Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

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Though people often find it comfortable to stretch out in bed on their back when reading or watching TV, only a small percentage of people actually prefer to sleep in this position. If you’re a back sleeper, it may be helpful to know that there are both pros and cons to sleeping this way and that there are ways to enhance your comfort and support.

When sleeping on your back, the body tends to assume a relatively straight and natural posture; but this posture can be disrupted if the body doesn’t get proper support. As a result, it is necessary for back sleepers to choose their mattress carefully.

In this guide, we’ll start by reviewing some basic information about sleeping on your back and about the most important aspects of mattress design for back sleepers. We’ll also cover the types of mattresses that are on the market and which ones usually work best for people in this sleeping position. Keep reading to find all of this information or jump to the bottom of the page to see our back sleeper mattress reviews.

What Are the Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers?

We know that it can be hard to narrow down your mattress choices, so we’ve simplified that process for you by recommending our best bets for back sleepers organized by mattress type.

Manufacturer Model Mattress Type Firmness Price (Queen)
Brooklyn Signature Gel-infused specialty polyfoam 3 choices: Soft (4), Medium (6), Firm (7.5-8) $949
Nectar Foam Medium Firm (6) $699
Saatva Innerspring 3 choices: Plush Soft (3-3.5), Luxury Firm (5-6), Firm (8) $1,099
WinkBed Hybrid 3 choices: Soft (4.5), Luxury Firm (6.5), and Firm (7.5) $1,599
Allswell Luxe Hybrid Medium Firm (6) $645
Leesa Hybrid Hybrid Firm (7) $1,475

*Price varies by mattress size from twin up to California King (those listed are Queen). Optional pillowtop accessories may increase price in some models.

Why we like it:

  • Moderate contouring with notable bounce
  • Stable, resilient support core of pocketed innerspring coils
  • Available in Soft, Medium, and Firm comfort options

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

 

Brooklyn Bedding’s Signature mattress utilizes a hybrid design to provide a firm yet responsive sleeping surface for back sleepers.
The support core of the Signature is 6” of individually-encased innerspring coils. On each side of the coils is a 1” layer of support polyfoam. These layers work in conjunction to offer stability and bounce along with moderate responsiveness.

Above this support core, the Signature has two comfort layers. The topmost layer is 2” of TitanFlex foam. TitanFlex is a gel-infused polyfoam that blends contouring and resilience while fighting heat buildup. The second comfort layer is 2” of Energex foam that is bouncier and resists excessive sinking into the mattress.

Brooklyn Bedding offers the Signature in three firmness levels: Soft (4), Medium (6), and Firm (8). The Medium or Firm option is best for most back sleepers depending on their body weight.

This mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial that has a 30-night mandatory break-in period before initiating a return. For the long-term, the mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Brooklyn Bedding has over two decades of experience in the mattress industry and has applied their knowledge and experience to the Signature, a redesigned version of their flagship mattress. If you want to explore other models from Brooklyn Bedding, you can check out the Bowery, Aurora, and Spartan, all of which can be a good fit for back sleepers.

Why we like it:

  • Multiple layers of memory foam for excellent pressure relief
  • Nectar Adaptive Hi Core foam prevents excessive sink
  • 365-night sleep trial and lifetime mattress warranty

Nectar Mattress

 

The Nectar mattress provides top-notch contouring that can help back sleepers get the extra cushioning right where they need it to promote proper spinal alignment.

To achieve this impressive performance, the Nectar utilizes four foam layers. The topmost layer is made with 1” of high-density (4 pounds per cubic foot, or PCF) quilted memory foam. The second layer is 3” of gel-infused memory foam with a density of 3 PCF. These two layers act as the comfort layer, providing pinpoint pressure relief.

Underneath the comfort layer is a layer of Nectar’s Adaptive Hi Core foam that contributes more resilience and bounce to the mattress. The fourth foam layer is a support core made with polyfoam with a density of 2.2 PCF.

