If you are struggling with the excruciatingly painful back issue known as sciatica, you’re not alone. And if you’re looking for ideas to buy the best mattress for sciatica, you have come to the right place.
I was struggling with some acute lower back pain for a while. So much so that even turning in my bed became a problem. I could not get out of bed without a grimace, nor could I lean over to pick something up from the ground without a withering pain. The worse thing was the pain came and went. So, I consulted a doctor, and guess what my doctor says, “it is not about your weight or sleeping posture, but about the mattress that you are using.”
The medical name of the problem that I was having is sciatica. The pain keeps radiating and is caused by the sciatic nerve becoming trapped, or pinched. It can affect your lower back and then radiate to your legs and buttocks before you know it. Not only does it affect your sleep, but it also affects your everyday mobility. Thankfully, there is a solution. And the solution is easy to implement. You might have to fork out a bit of money to ensure that you have the right kind of solution, though.
The right mattress will give you enough support to ease the pressure and therefore ensure a good night’s sleep. But at the same time, it will not aggravate the problems of sciatica. However, the problem simply is choosing the right mattress. With so many good makes offering so many products, how does one zero in on the mattress that can actually help sciatica sufferers with pain relief? It is easy to get lost in a myriad of options to choose from. So, I have scouted many brands and looked at countless mattresses, and if you’re looking for a positive change, you’ll want to check out the top 5 recommendations further below.
Sciatica Pain and Mattresses
Most people suffering from sciatica problems often ask two very common questions. “How can we select the best mattress for sciatica? What are the aspects that people should consider when choosing one?”
My answer is – try and make sure whatever mattress you choose; ideally, it should conform with the below parameters.
Zone layering of materials
If possible, the mattress should provide different levels of firmness to different zones of your body. You will come across many top brands and great-looking products. But unfortunately, many are designed to provide similar levels of support to your whole body. That means every part of your body gets the same amount of firmness regardless.
Your lower back, legs, and head; each region of your body requires different support levels. For example, the lumbar area must get a firmer amount of support because this area withstands a lot of pressure throughout the day. The lumbar area denotes the lower back, which includes your hips and your buttocks. On the other hand, the shoulder areas are expected to receive softer support. These areas require pressure to be relieved at a different degree than your lumbar areas.
So, the best type of mattress for sciatica is one that offers zoned support; look for a mattress that offers different levels of firmness and pressure-point relief to different areas of your body.
Effective heat dissipation
Although many memory foam mattresses offer good zone support, the problem with these mattresses is that they have poor heat dissipation.
You may have felt this after a few hours of sleep. Accumulation of heat due to poor heat management, especially in older visco memory foam affects the quality of your sleep.
A lot of the newer generation mattresses use a kind of foam that replicates the same motion isolation effect that you get with memory foam without the unnecessary side-effect of heat accumulation. So, although your body generates heat, it does not get accumulated on the top layer.
How exactly is the heat dissipated? Well, gel-infused memory foam is a type of foam that allows air to pass through. This dissipates heat and keeps the mattress cool regardless of the weather and regardless of the amount of time you sleep on it. The result is better sleep and better rejuvenation.
The right balance of firmness and support
When selecting a mattress, we often forget that it is not always about the firmness alone and certainly not always about the support aspect. It is about the right balance between both these aspects that make the mattress comfortable enough to keep. Sometimes this balance can only be achieved by trying a few different mattresses and making use of the sleep trials.
Another factor that correlates to firmness and support is your sleeping position. For example, stomach sleepers with sciatica should opt for a firm or medium-firm mattress. If the mattress is too soft, the spine will fall out of alignment and enhance your pain. On the other hand, back sleepers with sciatica can opt for a soft, medium, or firm mattress and buy depending entirely on preference. However, if it’s too firm, this could aggravate pain.
As someone looking for the best mattress for sciatica you should certainly consider these aspects to zero in on the one that helps to overcome your back problems.
The material used for making the mattress has an important bearing on the relief it provides for sciatica. Tests have revealed that hybrid mattresses with springs and gel memory foam is the best when it comes to making mattresses for people suffering with sciatica pain. An all-foam mattress may provide the feeling of being stuck in the mattress and prevent easy movement. The springs in a hybrid mattress will allow a more free movement ability, thus making it easier to switch positions or get out of bed.
Additionally, the natural bounce in latex mattresses with their responsive comfort layers are also suitable for the purpose of providing perfect alignment with the lumbar of the person sleeping. This increases the support provided to your lower back, relieving tension and helping you to sleep soundly for hours.
Regardless of the material used, the kind of foam, and top protective layers, you still must test out the mattress. This is to experience the kind of support that it provides and the practical benefits of countering the problems of sciatica. A trial period offer, therefore, would be very useful. Some mattresses come with an extended trial period offer, usually between 100-120 nights.
Our Favorite Mattress For Sciatica Pain Relief
The WinkBeds GravityLux
Choosing The Best Mattress For Sciatica
To find the best mattress for people with sciatica, we evaluated 23 mattresses and then narrowed it down to just 10. We also checked 7 different sources for mattresses and sciatica related data which totalled 47 hours of research. Below you’ll find some of the criteria we evaluated when finalizing our top picks:
- How effective it is at providing support on the spine
- How effectively it releases tension on pressure points such as the lower back and buttocks
- How well it allows the sleeper to switch position
- Whether or not it’s good for combo sleepers struggling to get comfortable
- The level of firmness
- Other properties such as setup processes, warranty, delivery and sleep trial
Here’s our favorite picks at a glance
Sciatica and Sleep FAQ's
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a nerve pain that can affect the lower back and usually travels down one side to the leg. The leg pain can be around the back, side, or front.
What causes sciatica?
Causes of sciatica vary from person to person and is common in people usually aged 40-50. Around 90% of people experience sciatica due to some type of strain on the spine that traps the sciatic nerve, thus causing severe pain, often described as a shooting sensation. It can eventually lead to loss of bowel or bladder control.
What is the best sleeping position for people with sciatica?
Sleeping on your back is best, using a medium or medium-firm mattress. This type of mattress will keep the hips supported and the spine straight, thus helping protect the sciatic nerve free from any damage.
What is the worst sleep position for people with sciatica?
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position, especially using a soft mattress. The soft surface can cause the spine to come out of alignment and place more pressure on the sciatic nerve, thus pinching and causing more pain.
Developing sciatica was one of the most painful experiences that I have encountered in my adult life. The causes of sciatica differ from person to person, and so does the remedy. But for me, with a good mattress, it has kept me comfortable and sciatica at bay for the past couple of years.
If you’re interested in alleviating your sciatica pain, try out one of the mattresses in our recommendations. Each of them has excellent capability and specifications based on the criteria set out in our buying guide.