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Sleeping on the stomach tends to place strain on the neck and spine, and this effect can be exacerbated by the wrong mattress. While some sleepers prefer this position, they may suffer from associated aches and pains as a result.
A supportive mattress that prevents the sleeper’s midsection from sinking in too deeply can help align the spine and reduce back pain. Selecting a new mattress that is more conducive to stomach sleeping may provide sleepers who favor this position with a better night’s sleep.
With so many mattresses available online, finding the right mattress for your sleep position can be time-consuming. We’ll point you in the right direction with our picks for the best mattresses for stomach sleepers. We’ll also share how stomach sleeping may affect your sleep experience and note the most important factors to consider when selecting a mattress for stomach sleeping.
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The Helix Dawn is part of Helix Sleep’s hybrid collection consisting of six beds specifically designed for certain body types and sleep positions. The standard Dawn has a firm (7-8) feel and is geared toward back and stomach sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more. A comfort layer of responsive Helix Dynamic Foam offers a balance of contouring and bounciness. Many people liken this material to latex, rather than memory foam.
A standard Dawn also includes a polyfoam transitional layer, followed by a support core of 8-inch pocketed coils that stabilize the entire mattress and reinforce the edges to prevent excessive sinkage. If you’d like a thicker mattress with more padding than the standard Dawn, consider the Helix Dawn Luxe. This model features an additional memory foam comfort layer, resulting in a closer body contour. The Dawn Luxe’s coils are also divided into zones based on gauge, or thickness, so you’ll sink very little when moving across the surface and getting on and off the mattress.
The Helix Dawn and Dawn Luxe are both well suited to stomach sleepers thanks to their firmer feels and strong support systems. Although you’ll pay a bit more for the Dawn Luxe, its price-point is still in line with the average hybrid model. Helix Sleep also offers free ground shipping to all 50 states and a 100-night sleep trial.
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The all-foam Nectar Mattress conforms to the sleeper’s body without excessive sinking, making it a strong option for stomach sleepers.
The Nectar Mattress uses three layers of memory foam: a layer in the quilted cover, a comfort layer, and a transition layer. Memory foam responds to a sleeper’s weight and heat to adjust to their shape, cradling their body and relieving pressure points. While the Nectar’s three layers of memory foam contour to a sleeper’s body, a high-density support core stabilizes the mattress and prevents sagging around the sleeper’s midsection for better spinal alignment.
The Nectar’s all-foam construction absorbs a significant amount of motion while remaining whisper-quiet. Some foam mattresses tend to sleep hot, but the Nectar combats heat retention with a breathable cover and a layer of gel memory foam to disperse heat.
Rating around 6, the Nectar has a medium firm feel. While sleepers from any weight group may find this firmness comfortable, it is a particularly appropriate setting for stomach sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds.
The Nectar is affordable compared to similar mattresses on the market, and it comes with a lifetime warranty and 365-night sleep trial.
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The Idle Hybrid is our next top pick for stomach sleepers. This mattress is a reversible model. One side has a medium firm (6) feel and the other has a firm (7-8) feel. Both sleep surfaces are constructed with polyfoam comfort layers that cushion and conform to the body while also feeling somewhat responsive and bouncy. The Idle Hybrid’s shared support core contains 6-inch pocketed coils; the comfort and transitional foams on each sleep surface serve as base layers when you use the opposite side. If you prefer one of these feels over the other, Idle also gives you the option of customizing both sides of the bed with the same firmness level.
We recommend the Idle Hybrid to stomach sleepers – particularly those who weigh at least 130 pounds. Both sleep surfaces have firmer feels and the coils deliver strong support, so stomach sleepers shouldn’t sink too much regardless of which side they choose. The Idle Hybrid is a great choice for hot sleepers, as well. The entire mattress is encased in a Thermocool fabric cover designed to regulate your temperature and help the surface of the mattress stay cool, and steady airflow through the coil system also ensures consistent temperature neutrality.
The Idle Hybrid’s price-point is below-average compared to other hybrid models. Ground shipping is free for all orders. Additionally, Idle Sleep provides an 18-month sleep trial that is much longer than the trial periods from most competing brands. You’ll also receive a lifetime mattress warranty for added peace of mind.
