How many of these characteristics describe you?
You experience pain when you walk
The pain goes away after you sit down
You’re over 55
If all three of these factors apply to you, then you likely have spinal stenosis. If only the first two are accurate, there’s still a relatively high chance that this condition is affecting you.
10 Best Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis
- Nectar – Editor's Pick
- Nolah Signature– Best Mattress for Pressure Relief
- The WinkBed – Best Mattress for Heavy People
- Aurora Luxe – Best Cooling Mattress
- Bear Original – Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- Saatva Zenhaven – Best Latex Mattress
- Helix Midnight – Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- TEMPUR-ProAdapt – Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Layla Memory Foam – Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
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.
Top 10 Beds for Spinal Stenosis Reviews
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- 365-Night Trial
- Forever Warranty
A memory foam mattress can be a great solution for the pressure point concerns associated with a bad back, but there are additional considerations if you overheat or have trouble with repositioning.
Nectar’s take on a memory bed incorporates high-quality materials and features that improve traditional memory materials while helping to keep you cool and prevent you from feeling stuck in the bed. 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 about it?
- 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 a breathable cover that allows 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.
Need more info? Read our in-depth review for Nectar bed.
Best Mattress for Pressure Relief
- Made in the USA
- Pressure-Relieving AirFoam™
- Lifetime Warranty
The Nolah Signature features the brand’s proprietary AirFoam™ in two layers. These two work together to relieve pressure throughout the back. People struggling with stenosis should benefit from the pressure-relieving properties and contouring provided by the all-foam construction.
This all-foam mattress is rated 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, so it should fit side and back sleepers. Dedicated stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer bed because the Nolah Signature allows some sinkage. The foam layers absorb movement, making it easy for partners with different sleeping habits to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, combination sleepers should find it easy to reposition.
What stands out?
- AirFoam™ is durable, making the Nolah Signature an excellent option if you’re after a long-lasting mattress that resists sagging.
- This Nolah bed comes with a lifetime warranty and a 120-night trial, giving you plenty of time to test how you like the mattress.
Want to see more? Visit our in-depth overview for Nolah Signature bed.
Best Mattress for Heavy People
- Multiple Firmness Options
- OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, Class 1 Certified
- 120-Night Trial
- Lifetime Limited Warranty
Individuals who carry more weight may find that their heavier areas sink deeper into the bed without a supportive enough mattress. As a result, this creates poor spinal alignment, which can worsen already-existent back pain.
The WinkBed, with multiple firmness options, should offer an excellent solution for heavy sleepers seeking a better mattress. The WinkBed comes in Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm. However, heavier people will likely prefer the Firm model best for its sturdier support layers to foster optimal body alignment.
What’s worth mentioning?
- Shoppers get 120 nights to try out the WinkBed in their homes before solidifying their purchase. In the event you still find the Firm not up to snuff, the brand does offer the WinkBed Plus, a mattress specially designed for sleepers over 300 pounds.
- The WinkBed has two safety and health certifications: OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, Class 1 and CertiPUR-US®.
Want more info? Check out our WinkBed review here.
Best Cooling Mattress
- Three Firmness Options
- Made in the USA
- 120-Night Trial
- 10-Year Warranty
If you have spinal stenosis but also wanted a bed that will help keep you cool, consider the Aurora Luxe, a hybrid model from Brooklyn Bedding. With the Aurora Luxe, shoppers can choose from three firmness levels, including Soft, Medium, and Firm.
Most side sleepers should enjoy the feel of the Soft and Medium models, but some heavier individuals and back and stomach sleepers may do well with the Firm. The Aurora Luxe’s layers include proprietary CopperFlex™ foam with TitanCool™, proprietary TitanFlex™ foam, gel memory foam, pocketed Ascension® coils, and high-density polyfoam.
Why should you buy it?
- While the Aurora Luxe’s comfort layers ease pressure points, the supportive coils should keep your hips from sinking too much. Doing so keeps your spine in good alignment to prevent additional back pain.
- Brooklyn Bedding infused GlacioTex in its Aurora Luxe bed. The gel beads liquefy when it’s hot and solidify when it’s cold, ensuring the best temperature regulation for a good night’s sleep.
Want to read more? Check out our full Aurora Luxe review.
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- Free Shipping and Returns
- Cooling Gel Memory Foam
- Lifetime Warranty
Back sleepers struggling with spinal stenosis should find a great match with the Bear Original mattress, an all-foam model.
The bed should deliver relief to back sleepers with its cooling gel memory foam and responsive transition foam. These two foams foster cooling and pressure relief with support in the most sensitive areas like the hips, shoulders, and knees. The last layer features high-density foam that keeps everything together, giving the upper layers some structure and durability.
The Bear's 120-night trial period and use of eco-friendly materials help add to its overall appeal and value. The bed boasts several certifications, including CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold.
What’s unique about it?
- The Bear Original features a breathable Celliant® cover that should help prevent overheating.
- Celliant® could also help alleviate pain as its unique design is reportedly able to reduce inflammation.
- The company offers a lifetime warranty covering manufacturing and material defects.
Want to read more? Check out our full Bear Original mattress review.
Best Latex Mattress
- Certified Organic Cotton
- OEKO-TEX® Certified
- 365-Night Trial
- Lifetime Warranty
Optimal spine alignment requires just the right mixture of pressure relief and back support that best suits your body shape and sleep position preference. A dual-sided mattress like the all-natural latex Zenhaven could help you experiment with two different feels and find the best feel and sleep position for your back pain.
Not only does this bed process their latex to be highly consistent and buoyant, but they’ve also aerated the comfort layer for additional breathability and zoning.
What stands out?
- 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.
- Every Zenhaven mattress is delivered and installed by professionals, so you should not have to do any heavy lifting.
- Latex is a highly durable material, so you should expect good longevity with this bed.
Looking to learn more? Check out our full Zenhaven review.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Medium-Firm Feel
- Premium Cooling Covers
- Individually-Wrapped Coils
- Reinforced Sides
Side sleepers struggling with spinal stenosis need maximum support and pressure relief to ease the symptoms. Dedicated side sleepers who toss and turn at night should find relief in the middle layers of the Helix might as they support the body contours. The bed is good at isolating motion, which should benefit partners with different sleeping habits.
The Helix Midnight features memory foam and polyfoam layers to deliver cushioning pressure relief, support, and contouring, which are crucial to side sleepers. In addition, the mattress features individually-wrapped coils in the support layer. These are designed to prevent the body from sinking while allowing airflow and motion isolation.
What makes it stand out?
- The foams in the Helix Midnight mattress are CertiPUR-US® certified as free of harmful chemicals, toxins, and heavy metals.
- Helix offers two hypoallergenic cover options: the Soft Touch cover and the cool-to-the-touch GlacioTex cooling cover.
Interested in more details? See our Helix Midnight mattress review here.
Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers
- Multiple Firmness Options
- Free White Glove Delivery
- 90-Night Trial Period
- 10-Year Limited Warranty
If you’re a combination sleeper, meaning you change positions throughout the night, you might worry that repositioning could set off back pain from spinal stenosis. To combat this, you’ll need a mattress that makes it easy to move around the bed by incorporating highly-responsive layers.
Tempurpedic’s design for the ProAdapt was to create a mattress that can adapt and respond to the sleeper’s weight. The brand uses proprietary materials and multiple firmness options to create a customized sleep experience that should work well for all types of people, including combination sleepers.
What’s unique about it?
- The TEMPUR-ProAdapt is available in four models: Soft, Medium, Medium Hybrid, and Firm. The Soft, Medium, and Firm models are all-foam options. However, if you want extra bounce, we suggest going with the Medium Hybrid, which has foam and coils.
- With Free White Glove Delivery, customers don’t have to worry about any heavy lifting.
Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Layla Memory Foam
- Dual-Sided Firmness
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- 120-Night Trial
- Lifetime Warranty
- Made in the USA
Finding the best position may require some experimentation, which is made easier when you have two firmness options in one mattress. Layla’s memory foam bed offers a deeper hug or a gentler cradle, both of which possess terrific cooling technology.
Exclusive stomach sleepers are likely to 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.
What should you know?
- The top layer on both sides is made from high-quality memory foam designed to alleviate your pressure points and support your back in good alignment. When paired with the proprietary cooling gel in the cover, this copper-infused foam 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.
Want to read more? Visit our full review of Layla bed here.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is when the discs between the vertebrae become too narrow, resulting in the vertebrae compressing the nerves in the spinal column.
There are two types of spinal stenosis:
Foraminal stenosis: Also called lumbar or lateral stenosis, this is when a bone spur that’s developed from degeneration presses on the nerve root in the lower back. With foraminal stenosis, it looks like the nerves are being pinched.
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.
Spinal stenosis 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:
- Pain or cramping in the legs
- Back pain
- Tingling or weakness in the hands, legs, feet, or arms
- Diffuclty walking or maintaining balance
- Neck pain
- Bladder or bowel problems
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 can help 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 deliver 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 mattress firmness level can help alleviate that symptom.
What Type of Mattress is Best for Spinal Stenosis?
There are four main types 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.
This type of bed is popular among most people, particularly those that experience conditions associated with a bad back. Memory foam is a softer sleeping surface that responds to body weight 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 will 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.
The result is that your spine stays in neutral alignment, which is critical for those with 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 by implementing cooling gel into their memory foam.
Check Out Our Guide: Top Rated Memory Foam Beds
A hybrid bed simply means that two types of beds were merged into one. 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 and ship a bed built just for you. They’ll adjust the firmness and material settings based on your age, weight, gender, sleeping position, etc.
Get More Info: Best Hybrid Beds Guide
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 body weight lose their integrity and make the surface sag.
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, some brands have individually pocketed coils that can offer enhanced support.
