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Pregnancy is hard on your body. As you progress through the weeks in your first, second, and third trimesters, bodily discomforts are likely to appear. This can make getting a good night’s rest feel almost impossible, especially once you’re no longer able to sleep on your stomach or back. But getting a full night’s sleep is just as important, if not more so, when you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy pillows can bring some much-needed relief to sleep-deprived expecting mothers. These specialized pillows are designed to support your growing stomach, while making the doctor-recommended side sleeping position a bit more comfortable. We’ll break down the various shapes and intended functions of pregnancy pillows, and how to choose the best one for your needs.
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The unique design of the Boppy Side Sleeper supports side sleeping. This cushion features two separate pillows connected by a cover with an elastic panel of fabric. The stretch panel is designed to accommodate the abdomen and hips throughout pregnancy.
The two pillow design acts as dual support for both your stomach and back while lying down in bed. In addition to providing much needed support to these areas, the design helps keep you in the side sleeping position by preventing you from rolling over onto your back.
Boppy uses 100% polyester fiber in its Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow. Polyester fiber fill is designed to better promote airflow and help keep sleepers cool at night in comparison to foam-based pillows. However, polyester fiber has a tendency to lose its loft after prolonged use.
The Boppy’s unique design helps expecting moms stay on their side, but it also works as a support pillow for lounging on the couch or sitting at a desk. The compact size makes it easy to use when traveling. This means purchasers will likely find a use for the Boppy throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
The Boppy’s removable cover and the inner pillow cushions are machine-washable. If you’re not completely satisfied with your Boppy Side Sleeper, you can return it within the first 30 days for a refund.
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The Nuvu Baby Full Body Pregnancy Pillow is available in a C- or U-shaped design. Both options provide full-body cushioning, especially for side sleeping. The extra length of the body pillow is designed to support the head, neck, arms, abdomen, and legs. For pregnant women, this pillow may be a suitable replacement for using multiple pillows.
The pillow includes a machine-washable cotton cover. The down alternative polyester filling results in a medium soft feel, and sleepers can snuggle up with the pillow for added comfort.
The Nuvu Baby Full Body Pregnancy Pillow measures 60 inches by 28 inches, and it can be adjusted to accommodate different lounging and sleeping positions. The versatile shape allows purchasers to use it throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
Competitively priced, the Nuvu Baby Full Body Pregnancy Pillow may appeal to those with limited budgets. The pillow qualifies for Amazon’s 30-day return policy.
Best Full Body Pillow
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Designed by a registered nurse and mom, the Leachco is a C-shaped pillow with an asymmetrical design. One end is a bit narrower to comfortably cradle your head, while the other end offers support for your knees and legs while side sleeping. Its long side will support your stomach or back, depending on how you choose to orient the pillow. Overall, this pillow offers excellent support to make side sleeping more comfortable for expecting moms.
The Leachco Total Body Pillow is 60 inches long, with a soft cover and a substantial inner cushion. The Leachco comes in multiple color options.
Like other C-shaped pillows, its design is fairly versatile. While it’s particularly suitable for finding a comfortable position when side sleeping, you can also use your Leachco as a support pillow for your stomach and back while sitting up in bed or on the couch. The Leachco Total Body Pillow comes with a removable, cotton polyester blend cover that’s machine-washable.
Best Wedge Pillow
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The Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Pillow is an excellent option if you’re looking for additional support but don’t want a full body pillow. The simple but functional design of the Boppy Wedge Pillow packs firm support in a compact design.
The Boppy Wedge features an ultra-soft jersey knit cover and a solid foam core. Measuring 14 inches by 12 inches, this small wedge pillow won’t take over your bed. The firm support core makes the Boppy Wedge ideal for propping up your midsection or back as you sleep. And with its low price-point, you may choose to buy more than one wedge for bolstering different areas.
The Boppy’s compact design gives this pillow several other advantages over a full body pillow. It’s easier to reposition during the night, and it’s lightweight and portable. Even if you typically prefer a full body pillow for sleeping, the Boppy’s small size makes it particularly suitable for traveling or to keep in your car.
This pillow comes in two patterns featuring neutral colors. The cover is removable and machine-washable. The inner foam core cannot be machine washed.
