The Best Pregnancy Pillows to Help You (and Your Baby) Sleep

Find comfort with these top rated maternity pillows

High Angle View Of Pregnant Woman Sleeping On Bed

Now that you’re pregnant, sleep has never been more important to you. Your body is working overtime to grow another human being – no easy feat – while still accomplishing all the normal things you do during the day (and night). More than ever, you and your baby (and your partner, for that matter) need the restorative power of a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, all that work of growing a person inside your body takes its toll on your ability to catch sufficient ZZZs. Heartburn, “morning sickness,” restless leg syndrome, and difficulty breathing are just some of the sleep snatchers that keep pregnant women awake at night.

Even if you’re not experiencing difficulties now, chances are you will as your pregnancy progresses. (Hate to break it to you.) According to Doctors Sunil Sharma and Rose Franco of the Medical College of Wisconsin, 97% of pregnant women report experiencing pregnancy-related sleep disturbances by their third trimester. And in a National Sleep Foundation poll, 82% of pregnant women surveyed reported getting significantly better sleep before pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and having trouble sleeping, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

While you can take steps to prevent or alleviate some sleep disturbances caused by pregnancy, no mother-to-be can escape the nine months of an ever-expanding girth. Swollen breasts, a growing belly, and widening hips can make sleeping a challenge as you toss and turn to find a comfortable position.

97% of pregnant women report experiencing pregnancy-related sleep disturbances by their third trimester.

How to get comfortable during pregnancy

When you’re sleeping, the areas that most need support are your belly, your back, and your hips. If you are early in your first trimester, you may not feel very different when you’re lying in bed. But as your pregnancy progresses and you switch to side sleeping, you will begin to feel the weight of your growing baby around your middle, your back will feel the pull, and your expanding hips will force your knees into an uncomfortable angle.

You could use a bunch of regular pillows to construct a complex structure to support your ever-changing body as you try to sleep as demonstrated in this video.

As you can see, you need a bed partner who is cooperative at 2:30 am after being awakened for the third time, lots of pillows, at least one engineering degree, and a fast-forward option to minimize the amount of sleep lost assembling your pillow cocoon. Oh, yeah, and did we mention you’ll be constructing and deconstructing that cocoon five or more times a night when you get up to pee?

That’s a lot of sleep interruptions, and if you (and your partner) have to readjust your pillow supports each time you rouse and get back into bed, neither of you is going to feel rested in the morning.

The solution? A pregnancy pillow. Shaped to contour your curvaceous body, a pregnancy pillow can give you the support you need to get comfortable no matter how far along you are. The single-pillow design makes it easy to adjust positions and get in and out of bed without disturbing your partner, who will then be better able (and more willing) to pamper you during the day.

Sleeping during pregnancy

Who are you and what have you done with my body?

For some women, the changes in their bodies during pregnancy are almost immediate. Others don’t notice much of a change until their second trimester. Eventually, every expecting mother will notice that her usual sleep positions don’t quite provide her with the comfort she needs to get a good night’s sleep.

  • Back sleepers: Sleeping on your back will at some point (usually during your second trimester) become uncomfortable and even dangerous for you and your baby. As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, its weight and girth will rest on a major artery located on the right side of your backbone that carries blood from your legs back to your heart. The result is breathlessness, cold sweats, and heart palpitations (supine hypotensive syndrome) when lying on your back.
  • Stomach sleepers: Depending on how big and how fast your baby grows, sleeping on your stomach will eventually feel like you’re trying to balance on a basketball. Your fuller breasts will also not accommodate the compression of lying on your stomach.
  • Side sleepers: Sleeping on your left side is the healthiest and most comfortable way to sleep, but it presents challenges as well. Your belly will feel stretched by its sagging onto the mattress, your hips will feel more pressure because the ligaments are softening, and your back will be strained by its attempts to keep everything in position. 
Other mechanical sleep challenges include:
  • Breathing difficulties and snoring caused by the increased size of abdomen and compression of the diaphragm by the uterus.
  • Widening hips that create new pressure points.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by a build-up of fluid in the wrist resulting in swelling, numbness, and tingling pain.

Many of these discomforts can be alleviated with the right pregnancy pillow.

Eventually, every expecting mother will notice that her usual sleep positions don’t quite provide her with the comfort she needs to get a good night’s sleep.

8 of the best pregnancy pillows

No matter what your preferred sleep position, no matter what size your bed, or how far along you are in your pregnancy, there’s a pregnancy pillow made for your exact needs. Here are eight of our favorites.

Straight full-body pillows

Tempur-Pedic Body Pillow Tempur-Pedic logo

Tempur-pedic body pillow

If you love memory foam and a simple, space-saving design, this is the pregnancy pillow for you. Made of 100% Tempur-Pedic® memory foam, the Body Pillow by Tempur-Pedic® gives you 48″ of huggable support that contours to your every curve. The Body Pillow features a washable silk and rayon sleeve that is allergen and mite resistant. So comfortable, you’ll want to use it even after your baby is born to give you the best night’s sleep possible with a newborn.

