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Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep position. For this reason, pillows are usually constructed with side and back sleepers in mind. A pillow’s firmness and loft affect the angle of your head and neck, as well as your spinal alignment. Stomach sleeping can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain if the head and neck are elevated too much, so people who favor this position usually prefer thinner pillows compared to side and back sleepers.

Our sleep experts evaluated a wide range of pillows to determine the best options for stomach sleepers. We’ve chosen the pillows below based on feedback from our product testers who primarily sleep on their stomachs, as well as combination sleepers who sometimes use the stomach position. This ensures each top pick is an appealing option for stomach sleepers, whether because of a low profile, adjustable loft, or enhanced head and neck support. Our evaluation process consists of multiple testing stages, during which we judge each pillow for qualities like moldability, shape retention, temperature control, and overall support.

What’s the Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers?

Many stomach sleepers don’t use a pillow at all, but those who do typically prefer low-profile designs that won’t strain the neck. We’ve chosen the Saatva Latex Pillow as the best pillow for side sleepers of 2024. The pillow is plush and adaptive enough to compress beneath your weight without elevating the head too much, and a thin profile helps ensure stomach sleepers won’t feel sore or stiff in the morning.

In-Depth Reviews

“The Saatva Latex Pillow’s loft may be too high for some stomach sleepers, but I still found it rather comfortable. Though I sank into the down alternative fill, the shredded Talalay latex core prevented me from sinking in too far. It’s a smart design for all types of sleepers — stomach sleepers included.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Expert

  • Pros

    1. Medium soft feel promotes spinal alignment

    2. Made with premium Talalay latex

    3. Gusseted design resists flattening and clumping

  • Cons

    1. Latex fill may trigger allergy symptoms

    2. Stomach sleepers may be limited to lower profile

Price Range

$165 – $185

Fill

Shredded Talalay latex and down alternative

Firmness

Medium Soft

With a medium soft feel and options to customize the pillow’s loft, our test team found the Saatva Latex Pillow ideal for ensuring healthy sleep posture for stomach sleepers. It has a unique three-layer construction, which includes a cotton cover, an outer layer, and a shredded latex core.

How It Performed

The outer layer gave the pillow a lofty feel, while the latex core excelled at pressure relief in our test lab. You can also remove the core for a lower loft, which was what the stomach sleepers on our team preferred. Latex is naturally breathable and helps increase airflow throughout the pillow, so this pillow earned very high ratings for temperature neutrality. The cotton cover also wicks away moisture and promotes breathability.

What It’s Made of

The outer layer is composed of a down alternative microdenier fill, and inside is a shredded latex core. The cotton in the cover is 100% organic and has a smooth sateen weave. Both the cotton cover and outer layer are machine washable. The Saatva Latex Pillow is a luxury option with a price-point to match, but the price is reflected in the durable cotton and latex construction. You can purchase the pillow in a queen or king size.

Saatva offers free shipping and a 45-day return policy. The pillow also comes with a 1-year warranty.

“Our at-home tester has used the Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow for several years and reports excellent shape retention without a need for fluffing. I personally appreciate the low-key contour and light bounce of this model. The 4-inch profile is especially ideal for stomach sleepers because it shouldn’t elevate the head and neck too much.” – Jackson Lindeke, Director of Product Experience

  • Pros

    1. Solid, responsive latex gently cushions with hugging too tightly

    2. Tencel cover is breathable and organically sourced

    3. Affordable pricing compared to the average latex pillow

  • Cons

    1. Latex may emit a rubbery smell after the pillow is unboxed

    2. May not contour enough for those seeking the “hug” of memory foam

Price Range

$89 – $99

Fill

Talalay latex

Firmness

Medium Firm

If you want a pillow that cushions the head but you don’t enjoy the “hugging” effect of memory foam, a latex model might be up your alley — though they can also be fairly expensive. Thanks to high-quality construction and an approachable sticker price, Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex Pillow represents the best of both worlds.

How It Performed

After testing both of the pillow’s profile options, we’re recommending the lower-loft 4-inch design to stomach sleepers. The latex is ventilated with small holes to promote consistent airflow and a breathable Tencel cover encases the core, so the pillow should sleep fairly cool. We detected very little heat buildup during temperature regulation tests. Another major strength is shape retention — you won’t need to fluff the pillow often, if ever, to maintain even distribution. The pillow is also available in a 5-inch profile that our team found more suitable for side and back sleepers, as well as stomach sleepers who need more loft to rest comfortably.

