Choosing the right sleep accessories is not just about how well they match your bedroom curtains; your pillow should help you maintain healthy posture and relieve pressure in your body too! Unfortunately, when it comes to stomach sleeping, using the wrong pillow can lead to some serious strain on your neck and back, as well as put pressure on your lower abdomen.
So, because we’ve learned that prone sleeping can be a risky position, picking the right bed pillows is extra important. But don’t worry! There are some key factors to follow when searching for the pillow that’s going to meet all your stomach sleeping needs. In this review, I’ll be taking a close look at my top pillow picks for stomach sleepers. I’ve personally tested each one, so let’s help you find the pillows that suit both your body and your lifestyle.
WHAT’S THE PERFECT PILLOW FOR STOMACH SLEEPING?
When it comes to stomach sleeping, the two most important factors revolve around the pillow’s loft and firmness. Now, there are exceptions to every rule, but in general you’re going to want to find a pillow with lower loft (shorter height) and a softer firmness level. This allows your spine to rest is neutral alignment and helps to prevent your head from craning upwards.
You’ll hear me repeat this a few times, but when you’re sleeping on your stomach, your pillow should be soft, short, and compressible enough to keep your spine aligned and relieve pressure in your lower back. And once you’ve found the pillow that does all that, you can dive deeper into the details! At the end of the day, every sleeper finds their comfort zone differently and there is much to consider. So, let’s take a look at the roundup, shall we?
TOP PILLOW PICKS FOR STOMACH SLEEPERS
The low-friction silky fibers inside the Casper pillow offer cozy, head-cradling support and a lofty build that's ideal for back and side sleepers!
Stomach sleepers who enjoy a firmer feel might be particularly compatible with Purple's durable hyper-elastic polymer!
Nolah AirFiber Pillow
Nolah AirFiber Pillow
The fluffy down-alternative in this pillow allows sleepers to shape and fold it until they've found the loft and firmness of their liking!
Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow
Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow
The down-alternative in this pillow is very compressible, perfect for stomach sleepers who need a low loft! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 15% on your Pillow Guy purchase!
The Avocado pillow offers medium firmness, adjustable support, and all-natural materials for the eco-friendly stomach sleeper!
MyPillow offers a range of firmnesses for sleepers who need varying levels of loft and support!
The bouncy, Avena-like foam inside the Leesa pillow offers buoyant support that sleepers of all styles can enjoy!
Tomorrow Sleep Memory Foam Pillow
Tomorrow Sleep Memory Foam Pillow
For stomach sleepers who need a low loft, but still love a good sink into memory foam — this is your pillow.
WHAT MAKES THESE PILLOWS GREAT FOR STOMACH SLEEPING?
While each of the pillows listed above offers its own distinct feel, they all provide supportive pressure relief and spine alignment for folks who love stomach sleeping. They’ve got the right loft, firmness and feel, but there are some special features that set each one apart too! Essentially, helping you to maintain healthy posture while providing relaxing comfort is your pillow’s primary purpose and, after thoroughly testing each one, I think these eight picks have what it takes. So, let’s take a close examination of each one so you can determine which one might be the right pillow for you!
BEST PILLOW FOR SIDE AND STOMACH
I chose the Casper for stomach sleeping because it has a soft, fluffy build, and the low friction silky fibers inside make it easily compressible so that it’s not elevating your head or craning your neck in an uncomfortable way. It’s got a consistent loft which is great for stomach sleeping, but because it’s so shapeable and has a fluffable, lofty build, it’s great for side sleeping as well. (we can replace that link with the updated side sleeper video when it’s posted).
Because side sleepers generally need the opposite of what stomach sleepers need from a pillow, it can be tough to reconcile those distinct slumber styles in one sleep accessory. However, thanks to the Casper pillow’s dual-layer design, sleepers have the option to use the pillow as it comes, or remove the outer layer to enjoy lower loft. This way, if you do find this pillow to be too lofty for stomach sleeping, but you’re liking it for hugging and other positions — simply remove the middle insert and sleep on that! It’s still got the nice plush feel of the silky fibers inside, but without the gusseted outer pillow, the loft is considerably lower.