Best Oversized Pregnancy Pillow
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The Queen Rose Oversize Pregnancy Pillow has a unique U-shaped design that cradles the sleeper from head to toe, with inner curves to accommodate the shape of the pregnant body. This oversized pillow easily replaces multiple pillows and provides full-body support for the head, neck, shoulders, abdomen, back, and legs.
The oversize design allows users to stretch out on this pillow. For those having trouble adjusting to side sleeping, the Queen Rose’s full-body, cradling design may make it easier to rest in this doctor-recommended position. It’s available in three length options, from 55 inches up to 65 inches for taller sleepers or those who want additional surface area for support. While this is a suitable size for queen and king size beds, the Queen Rose may be a bit bulky for smaller mattresses.
The Queen Rose comes in multiple colors. Its cotton cover is removable and machine-washable for easy cleaning. However, the inner cushion is too large to fit into a standard washing machine.
The Queen Rose’s interior is filled with a polyester fiber, providing a medium level of firmness and ample support for most sleepers. Although oversized, the unique U-shaped design remains fairly versatile. In addition to sleeping, you can use this sturdy bolster for lounging or nursing.
Best C Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
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The PharMeDoc C Shaped Pregnancy Pillow has plush, symmetrical arms that are long enough to wrap all the way around the body, so you don’t have to choose between support for your stomach or your back. This will help make side sleeping more comfortable, even as you advance into the later stages of your pregnancy.
Measuring 30 inches by 57 inches, the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow has a 7-inch loft and medium firmness. The pillow’s arms are longer than the average C-shaped pillow, resulting in more comprehensive support for the back, stomach, knees, and legs.
The PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow features a soft, jersey knit cotton cover that comes in multiple color options. The cover is removable for easy cleaning in the washing machine. The inner polyfill material is pliable enough to allow users to adjust the pillow as needed. It comes with a 100% cotton canvas travel bag for storage, and a limited lifetime warranty to protect against manufacturing defects.
A pregnancy pillow is a sleep accessory designed to support the changing bodies of expecting mothers, help them attain a comfortable resting position, and get more sleep. Pregnancy places a great deal of strain on the body, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Additional weight often stresses the back and joints, including the hips, knees, and ankles. This can cause aches and pains that make getting a full night’s rest difficult.
Pregnancy pillows are specifically designed to accommodate the contours of the pregnant body and provide support where it’s needed most. These pillows can be found in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate each sleep position and help prevent aches and pains. The most common types include C- and U-shaped full body pillows that provide support to the entire body, and wedge pillows that can be used to strategically support a single area like the midsection or back.
While a pregnancy pillow is not a necessity, it may be a suitable choice if you’re experiencing sleep disturbances as your pregnancy progresses. Sleep is important for your physical health, especially when your body is hard at work supporting the growth of another life.
As your pregnancy progresses, good sleep can be harder to come by. Expecting mothers are often prone to symptoms such as back and joint pain, heartburn, and sleep apnea. These symptoms can worsen as you reach your third trimester.
Getting comfortable at night is often key to being able to fall asleep and stay asleep. You can try to add extra cushioning with additional standard pillows, but a pregnancy pillow is specially designed to accommodate the shape of your pregnant body.
If one or more of the many discomforts of pregnancy are keeping you from getting a full night of sleep, a pregnancy pillow is worth considering. But with so many choices, including different sizes, materials, and unusual shapes, it’s hard to know which is the right model for you. We’ll examine the most important factors to consider when choosing the best pregnancy pillow.
Knowing exactly what to look for in a pregnancy pillow will largely depend on your own personal needs, including where you need support the most, but some properties are universal. Since bedding companies don’t alway use plain language to describe their products, it can be difficult to decipher the major differences between models. We’ll cover the most important factors to consider so that you can find a pregnancy pillow that works for you.
Your preferred sleep position will come into play when choosing a pillow. While pregnant, sleeping on your left side is recommended by doctors. Stomach sleeping becomes nearly impossible as your stomach grows, and back sleeping can restrict circulation. Sleeping on your left side places the least amount of strain on your body.
For this reason, the majority of pregnancy pillows are designed to make side sleeping more comfortable, including C-shaped and U-shaped pillows.
The right pillow loft is critical to healthy spinal alignment, and it can also help with snoring. A model that is too thick might push the head up, while one that is too thin could allow the head to droop, either of which could contribute to airway constriction and increased snoring.
