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Best Mattress Toppers for Neck Pain and How to Choose One

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 24 minLast updated on November 22, 2022

Let's face it, dealing with neck pain is incredibly challenging no matter what - it affects sleep, work, and quality of life.

Many sites have looked at how to reduce neck pain, but today we’re going to look at the top five mattress toppers that minimize neck pain and give a good night’s sleep. 

This article will look at our top picks for the best mattress toppers for neck pain, how to select the best mattress topper that will adequately address a sore neck and some tips and tricks for getting rid of neck pain.

A Quick Preview

Nolah Mattress Topper
Editor’s Choice

Nolah Mattress Topper
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Saatva Mattress Topper
Best Latex Option

Saatva Mattress Topper
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Puffy Mattress Topper
Best Budget Option

Puffy Topper
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GhostBed Mattress Topper
Best for Back Sleepers

GhostBed Mattress Topper
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Plushbeds Memory Foam Topper
Best for Hot Sleepers

PlushBeds Memory Foam Topper
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Top Picks: Best Mattress Toppers for Neck Pain

Editor’s Choice — Nolah Mattress Topper  

Nolah Mattress Topper

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Highlights

  • Wicks away heat 20% faster than traditional memory foam.
  • Also boasts comfort that is up to four times more pressure-relieving than memory foam.
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty to satisfy customers.

The Nolah Mattress Topper is our Editor’s Choice for the best mattress topper for neck pain due to its unique AirFoam™️, which cushions and muffles the tossing and turning of a restless sleeping partner while also providing support to the neck area, relieving pain and encouraging better sleep.

AirFoam is a revolutionary new technology, being up to 300% more durable than traditional memory foam and up to four times more comfortable and pressure-relieving. That means Nolah is superior with its AirFoam technology to tackle neck pain while also lasting longer than the Puffy Mattress Topper, a memory foam competitor.

Best Latex Option ⁠— Saatva Mattress Topper   

Saatva Mattress Topper

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Highlights

  • Durable elastic straps on all four corners of the topper;
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty and 180-night trial period to simply try the topper;
  • Organic cotton cover is easy to spot-clean.

The Satva Mattress Topper is one of our best latex options as latex is known as a durable, supportive material that can conform to the body and may provide pain relief in the neck area. Latex is typically recommended by chiropractors as its a natural alternative for promoting spinal alignment, releasing tension held in the muscles, which may reduce chronic pain. As well as encouraging spinal alignment, latex is the perfect material for cushioning pressure points.

On top of this, the latex topper is perforated, which can cool down sleepers while providing pain relief. This is perfect for those who want a breathable and pressure-relieving mattress. 

Best Budget Option ⁠— Puffy Topper 

Puffy Mattress Topper

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Highlights

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure customer satisfaction;
  • Hypoallergenic to ensure dust mites or bacteria cannot penetrate the mattress;
  • Durable stretch pockets ensure that the topper has a universal fit for all types of mattresses up to 15 inches thick.

The Puffy Topper is the best budget option for neck pain for those on a budget due to its balanced price for a full suite of features, meaning the buyer’s money goes further. Other mattress toppers with similar qualities, such as the Saatva mattress topper, are typically priced higher, so the Puffy mattress topper is an excellent option for those who want to save a few dollars.

Additionally, the Puffy mattress topper has an anti-slip bottom that securely fixes to the mattress, meaning that even the most restless sleepers at night will still find their topper in the same spot - right on top of the mattress - when they wake up. So not only is the Puffy topper ideal for those on a budget, but it’s also excellent at tackling neck pain for the sleepers who toss and turn during the night.

Puffy Mattress Topper Thickness

Puffy Mattress Topper Unboxing

Best for Back Sleepers — GhostBed Mattress Topper 

GhostBed Mattress Topper

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Highlights

  • Specialized zones designed to add comfort to specific body parts, such as the head and torso.
  • Unique raised pattern to enhance breathability.
  • Patent-pending, water-proof cover with cooling technology.

The GhostBed Mattress Topper is the best option for back sleepers with neck pain due to its high level of support, cushioning the neck and spine, providing alignment while also giving pressure relief, and reducing pain.

On top of this, the Ghostbed offers sleepers something unique that sets it apart from the competition: a waterproof cover. Not only is it cooling, but the 100% water-proof ability ensures sleepers can have their neck pain treated right while not worrying about getting the topper or mattress soiled.

GhostBed Mattress Topper Layers
GhostBed Mattress Topper-Construction

Best for Hot Sleepers — PlushBeds Memory Foam Topper

Plushbeds Memory Foam Topper

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Highlights

  • PlushBeds patented PlushFoam memory foam is designed to be more breathable than regular foam.
  • Supportive foam with a high density.
  • Comes in different sizes, densities, and thicknesses to fit a wide variety of sleepers.

The PlushBed Memory Foam Topper is the best option for hot sleepers with neck pain due to its gel infusion. It provides pain-reducing and cooling relief, keeping sleepers supported and temperature-regulated.

On top of this, PlushBeds mattress topper comes in two density options and multiple sizes. And while it may come in fewer density variations than the Puffy Topper, which has an adjustable firmness feature, PlushBeds still caters to most sleepers looking to get rid of neck pain. PlushBeds multiple sizes also allow sleepers not to worry about if their topper will fit their bed, as almost all bed sizes are offered.

For those with back pain, we also have selected mattress toppers that are ideal for reducing back pain, which readers can find here.

What are the Most Common Causes of Neck Pain, and Can a Mattress Topper Contribute to Neck Pain?

