Do you sleep on your stomach most of the time?
Do you sometimes wake up with back pain, a sore neck, acid reflux, or assorted aches?
You're at the right place.
What's In This Guide
No, primarily, I sleep mostly on one of my sides. Until I learned to sleep on my side; instead, I slept on my stomach, which caused lower back pains. Many days, I woke up with a stiff back and sore shoulders.
Stomach sleepers often complain about However, because of symptoms. Because stomach sleeping is generally considered the worst sleeping posture, it has some benefits. Still, it can cause many issues – especially if you don't have the right pillows and mattresses.
Here, I discuss some common complaints and issues stomach sleeper experiences in bed and the best ways to solve many a wide range of options for solving issues, from buying products to making them yourself and giving good advice.
After discussing the issue and its solution, I review the best sleeping pills for stomach sleepers to help them sleep better and wake up without ache.
Common Problems Stomach Sleepers Face (With Proven Solutions)
Back Pain That Worsens At Night
Because I knew my sleep posture contributed to my backache, I tried changing my position when I went to bed.
Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure and stress on your spine, which causes back pain. It also stresses many other joints and muscles, making them feel tight and painful.
If you sleep on a mattress that's too soft or use a pillow that's too tall, you risk developing back pain.
If you want to avoid backache when sleeping on your stomach, use a low-loft mattress that properly keeps your spine and head aligned.
If you're looking for a good pillow for stomach sleepers, one of the best famous is the popular and affordable BlueWave Bedding Ultra Slim gel memory foam pillow.
A thin cushion placed under your stomach can also be helpful when dealing with lower back pain. The Bluewater Pillows are perfect for that.
You might also find that you're comfortable sleeping without any pillows.
Make sure you have a supportive mattress. A medium-firmer to firmer bed is best for stomach sleepers.
For most stomach sleepers, we suggest the Saatva Classic mattress. It has a good balance between firmness and softness, which makes it ideal for stomach sleepers.
You could alternatively buy a supportive mattress topper.
Neck & Shoulder Pain
As you sleep on your back, your neck and shoulder joints are not strained by turning your body from side to side. Therefore, your neck and shoulder tendons become tight and painful when you sleep on your belly.
Chronic or severe lower back or leg pains may occur after years of sitting at a desk.
Your pillows may be the cause of your headaches. They're probably too thick, causing your neck to bend up.
Replace your pillows with a low-lofty stomach sleeping cushion like the Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam pillow. If you prefer softness, we suggest the Continental Bedding Goose Down Pillows.
If that doesn't help, try sleeping without a bed sheet and see if the pain disappears.
Sore/Aching Shoulders, Ribs, And Hips
A firmer mattress may help people who suffer from insomnia, but a softer one might be better for them. Because it has no give, it presses down on the areas of your skin in direct physical touch with the mattress. It's like sleeping on a hard floor.
If your mattress is not soft enough, you'll feel the effect in your shoulder, ribcage, and hip joints – the contact points where you rest your body during sleep.
If you think your bed is too hard, a good way to solve the problem is to buy a thin mattress pad. It adds enough soft padding to relieve pressure without becoming too soft, so it doesn't mess up your posture.
We recommend the COONP Down Alternative Mattresses Pad to soften a too-stiff bed.
Higher Risk Of Long Term Health Problems
If you don't take action to address the pain you feel when sleeping on your stomach, you may develop serious health issues.
Chronic pain lasts for months or even more than one year. It can affect different parts of your body, including your shoulders, back, and other regions.
Constant stress and strain on joints, muscles, and nerves eventually lead to inflammation and injury, which leads to chronic pain.
Chronic pain causes insomnia, which makes chronic pain worse.
If you sleep on your stomach for too long, you may develop nerve pain.
If nerves are pinched or pressed for a long time, they may eventually become damaged. Typically, nerve damages start out with mild symptoms like numbness in your toes and fingers.
However, it can eventually lead to serious pain in various body parts.
Another health risk for stomach sleepers is a herniated disk, usually in your neck. This is called a cervical herniated disk. It can cause pain and numbness in your neck and arms.
