Product Reviews

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Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

CR’s labs bring you the innerspring and foam beds at the top of the stack for back support

Woman sleeping on her back

Choosing a mattress is all about your primary sleep position and that of your partner—which is to say, it’s not always simple.

In our latest survey of 61,000 CR members, roughly 16 percent report that they fall asleep on their backs. If you’re in with this crew (even if you tend to wake up on your side—joining the 68 percent of respondents who identify as side sleepers), you know how important it is to have the right support at bedtime.

We’ve put together a list of mattresses that are generally great—but that are especially fantastic for back sleepers, rating higher than any other mattresses in our tests for this group. So even if you have a bedmate who sleeps in some other pose, everyone should be happy.

If you want more options, check out our mattress ratings, which include more than 100 models.

More on Mattresses

How We Test for Back Support
In our support tests for back sleepers, we use human subjects (people!) of small and large stature. Test technicians graph 36 points along the spine using displacement sensors to measure the physical distance between the back and the mattress to analyze whether a mattress maintains the natural curve of the spine. This is combined with a separate test that uses hundreds of sensors on the bed to measure the level of pressure where the body comes in 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 may not work for a back sleeper who's substantially larger.

Read on for ratings and reviews of standout models for back sleepers—both foam and innerspring—from brands including Avocado, Charles P. Rogers, Stearns & Foster, and Sleep on Latex.

Best Innerspring Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Avocado Green
Price: $1,399
Overall Score: 85
Ranking: 1 of 59 innerspring mattresses in our ratings
CR’s take: The Avocado Green gets a rating of Excellent in back-support tests for petite, average, and large/tall sleepers. It has the highest combined back-support score in our tests. With recycled steel pocket innersprings, latex foam padding, and a certified organic cotton cover, “you’re getting a mattress that combines the best of both worlds,” says Chris Regan, the engineer who oversees CR’s mattress testing. The Avocado Green is on the firm end of the spectrum but is more prone to bouncing than some other mattresses in our tests—something to keep in mind if you sleep with a restless partner and don't want to be jostled awake.

Charles P. Rogers Powercore Estate 5000
Price: $1,500
Overall Score: 80
Ranking: 2
CR’s take: This innerspring from Charles P. Rogers is a strong choice for back sleepers of all sizes, but especially for those who are tall. With a latex-foam topping, the mattress is among the best at supporting the curve of the spine and also does a nice job keeping side sleepers’ spines horizontal—making it a great choice for couples with different sleep positions. In our durability tests, this mattress shows little wear after eight to 10 years of simulated use, and it’s top-notch at muting vibrations, meaning little bouncing from across the bed. Note that this mattress is 14 inches high, so you’ll need deep-pocket fitted sheets.

Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Belleville
Price: $3,710
Overall Score: 78
Ranking: 5
CR’s take: The Lux Estate Belleville has a rating of Excellent for back support for average- and small-sized sleepers. Its support is slightly less for large/tall back sleepers, but the mattress still earns a rating of Very Good in that test. Stearns & Foster is considered a luxury line by the manufacturer—and as such you’ll pay more for it even though it doesn’t score as well as the Avocado or the Charles P. Rogers Powercore Estate 5000. This mattress comes with eight side grips, which should make it easier to move (should that come up) and position on your bed frame.

139
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