Best Mattresses for Front Sleepers | MattressNextDay

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Best Mattress for Front Sleepers

Best Mattress for Front Sleepers

Most people fall into three distinct groups when it comes to their sleeping positions. The vast majority are ‘side sleepers’, while others prefer sleeping on their backs. The third groups are front sleepers – those who sleep on their stomach. If you fall into this third group, there are some mattresses that are better than others for your particular type of sleep pattern.

While some clinicians believe that sleeping on your front helps to keep your airways open (particularly useful if you suffer from sleep apnoea or snore if you sleep on your back), there are issues with drifting off while lying on your stomach. So which is best? Should you try and break that sleeping-on-your-stomach habit, or could choosing a better mattress help take the pressure off your back and give you a more restful night’s sleep?

What is the best mattress for front sleepers?

Sleeping on your back tends to shift your weight towards your abdomen, where the average person carries most of their weight. This causes the spine to ‘sag’, taking it out of the neutral position and putting excess strain on it, particularly on the lower back and the neck.

As front sleepers have to turn their heads to be able to breathe (and not suffocate on a mouthful of pillow!), the neck is also put under strain as well. Over time, this can lead to shoulder and neck pain, headaches, and even a slipped disk.

So any mattress designed for front sleepers has to give plenty of support, and needs to prevent the sleeper from sinking in too deeply into the mattress. Individually pocketed springs provide the best type of responsive support, while minimising the amount of movement transference across the entire sleeping platform, so everyone gets a more restful night’s sleep.

If you do prefer a slightly softer option, then Reflex Foam mattresses are another option. They’re firmer than Memory Foam mattresses, but you still get that all-important spring-back feature and a higher degree of cushioning to provide a more supportive sleeping area. Reflex Foam options are often incorporated into orthopaedic mattresses, thanks to their firmer nature and greater levels of support.

Need help deciding what mattress is best for you? Read our how to choose a mattress guide for more information.

What are the pressure points for front sleepers?

The main pressure point for front sleepers is the neck. Because you have to twist your head around to breathe, it puts a great deal of strain on the neck and upper vertebrae of the spine (known as the atlas and axis vertebrae, which make up the upper section of the cervical spine and are numbered in anatomy charts as ‘C1-C7’).

At the other end of the spine, your lower back is also subject to considerable strain and tension. If you sleep on your front, as your body weight is pushed towards your abdomen, this can take the lumbar vertebrae out of alignment.

You may also find that prolonged front sleeping puts pressure on your digestive system (especially if you eat later at night), and can even promote wrinkles! That’s plenty of reasons to consider trying to break that front-sleeping habit if you can and switch to either side or front sleeping.

What are the best type of mattress for front sleepers?

There are two main types of mattress, sprung and foam. Within those groups are a myriad of varieties, ranging from pure Memory Foam or Reflex Foam mattresses, through to pocket sprung, hybrid and even latex mattresses. So which is best for a front sleeper?

Memory foam

Designed by NASA for the space program, Memory Foam is one of the most influential and revolutionary products that transformed the world of mattresses and beds. It’s a dense foam that regains its shape once pressure is removed, with plenty of ‘spring-back’ and exceptional levels of comfort and support. Memory foam mattresses are good for front sleepers as it gives a medium-firm level of support. However, it can feel a little soft after a while. If you suffer from night sweats or hot flushes, you may find that Memory Foam is a little too warm.

To find out the best cooling mattresses, check out our best mattress for hot sleepers guide.

Reflex foam mattresses

Reflex foam mattresses are an even better choice as the larger air pockets within the foam actually create a firmer feel. This is why Reflex Foam mattresses are often categorised as orthopaedic. They provide excellent support, which means that the spine is less likely to experience undue levels of pressure. If it’s a little too firm for you, then the addition of a mattress topper may make things more comfortable and slightly softer.

Sprung mattresses

Individually pocketed sprung mattresses provide outstanding support and can even go up to ‘extra-firm’ levels of support. The springs move independently so there’s less movement transference too, giving you a more restful night’s sleep. Sprung mattresses with a medium-firm and above rating are excellent for front sleepers.

Hybrid mattresses

These combine pocketed springs and layers of foam to give you the best of both worlds. Hybrid mattresses give you that memory foam feel. But as they have a sprung core, there’s a greater degree of support that moves with your body. As the air can flow easily through the mattress, they tend to be cooler too – ideal if you ‘run a little hot’ at night.

Still not sure which option to go for? Have a look at our Mattress fillings guide for more information.

How firm should a mattress be for a stomach sleeper?

Mattresses are all categorised by a firmness grade which runs from soft to extra firm. For stomach sleepers who need a little extra support, the best option is a medium-firm mattress that gives you all the support you need, but with no compromise on comfort. A medium-firm mattress provides you with plenty of cushioning so that you feel fully supported and comfortable. If you want that extra support but also prefer a softer feel then we recommend adding a mattress topper for that cloud-soft feeling when you sink into bed at night! For more information about firmness ratings, check out our mattress firmness guide.

Top mattress recommendation for front sleepers

At MattressNextDay, we have a huge range of mattresses for all types of sleepers. But which ones do we recommend if you prefer to sleep on your stomach? Here’s our top three:

SleepSoul Space 2000 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress – If there’s one mattress that’s ideal for front sleepers, it’s the SleepSoul Space 2000. Not only does it have everything you’re looking for when it comes to a top quality hybrid mattress (combining both 2000 pocketed springs and layers of memory foam), but it has the added advantage of a snuggly-soft pillow top as well. You get all the support you need and plenty of softness in one premium mattress.

Dormeo Octaspring Tribrid Mattress – If money is no object and you want to go all out for one of the best and most luxurious mattresses on the planet, the Dormeo Octaspring Tribrid Mattress is the one to pick. This premium quality mattress uses memory foam and Dormeo’s unique patented Octaspring technology to give you unrivalled support and comfort in a slimmer, more manageable mattress.

Coolflex i-Pedic Memory Cool Mattress – If you suffer from night sweats or get too hot on a normal memory foam mattress, the Coolflex i-Pedic Memory Cool Mattress is the answer. It gives you that medium-firm support you need, but also has innovative Coolflex technology – a gel layer that keeps you cooler all night long. It comes rolled and boxed too, so it’s super-easy to transport.

If you’re a front sleeper then don’t worry – MattressNextDay has plenty of great mattresses that are ideal for you. Check out our full range of mattresses today. You can also read more on the different recommendations for the sleeping positions you favour.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!