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Best Mattress for Scoliosis

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Written by

Logan Foley

author

Medically Reviewed by

Jenny Iyo

author

Roughly 2 to 3% of the U.S. population lives with scoliosis, a condition characterized by an unnatural curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can cause pressure and sore spots in areas along the spine that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. While a mattress can’t cure scoliosis, some beds provide adequate support, improve spinal alignment, and alleviate pressure where it’s needed. This can ensure people with scoliosis get the high-quality sleep they need.

Our team of sleep experts has conducted hands-on testing for hundreds of mattresses sold today. We follow a comprehensive methodology that evaluates each mattress for several different metrics, including support, pressure relief, ease of movement, and other factors that can impact people with scoliosis. Our testers include people with varying body types, sleep positions, and firmness preferences to ensure our recommendations are reflective of most sleepers. After concluding our tests, we’ve decided to name the following picks as our best mattresses for scoliosis.

The Best Mattresses for Scoliosis

To read more about our top selections, visit the detailed product profiles below. Scroll down even further to find our buyer’s guide, which is specifically aimed at mattress buyers who either live with scoliosis or share a bed with someone who has this condition. We’ll discuss different types of mattresses, which ones are best at alleviating scoliosis-related pain, as well as how much you can expect to spend on your purchase.

Product Details

Nectar Premier

Best Overall

Nectar Premier

Nectar Premier
Price Range: $899 - $1,599
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Those who experience pain or pressure points along the spine
  • Side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Close-conforming memory foam layer
  • Excellent pressure relief for side and back sleepers
  • Silent design with very minimal motion transfer
Nectar Premier

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People living with scoliosis typically need a mattress that will cradle the body and alleviate pressure along the spine. The Nectar Premier accomplishes this with it’s pressure-relieving foam construction.

What It’s Made of

The comfort layer features a 3-inch comfort layer of memory foam that contours closely to reduce aches and pains in sensitive areas. This layer is infused with cooling gel and phase-change material, which allow the Premier to sleep cooler than many competing all-foam models. Hot sleepers who like the feel of memory foam should notice little overheating. The mattress also features transitional and base layers of high-density polyfoam to reinforce the sleep surface and prevent sleepers from sinking too much. Limiting sinkage keeps the spine in healthy alignment and prevents lower back pain.

How It Performed

Since the Premier has a medium firm (6) feel, it is best suited to side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. These sleepers can expect to receive a comfortable balance of cushioning and support. This mattress is also a good choice for co-sleepers. The foams absorb movement and prevent it from transferring across the surface, which can be useful for those who share their bed with people who have scoliosis and are prone to tossing and turning. The Premier is also completely silent, which helps minimize disturbances when your partner gets in and out of bed.

Although the Premier is somewhat expensive for an all-foam mattress, Nectar offers a few perks for customers. Ground shipping is free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and the company’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the industry. Additionally, the mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects against structural defects for as long as you own it.

DreamCloud Mattress

Best Value

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $1,198 - $1,798
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers who want a combination of pressure relief and spinal support
  • People from a variety of weight groups and sleeper types
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Hybrid construction offers balanced support
  • Gel-infused memory foam and pocketed coils are engineered to sleep cool
  • Priced competitively
DreamCloud Mattress

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Shoppers looking for a mattress that combats back pain are likely to find the DreamCloud Mattress delivers relief at a competitive price-point. The mattress relieves pressure and promotes spinal alignment, great for sleepers with scoliosis.

What It’s Made of

The 14-inch mattress is wrapped by a soft and breathable cashmere-blend cover. Polyfoam is quilted into the cover to provide additional cushioning. The comfort system’s bottom layer is made from gel-infused memory foam. In addition to isolating motion, this layer excels at relieving pressure. The memory foam closely contours to alleviate discomfort in pressure-prone areas like hips and shoulders. The mattress’ polyfoam transitional layer bridges the gap between the core and comfort system and ensures that sleepers don’t sink too far into the mattress. The support core consists of pocketed coils that lift the body to promote spinal alignment.