View Our Guide: Best Rated Innerspring Mattresses
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. Natural latex is 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 natural.
Pure latex beds tend to be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you might want to get a bed with 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 a memory foam mattress, but if you tend to sleep on your back or stomach, latex could be a perfect match for your needs.
Find Out More: Highest Rated Latex Beds
Mattress for Spinal Stenosis 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 opposite to 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 support you properly.
Support and Spine Alignment
Keeping your spine supported and in proper alignment are important for three reasons:
- May reduce pain
- Helps you to sleep comfortably, which is necessary for physical and mental health
- Potentially relieves symptoms of stenosis and in some cases, could reverse the condition
When it comes time to buy your bed, make sure you’re looking for quality materials and seeking out brands that demonstrate that they understand this concept. A cheap memory foam bed, for example, will usually have poorer quality foam that feels cozy at first but lacks durability.
Tell-tale signs of a cheap mattress that won’t work well for you are 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 and sweaty can make your back trouble 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 or copper infusions, both of which keep the surface of the mattress cooler and help draw heat away from your body.
You should also look for something called an open-cell structure. This means that the mattress was designed for adequate airflow to help cool down its surface.
If you’re concerned about the bed still being too hot, you can get a mattress topper with cooling properties as well.
Want to know more? Read our full top cooling beds guide here.
Your Sleeping Position
Did you know that 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:
- Side sleeping – More specifically, the fetal position. By drawing your knees up toward the chest, you relieve pressure on the nerve root.
- 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.
Other Home Remedies for Spinal Stenosis
Along with getting a great mattress, you may also want to try some home treatments for spinal stenosis. Some doctors may recommend these remedies for pain relief since they’re safe and easy to do for most people.
- Weight Loss – Losing weight can reduce added pressure and stress on your lower back.
- Working Out – Doing light stretches and strength training should help build up strength and flexibility in your back. However, it’s always best to consult your doctor about safe workouts because doing too much could be more harmful than helpful.
- Pain Relievers – Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with spinal stenosis.
- Walking Aids – Mobility aids like canes and walkers may give you more stability and relief as it helps to take some pressure off the back.
Best Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis FAQs
What mattress firmness is best for spinal stenosis?
Folks with spinal stenosis should benefit from a medium-firm mattress. This firmness should offer good support for the spine, preventing the body from sinking into the bed and throwing the spine off alignment. In addition, medium-firm beds offer a bit of contouring to prevent pressure build-up in the lumbar area.
What kind of mattress do I need for spinal stenosis?
Memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses should work well for people with spinal stenosis. These beds can offer great pressure relief, responsiveness, and support for your back pain. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages that you’ll also have to consider as well. For example, natural latex mattresses are eco-friendly, while memory foam excels at pressure relief and motion isolation.
What’s the best way to sleep if you have spinal stenosis?
Most people with spinal stenosis should find relief by sleeping in the fetal position. This is when you have your knees up near the abdomen. If this is uncomfortable for you, you can try sleeping on your back with your head and knees elevated.
What activities should I avoid with spinal stenosis?
Although some exercises and stretches can provide relief, you should avoid certain physical activities like running, taking long walks, contact sports, jumping, climbing, deep back stretches, and biking on hilly or uneven terrain.
Is spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease?
Yes, spinal stenosis is one type of degenerative disc disease. While it’s commonly associated with aging, getting older doesn’t mean you have to fall prey to this condition. The cause of degenerative disc diseases like spinal stenosis is refers to the 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?
To prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse, you should exercise regularly, practice good posture, avoid smoking, and follow guidance from your doctor4. 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.
To promote good posture, 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.
Quitting smoking is also helpful because experts say nicotine inhibits blood flow, which means fewer nutrients and less oxygen can reach your back for it to heal sooner.
Of course, following recommendations from your doctor is also vital because they will know your personal circumstances and limitations.
Can you recommend some good spinal 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.
Exercises that can help with spinal stenosis include riding a bicycle, swimming, and taking Tai Chi classes that involve light and slow movements. When it comes to riding a bicycle, it may be better to opt for a stationary bike to avoid accidentally falling. Water therapy, light stretches, and some core strengthening workouts may also help.
We do recommend that anyone attempting any sort of new stretch or exercise consult with their doctor to ensure that the activities are safe and helpful for their body.
Regardless of whether or not you have spinal stenosis, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get excellent 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!
- “Spinal stenosis”. Mayo Clinic. Last modified October 25, 2023.
- Bjerke MD, Benjamin. “Spinal Stenosis Treatment”. Spine Health. Last modified November 25, 2019.
- Staehler MD, Richard. “Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis”. Last modified October 25, 2017.
- “What Activities Should Be Avoided With Spinal Stenosis?”. Premia Spine. 2023.
- “Degenerative disc disease”. Mayfield Brain and Spine. Last modified September 2018.
- Copper MD, Grant. “Exercises for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis”. Spine Health. Last modified March 23, 2010.