List of The Worst to Best Mattress Types For Back Sleepers – The Bedding Planet

List of The Worst to Best Mattress Types For Back Sleepers


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Did you know that you spend a third of your life sleeping?

It’s no surprise that you have a preferred sleeping position and while you can train yourself to adopt a certain position, for most people, how you sleep is a natural thing.

Interestingly, back sleeping is the second most common sleeping position after side sleeping. This sleeping position comes with several benefits, including support and spine alignment. However, to get these benefits, you should have a mattress that is suitable for back sleepers.

This is an advantage as it comes with comfort and quality sleep. From our research, a good mattress for back sleepers should support your back and pressure points, including the buttocks, heels, and shoulders.

But, what is the best and worst mattress type for back sleepers?

The best mattress type for back sleepers is a hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses utilize technology to combine different mattress materials to enhance firmness. The most common are memory foam-coil hybrid mattresses, which give your back the necessary support as a back sleeper. This ensures proper spine alignment while relieving pressure from the back, buttocks, and heels for quality sleep.

On the other hand, the worst mattress type is soft foam. These mattresses comprise low-density foam, making them too soft for a back sleeper. Therefore, they have too much sinkage causing curving in your back which is dangerous for the spine.

What Should The Ideal Mattress For a Back Sleeper Feel Like?

Choosing a mattress for a back sleeper can be tricky. However, the level of firmness should guide you when it comes to choosing the best mattress for you as a back sleeper.

A medium-firm or firm mattress should suffice when it comes to back sleeping. But ensure it’s not too firm that it feels like you’re sleeping on the floor.

What follows will be a list of the worst to the best mattress types for back sleepers. I want to be clear though, that I will only cover each of the mattress types in general.

Truth is that many of these mattress types do come with different firmness levels, meaning the worst type for a back sleeper can still be a decent option if you can find the correct firmness level for your body weight and preference.

But in general, this is a good list to consider if you are a back sleeper, so let’s get to it.

List of The Worst to Best Mattress Types For Back Sleepers

1. Soft foam Mattresses

This one belongs in the category of extra soft, soft, and plush mattresses. They comprise low-density foam, making them soft and comfortable. However, they have too much sinkage, and you feel like you’re sleeping inside the mattress.

This makes them unsuitable for back sleepers because they distort the spine which can result in back problems. They have little support for the pressure points making the body unbalanced as you sleep.

With time the dip in the center increases, making it uncomfortable and hard to enjoy your sleep. These mattresses are only good for occasional short rests. Otherwise, you’re staring at a myriad of back problems.  

2. Water Mattresses

It may seem fancy and classy, but it’s not the best mattress if you’re a back sleeper, and especially not if you’re on the heavier side.

These mattresses comprise water chambers and upholstery materials such as foam and latex. The water chambers can be made of wood for firmer versions or foam for softer versions.

While they are good for reducing backaches, they aren’t ideal for back sleepers. They are too bouncy and lack the necessary support for spine alignment.

Also, although you can adjust the firmness to your liking, it’s impossible to achieve the best support for the pressure points.

3. Pillowtop Mattresses

Pillowtop mattresses are usually regular mattresses with padding on the top. It can be stitched on top or sewn underneath the upper layer of the mattress. The padding can include foam, latex, or other fibers such as cotton or wool.

It provides extra softness to the mattress, making it unsuitable for back sleepers. Although pillowtop provides some level of support, it has high level of sinkage, especially for heavyweight individuals. This can result in bending of the back creating problems for the spine.

The problem worsens with time since the mattress develops a depression in the middle. Therefore your back slips into this dip, making sleep uncomfortable. Additionally, these mattresses tend to sag, even after a short period of time, making them floppy and unsuitable for back sleepers. This means you’ll have to replace them fairly often.  

4. Air Mattresses

Air mattresses comprise small air chambers and covering materials such as foam, latex, or fiber. The chambers are filled with air to adjust the level of firmness. However, this doesn’t mean you can count on them as a back sleeper.

Their support is most suitable for side sleepers since they offer some sinkage. However, this can make them uncomfortable because a back sleeper’s pressure points do not require absorption. The sinking of the back, buttocks, and shoulders into a mattress distorts the spine, which can potentially lead to chronic back problems.

A back sleeper requires a firmer sleeping surface to ensure the spine is correctly aligned. If you should settle on an air mattress, check the air levels before sleeping to ensure it’s firm enough for proper back support. Still, this doesn’t guarantee a restful night since they can also deflate as you sleep.

5. Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses comprise coils with upholstery material such as poly foam or memory foam. The coils make the mattress firm and rigid hence suitable for a back sleeper.

When combined with polyfoam, it produces a firmer mattress suitable for back sleepers, especially heavyweight individuals. Memory foam on the other hand makes them suitable for lightweight back sleepers because it’s softer.

The problem with these mattresses is the arrangement of the springs. Since they are interconnected, they function as a single unit. This makes the mattress too bouncy and can dip under the pressure points. This often makes them uncomfortable and unsupportive as time goes on.

6. Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam is the most popular type of mattress. This type of foam has small holes that allow air circulation to reduce heat. The regular foam traps a lot of heat and is most suitable for cold weather.

Memory foam is softer, but it has the necessary firmness required for support at the same time because of its contouring properties. It offers slight sinkage to ensure pressure relief from the back, buttocks, heels, and shoulders. However, low-density memory foam can be too soft and hence not suitable for back sleepers.

This mattress type is a great option if you’re a lightweight back sleeper.


Recommended Memory Foam Mattress For Back Sleepers

TEMPUR-Pedic

TEMPUR-ProAdapt is one of the best memory foam mattresses for back sleepers. It has varying firmness levels allowing you to choose between soft, medium, and firm versions depending on your weight and preferences.

