Best Mattress for Neck Pain

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If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’re looking for a solution to your neck pain. Well, I’m happy to say you’ve come to the right place. Sleeping on the right mattress can help alleviate neck pain by promoting a healthy spinal alignment and giving you support and pressure relief where you need it most.

It can be a challenge to find the right mattress for your individual needs. Your preferred sleeping position, body weight, and whether or not you sleep with a partner are all key factors in finding the right new mattress for you. To make the process easier, I’ve put together this handy list of my favorite mattresses for neck pain that will suit a range of different sleepers. If you’re just beginning to research mattresses, I’d encourage you to check out our mattress buying guide. If you’re already a pro and just want to see the basic stats, feel free to jump down to my review summary.

Best Mattresses for Neck Pain of 2021

Best Mattresses for Neck Pain Explained

Below, I’ll tell you why each of these beds made the best mattress for neck pain list. Don’t be surprised if this list changes, I’m always updating my top choices as I test new mattresses.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Neck Pain

The Helix Midnight mattress.

Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight is a medium-firm mattress that should suit a range of sleeping positions, though I’d particularly recommend it to back and side sleepers. It has a nice cozy feel and offers some sinkage, but it still retains firm support from its coil layer. I think hybrid mattresses can be great for neck pain because you’re getting a great mix of pressure relief and support. The support helps keep your spine in a straight line, which helps alleviate neck pain, and the pressure relief will help prevent sensitive spots from becoming sore.

I’d also like to mention that the Helix Midnight has great motion isolation. This means your partner or pet’s movements will be absorbed by the mattress, so you’re unlikely to feel them on your side of the bed.

Learn more in my full Helix Midnight mattress review.

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Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight is a medium-firm hybrid mattress that’s great for side sleepers and back sleepers.

Best Adjustable Mattress for Neck Pain

Saatva Solaire Side Sleeping

Saatva Solaire

The Solaire is Saatva’s take on the super popular Sleep Number. Just like a Sleep Number, the Solaire is an adjustable bed, which means you can tailor it to your individual needs. The Solaire actually has firmness 50 settings, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll find a firmness level that works for you. Though adjustable beds can be on the pricier side, if you can afford it these mattresses are great for neck pain since they can be adjusted to such specific levels. Additionally, in sizes queen and larger the Solaire is adjustable on both sides of the bed, so if you and your partner have different sleep needs, you can each choose a personal setting on your side of the bed.

Learn more in my full Saatva Solaire mattress review.

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Saatva Solaire

Saatva Solaire

The Saatva Solaire is a luxury adjustable bed that uses air chambers to achieve different firmness levels. With so many options, it’s a great fit for almost all sleepers.

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Neck Pain

Layla Soft Side

Layla

Memory foam can be a great material for those who suffer from neck pain because it provides gentle pressure relief and contouring so that sensitive pressure points aren’t strained. 

The Layla is a flippable mattress with a soft side and a firm side, so this means it’s going to work for a range of sleeping positions. The soft side is going to be best for side sleepers, while the firm side is better for stomach sleepers or back sleepers who like a firmer feel. Also, unlike some traditional memory foam mattresses, the Layla sleeps pretty cool since its memory foam layer is infused with copper, which helps dissipate body heat. 

Read more in my Layla mattress review. 

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Layla

Layla

The Layla is a flippable memory foam mattress that has a soft side and a firm side. It sleeps cool thanks to a heat-dissipating copper infusion in its memory foam layer.

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with Neck Pain

Nolah Signature

Nolah Signature

Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress that will prevent their hips from sinking too far into the mattress. If this happens, it can lead to bowing, which throws your spine out of alignment — likely exacerbating neck pain. Luckily, the latest version of the Nolah Signature has enough firm support to keep stomach sleepers’ hips in line with their shoulders. This comes courtesy of a core base that’s 20 percent thicker than the previous model’s. And for those seeking pressure relief, there are two top layers containing 75 percent more AirFoam for maximum contouring. 

Read more in my full Nolah Signature mattress review. 

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Nolah Signature

Nolah Signature

The Nolah is a great choice for stomach sleepers because of its thick core base of high-resilience foam and firm AirFoam. Above that are two extra-thick layers of Nolah AirFoam, plus a high-resilience foam layer for exceptional pressure relief. 

