The materials in your mattress can impact your sleep, especially if you experience upper body discomfort. When you choose the best mattress for back and neck pain based on your needs, it should support your body’s pressure points. That allows you to relax and sleep more deeply. Some mattresses keep pain at bay and often provide other features––such as cooling or contouring properties––designed for those with back and neck pain. Before you choose a mattress, review the following shopping considerations along with the list of some of the best mattresses on the market for back and neck pain.
- BEST OVERALL: Casper Sleep Element Mattress
- RUNNER UP: Sweetnight Breeze 10 Inch Mattress-Infused Gel Memory Foam
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Best Price Mattress 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
- BEST FOAM: TUFT & NEEDLE Original Full Adaptive Foam Mattress
- BEST LATEX: Sunrising Bedding 8” Natural Latex Full Mattress
- BEST HYBRID: Linenspa 10 Inch Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
- BEST INNERSPRING: Molblly 10 inch Wrapped Coils Innerspring Mattress
- BEST DUAL-SIDED: Signature Sleep Contour 8” Reversible Coil Mattress
- BEST COOLING: Classic Brands Cool Gel and Ventilated Memory Foam
Types of Mattresses for Back and Neck Pain
For back and neck pain memory foam helps provide support. That type of foam is different from the dense foam associated with such beds as inexpensive cots from decades ago. Memory foam is the material you see when you watch someone press a hand on a mattress that leaves a brief impression. When you sleep on memory foam, it conforms to your body, supports pressure points, and eases pain. Some foam mattresses have properties that isolate each person’s movements in a bed and keep you cool when you sleep. You will also find mattresses that contain poly foam and latex foam. If a mattress uses poly foam, make sure it is high density so that it is deep enough to be comfortable. Latex foam is produced in several ways; some of the best mattresses have latex foam produced from tree sap and other natural ingredients.
If you want a mattress made of all-natural properties, you may consider latex. The latex of today is very different from that used in beds in the 1950s. Beds for back and neck pain are often manufactured with natural latex made from tree sap and other ingredients. This material won’t isolate your movements or contour to your body, but it does allow you to move freely on the mattress and will keep you cool at night due to an open-cell design that allows constant airflow. If you have neck or back pain, you’ll find that the buoyancy of a latex mattress cushions pressure points. Other benefits of latex mattresses include durability and minimal weight. That makes a latex mattress easy to flip over, reposition, and move. One note: There are mattresses labeled “latex” that combine latex with other materials. Those might not be as healthy as pure latex, so ask and research before you make a purchase.
A hybrid mattress generally consists of an innerspring foundation topped with foam or latex. You’re right to think that type of mattress is what you’ve slept on for years. Some manufacturers add to the confusion when they label all mattresses “hybrid” as part of their marketing. A proper hybrid mattress usually tops the bouncy, innerspring base with some type of foam––memory, poly foam, or latex foam (all described above). Cooling gels and other materials may also be part of the construction. There is no one type of hybrid mattress, although it should relieve pressure points. Those with neck and back pain may choose hybrids with features (such as extra-cooling properties) to suit their specific needs.
Innerspring mattresses all have coil support systems. The coil connection, the number of coils used, and even the coils’ shapes vary among mattresses. Innerspring mattresses are covered with foam, latex, or a combination of materials to pad the springs. If you have back and neck pain, you may find innerspring mattresses offer extra relief to your pressure points.
There’s no one way to design or define a cooling mattress. These mattresses can be made out of foam, latex, or some combination of materials. Their commonality is ventilation that allows air to flow from them. Those who grow hot when they sleep often choose cooling mattresses.
Features to Look for in a Mattress for Back and Neck Pain
There’s no one way to define comfort, especially for those who have back and neck pain. One way to determine the comfort of a mattress is first to consider its firmness. Like comfort, “firmness” is a subjective word. To see if a mattress is firm and comfortable enough for you is to lie on it, ideally for a long time. Those with back and neck pain generally want medium-firm mattresses that support their bodies and relieve pressure points. Mattress firmness is rated on a scale of one to 10. Mattresses with a medium firmness generally hug and conform to the body, which is what those with back and neck pain often need for comfort.
Pressure relief describes a mattress that conforms to your body, so your spine is aligned correctly, relieving neck, back, and other pain. Foam, latex, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses all generally provide pressure relief. The right type of pressure relief is subjective. Like firmness, pressure relief is gauged by lying on a mattress for an extended time.
Support and Spine Alignment
Support and spine alignment are arguably the most important qualities you want in a mattress, especially if you experience neck and back pain. As with other features, to test a mattress to see if it aligns your spine, lie on it. When you do, you want to make sure a part of your body doesn’t sink lower than another. The goal is to have a mattress that allows you to lie flat but allows some give to account for your body’s natural curves. A mattress that provides for proper spinal alignment reduces back, neck, and other body pain. Note: Those who weigh 250 pounds or more should pay close attention to spine alignment; they generally find it on firmer mattresses.
Find out what materials are in a mattress to determine if they are natural, fire retardant, dense, and otherwise high quality. Mattresses made with high-quality materials generally cost more, but the trade-off is added comfort and durability. High-quality materials are almost always hypoallergenic and free of chemicals, so you have a healthier night’s sleep and living space.
Our Top Picks
Your choice of the best mattress for back and neck pain relief depends on many factors, including the extra features you want, such as cooling properties or firm support to ensure a large person’s spinal alignment. Consider the following list of top-quality mattresses to guide you to the right one for you.