Sleeping on your stomach puts you at greater risk of developing a herniated disk.
It was good that I finally switched to sleep on the side.
Sleeping in different positions can help you avoid or reduce these problems.
It may take some time to adjust to sleeping in another position. If you want to learn to sleep on your side, use a body pillow like the Snuggle-Pedi full-body cushion to help you practice sleeping on your side.
Drooling In Your Sleep
It's not as serious as the other two, but it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Gravity makes you more likely to drool into your pillow when you're sleeping on your stomach.
This makes your pillow wet, smoky, and dirty. Certain pillows like memory foam and latex may be less durable if exposed to liquids.
If you drool in your sleep, use a waterproof pillow protector like SureGuard Pillow Protector to prevent bed sores.
Sleeping On Your Stomach Can Age Your Face
Because it happens gradually, it may not seem like it affects your skin immediately, but it can eventually lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your neck and shoulders, which can cause pain. Also, sleeping on your stomach means that one side of your face is always pressed against the pillow, causing discomfort.
The first thing to consider when choosing a pillowcase is whether it has any kind of material that could irritate your skin. If so, then look for one made from natural fibers instead.
Acne can be triggered by friction on the face. There's a specific kind of acne called “acne mechanical,” which is caused by friction on the face.
The second problem is that the pillowcase sucks up natural oils and moisture from the skin, making your skin dry and prone to breakouts.
The best way to solve these problems is by getting a silk or satin pillowcase. We recommend the Ravmix 100% mulberry silk pillowcase.
These silk pillowcases are expensive, but they're worth every penny. They're soft against your skin and hair and won't scratch them.
It's Almost Impossible to Sleep On Your Stomach During Pregnancy
Sleeping on your back when pregnant is not dangerous. You won't squash the baby.
However, it is quite difficult to do it during the first trimester. It becomes almost impossible once your belly starts growing.
You'll first require a special stomach sleeper maternity pillow to sleep comfortably on your stomach. We recommend the Cozy Bump Pregnant Pillow.
Top 10 Products For People Who Sleep On Their Stomach
1. Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers: Saatva Classic Mattress
The Saatva classic mattress has two layers of coils, which guarantee adequate support for stomach sleepers.
- There are multiple firmnesses available for you to choose from.
- Dual coil construction offers excellent support
- A plush pillow top for pressure relieving
- Sleeps cool
- A long trial period and lifetime warranty
- It can be too firm even for some stomach sleepers
We frequently suggest the Saatva Classic mattress in our sleep guide because it has great support, a soft pillow top, and doesn't heat up.
It is a particularly good mattress for stomach sleepers because it is usually firmer and provides more support than most mattresses.
It has a dual coil design.
The main part of the mattress consists of 2 layers of spring coils. The top layer has pockets for supporting and contouring your body.
This layer is firmer in the middle to support your hips and backs. This eliminates a common problem for belly sleepers who sink lower in the middle of their bodies, causing them to suffer from back ache.
The other set of coil springs provides sturdy support and keeps the mattress in periods of time – no wonder the Saatva Classic has a lifetime year warranty.
To relieve pressure, the Saatva classic mattresses feature a 3″ pillow top with a zonal design that boosts support in its central zone.
The second layer of memory foam adds extra cushioning.
The Saatva classic also has an active lumbar zone wire feature that helps improve spinal alignments.
According to user reviews, Saatva mattresses are generally soft, so they're ideal for stomach sleepers who prefer softer beds.
For people who weigh less than 130 lbs, we recommend the soft; for those who weigh between 130 and 230 lbs, we recommend the luxuriously firm; and for those who weigh over 230 lbs, we recommend the firm.
Don't worry about choosing the wrong firmness. If you're unhappy with the first one, you can always get another one for free.
You have 365 days to test the mattress at your own house. If you choose to buy it, you'll get a lifetime warranty.
By the way, shipping is free, and they'll even set up the mattress and remove the old one if you'd prefer.
Issues & Limitations
Make sure you pick the right firmness level. Many stomach sleepers who tried the luxury firm (supposedly medium firm) found it too firm.