What It’s Made of

Latex is derived from rubber trees, and the pillow’s solid core retains the natural responsiveness of its botanical source. You’ll feel a light bounce as you lie down, followed by gentle contouring as your head settles into the latex. You can remove and machine wash the cover, but the latex should only be spot cleaned if necessary. Queen and king sizes are available.

In addition to the affordable pricing, the Talalay Latex Pillow qualifies for free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a trial period that runs for 30 nights. If you decide to keep the pillow, Brooklyn Bedding further backs it with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

“A lot of pillows contain a mix of down and feathers, but the Brooklinen Down Pillow – Plush is filled entirely with down. This creates a truly cloud-like surface, and the fill should compress enough to prevent neck strain for stomach sleepers.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Expert

  • Pros

    1. Plush design offers deep compression and strong pressure relief

    2. Cotton cover promotes cooling and breathability

    3. All orders come with a 365-night sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. Returns incur a small fee

    2. May require frequent fluffing

Price Range

$109 – $129

Fill

Canadian white down clusters

Firmness

Plush

Down pillows are known for their plushness, but the Brooklinen Down Pillow – Plush stands out from the competition with an exceptionally soft feel. We found that stomach sleepers in particular benefit from the soft design and deep sinkage of this pillow.

How It Performed

The pillow has a luxurious fluffy feel. It compresses deeply under the weight of your head, which helps relieve pressure around the neck and prevents the head from elevating excessively. This helps ensure proper spinal alignment in stomach sleepers. The down design stays fairly cool and should feel comfortable for sleepers who run hot. According to a tester who has used the pillow for 2 years, “This pillow does a great job at keeping cool — much better than the all-foam pillow that’s also on my bed.”

What It’s Made of

The Brooklinen Down Pillow – Plush is filled with 100% down clusters. It has a 6-inch loft, but the deep compression makes it suitable for sleepers who prefer pillows with a lower profile. The shell is composed of cotton in a sateen weave, which is breathable and silky-smooth. Double-stitched edges enhance durability and prevent down from escaping. The pillow is not machine-washable, but you may spot clean as needed. Brooklinen also offers two firmer versions of the Down Pillow.

You may return or exchange the pillow within 365 days for a refund, minus a small return fee. The pillow is further backed by a 1-year warranty beyond the return period. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. on orders over $100.

“The experience of sleeping on pure silk was comparable to high-quality down — it felt very soft and cushy. The main difference was that the silk didn’t really shift around beneath my head. As a hot sleeper, I was also blown away by how cool this pillow slept. The silk held almost no heat, and air flowed through the cover.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Mulberry silk fill is soft, durable, and breathable

    2. Shell composed of moisture-wicking viscose derived from bamboo

    3. All orders backed by a 100-night return period

  • Cons

    1. Plush fill offers minimal support

    2. Cleaning the pillow can be time-consuming

Price Range

$279 – $329

Fill

Long-Strand Mulberry Silk

Firmness

Medium Soft

The Cozy Earth Silk Pillow offers a luxurious design for stomach sleepers who prefer exceptionally soft surfaces. The quality materials are meant to last longer than many competing pillows.

How It Performed

The pillow features a low profile that our stomach-sleeping testers found comfortable. The fluffy feel is especially ideal for stomach sleepers who don’t want to elevate their head at an uncomfortable angle. The silk doesn’t shift or clump, earning it high ratings in our shape retention tests and ensuring the pillow’s overall longevity. You can purchase in a standard or king size.

What It’s Made of

The fill is composed of mulberry silk, which our testers found extremely plush and durable. Silk also retains minimal body heat, and the shell is made of moisture-wicking viscose from bamboo, so it’s ideal if you sleep hot or reside in warm or humid climates. You may machine wash the pillow, though you should dry it on a delicate cycle and avoid spinning. Alternatively, you can dry-clean or spot-clean the pillow.

Cozy Earth offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. In addition to the warranty, which covers the pillow for 10 years, you’ll receive a trial period that spans 100 nights.

