The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. Since the sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back down into the foot, pain associated with sciatic nerve problems can be widespread. Conditions like herniated discs, diabetes, and spinal stenosis can lead to a type of pain known as sciatica.
When you suffer from sciatica, you may experience pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness. These symptoms can extend from your lower back into your buttock and down through the back of your leg. It can even read as far down as your toes. The pain is usually one-sided, but some patients can also experience pain on both sides.
Like other back pain sufferers, sciatica patients can benefit from a supportive mattress that adjusts to each sleeper’s body to align the spine. This guide will highlight some of the best mattresses for sciatica and explain factors that can contribute to the overall comfort level for sciatica patients.
Our Top Picks
|Manufacturer||Model||Mattress Type||Firmness||Price (Queen)|
|Nectar||Memory Foam||Medium Firm (6)||$699|
|Layla||Memory Foam||2 Sides: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)||$999|
|Winkbeds||Hybrid||3 Choices: Soft (4.5), Luxury Firm (6.5), Firm (7.5)||$1,599|
|Puffy Lux||Memory Foam||Medium Firm (6-6.5)||$1,795|
|Loom & Leaf||Memory Foam||2 Choices: Relaxed Firm (5-6), Firm (8)||$1,499|
1. Nectar Mattress
Why we like it:
- Exceptional contouring and pressure point relief
- Tencel cover and Two layers of Gel Memory Foam for a cooler night’s sleep
- 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty
The Nectar mattress is composed of four layers of memory foam, including super-premium and medical grade Certi-pur Lush and Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam layers.
A Tencel cooling cover helps dissipate the heat from your body. A layer of quilted gel memory foam provides comfort and cooling. A comfort layer of Lush Foam absorbs heat and rebounds to its original shape quickly. A layer of Adaptive High Core Memory Foam prevents you from sinking too deeply into the mattress while providing contouring. The breathable foam base layer provides support and allows for airflow. Since the Nectar mattress is designed to provide support and contouring, it’s a good choice for sciatica patients.
Nectar offers a 365-night home trial, and shipping is free both ways. The mattress is backed by a “forever warranty” that covers the mattress for as long as you own it.
Why we like it:
- Flippable with two firmness options
- Sleeps cooler than many foam mattresses
- Exceptional pressure relief
The Layla mattress is one of the only flippable mattresses on the market. Each side features a different firmness, so sciatica patients can select which firmness works best for them.
Each side of the mattress features a ThermoGel-infused cover to provide a cool sleep surface. The center of the mattress is a 4.5 inch core of support foam that reduces motion transfer when you’re using either side of the mattress. The top layer of the softer side of the mattress features 3 inches of copper-infused memory foam to provide support and cooling. A 2 inch layer of convoluted foam allows airflow in order to keep the mattress cooler.
The top layer of the firm side of the mattress uses 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam to provide support and cooling.
Why we like it:
- Hybrid design provides both contouring and resilience
- Exceptional edge support
- Four firmness options
The WinkBed mattress offers four different firmness options, including Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, and Plus. The Plus mattress is specially designed to accommodate sleepers over 300 pounds.These options can make it easier to select a mattress that’s right for your sleep style and preferences.
The WinkBed is over 13 inches tall. It is taller than other mattresses to provide greater comfort and support. The mattress offers a number of useful features that aim to reduce back pain. The 3-Step Back Relief System offers targeted back support. The LumbarLayer provides extra support for the lower back.
The mattress also features Extra-Edge reinforced edges that prevent the outer edge from sagging. Triple Layer Heat Disperse technology pulls heat away from your body for a cooler night’s sleep. SleepCalm motion isolation technology combines gel foam with steel pocket springs to prevent motion transfer.
WinkBed offers a 100-night sleep trial.
4. Puffy Lux
Why we like it:
- Designed to improve pressure point relief with specialized Body Adapting Dual Cloud Foam
- Multi-layer foam design provides contoured lumbar support
- Features temperature-regulating technology, ClimateComfort
The Puffy Lux mattress is an all-foam mattress that offers some terrific features for sciatica patients. The Puffy Lux offers enhanced spinal alignment through its body adapting formula. Cooling Cloud and Body Adapting Dual Cloud Foam adjust to the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure points. The Firm Core Support Layer provides additional spinal alignment and pressure point relief. A Cloud Gel Layer paired with ClimateComfort materials can provide a cooler sleep surface than most memory foam mattresses.The Puffy Lux mattress is 12 inches tall.
Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty guaranteeing your that your mattress will be defect-free.
