The best pregnancy pillows for supported and comfortable sleep

For every concern, budget and sleeping style.

best pregnancy pillows

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated

Growing a baby can be a gruelling business on your body, but having one of the best pregnancy pillows in your arsenal will help alleviate your aches and pains. Tiredness and insomnia are common when you are expecting, but a pregnancy pillow can have you sleeping like a baby.

Whether you're looking for a pregnancy pillow to alleviate back and hip pain, to keep you cool and comfortable, a longer pillow that is better for taller mums, or one to help with those tired night feeds when the baby arrives, we've compiled the very best pregnancy pillows on the market to make the choice as easy as can be.

What is a pregnancy pillow?

Also known as a maternity pillow or body pillow, a pregnancy pillow is a large, comfortable sleeping aid that is designed to support your bump, hips, legs, neck and back, particularly during the second and third trimesters.

There are many different types, and some can even be used for a nursing pillow or for tummy time when your baby arrives. They can be made from a range of different materials, are available in various levels of firmness and may have a cover to make cleaning simple and easy - all factors that should be taken into account when deciding on which one to buy.

Finding how to sleep when you're pregnant can often be a case of trial and error. Whether you're struggling with hormones, finding a comfortable position, or being woken in the night by leg cramps or restless legs, utilising one of the best-rated pregnancy pillows will (hopefully) help you rest easier during the night.

The best pregnancy pillows at a glance:

Best pregnancy pillow overall: bbhugme Pregnancy Pillow - Buy now on Mamas & Papas

Best pregnancy pillow for left-hand side sleeping: Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow - Buy now on Amazon
Best J-shaped pregnancy pillow: SnüzCurve Pregnancy Support Pillow - Buy now on SNUZ
Best U-shaped pregnancy pillow: Pharmedoc The CeeCee Pillow - Buy now on Amazon

Which type of pregnancy pillow should I choose?

It's important that you choose a pregnancy pillow that's right for you. Pillows can come in different shapes and sizes, and while they are all designed to support you and your bump, they have slightly different ways to support you more effectively.

Full-body pregnancy pillow or I-shaped pillow - Usually running the whole length of your body and either straight or slightly curved, full-body pregnancy pillows support your shoulders, hips and knees.

U-shaped pregnancy pillow - A U-shaped pillow surrounds your whole body. This means that both your belly and back are supported. It is usually the largest type that you can get, so it's worth bearing in mind the space you have available before buying.

C-shaped pregnancy pillow - A C-shaped pregnancy pillow offers different levels of support depending on where you place it. They can be used to discourage you from rolling over onto your back and help support your neck and head, and are great for using as a nursing pillow once baby arrives.

J-shaped pregnancy pillow - J-shaped pillows tend to be longer and provide extra support between your legs, which is perfect for mums who are suffering from pelvic girdle pain.

Wedge pregnancy pillow - This is the smallest option. As the name implies, it can be used to raise different areas of your body to provide comfort. It does not, however, offer support to the body as a whole.

How we chose the best pregnancy pillows:

We spoke with 12 mums who have tried and tested products in our Mother & Baby Awards to find out what pregnancy pillows they used and why they loved them so much. We have also included recommendations and reviews from the Mother & Baby team, who have used pregnancy pillows while pregnant and beyond. We've made sure to include a large variety of products, combatting issues such as hip pain, back pain, hot sweats and more, plus have considered different budgets, space requirements, customer reviews and brand reputations.

Once we’ve recruited our pool of testers we ask them to consider four areas while testing, including usability, design, quality and value for money. They also are asked to provide feedback on their experience with the product and whether they would make any changes to improve it.

Find out more about how we test products for Mother&Baby.

The best pregnancy pillows for 2024

Best pregnancy pillow overall

This bbhugme Pregnancy Pillow is one of the more expensive options on our list, but we believe it's worth the extra cash. Designed by health professionals, it is fully adjustable and provides five-point support throughout pregnancy to the most critical areas - the pelvis, lower back, knees, ankles, and abdomen.

Our Features and Reviews editor, Emily, described this pillow as feeling like "you're sleeping on a cloud" as it moulds around the body, making it easier to relax and get comfortable during pregnancy. She added, "The difference I have noticed since using the bbhugme pillow at night - especially as my pregnancy progresses - has been huge for me. It's so comfortable to snuggle into, and my body feels so much less achy when I wake up, thanks to all the support I'm receiving."

