Living with scoliosis isn’t easy. The condition can make even the simplest things in life more difficult, including getting a good night’s sleep. One of the biggest factors in that however is not just the condition itself but the mattress you sleep on. The right mattress can play a big role in helping to alleviate pain and promote a better night’s sleep. The wrong one can be a nightmare.
The big question is, however, what is the best mattress for scoliosis sufferers? We thought we would investigate and find out. This is what we discovered:
The Best Mattress for Scoliosis
1. The Overall Best Mattress for Mattress for Scoliosis
One of the most important things a mattress has to be able to do for a scoliosis sufferer – or for anyone in fact – is provide great spinal support. At first you may not think that a memory foam mattress would necessarily be the right choice – you are, after all, sleeping in the mattress rather on it. However as the Layla mattress proves it is all about the way the memory foam is used and what’s around it.
The Layla mattress is rather unique. It’s a four layered, double-sided, flippable copper infused mattress that offers two different levels of support- Medium-Soft and Firm.
That’s right, copper infused. Copper is used for two important reasons. The first is that by infusing the memory foam with copper cells additional support is added without creating a mattress that is uncomfortably hard. The second is that copper has huge powers of conductivity (that’s why most electrical wires are copper) and can quickly transfer excess heat away from the body into the core of mattress, leaving you cooler and more comfortable.
Why have we chosen to put the Layla mattress at the top of this list?
Because of the reactions sleepers who have tried it out have had to it. Most feel that it does a great job of both relieving and preventing back pain and that they can feel the difference made when the mattress conforms to their back rather than the other way around. Many also like the fact that there are two firmness levels to choose from, something that allows each sleeper to make their own determination about what works best for them.
Reviewers also appreciated the fact that the company does offers a lifetime warranty, a 120 night trial period and that returns and refunds are easy if the buyer does decide the bed is not for them.
2. The Most Affordable
Nectar Sleep mattresses are also memory foam based, and boasts four different layers of it to offer and overall feeling of great support without uncomfortable hardness.
Two gel based layers do much of the supporting, while the lower traditional memory foam layers provide a stable foundation for the sleeper and the bed. It’s all topped off with a layer of tencel, a material that is designed to be cooling and moisture wicking, as well as dust mite resistant.
Those people who struggle to sleep having neck and back pain, tend to like Nectar Sleep a lot. Most feel it offers just the right level of support – although a few dissenters feel it’s just a little too ‘bouncy’ – and that the pain relief it provides is very effective. They also like the fact that the cooling layer seems to work well and that there is very little off-gassing time (off-gassing refers to that ‘new mattress’ smell that can sometimes be a little overpowering).
For others it was the 365 night trial period that sold them on choosing the Nectar over other similar options, an offer that is indeed a very generous one. You’ll find more information on this mattress in our in-depth Nectar Mattress Review.
3. Best Latex Mattress for Scoliosis With Motion Isolation Technology
The Latex for Less bed is almost completely different to the first two beds on our list. It shies away from memory foam and, as its name suggests, is crafted from several layers of all natural materials, including two layers of premium 100% natural latex, organic cotton and pure natural wool. It’s also rather different in that it offers two top layers that can be interchanged according to support preference; a medium layer for a comfortable support with a little more ‘give’ and a firm layer for additional support.
Which a sleeper uses is their decision, but having the option to try out both is a plus in the minds of many who have given this bed a go. The Latex for Less is also offered in both a 9″ and 7″ thickness.
In a market that is dominated by memory foam some may wonder why you would return to the older latex technology. Excellent pressure point relief is the one that might interest scoliosis sufferers the most, but the fact that it is a natural material far less prone to off-gassing is another big selling point for many. Off-gassing does release chemicals into the air and can do so for an extended period of time when a new mattress is introduced into the bedroom. Although they are believed to be safe, some folk do complain that these chemicals cause headaches and the smell can be overpowering.
With that said, most mattresses made from latex tend to produce less odor than those made exclusively of foam and for this Latex for Less mattress off-gassing is no worse than most other latex models.
Those who have tried, and ultimately purchased this bed in order to try and help relieve lumbar pain praise its overall great comfort, motion isolation and do like the option to choose – and even interchange – the support level it offers.
It comes with a 120-nights trial period and a 20 year warranty. Most also praise the fact that it is an organic, all natural offering that offers great support at a reasonable price as well as good longevity.
4. A Hybrid Mattress with a Cooling Memory Foam Layer & Springs
The Bear Hybrid gets its name thanks to the fact that it is a combination of both new and older bedding technologies; coils and foam. The bed is comprised of five layers in total, one coil layer, three foam layers and a quilted fiber top.
All five aid in providing support, but the top layer is also designed to promote ‘cooler’ sleep and boasts both heat transfer and moisture wicking properties as well as dust mite and dirt resistance. It makes use of an infrared yarn technology that has been patented as Celliant and approved by the FDA as a medical device to ‘promote general wellness’.
