7 Best Pregnancy Pillows

When pregnant, you’re not just eating for two—you’re also sleeping for two. However, that task is easier said than done. If you’re tossing and turning at night while pregnant, you’re not alone. In fact, almost half of pregnant women report poor sleep quality.1 While certain symptoms may keep you up at night (hello, acid reflux), the right maternity pillows under your head and body can alleviate discomfort and pain. So, how might you choose a pillow?

Ready to transform from restless to refreshed? Keep reading for our all-inclusive guide on the best pregnancy pillow designs and how to use them.

Head Pillows vs. Body Pillows for Pregnancy

When talking maternity pillows, you can divide plush support into two categories—head pillows and body pillows.

Head pillows are designed to support your head and neck during sleep. Most designs are rectangular, cushioned, and sheathed in a pillowcase. By fitting underneath your noggin’ at night, head pillows can offer:

  • Cervical vertebrae (neck) alignment
  • Pressure removal from sensitive head and neck areas
  • A cooling sensation for better sleep
  • Heartburn or acid reflux relief

While nearly everyone uses a head pillow at night, not as many sleepers use a body pillow. These larger pillows are designed to support your entire body at night, offering benefits like: 

  • Spinal and hip alignment
  • Pressure removal from sensitive areas
  • Encouragement to stay in one sleep position
  • Boosted relaxation and comfort

Using both of these pillow types can significantly improve pregnancy sleep quality. The more support you can give your changing body, the better. Let’s explore the top types of head and body pillows for pregnant women.

Best Head Pillows for Pregnancy

Whether pregnant or not pregnant, picking a head pillow mostly comes down to one factor—your sleeping position

During pregnancy, medical experts recommend that women sleep on their side during the second and third trimesters (particularly the left side).2 This popular sleep position helps in two major ways by:

  • Facilitating blood flow to your uterus for fetal health
  • Relieving pressure on your back, neck, and shoulders

While you can sleep on your stomach or back during the first trimester, it’s medically advised to switch once your baby bump shows up. Luckily, certain head pillows can help you settle on your side to help support your growing belly. Look for these pillow qualities to help maintain or form a side sleeping habit during pregnancy

#1 Memory Foam Head Pillow 

A popular material, memory foam is the perfect cross between support and comfort. Memory foam pillows have the contouring properties of solid memory foam, but you can adjust the filling content to your preferred firmness. For pregnant women, memory foam pillows offer:

  • Moderate and customizable neck and head support
  • A smooth texture with no “bumps”
  • Cervical vertebrae alignment
  • High loft for heartburn or acid reflux relief
  • Hypoallergenic properties

However, the density of memory foam does retain body heat. However, memory foam gives more breathability, reducing any heat retention. Hybrid material pillows, like the Original Pillow, combine our cross-cut memory foam with microfiber filling for a cooler sensation.

#2 Down Head Pillow 

If you prefer natural materials, then consider down feathers the Rolls Royce of pillow options. These small, soft feathers come from the underbelly of geese, ducks, or swans.

Since down is expensive, it’s often blended with larger feathers or other materials. The incredible plushness of down can make side sleeping a breeze, offering:

  • Moldable and semi-firm support
  • A plush and soft-to-the-touch texture
  • Insulating properties with breathability
  • Light pillow weight

For those with allergy sensitivities, down may trigger an allergic reaction. Synthetic downs are a wonderful hypoallergenic alternative. Most importantly, all down pillows should come from an ethical source. This means the birds that provided any down feathers were treated fairly with zero force-feeding or other cruel practices.3

#3 Gel Head Pillow

Cooling and supportive, gel is the “cool” modern cousin of memory foam. This firmer material is excellent for back and side sleeper, making it a great transition pillow between trimesters. Gel material in head pillows offers:

  • Breathability and cooling properties
  • Moderate to heavy neck support
  • Light contouring to the body
  • A smooth texture with no “bumps”
  • Hypoallergenic properties

Between its cooling capabilities and its firmness, gel pillows can feel great on a pregnant body that needs extra support. However, gel pillows usually contain a softer secondary material to give plushness. To get the best of both worlds, our Eden PIllow combines gel-infused memory foam and microfiber. 

#4 Latex Head Pillow

Another synthetic material, latex pillows are an affordable option for comfortable side sleeping. Their breathable and highly supportive texture can offer:

  • Cooling properties
  • High loft for heartburn or acid reflux relief
  • Moderate to heavy neck and head support
  • A smooth and firm texture

However, not all latex pillows are created equal. Many latex pillows are actually latex-blend, adding polyurethane foam (a potential toxic material) into the mix. If you are not allergic to latex, a pure latex pillow could help you transition from back sleeping to side sleeping with ease.

