Nothing brings more joy than seeing your baby bump get bigger each week. The thought of a tiny beautiful life growing inside you is exhilarating. It is also exhausting.
As your baby bump gets bigger, sleeping feels less like a luxury and more like strenuous work. You have to keep changing positions until you are comfortable. A few minutes later you have to find yet another position because your back hurts.
It is common for pregnant women to wake up in the morning feeling sore and fatigued because they could not get a good night’s sleep. This can actually be harmful to the health of you and your baby. The best way to alleviate the nightly discomfort is by using a pregnancy or maternity pillow. This is a pillow designed to offer added comfort and support to pregnant mothers.
Pregnancy pillows come in different styles. Some are designed for belly support, others relieve pressure on the hips and shoulders while others hold up your lower back. There are also full body maternity pillows that support your entire body.
Best pregnancy pillow reviews – Our selection
We wanted to find the best pregnancy pillows to help you sleep better at night and feel fresh in the morning. So we went out and found eight great pregnancy pillows that provide the perfect combination of comfort and support. Here they are.
1. Chicco Boppy Total Body Pillow Glacier – OUR TOP PICK
The Chicco Boppy Total Body Pillow comes with a flexible design. You can decide to use the whole of it for full body support or mix and match the three different sections for a customized fit. Each section comes with Velcro that you can use to attach it firmly to another section.
The Boppy pillow will help you sleep better, stop rolling on your back and eliminate back pain. While it does take quite some space on your bed, it’s worth it. You can even use it for sitting support. When the baby arrives, you can also use it when nursing.
For hygiene, the pillow is machine washable. Read our full review.
- Versatile design. It provides a custom fit.
- Improves sleep quality and reduces back and muscle aches.
- Easy to reconfigure using the Velcro.
- Good value for money
- When using one or two sections, the bare Velcro can be irritating.
- Can be a bit uncomfortable on hot nights. The material is not very breathable.
This is a full body maternity pillow designed for all-round body comfort. The top provides head and neck support while the long arms support your belly, back and legs. This ensures you don’t experience any uncomfortable pressure points as you sleep.
- The soft cotton cover is removable. This means you can machine wash it.
- Provides full body support and comfort.
- Can also be used during the day when you are reading, watching TV or just relaxing.
- Not ideal for those who prefer sleeping on their backs. It only works for side sleepers.
- Tends to thin out quickly, thus providing less support after a few months.
This is also a U-shaped full body maternity pillow. It provides support to the head, neck, belly, back, hips and legs. This keeps your body in proper alignment and ensures your hips and back do not experience too much pressure. It is anti-allergenic.
- Provides great full body support and comfort.
- The soft cover can be removed and machine washed.
- Reduces turning and tossing at night.
- Not ideal for back sleepers.
- Takes up a lot of space.
The Egyptian cotton cover feels really soft and cuddly. It is also breathable, ensuring that it will not heat up at night. Inside there are airy hollowfibres that give the pillow its soft and responsive characteristic.
You can use it during and after pregnancy and even during the day when you are reading, watching TV or just relaxing on the couch.
- Great support and comfort for the whole body.
- Airy filling and breathable cover provide a cool and fresh sleeping surface.
- Can be too big especially for couples sleeping on the same bed.
- Not ideal for back sleepers.
This pillow comfortable cradles your body from your head to your toes. It provides a pain-free way to sleep at night or relax on the couch during the day. It is especially beneficial for those who tend to wake up with lower back pain.
- Provides great support to your entire body. This helps maintain good blood flow and avoid soreness.
- Uses a breathable material for added coolness and comfort.
- A 100% cotton cover that is durable and very comfortable. Can be removed for washing.
- Takes up a lot of space, which can be a problem for co-sleeping couples.
Whether you are pregnant or have already delivered, this maternity support pillow is ideal for both sleeping and feeding. It boosts blood flow to your baby, prevents back pain and keeps you cuddled through the night.
- Great support for the legs, back and belly.
- Can be used both as a sleeping and feeding pillow.
- Prevents rolling during sleep.
- Does not provide head and neck support.
You can use this V pillow in different positions. You can place it on your back for neck and back support or bring it to your front for belly and head support. For mothers who have already delivered, this pillow provides good support during feeding.
- Great support for the neck, back and belly.
- Can be used for both pregnancy and feeding support.
- Can be used in different positions.
- Does not provide full body support. You may have to get a second pillow for hip and legs support.
This bean-shaped cuddle pillow can be used for belly or lower back support. This takes pressure off your hips and back when you are sleeping especially in the late stages of your pregnancy. You can also use it post-pregnancy to support you and your baby during feeding.
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space in bed, making it ideal for couples.
- Great support for legs, belly and back.
- Does not provide full body support. You may have to get another pillow for upper body support.
This orthopedic pillow provides full body support from the head and neck down to your legs. When sleeping, it provides good lumbar support, ensuring that you don’t wake up with a sore back and hips.
When your legs feel tired and swollen, you can use this pillow to elevate them and increase blood flow. You can also use it during the day when you are sitting or lying down.
- Provides great full body support and proper alignment.
- Increases blood flow throughout your body.
- Soft hollowfibre filling.
- Takes up a lot of room.
- Not ideal for back sleepers.
What to look for when buying a maternity pillow
There are dozens of different maternity pillow designs available in the market. They come in different shapes and sizes. Choosing the right one can be a headache. Will it be soft enough? Will it support my back? Will it fall flat after a week of using it?
To help you make the right choice, we put together the 5 most important factors to consider when shopping for a pregnancy pillow. Look at it as a checklist to check each pillow against.
