Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Choosing the Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Your sleep position is a primary factor in choosing what type of mattresses is best for you. As a stomach sleeper, you’re one of a rare breed. Sleep research conducted in the UK found that few people sleep on their stomachs. When you sleep in this posture, you need a mattress and pillow that work together to keep your spine in optimal alignment while you snooze.
If you don’t choose a good mattress, you might not get the best night’s sleep. A night of uneasy sleep now and then won’t affect you much, but if you have habitually poor sleep or can’t sleep long enough each night, the effects can be far-reaching and detrimental. That’s why choosing the best mattress for stomach sleepers is critical to your health and quality of life.
According to the National Health Services, one-third of people don’t get a good night’s sleep which is a risk factor for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and decreased life expectancy. It might be stress keeping you up at night or sleep apnea interfering with your rest – or it could be that you don’t have a mattress that meets your needs. Buying a better bed could make all the difference.
This buying guide is designed to help stomach sleepers choose their best mattress. Let’s start with a glimpse at the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach.
Pros and Cons of Stomach Sleeping
Stomach sleepers are uncommon because not everyone can get comfortable in this position. You might have even tried to stop stomach sleeping and fall asleep on your side or back only to wake up face down on your pillow. If this happens to you, it’s a sure sign that your body wants to sleep stomach down but that might not be the healthiest choice.
Stomach sleeping gets a bad rap, and health experts have few good things to say about this sleeping posture. The good news is that if you’re a hard-core stomach sleeper who doesn’t want to change (or can’t change) their sleep position, you can modify your sleep experience to make this sleeping posture healthier. First, let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Stomach Sleeping
There are two main parts to a mattress: the support layer and comfort layer(s). The support layer is down deeper in the bed and is what keeps your spine aligned as you sleep. The comfort layers are up top and should offer comfort and relief of the pressure points of your body including shoulders, neck, and hips. Mattresses may be designed with several components within these two functional layers.
- Eases snoring – If you snore, your partner won’t appreciate it, but stomach sleeping keeps your tongue out of your airway, so you don’t make loud sleep rattles that no one likes.
- Helps sleep apnea – For those with sleep apnea, stomach sleeping may be beneficial because it keeps your breathing pathways open, but this might not make up for the downsides.
Cons of Stomach Sleeping
- Back problems – Stomach sleeping can be hard on your back because your body weight pulls down on your spine which can displace it from it’s natural “S” curve position.
- Neck problems – Sleeping in this position forces you to turn your neck to the right or left which means your spine twists and your head is out of alignment.
- Wrinkles – Sleeping face down presses your skin into the pillow and causes friction. It can increase lines and increase the odds of breakouts.
For those that want to stop stomach sleeping, one tip is to snap on a fanny pack loaded with two or three tennis balls inside before you fall asleep. If you try to roll over onto your stomach, the obstruction should remind your body to stay on your side or back. However, if you are committed to your preferred sleep position, that’s okay, but you need to find the best bed for your sleep style.
Take a quick look below at our top five picks for best beds for stomach sleepers then dig into why mattress firmness is so important.
Top 5 Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
|Layla||Memory Foam||5 and 7||$899|
|Nest Alexander Signature Series||Foam||5 and 7||$1,199|
|Saatva||Innerspring||3, 5-6, and 8||$999|
|Sleep On Latex||Latex||3, 6 and 9||$899|
*All prices are for a Queen-sized bed before seasonal promos/discounts are applied.
Do You Need a Firm or Soft Mattress?
Mattress firmness is a concept that is often misunderstood and over-hyped in the market. Any mattress material can be soft or firm depending on the bed’s design. Going too firm or too soft in your choice of bed can result in a poor night’s sleep. For stomach sleepers, firmness is of great significance because your face will be down on the bed and your spine must be properly aligned.
The sleep industry rates mattresses on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 as the softest bed and 10 as the firmest. However, no matter the number assigned to the bed, what matters most is how it feels to you. Sleep comfort is subjective and is all about your preference. A slightly firmer mattress may be better for stomach sleepers, so you don’t sink in too deeply and throw your spine out of alignment.
Few people find a good night’s sleep at either end of the spectrum because very soft beds let you sink in too deeply and usually sleep hot. On the other side, extra firm beds don’t have enough cushion to be comfortable for most people. Here’s a look at what the numbers across the firmness spectrum mean:
- (1) Very soft mattresses allow you to sink deeply into the bed with little support.
- (2-3) Soft beds offer a “sink in” sensation with slightly more support.
- (4-6) Medium and medium-firm mattresses conform, comfort, and support.
- (7-9) Firm beds provide significant support with moderate cushioning.
- (10) Very firm mattresses feel stiff, have little padding, and don’t conform.
