EachNight articles include advertisements and affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more Updated April 20, 2021Back problems are a common complaint. Over time, the spine becomes less flexible and prone to damage. Muscle strain, tears, and fractures may occur. More than 65 million Americans suffer from back pain, often caused by herniated discs. Some cases of back pain heal on their own, but without proper spinal support, pain can worsen over time.Herniated or slipped discs cause discomfort and sleep disruptions. The best mattress encourages spinal alignment and relieves pressure buildup. Less pressure reduces pain and improves sleep quality.Best Mattress for a Herniated DiscBest Memory Foam Mattress: Amerisleep AS3Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress: Zoma MattressBest Budget-Friendly Mattress: Vaya MattressOur Top Mattress RecommendationView on AmerisleepRead AS3 customer reviewsAS3 Highlights100-night sleep trial20-Year WarrantyDesigned to reduce pain pointsHeat reducing mattress coverComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsBest Mattresses for Herniated DiscsMattressHighlightPriceAmerisleep AS3Plant-based memory foam adjusts to different sleep positions without losing support$1049ZomaGel memory foam incorporates zoned technology for even pressure relief$699VayaResponsive foam layers reduce pressure points and distributes weight$599Tuft & Needle HybridGraphite-gel memory foam conforms to the body without overheating$1495Perfect Cloud AtlasGel memory foam has a plush feel to the shoulders and cradles the hips$4501. Amerisleep AS3The Amerisleep AS3 mattress is perfect for side and combination sleepers. Responsive foams provide optimal pressure relief in the shoulders and hips.Bio-Pur® is a plant-based memory foam. Manufacturers partially replace petroleum with castor oil, producing a responsive, breathable memory foam. Bio-Pur® relieves pressure points without a “stuck” feeling. It also conforms to the body without overheating.Affinity incorporates HIVE® technology, where hexagon-shaped segments form five zones of support. The areas under the shoulders and hips feel softer, while areas under the head, back, and legs feel firmer. HIVE® technology encourages healthy alignment and enhances lumbar support.Bio-Core® is a durable base foam built to last. It reinforces the top layers and supports the body without risk of sagging.2. ZomaThe Zoma mattress has a medium feel, for excellent pressure relief in the hips and shoulders. The Zoma mattress is perfect for athletes and those with an active lifestyle. Cooling foams may reduce inflammation and improve muscle recovery.Gel memory foam uses Triangulex™ technology. Hundreds of triangular-shaped segments form three support zones. Firmer under the back and hips and softer under the head, shoulders, and legs. Triangulex™ provides even pressure relief for a more comfortable sleep.Reactiv™ is a latex-like transition layer. The responsive bounce prevents deep sinkage and encourages spinal alignment.Support+ is a base foam, distributing weight for long-lasting support.3. VayaThe Vaya mattress is a budget-friendly option for those seeking back pain relief without breaking the bank. The Vaya mattress has a medium feel for optimal pressure point relief in the shoulder and hip areas.Vaya Comfort foam is more responsive and breathable than traditional memory foam. Sleepers can rest easy on this top layer without fear of sinking. Vaya Comfort foam forms to the body, relieving pressure points without overheating.Vaya Support foam holds the bed’s shape by preventing premature sagging. Vaya Support foam is durable, as reflected in the mattress’s 10-year warranty.4. Tuft & Needle HybridThe medium feel of the Tuft & Needle Hybrid mattress is best for side and combination sleepers. Comforting foam cradles the hips and reduces pressure buildup in the shoulders.T&N Adaptive® foam contains graphite and ceramic gel beads. Graphite pulls heat away from the body, while ceramic gel beads absorb and dissipate heat. The ceramic beads stack on top of each other for enhanced support.Individually-wrapped innerspring coils make up the support layer, reducing noise and motion transfer. Pocketed coils provide some bounce, making movement easier at night. Tempered steel coils can withstand sagging for constant support.5. Perfect Cloud AtlasThe Perfect Cloud Atlas has a medium feel, great for side and combination sleepers. The Perfect Cloud Atlas has a plusher feel in the shoulders and hips for optimal pressure relief.Viscose gel memory foam conforms to the body for pressure point relief in the shoulders and hips. Gel absorbs and dissipates heat for even temperature