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Choosing the Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers — Detailed Guide and 5 mattress recommendations

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 29 minLast updated on September 2, 2022

Stomach sleepers are a rare breed: according to studies, only about 7.3% of the population adopt this position (1). 

But does it mean that the mattress market doesn’t pay attention to what an average stomach sleeper may need?

Absolutely not!

In fact, there are plenty of decent mattresses suitable for your sleeping style, and this list of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers was made to help you make the right choice. So, get cozy and read on!

A Quick Preview

Saatva
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Saatva
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Nectar
Runner Up

Nectar
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Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix
Best Cooling Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix
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Puffy Lux
Best for Petite Stomach Sleepers

Puffy Lux
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Plank
Best for Fans of a Firm Feel

Plank
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Winkbed
Best for All Weight Categories

Winkbed
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Our List of the Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Saatva

Saatva Classic Mattress

Highlights

  • pillow-top construction to achieve a luxurious feel and enhanced comfort;
  • doesn’t sleep hot thanks to its breathable design;
  • provides enhanced back support to reduce tension.

Looking for the best mattress for stomach sleepers that can deliver reliable support and high comfort levels? Then the Saatva might be your ideal match! This luxurious innerspring mattress has everything a stomach sleeper might need to enjoy restful slumber. I especially appreciate how supportive the Saatva is in the lumbar area. When lying on the stomach, it prevents the belly from sinking in too deeply, keeping the spine relatively straight. That’s why I woke up without lower back pain after sleeping on the Saatva mattress.

I also love that this model sleeps cool (despite the somewhat plush pillow-top). The Saatva has a breathable construction. It allows the air to travel through and dissipate the heat that tends to build up during the night. I, for one, didn’t sleep hot even when my thermostat was broken. 

All things considered, the Saatva mattress is a perfect match for anyone looking for sturdy support, improved sleep posture, comfort, and thermoregulation. What else is there to wish for?

Runner Up — Nectar

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

Highlights

  • suits petite and average-weight stomach sleepers;
  • great motion absorption;
  • relieves pressure points and supports your spine.

The next option worthy of your attention is the Nectar. Even though this bed has a medium to medium-firm feel, it still can deliver targeted support and great relaxation for those who sleep on the stomach, without curving their lower back.

The Nectar is a memory foam bed, so you can expect good motion absorption, which is great if you share a bed with someone. Plus, memory foam layers will cradle your body properly and support correct spinal alignment, which is especially important for those who sleep on the stomach.

Note that the medium feel of the Nectar will work great for petite and average sleepers, but heavier users would need something firmer.

To sum up, the Nectar is a good option for stomach sleepers who enjoy the traditional memory foam feel. If you’re not on the heavier side, it will properly support your spine throughout the night, taking care of your pressure points, too.

Best Cooling Mattress for Stomach Sleepers — Ghost SmartBed 3D Matrix

Ghost_SmartBed_-_3D_Matrix

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Highlights

  • superb construction quality to guarantee reliable performance through the years;
  • proprietary cooling polymer layer to prevent overheating;
  • adjustable comfort to create optimal conditions for different types of sleepers.

The 3D Matrix is the best mattress for stomach sleepers who tend to overheat during the night. This model combines several cooling components, including the company’s unique polymer layer. Placed right under the cover, it draws the excess heat away. Below, there’s a layer of gel-infused foam. Gel particles lock the heat in, preventing it from building up around the sleeper. I, for one, didn’t overheat at night, even when going to bed warmed up after a vigorous workout.

I also appreciate the SmartBed’s ability to accommodate people from different weight categories. The thing is, this mattress allows for firmness adjustments. Therefore, if you’re a heavier stomach sleeper, you can easily make the Ghost SmartBed feel more supportive. And it gets better: this model allows for independent adjustments on each side. This allowed my wife and me to set the perfect comfort levels without the need to find a compromise.

Best for Petite Stomach Sleepers — Puffy Lux

Puffy Mattress

Highlights

  • removable cover to keep dust and allergens at bay;
  • adaptive feel that results in fast pressure relief;
  • reinforced perimeter to provide reliable edge-to-edge support.

