6 of the Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Last Updated:October 25, 2020

If you identify as a stomach sleeper, you may feel left out with the popular pillows on the market. Around seven percent of people sleep on their bellies, according to this study. If you’re a front sleeper, count yourself as part of the minority sleep-wise. Don’t fret, though, because I’ve scoured the web for the best pillows for stomach sleepers at any budget.

The Stomach Sleeper’s Buyer’s Guide to the Best Pillows

How can I sleep comfortably on my stomach?

Sleep discomfort is a sign that your spine isn’t aligned properly and you’re placing undue stress on certain body parts. Stomach sleepers place more pressure on the head, neck, and shoulders which radiates all the way to the lower back and hips. The pelvis digs deeper into the mattress which throws off the natural curvature of the spine. That’s why experts say people who sleep on their bellies should switch to a better, more comfortable position. However, it’s hard to change old habits, especially if sleeping on your stomach is the most comfortable position for you. It actually has some positive effects such as alleviating sleep apnea and reducing snoring. The best solution to discomfort when sleeping on your stomach is to give your body proper support so the spine is in alignment. A good pillow and mattress combination is key.

What is the best pillow for a side and stomach sleeper?

Chances are, if you sleep on your belly, you also switch positions during the night, like to the side and back. Combination sleepers can have a difficult time choosing the best pillow. My tip? Go for a medium firm pillow, preferably something like shredded foam so you can adjust it to your ideal loft. Medium firm is the right amount of support for side and stomach sleeping. You can also buy a sandwich-type pillow with removable layers if you don’t like shredded fill.

Are down pillows good for stomach sleepers?

Down pillows are great for stomach sleepers because they’re plush and slim. Down are fine clusters beneath the exterior feathers of a bird. These are softer than the feathers and mold closely to the body. They compress easily so they won’t push your neck upward. You can also fluff the pillow if you need more loft.

What’s the best way to use a pillow for a stomach sleeper?

Sleeping on the stomach can strain the back because your neck tends to crane upward. It’s not how the spine is naturally curved. To counteract this, place a flat pillow under your belly and hips for better alignment. Experts recommend a thin pillow for your head. You can also forego the head pillow entirely.

How to choose the best pillow for stomach sleepers

Thickness

A thin pillow is the best way to go for belly sleepers. This is what you need to prioritize to get the most comfortable sleep. A low loft prevents your head and neck from being pushed upward, causing strain on the lower back and shoulders. You need to align your head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips properly so you can breathe better when you sleep and allow the muscles to release after a long day. You’ll know when you’ve landed on the right pillow if you sleep deeply and don’t wake up with neck pain.

The ideal loft can vary because people have different weights and heights, as well as head size and preferences, but anything below three inches thick is considered a slim pillow.

Firmness

The firmness of a pillow depends on the materials used, with down and memory foam being the plushest. Latex pillows are generally firmer. For stomach sleepers, a soft to medium firm pillow is best. Anything that allows your head and neck to rest at a comfortable angle is the right firmness.

Support and Pressure Relief

The most pressure-relieving pillows for stomach sleepers are ones that conform to the head and neck. Latex and memory foam excel at pressure relief. The neck and spine are pressure points for stomach sleepers so supporting them adequately will promote better sleep by reducing tension.

Resilience

Resilience is the ability of the pillow to bounce back and retain its shape. Well-constructed pillows with the right materials are the most resilient. Springy pillows are composed of memory foam and latex. Materials such as down and down alternatives need fluffing to maintain their loft and shape because they compress easily.

Temperature

Temperatures can soar when you sleep on your belly because you’re less exposed to the air and your breathing is more constricted. If you think you’re sleeping warmer, get a cooling and breathable pillow. Things like a bamboo cover or gel-infused fill can help with sleep temperature.

Cost

Have a budget in mind when shopping for pillows because pillows come in several price points. It’s easy to get lost in the wide array of options. Budget pillows can go as low as $10 while high end pillows cost north of $100.

