Best 10 Cervical Pillows for Different Types of Sleepers 2017

A cervical pillow can be used for many reasons. Some people may find that a cervical fits their sleeping style best or that the comfort of a cervical pillows is that of a cloud. Other people might find that they have to use a cervical pillow because they suffer neck or back pain, normally caused by a cervical hypolordosis (a less than normal curvature of the sine).

While it may appear that cervical pillows are a small niche of pillows, there is still a wide variety of these pillow types. There are traction cervical pillows, D-core cervical pillows, and tri-core cervical pillows.

Cervical Pillow Types

D-Core

The D-Core pillow has a head cradle area in the center of it that is shaped like a D. The neck support below the D is to help restore the natural curvature of the neck and upper spine.

Traction

A cervical traction pillow doesn’t feature a head cradle, but instead it provides ergonomic support. One side of the pillow is the support side, the other is traction side.

With the Traction “V” on the top of the pillow it is supposed to help support your head so you don’t have to support all of your head weight while you are sleeping. They are engineered to help improve posture and relieve back and neck pain.

Tri-core

A Tri-Core cervical pillow is like the D-core, but this one features a head cradle in the shape of a trapezoid, dead center of the pillow. On each side there are padded areas built for side sleeping. Also, there are two different sized neck supports, one side is large the other side is small; to be able to fit your comfort needs.

Sleeping Positions

Deciding what type of pillow you would want depends heavily on how you sleep; whether it is on your back, side, or stomach. Determining your sleeping position will help you figure out what cervical pillow you need.

Back sleepers

People who sleep on their backs need thinner pillows so their heads are not elevated too much. Also, some pillows that are great for back sleepers are ones that have extra padding at the bottom half of the pillow to support the neck.

Side Sleepers

People who sleep on their sides are more likely to need a firmer pillow; one that will fill the area between the ear and the outside of the shoulder.

Stomach Sleepers

Although it is not suggested that you sleep on your stomach, if you do, you will most likely need a very thin pillow, or perhaps no pillow at all.

Pillow Filling

Pillows have many different types of fillings. The different types of fillings can provide different comfort levels. They also give the pillow different textures and determine how long the pillows will last.

  • Memory Foam: Known for reducing pressure points because they form to the shape of your body.
  • Fiber Pillows: The cheapest filling that is found in pillows is fiber. Unfortunately fiber can wear down easily.
  • Down/Feather Pillows: Terrible for people with allergies, down pillows are the most popular filling because you can move the stuffing around to provide support wherever you need it.

Cervical Pillow Reviews

Each cervical pillow is made differently, and deciding which cervical pillow is best for you can be a little hard at first. Unsure about whether you need a tri-core, D-core, or traction pillow is determined on where you think you are having the most pain.

Side Sleepers

If you are a side sleeper there are certain types of pillows you should steer away from. Feather/down pillows are soft but they lack the height support that would help with relieving neck or upper spike pain.

Also, polyester pillows, these tend to shift and wear out easily, creating a hollow spot that can cause more problems than fix. Sticking with latex, buck wheat, or memory foam is the best option for side sleepers.

1. SleepBetter Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow

This contour styled, orthopedic cervical pillow for side sleepers provides the support that their neck needs to prevent any pain in the morning. The microbeads in this pillow will not clump up or shift, and they are hypo-allergenic great for people who suffer from allergies.

The Iso-Cool beads that are in this pillow helps absorb any heat keeping you cool throughout the night. And although they are a little pricey, these pillows come with a 15 year warranty, so you can replace the pillow whenever needed.

2. MyPillow Premium Series Bed Pillow

The MyPillow is almost a customizable pillow that will fit your needs specifically. One of the best cervical pillows for neck pain, these pillows are created to suit you based off of your size. It is available in four different loft levels, which is the height of the pillow, and it uses your shirt size to determine which pillow will fit you the best.

Made with a poly-blend filling, this pillow has ventilation that will keep you cool at night. The poly-blend filling allows you to form the pillow to your body, even if you change sleeping positions throughout the night.

3. Arch4Life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

This Arch4Life Traction neck pillow is the best neck pillow for sleeping. It is engineered to help and support any sleeper who normally has neck pain when they wake up.

Neck pain can cause more problems than discomfort behind your head, overtime it can lead to numbness, headaches, fatigue, or even lower back pain. With a recessed center and plumped up comfortable sides, this pillow will support your neck and have you waking up on the right side of the bed.

Back Sleepers

If you are a back sleeper you want to find a pillow that is firm, so your head is not resting too far back, and a little high. Normally back sleepers are known for snoring because of the position of their sinuses, so you want your head to be somewhat elevated. But not too elevated that it increases your neck pain.

4. J’s Sleep Solution

This chiropractic pillow was engineered by Dr. Grunstein, a leading chiropractic physician in the country. The structure of this pillow allows for you neck to be supported and your head to not fall back too far, you don’t want your head lower than your neck or it will put strain on your neck.

Made with a polyester down alternative fiber, it keeps its shape and support, but still provides you with the comfort of a down/feather pillow. Featured with a 233 thread count 100% cotton pillow case, this pillow is soft and cuddly, and perfect for back sleepers.

5. Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Made by Coop Home Goods, this pillow allows you to have the flexibility, support, and comfort that your neck needs while sleeping on your back. This cervical support pillow is created with a shredded memory foam filling, allowing you to be able to position it anyway you need to for maximum comfort. Because the memory foam in this pillow is shredded, the airflow between the pieces keeps the pillow cool during the night.

6. Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow

Therapeutica Pillows are a little different than most cervical support pillows or really any other pillow you can find. Although these pillows may look uncomfortable at first, because of their design, they are actually the best cervical spine pillow to help provide the support you need to prevent neck and spine pain. The design of this pillow has a wedge extension to help support your upper back and a cervical contour right at the curve of your neck; the center cavity for your head gives you comfort and support for back sleepers.

Also, this pillow has raised side panels to accommodate for shoulder height for side sleepers. This pillow is created as “training wheels” in a way, it is to help stomach sleepers’ transition to sleeping on their back or their side.

Stomach Sleepers

Although it is not suggested that you sleep on your stomach, sometimes you can’t control how you sleep. So you need to know what pillow would work best for you.

You want to steer away from tall pillows, these types of pillows will push your head up and create a tension between your neck and upper spine, which will cause all day pain. No stomach sleeper pillows are really “cervical pillows” because they don’t provide support for your neck, but they do provide a flatness so you can avoid neck pain.

7. Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Form Pillow

The thinness of this ultra slim sleeper memory form pillow is perfect for a stomach sleeper because you won’t have the feeling that your head is higher than your neck. Most stomach sleepers sleep with one arm under their head, the slim profile of this pillow makes this possible, without added extra elevation that could push your head out of alignment with your spine. The memory form pillow does not lose its shape and will allow you to have a good night’s rest.

8. The Pancake Pillow

This is the best pillow for stomach sleepers who want to have it customizable to their own shape. The inside of this pillow is made up of six microfiber sections that can be removed piece by piece to provide you with the comfort and height level you need.

The microfibers inside of these “pancakes” add support and an airy feeling that will keep you cool throughout the night. Not only is this a great pillow to buy for stomach sleepers, but a nice one to have for guest bedrooms since it is customizable.

Other Cervical Pillows

While it may seem ideal to always have your large pillow with you wherever you go, if you are going on vacation or traveling for business. But sometimes lugging around a huge pillow is not ideal.

If that is the case you will need to have a smaller version of your pillow that will help with neck support and comfort. Luckily, there are a couple of travel friendly pillows created to help relieve pain, even on the go.

9. HengJia Prieum

A smaller cervical pillow, the HengJia preium pillow fits perfectly behind your head to support your upper spine, neck, and head. With the curvature of the pillow it provides a resting area for the curve of your head. The deep contoured channel for your neck is made with high quality remedy memory foam and helps reduce stiffness and pain.

This pillow will never lose its shape and is machine washable. This smaller size is perfect to carry on any plane ride so you don’t have to sleep with your head limp resting on your chest.

10. Cabeau Evolution Pillow

Another great travel cervical pillow is the Cabeau Evolution pillow. It comes in many different styles and colors so you can travel in luxury. But the memory foam and ergonomic design helps keep your neck supported when catching some sleep eye on the fly.

The flat design on the back of the pillow is designed to keep you head at a natural position and will not push it forward. It also has 360 degree support, to help keep your head from falling over and causing more neck pain.

Conclusion

Overall, deciding what cervical pillow is best for you, it is important to know what your sleeping position is. Getting a pillow that doesn’t support your head and neck correctly because you don’t know how you sleep can cause more damage than fix.

Another thing to consider is buying your pillow in person. Most mattress stores sell pillows and will allow you to “try them on” to make sure that they are the perfect comfort level and support that you need.

The best cervical pillow would be the Arch4Life Cervical Linear Traction pillow. Although listed under cervical pillows for side sleepers, this pillow can help support and reduce neck pain for both side and back sleepers.

With the recessed center, this pillow will provide a cradle for your head, but the side and neck support will also keep you well rested and pain free.

9 Top-rated Swaddle Blankets For Babies (2017 Edition)

Swaddling has been around for centuries. Even today, it still is one of the most effective techniques to comfort a young infant, and help it to sleep more peaceful. To be successful, parents will not only have to learn how to properly wrap their child but also what separates swaddling blankets from ordinary baby covers.

Although they may look alike, there is quite a difference between regular baby blankets and the famous swaddle blankets:

What are swaddle blankets?

Swaddle blankets are rectangular pieces of soft and stretchable material used to snugly wrap up kids for a comfortable sleep. In olden days, soft pieces of clothes were knit up into swaddle blankets.

Swaddles didn’t start yesterday; they have been around for quite some time. Even though swaddling is a matter of choice, many pediatric associations recommend that parents should continue to provide their kids with a “womb” climate through swaddles.

What is the difference between swaddle and ordinary baby blankets?

  • Their design tends to be square or rectangular. They are oversized to allow parents to wrap the baby multiple times, tucking it in neatly. Baby blankets, on the other hand, have no set shape or size.
  • Their specifically designed materials will stretch and prevent overheating. Because the baby’s skin has to breathe and the child’s temperature needs to be regulated, the materials have to allow a certain amount of air flow. The materials are light, and as to be expected, are sold in various patterns and designs.
  • Swaddling blankets are also slightly larger than the standard blanket. The bigger ones measure 48×48 inches while smaller ones are 40×40 inches. Some swaddles can even serve as blankets.

