Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

In this guide, we’ll discuss the many benefits of sleeping on your back, and help back sleepers find the right mattress for their sleep position.

By Loren Bullock

Mattress Nerd consulted Dr. Ravi Pandey, MD  to ensure that this article met our editorial standards


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.

If the time has come for you to invest in a new mattress, you are smart to search for one that is tailored specifically to your dominant sleeping position. The sheer number of mattresses available can feel overwhelming, but we are here to help! In this guide, we have narrowed down the best mattress models for back sleepers and included additional specifications, the benefits of sleeping on your back, and other considerations. If you find you want something a bit more general, check out our best mattresses of 2021 roundup. 

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

The Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers of 2021

Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers: Layla

Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers

Layla Mattress

The original Layla memory foam mattress features two sides with different firmness options: one soft and one firm. Its copper-infused foam helps to cool the mattress and increase recovery times.

Nerd Score 3.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers

Layla Mattress

The original Layla memory foam mattress features two sides with different firmness options: one soft and one firm. Its copper-infused foam helps to cool the mattress and increase recovery times.

Nerd Score 3.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Side and Back Sleepers

Layla Mattress

The original Layla memory foam mattress features two sides with different firmness options: one soft and one firm. Its copper-infused foam helps to cool the mattress and increase recovery times.

Nerd Score 3.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review

This memory foam mattress offers the contour and comfort you expect from a foam mattress, with added support for back 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. 

We like this mattress for strict back sleepers or those who switch between sleeping on their back and side. Typically, we would recommend a firmer mattress for back sleepers, so we are partial to the firmest side of the mattress, but it is nice to know you have options. For example, perhaps you prefer a cooling and breathable, 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. 

Read our full Layla Mattress Review for all the details. If you aren’t interested in the Layla mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses of 2021 for more great options. 

Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers: Saatva

Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

180 nights

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

15-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

15-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Trial Period

180 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

180 nights

Warranty

15-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review

The Saatva mattress has a hybrid construction (memory foam and coils) that does a great job of supporting back sleepers, as well as many other types of sleepers. It makes appearances on many of our “best of” lists, so if you’re looking for something that will support your back sleeping while also being a great mattress all around, this might be the one for you.

Thanks to the multiple firmness options that Saatva offers, you should be able to find a suitable mattress regardless of your sleep style. That said, if you sleep on your back then we definitely recommend the luxury firm option. Sitting at around 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, the luxury firm Saatva will provide that middle-of-the-road feel that allows back sleepers’ hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress just enough.

Read our full Saatva Mattress Review for all the details. If you aren’t interested in the Saatva mattress, check out our list of the best hybrid mattresses for more great options.

Best Cooling Mattress for Back Sleepers: Cocoon by Sealy

Best Cooling Mattress for Back Sleepers

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon Chill by Sealy is a great choice for anyone looking for a cooling mattress at a reasonable price point. Created by Sealy, one of the most trusted brands in the industry, the Cocoon gives customers a cooling all-foam option delivered right to their door.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-soft: 5/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Cooling Mattress for Back Sleepers

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon Chill by Sealy is a great choice for anyone looking for a cooling mattress at a reasonable price point. Created by Sealy, one of the most trusted brands in the industry, the Cocoon gives customers a cooling all-foam option delivered right to their door.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-soft: 5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Best Cooling Mattress for Back Sleepers

Cocoon Chill Mattress

The Cocoon Chill by Sealy is a great choice for anyone looking for a cooling mattress at a reasonable price point. Created by Sealy, one of the most trusted brands in the industry, the Cocoon gives customers a cooling all-foam option delivered right to their door.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-soft: 5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5

The Cocoon Chill’s top two selling points are two firmness levels – perfect for several types of sleepers – and a phase-changing material that traps your body heat and releases it when you’re feeling cool. This material moves from a liquid to a solid state and can keep even hot sleepers cool throughout the night.

Though the edge support isn’t top-notch (a problem that’s common in all-foam mattresses), the Cocoon comes delivered straight to your door for free and comes with a 100-day trial period. Its two firmness levels (medium soft and extra firm) can accommodate different types of sleepers, but we recommend that stomach and back sleepers try the extra firm version while side sleepers stick to the medium soft firmness for extra cushioning.

