At a Glance
- Pregnancy Pillows are designed to give you better sleep during the nightly struggles of your pregnancy. The provide comfort and support, reduces body pain, ensures proper blood circulation, and prevents you from sleeping in the wrong position.
- The three most important things you need to consider when buying your pregnancy pillow are – the right fit, quality, and safety.
- There are different types of pregnancy pillows: (1) Total body pillows offer an all-in-one package to support your neck, back, hips, and tummy. (2) U-shaped pregnancy pillows are good for those who like sleeping on their backs. (3) Pregnancy wedge pillows are compact, portable, firm, and versatile.
- When buying a pregnancy pillow, you should consider (1) the filling, (2) the size, and (3) the cover material.
- As safety precaution when purchasing pregnancy pillows, (1) always check product seals, (2) only buy from trusted brands, and (3) be wary of products made of toxic materials.
No one ever said that pregnancy is easy. Carrying life inside of you is a profoundly beautiful experience, but it is hard to find consolation in that when it is 2 o’clock in the morning and you haven’t had a proper sleep in the last few weeks. However, there is one thing that might help you – a pregnancy pillow.
The idea might be a little strange at first, but you will be surprised how much it is helping women across the world to get some much-needed rest. Curious to know more? Read ahead.
What Is a Pregnancy Pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are specially designed to give pregnant women the comfort they sorely need to help them get to sleep. Their unique design gives attention to the parts of your body that need that extra support and care so you can rest easy. With this, you won’t be needing multiple pillows that need constant repositioning at night.
They come in different forms and sizes, depending on what kind you require at a particular stage of your pregnancy, or how you like to sleep. Aside from giving you comfort, they can also help ease your body pain by providing soft cushioning. This added support, in turn, also makes proper blood circulation possible. These pillows also prevent you from sleeping in the wrong position which may harm you or your baby.
When buying a pregnancy pillow, you need to consider 3 things:
- The right fit
Choose something that caters to your specific needs. It is important to find the product with the right height, support, and comfort. Are you a slide sleeper, stomach sleeper or back sleeper? Do you prefer firmness or softness in a pillow? Pay extra attention and find something that meets these needs and preferences.
It is good to take note of the quality of your pregnancy pillow so you can have something that is long-lasting and has the best value for your money. If you are looking to have more babies in the future, then you will need something that is sturdy and reliable.
You and your baby’s safety are, of course, your utmost priority. Make sure that the product you choose will not put you and your little one at risk. Some products may seem harmless but can prove you wrong when you care to look a little closer. Being aware of these credible threats will pave a long way in preventing possible health risks.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
There are a variety of pregnancy pillow types to choose from according to your needs and preferences. These are the three main types of pregnancy pillows:
1. Total Body Pillow – Offers an all-in-one package to support your neck, back, hips and tummy. With its shape, it is capable of accommodating your height comfortably while being wide enough to give solid support to your back and tummy.
- Shape: C-Shape
- Cover Material: Cotton, Fiber or Polyester
- Filling: Poly Fiber
- Density: Medium Plush
2. U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow – Perfect for those who like sleeping on their backs. It offers support in certain key areas such as the back and the belly, giving you full body cushion and warmth. Its unique shape also makes it possible for you to use the bottom part in any which way, as it is completely modifiable. Although a little bulky, the comfort it gives your whole body makes it all the more worth it.
- Shape: U-Shape
- Cover Material: Cotton, Fiber or Polyester
- Filling: Bionic Polyethylene
- Density: Medium Plush
3. Pregnancy Wedge Pillow – Completely unique from the two other pillow types on this list, the Pregnancy Wedge Pillow is more compact but offers versatility and firmness to your back, head or belly. It may not be able to envelop your whole body, but its light weight and portability make it easier to carry around. It won’t crowd your bed and it’s small enough that even your baby can even use it in the future.
- Shape: Wedge
- Cover Material: Cotton, Fiber or Polyester
- Filling: High-Density Foam
- Density: Firm
What are the most important purchase criteria for pregnancy pillows?
With so many brands and products out there, how do you decide which particular Pregnancy Pillow to buy? As with any other investment, it’s important to thoroughly research the features of what you are planning to buy. We’ve narrowed down several purchase criteria for you.
Pregnancy pillows have different kinds of fillings. You should choose something that suits your individual needs. These fillings have their own pros and cons. The table below shows the comparison of each.
