Mattresses for sciatica
Sciatica is a painful condition that causes referred pain in the lower back, hips, and legs. This is often worse when you lie down for long periods of time, making it difficult for people with sciatica to get a good night’s sleep.
Once you find yourself in this position, it may be time to take a close look at your mattress. If your spine is not holding your spine in a neutral position or is causing pressure sores, it can make your condition worse. Models like the Leesa Hybrid, which is equipped with both memory foam and pocket springs, offer the right balance of firmness, pressure relief and support so that people with sciatica can sleep comfortably through the night.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Sciatica Mattress
How a mattress affects sciatica
Sciatica is the result of pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, often in the lower back and hips, usually caused by a herniated disc or a bulging disc in the lumbar area. Lying in the same position at night puts stress on the joints in your hips and lower back, which makes the problem worse and can lead to painful flare-ups and insomnia. Interestingly, a lack of good quality sleep can make the body feel pain more intensely, making this a vicious cycle where each problem continually adds and exacerbates the other.
A good mattress will provide enough support to distribute your body weight evenly and keep your spine in proper alignment. It also provides enough pressure relief to relieve pain, which should help you sleep more soundly.
Support and pressure relief
Many people automatically assume that a mattress has to be very firm in order to be supportive. However, firm mattresses do not provide good pressure relief, which leads many people to believe that they can get either support or pressure relief in their mattress, but not both.
Fortunately, this is not the case. The support comes from the construction of the mattress core and has very little to do with the top layers. Conversely, the pressure relief is mostly due to how soft or firm the top layers are. This means that you can actually get a soft or medium firm mattress that still offers great support.
The best types of mattresses for sciatica
Of the four most common mattress types, memory foam and hybrid are the best for people with sciatica. Although you might call memory foam very soft, it comes in a range of hardnesses depending on its density. Memory foam mattresses often have a high density core for support and a lower density top sheet for comfort and pressure relief. This combination allows them to conform to your body while keeping your spine in a neutral alignment.
Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex top layers with a spring core. This results in a mattress that is more resilient than pure memory foam, but more durable and with better pressure relief than a pure spring mattress.
People with sciatica can also consider a latex mattress as it is very supportive, but it is usually very firm, so some may exacerbate the pain in their hips while helping with their sciatica.
Mattress for sciatica functions
The right level of firmness is essential for a good night’s sleep, especially if you already suffer from sciatica or other back pain. The right hardness for you is determined by a combination of your preferences and your sleeping position.
Side sleepers need a medium to soft top layer to conform to the shape of their body and to rock them. Mattresses that are too firm increase the pressure on the shoulders and hips and put strain on the neck and spine.
Back sleepers are generally best served with medium-hard mattresses, which, by the way, studies show that they are best for non-specific chronic low back pain. Mattresses that are too firm can put too much pressure on the spine and push it out of its natural curvature, while mattresses that are too soft allow too much sag, resulting in excessive curvature.
Belly sleepers should look for firm mattresses as they will need extra support to keep their spine in a neutral position. At the same time, pressure points are less of a concern for those who sleep on their stomach, as no body parts protrude further than others.
Zone mattresses have different levels of support and firmness in order to cope with the weight concentrated in certain areas. For example, you will be putting most of the pressure and weight on a mattress from your hips and shoulders, so these areas will need more support than your head or lower legs. For mattresses with zones, the center is the hardest, with softer zones above and below. This will usually be a mirrored design so that it provides the same sleeping experience no matter which way you turn the bed.
Temperature plays a role in circadian rhythm and phases of sleep, and people tend to have the most abnormal sleep patterns during the warmer months. This means that staying cool will help you sleep well. When buying a memory foam mattress, a material known to hold heat, it is important to look for one with cooling technology. This can be a layer of cooling gel, perforations, air channels or breathable fabric. This is less important with latex, which is naturally cooling, and hybrid mattresses, which are breathable due to their construction.
Mattress for sciatica costs
Sciatica mattresses cost no more or less than standard mattresses, although you should buy a good quality one that won’t sag after just a few years. Expect to spend between $ 700 and $ 1,000 for the lower end of the spectrum and between $ 1,500 and $ 2,500 for premium options.
Sciatica Mattress FAQ
What is the best sleeping position for sciatica?
A. Sleeping on your back is often considered the best position for sciatica patients, followed by sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended.
Can I return a mattress that I bought online?
A. Online mattress retailers make returning mattresses very easy as many companies collect the returns for free. Most also offer a home trial period between 60 and 365 days where you can try the mattress to see if you like it and if not you can return it for a full money-back refund.
Which Sciatica Mattress Should I Use?
The best mattress for sciatica
Our opinion: The Leesa Hybrid is suitable for a variety of sleeping positions and will serve many users well.
What we like: It consists of a combination of pocket springs, which provide support and reduce the transmission of movement, and a top layer of breathable, perforated memory foam for pressure relief.
What we don’t like: It has a longer break-in period than many others.
The best bang for your post mattress for sciatica
Dreamcloud luxury hybrid mattress: available at Dream cloud
Our opinion: The Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid is more affordable than many others of comparable quality, which makes it a smart price, and it comes with a 365-day trial period at home.
What we like: An eight-layer construction with a combination of soft and firm foam layers and a spring core offers a soft sink in without sacrificing support.
What we don’t like: When new, it has a slight odor that takes some time to dissipate.
Honorable Mention Mattress for Sciatica
Sending Loom & Leaf mattress: available at Send
Our opinion: The Loom & Leaf is available in two degrees of hardness to suit your preferences. Both have a gel-infused foam that will keep you cool while you sleep.
What we like: It consists of several layers of memory foam in different densities for permanent hold and pressure relief and has a breathable and hypoallergenic cover made of organic cotton.
What we don’t like: Some even find the relaxed, firm version too hard.
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a single mission: to simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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