The Best Pregnancy Pillows for an Amazing Night’s Sleep
Sound like a familiar scene: You’re exhausted and can’t wait to crawl into bed, but when you do, your ever-growing bump is right there, creating a wedge between you and a good night’s sleep. While you might have dismissed a pregnancy pillow as an unnecessary purchase (after all, you have plenty of pillows already), a great maternity pillow is actually engineered to ease the discomfort of pregnancy and cradle you off to dreamland. Most support your belly, of course, but others target hip or back pain, because let’s face it: Carrying a baby for nine months takes its toll on more than just your midsection. So how can you find the right one for you? Keep reading for tips on how to shop for and use a maternity pillow, plus a roundup of the best pregnancy pillows on the market right now.
Regular pillows serve as a headrest, but the best pregnancy pillows are designed to ease various body aches. You can start to use a maternity pillow at any time during your pregnancy, although many moms-to-be appreciate the support beginning in their second trimester, when your bump is larger and it becomes important to sleep on your side instead of your back. (You want to take pressure off a large vein in your back called the vena cava to make sure enough blood is flowing to the placenta.) Plus, the common aches and pains of pregnancy tend to kick in after your first trimester is behind you.
So how do you actually use a pregnancy pillow? It depends on the type of pillow you get:
U-shaped pregnancy body pillow
This pregnancy pillow is the size of your body and, as the name implies, is shaped like a U to contour all around you (with you nestled in the center of the U). This style of pillow does it all, supporting your head, neck, back, hips, legs and bump.
Depending on your sleep position, you can use it to prop you up if you’re a back-sleeper or sandwich you front and back once you begin sleeping on your side in the second trimester, with the edge of the pregnancy pillow tucked between your legs. You can slip your arm underneath the pillow and rest your head right on top. Keep in mind that this type of pregnancy pillow will take up a good amount of space (hopefully your partner won’t mind welcoming it into your bed!).
C-shaped pregnancy body pillow
This is another type of large pregnancy body pillow but is shaped like a C instead of a U. Some C-shaped pregnancy pillows curve around your entire body to support both your back and bump, while others contour your front but not the back. This pillow is used when sleeping on your side—rest your head at the top, prop up your bump (and possibly back) with the side and tuck the bottom of the C between your legs.
Pregnancy wedge pillow
A wedge is much smaller and less expensive than other pregnancy pillows and is designed to support a targeted area: typically your bump or back. To use it, slip the wedge under your belly to relieve the weight of your bump, or tuck it behind you to ensure you don’t roll over flat onto your back overnight. (If you enjoy spooning with your partner but need some support for your bump, this is a great cuddle-friendly pick.)
Inflatable pregnancy pillow
This is the largest pregnancy pillow option available and can feel like a life raft (as if you need to be literally rescued from aches and pains). They’re often built for stomach sleepers, complete with a hole in which you can rest your pregnant belly. To use, simply inflate, slide it on top of your bed like a second mattress and settle in for the night.
Before you buy the first thing you see marketed as the best pregnancy pillow, you’ll want to factor in a few key considerations:
• Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper? While stomach sleepers have obvious challenges getting comfy while sleeping, back and side sleepers have different challenges too.
• Do you like firm foam or a softer fill? What’s going to feel best against your back or bump? If you’re picky about firmness or the feel of the fabric is important to you, pay extra attention to find a pregnancy pillow that meets these needs.
Ready to start shopping? Somewhere on this list is the best pregnancy pillow for you. A good night’s sleep, here you come!
Overall Best Pregnancy Pillow
Need a pregnancy body pillow that offers full support but won’t take over your entire bed? Meet the Snoogle pregnancy pillow. Its hook shape supports your back while one end goes under your head (giving you ample extra length to snuggle) and the other end tucks between your legs. The nice thing about this maternity pillow is that while it’s not a massive U-shaped pillow, the hook still extends long enough to prop up your belly too. Nearly 8,000 Amazon reviewers crown this as the best pregnancy pillow, so clearly they’re onto something.