Read our full Cocoon by Sealy Chill Mattress Review for all the details. If you aren’t interested in the Cocoon mattress, check out our list of the best cooling mattresses for more great options.

Best Value Mattress for Back Sleepers: Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Best Value Mattress for Back Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Mattress

The Signature Hybrid mattress comes in three firmness options and is made with a slew of proprietary materials. Brooklyn Bedding know their mattresses.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Value Mattress for Back Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Mattress

The Signature Hybrid mattress comes in three firmness options and is made with a slew of proprietary materials. Brooklyn Bedding know their mattresses.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Value Mattress for Back Sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Mattress

The Signature Hybrid mattress comes in three firmness options and is made with a slew of proprietary materials. Brooklyn Bedding know their mattresses.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review

If you’re a back sleeper looking for a mattress with a little bit of everything, look no further than The Brooklyn Signature. This hybrid mattress was awarded our Editor’s Pick because it will appeal to the widest variety of back sleepers and help them get their best night’s sleep. Brooklyn Bedding combines a 6” pocketed spring base layer with a 4” layer of contouring TitanFlex foam to enhance the durability and longevity of the mattress. 

This Brooklyn Signature is offered in three firmness options, and for back sleepers, we recommend the medium-firm or firm option. The heavier you are, you will sleep better on the firm option. Regardless of your body type, body 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 lower back pain.

Read our full Brooklyn Signature Mattress Review to learn more. If you aren’t interested in the Brooklyn mattress, check out our list of the most affordable mattresses for more great options.

Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers: Zenhaven

Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

Zenhaven Mattress

Made by Saatva, the ZenHaven mattress is a unique latex mattress, unique because you can flip it to change the feel of it. One side is a plush, soft layer and the other is a gentle firm layer.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Latex

Trial Period

180 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

20-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

Zenhaven Mattress

Made by Saatva, the ZenHaven mattress is a unique latex mattress, unique because you can flip it to change the feel of it. One side is a plush, soft layer and the other is a gentle firm layer.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Latex

Warranty

20-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

180 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers

Zenhaven Mattress

Made by Saatva, the ZenHaven mattress is a unique latex mattress, unique because you can flip it to change the feel of it. One side is a plush, soft layer and the other is a gentle firm layer.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Latex

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

180 nights

Warranty

20-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5

The Zenhaven by Saatva is a firm, luxury mattress for back sleepers, made of 100% Talalay latex for the eco-conscious shopper. The mattress has a “5-zone” comfort design, in order to provide firmer support where you need it most. The  ZenHaven is another two-sided mattress, which provides buyers with two levels of firmness. 

This mattress is somewhat unrivaled in its ability to provide a responsive, body-contouring feel while also 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.

Read our full ZenHaven Review for more details. If you aren’t interested in the ZenHaven mattress, check out our list of the best firm mattresses for more great options.

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief: WinkBed

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review

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 and pain relief. 

The WinkBed has many properties that make it appealing to back sleepers. From a cool Tencel outer layer to motion isolation technology, anti-sag edge support, and a devoted “Lumbarlayer” for added lumbar support it will prevent sinkage and keep you supported. Additionally, 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 an all-foam mattress might. 

Read our full WinkBed Review to learn more.

Best Mattress for Back Pain: Purple Hybrid

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Purple Hybrid Mattress

A unique design, supportive cushioning, and responsive support coils classify the Purple Hybrid as a great option for a wide variety of sleepers. It has a medium-firm feel that works especially well for back sleepers.

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Pain

Purple Hybrid Mattress

A unique design, supportive cushioning, and responsive support coils classify the Purple Hybrid as a great option for a wide variety of sleepers. It has a medium-firm feel that works especially well for back sleepers.

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Pain

Purple Hybrid Mattress

A unique design, supportive cushioning, and responsive support coils classify the Purple Hybrid as a great option for a wide variety of sleepers. It has a medium-firm feel that works especially well for back sleepers.

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review

The Purple Hybrid is our top pick for the best mattress for sleepers with lower back pain. This hybrid mattress is constructed with polyfoam, pocketed coils, and a top layer of Purple’s patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer “Purple Grid” that gives the mattress a completely unique feel. People have compared sleeping on the Purple mattress to the feeling of a gel memory foam, but we are sure it will be unlike anything you have ever experienced. 

