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The Best Mattress for Herniated Disc

OnlyTree Black
This article was written by Staying Alive Crew Published at 06:37 pm
Mattresses for Herniated Disc

When you have herniated disc pain, it can really affect your sleep quality.

The pain is caused by the discs in your spine pressing onto nerves, or pinching a nerve while you sleep which causes pain while you lay down on your side or turn over in bed. 

There are many types of quality mattresses that can provide pain relief and ensure you maintain proper spinal alignment and the correct mattress firmness, for herniated disc sufferers. 

The best mattresses for pain relief have a firm and enhanced support system that doesn't collapse when you lay down on the bed. 

A quality mattress for a herniated disc also tends to be very expensive, so it is important that you research what type of mattress is suitable for degenerative disc disease and complements your preferred sleep position.

Here are our recommendations for finding the best mattress for herniated disc pain, enabling you to get a good night’s sleep from your certified sleep coach.

Table of Contents

8 Best Mattresses for Herniated Disc in 2024

Mattresses for Herniated Disc Buying Guide

A comfortable mattress is essential for herniated disc sufferers to get a good night's sleep. 

It's tempting to buy the cheapest mattress, but while it may be cheaper, in the long run, to invest in a high-quality mattress for a herniated disc leads to alleviating neck pain, back pain, and alleviating pressure.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of what features you should screen for, to find the best mattresses for herniated discs.

Herniated Disc

Herniated discs occur when the soft, gel-like center of an intervertebral disc pushes through a tear in its surrounding, outer ring of cartilage, compressing and irritating the nerve roots. 

The most common symptoms associated with herniated discs are pain and pressure around or near the affected nerve root that may be worsened by coughing, sneezing, or straining; pain in the back, buttocks, and legs; numbness and tingling in the lower body; and general weakness.

Herniated discs are common, but they're often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to other back problems.

There are a few different types of spinal disc herniation: cervical, lumbar and thoracic. The symptoms may vary for each of these types of herniated discs.

Cervical Herniated Disc

A cervical herniated disc is when part of the cervical disk bulges or ruptures outside of the cervical spine. 

The cervical column houses and protects your cervical vertebrae, spinal cord, and nerve roots going from the brain down to the rest of the body. 

The cervical disks cushion this area between cervical vertebrae and allow for cervical motion. 

Cervical discs occur between the vertebrae of the neck and may result in arm pain.

Lumbar Herniated Disc

A lumbar herniated disc is when part of the lumbar disk bulges or ruptures outside of the lumbar spine. 

The cervical column houses and protects your cervical vertebrae, spinal cord, and nerve roots going from the brain down to the rest of the body. 

The cervical disks cushion this area between cervical vertebrae and allow for cervical motion. 

Lumbar discs occur in the lower back and are more likely to cause leg pain.

Thoracic Herniated Disc

A thoracic herniated disc is when part of the lumbar disk bulges or ruptures outside of the thoracic spine. 

The cervical column houses and protects your cervical vertebrae, spinal cord, and nerve roots going from the brain down to the rest of the body. 

The cervical disks cushion this area between cervical vertebrae and allow for cervical motion. 

A thoracic herniated disc can cause pain in the cervical spine as well as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the upper extremities and have a high association with chest pain.

Benefits of a Good Mattress if you have Disc Herniation

A healthy back is necessary for daily activities and affects other aspects of health. The lower back must be strong enough to support the weight of the upper body as well as the internal organs. That's why back pain sufferers tend to use a good mattress and other devices such as inversion tables, gravity boots, and back stretchers.

The benefits of choosing the best mattress for herniated discs are significant - improved sleep means increased energy and better concentration during the day, while reduced pain will allow you to be more active.

Chronic back pain may affect your overall mood and temper, and sleeping on an uncomfortable and bad mattress will make your day even more painful.

The right mattress for herniated discs should also improve the quality of your sleep and prevent tossing and turning. A lack of restful sleep can increase stress levels, which has been linked to worsened back pain.

If sleep has become uncomfortable for you because of herniated discs, it might be time to invest in a new sleep surface designed specifically for chronic back pain. 

