Best Mattress for Spinal Stenosis
Dr. Jordan Burns, DC, MS
Dr. Burns is an established authority in sleep health, combining over a decade of hands-on experience in chiropractic care with a deeply rooted knowledge of sleep science. A holder of degrees in Kinesiology, Life Sciences, Sports Science and Rehabilitation, and Chiropractic, his interdisciplinary background uniquely positions him at the intersection of wellness, ergonomics, and sleep […]
Spinal stenosis pain can feel relentless, which makes getting some well-deserved sleep nearly impossible. While a good mattress may not be the cure for spinal stenosis, it can relieve your pain and make it easier to sleep at nighttime.
Now, a good mattress may improve your spinal stenosis pain, but a bad mattress may worsen it. The right bed for improving spinal stenosis will vary based on several factors such as your sleeping position. In our article, we get into all things spinal stenosis and share some of the best mattresses for spinal stenosis.
Best Mattress for Spinal Stenosis: 30-Second Summary
- Amerisleep AS2 – The editors at Sleep Junkie love the Amerisleep AS2 for spinal stenosis sufferers. It contains durable plant-based memory foam, HIVE® zoned technology, and a supportive base. It scores 4.7 out of 5 stars from thousands of reviewers, so it’s safe to say this bed’s worth a look.
- Zoma Mattress – The Zoma Mattress is built for athletes, but works for sleepers of all types. With its cooling foams and durable base, the Zoma Mattress fosters deeper sleep, improves muscle recovery, and helps with physical performance during the day.
Best Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis
At the top of today’s list is the Amerisleep AS2, a best-selling memory foam mattress with a medium feel. The Amerisleep AS2 is a medium-firm bed excellent for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and people with chronic back pain or spinal stenosis.
“Studies have shown that firmer mattresses like the Amerisleep AS2 provide pressure-relief support which can help to reduce pain associated with spinal stenosis,” says Dr. Jordan Burns.
The Amerisleep AS2 is 12 inches thick and contains three memory foam layers. The mattress’s cover is made from a breathable knit fabric. It draws away heat and moisture to prevent you from getting uncomfortable while sleeping.
At the top of the AS2 is Bio-Pur®, Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam. This durable material is more breathable and responsive than any normal memory foam. Even then, the Bio-Pur® is pressure-relieving and doesn’t cause you to sink uncomfortably.
Next is the Affinity transition layer with HIVE® technology. HIVE® is a support technology with five ergonomic zones. The foam is soft around your hips and shoulders, then firm around your head, back, and shoulders. This technology minimizes pressure points by evenly distributing your body.
Finally comes the Bio-Core® base foam. Not only does this layer promote a healthy spine but it also prevents sagging.
The Amerisleep AS2 is made in the USA and CertiPUR-US® certified. It includes free shipping and returns, a 100-night trial, and a 20-year warranty.
- Built for back and spine pain
- Zoned support improves spinal pain and pressure points
- Free of harmful chemicals and heavy metals
Dealing with spinal stenosis pain on top of feeling hot can ruin your nights entirely, but not with the Zoma Mattress. Zoma built this bed to stay cool while relieving pain and helping you sleep deeper at night. It has a medium feel, the ideal firmness for lots of people.
“Research has shown that mattresses that provide cooler body temperatures, like the Zoma Mattress, promote better overall quality of sleep and comfort,” says Dr. Burns.
The Zoma Mattress is 12 inches thick and features an AirCloth cover—it’s stretchy, moisture-wicking, and breathable! It contains gel memory foam with Triangulex™ technology Reactiv™ foam, and Support+ base foam.
Triangulex™ is Zoma’s targeted support technology featured in the bed’s comfort layer. There are triangular cutouts throughout the foam designed to provide support and cushioning where needed. The layer is firm around your back and spine, but soft around your hips and shoulders.
Reactiv™ transition foam is a responsive layer built to prevent you from sinking deeply into your bed. This way, you can easily adjust positions and get out of bed.
The Support+ foam at the base of the bed promotes healthy spinal alignment to relieve stenosis pain.
The Zoma Mattress includes free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
- Helps you sleep deeper while improving muscle recovery
- Designed for athletes but usable for anyone
- CertiPUR-US® certified and made in the USA
The Vaya Mattress is a true staple if you’re looking to save money while healing your spinal stenosis. This memory foam mattress is 12 inches thick and has a medium feel, which is a firmness suitable for all types of sleepers.
Vaya keeps prices so low for their flagship model by keeping its design simple. Under the breathable knit cover is Vaya Comfort Foam and Vaya Base Foam.
