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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.

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 Reviewed150+

    Mattresses Reviewed

  • Brands 60+

    Brands

  • Made the List 6

    Made
    the List

  • Number of Contributors 7

    Number of Contributors

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 put 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!

AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
leesa hybrid mattress review deal

Hybrid Mattress

$300 Off

Discount in Cart

Leesa Hybrid is a coil mattress that is very comfortable and supportive. This is one of the first beds we thought of when searching for the best firm mattress for back sleepers.

Best For Hot Back Sleepers

Free Gifts

Applied in Cart

Very unique mattress with support coils and Purple’s proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer topper material. The bed does not heat up and offers plenty of support and pressure relief, making it one of the best mattress for back sleepers.
brooklyn signature review coupon

For The Money

20% Off

Code: SUMMER20

Brooklyn Signature is a supportive, responsive bed that costs way less than you'd expect. We see it as a wonderful mattress for back sleepers that need a hybrid mattress, so long as you choose the firm mattress, which is their "Firm" model.
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Memory Foam Mattress

35% Off

Code: SY35

Want an affordable memory foam mattress? Cocoon is a great bed to check out. It also happens to be backed by Sealy, one of the largest mattress brands in the world. If you're open to a firm mattress, Cocoon is one of the better memory foam options.
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Natural & Organic Mattress

$175 Off

Code: HAPPYHOME

Avocado is the most popular natural and organic mattress. It's supportive, durable, firm, and really comfortable. In other words, it's one of the best mattresses for back sleepers.

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.

For example, our director of production is a big dog, weighing in at over 200 lb. He’s an ex-high school lineman that loves memory foam and sleeps like a bear. He helps give us that “larger person” perspective. 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.

Leesa Hybrid

BEST FOR:

  • Heavy folks that need a thick, durable, supportive bed
  • If you need a responsive, comfy bed
  • Anyone that wants a luxurious bed
  • If you can't make your mind up (they offer free returns)
  • Back sleepers that want a firm mattress that's not too firm

Leesa Hybrid has a firmer, supporitive classic foam feel without any of that stuck-in-the-mud feeling. Coming in at 10” thick, this is a beast of a mattress able to handle petite, medium, and heavy individuals. It’s constructed with a combination of pocketed coils, memory foam, and a textured soft cover that really takes things to another level.

leesa hybrid mattress review cover
Leesa Hybrid is a heck of a mattress

Given the construction of the bed and its firmness level, this bed is most ideal for primary back sleepers, but if you sometimes find yourself sleeping on your side, the pillow top should provide adequate pressure relief at least for a little bit. Also, although this mattress does contain memory foam, it’s actually quite responsive, so changing positions shouldn’t be a hassle, which lets you sleep more soundly throughout the night.

Purple Hybrid

BEST FOR:

  • People that want a unique feeling mattress
  • All body types (small, medium, and large)
  • All sleeper types (back, stomach, or side)
  • Anyone that likes a bouncy bed
  • Sleepers that warm up at night (great airflow)

If you’re familiar with Purple, you know their mattresses have a different feel. Their new models (Purple 2, 3, 4) are constructed with poly foam, pocketed coils, and then the top layer is a Hyper-Elastic Polymer material that you really have to try to know what it’s like. It almost feels like a gel material, but we find it very comfortable.

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

We selected Purple 2 for this list, as it is the firmest bed that Purple makes. It’s supportive and also offers plenty of pressure relief. The bed is around a medium-firm on the firmness scale. However, because the Hyper-Elastic Polymer top layer is so flexible and responsive, we think this mattress is fine for other positions as well.

purple mattress review new purple 2 bed in a box
The Purple 2.0 mattress works for all types of sleepers

While we wouldn’t recommend that everyone get a Purple 2 mattress, if you’re open to something new, chances are you’ll really like it, especially if you favor sleeping on your back.

Purple isn’t a big fan of offering cash discounts, but they will frequently bundle is sheets, a pillow, or some other incentive to get you to buy.

Brooklyn Signature

BEST FOR:

  • Anyone that wants a supportive, responsive bed for under $1K
  • All sleeping positions, though, the "Firm" model is best for back sleepers
  • If you care about the fact that this bed is made in the USA
  • People that want a firm mattress that's not considered "too firm"

The Brooklyn Signature mattress is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has a really accommodating feel that’s nearly universally loved. It doesn’t feel like memory foam (even though it technically has the material), and is abnormally affordable.

The MSRP for a queen size bed is around $1,000. You read that correctly—under $1,200 for a coil bed that was made in the United States. Often times, you can find it below $800 if they’re running a deal. You can check BrooklynBedding.com for their sales today if there are any.

brooklyn bedding signature mattress review hybrid bed
For the money, we don’t think you can do better

In addition to all of that, since the mattress uses 6” pocketed coils as its base, it’s a very supportive, responsive mattress. This is great if you’re a bit on the heavier side and plan on keeping your bed for a while, or if you tend to switch sleeping positions at night.

For back sleepers, we recommend the “Firm” model from Brooklyn Bedding. It’s about a medium-firm, which we think a lot of back sleepers will enjoy, so long as they realize that it’s not truly firm the way the “Firm” model from Saatva is.

