To be comfortable, stomach sleepers require mattresses that meet their unique needs. If a mattress lacks the right support, stomach sleepers risk developing low back pains, due to the strain the bodyweight exerts on the spine. Additionally, the pressure exerted on the torso by the surface of the mattress causes aches and pains to stomach sleepers when waking up.
Even though there's no single mattress that suits all stomach sleepers, some factors such as the firmness level of a mattress can help select the best mattress for the stomach sleeping position. In this article, we'll discuss all there is to know about the best mattress for stomach sleepers to help you make an informed decision when shopping for one.
Let's begin with understanding what happens when you sleep on your stomach.
How does Sleeping on Your Stomach Affect Your Sleep?
Stomach sleeping is regarded as the least popular sleeping position and is oftentimes discouraged because of its potential downsides. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the stomach sleeping position is outrightly harmful; it also has its sleep benefits.
Low back pain resulting from distorted spinal alignment is a common problem caused by the stomach sleeping position. Whether you're sleeping, sitting, or standing, the spine is best maintained at its natural S-shaped curve. The upper and lower parts of the spine slightly curve inwards to form a backward C shape, while the midsection forms a gentle outward curve at certain degrees.
To maintain this natural curve, chiropractors recommend sleeping on the back, and on a supportive mattress. However, if you prefer sleeping on your stomach, you should take the necessary precautions to keep your spine in proper spinal alignment. When you sleep on the stomach, the midsection of your back bears most of the body weight, causing the spine to curve further inwards or flatten. When that happens, you'll most likely develop back-related complications, such as spine stiffness and low back pain.
Turning the head for too long may cause too much stress on the neck, resulting in stiffness. In addition, stomach sleepers who push their neck backward while sleeping put a lot of downward pressure on the muscle and joints of the spine. As a result, it obstructs blood flow to the arms, which causes numbness and compression of the nerves.
Some stomach sleepers also like to push their legs up while sleeping. This may cause the spine to curve away from its neutral position, and result in more pain. Since sleeping while uncomfortable or in pain is always a problem, some stomach sleepers rarely have a restful night, and may suffer sleep-related conditions such as daytime drooling.
Pros and Cons of Stomach Sleeping
If you choose to sleep on your stomach, it's advisable to understand the pros and cons of the stomach sleeping position.
Pros of Stomach Sleeping Position
- Reduces snoring by keeping the airway in the right position.
- Reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea.
- Reduces acid reflux and heartburn.
Cons of Stomach Sleeping Position
- Causes poor spinal alignment resulting in low back pains.
- Increases stress on the neck, causing stiffness and numbness.
- Increases chances of drooling.
- Constant pressure on the face can cause wrinkles.
Best Types of Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
The best mattress for stomach sleeping supports proper spinal alignment, and prevents back and neck pain. Depending on the type of materials a mattress is made of, some mattresses may work better than others for this sleeping position.
Generally, avoid softer mattresses that let your body sink too deep into the mattress. Here are different types of mattresses suitable for stomach sleepers.
Most latex mattresses range between the medium-firm and firm levels of firmness. They're popularly known for their extreme comfort and compatibility with most sleeping positions. This is because these mattresses are highly responsive, allowing them to contour the shape of a sleeper's body without letting the sleeper sink too deep into the mattress.
The responsiveness supports the sleeper's body while maintaining the spine's neutral curve during sleeping on their stomach. Additionally, latex mattresses are great for temperature regulation, allowing stomach sleepers to enjoy a cool and uninterrupted sleep.
Hybrid mattresses have an innerspring support system made of metallic coils designed to provide sleepers maximum support. The outer core of the mattress can be made from several materials, including latex and memory foam.
As a result, these mattresses offer both comfort and superior support for most types of sleeping positions. For stomach sleepers, the most important factor to consider when buying such a mattress is the firmness level, which ranges between soft and firm.
Worst Types of Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
A bad mattress for stomach sleepers typically has poor support, letting the sleeper sink excessively into the mattress. This normally happens when a mattress is too soft or too thin to support the sleeper's weight.
Although this can happen with any type of mattress, memory foam mattresses are often perceived to be softer and conforming, and may not offer the support needed by stomach sleepers.