A number of those with scoliosis who tried and bought the Bear Hybrid were at first a little hesitant to do so as it has been well documented in the past that coils can be particularly problematic for those who suffer from back pain.
However most were pleased to find that it was hard to tell that coils were present and that both the support and comfort levels were more than adequate. Many also liked the fact that off-gassing was minimal and report that in just a few days the sometimes annoying ‘new mattress’ smell had faded away.
5. Most Affordable Innerspring Mattress for Scoliosis Sufferers
The Aviya Mattress is the only one on this list of best mattresses for scoliosis sufferers that could be described as a traditional innerspring mattress. However it is not quite your grandmother’s innerspring mattress. The individually wrapped innerspring core is topped with three thinner layers of High Density Foam (1.8pcf). The number of coils varies in each mattress size for a Queen no. of innerspring coils and for a King (1050).
These springs are said to provide ‘active’ support rather than the more passive form that all foam beds offer, something that fans of this bed feel help them get a more ‘personalized’ support level that adjusts well if they move a great deal in their sleep.
Most back pain sufferers felt it helped relieve pain and commented upon how much better they felt on waking up where they might normally have woken with nagging pain. Sleepers can also choose between three comfort levels: Plush, Luxury Firm (most popular) and Firm.
It comes with a 100-night trial period, a 10-year warranty and free shipping. White glove delivery can also be availed of to those who require it, set up is ($99) + old mattress removal ($159).
The Aviya also scores high marks for its quality of construction and the fact it primarily makes use of all natural materials and thus less off gassing occurs and that it seems to offer great longevity.
What is Scoliosis?
In the ‘normal’ human back the spine runs perfectly straight down the center of the back, providing central support to almost every other part of the body. Scoliosis is a condition in which the sufferer has a spine that curves at some point instead. That curve may be either to the left or the right and the degree of the curve varies greatly, but by standard medical definition any curvature that is over 10% is considered to be scoliosis.
What Causes Scoliosis?
Just what causes it is actually unknown in up to 80% of the cases that are diagnosed every year. These are termed idiopathic and treatments and outcomes can be harder to determine. There are some types of scoliosis however that are easier to define; structural and nonstructural.
Some kinds of scoliosis do have clear causes. Doctors divide those curves into two types – structural and nonstructural.
In the case of nonstructural scoliosis, also known as functional scoliosis, the spine functions just as it should but actually looks curved. Inflammation and muscle spasms and even infections or ‘defects’ elsewhere in the body, can be the cause and while it can be painful – and in some cases almost debilitating, in most cases, with conservative treatment this version of the condition resolves.
In structural scoliosis on the other hand the curve in the spine is rigid and permanent. There can be a number of causes including birth defects, tumors, muscular dystrophy or simple genetics. The persistent claims that scoliosis can be ’caused’ by things like participating in sports, carrying a heavy book bag or poor posture are myths, disproved by both medical and scientific research.
Congenital Scoliosis begins prior to birth, as the skeleton is forming. Tiny defects in the vertebrae cause the spine to curve. This is sometimes detected at birth but if often not apparent until a child hits a ‘grow spurt’ in their teenage years. But it is not just children who can be affected. Degenerative scoliosis occurs in older adults with previously healthy spines as a result of the various elements of the spine ‘wearing out’ as a result of the aging process.
Sleeping Tips for Scoliosis Patients
Use the “logrolling technique” to get into and out of your bed if you have spine injuries.
- Sit on the bed, contract your tummy muscles.
- Lean on arms and lift legs onto bed
- Turn onto your back with legs together
*Reverse the steps to get out of bed. This is a great video link show you how to do it.
- Sleeping flat on your back with legs straight since this puts unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine;
- Sleeping with too many pillows;
- Sleeping on your stomach
- Sleep on your back, with your knees bent and a roll support;
- Sleep on your side with your legs bent slightly forward;
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs or under your knees for better support;
In a fetal position.
How is Scoliosis Treated?
Just how scoliosis is treated varies from case to case according to the type, cause and severity. Its treatment however can be roughly divided into three categories; observation, bracing and surgery.
In the case of observation treatment if back pain is present it may be relieved with the use of massage, yoga or even simple stretches. In bracing, which is usually reserved for young patients the idea is to keep the spine as stable as possible as it grows in the hope that the curve does not worsen.
It’s not a ‘cure’ however, and in more severe cases surgery really may be the very best option.
Today’s surgery however is much improved over several decades ago and the outcomes can be excellent. Used mostly in severe teenage cases, it involves correcting the spine to as close as possible to straight and then performing spinal fusion to keep everything in place. The child can expect to take around six months to recover and then be monitored as they continue to grow.
Degenerative scoliosis is rather different, as it is usually a symptom of degenerative disc disease. It can, in some cases, be surgically addressed, but most people prefer to make use of more conservative treatments such as physical therapy, yoga or Pilates, and lifestyle changes like making use of a foam based or latex mattress and a back brace to help control pain.
