It’s easy to dismiss the whole idea of getting a pregnancy pillow using the excuse that you already have plenty of pillows after all and buying any new ones is a waste of money. Let’s start off by dismissing this notion. Pregnancy pillows are designed to do a different job from the regular pillows you already have.
Apart from providing support to the upper body, good pregnancy pillows will also support the belly, and others, the hip and back in order to reduce pain and enhance comfort.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows come in different sizes, shapes, and kinds. Let’s start off by looking at the factors you need to consider when buying one.
When selecting a pregnancy pillow, you’ll want to ensure that the material used to stuff it is safe and hypoallergenic. Because of the need for a lot of flexibility, materials that are more suitable for filling pregnancy pillows are the more flexible ones like your hollow fiber, polystyrene foam, feather/down, and shredded memory foam.
Hollow fiber: would be an ideal filling material if you want a pillow that will serve you long after your baby is born because it maintains loft well. This material is a good choice for someone who wants a soft pillow as opposed to one that’s too firm.
Feather and down: are two materials that are a good choice if you’re looking for a pillow that’s firmer. The down, which usually comes on top of the feathers, ensures that the pillow remains comfortable while providing support.
Shredded memory foam is the best material for someone who believes that support is the most important factor that should be considered when selecting a pillow. It’s the material you would want to go with if you want relief on pressure points and alleviation of headaches and pain in the neck and other parts of the body.
You want to avoid the irritation caused screeching sounds when you change sleeping sides at night. A pregnancy pillow is much bigger and has more filling than your ordinary pillow and hence will make more noise if it’s stuffed with noisy material.
You also don’t want the smell of the materials used to make your pillow to overpower you, as the Pregnancy Magazine reports that pregnant women are more sensitive to some smells; even those they may have tolerated before.
Being pregnant can make even the best sleepers discover that sleeping comfortably during a pregnancy is a struggle. If you’re already a restless sleeper you may find yourself changing positions a number of times during the night. This is the reason why you want to select a pillow that will make you comfortable when sleeping in different positions. You also want one that will allow you to shift positions with ease.
Pregnancy pillows come in different shapes, with the most common ones taking the shape of the letters C, I, J, L, and U. Another popular shape is the wedge shape; most popular with side sleepers.
It’s important to consider the shape of the pillow you eventually select because the shape that a pillow takes also determines its size and the amount of space it takes on your bed. Hence, the shape you select will depend on how big your sleeping space is.
The shape you select for your pregnancy pillow is an individual decision which depends on your needs and desires. You’ll need to decide whether you’re looking for a pillow that will support the whole body or one that will help relax particular parts of the body that may get painful during the pregnancy.
U shaped: This type pillow would be most suitable for you if you want equal support for the tummy, head and back. It’s also a good pillow on that cold night when you want a little more warmth.
C shaped: You would want to choose the C shaped pillow if you want a pillow that can be used later after the baby is born as you can turn it into a nest where the baby can sleep in. It can also be useful when feeding the baby.
J shaped: This would be the best choice if you want a pillow that can still wrap right around your body but still remain compact enough that it can be used on a mid sized bed.
L shaped: If your main need for a pregnancy pillow is to support the belly and back, the L shaped pillow will be your best choice. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for a pillow that you can flex into any other shape to provide relief at specific parts of your body.
I shaped: You may want to go with this shape if you want to preserve as much space on your bed as possible. It’s also good if you still prefer to use a regular pillow to rest your upper body and use this one either on the belly or the back.
Even though maternity pillows are often large and provide support from head to toe, if you get one that’s either too big or too small, you will end up with a pillow that doesn’t serve your needs. It is important, before you decide on the one that’s right for you, to consider your body size.
Selecting a pillow that’s too big when you are small will compromise support as you will find yourself sinking too deep. The same applies to a bigger person selecting a pillow that’s too small; it becomes too tight and restricts your movement.
Even though most manufacturers would want to make these pillows lightweight, you still want to consider how light the pillow is when buying one. When you’re pregnant, every bit of energy is important.
Pregnancy pillows are usually large and if made from a material that’s too heavy, you may find yourself struggling if you want to carry the pillow from one place to the other. Even though you may not need to be carrying it around, you will still need to adjust and maneuver your pillow for comfort.
Best Types of Pregnancy Pillows
This is generally considered as the most comfortable pregnancy pillow around. It takes the shape of a long horseshoe. This shape is best for someone looking for support in three main parts of the body: the belly, back, and head. Because this type of pillow takes a lot of space in your bed, it will not be suitable for a small bed.
