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Best Mattresses for People with a Herniated Disc (2024)

Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read More Here.

A herniated disc can cause pain that’s both chronic and debilitating. The severity of the condition and the intensity of its symptoms can vary, often depending on the type of herniation and where it’s located. The majority of the time, the herniation is in the lower back, though some people experience one in their middle back, upper back, or neck.

Although a herniated disc can be serious, many patients heal from this condition on their own1 without medical intervention or surgery. However, as you might imagine, sleeping on the wrong mattress can prevent your body from healing properly and create a vicious cycle of pain and sleepless nights.

The right mattress could help you rest more easily. In this article, we’ll share our top mattress picks for people with a herniated disc, as well as what you should know when you’re shopping for a mattress and struggling with this condition.

What’s the Best Mattress for a Herniated Disc?

The Saatva Rx tops this list because it was built to minimize back pain with two coil layers. It’s also a supremely versatile mattress that pleases a wider variety of sleepers than many competitors.

Best Mattresses for Herniated Discs

  • Saatva Rx – Editor’s Pick
  • Helix Midnight – Best Hybrid Mattress for a Herniated Disc
  • WinkBed – Best Mattress for Low Back Pain From a Herniated Disc
  • Plank Firm Luxe – Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with a Herniated Disc
  • Puffy Cloud – Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with a Herniated Disc
  • Bear Elite Hybrid – Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with Herniated Disc
  • Nolah Signature – Best Mattress for Pressure Relief with a Herniated Disc
  • Birch NaturalBest Organic Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Best Mattresses for Herniated Discs Video Review

Compare The Best Mattresses for Herniated Discs

Saatva Rx Mattress Helix Midnight Mattress WinkBed Mattress Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Puffy Cloud Mattress Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Nolah Signature 12 Birch Mattress
Saatva Rx Mattress Helix Midnight Mattress WinkBed Mattress Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Puffy Cloud Mattress Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress Birch Mattress
Rating
4.8/5
4.5/5
4.6/5
4.7/5
5.0/5
4.5/5
4.8/5
4.8/5
Firmness Medium-firm: 6/10 Medium-firm: 6/10 Multiple firmness options Multiple firmness options Medium-firm: 6.5/10 Medium-firm: 6/10 Soft: 4/10 Medium-firm: 6.5/10
Material Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Foam Hybrid Foam Hybrid
Cooling
Warranty Lifetime warranty 10-year warranty Lifetime warranty 10-year warranty Lifetime warranty Lifetime Warranty Lifetime warranty 25-year warranty
Shipping Free white glove delivery Free shipping Free shipping Free shipping minus HI and AK Free shipping Free shipping Free shipping Free shipping
Trial Period 365 nights 100 nights 120 nights 120 Nights 101 nights 120 nights 120 nights 100 nights
Best For Back Pain, Hip Pain, Stomach Sleepers, Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers Couples, Back Sleepers, Side Sleepers Back Sleepers, Stomach Sleepers, Back Pain, Hot Sleepers, Side Sleepers Hot Sleepers, Back Sleepers, Stomach Sleepers, Side Sleepers, Couples Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers, Back Pain, Kids Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers Side Sleepers, Back Pain Back Sleepers, Stomach Sleepers, Hot Sleepers

Sleep Advisor’s Testing Methodology

At Sleep Advisor, our mattress reviews are based on findings from in-person tests that allow us to have a genuine understanding of how the mattress feels and performs. We look at features that are valuable to consumers, such as temperature control, bounce, edge support, and motion isolation.

We also evaluate mattress performance for back, side, and stomach sleeping. Lying in different positions lets us know how supportive the bed is and if it’s good at relieving pressure.

We then take all the information we’ve gathered as well as our medical expert’s take, to rate the bed in specific categories. These results allow us to help our readers find the right mattress for their needs.

For this roundup, we prioritized features that are especially important for herniated discs. We paid special attention to components such as mattress thickness, support elements, weight capacity, and cooling.

Methodology Image- Sleep Advisor
Our lead product tester, Julia Forbes, hands on mattress testing.

Top 8 Mattresses for a Herniated Disc

Editor’s Pick

Saatva Rx Mattress

Loren Bullock of Sleep Advisor testing the Saatva RX

The Saatva Rx mattress offers exceptional support for those with back and joint pain.

Score 4.3/5
Read Saatva Rx Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

365 nights

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Editor’s Pick

Saatva Rx Mattress

Loren Bullock of Sleep Advisor testing the Saatva RX

The Saatva Rx mattress offers exceptional support for those with back and joint pain.

Score 4.3/5
Read Saatva Rx Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Trial Period

365 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Loren Bullock of Sleep Advisor testing the Saatva RX
Editor’s Pick

Saatva Rx Mattress

The Saatva Rx mattress offers exceptional support for those with back and joint pain.

Score 4.3/5
Read Saatva Rx Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

365 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hip Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from hip pain.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5

Why the Saatva Rx Earned Best Mattress for a Herniated Disc Overall

“In terms of back support, it doesn’t get much better than the Saatva,” said Lead Product Tester Loren Bullock. She and her fellow reviewers awarded this bed perfect scores in the categories of spinal alignment, pressure relief, and responsiveness, making it a natural choice for sleepers with a herniated disc.  

The Saatva Rx is a hybrid bed with a few unique bells and whistles. As its name implies, it was designed specifically to address aches and pains. Its medium firmness and specialty coil systems (yes, there’s more than one) meld support and softness into a memorably soothing package. 

What’s the Saatva Rx Made Of?

The Saatva Rx begins with an organic cotton cover that’s been treated to resist germs. The quilting is firmer in the middle third of the cover, right where your lower back should go. Underneath is a half-inch “crown” of memory foam, likewise located directly under the lumbar region. 

Next up is a comfort sandwich of sorts: two layers of 2.75-inch high-density foam, with a 1-inch layer of micro-coils in between. The foams cradle sensitive pressure points while the micro-coils easily compress to support the natural curvature of your body. 

The layers of the Saatva RX mattress
A closer look at the layers inside the Saatva Rx

The spring unit underneath also combines foam with coils in a standout design. Its 8-inch coils are each topped with a 2-inch foam “module,” which relieves pressure and eases you into the springs’ resistance. The foam also features graphite and phase change material to encourage cooling. Along the perimeter of the bed, firmer coils add to the edge support.

Finally, an eco-friendly base layer provides the spring unit with a durable foundation.

