Most people don’t willingly choose their favorite sleeping position; instead, they just naturally gravitate toward what feels most comfortable. This is certainly true of sleeping on your stomach, which is generally frowned upon by most chiropractors, doctors, and other experts in the field of sleep research. However, for the roughly 10% of the population that sleeps this way, any other position may just feel wrong.
If this describes you, then it’s important to know about the importance of a quality mattress to prevent problems that can arise for stomach sleepers. You may not want to or be able to change how you sleep, but you can make sure that you’re getting the support that you need from your bed.
To get straight to it, click here to find our top 5 best mattresses for stomach sleepers. Or for all the nitty gritty details, keep scrolling to read about the types of mattresses you’ll find on the market, the key issues you need to evaluate in searching for a mattress, and more explanation about why we’ve come to these 5 mattresses as our top picks.
Types of Mattresses
What are foam mattresses?
These are mattresses built entirely using different types of foam. These foams are layered within the mattress in order to give it a specific feel and performance. Memory foam is the most well-known foam used in mattresses. Because of its conforming properties, namely that it responds to pressure in a way that hugs the body, it is often used in the comfort layers of foam mattresses. Another type of foam is polyfoam (polyurethane foam), which can be produced in ways that give it a broader range of characteristics. Latex can also be used as a layer in a foam mattress. A common design for a foam mattress is a base of polyfoam with at least one layer of memory foam or softer polyfoam on top as a comfort layer.
Are foam mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
Yes, usually. Foam mattresses are often the best bets for stomach sleepers. Because they are typically quite responsive and often without permitting excessive sinking into the mattress, a foam mattress can give the support that stomach sleepers need at key pressure points without pushing the spine to bend too much in any direction.
What are latex mattresses?
While some mattresses may have a layer of latex, a latex mattress is made entirely of this material. For this reason, they may also be known as all-latex or true-latex. An all-latex mattress may be made with one large piece of latex rubber or with several thinner latex layers placed on top of one another. The latex may be naturally derived, synthetic, or a blend.
In general, latex has more bounce than other foams. This is because it quickly regains its original shape after weight is removed. Despite this bounce, though, latex is still responsive and able to cushion the body.
Latex is classified as either Talalay or Dunlop latex based on the way it is produced. Talalay latex usually has more bounce than Dunlop. Some mattresses may feature both types.
Are latex mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
Yes, usually. Some latex mattresses may be too firm for stomach sleepers or may not offer quite enough contouring, but in the majority of cases these mattresses will provide sufficient responsiveness to make sure that the spine is aligned. Some stomach sleepers also may prefer the enhanced bounce of latex, particularly if they shift the location of their hands or legs while in the stomach-sleeping position.
What are innerspring mattresses?
Innerspring mattresses are historically the most common, and they rely on an arrangement of metal coils to provide resilience and support. While there are many types of innerspring coils, the most popular type being used in mattresses today are pocketed coils. Pocketed coils give each coil more ability to move independently of other coils, which offers more pinpoint responsiveness than traditionally found with innerspring mattresses (though still less than a material like memory foam).
Most innersprings have a layer of material above the coils to make the mattress softer or more responsive. For example, this material could be foam, latex, or a fiber-fill. The choice of materials for the top layers can significantly change the overall feel of an innerspring mattress.
For our purposes, if these layers are thicker than 3”, we classify the mattress as a “hybrid.”
Are innerspring mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
No, not most of the time. Because an innerspring mattress cannot generally give the level of conforming and cushioning found in other mattress types, it becomes more likely that the abdomen will not get enough support, causing the lower back to become hyperextended. This can result in aches in pains as can the reduced level of support for the chest and neck. In some situations, though, the comfort layers added to an innerspring mattress may make it suitable for a stomach sleeper.
What are hybrid mattresses?
As with innersprings, hybrids have a support base made of metal coils. What separates a hybrid, though, is that the layers above the coils are 3” or thicker. Most often, these top layers are made with foam such as memory foam, polyfoam, and/or latex. Hybrid mattresses are designed to try to benefit from the consistent spring of coils while also offering more responsiveness and support from the larger comfort layers.
Are hybrid mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
Yes, often. Whether a hybrid is a good fit for a stomach sleeper is highly dependent on the design and construction of the comfort layer in the hybrid mattress. Most hybrids aim to achieve a balance of cushioning and resilience, and especially in a medium-firm comfort feel, this can often be very effective for stomach sleepers. However, stomach sleepers will want to look closely at the construction of the hybrid to assess whether or not it is likely to be able to provide the type of support that they need.
What are airbeds?
