Perhaps no other time in a woman’s life is as disruptive to a woman’s sleep than when she is pregnant -- that is, until the baby comes, of course. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, more than 80 percent of women reported sleep disturbances during pregnancy, including insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or heartburn), sleep disorders like Restless Leg Syndrome and sleep apnea, and just general discomfort preventing restful sleep. These sleep disturbances, combined with the general fatigue that pregnancy causes, make many mothers-to-be overly tired, which can have an effect on their labor and delivery. In fact, research at the University of California San Francisco found that women who got fewer than six hours of sleep per night were more than four times as likely to give birth by Caesarean section.
Because sleep is so vital to a healthy pregnancy, moms-to-be want to do everything they can to ensure a restful night’s rest. Part of that is choosing the right pregnancy mattress, one that be supportive and comfortable during nine months of pregnancy and the early years of their child’s life. A mattress that provides plenty of support for a changing body, doesn’t get too warm, and is easy to get in and out of is ideal for aiding adequate sleep before, during, and after pregnancy.
Our Top Picks
|Manufacturer||Model||Mattress Type||Firmness||Price (Queen)|
|Loom & Leaf||Memory Foam||2 Choices: Relaxed Firm (5-6), Firm (8)||$1,499|
|Brooklyn Bedding Aurora||Hybrid||3 Choices: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)||$1,699|
|Nectar||Memory Foam||Medium Firm (6)||$699|
|Casper Wave||Hybrid||Medium (5.5)||$2,395|
|Layla||Memory Foam||2 Sides: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)||$999|
1. Loom & Leaf
Why we like it:
- Spinal Cooling Gel helps women sleep cooler during pregnancy
- Different firmness options suit sleepers of all sizes and preferences
- Excellent motion isolation
- Free White Glove delivery and mattress pickup
Loom & Leaf’s memory foam mattress by Saatva is constructed from multiple layers of foam to allow for exceptional contouring and support throughout all stages of pregnancy and beyond. Pregnant woman will appreciate the comfort layer of Loom & Leaf's exclusive Spinal Cooling Gel, which helps reduce the heat absorption so common in memory foam mattresses, as well as a layer of memory foam quilted into the organic cotton cover to add an additional level of comfort.
Choose from two firmness options, Relaxed Firm and Firm, to best suit your body type and comfort preference. With either option, memory foam layers are stacked on a high-density polyfoam base, giving the mattress an even and supportive surface that resists sagging. The mattress is also has excellent motion isolation and is virtually silent, limiting disturbances during pregnancy.
All of Loom & Leaf’s mattresses are adjustable with the addition of an adjustable base, an attractive option for pregnant women who may sleep better in a reclined position or want to sit upright for feedings after giving birth. Loom & Leaf offers a 15-year warranty, and a 120-night sleep trial.
2. Brooklyn Bedding - Aurora
Why we like it:
- Available in Soft, Medium, and Firm, to suit multiple body types and preferences
- Cooling technology reduces heat absorption
- Hybrid design offers plenty of support and contouring, without sagging or sinking
- 120-night sleep trial and free shipping and returns
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora lets you decide how firm you want your mattress to be, offering three firmness levels: Soft, medium, and firm. Although the soft and medium Aurora mattresses are well-suited to side sleeping, with plenty of contouring and support, for pregnant women who prefer a firmer mattress or who sleep on their back or stomach when not pregnant, the firm option will likely be most comfortable. That being said, the Aurora is best suited for those of an average weight (130-230 pounds) and may not provide adequate support for larger body types.
The hybrid design tops 1,189 individually wrapped coils with two layers of responsive memory foam, creating a responsive and supportive mattress that effectively isolates motion and contours to the body. What sets the Aurora part is the cooling technology, which helps keep the mattress at a comfortable temperature. This is ideal during pregnancy when women sleep hotter than usual. Brooklyn Bedding offers a 120-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
3. Nectar Mattress
Why we like it:
- Medium firmness prevents sinking and makes it easy for pregnant women to get in and out of bed
- Excellent contouring and support
- Price point is lower than other memory foam mattresses
- One year sleep trial and a lifetime warranty
Although one of the lowest-priced memory foam mattresses on the market, Nectar is noted for its high quality and comfort. Pregnant women appreciate that it’s one of the coolest sleeping memory foam mattresses , thanks to its layer of gel-infused memory foam and breathable cotton cover that draws heat away from you as you sleep. Nectar is only available in one firmness option (medium-firm), but it is comfortable for most pregnant women despite their body size.
