For some people, the most comfortable sleeping position would be on their stomach. Sleeping on the stomach is also common for people who suffer from a backache.
While sleeping on the stomach puts less strain on the spine thus reducing back pains; it does put the neck at an unnatural angle, causing unnecessary strain to the neck muscles, which lead to muscle soreness and stiff neck. That’s why choosing the right pillow is instrumental in achieving a restful slumber if you are a stomach sleeper!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Stomach
- 2 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
- 3 Type Of Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
- 4 Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Stomach
Sleeping on the stomach is one of the most common sleeping positions among children and adults alike. For kids, sleeping on the stomach is comfortable and soothing especially if they are suffering from tummy aches and gas. For adults, sleeping on the stomach is just as relaxing, particularly after a long day! But is your sleeping position helping you achieve better sleep or is it doing the exact opposite? Let’s find out:
The Pros of Sleeping on Your Stomach
Opens Up the Airways
Sleeping on the stomach helps open up the airways, perfect for people who snore, or those who suffer from sleep apnea, or respiratory issues. Because the weight of your body is on your stomach, rather than the upper body, air gets into your body much more efficiently.
Reduces Back Pain
As mentioned earlier in this post, sleeping on the stomach helps reduce the strain on the spine by minimizing the pressure between the spinal discs, alleviating upper and lower back pain. Since the weight is on the stomach, not the spine, the back muscles are relaxed and this leads to reduced back pain.
Women who suffer from PMS and the effects of menopause are more prone to a backache than others and lying on the stomach is a great way to reduce persistent and recurring back pain!
Promote Better Digestion
Who knew sleeping on the stomach aids in proper digestion? According to Professor Chris Idzikowski of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, sleeping on the stomach helps improve digestion while lying flat on the back will only lead to impaired breathing and snoring throughout the night. He added that sleeping on the stomach reduces the chances of waking up in the middle of the night, thus improving sleep quality.
For those who are prone to indigestion, gas, stomach cramps, and abdominal pains, try sleeping on your stomach to ease the pain. Because the weight is on your stomach, it’ll be much easier to get rid of excess gas that’s causing a tummy ache.
The Cons of Sleeping on Your Stomach
Joint and Abdominal Muscle Pains
Because the weight is distributed on the abdominals when you sleep on your stomach, unnecessary pressure and strain are put into the muscles in the midsection. Constant strain on the midsection could lead to sore joints and abdominal muscle pains.
Sleeping on your stomach may also cause nerve pains. This sleeping position puts unnecessary strain on the nerves, causing irritation, which inevitably leads to numbness, and tingling.
Sleeping on the stomach makes it harder to achieve a neutral position for the neck. When you sleep on your stomach for hours at a time, the neck muscles become stiff, swollen, and painful! In addition, it’s painful to switch to a different position after sleeping on your stomach for so long.
Apart from being bad news to the neck and spine, sleeping on your stomach can also lead to face wrinkling and saggy breasts. Your body weight is distributed to the upper body when you sleep on your stomach and since the facial skin is in contact with your pillow, you will unwittingly stretch out your skin while you sleep, leading to wrinkles. Sleeping on your stomach also stretches the skin around the breast area, which accelerates skin sagging.
Image used under Creative Commons from Vic
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
To alleviate neck pain, you can always train yourself to sleep in a different position. Unfortunately, some things are just hard to do!
If say, you can’t change your sleeping position because sleeping on your stomach is the best sleeping position for you then consider investing on a great pillow instead. The fact is, the thickness, material, and the firmness of the pillow can spell the difference between perpetually stiff neck and a restful sleep!
Pillows made from stomach sleepers come in an array of materials, some work better than others. To ensure that you’re getting the best product that suits your needs, here are some of the most important factors you should consider when shopping around:
You want a pillow that you can maximize to get your money’s worth so your needs should be the first thing to keep in mind when you’re looking for a pillow for stomach sleepers. Choose a stomach sleeper pillow that offers excellent support to various parts of the body. We recommend stomach sleeper pillows that are made from high quality, hypoallergenic materials so it won’t trigger allergies and/or will last a lifetime.
