You probably already have a pregnancy pillow, which hopefully made carrying your baby a little bit more comfortable. But if you don't have one already or if it's not quite the right shape for feeding, then consider buying a nursing pillow - which will be useful whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
A nursing pillow is a bit different to a pregnancy pillow. They're usually smaller and firmer; you can also buy special ones if you have twins. The right nursing pillow can help if you're having trouble feeding your baby; making sure you're both comfortable will mean it's easier for you both, giving you both the support you need.
What should I look for when buying a nursing pillow?
Nursing pillows come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it's important to consider a few things before buying one. Here are our recommendations on how to choose a nursing pillow:
- Shape - They mainly come in either C-shape or U-shape choices. Depending on your preference, it's a good idea to test out different shapes.
- Fit - Some offer adjustable belts and straps to ensure you can tailor it to your body, natural curves, or nursing position.
- Storage - It can be handy to go for a baby feeding pillow that features little pockets and storage spaces for the things that you and your baby love to have close by while feeding.
- Material - Look for a pillow with a removable cover that will wash easily.
- Grow with baby - While it may be great for nursing, choose a pillow that can be used for other things. For example, one that props your child up when they're learning to sit.
The best breastfeeding and nursing pillows
Best nursing pillows 2021
Best nursing pillow for extra back support
Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow helps you to lie on your left side - the best position for you and your baby, according to the NHS - while supporting your bump, back and knees for a restful sleep. It also promises to encourage maximum blood flow between mother and baby while you sleep. Read our full review about this pillow here.
- Dimensions: 35 x 15 x 42 cm
- Weight: 1.21 kg
- Material: 100 per cent Jersey Cotton
- Good value for money
- Range of designs
- It's softer than other nursing pillows featured
One reviewer said, "From the first night I noticed a difference in my comfort levels. Previously I'd been using a standard 'V' shaped pillow, which was OK for a while, but by 21 weeks, I was starting to need more support. I found that this does help you to stay asleep on your left side, because it sort of hugs you.
"The back support is great and feels lovely in the small of your back; this is probably what keeps you on your left most of all. The 'sausage' like bit that goes between your legs is firm enough that it doesn't really squash down too much when you've got your legs around it, but it's thin enough so that you can move your legs if you need to so you don't get cramp. The part where your bump is meant to rest isn't really relevant to me at the moment as bump isn't huge, but I think it will come in handy, and until then I can just hug that part of the pillow!"
Best nursing pillow for versatility
Supporting you and your baby is what a breastfeeding pillow is for. Forget the dreaded backache during the night feed, this handy pillow will save you a lot of strain. Plus, when your baby gets that little bit older, it can be used as a nest to help them sit up.
- Dimensions: 52 x 15 x 48 cm
- Weight: 1.09 kg
- Material: 80 per cent Cotton, 20 per cent Polyester
- Good for positioning you and baby
One reviewer said, "Loved, loved, loved this. It was so firm and full that my baby was fully supported, saving my back, neck and arms a lot of strain. With my first baby, I had a Mothercare own brand feeding pillow, which wasn't supportive enough and so I still had to hold my child up myself leading to arm and backache. This one was so much more sturdy."
Best nursing pillow for night feeds
The Full Moon pillow from Bellamoon is impressively efficient - it is seven pillows in one, fulfilling every requirement you could have from a pillow, from pregnancy to feeding and beyond. The different functions are:
- New Moon Pregnancy Pillow
- Half Moon Nursing Nest
- Full Moon Cocoon Day Bed
- Eclipse Nursing Privacy Cover (which forms the base of the Full Moon)
- Tummy Time Pillow
- Baby Lounger
- Upright Feeding Pillow
For breastfeeding positions, the 'Nursing Nest' features a firm but comfy mattress base, which raises your baby closer to your breast as you feed. Lying on your side can encourage a deeper latch, and this lateral feeding method is "often recommended as its calming and relaxing effect can increase the secretion of oxytocin and prolactin, the hormones responsible for milk production," Bellamoon advises.
- Dimensions: 200 x 120 x 30 cm
- Weight: 1.39 kg
- Material: 100 per cent cotton
- With you from your first trimester until the end of your breastfeeding journey
- Beautifully designed
One review said: "I am only 16 weeks pregnant and have been loving using my Bellamoon for the past few weeks - I really wish I’d treated myself to one during my first pregnancy! I know it’s only going to get better as I get bigger and more uncomfortable. I’m excited to use the feeding nest when my baby arrives with reassurance that I won’t roll while breastfeeding - this was something I worried about with my firstborn."
Best nursing pillow for relieving pelvic pain
bbhugme® Pregnancy pillow™ is an award-winning pregnancy, breastfeeding and full-body support maternity pillow. This product promises to keep your body comfortable throughout your pregnancy and into the nursing phase. The five-point support provides comfort where you need it the most: belly, pelvis, lower back, knees and ankles. It was developed by Scandinavian health professionals.
