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Depending on the degree of curvature, scoliosis can include symptoms like chronic spinal and lower back pain, numbness, muscle spasms, heat sensitivity, and inflammation. At night, these symptoms can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Additionally, pressure can build on the spine and joints and cause the sleeper to wake up in pain. The wrong mattress can aggravate the symptoms of scoliosis, while the right mattress can play a major role in alleviating pain and promoting restful sleep.
Read on to learn more about sleep considerations for people with scoliosis. First you’ll find our top picks for the best mattresses for scoliosis. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner reviews, as well as intensive product research and analysis. Then, in our Buyer’s Guide, we share insider tips for selecting a mattress, along with sleep strategies that may help relieve the symptoms of scoliosis at night.
Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the best mattress for scoliosis.
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Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
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Best for Lightweight Sleepers
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Best for Average Weight Sleepers
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Best for Heavyweight Sleepers
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The Layla Mattress – our Editor’s Pick for sleepers with scoliosis – is a flippable bed constructed with comfort layers of copper-infused memory foam. One side of the mattress is ‘Medium Soft’ (4) while the other is ‘Firm’ (7); this range should accommodate most people with scoliosis regardless of their weight or preferred sleep position.
The copper-infused foam also helps keep the mattress cool, drawing heat away from the sleeper. The ‘Medium Soft’ side has an additional layer of convoluted polyfoam for extra padding. Heavier sleepers may benefit from extra support from the ‘Firm’ side, while lighter sleepers will likely experience more pressure relief on the ‘Medium Soft’ side.
The shared support core of the bed is made from high-density polyfoam for added reinforcement, and the cover is a polyester blend infused with cooling thermogel. The Layla conforms evenly to the body on both sides to minimize pressure on sensitive areas, ensure spinal support, and prevent pain from building. The Layla is virtually silent and offers excellent motion isolation, reducing the likelihood that noise and motion will disturb the sleeper during the night.
The Layla Mattress has a below-average price-point compared to other memory foam beds, making it a top-value pick. Layla Sleep offers free shipping to destinations within the continental U.S. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
The Layla Mattress features a unique design that’s ideal for supporting the needs of sleepers with scoliosis. An all-foam construction provides excellent support and pressure point relief, while the copper infusion helps the mattress sleep cool. Plus, the bed’s flippable design ensures the bed feels comfortable for a wide range of sleep preferences and body types.
The Nectar mattress is a great value mattress pick for scoliosis due to its low price-point and quality construction. This four-layer memory foam mattress provides targeted pain and pressure relief in the neck, lower back, and hips.
Two memory foam comfort layers offer moderate yet consistent conforming that supports all areas of the body, particularly the shoulders, waist, and other places where weight is concentrated. The bed is reinforced with two layers of high-density polyfoam to ensure a flat, sag-free sleep surface and prevent worsening symptoms of scoliosis.
Other benefits include great motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight, which can be helpful for couples. The Nectar is also fairly lightweight and easy to move, even by foam bed standards.
Nectar offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and White Glove delivery – including in-home assembly – is offered at an additional charge. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial, which is one of the longest trial periods available anywhere.
The Nectar mattress offers a high-quality construction that’s designed to relieve pain and pressure, particularly in areas affecting those with scoliosis. With its year-long sleep trial and low price-point, it’s an obvious best value pick.
Our Best Luxury pick, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora, is a premium hybrid constructed with a top layer of copper-infused phase-change material (PCM). This layer absorbs the sleeper’s body heat until they reach a certain temperature, at which point the mattress maintains a cool setting throughout the night. As a result, hot sleepers with scoliosis can sleep at a comfortable temperature.
The bed’s comfort system also has polyfoam and gel-infused memory foam layers that cradle the sleeper’s body while providing even, sag-free support. Lastly, the bed offers stable edge and surface support thanks to a reinforcing base layer of high-density polyfoam.
Customers can choose from three firmness settings: Soft, Medium, and Firm. This range ensures most sleepers with scoliosis can find a suitable firmness level regardless of their body weight or preferred sleep position.
Although the Aurora is our luxury pick, the mattress has a lower price-point than the average hybrid bed. Brooklyn Bedding also offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
For those seeking the best, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is an extremely attractive option. Featuring the latest mattress technology, this bed offers a cooler night’s sleep and premium pressure relief.
Many lightweight sleepers prefer softer mattresses that provide close conforming and even weight distribution. Those with scoliosis also need a bed that won’t sag too much.
