During pregnancy, sleep often becomes this very elusive necessity. You need plenty of it to keep up your energy and keep growing that baby, but as your baby bump grows, it becomes more and more difficult to get comfortable at night.
One possible solution? A pregnancy pillow.
What is a Pregnancy Pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are made specifically with pregnant mothers in mind. As your body changes and your belly grows, your joints and muscles become strained from carrying that extra weight.
But a pregnancy pillow can bring relief by supporting you in all the right places. This can help you finally feel comfortable at night and, hopefully, drift off to sleep.
How We Chose the Best Pregnancy Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
We performed extensive research of consumer reviews and medically reviewed sources to compile this collection of highly recommended pregnancy pillows.
For this list, we focused our search on pillows that could support women who are typically stomach sleepers. They come in various styles and shapes to support stomach sleepers in different ways.
Some of these pillows simply provide adequate support for your belly, so you can sleep on your side, but still have that extra lift and soft pressure to keep you in place and help you feel cozy. Others allow you to actually sleep on your stomach during pregnancy (gasp!).
The 7 Best Pregnancy Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
Read on for our ultimate list of the 7 best pregnancy pillows for stomach sleepers.
Body Nest Pregnancy Pillow
The Body Nest Pregnancy Pillow creates a literal nest in which to lay your body as you sleep. “Designed by mothers, for mothers,” this pillow is designed in a U-shape that contours all sides of your body for maximum support. It even features an internal zipper so you can adjust the fill to a level that feels the most supportive and comfortable to you.
With a reversible cover (the only one on the market), Body Nest gives you options for minky soft warmth in the winter and breathable cotton that wicks away your moisture for coolness in the summer. The cover is also machine washable, made with reinforced stitching that will keep your pillow in tip-top shape long beyond the 9 months of pregnancy.
What’s really fun is the flexibility this pillow offers. Though its main use is to aid pregnancy sleep, it can also help with surgery, back problems, or joint pain. You could also use it during the day for comfy lounging on the couch or nursing your baby.
The U-shaped Body Nest Pregnancy Pillow is an excellent sleep accessory for pregnant women and partners alike, with versatile configurations and a reversible cover that suits this pillow for every season of the year.
PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
PharMeDoc’s Pregnancy Pillow comes in a U-shape but features a detachable section that can become a body pillow all on its own. This allows you to configure the pillow (or pillows) in various ways that feel most comfortable to you, including nursing your baby or relaxing around the house. It could also give you more space in your bed if you decide to simply set aside the detachable extension.
The polyfill blend that fills the pillow becomes more supportive when added weight is placed upon it. Though, some users say this pillow is not as supportive as they had hoped, or that the detachable section makes the entire pillow less supportive on that side.
PharMeDoc Pregnancy PIllow comes with a velvety, machine-washable cover. Keep in mind, though, that the velvet material may trap heat, which could lead to a sweaty night if you tend to run hot.
PharMeDoc’s U-shaped Pregnancy Pillow is a versatile option, with a zip-off extension that can save space or allow you to customize the pillow for the unique support you need.
Meiz Pregnancy Pillow
Meiz U-shaped Pregnancy Pillow is multi-functional, as it allows for support during sleep as well as while watching TV, reading, nursing, or recovering from an injury or surgery. The inner fill level is adjustable to your preference, though some users say it struggles to fluff up enough, even after several days.
This pillow comes with a soft velvet cover that’s machine-washable. Remember if you’re worried about heat that velvet tends to trap heat. Luckily, Meiz offers a handful of different cover options with various colors and materials to choose from.
Meiz is a wonderful U-shaped Pregnancy Pillow with adjustable fill for customizable support and plenty of options for cover materials and colors.
Queen Rose Pregnancy Pillow
Queen Rose provides yet another U-shaped pillow that encompasses your body in support and comfort. The U-shape is designed to curve inward a the midsection to provide extra support for your back and belly – though some people say that the pillow is a bit on the flat side and doesn’t tend to hold its shape too well.
