About 10% of Americans are dedicated back sleepers. It’s not easy to find mattresses marketed to back sleepers, but if you do a little digging you’ll find them.
Most popular mattresses have constructions too soft for back sleepers, increasing the risk for chronic pain. An unsupportive mattress presents problems that can result in misalignment and pain, whereas the best mattress for you will comfort you and support you throughout the night.
In this article, we will explore our pick for 8 best mattresses for back sleepers and discuss what makes a good back sleeping mattress. We will then examine the origins of back pain and how you can accomplish better sleep.
The Amerisleep AS2 our choice for the best mattress for back sleepers. The AS2 uses two inches of pressure-relieving foam for comfort and three inches of a firmer poly-foam to help give you the support you need. Plus, the Amerisleep AS2 uses zoned technology to help reduce pressure points and reduce tossing and turning. The AS2 comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 20-year warranty.
Another great bed for back sleepers is the Zoma Mattress. Zoma uses zoned support in the top comfort layer of their mattress, making it unique and a great option for back sleepers. The middle of the mattress has a firmer midsection, which helps promote proper spinal alignment. Zoma comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers
|Amerisleep AS2||HIVE® technology eases pain points and promotes healthier sleeping positions.|| |
|Zoma Sports Mattress||Gel-infused memory foam and zoned support in the comfort layer.|| |
|Purple Mattress||Open grid design promotes airflow and dissipates body heat.|| |
|Tuft and Needle||A budget option that uses poly-foam with different densities to offer comfort and support.|| |
|Allswell Mattress||The least expensive option on our list, great for those who need a mattress and don't want to spend too much.|| |
|Nolah||A 10-inch mattress with breathable AirFoam™ for cooll comfort.|| |
Amerisleep’s AS2 has a profile height of twelve inches and incorporates Bio-Pur® and HIVE® technologies to improve support, reduce muscle strain, and alleviate pressure points. These technologies reduce sleeping discomforts, such as sleeping hot.
The cover of the AS2 features a soft, breathable fabric that helps you sleep cooler and comfortable. The cover is also removable and washable, it’s easy to ensure that your mattress stays in good condition for years to come.
The Bio-Pur® comfort layer is made of a unique plant-based memory foam. The plant oil partially replaces petrochemicals typically used to make memory foam products, making Amerisleep’s memory foam more eco-friendly than traditional memory foam.
Bio-Pur® sleeps cooler thanks to the additional space between its foam particles for extra airflow. It also has a faster response time than traditional memory foam. The best part about Bio-Pur® is you don’t have to deal with off-gassing odors.
Amerisleep’s pressure point relief technology, HIVE® Technology, reduces pressure through hundreds of hexagonal foam cut-outs, sectioned off into five major comfort zones: head, shoulders, lumbar region, hips, and legs. These comfort zones give varied support levels to every major section of the body, giving heavier sections more support.
Of course, HIVE® also creates air passages between the foam cut-outs to promote air circulation, which will keep you cool.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Amerisleep has one of the longest, most reliable warranties on the market. During the first 10 years, your mattress is protected against sagging and indentations greater than ¾ of an inch, foam splitting or cracking, and any loss of shape not caused by mishandling and improper care.
In the last 10 years, Amerisleep gives you prorate rate (a percentage off) on a second mattress from the Amerisleep collection, calculated by how long you’ve owned the mattress.
100-night Sleep Trial
You get to try your mattress for 100 nights in your bedroom. If you decide you don’t want the mattress during the trial period, you can return it for a full refund. You can also exchange the mattress for another option.
If you decide to exchange your mattress, your sleep trial restarts. Depending on the price of the model you choose, you’ll be refunded or charged the difference in price between the two mattresses.
The Zoma mattress is 11 inches of support and comfort. The first layer is made of gel-infused memory foam. This means the first layer provides pressure-relief and also keeps you cool. A common complaint of subpar memory foam is that traps heat. But with the gel-infused memory foam, you don’t have to worry about that because the gel breaks apart the heat.