We love that it enables sleep and rest from the first trimester. Our favourite features are the removable cover and handy travel-sized bag, but it does take up quite a bit of room in the bed.

Read our full bbhugme Pregnancy Pillow review

Pros

  • Adjusts to your shape
  • Machine-washable cover
  • Supports multiple areas of the body
  • Recommended by midwives
  • Comes with travel bag

Cons

  • Quite large
  • The 'pebbles' can be uncomfortable

Best pregnancy pillow for left-hand side sleeping

Dreamgenii Pregnancy, Support and Feeding Pillow reviewHannah Mellin

The Dreamgenii pregnancy pillow helps you to lie on your left side - one of the best positions for you and your baby, according to the NHS - while supporting your bump, back and knees for full-body support and restful sleep. If you naturally sleep on your back, it can be difficult to get comfortable in this new position - we found this pillow really helpful. Some reviewers suggested that it can take a bit of time to find the best position for you, so it's worth testing out a few different ways, and it's not as firm as some others on our list.

Our mum tester, Sophie, said, "I don't know how I would have gotten any sleep during my pregnancy without this pillow. My bump was huge and really needed some support, and it was great that I could wrap it between my legs for extra comfort. It's easy to wash the cover, and I used it while Eli was tiny to support him as he laid next to me on the bed during the day, too."

Read our full Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow review

Pros

  • Supports your bump, back and legs
  • Made from soft cotton
  • Machine-washable
  • Additional covers available
  • Can be used as a feeding pillow
  • Doesn't take up as much room as other pillows

Cons

  • More suited for early pregnancy
  • Not as firm as other options

Best J-shaped pregnancy pillow

Snuz curve reviewSimone

This uniquely J-shaped pillow (designed by a team of respected health experts) seamlessly curves around your pregnant figure and growing bump, and thanks to its innovative KneeBlade™ design, will help you settle into the correct sleeping position.

Taking the pressure off your hips, legs and ankles, the SnüzCurve Pregnancy Support Pillow also supports the upper body, keeps your spine neutral, relieves pressure on the bump and keeps you comfy. We found that this pillow helped relieve pregnancy pains and left us feeling refreshed and well-rested after sleep, although it won't stop you from rolling onto your back if that's your main concern.

Our tester dubbed this pregnancy pillow "a godsend", noting that "within a couple of nights, I noticed my back and knee pains started to disappear. The quality and length of my sleep improved also. It was really easy to unpackage and easy to get used to using too. I have used it every night since I unboxed it and wash the cover every time I wash the bed sheets."

Read our full SnüzCurve Pregnancy Support Pillow review

Pros

  • Created with the help of experts
  • Unique KneeBlade™ feature
  • Machine-washable
  • Comes with travel bag
  • Made from soft, breathable fabric
  • Doesn't take up as much room as other pillows

Cons

  • Doesn't stop you from rolling onto your back

Best U-shaped pregnancy pillow

Are you searching for a pillow to alleviate all the aches and pains during pregnancy? We're talking back, hips, knees, neck and head. If the answer is yes, then you've found it. The Pharmedoc The CeeCee U-shaped pillow is gentle on your skin, machine-washable and comfortable to lay on - with the added bonus that it can be used on your bed, sofa or floor. We love the shape of this pillow, as it feels like a huge hug. However, it does take up more than your side of the bed - but hey, you're technically two humans at the moment. If your other half has to be a little squished, then so be it.

According to reviews, this pillow is ultra-comfortable and having the detachable cover makes keeping it fresh as easy as can be. Some taller mums-to-be did note that it wasn't quite long enough to support them as they'd hoped, and that the stuffing may need redistributing every now and then.

Pros

  • Full-body support
  • Machine-washable cover
  • Soft and cosy
  • Filling adjusts to your belly or back
  • Ideal for c-section recovery

Cons

  • Very large in size
  • May not be as effective for taller people

Best C-shaped pregnancy pillow

Created using in-depth consumer research, the Purflo Breathe Pillow features 3D spacer mesh and soft cotton to provide a comfortable maternity pillow. The curved C-shaped design supports and relieves pressure from your head, hips, knees and ankles. It can also be used as a back support, a feeding cushion and a baby support cushion for tummy time.

