Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

CR reveals the innerspring, foam, and adjustable air mattresses at the top of the heap for back support

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more.

A person laying on their back in bed. Photo: iStock

If you like to sleep on your back, you need a mattress that provides the right combination of comfort and support for your spine. Consumer Reports is here to help you narrow down your options.

We tested more than 250 mattresses in our labs to find out which ones provide a great night’s sleep. And from those tests we’ve put together a list of mattresses that are especially fantastic for back sleepers. We also made sure to pick ones that offer decent support for side sleepers, too, in case you have a bedmate who sleeps on their side.

In our support tests for back sleepers, we use human subjects (people!) of small and large stature. Technicians graph 36 points along their spine while standing and use displacement sensors to map how the surface of the mattress moves and conforms to the shape of the person as they’re lying on their back.

More on Mattresses

“The majority of those sensors are located from the neck to the hips and provide the basis for our analysis of back support,” says Chris Regan, who oversees mattress testing at CR. “The data from those sensors will identify the mattresses that do not properly support the natural curve of your spine. It’s that lack of support that makes you shift around on a mattress trying different positions.”

This test is combined with another that uses hundreds of sensors on a bed to measure the level of pressure where the body comes into contact with the mattress. We average the results of the small and large test subjects to produce a score for average-sized sleepers. A mattress that has great back support for a petite back sleeper might not work for a back sleeper who’s substantially larger.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of standout models for back sleepers—foam, innerspring, and adjustable air mattresses—from brands including Avocado, Casper, Denver Mattress, Essentia, Sleep Number, and Sleep on Latex. For even more options, see our complete mattress ratings, and check our mattress buying guide as you shop.

Best Innerspring Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Best Foam Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Best Air Mattress for Back Sleepers

Tips for Buying a Mattress

Tossing and turning all night? Maybe it’s time for a new mattress. On the “Consumer 101” TV show, CR expert Chris Regan shares tips on what to look for when mattress shopping.