The best mattress for stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds has to prevent sharp pressure points (aside from delivering reliable support). Luckily, the Puffy Lux can achieve that. It’s a hybrid model that combines responsive support with cradling, allowing petite stomach sleepers to enjoy neutral alignment and instant relaxation. My lightweight wife noted that the Puffy felt very balanced. The foam wasn’t overly plush, so she didn’t experience unwanted sinkage. At the same time, the coils underneath kept her body relatively straight, reducing tension build-up.

As for me, I was impressed with the Puffy’s build quality. Everything, from cover to the support coils, felt robust and well-made. I have a feeling the Puffy Lux can maintain its comfort and support properties for years to come. No wonder the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty with this mattress (which is relatively rare on the market).

Overall, the Puffy Lux is a worthy find, especially for lightweight sleepers who want to prevent developing painful pressure points.

Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.

puffy mattress firmness
Puffy Mattress On Bed Frame

Best for Fans of a Firm Feel — Plank

Plank-Mattress-Construction-P1099425

Highlights

  • flippable design with Firm and Extra Firm sides;
  • good edge support and uniform surface;
  • doesn’t retain your body heat, so you can expect cool sleep.

The main thing that makes a mattress suitable for stomach sleeping is higher firmness. So, the next option in this list of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers is made for those who really need the floating feel. The Plank by Brooklyn Bedding features a flippable design with Firm and Extra Firm sides, so you can try both and choose what suits you more.

Compared to soft foams, firm ones offer several benefits, such as cooler sleep and better edge support — and that’s exactly what you can expect from this model. It will provide a uniform surface that will offer little cradling but enough to prevent pressure points and relax your muscles.

Also, the Plank can support a larger weight, which makes it a great pick for heavier sleepers.

With all of that being said, if you prefer a floating feel over cradling but aren’t exactly sure which firmness level you may need, the Plank will make a good pick for you. Regardless of the side, you’ll eventually choose, the Plank will ensure proper spinal support and alignment, which is exactly what stomach sleepers need.

Read our full Plank mattress review for more information.

Plank-Mattress-Types-of-Sleepers-P1099563
Plank Mattress On Bed Frame

Best for All Weight Categories — Winkbed

Winkbed-P1077807

Highlights

  • comes in Soft, Medium, Firm, and Firm Plus options;
  • one of the sturdiest mattresses on the market;
  • sleeps cool because the coil layer doesn’t restrict airflow.

The Winkbed deserves to be among the best mattresses for stomach sleepers, thanks to its ability to accommodate all weight categories. The thing is, this model is available in four comfort options, from plush to extra firm. Therefore, this mattress can deliver optimal support for lightweight, average, and overweight sleepers.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Winkbed excels at ensuring proper spinal support. It combines wrapped coils with foam, both of which are adaptive and can aid a neutral spine during sleep. That’s probably why my back felt tension-free when sleeping on the Winkbed after driving around all day and returning home with a stiff back.

The mattress is pretty bouncy, so it may not work for active sleepers and their sensitive partners. Yet, the strong edge support will be a benefit for other couples.

All things considered, the amount of support the Winkbed can give you can easily turn your slumber into a blissful experience. It’s one of the few models suitable for all weight categories, as each Winkbed model is designed to deliver optimal support levels for different types of sleepers.

Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.

Winkbeds-P1077851
Winkbed Mattress On a Bed Frame

What Is the Best Type of Mattress for Stomach Sleepers?

Latex beds or hybrids are the most suitable mattresses for stomach sleepers. They provide good responsiveness and will help maintain the natural lumbar curve. The most important thing to consider when choosing a mattress is maintaining the natural lumbar curve of your spine when sleeping in the frontal position (2). Plus, both latex and hybrids don’t restrict your movements during the night, which is good if you aren’t a strict stomach sleeper and switch between different positions during the night.

Another good option, especially for heavier users, is innerspring beds. They generally have a uniform surface and can support larger weights without sinking too deep or sagging too soon.