Our Take: “I often get asked, What’s the best mattress for back and joint pain? … The Saatva RX could be your answer, considering that’s exactly what it’s made for.” Loren Bullock, Lead Product Tester

What We Liked

  • Responsive for constant support – “The spring-back from the micro-coils and coil core is almost instantaneous, so the mattress provides non-stop support as you move around,” Loren reported. This type of adaptive support should help prevent sinkage that could exacerbate the symptoms of a herniated disc. 
  • Pressure relief champ – Even though this bed contains two layers of springs, its foams are distributed in such a way that the layers contour comfortingly to your silhouette. “We didn’t detect any pressure buildup during testing, so this is good news if you have hip, shoulder or back pain,” Loren said. 

Potential Drawbacks

  • Slight sink for stomach sleepers – We think this bed has enough support for any and all sleeping positions, but according to Loren, “there’s a bit of sink around the hips” for stomach sleepers. She recommended pairing the Saatva Rx with a low-loft pillow to achieve the ideal spinal alignment for addressing back pain.2 
  • Motion isolation isn’t the best – This is a bouncy, responsive bed that can’t cancel out ripples from big movements. Your or your sleeping partner may be woken up by the other’s repositioning. 

Customer Reviews of the Saatva RX

Customers on Saatva’s website have awarded the Saatva Rx 4.8 out of 5 stars on average. Multiple testimonies praise the bed for helping with chronic back and neck pain, with only a few mentioning drawbacks such as lackluster edges.

Curious about this mattress? Check out our in-depth Saatva Rx review, or peruse our list of the best mattresses for 2024.

Best Hybrid Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Helix Midnight Mattress

Helix Midnight Mattress

Part of Helix’s core line of mattresses, the Midnight has a hybrid construction that’s particularly suited to back and side sleepers.

Score 3.9/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Hybrid Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Helix Midnight Mattress

Helix Midnight Mattress

Part of Helix’s core line of mattresses, the Midnight has a hybrid construction that’s particularly suited to back and side sleepers.

Score 3.9/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review
Helix Midnight Mattress
Best Hybrid Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Helix Midnight Mattress

Part of Helix’s core line of mattresses, the Midnight has a hybrid construction that’s particularly suited to back and side sleepers.

Score 3.9/5
Read Helix Midnight Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Watch Our Video Review

Why the Helix Midnight Earned Best Hybrid Mattress for a Herniated Disc

When you have a herniated disc, it can be difficult to settle into a sleeping position that doesn’t exacerbate your pain. Some people find it most comfortable to be on their side in a fetal pose. Others find the most relief on their back, often with a pillow placed under their knees.

Fortunately, the Helix Midnight can accommodate both of these positions with its hybrid construction. Although it’s often marketed to side sleepers, our tester loved how it felt on her back as well. “On my back, I feel really comfortable and evenly supported,” said Emma. “I like how the foams feel soft, but not too soft, like I’m sinking in and getting stuck.”

What’s the Helix Midnight Made Of?

The Helix Midnight has six layers, including its soft top cover.

Its first comfort layer is made of Memory Plus foam, a proprietary Helix material that cradles the body and eases the strain on pressure points. The next two layers are sheets of Helix Responsive foam, both of which also contour to the body but also provide a degree of supportive pushback.

Next is the Midnight’s spring unit. It contains up to 1,000 coils and has thicker springs on its longer sides to keep the edges from dipping too much.

A closer look at the Helix Midnight mattress construction
Take a closer look at the hybrid construction of the Helix Midnight

At the base of the bed is a stabilizing layer of DuraDense foam.

Our Take: “The mix of comfort and support is just right.” Emma Mattei, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • You can change positions easily – The Midnight’s responsiveness is a blessing for sleepers who need to change the way they’re lying throughout the night. “It definitely has good response and bounce. I can move and adjust positions, no problem,” said Emma.
  • Solid edges on the long sides – According to Emma, the reinforced coils on the longer sides of the mattress hold up in the face of added pressure. “We don’t feel like we’re gonna fall off the bed, even right up on the edge of the mattress.”
  • An affordable hybrid – Emma deemed the Helix Midnight “a killer value for the money.” At close to $1,000 for a queen, it’s a more budget-friendly option than many comparable hybrids.

Potential Drawbacks

  • No swaddled feel – “If you want that old-school memory foam feel, this bed may not be for you,” cautioned Emma. There is a cozy amount of give to the top comfort layers, but it’s not the same hug-like feel that you’ll get from an all-foam bed.
  • Stomach sleepers may want a firmer mattress – When she laid on her stomach, Emma felt her hips sink into the Midnight just a bit. “I’m still decently comfortable,” she said, “but I might suggest a firmer mattress for exclusive stomach sleepers.”

Customer Reviews of the Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight rates 4.5 stars out of 5 on Helix’s website. The main negative is that reviewers tend to find it too soft for their liking and feel as though they’re sinking. But overall, users say they’re getting a great nights’ sleep and some pain relief.

Interested in this bed? Check out our full Helix Midnight mattress review, or browse more of the best hybrid mattresses.

Best Mattress for Low Back Pain From a Herniated Disc

WinkBed Mattress

WinkBeds Mattress

WinkBed is a luxury hybrid bed with a variety of comfort features that should make it a versatile pick for most sleeping positions.

Score 4.3/5
Read WinkBed Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Low Back Pain From a Herniated Disc

WinkBed Mattress

WinkBeds Mattress

WinkBed is a luxury hybrid bed with a variety of comfort features that should make it a versatile pick for most sleeping positions.

Score 4.3/5
Read WinkBed Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
WinkBeds Mattress
Best Mattress for Low Back Pain From a Herniated Disc

WinkBed Mattress

WinkBed is a luxury hybrid bed with a variety of comfort features that should make it a versatile pick for most sleeping positions.

Score 4.3/5
Read WinkBed Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review

Why the WinkBed Earned Best Mattress for Low Back Pain From a Herniated Disc

The WinkBed is a hybrid mattress with handmade details and a cozier, plusher feel above its substantial support system. You’ll need both aspects—a pillowy feel paired with strong lumbar support—if you have low back pain from a herniated disc.

Lead Product Tester Loren deemed the WinkBed a strong choice for this demographic. “I score the WinkBed high in pain relief,” she said. “The pressure-relieving foams and zoned support work to keep your body weight evenly distributed, and the built-in lumbar support helps to prevent back pain.”

What’s the WinkBed Made Of?

The WinkBed stands 13.5 inches high and comes in four different firmness levels: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, and Plus. The Plus option is specifically meant for heavier folks, and incorporates latex as well as poly foam.

At the top of every WinkBed is a Tencel© cover. Its breathable, cool fabric is derived from wood pulp that comes from Eucalyptus trees.

