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Pregnancy is an exciting time for most women that’s full of anticipation for the new little one that will be entering into the world. It’s also often an utterly exhausting time, as you experience levels of fatigue you never thought possible. Tired though you may be, however, it can sometimes feel impossible to get comfortable enough to actually get any much-needed rest. That’s why a pregnancy pillow is a must-have for any expecting mom.
What is a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows, which come in all shapes, sizes, and price points, are similar to other types of body pillows — in fact, some body pillows can easily be used during pregnancy — but are uniquely designed to support the needs of your changing body. Whether that means extra support under your belly, between your knees, behind your back, or all of the above, there’s a pregnancy pillow out there that’s bound to work wonders for you.
The Benefits of Using a Pregnancy Pillow
The added weight that comes with pregnancy— not just in your abdomen but all over — can not only make you feel like a stranger in your own body, it can put increased pressure on your hips and back. That means your usual sleeping position may no longer work for you. Tummy-sleeping is off-limits for obvious reasons, and experts recommend side-sleeping only after the first trimester.
Fortunately, a well-placed pregnancy pillow can help prop you up in a way that works for you, allowing you to drift off and dream about your baby on the way. They can also alleviate a number of common pregnancy complaints, including sciatic nerve pain, heartburn, backaches, sore necks, and poor circulation, by supporting your abdomen, elevating your upper body, and keeping your spine and hips in alignment.
A pregnancy pillow can also support a nursing newborn, ease a sore postpartum perineum, and help you rest comfortably long after your due date, making it plenty useful even after your bundle of joy arrives.
The Best Pregnancy Pillow for You
Pregnancy pillows are available in many different styles, including U-shaped and C-shaped models, wedges, curlicues, and more. Below, we’ve rounded up a variety of choices that will cover your needs. Keep scrolling to see FIRST for Women’s picks for the best pregnancy pillows.
Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: $29.99, Target
How do we love this barbell-shaped pillow, which will cradle your baby bump and back? Let us count the ways. It's super compact, so it won't take up more space than necessary in a bed that's already accommodating your growing bump. It also features a stretchy panel that allow it to expand as you grow, so you'll be as comfy as humanly possible — even at nine months.
"I had the big full body pillow but hated how much of the bed it took up. I felt like I was pushing my husband off the bed. This provided the support where I needed it and helped me stay on my side," wrote one reviewer. If you're interested in conserving space, this is the pillow for you!
Leachco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: From $59.99, Amazon
Reviewers are wild about Leahco's Snoogle pillow, which was designed by a nurse and mom to take the place of the multiple pillows that are typically stuffed under your head, behind your back, under your tummy, and between your knees during pregnancy. It also has a removable, machine-washable cover to boot.
Take it from our Managing Editor, Megan Cahn, who swore by it during her pregnancy. "Before my bump popped, the idea of buying a pricey pregnancy pillow seemed a little ridiculous to me," she said. "But after hearing my other pregnant friends rave about the Snoogle, and after one too many nights of not being able to get comfortable, I caved. And I never looked back. Every night my Snoogle enveloped me into what felt like my own personal cloud. It somehow managed to be soft-yet-supportive in all the right places and made me forget about the bowling ball I was carrying around with me long enough to get some sleep."
Hydrologie Cooling Body Pillow
Where to buy: $140, Bed Bath & Beyond
If you feel like being pregnant is a little like carrying your own little space heater around inside you, this pillow just might be your savior. Made from a cooling gel fiber inner shell, it will support you while also keeping your body temperature down — it has maximum breathability and airflow compared to other pillows that can trap in heat, so you'll never have to flip it over to find the cool side! Hang on to this one for long enough after your pregnancy, as you'll find it may come in handy for night sweats and hot flashes, too!
Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Body Pillow
Where to buy: $69.99, Amazon
While not made specifically for expectant moms, this hypoallergenic pillow has such great reviews, we had to include it. It's made of shredded memory foam to ensure it won't go flat and features a breathable cover that's fully machine washable. Most importantly, however, it will keep your spine aligned relieve pressure on your back and hips.