In this case, the softness of a mattress doesn't necessarily refer to how the mattress feels, but rather its lack of support and density. With that cleared, it's not always true that all memory foam mattresses are too soft or lack support; many manufacturers produce firmer versions of these types of mattresses.
Therefore, when selecting a memory foam mattress for a back sleeper, you may want to consider other factors, such as the weight of a sleeper's body, to determine how far they'll sink into the mattress. Stomach sleepers may also want to avoid mattresses with thick cushioning. Although such mattresses may feel cozy, they tend to let the sleeper sink deep, affecting their comfort and breathing.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Mattress shopping can be tiring, especially if you are trying to find the best mattress for your stomach sleeping position. Therefore, you may need to prepare a checklist of the important factors to consider before shopping.
Some essential aspects to consider when selecting the best mattress for a stomach sleeper include:
Support for stomach sleepers means lifting the shoulders and hips to align with the stomach. If the hips dip excessively, it forces the midsection of the back to arch outwards, away from the natural S-shaped curve. If the shoulders deep excessively, there'll be too much pressure on the back, causing it to strain.
To determine the support of a mattress, you should find out what materials it's made of, and its structure. Some mattresses come with zoned support, while others are structured with layers of different materials or densities to support different body parts. For example, since most of the weight of a stomach sleeper gravitates around the midsection of their body, you may want to choose a mattress with excellent support in the same area.
The stomach sleeping position makes the face, neck, torso, and hips come into direct contact with the mattress. If the mattress feels too hard, you'll most likely wake up with pain from these pressure points. Therefore, consider finding a mattress with an additional layer of soothing comfort made of materials such as cotton or wool.
A body-conforming mattress sinks the sleeper deeper into the mattress. Such a mattress may not be ideal for a stomach sleeper, as mentioned earlier. However, body contouring helps the shoulders and neck relieve pressure. Therefore, you may want to choose a responsive mattress instead, since it adequately cradles the body without giving in too much.
Spinal alignment entirely depends on the support and firmness of a mattress. In most cases, firmer mattresses have good support, making them the best choice for stomach sleepers. On the other hand, thinner mattresses may not provide a stomach sleeper with the support they need to keep the spine in proper alignment.
The firmness of a mattress refers to how the surface of a mattress feels. Manufacturers often describe this term differently depending on their preferences. For example, some may use a firmness scale ranging between 1 and 10, while others prefer words such as soft, firm, and medium firm mattress.
The ideal mattress for a stomach sleeper should range between firm and medium-firm. However, since the firmness scale isn't universal, different mattresses with the same label may differ in their measure of firmness. For this reason, you should consider other factors, such as the materials the mattress is made of. For example, a latex or hybrid mattress may be firmer than a memory foam mattress, ideal for stomach sleepers.
To avoid sleep disruptions caused by sleeping hot, find a mattress that is good at temperature regulation. The body-conforming memory foam mattress tends to restrict the free circulation of air around a sleeper's body, causing them to sleep hot. Additionally, their closed-cell structure traps heat from the sleeper's body, becoming too uncomfortable for a sleeper. As a result, you'll most likely toss and turn all night, causing sleep disruptions, which could lead to other health problems.
Even if you find the best mattress for sleeping on your stomach, using the wrong foundation can cause the mattress to have poor support. The mattress manufacturer or seller might indicate the type of foundation that suits the mattress you found. Whether using a platform foundation bed or a box spring, make sure it's the right one for your mattress.
Sleep trial periods give you sufficient time to test your mattress to decide whether it feels right. This is especially important when buying a mattress online. On average, you may need at least 14 nights before your body gets used to the new mattress, and for the mattress to conform to your body.
Some mattresses, however, may take longer to break in and feel right. Therefore, you should find a mattress that offers at least 90 sleep trial nights to decide whether to keep or return it.
The return policy states the terms and conditions to abide by if you decide to return the mattress. For example, some companies offer free shipping, or an arranged pick-up at the cost of the client. Others only allow for an exchange, and not a refund.
Given that a mattress is often a huge investment, and it can be difficult to find the right one, it's important to understand the return policy before buying your new mattress.
