The best bolster pillows have been around for quite a while, but their use is still only picking up pace. It is that cylindrical pillow that comes stuffed with either cotton or polyester. Memory foam is also used at times with these pillows to give them extra support. While they are called hugging pillows for a reason, bolster pillows are mainly meant to achieve extra lumbar support, while some options also help users with arm and leg support.
Bolster pillows are normally found at the edges of most couches, conveniently placed in wait of the next person who needs the therapeutic relief to be attained with regular use. Such pillows promise to promote the body’s optimal alignment, offer comfort, and relieve pain and promote blood circulation.
Given the usefulness of bolster pillows, it would make sense to invest in one, if not more. However, shopping for the same might not be as straightforward, for there are numerous options to choose from, all from various manufacturers. While others are definitely worth the cash, some fall way short of their promise of the expectations they set. With our reviews below and accompanying guide, though, you can give a wide berth to those pillows that flatter to deceive, and remain with one that’s worth your time.
The Top 10 Best Bolster Pillows for 2020 and Beyond
Top 10 Bolster Pillows of 2020
1. Editor’s Pick – Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow
This bolster pillow by Microbeads is made to be extra comfortable while still being lush and soft. This cozy feel is mostly thanks to the pillow being made from 15% spandex and 85% nylon. Beyond the superior comforts too, the above materials help make the pillow hypoallergenic. The material also resists dust mite and dirt residues, ensuring users enjoy prolonged and sanitary use of the pillow.
The pillow also comes with a removable cover. Just unzip and throw in the washer before slipping it back on to have a refreshed and highly sanitary pillow.
The pillow features microbeads. This makes the pillow squishy and extra soft while at the same time guaranteeing ample support to various body parts such as the neck, knees, back, hip, and pelvis.
And the cherry on top of it all is that the pillow promises a 100% refund guarantee over the first 12 months of use should you find yourself dissatisfied with the pillow. However, the ease of use of the same and the durability promised are sure to have you using the pillow for years on end and foregoing the above refund option.
- The pillow’s construction guarantees soft and comfy use
- It is also hypoallergenic
- Comes with a removable, easy to wash the cover
- Also comes with a 100% Refund, 12-month guarantee
2. Runner up – Dream Sweet Medium Bolster Pillow
The Dream Sweet pillow above is another top option for you to consider as it promises great utility without compromising on the home’s décor. The pillow is made from high-quality memory foam. This enables it to be a great support option for various therapies such as spinal alignment, knee support, and the attainment of perfect sleep postures. Equally important is that the pillow can provide lumbar support to users while sitting. While this might not be necessary if you don’t have such problems currently, it is nevertheless a preventative measure worth considering.
The Dream Sweet Pillow’s power’s to spruce up your home can be felt through various rooms, including your patio, kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. It would be a great addition to your bathroom; think about it.
It comes highly recommended by multiple professionals thanks to its versatility. Users will also enjoy the convenience of easily removing its cover and throwing it in the washing machine when it gets dirty.
- The pillow boasts a precise design
- It is highly durable
- Is a great decorative option
- Also promises great support to the spine, knees, neck, amongst other joints.
3. Also Great – Pillowflex Bolsters Pillow
The pillow flex is indeed a great pillow option to have around, both for decorative purposes and for more therapeutic purposes. For their money, users get a pillow that is a full 9 inches in diameter, and one of the various length options according to your specific needs and preferences.
As a decorative piece, you will appreciate the ultra-soft feel of the pillow with its every use. Users are assured of superior cushioning and support thanks to the bolster pillow being made entirely of polyester, including its cover. Polyester also assures users of a pillow that is dust and lent free, without excessive lumping. The cover also promises an easier time while washing the pillow. The pillow itself can be washed by both by hand or machine, ensuring that you can easily maintain its sanitary condition over time.
- The pillow and its cover are both easy to wash
- It is made from polyester
- Has a 9-inch diameter
- Is versatile enough to be used indoors and outside
4. Best for Neck and Cervical Support – MyPillow Neck and Cervical Bolster Pillow
MyPillow boasts a great selection of pillows in their catalog, and it is no surprise that one of their options promises the best support with a problematic neck and cervical joints. Unlike most other pillows, the above option comes with interlocking fills, which help users attain a suitable sleeping posture and excellent lumbar support.
