New to breastfeeding and looking for the best nursing pillow to make it a bit easier? We’ve rounded up 8 of the best, including some organic and non-toxic nursing pillows made from all natural materials.
If you’re a new breastfeeding mom, you might be surprised by how physically demanding nursing your baby is. Along with dealing with the initial discomfort of your baby’s super powerful sucking, it’s hard to figure out the perfect position. You want your baby’s head and neck to be supported properly, and be in the right position for a good latch. And you need to do all this without your own lower back, arms and neck and shoulders taking a beating.
Enter a good breastfeeding pillow. The best nursing pillows are designed with all of this in mind, giving good support to baby’s head and take some of the strain off of mom’s body. They offer back support and wrap around mom’s body to provide multiple different options in terms of positioning your baby.
A good nursing pillow is like a good nursing cover or nursing tank or nursing pajamas – it can help when you’re first starting out on your breastfeeding journey, but also grow with you and your child. We used our pillow as a baby lounger and to provide a bit of extra support when our little one had graduated from tummy time and was starting to sit up on her own, too.
Finally, I think it’s worth finding a nursing pillow made of materials you’re comfortable with. While most of the models that made our list of best nursing pillows are organic and free from potentially harmful materials like polyurethane foam, not all are 100% free from (this is unlike our recommended toddler pillows, which are all natural and organic). It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your family.
Best Nursing Pillow for Every Mom
- Best Organic Nursing Pillow – Nesting Pillow Organic Nursing Pillow
- Runner Up Organic Nursing Pillow – Organic Caboose Nursing Pillow
- Organic Boppy Alternative – Holy Lamb Organics Organic Nursing Pillow
- Top Nursing Pillow for Lower Back Support – My Brest Friend Original
- Best Water Resistant Pillow – Nook Sleep Niche Feeding Pillow
- Best Angled Nursing Pillow – Borje 45° Angle Breastfeeding Pillow
- Most Iconic – Boppy Original
- Good for Growing with Your Baby – Boppy Best Latch
Best Nursing Pillow Reviews
Best Organic Nursing Pillow
An Organic Nursing Pillow made from buckwheat hulls + Cotton
Made out of 100% all-natural and hypoallergenic materials, this pillow has a simple crescent moon shape that is ideal for feeding, support during pregnancy, and to help with sitting as your baby grows.
The filling of this pillow is comprised of organic buckwheat hulls, so you don’t have to worry about polyurethane foam. This also allows the pillow to contour around your baby like a beanbag while feeding, creating a comfy nest once you find the ideal position.
The outer material of the pillow is made of 100% organic cotton and is machine washable and dryer-safe for easy cleaning. All of the materials are super breathable to keep both mom and baby cool while cuddling.
Both the generous size and customizable shape of this pillow make it a great support during pregnancy. Stick it between your knees while side sleeping to take the strain off your hips, or use it for back support when sitting. It can also be used for tummy time and sitting support for your baby.
The Nesting Pillow has a legion of fans, making it one of the best nursing pillows on the market.
100% Organic Cotton Nursing Pillow
The uncommon shape if this pillow allows for an array of possibilities, and it is made out of 100% organic cotton so that you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals or fumes reaching your baby.
This pillow has a square shape rather than a rounded one, which actually lends more room in front for your baby to find a comfortable position while feeding.
The 100% organic cotton cover is machine washable for easy cleaning, and there is a huge selection of different covers in different colors and patterns that you can buy separately. It’s also stuffed with cotton, instead of foam – a plus in our minds!
It is super-plush and can double as a regular pillow for mom, tummy-time support or to help prop up your baby when she’s ready to sit.
Best Boppy Alternative for Organic Moms
Similar Shape to Boppy, with No Polyurethane Foam
This pillow has a full C-shape that wraps around your waist as your baby feeds. It is a bit firmer than other nursing pillows, allowing for extra height which is often something other pillows lack.
It is made out of wool and has a removable non-toxic cover that can be washed for easy cleanup.
