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Which baby pillows are best?

When you get ready to have your baby, it seems like everyone, from the latest new parent book to your local grocer’s grandmother, has all the advice, and theirs is the “correct” advice for babies. 

It’s likely that at one point or another, you’ve heard about baby pillows and the controversy surrounding them. While some professionals recommend keeping your baby’s crib empty until they’re at least one to two years old, sometimes a pillow is necessary.

The best pillows are like the OCCObaby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow, which work wonders in helping to prevent flat head syndrome and support your newborn’s head and neck.

However, it is unsafe to leave your baby unsupervised with a pillow if they’re under a year old. If you feel your newborn will benefit from a baby pillow, it’s best to never let them use one without your supervision, and you should discuss any concerns with your pediatrician. 

What to know before you buy a baby pillow


Everyone can agree that babies make messes. From bodily fluids to spilled food, it’s likely that the baby pillow will be on the receiving end more than a few times. 

While many come with a tight, removable cover, some will not. In both cases, it’s important to select a baby pillow that can withstand multiple washes without losing fabric quality. Typically, any fabric made from cotton is durable and easily washable.


You’ll hear varying names for the same type of pillow, depending on who you ask. But they can be placed into three broad categories. 

Positioning pillows are designed to restrict your baby to a desired sleeping position. Some people position babies on their backs, while others position them on their sides (which should only be done if they have begun to roll over). It’s good to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are always placed on their backs anytime they sleep. 

Wedge pillows are elevated pillows that are wider at the top and narrow down towards the shoulders. The benefit of these baby pillows is that they can promote healthier breathing if your baby’s congested. 

Then there are the head shaping pillows, which include these best infant head support pillows, and ones that prevent flat head syndrome or plagiocephaly. They implement a combination of a cutout and a cushioned base that cradles your baby’s head to distribute pressure. 


A vast majority of these products are designed to accommodate your baby for at least a year. However, since babies grow and develop at differing rates, you must also look for the manufacturer’s weight and development stage requirements to use baby pillows safely. For example, one product might be designed for newborns up to six months old who can’t roll over independently and have a maximum weight of 15 pounds.

What to look for in a quality baby pillow

Density and filling

Selecting a baby pillow with the best density can be like re-enacting Goldilocks for a few minutes. If it’s too dense, it’ll cause more harm than good, and it won’t be beneficial if it’s too soft. 

Speaking with your pediatrician is best to determine if your newborn needs a baby pillow with softer cotton filling or one that’s denser like memory foam and can help with head formation.


Whether you and your pediatrician decide that your baby requires either a firm or conformable baby pillow, it’s important that it at least feels soft. Although cotton isn’t as soft as some synthetic fabrics, it’s preferable because it can retain its quality over numerous washes. 


You want to choose a baby pillow that’s organic or at the very least hypoallergenic. The benefit is that it creates a safe environment for your baby by reducing the amount of exposure to allergens in the pillow. 

How much you can expect to spend on a baby pillow

Depending on the materials, you can expect to spend between $17-$25 on a quality baby pillow. 

Best baby pillow FAQ

How long should a baby pillow be used?

A. It depends on your baby and the pillow. A vast majority require your baby to be of a specific weight, age or development stage to use the pillow safely. Once they outgrow the requirements, hit a new milestone or roll over on their own, it’s time to say goodbye to the baby pillow. 

What’s the best way to clean a baby pillow?

A.  Each pillow will have its specific care instructions to ensure there’s no loss in integrity. Some are machine-washable, while others must be hand-washed. If you’re unsure, hand-washing is always a safe method, or you can check the manufacturer’s website. 

What are the best baby pillows to buy?

Top baby pillow

OCCObaby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow

OCCObaby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow

What you need to know: This hypoallergenic baby pillow is designed with flat head syndrome prevention in mind. 

What you’ll love: While there isn’t an apparent cutout like other baby pillows, it features slightly raised sides to keep your baby’s head and spine aligned. It has a hypoallergenic bamboo case with a 100% cotton liner. The memory foam is ventilated but retains its density to reduce pressure. There’s also ample shoulder room to maximize your baby’s comfort. 

What you should consider: With enough movement, babies can slip off the pillow. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top baby pillow for the money

Hidetex Baby Pillow

Hidetex Baby Pillow

What you need to know: This is a versatile baby pillow that can fit most places your baby wants to lay their head. 

What you’ll love: It’s available in eight colors and has a cute bear-shape design with hypoallergenic, breathable cotton and dense memory foam. It has an ergonomic shape to keep your baby’s spine inclined and correctly aligned without straining their head. 

What you should consider: The soft, breathable fabric requires frequent washes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

JOHN N TREE Organic Cotton Breathable Baby Pillow

JOHN N TREE Organic Cotton Breathable Baby Pillow

What you need to know: This cute double-sided lamb-shaped pillow is safe for your baby’s skin and perfectly complements your cute baby.

What you’ll love: This eco-friendly pillow is globally certified, so you can rest assured that it uses 100% organic cotton that’s incredibly soft and breathable. The pillow is also free from dyes, print, bleach and other harmful chemicals. It has a cutout in the middle designed to prevent flat head syndrome and comfortably support your baby’s head. 

What you should consider: It can only be used for newborns up to a year old.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Christopher Lee writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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