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Have you ever woken up feeling like a stick? Not being able to move freely because of the pain or simply feeling beaten up?
Then you probably need a good mattress for neck and back pain.
Luckily, there are plenty of great options, and we are going to look at 6 best mattresses for neck and back pain today. Keep reading to find what works for you, plus check our comprehensive buyer’s guide to make the most informed decision.
A Quick Preview
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick
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Best for Pressure Relief
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Best Cooling Option
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Best for Combination Sleepers
Brooklyn Signature Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding
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Best Hybrid Mattress for Neck Pain
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Our List of the Best Mattresses for Neck and Back Pain Sufferers
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick — Winkbeds
- zoned support system for proper weight distribution and spinal alignment;
- Tencel® cover helps you feel cool if you tend to overheat at night;
- sturdy edges to help you get out of bed easier;
- enhanced lumbar support for proper sleeping posture;
- cradling Eurotop for gentle pressure relief.
The first contestant for the right to be called the best mattress for neck pain is the Winkbed. What makes this model stand out from hundreds of mattresses on the market is its reliable construction that is meant to protect your neck from pain. The Winkbed uses sturdy coils for zoned support, gel-infused foam for cooling tension alleviation, and even has a reinforced lumbar section to keep your spine properly supported (and safe from discomfort and pain).
Another cool thing about the Winkbed is the firmness variety it offers. There are 4 options that would suit any sleeping position and body type. Additionally, this model uses top-notch materials and comes with a lifetime warranty. This means the Winkbed isn’t likely to let you down and lose its supportive properties. The mattress promises durability and years of reliable performance.
From my experience, while reviewing the Winkbeds, I enjoyed how sturdy this mattress felt from the impact of its zone layer. This feature provided targeted support for my head, neck, and back while ensuring my spine was in a neutral position for pain-free sleep.
Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.
- Strong support game thanks to its reliable construction;
- Special lumbar area to maintain proper spinal alignment;
- Sleeps neutral, would work for hot sleepers;
- Multiple firmness levels to accommodate a wide range of users;
- Lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.
- Due to the coil core, this mattress has a rather bouncy feel and might not work for someone seeking great motion isolation (or memory foam fans).
Runner Up — Puffy
- quality materials for reliable performance;
- medium feel to accommodate a wide range of users;
- removable cover for easy cleaning;
- high-density core for proper support;
- gel-infused foam for cooler pressure relief.
Another model that deserves to be among the best mattresses for neck pain and back issues is the Puffy, an all-foam mattress that uses quality components and comes at a very attractive price. Additionally, the Puffy combines different foam densities to achieve an effective mix of support, proper weight distribution, and tension relief.
This model has a medium feel and would work for a wide range of sleepers. The Puffy offers a deep hug that so many of us enjoy. At the same time, it doesn’t feel like quicksand thanks to the resilient transition layer. Another cool thing about this mattress is its motion absorbing ability. It makes the Puffy an excellent solution for partnered sleep.
What stood out for me while testing the Puffy mattress was how adequately supported I felt when I slept on my side. The plush feel offered adequate cushioning for my shoulder, hip, and spine, therefore discouraging the buildup of tension around my lumbar region.
Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.
- Quality-made and reasonably priced, good value for money;
- Excellent pressure relief that can aid pain reduction;
- Easy-to-clean cover;
- Sturdy support for proper weight distribution.
- Might not work for larger folks (over 230 pounds);
- Too soft for strict stomach sleepers.
Best for Pressure Relief — Nectar
- quilted cover for a deeper hug and effective pressure relief;
- gel-infused foams for cooler sleep;
- good motion isolation, suited for couples;
- natural Tencel cover for increased breathability;
- good conforming properties combined with sturdy support for spinal health.
The next model that deserves to be called one of the best mattresses for neck pain or back stiffness is the Nectar. This mattress offers a gentle hug while supporting the spine in a proper position, which results in excellent pressure relief that might also soothe the pain. Plus, the Nectar uses cooling foams and isn’t likely to make you sweat during the night.
