Best pregnancy pillow: 6 buys to encourage a good night's sleep

Looking for a pregnancy pillow? We’ve rounded up the best to suit all natural sleep positions, to encourage left-side sleeping and to support your bump, back and pelvis

Best pregnancy pillow: The original Theraline pillow
(Image credit: Theraline)

Looking for the best pregnancy pillow? Talk to any woman going through the adventure that is pregnancy and she’ll tell you that from the second trimester onwards it can prove almost impossible to get into a comfortable sleeping position – especially once the growing bump makes an appearance. 

You’ll probably find your hips, pelvis and back ache – whether you’re standing or sitting – while your sleeping position makes for even more of a challenge. The NHS now recommends the safest position to go to sleep is on your side, preferably on the left to make sure blood and oxygen flow uninterrupted between you and baby throughout the night.

This optimum position can make things a little tricky for mums-to-be who are natural back or front sleepers, so we’ve rounded up our picks of the best pregnancy pillow for side sleepers, back snoozers and those who toss and turn – so left-side kipping won’t be a nightmare. 

Want more choices? Read our buyer's guide to the best pillow

What is the best pregnancy pillow?

All of these pregnancy pillows will improve your night's sleep but for us, the best pregnancy pillow is the BBHugMe: it's ergonomically designed to relieve pressure where you need it most: your belly, pelvis, knees, lower back and ankles. Read on to find out more about it – and the rest of our top picks.

BBHugMe pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: BBHugMe)

1. BBHugMe

The best pregnancy pillow for hip and back pain: scientifically engineered to offer superior support for side sleeping

Specifications
Best for: Natural side sleepers
Shape: Full length pillow
Filling: TOXPROOF certified and food grade expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads
Firmness: Soft medium
Cover: Cotton, spandex jersey
Reasons to buy
+Temperature regulation, ergonomic, adjustable, great for those who move a lot during the night
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

Recommended specifically by midwives, the award-winning BBHugMe has been developed by Scandinavian health professionals to shape to your body throughout pregnancy and beyond. It’s also perfect for use once your baby is born, to support your neck and shoulders while nursing. 

What are they like to sleep on?

The ergonomically designed, pressure-relieving pillow has a unique five-point support and comfort where you need it most: your belly, pelvis, knees, lower back and ankles. Reviewers remarked on the pillow’s squish-ablility and supportive filling, but a few remarked on the space it takes up in bed. 

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

If you move a lot during the night, this lightweight pillow will move easily with you. With in-built support it will, however, encourage you to stay in the recommended sleep position throughout your slumber.

Ease of care

The product cover is machine washable (max 40°C) with similar colours. 

Dreamgenii pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Dreamgenii)

2. DreamGenii

The best pregnancy pillow for SPD: a unique patented design for support where you need it most.

Specifications
Best for: Side sleepers
Shape: C shape
Filling: Polyester hollow fibre
Firmness: Soft medium
Cover: Polyester cotton
Reasons to buy
+Recommended by UK midwives, compact design
Reasons to avoid
-Troublesome if you move a lot during the night, too soft for some

The multi-award winning DreamGenii pregnancy and feeding pillow is shaped to promote the health of mother and baby, supporting your bump, back and knees. 

What are they like to sleep on?

The soft and comfy pillow encourages maximum blood flow between mother and baby whilst you sleep, and helps you to achieve optimal foetal positioning. It has good support along the long end for the bump and legs and keeps on you on the left side however the one sided design makes it a bit of a nuisance to manoeuvre when turning in the night.

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

The pillow will help those who have a tendency to roll onto their backs during the night, which is not recommended during pregnancy. 

Ease of care

The included white pillowcase is machine washable and is made from durable polycotton. 

Chicco Boppy bump & back pillow

(Image credit: Chicco)

3. Chicco Boppy bump & back pillow

The best pregnancy pillow for front sleepers: firm support for back and bump

Specifications
Best for: Back sleepers
Shape: C shape
Filling: Polyester
Firmness: Firm
Cover: Soft jersey cotton
Reasons to buy
+Compact, firm support, cheap and machine washable slipcover
Reasons to avoid
-Too firm for some

The Boppy bump and back support pillow is perfect for promoting the side sleeping position recommended by doctors during pregnancy without having to choose between back or belly support.

