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Joints Cracking/Popping with New Latex Mattress = Pressure Relief Issue? 28 Nov 2015 23:43 #1

  • kasuvandi
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I've been sleeping on a new SleepEZ latex mattress for the past month, the 8" natural latex special in top-to-bottom S/M/F (2" nat Talalay, then 2x3" natural Dunlop), and would love some advice on what my symptoms might mean before I call SleepEZ and consider either a layer exchange or purchasing an additional topper layer at additional cost. I was really impressed with the latex layers themselves and the simplicity of the construction and nonquilted cover, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the latex only smelled a bit like buttered popcorn rather than what I was expecting!.

The most perplexing symptom I have is joint cracking. Ever since I started sleeping on my new mattress, my joints have been noticeably popping and cracking (similar to the sound of knuckles cracking) occasionally throughout the day.. It was ridiculous the first few nights on the new mattress--I remember waking up in the middle of night and changing position and hearing tons of cracking and when I would get up I'd often feel a deep crack in the middle of my back. I'm a healthy 140 pound woman who has never in my life had an issue with this before! The popping is not painful, just really odd feeling. A forum search didn't seem to be fruitful--any ideas of what this indicates about the mattress?

My other symptoms along with the joint cracking have me suspecting that the issue might be pressure relief as well as my shoulders not sinking in far enough.

One issue is my hips. On my old crappy mattress that had developed a big indentation, my hips sunk too low and I would get a burning pain along my side. With the new latex mattress that has gone away and my hips look and feel well aligned judging from a picture I took lying down. However, I seem to be more vaguely aware of certain boney areas of my body such as the back and sides of my hips when I lay down, and I notice when I sit up in bed with pillows behind me, the back of my hips ache and feel uncomfortable. What's strange, when I take a photo of my back lying on a hard floor, the alignment is not all that drastically different and my hips just angle down a little more but not that much.

The other issue is my shoulders and upper body. While my hips are perfectly aligned now, my shoulders are not sinking in enough and my spine is angling sharply upwards in a straight line starting from my waist even worse than it did on my old mattress and I'm feeling more upper back and neck discomfort now. I can't seem to find a pillow that works despite trying a wide variety of thicknesses and heights. Thicker pillows make my neck start burning from being pushed forward/high, and thinner pillows don't feel supportive enough. On my old mattress I had issues with my arms falling asleep, and now that's gone but it's replaced by upper back discomfort.

Given all of the above, I am thinking that issue is likely that the mattress is offering me good support but not enough pressure relief (i.e., the soft 2" top layer of Talalay isn't enough and I'm feeling the firmer layers below) and I need more inches of comfort layer. I haven't a clue how much and am worried about my hips sinking in too far again. Any recommendations for going with an additional 1", 2", or 3"?

Other details: I am an equal back and side sleeper and seem to have more discomfort on my side. I bought this latex mattress after trying to replicate a pureLatexbliss Beautiful that I loved laying on at the store. I built a foundation out of wood strips placed about 1-1.5" apart with a metal bar reinforcement halfway through to ensure no flexing. I have a very thin (like 1/4") Ikea Rosendun lyocell mattress protector on top that does affect the feel a bit since the latex is not right underneath.

Would love advice since I have stuck it out for more than 30 days and am still not sleeping very well!

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Joints Cracking/Popping with New Latex Mattress = Pressure Relief Issue? 29 Nov 2015 13:02 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi kasuvandi,

The most perplexing symptom I have is joint cracking. Ever since I started sleeping on my new mattress, my joints have been noticeably popping and cracking (similar to the sound of knuckles cracking) occasionally throughout the day.. It was ridiculous the first few nights on the new mattress--I remember waking up in the middle of night and changing position and hearing tons of cracking and when I would get up I'd often feel a deep crack in the middle of my back. I'm a healthy 140 pound woman who has never in my life had an issue with this before! The popping is not painful, just really odd feeling. A forum search didn't seem to be fruitful--any ideas of what this indicates about the mattress?


While it's not possible to "diagnose" mattress comfort issues on a forum with any certainty because there are too many unique unknowns, variables, and complexities involved that can affect how each person sleeps on a mattress in terms of "comfort" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or any "symptoms" they experience ... there is more about the most common symptoms that people may experience when they sleep on a mattress and the most likely (although not the only) reasons for them in post #2 here .

There is also more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel".

These posts are the "tools" that can help with the analysis, detective work, or trial and error that may be necessary to help you learn your body's language and "translate" what your body is trying to tell you so you can identify the types of changes that have the best chance of reducing or eliminating any "symptoms" you are experiencing (at least to the degree that any symptoms are from your mattress rather than the result of any other circumstances or pre-existing issues you may have that aren't connected to a mattress).

Having said all that ... "joint popping" isn't one of the symptoms that are included but if I had to guess based on your comments and feedback about your previous mattress and the Beautiful (which is much softer than your mattress) It seems that your joints are probably extended outside of their normal range of motion and may be "cracking" when you change position and I would agree with you that the odds are that you probably need a little bit more thickness/softness in your comfort layers. It's also possible that your body and joints were used to sleeping out of alignment on your old mattress and are still adjusting to sleeping in better alignment on your new mattress and you may just need a little bit more time for your "popping" symptoms to resolve themselves.

There are also some suggestions in post #2 here that may be helpful but the first thing I would generally suggest is a more detailed conversation with SleepEZ so that you can benefit from the experience they have with other customers over the years that may have similar "symptoms" to yours.

Given all of the above, I am thinking that issue is likely that the mattress is offering me good support but not enough pressure relief (i.e., the soft 2" top layer of Talalay isn't enough and I'm feeling the firmer layers below) and I need more inches of comfort layer. I haven't a clue how much and am worried about my hips sinking in too far again. Any recommendations for going with an additional 1", 2", or 3"?