“Sleeping on my stomach requires a down or down alternative pillow that lets me sink in. The Sweet Zzz Pillow is perfect for that. It’s such a luxurious, absorbing feel that makes me think I’m in a high-end hotel bed. Good sink-in quality, but there’s still substance thanks to the inner core.” – Jackson Lindeke, Director of Product Experience

  • Pros

    1. Soft and breathable cotton cover

    2. Plant-based down alternative fill cradles the head and neck to relieve pressure

    3. 50-night sleep trial with all orders

  • Cons

    1. Above-average pricing for a down alternative pillow

    2. Frequent fluffing may be needed to maintain a full shape

Price Range

$135 – $150

Fill

Plant-based down alternative fibers

Firmness

Medium

The Sweet Zzz Plant-Based Pillow is an affordable option filled with a down alternative fiber that mimics the plush feel of down. This soft, fluffy design makes the pillow an excellent choice for stomach sleepers who seek pressure relief for the head and neck.

How It Performed

We found the pillow’s mid-range firmness created a balanced feel that was both pressure-relieving and supportive for most sleepers on our team, including stomach sleepers. Our testers report that the pillow contoured closely to the head and neck, which greatly alleviates persistent pressure points during sleep. Hot sleepers should also appreciate that the plant-based fibers retain less heat than traditional down.

What It’s Made of

The Sweet Zzz uses plant-based down alternative fibers to create a fluffy, squishy feel similar to down without the potential allergens or animal products. The pillow shell is made from soft cotton, which is naturally breathable to keep you cool. The pillow is fully machine washable, provided your household appliances are large enough to accommodate it. Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, and tumble dry on the lowest setting.

You can choose between queen and king-size pillows. Sweet Zzz ships free to the contiguous U.S., and it offers a 50-night sleep trial. Plant-Based Pillow purchases are backed by 1-year warranties.

“The Silk & Snow Pillow is my pillow of choice at home, and for good reason. You can remove as much shredded foam fill as you want to get the loft to a perfect level, which is not always an easy feat for stomach sleepers.” – Jackson Lindeke, Director of Product Experience

  • Pros

    1. Chambered design with supportive memory foam core and plush down alternative outer layer

    2. Foam fill can be added or removed to adjust the loft

    3. Cotton shell is breathable and machine-washable

  • Cons

    1. May feel too soft for those who need a firm, supportive pillow

    2. Fill in outer chamber is prone to clumping and shifting

Price Range

$75 – $85

Fill

Shredded memory foam core with down alternative microfiber outer chamber

Firmness

Medium

Adjustable pillows are an ideal solution for stomach sleepers who have trouble finding a low-profile pillow. The Silk & Snow Pillow gives you all the benefits of loft adjustability at an affordable price-point compared to other adjustable pillows we’ve tested.

How It Performed

Stomach sleepers on our test team gave this pillow high marks, thanks to the adjustable loft. Many of the pillows we’ve tested are designed with a fixed loft aimed at back and stomach sleepers, but our stomach-sleeping testers were able to remove this pillow’s foam fill until achieving a thin enough loft that suited their sleep position. Our testers observed that the pillow offers a nice balance of plushness and support.

What It’s Made of

The Silk & Snow Pillow features a chambered design with a shredded memory foam core. You can add or remove as much foam as you’d like to achieve the best loft at any given time, making the pillow well-suited to stomach sleepers who need very thin pillows. The outer chamber is padded with down alternative fibers that mimic the soft feel of real down without triggering allergy symptoms or using animal-based materials. A breathable cotton sateen shell encases the entire pillow. You can wash and dry the shell in your household machine, but you should only spot-clean the other components as needed. You can purchase the pillow in standard and king sizes.

Shipping is also free for any customer in the contiguous U.S. or provincial Canada. Each order is backed by a 100-night sleep trial with a mandatory 30-night break-in period, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty that covers workmanship defects for up to 3 years.

