HOW WE DECIDED
|Medically Reviewed by Dr. Gregory Minnis, DPT|
|Dr. Gregory Minnis is a physical therapist with an interest in orthopedic manual therapy. He graduated from the University of St. Augustine in Florida with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. His work experience includes orthopedic physical therapy, sports medicine, neurological rehab, advanced assessment and treatment of running injuries, and advanced treatment of the pelvic complex, spine, and extremities. He loves spending time outdoors biking, skiing, and surfing.|
Our Best Mattress For Back And Neck 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. With that said, here we discuss the best rated mattresses for shoulder and neck pain.
This post is not an offering of health advice and we are not physicians or chiropractors. We did, however, work closely with a licensed chiropractor to assemble our list, learn more about neck and shoulder pain, and write this post. Any advice or recommendations we give are based on his professional opinion.
Top 5 Best Mattress For Neck and Back Pain
For this important post, we sought the counsel of Dr. Ranvir Sahota of Synapse Chiropractic. We discussed, in depth, some causes of neck, back, and shoulder pain as they relate to sleep and your 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.
If you have any questions, you can always contact us directly, but we urge you to consult your doctor before you buy a new mattress.
|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Mixed Foam||$150 Off + Gift Discount In Cart||The Nolah mattress has three layers and a soft, unique profile that is somewhere between poly foam and memory foam. It’s built specifically for side sleepers.|
|Memory Foam Value Pick!||$160 Off + Gift Code: RIZSLUMBER||Layla is a memory foam mattress that’s flippable and features a “Soft” and “Firm” side.|
|Mixed Foam||$100 Off + Gift Code: SY100||Dawn is a firm mattress from Helix Sleep. It has pocket coils and dense foams such that we think back and stomach sleepers in particular will really like this bed.|
|Pillow Top||$300 Off Code: SLEEP300||WinkBed is a thick, durable hybrid mattress that includes a comfortable euro pillow top. In our opinion, it’s one of the best mattresses you can purchase online.|
|Soft Foam||20% Off Code: SLUMBERYARD20||Aurora is one of the best cooling hybrid mattresses online. It’s made in the USA, comes in multiple firmness options, and has a cool-to-the-touch cover.|
What Are Some Of The Causes Of Neck & 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 needs.
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, back, 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.
Nolah — Best Foam Mattress For Shoulder Pain
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 is also a fantastic value. The MSRP might float around $1,000 for a queen size, but after discount it typically sells for around $900. You can check the green discount box above for current deals, which tend to be in the $100-$135 range.
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.
Layla — Best Memory Foam Mattress
Layla is a very comfortable, two-sided flippable mattress that used quite a bit of memory foam. It has a “Soft” side and “Firm” side, which allows you to try out two different firmness levels on the same mattress.
You should start with the “Soft” side, as that offers the greatest amount of pressure relief, but they “Firm” side is no slouch either. It might technically be the “Firm” side, but it feels more like a medium or medium-firm. Side sleepers should be just fine on either side, but if you’re really concerned with your shoulder pain, again, the “Soft” side is the way to go.
Layla also has the added advantage of being reasonably priced and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Why we like Layla boils down to comfort, dual firmness levels, and value. You’re kind of getting two mattresses for the price of one
And speaking of price, Layla has an MSRP for the queen size bed of just about $1,050, but of course they offer discounts. If you go to LaylaSleep.com you can see the deals and specials they’re running today.
Helix Mattress — Pick For Couples
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 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.
WinkBed — Best Pillow Top Mattress For Back And Neck Pain
WinkBed is our top pick as the best pillow top mattress for back and neck pain. It’s one of the most impressive mattresses out there. It’s a 15” monstrosity that’s perfect for heavy people that need a durable mattress. It actually has two layers of coils, which isn’t all that common in the online mattress industry. They even make a mattress for heavy people specifically, and it is called WinkBed Plus.
Further, it happens to be a very comfortable mattress that has a plush pillow top. This is the type of bed that you nestle into and never want to get out of. And, given its firmness level (close to a medium-soft), it’s a fantastic option for side sleepers with neck and back pain. You will get plenty of support from the coil layers, but also plenty of pressure relief thanks to the comfort layers on top and the pillow topper.
Perhaps the worst thing about the WinkBed mattress is that it’s (somewhat) difficult to find sheets that fit. You need really stretchy sheets because it’s 15″ thick. Beyond that, however, if you’re ok with spending between $1,000 and $2,000 on a new bed, it’s hard to do better than the WinkBed. Simply put, it’s one of the most comfortable mattresses we’ve ever tested. For multiple reasons, we believe it will be a great option for those with shoulder pain as well as neck and back pain.