- Supports all parts of the body
- No need to adjust the pillow if you turn to another side
- Warm in winter
- Takes a lot of space
- Separates you from your husband
- Sleeps hot in summer
Best U Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
The U Shaped Pregnancy Pillow is designed for someone who wants a pillow for different purposes such as pregnancy support, watching television, reading, and nursing. The filling in this pillow is polyfill, which is resilient and long-lasting. The pillow is covered in an outing with a zipper to make it easy to wash.
This pillow is suitable for you if you’re looking for a mix of quality and affordability. If you also avoid products made from raw materials obtained from animals, this would be a more suitable solution for you since it’s made from synthetic material.
- Polyfill is more affordable
- No need to adjust if you turn over
- Removable cover is easy to clean
- Slightly heavy
- Takes up a lot of space on the bed
The C shaped pillow is smaller in size when compared to the U shaped one. This is a suitable pillow for someone looking for one that will wrap the whole body. It’s suitable for a mid-sized bed.
- Wraps around the body without taking lots of space
- Warm in winter
- Can be used later as a nest for the baby
- Restricts movement
- Needs to be turned around every time you sleep on another side
- Sleeps hot in summer
Best C Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
The PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow is designed for you if you want to replace the need for using numerous pillows to support the head, back, hips, neck, and knees. It’s also a suitable if you want a pillow that can be used for different purposes including sleeping, watching television, nursing or reading.
According to the manufacturers of this pillow, they have designed it with the aim of helping ease third-trimester pains. It’s also recommended for anyone else looking for full support even if not pregnant. Someone recuperating from surgery can also benefit from this pillow.
- Lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Removable cover makes pillow easy to keep clean
- Questionable quality as zipper is not strong
Unlike the other shapes, the I shaped pillow is just a long bolster. It doesn’t come with any additional tails and curves. This is a suitable pillow if you love to cuddle your pillow while sleeping.
- Doesn’t take a lot of space
- Good for relaxing the back
- Not suitable for belly support
Best I Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
Apart from being suitable when you’re pregnant, the Luxury Memory Foam Body Pillow by MemorySoft can be used even after the pregnancy. It’s a good solution for alleviating back pain. The shredded memory foam used in making this pillow ensures it provides desired support without being too firm.
The filling is also CertiPUR-US(R) certified. What this implies is that it meets high standards when it comes to durability and emissions.
- Comes with 30-day money back guarantee
- Enhanced air circulation makes pillow sleep cool
- Washable cover
- Too firm if you want a softer pillow
The J shaped pillow is sometimes referred to as the big pillow. It takes the shape of the U pillow but one of its sides is longer than the other. It’s a pregnancy pillow designed for someone who sleeps on a mid-sized bed.
- No need for another pillow to support the head
- Compact in size
- Suitable for traveling with
- Too small if you want a bigger pillow
Best J Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
Web Linens Inc.
The Web Linens J Shaped Premium Contoured Pregnancy pillow will work for you if you’re looking for a pillow that you can press against any area in your body. This pillow allows you to put the lower part between your legs and then tuck its lower end under your tummy. It is also designed to keep your back supported. This makes it a good pillow for someone who wants to lean more towards the back.
- Good for someone who returns one position throughout the night
- Reduces hip and back pain
- Firm and provides adequate support
- Needs to be adjusted when you switch sides
- Sleeps hot
The L shaped pillow is similar to the I shaped one and comes with an added tail to accommodate the head and neck. The pillow can also be turned around so that the tail goes in between the legs. Comparatively, this is a small pillow that will not take a lot of space in the bed.
- Can be molded into different shapes
- Suitable for both big and mid sized beds
- Supports both sides of the body
- Needs to be adjusted when you turn around
Best L Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
The makers of the Queen Rose 65-inch Pregnancy Body Pillow indicate they understand a pregnancy pillow should have no smell. This is the reason why they have used soft cotton and Bionic filling with as little odor as possible.
The pillow is designed in such a way that you can shape it to follow your body’s natural curves. It is made in such a way that it relieves pressure on all the major parts of the body which pregnant women often complain about including the neck, legs, knees, and back.
- Cover can be removed and machine washed
- Enough filling to provide adequate support
- Suitable for tall individuals
- You need to readjust when turning sides
The wedge-shaped pillow is a suitable solution for you if you are a side sleeper. It’s designed to take off pressure from the lower back. This is also a suitable pillow if you need support while sleeping.
