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Everyone needs sleep — and plenty of it. In fact, experts suggest getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.

Of course, if you live with pain, you probably know spending a set amount of time in bed doesn’t automatically translate to good sleep. You likely won’t feel very rested if you spend most nights tossing and turning in hopes of easing discomfort.

Making sure you’re sleeping on a decent mattress is a great start toward improving sleep quality. A mattress that doesn’t work for your sleeping position and pain needs can interfere with your ability to get comfy and finally get some shut-eye.

Changing your mattress may not provide an instant cure, but many people find that sleeping on a better mattress really does help relieve back and neck pain.

Start your search with our nine picks below.

We explored top-rated mattresses on the market, paying careful attention to features important for pain relief. To create our list, we considered:

  • Customer reviews. Many brands say their mattresses can relieve pressure and pain, but reviews from other shoppers often present a more accurate picture. We read what customers had to say to see how these picks actually helped improve their pain and sleep quality.
  • Company reputation and transparency. We focused on brands known for good business practices, quality mattress construction, and a reputation for providing good customer service.
  • Company policies. Most brands understand the leap of faith required to buy a mattress online, and many offer a trial period so you can return the mattress if it doesn’t work out. Reputable mattress brands generally offer a lengthy warranty to cover product defects and excessive sagging.
  • Expert insights. We consulted peer-reviewed studies for more information on the connection between sleep and pain and the qualities that make a mattress good for pain relief. We also reached out to Krystle Howald, PT, DPT, owner of Expecting and Empowered and Empower Movement Physical Therapy, for her tips on getting pain-free sleep.

Pricing guide

Mattresses can cost quite a bit, particularly when you need one designed for pain relief. A quality mattress is certainly a worthwhile investment, but we understand that not everyone has the option to make that investment. We’ve included queen-size mattresses in a range of price points to help you find the right mattress for your pain, no matter your budget.

Here’s the price breakdown for our top mattress picks:

  • $ = under $900
  • $$ = $900–$1,400
  • $$$ = over $1,400

Best eco-friendly mattress for back and neck pain

Saatva Classic Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 11.5 inches

Saatva’s hand-crafted luxury mattress offers customizable firmness. Their luxury firm option provides the medium firmness recommended for most people with back pain.

What’s more is that Saatva specifically designed this mattress to soothe pain. According to Saatva, the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations approves of this mattress, and many chiropractors across the United States recommend it to clients.

The mattress has two separate sets of coils designed to provide support and alignment for your spine and lower back, and it features a layer of memory foam to help relieve pressure along the shoulders and spine.

While this mattress is designed to relieve pain, you won’t have to compromise on comfort. The Euro pillow top provides cushioning, and if you opt for the plush soft mattress (recommended for side sleepers), your pillow top contains bonus padding to hug your body and relieve pressure as you gently sink into bed.

The vast majority of reviewers praise this mattress: It averages 4.9 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 reviews. People rave about the support it provides, saying it relieved back and neck pain immediately and proved even more comfortable than they expected.

Looking for sustainable, environmentally friendly materials in your mattress? The Saatva Classic has recycled steel coils, a natural flame retardant, and an organic cotton mattress cover. The foam is free of formaldehyde and toxic or ozone-depleting chemicals.

The mattresses are also American-made and delivered free of charge.

Buy the Saatva Classic Mattress online.

Best mattress in a box for back and neck pain

Helix Dawn

  • Price: $$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 12 inches

Helix recommends this firm hybrid for back and stomach sleepers, but a few reviewers note that it also works well for combination sleepers.

The company says the individually wrapped coils provide firm support, and they’re reinforced around the perimeter to keep the mattress from giving way when you roll toward the edge.

The middle polyfoam layer offers extra cushioning, while the top layer — made from the company’s proprietary latex foam — contours to your body to relieve pressure, align your spine, and ease pain. The firmness of the mattress is designed to help you feel supported without causing you to sink into the bed.

Hybrid mattresses are generally cooler at night than those made entirely of foam, and several reviewers say this mattress stays comfortably cool. In general, reviewers praise this mattress. Many reviewers report relief from longtime back pain after just one night.

A few reviewers did notice some motion transfer when sleeping with a partner, so it may work best if you sleep alone.

Buy the Helix Dawn online.

Best-rated mattress for back and neck pain

Casper Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 11 inches

With an average rating of 4.5 stars and over 20,000 reviews, this Casper foam mattress comes highly rated. But what makes this mattress such a great choice for back and neck pain?

The company says the main memory foam layer provides three zones of support for optimal spinal alignment and pain relief.

