Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers – Our Picks and Buyer’s Guide

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Quick Summary

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep position. According to many medical experts, it is also the unhealthiest option because it leaves sleepers vulnerable to high levels of pain and pressure in their neck and shoulders. However, many adults prefer sleeping on their stomachs over other positions. These sleepers must carefully select their bedding materials in order to ensure sleep quality and duration.

Choosing a pillow can be tricky for stomach sleepers because most models are primarily designed for side and/or back sleepers. Pillow loft, or thickness, is an important consideration; excessively thin or excessively thick pillows will affect how well the neck aligns with the spine. The pillow’s fill and cover material are other variables to take into account, as sleeping face-down often requires softer, more breathable surfaces.

This guide will explore the unique pillow considerations for stomach sleepers. Below you will find our top six picks for stomach sleeping pillows sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Editor’s Pick – Coop Home Goods Eden

Best Value Pillow – Snuggle-Pedic

Best Luxury Pillow – Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow – Bear Pillow

Best Pillow for Heavyweight Stomach Sleepers – Classic Brands Embrace Firm Latex Pillow

Best Pillow for Pressure Relief – Malouf Z Zoned Talalay Latex

How We Decided

 

70 pillows considered –– 100 hours of research –– 4 sleep experts consulted

The Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers – Tuck's Top 6 Pillows

Coop Home Goods Eden – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • ‘Medium Soft’ firmness
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 5-year warranty
  • Adjustable loft
  • Great shape retention

Adjustable loft is a good pillow quality for stomach sleepers. This allows them to customize the thickness of their pillow as needed whenever aches, pains, and pressure points develop. The Eden from Coop Home Goods is fully adjustable and will accommodate sleepers with a wide range of loft preferences. The pillow is also constructed with shredded gel memory foam fill and a bamboo-rayon cover; both components allow the pillow to sleep exceptionally cool.

Unlike many shredded memory foam pillows, the Eden retains its shape very well and has a longer-than-average lifespan; most owners can sleep on the pillow for at least three years before they need to replace it. The Eden also features a removable polyester liner, which makes the machine-washable cover easy to clean.

Customers who purchase the Eden pillow may qualify for a bundle deal that includes two pillows and two mattress protectors in any size. Customers in all 50 states qualify for free shipping when they order the Eden, and the pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers
  • Those with fluctuating loft preferences

Check Price | Read Our Full Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow Review

Snuggle-Pedic – Best Value Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’ firmness
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • Adjustable loft
  • Cool, pressure-relieving comfort

Our Best Value Pillow is Relief Mart’s Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Pillow, or Snuggle-Pedic for short. This shredded memory foam pillow offers ‘Medium’ firmness, making it suitable for stomach sleepers of all body types (particularly those who weigh less than 230 pounds). The Snuggle-Pedic also has a price-point that is much lower than that of most similar shredded foam models.

Temperature neutrality is another key strength of the Snuggle-Pedic. The pillow absorbs minimal body heat due to good air circulation throughout the interior, while the bamboo-rayon cover feels very cool. The loft is also adjustable; however, because the pillow is sealed at the opening, owners should ship the pillow to Relief Mart whenever they desire a loft adjustment (as opposed to doing it themselves). Relief Mart offers unlimited adjustments and free shipping for this service, saving owners a considerable amount of money in the process.

The Snuggle-Pedic qualifies for free shipping anywhere in the U.S. The pillow is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Check Price | Read Our Full Snuggle-Pedic Pillow Review

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow – Best Luxury Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Soft’
  • 5-year warranty
  • Medium loft (5″)
  • Flippable with even and arched surfaces
  • Exceptional durability and shape retention

The TEMPUR-Symphony from Tempur-Pedic is a solid memory foam pillow with an innovative flippable design. One side has a flat, even surface that offers close conforming, while the other side is arched for maximum neck and head support. The pillow is 5″ thick but has a soft surface that hugs the sleeper’s neck closely to provide optimal alignment with the spine.

Tempur-Pedic memory foam pillows have been touted for their durability and the TEMPUR-Symphony is no exception. The pillow retains its shape very well and the expected lifespan is at least three years – much longer than that of the average foam pillow. The TEMPUR-Symphony is highly moldable, as well, and is a good option for sleepers who like to snuggle with a pillow.

