In a study about sleep habits and sleep quality, highlighted by PR Newswire, 16 percent of respondents reported a preference for stomach sleeping. That makes this the second-most popular sleep position, after side sleeping. However, sleeping on your stomach is not recommended, as it can put stress on your neck and spine. This can make finding the best mattress for stomach sleepers difficult.
While an easy fix would be to stop sleeping on your stomach, some habits are harder to break than others. If your dominant sleeping position is on your stomach, investing in a quality mattress that works best for your needs will help improve your quality of sleep.
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers: 30-Second Summary
- The Amerisleep AS2 is our recommended mattress for stomach sleepers because it’s firm enough to maintain healthy spinal alignment and has HIVE® technology to prevent lower back pain and pressure points.
Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
|Amerisleep AS2||Two inches of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® foam and clinically-proven zoned support.||$1199|
|Avocado||An eco-friendly latex mattress with great bounce and support.||$1399|
|Tulo Firm||Features cooling memory foam to combat body heat.||$399|
|Tuft & Needle||Features pressure-relieving T&N Adaptive® foam.||$595|
|Original Purple®||Features Purple Grid™ for No-Pressure® support.||$1099|
If you’re looking for our overall recommendation for the best bed, please refer to our post on finding the best mattress for you.
Amerisleep’s AS2 mattress is popular with those who sleep on their stomachs. It’s a medium-firm mattress that offers gentle cushioning via its transition foam layer. Amerisleep stands out amongst other bed in a box mattress companies because they use plant-based foams and clinically proven support technologies.
The first layer of the AS2 is two inches of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® foam, which is designed to provide cushion and comfort. Its plant-based, advanced open-cell structure promotes breathability, helping you sleep cool throughout the night.
Second, it has three inches of Affinity Foam with HIVE® technology. HIVE® is a clinically proven zoned support technology designed to keep you sleeping in a healthy position. This zoned technology offers extra support for your midsection and prevents your stomach from sinking too far in the mattress.
Finally, seven inches of heavy-duty, durable Bio-Core® foam provides a strong foundation for the top two layers.
2. Avocado Green
The Avocado Green mattress from the Avocado company combines foams with pocket coils to create a plush bed with additional support. A bed like this, without the added pillow top, may feel soft when you’re resting on it. But beneath that soft top is a series of coils that can keep your hips from sinking low and your head from popping up too high.
The foam layer in the Avocado is made with 100% natural latex rubber, which the company suggests provides temperature control that synthetic materials can’t match. This latex layer has an open-cell structure, which can move heat away from the sleeper during the night.
The Avocado is also made with organic materials, which might also appeal to consumers looking for a good mattress that will not harm the environment.
3. Tulo Firm
If you have a tighter budget, we recommend considering the Tulo firm memory foam mattress. Tulo makes and sells three memory foam mattresses in different firmness levels: Tulo Soft, Tulo Medium, and Tulo Firm. We suggest stomach sleepers choose Tulo’s Firm mattress because it should provide the necessary support to keep you lifted in healthy alignment and not sinking uncomfortably far in the bed.
Tulo’s mattresses are sold online and in Mattress Firm showrooms. Each bed comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. All in all, the Tulo Firm mattress has 4 layers and stands 10 inches tall.
The first layer of the Tulo Firm is 2 inches of memory foam with titanium cooling particles; this layer contours to your body to alleviate pressure points and offer cushioning comfort. The cooling gels within this comfort layer wick away body heat to prevent night sweats.
Below the layer of memory foam is a 1.5-inch layer of breathable poly-foam. Tulo designs this poly-foam to be porous and cooling, so it promotes airflow and prevents overheating.
Next, is a 2-inch layer of responsive, convoluted poly-foam. Tulo gives this layer an egg-crate shape to promote airflow and prevent heat from being trapped deep within the mattress. This layer also contributes to weight distribution and improves the bed’s durability.
The fourth and final layer of the Tulo is 4.5 inches of sturdy poly-foam to act as the base of the mattress, preventing sagging and extending the bed’s longevity.
4. Tuft & Needle
Another popular online mattress company to consider is Tuft & Needle. When they first debuted, they sold only one all-foam mattress. Now, they make and sell three different mattresses, two all-foam and one hybrid, to give customers a wider selection. We recommend choosing their original flagship mattress, Tuft & Needle, because it’s notably firm and only costs around $500 for a queen.
The T&N Original mattress is built for universal comfort, so it’s an option for side, stomach, or back sleepers; however, many reviews of the bed mention it feeling quite firm, so it’s best suited for back and stomach sleepers. Tuft & Needle’s namesake mattress has two layers and stands 10 inches tall.