The Leesa is our mattress pick for lightweight sleepers because it offers a ‘Medium’ feel that conforms closely without sinking or feeling uneven. As a result, most sleepers with scoliosis feel comfortable and adequately supported. The Leesa cushions the hips and shoulders, as well, making it a good choice for side sleepers.
The Leesa is constructed with three comfort layers, which include a middle memory foam layer and outer polyfoam layers. These components absorb motion transfer and isolate it to certain areas of the bed, resulting in fewer nighttime disruptions for couples. The Leesa is also silent when bearing weight.
Leesa sells the mattress at a price-point that is much lower than that of the average memory foam bed. The company also offers free shipping to customers in all 50 states. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
With its true ‘Medium’ feel, the Leesa is a favorite among lightweight sleepers. And with its pressure-relieving construction and high-conforming feel, it’s great for supporting sleepers with scoliosis as well.
Those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds usually feel most comfortable on mattresses with moderate firmness and body conforming. These settings ensure they won’t sink too deeply, which can lead to added aches and pains for people with scoliosis. It also helps ensure that they will experience sufficient body contouring and pressure relief. Our mattress pick for this weight group is the Novosbed.
Construction of the Novosbed varies depending on the firmness rating, but each model tops a 6- to 7-inch polyfoam support core with 4 or 5 inches of memory foam comfort layers. The stretch-knit Tencel® in the cover also reduces the overall temperature of the Novosbed, providing a relatively cooler sleep surface with all the pressure point relief of a traditional memory foam bed.
The Novosbed is available in three firmness ratings: ‘Soft’ (3.5), ‘Medium’ (5), and ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5). All three firmness ratings are on the softer side, making them ideal for average-weight sleepers who require more conforming from their mattress. The all-foam construction isolates motion and sleeps quiet, making the Novosbed a good fit for couples.
The Novosbed ships free within the contiguous U.S. and most of Canada, and comes with a longer-than-average 120-night sleep trial and 15-year warranty.
The Novosbed offers three firmness settings, two of which are ideal for sleepers of average weight: the ‘Medium’ and ‘Medium Firm,’ depending on their comfort preferences. Either one strikes a nice balance of comfort and support for sleepers, relieving pressure and encouraging healthy spinal alignment for those with scoliosis.
Most innersprings do not provide enough support or cushioning to accommodate sleepers with scoliosis, but the Saatva is a notable exception. This coil-on-coil bed is crafted with comfort layers of memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed coils that offer above-average conforming compared to other innersprings.
This allows heavier sleepers to enjoy a supportive mattress without sacrificing breathability; innersprings like the Saatva sleep very cool, thanks to the breathable organic cotton cover and good airflow through the coil layers. Bonnell coils in the support core reinforce the bed nicely to help maintain an even, sag-free surface and minimize sinkage around the edges.
The Saatva is available in three firmness settings – ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – as well as 11.5- and 14.5-inch profiles. This comfort and thickness range makes the bed suitable for most sleepers regardless of their weight or sleep position, although the ‘Firm’ setting is most popular among heavier sleepers.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery with old mattress removal anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and Canada; for most brands, this service starts at $100. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
The Saatva features a premium construction that’s designed to resist sagging and stay supportive for heavier sleepers for a number of years. Moreover, the coil-on-coil support system and thick comfort layers offer advanced pressure relief for sleepers with scoliosis.
The term ‘scoliosis’ refers to a lateral curvature of the spine that typically develops in children prior to their puberty growth spurt, affecting about 3 percent of adolescents. According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of scoliosis are considered mild. However, the condition can lead to spinal deformities that severely worsen with age.
Several symptoms of scoliosis — including neck and lower back pain, muscle spasms, numbness, and heat sensitivity — can affect sleep quality for people with the condition.
Choosing the right mattress is an important decision for scoliosis patients. The right mattress can alleviate the chronic pain associated with scoliosis, and allow these individuals to remain cool and comfortable throughout the night. The wrong mattress, on the other hand, can exacerbate these issues to a significant extent.
This guide will look at how scoliosis affects sleep, as well as some mattress buying considerations for people with scoliosis and recommended sleep strategies for these individuals. First, we look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a neuromuscular disorder that causes an exaggerated curvature of the spine. Most cases of scoliosis are diagnosed during adolescence and symptoms decrease as the spinal curve straightens with growth. However, more severe curvature may lead to pain and other problems during adulthood.
Scoliosis causes the spine to curve to one side, rather than running down the back in a straight line. The angle of this curve may be slight or severe, but any spinal curvature that measures 10 degrees or more is officially considered scoliosis.
