Best Mattress For Neck Pain
Jennifer Miller, PT, DPT
Dr. Jennifer Miller is an outpatient physical therapist. She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Elon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She now specializes in Neurological, Geriatric, and Vestibular Physical Therapy and works in the medical field as a primary care provider treating neurological conditions. Dr. […]
Whether you have an injury, poor posture, or a bad mattress, neck pain is a surefire way to ruin what could have been a good night’s sleep. Even if you’re suffering from a chronic health condition, with the right mattress, you can alleviate some neck pain and improve your sleep quality.
A high-quality mattress can make the difference between sleeping soundly or tossing and turning due to neck pain. With our guide, we help you find the best mattress for neck pain and share how neck pain can both affect you and your sleep.
Best Mattress for Neck Pain Mattress: 30 Second Summary
- Our Recommendation: Amerisleep AS3 — For sleepers with neck pain, the Amerisleep AS3 stands out for its pressure-relieving memory foam and zoned technology built to keep the spine neutral. It also incorporates cooling technology so as not to trap body heat and further a sleeper’s discomfort.
Best Mattresses for Neck Pain of 2022
- Best Mattress For Neck Pain Overall: Amerisleep AS3
- Best Hybrid Mattress For Neck Pain: Zoma Hybrid
- Best Budget Mattress For Neck Pain: Vaya Mattress
- Best Mattress For Combo Sleepers With Neck Pain: Purple Mattress
- Best Dual-Sided Mattress For Neck Pain: Layla Mattress
- Best Cooling Mattress for Neck Pain: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid
- Best Mattress for Back and Neck Pain: Amerisleep AS2
- Best Mattress For Shoulder and Neck Pain: Nolah Original 10
One of the best mattresses for alleviating neck pain is the Amerisleep AS3. This mattress has a medium feel and is perfect for side and combo sleepers looking to manage their neck pain. The bed is 12 inches thick and contains three layers of foam: Bio-Pur®, Affinity foam, and Bio-Core®.
Bio-Pur® is an eco-friendly memory foam designed to be both more durable and breathable than traditional memory foam. This way, you don’t have to worry about night sweats keeping you up.
Affinity foam is a transition foam built to add extra bounce to the bed. It also contains HIVE® technology, a zoned support system with five key zones. It’s firmer around your head, back, and legs, but soft around your hips and shoulders. The layer cushions and supports your body as needed to minimize pressure points.
Finally, the Bio-Core® foam base supports the upper layers and helps extend your mattress’s lifespan.
The Amerisleep AS3 is made in the USA and CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning the foams are free from harsh chemicals and won’t off-gas. When you purchase an Amerisleep mattress, you receive a 100-night sleep trial, a 20-year warranty, and free shipping and returns.
- Medium firmness
- Plant-based memory foam
- 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
The Zoma Hybrid easily makes our list since it was made specifically to relieve pain. Although Zoma often markets to athletes and active individuals, this is because of how excellent the healing capabilities of the bed are and why we recommend it to neck pain sufferers.
The top layer of the mattress contains gel-infused memory foam with triangular cutouts. The gel helps pull heat away from your body so you don’t get too hot, while the cutouts evenly distribute your body weight and prevent pressure points.
The mattress’s second layer is called Reactiv™ and is a buoyant foam. The Reactiv™ layer makes it easier to move in bed and stops you from feeling trapped at night.
The mattress’s pocketed coil support core makes up a majority of the bed. It helps align your spine so you don’t wake up achy or worsen your neck pain. The sides of the coils are reinforced so you don’t risk rolling off the mattress at night.
Beneath the coils is a durable foam to maintain the bed’s shape.
The Zoma Hybrid is both CertiPUR-US® certified and made in the US. With the Zoma Hybrid, you receive a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty covering defects and sags.
- Gel infused memory foam
- Pocketed spring coil base
- 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
Relieving pain doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. The Vaya Mattress is one of our favorites for this very reason: it relieves pressure and pain without eating your savings.
The bed has a medium feel and is built to suit a variety of sleepers, including side, back, and combination sleepers. Couples will even enjoy this mattress for its minimal motion isolation and perfect balance of support and cushioning.
The mattress’s top layer is 3 inches of Vaya Comfort Foam, a responsive and breathable poly-foam mattress. Despite its springiness, the foam still conforms under your body’s curves and provides incomparable comfort and pain relief.
The base contains 9 inches of Vaya Base Foam, a durable and supportive material resistant to sagging and soft spots.
The Vaya Mattress is available online only, but it comes with free shipping and returns. Not only that, but you receive a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with your purchase.