The Purple company recommended this model for back and side sleepers since the grid system will help evenly distribute weight while providing a balance of support and pressure relief for back sleepers. Because of its cooling properties and supportive properties, it’s also a good mattress for heavy people.

Read our full Purple Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more. If you aren’t interested in the Purple mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses for back pain for more great options.

Mattress Buying Guide For Back Sleepers 

If you’re a back sleeper, congratulations! Snoozing in a supine position can have many long-term benefits, such as sinus relief, reduced pain, less stress on internal organs, and, since your face doesn’t rub against your pillow, less skin irritation. On the flip side, sleeping on your back can result in snoring and even sleep apnea. 

Related: What is the Best Sleeping Position?

This buyer’s guide will provide you, back sleepers, with a better understanding of what you should look for when shopping for a mattress—which materials work best, firmness level considerations, and other factors that contribute to a restful, healthy night’s sleep.

We’ll also share with you some helpful tips on dealing with the problems that might be caused by back sleeping, and even some suggestions on how to change your sleeping position if it becomes necessary.

What Is the Best Mattress Type for Back Sleepers?

There are four major groups that mattresses generally fall into when it comes to materials: latex, memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid. High-quality, comfortable mattresses can be found within each of these groups, so your ideal material will come down to sleeping situation and preference. 

Since your preference is back sleeping, we’ve provided some insight into how each of these types of beds might be good or bad for that specific position.

Latex

Latex is known for its ability to quickly bounce back to its original shape, which helps it provide the slight contouring and cushioning feeling that back sleepers need. The material tends to conform to the body while alleviating pressure in all the right places. As an added benefit, the best 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 does a good job minimizing motion transfer for couples. Additionally, it’s more widely available and comes in at a friendlier price point than latex. If you opt for foam, take a look at our best memory foam mattresses page. Memory foam 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.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are constructed with a layer of sturdy coils that provides high levels of breathability—a warm sleeper’s delight! But whether or not an innerspring mattress is a good fit for a side sleeper really depends on what’s on top of the metal coils. Because of the sturdy coils, innerspring mattresses have an inherent firmness that can push a back sleeper’s hips up too high, throwing their body out of alignment and causing back pain. This firmness, however, can be counteracted with a cushy pillow top, like the one on the Saatva mattress, which topped our best innerspring mattress list.

Related: Best Cooling Mattresses

Hybrid

Hybrid 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. You can find many options that meet these criteria on our list of best hybrid mattresses.

Ideal Firmness Level

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 firmer mattress. However, a mattress’ firmness plays a crucial role in getting high-quality sleep, especially for individuals dedicated to one sleeping position. 

Back sleepers will likely find that a medium-firm mattress is soft enough for their hips to sink into alignment with their shoulders and back, but also has enough firmness to keep their hips from sinking too far. The resulting proper alignment can lead to less stress on sensitive areas like the lower back and pelvic region.

In order to help you identify firmness in mattresses, we rate each one on a scale on 1 to 10. Medium-firm is anything from 5 to 7. Lightweight to average back sleepers should be happiest around 5.5 or 6, while heavier back sleepers may want to consider a mattress closer to a firmness rating of 7. For more information, take a look at our mattress firmness guide.

Other Factors for Back Sleepers to Consider

In addition to the type of mattress you choose, there are various other qualities within a mattress that can either support the natural alignment of the body or indirectly disrupt it as you sleep. Due to a person’s individual preferences, size, height, medical history, etc., the most important aspects of a mattress will vary.

It is important to ensure the mattress will work with your body, allowing it to rest in a natural posture that alleviates pressure points on the neck, spine, and pelvis. There are also some ways for you to optimize your back-sleeping experience by using the ideal sleep accessories and mattress foundations. We have outlined some factors to pay close attention to below. 

Construction of the Support System

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. The strong core will help balance out the softness provided by the comfort layers, and create the medium-firm feel that works so well for back sleepers. Look for innerspring support systems, pocketed coils, hyper-elastic polymer, and support polyfoam, which work in conjunction to create a supportive mattress core.

