Best Maternity Pillow 2023
Best Maternity Pillow 2023
Last Updated: The Best Maternity Pillow 2023. A. fter comparing and testing more than 20 different types of maternity pillows, we picked the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover as the best maternity pillow.
Scroll down for our picks for Best U-Shaped Pillow, Best Wedge Pillow, Best Knee Pillow, and Best Pillow for Petites. New to maternity pillow shopping? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Maternity Pillow for advice and tips.
The PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover works like all C-shaped pillows: it cradles your head, goes under your belly and extends between your legs to support your hips. Like most body pillows, the fill is a polyfill blend. But the best part is the 100% cotton jersey knit cover. This removable, washable cover is super soft with double stitched seams for extra strength.
Additional woven cotton covers are available separately on the company’s web site. After your baby is born, you can use the PharMeDoc as either a breastfeeding pillow or toddler pillow.
While most of our readers give the PharMeDoc high marks, a few complained that their pillow covers weren’t easy to put back on after cleaning, which unfortunately is a problem with many maternity pillows we looked at.
Another issue: after several months the filling may shift or compact. Again, this are common complaints with body pillows. The soft, comfy cover outweighs these concerns, in our opinion.
Best U-Shaped Pillow. Queen Rose’s U Shaped Maternity Pillow offers plenty of support and comfort for pregnant moms. The fill is polyester and the cover is 100% cotton with a double zipper for easy removal. The pillow comes is two lengths (55″ and 65″) and additional covers are available.
You can use this pillow with the closed end at your head or flip it and have the open end at top. Then you can use your own pillow under your head. Price:for the 60″ version and for the 55″ version.
The downside to this pillow? Some readers complained that the pillow made them too hot. Others were effusive in their praise, however, and loved the support and comfort.
Best Wedge Pillow. If you’re looking for a little bit of lift under your pregnant belly, but not much more, a foam wedge may be all you need. You can also use it behind your back if you worry about rolling onto your back at night (back sleeping is not recommended for pregnant women after 20 weeks) or between your knees. Good news: this is one of the cheapest option for pregnancy support.
Our top recommended wedge is the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge for only. Made of firm foam (but not memory foam), the Boppy comes with a 100% pima cotton zip off cover that is machine washable. The wedge is sized fairly small and portable for traveling.
The Boppy gets great reviews from our parents—they loved the size and portability. But almost everyone notes it has a strong smell when first taken out of the package. We recommend you let it air out for at least a day or two when you get it.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing maternity pillows since 2001. In addition to hands on testing of pillows, we have combed the research about comfort, support and durability. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Amazon, as well as our own message boards.
Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluate maternity pillow with both personal testing, and testing among friends, family and our readers. We also poll our readers online (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking maternity pillows on quality and durability.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Maternity Pillow!
1. Do I really need a maternity pillow? One size does NOT fit all!
If this is your first pregnancy, you may be wondering why do I need this at all? In a nutshell, obstetricians recommend pregnant moms STOP sleeping on their backs at about 20 weeks. As our resident OB, Michele Hakakha notes in the book Expecting 411, “This prevents your big ol’ uterus from putting pressure on your major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava). It’s best to lie on your left side for optimal blood circulation but the right side is okay.”
So that means you’ll be sleeping on your side—but as your baby grows, so does the difficulty of getting a good night’s sleep. To the rescue comes the maternity pillow.
FYI: some of these pillows are specifically designed for pregnancy while others are touted as solutions for a multitude of ailments, some of which can occur during pregnancy.
For example, on the inexpensive end of the spectrum is the knee pillow. This type of pillow is usually the cheapest at about $15 to $20—basically, it is a foam block that is placed between the knees during sleep. This can help with back, leg and knee pain as well as Sciatica (official definition from the Mayo Clinic: pain that radiates along the path of your sciatic nerve . . . from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg). Yes, all symptoms you may experience in pregnancy.
Next is the pregnancy wedge pillow. Just what it sounds like, this option is usually made of memory foam (with a cover), which can be wedged:
- under your tummy (to bring you pregnant belly up to a comfortable level),
- behind your back (to keep back sleepers from rolling onto their backs)
- between the knees or under your head pillow (elevating your head if you’re suffering from heartburn and reflux).