5. Loom & Leaf
Why we like it:
- Optional adjustable base to customize the best position for pain relief
- Spinal Cooling Gel helps you sleep cooler
- Free White Glove delivery and mattress pickup
- Quiet and high level of motion isolation and contouring
|WinkBeds’ luxury handmade hybrid mattress provides optimal support, particularly in the lumbar region, that helps to keep your body well-aligned. The 3-Step Back Relief System’s multiple layers of back support relieves muscle tension and aligns your spine and joints. Foam enhancement in the lumbar region prevents sagging and misalignment, supporting your lower back.
Careful thought has gone into this bed’s design to enhance its overall performance. The mattress dispenses heat so that you sleep more comfortably, and anti-sag support along the mattress’ edges increase usable sleeping space. Gel foam that tops a layer of pocket springs eliminates motion transfer, so if you wake up with an acid reflux flare or need to shift to your side, your partner can continue to sleep.
This mattress combines comfort foams and support springs, and third-party testing certifications prove that it sags 2% less than other mattresses over 20 years of use. You can try this mattress in your home for 120 nights, and are only responsible for the $99 cost of return transportation. The mattress comes with a 15-year warranty.
Best Mattress for Sciatica Buying Guide
Purchasing a mattress when you aren’t pregnant can be a challenge. When you are expecting, and have different needs in terms of support and comfort, it’s even more difficult. You need a mattress that not only conforms to the body to provide enough support and alleviate the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, but that isn’t too warm, as pregnant women sleep much hotter than usual. Sex isn’t always off the table during pregnancy, so a model that provides adequate bounce is a consideration, but you also want to buy a mattress that limits motion transfer so you don’t wake your partner when you toss and turn and get up to use the bathroom multiple times per night.
Memory foam mattresses are designed to respond to pressure and heat and conform to your body shape. A mattress taking on your body shape creates contouring. Contouring can offer good weight distribution, pressure point relief, and a customized feel to the sleep surface.
All-foam mattresses use several layers of foam. Each layer may vary in density and type of foam to provide the desired balance of support and contouring.
Prices between memory foam mattresses can vary due to the type and density of foam used. You can expect an average queen memory foam mattress to cost between $800-$1,000.
Pros for Sciatica:
- Foam mattresses can be particularly supportive, which could help reduce aches and pains
- Memory foam offers excellent contouring, which can help sciatica patients maintain better spinal alignment
- Memory foam can offer pressure point relief
Cons for Sciatica:
- Sinking in could make it difficult to roll over, which could be challenging for sleepers who need to change position often
- Lack of reinforced edges could make it difficult to sit or sleep near the edge of the bed
- Memory foam mattresses often traps body heat
- Off gassing odors may be offensive
What to Consider When Buying a Mattress for Sciatica Relief
- Contouring: Contouring refers to how the mattress adjusts to fit the body of the sleeper. High contouring gives a bed the "sinking in" feeling memory foam is known for. Sciatica patients may benefit from a mattress that offers high contouring because this could relieve pressure points and aid in spinal alignment. Foam and latex comfort layers that are at least 3 inches thick usually provide good contouring.
- Support: Support refers to how even the sleeping surface is. While comfort layers may allow you to sink in, support layers prevent you from sinking in too deeply. An even sleeping surface can help align the spine and hips, which could alleviate pain. Sciatica patients may benefit from a supportive mattress that offers a stable surface and proper spinal alignment.
- Firmness: Firmness is how soft or hard a mattress feels. The construction and materials of the mattress determine the overall firmness. While firmness preferences can vary, selecting the right firmness for you could help provide relief for sciatica patients. Too firm a mattress may not allow you to sink in enough. Too soft a mattress may allow you to sink in too deeply. Finding the correct firmness can aid in spinal alignment and prevent pain.
- Motion Isolation: Motion isolation refers to how movements transfer across the sleep surface. When your partner rolls over, you might not even notice if your mattress isolates motion well. A mattress that prevents motion transfer may be beneficial for sciatica patients experiencing sleep difficulties. This could prevent you from waking unnecessarily due to your partner’s movements. Mattresses with foam or latex comfort layers usually isolate motion well.
- Temperature Regulation: Temperature regulation is how hot or cool a mattress feels when you sleep on it. Foam mattresses often trap heat, which can lead to sleeping hot. Innerspring mattresses allow more airflow for a cooler night’s sleep. Selecting the right mattress can prevent overheating.
- Edge Support: Edge support refers to how firm the mattress is around the edge. Foam mattresses often lack edge support, so the outer edge of the mattress may sag. This can make it difficult to sit or sleep near the edge of the bed. Innerspring and many hybrid mattresses offer greater edge support.
