Best Mattresses For Back Sleepers 2021

Best Mattresses For Back Sleepers 2021

The type of mattress you are sleeping on plays an important role in keeping you active the next day. An uncomfortable mattress will give you back pain and different physical problems. What is the best mattress for back sleepers?

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, while back sleeping is the second most common. If you are a back sleeper, you should consider proper spine alignment. This can be achieved by supporting shoulders and hips without putting so much pressure on them. Therefore, a bed with a uniform surface is the best for back sleepers.

The aim is to provide support to the back while sleeping. A firm mattress would help in supporting the back. However, people with different body types have distinct requirements. People with lightweight often go for a softer mattress, heavyweight individuals usually prefer a firmer mattress, while individuals with average weight would like to choose a medium-firm mattress.

There are so many mattresses available in the market. Selecting one according to your needs is a really tough decision. But you don't need to worry. We have gathered some of the best mattresses for back sleepers along with a guide that will help you pick the best mattress for yourself.

1 What You Need to Know About Sleeping on Your Back?

1.1 How Sleeping on Your Back Affect Sleep?

The position in which you sleep plays a really important role in maintaining good health. A wrong sleeping position can cause pain and aches in different areas of your body.


It has been found that less than 10% of the adults in the US sleep on their backs. There are different type of positions associated with back sleep. Some of the most common back sleeping positions are:

  • Starfish: It is a healthy position. In this, both the arms of a person are bent at the elbows and extended upward. When it comes to legs, either one or both the legs are bent at the knee. It is a back sleeping position, which differs by the position of arms that are up near the head instead of being placed down by the sides. This position is most likely to cause shoulder pain as a lot of pressure is being put on the shoulders.
  • Soldier: In this position, both the arms are extended entirely at the sides. Both or just one leg is bent slightly at the knee. It is a really common sleeping position in both arms at the sides, and a person lays on his/her back. This position is termed as "The soldier". This position is very healthy as there is no risk of pain on any part of your body. Spine and alignment of your body are at its best, and there are no unusual curves in your spine.
  • Savasana: In this position, both the arms and legs of the person are fully extended. The person's back would be straight without any curve or extra pressure on any part of the body. The mattress will be able to provide excellent support to the spine with this position.

1.2 Benefits and Risks of Back Sleeping

Although this position is not very common, sleeping on your back is very beneficial. Your body is naturally centred over your spine when you are sleeping on your back. This way, it becomes easier to keep up with proper spine alignment.


Not only does back sleeping helps in proper spine alignment, but it also provides you with many other benefits. Side and stomach sleeping requires additional support like that of the pillow, but back sleeping is free of these complications. Also, by sleeping on your back, you are less likely to develop wrinkles on your face.

Some benefits of back sleeping include:

  • It encourages the proper alignment of your spine.
  • Back sleeping reduces pressure and compression, and therefore, it helps in chronic conditions.
  • Back sleep reduces headache, tension, and stress.
  • You can avoid wrinkles, creases, and irritated skin of your face by sleeping on your back.

Though back sleeping has many benefits, there are also many risks associated with back sleeping.

  • Neck pain

If you are a back sleeper and the pillow your pillow is either too thick or too thin, then the chances of developing neck pain or cramps are higher. The pillow loft should be according to your body's weight, head size, and shoulder width.

  • Snoring

People who sleep on their back are more likely to snore than others. Although snoring is not a severe problem, still it a nuisance for your sleeping partner.

  • Pregnancy inconvenience

Due to unequal weight distribution, pregnant women face discomfort in their midsection as their bellies expand. Pain on the lower back is likely to develop in the second and third trimester. Therefore, sleeping on the back is unhealthy for pregnant women. It is recommended for such women to sleep on their side to reduce the extra weight pressure.

  • Acid reflux

Burning pain known as heartburn is felt in the area of the lower chest. The chances of heartburn are higher when sleeping on the back. This is because the contents of the stomach can flow freely in the oesophagus.

2 How to Pick a Good Back-sleeper Mattress?

2.1 Firmness

On a scale of 1 to 10, you should go for a mattress having the firmness of 6 or 7. A medium-firm mattress is the best choice. The firmness of the mattress starts from soft to very hard. A medium-firm mattress is recommended for back sleepers. Also, it helps those who are going through lower back pain.

