If you’re part of the tiny 10th percentile of the population that sleep strictly on their backs, don’t think for one minute that we’ve forgotten you. From average weight back sleepers to the more heavier-set to those who suffer from sleep apnea and other health issues, we’ve got just the right mattress for you. Read on to find out more about our tops picks for the best mattress for back sleepers. Our Editor’s Choice is the Saatva Zenhaven mattress.
Our Top Picks for the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers in 2022
- Saatva Zenhaven – editor’s choice
- Helix Plus – best mattress for heavier-set back sleepers
- Nolah Evolution 15 – best cooling mattress for back sleepers
- WinkBed – best innerspring mattress for back sleepers
- Layla Hybrid – best hybrid mattress for back sleepers
#1. Saatva Zenhaven
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- 5 zone lumbar support
- Free white glove delivery
- Might be too pricey for some
- Comes shipped full-sized
Our experience with the Saatva Zenhaven mattress
The Zenhaven mattress is Saatva’s all-foam and all-latex offering. It is also their only flippable mattress that offers two different firmness options within just one mattress. Made from 100% pure organic Talalay latex, the Zenhaven mattress is naturally hypoallergenic and distinctly cooling.
Who should buy the Saatva Zenhaven mattress
- All sleeper types
- Those who prefer an all-foam mattress
- Allergy sufferers
- Those who prefer a more responsive bed
- Those who prefer ecologically sourced products
- Hot sleepers
The Zenhaven mattress comes with two different firmness levels – a Luxury Plush and a Luxury Firm, all within one mattress. All you need to do is to flip it. Not a lot of mattress brands offer flippable mattresses. This is a good choice for couples who prefer different levels of firmness.
On the mattress firmness scale we rate Zenhaven’s Luxury Plush a 4-5 which is a medium-soft to medium. The Luxury Plush side would be a better fit for sleepers and combination sleepers since softer mattresses provide less pressure on the hips and shoulders which are a side sleeper’s main pressure points. The Luxury Firm side of the Zenhaven mattress is around a 6-7 on the mattress firmness scale, making it a medium-firm. Mattresses with a medium-firm feel would be more suitable for back and stomach sleepers as they offer more support for the back as well as pressure relief.
We found the Zenhaven mattress to offer excellent motion isolation. Foam mattresses in general are great at deadening motion. The Zenhaven mattress is ideal for those who share their bed with a partner or a pet.
The Zenhaven mattress is an all-foam mattress that features a latex support core. Because of its flippable design, the layers go from the outside-in on both sides.
2 layers of natural latex make up the inner core with no fillers or petroleum-based foams added. As we’ve previously mentioned, latex is naturally hypoallergenic, making latex mattresses a good choice for those who suffer from seasonal allergies as well as those with children. Latex is also cooling, unlike other all-foam mattresses made up of chemical-based foam. The mattress helps hot sleepers sleep a little cooler. We found the Zenhaven mattress to be an excellent cooling mattress.
Next comes 2 layers of 5-zone Talalay latex that make up the comfort layers as well as providing enhanced support. The 5 zones all work simultaneously to provide localized support to all areas of the body – from head to toe.
Buoyant and responsive, these latex foam layers do not let you sink into the bed like memory foam mattresses do. These layers also determine the firmness level of the Zenhaven mattress. Featuring ventilated pinholes all throughout, these layers allow air to flow throughout the entire mattress, keeping it fresh and dry. Pure and organic latex mattresses like the Saatva Zenhaven are also naturally resistant to mold, mildew and dust mites.
On both sides of the Zenhaven mattress is a layer of GOTS-certified organic New Zealand wool that helps regulate body temperature for extra breathability. 100% percent organic wool also acts as a natural flame retardant which is safer than the fiberglass that other mattress brands use as a flame retardant.
The entire mattress comes encased in a super soft quilted cover that’s made from breathable organic cotton. The cover itself also features what Saatva calls Lumbar Zone quilting – this provides more support in the center third of the mattress where back sleepers need it the most. This and all the other features stated in this review is what makes the Saatva Zenhaven the overall best mattress for back sleepers on our list.
Because it is made from 100% pure, natural and organic materials like cotton and latex, we did not experience any instances of off-gassing with the Saatva Zenhaven mattress.
