Back sleeping is the second most popular sleeping position, behind side sleeping, and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you're a back sleeper, it's important to take into account the firmness and special features that the mattresses have to offer, which could help facilitate this sleeping position.
As such, we have compiled a list of the best mattresses available for back sleepers currently on the market. There are a few common and recurring factors that we should expect from high-quality mattresses which help with sleeping on our backs – we will explore them throughout the article.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion).
|MATTRESS||TYPE||FIRMNESS||TRIAL & WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress||Pocket Sprung||Extra Firm||60 Night Exchange|
|Brook + Wilde Lux Mattress||Hybrid||Soft, Medium, Firm & Extra Firm||100 Nights|
|REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress||Hybrid||Firm||100 Nights|
|Nectar Memory Foam Mattress||Memory Foam||Medium-Firm||365 Nights|
|Dormeo Options Hybrid Mattress||Hybrid||Medium-Firm||60 Nights|
|Tempur Elite Sensation Mattress||Memory Foam||Medium-Firm||100 Nights|
1. Silentnight Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress
|• Miracoil zoned system |
• Eco Comfort layer
|• Individuals with allergies |
• People on a budget
• Those seeking an orthopedic mattress
The Eco Comfort Miracoil Ortho Mattress is described as an extra-firm orthopaedic mattress. The term orthopaedic means it is designed to relieve pressure from the joints and back. It comes at an affordable price and consists of many features that could be beneficial as a back-sleeping mattress.
The mattress consists of a Miracoil zoned spring system designed to provide great support for the body and improve spinal alignment. The zoned system also helps to reduce motion transfer and includes edge support, making it a good option for those who sleep with a partner. Aside from the coils, there is also an Eco Comfort layer, which provides breathability.
For those with allergies, the mattress has been treated with Purotex, which is used to combat possible allergens and create a fresher mattress.
2. Brook + Wilde Lux Mattress
|• Six layered construction |
• 2000 mini pocket springs
• Wave technology
|• Sleepers looking for bodily support |
• Those seeking spinal alignment
The Brook and Wilde Lux Mattress has received awards and recognition from third-party organisations and publications and has plenty of five-star reviews. Customers praise this mattress for its high-quality materials and texture.
Brook and Wilde’s Lux Mattress consists of six different layers. The first layer consists of a breathable mattress cover which is made to be soft and durable. Following this is the cooling memory foam layer, which is designed to mould to your body and reduce motion transfer.
Other layers include the 2,000 individual mini pocket springs, which can provide pressure relief. Back sleepers can benefit from this as they may take pressure from the hip and pelvic areas and aid spinal alignment. The final layers include more pocket springs and a supportive base.
The mattress also uses wave technology which has been created to further maintain spinal alignment and provides extra support for the neck, shoulders, hips and legs.
3. REM-Fit 500 Ortho Hybrid Mattress
|• Hybrid construction |
• Open-cell memory foam
• 2000 premium pocket springs
|• Heavy individuals |
• Sleepers seeking spinal alignment
• Those who prefer firm mattresses
At a higher price point, we find the REM-Fit 500 Ortho Hybrid Mattress. This mattress has received positive reviews, especially regarding comfort and support. You can also expect a one-hundred-night free trial; this means that you can test the mattress for free, and if it’s not suited to your taste, you can return it hassle-free.
REM-Fit has created the 500 Ortho Hybrid Mattress to help relieve back pain and maintain comfort. To achieve this, the mattress has been created with various layers. The first includes 2,000 premium pocket springs that aim to provide adequate support. The second layer uses open-cell memory foam, which can help with pressure relief, as well as breathability, due to the open cells.
The REM-Fit mattress may also be a good option for heavy individuals, including edge support to prevent sagging. It can also support individuals who weigh up to 20-stone (127kg) due to its firm feel and durability.
4. Nectar Mattress
|• Medium-firm feel|
• 365-night trial
• 7-zoned support base
|• Those who enjoy foam mattresses |
• Sleepers looking for pressure relief
• Individuals seeking a bed in a box
Nectar's Memory Foam Mattress has been rated highly by customers and continues to be a well-trusted mattress brand, being positively recognised by several third-party organisations. Moreover, they even offer a 365-night trial.
