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The 9 Best Mattresses For Neck & Back Pain Of 2022

Jamey Powell
Author: Medical reviewer:
August 30, 2022
Jamey Powell
Contributing writer
By Jamey Powell
Contributing writer
Jamey Powell is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Previously the senior market editor at Healthline.com, she has years of experience scouring endless product reviews and testing out the latest and greatest products in the sleep, fitness, and nutrition markets.
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Medical review by
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Board-certified Family Physician
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.
mattress and bedframe outside with ocean view behind it
Image by mbg creative
August 30, 2022
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

It doesn't matter how sweet your dreams were—if you're waking up with aches and pains in your neck and back, you won't feel ready to seize the day. There are plenty of reasons your sleep might be off, but if back and neck pain is one of them, you might be able to solve it with a change in your mattress.

Mattresses and neck & back pain.

If you're looking to relieve pain in your neck and back, getting a good night's sleep is key. "Deep, restful sleep is one of the most important modifiers in joint pain, as well as health as a whole," says Cameron Yuen, DPT, CSCS, and director of rehab and training at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy in New York City.

Unfortunately, you might notice your back or neck pain is worse when you get out of bed in the morning—starting a never-ending cycle of trying to chase higher-quality sleep.

Can an existing mattress or pillow be the source of back or neck pain?

Although your first instinct may be to blame your sleep setup, Yuen says it shouldn't be the first culprit that you investigate. The activities you did the day before—rather than the position you slept in the night before—is more likely to be the root cause of your pain.

That being said, you shouldn't rule your mattress out altogether. "You can definitely sleep in less than optimal positions, which can leave you with a stiff back or sore neck," explains Yuen. "If your mattress or pillow is not filling in empty space while you're sleeping or is pushing you too far out of a neutral alignment, I would absolutely recommend exploring changes in mattresses or pillows."

Related: The 8 Best Pillows For Neck Pain

What mattress is best for back and neck pain?

A systematic review of the link between sleep and back pain found that a medium-firm mattress is the best choice for promoting comfort, better sleep quality, and spinal alignment. This firmness—which works for all sleep positions—is also expert-recommended by Yuen.

Along with sleeping on a mattress with the right firmness and support, it's also imperative to make sure your mattress is not too old. Research found that replacing a mattress that's more than nine years old could reduce back discomfort and improve sleep quality.

How we picked

Medium-firmness

Per recent studies and our expert's recommendations, all of the beds on this list are categorized as "medium-firm" to provide optimal support.

Sustainability

As often as possible, we try to feature brands that keep Mother Nature in mind during their manufacturing and distribution practices.

Quality materials

All of the beds below use CertiPUR-US Certified materials in their beds, which means they've been tested for toxicity and emissions. We'll also highlight brands that go above and beyond by using organic or recycled materials.

Ratings & reviews

We read hundreds of reviews (the good and the very bad!) from real humans who have slept on these beds.

mbg's picks of the best mattresses for back and neck pain:

Best latex: Birch Natural Mattress

Birch Natural Mattress
VIEW ON Birch | From $949

Pros

  • Organic, natural materials
  • Responsive, medium-firmness

Cons

  • Too firm for some
  • Shorter sleep trial
Materials: Talalay latex, Organic wool, Organic cotton, Wrapped steel coils
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 100 nights
Warranty: 25-year

How it's made & how it arrives:

Birch is a sub-brand of the mattress company Helix, and it only makes one product: The Birch Natural Mattress. Available in a basic or upgraded version, the hybrid pick combines natural Talalay latex, organic cotton, organic wool, and individually wrapped steel coils into a medium firm design. Not only is talalay latex hailed for being more responsive than memory foam, but it's a more natural option, too. If you're up for the additional cost, the upgraded version of the Birch Natural adds a layer of lumbar support, which might be helpful for combating back pain.

The Birch Natural Mattress arrives compressed and rolled into a box. It only needs one to two hours to expand once unboxed, and thanks to the natural latex and organic cotton, there shouldn't be any unpleasant off-gassing smells.

What customers say:

The basic version of this mattress has 4.6 out of 5 stars and over 3,100 reviews. One reviewer says, "The aches and pains we were experiencing on our old mattress are no longer an issue and we feel much better knowing we are sleeping on quality materials that are safe for us and sustainably sourced." 

Some negative reviews complain that this mattress was too firm for them. If that's the case, several shoppers found adding the Birch's Organic Mattress Topper helped.

