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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 28 Feb 2018 18:46 #11

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I am trying to find some good mattress stores in my area. I do see from browsing on this site that there is one company suggested by this site but that store is 1 hour away.

I went to Macy's one time and tried a handful of mattresses but all of them seemed to not relieve pressure on my shoulder when lying on my side. I am mainly (purely?) a stomach sleeper but I think I can become (partially have already) more of a side sleeper, as I know that's more healthy. Perhaps I am going about this wrong and the shoulder issue should be addressed with other accessories. I ordered a buckwheat pillow that I am going to put under my stomach and ribs while sleeping, which I think will at least partially address the problem.

One of my main goals at this point is to make it out to a good store, to test some mattresses out but I am unsure of where to find a store. I see that one company listed on this site is 1 hour away. So, that's not bad, although I was hoping to find something a little closer, given that I am in Philadelphia.

Are there some good procedures for finding places?

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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 02 Mar 2018 15:25 #12

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Hi floatingkeyboards.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

One of my main goals at this point is to make it out to a good store, to test some mattresses out but I am unsure of where to find a store. I see that one company listed on this site is 1 hour away. So, that's not bad, although I was hoping to find something a little closer, given that I am in Philadelphia.


Assuming that you’ve read the mattress shopping tutorial here you seem to be on the right track with looking for a good store to test different mattresses and understand by comparison what type of mattresses or materials you may better like and prefer. Philadelphia has been mentioned quite often on our Mattress Forum and you can perform a forum search here and type Philadelphia om the keywords text box, or any city or area (you would be closer to and consider driving) and see what other businesses have been discussed in that region which may be helpful to you.

We discontinued the provision of listings of potential retailers in various geographic regions (unless they are already approved site members), because of the difficulty in maintaining such lists in a retail landscape that is constantly changing, and most importantly the confusion it was creating with the consumer members who incorrectly assumed that these businesses had indeed gone through the strict qualification process and were approved as members of The Mattress Underground. Such an assumption is unfair to both the consumers seeking assistance, as well as the very businesses and manufacturers who meet the criteria to become Trusted Members of The Mattress Underground.

Whatever business you’re considering, I would always confirm that any retailer or manufacturer that you wish to visit is completely transparent (see this article ) and also make sure that any mattress that you are considering meets the Post #13 quality/value guidelines here .

Before visiting any store I’d make sure you've read two of the most important posts in the tutorial: post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well he will sleep), durability (how long he will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

I went to Macy's one time and tried a handful of mattresses but all of them seemed to not relieve pressure on my shoulder when lying on my side. I am mainly (purely?) a stomach sleeper but I think I can become (partially have already) more of a side sleeper, as I know that's more healthy. Perhaps I am going about this wrong and the shoulder issue should be addressed with other accessories. I ordered a buckwheat pillow that I am going to put under my stomach and ribs while sleeping, which I think will at least partially address the problem.


For your stomach and side sleeping position (hopefully, you'll train yourself to gradually switch to a side sleeping position) you may wish to review the guidelines in this Sleep Positions Article [url] so that you avoid hyperextension in a swayback position that can cause back issues. Usually, someone who sleeps in the prone (stomach) position needs a surface that is firmer and less forgiving, and I agree with you that incrementally switching to sleeping on your side would be better in the long run but again this introduces a new variable and you may need to take into consideration this future adjustment when you consider any mattress. With the future position change in mind, you may wish to look into something that is good for combination sleeping (primary stomach, secondary side sleeping positions) and which may offer some layer exchange possibilities down the road.

Different sleeping positions are part of what determines how deep a cradle you need and how thick the comfort layer should be. This, in turn, affects the type of support layers that will be appropriate. The layers underneath this comfort layer can help with pressure relief for those who change positions and with thinner upper layers or can be primarily focused on preventing you from preventing your heavier parts from sinking down too far with thicker comfort layers.

Of course, your weight and body profile will also make a difference in how far you tend to sink in and how deep a cradle you need in your mattress so for more on your "statistics", and how they can affect your choices you can read this [/url] article here .

As you are considering a side sleeping position I would also throw into the mix that a suitable pillow is an essential part of good alignment for the head and neck and upper body because the gap between the head and the mattress and the curve of the cervical spine needs to be supported just like all other parts of the spine. Like mattresses ... there are certain "needs" that depend on body type and sleeping positions but with pillows, personal preferences play a more important role because the face is much more sensitive to textures, temperature, smells, and other more subjective "feel" based properties of a pillow. There is more about choosing pillows in the pillow thread here and the other topics and sources of information that it links to that may be helpful.

Once you've had the chance to narrow things down a little further, feel free to post back with any specific questions and I or any of our Expert Members we'll be happy to assist you.

Phoenix
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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 14 Sep 2018 16:19 #13

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Thanks for the last post. That was good to kick the process more into gear for me. I have an interesting update. So, here goes.

