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What Is the Best Mattress for Spinal Stenosis and 7 Product Recommendations

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 28 minLast updated on September 14, 2022

These days, back pain is one of the most widespread issues people are dealing with, regardless of gender or age.  

Just think about it: 8 out of 10 people may experience back pain at least once at some point during their lives (1). 

And this issue can penetrate all aspects of life, including sleep.

Today, we are going to talk about spinal stenosis, a condition that can cause back pain. You will learn how to find the best mattress for spinal stenosis and how to sleep better despite this condition. Let’s dive right in!

A Quick Preview

Puffy
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Puffy
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Saatva
Runner Up

Saatva
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Eight Sleep Pod 3
Best Cooling Mattress

Eight Sleep Pod 3
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Nectar
Best Budget Mattress for Spinal Stenosis

Nectar
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Amerisleep AS3
Best Memory Foam Mattress for Spinal Stenosis

Amerisleep AS3
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Zoma
Best Value Mattress for Spinal Stenosis

Zoma
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Winkbed
Best Hybrid Mattress for Spinal Stenosis

Winkbed
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Our List of the 7 Best Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis Sufferers

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice - Puffy

Puffy Mattress

Highlights:

  • superb pressure relief thanks to an all-foam construction;
  • gel-infused for a cooling effect;
  • removable, stain-resistant cover for easy maintenance;
  • dense foam in the transition layer to fight the quicksand feeling;
  • hypoallergenic fabric, suitable even for sensitive users.

What makes this model one of the best mattresses for spinal stenosis is the pressure-relieving properties it possesses. The Puffy conforms closely to one’s body, adapts to the curves, and fills in the gaps. And less tension often means less pain, promising long-awaited relief for spinal stenosis patients. I, for one, felt almost immediate relief when sleeping on the Puffy mattress after straining my back after lifting heavy boxes.

Read our full Puffy mattress review for more information.

position of your back while sleeping on Puffy mattress
Puffy Mattress On Bed Frame

Runner Up — Saatva

Saatva Classic Mattress

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Highlights:

  • individually wrapped comfort coils for targeted support;
  • plush pillow-top to add extra pressure relief;
  • active wire and a foam insert for proper spinal alignment.

When looking for the best mattress for spinal stenosis, you should certainly consider the Saatva, as it has quite a lot to surprise you with. This hybrid mattress does an excellent job of delivering proper support and keeping the sleeper in a neutral position. This leads to proper weight distribution all across the surface and can fight tension build-up in one’s spine. My experience with the Saatva proves that, as I didn’t feel any stiffness or other unpleasant symptoms in the morning.

And here’s the kicker: unlike all-foam models (the most famous ones being Puffy and Nectar), the Saatva doesn’t make sleepers feel stuck. So, if your spinal stenosis is making it hard to get out of bed due to pain, it will be a bit easier with the Saatva.

Best Cooling Mattress — Eight Sleep Pod 3

Eight Sleep Pod 3

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Highlights:

  • Advanced sleep technology helps track and improve sleep quality over time.
  • Revolutionary cooling technology adapts to optimal temperatures for cool sleep.
  • The durable cover is breathable and designed for easy heat transfer.

The Eight Sleep Pod 3 is the best cooling mattress for those with spinal stenosis as, unlike the Nectar Premier Mattress with moderate cooling features, Pod 3 goes a step beyond and offers sleepers dynamic, cool-to-the-touch sleep with temperature as low as 55 F. That way, sleepers who suffer from AS, and sleep a bit on the hot side, can enjoy a comfortable, ideal temperature sleep.

On top of this, I like Eight Sleep Pod 3’s high-density base, giving the mattress more longevity so I don’t have to worry about sag,  while also being supportive enough to promote spinal alignment and ease of movement when changing sleeping positions throughout the night. That means that this cushioning, yet firm mattress will hit all my pressure points and apply relief exactly where I need it, when I need it.

Best Budget Mattress for Spinal Stenosis — Nectar

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

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Highlights:

  • multiple cooling features to maintain a temperature-neutral environment during the night;
  • anti-slip cover to prevent shifting (great for active sleepers);
  • gentle cradling for enhanced pressure relief.

The Nectar is one of the best mattresses for spinal stenosis pain, thanks to its ability to redistribute pressure. Close conforming leads to lower tension levels and, consequently, pain alleviation.

However, what makes the Nectar mattress stand out from the competitors is its value for money. This model is reasonably priced but comes with a ton of perks and can boast of impressive quality. It’s an ideal solution for budget shoppers who want a comfortable, long-lasting mattress.

