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.
Top Picks For Stomach Sleepers
Why Brentwood Home Helena?
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.
- 100% organic cotton cover
- 50/50 Kapok fiber (100% organic and pesticide-free) and latex fill
- Queen size pillow is 19″ x 29″
- Zipper allows you to add or remove fill or to adjust to the perfect size and firmness for your needs
- Eco-institute Certified free of synthetic materials
- Made in USA, 1 Year Warranty
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.
- Filling: Proprietary shredded memory foam mix
- Cover: 43% Viscose from Bamboo, 56.4% Polyester and 0.6% Lycra
- Cover also made with Kool-Flow® breathable micro-vented material
- Manufactured with Biogreen® and Certipur-US certified foam
- Zippered removable outer cover to allow for adjustment of thickness and comfort
- Conforming shape orthopedically supports the neck for side, stomach, and back sleepers
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Sizes: Standard, King and Queen (customizations accepted)
- Fully machine washable
- Made in the USA
- 90-day sleep trial
- 20-year warranty
- Free customizations and free return shipping when you contact Relief-Mart directly
Why Iso-Cool Traditional?
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).
- 100% Machine Washable Cotton Cover
- 300-thread count 100% cotton cover with Outlast Adaptive Comfort material has microscopic phase change material (PCM) beads that absorb heat and feel cool, or releases heat and feel warm
- Visco-elastic memory foam filling in a plush design
- Traditional-shape measures 18″ x 24″ x 4″
- Made in the USA and Imported
- 5 Year Limited Warranty
- CERTIPUR-US Certified
- Endorsed by American Sleep Association (ASA)
The Tempur-Embrace from Tempur-Pedic is a K or X-shaped foam pillow that has a mix of shredded foam and a foam pad inside. While it has a 4.7″ profile, the foam inside is pretty soft and its shape makes it super comfortable for stomach sleepers to “embrace” and easily rest their head to the side.
The removable cover is also machine washable, soft and breathable. The pillow is designed – and will work- for most sleep positions but stomach sleepers will probably love the shape with its indents and cutouts that promote airflow and soft foam filling.
- Cover: 99% Polyester, 1% Elastane
- Filling: 69% Shredded Polyurethane Foam, 31% Polyurethane Foam Pad
- Medium-Soft overall feel
- Designed to be compatible with all sleep positions
- Removable/washable cover
- Unique design (an X-shape with rounded corners), features indentations in the sides to facilitate comfortable breathing and a better sleep climate
- 5-year limited warranty
- Return Policy: No returns allowed
- Care instructions: Machine wash in warm water and line dry (or dry clean)
- $99 (One size)
What Stomach Sleepers Should Look For
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:
- If choosing a foam-based pillow, look for ventilated holes in the filling and a breathable outer cover. Many come made with phase change materials that will help draw heat away from the body while you sleep at night.
- If your face is sensitive, look for a pillow that is hypoallergenic. Some pillow covers are also blended with bamboo (like the Snuggle-Pedic) or copper (like the Layla pillow) that have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
- If you are not big on texture, keep in mind that some pillows may have covers designed with a textured fabric that can be felt underneath a traditional pillow cover. Some also have cooling properties that make them feel cool to the touch. These can sometimes come through pillow covers as well, too.
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 (this guideline may vary on personal preference). Adjustable pillows might be your best bet since you can customize it to whatever feels good for you.
Featured image: Sylwia Ramach/Shutterstock