If you’re newly pregnant, you might be wondering why they make pillows for pregnant moms. Is it some kind of scheme? Aren’t all pillows the same?
Let me counter your questions with this one…have you ever stayed in a hotel that had pillows that didn’t support your head? You probably squished and squashed them to no avail to try to find a comfortable position, didn’t you?
That’s just your neck! If you were uncomfortable in that scenario, imagine how much more uncomfortable you’ll be if your growing belly puts a strain on you, and you can’t get into a position to sleep.
At first, it’s not very noticeable. After all, in the early months, the baby is tiny, and it’s highly likely you’re either not showing or barely showing at all.
I remember those early days when I was pregnant with my eldest. I’d literally sit down on the bed and zonk out.
But as she grew inside me, it became more challenging to get comfortable at night. And of course, there was the constant and urgent need to get up and go pee (even though I’d just gone 5 minutes before!). By the end of my first pregnancy, I considered my day a success if I’d managed to find a comfortable position to get into. 🙂
For my second pregnancy, I received a maternity pillow as a gift from another expat mom. It was a real treasure and made my second time around much more manageable. So, if you think you don’t need a total body pillow for pregnancy, think again.
Table of Content
- Why Do I Need a Pregnancy Pillow?
- Benefits of Total Body Pillow for Pregnancy
- Types of Body Pillows for Pregnant Women
- How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Pillow?
- The 11 Top-Rated Pregnancy Pillows in 2023
- 1. Leachco Snoogle Original
- 2. Queen Rose 2-Sided U-Shaped Pillow
- 3. Hiccapop Wedge Pregnancy Pillow
- 4. PharMeDoc Full Body U-Shaped Maternity Pillow
- 5. PharMeDoc Full Body C-Shaped
- 6. Cozy Bump Personal Pregnancy Pillow
- 7. Leachco Back 'N Belly
- 8. Bluestone Contoured U-Shape Pillow
- 9. Meiz Velvet Covered U-Shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow
- 10. Boppy Side Sleeper
- 11. Cushy Form Pregnancy Knee Pillow
- FAQs About Pregnancy Pillows
Why Do I Need a Pregnancy Pillow?
First of all, as your baby (and belly!) get bigger, the way you sleep might have to change. I’ve always been a solid side sleeper, but even with that, once I got bigger in my pregnancies, I had trouble getting into a position that allowed for restful sleep.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, you won’t be able to do that since it’s just too uncomfortable. And the Princess and the Pea thought she had problems! Try sleeping on a soccer ball that kicks you all night!
This is so important:
Back sleepers need to change their ways because as everything gets bigger, it can compress the vena cava vein that will delay blood flow to your baby. With a maternity pillow, you can get support on all the parts of your body that are incurring higher pressure during this time. From back to knees to belly, there are a variety of pregnant support pillows out there to provide a much-needed assist into the world of slumber.
Benefits of Total Body Pillow for Pregnancy
Maternity pillows are designed to support your body as it grows and changes during those 9 months of pregnancy. They’re available in different shapes and sizes from wedges to C-shape, long to short. There are even inflatable pregnancy pillows!
With a variety of fabrics and fillings, you’ll have to decide which one you’ll want to support you. We all have different needs and levels of comfort. And if it’s your first pregnancy, you might be wondering which pregnancy pillow would be best for you. Hang on for a moment because I’ll get to all that as I go through the different types of maternity pillows available.
The best pregnancy pillows will relieve the pressures you feel. You’ll likely feel it in your back and spine and your hips. These pregnancy support pillows are designed to align the hips, shoulders, and spine for your best comfort in sleep, and even while you’re awake to reduce aches and pains.
You’ll also likely use it long after you’ve had the baby, or even after having another child or two. I would have still had my pregnancy pillow from my youngest if we stayed in China. It was just too much to bring with us, so I gave it to another expectant mom before we left.
Types of Body Pillows for Pregnant Women
Just like a pillow for your head, you have a variety of options when it comes to finding the best pregnancy sleep pillow. Here’s what you’ll see and what you can expect from them:
- Wedge: Like a hunk of cheese on your cheese plate, you’ll see these in triangular and round options. Wedges are ideal for putting under your bump for better support, under or between the legs, and even behind your back when you want to sit up and read (or breastfeed later on after baby arrives).
