We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Products or services advertised on this page may be offered by an entity that is affiliated with us. Learn more about our process here.

Back sleeping is the second most common sleeping position behind side sleeping. When searching for the best mattresses for back sleepers, proper spine alignment is probably the most crucial factor. In order to achieve this, a mattress must provide support to the hips and shoulders without putting too much pressure on them. Thus, an even sleep surface with some conforming but no sagging is usually the best bed for back sleepers.

To provide ideal support for back sleepers, a mattress must have the right firmness — and sleepers of different body types tend to have different requirements. Average-weight back sleepers often favor a medium to medium-firm feel. Lightweight individuals may prefer a softer option, while heavyweight sleepers often appreciate a firmer model.

With so many mattresses to choose from, selecting the best mattress for your sleep needs and preferences can seem complicated. In this guide, we’ll try to simplify the shopping process by sharing our top picks for the best mattresses for back sleepers and explaining criteria that can affect a back sleeper’s comfort.

New Year, New Ratings, New Recommendations
If better sleep is one of your goals for 2023, we are here to help! Mattresses play a major role in sleep quality, so finding the best mattress is a key step to improving sleep. Our product testing team has conducted hands-on evaluations of hundreds of mattresses in the Sleep Foundation Test Lab. To kick off the new year, we’ve reassessed our top 100 mattress picks and ratings to bring you the best recommendations and most up-to-date research.

Product Details

Best Overall

Luxury Firm WinkBed

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,149 – $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Back sleepers weighing 230 pounds or less
  • Those who suffer from lower back or hip pain
  • Couples who want a springy surface without a lot of motion transfer


  • Euro-top hybrid design combines surface padding and strong support
  • Reinforced midsection prevents sagging around the hips and lumbar
  • Tencel cover and coil system help keep the mattress cool

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $300 off all mattresses

With four firmness options, the WinkBed can closely match the needs and preferences of most back sleepers, regardless of their weight group. We’re highlighting the Luxury Firm WinkBed for back sleepers thanks to a medium firm (6) feel that delivers comfortable cushioning and a highly supportive feel. After testing the Luxury Firm, we’ve found the mattress particularly well-suited to people who primarily sleep on their backs and weigh up to 230 pounds.

The Luxury Firm is constructed with a Euro-top surface padded with plush, gel-infused foam. Another cooling component is the cover composed of breathable, moisture-wicking Tencel fabric. A reinforced midsection promotes better spinal alignment by preventing excessive sagging around the midsection. To accomplish this, the coil support core is zoned to be sturdier around the hips.

The coils are also reinforced along the perimeter to create an exceptionally stable edge, which may allow sleepers to use more of the mattress surface. Individual wrapping around the coils helps to limit motion transfer while allowing air circulation.

The Luxury Firm WinkBed is competitively priced and shipping is free for all orders within the contiguous U.S. WinkBeds provides a lifetime warranty and a 120-night sleep trial with the mattress.

Read our Full Luxury Firm WinkBed Review to learn more

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $399 – $1,138
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup at night
  • Shoppers on a budget


  • All-foam construction offers excellent motion isolation
  • Memory foam comfort layer relieves pressure points
  • Above-average support for a foam bed

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save 33% sitewide on Nectar products

The Nectar Mattress is an all-foam bed with a medium firm (6) feel that provides support for hips and shoulders in most back sleepers, while still offering plenty of cushioning to prevent excessive pressure buildup. It also has a very reasonable price-point compared to other quality foam beds.

The mattress begins with a quilted poly-blend cover that gives the bed a plush surface. The comfort system is composed of a thick memory foam layer that conforms closely to the body, followed by a polyfoam layer that enhances cushioning but also has a bouncy quality that prevents too much sinkage. The support core contains high-density polyfoam that gives the mattress a lot of support.