What we really like about the Zoma mattress is how the first layer is zoned for comfort and support. Broken up into three sections, Zoma’s first layer complements the natural curve of your body, gives you more pressure relief in areas like your shoulders and more support in your hips (where we tend to weigh the most).
The Zoma Mattress is actually marketed as a Zoma Sports Mattress, designed for athletes and those looking for peak performance. All of the features which make it great for the highly-active person also make it great for back sleepers.
Zoma offers free shipping, a risk-free 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty.
3. The Original Purple
The Original Purple mattress is scientifically engineered to reduce pressure and give support. The mattress’s surface adjusts to your sleep style, keeps you cool, and increases motion isolation.
The Smart Comfort Grid™ is made of hyper-elastic polymer material that conforms to the body to alleviate pressure points and reduces motion transfer.
The high-density poly-foam gives extra support and keeps you sinking through the mattress. Together the two layers make the surface stable and conforming. The high-density poly-foam gives support to the softer layer above it, detering the mattress from sagging.
With Purple’s Original mattress, you do experience a bit of sinkage; however, it’s not enough to feel like you’re stuck. Sinkage can be bad for back sleepers. Since these sleepers sleep on their backs, an unsupportive bed will render their shoulders and feet below their hips. This position throws the spine out of alignment. Correct sleep posture is virtually impossible for back sleepers with beds that sink.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Purple’s non-transferable warranty is valid as long as the bed is handled and cared for according to mattress guidelines. Any indentations greater than an inch and material cracking or splitting caused by material or workmanship defects are covered. Purple will replace or repair your mattress at their discretion within the warranty period
100-night Sleep Trial
Your free mattress trial starts the day the box arrives on your doorstep. Just roll the mattress out on your foundation and sleep. If you find you love the mattress then it’s yours. If you’re unsatisfied with the bed you can make a return. All you have to do is sleep on the mattress for a minimum of 30 days before you decide.
4. Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle’s two-layer, 10-inch profile design presents the perfect firmness for small to average-sized back sleepers.
The comfort layer is infused with graphite and ceramic beads to wick away heat and moisture. These properties keep you cool, so you’re not waking up hot or uncomfortable. The open cell structure of the foam also promotes cool sleep by allowing air to circulate freely through the mattress.
The final layer, the core, is T&N Adaptive Foam®, a durable polyurethane foam which cultivates breathability and supports both you and the softer layer of foam above it— prolonging the life of the mattress and bringing you sustainable sleep.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Like all mattress warranties, T&N’s mattress is covered in case of faults in the materials or workmanship. The company will repair or replace, at their option, a mattress if there is an indentation of ¾ of an inch or greater, splitting or cracking in the foam, and rapid deterioration of materials not caused by mishandling or improper care of the bed.
100-night Sleep Trial
With every purchase of a T&N mattress, the customer gets 100 nights to try the mattress and decide if it’s for them. During the trial, if you decide the mattress doesn’t satisfy your needs, you are guaranteed a hassle-free return or exchange.
Allswell is one of the most affordable hybrid mattresses on the market. It excels in isolating motion transfer and doesn’t have an off-gassing smell. The mattress is designed to circulate cool air throughout the bed.
The comfort layer is 2 inches of copper-infused memory foam. Copper has natural antimicrobial properties, which means it kills bacteria the moment it touches the mattress’s sleep surface. Additionally, copper is an anti-inflammatory material, meaning daily inflammation in the muscles will reduce.
The next layer is a high-density foam that creates a buffer between the comfort and core layers called the transitional layer. For those larger sleepers who may more deeply compress the comfort layer, the transitional foam will cushion their bodies so they don’t feel the hard mattress base.
A layer of individually-wrapped pocketed coils with reinforced sides make up the base. The springs react individually to pressure, minimize motion transfer. Because of the reinforced sides, this mattress has great edge support so you don’t fall off the bed when adjusting sleep positions.
The core allows air to pass through the mattress, taking any built-up heat with it in the process.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
The Allswell warranty covers indentations 1.5 inches and greater and defects in the material or workmanship; however, it does not protect against damages caused by misuse or mishandling. Any mattress qualifying for a warranty claim will be replaced or repaired at the discretion of the company.