- Dimensions: 46.8 x 40 x 26.4 cm
- Weight: 1.82 kg
- Material: Cotton
- Recommended by midwives
- Five-point support
- Helps you and your baby relax
One reviewer said, "I bought this as a support pillow when sitting and as a comfortable body pillow for hugging. I loved the fact that the tiny beads are biodegradable (though you need to avoid getting them wet). Although the pillow is extremely expensive, I've bought different ones in the past and they have all become lumpy or deformed over time. This one is supportive, squishable, really comfortable and I ended up buying a second one as the first was annexed by my son for his bedroom."
Best nursing pillow for bottle-feeding
The UK's best-selling, multi-use feeding, nursing, pregnancy and baby pillow, the Widgey provides maximum support to mum and baby for both bottle and breastfeeding. It can be used during pregnancy and also for baby support. This product is firm, durable and recommended by midwives. We love that this pillow has a removable case, so that you can wash it if your baby has an accident.
- Dimensions: 17 x 62 x 53 cm
- Weight: 160 g
- Material: Cotton
- Relieves backache
- Use as a baby nest
One reviewer said, "This is a great feeding pillow. Bought it for my second baby but wish I'd had it for my first. I found it easier to use in a "c" shape so my back was supported and then the baby's head was raised for feeding. It also comes in a thick plastic case which can be used for travel."
This is a stylish, plush nursing pillow cleverly disguised to look like a normal cushion in your home. It’s made from easy-clean velvet, with a concealed zipped, is curved for ergonomic satisfaction.
- Dimensions: 58cm x 33 cm x 17cm
- Material: Made from easy clean velvet
- Good support
- Luxurious design
Our reviewer said, "This is a multi-purpose nursing pillow, we use it for comfort during breastfeeding, to prop up as back support for myself, for my little one to lay on, as a headrest when watching the telly. Did I mention how uber-chic it looks on my sofa?"
Read our full review of the DockAtTot La Maman Wedge nursing pillow here.
The soft but firm cushion is ideal from pregnancy to baby and beyond, and has an adjustable waist strap to provide extra support and stability needed during breast or bottle feeding. Scientifically proven to reduce the pressure on the back of your baby's head by 50 per cent, there's an extra comfort insert allowing you to transform the nursing pillow into a baby nest and then a perfect bolster seat for when your child is learning to sit upright. Read our full review about this pillow here.
- Dimensions: 149.86 x 200.03 x 41 cm
- Weight: 249g
- Material: Foam
- Good for baby and parents
One reviewer said, "This has seen a lot of use after four months! When it's used as a seat it's quite supportive, but my little one can get very warm because the foam is so insulating. Good for short uses when you need your hands free. It fits nice and snug as a nursing pillow (I'm a size 16) and is easy to clean in the washing machine and quick to dry when they make a mess. It works great for tummy time and supports baby nicely. The gentle foam is great when my child decides to headbutt it. The toys seem good quality, and I like that they can be used for a teething baby."
The best nursing pillow for twins
The Kinder Valley nursing pillow for twins is the perfect product to make breastfeeding twins easier. It's suitable from birth and gives you the support you need to breastfeed or bottle-feed your twins at the same time. The cover is removable and washable, and it can also be used as a sitting aid for when your baby grows.
- Dimensions: 83cm x 44cm x 14.5cm
- Weight: 1kg
- Material: Polycotton
One reviewer said, 'We loved this product - we used it from the day we brought the babies home. It's somewhere to support them instead of putting them in the crib, and it’s been a great help when doing tandem feeds, especially when I’m on my own. We loved it that much, we bought one for upstairs and downstairs. Great value for money."
Theraline The Perfect Pillow For Pregnancy and Nursing gives you the support you need during your pregnancy to relieve pain in your legs, tummy and back, and once the little one arrives, it's a great feeding pillow, too. It safely moulds to your baby's body. This product was a Mother & Baby Award Winner in 2014, 2015 and 2017. You can read here what made this product a winner over the years.
- Dimensions: 190cm x 38cm
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Materials: Cotton
One reviewer said, "Bought this when I was two months pregnant and didn't get on with it as it seemed too hard and restrictive. Tried it again at month four and now can't sleep without it at month seven. Everywhere warns against sleeping on your back after month three as it restricts blood flow to the baby. I tried softer hollow-fibre body pillows in the meantime but sometimes found myself on my back again during the night because traditional pillow fillings move too easily. The Theraline doesn't feel soft, but it compensates by moulding to your body shape. Worth persevering with this pillow until you are big enough to need it, you may not think it feels how a pillow should, but the baby's safety is so important and this helps so much with preventing back pain. Worth the money."
Gently sloping towards you with no bulky back cushion to hinder comfort, the BrestEasy nursing pillow has a Velcro secured propping cushion to give more height and support on either side of the cushion. This helps to get your baby into the best feeding position, as well as allowing you to sit in a more upright position, keeping you both comfortable for longer.
- Dimensions: 55 x 32 x 15 cm
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Material: Cotton
- Additional pillow
- Helps to get baby in the right position
- Not the most stylish option
One reviewer said, "It's the best pillow for breastfeeding! My baby is having reflux and we can use only the rugby position - this pillow is doing an amazing job. I can feed him anytime and anywhere, it also includes a useful carrying bag. Plus, it's very easy to remove the cover and wash it. Although I had a C-section, the belt is very comfortable to wear. Overall found this amazing and I'd recommend it."