Welcome to Facepunch's one-stop shop for fluffy pillows! This OP contains all the information you need to get started with dakimakuras. See the thread guidelines at the bottom before posting.
This is weird. Why would i want a big pillow with anime on it?
Body pillows are soft, fluffy and *very* comfortable. They're also good for your back, as they keep your body straight while you're sleeping. There's nothing wrong with getting one with a plain cover for the comfort alone. I had sleeping and back issues, and a daki improved both of them.
I would be lying if i said the prints weren't part of the appeal, however. If there's a character you really like, there's something special about having a life-sized print of them to snuggle with. It's a nice way to clear some stress. Don't think of dakis as a replacement for a girl-/boyfriend, but as a big, standardised teddy bear.
This is still kind of weird. I'm worried people are going to think of me as a degenerate
Some people are always going to be judgemental. Don't let that stop you if you truly want something, whether it's dakis or anything else in life. If you have proper family and friends, they're not going to care. My mother tucks in my waifus if i leave them out in the open. My friends occasionally take the piss, but they'd do that anyway. The people in my shared housing just don't say anything. I haven't made the slightest effort to hide my dakis after i got them, and it hasn't made a difference.
There's no doubt there's some stigma attached to pillows if you have designs on them. Bringing home Stacy from the local coffee shop might leave an interesting first impression. Acting normal about them and explaining goes a long way, though. They have a stigma because of people making out with them on trains and bringing them to family dinner. Don't be one of those people, and you'll be fine. That applies to any niche hobby, really.
What do i need to know before i get started?
Dakimakuras are a predominantly Japanese thing. Japan dictates a lot of how the industry works, and you'll be dealing with japanese a lot if you get deep into this hobby. This also means you'll be dealing with the horrendous attitude they have to merchandising. The majority of japanese covers only get sold once, whether it's an event or a website with a preorder date, and afterwards it will never be sold again. Your only choice to get a lot of older covers is to hope to find them on the second hand market.
Luckily, it's not all that bad. Chinese and Western groups have grown larger in the last years, and are only growing. Since they're not stupid and not stuck with Japanese copyright law, they can print their covers as often as they'd like. Designs made by them are usually available forever, but printing them still takes time.
This is not a hobby for instant gratification. You should count yourself lucky if you can get a cover within 2-3 weeks. Dealing with japanese covers, you could easily come up to 3 months. Console yourself with the fact that you're not preordering figures, as those tend to take 6+ months for me.
Given the choice between R18 and non-R18 covers, 95% of japanese buyers end up getting the R18 version. For western buyers, this is closer to 50%. For that reason, most covers are going to be lewd, even if they're not 18+. Finding wholesome covers isn't difficult, but your options will be limited. The same applies if you're looking for male covers. Not impossible, but will definitely take more money or effort.
There is no actual "one-stop shop" for covers. They will be spread across many different websites in many different languages.
Since you're dealing with Japan, you're also dealing with Japan's definition of acceptable content. If you follow new releases closely, you're likely to come across some seriously fucked up shit. You have been warned.
Okay. How do i get started?
You should start with finding a cover design you like, and getting it purchased. Afterwards, get hold of a pillow. The pillow is likely to arrive faster than the cover.
You might want to install a browser plugin capable of translating web pages, like the Google Translate plugin. It'll help immensely for japanese/chinese websites.
If you have any questions, feel free to post in the thread or contact me on discord at RandomGamer342#1779. As much as i dislike reddit, the dakimakura subreddit is pretty nice and helpful, and that's where i got most of my information when i started. The old reddit design has a sidebar with guides, but they're quite outdated, which is why i'm writing a new guide instead of linking to it.
How do i find covers?
There's mainly two sites you want to use for this:
Most new covers get added to these sites as they are announced, with information about artist, circle, and where to buy them. Because of that, they're a good archive of past releases. Note that these websites aren't storefronts, nor do they link to every storefront selling the cover. If you cannot buy the cover at where the above sites point you, there's still a chance you'll find it somewhere else.
These sites are japanese, so you will need to search in japanese. Search for a character or series using your favourite search engine, find their wiki or myanimelist, then copypaste their japanese names into the search box. For nijigenshingu, you want to click search, select "ALL" years, then paste and search, as japanese website design is fucking incredible.
To find really old covers, you want to use this blog instead (WARNING, 18+). It's no longer kept up to date, but you'll find much older covers here. This is mostly useful for finding previews of used covers, as covers on this site are almost guaranteed to be too old to still be on sale.
Not all covers can be found on these sites. Some are really niche and only available through etsy/deviantart/pixiv/etc. If you want to find these, search engine your japanese character name, and add " 抱き枕" to the end, without the "". This is japanese for dakimakura. Beware, as covers you find through search engines are likely to be bootlegs.
