Pregnancy can be exhausting, especially in the final trimester. It’s vital to get enough rest, but if you’re tossing and turning and finding it hard to get comfortable, a decent night’s sleep can feel impossible.
One way to find and maintain a comfortable sleeping position is to use a maternity pillow.
There are plenty of options to choose from at a huge range of prices, from under a fiver to over £100. So we commissioned Alison Williams to research and write about maternity and nursing pillows.
Alison is a mum to two grown-up children and has experienced almost every stage of the parenting journey. As a journalist, she has written articles on a wide variety of parenting subjects, including articles on the best breast pumps and the best baby car seats for Mumsnet.
Which maternity pillows did we test?
Alison spent 15 hours researching which pillows parents were recommending, what was being discussed on the Mumsnet forums and beyond, what was new to market, and which popular models were still getting good reviews and feedback.
She also spoke to Val Willcox, Practice Manager for the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and Kate Pinney, Midwife Manager at Tommy’s, about the issues around getting a good night’s sleep in pregnancy, and why it’s so important.
Making sure pillows of different shapes, sizes and prices were tested over the course of three months, Alison then created a longlist of 30 products, which was later whittled down to a shortlist of 17. Here’s the full list:
- The Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow
- Mamas & Papas Pregnancy and Nursing Pillow
- Theraline The Plushy Moon
- BellaMoon Full Moon
- Little Chick London 4-in-1 Support Cushion
- Dreamgenii Pregnancy, Support and Feeding Pillow
- Love2Sleep V-Shaped Pregnancy Support Pillow
- Bbhugme Pregnancy Pillow
- Summer Infant Ultimate Body Comfort Pillow
- Love2Sleep U-Shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow
- Love2Sleep Bolster Pillow
- Mothercare Narrow Sleep Body Pillow
- Mothercare Wedge Pillow
- Kally Sleep Pregnancy Body Pillow
- Babymoov Dream Belt
- Babymoov Dream Mum and B Ergonomic Maternity Cushion
- HushCush Nursing Pillow
Who tested the pillows?
Alison partnered with parent tester, Laura, a first-time mum-to-be in her third trimester, who put all the pillows through their paces.
She rated each one on a number of key areas: comfort and safety, ease of use day-to-day, aesthetics, cleanliness and value for money.
While it would, of course, be quicker and cheaper to send each product out to a different tester, we believe that consistent scoring and like-for-like comparisons are crucial.
How did we test each pregnancy and nursing pillow?
We found out what mums were using their pillows for besides trying to get a good night’s sleep, and we discovered that pillows are really useful if they’re versatile.
Pillows that can be used when you’re watching TV on the sofa, propped up in bed reading, needing support at your desk or in the car on long journeys can represent better buys than more simple pillows.
Read our maternity pillows buyer's guide for more tips on what to look for when buying one.
1. Comfort and safety
We made sure to cover a variety of different sleeping times and patterns, so Laura used each pillow for several days and nights in a row, noting if they made any difference to her quality of sleep, the amount of sleep she got, and if they eased or provoked any aches or pains.
She also noted how quick and easy it was to get comfortable and how many times she woke in the night or needed to shift position.
2. Day-to-day use
As well as judging how each pillow improved comfort during sleep, and how each pillow soothed aches and pains, Laura also used each pillow on the sofa while watching TV or reading, in the car (as a passenger on longer car journeys), and at her desk at work (if feasible).
In each scenario, she paid close attention to how much support the pillow gave, how it added to her comfort, and how it stood up to daily use.
The longevity of a maternity pillow is important too. While Laura had not yet given birth during the testing period, she still looked at pillows that could be used for nursing as well as pregnancy, whether for feeding once your baby is born (as a support for you or your baby) or to prop your baby up when they're old enough.
3. Aesthetics and cleanliness
All the pillows were washed and dried using the supplied washing instructions and were checked carefully for any faults, including shrinkage, fading of pattern or any changes in the material’s softness or quality.
Aesthetics are also important, so we looked into which pillows you’d be proud to have in your home, in the lounge or bedroom, and which had unfussy covers or offered a choice of design – were there different colours or fabrics available?
We also looked at the helpfulness of websites, helplines, and instruction manuals and whether it was easy to purchase spare or replacement covers or fillings.
4. Value for money
Finally, Laura considered whether the pillows represented good value for money and whether they offered anything more than a normal pillow.
Which maternity pillow is best?
Using all of this information, we selected five winners to receive a coveted Mumsnet Best award – the pillows that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend:
- The Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow (Best Full Body Pregnancy Pillow 2019)
- Mamas & Papas Pregnancy and Nursing Pillow (Best Narrow Full Body Maternity Pillow 2019)
- Theraline The Plushy Moon (Best Versatile Maternity Pillow 2019)
- BellaMoon Full Moon (Best Multi-Use Maternity Pillow 2019)
- Little Chick London 4-in-1 Support Cushion (Best Wedge Pillow 2019)
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been making parents’ lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed countless products. We’ve watched trends come and go and safety features become more and more slick. Our testing is best in class – we rigorously test each product with real children in real-life situations as well as standardised lab-style testing and we're confident that our testing leaves no stone unturned. This means that parents don’t need to compare reviews or hunt around for other opinions. They know Mumsnet has it covered.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to win a Mumsnet Best award.
The aim of Mumsnet Reviews is to produce the best product reviews on the market for parent and baby products. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.
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