Optimal Firmness for Stomach Sleepers
Medium-firm beds are usually a better choice for stomach sleepers because they keep you from sinking in too deeply. Because you’ll be face down, a proper choice of mattress is essential. Beds that are too soft will throw your spine out of alignment and beds that are too rigid will leave pressure points aching when you wake.
Research from the University of Rochester shows that ideally, your ears, shoulders, and hips should be aligned no matter your sleep position. Another issue to consider is supplemental pillow support. Placing a flat pillow under your stomach and pelvis can push the spine into alignment. Sleeping without a pillow or with a flat pillow under your head will keep your neck better aligned.
Your sleep style is more than just your posture. Next, we’ll look at other factors that should weigh into your mattress buying decision to get the best mattresses for stomach sleeping.
What Is Your Sleep Style?
Stomach sleeping is just one in an array of factors that should inform your choice of mattress. Your overall health, specific health concerns, and sleep temperature are all issues to consider. If you share a bed with someone and their sleep style differs from yours, that’s a matter of concern as well. Explore these questions to think more deeply about your sleep style.
Do you sleep hot or cold?
If you always kick the covers off at night or wake up sweating, you may be a hot sleeper. It can be your body’s natural thermostat or a side effect of hormones or medication. No matter the reason, if you run hot at night, you’ll want a bed that helps cool you. Memory foam sleeps hotter while latex and innerspring beds sleep cooler.
For those that run cold at night, memory foam and plusher beds help retain body heat, but these can be problematic for stomach sleepers that need a firmer sleep surface. You may need to combat your night chills with blankets or supplemental heat rather than using warmer mattress materials because they may be incompatible with your stomach sleeping preference.
Do you have neck, back, or joint pain?
Stomach sleeping can cause neck pain or aggravate existing conditions. It can also cause or aggravate lower back pain. You can keep sleeping on your stomach and address these issues by changing your mattress firmness and experimenting with pillows to add extra support to your midsection where there’s more spinal pressure at night and with a flat (or no) pillow under your head to ease your neck.
Joint pain is a different concern and can be relieved with a softer upper layer of your mattress, but again, this can be problematic for stomach sleepers who don’t need a bed that’s too plush. A mattress that is flippable with two firmness levels or one that’s adjustable may be helpful, so you can experiment at home with what’s best for you and adjust the bed as your aches and pains worsen or ease.
Do you sleep alone or with a partner?
When you sleep next to someone, you must consider both your sleep styles and needs. If one of you is a stomach sleeper and one a side sleeper, that means one needs a firmer and one needs a plusher bed. If one of you sleeps hot and one cold, that’s another issue. For those with drastically different preferences, you may need to look at a dual zoned mattress with a different configuration on each side.
Another concern with co-sleeping is motion transfer, the energy displaced when someone moves in the bed. A firmer bed is better for stomach sleepers but usually comes with greater motion transfer which means moving around at night might wake your partner. Latex is a good choice of mattress material for co-sleepers because it minimizes motion transfer.
How much do you weigh?
Your body weight is important because it affects how you interact with the mattress. A person with a greater BMI sinks in more deeply throwing your spine out of alignment. The heavier you are, the more you’ll benefit from a firm mattress. Look at medium-firm to firm if you’re a heavy sleeper. If you’re a heavy stomach sleeper, you should go even firmer for your new bed.
On the other hand, if you’re a lighter weight person, a firmer bed can feel uncomfortable and rigid. You don’t have the weight to press your body down into the comfort layers that offer pressure relief for your sensitive spots. As a lightweight stomach sleeper, it’s a challenge because lower BMI people usually do better on softer beds, but these aren’t best for stomach sleepers.
Now let’s look at mattress materials to see what’s inside the best bed for stomach sleepers.
Why Mattress Materials Matter
Mattresses are in two distinct parts: the support core and the comfort layer. The support core is what determines the firmness of the bed. More rigid or dense materials make for a firmer bed. The comfort layer(s) determine the feel of softness. The thinner the comfort layer, the less soft the bed will feel. The layers work together to determine the overall feel of the bed.
There are three materials that can be in a mattress: innersprings, latex, and foam. Hybrid beds have an innerspring support core and either latex or foam comfort layers. If a bed doesn’t have innerspring as the support core, it’s not a true hybrid. Knowing what’s inside the bed matters because materials and their quality determine sleep performance and durability of the mattress.
Here’s a look at what’s inside the best bed for stomach sleeping:
Foam comes in two main varieties: memory foam and polyurethane foam (polyfoam). Foam beds may contain one or both materials. Polyfoam and memory foam feel and sleep differently. Memory foam is denser and offers the sensation of sinking in and hugging but can sleep hotter if not infused with gel or copper. All foams are synthetic and made from a chemical process.
