The 10 Best Pregnancy Pillows for Better Sleep With a Bump

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The best pregnancy pillows lend support where you need it most.
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Pregnancy is often compared to endurance sports like ultra marathons, and for good reason. The body changes that happen over the 40-or-so weeks often bring aches and pains, making comfort hard to come by — especially when you're trying to sleep.

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To the rescue are pregnancy pillows. They're available in many different shapes and sizes, and many pregnant people find them a necessity for a growing belly.

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Indeed, pregnancy pillows can help ease lower back pain and other (normal) discomforts during pregnancy, says Navya Mysore, MD, a primary care physician with OneMedical.

Here, Dr. Mysore and other pregnancy experts help us round up the best pregnancy pillows to support your changing body.

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The Best Pregnancy Pillows for Better Sleep

How We Chose

We consulted Dr. Mysore and two doulas for their picks when it comes to the best pregnancy support pillows. By taking their expertise into consideration and scouring through reviews, we narrowed our picks by judging pillows on the following criteria:

  • Shape
  • Comfort
  • Material
  • Reviews

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1. Meiz Pregnancy Pillow

Best Overall

Meiz Pregnancy Pillow

Supportive, cozy, soft and comfortable — this pillow has it all.

Pros

  • Oversized, cozy design
  • Extra support throughout body
  • Machine-washable cover

Cons

  • Large (could take up a big portion of the bed)

When Chanel Hogue, doula and founder of A Werking Mama, is asked to recommend an overall pregnancy pillow for an expecting person, this is her number one pick.

And with a nearly 4.8-star rating out of more than 11,000 reviews on Amazon, many reviewers agree.

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There's lots to love here, including the U shape that gives extra support to the belly as well as the head, hips, feet, sides and back.

While it will take up some extra space in your bed, the oversized design allows you to stretch out comfortably and wrap yourself as needed around the pillow.

The machine-washable cover is made out of velvet, giving a soft texture. Inside, the filling is firm but cozy — so you'll want to cuddle up with it.

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It runs a little heavier than other pillows, but many reviewers share they could take it with them to another room to watch TV and even to the hospital for delivery.

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2. PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

Best on a Budget

PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

This wedge pillow provides basic support for your growing belly when you sleep on your side.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Machine-washable, velvety cover
  • Adequate support for belly

Cons

  • Doesn't offer full-body support

If you aren't sure you need a pregnancy pillow but getting comfortable at bedtime is an uphill battle, you might consider a budget-friendly option, like this wedge from PharMeDoc.

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Like others, it offers the support (and peace of mind) you need while you're resting so the fetus is protected and you can fall asleep.

It features a washable, velvety-soft cover and a firm filling. Though it might not be as luxurious as some other options, it checks the boxes for a little extra support at night.

3. Lunix LX6 3pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set

Best for Back Pain

Lunix LX6 Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set

This 3-piece pillow system offers extra support for your back while you lounge or sleep.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Extra back support
  • Cooling gel design

Cons

  • Doesn't offer full-body support

Later in pregnancy, it's advised to avoid sleeping on your back. That's because as the uterus becomes larger, sleeping on your back can compress the main source of blood flow to the fetus, Dr. Mysore says.

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Though this isn't a big deal for side-sleepers, if you're used to catching zzzs on your back for most of your life, this can be a real change that might make it even more difficult to fall asleep.

For those who have back pain or prefer resting on their back, Hogue recommends this bed wedge set. Technically designed for post-surgery recovery, she says it also works well for pregnant people.

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One wedge allows you to sit back easily while you watch Netflix, while a slightly elevated ledge will enable you to rest on your back without risk to your fetus.

Made of memory foam, you can melt into it without added pain, so you get cushion paired with firm support.

It also includes a gel pack for hot or cold therapy, which can be a big win when you have hormonal sweating episodes.

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(Psst: In the market for a new mattress? Check out the best mattresses for back and neck pain.)

4. Luna Memory Foam Knee Pillow

Best for Hip Pain

Luna Memory Foam Knee Pillow

This knee pillow can help relieve hip pain when you sleep on your side.

Pros

  • Ergonomically-designed
  • Great for extra side-sleeping support
  • Cooling material

Cons

  • May need to pair with an additional pillow

If you're not used to sleeping on your side, you may experience increased hip pain as your belly grows larger into the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The added weight and the off-balance feeling can be uncomfortable and make it tricky to sleep.

Some pregnant people may decide to sleep with a wedge pillow like this one instead of (or in addition to) a full-body option.

This highly-rated, ergonomically designed pillow isn't specifically made for pregnancy, but it's a good option because the memory foam material is meant for side sleeping. The lightweight fabric is cooling, so you won't experience weird knee sweats, and many reviewers say it takes the pressure off the back, too.