Underneath is a Euro-style pillow top made with gel-infused foam. This layer provides marked cushioning for sensitive joints while aiming to stay temperature-neutral.

An additional layer of gel foam helps to dampen motion, and a proprietary LumbarLayer™ increases the pushback around the middle portion of your body (where your lower back rests).

WinkBeds Mattress Construction
Construction of the Winkbed showing coil unit at its base

Next, you’ll find the WinkBed’s coil unit. It’s zoned so that different areas lend different amounts of pushback, depending on the body part they’re supporting. The coils around the edges of the mattress are also reinforced.

Our Take: “There is quality in every single layer of this bed.” Mark Mattei, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • Select your preferred feel – As Mark put it, with the WinkBed, “You can choose what style is going to best fit your body.” The multiple firmness options allow you to customize the feel of your bed, and therefore pick the model that will provide the most relief from your herniated disc symptoms.
  • Zoned support – By varying the pushback levels in its spring unit, the WinkBed honors the comfort needs of different body parts. “The coils are zoned so there’s … plenty of pressure relief for my shoulders and hips, which I really appreciate,” said Sean.
  • Multiple cooling methods – “From the start, the bed feels cool to the touch when you lie on it,” Sean remarked. The WinkBed’s Tencel© cover, gel-infused poly foams, and coil unit all contribute to its cooling powers.

Potential Drawbacks

  • You may feel a partner’s movements – “This mattress might not provide the same level of motion absorption as an all-foam bed,” said Sean. “But the coils respond individually, which does help to prevent too much movement.”
  • It’s not exactly cheap – Given its handcrafted touches and sturdy construction, the WinkBed isn’t the most budget-friendly bed on this list. Depending on what promotions are available, a queen-sized model will run you about $1,500 to $2,000.

Customer Reviews of the WinkBed Mattress

On the WinkBeds site, the WinkBed earns a 4.8 out of 5 stars. One drawback of the WinkBed mattress is that it might be too expensive for budget-conscious shoppers, but overall it offers excellent durability and customizable firmness options.

Looking for more info? Check out our Winkbed mattress review, or read our roundup of the best mattresses for back pain.

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

Plank Mattress

The Plank Firm Luxe is a flippable hybrid mattress ideal for stomach and back sleepers looking for ultimate comfort, motion isolation, and spine alignment.

Score 4.0/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 Nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

Plank Mattress

The Plank Firm Luxe is a flippable hybrid mattress ideal for stomach and back sleepers looking for ultimate comfort, motion isolation, and spine alignment.

Score 4.0/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Trial Period

120 Nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Plank Mattress
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

The Plank Firm Luxe is a flippable hybrid mattress ideal for stomach and back sleepers looking for ultimate comfort, motion isolation, and spine alignment.

Score 4.0/5
Read Brooklyn Bedding Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 Nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping minus HI and AK

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Couples
This bed has great motion isolation so you will not feel your partner tossing and turning at night.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for heavyweight side sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5

Why the Plank Firm Luxe Earned Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Stomach sleepers need the firmest of beds. If the mattress is too soft, they’ll feel their hips sink into the layers, and their backs will no longer be well-aligned. As you can imagine, a neutral spine is also important for someone with a herniated disc—so if you’re treating one, and you sleep on your belly, you’ll need an especially solid bed.

Luckily, the Plank Firm Luxe is such a bed. It’s marketed based on its above-average firmness and flippable design, which allows you to choose between a Firm and an Extra-Firm feel. “The more firm feel and the minimal sink of the mattress are great for stomach and back sleepers,” said our tester, Stuart. “You should feel excellent support and alignment in this bed.”

What’s the Plank Firm Luxe Made Of?

The Plank Firm Luxe has six layers and stands approximately 13.25 inches tall. Its design is flippable, with a Firm feel on one side and an Extra-Firm feel on the other.

The Firm side has a 1.5-inch quilted top layer, followed by an inch of TitanFlex™ foam. This foam molds to the body like memory foam, but it also has a highly responsive structure, so it won’t allow you to sink in too deeply. Rather, it should make your body feel comfortably buoyed. Next is a 2-inch layer of high-density support foam.

Plank Firm Natural Mattress Construction
The Plank Firm is built on 6 layers in its construction

On the Extra-Firm side, the quilted top layer isn’t as lofty. It’s 0.75 inches tall, and there’s no TitanFlex™ foam underneath. Instead, it segues straight into 2 inches of high-density foam.

Sandwiched between the two sides is the mattress’s 6-inch coil unit. Its springs add to the bed’s overall responsiveness while permitting cooling airflow.

For additional cooling, you can pay extra to have a GlacioTex™ Cooling Cover sewn onto both sides.

Our Take: “The firmness of this bed really supported my hips and kept my body aligned.” Stuart Petty, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • It’s flippable – Two distinct sides with two distinct feels means that the Plank Firm Luxe is a versatile bed, even though it’s catering to people who want a very firm sleeping surface.
  • You can readjust easily – “The Plank is a great mattress for those of us that move around a lot in our sleep,” said Liz, another of our testers. She found that moving between sleeping positions on this hybrid was a cinch.
  • It supports heavier bodies well – Plus-sized sleepers often have difficulty locating a bed that doesn’t sag or sink too much. The Plank Firm Luxe, however, is designed to stay strong. “With this level of firmness, heavier individuals should find a good balance of contouring and support,” said Stuart.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Might be too firm for lighter folks and side sleepers – “Because it’s so firm, if you’re a lighter individual, you may find this mattress lacks the contouring and comfort you need,” said Stuart. The same could be said for side sleepers, who may crave more cushioning around their shoulders and hips.
  • Motion isolation could be better – “Movement is a little more noticeable in this bed,” Stuart pointed out. If you’re easily woken up by a partner’s fidgeting, you may want a mattress with thicker foams that absorb more motion.

Customer Reviews of the Plank Firm Luxe Mattress

On Plank’s website, the Plank Firm gets 4.8 out of 5 stars. The Plank Firm Luxe mattress, favored by some customers for its ultra-firm support, may not be suitable for those seeking a softer sleep surface, as per customer feedback.

Interested? Read our in-depth Plank Firm Luxe mattress review, or browse our picks for the best mattresses for stomach sleepers.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Puffy Cloud Mattress

Puffy Mattress

Puffy provides a classic memory foam feel with enhanced pressure relief that should appeal to most sleepers.

