The 7 Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers in 2020

Prevent neck strain and get a better night's sleep

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First Look

Best Overall: AmeriSleep Dual Comfort Pillow at amerisleep.com

"Its multipurpose design has created one side that is soft and another that is firm, but both work to keep your neck straight."

Best for Pregnancy: Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump at sears.com

"The pocket is made of a special, elastic cloth that is both safe and comfortable, protecting your belly from whatever surface lay below."

Best Body Pillow: Coop Home Goods Body Pillow at Amazon

"Whether it’s your knees, stomach, back, or hips, the comfortable support this coop pillow provides helps relieve your pressure points."

Best Memory Foam: Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow For Stomach Sleepers at Amazon

"With a rounded top and flat bottom, this pillow is supposed to help keep your spine in better alignment."

Best for Neck Pain: Layla Kapok Pillow at Amazon

"This provides a fluffy surface to rest your head, free from pesticides and other chemicals."

Best for CPAP: Sleep Comfort Butterfly Pillow at Amazon

"Its unusual, ergonomic shape allows for optimal comfort, contouring to your neck and shoulders to provide needed support during the night."

Best for Travel: EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow at Amazon

"Designed with strategically placed cutouts and contours, this pillow allows for better support and alignment of your head, neck, shoulders, and back."

While sleeping on your stomach can be comfortable for some, many experts agree that sleeping on your stomach does more harm than good. Sleeping on your stomach can reduce snoring and diminish sleep apnea, but it can also strain muscles and lead to misalignments in the bones of the cervical spine, says Lindsay Banks, D.C., CEO and founder of Healthy Motives 365. “Laying in the prone position while sleeping requires the head to be turned to one side and extended backwards for prolonged periods of time,” she explains. “As a result, this can put tension on the nerves leading to numbness, tingling, and pain.”

Symptoms of sleeping on your stomach can include a stiff neck and sharp pain when turning or tilting your head to the side because this sleeping position usually forces your head to be turned to one side for long periods of time. This is why specialized pillows—in addition to trying to change your sleeping position—are recommended for stomach sleepers to alleviate the strain it puts on your body. Dr. Banks says they can provide support while not overextending the neck and help keep the spine in a neutral position. “Ensuring that the spine is aligned through use of a specialized pillow can prevent future problems like neck pain, headaches, and numbness/tingling that can travel into the arms due to overextension of the neck,” she says. 

According to Dr. Banks, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a specialized pillow:

  • Choose a soft to medium pillow with some give so the head is not tilted in an uncomfortable position all night. 
  • The height of the pillow is key, select a thinner pillow that still provides adequate support to keep the spine aligned. 
  • Select a material that will contour to the natural shape of the neck like memory foam or down. 

If you’re a stomach sleeper in the market for a new pillow, here are some options to consider. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: AmeriSleep Dual Comfort Pillow

Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow
Courtesy of Amerisleep.

AmeriSleep lets you choose your comfort pillow. Stomach sleepers usually need a thinner pillow to experience a more comfortable sleep, which is why AmeriSleep has created two versions of its popular Dual Comfort Pillow: low loft and mid loft. 

This is called a Dual Comfort Pillow for a reason. Its multipurpose design has one side that is soft and another that is firm, but both work (in different ways) to keep your neck straight. With a simple flip of the pillow, you can choose what type of comfort you’re in the mood for. Made with the brand’s special Bio-Pur material, this pillow is more breathable than traditional memory foam. Along with its cooling channels, you don’t have to worry about overheating. But, if for some reason this pillow doesn’t agree with your body, you have up to 100 nights to return it.

Best for Pregnancy: Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump

Pregnancy Pillow by Cozy Bump
Courtesy of Amazon.

Sleeping with a pregnant belly is anything but comfortable. Cozy Bump’s pregnancy pillow has a hole in its center big enough to fit pregnant bellies of any size. The pocket is made of a special, elastic cloth that is both safe and comfortable, protecting your belly from whatever surface lay below. This specially designed hole allows pregnant women to sleep on their stomachs without adding unwanted pressure and the air within the pillow can be easily adjusted to accommodate a growing stomach. And, if you’re looking to carry that extra comfort with you wherever you go, you can just deflate the pillow and put it in its plastic storage box for easy transport. 

Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity, which can cause extra back pain, but this pillow is designed to help relieve that by supporting the hips and better aligning the spine. For any stomach sleeper, Dr. Banks recommends “placing a pillow under the hips to prevent excess stress on the lower back while sleeping on the stomach. This will help prevent the lower body from sinking into the mattress which will help to reduce pressure on the low back and prevent pain from occurring.”

Best Body Pillow: Coop Home Goods Body Pillow

Shredded foam pillows are a great option for stomach sleepers. However, many tend to come overstuffed, so it’s important to remove plenty (half or more) of the stuffing before use if the pillows original height makes you uncomfortable.

This body pillow is customizable: you can adjust it to perfectly fit the contours of your body, positioning it in such a way that your problem areas receive the most attention. Whether it’s your knees, stomach, back, or hips, the comfortable support this coop pillow provides helps relieve your pressure points. You can easily adjust the pillow beneath your body to make it more pleasant for stomach sleeping. If you don't feel like the pillow is contouring your body in the way you want it to, you can return it within 100 days. 

Best Memory Foam: Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

At just three inches high, this ultra slim gel memory foam pillow is thinner than some of the other options on the market. It’s perfectly designed for stomach sleepers, as well as back and side sleepers looking for support without excessive loft. With a rounded top and flat bottom, this pillow keeps your spine in better alignment. By doing so, it has the potential to also alleviate snoring and improve shoulder, back, and neck pain. If your body tends to run warm during the night, the pillow’s infused gel particle technology has you covered: it absorbs and transfers heat away from the sleeping surface. Along with ventilation holes to increase circulation, you’ll be able to make it through the night without breaking a sweat. 

Best for Neck Pain: Layla Kapok Pillow

One way to help relieve neck pain during the night is by using a supportive pillow. That’s where the Layla Kapok pillow comes in: this soft, airy pillow contains 100% natural fill made from the fibers found in the seed pods of Kapok trees. This provides a fluffy surface to rest your head, free from pesticides and other chemicals. There’s an easy access zipper that allows you to remove some of the fill and adjust the height of the pillow to suit your personal needs, so stomach sleepers can removed as much as they need for optimal comfort. Once it’s been adjusted, the pillow can nicely cradle your head and keep your neck aligned in a neutral position, making for a pain-free sleep.

Best for CPAP: Sleep Comfort Butterfly Pillow

Finding the right pillow for stomach sleepers is hard enough. But finding the right pillow for a stomach sleeper that also wears a CPAP machine—now that’s really hard. Luckily, the Sleep Comfort Butterfly Pillow is designed for CPAP wearers to sleep in any desired position. Its unusual, ergonomic shape allows for optimal comfort, contouring to your neck and shoulders to provide needed support during the night. It also helps relieve pressure from problem areas, especially around the face area as you wear your mask. This will reduce any air leaks, mask removal, facial pressure, and bruising.

Best for Travel: EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

The EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow is a very huggable pillow, the kind that makes you want to wrap your arms around it as you sleep. Designed with strategically placed cutouts and contours, this pillow allows for better support and alignment of your head, neck, shoulders, and back. These features help provide optimal support for your head and relieve neck pain. Made with high-quality memory foam, this pillow provides the perfect combination of softness and firmness. Along with its breathable pillow case, you don’t have to worry about overheating or breathing in too much pillow fabric during the night. It’s also on the smaller side for pillows, which is optimal for taking it with you on the go.

Final Verdict

Both the AmeriSleep Dual Comfort Pillow and Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow For Stomach Sleepers pay extra attention to your neck area, which is what you need as a stomach sleeper. Both are the ideal thinness for maximum comfort, but manage to provide ample support so that your spine is in better alignment.

What to Look for in a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

Height: As a stomach sleeper, you don’t want your head too far off the mattress because it puts more strain on your neck, which can then have an added negative effect on your back. Look for a pillow that doesn't sit too high off the bed, one that won't hyperextend your neck as you sleep.

Soft to Medium Firmness: A soft to medium pillow in firmness allows the pillow to contour to the shape of your neck, making for a more supportive and comfortable sleeping experience. 

Breathable Material: Material is necessary for adequate support, says Dr. Banks: “Those that may suffer from allergies or those that tend to sweat at night might want to choose a pillow made of more breathable materials.” Keep an eye out for the materials used when purchasing.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

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