best mattress for neck and shoulder pain

Best Mattress For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Dealing with nagging neck pain or shoulder pain? Here’s our list of the top rated beds to help you out.

We’ve posted dozens upon dozens of reviews, and this is our hand-selected list of the best mattresses for side sleepers with shoulder pain as well as individuals dealing with hip, neck, and upper back pain.
AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
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Plush Foam$125 Off + Gift

Code: SY125

All-foam mattress that offers plenty of pressure relief without that stuck-in-the-mud feeling. This is a wonderful mattress for side sleepers with hip and shoulder pain.
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Couples & Customizable$100 Off

Code: PREZ100

Helix, via their Sleep Quiz, allows you to select the bed that best fits you. They have plenty of mattresses that will work for people with back and neck pain, as well as issues with the hip and should. Helix allows you to select the type of mattress you think is best.
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Cooling20% Off

Code: SLUMBERYARD20

This is probably the coolest bed available right now. It also has plenty of support thanks to the coils, and is offered in three different firmness levels.
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Budget See on AmazonOne of the most affordable beds you’ll ever find. It does have a standard memory foam feeling, but it’s on the softer end and offers great pressure relief.
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Flippable$135 Off + Gift

Code: RIZSLUMBER

Layla is a double-sided mattress with a soft side and a slightly-less-soft side. It’s very comfortable and offers a lot of pressure relief.
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Athletes$125 Off

Code: SY125

Bear is a softer foam mattress with a special cover that's been proven to help with recovery times and blood flow.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Considered100+

    Mattresses Considered

  • Brands 40+

    Brands

  • Made the List 7

    Made
    the List

  • Number of Contributors 6

    Number of Contributors

Best Mattress For Neck & Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain can be a horribly persistent issue, made better (or worse) by your mattress (and pillow). Assuming you get your full eight hours each night, that’s a third of your day spent sleeping. You’re either making forward progress or you’re adding to the problem.

In this post, we’re going to identify a few mattresses that we think are a good fit for people suffering from neck and shoulder pain. Of course, everyone is different with different ailments, but we’re hoping that this serves as a good starting point for you.

This post is not an offering of health advice and we are not physicians or chiropractorsWe did, however, work closely with a licensed chiropractor to assemble our list, learn more about neck and shoulder pain, and write this post. Any advise or recommendations we give are based on his professional opinion.

If you have any questions, you can always contact us directly, but we urge you to consult your physician and/or chiropractor before you buy a new mattress or change your daily habits. With all of that stuff out of the way, let’s talk beds!

Nolah Original 10"

BEST FOR:

  • Anyone that wants a plush foam mattress
  • Medium and petite individuals looking for a lot of pressure relief
  • People that want to support wildlife adoption programs (Nolah donates 7% of its profits)

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Heavy people that need a thick, extra supportive mattress
  • Hot sleepers that need a cooling mattress

Nolah is a softer all-foam bed that’s extremely comfortable and is most ideal for strict side sleepers. It’s comprised of three layers of foam, including a top layer that feels somewhat like memory foam, but without a quicksand feeling that you may have experienced with older memory foam beds.

nolah mattress side sleeper
The original Nolah mattress is ideal for side sleepers

Nolah is made in the USA and comes with a 15-year warranty. Like most bed-in-a-box mattress companies, it also offers free shipping and returns, plus a 120-night risk-free trial period (that’s about 20 days longer than the policy of most brands). Nolah is not a mattress for heavy individuals, but if you have a medium or petite frame, it should do just fine.

The reason that we put the Nolah Original 10 mattress on this list is that it offers a great amount of pressure relief for your shoulders and hips. It’s not a bed for back and stomach sleepers, but for side sleepers, it will do a good job of cradling your body and alleviating pressure.

Helix

BEST FOR:

  • If you want a personalized bed
  • Folks who want a little bounce, but not too much
  • Couples that want the option to personalize each side of the bed or create a blend that works for both partners
  • All sleeper types (back, stomach, side, and combo)
  • Petite, medium, and heavy individuals

NOT BEST FOR:

  • People that want a traditional memory foam feel
  • Anyone on a really tight budget (Helix is affordable, but not cheap)

Helix is one of the most unique mattress companies out there. Unlike most companies that offer between one and three firmness levels, Helix allows you to personalize your bed, including its firmness, support, and coolness. Helix actually has a Sleep Quiz on their website that matches you up with a bed that most suits your sleeping habits.

helix moonlight luxe mattress side sleeper
Helix allows you to customize your mattress (they even have a Luxe line)

Helix is probably the outright best mattress for couples, given that you can personalize each side of the bed or try out a blend that works for both partners.

Beyond that, Helix offers supportive mattresses that combine coils and several different types of foam (i.e. these are hybrid mattresses). They even make a model for heavy individuals that weigh over 250 lb. And, on top of that, they offer a separate mattress cover that incorporates a phase-change material that makes the bed cool to the touch.

