If you sleep on your stomach, you’ll know that a bad mattress can really leave you feeling tired the morning after. If your bed doesn’t offer good support, it can put a huge strain on your neck and shoulders as well as your lower back.
Only a minority of Americans sleep on their stomachs – it’s estimated that perhaps 10% of us find our nightly rest facing the mattress. And it’s a tricky position to sleep in; compared to back sleepers, who usually find their spines perfectly aligned. If you sleep on your stomach, you’re likely to find you’re out of alignment and that can lead to aches and pains in the morning.
The right mattress needs to have a blend of the firm support you need together with enough softness to relieve pressure points at your hips and knees. We’ve scoured the market for the best mattresses, looking at manufacturers’ specifications, lab research, and industry sources. We’ve also looked at user reviews to make sure that our choices work out in the long term – because testing a mattress in the shop or in a laboratory is very different from using the same mattress 365 days a year.
Below, you’ll find the best mattresses for stomach sleepers.
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers In 2020
Brooklyn Plank Mattress – Best Overall
The Plank is a flippable mattress offering two levels of firmness – 8/10 ‘firm’ and 10/10 ‘ultra firm’. If many beds feel too soft for you, this all-foam, US-made mattress is made for you, giving a truly firm sleeping experience.
The Plank has a 7″ high density base layer, with 2″ of TitanFlex foam providing a smooth transition. The firm side has a quilted top layer just 3/4″ thick, while the medium firm side has a 1 1/2″ quilted layer with minimal give.
It’s also a cool sleeping mattress, as the material won’t conform too closely to your body and the breathable foams have been designed to diffuse heat away. If you really sleep hot, you can also purchase a cooling cover from Brooklyn (found on many of Brooklyn’s other models). You’ll lose a bit of firmness but gain in overall comfort.
Motion isolation is exceptionally good – great if you sleep next to a partner. Where the mattress falls down a little is in edge support, with some compression noticeable if you sit on the side of the bed. If you love to sleep right on the edge of your bed, it might be worthwhile looking at our alternative choices.
Brooklyn offers free shipping and a 10 year warranty. If you’re buying on Amazon, be sure to check the version you buy also offers a sleep trial.
A worthy winner and our top pick for stomach sleepers.
Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Mattress – Premium Option
This is our most expensive pick, so if you’re on a budget, look away now. Tempur-Pedic uses materials first invented by NASA to provide a durable, incredibly supportive bed that’s recommended particularly for those suffering from chronic pain.
This 12″ mattress uses firm memory foam to give just the right amount of compression as well as firm support. If you prefer a softer, cushioning mattress, this is a great choice; as you sleep your body will gradually sink into the mattress. However, although a technologically advanced dual cover is meant to provide coolness, we did find that the highly body contouring nature of the mattress and the dense foam cause it to become too hot.
The mattress is on the firm side of ‘medium firm’. We found it to be very firm when new but it will soften slightly over time. To hasten this process, you can actually walk on the mattress a few times which will make the mattress softer. Generally, you’ll want to sleep on it for at least a month before it will have adapted completely – so it’s a good thing Tempur-Pedic offers a 90 night sleep trial as well as a 10 year warranty.
Like the Pure Green mattress below, this one is very heavy and comes in a massive box, so apartment dwellers be warned.
Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress – Firm Option
This is a very different recommendation from the foam and hybrid mattresses we’ve already covered, and not just because the layers are 100% made of natural latex – no poly, blended, or synthetic foam is used.
First of all, it gives a very firm feel without any noticeable ‘give’. If you’re not an ultra-firm fan, look elsewhere. Secondly, it has a lot more bounce than memory foam.
It sleeps cool, enhancing the natural breathability of latex foam with an organic wool and cotton cover that helps prevent the sleeper’s body heat from being stored up in the mattress. And of course, being all-organic and using all-natural materials, it’s good for the environment as well as good for you.
However, edge protection is poor – the mattress compresses noticeably when you sit on the edge, rather more than with some of the other mattresses we tested. We should also note that pure latex is very heavy. If you need to carry your mattress up five flights of stairs to your apartments, this mattress might not be a practical choice.
On the other hand, it is what we describe as a thin mattress which should make moving it around slightly easier.
The company offers a 100 day sleep trial with free shipping for returns, or you can donate the mattress to charity and send the receipt to them for a full refund.
Casper Sleep Mattress – Great Allrounder
The Casper is a mattress that can be recommended for any sleeping position because its zoned support helps ensure pressure points are well cushioned. You also sink in enough for your spine to be correctly aligned, while you still get the positive support you need.
Strategically softer layers are positioned around your shoulders and hips, while the centre and ends of the mattress give you firmer support. If you’re a stomach sleeper and share your bed with someone who sleeps on their side or back, this is a great mattress for you both.
Casper is made of three layers of memory foam; the top heat-diffusing foam layer should keep you cool while the central part of the sandwich is made of memory foam to conform to your body contours. It absorbs motion well. The base layer of foam is high-density to prevent sagging, offer more support and increase durability.
We have two reservations about this otherwise excellent mattress. Firstly, it may not provide quite enough support for heavier (230lbs +) sleepers. Secondly, it does give you that body-hugging memory foam feel – if you don’t like a closely conforming mattress, pick the Plank instead.
Casper offers a 100 night sleep trial and a 10 year warranty.
Nectar Mattress – Great Alternative
This memory foam mattress gives the authentic memory foam feel of being ‘hugged’ by your mattress but is still firm enough to give real support for stomach sleepers. We recommend it under several different categories, as this is a mattress that’s been designed to suit all sleepers, at a very competitive price.