regulation.The support foam has a convoluted structure for better airflow. This transition foam gives support to the spine and prevents the body from sinking too deep.The base foam has a convoluted surface too, maximizing air flow inside the mattress. The base foam distributes weight and reinforces comfort layers for durable support.What is a Herniated Disc?The spine contains individual vertebrae with rubbery cushions in-between called “discs.” The discs act as shock absorbers and lend flexibility to the spine. A disc has a tough, rubbery exterior called the annulus and a soft, jelly-like nucleus. A herniated disc occurs when the nucleus partially bulges out through a tear in the annulus.Herniated discs mostly occur in the lower back, but can also happen in the neck (cervical spine). A herniated disc is a result of degenerative disc disease. It happens from constant wear and tear. As we age, discs become less flexible and more prone to tearing. Lifting a heavy object with the back muscles instead of the legs can cause a herniated disc.Disc herniation can also lead to other medical conditions:SciaticaA slipped disc compresses the sciatic nerve, resulting in sharp, shooting pain. Pain travels down the thigh to the calf.Spinal StenosisNerve pain when a herniated disc compresses against the spinal cord or nerve roots.ScoliosisMay develop from lumbar disc herniation as the body’s way of taking pressure off the nerves.SymptomsSymptoms depend on the affected area and whether the disc is pressing against a nerve. A slipped disc affects one side of the body. A person may feel pain in the shoulder if the herniated disc occurs in the cervical spine. A slipped disc in the lower back may result in pain in the backside, thigh, calf, even the foot.Other symptoms include numbness or a tingling sensation or weakness in the muscles.Treatment and PreventionHerniated discs heal on their own over time. Seek professional help if you’re experiencing symptoms after 4 to 6 weeks.Useful prevention methods include exercise and good posture. Regular exercise strengthens muscles and helps you maintain a healthy body weight.The best mattress encourages good posture and lessens pressure points in the body. A high-quality mattress offers better sleep and lowers the risk of a herniated disc.What to Look for in the Best Mattress for Herniated DiscConsider your sleeping position, body weight, and mattress type. These factors will help you find the right bed and may reduce pain in sore muscles from a herniated disc.Sleeping PositionEach sleeping position requires the right amount of cushion. Cushion fills in the gap between the body and sleep surface, keeping the spine aligned. Pressure builds up in heavier sections of the body; the intensity depends on your body’s position. The right mattress relieves this pressure for a good night’s sleep.Back SleepingLying on the back is the best sleeping position for those with a slipped disc. Back sleeping holds the body in a neutral position and aligns the spine. Some risks to back sleeping include snoring and developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea may develop when gravity causes soft tissue to collapse at the back of the throat. It can also develop if the tongue falls back, obstructing airways.Back sleepers need a medium to firm bed to cradle their hips and enhance lumbar support.Side SleepingSide sleeping is the most common sleeping position and the healthiest. Side sleeping enables better breathing, improves heart health, and reduces acid reflux. Placing a pillow between the knees reduces pressure in the hips.The best mattress for side sleepers has a soft to medium surface. This firmness maximizes pressure relief in the shoulders and hips.Combination SleepingCombination sleepers change sleep positions each night. Combination sleepers enjoy benefits like a neutral spine and improved heart health. Yet, combination sleepers also face the drawbacks, like back pain and snoring.Combination sleepers will find the best comfort on a medium to medium-firm mattress. This firmness level gives even comfort and support for each sleep position.Stomach SleepingStomach sleeping is the least common sleep position. Most sleepers don’t find it comfortable. Due to intense pressure on the spine, stomach sleeping may lead to neck strain and back pain. Placing a thin pillow under the hips may reduce pressure.The best mattress for stomach sleepers is a medium-firm to firm bed. It prevents deep sinkage and allows the body to rest on top rather than in the mattress.Body WeightBody weight is divided into three categories—light, average, and plus-size. Each group needs a specific level of comfort and support for a pain-free