Are you a fidgety front sleeper waking up with lower back pain? Maybe you’re suffering with neck cramps and it’s starting to affect your daily routine?
It’s okay—you don’t have to put up with this forever.
In fact, this may just be because you have the wrong type of mattress for your sleeping position.
Is sleeping on your front good for you?
Like all sleeping positions, there are pro’s and con’s to sleeping on your front.
The good thing about sleeping on your stomach is it helps to open your airways during the night which prevents snoring and even more serious conditions like sleep apnoea.
On the other hand, sleeping on your front is not so good for spine and neck health—especially if you have the wrong type of mattress.
Since most of your weight is in the middle of your body, front sleeping puts pressure on your spine which can be particularly bad when laying on a mattress that doesn’t support the spine’s natural shape.
Sleeping on your front also means you have to turn your neck to breathe, which can cause cramping or even more serious issues later on.
But there are ways you can make this position more comfortable.
How do I know I have the wrong mattress?
If you’re waking up with aches and pains, then there’s a good chance you have a mattress that isn’t suited to your sleeping position.
Front sleepers with the wrong mattress usually wake up with lower back pain or neck cramp caused by your body not being supported properly during the night.
A mattress that is too soft will arch your spine too much during sleep whilst a mattress that is too firm will keep your spine too straight and won’t support your joints.
So, what kind of mattress do I need?
A medium-firm to firm mattress is recommended for front sleeping as a firm mattress that has a little bit of give will help support the natural arch of the spine and contour around your hips and joints without sinking in too much or too little.
Latex is a great choice for front sleepers. Latex is similar to memory foam as it contours around your pressure points.
However, latex is much firmer which will help support the shape of your spine as you sleep.
Latex is also a great option for hot sleepers as it draws heat away from your body and keeps you cool all night long.
Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and prevents dust mites and mildew so is great for allergy sufferers (unless of course, you’re allergic to latex!)
Sealy and Dunlopillo have some great latex options with that firmer feel. Yet what feels firm is different to everyone—so you should always try the mattress first and see what is more comfortable.
Latex mattresses come in a number of different options. You can get an all-latex mattress, latex mattresses with an under-layer block of foam, or hybrids with pocket springs in the bottom and a thin comfort layer of latex on top.
Recommended Premium: Sealy Nostromo Latex (on Amazon)
Budget-friendly alternative: Inofia Latex Mattress (on Amazon)
Pocket springs are a great option for front sleepers as the springs offer a firm and supportive feel but also have some give to support the natural shape of your body.
Pocket springs are considered to be much more superior from a traditional coil-sprung mattress. Unlike the coil, which is one huge, connected spring inside the mattress, pocket springs are arranged in individual fabric pockets, offering support across your entire body.
If you have a decent pocket-sprung mattress you shouldn’t feel your partner moving around during the night or getting up to go to the loo. This high-tech spring system is also designed to prevent you from rolling towards one another or tossing and turning throughout the night.
Generally, the more springs the more support, but you don’t have to go overboard.
1000 springs is a good starting number for basic pocket-sprung mattress and 1400 and upwards should feel even more supportive.
Silentnight, Slumberland, and Sleepeezee have a fantastic range of pocket sprung mattresses in a variety of firmness options.
Recommended: Silentnight 1200 Eco Comfort (on Amazon)
Budget-friendly: Vesgantti Pocket Sprung Mattress (on Amazon)
What kind of pillows are best for a front sleeper?
It’s essential that you consider pillows if you sleep belly-first. The right kind of pillow will help ensure you have the correct spinal and neck alignment during sleep.
If you sleep with too many pillows or a pillow that is too deep you will cause your neck to bend too much during the night.
It’s much better for you to sleep with a low pillow or even go without a pillow altogether to ensure your spine aligns with your neck as naturally as possible.
A body pillow can also make front sleeping more comfortable, especially for female front-sleepers who may experience breast pain during menstruation or when they are breastfeeding.
If you aren’t quite ready to spend all your savings on a brand-new mattress then popping a low pillow under your pelvis may also help to take some of that extra weight off your spine.
If you’d like to try to get rid of your pillow altogether, then try stepping down to a lower pillow first to get used to it.
Recommended: Soak & Sleep Soft Pillow (on Amazon)
Budget-friendly: Silentnight The Perfect Pillow (on Amazon)
Try before you buy…
Remember, what is firm to some may feel different to you so it’s always best to try the mattress or pillow before making a final decision.
Make sure you test the mattress in your normal sleeping position with the kind of pillow you sleep with.
Many people get embarrassed to lay down on their front in the shop but it’s important you test them in the most natural way as possible.
So, belly flop down onto a few before deciding!