What makes the best mattress for back sleepers

The back sleeping position, although not the most popular, is one of the most recommended positions for overall health and for getting a good night’s sleep. We’ve ranked the best mattresses for back sleepers – view the list below!

The best mattresses for back sleepers vary in firmness and comfort level, and there are a few key attributes back sleepers should look for in a mattress:

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Source: Wall Street Journal

  1. Ample support: for natural alignment and lower back support

Sleeping on the back makes natural alignment much easier for the body, especially the head, neck, and spine. A mattress with a lot of support is important to keep the body in consistent alignment all night. This sleeping position can also cause or worsen lower back pain if the mattress doesn’t provide the right kind of support.

  1. Firmness: medium-firm to firm

Back sleepers should consider picking a mattress with a firmness level of medium to medium-firm, and firmer beds may be better for those with lower back pain.

  1. Enough softness: comfort for pressure point relief and lower back

Back sleepers naturally distribute weight across the body, which helps to minimize pressure points. It is key for back sleepers to find a mattress that does have just enough softness to conform to the body and the arch of the lower back.

  1. A mattress with cooling properties

Some mattresses are cooler than others, based on material and construction. Back sleepers may want to consider a mattress with cooling properties, as some materials can trap heat.

Firmness and support for back sleepers

The best mattresses for back sleepers are medium to medium-firm, and the desired firmness level varies from person to person, depending on body, weight, and personal preference.

The goal for a back sleeper is to find a mattress that is:

The recommended comfort level for back sleepers ranges from 1 to 10. Some very firm or soft mattresses can work for back sleepers, depending on the sleeper’s personal preference. Most back sleepers prefer a medium to medium firm mattress, that ranges from 5 to 7 on the firmness scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the firmest mattress).

Back sleepers can face several challenges because of the sleep position:

  1. Not enough back support

Back sleepers need to know that firmness level can be too high or too low, resulting in back pain or other issues if the firmness level and support are not accurate. A mattress with the right amount of firmness and support can help alleviate unwanted pressure on the back and keep the spine supported in its natural position. Also, using a pillow under the back of the knees can help with spine alignment.

  1. Snoring

Back sleepers may be prone to snoring, which may be occasional or consistent, depending on the person. The back sleeping position causes the airway to narrow and the soft palate to collapse, making a vibrating sound.

What is the best type of mattress for back sleepers?

There are many mattresses varieties for back sleepers to choose from, especially because the comfort scale and firmness levels can vary so much based on personal preference. Consider these different mattresses for back sleepers.

The best mattresses for back sleepers are:

  • Foam mattress (poly and memory foam)
  • Hybrid
  • Latex
  • Adjustable air

Learn more about the different kinds of Mattress Support Cores.

Note: Back sleepers should consider a mattress that is medium to slightly firm or firmness range of 5 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the firmest). Also, a top comfort layer of about 2 inches is a good starting place recommendation for back sleepers, to provide the right level of cradling for the body.

Foam mattress (poly and memory foam)

  • High-density foam layers (several grades of poly foam) support
  • Combination of foam layers used for both support and comfort
  • High-density foam layers (several grades of memory foam) for comfort
  • Cooling technology to avoid heat trapping
  • Consistent support and medium firmness level for back sleepers
  • Elasticity of memory foam allows mattress to bounce back to original position (slower response time, however, compared to latex)
  • Excellent conformity and relief for pressure points
  • Consider thickness of comfort layers to prevent sinking down into mattress, and for keeping spine aligned

Hybrid mattress (foam and coil)

  • Combination of both coils and foam(s)
  • Coil support system gives great core support (coil types include: bonnell, offset, continuous, and pocket coil) layered with foam or quilting
  • Foam layers are good for comfort and added support (memory foam, latex, polyfoam, natural fibers)
  • Consistent support and medium firmness level for back sleepers
  • Good conformity with memory foam and other foam layer(s) for soft comfort layer
  • Consider comfort layers to prevent sinking down into mattress for back sleepers
  • Great support, but may break down over time

Latex mattress

  • Latex foam layers (mainly Dunlop and Talalay)
  • Latex layers are for both support and comfort
  • Great for core support layers and comfort layers
  • Good for medium-firm mattresses for back sleepers
  • Conforms well to the body and relieves pressure points for comfort
  • Only a mattress with a latex core should be in this category
  • Good durability and long lasting
  • Elasticity is good, and latex mattress will bounce back into original position after being compressed

Adjustable air mattress

  • Adjustable chambers of air used
  • Foams and fiber layers, too
  • Provides needed support for back sleepers who want medium and adjustable firmness
  • Firmness can be adjusted for personal preference
  • Adjustments to mattress can allow for higher or lower position on certain part of the body that are heavier
  • Don’t have issues with mattress sagging
  • May be too firm for some sleepers (basic or no comfort layer)
  • Definitely needs an effective comfort layer to provide enough softness for comfortable sleeping

Another kind of mattress back sleepers can consider is the innerspring mattress.

