Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattress For Sciatica

Suffering from Sciatica? We've compiled a list of the best mattresses that are known to alleviate pain.

By Natalie Yerger

Mattress Nerd consulted Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP to ensure that this article met our editorial standards

If you’re suffering from sciatic nerve pain or lower back pain, your pain may worsen at night, making it difficult to achieve a good night’s sleep. The right mattress can significantly improve sleep quality. Many sciatica sufferers find that mattresses that conform closely, provide above-average pressure relief and reduce motion help them rest easier and may improve nerve pain.

See: Pain and Sleep Guide

In this mattress review, we’re sharing the best mattresses for sciatica in 2021. We also share a buyer’s guide on shopping for a mattress if you suffer from this kind of pain. Keep reading to learn about our top picks and the most key considerations when shopping for a mattress for sciatica.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Best Mattresses for Sciatica

Nectar

Editor's Pick

The Nectar’s premium memory foam will hug the body in any position to encourage pain relief while supporting healthy spinal alignment to prevent more nerve pain, and it comes with excellent product policies at an affordable price.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Warranty

Lifetime

Reason to buy

Best Bed-in-a-box on a budget

The Nectar is a memory foam mattress with a medium-firm firmness setting and three layers of foam for pressure relief and motion isolation. The mid-level firmness (6/10) offers balanced support for side, back and stomach sleepers who are average or heavyweight, and it’s made with high-quality materials yet sold at a reasonable price point. The comfort foam layers of the Nectar include 1” of quilted memory foam and 3” of gel-infused memory foam.

These top layers conform closely to the body for a hug that can alleviate sciatic pain and prevent issues from pressure points in all three sleeping positions. Additionally, Nectar provides free shipping, a 365-night trial period and a Lifetime warranty with purchase. The combination of the bed’s pain-relieving foams, accessible price point and Nectar’s generous product policies earn it our Editor’s Pick for mattresses for sciatica.

Check out our full Nectar mattress review to learn more.

Amerisleep AS2

Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers with Sciatica

This bed’s firmer feel will keep the spine of back and stomach sleepers aligned while the top memory foam layer delivers targeted pressure relief for the low back, neck, and hips.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Warranty

20 years

Reason to buy

All-foam mattress for all sleepers

Firm mattresses typically don’t come to mind when people think of back pain relief, but firm doesn’t necessarily mean uncomfortable. In fact, sleep specialists recommend firmer mattresses like the Amerisleep AS2 for strict back and stomach sleepers, who need a supportive, even surface to prevent sinking in the hips, shoulders and mid-section.

The AS2 is an all-foam mattress that’s 12” tall and is the second firmest bed sold by Amerisleep. The top layer of comfort foam in the AS2 is where back and stomach sleepers with sciatica will find the most value: this 2” layer of memory foam has a classic, contouring feel. This layer allows sleepers to sink into the mattress for pressure relief without throwing the spine out of alignment.

The bed also has features that prevent overheating, like open-cell memory foam and a convoluted transitional layer for improved airflow, making it a great choice for back and stomach sleepers who sleep hot. The Amerisleep AS2 comes with a 100-night sleep trial, a 20 year warranty, and ships free to the contiguous U.S.

Check out our full Amerisleep AS2 mattress review to learn more.

Loom & Leaf

Best for Side Sleepers with Sciatica

Side sleepers, who require more cushioning to experience better spinal alignment, will love the Loom & Leaf’s thick 4.5” memory foam comfort layer to reduce pressure at the hips and shoulders.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Warranty

15 year limited warranty

Reason to buy

Premium luxury at a reasonable price point

If you’re in the majority of sciatica sufferers who experience nerve pain on one side of the body, sleeping on your side can worsen symptoms. Side sleepers do best with a mattress that alleviates pressure points under the hips and shoulders, and the Loom & Leaf excels at this.

Its combination of memory foam and firmer support foams provide the perfect balance of pressure relief and support for lightweight and average weight sleepers in this position. While available in two firmness settings (5.5/10 and 8/10), we recommend the Relaxed Firm option for side sleepers, which will conform more closely. The Loom & Leaf comes with a 120-night sleep trial, a 15-year warranty, and ships free with White Glove Delivery in the contiguous U.S.

