The Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

December 20, 2023 · Silverback Strategies

The Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back can be incredibly comfortable. It helps keep your spine in proper alignment, helping you to wake up with less back, hip, shoulder, or neck pain. Learn all about the benefits of sleeping on your back, the unique mattress needs of back sleepers, and how Mattress Warehouse can help you find the right mattress for your best night’s sleep.

Sleeping on Your Back: Positions, Pros & Cons

One of the biggest advantages of sleeping on your back is that it keeps your spine in near-perfect alignment, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks. How do most people sleep on their backs? And what are some more pros – and cons – of back sleeping?

Different Positions for Sleeping on Your Back

There are two ways to sleep on your back. Back-sleepers are generally either a “starfish” or a “soldier.” Starfish sleepers like to spread out their arms and legs – like a starfish. Soldiers, on the other hand, sleep in one straight line, arms by their sides and legs out straight.

A few people choose neither position. Some people sleep with an arm raised and a hand placed on the stomach, chest, forehead, or behind the head. It’s important to note that raising your hand up to your head while you sleep may cause shoulder pain.

Advantages of Sleeping on Your Back

Sleeping on your back may be one of the best things you can do for your spine. Some other advantages of back sleeping include:

  • Your body stays symmetrical – there isn’t more or less pressure on one side of your body
  • Your neck stays in alignment, reducing the risk of waking up with neck pain (see our section below on the best pillows for back sleepers)

Essentially, sleeping on your back can be great for those with back, neck, hip, or shoulder pain. And it’s better for your overall spinal health.

Disadvantages of Sleeping on Your Back

Not everyone enjoys sleeping on their backs, and back sleeping isn’t only about spinal alignment. There are some disadvantages to sleeping on your back:

  • Back sleeping may increase snoring and other symptoms associated with sleep apnea
  • Without an adjustable base, it may not be ideal for those who suffer from symptoms of acid reflux or GERD

For those looking for a solution to their snoring or acid reflux interrupting their sleep, try sleeping propped up with a firm pillow to wedge to open your airways and keep stomach acid where it’s supposed to be. Another option is to invest in an adjustable base so you can comfortably prop yourself up all night long.

What Should Back Sleepers Look for in a Mattress?

Back sleepers should carefully consider what type of mattress they choose as well as factors like comfort levels and pressure relief on joints. Here’s what to look for in the best mattresses for back sleepers.


When it comes to firmness versus softness, it’s recommended that back sleepers choose a mattress that’s a tad on the firmer side of cushion firm. This will help keep your hips in alignment with your shoulders so your body and spine stay fully supported.

Pressure Relief

If a mattress is too firm, it’ll put pressure on your “bony prominences” – sometimes called pressure points because there’s little muscle, fat, or tissue to cushion your bones. While looking for a mattress that’s firm enough to support your hips, you’ll also need to consider one that’s soft enough to cushion your pressure points.

Different Types of Mattresses for Back Sleeping

While walking that line between too firm and too soft, back sleepers should also note the different types of mattresses there are to choose from. Some may naturally be better for back sleeping, but all types of mattresses have qualities that can work for back sleepers.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses have springs (or coils) inside to help them stay firm and maintain their shape. They tend to be somewhat bouncier and can be a great choice for back sleepers. Just make sure that the innerspring mattress you choose has the right level of softness to cushion your body. Look for a firm innerspring mattress, or one with a soft pillow top for the perfect combination of support and comfort.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are designed to conform to your body and provide a high level of cushioning. They’re often made in layers, including a layer of “comfort foam” that sits on top of a support layer. Some back sleepers may find these comfort layers to be too soft. The best memory foam mattress for back sleepers will maintain optimal support beneath the top comfort layers.

Hybrid Mattresses

Back sleepers may find their best choice to be a hybrid mattress. That’s because this style combines the support of an innerspring mattress with the cushion of memory foam. The right hybrid mattress will offer you the perfect amount of support to keep your spine in alignment with exactly the right level of softness to avoid pain on your pressure points.

Some of the Best Mattress Options for Back Sleepers

Mattress Warehouse has an amazing selection of mattresses to suit the needs of back sleepers and meet a wide range of unique preferences.

Purple Plush Mattress

Thanks to the Purple Smart Comfort Grid™, back sleepers will enjoy the solid support they need with an extra amount of plush in this medium-level memory foam mattress. The high-density foam helps the mattress keep your spine in alignment, while the extra 2” of comfort memory foam provides outstanding cushioning for your hips and back. Plus, with motion-isolating technology as well as a breathable mattress cover, back sleepers can enjoy a peaceful rest and wake up refreshed.

Nectar Premier Hybrid Mattress

With its Advanced Six-Layer Design, this mattress is great for back sleepers. The stability layer and innerspring coils will give you edge-to-edge support while the memory foam layers on top are plush enough to contour around your pressure points for all-night comfort. A medium-level hybrid mattress, the Nectar Premier also has a breathable and antimicrobial mattress cover to keep you cool throughout the night.

Casper Snow Mattress

This super-advanced medium-level memory foam mattress is made with individually-pocketed Flex Coils to provide all the support you and your spine need. Combined with Premium Memory Foam with Zoned Support™, this mattress has everything a back sleeper needs for the ultimate comfort and spine alignment. Stay cool, supported, and comfortable throughout your sleep cycle on this mattress.

Other Considerations for Back Sleepers

Mattresses are only one part of a good night’s sleep. As a back sleeper, it’s important to take a few other details into consideration so you can be as comfortable as possible all night long – and wake up refreshed and pain-free. As with mattresses, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to accessories for back sleepers. However, here’s a general guide to keep in mind.


Your pillow should act as a supplement to your mattress in keeping your head and neck in alignment with the rest of your spine. Pillow height is known as “loft.” Back sleepers should look for a pillow with enough loft to cradle their heads as well as the right amount of firmness for support.  

Foundations & Bed Frames

Back sleepers need solid support to keep the spine in healthy alignment. A platform bed is ideal, but if using a standard metal bed frame, invest in a good box spring to go under your mattress. An adjustable base is also a great option for those who suffer from GERD, acid reflux, or sleep apnea, as it allows you to raise the head of your entire bed without piling pillows.

Mattress Toppers

The right mattress topper can make a world of difference in the quality of your sleep. However, back sleepers should opt for one that’s not too soft or thick, so they still maintain the right amount of support.

Shop Mattresses at Mattress Warehouse

Mattress Warehouse is your #1 destination for the best mattress selection for back sleepers. Our scientifically-designed bedMATCH® system will ask you some questions so you can find the perfect mattress to give you the right amount of support and softness. Try out our incredible selection of mattresses for back sleepers at any of our locations today!