Best Value Mattress for Neck Pain

Nectar Mattress 2020

Nectar

The Nectar is a value mattress that consistently makes our best mattress under $1,000 list. It’s a high quality mattress that comes at a surprisingly low price. The Nectar is an all-foam mattress that uses layers of memory foam and poly foam to achieve a medium-soft feel. Its layers of foam give the contouring neck pain sufferers need to relieve pressure on sore spots. I’d recommend it to side sleepers and back sleepers who like a softer bed. You’ll definitely feel more “in” this bed than “on top” of it. 

The Nectar also performed really well on our motion transfer test, so you’re unlikely to be disturbed by your partner tossing and turning or getting up in the middle of the night. 

Learn more in my full Nectar mattress review.

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Nectar

Nectar

The Nectar is a fantastic value for a high-quality mattress. It has some nice sinkage that side sleepers will particularly enjoy.

Best for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain

The Bear Pro mattress.

Bear Pro

Side sleepers need a soft mattress that will allow their hips and shoulders to sink in enough to keep their spine in a healthy straight line. This is especially important for side sleepers with neck pain, because throwing their spine out of alignment is likely going to make it even worse. This is why I’m a big fan of the Bear Pro for side sleepers with neck pain: it has a really nice amount of sinkage that should allow their spines to stay nice and straight.

Additionally, the Bear Pro may help with athletic recovery. It has a Celliant cover, which some studies show can help speed up recovery. So I’d recommend this as a good bed for active folks as well.

Read on in my full Bear Pro mattress review.

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Bear Pro

Bear Pro

The Bear Pro is a medium-soft mattress that’s great for side sleepers. It also sleeps nice and cool.

Best Latex Mattress for Neck Pain

WinkBed EcoCloud

WinkBeds EcoCloud

The WinkBeds EcoCloud is a great mattress for eco-minded shoppers. It has an organic cotton cover and is made with all-natural Talalay latex. This latex layer has a buoyant feel and has a quicker response to pressure than memory foam, but still offers some nice contouring and pressure relief. If you suffer from neck pain but don’t like the sinking feeling you get with memory foam, then the EcoCloud could be a great fit.

The EcoCloud is a true medium-firm mattress, which means it could work for a range of sleeping positions. I think it’s particularly great for back and side combination sleepers, since latex beds are quite easy to switch positions on since they have a more “on top” than “in” the bed feel.

Check out my full WinkBeds EcoCloud mattress review for more.

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WinkBeds EcoCloud

WinkBeds EcoCloud

The WinkBeds EcoCloud is a eco-friendly mattress made with an organic cotton cover and all-natural Talalay latex. It’s a bouncy bed that’s great for combination sleepers.

Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain

leesa back sleeper 1

Leesa

I really like the Leesa Original for back sleepers since it’s just a bit firmer than medium-firm, which is the sweet spot for these folks. They should find their spines supported, but will still get some nice pressure relief at the lumbar region. As I mentioned before, spinal support is especially important for those who suffer from neck pain. 

I also want to mention that the Leesa sleeps nice and cool. Its comfort layer is made of the brand’s proprietary breathable foam, which doesn’t trap heat like traditional memory foam. 

Learn more in my full Leesa mattress review.

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Leesa

Leesa

The Leesa is an all-foam mattress that has a medium-firm feel. It’s a really great bed for back sleepers.

Best Cooling Mattress for Neck Pain

Amerisleep Mattress

Amerisleep AS3

The Amerisleep AS3 sleeps really cool thanks to its Celliant cover, which has some nice breathability, and its comfort layer is made with proprietary Bio-Pur foam, which features an open cell design. This means it doesn’t trap heat like traditional memory foam. However, like memory foam, it offers some really nice contouring, and this is great news for those who suffer from neck pain, since they’ll want to feel some added pressure relief.

Read more in my Amerisleep AS3 mattress review.

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Amerisleep AS3

Amerisleep AS3

The Amerisleep AS3 is a medium-firm hybrid mattress that is comfortable in a range of sleeping positions. It sleeps cool thanks to a breathable cover and open-cell foam comfort layer.

Best Mattress for Hip Pain and Neck Pain

Loom Leaf Side

Loom & Leaf

The Loom & Leaf is a luxury memory foam mattress from expert mattress manufacturer, Saatva. It comes in two firmness options: Relaxed Firm and Firm. I think the Relaxed Firm is a great choice for side sleepers, who should feel their hips really sinking into the memory foam layers, which should help alleviate hip and neck pain. The Firm version is a better option for back sleepers and stomach sleepers, who tend to need a bit more support.

I also particularly like the Loom & Leaf for heavier sleepers and seniors. It offers the deep compression support that heavier folks need in their mattress, and it will give seniors some added pressure relief at sensitive joints. 

