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Congratulations! You’re expecting your new bundle and everything’s magic, and you swore you saw a rainbow peeking out of the clouds and landing right on your doorstep the other day.

Yeah right.

All those people telling you to “sleep while you can because once the baby gets here you won’t be able to” either never experienced pregnancy or they’ve forgotten. Or they’re dirty liars. Something.

Your sleep issues started right away with your changing hormones and body. Good news for you. A pregnancy pillow may help. Pregnancy pillows help you get into a comfortable and safe position so you can sleep. If you don’t know where to start, that’s ok. We’ve put together a list of our top picks for best pregnancy pillow. Plus, we’ve answered a few questions you may have about what’s going on with your sleep and how to choose the right pillow for you. Let’s take a look.

What The Heck Happened To My Sleep?

Pregnancy causes a lot of change, but one thing you may not have been prepared for is how complicated your sleep may get. Growing babies aren’t gentle on the body. That makes sleep challenging.

During the first trimester, your body may not have changed drastically, but your insides have. Heartburn can be a huge culprit of insomnia. As your hormones and digestion change to accommodate feeding your fetus, it’s more likely that you’ll experience this. Since you’re laying down at night, it’s worse.

You also may experience more congestion as the fluids in your soft tissues increase. Growing a baby requires a lot more of those fluids to direct to your uterus, but a byproduct of that is congestion. If you can’t breathe, you sure can’t sleep.

As you progress through the pregnancy, it may become uncomfortable for you to sleep altogether. Your core muscles are under a lot of strain, so changing positions too quickly can send pain shooting through your abs. It’s dangerous for you to lay on your back or your stomach, so you may be facing trying to sleep in a position that isn’t your normal one.

Also, so many bathroom trips. So many. Unfortunately, a pillow can’t help that.

What Is A Pregnancy Pillow?

What isn’t a pregnancy pillow? That’s the real question. It looks like a body length pillow, but it’s often got bends at the end so you can wrap it around your back and underneath your legs. You can use one pillow to prop your body into a comfortable position instead of stealing all the pillows in the house.

Sometimes a pregnancy pillow is just a wedge used to prop your stomach up so your ab muscles can ease. Others wedge into the small of your back to help you get into a comfortable position and stay there.

Should I Get A Wedge Or A Full Pillow?

Your pillow style will depend on what you want to accomplish. Wedge pillows don’t take up much room. They’re less expensive. If you don’t have a lot of space on your bed or you don’t have many issues, a wedge may work.

Wedges won’t help if you have full body issues. They work with a small area. If you invest in one before your second or third trimester, you may end up getting a full body pillow after all.

Full pillows position your whole body, including your head and neck. If you suffer from heartburn and congestion, they may help you sleep at a better incline. They tuck under or in between your needs to relieve hip pain. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, they help you feel like you’re closer to your favorite position.

They take up a lot of space in your bed. If you don’t have much in the first place, coordinating two people and a pillow the size of a third person might be a bit much. They’re also more expensive than wedge pillows. You do have a lot more options for positioning and comfort.

We usually recommend just going for the full body pillow because you don’t know yet what your needs will be as your body changes from the first trimester to third. Full body pillows are just more flexible. If you can’t stand the thought of having so much pillow in the bed, a wedge might be the answer.

What Should I Look For?

Wedges or full body pillows, there are a few things you should consider before purchase.

Cover

The cover should be breathable and soft. Organic cotton won’t have pesticides and will allow air to flow freely through the pillow, keeping it cooler. You may not be able to put a pillowcase on such a large pillow, so make sure the material is something you’d be ok with having close to your face.

The cover should zip off so you can machine wash it. You may sweat more during your pregnancy (hormones plus more fluids), so you’ll want something washable. Don’t get wrapped up in spot cleaning a pillow. It’s a failing mission; trust us.

Filling

If you search long enough, you could probably find a pregnancy pillow filled with just about anything.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is good because it conforms to your body. It’s a little more firm and good for support. Solid memory foam can sometimes trap heat, so manufacturer’s shred it to fill some pillows. If you want something more fluffy, go with shredded. If you need firm support, look for solid.

Styrofoam Balls Or Microbeads

Both of these pillows are very moldable. Styrofoam is cheaper and very lightweight. It doesn’t offer as much support as memory foam, and you can definitely hear the styrofoam as it moves around.

Microbeads are a lot like styrofoam. They’re moldable and lightweight. They’re usually more expensive than styrofoam balls, but they don’t have any of the noise that styrofoam does.

Polyester

This one is the most common type of pillow filling. It’s really fluffy and feels the way standard pillows do. The amount of filling determines the loft and how supportive it is. They don’t breathe as well as some of the other fillings on the list, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in stores to try out.

The List

Let’s get you a better night’s sleep.

Queen Rose Pregnancy And Maternity Pillow – Our Top Pick

The Queen Rose is a U-shaped pillow that wraps itself from front to back by going underneath your shoulders and head. A U-shape gives you support for your growing tummy and your back. It can also be used later for nursing support and continued positioning as you heal from childbirth.

It uses a very supportive polyethylene filling. It can feel a bit lumpy at first, but it gradually softens the more you use it. The cover is made of non-allergenic cotton and is removable so you can wash it.

It comes in a few different colors, and you can also get a variety of sizes based on your height. Currently, length choices are 55 inches, 60 inches, and 65 inches. Colors include blue and pink, plus a combination of the two. You can also choose neutral gray or white.

Queen Rose offers a 90 refund guarantee, so you have some time to decide if you like the pillow or not. They won’t return a pillow that’s been used, but you can test the feeling of the interior and cover to see if it’s supportive. You’re also covered by a warranty, but you need to contact Queen Rose directly to get the details for your particular pillow.

