Last Updated: Apr 3, 2023 @ 2:55 pm.

What is the best maternity pillow? To find out, we asked our parent readers for their favorites. Then we tried out several ourselves. Which is the best U-shaped pillow? Wedge? Knee? Here are the winners.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Best Maternity Pillow Overall (C-Shaped): CeeCee by PharMeDoc

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.

After your baby is born, you can use the PharMeDoc as either a breastfeeding pillow or toddler pillow.

Our pregnant testers gave this pillow glowing reviews, picking it tops for comfort. The jersey cover also comes in for kudos. And we were impressed with the company’s customer service, which promptly handled complaints and sent out replacements according to our reader feedback.

While most of our testers give the PharMeDoc high marks, a few complained that the pillow covers weren’t easy to put back on after cleaning, which unfortunately is a problem with many maternity pillows we tested and researched.

Another issue: after several months the filling may shift or compact. Again, these are common complaints with body pillows.

Despite those drawbacks, we pick the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow as the best bet in this category.

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Best Maternity Pillow, Overall

C-shape is best for most folks
Loved this pillow's super-soft jersey knit cover and quiet polyfill. A reader favorite and we agree: it is excellent.

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Best U-Shaped Pillow: Queen Rose

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 in two lengths (55″ and 65″) and additional covers are available.

What we loved: 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. Overall, quality and support is excellent.

The downside to this pillow? Some readers complained that the pillow made them too hot.

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Best U-Shaped Pillow

More support, but bulkier
Loved the quality on this pillow—it is extremely comfortable. Takes a lot of bed real estate, but a great solution.

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Best Wedge Pillow: Boppy Pregnancy Wedge

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.

Based on testing and reader feedback, our top recommended wedge is the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge. 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 is portable for traveling.

The Boppy gets great reviews from our testers—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 it arrives.

The Boppy Pregnancy Wedge can be used under your belly, against your back, or between your knees.

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Best Wedge Pillow

If you only need a little support
Great for the knee or back, this pillow also has a cover that is easy to zip off. More affordable than other solutions.

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Best Knee Pillow: Modvel

Before you spend fifty bucks on a full body maternity pillow, this might be an affordable place to start. Our top pick, the Modvel Orthopedic Knee Pillow has impressive support and a quilted cover that can be removed for washing.

Our testers said they loved this pillow—it can solve minor back pain and other issues. For folks who don’t have a king-size bed (and hence lack the room for a full-size C-shape or U-shape maternity pillow), this compact pillow was a life-saver.

One caveat: this pillow is made of memory foam and hence is most useful as a knee pillow. It doesn’t work well to support other areas of the body!

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Best Knee Pillow

Easy on the wallet
Made of memory foam and sculpted to fit comfortably between the knees, this pillow impressed us. It helps properly align the hips, knees and spine.

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Best Petite Maternity Pillow: Leachco Snoogle Mini

Leachco Snoogle Mini Pregnancy/Maternity Compact Side Sleeper pillow is our pick for smaller or petite moms. Most pregnancy or maternity pillows are sized for women 5’6″ or taller. This “mini” size pillow works well for smaller pregnant moms, based on our tests. 

We liked how easy it was to wash and replace the cover. And it’s affordable.

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, 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 (including washing covers, and lots of snuggling) and testing among readers who had their own maternity sleep dilemmas (petite moms, moms carrying twins, etc.). 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. All the following photos are credited to Amazon.

For example, on the inexpensive end of the spectrum is the knee pillow. This type of pillow is usually the cheapest option—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.

Knee Hip Alignment Memory Foam Wedge with Breathable Cover

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).

Wedges are generally affordable, comparable to the knee pillow above. Keep in mind they can 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. Depending on the type of fill these can be affordable or off-the-hook expensive (goose down, anyone?).

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 are moderately priced.

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. (FYI: 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.

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), plain ol’ non-organic cotton and spelt husks (aka: buckwheat).

3. The pillowcase may be, uh, a challenge to change.

Oddly, our veterinarian warned us about this issue years ago. 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.

Another idea: slip covers. Yes, you can find separate slip covers for some big brand maternity pillows.

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 pregnancies and stretch out a bit more. That’s when a maternity pillow may be a necessity.

5. Your bed size may rule out certain pillows.

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 quarters 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.

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