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Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Most people agree that back sleeping is the best sleeping position. Sleeping on your back keeps your spine in a neutral position, which may help ward off back pain.

Sadly, back sleepers are in the minority - just 8 percent of Americans list this as their favorite sleeping position. Whether you suffer from chronic back pain, or you’re trying to fall in love with back sleeping but you just can’t get comfortable, we’re here to help.

Finding the right mattress is key to ensuring you give your body the support and pressure relief it needs to get through the night without aches and pains. We’ve highlighted our top picks for the best mattresses for back sleepers, and detailed essential buying advice to help you know what to look for to finally get a good night’s sleep.

Our Top Picks

Nectar
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $799
Avocado
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,399
Awara
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium Firm (6)
  • Price: $1,199
The WinkBed
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,599
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $1,699
Nest Love and Sleep
  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Firmness Level: Medium (5), Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $699
Allswell
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness Level: Firm (7-8)
  • Price: $375

Nectar

Price: $799

Height: 11"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 2/5

Motion Isolation: 5/5

Edge Support: 3/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5

Sex: 2/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

nectar mattress

Highlights:

  • Multiple layers of memory foam provide contouring pressure relief
  • Solid construction ensures minimal motion transfer
  • Great value for a memory foam mattress in this category

Ideal For:

  • Back sleepers in all weight groups
  • Couples
  • Value seekers

With a quilted memory foam cover and gel memory foam comfort layer, the Nectar mattress contours closely to cradle the back and relieve pressure points. Instead of polyfoam, the Nectar’s transitional layer is made of memory foam, giving an even tighter “hug” feeling than most foam mattresses. Overall, the mattress provides just the right amount of sink to let the body fall into a natural position when lying on your back. The bed receives positive scores from back sleepers in all weight categories.

Due to the thick layers of memory foam and the high-density polyfoam base layer, the Nectar virtually eliminates motion transfer when sharing the bed. The Nectar also offers better edge support than many foam models, so most couples should be able to sleep near the edges of the bed without experiencing feelings of roll-off.

The Nectar mattress is very attractively priced, making it a great choice for people who want to try out their first memory foam mattress and aren’t sure if they will like the feel. Nectar Sleep backs the product with a forever warranty and 365-night sleep trial, so you have plenty of time to test out the mattress before committing. The mattress ships free in the contiguous U.S.

Read Our Full Nectar Mattress Review


Avocado

Price: $1,399, $1,799 (Pillow Top)

Height: 11” or 13” (Pillow Top)

Firmness: Firm (7-8), Medium Firm (6) - (Pillow Top)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5, 4/5 (Pillow Top)

Sleeps Cool: 5/5, 4/5 (Pillow Top)

Motion Isolation: 3/5, 4/5 (Pillow Top)

Edge Support: 4/5, 3/5 (Pillow Top)

Durability: 5/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 5/5, 4/5 (Pillow Top)

Off-Gassing: 4/5

avocado mattress

Highlights:

  • Durable, high-quality mattress made with organic materials
  • Zoned coils for bounce and support
  • Optional pillow-top to make a plusher surface

Ideal For:

  • Those who sleep hot
  • People who are active in bed
  • Eco-conscious shoppers

The Avocado is a hybrid mattress made with Dunlop latex and pocketed coils. The mattress is needle-tufted and uses a natural wool barrier to eliminate the need for harmful adhesives and chemical flame retardants. The mattress is fairly firm and best-suited to sleepers over 130 pounds. However, lightweight customers can also elect to add an extra 2-inch Dunlop latex pillowtop at the time of ordering if they want a plusher surface.

There are 1,414 coils in the king mattress, which is more than enough to provide sturdy support for most back sleepers. Stronger coils in the center zone provide enhanced lumbar support, and similar coils along the sides ensure reliable edge support.

Thanks to the breathable latex and airflow through the coils, the Avocado mattress is an excellent choice for people who tend to sleep hot. The coils also provide plenty of bounce, great for sex and for combination sleepers.

Avocado is passionate about sustainability, and the mattress has pretty much every eco-certification going for it. It’s made with GOTS-certified wool and cotton, GOLS-certified latex, and recycled steel. Avocado also sells a vegan mattress that doesn’t contain wool. Mattresses are handmade in California and ship free, with a year-long sleep trial and 25-year pro-rated warranty.