Read our full Loom & Leaf mattress review to learn more. 

Brooklyn Bedding Signature

Best Hybrid for Sleepers with Sciatica

If you have your heart set on a hybrid or sleep hot, this mattress has just enough pressure-relieving foam to reduce sciatica nerve pain while also helping you sleep cool.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

5

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Reason to buy

Top-notch quality

Foam mattresses are typically recommended for people with back pain, but hybrid options with thick conforming layers can provide just as much pain relief while also catering to sleepers who sleep hot or enjoy responsive sleeping surfaces.

The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid checks all of these boxes, with a 2” pressure-relieving polyfoam layer that is more responsive than memory foam but contours closer to the body than latex and a breathable support layer of pocketed coils. Shoppers can choose their firmness level (3.5/10, 5.5/10, or 7.5/10) based on their body type, sleeping position, and how much contouring they prefer. The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid comes with a 120-night sleep trial, free shipping and a 10-year warranty.

Read our full Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid mattress review to learn more. 

Puffy

Best for Lightweight Sleepers with Sciatica

Lightweight sleepers need softer mattresses for close conforming, and this is especially so for those with sciatica. The Puffy has an extra-soft sleep surface to provide pressure relief for sleepers in this category.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Warranty

Lifetime

Reason to buy

One of the most well-rounded mattresses

The Puffy is our choice for lightweight sleepers with sciatica pain because it hugs the body closely to alleviate pressure and pain along the spine, but it’s also supportive enough to prevent sagging and further discomfort. The Puffy has two foam comfort layers (4” in total) for an ultra-soft sleeping surface and is supported by a 6” high-density polyfoam core.

The dense core not only encourages spinal alignment, but it reduces motion transfer and noise, making the Puffy a nice choice for lightweight couples and co-sleepers as well. The Puffy comes with a 101-night sleep trial, a Lifetime warranty and free shipping to all 50 states.

See our full Puffy mattress review to learn more.

Casper Original

Best for Average Weight Sleepers with Sciatica

The Casper’s moderate firmness level and close conforming make it an ideal choice for average weight sciatica sufferers, who need close conforming for pain relief from foam layers that won’t sink too deeply beneath their bodies.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Warranty

10 year warranty

Reason to buy

Affordable mattress made for all sleepers

People in the average weight group typically prefer beds with moderate firmness settings. The Casper mattress is considered medium-firm, with a firmness rating of 6/10. It offers moderate yet consistent conforming for sleepers in this weight category in all three primary sleeping positions.

The Casper’s two comfort layers (1.5” polyfoam and 2” of memory foam) are more responsive than traditional memory foam comfort layers to prevent excessive sinking and are more responsive than average, making it easier to change positions. The Casper comes with a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty and free shipping in the contiguous U.S. 

See our full Casper mattress review to learn more. 

WinkBed

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers with Sciatica

With four firmness options, the WinkBed is suited for a variety of sleepers, but the firmest option can work for sleepers weighing more than 300 pounds while promoting  spinal alignment and pressure relief.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Varies

Warranty

Limited lifetime warranty

Reason to buy

Four firmness options

Mattresses for heavy sleepers with sciatica pain can be a challenge to find because many comfortable foam beds sink excessively or are not supportive enough. The WinkBed in its firmest setting is an exception, providing comfort through a gel memory foam layer with pocketed mini-coils and strong support through a pocketed coil support core encased in high-density polyfoam.

The bed also features a zoned support system, which provides more pressure relief in areas like the hips, shoulders, feet, and neck and more support through the torso. The WinkBed comes with a 120-night sleep trial, free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and a Lifetime warranty.

Read our full WinkBeds mattress review to learn more.

Best Mattresses for Sciatica Buying Guide

In this buyer’s guide, we share the different types of mattresses and their pros and cons for sciatica sufferers, important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a mattress to relieve pain, and tips for picking the right new mattress for your home.