The Nectar excels at cradling areas of high pressure buildup, due to the all-foam construction. Side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds tend to exert extra pressure on the hips, shoulders, and spine, so the pressure relief should benefit these sleep positions. Those over 230 pounds will sink deeper into the bed and are less likely to receive adequate support. The foam layers also absorb motion efficiently, making this a good choice for co-sleepers who tend to wake each other up with nighttime movements.

Nectar offers customers a 365-night sleep trial with this bed. Those who choose to keep the mattress also receive a lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Read our Full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more
Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress

Best for Back Pain

Helix Dusk Luxe

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,099 – $2,349
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who tend to run hot at night
  • Couples seeking a bed with good motion isolation


  • Quilted pillow-top with Tencel cover
  • Excellent balance of contouring and support
  • Coil system is zoned to provide enhanced lumbar support

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

20% off sitewide + 2 free Dream Pillows with mattress purchase

An ideal mattress for back sleepers is one that’s supportive enough to keep the spine aligned but soft enough to prevent pressure buildup. The Helix Dusk Luxe is a hybrid bed that hits these marks. The sophisticated design makes it an excellent fit for back sleepers who are looking for a strong balance of support and cushion.

With a medium firm (6) feel, the Helix Dusk Luxe features a six-layer construction measuring 14 inches thick. The bed begins with a layer of Helix Dynamic Foam, a proprietary polyfoam with a latex-like quality that is more responsive than memory foam. This is followed by a thick layer of memory foam that offers deep contouring, and then a transitional layer of polyfoam that prevents the body from sinking too deep. Beneath the foam layers is a support core of pocketed coils, and on top of the bed is a quilted pillow-top with a Tencel cover.

While the foam layers offer excellent contouring to help prevent painful pressure buildup, the use of firmer polyfoams enables this model to provide more support than some other foam beds might offer. The coil system is also zoned to provide enhanced lumbar support to the hips and additional cushion to the shoulders, with the intention of promoting proper sleep posture. If you tend to run hot during sleep, the Tencel cover is designed to increase breathability and the coil system enables air to flow through the interior.

The mattress ships free throughout the U.S. Helix provides a 100-night sleep trial, with full refunds issued to customers who try out the mattress for at least 30 days. The bed also comes with a 15-year warranty.

Read our Full Helix Dusk Luxe Review to learn more
A picture of the DreamCloud Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Most Comfortable

DreamCloud Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $799 – $1,499
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Couples
  • People who experience painful pressure points during sleep


  • Foam and coil design offers strong balance of cushioning and support
  • Cashmere blend cover feels soft to the touch
  • 365-night sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

25% off everything + $599 of accessories included with mattress purchase

The DreamCloud Mattress is a hybrid model that combines foam layers on top with a supportive coil system on the bottom. The even balance of cushioning and support makes this an excellent choice for back sleepers, especially those who enjoy beds with a plush, comfortable surface.

The mattress has a medium firm (6) feel and begins with polyfoam quilted into the cover, followed by a thick layer of memory foam. The foam layers feel exceptionally plush and conform closely to your body, and the cover’s cashmere blend fabric enhances the softness. Beneath is a transitional layer of polyfoam that conforms to your body but has a firmer feel than the previous foam layers. This keeps your body from sagging too much. The support core contains a pocketed coil system designed with extra support to the midsection.

The strong contouring in the foam helps relieve pressure off heavier parts of the body, such as the hips, shoulders, and spine. This will benefit sleepers who wake up with soreness in those areas. Meanwhile the coils generate ample support to balance out the cushioning, which helps ensure healthy spinal alignment. The strong mix of support and contouring caters to a wide range of sleep positions and body types, but the bed earns especially high marks for back sleepers and side sleepers above 130 pounds.

While many hybrid beds allow motion to transfer across the surface, the DreamCloud’s plush foam isolates motion more effectively than many competing hybrids. This may appeal to sleepers who are prone to disruptions from a co-sleeper’s movements. The coils allow ample airflow through the interior, so hot sleepers should also find this bed fairly comfortable.