Despite having these coils, it’s pretty efficient at reducing motion transfer, which can be helpful for couples and light sleepers, especially if one partner is an active during the night and the other is not.

The bottom line with the Brooklyn Signature mattress is that it has more of a neutral feel—which people tend to really like—and it is priced to sell. We also think it’s a well-made, comfortable mattress that will work for a lot of people. And if you don’t like it, send it back for a full refund (it comes with a 120-night trial).

Cocoon by Sealy

BEST FOR:

  • Budget shoppers
  • Fans of memory foam mattresses
  • People that want a bed from a big-name brand
  • People looking for firmness options

Cocoon is a really nice budget mattress, especially if you’re looking for a dense memory foam feel. And Cocoon is actually owned by Sealy, which is one of the largest mattress brands in the world, so you know this bed is constructed well.

What’s also nice is that this bed is available in two different firmness options. However, we’ve tested both and they’re actually both on the firmer side of the spectrum, so keep that in mind.

cocoon classic mattress review back and stomach sleepers
The Cocoon Classic is available in multiple firmness options

If you’re really concerned with sleeping cool, you should check out the Cocoon Chill model, which has phase change material in the cover. This model is a little more expensive, but it does a good job of keeping you cool. Still, for the price, the Cocoon Classic is a great bed for back sleepers on a budget who like memory foam.


For consumers that are willing to spend a little more on a luxury-tier memory foam 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.

ghostbed luxe review back sleepers
GhostBed Luxe has several cooling layers

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.

Avocado Green Mattress

BEST FOR:

  • Anyone looking for a natural, eco-friendly mattress
  • People that want a super responsive and supportive bed
  • Anyone that wants a firm or medium-firm mattress (Avocado offers both)

The Avocado Green Mattress has a lot going for it. It’s made of 100% GOLS certified organic latex (which is great for eco-friendly consumers or anyone with allergies or asthma), pocketed coils, and organic wool. For those of you who aren’t familiar with latex foam, it sort of has a bouncy feel, as if the bed has coils (which it doesn’t), yet it’s still nice and soft.

What’s also cool about this mattress is that it’s technically offered in two different variations: with and without a pillow top. If you opt for the bed as is, it will be properly firm and only ideal for back (and stomach) sleepers. If you get the pillow top, it will cost more, but also be a little softer and therefore able to accommodate other sleeping positions as well.

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

When it comes to temperature regulation, Avocado is a pretty good choice for hot sleepers. Avocado does a good job of dissipating heat for two primary reasons. First, it’s on the firmer end of the spectrum, which means you’ll sleep more on top of the mattress rather in it. Also, latex foam generally sleeps cooler than most polyurethane foams since it has more of an open cell structure and it’s more responsive.

Review Team

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo

Combo Sleeper

kenzie

McKenzie Dillon

Combo Sleeper

Matt

Matt Ross

Back Sleeper

dillon lopez slumber yard

Dillon Lopez

Combo Sleeper

The Best Type Of Mattress For Back Sleepers

Like stomach sleepers, back sleepers generally prefer firmer mattresses 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.

We should be clear that a mattress being supportive does not necessarily meant 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.

In general, side sleepers require a bed that is softer and offers ample pressure relief for their shoulders and hips. If you picture it from a side view, it makes a lot of sense in order to keep a straight spine.

For back sleepers, you still want to keep a straight spine, but if your hips sag down too much it could cause lower back pain. Therefore, the bed probably shouldn’t be rock solid, but it should be firm enough to keep your spine straight. Of course, a lot of this has to do with your own preferences, but, in general, you should be looking for a slightly firmer mattress in the range of medium to firm, depending on your weight and preferences.

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

The interesting thing when you’re talking about types of mattresses is that it all depends on the bed itself and the sleeper. For instance, we generally recommend latex mattresses to back sleepers more than memory foam beds, but there are always exceptions to the rule. We have seen plenty of soft beds that are not great for back sleepers even if they use latex foam.

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.

Which Materials Should You Look For

I already covered the support systems—typically you’ll see all-foam beds or hybrid mattresses (i.e. have coils). In terms of the middle and top layers, there are five main material. The most popular is memory foam, which comes in varying thicknesses and densities. Memory foam is a touchy subject for people. If you’ve never tried it before, it has a lot of positive properties and then some elements that really turn off consumers. 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 calls 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. They do a good job, but aren’t the coolest materials out there. Still, if you sleep hotter, you’ll definitely prefer gel memory foam to standard memory foam.

Latex foam is another popular middle and top layer. It can offer ample pressure relief, but is also very responsive 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.

We also sometimes see beds with proprietary foams, but there’s no rule of thumb for these. Don’t exclude beds with proprietary foams, but test them for yourself to see what you think. Similar story for a gel material mattress. There are only a few beds that use a gel-like material and we’ve been very happy with them.

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—not so much upper back, shoulder, or neck pain, though. If you’re dealing with lower back pain and you spend the majority of the night on your back, the fix is fairly straight forward. 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 sleep cooler than a plush mattress like Zinus.

How Much You Should Spend

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.

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.