch, this microplush design has a 31-inch high backrest for supporting your entire upper body (depending on your height), along with extra-long arms. What’s more, you can expand its circumference thanks to the zipper, which allows you to customize the shredded memory foam found inside. A detachable neck roll pillow and a built-in side pocket for your phone, glasses, books or other small items make it highly functional, and the cover is also removable for washing when needed.
5. Cascadia Essentials Husband Pillow
Best husband pillow with cup holders
We love that this pillow has a patent-pending 2.75-inch diameter cup holder on each arm, so you can store your mug of coffee or water bottle while you chill. They're removable, too, so they won't get in the way if you don't need them. Made of soft velour with shredded memory foam filling, this pillow also comes in an extra-large size, and the head pillow is removable when you don't need it.
6. Ebern Designs Lorna Husband Pillow
Best affordable husband pillow
If you want to save a few bucks, this highly rated husband pillow is a great option with a DIY polyfill filling that you can tweak yourself to get to the desired firmness. That means there’s a zipper closure and the cover can be washed (keep in mind that you'll have to empty the filling first). Note that this style is smaller than some of the others at just 17 inches high and 20 inches wide—but that also means it will be easier to tuck away into a closet when you aren't using it.
7. Nestl Backrest Pillow
Most stylish husband pillow
This stylish Nestyl pillow features a ribbed design with horizontal lines that give it an elegant finish. More than being a chic piece of décor, however, it’s also one of the more functional options on this list thanks to its zippered removable microfiber cover that make it a breeze to clean and three pockets—two at the sides and one in the back—for holding your essentials. The arms aren't as long as others, but you should still be able to rest your elbows comfortably on them while reading a book or surfing the web. It's also an affordable option that looks far more expensive than it is if you're on a budget.
8. Zoomie Kids Backrest Pillow
Best husband pillow for kids
Kids will love this adorable unicorn-themed backrest pillow, which has a sparkly, reflective fabric at the ends and a cute little face embroidered at the center. Sized for smaller body frames at 33 inches wide and 20 inches tall, it’s just right for little ones to snuggle up to, and the cover comes off to help keep messes at bay. Environmentalists will also appreciate that it’s sustainably sourced with materials and processes that "meet high social and environmental standards."
9. Room Essentials Sherpa Bed Rest Pillow
Best husband pillow for travel
You can't do better than this bed rest pillow for the price. With its solid color scheme and cozy sherpa cover, it's smaller than some of the others on this list (it measures 20 inches wide by 20 inches long), but we like that it's a simple, compact option. Customers say it offers firm-yet-still-soft support, and, since it's small and lightweight, it's perfect for travel as well—there’s even a carrying handle to make it easier to bring on-the-go. While you can't remove the cover to wash it, you can easily spot or wipe it clean and lay it flat to dry.
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