I think the Casper pillow is particularly useful for stomach sleepers who change positions throughout the night. Like I said, finding a true all-position pillow can be tricky, but I think this pillow does a great job of supporting stomach sleepers who dabble in supine and lateral sleeping as well. Plus, the versatility of the dual-layer design allows a level of customizable comfort that is always a bonus.
For the full scoop, check out my full review of the Casper pillow.
Sleepers can enjoy Casper's pillow-in-a-pillow design in order to customize the loft and feel!
BEST PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN
Remember how I said there are exceptions to every rule? Well, here we have the Purple pillow. It’s firmer than all the other pillows in this roundup, it’s not very shapeable, and it weighs 10 pounds! So, why did it make the top six picks? Firstly, while it is firmer in feel, the Purple pillow does have a pretty short profile. The loft is low enough so that your head won’t be craned out of alignment with your neck, and it’s consistent throughout the entire pillow. This way, no matter where on the pillow you place your head, the surface will remain even.
Additionally, the Purple pillow’s interior is made from the company’s patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer — a material built to be durable, resilient, with a quick response to pressure. This material is arranged in what the company refers to as the “Comfort Grid System” which ensures that when you lay into the pillow, it won’t lose shape anywhere else. Again, this consistent loft and resilient response to pressure is going to help stomach sleepers maintain spine alignment which guards against neck pain.
Not to mention, the sides of the pillow are built to be firmer than the middle so that if you like to roll over into the lateral position, you’ll have the pillow’s firm edges to support your neck. Like I said, the middle of the pillow is softer than the edges to accommodate stomach sleepers, but the Purple is an all-position pillow (so feel free to roll around!). That being said, something I like about this pillow for stomach sleeping is that it’s heavy, so it’s not going anywhere no matter how much you toss and turn.
Stomach sleepers who are looking for a firmer pillow that’s going to relieve pressure in the neck should test this pillow out! Check out my full review of the Purple pillow for all the details.
Built with contouring hyper-elastic polymer, the Purple pillow is fantastic for those in need of pressure relief.
BEST DOWN ALTERNATIVE PILLOW
Because most folks in the sleep industry know that certain pillow traits are more compatible with specific positions, many companies will make several different pillows to accommodate the various sleep styles. Such is the case with Nolah! Nolah built the AirFoam pillow to meet the needs of back and side sleepers, and the AirFiber for stomach sleepers. The AirFoam is built to be more densely supportive and lofty, but the AirFiber is designed to have a much softer, more plush feel which is ideal for stomach sleeping.
The AirFiber pillow is filled with a fluffy down-alternative that is easily compressed into a low loft, while also offering that feather-like feel that many sleepers enjoy. Like I said, the lower loft of the pillow is going to help you keep proper spine alignment when in the prone position, but it’s also got great shapeability which allows you to reach underneath and embrace it. When I sleep on my stomach, I get into this sliding-into-homebase position with my arms outstretched (and I like to grab ahold of my pillow and pull it in close to my face). The soft, fluffy nature of the down-alternative allowed me to do settle into my go-to stomach sleeping style really well.
Stomach sleepers who love the feathery feel of down (but don’t want to sleep on any animal products) would be particularly compatible with this pillow. To check out all the details on both the Nolah AirFiber and AirFoam pillow, take a look at my full review!
With two different builds, the Nolah pillows are great for almost every kind of sleeper.
BEST PILLOW WITH LOWEST LOFT
Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow
Pillow Guy’s pillow is also filled with a fluffy down alternative and, similar to Nolah, the company makes one pillow for stomach sleepers and one for back and side sleeping. Both of Pillow Guy’s down-alternative pillows are filled with soft and feathery poly gel fiber, but the stomach sleeper pillow is considerably lower in loft. The fill is still going to give you that luxurious plushness, but with less material inside the pillow, stomach sleepers don’t need to worry about craning their necks upward.
The poly gel fiber inside this pillow has a silky-soft quality to it that makes it very easily compressed. Essentially, while the loft of this pillow is already quite low, the weight of your head will squish the pillow down to be even shorter. This way, there is just a thin layer of fluffy comfort between you and your mattress. Stomach sleepers who like to sleep with no pillow at all (or like only the slightest bit of buffer between their face and the mattress) would be particularly compatible with this pillow.