Best hybrid: The WinkBed

The WinkBed
VIEW ON WinkBeds | From $849

Pros

  • Luxury hotel-bed feel
  • Multiple firmness options

Cons

  • Not for foam-lovers
  • Delivery can take a while
Materials: Recycled steel coils, Gel-infused foam, Tencel cover
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

How it's made & how it arrives:

Take home the luxurious feel of a hotel bed with the Winkbed; the hybrid mattress layers recycled, individually wrapped steel coils with gel-infused foam and plush Euro top for a deluxe sleeping experience. It comes in four firmness options: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, and Plus, which is intended for heavier folks. The Luxury Firm is the brand's best-seller—rated at a 6.5 out of 10 on a firmness scale—and a great pick for anyone looking for a medium-firm feel to combat back and neck pain.

The bed arrives compressed and rolled in a box. Once unboxed, the mattress expands immediately and can be used right away.

What customers say:

The original WinkBed mattress has 4.8 out of 5 stars across 8,000 reviews—and I can attest that they're spot on. I'm a combination sleeper who switched to the WinkBed from a memory foam mattress that wasn't nearly supportive enough. My husband and I share the Luxury Firm, which is the perfect combination of cushion and support for both of us despite our height difference (he's 5'11" and I'm 5'3"). Not only do I sleep throughout the night, but I no longer wake up with pain in my back and shoulders.

Reviewers who are unhappy with their WinkBed complain that it's either too soft or too firm. Luckily you can exchange your bed for a different firmness option (or return it altogether) within the first 120 nights.

Best budget: The DreamCloud

The DreamCloud
VIEW ON DreamCloud | From $599

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Plush, hybrid feel

Cons

  • One firmness option
  • No sustainably sourced materials
Materials: Steel coils, Support foam, Memory foam, Cashmere blend cover
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

How it's made & how it arrives:

Like the WinkBed, the original DreamCloud mattress uses a combination of innerspring coils and foam for a hotel-like feel—but it's available at a considerably lower price point. The caveat is that the DreamCloud mattress comes in only one firmness opinion: medium-firm. If this "firm" feel doesn't provide enough give, especially for smaller bodies, the brand also offers an upgraded model with a plush topper called the DreamCloud Premier for a couple of hundred dollars more.

Similar to other direct-to-consumer brands, DreamCloud ships mattresses compressed and rolled in a box. You'll need to wait at least 24 hours before sleeping on it to allow the bed to fully expand (reviews are mixed as to whether it lets off any scents).

What customers say:

This bed has just under 8,000 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars, which is a pretty great track record. A lot of reviewers mention reduced pain in their hips, shoulders, and back. One reviewer says, "This mattress has been a saving grace for my back. After suffering with low-back pain due to herniated discs, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease, I have finally found some relief."

Of course, comfort is personal. There are also a handful of negative reviews where folks complain that the bed is too soft or too firm for their liking. And unlike the WinkBed, if you don't like the firmness, there's not another option to swap for.

Best memory foam: Brentwood Home Cypress Memory Foam Mattress

Brentwood Home Cypress Memory Foam Mattress
VIEW ON Brentwood Home | From $579

Pros

  • Includes nontoxic, plant-based memory foam
  • Upgradable to hybrid or taller models
  • Carbon-neutral company

Cons

  • Lacking in edge support
  • Longer ship time
Materials: Plant-based memory foam, Charcoal-infused memory foam, Natural wool, Polyester
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: 25-year

How it's made & how it arrives:

Memory foam isn't the most supportive of materials, so it's not often recommended for folks looking to relieve back or neck pain. That being said, some people still prefer the cradling feel of the material, so we found an option that could fit the bill. The Cypress Memory Foam Mattress from Brentwood Home is on the firmer side for a memory foam bed, rated at a 6 out of 10 on a firmness scale. It's available in both an 11- and 13-inch height, and you can also opt to make the bed a hybrid for additional support.

The Cypress mattress ships compressed and rolled in a box. Brentwood Home has more certifications for nontoxic materials than most all-foam mattresses, and this bed even uses a blend of plant-based memory foam, which helps reduce the likelihood of off-gassing smells.

What customers say:

The Cypress Memory Foam Mattress has over 1,000 reviews and is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars. Most people comment on the firmness of this mattress (as a good thing), including one reviewer who says, "It's my 'hotel bed.' It's so soft but firm enough that it supports my back."

On the downside, some people complain that the structure of this mattress didn't hold up over time as they expected. One reviewer also noted an inconsistent feel throughout the bed.

Best for couples: Saatva Solaire Mattress

Saatva Solaire Mattress
VIEW ON Saatva | Dual firmness starts at $3,570

Pros

  • 50 firmness options
  • Natural, organic materials

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Need a queen or larger
Materials: Memory foam, Air chamber, Organic cotton Euro pillow top
Sizes available: Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

How it's made & how it arrives:

Everyone's idea of comfort is different, especially if you're trying to target specific aches and pains. That's where a bed like the Saatva Solaire can be a real game-changer; this adjustable air bed mattress offers 50 firmness options on each side (so long as you choose a queen or larger). Above the air chamber lies two layers of foam for added cushion, as well as a 3-inch Euro pillow top with an organic cotton cover.

