Marcus is an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows for sure how to ease ache in your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent meeting him in person.
Last updated: August 22, 2021
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Having any type of discomfort can make even the most everyday simple tasks difficult. Sciatica, a medical condition that is defined as chronic pain all along the sciatic nerve at the back of your body, can even make laying down painful. This nerve runs along not only the lower back but also the hips, the bottom, and the legs. However, instead of going all the way down the back, people with sciatica actually have pain just on one side of the body.
Along with pain, people who suffer from sciatica also suffer from possible numbness, weakness, bladder, and bowel function. In our review, we’re going to highlight the features of the best mattresses for sciatica. We’re going to go through the different important features like firmness, thickness, number of layers, material, and warranty.
After hundreds of hours of research and testing out mattresses, we’ve laid you out this article to help you see the best features in these mattresses. From the beginning of the article, you’ll see the data from all the different sources through the comparison table, in-detail reviews of every product, and a buying guide to help you choose the best mattress for sciatica for you. Having a medical condition is already hard enough, so, we hope that this guide can help you make your life a little easier—easier than just falling asleep.
This is one of the cleverest mattresses there is due to the fact that it has a firm side and a soft side, giving a lot of flexibility for people who are suffering from aches and pains. If you find that one night you want the softer side you can simply flip the mattress.
This mattress features copper gel which has a firming response, this means that while it feels soft, it firms up when pressure is put on it (E.G when you get in bed!)
Copper also provides antimicrobial properties and prevents smells from building up on the mattress. It has a breathable design, too, so it is unlikely that you will feel hot and clammy.
The guarantees on your purchase are brilliant. A limited lifetime warranty is backed up by a 120-day sleep trial so if it isn’t helping with your condition then you might be able to send it back or get a refund on your purchase.
What we like: The fact that this can be both a soft and firm mattress in one is arguably the biggest plus point to the Layla Memory Foam Mattress.
What negatives must you be aware of? The “firm” side is not firm enough for some peoples’ preferences, but this comes down to each individual. It could be just perfect for you.
The WinkBed is a fantastic option for front sleepers and side sleepers, and though it is a bit more expensive than some of the others it does have some great features. This is one of the best models when it comes to edge support, so it doesn’t matter where you lay on this bed.
The cover is derived from Tencel, which is very soft, and great for heat wicking. It also has a “pillow top” which has extremely soft foam, designed to actually take the heat away from your body, leaving you more comfortable in hot environments.
There are a lot of pressure zones designed to give you the support you need, and help your body with any aches and pains. There’s also edge support so the mattress is designed not to sag at the sides at all.
In terms of matching this up to your own preferences, it has a number of different levels of firmness so you can choose which is most suitable for you. Soft (4.5), Luxury Firm (6.5), Firmer (7.5), Plus (8) are all options.
What we like: The brilliant covering gives amazing comfort as well as firmness and support. This is one of the best models for avoiding sagging.
What were we disappointed with? The price. This is quite an expensive model of mattress compared to some of the others.
This is a fantastic hybrid mattress designed for keeping cool; it does a good job of managing the temperature but it also manages to keep your weight evenly distributed, giving a comfortable overall feel.
There is an 8-inch base that has over 1,000 coils, this is designed to reduce the motion transfer if you sleep with a partner, and also relieve your pressure points that may cause you pain.
A foam base makes it more durable and there are also copper-infused layers within that can ensure that there are anti-microbial properties. Other layers include 1swirl visco-elastic memory foam, hyper-elastic TitanFlex foam, copper-infused CopperFlex foam. In simple terms, it is designed to be very breathable and let the heat escape.
You can choose the level of firmness you wish, as it comes in soft, medium and firm designs.
Transportation is simple, and the box it ships in is surprisingly small and manageable.
It’s made in the USA and has a reliable design and build quality.
What we like: The exceptional weight transfer is one of the best things about this. It’s good for sleeping with a partner.
What could be improved? Though a 10-year warranty sounds exceptional, some other mattresses offer lifetime protection. It may not be a dealbreaker, but it is worth considering.
The Amerisleep is one of the best mattresses available if you are looking for something to keep you cool. It has a Bio-Pur design with open cells. What this means is that the foam actually lets the air flow around the mattress and stops heat from building up.
