The Best Mattress for Back Sleepers 2021Updated on March 11, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about how we make money here.
Many people find it comfortable to stretch out in bed on their backs when reading or watching TV, but only a small percentage of people actually prefer to sleep in this position.
Back sleeping has its pros and cons, but savvy back sleepers can enhance their sleep experience by choosing a mattress that complements their preferred sleep position. The ideal mattress for back sleepers provides support for the spine and helps to maintain the natural curve of the back as you sleep. Failing to choose the right mattresses as a back sleeper can leave you with neck and spine problems, so it’s vital to make the right choice.
In this guide, we look at back sleeping in general and what back sleepers need to keep in mind when choosing a mattress. We’ll also give you our top picks for the best mattresses for back sleepers.
Our Top Picks
|Manufacturer||Model||Mattress Type||Firmness||Price (Queen)|
|Spindle Natural Latex Mattress||Latex||Customizable||$1,700|
|The WinkBed||Hybrid||4 choices: Soft (4.5), Luxury Firm (6.5), Firmer (7.5), Plus (8)||$1,599|
|Dreamcloud||Hybrid||Medium firm (6.5)||$1,299|
|Nectar||Memory Foam||Medium Firm (6.5)||$799|
Medium firm (6.5)
*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
- Modular design offers customizable firmness
- Exceptional durability and temperature regulation
- Eco-friendly organic and natural materials
- 365-night sleep trial and 25-year latex replacement guarantee
For most back sleepers, the key to a comfortable mattress is unrelenting support around the lower back and hips. Most people carry a disproportionate amount of weight in their midsections, so these areas tend to sink deeper into a mattress than the head, shoulders, or legs. The Spindle Natural Latex Mattress boasts an innovative, customizable design that should provide optimal support for most back sleepers regardless of their weight.
The mattress is available in two initial firmness levels, medium (5) or firm (7). All mattresses feature three layers of natural Dunlop latex, each measuring 3 inches thick. Medium models have two softer latex layers and a firm base layer, while firm models have one softer layer and two firmer base layers. If you aren’t satisfied with the initial firmness, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the order of the layers to make the mattress feel softer or firmer.
All latex layers are sustainably produced and have received certification from the Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council. The latex is also highly breathable. The cover is made of organic cotton, while a layer of eco-wool batting forms a fire barrier above the top latex layer. These materials help regulate temperatures near the surface and wick away moisture from your body.
Latex is a naturally durable material that resists body impressions quite well, so the sticker price for this mattress – a bit pricey at first glance – is actually quite reasonable. For added longevity, Spindle will replace any latex layer in the mattress with a brand new layer for up to 25 years after you buy the mattress. Currently, each layer is available at 30% off the normal asking price.
You’ll also receive a sleep trial with your purchase that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 365 nights. This return period is much longer than average. The mattress is backed by an additional standard 10-year warranty against excessive sagging and other structural defects.
Why We Like it
- Unique features designed for back support
- Three firmness levels available
- Sleeps very cool and comfortable
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 inches of support foam, a 7.5-inch layer of pocket innerspring coils, a layer of lumbar-support cotton padding, 2.4 inches 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. It also features anti-sag Extra-Edge technology, which improves edge support and increases the sleeping area by 15%.
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 accommodate a wider range of sleepers. There is also the WinkBed Plus model, which is even firmer and designed for heavier people.
All WinkBed mattresses come with free domestic shipping, free returns, and a 120-night at-home sleep trial. The mattress is also covered by a Full Replacement Lifetime Warranty.
Why We Like it
- 365-night sleep trial
- Memory foam lumbar pad cushions key pressure point of many back sleepers
- Multiple layers of support ease pressure for back sleepers
- Pocketed coils provide great motion isolation and temperature control
The Dreamcloud is a 15-inch luxury hybrid mattress. For back sleepers, it offers multiple, deep layers of support, with pocketed innerspring coils that can move independently and support the pressure areas of back sleepers.
The Dreamcloud’s top comfort layer is made of ultra-plush, gel-infused foam designed to offer pressure relief, which will help to alleviate pressure on the pelvis and shoulders for back sleepers.
Beneath this is the 2.5-inch foam support layer. Next is the support layer of pocketed innerspring coils, which provides deep support, motion isolation, edge support, and promotes breathability.
Finally, a 1.5-inch base support layer provides stability. On top of all of this is a quilted Euro Top layer designed to offer extra comfort and softness, while a bottom mattress cover protects it from beneath.
The luxury firm (6.5) firmness is perfect for back sleepers, providing the ideal level of support without excessive sinkage.
The Dreamcloud comes with a lifetime warranty and free shipping in the contiguous U.S, and returns are processed free of charge. Sleepers can try the Dreamcloud with a 365-night sleep trial, with a mandatory 30-day break-in period.
