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Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

Candace Osmond

Pillows are essential for your sleeping environment to be supportive, gentle and comfortable. These are all qualities of a reputable pillow, but is one pillow capable of being all of this for everyone? The reality is that there’s no one pillow that satisfies everyone. Sleep and comfort are very personal experiences, and our preferences heavily influence this. Everyone prefers a different level of firmness, material and sleeping position.

Sleeping positions are extremely important since they will help you determine how much pressure or strain is placed on your neck, head and shoulders. What’s comfortable and supportive for you can change dramatically with your position. Though stomach sleeping is not the most recommended position, one can hardly control what position you feel most comfortable in each night. Stomach sleeping creates stress on your cervical spine given you have to turn your head in order to breathe, but there are a few tips and tricks to better support your body for a healthier night’s sleep.

While sleeping without a pillow is highly recommended when on your stomach, this is very difficult for many people to fall asleep comfortably. The key to an ideal sleep posture lies not only in your mattress choice (a firmer mattress is suggested for stomach sleepers), but also your pillow choice. The best pillow for stomach sleepers has much to do with design and support, and our handpicked reviews of top-rated picks can be found below. These 8 products have been run through various sleep trials and reviewed personally by The Sleep Judge Review Team. As a reviewer and a stomach sleeper myself, I can attest to the comfort these various choices lend to your sleep.

RankProductHighlightsTrial/Warranty
#1Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Filling: Memory foam
  • Loft: ~2 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and stomach
30 day trial period
#2The Pancake Pillow

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  • Filling: Down Alternative Microfiber
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
30 day trial period
#3DreamyBlue Premium Pillow

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  • Filling: Shredded memory foam
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
Lifetime warranty
#4Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Pillow

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  • Filling: Memory foam
  • Loft: 3 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and stomach
3 years
#5Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Bamboo Cooling Pillow

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  • Filling: Shredded memory foam
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
30 day trial period
#6Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

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  • Filling: Shredded Memory Foam
  • Loft: ~5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: All
30 days
#7The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

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  • Filling: Shredded Memory Foam/ polyfill blend
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
100 night trial period
#8Sleep Number ComfortFit Classic Pillow

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  • Filling: Shredded memory foam and down alternative blend
  • Loft: ~6.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and stomach
5 years

 Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers  

1. Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow

  • Filling – Memory foam
  • Loft – ~2 inches
  • Comfort Positions – Back and stomach
  • Warranty – 30 day trial period

The Elite Rest Ultra Slim pillow is actually one of the thinnest memory foam pillows on the market, and also has a dual-sided flat and rounded surface to suit your personal preference. Its dual sided design also lends itself well to back sleepers since the added material on the rounded surface distributes under the neck for a supportive lift. Thin pillows that use fiberfill often bottom out over time, but memory foam allows for a soft compression. This pillow provides a thin layer of support to reduce neck strain and keep your head off the mattress, making it an ideal choice for the stomach sleeper.

Pros

  • Excellent for stomach sleeping
  • Provides contouring without bottoming out
  • Among the thinnest available

Cons

  • Offgassing upon opening
  • May be too firm for some preferences
  • May sleep warm

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

Both back and stomach sleepers of various shapes and sizes can easily take advantage of this pillow to provide a cradling effect, without too great a loft. Its overall thinness also works well as a pillow for hip support. Our own reviews detail the comfort we found with this pillow.

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2. The Pancake Pillow

  • Filling – Down Alternative Microfiber
  • Loft – Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions – All
  • Warranty – 30 day trial period

The Pancake Pillow holds a total of 6, 2-inch poly-filled pillows that you can use within the provided zipper case, or on their own to provide the comfort you need in a variety of sleep positions. As an adjustable pillow, it lends itself well to stomach sleepers, especially since you have enough to place under your head and hips, providing better neck and spinal support. Each individual pillow has a soft, malleable loft that distributes evenly in their respective cases to avoid lifting up around your face.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • Good for all sleep positions
  • Sleeps cool

Cons

  • Extra material
  • The zipper may catch on the pillows
  • Slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

This is an excellent choice for people who are already familiar with layering comfort, as well as stomach sleepers who can very much adjust their sleep surface to personal preferences, without raising their head too high. The extra layers are also excellent for other pressure point reduction. Check out our full review of The Pancake Pillow here.

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3. DreamyBlue Premium Pillow

  • Filling – Shredded memory foam
  • Loft – Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions – All
  • Warranty: Lifetime

DreamyBlue’s orthopedic adjustable pillow is one of the best on the market for stomach, back and side sleepers. The adjustability of the shredded memory foam filling lets you craft the perfect pillow for yourself. No matter your sleeping position, everyone can find their perfect loft and firmness.