Airbeds are built using an air chamber for a support core. Using an attached control or smartphone app, the air chamber can be inflated or deflated to adjust the firmness of the mattress. For most airbeds, the design includes a dual air chamber, which means that each half of the bed can be set to a different firmness level. On some models, there may be a comfort layer of softer materials above the air chamber to add responsiveness or softness.
Are airbeds good for stomach sleepers?
No, not in most cases. While airbeds provide a lot of adjustability and allow stomach sleepers to modify the firmness level by inflating or deflating the air chamber, these adjustments are not proportional to the body. In other words, reducing the firmness level in the mattress does not help to make sure that the specific parts of the body that most need support — the shoulders, chest, and pelvis in particular — get said support. As with innersprings, there may be models that have more responsive materials on top of the air chamber, and these may provide a more appropriate sleeping surface for stomach sleepers in some instances.
Top Picks: Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
Shopping for a mattress these days can be total information overload. With the vast number of types of mattresses, mattress brands, and places to buy a mattress (both in-store and online), it’s easy for your eyes to just glaze over. To help you avoid this, we’ve chosen our top 5 best mattresses for stomach sleepers. You can quickly see these in this table:
|BRAND||MODEL||TYPE OF MATTRESS||FIRMNESS/FEEL||PRICE|
|Novosbed||Foam||Soft / Medium / Firm||$1,299 (Queen)|
|Loom & Leaf||Foam||Relaxed Firm / Firm||$1,099 (Queen)|
|Pure Green||Latex||Soft / Medium / Firm|| $899 – $1,199
|Saatva||Innerspring||Plush Soft / Luxury Firm / Firm|| $999
If you want to learn more about each of these mattress models and what makes them a good fit for stomach sleepers, keep reading and gain an appreciation for each of these top 5 picks.
Leesa is a well-known online mattress seller and is a leading brand in this market. The Leesa mattress has an all-foam design featuring a polyfoam base with two foam layers above it that make up the comfort layer. The topmost layer is the company’s Avena foam, which has a latex-like feel (more resilience than standard memory foam). The layer underneath that is memory foam, which provides additional responsiveness to the mattress.
This combination of foams makes the Leesa both conforming and resilient. In terms of firmness, it is only available in one option, but that option is medium-firm, which works best for most stomach sleepers. Sold at an accessible price point with a quality sleep trial, the Leesa is a strong option to consider, especially since both the company and the mattress have a strong track record.
Novosbed, a Canadian mattress manufacturer, makes a well-built memory foam mattress available in Soft, Medium, and Firm models. While the Medium or Firm is most likely to be the preferred choice of stomach sleepers, there are options even for those who may want a softer mattress. And for each of these models, the company uses a layering of high-density foams to create a thick comfort layer.
For stomach sleepers, this type of memory foam mattress offers responsiveness and durability at a very reasonable price tag of $1,099 for a Queen mattress before any promotions or discounts. While the company’s sleep trial can be more complicated than some others, you nevertheless retain opportunities to get a full refund if the mattress isn’t to your liking.
For stomach sleepers looking for a mattress that is built with quality materials and offers a high degree of contouring, the Novosbed is a top choice.
Loom & Leaf
The Loom & Leaf mattress, which is from the Saatva company, is build with thick layers of high-end foam that can go a long way to making sure that stomach sleepers get the support that they need. It is available in two firmness choices (Relaxed Firm and Firm), both of which would help avoid the sinking issues that stomach sleepers can have with some memory foam mattresses.
The Saatva company has an excellent reputation for customer service, and this mattress, like the Saatva, comes with free white-glove delivery included in the cost of the mattress. As an overall package of the quality of the mattress and the company, the Loom & Leaf is a great choice for stomach sleepers.
Sleep on Latex Pure Green Mattress
Latex mattresses are a good fit for stomach sleepers who need responsiveness but also don’t want a mattress that is so soft that they’ll sink too deeply into it. It is hard to find a latex mattress that delivers a higher level of performance at a better price than the Sleep on Latex Pure Green mattress. It is available in different firmness choices (Soft, Medium, Firm) and heights (7” and 9”). The mattress is built using large chunks of quality latex, improving the durability of the mattress. With its combination of contouring and bounce, it strikes an excellent balance for stomach sleepers.
Customer reviews of this mattress have been consistently strong, and Sleep on Latex has a proven reputation for providing support to their customers. While other latex mattresses can have extremely high price tags, this can be purchased for around $1000 (depending on height and firmness choice), making it a top choice as well as a best buy for this mattress type.
Most innerspring type mattresses are not advisable for stomach sleepers, but the Saatva has unique design elements that set it apart from most of its innerspring competitors. It has a coil-on-coil design with a 7” layer of coils topped with another, smaller layer of foam-encased coils. These coils add both responsiveness and bounce, which is further enhanced by a comfort layer of foam and a pillowtop cover. Saatva offers customers the choice between Luxury Firm, Firm, and Plush Soft, so stomach sleepers can pick based on their personal preference.
