You could find lots of pregnancy pillows of different shapes and sizes on the market, but how do you pick the absolute best pregnancy pillow? Well, you need to know what to look for to do that!
Types of Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
The wedge pillow is the smallest kind of a pregnancy pillow. Aside from it, it is also the cheapest. The main advantage of a wedge pillow is that it doesn’t take up that much space in the bed. On one hand, this means that your partner will be able to comfortably sleep next to you.
On the other, wedge pillows are ideal for traveling due to their compactness. Wedge pillows have one major downside: they do not offer that much support for your body due to their small size. And you still need to have a separate pillow for your head.
Full-length Pregnancy Pillow
Full-length pregnancy pillows resemble a long pillow that runs along the whole length of the body. These pillows are excellent at replacing several regular pillows: things won’t get as messy and you will be able to adjust the long pillow easier.
A full-length pregnancy pillow is able to support the whole body, albeit it doesn’t really provide much back support. Still, if you aren’t having soreness in the back every morning, then a full-length pregnancy pillow would probably be enough.
There are two main types of full-length pregnancy pillows: straight and flexible. Straight pillows don’t really allow you to alter their shape, whereas the more expensive flexible pillows bend in any way you want.
The two downsides of full-length pregnancy pillows are that they, first of all, take up more space than wedge pillows and that they aren’t really suitable for back sleepers.
Total Body Pregnancy Pillow
A total body pregnancy pillow is the best choice when it comes to body support. Total body pillows support your body not only from the front but also from the back. Such kind of a pregnancy pillow would be especially suitable for you if you tend to have back pain or soreness every morning.
There are two main types of a total body pregnancy pillow: C-shaped and U-shaped. The C-shaped pillow is designed to be saddled: you put the base of the pillow between your legs and rest your head on the top.
A C-shaped pillow would be ideal for side sleepers. U-shaped pillows are designed for those who prefer to sleep on their back but can no longer do so due to the larger belly. However, they could also be used for sleeping on the side.
What about the downsides of a total body pregnancy pillow? Well, these pillows are very big. If you have a small bed, then you probably won’t be leaving your partner enough room for comfortable sleeping.
Aside from that, total body pregnancy pillows are the most expensive of them all.
Features to Look for in Pregnancy Pillows
The filling is one of the most important features in pregnancy pillows. It is the thing that determines how supportive the pregnancy pillow will be. There are multiple types of filling for you to choose from.
Some pillows have zippers on them that allow you to add or remove filling from the pregnancy pillow. This would allow you to adjust the firmness of the pillow to your liking. This isn’t a thing that you absolutely must have in your pregnancy pillow, but it is preferable.
Styrofoam ball filling is typically found in cheaper pregnancy pillows. The advantage of Styrofoam balls is that they allow the pillow to easily adapt to your body shape.
Such pillows are also lightweight. On the other hand, Styrofoam balls produce noticeable noise when the pillow is moved around, so you probably should avoid pillows with such filling if your sleep is easily disturbed.
Polyester fiber is another popular filling used in pregnancy pillows. Polyester pillows are soft and very quiet. The amount of polyester fiber in a pregnancy pillow will determine its softness or firmness.
Polyester fiber isn’t a very breathable filling, so you should probably avoid it if you sweat a lot in your sleep.
A micro-bead filling consists of fine balls that measure approximately 1/32 of an inch in diameter. Pregnancy pillows with micro-bead filling in them feel like they are filled with sand.
But unlike sand, the micro-beads are very lightweight. Micro-bead filling allows you to move around very easily. Besides, a micro-bead filling doesn’t produce any noise that could disturb your sleep.
Memory foam filling takes the shape of your body as you press against it. And once you let go of the pillow, it takes its original shape. Memory foam pregnancy pillows are typically firm and very supportive but not very flexible.
Apart from that, some memory foam pillows don’t breathe that well, but some manufacturers use shredded foam to allow for better air circulation.
If you prefer organic filling, then you probably would want to have a pregnancy pillow with cotton filling. Cotton is light, soft, and very breathable, but it won’t offer you all the benefits of the other filling types.
Pregnancy pillows aren’t that easy to clean, especially if you’ve got a big pillow. A preferable perk would be a removable cover that would allow you to clean the pillow easier and quicker.
Whether you sweat a lot in your sleep or not, you should go for a pillow that comes with a cover. Alternatively, you could check out if the manufacturer of the pillow offers spare covers.
The material of the cover is also quite important. Most of the time, you will see pillow covers made from either cotton or polyester. Cotton is soft and breathable, while polyester is hot and durable. Make sure to take into account your habits and sleeping preferences into account when choosing the cover material.
You may come across a gamut of unexpected allergies during the pregnancy due to the changes in your body. Even if you aren’t allergic at all, you may become sensitive to regular materials during the pregnancy.
However, if you had breathing complications or allergies prior to your pregnancy, then you definitely should buy a hypoallergenic pregnancy pillow.
You should pick a pregnancy pillow that leaves enough free room in the bed for your partner. The bigger the bed, the larger pillow you can get, and vice versa.
Your preference also plays a role. Some women prefer small pillows, whereas others like to be fully engulfed by them. And don’t also forget about your height.
Many people love soft pillows. However, when it comes to pregnancy, you should go for a pillow that is firmer. A too soft pregnancy pillow won͛t provide you with adequate support. A firmer pillow may feel uncomfortable initially, but you should get used to it easily.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Pregnancy Pillow
How far in the Pregnancy are You?
Whether you are a side or a stomach sleeper, you will need the additional support that a pregnancy pillow provides. However, people with different preferences need different kinds of pillows.
Side sleepers would usually benefit from a pillow that can support their stomach. As for stomach and back sleepers, they will probably want to have support behind them.
Do you want to use the Pillow Outside of Sleeping?
Many pregnancy pillows can be used well beyond the pregnancy. Large U- and C-shaped pillows can be easily folded to be used in different positions for reading or nursing. Besides, you could just enjoy the support of a pregnancy pillow when sleeping.
What Aches and Issues You Have?
While some back pain issues could be resolved with a pregnancy pillow, it may not be the same for some conditions. If you wake up with a sore back in the morning, you can’t be really sure whether it is your sleeping position or something else that causes the pain.
So before spending money on a pregnancy pillow, make sure to consult a medical professional to see what kind of a condition you have.
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