The pillow also promises a firm surface that won’t lose its shape even with regular use. Such a feature is necessary for optimal support, and users can thus expect satisfaction with the pillow, even with a highly-sensitive and painful neck and cervical joints.
Beyond the pillow’s specialized use, you can also expect the convenience of a removable cover that can be both hand washed or subjected to a washing machine. With all the above, it is no doubt that the pillow is a worthy investment.
- The design includes interlocking fills for optimal support of the neck and cervical joints
- The pillow is firm and maintains its shape
- It comes with an easy-to-wash, removable cover.
5. Most Friendly to the Environment – Earthlite Bolster Pillow Fluffy
When looking for a pillow that shares the same ideal about taking care of the environment, then one with the word ‘Earth’ I probably something you should consider more keenly. The Earthlite Bolster Pillow, however, goes beyond its name to provide a pillow that’s environment-friendly, while still being a great option with multiple uses.
Firstly, the pillow is made from CBC free materials, ensuring that it is truly eco-friendly. It comes in various colors that are all chosen impeccably to ensure, the choice you make doesn’t mess up your aesthetics around the home or workplace. There are also various shapes to choose from depending on what area you need to place it on, namely the knees, neck, or even lower back.
Moreover, the pillow also includes an outer cover made from polyurethane. This material is extremely easy to clean, and users can therefore look forward to effortless pillow cleaning with just soap and water. An accompanying strap also ensures that the pillow is quite easy to carry when heading to your next yoga or spa appointment.
- The pillow is made from environmentally-friendly materials
- Comes in various colors and shapes
- Includes a carryon strap to enable easy carrying
- Comes with a cover that’s easy to remove and cleans effortlessly
6. Best for Decorative Purposes – Better Fit Decorative Throw Pillows
The Better Fit Pillow above is unlike most other bolster pillows, this one is sold in pairs, and multiple colors are available for selection. The pillows feature durable design and construction as they are made from 100% polyester materials. This construction makes them easy to clean with a wet cloth and soapy water to deal with most stains. Particularly tough stains will also meet their match when the pillow covers are thrown into the washing machine or subjected to a good old hand washing.
Holding the crown for the most decorative bolster pillow option, the Better Fit Pillow lives up to its billing by featuring an exquisite finish capable of complementing any simple design or being an integral part of the décor settings of any room. The pillows can accentuate any décor preferences and are equally at home on your bed or sofa.
Finally, the pillow can also go with you wherever you wish, as it is highly portable. So feel free to flaunt it in the park, yoga class, or even airplane on one of those long-haul flights.
- The pillow promises ultimate comfort and support
- Users can also choose from various colors available
- The pillows design promise durability, portability, and convenience
7. Best Yoga Accessory – YogaAccessories Supportive Round Cotton Yoga Bolster
The bolster pillow above is made with one main purpose in mind: to offer you optimum support as you perform your yoga postures. It features a cylindrical design and has been built with all the safety standards necessary for ultimate reliability.
The pillow is long and firm, and this promises users great support with every use. The pillow also boasts hypoallergenic properties, as made mainly of cotton. In the same breath, the pillow also boasts great convenience as its lightweight design and construction. Therefore, users will find it easy enough to carry it around wherever they go, and the removable and easy-to-wash cover will also support such outdoor use. Having a handle on each end of the pillow just entices users to carry it along for some outdoor fun.
- The pillow is extra-long to help with yoga postures
- It is a lightweight pillow that’s easy to carry around
- Comes with a handle on each end
8. Most Durable – SoozierFukk Round Faux Leather Bolster Massage Pillow
This pillow features a faux leather construction. I’d dare you to find me material more durable, but let me spare you the trouble, yes? Instead, let’s talk of everything else that makes this bolster pillow tick.
Firstly, the packing used in the pillow comprises high-quality memory foam of medium density. This construction ensures the pillow is not exceedingly hard or too soft, instead of giving users optimal support. Moreover, the faux leather surface is a great option for a pillow with muscle massage and support capabilities. Sports enthusiasts, trainers, and professionals particularly enjoy the stretching and pulling their muscles with every use.
