I’ll be honest, for most of my adult life, I had no idea that breast pillows were a thing, much less how much they’d change my sleep for the better. Whenever I slept on my stomach, I just assumed that squashed, sore breasts were the price I had to pay.
And then I discovered breast pillows.
You, too, may benefit from this little-known technology. Breast pillows are probably most necessary for stomach sleepers, while side sleepers may benefit from a breast separator, instead. Not every breast pillow is the same! Some have cups cut out for your individual breasts for you to lie on, while others strap to your torso to stay in place.
When deciding on the right breast pillow for you, consider multiple factors. Do you only sleep on your chest, or do you roll and change positions through the night? Do you want something more sturdy and supportive, or more flexible and portable?
Descansa Breast Pillow for Comfort and Support
This ergonomic design is perhaps the most classic, and expected, design for a breast pillow for stomach sleepers. The memory foam is squishy yet supportive, with a medium firmness and a soft, washable cover. Designed to cup and support both breasts when the sleeper is lying face down, this breast pillow works well with a second pillow for your head.
Royal Massage Air Wedge – Feminine Breast Bolster Pillow
Smaller and more portable than the Descansa, the Royal Massage Air Wedge also has cups cut out of a foam pillow to accommodate breasts of different sizes.
One major design difference is that Descansa was intended for sleeping, while this Air Wedge was originally intended for face-down massages and other treatments and procedures. That’s the main reason why this one is smaller and easier to transport than the sturdier Descansa. That said, both pillows can be used for a comfortable night’s sleep, or for awake procedures like acupuncture or massage.
Filfeel SPA Massage Breast Supporting Pillow
Also intended for massage settings, this pillow has a small but dedicated obsession among breastfeeding moms. The most portable pillow on this list, the Filfeel goes where you go to support and separate sensitive breasts.
Being so portable, though, this pillow is less supportive than either the Descansa or the Royal Massage Air Wedge. This might be the breast pillow that you take to the masseuse with you, while one of the sturdier ones (Descansa?) might stay in your bed all the time.
Zomaple Post Surgery Pillow
This heavy-duty pillow is specifically to increase comfort and reduce pain following surgeries of the chest and breasts, including mastectomy, augmentation or reduction, and heart surgery. A large square pillow, it straps around the chest to remain in place, with pockets for hot or cold packs as necessary.
An unexpected use of this pillow? While driving or riding in a car, it protects your sensitive chest from that awful friction and pressure of the seat belt. Seat belts are not made for breasts and are unpleasant on the best of days–post chest surgery, I might just avoid traveling by car in order to avoid the seat belt. This pillow would make cars tolerable again!
At the end of the day, though, you still won’t want to take off this pillow. The soft filling makes sleeping in any position comfortable, protecting the breasts of side sleepers from the pressure of the top arm. Perhaps my favorite part of this pillow is that if I toss and turn, the pillow stays on my chest, cushioning my breasts in every position.
Wumimi Mastectomy Pillow
While this pillow is intended only for car travel and other scenarios involving seat belts, it still deserves an honorable mention. This pillow straps directly to seat belts, keeping them firmly in place between the belt and your chest.
It’s much less useful than the Zomaple, but much, much more portable–and it stays strapped to the seat belts, not to your torso.
I might get this for the car (I’m not post-operation, but seat belts have always rubbed me the wrong way) and just leave it there.
Intimia Breast Pillow
This breast pillow is a totally different design than anything we’ve seen so far. Instead of foam that you lay down on, this is an X-shaped pillow that straps to your torso, snugly supporting and separating the breasts. I sometimes sleep on my stomach, sometimes one side or the other–this pillow moves with me throughout the night.
This pillow is also customizable in a way that none of the other items on this list are: each strap crosses the back to go from under one arm to over the opposite shoulder, and every strap is adjustable. It’s similar to adjusting the straps on a traditional bra–having a second set of hands to help adjust straps while you wear it makes things a lot easier.
To be honest, of all the wonderful brands that make breast pillows, Intimia seems to be the most aware of actual human breast sizes and shapes. Most of us don’t have perfect, symmetrical breasts. Not every breast fits perfectly in the breast-shaped-cut-out of a memory foam pillow. Most of us will need some customization for a proper fit.
Intimia makes that possible.
They’ve also got evidence that wearing this pillow reduces the existence and severity of decolletage wrinkles. That’s right–keeping the breasts supported, yet separated, at night helps to smooth out wrinkles. Combined with a solid moisturizing routine for your face, neck, and chest, and you can keep your skin looking younger, longer.
If you’ve never heard of a breast pillow before, think it over before you dismiss it as silly. We all make an effort to keep our breasts supported and healthy during the day, and our nights should be no different.
Just like day-time bras, night-time pillows may take some trial and error to figure out what fits your body the best. It’s worth the trouble, though–breast pillows can make our sleep more comfortable and therefore more restful.