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We all need 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 that 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 12 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.
  • Vetting: The mattresses on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Pricing guide

Mattresses can cost quite a bit, particularly when you need one specifically 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 overall mattress for back and neck pain

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: hybrid
  • Firmness: medium firm or gentle firm
  • Weight: 11 inches
  • Trial and warranty: 365-night trial and 25-year warranty
  • Sizes: regular sizes, twin XL, California king

Avocado’s Green Mattress combines a medium-firm, supportive mattress with soft, sustainable materials. This hybrid mattress contains latex foam and pocketed coils arranged in five ergonomic zones for superior back and neck support when you need it the most.

The materials used to make the mattress are noteworthy, too. GOTS-certified organic wool and organic latex are hand-sewn together, so there’s no toxic glue or chemical flame retardants. This mattress is also GreenGuard GOLD- and Made Safe-certified, which means it meets strict standards for chemical emissions and does not contain any potentially hazardous materials.

Plus, the wool and cotton help with temperature regulation. Reviewers frequently mention that this mattress does not get too hot or too cold.

The high quality materials mean that this mattress costs a bit more than some competitors. It comes in medium firm, but the added pillow topper can provide some extra coziness if you’re willing to pay extra.

Pros

  • All materials are certified organic and meet strict standards for safety.
  • The cotton mattress top is soft and comfortable, while the coils support your spine and back as you sleep.
  • Thanks to its natural materials, this mattress does not off-gas.

Cons

  • People who weigh less may find the mattress does not contour to their body.

Buy the Avocado Green Mattress online.

Best adjustable mattress for back and neck pain

The Saatva Solaire mattress combines gel-infused memory foam with inflatable air chambers, so you can change how firm your mattress is whenever you’d like to make an adjustment. If you sleep with a partner, they can choose their setting, too.

Vulcanized air chambers underneath layers of organic cotton and natural latex can be customized with 50 available firmness settings. If your back pain varies from day to day, it can be helpful to adjust your mattress according to what your body feels like it needs.

Research from 2015 found that inflatable, adjustable mattresses can be more comfortable and help promote proper spinal alignment because they allow for customized firmness levels.

You can even store your preferred settings in the bed’s controller if you’d like to have a couple options at the ready.

The “upper flex” version of the Solaire also allows you to adjust the head and foot of the mattress to different heights, but you’ll need to purchase an adjustable base.

While it may take a little getting used to, several reviewers say that this mattress is very comfortable and has helped relieve their back pain.

This mattress comes in at a higher price point, but its customizability may be worth the investment if you’re looking for a high quality adjustable option. With free setup and delivery plus a lifetime warranty, your purchase is protected.

Pros

  • Both sides of the bed adjust independently, so you and your partner can each customize your settings.
  • Customer service and purchase protection are considered some of the best policies available on the market.

Cons

  • To make the most of the mattress settings, you may want to purchase an adjustable bed frame.
  • This mattress has a high price point.

Buy the Saatva Solaire Mattress online.

Read our full review of Saatva Mattress.

Best eco-friendly mattress for back and neck pain

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.

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

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 — which is 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 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 2,800 reviews. People rave about the support it provides, saying it relieved back and neck pain immediately and proved even more comfortable than they expected.

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

Pros

  • Reviewers found the innerspring construction to be super durable.
  • Plush pillow topper contours and adapts to a variety of body types and sleeping styles.
  • Mattress comes with a 15-year warranty and 365-night home trial.

Cons

  • The bed isn’t cheap and is not for people who aren’t ready to spend over $1,000 on their mattress.
  • Motion isolation isn’t one of the bed’s strong points, so you might want to look elsewhere if you or your partner move a lot during the night.

Buy the Saatva Classic Mattress online.

Best mattress in a box for back and neck pain

Helix Dawn Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Dimensions: 75 × 38 × 12 in., 80 x 38 x 12 in., 75 x 54 x 12 in., 80 x 60 x 12 in., 80 x 76 x 12 in., 84 x 72 x 12 in.
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Helix recommends this firm hybrid for back and stomach sleepers, but a few reviewers note that it also works well for combination sleepers. Plus, it comes neatly rolled in a box and only needs about 30–45 minutes to expand once opened, and then you’re all set.

