These pillows are perfect for those who prefer to snooze on their stomachs.
For stomach sleepers, finding a position that doesn’t stress the neck can be tricky, since most pillows offer thick cushioning and push the head into an unnatural upward position.
“Any pillow with high loft is going to push your neck back a little bit and give you neck pain or cause some discomfort in the lower back,” says Rocco Monto, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Nantucket, Mass. He recommends searching for a thinner pillow—one that’s about three inches thick ensures your spine stays aligned while you snooze.
Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution, suggests a pillow with a slightly inclined surface to create proper spine alignment while laying face down.
Below, we share five options based on the above recommendations, designed specifically for the stomach-down sleeper.
Deluxe Comfort MJ1430 Face Down Pillow Stomach Sleeper
The wedge-shaped design is perfect for the person who enjoys sleeping, quite literally, face down. The U-shaped opening offers a place to rest your face while preventing you from inhaling your pillow’s fabric. Most importantly, this pillow keeps the spine in the neutral position Dr. Monto and Dr. Winter say sleepers should strive for.
DC Labs Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow
Not interested in sleeping with a block of a pillow under your head? No problem. Instead, opt for a thin, soft pillow, says Monto. This one is just two-and-a-half inches thick, so it keeps your neck from bending upwards, a move that causes many stomach sleepers shoulder and back tension once they wake.
Xtreme Comfort Slim Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow
“If you’re sleeping with your face into the pillow, you need to pay attention to more subtle things, like allergens and what the effect is going to be of having your mouth and nose against the pillow,” says Rocco. This hypoallergenic option wards off dust mites and other unwanted bedtime allergens. Bonus: the bamboo covering keeps your pillow cool all night.
Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pillow
Rocco suggests a pillow with synthetic foam stuffing, since it collects fewer allergens than a down feather pillow. This option fits not only that requirement, but also Rocco’s 3-inch loft recommendation. Despite its thinness, the pillow’s memory foam still provides a cushiony respite for your head and neck.