The mattress’s Adaptive Hi-Core foam base, topped with two additional layers of gel-infused foam ensures excellent contouring to align the spine and support pressure points. You won’t sink as much into a Nectar mattress, and it provides excellent bounce and rebound, making it easy to get in and out of bed. Like most memory foam mattresses, Nectar is quiet and absorbs and isolates motion. Nectar offers a one year (365 night) sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty for materials and workmanship. White Glove delivery is available for a fee.
4. Casper Mattress
Why we like it:
- Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association
- Features a smart fabric intended to aid recovery
- Extra thick foam for maximum comfort and pressure relief
- 100-night sleep trial and free White Glove Delivery
The Casper Luxury Mattress is designed to support the hips and core with targeted gel pods within the memory foam. This is ideal during pregnancy, as those areas tend to need the most support. Constructed of five layers of foam, beginning with polyfoam topped with memory foam and latex foam, Casper is one of the thickest memory foam mattresses available at 13 inches. This means that most pregnant woman should find the Casper comfortable and supportive. Only available in one firmness (a medium 4.5) the Casper suits most sleepers.
Pregnant women will stay cool on the Casper, which is designed with breathable, pressure-relieving foam with airflow perforations and a wool-blend cover that wicks away moisture. This mattress offers excellent spinal alignment and pressure point support, earning it an endorsement by the American Chiropractic Association. Casper offers a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, and free White Glove delivery.
5. Layla Mattress
Why we like it:
- Unique double-sided design offers two firmness options
- Copper infused memory foam keeps the mattress cool and has antimicrobial properties
- 120-night sleep trial, lifetime warranty, and
|The Layla Mattress is unique in that it offers two firmness options in one mattress: A soft, plush side and a firmer option on the other side. This is ideal for a pregnant woman who may want a softer mattress during pregnancy when she has to sleep on her side, and a firmer option for later when she can sleep on her back or stomach again. Both sides are made from the same copper-infused memory foam. Copper adds an element of structural support to the foam, while also helping to keep the mattress cool and clean.
The Layla is constructed with a 4.5 inches layer of support foam topped by layers of copper-infused memory foam on either side, and then the firm or soft foam layers on top of that. The result is a comfortable mattress that will keep a pregnant woman cool and well-supported throughout her pregnancy. Layla offers a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Best Mattress for Pregnancy Buying Guide
Purchasing a mattress when you aren’t pregnant can be a challenge. When you are expecting, and have different needs in terms of support and comfort, it’s even more difficult. You need a mattress that not only conforms to the body to provide enough support and alleviate the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, but that isn’t too warm, as pregnant women sleep much hotter than usual. You want to be able to get in and out of bed easily, so a model that provides adequate bounce is a consideration, but you also want to buy a mattress that limits motion transfer so you don’t wake your partner when you toss and turn and get up to use the bathroom multiple times per night.
Often praised for being more comfortable than other mattresses, memory foam mattresses create a “custom” sleep surface by molding to a sleeper’s body. Body heat and pressure shape the form to the unique contours of the sleeper’s body, regardless of position. Depending on the individual mattress, the memory foam layer comprises up to 40 percent of the mattress, with the remaining layers including a high-density polyfoam core and custom layers, such as cooling gel.
Prices for memory foam mattresses vary greatly, from under $500 to over $5,000 for high-end models.