Read Our Full Avocado Mattress Review


Awara

Price: $1,199

Height: 13"

Firmness: Medium Firm (6)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 3/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 4/5

awara mattress

Highlights:

  • High-quality mattress made with a focus on sustainability
  • Pocketed coils provide even support for back sleepers
  • Healthy airflow through the coils helps limit heat retention

Ideal For:

  • Back sleepers in all weight categories
  • Couples
  • Sleepers looking for more sustainable options

The Awara hybrid mattress is made with a New Zealand wool and organic cotton Euro top cover resting on top of 4 inches of Rainforest Alliance-certified Dunlop Latex. A 9-inch pocketed coil base supports spinal alignment. The coils are individually wrapped and provide the appropriate level of support for different body parts. The mattress rates most highly with back sleepers under 200 pounds but provides adequate support for heavier back sleepers as well.

Reinforced edges allow couples to make full use of the bed, and the individually wrapped coils help limit motion transfer to reduce partner disturbances overnight. Like most latex hybrids, the mattress has a bit of bounce that facilitates sex and makes it easier to change sleep positions. The mattress also sleeps much cooler than an all-foam mattress thanks to its breathable comfort layers and of course the pocketed coils, which allow plenty of room for heat to dissipate.

Awara offers a 365-night sleep trial, free shipping, and a forever warranty. Each mattress is handmade and uses a chemical-free silica-based fire retardant and water-based adhesives. For every mattress sold, Awara plants 10 fruit trees to help families in developing nations.


The WinkBed

Price: $1,599, $1,799 (Plus)

Height: 13.5"

Firmness: 3 options - Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 4/5 (Medium Soft), 3/5 (Medium Firm, Firm, Plus)

Edge Support: 4/5 (Medium Soft), 5/5 (Medium Firm, Firm, Plus)

Durability: 4/5 (Medium Soft, Medium Firm, Firm), 5/5 (Firm Plus)

Ease of Movement: 3/5 (Medium Soft, Firm Plus), 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Sex: 3/5 (Medium Soft), 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm, Plus)

Off-Gassing: 4/5 (Medium Soft, Medium Firm, Firm), 3/5 (Plus)

Winkbed Plus mattress

Highlights:

  • Firm padding under the lower back provides lumbar support
  • Dual coil layers allow heat to dissipate
  • Excellent edge support

Ideal For:

  • People who suffer from lower back pain
  • Those who sleep hot
  • Active sleepers

The WinkBed mattress has a sleek Tencel cover, a Euro top with gel-infused foam, a layer of microcoils, and a zoned pocketed coil support layer. The WinkBed also features a firmer lumbar pad for enhanced lumbar support, making this mattress very popular with people who suffer from lower back pain.

The WinkBed comes in three firmness options: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), and Firm (7-8). There is also a Plus model that is Firm (7-8) and replaces the microcoils with latex to provide extra support for those who weigh over 300 pounds.

The WinkBed stands out for its phenomenal edge support, which is thanks to reinforcements in the coil layer around the perimeter. This is a huge bonus for people who have trouble getting in and out of bed. Thanks to the dual coil layers, the WinkBed also has a very responsive surface that allows for easy movement and sex. The plushest version of the WinkBed is slightly less responsive but does a better job of preventing motion transfer. The Tencel cover and healthy airflow through the coils ensure a cool night’s sleep.

WinkBeds stands by its mattresses with a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Mattresses are delivered free in the contiguous U.S.


Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

Price: $1,699

Height: 13"

Firmness: 3 options - Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 4/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5 (Medium Soft), 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Motion Isolation: 4/5 (Medium Soft, Medium Firm), 3/5 (Firm)

Edge Support: 3/5 (Medium Soft), 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Durability: 4/5

Ease of Movement: 3/5 (Medium Soft), 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Sex: 3/5 (Soft) and 4/5 (Medium Firm, Firm)

Off-Gassing: 3/5

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress

Highlights:

  • Phase-change material keeps the sleep surface cool
  • Highly responsive surface enables movement
  • Above-average motion isolation for a hybrid mattress

Ideal For:

  • Couples
  • People who sleep hot
  • Back sleepers in all weight categories

Brooklyn Bedding’s Aurora mattress is a hybrid with copper-infused foams and phase-change material designed to pull heat away from the sleeper. Further layers of polyfoam and memory foam provide a close hug that alleviates pressure points. In the support layer, an 8-inch pocketed coil support system provides targeted support for your spine.

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is available in three firmness levels: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), and Firm (7-8). Back sleepers of most body types should be able to find a firmness level that provides an adequate balance of pressure relief and spinal support.