This pregnancy pillow is available in several different sizes, with a machine-washable cover (though the soft material tends to run a bit warm). It can also serve several other functions besides sleeping, so you can get lots of good use out of it. Just keep in mind that, for some, it feels a bit restrictive at the shoulders, toward the top of the pillow. So, if you have broad shoulders, you may be more comfortable with a different pillow.
Queen Rose’s pregnancy pillow provides another cushy U-shaped option for moms who want a soft, warm style with plenty of sizing choices.
Awesling Maternity and Pregnancy Body Pillow
Awesling’s U-shaped maternity pillow can become many other shapes, too. It’s extremely adjustable, as both sides of the “U” can be detached and arranged around you in various ways. It can provide comfort for pregnant mothers and anyone else who needs extra support during sleep. It also includes a small angled pillow you can use to prop up your baby bump, your back, or your neck.
This pregnancy pillow comes stuffed quite full, but the fill can be adjusted to your liking. It also includes a soft, machine-washable cover. In addition, there is a strap that runs between the sides of the pillow to keep everything in position. It’s sewn in on one side of the pillow, so can only be adjusted on the other side (and sometimes its velcro can get scratchy if you don’t adjust it just right). With all the detachable parts, you’ll also want to take extra care of the zippers as they seem to be a bit flimsy.
Awesling’s pregnancy pillow provides the ultimate versatility, as the sides can be detached and configured any way you want. The filing can be adjusted, as well, so the pillow can cater to your needs.
Insen Pregnancy Pillow
Insen provides a C-shaped Pregnancy Pillow to support your back, belly, hips, and knees. The C shape can be tightened to cuddle you closer or loosened if you need some space. The pillow can help to reduce tossing and turning, though, if you do shift positions during the night, it may prove difficult with this pillow, because you’ll have to flip it over with you and adjust it all over again.
This pregnancy pillow is also available in several different materials and color options, all of which are machine-washable. This particular one is a velvety material, which is soft and tends to run warm.
The pillow’s filling is adjustable, though some complain it is rather flat or lumpy and offers poor support. Still, other users were concerned about the pillow’s durability, as the stitching seemed a bit loose in some areas.
Insen’s C-shaped Pregnancy Pillow provides lots of cover choices and the ability to make the pillow as snug or loose as you like, so you can get some extra support for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Cozy Bump Pregnancy Pillow for Sleeping Prone
The Cozy Bump Pregnancy Pillow allows you to sleep on your stomach during pregnancy, with a hole in the middle for your baby bump to fit. Sleeping this way during pregnancy may help to decompress your lower back. The “pillow” is a bit more like an inflatable air mattress. This makes it difficult to use in a bed – it’s probably better to use on the floor. (But it can also double as an awesome pregnancy pool floatie!)
The headrest inflates separately, so you can use your own pillow, instead, if you prefer. Keep in mind, this headrest has no cutout for your face, so you will need to turn your head to the side while using it.
Additionally, this pregnancy “pillow” is not suited for side sleeping, as it won’t support you correctly that way. It may be best to use it for a daytime nap or for just a portion of the night.
The Cozy Bump Pregnancy Pillow is an excellent option for die-hard stomach sleepers who have a hard time finding comfort sleeping on their sides during pregnancy.
How Do Pregnancy Pillows Work?
As your baby bump grows, your body is working hard to support that new weight you’re carrying. And it can be a real strain on your body. Pregnancy pillows take the pressure of these strained joints and muscles by providing support to various areas of your body.
How to Choose a Pregnancy Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
When it comes to pregnancy pillows, there are so many sizes and shapes to choose from, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll definitely want something that can provide adequate support to your bump to give your that cozied-up feeling. But beyond that, there are many other factors to consider when selecting your pregnancy pillow.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Pregnancy Pillow
The shape of your pregnancy pillow will be a determining factor in your decision. The most common shapes include U-shaped and C-shaped pillows. These are meant to support side sleeping. But there are also inflatable pregnancy pillows that accommodate stomach sleeping with a hole in the middle for your baby bump.