I don't have any specific recommendation because there are too many unknowns and variables involved for me to be able to predict how a specific mattress/topper combination will work for any specific person but there is more information about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable supplier that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success.

A good "average" choice would be a 2" - 3" depending on whether you are looking for "a little to a fair bit" or "a fair bit to a lot" of additional pressure relief but your own personal experience is really the only way to know for certain whether any mattress/topper combination will be a good match for you in terms of PPP.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Joints Cracking/Popping with New Latex Mattress = Pressure Relief Issue? 24 Jan 2016 06:31 #3

  • kasuvandi
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]It's also possible that your body and joints were used to sleeping out of alignment on your old mattress and are still adjusting to sleeping in better alignment on your new mattress and you may just need a little bit more time for your "popping" symptoms to resolve themselves.


Thanks Phoenix! This appears to have been true for me, and I thought I'd report back on my experience for anyone else experiencing joint popping and cracking. Phoenix has said elsewhere on the forum that for some people they need not just 30 days to adjust to a new mattress but up to 90 days. I had posted above around the 30-day mark, and then about a month later (about the 60-day mark) I realized that the joint popping/cracking issue had almost entirely disappeared. Because I had come from a horribly-supportive foam mattress that was giving me burning hip pain from my hips sinking down too far, I think my body needed a lot of time to adjust to a new sleeping surface where my body was in alignment and (as Phoenix has said elsewhere on the forum) "'forget' it's old sleeping memory and develop a new one." Of course, it's always hard to stick it out when you're not sleeping well, but for some like me it's necessary.

Updating my experience further, I still think i need a bit more pressure relief but haven't found the solution yet. I recently ordered a 2" blended Talalay topper 19 ILD from KTT Enterprises (cheapest price I could find, and had a great experience--the owner herself answered the phone and took my order!) and surprisingly it seems to be too thick and is interfering with my alignment. I first put it on top of my F-M-S setup from before and I could immediately tell it made it too soft and I was sinking down too much. After trying various orders with the four layers and taking photos of my alignment, I settled on a M-F-S-S (topper) order. It felt great at first and I sank down a bit but the firm layer in the middle seemed to balance it out. However, as we all know from reading this forum, how a mattress feels initially means nothing about how it supports you and how its pressure relief is. After sleeping on this for a week now I am getting aching muscles in my lower back, upper glutes, and sides of hips, and I think I'm still sinking in too far.

I think I'm going to go back to my old setup and play around with the idea of a more plush cover that doesn't exceed an inch since I seem to be sensitive to alignment being affected by topper thickness. Anywho, this forum has been so helpful--thanks Phoenix!

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Last edit: by kasuvandi.

Joints Cracking/Popping with New Latex Mattress = Pressure Relief Issue? 24 Jan 2016 11:14 #4

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Hi kasuvandi,

Thanks for taking the time to share such a detailed update ... I appreciate it :)

Thanks Phoenix! This appears to have been true for me, and I thought I'd report back on my experience for anyone else experiencing joint popping and cracking. Phoenix has said elsewhere on the forum that for some people they need not just 30 days to adjust to a new mattress but up to 90 days. I had posted above around the 30-day mark, and then about a month later (about the 60-day mark) I realized that the joint popping/cracking issue had almost entirely disappeared. Because I had come from a horribly-supportive foam mattress that was giving me burning hip pain from my hips sinking down too far, I think my body needed a lot of time to adjust to a new sleeping surface where my body was in alignment and (as Phoenix has said elsewhere on the forum) "'forget' it's old sleeping memory and develop a new one." Of course, it's always hard to stick it out when you're not sleeping well, but for some like me it's necessary.


It's good to hear that your "popping and cracking" issues resolved themselves and you are a good example of some people that take a little bit longer to get used to a new mattress.

Updating my experience further, I still think i need a bit more pressure relief but haven't found the solution yet. I recently ordered a 2" blended Talalay topper 19 ILD from KTT Enterprises (cheapest price I could find, and had a great experience--the owner herself answered the phone and took my order!) and surprisingly it seems to be too thick and is interfering with my alignment. I first put it on top of my F-M-S setup from before and I could immediately tell it made it too soft and I was sinking down too much. After trying various orders with the four layers and taking photos of my alignment, I settled on a M-F-S-S (topper) order. It felt great at first and I sank down a bit but the firm layer in the middle seemed to balance it out. However, as we all know from reading this forum, how a mattress feels initially means nothing about how it supports you and how its pressure relief is. After sleeping on this for a week now I am getting aching muscles in my lower back, upper glutes, and sides of hips, and I think I'm still sinking in too far.

I think I'm going to go back to my old setup and play around with the idea of a more plush cover that doesn't exceed an inch since I seem to be sensitive to alignment being affected by topper thickness. Anywho, this forum has been so helpful--thanks Phoenix!


I'm sorry to hear that your topper didn't work out as well as you hoped for but based on your description I would agree that your 2" topper may have added a little bit too much thickness/softness to your mattress in addition to the 2" of soft latex that was already in the mattress you had.

Once you have slept on your original configuration for a bit to reestablish your "baseline" it may be worth considering a shredded latex topper or perhaps a fiberbed (something like this or like this for example) or perhaps even a thinner 1" topper to provide a "touch to a little bit" of additional pressure relief with less risk to your alignment.

It may also be worth trying a F/S/M combination with the 2" topper to see if it works better than the F/M/S with the 2" topper (it would firm up the mattress and reduce the amount you are sinking in a little bit).

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status
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