The Aurora outperforms most hybrid mattresses on motion isolation, especially in the plusher firmness levels where the foams absorb more motion. The mattress also has decent edge support and plenty of bounce for sex, making it a good option for couples.

Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping and a fairly standard 120-night sleep trial with a mandatory 30-night break-in period. After that, the mattress is backed by a 10-year limited warranty


Nest Love and Sleep

Price: $699

Height: 10"

Firmness: Two options - Medium (5) or Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 3/5

Motion Isolation: 3/5 (Medium), 2/5 (Firm)

Edge Support: 2/5 (Medium), 3/5 (Firm)

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

nest love and sleep mattress

Highlights:

  • Breathable and resilient foam mimics latex at a lower price-point
  • One of the few all-foam mattresses that are supportive enough for heavier people
  • Phase-change material keeps a neutral temperature

Ideal For:

  • Back sleepers of all body types
  • People who frequently change sleep positions
  • Value seekers

The Love & Sleep mattress by Nest Bedding is an all-foam mattress with 3 layers of foam and a phase-change cover designed to help the mattress sleep cooler. The top comfort layer is made of Energex foam, meant to emulate the bouncy and breathable properties of latex. Under this is a thin layer of cooling foam, followed by a high-density polyfoam base.

Two firmness levels cater to a wider variety of body types. The Medium (5) option cushions the body in lightweight back sleepers, and the Firm (7-8) option keeps the spine aligned even in back sleepers over 200 pounds, who often struggle to find enough support in all-foam mattresses.

The Love & Sleep mattress comes at a bargain price and ships free within the continental U.S. It’s backed by a 100-night trial with a 30-day mandatory break-in period, and then a lifetime warranty. The mattress is also Greenguard Gold certified, meaning it’s low in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.


Allswell

Price: $375

Height: 10"

Firmness: Firm (7-8)

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Pressure Point Relief: 3/5

Sleeps Cool: 4/5

Motion Isolation: 3/5

Edge Support: 4/5

Durability: 3/5

Ease of Movement: 4/5

Sex: 4/5

Off-Gassing: 3/5

allswell mattress

Highlights:

  • Sturdy pocketed coils provide support for individuals over 200 pounds
  • Strong edge support helps to get in and out of bed
  • Graphite- and copper-infused foams and breathable coils disperse body heat

Ideal For:

  • Heavier back sleepers
  • People looking for a cooler mattress
  • Shoppers on a budget

Allswell makes 3 hybrid mattresses, the most basic of which is simply called The Allswell. The mattress features a simple construction with a memory foam comfort layer and a pocketed coil support core. Graphite and copper infusions in the memory foam work to prevent heat build-up. Since it’s also a hybrid mattress with ample room for airflow through the coils, the Allswell succeeds in providing a neutral temperature overnight. Like many hybrid mattresses, the Allswell reinforces its edges with lower-gauge coils around the outside of the mattress.

Although it contains a thin layer of memory foam, the mattress is quite firm and almost resembles a traditional innerspring. This leads to the feeling of sleeping “on” and not “in” the mattress, preventing the “stuck-in-the-mud” feeling of a typical memory foam mattress. Back sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds will find the best balance of comfort and support, although the quilted cover provides some cushioning so lighter individuals can also get a good night’s rest.

Allswell gives customers 100 nights to try out the mattress before deciding if it’s right for them. After that, the mattress is covered by a 10-year limited warranty. Mattresses ship free in the contiguous U.S.

Read Our Full Allswell Mattress Review


What Type of Mattress Is Best for Back Sleepers?

The goal for any sleeping position is to keep your spine aligned without putting too much pressure on the parts of your body that dig into the mattress. Back sleepers have an advantage here because lying on your back naturally allows your spine to adopt a fairly neutral position. The best bed for back sleepers is one that’s just firm enough to support the natural curve of the spine, without allowing the heavier hip area to sink in too far.

Back sleepers don’t tend to experience the extreme pressure points that side sleepers can suffer from. However, a moderate amount of contouring to prevent soreness in the hips is still helpful when sleeping on your back. On the spectrum between support and pressure relief, the best type of bed for back sleepers will fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Latex, mixed-foam, and hybrid models can all fulfill these requirements.

While back sleeping has its advantages, it’s not for everyone. Pregnant women in their second and third trimesters should avoid sleeping on their back as the weight of the baby can put pressure on the mother’s internal organs. Likewise, sleeping on your back can block the airway and may increase symptoms of sleep apnea. Even if you do manage to fall asleep on your back, you might wake up to find your partner has flipped you over to stop you snoring!

