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Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 12:03 #1

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I have tried to be a good student, read all of the materials, but didn't necessarily grock all of the concepts.

Here is my situation.

I have nerve damage in the back of my heel. I will wake up if the back of my heel touches the mattress. Contact with the inner side of my ankle and the back of my lower calf can also triggers the same sensation. Prior to this damage, I fell asleep on my side or stomach and woke up on my back. Now, I mostly sleep on my side, with short spurts on my stomach with my feet off the bed. That position hurts my back but helps me with my foot.

To make side sleeping work, I twist one foot around the other. This caused sciatica which is now chronic. I have upper back/neck issues from an old car accident but my Oxygen Pillow has really helped. (I have psoriatic arthritis, but that is not currently an issue).

So, onto the new mattress search. I live in Oakland, CA. I've tried several mattress stores: Berkelely Ergo, Nest , Essentia, Savvy Rest , and European Sleep Works. I focused on latex and innerspring with microcoils.

I like the idea of being able to change out layers to get things right, and am leaning toward a few different mattresses at ESW (European Sleep Works).
The initial feel test directed me to Calico, and Alpine HDM, both in A softness.

So, yesterday, I went beyond initial feel to trying out each of the mattresses for pressure points. I had purchased an Oxygen Pillow from them earlier this year, so they gave me an equivalent pillow to use for my testing.

After several minutes on the Calico, I had problems with both heel and sciatica with and without pillow between my knees. I've pretty much ruled it out. The Alpine also gave me pain, but less. Next, I tried Nordic HDM A. This began to be my frontrunner. By then, however, I hurt so badly that I took a break from the store and came back in the afternoon. I decided to try the Nordic HDM B and latex.. I spent the next hour or so trying different positions on the Alpine A, the latex classic hdm A, and the Nordic HDM B and A. Clearly, this was a mistake. I ended up being so confused that I purchased nothing. My preference at the end was for Nordic B or latex A. Which made me think I should reconsider the Savvy Rest Serenity Bed (all dunlp, soft top layer, soft middle layer, medium bottom layer).

I came home and had a horrible nights sleep on my mattress.

Any advice on how to move forward?

Jennifer

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Last edit: by phoenix. Reason: edited for search terms

Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 12:47 #2

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Jen-

I owned the Nordic mattress on the Euro slat foundation for 6 years, and for me, it was a mistake of a purchase. However, we had the old Nordic, which only had 1" of latex, on top of 2" of "soft" coils (not the microcoils back then) and then the firm coils. I did not know anything about mattresses back then, and had I realized the Nordic had only 1" of latex, I probably wouldn't have gotten it for the price.

I was looking for a firm mattress, and the Nordic felt okay in the store, but the Nordic ended up being too firm at home, and even with trying all the adjustments ESW (European Sleep Works) recommended, I never got it to work for me. Every time I called to ask for advice within the "trial" period, all they told me would be to change the slat positions and try that for a few weeks- and before I knew it, the trial period was over. After that, they wanted to charge me for any changes. Our springs also sagged after 6 years. We probably could have gotten something under warranty, but I didn't like the mattress enough to try. We eventually put two toppers on top to make the Nordic bearable to sleep on.

I know a lot of people really have had a good experience with ESW (European Sleep Works), and they do use good materials, and I'm sure my experience was the exception. I still think highly of them, I just would do things differently another time around if I were to purchase another mattress there. I had no mattress knowledge the last time we were there and bought a mattress.

This is not to say that the Nordic wouldn't be right for you, but I wanted to write and give you another option. Have you tried going to the Natural Mattress store? There is one in San Rafael and one in San Francisco. The owner, Steve, in San Rafael, is very knowledgeable about mattresses, and he knows ESW mattresses well and can make comparisons for you. He is very low key, I've been in there 3 times over the last year, each time spent about an hour- and he pretty much left me alone to try beds, unless I had questions or asked for recommendations. They do not sell the adjustable slat foundations- which appeals to me, because I never got the adjustable slat foundation that ESW sells to work for me. If I adjusted the slats to my comfort level, I had to sleep in exactly the same position in the mattress to conform to how the slats were adjusted, and when I moved the adjusters on the slats out further to make the mattress softer, I felt a "dip" in the mattress. I felt "trapped" in that one spot in the mattress, the middle of the mattress was higher and firmer due to a beam that runs down the middle of the foundation, so I couldn't sleep in the middle of the mattress, which I like to sleep all over the mattress when my husband travels. Anyway, I wish I had gotten a "regular" wood foundation like the Natural Mattress store sells instead of the adjustable slat foundation.