You might also appreciate the Eurotop design of this mattress that gives it a luxurious feel. Additionally, the Nectar is a medium mattress that would work for a wide range of users. It’s a great option for side sleepers (which is the most common position) and one of the best mattresses for shoulder pain.
Nectar is able to evenly re-distribute your weight while lying on the back; you will unlikely to fell pressure build-up, making it a good option for our list. This contrasts Saatva, which has a slight pressure build-up under the shoulder while on the side.
- Great pressure relief without making you sleep hot;
- Medium feel, suited for a wide variety of sleepers;
- Quality made and offers reliable support;
- Natural cover, suited for allergy-prone users.
- Not ideal for heavier individuals (over 230 pounds).
Best Cooling Option — Ghostbed Luxe
- Ghost Ice fabric cover uses PCM material that helps the mattress feel cool to the touch every time you change positions.
- The gel infused memory foams provide adequate cushion, bounciness, and give.
- This mattress comprises the special Ghost Ice Fabric and Ghost Ice Layer which are especially designated to move heat away from the mattress surface.
- It is a medium plush mattress with enough support for different kinds of sleepers.
- The firm bottom layer of this mattress provides the necessary support for the edges and ensures durability.
The Ghostbed Luxe is an extraordinary 7-layered bed targeted at people with muscle cramps along the back and neck. The plushness ensures this foam contours to your body form while the firm layer ensures you get enough support which can help alleviate pain.
In addition, this memory foam mattress offers one of the best cool mattress surfaces around. The nearly patented technology used to ensure a cool surface allows users to get a 24-hour surface coolness without compromising the integrity of the mattress’ support and contouring.
In my review of this product, I noticed its memory foam has adequate adaptability to pressure. This feature gently cuddled around the curve of my neck such that there was no pressure buildup while keeping my spine in a neutral position.
- Cool surface thanks to an almost patented tech.
- 7 layers to enjoy comfort in the form of contouring and support.
- Adequate for different kinds of sleepers, and also provides enough bounce for night activities
- Assured durability and zero sagging edges with a firm bottom layer.
- The 7-layered pattern makes it hard to flip upside down for use.
Best for Combination Sleepers — Brooklyn Signature Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding
- three firmness options to satisfy more types of sleepers;
- responsive foams recover their shape in less than five seconds, meaning you won’t feel stuck in bed;
- independent coils to minimize motion transfer;
- extra-strong perimeter coils to offer uniform support and more sleeping space;
- gel-infused foam for enhanced temperature regulation.
Want to find the best mattress for neck and back pain that can relieve tension without making you feel stuck in the foam? Then the Signature Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding might be your perfect match. This model uses conforming foams that adapt to the body’s shape and reduce tension. However, the Signature Hybrid’s foams aren’t enveloping. They respond fast to the applied pressure and, thus, do not limit movement. As a combination sleeper, I appreciate that a lot. I could change position effortlessly on the Signature Hybrid while still enjoying proper tension relief.
Additionally, this mattress by Brooklyn Bedding can make an excellent solution for partners who require more space. This has to do with its sturdy edges. When testing the edge support levels, I didn’t feel like I was going to roll off at any point during the night. This means couples can sleep closer to the edges, enjoy their independent spaces, and still receive the proper support.
As a combo sleeper, I found this mattress’s fast responsiveness fascinating while reviewing it. Thanks to its prompt response to pressure, I could shift my sleep position from side to back while keeping my neck and spine healthy.
Read our full Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid review for more information.
- isn’t likely to sleep hot, great for individuals who tend to overheat during the night;
- does not restrict movement;
- multiple comfort options to accommodate more sleeper types;
- strong edge support to offer more space for couples;
- proprietary foams that excel at pressure relief but don’t feel like quicksand;
- independent support coils to reduce motion transfer.
- not very hugging, which may disappoint sleepers who are used to memory foam;
- might not be enveloping enough for strict side sleepers (especially petite individuals).
Best Hybrid Mattress for Neck Pain — Saatva
- sturdy support for proper weight distribution;
- pocketed coils respond individually to movement, helping motion from traveling across the bed so you and your partner are less disturbed;
- Spinal Zone for proper alignment;
- thick Eurotop for effective pressure relief;
- breathable cover for cooler sleep.