Score 3.0/5
Read Puffy Cloud Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Foam

Trial Period

101 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
5.0/5
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Puffy Cloud Mattress

Puffy Mattress

Puffy provides a classic memory foam feel with enhanced pressure relief that should appeal to most sleepers.

Score 3.0/5
Read Puffy Cloud Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

101 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
5.0/5
Puffy Mattress
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Puffy Cloud Mattress

Puffy provides a classic memory foam feel with enhanced pressure relief that should appeal to most sleepers.

Score 3.0/5
Read Puffy Cloud Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

101 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Kids
This bed is perfect for young sleepers.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
5.0/5

Why the Puffy Cloud Earned Best Mattress for Side Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

The Puffy Cloud looks out for sore backs with a design that prioritizes upper cushioning and base support. You’ll see the word “cloud” all over its marketing, but Julia was actually surprised at how bracing it felt, especially for an all-foam bed. 

When you lie down on this mattress, its top foam layers gently frame your body and ease the pressure that can otherwise gather around sensitive spots for side sleepers, namely the hips and shoulders. At the base of the Puffy Cloud, however, is a 6-inch foundation of high-density foam. This foam core bolsters the back, helping your spine to stay in alignment while, hopefully, soothing rather than exacerbating the pain from a herniated disc. 

What’s the Puffy Cloud Mattress Made Of?

Puffy’s original mattress has an all-foam design with 5 layers that contribute to its soft feel. The first is a “Cloud Cover” with hypoallergenic and stain-resistant properties. It encases the mattress with a zippered closure, but can easily be unzipped and washed. 

The first comfort layer consists of 2 inches of Cooling Cloud™ Foam. This proprietary material combines pressure-relieving and cooling benefits—it molds to your silhouette while simultaneously permitting airflow and keeping heat at bay with gel infusions. 

Next is a 2-inch layer of Climate Comfort™ Foam. As its name implies, this foam helps to regulate humidity and temperature. It rests on top of a 6-inch base of high-density Firm Core Support Foam, which absorbs motion and acts as the bed’s primary support unit.

Finally, a secondary lower cover made with textured, gripping fabric ensures that the Puffy stays stable on its frame or foundation.

Our Take: All the foam layers in this mattress work well to keep your spine supported and the tension off your pressure points. It’s also an advantageous bed for couples, as its foams do an excellent job of preventing motion transfer.

What We Liked

  • A side sleeper’s dream – According to Julia, the Puffy would be a great choice for side sleepers. It has enough softness in its initial layers to really cradle the shoulders and hips, but that base layer of foam also keeps any one region from sinking too much. 
  • Firmer than you might expect – As a stomach sleeper, Julia is always nervous about sinking too low into the layers of memory foam beds. But the Puffy Cloud has a refreshingly sturdy feel for a mattress without springs. Its top layers are indeed cloud-like, but its supportive foam core kept her well-aligned. 

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers 

  • Poor edge support – Lying on the edges of the Puffy Cloud didn’t make Julia feel 100% secure, and sitting on the edges was worse. If you roll all the way to the side during the night, you may want a stronger perimeter. 
  • Not much bounce – The Puffy doesn’t have a lot of responsiveness or bounce. If you prize some springiness in your mattress, or you have mobility issues that make repositioning difficult, you’ll want to check out other beds. 

Customer Reviews of the Puffy Cloud

The Puffy Cloud rates 4.9 out of 5 on Puffy’s website. Customers often praise the Puffy Cloud mattress for its plush comfort and excellent motion isolation, but some have mentioned it might be too soft for those who prefer a firmer feel.

Intrigued? Read our full Puffy Cloud mattress review, or browse our picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers.

Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

With coils and foam layers, this Bear mattress offers zoned support without taking away from the pressure-relieving properties. The bed also has copper infusions to ensure the best cooling for hot sleepers and athletes.

Score 4.3/5
Read Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Warranty

Lifetime Warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

With coils and foam layers, this Bear mattress offers zoned support without taking away from the pressure-relieving properties. The bed also has copper infusions to ensure the best cooling for hot sleepers and athletes.

Score 4.3/5
Read Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

Lifetime Warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

With coils and foam layers, this Bear mattress offers zoned support without taking away from the pressure-relieving properties. The bed also has copper infusions to ensure the best cooling for hot sleepers and athletes.

Score 4.3/5
Read Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime Warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight, average weight, and heavyweight back sleepers.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5

Why the Bear Elite Hybrid Earned Best Mattress for Back Sleepers with a Herniated Disc

The Bear Elite Hybrid is Bear’s most luxurious mattress model, featuring high-tech textiles that work to cool the body and may even help you to recover after an active day. But these are bonus touches on top of the true selling point: a strong, zoned spring system that’s great for back sleepers.

Back sleeping is one position that often provides relief from the pain of a herniated disc, and this hybrid has the chops to support it. “Sleepers with back, hip, or shoulder pain will love the zoned coil system,” said our tester, Stuart. “It’s built to relieve pressure in the areas you sleep on and support the areas that need a little extra boost, specifically the lumbar area.”

What’s the Bear Elite Hybrid Made Of?

The Bear Elite Hybrid has five total layers if you include its cover. That cover is a highlight of the bed, because it boasts two advanced materials within its fabric: Celliant® and PCM, or Phase Change Material.

According to preliminary studies, Celliant® boosts blood flow to the areas of the body it touches, and may help your body’s tissues to recover after a workout.

PCM, meanwhile, helps to keep the cover cool via thermoregulation—it absorbs excess heat as the molecules within it shift from solid to liquid.

The next layer is a sheet of copper-infused memory foam.

Taking a look at the Bear Elite construction in the lab
Take a closer look at the construction of the Bear Elite

The copper within the foam also helps with cooling, and the memory foam conforms to your body’s curves and relieves bothersome pressure. Underneath is a firmer layer of transition foam that deepens the contouring properties of the bed and provides support.

The bed’s coil system follows. It’s zoned so that the coils beneath your lumbar spine are thicker and stronger, and the springs around its edges are also reinforced. The coils rest on top of a base of high-density foam that stabilizes the whole bed.

These layers all add up to a 14-inch profile. You can also customize the firmness of your Bear Elite Hybrid, as it’s available in Firm, Medium, or Soft versions.

