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Sciatica occurs when a person has a herniated disk or bone overgrowth, which puts extra pressure on the nerve. Medium-firm mattresses may help reduce sciatica pain, but there are other factors that people may consider.

Sciatica causes pain or a burning sensation in the buttocks. Some people may also have a prickling sensation or leg weakness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults sleep for around 7–9 hours per night. Those with sciatica may have to consult a doctor and sleep on a mattress that does not irritate the sciatic nerve. An unsupportive mattress may worsen pain and disrupt an individual’s sleep.

This article discusses sciatica in more detail and reviews some of the best top mattresses for people with the condition.

Learn more about sciatica here.

Below, we look at 10 different mattresses for sciatica.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the mattresses in this article.

FirmnessHeightWarrantyQueen size price
Helixmedium13.5 in10—15 year warranty$2,373.80
Caspermedium-firm13 in10-year limited warranty$2,895
Laylasoft and firm13 in10-year warranty$1,699
PlushBedsmedium-firm9 — 12 in25-year warrantyfrom $2,949
Kescasmedium-firm8 — 12 in10-year warrantyfrom around $235.99
Vesganttimedium-soft10.6 in10-year limited warranty$246.99
Sleep Numberadjustable8 in15-year limited warranty$1,099
DreamCloudmedium-firm14 inlifetime warranty$1,332
Winkbedmedium-firm13.5 inlifetime warranty$1,799
Puffymedium-firm10 inlifetime warranty$2,399

A good mattress for someone with sciatica should keep the spine in alignment throughout the night to help alleviate symptoms.

A person may want to consider their usual sleeping position when choosing a mattress. Certain mattresses may suit back, side, or front sleepers.

These are some factors that individuals may consider when looking for a mattress to help reduce their pain:

  • Price: Mattresses can vary in price. It may be a good idea to check if the price goes up when choosing different mattress firmness or thickness options.
  • Pressure relief: People with sciatica may prefer mattresses with higher levels of pressure relief. Types to look for include memory foam and hybrid mattresses.
  • Warranty: Check the warranty period that companies offer. These ensure that a person can replace defective items without extra costs.
  • Materials: Mattresses consist of different materials, such as memory foam or latex. People with latex allergy may avoid getting a latex mattress, but those looking for a pressure-relieving option may opt for memory foam.
  • Sleep trial: Most manufacturers offer a sleep trial. It allows customers to try out their mattress to see if it relieves their back pain. If they are unsatisfied, they can return their product within the indicated time frame.
  • Firmness: A person may opt for a soft, firm, or medium-firm mattress that supports their needs. Some mattresses have a flippable design and a soft and firm side. Users may flip their mattresses to choose a different firmness level.
  • Motion transfer: Mattresses with reduced motion transfer move as the individual moves. People who sleep with their partner may prefer this feature so that they do not disturb them when changing positions.
  • Edge support: Some mattresses provide high resistance around the edges. This may provide more support and stability and help prevent sagging, making it easier for users to get in or out of bed.

Sciatica is a symptom of an irritated or compressed sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve runs from the back’s sacral region, through the pelvis, and down the back of the legs and feet.

Some of these areas are very narrow. This means that if an individual has an inflamed or compressed nerve, they may experience lower back, buttock, or leg pain.

These are other causes of sciatica:

MNT chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep positions and lifestyles.
  • Budget: MNT features products available in a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness: MNT selects mattresses available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • Shipping: MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Medical News Todayfollows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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There is no one best mattress for sciatica. A person should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of the different types of mattresses.

Some common types of mattresses include:

  • Memory foam: This type of mattress contours to the body and may provide pressure relief for joints. However, memory foam mattresses are dense and may retain more heat.
  • Latex: This type of mattress is similar to memory foam but provides more bounce and may not retain as much heat, leading to a cooler sleep.
  • Innerspring: This type of mattress uses steel coils to support the body. While these mattresses are often less expensive, they may be less durable.
  • Hybrid: It uses memory foam and springs to provide extra support and comfort. In addition, the coils create air channels that can lead to a cooler sleep.

A 2021 review found that a medium-firm mattress may be better for spinal alignment, sleep quality, and comfort. However, firmness is subjective, and people should purchase a mattress that offers the support they require.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the feet. When the nerve is compressed or irritated, it can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower spine and down the back of the leg.

The pain that sciatica causes can affect a person’s sleep. The authors behind a 2018 study note that sleep disturbances are common among those with chronic lower back pain.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that sleep deprivation can increase a person’s chance of having:

It can also increase daytime sleepiness and cause concentration difficulties.

The following are some frequently asked questions about mattresses and sciatica:

Can a bad mattress cause sciatica?

Many factors can affect how suitable a mattress is for someone. For example, a person’s weight and sleeping position may require a certain level of firmness.

A mattress that is too soft or too firm may not be comfortable. A person may wake up with aches and pains if the mattress does not provide the correct level of support.

If a person is waking up with back pain, it may result from their mattress. However, back pain and sciatica can occur for many reasons.

A doctor can help if people believe they have sciatica. They may provide a diagnosis and offer a treatment plan.

What type of mattress is best for sciatica?

Those with sciatica may benefit from using a medium-firm mattress.

A 2021 review notes that a medium-firm mattress may promote better spinal alignment, sleep quality, and comfort in people living with or without back pain. However, this is subjective.

Additionally, a 2018 study states that mattresses with a medium-firm firmness are better for reducing back pain than soft foam or very hard mattresses.

It is important to recognize that the firmness of a mattress is subjective, and people should look for the level of firmness that suits their needs.

What is the best sleep position for someone with sciatica?

People with sciatica should try to avoid putting pressure on the sciatic nerve in their lower back.

Some people may find that avoiding sleeping on their stomachs helps reduce sciatica pain, especially if they have a soft or unsupportive mattress. A person can sink into an unsupportive mattress, putting more pressure in the nerves on their back.

How can I get relief from sciatica on a budget?

Individuals who are on a budget may consider buying a mattress topper. This helps make the mattress softer or firmer, depending on the individual’s preference and the type of mattress they have. A person may also place a pillow underneath their knees to reduce the pressure on their back.

Some organizations may offer financial help or free mattresses. These include:

Is a firm or soft mattress better for sciatica?

Individuals with sciatica may use a medium-firm mattress, according to a 2021 study, as it helps align the spine. It also helps reduce back pain.

If a person’s sciatica symptoms do not improve after using a new mattress, it may be time to see a doctor.

Other treatments are available for sciatica, such as pain medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

Individuals may consider discussing the benefits and risks of each of these treatments with a healthcare professional.

Sciatica can develop in people with a herniated disk, hip injury, or spinal problems. This can make it difficult for a person to get a good night’s sleep.

Some mattresses may help reduce pain. People may consider getting a mattress that suits their sleeping position and relieves pressure on their lower back, hips, and shoulders.

A good mattress should also provide spinal alignment so that sciatic nerve inflammation does not occur.