If you are looking for a balanced combination of support and pressure relief, the Saatva might be the perfect pick for you. This top-rated mattress for neck pain or a bad back would deliver both: sturdy targeted support (thanks to the wrapped coils) and gentle tension alleviation (courtesy of the plush Eurotop).
Additionally, the Saatva uses special spinal technology to help sleepers maintain a neutral alignment during the night and, consequently, keep their backs healthy. There is also an extra memory foam layer in the lumbar area for enhanced support.
Saatva’s sinkage is around 2.5 inches, meaning that Saatva offers a moderate amount of conformity that cushions the neck and spine. However, you are still properly supported, which is also crucial for a healthy neck and spine.
Read our full Saatva mattress review for more information.
- Multiple firmness options for a wide range of sleepers;
- Reliable support for proper spinal alignment;
- Doesn’t sleep hot;
- Thick Eurotop for gentle pressure relief;
- Strong edges for extra sleeping space.
- Has a rather bouncy feel and might not work for couples (especially light sleepers).
Our Methodology - Why I Picked These Mattresses
The best mattresses for neck pain tend to have thick comfort layers with moderate sinkage, suck as most memory foam or hybrid mattresses. The more the neck and spine are cushioned while maintaining spinal alignment, the more pressure and tension relief will be felt.
When I reviewed mattresses, I looked for good pressure-relieving properties and anything that would help the mattress keep the body even and flat. I started with the layers, pulling each apart individually to test their density and feel. I then tested for pressure relief, judging how cushioned I felt while lying on my back, side, and stomach. Sinkage was also measured to indicate better how cushioned the body would be, measuring compressions on heavier and lighter body parts. I also checked for motion isolation, as a high isolation value can help keep the neck and spine from being jostled in the night by a partner. These tests were done with a glass of water on one side, and various compression tests on the other, seeing how much the water moved. I will share more methodology tips below so you can better understand what mattress to help with neck pain would suit you best.
Can a Mattress Make My Neck Hurt? (+ Other Potential Causes)
Neck and back pain are rather common and affect countless Americans every year. The reason why these body parts are so frequently in pain is that many factors and everyday life aspects can have an influence on them.
As you have probably guessed, one of the most common reasons is sleeping on a bad mattress. Let me explain. If your mattress is old and can’t support your body properly anymore (or maybe you simply bought an overly soft model), it can allow too much sinkage, which often leads to unwanted curves in one’s spine and a poor sleeping position. As a result, it leads to back and neck strain and causes stiffness and pain. Now, let’s look at it from a different angle. If your mattress is overly firm, it will keep your body on the surface, which won’t allow your spine to remain in its neutral state (with its natural curves). Instead, your neck, spine, and hips will fall into misalignment. Again, this often results in a bad sleeping posture and pain. The same rule applies if your mattress has developed lumps, sags, indentations, or body impressions. If it doesn’t have a uniform surface anymore, it can’t provide uniform support for your body. This may result in uneven weight distribution and stress on certain body parts that can also cause pain or stiffness.
Of course, you can change the feel of your mattress. For instance, you can get a good mattress topper for lower back pain or add a pad to make your bed feel softer. Changing the bed frame can often provide more support for your mattress and make it feel slightly firmer. But these solutions aren’t a universal remedy. And if your mattress is too old (or completely unsuited for your body type in terms of firmness), getting a new one might be the best solution. Now, some other factors can make you experience neck pain, so don’t be in a hurry to blame your bed. Here are just a few examples:
- overuse of the back muscles, for instance, repetitive actions (often work-related) or heavy lifting;
- obesity, which puts more weight (and pressure) on your spine and discs (1);
- disc diseases or herniation, which can even cause chronic back pain or sciatica (shooting pain down the backs of the legs, which often makes people extremely uncomfortable during sleep and forces them to search for special mattresses for sciatica);
- arthritis, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis, which can cause both neck and back pain (2);
- prolonged sitting (especially common for office workers) (3);
- sport-related injuries (4).