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The PlushBeds Natural Bliss is a supportive, eco-friendly, all-latex mattress made using natural and organic materials. The bed avoids the use of harmful chemicals and animal products through the use of a plant-based fire barrier.
One of the standout features of the PlushBeds Natural Bliss is its sheer customizability. The mattress comes in multiple thicknesses that are each composed of different combinations of latex layers. The latex layers are all encased in a cover made of organic cotton. This cover can be easily opened, allowing you to rearrange the layers of latex in the mattress and change how firm it feels at will.
Each version of the Natural Bliss starts with Dunlop latex as its support core. Dunlop latex is a naturally dense material that provides the strong degree of support and pushback that stomach sleepers need in order to keep their spines aligned as they sleep. The thinner models have a single, 6-inch base of Dunlop latex, while the thicker variants split this core into two layers.
The comfort layers of most models are composed of Talalay latex, which tends to be softer, lighter, bouncier, and more breathable than Dunlop latex. These layers conform to the body in a pressure-relieving cradle, allowing sleepers to sink into the bed somewhat and cupping common pressure point areas like the shoulders and hips. The 8-inch Natural Bliss has a single 2-inch layer of Talalay latex, while the 10-inch variant is made with two.
Performance is generally consistent across all the different Natural Bliss models, with some minor variation here and there. The thicker models are going to be better at relieving pressure and isolating motion thanks to the body contouring of their Talalay comfort layers. The firmer models will have slightly better support around the edges, though the all-latex construction of these beds means that they’ll all provide a strong, resilient surface.
The beds are all highly durable, bouncy, and breathable. Latex sleeps rather cool and the Talalay layers have an open-cell design that allows for additional airflow throughout the mattress. Their construction means they won’t carry a strong “new mattress smell” that some all-foam beds are known for, and the latex naturally resists the buildup of moisture and allergens.
Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds will find themselves to be best supported on one of the thicker, firmer models and should opt for one of the beds that is at least 8 inches thick. Lighter sleepers will be able to sleep comfortably on most thicknesses, though they’ll likely want to go for a more middle of the road firmness level.
The Natural Bliss ships for free to the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.
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As a hybrid model, the Saatva combines multiple layers of foam, a layer of pocketed coils, and a layer of Bonnell coils. This construction gives the Saatva Mattress a balance between the benefits of both foam and innerspring mattresses, including bounce, edge support, breathability, and contouring.
The top layer of the Saatva Mattress consists of a Euro pillow top with an organic cotton cover and a layer of polyfoam. This layer provides cushioning for a stomach sleeper’s pressure points without excessive sinkage. Next, a thin layer of memory foam rests near the midsection of the mattress, supporting and cushioning a stomach sleeper’s hips. A layer of pocketed coils within the comfort system gives deeper contouring and support while allowing airflow. This layer also provides some bounce, while the pocketing of the coils inhibits motion transfer across the layer.
A layer of Bonnel coils acts as a durable, breathable support core for the mattress, while a foam encasement around the perimeter of the mattress creates a sturdy edge.
The Saatva Mattress is available in two thickness options and three firmness options. The thickness options are 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches, while the firmness options are soft (3), medium-firm (6), and firm (7). The firm version of the mattress will likely be the most suitable for stomach sleepers over 130 pounds due to its extra support. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds may prefer the soft or medium-firm settings.
The Saatva Mattress comes with a 15-year warranty and a 180-night sleep trial. White Glove delivery is free of charge.
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The Birch is a latex hybrid mattress that uses natural, eco-friendly materials to provide a supportive, cool night’s sleep.
The mattress is wrapped in a breathable cover made of 100 percent Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton. Rather than using chemical-based flame retardants, the Birch’s top layer is a fire barrier made from a combination of wool and rayon. A second layer of organic wool adds some cushioning as well as natural temperature regulation by helping to wick moisture away from the body through the night.
The Talalay latex comfort layer provides some pressure relief and body contouring, but with more of a bouncy feel akin to sleeping “on” rather than “in” the mattress. The support core is a robust bed of individually pocketed innerspring coils. Combined with the latex layer, these coils provide the extra bit of pushback that many stomach sleepers need to keep their spines aligned. The perimeter is reinforced with strong coils to bolster the bed’s degree of edge support.