- Affordable price
- Responsive foam comfort layer
- 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
Best Mattress For Combo Sleepers With Neck Pain: Purple Mattress
Purple designed the original Purple Mattress to relieve pressure and foster the best sleep possible, making it an excellent option for pain sufferers. The Purple Mattress is roughly 9 inches thick and contains 2 inches of Purple Grid™, 3.5 inches of cushiony poly-foam, and 4 inches of base foam.
The Purple Mattress is famous for its patented hyper-elastic polymer material called the Purple Grid™. It makes up the comfort layers of all of Purple’s mattresses. Purple Grid™ is a durable type of foam built to instantly react to your movements for rapid pressure relief. The Purple Grid™ also features thousands of air channels so you don’t sleep hot during the night.
The transitional poly-foam provides extra cushioning to the bed while also preventing you from sinking.
The Purple Mattress’s final layer helps maintain the bed’s shape and minimizes sags and soft spots.
The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, and free shipping and returns.
- Purple Grid prevents pressure points
- Durable foam base resistant to sagging
- 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
Best Dual-Sided Mattress For Neck Pain: Layla Memory Foam Mattress
Flipping your mattress is uncommon nowadays, but Layla repopularized it with the Layla Memory Foam Mattress. With both a soft and firm side, you essentially enjoy two beds in one. A flippable bed is an especially good option for sleepers who switch sleeping positions or are unsure of what mattress firmness is right for them.
The soft side is a good option for side sleepers and petite sleepers, and the firm side works well for stomach and back sleepers.
On either side of the mattress is Layla’s copper-infused memory foam. Since plain memory foam tends to trap heat, the copper infusions draw heat away from your body. Copper is also anti-microbial, keeping your mattress fresh and odor-free.
The Layla Sleep Memory Foam Mattress is made in the USA and CertiPUR-US® certified. It comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
- Copper-infused foam offers breathability
- Flippable mattress with two firmness levels
- 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Best Cooling Mattress For Neck Pain: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Hybrid is known for its wonderful cooling properties. Its combined cooling foam, phase-changing materials, and pocketed coils help you achieve a good, cool night’s sleep.
The bed comes in three different firmness levels for you to choose from so anybody can enjoy the Aurora Hybrid’s excellent breathability. Your firmness options are soft, medium, and firm.
Regardless of what firmness you choose, the Aurora Hybrid features CopperFlex™ comfort foam with TitanCool™, TitanFlex™ transition foam, up to 1000 Ascension X® coils, and durable base foam.
The mattress’s cover is built to draw heat away from your body and keep you cool throughout the night.
If you go with the Aurora Hybrid, you receive a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
BROOKLYN BEDDING AURORA HYBRID
- Cooling foam infusions
- Available in three different firmness levels
- 120-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty
Best Mattress for Back and Neck Pain: Amerisleep AS2
With a medium-firm feel, the Amerisleep AS2 is the perfect solution for back or stomach sleepers struggling with back and neck pain. The Amerisleep AS2 is 12 inches thick and contains three foam layers: 2 inches of Bio-Pur® memory foam, 2 inches of Affinity foam with HIVE®, and 8 inches of Bio-Core® foam.
Bio-Pur® is Amerisleep’s proprietary plant-based foam. It’s a more eco-friendly option compared to traditional memory foam, and it’s safer to sleep on because it contains minimal petroleum. Bio-Pur® is renowned for staying cool, being durable, and relieving pressure.
The Affinity foam is a transition layer with HIVE® technology. HIVE® features hexagonal cutouts in five different zones to evenly distribute body weight and prevent pressure build-up.
The Bio-Core® base foam helps extend your mattress’s lifespan and reduces sags.
The Amerisleep AS2 includes a 100-night risk-free trial and a 20-year warranty. It also comes with free shipping and returns within the contiguous US.
- Medium-firm feel
- Plant-based memory foam
- 100-night sleep trial and 20-year warranty
Best Mattress For Shoulder and Neck Pain: Nolah Original 10”
If you’re struggling with shoulder pain on top of your neck pain, the Nolah Original 10” may be the right choice for you. With its soft feel, the bed works well for side sleepers, especially since they most commonly experience neck and shoulder pain at night.
The mattress’s cover is made of Tencel™, a fabric built to stay cool and wick away moisture.
The top layer of the bed contains 2 inches of AirFoam™, a poly-foam built for excellent pressure relief. At the same time, it’s buoyant and prevents you from sinking and feeling stuck” in bed.
Next is a thin support layer with a latex-like feel. It adds extra bounce and durability to the bed, while also making it easier to switch positions in the bed.
At the base of the bed is 7 inches of durable base foam. It supports your spine and helps the mattress last for years to come.
With the Nolah Original 10”, you also receive a 120-sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns.
