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The Most Supportive Pregnancy Pillows for Expectant Mothers

Also known as maternity pillows, pregnancy pillows are specialty pillows designed for pregnant women. They are flexible and versatile pillows specifically designed to fit and support a pregnant body’s changing shape and size. They also accommodate various sleeping positions since many pregnant women find their preferred sleeping position changes as their pregnancies advance. 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 the birth. A pregnancy pillow can improve sleep, increase stamina, energy, and comfort, and relieve pressure on the back, hips, and spine, even in advanced stages of pregnancy. Here are a few pillows we recommend.

What to Consider in a Pregnancy Pillow

Here are a few things to think about before buying 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 a bed pillow. Wedge pillows are the most versatile and the best option for elevating the back 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.
  • 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 or not, if you have a place to store the pillow when you’re not using it, and whether or not you plan to travel with it. Considering these factors can help you decide how big or small a pregnancy pillow you should buy.

Best for Back Pain: PharMeDoc Full-Body Pregnancy Pillow

This full-length, C-shaped pregnancy pillow cradles and supports the entire body. Back pain is common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, which can make it harder to sleep. This pregnancy pillow is designed to help relieve that back pain so that you can slip into a good night’s sleep with greater ease and hopefully not wake up throughout the night due to pain. This pillow doesn’t just support the back, either. No more separate, shifting pillows for your head, neck, hips, and legs; just get this pregnancy pillow to support all of those things at once. The polyfill interior will adapt and shift 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, sitting and 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. Besides the pillow itself, you’ll receive a cotton canvas bag with your purchase that works as a travel and storage container.

Best for Back Pain

Best Adjustable: PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Detachable Extension

This full-body, U-shaped pregnancy pillow is both highly contoured and adjustable, thanks to the unique detachable extension feature. That detachable extension can be taken off or attached at will to be used as its own full-body pillow or to turn the main pillow into a C-shaped model. It can be detached and reattached at will. When attached, this extension provides 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 pillow cover is made of jersey-knit cotton that is durable, reinforced with double-stitched seams, and machine washable for your convenience. The cover zips for easy removal. A round cotton canvas back is included with your purchase, which can be used to transport the pregnancy pillow or to make it more compact for storage when not in use. Choose from between 12 different pastel and neutral colors and patterns for your pillow. Note that the color and pattern of the bag may vary depending on your color choice as well.

Best Adjustable

Best Wedge: hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

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. This model is built to alleviate pregnancy discomfort no matter which trimester you’re in. This wedge can be soft or firm, thanks to its two-sided design. One side is made of soft memory foam while the other is much firmer, more solid 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 and durable and has tiny perforated holes to further increase airflow. A small carrying bag comes 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.

Most Size Options: Meiz Pregnancy Body Pillow

This U-shaped pregnancy pillow is fully-body sized, available in three different lengths in case you want or need some extra inches. Choose between the more standard 55 inches and 60- or 65-inch models to support the back, belly, sides, head, neck, hips, and knees. Each size comes with a soft, cooling jersey cover that is available in seven different colors, unzips to remove, and is machine washable for easy cleaning. The pillow itself is nice and firm with adjustable filling, suitable for side, stomach, and back sleepers alike. The U-shape helps prevent tossing and turning as you sleep since it supports both sides of the body. It can relieve leg swelling, back pain, hypertension, and pressure on your liver, all of which may lead to a better night’s sleep. It’s great for relaxing around the house, watching TV, reading, and of course, sleeping.

Most Size Options

Meiz Pregnancy Pillow - U Shaped - Pregnancy Body Pillow - for Support Neck/Back/Legs with Body Pillow Cooling Jersey Cover, Green

A U-shaped, full-body pregnancy pillow available in three different sizes to better cradle and support the entire body.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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