Innerspring mattress

  • Steel coil support system (coil types include: bonnell, offset, continuous, and pocket coil) layered with foam or quilting
  • Coils range in thickness from 12.5 to 16 gauges and thinner coils can more easily shape themselves to contour to the body, while thicker layers provide support for holding up the weight of the body
  • Conformity depends on comfort layers (materials like memory foam, latex, polyurethane foam, and natural fibers)
  • Consider correct thickness of comfort layers to prevent sinking down into mattress for back sleepers, and correct softness for body and spine alignment
  • Consistent support and medium firmness level for back sleepers
  • Support may break down over time
  • Resilient and durable

Sources: Consumer Reports, BetterSleep.org, Sleep.org, SleepFoundation.org

What else should a back sleeper consider?

In addition to a mattress with the proper support and the right amount of firmness for the sleeper, back sleepers should also consider the right pillow. Here are a few tips for picking a pillow that’s best for back sleepers.

Finding the right pillow

The best mattresses for back sleepers

Back sleepers rely on personal preference when it comes to choosing a mattress, and there are many mattress varieties available with different support cores and comfort layers. Back sleeping is the most recommended sleeping position, and back sleepers have specific needs they look for in a mattress to ensure they get the healthiest sleep possible.

Here are some key components that are important to look for in The Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers:

  • Ample support for natural alignment of spine and neck
  • Medium to firm firmness level
  • Enough softness for comfort relief for pressure points and lower back
  • A mattress with cooling properties

This guide is focused on mattresses that meet the needs of back sleepers. With a wealth of information available to consumers about mattresses, the mattresses in this guide were selected based on research from publicly available sources like forums, chat boards, company websites, reviews, and information provided by consumers.

Specific qualities found in both support cores and comfort layers were taken into consideration when selecting mattresses in this guide. These are the different mattress types recommended for back sleepers:

These mattress varieties are explored in this guide, and are reviewed based on the following categories for each featured and ranked mattress brand:

  • Price
  • Warranty
  • Aggregate customer rating
  • Special features

All mattresses in this guide were selected based on research, and the data presented here is not weighted. Information on each mattress was evaluated and taken into account as a whole.

Back sleepers will find the mattresses in this guide to be the best of the best for their sleeping position. These high-quality mattresses and brands perform best for back sleepers, and are known for having the best design, technology, durability, and special features available on the market. Mattresses by the following brands are featured in this guide:

The best of the best

Sleep on Latex: Pure Green

Brand History

Sleep on Latex was founded in 2013 and is reportedly the largest latex mattress retailer in the U.S. All products are made in partnership with a factory in Sri Lanka, and are constructed with the company’s Pure Green Natural Latex Foam. The latex foam is certified by both Oeko-Tex and eco-Institut, both of which lead the industry in textile product testing.

Mattresses are purchased online and shipped direct to consumers in a box, with no assembly required.

Price

Sleep on Latex mattresses range from $899-$999 for a queen size. The company offers free shipping and returns. They are comparable in price to mattresses by Bob-O-Pedic and Yogabed.

Warranty

No sleep trial is available for Sleep on Latex beds, and a 10-year warranty is available.

Aggregate customer rating

These mattresses ranked the highest of all mattresses for back sleepers with an 85% overall customer satisfaction rating.

What makes it special

Sleep on Latex makes latex mattresses that are extremely durable and made with natural latex derived from rubber trees, with no added synthetic latex, fillers, or any fire retardants.

The mattresses come in two thickness levels – 7-inch or 9-inch — and in several firmness levels from soft to medium to firm.

The 9-inch mattress features a 1-inch quilted wool top comfort layer and a 2-inch Dunlop latex comfort layer. It is supported by a 6-inch support core foundation layer.

The 7-inch mattress includes a 1-inch quilted wool comfort layer and a 6-inch support core base.

Both the 9-inch and 7-inch mattresses come with a cotton and wool blend zippered cover that can be removed.

These mattresses are ideal for back sleepers because they provide natural spine and neck alignment, which is important for back sleepers in preventing back pain. In addition, they offer very good temperature control for back sleepers who sleep with the entire back side of the body on the surface of the mattress.