Ultimately, what we like about Helix is just the sheer number of options they provide. Rather than have us guess which bed is best for your situation, with Helix you can select whichever bed you feel is best for you. If you want a softer bed, they make that. Want a firm bed? They make that too—and everything in between.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

BEST FOR:

  • People who sleep really hot at night
  • Folks who want the support provided by 8” coils
  • Anyone that wants to be able to choose the firmness level of their bed (Soft, Medium, or Firm)
  • Those who care about the fact that Brooklyn actually makes their own beds in a facility in Phoenix, AZ

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Anyone that wants a traditional memory foam feel
  • People that don’t want a bed with a lot bounce
  • Budget shoppers that want a queen size under $1,000

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is quite possibly the coolest mattress on the market right now. Brooklyn Bedding combines 8” pocketed coils with various layers of foam and then a cover with a phase-change material woven in. The bed is literally cool to the touch and could possibly be too cool for some people out there.

For example, if you’re a petite young lady that tends to always be cold—like our Director of Content, Kaite—then the Aurora mattress is definitely not for you. You have to sleep very hot to want Aurora. And if you that’s you, you’re definitely in luck.

brooklyn bedding aurora mattress review side sleepers
The Brooklyn Aurora is a great option for hot sleepers

A few other things that we should note about the Aurora mattress. Firstly, it’s basically the same bed as the Nest Bedding Hybrid Luxury Contour and that’s because Brooklyn actually makes both mattresses in their facility in Arizona. The Aurora, however, comes in a Soft, Medium, and Firm feel, which gives you the ability to select which firmness is right for you.

As a heads up, the Medium option is still quite soft. It offers plenty of pressure relief, but as you’d expect, still great support thanks to those 8” coils.

Zinus Green Tea

BEST FOR:

  • Anyone on a super tight budget that needs a cheap memory foam bed
  • People that like a stereotypical memory foam feel (it’s a softer memory foam, though)
  • Amazon shoppers (this is very likely the best selling mattress on Amazon)
  • Strict side sleepers that need a good amount of pressure relief

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Anyone looking for a luxury mattress
  • Those who want a bed that’s made in the USA (Zinus is made in China)
  • People that want a bed that will last forever (it’s a cheaper, all-foam bed)
  • Anyone sensitive to chemical smells (this mattress will take about a week to get rid of its plastic smell)
  • People looking for an all-natural mattress

The Zinus 12” Green Tea mattress is one of the most popular beds purchased online, especially on Amazon. Often, when you search “mattress” on Amazon, it will be the first non-sponsored product on the list. The bed has nearly 20,000 ratings.

It’s definitely not our favorite bed of all time, nor will it last you a lifetime, but for the price (usually under $250 for a queen), it’s hard to dislike Zinus. And for the record, it’s available in 6”, 8”, and 10” thicknesses, as well, if you want to save even more money by sizing down.

zinus green tea mattress review
The Zinus Green Tea mattress has a true memory foam feel

It doesn’t carry all of the consumer-friendly policies of brands such as Leesa or Nest Bedding, but if you’re a Prime member you will get free shipping on Amazon (3-5 days) if that’s any consolation. Additionally, while the bed is made in China (hence why it’s so affordable), it does have the CertiPUR-US certification, which means that the bed meets certain baseline manufacturing standards—you will see this on most memory foam beds.

As far as how the Zinus mattress feels, it feels like a very traditional memory foam bed. You will get that stuck-in-the-mud feeling and some people will find themselves heating up at night. Therefore, if you sleep hot and/or hate memory foam, do not get this bed. Having said that, it uses a softer memory foam that offers great pressure relief (a plus for someone with shoulder pain), but is still fairly supportive.

Layla

BEST FOR:

  • Anyone that wants a double-sided mattress
  • Medium and petite sleepers
  • People that like memory foam
  • Anyone that wants a lot of pressure relief
  • Budget shoppers

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Very heavy individuals
  • Hot sleepers
  • Anyone that wants an innerspring mattress

Layla is a very comfortable, double-sided, flippable mattress that used quite a bit of memory foam. It has a Soft side and Firm side (still very soft), which allows you to try out two different firmness levels on the same mattress.

layla mattress review side sleepers
The Layla mattress has both a Soft side and a Firm side you can choose from

If you need pressure relief and sleep mostly on your side, Layla is a winner. It also has the added advantage of being reasonably priced and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Bear

BEST FOR:

  • Side sleepers that want an all-foam bed
  • Anyone that’s interested in the Celliant cover
  • Those who want a soft, memory foam feel without the quicksand effect

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Extra heavy people that need a thicker mattress

The Bear mattress is designed with athletes in mind—that’s who Bear has marketed to from the very beginning. As such, they use a special textile in the cover of the bed that’s supposed to help with recovery times, circulation, and more.

bear mattress celliant
The Bear mattress has a special Celliant cover

We don’t have any hard data on this, but according to the makers of Celliant, it has numerous FDA-recognized health advantages. Putting that aside, the mattress itself is very comfortable, but is in the medium-soft range and is best only for side sleepers. Therefore, if you sleep only on your side and you want an affordable foam mattress, Bear is a really good option. The Celliant cover is just gravy.