When side sleeping on mattresses, the main issue is that my shoulder isn't properly accommodated for by the mattress. When I lay on my side, I feel like my body is close enough to being a straight line with just my shoulder creating a "bump" on the straight line. Mattresses, on the other hand, seem to be evenly distributed surfaces (appropriate mainly for just back sleepers). The best sleeping experience that I have been able to achieve is putting a sleeping pad on top of a mattress to cover 2/3 of the length of the mattress, and sleeping with part of my body hanging off of that. Here is a link to the mattress pad that I used:
www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/bean-bag-tri-fold-mat-in-black/1047056749?Keyword=bean%20bag%20tri%20fold%20mat
I would have 1/3 of it hanging off of the bottom of the bed. I would have 1/4 of my body (arm pit to top of head) hanging off the top of it, and I would have my head resting on 2 pillows. In between my head and the sleeping mat, I would have a "reservoir" for my shoulder.

The setup was good but the main problem that I was having is that the sleeping mat was not quite thick enough, and would flatten over time (but perhaps would reverse the flattening if I didn't sleep on it for a couple of nights). Another issue with this is that my arm would have to be at a 90 degree position relative to my body. The last issue is that it would sometimes fall off of the bed (in sleep, probably I would kick it off the bed when changing to the stomach position).

Is there a setup/ product that is more designed with my preferences? Is a memory foam mattress an alternative? Are there other alternatives?

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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 16 Sep 2018 17:49 #14

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Hi floatingkeyboards,

When side sleeping on mattresses, the main issue is that my shoulder isn't properly accommodated for by the mattress. When I lay on my side, I feel like my body is close enough to being a straight line with just my shoulder creating a "bump" on the straight line.
Mattresses, on the other hand, seem to be evenly distributed surfaces (appropriate mainly for just back sleepers).


The majority of people sleep mostly on their sides in various postures … if what you say would be correct then about the 70% of the world’s population would have real trouble finding a suitable mattress. There are more than plenty of mattress choices for side sleepers your task is of finding one that it is right for you. The appropriateness of a mattress as it relates to the sleeper’s sleeping positions is more connected with the combination of materials used within a mattress and the combination of primary and secondary support of the comfort/support layers within the mattress. Also for sleepers with out of the norm needs, some zoning can be used to provide better support and alignment. There is more about zoning in post #11 here and the posts it links to.

The best sleeping experience that I have been able to achieve is putting a sleeping pad on top of a mattress to cover 2/3 of the length of the mattress, and sleeping with part of my body hanging off of that. ...I would have 1/3 of it hanging off of the bottom of the bed. I would have 1/4 of my body (arm pit to top of head) hanging off the top of it, and I would have my head resting on 2 pillows. In between my head and the sleeping mat, I would have a "reservoir" for my shoulder.


While the 4” “hanging” polyester fiber filled pad you are using along the pillows may seem to “work” better for you, I am not so sure that this is long-term and even short-term solution for several reasons. You mentioned that you are looking into a temporary fix as you were "thinking about moving" so I am not sure if the "setup" you detailed is a permanent or temporary solution but either way I see some red flags with it:
• As you’ve already experienced, the 1/3rd “hanging” pad with the pillows arrangement used to create a cradle/”reservoir” for your shoulder and arm resting at “90 degrees relative to your body” … can easily flatten overnight and shift out of place while you reposition yourself during sleep, (we reposition ourselves many times during the night)
• Polyester fiber fills have much air, are less dense, and are generally not used as load-bearing materials in a mattress. Keep in mind that comfort layers of a mattress also have the function of secondary support for the recessed areas of your body (see this article here) in this case a pad like this would be designed for a flat solid surface and not for the top of a mattress.
• You seem to be in in the process of training yourself for side sleeping and while the added fiber filled pad allows for more sinking in and helping with the shoulder pain and even prevent to a certain extent your body collapsing and reverting to a prone sleeping posture this “setup” will be inconsistent and gradually flatten, giving your body more “problems” to solve in trying to compensate for the multiple changes.
• Both the fiber mattress pad and a memory foam layer you are contemplating will contribute to difficulty in repositioning, which may be an issue especially during the” training” to side sleeping and they will also both contribute to a feeling of warmth (and the sinking you described). If you’re wanting to use fiber or memory foam, your best bet would be to use a smaller amount, so that it has the least effect on your alignment as it sinks during the night.
• Using some sort of latex for the upper layers might be beneficial to you and could address some of your concerns. Latex, specifically Talalay latex, will be breathable, resilient, and supportive while offering the comfort you'd need for your shoulders. and It will be easier to reposition with latex in the uppers layers than with memory foam, but this would not solve any sag or support issues within your current mattress which could be part of the pains and issues you've mentioned.

