Onyx 3

The Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

23rd March 2023

Guides & Advice

Are you a back sleeper? Find out below what kind of mattress would suit you best.

Buying a mattress is one of the most important investments you will make. But with so many different mattresses on the market, it can be really hard to determine which one is right for you.

Your sleeping position can play a significant role in your mattress selection. If you sleep on your back then this guide will give you all the information you need to make the best selection.

Common issues for back sleepers

Sleeping on your back is one of the most common sleeping positions – it is ideal for your neck and back health and helps to promote healthy circulation.

However, back pain can be caused if you’re sleeping on a mattress that’s wrong for you. Back sleeping can lead to back pain, due to poor spine alignment and discomfort around the pressure points if sleeping on the incorrect surface. This is why it is vital you sleep on a mattress with the appropriate levels of support for you.

Everyone requires a different level of support from their mattress, this is why we recommend going to your nearest mattress retailer to try your new mattress before you buy.

This blog will give you a good starting point and advise you on what to consider when purchasing your mattress.

Back sleeper pressure points

As we have mentioned, back sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause pain or discomfort in pressure points.

Pressure points are the areas that make contact with the mattress and carry most of your body’s weight while sleeping. For a back sleeper, these pressure points are the shoulders, heels, lower lumbar, and back.

It is very important to choose a mattress with the correct levels of firmness to support these areas. If it is not firm enough then these areas will sink, causing your body to be out of alignment. Likewise, if the mattress is too firm then this can push the pressure points upwards from the rest of the body. This can lead to stiffness, back pain and disrupted sleep. The below illustrations show the correct and incorrect sleeping positions.

9 bodies graphic

What is the best firmness for back sleepers?

Generally, the recommended firmness level for a back sleeper is medium to firm. However, there is no rule on this, as the best mattress for you is the one you feel most comfortable on.

Different people will find that they need different levels of firmness in order to feel comfortable and supported.

Different body types and weights will require different levels of firmness for support. For example, a heavier person who is a back sleeper will require a firmer tension mattress as they are more likely to sink and a lighter person who is a back sleeper will require a medium tension mattress as they are less likely to sink.

Our Optimum Support collection, which is made up of four mattresses that have a selection of extra firm tensions, would suit some back sleepers. The ortho range consists of two seasonal turn mattresses and two turn-free mattresses. The mattresses contain our firmer quadcoil spring unit at their core and layers of twice-processed hemp which give the mattresses a firmer feel.

Best mattress thickness for back sleepers

There are a few different layers that make up a mattress. The top few layers are all about comfort as they are closest to the sleeping surface. These layers will give your pressure points superior comfort and relief for your lower back. These top layers are usually made up of wool which is moisture-wicking and microcoils which provide luxury comfort. The next layer is made up of pocket springs which give the most support and will stop you from sinking too deeply into the mattress.

Generally, people 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.


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

But always remember that your mattress should feel comfortable to you as you will be the one sleeping on it every night. Going to a retailer and properly trying the mattresses is the best way to find the mattress that is right for you.