How to choose the best mattress for stomach sleepers
You have a lot to consider when choosing the right mattress. But arguably one of the most important deciding factors is your preferred sleep position. Back, side, and stomach sleepers all have different needs in a mattress, as they experience different pressure points while sleeping. And if you share a bed, you’ll have to take into account your partner’s preferred sleep position, as well.
Knowing that there are a plethora of options out there, we investigated the best mattresses for stomach sleepers. Our research covers many factors for picking your perfect mattress. Considerations were given for price, comfort, firmness, internet deals, and durability. We compared customer reviews across brands and in consumer intelligence reports. We also worked with chiropractor Dr. Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS, and got his expert option.
Dr. Conrad is the owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. Dr. Conrad also serves as the Team Chiropractor for the Blackthorn Rugby Team.
He shares his insights from 20 years’ experience helping patients solve their back pain and find proper sleeping positions.
First things first, is it bad to sleep on your stomach?
Unfortunately for stomach sleepers, the answer yes: It’s bad to sleep on your stomach. According to Dr. Conrad, sleeping on your stomach can cause “hyperextension of the lumbar spine.” He says adding stress to this part of your back can lead to back pain, spasm, and soreness, and should be avoided by anyone who has a back condition.
Sleeping on your stomach doesn’t only cause problems for your back, Dr. Conrad says. This sleeping position can also create issues for your neck because it requires you to tilt your neck in an unhealthy way.
“Laying on your stomach with your head tilted causes torsion and extension of the lumbar spine, which can lead to degenerative disc disease and degenerative arthritis,” Dr. Conrad says. “These painful conditions will get worse with age.”
But all is not lost for stomach sleepers! Certain adjustments can help you be more comfortable while sleeping in your preferred position. The Mayo Clinic advises that sleeping with a pillow under your pelvis while on your stomach can reduce back pain. We’ll follow up more with Dr. Conrad on his suggestions at the end of the article.
Let’s first take a look at some of the best mattresses out there for those of us who sleep on our stomachs.
The top 5 best mattresses for stomach sleepers
Methodology: We compiled this research by reading and analyzing consumer intelligence reports, customer feedback, expert advice, and product specifications presented by each respective company. We compared many different factors like price, warranty, and shopping perks, as reported by the company and the consumers. We made sure to note not only recent reviews but older reviews as well.
Overall Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers: Purple Mattress
The original Purple Mattress uses proprietary Purple Grid technology combined with memory foam to provide support and eliminate pressure points while cradling the sleeper. The Purple Grid allows for airflow and a cooler night’s sleep, while its materials are all hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and durable. It also has motion-isolating technology, which is great for couples.
Dr. Conrad highly recommends the Purple Mattress. He says stomach sleepers need “a mattress that allows flexibility for the neck and shoulders, but also keeps the hips and lumbar spine aligned.” He says the Purple Mattress checks those boxes.
According to Dr. Conrad, the Purple Grid “reduces pressure points and helps you wake up with less back pain.”
Customers also love this mattress. Out of the over 22,000 reviews on Purple’s website, this mattress gets 4.5 stars. Many customers said it helped their back pain, and other commenters hailed its sleep quality. As Kelli G said, “This bed has made a tremendous effect on my sleep. It cradles you. It’s not too hard, not too soft. It’s really perfect.”
The Purple Mattress was also rated #1 in customer satisfaction with bed in a box mattresses by J.D. Power in the categories of “support,” “durability,” and “value given the price paid.”
Pros and Cons of the Purple Mattress
Best memory foam mattress for stomach sleepers: Leesa Original Mattress
The all-foam Leesa Original Mattress is breathable and contours to your body. Its medium firmness makes it one of the best mattresses for side and stomach sleepers alike, and perfect for couples with different sleep styles. The memory foam core support and contouring layers relieve pressure and reduce lower back pain. Plus, its multi-foam construction gives a little bounce with the mattress and its top layer of cooling foam is great for hot sleepers because it promotes breathability and airflow.
Customers strongly recommend the Leesa Original Mattress. Out of the over 19,000 reviews, it received a 4.5-star rating. It was most recommended by stomach and stomach/side combination sleepers, stating they love how the mattress conforms to your pressure points and provides a restful night’s sleep.
