The best mattress for a stomach sleeper can sometimes be difficult to find, as you have to discover the right combination of firm support and comfort. Most people have a sleeping position that they strongly prefer. While some achieve a comfortable night’s sleep while lying on their backs or sides, others feel most snug sleeping on their stomachs. Stomach sleeping, however, is not the most common position for the majority of people. If you sleep on your stomach, it’s important to understand which types of mattress would best suit your needs.
Degree of Firmness Is Important
Although it would seem as though a stomach sleeper would need a soft, comfortable type of mattress to sink into, the opposite is true. Because the majority of the weight in most adults is centered in the stomach, sleeping on the stomach can put a strain on the neck, hips and spine. Studies have shown that medium-firm mattresses positively affect sleep, especially as they can help ease low back pain.
According to the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, most stomach sleepers prefer a medium-firm or firmer mattress that supports the midsection well. If the hips and neck are sinking into the bed along with your stomach, you’re liable to wake up every morning with aches and pains. When the belly is firmly supported, the hips are kept in alignment with the shoulders, plus there is adequate support in the lumbar area of the spine.
Construction and Materials Matter
Most of today’s popular mattresses are made from foam materials or are constructed with innerspring coils. There are also hybrid mattresses that use a firm innerspring core with a layer of foam that measures about an inch or two on top for added comfort. Consider cost and keep in mind that most mattresses have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, but this may depend upon your weight, height, and the quality of the mattress construction.
Having a softer top layer, whether it’s foam or pillow-top, is important for reducing joint pressure while sleeping on your stomach. When buying a mattress for a stomach sleeper, look for a top layer of material that will not degrade too quickly, as a sagging mattress will not be comfortable.
Memory Foam vs. Innerspring
A mattress with 11 inches of memory foam often creates the ideal sleeping platform for stomach sleepers. The foam contours to the body and provides good pressure relief and support for the spine. A foam mattress isolates motion making it a good choice for those who sleep with a partner that tosses and turns in the night. An innerspring mattress with a thick, steel coil support system will also conform to a body if the comfort layers are designed to prevent sagging and sinking into the mattress. A hybrid mattress, made of both foam and coil, seems to be a very good combination of support, comfort and conformity.
Overall, a mattress for a stomach sleeper should provide enough support for neck and spine alignment, be firm enough to support a prone profile and conform to your body nicely.