9 best pregnancy pillows
Finally get a good night’s sleep with a pillow to support your back and your growing bump
Pregnancy can be an anxious time. First there’s the secrecy, the nausea, and feeling like all the sleep in the world will never be enough – a fatigue that seems to bury itself into your bones. Then, just when you start to feel more like yourself again, an ever-growing bump can make sleep difficult.
Sleep expert Sammy Margo says most expectant mothers will deal with some interrupted sleep during their pregnancy. “The main issue is finding a comfortable position, particularly towards the third trimester,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve met one woman who hasn’t had some sort of sleep disturbance during pregnancy.”
While admitting that pillows are partly a matter of taste, Margo says there are certain factors to keep in mind. Most expectant mothers will sleep on their sides (the left side is recommended to maximise oxygen flow to the baby), so reducing “bump drag” with a pillow can be helpful. Others may suffer from lower back pain – here a pillow between the legs will stack the hips and minimise torso twisting.
Finding the pillow that works for you can make a big difference, she adds. “Investing in some, comfy, supportive pillows during this time is really important. And once you’ve had the baby, they’re really quite useful for positioning as well.”
With that in mind, our testers spent some 80 hours putting 10 of the market’s leading products through their paces.
Dreamgenii Maternity and Nursing Pillow: £44.99, John Lewis & Partners
Released in 2005, the Dreamgenii pillow is not new, yet it continues to pick up awards and garner praise.
Our testers were initially a bit dubious about sleeping on this, worrying that they might feel trapped in the night between the longer side and the back support cushion.
But after a bit of initial wriggling, it was extremely comfortable – we felt well supported and slept side-on right through the night, without trying to roll over or readjust.
There was good tension in the longer half, which didn’t fall off the mattress, and the pillow wasn’t so big that our long-suffering bedfellows felt squashed on the other side of the bed.
BellaMoon Full Moon: £179, BellaMoon
At £179, the BellaMoon Full Moon was the most expensive pillow we tried. But it packs a punch with seven different functions, including a pregnancy pillow, breastfeeding pillow, infant tummy time pillow and baby lounger.
The design was only released recently after founder Irene Breen spent two-and-a-half years developing her idea for a pillow that would support a lateral breastfeeding position.
We found the pregnancy pillow (made up of three parts, zipped together) comfortable to sleep on, with good neck, bump and lower leg support.
At this price, it won’t be for everybody, but it has longevity for those who want to make the investment.
Slumberdown V-Shape Pillow: £9, Asda
This is an extremely reasonable, V-shaped option for those looking for extra neck and back support during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and is soft enough to sleep on.
We also tried using it as a body support pillow and found some support under the bump, although it wasn’t really long enough compared to body support styles we tried.
It felt like the padding might move given time, but for under a tenner, you can’t really go wrong with this. It also comes with two pillow cases so you don’t need to worry about buying one to fit.
Chicco Boppy Bump & Back Pillow: £30, Kiddies Kingdom
Despite the name, this pillow can also be used for support behind the legs and knees, and the cushions can be separated for use during the day while sitting. It’s small and lightweight enough to make it transportable.
It is, however, promoted as a style to ensure side-on sleeping, and our testers reported waking a few times during the night on their backs.
Some also felt the support cushions were a bit too firm, although that meant for good back support and might suit mums who want a firmer pillow (or who are in their third trimester and have a bigger bump).
Pregnancy and Nursing Pillow: £39, Mama’s and Papa’s
The grey marl cover is soft to the touch and feels good quality, while the pillow itself is well stuffed.
Despite not being obviously sewn into place (with inbuilt pockets, for example), the pillow doesn’t feel like it would lose its shape over time, or that the stuffing would move or clump together.
Our testers used it as a shorter body support pillow, although it would also provide support for the neck and shoulders.
It was extremely comfortable for side sleeping and came a close second to the Dreamgenii. It will also provide support for breastfeeding once baby is born.
Little Chick 4-in-one support pillow: £21.94, Amazon
We were initially unsure how much a wedge pillow would help, but it proved really comfortable under our testers’ bumps – perhaps precisely because of the graduated side so that you can choose how much support you need.
It was also a handy back support (in bed and during the day), and is lightweight and compact enough to take into the office if your back is sore.
Those who feel they need more support (under the legs or back, for example) would do well to combine this with another, longer pillow.
It can also be used after the baby arrives.
The Pillow: £60, Casper
Some may feel as if they’re on an endless hunt for the perfect pillow.
The Casper design promises a lot – resistance to clumping, support and fluffiness, and a cotton cover that stays cool.
Our testers weren’t sure about the cool factor – although it may have been the mild night this pillow was tested on – but reported that this is an incredibly comfortable pillow regardless of whether or not you’re carrying a baby.
It’s also a bit longer than usual so could be used under bump, in tandem with another pillow under your head.
Babymoov Dream Belt: £40, Jojo Maman Bebe
It looks complicated, but the Babymoov Dream Belt is incredibly easy to get on and off, either over your pyjamas or directly onto the skin.
There’s a stretchy cotton panel that supports your bump, with two memory foam side panels that provide support on either side.
The velcro belt can be adjusted as your baby (and bump) grows and while it doesn’t have the sexiest look, our testers reported a great night’s sleep after wearing it.
It’s also easy to transport, which is good news for women who are often on the move.
Narrow Sleep Body Pillow: £35, Mothercare
This is a long body support pillow, which suited even our tallest testers, and isn’t so big that it overtook the bed. That said, most felt this pillow was just too firm and preferred some of the softer models tried.
The texture of the pillow is also a little coarse so you’d need to buy a case separately with this one – although that shouldn’t be considered a deal breaker.
Overall, it may suit those looking for a simple body support pillow that can offer cushioning for bump, hips and legs and are happy with more firm cushioning.
The Verdict: Best pregnancy pillows
It’s an oldie, but our testers did report sleeping best on the Dreamgenii pillow, praising the combined back and bump support.
The pregnancy and nursing pillow from Jojo Mama Bebe was an easy second place for its quality, while the Little Chick 4-in-1 pillow won praise for its simple but effective design and how easy it was to transport.
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