100-night Sleep Trial
This trial only extends to the original purchaser. If unsatisfied with the mattress, you can return the mattress within the first 100 nights of ownership for a refund. White glove delivery, mattress removal, and recycling fees are not a part of the refundable package as they are considered a separate purchase from the mattress.
The risk-free trial is limited to one return per household per year.
6. The Nolah Mattress
The Nolah Mattress is another dual-sided bed great for people needing targeted lumbar support. Not only do the materials within this mattress establish hip and shoulder pressure relief, but the foam is also CertiPUR-US® certified. Every purchase of a Nolah mattress saves endangered wildlife animals native to the USA.
Because this mattress is dual-sided, the materials are repeated on either side in varying thicknesses to create either a soft or a firm side. The soft side is 2.5 inches of extra thick AirForam™, followed by 1.5 inches of supportive poly-foam, and then thee 7-inch layer of high-density core foam.
The firm side has 1 inch of AirFoam™ above the mattress’s core. Even though the comfort material on the firm side is the same on the soft side, it is considered firmer because there is less material and it doesn’t have a transition layer to stop it from immediately interacting with the mattress core.
Nolah’s breathable AirFoam™ provides pressure relief through deep contouring without trapping you in the mattress like regular memory foam. The construction of the material allows oxygen to move through the structure, dispersing hot air through the mattress in the process.
The supportive poly-foam transitional layer acts as a buffer between the soft foam and the firm mattress core. It’s bouncy, allowing for easy mobility and movement on the mattress without feeling “stuck.”
The core of the mattress is a dense poly-foam that provides shape and longevity to the mattress.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Like the Amerisleep warranty, Nolah’s coverage is split into several sections. During the first 15 years of ownership, if the customer finds faulty materials or workmanship in their mattress, Nolah will repair or replace the bed and be responsible for shipping and handling costs.
After the initial 15 years, Nolah will replace or repair the mattress at their option. The customer will be responsible for all transportation costs whether the bed is repaired or replaced. If the owner decides to have the mattress replaced, they will pay for the repairs at a prorated cost (a percentage of the original bed cost).
120-night Sleep Trial
While lying on a mattress for 5 minutes may give you an idea of how a mattress feels, sleeping on the mattress for at least 30 nights will give you a better impression of your investment. This is why Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial to its customers.
Sleep on the mattress for a minimum of 30 nights to decide if the mattress is right for you. If you decide you don’t like the mattress, you can return it within the 120-night period for a refund.
What to Look for in a Mattress
Sleep is one of the most complex functions our bodies perform on a constant 24-hour basis. Often when an individual doesn’t receive enough sleep, they find they cannot concentrate or their hand-eye coordination decreases dramatically. No matter your sleeping position, you’ll need a mattress with a balanced combination of support, conformability, and firmness to help you get quality sleep.
Back sleepers, in particular, will need to look for specific characteristics in their mattress to keep their posture aligned and sleep comfortably.
A mattress with even support will o remain flat while you sleep on its surface. Back sleepers won’t want a mattress that dips too low, curving the spine into awkward, painful angles. If your mattress doesn’t support your spine, you could develop issues with back pain later on.
A mattress that conforms well to the body should provide pressure relief. Pressure points are areas on the body where more pressure accumulates than on other areas— most commonly they are found in the hips, back, spine, and shoulders. Since back sleepers are flat on their backs all night, they aren’t at a high risk of this pressure building up unless their mattress is unsupportive or too firm.
Constant pressure can cause soreness and irritation, which in turn can prevent cell repair. Back sleepers have the fewest pressure points out of all the sleeping styles; however, they still have pressure points. Areas such as the head, shoulder blades, hips, calves, and heels have greater pressure because they are the first point of contact when lying on a mattress.
Conforming materials such as memory foam help distribute weight more evenly by delivering the right balance of support and huggability. Your body should sink just enough for the body’s curves to touch the surface of the mattress.
A back sleeper’s perfect mattress is largely dependent on sleep surface firmness and the sleeper’s body weight. Personal preference also plays a massive part in it too.