Each Saatva mattress comes with free white glove delivery and setup, and service typically includes removal of your old mattress.

What customers say:

Saatva as a company is a super well-loved brand, but there aren't a ton of reviews for the Solaire. Of the few available on the website, most are positive with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Due to the adjustable firmness, it's a hit with sleepers of all positions, including one stomach sleeper who says this is the first mattress they've owned where they don't wake up with lower back pain.

The most obvious con to the Solaire is that it's expensive. But Saatva is known for its quality, generous trial, and lifetime warranties, so it's worth the extra cash—especially for those with different ideas of comfort than their partners.

Best rated: Saatva Classic Mattress

Saatva Classic Mattress
VIEW ON Saatva | From $687

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Hybrid design with multiple firmness options
  • Natural, organic materials

Cons

  • Not for foam-lovers
  • Some might find it too firm
Materials: Recycled steel coils, Organic cotton Euro pillow top, Non-toxic memory foam
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

How it's made & how it arrives:

Another Saatva pick, this hybrid mattress is one of the most highly rated designs on the market today. The more affordable pick combines supportive steel innerspring coils and a cushy layer of nontoxic memory foam to bring a plush, hotel-bed feel. The plush Euro pillow top has additional support in the middle to keep your hips in alignment and ward off lower-back pain.

You can customize your bed by choosing an 11.5- or 14.5-inch height, as well as from three different firmness options. The Luxury Firm is the bestselling option—and likely the best fit for anyone looking to relieve back pain—although side sleepers and smaller-bodied folks might prefer the Plush Soft model.

Like the Solaire, Saatva delivers the Classic mattress through white glove delivery, meaning someone will bring it into your home for you and help set it up.

What customers say:

With 4.8 out of 5 stars and over 2,800 reviews, the Saatva Classic has no shortage of fans. One customer raves, "I waited two years to write a review—words cannot describe the comfort, sleep is awesome, no more back pain. The mattress is not sagging in the middle or edges, it is like new to this day."

Almost every negative review (and there aren't a ton) is about the mattress being too firm for their liking. So if you're someone who knows you like a softer mattress, you should probably opt for the Plush Soft model.

Best cooling: Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress

Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress
VIEW ON Awara | From $1,099

Pros

  • Sustainably sourced & organic materials
  • Breathable latex, cooling wool

Cons

  • Pricier option
  • One firmness option
Materials: Organic wool, Organic cotton, Steel coils, Dunlop latex
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime

How it's made & how it arrives:

The Awara Premier is the more luxurious of the brand's two models with a combination of natural Dunlop latex, steel coils, and moisture-wicking wool. A breathable option for folks who run hot, it's a medium-firm bed rated at a 6.5 out of 10 on Awara's firmness scale. Extra green points for the brand's slew of certifications for quality and sustainability from the Rainforest Alliance, Greenguard Gold, and the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX.

The mattress arrives compressed and rolled in a box, and the four attached handles allow you to move the bed where you want before letting it expand.

What customers say:

Awara has over 1,000 reviews from happy sleepers. One reviewer says, "No more morning back discomfort. Very soft, but firm enough for a side sleeper and any other position my wife ends up sleeping in." And another comments on the temperature control saying, "I live in Texas and this mattress is cool. Love it for the hot weather.""

Even the negative reviews are, well, not so negative! Of course that can be a little fishy. But if you're up to try one out yourself, you'll have a whole year to decide if it's a fit for you.

Best for side sleepers: Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress

Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress
VIEW ON Leesa | From $1,599

Pros

  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Cushion

Cons

  • Might be too soft for back sleepers
  • Pricey
Materials: Memory foam, Pocketed springs, perforated foam, Organic cotton & wool cover
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 100 nights
Warranty: 10-year

How it's made & how it arrives:

Leesa's Legend Hybrid is the company's first mattress focused on sustainable materials; it contains two layers of recycled coils, multiple layers of certified foam, and a soft cover made from organic cotton, merino wool, and recycled water bottles. This is a slightly softer option, which Leesa rates at a 4 to 6 out of 10 on a firmness scale. Side sleepers will appreciate the targeted support, which provides additional cushion under your hips.

The Legend arrives compressed and rolled in a box and might take a couple of hours to reach its full height. The company also says there might be a slight smell to your mattress while it expands, but it's harmless and should go away quickly (reviewers confirm!).

What customers say:

The Leesa Legend doesn't have a ton of reviews (about 200) because it's on the newer side—yet it still has a solid 4.5- out of 5-star rating. One reviewer says, "My husband and I are both side sleepers (occasionally rolling onto our backs) and we have slept great on this mattress since purchasing it about a month ago. My husband is about 180 pounds and I am 130 pounds and with this mattress I don't wake with any aches or pains."

Of course, some folks complain that it's either too firm or too soft for their liking. If it ends up being too soft for you, you can always return it within the 100-night trial for free (and the company will help you donate it).

Best for back & stomach sleepers: Avocado Green Mattress

Avocado Green Mattress
VIEW ON Avocado | From $1,399

Pros

  • Firm enough for back and stomach sleepers
  • Organic & sustainably sourced materials

Cons

  • Delivery is notoriously bad
  • Customer service could be better
Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Trial period: 365 nights
Warranty: 25-year
Mattress type: Hybrid

How it's made & how it arrives:

The Avocado Green Mattress is a combination of supportive coils, GOLS-certified organic latex, and GOTS-certified organic wool and cotton. While it's technically suitable for all sleep styles, the Avocado Green is definitely on the firmer side. Back and stomach sleepers in particular will have better alignment (and less likelihood of aches and pains) on this mattress than side sleepers. Avocado does offer an additional plush pillowtop, which is recommended for anyone wanting a little more cushion.

Avocado manufactures all mattresses in its factory in Los Angeles and ships them compressed and rolled in a box. Because the bed is made with natural and organic materials, you don't need to worry about any weird smells while it expands to its full size.

What customers say:

The only reason we didn't rank this bed as "best rated" is because there are fewer firmness options compared to Saatva. Still, the Avocado Green Mattress has over 17,000 reviews with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. One reviewer says, "After sleeping on it for a month, I'm happy to say my neck and shoulder issues improved tremendously. I wake up in the morning, pain-free."

In all the reviews we read, the biggest complaints (besides the firmness of this mattress from side sleepers) were about the delivery process or customer service during returns.

How to choose a mattress for your neck and back pain
  • Mattress type: If a medium-firm mattress is best for staving off pain, you should direct your search toward hybrid mattresses. Hybrids provide a nice combination of support and comfort and sometimes come in various firmness options. If you're a foam-lover, you'll be able to find a medium-firm mattress that fits your style—just be sure to aim for a firmer model.
  • Sleeping position: Your sleep position is going to determine what feels comfortable for you. If you're a side sleeper, you'll likely want a softer surface to cradle your hips and shoulders than a strict back or stomach sleeper. Luckily, most medium-firm beds are designed to be people-pleasers for all sleep styles. Reading the brand's firmness rating chart can also help, as it'll often make recommendations for different sleep positions.
  • Company policies: If you're considering a new mattress, be sure to read the company's website thoroughly. Most companies have sleep trials, which is helpful if you're trying to solve back and neck pain. If the pain doesn't subside from a new mattress after giving it a fair test run, you'll be able to return it and get your money back.
  • Budget: Mattresses are an investment, and waking up pain-free is truly priceless. While it still shouldn't break the bank, just know that to get a quality mattress that has relevant certifications for toxicity, you're likely to spend $900 or more. Most companies offer gradual payment plans to help budget accordingly.

Expert Tip

"A good test I recommend for finding a mattress is to try and lie flat on your back with your legs and arms extended, with your head in alignment with your spine. If you are able to comfortably lie like this, it means the mattress is most likely supporting your back and neck. If you need to bend one leg, twist your upper body, or turn your head, the mattress is not filling in to support the areas of your body that are restricted or painful." —Yuen

FAQ

Is a soft or firm mattress better for neck and back pain?

Studies show that a medium-firm mattress is best for reducing back and neck pain, as it provides the right level of comfort and support to keep your body in alignment in a variety of different sleep positions.

How do I know if my mattress is causing my neck and back pain?

If you can't pinpoint any other activities that could be causing you pain (don't discount sitting at your computer all day), your mattress might be the culprit. Take stock of how old it is, as well as the materials and firmness rating.

What type of mattress is best for neck and back pain?

A hybrid bed is likely your best bet for achieving the right balance of comfort and support to keep back and neck pain at bay.

The takeaway.

If you've ruled out any other cause for injury, a good hard look at your bed could reveal the reasons you're waking up with back and neck pain. Luckily, switching to a medium-firm mattress can help get your body back into alignment for the good night's sleep it needs.

And while you're taking stock of your current mattress, you might want to investigate your pillow to see if it could be causing your neck pain—we have plenty of suggestions there, too!

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Jamey Powell
Jamey Powell
Contributing writer

Jamey Powell is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Previously the senior market editor at Healthline.com, she has years of experience scouring endless product reviews and testing out the latest and greatest products in the sleep, fitness, and nutrition markets. Her past gigs include copywriting for Daily Burn, teaching cycle classes at Swerve, and covering fitness for Greatist. She's obsessed with running, movies, and her dog, Bonnie.