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A common source of lower back pain, sciatica refers to sharp, radiating pain that begins in the sciatic nerve and travels down the hips, buttocks, and legs.
Most people with sciatica experience more intense pain on one side of their body, though some experience equal pain on both sides. Common sources of sciatica include other conditions such as herniated discs, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and diabetes. Additional risk factors include age, body weight, and physically demanding occupations.
As with other types of back pain, sciatica calls for a sleep surface that provides ample cushioning and sturdy support. The best mattresses for sciatica conform to the sleeper’s body without hugging too tightly or sagging excessively; this helps align the sleeper’s spine and alleviate sciatica-related aches and pains. Our research indicates memory foam and latex mattresses offer the highest levels of sciatica pain relief.
Read on to learn more about the effects of sciatica on sleep. Below you’ll find our picks for the best mattresses for sciatica. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Nectar, a memory foam model currently sold for $699 in a Queen size. This price-point is much lower than that of the average memory foam mattress, but the Nectar offers the same sciatica-related pain and pressure relief as many of its higher-end competitors.
The Nectar is ‘Medium Firm’ (6), making it ideal for sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, as well as lighter individuals who prefer firmer surfaces.
The mattress features gel memory foam and standard memory foam comfort layers that provide close conforming and improved spinal alignment, making the Nectar a great option for side and back sleepers. It is also optimal for couples because it isolates motion transfer very well and produces no noise when bearing weight.
Nectar offers free shipping for customers in the contiguous U.S., as well as White Glove delivery (including in-home assembly and old mattress removal) at an additional charge. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial, one of the longest trials available, as well as a nonprorated 10-year warranty.
Flippable mattresses are ideal for sleepers with sciatica whose firmness preferences vary from night to night. The Layla is a great example. This all-foam bed features one side that is ‘Medium Soft’ (4) and another side that is ‘Firm’ (7); to adjust the firmness, sleepers only need to flip over the mattress, which is light and easy to lift even by foam bed standards and should not aggravate any existing aches and pains.
The Layla conforms to the sleeper’s body with layers of copper-infused memory foam, a material that improves spinal alignment, alleviates pressure points, and can increase bloodflow for those with poor circulation.
The ‘Medium Soft’ side has an additional layer of convoluted polyfoam for extra cushioning, while the shared support core made from high-density polyfoam helps the bed maintain a comfortable sleep surface. Our research found the mattress is most suitable for side and back sleepers of any weight group.
This mattress is available at a below-average price-point, making it a top-value pick. Layla offers free mattress shipping for customers in the contiguous U.S. The bed is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.
The first-class construction of the Brooklyn Aurora allows the hybrid bed to conform to pressure points and relieve sciatica aches and pains, yet maintain a cool and nearly-silent sleep surface. This unique combination makes it popular among couples, light sleepers, and anyone who sleeps hot but loves the hug of a foam bed.
In the support core, 8 inches of pocket coils sit atop a 1” polyfoam layer, balancing pain-relieving contour with responsive bounce. The comfort layer of copper- and gel-infused foams provide additional conforming. All in, the Brooklyn Aurora stacks up to a 13.5” profile. This is a plush mattress that feels like sleeping on luxury, while offering practical pain relief.
With multiple firmness options—a soft 3.5, medium 5.5, and firm 7.5—there’s something to support sleepers of all body types. Like many hybrid beds, the Aurora rates well among side and back sleepers.
The cooling contour of the Brooklyn Aurora comes for a higher-than-average price point, but the quality construction, long 120-night sleep trial, and above-average 8+ year lifespan make it worth it. The Brooklyn Aurora is backed by a 10-year warranty.
Mattresses that conform closely can be beneficial to sleepers with sciatica, especially those in the lightweight group (less than 130 pounds). We’ve selected The Casper for this weight category because it hugs the body closely to alleviate aches and pains and ease pressure along the spine, but the supportive surface is resistant to excessive sagging and should not lead to added discomfort.
Three foam comfort layers – including a middle memory foam layer – measuring 4.5 inches thick provide substantial cushioning. These components also absorb motion transfer very well, which can be helpful for couples who experience movement-related sleep disruptions. A high-density foam base reinforces the bed to prevent sagging in the sleep surface and minimize sinkage along the edges. The mattress does not retain as much body heat from sleepers as many of its all-foam competitors, allowing it to sleep relatively cool by comparison.
Casper provides free shipping to customers throughout the contiguous U.S. and most of Canada. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
The Loom & Leaf by Saatva is a memory foam bed offered with two firmness options, ‘Medium’ (5.5) or ‘Firm’ (8). This makes the bed ideal for people who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds; people in this weight group that prefer close conforming can opt for the softer option, while those who feel most comfortable on minimally conforming surfaces can choose the firmer design.
Both settings provide consistent contouring and targeted pain relief that can greatly aid those with sciatica. The mattress is made with comfort layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam, as well as a high-density polyfoam base for added sleeper and edge support.
The breathable organic cotton cover also ensures temperature neutrality and cool, comfortable sleep throughout the night; comparatively, many other memory foam beds sleep fairly hot. Other benefits include great motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight.