“The Luxome LAYR is a versatile option that will work for just about any type of sleeper if configured correctly. If you’re going to be sleeping on your stomach, I recommend using only one or two of the layers and removing some filling to create a low profile. From there you can dial in whichever firmness works best for you.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Expert

  • Pros

    1. Mix-and-match inserts each have a different firmness and feel

    2. Down alternative and memory foam may be added or removed to fine-tune loft and feel

    3. Cooling cover is made with viscose from bamboo

  • Cons

    1. Sleepers may need several nights to determine which insert combo feels most comfortable

    2. Pillow can be somewhat heavy and bulky when most or all of the inserts are used

Price Range

$100 – $115

Fill

Down alternative, shredded gel-infused memory foam, and solid gel-infused memory foam

Firmness

Adjustable

Comfortable pillows can be elusive for stomach sleepers, but our test team found the Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow’s unique design allowed even stomach sleepers to achieve a perfect loft and feel.

How It Performed

With three inserts to pick from, you can select the insert or combination of inserts that feels most comfortable. Since stomach sleepers need low-loft pillows to keep the head from excessive elevation, our testers found the thinner and plusher inserts were most comfortable for this sleep position. That said, you can experiment with inserts until you find the combination that feels most conducive to healthy sleep posture.

What It’s Made of

The pillow is designed with three separate inserts, each with its own feel and firmness. The soft insert contains a plush down alternative fill. The medium insert is filled with 75% shredded memory foam and 25% down alternative, which gives you an optimal balance of contouring and support. The firm insert is filled with solid memory foam. The foam pieces come in a 1-inch and 2-inch profile, and you can choose to use one or both in your pillow. The cover is composed of viscose derived from bamboo, which is known for its cooling properties. This helps create a cooler surface if you tend to overheat.

You can choose between a standard/queen or king size. Luxome offers free shipping to addresses in the contiguous U.S., and you’ll receive a 30-night sleep trial with free return shipping.

“I enjoyed this pillow for its soft and squishy feel, and the deep cradling of the memory foam. I was also impressed with how cool the pillow sleeps — the GlacioTex fabric in the cover does its job and prevents heat from building up.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Memory foam fill is plush and adaptive

    2. GlacioTex cover offers cooling properties

    3. Mid-loft design cradles the head and minimizes neck strain

  • Cons

    1. May conform too closely for sleepers who prefer a responsive pillow

    2. Foam fill may produce strong initial off-gassing

Price Range

$123 – $136

Fill

Solid memory foam

Firmness

Medium

The Helix GlacioTex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow – Back & Stomach Sleeper is specifically designed for people who primarily use the back and stomach positions. A specialized cooling cover makes the pillow ideal for hot sleepers — especially those who normally find memory foam pillows too warm.

How It Performed

While some mid-loft pillows can be too thick for stomach sleepers, the close contouring and deep “hug” in this model allow you to lie on your stomach without excessively elevating the neck. Although the pillow is not adjustable, most back and stomach sleepers on our team were satisfied with the 4.75-inch profile, since the foam compresses deeply.

Temperature control was a testing highlight. We found that the GlacioTex cover offsets heat absorption from the foam and keeps the surface fairly cool and dry. The pillow also earned high marks for moldability, which appealed to testers who enjoy squishing and snuggling their pillow. Strong shape retention was another asset — you won’t need to fluff this model, since it easily regains its full shape.

What It’s Made of

The solid memory foam fill strikes a nice balance between adaptive and plush, with a gentle molding effect as the pillow conforms to your head and neck. The foam is infused with copper fibers intended to mitigate heat retention. The GlacioTex cover is made with a phase change fabric that promotes temperature neutrality. You can remove and machine-wash the cover for quick, easy care. Standard and king sizes are available.

The GlacioTex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow – Back & Stomach Sleeper is competitively priced, and shipping is free for customers in all 50 states. Your order comes with a 100-night sleep trial. If you are ultimately satisfied with your purchase, Helix further backs it with a 1-year warranty.

“The Buffy Cloud is plush, moldable, and designed for deep compression — all important pillow traits for stomach sleepers. A thoughtful, eco-friendly design also sets this model apart from the rest of the pack.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Fluffy down alternative fill is derived from recycled plastic

    2. Shell composed of soft, moisture-wicking Tencel fabric

    3. Bundle purchases qualify for substantial discounts

  • Cons

    1. Minimal support for people who prefer a firm surface

    2. Pillow cannot be machine-washed

Price Range

$55 – $70

Fill

Recycled PET fibers

Firmness

Soft

Buffy’s Cloud Pillow is available in three density levels, including a soft design that should compress enough for stomach sleepers. Plush down alternative fill allows you to lie comfortably without too much elevation, a common cause of neck strain for people who use the stomach position, and breathable materials also make the pillow a solid choice for hot sleepers.