How It Performed

This mattress’ hybrid design closely conforms without sacrificing support. As a medium firm (6) on the firmness scale, the DreamCloud offers sleepers a comfortable surface that’s suitable for people from a range of weight groups and sleeper types. Hot sleepers should find this mattress stays relatively cool, thanks to its pocketed coil and polyfoam support core. Air circulates within the coils and allows heat to dissipate.

Shoppers can buy the DreamCloud Mattress in six standards sizes. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. and your purchase includes a 365-night sleep trial. DreamCloud backs this mattress with a lifetime warranty.

WinkBed

Best Cooling

WinkBed

WinkBed
Price Range: $1,149 - $2,049
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Any sleeper type, including those who weigh more than 300 pounds
  • People who have trouble getting in and out of bed
  • Scoliosis sufferers who could use zoned spinal support
Highlights:
  • Choice of four firmness levels
  • Coil-on-coil design allows for excellent airflow and cooling
  • Zoned support layers relieve pressure points
WinkBed

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The WinkBed delivers targeted spinal support for scoliosis patients using a combination of micro-coils, a lumbar pad, and zoned pocketed coils. With four firmness options to choose from, the WinkBed appeals for sleepers of any body type or position preference.

What It’s Made of

All four models have a plush Euro-top cover that provides some initial pressure relief. Gel-infused polyfoam is quilted into the pillow top for an extra luxurious feel. The gel in the cover is engineered to draw heat away from the body. A coil-on-coil design provides a great amount of support. The comfort layers feature pocketed microcoils, followed by pocketed coils in the support core. These support coils are zoned for targeted support and reinforce the perimeter of the mattress.

How It Performed

The mattress is available in Softer (4), Luxury Firm (6), Firmer (7), and Plus (8) options. The Softer model provides above-average motion isolation for couples. In turn, the Plus option replaces the micro-coil layer with a layer of latex to provide added support for sleepers over 300 pounds.

The WinkBed boasts excellent edge support due to reinforced coils around the perimeter of the bed. The mattress’ breathable Tencel cover and coil-on-coil construction also allow for a healthy amount of airflow to keep the mattress cool. Combination sleepers will appreciate the bed’s responsive surface, which facilitates movement and is an advantage for sex.

The WinkBed is made with durable materials and backed by a lifetime warranty against workmanship and manufacturing defects. WinkBeds also offers a 120-night sleep trial, on the condition that customers are required to sleep on the mattress for at least 30 nights before requesting a return.

Helix Midnight Luxe

Best for Back Pain

Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight Luxe
Price Range: $1,099 - $2,349
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and side sleepers
  • Sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • People who suffer from back pain
Highlights:
  • Zoned coils provide enhanced lumbar support
  • Hybrid design helps isolate motion
  • Foam comfort system relieves pressure
Helix Midnight Luxe

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The Midnight Luxe Mattress from Helix is a hybrid mattress that successfully balances pressure relief and spinal alignment, a combination that’s sought after by many who suffer from back pain. As a medium firm (6) on the firmness scale, this mattress is best suited to side and back sleepers, particularly those who weigh under 230 pounds. Stomach sleepers and people who weigh above 230 pounds may find a firmer mattress more comfortable.

What It’s Made of

The Midnight Luxe’s base is made from a durable polyfoam. Eight inches of zoned, pocketed coils form the core and offer targeted support. These coils are softer beneath your shoulders and firmer under your hips, which helps to keep your spine evenly aligned while you sleep. A transitional layer of polyfoam creates a buffer between the core and comfort layers. The comfort system is designed with pressure relief in mind and features two layers of memory foam. The Helix’s uppermost layer is a quilted pillow-top wrapped in Tencel. This layer adds a bit more cushioning and helps the mattress stay cool.

How It Performed

The Helix Midnight Luxe also excels at isolating motion, thanks to its foam comfort layers. Instead of transferring your movement across the bed’s surface, the memory foam absorbs it. Sleepers who toss and turn and those with different sleep schedules from their partner often find this feature beneficial. Hot sleepers may also appreciate the airflow from the coil support core and the breathable cover. Those who get pressure points while sleeping may find the foam comfort layers most appealing, as memory foam is engineered to closely contour and alleviate discomfort.

Helix ships for free within the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. Canadian shoppers may incur additional fees. The Helix Luxe is backed with a 15-year limited warranty and your purchase includes a 100-night sleep trial.

GhostBed 3D Matrix

Most Comfortable

GhostBed 3D Matrix

GhostBed 3D Matrix
Price Range: $2,250 - $4,500
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin XL, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • People who enjoy the feel of plush beds
  • Side sleepers
  • Those who sleep hot
Highlights:
  • Engineered with various cooling features
  • Excellent pressure relief
  • Strong edge support
GhostBed 3D Matrix

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The GhostBed 3D Matrix is a hybrid mattress with a plush surface and responsive coil system. The bed provides a high level of contouring to bring pressure relief for those who experience pain from scoliosis during sleep.

What It’s Made of

The mattress begins with a layer of polyfoam infused with a patented gel polymer that is engineered to wick body heat away from the surface. Next is a layer of memory foam that hugs the body closely, followed by a layer of Ghost Bounce material that has a conforming yet responsive feel. Below, a transitional layer of polyfoam provides moderate contouring while supplying the necessary firmness to prevent excessive sinking. A coil system lends support to the bed, with stronger coils around the edge boost perimeter reinforcement.

How It Performed

With a medium (5) feel, this mattress offers excellent pressure relief to the body — including along the spine, an area where people with scoliosis tend to experience discomfort. The close contouring makes this bed a good fit for side sleepers, who typically exert pressure on their hips and shoulders. The bed maintains a neutral temperature, due to the cooling gel polymer layer and the air circulation through the coil system. The bed is also encased in a proprietary cooling fabric.

All GhostBed mattresses include a 101-night sleep trial, in addition to a 25-year warranty thereafter. Customers within the contiguous U.S. receive free shipping.

Amerisleep AS2

Best for Stomach Sleepers

Amerisleep AS2

Amerisleep AS2
Price Range: $1,249 - $2,198
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night try-out)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night try-out)
Warranty: 20 Year, Limited
Warranty: 20 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds
  • Those who normally feel uncomfortably warm on all-foam mattresses
  • People who share the bed
Highlights:
  • Above-average pressure relief
  • Medium firm feel encourages proper spinal alignment
  • Minimal motion transfer
Amerisleep AS2

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The Amerisleep AS2 is a 12-inch all-foam mattress with a medium firm (6) feel. Stomach sleepers may appreciate the firmer feel and even sleep surface.

What It’s Made of

The top layer is made of a plant-based open-cell foam that conforms to reduce pressure points. This rests on top of another foam layer that’s zoned using surface modification technology. Specially designed grooves in this layer enhance airflow and provide targeted cushioning and spinal support for sleepers with scoliosis. The mattress is supported by a high-density polyfoam base layer. Amerisleep also makes a hybrid version of the mattress, replacing the polyfoam base layer with pocketed coils.

How It Performed

The AS2 is the second-firmest mattress in Amerisleep’s line-up, with a medium firm feel that equates to a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. The mattress provides an even balance of support and pressure relief that is especially comfortable for back and stomach sleepers under 230 pounds. Side sleepers who weigh more than 130 pounds also benefit from the moderate contouring.

It’s rare for an all-foam mattress to sleep cool, but the Amerisleep AS2 has a breathable cotton-blend cover and proprietary foams that help the mattress maintain a temperature neutral feel. Because the top layer of foam has a fairly quick response to pressure, the AS2 allows for relatively easy movement. People who sleep with a partner should experience minimal disruptions as the foams absorb most motion.

Amerisleep ships the mattress free within the continental U.S. and offers a 100-night sleep trial with a mandatory 30-night break-in period. A 20-year warranty protects against manufacturing and workmanship defects.

Birch Mattress

Best for Heavy Sleepers

Birch Mattress

Birch Mattress
Price Range: $1,249 - $1,999
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more
  • Those who run hot at night
  • People who enjoy the bouncy feel of latex
Highlights:
  • Balances moderate contouring with medium firm support
  • Strong reinforced edges
  • Well-ventilated construction
Birch Mattress

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The Birch Mattress is a latex hybrid bed with excellent edge support and ease of movement across the surface. With a medium firm (6) feel, the mattress offers enough support to satisfy the needs of many heavier sleepers.

