>

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
The first place to start your research is the Mattress Shopping Tutorial
Select the Search Forum tab below to gain access to answers to many mattress related questions.
Select the Ask An Expert tab below to reach out to any of our Expert Members for guidance and advice.

×

Notice

The forum is in read only mode.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC:

on our third mattress, can't ditch the back pain 29 Jul 2017 15:50 #1

  • jbzzz
  • jbzzz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 2
Hello! Husband and I are on the everlasting hunt to find the right mattress. First tried Brooklyn Bedding. That was about a year and a half ago and I can't remember any more what we hated, but we both hated it. Then we started using my 12 year old tempurpedic which once upon a time was wonderful, but had become way too soft. The sagging of my hips (back sleeper, 5'11", 130lbs) was causing muscle spasms and pinched nerves. Recently tried a keetsa mattress, went for their second most firm mattress so that the hips/pelvis had enough support. Found it to be wonderful for eliminating low back pain but instead created excruciating middle back/rib cage pain. We tried a 3" topper we had on hand already, and had the hip sagging problem again. Bought a cheap 1.5" foam topper just to get ourselves through the required time period before returning the keetsa. This solved my husband's issues but still allowed my hips/pelvis to sink too far. I ended up folding a bath towel and placing it from my lower lumbar area down to below my upper thigh. Then I reinforced under my pelvis directly with an additional folded hand towel. This way it was soft enough on my middle/upper back so that it wasn't flattening out my upper curve like it was without the topper, and yet was firmer and lifted the hips and pelvis, so it wasn't sagging. Not comfortable, but generally eliminated the pain. We ordered a Technogel Armonia mattress to replace it after feeling wonderful on it in the store. Unfortunately we are experiencing that same problem with the keetsa--great hip and pelvis support, too hard on the middle back/rib cage.

Any ideas on a different type of thin topper (maybe a different material?) that would cause less sagging of the hips, while softening things up for the upper back enough so that the natural curve of the upper back isn't being squashed flat?

We're getting a little desperate and tired! Also hoping to not own more than three mattress toppers. Which sounds ridiculous!

on our third mattress, can't ditch the back pain 30 Jul 2017 10:11 #2

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31985
HI jbzzz,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

Unfortunately, it’s not possible for me to diagnose your specific pains and issues via an online forum, and I would have no way of knowing what topper “might” work best for you, as there are entirely too many individual variables involved, including but not limited to, your level of flexibility, strength somatotype, sensitivity, BMI, pre-existing health issues, preferred alignment… The best I can do is offer some general guidelines and do my best to comment upon what you’ve presented.

As a general outline, there is some information about the many different pains/symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some of the most common causes behind them in post #2 here that may be helpful. As for toppers, post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the best chance of success.

Recently tried a keetsa mattress, went for their second most firm mattress so that the hips/pelvis had enough support. Found it to be wonderful for eliminating low back pain but instead created excruciating middle back/rib cage pain.


You don’t list the exact model, so I can’t comment upon the construction, but it seems that all three different mattresses you’ve tried used polyfoam cores, and this may be one of your issues (you may not have an affinity for this type of support structure). The fact that your low back pain was minimized tends to lean toward have a better alignment, but if you are feeling pain in the thoracic region this would tend to lean toward not enough surface comfort in that are or a higher level of personal sensitivity in that area.

We tried a 3" topper we had on hand already, and had the hip sagging problem again. Bought a cheap 1.5" foam topper just to get ourselves through the required time period before returning the keetsa. This solved my husband's issues but still allowed my hips/pelvis to sink too far. I ended up folding a bath towel and placing it from my lower lumbar area down to below my upper thigh. Then I reinforced under my pelvis directly with an additional folded hand towel. This way it was soft enough on my middle/upper back so that it wasn't flattening out my upper curve like it was without the topper, and yet was firmer and lifted the hips and pelvis, so it wasn't sagging. Not comfortable, but generally eliminated the pain.


