The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

9 best pregnancy pillows that provide support and help ease back pain

Finally get a good night’s sleep with a cushion that assists you and your growing bump

Ella Delancey Jones
Monday 23 May 2022 11:15
<p>We looked for comfort, support, value for money, innovation and versatility  </p>

We looked for comfort, support, value for money, innovation and versatility

Made for use in the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy, pregnancy pillows are ergonomic supports specifically designed to combat common sleep concerns and to reduce aches and pains.

Having a soft but sturdy support can really help to take the pressure off your hips, back and bump during the day, as well as keeping your neck, spine and hips aligned properly during sleep.

With so many on the market, it can be difficult to choose which will suit you best. It’s a good idea to first think about what sort of result you’re wanting from a pillow. Do you struggle to stay on your side (as recommended by the NHS) during the night and find yourself rolling onto your back? Would you like something that will take you from pregnancy to postnatal? Consider as well the kind of material you would like: a breathable, jersey or cotton support, or something more cosy? And, of course, there’s the cost to keep in mind.

Leah Hazard, midwife and author of bestseller Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story (£11.89, Amazon.co.uk) and host of What the Midwife Said podcast says: “Pregnancy pillows can be great tools for preventing and easing the discomfort that can be part and parcel of any pregnancy, from backache to pelvic-girdle pain and leg cramps.”

She adds: “These pillows can even be used to help you maintain more comfortable, gravity-efficient positions in labour, and can be excellent props for breast or bottle-feeding once your little one has arrived.”

Read more:

How we tested

To discover the best pregnancy pillows, we thoroughly tested a range of offerings at varying price points for their comfort, support, value for money, innovation and versatility during our third trimester. These pillows were tested throughout the day for their support and functionality as well as during sleep. We’ve included one to suit every sleep preference and budget.

The best pregnancy pillows for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Purflo breathe pregnancy pillow, botanical: £79, Purflo.com
  • Best full-body pillow – Kally sleep body pillow: £49.99, Kallysleep.com
  • Best for hip support – Little Chick London’s 4-in-1 pregnancy support pillow: £22.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best luxury pillow – Bbhugme pregnancy pillow: £153, Bbhugme.com
  • Best for left-side sleeping – Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow: £55, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for back support – Silentnight body support pillow: £35, Silentnight.co.uk
  • Best for versatility – Bamibi multifunctional pregnancy pillow and breastfeeding pillow: £28, Bambi.co
  • Best value – Mother&Baby organic cotton support V pillow wedge set: £35, Next.co.uk
  • Best for innovation – Bellamoon the pregnancy and nursing 3-in-1 pillow: £89.99, Bellamoon.co

Purflo breathe pregnancy pillow, botanical

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Dimensions: 43cm x 116cm
  • Weight: 1.47kg
  • Material: Polyester, cotton

The breathe pregnancy pillow features an ergonomic shape, designed to provide complete support and comfort for a more restful night’s sleep during pregnancy. The “3D spacer mesh” provides full breathability around your bump, and the pillow also has ultra-soft jersey cotton throughout.

We found that the pillow was extremely comfortable as a curved back support during the day, and it did not require much adjustment or shifting about to get comfortable. It was equally as good when used as a full-body pillow for sleep and would especially support women suffering from hip or pelvic-girdle pain. It’s big enough to support from neck to knees at night, but not so large that it takes up too much space in the bed or that it’s difficult to move when changing positions. A bonus – the pillow can also be used as a breastfeeding support and for tummy time when your little one arrives.

Read the full Purflo breathe pregnancy pillow review

Kally sleep body pillow

Best: Full-body pillow

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: 160cm x 30cm x 35cm
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Material: Hollowfibre filling, 50 per cent cotton and 50 per cent polyester cover

This full-length orthopaedic pillow from Kally Sleep has a soft to medium rating, so it promises not to be too firm. Covered in hypoallergenic and breathable jersey cotton, we found it to be a cosy addition that offered impressive support.

Developed by chiropractors, the pillow is designed to be “cuddled” and can be moulded to your shape. We found it easy to plump up around the back and knees where support was needed. We found it took the pressure off all the key points that often suffer during pregnancy, and offered a deeper, more comfortable sleep.

Read the full Kally sleep body pillow review

Little Chick London 4-in-1 pregnancy support pillow

Best: For hip support

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: 35cm x 30cm x 11cm
  • Weight: 310gr
  • Material: 100 per cent bamboo

Designed to contour the shape of the body, the wedge maternity pillow gently supports the tummy and hips while side sleeping. The supersoft 100 per cent bamboo cover is naturally anti-microbial and moisture absorbent, and the breathable design helps with airflow, improving temperature control.

When testing, we found that this compact wedge design performed at its best when held between the knees at night to align hips and stop the top knee relaxing onto the bottom, alleviating pressure. It is also easy and comfortable to push under a heavy bump when side sleeping, and is also a welcome and transportable back support during the day when working from a desk. A good price for a sturdy wedge pillow, it can also be used as a tummy time support for baby, as the cover can be easily removed and washed.

Bbhugme pregnancy pillow

Best: Luxury pillow

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: 150cm x 190cm
  • Weight: 2.1kg
  • Materials: BioFoam® inner, 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent spandex jersey fabric cover

Award-winning and loved by influencers such as Chessie King, this pillow is quite the investment for such a short period of time. However, it was developed by three Norwegian female chiropractors specifically to help pregnant women sleep better by supporting the belly, pelvis, lower back and legs, and can be used beyond pregnancy as a nursing support. In our opinion, it’s so attractive that it could even get further use around the home.

