Best Pillows For Stomach Sleepers

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Stomach sleepers may be harder to find than one might think. In fact, only about 7% of the adult 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 the back to find a neutral spinal alignment and it’s rough on the neck as well. However, there is one positive: it helps with snoring!

We’ve put together our four best pillows for stomach sleepers and dedicate it to those who are committed to sleeping on their stomachs. Keep scrolling and find more information on what exactly stomach sleepers should be looking for in their next pillow; plus we address some commonly asked questions.

Easily Adjustable
Sleepgram
Sleepgram
Sleepgram

Sleepgram's "pillows-in-a-pillow" design means stomach sleepers can use any combination of the three polyester filled pillows. For the best prices on this comfortable pillow, click the CHECK PRICE button!

Doesn't expire

Shredded Foam
Snuggle-Pedic
Snuggle-Pedic
Snuggle-Pedic

The heart of this shredded foam pillow is a core filled with small chunks of diverse proprietary memory foam. The best prices can be found with just the click of a button (to the right!).

Doesn't expire

Solid Cooling Foam
ISO-COOL Traditional
ISO-COOL Traditional
ISO-COOL Traditional

The ISO-COOL Traditional-shaped bed pillow features a plush and flat solid foam core - it's truly perfect for those who love that contouring feel of foam. Check out the best deals with a click of the CHECK PRICE button!

Doesn't expire

Hypoallergenic
Five Star Down Alternative
Five Star Down Alternative
Five Star Down Alternative

Five Star Down Alternative offers a simple polyester microfiber fill and a soft cotton cover with a satin design. Check out the best prices on this pillow by clicking the CHECK PRICE button!

Doesn't expire

 

Pillow Details: A Closer Look

Here’s a breakdown of each pillow on our list with even more details and information.

Easily Adjustable

Sleepgram

Sleepgram’s innovative design can make it a great fit for stomach sleepers who prefer the feel of a down or down alternative pillow. The pillow features a 100% cotton outer cover and two inserts, each of which is filled with levels of polyester microfibers in a range of firmnesses. Stomach sleepers can remove or combine inserts and the outer cover to find the right firmness and loft combinations.

While sleepers are not able to access the actual filling, that means there’s no mess to deal with and the whole pillow can be easily machine washable and dryer friendly. Based on my experience, stomach sleepers will want to take at least one or two inserts out.

Expect to find the pillow at a variety of retailers and pay around $50-$55 for Standard/Queen, $65-$70 for King; it should come with a 100-night trial depending on where it is purchased.

Pillow Details:

  • Three-in-one pillow design: outer pillow unzips and two additional pillows with different levels of filling are inside for a total of three individual pillows
  • Two sizes available: Standard/Queen and King (Both have a 2” gusset)
  • 100% cotton cover percale weave
  • Polyester microfiber fill (mimics down)
  • Allergen-resistant
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly
  • Adjustable
  • Comes with a 100-night trial
  • Price: $50 for Standard/Queen, $65 for King

Check out our full review of the Sleepgram pillow.

Shredded Foam

Snuggle-Pedic

The full official name of this pillow on the brand’s website is the “Snuggle-Pedic Ultra Luxury Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow” and since that’s a mouthful, we’re going to keep calling this pillow the Snuggle-Pedic!

The Snuggle-Pedic is filled with a proprietary shredded memory foam mix. It is also an adjustable pillow, which means sleepers 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. Sleepers can truly remove enough of the foam to still have support but won’t experience large chunks of foam pressing unevenly against the sides of their faces.

The pillow also has a really nice soft breathable cover that has Kool-Flow micro-ventilation to enhance breathability – it’s also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.

The price varies by retailer but customers can expect to pay around $50 for a Standard, $60 for a Queen and $80 for King. Please note at full price, they’re over $100 (but often on sale). 

Pillow Details:

  • Filling: Proprietary shredded memory foam mix
  • Cover: 43% Viscose from Bamboo, 56.4% Polyester and 0.6% Lycra
  • The cover also made with a 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 and a 20-year warranty

Read the complete Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam pillow review.

Solid Cooling Foam

ISO-COOL Traditional

This thinner, softer memory foam pillow is my go-to pick when it comes to suggesting a solid foam pillow for stomach sleepers. The Iso-Cool Traditional pillow is designed with coolness and gentle support in mind and could be a good fit for stomach sleepers who are looking to change it up from a down or down alternative pillow.

