Can Mattresses Cause Neck Pain?

Waking up with stiff, achy neck pain is an unpleasant way to start the day. If you’re experiencing frequent neck soreness in the mornings, your mattress could be to blame. The right mattress provides cushioning and support as you sleep. The wrong mattress, however, can throw your spine out of alignment and put stress on your neck and upper back. Here’s how your mattress may be contributing to neck pain and what you can do about it.

Causes of Mattress-Related Neck Pain

There are a few key ways that a mattress can lead to repeated neck pain:

  • Poor support – Mattresses that sag in the middle or lack support fail to keep your spine properly aligned as you sleep. This allows your head and neck to dip down, straining the muscles.
  • Improper firmness – If a mattress is too soft, your shoulders and midsection sink in too deeply, angling your neck upward. Too firm of a mattress doesn’t cushion the natural curves of your neck and head.
  • Incorrect mattress size – Using a mattress that is too small or too large for your body prevents you from finding a neutral sleeping position for your neck.
  • Worn out mattress – Over time, mattresses lose their supportive structure. A sagging, lumpy old mattress cannot adequately support your neck.
  • Sleeping position – Stomach and side sleeping tend to strain the neck more than back sleeping. If your mattress doesn’t properly support these positions, neck pain can result.

Mattress Solutions for Neck Pain Relief

If your mattress is causing repeated neck pain, there are solutions. Consider these tips for choosing a mattress that will ease neck discomfort:

  • Replace old mattresses – Mattresses should be replaced every 7-10 years for proper support. Buy a new mattress if yours sags or feels uneven.
  • Choose medium firmness – Medium to medium-firm mattresses provide the best spine alignment for most sleepers. Avoid extra soft or extra firm beds.
  • Get the right mattress size – Make sure you have plenty of room to sleep comfortably without hanging off the edges, disrupting alignment.
  • Consider mattress types – Memory foam conforms to the neck. Latex cushions pressure points while providing lift.
  • Use a mattress topper – Toppers can customize too soft or too firm mattresses for better neck comfort.
  • Adjust sleep positions – Try switching from side or stomach sleeping to your back with a pillow for support.
  • Talk to your doctor – If new mattresses don’t solve ongoing neck pain, see your doctor to identify any underlying issues.

Additional Neck Pain Relief Tips

Along with your mattress, other lifestyle factors can impact neck discomfort:

  • Apply heat packs or ice packs to loosen up tight neck muscles.
  • Perform neck stretches and exercises in the morning and at night.
  • Use good posture when sitting at a desk or looking at your phone to avoid strain.
  • Get regular massages to relax muscle tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication when needed for relief.
  • Consider physical therapy if neck pain persists despite massage and exercise.
  • Use a neck pillow for extra support if you sleep on your back.

The right mattress goes a long way toward preventing neck pain during sleep. Make sure your mattress adequately cushions and supports your neck all night long. Pay attention to any sagging or lack of support and be ready to replace an old mattress. With proper mattress fit and care along with other pain-relieving tips, you can rest easy without neck discomfort.