What It’s Made of

The bed begins with a cover made of wool and GOTS-certified organic cotton. Beneath the cover is a comfort layer containing wool batting and Talalay latex. The wool creates a soft, plush surface, while the latex offers moderate body-contouring. Next is a support core of pocketed coils, with thicker coils lining the mattress perimeter to provide sturdy, reinforced edges.

How It Performed

Between the moderate conforming of latex and the sturdy coil system, the Birch strikes a nice balance between contouring and support. Side and back sleepers will appreciate this pairing of these features, since these sleep positions typically require support as well as cushion for pressure points such as the hips, shoulders, and lumbar region. Sleepers who run hot should also feel comfortable on this bed, since latex and wool do not trap much heat and the coils enable air to circulate within the bed.

Birch ships free throughout the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. The bed comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

Layla Hybrid

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Hybrid

Layla Hybrid
Price Range: $1,299 - $1,899
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 year, Limited
Warranty: 10 year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who normally sleep hot on memory foam
  • Couples
  • Shoppers intrigued by flippable mattresses
Highlights:
  • Reversible design with a different feel on each side
  • Copper-infused memory foam sleeps fairly cool
  • Zoned coils protect the edges from sinkage without affecting overall comfort
Layla Hybrid

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Thanks to its reversible design, the Layla Hybrid should appeal to people with scoliosis across different weight and sleep position groups. Each side of the mattress has a distinct feel.

What It’s Made of

Both sleep surfaces contain comfort layers of adaptive memory foam infused with copper, a material with cooling properties that helps the foam resist body heat buildup. Copper is also naturally antimicrobial, which helps to stave off harmful bacteria and keep your sleep area smelling fresh. The shared support core consists of pocketed coils with added reinforcement along the edges to provide stability when you sleep near the perimeter or get on and off of the mattress. The coils also circulate air for added temperature control.

How It Performed

One surface is medium soft (4) and will contour very closely to improve alignment for side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, and other sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The other side is firm (7), so sleepers should expect less contouring and more support. This surface is better suited to back and stomach sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. That said, your preferences may differ and we recommend testing out both sides to see which feel works best for you.

Both foam layers absorb movement quite well, so couples can sleep soundly without disruptions regardless of which side they like best. The mattress is also easy to keep clean thanks to a removable cover that can be washed and dried in your household machines.

Layla’s free ground shipping extends to all customers in the contiguous U.S., and all orders include two Layla Pillows at no extra charge. The sleep trial for this mattress spans 120 nights in length, and those who decide to keep it will receive a 10-year warranty.

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Why You Should Trust Us

Testing mattresses and other sleep products is what we know best. We’ve assembled a team of sleep experts for our hands-on testing, and each member brings years of firsthand knowledge and experience to this process. Our testers differ in terms of body type, sleep position, and general firmness preferences, so our product recommendations should apply to anyone regardless of how much they weigh or whether they sleep on their side, back, and/or stomach. We’ve also consulted with medical experts to ensure complete accuracy.

Finding the right mattress is crucial for people who live with scoliosis. While a mattress won’t make scoliosis-related pain go away, a model that cradles the spine, supports your body, and alleviates pressure in sensitive areas can make a world of difference. To choose these top picks, we focused on mattresses that meet these criteria. Our evaluations include specialized tests for pressure relief, ease of movement, and other characteristics that matter to people with scoliosis. We’ll continue to revisit our list of the best mattresses for scoliosis so that it’s always accurate and relevant to readers who need it most.

How to Choose a Mattress for Scoliosis


You should always work together with your healthcare provider to manage your scoliosis. However, we can offer some advice on how to choose a mattress that keeps your spine supported to help reduce aches and pains. We’ll cover everything you need to know about how a mattress works, how scoliosis affects your sleep, and how to get the most out of your mattress if you have scoliosis.

What to Look for in a Mattress

Finding a mattress that ticks all the boxes can seem like an impossible task, especially if you have additional considerations due to your scoliosis. Many mattress companies also like to take advantage of their consumers, using fancy-sounding words to inflate the price of their products.

But choosing a mattress for scoliosis doesn’t have to be that difficult. We’ve laid out the most important factors to prioritize to help you narrow down your search.

  • Price: Mattress prices vary widely depending on the materials and construction of the mattress. The good news for people with scoliosis is that on average, memory foam mattresses have a lower price-point than other materials. You may pay more for cooling technology or other features.
  • Quality Materials: All mattresses will eventually start to sag and develop permanent body indentations, rendering them unable to deliver proper support and pressure relief. Mattresses made with higher-quality materials, such as denser foams or higher coil counts, will last longer before they need to be replaced. If you plan to use your mattress for many years, it may be worthwhile to invest in a good-quality one.
  • Firmness Level: The right firmness for each person is mostly determined by body type, preferred sleeping position, and personal preference. A mattress that is too hard may cause uncomfortable pressure points, while a mattress that is too soft may fail to keep the back sufficiently supported.
  • Pressure Relief: Depending on your sleeping position and the kind of scoliosis you have, you may experience uncomfortable pressure points where certain parts of your body jut into the mattress. Conforming materials like memory foam or latex can help cushion these pressure points to help reduce pain. *sagging hips also cause pressure build-up
  • Edge Support: Edge support is important for people who struggle to get in and out of bed, or who like to spend time sitting on the edge of the bed. Mattresses that compress around the edges can also reduce the amount of usable space when sharing the bed with a partner. Hybrid mattresses and innersprings tend to have the best edge support.
  • Contouring: Certain materials contour more closely to the curves of the body, allowing heavier parts such as the shoulders and hips to sink in further. This can relieve pressure from these body parts, and may improve spinal alignment in some sleepers. However, close-contouring mattresses can also restrict movement, so they are not for everyone.
  • Temperature Regulation: Hybrid and latex mattresses allow room for airflow, which helps prevent heat build-up. In contrast, memory foam and polyfoam mattresses tend to absorb heat, which can lead to an uncomfortably warm sleep surface. If you tend to run hot, look for a mattress made with naturally breathable materials or cooling features such as phase-change material.
  • Ease of Movement: Ease of movement is important for combination sleepers and can also facilitate sex. If you value being able to easily switch positions on your mattress, look for a latex or hybrid mattress. These mattresses are naturally bouncy and won’t make you feel stuck in the bed. The caveat is that beds with responsive surfaces tend to transfer motion across the bed, which can be a problem if you’re a sensitive sleeper and you share the bed.
  • Mattress Type: The materials and construction of a mattress significantly affect factors like contouring, responsiveness, edge support, and temperature regulation. Knowing what features you value in a mattress can help narrow down your search to a specific mattress type.

What Type of Mattress is Best for Scoliosis?

The majority of mattresses that are currently sold are classified either as hybrid, innerspring, latex, airbed, or all-foam. Because they are built similarly, mattresses of a given type will resemble each other to some extent in terms of performance and feel. That said, they will also vary depending on the quality of the materials used and the exact makeup of each individual model. The best type of mattress for scoliosis will depend on your needs.

Hybrid

Definition: Hybrid mattresses feature an innerspring support core and a substantial comfort layer section. The comfort layers can be made of polyfoam, memory foam, latex, cotton, wool, or other similar materials. The coils are usually pocketed coils.
Highlight: Meet In The Middle. Hybrid mattresses are defined by their balanced features. The comfort layers add pressure relief and motion isolation, while the coils contribute to edge support, bounce, temperature neutrality, and overall support. This makes them ideal for people who suffer from pressure points but need an extra-supportive mattress.

Innerspring

Definition: Made with a support core of metal coils and occasionally a very thin comfort layer, innerspring mattresses revolutionized the mattress industry in the late 1800s and remained the most popular model for decades. They are steadily decreasing in popularity as people start to explore options with thicker comfort layers.
Highlight: Cheap And Cheerful. Innerspring mattresses provide a solid support system and good airflow, which is a perfect starting base but usually not cushy enough for someone with scoliosis. For an economical and personalizable bed, those who wish for added pressure relief can purchase a mattress topper in the material of their choice.

Latex

Definition: Made from the milky-white substance of the rubber tree, natural latex can be processed in several different ways. All-latex mattresses take advantage of this versatility, combining different types of latex in the support core and comfort layers. Mattresses can also be made with synthetic latex, which tends to be more affordable.
Highlight: Responsive Contouring. Latex provides pressure relief without conforming as closely to the body. Its resilient surface helps distribute body weight to provide support while enabling sleepers to switch positions easily.

Airbed

Definition: Airbeds have a support core made with air chambers that can be inflated or deflated. By adjusting the amount of air within the air chamber, users can control the firmness level of the bed. Most airbeds have a separate air chamber for each sleeper, and may feature an additional comfort layer system made with foam, latex, or other materials.
Highlight: Ongoing Firmness Control. Airbeds allow users to adjust the firmness in real time, which means the mattress can adapt almost instantaneously to the needs of someone with scoliosis as they switch positions or experience pain in different areas.

Foam

Definition: Foam mattresses eschew coils in favor of a high-density polyfoam base layer. The comfort layers may be made of memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or occasionally materials that add padding such as cotton or wool.
Highlight: Unbeatable Conforming. Of all mattress types, foam mattresses tend to perform the best on contouring. This is particularly true of memory foam mattresses, which conform closely to the sleeper’s body to alleviate pressure points and encourage natural spinal alignment.

How Does Scoliosis Affect Sleep?

Scoliosis happens when the spine curves unnaturally to one side by a factor of at least 10 degrees. Looking at the spine from the back, this causes a C-shaped or S-shaped curve.

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, although some cases have been linked to cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or problems with bone formation before the baby is born. Scoliosis appears to be genetic and is usually more severe in females. While signs of scoliosis usually appear just before puberty, it occasionally presents in babies. Some adults may develop scoliosis later in life as a result of wear-and-tear on the spine.

Scoliosis can manifest differently depending on the type of scoliosis and its degree of severity. Common signs of scoliosis include uneven shoulders or hips, an off-kilter gait, poor posture, ill-hanging clothes, or protruding ribs or shoulder blades on one side. Some children may exhibit a visible curve in the spine.

Wearing a back brace during adolescence can help slow the curve of the spine until the person is finished growing. More rarely, some people may also resort to surgery to correct the curve.

Around 40 percent of adolescents with scoliosis experience chronic back pain that can lead to insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Even when scoliosis doesn’t cause pain, it may lead to unnatural curves in the body that affect the way you interact with your mattress, making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Children or adolescents who wear a brace may have extra pressure points that make it difficult to find a comfortable position at night.

There is evidence to suggest that sleeping on the convex side of a thoracic curve may cause respiratory difficulties that lead to frequent nighttime awakenings. Pain medication may also interfere with sleep, and studies have found that people can suffer from impaired sleep for up to 6 months after scoliosis surgery.

People with scoliosis may have trouble getting back to sleep after nighttime awakenings. Like many chronic pain sufferers, this cycle may be exacerbated by the anxiety and depression caused by the scoliosis itself. Practising proper sleep hygiene and using a mattress that’s quiet and isolates motion transfer may help minimize added disruptions.

Scoliosis causes important structural changes to your body, so it’s crucial to pick a mattress that delivers strong support for your spine and minimizes pressure points in the shoulders, hips, or other parts of the body that are affected by the curve of the spine. Many sleepers with scoliosis find that a medium firm surface provides the best balance of support and pressure relief. Still others swear by a zoned mattress that provides targeted support and pressure relief.

How Does Sleep Position Affect Scoliosis Sufferers?

When selecting mattress firmness, keep in mind that different sleeping positions put stress on different parts of the body. This can have a heightened impact in people with scoliosis, especially those with asymmetrical hips, shoulders, or ribcages.

Typically, doctors recommend that people with scoliosis sleep on their back or side. These positions put less strain on the spine and are less likely to lead to back pain and pressure points.

Back Sleepers

Back sleeping is considered the healthiest position because it encourages natural spinal alignment. It also helps distribute body weight, avoiding the pressure points that can occur in heavier body parts such as the hips and shoulders.

Back sleepers with scoliosis should sleep on a mattress that’s firm enough to keep the spine on an even plane, yet soft enough to prevent pressure build-up. For most sleepers, this translates to a medium firm mattress, although this will depend on your body type as well.