Memory foam mattresses might work as well; however, you should consider these things before making a purchase:

  • choose dense open-cell foams, as they don’t have that pronounced cradling feel;
  • opt for models with zoned support;
  • use a firmer pillow under your pelvic area, or buy a firm mattress topper if your bed is too soft.

Quick tip:

If you’re a stomach sleeper, avoid mattresses with a pillow-top. Pillow-tops may go flat very quickly, altering the overall feel of the mattress so that you might end up with morning back pain.

Also Read: Best Tempurpedic Alternatives

How Firm a Mattress for a Stomach Sleeper Should Be?

How Firm a Mattress for a Stomach Sleeper Should Be

Source: https://vesgantti.com/blogs/news/how-to-choose-your-mattress

Generally, medium-firm and firm mattresses work best for most stomach sleepers. They don’t provide as much sinkage as soft beds and will keep your pelvis properly aligned, so you won’t experience morning pain.

But this is where it gets tricky:

See, firmness perception is pretty subjective and tied to some external factors, such as your weight. The larger you are, the deeper you will sink into the mattress layers, and hence, the softer your bed will feel to you, and vice versa.

So, here’s what you need to know before choosing a good mattress for a stomach sleeper:

  • lightweight stomach sleepers (less than 130 lbs) may benefit from a medium-soft mattress (4/10);
  • users who weigh 130 to 200 lbs will feel comfortable on a medium (5/10) or medium-firm (6-7/10) mattress;
  • heavier stomach sleepers (200 lbs and above) may want a firm (7-8/10) or extra-firm mattress (8-9/10) (3).

If you aren’t sure about the exact firmness level you need, you can also try models with a flippable design which have a different firmness on each of the two sides.

Understanding Firmness and Support for Stomach Sleepers

Here’s the deal:

Firmness does not always mean proper support.

The thing is, a mattress can be rated “firm”, but if it uses lower-quality materials or has overly thick comfort layers, it might not be able to deliver the needed support for stomach sleepers.

That’s why shoppers need to pay close attention not only to the firmness level of the mattress but to its construction as well.

For instance, pillow-top models aren’t ideal for this sleeping style, even if they are rated “firm” by the manufacturer. After all, that top section is not very likely to offer decent support. This could potentially lead to unhealthy back curvatures during sleep.

Instead, stomach sleepers should give their preference to mattress models that don’t have overly thick comfort layers. A sturdy base is a must as well. If it’s a spring or a hybrid mattress, coils should be thicker (which means a lower gauge number). If it’s latex or foam, it should be a high-density material.

Also Read: Best Mattresses Made in the USA

What Stomach Sleepers Should Consider When Shopping for a Mattress?

Great sleep may not be easy to achieve, so you need to consider a lot of factors before creating suitable surroundings for that. Your bed is one of these factors, and here are the key things that make up a good mattress for stomach sleepers.

Proper Lumbar Support

The main problem with stomach sleeping is that the pelvic area might sink into the mattress layers, which puts a strain on a lumbar curve and makes your back hurt. To prevent this, choose beds with pronounced lumbar support — e.g. those with zoned layers or a sewn-in lumbar pad to support specifically the lower back area. 

Note that even though stomach sleeping is considered the worst position for spinal health, it can be more beneficial than other positions for people with certain back conditions, such as degenerative disc disease and herniated lumbar disks (4). Stomach sleeping in these cases removes the pressure from the discs and brings you relief.

Good Thermoregulation

A study conducted in 2019 supports the idea that falling and staying asleep is connected with the temperature of your body and the surroundings (5). When we prepare to fall asleep, or body temperature drops and triggers melatonin production that supports stable shut-eye with little to no awakenings.

So, your mattress should be able to support this natural temperature decline and facilitate better sleep by withdrawing excess body heat. 

The best candidates for this are natural latex and hybrid beds, as they’re initially more breathable. 

But if you’re a fan of memory foam, be sure to choose mattresses with gel, copper, or graphite-infused comfort layers. This makes the foam more adaptive to your body temperature changes.

