Choosing The Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers 2023
Stomach sleepers finding the right mattress can be overwhelming. The stomach sleeping position can put unwanted stress on the neck and spine. A mattress that doesn't provide the proper support can compound the issue.
Keep reading to find out more about various mattresses and how they may complement sleeping on your stomach.
What Is A Stomach Sleeper?
As the name suggests, a stomach sleeper is someone who sleeps while lying on their stomach. Generally speaking, a person is considered a stomach sleeper when they spend at least half of their time asleep on their bellies.
These types of sleepers usually have their faces buried into their mattresses, with their arms over their heads, or laid flat beside their torsos. Because of this position, stomach sleeping could result in back and neck pain when done incorrectly. People who rest in this sleeping position may feel more comfortable thanks to a good, supportive mattress that can promote good spinal alignment.
Facts About Stomach Sleepers
- Less than 10% of people sleep on their stomachs.
- Some doctors may recommend against sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping in a prone position, a.k.a. on your stomach, is considered unfavorable for back support.
- Research suggests that infants who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to experience SIDS.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Sleeping On Your Stomach
Benefits Of Stomach Sleeping
- Improved sleep apnea symptoms: Body types aside, sleeping on your stomach shifts your center of gravity, so your throat and mouth tissues are pulled away from your body. Research suggests that resting on your stomach can keep your airways from becoming obstructed overnight, which may reduce mild sleep apnea.
- Lighter snoring: Snoring occurs when air flows over relaxed tissues in your nose, mouth, and airways. Because relaxed tissues tend to expand, airways contract and vibrate as you breathe, resulting in the familiar snoring sound. When lying on your stomach, these tissues are pulled away from your body. Research suggests that doing this instead of sleeping on your back can reduce snoring.
- Better acid reflux: Many folks have issues with acid reflux while sleeping, causing restless nights. Studies have found that sleeping on your side or stomach can reduce the incidence of acid reflux, giving GERD sufferers a better chance at a good night’s sleep.
Drawbacks Of Stomach Sleeping
- Spinal alignment problems: Spinal alignment is a chief concern regardless of sleeping position. However, research suggests that sleeping on your side or back is less likely to strain your body and lead to spinal pain.
- Back pain: Sleep positions can impact your spinal alignment. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that sleeping prone keeps your head turned in one direction for a prolonged period, which may lead to neck and back pain.
- Facial wrinkles: Sleep wrinkles develop when the face is pressed against any sleeping surface – something that is more likely to happen with stomach sleeping.
Choosing The Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers
Mattress type dramatically impacts how we rest, meaning that some beds may feel more comfortable for stomach sleeping than others. Buyers must consider mattress firmness and how it affects proper alignment, especially because prone sleeping styles may affect the angle of your spine and neck.
However, it isn't as simple as picking a new bed that ranks a little higher on firmness scales to replace your current mattress. Instead, many factors need to be considered. For example, couples will have to account for the different body weights of people using the bed. Likewise, buyers ought to consider body heat dissipation, personal comfort level, price range, and support.
While this may sound overwhelming, there are many mattresses designed with stomach sleepers in mind – and we've gathered some of the best mattress picks for you.
Have a partner with a different sleeping position? See our guide on the best mattress for couples.
Important Mattress Features For Stomach Sleepers
There is a wide range of mattresses available for purchase for stomach sleepers. Here are some of the most crucial mattress features you need to consider when looking for the right mattress type.
Support makes a big difference to the overall comfort of beds and bedding, and different types of mattresses contain varied internal structures. For example, an all-foam mattress might provide ample support for lightweight stomach sleepers while also limiting motion transfer. That said, heavier people may benefit from a bed with a layer of steel coils for more support.
Stomach sleepers can see if a firmer mattress with strong edge support can help them sleep comfortably. Heavier stomach sleepers may also consider an extra-firm mattress type to support their bodies throughout the night.
Many of us seek a comfortable mattress for a night of great sleep, but the truth is that "comfort" is highly subjective. For example, some people may like the bounce and pushback of a medium-firm mattress, while others might prefer the plushness of a hybrid mattress with a plush comfort layer. Likewise, some people might feel extra tension in pressure points like their hips, so they might consider getting extra cushioning from a memory foam mattress.