The TEMPUR-Symphony has an above-average price-point, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets. Tempur-Pedic offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S., and the pillow is backed by a five-year warranty

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers
  • Those who prefer a flippable, dual-sided design

Check Price | Read Our Full Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow Review

Bear Pillow – Best Cooling Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 2-year warranty
  • Medium loft (5″)
  • Conforms closely to alleviate pressure

The Bear Pillow is made from a single piece of aerated polyfoam and a polyester cover with mesh-woven end caps. These materials promote airflow and allow the pillow to sleep much cooler than most solid foam models. The Bear Pillow is also medium-loft and ‘Medium’ firmness, meaning it will accommodate stomach sleepers with different body types – particularly those in the light weight group (less than 130 pounds).

The Bear Pillow is also highly moldable, making it suitable for pillow snugglers, but its dense foam construction retains full shape easily. Odor potential is also low; many other polyfoam pillows will emit off-gassing odor for weeks after being unpackaged, if not longer.

Bear offers free pillow shipping for all customers in the contiguous U.S. The Bear Pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a two-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • People who prefer to snuggle with pillows while they sleep

Check Price | Read Our Full Bear Pillow Review

Classic Brands Embrace Firm Latex Pillow – Best Pillow for Heavyweight Stomach Sleepers

Highlights
  • ‘Firm’
  • 3-year warranty
  • High-loft (6″)
  • Sleeps exceptionally cool
  • Good pain and pressure relief

Sleepers who fall in the heavy weight group (more than 230 pounds) are more susceptible to aches and pains than lighter individuals, and stomach sleeping may compound this issue. The Embrace Firm Latex Pillow from Classic Brands offers a firmer surface that won’t sag excessively. The single-piece latex design also cradles the face and neck for above-average pressure relief.

The Embrace Firm Latex Pillow also sleeps very cool. The latex is ventilated to promote more circulation in the interior of the pillow and the smooth, polyester-velour cover also offers good temperature neutrality. And unlike many latex pillows, which can be heavy and cumbersome to move, this Classic Brands model is fairly lightweight and shouldn’t cause too much strain when moving or adjusting.

Classic Brands products are sold exclusively through Amazon.com and other third-party distributors; customers should defer to the shipping fees and sleep trials of the individual seller. The Embrace Firm Latex Pillow is, however, backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Good for:

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Check Price | Read Our Full Classic Brands Embrace Firm Latex Pillow Review

Malouf Z Zoned Talalay Latex – Best Pillow for Pressure Relief

Highlights
  • Multiple firmness options (‘Soft,’ ‘Firm’)
  • 5-year warranty
  • Multiple loft options (4.5″, 7″)
  • Extra support for head and neck
  • Sleeps exceptionally cool

Because pain and pressure in the neck and shoulders are so common for stomach sleepers, we’ve chosen the Zoned Talalay Latex model from Malouf as the Best Pillow for Pressure Relief. This ventilated latex pillow is offered in ‘Soft’ and ‘Firm’ options, as well as two different lofts, in order to accommodate stomach sleepers of all body types. The pillow also offers enhanced neck and head support to reduce aches and discomfort in sensitive areas.

The pillow, which is part of Malouf’s Z collection, is constructed with a solid piece of ventilated Talalay latex and a cover made from polyester and bamboo-rayon. These materials offer great airflow circulation and breathability, allowing the pillow to sleep cool for most. And like other latex pillows, this model has a lifespan that is considered much longer than average.

Malouf offers free pillow shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. It is also backed by a five-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Check Price | Read Our Full Malouf Z Zoned Talalay Latex Review

Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers Buying Guide

Stomach sleeping (or front sleeping) is a challenging position for most people, and most doctors do not recommend it. Sleeping on the stomach often causes neck strain from craning one’s neck to one side, and spinal strain due to uneven weight distribution. Pillow selection can make a world of difference for stomach sleepers. Pillows that are overly thick can cause them to turn their head or bend their neck to one side, which may cause aches and pains to develop. However, pillows that are too thin may not provide enough support, which can also lead to discomfort.

This guide will explore pillow options for stomach sleepers. We’ll look at the mechanics of sleeping on one’s stomach, important considerations for pillow shoppers, and our picks for the best pillows for stomach sleepers.