The shape of the curvature may also vary, and many physicians describe it using the letters ‘C’ and ‘S.’ Pronounced spinal curves are more likely to increase over time than minor ones, but each case is different.
Physicians today categorize scoliosis into three groups, depending on the root cause of the condition. Non-structural scoliosis refers to spinal curves that do not affect how the spine functions; these curves can usually be corrected with different types of treatment, including surgery. Causes of non-structural scoliosis include:
Structural scoliosis, on the other hand, greatly impacts how the spine functions and cannot be corrected using any currently available means. Causes of structural scoliosis include:
Lastly, the term idiopathic scoliosis refers to spinal curvatures for which the cause is unknown. The majority of individuals with scoliosis are diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis; it may or may not be correctable.
Some of the most common risk factors for scoliosis include:
Furthermore, the medical community has determined that the following factors do not cause scoliosis.
Symptoms of scoliosis will depend on the severity of the spinal curve, but they generally include the following:
Children with scoliosis may also exhibit warning signs of the condition, such as poor posture or wearing clothes that fit loosely on one side. Many parents identify the spinal curve itself when their child’s shirt is off.
Scoliosis can also cause physiological complications that may alert parents and physicians to the presence of the condition, such as:
Scoliosis cannot be prevented, but for most people the condition is mild and treatable.
Doctors begin the diagnostic process by performing a physical exam on the child. This includes asking them to bend over at the waist, in order to see if they tilt to one side. Doctors also inquire about numbness, muscle weakness, and unusual reflexes. However, scoliosis diagnoses are normally made following an x-ray exam, which clearly shows the curvature in most cases.
Most scoliosis cases do not require treatment. The following factors can help physicians determine whether or not treatment is necessary:
When treatment is necessary for scoliosis, physicians typically turn to at least one of the following methods:
Braces are particularly beneficial for children whose bones are still growing. Although a brace will not prevent or cure scoliosis, it can effectively reduce the rate of progression in the spinal curve.
Most scoliosis braces are made from soft plastic that contours to the patient’s body. They are most effective when worn at all times, but they are not restrictive and cannot be seen when worn underneath clothing.
Children with scoliosis typically wear the brace until one of the following occurs:
Surgery is considered the last resort for scoliosis, and typically reserved for severe cases.
In addition to surgery, children and adults with scoliosis may be able to treat scoliosis using the following ‘alternative’ means:
People who live with scoliosis typically deal with chronic spinal and lower back pain on a regular basis. If the condition worsens over time, sleepers may experience added aches and pains in other parts of their body, such as the neck, shoulders, and/or hips.
Pressure points may also develop around the spine and other sensitive areas. These increased levels of pain and pressure can greatly impact sleep quality for scoliosis patients.
Scoliosis also limits sleep positions for most individuals with this condition. Doctors typically recommend sleeping on either the side or back.
Additionally, chronic pain and pressure can cause people to be more sensitive to noise and motion when trying to fall and stay asleep.
When shopping for a new mattress and comparing different brands and models, here are a few important factors for people with scoliosis to consider:
This is arguably the most important mattress consideration for scoliosis patients. Mattress ‘support’ refers to how flat and even the sleep surface is.
Supportive mattresses maintain a level surface throughout the night, whereas unsupportive mattresses sag in certain areas. Mattresses that are too soft or too firm may also lack adequate support for people with scoliosis.
Some mattresses are designed to mold closely to the sleeper’s body, forming a contoured impression that helps align the spine, target pressure points, and alleviate aches and pains. Other mattresses offer little to no conforming, and provide less pain and pressure relief as a result.
Conforming is tied directly to support; mattresses that conform closely tend to evenly support all areas of the body, while those that do not conform closely may support some areas more than others.
Because inconsistent support can exacerbate pain and pressure, most people with scoliosis prefer mattresses that conform closely.
Although ‘support’ and ‘firmness’ are often used interchangeably in the mattress industry, these two terms are technically different. While support refers to the evenness of a sleep surface, firmness refers to how the mattress feels to different sleepers.
Today’s mattresses offer a wide range of firmness options, but firmness can be broken down into these three general categories:
On soft mattresses, most sleepers sink deeply into the sleep surface. This tends to be the most comfortable firmness option for people who weigh less than 130 pounds. However, people who weigh more than 130 pounds may sink too deeply, leading to pain and pressure caused by inconsistent support.
The medium firmness option (between 4 to 6 on a 1-to-10 scale) offers adequate support for most people with average to below-average weights. Those who weigh more than 230 pounds may still experience inconsistent support, but not to the same extent that they would on a soft mattress.