What are the Best Accessories for Stomach Sleepers?
Stomach sleepers can add a few bed accessories to make them more comfortable while sleeping. Considering the fragile nature of this sleeping position, here are some bed accessories that work best for stomach sleepers.
A stomach sleeper can use a pillow under their head, neck, and pelvic area for more support and cushioning. The ideal pillow should be supportive, but low loft to avoid distorting the spine's natural curve.
Stomach sleepers benefit from the luxurious comfort of the 100% natural latex pillows from Latex For Less. These pillows come in a shredded and solid form, and are available in three different sizes. The solid version is buoyant and supportive, and can be placed under the head, while the light and fluffy option can be used to support the hips.
Even though a firmer mattress is the best choice for a stomach sleeper, it may sometimes feel too hard on exposed pressure points. A softer mattress topper can be used to solve such a problem, rather than changing the whole mattress. The 2- inch Latex For Less Topper also improves breathability while offering luxurious comfort and support to relieve pressure points of the body.
Is Stomach Sleeping Bad?
Stomach sleeping isn't the healthiest sleeping position; you may want to avoid this position, especially if you're pregnant.
How Firm Should a Mattress be for a Stomach Sleeper?
Stomach sleepers are most comfortable on a firm to medium-firm mattress, depending on the weight of their body. For heavier sleepers, a firmer mattress works best because it won't dip excessively into the pressure of the body's weight.
What's the Best Mattress for Heavy Stomach Sleepers?
To recap, the best mattress for stomach sleepers depends on various factors such as support, pressure relief, body contouring, spinal alignment, firmness, temperature regulation, foundations, return policy, and sleep trial. Latex For Less is a great place to shop for such mattresses at affordable prices.
Sleep Tips for Stomach Sleepers
The following tips can help stomach sleepers achieve a healthier and refreshing sleep experience.
- Using a low loft supportive pillow under the head and hips for extra support.
- Changing their sleeping position through the night.
- Sleeping with the face down to improve spinal alignment (can be achieved by supporting the head with a pillow).
- Practicing stretching to realign the spine in the morning, and relax it before bedtime.
Are Latex For Less Mattresses Good for Stomach Sleepers?
Here's what stomach sleepers can expect from the Latex For Less 100% natural latex mattress.
Two Firmness Levels in One Mattress
This mattress is made of two layers of natural latex, one firmer than the other. As a result, stomach sleepers can experience two different levels of firmness in one mattress by simply flipping over the mattress. So, when shopping for the best mattress for stomach sleepers, but unsure of the firmness level to choose, this is the best mattress for you.
Because of the double layers of the two different latex forms, these mattresses offer the best support stomach sleepers need regardless of their body weight.
These mattresses are also made with a layer of 100% natural wool fiber and ultra soft organic cotton for a plush and cozy feeling. Besides, given that these layers are on both sides of the mattress, they don't affect the firmness levels on either side.
120 Nights of Sleep Trial
Latex For Less gives you more than enough time ( 120 nights) to try out your new mattress on both sides, and decide how it feels. Then, if not satisfied with the mattress, you can request a return.
Free from Toxins and Chemicals
Latex For Less mattresses are nature-inspired, and don't contain any chemicals or toxins. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you won't develop health complications from sleeping on your mattress.
Durable and Affordable
Sleep shouldn't be expensive, but sleeping on the wrong mattress is. However, that's not something you need to worry about when you buy a mattress from Latex For Less.
Latex For Less mattresses are extremely durable; they can last up to 20 years! And, that's not all - the prices are reasonable, allowing you to enjoy peaceful, relaxing, and nature-inspired sleep without breaking the bank. You can also take advantage of the numerous discounts and offers available on the Latex For Less website to save even more money on these high-quality, mother-nature-approved mattresses.
Free Shipping and Returns
Your mattresses will be shipped right to your doorstep for free if you live within the contiguous US. Returns are also free within the same region.
To return a Latex For Less mattress, contact customer support for further instructions.
In addition to all these advantages, you'll have a night of restorative sleep, waking up feeling fresh and relaxed, rather than tired and in pain.