This mattress is 25cm thick, with 3 layers of foam, of which 12% is memory foam, giving it a medium-firm rating on the firmness scale. Mattress firmness is usually a personal preference, but when it comes to back sleeping, medium-firm and firm mattresses are considered good options as they can provide extra support and pressure relief. The foam can also allow for reduced motion transfer.
Within the mattress, other layers include a support layer designed to regulate temperature and a 7-zoned supportive base that can provide pressure relief to different body parts. In addition to the construction, Nectar is also one of the most popular mattresses in a box available on the market.
5. Dormeo Options Hybrid Mattress
|• 23cm depth |
• Supportive memory foam layer
• Individually wrapped pocket springs
|• Those who enjoy hybrid mattresses |
• Individuals who prefer no-flip mattresses
• Sleepers who value breathability
The Dormeo Options Hybrid Mattress has a medium-firm comfort and a depth of 23cm. The mattress has a hybrid construction, which means it combines layers of foam and springs to create a feeling of comfort and support.
The mattress includes up to 728 pocket springs that are individually wrapped and move independently to maximise spring support and reduce motion transfer. The springs are enveloped in a supportive layer of memory foam which uses visco-elastic material to provide pressure relief and mould to your body shape. This can help to back sleepers to feel properly supported.
For practicality, the mattress is designed to be no-flip, which means it's only necessary to rotate it. Furthermore, the mattress is delivered rolled up in a vacuum-sealed package, which is both convenient and eco-responsible.
6. Tempur Sensation Elite Mattress
|• Dynamic Support Technology|
• Durbase Technology
• 10-year guarantee
|• Individuals with a bigger budget |
• Sleepers seeking back support
• Those who prefer a removable cover
With a ten-year guarantee, free delivery and good reviews, we have the Sensation Elite Mattress from Tempur has a higher price point but comes with a ten-year guarantee, free delivery and good reviews.
Within this mattress, there are various layers, including 2cm of Tempur Comfort Material, 4cm of Tempur Support Material, 4cm of Dynamic Support Technology and 11cm of Durabase Technology. Each of these materials aims to work together to provide a supportive and comfortable feel, particularly for the back. The Dynamic Support Technology feature consists of visco-elastic cells which can mould and adapt to the shape of your body, which can help with pressure relief.
In addition, the mattress includes a removable cover that can be washable in temperatures up to 60 degrees. Due to the washable cover, Tempur states that there is no need to flip or rotate the mattress.
Is Back Sleeping Bad For Your Health?
While studies✓ show that side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, back sleeping comes in second. There are several pros and cons when it comes to sleeping on your back.
Before going through them, it’s worth noting that these benefits and drawbacks may depend on personal characteristics and health issues. The firmness and type of mattress can also play a part in whether or not sleeping on your back could be beneficial.
While there are few serious side effects to sleeping on your back, otherwise known as the supine position, there has been some scientific research surrounding possible drawbacks. A small study✓ found a strong link between back sleeping and sleep apnoea, a sleeping disorder that can affect breathing. In addition, a study✓ on young children diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea also saw an increase in symptoms when back sleeping. Similarly to sleep apnoea, albeit not as severe, back sleeping is also known to be linked to snoring. If snoring is causing you problems, it may be worth considering purchasing an anti-snore pillow.
Did you know?
A 2019 global study✓ estimated that nearly 1 billion people from the ages of 30 - 69 years suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea.
Despite the possible drawbacks, there are some back sleeping benefits as well. When sleeping on a supportive mattress, typically medium-firm, sleeping on your back can help to maintain spinal alignment. Furthermore, back sleeping is believed to reduce wrinkles and creases as you’re more likely to keep your face off the pillow.
With that being said, it’s essential to consider your own preferences and try to make sure your body and back are properly supported, no matter what the sleeping position.
Infant Back Sleeping
We have explored the pros and cons regarding back sleeping for adults; however, there has also been plenty of research into the benefits of back sleeping in young children and infants.
In 1994, the American Academy of Pediatrics joined forces with other organisations to create the “Back-to-sleep” campaign. This was as a reaction to studies✓ finding that stomach sleeping can lead to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The campaign was a success as research✓ showed that between 1992 - 2010, the number of infants sleeping on their backs went from 17% to 73% - with the number of SIDS cases decreasing by over half.
