Throughout my pregnancy, I had horrible morning, and afternoon, and evening and night sickness with a side of heartburn. It made sleeping nearly impossible. However, one day my husband surprised me with a pregnancy pillow, and while I can’t say that it cured everything, it did provide a lot of relief at night. Considering that it has been a few years since I've been pregnant, I was excited to see how far pregnancy pillows have come since then. I am happy to say that while mine was great, these pillows keep getting better.
Therefore, as someone who has “been there, done that”, it is my pleasure to bring you a round-up of the best pregnancy pillows on the market. The breakdown of these pillows will help you decide which one will be the best fit for your during this incredible, and possibly tiring, time in your life.
- Yana 360 Pillow – Editor’s Pick
- Coop Sleep Goods Original Body Pillow – Best Pregnancy Pillow for Hot Sleepers
- Parachute Down Alternative Body Pillow – Best Hypoallergenic Pregnancy Pillow
- Bearaby Cuddler Body Pillow – Best Eco-Friendly Pregnancy Pillow
- MomCozy Maternity Body Pillow – Best Pregnancy Pillow for Pressure Relief
- Belly Bandit Side Sleeper Pregnancy Wedge Pillow – Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain
- Tuft & Needle Body Pillow – Best Soft Pregnancy Pillow
Sleep Advisor’s Testing Methodology
The main priority of pregnancy pillows is to provide support, alignment, security, and comfort to the changing bodies of pregnant women. To bring you a comprehensive overview of pregnancy pillows, the Sleep Advisor team evaluated how the shape, firmness, materials, and construction worked to offer the necessary benefits of these pillows.
Yana 360 Body Pillow
Why the Yana 360 Pillow Earned Editor’s Pick
When it comes to understanding the assignment, the Yana 360 is top of the class. Not only does this U-shape pillow provide excellent support while keeping your head, neck, spine, and hips aligned, but it can also be configured in a variety of ways so that this pillow can also be used in a cozy way to watch TV or read in bed. These reasons as well as having two fill options, and an overall commitment to a luxurious and comfortable experience is why the Yana 360 is the Sleep Advisor’s Editor’s Pick.
What’s the Yana 360 Pillow Made of?
Considering that the Yana 360 wraps around your entire body, having a soft and comfortable cover is incredibly important. Fortunately, the removable and machine washable blend of bamboo, cotton, and polyester will wrap you in coziness, as the breathability of this fabric will help keep you cool. Speaking of staying cool, both shredded latex and the cooling gel foam will keep you cool, but if you sleep particularly hot, we recommend the cooling gel foam filling.
What We Liked
- Full-body support – The U-shape design of this pillow provides incredible support from the neck to the ankles. It is firm enough to keep pregnant bodies aligned but soft enough to make it cozy.
- Filling options – The Yana 360 is offered in both shredded latex and a cooling gel foam. While both materials promote air circulation which can help keep you cool, the cooling gel foam is particularly good for those who sleep hot.
- Large footprint – This pillow is 55 inches by 28 inches and has over an 8-inch loft. While this should provide ample support, it will also take up a large section of your bed. If you sleep in a smaller bed or have a co-sleeper who doesn’t want to be crowded, this is probably not the best choice for you.
- Expensive – Coming in at close to 200 dollars, this pillow may not fit into everyone’s budget. If you plan to only use this during your pregnancy, this cost may seem unreasonable. However, if you plan to keep it as part of your nightly routine for a longer period of time, this pillow’s high-quality materials and durability may make it a worthwhile investment.
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Hot Sleepers
Coop Sleep Goods Body Pillow
Sleep Advisor Score
4.90 / 5
Why the Coop Sleep Goods Original Body Pillow Earned Best Pregnancy Pillow for Hot Sleepers
Pregnant people have an increased amount of blood in their body. To handle the extra blood, blood vessels have to dilate and this brings blood closer to the surface of the skin, which can make you feel fairly toasty. Therefore, to keep you supported and cool during the night, you will want a pregnancy pillow with cooling properties. To keep you cool, we like the Coop Sleep Goods Original Body pillow because from the cover to the filling, this pillow helps dissipate heat.