By sleeping on the right sleep solution, you will not only sleep more comfortably but also help reduce your risk of sleep-related injuries that can make your disorder worse and sleep even less enjoyable.

Your doctor may advise you to sleep in a different sleeping position if you suffer from a herniated disc, and require a mattress that offers pressure relief and spinal alignment, which may influence your mattress selection.

Features of a Best Mattress for Herniated Disc

Best Sleeping Position for Herniated Disc

Any sleeping position that puts pressure on the spine is bad for people with herniated discs.  

Luckily for people with herniated discs, there is the best sleep position to alleviate pain and pressure when sleeping.

The best sleeping position and sleeping style, when diagnosed with a herniated disc, can help maintain the back's natural curves and alleviate pressure from the spine. 

Look for supportive mattresses, thick pillow props, and firm bedding/firm mattress to help maintain your spine's natural shape and keep you in safe sleep positions that do not cause pain.

If you have any of these conditions, talk with your doctor about how to best sleep.  

Your doctor may suggest sleeping in a different position, trying mattress/pillow inserts, or even other remedies such as sleeping in another room.

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping is probably the best position for herniated discs. Back sleeping helps herniated discs heal faster because it's better for blood flow in the spine. 

Back sleeping can even help people who have neck pain and is the best way to get a good night's rest.

Back sleeping puts stress on the spine, which makes it crucial to have a supportive mattress. 

Back sleepers should look for mattresses with medium firmness that are less likely to sag over time. 

A memory foam mattress good for you is usually firmer than an adjustable air mattress. Back sleeping is good for people with herniated discs, but it causes pain in some people. 

Back sleeping does have some risks, such as developing sleep apnea and snoring.

Side Sleeping

Herniated disc side sleeping is becoming more popular. The best side sleeping positions for herniated discs are side-lying, side-lying with one leg straight, and side-lying with legs bent. 

Side sleeping causes little pressure to be placed on your lower back. It is also easier for side sleepers to find comfortable side sleeping positions with pillows between their legs or a pillow underneath their knees

This helps take upper body weight off the herniated disc, relieving pressure points while side sleeping.

Herniated disc side sleeping is a great option for sleepers who are experiencing pain in their side due to a herniated disc.

A firm mattress that offers pressure point relief is ideal for side sleepers.

Stomach Sleeping

Sleeping on your stomach may be the worst sleeping position you can choose when you have a herniated disc. 

It has been found to increase pressure on the nerve root, which can exacerbate pain. While stomach sleepers are often at risk for snoring and back problems, it's even more problematic for people who suffer from herniated discs.

If stomach sleeping is the only sleep position you can sleep in, try to place a pillow under your stomach or stomach and chest. 

This may help offer pressure relief of the nerve root. A lower back support pillow is also helpful for those who tend to roll backward when sleeping on their stomachs.

Simply avoiding stomach sleeping as much as possible will go a long way in helping to reduce pain and make any other treatments you may try more effective.

Mattress Type

So what mattress type should you select if you have a herniated disc? Sleepers have the option to choose from different sleep surfaces including memory foam, latex, and innerspring construction. 

Most designs offer unique support features including high-density memory foam layers which provide lumbar support, penetration-resistant core construction that prevents mattress sagging, premium pocketed coil mattresses for individualized sleep surface support, and a sleep surface that is ventilated to avoid heat build-up during sleep.

We’ve broken down the criteria of different mattress surfaces.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are the perfect fit for any sleeper with back pain, including those who suffer from herniated discs.

When it comes to comfort and support, traditional memory foam or plant-based memory foam is one of the best materials available. 

When you lay down on a high-quality responsive memory foam mattress, the pressure points along your shoulders and hips are relieved thanks to the way memory foam adjusts to your body contour. 

This means you won't have to deal with back pain as a result of poor sleep posture with an all-foam mattress.

The support and comfort offered by memory foam are perfect for those who need relief from chronic back pain, which can be exacerbated by sleeping on an old or cheap mattress. 

Memory foam will provide you with the support you need to have a deep, restful sleep, even if you suffer from herniated discs.