What are they like to sleep on?

Designed for both good back and belly support, the Chicco Boppy pillow promotes comfortable, recommended side sleeping mid-pregnancy. It can also be used for knees and legs during the night, as well as providing lower back comfort for reading on the sofa at home, sitting at work and heading out in the car. The two cushions are verging on too firm for some, while a few reviewers found themselves rolling onto their backs in the middle of the night.  

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

For those who usually sleep on their front, this will give you the support needed to keep you comfortable on your side all night.  There is a stretch panel in between the two cushions to accommodate your growing bump. 

Ease of care

The jersey cotton slipcover is removable and machine washable (as is the pillow itself) for your convenience.

Pillowscapes bean pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Pillowscapes)

4. Pillowscapes bean pillow

The best pillow for cooling: with its high thread count cotton cover, it's great for sweaty sleepers

Specifications
Best for: Side sleepers
Shape: Bean shape
Filling: Hollow conjugated polyester filling, 100% cotton-twill shell
Firmness: Medium Firm
Cover: 100% high thread count cotton fabric
Reasons to buy
+Reasonable price, support during the whole of pregnancy, anti allergenic
Reasons to avoid
-It won’t stop you rolling onto your back in the night

The double height bean pillow by Pillowscapes is firm but squishy and is a dream for side sleepers. Ideal for use up to full term. 

What are they like to sleep on?

The generous size will help to support knees, bumps and backs. Reviewers found it handy for feeding, sitting up in bed, and remarked on its cooling properties due to its high thread count cotton case. 

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

If you usually sleep on your back, this pillow won’t stop you from doing so. However, if side sleeping’s your forte, you’ll get plenty of support for bump.

Ease of care

The removable pillowcase is made from 100 per cent cotton, and can be popped in the washing machine.

Theraline pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Theraline )

5. The Original THERALINE maternity and nursing pillow

The best pregnancy pillow for back sleepers: micro pearls mould to the shape of your body

Specifications
Best for: Back or front sleepers
Shape: V shape
Filling: Micro beads
Firmness: Medium Firm
Cover: Highly colour-fast and mercerized extra-soft twill or jersey cotton
Reasons to buy
+Holds it shape, meaning you won’t roll over in the night, anti-allergenic, breathable fabric 
Reasons to avoid
-Too bulky for some

The Original Theraline maternity & nursing pillow has a filling made up of millions of tiny micro beads that are as light as a feather.

What are they like to sleep on?

Theraline’s maternity and nursing pillow helps mould to the shape of your body, no matter what position you’re in, remaining in place without giving way. A few reviewers commented on its bulkiness, which makes rolling over a little difficult, while a few have mentioned its micro beads can make the filling uneven during the night.

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

If you usually sleep on your back or front, this pillow will help keep you in the side sleeping position, although it won’t stop you from turning over without realising. 

Ease of care

The pillow and case can be washed at 60°C.

Kally U shaped pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Kally)

6. Kally U-shaped pregnancy pillow

The best pillow for back sleepers: alleviates pain throughout the body

Specifications
Best for: Back sleepers
Shape: U shape
Filling: Hollowfibre
Firmness: Medium
Cover: Jersey cotton
Reasons to buy
+Temperature regulation, useful up to third trimester, doubles as nursing pillow, keeps spine aligned
Reasons to avoid
-A little bulky for a double bed

Kally’s U-shaped pregnancy pillow has a unique design that creates supportive positioning, alleviating pain throughout the body and helping you get a comfortable night’s sleep.

What are they like to sleep on?

Designed by leading doctors specialising in sleep, the curved Kally pregnancy body pillow has been made to encourage healthy sleep positions for mums-to-be, providing support and comfort, during the most restless nights in the third trimester. 

