Stomach sleepers may be harder to find than you think. In fact, only about seven percent of the population sleep on their stomachs, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
The rough news is that health professionals do not recommend stomach sleeping because it makes it difficult for your back to find a neutral spinal alignment and it’s rough on your neck. But there is one positive: it helps with snoring!
For those who are committed to sleeping on their stomachs, we’ve put together our top picks for you, as well as more information below on what exactly stomach sleepers should be looking for in their next pillow.
Brentwood Home’s Helena pillow is a unique blend of natural latex ribbons and organic and pesticide-free Kapok fibers (see more HERE). The mix gives the pillow a soft feel – similar to a down alternative but with a little more support because of the latex ribbons.
There are two specific features that make it a good fit for stomach sleepers is that it’s an adjustable pillow and the filling is easy to manipulate within the pillow. Stomach sleepers can make the filling as thin as they’d like and make sure the layer is spread evenly within the pillow.
The Snuggle-Pedic is filled with a proprietary shredded memory foam mix (see more HERE). It is also an adjustable pillow, which means you can take out as many handfuls of the foam pieces as needed.
The nice thing about the Snuggle-Pedic – and why I would suggest it for stomach sleepers- is because the pieces of shredded foam tend to be smaller in size. You can truly remove enough of the foam to still have support but you won’t experience large chunks of foam pressing unevenly against your face.
The pillow also has a really nice soft breathable cover that has Kool-Flow micro-ventilation. It’s also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
The Iso-Cool pillow in the traditional shape could be a great option for some side sleepers who prefer a solid memory foam pillow. It has a 4″ profile, which may be a little bit higher than the recommended loft for stomach sleepers but the plush design means your head sinks in deeply, leaving it comfortable for your stomach.
The pillow also features really nice cooling material on the outer cotton cover. It’s hypoallergenic and made in the USA. The pillow is also endorsed by the American Sleep Association (ASA).
When it comes to picking a pillow that aids in stomach sleeping, the key is to avoid anything too thick that will add stress to your neck, experts say.
“Any pillow with high loft is going to push your neck back a little bit and give you neck pain or cause some discomfort in the lower back,” says Rocco Monto, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Nantucket, Mass to Health.com.
Monto recommends choosing a pillow that’s about three inches thick ensures your spine stays aligned while you snooze.
In addition to choosing a flatter pillow, sleep professionals also recommend adding a second pillow to the mix – but leaving it under your stomach.
“Sleeping on your stomach can create stress on the back because the spine can be put out of position”, say experts from the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. They suggest placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment.
Keep in mind that when you sleep on your stomach, your face will be turned to the side and pressed against the pillow. You will want to think carefully about not only the filling and firmness of your pillow but the type of pillow cover as well. Here are some suggestions:
In general, sleep professionals don’t recommend stomach sleeping because of the strain it can put on your back and your neck. That being said, if it’s what feels right to you, it’s worth picking a pillow that creates the most even spinal alignment possible.
You can do this by looking for a thinner or flatter pillow – preferably one with a profile no higher than three inches. Adjustable pillows might be your best bet since you can customize it to whatever feels good for you.
Featured image: Sylwia Ramach/Shutterstock
An active writer for Mattress Clarity, Katie is passionate about topics around health and wellness (and sleep!). Her interests include trying not to fall off her spin bike, cooking with her family and reading as much as possible.