Pros for Pregnancy:
- Foam mattresses provide exceptional contouring, which can enhance support and relieve aches and pains
- Memory foam is quiet and known for it's high level of motion isolation, making these beds great for sleeping with a partner or pet
- High contouring foam is best for side sleeping, the sleeping position most often recommended to pregnant women to stay comfortable enough to sleep
Cons for Pregnancy:
- Memory foam mattresses can sleep hot, making them uncomfortable during pregnancy
- Sinking in may make it difficult for pregnantg women to change positions
- Not all models have adequate edge support, which can make it difficult to get in and out of bed while pregnant
- Off gassing odor may affect pregnant women who are especially sensitive to smells
What to Consider When Buying a Mattress for Pregnancy
- Contouring: Contouring refers to how well the mattress conforms to the unique contours of the sleeper’s body so that all parts are equally and adequately supported. Choose a mattress that doesn’t have any spaces between the body and the mattress to ensure optimal comfort, as gaps between the body and the mattress can cause more pain.
- Support: Pregnancy brings a range of aches and pains, especially in the lower back and hips. Proper spinal alignment reduces discomfort, and a supportive mattress ensures proper alignment. Look for a mattress providing adequate support on pressure points, especially in the midsection of the body, which carries more weight during pregnancy.
- Firmness: Generally speaking, a medium-firm option is best for pregnant women. This means that the bed will be neither too hard or too soft. Because doctors recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy to reduce pressure on the spine, a medium-firm mattress is generally most comfortable. Although women who weigh less than 150 pounds may find a softer mattress comfortable and supportive, a firmer mattress can make it easier to get in and out of bed -- a must for those nighttime trips to the bathroom.
- Motion Isolation: Getting up in the middle of the night is a common occurrence during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and some mattresses transfer that motion across the entire bed surface. This motion transfer can disturb a sleeping partner, so selecting a mattress that limits or eliminates motion transfer is a priority.
- Temperature Regulation: Pregnant women sleep hotter than most, so a mattress that stays cool is a priority. Look for a mattress made with materials designed to stay cool, and that don’t absorb and retain body heat.
- Edge Support: Getting in and out of bed easily is important during pregnancy and the postpartum period, so a mattress with adequate edge support is a must. Mattresses without good edge support tend to sag over time, especially if sleeper’s sleep close to the edge or sit on the edge of the bed a lot. Memory foam mattresses don’t always have reinforced edges, but innerspring and hybrid models typically do.
- Price: Most people are looking for a mattress that will be comfortable during and after pregnancy; few will purchase a mattress to use only for nine months. Therefore, couples may be willing to spend a bit more for a quality mattress that will hold up during pregnancy and in years to come.
- Noise: Pregnant women aren’t known for being particularly still while sleeping, between moving around to get comfortable and waking to use the bathroom. A quiet mattress that won’t wake everyone up every time someone moves is a must. Memory foam and latex mattresses are virtually silent compared to innerspring or air chamber mattresses, making them a good choice if noise is a concern.
Sleep Accessories for Pregnancy
When it comes to a restful night’s sleep, the mattress is probably the most important purchase that a pregnant woman can make. However, certain accessories are also helpful for ensuring a great night’s sleep, and can help expectant mothers feel more comfortable, reduce pain, and ease some of the common agonies of pregnancy.
Ask any pregnant woman about the pillows on her bed, and she’ll probably tell you that she has favorite pillows and a very precise arrangement for them every night. When you’re pregnant, pillows aren’t just for supporting your head and neck. They support your back, hips, knees, belly and any other body parts you decide to rest on them. Some women opt for a body pillow, which they can adjust and mold to support multiple areas at once. Others use multiple standard pillows.
Body pillows come in various shapes and sizes, most commonly body-length tubes and U-Shapes. Pregnant women are usually best suited by a body pillow that has an adjustable loft, meaning that the height and firmness of the pillow can be customized. A medium firm pillow made from either shredded memory foam, latex, or buckwheat usually provides the right amount of support while still staying cool. Feather and down alternative pillows may be more affordable, but they don’t hold up as well or provide as much support.
Because your pillow affects your spinal alignment, and pregnant women often use pillows for extra support and comfort, you don’t want to use just any old pillow. In general, because you will be sleeping on your side during pregnancy, a pillow with a higher loft (height) is best to support your head. If you have a softer mattress, a lower loft pillow is necessary to keep your spine in alignment. For pillows you use under your knees or back, choose one that offers adequate firmness but isn’t so high that you misalign your spine.