Bob-O-Pedic: Hybrid and Gel

Brand History

Bob’s Discount Furniture sells Bob-O-Pedic mattresses in 15 states and online. The company was founded in 1991 with the goal of providing furniture and mattresses at a great value for customers. Bob’s Discount Furniture has more than 80 showrooms across the country, and is headquartered in Manchester, CT.

Bob’s Discount Furniture, which is also known for its donations to many schools and charities, features a variety of mattresses, including its own Bob-O-Pedic models, and other brands.

Price

Bob-O-Pedic Hybrid and Gel mattresses are $399 for a queen. They are comparable to mattresses by Signature Sleep.

Warranty

The company offers a 20-year non-prorated warranty; however, no sleep trial is available.

Aggregate customer rating

The Hybrid model garnered an 80% for overall customer satisfaction, while the Hybrid model earned a 70.5%.

What makes it special

Bob-O-Pedic makes several kinds of mattresses recommended for back sleepers, including the Hybrid (innerspring and memory foam) mattress and the gel-infused foam mattress.

The hybrid model features a 2-inch memory foam comfort layer, a 1-inch poly foam comfort layer, and a 6-inch pocketed coil innerspring support core foundation. The hybrid mattress is good for back sleepers because it offers a soft and cradling comfort layer to help relieve pressure points, and the innerspring support core provides a structured base to help keep the spine aligned.

The gel-infused foam mattress is CertiPur-US certified, and has a 2-inch memory foam and a 2-inch high density memory foam comfort layer. It also has a 10-inch poly foam support core and an embossed quilted knit cover.

Bob-O-Pedic mattresses perform well in isolating motion, and have a cooling technology built into the gel-infused memory foam that offers good ventilation. The cooling feature is important for back sleepers because the entire back side of the body touches the surface of the mattress.

Other great options for back sleepers

Sleep Number: Innovation and Performance

Brand History

Sleep Number has more than 450 stores across the nation, and was founded in 1987. It is the exclusive designer, manufacturer, marketer, retailer, and service provider for Sleep Number mattresses.

These mattresses are known for their individualized comfort. Clinical studies show Sleep Number beds can improve sleep and relieve back pain.

Price

Queen size Sleep Number mattresses range in price from $1,599 to $4,399 plus shipping costs, if purchased online. These beds are more expensive than other brands recommended in this guide for back sleepers.

Warranty

Sleepers can participate in a 100-night sleep trial after purchase. A 25-year warranty is also available with Sleep Number mattresses.

Aggregate customer rating

The Innovation model scored an 84.5% in overall customer satisfaction, and the Performance model scored an 81%.

What makes it special

Sleep Number makes mattresses that were some of the first in the industry to offer custom sleep technology. They are constructed with an adjustable air chamber support core that is paired with a variety of comfort layers.

These mattresses are popular because they are designed to provide excellent body contouring for the neck and back for optimal spinal alignment.

The difference between these two models (Innovation and Performance) is the thickness of the memory foam comfort layers. The Innovation series has a 3- to 4-inch memory foam comfort layer, while the Performance Series features a 2- to 3-inch memory foam comfort layer. The thickness of the comfort layer depends on personal preference of back sleepers.

Both mattresses are top performers for back sleepers, because of the adjustable comfort and 100 different sleep number settings. The Sleep Number can be adjusted by remote control to accommodate preferred firmness for back sleepers.

The Innovation series also includes a layer that regulates temperature, which is important for back sleepers.

These mattresses can be paired with a number of different foundations, including adjustable bases for even more custom comfort.

Tuft & Needle: Tuft & Needle Mattress

Brand History

Founded in 2012, Tuft & Needle is headquartered in Phoenix. The company was started by two software engineers from Silicon Valley. They both had similar mattress shopping experiences that inspired them to bring fairness and reasonable prices to the mattress industry.

All Tuft & Needle products are U.S.-made, and their mattresses are compressed and then shipped directly to consumers in a box.

Price

A queen mattress is $750 and compares closely with mattresses by Bob-O-Pedic.

The company also offers free shipping.

Warranty

These mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial, and the company offers a 10-year non-prorated warranty.

Aggregate customer rating

Tuft & Needle earned an 80.33% in overall customer satisfaction.

What makes it special

Tuft & Needle makes foam mattresses that are made with a proprietary adaptive foam (T&N) that’s not to be confused with memory foam or latex. The foam is flexible in its performance to work well for sleepers of all shapes and sizes. When pressure is applied, the mattress becomes even more supportive.

Tuft & Needle mattresses are constructed with a 3-inch foam comfort layer and a 7-inch poly foam support core layer. They are medium firm, which is recommended for back sleepers.