How It Performed

Most stomach sleepers on our testing team thoroughly enjoyed the Buffy Cloud – Soft. A low profile and plush fill ensured plenty of compression and the utmost comfort for these testers. We were also impressed with the pillow’s abilities. The fill doesn’t retain much heat compared to real down, and the Tencel cover is breathable and moisture-wicking, so the Cloud should sleep at a comfortable temperature even during hot and humid times of the year. 

What It’s Made of

The fill consists of PET down alternative fibers produced from recycled plastic — 24 to 30 bottles are used for each pillow. A smooth, sateen-woven Tencel shell encases the fill. You cannot launder the pillow in your household washer and dryer, so using a machine-washable pillowcase is the easiest way to keep it clean. Standard and king sizes are available.

The Cloud – Soft is reasonably priced, and you’ll receive a $10 discount when you buy two and a $50 discount when you buy four. Buffy’s trial includes a seven-day grace period, during which your credit card won’t be charged as you spend your first few nights with the pillow. After one week, the hold on your card is removed but you can still test the pillow for up to 50 nights before deciding whether to return it for a refund or keep it.

Why You Can Trust Us

At Sleep Foundation, we've tested more than 300 pillows to find the models that are best suited for stomach sleepers. To ensure our results are as helpful as possible, our testing team includes stomach sleepers and combination sleepers who sometimes sleep on their stomach.

How We Evaluated These Pillows

As part of our testing process, our team members lay their head on each pillow to evaluate firmness, contouring, and breathability. Since stomach sleepers typically require pillows with lower loft or smaller profiles to maintain healthy alignment between the head and neck, our testers paid close attention to how high each pillow elevated the head. Our picks above reflect the pillows that we deemed best suited for stomach sleepers.

Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers Video

Watch the video below to get some hands-on tips for choosing a perfect pillow for stomach sleepers.

You can learn more about our picks by reading the detailed product profiles below. We’ve awarded each pillow a unique accolade based on qualities or features that distinguish it from the competition. For more information about shopping for pillows that are comfortable for stomach sleeping, be sure to scroll further down and check out our buyer’s guide. We’ll cover pillow qualities that benefit stomach sleepers the most, different types of pillows and how much they cost, and what to look for in a pillow if you primarily or occasionally sleep in the stomach position.

Stomach Sleeping Explained

Though stomach sleeping is the least popular sleeping position and there are plenty of drawbacks to consider, some sleepers still find it to be a comfortable way to sleep. Often, this is because stomach sleeping can reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. This is the main benefit of stomach sleeping, as the airway is less likely to become blocked. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by throat muscles relaxing and restricting air. When sleeping face down, the muscles cannot relax into the back of the throat.

That said, stomach sleepers often put undue pressure on the neck and shoulders. Additionally, the hips and abdomen are more likely to press deeply into the mattress. This sleeping position can press the spine out of alignment. As a result, stomach sleeping is often discouraged by sleep experts.

Understanding the drawbacks of stomach sleeping is the first step to promoting better sleep posture. Ergonomic support is important for stomach sleepers. A firm, supportive mattress and a low loft pillow can help ensure the spine is kept in alignment. A pillow underneath the hips can also help. Additionally, stomach sleepers may want to avoid turning their head to one side.

We’ll break down each of these considerations further here, and explain how choosing the right pillow can help stomach sleepers find comfort and support.

How to Choose a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

There are multiple factors for stomach sleepers to consider to ensure spinal alignment and full-body support. Understanding the following key factors is an essential part of shopping for a pillow. These include pillow loft, size, shape, and moldability, all of which affect the angle of the head and neck.

Every sleeper has unique needs and preferences, but there are common issues that stomach sleepers face. Some pillow materials are better than others, and additional measures may need to be considered.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

When shopping for a pillow, it can be easy to be distracted by deals, discounts, and marketing claims about how a pillow works. Focusing on the nuts and bolts of a pillow, along with your personal needs, will go a long way toward making sure your purchase is a worthwhile one. The following factors are the top things that shoppers should look for when purchasing a pillow. These determine how comfortable and supportive the pillow will be, as well as how it performs in other areas.