Price: $699 – $1,019
Pros and Cons of Leesa
Best hybrid mattress for stomach sleepers: Helix Dusk
The Helix Dusk combines memory foam and coils for maximum comfort. The top layers of memory foam provide pressure point relief and are designed to react and contour to your body. The medium-level firmness is exactly what is recommended for stomach and back sleepers or for couples with different sleep preferences. As an added bonus, the individually-wrapped coils cradle you while providing edge support, meaning when you sit on the edge of the bed, there is no sagging. It also limits motion transfer, which is another great feature for couples.
Helix offers a sleep quiz that considers sleep positions to match people with their perfect mattress, and it pairs stomach sleepers with the Helix Dusk. Roughly 8,000 people who have purchased the mattress and reviewed it on the Helix website have given it 4.5 stars. There are many satisfied customers who left comments similar to this one: “We’ve had this bed for about six months, and it’s the best bed we’ve ever had. I’m a side sleeper, whereas my husband sleeps on his stomach and has a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep — and since we got this mattress, he’s been able to sleep through the night.”
Price: $600 – $1,249
Pros and Cons of Helix Dusk
Best for your budget: Nectar
The Nectar mattress is a more affordable option that is made even better by frequent sales, promotions, and free gifts (think: free pillows, free sheets, and free mattress protectors). The mattress itself is a multi-layer memory foam mattress that includes a cooling gel layer which allows air to circulate and provide a cooler night’s sleep. Other memory foam layers serve to support the body and minimize motion transfer. As a medium-firm mattress, it’s suitable for all types of sleepers but also recommended specifically for stomach sleepers.
The Nectar mattress comes highly reviewed by customers. With over 19,000 reviewers, the Nectar mattress is rated at 4.5 stars. The website allows you to sort reviews based on the type of sleeper you are, if you sleep hot or cold, and if you share the mattress with anyone. Many satisfied stomach sleepers commented that they are sleeping more soundly through the night and are now free of back and hip pain when walking.
Price: $898 – $1,398
Pros and Cons of Nectar
Best luxury mattress: Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid
This luxury hybrid uses CopperFlex memory foam to provide responsive deeper compression support to the sleeper. The multi-layered mattress also uses cool memory foam gel, making it one of the coolest sleeping mattresses on the market today. The compressed coils that make up this hybrid provide superior motion isolation and edge support — both very important factors for people who share mattresses. An additional perk of this mattress is that you can choose your mattress firmness level from soft, medium, or firm. For stomach sleepers and those that require additional lumbar support, the firm mattress option is recommended.
Customers provided positive feedback for this mattress, particularly rating it as a great mattress for side and stomach sleepers, and couples with mixed sleep preferences. Many reviews also list their weight and how it affects their mattress experience. This can be helpful as the weight can be a factor in how soft or firm mattress you find comfortable. Heavier sleepers especially seem to have good experiences on this mattress based on the comments.
Price: $999 – $2,124
Pros and cons of Brooklyn Aurora Hybrid
*The pricing listed above is pre-promotional and verified as of 05/11/2020.
The bottom line
There are many choices when it comes to finding a mattress that will provide you a good night’s sleep. For stomach sleepers, it’s especially important to gravitate towards a firm mattress that will provide quality support, pressure point relief, and plenty of lumbar support. Even for those in couples with different sleep styles, it’s possible to find a mattress that will accommodate both you and your partner’s needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the healthiest sleeping position?
According to Dr. Conrad, the healthiest sleeping position is on your back. He says sleeping on your back “keeps the neck and spine in proper alignment.” He advises sleepers who experience lower back pain when resting on their stomach to switch up positions and sleep on their back.
What kind of pillow is best for a stomach sleeper?
Dr. Conrad recommends using a memory foam pillow to keep your spine in proper alignment. He says, “Memory foam pillows differ from traditional pillows in that they will mold to the contour of your spine, which will help you from becoming misaligned.”
He says twisting your neck when sleeping can cause muscle spasms or headaches. To prevent this, he recommends the Tempur-Pedic Contour Side-To-Back Memory Foam Pillow, and says “it’s good for those who sleep on their back, stomach, or side, and has firm support to allow the normal cervical curve of the neck to stay in proper alignment.”
How can I stop sleeping on my stomach?
Dr. Conrad recommends using a pillow to keep you from rolling over onto your stomach at night. But if you’re having a hard time switching up positions, try placing a memory foam pillow under your knees to relieve pressure from your lower back.