The pillow’s materials are just as important. Low-quality stomach sleepers pillow are just a waste of money because they do not provide ample support and they won’t last more than a few uses. Cheap pillows tend to lose their shape after a few washes too. Choose a pillow that won’t lose its shape after several uses, one that’s made from breathable material for optimum comfort.
Pillows, particularly those designed to addressed specific issues, come at different price points. The question is, how much are you willing to spend on a pillow? Our advice is to do bits of research online to determine the average cost of a stomach sleeper pillow and take it from there.
Of course, you want a pillow that’s reasonably priced. The most expensive stomach sleeper pillows aren’t necessarily the best so do shop around. If you sleep on your stomach, go for a relatively flat pillow, one that’s thick enough to provide ample support but not too thick that it causes a stiff neck.
Sleeping on the stomach necessitates pillows that straighten the spine, supports the upper body and relaxing the neck area. Such pillow helps reduce stress on the shoulders and hips, preventing muscle soreness. A stomach sleeper pillow is perfect for women, particularly those who are PMS-ing or others who are going through menopause because the product alleviates back pain. The position itself eases gastrointestinal and respiratory issues and a great pillow will enhance the benefits of sleeping on your stomach.
Type Of Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
As far as materials go, stomach sleeper pillows come in three major types. These are foam, memory foam, and latex materials. These materials are dense enough to provide excellent support but thin enough not to strain the neck, which is important if you always sleep on your stomach. Let’s get to know each material type:
Foam is one of the most common pillow materials and it’s also the top choice for stomach sleepers because it’s cheap and it does the job. Foam is soft, affordable, and it maintains its shape after several washes. What’s more, foam is pliant enough that it molds to a person’s body. It can support the spine, head, and neck while reducing pressure on the upper and lower extremities. However, foam is not the most breathable material available so expect heat spots on various points during the night. This material is not ideal if you are looking for long-term comfort because it’s not as durable as newer pillow materials out there.
Memory foam is a common pillow material renowned for its ability to mold into a person’s body parts perfectly. The material is also able to “remember” the unique shape of a person’s body over time, making it the great choice for stomach sleepers. Memory foam pillows are also thinner than conventional pillows and they come in various – sometimes odd – shapes. But the idea remains, these pillows are designed to support the neck and spine. Just like foam, though, memory foam develops heat spots on various points throughout the night so it can get uncomfortable in humid environments. Also, memory foam is more expensive than other pillow materials and the texture could be too dense for some users.
This material is designed to provide firm support and is able to resist dust mites and mold growth. Just like memory foam, latex material molds to a person’s body part, something that stomach sleepers need. However, the texture of the material is too firm for most users so using a pillow made from latex could cause muscle stiffness. Also, latex pillows are pricier compared to traditional foam pillows.
Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
Deluxe Home Bamboo-Derived Pillow
- Hypoallergenic material
- Stays cool cover
- Dust, mold, and mildew resistant
- Needs fluffing
The Deluxe Home Bamboo pillow is a pillow designed specifically for stomach sleepers. This product is made from hypoallergenic materials to prevent allergies, making the pillow a great alternative to its down counterpart but at a fraction of the cost. This pillow is comprised of a polyfill insides and premium bamboo-derived rayon on the outside.
The fiberfill molds to the body perfectly and the pillow is guaranteed to stay fluffy, not flat. The cover of the pillow wicks away moisture, helping you stay cool and comfortable all night long. It’s dust mite, mold, and mildew resistant as well as machine washable.
We love the overall quality of the Deluxe Home Bamboo pillow. It also comes with 100% satisfaction guarantee so if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can get a refund for a worry-free purchase. Overall, this is a great pillow. We wish it’s a bit thicker than it is because it’s flatter than other pillows made for stomach sleepers and the foam tends to gather to one side only. Also, there were heat spots here and there but the temp is not too bad that it’ll affect sleep.
Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow
- Hypoallergenic material
- Designed for stomach sleepers
- Great breathability
- May ease common sleep issues
- Depth is on the thick side
- Pronounced chemical odor
The Xtreme Comforts hypoallergenic pillow caters to users who have extremely sensitive noses and those who suffer from respiratory issues. This is a foam-based pillow made from CertiPur-US Certified Foam. The Xtreme Comforts hypoallergenic pillow promises unparalleled breathability (thanks to its micro vented Kool-Flow™ tech) and bamboo-infused covers, which wicks moisture away from the skin, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable all night long.
The Xtreme Comforts hypoallergenic pillow is designed for stomach sleepers and it provides great support to the neck area. It’s neither too thin nor thick and its shape is meant to ease snoring, insomnia, migraines, TMJ and other sleep-related disorders too.
As for the downsides of using the Xtreme Comforts hypoallergenic pillow, there is a distinct plastic smell that emanates from the foam material. This isn’t a deal breaker because the odor goes away on its own. Our only gripe is the shape, which can be on the thick side. If you’re looking for a flat pillow, this isn’t it. The absorbent cover does provide a comfortable sleep but there are hot spots here and there but this is quite normal for pillows made from foam. The Xtreme Comforts hypoallergenic pillow comes with no questions asked money back guarantee and a 6-year warranty, which are great extras for this product.
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Orthopedically designed for stomach sleepers
- Dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic material
- Eco-friendly foam material
- 90-day money back guarantee and 20 years warranty
- Flattens over time
The Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow is made from memory foam material and it promises to stay fluffy all night. This fully machine washable pillow is designed specifically for those who sleep on their stomachs. The design is thick enough to provide ample support to the neck and head and soft enough to provide a restful sleep. The material molds to your unique shape so it cradles the neck and head perfectly.
What we love about this product is the hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant material. It’s a great pillow for those afflicted with asthma and other respiratory issues. The Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow boasts of a combination of Biogreen® and CertiPUR-US® Certified foam, eco-friendly materials that are free from lead, mercury, flame retardant chemicals, and ozone depleters. Finally, on top of all these great features, the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and a 20-year warranty.
As for the negatives, the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow tends to flatten as time goes by. It’s not the best pillow if you are looking for fluffy, thick pillows. To prevent flatness or lumpiness, just wash this pillow according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow
- Dust mite resistant
- Designed for stomach sleepers
- High-quality CertiPUR-US Certified foam filling
Coop Home Goods’ memory foam pillow promises a deep and relaxing slumber for stomach sleepers thanks to its unique design and breathable cover. The brand prides itself on offering products that are 100% made in the US so quality is always excellent. The pillow itself features a proprietary mix of shredded Visco elastic memory foam and as described, the pillow is fully adjustable. Not sure what this meant but the pillow did comfort to our testing team’s unique shape. The shape of the pillow (patent pending) is unique; it promotes proper spine alignment, helping you sleep soundly night after night.
The material is made from CertiPUR-US Certified foam and it’s free from heavy metals including lead, mercury, formaldehyde, and phthalates. As with all pillows on this list, the Coop Home Goods memory foam pillow is dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic. The brand is also throwing in a 5-year warranty and satisfaction guarantee for a totally risk-free purchase.
Overall, this an excellent pillow for stomach sleeper and ventilation is great. There are heat spots here but the issue isn’t enough to affect sleep quality at all. Our only gripe is the price. It’s a pretty pricey pillow, no doubt but the features are the same with cheaper pillows. Still, if you are committed to investing on high-quality sleep, give the Coop Home Goods memory foam pillow a try. Some users say the depth of the pillow is too thin but if you’re a stomach sleeper, this should not be an issue at all.