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 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 and keep you from sinking 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.

Pros

  • The hybrid design includes latex foam, which supports your pressure points.
  • Reviewers confirm it does provide relief from chronic back pain while keeping them cool at night.
  • This bed has luxury features and is at a great price point.

Cons

  • It may not work as well for couples who need motion isolation.
  • It comes in a box that can be quite heavy (up to 145 pounds), so you may need someone to help you set it up, especially if you have back pain.
  • It requires you try the bed for 30 days before initiating any refunds.

Buy the Helix Dawn online.

Best splurge mattress for back and neck pain

Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Lux-Plush
  • Dimensions: 80 x 39 x 12 in., 75 x 53 x 12 in., 80 x 60 x 12 in., 80 x 76 x 12 in., 84 x 72 x 12 in.
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Trial period: 100 days
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

The Leesa Legend uses the same key elements as other hybrids: springs and foam. The base layer of the mattress is dense foam, which the company claims provides stability and support. The next layers use coils and memory foam to lend pressure relief while still stabilizing your hips and shoulders. The structure also reduces motion transfer.

Above are two layers of foam that were designed with breathability in mind. The uppermost layer has punches that make it breathable and encourage airflow. The bed is topped with a fabric cover that incorporates Merino wool, cotton, and fiber from recycled water bottles.

According to Leesa, the cover is hypoallergenic, as Merino wool is resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Reviewers praise the mattress, saying it alleviated back pain and that it’s one of the most comfortable options out there. Some say it’s the most comfortable mattress they’ve ever had.

Plus, the company rates the bed as medium firm, meaning it will appeal to a large array of people and provide good support for the back and neck.

Pros

  • The mattress is covered in hypoallergenic Merino wool.
  • The bed has a medium-firm surface, so it should appeal to a broad spectrum of sleepers.
  • It’s designed to provide pressure relief while stabilizing the hips and shoulders.

Cons

  • This mattress is on the pricier side.
  • A few reviewers say the mattress sleeps hotter than they’d like.

Buy the Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress online.

Best-rated mattress for back and neck pain

Casper Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 11 in., 80 x 38 x 11 in., 75 x 53 x 11 in., 80 x 60 x 11 in., 80 x 76 x 11 in., 84 x 72 x 11 in.
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

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.

Pros

  • It has a great price point for a high quality mattress.
  • The zoned memory foam is designed to be softer under your shoulders while providing more support for your back and hips.
  • Reviewers say this mattress is super breathable and cooling throughout the night.

Cons

  • If you like a super-soft mattress, this probably is not the one for you.
  • Side sleepers say that the mattress does not contour well to their body. So in the long run, it could add to back and neck pain.

Buy the Casper Original Mattress online.

Best foam mattress for back and neck pain

Nolah Original 10-Inch Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 10 in., 80 x 38 x 10 in., 75 x 53 x 10 in., 80 x 76 x 10 in., 84 x 72 x 10 in., 2 x (80 x 38 x 10 in.)
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, Cal King

If you have back and neck pain, you need a mattress that provides excellent pressure relief. 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 stays 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.

Pros

  • The company offers a 120-night trial and a lifetime limited warranty.
  • The foam blend may sleep cooler than pure memory foam.
  • This mattress is a great option for side sleepers and people with smaller body types.

Cons

  • At only 10 inches thick, people who weigh more than 200 pounds and those who prefer a cushiony feel may want to skip this one.
  • Stomach sleepers may feel that they sink too deeply into the top layer of foam.

Buy the Nolah Original 10″ online.

Best mattress for upper back and neck pain

Purple Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 9.25 in., 80 x 38 x 9.25 in., 75 x 54 x 9.25 in., 80 x 60 x 9.25 in., 80 x 76 x 9.25 in., 84 x 72 x 9.25 in., 2 x (80 x 76 x 9.25 in.)
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, Cal King

This innovative mattress offers a unique sleeping 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.

Pros

  • Many reviewers swear by this mattress.
  • It offers extra support at your pressure points, such as your shoulders, back, and hips.
  • The innovative hex grid design benefits hot sleepers.