Our reviewers found that this pillow offered support in "all the right places" and didn't cause them to overheat. Once baby had arrived, it doubled up as a great back support pillow, making it great value for money. It's one of the firmer options on our list, which some reviewers didn't enjoy.

Read our full Purflo Breathe Pregnancy Pillow review

Pros

  • Breathable fabric
  • Can be used as a breastfeeding pillow
  • Ergonomic back support
  • Ideal for c-section recovery

Cons

  • Some reviewers found this pillow too firm

Best wedge-shaped pregnancy pillow

OCCObaby Pregnancy Wedge Pillow for Sleeping
Price: $24.99

This wedge pillow is a fantastic option for mums who have limited space, relieving pressure wherever you need it. Reviewers found it most comfortable under bumps to relieve the pressure and between legs for hip support, but it's also great for stopping you from rolling onto your back and can be used when sitting or travelling, too. The micro-holes in the foam layer allow for air ventilation, which means you won't overheat when using it. It is a firmer option, which some reviewers noted.

Pros

  • Versatile and small
  • Great for belly, knee and back support
  • Portable travel bag included
  • Super soft material
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it too firm

Best luxury pregnancy pillow

DockATot Cosset body pillow reviewMaria Martin

If the look and feel is your top priority, DockATot's Cosset body pillow is designed to look good and feel good during pregnancy and beyond. Beautifully created, as with most DockATot products, the Cosset body pillow is also functional and made up using Suprelle Duo Fibres to offer a comfortable and supportive sleep throughout your pregnancy. We love that this isn't your standard pregnancy pillow, but rather a gorgeous addition to your bedroom, although the tassels may be annoying when trying to sleep.

Our mum tester liked that "it can just be kept on the bedpost during pregnancy, sitting looking pretty, and I know it will aid lumbar support during night feeds when my baby is here."

Read our full DockATot Cosset body pillow review

Pros

  • Comfortable, soft fabric
  • Hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and breathable
  • Attractive design
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Tassels get in the way when trying to get comfortable for sleep

Best value pregnancy pillow

If good value is important to you, or you don't want to shell out for something you'll only use for a short period of time, the sleepdove Big U might be the pregnancy pillow for you. A U-shaped pillow, it offers neck and back support for those sleeping on their side, and contains a soft and supportive filling.

Reviewers commented that this pillow allows every sleeping position to feel natural, and that it's so comfortable, it lulls you to sleep quickly. It is on the large side, though, so may not be suitable for those with minimal space (or grumpy partners).

Pros

  • Filled with hypoallergenic fibres
  • Helps neck and back pain
  • Machine-washable
  • Can also be used upside down if you prefer

Cons

  • The cover is difficult to get back on
  • Takes up a large amount of space
  • Might not be as suitable for taller people

Best cooling pregnancy pillow

Simba Cooling Body Pillow reviewLucy Nickerson

The biggest selling point of the Simba Cooling Pillow is, you guessed it, its cooling properties, designed to keep pregnant people who are trying to sleep in those hot summer months cooler throughout the night, thanks to its Stratos® cool-touch tech. This material keeps the pillow cool to the touch and, due to its breathable nature, quickly wicks away any sweat to keep your skin cool and dry.

Our mum tester loved the cooling feature for stress-free sleep, especially during summer.S ome taller reviewers stated that it wasn't quite long enough, and it doesn't provide back support, but it does retain its shape well, unlike other pillows on the market.

Want extra comfort? Don't forget to check out our best cooling pillowcases guide, too.

Read our full Simba Cooling Body Pillow review

Pros

  • Remains cool throughout the night
  • Good quality fill which maintains its shape
  • Made from sustainable, recycled material
  • Machine-washable
  • Comes with storage bag

Cons

  • No back support
  • Cover can be difficult to put back on
  • Might not be suitable for taller people

Best V-shaped pregnancy pillow

If your baby likes to do the Cha Cha at night, try using this John Lewis Specialist Synthetic Carefree Comfort Teflon V-Shaped Support Pillow, which offers support for the belly and back. It's been lovingly made to help align the spine, so you won't be kept up tossing and turning from pain in your neck or back. The best thing about it? We love that it comes with a pillowcase that's designed for repelling dirt and stains, which is ideal when the little one arrives. Reviewers do suggest that it can lose its shape over time and that the pillowcase is difficult to put on, but its low price is attractive.