As we know, everybody is different and it is often the case that stomach sleepers will not use a pillow because it helps ensure that their spines maintain neutral alignment all night. Believe me, I totally understand the desire to air on the side of safety when it comes to healthy sleep posture — but I’d encourage stomach sleepers who need a very low lofted pillow to give this one a try. It’s soft, shapeable, and very easy to fold and manipulate. I will say, however, that because this pillow’s profile is so soft and thin, I found it to be only suitable for stomach sleeping.
Strict stomach sleepers looking for a soft, compressible pillow should check out my full review!
A cushiony down alternative makes these Pillow Guy pillows super soft and flexible. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to get 15% off your order!
BEST PILLOW WITH CUSTOMIZABLE COMFORT
The Avocado Green pillow is great for stomach sleeping because it already has a pretty low loft, but it’s also adjustable. So, even though the fill is already pretty plush and the pillow itself offers a soft-medium firmness, sleepers can feel free to just unzip, reach in and remove as much fill as they like! Personally, I prefer adjustable pillows because they offer an extra level of customizable comfort that is very useful for personalizing the loft to my liking.
Remember, stomach sleeping is a little bit riskier because it is easier for your head to be elevated out of alignment with your spine. Having an adjustable pillow is a good idea, particularly for stomach sleepers, so that you can remove as much fill as you need to in order to meet the specific needs of your body. Not to mention, the fill itself is totally organic and hypoallergenic. This is always a plus, but it’s especially great for prone sleeping because when you’re on your stomach, you’re rubbing your face all over the pillow rather than just resting your head on top of it.
The even mix of Kapok fibers and Dunlop latex shreds offers a plush feel but also provides a soft-medium firmness level. So, I think this pillow is a good pick for both stomach and back sleepers (and, depending on how you manipulate the fill, side sleepers too!). Just be sure that however you customize the fill of this pillow, it’s keeping your head, neck and spine all in happy alignment.
For all the details on the Avocado Green pillow, check out my full review!
Made with all-natural latex, the Avocado pillow is both eco-friendly and supportive!
BEST PILLOW WITH SOFTEST SUPPORT
A softer pillow is typically going to better serve the needs of stomach sleepers, but what feels soft to some folks might not be quite soft enough for others. That’s why I included MyPillow in this roundup! MyPillow offers four different fill levels which range in firmness and feel. The fill levels are arranged by color, and the “yellow level” and “white level” are the softest. I chose the white fill level for my top picks because it’s super soft but still has a few inches of loft should you want to roll over onto your back.
The yellow fill level is also very soft, but it’s quite thin. So, if you’re a strict stomach sleeper who prefers a very small amount of material between you and the mattress, I’d suggest giving the yellow fill a try. However, I chose the white fill level here because it’s soft and compressible enough to help you maintain spine alignment when you’re in the prone position, but it’s got enough fill inside to shape and fold in order to play around with the feel. It’s still a little too short for side sleeping, but I think combo sleepers who shift between stomach and back might benefit the most from this pillow.
While there are different levels of fill power, every MyPillow is filled with shredded polyfoam which is known for being extra fluffable. So, if you’re a stomach sleeper who needs a soft, low lofted pillow but is still looking for that fluff factor, give this one a try! For my full thoughts on all four fill levels, check out my written and video reviews.
MyPillow pillows come in four different firmness levels so sleepers can choose the feel and support that's best for them!
While these pillows didn’t quite hit the mark for my top picks, they do bring some special qualities to the pillow game. So, they have each earned a spot in my list of Honorable Mentions.
The Leesa pillow offers a super quick response to pressure, ideal for back sleepers who need help maintaining healthy posture throughout the night!
The Leesa pillow is filled with bouncy Avena-like foam that has a very quick response to pressure which helps it to maintain a consistent loft and relieve pressure in your neck. It’s got a relatively low loft and a soft firmness level which works to keep your posture healthy. However, I didn’t choose it for my top picks because when you rest your face in the middle of the pillow, the buoyant foam rises around the sides of your head and can cover your nose and mouth in an unpleasant way. Once you move your face to the edges of the pillow, all is right in the world again.