Finding the perfect balance between the sleeper’s weight and firmness can be a balancing act. Most mattress companies use a firmness scale from 1-10 to determine how firm their mattresses are. One is the softest and ten is the firmest— most mattresses on the market today are between 3-8. Your weight or the combined weight of you and your sleeping partner can give you an idea of which firmness to sleep on.
- Under 130 pounds: aim for a mattress with a firmness level of 6
- 130-230 pounds: aim for a mattress with a firmness level of 6.5-10
- 230 pounds: aim for a mattress with a firmness level of 7.5-10
Return Policies, Warranties, and Sleep Trials
The inclusion of return policies, warranties, and sleep trials are indications of a well-made mattress. The return and trial policies give the customer the chance to test their mattress before committing to the purchase. Giving the customer a prolonged period to try the mattress in their home and a chance to return the bed, shows the company has confidence in their product.
That confidence affirms that the mattress has been tested for is longevity and well-made. A long warranty backs the company and the product’s reputation. It’s a statement that the mattress should endure general wear and tear and the time allotted in the warranty.
Not all mattresses are the same, and different types cater to different sleepers. Our research revealed that memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses have the best contouring and pressure-relieving qualities for back sleepers.
Renowned for its conforming qualities, memory foam mattresses are firm and responsive. Foam mattresses (plant-based foam, memory foam, gel-infused foam, and polyurethane foam) respond to weight differently and give varying levels of “push back.” You’re guaranteed to find a foam mattress that fits your needs.
Be wary, some foam mattresses may sleep hot. Hunt for mattresses made with air vents, gel-infused foam or gel pods, plant-based foam, or foams with open-cell structures.
Latex mattresses are incredibly supportive and come in varying firmnesses. Latex conforms like memory foam, but it pushes back more, so it can feel bouncy or firmer to some. Its even support makes it a good option for back sleepers.
Some latex mattresses include comfort layers that soften the mattress. There are other brands who use latex layers combined with extra air pockets, which cause it to lose some of its supportiveness.
Hybrids are a sweet spot between foam and innerspring mattresses. Manufacturers have taken the best from foam and innersprings and combined them into a luxurious and supportive mattress. The coil core, typically made of pocketed springs, provides support, while the foam or latex layers offer comfort.
Different Types of Back Pain
Back pain occurs when the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones in the back become stressed and inflamed. The back is a complex structure. Any movement we make occurs because our spine is biologically designed to move, bend, and twist. Of course, the spine’s structure is also extremely delicate. In fact, back pain is so common it’s the leading disability in the United States.
As the supporting structure of your body, the spine is affected by every movement you perform. If you overextend ourselves, lift something improperly or too heavy, or rest in awkward positions for too long, your spine takes the damage.
The damage can be separated into two subcategories— acute and chronic pain.
Everyday movement usually results in acute back pain. It comes from muscle spasms, tears, or strains and will subside over time. Irritated tissues heal in about two weeks; however, a more severe injury can take up to six weeks. Any acute pain should disappear completely by 12 weeks.
Chronic back pain is typically diagnosed after pain has continued longer than 12 weeks. Acute back pain can develop into chronic pain, although the percentage of people who develop chronic pain from acute pain is about 20%. Those who have pain any longer than three months should consult with a physician to plan treatment.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain is fairly common, and it’s caused by a number of things, such as injury or muscle and ligament strain; however, there are other less common causes, such as unsupportive mattresses.
Damage to our spine causes pain. Common strains, ruptured disks, arthritis, or skeletal deformities are only a few leading forms of back pain. Thousands of causes contribute to back pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association:
- Back pain is the most common reason for missed workdays
- Back pain is the cause of nearly 264 million lost workdays per year
- Half of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year
- 80% of the American population will experience back pain at one point in their lives
The human skeleton is a delicate instrument.
The spine’s thoracic region can become herniated. Bone spurs and facet disease can be the result of too much pressure. Sports-related injuries are very common in this area. An injury in this area could result in autonomic nervous system damage, which may affect the function of major abdominal organs.