Moreover, being made of leather means stains get a hard time settling on its surface. Spills and dust will wipe away easily using a wet cloth and maybe some soap or detergent.
- The pillow is highly durable and built to last
- It is packed with medium-density memory foam
- Can be used for a variety of purposes
9. Best for the Knees – Knee Pillow for Back Pain – Half Moon Bolster Pillow
Many people agree that the Half Moon Bolster Pillow is the perfect companion for your knees when you suffer from back pain, and it is hard to see why. Its proper use ensures you receive better circulation to your knee area while at the same time helping to properly align your spine and relieve back pain.
There are two options to consider when purchasing the pillow, namely hard or regular memory foam. Either promises to provide you some comfortable sleep regardless of your default sleeping position. Whether you prefer to sleep on your side or back, you can rest assured (pun intended) of comfortable sleep, too, as its surface is breathable. No more overheating and excessive sweating.
Of course, the cover is removable too, and you can remove it, and machine wash it instantly.
- Available in 2 main options, Hard or Medium Memory Foam
- Features a breathable cover that’s easy to remove and machine or hand wash
- Offers great support and boosts blood circulation
- Can be used both by side and back sleepers
10. Most Lightweight – Newpoint Neckroll Pillow Pairs
Among the most enjoyable features of the Newpoint Neckroll Pillow is that it is sold in pairs, allowing users to enjoy two premium pillows at a fairly reasonable price. The pillows are made from 100% cotton boasting a very high thread count (237). This pureness makes them a delight to highly sensitive people.
Pure cotton also makes it highly comfortable and apt for a neck, knee, back, or cervical pillow. While there are plenty of positives that can be derived from being all white, users have the option to purchase a pillow cover separately to help keep your pillows clean for longer. However, the pillows’ lightweight nature means that they can just as well be put to wash in the washer and drier without them suffering any damage.
- Made from 100% cotton
- Suitable for sensitive people as it is hypoallergenic
- Can be used as a knee, neck, cervical, or back pillow
- Is sold in pairs
Factors to Consider when looking to buy a Bolster Pillow
A pillow is among the most important bedding items at home as it provides much-needed support to the head, neck, knees, and back. When used properly, it will promote optimal body alignment, and persistent aches to various body joints will bother you no more. However, getting such a pillow is no small endeavor, and there are a few factors you need to keep in mind while shopping. The top five of these considerations are:
a) Your Sleeping/Resting Position
If you are getting a sleeping pillow, your default sleeping position should weigh heavily on the pillow you decide to get. Back sleepers need a different kind of support compared to stomach and side sleepers. Taking time to pick the right pillow promises to be a worthwhile endeavor as with the right option for your sleeping position, discomfort, aches, and pain relief is all but guaranteed. For instance, there is minimal support needed in the case of back sleepers, and one needs a pillow of light to minimal density to support the head and neck. With an overly dense pillow, the head risks being over-extended or being pushed too far forward. On their part, side sleepers need a pillow with greater density to cradle the neck and head sufficiently in place. If you are a stomach sleeper, though, none of the pillows above will suit your needs, especially because the head is normally tilted sideways with the rest of the body remaining flat in the above sleeping position. If you are such a sleeper, then having a low-density pillow that’s extra-soft is the way to go.
Besides the bed, bolster pillows are also a good addition for the couch or park, and different options are available to provide support to the back and the knees. Being aware of all these options enables you to choose as you can seek out a pillow to fulfill a specific need.
b) The Bolster Pillow Sizes
Bolster pillows are most often cylindrical, except for a few special-purpose options. However, irrespective of the shape, the pillow’s size also greatly affects the quality of support attained. You are also certain to garner more décor points if the pillows are big enough to complement the bed or couch where they are to be placed. With most bolster pillows, the diameter and length of the pillow determine its size. Lucky for you too, there are options as big as nine inches in diameter.
c) The Bolster Pillow Fillings
The fillings chosen determine various features of the pillow. While some fillings give rise to a soft, cozy, and lush pillow, others will promise more firmness. The choice of fillings also determines the firmness of the pillow and its durability over time. While shopping for a bolster pillow, the most common fillings to look into include cotton, down, polyester, memory foam, feathers, and regular foam. Each of the above pillow fillings is unique in the level of comfort, durability, and support offered, and it all boils down to what features you’d prefer, and the ones you can forego.