Pros

  • Helps keep your spine aligned
  • Good support for head, neck and shoulders
  • Machine-washable
  • Highly effective in repelling dirt and stains

Cons

  • Difficult to put the pillowcase on
  • Can lose its shape

Best large pregnancy pillow

Kally pregnancy pillowLeah Roberts

This body pillow has been ergonomically designed by osteopaths to support your baby bump during pregnancy. The Kally Body Pregnancy Pillow provides crucial support for your back, neck, belly and spine and allows you to somewhat take back control of your sleep during pregnancy.

Our favourite features are the anti-allergy-treated fibres that help to protect against bacteria and the breathable cotton outer layer which keeps you perfectly cool - which is great for helping to prevent pregnancy night sweats.

You can easily use this as a breastfeeding pillow once the baby arrives, too. It's on the firmer side, which some reviewers really enjoy, but others may not. It also needs a good shake every now and then to redistribute the filling.

Read our full Kally Body Support Pregnancy Pillow review

Pros

  • Made from hypoallergenic, breathable materials
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Machine-washable
  • Available in different colourways
  • Firm and supportive

Cons

  • Needs reshaping occasionally
  • Takes up a large amount of space
  • Some may find it too firm

Best pregnancy pillow for nursing and tummy time

This multi-purpose pillow is great for use during pregnancy and with your baby, right up until the stroller stage. With adjustable straps to fit your waist, the Clevamama ClevaCushion Nursing Pillow and Baby Nest helps you get comfortable during your pregnancy when you need it most. You can use this while nursing or napping, placing it behind your back in a chair or the sofa.

The Clevafoam has an open cell structure, meaning it's breathable, doesn't retain heat and is surprisingly lightweight, so is ideal for the warmer months. We found that this was a great investment as it can be used for pregnancy and beyond, although it isn't designed to be used for sleep support during pregnancy.

Read our full ClevaMama ClevaCushion 10 in 1 Nursing Pillow review

Pros

  • Hypo-allergenic, pH-balanced, and toxin-free
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Adjustable waist strap for safety
  • Retains shape well
  • Machine-washable
  • Multiple uses

Cons

  • Not designed for pregnancy sleep support

Choosing the right pregnancy pillow for you:

There are so many options on the market. Try to assess your individual needs when choosing a pregnancy pillow.

Type of pillow: If you are suffering from aches and pains all over, you may want to opt for a U-shaped pillow that offers full support. Whereas if you are looking to add comfort when you are chilling on the sofa, you could opt for a C-shaped pillow. You may need a V-shaped pillowcase, too, to go with your new pregnancy pillow.

The support: Like regular cushions that you rest your head on, pregnancy pillows come in different support options. Whether you want firm support or something softer to mould to your body, you'll be able to find the right one for you.

The size: It can take up a lot of room, pretty much kicking your other half out of bed. This also means that they can be difficult to store. If this could be a problem for you, consider a more compact pillow.

Price: The larger the pillow, generally the more expensive it will be. Wedges tend to be the cheapest option and the easiest to store. Remember to make a purchase that is suitable for your budget. Multi-use pillows are a fantastic way to save money in the future.

Whether it's multi-functional: Here at Mother & Baby, we love a product that can be used in multiple ways, taking you throughout pregnancy and right through to your baby's arrival. Many pillows are great for this and can be used as a breastfeeding pillow, bottle-feeding, and even tummy time with your tot. This is a great way to get your money's worth.

Material: If you have been suffering from night sweats or hot flushes, you will need to pick a pillow with a breathable material, like cotton.

How easy it is to clean: You'll be using it a lot, so you'll want to ensure you can wash it. Most pillows have removable covers that you can wash, while other pillows can be popped in the washing machine, too. Be sure to check to save yourself from experiencing a smelly pillow!

Do I need a pregnancy pillow?

Sleeping when pregnant is notoriously difficult. Rest is one of the most important things you can do whilst growing your baby. The NHS guidelines state that the safest option is for pregnant women to sleep on their left or right-hand side, as sleeping on your back after 28 weeks of pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth.