Durability

More expensive pillows tend to have better materials and construction which translates to a longer lifespan. You’ll replace your pillows more often with low-quality pillows because their support quickly dwindles over a few months and years.

The 6 Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

AmazonBasics Down Alternative Bed Pillows for Stomach and Back Sleepers

Go back to basics with this down alternative pillow made for stomach sleepers. This has great value because you get a bundle of two pillows at a low cost.

Inside is a soft down alternative fill, almost as good as down but without the allergy triggers because it’s completely hypoallergenic. When it comes to support, this is on the fluffier side which is the density you’ll need if you sleep on your belly.

AmazonBasics Down Alternative Bed Pillows for Stomach and Back Sleepers - 2-Pack, Soft Density, Standard
$29.59
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The plush fill is encased in a smooth microfiber shell bordered by clean piping along its edges. The lining makes the pillow more durable by reinforcing the sides. The pillow is pure white so it looks fresh out of the box. It looks and feels like sleeping on a marshmallow.

This down alternative pillow is OEKO-Tex certified so it’s only free from dangerous chemicals and safe for home use. OEKO-Tex is a registered trademark respected in the textile industry. The set comes in two sizes: standard and king. The standard pillow is 20 by 26 inches while the king pillow is 20 by 36 inches.

These pillows are not suitable for heavier people because they sink in easily and offer little support.

Pros

Cons

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

If your main concern is neck pain, this a great pillow for stomach sleepers like you. It has a contoured surface that aligns your head, neck, and spine even if you sleep on your back. The dip in the middle cradles the head and ears as you turn to the side.

This stomach sleeper pillow is made of memory foam which softens as it comes in contact with body heat. It’s a moldable material that fits the curves of your neck and shoulders, alleviating any tension or pain. If you’ve had problems with pillows heating up on you before, don’t worry because this one is cool and breathable. Its design allows air to circulate freely.

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
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The core is encased in a bamboo fiber and polyester blend with a small quilted pattern. The perforated design lets more air through and reduces night sweats. This shell is also hypoallergenic which is great for people who suffer from asthma and respiratory issues.

To access the core, there’s a sturdy zipper enclosure that’s tucked underneath the pillow. You can use this to remove a piece of foam if you want to adjust the thickness of the pillow. This is a handy feature designed for stomach and back sleepers because it maintains the loft of the sides of the pillow as you adjust the thickness of the dip in the middle.

The pillow comes in firm or soft. If you’re strictly a stomach sleeper, go for the soft pillow. However, if you also sleep on your side, go for the standard firm pillow. You can choose from standard and queen sizes.

This pillow can emit a subtle chemical smell because of the foam, not the best odor when you’re trying to get your 8 hours, but the scent will dissipate quickly.

Pros

Cons

Coop Home Goods – Eden Adjustable Pillow

This adjustable pillow from Coop Home Goods is the best pillow for sleeping on your side, back, and anything in between. It’s my top pick for combination sleepers who happen to sleep on their stomach on a lot.

This pillow is one of their bestsellers because it’s an adjustable cooling memory foam pillow. The Eden has a cross-cut gel-infused foam fill that’s soft and supportive. You can add or remove shreds to adjust to your sleep position and personal preference.

Because it’s gel-infused, you’ll get cooler night’s sleep. The premium foam carries certifications from CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD so it’s guaranteed safe. For more breathability, the cover is made of Coop Home Goods’ Lulltra fabric which is made of smooth and soft bamboo fibers. The shell has a gusset that gives structure to the pillow and promotes airflow. It’s also hypoallergenic and mite-resistant, so anyone with allergies is in the clear.

For customer satisfaction, the brand gives a 100-night sleep trial in case you have any regrets. They also provide free loft customization so you get the best loft as a stomach sleeper. This is great for environmentally conscious and ethical shoppers because it’s vegan and cruelty-free. The Eden Adjustable Pillow comes in standard, queen and king size.

