Hemorrhoids are painful and itchy, and they don’t affect only you. In fact, these pesky problems surprise every 1 in 20 Americans1, with 10 million people self-reporting hemorrhoids every year2.
Unfortunately, the problem is that there aren’t many “quick” fixes for cutting through your pain. But many does not mean none. One popular fix is the “donut pillow”, which have been marketed to treat everything from itching to external hemorrhoidal pain.
Does that mean they work? Yes!
Nevertheless, we do caution against using a pillow for hemorrhoids for some people (see our post doughnuts help or hurt hemorrhoids?). In a nutshell, because of the shape of these pillows, they cannot provide adequate support and may actually make your hemorrhoids worse. We recommend sitting and leaning back on a soft but supportive cushioned surface such as a bed or couch instead.
For those readers that are still interested, keep reading! Donut pillows can help you find the “just-right” sitting spot when battling any kind of hemorrhoids. They’re especially great if you work from home and need to sit at your desk for long hours.
But which one should you buy? Let’s find out.
5 donut pillows for hemorrhoids
When it comes to donut pillows, there are a million options on the market. So, experiencing decision paralysis is expected. If that’s you, don’t worry. Let’s discover the best donut pillow for hemorrhoids below.
Made from firm, premium comfort foam, this donut cushion doesn’t deflate or flatten with use, helping you sit for hours at a time. It also comes with a non-slip bottom, so you can be sure it’ll stay put when you’re sitting. That already seems like a good deal.
But that’s not all. There are 5,600+ reviews to support this pillow, with a customer who’d recently had surgery to remove a hemorrhoid saying, “This thing has been attached to my hip since the surgery, and [I] take it everywhere. It’s even perfect for sitting up in bed to do a little computer work.”
So, if you have hemorrhoid surgery, hemorrhoids that itch all day, or tailbone pain due to the condition, the Kieba Donut Pillow can be a great pick.
While the Ergonomic Innovations Donut Pillow isn’t specifically aimed at relieving hemorrhoid pain, it’s an affordable alternative to orthopedic options. It’s also rated at 240 lbs., so you won’t be outweighed by this pillow any time soon.
Plus, the pillow is light and made from ComfortSupport foam that ensures you’re balanced wherever you’re seated. And people seem to agree, with most of the 17,000+ reviewers rating it above 4.4.
Orthopedic donut pillows are the best investment if you struggle with hemorrhoids. They’re firm, last long, and offer the balance you need. And the Primica Orthopedic Donut Pillow is no exception.
It’s made from firm memory foam that stabilizes and balances your pelvis, keeping your hemorrhoids from scraping or rubbing against any surface. Plus, the pillow provides excellent support, so you can sit for hours and never feel tired.
You can also wash the pillow cover in the machine — an excellent addition to an already great donut pillow!
Next up is the Lexia Coccyx Donut Pillow. It’s made from high-quality foam that contours to your body shape and doesn’t flatten over time. The pillow is also pressure-sensitive, which means it’ll keep you balanced whenever you move.
Plus, you can carry the Lexia pillow everywhere — your office, car, or plane. And one customer did just that, saying, “I take it with me in a bag to [the] doctor’s office, where you have to wait and wait. Also, [I use it when] waiting for my taxi or ride to come.”
While it’s one of the most expensive options on this list, the Everlasting Comfort 2-in-1 Donut Pillow is probably the most comfortable too. It’s firm yet soft, balances your weight, and comes with a non-slip coating that ensures you don’t have to keep picking it from the floor.
Plus, the pillow is washable, and you can literally turn it into a seat cushion when sitting on rock-hard chairs or floors.
Its versatility is also unmatched, something one of the 1,700+ customers highlighted, “This pillow provides a very strong yet soft and comfortable support in all of the right areas, is easy to travel with, and fits anywhere you need.” This makes it better than your typical donut pillow.
What to look for when buying a donut pillow
Now that we’ve looked at five of the best donut pillow options you could try, let’s look at why we selected these pillows for you and what to look for when buying one.
Size is the first thing you should look at when buying a donut pillow. Why? Because a too-small pillow doesn’t provide the right support and deflates easily, which can irritate the area around your hemorrhoids.
So, always check the size of the pillow before buying. For instance, if you’re buying in-store, sit on it to check the fit. But if you’re buying off of Amazon, look at the reviews and make sure you can easily return the pillow if it turns out to be the wrong size.
The material of your donut pillow determines how comfortable it will be. Here are three choices you’ll run into:
- Inflatable Donut Pillows – An inflatable donut pillow has to be filled with air before use and may be prone to leaking or straight-up exploding if you overstress it. This type is not too comfortable.
