Face smushed into the pillow. Arms splayed to the sides. Knees kissing the mattress. A prone position feels perfect to you - but is it the best way to get a good night’s sleep?
While it might feel blissful at first (and remind you of glorious days tanning by the beach), sleeping on your front does unfortunately come with some hidden drawbacks. From restricting your airways to tightening up neck muscles, front sleeping might help you drift off at first, but it could also be contributing to aches and pains come the morning after.
Luckily, with just a few tweaks to your sleeping environment, you can still get a great night’s sleep on your stomach. To help you on your way to first-class front sleeping, we’ve collated our top mattresses and pillows for front sleepers, along with all the tips you need for a quality kip.
Take a look at how to sleep better on your front, below.
If you’re a front sleeper who proudly proclaims their preferred position, but also wakes up with a stiff neck and aching back, we think we’ve found your culprit (or one of them). That’s because the prone position offers little support to your pressure points, encouraging sagging and arching of the spine over time.
For this reason, a firm mattress is best for front sleepers. Yes, they might not offer that ‘sink-in softness’ that feels so relaxing at first, but if you’re waking up with neck and back twinges, you have to question: is it really worth the trade-off for sleep quality?
Of course, if you visit a bed store and a firm mattress just feels, well, too solid, a medium firm mattress is a great plan B for front sleepers – especially for those who like to get a good hug back from their mattress. Just try to avoid buying a soft mattress, as this will cause you to sink into the setting and arch your spine in the night (a major contributor to niggling back pain).
As for what type of mattress is best for front sleepers, you’ll again want to opt for the most supportive one you can find. Pocket sprung, memory foam, and hybrid (incorporating springs and foam) are all ideal for front sleeping as they respond to the contours of the body without leaving your neck and spine out of alignment.
For more about the best mattresses for front sleepers, or if you’d like to learn more about firmness and support, take a look at our handy mattress buying guide.
Cuddled up close, a good pillow for front sleepers is one which offers support, cushioning, and comfort, without causing the neck to crane at an angle.
Yes, it might sound impossible at first, but a thin and soft pillow is actually considered the best for front sleeping. Unlike the mattress, where softness signals a lack of support, a soft and thin pillow satisfies the neck’s desire to be as flat as possible without compromising on comfort.
This doesn’t mean opting for a low-grade, lumpy pillow, either. Feather and down are fantastic premium-feeling options for those who prefer a front sleeping position as they offer maximum sumptuousness and are strong enough to provide nice, shapely dips to position your head throughout the night.
So we’ve run through the best pillows and mattresses for front sleepers, meaning you’re well on your way to better sleep quality. Smashing! Next up: how to sleep better on your stomach on a day-to-day basis.
After all, buying the best mattress and pillow is one thing; suiting your new purchases to your sleep style is another thing altogether.
Take a look at our top front sleeping tips to enjoy a superior night’s sleep.
While it can be difficult for front sleepers, do try to keep your legs equal throughout the night as this will stop your hips from twisting. With the right firm or medium firm mattress and thin, soft pillow, however, you should see your alignment improve and any aches and pains should fade away over time.
This should help to reduce strain on those niggling pressure points and prevent any arching of the spine to get comfortable.
If you’re still getting neck and back pain but constantly feel yourself coming back to the front sleeping position, try nodding off on your side instead. This is considered the best position for back pain in particular. Try a pillow between the knees to keep yourself in position or invest in a body pillow if you miss that ‘cuddled up close’ comfort of a front sleeping position.
Looking to add some night-time stretches to assist in your wind-down routine? Check out our how to do sofa yoga guide to calm the mind, relax the body, and prepare yourself for your forty winks.
Now you know the best way to sleep on your front, it’s time to start shopping for the bed and mattress that will provide the most comfortable night’s sleep. You can also head over to our inspiration page for more sleep advice, including how to create a relaxing bedroom and tips for overcoming insomnia.