d) Pillow Firmness
Different pillows vary in their firmness level from extremely soft options to others that are extremely firm. The different pillow needs also determine the pillow you are likely to get. For example, stomach and back sleepers need a soft pillow that’s extra fluffy, and so do people looking for pillows to support the painful or sore knee and back joints. Such lush and soft pillows are ordinarily made from cotton, down, or feathers. They are easily collapsible and allow users to just sink their heads, knees, or backs into the pillows softness. Foam polyester and memory foam are the pillow options to opt for when looking for extra firmness. These pillows are often heavier and maintain their shape even with sustained use. They are perfect for side sleepers and supporting the back or knees.
e) Special Purposes
Before purchasing a bolster pillow, also determine whether it shall be used for any special purposes, say camping, and park picnics, back or knee support, or pregnancy even. The good news here is that you are likely to find a pillow for each particular use. Such special-purpose pillows are meant to fulfill the particular need to an excellent degree. To this end, expect some weird shapes in your bolster pillows and unique size options in some of the specialty pillows available, including the full-body bolster pillow that’s meant for support during pregnancies. Moreover, there are plenty of bolster pillows that would be perfect for you if you are looking for options to spruce up your living room or bedroom.
The Main Types of Bolster Pillows
Bolster pillows are designed to be mainly long and cylindrical, or in the shapes of cushions. However, there is no standard shape to differentiate them from other pillows, and you will find round, wedge, triangular, and rectangular bolsters all available in the market today. Ordinarily, these pillows are distinguishable from other pillows by the functionality they offer their users. Bolster pillows are meant to offer firm but comfortable support to the back or arms, but they can also be used for supporting the head and neck, depending on your sleeping position. They are also a worthwhile decorative piece for couches, beds, and floor carpets even.
The pillows don’t come with a standard size, though, and you are likely to find some that are human size, with others meant to support only a small part of the body. These pillows go by various names, too, including props, pillows, or cushions.
The Benefits of Purchasing and Using Bolster Pillows
Bolster pillows promise great benefits to their users, and when chosen with care, they can also be a worthwhile décor addition. They are versatile enough to be used in the living room for a nap, or just added decorations, while also being useful in the bedroom down to the nursery. Purchasing such pillows instantly helps you do away with uncomfortable positions, and the pains and aches that come with the same. Below are some more benefits that you are certain to enjoy when you use bolster pillows.
i) Increased Comfort
As mentioned, bolster pillows help you get rid of uncomfortable postures while sleeping, which is a sure way of doing away with aches and pains in the morning. For this reason, these pillows are regularly recommended by orthopedic specialists when you need extra support. Smaller bolsters are perfect when in need of targeted support around the neck area, as that’s all you need to relieve strain and tackle a pain-filled condition. However, back pain requires bigger bolsters, normally placed under the users’ knees or back for almost immediate relief.
Full body bolster pillows are also available, and they are mostly made from carefully selected materials to ensure that they are breathable. Such pillows are the epitome of comfort and would be perfect through a pregnancy, or simply if you are one to hug your pillow all through the night.
ii) Décor Improvements
The unique style, color, and shape options available with bolster pillows promise to make them a suitable décor piece with any home. They effectively add more spice to space than traditional pillows and cushions, and their use on rugs and furniture pieces immediately makes them appear more comfortable and welcoming.
Furthermore, you can go an extra step and purchase assorted covers for your bolsters, opening up multiple new possibilities for your home with different fabrics, patterns, and colors. These covers will also help better maintain your pillows as they come easy to remove and wash.
iii) Extra Safety and Security for Babies
Bolster pillows also come in handy with a baby nursery as they are firm and easily retain their shape. Unlike a fluffy pillow, using bolsters on a nursery will leave your baby risk-free of being smothered or slowly suffocating at night when they sleep on their stomach, face-first into the pillow. These pillows can also be used as bumpers or bed rails, thus preventing your loved one from tipping over if they are prone to rolling around the bed while asleep.
Beyond these special advantages, let’s not forget, too, that bolsters are also super comfortable and cozy. Your baby is going to enjoy snuggling up in one, and the pillow is likely to be a favorite bed companion all through their childhood.