The lumbar region is the most vulnerable to wear and tear. Damage here can generate leg and hip pain. It can also cause movement in the hips and legs to become slower. The lumbar region is the most common area for a herniated disc and pain in the lower back.
As you can see, many diseases, strain, injuries, and muscle tears throw off the skeletal system’s balance. A pulled back muscle can happen for several different reasons. If an athlete were to overdevelop muscle on one side of their spine, instead of equally on both sides, the ligaments and tendons end up pulling the spine to one side, imbalancing tension on the spine and causing pain.
The same issue arises while sleeping on your back wrong. A misaligned spine irritates your back muscles causing tissue irritation and weakening. This causes your spine to bend in favor of the stronger muscles, misaligning your spine, and causing pain.
Back Pain and Sleep Deprivation
We know that temporary pain can lead to lots of other long-term issues— so preventing it is the best step to avoiding those issues. Believe it or not, back pain and sleep deprivation are in a reciprocal relationship.
According to a study published in The Journal of Pain, “Sleep complaints are present in 67-88% of chronic pain disorders and at least 50% of individuals with insomnia— the most commonly diagnosed disorder of sleep impairment— suffer from chronic pain. Across most medical interventions, the development of pain as a side effect coincides with the development of sleep disturbance, and vice-versa.”
During sleep, our body begins to repair itself from the normal day’s wear and tear. It’s our body’s way of refreshing us for the day ahead. Without sufficient sleep, the body can’t keep up with repairs.
For those who have pain in their backs, who already have more wear and tear than normal, this causes the body to become more damaged as the individual continues to get insufficient sleep. This, in turn, causes the pain to intensify over time.
Did You Know:
- 25% of people with back pain will suffer from sleep deprivation when chronic pain is involved.
Back On The Road To Better Sleep
Eliminating back pain should always include the advice of your physician, especially if the pain is chronic. Treatments such as physical therapy, counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy can quicken recovery time.
Pressure Point Relief
Pressure points are places on our body that continuously endure pressure through the night. These areas can be identified through the discomfort you feel when laying down.
Pressurized areas have more common tissue break down, which explains why there are times you wake up sore in the morning. Depending on your sleep style, pressure points can change. For back sleepers, primary pressure zones are in the tailbone, heels, shoulder blades, and the back of the head.
There are several different ways you can fix these pressurizing areas. You can purchase a mattress with support, conformability, and enough firmness. You can also use a combination of pillows under the head, lumbar region, and knees to alleviate these points of pressure.
Your sleep position and sleeping needs contribute to your spinal support quite a bit. Everyone needs spinal support. Sleeping with an aligned spine helps you lead a healthier and more rested life.
Back sleepers can achieve spinal support easily. A firm to medium-firm mattress offers enough support to the back. Sleeping on an inadequate mattress will not give you the support you need, resulting with your shoulders and angles above your hips. This misaligned position will result in acute back pain until the problem is rectified.
What is the standard price for a good back sleeper mattress?
A good mattress for back sleepers can bed anywhere between $800 and $1,500. Because back sleepers need firm mattresses, which are typically thinner, they don’t cost as much as a soft mattress.
Is a firm mattress good for back sleepers?
Firm mattresses are the best option for back sleepers. Those who sleep on their backs don’t need as much padding because they have fewer areas of pressure
Where does back pain come from?
Essentially, back pain comes from a misaligned spine cultivating pressure pain or bone disease, which weakens the bone and cause the structure to become fragile.
How can I change the feel of my existing mattress?
Mattress toppers are an excellent way to change the feel of your mattress. While most mattress toppers will soften your bed, a topper with a high-density foam can make a soft mattress firmer.
You now know all the secrets to finding the best mattress for a back sleeper: conformability, firmness, and support. All you have to do is find a bed that fits your preferences.
Remember that your spine is a delicate instrument. Avoid twisting and bending it while you sleep. Maintain proper posture during the day and lift heavy objects correctly to reduce your risk for back pain.
To write a quality and reliable article, we considered over 15 leading bedding brands, read several dozen reviews and articles, and spent over 25 hours researching, writing, and editing.