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Help- Need new mattress! 31 Dec 2011 00:38 #1

  • DormiBene
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I am in desperate need of a new mattress. Been sleeping on a Full size, 20yr old Simmons Maxipedic "Caress", regular coil, firm with a 1.5inch memory foam topper on top. (I know, I should have gotten rid of it years ago!) I'm in my 50's, with chronic neck, shoulder, and some low back pain. I also wake up with headaches often. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. I can't stand firm beds aymore, but don't want to sleep in a hamock either. I'm looking for something that will be soft enough to envelop my neck and shoulders relieving pressure points, but firm enough to support my back. I am a side sleeper. I also use a pillow between my knees. My weight is 150 pounds and I'm 5'6". I have also been playing musical pillows for my head forever!

I have looked locally, (I live in Portland OR,) at Parklane Mattress Factory. The bed I was liking was the "Brentwood"- pocketed coils with a 2inch 19 ILD latex topper and soft Bamboo knit cover. They have since (recently) changed it to a 1inch latex topper with another non-knit and not as soft cover. (i feel this might be too firm for me now) They also have one called the "Rogue" which is 6inch 28ILD Talalay latex with 3inch 19ILD Talalay on top, covered with organic cotton. Another possibility is the "Kelsay"- pocketed coil base, 2000 2.5 inch mini pocketed coils on top of that, topped with 2inches of 19ILD Talalay latex and bamboo fabric cover. (haven't tried this one yet)

I seemed to have felt the best on the "Brentwood" (as it was before, with the 2inches of latex and bamboo cover), followed by the "Magnolia" (even though I didn't like the fact that it didn't have any latex in it and seemed like bare-bones pocket coil), then the "Rogue", which I felt was firmer than the Brentwood and I felt a very slight pinching in the shoulder/neck area. I'm planning to go there again this weekend to try them all again, especially the NEW REDESIGNED "Brentwood". (they just got it in Tuesday.)

My fear is that if I buy a soft mattress it may get even softer over time, and you can't tweek it to make it firmer.:(

I did check out the posting here "Mattress in Portland OR." I found it very helpful. I tried the "Aurora" at Parklane, but found it too firm for me. Have not tried the "Vale" yet, though it's a bit out of my price range. I did look at "BedCo" but found their prices way above what I wanted to spend, though I did like the zone coil system they offered. (thicker gauge wire under your butt);) I will post again after I go back to Parklane Mattress this weekend.

I feel as though I'm in the story of the princess and the pea, not sure what I should do. My main problem is the pain in my neck and shoulder area (pressure points), but not wanting to sacrifice my back either. I would like this future bed to not make body impression too soon.

I'm open to all suggestions and ideas.

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Re: Help- Need new mattress! 31 Dec 2011 18:05 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi DormiBene,

I would say you are certainly on the right track :)

One of the most important parts of shopping for a mattress is to find a place that will give you accurate information, good service, and that offers great value. If you know that you can trust the outlet you are looking at and the information they are giving you and they are more than happy to let you know everything that is inside their mattresses, it can save a great deal of more detailed research into materials and the other more technical parts of mattress construction to "make up for" what you won't be told at many mass marketing outlets that sell major brands. Because they already have this knowledge and the better outlets will use their knowledge to help you find the best mattress for your needs and preferences rather than "steering" you towards the mattress that they want to sell you, you can spend your time in a more relaxed environment and focus on finding a mattress that gives you good pressure relief and alignment and that you know will last based on the materials that are inside it. IMO, Parklane is one of the better manufacturers in the country and of course this is why I invited them to become manufacturing members of this site.

While personal testing with the help of someone who knows how to help you find your best choices is always more accurate than suggestions at a distance ... I agree with you that the changes in the Brentwood would likely "move you away" from what would normally be best for a side sleeper and it may well be too firm. In general a side sleeper will need a thick and soft enough comfort layer to fill in the gaps in the side sleeping position and relieve the pressure on the more "pointy parts" of the body (hips, pelvic crest, and shoulders). It's also important to make sure that the shoulders are sinking in far enough to create good alignment and the changes that you are mentioning may make the comfort layer a little too thin (again ... this needs to be confirmed with testing).

The Rogue is certainly a good possibility as it has the general construction that many of your height, weight, and sleeping positions would do well with. Of course it has a latex core which is very durable but also feels different from an innerspring. It is one of the best value talalay latex mattresses in the country.

One of the advantages of latex is that it is exceptionally durable and unlike polyfoam and memory foam ... it holds its firmness for a very long time and doesn't have the same initial softening period that both polyfoam and memory foam have over the first few weeks. In other words ... you can purchase it in the firmness that you prefer and it will stay that way rather than going through the typical break in period of polyfoam and memory foam.

I feel as though I'm in the story of the princess and the pea, not sure what I should do. My main problem is the pain in my neck and shoulder area (pressure points), but not wanting to sacrifice my back either. I would like this future bed to not make body impression too soon.


I would suggest that one of the most important things with neck and shoulder pain is to make sure that your shoulders are sinking in enough to relieve pressure (which is why the thickness and softness of the comfort layer is so important) and also that you have a pillow that is appropriate for your sleeping position and the mattress you purchase. Make sure that you spend at least 15 minutes fully relaxed on a mattress you are seriously considering with some of it on your side to check for pressure points and in your other sleeping positions to test for muscle tension and spinal alignment. The staff there will certainly help you with this. Body impressions or "soft spots" (where the foam hasn't degraded enough to actually be an impression but is much softer than it was when it was new) is not an issue with latex. This doesn't mean that it will last forever of course but it will last much longer and retain its firmness longer than any other material that is used in a comfort layer.

My final suggestion of course is that if you do end up purchasing a mattress from Parklane ... make sure you tell them you are a member of The Mattress Underground because this entitles you to an additional 5% discount at any of our manufacturing members.

Good luck and let us know how things go or if you have any other questions along the way.

Phoenix
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