What You Need to Know About Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep position. An estimated 6% to 7% of adults regularly sleep on their stomachs. Most utilize the ‘freefall’ position (illustrated below), with both hands resting below the head while one leg is slightly bent at the knee and the other is fully extended.

Generally speaking, physicians discourage the stomach sleeping position. However, there are two notable advantages to sleeping on one’s stomach:

  • Lower snoring potential: Like side sleepers, stomach sleepers are less susceptible to heavy snoring than back sleepers. This is because the muscles in breathing passages tend to relax when one sleeps on his or her back. This can cause the airway to restrict, as well as the tongue to block the airway. Both of these issues can increase snoring.
  • Fewer wrinkles: Many side sleepers develop wrinkles in places that rest directly on the pillow. Most stomach sleepers do not develop wrinkles as quickly, although sleeping with one’s face directly on the pillow may cause wrinkles to form.

Next, let’s look at the disadvantages of sleeping on one’s stomach:

  • Spinal strain: Most adults carry a high concentration of weight in their stomachs, and sleeping on your back or side essentially gives them a much-needed break from carrying that weight. Sleeping on one’s stomach has the opposite effect: it can pull the body down and cause the spine curvature to flatten. This often leads to pain and pressure points along the vertebrae.
  • Neck pain potential: Most stomach sleepers turn their head to one side because it is not comfortable to lay face-down on their pillow or mattress. This is a common cause of neck strain among stomach sleepers.
  • Not comfortable for most pregnant women: Stomach sleeping while pregnant is not harmful to fetal health, but most women find this position increasingly uncomfortable as their bellies grow.
  • Sleep disruption risk: Stomach sleeping can be so uncomfortable for some that it causes them to toss and turn all night, searching for an adequate position. This can affect overall sleep quality and leave them feeling tired the next day.

It’s important to note that changing a sleep position can be a difficult task — and the longer someone sleeps in a certain position, the harder it will be to adjust their routine. While stomach sleeping is not recommended, it may the position that you find most comfortable. To minimize some of the aches and pains associated with this position, try sleeping with a thin pillow beneath your stomach. This will alleviate some of the pressure associated with uneven weight distribution and help the spine maintain its natural curvature.

Choosing the Right Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers should consider several factors when choosing the best pillow for them.

Size: Pillows for stomach sleepers generally come in six standard sizes.

  • Standard (20W” x 26L”): The most common pillow size, as well as the most compact and — in most cases — the least expensive. Standard pillows may not be ideal for people who toss and turn, as they are often too narrow and may cause the sleeper’s head to slip off the sides.
  • Super Standard (20W” x 28L”): The Super Standard is considered a wider alternative to the Standard, making it suitable for some people who toss and turn, but others may still find it too narrow. Super Standards are also somewhat uncommon.
  • Queen (20W” x 30L”): The Queen is four inches wider than a Standard, and will be suitable for most sleepers who toss and turn.
  • King (20W” x 36L”): The King is a full 10 inches wider than the Standard. This means it will not only accommodate those who toss and turn, but may also serve as a comfy headrest or backrest for people who like to read or watch television in bed.
  • Euro (dimensions vary): Unlike the other standard sizes, which are rectangular, Euro pillows are square-shaped. They come in a wide range of dimensions; common options include 20W” x 20L” and 26W” x 26L”. Most sleepers in the U.S. do not use them as primary sleeping pillows, but they (like Kings) make good headrests and backrests.
  • Body (48-54W” x 20L”): Body pillows are the longest size and are fairly popular with sleepers who like to snuggle with a pillow while they sleep. However, most stomach sleepers prefer not to straddle a pillow during the night.

Additionally, a specialty ‘Small’ size is often available for cervical memory foam pillows, which are elevated beneath the neck and recessed below the head. However, these will not be suitable for the vast majority of stomach sleepers, who generally need thin, even-surface pillows.

Loft: Loft is arguably the most important consideration for stomach sleepers. There are three general categories for pillow loft:

  • Low-loft: Pillows that measure less than three inches (3″) thick.
  • Medium-loft: Pillows that measure three to five inches (3″ to 5″) thick.
  • High-loft: Pillows that measure more than five inches (5″) thick.

