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HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 14 Jul 2013 20:29 #1

Hello

I am hoping someone can give me some insight as to what mattress might work fo rme!

For the record, I am 5'6, weight 118 lbs and am in my forties.

My saga begins when I moved into a new residence, and needed a mattress/bed, which I have never owned.

Initially, I borrowed a Beautyrest firm mattress, which I slept in the first night and was sore EVERYWHERE. It was way too hard. My shoulders, neck, back, and hips hurt.

So then I bought a cheap mattress from a local discount mattress store. It was a cheap pillowtop, which made my lower back hurt after sleeping in it.

I then bought a foam topper from Walmart, and put that on top of the hard Beautyrest and that also made my lower back hurt....

After that, I went to Sleepys and they suggested a pillow top king coil plush mattress. It was just as bad as the cheap pillowtop, it made my lower back very sore.

I then returned to Sleepys and then bought a serta perfect sleeper, strickland, supreme plush mattress. This was better than any of the others, but oddly enough, it put a lot of pressure on my buttocks and seat area, and I was very sore there in the am.

I then went back to Sleepys, and the salesperson said that the mattress was too soft, and recommended a beautyrest shakespeare recharge luxury firm mattress, which after sleeping on, seemed to be as bad as the beautyrest I borrowed from my friend--it made my back and joints ache, as it was too hard....

So, needless to say, I AM SO FRUSTRATED. In between trying some of these mattresses, I slept on the floor, which was actually better than any of these mattresses. The floor is carpeted, and has a thick matt underneath (so I am told). I usually put a comforter on the floor, and while this isn't terribly comfortalbe, at least my back doesn't ache.

So, I am wondering what to do next mattress wise? I was considering trying a beautyrest shakespeare recharge plush mattress. What do you think of this?

I somehow need something that gives me a lot of support, but isn't hard. It's so difficult. I do not have a deep pocketbook, but at this point, and almost willing to spend whatever I need to, to find something to sleep on.

Any help and insight would be greatly appreciated---

Thank you!

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HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 14 Jul 2013 22:44 #2

Hi Cinderella,

So, I am wondering what to do next mattress wise? I was considering trying a beautyrest shakespeare recharge plush mattress. What do you think of this?


Post #1 here is the best place to begin and has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines you will need to make the best possible choices. It will also help you avoid most of the worst ones including any of the major brands (including Simmons) or any other mattress where you aren't able to find out the quality of the materials in the mattress.

There is lots of reading there and linked posts but the time you spend will save you much more time testing poor quality and value mattresses not to mention the frustration of not knowing how to make informed choices and where the only information you are getting is "marketing speak".

When you get to step 3, if you let me know your city or zip code I'd be happy to let you know about any of the better options or possibilities in your area.

Phoenix
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HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 15 Jul 2013 04:10 #3

Hello,

Thank you! So I read the information that you recommended.

I think I understand most of it, though I think I could get a little lost trying to figure out some of the specifics if I go to a mattress store (which I dread doing again, they are getting sick of me going in there).

The first thing I wlll say is that I am a combination sleeper. I sleep on my side and back both, perhaps equally?

I am also not a terribly curvy person, I am fairly flat and have a more boyish figure. I would say that my hips may be the heaviest part about me, though they are far from heavy.

I aim in the budget of $500-$800 (preferably)

I am also the only one who sleeps in the bed.

From the information listed, it appears that my weight is right on the line, in between lighter than average and average. If we assume it's on the lighter end of the spectrum, then due to my light weight, I need a thinner and softer comfort layer, though it says due to my flat body type I need a thinner and firmer comfort layer. Which would it be? Probably thin and soft? It also says that the support I will need should be to be softer or average to to weight, but for a flat body type, I need average.

So, based on this, would it be safe to assume that I would need a thin comfort layer that is soft with average support layers?

I do know from trying mattresses at stores, I prefer a plush feel versus a pillowtop or a firm mattress.

I guess from reading the section on budget, I am wondering what options would have to achieve what I have described I may need so far?

I think I would still get overwhelmed in a mattress store if I went in one.

Thank you again for your help. I just slept last night on the floor, and while my back didn't hurt, it's just not that comfortable.

Also, I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is between Allentown Pennsylivania, and Philadelphia PA. My zip code is 18077. I am also just across the border from Hunterdon County, NJ.

I bought the current mattress I have and hate (the beautyrest firm) from Sleepys and have traded it in twice, so I don't know if they will let me trade it in a third time. I could certainly try if they had a mattress they had that would work, as I would have to pay a $250 disposal/trade in fee, but would have $700 of credit. This would ultimately mean I would have $500 to put towards a mattress if I went back there. Which I am not stuck on doing, at this point I just want a mattress that I can sleep in regardless of where it comes from.

