Highest Rated Beds for Sciatica Nerve Pain – 2018 Reviews

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If you’ve ever felt radiating pain from your low back and down into your leg, you may be experiencing sciatic pain.

Sciatica is not a disease, rather it’s a symptom of an underlying condition like a herniated disc, degenerated disc, injury or arthritis.

These conditions put pressure on the nerve root, and the result is a feeling of searing or sharp pain in the low back, legs, and sometimes feet.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in our body, so it makes sense that compressing this nerve through injury or degeneration could cause a condition that can be both so common and utterly debilitating in extreme cases.

The discs that are responsible for this painful symptom are in the low back, specifically the L4, L5, and S1 discs. These are the lumbar and sacrum discs, located in your lower back and pelvic regions.

While there a number of ways to treat and ease this pain, one of the most immediate things you can do is sleep on a mattress that offers the perfect blend of comfort and support. Remember, sciatic nerve pain is caused by compression of the nerve in the discs in the low back, so being able to sleep in the right position can lessen and potentially eliminate these symptoms.

In this article, we’ll share our best mattress choices for sciatica pain.

Top 6 Beds for Sciatica Pain

The Casper – Spinal Alignment

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Designed and Assembled in the USA

Since the bed’s launch back in 2014, Casper has been focused on creating what they call a “universal feel” that can accommodate a large variety of specific sleep needs.

To achieve this, the mattress has undergone many updates, the most recent of which has designed a Zoned Support™ system for enhanced spinal alignment.

What makes it special? For most individuals, body weight isn’t distributed evenly from head to toe, and support needs may be different around the hips, where most people carry the most weight. Zoned Support™ provides extra firmness in the bed’s center, where many need it most to keep their bodies level.

Targeted support also helps to ensure that pressure relief needs are met in all three sleep positions. Exclusive side sleepers, in particular, tend to need additional softness around their shoulders to help reduce pressure point build-up in this position and to make sure the spine remains comfortably aligned. Both good alignment and pressure relief should help to keep nerve pain at bay.

Learn more about this model made by the Casper here.

Nectar – Generous Trial Period

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 365-Day Trial
  • Forever Warranty

Because everyone’s pain is different, you may have to make use of the Sleep Trial period to ensure your new mattress is the best match for you.

Nectar, with its slower-responding foams and deeper hug, comes with one of the most generous sleep trial periods on the market.

Nectar is built with a blend of comfort and support that places an emphasis on pressure relief for your curves that is exceptional for side sleepers, while still providing good support for stomach and back sleepers. Though the softer comfort foams mold to your body, the denser core should not sacrifice good spine alignment.

Why do we love it? While Nectar has a balanced comfort that should work well for pain-relief, it is the company’s sleep trial that really enhances the bed’s value. Once you have received the mattress into your home, you have 365 nights to decide if it does the trick of lulling you to sleep without exacerbating your pain.

In addition, the company also includes what they call a “Forever Warranty” which lasts for as long as you own the mattress.

Read more about the Nectar here if you need more info.

Zenhaven – Targeted Support

Highlights:

  • Dual-Sided
  • Certified Organic Cotton
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 20-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

The dual-sided Zenhaven comes from the Saatva Company and is their all-natural Latex brand with a focus on affordable luxury and more eco-friendly materials.

This mattress also uses strategically placed pinholes in the comfort layer to provide a more tailored approach to spine alignment and pressure relief.

What stands out? Though many latex comfort layers in different brands are aerated for additional breathability, Zenhaven has added an extra feature to this process by varying the distances between the holes to help make the bed feel softer around the shoulders and firmer in the center where many people require additional support. This targeted support should feel more balanced and keep the body in a comfortably level position.

With this mattress, you’re also getting two different feels in one bed because the mattress has two sides. Those who favor a firmer mattress, can flip the bed over and sleep on the bed’s Gentle Firm side or flip it back for the Luxury Plush for a softer bed.

With Zenhaven, you have twice the chance of getting the feel that best suits your pain relief needs. The company also offers free at-home installation and mattress removal with every purchase.

Learn more about this model if you’re interested in purchasing but you need to see more details.

Alexander Signature Hybrid – Balanced Feel

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Night Trial
  • Lifetime Comfort Guarantee
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

One way to achieve a pain-relieving blended feel is to shop for a hybrid mattress that combines comforting foam with supportive coils.

The Alexander Signature Hybrid, which comes from Nest Bedding, is built with 4.5 inches of comfort materials that mix a slower-responding gel memory foam with curve-conforming performance foams that provide enough bounce, especially when combined with the coil unit, to help you change position easily.

What is special about it? The mattress contains a lot of quality components that are blended together to maximize pressure relief and support simultaneously, and the 8-inch Quantum Edge pocketed coils provide a more body conformance than traditional innersprings and can reduce the experience of motion transfer.