Most people don't want to go through the hassle of buying stocks. Follow our recommended weights above.
2. Best Mattress For Heavy Stomach Sleepers: Big Fig Mattress
If you're looking for a good night's rest, then the Saatva Classic Mattresses may be right. However, consider the Big Fig mattresses if you want a long-lasting bed.
The Big Fig mattress is especially good for people heavier than 300 pounds and couples who share the same bed.
- Designed for heavy sleepers
- No sag support
- Sleeps cool
- Free shipping & 20-year warranty
- It's heavy – you might need help setting it up
The Big Fig bed is designed for large-sized people who need extra support. It combines heavy-duty foam layers with coils.
This allows the Big Fig mattress to support up to 1,100lbs (550lbs per user) of weight for years without sagging.
The Big Fig mattress begins with four layers of foams: a perforated, and infused latex layer, then three layers of high-density polyfoams.
The layers of padding keep you from sinking too deeply into the mattress.
Underneath the mattress is coil springs that give the bed its shape and keep it from sagging.
A bed frame made from steel tubes supports the mattress and keeps it stable.
Plus-size sleepers tend to sleep hotter than average, so the Big Fig mattresses use two ways to keep them comfy.
The cover has been treated with ThermoGels, which make the cover feel cool to the touch.
The first layer of memory foam is made from perforated latex foam instead of polyurethane foam. Perforate latex foam has excellent breathable properties and cooling performance. It helps keep you cool throughout the night by keeping you warm during the day.
The Big Fig mattress is shipped free to the continental United States, comes with a 120-day trial period, and has a 20-years warranty.
Issues & Limitations
As expected, the big fig mattress is really heavy. You will be tired of carrying it into your room and setting it up on your bed!
If you're living alone, you might consider having someone help you buy a new mattress. You can also get a free white glove mattress setup from Big Fig if you order online.
3. Best Mattress Topper For Stomach Sleepers: PlushBeds 100% Natural Latex Topper
A good quality topper for your mattress is the best thing you can do to improve its firmness. The PlushBed 100% natural latex mattress topper comes in five firmness settings, so you can pick the level that best suits your needs.
You can even use a topper to make your bed softer if it seems too hard.
- Natural latex – healthy & eco-friendly
- Adds support to a soft mattress
- Five firmness levels and two thickness options
- Sleeps cool
Latex mattresses offer good support but don't compromise comfort. They're usually not too soft for back sleepers.
PlushBed's natural rubber topper is the best method to make your mattress comfier for stomach sleeping.
You need to select the correct hardness level from the five choices available. Think about your weight and which type of mattress you prefer.
Most stomach sleepers prefer a medium firmness bed because they feel comfortable when lying down but still get enough support from their mattresses.
If your bed is too soft and you need more support, go for the luxury firmer or firmer topper. The firmer option is best for people who need more support and/or are heavier sleepers.
If your bed becomes too warm, then the PlushBeds latex mattress topper is a good option. It's made from natural latex, which is naturally cool and breathable.
The PlushBed mattress ships for free and includes a five-year warranty.
Issues & Limitations
Compared to the PlushBeds Topper, the AmazonBasics Firm Alternative Latex Foams Topper is cheaper. However, if you're on a tight budget, consider using the AmazonBasics Firm Latex Foams Toppers instead.
It has the firm backing of natural rubber but at a lower cost.
4. Best Mattress Pad For Stomach Sleepers: COONP Down Alternative Mattress Pad
A thin mattress pad is usually better than a thicker topper for stomach sleepers who find their mattress too firm. It adds just the right amount of pressure relief without affecting the mattress's support.
The COONP down alternative mattress pad is plush enough to relieve pressure points but not too soft that it causes back pain.
- Great for making a firm mattress softer.
- Maintains mattress support
- Deep pocket that can fit extra-tall mattresses
- Soft & breathable cotton fabric
- Machine washable
- Hot sleepers may find it uncomfortable
The COONP bedding set includes a 400-count cotton cover with down alternative fillings inside. It's a thick pad that covers your entire bed.