  • Loft: The loft of a pillow refers to its height. This is an important consideration if you sleep on your stomach, as it determines the amount of support the pillow provides. Pillows can have a low, medium, or high loft. Loft can often be adjusted by removing or adding fill. Our tests show that a low loft pillow, or one with a height below 3 inches, is generally preferred by stomach sleepers. A medium loft (3 to 5 inches) can also offer support for stomach sleepers, but this will depend on other factors like head size and personal preferences. The loft of the pillow should support the head and neck, keeping them at a comfortable angle. A pillow that is too high or too low can put stress on your neck and shoulders.
  • Support: Support determines if your spine is kept in alignment. Several factors impact the amount of support a pillow offers, including its loft, firmness, and size. Your head, neck, and shoulders need to be properly supported. This helps prevent aches and pains for stomach sleepers by reducing tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Firmness Level: Pillows range from soft to firm. In addition to sleeping position, body weight and personal preferences play a role in determining your ideal firmness level. If you sleep on your stomach, you may benefit from a soft to medium firm pillow, as long as the pillow keeps your head and neck at a comfortable angle. The materials can impact pillow firmness. Down, down alternative, and memory foam pillows are typically soft, while buckwheat and latex pillows tend to be firmer.
  • Pressure Relief: A pillow that cradles your head and neck can help relieve pressure. Since pressure on the neck and spine causes discomfort for stomach sleepers, a pillow that alleviates pressure in these areas is beneficial. Ergonomic support keeps your head, neck, and spine aligned. Some materials, like latex and memory foam, relieve pressure exceptionally well by contouring to the shape of your head and neck.
  • Shape: Pillows tend to have a rectangular or square shape, but the materials and construction determine how well the pillow retains its shape. Materials like down and down alternative compress easily and can lose shape throughout the night, resulting in the need to fluff the pillow for comfort and support. Latex is more likely to retain its shape throughout the night, providing consistent support for stomach sleepers. Memory foam compresses easily for a customized feel, but returns to its original shape when pressure is removed.
  • Price: The price of a pillow depends on the materials and construction used. Pillows have a wide range of price-points, with budget pillows costing $10 to $20 and luxury options costing $150 or more. The wide price range makes it important for shoppers to set a budget beforehand. Keep in mind that high-quality materials may cost more upfront, but will need to be replaced less often.
  • Quality Materials: The quality of materials used in a pillow determines its lifespan. On average, a pillow should provide consistent support for 3 years. You may need to replace lower quality pillows more often, as they are more likely to lose shape and cease to provide adequate support. Down and latex pillows often have long lifespans, while polyester and low-density polyfoam may degrade more quickly.
  • Moldability: Moldability refers to how easy it is for sleepers to shape the pillow as needed. This ensures a customized shape for comfort and support. Stomach sleepers may need to reshape their pillows throughout the night to make sure the head and neck are properly supported, and a moldable pillow can be beneficial.

What Pillow Materials are Best for Stomach Sleepers?

While pillows can be made with a variety of materials, we have found that down alternative, memory foam, and latex pillows are best for stomach sleepers. Other pillow types include buckwheat, down, feather, polyfoam, cotton, wool, kapok, and microbeads. Each pillow type has pros and cons for stomach sleepers. We’ll break down the details for the most common pillows here.

Memory Foam
Memory foam is viscoelastic foam that responds to heat and pressure, allowing it to conform closely to the shape of the head and neck. For stomach sleepers, a memory foam pillow can relieve tension and help promote spinal alignment. Some memory foam pillows have a solid memory foam core, while others use shredded memory foam for an adjustable loft. There is a potential for off-gassing, so stomach sleepers who are sensitive to odors may want to consider other options.

Buckwheat
Buckwheat pillows are filled with the hulls of buckwheat seeds. The hulls have an open shape that promotes airflow and helps regulate temperature. When used as a pillow fill, buckwheat is malleable. It conforms to the shape of the head and neck to provide support and relieve pressure. The loft of these pillows can be adjusted by adding or removing hulls, but some stomach sleepers may still find buckwheat pillows to be too firm. The hulls also make a rustling noise when the pillow is moved.

