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Pregnant women face sleep difficulties during all three trimesters of their pregnancy. For most women, the first and third trimesters are particularly rough; both periods are characterized by chronic discomfort and frequent nighttime urination. The period after childbirth, known as the postpartum period, is also challenging due to the constant needs of newborn babies — often in the middle of the night.
Pregnant women can optimize their sleep by selecting a mattress that accommodates their various needs from the first trimester to the postpartum period. Mattress comfort and support are essential, and many expecting couples benefit from quiet mattresses that isolate noise and motion transfer during nighttime trips to the bathroom or the baby’s room after childbirth has taken place.
This guide will look at some important factors to keep in mind when shopping for a mattress that will be used during pregnancy, as well as our picks for the best mattresses for pregnant women. For more information about how pregnancy affects sleep for women and their partners, please visit our Pregnancy and Sleep guide.
Next, let’s look at some mattress characteristics and functions that can positively or negatively affect a pregnant woman’s sleep experience.
Thickness: The best mattress thickness often comes down to personal preference, but many pregnant women prefer thicker, higher-profile mattresses because they are easier to sit down on and get up from than thinner, lower-profile beds.
Support: In the mattress industry, ‘support’ refers to a bed’s ability to provide a flat, even sleep surface for someone. Supportive mattresses help align the spine, and can alleviate aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and other sensitive areas. Unsupportive mattresses usually sag in places where the greatest amounts of weight are centered; for pregnant women, this usually means the midsection. Sagging of one inch or lower is associated with higher levels of discomfort; ‘sagging depth’ can be used to select a mattress with the best warranty coverage (see ‘Shopping Considerations’ section for more information).
Conforming: Conforming ability refers to how closely a mattress contours to the sleeper’s profile and provides equal support and pressure relief to all areas of the body. Some mattresses conform closely but do not offer equal support or pressure relief due to gaps or spaces in the surface. These gaps can cause feelings of discomfort, and create more pressure.
Firmness: Firmness refers to how soft or firm the mattress surface feels to each individual sleeper. Mattresses that are too soft or too firm may also be unsupportive to certain pregnant women based on their body weight and sleep position. Most physicians encourage pregnant women to sleep on their side; this removes some pressure from their midsection, which can create a more comfortable sleeping experience.
Pregnant women who sleep on their side and weigh less than 150 pounds often feel more comfortable on softer mattresses because they sink deeper and experience more pain and pressure relief. Those who weigh more than 250 pounds may prefer a firmer mattress because they sink too deeply on softer surfaces.
Some mattresses sold today are available with multiple firmness options; additionally, flippable and dual-firmness models offer multiple firmness options in one design. Other mattresses, on the other hand, are only available in one firmness. These can be more limiting to customers with different firmness preferences.
Durability: The average mattress will perform for six to seven years. However, some mattresses are prone to early sagging, and may begin to develop indentations after as few as one to two years. Others typically perform for eight years or more without issue.
Temperature neutrality: Sleeping hot is a common complaint among pregnant women, often due to their increased metabolic rate. They will usually prefer a cooler sleep surface that does not retain much body heat and sleeps at a comfortable temperature. Some mattresses absorb more body heat than others, and sleep warm or hot as a result.
Motion isolation: Motion transfer occurs whenever someone shifts positions in bed or gets up from or onto the mattress. Many older mattresses do not absorb motion very much, and transfer can be felt across the entire sleep surface. Some newer models are designed to isolate and minimize transfer; this can reduce nighttime disruptions for pregnant or postpartum couples whenever someone gets up in the middle of the night.
Noise: Mattresses with internal components — such as springs or electric air chambers — tend to produce some noise when they are bearing weight. Mattresses made of solid foam or latex layers are virtually silent by comparison.
Edge support: Mattresses that are reinforced around the edges can reduce sinkage, which occurs in areas where people sit along the perimeter of the bed when sitting down or standing up. Mattresses that are not reinforced may begin to sink after a couple of years.
Price: Most mattresses represent a significant investment for pregnant couples, but some are considerably less expensive than others. Mattress type is usually the deciding factor when it comes to price-point. The table below rates the five most common mattress types based on price and the other performance factors described above.
|Construction||Foam-based comfort layers|
Steel coils and base polyfoam in the support core
|Polyfoam or memory foam layers in the comfort layer|
Polyfoam layer(s) in the support core
|Latex layer(s) in the comfort layer|
Latex or polyfoam layers in the support core
|At least 2″ of memory foam or latex in the comfort layer, as well as other components (such as polyfoam or minicoils)|
Pocketed coils in the support core
|Foam comfort layers or no comfort layer|
Individualized adjustable air chambers in the support core
|Support||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Conforming||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Firmness Options||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Durability||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Temperature Neutrality||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Noise||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Edge Support||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Average Price||$700 to $1,1000||$700 to $1,200||$1,500 to $2,000||$1,400 to $1,800||More than $2,000|
|Rating for Pregnant Women||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
Here are a few important factors for pregnant women to keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress and comparing different brands and models.