Pros
  • Conforms to the shape of your body
  • Slim design gives you and your partner plenty of room to sleep
  • Machine washable cover
  • 4/5-star rating
Cons
  • Can be warm
  • Provides only back or tummy support, not both at once
  • A little pricey: $199

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Soaring Heart Organic Body Pillow Soaring heart logo

Soaring Heart body pillow

For organic devotees, Soaring Heart offers an Organic Body Pillow that provides 64″ of support for arms, legs, hips, back, and tummy. A 100% organic cotton shell is filled with organic New Zealand wool batting that provides long-lasting support with superior temperature regulation.

Pros
  • Totally organic construction
  • Durable wool filling
  • Excellent temperature regulation
  • 5/5-star rating
Cons
  • Provides only back or tummy support, not both at once
  • A little pricey: $208
  • Only four customer ratings available

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C-Shaped Pillows

Snoogle by Leach Co.

The giant C-shaped design of the Leachco Snoogle® is big enough to support your head, neck, arms, belly, back, and knees, but flexible enough to adjust for lounging and nursing. The extra length allows you to adjust the pillow between your legs and under your tummy for a complete hug from behind. We recommend 100% cotton slipcovers to help regulate your body temperature, but poly/cotton blends are also available for women who don’t mind a little bit of synthetic fabric to help them stick to their budget.

Pros
  • Full body support that fits in a queen size bed with two sleepers
  • Available in a variety of slipcover types, including 100% organic cotton and 100% cotton 300 thread count
  • Affordable price: $59.99 (Amazon)
  • 5/5-star rating 
Con
  • Large size makes it difficult to move to another location or adjust positions.

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Summer Infant Ultimate Comfort Maternity Pillow

Summer Infant logo

Summer Infant maternity pillow

For women who want a more petite pregnancy pillow, Summer Infant’s Ultimate Comfort Maternity Pillow offers full-body support without the bulk. Smaller mothers-to-be (and their partners) will appreciate the slimmer design that makes this pillow easier to share a bed with and more portable. A zippered insert allows you to customize the firmness of your pillow, and the slipcover is machine washable. Fully flexible design makes it perfect for post-partum nursing and even infant and toddler lounging.

Pros
  • Lean design that can be customized for perfect individual support
  • Washable cotton slipcover
  • Compact portable design
  • Affordable price: $54.99 (Amazon)
Con
  • Only two customer ratings available (4.5/5)

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Boppy Multi-Use Total Body Pillow 

Boppy Logo

Woman sleeping with boppy pillow

Boppy® has customized the full body pillow concept to fit the unique curves of pregnant women. Their Multi-use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow is C-shaped to support your head, neck, arms, and belly while offering a cushion for your knees to keep your hips and spine in neutral alignment. The soft pima cotton slipcover is removable for easy washing.

Pros
  • Compact, head-to-toe support
  • Fully washable (slipcover and pillows)
  • 100% cotton cover
  • Versatile post-partum use while lounging and nursing
  • Affordable price: $50
  • 4/5-star rating
Con
  • Does not provide simultaneous support for back and belly

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Wedge-Shaped Pillow

Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow 

Boppy Logo

Boppy wedge pillow

Boppy also offers a more compact support system for side sleepers, which is the recommended position for every pregnant woman by the second trimester. The Boppy® Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow provides you with support for your back and tummy without taking up a good portion of the bed. Its portable design allows you to use it as a back support while lounging in any room of the house. The jersey cotton slipcover is removable, so you can machine wash both the cover and the pillows easily.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Fully machine washable
  • Stretch panel allows pillows to spread as your baby bump grows
  • Affordable price: $30
  • 5/5-star rating
Con
  • May be too confining for some women

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U-Shaped Pillows

Ang Qi U-Shaped Maternity Pillow

Ang Qi maternity pillow

If you sleep in a king size bed or have a partner willing to share their space, this Ang Qi U-shaped, full-body pillow (55″) will cradle you in comfort from the beginning of your pregnancy through your post-partum months. The U-shape allows you to switch sides and sleep on your back without having to adjust the pillow. Its contoured sides hug you in all the right places, and the flexible design allows you to cushion your knees for neutral hip alignment. The 100% cotton, zippered slipcover is removable for easy machine washing. 

Pros
  • Full-body support
  • Allows sleeping in all positions without adjustment
  • Washable slipcover
  • Flexible enough for a variety of uses while lounging and nursing
  • Affordable price: $54.00 (Amazon)
  • 5/5-star rating
Cons
  • Large size may restrict partner’s movements in bed
  • Less portable than smaller pregnancy pillows

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Bluestone Full-Body Maternity Pillow 

Bluestone maternity pillow

Slightly longer than the Ang Qi pillow, Bluestone’s 60″ full-body pillow supports the head, neck, arms, back, tummy, and knees of taller expecting mothers or those who just want to be able to stretch out without losing their pillow hug. Designed to follow the contours of your shape, this pillow cradles your entire body no matter what position you sleep in. The 100% cotton zippered cover is machine washable.

Pros
  • Full-body support in any sleeping position
  • Multi-functional during and after pregnancy
  • 100% cotton cover for breathable comfort
  • #1 Best Selling maternity pillow on Amazon
  • Affordable price: $40.00
  • 4/5-star rating 
Cons
  • Large size may restrict partner’s movements in bed
  • Less portable than smaller pregnancy pillows

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Can’t decide which type of maternity pillow is best for you? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to help you choose. Congratulations and good luck on your adventures in parenthood!