In short, there are no hard and fast rules when choosing the perfect bed for all types of sleepers. Instead, it's best to experiment with different mattresses by visiting a local showroom or doing extensive research on the different kinds of beds and how they might suit you.
Many hot sleepers are familiar with the discomfort of a sweaty night’s sleep. This inconvenience is why many manufacturers are building additional cooling into their mattresses. This can come in the form of foam layers fashioned from a breathable material or air channels built in between your bed's innerspring coils. Some beds even have an optional cooling panel that you can lay over your gel-infused memory foam bed.
As we mentioned earlier, spinal alignment, neck pain, and back pain are related to your sleep position, which can be affected by your mattress. That means you'll need to look for a mattress that can help you maintain proper alignment throughout the night. Stomach sleepers can consider if a supportive all-foam bed could relieve their body tension, as its cushioning molds to their body shape.
7 Best Types Of Mattress For Stomach Sleepers
We’ve compiled a list of the seven best mattress types for stomach sleepers. While mattress brands offer different models with unique construction, materials, and special features, note that they will have commonalities with other brand models that place them firmly within a specified type.
The type which feels comfiest to you will depend on your sleeping position, personal preferences, and other unique sleeping needs. Check out which features appeal to you most before choosing a mattress!
GelFlex Grid Mattresses
Definition: GelFlex mattresses are made from responsive, highly flexible hyper-elastic polymer. Manufactured by Purple, this mattress type has over 1,400 ventilation chambers for added airflow while you sleep. Instantly adapting to your body.
Key features: High breathability and temperature control
Firm, flexible, and supportive, GelFlex Grid mattresses adapt instantly to your body. offering a cozy sleeping surface that won’t let stomach sleepers sink too deeply. This can strike a good balance between cushioning and pushback, so stomach sleepers can see if Purple’s GelFlex Grid mattresses are the comfy option they’re looking for.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Definition: A memory foam mattress is made from soft, flexible memory foam. This foam can consist of traditional viscoelastic foam, gel-infused memory foam, or open-cell foam. Each memory foam type has different levels of heat retention.
Key features: Soft, cushioning surface
Memory foam adjusts to your body's shape and heat. Stomach sleepers may want to look for a memory foam mattress that is firmer to help maintain proper spine alignment during sleep.
Definition: Foam mattresses can be made from a variety of different foam types. More budget-friendly, compressible options are typically made from affordable polyurethane foam, a.k.a. Polyfoam. Others are made from a combination of polyfoam and memory foam.
Key features: Affordability
Stomach sleepers who want the softness of memory foam at a wallet-friendly price may consider getting foam mattresses. Manufacturers typically offer polyfoam mattresses at lower price points, though higher-density, more durable options will cost a bit more. Heavier stomach sleepers may still find higher-end foam mattresses an attractive choice as they’ll accommodate their weight more easily without breaking down quickly.
Definition: A hybrid mattress is made with an innerspring coil core topped with comfort layers of memory foam or latex foam. Note that some hybrid mattresses will also have a transition layer between the metal coils and comfort layers. Consisting of micro coils or polyfoam, these transition layers are intended to add support and flexibility to a hybrid mattress.
Key features: Support and flexibility
Stomach sleepers might find flexible and sturdy hybrid mattresses have the firmness they need for a good night’s sleep. This mattress comes in different firmness levels without sacrificing comfort, which is especially attractive to stomach sleepers worried about sinking too deeply into their bed at night.
Definition: A multi-layered mattress is usually made from several layers of durable foam. The firmest foam layer is typically placed at the bottom for extra support, while the softest layers are usually on top for a contoured feel at night. However, these layers can be swapped around so sleepers can achieve their desired level of firmness for a good night’s sleep.
Key features: Adjustable softness
Multi-layered mattresses are a solid choice for those who’ve recently changed sleeping positions or are uncertain of their preferred firmness for sleeping. Flexible, pliable, and supportive, this may be a comfortable option for stomach sleepers looking for the right balance between comfort and pushback.