Cons

  • It takes some time to get used to sleeping on the gel grid, and some reviewers say they never did get accustomed to it.
  • At less than 10 inches thick, this mattress may feel a bit thin.
  • Some reviewers say it takes days for Purple’s off-gassing to completely dissipate.

Buy The Purple Mattress online.

Best cooling mattress for back and neck pain

The WinkBed

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Luxury firm
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 13.5 in., 80 x 38 x 13.5 in., 75 x 54 x 13.5 in., 80 x 60 x 13.5 in., 80 x 76 x 13.5 in., 84 x 72 x 13.5 in.
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

If you tend to heat up while you sleep, sleeping on a mattress that’s too warm can lead to a night of serious tossing and turning. Enter: the Wink Bed, Luxury Firm. This hybrid-style bed features a Tencel cover and gel-infused foam that are designed to keep you cool while you sleep. Plus, the mattress comes with pocketed coils that are designed to help improve airflow, which keeps the mattress from trapping heat.

The whole thing is topped off with a super-soft pillow topper and mattress cover that you may like if plush, billowy beds are your thing.

The Wink Bed may also be a great option if you’re looking for a mattress that’s firm enough to support your back without being so firm that it’s uncomfortable. It’s specifically designed to keep your spine in a healthy position throughout the night.

This mattress is a thick one at 13.5 inches, which helps make it more durable. You won’t have to worry too much about that, though, because the mattress has a lifetime guarantee. Many reviewers say that this mattress lives up to its claims of keeping them cool and well-rested while helping with back pain.

Negative reviews mention that customer service, including the return process, could be simpler and more responsive.

Pros

  • It works well for combination sleepers and couples with different sleeping preferences.
  • It’s firm enough for people who weigh more, even if you sleep on your side or your stomach.
  • Reviewers say the mattress is extremely durable.

Cons

  • This bed comes in at a splurge price point.
  • Motion isolation is not the bed’s strong suit.

Buy the Wink Bed, Luxury Firm online.

Best hybrid mattress for back and neck pain

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 12 in., 80 x 38 x 12 in., 80 x 60 x 12 in., 80 x 76 x 12 in., 84 x 72 x 12 in., 2 x (80 x 38 x 12 in.)
  • Warranty: 20 years
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, Cal King

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.

Pros

  • The hybrid style provides support all night long, while foam features keep you cool.
  • A 20-year warranty and 100-night sleep trial protect your purchase.
  • It’s recommended for back and stomach sleepers.

Cons

  • Side sleepers may find this bed to be too firm.
  • Some reviewers say support in the lumbar area is lacking.

Buy the Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid online.

Best budget mattress for back and neck pain

Beautyrest Silver BRS900 Extra Firm Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Firmness: Extra firm
  • Dimensions: 75 x 38 x 11.75 in., 80 x 38 x 11.75 in., 75 x 52 x 11.75 in., 80 x 53 x 11.75 in., 80 x 60 x 11.75 in., 80 x 76 x 11.75 in., 84 x 72 x 11.75 in.
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, King, Cal King

When it comes to pain relief, mattress firmness can absolutely make a difference. According to research from 2015, medium-firm mattresses tend to provide a great 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 that “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.

This mattress 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.

Pros

  • It’s firm enough to keep your back aligned all night long.
  • It has a great price, especially for a hybrid mattress.
  • The mattress provides great edge support and motion isolation.

Cons

  • It may be too firm for some sleepers.
  • It takes some getting used to, especially if you currently sleep on a memory foam bed.

Buy the Beautyrest Silver BRS900 Extra Firm online.

Best latex mattress for back and neck pain

The Avocado Latex mattress is 9 inches tall, and all 9 inches of the mattress are made with organic latex.

The mattress is a great choice for anyone looking for a latex option that can alleviate back and neck pain, but it’s also good for those who value sustainability and organic materials.

In addition to using organic latex, the mattress also has Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic wool and cotton in the cover.

Avocado’s Latex Mattress is a firm option according to the company’s website. Reviewers didn’t generally say it was too firm, though if you like softer beds, there may be better choices out there. Avocado claims this mattress sleeps cool. Not a single reviewer commented on the mattress sleeping hot.