Parents want their infant to be safely wrapped. Recreating the mother’s womb, swaddle blankets should not allow the child to move. They should be lightweight, stretchable, and made from breathable materials.

Typically, generic baby blankets do not have those features. They provide a lot of warmth and are made from thicker materials.

What are the advantages of swaddling?

When the baby was inside the womb, it was used to the cozy surrounding where it was tight but safely held. When it’s born, it is expected that you as the parent would wish to provide it with the same comfortable environment. Swaddling helps to restrict the baby’s movement that allowing it to have a peaceful shut eye.

Swaddling is also helpful to the parent. When your child sleeps, you get some time to catch some too or even attend to other pressing matters. You too deserve some free time to apply a makeup or even delve into meditation/personal reflection.

How to swaddle newborn

Lay out a thin blanket that is at least long enough to wrap around your baby’s body 2 to 3 times. Spread the blanket out on a flat surface and lay the baby on the blanket (I find 4 feet by 4 feet to be a great size) with their head just off the edge of the long side in the middle.

Wrap the left side over their body while tucking their arms under their sides. Hold their arms down so they can’t sneak out! Then do the right side the same way wrapping their body up tightly. I mean really tight. Then fold the bottom of the blanket up and wrap it around them the same way.

It is like you are literally tying them up. This nicely simulates being in the womb, something they did enjoy. They need enough play to have circulation and to breath, but that is it! If your baby of 2 months or less can wiggle out in less than a minute go ahead and try it again, they weren’t swaddled.

Babies less than 2 months or so will not be able to wiggle out of a proper swaddling for hours! At three months or so our babies generally are able to wiggle out by the time morning comes.

Most parents I have seen trying to swaddle their babies aren’t doing it tight enough at all, they are just wrapping a blanket around their baby. I immediately suspect that parents aren’t wrapping the baby tight enough when they complain that swaddling just doesn’t work.

True it may not work for some babies, but if the kid can easily get out then you are just not doing it tight enough. Try to use blankets with Velcro, it makes it almost impossible for the baby to wiggle out.

I believe in being fair, if they can really wiggle out then it is time for the next stage of learning how to sleep on their own without being wrapped up. Ah, the next great adventure in life…

Swaddling is a beautiful thing and will bring you many sleep-filled nights, so I recommend you do it today!

For how long can swaddle be used?

A baby can be swaddled from birth all the way to when he is four months old. However, some kids can be swaddled up to when they are 9 months old. Basically, if your child can only sleep after being swaddled, then you shouldn’t stop.

However, if they start being uncomfortable, that’s an indication that you should stop. If your child has hip issues like hip dysplasia, you should not wrap them up in swaddles. Instead, you should talk to a pediatrician for help.

Are swaddle blankets safe?

Swaddle blankets are safe, and that explains why many people still prefer to wrap their kids. However, if done badly, swaddling can be cruel to the kid.

The swaddle should be tight enough to prevent the child from slipping out but gentle to avoid hurting the baby. The legs should be given ample room for movement.

Swaddling could be unsafe if you bought the blanket without checking the material makeup. Some blankets absorb too much heat faster and are not spongy enough to let it out quickly. This can result in your baby overheating and waking up in the middle of sleep.

Don’t swaddle your baby if he/she has hip problems as well. You can seek assistance from your pediatrician to advise you on hip-healthy swaddling. There are also medical videos online that can guide you on how to swaddle your baby’s soft hips.

Bad swaddling increases the chances of your kid developing SIDS. If you opt to swaddle your child, make sure he slips on his back and not the stomach or his/her sides. If he frequently escapes from the swaddle, then it’s probable that he is old enough for swaddling.

Swaddling should stop when your kid is two to three months old. Here are some recommendations given by The American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent SIDS.

  • Let the child sleep on its back
  • The sleeping surface should be firm
  • Keep soft items like pillows and bumper pads away
  • Keep your baby far from smoke/ smoking individuals
  • Don’t use products that purport to lower the risk of SIDS
  • Your child should not get too hot
  • Don’t use home cardiorespiratory monitors
  • Breastfeed your child adequately
  • Keep your child close but not in the same bed with you.
  • Your child should only have a diaper during swaddling
  • Don’t cover the kid’s head

One golden rule in swaddling: don’t overdo.

How to make swaddle blankets

If you are like most newlywed couples, then you know what it means to be frugal. There never seems to be a shortage of things that you need to buy for your family.

Having a child certainly isn’t cheap, so it’s important to save money wherever possible. If you haven’t bought your swaddling blanket yet, then keep reading to find out how you can make one yourself.

The first thing you need to do when making your swaddling blanket is to pick out your colors and thread. Be creative as this is your own unique masterpiece for your child, and they are only young once. After you have your colors picked out, you will then need to pick your fabric.

Baby fabric tends to be the most popular and practical, but the key is to make sure that it’s comfortable for the baby. When cutting your fabric, it should be 45 inches in width and length.

The next step is to lay your blanket out flat with the pattern facing the floor. Fold the edges of the blanket a quarter inch, and then fold them again a quarter inch, to hide the raw edges of the blanket. You can keep the blanket edges folded by securing it with pins.

