Find the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers With Help from The Sleep Doctor

Back-sleeping is the second most common sleep position. Studies suggest that sleeping on your back is the best way to ensure spine alignment, which can minimize aches and stiffness when you wake up by alleviating back pain.  The best mattress for back sleepers provides enough support to maintain a neutral spine position, but also contours along your shape for a comfortable sleep experience.

“Back sleepers have already done one of the hard things, which is finding a great neutral sleep position on their back. But many don’t know that there are certain features that can be very important to back sleepers,” says Dr. Breus.

Michael Breus, Ph.D., double board-certified sleep specialist, also known as The Sleep Doctor, partnered with the expert reviewers at Mattress Advisor to find the top mattresses for back sleepers. The team has tested hundreds of mattresses in their North Carolina lab to find which beds offer the most support and comfort for back sleepers. 

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

The 12 Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Best Overall:

Honorable Mentions:

How Back Sleeping Affects Your Health

Back sleeping is sometimes assumed to be the healthiest sleeping position; however, like all sleep positions, it has its share of pros and cons.

Some of the main benefits of back sleeping include:

  • Sleeping on your back, with the head slightly elevated (think flat pillow here), can help reduce the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. That’s because when you rest on your back at an incline, your body is able to utilize the forces of gravity to clear reflux at a quicker rate.
  • Back sleeping can be good for your skin, too. Because your face isn’t compressed into a pillow, you may stave off the onset of facial wrinkles and fine lines.
  • According to The Sleep Doctor, back sleeping is generally the best way to reduce neck pain, because you’re giving your muscles and spine more support and are less likely to strain the neck. 

Meanwhile, there are also some potential downsides to back sleeping:

  • Resting on your back can cause an increased risk of sleep apnea, as this position can cause airways to collapse for those who already suffer from sleep apnea. 
  • Pregnant women are generally advised against back sleeping, which can cause a host of complications due to the weight of the baby and the uterus on the woman’s vital organs.
  • Sleeping on your back also makes you predisposed to snoring, because the airway is positioned in a way that makes it more likely to collapse as gravity is able to block sufficient airflow.

The Sleep Doctor notes the main benefit of back sleeping: “Sleeping on your back allows your body to get into the correct ‘sleep posture’, and that can allow for increased quality of rest!” says Dr. Breus

The Sleep Doctor’s Top Picks for the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

1. Expert Pick: Saatva Classic

For back sleepers who want to maximize their comfort and support, as well as the durability and overall value of their new mattress, the Saatva earns The Sleep Doctor’s highest approval. Named as the expert pick in The Sleep Doctor’s top picks for back pain, the Saatva is also a natural fit for back sleepers. A base of innerspring coils provides support, while a soft Euro top and dense layer of memory foam create a comfortable sleep surface. A Euro top is a layer of padding sewn into the mattress with added cushioning underneath that covers the entire top surface of the mattress. This extra cushioning works nicely for back sleepers who like additional comfort around their hips and lower back (the Saatva earned a 7.75/10 in pressure relief!).

The Saatva earned high marks where it matters most for back sleepers: it earned a 9.5/10 in spine alignment and a perfect 10/10 in durability! Back sleepers can rest on the Saatva for years without fear of the bed sagging or compromising support. This mattress comes in three firmness levels, and both the firm and luxury firm models, which fall at a 6/10 and 8/10, respectively, work well for back sleepers. The Saatva mattress also comes with complimentary white glove delivery, which means you don’t have to lift a finger when your new bed arrives.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Plush; Luxury firm; Firm
  • Warranty: 15-year 

Buy it, Saatva Classic, $1,399, saatva.com

2. Best Luxury Mattress: Winkbed 

Winkbed mattress

Speaking of luxury mattress experiences, the Winkbed lineup really goes all-out for premium comfort and support. The Winkbed mattress is made with generous layers of its proprietary Hyper-Soft foam, which creates a cushioning surface for back sleepers to sink into (it earned an 8/10 in pressure relief!), a pillow top layer that adds extra cushion for the hips and lower back, and, and individually-wrapped coils that are further secured by an outer layer of support memory foam. The result? Near-perfect edge support––the Winkbed earned a 9.75/10 in edge support, which helps keep you from sliding off the mattress. Even though the Winkbed only scored a 8.75/10 in spinal alignment, it’s still worth considering for back sleepers because of its perfect 10/10 score in durability, which ensures the bed will provide lasting support and that it won’t sag or crack under pressure. A mattress that sags or cracks under pressure won’t provide the level of support back sleepers need for a healthy night of rest. 