The most common causes of neck pain are:

  • Poor posture - Having the neck tilted at the wrong angle for extended periods (such as staring at a computer screen without the correct ergonomic principles) can lead to soreness, and over time, chronic pain.
  • Stress - The stress response on the body causes muscles to tighten, especially around the neck and shoulder area, leading to consistent neck pain.
  • Injury - Trauma to the neck area from falls or accidents can damage the soft tissue, causing the area to be incredibly sensitive and can lead to chronic pain.
  • Poor Quality of Mattress Topper - Most important is the mattress topper quality, which, if high or low, can affect sleep quality and contribute to neck pain. 

Looking closely at what a mattress’s role is in neck pain if the quality is poor, the body will be out of alignment while sleeping and put undue pressure on sensitive joints, causing constant pain after sleeping.

Neck pain isn’t the same as shoulder pain, despite the two being close. To find the ideal mattress topper for shoulder pain, read more here.

Also Read: How to Store a Mattress Topper

How to Choose the Best Mattress Toppers for Neck Pain?

Choosing the best mattress toppers for neck pain means looking at three factors:

  • The mattress topper material - ideally either latex or gel.
  • The mattress topper height - it’s best to stick with two to three inches thick material.
  • The mattress topper density - the best density is in the medium to high firmness range, as it can adequately support body weight.

Latex or gel is the ideal material for a mattress topper as both materials help support and cushion pressure areas, relieving pain.

Why this is important:

Latex is known for its muffling property, having the ability to support pressure points as well as reducing excessive moments in bed. This can be ideal for couples who suffer from neck pain and who also are light sleepers. The reduction in movement will allow both to have undisturbed sleep for longer hours during the night and wake up without soreness in the neck.

Gel (polyurethane), on the other hand, is also an ideal material to reduce neck pain due to its 

ability to conform to the natural curves of the sleeper’s body, providing adequate support to the head, neck, spine, and lower body, promoting alignment and pressure relief that is effective for reducing neck pain.

A height of two to three inches is a quality of the best mattress toppers for neck pain, as there is enough thickness to allow the topper to support you. It is better to avoid toppers that are one or one and a half inches thick, as they are too thick to provide the necessary support needed to cushion and relieve muscles and joints. Likewise, toppers four inches or more can make the mattress too high overall, reducing its effectiveness.

A medium-firm or firm density is perfect for a mattress topper designed to mitigate neck pain. A high density can adequately support the body, meaning there is no sagging while sleeping, and all the body’s joints are aligned. On top of this, a higher density of topper also means that the topper will last longer than regular use.

Looking at the two firmness levels specifically, a high density is ideal for sleepers who don’t want to sag, and still maintain that ‘on top of the bed’ feeling while supporting their neck. A medium density, on the other hand, is great for sleepers looking for more comfort in their neck support, as a medium density gives more of a ‘sinking’ feeling while also adapting to the shape of the sleeper’s body.

Also Read: Best Firm Mattress Toppers

F.A.Q.

What Mattress Topper Firmness is Best for Neck Pain?

The best mattress topper firmness for neck pain is medium-firmness, according to a study (1).

Medium-firm mattress toppers are reputed to promote spinal alignment and improve sleep quality.

Some sleepers may think that buying a super soft topper would be better at helping reduce neck pain. Although soft toppers are incredibly comfy, they simply do not provide the support necessary for spinal and neck alignment. They are not as effective as a topper on the firmer side.

What Thickness of Mattress Topper is Best for Neck Pain?

The best thickness of mattress topper for neck pain is at least two inches, as this is thick enough to allow the material to conform to the body while sleeping, relieving pressure. 

According to a study (2), neck pain accounts for at least 70% of all poor sleep quality or inability to sleep. By adding a mattress topper to provide support and alignment to the neck and spine, sleepers will find an improvement in their sleep quality and a reduction in neck pain.

Why Does a Foam Mattress Topper Cause Neck Pain Sometimes?

A foam mattress topper can cause neck pain if it is too firm, not allowing the body to be aligned while sleeping, causing the contortion to develop into soreness. This also happens if the topper is too soft, not giving the body the proper support it needs.

Certain sleep positions may also contribute to neck pain, such as sleeping on the stomach. This position can potentially strain the back and neck muscles and pressure on the joints, which can cause chronic pain over time.

How to Choose a Mattress Topper for a Heavy Person with Neck Pain?

Choosing a mattress topper for a heavy person with neck pain is a simple matter of selecting a higher density amount. Ideally, heavy sleepers who are more than 250 pounds should look at buying a firmness of around eight on the scale, which has the density necessary to support the body. At the same time, anything less may cause the sleeper to sag into the topper, becoming misaligned. 

For sleepers around the average weight of 150 to 250 pounds, medium-firmness is an ideal density as it still provides adequate support while also cushioning the neck, muckles, and joints.

To look at more mattress topper options for a heavy person, check out this link.

Wrapping Up

When choosing the best mattress topper for neck pain, the top three things to look out for are: its material, height, and density level. The optimal topper uses latex or gel, has a height of two or three inches, and has a medium-firm density, all qualities that promote a healthy, pain-free neck and enhanced sleep quality.

If you’re looking for the best mattress topper for neck pain, I think the Nolah Mattress Topper is a good fit. This topper offers unique AirFoam™️ comfort that can’t be found in similar models, giving you better sleep through this foam technology that’s more conforming and pressure-relieving than other traditional memory foam.

Liked the article? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

References:

  1. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29073401/)
  2. 1215 Improving Sleep Disorders And Chronic Neck Pain By Adjusting Height Of The Pillow Through Cervical Posture Management, (https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/43/Supplement_1/A464/5847237)

Our research

27

Mattresses Considered

112

Hours of Research

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Sleep Experts Consulted

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