What’s the Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Body Pillow Made Of?
The brand’s proprietary Lulltra fabric is made from a blend of polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon. As you wrap around this pillow you will notice that it feels cool on your body. The fill, which can be removed and then added back in to adjust the loft, is made from a mixture of shredded memory foam and microfiber. The shredded nature of the filling allows for air circulation, which helps dissipate trapped heat.
We What Liked
- Cooling properties – The materials and construction of the Coop Sleep Goods Original Body pillow promote cooler sleeping. The polyester and bamboo blend cover, alongwith the shredded memory foam, work together to help dissipate heat.
- Long sleep trial – Coop Sleep Goods provides a 100-night sleep trial. This will provide customers with more than three months to decide if the pillow is a good fit for them. If it isn’t, it can be returned for a full refund.
- Rectangular design – Although the design of this pillow provides ample support for the stomach, we don’t feel the rectangular shape will not provide support for the back. If you want more full-body coverage, you will likely want to look for a C or U-shaped pillow as these will provide support for both sides of your body.
- No neck support – The design of this pillow doesn’t wrap around your neck. Therefore, if you experience neck pain or want your pregnancy pillow to offer neck and spine alignment, this pillow will likely not be your best choice.
Best Hypoallergenic Pregnancy Pillow
Parachute Home Down Alternative Body Pillow
Why the Parachute Down-Alternative Body Pillow Earned Best Hypoallergenic Pregnancy Pillow
Seasonal allergies can be tricky when you’re pregnant because of the risks that some antihistamines that help manage these symptoms can pose. It’s always advisable to check with your healthcare provider about any medications that you take when you’re pregnant, but there are some natural alternatives, such as sleeping with hypoallergenic pillows like the Parachute Down-Alternative Body pillow, that can help you manage your symptoms. We appreciate that this pillow is 100 percent hypoallergenic, completely machine washable, and soft and comfortable.
What’s the Parachute Down-Alternative Body Pillow Made Of?
The crisp, clean white cover is made of a smooth and soft cotton sateen shell. Underneath the cover, you’ll find a fluffy down-alternative microfiber fill. This filing is reminiscent of natural down but without the allergens. Additionally, this pillow is completely machine washable so that you can make sure it is fully fresh and clean.
What We Liked
- Hypoallergenic – The Parachute Down Alternative Body pillow is completely hypoallergenic. This makes it a great choice for pregnant women who often have to avoid allergy medications because of the risk that they can pose to their unborn baby2. Hypoallergenic products such as this pillow make it easy to keep allergy symptoms at bay while keeping your baby safe.
- Machine washable – Unlike other body pillows that just have a machine-washable cover, the Parachute Down Alternative Body pillow is completely machine washable. Simply toss it in your washing machine on a gentle cycle with a gentle detergent and then tumble dry on low. It is advisable to use as little heat as possible when washing and drying this product to reduce the chance of damage.
- Fluffing needed – Some may find that the filling in this pillow compresses more than they would like. This may mean they have to fluff it during the night, which can cause sleep disturbances, and if left unfluffed, could feel uncomfortable.
- Overfilled – Although we didn’t experience this, there are some complaints that when this pillow arrived it was overstuffed. This caused issues getting pillowcases on and some just found it to be uncomfortable for sleeping.
Best Eco-Friendly Pregnancy Pillow
Bearaby Cuddler Body Pillow
Why the Bearby Cuddler Body Pillow Earned Best Eco-Friendly Pregnancy Pillow
What if you could improve your sleep and your carbon footprint at the same time? Well, we think there is a high likelihood that you can accomplish both with the Bearby Cuddler Body Ppillow. This unique U-shaped pillow, which can also be tied into a knot to shorten it or wrap your arms around it, is made by the same company who brought us the wildly popular Bearby weighted blanket. Not only did we appreciate that it was cozy and supportive for pregnant women, but that it is made from sustainable materials and is vegan friendly.
What’s the Bearby Cuddler Body Pillow Made Of?