I do think that the foam inside the Leesa pillow offers a balanced, unique support that many stomach sleepers could enjoy, but I would definitely test it out before committing to it. Like I said, if you’re someone who likes to sleep with your face in the center of the pillow, the Leesa could potentially be uncomfortable for you.
For all the deets on the Leesa pillow, check out my full written review!
Sink into head-conforming memory foam, and enjoy the cooling cover fabric for a full night's rest!
Well, I didn’t choose the memory foam pillow from Tomorrow Sleep for my top six picks because it isn’t adjustable or foldable, and it does have a firmer feel. Those traits are not ideal for stomach sleeping, however it does have a pretty low loft. When it comes to solid memory foam, it is often the case that the pillow will have a higher loft. But I found the short profile of this pillow to lend itself well to to the prone position. I never felt like my head was elevated out of alignment with my spine, and the memory foam did offer me that nice sink into the pillow (which I love).
If you’re a stomach sleeper who’s all about the soft, shapeable fluff, I wouldn’t recommend this pillow. But if you’re trying to find a way to combine your love for body conforming memory foam with your habitual stomach sleeping patterns, this pillow could be a great choice for you!
Check out my full written review to learn more about the memory foam pillow from Tomorrow Sleep!
Well, you’ve seen my personal pillow picks for prone sleeping but remember: these are just eight of my favorites. There’s a big wide pillow-world out there, so let’s make sure you know what to look for when you’re shopping for a stomach sleeper pillow on your own.
When you’re perusing the pillow aisle for the right stomach sleeping accessory, one of the first things you want to pay attention to is the loft, or height, of the pillow. When testing the pillow’s loft, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this pillow’s loft low enough to keep my head, neck, and spine in neutral alignment?
- Is this pillow so lofty that it elevates my head and cranes my neck upwards out of alignment with my spine?
- Is this pillow’s loft providing me pressure relief for my lower back?
When searching for the right loft, there’s a bit of a Goldilocks situation at hand, and it’s important to find the height that’s just right. Your stomach sleeper pillow should be thin enough to keep your head in alignment with your spine, but also offer you a cushy-soft place to rest. If the loft of your pillow is even slightly too high, your neck could be pushed out of alignment with your spine and you could wake up with a painful crick in your neck. So, take your time when testing a stomach sleeper pillow to make sure that your head, neck, and spine are all aligned and relaxed.
A low loft is the primary factor to prioritize when hunting for a stomach sleeper pillow, however it’s also important to keep your eye on the firmness level. A pillow with a softer, plush feel is typically going to work better as it’s easier to compress and will relieve pressure in your neck and lower back. As I mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions, but firmer pillows are generally better suited to side sleepers while softer pillows are better for prone sleeping.
Keeping healthy posture throughout the course of your slumber is one of the most important keys to a good night’s sleep, and a pillow with softer support is going to help you do that when you’re on your stomach. It can get a little confusing, because a firm mattress is better for stomach sleeping so just remember: soft pillow, firm mattress.
THE LOVE OF A GOOD MATTRESS
Speaking of mattresses! It’s obviously very important to have a pillow that’s going to support your preferred sleeping position, but it would be a shame for your pillow’s good work to go to waste because you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress. For the full stomach sleeping experience, pair your pillow with a mattress that is also designed for folks who sleep in the prone position. It may take some searching, but it’s important to find the mattress that’s going to offer the right firmness and feel so that you can enjoy support for your back and alignment of your lumbar spine. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our picks for the best mattresses for stomach sleepers!
At the end of the day, everybody is different and our sleeping habits do change over time. So, it’s important to note that what works well for some stomach sleepers might not be as great for others. Researching a sleep accessory before you purchase it is a great way to get a good preliminary sense of it, and whether or not it’s going to serve your unique-to-you needs.
That being said, every pillow I’ve listed in this article offers a trial period which allows you to test it out first to see how you like it before adding it to your collection of bedding. If (after watching a Sleepopolis pillow review on YouTube) you decide that you have to test that pillow for yourself, you usually can! I always encourage folks to try a pillow first so that if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can happily continue your search for one that does.
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