Three best maternity pillows
Pregnancy is an exciting time but it certainly isn't all rainbows and unicorns. Around 80% of pregnant people report sleeping disturbances at night due to aches, pains, and general discomfort. Sleeping with a maternity pillow can help get more comfortable and hopefully have an undisturbed night's sleep.
But, how do you pick the best maternity pillow for you? Available in a range of shapes and sizes, it's tricky for a first-timer to select the right pregnancy pillow to fit their needs. This quick guide will help your find your perfect plush pregnancy partner.
Considerations when choosing maternity pillows
You'll usually find pregnancy pillows are either C-shaped or U-shaped. C-shaped pillows are designed to be used with the closed side of the C against your back and the open side around your bump. You rest your head on the top of the C and straddle the bottom of it. With U-shaped pillows, you rest your head on the closed curve of the U and sleep in between the two straight sides.
Either a C-shaped or U-shaped maternity pillows work for side sleepers, whereas back-sleepers will do better with a U-shaped pillow. Front-sleepers are unlikely to be able to maintain their favorite sleeping position once their bump begins to grow, but they may find either U-shaped or C-shaped pillows comfortable until then. That said, the current advice is that all pregnant women should attempt to sleep on their sides once they enter the third trimester (from 28 weeks), as it reduces the chance of stillbirth.
Level of support
Some maternity pillows offer full-body support whereas others only support certain areas, such as the back and belly. Whether or not you require full-body support will depend on where you're experiencing aches and pains and how you like to sleep.
You'll usually find the cover of your maternity pillow is either made from cotton or polyester. Cotton tends to be softer against the skin and more breathable, which is a bonus if your large maternity pillow is making you toasty. Polyester, however, is the more affordable option and is usually found on budget pregnancy pillows.
The majority of pregnancy pillows are filled with polyester hollow fiber. This is soft and comfortable, yet supportive, so it's an excellent choice. However, like standard pillows, it does flatten down over time so it's best to start off with a pillow that feels a little bit over-stuffed.
While some maternity pillows retail for in excess of $100, you don't need to spend this much, unless you want to use it long after you're pregnant. You can find some excellent basic pillows between $30 and $50. If you want to go for a higher end option, you still needn't pay more than $70 to $80.
Q. How do I keep my maternity pillow clean?
A. Unless you have a giant washer, you'll never fit your whole maternity pillow in there. As such, we'd recommend buying a model with a removable cover, so you can wash it to keep your pillow fresh.
Q. Are maternity pillows useful for people who aren't pregnant?
A. Maternity pillows are designed to help relieve aches and pains while you sleep, so some people who aren't pregnant use them to encourage a pain-free sleep. They're particularly useful for people who suffer from chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and sciatica.
Q. Can you buy maternity pillows in any color other than white?
A. While the vast majority of maternity pillows come with white covers, you can find some in other shades. Some manufacturers even sell spare covers in different colors.
Maternity pillows we recommend
Best of the best: PharMeDoc Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
Our take: This high quality C-shaped pillow not only helps keep you comfortable while pregnant, it's great for nursing postpartum, too.
What we like: We love how comfortable and supportive this pillow is. Body contour support system is exceptional.
What we dislike: Some user find the part you rest your head on too high.
Best bang for your buck: Bluestone Full Body Maternity Pillow
Our take: The contoured U-shape gives you incredible head-to-toe support at an affordable price.
What we like: Soft and breathable 100% cotton cover. Works for side- and back-sleepers.
What we dislike: Not as well-stuffed as some options.
Our take: An excellent compact choice for supporting the belly and legs while allowing you to use your own pillow.
What we like: This versatile pillow can be used in a variety of ways. Doubles as a nursing pillow. Removable, washable cover.
What we dislike: Doesn't offer full-body support.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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