Scoliosis and spinal injuries are very unfortunate and make finding the right mattress even more important. While we don’t know your exact situation, we’ve done a lot of research. Here’s our list of the beds that we think will be best for someone suffering from a scoliosis or other similar spinal issues.
Scoliosis and other spinal defects can range from being mild issues that don’t affect your daily life much to severe, life-altering conditions that can require braces or even surgery. In this post, we’ve selected several mattresses that we think could be beneficial for someone with scoliosis or another spinal defect.
You should know that we are not doctors. However, we consulted a professional chiropractor to help us write this post and select our list. We relied heavily on his professional opinion to create this guide, but please do talk to your physician and/or chiropractor before you get a new mattress or make any changes to your daily routine.
This guide is meant to be helpful and insightful, but it is not an offering of health advice.
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Side Sleepers With Scoliosis
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|Layla is a soft memory foam bed that feels fluffy and comfortable. It also has two sides so you can select whichever feels best to you and your spine. Plus, Layla comes with a lifetime warranty. If you're a side sleeper with a scoliosis, Layla needs to be on your short list.|
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|Leesa Hybrid is a firmer hybrid mattress that uses pocketed coils, memory foam and a soft, open cell foam. It's supportive and comfortable, and could be a great option if you're worried about your spine.|
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|Helix offers a Sleep Quiz that matches you up with the most ideal mattress for you. They have several models that will be good mattresses for side sleepers with scoliosis, and other types of sleepers. They have over nine different mattress models.|
|Casper Wave is an All-foam mattress that’s 13” thick and specifically designed to offer more support in the center-third where you carry the majority of your weight. There are some that consider this to be the best type of mattress for scoliosis.|
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The top priority is not making your condition worse, which is why we emphasize that you should talk to your doctor about a mattress. Finding the right bed will have to do with a number of different factors, including the list below.
If you scroll to the bottom of our guide we have even more information about scoliosis and spine related pain. Whether you’re a side sleeper with scoliosis or need a firm mattress we’ve tried to think of everything.
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Layla is one of our favorite mattresses for side sleepers given that it has a fluffy memory foam feel and is double sided. It’s not a bed for heavy people, but if you’re under about 230 lb, you should be good to go. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Ultimately, the reason it made the list is because it’s comfortable and offers you two options with one mattress. The “Soft” side is truly soft and great for people with shoulder or hip issues. The “Firm” side lands at about a medium-firm, and has less of a memory foam feel, but is still really comfortable. If you tend to rotate sleeping positions, the “Firm” side is where you’ll want to start.
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We included the Leesa Hybrid mattress for anyone that wants a firm, supportive mattress that won’t break the bank. In other words, it’s different than Big Fig and WinkBed—which are the other beds that we seriously considered including on this list—but it’s a darn good bed with plenty to offer, nonetheless.
Given its firmness level (about a medium-firm), Leesa Hybrid is best for back, stomach, and combination sleepers, though, heavy side sleepers should be fine as well since the bed will soften over time. At first, laying on this bed sort of feels like laying on a super thick bed of grass—it’s firm, but still has cushiony comfort layers. And because it is so firm, you’ll end up sleeping more on top of the mattress, which will help with temperature regulation.
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If you can’t find a bed that’s just what you’re looking for, Helix Sleep offers nine different mattress models and has a sleep quiz that will help you figure out what you need. You can get anything from a super soft mattress up to an extra firm bed with the support level turned all the way to 10. They even make a model specifically for individuals in the 300 lb or more range.
We see Helix as being a great option for couples, too, since you customize each side of the bed or create a blend. Rather than have us tell you what is best for your particular situation, with Helix you can get exactly what you and your doctor think you need.
The Casper Wave is an all-foam mattress that’s specifically designed to provide more support around your center third where you carry the majority of your weight. It’s a zoned support system that you will only find on the Casper Wave (although there is a similar system on the original Casper mattress).
It has a neutral-foam feel and it’s suitable for any and all body types and sleeper types. Having said that, if you’re at (or near) 300 lb, there are better mattresses for you—see our list of the best mattresses for heavy and obese people.
As for firmness level, Casper Wave sits at about a medium. Keep in mind that softness/firmness is subjective and the heavier you are, the softer the mattress will appear (this is true for all beds). Also, because this is a foam mattress, it will do a better job of deadening motion than a lot of coil beds. If you’re really sore or are just a light sleeper, you might want to seriously consider an all-foam bed such as Casper Wave.
Overall, it’s a soft, comfortable mattress and, due to the Zoned Support System, it’s a solid option for a person suffering from a spinal issue. The Wave was also (according to Casper) endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association, which is interesting since we’re not aware of any another mattress with that same stamp of approval.
