Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with Back Pain
Who Leesa is Good For
- Combination sleepers
- People with back and joint pain
Mattress Nerd consulted Dr. Tom Ingegno to ensure that this article met our editorial standards
Stomach sleepers face a particular challenge when it comes to sleep. Not only is it the most uncommon position to sleep in, but it also increases the likelihood of chronic aches and pains due to the stress put on the neck, lower back, and chest. When the stomach is facing down, it forces the spine to hyper-extend into a strained position. This affects the alignment of the head, neck, pelvis, and back. In addition, the need to crane the head sideways to accommodate this sleeping position can place additional strain on the neck that leads to soreness.
For this reason, the best mattress for stomach sleepers is a firm mattress that gives extraordinary support, particularly in the middle portion of the mattress. As a result, mattress material and firmness will be important factors for stomach sleepers to consider when choosing a mattress.
In this article, we will help stomach sleepers find the best mattress for their unique needs. We will also discuss the features that stomach sleepers should look for in a mattress. Finally, we will review some important considerations for those that sleep on their stomach and some tips to help you get the best sleep possible.
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Advanced comfort and support
Leesa has reverse-engineered their mattress to suit the needs of stomach sleepers. The Leesa Hybrid is a medium-firm memory foam mattress that is designed with three layers of comfort for people suffering from chronic back pain due to their sleep position. First is a comfort layer of premium foam to provide pressure relief, and next, a recovery layer designed to contour to your body. Finally, a third support layer of pocket coils helps to support the torso and protect the lower back for stomach sleepers. So if you’re looking for a mattress that gives pressure relief for your back and shoulders, while simultaneously offering proper support for your sleeping position, the Leesa mattress is an excellent choice.
Read our full Leesa Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more.
Promotes muscle recovery
The Bear memory foam mattress has a breathable Celliant® Cover that promotes airflow while it’s cooling graphite-gel memory foam keeps you cool and comfortable. A responsive transition foam relieves pressure and gives balanced support while a high-density foam support core distributes weight and provides durability. The Bear foam mattress is one of the best of the medium-firm mattresses on the market because it adapts to your unique shape while also providing support and pressure-point relief, making it a competitive choice for stomach sleepers.
Read our full Bear Mattress Review to learn more.
High quality and custom firmness options
The Saatva Classic is a star among innerspring mattresses. It is customizable (both firmness and height), meaning that it can work well for almost any sleeper, regardless of body weight or sleeping style. Firmness options include Plush Soft (4), Luxury Firm (6), and Firm (7.5), and you can choose from 11.5- and 14.5-inch profiles, meaning it’ll work well for both stomach and side sleepers. That said, it’s a fairly responsive mattress which may not be ideal if you wake easily at the movements of a partner.
Read our full Saatva mattress review to learn more!
Hybrid mattress perfect for back pain and plus-size sleepers
The WinkBed Plus is a hybrid mattress crafted with comfort layers of polyfoam, gel memory foam, triple-tempered pocket coils, and a lumbar pad. While WinkBed offers a variety of firmness options, we recommend ‘Plus’ firmness for stomach sleepers. The foam layers help to relieve pressure points placed on the pelvis, chest, and shoulders, while the pocket coils provide the extra support needed for proper spinal alignment. If you tend to sleep on your stomach, the WinkBed Plus an excellent option for you due to it’s balance of contour and support. It is also great for side and back sleepers, so if you alternate between sleeping positions, this is your mattress.
Read our full WinkBeds Mattress Review to learn more.
Top-of-the-line cooling technology
The GhostBed Luxe is an all foam, medium-firm mattress with a top layer of a phase-change material that regulates surface temperature. It also contains comfort layers of gel memory foam and polyfoam for premium contouring, while it’s support core is crafted with a high-density polyfoam. The GhostBed Luxe is one of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers thanks to its all-foam, advanced technology which combines comfort and support. In addition, it’s exceptional cooling properties provide exceptional air circulation and sweat-free sleep. You’ll be feeling as though you’re floating like a ghost… hence the name!
Read our full GhostBed Luxe Mattress Review to learn more.
Good price point for an all-natural mattress
The Avocado is a hybrid latex mattress made with comfort layers of organic wool and natural Dunlop latex. Its support core is constructed with more than 1,000 pocketed support coils giving it a medium-firm feel and exceptional support. This mattress is an excellent option for stomach sleepers who are both eco-conscious and in the market for a luxurious sleep. It’s natural, high-performance latex is resilient and durable, offering the perfect combination of bounce, contour, and support stomach sleepers need. Meanwhile, the organic wool cover wicks away moisture and maintains freshness.
Read our full Avocado Green Mattress Review to learn more.
