Cuddle Arm Pillow: The Science Behind Their Success

Cuddle Arm Pillow: The Science Behind Their Success

Do you love cuddling with a loved one but hate that it causes your arm to ache or go numb? This article is for you. We’re going to talk about the side effects of cuddling, cuddle pillows for your arm, and whether you should buy a cuddle arm pillow.

Many of us enjoy a good snuggle with our loved ones. If you are someone who cuddles with your arm supporting another person’s head, you’re familiar with how uncomfortable that can be. For many people, their cuddle arm will experience pain or numbness from their cosleeper’s head weight.

Luckily, there are many cuddle arm pillows available for purchase. These pillows are made specially for your cuddle arm. They each have armholes, and some come in a curved shape for you to place your arm under.

Your cosleeper places their head on the pillow while your arm is under the hole or arch, free from making contact with their head.

Your mattress is just as important for helping with your discomfort as the cuddle arm pillows. SONU’s mattresses come with a patented Comfort Channel that allows you to immerse your shoulders and arms into the mattress fully. If you cuddle, the channel frees your arms and shoulders from the weight of your loved one.

Why Do I Need a Cuddle Arm Pillow?

As fun as it is to cuddle with someone, it can damage your arm. Constant pressure on your radial nerve, which is on the underside of your arm, can lead to a condition called radial nerve palsy.

Your radial nerves control movement in your triceps and help you extend your fingers and wrists. Radial nerve palsy is common in couples where someone falls asleep on their partner's arm.

Symptoms of radial nerve palsy include numbness in the arm and tingling in the fingers. Your wrist can also become stiff as a side effect of the condition.

Another condition that can stem from frequent cuddling is wrist drop. When wrist drop occurs, the muscles you use to raise your hand become paralyzed, and your fingers become difficult to move.

The nerves in our hands and forearms originate in the neck. Because of its somewhat awkward positioning, cuddling could put excess strain on the neck leading to forearm tingling, numbness, or weakness. This pressure on the neck’s nerves may also affect the arm's reflexes.

Your arm could be tingling or numb from other reasons, such as neuropathy, diabetes, or a vitamin B1 deficiency.

Sleeping with a cuddle pillow can help prevent radial nerve palsy and wrist drop since the arch or hole in the pillow protects your arm from pressure. It can also protect you from any general arm and shoulder pain that may result from sleeping in the cuddle position.

Are Cuddle Arm Pillows Really Worth It?

When it comes to specialty pillows, cuddle pillows for arms are in good company. But are all of these “alternative” pillows worth the hype?

If you struggle to sleep comfortably due to pain in your arms, shoulders, or neck, specialty pillows might be what you need to enjoy better, deeper sleep.

Some types of specialty pillows include:

  • Cervical pillows
  • Buckwheat pillows
  • Wedge-shaped pillows
  • L-shaped pillows
  • Water-filled pillows
  • Body pillows

The type of pillow you use isn’t the only important factor — the mattress on your bed frame matters as well. If your mattress, which is the primary part of your bed, is uncomfortable, you likely won’t even notice whether your cuddle arm pillow is helpful.

If you’re in the market for a mattress that provides you with luxurious comfort while supporting your neck, shoulders, and arms while you sleep, look no further than SONU’s Sleep System.

SONU’s mattress features a patented Comfort Channel that allows you to immerse your arms and shoulders into the bed while you sleep, thus preventing pain and pressure that often occurs while side sleeping. The SONU Sleep System is suitable for all sleeping positions, and features a cooling layer, a plush top layer of serene foam, and Support Pillows for head and neck support.

Cuddle Arm Pillow Factors To Consider

Is this your first time buying a cuddle arm pillow?

When you buy a cuddle arm pillow, you should consider the following factors:

  • Support and ergonomic design: Does the pillow provide enough support for the sleeper’s head and neck? How big is the armhole or arch?
  • Portability: Can you travel with the pillow? Is it easy to pack? Is it lightweight?
  • Washability: How do you keep the pillow clean? Can you wash it? Does it have a protective cover?
  • Sleeping position: Does the pillow cater to a certain sleeping position, such as the left or right side sleeping positions? Can back or stomach sleepers benefit from using it?

Reading the reviews of the cuddle pillows that interest you should provide you with this information. You can also check the labels of the pillows to learn how to care for them.

What Types of Cuddle Arm Pillows Are Available?

If you’re set on getting a cuddle arm pillow, here are some popular brands:

Couple Cuddle Pillow From Sossey

The Sossey Couple Cuddle Pillow is designed for both the left and right side sleeping positions. It is also perfect for back sleepers. The pillow is 65 x 49 x 12 cm and made from memory foam. It has a curve under it for you to place your left or right arm while your loved one lays their head on the pillow.