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Spinal Stenosis — Amerisleep AS3

Amerisleep AS3

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Highlights:

  • prolonged warranty to guarantee long-lasting customer protection;
  • eco-friendly foam to create a safer sleeping environment;
  • breathable design for cooler sleep.

Another mattress I would love to introduce is the AS3 by Amerisleep. What makes it one of the best mattresses for spinal stenosis is the winning combination of tension alleviation and cool sleep that it offers. The thing is, as an all-foam mattress, the AS3 is conforming and can help reduce stenosis paint by keeping your spine neutrally aligned during the night. At the same time, this mattress uses breathable, plant-based foam. It allows for improved air circulation and, as a consequence, can keep you comfortably cool.

It gets better:

Because the AS3 foam is breathable, it is less likely to cause moisture accumulation. As a result of that, this model is also more resistant to dust mites, mold growth, and bacteria build-up. This means the Amerisleep AS3 is a safe mattress that would work for allergy-prone sleepers who are dealing with spinal stenosis.

Read our full Amerisleep AS3 mattress review for more information.

Amerisleep AS3 Review-P1133774
Amerisleep-as3

Best Value Mattress for Spinal Stenosis — Zoma

Zoma Mattress

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Highlights:

  • ventilated cover for increased airflow and cooler sleep;
  • sturdy construction and an attractive price tag, offers good value for money;
  • zoned comfort system for targeted support and to combat pain-causing pressure.

If you have set a specific budget and don’t want the best mattress for spinal stenosis that would rip a hole in your wallet, so to say, you might want to consider getting the Zoma mattress. This model comes with an affordable price tag but has a lot to offer for the money. First of all, the Zoma is quality-made and feels rather sturdy. Even the stitching seems robust, which pleasantly surprised me. So, chances are, the Zoma mattress would be a long-lasting investment.

Next, the Zoma can also boast of its zoned comfort layer that is meant to help with proper weight distribution. Because each section of the top layer responds differently to applied pressure, the mattress can prevent tension build-up. As a result, this might even lead to reduced stenosis pain and fewer pressure points. I have to say, I did not expect such an affordable mattress to make me feel tension-free and almost weightless when sleeping on it.

Read our full Zoma mattress review for more information.

Layers
Zoma Mattress On a Bed Frame

Best Hybrid Mattress for Spinal Stenosis — Winkbed

Winkbed-P1077807
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Highlights:

  • 4 firmness options for all sleeping positions and body types;
  • natural Tencel cover for improved breathability and cooling;
  • reinforced edges for more support around the perimeter;
  • Euro top (quilted with gel-infused foam) for extra cooling and enhanced comfort;
  • extra support in the lumbar section to aid proper spinal alignment.

Another model that deserves to be called the best mattress for spinal stenosis is this hybrid by Winkbeds. This mattress is favored for its impressively balanced feel, with a resilient support core and a thick, cradling Euro-top layer. Another cool this about this mattress is the zoned, targeted support it provides for the spine. With an extra foam encasement in the lumbar section and the zoned coil system, the Winkbed creates all the conditions for optimal spinal position during sleep, which is crucial when dealing with spinal stenosis and tension in your back.

Read our full Winkbed mattress review for more information.

Winkbeds-P1077851
Winkbed Mattress On a Bed Frame

A Word on Spinal Stenosis and How It Can Ruin Your Sleep

To pick the best mattresses for spinal stenosis, it’s important to understand what you are dealing with first.

Now, spinal stenosis is a condition that involves the narrowing of the spaces in your spine. And less space for the nerves means they may become compressed or pinched. According to Dr. Debra Sullivan, It occurs either in the cervical part of your spine (neck) or in the lumbar part of your spine (lower back). Therefore, there are two types of spinal stenosis, cervical stenosis, and lumbar stenosis. As a result of the nerve compression that occurs in spinal stenosis, you may start experiencing numbness, weakness, and pain in your legs and feet, plus back pain if you are experiencing lumbar stenosis or neck pain if you are experiencing cervical stenosis.  

Spinal stenosis cases are growing in number these days. It can be either congenital (from birth) or acquired. Congenital cases are usually caused by a small spinal canal. In acquired cases, it can be caused by either age-related spinal changes or by other conditions such as injuries or previous spinal surgery, bone wear and tear, excess calcium or fluoride, scoliosis, or other illnesses (2, 3).

