Woman sleeping with pillow for pregnancy
Last updated: 08/13/2020

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If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because your belly has grown enough to keep you from sleeping as much as you want and need. Every pregnant woman goes through this; the weight you gained and the changes in your body influence the quality of your sleep. Besides, you really want to make the most of the time you have now, as you’ll be quite busy once your baby arrives.

We know just how vital rest is for future mothers, which is why we have prepared a comprehensive guide to tell you everything you need to know about pregnancy pillows. From the numerous health benefits they offer to the best models on the American market, we will solve any doubts you might have!

Key Facts

  • From the third trimester of pregnancy, the size of the belly causes increased tension in the back. This leads future mothers to feel uncomfortable, especially at bedtime. It is one of the reasons why many pregnant women cannot get as much as rest as they should.
  • Pregnancy pillows have been specifically designed to provide a cozy support adapted to their body, guaranteeing longer and deeper sleep.
  • You have to take into account various factors before purchasing your own pregnancy pillow. These include the shape, manufacturing material, and size of the product.

Our Selection: The Best Pregnancy Pillows on the U.S. Market

In the following section, we will discuss the different types of pregnancy pillows available to you. This variety allows you to find the product that best suits your needs, but it can also make it more challenging to identify which is, indeed, the most suitable. To help you get it right, we have selected some of the most popular pregnancy pillows currently on the American market:

Best U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

Available in three colors and two sizes (55 and 65 inches), this large U-shaped pillow by Queen Rose is a fan favorite and an excellent choice to bring back those long nights of sleep you have been missing. Its soft velvet cover is incredibly comfortable and machine washable, and it is filled with durable polyester. This pregnancy pillow will wrap you perfectly if you like to sleep on your side or face up, or to sit and read your favorite book.

Best C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

This best-selling pregnancy pillow is another fantastic option for you. It is C-shaped to best adopt your silhouette, providing increased support to your head, belly, and legs. The super-soft cover is machine washable, and the pillow is filled with a polyfill blend that offers the comfort and firmness you need for a good night’s sleep. Available in four colors, this pregnancy pillow comes with a travel bag.

Best Pregnancy Pillow to Travel

Talking about travel bags, this is the perfect pregnancy pillow for you if you don’t want to give up on comfort when you’re on the road. The maternity pillow wedge by Hiccapop is designed to support your belly and help you rest as comfortably as possible. It features a soft memory foam on one side and a firmer support foam on the other, so you can always choose what you like best. The Velboa cover is machine washable.

Most Versatile Pregnancy Pillow

This is certainly not a common model, with four detachable parts that allow you to create the ultimate pregnancy pillow according to your needs. You can start using it from the first trimester, as it can provide the support you need for your back, neck, legs, or belly. Available in two colors, it comes with an ergonomic pillow for greater comfort. But be careful: there have been reports of future fathers taking a nap with it too!

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Pregnancy Pillows

Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced mother, you may have a million doubts regarding pregnancy pillows in general and how they can benefit you and your future baby. We’ve gathered all the information you need to know about these products. In the section below, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding pregnancy pillows.

Woman lying down with pillow for pregnancy

Pregnancy pillows adapt to the shape of the pregnant woman’s body, providing a perfect fit and greater comfort.
(Source: Belchonok: 98286835/ 123rf.com)

Why are pregnancy pillows unique?

Let’s take it from scratch. The very first thing most future mothers want to know is whether they really need a specific pillow for their pregnancy. So what it is about these products that make them stand out from our regular pillows? Well, they are specifically designed to adapt to pregnant women’s bodies, both in terms of shape and filling. These pillows provide complete support for the belly to alleviate tensions on the back.

National Sleep Foundation

“By the third trimester, even if you naturally prefer to sleep on your left side, which is the ideal position during pregnancy, the sheer weight of your bump – combined with the increased laxity in your joints as your body prepares for childbirth – can add up to serious aches and pains.”

Why should I use a pregnancy pillow?

There’s a reason why experts in the field are continually recommending the use of these unique pillows. In fact, the experience of many mothers comes to back up the many benefits of these products, in particular during the last weeks of pregnancy. We have listed them below for you:

  • They adapt to the shape of the pregnant woman’s body, providing a perfect fit and greater comfort.
  • They offer full support to the belly, back, hips, and legs, eliminating stress caused by the extra weight of the baby.
  • Their design prevents expectant mothers from moving around too much in bed.
  • In addition to improving the quality of sleep, they are ideal for women who suffer from heartburn.
  • They are also handy after giving birth, as they can serve as breastfeeding pillows or to place in your baby’s crib.
  • They often come with a machine-washable cover to protect them.
Sleeping woman

The long pillow is one of the best-selling types, as it is usually the one we use the most after pregnancy as well.
(Source: Lightpoet: 45397382/ 123rf.com)

What types of pregnancy pillows are there?

We mentioned before the existence of different types of pillows for pregnancy. This is undoubtedly an advantage for mothers-to-be since it offers them the possibility of choosing the one they are most interested in. Let’s take a closer look at each of the types:

  • Pregnancy body pillow: This is the best-selling type, as it is more versatile to use after you give birth. It’s like a body pillow, but even longer and thicker.
  • Pillow wedge: This is more of a cushion than a pillow. It’s often shaped like a crescent to support the belly.
  • U-shaped pillow: Its shape is designed to wrap you and support your whole body – including your head, arms, and legs.
  • C-shaped pillow: It may seem awkward at first, but the shape of this pillow that follows the contour of the body is very comfortable. You can place your head on top, with the rest of the pillow supporting your back and passing between your legs.

The reality is that it’s hard to highlight one specific model, as all pregnancy pillows are designed to improve your quality of sleep and overall comfort when lying down. In the end, you should base the purchase on your personal preferences and needs.