Most Important Considerations for Sleepers with Sciatica

Mattress Firmness

Firmness and support go hand in hand, but firmness refers specifically to how soft or firm a mattress feels to an individual sleeper, making it a subjective mattress quality. Mattresses are rated by brands on a 1 to 10 scale with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Firm mattress options are more suitable for heavier sleepers, while soft mattresses are more suitable for lightweight sleepers. The firmness level that’s right for your sciatica pain will depend on your preferred sleeping position and body weight.

Related: Mattress Firmness Guide

Support

A mattress’ support is its ability to maintain an even flat surface underneath a sleeper’s body. As such, the right level of support will vary based on your bodyweight. Supportive mattresses encourage alignment in the shoulders, hips and spine, which help prevent additional pain points for sciatica sufferers. This is a key consideration for people with sciatica because, while they’re often drawn to softer surfaces, many plush beds lack proper support and can make the condition worse.

Conforming

Conforming refers to how a mattress sinks beneath the sleeper’s body to create impressions in the foam around the contours of their body, like the hips, shoulders, and head. A bed’s comfort layers and transitional layers influence conforming most, and hybrid mattresses and foam mattresses provide the most conforming.The proper amount of conforming can provide pain relief because it eases mattress contact with pressure points. For example, side sleepers need highly conforming, softer mattresses that will provide deep pressure relief at the hips and shoulders.

Motion Isolation

Motion isolation is an important consideration if you suffer from sciatica and sleep with a partner or toss and turn frequently throughout the night as a result of discomfort from the condition. Foam mattresses isolate motion transfer exceptionally well, but some hybrid and latex mattresses minimize motion when constructed specifically to do so.

Related: Best Mattresses for Couples

What Type of Mattress is Best for Sciatica?

The main mattress types in the market include innerspring, all foam, hybrid, airbed and latex mattresses. Foam and hybrid models tend to be the best mattresses for sciatica, as their thicker comfort layers conform closely to the body for pressure and pain relief. 

Memory Foam Mattresses

Foam beds are made entirely of different types of foam, including memory foam, polyfoam and proprietary foams with varying densities and special features.Foam mattresses are known for their “hug,” which relieves pressure, but they also tend to trap body heat. If breathability is a concern and you’re set on a foam mattress, consider all-foam beds with cooling properties, like convoluted layers, gel-infused foams and lower-density top layers.

Related: Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine a coil support system with a foam comfort layer. These beds marry the responsiveness and durability of innerspring mattresses with the pressure relief and comfort of foam mattresses.The pocketed coil layer also helps these beds sleep cooler, making them a great choice for couples or those who sleep hot. Sciatica sufferers who like a bouncier feel to their mattress or sleep hot but want above-average pressure relief should look for hybrid models with thick, conforming foam layers.

Related: Best Hybrid Mattresses

Latex Mattresses

Like the other types, latex mattresses are usually constructed with a dense support layer and are topped with increasingly cushy comfort layers. They provide some of the pressure relief of memory foam beds with the high responsiveness of an innerspring, making them great options for combo sleepers (people who switch positions frequently) with sciatica. If you have a lower budget, though, it may be a challenge to find a great latex bed for a low price.

Related: Best Latex Mattresses

Innerspring Mattresses

While innerspring mattresses are a great option for some because of their wide availability and general affordability, they may not be the best option for those with sciatica because they don’t usually provide the same pressure relief that the other three mattress types do. However, if you already have an innerspring and want to hang onto it, adding one of our best memory foam mattress toppers can help get the firmness level to a more comfortable place. 

Related: Best Innerspring Mattresses

How Your Sleeping Position Affects Sciatica

The path to alleviating pressure and improving spinal alignment varies for each sleep position, so it’s important to know which position you wind up in for the majority of the night.

Side Sleepers with Sciatica

The main contact points for side sleepers to be aware of are the hips and the shoulders. That’s because they are the heaviest parts of a side sleeper’s body that touch the mattress surface. When a bed is too firm, the hips and shoulders are not able to sink into the surface and the result is excess pressure; when a mattress is too soft, they can sink too far in and throw the spine out of alignment, which can exacerbate sciatica symptoms. 

If you’re a side sleeper and you suffer from sciatica, it is especially important to make sure you get the firmness right. Something right down the middle between soft and firm can help prevent or reduce pain flare ups in sensitive areas.

