Getting a good night's sleep when you're pregnant can be a challenge, but finding the best pregnancy pillow can help.
As if the constant toilet trips, hormones, and shooting leg pains weren't enough to deal with, not being able to get a comfortable night's sleep as your baby grows is a common pregnancy problem. This can get worse during your third trimester, when, let's be honest, it can be difficult to feel settled at any time of the day, let alone at night.
Whether you're struggling with feeling too hot, finding a relaxing position, or being woken by those mum-to-be worries, we've got a few tips to help you get some much-needed rest, plus a list of the best pregnancy support pillows around.
What is a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows, also known as maternity pillows or body pillows, are large, comfortable sleeping aids that are designed to support your pregnancy bump, bum, and back. There are many different types to choose from, which is great news for mums sleeping on their sides to help ease aches and pains.
Do I need a pregnancy pillow?
If you experience any discomfort or have difficulty relaxing when pregnant, you might want to invest in a pregnancy pillow. If you're not sure if one would help you, you could try to use a normal pillow for starters.
The downside of a regular pillow is that it might be a bit small, and could move around while you sleep, so you might not get the support you need during the night. Pregnancy pillows are shaped and designed to fit and intertwine with your body and stay in place, so can be more useful than a regular pillow.
What to look for when buying a pregnancy pillow
The size: Many pregnancy pillows can take up a lot of room, pretty much kicking your other half out of bed. This also means that they can be difficult to store - if this could be a problem for you, consider a more compact pregnancy pillow.
The support: Like regular pillows that you rest your head on, pregnancy pillows come in different support options, whether you want firm support or something softer to mould to your body.
Is it easy to clean? You're going to be using your pregnancy pillow a lot, so you'll want to ensure you're going to be able to wash it. The majority of pregnancy pillows have removable covers that you can wash while other pillows themselves can be popped in the washing machine too. Be sure to check to save yourself experiencing a smelly pillow!
Is it multi-functional? Here at Mother&Baby, we love a product that can be used in multiple ways, taking you throughout pregnancy and right through to the arrival of your baby. Many pregnancy pillows are great for this and can be used for support during breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, and even tummy time with your tot. This is a great chance to truly get your money's worth.
Types of pregnancy pillow
There are four main types of pregnancy pillows, depending on the sleeping position you tend to sleep in.
If you're a side sleeper, the best pregnancy pillow for you is likely the body pillow, this option aligns with you - supporting the full length of your body along with your bump.
If you're a back sleeper the most important information to note is that research suggests from the third trimester it's safer for your baby if you sleep on your side. This includes night sleep and any daytime naps (if you have that luxury). Tommys is a great place to go for more information on sleep positions in pregnancy.
If you're in your first or second trimester and are looking for a pregnancy pillow for that stage of your pregnancy, then a U-shaped pregnancy pillow will wrap around your body. It will also give you the comfort you need to roll around at night or shift positions on the sofa.
If you're a belly sleeper, you'll need an inflatable pregnancy pillow with a hole in the centre for your bump.
You can also get a wedge pillow that is usually much smaller and designed to give comfort to a specific part of your body; this is also called a multi-purpose pillow. Many of these pillow types also work great as maternity or nursing pillows, giving you a bit more value for money.
Many of these pillow types also double as nursing pillows, which allow you to have more support and comfort during breastfeeding.
How much are pregnancy pillows?
Pregnancy pillows are one of those products where the price really does vary. For example, we've got options in this guide starting from £17.49 and going all the way up to £185. But we've found the difference in price is usually for good reason, with the more expensive options coming down to factors such as the material, support, and what else they can be used for beyond pregnancy.
The best pregnancy pillows UK 2021
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.
When it comes to finding the best pregnancy pillow for you, after deciding on which shape suits your sleeping position, consider what material and density you prefer. We advise a firm and non-allergenic material, as you'll probably still be using the pillow once your baby has arrived.
A good pillow cover can be a lifesaver too, for keeping it clean. And lastly, consider the price. The good thing is that there is a range of pregnancy pillows on the market to suit every budget. An average pregnancy pillow can cost from £15 to £20, and a top-of-the-range one can cost £70 or more.
We've taken all these key points into consideration to bring you the top list of pregnancy pillows available to buy right now to suit every need:
Bamibi® Pregnancy Pillow
This multi-use pregnancy pillow can offer great support for your back, shoulders and neck when sitting or resting, then simply untie and use it as a comfortable pregnancy pillow as you sleep. It comes with a small cushion that can be used under your bump or for extra support behind your back so you don’t roll over in the night. The pillow can then be used as a nursing pillow when your baby arrives, supporting you both as you feed.