Best Body Pillows for Pregnancy

When pregnant, your body is undergoing incredible shifts in size and weight that need a little extra support at night—enter the pregnancy body pillow.

Designed for side sleeping, body pillows offer cushioned support to relieve any pain from the weight of your growing child. The further along in pregnancy, the more likely you’ll need this constructive tool for your hips, spine, and neck. Another plus? Hugging a large plush item releases the hormone oxytocin, which relieves stress and can boost quality sleep.4  

Before grabbing any stuffed item, it’s important to know how to use a pregnancy body pillow for peak alignment. Get all the cuddly feelings and a refreshing night’s sleep with these pregnancy body pillows.

#1 U Shape Pregnancy Body Pillow

Like the name suggests, these body pillows are curved like the letter “U”. For full-body support and coverage, a U shaped pillow is your best bet.

Pregnant women usually sleep “inside” a U shaped body pillow, lying between the two straight lines of the “U”. The curve of the “U” fits under or around the head, while one of the straight sides fits between your knees. With front and back body coverage, U shaped pillows hold you tight in place. These larger pillows are great for:

  • Solo sleeper or large beds
  • Full-body support
  • Hip, spine, and neck alignment
  • Preventing any change in sleep position

With their large and heavy design, U-shaped pillows may not work for most sleepers. Unless you are in the third trimester, you may not need this extensive shape.

#2 C Shape Pregnancy Body Pillow

Another head-to-toe option, the C-shaped pillow gives full-body support. However, this pillow design goes all the way through the legs, almost creating a circle shape around your body.

C shape body pillows are similar to the U-shaped pillow. However, the opening of C shaped pillow lies at your back or stomach, depending on how you flip it. Many women prefer sleeping with the opening at their stomach so that the curved side lines up with their spine. This particular shape works well for:

  • Solo sleepers or large beds
  • Full-body support (particularly spinal support)
  • Hip, spine, and neck alignment
  • Preventing any change in sleep position
  • Sleepers who stick to one side

Like U shape pillows, C-shaped pillows may feel clunky or large in bed. They also require flipping if you switch sides during sleep. For easy sleep, it’s best to wait until necessary during pregnancy to use a C-shaped body pillow.

#3 Wedge or Rectangular Pregnancy Body Pillow

Used by pregnant and non-pregnant people, your average wedge pillow is a go-to alignment tool. Think of your typical head pillow but stretched out, offering light support to your entire body.

Wedge body pillows range in size, fitting just between the knees or offering a human-sized pillow to hug at night. The longer the pillow, the more anatomical alignment it offers your entire body. For comfort, most people wrap their arms around a pregnancy wedge pillow as well. During pregnancy, wedge pillows are excellent for:

  • Sleepers who share a bed
  • Light body support
  • Hip alignment
  • Sleepers who like to switch sides

Until late in pregnancy, a quality wedge or rectangular pillow may be enough support for your growing body. However, the filling material and amount can change your wedge body pillow experience. To find one that fits your hip size, look for an adjustable design like our Original Body Pillow. The customizable filling and larger size make comfortable side sleeping a possibility for any body size. 

Another plus? You can combine wedge pillows with head pillows for peak sleeping comfort. Get the best cooling gel underneath your head and a sturdy memory foam pillow between your knees.

Sleep Like a Baby with Coop Home Goods

Whether in your third week or third trimester, pregnancy brings its fair share of life changes. With the right pillows, poor sleep quality doesn’t have to be one of them. Our team at Coop Home Goods is here to help you (and your little one) find the head and body support you need.

To transform your bed into a prenatal paradise, call on our adjustable head and body pillows. With hybrid memory foam, supportive designs, and hypoallergenic materials, our pillows can help you catch some much-needed Zzzz’s. Explore our collection today for better sleep tomorrow. You can rest peacefully knowing our CertiPur-US certified options are safe and created with the highest quality. 

Sources:

  1. NIH. Sleep disorders in pregnancy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6932848/
  2. Sleep Foundation. How Can You Sleep Better During Pregnancy? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/pregnancy/tips-for-better-sleep
  3. Audubon. Everything You Need to Know About Buying Ethically Sourced Down Products. https://www.audubon.org/news/everything-you-need-know-about-buying-ethically-sourced-down-products
  4. Healthline. Why You Should Get (and Give) More Hugs. https://www.healthline.com/health/hugging-benefits
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