Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by The Filtery Staff
You want to provide your little one with the safest and healthiest environment you possibly can, and that starts in the womb!
There are so many things to thing about as you go through your pregnancy and birthing process, so try to take it one step at a time. Getting good sleep is an important piece of the puzzle, and many new moms need some extra support for their belly and body during sleeping and resting hours.
SO for this guide, we’ve rounded up the best organic pregnancy pillows that will provide your belly with adequate support while keeping a safe and healthy snoozing environment. Plus we’ve got the best organic nursing pillows (which are great whether you breastfeed or bottle feed!).
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. All recommendations are genuine, as always!
Featured Image Credit: Butterr
Are Maternity & Nursing Pillows Really Necessary?
You can definitely rig standard pillows for use during pregnancy and for breastfeeding, but body pillows and u-shaped pillows can have a lot of great benefits when it comes to belly, back, and baby support. Here are the main reasons you may want to use special maternity and nursing pillows:
As your belly grows, you may find it helpful to put a pillow underneath it as you sleep to relieve some of the weight and pressure. This can not only be more comfortable but can also help to keep things in alignment for a more restful and restorative sleep.
Spinal / Body Alignment
Of course, you might want to give some of your other body parts some extra support as well. Putting a pillow in between your legs can help keep your hips and spine aligned and provide some relief for your lower back and pubic bone. Putting a pillow underneath your feet can help relieve swollen ankles. All of these things can help minimize the pressure of carrying your baby, help maintain proper circulation, and generally help you get better sleep and feel less exhaustion during pregnancy.
Since many soon-to-be-moms experience acid reflux and morning sickness, a wedge pillow underneath the head and upper back can help decrease this discomfort.
Arm Relief and Comfortable Nursing Position
After your baby is born, a nursing pillow that wraps around your waste and holds your baby up can provide a relaxing and comfortable position for both you and your little one. You don’t have to hold your baby with your arms the whole time you’re feeding (whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding) and your baby will be comfortable as their whole head and body is supported and aligned by the pillow.
And any moms with twins know how crucial a good nursing pillow is for two-sided nursing!
Baby Bumper & Support
A quality body pillow improves spine alignment and provides pressure relief for the lower back and hips. Depending on its shape, it can support your belly, your back, or both. It can improve circulation, relieve heartburn, and ease leg cramps.
Which Materials Are Best for Pregnancy & Nursing Pillows?
When considering the materials used for your nursing pillow, you’ll mainly want to think about the outer material and the inner material. The outer material includes the outer layer of the pillow itself as well as any covers and finishes—this is the part that will be right next to your and/or your baby’s face and body. The inner material includes the filling/stuffing. It’s the part that makes the pillow firm or fluffy and is what the majority of the pillow is made out of.
Here are the main materials you’ll want to look for as you shop for organic pillows for you and your babe:
1. Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is what most of the brands below use both for the outer layer of the pillow itself as well as the removable cover. Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides, which is better for overall environmental and human health.
Organic cotton is durable and easily machine washable. Some of the brands below have designed their organic cotton covers with a super-tight weave, which provides a certain amount of water resistance without adding any toxic PFAS chemicals.
Wool is a common natural material you’ll find for the inner stuffing of nursing and pregnancy pillows. Compared to cotton fill, wool is springier and fluffier. It is naturally resistant to flames, mold, and dust mites. It’s also very breathable and allows proper airflow for baby’s safety.
A Note About the Smell of Wool
Be aware that many of the organic brands listed below use wool that’s only been minimally processed without any harsh chemicals. For that reason, organic wool pillows may come with a certain “sheep-y” smell that may be bothersome for some individuals.
According to Holy Lamb Organics, this is because “the wool retains 1% of the naturally occurring lanolin oil, which helps condition the fibers and keep them fluffy and soft for years to come.” Most of the time, this wool smell fades after a couple of weeks. But if you are very sensitive to smells and/or just don’t like that kind of smell, you might want to go with a different material.
Kapok is a plant-based fiber that is kind of similar to cotton in texture: fluffy and cloud-like. It’s a silky fiber that surrounds the seeds of kapok trees, which are mostly found in tropical regions. Not only is it a vegan alternative to wool, but it can also be harvested without hurting the trees at all. (The process actually helps to spread the seed, leading to forest regeneration.)
Buckwheat hulls is another plant-based, vegan option for pillow filling. The hulls are actually the outer shell of the buckwheat grain, but they are too hard to be eaten by humans or animals, so they’re kind of considered a “waste” product.