A firm mattress is usually the most suitable option for people who weigh more than 230 pounds, as well as some people in the average weight group, particularly stomach sleepers. People who weigh less than 130 pounds may not weigh enough to sink deeply, if at all, and this can lead to pressure and discomfort.
Beyond body weight, your preferred sleep position can also impact your choice of mattress firmness.
Generally, side sleepers require softer mattresses that allow the hips and shoulders to sink a bit more deeply into the mattress surface.
Back sleepers can also benefit from a somewhat softer mattress, in order to reduce pressure in the lower back.
Stomach sleepers need to avoid sinking as much as possible to maintain a straight spine, so a firmer mattress is best for these sleepers (although sleepers with scoliosis should avoid the stomach sleeping position).
Most mattresses are designed to perform for at least six years, and some may last as long as eight or nine. However, certain mattress types tend to deteriorate somewhat quickly, particularly in surface areas where the sleeper’s weight is centered, and this can lead to sagging and indentations that exacerbate back pain and pressure.
Innerspring and foam mattresses are more prone to sagging within a number of years, so it’s important to keep an eye on these mattresses and to replace them when needed.
People with chronic pain — including scoliosis patients — are often sensitive to movement on their sleep surfaces. The term ‘motion isolation’ refers to how well a mattress absorbs movement when someone gets up or shifts positions, and isolates this movement to one area of the mattress.
Responsive, bouncy mattresses typically offer minimal motion isolation, while mattresses that are slow to respond tend to offer the best motion isolation. Foam mattresses are known for their superior motion isolation, which is why you’ll find many of them on our list of the best mattresses for scoliosis.
As with motion, people who experience chronic pain may also be sensitive to noise when trying to fall asleep. While some mattresses are virtually silent when bearing weight, others tend to be loud due to squeaky internal parts or electrical components.
Individuals with chronic scoliosis pain may roll over in bed or adjust their sleep position rather frequently in order to become comfortable. Some mattresses offer little resistance to movement, while those that cause people to sink deeply may hinder position changes.
The table below evaluates the five most common mattress types in terms of suitability for people with scoliosis, based on the performance factors described above. We provide an overall rating for sleepers with scoliosis at the bottom of the table, with in-depth explanations for each mattress type below.
|Construction||Foam comfort layer(s)
Steel coils in the support core
|Polyfoam and/or memory foam layer(s) in the comfort system
Polyfoam layer(s) in the support core
|Latex layer(s) in the comfort layer
Latex or polyfoam layer(s) in the support core
|At least 2″ of memory foam and/or latex in the comfort layer, as well as other components (such as polyfoam or minicoils)
Pocketed coils in the support core
|Foam comfort layer(s) or no comfort layer
Individualized adjustable air chambers in the support core
|Support||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Firmness Options||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good|
|Conforming||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Durability||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Noise||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Ease of Movement||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good|
|Rating for Sleepers with Scoliosis||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
Many innerspring mattresses are not ideal for supporting sleepers with scoliosis.
Due to the uniformity of the innerspring coil grid in the support layer, these mattresses provide limited support in the neck, waist, lumbar, and hips. That innerspring grid also gives these beds a higher noise potential, which can be problematic for more restless sleepers with scoliosis who wake easily from noise.
Innerspring beds also tend to have thinner comfort layers, which results in minimal conforming and pressure relief for scoliosis symptoms. Most worrisome, however, is that innerspring mattresses can deteriorate and sage easily, especially if they are made from lower-quality materials and are not built to support heavier body types.
However, if an innerspring mattress features a quality construction, it can be a good option for some sleepers with scoliosis. Innersprings sleep exceptionally cool, due to strong airflow through the support layer, which makes these beds popular among hot sleepers. They are also very easy to move on, which may be an important consideration for combination sleepers who change positions often during the night.
Foam mattresses are an excellent mattress option for many sleepers with scoliosis.
These beds offer close conforming and pressure relief, by creating a body-hugging cradle around the sleeper’s body. They can be more durable than innerspring beds, although owners should still take care to check for sagging and indentations after a handful of years.
Foam beds also eliminate a significant amount of motion transfer, so the mattress surface stays virtually silent and still throughout the night. This feature is attractive to couples who share their bed and wake easily from their partner moving throughout the night, as well as anyone with scoliosis who is prone to change positions as they sleep to stay comfortable.
However, foam mattresses can sleep hot, due to the tendency of memory foam to trap heat. Their close conforming can also make the bed harder to move on, as the foams take more time to recover their shape.
