Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers of 2022
Aug 29th, 2022 •
Back sleeping is often recommended by experts as the best sleeping position—in other words, the healthiest. But if you don’t have the right mattress, you can miss out on the benefits of back sleeping.
Never fear—we’re here to help you find the best mattresses for back sleepers to avoid this mistake. We’ll review our top picks and offer some expert advice on what to look for when you’re comparing mattresses.
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Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers
- Best Firm Mattress – Saatva
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Helix Midnight
- Best for Durability – WinkBeds EcoCloud
- Best Mattress for Couples – Nectar
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf
- Best Mattress for Back and Side Sleepers – DreamCloud
- Best Mattress for Kids – Nolah Nurture
(If you’re looking for a mattress that works well for the side sleeper and couples, as well as back sleeping, Serta has a new product worth a look: Check out our Serta Arctic review.)
Take a look at our review for our top-rated best mattresses for back sleepers to find which may be the right choice for you. Consider factors like materials, firmness, and price to narrow down your options and decide which bed will be your perfect match.
Best Firm Mattress
- Free white glove delivery and setup
- Great edge support
- Durable and eco-friendly
Saatva Mattress Highlights
Saatva offers three firmness levels for their traditional mattress: soft, medium, and firm. We recommend the firm option for back sleepers. The firmness keeps your spine aligned, but the plush euro pillow top cushions your lower back and pressure points. Saatva’s reinforced edges make for great edge support (10/10 Mattress Advisor score) for people who sleep near the mattress’s edge.
Scoring highlights for the Saatva also include a 10/10 for spine alignment and an 8.75/10 for pressure relief. Those numbers mean the Saatva should do an excellent job of helping you maintain a healthy spinal alignment during sleep as it cradles your lower back, hips, and other pressure-sensitive areas.
Read our full Saatva mattress review.
Best Hybrid Mattress
- Combines foam and innerspring layers
- Great edge support
- Good motion isolation
Helix Midnight Mattress Highlights
The Helix Midnight is a foam/innerspring hybrid mattress that scores highly for all sleeping positions, but it’s particularly well-suited for back sleepers. This is due to its pressure-relieving layers that help your spine maintain its natural curve in the back sleeping position.
While the top memory foam comfort layer conforms to your body, the pocketed coils support your weight. Helix has great elasticity and motion isolation, which makes it easy for you and a partner to share and enjoy. A traditional innerspring, by contrast, has low point elasticity.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
Best Mattress for Durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Environmentally friendly
- Offers good responsiveness
medium firm- 6.5/10
With a perfect 10/10 Mattress Advisor score for durability, the WinkBeds EcoCloud is designed for the long run. WinkBeds tests each mattress to simulate over 20 years of sleeping, and the company has the confidence in its products to offer a limited lifetime warranty.
When you sleep on the EcoCloud mattress, you’ll probably notice that it fits the sweet spot of “not too firm, not too soft.” Back sleepers need a mattress that offers support and comfort, without caving too much under your body’s weight to throw your spine out of correct alignment. The EcoCloud’s combination of zoned pocketed coils, natural latex, and plush New Zealand wool also makes for an environmentally friendly mattress.
Read our full WinkBeds EcoCloud mattress review.
Best Mattress for Couples
- Good for couples and co-sleepers
- Sleeps cool for an all-foam bed
- Sturdy edge support
Nectar Mattress Highlights
If you share a bed with a fellow back sleeper, the Nectar can make it easier for both of you to get a restful sleep. We give it a 8.5/10 score for motion transfer, which means that you can roll over, shift, or stretch with less chance of your movements disturbing your partner. Great edge support (9/10) also makes the Nectar a good couples mattress.
All-foam mattresses tend to fall short in cooling ability, but Nectar scores well overall (7.5/10). Its gel-infused memory foam and breathable dynamic foam should help dissipate body heat.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Loom & Leaf
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Two firmness choices
- Maintains your spine’s natural curve
- Free white glove delivery
Relaxed firm: 6/10; Firm: 8/10
Loom & Leaf Highlights
The Loom & Leaf mattress finds a proper balance of comfort and support that allows proper contour to hug your body’s natural spinal curve. The top foam layer of the Loom & Leaf therapeutically molds to fill the natural gaps and arcs of your spine – making this an ideal match for back sleepers who need their mattress to perfectly meet their sleeping style.
This bed is available in 2 different firmness options: relaxed firm and firm. Relaxed firm is the flagship comfort level that is for just-right support, and firm is best for sleepers who prefer a very firm feel or are heavier people and need more firm support.
The Loom & Leaf is also great for those back sleepers who accumulate a lot of heat in the bed as it’s super breathable. Their proprietary Spinal Zone Gel layer provides better airflow along with optimal spinal support.
Read our full Loom & Leaf mattress review.