The shredded memory foam filling makes for a supportive and contouring sleep experience. There is extra filling or foam included with the pillow in case you need a higher loft, and the fill provides a blissful blend of softness and support.

The cover is made from bamboo-extracted rayon fabric to counteract the natural heating qualities of the shredded memory foam. It’s a breathable, dust-mite resistant and hypoallergenic cover.

DreamyBlue offers a lifetime warranty for any defects or flaws, as well as a hassle-free return if you’re not satisfied. You get a full refund with no questions asked, making this an extremely reliable purchase.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant
  • Adjustable pillow with extra filling provided
  • Hassle-free warranty and replacement for a lifetime

Cons

  • Shredded memory foam filling can heat up

Who Should Purchase This Pillow?

There is no perfect pillow, that much is clear. But it feels better when you’re the one with control over how well you sleep. With an adjustable pillow, you can control how firm or soft and lofty or low your pillow is.

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4. Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Pillow

  • Filling – Memory foam
  • Loft – 3 inches
  • Comfort Positions – Back and stomach
  • Warranty – 3 years

This is a popular thin pillow choice that works well for both stomach and back sleepers due to its firm memory foam core. The foam is also infused with a gel to help extract heat from the body, an excellent feature as memory foam often can retain heat and create a warmer sleep experience. It is dual-sided with a flat side and round side depending on your preference. The rounded side also provides the extra lift for neck support if you’re sleeping on your back. Its breathable bamboo material is a nice touch and allows for increased breathability as well as providing a plush, soft surface.

Pros

  • Good for back and stomach sleepers
  • Good for side sleepers that prop their arm beneath their head
  • Sleeps cool

Cons

  • May be too firm
  • Not good for combo or side sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

This pillow is ideal for both back and stomach sleepers and allows for a soft, contouring support to relieve pressure points. Too firm to bottom out, it allows your head to be cradled upon the surface for a restful night. Our own trials and opinions about this pillow can be seen here!

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5. Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Bamboo Cooling Pillow

  • Filling – Shredded memory foam
  • Loft – Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions – All
  • Warranty – 30 day trial period

Adjustable pillows are a great choice for stomach sleepers as a larger variety of body shapes and sizes can easily take advantage of the same pillow, with just a little patience to adjust as needed. The fill of this Coop Home Goods pillow is shredded memory foam to provide soft, malleable comfort that distributes well under your weight without sacrificing support. This type of fill is also great for added airflow, and with a soft, bamboo cover, you get a plush, breathable surface for added comfort.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable to all sleep positions
  • Washable
  • Great for heavier bodies

Cons

  • Slight offgassing
  • May become lumpy overtime
  • Firm feel with higher loft

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

This is a great pillow for all sleep positions, in particular those needing a thin profile for stomach and back sleeping. The pillow does not loft up around your face, and allows for support where needed. We also ran trials on how cool it slept, as well as for comfort, and the results can be found here.

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6. Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

  • Filling – Shredded Memory Foam
  • Loft – ~5 inches
  • Comfort Positions – All
  • Warranty – 30 days

Although not adjustable, the shredded memory foam of the Xtreme Comforts Slim Pillow compresses wonderfully well to create a slim profile pillow for back and stomach sleepers. The foam breathes well and conforms perfectly to your head and neck, allowing for easy shaping for added support. A soft, breathable bamboo cover (which is popular with this type of pillow construction) also increases airflow and provides a plush surface to lay on.

Pros

  • Good airflow
  • Holds up well
  • Soft, washable cover

Cons

  • Slight offgassing
  • May be too lofty for some preferences
  • Some people don’t like the feel of the shreds

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

Since this pillow is not adjustable, it’s more suited to stomach sleepers of larger body types and broader shoulders. Our own trials describe comfort positions and which body types might best take advantage of this pillow.

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7. The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

  • Filling – Shredded Memory foam/polyfill blend
  • Loft – Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions – All
  • Warranty –100 night trial period

Fully adjustable with shredded memory foam and soft polyfill comfort, the Nest Bedding pillow was created specifically to help address sleep posture and personalized comfort. Wrapped In a soft Tencel cover, this pillow feels almost like an overstuffed feather pillow that can suit the needs of back, and stomach, sleepers. Though adjusting your pillow may take a few nights until you get the exact loft and feel you need, it’s well worth the effort as the fill moves easily within the casing for a perfect shape to your head and neck.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool

Cons

  • Not washable
  • Slight offgassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

Although it does loft up a bit under compression after the removal of filling to create a thinner pillow, this is a pillow that can be used by a wide variety of people. We had favorable results overall, and our own trials can be viewed here.