Combined, these layers have a medium level of conforming but without too much sink. The medium firm feel is around a 6.5 on the firmness scale. This combination of hug, resilience, and firmness delivers excellent performance for back sleepers, in particular back sleepers under 230 pounds who do not put as much pressure on the foam.

A major selling point for the Nectar is its industry-leading 365-night sleep trial. This trial has a break-in period of 30 days before you can make a return, but after that point, you can try out the bed for a full year to really find out if it works for you. Nectar offers a lifetime warranty for the mattress, protecting your investment over the long-term as well.

Why we like it:

  • Highly-responsive micro-coils work with a thick innerspring layer to create significant bounce and responsiveness
  • Memory foam lumbar pad cushions key pressure point of many back sleepers
  • Ability to choose between Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm comfort levels
  • Free white-glove delivery

Saatva mattress

 

The Saatva mattress blends the tried-and-true benefit of innerspring construction with innovative components that enhance the performance of the mattress for back sleepers.

The Saatva has a support core of steel innerspring coils. The support core is either 4.5” or 7.5” thick depending on whether you opt for the 11.5” or 14.5” mattress model. Resting right above the support core ia 4” layer of micro-coils. These coils are pocketed, giving each coil more ability to respond to your body’s pressure independent of the movement of other coils.

The micro-coils ensure that your body gets the support it needs, and they are supplemented with a memory foam lumbar pad to help relieve pressure in the lower back, a noted problem spot for many back sleepers. Responsive polyfoam is sewn into the euro-style pillowtop for even further comfort and support.

The Saatva is available in three firmness levels: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm. Most back sleepers get the best results with the Luxury Firm and Firm options.

White-glove delivery, including installation of the Saatva and haul-away of an old mattress, is included in the price. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, but if you decide to make a return, a $99 return shipping fee will be deducted from your refund.

Why we like it:

  • Unique features designed for back support
  • Three firmness levels available
  • Sleeps very cool and comfortable

Winkbed

The WinkBed is a luxury hybrid bed made with high quality materials. It features dynamic foam layers on top of supportive innerspring coils. The construction is made up of 2” of support foam, a 7.5” layer of pocket innerspring coils, a layer of lumbar-support cotton padding, 2.4” of additional innerspring coils, 1 inch of gel-infused foam, and 1-inch of comfort memory foam.

This mattress is a great option for back sleepers for several reasons. Most importantly, the WinkBed has several comfort elements designed specifically for back support. A unique LumbarLayer™ helps provide targeted support to the lower back, while the hybrid design helps blend the support of coils with the cushy comfort of memory foam.

The WinkBed is also available in multiple firmness levels: “Medium Soft”, “Medium Firm”, and “Firm”. While most back sleepers prefer medium firm or firm mattresses, the options available from WinkBed help to accomodate a wider range of sleepers. There is also the WinkBed Plus model, which is even more firm and designed for heavier people.

All WinkBed mattresses come with free domestic shipping, free returns, and a 120 night at-home sleep trial.

Why we like it:

  • High quality at a very affordable price
  • Excellent motion isolation thanks to individually wrapped coils
  • Copper infused foam and quilted top provide great cooling

 

Allswell logo

 

The Allswell Luxe is an affordable hybrid mattress that’s a great choice for back sleepers on a budget. It’s one of the most affordable hybrids out there, yet it packs a number of premium features.

The hybrid design features individually wrapped coils, which helps to minimize motion transfer and noisiness while in bed. 2” of copper-infused memory foam helps to keep the bed cool while also reducing bacteria buildup. And a quilted plush top panel features cooling “Swirl Foam” which helps to improve airflow and keep the bed cool on those hot summer nights.

The Allswell Luxe is a medium-firm/firm mattress with only one version available. The manufacturer considers it a 4.5-6.5 out of 10, while our tests consider it closer to 6-7 out of 10. So, it’s best for folks who prefer things on the firmer side - which is the case for many back sleepers.

This mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year limited warranty, and free delivery in the US. White-glove delivery and expedited shipping are also available.

Why we like it:

  • Luxury hybrid mattress at an affordable price
  • Breathable and cool comfort layer
  • Over 1,000 pocket springs provide great motion isolation, durability and support
  • Leesa donates 1 mattress to charity for every 10 sold

Leesa Mattress

The Leesa Hybrid mattress is a luxury hybrid bed made with a unique 5-layer design. It features a cooling foam layer on top (1.5”), followed by contouring memory foam (1.5”), core support foam (1”), pocket spring system (6”), and core support base foam (1”). The construction of the Leesa is designed to offer optimal support, comfort and cooling while also improving the durability of the mattress.

The Leesa is a good choice for back sleepers because it provides above-average support, resulting in better spinal alignment. It’s also on the firmer side, which is generally beneficial for back sleepers. It provides great pressure relief, and it has enough loft and firm support to work well for sleepers of all shapes, sizes and weights.

All Leesa mattresses come with a 10-year limited warranty, as well as a 100-night at-home mattress trial. Shipping is free within the US, and most orders are delivered within 2 to 8 business days. Also, Lessa supports charities by donating 1 new mattress for every 10 sold.

About Back Sleeping

It is estimated that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of people regularly sleep on their backs. Within the general category of back sleeping, there are two main positions. The “Soldier” position involves the legs being mostly straight and the arms pointing down toward the legs. The “Starfish” position involves having the legs slightly further apart and the arms up above the head.

There are benefits and downsides to sleeping on your back. One benefit is that there tends to be less contorting of the body or limbs, even in the Starfish position. Another benefit is that back-sleeping can reduce the risk of facial wrinkles since there is not direct pressure on the face from being pressed against the pillow or mattress. Lastly, because the head and esophagus can be slightly elevated relative to the stomach, back sleeping can sometimes reduce acid reflux.

The major drawback to back sleeping is an increase in snoring and a greater risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When on your back, the base of the tongue can sink toward the back of the throat, narrowing the airway. This narrowing can produce snoring, which can be disruptive both to the sleeper and to a partner. If the narrowing becomes a full obstruction, it inhibits breathing and can contribute to OSA. OSA is related to a host of health problems including an elevated risk of several cardiovascular conditions.

If you are a back sleeper and find yourself with serious issues related to snoring or breathing in the night, it is important to talk with your doctor. In some cases, lifestyle changes (such as weight loss) can reduce sleep apnea. In other cases, a doctor or sleep specialist may prescribe a machine – a continuous positive airway pressure device, often called CPAP for short – to help keep your airway open through the night.

What Are the Most Important Mattress Considerations For Back Sleepers?

If you sleep on your back, you’ll want to make sure that you select a mattress that contributes to a restful night’s sleep and that doesn’t induce back pain. As you start shopping for mattresses, these are the key factors that you’ll want to look for:

Support

Every sleeper should aim to have a mattress that promotes proper spinal alignment. A supportive mattress is one that contours to the body so that cushioning is provided in the places where it is most needed.

For back sleepers, it’s important to have a mattress that is highly responsive or else the natural curve in the lower back can be exaggerated. On the flip side, though, if there is too much hug or sink in the mattress, the pelvis can push too deeply into the mattress, which can also cause misalignment.

Firmness

For most sleepers, the best firmness level is medium-firm, and this remains true for people who sleep on their backs. A mattress that is extra plush will be too soft to keep the body in a straight line. A mattress that is too rigid will typically be both uncomfortable and will put undue pressure on the neck and the small of the back.

Medium-firm mattresses fall between 4-7 on the typical firmness scale, and back sleepers typically do better with mattresses toward the higher end of this range. This is especially true for back sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds.

