18th August 2021
Guides & Advice
Choosing the right mattress for you is vital for a good night’s sleep, but did you know that the position you sleep in could affect the type of mattress that’s best for you? If you sleep on your front, follow our guide to choosing the right mattress so that you can sleep on your stomach blissfully without any problems.
Sleeping on your front may cause back pain, as it can flatten your spine’s natural curve. There is also more pressure put onto your spine by sleeping in this way, which has the potential to cause spinal discomfort. Sleeping on your front will also put strain on your neck, as it will shift out of alignment with your spine in this position and become twisted due to your head being to one side in order to breathe.
Front sleepers may also find that a lot of pressure is put onto their stomach and mid-section, which can be especially uncomfortable for mums to be.
The pressure points, or parts that come into contact with the mattress are different for front sleepers than other types of sleepers. Stomach sleepers will put extra strain on their rib cage, thighs, knees and toes (and sometimes elbows if arms are above the head in the sleeping position). However soreness of pressure points isn’t as much of an issue for front sleepers compared to those sleeping in other positions.
A comfortable mattress can help address these problems by taking pressure off the specific pressure points, as well as keeping your spine correctly aligned.
Similar to back sleepers, those who sleep on their stomach will want a relatively firm mattress. This is because whilst on your front, there is more pressure put onto your spine which needs a firmer base to support it. That being said, a mattress that is too firm for your body will not let your spine fall into its natural curve and could also result in discomfort.
Sleeping on a mattress which is too soft will affect front sleepers more than any other sleeper, because this will place too much pressure on the lower back and can allow your hips to sink too deeply into the mattress, which will in turn bend your spine upwards.
You should also consider factoring in your height and build when looking for the best mattress for a stomach sleeper, as the more weight put onto the mattress will require an even firmer surface to help with optimal support.
There are a few different layers that make up a mattress, the top layers are all about comfort, and will give your body pressure relief as well as support for your lower back. The layers underneath are there to give your body the most support and will stop it from sinking too deeply into the bed.
Generally, those who sleep on their front would require a slightly thicker mattress, so that their body can remain supported enough while remaining comfortable.
The heavier you are, the more chance you will have of sinking through the top comfort layers if they aren’t thick enough, which won’t give you the right support or be comfortable. Those who are lighter in weight won’t require a mattress as thick, so bearing in mind your body structure is also important in choosing the best mattress type for front sleepers.
Pocket sprung mattresses are great for those who sleep on their front because they assist in distributing body weight more evenly, which will help with easing any pressure build up on the stomach. This type of mattress will also ensure that it doesn’t sag to keep your spine aligned properly and create enough support.
Memory foam can assist stomach sleepers in a slightly different way, by responding to the contours of the body, but a firmer mattress is required in this style to make sure enough support is still provided.
Open coil may also be preferred by those who sleep on their front due to this mattress type evenly distributing your weight. They provide great support and can be on the firmer side, so if you are of larger build this could be a fantastic option for you.
If you find that your mattress isn’t supporting your spine and neck enough as a front sleeper, then adding a mattress topper could provide a little more support for you, as a cheaper and easier alternative to changing your mattress entirely.
Though there are many different types of mattress topper materials and thicknesses, front sleepers will benefit the most from a thicker and firmer topper. Memory foam, feather or down and latex mattress toppers of around 3 to 5 inch thickness are often suited to front sleepers as they provide a lot of comfort, allowing the parts of the body to sink down enough to create a dreamy sleeping position while giving the spine enough support.
Front sleepers need more support for their back, spine and neck than other sleepers, and therefore a firmer mattress is required than usually needed. A mattress that is thicker and firmer should give a front sleeper the right support, but make sure that it is still soft enough to remain comfortable and ease your pressure points.
Remember to consider your height and weight when choosing a mattress, especially for firmness and always test out a mattress at your local stockists before making your final decision.
This article is guidance only. Harrison Spinks can’t offer any medical advice. If you have persistent pain when sleeping please speak to a medical professional.