If you need some added support for your belly, consider pairing this knee wedge with a belly wedge.

(Psst: Check out the best mattresses for hip pain.)

5. hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

Best Wedge

hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

Use this wedge to support your belly or tuck it behind you to prevent you from rolling onto your back during the night.

Pros

  • Solid support for belly
  • Lightweight
  • Portable and compact

Cons

  • Doesn't offer full-body support

While some pregnant people prefer a pregnancy pillow that contours around their whole body, almost like being held, others find everything they need out of a pillow wedge.

Usually this is positioned right under the belly, or at times under your lower back.

Houge recommends this wedge because it's light, portable and easy to use. It's made of a 'moldable' memory foam on one side, so your stomach can sink in. Then, the other side is firmer, giving adequate support — and prevents you from rolling to your back in the middle of the night.

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6. Boppy Total Body Pregnancy Pillow

Best Full Body

Boppy Total Body Pregnancy Pillow

This oversized pillow provides a hug-like feeling of coziness as well as ample support for your back, belly and hips.

Pros

  • Full-body support
  • Flexbile and verstalie
  • Oversized and cozy

Cons

  • Takes up a large portion of the bed

You may find yourself in a tricky situation when you're pregnant: you feel sensitive and want to be held. Yet your partner's touch doesn't do the trick. You need some support around your back, but also maybe your belly? Perhaps in between your legs? You try to create a pillow fort out of pillows you have…and something is still missing.

This C-shaped pregnancy pillow might be the game-changer you need to finally feel supported ‌and‌ cozy.

Though it's definitely on the larger side, it's more narrow than others, so it takes up less space in a full or queen-sized bed. It's ideal for lying on your side with your legs tucked up, but all of the different sections can be wedged however you need them — between your knees, under your neck, you name it.

As a bonus: Many reviewers also say it can work as a supportive nursing pillow if you decide to chestfeed your child.

7. QUEEN ROSE U-Shaped Full Body Pillow

Best U-Shaped

QUEEN ROSE U-Shaped Full Body Pillow

If you have the space, this oversized pillow offers all the support you need.

Pros

  • Great for tall people
  • Excellent support for hip and back pain
  • Flexible and versatile

Cons

  • Takes up a large portion of the bed

As you can deduce from the name, a U-shaped pregnancy pillow offers all-around support with one open end. Like other full-body pillows, they are ideal for pregnant people who want support from every angle.

This highly-rated pick from QUEEN ROSE is available in three sizes: 55, 60 and 65, so you can customize it to your height. Plus, many reviewers say it helps relieve hip pain.

It's on the firmer side of the pillows on our list, and it could be a solid option for those who need leg or lower body support.

Remember that this design will occupy a large portion of your bed, so if you share it with your partner, give them a head's up before they're pushed out.

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8. Leachco Snoogle Supreme

Best C-Shaped

Leachco Snoogle Supreme

This C-shaped pillow may be a good pick if you want full-body support but are tight on space.

Pros

  • Full-body support
  • Slimmer design
  • Cooling cotton cover

Cons

  • Provides less support than a U-shaped pillow

When you consider a U-shape or C-shape pregnancy pillow, think of this: The U-shaped pillow is often super oversized and bulky but does have more flexibility for positioning. The C-shape is similar — think of it as a flattened U — but it's more lightweight and thinner. It gives the support you need for your hips, stomach and neck but doesn't go overboard on the plushness.

This top-rated C-shape pregnancy pillow even has a curved area at the bellybutton, so you can push against it as you get closer to your due date.

The removable cotton cover will be cooler than competitor velvet, and it's machine-washable.

Many reviewers say the firmness of this pregnancy pillow meets the Goldilocks standard: not too hard, not too soft — just right.

9. Momcozy J-Shaped Maternity Body Pillow

Best J-Shaped

Momcozy J-Shaped Maternity Body Pillow

This J-shaped pillow provides less support than a U- or C-shaped pillow, but it may be the right option for some people.

Pros

  • Relieves hip and back pain
  • Comfortable for side-sleeping
  • Cooling jersey-material cover

Cons

  • Provides less support than a U-shaped pillow

You'll find you make your way down the alphabet as your pregnancy weeks continue — at least when searching for the right pillow for your changing body.

The J-shaped pillow is thinner and more compact than both the U- and the C-shaped pillows, and for some expecting people, that's the right approach.

Sometimes called an L-shape, the J-shape pregnancy pillow provides the best support between your legs, so it's ideal if you have increased hip pain. It likely can't contour around your neck and lower half simultaneously, so keep that in mind as you compare your options.

The washable, removable cover is made of a jersey material, so it's cooler than velvet styles and simple to clean.

