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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.
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.
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
Boppy Multi-Use Total Body Pillow
If you’re looking for versatility, the Total Body pillow from Boppy covers a lot of bases. It can support you in multiple different positions, is contoured to fit your changing body throughout the entire pregnancy/postpartum period, and is completely machine washable (not just the cover!).
One reviewer says, “It bends, folds, curves and hugs you back. It is extremely versatile, but not so big your partner has to sleep on the sofa. I use it every night to prop my head up while I read in bed, or put it under my legs so I can sit more comfortably.”
Queen Rose U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
When it comes to U-shaped pillows, the Queen Rose is at the top of its class. This pillow’s extra length allows it to be contoured any number of ways, including bending it into a double-C shape for bonus leg support or wrapping around yourself as a nursing pillow once your baby arrives.
That being said, it is definitely on the large side — in fact, unless you want to kick your partner to a couch, this is best used with a king size bed. While the standard size is 55 inches long, it also comes in 60- and 65-inch sizes if you just can’t get enough cush.
Reviewers seem to think it’s worth the space, though. One mama says, “This pillow has to have been made by elves from Narnia, and it has to have been filled with downy fluff and the fibers of unicorn hide.” Wow.
PharMeDoc Full Body C-Shaped 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.
Boppy Pregnancy Wedge
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.
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.
Leachco Snoogle Original Total Body Pillow
This pillow gets rave reviews for its overall snuggle. The Snoogle was designed to hug the entire body and mold to both the back and belly. Plus, the length is the same on each side, which means that even if you toss and turn, you’ll be trapped in a ball of comfort.
If you’re wanting something that lasts beyond your pregnancy days, the Snoogle can also be used as a postpartum recovery pillow and support for bottle-feeding older babies.
Coop Home Goods Adjustable Body Pillow
This extra-long pillow from Coop Home Goods is adjustable, meaning you can add or remove as much of the shredded microfiber and memory foam stuffing as you need for it to feel just right. Plus, this pillow is fully machine washable for easy cleaning.
While this option has a lot of perks, the only true downside is that the shredded memory foam lets off a funky smell when you first take it out of the packaging. Coop says popping the pillow in the dryer to tumble on low heat with a few dryer sheets should take care of this.
Wamsutta Quilted Body Pillow
If you’d rather avoid dropping money on a pregnancy-specific pillow, this basic body pillow is an affordable addition to your home that won’t look out of place even when your baby is grown.
While it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of a more traditional pregnancy pillow, this body pillow can still help support key parts of a mom-to-be’s body, offering comforting touch while you sleep. If you’d prefer all around comfort without the price tag, you can purchase two (one for the front and the back) to mimic the feel of a U-shaped pillow.
Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow
If you’re looking for some stomach and back support (along with a reminder to stay on your side while you sleep), the Boppy Side Sleeper is a great option.
The stretch panel allows this pillow to grow with your bump, and the compact design has a machine washable cover. The only downside is the lack of leg and neck support, but since this model won’t steal the bed from your partner, maybe they’ll be willing to give you a massage!
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!