3 Things to Look for in a Latex Mattress if You're a Back Sleeper

/ October 10, 2019

We have some very good news for you: If you're a back sleeper, know that your preferred sleep position is best for your overall health. Back sleeping keeps your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position, taking pressure off those areas and making it less likely that you'll wake up with aches and pains.

That said, the wrong mattress can leave you feeling sore, no matter what position you favor.

A latex mattress is a great option for back sleepers. Latex is responsive like innerspring and conforms like memory foam, providing excellent comfort and support for back sleepers. It's also extremely eco-friendly to boot. Keep in mind that the mattress that's right for you will be different from the one that's ideal for side or stomach sleepers.

Here's what to look for in a latex mattress if you're a back sleeper.

How to find the best latex mattress for back sleepers

Back sleepers do well on just about any sleep surface—innerspring, memory foam, or latex. Latex is a good choice for back sleepers because of its unique blend of cradling and buoyancy. In fact, many medical experts often recommend latex mattresses to patients who are back sleepers and also have chronic back pain. Because it conforms to your body, latex relieves pressure on the back and shoulders while also supporting the natural curvature of your spine.

If you're a back sleeper shopping for a latex mattress, look for the following features:

  • Talalay latex support core: There are two methods of producing latex, and each one produces a very different feel. Dunlop, the original latex production process, involves stirring, molding, and baking the sap of the rubber tree (hevea brasiliensis). Talalay is the second iteration of latex foam. To make Talalay latex, the sap is vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen to stabilize the particles before being baked into solid form, making it softer and lighter than Dunlop latex. The uniform consistency and greater resilience of Talalay provides unmatched comfort to back sleepers.
  • Slightly firmer comfort levelcomfort level: Avoid anything too soft or too firm if you're a back sleeper. A too-soft latex mattress won't give you enough support, pulling you down into the bed, while an overly firm latex mattress will put too much pressure on your shoulders and back, leading to soreness in the morning. Your best bet is a medium-firm latex mattress. That said, heavier back sleepers should opt for a slightly firmer comfort level. (Here's how to find the best mattress for your body type.)
  • Zoned lumbar support: Lumbar support is one of the most important features to look for in a latex mattress if you're a back sleeper—this is especially true if you have back pain. Lumbar support will ensure your spine is kept in neutral alignment while you sleep. A mattress with a reinforced lumbar zone typically features an area of firmer latex in the center third of the mattress. (Learn how to protect your back while you sleep.)

Our Best Latex Mattress for Back Sleepers

Zenhaven Latex Mattress

100% Talalay latex responds to every curve for pressure-free support and responsive comfort. Talalay latex is supple, resilient, and durable, for the ultimate in elevated sleep. (It's naturally hypoallergenic too.)


How to find the best pillow for back sleepers

Matching your pillow to your sleep position is important too. The best pillow for back sleepers is one that molds to the shape of your head and neck. Suffer from back pain? Place another pillow under your knees while you sleep to maintain the curve of your lower back and relieve discomfort.

For more advice on finding the right latex bed for you, here's how to choose the best latex mattress for your sleep position.

christina heiser

Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is the content manager at Saatva. She has held previous positions at Everyday Health, Women's Health, and L'Oréal. When she's not working, you can find Christina checking out the latest boutique fitness classes in New York City, cheering on her college basketball team (go Red Storm!), and trying new beauty and wellness trends.

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