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. This can get worse during your third trimester, when, let's be honest, it can be difficult to feel comfortable at any time of the day, let alone at night.
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.
In this article:
- Nuvita DreamWizard
- Theraline The Original Maternity and Nursing Pillow
- Chicco Boppy Pillow with cotton slipcover
- Bellamoon Full Moon 7-in-1 pillow
- Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow
- Sleepdove® Maternity Pillow
- Iyan Linens 12ft U Shaped Body Support Pillow
- Kally Body Pregnancy Pillow
- Clevamama Clevacushion
- Summer Infant Ultimate Body Comfort Pillow
- szyzl88 U Shape Pregnancy Pillow
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.
Here the NHS explains some top tips on how to improve your sleep during pregnancy.
Choosing the right type of pregnancy pillow
There are four main types of pregnancy pillows, depending on the position you tend to sleep in:
- 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 around your body and give you the comfort you need as you roll around at night or shift positions on the sofa.
- If you are 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.
Many of these pillow types also double as nursing pillows which allow you to have more support and comfort during breastfeeding.
Check out our guide to the best breastfeeding pillows
Read our beginners' guide to breastfeeding
The best pregnancy pillows in 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:
The DreamWizard pillow can be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It features an adjustable back support, helping you to be comfortable no matter your height or phase of pregnancy. The microbead filling makes DreamWizard hypoallergenic, breathable and adjustable to the shape of your body.
This maternity pillow won Bronze in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product category.
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 rolling on to 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."
Read our full review of the Nuvita DreamWizard maternity pillow
Another dual-purpose pillow, this four-star product won Bronze in the 2017 M&B Awards in the Best Pregnancy/Maternity Product category, as well as previously having won Silver once and Gold twice - so this really does come highly rated by our mum testers.
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.
Tested by mum Amy Rudd for the M&B Awards 2017: "I would highly recommend the Theraline pillow to my family and friends as the different uses you get from the pillow are fantastic. My husband also uses the pillow when feeding and nursing the baby. The pillow is easy to store as it is soft and flexible, the design of the pillow allows for it to be shaped around my body when laid in different positions. The pillow is very easy to use and can be used in different situations and positions."
Read our full review of the Theraline The Original Maternity and Nursing Pillow here
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.
The new Full Moon pillow from Bellamoon is impressively efficient - it is seven pillows in one, fulfilling every requirement you could have from a pillow, from pregnancy to feeding and beyond. The different functions are:
- New Moon Pregnancy Pillow
- Half Moon Nursing Nest
- Full Moon Cocoon Day Bed
- Eclipse Nursing Privacy Cover (which forms the base of the Full Moon)
- Tummy Time Pillow
- Baby Lounger
- Upright Feeding Pillow
It's a bit daunting when it arrives in the box, as there are so many parts to it; but, the instructions are clear, concise, and easy to understand (even when you're pregnant and full of dotty hormones).
Designed with mums in mind, the Full Moon allows you to rest more - whether you're pregnant and knackered, or a new mum breastfeeding and knackered, or a mum just knackered.
By no means the cheapest pillow, but this does so much, and looks gorgeous to boot, it's worth the investment.
Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding 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 a 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.
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."
Read our full review about the Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow here.
This is a multi-purpose pillow, great for use during pregnancy and for your baby right up until 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% breatheable, 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.
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, and it's great that it continues to be useful after baby arrives.
The 100% natural cotton cover is machine washable.
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.
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. Comes with a free cover. You can easily use this as a breastfeeding pillow once baby arrives. too.
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 - the overall length of the pillow is 9ft. 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.
It has more than 750 reviews on Amazon, with an average score of 4.4 out of 5. One reviewer wrote: "Are you looking to replace your partner? Look no-more! This cheap, practical alternative will support you, cuddle you and fully satisfy your need for a good night sleep! It's cheap enough and although (I'm not gonna lie to you) it took only about a month to sag a little on the head side, it's still ridiculously comfy!"
Other ways to help you get a good night's sleep:
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
What to read next:
10 of the best breastfeeding pillows for maximum comfort
10 pillow sprays to guarantee some deep sleep
Did our top picks help you make your choice? Let us know on Facebook - we'd love to hear from you