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Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 20 Apr 2014 05:43 #1

  • LookingNow
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Well hello all,

I now have a nice, firm mattress...I need the support for stomach sleeping.
It is however VERY firm for side sleeping, as it is hand-tied straight through the pocket coils, and brand new.
I thought about walking on it a little bit but I don't know if that will loosen it since it is hand-tied all the way through.
I asked them to tie it more loosely then usual but I don't know if that was done very much.
On top is some cotton and 1" talalay latex. I wanted more latex but that's all they offered.

So I'm probably looking at softening up the comfort layer somehow for my side sleeping while still getting the support I need for stomach sleeping.

Right now the topper I'm using is perfect for stomach but too hard for side sleeping. It's a 3" topper that's continuous pour natural latex (a form of Dunlop thats somewhere in between regular Dunlop and talalay in regards to softness). It is probably about a 30 ild. It is non-zoned (zoning doesn't work for me - hits me in all the wrong places. I prefer "straight" materials.)

After 3-4 hours on my side this morning I wanted so badly to keep sleeping but the pressure on my hip where it met the mattress was so painful! I don't knowing I was experiencing "pushback" or if the whole getup was just too firm or what.

This 3" topper felt perfect on a more forgiving non-tufted pocket coil mattress I was recently using on the floor as a temporary mattress (it was a twin size mattress) but on this new unforgiving bed it's a different story.

Given what I've described here, does it seem plausible that changing the type of latex - or the amount/height of latex work? I have to use natural latex because of allergies to synthetic latex and memory foam, and other types of toppers like cotton etc will obviously be even firmer and not give me the softness I need.

Any suggestions as to what I could try for a topper?

Thanks!

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Last edit: by LookingNow.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 20 Apr 2014 06:17 #2

  • Mark in Texas
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I'd go with 3" of continous pour dunlop or talalay latex, 19 ILD. No topper cover (encasement) unless there is a lot of activity on the bed from kids, dogs, etc. Just throw a high quality, stretchable, fitted cover over the mattress and topper, a fitted sheet and you're done. Depends on your weight but our 19 ILD 3" mattress topper works great for both me and my wife.

Check out the Cover thread. www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/general-mattresses/14383-mattress-cover.html?start=15

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Last edit: by Mark in Texas.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 20 Apr 2014 11:16 #3

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Hi LookingNow,

Right now the topper I'm using is perfect for stomach but too hard for side sleeping. It's a 3" topper that's continuous pour natural latex (a form of Dunlop thats somewhere in between regular Dunlop and talalay in regards to softness). It is probably about a 30 ild. It is non-zoned (zoning doesn't work for me - hits me in all the wrong places. I prefer "straight" materials.)


Combination side / stomach sleeping is a very difficult combination because the needs of stomach sleeping (thinner firmer comfort layers) are the opposite of the needs of side sleepers (softer thicker comfort layers) on the same support system so finding the right combination of even support/alignment under the different parts of your body with the conflicting needs of pressure relief and the different pressure points with side sleeping and stomach sleeping can be a challenging "balancing act". In general ... it's usually most effective to use "just barely enough" thickness and softness to provide the pressure relief you need on your side so that there is less risk of sleeping in a swayback position and developing lower back pain from comfort layers that are too thick and soft when you sleep on your stomach.

Post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your actual sleeping experience on the mattress by itself to decide on the thickness and softness of a topper that may work best for you.

It's possible that you may do best with a topper that is both a little thinner (to keep you closer to the support layers and in better alignment when you are on your stomach) and a little softer (for pressure relief on your side) than what you currently have.

After 3-4 hours on my side this morning I wanted so badly to keep sleeping but the pressure on my hip where it met the mattress was so painful! I don't knowing I was experiencing "pushback" or if the whole getup was just too firm or what.


"Pushback" is actually a misnomer and has little to do with pressure relief. All materials "resist" pressure (regardless of how resilient or springy they are) and the resistance of a material increases as you sink into it more deeply. Even memory foam which has no "pushback" resists pressure and becomes firmer as you sink into it more deeply. When you are lying on a mattress any "upward" pressure of a foam or innerspring is in equilibrium and balanced by the "downward" pressure of that part of your body and there is no longer any direction of the pressure ... only the pressure itself. In other words ... both the "pushback" of a material and the "push down" of your body weight are in balance and all that's left is the amount of pressure on a particular part of your body.

The key factors that determine pressure relief are the softness (ILD/IFD) of the comfort layers, the thickness of the comfort layers, the compression modulus of the comfort layer materials (how quickly they become firmer as you sink into them more deeply) and the point elasticity of the material (how well it conforms to your body shape and redistributes pressure across the surface of your body). There is more about so called "pushback" in post #2 here and more about the factors that work together to relieve pressure in post #4 here .

This 3" topper felt perfect on a more forgiving non-tufted pocket coil mattress I was recently using on the floor as a temporary mattress (it was a twin size mattress) but on this new unforgiving bed it's a different story.


All the layers and components of a sleeping system (such as a mattress topper combination) act together and affect all the other layers and components to some degree so it's completely normal that a topper that works well on one mattress may not work as well on a different mattress.

Given what I've described here, does it seem plausible that changing the type of latex - or the amount/height of latex work? I have to use natural latex because of allergies to synthetic latex and memory foam, and other types of toppers like cotton etc will obviously be even firmer and not give me the softness I need.

Any suggestions as to what I could try for a topper?


Different types of latex have a different compression modulus and some types of latex are more point elastic than others even if they are the same thickness and ILD so the type of material can have an effect on pressure relief and alignment yes but using complex specs to decide on a topper (even if they are available and if the ILD between materials is consistent which is often isn't) would be much too complex to use them to decide on a topper. I would tend to use the topper guidelines I linked earlier.

