Every sleeping position – front, back and side – is the preference of someone, and each presents problems of its own to be considered when choosing a pillow. The wrong kind of pillow can have serious consequences, not just for the quality of our sleep, but also for our ongoing physical and mental health. Being deprived of sleep or waking with pain has knock-on effects both physically and psychologically.
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What Are the Issues for Stomach Sleepers?
Sleeping on our front can result in our neck being forced into an unnatural position in relation to our spine, twisting and lifting it in a way that means we awake with stiffness and pain. If our pillow is too soft, we are in danger of experiencing inadequate support. But if our pillow is too hard, we can find ourselves unable to rest our neck in a naturally comfortable position. The Goldilocks pillow – not too hard, not too soft, but just right – might not be easy to find, but it’s essential that we make the effort.
What Should a Stomach Sleeper Look for in a Pillow?
- Firmness. The right balance between comfort and support is what is going to give you a restful night. Too firm can lead to neck strain, too soft can cause your head to droop.
- Breathability. Stomach sleepers can find their face is being pressed into their pillow, so air flow is a big consideration. Some pillows contain cooling gel infusions, which are helpful. Otherwise, bamboo and cotton allow for maximum breathability.
- Depth. Shallow pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers, their slim shape helping to keep your spine in alignment with your neck, reducing strain on your neck muscles.
- Durability. Look for a pillow of sufficient quality that it keeps its shape and doesn’t flatten out too much with use.
What Materials Are the Best for Stomach Sleepers?
Because of the position of the face, certain materials are preferable for stomach sleepers.
Memory foam – adapts to the shape of your head and neck and supports without pushing upwards.
Down Alternative – soft and malleable, offering a luxurious feel without the risk of causing allergies.
Latex – offers a good balance of support and comfort.
How Often Should a Stomach Sleeper’s Pillow be Replaced?
Generally speaking, pillows should be replaced every 2-3 years. However, because a stomach sleeper’s face is often pressed into the pillow, they are more vulnerable to needing a new pillow through flattening or loss of breathability. If yours is losing its shape or losing support, get a new one before you suffer potential spine or neck damage.
Is the Pillow the Answer to All a Stomach Sleeper’s Issues?
No – there are issues for stomach sleepers in relation to pressure on other parts of the body that cannot be allayed by your pillow, especially skin irritations that may be exacerbated by prolonged face contact with fabric. But the pillow is the place to start. Get the right pillow and you will lessen any problems considerably.
Why a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers is Necessary and What to Consider
Stomach sleepers who experience restless nights and discomfort in the morning may need to invest in a more suitable pillow. Standard pillows could be the cause of your morning muscle soreness. A stomach sleeper’s pillow is designed to contour your body, offering support to areas that are prone to pain. To ensure that you choose a pillow that genuinely improves your sleep quality, keep these crucial factors in mind.
- Pillow height: some stomach sleepers prefer a flatter pillow that doesn’t raise their head excessively, while others enjoy the plushness and elevation of a traditional pillow. If you have a preference, remember to factor this in. If you’re unsure, consider opting for an adjustable pillow. These pillows allow you to modify the height by adding or removing layers from the pillow’s interior.
- Nighttime temperature: if you’re prone to overheating or sweating at night, your pillow might be exacerbating the issue. While 100% cotton pillow covers are incredibly soft, those infused with polyester tend to be more breathable and can help keep you cooler throughout the night. If you prefer cotton covers, try finding a pillow made with moisture-wicking materials and a gel particle technology-filled interior to prevent overheating.
A standard pillow, not designed for stomach sleepers, might be undermining your quality of sleep.