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What is the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers?


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  • Leesa Legend Hybrid: Luxury dual spring system with extra plush and back support foams.

What is the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers?

Getting a good night’s sleep is about more than just feeling rested. Consistently hitting that sweet spot of seven or more hours can majorly cut your risk of health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Plus, it sharpens your memory and keeps your mood more stable, which means you’re less likely to spiral into depression or anxiety. 

It’s not just about health, either — sleeping well makes you sharper on the job. Fewer mistakes, fewer accidents, and generally being more productive at work. 

So, why is picking the right mattress so critical to a good night’s rest, especially for back sleepers? Well, it’s all about that perfect blend of comfort and support to keep your spine aligned. It’s a game changer for your sleep quality, and by extension, pretty much every aspect of your life. 

When shopping for the best mattress for a back sleeper, it's important to select one with the right level of firmness for your body type since sleepers of different shapes and sizes have different needs. You'll also need the right pillow for your sleeping style. 

Memory foam, for instance, contours to your body’s shape but varies in firmness. Latex, another option, offers a firmer feel which is beneficial for those needing stronger support. Hybrids that combine coils with foam or latex layers can also be a good choice, offering a balance of comfort and support. 

Whichever you choose, your investment in a quality mattress is also an investment in your health and well-being. Waking up pain-free and refreshed can dramatically improve your mood and energy levels, setting a positive tone for your day. 

And, when your back’s happy, you’re more likely to hit those deep, restorative sleep stages that make all the difference. So yeah, the right mattress isn’t just nice to have; it’s central to living your best life.

So take your time, do your research, and choose a mattress that fits your specific sleeping needs. 

With so many options available, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the best mattress for back sleepers.

How Do I Choose a Mattress If I Sleep On My Back?

There are three things to consider as a back sleeper for a good night’s sleep:

  1. Firmness

  2. Contouring

  3. Material

A memory foam mattress, traditional innerspring mattress, or a hybrid mattress varies in each of these categories.

What Mattress Features Are Important for Back Sleepers?

Back sleepers should look for a medium-firm memory foam mattress that allows for some contouring.The most popular mattress choice for average-weight back sleepers is medium-firm comfort level. The medium-firm feel is the most comfortable for back sleepers because it prevents heavier body parts from sinking too deeply into the mattress, keeping your spine in neutral alignment while cushioning your shoulders, hips, and lower back.

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Heavier weight-back sleepers prefer a firmer mattress that provides the extra support they need. Lighter weight-back sleepers can get away with a softer feel.

Contours to your body

You want to make sure that the material contours to your back to reduce pressure points like the shoulders and hips. A mattress that has enough contouring to provide comfort without sacrificing back support is your best bet.

Made from memory foam

Memory foam mattresses are ideal for back sleepers because they’re made from responsive and adaptable foam that contours to your body and relieves pressure points. Memory foam mattresses allow for maximum support and comfort which are essential for back sleepers.

What’s the Best Type of Mattress for Back Sleepers?

The Leesa Original mattress is an expert favorite: Wirecutter named it one of "The Best Memory Foam Mattresses You Can Buy Online." It gives you a balanced, memory foam comfort that cradles your body while you sleep. And, it offers support for spinal alignment and pressure point relief. 

Meanwhile, Business Insider called the Leesa Sapira Hybrid the "Best Mattress Overall.” A great solution for any sleeping style, it combines the responsive support of springs with the cushioning comfort of memory foam.

If you and your partner prefer different mattress types (which many couples do), don’t worry. A memory foam mattress is a perfect compromise. Because Leesa mattresses have an adaptive feel, they're great for every body type and sleeping style, especially back sleepers.

Why is memory foam the best mattress for back sleepers?

So, what makes a foam mattress so great for back sleepers specifically? A memory foam mattress will adapt to every body type and sleeping position (whereas a latex or traditional innerspring mattress may not).