The Saatva Zenhaven mattress comes in 7 standard mattress sizes, including a California King. It measures 10″ in thickness and is compatible with most bed frames, foundations and bed bases including an adjustable bed base like Saatva’s own Lineal Adjustable base.
- Twin XL
- Split King
- California King
Saatva offers financing for their Zenhaven mattress through Affirm.
Saatva offers a 365-night trial period, one of the longest in the industry. The Zenhaven mattress also comes backed by a lifetime warranty.
Saatva offers free shipping for all of their mattresses within the continental United States. Saatva mattresses come shipped full-sized, unlike bed-in-a-box mattresses. This is why Saatva also offers a complimentary white glove delivery and setup for all of their mattresses.
Buy: Saatva Zenhaven
#2. Helix Plus
Check Current Price | Best for Heavier-Set Back Sleepers
- Excellent for back sleepers who weigh well over 300 lbs.
- Suitable for extremely tall people
- Options for active-cooling covers
- Not suitable for strict side sleepers
- Slight off-gassing
Our experience with the Helix Plus mattress
Taller back sleepers, your search for a mattress that you can lie on comfortably without your feet hanging off the edge is over. The Helix Plus mattress is a hybrid mattress that combines memory foam, Helix’s own proprietary foam and a coil system that provides enhanced support for those who are both heavier-set and/or taller.
Who should buy the Helix Plus mattress
- Tall individuals
- Those who weigh over 250 lbs.
- Back and stomach sleepers
- Hot sleepers
- Those who prefer a more responsive type of memory foam
Based on our mattress firmness scale, we found the Helix Plus mattress to be around a 7-8 which makes it a medium-firm to firm mattress. A medium-firm mattress is great for back and stomach sleepers alike as a firmer feel provides support to both the spine and hips – two of the most crucial body parts that bear the brunt of a back/stomach sleeper’s weight.
Combination sleepers may also benefit from a medium-firm mattress although strict side sleepers, especially those who are lightweight may find the Helix Plus to be a little too firm. We recommend something like the Amerisleep AS5 for light to average-weight side sleepers for maximum pressure relief.
Since it is a hybrid mattress, the Helix Plus mattress can provide ample support as well as proper spinal alignment to heavy-to-average-weight back sleepers. The same goes for heavy-to-average-weight stomach sleepers too.
We found motion transfer to be fairly minimal when trying out the Helix Plus mattress with a partner. We also found the mattress to offer superior edge support so if you are someone who likes sleeping close to the edge of the bed, there will be no danger of rolling off.
There are 5 layers to the Helix Plus mattress. Since it is a hybrid bed, it is made up of a blend of memory foam, Helix’s proprietary cooling foam, latex foam and a coil system, as well as a base layer.
The top comfort layer of the Helix Plus is made up of ultra dense, 4 lb. memory plus foam. It is a Helix foam blend that is extra durable that offers just a tiny amount of sink and contouring that memory foam is most known for – even for extremely heavyweight sleepers.
Below that lies a layer of another one of Helix’s own foam blends – a latex foam alternative that helps combat the sinkage of the Helix Plus’ memory foam layers while providing more responsive support.
Another memory foam layer lies beneath the latex foam alternative. It is made up of a firmer type of memory foam which has a higher IFD (indentation force deflection in mattress-speak). Foam that has a higher IFD properly supports bigger body types. Helix adds this layer to their Plus mattress for even more support while adding foam firmness making it an excellent choice for back sleepers who weigh 300 lbs. and up.
The coil unit in the Helix Plus mattress is made up of hundreds of taller individually wrapped coils that helps cradle and support heavier weight. Pocketed coils not only help relieve pressure but also help with motion isolation. The coil unit also features a reinforced perimeter which gives the Helix Plus mattress its superior edge support.
Finally, the base layer is made up of high density Helix dynamic foam that provides base support and extra durability to the entire mattress.
All these layers come encased in either a Tencel cover or Helix’s own GlacioTex Cooling cover. The Helix Plus mattress originally comes with the Tencel cover but you can choose to opt for thee GlacioTex cover for a minimal fee. If you are the type to sleep hot, then we suggest going for the active cooling cover.
