Highest Rated Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis – Updated for 2019

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How many of these characteristics describe you?

  1. You experience pain when you walk

  2. The pain goes away when you sit down

  3. You’re over 55

If all three of these factors apply to you, then there’s a 97% chance you have spinal stenosis. If only the first two are accurate, there’s still a relatively high chance that this condition is affecting you.

Most people with spinal stenosis experience pain on a daily basis, and they find it so hard to walk that they shuffle their feet or have to take frequent breaks. Other people have less severe symptoms, but they can worsen over time if not addressed.

While we can’t cure or treat this condition, we can recommend a mattress that may help with spinal stenosis, so you can hopefully get a quality night of restful rejuvenation.

nectar product image mobile Nectar
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 365 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
zenhaven small product image Zenhaven
  • Type: Latex
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
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casper small product image The Casper
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
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layla bed new medium product image Layla
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
mobile small product image of bear mattress Bear Mattress
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 100 Days
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Sojourn bed small image iPedic Sojourn 12" Gel Memory Foam
  • Type: Memory Foam
  • Trial Period: 120 Days
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Top 6 Beds for Spinal Stenosis Reviews

Nectar – Exceptional Value

Highlights:

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

Memory foam can be a great solution for the pressure point concerns associated with back pain, but there are additional considerations if you overheat or have trouble repositioning.

Nectar’s take on a memory bed incorporates high-quality materials and features that improve on traditional memory materials while helping to keep you cool and prevent you from feeling stuck in the mud. If you’re unsure, the company offers a prolonged sleep trial to help you decide, a feature that reduces a lot of the risk associated with a big purchase.

What’s special? With outstanding updates to a classic feel, similar beds can be much more expensive, especially if you’re shopping in a retail space. By keeping sales online and packing their products into boxes, Nectar can keep their prices exceptionally affordable while not sacrificing quality.

For cooling, Nectar incorporates a layer of gel-memory foam that carries heat away from the surface of the bed, as well as breathable foams and cover that allow heat to easily escape the mattress. Though you’ll likely sleep in a deeper pressure-relieving hug, Nectar’s design helps to ease repositioning, which can be a concern for folks with significant back pain.

Read more: In-Depth analysis of the Nectar Bed

Zenhaven – Zoned Latex

Highlights:

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

Optimal spine alignment requires just the right mixture of pressure relief and support that best suits your individual body shape and position preference.

Depending on what position you choose, that blend may be slightly different, and a dual-sided mattress like the all-natural latex Zenhaven could help you experiment with two different feels and find the feel and position that works best with your back pain.

What stands out? Not only does this bed process their latex to be highly consistent and buoyant, they’ve also aerated the comfort layer for additional breathability and zoning. Different distances between the aeration holes vary the amount of support and pressure relief in five different zones in the mattress.

Zenhaven comes from the Saatva Company, which is devoted to producing mattresses that capture the luxury and eco-friendly markets. The latex is sourced from rubber trees, and its cover is certified organic cotton, which gives it a high-end finish while the online sales model keeps prices affordable. As an added bonus for folks with back pain, every Zenhaven mattress is delivered and installed by professionals, so you should not have to do any heavy lifting.

To find out more about the Zenhaven mattress you can check out full review here.

The Casper – Spine Alignment

Highlights:

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

Improving your posture can go a long way toward alleviating the symptoms of spinal stenosis, and since you spend one-third of your life in your bed, choosing a mattress with an enhanced spine support system could possibly help you achieve your goal.

You may have heard of Casper mattress already, but you may not know that they’ve recently updated their transitional layer to provide enhanced spinal alignment.

What’s its best feature? Casper’s updates are aimed at making sure everyone can enjoy their sleep products, and their newest update targets support. With zoning in the bed’s third layer that adds extra firmness to the bed’s center, the product can better ensure an even balance of support and pressure relief that can keep your body comfortably level, even if you carry a little extra weight in your midsection.

By choosing a more versatile bed like Casper, couples with different sleep preferences should both be accommodated. The all-foam design reduces motion transfer that could disturb your sleeping partner, and the responsive performance foams on top should keep repositioning from aggravating your back pain.