Soft foam at the shoulder area provides better cushioning, while firm foam at the low back and hips helps align your spine. The top layer of body-conforming foam is designed to cushion you, and it features perforations to keep air circulating and help you sleep cooler.

Multiple reviewers praise this mattress, saying it helped relieve body aches and improved their sleep right away. A few people even prefer this Casper mattress to pricier mattresses specifically designed for pain relief.

The company recommends this mattress for any sleeping position, and although some reviewers found it too firm, others say it offers the perfect combination of comfort and support.

The cooling technology earned mixed reviews. Some people say it didn’t make much difference, while others note they sleep cooler on this mattress.

Buy the Casper Original Mattress online.

Best foam mattress for back and neck pain

Nolah Original 10 Inch

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 10 inches

If you have back and neck pain, you need a mattress that provides excellent pressure relief, and that’s just what the Nolah mattress aims to do.

According to the company, their specially designed foam provides four times the pressure relief of standard memory foam in three key zones: shoulders, back, and hips.

This foam is also made without viscoelastic chemicals — the chemicals in memory foam known for trapping heat and creating a “sinking in” feeling — for a neutral temperature. Several reviewers confirm it does stay cooler through the night.

Reviewers have plenty of good things to say about this mattress. Several people mention significant improvements in back and neck pain and rave about the great sleep they’re getting. Others praise the motion isolation and the supportive edges. The firmness also feels “just right” to many: soft enough for comfort yet sturdy enough for support.

That said, dedicated stomach sleepers and people who weigh more than 200 pounds may want to consider a firmer option for added support.

The Nolah mattress is engineered for durability to provide comfort and support for years to come. Since the company offers a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty, you’ll have plenty of time to make sure the mattress really does relieve your pain.

Buy the Nolah Original 10 Inch online.

Best mattress for upper back and neck pain

The Purple Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 9.25 inches

This innovative mattress offers a unique sleep experience that thousands of reviewers love. You’ll still find foam in the two base layers that cushion and support, but above those layers rests a 2-inch elastic gel grid.

This material is designed to flex as you sleep, so it bounces back quickly when you turn over. This extra support at areas of high pressure — like your shoulders, back, and hips — helps keep even restless sleepers comfortable and aligned. Reviewers say this leads to higher quality, pain-free sleep.

The extra-supportive cushioning helps align your spine and reduce upper body pain and pressure. Reviewers emphasize the quality of the sleep they get on this mattress. Many people say they sleep through the night and wake up without neck pain for the first time in years.

Another bonus of the grid? It’s built to be temperature neutral, with air channels to help you stay cool. Many reviewers say this technology does the job, even for the hottest sleepers.

Some reviewers did have difficulty getting used to this mattress. The company recommends sticking with it for 3 weeks to give yourself time to adjust. They also suggest stretchy sheets, since the mattress won’t flex properly if it’s restricted by tighter cotton.

The mattress is made from nontoxic materials, but some reviewers note an unpleasant smell that took a few days to clear up.

Buy The Purple Mattress online.

Best cooling mattress for back and neck pain

The Muse Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: foam
  • Height: 12 inches

A moderately priced cooling mattress that helps relieve back and neck pain? Check. Customizable firmness? Another check. On top of that, if you ever change your mind, Muse lets you exchange for a different firmness option after 20 nights.

The supportive foam layers in this mattress are made to contour to your body, relieving pressure and pain. If you prefer feeling “on the bed” instead of “in the bed,” the firmest option provides the sturdiness you’re looking for.

This mattress is also specifically designed to provide enhanced edge support, so you’ll never feel on the verge of rolling off.

A combination of gel-infused memory foam and open-cell foam — which essentially means the foam was designed to have better airflow — helps keep this mattress cool and breathable. A mattress cover made from phase-changing yarn tops off the mattress for an even cooler sleeping experience.

In general, reviewers call this mattress a great choice, saying they finally feel refreshed and pain-free when they wake up. Many positive reviews suggest the cooling features really do work.

Many sleepers call this mattress comfortable, and even those who find it a little firm say it still improves their pain. Reviewers also praise the motion isolation, lack of chemical smell, and excellent customer service.

Buy The Muse Mattress online.

Best hybrid mattress for back and neck pain

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 12 inches

Several key features make the AS2 hybrid mattress a great choice for pain-free sleep.

Its eco-friendly foam is engineered to provide support and keep you cool. According to the company, this foam keeps air flowing through the mattress to reduce pockets of trapped heat.

The mattress is also designed to be responsive, so it bounces back quickly, making nighttime movement easier. Several reviewers say this mattress conforms to the body without making them feel stuck in one spot.