Another important consideration for those with sciatica is which side to sleep on. Our expert reviewer Vivian Eisenstadt explains, “If you’re in the majority of sciatica sufferers who experience nerve pain on one side of the body, sleeping on your side can worsen symptoms…If you are going to sleep on your side, sleep with the affected side towards the ceiling and a pillow between your legs.”

For more tips, take a look at our article on how to properly sleep on your side. And be sure to take a look at our best mattress for side sleepers roundup.

Back Sleepers with Sciatica

Much like side sleepers, back sleepers with sciatica need to find a good balance between plush and firm. Where a side sleeper might look for a mattress around the 5/10 region on the firmness scale, a back sleeper may want to consider something closer to 6/10. That is because when a back sleeper’s hips sink just a little bit too far below the surface, a good deal of pressure is placed on the lower back—definitely something that those with sciatica want to avoid. Our list of best mattresses for back sleepers have some wonderful options for you to consider.

Stomach Sleepers with Sciatica

Generally, we consider stomach sleeping to be the least healthy option long term. This holds true for stomach sleepers with sciatica, as of all the positions it is the most likely to put stress on the lower back. 

That said, if you’re not willing to try and change your sleeping position you should look at mattresses on the firm end of the scale—around 7/10. The higher the firmness, the more your hips will be supported and your lower back stress free.

Make sure you look at our article on how to properly sleep on your stomach, and check out our list of best mattresses for stomach sleepers.

Combination Sleepers with Sciatica

Combination sleepers are those who switch positions frequently, a common trait among people with sciatica. Unlike the other positions, firmness isn’t necessarily the most important factor for combo sleepers. Rather, they should look out for mattresses with high responsiveness to allow for better ease of movement. Hybrids and latex beds are good options here.

Related: Best Mattresses for Combination Sleepers

Final Considerations

  • What is Your Budget?—Consider your budget and rule out any beds that exceed it. Keep in mind that certain mattress types, like foam models, cost less than others. Be sure to account for shipping costs.

Related: Best Affordable Mattresses

  • How Thick Should the Mattress Be?—The overall thickness of the mattress is a key consideration, as some sciatica sufferers may have trouble getting in and out of bed yet thicker mattresses with tall comfort layers tend to provide better conforming. Look for mattresses that are at least 10” tall and consider the bed’s edge support performance if you struggle getting in or out of bed.
  • Are Purchase Policies Important to You?—Choosing a mattress with the intention to alleviate pain at night can be anxiety-inducing. What if you choose the wrong one? What if it worsens symptoms? To protect against stress and ensure you will eventually land on the right mattress, select a bed with a sleep trial that’s at least four weeks long and warranty coverage that will last the duration of the mattress’ lifespan (at least seven years, on average).

Conclusion

Sciatic nerve pain is not easy to combat, and while medication, medical advice and physical therapy may be the primary factors that move the needle on your pain levels and overall lifestyle, the right mattress may improve your sleep and pain.

Make a list of the sciatica symptoms you experience (bladder control, tossing and turning, low back pain, numbness), consult your doctor about the mattress type and features that might be best for you, and then use your list of the best mattresses for sciatica as a starting point as you select a mattress with the goal of pain relief and better sleep.

Mattress Award
Nectar Editor’s Pick
Amerisleep AS2 Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers with Sciatica
Loom and Leaf Best for Side Sleepers with Sciatica
Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid Best Hybrid for Sleepers with Sciatica
Puffy Best for Lightweight Sleepers with Sciatica
Casper Best for Average Weight Sleepers with Sciatica
WinkBeds Best for Heavyweight Sleepers with Sciatica

Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP

Prior to founding her own practice, Vivian served as a Physical Therapist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in both their Outpatient and Spine centers as well as running private clinics in Beverly Hills, CA. She specialized in treating spinal injuries, postural dysfunctions, sprains and strains and general orthopedic injuries.

Vivian Eisenstadt is a medical reviewer to Mattress Nerd on the subject of orthopedic therapy. They provide important perspectives on the topics we discuss to help our readers make our content as authoritative as possible. They do not personally endorse any products, nor are they associated with any brands featured in our review content. 


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