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You’re a back sleeper, and you probably feel pretty smug about it, right? Everyone says it’s the healthiest way to sleep and it’s recommended for so many health issues. The rest of us stomach and side sleepers are left to figure out how to be a back sleeper just like you.

Just kidding. We know you aren’t smug about your sleep habits, but we do know that back sleeping can help relieve a lot of joint and back pain. You’ll still need a good mattress to take full advantage of your sleep position.

We’ve put together a list of our top picks for mattresses for back sleepers. We’ve also answered a few questions you might have about how to choose. Let’s take a look.

Choosing A Mattress For Back Sleepers

There are a few things you should consider before you upgrade your mattress.

What Are The Benefits Of Back Sleeping?

Sleeping on your back puts your spine in a neutral position, especially with the right type of mattress. You don’t have extra pressure on certain pressure points such as the shoulders or the upper back. It can also help with acid reflux by keeping your head elevated above your stomach.

On a more superficial level, sleeping on your back can help prevent some types of facial wrinkles because you aren’t putting pressure on your facial skin while resting on the pillow.

One downside of sleeping on your back is snoring. If you’ve got issues with snoring or sleep apnea, it might be difficult for you to maintain your back sleeping. However, with the right type of pillow and mattress support, you may be able to prop yourself in the right way to take advantage of the benefits without triggering your respiratory issues.

Why Should I Upgrade My Mattress?

Sleeping on your back does have some advantages, but you’ll still have a few pressure points to consider as well as breathing issues.

Conventional mattresses don’t do an excellent job of supporting your body. They force your body to conform to the surface of the bed rather than the other way around. If you don’t have proper contouring materials, the lower part of your back compresses as you sleep and causes pain. You also get aches in your upper shoulders because your spine isn’t aligned.

Newer mattresses use a system of layers to provide contouring and support. Back sleepers do need a firmer surface to sleep, but they also need contouring materials.

Contouring layers are softer and give way where you need to sink further into the mattress. Your hips and shoulders can sink a little further while the contouring materials fill in gaps around your lower back and keep your legs up.

Underneath, support materials push back against your body, so you don’t sag. Your spine stays aligned, and you don’t wake up with any pressure point pain.

What Kind Of Mattress Do I Need?

Back sleepers need a firmer mattress than side sleepers. Too soft and your spine curves. However, too firm and you run the risk of causing pain in your lower back or snoring.

Medium-firm mattresses provide enough support to keep your spine aligned but enough give to allow your hips and shoulders to nestle in. The contouring materials fill in the gap in your lower lumbar region, and your spine can fully decompress.

Medium firm mattresses also help you get into a comfortable position and stay there. The more you toss and turn, the more you likely you are to wrench your back or another pressure point. Instead, you can nestle into the comfort materials and find a good position right away.

Another cause of tossing and turning is temperature. We recommend finding a mattress with good temperature control so that you don’t toss and turn either. Many newer mattresses use materials that help with temperature regulation.

Gel-infused foams help trap heat and pull it away from your body. There are open cell materials that also help improve air circulation and breathability. Cover materials can include things like Tencel which helps conduct heat away from the body. Phase change materials also help move heat rapidly away from the body and disperse it throughout the mattress.

A Note For Heavier People

If you’re heavier than average, you’ll want a mattress that considers your needs specifically. Heavier people need contouring materials that can handle the extra weight so that the bed doesn’t feel too firm.

The support materials need to be dense so that they don’t cause unnecessary sagging. Mattresses that aren’t rated for heavier people will show wear and sagging much sooner, which could make back sleeping much more painful. If you already have back problems due to weight, it’s essential that you find a mattress rated for your unique needs.

The Best Mattresses For Back Sleepers

Here are our recommendations. Let’s take a look.

DreamCloud – Our Top Pick

DreamCloud is an excellent mattress. It uses eight different layers of contouring and supporting materials to provide medium firm support that feels a lot softer than it is. It uses a cashmere blend cover material that feels soft but breathable next to your skin.

The first two layers are memory foam, one gel and one quilted. The gel infused foam helps wick heat and moisture away from the body and prevent heat from building up in the core of the mattress. The quilted layer gives the contouring materials an ultra-plush feeling that makes the mattress feel less firm than it actually is.

The next two layers are transitional layers that offer targeted support and provide response. One layer is made of latex which helps the mattress feel more responsive as you move around. If your partner sleeps in a different position than you do, it provides good combination support.

The primary support layer is individually pocketed coils. This layer is sandwiched between two layers of one-inch foam to reduce motion transfer. The coils provide a stable level of support that prevents sag and helps keep your spine aligned. They also have air pockets that encourage air flow, so the mattress stays cool.

DreamCloud offers a very generous 365-night sleep trial, so you’ll have a full year to adjust to the mattress. It’s essential that you give any new mattress time for your body to adjust so that old pains can subside. There’s a breaking in point for a mattress as well, so it takes some time to feel the most contouring.

If you decide the mattress isn’t the right one for you, you can return it at any time before the sleep trial ends for a full refund. You’re also covered by DreamCloud’s Everlong warranty. During the first ten years, DreamCloud will replace a defective mattress completely. After ten years, the company will decide if it’s more appropriate to repair the defective mattress or replace it. Either way, you’re protected from defects for the lifetime of the mattress.

DreamCloud’s mattress comes compressed in a box right to your door. They also offer optional white glove delivery for an extra cost, so you can transition more smoothly.

Solay – Runner-Up

Solay’s mattress is another hybrid style that uses both foam and springs to provide restorative sleep. It uses several different layers to contour and provide support while keeping your body cool during the night.

