When it comes to picking a nursing pillow for breastfeeding, there’s a lot to consider. The market has multiplied with options all featuring various pros and cons. As a mom who has breastfeed twice and is currently still nursing an 18-month old (and still using my nursing pillow!), the main thing I look for is comfort, easy of cleaning and longevity. And most ideally: organic materials.
Finding the best organic nursing pillow is a challenge. There are things to consider about the size and shape, the quality of materials as well as the price.
The question on every new moms mind: do you need a nursing pillow?
If you plan to breastfeed, then yes I absolutely 100% think it is worth it to invest in a nursing pillow. I used my pillow a lot in the early days of breastfeeding and I still use it now that my son is 18 months old. A nursing pillow is far more supportive than a regular pillow and is the best option for breastfeeding moms, in my experience.
Personally, mine has gotten significant use over the years (going on almost four years now) and I’ve never regretted having it. I even took it with us on a trip to Hawaii (packed in my carry-on in a space bag).
Things to consider in your nursing pillow:
When picking a nursing pillow in general you’ll want to consider a couple of things:
- The Shape: Will it fit your body comfortably? Will it support your baby and allow you to have a proper latch? Most of the pillows are in a crescent shape but some of them have different shapes.
- Ease of Cleaning: I prefer at least a removable cover that can go in the washing machine but it’s up to you if you are okay with spot cleaning.
- Longevity: Will you be able to nurse into toddlerhood using the pillow (if that’s your journey)?
- Other Uses: Most of these nursing pillows can be used a supportive pillows throughout pregnancy as well as by your child for support during tummy time or when learning to sit. Do not use nursing pillows as a sleep aid or leave your baby with them unattended.
- Additional features: Do you want an adjustable strap, for example? Or maybe a pocket to hold your phone or bottle of water?
- Support: Ideally you want your organic breastfeeding pillow to be supportive. It needs to hold baby’s head at the right height in the best position for arm and back support. The best nursing pillows provide this to you without the use of an additional support pillow.
- Price: Price is a factor for many families to be. My top pick organic nursing pillow is actually one of the lower-priced options on this list. However, it’s still not what I would describe as inexpensive. That said, I do think it is worth the investment. I made the mistake of not buying one of these originally and I regret it!
If you’re new to using a good nursing pillow, you can talk to lactation consultants in your local area for some help.
What materials to look for in your nursing pillow:
Picking natural materials found in a non-toxic nursing pillow like an organic cotton cover and buckwheat hull fill reduces your toxin exposures.
Topping our list here is organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and toxins. There are a couple of additional benefits as well. Additionally, organic cotton production uses less water than traditional methods and does not pollute the environment.
Wool is a very breathable material that is naturally dust-mite and allergen resistant. It’s comfortable, temperature-regulating, and biodegradable which makes it a good choice for a nursing pillow.
This is a material you’ll see frequently in organic nursing pillows. The buckwheat hull is triangular in shape which allows for the perfect shaping of the pillow.
This unique material also allows for ventilation in the pillow which makes it easily temperature regulating. It’s also naturally anti-allergen.
Often called Java cotton, kapok is a plant fiber that comes from the kapok tree, a tropical canopy tree. Kapok is naturally moisture-resistant making it ideal for a nursing pillow.
Certifications To Look For:
There are a couple of third-party certifications you can look for on your nursing pillow that commit to quality:
GOTS Certified: GOTS or global organic textile standard is for organic materials. In particular, it means that the product has been made with at least 95% organic materials. With this certification, the entire supply chain of each individual material has met the strictest standard for both ecological and social responsibility.
OKEO-TEX Standard 100: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 300 chemicals and VOCs and meets their standards, however, there are still some undesirable things allowed with this certification so you need to see this along with 100% organic cotton to be sure it’s safe.
MADE SAFE®: A coveted seal, this certification means that the product has been made without using any harmful chemicals and is safe for human use. I have not yet seen any nursing pillows with this certification.
CertiPUR-US: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 1,000 chemicals and VOCs and meets their standards. I have not yet seen any nursing pillows with this certification.
Greenguard Gold Certified: This certification means that the product has been tested for over 10,000 chemicals and VOCs and meets their strict standards. I have not yet seen any nursing pillows with this certification.
What materials to avoid in your nursing pillow:
A baby’s skin is 20% thinner and more permeable than adult skin, meaning that it is much more susceptible to damage from chemical and toxic exposure. When your baby is spending so much time on something like a nursing pillow, the quality of materials is important to consider.
Non-Organic Cotton (just “cotton” on the label)
Did you know cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world? If a product does not say it was made with certified organic cotton then assume it was grown with traditional methods. This means they use heavy pesticides and herbicibes for mitigation purposes. These have been found in the final products meaning these chemicals get onto skin and into our bodies.
Because this guide is all about organic nursing pillows, I would also recommend avoiding synthetic fibers of all types as well. Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon contribute significantly to microplastic pollution and are best avoided if you can. They also often contain things like brominated flame retardants and formaldehyde.
