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Best Mattress For Back Sleepers

Best Mattress For Back Sleepers

A comprehensive rundown of the top rated beds for anyone that is a back sleeper.

Last Updated: September 21, 2020

Jeff Rizzo

Back sleepers need a firm mattress to provide support for their hips, shoulders, and trunk. But having a firmer bed doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice comfort. We’ve compiled a list of the best type of mattresses for people that sleep on their back.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Reviewed

    150+

  • Brands

    60+

  • Made the List

    6

  • Number of Contributors

    9

Outline For This Best Mattress For Back Sleepers List

A Look At Our Top Picks

When it comes to finding a mattress, we almost always tell consumers to first identify which type of sleeper they are. Looks like you’ve already done that, so that’s good. Now comes the hard part. You need to figure out the other elements that are important to you and start trying out beds. Fortunately, we have tested and reviewed a lot of mattresses out there.

In today’s post, however, we are going to go over our hand-selected list of the best mattresses for back sleepers in particular. I should point out that we are constantly testing new mattresses and that we’ll update this list whenever we find what we consider to be a better mattress. With that in mind, if you check back after nine months or a year, there could be some changes and it might not be the same list in its entirety. Now, speaking of the list, let’s take a look at our selections for the best mattresses for back sleepers:

Also, just so you know, we are not doctors or chiropractors and this is not an offering of health advice (our lawyers make sure we noted that). We did, however, work closely with a chiropractor to help us identify key features of a mattress that would make it better or worse for a back sleeper. Still, we suggest that you do plenty of research and possibly even test out a few beds before you make your ultimate decision. With that out of the way, let’s talk mattresses!

Top 6 Best Mattresses For Back Sleepers

AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
Purple Hybrid Unique Free Gifts w/ Mattress PurchasePurple Hybrid is a coil mattress that features a proprietary comfort layer called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s a unique mattress thats comfortable and great for hot sleepers.
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam 35% Off Code: SY35Cocoon Chill is one of the best budget-tier cooling mattresses. It’s a firmer bed with a dense memory foam feel.
Avocado Green Mattress Latex Foam $200 Off Code: GREEN200The Avocado Green Mattress is the most sought after natural/organic mattress online. It’s supportive, comfortable, and constructed with high quality materials.
Idle Sleep Hybrid Mixed Foam 25% Off + Free Gifts Applied in CartIdle Hybrid is a flippable mattress that offesr two different firmness options on the same bed.

Saatva – Best Firm Mattress For Back Sleepers

Why we chose this mattress — It’s a great mattress to support back sleepers, and also works well for all body types. We’ve added the Saatva because we feel it’s one of the best luxury innerspring mattresses you can buy online, with a reasonable price tag and a wide range of options.

The Saatva mattress is a luxury online mattress with an innerspring support system, a core of pocketed coils, and a memory foam comfort layer. This construction makes the mattress feel like a traditional innerspring mattress with a firmer pillow topper.

saatva mattress review heavy sleepers
The Saatva mattress has dual layers of coils for extra support

It’s also available in three different levels of firmness, making it suitable for nearly all sleepers; side, back, stomach, or combo. Though, back sleepers should opt for the firmer profiles for optimal animal support. 

Price-wise the Saatva isn’t a budget mattress but it does have a great value. The twin size starts at $799 (MSRP) and the queen retails for $1,399 before discounts.

Purple Mattress – Best Mattress For Hot Back Sleepers

Why we chose this mattress — It’s the combination between its supportive, yet pressure relieving qualities, and the unique feel that led us to add this mattress to our list of best mattresses for back sleepers.

The Purple Hybrid mattresses are constructed with pocketed coils and a top layer of their proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer material, which is what gives the Purple mattress its unique and revolutionary feel. It’s almost like a gel material, and you have to try it to see if you truly like it.

purple mattress review online bed in a box hyper elastic polymer
Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer is extremely responsive and supportive

Purple Hybrid Mattress is not the cheapest bed option, with the base twin mattress retailing for around $1,300 and the queen size going for about $1,600. That’s for the Purple 2, which we feel is the best bed for back sleepers thanks to its support and pressure relief qualities.