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
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 inch of high-density (4 pounds per cubic foot, or PCF) quilted memory foam. The second layer is 3 inches 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, particularly 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 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
- Made with a combination of natural and organic materials
- Strong edge support maximizes your sleeping surface area
- The Awara’s price point is low for a latex mattress
The Awara mattress is a hybrid latex mattress topped with a breathable cotton and natural wool cover. It’s a medium firm mattress, around 6.5 on the firmness scale, and extra thick at 13 inches.
The top comfort layer is a 4-inch layer of natural Dunlop latex, which is thicker than the standard 2 inches usually found on latex mattresses. Beneath this is the 9-inch pocketed coil support core.
The base layer is a soft cotton/poly base with reinforced handles for moving and lifting the mattress.
For back sleepers, the Awara’s extra-deep comfort layer is perfect to relieve pressure on the pelvis, while the individually-wrapped coils provide the support needed to keep the body in alignment.
The Awara’s hybrid design allows it to overcome one of the design limitations of latex mattresses, which is their lack of edge support. For back sleepers who occasionally move to side sleeping for comfort, this extra edge support will prevent the bed from sagging. This is also great for back sleeping couples, who together may take up a lot of the mattress surface area.
Sleepers can trial the mattress with the charitable 365-night sleep trial. The mattress is also covered by a “Forever” lifetime warranty, which protects your investment. Shoppers who want to keep the cost down will also be thankful for the free shipping and returns.
Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers: Buyer’s Guide
Buying a mattress is more complex than you might think. You’ll need to consider your sleeping position, whether you sleep hot or cold, and whether motion disturbs your sleep. Alongside these issues, you’ll need to keep your individual preferences in mind, such as which materials you prefer.
In this section, we’ll take a deeper look at what you need to keep in mind when buying a mattress online.
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Back Sleepers?
For back sleepers, each type of mattress offers a unique set of pros and cons. Choosing the right mattress will mean weighing these while keeping your personal preferences in mind.
In the following table, we detail each mattress type and the pros and cons it holds for back sleepers.
|Pros (for back sleepers)||Cons (for back sleepers)|
|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 responsive foams, such as memory foam, in the comfort layer. When a person puts pressure on the foam, it compresses in response.||There is a range of foam types available, so the exact price will vary. A typical queen foam mattress will cost between $500-$4,000||– Available in a range of firmness options|
-Conforming properties create a cradle effect, supporting the body
|– May sleep hot due to the large surface area in contact with the mattress|
– Slow adjustment time when changing position
|Latex mattresses are made with latex rubber that is either naturally or synthetically produced. Latex in this context may also be referred to as “latex foam” by some companies. Latex tends to be a heavier material and is known for its ability to quickly bounce back to its original shape after it compresses.||Latex falls into two broad price categories: synthetic and natural/organic. A queen-sized synthetic latex averages over $700, while natural models are in the $1,000 – $2,000 range||– Provide great support and comfort|
– Sleep cool, contrary to some expectations
– Excellent motion isolation for back sleepers who shift positions
|– Weak edge support, reducing the overall sleepable surface area|
|Innerspring mattresses are what most people first think of when they think of the interior design of a mattress. These mattresses have a support system of metal coils that compress and spring back when pressure is applied and then taken away. Innersprings usually have a softer comfort layer made up of foam and/or a pillow top with a fiber fill (such as polyester or quilted cotton).||Innersprings tend to average around $900 for a queen mattress.||– Coils react according to pressure, providing support at pressure areas|
– Provide good airflow, keeping sleepers cool
|– Can be noisy and transfer motion when moving between positions|
– May lack comfort for back sleepers, particularly cheaper options
|Hybrid||Hybrid mattresses involve a number of different design elements, specifically an innerspring support core with a thicker comfort layer of foam or latex than is usually found on a traditional innerspring.||Most hybrids fall between $900 and $1,500 for a queen mattress, but this will vary depending on the material used.||– Pros depend on the materials, but usually offers advantages over an innerspring-only mattress||– Higher price point than other mattress types|
Important Mattress Features for Back Sleepers
When choosing a mattress, there are several key things you’ll need to keep in mind as a back sleeper. This can make buying a mattress a complicated process, as each person has an individual set of needs and may require specific things from a mattress.
Here are a few points to think about when making your purchase.
- Size: “Starfish” sleepers may need more room than the average sleeper due to the area they take up. Opting for a larger mattress could improve your quality of sleep if you sleep in this position. In general, back sleepers may take up more space than the narrower profile of a side sleeper.
- Support: Mattress support reduces the passive stresses on a body during sleep, redistributing weight and promoting a healthy alignment of the neck and spine. 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 to maintain the natural S-curve of the back and keep the neck and head aligned. If the mattress is too soft, the pelvis can push too deeply into the mattress, which can also cause misalignment.
