Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

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

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Back sleepers (those who primarily sleep on their back) aren’t as common as side sleepers, but they still need solid support.

We’ve put together a list of mattresses especially fantastic for back sleepers, according to our lab tests. We also made sure to pick ones that offer decent support for side sleepers, too. So even if you have a bedmate who sleeps in some other position, both of you should be happy.

For even more options, check out our full mattress ratings and recommendations.

In our support tests for back sleepers, we use human subjects (people!) of small and large stature. Technicians graph 36 points along their spine using displacement sensors to measure the physical distance between their back and the mattress to analyze whether a mattress maintains the natural curve of the spine.

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 those 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 a separate test 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.

Our comfort and owner satisfaction ratings are based on data from recent surveys on CR members’ experiences with more than 74,000 mattresses purchased in the past decade. We asked members to rate the comfort of their mattress and used the data to generate ratings by brand and type of mattress. Owner satisfaction is based on a member’s overall judgment of such factors as firmness/softness, value, quality of sleep, and more.

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, Charles P. Rogers, Sleep Number, and Sleep on Latex. For even more options, see our 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.


Home Content Creator Haniya Rae

Haniya Rae

I​’m interested in the intersection between design and technology​—whether for ​drywall or robotic vacuums—and how the resulting combination affects consumers. I’ve written about consumer advocacy issues for publications like The Atlantic, PC Magazine, and Popular Science, and now I’m happy to be tackling the topic for CR. For updates, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@haniyarae).