Plank – Best Back Sleeper Bed For The Money

Plank is one of the more unconventional mattresses on the online market because it’s actually double-sided. We rated their “Firm” side of the mattress around a firm on our scale, and the “Soft” side a medium-firm. 

Both sides will provide a solid amount of support for back sleepers, whether you’re a petite or medium-sized sleeper. We usually suggest hybrid beds to sleepers who weigh over 230 lbs, but if you twisted our arm, we’d say this is actually one of the better all-foam beds for bigger individuals. 

plank mattress back sleeper
The Plank Mattress is ideal for firm sleepers thanks to its firm profile

As far as feel goes, it has a neutral feel that most people seem to find enjoyable. It’s not viscous like memory foam, nor is it extra bouncy like latex foam. It’s comfortable, yet supportive. In Plank’s case, you don’t sink into the foam because of its firmness rating. 

The brand wanted to create a durable all-foam mattress to achieve “The firmest, flattest, healthiest way to sleep” (the company’s tagline). For this reason, we had to include it on our Best List for back sleepers.

Cocoon Chill – Best Memory Foam Mattress For Back Sleepers

Why we chose this mattress — We chose to include the Cocoon because it is a great bed for back sleepers who like the viscous feel of memory foam, but are on a budget and can’t necessarily afford a mattress like TempurPedic. 

The Cocoon mattress by Sealy is constructed from several layers of dense memory foam, and falls more on the firm side of the spectrum. It feels quite firm, and not as contouring as many of the hybrid models we’ve reviewed.

cocoon chill sealy mattress
The Cocoon Classic is available in multiple firmness options

Avocado Green Mattress – Best Hybrid Mattress For Back Sleepers

Why we chose this mattress — We added the mattress to this list as an eco-friendly choice, and is a cooler mattress option with a firm, supportive hybrid design. Organic latex foam tends to be more breathable, and longer-lasting than other materials like memory foam — plus it’s good for people with allergies!

The Avocado Green Mattress is constructed of a combination of pocketed coils, organic wool and 100% GOLS certified organic latex. This gives the mattress a nice, bouncy feel while still maintaining decent pressure relief. Natural/organic latex foam is also antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, meaning its resistant to nasty household allergens like dust mites, bacteria, mold, mildew, etc.

avocado green mattress review
If you’re looking for natural and organic materials, it’s hard to beat the Avocado mattress

The standard option is best for back and stomach sleepers, while the pillow top version is somewhat softer and suited for most sleepers unless you’re more petite and or favor your side. 

When it comes to price, the Avocado Green isn’t the most expensive but it’s certainly not cheap either. The twin size retails around $900 and the queen at about $1,400.

IDLE Sleep – Best Flippable Mattress For Back Sleepers

The IDLE Sleep Hybrid Mattress is the brand’s most popular model and we just happen to love it also. Not only does it have a supportive 14″ hybrid design, but it’s also double-sided.

This means you’re able to flip over the mattress to reveal another firmness level. In most cases, brands offer flippable beds with one soft side and one firm side. IDLE Sleep, on the other hand, will let you choose two firm sides or two soft sides if you want.

Though, we suggest back sleepers opt for two firm sides if they want to go that route.

Idle Hybrid Mattress Overview
An overview of the IDLE Sleep Hybrid mattress

We rated their “Medium” firmness a medium, and their “Luxury Firm” in between medium and medium-firm. As such, we think it’s perfect for back sleepers and all other sleeper types.

Either way you’ll get a mattress with a supportive, soft foam feel and versatile design that helps expand the lifetime of your mattress. A queen size IDLE Sleep Hybrid mattress will run you around $1,420.