Want to learn more: Full overview of the Casper bed

Layla – Pressure Relief

Highlights:

  • Dual-sided Firmness
  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

Pressure relief can feel heaven-sent for pain-sufferers, but how much you need depends on your body shape and what position you prefer to sleep in.

Finding the best position may require some experimentation, which is made easier when you have two firmness options to choose from. Layla’s memory bed offers a deeper hug or a gentler cradle, both of which possess terrific cooling technology.

What stands out? The top layer on both sides is made from a high-quality memory foam designed to melt your pressure points and support your back in good alignment. This copper-infused foam, when paired with the proprietary cooling gel in the cover, helps keep heat from building up against your body.

With a 120-day trial, you’ll have ample time to try out both sides to see which works best to help alleviate your pain. Exclusive side sleepers may prefer the softer side because it’s better able to accommodate your curves, but exclusive back sleepers may prefer the firmer side. Those who are concerned about repositioning and its potential to trigger back pain may consider the shallower cradle of the firmer side as well.

Read our full review of Layla bed here.

Bear Mattress – Athletes & Active Folks

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • 100-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Children’s Charity Initiative
  • Made in the USA

Bear mattress was designed specifically to relieve the pain points associated with an active life and has incorporated some exciting new performance material with the potential to assist your body in the natural recovery process that occurs while you sleep.

The company claims that these cover materials improve tissue oxygenation and circulation, while the insides of the mattress work to promote good support and pressure relief.

What’s its best feature? Clinical scientists are currently investigating the possible health benefits of Celliant®, but its manufacturers are encouraged by early results. According to studies, this material converts the body’s kinetic energy to create infrared energy, which they say assists processes associated with muscle healing and recovery.

Those who would like to know more about this science and how it continues to develop are welcome to do their own research to see if this material may be beneficial to their sleep health. From a comfort standpoint, the bed’s breathable foams and cooling technology should help you achieve proper alignment and comfort needed to sleep well and wake refreshed.

Read more about the Bear bed in our full analysis here.

iPedic Sojourn 12″ Gel Memory Foam

Highlights:

  • CertiPUR-US® Certified
  • OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • 120-Day Trial
  • 10-Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

If you suffer from back pain, your sleeping space isn’t somewhere to compromise on quality because a mattress that is a bad fit only stands to make your pain worse.

If your budget is tighter, you still have a great option in iPedic Sojourn (formerly the Ultimate Dreams Supreme) from Dreamfoam, which provides really good quality foams at a fraction of the cost you’d find in a retail store.

What makes it unique? This mattress’ affordability is by design, as Dreamfoam is committed to reducing prices without sacrificing quality. The company is able to reduce significant amounts of overhead by eliminating the middlemen associated with having their mattresses in brick and mortar stores or outsourcing their manufacturing.

Sometimes inexpensive mattresses may not hold up long term, and sagging foams can cause pain points in your back. The foams in the Sojourn are built to be durable, and all three layers stand 12 inches tall, and impressive height for a bed in the budget-friendly space.

Learn more: Our in-depth analysis.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Let’s first start by defining the word, “stenosis.” It’s when a passageway in the body becomes narrower than it’s supposed to be. In the case of the spine, it’s when the discs between the vertebrae become too narrow, resulting in the vertebrae compressing the nerves in the spinal column.

There are three types:

  1. Foraminal stenosis: also called lumbar or lateral stenosis. It’s when a bone spur that’s developed from degeneration presses on the nerve root in the lower back. It looks like the nerves are being pinched.

  2. Central stenosis: this condition also occurs in the lower back region. However, instead of compressing the nerve root, the narrowing of the space between the vertebrae affects the nerve bundle. Rather than the pain that’s associated with the foraminal and lateral varieties, central stenosis affects organ function.

  3. Far lateral stenosis: this is when the nerves that exit from the hole in the back of the spine are compressed due to the narrowing space. It’s the most common type. Because of the location of nerves being affected, people with lateral stenosis often have foraminal as well. This condition is also likely to manifest itself if you have a herniated disc.

Symptoms vary, and some patients don’t even know they have it. For the majority of people with this condition, they’ll experience one or more of the following:

  • Severe low back pain

  • Tingling sensations (often a sign of sciatica)

  • Numbness

  • Weakness

  • Headaches

  • Decreased organ function of the bowels, genitals, and bladder

  • Difficulty walking and loss of motor function

Left untreated, it can lead to significant nerve damage (called myelopathy) and may result in paralysis, inability to walk or write easily, permanent loss of bladder control, and in extreme cases, even death.

