Finding a suitable mattress is a daunting task but having a pillow to support your body posture is equally important. Bolster pillows are a great way to enhance comfort and relieve yourself from stress while you sleep, or perform an exercise.
The average person’s lifestyle today is much more demanding than it was a few decades ago. The constant mental and physical stress means that we need to make the best of the time we got for resting.
To help you find the pillow that suits you, we have put together a review of the top 5 best bolster pillows along with buying tips.
Let’s start with a quick comparison.
Compare the Top 5 Best Bolster Pillow
|Products||Size and shape||Fabric||Filling||Intended Use||Link|
|ForPro Full Round Bolster||26″ x 6″ x 6″ Full Round||PU Vinyl||High-Density Foam||Support during massages|
|Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow||14″ x 6″ x 6″ Full Round||Very soft hypoallergenic nylon-spandex mixture||Polystyrene Microbeads||Comfort during sleep|
|EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow Full Round||26″ x 6″ x 6″ Full Round||NATURSOFT 100% PU upholstery||Eco-friendly CFC free foam||Support during massage|
|SOFTaCARE Knee Pillow||19″ x 7″ x 4″ Half-round||Double covering of Bamboo Fiber and Cotton||High-Density hypoallergenic Memory Foam||Leg and Knee Support for aches and pains|
|KA UA Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster||18″ x 4″ x 4″ Full Round||Double covering of bamboo blend and jersey cloth||One-piece high-density hypoallergenic memory foam||Back and Neck support for aches and pains|
What is a bolster pillow?
A bolster pillow is an elongated, narrow and often cylindrical pillow. Like any other, a bolster pillow is also meant to offer support to your body in some way. They can be used for anything from facilitating yoga positions to accentuating your new duvet.
Uses of a bolster pillow
- Bolsters are popularly used by people with back, neck, shoulder or hip problems. They offer some much-needed support while sleeping. Due to the natural curvature of the back and the neck, these areas can remain in tension while we lie in bed. Since bolster pillows are narrow and round, they can fit in the space that forms between these parts of the body and the surface of the bed. This allows the muscles to relax, and the vertebrae to have an actual surface to rest on.
- Bolsters are also great for use during yoga. Even a yoga novice knows the integral role bolsters play in yoga, especially you need support for backbends or need to make the best of the final resting position.
- They are commonly used by massage therapists as well. The principle here is the same as the one for people with back problems, however here they are used mainly to put the body in as relaxed a position as possible.
- Bolster pillows can be a godsend for pregnant women and new mothers as well. Not only are the ideal for neck and lower back support, but they can also be used to elevate the knees during sleep.
- For new mothers, they can work as bumpers in the crib or otherwise to keep the baby from rolling towards danger. They can also be used in place of large pillows when putting babies to sleep
Top 5 Best Bolster Pillows Reviews & Comparison
1. ForPro Full Round Bolster –Best rated overall
- High-density foam
- PU vinyl cover
- Fully round
- Carry Handle
- Sturdy; made for back support
The ForPro Full Round Bolster is filled with high-density foam that allows it to conform to the shape of your body. At the same time, this will also ensure that it returns to its original shape.
This combined with its full round shape makes this bolster pillow a suitable choice for massage therapists.
However, this high-density foam might be a problem for some users who might find it a bit too hard for their liking.
If you have particular needs regarding back or neck support and are looking for a bolster pillow which can respond to your particular anatomy, then this might be the right choice for you. It will also serve you well if you sleep on your back.
2. Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow – Best for allergen people
- Soft to the touch
- Flexible covering
- Hypoallergenic properties
- Microbead filling
- Machine washable
The Microbead bolster Tube Pillow is a very squishy pillow that comes in a silky soft cover that makes it great for neck and back support.
It has a hypoallergenic covering, meaning that it is resistant to infestation from dust mites and other such allergens, which is good news for people suffering from allergies. For people who are allergic to dust mites, or generally have sensitive skin, or are prone to some other contact-based allergy will benefit from a pillow that relieves them of concerns regarding allergic reactions.
On the other hand, because microbeads require some breaking into, they might not be everybody’s cup of tea. The 13-inch length may also be inadequate for larger users.
This Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow is ideal for allergen people looking for a comfortable neck support during sleep. It is sturdy enough to offer support, but at the same, the choice of materials such as the nylon-spandex cover and polystyrene filling makes it soft enough to not cause hindrance or discomfort while you sleep.
3. EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow Full Round – Best for support massage
- Made for professional massages
- Generous size
- Professional grade CFC free foam
- Available in various colors
- NATURSOFT 100% PU covering
- Carry Handle
This EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow is made with the idea of massage therapy in mind. It offers comfortable lower back and knee support for users during massages.
Like the ForPro, it is also 26 inches long, giving it more versatility of use. The generous size is suitable for use on larger beds as well as full sized massage tables.
The only possible downside may be that the polyurethane used can be sensitive to certain alcohols and detergents and is best washed in a laundry bag at a medium pace. Some users may find the process of fulfilling the particular needs of the upholstery, tedious.
EARTHITE is one of the key players in the massage industry. With their extensive line of massage related equipment, we can rest assured that the one thing the ERHTLITE Bolster Pillow will have is quality. If you are looking for something that is tailored to provide comfort and a feel-good experience, you should definitely look into this one.
