What Is a Bolster Pillow: Discover Different Types and How to Choose

A bolster pillow is a long, cylindrical-shaped cushion adding an extra layer of softness and coziness to your bed or couch. It can also be helpful when used as lumbar support while sitting upright on a chair or sofa.

A unique shape of a bolster pillow adds visual appeal to any room setting, and you can often see them with decorative covers. Quilted fabric or even leather add style and elegance to living rooms, bedrooms, and hotel rooms!

They are available in various sizes and colors, making them perfect for personalizing any space according to individual preference.

In this article, we’ll look closer at what a bolster pillow is and the different types available.

You may also be interested in an article on 15 practical benefits of bolster pillows – from sleeping to lounging to yoga.

What Are Bolster Pillows Used For?

Bolster pillows are cylindrical-shaped cushions used in ADDITION to regular pillows. They are thinner, smaller, and lighter than body pillows.

Cheer Collection Faux Fur Cylinder Pillows - Decorative Bolster Pillows for Couch & Bed - Machine Washable - 8” x 24” Inch (Set of 2) - Blue

They can be used for:

  • Decorative purposes and add style to your bedding or furniture. They’re available in different fabrics, including velvet, linen, and cotton.
  • Reading or watching TV, providing comfortable support for the body seated or reclined.
  • Support the head, neck, and back while sleeping, reducing the risk of developing stiffness or pain, improving spinal alignment, and promoting better breathing and circulation.
  • Help alleviate symptoms associated with certain medical conditions, such as upset stomach, acid reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea.

Additionally, they can be used for yoga or meditation practices to support the body in different positions.

Retrospec Sequoia Yoga Bolster Pillow - Meditation Cushion for Yoga Practices - Includes Machine Washable 100% Cotton Cover & Durable Carry Handle; Round, Mulberry

Bolster Pillow For Maternity Support

Expecting mothers often experience back pain and discomfort during pregnancy, and long cylindrical-shaped cushions can provide the necessary relief.

  • A bolster offers balanced support and comfort for pregnant women with difficulty finding comfortable sleeping positions.
  • While it may not be as effective as a full-sized body or a pregnancy pillow, it is an excellent alternative for pregnant women seeking relief.
  • It is lightweight compared to a full-sized body pillow, making it easier to carry around.

So if you’re expecting or experiencing back pain, it is worth considering for added support and comfort.

TANYOO Memory Foam Bolster Pillow
  • Full memory foam bolster pillow: Our long body pillow is made of whole premium quality memory foam, which can provide extra medium firm support to help relief pain and pressure.The memory foam doesn’t flatten easily and keeps your joints in better alignment.
  • Bolster pillows are not recommended in any way for babies less than 1-year-old.
  • Accidental suffocation is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age.
  • For safer sleep guidelines and helpful info on infant sleep, go to firstcandle.org

How To Use A Bolster Pillow

With its unique shape, there are countless uses for this super soft accessory. Here are just a few of them:

  • Lounging: Cozy support while sitting upright on the couch or bed.
  • Comfort: Place it behind your back when lounging to make reading more comfortable, or use two bolsters together as an armrest for extra comfort in a chair or sofa.
  • Support: Placing a bolster between your knees helps keep your spine aligned while sleeping and relieves pressure on your hips if you sleep on your side. It also makes a great neck roll when needed.
  • Decoration: They come in various colors, shapes, sizes, and fabrics, so they’re great for adding some personality to any room. Plus, they’re straightforward to move around, allowing you to quickly change up the look of any space with minimal effort.

Bolster adds comfort, relaxation, and style to any room – especially bedroom or living areas.

Types Of Bolster Pillows

A bolster cushion can be round, cylindrical, rectangular, or wedge-shaped.

Round and cylindrical types are often used for decorative purposes or to provide additional support and comfort while sleeping.

Half Moon Bolster Semi-Roll Pillow
Multipurpose Use – The bolster is perfect for back sleepers that are looking for relief during sleeping. It can support the back, knees, ankles, feet, neck.

Rectangular ones are commonly used in yoga and other fitness activities to support the back, neck, and legs.

Gaiam Yoga Bolster Rectangular Meditation Pillow
  • YOGA BOLSTER: Supports the body during yoga, meditation or relaxation
  • ALL NATURAL FILLING: Filled with natural cotton batting for superior comfort and cushion

Wedge-shape elevates the upper body and relieves acid reflux, snoring, and other sleep-related issues.

Demelon Bolster Support Pillow, Neck and Shoulder Relaxer
  • Ergonomic WaterDrop Design Mainly Work on Neck Pain Relief: The cross section adopts a unique waterdrop design, which combined with the traditional neck roll pillow and…

Bolster Pillow Materials

Bolster pillows can be made from various materials, including cotton, polyester, foam, down, and memory foam.

The choice of material can affect the level of support and comfort.

Cotton and polyester are often used for the pillow cover, while foam and down are commonly used for the filling.

Memory foam is popular for those seeking a cushion that conforms to their body shape for maximum support.

History of Bolster Pillows

Bolster pillows have been around for centuries and were initially used in Asia and the Middle East to support the body while sitting or sleeping. They were often made of silk or cotton and were filled with natural materials like feathers, wool, or buckwheat hulls.

In Europe, these cushions became popular in the 18th century.

Today, they come in various sizes, shapes, and materials. They are used for multiple purposes, including providing support for the lower back, neck, and legs and decorative purposes.

How To Choose A Bolster Pillow

Here are some tips to help you choose the bolster pillow for your needs:

1. Consider your sleeping position: The type of bolster pillow you choose will depend largely on your sleeping position. If you sleep on your back, you’ll want a smaller pillow to support your neck. If you sleep on your side, a longer and thicker pillow may be more beneficial to support your shoulders and neck.

2. Determine the firmness: Bolster cushions come in different firmness levels, so choosing one that aligns with your preference is important. Choose one filled with feathers if you prefer a soft and plush pillow. A foam-filled one offers a wide range of support, from soft to firm.

3. Choose the right size: Bolster cushions come in different sizes and lengths. A longer one can support the entire body, while a shorter one can support just the neck or back. For decorative purposes, measure the width and length of your bed or couch to determine the right size.

4. Check the quality of the material: The fabric used to cover the bolster pillow can impact the quality of your sleep. Natural fibers like cotton and silk are breathable, hypoallergenic, and excellent at regulating temperature. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, may cause discomfort or allergies.

5. Evaluate your budget: Bolster pillows come at different price points, so it’s wise to determine your budget beforehand. Higher-end pillows may use premium materials and feature fancier designs. Still, more affordable options can also offer great support and comfort.

Additional features include adjustable firmness or the ability to customize the cushion.

The decorative pillow should be chosen according to the room’s interior style.

Care And Maintenance Of A Bolster Pillow

Here are some care instructions:

  • Vacuum regularly or brush it off to remove dirt, dust, and any other particles on its surface.
  • Spot-clean any stains as soon as possible using mild detergent – this will ensure no permanent damage occurs.
  • Wash the cushion cover regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the cushion is washable, using a gentle cycle and mild detergent is essential to avoid damaging the filling.

It is also recommended to fluff the cushion regularly to maintain its shape and prevent clumping.

Additionally, storing the cushion in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight is essential to prevent discoloration and damage.

The Bottom Line

A bolster is more than just a decorative accessory for your bed or couch.

It’s a versatile and functional addition to your home that can provide support, comfort, and even relief from certain health conditions.

So, a bolster pillow is worth considering whether you’re a side sleeper, a yogi, or someone who wants to elevate their relaxation game. Sweet dreams!

You can also find a bolster pillow from the hotel pillow menu if you are lucky.

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