This bed comes in three firmness levels, but we recommend the Medium firmness for sleepers with sciatic pain because it should envelop you in a luxuriously comfortable cradle that won’t trap you in. However, the company does offer a Lifetime Comfort Guarantee that allows you to swap out your bed for other models, firmnesses, and sizes for free within the trial period and for half of the new mattresses’ list price for as long as you own the product.

Read more: The Alexander Signature Hybrid overview

Loom & Leaf – Memory Foam

Highlights:

  • Certified Organic Cotton
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 15-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Loom & Leaf is Saatva’s luxurious and more eco-friendly memory foam option with 4.5 inches of comfort foam for pressure relief paired with an exceptional all-foam supportive base.

Saatva never rolls their mattresses, and this means they are able to use materials that are not as easily compressed, and their specially designed cover should keep you from sinking too deep into foam.

What makes it unique? This mattress contains high-quality and durable memory foam that can cost you thousands more in the retail space. Memory foam has a solid reputation for helping to reduce nerve pain by melting away pressure, and this bed’s online sales model cuts the cost of middlemen and offers a terrific value.

Not only is Loom & Leaf never rolled into a box, every mattress comes with free at-home installation and mattress removal for added convenience. For those who are more environmentally-minded, all Saatva foams contain a portion of bio-based oils that are more sustainable.

Our full review of the L&L can be found here if you need to read more.

WinkBed – Fantastic Durability

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 101-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Spine alignment is essential for good pain relief, but if the bed breaks down over time, uncomfortable sagging can inhibit its ability to provide pain-alieving rest.

WinkBeds, a company based in Wisconsin, aims to provide solid support and comfort that is built to last with their hybrid mattress.

What stands out? WinkBed’s dual-coil system should provide exceptional spine alignment, and the company claims that durability tests with the bed prove that it loses less than 1% of its loft over a year of consistent use. Quality foams and a micro-coil unit was designed to conform to your body for pressure relief that is also supportive.

The WinkBed was also designed to work with an innovative coolControl™ foundation system that allows you to set a preferred temperature for your bed so you shouldn’t ever be too hot or too cold. In addition, sleepers with significantly higher weight considerations should note that the company’s WinkBed Plus is built especially to remain supportive and durable for sleepers who are over 300 pounds.

Read more: Our Full Winkbed analysis

What Should Sciatica Sufferers Look for in a Bed?

Support and Spine Alignment

Since sciatic pain can be triggered or made worse by improper spinal alignment, people with sciatica need a bed that keeps the curve of their spine in a natural position. One of the best ways to ensure this alignment is through a zoned mattress.

Zoning means that different parts, or zones, of the mattress will have varying firmness and support levels. For example, when we lie down, most of our weight gets concentrated in our hip and shoulder areas. Because of this, having a mattress that offers additional support here can be ideal for comfort.

Contrast that to our head and feet, which don’t put nearly as much pressure on the bed. We don’t need the same type of support in those areas.

Typically, a zoned a mattress is made of pocketed coils, though it can also be latex. Ideally, you’ll see three to five zones. The middle zone is for the hips, and it will be firmer to provide support, which keeps your lumbar straight.

The middle will be mirrored by two softer zones for the shoulders. The mirroring effect allows you to place the mattress in any direction and still receive the same experience. This zone is softer, so the shoulders can sink in comfortably. If your arm has ever fallen asleep before you, it’s a sign that this zone of your mattress is too firm.

If a mattress has five zones, the ends will likely be the same as the hip area. It’ll be firm and supportive, though you won’t necessarily need it. It’s also important to note that there are a variety of brands that don’t include specific zoning that have the potential to be very helpful as well.

Durability

One of the most important things to seek out when buying a new mattress to help manage your nerve pain is durability. Remember, if your spine is out of alignment, it will make your sciatica worse and even trigger episodes, which is aggravating.

If your mattress loses support, sags or develops indentations prematurely, you’re going to pay the price. It can be a challenge to know in advance which beds will be the most durable. After all, most beds feel fantastic for the first several months. The challenge is finding one that will last for years.

It used to be that you could make an educated case about the durability of the bed based on the length of the warranty. It makes sense that a company that stands behind their product would offer the longest warranty period.

However, you’ll need to read the fine print before making that judgment. Many companies require there to be such a significant indentation to grant a warranty claim that you’d sleep uncomfortably for months before the indent would be enough to satisfy a claim.

Luckily, our top mattress picks all put a heavy emphasis on durability. We know how important this factor is, and so all of our choices are extremely durable.

Pressure Relief

You’ve probably read a lot of mattress reviews talking about pressure relief. So, what is it, and why is it important?