As if these comforts aren’t sufficient enough, Winkbed also lets you choose from four different firmness levels, although the luxury firm (6/10 on the firmness scale) and firm (8/10 on the firmness scale) options work best for back sleepers. The Winkbed also comes complete with a lifetime warranty, which ensures the top-notch quality of the materials hold up over time.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Soft, Luxury Firm, Firm, Plus
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, Winkbed Luxury Firm, $1,599, winkbeds.com

3. Best for Back and Side Sleepers: Helix Dusk

What about those who alternate between their back and side? (Or, for back sleepers who share a bed with a side sleeping partner, and vice versa?) The Helix Dusk is a top choice in this regard; it’s a hybrid bed that’s not only supportive and cushioning, but also responsive (it earned an 8.25/10 in responsiveness), meaning it’s easy to move around and change positions. Made from three dense memory foam layers and hundreds of pocket coils, the Helix Dusk provides more than enough support for back sleepers who switch to their side. It also earned a 9/10 score in spine alignment, which helps both back and side sleepers maintain a healthy posture while resting.  Plus, it earned high marks in pressure relief with a 9/10 score, so if you flip to your side in the middle of the night, your hips and shoulders will be sufficiently cushioned. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Helix Dusk, $999, helixsleep.com

4. Best Latex Mattress: ZenHaven

For back sleepers who prefer the springy feel and pressure-relieving properties of latex, the ZenHaven comes highly recommended. Not only is it all-natural in its construction (it uses natural Talalay latex and GOTS certified wool), but it’s dual-sided, letting sleepers flip back and forth between a soft side and a firm side. Most back sleepers will find the medium-firm side more comfortable, which falls at a 6.5 on the firmness scale). ) The benefits of a latex mattress are evident in the ZenHaven’s excellent testing scores in spine alignment (8/10 score), responsiveness (9/10 score), and pressure relief (8/10 score). This is a great mattress for back sleepers who need support and comfort as they switch positions. Plus, because Zenhaven is made by top-rated brand Saatva, you also get free white glove delivery with your purchase.

  • Mattress Type: All-natural Latex
  • Customer Rating: 4.9/5
  • Firmness: Dual-sided: Plush and Firm
  • Warranty: 20-year 

Buy it, ZenHaven, $2,399, saatva.com

5. Best Mattress for Heavier Sleepers: DreamCloud

For heavyweight sleepers who rest on their back, additional layers of support can be helpful. Some mattresses are designed with multiple coil layers to ensure comfort and stability for heavyweight sleepers. The DreamCloud has durable coils further supported by a  base layer of high-density foam, which helps support your body weight without undue sagging or premature wear and tear. The coils push back against your movements so you don’t end up sinking too far into the mattress, which could cause spine misalignment. The DreamCloud earned a solid 8.75/10 in pressure relief thanks to the thick memory foam layers that cushion the body. The DreamCloud also impresses with its 9/10 score in both spine alignment and responsiveness which ensures heavier back sleepers get the support they need even as they change positions. It also earned a 9/10 in durability, which is important for heavyweight sleepers who need a bed that provides lasting support without giving out. The DreamCloud also has a lifetime warranty and year-long sleep trial for added security.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, DreamCloud, $1,099, dreamcloudsleep.com

6. Best Mattress for Back Pain: Casper

For back sleepers who struggle with back pain, the right mattress can provide relief, and the Casper is one of the best options in this category: it earned a recommendation from The Sleep Doctor in his best mattresses for back pain. A medium-firm memory foam mattress, the Casper has three support layers of foam that offer softer support under your shoulders and firmer support for the hips and lower back. This means the mattress is sturdy where it needs to be but also has some give in key areas. The result is near-perfect spine alignment––the Casper earned a 9.5/10 in this category and also a 8.5/10 in pressure relief. This is what makes it therapeutic for back pain sufferers, but also note that the Casper is uniquely responsive (it earned a perfect 10/10!), making it a great mattress for those who like their bed to have a little bounce.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Casper, $1,095, casper.com

