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Try to improve an iComfort Insight? or start over with a new latex mattress?

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10 Aug 2013 20:50 #1 by jwind55
Hello Phoenix. I've been doing a lot of reading and looking and testing and reading and shopping and reading for several months now. Extremely grateful for your expertise and the experiences of forum members. Any advice you can offer to my situation would be appreciated! I live in Sherwood Park, Alberta (just outside of Edmonton).

Some factors that may help for you to know: I'm female, 50 yrs, 5'6" and 220 lbs. I sleep alone, always on the same side of the bed, but rotate my mattress regularly.

Nov. 2011, I purchased a Serta iComfort Insight from Sleep Country. I did very little research and trusted too much in the salesperson. They did have a 90-day exchange policy but after 90 days it really was quite fine. But some time in the last year, I started waking up with pain in my lower back. I think I had been mainly a back sleeper up til then, but started side sleeping more and more due to the back pain. Then the hip pain started.

Of course the quality of the memory foam could be the reason I’m now having pain, but I have 2 other theories that I’d like to hear your opinion on:

1. When I first bought this mattress, I weighed ~190. Over the last ~1.5 years I've gained 30 lbs.

2. About 2 weeks ago I sold my bed frame on kijiji (a wooden sleigh bed with rails). When I took it apart for the buyer to pick up, I saw that the middle support leg had fallen out, plus the wood on the side rail that supports the mattress (on the side I sleep on) was cracked.

How much could either or both of these factors be the reason my mattress became uncomfortable? (Your answer will not offend me – I’m well aware I’m overweight! :P )

After spending $1500+ for this iComfort, I of course would prefer the cheapest remedy. So I started with buying the Costco 100% Talalay 3” Topper (70% synth/30% natural) for $404, about 4-5 weeks ago. Density 3.8 lb/ft³; ILD 28. I noticed a bit of difference but not much. After the first 2 nights, I folded it in half to make it 6", and it was somewhat more comfortable, but still not enough.

So since selling my bedframe, my mattress and boxspring has been on the floor for 2 weeks, along with the Costco topper (not folded in half). It’s bearable in the short term but I definitely need to change something. Do you think a softer latex or other type of topper instead of (or on top of) the Costco topper would help?

I just noticed a new topper on Costco.ca: 2.5” JJ White Home Italian Aloe Vera Memory Foam Topper for $415. The only other spec is weight - 33.9 lbs for a queen. What would be so special about this for the price? Is Italian memory foam somehow different?

I've made the mattress rounds as well and will give you more detail on that, depending on your answer to the above.

Thanks very much Phoenix - I look forward to your reply!

Janice

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10 Aug 2013 22:15 - 11 Aug 2013 01:46 #2 by Phoenix
Hi jwind55,

How much could either or both of these factors be the reason my mattress became uncomfortable? (Your answer will not offend me – I’m well aware I’m overweight! :P )


I think the most accurate answer is "all of the above" either alone or in combination could either be or contribute to the cause of the symptoms you are describing.

1. When I first bought this mattress, I weighed ~190. Over the last ~1.5 years I've gained 30 lbs.


The weight by itself may not make all the difference but it certainly could have an effect depending on where the weight was being added and the effect it had on your alignment or on how much your pelvis/hips is sinking through the top 2.75" of your mattress. This could affect alignment issues on your back or create pressure points on your side from feeling the firmer support layer underneath the memory foam.

Of course the quality of the memory foam could be the reason I’m now having pain, but I have 2 other theories that I’d like to hear your opinion on:


Yes this could certainly play a significant role. The Insight has 2.75" of 4 lb gel memory foam above the firmer support layers and this density of memory foam will soften more rapidly under higher weights and this could also contribute to "going through" the top layer more and feeling the firmness of the support layers underneath it so the lower density of the foam and more rapid foam softening would have a similar effect as the extra weight (and this would probably be more significant). The support layer is 1.5 lbs so this may also be softening somewhat with only 2.75" of foam above it so this could also play a role in alignment issues with thinner top layers.

2. About 2 weeks ago I sold my bed frame on kijiji (a wooden sleigh bed with rails). When I took it apart for the buyer to pick up, I saw that the middle support leg had fallen out, plus the wood on the side rail that supports the mattress (on the side I sleep on) was cracked.


Both the missing middle support leg and the broken wood on the side rail could result in alignment issues because the mattress wouldn't be supported by a firm, flat, and evenly supportive support system which means that part of you could easily be sinking in too far where the mattress was unsupported. This again could cause alignment issues and it can also cause hip pain if your hips are flexing outside of their normal range during the course of the night.

Any one of these alone could cause the issues you are facing but all of them together would certainly make these types of issues more likely.