The company says the mattress’s zoned support reduces pressure at your shoulders and hips, and it firmly supports your back for essential spinal alignment. The lower foam layer is firm, adding extra support for stomach and back sleepers. This also helps distribute body weight evenly across the mattress.

A few reviewers found this medium-firm mattress too firm for their taste, but, by and large, people love the support it provides. Several people say it felt a little firmer than expected but found this a more than fair trade for the quick pain relief.

Reviewers also praise the low motion transfer, with several saying they couldn’t feel their partner move at all.

Buy the Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid online.

Best budget mattress for back and neck pain

Beautyrest Silver BRS900 Extra Firm

  • Price: $
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 11.75 inches

When it comes to pain relief, mattress firmness can absolutely make a difference. According to research from 2015, medium-firm mattresses tend to provide the ideal combination of sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.

Still, the feel of a mattress can be subjective, depending on personal preference, body frame, and weight — and even the type of pain you experience.

If a medium-firm mattress doesn’t hit the spot, you may consider this extra-firm hybrid from Beautyrest. If you’re worried “extra firm” is just another way of saying “like sleeping on bare floor,” it may help to know that several reviewers call this mattress very comfortable, though a few people say they needed a few days to adjust.

Overall, reviewers praise this mattress, saying they slept better and woke up free of pain.

Hybrid mattresses combine foam and coils for stronger support than foam alone. This option has a cooling layer designed to help you sleep more comfortably and individually wrapped coils (which means the coils aren’t all connected) made to reduce motion transfer. Reviewers also praise the edge support and say it works well for couples.

Buy the Beautyrest Silver BRS900 Extra Firm online.

Best risk-free mattress for back and neck pain

Idle Sleep Idle Hybrid

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Height: 14 inches

When shopping for a new mattress, you likely want to know if any improvements in pain will last and that the relief it provides isn’t just a temporary fluke. The sleep loss that often accompanies chronic pain can have a pretty big impact on your health, making it essential to choose the right mattress.

Idle Sleep offers one of the longest at-home trials of any mattress brand — a full year and a half, plus a lifetime warranty that extends to body impressions.

The custom foam in this mattress is engineered to be more responsive and supportive than other foams while also providing pressure relief to ease back and neck pain. It also contains no viscoelastic chemicals, so it’s less likely to trap heat and leave you uncomfortably warm.

The individually pocketed coils are made to provide support from edge to edge. Several reviews even mention the firm edges and say they sleep soundly with low motion transfer. This mattress comes in both medium and luxury firmness, but if you can’t make up your mind, no problem. Try the dual-firmness option, complete with handles for easier flipping.

Many reviewers report waking up free of back, neck, and shoulder pain, and they call this the most comfortable mattress they’ve ever slept on.

If you’re not completely convinced, there’s little risk involved in giving it a try, since you have 18 months to make sure you truly get the sleep of your dreams.

Buy the Idle Sleep Idle Hybrid online.

There’s plenty to consider as you shop for a mattress. The elements below are particularly important to keep in mind when looking for a mattress to help relieve back and pain.

Mattress type

Hybrid mattresses are a great option for most sleepers. They offer a good mix of support, from their coil base and pressure relief from their foam comfort layers. They also come in a wide range of materials, so you have a lot of options for finding what feels best for you.

Foam mattresses can be a good option for side sleepers looking for a softer mattress, but they might not provide enough support for sleepers with more weight.


According to a 2015 review of 24 studies, medium-firm mattresses may improve sleep quality and decrease back pain in people with chronic lower back pain. Personal preference matters, of course, since you won’t sleep well if you can’t get comfortable on a mattress that feels squishy or unyielding. Look for a mattress that supports you without feeling hard.

Pressure relief

A mattress that provides good pressure relief will gently conform to your shoulders and hips. For good pressure relief, look for all-foam mattresses or hybrid mattresses with foam comfort layers.

Sleeping position

A 2010 study found that participants saw an improvement in back pain after sleeping on mattresses customized to body type and sleeping position, so it’s important to take that into consideration while shopping.

Side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses, since they often provide relief for the extra pressure placed on hip and shoulder joints.

If you sleep on your back or stomach, you’ll likely prefer a firmer mattress with coils to prevent the heaviest parts of your body (like your hips and shoulders) from sinking into the mattress and to keep your spine aligned.

If you have more weight, try opting for a hybrid mattress to take advantage of the supportive coil base, but keep in mind that you might need to choose a firmer option to feel properly supported.