7. Best Hybrid Mattress: Leesa Hybrid

Many back sleepers gravitate to hybrid mattress designs, particularly those that combine innerspring mattress coils with soft memory foam. These mattresses offer the best of both worlds for back sleepers by supporting the body and spine, while also still cushioning joints and areas of pressure. The Leesa Hybrid gets this balance just right, combining bouncy coils with 5 inches of memory foam. It earned a perfect 10/10 in spine alignment, but this isn’t the only area it shines––the Leesa Hybrid also earned a 9/10 in both pressure relief and responsiveness. For back sleepers who want durable support that doesn’t compromise their creature comforts, the Leesa Hybrid is a great pick.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Leesa Hybrid, $1,699, leesa.com

8. Best Mattress for Pressure Relief: Brooklyn Signature

For back sleepers, it’s important to find a mattress that will evenly distribute body weight, cradling joints and preventing them from too much undue strain or stress. The Brooklyn Signature mattress is one of the highest-rated mattresses for pressure relief,  something it achieves through a smart sequence of complementary foam layers. There’s also a six-inch layer of pocket coils, which give the mattress a sturdy foundation and helps minimize motion, making it an excellent choice for couples who share a bed. The Brooklyn Signature earned a high score in spine alignment (8.5/10) and a near-perfect score in pressure relief (9.5/10), thanks to its soft quilted pillow top and thick foam layers. If you’re a back sleeper who likes a little extra cushion around the hips and lower back, the Brooklyn Signature is a great choice.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Plush; Medium; Firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Brooklyn Signature, $999, brooklynbedding.com

9. Best Value Mattress: Nectar

What’s the best option for back sleepers who want to stretch their mattress dollar, without scrimping on quality? The Nectar mattress is an excellent memory foam bed that tests extremely well in all of the categories that matter for back sleepers. The memory foam design helps the Nectar contour along back sleepers’ curves, relieving pressure for a restful night’s sleep. This helped the Nectar earn a 7.5/10 in spine alignment, and an 8.5/10 in both pressure relief and responsiveness. The Nectar’s three soft memory foam layers help it provide a cloud-like feel that’s comfy to sink into. Its medium-firmness also benefits back sleepers who enjoy a nice balance of comfort and support.

The Nectar happens to be one of the most disruptively priced mattresses on the market, and comes backed by a lifetime warranty and a year-long sleep trial. For overall value, the Nectar is difficult to beat.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, Nectar, $799, nectarsleep.com

10. Best Flippable Mattress: Layla Hybrid

Unsure of just how firm you want your mattress to be? The Layla Hybrid allows you to flip back and forth between a soft side (4/10 on the firmness scale) and a firmer one (7/10). While most back sleepers will find the firmer side to be superior, either version offers you a supportive mattress made with quality materials––note its perfect 5/5 customer rating! With 6 inches of individually-wrapped coils and 4 inches of memory foam on top, the Layla Hybrid bounces back against your movements for excellent spine alignment (it earned a 9/10 in testing). The Layla Hybrid did come up short when it came to pressure relief though, with only a 7.5/10 score in this category. If you’re in need of more relief for pressure point pain, you may want to opt for a mattress that cushions the hips and shoulders more. But for back sleepers who like to have options that provide lasting support, the Layla Hybrid is a top contender.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 5/5
  • Firmness: Soft; Firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Layla Hybrid, $1,649, laylasleep.com

11. Best Memory Foam Mattress: Cocoon Chill

For back sleepers who crave the feeling of being hugged to sleep at night, the Cocoon Chill is ideal. It’s a medium-firm mattress (the ideal feel for back sleepers), and like most foam beds, it offers superior pressure relief––but that doesn’t mean it skimps on support. The Cocoon Chill earned a 9/10 in spine alignment, ensuring back sleepers get the support they need to rest in a healthy posture. Its foam construction provides back sleepers with outstanding comfort, and its 8/10 durability score ensures this bed will last you many restful nights. Plus, it earned a 8.5/10 in pressure relief, which ensures areas like your hips and shoulders get the cushioning they need. Between the excellent pressure relief and spine alignment the Cocoon Chill provides, back sleepers can sleep supported all night long and wake refreshed in the morning without any lingering aches and pains.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-year 

