How to choose the Best Mattress for Herniated Disc Sufferers

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 27 minLast updated on September 9, 2022

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend adults get at least 7 hours of sleep every night to support optimal health (1).   

But it may be hard to reach that number, especially when sleeping with a herniated disc.

Luckily, a properly chosen mattress may help relieve discomfort and painful sensations so that you could enjoy restful slumber. So, let’s try to understand what makes the best mattress for herniated disc and how to pick something that would work perfectly for you.

A Quick Preview

Puffy Mattress
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Puffy Mattress
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Saatva Classic
Runner Up

Saatva Classic
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Eight Sleep Pod 3

Eight Sleep Pod 3
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Best Budget Mattress

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The WinkBed
Best Hybrid Mattress for Herniated Disc Sufferers

The WinkBed
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AS3 by Amerisleep

AS3 by Amerisleep
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Our Reviews of the Best Mattress for Herniated Disc Sufferers

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Puffy Mattress

Puffy Mattress

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  • all-foam construction to offer close conforming and effective pressure alleviation;
  • extra-long warranty to guarantee top-notch customer protection;
  • removable, washable cover for effortless cleaning.

The best mattress for herniated disc sufferers has to deliver instant pressure relief. Luckily, the Puffy can do that (and a bit more). This memory foam mattress adjusts to the sleeper’s shape and delivers optimal support. As a result, the weight is distributed evenly, and the sleeper doesn’t experience tension build-up. This can also promote a healthier sleep posture and less pressure on the spine. And less pressure often means less pain.

Another cool thing about the Puffy mattress is how cradling it is. The foam moves slowly and effectively absorbs shock from movement. This may come in handy for people with a herniated disc who share their bed with a significant other. Often, back pain makes them toss and turn, trying to find a less painful position. With the Puffy, the other sleeper won’t feel a thing. I tested this mattress with my wife, a light sleeper. However, my shifting in bed didn’t bother her at all.

Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.

puffy mattress cover review
Puffy Mattress On Bed Frame

Runner Up — Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic Mattress

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  • three comfort and two thickness variations to satisfy a wider range of sleepers;
  • enhanced edge support to maintain a uniform feel all across the surface;
  • spinal zone with an extra lumbar enhancement for improved spinal alignment.

One of the things that make Saatva worth your attention is its smart construction. This model uses proprietary Spinal Zone technology. It combines an extra layer of foam in the lumbar region with an active wire to ensure proper spinal alignment. And when the spine remains neutral, it experiences less pressure and strain, relieving pain and making the Saatva one of the best mattresses for herniated disc patients.

I also appreciate the uniform feel the Saatva has. This mattress has sturdy edges and offers reliable support all across the perimeter (unlike many competitors, especially some foam or latex models). Not only does this mean more space for partnered sleepers but also extra support when getting out of bed. Strong edges will provide a little boost for the arms when getting up, which may really come in handy for herniated disc patients with somewhat limited mobility.

Best Cooling Mattress - Eight Sleep Pod 3

Eight Sleep Pod 3

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  • The mattress construction and top cover are optimized for thermoregulation to ensure a sweat-free rest.
  • Its memory foam and innerspring layers are adaptive and can provide the sinkage and lumbar support needed for pressure alleviation.
  • The mattress cover has a sensor technology that helps track sleep metrics and suggests ways for improvement.

Suffering from a herniated disc while on a hot mattress seems enough to make someone lose sleep. However, with a proper cooling feature like the hydrosystem of the Eight Sleep Pod 3, sleepers with a herniated disc can sleep cool as the breeze.

The Eight Sleep Pod 3 mattress incorporates water channels into its mattress cover for an automated cooling effect, and you get to control how cool or warm the mattress stays. It also has a sensor technology that tracks your sleep habits. You might appreciate this feature to help you gain insights on how to improve your overall sleep health.

In addition, this mattress poses as a good option for herniated disc sufferers as it offers pain relief courtesy of its memory foam cushioning and spine support powered by the dense base layer. I also appreciate how this mattress is app-compatible and it gives you the power to customize your sleep experience.

