What Kind of Mattresses Are Best for a Back Sleeper?

According to statistics collected by the National Sleep Foundation, only eight percent of people sleep on their back. This position can be very beneficial, especially for those with chronic back problems. What kind of mattresses are best for a back sleeper? The answer depends on personal preferences and the medical conditions of the sleeper. Here are some factors that could play a role in the quality of slumber experienced by individuals who typically sleep on their backs.


The medical experts at WebMD recommend a medium to firm mattress for those who often experience lower back pain. This can often be accomplished by choosing a memory foam or latex mattress. Traditional innerspring mattresses consist of numerous coils that adjust to pressure. Choosing a firmer version of these mattresses can be a solid choice for people who prefer to sleep on their backs. The best mattress for a back sleeper will usually offer firm support with enough give to accommodate the natural curves of the human body.

The Curve of the Spine

When choosing a mattress for a back sleeper, it is important to consider the natural curves of the human spine. Mattresses that have little or no give can put added strain on the small of the back that could lead to pain or misalignment of the spine. Pillowtop mattresses can sometimes provide a little added help for curvier individuals and can allow more even support for all parts of the back. Memory foam is an ideal choice in this regard but may sleep too warmly for some.


Heavier individuals may require a somewhat softer surface and more give to enjoy real comfort during the night. To determine the best mattress for a back sleeper who may be carrying a few extra pounds, it may be necessary to test a few different models to determine the best combination of support and softness. This can help sleepers to reduce strain on their backs while ensuring the most restful slumber possible.

Shared Sleep Spaces

For those who customarily sleep with a partner, air mattress options may be a good way to customize the sleeping experience for the specific needs of both individuals. These mattresses are designed to allow each member of a couple to select the firmness level just right for their needs. In most cases, air-filled mattresses offer a cooler sleep than comparable latex or memory foam options, making them an excellent alternative to these types of mattresses.

Medical Conditions

For those who suffer from chronic back pain or other spinal conditions, consulting with a physician can often provide added insights into the right mattress for a back sleeper. In some cases, an adjustable bed with a softer mattress can provide the precise level of support needed to relieve pressure on discs and to allow the spine to relax fully, reducing the pain felt during the sleeping hours. Choosing the best mattress for back pain can often increase mobility and ensure the greatest comfort for those suffering from these serious conditions.


Finding the best mattress for a back sleeper can be challenging. Because these items can often represent a significant investment, making sure that the mattress manufacturer has a good reputation for quality and durability can ensure the most effective use of available funds. Most sleep experts recommend replacing mattresses at least every 10 years for optimal comfort and health.

Related Resource:What is a Hybrid Mattress?

For those in the market for a mattress for a back sleeper, it is worth noting that many manufacturers offer a free trial period to ensure that their products are suited for individual needs and preferences. By taking advantage of these offers, consumers can be sure of the best possible sleeping arrangements for their particular set of needs.

Additional Resources on Sleeping Positions

What Kind of Mattresses are Best for a Stomach Sleeper?

What’s the Best Sleeping Position?