And as for back and neck pain, reviewers rave about this option. Many of the customers who mention consistent back and neck pain had issues with their prior mattresses. When they switched to the Avocado Latex Mattress, the pain was relieved.

Pros

  • This mattress is firm and designed to limit motion transfer.
  • The bed is made with environmentally friendly materials.
  • It alleviated many reviewers’ back and neck pain.
  • The mattress comes in a good selection of sizes.

Cons

  • It’s one of the more expensive options on our list.
  • Some people may not like latex.
  • The mattress has a thinner profile.

Buy the Avocado Latex Mattress online.

MattressPriceTypeFirmnessBest forWarrantyTrial periodSizes
Avocado Green Mattress$$$hybridmedium firm or gentle firmback and stomach sleepers25 years365 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
Saatva Solaire $$$airadjustableall positionslifetime365 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• split king
• Cal king
• split Cal king
Saatva Classic Mattress$$$hybrid• plush soft
• luxury firm
• firm
side or combo sleeperslifetime365 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• split king
• Cal king
• split Cal king
Helix Dawn$$hybridfirmback or stomach sleepers10 years100 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
Leesa Legend Hybrid$$$hybridmediumall positions10 years100 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
Casper Original Mattress$$foamfirmside or combo sleepers10 years100 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
Nolah Original 10 Inch$$foammediumside sleeperslifetime120 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• split king
• Cal king
The Purple Mattress$$foammediumside sleepers10 years100 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• split king
• Cal king
The Wink Bed (Luxury Firm)$$$hybridmediumcombo sleeperslifetime120 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid$$hybridmediumback or stomach sleepers20 years100 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• split king
• Cal king
Beautyrest Silver BRS900 Extra Firm$hybridextra firmback or stomach sleepers10 years120 nights• regular sizes
• twin XL
• full XL
• Cal king
Avocado Latex Mattress$$$latex foammediumback or stomach sleepers25 years1 year• regular sizes
• twin XL
• Cal king
• split Cal king

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.

Firmness

According to a 2015 review of 24 studies, medium-firm mattresses may improve sleep quality and promote proper spinal alignment. This could help decrease back pain. In addition, a 2021 review similarly pointed to a medium-firm mattress as the best choice.

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.

The best mattress firmness for back pain may also be based on your weight. If you have more weight, you might sink more deeply into a mattress, which can trigger back pain.

Memory foam mattresses aren’t recommended for people who weigh 230 pounds or more. The foam may not provide enough support, even with different types of foam layers within the mattress.

Mattresses tend to get softer overtime, so your best bet is to purchase one that is as firm as you can comfortably sleep on.

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. You may also want to consider a latex mattress or a mattress that contains a latex blend foam.

Research from 2017 suggests that latex can better support your body mass and relieve pressure than memory foam alone (check out the Helix Dawn above).

“Comfort” is a subjective metric, and what works for one person might not work for another. When it comes to pressure relief, your best bet might be to give a bed with a generous in-home trial policy a try.

Sleeping position

A 2010 study found that participants saw an improvement in back pain after sleeping on mattresses that were chosen for each individual’s dominant sleeping position. So, it’s important to consider that 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’re a back or stomach sleeper, 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.

Materials

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 feeling 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.

Reposition

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.

Sleep deprivation can affect everything from diabetes and heart disease risk to mood and memory issues.

So, if your back or neck pain is persistent and continues to disrupt your sleep, it’s best to meet with your doctor to explore options. They can refer you to a physical therapist who can help you relieve pain and get to the root cause.

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 sleeping position is best for upper back pain?

Sleeping on your stomach is particularly strenuous for your upper back, according to the Keck School of Medicine. This is because the position forces you to turn your head to one side overnight.

Aside from avoiding stomach sleeping, people with upper back pain can make sure they have a supportive pillow if they like to sleep on their side.

According to Keck, sleeping on your back is likely the best position to avoid upper back pain. However, it’s not a good sleeping position for pregnant people. And for some people, it can be difficult to sleep deeply in this position, too.

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, aim to 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 a healthcare professional to rule out any medical causes, especially if you continue to toss and turn instead of getting 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.