You may find that tucking a pillow beneath the lumbar area or the shoulders can help take pressure off sensitive areas.

Side Sleepers

Depending on the type of scoliosis, sleeping on your side may or may not be recommended. People with misaligned hips and shoulders may find it uncomfortable to sleep on their side.

A mattress that’s too soft may allow the hips to sink in too far, which can interfere with spinal alignment. On the other hand, a mattress that doesn’t allow the hips and shoulders to sink in far enough can cause pressure points in these areas and contribute to lower back pain where the hips meet the spine. The best solution is to find a mattress that contours just enough to allow the hips and shoulders to settle naturally.

Side sleepers can place a pillow between the knees to keep the hips in line. Many people with scoliosis also insert a pillow under the ribcage to coax the spine towards a healthier position.

Stomach Sleepers

Most doctors recommend against sleeping on your stomach if you have scoliosis. This position allows the hips to sink in and forces the neck to bend at unnatural angles, which can put stress on the spine. Stomach sleepers will do best with a firm mattress and a flat pillow, which will keep the hips in line with the rest of the body and won’t force the neck to contort as much.

Combination Sleepers

Sleepers who frequently switch sleeping positions benefit from a mattress that is more responsive, such as a latex or hybrid mattress. This extra “bounce” makes it easier to move around and may be doubly beneficial from those who suffer from pressure build-up when they stay in the same position for too long.

When choosing a new mattress, it’s important to consider not only your usual sleeping position but also your body type. People who weigh more than 230 pounds put extra pressure on a mattress. These sleepers need a mattress that’s firmer and more supportive to keep heavier body areas from sinking in too far and throwing off spinal alignment.

In contrast, those who weigh less than 130 pounds benefit from a plusher and closer-conforming mattress. This reduces pressure points while allowing the hips and shoulders to sink in just enough for proper spinal alignment.

Last Things to Consider with a Mattress for Scoliosis

Additional things to consider when shopping for a mattress include budget, pillow, and sleep trial and warranty policies.

How Can I Get Relief On a Budget?

The good news for people with scoliosis is that memory foam mattresses tend to be among the most affordable models, and this is usually the type that’s recommended for scoliosis patients. But if the price of a new mattress is too prohibitive, you may also consider buying a mattress topper. This won’t be able to fix a sagging mattress, but it can add contouring to relieve pressure points.

How Much of an Investment Do I Need to Make?

The average price of a good mattress starts at around $800 and can be as much as $2,000 or more depending on the type and the features it offers. All-foam mattresses usually cost between $900 and $1,300, hybrid mattresses run between $1,300 and $2,000, and latex mattresses will set you back around $1,600 to $2,000. You may be able to find exceptions or seasonal discounts that lower the price.

Choosing the Right Pillow

Along with your mattress, your pillow can also affect your spinal alignment. A pillow that’s too low or too high will fail to keep your head, neck, and spine aligned. Side sleepers should opt for a pillow that’s as high as the space between the ears and the tip of the shoulders, and back sleepers will need a slightly thinner pillow that supports the neck without curving it too far upwards. Stomach sleepers usually need a flatter pillow, or sometimes none at all.

Some people with scoliosis relieve pressure on the spine by tucking an extra pillow between the knees when lying on the side, under the lumbar area or shoulder blades when lying on the back, or under the hips when lying on the stomach.

Mattress Warranty and Other Policies

Mattress companies typically offer a sleep trial of at least a few months. This allows time for your body to adjust to the feel of the mattress, and gives you leeway to return it if you discover it’s not right for you.

Mattresses should also be backed by a warranty against workmanship and manufacturing defects. Among other things, this usually covers permanent indentations in the foam that limit the mattress’s ability to deliver pressure relief and support. Mattresses that sag prematurely can exacerbate pain caused by scoliosis, so you may want to look for a warranty of at least 10 years.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Logan Foley

Certified Sleep Coach

Logan has extensive experience testing sleep products and producing sleep content. She is also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.

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.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Logan Foley

Certified Sleep Coach

Logan has extensive experience testing sleep products and producing sleep content. She is also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.

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.