Learn more in my full Loom & Leaf mattress review.

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Loom & Leaf

Loom & Leaf

The Loom & Leaf is Saatva’s luxury memory foam mattress. It comes in two firmness options and has layers of pressure-relieving memory foam. 

What Causes Neck Pain?

According to Practical Pain Management, 30% of adults suffer from neck pain, and 50% of those individuals will continue to experience some form of chronic neck pain throughout their lifetime. Neck pain is a common occurrence that affects millions of people each year, and it has a range of causes (1).

Common Causes of Neck Pain

  • Poor posture: When you aren’t standing or sitting straight throughout the day, you put added strain on your neck, as it has to bend awkwardly. Over time, this strain can lead to chronic pain. Those who work in front of computers all day should be extra careful about their posture, as remaining in a fixed position with poor posture can lead to or exacerbate neck pain.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and typically affects joints at the hands, knees, hips, and spine. It wears down cartilage between joints, causing them to rub together. Though symptoms of osteoarthritis can be managed, the damage cannot be reversed (2).
  • Injury: Common injuries like falls and automobile accidents can lead to neck pain. When soft tissues in the neck are strained, they can lead to chronic pain in that region.
  • Nerve Compression: Nerve compression like herniated disks or bone spurs can lead to increased pressure on the nerves in the neck. This pressure can cause moderate to severe pain (3).
  • Sleeping on a bad mattress: When you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress, it can actually lead to pain over time. The wrong mattress for your individual needs can put pressure on sensitive pressure points. If you’re waking up in pain each morning, it’s time to think about a different mattress.

How Does Neck Pain Affect Sleep?

All types of chronic pain can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. At night, your mind isn’t distracted by the events of the day, and pain can feel like the only thing to focus on. Additionally, you could be sleeping in a position that puts pressure on your neck, worsening your pain. Unfortunately, when the body finds it difficult to fall asleep repeatedly, it can lead to insomnia, as your brain becomes trained to stay awake. With all these factors inhibiting proper sleep, it doesn’t come as a surprise that as many as two-thirds of people with chronic pain have sleep disorders (4). That’s why it’s all the more important to find a bed that can offer pain relief.

What Types of Mattresses are Best for Neck Pain?

There is no single answer to what mattress is best for neck pain. Rather, it depends on factors that make you unique: like your body type, preferred sleeping position, and whether you suffer from other types of pain. Below, I’ll break down some common mattress types you’ll see on the market and share who I think they’re best for.

Mattresses by Material

Memory Foam Mattresses — Memory foam beds typically have thick layers of memory foam that allow the sleeper to sink into bed. Memory foam has a slow response to pressure and contours to your body. If you suffer from neck pain and hip or shoulder pain, it could be worth checking out a memory foam mattress, which should offer some great pressure relief. However, I wouldn’t recommend memory foam mattresses to those who tend to switch positions throughout the night, as it can be difficult to move on memory foam, and you don’t want to strain your neck, which is already sensitive. 

Hybrid Mattresses — Hybrid mattresses are great for neck pain because they pack a one-two punch of support and pressure relief. The coil layers prevent you from sinking too far into the mattress, while the foam layers cradle your body. I think hybrid mattresses are great for back sleepers, since they’ll get support while still experiencing pressure relief at the lower back. Hybrid mattresses can also work for side and stomach sleepers — side sleepers should go with a soft hybrid, while stomach sleepers are better suited to firm hybrids.

Innerspring Mattresses — Innerspring is the traditional mattress type, and for many, it’s tried and true. Innerspring mattresses tend to have a firmer feel, and are a nice choice for stomach sleepers or combination sleepers. Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress that will keep their hips in line with their shoulders, which helps prevent back and neck pain. Combination sleepers should find switching positions easy on an innerspring mattress, since they tend to be quite bouncy. Innerspring mattresses also allow some airflow through the mattress, which is good news for hot sleepers.

Latex Mattresses — Latex mattresses can offer sleepers who want the pressure relief of memory foam and the bounce of springs the best of both worlds. Latex is a natural material that has a responsive feel. I particularly like it for combination sleepers, who should feel positioned on top of the bed for easy movement. It’s important to note that latex beds are typically on the pricier side, but if you’re worried about durability it is an exceptionally long-lasting material. 