After you have selected all of your colors and threads, you now can prep the sewing machine for the adventure. When setting the needle, make sure it’s a medium zigzag stitch.

Start sewing in the corner and work your way out around the folded edges of the blanket. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and the end. You have now completed your blanket for your baby.

What are the best swaddle blankets in the market?

If you are just new to parenting, it can be challenging to figure which product is safe for your child-especially if all the items you come across have been praised vehemently. Here you need a third eye to single out the best fit.

Let’s have a look at several best baby blankets you can buy for your child.

1. Aden + Anais Classic Muslin Swaddle (4 Pack)

Aden + Anais blanket is soft, lightweight and versatile. It is a perfect companion for your kid from birth to several months old. Besides serving as a swaddle, it can as well be used as a sling, diaper, sunshade, a burp cloth, a nursing cover and a changing pad.

Swaddling is an enjoyable activity when you use Aden+Anais blanket due to its soft texture and size. However, it doesn’t have a Velcro fabric to assist you tighten up your wrap. So, you will need to devise a method to fasten up your swaddle wrap.

Its material make up is 100% cotton with an open weave for heat distribution. They come in several colors and sizes to cater to the needs of different kids. Go for the heavier version if you live in winter zones.

2. HALO SleepSack Swaddle

Do you find swaddling an impossible or time-consuming activity? If you do, then HALO SleepSack Swaddle is most probably your best choice.

This sack or pouch-like Halo blanket has a zipped opening and Velcro wings that make the swaddling process less arduous. The zip runs from the top to bottom making your diaper changing a 10-second activity. You don’t even have to touch the child’s arms during the process.

3. Miracle Blanket Swaddle

This one is a perfect prison (in a good way) for those kids who continuously wiggle out from your best swaddling efforts. It has no Velcro or zipper therefore suitable for parents who dislike the sound they produce during the wrapping process. It also eliminates the errors inherent in other ordinary swaddling blankets.

The Miracle Blanket Swaddle is made of cotton for air circulation and has a pouch for tucking in your child’s legs. Its simplicity has made it a prized possession among many parents.

Many infants prefer this blanket for reasons no one seems to know-even the manufacturers! Some say they fit well and do not apply too much pressure on the kid hence providing a soothing climate. Anyway, whatever stuff is in their makeup, it seems to be working wonders.

The only setback with this miracle swaddle is that they cannot be used as actual blankets and it exists in one size only. Hence, it will surely outgrow your baby. However, it’s worth purchasing. After all, even good things have an end.

4. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle

If you are sleepy and have got no time for swaddling, Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle makes everything lightning fast for you. It has a pouch for tucking the child’s legs and a Velcro fabric to fasten up its arms.

They also come in several different sizes making it simple for you to choose what fits your child. It’s made up of 100% cotton for maximum warmth.

The Velcro feature in this swaddle is essential if your toddler a wriggling mastermind. Once you fasten it, the little wonder boy (or girl) will remain that way until he/she falls asleep.

This Velcro swaddle comes in two sizes; small or medium and large. Do not rip off the label once you have bought it unless you are sure it fits your child. If it doesn’t, it will be easier to return it for a fitting size.

5. Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original is an innovative swaddle blanket that works quite different from other swaddles. It is suitable for kids who loathe having their hands held down or across the chest and legs put together.

Despite the “freestyle” position the kid is in, it still guarantees a comfortable sleep time. It has a zipper but no Velcro making it simple to use.

6. Woombie Original Baby Swaddle

If you love traditional-like infant swaddle, then Woombie swaddle would be convenient for your child. It has a single zipper running from top to bottom and no Velcro. It works perfectly fine for none-escapee artists.

Woombie mimics the exact conditions the kid was used to before bath. Therefore, it’s a sure bet that your kid will be cozy in it. It is tight but not too much to exert pressure on your child’s organs.

Changing the diapers at night is always inconveniencing, and Woombie has been designed with a zipper to make your work a little bit easier. It’s available in 4 different sizes, and all are made of cotton to ensure the baby is kept warm.

7. Halo SleepSack

Halo SleepSack is also one of the best baby blankets you can get for your child. It works in a similar fashion to HALO SleepSack Swaddle only that it doesn’t have the wings that wrap around the child’s arms.

This means, a child’s arms will be free in this zippered pouch. It guarantees a comfy sleep as your child adapts other sleeping patterns.

Halo SleepSack comes in two main material; cotton and polyester. The Cotton type is lighter and breathable making it a suitable accompaniment during warm months. The polyester type is heavier and warmer making it a must-have baby blanket during the winter months.

8. HALO SleepSack Winter Weight

Winter temperatures are unforgiving to kids. Normal blankets can serve well but they generally slip when a child turns and is likely to be exposed to the freezing air.

HALO SleepSack Winter Weight is a baby winter blanket that ensures he sleeps cozily throughout the night. They are equipped with a zipper for easy diaper changes. The generous sack design provides ample room for leg kicking without slipping off.

9. Ziggy Baby Swaddle Blanket

Ziggy Baby are Muslin swaddles with a soft texture and contain cotton as the only material. If you are a stylish parent, then you will love the cute designs and trendy patterns that this baby product comes with.

They fit well without exerting a lot of pressure on the child’s hip sides. You can also use it as a burp cloth or a nursing shield when you are feeding. Ziggy Baby Swaddle Blanket comes in 3-pack.

