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Keeping good posture when sitting and sleeping is essential for people with sciatica.

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The average adult spends a long time on their mattress. Indeed, experts recommend that adults sleep for around 7–9 hours per night.

People with sciatica need a mattress that supports their back and does not irritate the sciatic nerve and cause more pain.

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

The sciatic nerve runs from the sacral region of the back in the lower spine, through the pelvis, and down the back of the legs to the feet.

Some of the areas the sciatic nerve runs through are very narrow. Therefore, if the nerve becomes inflamed or compressed, a person can experience pain in the lower back, buttocks, and anywhere down the leg to the foot.

The sciatic nerve can become irritated for a variety of reasons. Some causes of sciatica include:

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 that are available in a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness [only applicable to some products]: MNT selects mattresses that are 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.

Please note that the writer has not tested any of these products. All information is research-based.

Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress

Best for lower back pain

The Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress offers zoned lumbar support. This means there is targeted support for the lower back, which is where sciatica symptoms tend to begin.

Its medium-firm feel offers support and keeps sleepers comfortable.

The foam offers support for both back and stomach sleepers, though back and stomach sleeping are not ideal for people with sciatica, as these positions both increase pressure on the lower portions of the spine.

People who sleep on their back can decrease this pressure by placing a pillow underneath their knees.

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

Best for ergonomic support

The Casper Wave Hybrid mattress uses gel pods to relieve pressure on painful areas, such as the back and hips.

These pods are situated where the waist and hips would typically be on the mattress, so there is minimal sinking and the spine is aligned. Gel can provide more support than foam, and it may be beneficial for those with sciatica.

The ergonomic support throughout the mattress means it is softer around the shoulders and aligns the body in every sleeping position.

Bear Mattress

Best for muscle injuries

The makers of the Bear Mattress designed it for athletes. It is also CertiPUR-US-certified, meaning it is made with eco-friendly materials that are low in volatile organic compounds.

Responsive foams adapt to the sleeper’s body shape and take pressure off of the back, hips, and shoulders in any sleeping position.

These mattresses are made with Celliant technology, a medical performance fabric with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval that may speed up recovery from muscle injuries. It purports to do this by using thermoreactive minerals that absorb body heat and emit it as infrared light energy.

If muscle injuries are causing a person’s sciatica, this mattress could help speed up recovery and alleviate sciatica symptoms.

Layla Hybrid Mattress

Best for minimizing motion transfer

Hybrid mattresses use both foam and spring technologies to combine the bounce of springs with the comfort of foam.

The CertiPUR-US-certified Layla Hybrid Mattress uses copper-infused memory foam that transfers heat away from the body to keep sleepers cool. Copper is naturally antimicrobial, meaning it helps keep odor and bacteria at bay.

The internal support system comprises individually pocketed coils that help minimize motion transfer between sleepers.

Paired with the memory foam layers, these coils support pressure points such as the hips and shoulders, keeping the spine in alignment.

This firmer option offers greater support than the soft version and is suitable for all sleeping positions.

Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress

Best for pressure points

This mattress is made with a range of materials certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Organic Latex Standard. These materials include organic cotton, wool, and organic latex. It also comes with recommendations from orthopedic specialists and chiropractors.

Two layers of Dunlop latex sit beneath a layer of Talalay latex. The two types of latex offer different levels of firmness, so the mattress blends softness and support.

This mattress also helps keep pressure points on the body free from pain due to the added buoyancy of the latex layers.

The 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of organic wool keep the mattress breathable and cool to sleep on while offering high levels of support to keep the body in alignment.

Inofia Mattress

Best for mold and odor resistance

The Inofia Mattress is handcrafted and features three memory foam layers that absorb body weight.

A base layer of high density memory foam balances the body, and another layer of memory foam relieves pressure. On top of this is a layer of cloud foam, which keeps the mattress soft.

Supporting these three layers of foam is a layer of barrel springs that are slightly softer than pocket springs. These may be good for relieving back pain due to their ergonomic design.

This mattress is also OEKO-TEX-certified, meaning it is naturally hypoallergenic and resists mold, bacteria, and odors.