- EPS Beads – Also known as Styrofoam, this material is the most commonly used filling in a lot of pregnancy pillows. Standard types usually come in between 1.5 to 2.5 mm while microbeads come in 0.5 to 1.5 mm. Essentially, the larger the beads, the louder it will rustle. Make sure that the EPS beads are pollutant-free as some Styrofoam fillings may contain toxic, carcinogenic materials and are therefore not safe for pregnancy pillows.
- Flexible and stable
- Does not store heat or moisture
- The filling needs regular change
- Spelt – Fillings that are made of spelt husks are eco-friendly, natural and organic. They are reasonably soft yet still very stable. Spelt husks are known to help with cystitis, rheumatic pains, and helps you achieve extraordinary rehabilitation. Placing it on certain parts of your body can help reduce back, neck, joint pain, and headaches. However, make sure to get something that has the organic seal to avoid the risk of pesticide residue. Additionally, spelt husks are not advisable for those suffering from allergies because they are usually contaminated with fungal spores and bacteria.
- Very stable
- Added health benefits
- Unsuitable for those with allergies
- Must not get damp
- Must be ventilated regularly
- Polyester Hollow Fibers – Otherwise known as plastic fibers. This material is hollowed out inside and is shaped like a macaroni. This design enables it to store heat and allows for the removal of moisture, so it doesn’t get damp. They often come with thin silicone sheets to the fibers will not be knotted.
- Easily maintained
- Does not rustle
- Regulates moisture and heat
- Softer than EPS Beads
Pregnancy pillows come in different shapes and sizes, so choosing the one that is right for you can be a little challenging. Basically, it all boils down to your height. The pillow should be long enough for you to sleep on and wide enough to keep you comfortable. Large pregnancy pillows are more flexible and offer more back support. The smaller pillows meanwhile are light and easier to use.
It’s essential to pay particular attention to the quality and durability of the cover material of your pregnancy pillow. Aside from ensuring that the material is safe and comfortable for your skin, you also need something that will last after a couple of washings. Covers that are made of cotton, for example, are durable and skin-friendly, making it suitable for those who are prone to allergies. They are also easy to wash. Microfiber and polyester, on the other hand, are soft, breathable, lint-free and offers dimensional stability. They are extremely comfortable but are not easy to wash and may lose their shape after washing.
Health and Safety
Pregnancy pillows are specifically made to provide safety and comfort for pregnant women. However, additional precautionary measures should be taken to ensure total health and safety. Here are a few of them:
- Always check the product seals to see if the pillows are approved by trusted quality control companies such as Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Toxproof or natural textile IVN. Pillows with spelled husks fillings especially need to have the organic seals to avoid health risks.
- Buy from trusted brands. Check if the brand you will buy your pillow from is legit and has proper accreditation. Avoid buying from sketchy online stores, and always check product reviews. Limit your choices to highly-rated items.
- Be wary of products made of toxic materials. Check if your pillow contains toxic, carcinogenic and other harmful materials such as formaldehyde, styrene, and flame-retardants. Constant exposure to these types of chemicals may have adverse effects on your health.
Maintenance, Care, and Cleaning
Once you’ve made your purchase, it’s only natural for you to be concerned with the proper care and maintenance of your pillow. If you will be using this product on a nightly basis, then let’s face it – following a few cleaning tips and tricks will go a long way in ensuring its lasting positive effects and benefits.
- Tip #1: If your pillow has a removable case, wash it regularly. You should wash it at least once a week.
- Tip #2: Check the content and care label of your pillow. These labels usually provide instructions on how best to clean a certain product. Different materials are cleaned in different ways, so it’s good to know that you are cleaning your pillow correctly. This way, you don’t unintentionally ruin it, and it can last longer.
- Tip #3: If your pillow filling is made of down or fiber, you can simply toss them in your washer. Use warm water and go for a mild cycle first before a cold-water rinse.
Accessories and Other Useful Products
Pregnancy pillows are already beneficial on their own. However, there are other useful products you can buy that may add more to the benefits these pillows can bring you.
Extra Pillow Case
For your convenience, an extra pillowcase might be a good idea. Aside from the fact that you have to clean your pillowcase regularly, spilling something on it or even damaging it is also unavoidable. Therefore, having one or a few extras at the ready is not a bad thing.
The comfort doesn’t need to stop after giving birth. Another worthwhile product to consider is a nursing pillow. Aside from the convenience a nursing bra provides, you need this type of pillow if you want to feel some relief when breastfeeding or breast pumping. Once the baby grows and gains weight, breastfeeding becomes more exhausting and challenging. Nursing pillows can help with the shoulder tension or neck strains that come with it. This pillow is placed in the middle of the body and helps with holding the baby in a stable position.