DreamCloud backs this mattress with a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Free shipping is provided to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

Read our Full DreamCloud Mattress Review to learn more

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

Brand Logo
Price Range: $995 – $2,710
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial Length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Back sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds
  • People who tend to sleep hot
  • Individuals who want to select the firmness and thickness of their mattress


  • Dual-coil system and foam lumbar enhancement support proper spinal alignment
  • Available in choice of three firmness levels
  • Advanced hybrid design balances support and pressure relief

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Get up to $500 off.

The Saatva Classic is a hybrid mattress with a dual coil system, foam comfort layers and a plush-pillow top. The bed comes in three firmness options, which can accommodate back sleepers of different weights.While back sleepers usually favor a medium or medium firm feel, this varies between weight groups.

The Saatva Classic’s hybrid design balances support and pressure relief. A Euro pillow top with an organic cotton cover uses polyfoam to cushion the surface of the bed. A thin layer of memory foam near the midsection of the bed cradles and supports the sleeper’s hips.

A layer of pocketed coils within the comfort system contours to the sleeper’s body without restricting airflow. Since the coils are individually pocketed, very little motion is transferred between them, minimizing disruptions to co-sleepers. Finally, a layer of Bonnell coils acts as the mattress’s support core. These coils give the mattress bounce and stable support.

The Saatva Classic comes in three firmness options: soft (3), medium firm (6), and firm (8). It also comes in two thickness options: 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches. Since back sleepers often favor firmer mattresses, the firm option may be a particularly good match for back sleepers who weigh over 130 pounds. Sleepers under 130 pounds may prefer the soft or medium firm model for extra conforming.

The Saatva Classic comes with free White Glove delivery, in which a team comes to unpackage and setup the mattress. Saatva also provides a 365-night trial period and a lifetime warranty for the mattress.

Read our Full Saatva Classic Review to learn more
A picture of the Nolah Evolution 15 Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best for Pressure Relief

Nolah Evolution 15

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,599 – $2,499
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Those experiencing painful pressure points during sleep
  • Back sleepers
  • People who sleep hot


  • Excellent pressure relief
  • Euro-top quilted with foam
  • Three firmness options

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get an additional $30 off the Nolah Evolution Mattress for total savings of $730 with code: SFSAVE730

Nolah produces three mattress in a box models, and the Nolah Evolution 15 is the brand’s sole hybrid model. While the bed offers significant support, the plush foam layers also provide generous contouring to help relieve uncomfortable pressure points during sleep.

The Nolah Evolution 15 measures 15 inches thick and contains a thick Euro-top cover quilted with foam. Beneath is a comfort layer made of Nolah’s AirFoamICE polyfoam, which is engineered to draw heat away from the body while offering excellent pressure relief and comfort. A firmer polyfoam layer below prevents bodies from sinking too deep into the bed. Finally, an 8-inch pocketed coil system generates strong, zoned support to target areas of the body that need more reinforcement than others.

This Nolah model is offered in three firmness options, making it a good fit for all types of sleep positions, preferences, and weight categories. The firm (8) option is well-suited for stomach sleepers, who require flat, firm beds to achieve healthy sleep posture. The plush and luxury firm options, which feel medium (5) and medium firm (6) respectively, may cater more to side and back sleepers.

Nolah offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. After an initial 30 days, customers may return the bed for a full refund. The mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Read our Full Nolah Evolution 15 Review to learn more
A picture of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best for Couples

Bear Elite Hybrid

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,721 – $3,565
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Hot sleepers
  • Those with persistent shoulder, lower back, or hip pain
  • People who carry extra weight in their torso and hips


  • Zoned support layers provide extra reinforcement for heavier areas of the body
  • Available in three firmness levels with dual-firmness option for split king sizes.
  • Cooling Celliant-blend cover releases body heat from your sleep surface

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

30% off sitewide + free accessories

If you share your bed with a partner, their needs and preferences are equally important as your own when choosing a new mattress. The Bear Elite hybrid is a versatile mattress available in three firmness levels to accommodate back sleepers in different weight groups. If you and your partner have different preferences and sleep on a king size adjustable bed, you can also opt for a split king order with a different firmness on each side.

