Sleep is essential for your overall health, and a lack of sleep due to injury or illness can result in both short and long term issues pertaining to your mental and physical well-being. When a disorder such as scoliosis creates discomfort, it can be difficult to find the uninterrupted rest needed for a good night’s sleep.
Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine that is generally diagnosed in adolescents, but if left untreated can cause a degeneration of the spinal elements though your adult years. This can cause deformity, imbalance, muscle weaknesses and spasms, as well as numbness, and pain- all of which provide challenges to your overall sleep comfort.
Alleviating Scoliosis Pain While You Sleep
Your sleeping surface is the most important purchase you can make, and if you suffer from chronic discomfort, it’s even more important to take this aspect of your sleep into consideration. We’ve personally tested dozens of mattresses and narrowed down five of the best picks that provide the general needs scoliosis patients may want to look for in their consideration of a sleeping surface. Since scoliosis can cover a wide range of mild to severe curvature and associated problems with pressure points and spinal comfort, finding a choice that fits your personal needs is important.
Adult scoliosis is generally more problematic that an adolescent diagnosis simply because the condition has usually been allowed to progress unchecked. Often this is due to it having gone unnoticed during childhood when intervention would have helped treat the issue during years of bone growth. It also can occur in adults due to degenerative disc disease, fractures, or even arthritic conditions and osteoporosis.
Symptomatic Pain and Your Mattress Choices
In adults pain is often a factor, most often located in the lumbar, or lower back, region. Pain is usually felt when the patient is sitting or standing for long periods of time, and may also radiate outwards to the hips. If spinal curvature is part of the thoracic region of the back, the area that spans the length of your rib cage, then it could affect breathing and even compromise heart function.
This can be especially problematic as you sleep since your mattress needs to be able to provide both comfort and support to your spinal region and relief to the pressure points caused by the abnormal curve. Since the spinal curvature is considered a physical deformity, noticeable or not, how your body compensates for balance can result in an asymmetry of the limbs which can create unique comfort challenges. For example one shoulder may appear slightly higher than the other, or one leg shorter than the other.
Full body x-rays, as well as specific spinal aspects are used to help determine the issue, as well as the amount of damage to the bone and joints that may have been caused by it in order to determine exactly where spinal support is most needed. This is important to take into consideration when shopping for a mattress in order to best meet these needs since improper nighttime support could aggravate the discomfort already caused by it. Plus, your spinal aspect may cause a restriction in blood flow or pinched nerves if pressure is applied in the wrong place.
Consider Your Personal Comfort
Obviously with any sort of deformity or pain, comfort most likely is an issue from time to time. When it concerns such an important part of your body, in this case the spine which is a basis of support for your entire skeletal structure, taking the time to provide proper support each night should be a priority.
Your mattress is the key element to this support, and understanding a few things about your personal comforts will help steer you towards the best choice for you. A mattress is an important investment not only in cost and quality, but also because you spend up to a third of your life sleeping upon one- so choosing the correct one should be approached in a knowledgeable manner.
Plus, sleep is crucial to healing and coping with pain. When you don’t get the rest you deserve you are less able to recover from the issues surrounding this disability.
First, consider your preferred sleep position. You already most likely sleep in a position that helps relieve the majority of discomfort you have concerning your spine. This will vary from person to person depending on the local of the pain. Since scoliosis most often curves the spine from one posterior side to the other, and not front to back (as your spine already does), most patients prefer a side or back sleeping position as these generally are more supportive of the spine.
If you are a side sleeper you will find a plush surface better able to provide the relief of pressure points on your shoulder and hips you need to help keep your spine aligned. You will not want anything too soft that may pull heavier parts of your body, such as hips and shoulders, even lower, but you should want these areas to be cradled due to the pressure points that occur with proper overall support. Most thoracic scoliosis sufferers prefer this position.
Back and Stomach Sleepers
Back or stomach sleepers need a more firm surface to allow for the correct support of the spine. It’s not recommended that you sleep on your stomach is you suffer from scoliosis since it can further cause pressure to the muscles and soft tissues along the spine, making you wake up with more pain. Scoliosis patients that have issues along their lumbar region may find sleeping on their back to be more comfortable due to the additional support that provides spinal alignment.