Review Team

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo

Combo Sleeper

dillon lopez slumber yard

Dillon Lopez

Combo Sleeper

Kelsie Longerbeam

Stomach Sleeper

carla thrower slumber yard

Carla Thrower

Back Sleeper

How We Put Together This Mattress List

While we have a great group of editors, testers, and production people, we do not have a full-time doctor or chiropractor on staff. Therefore, in order to feel at least somewhat comfortable putting this post out there, we sought the counsel of Dr. Ranvir Sahota of Synapse Chiropractic. We discussed in-depth some of the many causes of neck and shoulder pain as they relate to mattresses. We also went through an in-person demonstration and presentation about proper spinal alignment and health. We relied heavily on his professional opinion in order to assemble this list and add all of the necessary context. Even so, we do sincerely recommend you consult your physician and/or chiropractor before you purchase a new mattress or change anything in your daily routine. In addition to working closely with Dr. Sahota, we conducted our own tests and ultimately spent hundreds of hours researching, testing, and producing our list and this post. We take great pride in remaining above the fray and doing good work. Hopefully you learn something and finally find the mattress that you’ve been looking for.

What Are Some Of The Causes Of Neck And Shoulder Pain

Clearly, we’d be making a big mistake claiming that there’s one root cause of neck and shoulder pain. You could be experiencing pain for any number of reasons, including an irritated joint, pulled muscle, pinched nerve, strained ligament, or some other reason. All you know is that it doesn’t feel good and you need a mattress to help (or at least to not make things worse). As I’ve said for the third time now, please visit your doctor and/or chiropractor to learn more about what’s going on with your spine.

What To Consider With A New Mattress

In general, if you’re experiencing back or neck pain, it might be better to look for a more supportive mattress. Notice that I didn’t say firmer or softer. That’s not the same thing as support. You want a mattress that doesn’t sag too much and can easily support your weight. That said, you can get away with a slightly softer mattress if you’re worried about shoulder and neck pain. You will need it to be comfortable and give you a certain level of pressure relief. I should follow up by noting that firmness level is subjective based on your weight. If you’re lighter, the bed will feel firmer. Conversely, if you’re heavier, the bed will likely seem softer to you, although you may also find yourself sinking right through the comfort layers and feeling only the support layers of the mattress. This is why we present firmness on a spectrum—it’s not the same for everyone.

Back Sleepers With Shoulder And Neck Pain

Back sleepers generally prefer firmer mattresses that make them feel like they’re sleeping on the mattress, not in it. That will also help to prevent your hips or shoulders from sinking too far into the mattress. That can stretch your muscles and throw your back out of alignment. Of course, this is a general statement. It really comes down to how you feel. Anywhere in that medium to firm range is a good idea for back sleepers.

Mattress For Stomach Sleepers Dealing With Neck And Shoulder Pain

Similar to back sleepers, stomach sleeper will likely gravitate to firmer beds so that they don’t sink in too much. Having said that, sleeping on your stomach is not really advisable if you have neck issues. It’s really easy to get out of alignment on your stomach and your pillow is incredibly important, as well. Check out all of our pillow reviews. If you are a strict stomach sleeper and you simply cannot learn to sleep on your side or back, you’ll want a thinner pillow for sure. You really don’t want your neck overly angled upwards, as that can overstretch your ligaments and muscles and mess with your spine. One thing you will want to think about if you’re committed to exclusively sleeping on your stomach is sleeping flatter. The more you contort and twist your body, the more you could be pulling yourself out of alignment and making your situation worse.

Mattresses For Side Sleepers That Have Neck And Shoulder Pain

Side sleepers are definitely going to want to test out beds that offer more pressure relief. Since you’ll be putting a lot of pressure on your shoulders and hips, you’ll need the mattress to compress quite a bit. Firmness is up to you, but if you get too firm of a mattress you can make your existing shoulder pain worse. All mattresses will soften over time, but if you think there’s excess pressure on your shoulders, move on to the next bed.

Your Pillow Is Also Important

I know we’re talking about mattresses here, but you can’t overlook how important your pillow is. After all, if you have neck pain, it’s probably as much to do with your pillow as your mattress. Knowing this, stomach sleepers should take special care to pick the right pillow. As I touched on earlier, you’re looking for a pillow with a thinner loft. You’ll know the right height when you feel it. Test a few pillows and don’t settle until you have the right one. Back sleepers will also want somewhat of a thin pillow so that you can maintain the natural “C” curvature of your neck. You almost want to be pointing your head directly upward. The pillow should not be pushing your head forwards, thereby stretching out your neck. You’ll likely end up with even more neck pain this way. Side sleepers should look for a pillow with a moderate loft that keeps their head aligned with their spine. A good way to think of it is to follow a path from your nose down your body. You should be drawing a straight line that follows your spine.

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