Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

A guide for back sleepers to find the best mattress for their sleep position and the benefits of sleeping on your back.

By Natalie Yerger

If you’re considering investing in a new mattress and have a pattern of sleeping the same way every night, your sleep position should impact your search. 

Back sleepers are among the rare breed of U.S. adults who sleep in the position considered most ideal by health professionals. When lying on your back, the body rests in a relatively natural posture with the spine, neck, and pelvis aligned. While this position helps minimize aches and pains, its benefits can become negligible if a mattress is too soft, too firm, or has other qualities that throw the spine out of alignment.

In this guide, we’re covering our top mattresses for back sleepers as well as important aspects of mattress design, the benefits of sleeping on your back, and other considerations.

The Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

MATTRESS NERD’S TOP 7 PICKS

Are you a back sleeper looking for the best mattress brand? The Nerd Squad recommends the following brands:

Brooklyn Signature

Brooklyn Bedding’s signature hybrid mattress offered at three firmness levels. The medium is the best seller and serves back sleepers well, striking the perfect balance between comfort and support.

Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
Firmness

Available in soft, medium and firm.

Trial

120 nights

Reason to Buy

Brooklyn Bedding's number one seller

The Brooklyn Signature is a hybrid mattress that combines a 6” pocketed spring base with a 4” layer of contouring TitanFlex foam. It also has a transitional layer of high-density foam for body contouring and a 1” high-density foam base to enhance the durability and longevity of the mattress.

This mattress is offered in three firmness levels, and we recommend medium or firm for back sleepers. The heavier you are, the more likely you’ll feel best sleeping on the firm option. Regardless of your weight or size, all back sleepers will benefit from the support of the innerspring coils in this mattress, which helps keep the spine aligned. The patented TitanFlex foam should provide just the right amount of contouring in the lumbar area, helping sleepers avoid low-back pain.


 

Leesa Hybrid

The Leesa Hybrid, previously known as the Sapira, is an exceptional hybrid mattress that has a buoyancy that will suit back sleepers well.

Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.10

Trial

100 nights

Reason to Buy

Responsive and supportive for back sleepers

In this hybrid, Leesa took the foam technology from their original mattress and coupled it with pocketed springs. It combines the best of both worlds: the support and durability of springs and the comfort of foam.

We like this option for back sleepers who like a slightly softer feel to their beds. Over one thousand pocketed springs make for a durable, motion-isolating base. The memory foam layer relieves back, hip, and shoulder pressure with the body-contouring back sleepers require. On top, you’ve got a hole-punched, foam comfort layer that adds a little bounce. We recommend the Leesa Hybrid for back sleepers at an average weight, as overweight individuals may not find this mattress supportive enough. 


 

Layla

Dual-sided and copper-infused, the Layla satisfies multiple comfort preferences and contains desirable qualities back sleepers seek in a mattress.

Customer Rating
5 / 5
Firmness

Dual-Sided

Trial

100 nights

Reason to Buy

Custom firmness

This memory foam mattress offers the plush, cooling comfort of memory foam with support for sleepers at a variety of weights. While other beds make you choose one firmness level, this mattress is double-sided; it has a soft side that’s roughly 4.5 on the firmness scale and a firm side that’s a 7.

The dual-sided Layla provides sleeping options in a single mattress. We like this mattress for back sleepers whose preferences may change throughout the year. For example, perhaps you prefer cooler, surface-level sleep in the summer but like to sink into the mattress in the winter months. With the Layla, you can simply select the sleep experience you desire by flipping it over. Most back sleepers at average weights will be able to enjoy the combination of comfort and support from either side.


 

Tuft & Needle Mint

Made with Adaptive foam layers that protect the back and cradle the hips, the Mint is an appealing memory foam mattress option for back sleepers. Not to mention, its layers are infused with heat-wicking graphite to maintain a cool sleeping surface.

Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
Firmness

Medium: 5/10

Trial

120 nights

Reason to Buy

Exceptional contour and cooling

The Tuft & Needle Mint is an all-polyfoam mattress constructed with graphite that helps keep the mattress cool. Its layers are ordered in terms of firmness, meaning that the more you weigh or push down on the mattress, the more pushback you’ll feel. 

This is our choice for back sleepers who want all the alignment-accommodating features of a mattress tailored for their sleep position without a hefty price tag. The Mint is a slight upgrade in price and features from the original Tuft & Needle mattress, but not enough to kick it out of the budget mattress category. Keep in mind that the Mint was created to be softer than the company’s original design, so it may work best for lighter back sleepers because it has a bit more give.


 

ZenHaven

Made with 100% all-natural Talalay latex organized into 5-support layers, the ZenHaven is an exceptional option for back sleepers. Not to mention, it is dual-sided, offering two comfort levels, gentle firm and luxury plush.

Customer Rating
4.9 / 5
Firmness

Dual-Sided: Plush and Firm

Trial Period

120 nights

Reason to Buy

Eco-friendly, supportive sleeping surface

The Zenhaven is a luxury, 100% Talalay latex mattress made more affordable for the eco-conscious shopper. It has a latex “5-zone” comfort layer designed to give you firmer support where you need it, and it’s two-sided for easy access to another level of firmness.

This mattress is somewhat unrivaled in its ability to provide a responsive, body-contouring feel while ensuring that an even surface is maintained. Average weight back sleepers will likely feel supported enough on the Gentle Firm side, while heavier back sleepers may enjoy the firmer Luxury Plush side. One upside to this bed is that it can accommodate a variety of sleeping positions. If you’re a back sleeper with a partner who sleeps on their side or stomach, this is a great choice. 


 

The WinkBed

Offering four different firmness levels, soft, luxury firm, firm, and plus, the WinkBed has a comfort and support level for every type of back sleeper.

Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
Firmness

Offered at 4 firmness levels

Trial

120 nights

Reason to Buy

Triple-Zone Support

The Winkbed is a hybrid, innerspring mattress with a plush pillow top and two layers of coils. It’s engineered to provide decompression support for the spine, enhanced ventilation for a cool sleep, and pressure point relief.

The WinkBed has many properties that make it appealing, from a cool Tencel outer layer to motion isolation technology, anti-sag edge support, and a devoted “Lumbarlayer” for added lower back support. Back sleepers should find that this mattress evenly distributes their weight to help relieve pressure. The top layer is soft, but it won’t envelop you quite like a memory foam mattress could. It comes in several levels of firmness and the company offers free delivery and a risk-free 120-night trial.


 

The New Purple (.2)

The proprietary hyper-elastic polymer in the mattress offers unrivaled pressure relief designed to prevent back and joint pain.

Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
Firmness

Firm: 7/10

Trial

100 nights

Reason to Buy

Cradles the bum and supports the spine.

This is a hybrid mattress constructed with poly foam, pocketed coils, and a top layer of Hyper-Elastic Polymer that gives the mattress a completely unique feel, almost like a gel. People rave about the Purple and say that no mattress they’ve ever slept on feels quite like it.

This mattress comes in several firmness levels, P2 (firm), P3 (medium), and P4 (soft), but the company states that the Purple 2 is their flagship bed for back and side sleepers. The grid system of the Hyper-Elastic Polymer will help evenly distribute weight while providing a balance of support and pressure relief for back sleepers.


Which Mattress Type is Best for Back Sleepers?

We’ll detail the specific features back sleepers should be looking for in a mattress later in this guide, but here’s an easy breakdown of the pros and cons of each mattress type for back sleepers.