Buckwheat hulls are less soft than cotton, wool, or kapok. When put inside a pillow, it’s closer to how sand might feel—it conforms to your body while being firm and supportive. Buckwheat filling also makes for a heavier pillow compared to the other materials. It also will hold its shape and won’t need to be “re-fluffed” the way cotton, wool, and kapok will.
Natural latex is a great alternative to polyurethane (PU) foam cushions, which are not only unsustainable from an environmental perspective (they are a fossil fuel product and are not biodegradable at all), but they’re not healthy for mama or baby either. Over time, PU foams can “off-gas” known toxins such as benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. (If you want to dive deeper into the problems with synthetic foams, you can do so in our sofa guide.)
Latex, which is a plant-based material made from rubber trees, has a similar feel to PU foam. It’s a bit bouncy and will form to your body but is still firm enough to provide great support. (This is why many non-toxic and organic mattresses use latex as well.) Latex is a vegan material but is obviously not suitable for those with latex allergies or sensitivities.
With the other filling materials listed above, you can usually remove or add some of the filling to the pillow to make it more or less firm or flexible based on your preference. With latex, you can only do that if the fill is made out of shredded latex. But if it’s a single, pre-molded cushion (such as what Butterr uses), then you’re not going to be able to customize the filling.
All third-party certifications come with their own pros and cons, but they do provide a certain level of accountability for brands and assurance for consumers that the materials and finished products are indeed organic and safe. Here are some of the common certifications to look for:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which most often certifies organic cotton and wool
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), which certifies latex.
- OEKO-TEX, which verifies that a finished product is free from a list of toxic chemicals.
- GREENGUARD Gold, which certifies that a finished product emits only a minimal amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- USDA Organic, which can certify agricultural materials sourced from the U.S. (such as cotton).
These third-party certifications are not necessary, but they are a good thing to look for as you shop!
And Which Materials Should You Avoid?
Synthetic materials that are commonly found in pregnancy and nursing pillows include things like polyurethane (PU) foam, which is mentioned above, as well as synthetic fabrics like polyester. These are petroleum-based products and are not sustainable or non-toxic.
You also may see some pillow covers made out of conventional cotton as well. I would say conventional cotton is better than most synthetics, but not as good as organic. Not only is it grown using potentially toxic pesticides, but it’s more likely to be processed using harsh chemicals as well. However, it’s still made from a natural material and can be a more affordable option than organic cotton. So if you have to choose conventional instead of organic cotton because of budget reasons, that’s okay!
It’s also worth noting that a lot of the ‘conventional’ pregnancy and nursing pillows we looked at weren’t transparent about the materials used. If you can’t actually find out what the pillow is made out of, or if the ingredient details are unclear, that’s usually a red flag that the pillows may be made using questionable materials.
Water and Stain Resistant Finishes
Be careful of pillows and other products that are advertised as “waterproof” or “stain-proof.” Many “water-resistant” products are treated with toxic PFAS, a.k.a. “forever chemicals,” which are linked to a long list of negative health concerns, including pregnancy complications, miscarriage, and birth defects.
However, this is a tricky one because a “water-resistant” fabric doesn’t automatically mean it’s toxic or non-toxic. It’s possible to make an organic water-resistant fabric by weaving the fibers so tight that it’s really difficult for the water droplets to pass through the fabric, and instead they kind of just sit on top of the fabric and then fall away. Savvy Rest, for example, offers a Body Pillow Waterproof Protector that’s made out of 100% organic cotton and completely free from any toxins like PFAS.
As of right now, companies are not required to disclose whether or not they add any PFAS to their products, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask if you need to.
What About Flame Retardants?
Toxic flame retardants actually used to be a lot more common than they are today, especially in products made out of PU foams, since they are very flammable.
However, in recent decades, as flame retardants have been exposed as not only toxic but also mostly ineffective, many companies have voluntarily removed them from their products. Some legislation has even banned synthetic flame retardants in certain consumer goods, including upholstered furniture and children’s products. (Whether or not pregnancy/nursing pillows fit into those categories is unclear.) Although products still have to meet a certain amount of flame resistance, natural materials like wool and cotton are naturally flame-resistant enough to meet these legal standards (at least in the US).
So the good news is that you don’t have to worry about flame retardants nearly as much as you used to. But again, if you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company in question and ask.
Other Factors to Consider When Picking Out Your Organic Pregnancy & Nursing Pillows
Here are some more things to think about as you choose your pillows. Most of these factors will come down to personal preference!
