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Sleep & Health

What is the best mattress for a stomach sleeper?

Smiling women lying on a mattress on her stomach

Green juices, 5 am runs, morning meditation - these are things you aren’t familiar with. You do however know the feeling of the energy-restoring morning shower and the desperation for that first cup of coffee. Have you ever considered that you might be getting a bad night’s sleep because of your mattress?


Every sleeping position has a recommended mattress type and if you’re sleeping on the wrong one it can lead to aches, pains, and broken sleep. If you’re looking for the best mattress for a stomach sleeper, then this blog should have all the advice you need, or read our articles for back sleepers and side sleepers to find out which mattresses are best for your preferred sleeping position.

What to consider when choosing your stomach sleeper mattress:

Mattress firmness

‘Soft’ seems like the obvious answer here - that’s how you get a comfy mattress right? But it turns out that being comfortable in bed doesn’t always mean getting a soft mattress. It depends on your preferences and sleeping position, and for stomach sleepers, a medium-firm mattress is the way to go. 


When you sleep on your stomach, your midsection can sink down and cause your back to fall out of alignment - this is why stomach sleeping often causes back and neck pain. Luckily, getting a firm mattress can help to reduce these effects. Firmness relates to the mattress comfort and is a very personal decision that should take into account your preferred sleeping position. While the mattress support does not differ between comfort levels, the mattress’s ability to contour to your body does. For stomach sleepers, a firmer mattress can help to keep your spine in natural alignment as it prevents your midsection from sinking. It’s worth trying mattresses of varying firmness to see which comfort level best keeps your hips and shoulders in line for optimal spine alignment.

Foam, springs, or hybrid?

Foam

There’s plenty of benefits for foam mattresses, as they can mould to your body and relieve pressure in painful areas - but usually they aren’t the right type for stomach sleepers. The quality that attracts so many people to foam mattresses - the deep softness - is the thing that will cause trouble for stomach sleepers. Your middle will sink too much, causing your spine to curve downwards. Also, memory foam will contour to all the shapes of your body, which is difficult for stomach sleepers, as you will often move positions throughout the night.

Springs

In a world of memory foam, water beds, hybrids, and latex mattresses, is the traditional spring mattress still holding up? It seems that for stomach sleepers, the answer is yes. Spring mattresses offer even support, so although you’re laying on your stomach, your spine will still be in a healthy position. Sometimes stomach sleepers need a bit of softness on top of a spring mattress so they can still enjoy easy movement and extra comfort, so choose a spring mattress with a pillow top.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress may be the answer to all your sleep-related woes. They have the best qualities from each of the other mattress types, with foam cushioning for pressure points and springs for even support. With this perfect balance, your spine will be aligned, any painful spots will be looked after, and you can change positions without discomfort. Hybrids are definitely the best mattress for tummy sleepers, but because all mattresses vary in firmness, you will still need to try out a few to see which one is the right level.

How do you know if it ‘feels’ right?

Every person’s mattress needs are different - which makes it difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer to the question ‘what’s the best mattress for a stomach sleeper?’. So, that’s why you’ll often be told to test a mattress out and go with your personal preferences (plus professional advice). But this puts a lot of pressure on the buyer. Mattresses are expensive purchases and they can significantly affect your health. If you’re unsure how to tell whether a mattress is right for you, here’s some tips:

  • Finding the right firmness: You should be able to tell the firmness of the mattress as soon as you lay down. If it immediately pushes back and you feel a stiff surface, then it’s considered firm. If you feel a cloud-like comfy sensation, with the mattress immediately moulding to your body, then the mattress would be soft. Of course, a balanced amount of push-back and contour would be a medium mattress.

  • Feeling the support: When testing to see if a mattress has the right support for stomach sleepers, make sure your hips and shoulders don’t sink significantly when you lay down. Lay on the mattress for a few minutes at least to ensure the support feels right.

  • Check movement: Stomach sleepers often change positions, so when you try the mattress, move around a lot to see if it’s easy. If there is any discomfort when you move or pain in any position, then try another mattress.

What pillow is best for stomach sleepers?

After you’ve found the perfect stomach sleeper mattress, the last thing you want is a huge pillow that puts your spine out of alignment and creates pain again. Stomach sleepers need a low, soft pillow - in other words, a flat pillow. Then you can still have a bit of extra comfort for your head, without forcing your neck in the wrong direction. 

It’s also a good idea to use additional pillows to cushion other parts of your body. Tummy sleepers can benefit from a flat pillow under the pelvis, as this reduces pressure on the lower back and stomach, and a pillow under the shoulder to help the spine.

Need more expert advice?

If you would like an easy answer to your stomach sleeper mattress decision, then you can try out our online mattress selector, otherwise feel free to visit us in-store for a wealth of mattress-buying knowledge from our staff.

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