Comfort Sleep Aides
Often a rolled towel or pillow placed below the neck, lower back, or between the knees can be helpful as well for comfort, but before you do this make sure you are aware of your spinal aspects and talk it over with your doctor to keep from pinching any nerves or constrict blood flow. This goes for any other product you may want to add to your bed to help with positioning.
Not all mattress materials are created equal, and this is again about knowing your preferences and the differences offered by mattress construction and the materials used.
All may lend the support and pain relief you need. The biggest concern in considering the materials you prefer is to find the one that holds up the areas of your spine that needs it, while providing the pressure relief and weight distribution needed elsewhere.
Foam And Memory Foam
Foam mattress construction uses a layered technique to provide a more customized comfort layer without sacrificing support. Memory foam is popular due to it’s conforming properties that adjust to your body heat and position.
Latex foam is recommended for a cooler night’s sleep and supportive properties. Both can come in a variety of comfort levels ranging from softer to more firm surfaces.
Innerspring Or Hybrid
Innerspring, or foam/spring hybrids are popular for the support they lend to the spine especially in the lumbar region, and the wide selection they are offered in. They are also often more affordable.
The most expensive bed doesn’t always equal the best quality either, or the best comfort. It’s important to take into account the quality of the mattress you are purchasing because this will equal a better night’s sleep for you for years to come since it will hold up longer than it’s less expensive counterparts.
If you gravitate towards a foam mattress, then you need to understand how the density of foam affects the quality of the product. Foam mattresses are created with a layered technique, with the top layers of a quality foam product being made of a memory foam or latex foam comfort layer. These will vary in thickness depending on the variations between firm and soft comfort, and their quality is determined by the density of the foam. If innerspring coils are a preference, understand coil construction and placement to appreciate how each can work for your comfort.
Foam density is measured in pounds per cubic square feet. The higher the density, the higher the quality. This means it will compress less and provide a better shape return after weight application. A mid-range memory foam falls between 3.5 to 5.0 lbs/cu.ft and is considered a quality standard in the mattress industry. Usually general poly foams are used as supportive bases for the quality memory and latex surfaces, and weigh in around 1.5+ lb/cu.ft. Although this seems to reflect a lower quality, it is a decent weight for the particular type of foam in question and does not sacrifice the overall quality of the product.
Also confusing to some people is how density is not related to how soft a surface is. Rather, this measurement is determined by the indentation load deflection (ILD). The higher the ILD the more firm the foam is. This also relates to foam thickness. The thicker the foam is is directly related to how firm it is.
Coil Quality and Placement
Innerspring coil quality is determined by the durability of the materials used. Top quality coils are made from twice tempered steel and are of a lower gauge, meaning they are thicker and more durable. More coils don’t necessarily mean better quality, rather it is more a determining factor of the overall firmness level. Cois are also placed in different manners. For example, pocket coils move independently from one another and can provide a more individualized support to different areas of the body, whereas a continuous coil move more uniformly and is generally a less expensive choice.
What Tips to Consider Before Purchase
Although you will most obviously take into account your personal preferences and spinal health before a purchase of this caliber, you may also want to think about a few other details that may help you make a decision.
What Can You Afford?
Cost is almost always a factor to consider, and you definitely want to get the best quality you can afford to address your sleep concerns. Be sure to use more than one source during your search, and cost compare both online and in showrooms if you are able.
What Needs Do You Have?
Other than comfort do you have any additional needs that should be addressed? For example, if you are a hot sleeper be sure sure to look at the mattress reviews that offer a cooler night’s sleep. If you have a partner you may also need to have them take part in the search in order to find what works best for the two of you.
Do You Have the Ability to Set the Mattress Up Yourself?
Many companies now offer warehouse to door shipping, which helps drive down costs. Occasionally you can also have them set the mattress up for you and even haul away the old one, but others may simply be dropped off. Be sure to ask about your options when taking your purchase into account.
Can You Test the Product Out?