How many swaddle blankets do I need?

Having several infant swaddles is advantageous. You can have stylish ones, the more secure ones and several others to meet your kids growing demand.

You child might feel okay with the legs being tucked down today but a day will come when he/she needs the legs to spread out. Keeping a spare swaddle wrap is essential to ensure your little one sleeps cozily.

If you alternate regions from winter to summer-hit regions, it’s also advisable to keep several swaddle blankets for each region. Don’t use summer swaddlers in winter areas and vice versa. You child won’t be comfy enough to sleep.

Choosing what’s right for you and your baby

Each child is different so don’t expect your current toddler to feel comfortable in the previous kids swaddle blankets. Experiment with several different swaddles and see which makes him/her comfortable.

At times it’s okay to pick what makes your child look cute! Remember to pick a secure one for escapee artist; otherwise, you’ll be playing hide and seek with him.

To know the best products in the market, you can talk to your pediatrician to recommend to you the best products other parents are using. Advice from a close friend or a family member can also help to minimize the time you would wander around looking for the best swaddle blankets.

Swaddling benefits the child as much it benefits you. When your child’s sleep gets interrupted, yours too is affected. Swaddling doesn’t guarantee that your child won’t wake; it just takes care of your child waking up due to discomfort, cold or being startled.

Price comparison and reading online reviews are golden rules to observe when looking for the best swaddlers. There is a possibility you might save some bucks if you do your due diligence to look for durable yet not-so-pricey baby blankets.

Specialized online vendors always have a large selection of quality, designer blankets for swaddling to choose from. You can order at any time, pay securely, and before you know it, your baby too will be sleeping soundly through the night.

Important notes

  • It is normal for the kid to be uncomfortable in swaddles at the beginning. Give him/her a week to adjust to it.
  • Make sure you know what your kid prefers-either single or both arms out and legs spread out or tucked together.
  • Make sure the wrap doesn’t touch the child’s face as it can disrupt his/her sleep.

Parting words

As a reminder, you should stop swaddling under the following conditions:

  1. When you kid starts rolling onto his/her stomach
  2. When you baby has soft/swollen hips or hip dysplasia
  3. When you child doesn’t sleep well in swaddles. It is an indication that they are making him/her uncomfortable.

Happy swaddling!

Best 9 Pregnancy & Maternity Pillows for Moms (Reviews and Comparisons 2017)

Pregnancy can bring so many new discomforts. The early days are often spent exhausted and nauseous, though some women report feeling their healthiest at this time.

Most women, however, feel some sort of discomfort while carrying a child, particularly at the time when their belly begins to expand and they find themselves not able to comfortably sit or lay down as they could before.

During pregnancy, a woman can gain anywhere from a few pounds to over a hundred. This extra weight puts pressure on the spine, causing lower back pain for pregnant women. In addition to this, pregnant women often suffer from unexplained sciatica, heartburn, indigestion, general discomfort, and the dreaded ‘rib kick’.

Often pregnant women find themselves sleepless at night, not only due to the discomfort associated with their changing body but also because of the anxiousness of expecting a child. The tossing and turning that accompanies these disturbed sleep patterns often result in less sleep for other members of the family, and tired mornings can cause unexpected arguments, with pregnancy hormones flying.

Even the smallest bellies can cause an uncomfortable, bloated feeling, in addition to possible problems with sciatica and back pain. Many women spend their time while pregnant searching for solutions that will help to make their pregnancy more comfortable.

Heat packs and topical creams may help, and some women find comfort in professional massage, however, these solutions do nothing to prevent tossing and turning at night. This is not only disturbing for pregnant women but their partners as well, if they are easily disturbed by their partner’s movement in bed.

Pillows have been used to enhance comfort since the times of ancient Mesopotamia, around 7000 BCE. The first pillows were hard, and often fabricated from stone. The first pillows were meant to keep the head elevated while sleeping, avoiding bugs crawling onto the face.

Some hold the belief that it was the Egyptians who took this design and changed it to suit their royal and lush way of life. The Egyptians softer pillows were not commonly used, and considered to be a luxury.

Since the Industrial Revolution, pillows have become a commonly found item in North American bedrooms. They adorn beds and couches. Some are used for comfort, some strictly for decoration.

Pillows used in pregnancy usually serve two purposes – comfort for sleeping pregnant women, and also support for women when feeding their child after birth.

A pregnancy pillow or maternity pillow may not be considered a necessity, however, current designs are making purchasing a maternity pillow a more popular choice among women. Depending on the discomfort, the pillow can be used between the legs or under the belly, while sitting or lying down.

Pregnancy or maternity pillows differ from traditional body pillows because they are designed to cradle a woman’s unique shape in pregnancy.

Some women try to use regular pillows to enhance their sleep comfort at night, however, many women find that the pillows move around, causing the pregnant woman to awake in the night to reposition the pillows. Regular pillows also do not curve to the shape of a woman, conforming to her body for ultimate comfort, as a maternity pillow will.

Many women try to alleviate their discomfort in other ways in the early stages of pregnancy, but most find that a maternity or pregnancy pillow is a necessity. Of course, there are women who continue to childbirth without using a maternity pillow, but other women feel they are an absolutely necessary part of pregnancy.

