How Thick Should My Mattress Be If I Sleep On My Stomach And Side?

Article by Lewis Hugh

We came across this interesting question and we had to answer it: How thick should my mattress be if I sleep on my stomach and side? 

A vast majority of people, around 74%, sleep on their sides, with another 16% sleeping on their bellies. Understandably, these folks search for ways to achieve deep, restful sleep that delivers rejuvenation each night.

Expert tout the benefits of sleeping on one’s side, including lower risks of sleep apnea and acid reflux and less pressure on the brain. 

Meanwhile, stomach sleeping may alleviate snoring and provide relief in mild cases of sleep apnea.

Selecting the perfect mattress thickness for your sleep position is vital to preventing discomfort, reducing pressure points, and promoting spinal alignment. So, let’s dive into the world of mattresses, explore the variables influencing thickness selection, and learn how to choose the ideal one for your sleeping position. 

Keep reading to rest assured that you will awaken refreshed and ready to tackle a new day

Understanding Sleep Positions

As humans, sleep forms the backbone of our daily routine, allowing us to recharge our weary minds and bodies and operate at our best. 

During the sleep cycle, we replenish ourselves from the physical, mental, and emotional strains of our waking hours. 

As such, achieving good quality sleep on a consistent basis holds enormous significance for our holistic wellbeing.

One defining factor that determines sleep quality is our bodily posture while we sleep. Over here, we delve into the terrain of sleep positions, analysing their merits and demerits while considering how they influence mattress thickness requirements to experience maximum cosiness.

Different Sleep Positions

The sleeping world is divided into three primary positions: side sleeping, stomach sleeping, and back sleeping. Each physical posture offers a unique set of advantages and disadvantages that significantly impact sleep quality. Understanding the nuances of each position and their impact on sleeping habits can be a game-changer in achieving the objective of consistent, restful sleep.

Side Sleeping

The human sleeping populace overwhelmingly prefers a side sleeping position as their primary means of reaching a state of complete rest. Once in this side-sleeping posture, individuals have two main options: employ the fetal position with their bent knees drawn towards their chests or opt for a more extended version with their legs straightened out.

Advantages of Side Sleeping:

  • Reduces snoring and sleep apnea by keeping the airways open
  • Alleviates acid reflux
  • Reduces the risk of developing heartburn during sleep
  • Improves blood circulation, particularly to the heart
  • Beneficial during pregnancy, as it helps improve circulation to the foetus

Disadvantages of Side Sleeping:

  • Risk of developing shoulder pain (due to compression)
  • May cause numbness and tingling in the arm and hand
  • Risk of developing wrinkles and pressure sores on the face
  • Potential misalignment of the spine, leading to back pain

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep position and is often said to be the least healthy. It involves lying flat on your stomach with your head turned to one side and arms positioned above or below your head.

Advantages of Stomach Sleeping:

  • Reduces snoring and sleep apnea
  • May alleviate some pressure points, particularly for those who suffer from lower back pain
  • Less tossing and turning

Disadvantages of Stomach Sleeping:

  • Can cause strain on the neck due to improper alignment
  • Increased risk of developing a misaligned spine
  • Pressure on the stomach and internal organs
  • Increased risk of developing numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities
  • Discomfort for pregnant women

The Importance Of Optimal Mattress Thickness In Combination Sleepers

For stomach and side sleepers, optimal mattress thickness lies between the range of 10 to 12 inches, ensuring ease and spinal alignment. Personal preferences, budget considerations, and sleep needs must also be factored into this decision. Keeping these variables in mind will result in better spinal health and overall wellness.

Thin vs. Thick Mattresses

Choosing the right mattress thickness can be a delicate process, as both thin and thick mattresses have their advantages and disadvantages. But fear not, as determining the optimal thickness for sleeping positions is as crucial as ever. Without proper consideration, you may find yourself bear-hugging the mattress each night or waking up stiff as a board.

  • Thin mattress options range from 5 to 8 inches, sure to delight the economically-savvy who view the world from the vantage point of a stomach sleeper. But be prepared, thin mattresses may be portable, but their lack of material thickness may result in less overall support and durability, leaving heavy individuals or side sleepers on the hot seat with potential pressure points.

  • Thick mattresses often range from 10 inches to over 15 inches in thickness. These mattresses provide more comfort layers and conforming abilities than their thinner counterparts. They are especially suitable for side sleepers due to the additional cushioning layers that contour the body, relieving pressure on the shoulders and hips. However, the thicker the mattress, the more expensive and heavier it becomes.

Material Thickness And Types

When searching for a mattress, the materials used can significantly impact the overall comfort, support, and durability. Foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses have individual characteristics and must be carefully considered.

For those bedfellows who find themselves on their sides, foam mattresses’ pressure-relieving properties will have them sleeping like a baby. However, while choosing the proper foam thickness, make sure your spine is adequately aligned to avoid uncomfortable pressure points.

Latex mattresses are the jack-of-all-trades, serving the stomach and side sleepers well by offering a balanced and robust foundation. Don’t forget to consider thickness in your decision-making process, as it affects the mattress’s durability and overall comfort level.

Innerspring and hybrid mattresses combine coils with foam or latex layers, and the thickness of these materials can impact a bedmate’s overall experience. Carefully weigh the support from coil systems against the comfort provided by the outer

Ideal Mattress Thickness For Stomach Sleepers

When it comes to belly sleepers, keeping the spine aligned becomes the cat’s meow. Thankfully, we have a range of mattress thickness options to cater to your needs. Lighter sleepers might be content with a slimmer mattress from 5-8 inches, while weightier folks might want to consider a thicker offering within the 10-12 inch range for a proper foundation.

Ideal Mattress Thickness For Side Sleepers

Snoozers who prefer resting on their sides need a specific mattress to alleviate the pressure on their hips, shoulders, and knees while enhancing spine alignment. Achieving this goal would require a thick blend of support and comfort, facilitated by memory foam or hybrid mattresses. For the best results, consider the thickness between 10-14 inches, influenced by weight considerations and support needs.

Considerations For Combination Sleepers

When it comes to combo sleepers, switching between stomach and side-sleeping can be a tricky undertaking, requiring a custom solution. Consequently, the Goldilocks thickness, between 10-12 inches, is your best bet. Tip the scales in your favor by considering factors such as weight and personal comfort preferences when choosing the optimal thickness for your mattress.

Foam Thickness For Combined Sleeping Positions

When searching for a foam mattress suitable for combination sleepers, strive to achieve optimal spinal alignment for stomach sleeping while also providing pressure relief for side sleeping. A mattress density ranging from 4-5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF) offers a firmer and robust foundation while catering to the needs of side sleepers searching for comfort.

Latex Mattress Thickness For Stomach And Side Sleepers

Optimising your beauty sleep is a lofty goal. Belly sleepers must seek a solid foundation from a latex mattress thickness range of 10-12 inches, with empowering support to prevent any unwarranted sinking. Meanwhile, side-sleepers require a plush mattress with a contoured surface to alleviate the hips and shoulders. A fusion of firmer and softer latex layers promises to offer the perfect balance for combination sleepers.

Best Thickness For Optimal Sleep And Spinal Alignment

Achieving perfect spinal alignment for stomach and side sleepers is essential when choosing the right mattress thickness. Thin and thick mattresses offer distinct effects, making it crucial for combination sleepers to aim for a Goldilocks-style thickness between 10-12 inches. It caters to both positions’ needs, striking a balance between robust support and cosy comfort.

How To Measure Mattress Thickness

To determine your bed mattress’s thickness, you must first remove any bedding, sheets, or mattress toppers to ensure accurate measurements. Then, use a ruler or tape measure to measure from the mattress’s highest point to its lowest point, regardless of any deformations or inconsistencies.


What is the ideal thickness of a mattress for stomach and side sleepers?

For those who slumber on their stomach or side, an optimal mattress thickness is typically in a range of 10-12 inches. This sweet spot in thickness can enhance sleep quality and promote better spinal alignment.

Can sleeping on a too-thin or too-thick mattress cause discomfort for stomach and side sleepers?

If your mattress is too thin or too thick, it can cause discomfort for both stomach and side sleepers. Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress to keep their bodies afloat, while side sleepers require a mattress that contours their bodies in certain spots to keep up their spinal alignment.

Which mattress materials are best for optimal thickness for stomach and side sleepers?

Latex, memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses are suitable for stomach and side sleepers. Latex and memory foam contour for spine alignment and pressure relief, hybrids for support, while innerspring offers an even surface. A person’s weight determines the ideal firmness level.


Adequate mattress thickness for stomach and side sleepers approximately ranges between 10 to 12 inches for comfort and spinal alignment. It’s important to note that other aspects, such as personal preferences, budget, and sleep needs, also play a significant role. By taking these factors into account, individuals may enhance spine health, leading to an overall better well-being.

Useful Resource

Are you a sleep connoisseur struggling to discover the elusive sweet spot of mattress firmness? Is bouncing between sleep positions challenging your search for restful slumber? No worries! We’ve got you covered. Welcome to our comprehensive guide that deciphers the age-old question: What’s the best mattress firmness for side and stomach sleepers?

With an array of informative resources, this article illuminates the nuanced factors that determine your ideal sleep surface. By analysing body weight, spinal alignment, and the influence of various myths surrounding firmness levels, we pave the way for a night filled with deep and restful sleep.

So why waste any more time testing different mattress firmness levels? Follow the link, and let us help you embark on a journey of personalised slumber that ensures refreshed mornings and invigorated days.

Useful Links:

  • Check out Healthline’s article.
  • Check out Mattress Clarity’s article.
Mattress FAQ - Stomach and Side Sleepers

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