The Birch has a medium firm feel that measures at about a 6 out of 10 on our firmness scale, as well as a strong balance of support and cushioning. These features make the bed suitable for sleepers of a wide variety of weights and preferred sleeping positions. Couples with different sleep preferences and needs should be able to find compromise on the Birch, while hot sleepers will appreciate its breathability. Natural materials like wool and latex also tend to resist the buildup of moisture, dust, and other allergens.
The Birch mattress comes with free shipping to all 50 states. It is backed by a 100-night sleep trial period as well as a 25-year, semi-prorated warranty. Birch also offers a 10-year accidental damage protection plan for an additional charge.
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For many stomach sleepers, finding the most comfortable mattress hinges on choosing the correct firmness. The WinkBed luxury hybrid is available in four different firmness levels, making the mattress suitable for most people regardless of their body type or general preferences. People who weigh less than 130 pounds will likely prefer the medium soft feel, those who weigh 130-230 pounds may find the medium firm feel most comfortable, and the firm feel is geared toward sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds. Additionally, the WinkBed Plus – also firm – is specifically designed for people in the latter weight group.
The standard WinkBed is constructed with two layers of adaptive polyfoam and a transitional layer of foam-encased pocketed microcoils, while the WinkBed Plus swaps out the microcoils for a thick latex layer. Either way, the mattress provides strong support and feels quite responsive on the surface.
All WinkBed models feature a support core of pocketed coils divided into different zones based on gauge, or thickness. Thicker coils line the perimeter to minimize sinkage and also provide enhanced support to your midsection and hips, while thinner coils deliver gentler cradling for the head, neck, and legs.
Temperature regulation is another strong point of this mattress. Air circulates freely through the main coil system to help the WinkBed maintain a comfortable core temperature, and the microcoil and latex layers are also quite breathable.
The WinkBed is competitively priced for a hybrid model, but the company will ship the mattress for free anywhere in the lower 48 states. You’ll receive a 120-night sleep trial with your purchase, during which you’ll be able to exchange the mattress if you would like to try another firmness level, as well as a lifetime warranty against structural defects.
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The Bear Hybrid is a standout mattress for a few reasons. A comfort layer of adaptive polyfoam contours to the body hugging too closely – a common complaint about memory foam – and a transitional layer of high-density polyfoam provides extra reinforcement and minimizes uncomfortable sinkage. The support core contains thick pocketed coils and a base layer of high-density foam. These components collectively make the mattress very supportive for stomach sleeping, while its medium firm feel ensures a bit of conforming to alleviate aches and pains.
The Bear Hybrid’s cover is made of Celliant fabric, an innovative material intended to absorb heat, convert it into infrared energy, and transmit this energy back into the body through your skin. This process can assist with physical recovery during sleep, making the mattress useful for athletes and people with physically demanding professions. Celliant fabric also sleeps quite cool, so the mattress is also well suited to those who sleep hot.
Since the Bear Hybrid has a medium firm feel, stomach sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds will probably find it most comfortable. Combination sleepers in the same weight group who also use the side or back position should also receive adequate support and cushioning.
The Bear Hybrid’s sticker price is very approachable compared to other hybrid models and the company provides free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a 100-night sleep trial with your purchase, as well as a 20-year warranty.
There are several potential issues associated with stomach sleeping. First, turning the head for an extended period of time can lead to neck soreness. Stomach sleepers also usually extend their necks backward, which could compress the spine and cause arm numbness due to restricted blood flow and compressed nerves. Stomach sleepers who bring a leg up may torque their hips and lower back, which could lead to pain.
Additionally, if the sleeper’s midsection sinks too deeply, it could place strain on their spine. Since stomach sleeping can cause aches and pains, stomach sleepers may also toss and turn more during the night, so they might not get enough restful sleep.
While stomach sleeping has potential drawbacks, it also has a possible benefit: some individuals may snore less when sleeping on their stomachs.
We’ll examine the potential effects of stomach sleeping in more depth.
Spinal alignment refers to how a person’s body lines up. When standing, someone who is holding their back straight and tall likely has a good spinal alignment, while a sloucher’s spine is not as well aligned. Improper alignment can lead to strain, which may cause aches and pains.
