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 comfortable in bed as your baby grows is a common pregnancy problem. Whether you're struggling with feeling too hot, finding a comfortable position or are being woken by those mum-to-be worries, we've got a few tips to help you get some much-needed sleep, plus a list of the best pregnancy support pillows around.
What is a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows, also called maternity pillows or body pillows, are large, comfortable sleeping aids that support your pregnancy bump, bum and back, and there are many different types to choose from.
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 types of pregnancy pillow are there?
There are three main types of pregnancy pillows.
If you are a side sleeper, the best pregnancy pillow for you is likely the body pillow, which aligns with you so you and supports the full length of your body along with your bump.
If you are a back sleeper, you will want a U-shaped pregnancy pillow, which will wrap all your body and give you the comfort you need, even as you roll around at night or shift positions on the sofa. Note: it is advised not to sleep on your back while pregnant, so try to get used to sleeping on your left side if possible. A body pillow can help with this.
If you a belly sleeper, you will need an inflatable pregnancy pillow with a hole in the centre for your bump. You can also get a wedge-shaped pregnancy 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.
You can also get nursing pillows, which allow you to have more support and comfort during breastfeeding.
The best pregnancy pillows 2020
When it comes to finding the best pregnancy pillow for you, after deciding on which shape you prefer, 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 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-£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:
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 in order 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.
Another dual-purpose pillow, this four-star product won a bronze Mother&Baby award in 2017. The microbead filling moulds to the shape of your body for optimum comfort, changing as your body does. Any back or pelvic pain? This pillow promises to alleviate it, plus give you extra help when breastfeeding. Our tester Rebecca Wilcox told us: "I think this product is wonderful, appropriately priced, versatile, flexible and extremely user-friendly. I have found this one of the most useful products as a breastfeeding mother as I can mould the pillow to me and my baby in a variety of positions and locations."
The versitility of the Theraline pillow means it would make a great addition to the kit you decide to take with you to the hospital on the day, providing support and comfort at the toughest time of pregnancy. If you haven't thought about what you'd like to take yet, check out our hospital bag checklist for some ideas.
Great for use during pregnancy and for your baby right up until stroller stage. Whilst we're focusing on pregnancy, the pillow has adjustable straps to fit your waist, helping you get comfortable when you need it most. A good one to buy if you want a product that will last for more than just the next nine months.
While most of these pillows are multi-purpose, this one is extra special. It not only supports your back, bump and hips during the night, it can also be zipped into a coil design to create a little nest for your baby to rest or play in. The best-selling product will have you sleeping through the night in no time.
This wrap-around pillow provides full body support for your bump, back, and knees and helps keep you in a side position during the later months of pregnancy.
This body pillow has been ergonomically designed by osteopaths to support your baby bump during pregnancy. This body pillow provides crucial support for your back, neck, belly and spine and allows you to somewhat take back control of your sleep during pregnancy
This Big C pillow is perfect for any mum-to-be as it can be used in various positions, giving plenty of support for your bump and your back. It's is filled with soft and supportive luxury non-allergenic hollow fibres.
Get the most out of your pregnancy pillow
As well as choosing a good pregnancy pillow, there are other things you can do to try to ensure a good night's sleep during your pregnancy:
- Do some gentle exercise during the day
- Keep your blood sugar stable, avoiding sweet foods at night
- Take a warm bath before bed
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Put down your phone, computer, tablet and turn off the TV at least an hour before bedtime
- Drink some soothing herbal tea, such as chamomile, or warm milk and honey
- Allow some time to read before bed
- Find some comfy nightwear
The Sleep Foundation also recommends some other tips for sleeping better while pregnant, such as:
- Sleep on your left side in your third trimester to allow blood to flow easier to your kidneys and uterus
- Avoid rich, spicy or oily, fried foods to minimise heartburn
- Utilise meditation and other breathing techniques to help teach yourself to relax
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