10. Frida Mom Adjustable Keep-Cool Pregnancy Pillow

Best Adjustable

Frida Mom Adjustable Keep-Cool Pregnancy Pillow

This pillow can be easily adjusted into a C, J or U shape, so it'll support you throughout your pregnancy.

Pros

  • Adjustable and flexible
  • Stretchy, supportive material
  • Breathable memory foam

Cons

  • Expensive

Pregnancy creates all sorts of unpredictable highs and lows and changes in your mood or appetite. One week, you can't get enough of tacos. The next, they make you feel nauseous. One week, you need a solid two-hour nap every day. And the next? You're filled with unstoppable energy.

For some people, these kinds of changes can happen in their preferred sleeping position from night to night.

If you want to switch among C, J and U shape, this adjustable pillow from Frida Mom is your golden ticket. It features straps that transform your pregnancy pillow into whatever design you need each night. One side of the pillow is stretchy, and the other is more firm, so you also benefit from comfort and support.

It's made of a responsive memory foam and breathable material that cools your body while you're asleep. And yep: The cover is machine-washable, too.

What to Consider When Buying a Pregnancy Pillow

1. Where You Need Support

When searching for a pregnancy pillow, Hogue says it is essential to choose a pillow that can support the areas of the body that can become uncomfortable as your body and baby grow.

Body pillows offer the most all-around support, but if you have specific pain areas — like your hips or back — you may want to choose a pillow made to specifically support that area.

2. Size

Additionally, size is important when shopping with your bed size in mind.

"If you are sleeping on a smaller mattress, a larger U-shaped pillow might take up more room than would be allotted for you — and your partner —to sleep comfortably," Hogue says.

You should also consider your height, so you buy a pillow large enough to comfortably support your belly, hips and pelvis, she adds.

3. Firmness Level

Consider how firm or soft the pillow will need to be to support your growing body comfortably.

"Ideally, our pillows should be able to support our belly, knees and ankles in parallel lines to ensure optimal positions for our hips and pelvis to prevent discomfort while sleeping," Hogue says. "However, if your pillow is too firm or too soft, it can make sleeping on your side uncomfortable and lead to more pelvic pain."

4. Shape

Dr. Mysore says no magical shape works for every person — or for every pregnancy. Sometimes, it takes some trial and error to determine your best fit.

"With my first pregnancy, I used a C-shaped pregnancy pillow that helped support how I was sleeping and the aches and pains that come with pregnancy," she shares. "With my second pregnancy, I found having a larger pillow in the bed felt like too much, so I opted for a smaller pillow."

FAQ

1. When should a pregnant person start using a pregnancy pillow?

Dr. Mysore says most people start using a pregnancy pillow at some point in their second trimester (between 14 and 26 weeks) because that's when the belly grows more. And also when it becomes important to sleep on your side, not your back.

"Not everyone has to use a pregnancy pillow — every pregnancy is different, and everyone's body is different," she says. "For some, the pillow may bring comfort, but others may feel better without one."

2. Is a C-shaped or U-shaped pregnancy pillow better?

Again, it's really up to the individual and to the pregnancy. But generally speaking, Hogue says U-shaped pillows are ideal for pregnant people because of the support they provide to all sides of the body.

"Many times, expecting people experience discomfort in their pelvic area because the hips and pelvis are misaligned due to sleeping positions and a lack of direct care for the area," she explains.

A U-shaped pillow can be placed between the knees and ankles, allowing the hips and pelvis to align and remove any unnecessary stress or pressure from the area while asleep.

"In addition to our pelvis, many times women feel discomfort in their hips from sleeping on their side every night," she adds. "Having a U-shaped pillow allows a pregnant person to have back support by being able to slightly lean into firm support behind them without fully sleeping on their backs during pregnancy."

3. Is it worth getting a pregnancy pillow?

Though definitely not medically necessary, investing in a pregnancy pillow is worth it for most pregnant individuals, says Christine Hernandez, a birth and postpartum doula and the founder of Allo Saratoga.

"Pregnancy pillows can provide significant relief from discomfort, promote better sleep and improve overall wellbeing during pregnancy," she says. "They can help alleviate back pain, reduce pressure on hips and joints and help maintain proper alignment during sleep."

4. Can I lie on my right side while pregnant?

Dr. Mysore says sleeping on your right or left side is fine in pregnancy — but you should avoid your back.

And while we have all heard that sleeping on the left side is better during pregnancy, it is actually more important to prioritize comfort and quality sleep, Hogue adds.

"If a person is more uncomfortable on their left side, I would typically encourage using lots of pillows to support the baby bump and their hips and trying to alternate sides throughout the night or every other night to give both sides of the body some love and attention," she says.

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