NOLAH ORIGINAL 10"
- Soft mattress perfect for side sleepers
- Tencel fabric cover promotes breathability
- 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Types of Mattresses For Neck Pain
The type of mattress you use impacts the pain and pressure relief it can provide as some mattress types are better than others. The most common types of mattresses are memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid.
Memory foam mattresses are popular for alleviating all sorts of pain and work particularly well for people struggling with neck and shoulder issues. Memory foam beds are great because they conform under a sleeper’s body to alleviate pressure.
Beneath the memory foam comfort layers are support layers made from poly-foam since memory foam makes for a better cushion while poly-foam provides durable support. This construction simply helps the memory foam mattresses last longer, support your body, and alleviate pain.
Latex is a natural foam produced from the sap of rubber trees. It’s a sustainable material known for its durability, buoyancy, and pressure-relieving properties. Although latex doesn’t conform as much as memory foam, latex beds are still excellent for relieving neck pain and alleviating pressure.
Some latex beds contain synthetic materials, but they aren’t as durable or eco-friendly as natural latex.
Innerspring mattresses contain metal springs and provide some of the best support and bounce. Although innerspring beds do a great job of keeping your spine aligned, they often lack cushioning, which can worsen the pain.
Innerspring beds usually have pillow tops or Euro tops made from cotton, wool, or foam, but they aren’t as pressure-relieving as memory foam or latex comfort layers. Not only that, but innerspring beds are squeaky and break down quickly. While these features may not directly impact your neck pain, they’re still an annoying issue you won’t want to deal with on top of the pain.
Hybrid mattresses combine the supportive elements of innerspring beds, with pressure-relieving cushioning from foam beds. It’s a great option for sleepers looking for support and springiness, but who also need to alleviate their neck pain.
Unlike innerspring mattresses, the coils in hybrid beds are pocketed. This prevents the coils from squeaking or breaking. Not only that but the pocketed coils in hybrid beds provide closer contouring to better support your body and relieve pain.
Causes of Neck Pain at Night
Neck pain can be the result of many different factors. However, the most common causes of neck pain at night include using a bad mattress or pillow, injuries, health conditions, and poor posture.
The Wrong Mattress or Pillow
Sleeping on the wrong mattress or pillow can be the sole cause of neck pain, but it can also exacerbate existing health conditions.
A bad mattress or pillow can be saggy, lumpy, or flattening, but they also include mattresses and pillows that are simply wrong for your needs. If your mattress is overly soft or firm, or your pillow is overly thick or thin, they can throw your neck out of alignment and lead to neck pain. If you have existing neck pain, both of these can exacerbate your issues.
Injuries or Health Conditions
Neck pain may be the result of numerous different health conditions or injuries. Some of these health conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pinched nerves
- Strained ligaments
- Herniated discs
- Strenuous exercise or improper lifting
With neck pain due to injuries or medical conditions, you may need medical intervention, but other times, at-home care can help alleviate your discomfort.
Constantly having bad posture can strain your neck and leave it sore and achy. Some examples of bad posture include hunching at your desk, staring down at your phone constantly, standing with a slumped back, or twisting your body improperly while lying in bed.
Sometimes, we don’t even realize our posture is bad, but once you straighten up, you’ll notice the instant relief on your body—especially around your neck. Physical therapist Dr. Jennifer Miller says, “A quick posture check can help reduce pain, so I often encourage my patients to take breaks throughout the day to assess and correct their posture, especially if they work at a computer desk. I also suggest they check at their posture whenever they pass a mirror and correct it if they notice hunched shoulders or forward head posture.”
How Neck Pain Affects Your Sleep
Neck pain and sleep have a bi-directional relationship, meaning one affects the other. Dealing with neck pain makes it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep, but not getting adequate sleep only worsens your neck pain.
Research shows pain makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, so even if you manage to fall asleep, you may wake up periodically throughout the night. This only leaves you feeling fatigued in the morning.
The cycle of poor sleep and worsened pain can feel neverending, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper care (and the right mattress) you can alleviate neck pain and improve your sleep quality.
Sleeping Positions And Neck Pain
Your sleeping position is one of the biggest factors impacting your neck pain. It impacts how your neck is positioned at nighttime, along with the mattress firmness best suited for your body to relieve neck pain.
The three most common sleeping positions are back, side, and stomach sleeping.
Back sleeping is the least straining sleeping position on your neck because your neck won’t curve or twist unnaturally. The position is also easy on your spine, which further prevents pain and discomfort at night.
Mattresses for back sleepers should be medium-firm or firm. Both firmness levels provide adequate support to your back so you don’t sink and experience lower back pain, and ensure proper cushioning for your lower back and neck.