Investing in a pregnancy pillow is a decision that few women regret after giving birth. In first pregnancies, particularly, those last undisturbed nights are held at a high value, and pregnant women should get the most out of these nights as they can.

Pregnancy and maternity pillows currently are available in many different shapes, sizes, and designs. There is also a variety of choices in material and filling, making each woman’s individual purchase worth it to their comfort.

Maternity pillows can be expensive and should be considered an investment. Experts recommend that pregnant women read product guides about the many different options they have, and choose a pillow that will not only serve their needs in pregnancy but after childbirth as well.

This comprehensive guide will cover all the basic knowledge to do with maternity pillows available today, as well as a variety of popular choices available for purchase today.

Types Of Pregnancy Pillows

No longer do women need to choose from only a few options when buying a pregnancy pillow. There are many different pillows that women can currently choose from.

The style, shape, and size are important factors for women to consider before purchasing a maternity pillow, and thought should be put into what the pillow will be used for and the pregnant woman’s preferred sleep position.

Pregnancy Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillows are smaller in size, and are often firm. They resemble the shape of an orange wedge and are used to slide underneath the belly or back or prop up the legs, for comfort.

Wedge pillows are among the most affordable options for women looking to purchase a maternity pillow, and they can be used during pregnancy as well for breastfeeding or other members of the household, so many women feel good in their investment when choosing to buy a wedge.

When the wedge is used to support the pregnant belly, the weight is held up and off of the woman’s back and hips, preventing possibly permanent problems in posture and health. Often, women prop the wedge pillow behind their back in hopes of staying on their side for the entire night.

Wedge pillows can also be used underneath a regular pillow, to prop up the head, relieving some heartburn and indigestion. A heat pack also fits snugly against the wedge pillows flat side, keeping it in place against the woman’s back or belly.

Wedge pillows are appealing to consumers because they can be smaller and inexpensive. The covers are often removable and machine washable, and they can be easily changed to suit preferences in decor. Pregnancy wedge pillows are especially handy when traveling, as well.

One disadvantage that some women find in purchasing a wedge pillow is that the side slope is not comfortable for them. Some women prefer a steeply sloped pillow, while others require the slope to be more level.

Different companies make their pillows with varying slopes, and it is unfortunate that it is only after purchase that pregnant women find that they do not help. Regardless of the slope, however, an inexpensive wedge pillow can be used as a foot prop or feeding pillow.

Pregnancy Full Body Pillow

Maternity full body pillows run the length of the pregnant woman’s entire body and are often curved in shape. Pregnancy full body pillows allow pregnant women to prop the cushion between their knees, under their bellies, and under their heads, at one time.

This style of pillow is ideal for side sleepers, but mention has been made as to the fact the full body pillow does not support the back. Regardless, owners of this type of pillow love the support that the pillow provides while stationary. This allows the pregnant woman to sleep undisturbed by having to re-position pillows in the night.

Two styles of pregnancy full body pillows are currently available. Straight Maternity Body Pillows are similar to traditional pillows in that they can be fluffed, but not bent or twisted in any way. They are often the less expensive design of the two and can provide alleviating comfort, but some women really love to be able to bend and adjust their pillow as needed.

Flexible Maternity Body Pillows can be filled with Styrofoam beads, however, some more expensive options are filled with conforming micro beads that allow the pillow to be twisted and bent to suit the current needs of the pregnant woman. Pillows that are filled with micro beads also hold their shape longer, with some customers reporting their pillow lasting for years as if it was brand new.

Owning a full body pregnancy pillow allows for support of the entire body, including the head, and making additional pillows unnecessary. Back sleepers looking to buy this type of pillow should consider their needs and what type of pillow would best suit them.

Women with smaller beds should also consider the fact that full-length pillows do take up a good amount of room, however, this may be a small price to pay for a restful sleep.

Pregnancy Total Body Pillows

Maternity total body pillows wrap around the entire body, front and back, for total support if needed. Total body pillows allow for all the comfort and stability of a body pillow but provide some much needed back support for some.

Women especially who suffer from back pain or pregnancy sciatica will benefit from this type of pillow. Total body pillows are available in both Styrofoam filled and micro bead filled designs, allowing for some pillows to be twisted and bent by its user as needed.

There are currently two styles available in maternity total body pillows. A C-shaped pillow is designed for one end to be placed for support in between the legs, and the other underneath the head. The curve of the ‘C’ shape supports the back, however, there is no belly support, which should be taken into consideration.

A U-shaped pillow supports the back on one side, and between the legs at the lower curve of the ‘U’. The other side of the pillow runs the frontal length of the body, supporting the belly, with the end of the ‘U’ underneath the head.

This style of maternity pillow is found to be especially comfortable for women who used to sleep on their backs, but no longer can due to their growing belly. The disadvantage can be the often higher price, as well as the large size of the pillow, which some find to be hassling.

How To Compare Pregnancy Pillows

When deciding which pregnancy pillow to buy, there are so many aspects to consider today. Women should consider which features are important to them, and how much they are willing to pay for these features. Often, it helps to let some things go, as a pillow that has everything often requires that customers pay for it.

Once a decision is made as to the style or design of pillow that is best suited, customers should look at two factors – the cover, and the filling.

The Cover

Is it removable?

Is it machine washable?

Can replacement covers be purchased?