Review team

  • JD
    JD Christison

    Combo Sleeper

  • dillon lopez slumber yard
    Dillon Lopez

    Combo Sleeper

  • kenzie
    McKenzie Dillon

    Combo Sleeper

  • Owen Poole

    Side Sleeper

Finding The Best Mattress For Back Sleepers

As I mentioned before, we aren’t doctors or chiropractors—we’re just a team of normal people trying to do good work. We spend hundreds of hours researching and testing these mattresses, not to mention the countless hours invested in producing our written and video reviews. We’ve tested everything from high-end luxury mattresses to beds that cost us $200 on Amazon. And we also have team members of different heights, weight, age, and gender, which helps to give us a well-rounded perspective of the mattress the we review.

Now, in addition to compiling several opinions about softness/firmness, we also perform tests related to motion transfer, edge support, temperature regulation, and more. 

We might not touch on each of those points in the short comparison write-ups above, but we make an effort to go through each one in our individual reviews. Therefore, if you want all of the info about one of these beds, please consult our full reviews.

Best Mattress Firmness For Back Sleepers

Like stomach sleepers, the best bed for back sleepers is generally firmer, in order to keep proper spinal alignment. If the mattress is too soft, you’ll experience excess compression under your hips in particular, but possibly under your trunk and shoulders, as well. Basically, wherever you carry the majority of your weight, you need the mattress to keep its shape.

What Is A Mattress’ ILD Rating?

We should be clear that a mattress being supportive does not necessarily mean that it will be firm. Support refers to the density and thickness of the materials within a mattress. Firmness/softness refers to the Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating for the materials. Picture a thin slab of foam that’s extremely firm. The firmness doesn’t counteract the fact that you have a thinner piece of foam. We’ll cover support here in a moment, but let’s stay focused on the firmness level of the mattress.

Which Materials Should You Look For

Having said all of that, let’s take a peek at the best type of mattress for back sleepers:

  • Hybrid & Innerspring
  • Latex Mattress
  • Poly Foam
  • Memory Foam
  • Hyper-Elastic Polymer

Here is a description of all five mattress materials:

  • Memory Foam — One of the most popular is memory foam, which comes in varying thicknesses and densities. Memory foam can be a touchy subject for people. For example, if softens where pressure and heat are applied, which can cradle your body and be very comfortable. However, it’s not very responsive and therefore can leave you feeling stuck in the mattress. We call this the stuck-in-the-mud feeling. With a firmer mattress, however, you’ll typically get less sinkage and therefore remain more on top of the mattress, so it won’t heat up as much as a softer memory foam bed. That said, memory foam is loathed for being a warmer material. To get around this, though, there are plenty of gel memory foams that seek to increase the airflow in the bed and keep you cooler. While they don’t keep you cold, they’ll help keep you from overheating.
  • Latex FoamLatex foam is another popular middle and top layer. It can offer ample pressure relief, but is also very responsive, durable, and supportive. It also has the added benefit of allowing for a lot of airflow, so if you sleep especially hot, latex is a good option for you. Latex is less common than memory foam, but it’s often a natural material (there’s also synthetic latex) with plenty of advantages, so don’t count it out.
  • Innerspring/Coil — An innerspring mattress is defined by the core of coils that serve as the main component of a bed’s support core. Many innerspring mattresses also come with a thin comfort layer on top, like the fluffy pillow-top WinkBed offers.
  • Hybrid — Hybrid mattresses combine two types of mattresses materials in an attempt to harness the best features of each. The core support layer of a hybrid mattress tends to be made of innerspring coils, and there will be one or more comfort layers on top of this core support layer. The comfort layer may be composed of latex, foam, memory foam or gel, as well as wool or some other material. This comfort layer is designed to provide a sleeper with pressure relief. The core innerspring coils provides the support needed for the bed’s foundation, and for proper spinal alignment in back sleepers.
  • Hyper-Elastic Polymer — We see this material used in the Purple mattress, and it’s unlike anything you’ve felt in a mattress. We say it feels like a Dr. Scholl’s insole, and it’s very comfortable once you get used to the feel. It’s also covered in air pockets, so it sleeps on the cool end of the spectrum. 

