According to Harvard Health Publication, up to 40 percent of people will be affected by sciatica in their lives. Unfortunately, the condition tends to get lumped in with average back pain when it should be categorized as a much more critical condition.
Sciatic pain originates from the inflammation and pressure placed on the sciatic nerve, or spinal cord when they are pinched or irritated.
Thankfully, 90 percent of people recover from nerve irritation without surgery. We’re gonna share some way that the right mattress and sleep habits can help alleviate your pain.
Research and Resources
In making this article, we…
- Researched dozens of mattress brands, reading about the materials they use, their manufacturing process, and what goes into making a high-quality, long-lasting mattress.
- Weighed the pros and cons of each kind of mattress you can buy, and who each kind of bed is best suited for.
- Spent 15 hours writing and revising the article to deliver the most value-driven, helpful content to our readers looking to find the best bed for their sleep needs.
Best Mattress for Sciatica
|Brand||Mattress||Highlights||Sleep Trial & Warranty||Price (Queen)|
|Amerisleep AS3||Dynamic support|
|100 Nights & 20 Years||$1199
|Shiloh||Convenient shipping to your door||None & 20 Years||$442|
|WinkBed||Support for plus-sized sleeper|
Handmade to order
American sourced materials
|120 Nights & Lifetime Warranty||$1599|
|Level Sleep® Mattress||Diminished fatigue|
Improves sleep and body recovery
|365 Nights & Lifetime Warranty||$999|
|Loom & Leaf||Lumbar supporting technology|
Breathable, moisture wicking materials
|120 Nights & 15 Years||$1499|
As our top recommended mattress, the Amerisleep AS3 has all the qualifications as the best mattress for sciatica, including support, conformability, firmness, and motion isolation.
The mattress cover uses Celliant®, and FDA-determined medical technology, to recycle body heat into infrared energy and projects it back into the body, stimulating the circulatory system to increase blood flow. The increase in blood flow causes cell production to spike as well.
Next, a pressure-relieving plant-based memory foam layer called Bio-Pur® wicks away moisture and contours to the body to provide pain relief. This layer helps the spine lie at a neutral position, discouraging future back pain.
Below the Bio-Pur®, HIVE® technology fosters solid support to the hips and lumbar region and comfort to the head, shoulders, and ankles the 5 different support zones. The hexagon cut-outs create passages through the mattress, aiding in cooling by allowing air to pass through the mattress.
The final layer, Bio-Core® acts as a foundation for the entire mattress. This layer gives the mattress its longevity and ensures the sleeper has a solid, even sleeping surface.
- Restorative Sleep using FDA-determined technology
- Clinically-proven Zoned Comfort
- Open-cell structure for cool sleep
2. Sleep Innovations Shiloh
If you’re looking for a mattress that provides head to toe comfort, complete with pain-relief and motion isolation, this option for the best mattress for sciatica is a contender. Although we didn’t find much about the company, Innovated Sleep is a trusted mattress company that mostly works out of Amazon.
The bed uses a high-density foam, resulting in a medium firmness. The SureTemp memory foam uses an open cell structure, which guards against heat retention.
But if you have a smaller body build, you might find the mattress to be a bit hard. The same goes for someone who is much heavier than average – they may find the mattress too soft.
The Support-Plus foam provided the top layer with stability and a flat sleeping surface for a sleeping individual.
While this mattress is an excellent option for back pain, it is also budget-friendly for those who can’t spend more than $500 on a mattress.
Sleep Innovations Shiloh Highlights
- Lower-than-average price
- Simple design
- Dual comfort
Winkbeds claimed to be the most people-centric bedding company in the world. Each mattress is handmade with quality eco-friendly and American sourced materials.
A lifetime warranty covers defects in the materials or workmanship at no cost to the customer for the lifetime of the mattress. On top of that, WinkBeds offers a risk-free 120-night sleep trial for you to try the bed in the comfort of your home.
Much like the Amerisleep brand, WinkBeds has four different firmnesses to choose from, ranging from Softer to Plus. Because of this wide range of firmnesses, the Winkbed can support many different sleeping positions.
Even if this isn’t a memory foam or latex mattress, we are still placing this bed on the list for the overwhelming support it has from sciatica sufferers customers.
Our favorite layer in this mattress would have to be the micro air-springs below the euro-pillow top. These springs don’t provide as firm a feel as the core coil system does, which allows the body to sink into the mattress and contour as needed for pressure and pain relief.
However, motion isolation isn’t as good as Amerisleep’s AS3, which may be a problem if the bed is shared.