Starting with the cover and working our way through, we were impressed with how eco-friendly Bearby Cuddler Body pillow is. The cover is made with 100 percent organic cotton that uses less water and waste than natural cotton and the filling is made from natural Melofoam™, a natural latex that is made from the sap of rubber trees.
What We Liked
- Made with eco-conscious materials – Bearby takes its dedication to sustainability seriously. As such, they’ve made their Cuddler pillow with all-natural products. These include organic cotton and a filling that is derived from the sap of rubber trees.
- Unique ergonomic design – The Cuddler is unique in that it can be used as a full-body U-shape pillow, straightened completely out for side support, and even knotted to shorten it or hug it tight to your body.
- Expensive – The Cuddler is made with high-end and natural materials. We appreciate Bearby’s dedication to bettering the planet and believe that the pillow has a fair price considering. With that being said, it may be out of some people’s budget for a pregnancy pillow.
- Large footprint – If you sleep in a smaller bed or co-sleep with a partner or pet, the Cuddler may be too large for you. When it is flat the pillow measures 75 inches by 8 inches, and when it is knotted it is 22 inches by 14 inches. It will also add almost 9 pounds to the bed.
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Pressure Relief
Momcozy Pregnancy Pillow
Sleep Advisor Score
4.50 / 5
Why the MomCozy Pregnancy Pillow Earned Best Pregnancy Pillow for Pressure Relief
Using a pregnancy pillow can help prevent and alleviate pain and pressure buildup during pregnancy. While many pregnancy pillows will do a good job at this, the one that excelled for the Sleep Advisor team was the MomCozy Pregnancy pillow.
This full body pillow is basically a hybrid of a C and U-Shaped pregnancy pillow. It is ergonomically designed for the contours of a pregnant body, which helps it provide comfort and support by aligning your head, neck, spine, and hips.
What’s the MomCozy Pregnancy Pillow Made Of?
The responsive and durable polyester filling that makes up the core of the MomCozy Pregnancy pillow is covered either by a cozy velvet or a special cooling cover that costs a little bit more. The outer and inner layers have zippered closing. This allows the inner filling to stay secure when you remove the outer cover to wash it.
What We Liked
- Unique design – The MomCozy combines the benefits of both U-shaped and C-shaped pregnancy pillows with a design that contours the lines of a pregnant body. This shape and the responsive filling make it a great choice for those looking for alignment and pressure relief.
- Doubles as a nursing pillow – Once your baby has arrived, we think that the MomCozy will do an excellent job as a nursing pillow. This will prolong the lifespan of the pillow and provide comfort to mom and baby during feeding.
- Cumbersome for changing positions – Although the unique design of this pillow has benefits, if you change positions throughout the night, you must either flip the entire pillow, which can be a daunting task, or sleep with your back to the side that is contoured for your stomach.
- Large size – The MomCozy takes up a lot of space. While this pillow provides full body support, it can take up a large section of your bed. Therefore, if you have a smaller bed or sleep with a partner, this pillow’s footprint could be problematic.
Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain
Belly Bandit S.O.S. Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow designed for side sleepers. Excellent for those experiencing back pain during pregnancy.
Why the Belly Bandit S.O.S. Side Sleeper Pregnancy Wedge Pillow Earned Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain
Sleeping on your back when you are pregnant can be dangerous because it puts increased pressure on your inferior vena cava, an important blood vessel that transports deoxygenated blood from the lower and middle parts of you body to the heart. The increased pressure on this vessel can limit blood flow to both your heart and your baby.
Those who go from sleeping on their back to their side during pregnancy, though, may find that they have back pain. Fortunately, the Belly Bandit S.O.S. pillow can help you transition to your side and alleviate back pain. Additionally, our team sang the praises of the front side supporting the belly while the back side relieved back pressure and pain.
What’s the Belly Bandit S.O.S. Side Sleeper Pregnancy Wedge Pillow Made Of?