The Elite Hybrid begins with a memory foam comfort layer. A surface-level copper infusion is intended to maintain a comfortable temperature, as copper has natural cooling properties. The transitional polyfoam layer is crosscut to promote airflow throughout the interior. The foam is also zoned to feel firmer beneath your shoulders and hips, and softer for lighter areas of the body. In the support core, pocketed coils rest over high-density base foam. The coils are reinforced along the perimeter to help you feel stable when lying or sitting along the edges.

A cover made of Celliant-blend fabric encases the mattress. Celliant is engineered to absorb and dissipate heat, so you shouldn’t sleep excessively warm. Choosing the right firmness for your weight is key to ensure consistent temperature control. Our tests show back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds may find the medium (5) or medium firm (6) designs most comfortable. Back sleepers on our team between 130 and 230 pounds awarded the best ratings to the medium firm and firm (8) designs, while those weighing more than 230 pounds received adequate support from the latter.

Bear’s sleep trial runs 120 nights in length, during which you and your partner may return the Elite Hybrid for a full refund or exchange the mattress for a softer or firmer model. Shipping is free for all orders and returns within the contiguous U.S. If you decide to keep the mattress, a lifetime warranty protects against structural defects. You can purchase an additional accident protection plan covering stains and other types of physical damage.

Read our Full Bear Elite Hybrid Review to learn more
A picture of the Birch Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best Cooling

Birch Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,349 – $2,099
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Those who prefer exceptionally springy beds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious consumers


  • Durable and responsive latex hybrid design
  • Composed of organic and natural materials
  • 2 free Eco-Rest Pillows with each purchase

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

20% off sitewide + 2 free Dream Pillows with mattress purchase

Latex hybrids have proven popular with back sleepers, and for good reason. These mattresses tend to be quite supportive and responsive, allowing back sleepers to lie down without sinking too much in places around the midsection where people tend to carry a disproportionate amount of weight.

The Birch Mattress is a standout latex hybrid thanks in part to its eco-friendly design. Components include an organic cotton cover, natural wool batting, and a natural Talalay latex comfort layer certified by the Rainforest Alliance, an organization that recognizes sustainable growth and harvesting of rubber trees used to produce latex. These materials also offer natural cooling and breathability, which benefits hot sleepers and people who live in warm or humid parts of the world.

The support core contains robust pocketed coils laid out in a zoned configuration to reinforce the edges without compromising comfort for sleepers. Steady air currents through the coils also contribute to the bed’s excellent temperature regulation. Since the mattress has a medium firm (6) feel, it is best suited to back sleepers in the range of 130-230 pounds.

The Birch Mattress has a sticker price that’s in line with the average latex hybrid and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Two Eco-Rest Pillows are included with your purchase at no extra charge. Birch’s sleep trial spans 100 nights in length, and the manufacturer’s warranty covers structural defects in the mattress for up to 25 years.

Read our Full Birch Mattress Review to learn more
A picture of the Plank Firm Luxe Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best Firm

Plank Firm Luxe

Brand Logo
Price Range: $974 – $1,874
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Firm (7), Extra Firm (9)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, King, Short King, RV King, California King, Split California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who enjoy beds with a very firm surface
  • Those who run hot


  • Flippable hybrid design
  • Firm (7) and extra firm (9) options available
  • Highly responsive surface

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get 25% off at Brooklyn Bedding!

The Plank Firm Luxe from Brooklyn Bedding is one of the firmest all-foam models on the market. This hybrid variation of the Plank takes firmness to another level by coupling the firmness with a bouncy feel, making this a great option for back sleepers who prefer a very firm bed.