If you are looking at getting a new mattress I’d do a hard reset and start with reading the tutorial post here along with assessing the condition of your current mattress to determine the cause of your discomfort so that you can avoid having the same issue in your new mattress.

If your current mattress is in good condition and all it needs is a comfort layer to accommodate for your side sleeping, I'd be making any changes one at a time and keeping good track of them. I wouldn’t change too many things at the same time, you can get some good hints from your body as to what it needs but would also make small and more incremental single changes so you can better assess the effect of the changes you make.

If you make too many changes at once (such as adding the pad, adding the pillows and changing the primary sleeping position at the same time) it will be much more difficult to assess which change is having which effect. If you make changes that are too large (such as adding a topper that is thicker than you need) then you could go from one extreme to another (from too firm to too soft for example) and "jump over" the ideal combination. If you make changes too quickly before any symptoms you are experiencing have had the chance to stabilize and form a consistent "pattern" (rather than just being an anomaly over the course of a few nights) then again it would be very difficult to assess the longer-term effects of the change you made. It's also more difficult for your body to adjust to making too many changes too quickly.

If you are contemplating purchasing a new mattress and not only to find a fix for the current mattress, then depending on your body type and the width of the shoulders you may need to consider a mattress that provides some zoning. There is more about zoning in this article and in post #11 here and the additional posts it links to but the only way to know whether any specific mattress (zoned or otherwise) will be a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP will be based on careful testing or your own personal experience.

You mentioned in an earlier post here that

Right now I am having some shoulder and neck pain and I think part of it is from sleeping in a non-ideal position.


While it is not possible on an online forum it is not possible to “diagnose” any symptoms because there are too many unknowns, variables, and different possibilities involved to be able to make any specific suggestions based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" based on the limited information that you offered I can certainly make a few general suggestions that may help in tracking down some of the possible reasons for your pains.

Generally, the most important goal of a suitable mattress is to support the spine and joints in neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions so that the muscles and other tissues can fully relax and not work during the night to maintain good alignment. It also needs enough softness on the surface to allow your pressure points to sink in enough so that direct pressure on various parts of the body don't cause soreness. Too much firmness or too much softness in either the comfort or support layers can both lead to alignment and pressure issues, discomfort, or pain in various areas of the body.

In my previous response, I suggested that you also look onto the pillow issue as Head and neck issues can also be the result of a pillow that doesn't keep your head and neck in good alignment over the course of the night.

Shoulder and arm issues can come from a mattress that is too firm and puts direct pressure on the shoulders, the shoulder blades, or on the back muscles and can also cause soreness or numbness and tingling in the arms or can often come from postural issues as well. There is some much more detailed information on the shoulder and arm issues in posts #2 and #3 here

I suggest that you first try to understand a bit better your sleeping landscape and where your symptoms originate and perhaps do a bit of local testing. You might wish to approach FloBeds on our Expert’s panel regarding any zoning that you may consider.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Newbie needs help with mattress selection 25 Sep 2018 03:05 #15

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Thanks. I am exploring mattresses that have different materials at different horizontal points in the mattress, like you suggested. That kind of design makes sense to me. I think that my body is quite straight except for shoulders.

One thing that's interesting is that I am not sure what percentage of the time I sleep in each position. I estimate it to be approx.
60% side, with knees bent, body is not consistently perpendicular to the bed
39% stomach
1% back

I wish that I could get a better handle on what my actual percentages are. The side and stomach percentages, could, in reality, be flipped. Also, it would be helpful to be able to monitor my progress when I am trying to change my percentages. I guess I'd need to sleep with the light on, and have a camera (with motion detection, ideally) or have some sort of heat seeking or night vision device.

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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 14 Feb 2019 04:59 #16

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Thank you for your advice. It has been helpful.
I tried out the zoned support and I feel as though it was an improvement. I also tried a new pillow and that also helped.

I found a unique design-- the cuddle mattress.
www.cuddle-mattress.com/
I am intrigued by this mattress. Do you know of any other similar mattresses that I can also consider if I go in that direction?

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Newbie needs help with mattress selection 17 Feb 2019 08:25 #17

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Hi floatingkeyboards,

Thanks for the link on this mattress. It is a rather unique design. In the past, the most unique, creative "foam" designs have come out of Europe, by either the combination of different foam and/or very innovative fabrication/cutting of foam. Mostly originating in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands.

Regarding this particular design, the photograph showing the elbow in between the columns of foam is not a great selling point for me...just data point of one person only. Additionally, I am concerned with how well these rows or columns will hold up long term. Not that I question the quality of foam, I don't really know that, its that as smaller pieces, they don't have the overall support of pieces working together.

Regarding zoning and innovation, you may also want to check out one of our members, Reverie.

Here a link to their mattress product page on their website.

Thanks,
Sensei
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