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8. Sleep Number ComfortFit Classic Pillow

  • Filling – Shredded memory foam and down alternative blend
  • Loft – ~6.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions – Back and stomach
  • Warranty – 5 years

Last but not least, Sleep Number is not only a favored brand within the sleep industry, but it’s also one of the most innovative concerning technological advances. Their ComfortFit Pillow Series is a perfect example of this, and their Classic choice is a soft, responsive shredded memory foam and polyfill blend that provides a compressible surface for back and stomach sleepers. It comes in two additional sizes, curved and ultimate. A thick, quilted comfort is part of the overall experience and helps keep the filling well distributed, which also keeps the pillow from lifting up around your face.

Pros

  • Variable support for back, stomach, and some side sleepers
  • Malleable
  • Helps provide support to head and neck
  • Relieves back and neck stress

Cons

  • Not washable
  • Not adjustable
  • May have slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow?

Although made specifically for back and stomach sleepers, the pillow is a bit more specific to body shape and size. Despite that, we found it to be an excellent option, and our reviews on this pillow can be found here.

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Pillow Sizes

Various pillow sizes work for different people and different sized beds. The most common way to match your mattress and pillow is through size, then you work your way into the details.

  • Standard, also known as a twin, is the generic pillow size for one person. This measures 20” x 26”.
  • Super standard is a tad bit longer than standard pillows, for more shuffle room. These super standard pillows are 20” x 28”.
  • Queen sized pillows are usually partnered with queen-sized beds. Since queen-sized mattresses have more room to shuffle around, so does your pillow, in case you turn over. Queen pillows are 20” x 30”.
  • King pillows are the largest of the standard pillows, measuring 20” x 36”.
  • Euro pillows are square-shaped and can be sized anywhere between 26” x 26” to 16” x 16”. These pillows are mostly decorative and throw pillows.
  • Body pillows are made to be hugged. If you sleep on your side, there’s a chance you need to wrap your arms around a pillow to sleep comfortably. Body pillows are either 54” x 20” or 48” x 20”.
  • Finally, there are toddler pillows. Since infants and toddlers are so much smaller than children, they need a smaller pillow. These measure 13” x 18”.

Head and Neck Alignment

Your cervical spine is the connection between your head and the rest of your body, controlling movement and support. More importantly, it houses a portion of your central nervous system and is the gateway between your brainstem and the rest of your body. The support and protection of this area of your body are critical to survival, and when you compromise the soft tissues of this area, you run the risk of creating more than just aches and pains. Poor cervical support can lend itself to a worsening of diseases, migraines, headaches and dizziness, to name a few.

As you sleep, you should pay particular attention to the support of your neck and head to allow for spinal alignment and relaxation of the soft tissues of the neck and back. This allows your body to heal and rest as it should through the night when true relaxation occurs, and your muscles and spine are not stressed. There are certain sleep positions that support this better than others, but stomach sleeping is not one of them as you are always forced to twist your neck and spine in this position.

Sleeping Positions

There are three basic sleep positions; stomach, back, and side.

Back sleepers usually sleep on flatter pillows, so their spine is properly aligned while they lie down. Stomach sleepers have the same issue, but with the practice of placing arms under the head. This could mean you need more loft in your pillow.

Then there are side sleepers. This can be tricky since a plush-fluffy pillow is always heavenly to sleep on. On the other hand, a firm pillow will support your neck and shoulders better. The perfect balance is hard to attain, but in doing so you’ll sleep on your side with support and comfort.

Pillow Loft

The pillow’s loft refers to how high or thick it is. Being a high pillow doesn’t necessarily make it soft or firm though, that depends more on the filling.

Low loft pillows are less than three inches in height. Medium pillows range between three to five inches. A high in the loft is anything above five inches.

Pillow Firmness

The firmness of the pillow will determine how conforming and supportive it is.

Plush pillows are the softest of all. They practically feel cloud-like with how squishy and light they are. Soft pillows are more conforming and supportive, but usually high in loft. Medium pillows have a more durable filling that keeps your head aligned. Finally, there are firm pillows. These are more than often the flattest of all pillows and focus on keeping you supported and relieve pains and aches.

What Affects Your Preference?