If you want the best of the best, these brands offer just that. They have received high praise from people around the world for creating amazing products. If you want to buy something with confidence and zero doubts or worry, then you should check out these brands.
Pregnancy Pillow Common Questions
When should I use a pregnancy pillow?
There is no definite time to start using pregnancy pillows. However, there will be certain weeks during your pregnancy when you’ll probably begin to feel the need for one. For most women, this usually happens around the 20th week of pregnancy or later. It is around this cycle that your womb starts to get rounder and bigger to make room for your baby. Because of this, you may start experiencing aches and ligament pains. That being said, no one is stopping you from using one earlier if you want to. If you start finding it more and more difficult for you to sleep, spending nights tossing and turning to try and get comfortable, then it is definitely time for you to use one.
Can pregnancy pillows get flattened over time?
With constant use, your pregnancy pillow can be worn out over time. How long they stay firm depends on the material of the filling. Polyester pellets and spelt fillings, for one, are flattened by the weight of the user. Because of this, you have to replace the filling every now and then.
How big should a pregnancy pillow be?
This depends on your height, personal needs, and preferences. For a total body pillow, if you are of average height, you should get one that is 5 to 6 feet long. If you are taller than average, consider one that is 8 to 11 feet long. Other factors such as your bed size may also be taken into consideration. Choose a pillow that is not bigger than your bed. A smaller pillow like the wedge pillow, for example, also has the benefit of being light and compact.
Our Top 3 Recommended Pillows
With so many choices out there, we took the time to do some research and came up with the three best pillows to get you sound asleep in no time.
- Snoogle Total Body Pillow
Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
This pillow ranks high on the list. With its unique design, it follows the natural curve of your body from head to toe, offering complete and full body support. This product is one of the most talked about and best-selling pillow cases out there.
- Supports and aligns hips, back, neck, and tummy
- One pillow that takes the place of multiple pillows
- Comfort and support without the extra body heat
- U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
U-Shape Full Body Pillow by PharMeDoc, Maternity Support Pillow
If you like sleeping on your back, a U-Shape Pillow might be the best choice for you. It offers support in certain key areas such as the back and the belly, giving you full body cushion and warmth where it matters.
- Features a detachable extension that you can use as its own body pillow or attach to the main body pillow for additional back or belly support.
- This maternity pillow measures 56″ long, 35″ wide, and 7 inches high, making this the ideal all-in-one contoured support pillow for your body.
- Zipper-removable cotton pillow cover is machine-washable, hypoallergenic, contains zero phthalates/latex/lead, and is BPA-free.
- Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
Boppy Pregnancy Wedge
Completely unique from the two other products on this list, the Pregnancy Wedge Pillow is more compact in size but offers versatility and firmness for your back, head or belly. Its light weight and portability make it easier to carry around.
- Removable, machine-washable slipcover.
- 2 contoured sides help keep baby safe from rolling
- Durable quilted vinyl resists moisture
As you consider your choice, keep in mind your unique personal preferences and needs. You should identify which parts of your body receive the most strain, what sleeping position you prefer, and what will give you the most comfort. These factors will help to solidify your decision as to which pregnancy pillow would work best for you. Whichever you pick, you will be one step closer to a deeper and sounder sleep!
There is no definite time to start using pregnancy pillows. However, usually around the 20th week of pregnancy, when your womb starts to get rounder and bigger, you may need one as aches and joint pains start.
If you start finding it more and more difficult to sleep, tossing and turning to try to get comfortable, then it is definitely time for you to use one. kinderzeit.org includes more details to read.
With constant use, your pregnancy pillow can definitely be worn out over time. But how long the pregnancy pillow stays firm depends on the material of the filling and the quality.
Polyester pellets and spelt fillings are usually flattened by the weight of the user, needing to be replaced every now and then.
The size of the pregnancy pillow will depend on your height, needs, and preferences. For a total body pillow a 5 to 6 feet long is usually the best option for pregnant women with average height (5’4″). If you are taller, consider a pillow size 8 to 11 feet long.
Bed size should also be considered. A smaller pillow like the wedge pillow, has the benefit of being light and compact.
The best pregnancy pillow will depend on your personal preference. A total body pillow follows the natural curve of your body from head to toe, and offers complete and full body support. A U-shaped pillow is best if you like sleeping on your back, and a wedge pillow is good for carrying around. It is compact and could be used for your back, head or belly.