The first layer of the T&N Original mattress is 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam, a poly-foam. Tuft & Needle uses proprietary poly-foams to alleviate pressure without trapping heat. They also infuse cooling gels into this top layer of foam to help dissipate body heat.
The second layer is 7 inches of durable poly-foam to support the layer and sleeper above.
Every Tuft & Needle mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
5. Original Purple®
Purple’s® mattress is unlike any other on the market because it features their innovative Purple Grid™, fashioned out of patented hyper-elastic polymer. Purple’s grid-shaped layer offers superior pressure point relief and even full-body support. Plus, because it’s in a grid shape, it allows for extra airflow through the mattress, preventing night sweats.
Purple’s® mattress is built for universal comfort, meaning it’s designed to be comfortable for back, side, and stomach sleepers; however, many reviews of the bed mention it feeling firmer than anticipated, which is why we recommend it for stomach sleepers.
Purple’s® Original mattress is 9.5 inches thick and has three layers: the Purple Grid™, a layer of cushioning poly-foam, and a sturdy poly-foam base.
When you sleep on the Purple® mattress, the grid slightly collapses as it conforms to your body, relieving pressure and preventing pain points. The transition layer of soft poly-foam below acts as a barrier between the grid above and the core of the mattress below. Then, the core of the mattress reinforces the two layers above and prevents sagging.
The Purple® mattress is sold online and at select Mattress Firm locations. Every bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Stomach Sleeping’s Effects on the Neck and Spine
Doctors often advise against sleeping on your stomach because stomach sleeping can put unique and dangerous pressure on your neck and spine.
The spine is designed to bend and flex, allowing us to:
- Tip the head up and down.
- Twist at the waist.
- Lean back from the hips.
- Bend forward.
While the spine certainly can do all of these things, spine health begins with keeping discs in a neutral position. The spine should contain two distinct curves, but, overall, the bones should be in alignment the majority of the time.
It is important to keep your spine in a neutral position while you sleep because modern life encourages us to sit or stand crookedly. For example, The Washington Post reports that 58 percent of people who own smartphones are at risk for sore, inflamed discs in the neck. The risk comes from smartphone use and how body bends to use our electronics.
A typical smartphone user holds the device in one hand while bending the head down to read the screen. The weight of the head exaggerates the curve of the neck, putting intense pressure on the discs. This position can lead to pain and long-term damage.
When you sleep on your stomach, you increase the risk of neck discomfort. Your spine may be in a neutral position if you’re placing pillows under your hips, but your head is likely twisted to the side and raised up on a pillow. That can add further strain and inflammation to neck discs.
Stomach Sleeping’s Effects on Your Back
When neck and back pain strike, we may head to the doctor to ask for help. In fact, according to Gallup, one adult in four asked for help with a neck or back pain issue in 2015. You may have ongoing back pain caused by:
- Excess weight.
- Poor posture and misalignment.
- Repetitive movements at work.
- Lack of muscle tone.
If you do experience back pain, you are not alone. According to a survey by the National Institute of Health Statistics, lower back pain is the most commonly cited source of ongoing pain. In fact, 27 percent of respondents said they had this type of pain.
Sleeping on your stomach can put additional pressure on your back. Your favorite pillows can raise your head higher than your shoulder blades, forcing your spine to curve in an unusual way while you sleep. Tucking a leg up to your side as you sleep on your stomach can add another unusual curve in your lower back. Together, these two twists can make an existing back issue worse, and they could cause enough strain to encourage a new back pain problem to appear.
Therapies for back pain can include chiropractic care, physical therapy, pain medications, and surgery. While these therapies can — and often do — provide real relief, looking closely at comfortable mattresses to ease back pain could also be helpful.
Mattress Types to Consider
Before you do too much research into a new mattress, stop to consider which type of mattress interests you— are you more cut out for a memory foam mattress, or would a hybrid be more comfortable? Knowing what type of mattress you want narrows down your options drastically.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are some of the most popular nowadays, partly due to the rise of the bed in a box mattress industry. Memory foam beds feature foam layers, so they’re easy to compress, and they’re a fan-favorite because of their cushioning and contouring properties. Memory foam mattresses mold to your body to alleviate pressure, so they’re some of the best for people with pesky pains. Plus, these beds make you feel cradled in the mattress because they hug your body and allow for some sinkage. We recommend memory foam mattresses for couples because they eliminate motion transfer, allowing two sleepers to snooze undisturbed.
Stomach sleepers may find memory foam mattresses too cradling for comfort. If you sleep on your stomach, we recommend choosing an ultra-firm memory foam mattress.
Latex mattresses are another popular all-foam option for those seeking a bed without coils. Latex is unlike memory foam in the fact that it keeps you more lifted on the mattress, rather than cradled— which causes many sleepers to feel like latex is firmer than memory foam. With that knowledge, we can assume stomach sleepers may be more comfortable on a latex mattress than a memory foam bed.
There are three types of latex mattresses: all-natural, synthetic, and blended. As their names suggest, all-natural latex mattresses are made with all-natural latex, synthetic latex mattresses feature synthetic latex, and blended latex mattresses contain a little bit of both. If you’re going to go the latex mattress route, we suggest choosing an all-natural bed. Synthetic, and even blended, latex mattresses contain several different chemicals and often break down quickly.
Hybrid mattresses combine foam layers and innerspring coils to offer sleepers both cushion and bounce. We recommend hybrid mattresses to sleepers who need the pressure and pain relief of foam layers but still want a bouncy mattress. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses often offer the best edge support, too.
The only downfall to hybrid mattresses is their price tag— these beds tend to be rather pricey because they combine various high-quality materials in one bed. We should mention budget-friendly hybrids do exist, they’re just not typically the best quality.
Innerspring mattresses are as old as the mattress industry itself. These beds feature innerspring coils and no foam layers, they’re bouncier than almost any other type of mattress. Though innerspring mattresses don’t feature foam layers, they do offer some comfort. Many innersprings have softer material sewn in directly below the cover of the mattress, or, they feature pillow tops. Both innerspring and pillow-top mattresses have poor lifespans because their coil systems tend to break down and lose support faster than foam layers, and the cushioning layers in pillow-top mattresses are so thin they flatten out after only a few years.
Avoiding Soft Mattresses
Many sleepers love the feel of soft mattresses because they encourage a sense of sinking and cradle you within the bed. These cloud-like mattresses can help some sleepers get better rest; but unfortunately for stomach sleepers, soft beds are a nightmare, and sleeping on an ultra-soft mattress can result in back and spinal problems.
A too-soft bed could encourage heavier, bonier parts of your body, like your hips, to dip down deep into the mattress, creating an arch in your lower back. This can place a strain on your neck and back muscles, resulting in soreness and pain points.
If you use a thin pillow, as recommended for stomach sleepers, a soft mattress could allow your head to sink in, which could cause a sense of suffocation.
Some memory foam mattresses also can trap heat generated throughout the night, and, as you sleep on your stomach and put a great deal of your body’s mass into the mattress, the extra heat could cause your body temperature to rise quickly. That’s why many memory foam mattress companies incorporate cooling gels and other temperature-regulating technologies into their mattresses.
Other Steps to Take to Improve Your Sleep
Investing in a mattress that is designed to support your decision to sleep on your stomach is a smart place to begin. When you have the proper technology and back support, you may find that you can avoid stiffness when you awaken.
There are other steps you can take to ensure that your stomach sleeping is as healthy for your back as possible. Medical News Today suggests:
- Using a pillow under your hips. By propping your hips with a slim pillow, you can ensure that your lower back’s curve stays in place while you snooze. That pillow should be thin, so you don’t exaggerate the curve, but it can be more helpful than allowing your hips to lie flat.
- Use a flat pillow under your head. Puffy pillows can cause intense strain on your neck while you’re lying on your stomach. By using a flat pillow, you can encourage your neck to stay in a neutral position.
- Skip the pillow altogether. If you can, avoiding the use of a pillow under your head can be wise. Your neck will be in line with your back if you have no pillow under your head at all.
- Try sleeping face down. Rather than twisting your head to the side as you sleep, place a rolled-up towel under your forehead. Keep your mouth pointed down as you sleep.
You can also try training your body to accept a new sleeping position. A great way of doing this is to consider an adjustable bed. The best adjustable bed for this will allow you to lift your head and legs up, creating what is referred to as a zero-gravity position. A lot of mattress companies see the value an adjustable bed brings, and will even create bundles or packages which allow you to save more by buying their mattress with an adjustable bed. For example, Amerisleep’s AS2 can be bundled with an adjustable bed to get bigger savings.
Your Sleep and Your Health
Sleep is one of life’s necessities. It can also be one of life’s simple pleasures. When you awaken in the morning after a long and refreshing night of sleep, you might feel capable of doing almost anything you set your mind to. When you don’t sleep well, even small tasks can seem overwhelming.
Sleep is also very personal. What helps you to drop into sleep might not be right for someone else who needs to rest. That is why it’s so important for you to do your research about sleep needs, sleep health, and mattresses. We make that research easy. We have collected information about studies related to sleep and sleep health, and we have reviewed mattresses from all sorts of manufacturers, so you can make an informed choice. We encourage you to look through our articles and get informed before you buy.