Updated January 13, 2021Sciatica refers to the pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The pain can radiate from your low back into your glutes and extend to the foot, and is one of the most common and misunderstood types of pain. Sciatica is often confused with lower back pain, but sciatica can travel down to your hips and legs depending on its severity.The best mattress for sciatica supports the body and aligns the spine. In our guide we share our favorite mattress options for sciatica on the market today and discuss what those with sciatica should look for in an ideal mattress.Best Mattress for SciaticaBest Overall Mattress: Amerisleep AS2Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress: Zoma MattressOur Top Mattress RecommendationView on AmerisleepRead AS2 customer reviewsAS2 Highlights100-night sleep trial20-Year WarrantyDesigned to reduce pain pointsHeat reducing mattress coverComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsOur Runner-UpView on ZomaRead Zoma customer reviewsZoma Highlights100-night sleep trial10-Year WarrantyDesigned for faster recoveryTriangulex™ technology promotes healthy postureComes in King, Queen, Twin, Full, and SplitsBest Mattresses for SciaticaMattressHighlightsPriceAmerisleep AS2Bio-Pur® keeps sleepers cool while the 5-zone system of Affinity with HIVE® technology evenly supports the body.$979ZomaPressure-relieving Triangulex™ is topped with gel memory foam to reduce inflammation.$750AvocadoNatural Dunlop latex sleeps cool and provides a responsive bounce for easy movement.$1189Original Purple®The Purple Grid™ adjusts to each sleep position and any body type without losing support.$999BearGraphite-infused gel memory foam pulls heat away from the body.$890Original Tuft & NeedleT&N Adaptive® foam is cooler and more responsive than traditional memory foam.$595TuloVentilated memory foam infused with titanium particles draw heat away from the body.$699Nolah Original 10"Breathable AirFoam™ keeps air circulating within the mattress.$10191. Amerisleep AS2The Amerisleep AS2 mattress is a medium-firm mattress. The layers include Bio-Pur® foam, Affinity with HIVE® technology, and Bio-Core®, complete with a mattress cover made of a lightweight, breathable fabric.The top layer contains 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, a plant-based memory foam that is more breathable and more responsive than traditional memory foam. The open-cell structure of Bio-Pur® wicks away heat while you’re sleeping to give you a cooler night’s rest.The Affinity layer with HIVE® technology is an ergonomic transition foam. This layer is what makes the Amerisleep AS2 one of the best mattresses for sciatica. It contains a 5-zone support system made of hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments. The 2-inch Affinity layer helps your body get the stability it needs and gives you a weightless sensation that can relieve sciatic nerve pressure.The last layer is the Bio-Core®— 7 inches of eco-friendly, high-density foam built that prevents sagging.The Amerisleep AS2 mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial. If you want to return the mattress after the adjustment period, you can contact Amerisleep and they will give you a full refund.This mattress is also covered by a 20-year warranty. The first 10 years of the warranty will fully cover repairs or replacements. The last 10 years are prorated, meaning the customer will pay a percentage of repair or replacement costs.2. ZomaThe Zoma mattress contains three layers of foam constructed for performance and comfort. Special Triangulex™ is topped with gel memory foam for optimal cooling and pain relief.The first layer contains 2 inches of Triangulex™ with a 5-zone support system. The triangular-shaped segments provide pressure relief and promote spinal alignment. Because the sciatic nerve runs along the lower back zone, this mattress will relieve pain and reduce pressure exactly where you need it.The second layer contains Reactiv™— 2 inches of a latex-like foam which responds to movement and provides a bit of “bounce” so you don’t have to worry about sinking or feeling stuck. Finally, the Support+ poly-foam is a 7-inch thick, durable base.This mattress has a 100-night risk-free trial and 10-year full replacement warranty. If you’re unsatisfied after a month, you can receive a full refund from Zoma. The 10-year warranty covers workmanship defects and sagging greater than 0.75 inches.3. AvocadoThe Avocado mattress is an 11-inch medium-firm mattress made to target pressure relief. This mattress contains organic cotton, organic wool, and natural Dunlop latex, with an ergonomic support layer of pocketed coils specifically targeting pressure points for sciatic pain relief.The Avocado mattress will keep your back aligned and ease pressure points thanks to its 2-inch layer of Dunlop latex. Dunlop latex also draws heat away from the body and makes it easier to switch sleep positions each night.8 inches of pocketed coils are formed into a 5-zone support system, providing softer support for the shoulders and hips and firmer support for the head, back, and legs. Pocketed coils reduce motion transfer and provide more bounce to the bed. A 1-inch Dunlop latex foam forms the base layer.The Avocado mattress comes with a