The same is true when a person lies down. Regardless of a person’s sleep position, ideal spinal alignment keeps the spine as straight as possible without bending or twisting. Stomach sleepers often struggle to achieve good spinal alignment. A mattress that is too soft may allow their midsections to sink in too deeply. Similarly, a mattress that’s too firm may not allow their shoulder and head area to sink in enough. Either issue could strain the lower back.
Many stomach sleepers benefit from a mattress that balances conforming and support, allowing their shoulders to sink in enough without letting their hips sink in excessively.
Stomach sleepers using the wrong type of mattress mattress may experience pain in their back, neck, shoulders, and other body parts.
Since stomach sleepers frequently crane their head to the side rather than sleeping face-down, they often experience neck pain. Adults also often carry a lot of their weight near their midsections. Without proper support, a stomach sleeper’s heavy midsection might dip too deep into the mattress and lead to more aches throughout the body.
Additionally, when a mattress does not help the sleeper keep their spine and joints in proper alignment, their muscles may work overtime during the night in an attempt to better align the spine. Since these muscles cannot relax, the sleeper may wake up with more aches and pains.
If you wake up with pains that tend to diminish during the day, your mattress could be the root cause of the problem. The right mattress may be able to provide better spinal support, preventing undue strain and allowing your muscles to relax during the night.
Stomach sleeping generally isn’t recommended. The position isn’t conducive to good spinal alignment, which can affect the sleeper’s back, neck, and shoulders. Since many stomach sleepers experience aches and pains during the night as a result of their sleep position, they may toss and turn more and awaken less rested. While the right mattress may help stomach sleepers get a better night’s sleep, it is unlikely to completely erase all the possible drawbacks of stomach sleeping.
Changing sleep positions may be the best way for stomach sleepers to improve their sleep in the long run. While changing your sleep position may seem daunting, there are some strategies that could make it easier. Using a body pillow is one way to transition away from stomach sleeping. A body pillow can help you prop yourself up on your side, and over time, you might be able to transition fully towards side sleeping. Using a cervical pillow can also encourage you to stay on your side or back rather than rolling onto your stomach during the night.
The supportiveness of a mattress is influenced largely by the mattress’s firmness and the sleeper’s weight. A mattress that isn’t supportive enough for a heavier individual may be perfectly supportive for a lighter individual.
Mattress firmness is traditionally rated on a 10-point scale, in which 1 is the softest possible mattress and 10 is the firmest. Stomach sleepers usually prefer a slightly firmer feel than side sleepers in the same weight group. This is because firmer models can prevent a stomach sleeper’s midsection from sinking in too deeply, which can help improve their spinal alignment.
Stomach sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds frequently favor a medium or medium firm model falling between 5 and 6 on the firmness scale. Mattresses in this range usually balance conforming and support. Stomach sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds usually prefer a softer feel to enjoy contouring and pressure relief, while sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds often favor a firmer feel to provide sufficient support without excessive sinkage.
Assessing your weight and body shape may make it easier to determine what firmness is best for you.
The type of mattress that is best for you may depend on your personal preference and the nature of the pain you’re experiencing. While individual models vary based on materials, construction, and quality, some commonalities usually exist between different models of the same type of mattress.
Definition: Hybrid mattresses traditionally use different materials in their comfort and support layers. The comfort layer usually consists of polyfoam, memory foam, latex, wool, cotton, and/or micro-coils, while the support core is generally constructed of coils.
Highlight: Balanced Conforming and Support. Hybrid mattresses tend to provide an exceptional balance between conforming and support, which is usually beneficial for stomach sleepers. The comfort layers have cushioning for pressure points, while the support layers are often stable enough to prevent a stomach sleeper’s midsection from sinking in excessively.
Definition: The main defining feature of an innerspring mattress is its layer of coils. There are several types of coils, including pocketed coils, Bonnell coils, offset coils, and continuous-wire coils. Innerspring mattresses may also have thin comfort layers to provide cushioning.
Highlight: Even Support. Quality innerspring mattresses provide relatively even support throughout the mattress, so the midsection shouldn’t sag significantly.
