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Best Pregnancy Pillows
Updated on
March 29, 2024

Best Pregnancy Pillows

By Latifah Miles | Fact Checked by Karen Reardanz
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Best Pregnancy Pillows

In what can only be described as yet another great irony of pregnancy, you’ve probably never been so tired in your life—yet getting a good night’s sleep feels impossible. While it isn’t a cure-all, a pregnancy pillow can be the key to getting comfortable enough to finally doze off and log some solid Zzs between bathroom runs. Unlike your standard bed pillow, “pregnancy pillows are designed to provide support to specific areas like the abdomen, back, hips and knees,” says Dr. Marcy Crouch, PT, DPT, WCS.

How to Choose a Pregnancy Pillow?

Pregnancy pillows come in a handful of shapes and sizes, which can make the selection process a bit more complicated.

Pregnancy pillows fall into two size categories: wedge and full-length. Wedge-shaped pillows are smaller cushions that reduce back strain by sliding under your belly to support your growing bump while you’re sleeping on your side. You can also place a wedge pillow behind you to prevent rolling onto your back or use it between your knees to ease lower back pain. If you have heartburn, you can add a wedge pillow under your head to slightly elevate your upper body and reduce symptoms.

A full-length pregnancy pillow runs the entire length of your body. It comes in different shapes (usually a variation of a U or C-shape) and can be wrapped around your body and positioned in various ways to support your head, neck, back, belly, and hips. While the full-length pillows can provide full-body support, they do tend to take up a lot of bed real estate, so keep that in mind.

To figure out which one will work for you, Dr. Crouch says to start by considering your body type—“a larger body might require a full-body pillow, while a smaller person might find a smaller, wedge-shaped pillow sufficient.” And since these pillows are made to target your specific pregnancy pain points, like sore hips and tender knees, Dr. Crouch says you’ll want to prioritize a pillow that is “designed to address those specific areas.”

Aside from the size and shape, sleep expert and pediatrician, Dr. Nilong Vyas says that much like your standard bed pillow, you’ll want to also consider your pillow’s firmness and choose one “that is firm yet pliable and feels comfortable to the touch.”. Firmer pillows can provide consistent support while propping your limbs up into comfortable positions. Softer pillows allow for a cozy sinking feeling that is still supportive.

How do you use a pregnancy pillow?

The main purpose of using a specialized pregnancy pillow is to “keep alignment & symmetry on pelvis and hips so the pillow would go between the knees and feet,” says American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) spokesperson Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, and there are a few ways to do that. Full-length C and U-shaped pillows have the most versatility and can be used for leg, hips, and belly support. They can be folded and twisted to fit your needs from the first trimester to postpartum. Wedge pillows are less versatile but can be nestled under your bump or your lower back for targeted strain and pressure relief.

Do you need a pregnancy pillow?

A pregnancy pillow isn’t a must-have, but lots of pregnant people appreciate the extra support, especially in the later months of pregnancy. But, if you want to skip the pregnancy pillow in the first half of your pregnancy, Pagliano says “you can accomplish the same thing with a few basic queen or king-size pillows. If you’re just having back or hip discomfort, a smaller pillow might meet your needs.” If you opt for a dedicated pregnancy pillow and you’re worried that it’ll be useless once you have your baby, Dr. Crouch says that “they can offer support while breastfeeding, help with recovery by providing comfortable positioning during rest and aid in alleviating pressure on healing areas.”

We talked to two physical therapists, both specializing in pelvic floor health, and a sleep expert to compile our list of the best pregnancy pillows. I also added my own thoughts on the pregnancy pillow that pulled me through the final months of my pregnancy.

Best Full-Length Pregnancy Pillow

Designed by a registered nurse and mom, the Snoogle is a C-shaped pillow that supports and aligns your hips, back, neck and belly. Depending on the direction you place the C-shape, the entire length of your back or torso can be cushioned and the pillow can be tucked between your knees, too. “This C-shaped pillow provides full-body support, including the head, neck, back, hips, and belly. It’s versatile and can be adjusted for different sleeping positions,” says Dr. Crouch who also recommends the Snoogle. For a quick refresh, remove the sham-style cover and throw it in the wash.

What’s Worth Considering

Wraparound pillows take up a lot of space in bed, and this one is no exception. It’s five feet long and nearly 25 inches wide.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 60” x 24.8” x 7.2”

Best Wedge Pregnancy Pillow

If a full-size pillow feels like it’s too much for you, check out a wedge. This firm foam cushion helps to ease pressure wherever you hurt: your back, your belly or between your knees. Dr. Crouch likes that it is “compact and great for targeted support.” Outside of your bed, you can use it for extra lumbar support when sitting in the office, or later as a pillow to prop up your arm as you nurse or hold your baby. Because it’s small, you can travel with it too. The zippered, Pima cotton cover is machine washable.