The Plank Firm Luxe has a flippable design, with one side offering a firm (7) feel and the other side an extra firm (9) feel. The firm side has a quilted cotton-microfiber layer, followed by an inch of responsive TitanFlex polyfoam and 2 inches of high-density polyfoam. The extra firm side has a thinner quilted layer followed by high-density polyfoam, with no TitanFlex layer. Both sides share a 6-inch coil system.

Regardless of the side you choose, the coil system gives the bed a bouncy, responsive feel that is easy to move around on. The Plank Firm Luxe should provide plenty of firmness for back and stomach sleepers, who require a fairly flat surface to maintain good sleep posture. However, sleepers up to 130 pounds may find that the extra firm side is too firm. The firm surface reduces the amount of “hug” from the foam, which is a typical cause of heat retention. So hot sleepers should feel comfortable on this bed. You may also purchase an optional cooling panel to help with temperature neutrality.

Brooklyn Bedding ships mattresses for free within the contiguous U.S. The bed comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Read our Full Plank Firm Luxe Review to learn more

How Sleeping on Your Back Affects Sleep

A person’s sleep position not only plays a role in whether or not you wake up with aches and pains, but can influence your health and likelihood of medical conditions.

Back sleeping isn’t the most common sleep position in the United States, but it has some distinct benefits. When sleeping on your back, your body is naturally centered over your spine, which makes it easier to maintain proper spinal alignment. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that back sleeping may also reduce the risk of developing wrinkles or breakouts on your skin and can alleviate lower back pain for some sleepers.

While back sleeping has some clear benefits, it isn’t ideal for all sleepers. Those who suffer from sleep apnea or are prone to snoring may find their conditions aggravated by sleeping on their backs. People who suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may also notice increased symptoms when sleeping on their back, especially for sleepers with stomach fat that puts extra pressure on their stomachs. Additionally, pregnant women often find that sleeping on their backs can contribute to back pain due to the extra weight in their midsections.

Spine Alignment

Spinal alignment refers to how well the spine lines up to its natural shape. When you’re standing, proper spinal alignment is synonymous to good posture. In sleepers, a well-aligned spine is harder to spot, but it’s just as important. Maintaining good spinal alignment overnight can help reduce aches and pains, contributing to a better night’s sleep. Because of this, the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that regardless of sleep position, sleepers should try to line up their ears, shoulders, and hips to maintain proper spinal alignment.

Back sleepers have an advantage when it comes to spinal alignment. A back sleeper’s body is already centered over their spine. So long as a mattress provides enough support to the shoulders and mid-section, preventing them from sinking to deepy, back sleepers should be able to maintain this healthy alignment.

Back Sleepers With Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

Improper alignment can contribute to aches and pains. If a mattress does not balance contouring and support to help the sleeper maintain proper alignment through the night, their muscles may work overtime to try to improve the body’s alignment. Since these muscles can’t fully relax, the sleeper may awaken with more aches and pains.

If you’re not sure whether your mattress is giving you the right combination of contouring and support to promote good alignment, consider whether you are waking up with aches and pains. If you wake up with aches and pains that get better over the course of the day, your mattress may not be giving you the support and contouring you need. The right mattress can help you maintain proper spinal alignment effortlessly and awaken with fewer aches and pains.

Which Mattress Firmness is Best for Back Sleepers?

A mattress’s firmness can affect how comfortable the mattress feels to an individual, how much contouring it provides, and how supportive it is. A 10-point firmness scale is commonly used to rate mattress firmness. In this scale, 1 is the softest mattress and 10 is the firmest. Mattresses on either end of the spectrum are uncommon, with most models falling between 3 and 8. When you’re shopping for a mattress, paying attention to its firmness rating can give you a better idea of how it will feel to you.

Most individuals between 130 and 230 pounds prefer a medium or medium-firm mattress. Average-weight back sleepers usually gravitate towards the firmer end of this range since they do not require as much conforming as side sleepers.

Sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds do not apply as much force on a mattress, so any mattress is likely to feel firmer to them. Because of this, back sleepers in this range often prefer a medium-soft model.

Individuals who weigh over 230 pounds need more support than other weight groups. Too soft of a mattress may cause their hips to sink in excessively, misaligning the spine. These sleepers frequently favor a medium-firm or firm mattress to give them extra support.

Comfort preference is subjective, and it’s impossible to guess how a mattress will feel to an individual. However, understanding firmness ratings and which rating tends to work best for your weight group and sleep position can give you an excellent starting point to finding the ideal firmness for you.

Which Type of Mattress is Best for Back Sleepers?

Below, we’ll describe the major types of mattresses on the market and explain what they have to offer back sleepers. While individual models may have notable differences based on their materials, quality, and construction, there tend to be some similarities between models of the same type of mattress. Understanding the key benefits and features that are common for each type of mattress may clarify which type is best for you.


Definition: Hybrid models fuse components of two or more other mattress types. The comfort layer most often consists of memory foam, polyfoam, or latex, though it may also contain wool, microcoils, or other materials. A hybrid mattress’s support core uses coils, like a traditional innerspring mattress.

Highlight: A hybrid mattress’s comfort layer is generally engineered to conform to the sleeper’s body for pressure relief. The coil support core usually gives even support, which can help promote proper spinal alignment for back sleepers.


Definition: A substantial support core of coils serves as the main component of an innerspring mattress. Innerspring models may also have thin comfort layers. While these comfort layers may provide some cushioning, they usually are not substantial enough for contouring and pressure relief.

Highlight: High-quality innerspring mattresses usually have even support that can help keep a back sleeper’s spine straight. Thin comfort layers may cushion the sleeper’s pressure points, but they generally are not thick enough to allow a back sleeper’s midsection to sink in too deeply.


Definition: Latex mattresses are traditionally constructed of multiple layers of latex foam, which may be natural, synthetic, or a blend. Talalay latex is usually lighter and springier. It is commonly used in comfort layers. Dunlop latex is generally denser and more durable, making it a popular choice for both comfort and support layers.

Highlight: While memory foam compresses directly beneath the sleeper’s body, latex spreads the compression over a wider area. This cradles the sleeper without excessive sinkage, creating a balance between cradling and support that may make back sleepers feel like they are floating on the bed.


Definition: Airbeds get their name from the air chambers they use to support the sleeper. Depending on the model, these air chambers can be emptied or filled using a pump, remote control, or app. Airbeds may also include comfort layers, though these are usually relatively thin. Comfort layer materials may include memory foam, polyfoam, latex, wool, and/or cotton.

Highlight: Since the air chambers can be filled or emptied to change the feel of the mattress, back sleepers can adjust an airbed to get as close as possible to their ideal firmness. Some models also allow sleepers to adjust each side of the bed independently, which may make them a good choice for partners who have different firmness preferences.


Definition: Most foam mattresses are constructed of multiple foam layers, which usually include memory foam, polyfoam, or a combination of the two. Some foam mattresses may also include other materials, including latex, wool, and/or cotton. Softer foams are traditionally used in the comfort layers to contour to the sleeper, while firmer support foams prevent them from sinking in too deeply.

Highlight: All-foam models tend to shape to the sleeper’s body, providing a close hug that relieves pressure points. Firmer models give less hug, but they still usually contour enough for pressure relief. Back sleepers who like to sink into their mattress more may appreciate this close conforming.

Accessories Important For Sleeping on Your Back

Accessories can be the finishing touch to make your sleep surface more comfortable. The right accessories can help reduce discomfort and promote quality sleep. While you might upgrade your accessories when you purchase a new mattress, sleepers on a budget may replace them as a lower-cost alternative to replacing their mattress.


