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Having a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable mattress 24 May 2021 19:45 #1

  • TiredGirl
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I'm in need of a new mattress, and am having a lot of trouble finding the right one. My problems are that (1) I can't find a soft enough mattress and (2) I'm extremely sensitive to smells, and new mattresses often have that "new mattress smell" from off-gassing. I will notice the faintest smell that no one else can detect. (For reference, I am 5", 112-115 lbs, so a firm mattress would be too uncomfortable for me. I am a side sleeper and a back sleeper, both, though more often a side sleeper. And I'm looking for a twin size mattress, preferably in the $200-$400 range.)

I recently bought a new mattress, a pillow top, hybrid memory foam and coils, 70% memory foam. It didn't come with any smell that I noticed. The problem was, despite being advertised as a "medium," it felt rock hard to me, and hurt my hips and knees. So I got a memory foam topper for it. The memory foam topper had a strong chemical smell, and after sleeping with it on top of the mattress for several days, it made the mattress smell, too. The smell got into everything: my sheets, pillow, comforter. And if it smells that strong, I was worried it might be something I shouldn't be breathing in.

Next I got a mattress made by the company that had manufactured my old mattress, another pillow top innerspring, also medium. It was also too hard, though not as hard as the first mattress, but hard enough to hurt my back (I have a bad back due to scoliosis). This second mattress didn't have any foam listed on the tag, but it came with a chemical smell. Though it's so faint no one else in my house can detect it. I can smell it though, and this smell gets into everything I place on the mattress. I haven't been able to air the smell out.

I don't have any idea what to try for a mattress, if I had the opportunity to buy another, because I need one that has the least possibility of off-gassing or coming with a smell. (I know there's no guarantee it won't come with a smell.) Which is one reason why I definitely don't want a full memory foam bed, because now I know memory foam often off-gases/has a smell. (Yet ironically enough, the 70% memory foam mattress I bought didn't have a smell. It was the non-foam mattress that smelled, which made me wonder what exactly is in it to give it that funky odor.)

I've researched online dozens of articles on mattresses, the various chemicals that can be found in memory foam and traditional mattresses, safety of natural mattresses, certifications, etc, until I've become blue in the face. I know I want a mattress without chemical fire retardants, and one without fiberglass. I'd prefer the fire retardants be something like polyester/rayon/cotton/wool. I'm wary of latex because I know it can smell due to being rubber. I'm wary of memory foam, but so many mattresses are made with it, and I assume it makes them softer. And I'd like a softer mattress. I've read articles that say certified memory foam is safe, and articles that say it's toxic. I'm somewhat wary of the Certipur-Us certification for memory foam because it was created by manufacturers of the memory foam industry, so I don't know whether to put a lot of trust in that, but it may be that I'm overthinking it. (Also the strong smelling memory foam topper I bought was Certipur-Us.)

I'd like an innerspring mattress, but I'd also like a plush mattress. And I don't know if I can have both. I also need something that relieves pressure points. Besides my concern of off-gassing/odors, and memory foam, I'm on a budget and can't spend $500 on a mattress. I have searched so many mattress company sites, that I'm at a loss as to where to look next. I need suggestions for mattress companies or mattress brands or types of mattresses to look for. Any and all suggestions/information would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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Last edit: by TiredGirl.

Having a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable mattress 25 May 2021 19:31 #2

  • NikkiTMU
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Hi TiredGirl.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

I'd like an innerspring mattress, but I'd also like a plush mattress. And I don't know if I can have both.


You can! You may find yourself needing to add a topper or looking into pillow top mattresses. Ideally a hybrid would meet your needs, but they do tend to be in a higher price range.

I am 5", 112-115 lbs, so a firm mattress would be too uncomfortable for me. I am a side sleeper and a back sleeper, both, though more often a side sleeper.


I understand why you are struggling with the "medium" foam. As you have a low BMI, you won't sink into the mattress as much, and as primarily a side sleeper, without an appropriate comfort layer, you end up with pressure points during the course of the night and could have symptoms of numbness, soreness (like you mentioned with your hips and knees), localized redness, or end up tossing and turning all night as your body tries to relieve the pressure.

Additionally, most side sleepers need 2" -4" of foam in their comfort layer.

ironically enough, the 70% memory foam mattress I bought didn't have a smell. It was the non-foam mattress that smelled, which made me wonder what exactly is in it to give it that funky odor


Without knowing the brand, it's likely you detected the scent of a polyurethane layer in the mattress.

I'm looking for a twin size mattress, preferably in the $200-$400 range


From our Trusted Member directory there is this mattress in your budget as well as this hybrid option . Nest Bedding allows their products to off gas prior to shipping, for what that is worth. This pillow top is also in your budget.

Ultimately, whoever you buy from should have the knowledge and experience to help their customers "match" a mattress to their specific needs and preferences so they are less likely to buy a mattress (even if it is great quality and value) that may not work for them.

I hope this helps.
NikkiTMU
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Last edit: by NikkiTMU.

Having a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable mattress 27 May 2021 15:16 #3

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That does help. But ideally, I'm trying to avoid mattresses with a lot of memory foam. I'm not sure whether I trust memory foam to be safe or not, and it does usually have that strong chemical odor. That's what I originally meant when I said that I wasn't sure if I could have an innerspring mattress that's softer/plush, because I don't know if one can be softer without the added foam. Another difficulty is that the majority of mattresses today, even hybrid mattresses, are made up of some kind of foam. I like the idea of a coil/innerspring mattress padded with something like cotton, or maybe even wool, instead of foam. But those kinds of mattresses are usually in the organic/natural mattresses category, and they usually cost up to $1,000 or more, which isn't feasible. I just want to stay away from memory foam but it seems to be everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid.

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Having a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable mattress 30 May 2021 09:49 #4

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Though I would prefer a comfortable innerspring mattress without foam, I would consider a (natural) latex mattress without foam if it was under $500. I'd appreciate any more suggestions that anyone might have. :)

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Having a lot of difficulty finding a comfortable mattress 30 May 2021 12:04 #5

  • Burpleson
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If you limit to a Twin size mattress, you might try selecting latex components from different vendors, e.g. one 3" Dunlop Firm layer and one 2" Dunlop Medium layer ($308) from Latex Mattress Factory with a 6" Knit Ticking from DIY Natural Bedding ($170) comes in at $478. Sleep EZ's configurator suggests Firm under Medium for your profile. DIY Natural Bedding suggests 3" of latex per 100 lbs. of person so 5" could possibly work. All this doesn't include a foundation and frame though. A basic foundation for a latex mattress would run $200 minimum (LTF and SleepEZ). Twin frames are low cost though so the whole deal would be around $700 by my guess. If you already have same, then you just make it under your budget ceiling.

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