It’s a fairly straightforward pillow – it’s thin, has a solid core of plush memory foam and a thin cover that’s 100% cotton with a layer of Phase Change Material inside to help regulate body temperature.

Sleepers can locate it at a variety of retailers and can expect to pay around $40-50 for a Standard size. There’s no clear answer on the trial period offerings, so make sure to check out those return policies.

Pillow Details:

  • 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 release heat and feel warm
  • Visco-elastic memory foam filling in a plush design
  • Traditional shape measures 18″ x 24″
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Endorsed by American Sleep Association (ASA)

Check out our complete Iso-Cool review

Hypoallergenic

Five Star Down Alternative

The Five Star Down Alternative Pillow has a crisp cotton outer cover and is filled with soft polyester filling. It falls lower on the firmness and support scale, which is why it’s a great option for stomach sleepers over other sleep positions.

The outside is a lovely 100% cotton damask fabric cover with satin piping to give it a pleasant overall look. Inside the pillow are polyester fibers that are designed to elicit the feel of soft down, but it won’t separate and can’t be bunched together in the way that a down pillow could.

Besides being incredibly comfortable, it’s super affordable at $30, plus it’s easy to find online and it’s hypoallergenic for all the sensitive folks out there.

Pillow Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, Queen, King, and Euro Size
  • Cover: 100% cotton – called Damask fabric with satin piping
  • Fill: 100% polyester fibers (down-like filling)
  • 300 thread count
  • 2.9 lbs (Standard size)
  • 1.5″ gusset for maximum loft
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Machine Wash on a cool setting
  • Made by Mastertex

Read my in-depth review of the Five Star Down Alternative pillow.

Marten’s Take

At Mattress Clarity we’re not a big fan of saying that there is only one pillow or one mattress that will work for everyone – it’s just not possible! One of the best ways to figure out what is going to be a good fit personally is to take body type and shape into consideration. I am 5’7” and about a medium-weight and, in an effort to help as many people as possible; I asked Marten, who is 6’7” and weighs 250 lbs, to offer his opinion and share his personal experience with these specific pillows and help determine which would be best for heavier sleepers.

best pillows stomach sleepers 2020 marten's take for best pillow

Out of the four Katie picked, two really stood out to me. Here are my favorites:

ISO-COOL Traditional Pillow: This pillow is a great match for me because, although it’s solid foam, it’s flat enough that it feels comfortable when I’m on my stomach but still supportive enough so my head doesn’t fall all the way through the pillow. I also like how cool it feels against the side of my face.

Snuggle-Pedic: I’m a big fan of this pillow because I like that the foam pieces give a little bit of a fluffier feel to the pillow. When I’m on my stomach the chunks compress enough so I’m not feeling my head being pushed off the mattress in an uncomfortable manner.

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 the 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; this ensures the spine stays aligned while snoozing.

In addition to choosing a flatter pillow, sleep professionals also recommend adding a second pillow to the mix – but leaving it under the stomach or pelvis.

“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 that placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment.

Back pain when sleeping on your stomach

Keep in mind that when stomach sleeping, one’s face will be turned to the side and pressed against the pillow. Stomach sleepers, in particular, will want to think carefully about not only the filling and firmness of their pillows but the type of pillow cover as well. Here are some suggestions:

good pillow qualities

  • 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 sleeping at night.
  • If an individual’s 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.
  • For those who 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.

Overall

best size for stomach pillowIn general, sleep professionals don’t recommend stomach sleeping because of the strain it can put on the back and the neck. That being said, if it’s what feels right, it’s worth picking a pillow that creates the most even spinal alignment possible.

Sleepers 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 the best bet since sleepers can customize it to whatever feels good for them.

FAQs

What type of pillow is best for stomach sleepers?

I’ll say it over and over again – the flatter and the softer the pillow, the better it will be for stomach sleepers. This pillow needs to support the head while providing the least amount of added strain to the neck.

Are down pillows good for stomach sleepers?

A soft and fluffy down pillow could be a good option for stomach sleepers who don’t have allergies and love that luxurious feel that down provides. Keep in mind that other pillow fillings will work as well – the main factor to consider is how much filling is inside the pillow and how much support it provides – the softer and the flatter, the easier it will be on a stomach sleeper’s neck.

Where do you put a pillow when sleeping on your stomach?

Experts believe that stomach sleepers should place a flat pillow under the head for support – and then in order to help alleviate strain on the lower back – the sleeper can place another flat pillow under the pelvis to give it a more neutral position.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.
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