Our Take: “It’s got the best of both worlds. It’s got a familiar mattress feeling with plushness in the cover and foam layers, but quick response and support from the springs.” – Stuart, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • State-of-the-art materials – The PCM and Celliant® inside this bed’s cover make the Bear Elite Hybrid a cutting-edge mattress. If you like to be an early adopter of exciting technologies, this bed should appeal to you.
  • Exceptional cooling – The hybrid’s cover, its copper-infused memory foam, and its spring unit all add up to form a reliably cool sleeping surface. “The cooling was immediately noticeable as I lied down,” said Stuart. “I’m pretty sure that it would do a good job of keeping anyone cool throughout the night.”
  • Recommended for couples – “This bed is great for couples, especially those looking for a really luxurious high-end feel,” said Stuart. He pointed out its relatively impressive motion isolation and sturdy edges to back up his opinion.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Not the best for stomach sleepers – “I felt comfortable in all sleeping positions on this bed, but exclusive stomach sleepers may not like the plush feel as much,” Stuart said. Stomach sleepers may want to look at slightly firmer mattresses.
  • Too cold for some – Our other tester, Sydney, sleeps pretty cold and found the Bear Elite Hybrid to be a bit chilly. “I prefer a warmer bed to sleep in,” she said, “But if you’re already a hot sleeper [and] prefer your room cold, [or] your mattress cold, this bed’s perfect for you.”

Customer Reviews of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

According to Bear’s website, the Bear Elite scores about 4.5 out of 5 stars. Some customers find the Bear Elite Hybrid mattress too firm for their liking, but it receives praise in its reviews for its advanced cooling technology and pressure relief.

Want more details? Read our full Bear Elite Hybrid mattress review, or see our list of the best mattresses for back sleepers.

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief with a Herniated Disc

Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress

nolah signature mattress

Shoppers interested in a hybrid feel should find this Signature bed a perfect choice for their needs.

Score 4.0/5
Read Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Foam

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Soft: 4/10

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief with a Herniated Disc

Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress

nolah signature mattress

Shoppers interested in a hybrid feel should find this Signature bed a perfect choice for their needs.

Score 4.0/5
Read Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Soft: 4/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
nolah signature mattress
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief with a Herniated Disc

Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress

Shoppers interested in a hybrid feel should find this Signature bed a perfect choice for their needs.

Score 4.0/5
Read Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Soft: 4/10

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Side Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight side sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review

Why the Nolah Signature Earned Best Mattress for Pressure Relief with a Herniated Disc

For some people with herniated discs, a plush mattress will provide the most immediate sense of comfort. The Nolah Signature is plush indeed—we rated it a 4 on our firmness scale, making it the softest mattress in this roundup by far.

“While it’s quite soft, it does have a great deal of support in the lower layers,” said Emma, one of our mattress testers. Another reviewer, Liz, backed her up: “I found it completely supportive as well as plush.” Liz experiences chronic joint pain, and she thought this bed was a great match for her comfort preferences, especially when she was laying on her side.

What’s the Nolah Signature Made Of?

The Nolah Signature has five layers and stands 12 inches tall.

It begins with an organic, unbleached cotton cover. Underneath is a 2.5-inch plush layer of Nolah’s proprietary AirFoam™, an alternative to memory foam that, according to the brand, runs cooler and lasts longer. It’s also more responsive, so you shouldn’t sink so deeply into the bed that you feel stuck.

Next is a 1.5-inch layer of Active Response Foam. This foam contributes to the bed’s bounce, but it also allows for notable airflow.

Beneath it is yet another layer of AirFoam™, although this one is 1 inch thick and firmer than the one at the top of the mattress. It offers bolstering support and segues into the 7-inch high-density foam foundation of the bed.

Our Take: “When laying on it, it just really hugged those areas that I wanted it to, and it really just relieved that pressure.” – Mark, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • Cloud-like softness – “When sleeping on my slide, I love this bed. It’s like a dream,” said Emma. Other reviewers were similarly enchanted. “They somehow found the perfect … plush-to-firm ratio,” said Liz.
  • Bouncier and cooler than memory foam – The team was united in their praise for the proprietary material in this mattress. “If you’re interested in a hybrid feel but want an all-foam bed, you’ll love the bounce and cool nature of Nolah’s AirFoam™,” said Emma.
  • Superb motion isolation – Emma tested the Nolah Signature for motion transfer and was quickly impressed. “While this foam is certainly more responsive than memory foam might be, at the end of the day, it’s still foam … [so] there’s virtually no motion transfer on this bed.”

Potential Drawbacks

  • Too soft for heavy folks – Our plus-sized reviewer, Sean, didn’t get the support he wanted from the Nolah Signature: “I found that I sunk in a bit more when I was sleeping on my back and my side.”
  • Weak edges – “The edge support wasn’t as strong as I would like it to be,” said Mark, who sleeps with a partner and often gets pushed to the side of the bed.

Customer Reviews of the Nolah Signature

The Nolah Signature gets a 4.8 out of 5 stars on Nolah’s website. One potential drawback of the Nolah Signature mattress is its limited firmness options, but it excels in providing exceptional pressure relief and a cooling sleep experience.

Want to know more? Consult our Nolah Signature mattress review, or look at our list of the best soft mattresses.

Best Organic Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Birch Mattress

Birch mattress

An eco-friendly bed that pairs latex and individually wrapped coils for a versatile hybrid sleep experience.

Score 4.0/5
Read Birch Mattress Review
CHECK PRICE

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Warranty

25-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Organic Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Birch Mattress

Birch mattress

An eco-friendly bed that pairs latex and individually wrapped coils for a versatile hybrid sleep experience.

Score 4.0/5
Read Birch Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

25-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review
Birch mattress
Best Organic Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Birch Mattress

An eco-friendly bed that pairs latex and individually wrapped coils for a versatile hybrid sleep experience.

Score 4.0/5
Read Birch Mattress Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

25-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Watch Our Video Review

Why the Birch Natural Earned Best Organic Mattress for a Herniated Disc

If you’re looking for a mattress that has enough support to help you sleep with a herniated disc, and you’re also an eco-conscious shopper, the Birch Natural should be a good match. This hybrid mattress showcases organic and natural materials, from a cotton cover to a pressure-relieving layer made of latex foam.

The bed’s medium-firm feel should deliver plenty of lift to help level out your spine and mitigate pain.3 “I feel more like I’m sleeping on this bed rather than sinking into it,” said Stuart, one of our mattress testers. “I really appreciate the way the latex and coils respond to my movements, helping me to switch positions easier without feeling stuck in the bed.”

What’s the Birch Natural Made Of?

The Birch Natural has six total layers including its cover, and stands 11 inches tall. The cover is made of organic cotton that holds a certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)—in fact, the entire mattress is GOTS-certified.

Beneath the cover are two layers of organic wool. They serve as both a fire-safety measure and comfortable padding, replacing synthetic fire retardants and foams.