"If you are a side sleeper, this is like a gift from heaven," wrote one reviewer. "The pillow has the exact amount of girth and firmness to keep your spine horizontal."
Bluestone Contoured Body Pillow
Where to buy: $37.50, Walmart
Stretch out on this U-shaped pillow, which will support you on both sides so that your hips, back, shoulders and neck stay in alignment — simply relax into its hourglass-shaped inner contours and rest.
This happy customer wrote: "My wife, who is now five months pregnant, absolutely loves it. We have a queen bed and it take up some space, but her sleep has definitely improved and [it's] well worth twice what I paid for it."
Béaba Big Flopsy Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: $120, Amazon
This luxe pillow, which is crafted with 100 percent high-quality French cotton is filled with "micropearls" that allow it to move with you and support you where you need it. It's super soft and lightweight, making it easy to manipulate into the exact shape that works best for you — and your baby! The pillow and the cover are both machine washable, making cleanup easy, and it can double as a nursing pillow once your babe is born.
Meiz U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: $59.59, Amazon
Another U-shaped choice, this pillow is perfect for propping yourself up in bed — a tactic that can alleviate the heartburn that can often nags expectant moms. It features a soft 100 percent cotton cover with a zipper for easy removal and premium polyester filling — a durable choice that stays fluffy over time. It's also great for reading, and, after your little one arrives, feeding time.
Boppy Total Body Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: $49.99, Target
This uniquely-shaped headrest can be used in multiple ways to offer support that's most comfortable for your pregnant body. One helpful tactic? Tuck one end between your knees to keep hips in alignment and rest your head on the other, leaving a space for your bump in the middle. We also love the cute pattern on its removable, machine-washable slipcover.
"My husband got me this pillow in the beginning of my second trimester, and I didn't realize how much I needed it," wrote one new mom. "I use it both with the whole pillow on one side of my body, and with it on both sides to support my belly and my back (my favorite way). [It's] comfortable both ways. It helps at night when my hips hurt but I can't lie flat on my back."
Today's Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: From $74.49 (Originally $79.99), Overstock
This pillow is called "cozy" for a reason — you can really snuggle up in it. Contoured to wrap around your sore lumbar region and burgeoning belly, it lets you rest in a cocoon of comfortable support. It's crafted from a poly-cotton blend and comes in a variety of colors, and the soft cover is both removable and machine-washable.
Wrote one reviewer, "I love this pillow so much, I sleep with it when I'm not pregnant. But it is a lifesaver when you're pregnant!"
Boppy Pregnancy Wedge
Where to buy: $15.99, Target
For an affordable and compact choice, this wedge pillow offers maximum support while taking up minimal space. Nestle it under your bump, hips, or behind your back for that extra support your changing body craves. It's firm, but also lightweight, making it perfect for traveling. The removable, washable cover comes in an understated geometric pattern that will go with any deécor and coordinate with other Boppy products you'll need down the line (hello, nursing pillow!)
"At the suggestion of my chiropractor, I wedged this tight under my front side (including my growing belly, but it was really supporting me at my side) and put two thick bed pillows behind my back and between my knees, which helped me lean back more and basically avoid twisting and causing strain," wrote one reviewer. " It really helped me deal with back and hip pain through the entire second half of my pregnancy."
Leachco Back 'N Belly Pregnancy Pillow
Where to buy: $274, Macy's
Our priciest pick is worth the splurge! This luxurious cushion supports your back while also cradling your belly, and has a cutout to follow the curve of your neck and shoulders. Its cover is removable and machine-washable, making it easy to care for. And, it's useful after pregnancy, as well — just listen to this happy mama:
"This pillow has been by far one of the best pregnancy investments I've made," wrote a reviewer. "Wish I'd bought [it for] my first pregnancy. I've been using it since week 17 and it has made a huge difference on my sleep and on my back support. I was starting to get back pain and struggling to sleep on any position and now it has helped me to get comfortable at night and enjoy my rest. Plus, my toddler loves it too."