Back Sleeping: What Mattresses Are The Best For Back Sleepers?

Research indicates that one in five people sleep on their back. When it comes to back sleeping, the two main positions that are involved are the “soldier” and “starfish” position. The “soldier” position involves both legs being mostly straight and both arms pointing downward toward the legs. On the other hand, the “starfish” position involves the legs being further apart and both arms above the head.

Back sleeping has its bright and dark side. One of the benefits of back sleeping is that the body and limbs are less contorted. Since back sleeping does not impart any direct pressure on the face, it reduces the chances of facial wrinkles. Back sleeping also reduces acid reflux as the head and esophagus are usually elevated relative to the stomach. The only downside of back sleeping is that it increases the chances of snoring and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Mattress Considerations For Back Sleepers

It is essential for back sleepers to select a mattress that facilitates a restful night and one that does not induce backache. Below are the key factors that back sleepers should consider while shopping for a mattress:


Generally, the best mattresses are those that offer perfect spine alignment. Even for the back sleepers, the best mattress for them is one that perfectly contours to the body to provide the required cushioning in the most crucial body parts. The mattress selected must have good responsiveness so that there is not too much sink or hug in the mattress.


The best mattresses are those that have medium firmness, and this applies for back sleepers too. Extra plush mattresses can be too soft and might not be the best at keeping the body straight. On the other hand, a rigid mattress will exert undue pressure to the back and neck. The best mattresses in terms of firmness will read 4-7 on the firmness scale. Back sleepers are better off sleeping on a mattress that is on the higher end of this scale.


People don’t fancy the idea of buying a mattress frequently. Buying a durable mattress is also an investment, and as such, it is important to buy a product that lasts. Sagging mattresses, especially for back sleepers, are not the best as they don’t provide the needed support while sleeping. Choosing a mattress made of quality components is essential as these do not wear out quickly.

Spring Mattresses vs. Foam Mattresses

Spring Mattresses

As the name suggests, these mattress have a layer of metallic springs as the major component, which is covered in fabric. The firmness of these mattresses is determined by the gauge of the coils used. Thinner coils can readjust according to the body profile but are often less firm. On the other hand, thick coils are not easy to compress and do not readjust accordingly leading to more pressure on the body.

These mattresses are available at low budgets, and some offer conforming support. However, the mainstream varieties of spring mattress do not provide sufficient support or pressure relief especially for back pain patients and back sleepers. Only high-end varieties of spring mattresses offer the desired degree of motion isolation.

Foam Mattresses

These mattresses are designed and manufactured to mold themselves to the body contours. Further, these mattresses are customized for pressure relief and also isolates body motion. Some brands of foam mattresses have also manufactured temperature sensitive mattresses that adjust its shape according to the pressure. These mattresses are essential choices due to their automatic adjustment to the sleeper’s body and the excellent pressure relief and support feature.

Final Verdict

Spring mattresses are not the best choices for back sleepers since they don’t provide proper support of the body as foam mattresses do. Since they are overly firm, they exert pressure to the back and neck regions, which may lead to back pain.


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