Pregnancy can be a joyful time of anticipation and preparation. However, growing a new life is exhausting work, and many of pregnancy's physical effects can make it hard for moms to get the rest they need. To promote quality sleep during pregnancy, you may need to make changes to your sleep setup. Pregnancy pillows will help, but you may also need more cushioning or support from your mattress. In this guide, we'll discuss the best mattress for pregnancy and how the proper mattress can make your pregnancy more comfortable.
Why Is Sleep Important for a Healthy Pregnancy?
Sleep is important for a healthy pregnancy for the same reason quality sleep is essential for the health and well-being of every human being. During sleep, your body repairs itself, memories are stored, hormones are regulated, muscles are replenished, and energy is restored. Poor quality sleep can also impact labor and delivery, creating complications for mother and baby. A lack of sleep during pregnancy could cause preeclampsia, which affects the kidneys and blood pressure.
Changing hormones in the first trimester brings with it an overpowering urge to snooze, all that extra progesterone lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels causing fatigue. Your body uses a lot of energy keeping your immune system healthy and keeping you active. Add a growing baby and your body needs additional fuel and resources to keep mother and baby healthy. This is where a good pregnant bed could make all the difference between rest and insomnia.
Best Mattress Qualities for Pregnant Women
Support and Pressure Relief
Pregnancy mattresses must be supportive. This means that the mattress surface is responsive and accommodates your weight and sleep style. Your spine will be aligned and sensitive pressure points will be supported so as not to give uncomfortable pushback or sinkage. As your pregnancy progresses, mattress support in the pregnancy pressure points, hips, and back are essential to comfort.
Is a Soft or Firm Mattress Better for Pregnancy?
There is no “right” or “wrong” mattress firmness level for pregnancy. As with all sleepers, the ideal firmness level for an expecting mother depends on their body type and personal comfort preferences.
Before, during, and after pregnancy, you need a mattress that keeps your spine aligned and relieves tension on joints and pressure points. Head over to our Mattress Firmness Guide for detailed information on finding the right firmness level for you. Bear in mind that your body will change during pregnancy, and you’ll sleep on your side during the latter stages.
Hot flashes and night sweats can occur during the early stages of pregnancy. A feeling of heat will rush to your face, making you look flush and you will sweat profusely during sleep. Night sweats and hot flashes can interrupt your precious sleep, making daytime fatigue more unbearable. The best mattress for pregnancy will be 100 percent temperature neutral. A cooling mattress made of breathable materials offers greater pregnancy comfort than heat-retaining memory foam.
Edge support refers to a reinforced mattress edge. It is meant to limit sinkage while sitting on the edge of the bed. This is important during pregnancy, as you may need to sit on the edge of the mattress to make getting in and out of bed easier.
What Is the Best Mattress for Pregnancy?
The ideal mattress for pregnancy will incorporate all the qualities mentioned above: support, pressure relief, the right firmness level for your body type, cooling, and edge support. While there are all-foam and latex mattresses that may fit the bill, hybrid mattresses are generally the best fit for pregnancy.
A quality hybrid mattress will have pressure-relieving foam or latex on top, which will ease the soreness and tension exacerbated by pregnancy. Pressure relief is essential for side sleeping—the recommended position during the latter stages of pregnancy—as it decreases stress on your shoulders, hips, and knees.
However, pregnant sleepers should avoid hybrid mattresses with memory foam on top because memory foam traps heat. Instead, look for breathable and temperature-neutral materials like all-natural latex or viscoelastic chemical-free polyfoams.
Underneath the comfort layers, hybrid mattresses feature coils for maximum support and durability. Often, these coil systems feature targeted support zones that keep your spine aligned. Be sure to choose a hybrid mattress with individually-wrapped (pocketed) coils, as this increases responsiveness. During pregnancy, you’ll likely shift around a lot in your sleep, so flexibility is key. Also, we recommend a hybrid mattress with reinforced coils around the perimeter for enhanced edge support.
Nolah’s Hybrid Mattresses
- The Evolution features cooling graphite-infused AirFoamICE™ on top and comes in three firmness levels. This mattress is both cushioning and supportive, making it ideal for pregnancy. It features pocketed coils in three targeted support zones with enhanced edge support.
- The Natural excels in pressure relief, responsiveness, breathability, and durability. It features all-natural Talalay latex, which cushions your curves while keeping your spine aligned and relieving tension on sensitive pressure points. Like the Evolution, the Natural has individually-wrapped coils underneath for targeted support.
Tips for Sleeping Better When Pregnant
- The first trimester may have you feeling more tired and warmer than usual so adopt an earlier bedtime and use breathable bedding.
- You may feel tired during the day and have insomnia at night! Nap during the day as much as you can.
- Enjoy any sleep position but practice side sleeping with a pillow between your knees.
- This is a good time to start pregnancy yoga if permitted by your doctor. Light exercise could also ease insomnia.
- Sleep on your left side to ease acid reflux and heartburn
- Try gentle stretches to ease leg cramps
- A hot bath before bed can comfort tired muscles
- Drink plenty of water during the day to combat headaches
- Sleep propped up on a wedge pillow to ease nasal congestion
- Pregnancy weight gain can bring muscle and joint pain, along with blood pressure issues and insomnia. It’s important to do all you can to relax, like meditation, yoga, and getting fresh air. Read a book in bed to help you fall asleep.
- Continue sleeping on your left side
- A hot water bottle or heat pack could bring some comfort from back pain
The best pregnancy mattresses offer pressure-relieving comfort, spinal support, and cooling relief. If your current mattress doesn’t provide these sleep-supporting features, it may be time for an upgrade. A new mattress can not only help you sleep during pregnancy, but help you get the rest you need in the demanding months to follow.