We did experience a tiny amount of off-gassing upon first unboxing the mattress but this is normal especially when it comes to mattresses that contain memory foam.
The Helix Plus mattress comes in 6 standard mattress sizes and measures 12″ in thickness. It is compatible with most bed bases and foundations, including an adjustable bed base.
- Twin XL
- California King
Helix offers financing for their mattresses through Klarna and Katapult.
Helix offers a 100 night sleep trial for all of their mattresses. The Helix Plus comes backed by 15 year warranty. Helix also offers free shipping for all of their mattresses within the contiguous United States.
Buy: Helix Plus
#3. Nolah Evolution 15
- Active cooling mattress
- Comes in 3 firmness levels
- Suitable for heavier individuals
- Can be too pricey for some
- Can be too high/thick for some
Our experience with the Nolah Evolution 15
The Nolah Evolution 15 mattress features up to 7 layers of actively cooling mattress materials that help keep the mattress stay cool, dry and fresh. Featuring a blend of proprietary foam and a pocketed coil unit that’s patented by Nolah, the Evolution 15 mattress is certainly one of the most cooling mattresses we have tried thus far.
Who should buy the Nolah Evolution 15
- Back sleepers who sleep extremely hot
- All sleeper types
- Heavy-set individuals
- Those who prefer an innerspring mattress feel
Nolah offers three firmness levels for their Evolution mattress: Plush, Luxury Firm and Firm. We found the Plush to be a 3-4 on the mattress firmness scale which is a soft mattress. This would be a good choice for average weight side sleepers. The Luxury Firm is around a 5-6 on the firmness scale and is around a medium to medium-firm, making it suitable for all sleeper types, as well as lightweight stomach sleepers. The Nolah Evolution Firm is around a 7-8 on the mattress firmness scale, making it a firm mattress. This makes it ideal for stomach sleepers and back sleepers alike.
The option to choose a firmness level that corresponds to your preferred sleeping position and your preferences is something we appreciate when it comes to Nolah mattresses. There’s something for everyone.
Because the Nolah Evolution is a hybrid mattress, those who weigh over 250 lbs. will feel well supported while getting some much needed pressure relief. All-foam and latex mattresses, while durable, may not be able to give heavier individuals the extra support that they would need hence why we always recommend hybrid mattresses for those who are heavier-set.
We found the Nolah Evolution to be able to give good motion isolation and we barely felt any motion transfer when we tried it out with a partner. In terms of edge support, the reinforced perimeter surrounding the coil unit made us feel comfortable sleeping even on the very edges of the bed.
There are 7 layers within the Nolah Evolution 15. The top layer is made up of 2″ of breathable foam Euro topper that features HTC (high thermal conductivity) quilting. This layer helps cushion the body’s curves while helping to draw excess heat away from the body.
Below that lies something that we’ve only seen in Nolah mattresses. A 2″ layer of what Nolah calls their AirBreath gusset that helps excess heat dissipate instead of accumulating within the mattress. This feature greatly enhances the Nolah Evolution’s cooling capabilities.
Next lies 2″ of AirFoamICE, another one of Nolah’s proprietary foams. Infused with graphite, this memory foam alternative helps relieve pressure off the main pressure points while also drawing heat away from the body.
To counteract any sinkage from the alternative memory foam layer, below that lies 2″ of high-resilience foam that provides full body support, with emphasis on the spinal and lumbar areas. This layer is also pretty responsive and won’t let you feel as though you are sinking into the bed.
The transition layer is made up of 1″ of high density foam which adds another level of responsive support. The coil unit in the Nolah Evolution is made up of 8″ HDMax Tri-zone support coils that offer 25% more support than regular pocketed coils. Similar to innerspring mattresses, a coil unit allows for better air circulation while providing even more support to the entire bed.
The base layer is made up of a special foam that’s made from recycled plant materials which help provide stability and durability to all the layers above.
All these layers come encased in a mattress cover that’s made from organic cotton but of course Nolah takes it up a notch by infusing the cover with heat-dissipating ArticTex fibers. It helps keep sleepers cool and dry while also preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
We did not experience any instances of off-gassing when we first unboxed the Nolah Evolution 15 mattress. All of Nolah’s mattresses are made entirely in the USA.