How to Choose the Best Mattress for Scoliosis Relief
Many of those who suffer from scoliosis have to deal with the complications of lower back pain and spinal pain every day. They may, as time goes on, also develop additional aches and pains as a result of the fact that their curved spine may alter the way the walk, sit or move in general and put undue stress on other parts of the body, especially the hips.
Dealing with all of this all day leaves these people with a deep desire for rest, relaxation and a good night’s sleep to end the day. Unfortunately however that can be hard to come by, thanks to the fact that the pain persists and these levels of pain, combined with pressure from their mattress in general and the fact that scoliosis often limits the number of comfortable sleep positions a sufferer can comfortably lie in can cause serious sleep disturbances.
One of the things that many doctors and physical therapists advise their patients could make a significant positive change to their nighttime sleeping comfort – and even to their daily life in general, is seeking out a mattress that is best suited to their needs. This does mean shopping for a mattress becomes a little more involved, as there are things to be taken into consideration that other shoppers may not have to be so concerned about. The extra effort however is something that most feel is well worth their time.
So what should those looking for the best mattress for scoliosis be on the lookout for when shopping? Here are some of the most important factors to consider.
Getting adequate sleeping support is a must for people with a curvature of the spine. The term, in regards to mattresses, refers to just how even and flat the surface is. A supportive mattress will retain the same ‘level’ throughout the night even when the sleeper moves, where a less supportive one might sag. A mattress that is too unforgiving however can put undue strain on their already sensitive spine.
People often think, when shopping for a mattress that this term is interchangeable with the term support and that they are actually the same thing. That, however, is not quite the case. Firmness does not refer to the level of the mattress but how it actually feels to the person sleeping on it. Modern mattress manufacturers usually divide this metric into one of three basic categories:
These are the mattresses that people tend to feel like they are ‘sinking into’ a little as they sleep. They do provide adequate support in many cases for younger scoliosis patients – those who weigh under around 125 lbs or so, but for adults they often don’t provide enough support and can end up making their nighttime pain worse.
Many adults suffering with scoliosis find that this is the option that is ‘just right’ for them. It provides the support they need but, to quote one reviewer of such a bed ‘it does not feel as though you are sleeping on a plank. Weight can be a factor here too though and mattresses of this firmness level often won’t provide consistent support for someone over around 225 pounds.
This is the option that is often best suited to those we just mentioned, those who are over 225 lbs or those who are particularly tall. Those it often does not suit are the people at the other end of the spectrum, kids and others under 130 lbs, as they are often too light to ‘sink in’ at all and the ‘plank effect’ can come painfully into play.
Not as in they follow the rules but in that a mattress molds to the individual sleeper’s body shape, something that can help keep the spine better supported and aligned and decrease the amount of pressure scoliosis patients feel in the most sensitive regions of their back. While it may not be to everyone’s liking most people do prefer a mattress that does conform to their ‘shape’ to at least a certain degree, especially if they suffer from back pain.
Movement – including the movement of a partner – can really disturb anyone’s sleep, by that can be especially true for those with scoliosis as these moves can be particularly jarring. Motion isolation is a term used to describe the way certain mattresses can absorb the effect of movement and prevent it from disturbing sleepers. You usually find the highest levels of motion isolation in firmer mattresses that are not quite as ‘bouncy’ as some of their counterparts.
Even a cold night it’s possible to end up hot and bothered in bed. Many modern mattresses seek to address this by adding ‘cooling’ features that can help keep sleepers cool and sweat free. As people who suffer with chronic pain already often struggle to sleep and really do not need to be woken when they finally do because they are just too hot this can be a very useful feature to look for.
This is where opinion tends to divide sharply. Although memory foam is becoming the norm in some circles some scoliosis patients feel that it is just not supportive enough and prefer a ‘hybrid’ mattress that makes use of both coils and memory foam. Still others prefer the ‘old fashioned’ innerspring over both of these options. In other words, there is no general consensus over which mattress type is best.
This is where the fact that most mattress manufacturers – including all of those on our list of best mattresses for scoliosis – offer a trial period during which buyers can literally test out a bed’s suitability in their own home before committing to it, because the simple fact is that however many reviews you read sometimes you just won’t know if a bed is right for you until you try it out.
If you do commit to the mattress you choose it will not be an inexpensive purchase, which means you quite rightly will be expecting to get plenty of bang for your buck in terms of durability. The average mattress has a useful expected lifespan of around six to eight years (although buyers do report some of the beds on our list meeting their needs for longer) and a bed that can’t make it to that ‘average’ age is probably not the best deal at all.
You Might Also Like:
- Best Pillow for Scoliosis
- Best Mattresses for Back Pain
- Best Mattress Toppers for Scoliosis
- Best Mattresses for Arthritis
Medical Disclaimer Our website services, content, and products recommended are for informational purposes only. We do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.