Best mattress for back sleepers

The Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

10th December 2021

Guides & Advice

Your mattress is one of the most important purchases in your home. But with so many different options on the market, it can be hard to determine which is right for you.

Your sleeping position can play a significant role in your mattress selection. If you sleep on your back, our guide will give you all the information you need to choose the best mattress for you.

Common Problems For Back Sleepers

Most sleep studies agree that sleeping on your back is one of the most beneficial sleeping positions – it’s healthier for your neck and back, and helps to promote healthy circulation.

However, if you aren’t sleeping on the right mattress, back sleeping can actually lead to back pain, poor spine alignment, and discomfort around the pressure points. That’s why it’s so vital that you sleep on a mattress with the right level of support.

Everyone needs a different level of support from their mattress, which is why we always recommend visiting your local retailer to try before buying. This blog will give you a good starting point, and tell you what to consider when purchasing a mattress if you are a back sleeper.

Back Sleeper Pressure Points

As we’ve already said, back sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause pain or discomfort in pressure points.

Pressure points are the areas that have contact with the mattress and carry your body weight when sleeping – for a back sleeper, these are your shoulders, heels, lower lumbar region, and back.

It’s important to choose a mattress with the correct level of firmness to support these pressure points – if the mattress is not firm enough, these pressure points will sink, causing your body to be out of alignment. Likewise, if the mattress is too firm, it can cause the pressure points to push upwards from the rest of the body. This can lead to stiffness and back pain, and disrupted sleep due to not being comfortable in bed.

Best mattress for back sleepers firmness

What is the best firmness for back sleepers?

Generally, the recommended firmness level is medium to firm. However, there is no hard and fast rule.

Different people will find that they need different levels of firmness in order to be comfortable and supported, which is why we will always recommend that you visit a retailer and test out the mattresses before purchasing.

Different body types and weights will require different firmness levels – lighter people usually require a softer mattress, whereas heavier people are more likely to sink and so will need a firmer, more supportive mattress. Therefore, for a lighter person that is also a back sleeper, we’d suggest looking more towards a medium mattress, and for a heavier person, we’d recommend a firm tension.

Best mattress thickness for back sleepers

There are a few different layers that make up a mattress. The top layers are all about comfort, and will give your body pressure relief as well as support for your lower back. These are usually made up of soft, comfortable materials like wool. The layers of pocket springs underneath are there to give your body the most support and will stop it from sinking too deeply into the bed.

Generally, those who sleep on their back would require a slightly thicker mattress with a higher spring count, so that their body can remain supported enough while remaining comfortable.

Best mattress for back sleepers thickness

Different types of mattresses

Pocket sprung mattresses are great for those who sleep on their back because they assist in distributing body weight more evenly, which will help with easing any pressure build up on the spine. This type of mattress will also ensure that it doesn’t sag to keep your spine aligned properly and create enough support.

You could also consider a pillow top mattress. A pillow top provides a great deal of support, as it properly distributes your weight to improve sleep quality and give extra support to pressure points, easing any discomfort. This can particularly help those who suffer aches and pains, especially in the neck and back.

If you’re sleeping as a couple, you could look at a zip and link or dual tension mattress. These can be made in different levels of firmness on either side, so are particularly helpful if one of you is a back sleeper and needs a firmer mattress, but the other is a side sleeper and would prefer a softer feel.


Back sleepers need more support for their back and spine than other sleepers, and therefore a firmer mattress will most likely be the best option. A mattress that is thicker and firmer should give a back sleeper the right support, but make sure that it is still soft enough to remain comfortable and ease your pressure points.

Remember to consider your height and weight when choosing a mattress, especially for firmness and always test out a mattress at your local stockists before making your final decision.