Polyester is actually quite a dangerous material. Manufacturers continue to use it because it is cheap, however, toxins contained within it can cause respiratory problems, skin problems, cancer, reduced sperm count, and can affect a child’s immune system. Many popular brands of nursing pillows are stuffed with this material, and it is best avoided.
A low is a low quality material that is actually made from petroleum and emits VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The popular my breast friend pillow is made with polyurethane foam (even though they now have an organic cover option, and for this reason I would recommend avoiding it).
Many products are made without these added these days, however, you’ll still want to check with the manufacturer to make sure nothing additional was added. Several brands, like boppy pillow, now advertise their product is “flame retardant free” which makes me weary of what might have been in other models before.
Best Organic Nursing Pillow
1. The Blessed Nest Organic Nursing Pillow $98 – TOP PICK
This organic nursing pillow is filled with organic buckwheat hull, which is an ideal filling for a nursing pillow for both comfort and stability.
Blessed Nest makes their nursing pillows in the United States with certified organic fabrics (GOTS certified) and domestically grown organic buckwheat hulls.
They are never treated with chemicals. The covers can be machine washed and dried. Additional covers are also available for purchase.
The inner pillow can also be spot cleaned and heat sanitized in the dryer on 15 minute cycle. The Nesting Pillow is about 26” wide, 16” deep and 5” high, quarter moon-shaped. It weighs about 5 1/2 lb.
Reviews report that it is incredibly supportive and great for plus size moms. They come in 8 different colors. The materials are very high quality, the company is found by moms and for moms, and is made in the USA with domestically grown materials. Given this, plus the price, it is my top pick.
2. Sustainable Baby Co. Organic MoonWomb $175
Besides having the cutest name, the MoonWomb is both a pregnancy pillow for sleeping and a breastfeeding pillow. This multifunctional use gives it extreme longevity on your motherhood journey from pregnancy to many years postpartum.
This Moon pillow is filled with buckwheat hull that is supportive and comforting. This material allows for ventilation and temperature regulation.
It also does not compress but rather conforms to your body (and baby’s body) for the ultimate comfort.
It comes in two sizes: MoonWomb and MiniMoon. It also comes in 16 different color ways that are dyed with safe water based dyes or botanical plant dye that is organic and sustainably harvested.
Their covers are also OEKO Tex Certified. To clean them, you wash on delicate, inside out – either by hand or on the delicate cycle. They say to hang to dry.
3. Holy Lamb $189
The Holy Lamb nursing pillow is made with GOTS certified organic wool inside of a GOTS certified organic cotton case.
It is designed to cradle and support your baby without placing extra strain on your arms and back, whether you nurse or are bottle feeding. You can also purchases additional cases.
The Holy Lamb goes above and beyond in their sustainability practices avoiding the use of plastic and synthetic materials in their shipping packaging. As a company, holy lamb organics is committed to sustainable practices.
Their nursing pillow is not machine washable because of the wool batting but you can spot clean it. The case is machine washable and can be tumble dried on low.
One thing to note with this particular pillow is the scent of wool. It’s often a sweet, outdoorsy scent that is reported to dissipate in a few days to a week.
This pillow is a great choice if you want a wool pillow, just keep in mind the potential downsides.
4. Magnolia Organics Nursing Nest Pillow $39.95
The Nursing Nest is made of completely natural materials. The pillow is filled with buckwheat hulls and the outer layer is made of GOTS certified organic cotton.
This pillow is a c-shape design, most similar to the popular “boppy pillow.” The barrier cloth is made of dense organic cotton that protects from mold, dust mites, as well as pollen.
The buckwheat hulls allow it to conform perfectly to your body and baby’s body for a comfortable feed.
This is the lest expensive organic nursing pillow on this list but it is frequently sold out. If you can wait and try to snag it, I would go with this one. But I also think the Blessed Nest pillow is really great choice as well.
5. Design Dua Organic Kapok Nursing Pillow $79.99
This nursing pillow is fulled with organic kapok fiber. As far as I can tell, only the ivory cover is made with GOTS certified organic cotton.
It is free of chemicals, pesticides, substances, allergens and flame retardants. This pillow measures 25″x 21″ and can be washed in the washing machine. It works well as a pillow for nursing, bottle feeding, as an infant support, and for cuddling and bonding.
In Summary: Best Organic Nursing Pillow
You might not have ever thought about the materials in your nursing pillow, but if you are an expectant mama hoping to breastfeed, I would encourage you to pick up a nursing pillow made with organic cotton and sustainable materials over other cheaply made products.
While more affordable, the truth is many of these products are made with some less-than-ideal materials which can be harmful to both you and your baby. Not something you want while bonding during feeds with your new infant!
Let me know which nursing pillow you’re most interested in and if you have any questions. I’m happy to help in the comments.
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