Unlike a 2 or three-inch bedding product, the COONP bedding product softens your bedding just a touch. So stomach sleepers still get the firm support they need, but now with softer padding to help them feel better.
The COONP bedding system uses an elastic deep pocket that securely holds the bedding in place without needing additional fasteners. It works well on both thin and thick pillows and mattresses.
The COONP mattress pad is machine washable.
Issues & Limitations
COONP advertises this as a cooling mattress protector. The breathable fabric can indeed help keep a hot foam mattress cooler.
However, it might still be too warm for you if you're a hot sleeper. That's because the synthetic fillings used in these mattresses don't provide the same level of insulation as natural materials like down and sheepskin.
If you're looking for an ultra-soft mattress pad that cools down quickly, consider the Rose Goose Down and Feather Mattresstpad or the Sleep & Beyond Organic Merino Wool mattress pad.
They're expensive, but they're worth it.
5. Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers: Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow
The Bluewave bedding ultra slim pillows are perfect for sleeping on your stomach. Its flat pancake design ensures you keep your head aligned with your spine.
- Designed for stomach sleepers
- Helps prevent or reduce neck, shoulder, and back pains.
- Removable & washable cooling bamboo cover
- Additional sizes available
- Some users find it too firm
It measures 2.75 inches thick, which makes it thinner than most pillows at its thickness. It gives you the perfect height for your neck.
The UltraSlim Pillow can help maintain proper posture by keeping your spine aligned.
The Bluewave bedding pillow has a memory foam core, which provides pressure relief for your body.
It has ventilation holes so air can pass through. The bamboo and polyester pillowcases help with both cooling and moisture wicking. You can remove it, but the machine washes the covers.
If the 2.75 “pillows aren't the right size for you, there are two other options available from BlueWave Bedding. There's a Hyper Slim option that's 2.25 inches high. It's ideal for stomach sleepers with a smaller body frame.
There's also the Super Slim version that is 3.25 inches high. It's ideal for larger stomach sleepers.
Issues & Limitations
Some stomach sleepers found the Bluewave Bedding UltraSlim pillows to be a bit too hard for their liking.
It won't let your head fall onto the pillow and may cause some discomfort if you're already experiencing any kind of pain in your back.
If you want a softer pillow, consider the Continental Bedding Goose Down pillow, which we review next!
6. Best Soft Pillow For Stomach Sleepers: Continental Bedding Premium White Goose Down Pillow
A down or down alternative (microfiber) pillows are the best choice for people who want a soft, fluffy bedding option.
The Continental Beddings goose-down pillow is slightly more expensive than a regular pillow, but that's mainly because it contains real down, which feels more luxuriously soft and cools off better.
- Excellent pressure relief
- Relieves neck and shoulder pain
- Sleeps cool
- Breathable cotton pillowcase
- Machine washable
- Pricey compared to a down alternative pillow
The Continental Beddings goose-down pillows may seem too thick for stomach sleeping. When you lie down on it, it flattens to a smaller size that supports your back at the perfect height.
It's soft and especially comfy for people who have neck or shoulder pain
It's made from 100% natural goose feathers. It has no feathers, so there's nothing to be worried about when using it.
A natural down pillow has an added benefit: It keeps you cooler at night. If you're prone to heat sensitivity or if you experience night sweats, then the Continental Bedding Pillows are a good choice.
The 400-count Egyptian cotton cover keeps you cool.
You can machine wash the entire pillow, but you must be careful not to damage it. Read the cleaning instruction before putting it into the washing machine.
Issues & Limitations
The Continental Beddings goose-down pillow is pricier than an equivalent down pillow. If you're on a tight budget, consider using a fiber-fill pillow instead.
It might be a bit warm at first, but it'll still be as soft and comfortable as a natural down pillow.
7. Best Waterproof Pillow Protector: SureGuard Pillow Protectors
If you wake up feeling damp because you've been drooling onto your bedding, use the SureGuard Pillowsafe Pillowedeck protector.
It's water resistant and will keep your pillow protected from saliva, sweat, etc.