Best Budget Mattress — Nectar

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

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  • adaptive feel to help the body pressure spread out evenly;
  • allows for sweat-free sleep thanks to multiple cooling components;
  • slow response to pressure to ensure undisturbed partnered sleep.

This is a perfect fit for people who don’t want to spend a fortune on their new mattress but still wish to enjoy effective pressure relief. Despite its attractive price tag, the Nectar performs as well as many foam competitors. It molds to the sleeper’s shape, adjusts to the curves, and fills in the spots that require extra support (lumbar spine, for example). As a result, the Nectar promotes fast relaxation and tension relief. Thanks to that, I felt almost weightless and pressure-free when sleeping on this mattress (even when dealing with serious back pain).

I also appreciate the cover design of this mattress. It has a non-slip bottom that can come in handy for active sleepers like me. No matter how much I tossed during the night, the Nectar remained in place (even in a reclined position on an adjustable bed). Therefore, this model can be an excellent solution for restless or combination sleepers who hate adjusting their mattresses in the morning.

Best Hybrid Mattress for Herniated Disc Sufferers — The WinkBed

Winkbed Mattress On a Bed Frame

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  • four firmness options to accommodate more types of users and sleeping styles;
  • lumber layer for additional support and improved spinal alignment;
  • Euro-top layer with gel infusion for cool and cradling comfort.

The next model that deserves to be called one of the best mattresses for a herniated disc is, of course, the WinkBed. If you (just like me) appreciate reliable support, then you’re going to love this mattress. The WinkBed uses individually wrapped coils for the support system. They respond to the applied pressure independently and can properly accommodate each body part. This means optimal weight distribution and reduced strain on your herniated disc. And the best part is, my back felt 100% comfortable in any sleeping position when using the WinkBed.

Now, this model comes in 4 firmness variations. There are options suited for different sleeping styles, petite users, average sleepers, and heavy individuals. My wife and I were testing the Luxury Firm Model and it worked for both of us (she’s a lightweight stomach sleeper and I’m an average user who prefers sleeping on one side or on my back).

Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.

Winkbed Mattress On a Bed Frame

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Herniated Disc Sufferers — AS3 by Amerisleep

Amerisleep AS3

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  • plant-based open-cell foam to achieve improved airflow and cooler sleep;
  • medium feel to accommodate more sleepers;
  • zoned transition layer for pinpoint support and pressure alleviation.

Looking for the best mattress for herniated disc pain that can offer fast relief without making you sleep hot? Then the AS3 might be the right choice! I am a hot sleeper myself, but the AS3 kept me comfortably cool throughout the night. This has to do with the AS3’s construction and the improved airflow it results in. The foam itself is more breathable than traditional foam due to its open-cell structure. Additionally, the AS3 uses a convoluted (like a beehive) transition layer. It creates extra space between the layers and allows for unobstructed airflow.

And it doesn’t end there. The AS3 also offers fast tension relief thanks to its conforming properties. Additionally, the transition layer is zoned, so it delivers optimal support levels for different body sections, contributing to pressure alleviation. As a result, this mattress can help people with herniated discs feel more relaxed and experience less pain.

Read our full Amerisleep AS3 mattress review for more information. 

Amerisleep AS3 Review-P1133774

Dealing with a Herniated Disc

All of the bones in our spine are cushioned by discs, which help absorb the shock from moving, twisting, and lifting. Each disc contains a soft inner part and a firmer outer section. A disc becomes herniated when the inner part starts protruding through the outer section (2). spine


Now, you may expect this condition to be mostly among the elderly, but the statistics show that herniated discs are most common among people between 30-50 years, and it is twice as common in males than females (3).  Age-distribution-disc-herniation


While being commonly associated with age-related conditions, disc herniation is usually caused by straining or trauma, or weak muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle (2). It can occur in any part of the spine or neck, which leads to pain or numbness (or both). Naturally, this can influence your sleep quality. Now, you probably realize that only your doctor can choose the right treatment for you. In the meantime, in order to sleep better, you may want to look for a suitable mattress for a herniated disc. After all, sleeping comfortably and getting enough rest can help speed up your recovery as well as minimize pain and other symptoms.

What Is the Best Mattress Type for a Herniated Disc?

