The best pregnancy pillows

best pregnancy pillows buying guideBluestone/Business Insider

  • A good pregnancy pillow can help support a growing bump and take the strain off your back and joints so you can get a good night's sleep.
  • The Queen Rose Pregnancy and Maternity Pillow is our top choice because it's supportive, soft, and affordably priced.

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, getting a good night's rest became almost impossible for her by the middle of the second trimester. At first, it was heartburn that forced her to use large pillows that perched her up almost in a sitting position.

By the time the heartburn subsided, her belly had grown to such proportions that her days of stomach sleeping were done until after the birth. She had to adapt to side sleeping, a process which had us at first trying all manner of arranging the pillows we already head in the house, and which ultimately led to the purchase of several pregnancy pillows of varied size and design.

Long, large maternity pillows allow a woman to take some of the pressure off her body by supporting that growing belly, providing relief to both her back as well as her core and her abdomen. These pillows also allow for better alignment of the knees and hips, which reduces pressure on the spine and upper body. In other words, they help her feel almost normal and let the expectant mom get comfortable enough to actually sleep for a few hours now and then.

Now that we're well into our second pregnancy, the big pillows are back. This time, my wife was well prepared and set up what we call her pillow fort weeks before she even needed it, thus adapting more easily to sleeping on her side while flanked front and back by big tubes of supportive fluff before a huge baby belly forced a change in position.

Does she or any other very pregnant woman get a perfect night's sleep each and every night of the week? Oh hell no. But I can only imagine how much less rest she would get without the assist from a good pregnancy pillow.

And for the record, these pillows are also priceless for postpartum respite as a woman's body recovers, and they even work for nursing. It's never too late in a pregnancy to get a great maternity pillow, in other words!

Here are the best pregnancy pillows you can buy:

Updated on 11/01/2019 by Lisa Sabatini: Updated prices, links, text, and formatting. Replaced Yorkshire Pregnancy Support Pillow, which is out-of-stock, with Bluestone Full Body Maternity Pillow as our Best Inexpensive Pregnancy Pillow pick. We are currently testing new products, so we'll update this guide soon.

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The best pregnancy pillow overall

The best pregnancy pillow overall
The Queen Rose Pregnancy and Maternity Pillow manages to be both soft and supportive thanks to a generous volume of high-density polyethylene filling.

The Queen Rose Pregnancy and Maternity Pillow can serve a mother well from the early months of the pregnancy through the entire infancy of their babies. It's flexible enough to loop around a mother's back while she sits up to nurse yet supportive enough to keep a belly propped up even in the ninth month of the pregnancy. It can be used on the couch, in bed, or anywhere else a woman needs some support.

While many pregnancy pillows give their support through firmness of material, this one does so thanks to a generous amount of soft polyethylene fill. That means it's also a genuinely comfortable pillow for the head and neck, making it suitable as the only pillow a pregnant woman uses while resting. It was also a slight improvement on the pillow fort approach we initially relied on for my wife.

The cover of the Queen Rose Pregnancy and Maternity Pillow is made from non-allergenic cotton and is machine washable, so it's easy to keep the pillow fresh and clean even if you use it away from home. Also, it's well priced, and any money you can save when you're adding a new family member is welcome indeed.

A writer with MaternityAtHome called the Queen Rose pillow "fluffy and soft" and a "great price," while a Cozzy.org review called it ideal for supporting "those joints that cause the most pain."

Pros: Soft and supportive, washable cotton cover, good price point

Cons: Requires occasional re-fluffing and reshaping to work properly

Buy the Queen Rose Pregnancy and Maternity Pillow on Amazon for $44.99

The best low-cost pregnancy pillow

The best low-cost pregnancy pillow
The Bluestone Full Body Maternity Pillow is a generously sized pillow that provides great support even for taller women.

The Bluestone Full Body Maternity Pillow is a half-foot longer and more than a half-foot wider than many popular pregnancy pillows. Its extra-large size allows even taller women with broader frames to comfortably balance their bellies and align their knees and hips, thus taking the strain off the lower back, spine, and shoulders during sleep.

The drawback to that generous size is that the pillow takes up much more than half the width of a standard queen-size bed, as queen mattresses are usually 60-inches wide. Thus you'll need a very patient partner if you share a queen-sized bed. If you have a king-size mattress, it will still take up about half of the bed because king mattresses are usually 76-inches wide.

The large size and 7.25-pound weight of this polyester filled, cotton-covered pillow also make it impractical to bring with you during travels.

Wirecutter named this their top pick for the best pregnancy pillows, saying "The horseshoe-like profile hugs and supports the lower back better than other shapes, and it can also be flipped around so you can use your own head pillow, which many pregnancy pillows can't accommodate."

Do also note, however, that some women reported the pillow as being too thin to give adequate belly support during late-term pregnancy, though it can be fluffed fuller with a bit of effort.

Pros: Low price point, good choice for taller women

Cons: Too large for some beds, flattens out with use

Buy the Bluestone Full Body Maternity Pillow on Amazon for $37.18

The best strain-reducing pregnancy pillow

The best strain-reducing pregnancy pillow
The Leachco Back 'N Belly Chic Contoured Body Pillow helps you properly align and support your ankles, knees, hips, spine, and belly.