What’s Worth Considering

Wedge pillows have varying amounts of incline, depending on the brand, so what works for some pregnant people may not work as well for others.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 14.8” x 12.1” x 4.3”

Best Contoured Pregnancy Pillow

Boppy’s Total Body Pillow is similar to the Snoogle but takes up less bed space and has contoured cutouts, allowing the pillow to hug your body’s profile snuggly. The middle portion of the pillow is shallow so you can twist and fold each side to create a supportive back pillow to use while sitting up. Gabrielle S., a Babylist user, describes this pillow as a “lifesaver”, highlighting that after waking up throughout the night, “this pillow has drastically changed my sleep”. It’s designed to support your belly, lower back, hip, and shoulders all in one from the early days of pregnancy well through the fourth trimester.

What’s Worth Considering

Both the pillow itself and the pillow cover are machine washable, a nice perk.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 48” x 25” x 8”

Best Adjustable Pregnancy Pillow

Filled with tiny polystyrene foam beads (think bean bag chair), this unique pregnancy pillow can be twisted into every pregnancy pillow shape possible and the slim profile means that it won’t take up too much space on your bed. And if you’re someone who likes a firm pillow one day and a softer one the next, the beads in this pillow can be squeezed to one end to create a firmer or softer feel. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I used this pillow, and being able to instantly change the firmness was indispensable. Plus the bead filling gave the pillow extra breathability and with a late summer due date, the coolness was appreciated.

What’s Worth Considering

Since this pillow has a bean bag-like filling, it may take some getting used to. If you prefer a softer, plush pillow—this one may not fit your needs.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 10” x 21” x 14”

Most Customizable Pregnancy Pillow

This is the only pillow on our list that gives you a few different configuration options. It features a detachable extension that can be used either with the main U-shaped pillow or on its own as a separate support. (The detachable portion can also be used beyond pregnancy as a head and neck support, breastfeeding pillow, and more.) The jersey knit cover is soft and comfortable and is machine washable.

What’s Worth Considering

Considering the full-body design and multiple options for customization, the price is right on this pregnancy pillow—it’s one of the most affordable on our list and packed with lots of great features.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 53” x 31” x 7”

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Best Pregnancy Pillow for Side Sleeping

The recommended sleep position for pregnant people is on their side (to make sure blood is flowing freely to your uterus and baby)—which can be bad news for dedicated back sleepers. This pillow can help you get used to sleeping on your side. It has two puffy, wedge cushions tethered together by a band of stretchy, jersey fabric. One cushion supports your belly while the other supports your back, preventing you from rolling onto your stomach or back in the middle of the night. Both the pillow and the cover are machine washable.

What’s Worth Considering

The compact design of this pillow makes it a good option if you’re traveling, or simply looking for something that won’t hog the entire bed. For something similar that’s a bit larger and more supportive, check out Boppy’s Cuddle Pillow.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 14.2” x 6.2” x 13”

Most Luxe Pregnancy Pillow

The Yana sleep pillow is a splurge, but one you definitely won’t regret. The luxury 360-degree design means you’re covered no matter which side you feel like sleeping on, a perk you don’t get with lots of other pregnancy pillows. It’s made from organic cotton and bamboo velour, making it super soft and cooling to help tackle all of those hormone-fueled night sweats. You can choose from a bouncy natural latex fill or a non-latex cooling gel fill—the latex is heavier and firmer while the gel filling is softer and naturally cooling. And the cover is removable and machine washable for easy care.

What’s Worth Considering

There are two options for fills so you can choose one that fits your preferences. As one of the only latex options on our list, if you like a springy yet supportive surface to rest on, the Yana pillow will work well.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 22.8” x 5.1” x 15.3”

Best Pregnancy Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

If you love sleeping on your stomach, the Cozy Bump Pregnancy Bed is the fix for a growing belly that’s getting in the way. It’s like a blow-up pool floaty, but covered in a soft, fuzzy material and angled just right to relieve hip and back pressure. The hole for your belly is adjustable so it fits your bump at different stages (you can inflate the ring around the hole more or less).

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re not used to sleeping on your stomach and turning your head to the side, you might find the position uncomfortable for your neck.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 6 feet x 26 inches

Latifah Miles

Senior Commerce Editor

Latifah Miles is the Senior Commerce Editor at Babylist.

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