However, if you're not a side sleeper pre-pregnancy, that may feel unnatural. Paired with all the emotions that come with pregnancy, sleep can suffer. And whilst a pregnancy pillow won't ward off the 3 am thoughts, it is a practical tool that will help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable. You could use a traditional cushion; however, pregnancy pillows have been specifically designed to support you as your body grows.

We asked Heidi Skudder, Founder of Positively Parenthood and an expert speaker at The Baby Show, which is returning to NEC Birmingham from 10-12 May 2024 - the UK’s leading pregnancy and parenting event, about the need for a pregnancy pillow.

She told us, "During pregnancy, you will have more energy and feel better if you sleep well and are well rested. Whilst no one "has to" have a pregnancy pillow, women who do invest in them will often rave about them, even taking them around to different places that they stay at, as well as ending up using them for feeding when baby arrives, too. If you want to prioritise good sleep and comfort during your pregnancy (which you deserve), then they are always a good idea."

Is it ok to sleep without a pregnancy pillow?

You might be tempted to think that a pregnancy pillow is a luxury item that you can go without. However, sleep is an essential part of prenatal care. Global research has shown that lack of sleep can lead to serious complications like longer labour, higher cesarean births and emotional stress.

Heidi notes, "It is recommended to sleep on your side from 28 weeks, and pregnancy pillows can help with these, but you certainly don’t need one. If sleep is comfortable and you are happy, then it is not a necessity. However, many women find that it improves their quality of sleep and, therefore, their ability to juggle pregnancy and life itself, and will go on to use them or sell them after pregnancy."

Can I buy a second-hand pregnancy pillow?

Heidi says, "There is nothing wrong with investing in a second-hand pregnancy pillow. Assuming the filling is still doing its job and it has kept its shape, investing in a second-hand pillow is a great way of saving money, whilst also making yourself more comfortable."

How to use a pregnancy pillow:

Although many can be used to support your neck like a traditional pillow, they are much larger and longer to help align your whole body. This is to help make it more comfortable for you to sleep with a bump, as most experts agree that once the abdomen starts to expand, it is best to sleep on the left side with your knees bent.

How you use your specific pillow depends on the shape of pillow you choose. You can refer to our guide on how to use a pregnancy pillow, which outlines each shape and how to use it.

Full-length pregnancy pillows are one of the most popular styles of pillows. You can get comfortable by hugging the pillow, resting your bump against it so that it supports the weight and propping the pillow between your legs.

According to The Sleep Foundation, sleeping on your side with bent knees when pregnant promotes healthy circulation, protecting the liver and increasing blood flow to the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys.

When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?

Each woman is different, and you can start using a pregnancy pillow as early as you'd like. As soon as you start to feel your sleep is suffering, though, purchasing one is a good idea. For a lot of women, this happens when their bump begins to grow at around 20 weeks.

Heidi says, "You can use a pregnancy pillow from as early on as you like. Often, in second and third-time pregnancies, you can feel bigger sooner and therefore need one earlier. Otherwise, there is no set timing, so base this on your comfort levels. As soon as you start to feel different at night when sleeping and need to lay on your side more, this is a good time to invest in a pregnancy pillow."

What position should you sleep with a pregnancy pillow?

When expecting, the safest way to sleep is on your left side. Use the pillow to get as comfortable as possible. If you roll in your sleep, it is a good idea to get a U-shaped pillow which will keep you in the correct position. After your third trimester, going to sleep on your back increases your risk of stillbirth. And whilst we don't want this to become yet another worry, sleeping safely will lower your risk.

Meet the expert

Heidi Skudder is the founder of Positively Parenthood, and one of the UK’s leading early-years parent coaches. Having read psychology and started her career as a nanny, Heidi quickly identified the demand for high-quality, experienced-based support for new parents. Leveraging her hands-on experience, Heidi launched a sleep coaching business in 2011, helping new parents create positive sleep habits for their babies. This quickly became a successful consulting service, with parents worldwide turning to Heidi for support with their babies and toddlers.

A journalist since 2015, Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for seven years. Emily writes about everything from the top baby products to pregnancy, fertility and maternal mental health. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.