You don’t mention the type of foam used for your toppers, but I’m guessing the 3” was more than likely a memory foam topper, and perhaps the 1.5” was a memory foam or even a polyfoam (as you described it as cheap). Adding the 3” for you seemed to allow for a bit too deep of a comfort cradle for you, and depending upon the configuration of your current mattress, certainly could be so. Toppers work in unison with the mattress upon which they are placed, so are best looked at as part of a complete sleep system. Your negative reaction to only 1.5” of what is most likely a very soft/lower density topper is a bit confusing for me, because you state that you thought your hips sunk in too deeply, but you don’t explain if this was just a perception of how you think your hips so feel in the mattress, or is this small amount of extra padding resulted in the return of low back pain, of if it caused your thoracic area to feel pain. I also don’t have a frame of reference to what your alignment looked like pre and post (and unfortunately really isn’t something that can be determined specifically from photos). All I can deduct from what you explained is that you effectively “propped up” your body from your lumbar region to your thigh, with extra firmness placed under your ilium/sacrum (pelvis). So perhaps you felt that you were sinking in too much in that region, as in a hammock.

Any ideas on a different type of thin topper (maybe a different material?) that would cause less sagging of the hips, while softening things up for the upper back enough so that the natural curve of the upper back isn't being squashed flat?


There are natural curves within the spine (kyphotoic in the thoracic region and lordotic in the lumbar region – see photo here ), and it is normal for these curves to flatten a bit when on your back and unload some of the pressure between the vertebrae. Of course, everyone is different in their preference in the amount of unloading they can accommodate and desire.

In don’t know that a topper is specifically an answer, because that has to be matched to a mattress, and picking a topper first and mattress second goes backwards in the order I would suggest in looking for a sleep system. You can read my thoughts about buying a mattress/topper combination that you can't test in person in post #2 here . As you can see it's not something I would generally suggest either in terms of risk or quality/value unless there were no better options available to you. But from what you’ve described, without knowing what you’ve used before for toppers, you may wish to consider latex (more supportive but still contouring), microcoils (conform with more support) or even wool (a bit firmer with some comfort).

Overall, you may wish to consider a mattress that allows for better contouring but still has good support, perhaps something using all latex, or a pocketed spring unit with latex or latex/memory foam on top. Additionally, while not always my first suggestion because of the complexities in selecting a proper system, you may wish to investigate a zoned mattress. Zoning systems of various types can sometimes be useful and worth considering for people that have more difficulty finding a mattress with the right "balance" between comfort/pressure relief (under the shoulders especially) and support/alignment (under the hips/pelvis especially) or who have more challenging circumstances or sensitivities, body types that are more difficult to "match" to a mattress, more complex medical issues, or who have a history of having more difficulty in finding a mattress that works well for them. There is more about zoning in this article and in post #11 here and the additional posts it links to but once again the only way to know whether any specific mattress (zoned or otherwise) will be a good "match" for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience. There are hundreds of zoned mattresses in the market in many different mattress categories (including "all latex" mattresses) most of which use "fixed" zones but there are a few that use customizable zones as well. Some of the ones that use customizable zones include Flobeds and the Reverie Dream Mattresses (although they aren't "zoned" in the more traditional sense of the word because they have cylinders that can be rearranged to provide different levels of firmness and feel). Some of the Sleeptek/Obasan mattresses also have separate zoned sections that can be changed and Nxtbed also has custom zoned mattresses and Elements of Rest in Atlanta also have mattresses that have customizable zoning. There are probably others as well that don't immediately come to mind.

While I know these answers are not specific, they are the best I can do from afar, and I hope that some of the information here is assistive to you as you move forward in searching for a new mattress.

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.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum
  • Page:
  • 1
The Mattress UndergroundCopyright © 2022 The Mattress Underground
TheMattressUndergounf
TMU
TheMattressUndergounf