The Best Head Pillows For Babies, Newborns & Infants
Infancy is the single-stage in human life where our bodies grow and develop rapidly. Thus, it is important for infants to have enough sleep to encourage proper development and good health. It is typical for newborns to sleep fifteen to seventeen hours per day. They don’t sleep non-stop for this length of time though; they sleep for two to three hours at a time. Considering the length of time that babies spend sleeping daily, a comfortable pillow is a necessity. So, what should we look for in an infant pillow?
An infant pillow should be comfortable even without a pillowcase. A pillowcase can contribute to SIDS through suffocation, once your child is at the 2-3 year old toddler stage you can look into the top-rated pillows for toddlers. While you have a newborn or 1 year old though, the less items in the crib while sleeping, the safer the baby. Never go for fluffy pillows used by adults as infant pillows should be firm. The firmness helps the baby’s neck muscles in keeping the head comfortably positioned. While can can get quality baby head pillows at Target or Walmart, we like Amazon, and below are the five best head pillows for babies in the market. Our comprehensive reviews will help you decide which one is best suited for your small bundle of love and joy!
Best Head Pillow for Babies Reviews
Babymoov Lovenest Baby Head Support
Lovenest is arguably one of the very first baby pillows that was designed specifically to address flat head syndrome in babies. The product has been around for more than 10 years and the design has been patented, it is also know as the World's first pediatrician designed pillow to prevent Infant flat head.
It is common for infants to develop plagiocephaly because the skull is not yet completely solid until the baby reaches one year old. This is caused by infants lying on their head in one direction for prolonged lengths of time. The Lovenest was designed by pediatrician Manuel Maidenberg in 2005 to specifically help in countering the circumstances that lead to plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome.
How does the Lovenest do this?
The Lovenest prevents this by providing support to the back of a baby’s skull in a cup-like area to support the baby’s head, thus preventing pressure on the back of the baby’s skull. It is made of memory foam that allows it to adjust to any head shape your baby might have.
Additionally, the Lovenest is made of breathable fabric that allows air to flow freely in areas where the baby’s head and neck are in contact with the pillow. This facilitates the ideal circulation of air keeping baby’s skin cool while sleeping. This breathable fabric is also hypoallergenic and bacteria-resistant which are important features for babies because it is easy for milk, spittle, sweat, and other organic fluids to get on the baby’s sleeping area that
can easily turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, one of the great features of the Lovenest baby pillow is that it is machine washable.
One downside of the Lovenest is its price. It is the most expensive of the five baby pillows that we are reviewing in this article. Babymoov—the maker of Lovenest—helps justify the price by promising a lifetime warranty for their product and advises parents to register their product within two months of purchase to help facilitate their warranty in the future. This is the best warranty offer of all the baby pillows we reviewed on this list.
Helps prevent plagiocephaly
The priciest among the products on this list
Cherish Baby Care - Flat Head Baby Pillow
This pillow has a nice apple-like shape that seems to match the color of its cotton covers. It is also designed to help prevent flat head syndrome just like Lovenest.
The Flat Head Baby Pillow is made of memory foam that allows it to adapt to the shape of your baby’s head, providing greater comfort. The memory foam has a contour that is similar to the Lovenest baby pillow that gives baby’s head great support, and this prevents the pressure on the baby’s head from causing flat head syndrome.
The memory foam is encased with an inner cover fabric. This memory foam is German-made and is completely odor-free which is a good indicator of it being free from harmful chemicals that can be harmful to babies. The package includes two separate outer covers that are machine-washable. The two outer covers are made with soft fabric. However, these free outer covers can be a suffocation risk for babies. Infant sleep safety guidelines always specify that the fewer items that babies sleep with, the safer they will be while asleep. So the best advice when purchasing this baby pillow will be to skip using the two free outer covers. The pillow is covered with a soft inner cover anyway so it can be used even without an outer cover. However, it is not specified if the inner foam is washable just like the two outer covers.
Another downside of the foam upon review is that it can be too soft for heavier or bigger babies. Baby pillows should ideally be firm in order to provide the head support that babies need in order to avoid flat head syndrome.
All textiles used in the pillow—which includes both the inner and outer covers—have Textile Safety Certifications for infant use. So even though we’re skipping the outer covers, the inner cover is safe enough for babies to use.
Odor-free memory foam
Has Textile Safety Certification for both inner and outer covers
The included 2 cotton covers are a risk for infant suffocation that can cause SIDS
The foam is too soft for bigger babies to get head support from it
Baby Love Memory Foam Pillow
The Parent Company’s version of the infant pillow follows suit with the first two products that we’ve reviewed so far. Its design is primarily focused on preventing flat head syndrome and it does so by integrating several unique features to their baby pillow’s shape.
Baby Love Memory Foam Pillow has a unique shape. It has a crescent moon shape. The center of the pillow has the same concave shape at its lower center that helps provide support for the baby’s head during sleep to help prevent plagiocephaly. The German-made memory foam helps conform to the pillow’s shape to fit the head of infants regardless of shape and size. The memory foam has a slow rebound design which helps it stay in shape longer. This feature makes the foam firm and suitable for providing support.
