Best Body Pillow of 2021
We are impressed with how soft the cover and the inner foam feel with this Coop Home Goods Adjustable Body Pillow. The model has a removable outer cover, and the inner pillow includes zipper access to customize the amount of fill, a feature we tend to prefer in body pillows. We like being able to sync the plumpness of our pillows with our personal preferences. We find the memory foam to be very supportive without being too firm (although we found room temperature to play a role in this pillow's firmness). The high comfort, adjustability, and modest product care make this a recommended investment. Designed to be used without a traditional pillowcase, we still recommend using one. Without one, during extended use, we've noticed that the bamboo-derived cover has begun to pill in extended testing over several months.
When it first arrives, be ready to let this model air out for several days. The potent odor of the memory foam is strong, but it goes away. Washing the pillow requires an extra step — you have to safety-pin the zipper tab that accesses the inner fill to prevent it from opening while machine washing. But, if you can commit to using a safety pin when washing, we believe the COOP to be of high quality. It is a great choice for a variety of uses, our favorites being for side-sleeping (after fill adjustments), for supporting the lumbar spine when lounging, and for therapeutically lifting tired, achy legs.
The Oubonun Premium Adjustable Loft Quilted Body Pillow is initially quite thick and lofty, but the polyester fiber fill can be adjusted via zipper access. The comfort is high and maintenance low. It's entirely machine washable, so you won't have to fuss when it comes to product care. The manufacturer also provides a removable pillowcase to boost defense against wear and tear, body oils, and odors. Fairly lightweight, the pillow is soft and great for side-sleepers when adjusted appropriately. If you leave all of the fill in, we think it's best suited as support for sitting and lounging rather than sleeping.
When removing fill, however, be sure to massage the pillow afterward to redistribute what's left. This took longer than we expected due to the polyester sticking to itself. Polyester fiber also isn't as resistant to "flattening" over time as memory foam and it isn't as firm. Some people will like how soft this pillow is, while others may note that it isn't supportive enough. When one of our testers kneeled into the pillow, for example, there was minimal resistance to prevent their knees from impacting the floor. Overall, the quality and comfort of the Oubonun are very notable, which earns our recommendation as a more affordable alternative to memory foam.
The Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow is a favorite of ours because we can appreciate how slim and relatively firm it is. It's closer to a traditional memory foam pillow than most, and we like that it arrives ready to go with a more appropriate amount of fill for side-sleeping or beneath-the-legs comfort. If you're looking for firmer support, this model fits the bill for us. The shredded memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified and the fabric is a viscose combination of bamboo and polyester. Although the pillow is at the heavier end of the spectrum, we still think it's easy to maneuver during the night. It is also more than long enough to share with a partner and we were able to shift about without dramatically disturbing their side.
The foam is shredded, so it's prone to lumping up during general use and this can take some massaging to correct. Although this isn't fun to do often, the lumpiness could be viewed by some as a plus, as some people might want more support in one area and less in another. There is no zipper or alternative access to add or remove the foam. There also isn't a removable cover, which means you have to wash the whole pillow every time you want to clean it. Overall, the quality is high and the fact that the pillow is fully machine washable leaves us little to complain about. It's best for those who desire firm support without the hassle of fine-tuning the amount of fill.
The Moonlight Slumber Comfort U stands out for its versatility and semi-customizable comfort. Taking the long "arms," you can fold, coil, and adjust the shape to a given space differently than a traditional pillow. It comes with a removable, zippered case that is machine washable, making general care fairly easy. The pillow is more firm than soft, but it's still comfortable and supportive. We like setting it up on the couch as an extra backrest or laying it out on the floor, then crossing the arms for support under the knees. The design is meant to embrace the user's body, so if you have the space for it, this pillow can accommodate a variety of activities.
The pillow itself is also machine washable, but the manufacturer only recommends doing so if it's absolutely necessary (in a front-loading machine). Tennis balls are recommended for the dryer, upping the maintenance effort if you don't have them on hand. The pillow is also quite large and heavy, which might not be for everyone. If you're a smaller person, the pillow can feel overwhelming. U-shaped pillows are notably a niche design but have provided much-needed comfort during pregnancy, for example. If this type of support is what you're looking for, this design is a recommended upgrade from the standard pillow experience.
The BioPEDIC Premium SofLOFT is lightweight and airy. The feel reminds us of a standard pillow, only longer. This is either exactly what you're looking for or a sad disappointment. The softness is great for hugging and squeezing, and the pillow is easily moved about the bed during the night. We like to fold it in half to prop ourselves up in bed, against a chair, or on the couch. We also find the fabric to breathe well. If you don't require a ton of support, this is an affordable choice.