The pillow provides great support for sleepers’ necks and shoulders. Sossey claims that sleeping with their Couple Cuddle Pillow will help you “experience less tossing, less turning, and more deep sleeping.”

Snuggex From Raglis

This pillow from Raglis is designed for side sleepers who experience neck pain. Made of memory foam with a polyester cover, the pillow is 35 x 30 x 13 cm or 14 x 12 x 5 in.

Snuggex is small enough for you to take it with you when you travel. Use it for cuddling or individual sleep. Snuggex’s arched design provides a tunnel for your arm to go under while you or your partner place your heads on top of it.

Coodle Pillow

This pillow’s design is similar to Snuggex’s, except it comes with a lower arch. Its dimensions are 12 x 12 x 5.5 in. Coodle is made of high-density, supportive foam and it can be used individually or with a partner.

Gel Arm-Tunnel Pillow from Better Sleep

Better Sleep’s Gel Arm-Tunnel Pillow helps improve circulation in the hands and arms by providing two tunnels for sleepers to put their arms under. The 22 x 4.5 x 15 in pillow is good for side and stomach sleepers. Unlike the other pillows on this list, this one is made out of cotton.

SONU’s Adjustable Pillows and Comfort Channel

SONU’s Sleep System comes with adjustable pillows that are placed in a patented Comfort Channel that lets cuddlers submerge their shoulders and arms.

The sleep system is perfect for side sleepers who may experience neck, shoulder, or arm pain as the pillows can be adjusted to the level of support you need to keep your head and neck in perfect alignment. Additional top pillows can also be purchased for optimal comfort.


Cuddling with a loved one can sometimes lead to pain. Luckily, the cuddle arm pillow is a way around it. The pillows mentioned in this article are perfect for people who cuddle and for those who prefer to sleep solo but need somewhere comfortable to put their arms.

If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or aching pain in your arm and you are prone to cuddling, check these pillows out. If you want to go beyond cuddle arm pillows, check out SONU’s Sleep System and its Comfort Channel which was made with cuddlers in mind. Nix your arm and shoulder pain while side sleeping, enjoy plush serene foam, and get the sleep of your dreams — all thanks to SONU.

Give yourself the gift of better sleep with the SONU Sleep System.


Numbness and Tingling | Massachusetts General Hospital

Physician warns cuddling while sleeping can get on your nerves | UToledo News

Do Specialty Pillows Really Work? | Consumer Reports

Couple Cuddle Pillow | Sossey

Side Sleeper Cuddle Arm Snuggle Pillow For Neck Pain | Raglis

Coodle Pillow | Amazon

Better Sleep Pillow Gel Fiber Pillow | Amazon

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Thank YOU! Best mattress out there.
After being a gymnast for 15 years, I haven't felt this much relief from the pain in my shoulders and my hips while sleeping!! Thank you!
Steph C.
Highly recommended!
Creates the perfect space for your arm if you're a side sleeper. Changed the way I sleep forever.
Justin S.
So I actually own one of these. It's AMAZING. Yes it will take you a few weeks to get "used" to it... But that said, you will be AMAZED at how great your shoulders feel in the morning. Just unreal. Like sleep a full 8 hours without waking up type of sleep.
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Buffalo, NY
I have very bad neck and back issues and this mattress is a dream! If you are a side sleeper you will love it and even if you like to sleep on you back you will love it! Very comfortable and totally worth the money!
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i have suffered from shoulder pain while sleeping for several years, i had just about given up... then i saw this bed and decided one last try. i can't begin to explain what it feels like to sleep through an entire night... for the first time in 20 years the first weekend i had it. I'm so impressed with this bed... because what they are making is making a difference in people's lives.
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This comfort channel they made is next level. I never imagined that I would be able to put my arm in the mattress. Takes all the pressure off my shoulder, which I so so need. YES
Kim J.
Highly recommended!
I’m a side sleeper and I used to wake up with a dead feeling arm from lying on it all night. Finally a mattress with a pocket for my arm. I tried all the pillows and even very expensive mattresses in the past, but nothing cured my circulation problems until I got the sonu sleep mattress. I love it!
Nic D.
Chicago, IL
...Sonu mattresses are in a league all by themselves. This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I have no more shoulder pain and numbness. I can now sleep through the night and not wake up in pain. If anyone is even thinking about getting a Sonu sleep system don’t think anymore. Pull that trigger. I 100% gaurentee you will not be disappointed.
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