Top 3 Maternity Belts vs. Top 3 Belly Bands

Katelyn Holt, RN, BSN, BC
Reviewed by Katelyn Holt, RN, BSN, BCWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

Are you at the point in your pregnancy where back pain is starting to feel like the norm? Are you wearing the same maternity pants every day because they are the only comfortable ones? If so, you are not alone.

Look, we all know that pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It will change your life and bring your adorable child into this world.

But let’s face it; when you are in the throes of swollen ankles, sausage fingers, sore muscles, and your growing belly is constantly fighting with your waistband, it’s easy to forget the magic of carrying a child in your womb.

So what can you do? The good news is that some pregnancy gear will go a long way to solving your problems and relieving your agony.

Belly bands and maternity belts have officially taken the market by storm, jumping onto store shelves to help alleviate your back pain and keep those pants securely where they belong, which is not around your ankles!

The 3 best belly bands

If you’re looking for something cute and discreet that provides enough support to keep your favorite pants in your wardrobe for as long as possible, these are some great products to get you started.

Our first pick

Our opinion

With a silicone strap to provide a secure, no-slip hold, this belly band is long enough to wear folded and still gives you plenty of coverage when wearing a shirt that rides up a bit.

It’s machine washable, so keeping it fresh is a breeze, and it will stretch effortlessly as your belly grows, without losing its supportive nature. The fabric is soft against your skin, and a detailed sizing chart will provide you with the best fit possible.

This seamless belly band lies flat against your skin, so you don’t have to worry about unsightly bunching. It also comes in several colors, including navy blue and white, so you can wear this belly band no matter what shade your shirt is.

Fabric: 84% Nylon / 16% Spandex

Our second pick

Our opinion

This product’s mesh design means that you won’t get overheated, even if you wear it while you sleep or exercise. Available in four sizes, the support panel will stretch to accommodate a growing tummy, and the seamless design fits smoothly under clothing.

Unfortunately, with only two color choices, this product doesn’t provide quite as much variety as the Bellaband. However, it is machine washable, holds its shape over time, and is long enough to wear folded up for a bit of extra support.

Fabric: Nylon and Spandex blend

Our third pick

Our opinion

Soft, comfortable, and eco-friendly are all words we love, especially when it comes to maternity wear. This stretchy belly band provides light support and holds up those unbuttonable pants with ease, but it’s still breathable and doesn’t feel restrictive.

The bamboo fabric is even softer than cotton and has a naturally silk-like sheen, so it both looks and feels great. It’s an excellent pick for moms with allergies and sensitive skin, as it’s non-irritating to skin, easily absorbs moisture, and has naturally occurring antibacterial and ultraviolet protection.

Fabric: 70% Bamboo, 20% Organic cotton, 10% Spandex

The 3 best maternity belts

When your back is out of sorts, your day is simply not going to be productive. To keep yourself in the game of life during pregnancy, here are some products that will take some of the stress from your body.

Our fourth pick

Our opinion

This product is a top bestseller in Amazon’s Maternity Supports section, and with good reason. The design keeps your weight more evenly distributed, so your hips, pelvis, and back get a reprieve while your spine gets some much-needed pressure relief.

Unfortunately, this product needs to be hand washed to maintain its integrity and is only available in one size, so if your belly is larger than 46 inches, you will need to select a different brand. However, women report that this maternity belt is super breathable and, with velcro closure, is easy to put on and adjust.

Fabric: Unlisted

Our fifth pick

Our opinion

Highly recommended by OBGYNs and the recipient of several “Family Choice” and “Top Choice” awards, this product has certainly earned its reputation. Its compressing design helps to stabilize your hips, and it features a back “pocket” where you can insert a cold or hot pack for extra relief.

This maternity belt comes in five sizes and, with its velcro straps, it is easy to put on and adjust for comfort. Hand wash to maintain the belt’s integrity. While most moms report that this is a comfortable product, it is not as breathable as other products.

So, while ideal for those chilly months, you might feel hot when wearing this in warmer climates.

Fabric: 80% Polyester / 20% Lycra

Our sixth pick

Our opinion

Available in five sizes and three colors, this maternity belt certainly offers more diversity than many other brands. It also comes with an abdominal lift strap, which you can use to give the belt a bit of extra hold and stability.

It has four compression panels which are particularly helpful after you’ve given birth. Velcro attachments make this product easy to put on and adjust. Despite being layered, the fabric is breathable enough to be comfortable even in warmer weather.

This is another product that holds up better with hand washing but, since it grows with you during your pregnancy and beyond, we can’t complain too much.

Fabric: 60% Nylon / 40% Polyester

Maternity belt vs. belly band: What’s the difference?

While there are some similarities between belly bands and maternity belts, they actually serve two different purposes. One is more about adding convenience to your wardrobe, while the other focuses on severe back and hip support. Wondering which pick is right for you?

Belly band

Belly bands are exceptionally simple, but their clever design is a wardrobe powerhouse. They’re a tube of fabric that looks a lot like a tube top but is worn over your hips and lower belly.

Belly bands offer mild support and pain relief while also allowing moms to continue wearing some of their pre-pregnancy wardrobe.

Benefits of belly bands

  • Belly bands are straightforward and simple to use – most picks have no closures, though some have a simple Velcro strap that makes them a breeze to put on and take off.
  • As pregnancy progresses, even some maternity clothes may begin to strain when worn, riding up or down; belly bands provide mom with extra coverage for modesty.
  • As if the baby gear and medical expenses weren’t enough, maternity clothes aren’t cheap. Luckily, belly bands can hold up some pre-pregnancy pants. Extra-long pants can be rolled to unsightly buttons and zippers.