Testing out a mattress on a showroom floor is one thing, but it may provide an entirely different experience for you after a night or two. Most companies, especially those that sell exclusively online, offer a sleep trial with varying details to their guarantee. Make sure to check out what this entails before making the final decision.
5 Top Rated Mattresses for Scoliosis We’ve Reviewed
Below is a comprehensive list of five of the top picks we’ve reviewed that help balance both support and pressure comfort for disabilities such as scoliosis. To choose just one best bed for scoliosis is impossible due to how your sleep comfort can never be one size fits all. Main considerations to help you receive the best rest possible should surround personal preference, your unique spinal needs and associated discomforts, as well as materials that can support and distribute weight without additional pressure points.
1. Helix Hybrid Mattress
- Softness: can be customized
- Sizes: Twin, twin xl, queen, king, CA king
- Thickness of Comfort Layer: 2-4” helix foam
- Density of Comfort Layer: 1.8+ lb/cu.ft.
- Mattress Thickness: 10”
- Warranty: 10 Year Limited + 100 night guarantee
This is truly a unique mattress company that pride’s itself in personalization of customer comfort. The shopping experience takes you through a comprehensive quiz to determine your particular needs and preferences before providing sleep options. This includes a dual sleep system that can provide a mattress customized to both you and your partner for an additional cost. Regardless if you take advantage of this option, the motion transfer is considered excellent with very little movement from one side of the bed to the next.
The Helix Hybrid combines a 2 to 4 inch layer of a patented Helix Foam (which they claim is neither memory foam, or latex- but the perfect comfort combination) with additional layers of foam and pocketed microcoils to create the perfect sleeping surface. The comfort layer can be customized according to your preference, which also determines the foam thickness and density used.
The customer service is considered top-notch as they stand firmly by their 100 night guarantee. If you seriously are unhappy with your purchase they pick it up for free with a full refund, which is certainly a selling point for an online company.
What is really great about this particular mattress is how detailed you can get concerning your personal preferences. This is important when taking into account the problems that occur with a disability like scoliosis. What sells this mattress even further is that neither you, nor your partner, needs to sacrifice comfort for one another.
- Dual option available for partner preference
- Very little off-gassing
- Comfort layer can be customized to your needs
- Edge support could be stronger
- Some heat retention issues
- 500 lb couple weight limit
2. My Green Mattress Natural Escape Hybrid
- Softness: Medium-firm
- Sizes: Twin, twin xl, full, full, xl, queen, king, CA king
- Thickness of Comfort Layer: 3” latex foam
- Density of Comfort Layer: 4.1lb/cu.ft.
- Mattress Thickness: 11”
- Warranty: 10 Year Limited + 100 night guarantee
Three inches of natural latex is topped by an all natural quilted cover that provides an additional plush layer. Latex is considered a durable, conforming foam that helps distribute weight, although is does have a tendency to be on the more firm side of the spectrum. This is supported by additional layers of foam and a pocketed coil system to provide personalized movement, breathability, and support. The coils are further distributed by varying coil gauge (thickness), strategically placed to support your shoulders, back, and hips independently. This is excellent support for those struggling with back pain.
This particular model falls in the medium-firm range of comfort and is completely constructed of natural materials to produce a hypoallergenic, Greenguard Gold Certified product that hold up to some of the highest health standards found in the industry surrounding material construction.
This is an excellent choice pertaining to any sort of back issues that need a contouring, yet supportive firmness level. The foam does it’s job to help relieve pressure points, while the foam and innerspring combination work together for proper weight distribution. This is also a good choice for heavier weighted bodies due to this distribution.
- Wool and cotton top provides additional softness
- Good motion transfer reduction
- Supportive to heavier bodies
- May be too firm
- Sleep trial has limitations
3. Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress
- Softness: can be customized
- Sizes: twin, twin long, full, queen, king, CA king
- Thickness of Comfort Layer: 3” talalay latex
- Density of Comfort Layer: n/a
- Mattress Thickness: 12.5”
- Warranty: 10 Year Limited + 90 night sleep trial
1.5 inches of soft, quilted bamboo top this mattress as a Eurotop, meaning it lines up with the edges of the mattress for a flush and uniform appearance. This layer serves as a plush comfort over the customizable 3 inch talalay latex layer that provides both contouring and support. Latex is known for its breathability and weight distribution properties, as well as durability.