The single downside for this pillow is the typical chemical smell from the memory foam. With a thorough airing out, the odor will dissipate quickly.

Pros

Cons

Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow

If shredded memory foam is not your jam, I understand and I have just the pillow for you. This is a stomach sleeper pillow made from a single piece of foam. As the name suggests, it has a thin profile that suits stomach sleepers best. It’s about 2.5 inches high at its flattest, so this can be good for back sleepers as well as petite side sleepers.

There’s a gel infusion in the memory foam so you’ll get a comfy, cool sleep. The surface is dotted with evenly spaced holes for extra ventilation and neck support.

This stomach sleeper pillow carries a CertiPUR-US certification, guaranteeing that it’s free of harmful chemicals. It’s also a hypoallergenic pillow with a reduced odor in case you’re sensitive to synthetic smells.

The Bluewave pillow has an inner and outer cover. The inner layer is a protective mesh while the shell is made from bamboo and polyester. The fabric is cooler than cotton and wicks moisture as you sleep.

This is a standard sized pillow (also available in king size) with multiple loft options, all in the thin range. Take note that this pillow has a half pillow design, so it’s flat on the bottom and rounded on top. This means it’s not flippable. This memory foam pillow might be too thin if you’re a medium-size male or heavier.

Pros

Cons

LEREKAM Cervical Pillow Memory Foam Pillow

At first glance, this cervical pillow looks like other contoured pillows but underneath its shell, you’ll find large raised dots. These are the so-called three-dimensional massage particles unique to this pillow. The dots on the core press on the head, neck, and shoulders, allowing them to sink into a more relaxed state.

The pillow material is springy, quick-rebound memory foam. It’s breathable so you won’t be covered in sweat when you sleep on it. It comes in a soft (White Dot) and firm (Blue Dot) variant. The ergonomic cervical pillow design cradles your head and aligns the spine naturally.

It has two thicknesses. At its slimmest, it’s 2.9 inches. The front height is 4.5 inches. This loft is just right for stomach sleepers and will compress further when you sleep on it.

The high-grade, odorless cover is a blend of polyester and spandex. This shell has an inconspicuous zipper. The fabric is machine washable but the memory foam core is not.

As it only comes in one size, if you’re anywhere above or below average in weight or height, this pillow may not be for you.

Pros

Cons

Pancake Pillow The Adjustable Layer Pillow

While I’d love to tell you that this pillow will feel like sleeping on pancakes, it’s not what it’s named after. This is an adjustable pillow composed of several layers that you can stack or remove as you please. If shredded memory foam is just a tad bit too fussy but you still want the adjustable loft it gives, the Pancake Pillow is a great alternative.

It has a down alternative microfiber fill so this is on the soft and cushy end of the spectrum. Unlike down, this is hypoallergenic but just as luxurious.

Pancake Pillow The Adjustable Layer Pillow. Custom Fit Your Perfect Pillow Height. Queen Size Luxury Pillow
$69.99
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The shell is made of 100 percent cotton with a closely-knit weave. It’s a 300 thread count fabric that’s smooth. There’s also a three-sided zipper enclosure for easy access when cleaning and a gusset that supports the pillow to its fullest height.

For your ideal loft, just remove a couple of layers until you land on the thinness that will carry you gently into dreamland. If you have any unused layers, you can buy an extra case to make a bonus pillow. The Pancake Pillow is machine washable and you can choose between queen and king size.

A disadvantage with this pillow is it may be too soft for stomach sleepers who want extra support.

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a pillow especially made for stomach sleeping, you won’t go wrong with any of these choices. However, if you were to ask me what my number one pick is, I’ll point you to the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow. I can see why it’s a bestseller. It gives adaptive support whether you sleep on your stomach all through the night or switch positions. I like that it’s not too mushy and not too firm. It’s been certified by trusted names in the industry. The pillow won’t leave you sweating or sore. It has a sturdy construction that will last you years. The customer service is topnotch so I’m sure you won’t have any regrets buying this pillow.