The ideal loft depends primarily on body type and sleep position. Sleepers with broader shoulders and/or heavier heads usually need a thicker pillow to fill the space between their mattress and head and neck while providing adequate support, and those with narrower shoulders and/or smaller heads often need a thinner model for support without excessive lift.
The amount of support a pregnancy pillow provides depends largely on its shape. Full body pillows can support multiple parts of your body and oversized models will essentially cradle you from head to toe. Smaller pillows like wedges may be firmer, but they only offer support to one area.
Different pillow models will provide varying levels of firmness. Pillows made from polyester fiber fill tend to be softer and are a good option if you only need a bit of extra cushioning. Foam-based pillows are generally firmer and may provide additional support to the lower back and stomach.
Pressure relief refers to how well a pillow molds to the shape of your body and alleviates pressure points. This is especially important for pregnant women dealing with chronic body aches.
Pregnancy pillows generally fall into two main categories: body pillows and smaller support pillows. Body pillows, including C- and U-shaped pillows, are designed to offer support to the head, neck, abdomen, back, and knees. While body pillows can be quite bulky, they make side sleeping easier. In contrast, smaller support pillows, including wedge-shaped ones, are meant to provide concentrated support to a single area.
Pregnancy pillows generally cost less than $100, but it’s important to remember that price isn’t the only factor that should be considered. While quality can sometimes correlate with price, many well-made pregnancy pillow options are available for under $50. If you’re on a limited budget, you may want to consider a smaller, less expensive support pillow, like a wedge.
Materials impact a pillow’s durability, breathability, level of support, and firmness. Polyester is the most common type of material used for both the cover and fill in pregnancy pillows. Polyester-based fabrics and fills are generally affordable, durable, and can come in many textures and levels of firmness. Foam is a good choice if you’re looking for a pillow that provides firmer support coupled with pressure relief.
As your body changes during your pregnancy, it’s important to consider every level of comfort that your pillow can provide. Certain materials are more likely to help promote airflow to prevent you from overheating as you sleep. Polyester-based materials are often breathable, making them ideal for pregnancy body pillows. Memory foam is the most likely to trap heat, and tends to be more suitable for smaller pillows.
You can find pregnancy pillows in all types of shapes. A pillow’s shape will determine the
type of support it provides. Some shapes are designed to support your entire body from head to toe, while smaller models bolster specific areas such as the back or stomach. You’ll need to consider where you need support the most in order to choose the shape that’s best for you. We’ll take a closer look at the most common pregnancy pillow styles on the market.
C-Shaped: This style of pillow is long, thin, and curved. The C-shape is one of the most versatile styles of pregnancy pillows. It’s not very bulky and its shape allows you to arrange it in different ways depending on where you need support. You can lay it out lengthwise to create a full body pillow to cuddle while side sleeping, or fold it in half and use it to support your stomach, back, knees, or shoulders.
Wedge Pillows: Wedge pillows are the most compact style of pregnancy pillow. While they don’t offer full-body support, you can use these inexpensive pillows to strategically bolster various parts of your body. These are especially useful for providing support to your stomach and back. You can also couple one or more wedge pillows with a larger pregnancy pillow for additional support.
U-Shaped: U-shaped pillows are designed to cradle your entire body. With your head placed at the bottom of the U, this style of pillow provides secure support for your head and neck, as well as both sides of your body. Although rather bulky, the U-shape design still offers some level of versatility. In the early stages of pregnancy, you can sleep comfortably on your back and then transition to side sleeping with excellent support for your stomach, back, and knees.
Inflatable Pillows: Inflatable pillows are typically the largest pregnancy pillows available and are designed to accommodate stomach sleepers. If you’re a lifelong stomach sleeper, having to suddenly change your sleep style on top of the other discomforts associated with pregnancy may be difficult. Inflatable pillows provide full-body cushioning with a hole in the center to fit your baby bump.
Other Styles: Bedding companies can get creative when it comes to the shape of pregnancy pillows, so shoppers may come across unique shapes that don’t fit into any of the above categories. Other shapes include the teardrop, designed as a small, versatile support pillow, and the barbell shape, designed to promote side sleeping.
Pregnancy pillows can differ significantly in their composition, including the materials used to make the cover and the interior filling. The type of material used will have an impact on the feel and performance of the pillow.
Many snorers find relief with the right pillow since it can change their position. Lifting the head and neck often makes gravity work in the sleeper’s favor, allowing their throat muscles to relax without blocking the airway.