The top layer is gel infused memory foam to prevent heat buildup and help disperse it throughout the mattress. The next layer is two-inch foam to reduce motion transfer and keep the surface quiet for both partners. It provides a lot of contouring and fills in the gaps around your lower lumbar.

The main support system is a layer of coils, individually pocketed to help reduce motion transfer. The entire mattress is covered with a material called Tencel that helps wick heat and moisture away faster than plain cotton.

Solay offers a 101-night sleep trial, so you have some time to figure out if it’s the right one for you. Solay offers good combination support, but it’s important to sleep on the mattress for at least a month. It has time to break in, and your old aches and pains have time to ease.

If you decide not to keep the mattress, you can return it any time before the trial period is over for a full refund.

Solay offers a 15-year warranty to protect you from mattress defects. Make sure your mattress is fully supported so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.

Solay delivers your mattress compressed in a box, but the delivery person will be unable to help you set it up. Make sure you have help if you need it.

Honorable Mentions

If you fall into one of these specific categories, you might find that one of the following mattresses works better for you.

Nectar – Budget Pick

If you’re on a tighter budget, Nectar’s options are all highly affordable. The most expensive options, king and California king sizes, are still less than $1000.

Nectar uses a series of different foams to achieve contouring and support. The top two layers are contouring memory foams that use gel infusions to pull heat away from the body. One layer is quilted for extra contouring for your lower lumbar region.

The next layer is an adaptive foam. It adjusts as you move throughout the night, providing good response. If you or your partner are combination sleepers, you won’t lose any support with this layer.

The final layer is a dense support foam that gives the mattress structural integrity and pushes back to prevent sagging. Your spine stays aligned and in a neutral position. The mattress uses Tencel to complement the cooling properties of the bed.

Nectar has a very generous year-long sleep trial. You’ll have plenty of time to decide if it’s the right one for you. Make sure to give it at least a few weeks before deciding officially because you need time to adjust. If you choose not to keep it, you can return it for a full refund.

Nectar also provides a limited lifetime warranty to protect you from mattress defects. During the first ten years they’ll replace a defective mattress, and after the ten years, they’ll decide if repairing or replacing the mattress is more appropriate.

They don’t offer white glove delivery, so your mattress comes compressed directly to your door. Unpack the box and gently tear the plastic away from the mattress to allow it to inflate. It should be ready in a few hours. Make sure you have someone to help you set things up if you can’t do it yourself.

Puffy – Best All Foam Option

If you love the feeling of all foam and don’t want to experience any motion transfer, Puffy is a good choice. It uses a simple method of two layers of foam to help you get into a comfortable position and stay there.

The contouring layer is a gel infused memory foam that pulls heat away from your body and helps regulate your temperature. The bottom layer is a dense support foam that gives the mattress structural integrity.

The firm support helps to decompress the spine and relieve pressure. If you already feel some pressure in your lower back, the firm support may help you reduce pressure and feel some decompression.

Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial, so you have plenty of time to decide if it’s the right one for you. You should give your Puffy mattress a few weeks to break in so that your body adjusts before you decide if it’s the right one for you.

You are covered by a lifetime warranty that protects you from mattress defects. As long as your mattress is supported correctly, the company will replace the mattress during the first ten years. After ten years, they’ll decide if it’s more appropriate to repair or replace the mattress. Puffy also offers the option after ten years for you to quickly purchase a new Puffy to replace your current defective mattress at half the price while keeping your old mattress.

Puffy comes compressed in a box for delivery, so make sure you are able to handle set up on your own. Unpack the box and gently tear the plastic away from the mattress to allow it to inflate.

Winkbeds Plus – Best For Heavy People

Winkbeds Plus is built for people who are heavier than average. If you carry extra weight, the contouring materials won’t be able to fill in around your curves to keep your spine in a neutral position. The bed could feel too firm and cause pressure in your lower lumbar region.

Winkbeds Plus is rated for sleepers who are close to 300 pounds or more. The materials are built to support the extra weight with a layer of contouring foam infused with gel. It pulls heat away from your body while the Euro top quilting fills in curves. The foam is high density and impression proof, so you shouldn’t see any unnatural sagging or depressions just from your weight.

The support layer is coils that help push against your body to keep your spine in a neutral position. It uses a three-zone support coil system that gives you more support underneath the areas where you need it. It’s durable and will support your extra weight well.

You have 120 nights to sleep on your new mattress. You should have plenty of time to decide if it’s the right mattress for you. Make sure you give it a few weeks so that it has time to break in. If you decide it isn’t the right one for you, the company will provide you with a full refund.

Winkbeds gives you a full lifetime warranty against defects. Make sure you support your mattress correctly and that you use it for its intended purpose so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.

You have two delivery options, regular and white glove. Regular delivery is free. Your mattress is compressed and arrives at your door for you to set up when you get ready. White glove delivery is extra, but a delivery person will help set up and remove all the trash that came in the packaging.

Final Thoughts

We love DreamCloud’s firm support, but soft top makes it feel plush. It should provide plenty of contouring to relieve pressure and help you get to a comfortable position and stay there. It offers the most flexibility if you have a partner who isn’t a back sleeper.

The sleep trial, warranty, and optional white glove delivery make it a desirable option for most sleepers upgrading to a new mattress. It should help you get into a comfortable position and stay there. We think you’ll be delighted with your DreamCloud and its ability to support your back and discourage the positions that can make pressure point pain worse.

Be sure to adjust your pillow if you have respiratory issues to take full advantage of DreamCloud’s benefits.

Are you a back sleeper or will you have to train yourself to sleep on your back? How do you plan to do that? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Tim

Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He's been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares his findings with any willing ear.

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