Sleeping on the stomach is one of the most popular choices for men and women alike. As comfortable as sleeping on the stomach can be, it presents a few hazards that you should be aware of in order to prevent several annoying health issues and chronic pain that can last all day long.
Lying on the stomach can cause lower back pain, pinched nerves in the shoulders and neck, and daily pain that radiates all the way down to the buttocks and legs. Some of the health issues that beset stomach sleepers include heartburn and indigestion. It surprises some people to know that almost all of the problems caused by stomach sleeping can be alleviated by choosing the right pillow for stomach sleeper. Proper support can help prevent back pain, muscle cramps and nerve damage, and take the pressure off of the digestive system as you sleep.
The Top 5 Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
We have selected five of the top stomach sleeper pillows for you to consider. They will help you contentedly sleep the entire night without the need to constantly shift positions to maintain a comfortable position, and wake up feeling refreshed instead of in pain and tired. Stomach sleepers have different needs than that of a side or back sleeper. Stomach sleeper pillows have a different profile, while still offering the great support a back or side sleeper receive. We will list the pros and cons of each pillow below to help you make the best choice and get the sleep you need to live better and be more productive.
This pillow has many great features for stomach sleepers. Its inner core is memory foam, but instead of a solid slab of foam, the inner chamber of this pillow is filled with shredded foam. Shredded foam allows you to mold the pillow, shape it and twist it to fit your body any way you feel most comfortable while still getting the benefits of the springy support. Another advantage of this stomach sleeper pillow is that the case is made of eco-friendly, breathable, hypoallergenic bamboo fabric.
Both the bamboo cover and the memory foam interior of the Shredded Memory Foam Pillow are dust mite resistant and contain anti-bacterial and microbial attributes that make sleeping more comfortable and healthier. It is available in both queen and king sizes to match your needs. The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is a standard thickness, but the shredded foam allows you to position it at the perfect height for your comfort level. Other great features of the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow include:
- Made in the USA
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Stay cool fabric and superior air flow through the shredded memory foam core
While shredded memory foam cores can be lumpy at times and require extra fluffing to keep them comfortable, they offer many wonderful advantages as a stomach sleeper pillow. They allow you to thin out the profile or fluff it up as needed to support your neck and back as you sleep, and they move with you during the night if you like to shift positions while you sleep.
While all stomach sleepers need to consider a thinner pillow than what standard memory foam or cotton filled pillows offer, the ultra slim design of this stomach sleeper pillow is perfect for those who really want a thin profile. If you like to place your arm underneath your pillow as you lay on your stomach, this pillow will let you sleep comfortably, and still not raise your head up too high and push you out of alignment with your spine.
The Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam pillow offers a firm core that keeps its shape no matter how often you move about during the night. Other attributes of this comfortable stomach sleeper pillow include:
- Thin 2.5 inch profile
- Unique half-moon shape with a rounded top and flat bottom to allow the pillow to lay smoothly on the mattress
- Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial foam core that is resistant to bed bugs.
Because memory foam cradles the head and neck in a secure custom-fitted mold, even a very thin pillow like this can offer terrific support for the neck, shoulders and back.
This pillow may not be thick enough for some people to sleep comfortably. It is a good idea to measure the distance between the mattress and your head when kept at a level height with your shoulders to see how much thickness you need. The difference between slim and ultra slim designs like these first two pillows is often just an inch, but that is a big difference to your back if you are not in the right position when you are sleeping.
When looking for a good stomach sleeper pillow you need a slim profile that doesn’t lift your head too high. In order to keep your spine’s alignment straight as you sleep, the pillow should allow your head to remain at the proper angle. If your pillow is too thick it will cause your back to arch as you sleep. No matter what position your face is in on the pillow, to the side or downward, a thick pillow will pinch nerves in the neck, cause your shoulders to tense up and leave you feeling miserable when you wake up.
The Slim Sleeper Memory Foam pillow by DC Labs is the perfect size for sleeping on the stomach, and still gives you plenty of firm support due to the hypoallergenic memory foam inside. Some other great attributes of this pillow include:
- Fully washable cotton cover
- Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial foam core
- Long-lasting durability
This is the ultimate stomach sleeper pillow for people who want to get the perfect fit and also be able to customize the fit for guests or other family members who use the pillow. Instead of a single core pad, the inner chamber of the pancake pillow is made up of six soft, luxurious microfiber sections that can be added or removed as needed to obtain the perfect sleeping position. Attractive aspects of the pancake stomach sleeper pillow include:
- 300 count cotton exterior casing that is completely machine-washable
- Hypo-allergenic microfiber interior that breathes and keeps the pillow at a comfortable temperature all night long
- Accompanying storage bag to contain unused interior layers
The one drawback to this pillow is that it isn’t a memory foam pad in each layer, but the microfiber also provides a solid support system that has the added attribute of being cooler. The fact that this pillow can be used by other family members makes it a good choice when buying pillows for the whole household.