A mattress topper is a separate layer of cushioning added to the top of a mattress to make it more comfortable and supportive. The right mattress topper can make a significant difference in the feel of your bed, even extending the life of your mattress until you can get a new one. Mattress toppers are typically made of latex, memory foam, or down/down alternative. Adding one increases the firmness of your mattress, reduces pressure to your body, and can make your bed feel cooler. Adding a memory foam mattress topper, for instance, can help improve contouring and create a more supportive sleeping surface, while latex increases firmness and bounce.
A down mattress topper gives your bed a more plush and luxurious feeling, but doesn’t increase support or contouring. It can also make the bed warmer than other types of toppers, so foam or latex is a better choice for a pregnancy mattress topper. If buying a whole new mattress for pregnancy isn’t in the budget, a latex or memory foam mattress topper worth considering to improve your bed’s comfort and stay cool during pregnancy.
Because many pregnant women sleep more comfortably in a reclined position, especially during the last trimester, an adjustable bed can help them get more rest. Adjustable beds allow the head, and sometimes the foot, of the bed to be raised at an angle to improve comfort. Sleeping in an adjustable bed elevates the head, reducing the symptoms of GERD and acid reflux, as well as sleep apnea, and reduces pressure on the back, bringing needed relief during pregnancy.
Some adjustable beds include features like massage, USB ports, and extra lighting, which may be appealing if you need to spend a great deal of time in bed during your pregnancy. Almost all memory foam and latex mattresses are compatible with adjustable bed frames, but only some innerspring and hybrid mattresses can be used with this type of frame.
Sleep Help and Tips for Pregnancy
If there is one thing you can count on when you’re pregnant, it’s that your sleep will be affected. You might even say that the lack of sleep common during pregnancy is preparing you for life with a newborn. Each trimester of your pregnancy brings changes to your body and your sleep patterns, but with some adjustments to your normal routine, you can still get much needed rest. Try some of these tips for each phase to improve your sleep, and survive those first few months with your new baby.
During your first trimester, the rapid changes in your body can affect your sleep patterns, leaving you exhausted and more than a little cranky. Changes in hormone levels can make you sleepy during the day, so take a cat nap or two when you can during the day. You’ll notice that you sleep much hotter now too, so keep your room cool (between 60-67 degrees is ideal) and use a bedside fan if necessary. Although you might not wake up to use the bathroom as often as you will in later trimesters, expect to wake up to urinate more often. Drink fewer liquids in the evening to curb the urge to go. Finally, get used to sleeping on your side if you don’t already. Propping your head up on pillows and using an extra one between your knees can help keep your body aligned and reduce symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.
During the second trimester, often called the “Golden Trimester” because many of the more unpleasant symptoms of early pregnancy (i.e., morning sickness) have subsided and you aren’t as uncomfortable as you will be in the third trimester, you may find it easier to sleep than before. You’re still likely to be sleeping hot, so keeping the room cool is still a must. If you still haven’t gotten used to sleeping on your side, it’s soon likely to be your only option. Using pillows to help align your hips and support your growing belly can help make the position more comfortable. Leg cramps and vivid dreams are also common during the second trimester, and can wake you up (as can the need to use the bathroom). Talk with your doctor about how to prevent leg cramps, and keep a journal to record your dreams. That will help you get back to sleep sooner, and be a unique reminder of your pregnancy.
The third trimester is typically the most difficult in terms of sleep, mostly because of your growing belly. Not only is your uterus pushing on your bladder more than ever, making trips to the bathroom more frequent, but a large belly can increase heartburn and make it feel impossible to get comfortable. To help, limit your liquids during the evening and avoid foods that trigger heartburn, including spicy and acidic foods.
Use pillows to give your belly, back, and hips extra support, or try sleeping sitting up. Essentially, at this stage you should do whatever makes you most comfortable and gives you the most restful sleep.
Once the baby is born, your sleep is disrupted in a whole new way. The best advice for new mothers is to sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s tempting to use naptime to do chores or catch up on favorite shows, but it’s important to rest. In that vein, ask for and don’t hesitate to accept help. Talk about your sleep needs with your partner, and develop a schedule that works for everyone. Insomnia is common after giving birth, but if your sleep issues continue beyond a few months, or you aren’t getting restful sleep, talk with your doctor to uncover any underlying issues.