If you are looking for firm support, however, this isn't the pillow for you. Over time, we worry about the loft's ability to rebound and maintain its shape. We threw it into the dryer for ten minutes and noted rebound, but we're not sure how long this strategy will be effective. The BioPEDIC also doesn't come with a pillowcase. The product care instructions explicitly warn to not wash the pillow, only spot clean. Since it's not an expensive buy, there might be room in your budget to invest in a nice, machine washable pillowcase. Overall, this is a fair choice for those looking for ultra-soft, affordable alternatives to the far more premium, firmer products out there.
The ELNIDO QUEEN Full Body pillow is both thin and ultra-soft, yielding minimalist comfort. Straightforward and simple, this polyester pillow can be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried. We find that it is sufficient for cuddling and it provides just enough padding between the knees while sleeping. We think the pillow is best suited for supplementing the existing comforts you may already have. For example, we enjoy it as an extra layer of padding between us and the wall while watching movies in bed. We can also easily fold the pillow in half to better support us while sitting, but the support is simply not firm at all.
Due to its thin and soft nature, using the pillow by itself isn't as satisfactory for us. As stated above, we either have to fold it in half or use it with other pillows. When we first removed the ELNIDO from its vacuum-sealed packaging, it looked more like a padded mat than anything else. Over several days and after some manual massaging, the loft returned but it is still the thinnest pillow we've recently tested. The ELNIDO does not come with a pillowcase, which we recommend getting in order to extend the life of the pillow. Despite its thin nature, we still find comfort in its cushion and there are still uses for it. We think this pillow is a fair bargain.
The Leachco Snoogle Original is one of the most unique pillows we've tested recently, largely on account of its shape. Due to its narrow design, the polyester fill feels denser and therefore more specialized, similar to the idea of a lumbar or bolster pillow. The dimensions aren't dramatically different from many others but because it's designed to curl, it does seem to take up less space. This is especially true when you fully coil it up to place it behind your back, which is how we like to use it the most.
Sleeping and prolonged rest are where things can get tricky. The shape isn't the easiest to maneuver in bed and since it likes to curl itself up, it can change position when you move around. The manufacturer includes a diagram of all the versatile and creative positions it can take, but we found that some of them are not as intuitive as others. The narrowness and density of the pillow can also feel hot and too rigid at times, which caused us to fiddle with the placement a lot more than we would have liked. The product maintenance is also quite specialized as the pillow is spot-clean only. The cover is machine washable, but the "fun" challenge is putting the cover back on after washing it. Overall, we think the firmness and design are mainly for specific, therapeutic support, such as acute relief for the back, stomach, or limbs. But it can also be a simple yet unique addition to the couch, creating head support if the back of the couch isn't very tall.
Why You Should Trust Us
Sara Aranda, our lead tester, has been utilizing pillows beneath her legs for nearly a decade due to her athletic lifestyle and the need to prevent her knees from hyperextending while sleeping. She brings a welcomed critique of what a quality pillow should provide when it comes to general body support. She is also a heavy side-sleeper and with all the running she does, she often needs extra help to achieve maximum comfort. She aims to provide a detail-oriented perspective with years of gear testing experience and writing.
For this review, we spent hours researching the best body pillows on the market, comparing specs and materials to guide our selection of the top-performing models available today. We bought and shipped them to our lead tester, who chose to share them with friends and family to get a more diverse perspective on each model. We tested the comfort, adjustability, and maintenance aspects of each pillow. From lounging to working from home to overnight use, we compared the varying designs and dimensions. For more lab-like testing, we used weighted objects to measure the loft and how well it rebounds. We also practiced removing, washing, and replacing any covers the pillows may have come with, especially the atypically shaped ones. We continue testing all year in order to track long-term performance as well. We are confident that our assessments will help you determine the best body pillow for your needs.
Analysis and Test Results
We designed a specific testing regimen to compare each model. This involved assessing the pillows across four critical performance metrics: comfort, adjustability, maintenance, and durability. Each model was thoroughly vetted by multiple testers, and we're ready to share which models stand out so that you can find an appropriate pillow companion.
Comfort is ultimately the most important make-or-break quality of any type of pillow, but it can be difficult to test. We understand that everyone has their particular preferences (i.e. soft vs. firm). For this metric, we tried to consider other aspects that contribute to the overall feel and function, such as whether the fill provides adequate support and relief in addition to simply feeling nice. We took note of the weight, dimensions, and how ease-of-use may be impacted by certain design or material choices. Not so surprisingly, the memory foam pillows performed the best due to the nature of such premium technology. The COOP and the Snuggle-Pedic pillows both utilize shredded polyurethane memory foam (the COOP also has polyester microfiber), which yields soft, yet functional support. The Snuggle is slimmer and firmer, which is perfect for those who are used to the traditional shape and feel of memory foam pillows. Though, we really enjoy the thick loft of the COOP and how it can feel both ultra-soft and supportive at the same time.
