Are you pregnant and uncomfortable? Here's the ultimate guide to the best pregnancy pillows in 2018.
Pregnancy brings so many changes to your body. Some expected (hello, large belly!) and some not (bleeding gums and gas, what?!?). One thing that often heads south with pregnancy is your sleep. Treating yourself to one of the best pregnancy pillows can help make sure you are getting quality zzzzs while pregnant.
Sleep will be hard to come by once baby arrives, so it's important to make sure you're getting good sleep and enough of it while you're pregnant. To make sure you're maximizing your sleep, check out this list of the best pregnancy pillows out there.
Do I Really Need a Special Pillow?
Yes! The best maternity pillows can provide body support (especially for your belly and aching legs and back), stimulate deep sleep, improve your blood circulation, help keep you calm, lower your heart rate, relax muscles, reduce heartburn, and reduce water retention or edema.
For some people, sleep issues start as early as the first trimester and can continually get worse as the pregnancy continues, especially as the baby grows and adds more strain on your body.
The benefits of pregnancy pillows cannot be overstated. They are a great investment in your sleep health. They also come in handy after the pregnancy as well, as some can double as nursing support pillows and even help if you are recovering from a C section or are still having aches and pains and trouble sleeping.
There are also some safety benefits, too. Most doctors advise pregnant women to avoid sleeping on their backs, and the best maternity pillows prevent you from doing this. They also enable women to sleep on their sides, which is the best position for pregnant women. Side sleeping helps with circulation (and can also help reduce heartburn too, especially if you lay on your left side).
And, if you're feeling particularly generous, your partner can also benefit from the best pregnancy support pillows. They can alleviate back pain in anyone, not just pregnant women!
What Should I Be Looking for in a Pregnancy Pillow?
The main idea behind a maternity pillow is to support your body, particularly your belly, during pregnancy. They can be especially helpful during the third trimester, as the baby is growing. The best maternity pillows can be used to support a number of different areas of your body.
Most pregnancy support pillows are body-type pillows or C- or U-shaped pillows. You can also get a wedge pillow that you can put between your knees or use to support your baby bump. Wedge pillows are appealing because they don't take up a lot of room in your bed and they are also easy to travel with. The downside, of course, is that you can only support one body part at once.
Body pillows are another less expensive option. Body pillows span the length of your body and you can use them to support your head, belly, or knees all at the same time. You can't really do too much with them, so if you find you are really struggling with sleeping comfortably, the C- or U-shaped pillow might be your best option.
The C- and U-shaped pillows are meant to surround your entire body. They provide support for your head, your back, your belly, and your knees all at the same time.
You should also be aiming to get a firm pillow, which is going to provide more support than a soft pillow.
Removable covers that can be washed are also a great option, particularly if you experience night sweats. Cover options that are breathable and stay cool also might be attractive, especially if you tend to run on the warmer side while sleeping. Some of the best pregnancy pillows are ones that are machine washable too!
Now that you have an idea of what kinds of options are available and what you should be looking for, let's talk about the best pillows out there.
The Best Maternity Pillows Out There
Depending on what you want and how much you want to spend, there are lots of options for the best pregnancy pillows. It can get a bit overwhelming at times, especially if you've never tried one before. I've taken some of the hassles out of the search for you, though, and have listed the best pregnancy support pillows out there, organized by the different types.
The Best Wedge Pillows
Wedge pillows are great for traveling and if you don't have a huge bed with a ton of room. They also tend to be a little less expensive than the full body pillows or the C- or U-shaped ones.
Wedge pillows typically come in two different shapes: either a rounded shape, which looks similar to a crescent moon or a triangular shape, which looks like a wedge of cheese. The obvious downside to the wedge pillow, though, is that it can only be used to support one area of your body at a time.
You might have heard of the Boppy pillow for babies, which many parents swear by. They now also have a pillow for moms-to-be. You can use it to support your back, knees, or belly.
The Boppy wedge pillow is constructed of polyurethane foam and the removable and washable cover is made of soft jersey or cotton. Place it under your belly, tuck it behind your back, or put it between your knees to support your legs and align your spine properly.
The Boppy Wedge Pillow currently receives 4.5 stars (out of 5) from 776 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $15.99.
This rounded wedge pillow is unique because it is two-sided: one side has soft memory foam and the other side has firmer support foam. As you progress in your pregnancy, or as your needs change, you can switch which side you use.
You can use it just like the other wedges, either to support your back, belly, or between your knees. The washable cover is plush velvet and super soft. The foam layer is also perforated, which keeps the pillow cool all night long.
The Hiccapop Pillow Wedge currently receives 4.5 stars from 1,040 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $24.99.
This wedge pillow is a great option for body support, especially for your belly, back, and knees. You can place it under your belly, behind your back, or between your knees.