Dual firmness: Many couples have different preferences when it comes to mattress firmness, and a woman who shares the same preference as her sleep partner may feel differently during her pregnancy. A dual-firmness mattress can be quite beneficial in these situations. These models are designed with a lengthwise split down the middle of the mattress, and a different firmness on each side. Additionally, many airbeds provide customizable dual firmness.
Financing: Expecting a child can put a strain on a couple’s personal finances, and purchasing a new mattress many not be a reasonable investment. Rather than paying a lump sum, many mattress brands and retailers allow customers to pay back their mattress through monthly financing.
White Glove delivery: Carrying a mattress inside one’s house and assembling it alone can be a difficult undertaking for anyone, but this process may be downright impossible for a pregnant woman. For an additional fee (typically $100), some mattress brands offer White Glove delivery; company personnel will bring the mattress into the customer’s home, completely assemble it, and remove all packaging waste. For another $30 to $50, the mattress brand may also remove the customer’s old mattress. Please note that a limited number of mattress brands offer these services, and customers who require White Glove delivery and/or old mattress removal should inquire before finalizing their purchase.
Sleep trial: Most mattress brands and retailers offer a sleep trial to mattress customers. During the sleep trial, the purchaser may test out the mattress in their home and, if not satisfied, return it for a full or partial refund. Sleep trials may last anywhere from 30 to 1,000 nights, depending on the brand, and they may or may not include a mandatory break-in period of 30 nights before the customer is eligible for a refund. Sleep trials are most helpful for customers who aren’t sure which mattress type, brand, or model they want.
Warranty coverage: The mattress warranty is an important consideration because it may lead to additional costs down the road. A mattress warranty guarantees that the manufacturer will repair or replace a defective mattress.
These defects typically include sagging that reaches a minimum depth. Some warranties will cover sagging that measure one half to three-quarters of an inch (1/2″ to 3/4″), while others will not cover sagging unless it reaches one and a half inches (1 1/2″ deep). This is important for pregnant women because sagging of one inch (1″) or more can cause significant discomfort and pressure.
In addition to sagging depth, mattress purchasers should also check the warranty to determine how much nonprorated coverage is offered. Nonprorated coverage means that the customer will not need to pay anything to have the mattress repaired or replaced, except for shipping and handling costs in some instances. Prorated coverage, on the other hand, means that the customer must pay a certain percentage of the original mattress price to have it replaced. The prorated charges typically increase with each year of ownership.
For instance, let’s say a 20-year mattress warranty offers 10 years of nonprorated coverage and 10 years of prorated coverage beginning at 50%. For the first 10 years, owners can have their defective mattress repaired or replaced for free (unless shipping and handling charges apply). Then, in year 11, the owner must pay 50% of the original price to have the mattress replaced. In year 12, they must pay 55%, and 60% in year 13, and so on until the warranty expires.
Bottom line: a warranty that offers at least 10 years of nonprorated coverage is usually more than enough coverage, considering most mattresses perform for eight years or less.
Next, let’s look at the top rated mattresses for pregnant women. The first table features our five picks that are priced at $1,000 or less for a Queen-sized model when purchased directly through the manufacturer or an authorized retailer. All ratings are generated from authentic customer and owner experiences. To learn more about the brands, please click the links in the top row of the table.
|Brand||AmeriSleep||Helix||Leesa||Loom & Leaf||Nest Bedding|
|Model||AS3 (Liberty)||Helix Mattress||Leesa Foam Mattress||Loom & Leaf by Saatva||Alexander Signature|
|Mattress Type||Memory foam||Mixed foam||Mixed foam||Memory foam||Memory foam|
|Support Rating||Good||Good||Very Good||Good||Good|
|Conforming Rating||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|Firmness Options||Medium||Soft to Very Firm||Medium Firm||Medium Firm||Medium|
|Temperature Neutrality Rating||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair|
|Motion Isolation Rating||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Excellent||Very Good|
|Noise Potential Rating||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent|
|Edge Support Rating||Poor||Fair||Poor||Poor||Poor|
|Sleep Trial Length||100 nights||100 nights||100 nights||120 nights||‘Lifetime Comfort Guarantee’|
(Full refund within 100 nights)
|Warranty Sagging Depth||3/4″||1″||1″||1″||1″|
|Warranty Length||20 years|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||82% (531 customer reviews)||72% (344 customer reviews)||77% (1,012 customer reviews)||72% (113 customer reviews)||76% (322 customer reviews)|
The second table features mattresses that are priced at $1,200 or higher for a Queen-size model when purchased through the manufacturer or an authorized retailer.