In addition to the common support that baby pillows provide, the foam has a slight hump near the end of its crescent shape. This provides support to the baby’s cheeks to prevent the baby's head from turning toward a very steep angle from the rest of the baby’s body.
The memory foam is covered with a Jacquard air layer fabric for superior breathability. This fabric is soft enough for babies even without the included outer cover, but it is not indicated if it is hypoallergenic like the outer cover. The outer cover is the first to feature a completely organic bamboo fabric. It is ultra-soft, breathable, highly absorbent and hypoallergenic. The hyper absorbency of the outer cover would be great if the foam is machine-washable. Unfortunately, it is not. This means that everything that the outer cover absorbs—milk, spittle, sweat, etc.—will drain down onto the inner cover and foam. And because the foam and inner cover are not washable, all that organic fluid dumped there will stay there with no means of washing it off and this can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Additionally, the outer pillowcase can be a safety hazard for babies. So even though the inner cover is not made of organic bamboo fabric like the outer cover, it would be the safe option to skip the outer cover.
Breathable inner cover
Unique shape provides support for neck and cheek
Memory foam and inner cover is not machine washable
The included cover is a safety risk for infant suffocation that can lead to SIDS
W WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn- Breathable 3D Air Mesh Organic Cotton
This pillow likely targets parents who are traditionalists and still haven’t gotten through the unorthodox shapes of the other products on this list. It still blends in the common feature of baby head support for flat head syndrome prevention and it tries to do so by improving on the traditional pillow design.
This baby pillow has a traditional shape, but it has a similar cup indentation where the baby’s head should be to provide support and thus prevent flat head syndrome. Unfortunately, the pillow is not made of memory foam. The pillow is made of cotton filling that can be pushed to areas where it is needed to provide additional support for the neck. The cotton filling is encased in a uniquely designed case. The bottom layer of this case is made of a mesh-like fabric that creates an air cushion that allows air to easily flow into the pillow and thus cooling the baby's head from underneath. The top layer is made of soft cotton fabric that is breathable. This top cover, however, is not hypo-allergenic nor is it bacteria-resistance like the outer cover of Lovenest.
Its cotton-based design makes it washable, making it easy to keep the pillow fresh and clean for the baby. The downside is that the cotton filling is too soft to provide ample support that can prevent flat head syndrome. Although the design allows parents to redistribute the cotton filling inside the pillow to provide support to the baby's head and neck, this can be inconvenient for mothers. A mother carrying a sleeping baby who is about to lay the baby down on the crib will not have two extra hands (and probably the time) to redistribute the cotton filling of the pillow in order to provide support to the baby's head and neck.
Its traditional shape might make it challenging to use with baby products like baby car seats.
Made of breathable cotton materials
Air mesh design allows maximum airflow
Redistribution of cotton filling not practical in all situations
Baby’s Pop Baby Pillow for Newborn Infant
For parents who are looking for the cheapest alternative, this baby pillow—also incidentally the last one on our list—could be the answer. But that price cut also comes with feature cuts that might be too much for some parents to accept.
Baby’s Pop’s follows the shape of Lovenest’s baby pillow. It is heart-shaped with a circular indentation close to the bottom of the heart shape’s bottom end. This indentation is also cup-shaped in order to provide the needed support to the baby's head to prevent flat head syndrome. The pillow is made of soft memory foam that has a slow-rebound feature similar to Baby Love’s baby pillow that we reviewed above.
The pillow cover is made of breathable fabric that helps ensure comfort while the baby is sleeping. This fabric is also highly absorbent so that the baby’s sweat can quickly be absorbed by the pillow. Unfortunately, the pillow is not washable, and Baby’s Pop simply recommends wiping the outer cover with a wet towel if it gets dirty. This may not be ideal in most cases because a wet towel will not be able to get rid of spilled milk, baby spittle, and sweat. This is likely the reason why this pillow is also disposable. It can only be used for a maximum of three months before it needs to be replaced.
It is the cheapest baby pillow on our list. It is almost half the price of the Lovenest and this low price probably aims to justify the product being disposable. Unfortunately, without a bacteria-resistant feature on the outer cover, it might not really be feasible to keep using the pillow until the third month.
This pillow follows the shape of the Lovenest and this means it will also be easy to use along with other baby products where babies need to lie down like strollers, rockers, baby car seats, etc.
Made of firm, slow-rebound memory foam
Breathable fabric cover
Cheapest of the five reviewed on this list
Disposable and needs to be replaced every 3 months
Cover is not hypoallergenic nor bacteria-resistant
Final Verdict on Baby Head Pillows
The Lovenest is the best option among the five reviewed. It checks all of the basics for an ideal baby pillow. Additionally, it gives mothers the least number of things to worry about so that they can focus on what is most important—taking care of their baby.
Admittedly, it may be the most expensive of the items reviewed on this list, and the manufacturers likely know that they currently have the best product in the long line of baby
pillows. They do try to justify the price by throwing in a lifetime warranty which means that the pillow can be used by baby number two or three once baby number one is too old for it.
Please note that babies are safest when they have nothing in their crib. And if you're worried about flat head syndrome, simply provide your baby with plenty of active tummy time.