1. Support and comfort
These are the two most important factors to consider when buying a pregnancy pillow. After all, they are the only reasons you are looking for a maternity pillow.
As your baby bump gets bigger, proper support becomes essential. Without it, you will start experiencing pain and soreness in the back, hips and neck. This messes up with your sleep quality and make you more stressed, a big danger to your baby’s health.
Poor support and comfort during pregnancy can also negatively impact blood flow in your body and to the growing foetus. Again, this is dangerous for you and your baby.
A good maternity pillow should provide adequate support to your head, neck, back, hips and legs. These are the areas that experience the most pressure when you are sleeping. It is especially important for the pillow to provide proper spinal alignment to prevent serious problems from developing.
In addition to support, the pregnancy pillow should be soft enough to relieve pressure from your shoulders, hips and back. This prevents these parts of your body from digging painfully into the mattress.
Check customer reviews to see what current users have to say about the pillow’s support and comfort. Have their sleep quality improved? Are they waking up with any pain? Has the pillow made lying down more comfortable?
2. Full body vs. area-specific support
Generally, there are two types of maternity pillows. There are those that provide full body support. Most of our recommended pillows above are of this type. They usually come in a U shape, which allows them to support the head, neck, belly, back, hips and legs simultaneously.
If you are not sure what kind of pregnancy pillow is best for you, I would recommend a full body pillow. The only downside is that it can take up a lot of space on your bed, a problem if you sleep with your partner.
Alternatively get a smaller maternity pillow that supports a specific part of your body. There are those that can support the belly and hips at the same time. They can also be switched to support the back and hips.
You can also buy a wedge pregnancy pillow for supporting your belly or your back. You simply place the edge under your belly or back to provide added support and prevent rolling over in your sleep.
Try to find a pillow that can be used in several ways. It is not only in bed where you need a maternity pillow. During the day when you are sitting or lying down on the couch, it can also come in handy.
Remember that as the pregnancy progresses you may not be able to do much work, meaning more time spent sitting or lying down. A versatile maternity pillow ensures that you are comfortable both at night and during the day.
It is also a great idea to buy a pillow that can also be used during feeding. Instead of holding the baby with your arm all the time, you can prop him up against the soft pillow while also supporting your hips, arms and back.
4. Removable cover
The pillow cover is going to get dirty soon. So make sure you buy a pregnancy pillow with a removable cover that can be machine washed. This ensures that you sleep on a clean and fresh surface every day.
Additionally, consider getting additional pillow covers for changing. Most sellers offer pillow cases in several colours.
It is important that the cover be soft, comfortable and breathable. The best material is cotton. It is soft and will not make your skin itch. Breathability is important in keeping the pillow cool and dry. Any heat and moisture is quickly taken away.
5. Stitching quality and overall durability
There are some pregnancy pillows that start coming apart at the seams after just a few days of use. Check whether there are many customers complaining of poor stitching. A good pillow should last for months while still in good condition.
Another common problem we have seen people complain about is pregnancy pillows that go flat after a week or two. They stop being responsive meaning that do not provide as much support and comfort as before.
The problem is often with the filling. So make sure the pillow you buy has the right kind of filling that can withstand repeated pressure without losing its supportive capability.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How do pregnancy pillows help?
They provide additional support and comfort to your body, targeted at areas like your back, hips and baby bump. Pregnancy pillows are used primarily at night to help expecting mothers sleep better and more comfortably. But they can also be used during the day or when feeding a new born baby.
Q: Do I have to get a pregnancy pillow when pregnant?
Of course not, it is completely up to you. If you are not feeling any pain or strain in your body and you sleep just fine, then you do not have to buy one. But using a maternity pillow can help you cope with the increasing stress on your body.
If you are starting to wake up with back pain or you keep turning at night, it is time you bought a pregnancy pillow. It will make a huge difference. Thankfully, most maternity pillows are affordably priced so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on one.
Q: Can I use a maternity pillow if I am not pregnant?
Yes you can. In fact, most manufacturers recommend their pillows for anyone with joint or back pain problems. If you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, a maternity pillow can still help you sleep better. It can be especially helpful if your mattress is not very comfortable.
Q: How to sleep with a pregnancy pillow?
The first step is to select the best shape.
- A U-shaped pillow is great for whole-body support, making it the best choice for most pregnant women.
- A C-shaped pillow provides good pelvic support and fits better on a midsize bed. But you’ll need to switch it to the other side of the best when you change sleeping positions.
- A J-shaped pillow provides head, neck and back support. It’s also a good choice for small beds.
Make sure you position the pillow properly for best support and pressure-relief. The pillow should go under your belly, to support the baby’s weight, and between your legs to relieve pressure from your back.
If you have a J, C or U shaped pillow, you won’t need a regular head and neck pillow. Lay your head on the top part of the pregnancy pillow and wrap your arms around it.
The pillow should also snuggle up right against your back for proper lumbar support.
Q: Where can I buy a body pillow for pregnancy?
You’ll find a wide variety of choices online on sites like Amazon and Argos. Also check the bedding section of your local supermarket; they likely carry several types of maternity pillows.
Also check if there are any local stores that specialise in maternity wear. You are also likely to find a good body pillow for pregnancy at a local bedding store.
Q: How to make a pregnancy body pillow?
The easiest way to make your own pregnancy pillow at home us using regular pillows. Arrange them to support different parts of your body.
Use one under your head and neck, another under your belly, another between your legs and another along your back.
If you are still in the first trimester when it’s still safe to sleep on your back, put one pillow under your head and another under your knees to improve blood flow.
If you have the time, you can make a proper full body pregnancy pillow. You’ll need a large piece of fabric and stuffing. Here’s an easy to follow Instructables guide.