If you haven't been to the Natural Mattress store, you might want to give them a try, they have a website if you google natural mattress store, San Rafael, and explain their mattresses there. I really wanted my next mattress purchase to be with them, but I've come to discover through lots of trials on latex, including a super soft 14 ILD latex topper, that my muscles just don't like the "pushback" of latex. My body is much happier on polyfoam, so we recently ordered a Tuft and Needle mattress, and I'm pretty happy on it.

Have you tried other types of mattresses, memory foam or polyfoam? As much as I want to sleep on a "natural" durable latex surface, my body feels a "pushback" from latex and isn't happy on latex- some of the mattresses in the Natural Mattress store felt wonderful and worked for me the first 10 minutes, then I stared to have problems with longer "naps". I am so appreciative that Steve at the Natural Mattress store let me spend as much time as I needed on each mattress. I have fibromyalgia and spine issues (including a couple of bulging disks in my neck and lumbar region, that cause radiating pain down my arm and sciatica), and sadly, latex just doesn't work for me.

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Last edit: by phoenix. Reason: edited for search terms

Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 15:38 #3

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Hi TenJent,

I have nerve damage in the back of my heel. I will wake up if the back of my heel touches the mattress. Contact with the inner side of my ankle and the back of my lower calf can also triggers the same sensation. Prior to this damage, I fell asleep on my side or stomach and woke up on my back. Now, I mostly sleep on my side, with short spurts on my stomach with my feet off the bed. That position hurts my back but helps me with my foot.

To make side sleeping work, I twist one foot around the other. This caused sciatica which is now chronic. I have upper back/neck issues from an old car accident but my Oxygen Pillow has really helped. (I have psoriatic arthritis, but that is not currently an issue).


Unfortunately I can't help with the "comfort" or "medical" questions because only you can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences and sensitivities involved for anyone to be able to predict whether a specific mattress will be a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) based on either specs (yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ). Your own careful testing or personal experience will always be the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

Post #2 here also has more about the different ways to choose a mattress (local or online) and how to minimize the risks involved with each of them if you aren't certain that a mattress you are considering is a good "match" for you in terms of PPP.

So, onto the new mattress search. I live in Oakland, CA. I've tried several mattress stores: Berkelely Ergo, Nest , Essentia, Savvy Rest , and European Sleep Works. I focused on latex and innerspring with microcoils.


You've probably seen this already but the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in the San Fransisco/Oakland/Berkeley areas are listed in post #2 here .

After several minutes on the Calico, I had problems with both heel and sciatica with and without pillow between my knees. I've pretty much ruled it out. The Alpine also gave me pain, but less. Next, I tried Nordic HDM A. This began to be my frontrunner. By then, however, I hurt so badly that I took a break from the store and came back in the afternoon. I decided to try the Nordic HDM B and latex.. I spent the next hour or so trying different positions on the Alpine A, the latex classic hdm A, and the Nordic HDM B and A. Clearly, this was a mistake. I ended up being so confused that I purchased nothing. My preference at the end was for Nordic B or latex A. Which made me think I should reconsider the Savvy Rest Serenity Bed (all dunlp, soft top layer, soft middle layer, medium bottom layer).

I came home and had a horrible nights sleep on my mattress.

Any advice on how to move forward?


I would make sure that you are using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post so you have the best possible chance of approximating your actual sleeping experience but it's also not uncommon to have "testing fatigue" when you are testing many mattresses on a single day and all your experiences begin to blur together (see here and here and here ). It may be a good idea to take a break for a few days to let your body "reset" and then go back and only test a few (or perhaps even only one or two) mattresses a day that you know are good "possibilities".


@sheep123,

I did not know anything about mattresses back then, and had I realized the Nordic had only 1" of latex, I probably wouldn't have gotten it for the price.


I'm not sure why only having 1" of latex would result in a lower "value" mattress because a mattress that uses a microcoil instead of latex may actually be a better match for some people in terms of PPP which is the most important part of the "value" of a mattress (see post #13 here ). The "raw material" cost of a mattress is among the least important parts of the "value" of a mattress and in most cases the mattresses that are made by the same manufacturer would have similar margins and be in a similar "value" range based on the cost of the materials and components inside them (although in many cases mattresses in higher budget ranges can also have slightly higher margins).

I know a lot of people really have had a good experience with ESW (European Sleep Works), and they do use good materials, and I'm sure my experience was the exception. I still think highly of them, I just would do things differently another time around if I were to purchase another mattress there. I had no mattress knowledge the last time we were there and bought a mattress.


I would also guess your experience was an exception but PPP is so individual that it's more the "norm" than the exception that a mattress that works well for one person may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (or vice versa) so I would always rely on personal testing and experience rather than using anyone else's experience as a reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good "match" for any particular person.