The firm version has a spring layer for those who like the spring feel.  All the versions are designed to offer the necessary support for your spine. This, combined with memory foam pressure, relieving properties leaves you looking forward to sleep time.

Pros

  • It’s suitable for back sleepers.
  • It’s suitable for those suffering from joint pain, hip pain, and back pain.

Cons

  • It’s expensive.

7. Latex Mattresses

Latex is a popular organic option type of mattress. It’s extracted from rubber trees and is one of the best mattress materials due to its high comfort levels.

Latex is firmer than the memory foam and bounces back to its original form after pressure release. Therefore it offers the required support for back sleepers.

You can have different firmness levels depending on the technique in manufacturing. The Talalay latex is firmer and, therefore, best for back sleepers. Its minimal sinkage level is great for pressure relief.

Dunlop latex is much softer and is best for lightweight back sleepers. Generally, these versions are good for spine alignment and comfortable sleep.


Recommended Latex Mattress For Back Sleepers

The WinkBeds EcoCloud

WinkBeds EcoCloud Mattress is one of the best latex mattresses for back sleepers. It’s a spring latex hybrid that offers the best back sleeper support. It has a high comfort level because it’s flexible to improve your sleep quality.

Source: WinkBeds

Since the latex is Talalay, the mattress is firm enough to support heavyweight back sleepers. The layer of pocketed coils ensures the mattress provides optimal spinal support at the center.

In addition, the mattress is softer in the head and foot region to optimize comfort.

Pros

  • The mattress has a layer of wool to enhance the plushness
  • The coils make it firm enough for heavyweight back sleepers and provide zoned support
  • Talalay latex is breathable
  • It has an anti-sag support system

Cons

  • If you’re on a budget, this mattress isn’t for you.

8. Gel Mattresses

The gel in these mattresses is usually infused with memory foam. The gel’s primary function is to absorb heat from the body to ensure you stay cool through your sleep.

The gel memory foam comprises gel liquid, beads, or a thin layer of gel spread out on the memory foam layer. The memory foam layer provides support making the mattress suitable for back sleepers. It relieves pressure from the back and shoulders to enhance comfort and quality of sleep.

This mattress is most suitable for people who don’t like hot sleeping and those in hot areas. It’s also good for hot weather since the gel distributes the heat trapped by memory foam.


Recommended Gel Mattress For Back Sleepers

TheraPur ActiGel

TheraPur ActiGel® Arctic 2600 Mattress is a gel-infused memory foam mattress made to have luxurious comfort and outstanding support.

The mattress is layered with pocket springs giving a firm feel suitable for spine alignment. The springs are pocketed individually to give zoned support crucial for relieving tension on the pressure points.

Source: Dreams

The ActiGel foam makes the mattress soft while the ActiCool regulates the temperature. Therefore it’s suitable for hot weather or tropical areas.

Pros

  • It’s knitted with an ActiCool cover
  • It’s hypoallergenic
  • Has pocketed springs for maximum support 
  • Layered with foam and Purfibre to enhance comfort

Cons

  • The firm comfort grade can be uncomfortable for lightweight back sleepers
  • It’s expensive

9. Pocket Spring Mattresses

Pocket springs mattresses have become popular due to their support, especially for back sleepers.

Unlike the regular springs, pocket springs are placed in individual pockets to ensure they respond individually to pressure. Therefore they have zoned support to cater to back sleepers’ pressure points, including the back. This is crucial for spine alignment to avoid back problems.

The springs have different widths allowing you to choose from various firmness levels depending on your weight. Thin springs are better for heavyweight back sleepers, while thin springs are best for lightweight back sleepers.

The upholstery material could be latex or memory foam to ensure the mattress is soft, relieves tension on the pressure points, and reduces motion transfer.


Recommended Pocket Spring Mattress For Back Sleepers

The WinkBed

WinkBeds make one of the best pocket spring mattresses you can think of if you’re a back sleeper. It’s layered with micro coils giving it a perfect medium firmness.

The memory foam layer makes it soft to enhance pressure relief to ensure you treasure your sleep time. It also comprises dense polyfoam and a quilted top ideal for back sleepers looking for luxury and support.

Source: WinkBeds

The springs are mostly dense, making them suitable for heavyweight back sleepers. A Pillowtop version is available for lightweight back sleepers.


10. Hybrid Mattresses

These mattresses have become the most popular in the world of mattresses. They usually include a memory foam-coil hybrid but can also use latex and coil.

The hybrid mattresses are the best overall for back sleepers. They come in varying firmness levels, and you can select the best depending on your age and weight. The mattress comprises coil layers at the base and memory foam or latex at the upper layers. This gives support and comfort making it suitable for back sleepers.

The foam is usually dense to reduce the sinkage level for perfect spine alignment. It’s also good for individuals with back problems. Just choose a firmness level that allows the spine’s natural curvature.


Recommended Hybrid Mattress For Back Sleepers

Helix Dusk

Helix dusk is a perfect mattress for back sleepers. It’s a medium-firm mattress that allows some level of body contouring for maximum comfort.

It’s recommended for back sleepers and partners with individual firmness preferences.

Source: Helix Sleep

Back sleeping can help you achieve a proper spine alignment to reduce or avoid back pains. However, you’ll need the right mattress as a back sleepers.

The pressure points for back sleepers include the shoulders, back, buttocks and heels. Ensure your mattress provides support and pressure relief on these points.

Ideally you should use a hybrid, pocket spring, or gel mattress to achieve this. Latex and stiffer memory foam mattresses are good as well. Ensure to keep off soft foam, water, and pillowtop mattresses. They will simply lack the required firmness to support your back.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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