The foam also does a great job of offering support and bouncing back to position, it is designed to relieve the pressure that can build up on your body.
This is a good model for those who struggle with the heat when trying to get to sleep. It’s also good for sciatic pain due to the extra support it offers, this responsive memory foam mattress has been designed not to sag or leave annoying, uncomfortable soft spots.
This is also made in a responsible way, with CertiPUR-US certification. It also happens to be very resistant to some of the issues that can occur over time such as mold and mildew.
What we like: It does a brilliant job of keeping you cool, even in warmer climates.
What could be better? The edge support could be improved. It can go soft at the sides and if you are sharing a bed or tend to sleep near the edges this can make you feel like you are going to fall.
The Nectar Mattress is another example of a clever design to keep you cool and comfortable in the night even if you are struggling with nerve conditions. It has a five-layer design, using transition foam, gel memory foam and a harder foam on the base, these all enable the mattress to contour to your body and give just the right level of support.
It has a Tencel Poly Blend cover which is designed to be cooling, so even if you live in warmer climates you can enjoy the benefits of a cool and comfy night of sleep.
All of the Nectar foams and materials are CertiPUR, meaning that they meet the US standards for factory emissions, durability and more. This is a good vote of confidence for the product.
This is undeniably a very versatile mattress. It is described as a medium-firm memory foam mattress so it is in the middle of the scale in terms of how soft or firm it is.
If you do opt for this mattress you are given a 365-night sleep trial, so you can return it if you aren’t satisfied.
What we like: This is a versatile mattress, it suits sleepers of all different styles; side-sleepers, front sleepers and those with sciatica problems.
What is not ideal about it? It’s not as cool as some of the other options which dissipate heat more effectively.
Why did it make our list?
Versatile and great if you have two sleeper types in one bed
The Sweetnight Mattress will help solve your sleep problems—especially if you have sciatica. This queen size mattress is designed for comfort, which is why it is one of our Editor’s Choice and the Best All Around Mattress For Sciatica Sufferers.
The mattress is built with three different, full layers of all-foam system. This is highly beneficial for sciatica because it gives you improving support and heat dissipation, which is specifically designed for those with back pain—and those who are normally tossing and turning while they’re asleep—like those with sciatica.
The Sweetnight Mattress also is great for two people since it’s designed to help keep the bed immovable when your partner is moving. Especially with the heat dissipation feature, you will be able to stay cool and feel rejuvenated while you’re sleeping, no matter what weather is inside or outside. It is designed with a plush medium-firm 12 inch gel foam mattress.
The Sweetnight Mattress is also a hypoallergenic mattress by CertiPUR-US Certified foam. This is great for anyone who have skin allergies since the Sweetnight Mattress is made void of formaldehyde, mercury, and other heavy metals. It is also made resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria and dust mites to keep you safe.
The 3.5” unique airflow foam design balances comfort and support for back support, alignment, and resists sagging.
What are our favorite features?
Comes with a 10 year warranty
It is CertiPUR-US certified and hypoallergenic
It is made with gel infused memory foam.
What could be better?
There is an odd odor after unpacking the mattress for several days
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve been introduced to the best mattresses on the market for your sciatica, knowing how to pick the right one for your situation and your condition. Here is a buying guide to help you make the best decision.
Comfort to the rescue – advantages of a sciatica pain relieving mattress
When having sciatica, finding comfort is quite difficult, especially in a mattress. However, when a mattress has solid support, like the Sleep Innovations Shiloh, it can relieve pressure points, which has a great effect on those with sciatica. Not only does it relieve pain, it also allows you to sleep in a better position.
The importance of the spine being aligned when you have sciatic can determine whether you have pain or not. It doesn’t have to be extremely hard, either, a medium-firm mattress can be beneficial, as well. Memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses normally have the perfect mixture between softness and support.
What causes sciatica
To be able to get the perfect mattress for your sciatica, it’s helpful to know what truly causes sciatica and what’s at the root of your pain. The pain stems from the lower back, hips, back, and down through each leg. When that nerve gets pinched, normally from a herniated disk or a bone spur or compressed through diabetes, you’ll be wanting to find relief.
