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 pregnancy 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.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
Regular pillows are designed for head rest, but a pregnancy pillow is designed to ease various body aches and come in many different sizes and types:
• Pregnancy body pillow. This pregnancy pillow is literally the size of your body. You sleep on it as if you’re lying across your partner. Hopefully there will be no jealousy! Likely the fact that you sleep well, instead of tossing and turning, will make it easy for your bedmate to welcome a pregnancy body pillow into bed.
• U-shaped pregnancy body pillow. This pillow is contoured to wrap all around you. Depending on your sleep position, it can 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.
• Inflatable pregnancy pillow. This is the largest option available and can feel like a life raft (as if you need to be literally rescued from aches and pains), and is often built for stomach sleepers.
• Pregnancy wedge pillow. is much smaller and less expensive, designed to support a targeted area: typically your bump or back.
Considerations When Shopping for a Pregnancy Pillow
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.
• Finally, are you carrying twins? You may want to invest in a best pregnancy pillow for twins early in your second trimester since your bump may be growing faster than a singleton pregnancy.
The Best Pregnancy Pillows
Somewhere in this list is a best pregnancy pillow that’s going to get you a good night’s sleep—we promise!
Best Pregnancy Body Pillow
Prepare to be a blissed out by Boppy’s Total Body Pillow. Its C-shape cradles you from head to toe, even taking the place of your regular pillow. One end is for your head and neck; the other tucks between your legs to realign your hips as you sleep. This pregnancy body pillow by Boppy is among the best 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 Pima cotton slipcover and the inside pillow are machine washable.
Buy it: Boppy Multi-Use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow, $50, Boppy.com
Best U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
Behold, Remedy’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. Made of 100 percent polyester fill, it’s received 4.5 star reviews for its softness and pliability, though some reviewers wish it were a foot longer to accommodate taller women.
Buy it: Remedy Full Body Pregnancy Contour U Pillow, $68, Buybuybaby.com
Best Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
This compact wedge pillow from Boppy supports your bump as you sleep, but 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, Destinationmaternity.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. Sold at Target, we can think of 20 good reasons to head on over to the superstore to pick one up.
Buy it: Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow, $180, Target.com
Best Cheap Pregnancy Pillow
You know who is in the aisles of Babies ‘R Us all day? Pregnant women. Tucked among the strollers and car seats and other registry items is the store’s clever 10-buck solution to pregnancy sleep troubles. The house brand pregnancy pillow is a triangular pregnancy wedge pillow made of super-soft flannel that can hold your belly as you sleep, which takes pressure off your back too. The best part? The can’t-beat-it price.
Buy it: Babies R Us Pregnancy Wedge Pillow, $10, Babiesrus.com
Best Pregnancy Pillows for Side Sleepers
Need a pregnancy body pillow you can snuggle while lying on your side? 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. There’s a simple, unadorned version, but for an additional $30 you can buy an extra pillowcase.
Buy it: Snoogle Total Body Pillow, $60, Motherhood.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, $90, Cozybump.com
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, $80, Kohls.com
Best Organic Pregnancy Pillow
If earth-friendly material is your no. 1 requirement, the best body pillow for pregnancy from Soaring Heart sold by boutique bedding company Coyuchi is your jam. The shell is organic cotton and the pregnancy pillow batting is wool; while the outside is wrapped in supremely soft organic-cotton sateen. Cheers for the fact that it’s made in the USA.
Buy it: Organic Body Pillow, $248, Coyuchi.com
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Twins
Another Leachco pregnancy pillow that gets high marks is one with modular pieces that can be pulled apart and reconfigured to keep your rapidly changing body comfy throughout your pregnancy. The foam-based interior provides firm comfort as you grow two babies, but moms of singletons love it too. One reviewer raves, “It helps support my hips, lower back, and legs!”
Buy it: Leachco PreggoPedic Contoured Maternity Body Pillow System, $62, Walmart.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 Small-Space Maternity Body Pillow
If you long for a body pillow but sleep in a fullsize bed with your mate, many of the larger pregnancy pillows won’t work for you. The solution: Summer Infant’s Ultimate Comfort Maternity Pillow is firm but lean, supporting you where you need it without taking up the space of a third person in your bed.
Buy it: Summer Infant’s Ultimate Comfort Maternity Pillow, $60, BJs.com
Best Multi-Purpose Pregnancy-to-Nursing Pillow
This hourglass-shape best pregnancy pillow wants to be your everything. Use the microball-filled puffy pillow under your bump, between your legs or behind your back as you sit. Once you welcome baby, it becomes a nursing pillow too.
Buy it: Babymoov Multiuse Ergonomic Maternity Pillow, $40, Nordstrom.com
Published October 2017