Vaya Comfort Foam is a latex-like foam built to stay cool. It contours to your curves to relieve pressure without feeling overly soft. The material is bouncy and distributes your body weight evenly to prevent your pain from worsening.
Vaya Base Foam is a durable and supportive material. It helps align your spine—relieving stenosis pain—and prevents sags and indentations from developing throughout your bed.
“The Vaya Mattress promotes a healthy spinal alignment, regardless of your sleeping style, and is a great option for anyone diagnosed with spinal stenosis who is looking to reduce pain and improve their overall quality of sleep,” says Dr. Burns.
Despite being so affordable, Vaya mattresses are made in the USA and CertiPUR-US® certified. They include free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 100-night limited warranty.
- Affordable, yet high-quality option
- Free of harsh chemicals and won’t off-gas
- Streamlined design keeps prices low
One of the most outstanding beds for spinal stenosis is the Amerisleep Organica. This latex hybrid mattress combines sustainable and organic materials to support your spine while being eco-friendly. At 13 inches thick, it has a medium feel to suit all types of sleepers who want to shop sustainably.
Inside the Amerisleep Organica is New Zealand Joma Wool, Talalay latex, pocketed coils, and Dunlop latex. The Organica’s cover is made with GOLS certified organic cotton with hand-tufted rosettes.
New Zealand Joma Wool is a fluffy and breathable material. Not only does it lightly cushion your body, but it’s a natural flame retardant.
Amerisleep utilizes two types of latex for their mattresses: Talalay and Dunlop. The Talalay latex is the mattress’s comfort layer, while the Dunlop latex is its base layer. Talalay latex is springy, cooling, and pressure-relieving, so it’s great for spinal stenosis. The Dunlop latex is firm, durable, and sturdy, making it the ideal choice for a base.
Between the layers of latex is the pocketed coil unit. Amerisleep reinforces the coils on either side of the bed to prevent sagging and support your body. The coils also increase air circulation throughout the bed for maximum comfort.
Like with other Amerisleep mattresses, you receive free shipping, free returns, a 100-night trial, and a 20-year warranty for the Organica.
- Contains two types of natural latex
- Certifications include Rainforest Alliance and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®
- Sustainably produced in the USA
The Zoma Hybrid is a favorite amongst both active and nonactive individuals alike. This cooling hybrid mattress has similar features to the Zoma Mattress but instead contains pocketed coils to improve its breathability and support.
At the top of the mattress is gel memory foam. Infusing gel into memory foam prevents it from overheating the way standard memory foam does. The gel memory foam Zoma uses relieves pain and improves muscle recovery, which is great for spinal stenosis sufferers. Coupled with Zoma’s Reactiv™ transition foam, you’ll feel well-supported at night.
Rather than Support+ foam, the Zoma Hybrid contains pocketed steel coils. Steel coils work well if you’re a hot sleeper, prefer a bouncy bed, or enjoy the added support from the springs. Beneath the coils is a durable foam to stabilize the mattress.
With the Zoma Hybrid, you receive a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, and free shipping and returns.
- Made in the USA and CertiPUR-US® certified
- Built for people of all activity levels
- Gel memory foam and coils keep you cool and comfortable
The Vaya Hybrid is a great choice for side sleepers struggling with spinal stenosis. It has a similar design to Vaya’s flagship mattress, only it contains pocketed coils rather than the standard Vaya Base Foam. With its medium feel, the Vaya Hybrid cushions your hips and shoulders while supporting your back.
The coils inside the Vaya Hybrid are wrapped in fabric to reduce motion transfer, squeaks, and breakage. They closely support your body to minimize spinal pain and help you sleep peacefully. Pocketed coils also improve the air circulation throughout the bed, keeping you cool while sleeping.
Beneath the coils is a thin layer of foam. This layer maintains the mattress’s structural integrity to minimize saggings, soft spots, and overall wear.
Like the Vaya Mattress, the Vaya Hybrid includes free shipping and returns, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
- Hybrid mattress available for under $1000
- Vaya Comfort Foam soothes achy hips and shoulders
- Pocketed coil unit improves support and airflow
The GhostBed Classic is a latex mattress built for athletic individuals. It’s 11 inches thick and has a medium-firm feel, which works well for back and stomach sleepers or if you have regular back pain beyond your spinal stenosis.
Inside the GhostBed Classic is 1.5 inches of hypoallergenic latex. Not only is latex cooling, but GhostBed adds air channels throughout it to further promote air circulation and stop you from overheating at night. Latex is a responsive, springy material as well. This way, you can move easily in bed and never feel “trapped.”
Next is 2 inches of gel memory foam built to keep you cool. The gel draws away body heat, while the memory foam provides superb cushioning to relieve pain around your spine and other parts of your body.