Pocketed Coil Mattresses
Definition: A pocketed coil mattress consists of a pocketed coil core and top layers of latex or memory foam. Pocketed coils wrap the metal coils individually into cloth pockets instead of connecting the coils. This can reduce the noise from squeaking coils, as well as improve mattress durability.
Key features: Improved breathability
The reduced noise and improved durability of a pocketed coil mattress are attractive to sleepers who toss and turn at night. Bouncy, comfortable, and supportive, this type can keep restless stomach sleepers from being woken up by squeaky coils. A pocketed coil mattress also has good airflow, so hot stomach sleepers won’t trap too much heat at night.
Definition: A latex mattress can be made from natural latex, synthetic latex, or a mix of the two types. Derived from rubber, latex mattresses are bouncy and elastic against a sleeper’s weight.
Key features: Cushioning and cooling
Apart from their high durability and flexibility, latex mattresses are also highly breathable. This makes them both a cushy and cooling option for stomach sleepers worried about hot, restless nights.
Still unsure what mattress is ideal for you? See our best mattress guide.
Best Mattresses For Stomach Sleepers With Localized Pain
Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers With Back Pain
Upper back pain can be a problem for some stomach sleepers. Those struggling with this issue can see if a hybrid mattress with sturdy inner coils and considerable comfort layers can relieve some pressure.
Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers With Hip Pain
Hip pain can be caused by several health conditions and injuries. In some cases, a worn-out mattress can also be at fault. Identifying a mattress for you may require some testing. Look for a mattress that supports your body without being so plush that it contracts your neck and spine to the point you are uncomfortable.
Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers With Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a complex yet common problem. While it may not always boil down to an unsuitable mattress, sometimes swapping out your bed for something more supportive can make all the difference.
If you struggle with lower back pain, you may want to look for a mattress that contours and supports your body without arching your back and neck back to the point you are uncomfortable.
Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers With Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can be caused by poor spinal alignment. Unfortunately, bad spinal alignment can be caused by a variety of factors, so there isn't one specific solution that will fit every body type. Instead, we recommend experimenting with different kinds of beds, firmness levels, and toppers to find the right kind of support for you.
Best Mattress Topper For Stomach Sleepers
You don't always have to buy an entirely new mattress to fix your bed-related issues. Sometimes, a supportive mattress topper provides sufficient comfort on a budget.
Truthfully, there are no solid rules for buying a mattress topper if you're a stomach sleeper. Instead, we recommend identifying your current mattress' weaknesses and purchasing accordingly. For example, is your mattress too hard? If so, then if you are wanting to save money a mattress topper can help make your mattress softer.
Choosing The Right Mattress For You
When choosing the “right” mattress, it all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. We recommend doing your research, understanding different firmness levels (e.g., the difference between extra-firm and ultra-firm), and experimenting to make a well-informed decision.
If you usually sleep on your stomach, consider getting an extra-firm to ultra-firm mattress, regardless of the mattress type. This increased firmness can support your body’s weight and prevent stress on your thoracolumbar spine. By reducing the stress on your spine, you can improve your sleep quality and duration.
Related content: Mattress for side sleepers.
Stomach Sleepers Can Try The Purple Mattress
Stomach sleepers struggling to find a good night’s sleep may fall in love with the Purple mattress. Purple offers mattresses from firm to plush. See our mattress selection below:
We offer a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty, so you can take your time to figure out if it’s the right fit. Talk to one of our Sleep Specialists to learn more about our different firmness options for a range of sleepers.
Mattresses For Stomach Sleepers FAQs
Which mattress firmness is best for stomach sleepers?
Some mattress companies suggest that the best mattress firmness for stomach sleepers is firm to ultra-firm. If you’re a stomach sleeper, a too-soft mattress may cause you to sink too deeply as you sleep, misaligning your spine from its natural curvature and leading to body pain.
In contrast, an ultra-firm mattress can lift your hips to stay aligned with your neck and shoulders, keeping the spine in a neutral position. As a result, this mattress firmness level can relieve tension and support you while you sleep on your stomach.
Which type of mattress is best for stomach sleepers?
Some may consider that the best type of mattress for stomach sleepers is a hybrid mattress. However, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation as different stomach sleepers have different sleep concerns.
What is considered the best position for sleeping?