As side sleeping is generally recommended by doctors during pregnancy, most pregnancy pillows are designed to support this position. They can help prevent you from rolling over and keep you comfortable on your side.
Sleeping on your stomach is usually very difficult during pregnancy, but many pregnancy pillows are built for die-hard stomach sleepers. The inflatable pillows provide a safe way for women to sleep on their front sides during pregnancy.
We all know that when you’re pregnant, it’s easy to feel overly hot, especially at night in bed. Adding a big pillow to the mix can only make things work, in terms of heat. But many pregnancy pillows are made with this in mind and have been constructed with materials that are more cooling and breathable. If you tend to run hot, look for materials like cotton or polyester blends to stay relatively cool throughout the night.
Support and Comfort
For a good pregnancy pillow, you’ll need just the right balance of soft comfort and firm support for your body. Foam pillows provide firmer support, while fiberfill pillows tend to be softer.
It’s typical for pregnancy pillows to be price under $100. Sometimes paying a higher price means getting a more durable, expertly designed product with high-quality materials. However, you should still be able to find a decent pregnancy pillow for an affordable price.
What Are the Benefits of Pregnancy Pillows?
Many benefits can come with using a pregnancy pillow.
Align Your Spine and Hips
Poor sleep posture can only exacerbate the pressure you already have pushing down on your pelvis and joints. A pregnancy pillow can help you stay in alignment while you sleep, taking the pressure off your tired neck, back, and hips.
Staying aligned during your sleep can also help your blood to continue smooth circulation throughout your body. This way, you don’t have to worry so much about leg cramps or numbness.
Diminish Congestion and Heartburn Symptoms
Pregnancy pillows that keep your head elevated can also reduce heartburn or nasal congestion – common pregnancy ailments that might otherwise disrupt your sleep.
Help You Adjust to a New Sleeping Position
For those stomach sleepers who want to make the temporary switch to side-sleeping during pregnancy, a pregnancy pillow can help you get comfortable in that position. They provide plenty of support and soft pressure against both your back and your front. This can help you stay in place and feel snuggled up the same way you do when you sleep on your stomach.
(But, of course, if you just can’t bring yourself to make the switch, you can always get an inflatable pregnancy pillow so you can keep sleeping on your stomach through every trimester.)
With the combination of spine alignment, healthy circulation, reduced heartburn and congestion, and a comfortable sleeping position, you should (hopefully) be able to get a good night’s sleep. A pregnancy pillow can help you achieve that.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
Stomach-sleeper pregnancy pillows are usually inflatable and raft-shaped. They include a circular cut-out in the middle where the baby bump fits. These are the only pregnancy pillows that allow the user to safely sleep on their front side during pregnancy.
U-shaped pregnancy pillows are quite large and surround the user with comfy support on all sides. Typically, you lay with your head at the bottom of the “U” and the sides lie along either side of your body to support your belly and back. But, of course, it can be reconfigured in any other way that suits your needs.
A C-shaped pillow is a little smaller than a U-shape but still encompasses your body with pillowy support. You can sleep with the front of your body toward the opening of the “C” or the back – either way should still provide support for your baby bump, your back, and in between your knees. You can also experiment and find other ways to use it!
A wedge is the most compact style of pregnancy pillow. It can be placed in targeted areas to support the parts of your body that need it most. It can be placed behind your back, beneath your baby bump, or between your knees. You can also put it behind your back to support your while sitting up.
Types of Pregnancy Pillow Materials
A synthetic type of fiber, polyester tends to be quite inexpensive. It’s also very versatile, as can be formulated into various textures and elasticity levels.
Cotton is a natural fiber that’s breathable and easy to care for. It has a soft texture and can absorb moisture to keep you cool.