While the right mattress can keep most of the spine aligned, the sleeper’s pillow is responsible for continuing that alignment into the neck and head. Because sleepers rely on their pillow to support their necks and heads, the wrong pillow can contribute to back and neck pain.

Pillow loft refers to how thick a pillow is. A pillow with too much loft may force a back sleeper’s head towards their chest. A pillow with too little loft may hyperextend the neck. The best pillows for back sleepers are medium-loft pillows that supports the head, neck, and shoulders without lifting them up too far. Back sleepers often prefer memory foam or latex pillows that cradle the head to help them maintain proper alignment.

While many back sleepers favor a medium-loft pillow, those with medical conditions aggravated by lying flat may prefer a wedge pillow to elevate the upper body. Sleepers who suffer from sleep apnea, acid reflux, or frequent snoring may benefit from this extra lift.

Sleeping PositionPillow Loft Recommended
SideMedium or High

Many back sleepers also place a small pillow beneath their knees. The University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that this may help relieve back pain by supporting the natural curvature of the back and reducing stress on the spine.

Mattress Toppers

A mattress topper is an extra layer that rests on top of the mattress to adjust the feel of the surface. While a mattress topper won’t completely overhaul your existing mattress, it may make it more comfortable.

Because mattress toppers are usually less expensive than purchasing a new mattress, they can be a convenient and affordable way to modify the sleep surface and try out different materials. Memory foam, polyfoam, and latex toppers can give you an idea of how a mattress that uses these materials might feel without the commitment of replacing your existing mattress.

Thickness varies between toppers. Thinner toppers can offer some cushioning, slightly adjusting the feel of the mattress. Thicker toppers modify the feel more significantly and can relieve pressure to a greater extent.

While mattress toppers can add some cushioning and contouring, they do not provide all the benefits of a new mattress. Most notably, they do not usually provide significant support. If a back sleeper’s hips are sinking in too deeply in their existing mattress, a mattress topper is unlikely to resolve the issue. A mattress topper also will not make up for a mattress that is in bad condition or is sagging. However, a mattress topper may be a good choice for back sleepers who feel their mattress is a little too firm or who are experiencing pressure points.

What Mattress Features Are Important For Back Sleepers?

While many mattress companies claim their models are comfortable for all sleep positions, back sleepers have unique needs. Focusing on the most important mattress features can help you find a mattress that supports your spine while cushioning your pressure points. Below, we’ll detail key factors to consider when selecting the best mattress for back sleepers.

  • Mattress Type: The build of the mattress can influence how it feels, how much it contours to the body, and how well it supports spinal alignment. Each type of mattress has different potential benefits and drawbacks. Understanding how these constructions influence the feel of a mattress may make it easier to find a model that provides enough support and contouring for your body type.
  • Contouring: Many mattresses contour to the body, adjusting to each sleeper’s unique shape. This can help support a back sleeper’s spinal alignment while relieving pressure points. Mattresses vary in how much contouring they provide, and sleepers differ in the level of contouring they prefer.
  • Quality Materials: Quality materials may impact how comfortable a mattress feels and how well it holds up over time. Mattress sagging is often a problem for back sleepers, and high-quality materials frequently resist sagging better than lower-quality alternatives.
  • Firmness Level: A mattress’s firmness influences how much the sleeper sinks in. Back sleepers often favor slightly firmer mattresses than their side-sleeping counterparts. This is because back sleepers require enough support to maintain the natural alignment of their spines. Too soft of a mattress may cause a back sleeper’s hips to sink in too far, while too firm of a mattress may not allow their hips to sink in far enough.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is closely linked to contouring. When a mattress contours to a sleeper’s body, it distributes their weight more evenly. This can take the pressure off heavier body parts, like the hips and shoulders. While back sleepers do not usually suffer from as sharp of pressure points as side sleepers, they may still appreciate a mattress that cradles their hips.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

Thanks for the feedback - we're glad you found our work instructive!

Thanks for the feedback - we're glad you found our work instructive!

Submitting your Answer...