There are some methods you can try to relieve pain (5), but it’s crucial to understand that you need to get a proper diagnosis in order to receive proper care. That’s why do not hesitate to talk to your doctor once you start experiencing back or neck pain. Perhaps the reason is hiding in your unsuitable mattress and getting a new one would fix your problems. Or perhaps the cause of the pain is a bit more serious. Just remember that only a professional will be able to tell.
How to Pick the Best Mattress for Neck Pain: Buyer’s Guide
So, what makes the best mattress for neck pain relief?
Many factors, actually.
You see, there isn’t one perfect mattress that can help any individual with neck or back pain sleep better. To find the best option, you need to pick something suited for you. And to do that (plus, to narrow down the list of options), consider the following factors when shopping:
- Firmness. The reason why firmness level matters is that it will determine the feel of your mattress (and, consequently, your sleeping posture, which I’ve mentioned before). For instance, stomach sleepers need the sturdiest support and are often advised to pick firm beds (rated around 7-8 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the stiffest). Back sleepers require moderate sinkage for their buttocks and hips, so they often choose medium mattresses (around 5-6). As for side sleepers, they benefit the most from a generous hug for their shoulders and hips. That’s why side sleepers are typically advised to buy softer mattresses (rated around 4 on the firmness scale). If you are a lightweight user (less than 130 pounds), you should probably choose a softer mattress for any sleeping position. Just like that, heavier folks (over 230 pounds) are advised to pick firmer mattresses to enjoy proper support.
- Pressure relief. When dealing with back or neck pain, you require instant muscle relaxation and tension release. In this case, you would benefit from a mattress that has good conforming properties. Memory foam and latex show great results when it comes to pressure relief, so you might want to consider one of these types. If you are looking for a hybrid mattress, make sure it has thick comfort layers that would effectively cradle your body and pressure points.
- Durability. As you already know, mattress sags or indentations can cause poor sleeping postures and back (or neck) pain. Naturally, you probably don’t want your mattress to sag prematurely. That’s why it’s important to check the warranty and other users’ reviews. A longer warranty period can mean that the mattress uses quality materials. As for the reviews, they can give you an idea of how the mattress performs with time and withstands prolonged use. The materials also determine durability. It’s better to pick denser foams (with a higher PCF rating) and thicker coils (with a lower gauge).
- Ease of movement (for restless and combo sleepers). If back or neck pain makes you toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position (or you simply switch between positions when sleeping), you probably want a mattress that will allow you to do that effortlessly. In this case, it’s better to avoid memory foam, as it is famous for its generous enveloping. And if you still want to try a foam mattress, at least make sure that it has a more resilient transition layer (polyfoam would work).
- Motion isolation (for partnered sleep). Again, if back pain makes you move around a lot during the night, it might cause discomfort for your partner (especially if they are sensitive to nighttime disturbances). For superb motion isolation, you may want to try a foam mattress. A hybrid might also work, but only if it uses extra-thick foam comfort layers.
- Sleep trial. It can be quite challenging to find a suitable mattress when you are suffering from back and neck pain. Therefore, a longer sleep trial would be quite helpful. It will give you a chance to test your mattress for a while and see how your body reacts to it. If your new bed doesn’t work, you can simply return it and get a full refund.
- Edge support. Back pain can often affect our mobility. Many people with back pain rely on their mattress edges to get out of bed (by pressing the hands into the edge and getting a light boost to get up). Such a scenario requires a mattress to have sturdy, reliable edges. Hybrid and innerspring beds tend to show the best results in this field.
- Temperature regulation. Back and neck pain are more than enough to make you feel uncomfortable. But if you add sleeping hot to the equation, it’s easy to forget about restful sleep for good. So, if you (just like me) hate sleeping hot, give your preference to mattresses that offer a cooling effect. For example, latex is naturally cooling. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses typically sleep neutral thanks to the proper air circulation. As for memory foam, it might trap heat, so it’s better to choose models that use open-cell or gel-infused foams.
What Is the Best Mattress Type for Neck and Back Pain?
Every mattress has its unique feel that can be a deal-breaker for people with neck and back pain. That’s why shoppers need to distinguish between the main mattress types. This way, they will be more likely to find a model they would enjoy the most.