Note what type of sleeper and sleeping position each mattress is recommended for in its product description. But take care to read reviews, too. People who have experience with the mattress can offer more insight.


Foam, particularly latex foam, may work best for sleepers with back and neck pain. Coils alone won’t provide enough contouring and pressure relief, so opting for a hybrid with latex foam comfort layers can help meet that need.

If you get hot while sleeping, note whether mattresses feature any cooling technology, such as “phase change” materials, gel foam, or perforated foam. While sleeping hot might not necessarily cause you pain, tossing and turning all night can leave you uncomfortable all the same.

Other mattress performance considerations

Your specific sleeping needs can also guide you to other important features.

If you sleep with a partner, look for mattresses with good motion isolation. Foam and hybrids with pocketed coils tend to reduce motion transfer best.

Edge support is also important for couples, since you don’t want a rude awakening when you find yourself pushed toward the edge of the bed.

Company policies

In-home trials give you the chance to try your mattress risk-free. Look for brands with sleep trials long enough for you to get a good feel for your mattress, and see how it changes your pain. Don’t forget to double-check the warranty to make sure you know what it covers.

Persistent back and neck pain can have multiple causes, including:

  • acute injury
  • strenuous exercise
  • muscle or ligament strain
  • normal effects of aging
  • pinched nerves or herniated disks

Another common cause? Sleeping on a bad mattress.

“You’ll know it’s time for a new mattress when you wake up sore, particularly in the neck and shoulders. You should feel better there after you’ve slept, but these areas tend to get sore with a bad mattress. You might notice sore hips and stiffness in your lower back and feel like it takes you a bit to get going in the morning,” Howald explains.

She says that most mattresses typically don’t last much longer than 7 to 10 years: “Once you begin to see indentations, you’ll probably want to consider buying a new mattress. Changing your mattress once it no longer feels supportive can relieve aches and pains and help you sleep more comfortably, for longer stretches of time.”

When pain, or anything else, disrupts your sleep, your brain doesn’t have the chance to filter out toxins and restore itself, which it normally does during deep sleep. Insufficient deep sleep can interfere with brain function and make it hard for your body to recover properly.

So even if it’s not pain keeping you awake right now, sleep loss could lead to pain a few months or years down the line. A mattress that improves your sleep can help you maintain your health and prevent this unpleasant cycle before it starts.

Perhaps you can’t spring for a new mattress just yet. Or maybe your new mattress helps, but some discomfort remains. These strategies can also help ease lingering back and neck pain:

Replace your pillows

Look for feather and memory foam pillows, or ones specifically designed to relieve back and neck pain. A pillow with a high loft can cramp your neck and cause pain, especially if you sleep on your back or stomach.

Generally speaking, side sleepers need firm pillows that align the head and neck, while back and stomach sleepers need thinner pillows. If you only sleep on your stomach, you’ll want the thinnest pillow you can find — or none at all.

Consider a mattress topper

If your mattress offers support but feels too firm, a topper can provide a little more cushioning and make you more comfortable.


Your sleeping position may not be everything, but it can absolutely affect back and neck pain. Sleeping flat on your back with pillows under your knees can help relieve lower back pain. Try back or side sleeping for neck pain.

If you need to recline to get comfortable, consider a bed with an adjustable base. Many of the mattresses on this list are compatible with adjustable bases.

What’s the best type of mattress for neck and back pain?

A hybrid or latex foam mattress may work well for people who deal with neck and back pain. An innerspring mattress likely won’t provide enough pressure relief.

What’s the best sleeping position for neck and back pain?

It’s best to sleep on your side or back if you have neck and back pain. Sleeping on your stomach may put too much pressure on your back. Additionally, it can cause you to sleep with your head turned to the side in an unnatural position, which may make neck pain worse.

What mattress firmness is best for back and neck pain?

Research from 2015 suggests that a medium-firm, self-adjusted mattress is best for back pain. However, firmness is subjective. What feels firm to you might feel soft to someone else. It’s best to try out a mattress in a store before buying it, or to choose a mattress that comes with an in-home trial period.

Can an old mattress cause back and neck pain?

Yes. Mattresses don’t last forever. They wear out over time and become less supportive, no matter which type you’re using.

Generally speaking, you should replace your mattress every 8 years, or whenever you start to notice it doesn’t feel as comfortable as it used to.

A new mattress can make a big difference when back and neck pain keep you up at night, but it may not completely kick your pain to the curb.

It’s always a good idea to talk with your healthcare professional to rule out any medical causes, especially if you continue to toss and turn instead of getting that quality shut-eye.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.