Buying Guide for Pregnancy Pillows
Why buy a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows can accommodate various sleeping positions since many pregnant women find their preferred sleeping position changes as their bellies grow. Since most pregnancy pillows are meant to support the entire body instead of just the head and neck, they are much longer and shaped differently than traditional bed pillows. While not a strict necessity, many expectant mothers find pregnancy pillows extremely useful items to have on hand leading up to birth. A pregnancy pillow can improve sleep, increase stamina, energy, and comfort, and relieve pressure on the back, hips, and belly, especially in the advanced stages of pregnancy.
What should you consider in a pregnancy pillow?
- Shape: Common shapes for pregnancy pillows include wedges, bean-shaped, C-shaped, and U-shaped models. There are also pregnancy pillows that are essentially longer versions of standard bed pillows. Wedge pillows are the most versatile and the best option for elevating the back, hip, or legs or supporting the pregnancy bump while resting. C- and U-shaped pillows provide all-around, full-body support, which makes them the most supportive overall. Bean-shaped pregnancy pillows are the most compact and portable, designed to support specific body parts requiring extra support, such as the lower back. Longer, full-length pillows are usually straight and narrow and support one side of the body, mainly intended to help keep the back and spine in alignment.
- Fabric and Filling: All pregnancy pillows will have some sort of fabric cover. Cotton, jersey knit, polyester knit, and velour are all common options. All of these options are generally soft and durable. Keep an eye on whether the fabric in question is machine washable and dryable and if the cover is removable or not, as this makes the pillow more convenient to clean. Common fillings include memory foam, polyester fibers, microbeads, and wool. Memory foam and microbead options will shift to fit your body, which you may find preferable since they’re more flexible and adjustable. There are also inflatable pregnancy pillows available for easy portability.
- Size: The size of pregnancy pillows will vary depending on their shape and their intended use. Even pregnancy pillows with the same shape come in different sizes. Think about how much room you have in your bed, if you want full-body support, and your storage situation for when you’re not using it. Finally, think about whether or not you plan to travel with your new pregnancy pillow. Considering these factors can help you decide how big or small a pregnancy pillow you should buy.
Do pregnancy pillows help relieve back pain?
Since pregnancy pillows are designed to cradle and support the entire body, they usually help to alleviate some of the back pain associated with pregnancy. However, if you’re experiencing severe back pain, you should speak to your doctor immediately.
Our Picks for the Best Pregnancy Pillows
The CeeCee Pillow by PharMeDoc
This full-body, adjustable, C-shaped pregnancy pillow is designed to help reduce back pain for a better night's sleep.
Pros: This full-length, C-shaped pregnancy pillow cradles and supports the entire body. The one piece supports your head, neck, hips, and legs. The polyfill interior adapts and shifts to better fit the shape and curves of your back and growing belly. Thanks to the adjustability of this pillow, you can use it for sleeping, watching TV or reading, or just relaxing around the house. It can also double as a nursing pillow once your baby is born. The soft jersey-knit cotton cover is double-stitched along the seams and is removable, so it can be placed in the washing machine for cleaning at any time.
Cons: The stuffing can be a bit difficult to adjust.
Bottom Line: Back pain is common during pregnancy, which can make it harder to sleep. This full-body, C-shaped pregnancy pillow is designed to help relieve that back pain so that you can slip into a good night’s sleep with greater ease.
PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
For premium comfort, this full-body, U-shaped pillow comes with a detachable extension piece.
Pros: This pillow comes with a detachable extension piece for a full-body U-shaped pillow or a C-shaped model. The extension can provide extra support for your back or belly. It can also be propped up to give you a rest for a tablet, book, or laptop. The whole pillow measures 53 inches long, 31 inches wide, and 7 inches high, large enough to support the back, hips, knees, neck, and head all at once. The cover is made of jersey-knit cotton that is durable, reinforced with double-stitched seams, and machine washable for your convenience, and it zips for easy removal. As a bonus, you can choose between 12 different pastel and neutral colors and patterns for your pillow.