They do not sell the adjustable slat foundations- which appeals to me, because I never got the adjustable slat foundation that ESW sells to work for me.


This is also not unusual and while they can be very helpful for some people ... they can be detrimental or "neutral" for others. There is more about tension adjustable slat foundations in post #2 here and the posts it links to.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 16:50 #4

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Phoenix-

I'm not sure why only having 1" of latex would result in a lower "value" mattress because a mattress that uses a microcoil instead of latex may actually be a better match for some people in terms of PPP which is the most important part of the "value" of a mattress (see post #13 here ). The "raw material" cost of a mattress is among the least important parts of the "value" of a mattress and in most cases the mattresses that are made by the same manufacturer would have similar margins and be in a similar "value" range based on the cost of the materials and components inside them (although in many cases mattresses in higher budget ranges can also have slightly higher margins).


The configuration of the Nordic when I bought it 6 years ago was, from top to bottom: wool/cotton top (thin), 1" latex, 2" microcoils on top of European Basecoli. The new configuration, from top to bottom, consists of: wool/cotton top (same), 1" latex (same), HD microcoil (new), another latex layer (new), 2" microcoil (same) and European Basecoil (same).

The price on their website for the new Nordic (with more latex, and microcoils), is slightly lower than what I paid at the time for the old Nordic.

i was under the impression that microcoils are typically less expensive than latex, so when I found out that my mattress only had 1" of latex, I was disappointed in the price I had paid.

Perhaps it's not rational, but if the Nordic that I had purchased 6 years ago had the current configuration of two 1" layers of latex and the minicoils like it has now, for the current price (slightly lower than I had paid back then), maybe i would have felt I had gotten more value for my money.

Edited to add: I did not know what was in my Nordic mattress when I purchased it, I simply went by what "felt right" in the store- I only opened the zipper after a couple of months to find what was inside. I now know I didn't spend nearly enough time on the mattress in the store because it never was very comfortable to me without a topper over the 6 years we owned it. That's maybe why I felt that spending over $1800 alone of the mattress (over $2300 with foundation) and finding out it only had 1" of latex was disappointing. I spent over $300 on toppers to make it more comfortable, and thought at the time I was investigating that, perhaps a mattress with more latex would have been more comfortable...

Thanks to this site, I now know way more, thank you Phoenix, and the recent discussions here about the Tuft and Needle led me to purchase one, and it's been a great fit for me... I had never even heard of Certipur foam before, nor ever knew that polyfoam could be durable, and that made me comfortable enough to look elsewhere beside latex...

I would be curious to try the new Nordic to see how it compares to my old Nordic, next time I'm in Berkeley, I may stop by...

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Last edit: by sheep123.

Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 21:23 #5

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Phoenix,

Thanks so much for both your answer and the website. You have a treasure trove of information here and I'm learning so much that is helping me find the right mattress.

I did something wrong and I lost my last post, so if it shows up later, you'll understand the redundancies.

I read the article about how showroom selection of a mattress was not associated with the one that gave the least movement and best sleep quality to the participant. A bit frustrating. But, oddly, I'm an epidemiologist and I'm currently doing a study that uses actigraphs.

And, I was definitely getting testing fatigue by the end of yesterday. While I probably shouldn't have, I went back to Savvy and Nest today to try out some other options. One of the combinations at Savvy may work well for me.

I tried the Serenity which has 3 3-inch latex layers. On the left side of the bed:

Soft Tatalay
Soft Dunlop
Medium Dunlop

On the right side:

Soft Dunlop
Medium Dunlop
Medium Dunlop

By the way, I'm 5'5" and 132 pounds. Dominic at Savvy said that he wouldn't recommend the left side configuration for some people but thought it would be fine for me.

I discovered that one of his pillows between my knees works better than any I've tried at home to allow my right foot to float without too much torquing of my hips. I also liked the body pillow I tried. This was the big epiphany. The other epiphany was that I liked both sides of the bed.

My current thought is to consider getting different right and left sides (the configurations above). I have 90 days to swap out layers, so if it turns out that I like one side over the other, I can do that swap (for a minor fee to add Tatalay). And, I can "borrow" an actigraph from work to see what is working in terms of sleep motion. Might be a good way to evaluate my sleep.

That's the current plan. Along with more research. I will go to the place that Sheep recommended in San Rafael, and a couple of the places in SF.

Thanks again,
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Jennifer

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Last edit: by TanJent. Reason: Added height and weight because I forgot to mention it ealier

Hopelessly Confused! 03 Jan 2015 23:47 #6

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Hi TanJent,

By the way, I'm 5'5" and 132 pounds. Dominic at Savvy said that he wouldn't recommend the left side configuration for some people but thought it would be fine for me.