Like other Saatva models, the Loom & Leaf qualifies for free White Glove delivery in the contiguous U.S. This includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal at no extra cost. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.
Finding a comfortable mattress can be challenging for heavier sleepers with sciatica because most beds sink excessively, leading to uneven support and discomfort.
The WinkBed is a notable exception. Its comfort layer includes gel memory foam and pocketed minicoil layers that provide extra cushioning and support to stomach sleepers in any weight group. The mattress also has a compressed cotton ‘lumbar pad’ that helps reduce back pain from sciatica and other conditions.
The WinkBed is available in three firmness settings – ‘Medium Soft’ (4.5), ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – to accommodate sleepers with different preferences. Additionally, the WinkBed Plus is a ‘Firm’ mattress specifically designed for heavier individuals.
The bed’s pocketed coils are encased in high-density polyfoam, which reinforces the mattress and prevents sinkage around the perimeter where people tend to sit. Like other hybrids, the WinkBed has good airflow and sleeps exceptionally cool, as well.
WinkBed offers free standard delivery throughout the contiguous U.S., as well as White Glove delivery for an extra charge. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
ciatica is a medical condition characterized by chronic pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which travels down the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. Most people with sciatica experience pain most prominently on one side of their body, although both sides may be affected.
In addition to chronic pain, sciatica patients routine experience numbness and weakness on their affected side(s). More serious complications include loss of bladder and bowel function.
As with chronic back pain and other painful disorders like scoliosis, choosing the right mattress can significantly improve sleep quality and duration for people with sciatica. According to customer and owner experiences, people with sciatica typically prefer mattresses made of materials like memory foam and/or latex that conform closely and provide above-average pain and pressure relief.
Additionally, mattresses that isolate motion and produce little to no noise are often most suitable for people with sciatica that need to frequently visit the bathroom during the night.
This guide will explore common causes and symptoms of sciatica, discuss unique sleep considerations linked to the condition, provide some tips for mattress buyers, and list our picks for the best mattresses for sciatica sold today.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of sciatica include:
Additionally, the Mayo Clinic identifies the following risk factors for sciatica:
The most telling symptom of sciatica is radiating pain that travels down the lower back and hips, then the buttocks and leg on one side (if not both). The pain may range from light to severe, but in most cases the condition will cause moderate discomfort or worse. Burning and shooting sensations in the affected areas often accompany the pain, as well as numbness and weakness. Some sciatica patients lose control of their bladder and bowel functions, but this symptom is less common.
Mild sciatica may not necessitate medical treatment. For more serious cases, the following treatments may be used:
In order to reduce your risk of developing sciatic nerve pain, the following preventative measures can be taken:
People with sciatica can also address their condition by improving their sleep. For many, a new mattress brings about positive changes in comfort, support, and sleep quality. In the next section, we’ll look at some mattress factors to consider for those affected by sciatic nerve pain.
When shopping for a new mattress, people with sciatica are urged to inquire about the following qualities and characteristics:
Next, let’s look at some key variables for people with sciatica to consider when comparing different brands and models.
What is your mattress budget? The average mattress costs more than $1,000 in a Queen size. However, some mattress types (such as memory foam and innerspring models) have lower-than-average price-points compared to other types (such as latex, hybrid, and airbed models).
If you order your mattress online, also take shipping costs into account — especially if you live outside the contiguous U.S., since most U.S.-based brands will only ship mattresses for free within the lower 48 states.
Which mattress type is best for sciatica? Memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, and airbed mattresses all have unique pros and cons. For people with sciatica, it’s important to consider factors like support, durability, motion isolation, and noise; memory foam and latex mattresses tend to outperform other mattress types in these categories.
Do you toss and turn and/or experience bladder control issues due to sciatica? If the answer is yes and sleep with someone else, then a mattress that isolates motion and produces little to no noise will likely be the best option. Memory foam and latex mattresses typically earn the highest customer ratings for motion isolation and noise potential.
How thick is the comfort layer of your current mattress? Thicker comfort layers — especially those containing memory foam and/or latex — tend to conform the closest, which helps align the spine and alleviate pressure in areas affected by sciatica.
How long is the bed’s sleep trial? The vast majority of today’s mattress brands offer sleep trials, which allow customers to test out the mattress for a given length of time (typically 90 nights or longer) and then return the mattress for a full or partial refund if they are not satisfied. Sleep trials can be a useful way to try out a mattress before committing to a full purchase — but beware of hidden costs, as some brands charge expensive return fees.
What kind of warranty comes with the bed? The mattress warranty is an important consideration, even though most owners never have to use it. Most mattress warranties span 10 years or longer, and some surpass 20 years in length. However, the length of nonprorated coverage is more important than the overall length. During nonprorated coverage, mattress owners pay little (if anything) to have their bed repaired or replaced when defects occur.
When prorated coverage kicks in, they must pay a percentage of the original price for repairs and replacements, and this percentage often increases with each passing year — resulting in hundreds of dollars in extra costs for some. Some mattress warranties last 10 or more years, but only provide one to two years of nonprorated coverage.