Hot sleepers will be glad to know that this mattress includes an extra gel cooling layer to diffuse heat away from your body, so that it sleeps cool. It also has great motion isolation, so a restless partner won’t disturb your sleep. And for stomach sleepers who experience discomfort due to their sleeping position, this mattress does a great job of cushioning your pressure points and maintaining optimal spinal alignment.
A feature we particularly like is that it includes two high-quality pillows as part of the offer.
Nectar provides a 180 night sleep trial as well as their Nectar Forever Warranty that runs as long as you own the mattress.
Stomach Sleeper Mattress Buyer’s Guide
Stomach sleepers need their mattresses to do an exceptional job. Your spine needs to be adequately supported – but that’s tricky, because your mattress isn’t supporting your backbone, it’s supporting your front.
You need enough support that your stomach doesn’t drag you down by the force of gravity, leading to discomfort and even severe back pain, but you also need comfort so that you don’t feel as if you’re sleeping on a park bench.
In this buyer’s guide we’re going to talk you through the different types of mattress, with their plus points and negatives for stomach sleepers, as well as talking about getting the right level of firmness. We’ll also talk about the technicalities of warranties and why you should get a mattress from a vendor who offers you a sleep trial.
The construction of a mattress can make a big difference to its comfort as well as how suitable it is for different sleeping positions. We’ve tested several different mattress types for this category, but each does come with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Stomach sleepers love the close conforming and the movement isolation offered by memory foam mattresses, but they can trap body heat in the foam. If you’re a hot sleeper, look for one with cooling gel layers or another type of cooling technology such as copper or charcoal.
Innerspring mattresses provide a cool sleep and firmer overall support, but don’t conform to the body so closely. They tend to be bouncy, far more so than memory foam which tends to isolate motion better. A lower quality innerspring mattress may not let a stomach sleeper’s body sink in enough to relieve the pressure on the neck and lower back. Pick a pocketed coil mattress; each coil is wrapped in fabric so that it can react independently to the pressure put on it, without making a noise by rubbing on other coils.
See our coil spring mattress guide for more product options.
Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam layers with a base of pocketed coils and offer the best of both worlds, but typically come at a higher price point.
If you like the comfort of memory foam and prefer the feel of a spring base. This is the option for you.
Latex mattresses are an alternative to foam. They conform well to the body but tend to sleep cooler than memory foam. Some are all-organic options using wool and cotton as cooling and extra comfort layers. There are also a number of latex hybrid mattresses on the market.
Other Mattress Considerations for Stomach Sleepers
Firmness is important to get ‘just right’. As a stomach sleeper you present a fairly flat profile to the mattress and you need a reasonably firm surface. However, you also need a plush soft top that will conform to your body and not, for instance, leave your spine ‘humped’ over your stomach.
That rules out an ultra-firm mattress. A medium firm mattress (5-6 on the scale) is best for most front sleepers, though if you weigh over 230 lbs you might move up to a 7-8 to give a bit more support. Sleepers under 130lbs might prefer a mattress on the softer side of medium (3-5 on the scale).
Do you actually sleep on your side? Our side sleeper mattress guide is for you.
Mattress size is an important consideration for several reasons. For example, poor edge support will be less of an issue if your mattress is large enough to allow you to sleep in the middle.
If sleeping as a couple, we recommend a minimum of a full or double mattress. For more space, the popular queen size mattress as well as the larger king size is your best option.
Many stomach sleepers are quite active sleepers, changing position several times a night to minimize discomfort. While the right mattress can help a lot, you should probably pick a mattress with good motion isolation and avoid memory foams that afford too much resistance to your movements.
Are you a restless combination sleeper? See our combo sleeper mattress guide.
Look for a mattress with a good sleep trial, which will let you assess how well the mattress is doing its job. Rather than just lying on a mattress in-store, trying to imagine you’re asleep, you’ll actually be able to sleep on the mattress for a few weeks and note how you feel in the morning. This will allow you to consider whether you got an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
It can take a while to adjust to a new mattress, so a good sleep trial takes a lot of the risk out of your buying decision. Check out the small print though; some manufacturers insist you try the mattress for a minimum period, usually 30 days. If they don’t offer free returns, you could be in for a substantial return bill.
Warranties protect you against defects in the mattress. Most mattresses offer 10 years, but some vendors offer a ‘lifetime’ guarantee that protects you as long as you own the mattress (that is, the guarantee won’t transfer to a second owner).
Watch out for ‘prorated’ coverage, which reduces the pay-out for every year you own the mattress – you want that to kick in later rather than sooner.
Check your budget. And check whether you can cut extra costs; for instance, if a vendor offers free shipping, that’s a big cost that you’re not going to have to pay. You could use the money to pay for an upgrade or for better pillows.
If you sleep on your stomach, you’ll want a mattress that gives you really good support, and that keeps your spine aligned correctly while you sleep. The choices we’ve selected should really help you out.
However, your task isn’t over. While some stomach sleepers prefer to sleep without a pillow, others need the extra comfort that one provides. Make sure that you buy a lower-loft pillow that won’t tilt your neck upwards. Down and memory foam pillows are favorites with stomach sleepers, giving comfort while keeping your neck nice and straight. You may even find using additional body pillows beneath your neck or hips can help relieve pressure on your stomach.
You’re the single type of sleeper who needs to take the most care over choosing a mattress, because the way you sleep has a very high potential for discomfort if your mattress doesn’t support you properly. Many stomach sleepers report neck strain or lower back pain. Take time and care over choosing the right mattress, as the better the selection you make, the better you’re going to feel – every single morning.