- Zoned support
- 4 firmness options
- Pressure point relief
4. Level Sleep® Mattress
Made of two simple layers, the Level Sleep® ‘s first layer stuck out to us as the more innovative layer. It’s divided into three separate layers that act as a 3-zoned support system. The first section of this layer is a softer performance foam that absorbs motion, reduces pressure and supports the shoulders and head.
The middle portion of the mattress targets the lumbar area with high levels of support. Lastly, the end portion is softer, allowing the hips to sink in, aligning them to the rest of the body for greater comfort.
Sleep Level® Mattress uses clinically proven pain-reducing and firmness materials. Backed by science and recommended by Dr. Clete Kushida (the medical director of the Sleep Medicine Center and director of the Center for Human Sleep Research), Level Sleep® put their mattress through 10-years of development and clinical trial to arrive at the mattress they market today.
The Sleep Level® mattress has a forever, or lifetime warranty. ith every purchased mattress, a customer receives a 365-day home trial.
Unfortunately, this mattress only comes in one firmness, making this mattress best for back sleepers only.
Level Sleep® Highlights
- Reduces tossing and turning
- Clinically tested
- Proven to alleviate pain
5. Loom & Leaf
This mattress comes in two different firmness options: Relaxed Firm and Firm. Out of the two, Relaxed Firm is their best seller.
This mattress can support all three of the main sleeping styles: Back, stomach, and side. Although this mattress may be too firm for people of smaller frames and too soft for people who weigh more.
One specific layer bears the responsibility for this mattress being on the “Best Mattress for Sciatica” list.
Loom & Leaf’s Cooling Spinal Gel proprietary layer has cooling gel laminated into the spinal area to ensure the sleeper doesn’t overheat while the layer’s contouring features work to close the distance between the body’s curves and the mattress. The conforming abilities of this layer offer pain and pressure relieving support.
As part of the popular mattress brand Saatva, Loom & Leaf holds the spot as Saatva’s number one memory foam mattress. This mattress is exclusively sold online as a bed-in-a-box mattress at an extremely low cost. Considering the luxury quality of the mattress, the price is a steal.
This online mattress comes with a 15-year warranty and a 120-night trial period, They will even remove your old mattress for you free of charge.
Loom & Leaf Highlights
- Free mattress removal
- Zoned spinal support
- Eco-Friendly memory foam
What is Sciatica?
The condition, sciatica, directly correlates to the welfare of the Sciatic Nerve. If the nerve is agitated it will render the individual with sharp pain beginning in the sciatic nerve down to the hips, posterior, and legs. These pains are what characterize sciatica.
Typically, the pain is more intense on one side even though both sides are affected.
Someone affected by sciatica often experiences numbness and weakness on the affected side(s). In more serious cases, loss of bladder and bowel functions may occur.
- Herniated Disks (Slipped or Ruptured Disks): When the outer layer of the gelatinous disk is punctured or torn, the cushioning liquid will spill out and create a bulge that might press against the sciatic nerve.
- Bones Spurs (Exostosis): An irregular bone formation grows on top of already existing bone.
- Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal, which in turn places pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Age: As our bodies grow older, they do not function as well as they did when we were young. Natural changes such as deterioration of the spine can lead to sciatica. Typically, the result of spinal deterioration originates from years of sleeping wrong, lifting more than the body was capable, or a lifetime of sitting at a desk job or hard laborious work.
- Obesity: Excess weight places pressure on the spine. Since the spine is under continuous pressure, people who are overweight will eventually experience pinching and irritation from the sciatic nerve.
- Diabetes: Naturally, diabetes causes nerve damage. Especially if the condition isn’t treated properly. The disease usually starts at the feet or fingers and makes its way up to the rest of the body. Unfortunately, the sciatic nerve will eventually be included among the nerves affected.
- Occupation: Those who work physical labor or a desk job with long sitting periods have a large chance of suffering from sciatica. Hard labor jobs include a lot of lifting, twisting, pulling, and straining, which places strain on the spine. Meanwhile, desk jobs can place even more strain on the spine with the long sitting hours.
- Medication: Depending on the patient’s medical history and lineage, the physician may prescribe anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, narcotics, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications.
Physical Therapy: Along with medication, body rehabilitation is a more common treatment. Increasing flexibility and muscle strength have proven to be very beneficial to those with this type of chronic pain. Improving posture is another method of physical therapy that will be addressed.
Steroid injections: Steroids are prescribed only for severe cases. Injected straight into the sciatic nerve, this treatment could have severe consequences: paralyzation, high levels of pain. Due to the risk of this treatment, it will be used several times over the course of a few months.
Surgery: Once again, surgery will only be offered to those suffering from severe cases of sciatica and only if they experience the loss of bladder control or extreme pain.
