Last Updated On September 19th, 2018
The importance of having the best pregnancy pillow at your disposal during the various stages of pregnancy is often overlooked by many mothers-to-be. One of the main contributing factors which affect spinal health and a sound nights sleep is the dreaded back pain during pregnancy. Unfortunately, it is extremely common, and according to spine health experts, it’s estimated that a massive 50-80% of women experience some form of lumbar pain throughout the trimesters which also carries on post birth.
Fortunately, if you’re pregnant and have any kind of lower lumbar pain, posterior pelvic pain, or have generally been struggling to sleep recently, you may find relief in something called a pregnancy pillow. There are varying types available on the market which are also known by many other aliases such as a wedge, maternity or full body pillow; the main purpose of these is to provide support where most needed for expectant mothers. There are many benefits of owning one, and given the price-to-satisfaction ratio, these are a must-have for every mother-to-be. One thing is almost certain; once you introduce a pregnancy pillow into your life, you’ll be reluctant to ever pack it away after childbirth.
The 2 Popular Types Of Pregnancy Pillows
1. Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
A pregnancy wedge pillow, also known as a maternity cushion, is a small triangular wedge which is designed to rest underneath the bump during the second and third trimesters. Like most cushions, it is available in various kinds of filling such as polyester, memory foam or fiber, and comes in varying sizes too. Some are specially shaped with a contour to allow an ergonomic comfort for the bump. Although the cushion is primarily used under the tummy while sleeping, it is also favorable as a back support for bed and armchair usage too.
- Cheap to buy compared to a full body pillow.
- Relatively small and compact.
- Can be used both indoors or outdoors.
- Multi-purpose design allows for supporting different parts of the body.
- Will most likely still need separate pillows for back and head if used in bed for sleeping.
2. Pregnancy Body Pillow
A pregnancy body pillow is a simple yet clever invention which is literally one huge pillow that supports various parts of the body at the same time without the need for using multiple separate ones. They are usually U shaped or C shaped, and will have a small section cut out which enables the person to not only swivel and adjust the desired area of support but also to easily get in and out so to speak. In terms of fill, they can range in any material from shredded memory foam to polyester fiber. Although they are extremely popular during pregnancy, they are not limited to people who are pregnant and can be enjoyed by everyone, men and women alike.
The purpose of a pregnancy body pillow is to provide full a coverage of support for those who need it the most, and in this context, it’s especially useful for pregnant women. The key attributes of success for this specialist body pillow for pregnancy lie in the ability to provide support to a minimum of three key areas, all at the same time, without having the mess and inconvenience of three or more different smaller cushions doing the same job. The main areas of focus are the head, tummy, and back, but can also be placed between the knees too. It’s much easier to have one purpose built and ergonomically shaped product which does the trick as opposed to using various individual pieces.
- They provide support in the various areas which require the most support during pregnancy.
- Unlike standard pillows, they are one piece so less scatter.
- Their flexible nature makes them easy to adjust into the perfect position for total body support.
- They are relatively expensive.
- Can take up a very large area when in use.
Pregnancy Pillow Characteristics & Buying Guide
Like with most things before you purchase it’s good to have a few pointers or features to compare against to ensure they meet your criteria. Most of the reviews we have included are of products which are top end and feature packed so already contain much of the below in their specifications, but to ensure you have the best pregnancy pillow in your reach it should contain the below characteristics as a minimum:
Does the pillow have a cotton cover?
When it comes to choosing the a pregnancy pillow, it will almost certainly be the ones which are wrapped in a 100% cotton cover. This type of material is organic and will be hypoallergenic which means coming into close contact will be unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, unlike some alternative manmade materials. You can imagine the importance this has on baby and mother, so better to opt this way if possible.
Whether it’s a wedge or full body pillow, both should have variants which come in organic cotton, however finding one which comes with a 100% cotton cover is quite rare; most will be blended which means they are mixed with another material, and for obvious reasons the higher amount of cotton content the better. However, if you desire, you can usually find a 100% cotton case separately for almost every pregnancy body pillow on sale in 2018, so not too much of a worry if one doesn’t come supplied.
Is the cover washable?
As you can imagine, anything which is used regularly will need a wash now and then. To keep things hygienic, the pillow you could buy should have a removable cover which is washable. Most are zippered now, but be wary of ones which aren’t. Also, models which come with replaceable covers are good in case you ever need to change the existing cover for a new one. For example, products like the the Leachco Snoogle have a replacement cover which can be purchased separately for less than the price of a new one if required.
Have you thought about pillow sizes?
Though a large maternity body pillow is required to provide total support from head to toe, too big or too small can obviously cause problems. Ideally, you should choose one based on your body size. For example, if you’re rather petite and the chosen size is too big, you’ll miss out on the adequate support because you’ll be sunk in too deep and overwhelmed with padding. Likewise, a maternity body pillow which is too small may be too tight and overbearing. Therefore it’s handy to take note of the measurements which are often listed with the other detailed specifications. Even the size of a smaller pregnancy wedge pillow is important because depending on whether this will be used under tummy or for back support; too large may be uncomfortable and too small will be ineffective.
How much does it weigh?