1. Shape & Size
The brands below offer a variety of different shapes and sizes of pillows for pregnancy and nursing. Here are the main differences:
- Standard Rectangle or Cylinder: Many body pillows are essentially just normal pillows, but longer. You can usually find a variety of different lengths, so you can get one that matches your height, bed size, and sleeping position preference. These don’t take up a ton of space in the bed and are more versatile (more easily used after pregnancy, etc.).
- C-Shaped: The c-shaped pregnancy pillow will usually support your belly and then curve up to your head and down between your legs.
- U-Shaped: Compared to the c-shaped one, a u-shaped pillow usually provides more comprehensive, full-body support. (It also tends to take up more space in the bed.)
- V-Shaped: A v-shaped pillow has two sides of the same length that you can put on each side of you for feeding.
- Moon or Crescent Shaped: A moon-shaped pillow is fuller in the center and then becomes more narrow on the ends. While they are great for nursing because the smaller ends can more easily fit behind your back, they can also be used for pregnancy support and as baby bolsters.
- Wedge: A wedge pillow may not be great for nursing, but it can provide helpful support for your pregnant belly. They also tend to be smaller, which is great for travel. After pregnancy, wedge pillows can be helpful for snoring and acid reflux.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to firmness, but in general, you want something that will form to your (and your baby’s) body, but still provide a certain amount of firmness to hold things up.
In general, kapok and wool tend to be more ‘fluffy’ and less firm, while cotton, buckwheat, and latex tend to make for a firmer pillow.
Something neat about many of the organic pillow brands below is that they allow you to actually open up the pillow to either take out some of the stuffing or add more. Or, you can even change it up based on your stage of pregnancy or what exactly you’re using the pillow for at that time. Some of the pillows come intentionally overstuffed and other brands offer extra stuffing which you can buy separately.
Depending on what shape and size you choose, some of these pillows are more versatile than others. For example, a standard rectangle body pillow or wedge may be more easily transitioned to a post-pregnancy pillow or used by other family members. Some pillows can be used for both belly support during pregnancy and then again for breastfeeding after your baby is born. Not only that, but many of these pillows can also be used to help your baby sit up or as a play-pin bumper.
So, you may want to buy separate pillows for your different needs, or you may be able to save some money (and space!) by purchasing one pillow that can do multiple jobs.
Most nursing and pregnancy pillows either come with washable covers or have covers available for purchase separately. However, you will notice that some of the pillows themselves are actually machine washable too, while others can only be spot-cleaned.
Washability is an important factor to consider since spills, spit-ups, and accidents are obviously a common occurrences with babies. If being able to throw your pillow in the washing machine is important to you, just make sure to check before buying.
Here’s Where to Find Organic Breastfeeding Pillows and Organic Body Pillows for Pregnancy Support
Okay, now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s get to it! Here are our favorite brands for safe and healthy body and nursing pillows for pregnancy and beyond:
Types: Nursing pillows
Materials: Natural latex and organic cotton
Price Range: $116
Available at Pottery Barn, Butterr’s nursing pillows have a sleek and modern aesthetic. They’re made from a molded natural latex foam inner, which has a firmer feel than many of the other nursing pillows listed below. Here are some more features worth noting:
- Free from synthetics.
- The outer machine washable cover is made out of organic cotton and comes with GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and GREENGUARD Gold certifications for safety.
- It’s got a great ergonomic shape that is wider in the middle and more narrow on the ends to fit around your body in the back.
- The cover is machine washable (the inner pillow is not).
- Comes with a mesh travel bag for easier transport.
Types: Body pillows and nursing pillows
Materials: Organic cotton and wool
Price Range: $144 (on sale) – $239
Lifekind has a great collection of organic and non-toxic mattresses, pillows, bedding, and more—for both adults and little ones.
In addition to their wool body pillow, they also offer one that’s made out of 100% organic cotton (for both the outer layer as well as the filling), which is a great option for vegans and those who don’t like the smell of wool.
They also have an organic nursing pillow (which comes with a cute cover!).
Here are some more features of their pregnancy and nursing pillows:
- GOTS organic certified
- The nursing pillow and cover are made with colorgrown cotton, which means it’s naturally brown-colored and undyed.
- Body pillow is available in one size (20×60”).
- Handmade in the USA
- Free shipping and financing available through Affirm and Shop Pay
- Lifekind’s pillows are not machine washable (but they do have zip-off covers that are).
Types: Body pregnancy pillows, nursing pillows, orthopedic neck support pillows
Materials: Organic cotton and wool
Price Range: $149-$305
Holy Lamb is a great brand for pillows (and other bedding) for the whole family. Not only do they have several different nursing and pregnancy pillows, but they also have kids’ pillows, family bed bumpers, and more.
