Pregnancy and sleep are not easy bed fellows. I’m eight months pregnant and have been dealing with hip pain for over two months. It’s a mix of pregnancy-related sciatica and my body being an overachiever at producing relaxin, the hormone responsible for causing the ligaments in the pelvis to loosen, ready for the big day.
A mattress won’t solve your pregnancy hip pain alone, so ask your midwife or doctor for help. I was referred to a physical therapist who gave me exercises to strengthen my pelvis and surrounding muscles, but you might need something different. Speak with your healthcare provider and tell them that hip pain is keeping you awake at night. Growing a baby is hard work and you need all the sleep you can get.
Luckily, as a Sleep Editor I get to test the best mattresses for all types of sleeper. I currently have three mattresses on rotation at home for long-term testing, but only one has relieved my hip pain at night during pregnancy: the Emma Original.
You might at first overlook the Emma because it’s cheap. But this memory foam mattress has made a big difference to how long I can sleep on my side without waking in discomfort. I’m still waking up often to use the bathroom and to shift to my other side, of course, but the Emma helps me to sleep for longer each time I drop off again.
How long? I’ve gone from waking every hour on my previous mattress to every two-ish hours on the Emma. As my sleep tracker tells me, that’s enough to get me through a full sleep cycle (roughly 90 mins) and then some.
View the Emma Original: from £249.50 at Emma UK / $495 at Emma US
The Emma Mattress is one of the cheapest all-foam beds I’ve reviewed, yet it’s come to my rescue during pregnancy. At 25cm tall it’s about average for a bed-in-a-box (the US specs are different), but the three layers of pressure relieving foam are heavenly to rest upon when you have a baby bump. A double size costs £379.50 in this mattress sale, while a queen size costs $745. There’s a 200-night trial in the UK, and a year’s trial in the US.
How the Emma eases my pregnancy hip pain
I was previously sleeping on the Eve Premium Hybrid mattress, which is an exceptional foam and coil bed for most sleepers. But when my pregnancy hip pain kicked in the Eve suddenly felt too firm. Same story with the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid.
I needed more cushioning around my hips, and knowing from experience that memory foam offers the deepest contouring for sore joints, I switched to the Emma. Hands-down, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my sleep comfort during pregnancy.
For me, the Emma offers enough pressure relief to take the edge off discomfort but without digging in. There is a trade-off though, and that’s getting in and out of bed…
The drawback to sleeping on the Emma while pregnant
When I originally wrote my Emma Mattress review I flagged up the weaker edge support and how getting up from a memory foam mattress can be harder for some people. Well, now that my baby bump is heavier, it’s more of a struggle getting up from the Emma.
The Eve Premium Hybrid and the DreamCloud are easier to get up from because a) as hybrid mattresses they offer firmer support that I can push off much easier, b) they’re taller than the Emma, and c) they have robust edge support to help me get off the bed. Both are excellent for sitting on the edge when wrestling with my shoes too.
But neither comes close to the Emma Original for relieving my hip pain at night. So I’m taking the hit on being able to get out of bed a little easier so that hip pain doesn’t keep waking me up every half hour or so… Even if I do look like an upturned beetle trying to scurry off the bed.
If you prefer the sound of the Eve or DreamCloud to help you get in and out of bed easier during pregnancy, here’s the lowdown on those…
Eve Premium Hybrid: from
£1,076 £592 at Eve Sleep
I loved sleeping on this mattress during my first trimester and the early part of my second, but when the hip pain kicked in, overnight the Eve felt much firmer and uncomfortable for longer periods of side sleeping. Outside of hip pain, this is a superb boxed mattress that feels cool and supportive, with excellent motion isolation (great if you’re changing sleep positions during pregnancy and don’t want to disturb your partner). You’ll get free shipping and a year to trial it.
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid: from £549.95 / $599 at DreamCloud
Like the Emma Original, the specs differ between the DreamCloud UK and US, but the take-away is this: the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid is a very well-made and supportive mattress that excels at relieving back pain. I thought it would work for my hips too but, like the Eve, it was too firm. I can’t wait to return to sleep on this again post-pregnancy as it’s cool, keeps my spine well-aligned, and makes a noticeable difference to my posture. You’ll get free delivery and a year's risk-free trial here too.