The unique three piece design of the Belly Bandit S.O.S. Side Sleeper Pregnancy Wedge pillow is made up of a responsive polyurethane core and a cover that is a soft, soothing blend of polyester, rayon and spandex. The foam provides security and pressure relief on the front and the back. We love that the velcro tabs that keep the pillow in place are completely covered so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
What We Liked
- Adjustability – The three piece design of this body pillow makes it completely adjustable. This means that it should fit most body types and that you can expand it as your pregnancy progresses. We loved how this makes it easier to get a perfect fit.
- Easily packable – As it’s smaller in size, this pillow is great when you are away from home. We are big fans that Belly Bandit includes a travel case with each order. This makes packing your S.O.S. convenient.
- Hard to change positions – This pillow is completely adjustable, but if you want to change positions during the night it can be difficult. To do so, you will need to stand up, turn the apparatus around, and resituate. As such, you risk not being able to go back to sleep if you do this.
- Scratchy velcro – Although we didn’t notice this to be a problem, there were some complaints about the Velcro becoming exposed. When this happens, it can scratch and irritate exposed skin.
Best Soft Pregnancy Pillow
Tuft & Needle Body Pillow
Why the Tuft & Needle Body Pillow Earned Best Soft Pregnancy Pillow
There is much to be said about the benefits of memory foam, latex, and other denser and firmer materials that are used in pregnancy pillows. However, sometimes you just want to cuddle up with something soft, fluffy, and cozy. For those times, we recommend the Tuft & Needle Body pillow. Our team picked this one because it is incredibly lightweight and fairly compact for a body pillow. This makes it easier to maneuver if you change positions, and the fluffy down alternative provides the comfort you may be craving.
What’s the Tuft & Needle Body Pillow Made Of?
This rectangular shaped body pillow has a soft outer shell that is made entirely of Supima cotton. This material provides a silky, luxurious feel. Underneath the cover are tiny pieces of animal-free down alternative. This filling mimics snuggling into a pillow made of down feathers but with none of the allergy concerns. Your head should sink down into the Tuft & Needle and provide a nice cuddle.
What We Liked
- Lightweight – This pillow is soft and weighs next to nothing. This makes it easier to maneuver if you change positions in the bed. Additionally, it shouldn’t be a problem if you want to move to the couch for a nap.
- Soft and comfortable – With its down alternative filling and soft Supima cotton cover, the Tuft & Needle provides amble coziness. It is a great option to put between your knees and cuddle up when you are sleeping or lounging.
- Little support – Although this pregnancy pillow is incredibly soft, it does not offer a good deal of support for your stomach or any other parts of the body. You will sink into the down alternative, and this is likely not good for spinal alignment.
- Must be fluffed – This pillow’s filling can easily become compressed when you are using it. You will need to fluff it to keep its loft. This may become frustrating if you use the pillow at night and don’t want to have to fluff it up when you shift or change positions.
What is a Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows provide additional support and comfort to the stomach, back, hips, and legs. The design is meant to reduce stress and pressure on these areas. They also can aid in keeping the lower lumbar region, an area that typically receives a great deal more strain during pregnancy, less painful.
As a pregnancy progresses, it may be increasingly difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, and pregnancy pillows can help with this. Those who normally prefer to sleep on their backs may have an especially hard time adjusting to pregnancy sleep. Sleeping on your back is not recommended when you are pregnant because it can lead to added pressure on important blood vessels, which can affect blood flow to the heart. Read more on why it is not recommended to sleep on your back while pregnant.
When to Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow
You can start using a pregnancy pillow at any time during pregnancy, In fact, you don’t even have to be pregnant to use one. However, as you enter your second trimester and progress into your third, pregnancy pillows can help support your growing belly, and decrease the pressure on your back, hips, and knees. Also, they can provide added security.
Pregnancy pillows come in a wide range of sizes, from small wedges to body encompassing U-shaped options. With a variety of designs, there should be a pregnancy pillow for every body type.
What to Look for in a Pregnancy Pillow
There are several options when it comes to pregnancy pillows. You can receive varying degrees of full-body support with the large C, J, and U-shaped pillows, but these pillows will take up more space in your bed. If you don’t want a pillow that takes up a good portion of your sleeping space, you can look for smaller wedge-shaped pillows that can be placed under your stomach or lower back to provide added support.