Some of the features of their certified organic body and pregnancy pillows include:
- Made out of GOTS certified organic cotton and wool
- Body pillow is available in “body size” or “buddy size” (which is slightly smaller)
- Made in the USA
- Financing is available through Affirm
And if the organic pillow price point is too steep for your budget, Holy Lamb also offers the same pillows in a “natural” version. These are made with essentially the same materials (cotton and wool), but just don’t come with the third party GOTS certifications.
Types: V-shaped nursing pillow and body pillow
Materials: Wool and organic cotton
Price Range: $130 (on sale) – $265
- Completely natural and organic materials (free from any synthetics)
- The filling is made out of 100% traceable British wool (you can scan the QR code for more info about where the wool came from)
- The entire pillow is machine washable
- Naturally hypoallergenic-approved by Allergy UK
- Made in the EU
- Pregnancy pillow is 20 inches long
- Financing available through Klarna
Plus, Woolroom also offers extra stuffing in case you want to add some more wool to your pillow for a fuller, firmer feel.
Types: Body pillows and wedge pillows
Materials: Wool, latex, kapok
Price Range: $199-$409
Savvy Rest offers several different body pillows which are great for pregnancy support as well as everyday comfort for non-pregnant people as well.
They have four different body pillows with various types of fillings:
- shredded latex (more firm & supportive)
- organic kapok (fluffier)
- natural wool (good for temperature stabilization)
- wool-latex blend
Each of these varieties is available in either a 17 or 20 inch size (and the kapok one is also available in 15 inches). Each one also comes with an organic cotton cover. You also have the option of adding an organic waterproof protector, which is completely free from things like PVC, PFAS, and other toxic chemicals that are commonly found in other waterproof products.
Additional features of these body pillows include:
- The body pillows are are intentionally over-stuffed so that you can remove as much stuffing as you want for optimal customization.
- Made in the USA.
- Financing available through Affirm.
Savvy Rest is a great brand for other organic and non-toxic bedding and furniture essentials as well, including mattresses, bed frames, sofas, bedding, and more.
Shop Savvy Rest’s Body Pillows and get 20% off when you use code THEFILTERY20.
Types: Nursing pillows and body pillows
Materials: Organic cotton and organic buckwheat
Price Range: $115-$185
Sustainable Baby Co. has a great collection of what they call “Moon Pillows” and “MiniMoon Pillows.” Meant to be used before and after pregnancy and nursing, they are—you guessed it—shaped like a moon!
One thing that sets the Sustainable Baby Co. apart from most of the other brands on this list is that they offer so many different patterns and colorways. Here are some more features worth noting:
- Made out of certified organic cotton for the outer layer and certified organic buckwheat hulls for the filling.
- You can add or remove hulls to make it more or less firm based on your preference.
- Includes a small aromatherapy pocket with a removable sachet of organic lavender and chamomile flowers!
- Made by hand in Colorado, USA.
In addition to their Moon Pillows, they also have a Body≂Beam™ pillow, which is a flexible round body pillow, as well as standard-sized pillows and blankets.
Types: Body pillows
Materials: Organic cotton, kapok
Price Range: $127
Carolina Morning makes modular non-toxic furniture, organic meditation cushions, yoga bolsters, pillows, and other related products. Some of the features of their body pillow are:
- Made completely out of organic cotton and eco-friendly kapok fiber (for the filling)
- Comes with several third party certifications including GOTS and Green America
- Made in the USA
- Size: 4.2′ long x 12″-15″ wide x 8″ tall
What About Boppy?
Boppy is one of the most well-known brands for nursing pillows… So, do they use organic and/or non-toxic materials? Although Boppy does offer a few pillow covers made with GOTS certified organic cotton, they do not offer any pillows made with natural or organic material on the inside. All of their pillow are filled with synthetic polyester, so we don’t recommend them.
What About Nook?
Nook is another brand you might come across as you shop for nursing pillows. Nook’s options seem to be better than Boppy’s, as the fill is made out of GOTS organic cotton and the outer cover is made out of OEKO-TEX certified TENCEL. The main reason Nook didn’t make our list is because they include polyester on their materials list, but they don’t specify which part of the pillow is actually made out of polyester.
Final Thoughts on Organic Nursing Pillows & Pregnancy Pillows
In summary: when looking for an ideal breastfeeding pillow and/or a supportive pillow for pregnancy, you’ll want to avoid polyurethane foam and other harmful chemicals and instead choose one with natural materials such as cotton, wool, kapok, or organic buckwheat hulls. Consider the different shapes and sizes to decide what is most important to you based on space, budget, and preferences. (Or just put multiple pillows on your baby registry!) 😉