Maternity pillows can be an added source of comfort to many women during all three trimesters and after her baby arrives. It’s common for quality sleep to become increasingly difficult as a mother gets closer to her due date and maternity pillows (or pregnancy pillows) are designed to help support a pregnant woman’s body in a way that keeps her comfortable enough to rest for as long as possible.
The main goal across all maternity pillows is to provide additional support to areas of a woman’s body that are experiencing increased soreness, stiffness or added tension from her pregnancy. These special pillows come in a range of sizes, materials, support levels and – of course- prices. Many popular maternity pillows are larger and focus on full-body support while others are compact and made for travel. There is definitely a maternity pillow out there for every pregnant or postpartum woman.
Most Full Body Support
QUEEN ROSE Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
The Queen Rose comes with a removable cotton cover that’s also machine washable.
- This maternity pillow comes in two lengths: 55” and 65”. This gives mothers of all sizes the ability to stay comfortable. At 5’7” our pregnant reviewer found the longer size to be the most comfortable.
- The cotton cover is removable, machine washable and comes in several color options ranging from neutrals to brighter colors.
- Pregnant women can use the pillow to help them sleep but it can also be positioned to help keep the upper body or feet elevated for comfort.
- Depending on where you purchase the pillow, there may be no trial period or returns available.
- At over 30” wide, the pillow will surely take up a decent amount of space in bed – partner’s beware!
This U-Shaped pregnancy pillow can easily support a pregnant woman’s head, neck, back, bump and lay nicely between her knees to help kip her hips open and spine aligned.
PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
Most often, the PharMeDoc is seen curling around her head, shoulders, back (or bump) and lying between the knees as she lays on her side. The soft jersey knit cover has a zipper that allows it to be removed and machine washed and dried separately.
- The C-Shape design can be twisted, wrapped or adjusted in a nearly a handful of ways to keep a pregnant woman comfortable and supported, whether she’s sleeping or sitting up.
- Compared to other maternity pillows with a similar design, the PharMeDoc is one of the most affordable.
- The zippered cover is easy to remove and care for if needed.
- The pillow only comes in one size and length; it may be too short for taller mothers.
- Compared to other brands who make a similar design, this pillow offers fewer fabric, design and color options.
The PharMeDoc pregnancy pillow is a versatile C-shaped polyester fiber-filled pillow that’s long and supportive enough to curl around a pregnant woman’s body and support her in a variety of positions.
Best Maternity Pillow for Travel
hiccapop Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
The hiccapop may look simple at first glance, but the round wedge pillow is filled with a ventilated foam filling with dual-sided firmness for significant support. The cover is a soft velour fabric that can be unzipped and washed separately if needed.
- The wedge shape is ideal for a pregnant woman while she is traveling. Our reviewer frequently used this pillow in the car. She either sat on it to help alleviate tailbone pain or placed it behind her to add lower back support.
- It is affordable, lightweight, compact, and supportive.
- It comes with a handy travel bag so you can avoid gathering as many germs as possible.
- This pillow will not provide full-body support or replace the need for a traditional head pillow.
- It comes in one size with one fabric option (velour) which can feel a little slippery at times.
The hiccapop is a great little maternity pillow that can offer pressure relief to a mother on the go.
Leachco Snoogle Chic
The Leachco Snoogle Chic is filled with supportive polyester fibers and the collection comes in several removable cover options, from 100% cotton to jersey knit and more. This pregnancy pillow can easily be used during all three trimesters and after the baby arrives.
- The Chic option gives you a zippered removable cover – in a variety of materials and colors/designs – that is easy to take off and clean.
- The maternity pillow comes with an easy to understand guide that demonstrates six simple ways to utilize the body pillow and help a pregnant woman find a neutral resting position.
- Additional covers are easily available to purchase at an additional cost.
- Other pillows with a similar design are more affordable.
- The height profile might be a little too firm for very petite moms-to-be.
The Leachco Snoogle Chic is a popular C-shaped maternity pillow that is known for its ability to adapt to a pregnant woman’s needs as her pregnancy progresses.
How We Picked
In order to put together the most comprehensive list of maternity pillows to review, our pregnant team member personally tested each pregnancy pillow during her second pregnancy. She was able to bring the experience she had with her first pregnancy into consideration as she reviewed each pillow during her second pregnancy.