Although soft, fluffy maternity pillows are desirable due to their coziness, you may be better served with firmer models as you want the pillow to support and align your head, neck, spine, and hips. However, if you are not having many adverse sleeping issues during your pregnancy, you can get a squishy pillow to bring you comfort. These pillows will still offer some level of comfort, support and alignment.
Size and Shape
- C-shape – C-shaped pregnancy pillows are designed to go under your head, down your spine, and then through your legs. When you are sleeping on your side, this pillow can provide excellent support for your lumbar region while also keeping your neck and hips properly aligned.
- J-shape – These pregnancy pillows are intended to be used for the front of your body when on your side. With only one “hook”, these pillows take up a little less space on the bed than C-shaped pregnancy pillows as they curve at the top and the bottom. Generally, they are slid between the knees and provide support for the head, stomach, and pelvis.
- U-shape – By encompassing your entire body, U-shaped pillows provide front and back support, as well as overall security. These pillows provide support to the head, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and even ankles if your height allows. Given that this pillow provides support to your front and back, you shouldn’t have to worry about flipping it if you turn over in the night. However, given their ample size, they create a large footprint in your bed.
- Wedge – By placing one of these triangular shaped pillows under your stomach, you can receive support and relief as your midsection becomes heavier. By placing this pillow behind your back, you can prevent rolling on to your back which can be problematic for some people, and placing it between your knees can help ease lower back pain. Wedge pillows are smaller than other pregnancy pillows.
As is the case with all other kinds of sleeping gear, there are a variety of fill materials used in these pillows. Memory foam pillow is known for being highly supportive, but it can also be hot, which is already something that is a problem for many pregnant women.
Down pillows and down alternatives, on the other hand, are lightweight and cooler, but they may not offer the same degree of support. As a good rule of thumb, you should think about sticking with the same kind of fill material that you enjoy in a regular pillow. After all, if it is comfortable under your head, it will likely be comfortable around the rest of your body as well.
Additionally, you will want to pay attention to the type of materials that are used for the cover. These can range from breathable organic cotton to luxurious bamboo velour. Considering that most pregnancy pillows will touch more parts of the body than standard pillows and aren’t typically put in a pillow case, you will want to make sure that you like how the cover feels against your skin.
Furthermore, considering that overheating when sleeping is sometimes an issue with pregnancy to begin with, it will be important to note if the fill and cover materials are breathable or offer any enhanced cooling technologies. If you are having trouble with overheating, check out our best cooling pillows.
Maternity pillows are designed to offer additional support as a pregnant person’s midsection begins to grow.
The shape and size of the pregnancy pillow will largely dictate the kind of support that it offers. Wedge shaped pillows, for instance, are smaller and are typically used to provide localized support to the stomach or the lower back. However, others, such as the full-body U-shaped pillows can provide support and relief for almost every area of the body.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may find it increasingly difficult to get comfortable when you go to bed at night no matter the position you are in. At the beginning of your pregnancy, sleeping on your stomach may be completely comfortable for you, but as your stomach grows, this position may leave a little to be desired.
For your health and safety, you will want to avoid sleeping on your back as this can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein that returns blood from your lower part of your body to your heart. Sleeping in this position during pregnancy can also cause added pressure to your back and intensities.
Sleeping on your side is not only typically the most comfortable sleeping position, but it is generally the safest for you and the baby. This is particularly true if you sleep on your left side as this will get the most blood flow to the fetus and it also improves kidney function.
Just like the pillows you used under your head, pregnancy pillows are offered in varying firmness levels, and this aspect of a pregnancy pillow is largely up to personal preference. With that being said, you will want to use a pregnancy pillow that supports you and one that is capable of providing the necessary elevation and alignment to prevent pressure buildup and pain.
If you use a pregnancy pillow, you will want to ensure that it is one that you feel is not only comfortable, but cozy, soft, and soothing as well. Having a soft, breathable cover as well as a filling that matches your personal preferences will serve you well with pregnancy pillows.