Cons: It takes nearly two full days for the pillow to fully expand out of the box. And after many uses, it stops holding its shape.
Bottom Line: This full-body, U-shaped pregnancy pillow is both highly contoured and adjustable, thanks to the unique detachable extension feature. It offers great support for your back, neck, and legs. And it’s breathable and cool to the touch.
Momcozy Pregnancy Pillows U-Shaped Full Body Maternity Pillow
With removable covers for easy cleaning, this 360-degree support pillow eases aches in the back, hips, and legs and supports your belly.
Pros: You can finally ditch the extra bed pillows on your bed that may be driving your partner crazy. This full-body support pillow hugs your entire body, conforming on all sides to offer comfort and support. Its unique shape helps to alleviate back soreness, hip pain, and leg swelling, not to mention helping to ease those swollen feet. It can also help provide a supportive sleep area better than regular pillows, so no more tossing and turning to get comfortable at night. You can use it sitting up to read a book or watch TV in comfort. And the whole pillow, including the removable cover, is machine washable.
Cons: The velvet material can leave you feeling quite hot. This is a better choice for colder months and colder climates. Also, it’s pretty bulky. Unless you have a larger bed, if you sleep with a partner, there may not be ample sleeping space for them.
Bottom Line: For pregnant women who get achy backs, hips, or legs (or all of the above), this may be a great solution. It’s ergonomically designed to help you sleep safely on your side without tossing and turning. And it makes a great lounge pillow as well.
hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge for Belly Support
Small and versatile, this wedge-shaped pregnancy pillow is soft on one side and firm on the other.
Pros: This pregnancy pillow is built to alleviate pregnancy discomfort no matter which trimester you’re in. One side of this wedge pillow is made of soft memory foam, while the other is firmer foam. Simply flip the pillow over to take advantage of whichever side better fits your needs. This wedge slides right under your growing belly, behind your back, or between the knees. Depending on where you place it, it can reduce swelling in your hands, legs, and feet, reduce back tension, take the pressure off your belly, or relieve leg numbness. The perforated interior foam layer allows for better airflow and ventilation, keeping the pillow cooler so you won’t overheat and can sleep more comfortably. It’s free of harmful substances like formaldehyde and flame retardants. The plush charcoal gray cover is soft, breathable, and durable. And there’s a small carrying bag included, so you can take this wedge pillow on trips, store it as compactly as possible, or even just roll it up for carrying from the bedroom to the living room.
Cons: It takes time and some trial and error to get this pillow in the right position to offer proper support.
Bottom Line: If you don’t have the space for a full-body pregnancy pillow, find them too restrictive or hot, or are merely looking for nothing more than belly support, a wedge pregnancy pillow like this one is a great option. The wedge can be soft or firm, thanks to its two-sided design. And it’s compact enough for travel.
QUEEN ROSE Cooling Air Flow Pregnancy Pillow
With increased airflow and a mesh cover, this full-body pregnancy pillow will allow you to rest without overheating.
Pros: This pregnancy pillow is absolutely huge, cradling your entire body from head to toe in luxurious comfort. It has a detachable side that you can move and adjust to cradle your head, elevate your legs, support your belly bump, or prop up your back. The pillow itself is highly breathable, and it comes with a breathable mesh cover so that you can rest comfortably in even the hottest climates. Because it’s so light and breathable, it can increase airflow and help prevent sweating. Each part of this pillow and cover is machine washable. And the cover is easy to remove with its convenient zipper. Also, this pillow comes in a few different sizes and offers several color choices, so it doesn’t have to be an eyesore in your bedroom.
Cons: This pillow does not hold its shape over time.
Bottom Line: For 360-degree support, this oversized body pillow bends and adjusts to your body. It has detachable pieces that fit together with Velcro. Though it comes vacuum sealed, it doesn’t take long to expand, so you can enjoy it soon after it arrives.
Not all pregnancy pillows are built alike. Whether you need a cooling one, a compact one, or a full-body one, be sure that the pillow you choose supports your body in the way you need it to for a peaceful night’s rest.