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

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

Rosie Shephard
Friday 16 October 2020 10:50
We’ve considered material type, firmness, pressure and, of course, price when choosing our top picks
We’ve considered material type, firmness, pressure and, of course, price when choosing our top picks

A maternity pillow that supports you in all the right places so you can get a great night’s sleep (while you still can) is a must-have.

Each pregnancy has unique ups and downs, but the thing that most mums-to-be (and all parents in general) crave is a comfortable night’s rest. 

The best approach is to think about what kind of sleeper you are. If you like to be cocooned and snug all night, a full-length U-shaped pillow will be a sweet dream for you. If you like your space and move about a lot, a smaller pillow may be best. 

Look for pillows that support your knees and ankles to take the pressure off your hips. Some can also be used as nursing pillows when your baby arrives, so are a good long-lasting investment. 

Vicki Renz runs Oh My Mama Body, a support site specialising in all things motherhood with a section dedicated to sleep tips. 

She says: “Choosing the right pregnancy pillow for your comfort is essential. Your body needs supporting well. Keeping your head and upper back elevated allows blood to circulate more easily and eases heartburn. 

“A pillow that keeps your back and belly firmly cushioned provides support and helps avoid back problems and sciatica,” she adds. 

We tested a range of differently sized and priced pillows looking specifically for support, comfort and longevity. 

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow

This is the most innovative pregnancy pillow we tested. It suits wriggly sleepers because it is designed to keep you sleeping on your left side, which helps to optimise foetal positioning and encourages maximum blood flow between mum and baby. Any mums will know that staying on your left side all night is extremely difficult so anything that helps is a win. This pillow supports your whole body, including your legs, and tucks under your back and arm so that you can still lie your head on your regular pillow. It also gives padding under your hips, which can get sore from months of side sleeping. The removable and washable 100 per cent cotton cover is soft and smooth and we love the range of designs it comes in. The white cotton jersey fabric cover is snuggly in winter. It is medium-sized and small enough to hide away when visitors come around, should you wish. We are big fans.  

Kally Sleep U-shaped pregnancy pillow

We feel sleepy just looking at this pillow. The U-shape means you just slot right in and don’t have to clamp it into place using your body or legs. You can toss and turn all night and it will literally have your back at all times. It is medium-firm and feels like you’re sleeping in a soft, inflatable canoe. Made with anti-allergy-treated fibres, the cotton cover is also breathable and washable. Large and super comfy – you will have to ban your partner from creeping into it to watch TV. We love that Kallysleep has created a whole range based on every type of pain – this one should cover all pregnancy aches and pains.

bbhugme pregnancy pillow

Developed by Norwegian chiropractors, the bbhugme pillow supports your pelvis, lower back, knees, ankles and bump. The attachments at each end can be moved up and down so you can adjust the firmness to suit your needs. Each end can also tie together to form a doughnut, making it safe to rest on your stomach.

The inner material is antibacterial and antifungal, while the cover is made from certified soft cotton jersey fabric and comes on and off easily. It is sturdy and will last the whole nine months and beyond as a nursing support. It feels super soft and luxurious – fitting for the price.

Silentnight body support pillow

This chunky pillow can be used before, during and after pregnancy for any kind of support. It is filled with hollowfibre and adapts with your body – we love that it can be squished into any shape and never goes lumpy. We like the choices it gives us. What ails us one day may be different the next and this offers support for any body part or activity – be it growing a baby or reading a book. It is made from quilted microfibre and has a washable pillowcase and an extra teddy fleece cover for the winter

Hippy Chick nursing and maternity pillow

We love the versatility of this pillow. It supports the bump throughout pregnancy, feeding and then can also be used as baby support for tummy time or sitting practice. The cover is 100 per cent cotton and machine washable – a definite must-have. The tie design is clever, allowing it to be easily transported and it can also act as a nursing sling. Our favourite part is the inner pockets – never again will you get comfy only to realise you’ve left your phone elsewhere.

Mamas and Papa pregnancy and nursing pillow

This boomerang-shaped pillow is long enough to provide full body support but still feels compact enough not to be a bed-hog. The shape will curve around your body perfectly, providing support for the back, knees, hips and bump. It is simple but effective and moulds to suit all types of sleeper. It will be useful through pregnancy and nursing and the soft, removable cover is washable. We love the cool grey colour.

JoJo Maman Bebe microbean maternity sleep pillow

This pillow is filled with polystyrene beans, so if you are a fan of a beanbag, you’ll love this. It moulds around the body and has all the great features of other more expensive pillows, but at an affordable price. It is small and dense and would also be ideal to use for back support when sitting on the sofa. The cover is 100 per cent cotton and super soft. We love the fact that you can use this pillow for pregnancy and nursing support, but it’s compatible with the baby nest converter cover, which – you guessed it – converts the pillow into a comfy baby rest for pre-rollers. We love the versatility and great value.

Linens Limited V-shaped maternity and nursing pillow

This pillow is versatile – it can support you during pregnancy, you can use it for nursing or even just a really cosy nap. The cover is polycotton and machine washable, and easy to replace. It’s not huge, so can be taken on trips away without taking up too much room. We had to double check the price because it’s such good value. It is small – more like a wedge than a maternity pillow, but ideal if you want a super soft, smaller pillow to add light support.

BellaMoon new moon 4-in-1 pregnancy and nursing pillow

BellaMoon was founded by Irene Breen, a mum who wants to solve real problems for tired mamas. This beautiful pillow creates a safe and comfortable space for mums to rest when pregnant, and then feed their babies. The C-shape design will cocoon around you, supporting the knees and bump. It’s large in size – making it ideal if you want a super snuggly full-body support. The genius part of it is that the middle section unzips and the ends join together to form a nursing pillow and tummy time cushion. The covers come in a range of beautiful designs and are machine washable.

CuddleCo comfi-mum memory foam nursing support pillow

This full-length pillow is long but slim, meaning it tucks away nicely when not in use. The memory foam springs back after every use, and the design is simple yet effective – allowing for a secure rest for mums and babies before, during and after pregnancy. The material is breathable and hypo-allergenic, and the cover is machine washable. This pillow is best suited to restless sleepers who aren’t suffering from any serious aches and pains.

Knee Pillow the total body support pillow

This one is for the mums who want to get seriously snuggly. It is designed to support knees, joints and bumps, relive pressure and ease fatigue, and it can also help with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and pelvic pain. Filled with hollowfibre, it has a washable polycotton cover and is non-irritating, breathable and moisture absorbing. It feels like a giant hug and will suit someone who needs a lot of support.

The verdict: Pregnancy pillows

The aim of the pregnancy pillow game is to help you get to sleep and stay asleep – preferably on your left side. This is why the Dreamgenii pregnancy support and feeding pillow is our best buy – it is designed to do just that. The JoJo Maman Bebe microbean maternity sleep pillow is also worth a mention because it allows you to move about and it’s great value. Sweet dreams!

For sleepwear you can wear throughout pregnancy and beyond, read our review of the best maternity nightwear pieces that are comfortable, yet stylish 

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