At the base of the GhostBed Classic is 7.5 inches of durable foam. This foundation provides excellent support for your spine without being unreasonably firm. It also wards off sags and general wear and tear so your mattress can last for years.
With the GhostBed Classic, you get a 101-night sleep trial, a 20-year warranty, and free shipping and returns.
- Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 10,000 reviews
- Built for back and stomach sleepers
- Latex and gel memory foam keep you cool all night long
The Avocado Green Mattress is another hybrid option great if you prefer shopping sustainably. It features eco-friendly cotton, wool, latex, and pocketed coils great for all types of sleepers.
You have two options when it comes to the Avocado Green Mattress: the standard or pillow top. The standard is 11 inches thick and has a medium-firm feel suitable for back or stomach sleepers. For an added fee, you can get a latex pillow top version of the mattress. This version is 13 inches thick with a medium feel suited for side and combination sleepers.
Regardless of what version you choose, both mattresses are fairly similar. The mattress’s cover is made from GOLS certified organic cotton with hand-tufted rosettes. The rosettes not only look nice but secure the mattress’s layers together to help your bed last longer.
Under the cover is GOTS certified organic wool. It wicks away heat, moisture, and is a natural flame barrier. Wool is also resistant to dust mites and other microbes.
Next is a layer of GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex. If you choose the standard mattress, this layer is 3 inches thick. With the pillow top version, this layer is 5 inches thick. Either way, the Dunlop latex is durable, responsive, and gently cushions your body.
Inside the Avocado Green Mattress is up to 1,414 pocketed coils. Avocado designs their coils with five unique zones to align your spine and prevent pressure points. They reinforced the coil perimeter with steel to prevent sagging and keep you supported. Beneath the coils is another thin layer of Dunlop latex to maintain the bed’s structure.
The Avocado Green Mattress includes free white glove shipping, a 365-night sleep trial, and a 25-year warranty.
- Available in both standard and pillow top versions
- Made with GOTS and GOLS certified organic materials
- Free white glove shipping makes your experience just a bit easier
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal passage, placing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Over time, the stenosis can compress a spinal nerve or cord and cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Spinal stenosis is often the result of long-term wear and tear—poor posture, inactivity, or the wrong mattress. Another common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis.
While spinal stenosis can happen in any area of the spine, it’s most common in the lower back and neck. These are called lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis respectively.
When left untreated, spinal stenosis can lead to nerve damage, permanent incontinence, inability to walk, paralysis, and even death. Spinal stenosis is not to be taken lightly, so always speak to your doctor for proper treatment.
“Over 200,000 new cases of spinal stenosis are diagnosed in the U.S. every year,” says Dr. Burns. “I recommend memory foam mattresses as the best type of mattress for anyone diagnosed with spinal stenosis because it allows the body and spine to rest in a neutral and supported position.”
How Can a Mattress Help Spinal Stenosis?
Using a mattress built for your needs can make a huge difference in your quality of life when dealing with spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is often the result of a misaligned spine, such as from sitting constantly, having bad posture, or using an unsupportive mattress.
A mattress that aligns the spine can relieve your spinal stenosis pain and aid in treatment. However, it’s not a guaranteed cure for spinal stenosis, especially for severe cases.
Beyond changing your mattress, speak to your doctor to get proper spinal stenosis treatment. This may include prescription pain relievers, physical therapy, steroid injections, decompression procedures, and even surgery.
Types of Mattresses for Spinal Stenosis
When trying to find a mattress for spinal stenosis, the type of bed makes all the difference in your pain relief. Some of the most common types of mattresses available for spinal stenosis are memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid beds.
Memory foam mattresses are well-known for their cushiony, pressure-relieving feel. They’re a good choice for people with spinal stenosis as they won’t be too firm and worsen your spinal pain.
While traditional memory foam can be unsupportive and cause you to feel “trapped,” most modern memory foam beds aren’t this way. They have thick base layers to align your spine, keep your body lifted, and prevent sagging. The best types of memory foam include plant-based, copper, and gel memory foam since they are the most durable and cooling.
Latex mattresses are another foam option and are great if you prefer shopping sustainably. Natural latex is a material produced from the sap of rubber trees, a renewable resource.
As for the benefits of latex when it comes to comfort, it’s known for being springy, durable, and breathable, making it perfect for a mattress. While latex isn’t as “hug-like” as memory foam, it still cushions your body to prevent pressure point pain. Since latex is more responsive than memory foam, you won’t sink as much into your bed, which many people prefer.