While this layering could be too soft for many people and could be risky in terms of providing good alignment ... I would agree that with your lighter weight and because the middle layer is Dunlop (which tends to be firmer than Talalay in the same ILD) that the odds are better that it could be a good match for you although your own testing (once you have "recovered") will be the most reliable way to know for certain. There is more about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay in post #7 here .

My current thought is to consider getting different right and left sides (the configurations above). I have 90 days to swap out layers, so if it turns out that I like one side over the other, I can do that swap (for a minor fee to add Tatalay). And, I can "borrow" an actigraph from work to see what is working in terms of sleep motion. Might be a good way to evaluate my sleep.


Just in case you aren't aware of it ... the tutorial post also includes a list of the members here that sell mattresses online (in the optional online step) and some of them make latex mattresses that are very similar to the Savvy Rest (component latex mattresses that use multiple layers with a cotton cover quilted with wool) except some of them have more options for the type of latex they offer, the number of layers available, have lower prices (in some cases significantly lower), may have have better exchange policies, and have return/refund policies as well (which isn't an option with Savvy Rest) that may also be worth considering.

If you do decide to go in this direction it will be interesting to see the results of your actigraph :).

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding.

Phoenix
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Hopelessly Confused! 01 Feb 2015 16:44 #7

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Phoenix,

I think I finally made a decision! Although, I've yet to take the plunge I'm close.

I did check out Natural Mattress Store (suggested by Sheep) on two occasions and found a candidate mattress there (Clarity extra soft). I also considered SleepEz, the downside for me being that they are not local, although they appeared to be much cheaper and do allow a return of the mattress. I ruled out ESW (European Sleep Works) after a couple more tries on their mattresses. They don't work for me and I realized I was trying so hard to make their mattresses work because I liked the company and the fact that it is local.

My top choice was still the Serenity from Savvy Rest, but it was about $1000 more the 10000 organic mattress from SleepEz. But, today, I found out that Savvy Rest has a 20% coupon in the Chinook Book. With that coupon, the price comes down to $2200 (+ tax +$30 delivery/setup/removal of old bed). Which I think makes it a good "value" for me. I like the idea of a Brick and Mortar location to work with and I've really liked both Dominic and his assistant, Travis.

I was told that it was OK to use the box spring from my old bed, for now. But, I think I'll purchase a platform bad in the next year. Do you agree with what they said, or should I get a foundation or platform bed now?

I want to thank you and this site for helping me to figure out what turned out to be a really hard decision for me. I'll check in again when I have my mattress and let you know how it goes.

Jennifer

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Last edit: by phoenix. Reason: edited for search terms

Hopelessly Confused! 01 Feb 2015 19:38 #8

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Hi TanJent,

My top choice was still the Serenity from Savvy Rest, but it was about $1000 more the 10000 organic mattress from SleepEz. But, today, I found out that Savvy Rest has a 20% coupon in the Chinook Book. With that coupon, the price comes down to $2200 (+ tax +$30 delivery/setup/removal of old bed). Which I think makes it a good "value" for me. I like the idea of a Brick and Mortar location to work with and I've really liked both Dominic and his assistant, Travis.


The Savvy Rest Serenity certainly uses high quality materials and it's good to see that you were able to find a discount that puts it in a little closer budget range to the other similar mattresses you were considering.

I was told that it was OK to use the box spring from my old bed, for now. But, I think I'll purchase a platform bad in the next year. Do you agree with what they said, or should I get a foundation or platform bed now?


I don't know the specifics of your box spring so I don't know whether it would be suitable or not but if it's an actual box spring (with springs inside it that flex under the mattress) rather than a foundation (that has no springs and has minimal or no flex under the mattress) then it may change the feel and performance of your mattress compared to the way you tested it in the store. There is more about the different types of support systems that are generally suitable for different types of mattresses in the foundation post here but the best choice for an all latex mattress is a slatted foundation or platform bed that provides an evenly supportive and non flexing support surface and that has slats that are no more than 3" apart.

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding once you actually pull the trigger :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Hopelessly Confused! 01 Feb 2015 21:28 #9

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Would there be any problem with using the SleepEz foundation?
www.sleepez.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/101/osCsid/5nd3ug0tts5r8mrjppn4cbjce0

The price on that isn't so bad, and I assume it would work with my current bad frame -- although I would check to make sure before I purchased. :)

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Hopelessly Confused! 01 Feb 2015 21:38 #10

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Hi Tanjent,

Your link doesn't show a foundation (only a log in page) but if you mean their foundation here then it's built specifically for latex mattresses and it would make a good choice for any latex mattress.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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