Kescas Hybrid Mattress

Best for an affordable mattress

The Kescas Hybrid Mattress is an affordable option for those looking for a CertiPUR-US-certified mattress that offers a medium-firm feel and an orthopedic design.

Featuring individually wrapped pocket coils, this mattress keeps the head, shoulders, waist, hips, and legs in alignment and responds quickly to different positions.

Two high density foam layers keep the mattress soft and relieve pressure on potentially painful points. At the same time, it stops sleepers from sinking into the mattress and sleeping in positions that may make sciatica symptoms worse.

Vesgantti Upgraded Comfort Hybrid Mattress

Best for side sleepers

The Vesgantti Upgraded Comfort Hybrid Mattress is another CertiPUR-US-certified option that offers buyers a 100-night trial. This can allow a person time to determine whether the mattress improves their sciatica symptoms.

It is also an affordable option.

This mattress is constructed with 11-inch (in) pocket springs that are individually wrapped, along with supportive memory foam that is great for people who like to sleep on their side.

The responsive nature of both the pocket springs and foam means the mattress conforms to the position of the body as it changes during the night, keeping pressure off of potentially painful areas, such as the hips.

Sleep Number 360 c2 Smart Bed

Best for adjustable firmness

Featuring a 2-in gel-infused layer, the Sleep Number 360 c2 Smart Bed conforms to a person’s body shape to provide support in the right places.

A unique feature of this bed is that a person can adjust the firmness using an app. Therefore, a person can sleep with the firmness or softness they need depending on the pain that their sciatica is causing. They can also adjust the mattress firmness for each side of the bed.

The bed automatically adjusts to suit each sleeper and uses sleep analysis technology to inform users about their sleep quality each night.

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 for sciatica. Certain mattresses may be better suited to back sleepers, side sleepers, or front sleepers.

When choosing a mattress, a person with sciatica may want to consider the following:

  • Price: Mattresses can vary in price. Although a high quality product may be more expensive, it may also last longer.
  • 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: Companies may offer warranties on their mattresses. The length of a warranty may differ depending on the company.
  • Materials: Mattresses consist of different materials, such as memory foam, latex, and springs. Each material has its advantages. For example, memory foam can contour to the body and provide pressure relief, which may benefit those with sciatica.
  • Sleep trial: Manufacturers may offer a sleep trial, but the lengths will vary. A sleep trial allows a person to try out their mattress to see if it relieves their back pain. If it does not, they can return the mattress for a refund.
  • Firmness: Firmness is subjective, and a person should look for a mattress that provides a level of firmness that supports their needs.
  • Motion transfer: Mattresses with high motion transfer will move more as a person moves. A mattress with low motion transfer will result in isolated movements. People who sleep next to others may prefer a mattress with low motion transfer.
  • Edge support: Some mattresses provide high resistance around the edges. This may provide more support and stability.

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: This type of mattress 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 2015 study found that a medium-firm mattress may be better for spinal alignment, sleep quality, and pain reduction. 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. According to a 2015 study, 55% of those with chronic lower back pain reported sleep disturbances.

Additionally, the lack of sleep can have negative effects on pain.

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 be a result of their mattress. However, back pain and sciatica can occur for many reasons. If a person believes they have sciatica, they should contact a doctor to discuss diagnosis and treatment. A healthcare professional may also recommend strategies to help relieve sciatica pain.

What type of mattress is best for sciatica?

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

A systematic review from 2015 notes that a medium-firm mattress may promote better spinal alignment, sleep quality, and pain reduction in people living with or without back pain. However, the researchers state that this is subjective.

Additionally, a 2015 study focusing on older adults found that mattresses with medium firmness reduced back pain. The researchers noted that further study is required to understand if medium-firm mattresses will have the same effect on younger adults.

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.

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.

A person should consider discussing the particular benefits and risks of each of these treatments with a healthcare professional.

Getting good quality sleep is essential when dealing with an injury or illness. Experiencing pain from sciatica can make sleeping difficult.

A person with sciatica should ensure their mattress is not causing their condition or making it worse.

They should also look for a firmer mattress that relieves pressure on the lower back, hips, and shoulders.

A good mattress will help keep the spine supported and aligned, so the sciatic nerve does not become irritated or compressed through poor sleep posture.