Weight: 1.8 kg
Dimensions: 44 x 27.8 x 17.8 cm
Material: cotton pillow cover with polyester filling
Review: "Went on to Amazon and found this pillow at a great price with quick delivery. The moment my partner unwrapped the pillow she immediately wrapped it around herself and slept for four hours (no joke!) in the middle of the day. She loves it, and the fact that it comes with a little pillow pad, and that the pillow itself can be put into a horseshoe shape, means the little one can snuggle on it when he/she arrives."
Kally Body Pregnancy Pillow
Best pregnancy below for side sleepers
This body pillow has been ergonomically designed by osteopaths to support your baby bump during pregnancy. It provides crucial support for your back, neck, belly and spine and allows you to somewhat take back control of your sleep during pregnancy. It features anti-allergy-treated fibres to protect against bacteria, and a breathable cotton outer layer keeps you perfectly cool - we know how hot you get at night while pregnant. Also comes with a free cover. You can easily use this as a breastfeeding pillow once baby arrives too.
Weight: 3.0 kg
Dimensions: 150 x 33 cm
Firmness: 5/10 Medium
Real mum review: "Love this purchase. Suffered from lower back ache early on in pregnancy and was after the perfect pillow! This ticked all the boxes. Great support for my back as well as being able to have something to cuddle and provide support between my legs. It's quite a large pillow, so takes up space in bed but my husband has come to love the pillow as well. I catch him often cuddling it after I get out of bed in the morning. Great purchase, would recommend."
Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow
The Dreamgenii pregnancy pillow helps you to lie on your left side - the best position for you and your baby, according to the NHS - while supporting your bump, back and knees for full-body support and restful sleep. It also promises to encourage maximum blood flow between mother and baby while you sleep. It was Shortlisted in the 2014 M&B Awards in the Best Maternity Product category.
Weight: 1.21 kg
Dimensions: 35 x 15 x 42 cm
Material: 100 per cent Jersey Cotton
Tester Sophie Knight, mum to Eli, said, "I don't know how I would have got any sleep during my pregnancy without this pillow. My bump was huge and really needed some support, and it was great that I could wrap it between my legs for extra comfort. It's easy to wash the cover, and I used it while Eli was tiny to support him as he laid next to me on the bed during the day, too."
sleepdove® Maternity Pillow
Best value pregnancy pillow
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep while pregnant, you’ll do almost anything. That’s why investing in a pregnancy pillow like the Sleepdove is so important. It's a U-shaped pillow, meaning you have support for your head and both sides of your body as you sleep. It's also good if you suffer from allergies, and it's made in the UK. The only downside is it takes a while to get the pillowcase back on after washing.
Dimensions: 64.5 x 56.4 x 22.9 cm
Weight: 2.9 kg
Comes with a removable zipped cover
One reviewer wrote, "I'm 20 weeks pregnant and I'd been struggling to be comfortable enough to sleep. Lots of people had recommended this pillow so I decided to give it a try. It is SO COMFY! Every position I choose feels natural and I feel so comfortable, I fall asleep straight away. I've used it for two nights now and hope I'll continue to love it as much as I do now."
Iyan Linens 12ft Big U Shaped Body Support Pillow
Best pregnancy pillow for taller mums
Ideal for taller mums, this 12ft U-Shaped pregnancy pillow is a must-have if you find your legs are a little too long for other, standard-sized pillows. It can be tumble-dried and machine washed at 30 so you can easily keep it clean. It's also a cheap and affordable option.
Material: Pillow outer cover with polycotton and pillow filling with soft virgin hollow fibre
Dimensions:12 ft long
Case not included
One reviewer said, "My wife loves her new pillow, it has made her much more comfortable with her growing baby bump and she can sleep more easily.
"Word of warning to all the spouse's buying this though, it puts a literal wall between you and them, which if you're a cuddler can get a bit irritating!"
bbhugme Pregnancy Pillow
Best pregnancy pillow design
This pillow is on the pricier side, but mums cannot stop raving about this stylish pillow. Created by health professionals, the bbhugme pregnancy pillow is fully adjustable and has been designed to relieve pain, with five-point support throughout pregnancy to the most critical areas - the pelvis, lower back, knees, ankles, and abdomen.
The pillow moulds around the body, making it easier to relax and get comfortable during pregnancy. The filling has been specially selected for its anti-bacterial properties, pressure-relieving function as well as its ability to keep cool and prevent overheating during the night.