We want you to get the best night’s sleep possible, which can be done under a medical professional’s guidance. Talk to your doctor for help determining the cause of your snoring and charting a course of action.
|Polyester Fiberfill||Polyester fiberfill is a lofty material made from polyester. It is commonly used as a fill material in larger pregnancy pillows, as it provides soft, yet supportive comfort and ample airflow. Polyester fiberfill is also relatively inexpensive, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean.|
|Memory Foam||Memory foam is known for its excellent contouring properties. It molds to the curves of the body while providing support. However, some memory foam formulations can stifle airflow and retain heat. For this reason, memory foam is typically reserved for smaller pregnancy pillows like wedges.|
|Polyfoam||Polyfoam provides contouring and support but tends to be firmer and less conforming than memory foam. This can result in more robust support for the back or stomach.|
|Microbeads||Smaller pregnancy pillows may be stuffed with microbeads. This material is made from small, round pieces of polystyrene and offers excellent contouring.|
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|Cotton||Cotton is a breathable natural fiber that is easy to clean. It absorbs moisture and typically feels soft to the touch. Many higher-end pregnancy pillows feature organic cotton covers.|
|Polyester||Polyester is a synthetic fabric that’s highly versatile. Manufacturers can formulate polyester fabrics to have different textures as well as an elastic stretch, a good feature for larger pillow covers.|
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A pregnancy pillow may help you find a comfortable position and fall asleep more easily. However, many other factors impact your sleep quality, including your sleep position, sleep surface, overall sleep hygiene, and the temperature of your room.
Sleep on Your Side: Many doctors recommend that expecting mothers sleep on their left sides, as they consider this sleep position to be the safest during pregnancy. Sleeping on your back can restrict blood flow, while sleeping on your right side can place strain on your liver. Sleeping on your stomach becomes virtually impossible as the pregnancy progresses.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool: There’s evidence that indicates that sleeping in a cool room can help you fall asleep quickly. The body experiences a natural drop in core temperature in the evening as part of the circadian rhythm. Mimicking this effect by setting your thermostat to around 65 degrees may help you fall asleep faster.
Choose the Right Mattress: While a pillow will help improve your body positioning as you sleep, you’ll still want to ensure that you are sleeping on a supportive mattress. The best mattresses for pregnancy tend to offer excellent pressure relief and a cool sleep surface that help prevent you from overheating during the night.
Focus on Sleep Hygiene: Proper sleep hygiene is one of the most significant ways you can improve your sleep. Establishing a nightly routine that helps you wind down and prepare for sleep may be beneficial for your sleep quality during pregnancy and postpartum.
Pregnancy pillows typically cost between $30 to $70. In comparison to standard pillows, which often carry a price tag of $100 or more, pregnancy pillows are relatively inexpensive. This is beneficial, as you may only use this type of pillow for a short period of time during the later stages of your pregnancy.
Smaller pregnancy pillow models tend to be less expensive, and you may be able to find wedge pillows for less than the average price. Larger models, such as full body pregnancy pillows, tend to be slightly higher in price. As price is not the only indicator of quality, keep in mind that you can still find excellent pregnancy pillows at affordable price-points.
Some pregnancy pillows can be placed directly into the washing machine, but most come with a removable cover that you take off and wash. As with any type of bedding, it’s important to consider how easy a pregnancy pillow is to clean before you buy.
Being able to place your entire pillow in the wash will ensure it’s cleaned thoroughly, but not all washing machines can accommodate the size of a pregnancy body pillow. Removable covers are ideal if you have a smaller washing machine, but they can be difficult to remove and put back on in the case of a larger or unusually shaped pillow.
A pregnancy pillow that promotes airflow and is made from hypoallergenic materials such as down alternative, memory foam, or other synthetic fabrics will be the best for allergy sufferers. Allergies are typically caused by a sensitivity to allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, or mold, and they can have a significant impact on how well you sleep.
If you’re prone to allergies, make sure to find a pregnancy pillow that won’t aggravate the issue. Down and feathers tend to irritate existing allergies. Synthetic materials such as polyester and foam often work well for people with allergies. Some natural materials are also promoted as having hypoallergenic properties.
A cover with a tight weave may help protect your pillow from absorbing allergens. Cleaning your pillow regularly can also help prevent the buildup of dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold.