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Home / Best Mattress / Best Mattress for Sciatica

Best Mattress for Sciatica

Keith Cushner

Written by

Keith Cushner, Sleep Product Expert

Jenny Iyo

Medically Reviewed by

Jenny Iyo, Physical Therapist

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Methodology

We personally test every mattress featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

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After recent tests, we’ve updated our list to include the Bear Hybrid as our best pick for hip pain and the Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress as our best pressure relief pick. The DreamCloud Mattress remains our best overall mattress for sciatica.

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Sciatica causes radiating pain in the lower back, hips, and legs that may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The pain can be short-term or it can persist for a while. In either case, having a mattress that cushions sore spots and takes pressure off the lower back can be a crucial step to getting some shut-eye.

Our team at Sleep Foundation has researched and tested some of the best mattresses for sciatica on the market today. Drawing on years of experience in the mattress industry, we’ve evaluated beds with special attention toward pressure relief and support, which can both help alleviate sciatica-related pain. Our testers also looked at other criteria such as breathability and motion isolation.

Best Mattress for Sciatica Video

Watch the video below to get a closer look at some of our top mattress picks for sleepers with sciatica.

Read our mattress profiles below to learn more about our top picks and how they might benefit people who experience sciatica. We also offer a comprehensive buyer’s guide to finding mattresses that can help with sciatica pain. Our guide dives into the different ways a mattress can impact sciatica pain and provides tips on how to pick a mattress for your body type, preferred sleep position, and other factors.

Product Details

Best Overall

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $799 - $1,499
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who enjoy sleeping on high-profile mattresses
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who value reliable edge support
Highlights:
  • Generous 365-night home sleep trial, plus a lifetime warranty
  • Approachable price-point
  • Individually wrapped coils offer robust, responsive support
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

DreamCloud flash sale starting November 8: Get 25% off all products + $599 in free accessories

The DreamCloud is high-quality hybrid mattress offering thoughtful construction at an approachable price-point. A medium firm (6) feel, foam comfort layers, and pocketed coils create a feel that is equally supportive and pressure relieving.

What It’s Made of

The cover is made of a moisture-wicking cashmere blend and quilted with polyfoam for added plushness. Thick memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers reduce motion transfer and cushion pressure points for those with sciatica. The support core contains individually wrapped coils that provide targeted support to your body. A base layer made of high-density foam provides stability for the entire bed and enhances durability.

How It Performed

The mattress has a medium firm feel that equates to a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. With the exception of side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds, who may find the mattress a little firm, the mattress provides a balance of support and pressure relief that is suitable for most body types and sleeping positions. Breathable cashmere, airflow through the coil layer, and gel infusions in the foam work together to help the mattress stay cool. The mattress has a quick response to pressure and decent edge support thanks to the coils, which may be helpful when getting in and out of bed for people with limited movement.

DreamCloud guarantees the mattress against manufacturing and workmanship defects with a limited lifetime warranty. The mattress ships free in the contiguous U.S. and comes with a full year-long sleep trial.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The DreamCloud is one of the most balanced hybrids we have tested. Plush on the surface but ultimately very supportive, this mattress could be a good option for people with sciatica pain who need some extra reinforcement.”

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $399 - $1,138
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who experience painful pressure buildup at night
  • Value shoppers
Highlights:
  • Even balance of contouring and support for a foam bed
  • All-foam construction isolates motion
  • 365-day sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

33% off all Nectar products

The Nectar Mattress is a well-rounded foam bed that provides excellent cushioning for people who experience painful pressure buildup during sleep. It also has a medium firm (6) feel that offers above-average support compared to many other all-foam beds, not to mention a reasonable price-point.

What It’s Made of

The bed starts with a quilted poly-blend cover that is designed to stay cool and wick moisture from the body. The top layer is made of gel-infused memory foam that conforms to the body for generous pressure relief. Balancing out the memory foam is a polyfoam layer beneath, which still provides contouring but is overall firmer and generates some pushback. The bottom layer contains high-density foam that creates support for the entire bed and also promotes longevity.

How It Performed

Like many all-foam beds, the Nectar is a great choice for side sleepers, since it amply cushions the shoulders and hips. Thanks to its slightly firmer feel, it is also supportive enough to benefit back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds while still cradling the spine. If you share the bed with a restless partner, the Nectar is effective at isolating motion to minimize disturbances from your partner’s nighttime movements.

Nectar provides a generous 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty with all mattress purchases. Shipping is also free throughout the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Nectar has that classic cushioned all-foam feel, but with just the right amount of firmness to make it more supportive than other foam beds we’ve tried out.”

Best for Back Pain

Luxury Firm WinkBed

Luxury Firm WinkBed
Price Range: $1,149 - $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Couples
  • Back and stomach sleepers
  • People who have trouble getting in and out of bed
Highlights:
  • Quilted Euro-top gives the surface a plush initial feel
  • Coil system enables air to circulate and cool the bed
  • Reinforced perimeter enhances edge support
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $300 off all mattresses

The WinkBed is a well-rounded hybrid mattress available in an array of firmness levels, but the Luxury Firm WinkBed stands out for its balanced feel that caters to sleepers with back pain. The foam layers contour to the body to relieve pressure buildup, while zoned pocketed coils offer ample pushback to the midsection.

What It’s Made of

With a medium firm (6) feel, the Luxury Firm WinkBed has a Euro-top quilted with gel-infused polyfoam. Beneath is a transitional layer of SupportCell polyfoam that promotes contouring but has a higher-density composition to make it feel a bit firmer. This layer also serves as a buffer between the comfort system and the support core. The core is composed of pocketed coils that provide substantial support, with a zoned design that delivers extra support to the lumbar region and extra coil reinforcement around the edges. A breathable and moisture-wicking Tencel cover encases the mattress.

How It Performed

Our testing found the mid-range feel and supportive construction benefit back sleepers and stomach sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. These sleepers should feel a good amount of cushioning without sinking too deeply into the mattress. Side sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds should also appreciate the cradling from the foam layers.

If you tend to run hot during sleep, the coil system enables plenty of air circulation to help keep the bed cool. We also recommend the mattress for couples, who should be able to move across the mattress easily and lay near the edges without sinking. The coils also provide responsiveness that many couples prefer for sex.

WinkBed backs this mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“As someone with persistent back pain, I found the Luxury Firm WinkBed incredibly supportive. The foam layers offered moderate cushioning to my lower back, but I didn’t experience any uncomfortable sagging.”

Helix Midnight

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight
Price Range: $799 - $1,549
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers with limited budgets
Highlights:
  • Foam hybrid design provides gentle cushioning and sturdy support
  • Reinforced perimeter coils reduce sinkage along the edges
  • Optional phase change cover dissipates body heat on contact
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get up to $350 off + 2 free Dream Pillows

If you’re a side sleeper living with sciatica pain, a mattress that cushions your lower back and hips can alleviate your discomfort. The Helix Midnight is a medium firm (6) memory foam hybrid designed specifically for side sleepers between 130 to 230 pounds. An adaptive comfort layer contours evenly to your body, but dense foam and pocketed coils provide robust support to prevent you from sinking excessively. While lying on the Midnight, the side sleepers on our testing team felt little to no pressure buildup in areas normally affected by sciatica. The mattress was also popular among our back sleepers in this weight range.

What It’s Made of

The Midnight begins with a memory foam comfort layer, followed by a transitional layer of dense polyfoam. These materials conform to your body’s unique curves to distribute your weight, promote even alignment, and alleviate pressure in the shoulders, back, and hips. Both layers are composed of open-cell foam, so uncomfortable heat retention shouldn’t be an issue for most people.

The support core consists of pocketed coils and a high-density foam base layer. Extra reinforcement for the perimeter coils helps make the mattress feel more stable when you lie near the edges or get in and out of bed. Standard Midnight models include polyester covers. You can upgrade to a cover made of GlacioTex phase change material, engineered to capture and release body heat from your sleep surface. We recommend the GlacioTex for anyone who sleeps exceptionally hot.

How It Performed

During our hands-on tests, the Midnight earned its most favorable reviews from side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Our side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds and back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds were particularly impressed. Helix offers various hybrid models geared toward certain weight groups and sleep positions. If the Midnight sounds too soft or firm, we suggest you check out one of the brand’s other models.

Our thermal sensors detected minimal heat buildup when we tested the mattress for temperature control. The open-cell foams and pocketed coils promote steady interior airflow, and the GlacioTex adds extra cooling for those who need it. Thanks to the reinforced perimeter coils, we also found the Midnight offers decent edge support.

The Midnight’s sticker price falls well below average for a hybrid model, and shipping is free of charge to customers in all 50 states. Your order comes with two complimentary pillows. Helix includes a 100-night sleep trial with all mattress purchases. If you decide to keep your Midnight after the trial period ends, you’ll also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Helix Midnight may be designed for side sleepers between 130 to 230 pounds, but our tests show the balanced feel of this mattress should suit most side and back sleepers up to 230 pounds. Strong performance across different categories and an approachable price-point also make the Midnight a good option for value seekers.”

Nolah Evolution 15

Best for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Evolution 15

Nolah Evolution 15
Price Range: $999 - $1,699
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Back sleepers
  • Those who run hot in bed
  • People who feel tenderness or soreness around the lower back and hips
Highlights:
  • Three firmness levels available
  • Zoned coils create an exceptionally strong support system
  • Option to opt out of sleep trial for added savings
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get an additional $30 off the Nolah Evolution Mattress for total savings of $730 with code: SF730OFF

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a quintessential hybrid because it contours to the body and alleviates pressure for side sleepers without sacrificing the support of a coil system. This construction also facilitates airflow and creates a supportive perimeter for those who have trouble getting in and out of bed.

What It’s Made of

A Euro-top cover padded with soft foam creates a plush surface, while two additional foam layers provide additional cushioning for sensitive areas along the spine. The support core is divided into zones based on gauge, or coil thickness. This provides extra reinforcement for the lower back and hips – two areas of the body greatly affected by sciatica pain. Sturdier coils also line the perimeter to prevent deep sinkage when you get in and out of bed.

How It Performed

The mattress is available in three firmness levels – medium (5), medium firm (6), and firm (8) – so virtually anyone can choose a feel that suits their body type, sleep position, and pressure relief needs. Edge support is particularly robust for the two firmer models. The coils promote consistent air circulation throughout the interior and the cover is quilted using proprietary ArcticTex fibers, so overheating won’t be an issue for most people.

Nolah offers free ground delivery to anyone in the contiguous U.S. The company’s sleep trial runs 120 nights in length, but you can opt out of the trial to knock some money off of the asking price. All Evolution 15 mattresses are covered by lifetime warranties against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“I felt a lot of cushioning on the Evolution 15 but the zoned coils provided enough support for my hips and lower back. People who usually find hybrids too firm should test out the medium-feel option for this mattress.”

Bear Hybrid

Best for Hip Pain

Bear Hybrid

Bear Hybrid
Price Range: $1,248 - $1,998
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who experience pain in their hips
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Cooling fabric and Celliant fiber keep the surface cool
  • Cushioning comfort layers and supportive coils promote healthy sleep posture
  • 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

30% off sitewide, plus 2 free Cloud Pillows with mattress purchase

Bear offers a lineup of mattresses that cater to different budgets and needs. The Bear Hybrid is a luxury option with a thick comfort system and supportive coils, creating a well-rounded design that makes this bed an optimal choice if you have persistent hip pain.

What It’s Made of

The mattress begins with a cooling cover made with Celliant fiber, a specialized material engineered to regulate temperature. The cover is quilted with a thick layer of polyfoam, followed by a comfort layer made of memory foam that enhances contouring. A transitional layer of polyfoam promotes additional contouring but also pushes back moderately to keep your body from sinking much further. The support core is composed of pocketed coils that give the bed a bouncy feel while also providing strong support.

How It Performed

With a medium firm (6) feel, the Bear Hybrid should appeal to a wide range of sleepers. The surface gently cradles pressure points along the spine while the transitional layer and coil system support the lumbar region. Side sleepers on our team, especially those between 130 and 230 pounds, benefited greatly from this design, as did back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds.

The cooling technology and steady airflow through the coil system kept the mattress quite cool, appealing to our hot-sleeping testers. Our heat guns detected minimal heat buildup on the surface. Couples who prioritize responsiveness for sex should also enjoy the mattress. The bouncy feel from the coils made it easy for us to move across the mattress, so couples can use the full surface of the bed without feeling restricted.

Bear provides a 120-night sleep trial with the mattress and also backs it with a lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to customers in the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Bear Hybrid has a perfect balance of cushioning and bounce. Our testers with sharp pressure points in their hips found the balanced feel extremely comfortable.”

Birch Luxe

Best Luxury

Birch Luxe

Birch Luxe
Price Range: $1,849 - $3,249
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds
  • Eco-conscious mattress shoppers
Highlights:
  • Euro-top padded with multiple batting layers creates a luxuriously plush feel
  • Zoned design delivers targeted support to the lumbar region
  • Exceptional cooling thanks to breathable and moisture-wicking components
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Birch mattresses

The Birch Luxe builds on the latex hybrid design of Birch’s flagship mattress with a Euro-top surface, additional padding layers, and a zoned support system. The adaptive, medium firm (6) feel is particularly well suited to people with sciatica and other conditions that cause lower back or hip pain.

What It’s Made of

The Luxe features a Euro-top containing four individual batting layers. Rayon, organic wool, and organic cashmere create a cloud-like surface with deep cushioning for your body. These materials also excel at breathability and moisture control, allowing you to stay cool and dry while you sleep. A layer of proprietary Pulse latex, which feels both adaptive and gently responsive, rounds out the comfort system.

The Luxe’s support core contains pocketed coils over a wool and rayon batting base layer. Thicker coils rest beneath your lumbar region, ensuring extra reinforcement for the lower back and hips to target sciatica-related aches and pains. The perimeter is also reinforced, providing pushback when you lie near the edges or get in and out of bed. An organic cotton cover encases the mattress. The cotton, wool, and cashmere components have all earned certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard, a leading authority for sustainably sourced materials.

How It Performed

Compared to other latex hybrids we’ve tested, the Birch Luxe feels remarkably plush — our testers attributed this quality to the deep batting layers cushioning the Euro-top. At the same time, we noticed extra support from the zoned coil system. Most of our testers experienced minimal sinkage around the lower back and hips. Testers weighing 130 to 230 pounds were particularly impressed with the Luxe, as side, back, and stomach sleepers in this weight range all awarded the mattress stellar ratings.

Temperature control was one of the Luxe’s major highlights during our hands-on tests. The batting layers wicked moisture away to keep us dry, the latex retained little heat, and the coils circulated air throughout the interior. As a result, our thermal sensors didn’t detect much heat build up. We also awarded high marks to the Luxe for edge support and ease of movement, common strengths of latex hybrid models.

The Luxe’s price-point is reasonable given the high-end design, and shipping is free to customers in all 50 states. You’ll also receive two complimentary pillows with your purchase. Each mattress order is backed by a 100-night trial and a 25-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Birch Luxe feels softer and more adaptive than many of the latex hybrids we’ve tested in our lab, but without sacrificing the responsiveness and support that defines this type of mattress. Our tests also revealed this mattress sleeps exceptionally cool, and the zoned coil system is a nice touch for people with sciatica-related back and hip pain.”

Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress

Best Pressure Relief

Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress

Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress
Price Range: $1,299 - $1,999
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers with sharp pressure points
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
Highlights:
  • Breathable wool, latex, and coils encourage airflow to regulate temperature
  • Dunlop latex gently cradles the body to relieve pressure
  • GOTS- and GOLS-certified organic materials
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Sweet Zzz mattresses

Sleepers with sharp pressure points often benefit from a mattress with cushioning to alleviate aches and pains. The Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress’ mixed-material comfort system offers gentle cradling for sore joints, while a responsive feel and sturdy coil system keep the body on an even plane.

What It’s Made of

The Honey Hybrid’s comfort system begins with a layer of Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic wool that adds a bit of surface cushioning and acts as a natural fire barrier. Underneath is a layer of Global Organic Latex Standard-certified Dunlop latex that offers slight contouring for sore shoulders and hips. Microcoils round out the comfort system, providing targeted cradling while keeping the body from sinking excessively.

Pocketed coils in the support core reinforce the sleep surface and prevent uncomfortable sagging. Thicker coils line the perimeter of the mattress to help it bear weight along the edges. The coils rest on a base layer of organic cotton and wool, limiting shifting and encouraging airflow. A breathable GOTS-certified organic cotton cover encases the mattress.

How It Performed

Our team’s back and stomach sleepers thoroughly enjoyed the Honey Hybrid’s medium firm (6) feel and responsiveness, especially those weighing up to 230 pounds. Sleepers who use these positions should notice light cushioning for sore spots without sinking too deeply. Our side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds also found the mattress comfortable, but side sleepers in lighter weight categories may find it too firm.

Pressure relief was the Honey Hybrid’s standout feature, but the mattress excelled in other testing categories like temperature control, edge support, and ease of movement. Thanks to the use of breathable cotton, wool, latex, and coils, we detected little to no heat retention on the mattress’ surface. Latex’s natural responsiveness and significant bounce from the coil system should also appeal to couples who prioritize an even surface for sex. We could easily move across the surface, and the coil-reinforced perimeter prevented us from slipping off at the edges.

Sweet Zzz ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. A 100-night sleep trial allows you to test the mattress and return it anytime after the 30-night break-in period. The Honey Hybrid Mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Our testers with sharp pressure points enjoyed the Sweet Zzz Honey Hybrid Mattress’ gentle cradling and supportive feel. The breathable construction also made the mattress a hit with our hot sleepers.”

Puffy Mattress

Best for Couples

Puffy Mattress

Puffy Mattress
Price Range: $649 - $1,398
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 101 Nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers
  • Couples and co-sleepers
  • Those who want a mattress that’s relatively easy to keep clean
Highlights:
  • Plush, adaptive comfort system ensures deep cushioning and contouring
  • Excellent motion isolation and no noise
  • Cover is stain-resistant and machine-washable
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$455 of free accessories with every mattress purchase

Many people living with sciatica find relief by using an adjustable bed base. Elevating the head or foot of your bed can reduce pain and pressure buildup in the lower back, hips, and other areas impacted by sciatica. The Puffy Mattress is a good match for couples who own adjustable beds thanks to its flexible all-foam construction that easily adapts to different positions. The mattress is also available in a split king size if you and your partner have different needs.

What It’s Made of

The Puffy Mattress contains three individual layers, beginning with 2 inches of proprietary Cooling Cloud memory foam. This highly adaptive material molds closely to your body and responds slowly to your movement for a feel our testers liken to sleeping “in” — as opposed to sleeping “on” — the mattress. Transitional polyfoam provides additional cushioning while serving as a buffer between you and the support core.

High-density polyfoam stabilizes the mattress without diminishing the plush medium (5) feel. At 10 inches thick, the Puffy toes the line between low- and medium-profile. A cover made of stain-resistant polyester encases the foam layers. You can remove and machine wash the cover whenever it needs to be cleaned. Comparatively, most mattresses sold today have non-removable covers that can only be spot cleaned if stains occur.

How It Performed

As a softer all-foam mattress that delivers deep body contouring, the Puffy was most popular among our side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Our back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds also gave the mattress favorable ratings. If you weigh more, you may need a firmer mattress that provides stronger support and sinks less.

The Puffy excelled during our motion isolation tests. All three foam layers absorb movement and minimize motion transfer across the surface, so you and your partner shouldn’t experience any sleep disruptions when the other person changes positions or gets in and out of bed. Since the mattress does not contain coils or air pumps, it is also completely silent when bearing weight.

Puffy offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a sleep trial that runs for 101 nights. If you decide to keep the Puffy Mattress, you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty covering structural defects as long as you retain original ownership.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Even compared to other all-foam mattresses we’ve tested, the Puffy contours deeply to create a cloud-like surface for your body. We recommend this mattress to anyone who needs ample cushioning to relieve sciatica pain.”

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Sleep Foundation team ranges in body weight and sleep preference, allowing us to accurately match sleepers with the appropriate mattress. We have spent years testing mattresses and researching sleep health, so we know what to look for when selecting the best models. Our rigorous testing process includes a thorough look at pressure relief and support, which are critical for those who experience sciatica.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

When reviewing mattresses, we use physical methods like lying down and switching sleep positions as well as technology for pressure point mapping. We continually review new mattresses to provide you with the most comprehensive and current information about the best mattresses for sciatica.

Read on to find out about our product research methodology:

  • Motion Isolation: Motion isolation can be particularly important for partners of those with sciatica, who tend to change positions frequently. Mattresses made with thick, foam comfort layers tend to absorb more motion and perform best in this category.
  • Temperature Control: Overheating at night can lead to sleep disruptions and fatigue the next day. The best temperature-neutral mattresses often feature materials like breathable cotton or latex comfort layers to trap less heat.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is especially important for sleepers with sciatica. These sleepers may prefer a mattress with a thick, memory foam comfort system that cradles the body and reduces uncomfortable pressure buildup.
  • Off-Gassing: Off-gassing is temporary and usually harmless, but the odors can be frustrating for many sleepers. Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions or other material smells can cause these odors after unboxing a mattress.
  • Ease of Movement: Many sleepers with sciatica toss and turn at night to prevent pain associated with staying in the same sleep position. These sleepers may appreciate a responsive mattress that allows them to move across the surface easily, like those with latex comfort layers.
  • Edge Support: Sleepers with sciatica that experience difficulty getting out of bed may benefit from a mattress with greater edge support. A sturdy perimeter allows sleepers to comfortably sit on the edge for extra assistance.
  • Sex: Bouncier mattresses are generally preferred for sex, but noise suppression and temperature regulation are other important factors. Latex hybrids tend to rank highly in this category thanks to responsive comfort layers that trap less heat.
  • Body Weight: Body weight is a major determining factor of your firmness and support needs, in addition to sleeping position and other personal preferences. Since these picks are largely subjective, we recommend testing multiple firmness levels to discover which is best for you.

How to Choose a Mattress for Sciatica


People with sciatica experience pain and numbness in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. The pain can occur on one or both sides of the body, and in severe cases, sciatica may even interfere with bladder function. Studies estimate that the lifetime prevalence of sciatica may be between 13 and 40 percent.

Not surprisingly, people who have sciatica often have trouble finding a comfortable sleep position. Unfortunately, poor-quality sleep can lead us to experience pain more vividly, provoking a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

A mattress with above-average pressure relief and support can help minimize aches and pains from sciatica and help you get a better rest. Some sleepers may also have additional needs, such as motion isolation to reduce disruptions from their partner’s movement or strong edges to facilitate getting in and out of bed.

This guide discusses the impact of sciatica on your sleep and provides advice on how to choose the best mattress for sciatica based on your body type, preferred sleep position, and other factors.

What to Look for in a Mattress

It can feel overwhelming to sift through the confusing terminology that saturates the mattress industry. At the end of the day, however, buying a mattress basically boils down to a few key points. Focusing on the following factors can help you see past the marketing hype and choose the best mattress for your sciatica.

  • Price: There’s no need to break the bank to get a mattress that can help relieve sciatica pain. Before you start to research mattress options, work out a budget and filter your choices accordingly. Many mattress companies even offer significant discounts, especially around major holidays.
  • Quality Materials: A mattress made with poor-quality materials may succumb to premature sagging or indentations, which affects its ability to deliver support and alleviate pressure points. Higher-quality mattresses may cost more, but they are a better guarantee of long-lasting relief.
  • Firmness Level: Mattress firmness is a subjective measure, and the best firmness for you will depend on your body type, preferred sleeping position, and personal preference. People with sciatica should look for a mattress that is sufficiently firm to support the lumbar area, without putting unwanted pressure on the hips and shoulders.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is essential for people who experience sciatica, especially side sleepers whose sciatica flares up in the hips. Mattresses with memory foam or latex comfort layers tend to perform best at pressure relief, cushioning heavier parts of the body to ease pressure build-up.
  • Edge Support: A mattress with strong edges can make you feel more secure when lying near the edge of the bed. This can also be an invaluable support when getting in and out of bed, particularly if your sciatica makes some movements painful or awkward.
  • Contouring: Materials that mold themselves to the body’s curves promote proper spinal alignment and help provide pressure relief, both of which are essential for people with sciatica. Memory foam typically offers the best contouring, and some latex and polyfoam mattresses also do well in this category.
  • Temperature Regulation: While temperature won’t necessarily have a direct effect on your sciatica, a sleeping environment that’s too warm can severely impact your sleep quality. People who are prone to overheating at night may find that a cooling mattress helps them get the rest and recovery they need.
  • Ease of Movement: Many people with sciatica find the pain gets worse after they stay in the same position for a long time. For these people, latex and hybrid mattresses provide a responsive surface that makes it easier to switch sleeping positions.
  • Mattress Type: Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the right mattress for you will depend on your individual needs. Having a general idea of which features you value most can help guide you toward a specific mattress type and make it easier to reach a decision.

infographic of reasons why people buy new mattresses

infographic of reasons why people buy new mattresses

What Type of Mattress is Best for Sciatica?

Most mattresses available today fall into one of the five categories listed below. Mattresses of a given category will share some common qualities thanks to their similar construction.

Of course, there is plenty of variation within each mattress type depending on design, materials, and other special features. Nevertheless, understanding the basic differences between mattress types can be a useful way of narrowing down which mattress is right for you.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid mattresses combine a thick comfort layer section with an innerspring support core. The comfort layers may be made of polyfoam, memory foam, latex, microcoils, fiberfill, cotton, wool, or down.
Best of Both Worlds. Hybrids aim to provide the support, airflow, and edge support of an innerspring mattress as well as the conforming pressure relief and motion isolation of an all-foam or latex model. This makes hybrids ideally placed to deliver the balance of support and pressure relief that is needed to ease pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Innerspring

Definition: Innerspring mattresses feature a construction made primarily with metal coils. While this is sometimes supplemented by a thin comfort layer, this does not noticeably affect the way the mattress feels.
Affordable. Innerspring mattresses are widely available and are one of the most affordable mattress options. While they may not provide enough pressure relief for sleepers with sciatica, using an innerspring mattress with a mattress topper can be an inexpensive way to customize the feel to your liking.

Latex

Definition: Latex can either be made synthetically or naturally, from a substance originating in the rubber tree. Latex mattresses usually use a denser latex in the support core and a plusher pressure-relieving latex in the comfort layers.
Responsive Pressure Relief. Latex offers substantial pressure relief without the close “hug” feeling of memory foam. This makes it a good option for people with sciatica who frequently change sleep positions.