Next is a layer of natural Talalay latex, which is made from the sustainably harvested sap of rubber trees. Latex foam is more springy than memory foam, but it also has pressure-relieving qualities, so it’s a fitting compromise for sleepers who want a mattress with both softness and bounce.

Under the latex is a support layer of pocketed springs. They’re reinforced on the long sides to provide palpable edge support, and they sit on top of a final base layer of organic wool.

Our Take: “This is a mattress that should work well for those who want a little more bounce and mobility, and those who prefer a more natural product.” – Stuart, Sleep Advisor Mattress Tester

What We Liked

  • Cushioning but responsive – Latex and coils make for a very responsive mattress, but latex has a cozy amount of give to it as well. According to Stuart, “The mobility and pressure relief offered by the latex and coil system are a huge plus.”
  • Responsibly made – For Birch, it isn’t enough to simply incorporate organic and natural materials into their mattresses. They also ensure that these materials are sourced responsibly. For example, they can track the wool in their mattresses to the farms that provide it, and their latex foam is harvested in ways that preserve the rubber tree forests.
  • Robust edges – “I’m also a huge fan of the reinforced edge support,” said Stuart. “It feels like I can really utilize the entire mattress.”

Potential Drawbacks

  • It’s not super soft – Side sleepers may need more cushioning than the Birch can give, especially if they’re petite. “It’s not the softest mattress when I’m lying on my side, but that could be addressed by adding the available mattress topper,” Stuart remarked.
  • It’s a little pricey – Because it features such high-quality and eco-friendly ingredients, the Birch Natural is a little more expensive than other hybrids. You can expect to pay around $2,000 for a queen—though promotions can save you hundreds of dollars when they’re running.

Customer Reviews of the Birch Natural Mattress

According to Birch’s website, the Birch Natural scores a 4.6 out of 5 stars. While some users consider the Birch Natural mattress to be on the pricier side, it gains customer appreciation for its organic materials and sustainable, eco-friendly construction.

Want to know more? Visit our full-length Birch Natural review, or see our recommendations for the best organic mattresses.

What to Look for in a Mattress for a Herniated Disc

Herniated discs are painful, and they can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. According to Dr. Mohamad Bydon with the Mayo Clinic4, people with this particular kind of back problem will want to look for a mattress with a medium firmness. Medium-firm mattresses should provide the right amount of support to keep your spine aligned and prevent pressure from building up around the affected areas.

Further, a mattress that is too firm may not allow for enough contouring around the back and neck, and this could lead to additional pain, whereas an extremely soft mattress is not likely to keep your spine aligned.

Type of Mattress

There are several different types of mattresses to choose from if you have a herniated disc. In this section, we’ll outline the most common options.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a soft, cushiony material that holds its shape even after you put weight on it, hence the term “memory.” When you lie down on a mattress made out of memory foam, it will conform to the shape of your body and keep that shape during the night.

This is typically a great mattress choice for herniated discs as long as it’s high-quality and made by a reputable company. Memory foam in cheap mattresses wears out faster, so it’s important to choose a brand that is known for durability and long-lasting comfort.

Memory Foam mattress interior, tested by Julia Forbes
Julia testing a memory foam bed in the studio

Explore our picks for the best memory foam mattresses.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine an innerspring (coil) base with a memory foam or latex top layer. This type of bed is another good choice because they tend to provide the ideal blend of pressure relief and support. That being said, hybrids usually come at a higher price point.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses can have a harder time delivering on the needs for this issue. First of all, they don’t tend to hold their shape over the years if the bed doesn’t have high-quality construction, so some people can expect uncomfortable sagging.

Second, most coils don’t allow for even weight distribution. Different parts of our bodies have varying density levels.

Taking a look at the Nolah Evolution mattress construction
The inside of an innerspring mattress

If you lie down on a coil mattress that isn’t “zoned” to accommodate your shoulders and torso, you will likely feel it in your back.

Latex

These beds are similar to memory foam, but instead of foam, latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. There’s also synthetic latex, which is a petroleum-based product. Research shows that this material could be beneficial for healing5.

We often highly recommend latex mattresses, but if you have a herniated disk in your back or neck, be sure to check that the sleeping surface is not too firm.

Spinal Alignment & Support

Julia testing a mattress for spine support.

People with herniated discs require a sleeping surface that keeps their back in proper alignment, and their entire body should be well-supported. A poor-quality mattress will have areas that sag, further exacerbating back pain.

How do you know if your spine is in proper alignment when you’re in bed? The best way to determine this is to lie on your side and have someone take a picture of you from behind. Your spine should keep a straight line. If you don’t feel comfortable asking someone to take the picture, set a timer on your phone, prop it up on something, and take a picture that way.

Check Out Our Guide: Best Mattress for Back Pain

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position can play a large role in alleviating the pain from herniated discs. Sleeping on your back puts the least amount of pressure on your spine6, and this could help alleviate pain from herniated discs. So, if you sleep on your back, continue to do so, and look for a supportive mattress with medium firmness as this will help keep your spine aligned.

Stomach and side sleepers should look for a mattress that won’t allow their hips to sag down in the mattress as this will help keep their spine neutral, though side sleepers may want to avoid a mattress that is too firm as this could cause pressure to build up on the hip and shoulder.

Weight/Body Type of Sleepers

Having a heavier body can already cause additional pressure and pain on herniated discs. Therefore, these people will want to find a bed that offers plenty of support. If heavyweight people push through a mattress’s layers too quickly because their bed doesn’t offer enough support, their spine can be put in an awkward position, which may exacerbate the pain from herniated discs.

Lightweight people often benefit from softer mattresses more than their heavier counterparts as this can help keep pressure from building up. However, when it comes to buying a mattress for herniated discs, lighter sleepers will want to make sure that it is supportive enough to keep their spines aligned.

Browse our picks for the Best Beds for Heavy People.

Firmness

People with back pain are often told to sleep on an exceptionally firm surface, or in some cases, even the floor. However, this can sometimes make it even worse.

As we’ve said, if you have a herniated disc, it’s crucial to maintain proper spinal alignment when you lie down. A too-firm surface isn’t going to allow for any contouring, and a too-soft surface won’t have as much support.

Mattress firmness is relative to your body weight since people who weigh more will feel a mattress differently than someone who is exceptionally lightweight. Medium-firm beds are often a great choice since they can provide sturdy support without sacrificing pressure relief.

Cooling

Have you ever noticed that when you’re in pain, you tend to feel hotter? If you sleep on a mattress that doesn’t allow for any airflow, your already-heated body is going to feel even more uncomfortable.