- Memory Foam – These pillows contour to the shape of your body, giving you great support. They also last longer.
- Gel Foam – These pillows may be way too soft if you’re looking to relieve pressure off your hemorrhoids. They may also flatten out with use much quicker than memory foam.
So, while there are several material options you could try, it’s best to stick with high-density memory foam because it provides the most comfort.
Donut pillows, especially if they’re made of foam, absorb scents like sponges. This means your pillow will acquire a “scent” after a period of use. And if you can’t wash that off, the ease of use you bought it for goes down the drain.
Plus, accidents happen and you might end up spilling coffee on your pillow, your dog might slobber all over it, or you may find cat hair on it. Once that happens, getting it clean is crucial to maintain hygiene.
So, before purchasing a donut pillow, always check whether it comes with a washable cover. You should be able to easily take this off, run it through the machine, and put it on before use.
Most donut pillows are small and easy to carry, but they may not be good for your needs. Similarly, the ones that do fit your requirements might be too heavy.
For instance, the Everlasting Comfort 2-in-1 Donut Pillow may be way too big to stuff into a bag and carry around all day. However, the Ergonomic Innovations Donut Pillow is small enough to be your everywhere companion.
So, if you’re planning to take your donut pillow everywhere with you, make sure it’s the right size and weight.
Donut pillows usually go for anywhere between $10 to $60, with high-quality pillows at the higher end of the spectrum. And while it may be tempting to get a cheap pillow to start, it’s actually better to go with the more expensive option.
Why? Because these are made from high-quality material, have additional features, and can last two to three times as long.
How to use a donut pillow for hemorrhoid relief
So, you’ve bought a donut pillow. Wondering if you need to follow a specific step-by-step for using it? Not really. You can plop on it right this minute.
But if you want the best comfort, here’s what to do:
1. Choose the right donut pillow
If you’re struggling with hemorrhoids, a squishy and soft pillow is not for you. It’ll only irritate your hemorrhoids and make the pain worse.
Instead, go for a firm pillow with a wider opening to make sure you have enough space to fit everything.
2. Find a comfortable place to sit
A soft couch will defeat the purpose of a firm donut pillow. You’ll sink into the fluff, which will cause chafing and, inevitably, pain.
So, to avoid that, place your pillow on a comfy but hard surface — or one with not much give. This way, while the pillow will deflate when you sit on it, it’ll keep the important areas lifted.
3. Find your balance
Sitting on a donut pillow is like saddling a seesaw. If you don’t balance your weight, you’ll end up falling off or with a crick in your back.
To stop that from happening, make sure your weight is evenly distributed and that your hips are equidistant from the center of the pillow. You can ensure that by wriggling around on the pillow until the fit feels “right.”
Best donut pillows for hemorrhoids summarized
Donut pillows might not be the hemorrhoid fix you expect, but they can definitely be the fix you need. These foam circles can help you elevate your hemorrhoids, reduce anal pressure, and relieve pain.
But not all donut pillows are made alike.
If you’re struggling to understand which pillow you should go for, why it should be your first choice, and whether it’ll actually provide some relief, we’ve explained everything for you up top. Now, all you need to do is get a pillow and ease your hemorrhoid pain!
Frequently asked questions about donut pillows for hemorrhoids
Are donut pillows suitable for all types of hemorrhoids?
Yes, donut pillows are suitable for all hemorrhoid types. Since they only offer much-needed support that reduces hemorrhoid pain, they can be used by anyone with hemorrhoids, whether internal, external, prolapsed, or thrombosed.
Just make sure to sit with your upper back against a hard surface if you have external hemorrhoids. They might come into contact with the floor, mattress, or chair otherwise, and that may cause irritation and itching.
Do donut pillows help with hemorrhoid pain?
Donut pillows can help relieve the pressure on your hemorrhoids, which might relieve pain. However, this is not a given, and many people with hemorrhoids don’t experience a lot of pain relief when using them.
How long does it take to see results with a donut pillow?
You should see results after sitting on a donut pillow for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If the pain persists, you should try shifting positions and find the most comfortable one for you.
Do you need a donut pillow after hemorrhoid surgery?
Whether or not you need a donut pillow after hemorrhoid surgery depends on the procedure and your doctor’s recommendation.
If you’ve just had rubber band ligation, you might need to use a pillow for a few days so the hemorrhoid doesn’t cause you any pain while you wait for it to shrivel off and die.
However, if you’ve just got an open, closed, or laser hemorrhoidectomy, it’s best to consult your doctor. They’ll help you understand your options.