How do I wear it?

Although many women prefer wearing them over their clothes, you can wear maternity belts underneath your outfit. Some can even help hold your pants up, functioning as a belly band.

What qualities do the best belly bands have?

  • Look for fabrics like nylon and spandex that are breathable and can be both spot cleaned and machine washed. Avoid bands made of cheap material, which may fail to retain shape after washing and wearing and may feel itchy and uncomfortable against your sensitive belly skin.
  • Seek out long belly band designs, which allow you to roll the band up for extra support and hide pesky buttons and zippers when using the belt to secure pants.
  • Great belly bands should be able to hold up a pair of pants easily while providing mild support and back pain relief, but should never feel overly constricting or cut off circulation in any way.

Maternity belt

The maternity belt can occasionally offer wardrobe benefits but focuses more on function over form. It primarily exists to ease late pregnancy and post-pregnancy discomfort.

Nearly all models are designed like traditional girdles used for abdominal compression. Most maternity belts use Velcro closures to make life easier for growing mamas.

They’re also great to wear if you have to be on your feet for extended periods and can even make recovering from a cesarean a bit more bearable.

Benefits of maternity belts:

  • Back pain and muscle stress are considered common symptoms in pregnancy; maternity belts are designed to ease back pain and are particularly helpful in easing discomfort caused by sciatica or hernia.
  • Maternity belts redistribute mom’s weight by stabilizing her hips, improving her with posture and reducing pelvic pain, while also increasing circulation in the pelvic area.
  • They’re especially helpful for moms who need to stand for a long time as their pregnancies progress – this can prove painful without proper back support.
  • Maternity belts are excellent picks for twin pregnancies, which sometimes come with twice the musculoskeletal discomfort along with twice the joy.

Can a maternity belt help with c-section recovery?

All childbirths require recovery time, particularly with moms who’ve had cesarean sections. Not only does this involve major abdominal surgery, but the recovery period can also be lengthy, while setbacks and infections can land moms back in the hospital; the last place any new mother wants to be.

Research suggests that abdominal binders can help c-section recovery in a few ways. Abdominal binders are different than standard maternity support belts because they cover more of your abdomen.

They’re designed to bring abdominal muscles back together when separated. They can also help alleviate pelvic and lower back pain and protect the incision from irritation and rubbing, allowing mom to walk and move about with less discomfort.1Karaca, I., Ozturk, M., Alay, I., Ince, O., Karaca, S. Y., Erdogan, V. S., & Ekin, M. (2019). Influence of abdominal binder usage after cesarean delivery on postoperative mobilization, pain and distress: A randomized controlled trial.Karaca, I., Ozturk, M., Alay, I., Ince, O., Karaca, S. Y., Erdogan, V. S., & Ekin, M. (2019). Influence of abdominal binder usage after cesarean delivery on postoperative mobilization, pain and distress: A randomized controlled trial. The Eurasian journal of medicine,Karaca, I., Ozturk, M., Alay, I., Ince, O., Karaca, S. Y., Erdogan, V. S., & Ekin, M. (2019). Influence of abdominal binder usage after cesarean delivery on postoperative mobilization, pain and distress: A randomized controlled trial. The Eurasian journal of medicine, 51(3),

Those who have an abdominal binder are more likely to walk and planned early ambulation significantly improves post-surgical outcomes.2Dube, J., Kshirsagar, N., & Durgawale, P. (2013). Effect of planned early ambulation on selected postnatal activities of post-caeserean patients.Int J Health Sci Res, 3(12), 112-118.

How do I wear it?

Although many women prefer wearing them over their clothes, you can wear maternity belts underneath your outfit as well. Some can even help hold your pants up, functioning as a belly band.

You’ll want the support pad to rest on your abdomen, just above your pelvic region. After fastening the strap around your back, you’ll be able to adjust it to suit your comfort needs.

As with belly bands, if your maternity belt feels constricting instead of supportive, you’ll need to adjust the fit. Remember, these products will not hurt your baby, but you are trying to ease your own discomfort, not cause more.

What qualities do the best maternity belts have?

  • While belly bands provide light support, they’re mostly focused on helping moms with their burgeoning wardrobe crises (we’re not knocking that, it’s essential).
  • Maternity belts are uniquely designed for comfort via back support, so are less aesthetically pleasing, but redistribute weight by offering mom added hip stability, reducing pain in the back and pelvis.
  • Look for fabrics that can be machine washed with your other clothes wherever possible, but machine washable at all is sometimes a compromise you’ll have to settle for. Expect to air dry, though

Which brand you ultimately pick will depend on what you personally find comfortable. However, to get you started, we’ve singled out some of our favorite maternity belts and belly bands.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need tons of new gadgets and gizmos just because you are pregnant. You don’t. We’re here to help keep things simple and focus only on the essentials that will genuinely make your pregnant life easier.


While there is not yet a way to bypass all the unpleasantness that comes with growing a little person inside your womb, you can at least find ways to minimize any discomfort you might feel.

Whether looking for a way to keep your best pants in your wardrobe for as long as possible, or searching for some much-needed pain relief, these products are quickly becoming lifesavers for a whole new generation of pregnant women.

Life doesn’t have to shrink as your belly grows and, while being pregnant might mean you have to do things differently than you are used to, there’s no need to sit on the sidelines wearing pants with an elastic waistband as you hold an ice pack against your back.

So, with the help of these products, be sure to get out there and make some great memories that you’ll one day share with your child.

Katelyn Holt, RN, BSN, BC
Reviewed by Katelyn Holt, RN, BSN, BCWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Maternity belt vs belly band