2.2 Contouring

It is described as when the mattress conforms to the unique shape of the body. Proper contouring is really essential for a mattress to be comfortable. However, too much of contouring can cause an inconvenient sensation of sinking.

When it comes to the level of contouring, you should go for a medium contouring mattress. People who are heavy back sleepers love to opt for a mattress with less contouring potential. This is beneficial in preventing sinking sensation.

2.3 Support System Construction

A stable and resilient core of the mattress can provide a flat and soft surface on which better comfort-focused layers can rest. Therefore, while purchasing a mattress, you should look for pocketed coils, hyper-elastic polymer, innerspring support system, and support polyfoam. All these features will combine, giving you a supportive mattress core.

2.4 Pressure Relief

Relieving pressure is possible with a mattress having good contouring potential. Therefore, pressure relief is closely related to contouring. The weight of the body is distributed evenly with a right contouring mattress. Pressure can be taken off of the heavier parts of the body like shoulders and hips. Although, back sleepers do not complain of ache in any part of the body, but they would like to go for a mattress that cradles their hips.


2.5 Weight Affects

Your bodyweight determines the type of mattress you should purchase. Your body weight also determines the level of support your body requires. Let us see how it works.

For a lightweight individual, a medium-firm mattress seems the best for you. This is because you are not going to put so much downward pressure on the mattress. With a medium-firm mattress, you will be sleeping more on the mattress rather than sleeping in the mattress. But for a heavyweight individual, this medium-firm mattress will be softer. Instead of choosing a mattress according to firmness on its scale, go for the one that seems firmer to you.


2.6 Neutral Spine Alignment

Sleeping on the back doesn't add to lots of extra curves which are unhealthy. Instead, it gives the natural alignment to your neck, head, and spine. A mattress with good support is essential in maintaining the alignment. With proper support from the mattress, your body will be inconsistent alignment all night.

Your back pain will worsen if you keep sleeping on your back with an uncomfortable mattress. You need to purchase the right kind of mattress that supports your back.

2.7 Motion Isolation

Motion isolation refers that a slight movement doesn't disturb the sleep. This is crucial for couples and light sleepers. A mattress with sound motion isolation is excellent for those who occasionally have to switch to different positions for comfort reasons. Some mattresses have excellent motion isolation. Memory foam and latex mattresses are outstanding in this category.

2.8 Sleep Accessories and Pillows

A mattress is indeed an essential component for a good sleep. Not only a good mattress, but other sleep accessories also play a vital role in a comfortable sleep at night. There are some important sleeping accessories on which you should pay attention.

  • A comfortable pillow of the right size and loft is supported as you sleep and reduces the pain or cramp of any kind on your neck and spine. If a proper and comfortable pillow is not considered, then the strain on your neck and spine can lead to long-term problems.
  • Another important accessory is a mattress topper. As the name suggests, it is an additional layer placed on the top of your mattress. It can be used to provide extra support to the back. Mattress topper is handy for back sleepers as it provides support to the pelvis. As a lot of bodyweight falls on the pelvis when you sleep on your back, a soft layer on the top of the mattress gives it support.

If you got a mattress that fulfils all your requirements except for firmness, then a good mattress topper will do the job for you.

2.9 Bed Frame

The bed frame or foundation of the mattress is important in holding the mattress up from the floor. Although all the bed frames share similar traits, back sleepers need to select the one that provides considerable support to the mattress.

In case you want to purchase a metal frame for your bed, you need to be sure that you are using a box spring as a metal frame that does not have any additional supportive slats.

2.10 Back Sleepers with Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain

Back sleepers are most likely to suffer from back pain due to the improper alignment. Your mattress should contribute to proper alignment. If not, then the body muscles have to work overtime to improve the body's alignment. As these muscles cannot relax, they wake up with pain, cramps, and aches every day.

  • Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain:

Neck and shoulder pain sufferers should move to an innerspring mattress, and it gives a bouncy feel and provides support. Its supportive nature is excellent for maintaining spinal alignment.