If you need help finding a character or tracking down a specific cover, feel free to ask for help. PM me on discord if it's a character or cover you don't want to post about publicly.
How do i buy covers?
There's currently three english circles selling covers. Their covers are made-to-order, they ship internationally, and their site design is straightforward. If your cover hunt led you to one of these, count yourself lucky.
Cuddly Octopus (Probably NSFW)
Dakimakuri (Probably NSFW)
Peroperopiroo (Probably NSFW)
Cuddly Octopus will mix'n'match designs if you wish. You could put All Ages on one side, R18 on the other. Quickly throw together an example in paint, and include it in your order notes.
If your cover is sold on Toranoana or booth.pm, it's likely made by a Chinese circle. If it is, should buy it off of the circle's own storefront, as japanese listings for chinese covers are priced 5x as high for the same covers. Look up the circle's name in this list. If you can't find the circle here, ask me.
Moe / M.G.F. (Pixiv - 18+) (AliExpress - NSFW)
EB / MaltyTown / 麦芽堂 (Pixiv - 18+) (Taobao - NSFW)
Shamoe (Pixiv - 18+) (Taobao - NSFW)
Moeyu / Summer / 絶対萌域 (Multiple artists) (Taobao - NSFW)
First off, not all covers on these storefronts are legit. Some might be bootlegs. Find the covers on Pixiv, Omiai, Toranoana or booth.pm before purchasing.
Secondly, they sell R18 variations, but they cannot list them. If you want R18, you need to mention it in the order notes. I recommend embedding an example image.
Thirdly, they will mix'n'match designs if you include it in the order notes. For the love of god, embed an example image, as they *will* fuck it up if you try to describe it.
Lastly, it's possible to buy off of Taobao by yourself, but i recommend using a proxy like SuperBuy. It adds 10-20$ to the item price(including shipping), but when the seller inevitably fucks up your order, they'll find out before shipping the item to you. You can then get them to exchange or return the order easily, instead of having to speak chinese to the seller and pay international shipping to return the item.
If your cover is sold on a japanese storefront, they're unlikely to ship internationally. You will need a forwarder or a proxy. Proxies buy packages and ship them for you, so you don't have to deal with the website you found. Using a forwarder requires you to purchase the cover yourself, but they're significantly cheaper. I personally use the forwarder Tenso, but there are other good alternatives. Just don't use Buyee. Each of these services should have their own guides, so i won't explain them here.
If your cover is sold out, you could try the second-hand market. This isn't as icky as it sounds, as people selling their covers are likely collectors with mint or just-opened items. For most japanese covers, this is the only way to get hold of them after their preorder date ends. In the case of rare or sought-after covers, the price can skyrocket, however. Use the following websites, and search for your japanese character name, followed by " 抱き枕". These are often auctions, so you'll have to bid against other people. Some of these can sell out quickly. If you have a dream cover, check daily. You can ask a proxy to help out with the bidding process, but it'll get expensive rather quickly. Most listings will only ship to Japan, so you'll have to use a forwarder or a proxy.
Beware of bootlegs, as there are a lot of them. Ask this thread or the subreddit if you are unsure.
How do i find/buy a pillow?
The standard inner pillow dimension is 160x50cm, and nearly every single cover you'll find will be this size. 150x50cm pillows exist, but i do not recommend them. They are usually worse than their 160cm brethren, and you would severely limit your cover choices. If you find a cover that seems to only be 150cm, ask me, as it's likely available at 160cm somewhere.
Japanese pillows are the best you can get by a huge margin. The downside is that they are expensive to ship. Shipping easily makes up half of the final cost. This does mean that there's little reason to go for budget pillows, as it won't get much cheaper. Additionally, japanese sellers don't send internationally, so you'll need to get a proxy or forwarder to send it to you. I personally recommend the DHR6500. The DHR6000 had a legendary status, but got changed aug'17. You'll find it recommended often, but at a nearly identical price point, the DHR6500 supersedes it imo. I might fill out more information on japanese pillows later, including how to use proxies/forwarders, but for now, this reddit guide should suffice
Dakimakuri is selling an inner that should compete with japanese high-end pillows, without the horrendous shipping cost. You can get it now for $100 + $40 shipping, with discounted shipping for each cover you buy. That puts it significantly cheaper than japanese equivalents. I have purchased two of these to confirm their quality, and will post an update when the norwegian post office finally gets off their lazy asses. If you want the good shit but don't have the money to dump into a japanese pillow, this should be worth it.