|Brand||Avocado||Bed in a Box||Nest Bedding||Tempur-Pedic||Zenhaven|
|Model||Green Mattress with Pillow-Top||Serenity||Alexander Hybrid Luxury Contour||TEMPUR-Cloud Supreme||Zenhaven by Saatva|
|Mattress Type||Latex hybrid||Memory foam||Memory foam hybrid||Memory foam||Latex|
|Thickness||13″||11″||11 1/2″||11 1/2″||10″|
|Support Rating||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Very Good||Good|
|Conforming Rating||Good||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Good|
|Medium Soft||Medium||Medium Soft||Side 1: Medium Soft|
Side 2: Medium Firm
|Temperature Neutrality Rating||Good||Fair||Good||Fair||Good|
|Motion Isolation Rating||Good||Very Good||Good||Very Good||Very Good|
|Noise Potential Rating||Fair||Excellent||Fair||Excellent||Excellent|
|Edge Support Rating||Very Good||Poor||Very Good||Poor||Poor|
|Sleep Trial Length||100 nights||120 nights||‘Lifetime Comfort Guarantee’|
(Full refund within 100 nights)
|90 nights||120 nights|
|Warranty Sagging Depth||1″||1 1/4″||1″||3/4″||3/4″|
|Warranty Length||25 years|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||76% (678 customer reviews)||85% (127 customer reviews)||77% (603 customer reviews)||71% (523 customer reviews)||80% (924 customer reviews)|
Choosing the right mattress can make a world of difference to the sleep experience for a pregnant woman. Next, let’s look at two sleep accessories — pillows and toppers — that can also affect sleep for pregnant women, as well as some general tips for getting enough sleep while expecting.
Pillows: Like mattresses, pillows are designed to provide optimal support and comfort for sleepers — but rather than the entire body, pillows target the head, neck, and shoulders. The most important factor when choosing the right pillow is ‘loft,’ or thickness. Pillows that are the not the right loft may cause discomfort and pressure buildup.
‘High-loft’ pillows are thicker than five inches (5″), ‘medium-loft’ pillows are three to five inches (3″ to 5″) thick, and low-loft pillows are thinner than three inches (3″). When determining the right loft, it’s important to keep these four factors in mind:
The table below provides a detailed breakdown of the three general pillow loft categories.
|Loft||Thickness||Optimal Head Size||Optimal Weight||Optimal Shoulder Width||Optimal Mattress Firmness|
|Low||Less than 3″||Small||More than 230 lbs.||Narrow||Soft to Medium Soft|
|Medium||3″ to 5″||Average||130 to 230 lbs.||Average||Medium|
|High||More than 5″||Large||Less than 130 lbs.||Broad||Medium Firm to Firm|
In addition to loft, pillow shoppers should also consider the material composition. Some pillow materials — including buckwheat, latex, and memory foam — offer better support, comfort, and durability, but they also tend to be the most expensive options. Pillow types with lower price-points, such as down alternative and polyester, cannot deliver the same levels of support or comfort, and also tend to wear out faster.
For more information, please check out our Best Pillows — Buying Guide and Information page.
Toppers: The term ‘mattress topper’ refers to an extra layer of cushioning that is placed on top of the mattress to adjust the firmness and comfort levels, and also provide better support. Toppers usually make a mattress feel less firm, though some models may increase the firmness instead.
Like pillows, toppers can be made from different materials — and this is arguably the most important factor when comparing topper options. Toppers made of materials like latex, memory foam, and wool have above-average durability, produce little to no noise, isolate motion, and tend to perform for several years. They are also priced higher than other toppers. Alternatively, toppers made of materials like feathers or polyester are much cheaper — but performance ratings are not as favorable.
For more information about mattress toppers, please visit our Best Mattress Toppers guide.
Adjustable beds: The term ‘adjustable bed’ refers to a bed base that allows sleepers to adjust the angle of the bed; they can be raised or lowered at the head, and some models also raise and lower the feet. Adjustable beds have traditionally featured manual controls, but today’s models are mostly programmable using remote controls and/or wireless apps.
For many pregnant women, an adjustable bed offers the most optimal sleeping experience because it allows them to sleep at virtually any angle that feels the most comfortable. This may help reduce aches and pains, particularly in the first and third trimesters. Some adjustable beds also come with ‘anti-snore’ presets that elevate the head to an angle that helps prevent snoring; this can be useful for pregnant women who develop obstructive sleep apnea. Most adjustable beds support anywhere between 600 and 800 pounds, making them suitable for most pregnant women and their sleep partners.
Cost is an issue with adjustable beds; most models cost at least $1,000, and some are priced at $3,000 or higher. For more information, please visit our Adjustable Bed Reviews page.
Finally, let’s look at some general sleep hygiene tips for pregnant women during all three trimesters, as well as new mothers during the postpartum period.
For more information about pregnancy and sleep, as well as sleep issues for women and mothers of small children, please visit the following Tuck pages:
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