The Nolah Evolution 15 comes in 7 standard mattress sizes including a Split King. It measures 15″ in thickness and is compatible with most frames, bases and foundations as well as zero gravity bases.
- Twin XL
- California King
- Split King
Nolah offers financing options for their mattresses through Affirm.
Nolah offers a 120 night risk-free sleep trial for all of their mattresses. The Nolah Evolution 15 also comes backed by a lifetime warranty. Nolah also offers free shipping for all of their mattresses within the United States.
Buy: Nolah Evolution 15
- Comes in 4 firmness levels
- Suitable for heavier individuals
- Offers the same responsive support as a traditional innerspring mattress
- May be too springy for some
- Minimal motion transfer
Our experience with the WinkBed mattress
The WinkBed mattress, for all intents and purposes, is both a hybrid and an innerspring. It contains a coil unit made up of individually wrapped pocketed coils, gel-infused memory foam as well as a cushiony Euro-Pillow top. So if you’re hankering for a bed like the one you grew up with, why not upgrade to a WinkBed?
Who should buy the WinkBed mattress
- Those who prefer innerspring beds
- Heavier individuals
- Hot sleepers
- Those who suffer from back pain
You can choose between 4 firmness levels with the WinkBed mattress: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer and Plus.
As its name suggests, the Softer firmness level sits on a 3-4 on the firmness scale, making it a truly soft and squishy feel. This makes it a good choice for those who sleep strictly on their sides or those who are of average weight to lightweight. The Luxury Firm level is around a 5.5 on the scale, making it a medium. A medium firmness level can accommodate all sleeper types. The Firmer level sits on a 6-7 on the scale and can be classified as a medium-firm to firm. This is best used by back sleepers and those who prefer to sleep on their stomachs.
The WinkBed Plus’ firmness level is actually a specialized firmness level that is targets heavier-set stomach and back sleepers. There’s definitely something for everyone.
We did feel a tiny amount of motion transfer when we tried out the WinkBed mattress with a partner but nothing too disturbing – unless you share your bed with an extremely light sleeper. We also found the edge support to be excellent and felt no danger of slipping or falling off the bed when sitting or laying close to the edge.
The WinkBed mattress features a pretty simple construction. The top comfort layer is made up of a Euro-Pillow top that adds a plush, hotel bed-like feel to the entire bed. Below that lies 2 different layers of gel-infused hyper-soft foam that helps wick away heat from both the body and the mattress. The same foam layers provide pressure relief to the areas where the body most needs it. Unlike regular gel memory foam, this memory foam alternative does not give you that stuck in the mud feel.
The transition layer is made up of high-density foam that helps provide a more responsive support. But the star of the show is the coil unit. Made up of individually wrapped pocketed coils, these coils are separated into different zones, essentially creating a multi-zonal support. These zones provide more support in areas where the body most needs it, such as back and hips while applying less pressure on areas that need to be coddled such as shoulders and knees.
In our experience, this makes the WinkBed mattress an excellent choice for those who suffer from back pain, whether chronic or temporary. Proper spinal alignment is crucial especially when it comes to those who suffer from chronic pain.
These layers within the WinkBed mattress come encased in an ultra-soft mattress cover that’s made from Tencell. Softer than silk, cooler than linen and more absorbent than cotton, the WinkBed’s mattress cover helps wick away both heat and moisture, which helps keep your mattress stay cool, dry and fresh for longer.
We did not experience any off-gassing when we unboxed the WinkBed mattress. All of WinkBeds’ mattresses are made in the USA.
The WinkBed mattress comes in 6 standard mattress sizes and measures 13.5 in thickness. It is compatible with most frames, bases and foundations including a platform bed.
- Twin XL
- California King
WinkBeds offer their own financing options upon checkout.
WinkBeds offer a 120 night free trial for all of their mattresses. The WinkBed mattress comes backed by a lifetime warranty and WinkBeds offer free shipping within the continental United States.
Buy: WinkBed mattress
#5. Layla Hybrid
- Responsive support
- May be too thick for some
- Slight off-gassing
Our experience with the Layla Hybrid
Here’s another flippable mattress for all you back sleepers out there. The Layla Hybrid mattress is not only the best hybrid mattress on our best mattresses for back sleepers list but looks-wise, it’s also one of the sleekest-looking mattresses we’ve had the pleasure of trying.