So, here are the most common options shoppers can come across:
- Memory foam. Memory foam mattresses use polyurethane foam that was chemically treated to gain more elasticity. That’s why these mattresses are famous for their adaptive and pressure-alleviating properties. Memory foam also has a slow-moving feel and offers excellent motion isolation (great for couples). At the same time, this material can often feel restricting. It can be an issue for people who can’t move that easily due to back or neck pain. It’s also worth mentioning that memory foam is prone to overheating unless it’s infused with cooling gel or has an open-cell construction.
- Polyfoam. Polyurethane foam is slightly more responsive than memory foam and, thus, doesn’t feel that restricting. It also excels at pressure alleviation. Polyfoam mattresses are typically cheaper but aren’t as durable as memory foam models.
- Latex. Latex mattresses are favored for their natural composition (rubber tree sap). However, there are synthetic models as well. Latex is adaptive and works to redistribute the pressure evenly, allowing for pain relief. At the same time, this material doesn’t limit movement and works great for active sleepers. Shoppers should remember that latex mattresses tend to be very pricey. Nonetheless, this type is considered the most durable on the market.
- Hybrid. This mattress type uses coils for support and foam/latex for comfort layers. Hybrid mattresses usually have a very balanced feel. They are neither too hugging nor too bouncy, making hybrids a perfect solution for sleepers who want something in between. Such mattresses also have firm edges, making it easier for people with slight mobility issues to get out of bed. On the downside, hybrids are bulky. They can be challenging to transport and may be too thick for some users.
- Innerspring. Spring mattresses are affordable and widely available. They are also breathable and don’t sleep hot. Plus, innerspring models deliver bouncy support and don’t restrict movement. That being said, this mattress type is not perfect for side sleepers or anyone who wants effective pressure relief. The thing is, spring beds aren’t hugging, as they don’t typically have thick comfort layers. They also have a somewhat limited lifespan (compared to other mattress types).
Also Read: 10 Best Mattresses Made in the USA
Can a mattress cause neck pain?
If your mattress is too soft, overly firm, old, lumpy, saggy, or unsupportive, it can make your spine fall into misalignment. This, consequently, may put a strain on your neck and cause it to hurt.
What mattress is the best for neck pain?
To alleviate neck pain, you need a mattress that would create optimal conditions for the proper spine and neck alignment. Most experts recommend medium-firm mattresses for back health. However, you need to take your weight and sleeping position into consideration. For instance, if you are a petite sleeper, a medium-firm bed might be too stiff for you. If you are a heavier person (over 230 pounds), you may require sturdier support and a firmer bed.
Is memory foam good for neck pain?
Generally, yes. Memory foam molds to the sleeper’s body and fills in the curves, which results in proper weight distribution and pressure relief (that can reduce the neck pain levels).
How much should I spend on a mattress for neck pain relief?
On average, a good-quality mattress would cost around $800-1,000.
Neck and back pain should no longer ruin your sleep, once you pick a good mattress.
And to do that, pay attention to the firmness level (as it will determine the feel of your new bed) and the materials used. It’s also a good idea to choose something with a longer sleep trial so that you could test the mattress and see how it works for your body.
As for me, I already know which mattress I would choose. The Winkbed managed to impress me the most, and I’m sure you are going to love it too. This mattress is a real gem that offers all at once: reliable support, gentle pressure relief, durability, firmness variety, and breathability. What else is there to wish for?
How long have you been dealing with back or neck pain? And which mattress could help you sleep better, in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments!
- Johns Hopkins Medicine (n.d.). Back and Neck Pain. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/back-pain
- Ann Pietrangelo (April 22, 2020). Neck Pain: Possible Causes and How to Treat It. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/symptom/neck-pain
- UCLA Health (n.d.). Ergonomics for Prolonged Sitting. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/spinecenter/ergonomics-prolonged-sitting
- Thomas Hyde (February 10, 2012). Sport Injuries, Back Injuries, and Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sports-and-spine-injuries/sport-injuries-back-injuries-and-back-pain
- Elea Carey (March 26, 2020). Fixing Upper Back and Neck Pain. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/fixing-upper-back-and-neck-pain
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