The best pregnancy pillow is almost always one which is lightweight. Although you’re not expected to be carrying this around from room to room on a nightly basis, one factor which may be of importance is the weight. During pregnancy every bit of energy counts, so having to maneuver a heavy object whether it’s to adjust for comfort or whether it’s during setup for the night, exerting unnecessary energy isn’t ideal. Admittedly they are usually very light being no more than about 7 lbs, and the weight difference between them isn’t a huge amount; however, it’s still worth noting the comparison.
Which filling is best?
The contents (or fill) are a huge contributing factor to satisfaction for many different reasons. There are numerous types of fill which determine longevity, firmness, price and much more. Here are some of the most popular types and their properties:
- Polyester: Being one of the most popular fills, polyester has numerous pros and not many cons. The breathable nature when used with cotton cases keeps it fresh and cool. The easy-care nature means when required, the whole thing can go in the washing machine and dries relatively quick too. They are cheap in comparison to other fills, lightweight, hypoallergenic and easily adjusted into shape.
- Feather: Duck and goose feather has been used as a filling in traditional feather pillows for many generations and has remained popular throughout. In regards to pillows for pregnancy, although 100% feather can be a tad firm for some, in general, it works great, and prices are usually very low. They can get slightly noisy in comparison but nothing too much to worry about.
- Memory Foam: A popular choice when it comes to the traditional shaped memory foam pillows, also known as viscoelastic foam, it is a premium filling which also serves great as a pregnancy body pillow. The contouring ability which molds around the curvature of the body combined with the durable, reliable nature makes it ideal for heavy-duty usage. Although a memory foam body pillow can be very supportive, they are likely to be slightly heavier compared to other kinds and are generally more expensive.
Top 5 Pregnancy Pillow Reviews
1. Leachco Snoogle
This full body pillow is one of the best sellers on the market at the moment, making it hard to rival. It does a great job at following the natural contour and shape of your curves while effectively compensating multiple pillows for supporting the hips, back, neck, and tummy. The patented design by a registered nurse and mother works wonders in many ways; it addresses issues such as lower back pain, support between the knees, and also for the all-important bump. The 100% cotton hypoallergenic cover is removable and washable. Without the Leachco Snoogle you’ll wonder how you ever survived.
2. Leachco Back ‘N Belly
The contour pillows success is ultimately down to the clever design which has made it perfect for prenatal use. Whether you’re a back or side sleeper, the U shaped pillow has smart inner contours which follow the natural curved shape of your body no matter how you choose to sleep. The size is average when compared to others of its kind and does a great job at providing back and belly support whatever your shape, height or weight. In terms of head support, it has just the right loft so keeps the head at the right angle to ease heartburn and clear the airwaves throughout the night.
A filling of 100% polyester that comes with a removable and washable cotton blend case already fitted seems to be the norm with almost every Leachco pregnancy pillow, but it’s a formula that works well, and that’s proven by the popularity and success of their products. This is certainly top rated and definitely one to shortlist in 2018.
3. Comfort-U Total Body Pillow
Well known for easing maternity discomforts, aiding in uninterrupted sleep without tossing and turning, and also for the eradication of neck, shoulder and back pain, the USA manufactured beauty is large enough to comfortably cradle every inch from head to toe without compromise.
The choice to shy away from polyester or feather and use fusion fiber instead is most likely the reason behind the success and popularity. Fusion fiber filling has unique properties which are not only soft, fluffy, and hypoallergenic, but also prevents lumping or clumping. It additionally allows for very high washing and drying temperatures which combined with the washable cover makes this a hygienic and easy to care for product. Overall, the Comfort U body pillow will exceed your expectations and is well worth the money.
4. Today’s Mom Cozy Comfort
Proudly made in the USA, this pregnancy pillow has often been referred to as a godsend for many who are lucky enough to own one. The generous size is perfect for whole body support without taking up too much space, and effortlessly oozes presence for the desired effect of its design. Unlike others, this one comes available in four different colors of choice which are Almond, Sky Blue, Espresso, and White. Regarding shape, the caressing one piece maternity pillow has a curved shoulder support design which contours perfectly and provides a comfortable traditionally shaped headrest area too. As expected, the cradling belly and lumbar support are top class with every inch taken care of.
The feather filling is a medium firm which works great with its clever shape to provide flawless comfort in an extremely light product; It weighs a mere 2 lbs. The 200 thread count machine washable removable zipper cover is a sweet blend of 50/50 cotton and polyester. Although there are some competitively priced alternatives on the market, given the overall satisfaction from verified owners, this has been a proven keep and will no doubt be repeatedly welcomed into any bed after the first night.
5. Boppy Pregnancy Wedge
The Boppy is still currently one of the top rated and highly recommended pillows for pregnancy in 2018. Being small, lightweight, mobile and versatile, this pregnancy cushion can be used for back and belly support, as well as in-between or under the legs to create a knee wedge. It can easily provide great pleasure staying tucked under any bump throughout the night, moving baby up into a natural position and putting less strain on the back. It doesn’t compare to a full body pillow, but the compact and mobile nature means it’s in a league of its own but serves a similar purpose, especially if you have two or more in use at the same time in different areas of your choice.
A memory foam filling would have been ideal in our opinion, but instead, the 100% polyester is thick and firm which seems to work arguably well. The cotton slipcover is removable and machine washable which is great for hygiene. The longevity of this product is yet to be determined due to an expected heavy usage, however, based on the low price even if it required replacing after a few years that’s still excellent value for money.