SOME PEOPLE are most comfortable sleeping on their stomachs. That’s fine—getting a good night’s sleep means being comfortable, in whatever position works for you. Sleeping on your stomach can also help with snoring (enter anti-snoring pillows) and sleep apnea, a serious condition that often goes undiagnosed and can lead to serious long-term health problems, including diabetes, chronic fatigue, and, in serious cases, heart attack.
That said, stomach sleeping (like sleeping on your side) puts unique stresses on the body. Most people don’t sleep face-down in a pillow; instead, they spend the night with their heads turned to the side, which can result in soreness and pain upon waking. It can even lead to jaw, neck, and back problems. Stomach sleeping can cause (or worsen) lower back pain for some people, as it disrupts the spine’s natural curvature. (Pro tip: if this is you, try a pillow under your belly to take the stress off of your back.)
Getting a good night’s sleep on your stomach, then, means having the best mattress, the best sheets, and the right pillow for sleeping. Stomach sleepers typically need thinner, less-filled pillows that allow them to lay their heads flat without putting undue stress on the neck. (Cut-out pillows are another option, for people who really don’t mind sleeping facedown.) Just like side sleepers, stomach sleepers should have a pillow that keeps the spine and neck in neutral alignment, which will prevent morning soreness and stiffness—and hopefully head off any longer-term problems.
Luckily, stomach sleepers have plenty of options when it comes to pillows. If you’re in the market to replace your old pillow—which you should ideally do at least once a year, as a worn-out pillow provides less support, gets bogged down with dust mites, and can even give you acne—or upgrade your pillow game, we’ve selected some of the best choices for belly sleepers.
Men's Health Sleep Awards | Best Mattresses | Best Humidifiers | Best Weighted Blankets | Best Cooling Weighted Blankets | Best Futon Beds | Best Space Heaters | Best Travel Pillows | Best Sleep Earplugs