It comes compressed in a box, so you’ll need to tear the plastic away and let it inflate for a few minutes. It may also have a slight “new” smell. Just let it air out in an open space to allow the smell to dissipate.

Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow – Runner-Up

Leachco’s pillow is a C-shaped pillow. It runs under your head and between your knees. If you need back support, you can face the C in that direction. Likewise, if you need more support under your belly, you can face it in that direction.

It uses a regular pillow filling, so it has moderate loft. The cover is a soft cotton blend. It’s removable, so you can wash it, but it can take some maneuvering to get it on and off. If you’re in your third trimester, you might need some help getting it back on.

It has an extra long midsection, so you have a bit more space to mold it around you. It follows the natural contour of your body, but if you need support at your back and stomach, you may have to get creative with another pillow.

The company has a manufacturer’s warranty that you can request from their customer service department. Returns are handled by individual sellers, so please refer to your seller for more information about individual return policies.

Leachco’s products are made to non-toxic standards. They contain no PCBE flame retardants, and many are suitable even under California’s strict labeling rules. The pillow arrives wrapped in plastic, but you shouldn’t have any off-putting smells when you unwrap it.

Honorable Mentions

If you have one of these specific needs or requirements, you may want to consider one of the following pillows below.

Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow – Best Wedge Shape

If you don’t want a full-length pregnancy pillow, or you don’t have space for one, the Hiccapop wedge may be the answer. It’s made of supportive, solid memory foam, so your belly can get comfortable, but stay in position.

It’s dual sided so you can choose a softer, more giving foam on one side, or a firmer, more dense foam on the other. It should grow with you as you complete your pregnancy. You can also use it at the small of your back for better sleep positioning, or between your knees to relieve hip pressure.

The cover is a velour style material. It’s removable and machine washable. The foam inside is an open-cell material for better airflow, and CertiPur-US certified for low emissions and VOCs. There are no PCBE flame retardants, metals, formaldehyde, or phthalates.

It comes with its own carry bag for travel. It comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee from the company, but be sure to check the warranty and return policies if you decide to purchase it third party.

Hiccapop will replace pillows no matter what happens for the life of the pillow. For returns, they donate suitable goods to local social initiatives, so very little goes to waste. The pillow comes wrapped in plastic, but it shouldn’t have a strong smell when you unwrap it. Most memory foam may have a faint odor right in the beginning, but Hiccapop products don’t use high VOC memory foam.

Today’s Mom Coolmax Pillow – Best Cooling Pregnancy

If you already sleep hot and sweaty, Today’s Mom Coolmax might be a better choice. It uses a unique moisture-wicking fabric to pull heat and sweat away from your body and disperse it out of the pillow. It distributes moisture from your body more evenly across the surface to lower temperature and increase drying time. The pillow returns to ambient room temperature more quickly.

It’s a U-Shaped pillow. You get full support across your front and back while the U can support either your head or your feet depending on the direction. It dries much more quickly than traditional cotton. You can remove the cover for regular machine-washing.

It has indents around the head area that give your shoulders and neck more support. It doesn’t mold as well as some of the others, but the breathable fabric might be cooler. It comes in one size, and a couple of different neutral colors.

The pillow works with the ambient temperature of the room. The warmer your room is, the warmer the pillow will feel. The cooling process is passive, so be mindful that “cool” may just mean the same temperature as your room.

The company doesn’t allow returns, but be sure to check with your individual seller for more information. Your seller should also have information about any type of warranty for the pillow.

PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow – Best Customizable Pillow

You may not always want a full-sized pillow, but you definitely need more than just a wedge. PharMeDoc’s pillow has a detachable section that transforms it from a U-shaped pillow to a J-shape. You can add the extension when you’re late in your pregnancy and need full support, or you can remove it sometimes when you need to fit into a smaller space (like the couch).

The attachment can be used as it’s own smaller body pillow, giving you quite a few options for sleeping. The zippered cover removes, is machine washable, and organic. Polyfill material molds well around your middle. It has increased support density with more weight. The seams are double stitched for durability.

The material is breathable, so it shouldn’t store heat in the core of the pillow. It should stay a small bit cooler than some standard pillows, but be aware that it should be whatever the ambient temperature of your room is. It isn’t an actual cooling pillow.

The jersey knit cover is soft and antimicrobial. It removes to machine wash, and it’s hypoallergenic. You can get it in a few different colors depending on your seller.

The company doesn’t offer returns but check with your seller for their individual policy. You should also request the warranty because your seller may provide their own individual warranties.

Final Thoughts

Sleeping while pregnant may not be easy, but the pillows we chose should give you some relief based on your specific needs. You can always pile up pillows around you, but as you shift around during the night, they may not stay in place or hold together well. Your partner may also decide to take a few back in the middle of the night too!

Pregnancy pillows are designed for your changing body. The most important thing to remember about your pregnancy pillow is that it’s helping you get into a sleeping position that’s healthy for you and the baby. Choose one that fixes an issue you have. If your abs are unsupported, choose a wedge. If you’re a back sleeper, pick a full body, U-shape to discourage you from flipping over in the middle of the night.

The best part is your pillow can be used down the road, not just when you’re pregnant. Some convert to nursing pillows. Some can be used as reading support or for when you’re in bed watching television. Some can be used to relieve pain for other issues such as arthritis or back pain. It might be an investment now, but you may be glad to went for it later.

Don’t skimp on sleep. Get a pregnancy pillow and take advantage of those full nights before your newest family member gets here.

Tim

Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He's been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares his findings with any willing ear.

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