Does it have a zipper or buttons, and if so, will these become aggravating?

The Filling

What options are available?

What is the most comfortable versus the most affordable?

Is there a concern for the environment, or the use of natural materials?

Styrofoam balls similar to the ones found inside of bean bag chairs are often used. These are found in less expensive pillows, making this type of filling the most affordable option.

Styrofoam allows for the cushion to accommodate the body’s shape easily, however, this type of filling is not exactly environmentally friendly and can make some noise as well. After time, Styrofoam beads also lose their shaping, casing the pillow to fall flat.

Polyester filling is sometimes used in maternity pillows, and real customers love that there is no noise compared to Styrofoam. Customers also get to choose between soft and firm pillows with this type of filling.

Tiny microbeads are sometimes used as well, and real customers love the feeling of this pillow being filled with sand. These pillows weigh very little, make no noise, and can often be bent or twisted to suit the user’s comfort.

Memory foam is a common request among pregnant women, as it conforms to the body and holds its supportive shape for hours. Women who prefer a softer pillow should stay away from this type of filling.

Women who aim for a natural pregnancy often seek out a maternity pillow that is filled with spelt, wool, or kapok. Spelt is the preferred choice for vegetarians.

Other Factors To Consider

Another factor to consider when choosing a maternity pillow includes whether or not the pillow is hypoallergenic. A hypoallergenic maternity pillow may not be necessary for pregnant women who do not have asthma, allergies, or sensitive skin, however, all baby’s skin is sensitive.

A hypoallergenic pillow may be an optimal choice if the pillow is intended for use in feeding the baby after birth.

Additionally, what size of a pillow is really required, and is there space in the home or bed for a larger sized pillow? This comes down to personal needs, and what each pregnant woman individually feels will provide the most comfort. Women should also take the time to consider how soft or firm of a pillow they prefer.

Lastly, anyone looking to purchase a maternity pillow should think about the aches and pains that the pregnant woman is currently experiencing. Some women have extensive problems with their upper or lower back, while others find that they need the most support under their belly or in between their legs for hip support.

Often, it is a problem of swollen ankles that could be simply elevated with an inexpensive maternity wedge pillow, however, some women have serious pains related to their pregnancies, and need to invest more to alleviate their symptoms.

Recommended For Size And Position

Women who have carried twins can attest to the extreme discomfort that they felt due to their size. Many moms who have carried twins recommend a ‘U’ shaped body pillow, and believe that the investment in a larger size pillow was worth it.

Plus sized women often report that they love ‘C’ shaped body pillows, and claim that this style of pillow allows for many choices in positioning the pillow around the body.

Many petite women prefer a smaller pillow, and some have reported that they find larger pillows to be heavy and hard to maneuver around their bodies.

Side sleepers often find the most comfort at night, as this is the recommended sleeping position for pregnant women by experts. Side sleepers have the luxury of finding comfort in most any maternity pillow that they choose to purchase.

Back and stomach sleepers encounter more challenges as their pregnancies progress and their bellies grow. Back sleepers often look for a maternity pillow that pushes against their back, giving them the feeling that they are lying in their preferred position.

Stomach sleepers can be the most uncomfortable while pregnant, unable to find comfort in their preferred position after the belly begins to expand. Some stomach sleeping pregnant women prefer to keep their maternity cushion on top of their body, with their belly cradled between the cushion and the bed.

The Best Maternity Pillows

The best source for information lies online. Here, pregnant women can find almost endless information along with real customer reviews that they can use to form their decision.

1. Baby Works Pregnancy Wedge

This pregnancy/maternity wedge pillow made by Baby Works comes highly rated at a very affordable price. The bamboo, hypoallergenic cover appeals to women with allergies or sensitive skin, and the traditional angle can support both the belly and the back. It is filled with orthopedic foam, that claims to be the perfect mix of soft and firm while providing a cooling comfort to its user.

Additionally, its simple design allows this pillow to be used in many different positions, allowing for proper alignment in the spine, and a comfortable side sleeping position. The small size does not intrude on living space, either.

Real customer reviews claim that this pillow is “perfect”, and for a great price. They also attest to the company’s claim of a perfectly soft yet firm pillow. Customers love that the case is removable, and easily cleaned. Overall this wedge style pillow comes highly recommended by those who have purchased it in the past.

2. Back Buddy Maternity and Feeding Support Pillow

The Back Buddy Maternity and Feeding Support Pillow is both highly rated and award winning. It was designed by a mom and chiropractor and is used to alleviate pain in pregnancy, much like other maternity pillows.

Made in the U.S.A., this pillow is unlike others in that it is certified to be fabricated without the use of PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead, CFC’s, phthalates, and other heavy metals. The slipcover is removable and machine washable and comes in a variety of colors and designs.

This pillow is great for travel as it features a carry handle on top, and also features pockets on the sides. This pillow was the winner of a Mom’s Choice Award, two Top Choice of the Year awards, and a Family Choice Award.

Real customers claim that this pillow is worth “every penny spent”, although it is more affordable than other ergonomic back supports.

3. Queen Rose® ZZZ’s Pregnancy Pillow

This maternity pillow made by Queen Rose claims to function to improve blood circulation while providing a restful sleep. Some users love this pillow, because it provides the comfort of a ‘U’ shaped pillow, but is not as bulky as one side is shorter than the other. The shorter side also detaches to be used separately, leaving the larger part in an ‘L’ shape.