It’s also crucial to use the right pillow to alleviate neck pain. When back sleeping, use a mid loft pillow (3 to 5 inches thick) to keep your neck in line with your spine and prevent pain.
Side sleeping is a finicky sleeping position when it comes to neck pain. With the right mattress and pillows, it can be great for alleviating pain.
However, if your pillow is too thin and your mattress is too firm, your existing neck pain will only worsen.
Mattresses for side sleepers should be either medium or medium-soft. Both firmness levels provide adequate cushioning for shoulders and hips while still supporting the spine and neck, ensuring you don’t experience more unnecessary neck pain.
It’s important to use a thick pillow when side sleeping to prevent your neck from curving unnaturally. Your pillow should be between 5 to 7 inches thick to keep your head and neck neutral with your spine. Dr Miller notes, “Using a body pillow between your knees and “hugging” it with your top arm can also help maintain neutral spine posture while sleeping.”
Frankly, stomach sleeping is one of the worst sleep positions for neck pain. When lying on your stomach, your head is twisted to the side, straining your neck and inevitably leading to stiffness and soreness.
We advise switching sleeping positions if you strictly sleep on your stomach, but permanently changing your primary sleep position isn’t easy. If you’re struggling to switch sleeping positions, mattresses for stomach sleepers should be medium-firm or firm because they prevent your hips from sinking in bed and misaligning your spine.
Along with using the right mattress firmness, be sure to use a thin pillow (3 inches or thinner) or no pillow at all when stomach sleeping to keep your neck and spine neutral. Too thick of a pillow only puts further stress on your neck and causes pain.
Combination sleeping need a mattress with balanced cushion and responsiveness to prevent neck misalignment. We suggest mattresses for combination sleeping with a medium to medium-firm feel.
We also recommend a flexible pillow for combination sleepers, to help the pillow adapt to changes in positions.
What is the best mattress for neck and shoulder pain?
Neck and shoulder pain is most commonly associated with side sleeping. Side sleepers are at the highest risk of pressure build-up around the shoulders and spinal misalignment around the neck.
The best mattresses for shoulder pain and neck pain are medium-soft or medium mattresses. Our favorite mattresses for neck and shoulder pain are the Amerisleep AS3 and the Zoma Hybrid as they both offer adequate cushioning and spinal support to prevent neck and shoulder pain.
Is a hybrid mattress good for neck pain?
Yes, hybrid mattresses provide excellent support for your spine and neck, ensuring they stay aligned and don’t end up stiff or sore.
With this in mind, be sure to find the right hybrid mattress for your sleeping position and body type. Although hybrid beds are great, if they’re too firm or soft for you, they can still cause or worsen neck pain.
Is a memory foam mattress good for neck pain?
Memory foam mattresses are great for relieving neck pain—and pain in general—because they ease pressure points and pain build-up.
Like with other mattresses, be sure to choose the right memory foam mattress for your sleeping position and weight to ensure you’re properly supported and cushioned. The wrong mattress firmness only aggravates neck pain.
Why do I get neck pain after sleeping?
Neck pain after sleeping is usually a result of an awkward sleeping position or the wrong mattress or pillow. If your mattress is the wrong firmness for your sleeping position, it’ll misalign your spine and lead to neck pain.
Similarly, if you sleep with your neck twisted to the side, leaving your neck in an awkward position for hours will leave it stiff and sore. This is particularly common for side and stomach sleepers but is still a possibility for back sleepers.
If your pillow is flat and unsupportive, it can cause your neck to curve unnaturally, resulting in neck pain when you wake up.
How long does neck pain from sleeping wrong last?
Neck pain from sleeping wrong shouldn’t last very long, but it varies on how badly your sleeping position affected your neck. At a minimum, neck pain lasts one or two days, but it shouldn’t exceed a week.
In the meantime, try using over-the-counter pain medications and apply hot or cold compresses to your neck and any other affected areas. When applying heat or ice, make sure to have 3-5 layers between your skin and the compresses. It is best to use heat and ice for less than 15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
Can my mattress be causing me to have neck pain?
Yes! If your mattress is overly firm or soft for your sleeping position, it can cause spinal misalignment. A misaligned spine causes bad posture while you’re sleeping, resulting in issues including neck, shoulder, or back pain.
Neck pain is not only painful throughout the day, but it makes it harder to perform daily tasks and get to sleep. Even if you do manage to sleep, you’ll likely struggle to stay asleep and will wake up still feeling exhausted.
Regardless of what’s causing your pain, you don’t have to suffer at night forever. Although a mattress won’t necessarily solve chronic pain or health conditions, it can help manage these issues. The best mattress for alleviating your pain will differ for everyone, so consider your preferences to find a new mattress to keep your spine and neck neutral.