Memory foam mattresses are designed for all sleeping positions. Whether you sleep on your stomach, side, or back, memory foam will keep your spine aligned while you doze off into dreamland.

With their ability to relieve pressure points and provide support, memory foam mattresses are the ideal bed for those with chronic pain because they help to reduce backaches and herniated disc pain.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses use innersprings that are individually wrapped coils made of metal in order to provide support for the body. 

The innerspring mattress is a popular type of mattress in many parts of the world, and they also tend to be much cheaper than other options such as memory foam or latex mattresses in terms of price per unit in most cases. 

Innerspring mattresses tend to be in the medium range in terms of firmness, and it can depend on things such as the innerspring design in order to determine how much support a certain innerspring mattress will have for your body.

One of the best mattresses for herniated disc is an innerspring mattress or coil mattress. 

The innerspring construction of these mattresses will provide you with plenty of support in the lower back area. 

In addition, the innersprings are very good at cradling the body in a natural position. This also helps with reducing pain in the back and nerve pressure in the spine.

For anyone who has spent many nights struggling to find a sleep position that doesn't hurt, being able to sleep in whatever position you choose is a dream come true. 

The flexibility of an innerspring mattress can help give back sleepers with herniated discs the freedom they've been searching for.

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses combine the support and comfort of innerspring coils with the pressure relief and temperature neutrality of memory foam or gel memory foam combined. 

Because hybrids use both coil springs and memory foam comfort layers, they provide a customized feel that can satisfy almost any sleeper's needs.

They can help with several common sleep problems, including back pain, neck strain, shoulder aches, or herniated lumbar disc. 

Hybrid mattresses can make your mattress last longer, improve your comfort throughout the night, and provide better support for people who have heavier body weight.

Hybrid mattresses are often paired with other types of bedding like adjustable bed bases or adjustable air beds, allowing you to enjoy personalized comfort that can be controlled by the push of a button.

Latex Mattress

A latex mattress filled with latex layers offers exceptional support for herniated disc conditions to relieve pain in the back, knees, and other areas of the body that are affected.

This is because a latex mattress is adaptable and relieves pressure points while still offering the plush comfort that you need when laying down.

Many latex mattresses also have specialized latex that targets specific pressure points, offering welcomed pressure relief. 

Depending on your preferences, you can get latex mattresses with soft or firm latex layers to suit your needs.

When choosing a latex mattress for herniated disc, it's important to find one with latex layers that are at least two inches thick.

This is because they must be able to support your body weight without allowing the gel-like substance of a herniated disc to put pressure on your vertebrae.

However, you want this latex mattress to also be comfortable since it will be supporting you when lying down for hours at a time.

Support and Proper Spinal Alignment

The first thing you should know about sleeping on a mattress with a herniated disc is that it is important to stay in proper alignment. 

The spine should be supported by the mattress, and pressure on the disc should be reduced.

The first step towards achieving this position is getting a mattress that offers sufficient support for your back. 

A good option would be memory foam because of its responsiveness (it knows how to adapt to the body's form) and its viscoelastic properties. 

For more pressure relief the best option is a latex mattress or gel memory foam mattress.

With these mattresses, you can keep your spine in line while providing enough pressure relief for your herniated disc.

A good position to avoid further herniation of the bulging disc is sleeping on your back. 

At first, you might find it to be uncomfortable, but after a few days it should become second nature; you will feel what feels best for your body and still keep your spine in line.

Pressure Relief

Healing from a herniated disc requires pressure-free moments as much as possible.  When pressure is removed from the disc, it can function properly and heal well.

Without pressure, the bone can realign itself with the vertebrae and you're less likely to suffer any pain or discomfort.

Even for people without herniated discs, pressure relief is extremely important.  Sleeping on pressure points contributes to many of our aches and pains, like neck cramps and lower back pain.

The pressure points will increase pressure on your discs, which can reduce their ability to act as shock absorbers for your body. It's not just pressure relief that is important - it's pressure distribution.

You need the pressure to be spread evenly across your mattress so there are no pressure points or hot spots.

This pressure evenly distributes throughout your body and even pressure can reduce discomfort. This pressure elimination process is called pressure relief.