“If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and think you may have spinal stenosis, but have not had a diagnosis, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider, as it could be caused by a more serious issue” says Dr. Debra Sullivan.

Growing Pain of Spinal Stenosis

Source: https://www.ahrq.gov/data/infographics/spinal-stenosis-pain.html

One of the risk factors is the age-related degenerative changes, which explains why spinal stenosis is more common among people over 65 (4).

Age distribution central spinal stenosis

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Age-distribution-central-spinal-stenosis-n-953-patients_fig37_298545636

Since spinal stenosis can cause  neck, back and limb pain, this condition might make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Additionally, you may even start experiencing more pain due to the lack of movement and staying in one position for a long time during the night. The lack of motion during sleep puts more pressure on the joints and your spine. As a result, your stenosis symptoms can worsen.

And that’s why it’s so important to get yourself a proper mattress for spinal stenosis. While it can’t treat the condition, a suitable bed has a chance of making you feel more comfortable and relaxed, and thus improve your sleep quality. Plus, a proper mattress may even help relieve the pain.

What Is the Best Type of Mattress for Spinal Stenosis?

The best mattresses for spinal stenosis are generally foam, latex, and hybrid beds. A good mattress is supposed to distribute your weight evenly and keep your spine properly aligned during the night. While this is the main rule, some extra characteristics may vary depending on the materials used.

Let’s look at the most common ones and see which material can make the most suitable mattress for spinal stenosis.

Foam

Whether it’s memory or polyurethane foam, this material offers close conforming and adapts its surface to the curves of your body. It effectively distributes your weight, which aids spinal alignment. This makes foam mattresses a good mattress option for lumbar spinal stenosis, which is often accompanied by kyphosis (5) that requires a correct sleeping posture. The cradling properties of foam also help with pressure relief. This, consequently, can help reduce the pain levels.

The main drawback sleepers usually have to deal with is sleeping hot. Foam tends to trap body heat while giving you a generous hug. All of that can make you wake up sweaty in the morning. Now, if you don’t want to sacrifice the superb pressure relief that these mattresses can offer, you may want to consider models that use gel infusion or an open-cell technology for a cooling effect. 

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine pocketed coils for base support and foam (or sometimes latex) for comfort layers. This type offers the best of both materials: sturdy support and good air circulation (coils) with pressure relief (foam or latex).

Hybrid beds are a good option for sleepers with spinal stenosis due to their balanced feel. Such a mattress would be supportive enough to aid proper spinal alignment while gently cradling your body and reducing pressure points.

However, keep in mind that hybrid models are usually quite expensive. They also tend to be very heavy and hard to move. And because of the multiple layers used, many hybrid mattresses are quite thick, so you have to be careful here. If your spinal stenosis pain causes mobility issues, an overly tall mattress can make it hard for you to get in and out of bed every day. Check out our 5 favorite hybrid mattresses here

Latex

Latex mattresses have a fast response, so they aren’t supposed to make you feel stuck. At the same time, latex does a great job of relieving pressure and tension, helping your muscles relax, and reducing stress on the joints. This can help alleviate the pain caused by spinal stenosis.

Here’s the deal, though:

Some people are allergic to latex, so this option would not work for everyone. Additionally, since this is a natural component (made from the rubber trees), latex beds tend to be quite pricey.

On the other hand, latex mattresses don’t sleep hot. And while this factor is not directly linked to spinal stenosis pain, it can help you feel much more comfortable and relaxed, which may improve your sleep quality.

Innerspring

Using coils for support, innerspring beds are quite bouncy and responsive. Such mattresses often use a thin layer of foam for improved comfort, but it’s not usually enough for decent pressure relief. That’s why this type is more suitable for back and stomach sleepers rather than side sleepers.

At the same time, innerspring beds allow for consistent support throughout the surface. They also have strong edges, which can make them a good option for a mattress for cervical spinal stenosis. You see, as this condition often causes weakness in the arms and hands (6), patients may rely on their mattress and its bounce to help them get in and out of bed. So, if you press against the edges of the mattress to help yourself stand up, an innerspring model would be strong enough to hold up under the pressure.

It gets better:

Innerspring mattresses don’t sleep hot. This can make you feel more comfortable and relax faster during the night.

Things to Look For in a Good Mattress for Spinal Stenosis

On your quest to find the most comfortable mattress, spinal stenosis may seem like a scary complication.