Many people tend to feel hotter during their pregnancy than they do otherwise, which experts say is the result of hormonal changes and increased amounts of blood to the skin. Considering that sleeping comfortably may already be a challenge, it is best to have a pillow that provides cooling technology or materials.
There are naturally cooling materials such as bamboo and organic cotton that are often used to help dissipate heat, and many times, manufacturers will shred core materials like memory foam to allow for more airflow, or they will infuse the foam with cooling gel.
The loft or thickness of a pregnancy pillow is vital because it helps establish proper spinal alignment. A pillow with too high of a loft may cause neck discomfort because it pushes the head too far up, while one that is too low could cause the head to drop forward. This may cause neck and back issues.
Given the variety of pillow shapes and sizes that are available, it may get a little overwhelming when it comes to deciding which would be the most comfortable. A good place to start is to look at the kind of feel and support you want from a pillow, as well as if cooling features are important. Taking these qualities into consideration should help you find a pillow that’s going to promote better comfort during your pregnancy.
While sleep is extremely important during pregnancy, you still don’t want to have to break the bank on this purchase. If this is going to be your only pregnancy, you may not use this pillow again after these few months, and even if you do have other children, you will only use the it a few months at a time during those pregnancies.
That isn't to say that you should buy the cheapest one you can find, but you should at least be aware of how much you are going to have to invest. Finding a product that balances quality with cost is the best bet when shopping.
For More Information: Best Affordable Pillows
The temporary chemical scent that sometimes accompanies foam pillows and mattresses is known as off-gassing, and it is understandable that this could be cause for alarm , especially for pregnant people. The smell usually goes away in a few hours, but it may take up to several days or even a week. Placing the product in a well ventilated room can help speed up getting rid of the smell.
If you have concerns, though, we recommend looking at natural and organic pillows that aren’t known to produce this type of off-gassing.
Read More: Is My Pillow Toxic?
Cleaning & Care
Pregnancy can be rewarding, but it can also be tiring, and there is no reason that you should need to dedicate a lot of time or effort to cleaning and caring for a pregnancy pillow. Read the care instructions carefully before your purchase so that you will know if the pillow is completely machine washable, has a machine washable cover, or should only be spot cleaned. Depending on your preference, this can be a large factor in the maternity pillow that you purchase.
Learn more about how to wash your pillow here.
Our Final Thoughts
For many, pregnancy can be a lovely, almost magical experience. However, those nine months can also be filled with a good bit of sleepless discomfort. Pregnancy pillows are here to help with that.
These supportive, cozy accessories come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights. Our list of the best pregnancy pillows should give you an idea of what kind of these speciality pillows should work best for you based on your personal preferences, sleep style, and bed size. We want your pregnancy to be as comfortable and restful as possible, and cuddling up with a pregnancy pillow may help you along the way.
Best Pregnancy Pillow FAQs
How do pregnancy pillows work?
Larger or full body pregnancy pillows typically come in C, J, and U shapes, and they are designed to support areas like your stomach, back, neck, knees and hips. This can help alleviate pressure and provide better spinal alignment when sleeping.
There are also smaller maternity pillows that come in a wedge design. These are smaller incarnations and are typically slid under the belly or the lower back for additional support.
Where can I buy a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are widely available online, and given that many come with a no risk sleep-trial period and free shipping, this is a convenient way to purchase a pregnancy pillow. Of course, you also have the option to shop in-store, but buying online could save you money since you are buying directly from the manufacturer.
How do I use a C-shape pregnancy pillow?
C-shaped pregnancy pillows are designed so that you can rest your head on the top curved portion of the pillow. The longer, straight part of the pillow will support your spine and the bottom curve is meant to rest between your knees. This design provides back support, and helps keep your neck and hips aligned.
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- “Exactly How Bad Is It to Sleep on Your Back When You’re Pregnant?” Cleveland Clinic. Webpage accessed June 7, 2023.
- “Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy”. University of Rochester Medical Center. Webpage accessed June 7, 2023.
- “Common health problems in pregnancy”. National Health Service. Last modified March 8, 2021.