Polyfoam can be regular, high-resiliency (HR), or high-density (HD). Regular polyfoam is the cheapest mattress material and should be avoided. Look for beds with only HR or HD foams. Memory foam may be problematic for stomach sleepers if the layers are thick and you sink in too deeply. Look for reviews on foam and memory foam beds from other stomach sleepers to assess how it may work for you.
Innerspring beds are the least expensive type of mattress and were once the only option on the market. They’ve been around since the 1800s but have evolved greatly since then. Quality innerspring beds have pocket coils which are coils of wire inside fabric sleeves that are either sewn or glued together. Innersprings are the support core and will have a comfort layer(s) of another material.
Innerspring beds are often firmer than other materials and may work well for a stomach sleeper. However, they also are known for motion transfer, but comfort layers may minimize the energy displacement. An innerspring bed can be a good choice for a stomach sleeper, but only if the comfort layers aren’t too thick and allow you to sink in too deeply.
Latex is one of the highest quality and costliest mattress materials. Latex beds can feature natural or synthetic latex or a blend of both. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap while synthetic latex is from a chemical process. Latex sleeps cool, conforms without excessive sinking in, and is supportive. Latex beds can be excellent for stomach sleepers but come with a higher price tag.
Latex is considered a luxury material and is dense, durable, and responsive to movement without allowing motion transfer. There are two types of latex: Dunlop and Talalay with the latter being the more expensive. They feel slightly different, but either is a top choice in mattress materials for a stomach sleeper. Latex makes up both the support core and comfort layers in this type of bed.
As mentioned above, hybrid beds have a pocket coil support layer with one or more comfort layers of latex, foam, or both. In a high-quality queen bed, you should look for 800 or more pocket coils made from high-gauge wire in the support core. The pocket coil component lets a hybrid bed sleep cooler. Some hybrids may have dual layers of pocket coils with stabilizing layers between them.
On top of the pocket coils will be latex, foam, or memory foam. Hybrid beds offer the benefits of the individual materials while minimizing the drawbacks. It’s critical to assess the quality of the components to make sure all are high-quality, so you know the bed will perform well and be durable. Hybrids can be great for stomach sleepers so long as the top comfort layers aren’t excessively plush.
Now that you know what materials are in a bed, check out the reviews of our five top picks for best beds.
Reviews – Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
When it comes to choosing the best mattress for you as a stomach sleeper, it’s all down to personal preference. Reading relevant mattress reviews from other stomach sleepers can help inform your purchase, but also remember that you may need to supplement with a pillow under your pelvis and a flat pillow (or no pillow) under your neck to better align your spine.
Read the pros and cons of each mattress that made our top picks list, see what’s inside the bed, and why it made our top five.
The Layla mattress is a blend of foam and memory foam. The bed is flippable, so there’s a support core at the center and then unique comfort layers on either side of it. The core is 4.5” polyfoam with a 2” layer of convoluted support foam. One comfort layer is 1” memory foam, and the other is 3” plush memory foam. The cover is Thermogel® which is reactive and cools you if you get hot while sleeping.
Because Layla has dual firmness, it can be an excellent choice, as you can experiment with the plusher side rated at 5 or the firmer side rated at 7. The firmer will likely perform better for stomach sleepers since it will keep you from sinking in too deeply. The price point is competitive at $899 for a queen-sized bed, and it will work with any foundation, so you need not buy a new base for your bed.
The edge support is not as firm which is common with foam beds. There’s a 120-night sleep trial to assess the bed, but it comes with a mandatory 14-night break-in period before you can return it and request a refund. The softer side sleeps warmer and is not recommended for stomach sleepers in most cases. Layla is a newer company so is still establishing its reputation, but rates well with customers.
Why Layla Stands Out
The memory foam materials are high quality, and the price is outstanding. The warranty is lifetime so long as you’re the original owner of the bed. The memory foam gel is copper-infused, and that makes it sleep cooler than traditional memory foam. Plus, the flippable design offers stomach sleepers the chance to experiment with firmness levels and change your sleep experience if your needs change.
Luxi (3-in-1 adjustable)
Luxi’s 3-in-1 design allows you to custom configure the bed in your home to get your perfect level of firmness and comfort. The base is breathable, durable foam under a layer of Luxitex foam. Next is a layer of adaptive transition foam and atop that is an advanced support balancing technology layer of individual foam pedestals. A memory foam comfort layer tops it all with a breathable fabric cover.
The Luxi bed can be configured to feel soft, medium, or firm. To adjust the firmness of your mattress, you unzip the cover and rearrange the layers, then zip it up again. Luxi provides a guide that tells you how to rearrange the layers to get the sleep effects you want. The bed comes configured for medium which is good for a stomach sleeper. All foams are CertiPUR certified.
