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Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers

CR’s labs bring you the innerspring and foam beds at the top of the heap 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 CR’s Winter 2018 Mattress Brands and Retailers report, roughly 17 percent of more than 48,000 CR members who had recently purchased a mattress say 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 70 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, according to our tests. 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.

“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, the project leader in charge of mattress testing at CR. “The data from those sensors will identify those mattresses which 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 the 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 may 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—both foam and innerspring—from brands including Avocado, Bob-O-Pedic, Charles P. Rogers, and Sleep on Latex.

Best Innerspring Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Top Picks

1

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization

2

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization
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Best Foam Mattresses for Back Sleepers

Top Picks

1

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization

2

Average back sleeper
Average side sleeper
Stabilization
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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.

Recently Tested Mattresses

See our full list of Mattress Ratings