4. SOFTaCARE Knee Pillow – Best for leg and knee support
- Reasonably sized for knees
- Half-round shape
- High-density memory foam
- All-natural, double covering
- Hypoallergenic materials
- Soft bamboo fiber outer cover
The SOFTaCARE pillow comes with a number of interesting features to help people with knee or leg pain. With a height of 5.5 inches and a length of 10.1 inches, it is ideal for placing under the knees during sleep.
It also comes with completely natural, high-density, orthopedic memory foam filling, which is made with hypoallergenic materials. The best thing about memory foam is its ability to reshape itself according to the curvature of your body. In that sense, it literally “remembers” your body. Since during sleep, our body naturally goes into its most relaxed position possible, using the SOFTaCARE under your knees will allow it to remember exactly which position is best for knees, and adjust itself accordingly.
At the same time, the fact that the foam is made very soft to fit underneath the knees without disrupting blood circulation, may not be to everybody’s taste, since some user may find it too soft or flimsy.
This product is specifically produced to help with knee and leg problems. That in itself is an appealing quality since most products try to do a little bit of everything. If you are looking for a pillow to elevate your knees during sleep, to ease that pressure off your joints, this is the pillow to go for.
5. KA UA Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster – Best for Neck and back support
- 4 inch by 18-inch dimensions for neck support
- Double-cover with machine washable outer cover
- 100% one-piece memory foam filling
- Outer cover made of a bamboo blend
- Inner lining made of Jersey cloth
This neck roll pillow is made for cervical problems. You will be able to get the most out of it when you use it for neck support during sleep.
The dimensions of the product are also suitable for use as a neck support. The 4-inch diameter makes it thinner than most entries on this list, but this thickness, combined with the slack makes it ideal for you to place it under your neck during sleep, without feeling like your space is being intruded upon.
The only downside to the product is that it is towards the higher end of the cost spectrum. In this price, some user may prefer a product that is more versatile and not just focused on a particular body part.
Ultimately this pillow does justice to its essential purpose. It caters to the problem it was designed for; offering much-needed neck and back support and relief to people in pain. For such users who are looking for medical-grade sleeping aids, this is a great place to start.
Find out more about The Best Pillow in our full review.
To choose the right bolster pillow for yourself, you need to have a good sense of few things. It will also be helpful to have an idea of some the aspects of a pillow that determine how it will perform such as material, filling, size, foam type, and overall quality. Even if you feel like your knowledge level is not up to the mark, fear not, for you have come to just the right place.
The size of a bolster pillow will affect how well it can be used in different situations. The primary use of bolster pillows is to offer support, often in the parts of the body that tend to form curvatures while laying down, such the neck, the lower back or the knees, it is important to find a pillow that comfortable fits underneath these parts, without causing uncomfortable posture or hampering circulation. Of course, the size and anatomy of the user will also affect this decision.
Some users may find that a bolster that is best for placement under the lower back during massages, might cause them to assume an awkward or uncomfortable posture. If you encounter such a situation, do not hesitate to move on and look for something that feels the best for your body.
Another area where size has a role to play is versatility, in terms of sleeping positions. Some bolsters may be the perfect size for you back, but too high and therefore, uncomfortable when placed under ankles of people who sleep on their bellies.
The choice of fabric, mainly in the covering is what almost entirely determines the tactile quality of the pillow. A leather covering may feel hard and rigid, even with the softest of fillings, while the cotton or silk cover can make the relatively harder pillows feel soft and gentle.
Remember that the fabric will make up the first layer of our experience with the bolster pillow. It will govern the overall feel of your pillow. No matter how suitable the size of filling of the pillow may be, or how much scientific backing your pillow’s intended benefits have, if it does not feel comfortable to you, it will not be worth it.
The choice of fabric also determines how easy the cover is to remove and clean. Flexible fabrics will allow you to remove covers more easily as compared to those that are not flexible. They are also less prone to rips and tears from tension.
The filling of a bolster pillow is what determines its usefulness and effectiveness in the long term, since the filling type, is what will eventually offer the support. Some pillows come with a simple filling of polyester beads or fibers. This makes them “squishy” and soft which can be great for supporting lighter parts of the body like the ankles of the neck.
However, the material itself is not very sturdy under pressure and may get permanently deformed or the fibers may begin to collapse when it is compressed under your torso’s weight.
Similarly, memory foam will respond perfectly the part of your body you use it for but may dial back on the versatility.
The intended use should perhaps be the most important parameter in your search for the right bolster pillow.
If you are looking for a pillow to help with aches and pains, you might want to go with the something with a softcover, and a memory-foam filling, so that it makes it easier to use over long periods, and offer support, considering the particular curvature of your body.
On the other hand, if you are simply looking for something that you can use for neck support while on the road, perhaps a down filling with a smaller diameter will work best.
Lastly, sleeping posture also plays a role in what pillow will serve you well. Side sleepers may prefer a full round pillow to go between the knees, while back sleepers may prefer a half round pillow so that it does not slide around much.
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At the end of the day, some trial and error are to be expected. But once you find the right bolster for yourself, you will surely have guaranteed and lasting comfort.