Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers: A Guide to the Firmest Beds

When it comes to buying a mattress fit for a back sleeper, firmness and pressure-point relief are two key features to look out for. Mattresses come in all shapes, sizes and firmness levels, though, so the buying process isn’t always straightforward.

Sleep Authorities has outlined a step-by-step buying guide below to help back sleepers find the best bed to rest on for a good night’s sleep. No matter if you have back pain, need cooling temperature regulation or desire pressure-point relief, we’ve got a mattress for you. Read on to discover the best mattresses for back sleepers!

Our Top 3 Picks

GhostBed LuxeLaylaTulo Firm


Layla Mattress Logo 600x400

Tulo Mattress Logo 600x400


A layer by layer analysis of the dual sided Layla Sleep mattress.

For Medium Firmness For Cooling Capabilities For Firmness
The GhostBed Luxe is made with 2-stage cooling technology and is ideal for back sleepers with minor back pain. Plus, it comes with a cooling cover for added temperature regulation.The Layla mattress has two sides: soft and firm. Back sleepers will enjoy the firm side, which includes Thermo-Gel cooling technology to reduce heat buildup.Back sleepers with little to no back pain will enjoy the Tulo Firm mattress for its extreme firmness and all-foam design.

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GhostBed Luxe

A white mattress with two white bed pillows on a gray fabric bed frame


  • Great edge support
  • Minimal sinkage
  • Cooling properties
  • 25-year warranty


  • Not ideal for sleepers who prefer warm mattresses
  • Expensive

Best For…

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Sleepers looking for temperature regulation
  • Pressure-point relief
  • Medium firmness
GhostBed Overview
Mattress TypeFoam
Ships in…2-5 days
Trial Period101 nights
Firmness Level5.5-6.5
Sleeper TypeBack and stomach
Warranty25 years

With a firmness rating between 5.5 and 6.5, the GhostBed Luxe makes the perfect mattress for back sleepers who don’t want to sleep on a mattress that’s too firm. It also comes with a cover made with the company’s notable “Ghost Ice” fabric, so temperature regulation should never be a problem. GhostBed mattresses are notorious for their cooling capabilities, which is an added bonus for sleepers who often wake up hot.

People with minor to severe back pain will appreciate the Ghost Bounce foam layer, which is made with two inches of gel-infused memory foam. This layer works specifically to relieve pressure at pain points throughout your body. It gives the mattress a bit of bounce to keep it from feeling too firm or too soft.

You can read our full review of GhostBed mattresses for more information.


GhostBed mattresses best support sleepers who rely on cooling temperature regulation and pressure-point relief.

Layla Sleep

Close-up shot of the dual sided Layla mattress, shows light gray on top and dark gray on bottom.


  • Flippable design
  • Cooling cover
  • Includes firm and soft sides


  • Only one option

Best For…

  • Minimal motion transfer
  • All sleeping positions
  • Temperature regulation through copper
Layla Sleep Overview
Mattress TypeFoam
ShippingFree in contiguous U.S., $125 for Hawaii and Alaska, $200-$225 + duties/fees for Canada
ReturnsFree in contiguous U.S.
Ships in…2-5 business days
Trial Period120 nights
Firmness Level4.5 for soft side, 7 for firm side
Sleeper TypeBack sleepers on the firm side

The Layla mattress comes in a flippable design: a soft side for side sleepers and a firm side for stomach and back sleepers. The firm side of the mattress is perfect for back sleepers looking for firm support right at the surface. Plus, the outer cover is made with a Thermo-Gel cooling technology to ensure body heat does not build up throughout the night.

Back sleepers who don’t have much back pain will benefit from the high firmness level on Layla’s firm side. The firm side prevents too much sinking from occurring, which is ideal for back sleepers, who need a sleep surface that won’t drown their body weight. Plus, if sleepers decide they want to try a mattress with a softer surface, all they have to do is flip their Layla mattress, and they will find a completely different feel.

