The best body pillows in 2024, tried and tested

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Body pillows can be great snuggle buddies when you’re curled up on a couch, bed or armchair — and they won’t even complain if you’re sweating, drooling or snoring.

While snuggling is great, using a body pillow may also have therapeutic benefits. We spoke with three sleep experts who told us body pillows can be beneficial for improving sleep quality in certain people — namely those with certain medical conditions, side sleepers and pregnant women in their third trimester.

Body pillows can come in various shapes and sizes, and to reap the most benefit, you’ll need to find the best one for you. Your choice of body pillow will likely hinge on how much space you have and with whom you share your bed. Some of the body pillows we tested are absolutely enormous (Milliard’s pillow, we’re looking at you), so if you use one on a twin or full mattress with a partner or pet next to you, then you’re going to need a bigger bed.

Over the course of several weeks, we tested 10 highly rated body pillows to see which ones were the most comfortable and supportive, and we found three that delivered.

Coop Sleep Goods Original Body Pillow
Best body pillow

Unlike some similar body pillows, Coop Home Goods' The Original Body Pillow is adjustable to fit your body's proportions - Jamie Ueda/CNN Underscored
Unlike some similar body pillows, Coop Home Goods' The Original Body Pillow is adjustable to fit your body's proportions - Jamie Ueda/CNN Underscored

The Coop Sleep Goods Original Body Pillow ticked all our boxes for comfort, support, washability, returns and warranty. It was the only body pillow we tested with customizable firmness, which made it a crowd-pleasing winner. The filling can easily be removed or added for personal preference.

Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow
Best budget body pillow

Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored
Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

The Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow was the most affordable body pillow we tested, with the shredded memory foam fill giving it a similar feel to the more expensive Bearaby pillow we tested. The main downside to the Snuggle-Pedic is its slightly lumpy feel and appearance.

$60 at Amazon

Back Support Systems Body Pillow
Best body pillow for back support

Molly Flores/CNN Underscored
Molly Flores/CNN Underscored

The Back Support Systems Body Pillow wasn’t the best pillow we tried, but as the name suggests, it was highly effective for lower back support and comfortable enough to sleep with through the night. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a pillow cover, and the matching one is an additional cost.

From $80 at Back Support Systems
From $50 at Amazon

Best body pillow: Coop Sleep Goods Original Body Pillow

$99 at Coop Sleep Goods

You can make the <a href="">Coop Sleep Goods Body Pillow</a> softer or firmer according to your taste. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

From first touch, we fell in love with the semi-firm combination of memory foam and microfiber fill because it consistently retained its shape after being squished, hugged and straddled. It didn’t get lumpy after being handled and didn’t require constant fluffing even after a few hours sleeping with it.

The adjustable filling option and mid-range price tag led it to become our top pick. You can make the pillow softer by pulling out a few handfuls, and for those who prefer a firmer feel, Coop sells extra bags of filling for $22.

It comes with a cover made from 60% polyester and 40% bamboo-derived rayon, which feels soft but we found it to be rather synthetic and hot. We didn’t like the feel of this cover on our bare skin, so ended up covering it with a 100% cotton cover for more breathability.

Both the cover and body pillow can go in the washing machine and dryer on cool, gentle cycles, and if you’re not satisfied, Coop offers a generous 100-night return policy with a prepaid return label and a five-year limited warranty.

Best budget body pillow: Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow

$80 $60 at Amazon

The <a href="">Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow</a> is easily washable and can be tumble dried. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

We found the Snuggle-Pedic’s memory foam molded pleasantly to our bodies, giving just the right combination of comforting squishiness and support.

It’s easily washable, either by hand or in a machine, and can be tumble dried but not dry-cleaned. The manufacturer offers an impressive 20-year warranty to cover loss of support for the foam filling, a testament to the durability of the materials.

On the downside, the fill migrates quite a lot with use, so it needs continuous manual fluffing or it looks uneven.

It also doesn’t come with a cover, which will cost you an extra $27 if you buy it from Snuggle-Pedic on Amazon. But it’s still cheaper than some of the other options we tested and most standard body pillow covers would fit.

Snuggle-Pedic claims this is a cooling body pillow, but our tester found the more expensive Buffy and Bearaby brands more effective because of their materials.