Certain things can actually increase your chances of having sciatica, like your age, your weight, your job, if you sit for too long, and if you have diabetes.
How to sleep with a sciatic nerve pain
Knowing not only the best mattress can help with sciatica nerve pain, but it’ll also help to know which sleep positions can actually help with the pain.
Here are a few positions that can help with your sciatica nerve pain:
Side: One of the best choices, laying on your side with a pillow between your legs can also make your spine back into alignment. Unfortunately, sleeping on your side can actually cause twisting of the lower back.
Back: This can be a beneficial position with ample support and keep your spine aligned. Using a pillow underneath your knees it can flex the lower position of your spine. However, sleeping on your back can flex the lower portion of your spine, which can lead to pain in your lumbar. Some of the best pillows are made to make sure your sleep won’t be disturbed by back pains.
Tips for sciatica pain relief
If you have sciatica pain, not only can you get a quality mattress with support, sleep in a specific position, you can also carry out some of these tips:
Keep your knees elevated. When you have sciatica, keeping your knees elevated can relieve that pressure off of your lower back. Not only can you slide a pillow beneath your knees, you can also lie on your back with your knees bent slightly toward the ceiling.
A hot bath before sleeping. Your sciatic nerve can act up most at night while sleeping. So a hot tub soak can be perfect to not only signal your body to get ready for sleep, but it can also relax the muscles in your lower back.
Also before bed, you can stretch before you go to sleep. If you have a sciatica nerve, stretches can help you get the blood flowing and relieve pressure before you sleep.
Features to consider while buying the comfiest mattress for sciatica sufferer
Before you pick out the best mattress for your sciatica, you should consider a few of these features that might be the most important for you to know.
Knowing how big your mattress should be is also important. You’ll need to know not only how big the mattress should be because of the space you have available but also your comfort level while you’re sleeping.
The filling of the mattress is also extremely important. The filling is what makes the mattress either firm or soft. Having a medium-firm mattress can help with the pain or discomfort you might feel from your sciatica.
The thickness and the layers of the mattress make it either comfortable or not. If you have sciatica, you’ll need to have a thicker mattress sized around 10 inches or thicker. This amount of thickness is the perfect minimum to have back support and comfort for your sciatica.
As we mentioned before, a medium-firm mattress can really give you the support you need for your sciatica. Even though you might think something soft will help with your pain, a softer bed can actually be counter-productive, since you’ll throw off your alignment without proper support.
On the other hand, a too-hard bed won’t give you enough pressure relief in your hips and in your shoulders, which might lead to more pain.
When you sleep, you’ll want to be the most comfortable. With sciatica, finding a balance between comfort and support is extremely important. The best kind of mattress you’ll want is either pure memory or a hybrid with a memory foam layer, like the Sleep Innovations Shiloh. Latex is also a great choice when it comes to material.
A zoned mattress is also optimal when it comes to comfort. This type of mattress, called “zoning” is when there are various parts of the mattress—in congruence with where your body will be lying on the mattress—that are firmer than other parts. With a zoned mattress, additional support is normally located in the hips and shoulders. Typically, a zoned mattress is also designed with pocketed coils or latex.
Once you have made the decision to invest in a mattress, your next choice should be a matter of being able to choose a mattress that will last and have a long lifespan while still remaining firm. Especially when you want to manage your nerve pain, you’ll want the mattress to be durable so your spine will never be out of alignment while sleeping—this is where sciatica will worsen.
When it comes to durability, the word “years” comes to mind. Take a look at not only the warranty but also how qualified the company is. A mattress can have the year warranty or guarantee to back up its lifespan, like the Sleep Innovations Shiloh with 20 years, but also having a credible brand name company behind the product as a manufacturer, like the Classic Brands Mattress, the source of credibility is also important.
Especially when there are two of you sleeping on a bed, the comfort level and motion transfer from one person to the other can be disturbing while you sleep—for example, if someone is rolling over in bed or getting up in the middle night to go to the bathroom. Some mattresses, like the Sweetnight Mattress, isolate the motion transfer so you won’t be disturbed in the middle of the night. When you have sciatica, you’ll definitely want a mattress with motion isolation because you’ll be tossing and turning throughout the night because of your condition—which will most likely disturb your sleeping partner.