Mattresses by Firmness

Soft Mattresses — Softer mattresses are those that have a firmness rating of 6 or lower. These beds typically have top layers of comfort foams like memory foam and allow the sleeper to sink into the bed. I think softer mattresses are best for side sleepers, because they need enough sinkage to relieve pressure at the hips and shoulders. If you’re a side sleeper with neck pain, a soft mattress could be a great fit, but if you’re a back or stomach sleeper with neck pain, you’ll want to go with something firmer. 

Medium-firm Mattresses — Medium-firm mattresses are those in the 6.5 to 7.5 range. These beds offer some sinkage, but still keep the sleeper firmly supported. I think back sleepers and combination sleepers are best suited to medium-firm mattresses, since they provide support not only on the back, but in a range of positions. I’d say medium-firm mattresses are best for those with neck pain, since they promote a neutral spinal alignment, but still offer gentle pressure relief.

Firm Mattresses — Firm mattresses tend to have a more “on top” than in the bed feel. Beds with a firmness rating above 7.5 are in the firm range. Firm mattresses are best for stomach sleepers, who need to keep their hips from sinking into the bed, which strains the spine. Back sleepers who like a firm feel are also well suited to firm mattresses, though I wouldn’t recommend going too firm for these sleepers. Overall, firm mattresses aren’t my favorite for neck pain sufferers, who tend to need a bit more sinkage and pressure relief.

The Best Pillow for Neck Pain

Finding the right pillow is almost as important as finding the right mattress for neck pain sufferers. You’ll want a pillow that helps keep your neck neutrally aligned with your spine. Just like there isn’t one mattress that’s right for everyone, there isn’t one pillow that’s going to work for all neck pain sufferers.

Your preferred sleeping position has a lot to do with which pillow is right for you and your neck pain. For example, stomach sleepers need a low lofted pillow to keep their head in line with their spine, while side sleepers need a high-lofted pillow to keep their neck straight and alleviate tension at the shoulders. 

Learn more in my full best pillow for neck pain guide.

Which Sleeping Position is Best for Neck Pain?

The best sleeping positions for neck pain are side sleeping or back sleeping (sorry stomach sleepers). These positions put less strain on the neck than sleeping on your stomach. However, if you suffer from neck pain and shoulder pain, you should try to sleep on your back. Though it can be difficult to change your sleeping position, as they are often habits from childhood, making sure you’re not putting undue pressure on your neck at night can greatly reduce your pain.

How to Reduce Neck Pain

Though the right mattress can help you neck pain while you sleep, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make during the day to help alleviate your neck pain.

  • Practice proper posture. Making sure you’re not slouching can help prevent you from straining your neck. Throughout the day, check to make sure if you are sitting up straight.
  • When talking on the phone, try and go on speaker mode or use headphones. Holding your phone up to your head can make you tilt your neck for a prolonged period of time, which can lead to pain.
  • Exercise regularly. Make sure to strengthen the muscles around your spine and back, as these will help support your head and neck.
  • Make sure to stretch. Stretching your neck throughout the day can help loosen up your muscles and prevent stiffness.

If these methods don’t work, it’s time to reach out to a doctor or physical therapist. Though I can offer some tips, I always recommend reaching out to a licensed professional. 

Recap: The Best Mattresses for Neck Pain

Take a look at the table below to see how all these beds stack up against each other.

FAQs

How do I know if a mattress will help my neck pain when I buy it online?

Luckily, these days, most online mattress brands offer trial periods that range from about 100 to 180-nights on average. This is great news for pain sufferers because they’ll get to spend enough time on their mattress to decide if it’s helping their neck pain.

What mattress firmness is best for neck pain?

Again, this depends on one’s preferred sleep position. Side sleepers with neck pain should opt for something softer, back sleepers should go with a medium-firm bed, and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to keep their spines (and neck) in a neutral position. However, side and back sleeping are best for those with neck pain.

What should I do if I have neck pain and other types of pain?

If you suffer from neck pain and another type of pain, it’s all the more important to find the right mattress for your needs. Whether it’s hip pain, lower back pain, or shoulder pain, I’d recommend checking out a mattress with zoned support. Mattresses with zoned support are firmer in areas where you need added support, and softer in areas where you’ll appreciate more pressure relief.

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Zoe EttingerI’m Zoë, the Editor here at Sleepopolis. I’m a Certified Sleep Science Coach and I write and edit mattress reviews, and star in mattress review videos. I like to take an honest approach to my reviews to tell you whether or not a product will fit your specific needs. Personally, I’m a side sleeper. I prefer a softer hybrid mattress that lets me sink in. If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

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