- Total Body: This type of pregnancy pillow curves around your whole body. They come in C or U shapes and lovingly cradle you. You get support for the neck and back, between your knees and under your belly. It is one of the most supportive types of maternity pillows.
- Full Length: While it’s big as the total body pregnancy pillow, it supports one side of your body. Most of these are straight in shape though some options are more moldable to your body.
- Bean: Shaped like a bean and smaller in size, it’s ideal for targeting specific areas. They’re great between the knees at night or for sitting in an office chair when you’re still working. Since they’re small, you can easily tote them along.
- Inflatable: You can adjust the firmness on these and while they aren’t as spectacular as the total body or full-length versions, they are perfect for travel.
How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Pillow?
Before I get into my pregnancy pillow reviews, I want you to know that you’ll have to think about your own needs. That being said, as you think of your needs, think about these critical points too:
You have tons of options for the size of your pregnancy pillow. What you should think of is the size of your bed and whether or not your partner will have room to sleep with you in there if you choose a giant total body pregnancy pillow. If you travel a lot, you’ll want to think about if you can take it along. If not, you should think about where you’ll put it when not in use or if you can use it for other things like reading later on.
Do you want a pregnancy pillow that supports your entire body or just a specific part of it that’s causing you pain? If you have trouble sleeping on your side, you may find that a total body version is best for you. And if you have acid reflux, a pregnancy pillow for heartburn like the wedge can really come in handy.
Just like ordinary pillows for your head, the filling in maternity pillows is varied. There’s memory foam, micro-beads, polyester, and of course, air if you buy an inflatable one.
The fabric is something else to think about. Some of these will come with removable covers, though even if not, you can always add one. Cleaning should be easy, so look at the instructions for washing. Once that baby comes and spit-up gets everywhere, you will appreciate a pillow you can clean with ease.
Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a maternity pillow, I’ve selected the 11 best ones I could find to cover the wide array of needs my readers have. 😀
The 11 Top-Rated Pregnancy Pillows in 2023
Let’s find the best pregnancy body pillow for you. In no particular order, here are my top 11 choices.
1. Leachco Snoogle Original
Best pregnancy pillow for back pain!
Let me tell you something about being a mom…that back pain you feel in your pregnancy is going to stay with you for a LONG time. You might not think a tiny baby can cause your back to ache but all those hours of breastfeeding and all that added weight put a massive strain on your back. Leachco’s Snoogle was developed by an RN and mom to create a unique design.
The standard cotton pillow filling provides enough cushioning that takes the pressure off for a great night’s sleep. You can also remove the cover and wash it easily in the washing machine, so it’s really a no-fuss option that handles all your pregnancy discomfort woes when trying to sleep or rest.
2. Queen Rose 2-Sided U-Shaped Pillow
Best U-shaped pregnancy pillow!
What I really like about this pillow is that you can easily roll from one side to the other and get comfortable. Because of the unique double U-shape, you have comfort for back, belly, legs, and hips that’s long enough on each side to cover you. And that’s not all…because of the connected U part; you can also use it as a wedge. So it’s basically several pregnancy pillows rolled into one.
3. Hiccapop Wedge Pregnancy Pillow
Best pregnancy wedge pillow!
If you’re still working through all of this, you might find the best pregnancy wedge pillow with Hiccapop. It has 2 different sides that you can flip to your advantage. The first is soft memory foam, while the other side is firmer. It’s ideal for supporting your belly to keep that swelling down in your hands and feet, plus the wedge shape helps you sit up in bed. Put it between your knees, and you’ll have enough relief to get some of those highly-coveted Z’s.
The cover is really soft and plush too, while the pillow uses exclusive airflow technology in this US-certified foam. Plus, it’s free of flame retardants and all those other nasty chemicals. It can be used as a pregnancy pillow for your office chair, and since it comes with a carry bag, you can easily travel with it.
I like the versatility on this pillow for pregnant moms and I think you will too if it fits your lifestyle!
4. PharMeDoc Full Body U-Shaped Maternity Pillow
Best pregnancy pillow for side sleepers!