Sorry about that. You’re here looking to find out what the best mattress is for a spinal disorder; not to be told that your achy low back might make you incontinent or kill you. If you’re worried, consult your doctor, but it may be comforting to know that these effects develop over the course of years, not weeks.

Can a proper mattress help?

Having the right mattress is a huge step in the right direction for someone with spinal stenosis. One of the causes of this condition is degeneration caused by the spine being out of alignment over long periods. This happens due to daily micro-traumas, like poor posture, too much sitting, and sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t allow your spine to maintain a natural alignment.

The best thing about sleeping on a mattress that allows for proper alignment is that you could get the benefit of helping your body heal without having to do anything!

In addition to keeping your spine in the position it’s supposed to be in, a proper mattress can also help with pain relief. A bed that is either too hard or too soft for your condition could make your pain worse, while one that has an ideal firmness level can help alleviate that symptom.

an example of how a mattress has protruded to the body of a woman

What Type of Mattress is Best for Spinal Stenosis?

The recommendations are similar to what would be recommend to most people in general, so you don’t need a special or custom mattress for this condition. There are four main categories of beds, so in this section, we’ll briefly discuss each one and share whether they may be a good fit for someone with this condition.

Memory Foam:

This type of bed is popular among most of our population, particularly those that experience conditions associated with back pain. Memory foam is a softer sleeping surface that responds to the weight of your body and conforms to its curves.

When you lie down, your body distributes its mass unevenly. The part of the mattress that supports your shoulders and hips is going to bear more weight than the area supporting your head, waist, and feet. The responsive material of memory foam helps absorb that weight, allowing your heavier parts to sink in comfortably to the bed.

The result is that your spine stays in neutral alignment, which is critical for those suffering from spinal stenosis. The only real disadvantage of memory foam is that it tends to sleep hot. What this means is that when you lie down, and the mattress hugs your body, there’s not much airflow, so the bed can trap much of your body heat; however, some brands account for this with skillful construction.

Read more: Our Top Memory Foam Beds

Hybrid:

A hybrid bed simply means that two types of beds were merged into one. It sounds a lot fancier than it actually is. Usually, a hybrid mattress has a coil or innerspring base with soft layers of latex or memory foam on the top. Hybrids are popular because you get the springy feeling that comes from a coil mattress but also the comfortable support that’s characteristic of latex and memory foam.

Some hybrid bed companies allow you to build a more custom bed based on your specific preferences. You’ll answer a series of questions before you buy, and the company will design a ship a bed to you that’s built just for you. They’ll adjust the firmness and material settings based on your age, weight, gender, sleeping position, etc.

Learn more: Our Top Hybrid Bed Picks

Coil:

Also called innerspring, coil mattresses feature a layer of springs that make up the foundation of the bed. This type of mattress is ideal for jumping, but these beds tend to wear out faster because the springs that bear most of your weight lose their integrity and make the surface sag. It depends on the materials and how they are made.

However, when this happens, it becomes a terrible mattress for anyone, but especially those with degenerative disc disease.

If you like the feel of an innerspring mattress, there are brands that have individually pocketed coils that can offer better specific zoned support.

See more: Our Top Coil Bed Picks

 

Latex:

There are two types of latex: natural and synthetic. The natural variety is made from the sap of a rubber tree, so it’s a greener and more durable material. It’s also bouncy since it is technically a form of rubber. Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is made from a petroleum base, so even though you get the feel of latex, it’s not exactly natural.

Pure latex beds tend to be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you might want to get a bed that has a blend of natural and synthetic latex.

For people with spinal stenosis, these beds can be a great choice, though some people find them to be too firm. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll probably prefer memory foam. But, if you tend to sleep on your back or stomach, latex could be a perfect match for your needs.

Learn more: Our Top Rated Latex Bed Picks

Buying Considerations

The most important thing to consider is getting a bed that provides the perfect blend of soft comfort and firm support. While these two features may seem in opposition of each other, quality mattress companies have found a way to provide both.