one-year sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. If you are unsatisfied, Avocado will arrange to pick up the mattress.The 25-year warranty covers defects in material and/or workmanship. The warranty is only valid if the mattress box has been opened within two weeks of receiving it.4. Original Purple®The Original Purple® mattress is a medium-firm mattress built to encourage spinal alignment. With the support of the Purple Grid™, the Original Purple® mattress provides relief for sciatic pain.The 2-inch Purple Grid™ contours to your body, offering support without feeling too firm. The material sinks under pressure, while open channels provide optimal airflow for pressure relief and cooling. A 3.5-inch transitional layer of poly-foam aligns the spine and prevents deep sinkage. The 4-inch poly-foam base evenly supports the body without sinking and reinforces the top layers.The Original Purple® mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial with a required minimum of 21 nights. The mattress is covered by a 10-year warranty, which covers any defects due to workmanship or materials, plus sagging over 1 inch.5. BearThe Bear mattress is a medium-firm mattress. Foam layers support your spine while allowing you to adjust to any sleep position. By reducing pressure off areas along the sciatic nerve branch in the spine, the Bear mattress helps minimize sciatic nerve pain.The breathable polyester mattress cover uses FDA-determined Celliant® technology to improve your blood circulation, by transforming body heat into infrared energy.The 2-inch layer of graphite-gel memory foam pulls heat away to keep you cool as you sleep. The 3-inch responsive transition foam layer contours to the body to relieve pressure points, which is especially helpful for those with sciatica who often move during the night.The base of the mattress is a 5-inch high-density support foam, adding durability while reinforcing the top layers of the mattress.The Bear mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial— Bear recommends trying it for 30 days before making the decision to return. If you’re not satisfied, they will arrange a free pick-up and process your refund. The mattress also includes a 10-year warranty, covering sagging greater than 1 inch and manufacturing defects which could cause the memory foam to crack.6. Original Tuft and NeedleThe Original Tuft and Needle mattress has a medium-firm feel with two layers of foam catered to any sleep position. This mattress contains T&N Adaptive® foam— an open-cell foam designed to adjust to the body, relieving pressure points.The top layer contains 3 inches of T&N Adaptive® foam, a graphite-gel infused poly-foam more responsive than traditional memory foam. Graphite-gel pulls heat away from the body, keeping sleepers cool. T&N Adaptive® foam provides a balance of pressure point relief and comfort, perfect for sciatica patients.The high-density, 7-inch poly-foam base layer provides lasting support without sagging.The Original Tuft and Needle mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial— if you decide to return your mattress, Tuft & Needle will pick up the mattress and issue a refund. The mattress includes a 10-year warranty, covering manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 0.75 inches.7. TuloThe Tulo mattress offers a great balance of comfort and support. The Tulo mattress is available in soft, medium, and firm— the medium feel is the best choice for those with sciatica.The top layer contains 2 inches of cooling memory foam. It contains cooling titanium particles and ventilated holes to draw heat away and provide better airflow, reducing inflammation from sciatica and lessening pain. 1.5 inches of convoluted foam follows for consistent airflow, further preventing overheating.A 2-inch responsive foam layer eases pressure points by reducing tension and aligning the spine. Lastly, the 4.5-inch foundation layer complements the top layers and evenly supports the body.This Tulo mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial— if not satisfied with the mattress, Tulo will arrange to pick it up before issuing a full refund. The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty that covers defective materials or workmanship and sagging greater than 0.75 inches.8. Nolah Original 10The Nolah Original 10 mattress features a medium feel and is specifically designed for side sleepers. Nolah’s CertiPUR-US® certified AirFoam™ creates a plush sleep surface to fill in the large gaps between the sleeper and the mattress for excellent pressure relief.The viscose cover is soft and breathable. This breathable material will keep moisture at bay, promoting a cool and dry sleep.The 2-inch AirFoam™ layer targets pressure in the shoulders and hips, reducing aches and pains while keeping you cool thanks to its advanced open-cell construction. This foam layer cradles the body and provides full support.The 1-inch high-resilience foam promotes durability and provides a responsive bounce, making it easier to switch sleep positions and prevent sleepers from feeling “stuck”— another important feature to combat sciatica nerve pain. Lastly, the 7-inch breathable base is made from high-density foam to provide support and reinforce the top layers.The Nolah Original 10 