Thank you I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 15 Jul 2013 13:14 #4

Hi Cinderella,

From the information listed, it appears that my weight is right on the line, in between lighter than average and average. If we assume it's on the lighter end of the spectrum, then due to my light weight, I need a thinner and softer comfort layer, though it says due to my flat body type I need a thinner and firmer comfort layer. Which would it be? Probably thin and soft? It also says that the support I will need should be to be softer or average to to weight, but for a flat body type, I need average.


One of the links in the "read first post" is mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here which has links to some very general guidelines that can give you some insights into different mattress designs and how they apply to different body types and sleeping styles but your own personal testing is the only way to "translate" very generic information into specifics that apply to you. What you are looking for is PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that is specific to you based on your own personal testing and experience and the theory of how to get there is secondary to the results of your own testing. Your body is a much more reliable indicator of the suitability of a mattress than any "theory at a distance" and I would only use generic guidelines as a reference point or as a place to start ... not as a "target". I would also never use reviews or recommendations based on other people's experiences on a mattress to decide on which is the best mattress for you (see post #13 here about mattress reviews).

So, based on this, would it be safe to assume that I would need a thin comfort layer that is soft with average support layers?


I personally wouldn't assume anything and your weight and height aren't nearly as important as how a mattress feels and performs for you. Once you've read the basic information then you will be more familiar with the idea that there are different types of softness/firmness that apply to different parts and layers of the mattress (see post # here) so in combination with your personal testing you will be better able to assess whether a mattress is too soft or firm in the support layers (primary support and alignment that "stops" your pelvis from sinking down too far) or the top comfort layers (primarily pressure relief and secondary support that fills in the gaps in your sleeping profile) rather than only going by the more subjective "overall feel" of the mattress. In other words you will be aware that changing the softness and thickness of the comfort layers has a different effect from changing the softness / firmness of the support layers and will have a better sense of what to look for if a mattress you test isn't quite right and you need something different. Once you have "enough" information that you can use in practice ... then trying to pre-design your mattress based on specs will usually take you over the line into "paralysis by analysis" and can lead to unsuitable choices just as easily as not having enough information in the first place. If you trust your body (not the specs), test mattresses carefully using the more objective testing guidelines suggested, connect with knowledgeable and experienced manufacturers or retailers, and always remember that PPP and the quality/durability of the materials (especially in the upper layers) are all that is really important, then your odds of success are very high.

Also, I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is between Allentown Pennsylivania, and Philadelphia PA. My zip code is 18077. I am also just across the border from Hunterdon County, NJ.


Post #6 here (centered on Lehigh Valley and which also links to other nearby forum lists) would include the better options and possibilities that are closest to you that I'm aware of. I would also keep in mind that whether or not a retailer or manufacturer is on the list that your ability to find out the specific details of what is in any specific mattress you are considering is the only way to know the quality/value of a mattress and make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses.

If you do decide to go in the direction of exchanging your mattress at Sleepy's then post #2 here includes includes links to other forum threads with suggestions and ideas to forum members that were in a similar difficult situation where they needed to exchange a mattress at a store where there was little to nothing available that had good quality or value.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 16 Jul 2013 12:40 #5

HI,

Thank you for the info in the last message.

I did go to Magic Sleeper this morning and spoke to the owner, John, who I thought was very helpful. I told him what I thought I needed, and after lying on a couple mattresses, he put me on a 364 innerspring with a 2" HD Foam (2.5 he said this was hard to get) with a piece of 1 1/4 " soft foam on top. He said the HD foam was technically what his store called medium, but most places would consider it firm. He said the 2.5 grade was hard to find and almost unheard of to come by. Anyway, this felt pretty good to me,, and seemed to keep my body in alignment yet still was soft enough. This combination was something that he would make custom for me. I tried a similar combination, but alternated with a HD foam that was even firmer, and softer, and didn't care for either. I guess I wonder--on your website, you mention it isn't good to have more than 1" of soft foam as the top comfort layer, so should I be concerned that this one has 1 1/4"?

The other mattress I found that I liked was a Natural Latex, which had 6" of HD foam (1.8-2) on the bottom, and and 11/2" of Taladay Latex, medium (can't remember if this was the density or firmness?). on the top. This also kept my body well aligned, and seemed fairly comfortable.

So, I am wondering if I put the specs down, if you could tell me your thoughts? I think either one is a pretty close fit for me, and would probably do the job, but I guess I am trying to determine which one I might be happier with? It's hard to tell when you only lay on them for just a few minutes in the store. And besides, I am so sore from sleeping on the floor last night, that that makes it also hard to tell.

1) Magic Comfort Mattress
364 Innerspring
2 Cotton Insulator (I presume 2" but he only wrote 2)
2" HD (2.5) Foam
1 1/4 " Soft Foam
Custom made this way
Cost: $899

2) Natural Latex Mattress
6" HD Foam (1.8-2)
1 1/2" Taladay Latex Medium
Cost: $579

Interesting enough, John, the owner, said that the Natural Latex bed was a great choice, and that even though it was inexpensive, it would hold up very well, even longer than many of the top of the line memory foam beds. So he said don't let the inexpensive price deter me.