The Brooklyn Signature is a hybrid mattress that comes in multiple levels of firmness, however, we recommend medium firmness for stomach sleepers. It is built with multi-foam comfort layers including a gel-infused foam and a quilted foam cover for the cushion stomach sleepers need. Its support core is built with a high-density polyfoam base and pocketed coils for support or the torso. The Brooklyn Signature makes is a great choice for stomach sleepers who want premium comfort at a competitive price. The hyper-responsive foam provides exceptional compression support for stomach sleepers while the TitaniumGel™ keeps you cool and comforted all night long.
Read our full Brooklyn Signature Mattress Review to learn more.
The perfect mix of pressure-relief and comfort
The Purple Hybrid mattress is a hybrid mattress with a unique four-layer design. It’s revolutionary SmartComfort Grid™ and proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material makes it one of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers who need a precise blend of soft cushion and firm support. The top layer of this mattress is made of Purple’s iconic crate-like, purple, Hyper-Elastic Polymer™, a material conforms to the curvy parts of the body and lifts the areas that need the most support. Its unique construction provides excellent pressure relief for the areas that press into the mattress as a stomach sleeper and also promotes airflow for cooling comfort. A layer of support foam prevents aches and pains and finally, a set of responsive support coils to provides great edge support and weight distribution, making it a great mattress for heavy people as well.
Check out our full Purple Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, then you’re in a very exclusive club along with the other roughly 16% of Americans who sleep stomach-down. Since it is such a unique way of getting shut-eye, it may be more difficult for you to get a sense of what the best new mattress for you is, and that’s where we come in! In this buyer’s guide, we’ll break down your options by material, firmness level, and performance factors, so that you can gain a broader understanding of what makes a mattress perfect for stomach sleepers. Then, we’ll discuss ways in which you might be able to mitigate the reported negative effects of stomach sleeping, or even change your preferred sleeping position altogether.
In your search for a new bed, you may have noticed that the most common variations of mattress build are memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid. Each of these types have different traits that can play into whether or not they will support your sleeping style. As stomach sleepers, it is important for you to sleep on a firmer-than-average surface, which we will cover more thoroughly in the firmness section of the guide, but it’s still important that you be mindful of that as you explore material options.
Memory foam mattresses are great options for stomach sleepers because of their conforming nature and ability to relieve pressure in the areas that become misaligned when sleeping on the stomach.
It should be noted, though, that memory foam can often be the softest of the four varieties. If you have your heart set on this material, you should strongly consider options that fall around 6/10 or above on the firmness scale, as something too soft can lead to excessive hip sinkage and eventually back pain. Our list of best memory foam mattresses has some great options that are worth considering!
Latex is the most unique of the four mattress types, and as such it usually costs quite a bit more. The price, however, may be worth it if you are after a bed that does a great job of keeping you cool and responding to your movements. Perhaps most importantly, the material used to make latex mattresses is often sourced in eco-friendly ways and is naturally hypoallergenic.
If you’re an environmentally-conscious stomach sleeper, take a look at our best latex mattresses page for more inspiration.
Related: Latex vs. Memory Foam
Innerspring mattresses contain a durable layer of steel coils that are known to provide excellent edge and overall support which is important for spinal alignment in stomach sleepers. Innerspring mattresses are usually on the firmer side, so many of them are naturally suited for stomach sleepers. Plus, we have found that they offer more affordable pricing than foam, latex, or hybrid. If this sounds like your cup of tea, give our best innerspring mattresses article a peek.
Can’t decide between the previous three? Well then a hybrid mattress might be the way to go. These beds contain a combination of either innerspring and memory foam or innerspring and latex. The result is a mattress that has the durability and breathability of an innerspring and the contouring and pressure relief abilities of a foam or latex, meaning stomach sleepers and hybrids are a match made in heaven.
If you still aren’t sold, take a look at our best hybrid mattresses article for more info.
It may seem counterintuitive to seek out a mattress that is firm rather than soft, but for stomach sleepers it can actually contribute to a more comfortable sleep. Mattresses are graded on a firmness scale and assigned a score from 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Whether they are considered soft, medium-firm, or firm is dictated by the number they receive.
Anything under a 5 on the firmness scale is thought of as softer than average. This may sound appealing, like sleeping on a cloud, but stomach sleepers really need something with more support in order to keep their hips from sinking uncomfortably deep into the surface of the mattress. Still, if you are interested in exploring this option, read our best soft mattresses article.
A rating between 5 and 7 on the scale lands the designation of medium-firm. We find that is right around the sweet spot for most sleepers; not too soft, and not too firm. That said, stomach sleepers are one of the few groups that often gravitate towards beds that are even a little bit more solid than a 7.
At last, we arrive at the mattresses that are rated above 7 on the scale. These will allow stomach sleepers’ hips to sink just far enough in for them to feel supported by the bed, but not far enough in that they wake up with lower back pain—a common complaint of stomach sleepers who sleep on a surface that is too soft.
For some great mattresses that are sure to please any stomach sleeper, head over to our list of best firm mattresses.