Due to the nature of customization, upon ordering you will be placed in touch with a customer representative to help determine your personalized needs. If you happen to not like the choice you are sent, you actually are able to change your preference and exchange mattresses at no cost.
Because of the customization, and combination of support and weight distribution latex offers, this is a good choice for anyone suffering from any sort of painful afflictions. The Eurotop is especially nice for a little extra plush factor without it being overwhelming if you lean towards a more firm surface. The natural fiber and latex breathability also provides a cooler night’s sleep that can be felt when air is channeled through the latex layer upon weight addition.
- Sleeps cool
- Eurotop provides added pressure point reduction
- Customized comfort layer
- Slight offgassing
- Edge support is weak
4. Alexander Signature Select Medium Plush Memory Foam Mattress
- Softness: Medium-firm (other options available)
- Sizes: twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, CA king, custom
- Thickness of Comfort Layer: 4”
- Density of Comfort Layer: 4.0lb/cu.ft
- Mattress Thickness: 11”
- Warranty: 20 Year Limited + 80 night sleep trial
This Alexander Select memory foam mattress is a medium plush opinion of the three offered by the company, created specifically for back and side sleepers, so keep in mind that other options are available for purchase or exchange if you are not happy with your initial buy.
This is a bed that uses a plush, 2 inch quilted foam as a surface topper above the initial memory foam comfort layer in order to provide a soft, sable memory foam feel without the deep sink so many memory foam beds can create. The 4 inch memory foam comfort layer conforms to the body without an extreme contour, and seems to distribute weight evenly for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Three remaining foam layers help provide support and airflow, although this bed seems to fall into the category of a little bit of a warmer sleep, typical of many memory foam beds. However, motion transfer is excellent, so if you do have a partner you shouldn’t be woken up by any nocturnal movements. This is a good option for combination sleepers, or anyone who likes a firmer surface but enjoys a slight sinkable feel of a foam embrace.
- Top 6 inches are focused on comfort level
- Good edge support
- No offgassing
- May be too firm, but other options are available
- Heavy and hard to move around
- May sleep warm
5. Amerisleep Liberty Memory Foam Mattress
- Softness: medium
- Sizes: twin, twin xl, full, queen, king, split king, CA king
- Thickness of Comfort Layer: 3”
- Density of Comfort Layer: 4.0lb/cu.ft.
- Mattress Thickness: 12”
- Warranty: 20 Year Limited + 100 night sleep trial
The Amerisleep Liberty is created with every sleeper in mind and should provide enough support for back and stomach sleepers, but also have enough give for side sleepers. Considered one of the most eco-friendly foam construction mattresses currently on the market, the first fabric you come in contact with is a Cellient, thermo-reactive (washable) cover. This cover helps recycle your body heat and convert it into energy that is supposed to help ease aches and pains.
The 3 inch eco foam is a memory foam created with plant-based materials, and provides a minimal memory foam sink and contouring from your body heat. Not surprisingly, this bed can sleep a little warm as well due to how this material somewhat envelopes your body and can trap heat. The remaining 2 layers hep transition weight and serve as a foundation to the top layers.
This is a great bed for anyone who moves into different positions through the night, or for a couple that sleep in contrasting positions. Reviews are pretty positive concerning overall back and hip support, which also helps alleviate the pains associated with them.
- Good motion transfer reduction
- No offgassing
- Ecological friendly construction
- May sleep warm
- May be too firm
- Lacking edge support
Sleep is a major factor in your overall health, and also helps with healing, so getting a good night’s rest is especially important if you suffer from any sort of disability. Scoliosis can cause unneeded pain and interrupt your rest, so finding the perfect sleep surface for comfort and pain relief is an important consideration. Of course personal preference for comfort and feel play a large role in mattress selection. Let us know what you decided in the comments below.