Best Mattress for Back and Side Sleepers
- Side sleeping
- Combination sleepers
- Great for back pain
DreamCloud Mattress Highlights
If you tend to switch from back to side sleeping, or if you and your partner sleep in different positions, try the DreamCloud. It’s one of the best mattresses for both back and side sleeping.
Back sleepers should appreciate the balance of comfort and support provided by the plush comfort foams and sturdy pocketed coils. Side sleepers should receive lots of pressure relief around the hips and shoulders as the memory foam contours to the body’s curves. Additionally, this mattress has a responsive feel, making it easier for combination sleepers to change positions.
The DreamCloud is known as a great mattress for back pain as well. It scored a 9/10 in spinal alignment. Its 9/10 in durability ensures the mattress won’t sag prematurely and throw the spine out of its proper curvature.
Read our full DreamCloud mattress review.
Best Mattress for Kids
- Natural latex
- Good for all sleeping positions
Soft and Firm options
Nolah Nurture Mattress Highlights
The Nolah Nurture is specifically designed for children. While it’s a great fit for lightweight sleepers in all positions, it should be especially comfortable for back sleepers. A flippable mattress, the Nolah Nurture includes two firmnesses: Soft and Firm.
This bed can hold up to 160 lbs, and as your back-sleeping child grows, you can flip the mattress to the Firm side for more support. Eco-conscious shoppers should appreciate the organic cotton cover, GOTS-certified foam, and hypoallergenic Talalay latex.
Read our full Nolah Nurture mattress review.
The good news is that experts say back sleeping is the best, healthiest sleeping position. Still, it doesn’t mean that back sleepers shouldn’t choose their mattress carefully. The wrong mattress can negate some of the benefits of sleeping on your back.
The main factors back sleepers should look for in a new mattress are:
- Firmness: Medium to medium-firm (between 5/10 and 7/10 on the mattress firmness scale)
- Contouring: Often aided by a comfort layer that supports your body curvature
- Pressure Relief: For pressure-sensitive areas such as the hips and lower back
- Spine Alignment: Evenly distributes body weight across mattress
Back sleepers, similar to stomach sleepers, need a mattress that offers support and contour in equal measure, to keep the spine aligned in a neutral position. The support is what holds up your spine and neck, while the contour is what allows your lower body to rest comfortably.
Additionally, many back sleepers cite side-sleeping as their “secondary” position, especially those who snore. People who change sleeping positions during the night are often combination sleepers.
If your sleep position changes over time, or you share your bed with another person, look for an even more versatile mattress. Let’s take a deeper look at the factors back sleepers should look for in a mattress.
Firmness is the most important factor to keep in mind when buying a mattress as a back sleeper. A soft mattress will put your body in an arch position and won’t provide enough support. On the other hand, a mattress that’s too firm can feel like a concrete slab to a back sleeper—putting too much pressure on your back and shoulders so that you wake up aching. The right mattress firmness for back sleepers is somewhere in the middle of the firmness scale.
Back sleepers need a mattress that offers a little “give,” with just enough contouring ability to support your body and offer pressure relief. Inconsistent support will lead to inconsistent comfort and a spotty night’s sleep. Contour also comes down to your own personal preference–whether you like the feeling of sleeping “in” the mattress and having the mattress hug your body, or sleeping “on” the mattress like you’re floating on its surface.
As a back sleeper’s hips, lower back and shoulders sink into the mattress surface, pressure can build up in the surrounding joints and muscles. A mattress with good pressure relief helps to evenly distribute your body weight and reduce wear and tear on pressure-sensitive areas. This quality is especially important for back sleepers who suffer from back pain, shoulder pain, or hip pain.
Back sleepers need an evenly supportive surface that keeps the spine aligned. A medium-firm mattress will support natural curvature of the spine, by preventing the hips and lower back from sinking too deeply into the mattress layers. Improper alignment can lead to lower back pain or neck pain.
Other Important Factors
Firmness, contouring, pressure relief, and spine alignment, aren’t the only considerations back sleepers should make when shopping for a new mattress. There are tons of other important factors that can impact your decision. This include the following:
- Budget: Is it in your price range?
- Durability: Is it high-quality? Does it support your body type or does it cause sinkage? Will it hold up long-term or start sagging early in its lifespan?
- Support: Does it offer lumbar support? What about edge support?
- Motion isolation/motion transfer: Can you and a partner share the bed without feeling each other’s every move?
- Warranty: Does it have at least a standard 10-year warranty?
- Sleep trial: Does the company have a generous try-out period that lets you return the mattress if it doesn’t work out?
Learn more about the important factors to consider when mattress shopping in our comprehensive mattress buying guide.
Which Mattress Type is Best for Back Sleepers?
Let’s see what makes the most commonly-used online mattress materials great (or not-so-great) choices for back sleepers.
A support system of springy coils can easily shape themselves to contour your body, while the materials layered between the coils (usually memory or poly foam, latex, or natural fibers) help support your weight.