A herniated disc occurs when a small tear in the outer wall of the spinal discs causes the inner material to push against a nerve.

This can cause a great deal of discomfort, and the symptoms vary from person to person. 

In some cases, this pain may respond well to pressure, but it can be exacerbated by firm mattresses in other cases.

If you're experiencing considerable discomfort under the weight of your body while lying on your back, then a softer mattress may be best for you. However, with a soft mattress, your body sinks into the bed and there is no support for your lumbar spine (the lower part of the back).

Hard mattresses can also be uncomfortable. Your spine is still straight with this position, but you're lying on top of firm material without any give.

If your mattress is too firm, your body will be forced to conform to its shape. The result is an uncomfortable position for the lumbar spine with too much pressure on the discs.

If you feel pain with very little pressure, then a soft mattress may be the best option. If there's no pain at all up to a certain point of firmness, then a firm mattress is probably right for you.

The best mattress firmness for herniated disc is a medium-firm memory foam or latex mattress. These types of mattresses are good at pressure point relief because they provide the comfort you need while also offering pressure distribution.

Cooling Technology

A herniated disc is often the result of extended periods of body strain, which also cause body heat to increase.

If body heat cannot be managed while sleeping, it can further increase body inflammation and pain.

This is where cooling technologies come in particularly useful. The best mattress for herniated discs needs to have cooling properties that can keep body heat at bay while you are sleeping at night.

Some of the cooling technologies that mattresses can have are gel-infused foams, breathable layers, body heat ventilation channels, and more.

These technologies work together in order to keep body heat away by allowing air spaces for body heat to escape through while you sleep.

Therefore, when you are choosing a mattress, it is highly recommended to look for one with body cooling technologies.

Shipping and Delivery

Keep in mind where the mattress can be sent and how long it will take, depending on your location. Some businesses provide free delivery within the US; others charge a delivery fee. Make sure you know what is included in the delivery cost.

Verify whether this service is accessible. If you want home delivery with in-home assembly and the option to remove your old mattresses (white glove delivery), see if it's available.

Only a few mattress firms will come into your home, deliver the mattress to your door, or place it in your bedroom and assemble it may not be included. It all depends on what is written in the fine print.

Trials, Returns, and Warranty

Buying a mattress online is difficult because you are buying something without having tested it. That is why it's critical to choose a brand with a generous sleep trial.

The time period for a sleep trial varies considerably, ranging from 90 days to 365 days. It's usual that after purchasing a mattress, you can't begin the return or refund procedure until the mattress has had at least 90 days to break in.

Mattresses come with a guarantee, which usually lasts 10 years. While this varies from product to product, the typical warranty period is around 10 years, while others may have a warranty for a shorter amount of time.

The warranty does not cover typical wear and tear or any physical harm that occurred once the mattress was handed over to a buyer. 

It's critical to follow the mattress' usage instructions carefully and only use the item as instructed.


While a mattress for $500 might be available, the quality will be poor. If you have a herniated disc or other back issues, it's worth spending a little extra money on a mattress that gives appropriate support and pressure alleviation.

Expect to spend between $800 and $1200 for a high-quality queen-size memory foam mattress, and anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 for a luxury memory foam or hybrid model.

Mattresses for Herniated Disc FAQ

Can a mattress cause a herniated disc?

A poor-quality mattress will not cause a disc to herniate, but it can extend or even cause the healing process to take longer. 

Sleeping on a bad mattress can also accelerate the deterioration process, thus even though it won't be directly responsible for a herniated disk, it may still play a role.

How should I sleep with a herniated disc?

When shopping for a mattress, look for one that features materials like plant-based memory foam and water-based polyurethane foam which relieves pressure points.

Be sure the bed is sized appropriately for you so you’ll feel well-supported when lying down or sitting up in bed.

You can also adjust your sleeping styles, whether you are a back, side, and combination sleeper, or stomach sleeper, to provide comfort for a herniated disk.

What kind of mattress do doctors recommend for back pain?

The best mattress for back pain such as herniated discs will be one that is medium-firm to prevent putting too much disc pressure on the herniated disc. 

Mattresses for Herniated Disc Sources

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