rest. For example, a plus-size sleeper won’t get the support they need from a soft mattress.Lightweight SleepersLightweight sleepers weigh less than 130 pounds. A softer mattress is best, enabling body-contouring, pressure relief. A bed firmer than a medium may feel too hard and may not conform as closely to the body.Average Weight SleepersAverage weight sleepers weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. They need a medium surface for even comfort and support. A mattress softer than a medium may cause the body to sink too deep. A bed firmer than a medium-firm may build up more pressure in the shoulders and hips.Plus-Size SleepersPlus-size sleepers weigh more than 230 pounds. A firmer mattress is best for comfort and support. It supports the body without sagging. Beds softer than a medium-firm may lack support and exacerbate back pain.Mattress TypeEach mattress type has a different feel. For someone with a herniated disc, memory foam and latex are the best options. Body-contouring relieves pressure points and consistently supports the spine.Memory FoamMemory foam softens from heat and pressure and forms to the body’s curves. Body-contouring is particularly useful in pressure buildup areas, like the shoulders and hips. Memory foam mattresses also isolate motion transfer, restricting movement.Traditional memory foam retains heat from its dense structure and restricted airflow. Cooling materials, like plant oils, gel, and graphite or copper infusions, regulate temperature. It may also reduce inflammation from sore muscles.Plant OilsManufacturers partially replace petroleum with plant oils, producing breathable, responsive memory foam. Plant-based memory foam has less off-gassing odor (chemical smell).GelGel is mixed or swirled in, or gel beads are added during the production process. Gel absorbs and disperses body heat to regulate temperature. Gel can only absorb so much before the material starts to retain heat.Graphite or Copper InfusionsGraphite and copper are natural heat conductors and draw heat away from the body. Copper is also antimicrobial, meaning bacteria won’t infest your bed.LatexLatex shares similar features with memory foam, like contouring and restricting motion. Latex doesn’t conform as closely as memory foam, making it cooler. Plus, latex has a responsive bounce and a firmer feel than traditional memory foam. More support to the body without sinking too deep.Latex mattresses come in two forms: synthetic and natural. Synthetic latex is made through a chemical process. It’s less durable and produces more off-gassing odor. In contrast, natural latex is created from rubber tree sap. Natural latex is more expensive because it lasts longer than other materials.HybridHybrids combine the benefits of two mattresses into one. Memory foam or latex provides pressure relief and motion isolation. Innerspring coils offer bounce and cooling. Drawbacks include less pressure relief, motion transfer, and overheating. A true hybrid has a 2-inch thick comfort layer and a coiled support layer.Hybrid mattresses enhance contour around the body and offer extra lumbar support. Hybrids are heavy and expensive, containing more layers than other mattress types.InnerspringInnerspring beds are standard mattresses in most households, college dorms, and hotels. Innerspring mattresses provide bounce, edge support, and cooling from the open support structure. They’re one of the least expensive mattress types available.Despite their low-cost, innerspring mattresses are not recommended for herniated discs. Innersprings are the least durable and lack contouring properties. The only pressure relief innersprings offer is a thin comfort layer (a pillow top), but it’s not enough. This comfort layer is meant to protect the body from the coils, not relieve pressure points.Bedding AccessoriesBedding accessories are an excellent way of boosting your comfort. Pillows support the head and may reduce neck pain. Mattress toppers add more comfort or support to an uncomfortable surface. An adjustable bed provides easy elevation, cutting down on pressure buildup.PillowsPillows may also ease disc herniation pain, especially in the cervical spine. Pillows cradle the head and neck encouraging spinal alignment. The right pillow loft, or height, depends on sleep position.Back SleepersThe best pillow for back sleepers has a low to medium loft, between 3 to 5 inches tall. This height supports the head and neck without straining muscles.Side SleepersAn ideal loft for side sleepers is medium to high, about 5 inches or higher. Side sleepers have a bigger gap between the neck and sleep surface. Some side sleepers find better comfort from a body pillow. A body pillow