Mattress Toppers 

A mattress topper is simply a softer layer of material that lays on top of the mattress to make it softer and more contouring for your body.

Many people consider the mattress topper to be an affordable way to make a mattress more comfortable, since they are far less expensive than buying a new mattress. Toppers made from memory foam, latex, or other materials can also give an idea of how a mattress made completely from these materials might feel.

Mattress toppers come in a variety of thicknesses from 1”-3” +, allowing the users to customize the feel of their sleep surface. A thin topper will provide a small degree of additional softness and comfort, while a thicker topper can even relieve a substantial amount of pressure.

It should be obvious that even though toppers can help with the contouring and support offered by a mattress, they won’t provide the benefits of a new mattress. In nearly all cases, the topper by itself won’t provide sufficient support if that’s what you need. For a back sleeper who sinks too far into a mattress, or for a mattress that’s begun sagging, the mattress topper simply won’t be enough. Generally for back sleepers, a mattress topper can help provide a bit more softness, or a slight amount of relief at their pressure points.

Your Weight Affects Which Mattress Is Best

Not only does your weight impact how firm or soft you interpret the bed to be, but it also impacts the level of support that you require. Allow me to explain. Let’s unpack the softness/firmness concept first. If you’re a lighter individual, most beds in the medium range in terms of firmness will seem firmer to you. That’s because you don’t provide that much downward pressure on the bed and therefore you end up sleeping more on the mattress rather than in the mattress. For someone that’s heavier, the bed will seem softer. That’s because softness/firmness, while possible to quantify, is a subjective element when you’re testing beds. So don’t think of the bed as being a certain firmness rating, think of how firm it will feel to you.

Your weight also dictates how supportive the mattress should be. In general, spring and hybrid mattresses tend to provide more long-term support. That’s not always true, but if you’re especially heavier, you might want to first consider a coil mattress. Certain all-foam beds will work, as well, but they should be thick and dense. For someone that’s more average (under 200 lb) you can usually get by with a coil or all-foam mattress. Just make sure that the bed is at least 9” thick. If it’s thinner, it just won’t have the requisite support after 5-10 years.

Proper Mattress Foundation

This is often overlooked, but it’s very important with your mattress. If you don’t get the right foundation, you could potentially void the mattress warranty and even possibly damage the mattress. You should also check the FAQ section of the mattress brand’s website to find more information on approved foundations. For example, often you’ll see that a slatted bed frame, platform bed, box spring, or even the floor will do just fine, but some brands are especially strict and they require the bed to be placed on a solid surface with absolutely no flex. That eliminates some slatted bed frames, particularly those with wood slats as opposed to metal ones. Additionally, adjustable bed frames aren’t universally accepted either. If you want an adjustable bed frame, (a) I don’t blame you, they’re awesome, and (b) you should specifically ask the company if their mattress works with adjustable bed frames. You may also see that certain brands sell their own foundation system. If you don’t already have a foundation, it might be smart to get the one from the brand itself, so that you don’t have any issues.

Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain

We’ve heard time and time again that back sleepers suffer from lower back pain. These aches and pains can be caused by improper alignment of the spine or other joints.

One easy way to tell if you have a mattress that doesn’t offer the right levels of support and contouring for proper alignment is when you wake up sore, or with pains or aches. If the soreness goes away once you get up and begin moving around, your mattress probably isn’t supporting your body and contouring to it properly. With proper support, your spine will be aligned and you’ll notice fewer issues with aches and pains after a night’s sleep.

If you’re dealing with lower back pain and you spend the majority of the night on your back, the fix is fairly straightforward. You need a firmer bed, but not so firm that it doesn’t contour to the shape of your body. More specifically, you need a bed with better support.