The comfort layer offers excellent pressure relief, a key component needed for back sleepers because the entire back side of the body puts pressure on the surface of the mattress. The 3-inch thickness gives enough softness, but prevents back sleepers from sinking down too far into the mattress.

The structured poly foam foundation is good for back sleepers because it helps keep the spine and body aligned naturally.

Tuft & Needle foam is very durable, breathable, and helps draw out heat for cooler sleeping.

These mattresses are compatible with many bed frames, and are also suitable for stomach sleepers.

Learn more about Tuft & Needle in our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.

Yogabed: Yogabed Original Mattress

Brand History

Yogabed mattresses are made in the U.S. and are among the direct-to-consumer brands available. The company reports that it is committed to helping people get the best sleep possible, and that it has 20,000 happy customers.

Known for its community support, Yogabed donates one mattress to charity for every 10 mattresses that are sold.

Yogabed’s mattresses are compressed and then shipped directly to consumers.

Price

Mattresses by Yogabed cost $749 for a queen. The company offers free shipping, and its mattresses are comparable in price to those by Bob-O-Pedic and Tuft & Needle.

Warranty

Yogabed offers a 180-night sleep trial and a 10-year prorated warranty.

Aggregate customer rating

Yogabed garnered a 77% in overall customer satisfaction, and ranks among the top-scoring mattresses recommended for back sleepers.

What makes it special

Yogabed makes foam mattresses. The Original Yogabed mattress features a 1-inch instant response high density foam comfort layer that is known for its fast reaction to pressure. It also provides firm conforming support.

The comfort layer is paired with a 2-inch memory foam layer that has cooling technology, as temperature control is important to back sleepers. This layer also helps dispense impact and isolate movement.

The Yogabed Original model’s support core is made with two layers: a 5-inch breathable high-density poly foam layer that has excellent airflow and moisture wicking; and a 2-inch support core foam base.

These mattresses are very durable, have good motion isolation, and are medium firm, which is best for back sleepers.

Each mattress also features a cover that zips off for easy cleaning.

Sleep Innovations: Shea

Brand History

Mattresses by Sleep Innovations are unique in the mattress industry because they don’t fit the one-size-fits-all rule. The company sells mattresses through retailers like Wayfair, Walmart, Target, Sears, Kohl’s, Kmart, and Home Depot. Their products are also sold online, and through Amazon.com.

Made in the U.S., Sleep Innovations products are shipped directly to customers.

Price

A queen Shea Sleep Innovations mattress is $596.26. This mattress model is priced similarly to the Tuft & Needle mattress.

Warranty

Because mattresses are sold through different retailers, sleep trial options vary per retailer. The company does offer a 20-year limited warranty.

Aggregate customer rating

Sleep Innovations mattresses scored a 76.5% overall customer satisfaction rating.

What makes it special

Foam mattresses by Sleep Innovations are made with several layers. The Shea model is a 10-inch mattress and has a medium firm feel, which is recommended for back sleepers.

The Shea model features a 7-inch foam support core and a 3-inch memory foam comfort layer that is meant to offer cooling and pressure relief.

A 7-inch support core provides a foundation for support to help keep the body and spine aligned naturally.

These mattresses are known for good motion isolation, and work well for sleepers who sleep with a partner, offering personal body alignment and comfort. The comfort layer offers a light cradling comfort and is adaptable for sleepers of all sizes and shapes.

Each mattress has a soft poly and cotton blend cover.

Sleep Innovations’ Shea model is also good for side sleepers.

Signature Sleep: 10-Inch Memory Foam

Brand History

Signature Sleep mattresses are manufactured in China and shipped directly to consumers. The mattresses are condensed, packed, and shipped in a box, and easy to unpack with no assembly required.

The company reports that it is environmentally friendly. Signature Sleep is known for its quality mattresses and accessories and a lower price point, as compared to other direct-to-consumer brands.

Price

These mattresses are $255 for a queen. They are much lower in price than other brands in this guide, especially mattresses by Tempur-Pedic, Sleep Number and Sleep on Latex. These mattresses include free shipping from Walmart.

Warranty

There is no sleep trial available with Signature Sleep mattresses, and the company does offer a 1-year limited warranty.

Aggregate customer rating

The Signature Sleep 10-inch foam mattress received a 74% score in overall customer satisfaction.

What makes it special

Signature Sleep makes memory foam mattresses with CertiPUR-US foams. The 10-inch mattress model is medium to medium firm, which is ideal for back sleepers.

Known for three zones of pressure relief comfort, Signature Sleep mattresses target pressure relief in three areas: head and neck; lower back and hip; and lower legs and feet. Pressure relief in these zones is crucial for back sleepers, because more pressure is applied in these areas in the back-sleeping position.