While the Leachco Back 'N Belly Chic Contoured Body Pillow is primarily marketed as a maternity pillow, in fact, many of the people who use are not only not pregnant women, but are in fact not even women at all. This large, generously stuffed pillow can help reduce the aches and pains associated with scoliosis, sciatica, chronic back pain, and more. It can also simply prop up a side sleeper who is looking for more comfort, no defined medical condition necessary.

As a maternity pillow, the Leachco Back n Belly Chic Contoured Pillow is a favorite of many expectant mothers thanks to its adaptability. The open ends of the pillow can be set farther apart when a shallower support is needed and can be layered over one another to create thicker, more supportive padding as the pregnancy progresses.

The soft fill allows a belly to settle in comfortably, while the blended cotton and polyester cover helps to wick away moisture and moderate body heat during rest.

After birth, this pillow can help a mother relax or sleep in comfort as her body recovers, easily shifting into varied positions as the healing progresses.

One mother appreciated how this pillow had "enough stuffing to actually support [her] belly," while another gushed that the Leachco Back n Belly Chic Contoured Pillow "has absolutely changed [her] comfort level at night."

A product tester from MyNaturalBabyBirth noted that Leachco pillows don't contain "chemicals in the fabric," while a video review from Andrea Wright said it offered "full body support."

Pros: Generous volume of filling, adjustable positioning, poly-cotton blend cover

Cons: Rather expensive option

Buy the Leachco Back 'N Belly Chic Contoured Body Pillow on Amazon for $84.99 Buy the Leachco Back 'N Belly Chic Contoured Body Pillow from Bed Bath & Beyond for $84.99

Best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers:

Best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers:
Any pregnant woman who years to sleep stomach down will love the convenient cutout design of the Back & Bump Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow.

You are probably not going to spend an entire night sleeping on the Back & Bump Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow, as doing so would be something of a balancing act and would require zero position adjustment to boot. But for the pregnant woman looking for temporary relief of lower back pain or who just wants to enjoy the feeling of resting face down for a little while, this unique pregnancy pillow is a great purchase.

The body-length inflatable pillow features a large cutout circle offset above the middle its 72-inch length, and into this hollow space goes a pregnant belly. Thus the woman can lie face down in the same position she enjoyed for all those years when she wasn't growing a new human in her womb.

The Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow is great for use while an expectant mom watches TV, reads, gets a massage, or just relaxing for a while. As noted, it's not a great choice for use in bed at night, because of the risk of rolling off and because, unlike other pregnancy body pillows, this one doesn't allow for any uses but the facedown prone position.

But the pillow has been evaluated and approved both by OB/GYNs and chiropractors, and is a great choice for occasional daytime use. Note that you will need to procure an air pump separately, or else plan to really develop your lung capacity.

One woman who got the Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow at 32 weeks of pregnancy said it provided her "instant back relief," while another said she "truly recommend[s] this for any woman that desperately misses tummy [rest during] pregnancy."

Today called the Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow a unique way to try to "relieve lower back pain," while an All About Baby's World said it can also help ease hip and pelvic pain.

Pros: Allows for stomach down resting, relieves back pain, packs down small when deflated

Cons: Not suitable for all night slumber, some units suffer from tears and punctures

Buy the Back & Bump Cozy Bump Maternity Pillow on Amazon for $99

The best maternity pillow wedge

The best maternity pillow wedge
Some women don't need a person-sized pillow for comfortable rest during pregnancy, they just need some belly bump support, and that's just what the Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge provides.

During the later weeks of a pregnancy, many women report pain in their lower backs, their hips, their knees, and at just about every other joint in the body. For these long-suffering expectant mothers, a body-sized maternity pillow can help align the legs, pelvis, back, and shoulders, and can prop up the belly to reduce strain on the spine and the muscles of the abdomen. Other expectant moms, however, simply need some extra support underneath that growing baby. For them, the Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge is the perfect tool.

This soft and supportive wedge-shaped pillow can tuck under a pregnant belly to help prop up side-sleeping recumbent woman, reducing the strain and pressure caused by that bump pulling against her center mass.

One side of the pillow features a soft memory foam that conforms to the belly for maximum comfort while the other side is made up of a firmer padding that provides even more support such as may be needed later on in the pregnancy. Both sides of the wedge pillow feature an outer layer of perforated foam that allows for airflow and helps to regulate body temperature.

While the Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge was primarily designed to slide underneath a the belly of a side-sleeping expectant mother, it can also be tucked between the knees or ankles to align the legs or behind the lower back while a mother (or anyone else needing lumber support for that matter) sits up in bed, on the couch, or in a chair.

A product reviewer with HQText highlighted how the pillow is "compact and can be used almost anywhere," while a writer from BabyDotDot appreciated the two-sided design that allowed for customized support.

Pros: Provides targeted support, dual-sided design, affordable price point

Cons: Not as effective as larger pillows for back pain

Buy the Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge on Amazon for $22.92

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