When we lie down, especially on our sides, the heavier and denser parts of our bodies sink into the mattress. This is typically our shoulders and hips. A mattress should allow for these parts of our bodies to settle in comfortably and keep our spine in the proper alignment, which is straight. A mattress with inadequate pressure relief may cause our bodies to sink in at inappropriate angles, misaligning our spine, and further exacerbating nerve pain.

The types of beds that perform best in this category tend to be either pure memory or a hybrid with memory foam layers. Latex also works well. The reason is that foam contours better to your body, allowing it to maintain spinal integrity.

Hard or Soft?

When you’re in pain, it can be tempting to seek out something soft to provide immediate relief. However, this would be a mistake because a bed that is too soft will cause you to sink too deeply into the surface, throwing off your alignment.

On the other hand, you may have also heard that sleeping on a hard bed is good for you. Our ancient ancestors slept on the floors of caves, after all. The problem with a too-hard bed is that your hips and shoulders don’t get adequate pressure relief. Instead of dropping into a natural position with a cradling support system, they’ll stay flat, which puts your pelvic bone in a raised position.

The result is pressure on your lumbar, and you guessed it, more sciatic pain.

tired girls relaxing on bed

Other Considerations

Pregnancy

Being pregnant can cause many of the same symptoms of sciatica. So, if you’re pregnant and you already suffer from this condition, it can be even worse.

The best advice we’ve found for easing sciatic pain during pregnancy is to invest in a body pillow. There are a few types we recommend, depending on what your exact need is:

  1. Full body pillow: A total-body cushion that you can snuggle up against for support from head to toe. It even has an area where you can sandwich it between your knees. Many of the full body versions can be repurposed and work well as a wedge or can be wrapped around you while sitting up.
  2. Side sleeper pillow: It looks like a dumbbell and offers support at your lower back and belly because you rest your side body into the middle groove. It can also be folded and placed between your knees, or you can prop it underneath for when you sleep on your back.
  3. Knee pillow: Sometimes you need just a little bit of help to get your hips in place. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees can make things just right.

Mattress Topper

If your bed is too firm or it is losing its support, a mattress topper can be a life saver. They’re dramatically less expensive than buying a whole new bed!

Memory foam toppers will be the best material to look for. You can pick one that is suitable for your unique needs, and we recommend seeking out a topper that’s between 2.5 and 4 inches thick, has a removable, machine washable cover, and is hypoallergenic. If you tend to sleep hot during the night, look for brands that have gel infusions, which will help you stay cool.

mattress topper on bed

What are the Best Sleeping Positions for Sciatica?

Side (Great Choice)

If you experience regular nerve pain, sleeping on your side is typically the best position, with some caveats. Side sleepers are still susceptible to a twisting of the lower back if they sleep with one leg in front of the other (most of us do that at some point in the night).

So, if you do lie on your side, put a pillow between your knees to coax your spine back into alignment. It’s also insanely comfortable, regardless of whether you have nerve pain or not.

Back (Depends)

Sleeping on your back can be helpful, but it’s going to depend on a few factors. Remember, sleeping flat on your back puts your spine at an unnatural angle. It flexes the lower portion of your spine, which can cause pain in your lumbar region.

If you do sleep on your back, make sure you have a cushion under your knees to provide ample support and encourage your spine to stay in the right position. It can be a pillow (the same you use for side sleeping), or you can roll a towel and place under your them. That way you can customize it each night depending on how you feel.

One word of caution: If you snore or have sleep apnea, you should probably sleep on your side instead. As always, it’s best to talk to a doctor about serious conditions.

Stomach (The Worst)

Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended for most people, and those with nerve pain should take extra care to avoid this position. The reason is that extends your back unnaturally, increasing pain in both the immediate and long term.

If you have another condition or compelling reason that only allows you to sleep on your stomach, you can place a pillow in your tummy region or just below to help create a more natural curve.

happy woman lies on her stomach

Tips for Sleeping with Sciatica Nerve Pain

Invest in a great mattress

Whether your nerve pain is minimal or severe, sleeping on a poor-quality mattress will almost certainly make your symptoms worse. If your bed is too hard, too soft or provides inadequate support, you’ll be more likely to have nerve pain.

Also, we already know that getting a good night of sleep is one of the best things we can do for our overall health. If we’re not sleeping well during the night because of a terrible mattress, that’s also going to affect how we feel and how well our bodies can adapt to conditions ranging from cold and flu to sciatica.

Read more: Our top rated beds for 2018

Elevate your knees

Elevating your knees can take pressure off of your low back, reducing and even eliminating sciatic pain. The best way to get your knees raised is to follow these three easy steps:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent slightly toward the ceiling. Your heels and rear end should still be flat on the bed.
  2. Slide a pillow under your knees. It should close the gap between your knees and the bed. Add more if needed.
  3. Keep experimenting until you find the setup that is just right for you.