Best body pillow for back support: Back Support Systems Body Pillow

From $50 at Amazon or From $80 at Back Support Systems

The <a href="">Back Support Systems Body Pillow</a> is perfect for side sleepers, as it contours around your body. - Molly Flores/CNN Underscored

Overall, this was the best pillow we tested to help ease lower back pain. The J shape and shredded memory foam filling means that it’s easily bendable to go through your legs and around your back for added support during the night, and it wasn’t too firm like some of the others we tested, which sometimes made it difficult to get comfortable.

When we first took it out of the box, it had a weird smell and the memory foam had to be dispersed to make it even, but after leaving it to sit for a couple of days, it was much better and the smell had gone.

This pillow is perfect for side sleepers as it contours around your body, helping it target and support specific areas, and we did find that it helped ease tension in the lower back.

The bamboo cover is washable but not the most pleasing on the eye, and a J-shaped cover will set you back another $40, which really is too expensive (and they are actually sold out right now), so this was one of the downsides.

The <a href="">Parachute Down-Alternative Body Pillow</a> maintained its shape perfectly without constant manual fluffing. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

Benefits of body pillows

We spoke with three sleep experts and asked them how body pillows can benefit sleepers, as well as what shapes and fabrics are best to consider. Our experts hold slightly differing views about the potential benefits of body pillows, but they agree that natural fibers are generally best for cooling hot sleepers — just be prepared to pay more.

Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, a sleep expert, neuroscientist and sleep consultant at Wesper, says that body pillows “are excellent for people who have to sleep on their side due to certain health conditions such as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), sleep apnea and pregnancy. They reduce discomfort from side sleeping, especially on the joints that are typically irritated from pressure against the mattress.”

But Dr. Clete A. Kushida, a professor of sleep medicine at Stanford Health Care, notes that “since individuals can frequently move during their sleep, body pillows may not achieve the desired effects.”

Kushida also points out that body pillows “have not been the subject of definitive research,” so concrete conclusions about whether they can alleviate back, neck, shoulder or hip pain can’t be made.

Dr. Carleara Weiss, a sleep scientist and sleep science advisor at Aeroflow Sleep, remarks that people “with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis may find sleeping with a body pillow beneficial to increase comfort and spine alignment or to reduce pressure on hips and ankles.”

Body pillows can offer other benefits too. “Aside from clinical conditions, some people may be interested in body pillows for extra comfort, feeling cozy and a sense of emotional support,” says Weiss.

If you’re thinking of using a body pillow to help recover from knee or shoulder surgery, Weiss advises consumers follow a clinician’s instructions carefully before making a purchase.

The <a href="|xid:fr1709750323776gbi&">Buffy Cloud Body Pillow</a> was the softest of all the body pillows we tested. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

How to choose a body pillow

So, how do you choose the right shape and materials for you?

Rohrscheib says that body pillows “usually come in rectangular, cylindrical, C, U or J shapes, primarily used for pregnancy, back pain and spinal support, respectively. They range from soft to very firm.” She adds, “The best materials are those that are both supportive and made of natural materials that breathe well and don’t retain heat. A good rule of thumb is to look for a medium to firm pillow that maintains shape.”

Weiss recommends using a shape that provides comfort without overextending the body part in contact with it.

She offers some tips if you are unsure of the best option: “A rectangular, medium-firm body pillow helps alleviate back pain and pressure between the hips” while a “cylindrical, C-shaped, medium-firm [body pillow] may be helpful for pregnancy and lower back pain.”

When in doubt, Weiss advises consumers to pick a rectangular, medium-firm body pillow.

The smooth, breathable, 100% organic cotton cover of the <a href="">Bearaby Cuddler</a> body pillow felt great during testing. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

How we tested

We selected seven popular brands with positive online reviews and then slept with each body pillow for at least four nights. We also dragged them around the house, testing them on couches, armchairs and desk chairs.

We evaluated each using the following criteria:

  • Trial and return policy: Sleeping is a personal matter and people have different reasons for wanting a body pillow, so we checked the return policies. We also noted the brands’ warranty policies to back up any durability claims on the materials.

  • Comfort: We slept and napped with all these pillows across several days and nights to see how they felt. Did they make us feel cooler or hotter in bed? Did they help support our bodies in a womb-like cocoon or just get in the way and slip (or get kicked) off the bed? Were they soft, firm, heavy or malleable? We noted how the fabrics felt against bare skin, if they helped support our bodies in bed and if they maintained their shape after hours of spooning.

  • Ease of Cleaning: You’re going to spend about eight hours a day fondling these things, so they will get dirty. We checked how washable they are and if they come with removable covers.