Containing copper-infused memory foam which promises a cooler and cleaner sleep, the Layla Hybrid mattress is also flippable. That’s right. One side is soft, while the other is firm. This makes the Layla Hybrid mattress a suitable mattress for all sleeping positions, including those who sleep only on their backs.
Who should buy the Layla Hybrid
- All sleeper types
- Heavier individuals
- Hot sleepers
You get two different firmness levels within one mattress with the Layla Hybrid. One side is soft, which according to our scale is around 4-5 while the flip side is firm, which we gauge to be around a 7-8 on the firmness scale. This makes it suitable for all sleeper types although if you’re one half of a couple and you both have widely varying sleeping preferences, a little compromise may need to be taken.
We experienced little to no motion transfer when we tried the Layla Hybrid mattress out with a partner and we found edge support to be fairly good. You won’t be rolling off the bed but we also do not recommend sleeping too close to the edge.
There are 5 internal layers within the Layla Hybrid mattress. In the middle sits the coil unit made up of individually wrapped 14-gauge center coils. On the edge of the coil unit are 16-gauge edge coils that offer reinforced edge support. Pocketed coils help absorb motion making the Layla Hybrid an excellent choice if you share your bed with a partner or a pet.
Both the firm and soft sides of the mattress contain the same type of foam layers with only different firmness levels. On each side of the coil unit lies a layer of Max Airflow support foam that contain deep channels for maximum cooling and better airflow. These layers also feature zoned SMT (surface modification technology) for customized support.
Next comes the top layers on both ends, which is made up of copper-infused memory foam. Copper is a well-known heat conductor and helps keep heat away from both the body and the mattress. Copper is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, and helps keep your mattress free from mold and mildew growth as well as any unpleasant odors.
On the firm side, the copper memory foam layer has a firm and supportive feel and features variable support for deep compression areas. On the soft side, the copper memory foam layer has a soft and plush feel while also providing variable support. Both sides have rapid cooling responses and provide the same contouring and cradling memory foam feel without the intense sinkage of a traditional memory foam mattress.
All these layers come encased in a super soft fabric that’s breathable. It comes in a gray color with a hexagonal quilted design that’s exclusive only to Layla. The mattress cover also has handles on each side which helps make flipping the mattress easier. It is removable and machine-washable so should spills or accidents occur, you can chuck it in the wash immediately.
We did experience a tiny amount of off-gassing upon first unboxing the mattress but this dissipated within 48 hours. We suggest airing the mattress out in a well-ventilated room for a day or two prior to first use. All of Layla’s mattresses are made in the USA. All of the foam used in the Layla Hybrid mattress are CertiPUR-US certified.
The Layla Hybrid mattress comes in 6 standard mattress sizes and measures 13″ in thickness. It is compatible with most bed bases, frames and foundations including an adjustable bed base.
- Twin XL
- California King
Layla offers financing options for their mattresses through Affirm.
Layla offers a 120 night risk-free sleep trial for all of their mattresses. The Layla Hybrid comes backed by a 10-year warranty. Layla also offers free shipping for all of their mattresses within the continental United States.
Buy: Layla Hybrid
Quick view and comparison
|Brands||Saatva Zenhaven||Helix Plus||Nolah Evolution 15||WinkBed||Layla Hybrid|
|Feel||Luxury Plush/Luxury Firm||Medium Firm||Plush/Luxury Firm/Firm||Softer/Luxury Firm/Firmer/Plus||Soft/Firm|
|Motion Transfer||Minimal to none||Minimal to none||Minimal to none||Minimal||Minimal|
|Edge Support||Excellent||Very good||Very good||Very good||Good|
|Sleeping Position||All sleeper types||Back and stomach sleepers||All sleeper types||All sleeper types||All sleeper types|
|Link to buy||Buy Saatva Zenhaven||Buy Helix Plus||Buy Nolah Evolution 15||Buy WinkBed||Buy Layla Hybrid|
Stumped as to what to look for when buying a mattress? We’ve put together a little guide for you so finding the right mattress for your sleeping position and preferences should be smooth sailing.