Brooklyn Aurora — Best Cooling Mattress
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 Kaite on our team—then the Aurora mattress is likely not for you. You have to sleep very hot to want Aurora. And if you that’s you, you’re definitely in luck.
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.
What Are Some of the Causes of Neck & 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:
- irritated joints
- pulled muscles
- pinched nerves
- 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). Visit your doctor to learn more about your particular needs.
What To Look For In Your Mattress If You Have Shoulder and Neck Pain
If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, here are a few things to consider.
- Look for support. You don’t want your mattress to be too soft, and it would be advantageous to consider a hybrid mattress with an extra supportive construction. That said, side sleepers can get away with a slightly softer mattress because they need a little additional pressure relief.
- Consider pressure relief. You want your mattress, of course, to be comfortable. But you also need it to provide pressure relief. So it shouldn’t be firm as a board. In fact, we think mattresses with a medium firmness level provide that sweet spot between pressure relief and support.
Note that firmness is subjective based on your weight. The lighter you are, the more firm the bed will feel. 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.
- Look beyond your mattress. Pillows and other accessories make a big difference when it comes to proper spine alignment. More on this below.
The Best Type Of Mattress
Everyone is different, so there’s no single best mattress, but there are a few types of beds that we have more confidence in. In no particular order, here’s our list of the best types of mattresses for neck and shoulder pain:
- Pillow Top Mattress
- Hybrid/Coil Design
- Memory Foam
- Soft Foam (i.e. Poly Foam)
- Zoned Construction
- Latex Mattress
- Premium Air Bed
What If I Have Back And Neck Pain?
Back and neck pain together is a nasty. You need to get to the root of the cause before we can give any concrete advice. In general, however, there is a difference between your upper back and neck pain and other types. If you do have upper back and neck pain you’ll probably want to take aim at your pillow first. We’ve seen plenty of stomach sleepers using a pillow that’s too thick. The pillow, in this case, could make the upper back and neck pain worse. Again, everyone is different, so please contact your doctor to get their advice. If he/she says that you need a firm mattress, well then, go for a firm one.
Below is more information about different sleeping positions. Identifying your dominate sleep style will be helpful in alleviating your back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Mattresses For Side Sleepers With Neck And Back 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, 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—and it can also cause even more neck or back pain. All mattresses will soften over time, but if you think there’s excess pressure on your shoulder, move on to the next bed.
When it comes to neck and back pain specifically, it’s really important that you pay special attention to your body. Feel the mattress out. If it’s not making you better, get rid of it and move on—that’s why we include so many beds with free returns.
Tips For Back Sleepers
Back sleepers generally prefer firmer mattresses that make them feel like they’re sleeping on top of 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. Bottom line, back sleepers with neck and back pain need a supportive mattress.
Your Pillow Is Also Important For Neck Pain
If you have upper back and neck pain you’ll probably want to check your pillow first. We’ve seen plenty of stomach sleepers using a too-thick pillow. The pillow, in this case, could make the upper back and neck pain worse. Again, everyone is different, so please contact your doctor to get their advice. If he/she says that you need a firm mattress, well then, go for a firm one.
Similar to back sleepers, stomach sleepers will likely gravitate to firmer beds so that they don’t sink in too much. Having said that, sleeping on your stomach is not advisable if you have neck issues. It’s really easy to irritate your neck while sleeping on your stomach. 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 to help make your back and neck pain better. You really don’t want your neck overly angled upwards, as that can put extra stress on your muscles, ligaments and joints. One thing you will want to think about if you’re committed to 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.
Here a a few we recommend in our review of the best pillow for stomach sleepers:
Helix Pillow – Best Shredded Foam Pillow
|What is the best type of mattress for neck and shoulder pain?||Everyone is different, so there’s no single best mattress, but there are a few types of beds that we really like. For instance, if you’re dealing with nagging shoulder pain, it could be because your mattress is not pressure relieving enough. In this instance, we might suggest a memory foam mattress or a pillow top one.|
|If I buy a bed online does it come with free shipping?||Almost all of the beds you can buy online come with free shipping, whether through UPS, FedEx, or white glove delivery|
|What if I need a refund?||Good news! most of the brands that sell online offer 100% free returns. Usually, they will have a 100-night risk-free trial period.|
|How long are the warranties with mattresses?||On average, mattresses will be backed by a 10-year warranty.|
|Can a bad bed cause shoulder pain?||The short answer is yes. It’s easy to get out of alignment, especially when sleeping on your stomach on a soft mattress. Your pillow is very important, too. Make sure you have a firmness that’s good for your particular weight, and a pillow that supports your neck and spine alignment.|
|Is memory foam good for shoulder pain?||Since everyone is different, there’s no single “best mattress,” but there are a few types of beds that we have more confidence in when it comes to combating shoulder pain. One is memory foam, because it’s known to conform to your body and provide pressure relief.|