There are personal factors that will affect what pillow type is the right one for you.

Pillow Position

Where do you place your pillow when you sleep? Is it completely underneath your head, or only partially? Completely under your head, you might want something with a low loft, while only partially being under your head means there should be more support and therefore more loft.

If you hug your pillow, you’ll need one that’s lofty but maintains its shape under the pressure.

Mattress Type

Your mattress affect how effective your pillow is. If you sleep with a plush, soft mattress, then chances are you’ll want a firmer and flatter pillow that acts as a sturdy surface for your head.

Firmer mattresses are complimented better with a loftier and softer pillow that allows you to sink into your ideal aligned posture.

Body Weight

The heavier you are, the heavier and flatter you’ll want your pillow to pillow. This keeps you aligned properly, and the pillow won’t sink too much. The lighter you are, the loftier and lighter you’ll want your pillow to be as well.

Pillow Filling

Latex

Latex is extracted from the sap of rubber trees. This sap is then whipped into a froth which is manipulated into filling for pillows, mattresses and even turned into the fiber to weave and stitch.

Latex has excellent pressure and pain relief. No matter how you use your pillow, the latex inside will not deform and continue to provide the same support. Latex is dense and bouncy, which can either be a selling point or downfall based on what works for you.

Latex, however, is a much more expensive filling option, and comes with a rubber smell that’s hard to air out.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a viscoelastic foam that conforms when in contact with heat.

Memory foam is a good balance between firmness and support. It cradles your head and keeps it in place throughout the night while ensuring you have proper spinal alignment. It relieves pains and aches in your head, neck, and shoulders. Memory foam is best for side and back sleepers.

A newer innovation is having shredded memory foam in your pillow for greater flexibility. There is quite a bit of off-gassing from memory foam pillows and they come at a much higher price.

Gel

The gel is placed into pillows either through infusing it with other materials such as memory foam and latex, or it’s turned into fibers to create covers and blankets. The gel keeps you cool and breezy when there is hotter weather and sweat on your pillow.

Anything that has been infused with gel will have a higher price.

Pillow Cover

Cotton

Cotton is the most natural and simplistic cover you can get. This cover is breathable and lightweight. The cotton wicks moisture away from your skin so you can keep cool while you sleep.

It’s also naturally hypoallergenic, making it safe both for people suffering from allergies and sensitive skin.

Bamboo

If there’s bamboo, it’s most likely this pillow aims to keep you as cool as possible. Bamboo is 30-40% more breathable than cotton and wicks all moisture from the surface of your pillow.

Polyester

Finally, there is the most common option, which is polyester. This is a synthetic fiber that replicates the qualities of cotton and wool. It keeps you warm as well as cool based on the temperature around.

It’s hypoallergenic and lasts longer than organic cotton but isn’t as efficient.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow for Stomach Sleeping

There are a few things to consider when searching for the perfect stomach sleeping pillow. Thin pillows that practically bottom-out may be the best choice for your body, but not always the most comfortable for many. Finding a balance between your comfort wants and your body’s needs is important, and asking yourself a few simple things in advance can help narrow your choices down.

Stomach sleepers are often partial side sleepers and may have found a comfortable body position through the use of a body pillow, or multiple pillows that support them in more of a hybrid way. Side sleepers need to consider how the shape of their bodies can manipulate the spine and provide proper neck support to fill the gap between the head and shoulders.

Some stomach sleepers like to raise their arms above their heads, fold them under their heads, tuck them under their bodies or at their sides. This changes how the spine is positioned, and softer, more responsive pillows may lessen the negative effects it may have on the body.

Certain types of materials retain heat easier than others, and sleeping on your stomach may trap body heat beneath you. If you’re already a warm sleeper, look to materials that are highly breathable, or have gel infusion to help draw heat from your body and disperse it for a better night’s sleep.

Conclusion

The many choices we’ve provided allow you to see how many options you actually have if you’re a stomach sleeper. The options we’ve presented may not work well for everyone, and also may lend themselves well to other sleeping positions as we’ve noted. You should make your selection based not only on comfort wants, but also your body’s needs, and the ones we’ve reviewed allow for you to see the many different fills and shapes you can pick from. 

Recent Updates

June 1, 2021: The Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow, Wenersi Goose Feather Pillow, Tempur-Embrace Pillow and eLuxurySupply Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow have been removed due to product unavailability. The DreamyBlue Premium Pillow has been added due to brand popularity. Two additional sizes/shapes have been added to the SleepNumber ComfortFit Pillow: Curved and Ultimate.