what is a body pillow

What is a Body Pillow? – The Beginner’s Guide To Body Pillows

If you wonder what a body pillow is, you are in the right place. In this article, we’re going to cover everything a beginner needs to know about body pillows. From “What is a Body Pillow?” to “Which Types Of Body Pillows are There?” and the benefits of body pillows. After reading this, you’ll know exactly what the purpose of a body pillow is and whether you should get one for yourself.

Quick Answer: A body pillow is an oversized pillow that provides support for your whole body. You can wrap it around your body in order to stabilize your sleeping position. The benefits of such a body pillow are that you’ll fall asleep faster and you will sleep a lot more comfortable. Body pillows come with different stuffing materials, for example, memory foam and polyester. 

But that’s just the quick answer. There’s a lot more to cover! So here’s what we’re going to talk about.

  • What is a Body Pillow?
  • When Should You Use a Body Pillow?
  • What are the Benefits of a Body Pillow?
  • Which Types of Body Pillows are there?
  • Which Body Pillow is Good for Beginners?

So let’s jump right in!

What is a Body Pillow?

A body pillow is a big, oversized pillow. The purpose of a body pillow is that you can use it in any sleeping position. Because it is so long, you can wrap it around your body and put your knees on it. A body pillow stabilizes your sleeping position. You most likely know that when you have a blanket you sometimes like to put your legs on it. Or you wrap it around your body. That’s the main purpose of it. You can sleep in any position you like without using your blanket.

The idea of body pillows originally comes from Japan. In Japan, people traditionally sleep with very thin mattresses on the ground. They are used to sleeping just a few centimeters from the hard and cold ground. But when body pillows became available for sale, they revolutionized the sleep comfort of the Japanese. Now they were able to use the body pillows to comfortably stabilize their body and relieve the pressure points that would otherwise press on the hard ground.

With a body pillow, your sleeping position is only limited to your imagination. You can use it to sleep in any posture. That is especially useful when you have a partner who doesn’t want to cuddle at night. You get the same – if not a better – feeling of safety and comfort using a body pillow.

When Should You Use a Body Pillow?

With body pillows you can significantly improve your posture during sleep. They are great if you feel that you are missing something during sleep. If you feel the urge to put your leg on something, a body pillow is a great solution.

If you suffer from lower back pain when you wake up in the morning body pillows will definitely help you as they are able to relieve the pressure on your joints and bones. But they are not only useful for sleeping. Body pillows are also great when you like to read books before going to bed. Personally, I love to read an ebook on my kindle at night.

However, I find it really difficult to find a suiting position that I can sustain for a long period of time. I always feel the urge to change positions. In this case, a body pillow is perfect. You can comfortably put your leg on it and lie down on your side. and you’ll be able to read for whatever amount of time without feeling uncomfortable.

Body pillows are also useful if you need the feeling of safety at night. Especially if you are feeling lonely sometimes, a body pillow will lull you to sleep. Also, for kids, body pillows are a great idea as they will have a lot more possibilities to find their optimum sleeping position. When I was a kid, I was always unsatisfied with just a pillow and a blanket. So what I did was: I built the weirdest leg support structures using my blanket and my cuddly tows. By getting your kid a body pillow you save him/her all that hassle.

What are the Benefits of a Body Pillow?

We already covered some of the benefits of body pillows. But here’s even more. You already know that with a body pillow you will be able to obtain basically any sleeping position you want. Also, your posture will be well stabilized which reduces the risk of waking up with muscle strain in the morning. Your lower back pain will be reduced and your neck will love you for using a body pillow.

Body Pillows Increase Sleeping Comfort

Aside from the pain-relieving benefits of a body pillow, it also makes falling asleep much more comfortable. It’s like a small protected and soft zone that you feel safe in. Body pillows provide additional cushion for your body and you will feel like you are lying on a cloud.

Because body pillows relieve strains and pressure points and provide additional comfort for you, they also greatly improve your sleep quality. When you have difficulties falling asleep a body pillow might be the solution. Also, you’ll not only improve your sleep quality but you’ll also fall asleep faster than before.

body pillow made out of memory foam

Which Types Of Body Pillows Are There?

Here’s good news for you! There are only two relevant types of body pillows and just a few different materials. So, deciding which one suits you best actually becomes are a pretty easy task.

Which sizes of Body Pillows are there?

Regarding the size, most body pillows are one size fits all. However, if you get one and don’t like the size of it, you can easily change it. You can simply open the body pillow and take out as much stuffing as you like if it is too big for you. Similarly, if the body pillow is too flat (which is unlikely) you can order some additional stuffing for a few bucks and increase the size.

Body Pillow Materials

There are not that many materials body pillows usually are stuffed with. The most common stuffing is sliced memory foam. Memory foam is a material that adapts to your body posture and “wraps around your body” in order to distribute the pressure equally. Many people love memory foam.

However, for some people who just want a cushioned feeling instead of feeling stabilized, other stuffings are available as well. There are simple cotton or polyester stuffings available. However, memory foam is suited for everyone and it is the most durable material.

How to tell if a pillow is of good quality

When you plan to get a memory foam pillow, here’s a secret tip many people miss: Make sure it’s machine washable before you buy it. Getting a machine washable pillow is always the best idea (even if you don’t plan to wash it) because being machine washable is a sign of good quality. Cheap pillows will be destroyed in the washing machine while a good quality pillow will survive being machine washed. A machine-washable pillow usually lasts much longer than a non-machine-washable pillow. Just a little tip. 

Straight and U-shaped Body Pillows

Also, body pillows come in different shapes. The two most common ones are the straight body pillow which you have to wrap and bend yourself. They are the most flexible approach. 

And there are U-shaped body pillows which are basically “pre-bent”. A downside of the U-shaped body pillow is that you can’t change its shape. However, they are great for pregnant women who need more support during sleep. When you are pregnant, you are forced to sleep on your side. If you are not used to side-sleeping, then a U-shaped pillow is a great investment.

Here are two great body pillows that I recommend.

Here’s what a reviewer writes:  “I am quite literally incapable of sleeping without it now. It makes the quality of my sleep so much better”

Which Body Pillow is Good for Beginners?

For beginners, I recommend the straight memory foam body pillow. It is the most versatile option and you can be sure that it will last you a very long time. You can sleep on it in every position you want. Either keep it straight and hug it with your arms and your legs or you wrap it around your body in a U shape. You can also clasp it between your legs and put your head on a regular pillow.

Because the memory foam pillow is the most reliable it’s what I would suggest to a beginner body pillow sleeper. On top of that, you can also use it in various other situations. You can for example, also use it when you are watching the TV or reading a book. And it makes an insane weapon for pillow fights. If you have guests at your home, a long body pillow can even be used as a regular pillow for many people at once.

What is a Body Pillow – The Outline

A body pillow is an oversized pillow you can use to improve your sleep. Some people I know swear it’s one of the best things they’ve ever bought. Not only do they fall asleep faster, but they also got rid of their lower back issues and neck strains. Absolutely everyone can use a body pillow. From small kids who need a big pillow to cuddle to grown-ups who want to improve their sleep and comfort.

Body pillows come in many colors, materials, and shapes. The most common material is memory foam as it is very good for pressure relief in your spine. If you are new to Body pillows, the best idea is to simply try one. Get a straight and usual memory foam pillow and maybe it’ll also become one of the best purchases you’ve ever made.

If you want to learn more about other pillows and how you can improve your sleep using pillows, check out this guide: Do Pillows Make a Difference in Sleep?

I would be glad to hear from you in the comments! Share your experience and I’ll include your knowledge in this article!

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