The pros? A well-balanced, resilient steel coil support system will provide consistent support and firmness. The cons? Support may break down over time, and leave you with saggy spots, even if you rotate your mattress consistently.
Natural latex (made from rubber-tree sap) and synthetic latex both fall into this category, and any mattress with a latex core and layers can provide both support and comfort. It’s a good, durable, medium-firm material that conforms well to the body, and relieves pressure points.
Latex is known for its elasticity, and a latex mattress will bounce back after being compressed. Bonus: the tiny aeration holes punched into the material will help keep you cool at night.
Memory foam is great at conforming to your body’s contours and relieving pressure, both qualities that make memory foam a popular material for mattresses.
Many mattresses use a combination of higher-density support foam and lower-density comfort foam layers, which provides a consistent, medium-firm foundation for back sleepers. The elasticity of memory foam provides great bounce-back, so as soon as you roll over or get out of bed, the mattress returns to its original position.
Many modern mattresses, even those with innersprings, also contain a memory foam top layer. If two or more inches of memory foam are in an innerspring mattress, it’s called a memory foam hybrid.
The success or failure of these kinds of mattresses depends on how much foam (and what kind) makes up that top layer. Back sleepers should look for hybrid mattresses that provide a medium-firm feel, with comfort layers that prevent back sleepers from sinking too deep.
Sleeping Tips for Back Sleepers
Now you know some of the best online mattress options for back sleepers. But do you still feel there are issues besides your mattress that hold you back from your best night’s sleep? If so, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Choose a supportive pillow
Too many back pillows can undo all the good you do for your body by laying on your back. If your neck is too elevated, you’ll wake up with pain. So don’t double them up. Try for a thinner pillow. Or, try no pillow at all―roll a small, soft towel and place it under your neck, so the back of your head still rests on the mattress.
And pillows aren’t only useful for your head. If you’re looking to position your body for ultimate weightlessness, lie on your back, and place a soft feather pillow under each arm.
2. Sleep at an incline to avoid snoring
Do you snore? Back sleepers often do. If this describes you, try doubling up thinner pillows or using one thicker pillow to elevate your head and keep your tongue from relaxing too far (and causing all that noise). Memory foam pillows do a good job of keeping your head in the right place. You could also try a wedge pillow.
3. Avoid sleeping on your back while pregnant
If you’re pregnant, your sleep habits are about to change, and not just from those fluttery kicks inside. As your baby grows inside you, you’ll feel the increased pressure from the baby’s weight on your internal organs every time you sleep on your back.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best sleeping position while pregnant is “SOS”―sleeping on side. The good news? Your body likely will turn over naturally if you feel internal discomfort. Also, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees (or with your arms and one leg around a maternity pillow) will make you feel even better.
A Closer Look at Our Selection Process
In choosing our best mattresses for back sleepers, we analyze testing scores in two key categories and firmness level. Here’s a look at how our top picks stack up:
|MATTRESS||AVERAGE (OUT OF 10) FOR SPINE ALIGNMENT, PRESSURE RELIEF, AND FIRMNESS|
|Loom & Leaf||8.0|
Note: The testing categories we focus on in this chart don’t reflect overall performance. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might put more or less value on particular qualities.
Back sleeping can be a very beneficial position—it allows your spine and neck to rest in their most natural positions, and promotes proper posture in waking states. It’s even said to be the best position for preventing aches and pains—most likely because your arms and shoulders aren’t bent beneath the weight of your torso.
But if you don’t have the right materials, you can miss out on the benefits of this sleeping position. The combination of a saggy, subpar mattress and the wrong pillow can actually pull a back-sleeping body out of its neutral position. That’s why it’s all the more important to know what your body needs.
Best Mattresses for Back Pain FAQs
Are firm beds good for back sleeping?
Firmer mattresses provide a supportive and stable surface, preventing the hips and spine from sinking into the mattress. A firmer mattress will help maintain spinal alignment and distribute the weight of the body evenly.
What mattress is best for lower back pain?
Medium-firm mattresses provide the support needed to slightly elevate the hips and protect the spine, while still cradling the body and relieving pressure. Additionally, the best mattresses for back pain often include special features such as support layers and lumbar pads.
Why is back sleeping recommended?
Back sleeping helps reduce pressure build-up in the hips or shoulders, which stomach sleeping and side sleeping can sometimes irritate. Sleeping on your back also provides the most neutral position for your spine’s natural curve.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Best Pillows for Back Sleepers
Back sleeping is the healthiest position, so it is crucial to have the proper pillow. We’ve found some of the best pillows for back sleepers for your alignment.
Mattress Firmness by Sleeping Position
Use this guide to help choose your mattress firmness by sleep position: see what side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers should look for.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
See our top picks for the best mattresses for back pain relief that offer support and comfort. Eliminate upper and lower back pain starting tonight.