9 Body Pillows to Align Your Spine and Ease Your Aches

Snuggle up and say ahhh.


Sleep is kind of like a choose your own adventure novel: Where one person feels most comfortable lying on their sides, another may prefer lying flat out on their stomachs. Others still may simply flop down on their back and call it a day. But each sleeping position has its downfalls — at least without a body pillow on hand to alleviate potential pain points.

What is a body pillow?

A body pillow, also known as a dakimakura in Japan, is an oversized pillow that’s designed to improve your spinal alignment and relieve tension from pressure as you sleep. Depending on the model you choose to sleep with, your spine, neck, legs, knees, back, and stomach can all benefit from its support.

Body Pillow Benefits

With the right body pillow, you can alleviate some of the pressure points that may cause you pain as you doze. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center suggest that people who sleep on their backs should place a pillow under their knees to lessen stress on the spine, while stomach-sleepers may benefit from a body pillow that’s placed under the stomach and pelvis to prevent pain in the neck, back, or joints. Side-sleepers, meanwhile, can use the support between their knees to take tension off of the hips.

A good rule of thumb? Anywhere there’s a gap between your body and the mattress is a good place to put some cushion.

The benefits of these pillows are more than physical, however. While most of us remember hugging a favorite stuffed animal to sleep, we tend to let our teddy bears fall to the wayside as we age. But that instinct to wrap our arms around something soft never really goes away — especially for the estimated 40 million adults in the US who suffer from anxiety, for which hugging a pillow can be very soothing, according to Stephanie Silberman, a clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep.

“People are very routine-oriented,” Silberman told Vice in 2017. “If they do things in a typical way and they grab a pillow every night, it’s very comforting to them.” 

The Best Body Pillow for You

Want to add a body pillow but your nighttime routine, but not sure which one is best for you? We’ve got you covered with nine different options that are bound to work for you, no matter preferred sleeping position. Keep scrolling to see FIRST for Women’s picks for the best body pillows around.

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