Airbed

Definition: The support core of an airbed consists of air chambers that can be inflated or deflated to adjust the bed’s firmness level. Mattresses for two people usually feature individual air chambers so each user can choose their own firmness level. Additionally, many airbeds soften the feel of the mattress with foam, latex, or other comfort layers.
Immediate Relief. No other type of mattress comes close to giving you such exact control over the firmness of the bed. This can be a lifesaver for people with sciatica whose pain changes from night to night or every time they switch sleeping positions. Airbeds tend to be very expensive compared to other mattress types and may be too pricey for those looking for a cheap mattress.

Foam

Definition: Foam mattresses are constructed without a coil support core. They most often feature a support core of high-density polyfoam, plus comfort layers consisting of memory foam, polyfoam, or latex.
Advanced Pressure Relief. Foam mattresses, especially those which include memory foam in the comfort layers, offer unrivaled pressure relief that soothes and cushions pressure points. The foam’s conforming abilities can also fill in the lumbar area to prevent pressure build-up in the gap between the lower back and the mattress.

How Does Sciatica Affect Sleep?

The sciatic nerves originate in the lower back and run through the buttocks, back of the legs, and soles of the feet down to the toes. Sciatica is the result of a problem with the sciatic nerves, most often a pinched or irritated nerve caused by a herniated disc. Risk factors for sciatica include poor posture, injury, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, arthritis, or bone spurs.

Sciatica is often described as a radiating pain that starts in the lower back and travels down the back of the legs and sometimes the feet. It can present as numbness, tingling, throbbing, heat, inflammation, sharp pain, aching, or even muscle spasms in the areas affected by the sciatic nerve. These symptoms can be mild or severe, acute or chronic, and they often occur only on one side of the body. Patients may find some relief with anti-inflammatory drugs or by applying ice, but for severe cases, surgery is sometimes required.

Many people with sciatica may have difficulty finding a comfortable sleep position. Lying down can put pressure on the hips and lumbar area, leading many people to experience flare-ups when trying to sleep or upon waking up after lying in the same position all night. People with sciatica require a mattress that can distribute body weight and support the lower back in order to help take pressure off the sciatic nerves.

Chances are your sciatica keeps you tossing and turning to try to find a comfortable position. Those who experience severe sciatica may also have problems with bladder control. In these cases, choosing a mattress that isolates motion transfer can help reduce disturbances to a sleeping partner during midnight bathroom visits. Strong edge support and a responsive surface can also make it easier to get in and out of bed.

Other techniques to relieve sciatica pain include elevating the knees, using an adjustable base or zoned mattress, tucking a pillow between your knees to keep the hips in line when side sleeping, or inserting a pillow below your midsection to relieve pressure on your lower back when stomach sleeping. Taking a warm bath or doing some light stretching before bed can also provide some temporary relief. You should always consult your healthcare professional before starting any treatment.

How Does Sleep Position Affect People with Sciatica?

Different sleeping positions put pressure on different parts of our bodies, which can have a significant impact on sciatica pain. Back and side sleeping are commonly touted as the best positions for people with sciatica, but as we’ll see here, this advice comes with some caveats.

Back Sleepers

Back sleeping encourages healthy spinal alignment and is typically regarded as the healthiest sleeping position. That said, there are a few factors that sleepers with sciatica should watch for in order to ensure they’re getting the maximum benefits from their mattress.

One of the most notable issues for people with sciatica to look out for when sleeping on the back is insufficient support to the lumbar region. A mattress that is too firm can leave space between your lower back and the mattress, leading to pressure build-up in the lumbar area. By contrast, a mattress that is too plush may let your hips sink in too far, which also puts pressure on your lower back. The best mattress for back sleepers with sciatica needs to balance pressure relief and support. You may get additional relief from using a thin pillow under your knees.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers often develop pressure points in the hips and shoulders as a result of these areas digging into the mattress. This can be doubly painful for people who have sciatica in the hips. For this reason, it’s important to choose a mattress that cushions the hips and shoulders. Memory foam is generally considered to have the best pressure-relieving capabilities.

It may be tempting to go with the softest mattress possible to alleviate pressure points, but mattresses that don’t offer enough support in the lumbar area may also cause lower back pain as a result of the hips bending at awkward angles. The best mattress for side sleepers with sciatica will contour to these curves, filling in the lumbar area and allowing the hips and shoulders to sink in just enough to keep the spine on an even plane. Some side sleepers may find that tucking a pillow between the knees can ease pressure on the lower back and hips.

Side sleeping is an excellent choice for people who only experience sciatica pain on one side. Strategically placed pillows can help prevent you from rolling over to the painful side during your sleep.

Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on your stomach is not usually recommended for people with sciatica as it is very likely to exacerbate symptoms. Since most people carry the bulk of their weight around their hips, this heavier area is prone to sinking into the mattress, which in turn puts pressure on the lower back and neck.

If you must sleep on your stomach, you’ll do best with a firm mattress that supports the hips. Using a thin pillow or even no pillow for your head and placing a pillow beneath your hips can also help promote a more natural position for your spine.

Combination Sleepers

No matter how comfortable the mattress, people who have sciatica often find they need to switch sleep positions sometimes to take pressure off a given area. Therefore, in addition to pressure relief and support, a mattress for combination sleepers should facilitate movement. Latex and hybrid mattresses can provide the extra responsiveness that keeps you from feeling stuck in the bed when you switch sleeping positions.

Last Things to Consider with a Mattress for Sciatica

Regardless of whether or not you experience sciatica, there are some general principles that every shopper should keep in mind when purchasing a new mattress.

How Can I Get Relief On a Budget?

Spending thousands of dollars on a mattress isn’t for everybody, but with a bit of digging, you should be able to find a mattress that meets your needs without breaking the bank. You can save some money by buying a smaller size like a full mattress, but most sizes under a queen tend to be insufficient for those who switch sleep positions frequently.

The recent rise of online mattress companies means that customers now have access to a wealth of options at affordable price-points. These “mattress in a box” purchases reflect the lack of sales commissions and other costs associated with brick-and-mortar stores.

Another option is to keep an eye out for sales, which are commonly offered on major holidays at both online and traditional retail stores. Your local newspaper may also have cut-out coupons.

If your current mattress hasn’t lost its supportive ability and all you need is a firmness adjustment, you may have luck with a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are layers of foam, latex, wool, or other materials that are designed to lie on top of your mattress and make it firmer or softer. They are a cost-effective way to get added pressure relief for your sciatica without buying an entire mattress.

How Does Body Type Affect Mattress Selection?

The more you weigh, the more you’ll sink into a mattress. This is why lighter people tend to prefer plush, conforming mattresses and heavier people tend to prefer a firmer, more supportive surface. For example, an all-foam mattress may provide the extra pressure relief needed for a person under 130 pounds, while someone over 230 pounds may prefer the more supportive feel of a hybrid or latex mattress. Of course, this will also depend on your preferred sleeping position and other factors.

How Much of an Investment Do I Need to Make?

The average price for a good-quality foam mattress starts around $800, with other mattress types or more sophisticated models costing up to $2,000 or more. Additional features such as cooling technology tend to be reflected in the price tag, so the budget of your mattress will depend on what features are important to you.

Mattress Warranty and Other Policies

Most online mattress companies offer sleep trials so you can try out the mattress in your own home before committing to a purchase. You should look for a sleep trial that’s at least 90 nights long, which will give your body time to adjust to the feel of the new mattress. Some mattress companies impose mandatory break-in periods or charge return fees, so be sure to check the fine print before ordering.

After the sleep trial ends, a mattress warranty can protect you against premature sagging, ensuring your mattress will continue to deliver the support you need to reduce sciatica pain. Mattress warranties tend to last at least 10 years and cover significant defects in materials and workmanship. That said, mattress warranties shouldn’t be the main factor that influences which mattress you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of mattress is best for sciatica?

    The best mattress for people with sciatica will provide ample cushioning around the sciatic nerve, which originates in the buttock and runs down the thigh and lower leg. A mattress should also alleviate pressure in the lower back, where people often feel sciatica-related pain. While cushioning is important, the mattress should also provide decent support and resist deep sinkage in areas of the lower body.

  • What mattress firmness is best for sciatica?

    The best firmness is somewhat subjective because it also depends on the sleeper’s weight, but added support around the lumbar region, hips/buttocks, and thighs is often needed to reduce sciatica pain. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, then a softer mattress may be comfortable, but those who weigh more may prefer a firmer bed instead.

    Some mattresses feature zoned designs with firmer materials to bolster the lower body and softer materials to cradle the head and shoulders. These models may be a good compromise for those who enjoy a plusher feel up top and more support where sciatica pain tends to strike.

  • Can sciatica be caused by a mattress?

    Not really, but the wrong mattress certainly won’t help. Sciatica typically occurs due to issues with discs in the lower back that put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t provide enough support to the lower body probably won’t cause sciatica on its own, but this can certainly exacerbate symptoms for people who already have sciatica. Conversely, a supportive mattress that cushions the affected areas may not completely eliminate your pain, but can eliminate discomfort and help you sleep better.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Keith Cushner

Sleep Product Expert

Keith is a sleep product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.