  • Latex – Latex is known for its ability to quickly bounce back to its original shape, which helps it provide the contouring that back sleepers need. The material tends to conform to the body while alleviating pressure in all the right places. As an added benefit, latex mattresses offer motion isolation and sleep cooler than their foam counterparts. On the downside, they tend to be the most expensive options on the market.
  • Foam –  Like latex, foam conforms well to the body, alleviates pressure, and offers good motion isolation for couples. Additionally, it’s widely available and comes in at a friendlier price point. If you opt for foam, look for memory foam, which is well-known for its body-contouring properties. Traditional foam, while supportive, may give back sleepers the sensation that they’re “stuck” on the mattress.
  • HybridHybrid mattresses combine a supportive innerspring system with two or more contouring memory foam or latex support layers on top. Back sleepers should look for hybrids with well-designed comfort layers; a thicker comfort layer will mean that the mattress can provide more body-contouring than traditional innerspring mattresses. Many styles also offer a light bounce that may suit some back sleepers’ preferences. 

What Back Sleepers Should Look for in a Mattress

When sleeping on your back, various qualities within a mattress can either support the natural alignment of the body or indirectly disrupt it as you sleep. Because of this, the most important aspects of a mattress for back sleepers are those that work together, allowing the body to rest in a natural posture that alleviates pressure points on the neck, spine, and pelvis. 

For most sleepers, firmness is a quality only thought of in terms of preference: you either like a soft surface to sleep on or you like a firm one. However, a mattress’ firmness plays a crucial role in the quality of one’s sleep, especially for individuals dedicated to one sleeping position. For average weight back sleepers, medium-firm mattress varieties tend to work best. This provides the perfect amount of support for the spine while allowing enough give for the natural contours of the body.

We also recommend that back sleepers consider the construction of the support systems within the mattress. The core of the mattress should be stable and resilient, providing a relatively flat surface on which the softer, more comfort-focused layers can rest. Look for innerspring support systems, pocketed coils, hyper-elastic polymer, and support polyfoam, which work in conjunction to create a supportive mattress core.

Last, look for qualities that allow for natural contouring of the body. While too much softness can lead to excessive sagging and exacerbate neck or back pain, the ideal mattress for back sleepers will allow for contour in specific areas, like the bum. Foam and latex mattresses are the best at this. 

Other Considerations for Back Sleepers

While back sleeping has a host of health benefits, it also has the potential to create drawbacks and additional sleep accessory needs. Here are four things back sleepers need to consider:

  • Snoring: People who sleep on their backs tend to snore more often. This is because the mouth is relaxed in this position, allowing the tongue to narrow the airway at the back of the throat. While many individuals without a partner to disrupt don’t consider this an issue, the truth is that snoring can greatly impact the quality of one’s sleep. In some cases, lifestyle changes, primarily weight loss, can reduce a back sleeper’s snoring.
  • Acid Reflux: When lying on your back, the contents of your stomach can flow more freely into the esophagus. The irritation of the stomach lining from this can lead to heartburn and chest pains. If you have GERD, acid reflux is even more likely in this sleeping position.
  • Pillow: Back sleepers don’t necessarily require support pillows like stomach sleepers and side sleepers do. However, back sleepers who struggle with sleep apnea may want to choose a thicker pillow to reduce snoring. A contouring memory foam pillow that provides support for the cervical spine can help in these cases.
  • Foundation: The foundation, or bed frame, is what holds your mattress up from the floor. While all bed frames share similar traits, it’s important that back sleepers select a foundation that offers substantial support for the mattress. If opting for a standard metal frame, for example, you’ll want to ensure you’re using a box spring, since the metal frame has no additional supportive slats.

Benefits of Sleeping on Your Back

Give yourself a pat on the back, back sleepers. You’re among the few people whose body has chosen the sleeping position with the most health benefits and the least drawbacks. From allowing for even weight distribution, which alleviates pressure points, to creating the ideal scenario for cervical spine alignment and thus, fewer creaks and stiffness in the neck, there are a myriad of benefits to this sleeping style. 

To ensure you’re reaping the most benefits as possible out of sleeping on your back, finding a mattress that’s tailored to this sleep position is crucial. With the seemingly endless number of mattress brand options and the new innovative materials and technologies out there today, it’s never been easier to find a mattress that provides you with a back-sleeping paradise every evening. 


Still, need help finding the best mattress for you? Check out our Best Mattress Buying Guide here.


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