Nighttime routines change, but a favorite sleep position rarely does. Most people are not stomach sleepers.
The most popular sleeping style is the fetal position. This makes finding the best mattress for stomach sleepers a challenge.
Stomach sleepers have specific needs to help them get comfortable during the night. If you’re a stomach sleeper, use this buying guide to find the best mattress for you.
Mattress shopping isn’t a spectator sport. You have to put in the time to drive to different stores to test mattresses in person.
Only after you’ve armed yourself with the information in this buying guide can you consider buying online. Mattress brands and furniture stores have showrooms where customers can feel mattresses to understand the various features available.
The salesman has a responsibility to the company to sell the mattress that earns the most revenue. But, the mattresses with the most features and most advanced technology might actually lead to health concerns for stomach sleepers.
In understanding how to buy the perfect mattress, let’s look at the most common types of mattresses available.
Memory Foam – This mattress type is one of the most common on the market today. The mattress gets its name from its ability to contour closely to your body shape while you sleep.
The name implies you can get the same kind of sleep each night because the foam gives the illusion of shaping itself to you. Memory foam mattresses can come in blends with other mattress types where only the top layer of the unit is memory foam.
Latex – Available with hypoallergenic, plant-based materials, latex mattresses can be a great way to avoid allergens while you sleep. It is also a great pick for people who seem to always wake up sweating during the night. The cooling effects of the mattress also make it less likely to attract mold.
Innerspring - This mattress uses steel coils to support your body at night. Before memory foam technology became available, innerspring mattresses were the most commonly found in households.
The major benefit of innerspring is it is affordable. Innerspring mattresses may come with added features like a pillow top or other built-in amenities that lend themselves to adding comfort to your sleeping position.
Hybrid – A mattress that blends memory foam and spring coils offer the best of both worlds. Not everyone is comfortable with the sinking feeling of memory foam. Adding coils provides additional support.
Sleeping on your stomach gives you a flat sleeping profile. This means there aren’t many gaps between your body and the mattress. A firmer mattress provides the support you need.
The main thing you want to avoid while sleeping is arching your back upwards. Memory foam might not be the best solution if it makes it easier for you to strain your lower back by allowing your body to sink down.
According to WebMD, sleeping on your stomach can create lower back and neck problems. Choosing a softer pillow can help you avoid creating misalignment in your spine. Firm pillows prop your head up at an awkward angle.
For stomach sleepers, a firm mattress and soft pillow reduce the pressure on the lower back and neck.
Indentation is a measurement of how easily a mattress can be compressed to 25 percent of its thickness using a test created by each mattress manufacturer. Manufacturers use plush, firm, and medium as marketing terms, not as an indentation measurement.
Knowing the mattress indentation rating gives you the most objective way to measure firmness. Indentation is commonly seen as the acronym ILD or Impression Load Deflection. High ILD numbers mean a firmer mattress, low ILD numbers mean a softer mattress.
The word firm is subjective. No matter what numbers the manufacturer throws at you, your own experience is most important. The firmest mattress on the market can help your spine but keep you up all night.
Your weight, or body mass index, (BMI), factors into how your body responds to mattress firmness. Learn your BMI to determine which level of firmness is best for you using the following reference:
Stomach sleepers should go a step firmer than their BMI suggests. If you have a BMI, choosing the firmest mattress you can find is theoretically the healthiest option for you. Testing a variety of mattress types will help you narrow down the best selection.
A softer, flatter pillow on a firm mattress is best for stomach sleepers. There are memory foam pillow options in many shapes that fit this description.
Propping your forehead on the pillow lying face down is one way to keep your spine in alignment while you sleep. Just be sure your pillow isn’t too soft as you need space to breathe.
Mattress selection isn’t something you want to do alone if you share a bed with someone else. Forcing your partner to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress is sure to create problems for you both.
The nice thing about advancements in mattress technology is that there are now products that suit couples with all kinds of needs. If you and your partner have opposite body types and sleeping styles, meet in the middle with mattress blends that offer coils and memory foam to get the best of both worlds.
A hybrid mattress is more likely to have an ILD number somewhere in the middle. The coils can help keep a stomach sleeper from sinking down while asleep while memory foam allows other sleeping positions to remain comfortable.
Our sleeping position is a habit that’s hard to break. The best mattress for stomach sleepers is one that factors in BMI and spinal alignment.
Pillows add in an additional option to minimize pressure on your lower back. A pillow that is too fluffy or stiff doesn’t ease the strain on your neck. Consider switching sleeping positions throughout the night to alleviate any strain on your body.
Visit our website to learn how pillows can improve the quality of sleep while on your stomach.