Definition: Latex mattresses can contain natural latex, synthetic latex, or a blend of both. The firmness and density of this foam often vary between mattress layers to adjust the overall feel of the surface. Talalay latex has a springier feel and is frequently used in comfort layers, while Dunlop latex has a denser feel and may be used in comfort or support layers.
Highlight: Contouring Without Sinkage. Latex mattresses spread the sleeper’s weight over a wider surface area than all-foam mattresses. While this provides pressure-relieving cradling, it doesn’t allow as much sinkage, which may promote better spinal alignment for stomach sleepers.
Definition: Airbeds use air chambers that can be filled or emptied to adjust the firmness of the mattress. They may use a crank, remote control, or app to make these adjustments. Many airbeds have thin comfort layers of foam, latex, cotton, wool, or other materials to provide some surface-level cushioning, while the air chambers act as the support system.
Highlight: Adjustability. A sleeper can adjust an airbed’s firmness, allowing them to change the feel of the mattress if their needs and/or preferences change. Some airbeds also allow sleepers to adjust the firmness of each side of the bed, so it may be able to accommodate stomach sleepers and their partners, regardless of the partner’s sleep position and firmness preference.
Definition: A foam mattress’s comfort layer may include memory foam, polyfoam, or layers or each. The support layer usually consists of firm polyfoam to reinforce the comfort layer.
Highlight: Pressure-Relieving Cradling. Most foam mattresses adjust to a sleeper’s body and position, which can relieve sharp pressure points associated with stomach sleeping. However, it is important to note that softer foam mattresses may allow a stomach sleeper’s midsection to sink in too deeply for proper alignment.
Maintaining proper spinal alignment requires more than just the right mattress. Stomach sleepers may also benefit from carefully selecting pillows and mattress toppers. The right sleep accessories can help provide stomach sleepers with a more restful and comfortable night’s sleep.
A pillow may make sleeping more comfortable, but for stomach sleepers, it could also further exacerbate neck strain.
A pillow may force a stomach sleeper’s neck to extend backward. This can compress the spine, which could cause arm numbness. Because of this, some stomach sleepers prefer to sleep without a pillow. A mattress with soft comfort layers can provide cushioning and support while keeping the stomach sleeper’s spine better aligned.
For stomach sleepers who choose to use a pillow, a low loft option is best. Thicker pillows may force the neck to extend even farther backward, putting additional pressure on the spine and leading to more aches and pains.
|Sleeping Position||Pillow Loft Recommended|
|Side||Medium or High|
In addition to a head pillow, some stomach sleepers may wish to use additional pillows to promote better spinal alignment and relieve aches and pains. Using a low loft pillow under your pelvis may help reduce pressure in the lower back and stomach region by preventing your midsection from excessive sinking. Placing a low loft pillow under your shoulders may help alleviate pressure in the upper spine and shoulder area by filling the open space between your neck and the mattress.
While these pillow options may not be comfortable for everyone, stomach sleepers may want to try different pillow arrangements to see what works best for them.
A topper rests on top of the mattress, modifying the feel of the surface. Toppers may be constructed of memory foam, polyfoam, convoluted foam, latex, down, down alternative, and/or wool. Since toppers are usually less expensive than buying a new mattress, many sleepers look to them as a short-term solution to fix the feel of an uncomfortable sleep surface.
Since many toppers use memory foam, purchasing a topper is an easy way to try out the material before committing to a new mattress. While memory foam toppers do not provide all the benefits of a new memory foam mattress, they do offer the material’s popular pressure relief and hug. This is more pronounced in thicker toppers, which adjust the feeling of the mattress more significantly.
While a mattress topper can be an affordable way for stomach sleepers to enjoy extra cushioning and conforming, they do not traditionally provide support. If your mattress is already sagging, a mattress topper will not help to even out the surface. However, if your mattress feels too hard, a topper might soften the surface. Similarly, if you are experiencing sharp pressure points, a thicker topper with good cradling may provide relief.
A mattress’s features contribute to its performance. The following considerations are particularly important for stomach sleepers to keep in mind as they shop for a mattress. While some companies may refer to mattresses as having “universal comfort,” this simply means these mattresses are meant to satisfy most sleepers. However, stomach sleepers have unique needs, so they should assess a mattress’s features themselves to ensure it is appropriate for them.