They’ve mastered this feat by designing beds that have soft and cushiony top layers with a firmer base layer. The result is that you sink in comfortably at the top of the bed, but not so far that it buckles your spine and causes it to lose proper alignment.

If you’re buying memory foam, look for beds that have multiple layers to provide the ideal blend of comfort and support we’ve been talking about. If you’re considering a hybrid, check to make sure that they’re using top-quality coils and that the top “comfort” layers are durable enough to properly support you.

Support and Spine Alignment

Keeping your spine supported and in proper spinal alignment is important for three reasons:

  1. May reduce pain

  2. Helps you to sleep comfortably, which is necessary for happiness and optimal health

  3. Potentially relieve symptoms of stenosis and reverse the condition in some cases.

When it comes time to buy your bed, make sure you’re looking for quality materials and seek out brands that demonstrate that they understand this concept. A cheap memory foam bed, for example, will usually have poorer quality foam that feels dreamy at first but lacks durability.

Tell-tale signs of a cheap mattress that won’t work well for you is when you see low-density foam, a lack of certifications (at the very least all beds you consider should be CertiPUR-US certified), or integrated coils systems that do not offer tailored support.

Cooling Materials & Breathability

Being hot can make your back pain worse for many reasons, one of which is dehydration. When you’re not properly hydrated, you lose fluid in your joints, exacerbating your existing symptoms.

Since memory foam tends to sleep hot, if you choose this bed, make sure you get one that has a top layer designed to keep you cool. Look for gel material and copper infusions, both of which keep the surface of the mattress cooler and help draw heat away from your body (you can see our top cooling beds here).

Also look for something called open-cell structure. This means that the mattress was designed for adequate airflow that can help cool down a hot mattress.

If you’re concerned about the bed you buy being too hot, you can also get a mattress topper with cooling properties as well.

Your Sleeping Position

Did you know that something as innocent as the position you sleep in could cause back pain?

If you have spinal stenosis, you should be careful which position you choose to sleep in. In our research, we’ve found two recommended sleeping positions:

  1. Side sleeping – more specifically, the fetal position. By drawing your knees up toward the chest, you relieve pressure on the nerve root.

  2. Back sleeping – if you choose this, make sure you keep your upper body elevated. You can do this with either a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed. You can also try maintaining a bend in your knees. Putting a pillow underneath them can help retain that bend, even when you’re asleep.

woman sleeping on her Back

Frequently Asked Questions

Is spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease?

Yes, spinal stenosis is one type of degenerative disc disease (DDD). While it’s commonly associated with aging, getting older doesn’t mean you have to fall prey to this condition. The cause of DDDs like spinal stenosis is shrinking and drying out of the discs. Lifestyle choices like proper nutrition, adequate movement, and sleeping and sitting on the right surfaces can help prevent this from happening.

How can I prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?

The two best ways research has revealed to prevent it from getting worse are exercise and paying attention to body mechanics. For exercise, you may have difficulty getting started if you’re already in pain. Therefore, you can try low or no-impact exercises like walking and swimming. Yoga and lifting weights are also excellent activities to keep your body strong.

Body mechanics refers to your posture as well as how you operate on a daily basis. Make sure you sit and stand without slouching, lift heavy objects carefully and with your legs (not your back), and sleep on a mattress that keeps your spine in proper alignment.

Can you recommend some good spinal canal stenosis exercises?

There are a variety of exercises you can do that could help open up the narrow passageways and encourage the spinal discs to fill back up with fluid.

Three exercises include focusing on the hips, which is thought to be the most effective way to relieve compression in the lower back. In this video, you’ll see how to stretch your hip flexors, adductors (inner thigh muscles) and lumbar spine.

We do recommend that anyone attempting any sort of new stretch or exercise consult with their doctor to ensure that the ideas are safe and helpful for your body.

Conclusion


As we round out this article, here's a reminder: When properly treated, most cases of this condition can be cured or reversed, often without surgery. Remember, we only get one body in this life, so please take care of it.

Regardless of whether or not you have spinal stenosis, one the best things you can do for yourself is to get blissful sleep every night. With all of the mattress choices out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. If you keep this guide handy, we hope you’ll be able to find the bed that’s perfect for you!

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

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The Sleep Advisor