What are your thoughts now that I have narrowed it down to these two? The latex has a very different feel. I am not sure that it is quite as soft as the Innerspring/foam mattress, but still was within the range I think I need to be happy. I guess I am not too concerned about the price difference--at this point, I just want something I will be happy with. Are there any pro's or con's to either one?

John did say that if I got the custom made one and if I did not like the feel, he could modify it with different density or types of comfort layers, so that was good I thought.

For the record, the owner John at Magic Sleeper was great, and he defnitely was not pushy nor did he just seem concerned about trying to sell me a mattress. He seemed very knowledgeable and seemed to understand why my five previous mattresses didn't work for me. He answered all my questions thoroughlyl and it all made sense to me, having read your website.

I appreciate your website SO much! I look forward to getting your thouhts and feedback.

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HELP - Struggling to find suitable mattress 16 Jul 2013 16:47 #6

Hi Cinderella,

I think highly of John and as you mentioned he is knowledgeable and makes some very good quality and value mattresses. I think that any of the mattresses he makes would make a good quality and value choice although only your own personal experience can tell you if the design of the mattress is suitable for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). in most cases ... all the mattresses made by the same manufacturer will have similar "value" across their lineup and the difference in prices would be more about the different cost and amount of materials used in the mattress.

I guess I wonder--on your website, you mention it isn't good to have more than 1" of soft foam as the top comfort layer, so should I be concerned that this one has 1 1/4"?


All guidelines have "fuzzy edges" and when you go over or under them a small fraction the quality of the mattress doesn't suddenly change or "drop of a cliff" so to speak. The guideline is "around an inch or so" of lower density foam in the comfort layers regardless of its softness (although most foams used in comfort or quilting layers are relatively soft). This means that "best judgement" is the idea when you are on the edges of a guideline. If a foam layer is part of a quilted cover then it is also pre-compressed and any false loft is removed so it would be more durable than a foam layer that wasn't quilted. This would be the same idea as foam density guidelines and I generally suggest 4 lbs for example as a minimum density for memory foam but there is little difference between a memory foam that is in the high 3 lb range and a 4.0 lb memory foam. I keep the guidelines conservative so that a little bit on one side or another is really a matter of judgement and I personally wouldn't worry about a 1.25" comfort layer or a quilted layer that was say 1.5" thick.

He said the HD foam was technically what his store called medium, but most places would consider it firm. He said the 2.5 grade was hard to find and almost unheard of to come by.


As he mentioned ... you certainly don't see this kind of high quality polyfoam in the comfort layers of most (if any) mainstream mattresses and it would usually only be smaller manufacturers that used polyfoam of this quality/density in their comfort layers. I would have no issues with high quality/durability polyfoam of this density used in a comfort layer and it certainly wouldn't be a weak link of the mattress.

So, I am wondering if I put the specs down, if you could tell me your thoughts? I think either one is a pretty close fit for me, and would probably do the job, but I guess I am trying to determine which one I might be happier with? It's hard to tell when you only lay on them for just a few minutes in the store. And besides, I am so sore from sleeping on the floor last night, that that makes it also hard to tell.


I can only speak to the quality and value of a mattress (and both of these are good quality and value with no obvious weak links in the mattress) but there are too many variables and unknowns (and nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress) for anyone else to make comfort suggestions that can possibly be more accurate than your own personal testing (see post #2 here ). I would strongly suggest though that you follow the testing guidelines linked in post #1 here which suggests spending at least 15 minutes on any mattress you are seriously considering and this is AFTER you have fully relaxed and are in a "pre-sleep state" that will be more predictive of your longer term sleeping experience. A few minutes on a mattress that you will likely spend the next 10 years sleeping on is not really enough IMO. I would also ask John to "eyeball" you when you are completely relaxed on the mattress to see if he can spot any obvious signs that you are out of alignment although this is not an exact science either and your own feedback is the most important of all. You are the only one who can know for certain.

Interesting enough, John, the owner, said that the Natural Latex bed was a great choice, and that even though it was inexpensive, it would hold up very well, even longer than many of the top of the line memory foam beds. So he said don't let the inexpensive price deter me.


I would completely agree with all of this and I would use your testing for PPP and your own personal preferences to lead you to your "best" decision when it comes to final choices which are always difficult if you have eliminated all your worst options and are only left with good ones. If you are looking at final choices between two mattresses that otherwise seem equal to you ... then I would tend to choose the one that was slightly firmer because it's easier to make a mattress softer by adding a topper if needed than to make it firmer (which would involve replacing layer not adding to the layers) although you are also fortunate that you are dealing with a local manufacturer so if you do choose the custom mattress you have good options to adjust the design after a purchase so you can also use your own experience sleeping on the mattress as a guideline although I would still put a lot of focus on making the best possible choice from the beginning. The latex mattress may be a little firmer but could also be a good candidate for a topper if it was necessary.

You certainly have two very good options available to you and hopefully this (and the links I listed), John's guidance, and your own best judgement will help you choose between them.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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