Firmness levels are quite subjective based on body weight, height and sleeping position. The rule of thumb is, if you’re a side or combination sleeper, you should opt for a soft mattress and if you’re a stomach or back sleeper, you should choose a firmer mattress. Our mattress firmness guide can help you delve deeper into mattress firmness levels.
While it’s easy to disregard edge support, it is actually quite important especially if you sleep closer to the edge or share a bed with either a partner or a pet. A stronger edge support also means you have more real estate to move freely about in bed, especially if you’re the type of sleeper who finds themselves sleeping across the bed.
Mattress construction is crucial when it comes to choosing a bed. While all mattresses are built differently and contain many different components, it’s important to check for certifications and research on mattress types to see which types of mattresses work well for your body type, sleeping position and health concerns.
Types of mattresses for sleeping on your back
The best mattresses for back sleepers are ones that should be medium-firm to firm. Firmer mattresses offer better support for back sleepers since a firmer surface provides proper spinal alignment while giving your main pressure points some much needed relief.
A firm mattress is also recommended for those who suffer from back problems such as chronic pain from fibromyalgia or scoliosis.
Firmness levels aside, mattress types can help you with other issues you might have such as sleeping hot, allergies, or any other health condition you would like to address.
Hybrid mattresses are a blend of foam layers and a coil unit. These days, the coil unit is usually made up of individually-wrapped coils to help with motion isolation. Hybrid mattresses also offer more support to those who weigh over 250 lbs. Because of the coil system, hybrids also feature better air circulation within the mattresses which helps sleepers sleep cooler.
There is a lot of love for memory foam due to its contouring and body hugging feel, which offers both pain and pressure relief. The thing is though, traditional memory foam tends to retain heat which can be a problem for those that sleep excessively hot. Thankfully, mattress brands have begun manufacturing memory foam alternatives that contain cooling materials such as copper, graphite and gel which can help with sleeping hot. You can check our best memory foam mattress list if you are dead set on getting one.
Innerspring mattresses are where hybrids get their prototype from. Usually coming without foam layers, traditional innersprings also need box springs as a means of support. These days, hybrids have been moonlighting as innersprings and both innerspring beds and hybrid beds offer a more responsive support as opposed to the the cradled-in feel of an all-foam bed.
Pure and natural latex offer a whole host of benefits from being naturally hypoallergenic and cooling to offering both a cuddled-in feel while being slightly springy and responsive. Mattresses made from natural latex also tend to be more durable and usually lasts longer than any other mattress type out there. The only caveat when it comes to a latex mattress is that you also have to pay a premium price if you decide to go for a natural and organic latex mattress.
Studies have shown that back sleepers benefit more from sleeping on a firmer mattress rather than a soft one. Firm mattresses are excellent at promoting proper sleep posture for strict back sleepers.
Hybrid mattresses can be excellent beds for strict back sleepers as long as they are firm to medium-firm in feel and firmness. Firm to medium-firm mattresses give the most support to those who prefer sleeping on their backs.
If you are happy with your current bed but need something a little firmer, you may add a firm mattress topper on top of your mattress. Mattress toppers help alter the feel and firmness of your mattress, while also providing more back support.
Bed frames can help your back by providing a sturdy base for your chosen mattress.
Although back sleepers only make up a small proportion of the population, finding the right mattress is crucial if you want to get a good night’s sleep.
A firm, supportive mattress that does not retain too much heat is the best mattress for back sleepers. Softer mattresses could wreak havoc on a back sleeper’s spinal alignment.
Whether your average-weight, lightweight or heavier set, we got the right mattress for you.
Next step: Take a look at the Saatva Zenhaven mattress. We like it because it offers two different firmness levels in one mattress, which is great if you aren’t sure how firm you want your mattress to be. The risk-free trial and excellent warranty seal the deal. This is by far the best mattress for back sleepers (and we’ve tried a lot, trust us).
How we rate mattresses
We rate mattresses using the following criteria:
- Structural integrity and durability
- Firmness and support
Learn more about our mattress rating process and methodology here.
Psst… the sleep review industry is full of liars, sharks, and thieves. It’s a modern-day version of getting ripped off at your local mattress store. So, why should you trust us?