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 Jack Mitcham

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. 

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The Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers of 2020

 

Layla

Best For Side and Back Sleepers

Best For: Back sleepers who like some contouring, couples & hot sleepers. 

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Soft & Firm Side

Trial period

120 days

Warranty

Lifetime Limited Warranty

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.

 

Leesa Hybrid

Best Hybrid

Best For: Combination sleepers, couples with different preferences & those who want a very durable bed. 

Score
4.5 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 days

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

When building this Hybrid model, Leesa took the foam technology from their original mattress and coupled it with pocketed springs to combine the best of both worlds. This is our favorite hybrid model for back sleeping, because of the balance of support and durability.

We like this option for back sleepers who like a slightly softer feel to their beds, so keep that in mind when shopping. This mattress is also a great option for couples due to the durable, motion-isolating base. Additionally, the memory foam layer relieves back, hip, and shoulder pressure with the body-contouring back sleepers require. The Leesa Hybrid is going to serve lightweight & average weight sleepers best, so if you are a heavier individual, you may not find this mattress supportive enough. See: Best Hybrid Mattresses 

Read our full Leesa Hybrid Mattress Review for all the details.

Cocoon by Sealy

Best Cooling Mattress

Best For: Couples who need motion isolation, sleepers on a limited budget and those who tend to sleep hot

Score
4.4 / 5.0
Firmness

8

Trial period

100 days

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

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. 

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Editor's Pick

Best For: Value shoppers, combination sleepers, & those searching for a balance of comfort and support.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

5

Trial period

120 days

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

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.

 

Zenhaven

Best Firm Mattress

Best For: Couples with different sleeping positions, big & tall sleepers & sleepers with back and neck pain. 

Score
4.6 / 5.0
Firmness

Dual-Sided: Plush and Firm

Trial period

120 days

Warranty

20 year limited warranty

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.

 

WinkBed

Best For Pressure Relief

Best For: Shoppers who like options, those with specific firmness preference & couples who are different sizes.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Offered at 4 firmness levels

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

Limited lifetime warranty

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.

Purple Hybrid

Best For Back Pain

Best For: Hot sleepers, sleepers who move around a lot & sleepers with lower or upper back pain.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

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. 

Read our full Purple Hybrid Mattress Review to learn more.

Mattress Buying Guide For Back Sleepers 

What is the Best 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 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, 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 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.

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. 

Important 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, eight, 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. We have outlined some factors to pay close attention to below. 

Mattress Firmness: 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. The largest factor to consider when it comes to firmness if your weight. For light & average weight back sleepers, medium-firm mattresses tend to work best. If you are heavier, a firm option will give you the extra support you need to maintain spine alignment. 

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. 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 bum. Foam and latex mattresses are 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. 

Foundation/ Bed Frame: 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.

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, and how you can make sure you are doing so in a safe and effective way. 

PROS

  • Encourages proper spinal Alignment
  • Reduces pressure on joints and sensitive pressure points 
  • Diminishes neck pain with proper accessories and positioning 

CONS 

  • Snoring: People who sleep on their backs tend to snore more often. 
  • Acid Reflux: When lying on your back, the contents of your stomach can flow more freely into the esophagus. 

Recap: Top Rated Mattresses for Back Sleeping

Model  Award Nerd Score
Layla Best for Side and Back Sleepers  4.7/5
Leesa Hybrid Best Hybrid Mattress for Back Sleepers 4.5/5
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

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