Feather
Feather pillows are filled with the outer feathers of ducks or geese. The feathers compress easily and conform to the shape of the head. Feather pillows are soft and lightweight, which can be beneficial for stomach sleepers. That said, the insulating nature of feathers can cause heat retention. Feather pillows do not retain their shape as well, and often need to be fluffed. The loft of a feather pillow can be adjusted by adding or removing feathers.

Latex
Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees. Latex is breathable, durable, and highly supportive for stomach sleepers. Latex pillows moderately contour to the shape of the head, neck, and shoulders to relieve pressure. Some stomach sleepers may find latex pillows to be too thick, dense, or heavy.

Down
Down is the soft under-feathers of ducks or geese. Down fill is softer than feathers. The malleable fill allows stomach sleepers to shape the pillow as needed. The loft can also be adjusted in some down pillows by adding or removing fill. The cradling effect of down supports the head and neck. Down pillows are typically soft enough for stomach sleepers, but as they compress easily they will need to be fluffed to keep their shape.

Down Alternative
Down alternative mimics the feel of down but is a preferable option for sleepers who are allergic to down or who prioritize bedding that isn’t sourced from animals. Down alternative pillows are made with cotton or polyester fill, and they have a fluffy feel. The strong contouring and plushness make this pillow a good option for stomach sleepers.

Polyfoam
Polyfoam, or polyurethane foam, is often an affordable pillow fill. Polyfoam can offer pressure relief and moderate contouring, but it is not as breathable as other materials. Low-density foam is typically less durable and can sag over time.

What Size Pillows Are Available?

The size of a pillow determines the amount of surface area for a sleeper’s head, neck, and shoulders. This impacts the amount of support the pillow provides. There are five common pillow sizes available:

  • Standard, 20” x 26”: A standard size pillow is the most common, and most pillowcases accommodate this size. The length and width of a standard pillow are comfortable for many sleepers, especially petite or narrow-shouldered sleepers and those who stay in the same sleeping position throughout the night. That said, it may feel too narrow for some. Those who change sleeping positions frequently or have broader shoulders may benefit from a larger pillow.
  • Super Standard, 20” x 28”: A super standard pillow is not as common, but gives sleepers an extra 2 inches of room. This makes it more comfortable for sleepers who shift positions throughout the night. It may still feel narrow for some sleepers.
  • Queen, 20” x 30”: A queen pillow gives users more surface area to change positions and still feel supported throughout the night. This size is 4 inches longer than a standard pillow, making it an ideal pillow for combination sleepers and those with broader shoulders.
  • King, 20” x 36”: A king size pillow is one of the largest sizes available. The extra length gives sleepers plenty of room to move around as needed. It can also be used to support the upper body when sitting up in bed. Sleepers who toss and turn throughout the night and those who have broad shoulders will benefit from the additional surface area.
  • Body Pillow, 20” x 54”: Body pillows are long pillows designed to elevate other parts of the body. There are various sizes and shapes available. This type of pillow is often preferred by side sleepers and those who like to hold a pillow or prop up their legs or arms as they sleep. Stomach sleepers do not typically benefit from the use of a body pillow.

Other Tips for Stomach Sleepers

While pillow choice is important for stomach sleepers, the following tips can also help them stay comfortable throughout the night.

  • Choose the Right Mattress: The best mattress for stomach sleepers is one that offers firm support to help keep the spine aligned. Stomach sleepers press their hips and abdomens into the mattress. If the mattress is too soft, this can cause them to sink in excessively and put pressure on the spine.  Even and consistent support from the mattress helps prevent spinal misalignment and reduces aches and pains for stomach sleepers.
  • Use a Pillow Under the Pelvis: Since stomach sleepers run the risk of their lower bodies sinking deeply into the mattress, a pillow under the pelvis can help. This lifts the hips and abdomen and reduces pressure on the spine.
  • Sleep with Head Straight Rather Than Turned: Stomach sleepers who turn their heads to one side put stress on the neck and spine. Sleeping with the head straight down helps keep the spine aligned and reduces pressure on the neck and shoulders. Sleepers can prop their head up slightly with a pillow underneath their forehead. Stomach sleepers should also ensure they have selected a pillow made with breathable materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is stomach sleeping?