A close alternative to the Casper Wave—and a bed that’s actually more affordable—is the Level Sleep mattress. It’s not quite as luxurious, but it has a similar zoned support construction.
This is a conversation that you should probably be having with your physician and/or chiropractor. Since we don’t know your particular situation we can’t provide any specific advice. But we have talked to certain chiropractors that actively try to adjust the way that their clients sleep in order to better support their spine and not aggravate their condition further. For example, switching from being a strict stomach sleeper to sleeping more on their back might be a good option. Again, up to you and your doctor, but you may consider the shape of your spine when getting a new bed.
If you sleep chiefly on your side, you should also discuss this with your physician. Side sleeping, in general, isn’t a bad thing if you have scoliosis, but, depending on your condition, there may be a preferable side to sleep on. That said, you will still likely prefer a medium to medium-firm mattress. You still need good support, but too firm of a mattress could cause extra shoulder or hip pain for you. You want a good amount of pressure relief, but again, this all depends on your situation.
This will be more general since there’s a lot that goes into finding a bed beyond just your sleeping position. That said, sleeping on your stomach may not be the most ideal position for scoliosis. It’s very easy to contort your neck and back when you sleep on your stomach. Your pillow has a lot to do with this, but it also stems from your head not being able to lay flat. Think about a typical chiropractor’s table. It’s flat with a hole in the center for your face to sit in. That keeps a neutral position for your spine.
With a mattress, however, you don’t have a hole to put your head in and therefore you usually tilt it to one side or the other. From there, you’ll usually compensate with the rest of your body by twisting or bringing your arms or legs up. For someone with an un-compromised spine, this might not be an issue. It may stretch out certain muscles or ligaments more, but probably not a big deal for them. For a person with scoliosis, it’s more complicated. If laying on your stomach is comfortable, I don’t want to change that, I’m merely suggesting that you bring this up to your doctor. In general, though, stomach sleepers prefer a mattress in the medium to firm range. You don’t want your hips sagging in too much and you’ll probably want to feel as though you sleep on the mattress rather than in it.
Much like stomach sleepers, back sleepers will likely prefer a firmer mattress. You’re probably looking at something in the medium to firm range with a medium-firm mattress being the most common. This is, again, so you don’t have your hips and shoulders sagging in too much. Laying on your back is usually preferable to stomach sleeping because you can lay your head flat and keep your spine is a more optimal alignment. Pillows are really important here, as well, so check out our Pillow Reviews page. The idea with back sleeping is that for a lot of scoliosis cases you won’t be pushing your spine in either direction side to side. You’ll hopefully be keeping it as is. This is probably more important if your condition is especially painful. If you don’t really notice or experience pain from your spine, you probably have more leeway with your sleeping position. Make sure to check with your doctor about this.
If you find yourself rotating between a few sleeping positions at night, this is not usually a bad thing. In fact, switching positions could leave you feeling less sore or achy in the morning since your body is at least somewhat active during the night. In terms of a mattress, you might prefer a medium to a medium-firm since you presumably need to accommodate side sleeping. It will depend on your spine and what’s comfortable to you. Keep in mind that the mattress will soften, so it might be better to start a little firmer than you ultimately want.
A simple definition of scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Of course, in reality, scoliosis is far more complicated than that since we’re discussing a three-dimensional structure in the spine. Scoliosis typically develops in early childhood between the ages of nine and 15 and it is far more common among young girls than boys. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the most common form of scoliosis and can be found in as many as four in every 100 adolescents.
Most causes of scoliosis are unknown or misunderstood, but it can arise from birth defects, injuries, or neuromuscular conditions. It is also found to be hereditary. Scoliosis can be a simple and slight curve of the spine or—in extreme cases—it can even cause a twist or tilt in the spine. From the ATP (anterior to posterior) view, the spine will usually curve to form a “C” shape or, if there are two curves, it could form an “S” shape. You typically find scoliosis in the thoracic portion of your spine, but it can occur in the lumbar region, as well.
Scoliosis generally develops gradually and in many cases doesn’t create back pain. It can cause your shoulders and hips to be uneven and one shoulder blade to protrude more than the other. A lot of cases require monitoring, but no proactive care. However, in extreme cases, scoliosis can cause a twist or tilt and may warrant a full-time brace or even spinal fusion surgery.
We do not have a full-time doctor or chiropractor on staff, so in order to create this guide, we worked closely with Dr. Ranvir Sahota of Synapse Chiropractic in Rocklin, California. We specifically discussed scoliosis and his recommendations for mattresses, pillows, and sleeping positions. As such, the bulk of this post is based on his professional opinion, given that he has had extensive experience with treating patients with scoliosis.
