What maternity pillow works best for a small bed?

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Photo by gruntzooki, used under Creative Commons license.
I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant with my first child. I keep seeing ads and suggestions that I should get a maternity pillow — and I totally get why! Increasing heartburn, belly size, and desire to sleep with my thighs a little farther apart than gravity would want them to, mostly.

But have you SEEN these things? Most of them look huge! My husband is 6’5″ and we’re already sharing a fairly small bed.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a smaller but still useful maternity pillow or a way to use the pillows we already have? — Amasea

We know you can make regular pillows work, but did you use a pillow specifically designed for pregnancy? Did you love it? TELL US ALL ABOUT IT!

Comments on What maternity pillow works best for a small bed?

  1. The Boppy Pregnancy Wedge. It’s small, but you can use it under your bump or between your knees. In fact, you could get two and it would still be WAY smaller than a full body pillow. My 6 foot 1 husband, my 100 pound dog and I all slept in a double bed while I was pregnant – the Wedge was a lifesaver.

  2. There were two things that worked for me. One was my husband sleeping on the couch while I arranged the down comforter into the perfect nest. The other was to have two pillows, a regular sized one tucked between my knees and a small toddler pillow that was just big enough to slip into that uncomfortable gap between my belly and the bed. The pillow solution wasn’t nearly as comfortable as a down comforter and a bed to myself, but it worked well enough.

  3. I started out with one of the big body pillows and it was like having another person in bed. So, I took that one back and got a Boppy Cuddle pillow. Much more reasonable in a small bed… but large enough to support my knees and hips.

    Oh, and later on I got the Boppy wedge for under my belly.

  4. I got a Snoogle mini – it is designed to go from under your arms to just about your knees. I didn’t need another pillow to go under my neck/head – I have plenty of those. It works really well for us, since my husband is a huge cuddler in bed. It can also be wrapped around to be used as a nursing pillow once the baby is here – though I’m not quite there yet, my LO is due in 3.5 weeks!

  5. I’m 38 weeks and my husband and I have a full bed. I use 3 regular pillows – two behind my head so I’m a bit propped up and then a third between my legs. I haven’t found the need to have one under my belly or behind my back. However, I have had some lower back pain, and found that going to bed with a microwaveable heating pad has been HEAVEN.

    • I second this, I use one pillow under my head, one under my belly and one between my knees (which is actually a sturdier cushion, not a pillow) with a rolled up blanket behind my back. My husband is also 6’5 and the giant pillow would not have as much use AFTER we have the baby, and we have nowhere to store it. I am 34 weeks and my “pillow fortress” has worked pretty well.

  6. I JUST went through this a few months ago! We are sleeping in a queen size bed with two adults and a sprawling pet. It’s pretty tight in there as is, so I went searching for something comfortable but not too huge. I went with the Sealy Sweat Pea 2-in-1 Maternity and Nursing pillow. It took a few days to get used to, but I love it. It has helped me sleep SO much better. It’s not too huge like the full body pillows, but it’s definitely not very small either… it’s more of a mid-size maternity pillow. I did try to use regular pillows before I got this one though to save on space and they didn’t work for me. We’re pretty packed in the bed with this pillow, but it’s not too bad. The only smaller maternity pillows I have found were the wedges… I haven’t tried these, so can’t tell you how well they work. They seem pretty tiny and not that comfortable, but they do have decent reviews on them.

  7. The Boppy pillow and wedge would definitely be good for a small bed. You’re going to probably want support for your back (the wedge) and your tummy.

    I had that wedge pillow and a regular and not too huge body pillow from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I still use. It worked great at my grandma’s when I slept in one of her tiny and ancient twin beds (and I am neither tiny nor ancient).

    Thankfully I had a king sized bed during my last pregnancy. I had two pillows for my head, the body pillow, the wedge and I’m pretty sure a couple more pillows as well by the end to make me comfy. My son was huge and it really made being in bed uncomfortable.

  8. I used regular pillows, because if I stayed in one position too long it started really hurting, and smaller pillows made it easier to adjust. At one point I had one between my knees, one behind my back, one under my top arm, and two under my head…

  9. We have a queen sized bed and I was still worried about whether we could fit a maternity pillow. They do look huge, but they are pretty flexible.

    I bought the Snoogle Loop which is ah-mazing. I went from having sleepless nights to only waking up to pee. I’m not sure I ever want to sleep without it! LOL

    I think it would still work in a full but it would be tight. Luckily, my husband enjoys snuggling up to it, too.

  10. The Snoogle was and still is my best friend. We have a queen size bed and still had room. I use it as the night rail buffer for baby since she is still sleeping with us. It was the only pillow that took the pressure away. Kinda pricey but worth it. A friend of mine made her own pillow cover for it too.