Memory foam mattresses also give you exactly what you need in a mattress: they provide the support you're looking for as a back sleeper with the comfort you want in a mattress. In addition, memory foam mattresses are made with responsive and adaptive foam that keeps you cool while you sleep, for all of our hot sleepers out there. A foam mattress will keep your spine and neck aligned so that you wake up ache-free.

Yes, memory foam has long been the go-to for back sleepers. Yet, our hybrid mattresses take sleep to the next level, contouring your body so you wake up pain-free. They combine memory foam and individually wrapped springs. The memory foam adapts to your sleeping position, and the springs provide enhanced support where you need it when you sleep. (Psst! The Legend Hybrid has two layers of individually wrapped springs, with a micro spring layer for our most advanced support.)

Often, when people think of mattresses and mattress shopping, they picture squeaky innerspring mattresses and big showrooms with too many options. But getting a new mattress doesn’t have to be a nightmare! We’ve established that the best mattress for sleeping on your back is foam, but there are so many companies and mattress options.

You can order a Leesa mattress online and have it shipped directly (for free) to your door in a box. Open the box, take off the plastic and watch your Leesa mattress come to life. Then, you get 100 nights to decide if you love it and if you don’t, you can send it back for a full refund (with a free return!). No squeaking, no sagging, and no showrooms!

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Tips for Sleeping Comfortably on Your Back

Now that you've identified the best medium firm mattress for back sleepers and you're ready to get comfy, if you're an aspiring back sleeper, it can be hard to change your sleeping position, especially if you’ve been a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper for a long time. You may have to practice for a while if you want to start sleeping on your back regularly.

If you're trying to learn how to become a back sleeper, here are a few tips to help you out.

  • Begin by lying completely flat on your bed. Try lying down with your arms by your sides, raising them above your head in a goal post position, or stretching them out straight on either side. If you sleep alone, try the starfish position, which involves pointing your arms and legs toward the corners of the bed.

  • Elevate your upper body by using an or a set of pillows that are angled. This may help you stay on your back while sleeping.

  • For pressure relief on your spine, keep it aligned by placing a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees.

  • Make a cushion barrier on either side of you. This will cradle you while sleeping on your back and prevent you from turning over. Rest your arms on a pillow on either side of you for extra comfort and security.

What Are The Best Pillows For Back Sleepers?

Finding a great pillow is just as important as finding a supportive mattress. Ideally, your neck needs to be in a neutral position, slightly elevated, while you sleep. This can help prevent waking up with neck pain and can be helpful for people with sleep apnea.

At Leesa, we offer a range of pillows perfect for back sleepers. The Adjustable Foam Pillow is a great choice for people who want something customizable. Made from CertiPUR-US® certified foams, you can personalize its thickness to fit your sleep preferences.

The Down Alternative Pillow Set will give you that soft, plush feel so many people love. Its cloud-like fluffiness won't flatten down or clump like traditional down pillows, and it's hypoallergenic. If you’re looking for a cooling pillow that will cradle your shoulders, neck, and head, the Ultra Cool Memory Foam Pillow is the go-to choice. Or, choose the Premium Latex Pillow for consistent comfort night after night. 

Ready to get a good night’s sleep? Take a look at our memory foam mattresses and our pillows that are perfect for back sleepers! 


Is memory foam better for back sleepers?

Memory foam mattresses are often considered to be the best mattresses for back sleepers because they cradle the heavier parts of the body and relieve pressure on the spine. Spinal pressure relief and alignment are of the utmost importance when selecting a mattress.

How long does it take to break in a new mattress?

It usually takes about 100 days to break in your new memory foam mattress. The higher the density of the memory foam, the longer it will take to break in. All memory foam mattresses soften over time, but not enough to change it from a medium-firm feel to a softer feel.

Is a firm or soft mattress better for back sleepers?

Medium-firm to firm mattresses are the best mattresses for back sleepers. Average weight sleepers tend to prefer medium-firm mattresses, while heavier sleepers prefer a firmer feel. Lightweight back sleepers are often comfortable on a softer mattress.