When it comes to picking the best mattress for a herniated disc, opinions differ. The main rule here is: as long as it makes you feel comfortable, your bed is good. 

But each mattress type has certain peculiarities and characteristics, which may work for some sleepers and make others feel uncomfortable. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Memory foam. Famous for its adaptiveness, memory foam offers close conforming. This material adjusts to your body curves and minimizes pressure points, which can help with pain relief in those with a herniated disc. However, keep in mind that memory foam can trap your body heat. This can affect your sleep greatly, especially if you are prone to night sweats. A good solution would be a mattress that has gel-infused layers or uses open-cell foam technology for improved air circulation.
  • Polyfoam. Polyfoam is a bit denser and more responsive than memory foam, which makes it a great option for sleepers who don’t want to feel stuck in their mattress. At the same time, polyfoam provides good pressure relief and precise body contouring, so it may work for those with herniated discs quite well.
  • Latex. Since disc herniation can cause muscle weakness, it may be challenging for some people to switch positions during the night (4). And that’s when the bounciness of latex would come in handy. This material is very responsive and springy, which makes it a good choice for a suitable mattress for a herniated disc. Latex also does a good job of reducing pressure points without enveloping your body too much.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid mattresses usually combine a coil base and foam or latex comfort layers. Many sleepers appreciate their balanced feel. Hybrid mattresses successfully pair solid support with pressure relief. Many hybrid models feature zoned spinal support, which puts them among the best mattresses for a lumbar herniated disc. The main drawback of this bed type is its price tag, which isn’t ideal for shoppers on a budget. Check out our 5 best-rated hybrid mattresses here.
  • Innerspring. Coil mattresses offer consistent support and bouncy response throughout the surface. They typically don’t sleep hot and don’t restrict your movements during the night. However, innerspring mattresses aren’t that impressive when it comes to pressure relief, which can be an issue when dealing with a herniated disc. Since these beds are usually quite cheap, some sleepers combine them with a memory foam topper to enjoy a more balanced feel. However, this might not work for everyone, especially if your herniated disc is causing radiating pain.

Things to Look For in a Good Mattress for a Herniated Disc

The truth is, there’s no universal recipe for the best mattress for a herniated disc. After all, different sleepers have various requirements in terms of comfort levels.

Here’s the thing, though:

When it comes to dealing with disc herniation, some mattress characteristics are crucial. And that’s what you need to pay your attention to:

  • Support. The spine has three main curves: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar (5). These curves have to be supported and properly aligned during sleep to maintain correct posture and a healthy spine. So, it doesn’t matter whether you want a mattress for a herniated disc in your neck or lower back, for instance. It just has to support your whole body evenly in order to keep the spine aligned. 
  • Firmness. You should pick your bed firmness according to your sleeping position. For average side sleepers, a soft-to-medium mattress would be a good option. Back sleepers require firmer support and may want to look at medium to medium-firm mattresses. As for stomach sleepers, a firm bed would be the most suitable. Now, your weight matters as well, and if you are a bigger individual (over 230 pounds), you might need something extra supportive and a bit firmer
  • Pressure relief. Extra pressure on your spine or muscles can cause back pain (6). And this may worsen the pain from your herniated disc. Your mattress should be able to help reduce that pressure. In this case, you need something that would allow for enough cushioning for the protruding parts of your body. 
  • Quality materials. When dealing with a herniated disc, you don’t want your mattress to lose its properties too soon. Look for well-known brands and a good warranty, as it would give you peace of mind for years to come. When choosing a foam model, it’s better to stick to denser foam (as it’s more durable). In a hybrid model, the coil gauge has to be low, as lower numbers signify thicker and sturdier coils. As for latex mattresses, they are famous for their increased lifespan and tend to be among the most long-lasting models on the market.
  • Cooling. While not being directly related to disc herniation, sleeping hot can make you feel uncomfortable during the night and affect your sleep quality. If you are prone to overheating during the night, look at mattresses that use cooling components (gel memory foam), allow for air circulation (hybrid and innerspring), or naturally don’t trap body heat (latex).
  • Motion isolation. It can be challenging for people with a herniated disc to find a comfortable sleep position. This often makes them toss and turn in bed. And if the mattress is bouncy, their significant other can be woken up easily. That’s why memory foam and latex mattresses typically work the best for partnered sleep, especially if one of the partners suffers from chronic pain. A hybrid model may also suffice if it has extra-thick comfort layers (and if the weight difference between the partners isn’t that significant).