Dimensions: 26 x W38 x D50 cm
Material: nylon, spandex, elastane, cotton
Cover machine washable at 40
Real mum review, "Amazing pregnancy pillow. Invested in this for my second pregnancy as the pillow from first had lost all its shape and stuffing. The difference it has made to my quality of sleep is incredible and it is worth every penny. The ability to alter the shape and density is great and very easy to roll over in bed holding this without disrupting sleep. Would highly recommend it."
Purflo Breathe Pregnancy Pillow
Created using in-depth consumer research, the Breathe Pillow features 3D spacer mesh and silky-soft interlock jersey cotton to provide a comfortable maternity pillow. The curved design will support and relieve pressure from your head, hips, knees and ankles. It can also be used as back support, a feeding cushion and as a baby support cushion for tummy time.
Weight: 1.66 kg
Dimensions: 43cm x 116
Material: Inner: 100% Polyester
Real mum review, "In my previous pregnancies I had a wedge pillow, so this time around I was going to do the same. Then I saw this. It's simply amazing. As a pregnancy pillow, it offered support in all the right places. I didn't get too hot and the bump was comfortable for the first time in ages. During the later stages of pregnancy (and even now with baby 4 weeks old) using this pillow as back support has been really helpful, and I'm using it as a feeding cushion as well. I've also used it as a tummy time pillow for my son. The mesh panel in the centre means that I don't worry about him being able to breathe or overheat. Big thumbs up from me and Jacob. Would recommend to anyone."
Chicco Boppy Total Body Pillow
This 4-star pregnancy pillow was shortlisted for a Mother&Baby Award back in 2015 and continues to be a pregnancy favourite thanks to its 2-in-1 use. Not only will it give you a restful night's sleep and daytime comfort, but it can also be used during breastfeeding. Designed with a physiotherapist to ensure this pillow removes any pressure on the spine, if you're suffering from pregnancy back pain, this pillow might help. This pillow consists of three separate pieces that can be used together or separately, with support for the whole body, the head, the shoulders, and the stomach.
Dimensions: 52 x 15 x 48 cm
Made from 80 per cent cotton and 20 per cent polyester
Real mum Laura said, "This boppy cushion is super versatile and has been used for everything from feeding, to chilling out in (with supervision) and practising tummy time (again with supervision). The pattern on it is really cute as well. While I expected it to only be suitable during the newborn stage, my daughter still sits in it regularly at three months old. I've also laid back on it from time to time and found it comfortable. I wish they made massive ones for adults!"
The DreamWizard pillow can be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It features adjustable back support, helping you to be comfortable no matter your height or phase of pregnancy. The microbead filling makes DreamWizard hypoallergenic, breathable and it can be tailored to the shape of your body.
This maternity pillow won Bronze in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product category.
Dimensions: 190 x 25 x 25 cm
Tested by mum Emma for the 2020 M&B Awards, "Great product which is extremely versatile - can be used as a pillow for sleeping whilst pregnant, breastfeeding, and supporting baby. Extra back pillow stops you from rolling onto your back whilst sleeping and provides extra support. Washable covers in a variety of lovely designs.
"Only drawbacks are the zip is quite short which makes removing the cover a bit tricky, and the beanbag filling can be a bit noisy if you move around whilst using it. However, I like the fact that the beanbag interior is also hypoallergenic and breathable."
Clevamama ClevaCushion Nursing Pillow u0026 Baby Nest
This is a multi-purpose pillow, great for use during pregnancy and your baby right up until the stroller stage. The pillow has adjustable straps to fit your waist, helping you get comfortable during your pregnancy when you need it most. You can use this while sleeping or while sitting, placing it behind your back in a chair or the sofa. The Clevafoam has an open cell structure meaning it's 100 per cent breathable, doesn't retain heat and is surprisingly lightweight. A good one to buy if you want a product that will last for more than just the next nine months.
Suitable from pregnancy until your baby is two years old
Multi-use nursing pillow and baby nest
Real mum review, "Hands down the best thing I bought after having my baby. She's nearly 5 months and we use it every day. She loves to sit in it, and even naps on her cushion. It's travelled with us too. I cannot recommend it enough, it's now my go-to gift for new parents! It's comfortable, easy to use, and the inserts have come in really useful for other things, not just the cushion. Great that the toys for tummy time can be taken off and used separately. We're certain baby will be using this right into toddlerhood and beyond."