Noise is also an important factor. When the mattress is quieter because it is either made or foam or latex, your sleep quality won’t be affected as much. However, those with innersprings, hybrids, and airbeds normally are much noisier in comparison. Back to the fact that you’ll toss and turn in the night, you’ll want the least noisy mattress on the market, like the Sweetnight Mattress, which is made of foam.
The warranty is also extremely important when considering to buy a mattress. When you have sciatica, you’ll most likely have the condition for an extremely long time. Buying a mattress specifically for your sciatica means that you’re investing in your comfort. The longer the investment is, the better!
You might be wondering how a quality-style mattress can possibly be beneficial for sciatica pain. It has so much effect on your sciatica pain because when you lie down, your back and your spine will normally compress. This compression in your back will worsen—especially if you don’t really have a quality mattress.
The position of your posture when you are lying down to sleep will also make a difference. We hope that you read the extra bit of information of optimal positions for your sciatica nerve pain earlier on in our guide. When you are suffering from sciatica pain, it’s best to keep your spine aligned the most possible. If your spine is angled any way else, it will make the pain much, much worse. Especially if you’re sleeping in a position that puts extra pressure on your nerves, you will definitely feel that pain all during the next day.
Even though you might have heard that sleeping on the floor can be beneficial for a person with sciatica, this sort of technique is proven to work wholeheartedly. Especially, as we mentioned before, finding relief with a supportive surface is highly necessary in the case of a patient with sciatica—especially when they sleep. You need to make sure that your spine is in proper alignment or you might be suffering from pain the whole next day. Sleeping on a too-hard surface might not be your best idea—especially if it’s going to be tilting your pelvis out of position.
However, if you already have an unsupportive mattress, the ground might feel a bit better for you. Since that sagging, soft mattress is extremely unsupportive, you might feel that sleeping on the ground is an improvement—however, there are a ton of better solutions.
You don’t need to consult a specialist before buying a mattress. However, speaking to your doctor, if you have sciatica, will definitely be helpful as he or she can recommend a certain mattress for you—instead of you having to hunt for one yourself and then test it over time. Also, they might give you specific information or details that will definitely help when looking for the perfect mattress. Therefore, consulting a specialist isn’t completely necessary, but it can definitely be helpful!
If you’re in a position where you not only have sciatica nerve pain but are also pregnant, the symptoms of sciatica can not only be present while sleeping—they can even be worse.
As already advised for pregnant women, a body pillow can definitely be something that will help with sleep and also minimize discomfort as much as possible. Depending on how pregnant you are and the degree of your sciatica symptoms, we advise you to speak to your doctor about the best body pillow for you. Picking the right kind can definitely make a difference—which can actually be a bit difficult since there are so many types:
Full body pillow: This type of body pillow is really designed for support for the using sleeper for a head-to-toe comfort. You can even place this pillow between the knees to hold in place.
Side sleeper pillow: If your familiar with what a dumbbell looks like, the slide sleeper body pillow is something similar in space. You’ll be able to nestle yourself right in between the space in the pillow with your lower back and your belly. The rest of your body will be resting in the middle groove of the pillow. You can fold the slide sleeper pillow right in between your knees.
Knee pillow: You can use a regular pillow to place in between your knees. However, you can also buy a specific knee pillow to put in between your knees to help keep your hips in place while you’re sleeping. Especially if you suffer from sciatica, having your hips in place while sleeping can really affect your pain for the next day.
If you don’t want to read the entire guide, you can skip to this section—for the three best mattresses on the market.
The Sweetnight Mattress is our Editor’s Choice for the best mattress for sciatica. It is 12 inches thick with a medium foam hardness, perfect for those with sciatica. The filling is gel-infused memory foam that is not only CertiPUR-US certified, it also is hypoallergenic. It is also backed by a 10-year limited guarantee.
The LinenSpa LS05QQ30GF is our budget-friendly mattress for the best one on the market. It is not only good for someone on a budget, but it is also gel-infused, 10-year limited, and CertiPUR-US certified.
We hope this guide can help you get the best mattress for your sciatica.