The 10-inch mattress features a 2.5-inch memory foam comfort layer and a 7.5-inch foam support core. This model also comes with a breathable knit fabric polyester mattress cover.

Each mattress also has a fire retardant barrier.

Signature Sleep mattresses are also good for stomach sleepers, and have good motion isolation.

IKEA: Myrbacka (Latex)

Brand History

IKEA mattresses are manufactured in Sweden. The company has many showrooms across the U.S. and 340 stores in 28 countries. It is known for its excellent design and competitive price points.

The company’s vision is to make life better for people every day.

The IKEA family program was born in 1984, and now has 100 million members. More than 30,000 new members join every day.

The mattresses can be purchased in store or online, and mattresses purchased online are shipped directly to consumers.

Price

IKEA’s Myrbacka mattress is $499 for a queen, and shipping varies based on location.

Warranty

These mattresses do not include a sleep trial, and IKEA offers a 25-year limited warranty, which is more than what most mattress brands offer.

Aggregate customer rating

The Myrbacka latex mattress earned a 72.5% in overall customer satisfaction.

What makes it special

IKEA’s Myrbacka mattress is a medium-firm foam and latex mattress that is made to relieve pressure and provide precise support.

A thick layer of synthetic latex makes up a comfort layer that provides pressure relief, while preventing the body from sinking too far down into the mattress.

The latex layer is paired with a highly resilient poly foam support core layer that reacts to body movement to provide consistent support. Myrbacka’s comfort layers relieve pressure on the upper- and mid-body, which is important for back sleepers.

Each mattress includes a top layer filled with 100% lambs wool that’s very soft and helps regulate temperature.

These mattresses include a polyester- and rayon-blend washable and removable cover, making easy cleaning possible.

IKEA’s Myrbacka model is very durable, works well for some stomach sleepers, and is compatible with a variety of different platforms and bases.

Tempur-Pedic: Contour

Brand History

Tempur-Pedic is known for being a pioneer in the mattress industry for its quality and popular memory foam, performing extremely well for pressure relief. The company was founded in 1992, and sells products in more than 80 countries. Tempur-Pedic also manufacturers other bedding-related products.

Price

The Contour model is priced between $2,599-$4,299 for a queen. The company does make free shipping available. These mattresses are priced much higher than others recommended for back sleepers. They are more comparable in price to Sleep Number mattresses.

Warranty

A 90-night sleep trial is available with each mattress, and Tempur-Pedic offers a 10-year warranty, which is standard in the mattress industry.

Aggregate customer rating

Tempur-Pedic earned a 70.5% for the Contour model for back sleepers.

What makes it special

The Contour mattress model is a foam mattress made with five different layers. These mattresses are known for medium-firm support with firmness levels available from medium to medium firm, which is recommended for back sleepers.

Contour’s support core helps distribute weight evenly across the mattress and disperses heat away from the mattress. It also performs well in preventing motion transfer.  

The comfort layer foam material is excellent with pressure relief, and also gives the mattress a firmer feeling. The model’s top layer includes a soft, durable, replaceable, and premium polyester fabric cover that zips off and can be removed for cleaning purposes.

The top layer also keeps sleepers cool and draws moisture away for back sleepers, who sleep with the entire back side of the body on the surface of the mattress.

Contour models are compatible with adjustable bases, too, offering customization for each side of the bed. 

This model is also good for stomach sleepers.

Additional resources for back sleepers

Consider these online resources for learning more about mattresses, sleep, and sleep positions:

Buying a mattress online

There are some benefits to buying your mattress online, so consider these tips if that’s your plan:

Best mattresses for back sleepers

What a back sleeper needs to know

  • The back sleeping position is the highest recommended position for overall health and for getting a good night’s sleep
  • Mattresses for back sleepers vary in firmness and comfort level based on personal preference
  • The best mattresses for back sleepers are medium to medium-firm
  • The goal for a back sleeper is to find a mattress that has enough support to keep the body in alignment and is soft enough to soften the natural alignment of the body and relieve pressure points
  • The recommended comfort level for back sleepers ranges from 1 to 10. Some very firm or soft mattresses can work for back sleepers
  • The best mattresses are usually foam, hybrid, latex, and adjustable air mattresses
  • The right pillow is just as important as the mattress
  • Consider a medium firm pillow with a curved edge under the neck that encourages the natural curve of the neck, supports the head and shoulders, and fills the space between the bed and neck
  • Back sleepers may have back pain if the support or firmness of the mattress isn’t correct
  • Consider a pillow under the knees to help reduce tension on and align spine naturally
  • Snoring may occur for back sleepers