What to Look for in a Mattress
For someone with chronic back pain, finding the best mattress can be essential to living and sleeping well. The question is which type of mattress will help relieve pain and help you sleep better?
Mattress sellers have found that people who have sciatica tend to lean towards memory foam and latex mattresses. The close contouring and solid support of both mattresses make up a major reason why these mattresses are preferred.
While everyone needs a good supportive mattress, those suffering from sciatica need this support to alleviate the pressure from their spine.
It can be tempting to purchase a soft bed. Soft things have the stigma of comfort and pain-relief; however, this isn’t always the case for mattresses.
Soft beds are fantastic pressure relievers for side sleepers. But those that have sciatica need something a little more firm, even if you are a side sleeper. For other sleeping positions, too soft a mattress will cause too much straining, making a firm mattress the best option.
On top of a supportive mattress, close conforming materials are needed for pain relief, which makes latex and memory foam mattresses ideal.
While support conditions your spine into a neutral resting position, contouring will conform to your spine to provide above-average pain and pressure relief.
Latex and memory foam mattresses have fantastic motion isolation. Chronic pain can be aggravated by motion. So, by purchasing a mattress that stops motion at the point of impact, pain is effectively reduced. It also stops a person from waking due to the movements of a sleep partner.
We highly suggest sticking with the recommended memory foam and latex mattresses; however that doesn’t mean that you are limited to those mattress types. There are many different types of mattresses made with different materials.
Read on to learn more:
- Innerspring Mattresses: In America, the innerspring mattress continues to be the most popular. Nicknamed the “traditional mattress,” innerspring mattresses first appeared in the 1800s. Its defining characteristic is the support it gives the sleeper, which is attributed to the coil core the mattress utilizes.
If you are someone with sciatica looking to buy this type, watch for a mattress with a zoned support system.
- Latex Mattresses: First developed in the 1920s, the latex mattress has progressed by leaps and bounds as the most supportive mattress available on the market.
It’s made from the sap of the rubber tree. There are two different ways the latex can be produced: Talalayand Dunlop. Depending on the method of production, the latex will have some differences.
The Dunlop method will produce a mattress with a firmer sleeping surface, which isn’t the best if you’re looking for conformability; meanwhile, the Talalay method produces a material with equal support and better contouring.
For those with sciatica, we suggest getting a mattress with material produced by the Talalay method.
- Memory Foam Mattresses: Memory foam matches latex both in support and contouring. As one of the newer mattress materials to hit the market, memory foam quickly became popular for the pain relief it offers its sleepers.
Although the first initial foam mattress had heat retention issues, modern memory foam mattresses have eliminated these issues through the combination of open-cell construction and cool-promoting material infusions.
- Hybrid Mattresses: By taking the best of innerspring, latex, and memory foam mattresses, the hybrid mattress was placed on the market with riveting success. Because they’re made in so many different ways, these mattresses can be directed to any type of sleeper and highly recommended to those on the heavy side.
Learning how to sleep well in your preferred sleeping position can have as many benefits as a new mattress. For many sciatica patients, their pain increases when they lie down. Some have even gone through the lengths of sleeping while sitting or lying on the floor to have a brief moment of pain alleviation.
Spine compression is the reason for pain intensifying when lying down. To alleviate this pain, follow these easy instructions, depending on your sleep position:
- Back Sleeper: This position allows the spine to rest in a neutral position without the use of many pillows. Those with sciatica will want to place a wedge pillow under their knees to alleviate tension in their hips and lower back
- Side Sleepers: In this position, a sleeper will need to use several pillows to ensure the neutrality of their spine.
We highly suggest a body pillow, as it will cancel the need for multiple pillows and offers more support.
Securing a pillow under the head and between the legs will stop the misalignment of the spine. To stop yourself from tipping over you can place a pillow at your front or back. If you decide to employ the use of a body pillow, the front and back support will already be provided for you.
- Stomach Sleepers: Sciatica can be caused by sleeping on your front. The pressure that builds on the spine derives directly from the unnatural flattening and the pressure that builds up as a result of the sleeping position.
In the case that you are a stomach sleeper, we highly suggest you switch to side or back sleeping. If this isn’t an option, place a pillow or a rolled towel under your hips to preserve the natural curve in the spine. Sleeping without the use of a pillow in this sleeping position furthers the preservation of that curve.
Did You Find Your Next Bed?
Chronic back pain can be nerve-wracking. Whether you’re looking for a firm mattress to support your back or a contouring mattress, memory foam and latex mattresses are our suggestion when choosing a bed for sciatica.
If you want our best firm mattress options, head on over to our post.