Hot tub or bath before bed

There is nothing like a warm bath or a soak in a hot tub to relax you right before bed. Not only does it serve as a nighttime ritual that can signal your body to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, it can also help relax the muscles around the nerves.

Bonus points for adding aromatherapy or essential oils like lavender to inspire tranquility.

Consider a body pillow

Even the best mattress can some people feeling a little bit flat. Sometimes you may need that extra support or just the right angle to put us in the right position to get comfortable and relieve nerve pressure. Putting an additional pillow between or under your knees can yield excellent results.

Further, a full body pillow can provide the exact amount of contouring and support you need if you sleep on your side. And if you’re pregnant? A body pillow is practically a must-have.

Develop a nightly routine

When you’re dealing with something like sciatic nerve pain, you need all the help you can get when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep. We’ve found that having a nightly routine signals your body that it’s time for bed and can help make you sleepy.

Whether it’s a warm bath like we mentioned earlier, a cup of herbal tea or a few minutes with your favorite (or a boring sleep-inducing) book, having a routine you follow each night can help you sleep better.

Stretch before bed

There are multiple stretches you can do before bed that will help prevent sciatic pain to wake you in the night or plague you in the morning. Most of them involve opening up your hips, which again relieves pressure and encourages blood flow.

The most effective stretch some people have found to date is called Pigeon Pose. It has multiple variations, but classics are standard and supine (lying down).

The reason pigeon pose is many people’s favorite is because it stretches something called the tiny piriformis muscle. When this becomes inflamed, it puts undue pressure on the sciatic nerve, so keeping this muscle in tip-top shape is one of the best things you can do to combat nerve pain. Pigeon pose can be a miracle worker for a whole host of other back problems, especially in the lower back.

Pigeon Pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees in a crawling position
  2. Take your right leg and angle it so your knee is just behind the wrist on the same side
  3. Straighten your left leg out behind you
  4. Slowly lower flat to the ground with your forehead either touching or coming close to the floor
  5. Hold for 30-60 seconds
  6. Repeat these steps on the other side

 

woman in a pigeon pose

Supine Pigeon

  1. Lie flat on your back
  2. Raise your legs and bend knees so that they’re at a 90-degree angle
  3. Cross your right leg loosely over your left knee; your right knee should be pointing out toward the side of the room
  4. Wrap your arms around the left leg; clasp your fingers if you can
  5. Gently pull your left leg toward your chest. You’ll feel a stretch in the back of your right leg
  6. Hold for 30-60 seconds
  7. Repeat these steps on the other side

Doing these stretches before bed and even again first thing in the morning can dramatically help your symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my sciatica worse when I lie down?

When you lie down, your spine has a tendency to compress, especially if you’re not sleeping on a quality mattress. If the position you’re lying in puts the spine at any angle other than straight, it’s going to make the pain worse.

Why is my sciatic pain worse in the morning?

This issue is similar to the question above about sciatica being worse in a prone position. Again, if you’re sleeping in a position that puts pressure on your nerves, you’ll feel a lot worse first thing in the morning than you would during the course of the day. Your spine has been at a suboptimal angle for hours, naturally making the pain worse as soon as you become conscious.

sciatica pain in leg

Why do some people recommend sleeping on the floor?

There are anecdotal stories from people who have found relief from sleeping on the floor. Others are skeptical of this technique. Here’s why: you need a supportive surface to ensure your spine is in proper alignment. We talked earlier about a sleeping surface that is too hard will tilt the pelvis up and out of position.

We think the real reason that people recommend sleeping on the floor is that they have such a terrible, sagging, and unsupportive mattress that anything is an improvement over that! We’ve outlined a lot of solutions to minimize nerve pain, so we strongly encourage you to try the other tips and consult a doctor before resorting to sleeping on the floor.

Conclusion


Pain is the absolute worst, isn’t it? And if you’ve ever had to deal with nerve pain from sciatica, you know the feelings of helplessness and frustration that go along with it. Fortunately, you don’t always need to turn to medication or expensive medical treatments to find relief. The solution can sometimes be as easy as a few stretches, a proper pillow, and the right mattress.

Author: Sarah Cummings

I think we’re all nerds, but I’m probably the biggest nerd in the group. Put me nose deep in a spreadsheet and I’ll start smiling.

I love to travel, hang out with positive people, and love cycling when I find the time!

My hope is that everyone who visits our site will walk away with a fresh perspective. I think too many people in society downplay the importance of sleep. In my opinion, it’s the difference between an average life and an amazing one.

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