- Affordable when compared to a full body pillow
- Small and compact
- Can be used when traveling
- Doesn’t support all parts of the body
Best Wedge Pregnancy Pillow
Relax Home Life
The manufacturers of the Relax Home Life – Foam Bed Wedge Bamboo Pillow promise that this is a pillow designed to alleviate a number of problems experienced by both pregnant women and anyone else. This pillow is suitable for you if you want to get rid of back, neck and shoulder pain, heartburn,acid reflux, poor blood circulation, breathing problems, and migraines.
This pillow is versatile and is suitable for you when you are sitting, either watching television or reading a book. It can also be used whether you are just lying down and relaxing or when you sleep for the whole night.
- Cover can be removed for washing
- The incline is gradual
- Reduces snoring
- Slight smell when still new
- Not very flexible for folding to different positions
Hollow fiber is a synthetic material which is sometimes referred to as polyester or microfiber. This is the most popular material used in stuffing pregnancy and standard pillows.
- Comparatively cheap
- Easy to care for
- Can be used by those with allergies
- No noise
- Not durable
- Lose loft quickly
- Chemical odor when still new
Best Hollow Fiber Pregnancy Pillow
If you love the feel of down but are either allergic to it or want something more affordable, the Moonlight Slumber Total Body Support Pillow may be the suitable solution for you. This pillow is designed to provide support for the whole body so that your hips, back, shoulders, and neck are aligned. The aim of this design is to assist with the regulation of your body temperature and ensuring proper blood circulation.
The synthetic down is odorless, hypoallergenic, and is resistant to dust mites. The whole pillow can be machine washed. Air circulates around the synthetic fiber freely allowing the pillow to sleep cool.
- Flexible and can be turned into different shapes
- Supports the whole body
- Provides good back support
- Takes a lot of bed space
- Too big if your frame is small
The feather and down used to fill this type of pillow is usually extracted from geese. These pillows are often stuffed with a higher proportion of feathers than down in order to make them cheaper. The ones stuffed with down only are much softer, which could compromise support.
- Soft and comfortable to sleep on
- Possibility of feathers poking you
Best Feather/Down Pregnancy Pillow
The Pillowtex White Goose Feather and Down Body Pillow is designed for you if you love a pregnancy pillow that provides support while also allowing you to cuddle it for comfort. This is also a pillow that’s designed to help you not roll onto your back; making it a suitable solution for someone who snores when sleeping on their back.
This is a suitable pillow for someone who doesn’t like the bulky pillows that wrap around the body, tend to restrict movement, and sleep hot.
- Maintains loft
- Firm and provides support
- Takes less space on the bed
- Bad smell
- Difficult to clean
Shredded Memory Foam
As the name implies, shredded memory foam is a filling consisting of memory foam torn into many small pieces. These small pieces have the ability to move independently which makes such pillows moldable.
- Allows free circulation of air
- Can be molded into different shapes
- Smells when still new
- Shredded foam compromises support
Best Shredded Memory Foam Pregnancy Pillow
Coop Home Goods
The Coop Home Goods – Memory Foam Body Pillow will work for you if you are looking for a pillow that is not too bulky. It’s designed to fit different sleeping positions side, back, and stomach. This is also a pillow for you if you want the ability to add or remove the filling so that the pillow is at the firmness and thickness you prefer.
This pillow is gel infused; making it sleep cool. The USA manufactured product comes with CertiPUR certification; could be good for you if you’re looking for a product certified by an independent body.
- Soft but still provides support
- You can remove and add filling
- Breathable, allowing the pillow to sleep cool
- Flexible but still returns shape well
- Slightly heavy making it difficult to maneuver between your legs
With such a wide range of pregnancy pillows available in the market, there is no reason why you should not be sleeping as much as you like during your pregnancy. Afterall, you have a perfect excuse. Remember, sleeping will be a luxury once the baby arrives. We hope that among the numerous pillows we’ve reviewed here, you can identify one that is most suitable for your needs.
As usual, I took some time to decide which among the products I’ve reviewed is the best in my opinion. My best for today will be the Moonlight Slumber Total Body Support Pillow. I generally trust products made in the USA because it’s one country I know where the rights of employees who make the goods I buy are properly protected.
Another reason why I am going with the Moonlight pillow is that the fusion fill fiber comes with the softness and comfort provided by down without being too costly. Even though the pillow is made from synthetic material, it still doesn’t come with the strong chemical odor we’ve become accustomed to in most synthetic fibers. This is the pillow that seems to bring together most of the criteria I referred to at the beginning of this article.