Even with its high-quality materials, the Saatva mattress is available for under $1000 for a Queen, and this cost comes with free white-glove delivery (setup of the mattress in your bedroom). When you put all of these factors together, the Saatva stands out from the crowd of innerspring mattresses and is a quality choice for stomach sleepers.
Finding the Best Mattress for a Stomach Sleeper
About Stomach Sleeping
You won’t find many sleep experts or health professionals who advise people to sleep on their stomach. The truth is that this sleeping position comes with more downsides than benefits. For example, it tends to put undue pressure on the spine, the lower back, and the neck, especially if a person twists or turns their body to try to get comfortable in this position. Putting your face directly against the pillow or bed can also stress the skin and lead to facial wrinkles.
The good news is that stomach sleeping does help fight against chronic snoring by decreasing tension in the airway (near the back of the throat). In addition, though this sleeping position isn’t normally recommended, it can still be problem-free if you carefully pick your mattress and pillow to accommodate your needs when sleeping in this way.
What Matters For Stomach Sleepers When Choosing a Mattress
If you’re the type of person who wants to understand the ins and outs of buying your mattress, a good starting point is reviewing the key factors involved in evaluating any given mattress. For stomach sleepers, those key factors to consider to find the best possible mattress include:
- Responsiveness: a responsive mattress is one that reacts directly based on the weight and pressure that is applied to it. Some parts of the body need much more cushioning than other parts, and a responsive mattress is better able to accommodate this fact. For stomach sleepers, this responsiveness can be very helpful in preventing a dangerous misalignment of the lower back. More direct cushioning and contouring near the pelvis as well as at the shoulders can support spinal alignment in stomach sleepers.
- Firmness: perceptions of firmness and comfort are naturally subjective. The most popular firmness level is medium-firm, which usually is in the range of 5-7 on the typical firmness scale (in which 1 is the softest and 10 is the firmest). This is especially true for stomach sleepers as a very firm mattress normally is too hard to get comfortable on. At the same time, a very soft mattress generally lets the pelvis sink too deeply, bending the spine and lower back in ways that likely will lead to soreness.
- Resilience: many stomach sleepers feel at risk of sinking too deeply into a mattress and feeling suffocated by the mattress. More resilience — which is felt as more bounce in the comfort layer — can help to hedge against this feeling by giving modestly more push back, especially when a stomach sleeper wants to make small shifts to their sleeping position in the night.
- Durability: durability is important for sleepers in any position, but for stomach sleepers, a loss of durability can be a major concern. This is because a mattress that starts to lose its support and starts to sag will permit far too much sinking of the abdomen, leading to hyperextension of the lower back and most likely back pain. A durable mattress is also more likely to offer you good value by lasting for many years of everyday use. When searching for a mattress, look for a history of verified reviews over time and also look for a mattress that is built to high standards of materials quality. These are both major indicators of durability.
- Total Price: when considering your budget and how much a mattress will cost, you’ll want to make sure to take into account the full price of the mattress as well as any associated costs (such as for shipping). With most mattresses that you’d buy online, shipping is free, but there may be charges if you opt for white-glove delivery or haul-away of an old mattress. It is necessary, though, to consider all of the costs that are involved when determining what type and brand of mattress that you can afford.
- Sleep Trial: a sleep trial is an opportunity to try out a mattress in your own home for a period of time while retaining an ability to return the mattress if you don’t like it. For online mattresses, most of the time a sleep trial is 100 nights, but some are offered for a longer period. In most cases, you can return the mattress for a full refund during this period, and if you decide to do this, the company normally comes and picks up the mattress from your home. For stomach sleepers who have very unique comfort and support needs, we wholeheartedly advise only purchasing a mattress that comes with a sleep trial. Having this trial lets you get a real sense of whether a mattress will work for you and protects you against wasting your money on a mattress that just isn’t a fit for you as a stomach sleeper.
- Warranty: it’s rare that you would actually need to use a mattress warranty, but it’s always helpful to peruse the terms of the warranty before purchasing a mattress to make sure that you are covered in case there is something horribly wrong with the mattress in terms of its construction or materials.
- Pillow(s): getting a supportive night’s sleep as a stomach sleeper is about more than just your mattress. Especially for stomach sleepers, the mattress and the pillow need to work in tandem. Stomach sleepers can choose from different ways of using a pillow, including using no pillow at all. The best way of using a pillow depends on your personal preference, where you keep your hands when sleeping on your stomach, and the firmness of your mattress. Some stomach sleepers also use smaller support pillows under their chest or pelvis to get additional support.