    • I loved my Snoogle, well untill my dog ate it 🙁 I tried every combination of small pillows, wedges, foam blocks you could imagine and nothing worked for my big twin pregancy belly. A friend who a pinched nerve during her pregnancy suggested I get one. Best $ I ever spent. I’m 6ft tall and my husband is too so we didn’t have much room in bed but it was so worth it. My husband actually took to putting the part of the pillow that stuck through my legs between his legs. so we got 2 plp to use 1 pillow.

    • Thirding this. The Snoogle has worked out great for me (got it at 15 weeks). It’s not small, but it’s relatively narrow and my husband (who’s 6’3″) can still spoon me when I’m all wrapped around it since it only goes along one side of my body. Plus it takes up waaaaay less space than the 6 or so pillows I was using before (a sweatshirt or something under my waist, one under my belly, one between my knees, one behind my back, one or two under my head, and one in front for my arm/shoulders).

      The other thing we did was replace our mattress, once we determined that it was old and saggy and causing back problems beyond anything that pregnancy could explain. This may not apply to you, but it’s worth thinking about!

  11. Thank you so much, ladies! I have lots of options to investigate now 🙂

    I do know one that won’t work, though — the couch. I have a 6’5″ husband and a two-person loveseat. Even *I* can’t sleep comfortably on that thing! 😀

  12. I’m at 25 weeks, & I sleep in a queen with a very tall husband and 2 cats who take up way more than their fair share of space. I’ve been completely comfortable with a regular pillow between my knees – I keep my knees bent when I sleep, so the same pillow supports my belly a little and then tucks between my knees. This is best for me because I tend to flip from side to side while I sleep, and the pillow just moves back and forth with me.

    Due to heartburn & ribcage pain, this week I started sleeping slightly elevated – I grabbed a pillow off our couch to put under my torso, and then just use my regular head pillow on top of that. It’s super comfortable, I’m sleeping great, and I didn’t have to spend any money. Everyone wins! Even the selfish cats.

  13. I’d take a wait and see approach and also ask around if anyone has a preggo pillow you can borrow. I ended up not needing a special pillow, just put a regular pillow between my knees and that worked for me. You may be surprised that you aren’t as uncomfortable as everyone else may be when you are in the 3rd trimester.

  14. I have been using larger stuffed animals (like a pillow pal or velveteen rabbit) as my extra pillows. The curves of arms and legs fit neatly into crevices (under neck, belly, waist) with less wrangling than a pillow, at least for me. They are smaller than my body pillow, and more fun to hug all night. Plus, after this pregnancy, baby gets a buddy that smells like mommy.

  15. Someone up there said to use a stuffed animal…I did the same thing, mostly because I already slept with a stuffed cat my husband got for me in college. It’s my son’s favorite toy now (probably for the same reasons it was comfy to put under my belly-cause it’s cuddly!)

    You may also try infant wedges or travel pillows. We already had them for the baby, so it worked well to repurpose them.

  16. I am first time mama at 15 weeks. I have the same problem. My hubby is 6’4 290lbs and I’m not a small one either. I cuddle up with a spare blanket and have him behind me. Still pretty uncomfortable but to me the wedges won’t do any justice for me I want something to cuddle with and wrap my whole body in. I move away from my hubby due to his snoring so even cuddling with him is a struggle. I was a light sleeper before and I’m suprised I can function through the day on the lack of sleep I’m getting.

  17. We’re both quite tall, and sleep on a full mattress, rather than a queen/king. I just used a regular long/full body pillow. Mine is really soft so it can be folded in half in a corner if need be …although, really, now my husband curls up with it while I get up in the middle of the night with baby. I like the fact that it is more multi-functional than some maternity pillows — now I sometimes use it to prop up around me if I am nursing in the bed.

  18. Less of a pillow suggestion, but I got very sore hips while sleeping during my pregnancy. My physio suggested a foam overlay to soften our hard mattress. It’s heavenly, and a lot cheaper than a new mattress. We still use it post-pregnancy.

  19. I use a regular body pillow from target the kind a college student would have in their dorm room…..I put it between my knees,under my belly and hug the top of it …….it has worked wonders and only cost me $10

  20. My body pillow was getting in the way so i use a throw pillow to prop up the belly and throw my leg over the 6ft 3 hubby. So far that has worked in our full bed, but who knows where we will be next week!

  21. My husband, dog and I share a tiny full size bed in our 2 room apartment and I live my Preggle from Babies are us. It’s candy cane shaped and flexible in its uses. It seems large and cumbersome but once I’m wrapped around it, dog and husband snuggle in too!

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