This pillow is filled with hypoallergenic Fusion Fiber made from high heat polymers. This allows for easier breathing for users with asthma or allergies. It has also been suggested that this type of filling serves to prevent heartburn and indigestion, as well.

Real customers claim this pillow to be an excellent choice not only for pregnant women but anyone who wants extra comfort or support. Customers love the “endless positions” that this maternity pillow allows, and say that their sleep habits and body pains are greatly improved by use of this pillow. They also love the removable and durable cover.

4. LeachCo Snoogle Total Body Pillow

The LeachCo Snoogle Total Body Pillow boasts the honor of being the “best-selling body pillow on Amazon”. This ‘C’ shaped pillow supports in between the legs, under the belly at the bottom, and the head at the top, while the long part of the ‘C’ shape supports the backside.

The cover is removable, and machine washable. Additionally, this design was developed and patented by a woman who is both a mother and a Registered Nurse.

According to the manufacturer, this pillow is unique in its design, following the body’s natural contour and shape during pregnancy. Real customer reviews state that while some people do not appreciate the pillow’s large size and weight, pregnant women love the full body support that this pillow provides, and one review suggested that the entire pillow is machine washable.

This is an added bonus for women thinking of keeping the pillow for some years after childbirth.

Although this is one of the more expensive models, it is not overly expensive for a pillow of this size and quality. Many real customers remain happy with their purchase, regardless of price, and would recommend this product to other pregnant women.

5. LeachCo Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow

LeachCo also makes a ‘U’ Shaped pillow for women who require a different kind of support. This type of pillow allows for equal support of the back and belly at the same time, and no need to re-position the pillow when switching from side to side at night.

This pillow has an hourglass shape that supports the body well and allows the hips and joints to stay in proper position. This pillow is ideal for many types of health problems including acid reflux, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The manufacturer boasts that this pillow allows for a comfortable sleep no matter which sleep position is preferred, and real customers rave about not having to re-position the pillow at all during the night.

6. PharMeDoc Total Body Pillow w/ Detachable Extension

PharMeDoc makes a total body maternity pillow that converts from an ‘L’ shape to a ‘U’ shape, allowing for a multitude of positions with only one purchase.  The extension attaches securely with a zipper when in use, or can be detached for use as a wedge or footrest, or for extra height.

This pillow also conforms to the curves of a pregnant woman’s body and also has a removable and machine washable cover. The ‘U’ shape also allows for women to re-position themselves in the night without having to lift or move the pillow, as well.

7. Moonlight Slumber Serenity Star Pillow

Moonlight Slumber’s Serenity Star Pillow is an oversized ‘U’ shaped pillow that spans the width of a twin sized bed. The pillow detaches on both sides, creating two long body pillows, and a curved head pillow. This allows for many comfortable combinations for pregnant women who find that traditional maternity pillows don’t target the specific areas that they need.

Made in the U.S.A., the pillows can be stacked as needed for added height, and any of the parts can be used separately for isolated support between the knees, under the belly or head, or behind the back, allowing for ideal alignment. This particular pillow is a good buy for those wanting to use it throughout their child-rearing years, as the individual parts can be used in so many different ways.

The Serenity Star pillow is filled with an extended polymer called Fusion Foss, that is known to allow air to flow, and this pillow is guaranteed by the manufacturer never to flatten or become lumpy. This pillow is also hypoallergenic, free of odor, and the filling resists dust mites.

8. Candide Baby Multi-Relax 3-in-1 Multifunctional Maternity Pillow

This wedge style pillow made by Candide Baby was designed in France and has multiple uses – it not only serves as a super plush support for back or belly but also a baby bed for after childbirth. Lightweight, and machine washable, this pillow is great for travel, and its functionality makes this pillow a great investment for years after childbirth.

It also has a super soft blanket, sold separately, that fits perfectly to its shape.

9. Kathe Kruse in The Garden Rye and Spelt Pillow

Independent designer Kathe Kruse manufactures naturally filled rye and spelled pillows, that make great gifts for pregnant women. For women expecting baby girls, the pillow can double as decoration for her daughter’s bed after childbirth.

How To Buy A Maternity Pillow

Anyone who makes a choice to improve their comfort during pregnancy deserves a pat on the back. Often, pregnant women get into the habit of putting their children first, even before they are born.

Good mothers know, however, that they are the best mothers when they are well rested, and take care of themselves.

For those who know that they want to purchase a pregnancy or maternity pillow, and don’t know where to start, it is wise to first think about individual needs. Some women only want a little bit of support for their growing belly or do not have much living or bed space, so they choose to buy a wedge pillow.

Others require the support of a bigger maternity pillow for their own health and comfort. There is also color and design to think about, but some women place greater emphasis on purchasing a pillow that is hypoallergenic or has a natural filling.

A removable and machine washable cover that is soft and comfortable is an important feature for some women, while others don’t plan to invest much money and don’t look for this feature.

Regardless of preferred style, there are a number of great options available for pregnant women, or anyone who requires extra support while they sleep. Real customer reviews often provide the best insight into actual experiences as to a product’s quality or durability, and future customers can use these experiences to avoid purchasing any product that may not be worth the investment.