Natural Materials

Stomach sleepers are recommended to sleep without a pillow, as this prevents putting extra pressure on the cervical region (6). But when there’s no pillow, your head comes into direct contact with the mattress, and if it’s made with synthetic materials or harsh chemicals, you may develop allergic reactions.

That’s why it’s important to choose beds that use natural or semi-natural materials, such as latex, cotton, wool, bamboo rayon, or Tencel. 

Also, look out for certification tags, such as GOLS, GOTS, OEKO-TEX, or GreenGuard Gold. These labels will prove that your mattress doesn’t have any harsh mixtures in its layers and doesn’t emit harmful levels of VOCs.

Edge Support

This is an aspect that many shoppers disregard. However, good edge support can offer many benefits. First of all, getting a mattress with strong edges can help sleepers use more space and thus, feel more comfortable (especially when sharing a bed with a partner).

Additionally, many stomach sleepers enjoy lying close to the edge of the bed, often with one of their arms hanging down. In this case, a mattress has to have strong edges to prevent the sleeper from rolling off.

Now, hybrid and interpreting models usually deliver the best edge support. Many of them even have enhanced coils around the perimeter, which would come in handy for heavier stomach sleepers who like lying close to the mattress edge.

F.A.Q.

Do stomach sleepers need a firm mattress?

Stomach sleepers usually benefit from sleeping on medium-firm to firm beds. The heavier you are, the firmer your perfect mattress is.

Is memory foam good for stomach sleepers?

Memory foam is not considered ideal for stomach sleeping, but such a mattress might still work if it doesn’t allow for unwanted sinkage in the belly or hip area. That’s why stomach sleepers are recommended to choose firmer foam mattresses that can deliver better support.

What mattress is the best option for stomach sleepers with back pain?

The best mattress for stomach sleepers with back pain has to provide adequate support, which would help keep the spine properly aligned. Therefore, stomach sleepers with back pain need to choose the appropriate firmness level based on their weight. In most cases, firmer mattresses can provide better support for stomach sleepers. However, it’s also worth noting that this sleeping style is not the best option for back pain. Therefore, even by choosing a proper mattress, stomach sleepers might still experience back pain.

How to pick the best mattress for an overweight stomach sleeper?

Overweight stomach sleepers are often advised to choose firm or even extra-firm mattresses (if they don’t have tender joints). The thing is, proper support is the most crucial aspect for heavier stomach sleepers. And since overweight users apply more pressure to the surface of the mattress, they need even sturdier support.

Final Word

A proper mattress for stomach sleepers can easily compensate for some of the drawbacks of this sleeping position and make your shut-eye more restorative. Essential factors to consider are suitable firmness (the more you weigh, the firmer your mattress should be), pronounced lumbar support, and chemical-free design, as you might sleep on your mattress without a pillow.

All these features (and more) are perfectly combined in the Saatva mattress. This model offers enhanced lumbar support and can prevent back strain when sleeping on the stomach. The Saatva also comes in three comfort variations and, thus, can suit different weight categories. Additionally, it’s one of the sturdiest mattresses I’ve tested, proving that the Saatva can provide long-lasting support and comfort.

What are you looking for in a mattress for stomach sleeping? Share your thoughts below!

 

References

  1. Nat Sci Sleep (2017, November 1). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5677378/ 
  2. Trina Bellendir, MSPT, CLT, and Thomas N. Joseph, MD (n.d.). Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4460 
  3. National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). How to Choose a Mattress. Retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/articles/how-to-choose-a-mattress/
  4. Richard Staehler, MD (2017, October 25). Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/mattresses-and-sleep-positions-each-back-pain-diagnosis
  5. Edward C. Harding, Nicholas P. Franks, and William Wisden (2019, April 24). The Temperature Dependence of Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491889/
  6. Elea Carey (2018, September 28). Is It Bad to Sleep on Your Stomach? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/is-it-bad-to-sleep-on-your-stomach

Our research

25

Mattresses Considered

80

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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