Latex Mattress Topper for Scoliosis Back Pain

by cathy

I have a son with bad scoliosis. He is living in the dorm at college. I bought him a mattress topper but he says it makes him feel like he is sleeping in a bowl and his back hurts. So what do I use on top of his mattress so he has the back support he needs?

Hi Cathy,

When you say mattress topper, do you mean a latex mattress topper? Or a memory foam topper?

If you’re referring to a memory foam topper, I can understand why your son may be having a hard time adjusting to it. By design, memory foam makes a person sink into it.

Some people with scoliosis find it far too confining. Others love the way it forms a mold around them. Memory foam is a great material for relieving pressure points.

The first thing that comes to mind is how good is the underlying mattress your son is sleeping on? Everything really starts there.

If his dorm mattress sags, it will be difficult to put anything on top of it to make things more comfortable.

My first suggestion would be to flip the mattress over to see if it’s a little firmer, and less sagging, on the other side.

Making suggestions for how best to sleep is difficult for someone with scoliosis, yet body positioning during sleep is important for relieving any pain.

If your son uses a brace or has had surgery, this too will add to the difficulty of making a one-size-fits-all recommendation.

I would imagine your doctor has already told your son to avoid sleeping on his stomach.

Sleeping on his back or side can be made more comfortable with the use of pillows either under his legs, or between his legs.

Now, if the mattress is fine, two things come to mind.

First, if the mattress topper you are referring to that did not work out is memory foam, then I would consider going with a latex mattress topper. Latex may be more supportive for your son’s scoliosis.

As the saying goes, with memory foam, you sleep in it. With latex, you sleep on it.

I would also suggest keeping the talalay latex topper at 1 to 3 inches. Any thicker than this and there may be a problem with proper spinal support.

Latex is not cheap. However, you can get a great latex mattress topper at Amazon for a good price.

Dreamfoam Bedding has good products and they sell several sizes, including a twin latex mattress topper. I’m guessing a twin is the right size for a dorm room but it has been a long time since I graduated from college!

This is a medium talalay latex topper which will add some softness and also provide relief from pressure points.

Here’s a link to check out a very good 3-inch latex mattress topper:

Your second option would be to go with a high-quality organic cotton mattress pad.

Something with a cotton and wool blend will provide support without being too hot or restricting for your son.

Although I do not personally care for wool, it is an excellent natural fiber and provides pressure- relief cushioning in the comfort layer of mattresses or mattress pads.

And it is a less expensive option than a latex topper.

Here’s a link to Amazon to see a good organic mattress pad.

Cathy, I hope either one of these options gives your son some relief from his back issues.

All the best,

Rich Silver

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