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

Aimed to support back sleepers, it helps a lot of women sleep in the recommended position without moving accidentally to their usual default. 

Ease of care

Easy to wash, chuck the pillow in at 40°C and the pillowcase at 30°C with similar colours. 

Bella Moon full moon pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Bella Moon)

7. BellaMoon Full Moon, £169

The best multi-functional pregnancy pillow: 7-in-1 capabilities

Specifications
Best for: Side sleepers
Shape: C shape
Filling: Polyester hollowfibre
Firmness: Soft medium
Cover: Oeko-Tex certified cotton
Reasons to buy
+Portable, suitable from pre-pregnancy up to approx. 18 months, seven handy uses from pregnancy support to lying down breastfeeding support and infant tummy time.
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey, not best for back and front sleepers 

The BellaMoon Full Moon’s 7-in-1 multi-functional capabilities lets mums rest in the recommended side position, while aiding baby feeds and rests once your little one arrives.

What are they like to sleep on?

Soft yet structural, the Full Moon gives the appropriate support for your neck, bump, hips, and lower legs. 

Will it suit your usual sleep position?

For those of you who usually sleep on your backs, this won’t guarantee you’ll not roll over. 

Ease of care 

The covers are also fully changeable and all fabric parts are machine washable.

How to buy the best pregnancy pillow

How do you usually sleep and how far along are you? 

The position you tend to sleep in and the trimester you’re in tend to go hand-in-hand when choosing a pregnancy pillow to suit your needs, and help make the transitions your body will go through more bearable.

For those who usually sleep on their tummies, you’ll find sore breasts make bedtime a struggle as early as the first trimester. 

Once the second trimester hits, it’s time for back sleepers to change their ways, since the weight of your ever-expanding midriff can compromise your circulation.

By the third trimester, even if you hate lying on your side, it’s now the right time to make the transition, as your bump gets weighty and your joints get more lax. 

Whatever you natural sleeping position, it’s recommended that you sleep on your left side from 28 weeks to help uninterrupted blood and nutrients flow to baby.  

As the position you sleep in is the one held the longest throughout the night, don’t worry if you wake up on your back; it’s no biggy – just roll over on your side again. 

The size and shape 

Pregnancy pillows come in a huge range of different sizes, so it’s worth making sure you pick the right size for you by thinking about the following: do you sleep beside your significant other? How big is your bed? Do you have room to store the pillow when not using it? 

Dependent on shape, pregnancy pillows are either designed to support your whole body during pregnancy, while some offer support to a specific area, so make sure you find out just what support is offered so you can be sure you buy the right one to suit your needs. 

For example, If you suffer from pelvic pain, a U-shaped design - where you can push one leg of the pillow off the bed to get in and out - may work better for those frequent nightly loo trips, compared to a C-shaped pillow that you have to climb into. 

The fabric and filling

If you’ve ever been pillow shopping, you’ll know there are a lot of fillings out there, and pregnancy pillows are no different. From memory foam to micro beads, there are so many to choose from. 

Think about what type of filling you usually prefer in your normal pillows and the support that provides you to help you decide.

Some pillows also come with removable covers, which tend to come in typical fabrics such as cotton, polycotton, or polyester. Most of these will be machine washable and dryer friendly. If you choose a natural fabric, you’ll also find they’ll keep you cool for longer on sticky summer nights. 

What’s your budget? 

Prices really vary for pregnancy pillows. Be prepared to splurge at least £40 to £50 for the average rated type. The crème de la crème could set you back in excess of £100. 

Can the pillow be used after pregnancy? 

Along with being some of the best maternity pillows, U and C-shaped pillows are also excellent long after pregnancy, from supporting you while you feed your newborn to aiding chronic pain in your back, shoulders or hips, as they not only provide much needed support but also cocoon you during sleep. 

One pillow does not suit all…

You could spend hours scouring pillow reviews to find the one, but it really boils down to the fact that what works for one woman may not work for you. Every pregnant woman has different requirements, aches and pains and preferred sleeping positions, which will help when it comes to choosing the pillow that ticks all your boxes. 

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