The shape of this pillow makes it a perfect support for mom’s tired arms when feeding or even just rocking for a nap. And when your little one is bigger, it can also be used for tummy time, propping baby up or even sitting support.
Best for Back Support
Very often, new moms will find themselves unintentionally hunching over when they breastfeed, and this pillow’s wrap-around design is a great solution.
It has a firm crescent-shaped section to hold your baby and a small padded section that supports your back and promotes good posture once it’s buckled around your waist.
The size is adjustable, and it’s made out of a 100% organic cotton cover, with a polyurethane foam interior. According to My Brest Friend, it’s free from added chemicals and fire retardants.
The cover is machine washable and it even comes with an attached pocket for nipple cream, your phone or anything you might need on hand while feeding. Past customers have noted the cover tends to scratch and pull at some furniture, so you might want to combine your use of this with a muslin swaddle blanket to protect the furniture.
Best Nursing Pillows for Water Resistance
Naturally Water Resistant Pebble Fabric
The extra-wide outer square-shape of this pillow provides plenty of room for your baby (or two babies), while the C-shaped center wraps around mom’s waist for stable and comfy support.
This nursing pillow is filled with organic Kapok, and the cover is a patented design by Nook called Pebble Fabric. The texture of this material makes is easy for your baby to find just the right spot, and it is water-resistant for easy cleanup of spills and spit-up.
For additional peace of mind, the fabric is coated in natural zinc which makes this nursing pillow hypoallergenic, anti-mold, anti-dust mite and anti-fungal.
This pillow is neither firm nor soft, making it the ideal compromise if you’re looking for something in-between. And it is also lightweight, making it a great option for mom’s healing from a c-section.
Best Angled Pillow
With a unique angle to Give You More Flexibility
Filled with a down alternative, the stuffing is hypo-allergenic, and the entire pillow can be machine washed and dried if necessary.
It comes in a C-shape to offer support for mom’s arms, and the little head-pillow for your baby is contoured to cradle and support her head while feeding. The best nursing pillows give moms and babies plenty of options for positioning, and this extra feature gives you that much more flexibility.
This pillow is on the small side and comes with a travel bag, making it ideal for long trips or even a day out. And it comes in a wide selection of cute designs so you can coordinate it with your baby’s nursery.
Chances are Your Girlfriends Have This One!
This pillow is made out of a cotton blend and offers an array of different designs for the slip-cover so that you can personalize it.
The C-shape of the Boppy is almost a complete circle, providing secure support while feeding and easily holding onto the position you need it to be in.
It is especially ideal for your baby during tummy time and for sitting support with its wrap-around design, and it is neither too firm nor too soft which lends to its popularity.
Best For Growing With Your Baby
A Firm Side and a Soft Side Will Grow With Your Baby
This elevated alternative to the classic Boppy nursing pillow provides two different surfaces to accommodate your baby throughout different stages in feeding and is especially useful for moms who are breastfeeding newborns.
The Boppy Latch pillow comes in a C-shape with a supportive belt that latches around your waist. One side is firm but contoured to tip your baby’s body toward your chest and encourage an easier latch during breastfeeding.
The opposite side is softer and more plush which allows your baby to adjust to a more natural and comfortable position for feeding as she grows.
Much like many crib mattresses are two stage – with a firmer side for infants and a softer side for toddlers – this nursing pillow has a firm and a soft side, which you can switch as your baby grows.
The bulk of the nursing pillow is machine-washable for easy clean-up and it can double as a tummy-time and sitting support for your baby as she grows.
Why Do You Need Special Pillows for Nursing ?
A nursing pillow serves as extra support for your baby’s body and position during nursing. They can also provide support for pregnant women in various positions and are great for your baby during tummy time and when they’re learning to sit up.
Do You Need a Nursing Pillow?
The short answer is yes. They may not seem essential, but once you try feeding your baby with and without one, the necessity will be clear. Two of the biggest issues while feeding your baby will be back pain and arm fatigue, and using a nursing pillow every time you nurse will alleviate both.
