Longing for sweet, sweet rest? About halfway into your pregnancy, sleeping may not be as comfortable as you remember in the past. Your body is starting to seriously shift and change, which can mean new, uncomfortable sleeping positions and associated aches and pains.
If you’ve reached this stage in your pregnancy, allow us to introduce you to your new best friend: a pregnancy pillow.
With the help of a pregnancy pillow, sleeping with a baby bump can actually be — dare we say — comfortable. The first step, though, is choosing the best pregnancy pillow for your needs and budget.
Why use a pregnancy pillow?
As your body changes and grows during pregnancy, you may find body aches keeping you awake. You’ll also be advised to sleep on your side, which may not be your natural sleeping position. All of this can make rest hard to achieve, when you need it most.
Pregnancy pillows are designed to support you and your body so you can sleep in safe positions while pregnant.
When shopping for a pregnancy pillow, you may come across “C” and “U” shaped versions. A U-shaped version will offer support for both your back and front, but it takes up more bed space.
Alternatively, a C-shaped pillow will take up a little less space, but fail to offer the full body support you may be craving.
Either way, both are large, full body pillows that will definitely be a presence in your bed — if you share a bed with a partner, it’s important to have them on board with this new addition!
Pregnancy pillows also come as wedges, straight line body pillows, and various inflatable shapes. All of these options can be used to help prop your body into certain positions and ease specific pressure points.
Specially designed pillows are so coveted by pregnant women because as your belly grows, there are fewer ideal positions to sleep in.
Although your OB-GYN may recommend sleeping on your left side for optimal blood flow to your heart, a 2019 review of studies actually found that either left or right side is A-OK.
However, sleeping on your back is not recommended as it causes your abdomen to rest on your intestines and some major blood vessels. Pressure from the abdomen can cause a variety of health problems, the most serious of which is a lack of blood flow to mom and baby.
How we chose
Since only a fellow pregnant woman can truly judge if a pregnancy pillow is comfortable, we’ve made sure to consider what mamas-to-be are saying in reviews. We’ve also taken into account price, quality of fabrics, and special features as we know those matter, too.
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$50
- $$$ = over $50
Most versatile pregnancy pillow
Best U-shaped pregnancy pillow
Best C-shaped pregnancy pillow
This C-shaped pregnancy pillow from PharMeDoc is long enough to offer both upper and lower body support in one pillow, and versatile enough to wrap around in a seated position for breastfeeding or TV watching. What really makes it rise to the top of the pregnancy pillow list though is all the glowing reviews from pregnant moms!
One mom says, “Love it! My husband and I have changed our time measurement to BP (Before Pillow) and AP (After Pillow).” Another claims, “I’m currently pregnant with my 4th and I honestly don’t know HOW I ever lived without this pillow.”
But one mom warns that while the cover is washable, the material is very fragile, so it’s best to wash in a mesh bag.
Best wedge pregnancy pillow
Small, but efficient, the Boppy Wedge can fit wherever you need support (your bump, your back, between your legs, etc.). The soft jersey cover zips on and off easily for machine washing, and reviewers say that while the level of firmness is surprising at first, it’s just the right amount for support.
Not only is this wedge small and lightweight enough to travel with, it won’t steal the bed from your partner. However, it can’t be used as a regular pillow or breastfeeding support pillow, so it has a shorter lifespan than some of the other options on this list.
Best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers
If you’re willing to have a pillow that takes up a lot of space (and looks a little silly), this pillow “bed” by Cozy Bump can allow you to keep sleeping on your stomach for longer than you might otherwise find comfortable.
While an inflatable style pillow is not everyone’s cup of tea, it does allow you to adjust the firmness and size as your bump grows. It’s also safe for use in a pool or ocean, making it a great floaty for summer pregnancies.
Best rated body pillow
Best shredded memory foam pregnancy pillow
Best budget-friendly pregnancy pillows
Pregnancy pillow shopping tips
Here are a few more things to consider when purchasing your dream (pun intended!) pregnancy pillow:
If you sleep with a partner, you’ll want to run the size of your future pregnancy pillow by them, since it may take up part of the bed they normally enjoy.
Fabrics and fillings
If you run warm, you may want to consider using a cotton covered pregnancy pillow instead of a less breathable fabric like polyester.
Additionally, when considering the type of filling you want in your pregnancy pillow, think about how firm you like your pillows and mattress. This can help guide you to choose the right filling- whether that’s an inflated pillow, a memory foam wedge, or a fluffy body pillow!
Your sleep style
The style of sleep you preferred before becoming pregnant may be an indicator of what type of pregnancy pillow will help you sleep best. Factor in whether you’re typically a front, back, or side sleeper when thinking about which pregnancy pillow setup makes sense for you.
Growing a human being is hard work! You can use all the rest and relaxation possible. Sadly, your growing baby bump and new pressure points may be making finding a comfortable sleep position difficult.
Luckily, there’s a plethora of pregnancy pillow options for you to choose from, and we’ve done our best to be a helpful matchmaker. Sleep soundly, mamas!