Memory foam is not known for being a cool material, mostly because the contouring traps body heat. We recommend looking for a memory foam mattress with either gel or copper infusions, which draw heat away from the body.

Julia Forbes testing how fast a mattress cools down
Julia testing the cooling capabilities of each mattress with a temperature control gun

There are also some brands that offer something called “open cell” construction that have pockets of air that get released when you put weight on them.

Hybrid and innerspring beds get extra airflow from their coil units, and latex beds are good for cooling because latex is a temperature-neutral material.

Find Out More: Best Cooling Mattresses

Motion Isolation

When you’re in pain because of herniated discs, you don’t want movement from your partner or pet to compound your issues. Therefore, if you sleep with another person or even a dog, you will want a bed that doesn’t transfer the motion that is made from their movement from their side of the bed to theirs. Memory foam mattresses are typically a solid choice for isolating motion, and these beds may be a good choice for those with herniated discs.

Sex

Herniated discs may make sex difficult because the movements involved with intercourse may aggravate your pain. Your doctor and medical professional may recommend that you refrain from sex when you have herniated discs, but if you are cleared by your doctor, you will likely want to find a bed that is responsive and bouncy.

Responsiveness is often associated with latex or latex hybrids. This is because these beds quickly regain their shape. Mattresses for sex have good bounce, allowing you to reposition more easily.

Pressure Relief

When it comes to choosing the right type of bed for pressure relief, we’ve found that memory foam mattresses often perform best. You need something that cradles the heavy parts of your body while also providing ample support. Memory foam is designed to contour all of your curves, making it a great material for pressure relief.

Each of our mattresses pressure relief technology is put to the test using pressure maps and motion isolation tests using our resident skeleton Dave.

Looking for more relief? Explore our picks for the Best Mattress for Pressure Relief.

Edge Support

Julia Forbes testing edge support
Julia testing the edge support of a mattress.

When you are sleeping on a bed with good edge support, you can utilize the entire bed without worrying about falling off the edge. This makes it beneficial for couples and those who just prefer to sleep closer to the outside of the bed.

If you have herniated discs, it may be even more important because the jerking motion that can take place when the edge of the bed gives out could make the pain worse. Edge support is usually provided by putting reinforced coils or high-density foam around the outside

Budget

Considering the amount of time that we spend in bed, and the impact that quality sleep has on our overall health, purchasing a mattress that meets our needs is extremely important. However, considering that they can also be a major expenditure, it is important to do research to ensure that we are getting the best mattress for the money.

This is particularly important if you have a medical condition that could be made worse by a mattress that isn’t providing enough support. In this instance, you will want to try to get the best possible bed that your budget allows.

Why You Need a Great Mattress if You Have Spinal Disc Herniation

We all deserve a great mattress, regardless of the medical issues we may have. However, if you have any spinal problems, sleeping on the right mattress makes a big difference.

You need to keep your spine in proper alignment, and if you have a poor-quality mattress or one that is too soft or too firm, it will push your back out of its natural position.

Conversely, a good-quality mattress will have an ideal blend of pressure-point relief and support. Pressure relief is a mattress’ ability to cradle or cushion the denser parts of your body to keep you comfortable and reduce pressure build-up.

Support, on the other hand, refers to the bed’s ability to keep your body lifted. For example, even though you want to feel a soft surface that relieves pressure when you lie down, you don’t want to sink too deeply into the surface of the bed. That’s where support comes in.

A great mattress will provide the perfect balance of both of these factors.

What Causes Herniated Discs?

Picture your spine. We’re all familiar with the line of vertebrae that goes from our skull to our lower back. There’s a space between each of these vertebrae, and within that space are discs. Their purpose is to provide mobility. They function like ball bearings.

The discs themselves are fibrous with layers of ligaments that protect a center core of gel-like fluid. If you picture the rings of a tree, that’s what a section of a spinal disc looks like. The annulus makes up the exterior part, and the soft center is called the nucleus.1

A herniation occurs when those fibers get damaged or degenerate. The inner fluid begins to push outward, distorting the shape of the disc. The result is the disc either bulges or ruptures, depending on how damaged and degenerated the fibers become.

Types of Herniated Discs and Symptoms

What is a herniated disc, and what happens if you have one?

Picture your spine. We’re all familiar with the line of vertebrae that goes from our skull to our lower back. There’s a space between each of these vertebrae, and within that space are discs. Their purpose is to provide mobility. They function like ball bearings.

The discs themselves are fibrous with layers of ligaments that protect a center core of gel-like fluid. If you picture the rings of a tree, that’s what a section of a spinal disc looks like. The annulus makes up the exterior part, and the soft center is called the nucleus.1

A herniation occurs when those fibers get damaged or degenerate. The inner fluid begins to push outward, distorting the shape of the disc. The result is the disc either bulges or ruptures, depending on how damaged and degenerated the fibers become.

Depending on the type of spinal disc herniation you have, the symptoms vary:

Contained Herniation (Protrusion)

A contained herniation usually happens in the first two stages before the gel-like material leaks into the spinal canal, which typically happens in the third and fourth stages. This means the jelly center is still contained within the outer wall of the lumbar disc. Besides lower back pain, patients may experience symptoms such as arm and leg pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness1.

Non-Contained Herniation (Disc Extrusion)

A non-contained herniation typically causes more severe back pain. What happens in this stage is that the gel-like material breaks through the outer wall of the intervertebral disc. The material leaks into the spinal canal and causes many painful and uncomfortable symptoms. This is why non-contained herniation is often called ruptured discs as well. The symptoms may include tingling, numbness, and pain that can be severe and long-lasting1.

Sequestered Herniation

Sequestered herniations happen if a patient doesn’t treat non-contained herniations. What happens is that the discs beak due to the compressor, which then results in severe pain and even loss of mobility if patients ignore the symptoms long enough. Those who deal with chronic back pain may be more likely to ignore symptoms of sequestered herniation, although consulting a doctor is critical1.

How Can a Mattress Help with a Herniated Disc?

Although herniated discs7 can happen in any part of the spine, they typically happen in the lower spine. Some people may not even know that they have a herniated disc, but others can experience pain from the buttocks to the foot.

Medical intervention isn’t usually required, but if you are concerned about your symptoms, you should always consult a medical professional. Fortunately, these back issues can usually be treated with at-home remedies, including using an appropriate mattress.