- Price: Price can be a major factor when purchasing a mattress. Some types of mattress are significantly cheaper than others. However, it’s important to take into account what you get for your money. If a mattress offers improved comfort and greater longevity, it may be an overall better value even if the price is higher.
Sleep Accessories for Sciatica
A mattress may be one of the best investments sciatica patients can make towards their sleep health. Additional accessories can provide further relief and improve the quality of your sleep. Pillows, mattress toppers, and adjustable beds provide the comfort, support, and flexibility sciatica patients need to get a good night’s sleep.
While sciatica patients suffer from pain in the lower back and below, a good pillow is still important to promote comfortable, quality sleep. A pillow with the right loft and feel could make you more comfortable and promote proper spinal alignment, the effects of which you might feel all over your body. Proper alignment can help reduce and prevent pain, allowing you to sleep better.
Body pillows are also useful for sciatica patients. A body pillow can provide extra support for your back, hips, shoulders, knees, or whatever other area needs it most. This can help you fine-tune your sleep position for better spinal alignment.
For the most flexibility, consider maintaining several pillows. Having a selection of pillows can allow you to cater your nightly sleep position based on your current nerve pain.
If you don’t want to purchase a new mattress, using a mattress topper is an easy way to modify your existing mattress. Buying a mattress topper is much more affordable than purchasing a new mattress, so it is a great option for sciatica patients looking to try a different comfort layer type.
Mattress toppers can range in thickness, firmness, and materials used. While there are different mattress topper options on the market, sciatica patients may benefit most from foam or latex options. Foam and latex contour to the body and provide pressure point relief. Better pressure point relief could lead to improved spinal alignment and less pain.
Adjustable beds can provide relief for sciatica patients with positional pain. An adjustable bed makes it possible to switch your sleep position night-by-night to accommodate changing needs and preferences.
When selecting a base for your adjustable bed, pay attention to lift angle. Bases with greater maximum angles provide more position options. However, models that are not as adjustable may be more affordable and less bulky. Additionally, not all mattresses work with adjustable bases. Foam and latex mattresses usually work with an adjustable base. Some hybrid mattresses are also compatible.
Read product specifications before making your purchase to ensure your base and mattress are compatible. Many mattress companies offer adjustable bases specifically designed to work with their mattresses, so this can be a convenient solution to ensure compatibility.
Sleep Help and Tips for Sciatica
When the sciatic nerve is compressed, it can cause a shooting pain starting in the lower back and radiating down the leg. This can drastically disrupt sleep and prevent your back from resting and healing properly. Getting a good night’s sleep has many health benefits in addition to helping ease aching muscles and nerves.
- Elevate your knees. If your nerve pain is flaring up, you might try elevating your knees. Elevating your knees can reduce the pressure your lumbar discs transfer to the nerve roots, thereby reducing pain. To elevate your knees, lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees. If one pillow is not enough, you might try stacking pillows to see if you can find a more comfortable position. If you have an adjustable bed, elevating your knees can be even easier. Simply adjust the foot of your bed so that your legs are at a greater angle.
- Use heat. A warm bath before bed can help release endorphins and relax your muscles, which could reduce pain. However, it is important not to use too hot of water since this could raise your body temperature and make sleep more difficult. If you do not enjoy bathing, heat can still be useful. You might consider using a heat wrap or hot water bottle on your lower back to relax the muscles and possible ease sciatica pain.
- Find the right sleep position for you. Different sleeping positions are best for different people, and this is particularly true for sciatica patients. You might consider experimenting until you find the right sleep position for you. Some patients may benefit from lying on their backs, particularly if they prop up their knees. Side sleepers may benefit from sleeping with bent knees and propping up the top leg with pillows to square off the hips. If one side is more painful than the other, you might also avoid sleeping on that side. Finding the sleep position that works with your sciatica symptoms can help you get the best night’s rest possible.
- Improve sleep hygiene. Sciatica and other nerve conditions might interrupt your sleep. To get the best sleep possible, do what you can to avoid other factors that could negatively affect your sleep. Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Doing what you can to maintain a restful sleep space can prevent unnecessary waking and encourage quality sleep. You might also avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol during the day. These substances can negatively impact your sleep architecture and the quality of the sleep you get. They can also make it more challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- See your doctor. If you are suffering from nerve pain or difficulty sleeping, consult with your doctor. Be honest about what you are experiencing and how it is affecting you. A variety of treatment options may be available. Together with your doctor, you can find the plan of action that’s best for your condition and lifestyle.