If you're on a tight budget, it's possible to make your own pillow inner by filling a blank cover yourself. A specifically designed cover like this one is recommended since it keeps the covers from slipping around the inner, but any cover would work. Source some polyester filling from a local shop, and this should be pretty cheap.
In the worst case, you'll have to buy a chinesium inner from your local amazon or furniture store. These are often severely underfilled and overpriced, but they're better than not having a pillow. Read user reviews and never pay more than 30-40$ for a generic inner.
What material should i get for my covers?
The vast majority of covers you'll find will be 2WT. It's the gold standard, and for a good reason. It's very comfortable. It's stretchy, so it's easy to put on your pillow, but somewhat fragile. See further into this guide for how to properly treat your 2WT covers.
Smooth knit exists as a step below 2WT. I have never personally tried it, as it's rarely much cheaper when available, but it could be relevant if you're on a tight budget.
Soft Velvet is a plush-like fabric that's really fuzzy and warm. It has great durability, but no stretchiness. I like it, especially during winter, but i wouldn't want all my covers in it. It's somewhat rare to find outside of chinese circles, but it's really cheap in comparison. Shipping costs might make up for the difference, though, as it's almost twice the weight of other materials.
Peach skin is the cheapest material you can find. It has great durability, but that's its only selling point. It has no stretch whatsoever, and it's not particularly comfortable to sleep with. It only gets worse when you realise that it's mostly bootleggers that sell it, so the quality is garbage. I would avoid it like the plague unless you're extremely desperate. It's not worth it.
These are general designations, but covers in the same material aren't necessarily the same. The covers will be different based on manufacturer, too. Japanese 2WT is better than chinese 2WT, but it's also significantly more expensive. There's something special about sleeping with japanese P80- or A&J-manufactured 2WT, but there's nothing wrong chinese 2WT from reputable sellers. If you're on a budget, chinese 2WT is definitely the way to go.
What are bootlegs, and why should i avoid them?
Bootlegs are covers printed without the explicit permission of whoever owns the art. They're stolen designs, essentially. There's a multitude of reasons you should avoid them:
Bootleggers rarely have access to the original art, and usually don't even own the original cover. They take the super-low-res previews and trace over them, sloppily. The results usually look significantly worse, and sometimes awful.
Bootlegs usually cost more than the legit versions, because they expect people not to know where the originals are from. We're talking $100 for bootlegs of covers that originally cost $40-60. The exception are covers that were originally japanese, where the legit one ends up at $120. At that point, you're better off getting the vastly better legit one, or finding another cover of the character, as it won't look as good as the previews make it seem anyway.
Bootlegs usually have significantly worse material than legit covers. They have no reason to care about quality or QA when most bootleg buyers don't know they're supposed to be better.
Buying bootlegs doesn't support the original creators. Dakis are a niche hobby. Sale counts and margins are low. Even a single purchase makes a difference for legit sellers, and legit sellers are the ones creating new designs.
Custom printing covers with them is guaranteed to make them steal the art and selling it as their own, unless the cover you're printing is a meme.
For the above reasons, you shouldn't use bootleggers for your covers. There's really little reason to if you can find the legit covers.
How do i spot bootleggers?
There's lots of red flags to look out for:
The website being in english. English websites with "dakimakura" in their names are guaranteed bootleggers trying to cheese SEO.
Different material choices. Most legit sellers only offer 2WT.
No artist credited for the design.
A SKU number as part of the cover's name.
Huge numbers of designs, often with vastly different artstyles.
There are exceptions to all of these points, but you'll generally find them in this post. If you're unsure, ask in the thread.
What if i can't find a cover of a character i want?
Make doubly sure there's no cover of them. There's some really weird places that are impossible to search through that might contain them. Ask if necessary. If not, you'll have to commission the art.
Commissioning is a bit of a process, and it's expensive. You're looking at $100-300 for good looking art, and easily >$1000 for top-end artwork or popular artists. Look for an artist that you like on pixiv, twitter, deviantart, etsy, hentaifoundry, etc. Ask them if they're willing to draw a dakimakura, and how much it costs. You want at least 150DPI. Give them this template from CuddlyOctopus with the following explanation:
Stay within the innermost lines.
The total canvas is 54 x 166 CM, extra space due to bleed.
The outer lines cut off at 50 x 160 CM. This is what gets printed
The inner lines cut off at 47 x 157 CM. This is the expected visible image. As the cover gets sewed on top of each other and then turned inside out you lose a bit of the image on every side.
The process of commissioning will vary based on website and artist. At the end, you should hopefully have a cover you'd want to print.
How do i print custom artwork?