If you love down pillows by still want a great stomach sleeper pillow, the Extra Soft Down Pillow by Exceptional Sheets will be a great choice. It has a luxurious filling made of genuine white goose down, and is completely manufactured in the USA. Even though this pillow looks thick, and like it would be too high for a stomach sleeper, the soothing down filling is pliable and allows you to position your head perfectly with your spine. The entire pillow is washable and dryable for easy maintenance and it comes in two great sizes, standard and queen, to match your needs. Features of the Extra Soft Down Pillow include:
- Machine washable and dryable
- Hotel quality comfort
This is a soft and soothing pillow, but the down filling may be too soft for some stomach sleepers. If you want a firmer support system, memory foam is the better choice. However, if you love to sink into a luxurious pillow and want one that you can easily mold to your body in other positions, the Soft Down Pillow is an excellent choice.
Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
When choosing the best pillow for stomach sleepers, you need to consider shape, material and cost to determine which will work best for you. Since the majority of stomach sleeper pillows are thin and made to give you the best angle for your back and neck, the main consideration is the material used to create the core of the pillow.
Stomach Sleeper Pillow Materials
There are several types of stomach sleeper pillows. The main difference is the material the core part of the pillow is made of. You can choose from memory foam, shredded memory foam, gel or water filled, microbead and fiber padding. All of these styles of stomach pillows offer advantages. The right material will depend largely on your own personal preferences and needs.
Memory foam: The most popular choice for stomach sleeper pillows is memory foam. Memory foam doesn’t lose its shape over time the way some other materials do, making it a great choice for stomach sleeper pillows.
There are two main types of memory foam: solid and shredded. Solid foam cores provide the most rigid support. They won’t shift or crumble while you move about. However, they are a little difficult for stomach sleepers unless they are the perfect depth since they cannot be fluffed or flattened in any particular area for your face while in the stomach position.
Gel or Water Filled: The biggest advantage to gel or water core stomach sleeper pillows is that they offer a port to reduce or increase the amount of filled material inside the pillow. That allows you to adjust the height of the pillow to match your exact needs.
Microbead: Microbead pillows are similar to bean bags, although the material used to fill the interior of these stomach sleeper pillows is more often hypoallergenic buckwheat or micro-foam beads. The interior case of the pillows can be opened to remove or add additional microbeads to accommodate your position. An extra advantage of the microbead stomach sleeper pillows is that airflow is maximized through the inside of the pillow so that it does not capture body heat or moisture while you sleep.
Fiber: Cotton fiber or down pillows are luxurious choices for pillows, but they tend to pose specific problems for stomach sleepers. They are hard to adjust and mold to your shape, and can flatten unexpectedly during the night requiring constant fluffing to keep them in the position you need. However, some down or cotton filled pillows made especially for stomach sleepers such as the pancake pillow above, are designed to solve the issue of head height and gives you plenty of options while you experience the hotel like quality of plush down.
Brand Recognition and Warranties
You might think that brand names don’t matter, but when it comes to stomach sleeper pillows, the reputation of the manufacturer can make a huge difference. Companies that specialize in support pillows such as DC Labs, Coop Home Goods and Pancake Pillows, are dedicated to creating top-quality pillows that will perform the way you need them to, and give you the best value. A company with a strong reputation will also care about their customer service and your satisfaction. A strong company will be easy to contact if there are any issues, or if you have a question regarding your pillow, and offer reasonable guarantees so you can be sure that you will be happy with your purchase.
Who Needs a Stomach Sleeper Pillow?
Children are often stomach sleepers, and it is important to make sure they are still maintaining a good nighttime spine and neck position to ensure their health. Adults can use stomach sleeper pillows to either support their heads when lying on their bellies at night, but also to cradle their backs or stomach in other positions. A properly proportioned and designed stomach sleeper pillow can also help people who snore while on their stomachs to avoid health issues associated with breathing difficulties at night.
Pregnant women also need added support of a good stomach sleeper pillow during the night, even if they do not sleep directly on their stomachs. Pregnancy can be a difficult time for women who normally sleep on their stomachs. It isn’t comfortable to lie directly on their bellies while pregnant, but they don’t like being on their sides or back, and sleeping on the back especially can be difficult and painful for a pregnant woman. Stomach sleeper pillows help support the sides so that pregnant women can lie at an angle that most resembles stomach sleeping and the added support underneath them both cradles the belly and also keeps them from rolling fully onto their stomachs during the night.
It just takes a little time and thought to decide on the right pillow for your needs. The time spent will be well worth the effort in allowing you to experience the best night’s sleep possible. All of the pillows listed above are excellent choices for stomach sleepers, and give you a broad variety of choices so you can decide on what is right for your style of sleeping and comfort level.
Last updated: 10/2017