Why Firm Mattresses Sleep Cooler (Generally)

If you’ve read any of our other reviews, you’ll know that temperature regulation isn’t a straightforward, cut and dry subject. Materials, sleeping position, weight, and room temperature all affect how cool or warm a bed sleeps. What often goes overlooked, however, is that firmness plays a role as well. The firmer the bed, generally speaking, the cooler that bed will sleep. This is because the sleeper will rest on top of the bed with less of the materials coming in contact with their body. Softer beds, by design, allow for more give and necessitate that more of the surface of the bed will come in contact with their body. As an example, a firmer bed such as Plank will naturally tend to sleep cooler than a plush mattress like Zinus. You can compare firm vs soft beds more in our recent post.

Cooling Mattresses

For consumers that are willing to spend a little more on a luxury-tier cooling mattress, GhostBed Luxe is a fantastic option.

The GhostBed Luxe is one of few cooling, memory foam mattresses. It has a dense, firm memory foam feel, but what sets the Luxe apart is that it’s thicker than most foam beds (13” compared to the average 10″) and has cooling fibers woven into the top layer and cover. As a result, this bed is literally cool to the touch.

In terms of firmness, the Luxe comes in around a medium-firm on the firmness scale. And because it’s so firm, you won’t find yourself sinking into this bed as much as you would with a typical memory foam mattress—this helps limit that stuck-in-the-mud feeling as well.

How Much You Should Spend On A Back Sleeper Bed

The average queen size bed is about $1,000 online. You will typically see coil mattresses just above the $1,000 mark and foam beds just below it. There’s almost a mental barrier at $1,000 for queen size beds. That’s not to say that you should spend no more than $1,000. In fact, there are plenty of fantastic beds that we hold in high regard that are over $1,000—here’s our list of the best mattresses under $2,000. We just use the $1,000 mark to say that you can get some really nice beds for not much more than $1,000. At the end of the day, you should spend however much you want on a bed.

Overview Of The Best Mattress For Back Sleepers

MattressBest of TitleFirmness Level
SaatvaBest Firm Mattress For Back SleepersMedium, Medium-Firm, Firm
Purple HybridBest Mattress For Hot Back SleepersMedium-Firm
PlankBest Back Sleeper Bed For The MoneySoft to Medium-Soft, Medium-Soft to Soft, or Medium-Firm
CocoonBest Memory Foam Mattress For Back SleepersMedium to Medium-Firm and Medium-Firm
AvocadoBest Hybrid Mattress For Back SleepersWith Pillow Top, Medium-Firm, and Standard-Firm
IDLE Sleep MattressBest Flippable Mattress For Back SleepersMedium to Medium-Firm

FAQs

What is the best type of bed for back sleepers?

There is no single best “type” of mattress for back sleepers, though, we can tell you that you’ll want (1) a firmer mattress and (2) a supportive mattress. That can be an all-foam or coil mattress, or something else entirely.

Which firmness is best?

For back sleepers, you will almost certainly prefer a medium-firm or firm mattress, especially if you sleep exclusively on your back.

What are the shipping and return policies like?

For more beds online, you get totally free shipping and returns, alongside a trial period. Interestingly, many of the brands allow you to try your new bed in your home risk-free for 100 nights, or longer, before you decide to keep or return it.

What is best for heavier people?

If you weigh over about 230/250 lbs, you need an extra-supportive mattress—perhaps even one that’s specially made for heavy people. These are thick-gauge coil beds such as Big Fig, Saatva HD, and WinkBed Plus.

Will my mattress-off gas?

Any mattress that includes foam as part of its construction will be subject to some amount of off gassing. In general this won’t last longer than 24-48 hours.

What’s the difference between poly and memory foam?

Memory foam is a viscous, slow responding material that conforms to the curves of a sleeper’s body. Poly foam typically feels more springy or bouncy than memory foam.

Should I purchase online or in-store?

The choice is up to you, however, certain mattress brands these days are only available online. Buying online is easy, and the mattress is delivered right to your door, which is quite convenient. Online brands also offer lengthy risk-free trials, returns, and warranty policies.

Which mattress is most affordable?

Of the six mattresses we reviewed, the Cocoon is the least expensive, followed closely by the Brooklyn Bedding mattresses.