She analyzed each pillow in terms of several factors:
- Size: Will this work to replace a regular head pillow? Is it travel-size? Does it come in multiple sizes?
- Shape: What shape best helps women stay comfortable overnight? There are many shapes that can help benefit a pregnant woman, including U-Shape and C-Shaped pillows.
- Support level: What is the filling and how supportive is it? Will the pillow added subtle support or is it very firm?
- Cover fabric: How soft is the fabric? Does the pillow come with cover fabric options?
- Ease of care: How easy is the pillow to clean? Can the cover be removed and washed?
- Functionality: Will this pillow work to support a woman as she sleeps? Can it be used in bed when she’s reading/resting/feeding her baby?
- Price: Whose budget will it fit?
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
There are several types of pregnancy pillows.
- Total Body: A total body pregnancy pillow is one that will support a pregnant woman’s entire body. These pillows tend to be U-Shaped or C-Shaped and support a woman’s head, neck, shoulder, bump, back and knees to help keep hips open and aligned.
- Full Body: A full body pregnancy pillow is what you think of when you think of a standard body pillow. It’s usually straight and rectangular in shape. It often comes in quite a variety of fillings, including foam options. These pillows don’t curve so they’re focused on supporting one side of the body.
- Wedge: Shaped like a wedge of cheese, wedge pregnancy pillows do a good job of adding elevated support to a specific area of a pregnant woman’s body. In some cases, she might like to rest the wedge pillow under her bump or add it to her lower back for added support. These are usually fairly firm and made with a solid material, like foam.
- Bean: Bean-shaped pregnancy pillows offer similar functionality to a wedge-shaped pillow but in a different compact shape. A pregnant woman may find that she just wants a small pillow for her lower back or to elevate her feet and doesn’t have room for a full-body or total body option. This is where the bean maternity pillow comes in handy.
- Inflatable: Inflatable maternity pillows do exist! Using an inflatable pregnancy pillow gives a woman the chance to take a full-length pillow with her while traveling because she can deflate it and pack it in her suitcase. One brand, in particular, offers an inflatable pillow that allows a pregnant woman to rest on her stomach.
Our pregnant team member reviewed at least one of each type of pillow and assessed it based on the factors listed above.
Here’s how to figure out which pregnancy pillow will be the best fit for you:
- Trimester: Pregnancy pillow needs may shift as the pregnancy progresses. Women may need something different during the first trimester from the last. This is because she may have different areas of soreness or stiffness or sleep may become harder to achieve.
- Sleep position: About halfway through pregnancy (around 20 weeks) many women decide to sleep primarily on their side. If this is not her normal sleep position, it can be hard for her to get comfortable and often a maternity pillow can help.
- Bed Size: Some pregnancy pillows are full length and decently wide. It’s worth considering how large your bed is and if you sleep with a partner. Do you have room for a full-length pillow or is something more compact a better idea?
- Type of Filling: You’ll find many maternity pillows are filled with polyester fibers (for a down alternative-like feel) but you’ll also see them made with solid foam, chunks of foam or even inflatable options. Polyester fibers will offer more subtle support while foam tends to be firmer and more supportive.
- Main Needs: Are you frequently traveling? Waking up with a stiff back or hips? Look for a pillow whose design will help combat your particular ache, pain or general need. You may not need a full body pillow if you just want support for your growing bump.
- Budget: Just like traditional bed pillows, maternity pillows can range from affordable to pricey. It’s always worth looking at multiple retailers to see if you can get a better price or a discount and keep an eye on pillows that offer trial periods so you can see if they work for you.
A woman may want to consider using a maternity pillow for added comfort and support during her pregnancy. These uniquely shaped pillows are designed to accommodate her body during a period of enormous growth and change.
You don’t have to be a new mom to purchase these pillows – a maternity pillow can be an excellent gift for a newly pregnant friend or family member as well!
A Note About Safety
Quality sleep is vitally important to both a mother and her baby during pregnancy. Using a maternity pillow is one of several ways a woman can get comfortable enough to get adequate rest.
As noted above, there are many types of pregnancy pillows that serve a variety of functions. Because the health and safety of both a mother and her unborn child are the most important, we always recommend that pregnant women consult with their OBGYNs or healthcare providers if they have any questions about how to safely use a maternity pillow or support device during their pregnancy.