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What is the Best Mattress for Sciatica?

Woman with sciatica on bed

What is the Best Mattress for Sciatica?

Woman with sciatica on bed

If you have ever spent hours agonizing over the ‘perfect’ mattress, you can understand how difficult it is to get a good match that lets you sleep blissfully. A conundrum that becomes even more difficult when taking into consideration an injury, or just plain old back pain.

Getting the best mattress for sciatica is even trickier, as you have to balance various factors like softness, firmness, and even cooling to arrive at the proper solution. Fortunately, we have just the right answer for you.

Sciatica: A Painful Nightmare

One of the more irritating (and common) forms of back pain is sciatica. Originating from the sciatic nerve in the lower back, the pain radiates along the hips and travels all the way down to the legs. It is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can be due to a bone spur on the spine, a herniated disc, or even an unfortunately located injury.

Usually, it affects only one side, leading to intense pain accompanied by some inflammation and numbness. While sciatica does not require surgical intervention in most cases, it can persist for a long duration, making it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep. As such, getting a good supportive mattress with decent cushioning is a must in relieving some of the pain when suffering from this ailment.

Things to look for in a mattress

The trick with choosing a good mattress for sciatica is to get something that can conform to the sleeper’s body without hugging too tightly or sagging excessively. This helps in alleviating the pain by aligning the sleeper’s spine and thus the sciatic nerve properly.

Also, consider getting a mattress that limits ‘motion transfer’, or sleep turbulence caused by your partner’s movements. Every little disturbance or the slightest shifting can cause your pain to flare up, so you don’t want to be adjusting your position all through the night. This rules out coil based mattresses which send out waves of turbulence on every move.

Heat issues are another area that need looking into, as a mattress that soaks up a lot of body heat will prove rather uncomfortable in the long run, even if the mattress seems to be physically perfect. This is especially true if you like using heating pads for helping with your pain, for a poor quality memory foam mattress that absorbs all that heat and leaves you sweltering.

With these needs in mind, the best mattress for sciatica is undoubtedly polyfoam. What are the features that make polyfoam mattresses such a good choice for sciatica? Let’s find out.

Contouring Support

This is the most important feature. Foam mattresses offer the best compromise between softness and rigidity, contouring to your body but not ending up painfully clamping around it.

The soft surface is a godsend for those inflamed and sensitive areas, providing a gentle and soothing touch that keeps down the pain. At the same time, the firm structure molds itself to the shape of the sleeper’s body, ensuring comfort.

Pressure Relief

It is not enough for a mattress to be soft and yielding to the body. For maximum pain relief, it needs to be able to support the body, especially by distributing the pressure away from sensitive areas.

When you can, try sleeping on your good side to avoid putting weight on your sore side. It is always better to have a mattress that lets you sleep comfortably, the way you are naturally accustomed to.

Cooling Treatment

Most memory foams tend to soak up a lot of body heat. This can make it unbearable to sleep properly, as the overheated mattress keeps you awake and turning side-to-side to avoid discomfort. This can be eschewed by choosing a mattress with proper cooling treatment, and limiting the use of heating pads on high temperatures.

No Motion Transfer

How many times has your partner’s movements made you shift your position through the night? An irritant at the best of times, when suffering from sciatica, it can aggravate an already painful condition by making you move around too much.

A polyfoam mattress helps immensely in this regard by not transmitting the disturbances from other regions of the mattress, keeping you unaffected by a tossing, turning bedmate.


A good quality polyfoam mattress is the perfect answer to any kind of pain in the lower back, be it sciatica or your good old hip pain. With its perfect blend of soft yet structurally strong firmness, a polyfoam mattress provides wonderful contouring support alongside significant pressure relief, preventing further strain on your already painful body.

It has the added advantage of not being as susceptible to sleep turbulence as coil based mattresses, and preventing discomfort from the accumulation of body heat that is so common in most memory foams.

In short, getting hold of a good polyfoam mattress can soothe your sciatic aches and help you achieve an untroubled night of sleep, speeding the road to your recovery.

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