- 100% waterproof
- Soft cotton terry fabric
- Available for all pillow sizes
- Protects against bedbugs and allergens
- The waterproof lining keeps your pillow from flattening
SureGuard Pillow Protectors aren't just good for protecting your pillows from drooling. It's also great if you sweat a lot.
The pillow protectors have a waterproof lining on the interior, preventing liquids from seeping through. It means no stains or funky odors on your pillow.
The pillow protector is washable, so it's easy to keep it fresh.
The surface of the cushion cover is made from a cotton terry fabric. It feels soft against your skin.
This package contains two zippered pillows protectors. You can pick from a standard, queen, or kingsize bed. You can also get a large pillow protector for your body pillow.
Issues & Limitations
Using the SureGuard Pillow protector has an unintended side effect: It prevents your pillow from falling down when you lay on it.
Because the waterproof liner keeps out water, it prevents air from escaping. If your pillow stays too soft, it may cause you to sleep poorly.
Users recommend not zippering the protector up. Make sure there is enough space for air to escape.
8. Best Silk Pillowcase: Ravmix 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
The Ravmix Mulberriesilk pillowcases are gentle on your hair and don't absorb any oil or moisture from your hair.
- Super smooth on your skin – minimal friction
- Doesn't pull on the hair
- Maintains skin moisture
- 100% Natural
- Costs more than other types of pillowcases
Unlike cotton, polyester, and other fabrics, silk feels good against your body and hair. Sleeping on the Rav Mulberry silk pillowcase is gentle on your body and hair.
If you don't want wrinkled and creased skin from sleeping with your face pressed against the pillow, then use a silk pillowcase instead. It won't tug at your hair, either.
One advantage of using the RavMix Mulberry pillowcases is that they don't absorb any natural oil from your body or the moisturizer you apply before going to sleep.
Another benefit is that they're cooler than regular cotton pillowcases. If you're a hot sleeper, you'll enjoy the soothing feeling of sleeping on the Ravmix silky pillowcase.
The Ravmix pillowcases come in standard, king, and queen-size options. They're available in over twelve different colors.
Issues & Limitations
One major drawback of the Ravmix mulberry pillowcases is their high price. It's a natural material so it'll be more expensive than other pillowcases.
A satin pillowcase is a cheaper alternative that's also good for your skin. It's cheaper because it's synthetic.
9. Best Pillow For Side Sleeping Training: Snuggle-Pedic Full Body Pillow
The best solution to all stomach sleepers' problems is training yourself to sleep in another position, preferably on your side.
We recommend using the Snuggle-Pedic full-body pillow to train your body to sleep on the side.
- Helps you sleep on your side
- Provides full body support
- Soft shredded memory foam filling
- Cool bamboo cover
- It's big and heavy – makes it tedious to switch sleeping positions to your other side.
The Snuggle-pedic body pillow is designed for people who need extra support when sleeping on their sides. It helps keep them comfortable by extending the entire body and supporting the neck, shoulder, arm, hip, back, and knee.
It's also an excellent bedtime sleeper for anyone who wants to switch from stomach to side lying.
You can put the pillow under your head when you sleep on your side. It has a soft, shredded memory foam filling so you can easily move it to support you where ever you need it.
The pillow helps keep you from rolling over onto one side when you're asleep. Over a few weeks, you'll get used to it.
When you change from using a traditional pillow to one designed for side sleepers, you'll want to get a new thicker pillow. We suggest the Coop Home Goods original loft pillow.
The Snuggle-pedic body pillow has a bamboo fabric that allows air to flow through it. It's completely machine washable.
Issues & Limitations
The Snuggle-Pedi body pillow is large and bulky. This problem is when you need to roll over onto the other side.
Either you have to climb over it, or you have to crawl under it. Both are tedious tasks.
10. Best Pregnancy Pillow For Stomach Sleeping: Cozy Bump Pregnancy Pillow
Most pregnancy pillows only allow for side or back sleeping. The Cozy Bump pregnancy pillow is one of the few that allows pregnant mothers to sleep on their stomachs.
It is a full-body pillow with support for your legs, belly, breasts, and head.