A lot of moms will naturally, and even subconsciously, hunch over in an attempt to bring their bodies down to their baby’s position for feeding. To correct this issue, you would have to lean back and raise the baby up to your breast while feeding, which, after a while, would result in arm fatigue.
A nursing pillow will rest in between your arms and your lap, providing that extra lift you need to bring the baby to your chest and eliminating the urge to hunch over.
Worth noting, a nursing pillow is also helpful for bottle feeding, as it gives your baby a comfortable platform to lie on and gives mom or dad some arm and back relief. If you’re not yet sure whether you’ll do bottle feeding, breast feeding, or a combo of the two, I’d still suggest you get a nursing pillow. We used ours for hours on end in the newborn stage, until our little one was 9 months or so (we went traveling, and didn’t bring the pillow with us. Had we stayed put, I probably would have continued using it for feeds and snuggles).
How to Choose the Best Nursing Pillow
There are dozens of different nursing pillow designs. The key to finding the right nursing pillow for you will depend on your body type and priorities.
Choose a shape that’s versatile and can adjust to different needs and stages for your body and your baby’s.
Crescent: Moon-shaped nursing pillows contour to the shape of your body. They sit in front of your lap rather than wrapping completely around it. This shape would be ideal for curvy moms but might be awkward and hard to keep in position for petite moms.
U- or C-Shaped: These are the most traditional shape for nursing pillows. They wrap half-way around your body for decent support on both sides. They will also fit a wider variety of body types.
O-Shaped: These wrap almost completely around mom’s waist. They offer great all-around support on both sides, especially for feeding twins. They’re also less likely to slide out of position.
There are some other unique nursing pillow shapes out there, like one-sided under-arm nursing pillows. This shape is great for moms healing from c-sections who find the pressure of a traditional pillow uncomfortable.
We’re far from perfect when it comes to maintaining a green and non toxic home. However, I think it’s worth the effort to reduce the chemicals my kid is exposed to. In my opinion, there just isn’t enough research out there on the long term effects of materials like polyurethane foam. Similarly, chemicals such as phthalates and VOCs are concerning.
There are nursing pillows that contain foam, and those that don’t. It’s obviously your personal choice. I’ve tried to point out the nursing pillows that are “free from” so you can make your own decision.
Of course, you also want to make sure your nursing pillow covering is comfortable for your baby. Soft cotton is a good choice!
There are also varying degrees of firmness available among nursing pillows. A firmer pillow is better to promote latching for younger babies. A softer pillow allows older babies to find a more suitable nursing position.
While a firmer pillow will offer more lift, it won’t be as cozy as a soft nursing pillow. Depending on your body type, you will need to determine if you need that extra support or not.
Most of the nursing pillows available now are fairly versatile. When it comes to bang for your buck, choose a nursing pillow that can adjust to different stages and purposes.
Look for pillows that can support you during your pregnancy, too. Pillows that have various levels of firmness and provide various positions are great. Also, try to find one that can grow with your baby. Some pillows can work well for tummy time and sitting up.
As you’ll probably use this pillow for cuddling, rocking and nap time, keep comfort in mind.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but not all nursing pillows equal when it comes to washability. Some have covers that can be wiped clean with a filling that is machine washable. Others have machine washable covers and filling that isn’t. And some are completely machine-washable.
For convenience, the best option is a pillow that is completely machine-washable, and use a fragrance free laundry detergent when washing. However, that may not be an option depending on your preference of materials. We also generally recommend you avoid dryer sheets for baby clothes and covers.
Final Thoughts About Finding a Nursing Pillow for Your Family
Choosing how to feed your baby is a personal choice for your family. A nursing pillow is part of that choice.
There’s no one size fits all solution. If I were to do it again, I’d choose the Nesting Nursing Pillow. Made from safe, organic materials, it creates a cozy nest for babies. We also love the generous size, which gives mom more flexibility when positioning baby on the nursing pillow.
I hope this guide helped you choose the best for your family. And if you know someone who is pregnant, we hope you’ll share this article with them!