Three of the most important fields for mattresses to excel in for stomach sleepers are contouring, pressure relief, and spinal alignment. A mattress that successfully delivers on all of them can help mitigate the lower back pain that plagues so many stomach sleepers.
For stomach sleepers, it’s imperative to have a mattress with good contour. This means that the mattress not only conforms to your body but allows for more compression in your heavier areas (i.e. the stomach), and less for your lighter areas (i.e. the head, neck, and shoulders). This will ensure the spine stays aligned and you don’t end up causing undue strain to the back.
As we’ve stated, for stomach sleepers, there is a strong center of gravity around the midsection. As a result, other parts of the body are pulled down. It’s important that a mattress be able to relieve pressure in those areas and keep the body stabilized to prevent chronic aches and pains.
Spinal alignment is important for everyone but especially for stomach sleepers whose position opens them up to potential back strain. A mattress that is too soft will put undue pull and strain on the spine whereas a mattress that is too firm will overcompensate and can also lead to misalignment. So, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this feature when you’re mattress shopping.
We understand that everyone has their own sleeping preferences, that’s why we’ve created this article to help you choose a mattress that’s best for you. But we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the fact that sleeping on your stomach is considered the worst position for your body. Sleeping on your stomach hyperextends the back and cranks the neck to one side, putting stress on the back and causing muscle tension in the neck. For more information on sleeping positions, their benefits and their drawbacks, take a look at our article on what is the best sleeping position.
Therefore, finding the right mattress and learning how to make the best of your preferred position is imperative for stomach sleepers. It’s important to choose a mattress that cradles the chest, shoulders, and hips which press into the bed while also keeping the torso supported. Otherwise, you will undoubtedly strain the spine and likely begin to experience lower back pain.
Related: Best mattresses for back pain
While sleeping on your stomach is regarded as the least healthy sleeping position, there are some potential benefits, the main one being comfort. Many stomach sleepers find that laying on their stomachs is more comfortable and allows them to fall asleep more easily. In addition, due to the position of your throat and tongue, sleeping on your stomach can also reduce the risk of snoring and sleep apnea.
Related: Understanding Sleep Apnea
The main problem with sleeping on your stomach is spinal alignment. When you are lying on your stomach, your hips tend to sink into the mattress and cause spinal misalignment. There’s also the issue of the pillow.
When you sleep on your stomach your head is usually turned to the side and angled up. This position can cause discomfort and even pain in your neck.
Lastly, if you’re someone who sleeps on your stomach with your arms raised, it can lead to shoulder, back, and neck pain.
Related: Is it Bad to Sleep on Your Stomach?
If you are a stomach sleeper, here are some tips on how to sleep on your stomach comfortably:
For more information, take a look at our guide on how to properly sleep on your stomach.
We hope you found this article helpful in selecting the best mattress for your needs. As an added bonus, we have some useful tips to share with you to assist you in having the best night of sleep possible.
If you’re a die-hard stomach sleeper and you cannot make pillow-less sleep work for you, we submit. But at least take a look at our best pillow guide so we can help you pick out something that might be a bit easier on your neck, or even more specifically, our best pillows for stomach sleepers guide. You’ll want to stay away from thick or extra firm pillows. With these, your head will be forced upward and your neck will strain. For stomach sleepers, your pillow should usually be thin and soft. While not as sexy, these are the best option to keep the neck aligned with the rest of the spine. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your head and neck will be, and that’s a good thing.
The main objective of the following exercises is to train yourself to sleep on your side. If you’re open to making a few small modifications, we think it could really improve your sleep and lessen the likelihood of strain. For a comprehensive look, head over to our article on how to train yourself to sleep on your back. Or, if side sleeping interests you, read on.
The key to all of these training mechanisms is persistence. Eventually, with enough practice, your body should adapt to side sleeping. Before long, it may feel more natural than stomach sleeping ever did. And when it does, our best mattresses for side sleepers or best mattresses for back sleepers roundups will surely come in handy!
|Leesa Hybrid||Best for Back Pain||7/10|
|The Original Bear Mattress||Best Memory Foam Mattress||7.1/10|
|Saatva||Best for Stomach & Side Sleepers||Plush soft, luxury firm, & firm|
|Winkbeds Plus||Best for Heavy Stomach Sleepers||Customizable|
|GhostBed Luxe||Best for Hot Stomach Sleepers||5.5/10|
|Avocado||Best Organic Mattress||7/10|
|Brooklyn Bedding Signature||Best Hybrid Mattress for Stomach Sleepers||3 levels: soft, medium, firm|
|Purple Hybrid||Best for Pressure Relief||7/10|
Dr. Tom Ingegno is part of our panel of medical expert contributors on the subject of sleep health. They provide important perspectives on the topics we discuss to help make our content as accurate and dependable as possible. They do not personally endorse any products, nor are they associated with any brands featured in our review content.
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