Memory foam is a quality material that can contour a person’s body to give the unique support they need. But bear in mind, memory foam can get quite hot, so it’s usually better suited to smaller pillows that don’t surround your body, such as wedges.
Polyfoam is a more affordable, firmer foam that doesn’t conform to your body the same way. This material can be helpful if you need a stronger support for your back, belly, or other areas.
Polyester fiberfill is soft and most often used in the larger-style pregnancy pillows. It’s supportive, but cushier and cooler than other materials. It’s also easy to clean, affordable, and hypoallergenic.
Where Can I Buy a Pregnancy Pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are usually at any store that provides baby and pregnancy gear, such as Buy Buy Baby, Target, and Walmart. Or, of course, Amazon has plenty of options if you prefer the convenience of shopping from home. Just remember to find out the return policy before buying anything – you’ll never know what you like until you try it!
How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows are most often used to aid sleep during pregnancy. But it can also be used for lounging on the couch or nursing your baby. It can even be used to support and comfort those with joint pain, injuries, or who are recovering from surgery.
How to Sleep with a Pregnancy Pillow
This depends largely on the style of pillow you select, as well as your personal preferences and needs for added support.
For a U- or C-shaped pillow, you can slip part of the pillow between your knees to support healthy hip alignment. Then the rest can come up along your belly and your back, so you’ll stay supported and comfortable on your side. With an inflatable pillow, you’ll sleep on your front side with your baby bump fitting securely into the hole in the middle of the pillow.
Can You Sleep On Your Stomach With a Pregnancy Pillow?
With inflatable pillows, you can sleep on your stomach during pregnancy. This is because they feature a space where your baby bump can safely fit. With all other types of pregnancy pillows, you’ll need to sleep on your side to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.
What Month Should You Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach While Pregnant?
Once your baby bump becomes big enough to show, you’ll probably want to shift from stomach-sleeping to side-sleeping (unless, of course, you have an inflatable pregnancy pillow!). This usually happens around the 16-18 week mark. For most people, it becomes uncomfortable to sleep on your front, anyway, once you hit this point (but it all depends on the person).
Commonly Asked Questions About Pregnancy Pillows
Which pregnancy pillow is best for stomach sleepers?
The Body Nest Pregnancy Pillow is the best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers. This is because it is created in a U-shape to support both your belly and your back, so you’ll stay on your side and have all the support and cushiness you desire surrounding your body.
Can you sleep on your stomach with a pregnancy pillow?
It’s typically recommended for pregnant women to sleep on their sides in their second and third trimesters. This is why most pregnancy pillows support a woman’s frot and back so she can stay in position on her side. However, if side sleeping just isn’t cutting it for you, an inflatable pregnancy pillow with a hole in the middle can accommodate your bump so you can safely lie on your stomach.
Is a C-Shaped or U-Shaped pregnancy pillow better?
This all depends on your personal preference. A U-shaped pillow, while quite large, can offer support for both sides of your body, and you won’t have to readjust it if you flip over during the night.
A C-shaped pillow, on the other hand, is a little less bulky but allows you to decide which direction is best to provide you the support you need. However, if you find a certain position suits you best, you’ll have to flip the pillow over with you if you toss and turn during the night.
When should you start sleeping with a pregnancy pillow?
Feel free to start sleeping with a pregnancy pillow whenever you want to. You’ll typically start feeling like you need some extra support during the second and third trimester, when pregnancy aches and pains become more poignant as your belly grows. But, if you wish, you could start using it during the first trimester to give you time to adjust to side sleeping.
How much do pregnancy pillows cost?
Most pregnancy pillows are priced under $100. More compact styles, like wedges, are less expensive and larger pillows are a bit pricier. Remember, though, that the quality of your pregnancy pillow could add a lot to your comfort throughout these 9 months. It’s worth the investment to find something that will maximize your relaxation.