The Casper Sleep Element Mattress was designed to conform to your body and provide firm support that relieves pressure on the back, shoulders, hips, and waist. Although the mattress is firm, it is soft to the touch. It’s also engineered so you don’t get overheated when you sleep, due in large part to the use of AirScape perforated breathable foam. The foam absorbs and dissipates extra heat to keep you cool. Tiny holes that are not visible with the naked eye move hot air and body heat away from you. Another bonus: The durable base foam prevents sinking and sagging. It’s available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
This gel memory foam mattress targets different stress points on your body to reduce neck and back pain, no matter your sleep position. That’s made possible through its design. The top layer consists of gel-infused memory foam. The middle layer consists of zoned airflow, open-cell comfort foam, and the base is high-density foam, which strengthens the mattress’s support and prevents sagging. The 10-inch thick mattress offers the proper amount of medium-firm support, no matter a person’s weight. The entire mattress is designed to allow adequate air circulation, so heat dissipates and you are cool at night. Plus, the depth of the mattress prevents you from feeling the movements of anyone who shares your bed. This mattress is available in Full, King, and Queen sizes.
This Best Price mattress gives you many of the features of its higher-priced competitors at a budget-friendly price. Of prime quality is the mattress’s design that relieves pressure points to support the neck and back and relieve pain. This 100 percent foam mattress is constructed with a base layer of high-density support base foam, the second layer of airflow comfort foam, and a top layer of body-conforming memory foam. That combination allows the mattress to mold to your body so you have the proper support for a comfortable night’s sleep, no matter your preferred sleep position. The foam combination also promotes air circulation so you don’t become overheated. The synthetic fiber polyester material called Polyester Jacquard covers the mattress to add an elegant look. This mattress is available in 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-inch thicknesses and twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, and California king sizes.
This adaptive foam mattress conforms to your body and adjusts the support it provides as you shift positions at night. It’s an affordable option for those who need foam construction to relieve neck and back pain. The mattress’s foam is woven with cooling graphite and gel beads to keep you cool. Although the mattress has top qualities, it might not be right for everyone. Those who weigh more than average may not find this mattress supportive enough to relieve back and neck pain. Additionally, it offers support to those who sleep on their backs or sides. The mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
Natural latex is one of the mattress materials available to relieve pressure points that contribute to back and neck pain while also helping to keep you cool at night. The downside is that these mattresses are usually quite costly. The Sunrising Bedding Natural Latex Mattress is an affordable option that offers a medium-firm sleep surface to relieve neck, back, and other body pain. This mattress also works well for children and preteens, who need mattresses that offer proper spinal alignment for their development. True, this mattress is thinner than some of its higher-priced competitors––8 inches compared with about 13 inches––but its thickness offers pressure point relief for those of average weights. Heavier adults may want to consider the 10-inch model of this mattress. The mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
This 10-inch thick Linenspa hybrid mattress combines the traditional support of an innerspring mattress––which uses a steel coil support system––with the comfort of memory foam. The mattress has a base consisting of 6 inches of springs. The top is a thick layer of memory foam that conforms to your curves, eliminates pressure points, increases your comfort, and relieves neck, back, and other body pain. This Linenspa is a medium-firm 10-inch thick profile, but it’s also available in a medium-firm 8-inch profile or a plush 12-inch profile that features gel infusions and individually encased coils. This mattress is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, short queen, king, and California king sizes.
If you have neck, back, and other body pains, consider this Molblly mattress. The base consists of individually wrapped steel coils supported by hundreds of individual, durable pocket springs. The mattress’s memory foam body is topped with soft knitted fabric designed to increase your comfort as it adapts to your body shape and relieves pressure. Although this mattress has springs, the individual wraps work to keep each sleep companion’s movements isolated. The mattress is designed to offer support to anyone who wants pressure-point relief but is especially effective for those who sleep on their backs or stomachs. There are also 12- and 14-inch thick models. This mattress is available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes.
The signature feature of a dual-sided mattress is that it allows you to flip and rotate it to even out wear and extend its life. The design of this Signature Sleep mattress likely makes it one you’ll want to keep for years to come. It’s crafted from a layer of high-density foam at the top and bottom that’s designed to provide just the right amount of support to relieve any neck or back pain. The support comes from the 7-inch, 15-gauge independently encased coils that equally distribute weight and contour to the curves of your body to relieve pressure points and ease neck and back pain. There are also 10- and 12-inch thick models available for this mattress, and it’s available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes.
This Classic Brands mattress combines a cool-gel memory foam layer with layers of ventilated foam resting on a high-density base foam. The result is a body contouring mattress that properly aligns the spine and relieves painful pressure points between your neck, back, and shoulders. Simultaneously, the breathable gel infusion in the memory foam absorbs and displaces your body heat so you don’t overheat when you sleep. The mattress is designed with a detailed waterfall edge cover with a four-way stretch top and charcoal gray knit sides. It is available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.
FAQs About Mattresses
Mattresses are an investment in your health, especially if you have back and neck pain. Consider some of the common questions about mattresses designed to relieve that suffering so you can choose the best option for your individual needs.
Q. Can a mattress that is too firm cause neck pain?
Yes. If you choose a too-firm mattress that doesn’t allow proper spinal alignment, it can lead to neck pain.
Q. How do you sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder?
To get a comfortable night of sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder is to try different sleep positions. Generally, you want to avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts pressure on your nerves and causes more back and neck pain.
Q. How do you relieve back pain caused by a mattress?
There are many causes of back pain, so relief is based on several subjective factors. Choose a mattress that allows proper spinal alignment and supports pressure points.
Q. How long do mattresses last?
Mattresses generally last about seven to 10 years. If your mattress sags, smells, or causes you pain, you may want to replace the mattress no matter its age.