I would also be cautious with a 3" topper of 19 ILD latex which could be risky as a topper for a stomach sleeper because it would have a higher chance of being too thick and soft for stomach sleeping. What works well for one person can be completely unsuitable for someone else. I would also make sure you use a suitable cover for a topper because using a thinner mattress protector instead of a cover that is designed to be used as a mattress or topper cover can increase the exposure of the latex to oxidation from ozone or ultraviolet light or some of the other substances that can harm the latex ( see here ) and shorten the useful life of the latex.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 20 Apr 2014 18:45 #4

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Thank you both.
Phoenix, I am currently looking over the links you provided. They're very informative.
I feel you described very well that combination stomach/side sleeping are "opposites" in comfort needs. They sure are!

Gardner (where I bought the bed does have a 3" talalay topper (around a 19 ild I think) that did feel too thick for my stomach sleeping. I agree that I should try a softer - but thinner topper and 19ild might be good.

Another factor I didn't mention before regarding your above mention of every bed component mattering: I have this very firm mattress on a platform bed frame. Slats are fewer than 3" apart. Do you believe it would be worth trying to soften the mattress by getting a box spring instead? That is what they have it on in the store. I discussed this with them already but don't know if it's truly worth the bother.

Thank you again!

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Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 20 Apr 2014 20:46 #5

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Hi LookingNow,

Another factor I didn't mention before regarding your above mention of every bed component mattering: I have this very firm mattress on a platform bed frame. Slats are fewer than 3" apart. Do you believe it would be worth trying to soften the mattress by getting a box spring instead? That is what they have it on in the store. I discussed this with them already but don't know if it's truly worth the bother.


If they have the same mattress on the floor on a "working" box spring then it can certainly make a difference and I would do some careful testing on that combination so you can compare your experience to how the mattress feels at home and to see if the difference is "enough". Innersprings in a mattress don't absorb as much energy as foam materials and any pressure that is applied on top of a spring will "go through" the spring directly into the box spring below it more than it will with foam (which absorbs more energy than springs and the compression forces tend to spread out as they travel though the mattress so they aren't compressing only the springs in the box spring that are directly under the contact area of the pressure).

Having said that ... a box spring would be less necessary with a pocket coil mattress or with a foam mattress where most of the contouring and pressure relief is designed to come from the top layers of the mattress and because it doesn't need the shock absorbing function of a box spring to the same degree so I would be tempted to use a topper over a more costly box spring which may have less of an effect on the pressure relief of the mattress unless or course your testing and experience on the mattress/box spring combination indicated that it was clearly a better choice.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 21 Apr 2014 03:28 #6

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Thanks Phoenix.
Another very rough night. I will be putting your suggestions into effect.
I'll let you know what happens.

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Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 21 Apr 2014 05:23 #7

  • Mark in Texas
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Well hello all,

I now have a nice, firm mattress...I need the support for stomach sleeping.


Early this morn I remembered this thread and having never tried laying on my stomach flat and quasi belly flat (one arm and leg out) I tried it out on our brand new all latex mattress. The 3" top layer of 19ILD provided excellent support (as well as comfort)....it was dead flat yet soft. Must emphasize this, no spinal bow....dead flat. I'm 210, bit of a beer belly and a side and back sleeper.

Works great although I might tweek our new mattress a bit and add a 1" or 2" layer of ultra plush latex - 14 ILD as a topper covered by the stretchy mattress cover and fitted sheet, or, stuffed into the encasement on top of the 19ILD. Fun to play games with this stuff! :)

Mark

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Last edit: by Mark in Texas.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 21 Apr 2014 05:28 #8

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I have this very firm mattress on a platform bed frame. Slats are fewer than 3" apart. Do you believe it would be worth trying to soften the mattress by getting a box spring instead? That is what they have it on in the store. I discussed this with them already but don't know if it's truly worth the bother.

Thank you again!


I'd spend the money on a 3" 19 ILD topper. Who knows, you might want to go all latex in the future and the current platform will be there waiting. KTT Enterprises offers the best price for the highest quality Latex International brand latex foam and is recommended by this site.

Mark

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Last edit: by Mark in Texas.

Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 21 Apr 2014 06:00 #9

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Mark,
Thank you. Your post was helpful.
I tried all-latex but for me it didn't provide the flat support I need for stomach sleeping. And it was M,F,F. It could be that it was all-natural and had no synthetics in it, or it could be that it was zoned in the wrong places for me - or both.

In any event, because I have allergies to synthetics my choices are more limited, hence my current springs/cotton/natural latex bed.

I'm 5' 3" and 130 lbs but the heaviest part of my body is definitely my pelvic/hip area and I'm curvy so my shoulders also need a lot of "give" under them. I am beginning to believe that "proportion" rather than over-all weight is a big factor in choosing a bed.

I am definitely going to do the most important thing which is as you say to get a softer topper. But I also believe a box spring couldn't hurt.

I also appreciate your suggestion of getting a cover. I would not have considered it otherwise and Phoenis also says it protects the latex which I had sort of "forgotten" about.

Have fun playing around with your layers and thanks for thinking of my post this morning! :)

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Firm Mattress with Latex Topper Hurting Hips 21 Apr 2014 08:23 #10

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Hi Mark in Texas,

Early this morn I remembered this thread and having never tried laying on my stomach flat and quasi belly flat (one arm and leg out) I tried it out on our brand new all latex mattress. The 3" top layer of 19ILD provided excellent support (as well as comfort)....it was dead flat yet soft. Must emphasize this, no spinal bow....dead flat. I'm 210, bit of a beer belly and a side and back sleeper.


There would be a lot of stomach sleepers waking up with sore backs if they were sleeping on 3" of 19 ILD latex as their comfort layer over the course of the night :)

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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