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

ProductsSize and shapeFabricFillingIntended UseLink
ForPro Full Round Bolster26″ x 6″ x 6″ Full RoundPU VinylHigh-Density FoamSupport during massages
Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow 14″ x 6″ x 6″ Full RoundVery soft hypoallergenic nylon-spandex mixturePolystyrene MicrobeadsComfort during sleep
EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow Full Round26″ x 6″ x 6″ Full RoundNATURSOFT 100% PU upholsteryEco-friendly CFC free foamSupport during massage
SOFTaCARE Knee Pillow19″ x 7″ x 4″ Half-roundDouble covering of Bamboo Fiber and CottonHigh-Density hypoallergenic Memory FoamLeg and Knee Support for aches and pains
KA UA Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster18″ x 4″ x 4″ Full RoundDouble covering of bamboo blend and jersey clothOne-piece high-density hypoallergenic memory foamBack 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

Buying Guide

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.

Size

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.

Fabric

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.

Filling Type

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.

Intended Use

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.

You maybe interested in Best Cooling Pillows.

Detailed Products reviews

1.ForPro Full Round Bolster –Best rated overall

Features
  • High-density foam
  • PU vinyl cover
  • Fully round
  • Carry Handle
  • Sturdy; made for back support

ForPro Full Round Bolster

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.

It also comes with a PU vinyl cover with a zipper, which is light and stretchable. PU vinyl is generally easy to clean as well, which make it easier to maintain. So you can use it repeatedly in various situations without being concerned about durability.

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.

Pros
  • Molds itself according to your body.
  • Great for patients with back pain.
  • Great to use for massages.
  • Good to use during yoga and exercise.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Durable; resistant to pressure.
Cons
  • The zipper is on the inside of the cover.
  • Foam can get torn, in which case, the damage is irreversible.

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High-Density Foam: The ForPro Full Round Bolster is made to be versatile support. The high-density foam, the flexible cover, and the round shape all combine to make it a well-suited pillow for offering back, neck and knee support. This pillow will easily resist the pressure of your body weight without losing its shape or strength. Additionally, the carry handle also makes it easy to transport and move or shift around even during sleep.

2.Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow – Best for allergen people

Features
  • Soft to the touch
  • Flexible covering
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • Microbead filling
  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable

Squishy Deluxe Microbead Bolster Tube Pillow

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.

The cover is made of 85% nylon and 15% Spandex which makes it quite flexible and therefore particularly easy to remove. The ease with which the cover can be removed means you can wash it as frequently as you like. And since the entire pillow is machine washable, you will not have a hard time keeping it clean either. This ease of maintenance improves the durability of the product.

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Safe from most allergens
  • Microbeads make is soft yet sturdy and ideal for back support
  • Comes in various colors
Cons
  • Can feel slightly hard at first until broken into

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MicroBead Filling : One of the most interesting features of the microbead bolster is that 90% of its filling is made up of superfine odorless polystyrene microbeads, each with a diameter of 0.3 to 0.5 mm, while the remaining 10% is a synthetic microfiber. The microbeads do not allow for the pillow to have too much slack, but at the same the time the pillow still feels malleable due to the inherent flexibility of the material itself. This gives this otherwise sturdy pillow, a much softer feel, making it suitable for most sleeping postures, but particularly useful for side-sleepers.

3.EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow Full Round – Best for support massage

Features
  • Made for professional massages
  • Generous size
  • Professional grade CFC free foam
  • Available in various colors
  • NATURSOFT 100% PU covering
  • Carry Handle

EARTHLITE Bolster Pillow Full Round

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.

If you are someone who is mindful; of their impact on the environment, or generally want to do your part in being a responsible citizen of the world, it will please you to know that this bolster is filled with professional grade CFC free foam. Not only is this foam lightweight but also makes the pillow completely odorless and fit for usage close to the face, even from day one.

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.

Pros
  • Ideal for use during massages
  • High quality, eco-friendly and odorless filling
  • Ultra soft covering
  • Carry handle for portability and ease of placement
  • Suitable for larger spaces
Cons
  • Taking care of the upholstery can be a handful
  • Might be pricey for some customers

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NATURSOFT 100% PU Upholstery : NATURSOFT 100% PU upholstery, is basically a patented, high-quality polyurethane covering, with professional grade stitching that compounds the durability of the product. Through the use of NATURSOFT 100% PU upholstery EARTHLITE ensures that your pillow has a buttery-soft tactile quality that enhances the sensory experience of this bolster pillow while making it eco-friendly at the same time.

4.SOFTaCARE Knee Pillow – Best for leg and knee support

Features
  • Reasonably sized for knees
  • Half-round shape
  • High-density memory foam
  • All-natural, double covering
  • Hypoallergenic materials
  • Soft bamboo fiber outer cover

SOFTaCARE Knee Premium Bolster Pillow

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.

The Half round shape also facilitates placement under the knees during sleep, especially if you sleep on your back. The flat face gives it a stable center of gravity and keeps it from rolling around while you move in your 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.

 

Pros
  • Made to help with leg and knee pains
  • Stable for use during sleep
  • Very gentle to the touch
  • High density, yet extra soft, memory foam responds to your body’s shape
  • Natural materials make it eco-friendly
  • Double-cover allows for usage at all times
Cons
  • Maybe too soft for some users
  • Targeted for only knee pains so may not be as effective for neck and back

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Double Covering : The double-covering of the SOFTaCARE Knee pillow will be beneficial for your legs and knees on multiple levels. Pains and aches do not take days off, so why should your bolster pillow? The outer covering is made of super-soft bamboo fiber that comes with a zipper, making it easy to remove and wash. The inner covering, which is 100% cotton, allows you to use it even when the outer cover is gone for laundry. The bamboo cover also provides extra gentleness and the hypoallergenic materials will make sure that your skin remains free of any allergic reactions.

5.KA UA Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster – Best for Neck and back support

Features
  • 4 inch by 18-inch dimensions for neck support
  • Double-cover with machine washable outer cover
  • 100% one-piece memory foam filling
  • Lightweight
  • Outer cover made of a bamboo blend
  • Inner lining made of Jersey cloth

Ka Ua Hawaiian Rain Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster

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.

This too comes with a bamboo fiber double covering making it available for use at all times. At the same time, the small zipper does not get in the way of your comfort while making it easy to remove the outer cover for washing.

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.

 

Pros
  • Ideal for back and neck support
  • Gentle and comfortable to use
  • Easy to carry around
  • A great sleeping aid if you suffer from neck pain
  • Good balance between gentleness and sturdy durability
Cons
  • Expensive than most pillows
  • Best-suited for neck and back, thus may not be as useful to belly sleepers

Check Price and Availability

Memory Foam filling : The KA UA Neck Roll Cervical Bolster not only comes with a memory foam filling but one-piece memory foam filling. We have already gone over the undoubted benefits of memory foam to people suffering from physical complications. Bearing in mind how it allows the pillow to attain a more personal value by responding to your particular anatomy, the one-piece feature adds an extra layer of comfort and durability. It makes the foam responsive while minimizing the risk of it feeling too soft or getting de-shaped.

Find out more about The Best Pillow in our full review.

Conclusion

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.

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