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good for Back Sleepers?

Memory foam is designed to respond to heat and pressure, “hugging” the body and providing a pressure-relieving cradle. Lighter back sleepers usually find memory foam mattresses very comfortable, as the foam allows heavier body parts to sink in just enough to keep the spine aligned.

On the other hand, back sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds rarely receive enough support from an all-foam mattress. One solution is to try a memory foam hybrid mattress. Hybrids offer the contouring benefits of memory foam, but the supportive coil layer prevents the body from sinking in too far and causing discomfort.

Additional benefits of memory foam include the fact that it’s silent when bearing weight, as well as its ability to isolate motion when sleeping with a partner. Downsides include the tendency to trap heat, weak edge support, and a slow response to pressure which can make it difficult to change sleep positions. Many mattress manufacturers infuse their memory foam with gel beads or other substances in an effort to work around these disadvantages.

Is a Firm Mattress Good for Back Sleepers?

A mattress that’s too plush causes sagging in the hips, putting strain on your back and making you wake up with aches and pains. Speaking in general terms, firm mattresses do a better job of keeping the spine aligned for back sleepers. This is, of course, as long as they still provide enough cushioning to prevent pressure points.

The best mattresses for back sleepers are usually medium firm, between a 5 and a 7 on the 1-10 firmness scale. However, mattress shopping isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. If you’re trying to find the best mattress for sleeping on your back, your choice will be largely dictated by your body type and personal preference. Lighter sleepers who put less pressure on the mattress usually prefer softer mattresses such as memory foam mattresses, while heavier sleepers usually go for more supportive options with coils or latex.

People who have a fairly flat profile when they lie on their backs will likely find a firm mattress quite comfortable. In contrast, people with curvier figures may find that a firm mattress doesn’t properly cradle the hips, potentially leading to back pain. If you’re one of these people, placing a pillow under your knees can help to relieve the tension on your lower back.

A side perk of firm mattresses is that they allow more room for airflow around the body, since the sleeper doesn’t sink in like on a soft mattress. If you tend to sleep hot, you should know that the firm version of a given mattress will generally sleep cooler than its plush counterpart.

How to Become a Back Sleeper

It’s all very well for us to recommend sleeping on your back, but what happens if you just can’t drift off that way? Here are some steps to help you become a back sleeper:

  • Choose an appropriate mattress for back sleeping: If you’re transitioning from side sleeping or stomach sleeping, chances are your mattress was suited to those positions, but may be too firm or plush for back sleeping. If you’re not ready to invest in a whole new mattress, a mattress topper may do the trick.
  • Keep your head elevated: When sleeping on your back, you’ll want to keep your neck supported at a height that mimics its natural alignment with the spine. You can accomplish this either with a pillow or an adjustable bed frame. If you suffer from acid reflux, propping your head up could help open the airway and reduce symptoms.
  • Barricade yourself with pillows: If your body insists on changing position, surround yourself with pillows to discourage yourself from rolling over. A thin pillow tucked under the knees can also work wonders for your lower back.
  • Experiment with different positions: Try raising your arms over your head, crossing them over your chest, leaving them by your sides, or spreading out your arms and legs like a starfish. Find the most comfortable position for you, one that doesn’t put extra strain on one part of your body.
  • Do some light stretching before bed: For those of us who have terrible posture throughout the day, getting into bed and lying flat right away can be a shock to the system. Doing some stretches will help limber up your muscles and prevent aches and pains.

What Is the Best Pillow for Back Sleepers?

Back sleepers are the quintessential Goldilocks sleepers: they need a mattress that’s not too firm and not too soft but just right. It’s the same deal with the pillow. Choosing a pillow that’s too high or too low will be a pain in the neck (literally). For best results you’ll want to choose a fairly firm pillow that keeps your head at a neutral position with regards to your neck and spine.

In terms of pillow material, memory foam is a popular choice as it can perfectly mimic your body’s curves. Many people also recommend buckwheat pillows for back sleepers. Buckwheat conforms to the shape of your head and then stays in that position, unlike down pillows that flatten out throughout the night.

Some back sleepers prefer the feel of a cervical pillow, which is a smaller pillow that tucks under the neck, mimicking the natural C curve and reducing neck pain. You can also buy a contour pillow, a full pillow with a higher loft under the neck to keep it supported.