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Stomach sleepers—I say this as a part-time one myself—need to get their shit together. Back sleepers and side sleepers get some health benefits when they sleep, no back pain and easier breathing chief among them. Stomach sleepers? We're just hurting ourselves every single night. In the day and age where every single mattress is a memory foam mattress, stomach sleeping is a horrible habit. In terms of mattresses, you need something firm, bordering on hard. You shouldn't worry about choosing between the most popular mattresses on the market, just buy something cheap and you'll be fine. Honestly, you should just sleep on the ground... Or at least on a tatami style bedroll.
In terms of pillows, stomach sleepers also need to go minimal. The best pillow for stomach sleepers is actually no pillow. Lay on your stomach, make a pillow with your arms, and put your head on that. Anything taller than that is twisting your neck into an unfriendly position. When I searched for competitor articles, I was blown away. Other writers are literally trying to kill you with pillows that are just too damn tall.
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: Buy the thinnest pillow you can find. That is the only thing that is going to work for you. Don't trust other writers. Don't trust the pillow companies' marketing. Trust me, because I also sleep like this. Shop the three best pillows for stomach sleepers here—I'm the only one that has your best interest at heart.
Ultra Slim Memory Foam Pillow
Like I said, no pillow is the best pillow. This European-style barely there memory foam pillow is as close as you'll get to just not using one. It's supportive enough to give you the benefits of a pillow, but it's thin enough to not fuck up your neck.
The only down side is if you're any sort of combination sleeper. It'll be fine if you sleep on your back, but side sleeping with this thing is no fun.
Personally, I go through phases of preferring one sleeping style the most. Some months it's stomach, some it's side, some it's back. When I do sleep on my stomach, I'll almost never do it for a full eight hours. What happens is that I'll sleep on my stomach until I wake up, then move to something more healthy.
The best thing for that scenario is a pillow that you can adjust in the middle of the night. The Marlow Pillow is that. It's controlled by a zipper on each side, so even when it's in a pillow sheet, you can compress or expand it.
At it's fully compressed state—with both zippers closed—it's just on the cusp of what I'd consider a good stomach sleeping pillow. A doctor might say it's a little tall, but it hasn't given me any problems.
If you want something even more customizable, Coop's Original pillow is as good as it gets. It's perfect for anyone who goes through phases of preferring certain sleeping styles.
This Coop pillow is perfect anyone, because you choose exactly how much fill you want in it. A hardcore stomach sleeper can take it all the way down to nothing, and the health-freak back sleepers can add fill to support their neck. The shredded memory foam gives you a little bit of give and cooling, somewhat similar to a down pillow. But, it still out punches its weight in support.
The only real downside is what you do with the fill. You kind of just... have it. Unless you throw it away, but that seems wasteful. I never found a solution I felt good about.
What Type of Pillows Do Stomach Sleepers Need?
Thin! You need a thin pillow! If you got this far and didn't figure that out, I'm sorry to yell. It's just that I really need to get this point across.
Stomach sleeping is not all bad. It's actually one of the best positions for opening up your airways. But, the thing is that it's really easy to put bad pressure on your spine when you sleep on your stomach. Almost all pillows are too tall, and they make you compress the vertebrae in your neck. No good.
If you sleep on your stomach, and you don't want to learn how not to, get the thinnest pillow you can possibly handle.
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