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Best Mattress for Stomach Sleep

So, you’re not like the majority of people, who sleep on their side.

You’re different.

You’re a stomach sleeper.

And you’re willing to make your sleep healthier. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, would you? And it’s great you’ve stopped by, as I have just prepared a guide for those looking for the best mattress for stomach sleepers. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

The Main Points of Discomfort for Stomach Sleepers

Apart from reducing snoring and wrinkles, stomach sleeping has no benefits to offer. Yet, it may be a reason why you experience the following issues:

  • Back pain. When sitting, walking, and doing other basic activities, our back carries a lot of weight and pressure. During sleep, it is supposed to relax, with help of a proper mattress, of course. But sleeping on a stomach doesn’t always allow for the needed relaxation even if you have a proper bed for stomach sleepers. This results in lumbar and shoulder pain.
  • Neck pain. Unless you’re sleeping face down on a massage table, your neck is always turned to one side. Even if you switch sides often, chances are high that your neck won’t get enough rest and you will wake up feeling stiffness in your muscles.
  • Pregnancy discomfort. Obviously, you won’t be able to sleep on your stomach during pregnancy. While in theory, it doesn’t cause any harm to you and the fetus, you will hardly feel comfortable if you actually try to sleep flat on your belly. So, pregnancy is a great reason to train yourself to sleep on your side.
  • Tossing and turning. Even though you prefer stomach sleeping, you’re likely to go through lots of tossing and turning during the night until you find a comfortable position to fall asleep. This might result in the feeling of tiredness and lack of energy in the morning.

What Makes an Ideal Mattress for Stomach Sleepers?

Despite all the points above, you deserve some good sleep and you can get it with just three essential components:

  • a balance between support and softness of a mattress;
  • a suitable mattress firmness;
  • and a proper pillow thickness;

Thus, a perfect bed for stomach sleepers should be very supportive, distributing your weight evenly across the surface and not allowing your body to curve in unnatural ways. Now, the ideal firmness level is 5 to 7 out of 10. And the best pillow would be the one that is on the softer side, quite thin, and malleable too.

“Indentation load deflection (ILD) is a term you may come across in mattress descriptions. It should give you a clearer idea of how firm a mattress really is. This number is more trustworthy than adjectives ‘medium’ or ‘medium firm’. The reason is every manufacturer defines the firmness subjectively, while the ILD is calculated objectively. ”

What Is the Best Type of Mattress for Stomach Sleepers?

Sleeping on your stomach may cause back and neck pain whatever mattress you have. However, some mattresses cope with the task of providing a healthy sleeping surface for stomach sleepers somewhat better than others.

Here are the 4 main types of beds and the overview of their main features with regard to the freefall position:What Is the Best Type of Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

  • Memory foam. These mattresses tend to be very conforming, quiet, and motion absorbing. They come in a great variety of firmness options and cost less than other types of beds. However, stomach sleepers, especially heavier ones, note that memory foam might sleep hot, have weak edge support, and be prone to sagging quicker. Besides, there is a high odor potential.
  • Innerspring. With stronger edge support and better air circulation compared to memory foam, spring coils don’t provide much contouring and might be quite noisy. They are in the lower price range and tend to sag early. It’s the oldest type of bed. Proven by generation, I should say.
  • Latex. Latex is known as a very durable material and hence is pricier. It offers good pressure relief, sleeps fairly cool, provides satisfactory edge support, and doesn’t disturb you and your partner with noise or motion transfer. It typically has a very bouncy feel, which is completely different from that hugging feel of memory foam. And it might have a strong initial odor.
  • Hybrid. This is a comparatively new design of beds, which combines the pros of all the aforementioned types and eliminates their cons. These mattresses are very supportive and yet provide close conforming. The level of sinking or bounce depends on what materials are used in the comfort and top layers. Air circulation, edge support, and motion isolation all tend to work very well. Naturally, such a combination of features results in a higher price point.

Of course, all of this differs from model to model, but that’s the overall picture.

Most people choose the type of a mattress by the overall feel it provides rather than by the set of pros and cons typical of this or that material.

Here’s what I mean:

If you just don’t like, say, the bouncy feel of latex, you won’t feel comfortable on a latex mattress, no matter how good it is.

But if you search within one category of, say, memory foam mattresses, you will likely find great models that don’t have the typical drawbacks associated with this material. Actually, every category can offer some decent mattresses for stomach sleepers.

Mattress Firmness and Its Correlation with Your Weight

Basically, the firmness of your mattress should prevent you from sleeping with an arched back, either downwards or upwards. It should offer you a balance between cradling and support, between soft and firm.

When it comes to mattresses, the same model might feel quite different for different people. And weight is the key factor that defines that feel.

Lightweight stomach sleepers (weighing less than 120 pounds) should consider softer mattresses, as they will sink in less deeply. Thus, a firmness level of 4 will feel like 5 or 6 for them.

People with an average weight (between 120 and 220 pounds) will likely feel the real mattress’s firmness as it is. If they go for 5 or 6 out of 10, they will feel 5 or 6.