As we mentioned above, though, please do not use this post as a substitute for consulting with your physician and/or chiropractor. You should still contact them directly and discuss mattresses before you make a purchase or change anything with your daily routine. That said, before putting together this post, we did spend a lot of time researching, learning about, and critically considering scoliosis and the spine with Dr. Sahota, as well as on our own.
In fact, we spent hundreds of hours between research, testing, and producing this guide in order to feel at least somewhat confident putting it out there. As of this post, we have a team of ten individuals (men and women), who’s weights range from 95 lb all the way up to 225 lb.
As such, we feel that we have a good perspective on how these beds will feel for different people. We also open up the beds and inspect their construction and get an idea of the quality of the materials. Additionally, we conduct our own tests related to motion transfer, support, temperature regulation, and more. Considering all of this, we are sincerely hoping that this guide is helpful for you.
Most people don’t really consider their weight much when they first start trying to find a new mattress, but it affects the longevity of the mattress and the support level it provides. For example, someone that’s more petite, say 120 lb, can get by with a lot of mattresses since they don’t put much stress or downward force on the mattress. If you’re heavy or obese, say above 250 lb or more, the list of mattresses is whittled down quite a bit, given that you need a lot of support. If you sleep with another person, you should also factor in their weight, but generally speaking, if one of you is heavy, you need a more supportive mattress. Otherwise, you will break the mattress down rapidly and the support can virtually disappear. Just because a bed feels dense or supportive the first time you lay on it, does not mean it will be that way after five years or more. In fact, all mattresses soften over time. A heavy person will expedite that softening process.
If you have a spinal condition, selecting a mattress will have as much to do with support as it will with comfort. You first want to make sure that you’re taking the proper steps to help your back. Comfort is sort of secondary. That said, there are a number of materials that you’ll find in a mattress that we should cover. For example, the support for a bed usually comes from one (or more) of the sources that you’ll see below. Incidentally, the following list represents a few of our picks for the best type of mattress for scoliosis:
Innersprings are usually a great support system since the coils are typically made of steel. They’re durable and last a very long time even if you’re a heavier individual. Pocketed coils are much the same, but they are better at deadening cross-mattress motion since they are not really interconnected. In a lot of our mattress reviews, we usually refer to a bed with coils and foam as a hybrid mattress. A dense poly foam is typically the support system for all-foam mattresses. It’s not a bad support system, but it doesn’t tend to be as durable as coils. For that reason, it’s generally accepted that coil beds are preferable for heavy individuals. If you’re lightweight, you can usually get by no problem with an all-foam mattress. Of course, density is really important with the foams, but from what we’ve seen, a poly foam with a density around 2 lb per cubic foot (pcf) is typical of bed-in-a-box mattresses. So that’s just a word on the support systems, what about the top layers?
The most common top layers that you’ll see on a mattress are:
Air isn’t really that common on most online mattresses, but it’s a neat concept because you can usually adjust the firmness of the bed. Memory Foam is common because it’s a versatile material. You can get a lower-density memory foam that feels a bit softer (around 3 pcf), medium-density memory foam (around 4-5 pcf), or high-density memory foam (6 pcf+). If you’re looking for durability and extra support, a mattress with a high-density foam will be preferable, but it also has a lot to do with that feels good to you. Memory foam is great at reducing motion transfer. Some people absolutely love memory foam, but others find that it heats up too much. In fact, gel memory foam was introduced to counteract memory foam’s natural tendency to heat up. Latex is another commonly used foam because it stays cooler than memory foam and is far more responsive, which makes switching positions at night a lot easier. That may be something you consider if you’re a combo sleeper. You probably won’t want to feel stuck, so you’ll either get a high-density memory foam, latex foam, or a bed with coils.
In the event that you don’t love your mattress, most of these beds—whether you purchase online or in-store—come with a trial period of around 100 nights. That means you have a full three months or more to make a decision or even compare multiple mattresses. We’ve seen some mattress companies offer up to a 365-night trail period. So before you buy, make sure there’s a trial period. While a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Mattress Firm, offer a trial period, there’s usually a fee associated with picking up the bed and exchanging it for another. And speaking of exchanges, retailers are big on those because they want to keep your sale and since they’ve already incurred costs they don’t want you to go elsewhere.
When you’re online mattress shopping, on the other hand, a lot of these bed-in-a-box mattress companies don’t usually have show rooms, unless you’re talking about Nest Bedding or Leesa, which you can see in West Elm stores. Therefore, they are extra eager to have you try their mattresses and thus offer more consumer-friendly, lax return policies. For example, if you don’t want your Nolah mattress, they will send someone to your house to pick it up at no extra charge. They will then refund you 100% of your money. Obviously they do this since they are (1) confident that you’ll love the bed and (2) they really need you to try it. As an FYI, most of these online brands have very low return rates in the 5-8% range. Bottom line is that you should ask about trial periods, returns, and warranties.