When shopping for a latex bed, keep an eye out for synthetic or blended latex. These types of latex are made with synthetic latex, which isn’t as durable or cooling as natural latex. Above all, the chemicals in synthetic and blended latex are potentially harmful to your health.
Our latex mattress buying guide discusses the details of this type in depth.
Innerspring mattresses are the most common mattresses around, but they’re not the best for spinal stenosis. They tend to lack proper cushioning to relieve pressure and pain, while the coils don’t offer close enough support to align your spine well.
Innerspring beds feature open and continuous coils, meaning the coils are attached. This leads to motion transfer, squeaks, and the coils breaking entirely. Also, innerspring mattresses often have pillow tops made from polyester, feathers, down, or cotton. While these materials feel lightweight beneath you, they don’t provide much pressure relief long-term.
For more information, see our innerspring mattress buying guide.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of innerspring and foam mattresses. They contain coils, like innerspring mattresses, and foam comfort layers, like foam mattresses. Some luxury hybrid mattresses even have a pillow top along with the comfort layer for maximum pressure relief.
A hybrid mattress’s top layer should be at least 2 or 3 inches thick to be considered a hybrid bed, not an innerspring bed. Rather than open or continuous steel springs, hybrid mattresses have pocketed coils. Pocketed coils are steel springs wrapped in fabric. This helps with motion isolation, noise reduction, and support.
While hybrid mattresses are great in terms of support and comfort, they aren’t the most durable. Hybrid mattresses cost over $1000 on average and only last about 5 to 7 years.
See our hybrid mattress buying guide for more information.
Mattress Firmness for Spinal Stenosis
Choosing the right mattress with a firmness that suits you is vital for your spinal health. An overly firm or overly soft mattress can worsen your pain and prolong treatment. However, there’s not one specific firmness best for spinal stenosis sufferers.
When picking a mattress firmness, consider your body weight and main sleeping position:
- Mattresses for side sleepers should possess a soft or medium feel
- Mattresses for back sleepers should consider a medium or medium-firm feels
- Mattresses for stomach sleepers often need medium-firm or firm feels
- Mattresses for combo sleepers do best when providing a medium surface
If you’re a petite person who weighs under 130 pounds, use a slightly softer bed than what’s recommended for your sleeping position. If you’re a heavy person who weighs over 230 pounds, use a firmer mattress than what’s suggested for your sleeping position.
How firm should a mattress be for spinal stenosis?
Finding the right mattress firmness is subjective, even if you have spinal stenosis. We recommend side or back sleeping to protect your spine and prevent worsening your pain.
When side sleeping, use a soft or medium mattress to protect your hips and shoulders. For back sleeping, it’s best to get a medium or medium-firm mattress to align your spine and prevent lower back pain.
What type of mattress is best for someone with spinal stenosis?
Like with firmness, there’s no specific mattress type built for people with spinal stenosis, but we generally recommend beds with foam comfort layers. This includes memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses. These types of beds offer superb pressure relief for your spine while still being supportive.
Regardless of what type of mattress you choose, be sure to get the right firmness. A latex mattress may be great for you, but if it’s too firm or too soft, you won’t be able to reap the benefits properly.
Can a bad mattress cause spinal stenosis?
It can, maybe not overnight, but sleeping on old or unsupportive for months or years can lead to spinal stenosis. The lack of support long-term can leave your spine misaligned, which can turn into spinal stenosis for some people.
While it may not seem important at the moment, it’s crucial to use a comfortable and supportive mattress to prevent stenosis pain. Beyond spinal stenosis, sleeping on a bad mattress can cause chronic pain, fatigue, weight gain, cardiovascular issues, allergies, and mood disorders.
Can a bad mattress make my spinal stenosis worse?
An old and saggy bed can worsen spinal stenosis due to the lack of support it’ll offer. The same goes for using an overly firm or overly soft mattress.
Prevent your spinal stenosis from worsening by using a high-quality and supportive mattress suited for your body type and sleeping position. If you notice your current mattress feels saggy or unsupportive, decide if it’s time for an upgrade.
How should you sleep with spinal stenosis?
When you have spinal stenosis, it’s best to sleep on your back or side. These positions place the least amount of stress on your spine, preventing further pain and ensuring your stenosis doesn’t worsen. Whether you prefer to sleep on your side or back, be sure to get the right mattress firmness for that position.
When back or side sleeping, consider getting an adjustable bed frame. Elevating your upper and lower body when sleeping relieves pressure on the spinal nerves, making it easier to sleep.
Dealing with spinal stenosis isn’t easy, but sleeping on a supportive mattress can help your symptoms and quality of life. When searching for the best mattress, consider what mattress type you want and how you sleep. With this information, you can narrow down your mattress options and find the best bed for your condition.