Prices range widely from $12 to $40 and wedges will also vary in height and shape.
Full-length body pillows look similar to a super long rectangular pillow or a body-length tube. Basically, you can snuggle up to a body pillow in front of you, or use it behind your back to avoid rolling over. These retail for $20 to $200 depending on the type of fill.
C-Shaped pillows are sewn into a c-shaped tube. The bottom curl is tucked between your knees while the top curve is used as a pillow for your head and you can “hug” the top end to your chest. No need for an additional head pillow when you have a c-shaped pillow. You’ll find C-shaped pillows for between $30 and $70.
Finally, there are U-shaped pillows, used by straddling one side of the U. The top connected section functions as the pillow for your head. (FYIL Some people reverse the pillow and prop their feet on the U while using their regular pillow at the open top). This type of pillow basically engulfs you on both sides of your body. Because it’s bigger than the other types of pillows we mentioned, U-shaped pillows can be pricey: $40 to $100.
2. Maternity pillows can be NOISY. . . and hot . . . and flat.
The fill used in maternity pillows can vary widely. Styrofoam balls, similar to those used in bean bags, rustle rather loudly, so if you’re a light sleeper, this is one fill you might want to stay away from.
Polyester fiberfill is very quiet, but depending on the amount and quantity, can lose its fluffiness or be uncomfortably hot.
Plastic microbeads (smaller than those Styrofoam balls) offer good support but aren’t available in most maternity pillow, just tube-shaped body pillows.
Memory foam seems to be everywhere these days. . . and yes, there are maternity pillows that utilize this kind of fill. But if you are typically hot and sweaty now (darn those hormones!), solid memory foam will be probably too hot. Most manufacturers use shredded foam to allow for more airflow and hence a cooler experience.
Finally, a few pillows may be filled with natural ingredients (not always organic, however). For example, we found body pillows with wool filling covered in organic cotton (example: Holy Lamb Organic Body Pillow). Others have feather filling, kapok (a fiber from the Ceiba tree; example: Sleeping Bean Body Pillow), cotton and spelt husks (aka: buckwheat). As you might guess, pillows filled with these alternatives sell for higher prices than standard fill.
3. The pillowcase may be, uh, a challenge to change.
Yep, our veterinarian told us this one. He grew to hate the maternity pillow his wife used because he had to put the case back on after washing—as it turns out, not a simple task. The easiest cases have zippers (and may be worth the extra money), but they’re rare. Most are just slip on and considering the unique shapes of these pillows, you can imagine the effort to slip a case over them.
One solution: check to see if the maker of the maternity pillow you like has accessories like slip covers for sale from their own web site:
4. You may not even need one.
The general rule of thumb of maternity pillows: first pregnancies maybe but later pregnancies probably yes. Few moms get really huge in their first pregnancies (those carrying multiples are the exception), so even if you need a little something, the solution might just be a wedge or knee pillow.
But when moms are in their second and third pregnancies, they show sooner and get bigger. It’s like when you wear a pair of jean that just came out of the dryer and they’re tight, then if you wear them again later (without washing), they’re looser. The ligaments and muscles “remember” being pregnant during subsequent pregancies and stretch out a bit more. That’s when a maternity pillow may be a necessity.
5. Your bed size may rule out certain pillow.
Many of the U-shaped maternity pillows are 35 to 36 inches wide. A queen size mattress is 60 inches wide. So your pillow will potentially take up more than half the bed. Imagine adding in a dog or cat and a partner. Will you all fit? If sleeping quartesr are tight, choose a body pillow or wedge versus a U or C-shaped maternity pillow.
6. One size does NOT fit all.
Petite moms may need a smaller size maternity pillow. Good news if you’re under 5’4”: some maternity pillows come in petite sizes. Compare sizing info before purchasing.
7. Most pregnant moms seem to prefer their own pillow when using a body pillow.
What we mean is they don’t find the body pillows have enough support for the head and neck. If you are very picky about the pillow under your head/neck, consider a U-shaped pillow. You can position it with the opening at your head and easily continue using your regular pillow. See below!
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