Bolster pillows also promise versatility that’s beyond most other pillows. For a start, the cylindrical bolster pillow can work as an armrest while lounging, reading, watching TV, or even gaming. Not to mention that it will be sprucing up the living room at the same if you took the time to select its colors and patterns.
The pillow is also equally at home in the bedroom and can be carried along for picnics as it is quite lightweight. By purchasing it, users can enjoy all a regular pillow’s benefits plus the added therapeutic relief of a specially built pillow.
How to Take Care of Bolster Pillows after Making the Purchase
Like most other pillows, there is not much that goes into maintaining a bolster pillow in a pristine shape other than ensuring that it is clean and sanitary. In most cases, these pillows are used with pillow covers, and this could spare you plenty of hassles down the line as washing a pillow cover is much easier than the actual pillow. So, be advised to include pillow covers when purchasing bolster pillows.
When the time comes that you have to wash your pillows, you must do so in the right manner. In this way, all the grimy, icky, and gross things that have been building up within the pillow, especially if you had not been using a cover, will be dealt with properly. Such a wash can be achieved in three easy steps, namely:
Step 1: Air-Out the Pillow
This step should be done regularly to ensure the pillow remains free of dust, fluffy, airy, and fresh. So, be sure to fluff the pillow(s) every day and after every four weeks or so, hang them out on a clothesline for a proper breeze. Alternatively, you can run throw them in the drier for a couple of minutes with the setting at the ‘no-heat cycle.
Step 2: Gentle Washing
It is recommended that you wash your pillow about twice a year. Luckily, most pillows come with specific laundering instructions on the label. By following these instructions, you can make easy work of the process and maintain the shape, fluffiness, and freshness of a pillow.
Stains, on the other hand, will need some special care. Urgency will be the main ingredient when such a stain lodges itself on the pillowcase. Some spot treatment using an appropriate strain cleaner is bound to do the trick before you have to wash the pillow or its cover.
Step 3: Thorough Drying
Thorough drying is necessary every time you wash the pillow, too, as failure to do the same will have the pillow at risk of developing mildew. The drier won’t perform the job sufficiently either, for auto-dry sensors are tricked into stopping the process once the surface moisture is dried. However, the pillow’s fillings are left damp. This dampness would be harmful to both the pillow and the health of anyone using it.
Accordingly, look to dry the pillows for about an hour or so under moderate heat when using the drier. To speed things up, you can also add some dry towels. Two fresh dryer balls or tennis balls in the mix bouncing up and down will prevent the pillows from clumping. However, feather and down pillows are a different kettle of fish that don’t respond well to heat drying. They are best dried under the no-heat air-dry setting, but this might take a while longer. The tennis/dryer balls are also necessary if you want to have the pillow avoid clumping.
There you go: we believe that you now have every bit of information you could ever need before stepping out to buy a bolster pillow. There is something for every need with the options presented, including décor upgrade, support, massage accessory, or therapeutic relief. So take time, go through the guide again, realize that it is time well spent when you suffer no more pain or aches due to uncomfortable sleeping positions.
What’s the main purpose served by bolster pillows?
Bolster pillows serve multiple purposes to a similarly high degree of efficiency. They are particularly helpful to people with problematic shoulders, hips, backs, or necks, as they offer enough support to facilitate pain relief.
Are bolster pillows good for sleeping?
Yes – Especially if you are a side sleeper. They offer a surface that is firm enough to ensure that the neck and head are sufficiently cradled. The pillows help to realign the neck and head perfectly with the spine, relieving any undue pressure to your body.
What is a cervical bolster pillow?
This is a bolster pillow made with patients suffering from cervical spondylosis in mind. Such pillows help improve the posture of patients suffering from the condition. Moreover, these bolster pillows have also been reported to improve patients’ sleeping postures and, in the process, avail additional health benefits such as increased blood flow to the head and neck, plus less tense muscles.
When is it advisable to place a bolster pillow underneath your knees?
This simple act helps relieve the pressure of your back when resting or sleeping. Accordingly, you’ll get to suffer less pressure on your back as you rest. Patients suffering from back conditions, plus ladies in their later trimesters, can both enjoy much-needed relief to their back with this simple action, especially if their condition comes with a sore or aching back.