With plenty of pregnancy pillows already on the market – the Dreamgenii (£45.99), the Mum E Pillow (£48), and the Widgey Plus (£49.99) – at first glance, the By Carla pillow’s main point of difference is price.
At £28.95, it’s much cheaper than the others, so I was interested to see whether By Carla’s five years of experience in the market and input from childcare experts and real parents made it that much better than a regular pillow.
At 37 weeks pregnant with my second child, this is my first pregnancy pillow, so I was looking forward to a more comfortable night’s sleep – as well as planning to use the pillow to support the new baby during breastfeeding after I give birth.
What’s in the box?
- By Carla pregnancy pillow
Any extra accessories?
The By Carla Mum & Baby Support Pillow arrives packaged in a handled, zipped bag, which I thought was a good start as it was really easy to carry about – great news if I take it with me to stay with grandparents after the baby arrives.
The pillow comes with a removable 100% cotton cover – I had the Lazy Days blue and white striped version, which also included a second plain cream cover.
I imagined the pillow was going to be longer and would support my whole body as I slept, but in reality you have to use it either between your knees or as a ‘cuddle pillow’ for your head and arms. Saying that, by Carla does make a different, longer design called the Cuddle Me pillow which supports your full body, and costs £32.99.
Who is the product most useful for?
Pregnant mums-to-be who toss and turn when sleeping would definitely find this pillow useful, as it does help make sleeping more comfortable as your bump gets bigger.
I think using it as a breastfeeding support pillow would also be good, as it fits the shape of your body better than a regular pillow and is firm enough to support your arms and the baby.
When the baby gets bigger and starts sitting, you could also use it to support them from falling backwards as they play, instead of having piles of cushions dotted around the living room.
Does it aid sleep?
It helped me get more comfortable in the late stages and encouraged me to sleep on my left side – which is recommended – even though I normally prefer sleeping on my back. However, if I woke up in the night I would sometimes throw it off the bed because it seemed to be in my way.
Is it comfortable?
The fabric cover is a soft brushed cotton, which feels really snuggly in bed and, for me, the pillow had the right level of firmness to be comfortable as it didn’t collapse between my knees or lose its shape even after a whole night sleeping with it.
Does it give you the support you need?
I loved the fact it curved around my bump but was firm enough to support my top leg from rolling down and putting pressure on my tummy. I tried using it sitting up in bed reading but, for me, that wasn’t quite so comfortable because I found the shape a bit cumbersome to use behind my back.
Is it better than a normal pillow?
It’s a lot pricier than a normal pillow, which I would use in the same ways I used the By Carla support pillow. But, it does the job that bit better – so it would be worth it if you do struggle to get comfortable at night.
The standout feature for me that was better than a normal pillow is the wipe clean interior cover. This would be invaluable for feeding as, even though you can remove and wash the outer covers at 40C, having the ability to simply wipe clean the interior when your baby possets (or poos!) all over the pillow is a major plus.
What do you think of the design?
The simple U-shaped design is perfect for fitting around the curves of a baby bump, and would be ideal for encircling your body to support your baby as you sit and feed.
There are four different patterns to choose from for this particular pillow, all of which are part of a range of nursery products from blankets to baby sleeping bags, so you can co-ordinate the pillow to your décor. Although I had the Lazy Days striped pattern, I really love the cute Little Birdie design – and there are also bright coloured patterns and monochrome.
Would you recommend this pillow?
Yes – if you are prepared to pay nearly £30 for a pillow, but I would say it is a luxury rather than a necessity.
Compare By Carla with Dreamgenii in our 8 of the best pregnancy pillows
How robust/durable did it seem?
Very – the pillow is well made and features like the wipe clean interior have clearly been carefully thought out. You would expect a pillow to be high quality for the high price tag, and it is. I expect it to last well beyond the birth of my baby so I can use it for feeding then for aiding baby’s sitting.
Is the By Carla value for money?
Although the pillow initially seemed better value than others on the market, you really need to buy the wedge as well to make it a comparable full body product for using during pregnancy, which puts up the price – or buy the slightly pricier Cuddle Me design.
I loved the firmness of the pillow and the support it gave me at night during late pregnancy – however, make sure it is not the full body pillow you are after, as this will not fit the bill. The fact it can be used after pregnancy as a feeding support is a big plus, as it extends its life, and the carrybag-style packaging means it’s easy to transport. I would recommend it, but only if you have a spare £30, as a regular pillow can also do the job – just not quite as well.