Buy it, Cocoon Chill, $1,239, cocoonbysealy.com

12. Best Organic Mattress: Avocado

Back sleepers who want an eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, chemical-free mattress are best served by the Avocado. Made with GOLS certified organic latex and over 1,414 recycled steel coils, this bed not only provides phemenoal support to back sleepers (it earned a 9.5/10 in spine alignment), it also uses clean materials like GOTS-certified organic cotton and wool. Like most latex mattresses, it’s got a fairly bouncy feel, but also provides the support back sleepers need to maintain a healthy spine alignment. The Avocado only earned a 7/10 in pressure relief though, but you have the option to add a cushy pillow top to the mattress if you want a little more added comfort. 

  • Mattress Type: Natural Latex and Innerspring
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm to Firm
  • Warranty: 25-year 

Buy it, Avocado, $1,499, avocadogreenmattress.com

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Spine Alignment

For back sleepers, the single most important consideration when it comes to picking a mattress is spine alignment. Consistent spine alignment keeps pressure off your lower back so you rest pain-free and supported. 

Support 

Some back sleepers prefer the feeling of being “hugged” to sleep each night, something that can often be achieved through more plush foam. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the comfortable contouring feel is balanced out by ample lumbar support. Without enough support, back sleepers’ hips can sink too deep into the mattress, causing your spine to fall out of alignment, which can lead to an achy back in the morning. Look for coils or firmer foams in a mattress’s construction as these materials generally provide more support.

Firmness

Back sleepers are similar to stomach sleepers in the sense that they typically need a firmer mattress to provide enough support to maintain spine alignment. However, it’s also important that back sleepers rest on a mattress that contours and hugs their hips and lower back for maximum comfort. Medium-firm mattresses provide an ideal balance of comfort and support that back sleepers can benefit from. 

Pressure Relief

One important consideration for back sleepers is finding a mattress that will help evenly distribute body weight, keeping the strain off of key pressure points. Specifically, it’s best to find a mattress with enough “give” that the shoulders, hips, and lower back won’t feel pressed into the mattress.

Mattress Type

For back sleepers looking for a new mattress, there are a number of types to choose from, but some work better for this sleep position than others.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses tend to offer the contouring feel that many back sleepers like, but the downside to these beds is their lack of support. Some all-foam beds  may be too soft and unsupportive for back sleepers. Look for memory foam beds that use firmer foams in their base layers, as this construction can provide a more supportive sleep experience..

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are designed with multiple mattress materials, which often means combining the durability and support of coils with the cushioning, pressure-relieving qualities of foam. For many back sleepers, this combination is ideal. 

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses provide a ton of support, thanks to  the  springy, durable nature of coils. The coils push back against your movements to maintain spine alignment, but back sleepers may miss some of the comfort of a hybrid or foam bed that incorporates pressure-relieving foam layers. 

Latex

Latex mattresses are naturally pressure-relieving, while still supporting a healthy posture for the neck, shoulders, and spine. Latex is also the most durable mattress material, so back sleepers can rest assured knowing their latex bed will provide support for many years to come. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Back sleepers have a unique set of mattress needs, but these 12 picks from The Sleep Doctor offer the balance of comfort and support these sleepers need for a good night’s rest. 

Sources:

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2009. “Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (Vol. 8, Issue 1), March 8, 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/#:~:text=Jacobson%20et%20al%2C29%20in,efficiency%20with%20medium%2Dfirm%20bedding

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2017. “Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310954/

Rosenberg, Carl, M.D. 2019. “How Sleeping Position Affects Your Health.” https://www.sleephealthsolutionsohio.com/blog/healthy-sleeping-position/#:~:text=Better%3A%20Sleeping%20on%20Your%20Back,in%20a%20more%20natural%20position

University of South Carolina Keck Medicine. 2020. “Position Yourself for Sound Sleep With Back Pain.” https://www.keckmedicine.org/position-yourself-for-sound-sleep-with-back-pain/