Do pregnancy pillows help you sleep better?

Getting enough sleep during pregnancy can be challenging due to the numerous changes your body and mind undergo. On top of that, increased fatigue is common. Sleep becomes a top priority during pregnancy, knowing it will become even scarcer once the newborn arrives. I recall the struggle of finding comfort as my belly grew, forcing me to sleep exclusively on my side, not to mention the nocturnal kicks. This is where a pregnancy pillow proves invaluable. I became so accustomed to mine that I still use it even when not pregnant, simply for the added comfort. With many options available, we’ve curated the best to help you navigate those challenging nights.

Do pregnancy pillows help you sleep better?
Do pregnancy pillows help you sleep better?

Tips for Selecting a Pregnancy Pillow

So, you’re in the market for a pregnancy pillow, but how do you decide? Here are some key factors to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you:

Shape

Pregnancy pillows come in various shapes, each catering to different needs. Body pillows, like C- and U-shaped ones, offer support for the neck, head, knees, and abdomen, albeit they’re bulkier. Alternatively, smaller support pillows target specific areas, providing more versatility.

Material

The material of the pillow impacts its characteristics, including breathability, durability, firmness, and support. Common materials include polyester-based fabrics, known for their durability and affordability, and foam, which offers firmer support and pressure relief.

Sleeping Position

During pregnancy, sleeping on your left side is recommended to minimize strain on your body. Many pregnancy pillows are designed to enhance comfort in this position.

Support

The shape of the pillow determines the level of support it offers. Wedges may be firmer but target a single area, while full-body pillows support multiple parts of the body, providing comprehensive support.

Pressure Relief

Pregnancy-related aches and pains can benefit from pressure relief provided by a pillow. Consider how well the pillow conforms to your body and alleviates pressure points.

Heat Retention

Maintaining the correct body temperature is crucial for quality sleep, especially during pregnancy. Look for pillows with materials that promote breathability, such as polyester-based fabrics, to prevent overheating.

Loft

The thickness of the pillow impacts comfort, with broader shoulders typically requiring a thicker pillow to fill the space between the head, neck, and mattress. Conversely, narrower shoulders may benefit from a thinner pillow to avoid elevating the head too high.

Price

While pregnancy pillows can be pricey, prioritizing quality is key for a good night’s sleep. There are budget-friendly options under $50, particularly wedges, for those with financial constraints.

Top Picks for Pregnancy Pillows

Now that you’ve got your criteria down, let’s dive into our top recommendations for every type of expecting mom:

Best U-shaped Pillows

BODY NEST Cooling Pregnancy Pillow

This U-shaped pregnancy pillow offers comprehensive support for your back, sides, and legs. Crafted from soft and breathable fabric, it helps regulate your body temperature throughout the night, a common concern for pregnant women. The reversible cover, made from cool jersey cotton, adds to its comfort, and its flexible design allows you to customize it for optimal comfort.

Queen Rose Cooling Air Flow Pregnancy Pillow

Another standout option in the U-shaped category, this pillow is ideal for women who prefer sleeping on their back or stomach. Its dense yet plush filling maintains its shape over time, and the bamboo cover enhances airflow, ensuring a cooler sleep experience. Plus, it includes a detachable full-body pillow for extra head and leg support.

Meiz U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

Featuring a soft and cooling body pillow cover, the Meiz pregnancy pillow offers extensive support for your sides, back, calves, knees, hips, feet, and growing baby bump. Weighing just three pounds, it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver. The comfy polyester fill makes it easy to adjust to your preferred position.

Moonlight Slumber Comfort U Total Support Body Pillow

Though slightly heavier at ten pounds, the Moonlight Slumber pillow is another excellent choice for pregnant women. Its synthetic down filling is soft and retains its shape even after multiple washes. While not labeled as a chiropractic pregnancy pillow, chiropractors have endorsed it for relieving back, pelvic, and round ligament pain.

Top Picks for C-shaped Pillows

PharMeDoc Full Body C-Shaped Pillow

The PharMeDoc C-shaped pregnancy pillow is an excellent and budget-friendly option. While it may develop some lumpiness over time, it effectively curves around your body to provide support for both the upper and lower body. Despite its affordability, it offers ample support and is a great choice for those seeking value without compromising on comfort.

1 Middle One Pregnancy Pillow, C-Shaped Full Body Pillow

Another fantastic budget-friendly option, this C-shaped pillow offers sturdy support and comes with a velvety-soft cover. Despite its velvet texture, it features hundreds of air vents to enhance airflow, ensuring a cooler sleep experience. The machine-washable cover and supportive polyester fill add to its convenience and comfort.

Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow

The Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow is a solid choice with its firm polyester fiberfill that contours to your body. Unlike some overstuffed pregnancy pillows, this one allows you to slide it comfortably under your belly. It also claims to alleviate heartburn, making it worth considering if you suffer from this issue. However, the polyester blend cover may feel scratchy, although you can opt for a cotton replacement cover for added comfort.

Boppy Slipcovered Total Body Pregnancy Pillow

What sets this pillow apart is its exceptional softness, allowing you to easily fold it into any desired position without hassle. One side supports the neck and head, while the other can be tucked between your legs to realign your hips. Its versatility extends beyond pregnancy, as many find sleeping with a pillow between their knees comfortable even when not expecting. Plus, the cotton slipcover enhances its overall coziness.

Insen C-shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow

Highly praised on Amazon with thousands of five-star reviews, the Insen C-shaped pregnancy pillow is a hit even among non-pregnant individuals. Its cool jersey cover helps prevent overheating during the night, making it suitable for various conditions such as inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia. You can use it lying down or fold in the ends for additional back support, thanks to its adjustable and breathable polyfill for enhanced comfort.

Top Picks for Wedge Pillows

Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Support Pillow

For a compact wedge pillow, the Boppy offering stands out as the top choice. Its small size is precisely what you need in this type of pregnancy pillow. Occupying minimal space in your bed, it’s versatile enough to provide support for your growing belly, back, or any other area you require. Additionally, its portability makes it ideal for travel.

Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

Another noteworthy wedge pillow option is the Hiccapop model. Similar to the Boppy, it offers a compact design suitable for targeted support. What sets it apart is its dual-sided feature, providing a choice between a firmer or softer surface. This versatility makes it an excellent addition to your pregnancy comfort arsenal.

Versatile Body Pillow (Suitable for Non-Pregnant Individuals as Well)

Room Essentials Body Pillow

If you’re in search of an affordable option that provides extra comfort without breaking the bank, consider the Room Essentials Body Pillow. While it may not contour to your body like specialized pregnancy pillows, it still offers support for your back, legs, and belly, enhancing overall comfort. With a length of 52 inches, it provides ample coverage. Additionally, purchasing two of these pillows allows you to create your own customized U-shaped pillow at a fraction of the cost.

Ideal for Stomach Sleepers

Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump

The Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump presents a unique solution, particularly for stomach sleepers. Unlike traditional pregnancy pillows, this innovative design features a hole for your belly and breasts, allowing you to comfortably sleep face down. It facilitates decompression of the lower back, promotes easier breathing, relaxes upper back muscles, and encourages the baby to assume the optimal anterior birthing position. Filled with air, it offers adjustable support tailored to your needs. It’s worth noting that we recommend using the Cozy Bump pillow on the floor rather than in bed, primarily for short naps rather than extended sleep.

Ideal for Hot Sleepers

Cooling Memory Foam Full Body Pillow

Designed with hot sleepers in mind, the Cooling Memory Foam Full Body Pillow offers exceptional comfort. While not specifically marketed as a pregnancy pillow, it serves as a versatile option for both head and leg support when molded to your side. Featuring gel panels on one side to regulate temperature and memory foam for firm support, it ensures a cool and comfortable sleeping experience. However, it’s important to ensure that the cooling gel doesn’t directly contact your belly, and wearing pajamas or a nightgown over your growing bump is advisable.

Finding the right pillow is essential for maximizing comfort during pregnancy. We hope one of these options provides the relief you need for a restful night’s sleep!

FAQs

Is it better to sleep with a pregnancy pillow?

Sleeping with a pregnancy pillow can provide added comfort and support, especially as your body undergoes changes during pregnancy. Many pregnant individuals find that using a pregnancy pillow helps alleviate discomfort and promotes better sleep by providing support to the belly, back, and hips.

Are pregnancy pillows really useful?

Pregnancy pillows can be highly useful for pregnant individuals. They are designed to address common discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as back pain, hip pain, and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position. By providing support and alignment, pregnancy pillows can help improve sleep quality and overall comfort.

When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?

The ideal time to start using a pregnancy pillow varies for each individual. Some pregnant individuals may find it beneficial to start using a pregnancy pillow as soon as they begin experiencing discomfort or difficulty sleeping due to pregnancy-related changes. Others may find it helpful to introduce a pregnancy pillow later in their pregnancy as their belly grows and sleeping becomes more challenging.

Do doctors recommend pregnancy pillows?

Many doctors and healthcare providers recognize the benefits of pregnancy pillows for pregnant individuals. While recommendations may vary depending on individual circumstances, healthcare providers often suggest pregnancy pillows as a non-invasive and effective way to alleviate discomfort and improve sleep quality during pregnancy. It’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if using a pregnancy pillow is suitable for your specific needs and situation.

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