supports the head and neck and reduces pressure in the hips when placed between the knees.Combination SleepersThe best pillow for combination sleepers has a medium loft, no higher than 5 inches. A medium loft maintains alignment for any sleep position.Stomach SleepersStomach sleepers have the smallest gap and find the best comfort in a low-loft pillow, 3 inches high or less. The thinner pillow prevents the spine from arching. Some stomach sleepers are more comfortable without a pillow.Mattress TopperMattress toppers alter the bed surface, adding softness or support. Mattress toppers may be a temporary fix to a sagging bed. If the mattress is old and outside the warranty, it might be time for a new bed.Most mattress toppers are made of memory foam to increase pressure relief.Adjustable BedAn adjustable bed is a luxury base option. Elevating the upper and lower body can improve circulation. Some may include special features such as full body massage and USB charging ports.Adjustable beds are expensive but may be worth the cost. If you suffer from chronic back pain or other medical conditions, an adjustable bed may help. Talk with your doctor first to see if an adjustable bed is right for you.Sleep Trials and WarrantiesSleep trials and warranties reassure customers of a quality product. These policies help customers find the right mattress and give an idea of its lifespan. Avoid beds that lack a sleep trial or return policy, or offer a warranty less than ten years.Sleep TrialSleep trials allow customers to try a new mattress within the comfort of their own home. These trial periods usually last between 90 to 120 nights. Some companies ask customers to keep the bed at least 30 days before accepting returns.If the customer doesn’t like the bed, most companies will offer a refund. Customers may also exchange the bed for a different model. If a sleep trial isn’t offered, the next best thing would be to look at the return policy. Return policies are good substitutes but don’t last as long as a sleep trial—most last 30 days.WarrantyWarranties cover manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch. This measurement depends on the mattress brand. Most high-quality mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty. Warranties only apply to the original purchaser and can’t be transferred.Other Things to ConsiderWhat is a good mattress firmness for a herniated disc?A good mattress firmness for a herniated disc has a medium to medium-firm feel. This surface supports the lower back and relieves pressure points. Beds softer or firmer may create pressure points and cause more pain.Is a memory foam mattress good for a herniated disc?Memory foam and latex mattresses are the best choices for a herniated disc. Both have excellent conforming properties that relieve pressure and form to the body. Some models may include zoned support systems for even pressure relief.Can a bad mattress cause a herniated disc?A bad mattress won’t necessarily cause a herniated disc, but bad mattresses do slow down the healing process and make sleeping with a herniated disc uncomfortable. For the best back support, you want a mattress with zoned technologies to keep your spine in a healthy position and prevent discomfort.What’s the best sleeping position for people with herniated discs?If you have a herniated disc, we suggest sleeping on your side with your legs curled up. Sleeping in the fetal position eases stress on your spine and allows you to get deep, refreshing rest.What mattress do chiropractors recommend?Chiropractors recommend mattresses on a case-by-case basis, so what they recommend for one patient may differ from what they recommend for another. In general, though, chiropractors recommend medium-firm mattresses for those with back pain and herniated discs because they’re the best at supporting the spine and easing aches and pains.ConclusionThe best mattress for a herniated disc supports the spine and cuts down on pressure points. A well-supported bed reduces pain and improves sleep. Without a good mattress, pain may increase and lead to worsening symptoms.For the best comfort, choose a memory foam or latex bed. Both offer excellent pressure relief and enhanced lumbar support.About the author Malik Karman“Professional sleeper” Malik Karman is a freelance writer for the eachnight blog. Over the years, Malik has read countless medical studies and explored hundreds of different bedding products in an effort to better understand what goes into a restorative night’s rest. Malik curates many of our “best mattress” guides to assist readers in the mattress buying process. Find more articles by Malik Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.