Stomach sleeping isn’t all that common-only 7% of Americans prefer this position. But if it’s how you like to snooze, you’ve likely experienced back pain at some point or another. While sleeping on your stomach does have some benefits-it can help reduce snoring-it’s not so great for your spine. That’s why it’s crucial to find a mattress that works for this sleep position.
Memory foam molds to the shape of your body when you lie down, which may not be ideal for stomach sleepers, especially if you’re of higher weight. That said, if you like the feel of memory foam, and you are of light or average weight, there are a few features you can look for to ensure you get adequate support as a stomach sleeper.
How to find the best memory foam mattress for stomach sleepers
The key to comfort for stomach sleepers-for any sleeper, really-is maintaining the spine in neutral alignment. Because most people carry their weight across the hips and belly, sleeping on one’s stomach can cause an unnatural bowing of the spine, which in turn can lead to back pain. To assure proper lumbar support and overall comfort, look for the following features in a memory foam mattress if you’re a stomach sleeper:
Something else to keep in mind: Memory foam mattresses are best suited to sleepers under 200 pounds, as they may not offer the right support to higher-weight individuals. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, are a stomach sleeper, and like the feel of memory foam, consider a latex mattress or a hybrid mattress (featuring an innerspring support core and memory foam and/or latex comfort layers) instead. (Here’s how to find the best mattress for heavy people.)
How to find the best pillow for stomach sleepers
Matching your pillow to your sleep position is important too. The National Sleep Foundation recommends using a thin pillow under your head-or no pillow at all. Placing a thin pillow under your stomach and pelvis may also help ward off back pain.
For more advice on finding the right memory foam bed for you, here’s how to choose the best memory foam mattress for your sleep position.