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Best Mattress for Degenerative Disc Disease

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Growing old comes with its own set of emotional and physical challenges. Back pain and spine-related issues are among the top elderly people when it comes to physical challenges. 

In this article, we will look at some solutions for better sleep when you are suffering from degenerative disc disease. 

What is a Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?

It is associated with old age but the degenerations start way back and can be caused by multiple factors. The common factors are stress, an injury to the back, bad posture, or lack of physical activity for the major part of life.

When you are young these factors affect your spine but our body has a better response to the physical stress on the spine. As you grow older, the effects start surfacing. Aging along with weak muscles holding the spine can lead to damage to discs in the spine.

 The common symptoms of DDD are numbness, shooting pain in your limbs. This pain can be in the cervical region (neck) or lumbar region (back). These are two areas of the spine that are majorly under the stress.

Against popular belief, it is not a disease but a condition that surfaces due to long-term degeneration of discs in the spine.

It is important to note that if the degeneration continues it can lead to other spine-related diseases such as Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, Osteoarthritis, Spondylolisthesis, etc.

Top Mattress Recommendations


Amerisleep AS1

Best Mattress for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Amerisleep Mattress
10” thickness with flippable dual firmness.
Firm memory foam mattress.
For heavy back and stomach sleepers.
Bio-Core® as mattress core.
20-year warranty.

Amerisleep is recommended for people suffering from back pain. AS1 is the firmest mattress in their lineup and is best for heavy back and stomach sleepers.

It is a two-layer memory foam mattress with a soft breathable cover. The top layer is a plant-based 2” Bio-Pur® comfort layer that provides a soft feel but does not allow your body to sink.

The core of the mattress is made with 8” Bio-Core® that provides firmness to the mattress. Its open-cell structure provides breathability to the bed. 

When combined with a pillow under the stomach, it works wonders for a night of quality sleep.


Plank by Brooklyn Bedding

Plank Mattress
11.75” thickness.
Flippable design with two firmness levels.
Multiple Foam construction.
10-year warranty and a 120-night trial.

Plank mattress by Brooklyn Bedding is one of the firmest mattresses available in the market. Although it may not ideal for side sleepers in most cases with the option of dual firmness, it is soothing for many people with back pain.

It has a quilted top layer sufficient for you to provide comfort without the unnecessary sinking of the body.

Like any mattress in our recommendations here, the base of the mattress is again important. It has 7” high-density base foam with a 2” TitanFlex™ transitional layer for support.


Casper Wave Hybrid

Best Mattress for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Casper Wave Hybrid
Casper Wave Hybrid
  • Price Range: $1,355 – $2,800
  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Thickness: 13-inch
  • Firmness: Medium Firm (5)
  • Trial Period: 100-Night Sleep Trial
  • Warranty: 10 Year Warranty

Casper is a well-known brand in the US market and does not need any introduction. Casper Original is a go-to choice for many customers. But if you suffer from back pain or dealing with spine-related issues, the Wave Hybrid is what you need.

Wave is a zoned mattress i.e it is divided into three zones for targeted support at the lumbar region as well as the upper body and leg area.

The top layer has Zoned Support™ Max with gel pods that provide support to your spine and back. The layer plays a vital role in keeping the spine aligned which helps in alleviating pain.

It also is a thin cooling gel layer that includes AirScape™ 3 responsible for keeping the body cool. Hot sleepers can also upgrade to Snow Technology if you are looking for advanced cooling.

The core of the mattress has a layer of innerspring that holds the body weight and does not allow it to sink.  

This zoned mattress effectively helps in sleeping better in DDD by supporting the spine.


SpineAlign® Luxury Hybrid™ Mattress

SpineAlign® Luxury Hybrid™ Mattress
SpineAlign® Luxury Hybrid™ Mattress
  • Designed by a doctor (Dr.Jason Loth).
  • Excellent back support.
  • Dual firmness options to choose from.
  • Sleeps cool.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • 120-night trial.

As the name suggests, the mattress has been designed to take care of issues related to the spine and lumbar region. For a patient suffering from degenerative discs, spinal alignment and support during the night are key. This is where this mattress scores the highest.

It has a hybrid design suitable for all sleep positions. You may be tempted to choose a medium-firm mattress but the other two options are worth considering looking at your preferred position and sleep needs.

If you are a side sleeper who weighs less than 150 pounds, soft firmness will be better instead of medium-firm.

It is 13.5-inch in thickness with the good build quality. The top layer is 1.5-inch copper foam with good heat transfer. It is followed by 2-inch ArcticPhase™ gel-based cooling foam. The base is 8-inch pocketed coils that are sandwiched between 1-inch memory foam and 1-inch HD base foam.


Nolah Signature

Nolah Signature
Nolah Signature
  • AirFoam™ for pressure relief.
  • Cooling mattress.
  • Organic cooling mattress cover.
  • Medium-firm.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Made in the USA.

