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Multiple Failed Mattresses, Trying to do it Right 11 Jul 2022 10:17 #1

  • BurnedButOptimistic
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Hey Pheonix (and LMF),

Over the last few months I developed some pretty irritating back pain when I woke up that continued on to back spasms requiring to get up and stretch in the middle of the night >50% of the time. When it started, I was sleeping on a Beauty Rest BR800 Medium that was right around 2 years old. The mattress had already developed a "divot" where I usually slept, to which I attributed my problems. Fool that I was, I figured a mattress topper would fill in the deadspace, and bought a Saatva 3" graphite-infused-memory-foam mattress topper, which predictably did very little for me (if not made things worse). At the time, I was very uneducated in the world of mattresses.

Then, realizing I needed more research, I took to the internet and after wading through marketing scheme after marketing scheme, came to a few reddit posts that pointed me in the direction of this website. Being impatient and desperate, I found a redditor who said (more or less) "yeah yeah yeah... but here are a couple brands you can trust", leading me to purchase a Bear Hybrid mattress a couple weeks ago. Since getting the new mattress, the pain has NOT improved, and has likely gotten worse. I still have my old Beauty Rest mattress and Bear has been very kind and is likely to allow an early return given that the mattress is too soft. Post hoc pictures confirm that my hips sink in too deep relative to my shoulders both on my side and on my back (also true to a lesser extent of my Beauty Rest)

Now I hope I've learned my lesson. I've done hours and hours of research on this website and in some mattress stores. I've come to the conclusion that latex is probably going to be the way to go and I'm on the hunt for a mattress that will let me actually sleep through the night.

More about me:
Sex: Male
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 240# (Athletic build)
Age: Upper 20s
Back sleeper with maybe 10-20% on my side
Preferences: Honestly none

I recently went to one of the only stores that has all latex mattresses in my area and bounced around for a little while and found a build that seemed to meet the 3 P's for me (I also tried Medium-firm-firm, which was a little too firm for me, and my shoulders did not sink in as much as my hips):
1" unknown quilting/batting layer, from their advertising, looks like wool/cotton
3" Soft Dunlop (ILD:20-22, couldn't find the density)
3" Medium Dunlop (ILD: 32-35, couldn't find density)
3" Firm Dunlop (ILD 38-42, couldn't find density)

Unfortunately, I don't love Savvy Rest's price point, nor their return/layering policy, but through the recommended providers found what I think is a great match in Spindle w/ 1 inch wool batting, and 3 customizable 3" layers.
Soft Dunlop: ILD 20-23, Density: 65 (kg/m^3)
Medium Dunlop: 26-29, Density: 75
Firm Dunlop: 34-37, Density: 85

I have a few questions for all those that are so much less foolish than me:
1) Part of my problem is that VIRTUALLY ALL mattress feel great to me and have good pressure relief, while I also don't having a whole lot in the way of personal preference. The only "P" that I struggle with is posture, which I usually only find out about until 6 hours into the night when I wake up with back pain. I had my girlfriend take pictures of me and eyeball how much I'm staying aligned, but I just feel like it's an endeavor doomed to fail with each mattress I get now. Is there something I'm missing? I feel like being easy to please in the pressure and preference categories should make shopping easier, but I feel like it's hurting (figuratively and physically).
2) The ILD of the two companies' latex mattresses has some consequential discrepancies in the medium and firm range. If S-M-F worked for me for Savvy rest, should I try S-M-F with Spindle? Or S-F-F? M-M-F? Thankfully, they have a pretty good policy regarding switching out layers to find the right fit, but I just don't want to royally screw things up again.
3) Is there something else I'm missing here? I'm a little at wit's end and don't want to make yet another foolish purchase out of my desperation.

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Multiple Failed Mattresses, Trying to do it Right 11 Jul 2022 16:16 #2

  • Latex Mattress Factory.
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Hello BurnedButOptimistic and thank you so much for reaching out on this! Before I get into answering your questions, have you considered the possibility that your mattress foundation is the problem? If the Beauty Rest is breaking down within 2 years AND the Bear mattress is too soft for you, I think it might be a great idea to isolate the problem a bit further just to make extra sure you're not replacing mattresses that don't need to be replaced. If you have the floor space and inclination to do so, I'd recommend putting one of the two mattresses directly on the floor and laying on it to see if it's still too soft or sagging for you. If you put the mattress on the floor and it feels firmer and more supportive, then the foundation is probably the issue. If you put the mattress on the floor and it's still too soft or is still sagging, then it might be time for another new mattress.
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Multiple Failed Mattresses, Trying to do it Right 13 Jul 2022 07:54 #3

  • BurnedButOptimistic
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Hey there,

Great food for thought! Excellent question. I, too, thought perhaps the foundation was a problem as it was a little bit of a DIY project, but I have put the mattresses on the floor now with perhaps some slight improvement in the sagging, but continued back problems and lack of alignment. I'm also concurrently working on improving my DIY build with higher quality wood and more sophisticated design, but even as is, it doesn't bow at all when I stand on it, sans mattress. Given that I'm still having problems on the floor, I figured it was probably time to move forward with the mattress, but am absolutely open to other thoughts.

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Multiple Failed Mattresses, Trying to do it Right 13 Jul 2022 12:16 #4

  • Sleep EZ
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OK that's good news, and thanks for the extra info! Please keep in mind that even if you lay on a mattress for hours in a showroom, you still won't know if it's right for you until you actually sleep on it and allow your body time to adjust. It's possible that you may be putting too much emphasis on the initial feel of something as opposed to how your body adjusts to it, and that information is something you can only get from time spent sleeping on a mattress. Based on the information you've provided, I would normally recommend medium Talalay for the top layer, medium Dunlop for the second layer, and firm Dunlop for the bottom layer. I know that doesn't fit the description of either of the mattresses you're looking at, but please keep in mind that our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate and a 3%-4% return rate) so there's a 90% chance that the above recommendation works perfectly for you. The top Talalay layer should provide all the contour and pressure relief needed to avoid any pressure point issues and will add secondary support to the mattress. Secondary support is needed to fill in the gaps between your body and the mattress – back sleepers normally need secondary support to fill in the gaps between the small of their back and the mattress; side sleepers normally need secondary support to fill in the gaps between their mid-section and the mattress. If these parts of a person’s body aren’t supported by the mattress, their muscles will work throughout the night to hold these parts of the body up, and by the time they wake up they’ve got back pain. So the top 3” of Talalay latex will provide contour, pressure relief, and secondary support. The remaining Dunlop layers should provide all the support needed to maintain proper spinal alignment and avoid back pain.

Aside from all that, my gut is telling me s/f/f from Spindle might have the best chance to be successful for you. Although there's no direct replacement for not having Talalay in the mattress, having a soft Dunlop layer on top will hopefully give you the secondary support and pressure relief needed, and since their medium and firm layers are a bit softer than our medium and firm layers, I think two firm Dunlop layers should give you the primary support needed for proper spinal alignment.
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