How do I clean a pregnancy pillow?
Pregnancy pillows typically come with a removable cover that can be machine-washed and then replaced on the pillow afterward.
Why Trust PillowGuide.org?
PillowGuide.org is the expert source on all things pillows. We’ve done our research to help readers find pillows that best accommodate their needs, giving you a supported, comfortable, healthy night’s sleep.
How to Easily Clean a Pregnancy Pillow
Washing your pregnancy pillow is an essential part of keeping it safe for use. While most pillows are machine-washable, you should always check the care instructions first.
Here are some key things to remember when washing your pregnancy pillow:
- Read the product's instructions first. Some pillows require only hand washing, while others can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water. Some pillows may also require more elaborate care than others.
- Always use cold-warm water when washing the pillows so that they don't shrink or become misshapen over time due to heat exposure during washing.
- You should use mild soap whenever possible when washing your pregnancy pillow because harsh chemicals can cause damage over time.
- Always keep your pregnancy pillow separate from any other items you're washing in the washer or dryer.
- Machine-dry on low heat only. We recommend using a cool setting when drying a pregnancy pillow (either by machine or hanging). Hot temperatures can damage some materials used in pillows.
How to Machine Wash Your Pregnancy Pillow
If you're expecting and have a pregnancy pillow, you probably want to keep it as clean as possible. We've put together this guide on machine-washing your pregnancy pillow.
First, make sure you have the right tools on hand:
- A washing machine (obviously)
- Detergent for pillows (you can find this at most department stores)
- A pillowcase (preferably one with a zipper)
- An old towel or two (to place your pillow in while it dries)
Step 1: Check Whether It Fits
Before running water through your machine, check whether or not it can accommodate the size of your pillow. Most devices are capable of handling smaller pillows, but if yours is especially large or has additional covers (like a slipcover), you may need to look into hand washing it.
Step 2: Remove the Cover
If your pillow has a removable cover, take it off before washing. This will help prevent the tangling of the bulk in the washing machine. It will also allow you to remove any lint or hair caught in the cover easily.
Step 3: Close the Zipper
Close the zipper if your pillow has one. It is especially important to close it when washing a pillow with microbeads or styrofoam peanuts. These beads can clog up a washing machine and cause damage if they get loose inside.
Step 4: Run Gentle Wash Cycles
Use gentle cycle settings with low spin speeds when washing your pregnancy pillow. This will reduce wear and tear on sensitive materials like memory foam or latex. Pair the gentle wash cycle with cool water temperatures for best results.
Step 5: Slow Dry
Make sure that you dry your pregnancy pillow on medium heat. This prevents it from shrinking or damaging from too much heat exposure during drying.
How to Hand Wash Your Pregnancy Pillow
If you've ever tried to wash a pregnancy pillow, you know that it's not exactly the easiest thing to do. But don't worry—we'll walk you through the steps of how to hand wash your pregnancy pillow.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
First, gather all of your supplies. You'll need a bucket or tub with warm water, mild soap or detergent, and a soft-bristled brush. It's also helpful to have an old towel or two on hand for drying.
Step 2: Soak Your Pillow
In the sink or tub, add warm water and mild detergent (the amount will vary based on the size of your pillow). Soak the pillow for some time (like 30 minutes), gently rubbing it with your fingers or brush to loosen dirt and grime.
Step 3: Rinse the Pillow
After soaking, rinse any remaining soap residue by running clean water through each part of the pillow until no more suds appear on any surface. Squeeze gently to remove excess water.
Step 4: Let It Dry
Dry your pregnancy pillow by laying it out flat in a dry place with good air circulation and letting it air-dry overnight or longer (until completely dry).
Depending on the material, you can hand wash or machine wash your pregnancy pillow. Make sure to follow the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. Also, don't use hot water while washing your pregnancy pillow. Once you are done washing, make sure you hang the pregnancy pillow to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.