Nolah has an incredible lineup of mattresses for all possible needs. Nolah Signature has a 12-inch profile with superb pressure relieving capabilities. AirFoam™ not only provides better pressure relief but also helps you sleep cool. It is known to dissipate heat faster than other proprietary gel foams.

AirFoam™ comprises microscopic air bubbles for better distribution of body weight that helps in better support to your back. 

It is an all-foam design with four-layer construction. It has 7-inch high-density base foam that holds the body evenly and is made to last longer without any sagging issues.


NaturalForm Refresh

naturalform Refresh Mattress
naturalform Refresh Mattress
  • 80 pressure-free™ air zones using advanced air pod technology.
  • Firmness control to change the firmness of the mattress.
  • Breathable.
  • 10-year warranty.

NaturalForm is probably the only mattress brand that provides firmness control. The ability to change the firmness without flipping is a game-changer.

When you have back issues or issues related to the spine, you want ideal firmness without any compromise. Your body is not in a position to accommodate pressure points.

Additionally, it has pressure-free™ air zones that provide pressure relief and alleviate back pain. These air zones provide targeted support. It also has 3-inch of CertiPUR-US certified foam that provides a cradle around the shoulders and hip area.

The mattress is extremely breathable thanks to the Australian wool cover using merino wool.

Ideal Mattress Type for Degenerative Disc Disease

The ideal mattress type for this condition is that keeps the mattress firm. Does that mean you should sleep on the floor?

Not really, when we say firm, it has to be the core that is firm and holds your body weight. Many people confuse this with a firm mattress surface.

The hybrid models work best but you need to be careful the top layer is soft but also thin. Ideally, select a hybrid mattress with a latex layer. 

Memory foam mattresses are a common recommendation but they tend to sag sooner or later and retain heat when compared with latex models. Mattress losing shape will affect your already sensitive spine.

Ideal Mattress Type for Degenerative Disc Disease

The ideal mattress type for this condition is that keeps the mattress firm. Does that mean you should sleep on the floor?

Not really, when we say firm, it has to be the core that is firm and holds your body weight. Many people confuse this with a firm mattress surface.

The hybrid models work best but you need to be careful the top layer is soft but also thin. Ideally, select a hybrid mattress with a latex layer. 

Memory foam mattresses are a common recommendation but they tend to sag sooner or later and retain heat when compared with latex models. Mattress losing shape will affect your already sensitive spine.

Why do you need a firm mattress?

It is a proven fact that one should opt for a medium-firmness mattress for better back health. Although, the firmness is dependent on your body weight, body shape, and sleeping position.

The situation changes and another factor comes into play when you are looking for the best mattress for back pain. One has to take extra precautions to support the spine. With a condition like DDD, you need a firmer mattress that provides pressure relief.

Avoid the mistake of buying an extra firm mattress as it may not support and conform to the shape of the spine. The idea of a firm mattress is to adopt a mattress with a firm core and thin comfort layer. Don’t opt for a plush or soft mattress.

Also, the thickness and firmness of the mattress should promote easy getting in and out of the bed.

How to Sleep Better in DDD?

People with DDD and paracentral disc herniation get relief when they sleep on their stomachs. It is largely due to the reduced pressure on spinal discs.

How to reduce pressure on disc space?

In this condition, where disc space has been compromised, the mattress and sleeping position should aid in reducing pressure on them.

In most cases, sleeping on the stomach helps reduce pressure. Use a thin pillow under the abdomen on a firm mattress for better sleep.

Back sleepers can get relief if the torso is raised by a few degrees using the wedge pillow or an adjustable bed. It helps in reducing pressure on the facet joints. Don’t forget to support the knees with a knee pillow.

For cervical or neck-related pain caused by degeneration, the role of a pillow is critical. It is extremely important to sleep on the best pillow recommended for degenerative disc disease.

Best Pillow for Degenerative Disc Disease

Sale
PineTales, Essential Organic Millet Pillow -...

  • Made in the USA (avoid cheap imported hull from China).
  • Organic buckwheat & millet hulls.
  • Works well with all sleeping positions.
  • Bamboo fabric.
  • Sleeps cooler.

Orthopedic pillows or pillows with contour shaped to provide extra support to the neck as they keep the neck aligned with the spine.

It is also important to note that buckwheat hull pillows are effective for pain relief for DDD sufferers and should be preferred over other pillows. We urge you to include the below pillow along with our best mattress recommendations.

Is Adjustable Base recommended for someone with Degenerative Disc Disease?

As stated earlier, adjustable beds are known to be more supportive as they help in altering the sleeping position by elevating the body to the desired degree. Additionally, most of the best adjustable beds have additional features like massage, the ability to control with a remote, etc.

Many chiropractors recommend an adjustable base than a regular bed for better support and quality sleep.

Related FAQs

References:

Lead Researcher at Sleep Mattress HQ

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