Sleepers can address both of these concerns by choosing a firmer mattress. Additionally, beds with cooling materials like gel or copper (as seen in the Layla, Nectar, and Aurora mattresses) can improve the surface temperature for hot sleepers.
Latex mattresses are a good option for sleepers with scoliosis who tend to sleep hot, as well as those who don’t feel quite comfortable with the body-hugging feel of memory foam. Latex beds offer adequate conforming for most sleepers, without closely cradling the body. As a result, they’re easier to move on.
Latex beds also sleep very cool, particularly if they are made with mostly organic latex foams. Organic latex is a highly durable material, so these beds offer exceptional support and durability for longer than the typical mattress. They also tend to have strong motion isolation, so they reduce nighttime disruptions for couples and restless sleepers.
However, latex mattresses have a unique feel that takes some getting used to for sleepers, and, in the case of all-latex mattresses, can be very expensive.
Hybrid mattresses appeal to sleepers who want the breathability of innerspring beds, with an amount of conforming more on par with memory foam.
Although, the level of conforming experienced on a hybrid bed will depend on the thickness of the comfort layers, and the amount of memory foam used.
With thicker comfort systems, these beds can provide good pressure relief for sleepers with scoliosis. The use of pocketed coils in the support layer also allows these beds to provide enhanced contouring, especially for back pain.
However, because they do rely on a coil-based support system, hybrid beds can be noisier and have below-average motion isolation — although this can be mediated to an extent, as with our Best Luxury Mattress for Scoliosis, the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora.
Because they rely on individual air chambers for support, airbeds allow their owners to fully customize the firmness of the mattress. This can be very beneficial for sleepers with scoliosis whose firmness needs can be prone to change.
However, most airbed mattresses feature very thin comfort layers, or none at all, so their ability to provide pressure relief is minimal. Airbeds also have strong sagging potential, and can lose their supportiveness as a result.
Finally, airbeds can be quite noisy, which can be problematic for those who are light sleepers or share their bed with a partner.
Many mattress brands and retailers allow customers to participate in sleep trials, which may last anywhere from 30 to 365 nights. All of our recommended mattresses for scoliosis offer sleep trials of at least 100 nights, with the Nectar offering a full year.
Purchasers are able to test out the mattress in their home for as long as the trial is valid, and usually have the option of returning or exchanging the mattress if they are not satisfied with its size, firmness, or other characteristics.
A sleep trial can be quite beneficial for people with scoliosis who are unsure which model will work best for them — and the longer the sleep trial, the better.
Virtually every mattress sold today comes with a manufacturer’s warranty to repair or replace the item if a defect arises.
Most warranties include an established ‘indentation depth’ used to determine whether or not the bed is defective. If the sleep surface develops indentations that exceed the listed depth, then the manufacturer will repair or replace the mattress. If the indentations are not deep enough, then the manufacturer will not cover the cost of these services.
According to most sleepers, indentations become quite uncomfortable when they measure deeper than one inch — but some warranties will not cover indentations unless they measure one and a half inches or deeper.
People with scoliosis may want to consider a mattress with a warranty indentation depth of one inch or less; otherwise they may face high repair and replacement costs that the manufacturer won’t cover.
As mentioned above, sleeping with at least one secondary pillow can be beneficial for people with scoliosis who sleep on their back or side.
An important quality to consider is pillow loft, or thickness, when choosing primary and secondary pillows. Pillows that are not thick enough can create gaps that lead to inconsistent support, while pillows that are too thick can cause spinal misalignment.
Some pillow types are considered most suitable for people with scoliosis because they conform closely and alleviate aches and pains. These include buckwheat, latex, and memory foam models. Pillows that may not be comfortable for those with scoliosis include down alternative and polyfoam models.
For more information, please visit our Best Pillows: Buying Guide and Information page.
A mattress topper is an individual cushioning layer that rests on the sleep surface, either freely or fitted around the edges like a top sheet. Most toppers are designed to make the sleep surface feel softer, although some may actually increase the firmness. Toppers can improve support, as well.
For people with scoliosis, a latex or memory foam topper will usually be most comfortable because these materials conform closely and alleviate aches and pains. Toppers that measure three inches thick or more are considered best. Alternatively, toppers made from materials like convoluted polyfoam may increase pain and pressure in people with scoliosis.
To learn more, please visit our Best Mattress Toppers guide.
In addition to investing in a supportive mattress and pillow, the following strategies may help you relax and enjoy more restful sleep at night: