Your mattress can make or break your quality of sleep. When buying a new bed, it’s critical to look for something compatible with your sleep needs; this is even more difficult when trying to find the best mattress for stomach sleepers. Medical professionals and sleep specialists agree sleeping on your stomach is one of the unhealthiest sleep positions, so it can be difficult to find a bed that is suited for stomach sleeping. In this article, we’ll be discussing exactly why stomach sleeping is bad for your spine, ways to change your sleep style, and, in case you can’t shake the habit, our recommended mattresses.
Research and Resources
In making this article, we:
- Researched twenty leading brands.
- Referenced dozens of review sites for the most comprehensive information.
- Spent over 17 hours writing and revising the article to deliver the most value-driven, accurate content possible.
The Amerisleep AS2 is our Editors’ Choice as the best mattress for stomach sleepers because it offers adequate support to foster your spine’s natural curvature and reduce your chances of experiencing chronic lower back pain. Plus, it comes with a 100-night sleep trial & a 20-year warranty.
Why It’s Time to Ditch Stomach Sleeping
If you sleep on your stomach, chances are it’s because you find it the most comfortable way to snooze. Now, we don’t want to be the bearers of bad news; however, stomach sleeping can lead to a myriad of problems later on down the road. In fact, chiropractor Dr. John Schubbe stated in a peer-reviewed article, “Sleeping on the stomach is the most stressful position for the back and neck. Patients may be advised by their doctors to avoid sleeping on the stomach if they have certain spine conditions, or following spine surgery.”
The most significant concern with stomach sleeping is the stress it puts on your spine. When you lay on your stomach, your center of gravity shifts to your torso, which can cause your stomach to sink downwards. When your midsection sinks into the mattress, it creates an unhealthy arch in your spine. Sleeping with an arch in your back puts unnecessary pressure on your spinal column and back muscles, and over time, this can lead to chronic lower back pain. Other symptoms of a strained spine include numbness and stiffness in your back muscles, as well as pressure points in your joints. Considering how many people suffer from frequent back pain, it’s best to avoid putting any extra stress on your spine.
Sleeping on your stomach can also result in disturbed sleep, even if you’re not conscious of it. When your body is sleeping in an unnatural or uncomfortable position, you’re likely to toss and turn— frequently shifting positions due to discomfort can prevent you from entering deep sleep cycles, or spending enough time in them, causing you not to get enough sleep.
To get the best, most restorative sleep, the Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend trying to break the habit of stomach sleeping. Though easier said than done, there are things you can do to transition to back or side sleeping. For starters, we recommend sleeping with a body pillow on either side of you to help you transition to side sleeping. Alternatively, you can try the tennis ball trick, which includes taping a tennis ball to your stomach. Having a tennis ball attached to your stomach can prevent you from rolling over into the supine position and help reinforce other sleep positions. If neither one of these options seems viable, we recommend investing in an adjustable bed.
Adjustable Beds Can Help You Sleep in a Healthier Position
Adjustable beds are helpful to use when trying to switch up your sleep style. These allow you to customize your head and foot articulation to find the most comfortable position for sleep. A big perk to using an adjustable base is that it allows you to sleep in the zero-gravity position, which has been regarded as one of the best ways to sleep. In this position, your feet are raised slightly above your head; this angle boosts your overall quality of sleep by allowing your body to relax, improving circulation, and relieving lower back pain.
In the next sections, we’ll be discussing the risks that come with long-term stomach sleeping.
The Risks of Stomach Sleeping
If you’ve been sleeping comfortably on your stomach for years, it may have never occurred to you that your sleeping position can lead to issues later on down the line. Chronic lower back pain, as we talked about, is one of the biggest ailments those who sleep on their stomachs face, but that’s not the only risk at hand. Sleeping on your stomach can result in poor posture, decreased muscle tone, weight gain, and daytime fatigue as the years go on. If your pain becomes severe enough, it can lead to repeated doctors visits and chiropractic appointments, which can add up, and subtract from your quality of life. To avoid the risks that come with stomach sleeping, make an active effort to change up your sleep style and buy the most compatible mattress for your sleep needs.
If You Need to Sleep on Your Stomach, Consider These Factors
Though stomach sleeping alone is unhealthy for your spine, your mattress can actually contribute to the aches and pains that stomach sleeping may cause. Before buying a new bed, there are a few critical things stomach sleepers need to consider to find the right mattress for their specific sleep needs, including the materials inside of the mattress, it’s firmness, and their own body type.
The trick to choosing the best mattress for stomach sleepers is finding the right balance of comfort and support. Stomach sleepers need a bed that will be supportive enough to hold their spine in a neutral position, but it also needs to be soft enough to reduce pressure on the rib cage and chest. The “best” mattress is going to be different for each person, as body type is the biggest factor in the perception of firmness. For example, a heavier sleeper is going to need a firmer mattress to attain the right balance of comfort and support. On the other hand, people that weigh anywhere between 130 to 230 pounds can likely achieve that balance on a softer bed. For the most part, an ideal firmness for a mattress for stomach sleepers is between 6-8 on a scale to 10, with 10 being the firmest.
Generally, the best type of mattress for stomach sleepers is memory foam because of its unmatched ability to relieve pressure. As we’ve mentioned a few times, pressure relief is critical for stomach sleepers to reduce the strain on their spine. Besides memory foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses are excellent for fostering a healthy spine, especially innerspring mattresses with a coil-on-coil design.
The Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
|Amerisleep AS2||$1,099||12"||100 Nights||20 Years||Memory Foam|
|Avocado Green||$1,399||11"||120 Nights||25 Years||Hybrid w/ Latex|
The Editors at Sleep Junkie recommend Amerisleep’s AS2 as the best mattress for stomach sleepers. We like this mattress because it is memory foam, meets our requirements for firmness, and includes a zoned support technology designed to alleviate aches and pains— something that stomach sleepers are at risk of experiencing. On their website, they mention their AS2 is their best bed for back pain, and Business Insider agrees— voting their AS2 the overall best mattress for back pain.
Let’s talk about how this mattress is designed and why it’s ideal for people who must sleep on their stomachs. To start, the top layer of this bed is 2 inches of Amerisleep’s Bio-Pur® foam. Bio-Pur® is a plant-based memory foam that is more responsive and breathable than traditional memory foam, so stomach sleepers are less likely to “sink” into this foam, due to it’s increased responsiveness. Because this layer is only 2 inches thick, it provides just enough contouring stomach sleepers need to reduce tension.
Below the layer of Bio-Pur® is Amerisleep’s HIVE® technology, a zoned support layer. HIVE® includes five distinct comfort and support zones strategically placed to maintain a healthy spine while you sleep. In your feet, torso, and neck, the zones are firmer to offer more support and prevent sinking; however, in your shoulders and hips, this foam is softer, easing pressure points. This technology is essential in helping you get healthy sleep because it helps maintain natural sleep positions, which reduces your chances of waking up in the morning plagued with aches and pains.
The last layer of this bed is Bio-Core® foam, a sturdy poly-foam in place to support the layers and sleeper above. This is important for stomach sleepers because it helps prevent the above layers from sinking too far in the mattress, which can create an arch in your spine.
We are fans of the Amerisleep brand because they sell their top-rated mattresses at a competitive price, with a Queen AS2 costing only $1,099. Plus, that prices comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 20-year warranty. Because they offer a sleep trial, you can buy the bed and try it in your home to see if it works for you. If you decide against it, Amerisleep will pick it up for free and issue you a full refund, which makes shopping with them virtually risk-free. If it’s time to upgrade your mattress, we encourage you to consider the Amerisleep brand.
Other Recommended Beds for Stomach Sleepers
Though memory foam is our recommended mattress type for stomach sleepers, not everybody is fond of how memory foam feels. If you prefer a bouncier bed, a latex, hybrid, or innerspring mattress is probably more up your alley.
The WinkBed was an easy addition to our list due to its coil-on-coil design and LumbarLayer™ technology. The first layer of this bed features 2 inches of contouring gel foam that cradles your body and relieves pressure points. Next, is the first layer of coils; this micro-coil layer gives the mattress it’s bouncy feel and helps suspend the sleeper “on” the bed, instead of allowing you to sink in.
Below the layer of micro-coils lies WinkBeds’ proprietary LumbarLayer™ technology; a layer of foam with support gel infused in the center of it. The increased firmness in the torso area of this layer should prevent your hips from sinking and lower back from arching. Next is a layer of 8-inch pocketed coils. Similar to HIVE® technology, this pocketed-coil layer contains comfort and support zones, in place to offer proper support to your spine and joints. WinkBeds refers to this zoned layer as their 3-Step Back-Relief System™, as it’s geared towards eliminating chronic back pain. The inclusion of this technology, in addition to their LumbarLayer™, makes them an excellent choice for stomach sleepers.
WinkBeds is one of the best brands to shop with because they offer free shipping, a 120-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty. They sell their WinkBed mattress in a variety of firmness levels, but we recommend choosing their “Firmer” option, which costs $1,599 for a Queen.
We like the Avocado Green mattress not only because it’s one of the top-rated hybrids on the market, but because it’s also an eco-friendly mattress. The Avocado Green mattress features 100% natural Dunlop latex, 100% GOTS Organic certified wool & cotton, and a pocketed coil system made with recycled steel.
The design of this mattress is relatively simple; the top layer is 2 inches of latex, followed by an 8-inch pocketed coil layer. Latex differs from memory foam in how it responds to weight; while memory foam cradles your body, latex offers a more lifting feeling, which helps maintain the natural curvature of your spine. The pocketed coil system in this bed also contains zoned support, so like the WinkBed above, this layer offers targeted spinal support and pressure relief for your joints.
A Queen-size Avocado Green mattress costs $1,399 and comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 25-year warranty. Like Amerisleep, Avocado also frequently runs promotions on their mattresses; sometimes these promotions include free accessory items such as pillows. To get the best deal, keep tabs on their website and wait for a sale to purchase.
Did You Find Your Next Bed?
If you’ve long identified as a stomach sleeper, it may be time to start making efforts towards changing your sleep style to prevent health issues later on down the road. Though stomach sleeping may be comfortable, or your preferred way to sleep, it comes with its risks. If you must sleep on your stomach, take the proper measures to help reduce your chances of pain over the long-term, which includes buying the best mattress to nurture a healthy spine and ease pressure points. We hope this guide has helped break down the cons of stomach sleeping and pointed you in the direction of a better mattress to improve your night’s sleep.