People with neck and shoulder pain can also opt for a hybrid mattress which contains plenty of supportive coils and comfort materials like wool, memory foam and latex. This is one great option because the supportive coils promote the spinal alignment and the comfort layer provides relief from pressure.

For back sleepers, hybrid mattresses are also the right fit for people suffering from sciatica, hip pain, or lower back pain.

  • Back Pain

Mattresses with memory foams are the right choice for people dealing with back pain. It distributes the weight of your body evenly and avoids extra pressure on any part of the body.

Hybrid mattresses are a good fit for people with back pain. The supportive coil layer and a contouring comfort layer give an excellent balance to the back, thus gradually decreasing back pain.

3 Best Mattress Types for Back Sleepers

Now that you have understood the features you should consider while purchasing a mattress, let us look at the best type of mattress for back sleepers. A comfortable and supportive mattress is the right fit for back sleepers. You will find lots of mattress to choose from, but you are guaranteed to get the perfect mattress for yourself. 

  • Memory Foam

This is one of the most popular types of mattress materials. If the heat and pressure are applied to it, it softens. This will make you comfortable and cradle your body. These mattresses use high-density polyurethane foam, which acts as a support system in the upholstery layer. Memory foam conforms to your body's curvature and plays an important role in distributing the weight evenly. As a result, the mattress provides you with the support you need.


If you are a back sleeper who loves to sink in the bed while sleeping, then this is just the right fit for you. Some other features that this memory foam offers are:

  • It has a cooling technology that avoids trapping the heat.
  • Memory foam provides high-density foam layers support.
  • It offers excellent conformity and provides relief for pressure points.
  • This foam gives consistent support and medium-firmness level.
  • It has high-density foam layers for comfort.
  • For support and comfort, a good combination of foam layers is used.
  • The elasticity of this foam allows bouncing back to the original position.
  • To keep the spine aligned, consider the thickness of comfort layers to prevent sinking into the mattress.

  • Latex

Although latex is less common than memory foam, it provides ample pressure relief. It is a very durable and supportive foam. It is usually a natural material which has many benefits. Apart from natural latex, synthetic latex is also available. Latex also has the advantage of allowing for airflow. It has some many great features.

  • Latex foams are long-lasting and have good durability.
  • It is suitable for medium-firm mattresses.
  • It relieves pressure points and conforms well to the body.
  • Latex foam has good elasticity.
  • These foams are suitable both for support and comfort.
  • Latex mattresses bounce back to the original position after being compressed.

  • Hybrid

These mattresses have lots of benefits for back sleepers. They have a thick comfort layer which provides relief from serious pressure. Hybrid mattresses are best for support and comforting. It also offers additional contouring from the individual pocketed coil core.

  • It is a combination of foams and coils.
  • It gives excellent support, but is more likely to break down overtime.
  • It has good comfort layers that prevent sinking into the mattress.
  • Hybrid gives consistent support and a medium level of firmness.
  • It has amazing conformity with memory and other foam layers for a comfortable layer.
  • The layers of foam are good foam and support.
  • The coil support system provides core support, which is layered with foam or quilting.

  • Innerspring/Coil

These mattresses are known for the core of coils that are important for supporting the bed's core. Innerspring mattresses of high-quality have excellent and even support that helps in keeping the spine straight. There are many innerspring mattresses available that come with a soft, comforting layer on the top.

  • These mattresses are durable and resilient.
  • Their support usually breaks down overtime.
  • It has a support of steel coil, which is layered with foam or quilting.
  • The thickness of the coils ranges from 12.5 to 16 gauges. The thinner coils can shape themselves more easily to support the body; on the other hand, thick layers provide support to hold up the body.
  • It gives consistent support and medium firmness level.
  • The conformity depends upon the comfort layers.
  • A correct thickness of the comfort layers can prevent sinking into the mattress for back sleepers.

4 FAQs

  • Which bed type is the best for back sleepers?

There are a variety of good mattresses available for back sleepers. But we suggest, (1) A firmer mattress, and (2) a supportive mattress. You can get this as all-foam or hybrid.

  • Which mattress is best when it comes to firmness?

If you are a heavy back sleeper, then a medium-firm mattress is recommended to you. 

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