How do I know which pregnancy pillow is best for me?

Let’s delve into what these needs might be. First of all, the posture in which you sleep is fundamental and strongly influences your quality of rest. In that regard, you can choose a specific type of pillow depending on how you like to lie down:

Sleeping position Ideal pregnancy pillow
Face down The C-shaped pillow will support your belly comfortably.
Face up The U-shaped pillow provides the support your whole body needs.
On your side Both the body pillow and the wedge are great, as they will help support your belly while keeping your legs apart. 

What methods can help me sleep better?

Despite using a pregnancy pillow on a daily basis, many women still have trouble getting as much rest as they need. If this is your case, various reasons related to your day-to-day life may explain why you’re not sleeping enough. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I drink a lot of liquids in the late afternoon or before going to bed?
  • Do I eat heavy or spicy dinners?
  • Am I physically active in the afternoon?

If your answer to any of these three questions is yes, then it could very well be the reason why you cannot rest properly. Try to avoid these situations and see if you notice a difference in the quality of your sleep.

Woman sleeping with pillow for pregnancy

Despite using a pregnancy pillow on a daily basis, many women still have trouble getting as much rest as they need.
(Source: Bilkei: 71963909/ 123rf.com)

What are pregnancy pillows filled with?

As we mentioned earlier, various factors differentiate these products from regular pillows. The filling is one such aspect. Pregnancy pillows can be manufactured with multiple materials, all of which are designed to improve your comfort and rest. Below, you will find a list of the most common materials used:

  • Polystyrene peanuts, the cheapest option available.
  • Polyester, very resistant yet flexible.
  • Microbeads, very comfortable and light.
  • Viscoelastic memory foam.
  • Seeds, which keep the warmth in winter and stay cool in summer.

The first two types are generally more affordable but offer lower quality. The other fillings are all very comfortable and perfectly fulfill the function for which pregnancy pillows were designed.

Should pregnancy pillows be hypoallergenic?

It’s always challenging to give a single universal answer to many questions that revolve around pregnancy and childcare items in general. It’s no different for pregnancy pillows. The reality is that opting for a hypoallergenic model will be useful to you if you have had allergies in the past or are prone to this type of health condition.

Besides, a hypoallergenic filling is generally better for babies, too. So take this into account if you plan on using your pregnancy pillow in the nursery once you give birth. In short, while it isn’t essential to purchase a hypoallergenic pillow, it won’t do you or your baby any harm.

Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have answered the main questions regarding pregnancy pillows, it’s time for you to choose which one you will take home. But don’t worry, we still have a few tips in store for you. In the following section, we will delve into some of the key shopping criteria to consider in order to pick the right pregnancy pillow for you.

Shape

The first decision you will have to make is to choose a specific shape or type of pillow. Remember that we introduced you to the four main ones available: body pillows, wedges, U-shaped, or C-shaped models. All you have to do is think about your favorite sleeping position and pick the model that is best suited for it.

If you tend to sleep on your side, we recommend you purchase a pillow wedge or body pillow. If you prefer to sleep on your back, on the other hand, U-shaped models will be ideal for you. Finally, you should opt for a C-shaped product for greatest comfort when sleeping on your stomach.

Pregnant woman resting

Think about your favorite sleeping position and pick the model that is best suited for it.
(Source: Belchonok: 89513213/ 123rf.com)

Material

The manufacturing materials of the pregnancy pillow, and more specifically its filling, is another factor that could tip the scale towards a particular model. You should now be familiar with the different types available, some offering better quality than others, as well as the relevance of hypoallergenic materials.

Bear in mind that firmness and comfort are the primary characteristics of the filling for pregnancy pillows. In that regard, the very best you can purchase is a viscoelastic memory foam model, as it will best adapt to your body.

Size

While the size of pregnancy pillows will vary depending on its type and model (ranging from less than two feet to well over six), the first thing you have to analyze is the dimensions of your bed. This means that the pillow you buy should fit comfortably on.

If you choose a product that is too big for your bed, you will have trouble finding a cozy position to use it; in fact, you could end up feeling more uncomfortable than without it. In case you don’t have too much space on your bed, we recommend you choose a C-shaped pregnancy pillow as they are the most flexible.

Design

There are two completely different aspects related to the concept of design. First and foremost, your pregnancy pillow should feature an easily removable, machine washable cover. This will allow you to protect it from accidents while keeping it in the best possible condition at all times.

On the other hand, we have the aesthetics. While this may not be of the utmost importance, you will be using and seeing your pregnancy pillow every day, so you still need to like. You may also want to consider the possibilities of use it offers once you give birth. Some models make for great breastfeeding pillows.

Quality

You should never neglect this factor. As with any pregnancy or childcare item, you don’t want – nor should – skimp on quality. In that regard, you are advised to go for brands that you are familiar with or that are well-known in the industry. This is the best way to be sure that you are buying a quality product that will fulfill its function.

Summary

More and more future moms are turning to pregnancy pillows to help them sleep better at night. Explicitly designed to adapt to a pregnant woman’s new body, they offer total support and enhanced comfort. In fact, you can use them both in your bed and your sofa.

In addition to the numerous benefits these products provide in the final weeks of pregnancy, they come in handy after you give birth as they can be used as breastfeeding pillows for your baby. Are you convinced yet that they are one of the greatest inventions for expectant mothers?

We hope that you found our shopping guide on pregnancy pillows helpful and informative. If you decided to buy one, we’d love to hear about your experience, so feel free to leave us a comment below. Don’t forget to share this article on your social media for other future parents to enjoy!

(Featured Image Source: Bilkei: 71963909/ 123rf.com)

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