  • Those who have lower back herniated discs8 should look for a mattress that is supportive to keep their spine neutral and their hips from sagging.
  • Memory foam mattresses offer excellent pressure-relieving properties. If you have herniated discs in your upper back, these kinds of mattresses may bring relief to the pain around your neck and shoulders.
  • Responsive mattresses, such as beds made from latex, can make it more comfortable to roll over, and this can ease herniate disc pain that may happen from changing positions.
  • Medium-firm beds are often recommended for those with herniated discs4. Finding a bed with targeted support and a medium firmness may help with overall comfort.

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for a Herniated Disc?

A slipped disc is a term often used to describe a herniation, though it’s technically a misnomer because the disc isn’t actually slipping. Rather, it’s being pushed out of place due to being misshapen.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the best sleeping position for a herniated disc. The answer to this question lies in where in your vertebral column the herniation has expressed itself: neck, thoracic or lumbar.

Here are general guidelines for each sleeping position:

Back Sleeping

Sleeping on your back is usually the best choice, though there are a couple of caveats. If your disc herniation is in your neck area, you should focus on which pillow you use. Ideally, a cervical pillow with a center opening to let your head sink while supporting your neck is best.

Also, when you sleep on your back and you have a herniated disc, you’ll probably feel most comfortable with a pillow underneath your knees.

Side Sleeping

Julia Forbes testing a mattress in the side sleeper sleeping position
Julia testing a mattress in the side sleepers position.

As long as you have the right mattress, side sleeping can be a fantastic choice, especially if you have a herniated lumbar disc. You can try sleeping with a pillow between your knees to ensure that your spine doesn’t twist during the night.

You can also try a cervical pillow regardless of where your herniation is located. Keeping your cervical spine in place can help to make sure the rest of your back stays in alignment.

Explore our picks for the best mattresses for side sleepers.

Combination Sleeping

Since movement can sometimes aggravate herniated discs, combination sleepers will need to change positions carefully, which is why a more responsive bed is helpful in this case.

Also, if one of your go-to positions is stomach sleeping, you may want to find an alternative. This is because when you sleep on your stomach, your hips can sink into the bed and cause your spine to curve. When you have herniated discs, this can become a painful situation.

Stomach Sleeping

This position is not typically recommended because it can force the hips down and cause your back to arch in an uncomfortable way. If you insist on stomach sleeping, you can place a pillow under your pelvis and at your knees. For your head pillow, choose something very thin or opt for nothing at all.

Tips for Better Sleeping with a Herniated Disc

  • Sleep on your back or side9, and avoid sleeping on your stomach when possible.
  • Back sleepers can put a rolled-up towel under their lower back9.
  • Side sleepers may want to use a wedge pillow below their legs9.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mattresses for Herniated Disc

Can a bad mattress cause a herniated disc?

A bad mattress won’t cause a disc to herniate, but it can prolong or prevent the healing process. Sleeping on the wrong mattress can also accelerate the degeneration process, so even though it won’t be responsible for the actual herniation, it can be a contributing factor.

How do you sleep with a herniated disc in your neck?

When you have a herniated disc in this area, the most important thing to keep in mind is neck support. This means sleeping on a pillow that is slightly higher under your neck than your head. Using cervical pillows that dip in the center and have a gentle, rounded ridge at the base of your skull can be very helpful.

Want to see more? Check out our complete guide for best pillows for neck pain.

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease11 (DDD) is not technically a disease. Rather, it’s the long-term degeneration that happens to your spine as you age. However, age is not the only thing that causes this, and just because we get older, it doesn’t mean we have to experience DDD.

Factors that can cause discs to start wearing down12 include injuries, drying out of discs with age, and tears that result from sports and daily activities. A nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise, and avoiding obesity can help support your overall health and may help slow or prevent degenerative disc disease.

Can this condition cause sleep apnea?

While excess soft tissue in the mouth and throat often is the culprit behind obstructive sleep apnea, the less common central sleep apnea13 (CSA) may originate in spinal trauma or injury, which can include herniated discs, though this is very rare. When a spinal disc shifts out of place because of stress or acute injury, it can impinge nearby spinal nerves resulting in a disconnect between the muscles you use to breathe and the brain.

Interested in exploring further? Learn more in our best mattress for sleep apnea guide.

What type of mattress is best for a herniated disc?

Memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses should be best for struggling with herniated discs. These beds are good at contouring the body and relieving pressure in the most critical areas, including the lower back. On top of that, some models even have zoned support that further enhances the contouring in the lower back.

How should I sleep with a severely herniated disc?

The best way to sleep if you have a herniated disc is on your back. You can even add a small pillow under your knees if you need more relief. This way, you’re less likely to feel as much pain because the nerves aren’t under so much pressure. Side sleeping is also an option, though we recommend avoiding stomach sleeping if possible.

Is sleeping on a hard surface good for a herniated disc?

Sleeping on a surface that’s too hard, like the floor, may worsen the symptoms as it offers no contouring. This can put too much pressure on the lower back, so sticking to medium and medium-firm surfaces should be better. These beds usually offer a good balance of pressure relief and support, both of which are crucial for those with a herniated disc.

Is a soft or firm mattress better for a herniated disc?

For most people with herniated discs, a medium-firm mattress will likely serve them best4. This firmness level should provide adequate back support for most sleepers to help keep the spine aligned while still offering pressure relief to the joints.

Although sleeping on a soft bed can be comfortable and cozy, it may cause more harm than good when dealing with herniated discs. A soft mattress may not offer enough support to keep your spine properly aligned, which could put more pressure and strain on your herniated discs.

MattressBest ForPrice (Queen Size)Review
Saatva RxOverall$3,295Saatva Rx Mattress Review
Helix MidnightHybrid$1,199Helix Midnight Mattress Review
WinkBedLow Back Pain$1,799Winkbed Mattress Review
Plank Firm LuxeStomach Sleepers$1,149Plank Firm Luxe Mattress Review
Puffy CloudSide Sleepers$1,049Puffy Cloud Mattress Review
Bear Elite HybridBack Sleepers$2,305Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Review
Nolah SignaturePressure Relief$1,599Nolah Signature Mattress Review
Birch NaturalOrganic$1,799Birch Mattress Review

Medical Disclaimer: If you have or are concerned that you may have a herniated disc, always work closely with your healthcare provider regarding appropriate lifestyle changes, including sleep.

Melanie Kassel

Melanie Kassel

Performance Editor

About Author

Melanie is Sleep Advisor’s Performance Editor and a certified sleep science coach. She writes and edits content throughout the site to ensure it’s accurate, engaging, and up-to-date.

Combination Sleeper

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