  • Size and aesthetics: Space constraints can be an issue with even the smaller body pillows we tried, so if you’re buying one, check your bed measurements first. If you’re tall and like to wrap your legs around something at night, then you’ll need a longer pillow, especially if you want your head and body to rest on it. If you’re very petite, then you might be satisfied with a shorter body pillow or even a firm head pillow flipped vertically for slumber support.

  • Price: The body pillows we tested ranged from $50 to $199. We also considered if they came with a cover or if that was an additional expense.

The <a href="">Milliard U-Shaped Total Body Support Pillow</a> was absolutely enormous, but we found it to be the best pillow for 360-degree support. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

Other body pillows we tested

Parachute Down-Alternative Body Pillow

$80 at Parachute

We liked the bright-white 100% cotton shell on this one and the way it maintained its shape so perfectly without the need for constant manual fluffing. The symmetry and total lack of lumpiness made it one of the most pleasing aesthetically, but the comfort wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. It was a bit too bouncy and balloon-like for our testers’ tastes and the 100% polyester fill didn’t keep us cool. We found our heads slipped off it too easily and it gave too much springy pushback. This one might be better suited as a decorative pillow for a daybed or large couch.

Buffy Cloud Body Pillow

$69 $60 at Buffy

This was the softest of all the body pillows we tried and our testers found that it didn’t give quite enough support. But if you’re seeking squishiness, then this is a great option because it’s also eco-friendly and reasonably priced. Buffy claims that each pillow recycles approximately 73 plastic bottles, and the Lyocell shell is soft and cooling. This one doesn’t come with a removable cover, but we loved Buffy’s Eucalyptus Body Pillow Covers, which are exquisitely silky and breathable and come in five colors. This combo is great for hot sleepers who aren’t seeking much firmness. Buffy also offers a seven-night free trial, so no need to commit.

Bearaby Cuddler

$199 at Bearaby

We loved this body pillow for its eco-credentials, high-quality materials and versatility, but it’s a real splurge at $199, around twice the cost of the others we tried. It was both the longest and narrowest one we tried, so it could be a viable option for tall people with limited bed space. It can be snaked around the body for personalized support in different areas: We found it useful on the couch and in our desk chairs for lumbar support. The smooth, breathable, 100% organic cotton cover was a hit with our testers, but it costs $129 to buy a spare one from Bearaby on top of the already expensive cost of the pillow. This body pillow isn’t washable and has no warranty, so it didn’t quite make the cut for us.

Milliard U-Shaped Total Body Support Pillow

$70 at Milliard

We found this to be the best pillow for 360-degree support, but at 54 by 28 inches, it was too large and impractical for some shared beds and smaller mattresses. This could be a great choice for people who need to sleep on their side for medical reasons or to decrease snoring: When you’re cocooned in the middle, it’s difficult to escape or roll over. That’s ideal for people who like to feel firmly tucked in but probably unsuitable for claustrophobic types. We discovered that it requires lots of fluffing and kneading to keep the filling evenly distributed, which could become tiresome.

Pluto Puff Body Pillow

$110 at Pluto

This was a strong contender as the best body pillow due to its comfortable, supportive filling; ease of washing; and Pluto’s excellent 125-night trial policy. The downside for us was the shiny, quilted cover, which felt too synthetic and slippery against our skin. We also found it slid off the bed quite easily during the night. Pluto recommends buying an additional cover for extra protection, which could make it too expensive for some budgets.

Zoma Body Pillow

$120 at Zoma

This is a decent body pillow if you prefer them on the firmer side, but we didn’t find it very effective at easing back pain, as it wasn’t malleable enough to fit to the contours of the body. We did find this to be a good body pillow for side sleepers, though, as it really helps prop up the body. It is a little on the expensive side due to the shredded gel memory foam and hypoallergenic down-alternative fill, but it comes with a soft gray cover that saved us shelling out extra money on one.

Sleep Number Cool Comfort Fit Body Pillow

$120 at Sleep Number

We loved the cooling feel of this pillow, and it was another strong contender for best pillow for back pain, but again, the price put us off a little and it’s quite heavy. However, the (provided) cover was really soft — and more importantly, machine-washable — and it does seem like a luxury pick compared to some of the others. The snuggability factor in this one was strong and it was easy to bend around the body for maximum comfort, whatever your sleep position. Right now, all Sleep Number pillows are buy one, get one 50% off until March 18.

The <a href="">Pluto Puff Body Pillow</a> was comfy and supportive, despite its slippery cover. - Isla Harvey/CNN Underscored

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.

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