Best Nursing Pillow
After researching and reviewing ten different nursing pillows, we pick the My Brest Friend pillow as the Best Nursing Pillow.
When it comes to nursing pillows, the key word is support—the My Brest Friend (MBF) nursing pillow offers excellent support for both mom and baby, better than any other pillow we tested. The cushion is firm foam with support for arm and elbow. My Brest Friend has a padded, wrap around waist belt with slightly elevated backrest; “silent release” strap; removable, washable cover; firm foam cushion and convenient attached pocket.
MBF makes three versions of the pillow: the Original has a 100% cotton cover, the Deluxe has a “plush” fleece fabric and the Organic has an organic cotton cover. The company notes the Deluxe “slipcover stays fresh through dozens of washes” . . . which seems like an odd claim.
Anyway, the Original and Deluxe versions come in a variety of patterns and solid colors. Additional covers are available for purchase.
My Brest Friend has many fans among our readers for a variety of reasons. Moms tell us they like the back support, and lactation consultants note the pillow encourages better posture. The strap and buckle mean you can stand up or adjust the pillow position for different holds (football, cross cradle).
Some versions of the MBF pillow have two “bumps” to help position baby’s head closer to the breast. While many parents found these useful, some thought they got in the way. (One mom recommended turning the pillow over if you don’t like the bumps–the underside is completely flat.)
So what’s not to like about the MBF? The biggest complaint: the waist strap didn’t fit everyone and some thought it was uncomfortable (MBF recommends their Twins Plus Deluxe Nursing Pillow for curvy moms). Despite a few drawbacks, we recommend the My Brest Friend nursing pillow as our top pick for Best Nursing Pillow.
Best Nursing Pillow, Classic Style: Boppy Nursing Pillow
Boppy has been making pillows for babies and moms since 1989. The original version was intended as a support pillow for babies when they weren’t being held. Now they’ve expanded its uses to include tummy time for babies and nursing support. The Boppy itself is filled with polyester fiberfill and upholstered in a poly/cotton blend fabric (90% poly, 10% cotton). We’ll talk about slip cover options for the Boppy below.
The Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner comes in three flavors: the Bare Naked, Classic and Luxe. All three designs are made in the classic curved design with an opening at one end. The Bare Naked comes without a slip cover (you can purchase one separately).
The Classic design is the same as the Bare Naked except it comes with a printed slip cover in ten different patterns. The covers are a polyester/cotton blend that zips off for cleaning. The Luxe comes with a “minky” slip cover (like a soft velour on top and regular poly/cotton underneath).
All three versions of the Boppy pillow are machine washable and the covers are as well. Just be sure to remove the cover before washing the pillow. Additional covers are available: classic covers , organic version and luxe covers. And if you’re worried your baby might have a leaky diaper on occasion, Boppy sells a water resistant cover that goes under a regular slip cover.
What do parents think about the Boppy? It has a very devoted following among our readers who note it worked well for nursing but then could also be used to support baby during tummy time and eventually for sitting up. However, long time fans are unenthusiastic about the quality of the slip covers. And while most said the Boppy fit fine and helped support baby during nursing, a minority of moms felt it was too small to stay in place comfortably.
We think the Boppy is an acceptable alternative to the My Brest Friend pillow if you are looking for a pillow that has other potential uses. It’s also smaller and more compact than MBF and comes in a wider variety of colors. You can toss the whole thing into the washing machine, so that’s a plus too.
FYI: Boppy also makes a nursing pillow called the Best Latch (pictured below) that straps around your waist similar to the My Brest Friend. It has two different surfaces: one firm, one soft. It is thicker than the Boppy and bulkier, which made it harder for some moms to use in our testing. If this style appeals to you, we recommend the My Brest Friend instead.
Best Twin Nursing Pillow
Our top pick for best nursing pillow for twins is the My Brest Friend Twins Nursing Pillow. It offers enough room to nurse two babies at a time. Like the regular version of My Brest Friend (MBF), the Twin Plus has a washable pillow cover, adjustable back support, waist belt and accessory pocket. The company also recommends the Twins Plus for curvy moms.
While most moms liked the Twins Plus in our testing, there were complaints that the cover was poorly made and the zipper broke. Also: this pillow is very large–some moms couldn’t get a tight fit with the belt.
These complaints aside, for nursing your twins at the same time, we found this pillow works well—at least when babies are small and not very active. Once they get bigger and more mobile, it can be tough to keep them on the pillow.
Curvy moms told us the My Brest Friend Twins Pillow definitely fits better than the regular MBF pillow.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing baby products since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections, we have interviewed and surveyed hundreds of parents. Our book, Baby Bargains, has 1 million copies in print.
We look to our reader feedback to give us a real world perspective on baby products—our message boards have over 100,000 (!) threads. We also evaluate consumer feedback. Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples for contests, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluate baby products like nursing pillows and breastfeeding products like nipple shields and creams with hands on inspections, checking fabric quality, durability and comfort for both mom and baby. We also gather significant research, checking ingredients in products like nipple cream for quality and safety.
Besides interviewing parents, we also frequently talk with pediatricians and lactation consultants, the folks on the front lines. They see what products work and which don’t. Our secret sauce is our readers. They share their opinions on products through interviews, our vast message boards and surveys. We synthesize all this information to create our recommendations of best nursing products.
6 Things No One Tells You About Buying Nursing Products!
1. You may not need a specialized nursing pillow.
If you are short-waisted or petite, a regular pillow (like above) may be all the lift you need. Some folks also find nursing pillows constricting or too stiff and prefer softer surfaces like a regular pillow. The key is to make sure you aren’t slumping forward when nursing–this can cause back pain.
2. If you have twins, you can nurse them together in tandem.
A twins pillow may be just the ticket to do this (our top pick is the My Brest Friend Twins Nursing Pillow). You’ll still need someone to assist you with settling both babies on the pillow but if you are determined, it’s possible. If you do nurse in tandem, make sure you switch sides every time you nurse.
3. The keys to a great nursing bra are comfort and access.
Stay away from underwires (they can cause plugged ducts and lead to mastitis). Look for soft fabrics and ample support. Try them on and practice unlatching the cups from the straps. Is it easy to do it one handed? How about re-attaching them–is that easy too?
4. Commercial nipple creams aren’t the only option for sore, cracked and dry nipples.
Moms tell us they have been successful using olive oil or coconut oil to moisturize their nipples. Check with your doctor or lactation consultant first before trying any home remedy, however!
5. If you have inverted nipples, consider wearing nipple shields during your pregnancy.
Once you give birth, you can use a breast pump to help bring out inverted nipples. And avoid baby bottles and pacifiers with newborns–they’ll prefer these artificial nipples to your real ones since they are easier to latch on to.
6. Breastfeeding is not always easy-peasy.
Please don’t give up. You’ll be tired, you’ll be frustrated, your baby won’t necessarily latch on like a pro. But you have lots of help to rely on. Even before you leave the hospital, you can pick the brains and experience of the nurses–do it! Get the number of a lactation consultant. Call your pediatrician. Call a friend.
The International Lactation Consultant Association is a resource if you are looking for a lactation consultant.