There's three western circles that do custom prints on chinese 2WT. Cuddly Octopus (https://cuddlyoctopus.com) has good 2WT and pricing, but takes a while to print due to their order periods. Peroperopiroo (https://peroperopiroo.moe) is the cheapest option and prints immediately, with decent 2WT. Dakimakuri (https://dakimakuri.com) has the best 2WT of the bunch (imo), but is also the most expensive one. Should be relatively quick, though.
There's also another circle called June Waifu (https://store.june-waifu.moe/customprint). They print on japanese 2WT. This is more expensive than chinese 2WT, but if you want the very best for your special someone, it's definitely worth it. After all, you've probably spent more on the commission to begin with. This'll take very long to receive, so you probably don't want to get this as your first cover.
As mentioned earlier, don't print your custom artwork with chinese circles and/or bootleggers if you don't want your artwork stolen. They're nearly guaranteed to start selling it themselves, and the quality is often worse. In a pinch, if you really want to get a print on soft velvet, find a circle that doesn't sell any bootlegs and hope for the best.
Don't embed NSFW/R18, link to them. Tag your links properly.
This isn't intended as a porn thread. Keep things All Ages if possible. I've received permission to link to R18, but i don't believe it'll last if there's too much of it.
Don't post NSFW loli or other illegal shit. This will get you banned.
I can't stop you from advertising bootleggers, but i'll get mad. Please don't. They get good enough SEO as it is.
This guide is a WIP. I'll add to it when relevant subjects come up and time allows.
You failed to tag one of your links It's the second example of bad art.
If you don't want to go full anime pillow, there are a pile of plushies avaliable to buy. They usually have them as prizes for crane games in japan, so they're actually pretty cheap to buy and are generally of good quality.
Just be careful when buying things like the Sega Mega Jumbo plushies, they can be really cheap for what you get but then bite you totally on the shipping cost.
You can get them off of Madarake - a second hand otaku focused store (if it's from their 'Sahra' warehouse, they can give you a shipping quote upfront) or using a proxy service for Yahoo auctions (proxies usually have extra fees, so be careful!)
I can vouch for OP, he helped me make my own great life decision!
My biggest fear of getting a cover of a certain character that I bet you can't guess is what if someone steals it and tries to fuck my wife
me 5 years ago: "body pillows are for losers, thank god I'll never be like that"
me now: "hmm I wonder who my next pillow is gonna be"
thanks i took her.
Was hesitant to buy multiple covers cause I thought they would be a pain to swap, guess its not something to worry about if I get 2WT.
Hope to get my first daki next month.
There's a way to put them on easier too. I personally don't fold them, just invert it then push in the "head" until i can put it on the pillow, but it's similar principle.
You have to get the covers off when you wash them anyways which you really should do every now and then
tell me where the fuck you got a chikai dakimakura right now please i beg you
The legitimate one is available here(NSFW).
I need to warn you that this page sells bootlegs alongside legit covers. If you decide to browse their other designs later, make sure you only look at the ones under Products -> Original Design.
I made this and dedicate it to you
I got my new inners a few days ago, and wow, they're some big lads.
I was expecting something better than what i had already, but these far outdid my expectations. They're noticeably thicker than my other pillows, but more importantly, they're firm all over, unlike my older ones that left my waifus' legs broken after a few nights. Time will tell if the inners will hold up over time, but so far, they seem like much better value than japanese pillows.
Here's a comparison shot with Dakimakuri's inner on the left, a DHR6000 in the middle (1,5 years old) and a Marshmallow F1 on the right (1 year old). Not the fairest comparison due to the age, but then this isn't a scientific comparison either.
Always wanted to try one to see what it was like. Body pillows seem kinda neat, like this one
Intergalactic Trash Panda (nsfw)
I wanna get one of these Dakimakuri inners, the el cheapo inner I bought deflated almost immediately, but I'll have to wait until after I move
If you want to get a proper inner to go with it(which i recommend), you should ask them to print you a 160cm one. "Peach fuzz" sounds either like peach skin or soft velvet, and neither one of those will stretch to fit a good pillow. In the worst case, a 150cm 2WT cover should stretch fine to a 160cm pillow.
I think my partner would kick me out if I came home with one of these
Get a custom one with your partner printed on one side, and whatever your heart desires on the other. Everyone is happy!
Talk to her about it before bringing it home! I've heard from multiple couples where someone's partner has been okay with dakis, or hell, even started collecting them themselves.
Of course, i wouldn't hear about the ones where they weren't, but details, schmetails
so I finally got a waifu to hug a night
It was odd getting the inner since the package it came in was really small, then it started to inflate to its actual size after opening the wrapping.
Well now that I have one, I cant help but feel that its more than a bed accessory, more so that it is an art collectible
With that being said, I must get more covers!!!
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