Proven reviews

A track record of success with real-world customers is one of the best indicators of the performance of a mattress. Back sleepers should look for reviews that are only from verified purchases and ideally that come from other back sleepers.

Durability

A mattress is a big investment, and part of that investment is wanting to have a product that lasts. There’s not much worse than a sagging mattress, especially for people whose sleeping position requires proper support.

If you want a mattress that stands the test of time then avoid mattresses with cheap components that have a greater propensity to wear out quickly.

Pillow

When you buy a new mattress, it is a great opportunity to take a hard look at your pillow(s). Since you are counting on both the mattress and your pillow to offer comfort and support, you need to know that they are working in concert to meet that goal.

Back sleepers typically benefit from a pillow of medium height and firmness with light contouring so that it keeps the head flat and in line with the spine.

What Mattress Features Should You Look For?

While the characteristics of the mattress — like its support, firmness, and durability — are primary themes that you should keep in mind, it can be confusing at times to know what specific features to analyze when comparing mattresses.

This section reviews the most important things to evaluate as you look at potential mattress options.

High-end components

The materials used in building a mattress have the biggest impact on how well that mattress will hold up over time and how well it will deliver on its promise of a great night’s sleep.

When you look at the construction of a mattress, consider how many layers are included, what type of material is in those layers, and the thickness of each layer. Be on the lookout for any layers that seem weaker or that could be the “weak link” in the construction of the mattress.

Robust comfort layer

Another important element to consider when looking at mattress specifications is the design of the comfort layer. As the part of the mattress that most immediately supports your body, a strong comfort layer is essential.

The comfort layer, which can be made up of multiple thinner layers, should be no less than 3” thick. High-density foams (generally greater than 3.5 pounds per cubic foot of density) in the comfort layer have a much better track record when it comes to durability and support.

Value

With all of the mattress options on the market, you can get a great mattress at a great price. Before making any final purchase, make sure that you look for any coupons or discounts that may be available. You can also help judge value by comparing your top mattress choices with similarly-designed mattresses from other manufacturers.

Simple return policy

If you buy a mattress online, then you don’t have the opportunity to test it out as you would if buying in a store. However, most online mattress sellers have customer-friendly return policies that allow you to get a full refund if you aren’t satisfied.

This sleep trial time period can vary in length, but 100 nights is an industry standard. We suggest looking for a sleep trial of 100 nights or more and with free return shipping or pickup if you decide to make a return. This kind of no-hassle return policy can help protect your investment and make sure that you wind up with a mattress that works for you.

Free shipping

Most mattresses are delivered without any additional cost for shipping, especially if you’re buying online. However, there are exceptions, and some companies also do not refund shipping charges if you make a return.

We advise that you carefully look at the terms for shipping and if free shipping is not included, to make sure that you budget for this extra cost when assessing the value of the mattress.

What Types of Mattresses Are Available?

Foam

Foam mattresses use layered foams to achieve a particular level of responsiveness and firmness. Typically, there is a thicker layer of support foam at the bottom of the mattress with thinner layers of softer, more supportive foams, such as memory foam, in the comfort layer. When a person puts pressure on the foam, it compresses in response.

Latex
Innerspring
Hybrid
Airbed

Which Mattress Types Are Best For Back Sleepers?

Best: Foam, Latex

Foam and latex mattresses are the best for providing contouring that back sleepers need. While too much contouring can be counterproductive, most medium-firm latex or foam mattresses will have a positive effect on spinal alignment for back sleepers.

Honorable Mention: Hybrid

Because they have a thicker comfort layer, most hybrids are able to offer more contouring than traditional innersprings while also having a bounce that some customers find to be beneficial.

Proceed With Caution: Innerspring, Airbed

Because of the less robust comfort layers in these mattress types, back sleepers should approach them with caution. Unless they have very well-designed comfort layers, these mattresses are unlikely to offer adequate support for the lower back, hips, and shoulders.