mattress comes with a 120-day sleep trial and requires customers to keep the mattress for at least 30 days before issuing a refund. The mattress includes a 15-year warranty, covering any manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 1 inch.SEE ALSO: Mattress Size and Dimensions GuideWhat is Sciatica?Sciatica is a sharp pain along the sciatic nerve which travels to the lower back, hips, and legs, possibly followed by numbness and weakness in the affected areas. Sciatica occurs on either one side of the body or rarely on both sides. Sciatica can be treated through medication, chiropractic, physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery.Douglas Krebs, DC, FACO, Cert MDT of Chicago Spine and Sports states that “Although many people consider any leg pain coming from the low back as sciatica, it is in fact only leg pain along the back of the leg that can extend into the foot. Front of the leg pain can be attributed to the femoral nerve which from a treatment perspective would be approached differently.”Common sources of sciatica include:Herniated discs: also known as slipped or ruptured discs. A herniated disc occurs when an injury causes a disc in the spine to bulge resulting in pain. A herniated disc can cause sciatica if it’s in contact with the sciatic nerve.Bone spurs: also known as exostosis. Bone spurs are irregular bone formations on the bone’s surface. A bone spur on the spine can lead to sciatica.Spinal stenosis: occurs through the narrowing of the spinal cavity which contains the spinal cord, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.Lateral canal stenosis: occurs through the narrowing of the area that a nerve root exits the spinal canal.Other sources of sciatica include:AgingObesityDiabetesOccupationWhat Sciatica Sufferers Should Look for in a MattressSleepers with sciatica need a specific mattress with pressure relief and cooling properties to combat pain. Potential shoppers should look at mattress type, preferred sleep position, cooling features, and what sleep trials, warranties, and return policies are offered when choosing their best mattress.Mattress TypeThe type of mattress you choose can impact how you sleep, especially if you have sciatica. Sciatica patients need a mattress to evenly support the body and relieve pressure points, reducing pain and inflammation.Memory Foam MattressMemory foam mattresses are an excellent choice for sciatica. Memory foam contours to the natural curves of the body, relieving pressure points with a hug-like sensation. Memory foam mattresses provide sciatica patients with a more supportive sleep surface to keep the spine in neutral alignment with great motion isolation, which means fewer sleep disruptions.A memory foam mattress contains a comfort layer of memory foam and a support layer of high-density foam.Innerspring MattressMany people grew up sleeping on an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are more responsive than memory foam mattresses, allowing for easier movement. This type of mattress provides cooling through the open structure of its coiled support layer with reinforced edge support. While this seems appealing, innerspring mattresses are not a good choice for those with sciatica— an innerspring mattress offers little pressure relief and less motion isolation.A typical innerspring mattress contains a thin comfort layer of foam or fiberfill, usually in the form of a pillow top, and a support layer of steel coils.Latex MattressLatex foam comes in two forms— synthetic and natural. Synthetic latex is made through a chemical process, while natural latex is made from rubber tree sap. Similar to memory foam, latex contours to the body to relieve pressure points, but is more responsive, allowing for easier movement at night. A latex mattress is more expensive because of its natural material.Latex mattresses are another great choice for sciatica patients because of their excellent pressure relief and cooling properties that may reduce inflammation and pain.A latex mattress contains a comfort layer of latex and a support layer of either latex or high-density foam.Hybrid MattressA hybrid mattress combines the best of memory foam and innersprings into one perfect mattress— customers get the pressure relief and motion isolation from memory foam and the responsive bounce and edge support of innersprings, also great features for relieving sciatic pain. However, hybrid mattresses also have drawbacks, including less pressure relief and motion isolation because of the coiled support layer and more risk of overheating from the memory foam comfort layer. Hybrid mattresses are heavy and come at a higher price point because of the amount of materials they contain.A hybrid mattress contains a comfort layer at least 2 inches thick of memory foam and a support layer of pocketed coils.Sleeping PositionThe position you favor the most should reflect the type of mattress you choose. Each sleep position requires a certain feel to balance comfort and support— ultimately, a sleep surface should keep the spine in alignment.Side SleepingSide sleeping is one of the healthiest sleep positions. It provides better breathing, reduces acid reflux, and minimizes pressure on vital organs. Side sleepers leave larger gaps between their body and the mattress— the