Heavier users (who weigh 220 pounds and more) need a firmer mattress that won’t allow them to sink in too deeply. A model that ranks 7 out of 10 will seem like 6 or even 5 for them.

“A quick note: If you’re a heavier person, it’s always better to look for mattresses that are marketed as specifically designed for heavy-weight people rather than for average models of a higher firmness level. They will have a sturdier construction and will be able to give solid support to your every pound.”

Does Size Matter?

You might think that size is not a relevant factor to consider Does Size Matterwhen shopping for a mattress for stomach sleepers. You might think it’s rather who’s going to sleep in that bed what matters. You would be both right and wrong.

Let me explain:

Many stomach sleepers tend to sleep in the so-called “starfish” position, with their arms and legs spread out. If you’re one of them and you sleep alone, consider buying the Queen or King size.

And those who sleep with a partner might want to consider the California King size, especially if their partner is a stomach sleeper too.

“According to this survey, less than 10% of people sleep on their stomach, while almost 70% of people are side sleepers. So, you’re not like the majority, indeed.”

Shopping for the Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers: Things to Consider

Now, if you feel strongly about purchasing a new mattress, let me sum up the main points you should consider:

  • Your budget. A good Queen sized mattress costs $800-1500 depending on the materials used. Innerspring and foam mattresses generally cost less than latex or hybrid models. There, of course, are cheaper options (as cheap as under $200) as well as more expensive options (up to $5000). Shopping online will always save you money, and sometimes it can be quite a sum. Also, note that some sellers will charge you for shipping, which will affect the final cost of a purchase.
  • Trial and warranty. The majority of sellers offer a trial period so that you could test the mattress and understand if it’s right for you. I think that’s especially useful for people who don’t know exactly what feel they prefer. Before you buy a product, make sure to inquire about the conditions of the sleep trial, as some companies require a mandatory break-in period during which you can’t return the item even if you already feel it’s not suitable for you. Also, when you decide to return the mattress, you may be charged for shipping, so that’s another thing to inquire about. And the warranty is important too. Check out the conditions before you start using your new mattress, as you might miss some requirements that will void the warranty.
  • Your weight. This has been mentioned above already, but I’d like to put more stress on this point. Basically, the bigger you are, the deeper you will sink. If you don’t want to feel stuck, go for a firmer mattress and don’t worry — it will feel softer than it really is if you’re a heavier sleeper. Also, heavyweight people should consider mattresses made from more durable, sturdier materials, which means they will likely need to spend more.
  • Your partner’s preferences. Although happiness in a relationship is often based on compromising, your family bed is a wrong place to practice that. Make sure your partner would feel comfortable sleeping on the chosen mattress. If you happen to have different preferences, there are ways to deal with that (e.g. dual-sided mattresses, mattress toppers, etc.)

“If you’re a stomach sleeper and your partner is not, it doesn’t mean one of you or the both will have to suffer every night. The easiest way is to look for two different Twin beds instead of one Queen sized mattress for stomach sleepers and just put them side to side to create one sleeping surface. Thus, each of you will be able to enjoy comfortable sleep without having to compromise.”

A Few Sleeping Tips for Stomach Sleepers

Every expert will tell you that sleeping on a belly is the least healthy position.

Unless you’re a cat. Cats sleep in any position and have no idea what back pain is.

If you’re a human, though, it’s recommended that you try to train yourself to sleep differently — either on your side or on your back.

But I get that it’s not that easy.

So, if there’s no way you can change your sleep position, try these tips to reduce the potential harm of stomach sleeping at least a bit:

  • Don’t pull your leg up too high to your side. Otherwise, you will end up in an even unhealthier pose, which may lead to back pain in the best case and long-term spinal problems in the worst case.
  • Get a full-body pillow. There are some models designed with a special hole for lying face down (like you’re on a massage table). With them, you will at least let your neck rest. Also, a U-shaped body pillow can help you get used to sleeping on your side with more comfort.
  • Do stretches every morning. Whether you’ve found an ideal bed for stomach sleepers or keep on waking up with pain, stretching is a very healthy element to add to your morning routine. It doesn’t have to be a long workout session. Just a few basic movements would be enough. The key here is consistency.
  • Try sleeping without a pillow. Stomach sleepers may potentially do without a pillow at all. This can actually help their neck relax better during the night. You should try if this works for you, but don’t be quick to judge. Give yourself a few days to get used to sleeping without a pillow and then see if it makes any difference.
  • Place a pillow under your stomach. Even if you’ve got a good mattress for stomach sleepers, a pillow under your lumbar zone will safeguard you from curving your spine and promote better alignment overall. Just make sure you use a very thin pillow. Otherwise, you might end up with another unnatural curve. This can be a great option for those who prefer softer mattresses but don’t want their belly to sink too deeply and bend downwards.

Now you know everything. Do you feel you are ready to make an informed decision? What type of mattress would you choose? Do you have a particular model in mind? You’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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