Contouring

While too much softness can lead to excessive sagging and exacerbate neck or chronic back pain, the ideal mattress for back sleepers will allow for contour in specific areas, like the hips. Foam and latex mattresses are usually the best at this. 

Pillows & Accessories 

Back sleepers don’t typically 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 by propping the sleeper up. Additionally, placing a pillow under your neck to fill in that space can result in optimal sleep. Take a look at our best pillows for back sleepers list for some great options.

Mattress toppers are also a good option for back sleepers whose current mattress is too firm for comfort, but who don’t want to replace it entirely. A 2” to 3” thick topper can make a world of difference when it comes to your mattress’ softness.

Related: Best Pillows, Best Mattress Toppers

Foundations/Bed Frames

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. Take a look at this article if you’re still unsure if you need a boxspring.

Is Sleeping on Your Back Good for You?  

If you are a back sleeper, you’re among the few people whose body has chosen the sleeping position with the most health benefits and the least amount of drawbacks. From allowing for even weight distribution and alleviating pressure points, to creating the ideal scenario for cervical spinal alignment and lessening stiffness in the neck, there are many benefits of this sleeping style. 

While the position is a mostly positive one, there are some potential drawbacks. Finding a mattress that’s tailored to this sleep position and your body is crucial to ensure you are reaping the benefits, and not causing unnecessary pain. We explored some pros and cons of sleeping on your back, how you can make sure you are doing so in a safe and effective way, and some tips on switching sleep positions if it becomes necessary. 

Pros

  • Sleeping on your back naturally encourages proper spinal alignment, so long as your mattress has the right firmness (between 5 and 7 on the firmness scale).
  • Less pressure on shoulders and hips than side sleepers experience.
  • With the right pillow you likely won’t have to worry about neck pain as much as stomach sleepers might.

Related: Sleep and Neck Pain

Cons

  • Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to relax and slip back into a position that obstructs your airways, which can cause you to snore. Take a look at our guide on understanding how snoring affects sleep.
  • Sleep apnea can be heightened or caused by back-sleeping. Our understanding sleep apnea guide, which details possible symptoms and steps you can take in treating this disorder.
  • Back-sleeping can lead to lower back pain.

Back Sleeping and Back Pain

In order to reduce the risk of lower back pain while sleeping on your back, place a pillow below your knees. Doing so helps to keep your spine aligned to its natural curve, which is very important in reducing discomfort in your lower back. Take a look at our article on sleeping with lower back pain for more information.

If lower back pain continues to be an issue for you, consider switching to a side-sleeping position, as it has been found to be the best position for preventing back pain.

Switching to Side-Sleeping

Switching to a full-time side sleeper may not be as difficult as you think, after all, it’s only a 90 degree turn! Still, it may be challenging to get used to at first. Here are a couple of tricks that can help you train your body to adapt to the new sleeping style.

  • The couch can be a great place to start. The narrow surface area encourages side sleeping and can be a useful tool in adapting to the new position.
  • Try building a wall of pillows on either side of you. These will prevent you from rolling off your side and onto your back as you sleep.
  • If you don’t have enough pillows for the walls, try putting a soft object in the back of your pajama shirt—a small stuffed animal, perhaps. The discomfort of it pushing into your back when you roll over will wake you up, at which point you can put yourself back on your side.

With enough practice, we’re confident you can become a world-class side sleeper in no time. And when you do, take a look at our best mattresses for side sleepers roundup!

Recap: Top Rated Mattresses for Back Sleeping

Model  Award Nerd Score
Layla Best for Side and Back Sleepers  4.7/5
Saatva Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers 4.3/5
Cocoon Chill by Sealy  Best Cooling Mattress 4.8/5
Brooklyn Bedding Signature Best Value 4.7/5
Zenhaven Best Firm Mattress for Back Sleepers 4.8/5
WinkBeds Pressure Point Relief 4.7/5
Purple Hybrid Best for Back Pain  4.8/5

Dr. Ravi Pandey is part of our panel of medical expert contributors on the subject of sleep health. They provide important perspectives on the topics we discuss to help make our content as accurate and dependable as possible. They do not personally endorse any products, nor are they associated with any brands featured in our review content.