Buy it: Snoogle Total Body Pillow, $60, Amazon
Best Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
This compact wedge pillow from Boppy supports your bump as you sleep, but it helps in other ways too; women have been known to place it against their backs for lumbar support as they sit at a desk, or rest their knees on it as they lie on a couch. Its small size makes it easy to carry around the house, and the low price means you could have one at home and one at work.
Buy it: Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Pillow, $16, BuyBuyBaby.com
Best U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
PharMeDoc’s full-body U-shaped pregnancy pillow surrounds you completely, front and back. Use it to sleep in any position as your aches and pains shift during pregnancy. It even has a detachable design that lets you convert it to a C-shaped pillow or use the removable section as a separate maternity pillow. The pillow comes with a 100 percent jersey knit cotton cover that’s machine-washable.
Buy it: PharMeDoc Pregnancy U-Shaped Full Body Pregnancy Pillow, $40, Amazon.com
Best C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
Prepare to be blissed out by Boppy’s Total Body Pillow. Its C-shape cradles you from head to toe. One end is for your head and neck; the other tucks between your legs to realign your hips as you sleep. It earns a place on our list of best pregnancy pillows because it’s soft enough to fold into any position and comes in very handy during waking hours too; tuck one end behind you on the couch and use the other end us a lap desk, for instance. Both the cotton slipcover and the inside pillow are machine washable.
Buy it: Boppy Multi-Use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow, $50, BuyBuyBaby.com
For those less than eager to spend a lot of money on a pillow, this is one of the best pregnancy pillows you can snag on the cheap—you get a pregnancy body pillow for the cost of many replacement pillow cases! It may prove a little short for taller women, but most say it’s great value for the money. It features a U-shape design that can support you throughout your pregnancy (and beyond!) and comes with a zippered cotton cover that you can toss into the washing machine.
Buy it: Vanlord U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow, $26, Amazon.com
Best Organic Pregnancy Pillow
If earth-friendly fabrics is your no. 1 requirement, the best pregnancy pillow for you is this Etsy pick, crafted from all natural materials. The U-shaped pillow is made from organic Merino wool filling, covered by an organic cotton sateen cover for an ultra-silky feel. Select your color from red, white or cream.
Buy it: TheWoolland Organic Pregnancy Pillow, $193, Etsy.com
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain
Users say this U-shaped pregnancy pillow helps alleviate back pain, even calling it a chiropractic pregnancy pillow. Wrote one pregnant mama, who heard about the maternity pillow from her chiropractor, “it’s helped immensely with round ligament and pelvic pain. Plus it allows me to easily flip from one side to the other all night without having to readjust my pillows.”
Buy it: Moonlight Slumber Comfort U Total Support Body Pillow, $100, Amazon.com
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
We feel ya, stomach sleepers. Never mind you look like you’re white water rafting belly-down while you sleep—you’ll get over any silliness you feel once you get a good night’s sleep with this inflatable pregnancy pillow with a hole in the center. Adjust the amount of air in it to suit your comfort as your belly grows.
Buy it: Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump, $150, Amazon
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Sleepers
Like stomach sleepers, back sleepers have a hard time finding a comfortable sleep position as you hit the midway point of pregnancy. This Leachco pregnancy pillow is made to feel like a beachside lounger, only better, because it’s so cushiony. As your bump grows and you want to switch to side sleeping, it’s great for that too.
Buy it: Leachco Back N Belly Chic Body Pillow, $85, BuyBuyBaby.com
Best Memory Foam Pregnancy Pillow
Are you a Tempur-Pedic mattress devotee? If you love the firmness of memory foam, this memory-foam pregnancy pillow is for you. Position it in front of you for your bump, behind you for your back or between your legs for your hips—wherever you need the most support.
Buy it: Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow, $139, Amazon
Best Multi-Purpose Pregnancy-to-Nursing Pillow
If you want a multi-use pillow that won’t break the bank, this hourglass-shape option is the best pregnancy pillow for you. Use the microball-filled puffy pillow under your bump, between your legs or behind your back as you sit. Once you bring baby home, it becomes a feeding pillow too.
Buy it: Babymoov Multiuse Ergonomic Maternity Pillow, $40, Nordstrom.com
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