For more information, you can read our full review of Layla mattress.

Layla Mattress Logo 600x400

Layla Sleep offers a memory foam bed that won’t contribute to night sweats, all the while offering flexible firmness levels to suit a wide range of sleepers.

Tulo Firm


  • 3 firmness levels available
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available to try at Mattress Firm stores


  • Not ideal for people who prefer thick mattresses
  • No hybrid options

Best For…

  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • Sleepers who need extremely firm support
Tulo Firm Overview
Mattress TypeFoam
ShippingUp to 2 weeks
Ships in…Up to 2 weeks
Trial Period120 nights
Firmness LevelHigh
Sleeper TypeBack and stomach
Warranty10 years

If you’re in the market for a firm mattress and want to stay within a tight budget, a Tulo Firm may be right for you. With just four foam layers, the Tulo Firm creates a solid base for back sleepers to rely on for a wonderful night’s sleep each night. The Tulo Firm makes up a pretty dense mattress, yet it includes a “peak & valley” layer to promote temperature regulation with airflow.

Back sleepers who are looking for a mattress on the firmer side should consider the Tulo Firm, as it has very little sinkage. With 4.5 inches of high-density memory foam as its base, the Tulo Firm is built to support back and stomach sleepers above all else.

For more guidance, you can delve into our full Tulo mattress review.

Tulo Mattress Logo 600x400

Tulo mattresses come in 3 firmness levels: soft, medium, and firm. As a quality, budget-friendly mattress, the Tulo is perfect for all sleeper types.

What type of mattress do back sleepers need?

Back sleepers can adjust to any type of mattress, so long as it is firm enough to support their spines and posture during sleep. When shopping for a mattress fit for a back sleeper, it’s important to keep in mind the sinkage rate of each mattress. Back sleepers tend to need solid, firm support so that their spine doesn’t sink into the mattress. To make things easier, we’ve outline a few key things to look for in your next mattress.

Firmness is Key (Usually)

A woman wearing a white tank top and rubbing her back while sitting up on a white mattress with a white cover.

Back sleepers typically enjoy firmer mattresses as opposed to memory foam mattresses, which are usually extremely soft and have higher sinkage rates. Enjoying a firm mattress is particularly common for back sleepers with little to no back pain. 

For back sleepers with back pain, a medium-firm mattress would work best. Plus, some mattresses, like the Nolah Evolution 15, provide firmness options so you can get the right fit for you.

Most mattresses will display a firmness rating on their website so you can decide whether or not it will be too firm or just right. Medium firmness ratings will range from about 5-6, while higher firmness ratings will range 7-10. Pair with a minimal platform bed frame to achieve maximum level of firmness.

Are memory foam mattresses good for back sleepers?

If someone is a back sleeper and does not want a mattress that’s too firm, they should try a gel memory foam mattress. Some traditional, all-foam memory foam mattresses can be too soft for back sleepers and in turn do not provide enough support to their spines. A gel memory foam mattress can provide some sinkage and soft support, while not totally sinking one’s weight.


Final Thoughts: Which Mattresses Will Suit Back Sleepers Best?

Back sleepers can adjust to any type of mattress, so long as it is firm enough to support their spines and posture during sleep. If you’re a back sleeper and are still unsure about which type of mattress to purchase, have no fear. Below is a quick breakdown of what we believe you should look for.

If you’re a back sleeper, look for:

  • A mattress on the firmer side if you have little to no back pain.
  • A mattress on the medium-firm side if you have moderate to severe back pain.
  • Mattresses with gel foam for cooling purposes and moderate soft support.
  • A mattress with very low sinkage.

Back sleepers should avoid:

  • Mattresses that are either too soft or too firm.
  • Mattresses with extremely soft pillow tops.

Medical Disclaimer

This article is for reference purposes only. It should not replace the advice of a licensed professional. Do not use this article to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Any and all health concerns should be directed to a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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Julia Quade

Side sleeper and night owl. Daily naps are a must.

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