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Sleep quality can affect most aspects of an individual’s life, both physically and emotionally. Millions of people experience difficulty sleeping, and neck and back pain is a common cause. Individuals could help reduce back and neck pain by choosing a suitable mattress that provides adequate support.
Initial research found that a firm mattress is best for people experiencing back and neck pain, but ongoing research suggests it is not so easy to make a direct recommendation.
A 2016 Consumer Reports survey indicates that an adjustable air mattress is the best option for individuals with back and neck pain. This means people can adjust the firmness to a level that best suits their needs.
Mattresses to avoid
Individuals who experience back and neck pain might consider avoiding super-soft mattresses that provide little support. People may also consider avoiding super-firm varieties that may not conform to their body shape, therefore exacerbating symptoms.
In addition to finding the right mattress for back and neck pain relief, a person can adjust their sleeping position by using more support, such as extra pillows and wedge pillows.
When choosing a mattress, people experiencing back and neck pain may have several considerations that address their physical concerns and personal taste.
Some considerations include:
- Alignment: Mattresses that keep a person’s body in good alignment may help those seeking relief from back and neck pain.
- Body mass index (BMI): An individual with a higher BMI may benefit from a firm mattress as they offer greater support and pressure relief. A person with a lower BMI may benefit from a softer mattress to experience the same effects.
- Allergies: Individuals with certain allergies may opt for a mattress with natural, breathable materials.
- Temperature: People can sometimes run hot or cool when sleeping, which may guide their mattress choice. Materials such as latex can be cooler than memory foam, and some manufacturers may use gel infusions that help regulate body temperature.
- Preference: An individual may have specific interests, such as sustainably made products.
Below are some popular mattresses for people experiencing back and neck pain.
All guide prices relate to a queen-sized mattress unless otherwise stated.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publishing.
Best gel-infused memory foam
Well-reviewed by those with back pain, Nectar’s website states this mattress is suitable for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
The mattress is 12-inches (in) deep and made from different layers of gel-infused memory foam, with a quilted cover that the brand says provides a cool sleep.
The company offers free shipping, free returns, and a trademarked “Forever Warranty”.
The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is available online for around $1,300, but the company offers regular discounts.
Best pocketed coils
This medium-firm mattress claims to combine pocketed coils to promote good body alignment and memory foam to relieve pressure points.
The manufacturer says its memory foam prevents heat build-up and is also certified low in volatile organic compounds.
The company offers free shipping, a 100-night risk-free trial, free returns, and a 20-year warranty.
The AS2 Hybrid is available online for around $1,500, but there are regular discounts.
Described as a luxury firm mattress, this flippable option has both a soft and firm side.
The brand claims that this mattress has a skin-friendly cover, good motion control, and four layers of cooling memory foam, making it good for back pain.
The company offers free shipping, a 100-day full refund, and a 10-year warranty.
The Sunkiss Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress is available online for around $520, with the brand often providing a discount upon checkout.
This 12-in deep mattress features hundreds of individual pocketed coils, which Zoma says helps keep the spine aligned, alongside pressure-relieving gel memory foam.
The manufacturer states that the ventilated air cloth and perforations in the gel layer help provide a cool sleep, while its trademarked Reactiv layer and pocketed coils offer a slight bounce.
It comes with free shipping in the continental U.S., free returns within a 100-night trial period, and a 10-year warranty.
The Zoma Hybrid is available online for around $1,150, but the company offers regular discounts.
This mattress features 100% certified organic latex, wool, and cotton.
With 1,414 individual coils arranged in five zones, it claims to reduce back pain, promote even-weight distribution, and keep the spine aligned.
It comes with free shipping in the continental U.S., a 1-year trial period, and a 25-year warranty.
The Avocado Green Mattress is available online for around $1,600.
Along with any accompanying symptoms, the type of pain and how long a person has been experiencing it will determine when to consult with a medical professional.
Most cases of back pain improve for people without treatment or with over-the-counter pain relief and moderate rest.
- when the pain lasts more than two weeks
- when the pain is due to a fall or an injury
- when there is accompanying numbness and tingling
- when they experience a loss of bladder or bowel control
- if they feel weakness in their arms and legs
- unintended weight loss
Neck discomfort also typically resolves without the need for a person to contact a doctor. However, an individual should seek medical attention if the pain does not ease after 1 week or they experience any of the following additional symptoms:
Sleep is essential for health, but many people cannot get adequate rest due to physical discomforts, such as back and neck pain.
Research suggests a medium-firm mattress may be the best option for back and neck pain.
Interested shoppers have a wide selection of medium-firm mattresses to consider.
If people experience back or neck pain with specific accompanying symptoms or do not improve within 1–2 weeks, they should seek medical advice as soon as possible.