For most stomach sleepers, choosing loft can be a compromise. The majority of high-loft pillows — as well as many medium-loft pillows — will be excessively thick. As we’ve discussed above, this can lead to strain in the neck and spine. However, some low-loft pillows may be too thin to adequately support the sleeper’s head. Generally, stomach sleepers feel most comfortable on low- and medium-loft pillows measuring two to five inches (2″ to 5″). However, this is entirely subjective and sleeping position is only one of the factors to consider when choosing the right loft. Other variables include the sleeper’s body weight, head size, and shoulder width, as well as their mattress firmness. The table below uses these criteria to break down each loft category.  

Loft Category Thickness Optimal Weight Optimal Head Size Optimal Shoulder Width Optimal Mattress Firmness
Low Less than 3″ More than 230 lbs. Small Narrow Soft to Medium Soft
Medium 3″ to 5″ 130 to 230 lbs. Average Average Medium
High More than 5″ Less than 130 lbs. Large Broad Medium Firm to Firm

Adjustable-loft pillows are a suitable option for stomach sleepers with varying thickness preferences. These pillows allow owners to remove or add fill in order to decrease or increase the loft.

Pillow Material: Pillows may be made from a wide assortment of fill materials, and each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. Stomach sleepers tend to prefer pillows that conform to their head and provide sufficient support while not feeling too thick or firm. However, other factors to consider include temperature, cost, and odor/allergy potential. The next table takes a closer look at the construction, pros, cons, and stomach sleeper suitability of the seven most common pillow materials.

Pillow Material Filling Description Pros Cons Side Sleeper Rating
Buckwheat Roughly five to 10 lbs. of removable buckwheat hulls (outer shells) Adjustable loft
Close conforming
Good support
Sleeps cool
High price-point
Too firm for some
Noise potential
Heavy
Fair
Buckwheat pillows offer adjustable loft, but they may be excessively firm for stomach sleepers
Down Removable duck or goose down, which are the soft inner plumage found beneath the outer feathers Adjustable loft
Very soft and lightweight
Sleeps cool
Short break-in
Long lifespan
High price-point
Poor shape retention
Fluffing needed
Allergy and odor potential
Very Good
Down pillows can be adjusted for loft, and are often thin — yet supportive — enough for stomach sleepers
Down Alternative Polyester puffballs that mimic the softness and weight or authentic down Adjustable loft
Low price-point
Very soft and lightweight
Short break-in
No allergy risk
Short lifespan
Poor shape retention
Fluffing needed
Short lifespan
Fair
Down alternative pillows tend to lose shape easily, which can cause discomfort
Feather Outer feathers of ducks or geese (may also include some down for extra softness) Adjustable loft
Close conforming
Very soft and lightweight
Long lifespan
High cost
Quills can poke
Fluffing needed
May sleep hot
Odor potential
Good
Feather pillows may be too soft, but stomach sleepers can adjust the loft according to their preferences
Latex Solid latex, which is a natural substance extracted from the sap of rubber trees Close conforming
Good support
Close conforming
Long lifespan
Sleep cool
No noise
Non-adjustable loft
High cost
Too dense and heavy for some
Odor potential
Fair
Latex pillows conform and cradle the head, but most models are too thick (high-loft) for stomach sleepers
Memory Foam Shredded or solid memory foam, or viscoelastic polyfoam, which softens when warm and retains shape when cool Adjustable loft (shredded)
Close conforming
No noise
High cost
Short lifespan
Odor potential
Very Good
Most memory foam pillows are suitable for stomach sleepers because they are supportive and relatively thin
Polyester Shredded or interlocking polyester fibers; polyester is a synthetic fabric Low cost
Good shape retention (interlocking)
No allergy risk
No odor potential
Short lifespan
Poor shape retention (shredded)
Noise potential
Poor
Interlocking polyester pillows are usually too thick for stomach sleepers, while shredded polyester pillows lose shape too easily

Moldability: Moldability refers to how easily a pillow can be scrunched or reshaped to accommodate different head and neck positions. This is important for stomach sleepers, particularly those who have a hard time getting comfortable and need to move their pillow around during the night.

Cost: Finally, let’s explore cost expectations for different pillow types. The table below lists average price ranges for each of the seven pillow materials described above — but costs often vary by brand and model.

Material Buckwheat Down Down Alt. Feather Latex Memory Foam Polyester
Average Price-point $50 to $75 $70 to $100 $20 to $30 $25 to $50 $40 to $60 $50 to $60 $10 to $15

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