- It makes the stomach sleep comfortably during pregnancy
- Full body support
- Adjustable belly hole
- Adjustable firmness
- Relieves back pressure and pain
- Takes time to get used to it
- It doesn't come with an air pump
It's different from most pregnancy pillows because it's an inflatable pillow rather than foam or fiber-filled pillow.
Two, you place it against your body instead of lying on it.
The Cozy Bum is inflatable stomach support designed to help flatten your tummy. You can use it by inflating it using the included valve.
This lets you keep using the pillow even in the third trimester.
There's also a hole designed to support your breasts, so they don't get squished. However, some bigger-breasted ladies say it's too small for their needs.
The lower part of the pillow where your feet rest is slanted so that it takes the pressure off your back.
The Cozy Bumps pillow has an inflatable head section that acts as a cushion for your neck. You can also use your regular pillows.
You can adjust the airflow through the pillow by changing the size of the holes in the cover.
One of the benefits of the Cozy Bumpy Pregnant Pillow is that it helps relieve pressure from your back.
By sleeping on your stomach, gravity pulls the baby's weight downwards and away from your back. For even more relief, place the included sheet over the belly hole. It acts as a hammock to hold your belly.
If you're a side sleeper, you may consider using the Cozy Bump Pregnancy Pillows for occasional back pain relief. Put it near the bed so you can reach for it easily when the pain becomes unbearable.
Issues & Limitations
It has an adjustable belly hole so you can adjust the pillow's position for maximum comfort. It doesn't take into consideration the different sizes of women.
You may discover that your breasts don't line up with the bra cup sections or that your legs aren't comfortable when sitting on the slope.
One problem is that getting used to the CozyBump pillows takes some time. You need to adjust the hole sizes and firmness levels to make them comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sleep on my stomach?
Doctors and experts agree that sleeping on your is worst for your health.
That's why it puts so much stress on your back, spine, and other body parts.
Stomach sleeping isn't good for anything except relieving sleep apnoea symptoms, snoring, or acid reflux. However, you can enjoy the same health benefit by sleeping on your side instead of on your back.
Which mattress firmness is best suited for stomach sleepers?
A firm bed is best for stomach sleepers who suffer from back pain because they require extra support to keep their spine aligned. Depending on your body weight, this can be a medium-firm, firm or extra-firm mattress.
Do stomach sleepers need a pillow?
It depends on your body type. For some people, especially those who are thin, lying down without a pillow may be more comfortable than using one.
If you want a good night's sleep, look for a thin cushion that keeps your head aligned with your spine.
How do I stop sleeping on my stomach?
To get rid of sleep on your stomach, make sure your bed is comfortable for the new posture.
You'll need a medium-firm mattress to get comfortable when lying down on your back. For a side sleeper, a medium or soft one is best.
Instead of buying a new mattress, you can use mattress toppers or pads to change the firmness of your current one.
If you wake up during the night and roll onto your belly, get a long body cushion and put it under your hips. You'll be able to stay awake longer.
Are memory foam mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
Yes, there are lots of good quality mattresses for stomach sleepers. However, the most important factor is to get a firm mattress that provides adequate back and neck support.
The best mattress for back pain has other materials like high-density polyfoams or coils to offer additional support.
Are body pillows good for stomach sleepers?
Other than the doughnut-shaped stomach sleeping pregnancy pillows, we've yet to find a regular body pillow for stomach sleepers.
Most body pillow designs are meant for people who sleep on their sides.
If you're a stomach sleeper, then a regular pillow is fine. However, if you want extra support, you may need to add an additional pillow underneath your stomach or pelvium.
How can I sleep on my stomach without hurting my neck?
Use low pillows that keep your head and spine aligned with your body. Sleeping without any pillows may also help prevent back pain.
How do I prevent back pain when sleeping on my stomach?
Ensure your mattress has sufficient lumbar support, so your midsection doesn't sink into the bed. If your midsection does sink into the bed, you may consider purchasing a firmer bed or firm bed toppers.
If your mattress feels comfortable, place a thin pillow under your belly or pelvis.
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