Which Sleeping Position Is the Best for a Herniated Disc?

Herniated Disc


A correct sleeping position is one of the potential treatment options that can help you with pain relief when dealing with a herniated disc. But which one is considered to be the healthiest option? Let’s take a look and see how each position works:

  • On your back. This sleeping position is considered to be the healthiest one for most people  (7), as it can help you maintain proper spinal alignment. Back sleepers usually require medium firmness and a good amount of cushioning for their hips and buttocks. If you have a herniated disc in your neck, you may want to invest in an orthopedic pillow with a special dent in the center for proper neck support.
  • On your side. Sleeping on your side is another good option when dealing with a herniated disc. It might be especially beneficial if you are dealing with a foraminal herniated disc (8). A proper mattress, in this case, has to be soft enough to cradle your protruding shoulders and hips. You can try to put a pillow between the knees or even use a full-body pillow to contribute to spinal alignment. 
  • On your stomach. This sleeping position may work if you have lumbar paracentral disc herniation (8). But in other cases, it is not recommended for disc herniation. The thing is, sleeping on your stomach can cause your hips to sink while elevating the chest and creating an unhealthy arch in the spine. However, if you can’t sleep in any other position, at least make sure that your mattress is firm and supportive enough. 

Quick tip: Sleeping in a reclined position helps some people feel more comfortable when struggling with back pain caused by a disc herniation. Therefore, you may try an adjustable bed frame. Make sure that your mattress is flexible enough to be used with it. Foam and latex mattresses are generally thought to work best with adjustable bases. 

Also read: Best Mattresses for Adjustable Beds


Can a bad mattress cause a herniated disc?

While a bad mattress cannot really cause disc herniation, it can worsen the symptoms and prolong the recovery process.

Is a memory foam mattress good for a herniated disc?

It depends on your personal preferences. Generally, memory foam mattresses are considered to be a good option for sleepers with a herniated disc due to this material’s pressure-relieving properties.

What’s the best sleeping position for people with herniated discs?

Sleeping on your back or side is considered suitable for a herniated disc. When lying on your side, you can also put a pillow between the knees to aid spinal alignment.


Having a herniated disc doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to have sleepless nights

You just need to pick a suitable mattress.

So, keep in mind that you may need good pressure relief for disc herniation, as well as solid support. A hybrid or latex mattress can be optimal, but if you want more cushioning, you should go with memory foam.

And don’t forget that firmness and quality materials matter too. After all, you don’t want your new bed to sag within the first two years.

I know, choosing a good mattress is easier said than done. Allow me to share my personal champion - the Puffy Mattress. This model has everything a herniated disc sufferer might want - optimal support, tension alleviation, and quality materials that promise increased lifespan. The Puffy feels like a gentle hug and creates favorable conditions for spine relaxation and, potentially, reduced pain levels. Plus, it offers excellent value for money. Therefore, I’m sure the Puffy can make countless sleepers happy!

So, how are you dealing with disc herniation? Do you think a suitable mattress can help alleviate the pain caused by this condition? Share your thoughts in the comments!



  1. Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al.; Consensus Conference Panel (2015, August). Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion. Retrieved from
  2. Rachel Nall (2019, March 07). Slipped (Herniated) Disc. Retrieved from
  3. Jo Jordon, Kika Konstantinou, John O'Dowd (2009, March 26). Herniated lumbar disc. Retrieved from
  4. Tim Newman (2018, August 21). Causes and treatment of a herniated disk. Retrieved from
  5. Daniel K. Park, MD (2020, June). Spine Basics. Retrieved from
  6. Adapted from a pamphlet originally prepared for the Arthritis Foundation by John W. Frymoyer (n.d.). Back pain. Retrieved from
  7. National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). The Best Sleep Position for Your Body. Retrieved from
  8. Richard Staehler (2017, October 25). Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis. Retrieved from

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