8 of the Best Pregnancy Pillows for a Good Night’s Sleep, According to Real Moms
Between the heartburn, trips to the bathroom and constant worrying (over the car seat, day care costs, not sleeping—take your pick), getting a decent night’s shut-eye is the ultimate in pregnancy unicorns. But one thing that might help? A pillow designed to support your growing body. Here, eight of the best pregnancy pillows to help you sleep like a baby (while making a baby).
How to Pick a Pregnancy Pillow
- Size: Pregnancy pillows come in a range of sizes, from unobtrusive wedges to giant U-shaped pillows that envelop you in a warm hug. So, if you share the bed, you might want to loop in your sleeping partner on this one, since they may end up losing some of that valuable bed space. (Or don’t—you’re the one making a baby, after all.)
Shape: Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, including where they feel those aches and pains. So it makes sense to keep your own body in mind when it comes to choosing the right pregnancy pillow for you. For example, if your neck hurts, then a pillow that can be tucked underneath your head may offer some relief. Or if you’re desperate to take some weight off your bump, then a pillow that cradles your belly might help. Other pregnancy pillows can be wedged between your knees or offer support for your back. And keep in mind that if you tend to flip-flop while you sleep, then you might want to pick a U-shaped pillow so you won’t have to readjust every time you get up to use the bathroom (i.e., every other hour).
Material: Some pillows are made with cotton covers (ideal for those who tend to get hot at night), while others are polyester. One more thing to keep in mind: The best pregnancy pillows are the ones that can be washed—in case you get sweaty at night or, you know, accidentally spill some ice cream while you’re watching Netflix.
The Best Pregnancy Pillows for a Good Night's Sleep:
1. Best Wraparound: Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
Designed by a registered nurse (and mother), this C-shaped pillow has a curved top for resting your head, a long middle to support your back or belly and a slightly less curved end for tucking between your legs (thereby supporting your hips). “I’m currently using the Snoogle and I don’t know what I would do without it—I’m obsessed!” says Vanessa, a former back sleeper who is 20 weeks pregnant. Measuring 60 inches long and 25 inches wide, there’s plenty of room here for your growing bump. And reviewers are just as infatuated with the pillow post-pregnancy, using the “doughnut position” (see the manual) for tummy support. Available in gray, ivory and mauve.
2. Best Ergonomic: Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow
For a cushion that molds to you, turn to the ergonomic OGs of the pillow world. Designed to respond to the shape and pressure of your growing body, memory foam is surrounded by a washable and removable quilted cotton cover. “I loved the Tempur-Pedic pillow that I had before getting pregnant, and I wanted something similar for my second and third trimester, so this was perfect,” says mom Sarah. Measuring 48 inches long and 14 inches wide, this pick is on the larger side but won’t take over your entire bed.
3. Best for Travel: Boppy Pregnancy Wedge
This compact pillow measures 14 inches long and 12 inches wide, and is great for targeting a specific area (usually your belly or your back). It can also be used to prop up your knees while you’re relaxing on the couch or for extra comfort behind your back while you’re sitting at work. Shaped like a half-moon and sloped, its size and weight make it perfectly portable. “When I was pregnant, I had a full body pillow and this wedge. I’d alternate between the two and make sure to pack this one in my suitcase when traveling,” says Jennie, a mom of two.
4. Best Space Saver: Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow
“I was worried that the body-size pillows would be too large for my five-foot-two frame, so I went with something smaller and loved it,” says mom Juliana. (Her husband and dog were big fans too.) This medium-size pregnancy pillow (it measures 20 inches long and 16 inches wide) offers support for your hips, legs and bump—without taking over the entire bed. Bonus points for the 100 percent cotton slipcover that’s removable and machine washable.
5. Best U-Shaped: PharMeDoc Full Body Pillow
The U-shaped pillow contours to wrap all around you, making sure that your neck, shoulders, back and hips stay aligned. A detachable extension can be used as a body pillow on its own or attach to the main body for additional support. Here’s what Rachel, a mom of one, has to say: “Finally, I could effing sleep. It just hugs you up and wraps around that big ol’ belly, supporting all the places that ache with pregnancy.” And the zippered cotton pillow cover is machine washable and hypoallergenic. You might want to let your partner know that he’s about to lose some bed space, though: This maternity pillow measures 53 inches long, 31 inches wide and 7 inches high. Available in nine different colors including light blue, light pink and gray.
6. Best Budget Pick: A regular pillow
For some women, a strategically placed worn-in pillow is better than a fancy new one. “I actually hated every pregnancy pillow I tried,” says mom Dabee. “I ended up using a regular pillow that wasn’t too fluffy and put it between my knees.” Hey, whatever works.
7. Best Multi-Use Pregnancy Pillow
“I bought a couple of pillows to help me sleep when I was pregnant and they were really helpful, but then I had no idea what to do with them afterward,” one mom tells us. “Those things use up a lot of space.” It’s true—pregnancy pillows can be a wonderful thing but once the baby arrives, they often end up taking up precious real estate in the attic or cupboard. Enter this clever pick that comes in navy or pink and doubles as a nursing pillow. Moms-to-be can use it for head, neck and back support or as a soft cushion to place between legs. It can also provide relief for swollen feet (it happens) by helping you elevate your legs. Then after the baby is born, prop the pillow up to support your infant while you nurse (giving your arms a much-needed break). Genius.
8. Best customizable pregnancy pillow: Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
You know that annoying feeling where it doesn’t matter how much you toss and turn at night but you just can’t get comfortable? Well, in pregnancy, multiply that sensation by about a hundred. And as any mama will tell you—the level of discomfort only grows with your expanding bump. That’s why it can be helpful to have a couple of pillows on standby or one that can be readjusted as your pains move from one side to the other (and then back again). This oversize U-shaped pillow can be re-arranged so that it’s just the way you like it by taking out the 100 percent hypoallergenic cotton filling inside the inner cover to adjust the height as needed. Measuring 59 inches in length and 26 inches in width, sleeping with this full body pillow is like being enveloped in a giant hug.
Do Pregnancy Pillows Really Help?
Most moms-to-be will tell you that getting a decent night’s sleep while pregnant is no easy feat, but some extra support can be very helpful.
That’s because doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on their side during the later stages of pregnancy. And if you’re used to sleeping on your back or stomach, then a strategically placed pillow can help you stay on your side (although after a certain point, you’ll likely find your old go-to positions are too uncomfortable anyway). A pillow can also provide extra support for your hips, knees and ankles—areas that can feel strained during pregnancy both from extra weight as well as hormone changes.
But there’s no need to purchase a special pregnancy pillow if you don’t want to. In fact, one of our recs is a regular pillow that you can wedge between your knees or under your belly. The main perk of a pregnancy pillow is that it’s ultra convenient since it can simultaneously support different areas of the body, so you won’t have to rearrange multiple pillows throughout the night.
When Should You Use a Pregnancy Pillow?
Most doctors recommend sleeping on your side by the third trimester to help relieve pressure on your spine and to improve circulation, something that a pregnancy pillow can help with (although you’ll want to check in with your OB/GYN for more specific guidelines). But you can absolutely start using a pregnancy pillow before then if you like, and some moms even continue to use their pillow post-pregnancy to ease back pain and help get a better night’s slumber.