The price point of the Luxi is greater than others on our list at $1,299 but considering the bed is adjustable, and of quality materials, it’s still a best buy. The standard mattress is recommended only for those that weigh up to 250 pounds. If you’re heavier, you can contact Luxi and they can add support to the bed. The edge support is not strong which is typical with foam beds.
Why Luxi Stands Out
The bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial but a 30-day break-in period before you can request a return. In addition to being adjustable, the default construction of the Luxi 3-in-1 is a split design so each half of the bed can be custom-configured. If you co-sleep with someone that is not a stomach sleeper, the Luxi gives you both what you want with no compromise.
Nest Bedding Signature Series
The Nest Bedding Signature series comes in two firmness options in its four-layer design. The base is 6” support foam with a solid edge with a layer of SmartFlow breathable foam on top. The bed has a dual comfort layer of two types of memory foam. The underlayer is Visco memory foam, and the top is gel memory foam. The cover is quilted cool stretch fabric.
With its dual memory foam layers, the Nest Signature Series has very low motion transfer, and there is little to no off-gassing aroma reported from buyers. The memory foam in this bed is bouncier, particularly in the luxury firm option which is perfect for stomach sleepers because you don’t want the excessive sink in sensation that comes with some memory foams.
At $1,199, the Nest Signature Series is the second costliest on our top picks list, but the quality of the materials and the first-rate sleep experience justifies the price tag. If you look at the Nest site, it can be confusing because they rate their beds on a scale of 1-10 but they have 10 as the softest instead of 1 which is the industry standard. Also, it’s a newer product line, so it’s still establishing its track record.
Why Nest Bedding Signature Stands Out
The Nest Bedding Signature Series has outstanding reviews among buyers and the company as an excellent reputation. The Luxury Firm is recommended for stomach sleepers but is so comfortable that side and back sleepers also love it. The bed has a luxury feel and look. Most importantly, it offers the benefits of memory foam but with a firmer feel that works well for stomach sleeping.
The Saatva is an innerspring bed available in three firmness levels and two lofts. It’s a dual design with a support core of hourglass steel coils under a lumbar support layer and then a second layer of pocket coils for contour and responsiveness. The comfort layer is a European pillow top with an antimicrobial fabric cover and a perimeter edge support system.
Innerspring mattresses offer excellent support, and the price point of $999 is impressive. Each mattress is made to order and with three comfort levels of plush (rated 3), luxury firm (rated 5-6), and firm (rated 8). Saatva recommends its luxury firm and firm models for stomach sleepers. This line is considered a premium product, and you can get a 3” plusher pillowtop at no extra charge.
If you need a bed in a hurry, Saatva might not work for you because it takes up to 18 days to get the mattress since they are made to order. However, if you contact their customer service line (open 24/7), they might be able to expedite your order. Also, if you purchase an adjustable base, that’s not returnable even though the mattress is during the 120-night sleep trial.
Why Saatva Stands Out
The Saatva is a luxury mattress at an affordable price. Currently, Saatva offers free white glove delivery and set-up including old mattress takeaway at no extra charge. The dual innerspring design means this is a very durable bed and the luxury firm and firm options are well-matched for stomach sleepers. Customers love this bed, and it’s a value for the money you’ll spend.
Sleep On Latex
The Sleep On Latex Pure Green bed is made of all-natural and organic materials. The construction varies by your choice of a 7” or 9” thick option. The base support core is 6” of Dunlop latex under a thick quilted GOTS-Certified, organic New Zealand wool layer encased in certified organic cotton. There is an optional 2” comfort layer, and the bed comes in three firmness selections.
With three firmness options, rated 3, 6, and 9, you can customize your sleep experience. The soft version is not suited for stomach sleepers, but the medium or firm should do well. If you’re heavier, you may want to consider the firm bed. At $899, it’s a great price point for an all-latex bed that delivers a luxury sleep experience at a modest cost. Also, the cover is removable and can be dry cleaned.
Sleep On Latex recommends their firmest option for stomach sleepers. The $899 price tag is for the 7” soft model. The medium model runs $969 and the firm $1,029. If you want the optional 2” comfort layer, it increases the price of each model by $170. The company doesn’t publish density ratings on its latex and as a newer company, is still establishing its durability track record.
Why Sleep On Latex Stands Out
The high-quality latex makes this a very heavy, durable bed. The motion transfer is minimal, and it has good bounce for sex, and those same reactive qualities make it a top choice for stomach sleepers because it supports without sinking in deeply. Sleep On Latex is sold at a very competitive price point, even more so because the materials are all-natural and organic.