A possible downside to infant back sleeping is they may be more likely to develop ‘flat head syndrome’. However, this is generally easily treated✓ by giving the baby monitored ‘tummy time’ during the day or switching the baby’s position now and then. As always, it is crucial to seek professional medical advice if you have any concerns or doubts about your child.
Mattress Types For Back Sleepers
Mattress types are important to consider when purchasing a mattress as the materials used can often impact the quality of sleep. Back sleepers should consider how the mattress material affects firmness levels, as this can be essential in providing the correct support and spinal alignment.
- Memory Foam: These mattresses are a popular choice for sleepers who enjoy a cushioning feeling with body contouring. Memory foam mattresses could benefit those suffering from back pain as the softness may provide pressure relief. However, if the mattress is too soft, it may cause sinkage, especially for heavy people, and the spine could curve unnaturally, or you could get the feeling of being ‘stuck’ in the mattress.
- Pocket Sprung: Typically a firmer mattress choice, pocket sprung mattresses are mainly constructed with layers of springs and coils, which can be combined with foam for extra comfort. The firmness of the mattress can provide good support for the back and encourage spinal alignment. Although, if the mattress is too firm, it may push the hips upwards and cause spinal misalignment.
- Hybrid: The term hybrid is commonly used for mattresses that tend to sit in between foam and pocket sprung - with a combination of both materials in their layers. The firmness of the springs in hybrid mattresses can provide good support for the back, while the foam can offer pressure relief and a soft feel.
- Latex: When in its organic form, latex is a natural material taken from the sap from trees. Latex mattresses tend to have an elasticity, which can help to contour to the body. This may also provide a gentle cushioning against the spines natural curvature, which can benefit back sleepers. However, if you’re seeking further cushioning, a memory foam mattress may be more effective.
Avoiding Aches And Pains
All sleeping positions can come with their pros and cons, and back sleeping is no exception. If you tend to sleep on your back, it’s worth considering the firmness of the mattress and how this can reduce any physical pains.
It is believed that a common cause of back pain is due to poor spinal alignment. This is essentially the line from your head to your neck and back. A misaligned spine can cause various problems, such as backache, neck pain and even fatigue.
For back sleepers, it’s important to get the right amount of support for your back in order to maintain correct spinal alignment. If a mattress is too firm, it may cause the hips to be pushed up and create an unnatural curvature in the spine. Likewise, if a mattress is too soft, it can cause the sleeper to sink, which can equally negatively impact your spinal alignment.
Research✓ has found that a medium-firm mattress can provide a good amount of support, especially for back pain sufferers. In addition, a mattress designed for back pain or with zoned support could be beneficial as it can target different parts of the body and provide pressure relief.
Accessories For Back Sleepers
If you're having problems sleeping on your back, purchasing a whole new mattress may be a little outside your budget. However, there are a few accessories that may be useful and could provide the extra support you need in order to get a good nights rest.
- Pillows: For back sleepers, using a firm pillow may push the neck upwards and cause neck and shoulder pain. A medium-firm pillow could be a good option as it can provide sufficient support for the neck and shoulders while maintaining levels of soft cushioning. A memory foam pillow could also be beneficial for back sleepers due to its contouring features.
- Mattress Topper: If the mattress is too firm and causing the hips to push upwards, adding a softer layer, such as a memory foam topper, could be the solution. This will create a more cushioned surface to balance against the firmness of the mattress; this combination may also help with pressure relief.
- Knee Pillows: In the case of back sleepers, an under-knee pillow may be especially beneficial as it can encourage the spine’s natural curve whilst reducing lower back pressure. A wedge knee pillow may also be suitable for blood circulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best pillow for back sleepers?
While this can depend on individual needs and preferences, a contouring pillow may be a good option as it can provide support for the neck and shoulders. A pillow that is too firm may push the head and neck upwards, causing potential discomfort.
How to stop sleeping on your back?
If you’re experiencing discomfort sleeping on your back, you could lay on your side and place a heavy pillow behind you to prevent you from rolling over.
When should I stop sleeping on my back during pregnancy?
It is recommended to stop sleeping on your back during the second and third trimester as it can put pressure on the uterus and baby. However, it is important to seek professional medical advice if you have any doubts or concerns.