- Contouring: Contouring describes the way a mattress deforms to accommodate the body impression of the sleeper. Proper contouring is a vital component of a comfortable mattress, but too much can cause an unpleasant sinking sensation. Back sleepers will aim for medium contouring, so they can be comfortable without feeling too smothered. Heavier back sleepers may need a mattress with less contouring potential to prevent this sinking sensation.
- 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 aligned. 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 and 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.
- Motion Isolation: For light sleepers and couples, motion isolation ensures that nocturnal movement doesn’t disturb sleep. Back sleepers may occasionally switch to one side or the other for comfort reasons, so they may opt for a mattress with good motion isolation if this is likely to cause problems. Some mattress types naturally offer better motion isolation than others, with memory foam and latex mattresses outperforming innersprings in this category.
- Temperature Regulation: Back sleepers can sometimes sleep hot due to the large surface area in contact with the mattress, though back sleeping is preferable to stomach sleeping in this respect. For back sleepers who struggle to control their temperatures when they sleep, a mattress with good temperature regulation will help by promoting the circulation of air to and from the body.
- Edge Support: Edge support describes the way the mattress resists sagging when weight is applied to its edge. Back sleepers tend to sleep farther away from the edge than side sleepers, but they do cover a larger surface area, which can make finding the right level of edge support important.
- Price: A mattress can be an expensive investment, and many people will need to find a compromise between their needs and the cost of the mattress. For example, some sleepers may opt for a memory foam over a 100% latex mattress due to price.
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.
Back sleeping comes with its pros and cons. However, it’s largely considered a benign sleep position. Below, we take a look at some of the specific benefits and drawbacks.
- Back sleeping promotes good spinal alignment, which preserves the natural S-curve of the back and reduces strain. With a good pillow, this will also avoid most causes of sleep-related neck pain.
- Back sleeping is a good low-impact position for those with existing back and spine problems thanks to the way it keeps the body’s natural alignment intact.
- People with acid reflux problems often find back sleeping alleviates the condition.
- Back sleeping can cause pressure-related problems on the primary contact points with the mattress. This is usually centered on the pelvis, due to the amount of body weight resting in that area. Choosing a suitably supportive mattress can alleviate this problem.
- Back sleeping can exacerbate existing medical issues, such as sleep apnea, and may make problems like snoring worse. If you notice that back sleeping causes problems with your breathing, consider speaking to a doctor to determine if you have an undiagnosed medical condition.
Back Sleeping and Body Type
Even two sleepers who sleep in the same position can have a different sleep experience and they may have different needs. A sleeper’s weight, for instance, can influence their choice of mattress, particularly when it comes to firmness. In this table, we look at how weight influences your choice of firmness.
Most Suitable Firmness Range
Under 130 lbs
|3-4||For lighter-weight sleepers, firmer mattresses can be like sleeping on a plank of wood. Mattresses deform according to applied weight, so a lighter sleeper can be too light to experience the conforming properties of the mattress.|
|130-230 lbs||5-7||Back sleepers in the middle weight range are the perfect fit for a mattress of average firmness. They have the bodyweight to experience the full contouring and support of a medium firm mattress.|
Over 230 lbs
|Firmer mattresses are ideal for heavy sleepers, as these sleepers can experience a lack of support from softer mattresses caused by excessive sinkage. This can also cause a less firm mattress to conform to an uncomfortable extent.|
Additional Sleep Accessories for Back Sleepers
A new mattress is by far the easiest way to upgrade your sleep, but there is a range of sleep accessories available that can help with a complete overhaul.
Here are a few products that can help and how they can benefit a back sleeper.
A good pillow is vital to the sleep experience. A pillow provides support as you sleep, reducing strain on your neck and spine. Left unchecked, this strain can lead to long-term problems.
Like mattresses, pillows are available in a range of different types, including feather, polyfoam, latex, and memory foam (both traditional and shredded). As with your mattress, choosing the right kind of pillow for you means considering both the way you sleep and your specific preferences.
For back sleepers, the perfect pillow has some firmness but conforms somewhat to the shape of the neck and head. This will keep your body aligned as you sleep. This makes memory foam one of the most popular options for back sleepers.
As the name suggests, a mattress topper sits on top of your mattress as an additional layer. Sleepers can use a mattress topper for fine control over their level of comfort and support, allowing them to tailor a mattress to their exact preferences.
Back sleepers, for instance, can use a mattress topper for a little extra comfort and support for the pelvis, which is where a lot of bodyweight rests when back sleeping. If you’ve found a mattress you like but aren’t quite happy with its firmness level, a mattress topper can help you make that fine adjustment.
Mattress toppers are available in a variety of styles, including memory foam and latex. Back sleepers will likely want to opt for toppers in these styles, as they provide the extra level of support and comfort most will be looking for.
|1||Spindle Natural Latex Mattress||$1,700|