This one is a little similar to the Queen Rose U-Shaped pillow I discussed above. While the material is jersey cotton and isn’t quite as plush, this one has a cool feature I couldn’t help but note as a top pregnancy pillow for side sleepers.
See, like the other one, it supports your back and neck, knees, and hips, and keeps those annoying pains from popping up. But this one allows you to detach part of it, which you can use to really ease into your side sleeping position. That detachable piece can be used to prop up a book or laptop while in bed or even add extra comfort behind your head.
While it’s long, because that piece can detach, this is also one of the finest pregnancy pillows for plus size moms because you can move that other piece out of the way if you need more space. Big, tall, or even small, the cover is easy to remove and throw in your washing machine for easy care.
And another thing…
If you have a c-section, this pillow will most certainly be your new BFF. PharMeDoc also recommends the use of this U-shaped pillow to those recovering from surgery, so if you’re planning a c-section to deliver, choose this maternity pillow.
5. PharMeDoc Full Body C-Shaped
Best C-shaped pregnancy pillow!
Another one by PharMeDoc, I had to mention it because it’s one of the best pregnancy pillows for a tall person. It’s really big, but it comes with a travel and storage bag that makes it easy to fold up when you’re not using it or if you want to take it along somewhere.
The difference between this pillow and the U-shaped version is that the U-shape gives you more of total body experience while this one is more of a full length.
6. Cozy Bump Personal Pregnancy Pillow
Best maternity pillow for stomach sleepers!
For those of you that are real stomach sleepers and you just can’t get comfortable any other way, there’s hope! The Cozy Bump pregnancy pillow was designed just for you. Plus, it can double as a pool float. Flip it to either side, depending on how big your bump is so that it fits comfortably in the cut-out area.
The unique design features a declined leg section, which helps your lower back decompress. As the hips are elevated, it keeps your baby in the right position while allowing you to sleep on your belly safely. Because of the cut-out area, it lets you breathe in more air since your lungs have room to expand.
Since it’s inflatable, you can make it really firm or adjust it to your comfort, or deflate it to store and transport wherever you go. I think I’ll see a lot of pregnant mamas taking this one out to the beach this summer. What a cozy way to keep out of the sand!
7. Leachco Back 'N Belly
Best pregnancy body pillow!
With the Back ‘N Belly version of Leachco’s pregnant support pillow, you get double the support on your back and belly all at once. The U-shape offers contours on either side, so whichever way you roll, you’re covered.
The removable machine-washable sham-style cover. You can upgrade to the OrganicSmart version if you’d prefer an organic cotton option instead, which will undoubtedly make my earthy mamas happy!
8. Bluestone Contoured U-Shape Pillow
Best pregnancy pillow for hip pain!
For those of you that want a supportive pregnancy pillow that’s a little squishier than the other options, Bluestone gives you loads of length and softness. I’d recommend this maternity pillow if you don’t like firm support as much.
It still gets the job done, though, and thanks to the inner curves, it aligns your hips and back to reduce pain quite effectively. Because it’s a long pillow for pregnancy, it can support all the way down to your ankles, even if you’re tall, so you have a full-body support system to help you snooze.
Also, the material is hypoallergenic inside with a 100% cotton removable and machine-washable cover, so that reduces your stress even more!
9. Meiz Velvet Covered U-Shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow
Ultimate comfort maternity pillow with velvet touch!
Want something that feels luxurious to envelop you when it feels like EVERYTHING hurts? Meiz presents this U-shaped maternity pillow with a removable and machine-washable velvet-touch cover.
The polyester filling gives a softness to it yet holds enough strength that it won’t sag under the weight of your belly or limbs. Another feature that is easy to overlook because it seems insignificant is that it has double zippers on the interior and exterior lining. This makes life much easier when unzipping, washing, and then redressing your pillow.
10. Boppy Side Sleeper
Best pregnancy pillow for back sleepers!
For my hardcore back sleeper, Boppy, the brand is known best for its breastfeeding pillows, has craftily invented a unique pillow to keep you on your side. Comfortably too! It’s made with two connected pillows, each one designed to lend support to both your back and belly all at once.