It's also made from durable foam that will retain its shape and won't flatten out over time. It is covered with a hypoallergenic bamboo cover that has moisture wicking properties, to keep you cool. You can also remove the cover and wash when necessary.
The Sheltin Foam Wedge Pillow currently receives 4 stars from 187 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $10.95
The Best Full Body Pillows
The full-length body pillow is essentially a giant pillow that runs the length of your body. This doesn't even need to be a specialized pillow for pregnancy; most stores carry basic body pillows designed for anyone to use.
Full-length body pillows eliminate the need to line your body with multiple smaller pillows. You don't need one for your back, one for your belly, etc. You can use one long pillow for everything. They generally are a bit softer though, so they don't always provide the greatest back support.
They typically in two styles: a straight pillow that is not flexible and a flexible pillow that you can bend and flex into a shape that works for you. The flexible pillows are usually made of microbeads or styrofoam balls (like a bean bag chair). The best pregnancy body pillows for sleeping in this style are made of microbeads, as they are more supportive than the styrofoam balls.
This pillow is meant for anyone, not just pregnant women, meaning you can use it long after pregnancy or other people in your family who might need some extra support can use it too!
The pillow is made of CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means that it is free of ozone depleters, flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, phthalates, and CFCs. The pillowcase is made of viscose rayon that is derived from bamboo and polyester and is washable. In fact, you can actually wash the entire pillow in your washing machine.
The Coop Home Goods Foam Body Pillow currently receives 4.5 stars from 1,057 customer reviews, and sells for $69.99.
This pillow is made of shredded style memory foam that never goes flat. It is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant and made of eco-friendly foam.
The cover is machine washable and made of viscose derived from bamboo, polyester, and lycra, which keeps you cool all night.
The Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Body Pillow currently receives 4.5 stars from 4,191 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $80.
This pillow might be basic, but it comes highly recommended! It is filled with ball fiber filling, providing firm support. The outer shell is 100% cotton and is super soft. The double stitched edges make sure the pillow will never tear apart and the entire pillow is machine washable.
The Utopia Bedding Ultra Soft Body Pillow currently receives 4.5 stars from 465 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $38.99.
The Best Total Body Pillows
Total body pillows are like the Cadillac of pregnancy pillows. They do all of the things that wedge and full-length body pillows can do, and more. They are usually between 5 and 6 feet long, allowing users to curl up with them. They generally come in two shapes: C-shaped and U-shaped.
To use a C-shaped pillow, you rest your head on the top of the C, put the base between your knees, and then tuck your back into the curve of the C.
The C-shape is designed to be used in a riding position. The base of the C is saddled between your legs while the top of the C is used to rest your head. Your back nestles into the curve of the C, which helps relieve pressure placed upon your spine.
A U-shaped pillow is meant to be straddled, with your head at what is the bottom of the U, one side of the U along your back and the other side along your front, supporting your belly. You can also put the end of the pillow between your knees for support there.
Boppy is making another appearance on this list. This time for a total body pillow. Their version of the total body pillow. This pillow comes in 3 pieces that you can adjust for the best fit for your body and your needs.
It is filled with polyester fiber and is machine washable.
The Boppy Custom Fit Total Body Pillow currently receives 3.5 stars from 367 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $49.99.
The Snoogle pillow is a favorite of pregnant women everywhere. It is a C-shaped pillow that was actually designed by a registered nurse and mom. It allows you to support your head, your back, and between your knees, alleviating leg pain and edema.
The cover is super soft sateen cotton that stays cool all night long and can be removed to be washed.
Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow currently receives 4 stars from 8,622 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $59.99.
This U-shaped pillow has contoured "legs: that you can use to sleep on your side and roll from side to side without having to adjust the pillows. Position part of the pillow between your knees, and use the other end to support your head, reducing heartburn.
The makers of this pillow claim that it can help with many conditions, including stress on joints, carpal tunnel, sciatica, gastric reflux, nasal congestion. The pillow is made of polyester and it comes with a cover that can be removed and washed. It's great for women of different shapes and sizes and can be used in many different configurations.
Leachco Back 'N Belly Contoured Body Pillow currently receives 4 stars from 3,314 customer reviews on Amazon, and sells for $69.27.
What Are You Waiting For?
There is something here for everyone, in every budget. If you are pregnant and feeling uncomfortable at night or not getting quality sleep, don't put yourself through another night of fitful sleep. Get yourself one of these pillows and enjoy the last nights when you aren't being woken up by a newborn!
The Traveling Parent also can guide you through finding the perfect bassinet and crib.
Now that you have some options for choosing the best pregnancy pillow, check out our blog for recommendations for after baby comes, like how to find the best daycare, how to find swim lessons, local restaurants where your kids eat free, and where to find indoor playgrounds.