best mattresses for side sleepers fill those gaps and align the spine.Back SleepingBack sleeping is the most beneficial sleep position for those with sciatica because of the spine’s direct contact with the sleep surface. Back sleepers should look for a medium to firm mattress to support the back without heavy sinking and relieve pressure points.Stomach SleepingStomach sleeping is the least common and least healthy sleep position. Stomach sleepers have a higher risk of neck strain and lower back pain— neck strain from twisting the head to breathe and lower back pain from gravity forcing the spine to straighten. If you sleep on your stomach, we highly recommend switching to another sleep position, especially if you suffer from sciatica because of the amount of pressure placed on the spine.If you’re determined to continue sleeping on your stomach, look for a medium-firm to firm mattress to keep the body resting on top of the sleep surface. Also, placing a thin pillow under the hips can give additional support and better align the spine.Cooling FeaturesA mattress with cooling features is beneficial to someone with sciatica because it pulls heat away from the body, reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality. Cooling features are found in the mattress layers, whether through structure or added components such as gel, charcoal, graphite, or copper.FoamPlant-based memory foam: Some plant-based foams partially replace the petroleum in memory foam with plant oils for a breathable, eco-friendly foam with little to no off-gassing odor.Gel memory foam: Gel absorbs and evenly disperse body heat.Open-cell technology: Involves injecting additional air into the foam to create larger air pockets improves circulation.Convoluted foam and ventilation holes: Convoluted, or egg-crate shape foam and ventilation holes allow for better airflow.Graphite/copper infusions: Designed to pull heat away from the body.CoilOpen structure: Evenly-spaced coils allow for better airflow inside the mattress.Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return PoliciesSleep trials, warranties, and return policies are assurances to the customer of a sound purchase. Always read the fine print of each policy before committing to a purchase, and beware of mattresses that lack a sleep trial and warranty.Sleep TrialSleep trials allow customers to try out a new mattress within the comfort of their own home. Most sleep trials last between 90 to 120 nights. If the customer isn’t satisfied with the mattress, the company will usually issue a full refund.WarrantyA warranty protects the mattress from manufacturing flaws, defects, and sagging greater than 1 inch (measurement varies depending on the brand). Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty.Return PolicyIf a sleep trial isn’t offered, take a look at the return policy. It takes around 30 days for the body to adjust to a new sleep surface— the same amount of time a return policy lasts. If not happy with the mattress, the customer can return it for a full refund.Other Things to ConsiderIs a memory foam mattress good for sciatica?Memory foam mattresses are a great option for sciatica— reacting to heat and pressure, memory foam contours to the body’s natural curves to relieve pressure points and reduce pain. Memory foam is also known for its excellent motion isolation.Which side should you sleep on with sciatica?The effects of sciatica differ for each person, but the best sleep position is the back. Lying on your back puts your spine in direct contact with the mattress, naturally aligning the spine and relieving pressure points.Can a bad mattress cause sciatica?Mattresses cannot cause sciatica, but they can make already-existing sciatica pain worse. Lumpy and unsupportive mattresses cannot properly support the body, often causing you to sleep in unhealthy positions. A mattress that’s firm enough to keep you lifted can ease discomfort and help you get better rest.Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?Usually, the best mattresses for back pain are medium-firm or medium in firmness, as overly soft and overly firm beds can exacerbate sciatica pain. Choosing the right firmness really depends on body type, though, so it’s important to find a bed that’s supportive enough to keep you lifted in a healthy position. Beds that allow the hips to sink can cause discomfort.What mattress do doctors recommend for sciatica pain?Different doctors recommend different mattresses to different patients—there is no singular “mattress for sciatica pain” because we all have unique needs. If you’ve struggled to find a comfortable mattress, your doctor can certainly provide a recommendation; however, that recommendation will be based on your sleeping style, your body type, and your frequency and severity of sciatica pain.ConclusionThe best mattress for sciatica should target pressure point areas, particularly in the hips, lower back, and legs, reducing pain and improving sleep. Pain levels differ depending on the severity of sciatica. It’s important to buy a mattress offering support where you need it the most. Your choice of mattress will set you on the path towards quality sleep.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. 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.