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleeping position, as an estimated 7 percent of sleepers choose it. Stomach sleeping is often discouraged by medical professionals due to the potential drawbacks, such as back and neck pain. That said, some sleepers still find it to be the most comfortable sleeping position for them.Stomach sleeping is the least common sleeping position, as an estimated 7 percent of sleepers choose it. Stomach sleeping is often discouraged by medical professionals due to the potential drawbacks, such as back and neck pain. That said, some sleepers still find it to be the most comfortable sleeping position for them.

Is stomach sleeping bad?

Stomach sleeping isn’t inherently bad. Many people prefer sleeping on their stomachs and don’t experience any discomfort as a result, but this position is associated with more aches and pains than side or back sleeping.

People tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight in their chest and stomach compared to the rest of their body. When you sleep face-down, gravity causes this extra weight to sink into your mattress. If you sink too much, then your midsection will rest lower on the sleep surface than your neck, shoulders, and hips. This can interfere with your alignment and cause aches and pains to occur in these areas.

If you prefer stomach sleeping, we recommend a mattress with a firmer feel and medium profile of 12 inches or less. These models provide more reinforcement for the midsection and can help keep your body on an even plane. Mattresses with zoned layers often feel firmer beneath your chest and stomach, so one of these models might be a good investment.

We also recommend low-profile pillows for most stomach sleepers. Resting your head on a thick pillow while lying on your stomach can easily strain the neck and leave you feeling stiff or sore in the morning. In fact, some stomach sleepers prefer to forgo a pillow altogether and rest their head directly on their mattress.

What is the most important consideration when choosing a pillow for stomach sleepers?

Pillow loft may be the most important factor for stomach sleepers to consider when choosing their best pillow. The loft of the pillow determines the angle of the head and neck. Additionally, it impacts how much support the pillow provides.

In addition to pillow loft, shoppers should consider the size, fill, and firmness of the pillow. Each shopper will have unique needs and preferences that need to be kept in mind.

What type of pillow is best for stomach sleepers?

The best pillow for any sleeper will provide adequate support without compromising spinal alignment or placing too much stress on the neck and shoulders. For stomach sleepers, low to medium loft pillows with 2-to-4-inch thickness are usually most comfortable. Some prefer not to use any pillow whatsoever. Thicker, high-loft pillows may prop up the head and neck too much when you lie on your stomach, interfering with your alignment and creating pressure points in the process.

Since stomach sleeping isn’t nearly as common as side or back sleeping, very few pillows are designed specifically with stomach sleepers in mind. Pillows geared toward stomach sleepers tend to have low profiles.

Stomach sleepers should also take the firmness level of their mattress into consideration. If your mattress feels relatively soft, then you’re more likely to sink into the top layers and may need a thicker pillow to feel comfortable. Those who sleep on firm mattresses won’t need as much loft from their pillow. That said, most stomach sleepers prefer low to medium loft pillows regardless of how soft or firm their mattress feels.

What is the worst pillow type for stomach sleepers?

Every pillow type has potential benefits and drawbacks, but stomach sleepers should avoid a pillow with a high loft or sleep incline. This is the worst pillow type for stomach sleepers as it props the head up and puts too much pressure on the neck and spine. Stomach sleepers should also avoid pillows that lack support or are excessively firm. It is also important that the pillow is made with breathable materials.

Should you use a pillow if you sleep on your stomach?

Side and back sleepers typically need thicker, loftier pillows to receive adequate head and neck support. This is not the case with stomach sleepers, many of whom feel most comfortable on lower-profile pillows. Some even prefer not to use a pillow at all. As long as the mattress is firm enough to support a stomach sleeper’s body without too much sinkage, forgoing a pillow should not cause many aches or pains.

If you primarily sleep on your stomach, try sleeping with and without a pillow to see which option works better for you. However, it’s important to note that stomach sleeping is associated with more pain and pressure points than other positions, so you may experience some discomfort around the neck, shoulders, and lower back regardless of whether or not you use a pillow.

Where can I find a pillow for stomach sleepers?

Shoppers can find pillows for stomach sleepers online and in stores. Many mattress companies include pillows in their product lines, often made using the same proprietary materials as their mattresses. It is easy to compare models online, and plenty of companies offer sleep trials for shoppers to try out the pillows in the comfort of their homes. Those who want to see and feel the pillow prior to purchasing may want to consider going to a brick-and-mortar location.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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