However, the recipe for a good bed and a great sleep is quite simple. You just need to pick the proper “ingredients,” which means consider the most important factors that make a suitable mattress for spinal stenosis:

  • Back support and proper alignment. As it was mentioned before, proper posture during sleep is very important, especially if you have back issues. A good mattress has to distribute your body weight evenly and keep your spine in a neutral position. Keep in mind that an overly thin or soft bed would not be able to do that. Additionally, this factor often depends on your weight, which leads us to the next aspect. 
  • Suitable firmness for your weight. Heavier individuals put more pressure on the mattress’s surface, which may result in unwanted sinkage and unhealthy curves in the spine. If you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may need a firm bed that would offer you solid support. At the same time, if you are a petite sleeper, be careful with medium-firm and firm mattresses. When the bed surface feels too stiff, it will put more pressure on your joints, which can lead to increased pain levels. 
  • Pressure relief. Reducing the tension may come in handy when suffering from spinal stenosis. Since this condition often causes too much stress and pressure on spinal nerves (7), a pressure-relieving mattress can help reduce the tension and, consequently, relieve the pain. Memory foam and latex models would be the most optimal options to consider.
  • Compatibility with your sleeping position. Side sleepers need softer mattresses that would allow enough sinkage for the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers usually benefit the most from medium firmness, which doesn’t offer that much cushioning but still allows for the hips and buttocks to sink a bit deeper. Sleeping on your stomach is not generally recommended, but if you can’t sleep in any other position, at least make sure that your mattress is firm enough and offers sturdy support. Also, keep in mind that spinal stenosis sufferers are recommended to sleep in a fetal position (on their side with the knees curled up a bit) (8).
  • Breathability and cooling. No one likes sleeping hot, especially when you also have to deal with back pain. Therefore, a temperature neutral mattress would be the best choice for spinal stenosis. Look at hybrid, latex, innerspring, or gel-infused foam mattresses.
  • Adjustable frame compatibility. Some people find it more comfortable to sleep in a reclined position when dealing with spinal stenosis pain, as this can help relieve nerve pressure (8). If you are one of them, make sure that your new mattress would work with an adjustable frame. Usually, manufacturers provide that information on the product’s page.

F.A.Q.

Can a good mattress help spinal stenosis?

While a mattress can’t treat the condition, a suitable bed can help alleviate the symptoms.

Can spinal stenosis get worse because of the wrong mattress?

An unsuitable mattress can put too much pressure on your spine or create unnatural curves, which can lead to increased discomfort and higher pain levels.

Conclusion

Dealing with spinal stenosis can be hectic.

And with this condition, your sleep quality is twice as important.

A good mattress can help with that. Keep in mind that your bed has to offer proper support and good pressure relief if you have spinal stenosis. And don’t forget that suitable firmness, quality materials, and your sleeping position also play an important role in your choice.

And if you are looking for suggestions, allow me to share the mattress that impressed me the most - the all-foam model by Puffy. Thanks to its adaptive, conforming feel, it can guarantee adaptive support for the spine and pinpoint pressure relief. And proper support and tension alleviation are crucial for spinal stenosis patients, making the Puffy one of the best mattresses for pain relief. Plus, this model is truly comfortable and well-made. Chances are, the Puffy can make countless sleepers happy.

How does your current mattress work for spinal stenosis? Do you have your own mattress considerations that could be important for shoppers with this condition? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

References

  1. MedlinePlus (n.d.). Back Pain. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/backpain.html
  2. C. Lillis (2019, July 22). Spinal stenosis: Everything you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325817#symptoms
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff (2018, March 08). Spinal stenosis. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961
  4. R. Kalff, C. Ewald, A. Waschke, L. Gobisch, and C. Hopf (2013, September 13). Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in Older People. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784039/
  5. A. Truszczyńska, J. Drzał-Grabiec, M. Płszewski, K. Rąpała, A. Tarnowski (2015). Posture of Patients With Lumbar Spinal Canal Stenosis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24968797/
  6. University of Virginia (n.d.). Cervical Stenosis. Retrieved from https://med.virginia.edu/neurosurgery/services/spine-surgery/cervical-stenosis/
  7. A. A. Sama, F. P. Girardi, F. P. Cammisa Jr. (2011, July 26). Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - An Overview. Retrieved from https://www.hss.edu/conditions_lumbar-spinal-stenosis.asp
  8. R. Staehler (2017, October 25). Mattresses and Sleep Positions for Each Back Pain Diagnosis. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/mattresses-and-sleep-positions-each-back-pain-diagnosis

Our research

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Mattresses Considered

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Hours of Research

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Sleep Experts Consulted

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