The unique design keeps you from rolling onto your back as you sleep to protect your baby from losing that precious blood flow. It’s a brilliant idea, giving you a way to sleep comfortably, removing your aches and pains with proper support, and keeping you from worrying that you’re going to roll onto your back in the middle of your sleep.
I know some of you are concerned about hogging the bed too. The other pillows will certainly take up a little more space than perhaps hubby wants you to, which isn’t an issue if you have a king or California king bed. But in a queen bed, the amount of space you take up can make even the sweetest husband a little irritated. This one gives him more space too, and makes you both happy. It’s also machine washable and can be used in chairs too with a portable size that makes it easy to use anywhere.
11. Cushy Form Pregnancy Knee Pillow
Best pregnancy pillow for leg pain!
Some mamas don’t need a whole big pregnancy pillow or choose to simply upgrade as they move through trimesters. With this Cushy Form pillow for knees, it comfortably keeps knees apart to maintain good posture all night. That’s especially ideal if your legs just can’t get comfortable at night.
With my first, I took to using an extra pillow between my knees until I received a pregnancy pillow as a gift for my second pregnancy. I would have loved something with more efficient support there because, without it, your hips and back start to suffer. Something as simple as this can change all that.
The memory foam is firm enough to keep things in position, and it takes up such little space, there will be no complaints from the husband.
It comes with a travel and storage bag too, so you can even bring it to the hospital with you to stay comfortable in the days after birth. Also, an interesting bonus – it feels softer in warmer temperatures and firmer in cold ones, adjusting to your needs with a very intuitive nature to keep you comfortable all night.
FAQs About Pregnancy Pillows
With my pregnancy pillow reviews, I want to include the most popular questions I’ve received about them. Thanks to you guys, you inspired me to write this post, so I’m answering what you all tend to ask me.
When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
The time to start using a pregnancy pillow is when you start feeling the aches and pains caused by your growing belly and additional weight. You may also want to start using one if you just can’t get comfortable.
Those of you that have always slept on your back or belly may want to get one even sooner to start training yourself to sleep on your sides before you get any bigger. This way, you’ll have more time to build that habit and sleep better. And believe me, you NEED this sleep now more than ever because once you have that baby, sleep is like a unicorn.
Do pregnancy pillows really help?
Some of you wonder if you really need a pregnancy pillow and if they will really help. I mean, can’t you just use any pillow? Well, I’ve been there and done that, and let me tell you, you should really get a pregnancy pillow.
With my eldest, I made do with a regular pillow. It was better than nothing. I thought it was an improvement. But when I was pregnant with my youngest, I could feel the difference. My sleep was amazing and my back, neck, hip, and leg pain were non-existent in my second pregnancy. The one I had (it was a C-shape by the way) made all the difference. I absolutely recommend them.
You won’t regret it, plus you can use it forever after this for ready or when you get your period later on and feel bloaty and uncomfortable. I have a friend who STILL uses hers 10 years later. If I had been able to take mine from China, I can assure you that I’d still be using mine too.
Is a U-shaped or C-shaped pregnancy pillow better?
Each option will keep you comfortable, that’s for sure. With a C-shaped pillow, you might take up less space in the bed. If you’re a side sleeper, either shape will work out for you though back sleepers will have a hard time accidentally rolling onto their backs with a U-shape.
Should you be worried at all about sleeping on your back, get a U-shaped pillow. Another bonus is that U-shapes are great for taller mamas and can be propped up to serve as a wedge on top with support along the sides when you want to sit up. That’s also a bonus in later months when reflux comes up, pardon the pun.
How to sleep with a pregnancy pillow?
By your 14th week, you should be sleeping on your side. So with your chosen pregnancy pillow, lie on your side and cuddle up. Some of you will find putting part of the maternity pillow under your knees is literally the bee’s knees, but others of you will find the sweet spot is on your calves.
The good news is that you can play around and find your level of comfort. Pregnancy pillows also eliminate the need for using 5 to 8 different pillows. While they do seem to take up a bit of space, they actually are more efficient. Plus, you don’t have to spend time rolling around and readjusting them every time.
Ultimately, many of you will like the U-shaped pregnancy pillows best because you don’t have to rotate the pillow with you when you switch sides. From all these, though, choose the firmness that makes you most comfortable and the size and that should be enough to get you to have the sweetest of dreams!