The remaining pillows don't match the comfort of the two mentioned above for various reasons. The Oubonun model is filled with an immense amount of polyester fiber, which is very soft, but not as supportive as memory foam. Without adjustments, we think the Oubonun is too thick for side-sleeping. The Moonlight Slumber is notably heavy and long, making it difficult to carry and maneuver, especially if you like to roll around while sleeping. Both the BioPEDIC and ELNIDO are almost too soft. If we drop onto these pillows with our knees, our knees still impact the floor. Lastly, the Leachco Snoogle is relatively narrow and feels a tad rigid to us. This combination seems more likely to create pressure points. The cover is also very taught and doesn't stretch well where the pillow curves, which we found to be far from comfortable.
Making a pillow adjustable is the best way to accommodate the most people. The COOP and the Oubonun both feature zipper access to add or remove the filling, which we found to be easily done without creating a mess. Once we removed some of the fill, we then had to massage the pillows to redistribute what was left. This felt a tad more difficult to do with the Oubonun. Due to their adjustable natures, we suspect this is why their fill is so initially thick, almost overfilled even. Before adjustments, they weren't as comfortable to use for smaller body sizes, but afterward, they approached personal perfection. This customizability makes a huge difference (we recommend keeping any fill you remove somewhere, just in case).
While the other pillows are not adjustable in this same way, the Snuggle-Pedic has memory foam that can be massaged to create more or less support in certain areas (the manufacturer also states in a pamphlet that they will alter the fill to your liking at no cost). The Moonlight Slumber and Leachco Snoogle both can be piled, coiled, or laid out in various ways to cater to different scenarios, such as sitting on the couch or laying in bed reading a book. We consider these features as types of adjustments, which lends some versatility, but the actual comfort and firmness of the fill cannot be changed. The BioPEDIC and ELNIDO sit at the bottom for this metric because of how straightforward they are; they are basically longer versions of the standard pillow.
Most of us are guilty of detesting laundry, so the minimum amount of care, the better. Typically, pillows come with pillowcases to protect the main pillow body/fill. Remove the case and wash it — easy. Well, unfortunately, each of the pillows we tested came with its own product care requirements and nuances. For us, the best performers were those with the simplest care instructions and those that came with removable cases. The Moonlight Slumber wins in this department because of the huge zipper that runs the outside length of the pillow, which is critical for its U-shaped construction. The zipper is easy to use and the case washes well. Thankfully, if you do have to wash the pillow itself, it is machine washable and dryer safe, too (but requires tennis balls/beaters).
The majority of the pillows are machine washable with certain conditions, like gentle wash cycles and mild detergents. Most can also be tumble dried on low heat. Always refer to the labels and/or the manufacturer's website for information specific to the product.
The COOP is an example of a model that requires a special step that most people might miss when browsing care instructions. It requires that the main zipper be safety-pinned shut to prevent the zipper from opening and the filling from escaping. There are two models that are not machine washable, however — the Leachco Snoogle and the BioPEDIC are both strictly spot clean and air dry only. Though, the former has a removable machine-washable case, which helps but we found that the case can collect lint and dirt far more easily than any of the other pillows. Too, removing and putting the case back on for the twisty Leachco is a serious task.
This is a tough metric to evaluate, so we took note of any assembly defects and concerns. Most standard polyester pillows flatten over time, which is why memory foam scores better in durability. The COOP and the Snuggle-Pedic both showcase quality stitching and the use of premium materials. The bamboo-fabric covers didn't snag easily for us but the COOP is starting to pill, leading us to believe that buying an extra pillowcase is necessary to prevent this. But we still expect to see a long life from these two.
Having removable covers helps protect the pillows themselves, lengthening the lifespan, so the Moonlight Slumber is a great example of durable construction and design. The cover zipper is smooth, large-toothed, and made with a cotton and polyester blend. The Oubonun also seems to be similarly durable, especially because it comes with an incredible amount of polyester fiber fill that rebounds well after use. The quilted stitching is a nice touch and appears to be well-done. The extra cotton pillowcase is a plus so overall durability is above-average.
The pillows that performed low in this category were the BioPEDIC, Leachco Snoogle, and ELNIDO. The first two aren't machine washable, which makes long-term care more difficult. Since the BioPEDIC and ELNIDO are so soft, we can flatten them very easily and the rebound isn't impressive, requiring a few minutes in the dryer to re-fluff.
With so many things to consider, try to remember that your comfort is key. For us, comfort encompasses ease of use and adequate support for our limbs and back, whether for lounging, sleeping, or sitting. A balance of soft fabrics and semi-firm fill seems to embody these qualities in our opinion, but we encourage you to consider which aspects and test results are most important to your needs.
— Sara Aranda