How to Use a Body Pillow

How to Use a Body Pillow

If you’re sitting at your desk searching the internet for the perfect pillow as you read this, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. There are so many pillows to choose from: standard, king-sized, microfiber, memory foam, and more.

As you scroll, you might also come across a long, thin pillow called a body pillow. If you haven’t used one before, you’re likely intrigued but also uncertain about how it works.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand how to use a body pillow and determine if it’s the best pillow choice for your sleep needs.

What Exactly Is a Body Pillow?

Before you decide which is the best pregnancy pillow or body pillow for you, let’s first, let’s discuss the basics of body pillows. Body pillows are longer than your typical pillow. If you look at a pillow size chart, you’ll notice that they come in a range of sizes, but the standard is 20 inches wide by 54 inches long. However, you might find body pillows that measure 72 inches in length.

Within the category of body pillows, you might come across several different shapes of pillows, including:

  • Cylindrical – A cylindrical pillow isn’t as wide as a standard body pillow. Instead, picture a longer bolster-style pillow. Cylindrical body pillows are rounder than their rectangular cousins. These can be a good option if you want a body pillow but have limited bed space.
  • Rectangular – This is the standard shape of most body pillows. A rectangular body pillow resembles a regular pillow, only it’s longer than the standard or even king-sized pillow.
  • Various letter shapes – Finally, body pillows can also be formed into the shape of various letters. U shaped pillow, J shaped pillow, C shaped pillow, and I shaped body pillow serve a range of purposes. They can offer support to the neck, back, or knees, depending on the shape and how you sleep.

How Can You Make the Most of Your Body Pillow?

So how do you sleep on a body pillow to get the most benefit from it? There are several different ways to use a body pillow. The best option for you depends on what you want to use the pillow for, how you sleep, and which method makes you feel the most comfortable.

Some of the ways you can use a body pillow include:

  • Traditional method – Typically, a body pillow is placed next to you longways so that it’s parallel to your body when you lie down. Side sleepers then place a leg on top of the body pillows and hug it with both arms. This method is thought to help keep your body properly aligned as you sleep. It can also relieve pressure in uncomfortable areas, specifically in pregnant individuals.2
  • As back support – Do you ever like to sit up in bed reading before you go to sleep? Or perhaps you’ve been put on bed rest due to a medical condition, surgery, or pregnancy. Whatever your reason for sitting up in bed, a body pillow might be able to make you more comfortable there. You can turn the pillow so that it is horizontal and rests behind your lower back. Lean back and adjust the bed pillow as needed, then enjoy the extra back support.
  • Along your side – You can also lay the body pillow next to you in bed without placing your leg over the top. This method allows you to get the comfort of the pillow-hug as you sleep without using it as extra support for your legs. Some people also like having a body pillow next to them for comfort without hugging or using the pillow as a significant source of support.
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Who Should Use a Body Pillow?

Body pillows offer a little extra support for certain sleepers. Some of those who may benefit the most from sleeping with a body pillow include:

  • Pregnant individuals seeking back pain relief
  • Side sleepers who want better spinal alignment
  • Those who suffer from sleep apnea
  • Individuals with poor circulation
  • People recovering from certain surgeries

If you fit into any of these categories, a body pillow might be able to help you get more comfortable and higher-quality sleep.

Coop Sleep Goods: Your Source for the Best Body Pillow

Body pillows may look a little strange, but they offer support and comfort to those who need them. These long, slender pillows range in shape and size. Some side sleepers are most comfortable resting a leg on top of their body pillows. This allows for better spinal alignment. Others prefer to use their body pillows to manage pregnancy back pain.

Whichever category you fall into, you’re sure to love the Original Body Pillow from Coop Sleep Goods. Like all of our pillows, the Original Body Pillow provides adjustable comfort and high-quality memory foam. You’ll get the full body support you need with our pillow. You’ll also love the machine washable pillow cover and the long-lasting quality of our products. Shop our online store today.


  1. Sleep Foundation. Pillow Sizes.
  2. Sleep Foundation. Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women.
  3. Spine Health. Different Types of Pillows.