Coming in a range of colours, the “pebbles” on either end can be adjusted to increase or decrease the firmness of the microbeads inside, enabling it to be shaped around your body. We found that the pillow moulded extremely well, and the spandex jersey fabric felt luxe against our skin. It allows for full ergonomic support, whether as a full-length pillow at night, or tied around the back for daily support. It’s not a must-have, but it’s a very worthy investment if your budget can stretch.

Read the full Bbhugme pregnancy pillow review

Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow

Best: For left-side sleeping

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: 47cm x 15cm x 35cm
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Material: Polyester hollow fibre inner, 100 per cent cotton cover

Another innovative pillow with a dedicated purpose, this one from Dreamgenii has a unique patented design to encourage you to sleep on your left side – which many believe is the optimal sleeping position during pregnancy. Designed to be used from 20 weeks onwards, the brand says this pillow offers optimised foetal positioning and encourages maximum blood flow between mum and baby.

If you’re prone to sleeping on your back, it might take a couple of nights to get used to this pillow, but we found that it did indeed help encourage that left-hand tilt. And it’s more comfortable than it sounds – promise. The longer section of the pillow can either be brought up between your legs for knee and hip support at night, or brought around your bump when sitting. When used like this, it can also be used as a feeding pillow, once baby arrives.

Read the full Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow review

Silentnight body support pillow

Best: For back support

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: 147cm x 48cm x 4cm
  • Weight: 1.98kg
  • Material: 100 per cent polyester filling, soft microfibre pillowcase

While not strictly a dedicated pregnancy pillow, this heavy-duty rectangular model from Silentnight is a good option if you’re struggling with back pain. Crafted from soft, quilted microfibre and filled with squishy hollowfibre, it also comes with a microfibre pillowcase.

We found it to be super-sized and more sturdy and heavy than some of the others on this list. We thought that it was great in a V-shape for sitting up in bed to achieve the most comfortable position – extremely helpful for nursing. If you’re looking for great value, excellent supportive padding and versatility, this one’s for you.

Read the full Silentnight body support pillow review

Bamibi multifunctional pregnancy pillow and breastfeeding pillow

Best: For versatility

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: 45cm x 43 cm x 15cm
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Material: Polyester fibre filling, 100 per cent cotton cover

An Amazon bestseller, this pregnancy pillow is a semi-circle-shaped support that can be used as a full-body pillow for sleeping, or can be pinned using the wooden hook-and-eye to fit around or behind your body for use as a back support, or, further down the line, to be used as a breastfeeding cushion. The pillow is also advertised as a baby nest which is a nice touch, but it should be noted that this is not its main purpose and babies should not be left to sleep or rest unattended in this product.

We liked the price point and found it to have a medium, level of support. The cotton fabric ensured that there was no overheating and that it was easy to manoeuvre during the night. A supportive pillow at a good price with several different designs to choose from, we think that this is an excellent choice for those wanting a few different things out of their chosen model.

This one is currently out of stock, but you can sign up to receive an email notification when it’s back.

Mother&Baby organic cotton support V pillow wedge set

Best: Value

Rating: 7/10

  • Dimensions: 59cm x 70cm x 15cm
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Material: 100 per cent polyester filling, 100 per cent organic cotton cover

This soft Mother&Baby set is crafted from organic cotton to be gentle on sensitive skin, and can support you in multiple ways. The V-shaped pillow fits around the body to encourage side-sleeping, while the separate wedge can be used between the knees to align hips or as a bump support.

We found that this pillow would be best suited to someone who tends to roll onto their back at night, and were impressed by how cooling it felt thanks to the cotton material. The wedge and pillow, like a few on this list, can double up as a breast, bottle-feeding and tummy-time support, ensuring that you get your money’s worth.

Bellamoon the pregnancy and nursing 3-in-1 pillow

Best: For innovation

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: Total length 155cm
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Material: Polyester fibre inner pillow, 100 per cent cotton cover

This innovative design from Bellamoon is ideal for pregnancy sleep support, feeding, tummy time, and also for use as a baby lounger. You’ll not find another pregnancy pillow that looks like this one. We enjoyed that the two curved ends could be zipped off and used as standalone pillows for car journeys. When in use as a full-body pillow at night, the unique C-shape meant that it could be manipulated easily to give support where it was needed most, either between the legs, or curved around the back.

We found that this pillow was a little softer than some others on this list, so it is best suited to those who want that cosy-but-cool feel. And as a bonus, the designs are also beautiful, so it’s a welcome addition to the home.

Pregnancy pillow FAQs

What to look for in a pregnancy pillow

There are a number of things to consider:

  • Design There are different styles available depending on the support you require. A U-shape pillow is often the size of your body and can be wrapped around you. C-shaped designs, on the other hand, curve around your body to help ease pressure on your back and bump when sleeping on your side. There are also smaller, wedge-like pillows that tend to support one particular area, for example, your pelvis or back.
  • Size – Pregnancy pillows tend be quite large, so if you don’t want yours to take up your entire bed, we’d recommend looking at wedge-shaped designs.
  • Material Keep an eye out for breathable fabric, such as cotton, if you tend to get warm in the night. It’s also worth bearing in mind what materials make up the pillow’s inner, because if you suffer from allergies, a hypoallergenic model may be necessary.

The verdict: Pregnancy pillows

For a soft but supportive sleep with a pillow that will take you from day to night and to breastfeeding and beyond, our best buy is the Purflo breathe.

The Bbhugme – while expensive – is a high contender for its luxury feel as well as its adjustable firmness. For a compact but effective knee, hip or stomach wedge for an attractive price, Little Chick London’s 4-in-1 pregnancy support pillow might just be your winner. Happy sleeping!

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on other maternity essentials, try the links below:

For sleepwear you can wear throughout pregnancy and beyond, read our review of the best maternity nightwear

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in