So since selling my bedframe, my mattress and boxspring has been on the floor for 2 weeks, along with the Costco topper (not folded in half). It’s bearable in the short term but I definitely need to change something. Do you think a softer latex or other type of topper instead of (or on top of) the Costco topper would help?


I would take things one step at a time and make incremental changes so you can rule out the potential causes one at a time.

The first step would be to sleep on the mattress on the floor to see if that by itself solves the problem (going back to the beginning again to see if a firm support system under the mattress solves or reduces the problem). This may allow you to sleep on your back again and with the thickness of your comfort layer (only 2.75") your mattress is probably more suitable for back sleeping than it would be for side sleeping.

Once you have tried this for a week or so (or at the very least for a few days so that you have more certainty that your experience points to your longer term experience and isn't just an anomaly from a day or two) then I would consider what to do for the next step based on your actual experience.

If you are still tending to sleep on your side during this time then you would likely need some extra softness/thickness and since you've already tried the Talalay topper for two weeks on the floor I would compare your specific experience with the mattress/topper on the floor to your experience on just the mattress to see if the specific differences provide any clues.. The more specific you can be about the exact type of symptoms you experience in each step and where the symptoms are and which position seems to produce them the more helpful it would be. Adding a 3" topper to a mattress is a significant change and if you were sleeping on your back this could easily cause alignment issues.

If you base each step on the specific results and symptoms of the last one and take incremental steps then the detective work that is necessary to find the cause(s) will be more effective. The more accurately you can identify whether each step has pressure issues or alignment issues and where, the more clarity you can have about what changes would be likely to be most effective and "in the right direction".

So to be clear the next step I would suggest would be the mattress by itself on the floor to see how you sleep and if it allows you to return to back sleeping.

Comparing this to your experience with the topper (and it would be helpful to know if you were still sleeping on your side, back, or a combination with the topper) will probably provide enough clues to be able to make an educated guess at what the next step could be.

Is Italian memory foam somehow different?


No more different than any other two memory foams might be and the country a foam is made in is really not relevant. It's the formulation and the density that differentiates memory foams.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 11 Aug 2013 01:46 by Phoenix.

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11 Aug 2013 20:18 #3 by jwind55
Thank you Phoenix! I will do as you have advised and really appreciate your help with this.

Last night I left the mattress on top of the boxspring because I don't have room on the floor at the moment. But I paid more attention to how I was feeling throughout the night. I always start out on my left side while I read for 15-30 minutes, and I know my alignment is out right away because my hips and chest are wider than my waist, but the side I'm laying on is basically straight (nothing filling in the gap at my waist), causing my upper hip to jut upwards.

After reading on my side, I started out going to sleep on my back. Throughout the night I did flip to one side or the other but tried to consciously go back to my back. I was never very comfortable on my sides, and before morning I was no longer comfortable on my back either.

More tomorrow or after I get the mattress onto the floor...

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19 Aug 2013 18:59 #4 by jwind55
Hi again Phoenix,

This past week has been hectic so I haven't had time to write back again. And a lot has changed in a week, mattress-wise!

To back up a bit...
As my iComfort became more uncomfortable over time, I decided it had to go and I would get something new, so I put it on kijiji hoping to get a few dollars for it. Then at some point through all the looking and learning and testing, and still not seeing a clear answer, I thought maybe I should see if I could improve the iComfort instead - which is when I wrote to get your advice. Just as I had started on your advice to take incremental steps, I got a call from my kijiji ad, and sold the iComfort set!

Due in part to Ikea's return policy (discussed here) , I decided to give the Sultan Edsele a try. I have a new bedframe coming this Friday that has a headboard, footboard and side rails, but with only one slat across the middle and a center leg. So I also bought the Ikea Lade and Luroy slatted bed bases (and will return one or both if they don't work).

If it matters, I did sleep with just the iComfort mattress on the floor (only two nights) before I sold it, and it was still uncomfortable.

Thanks again for all your help so far - and sorry about the u-turn! If the Edsele is still too firm then I'll be asking your advice on how to make it more comfortable.

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19 Aug 2013 21:33 #5 by Phoenix
Hi jwind55,

Thanks again for all your help so far - and sorry about the u-turn! If the Edsele is still too firm then I'll be asking your advice on how to make it more comfortable.


No problem at all ... and I'm happy that you were able to find a better solution. Changes of direction can be a good thing!

The Ikea Edsele is a good quality and value mattress and it would also be a good candidate for a topper if you need it (and many don't).

As I mentioned in the other thread ... congratulations on your new mattress and I'm looking forward to your feedback :)

Phoenix

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23 Aug 2013 20:23 #6 by jwind55
Hello Phoenix,

I've been sleeping on my new Sultan Edsele on the floor for the past 4 nights, waiting for my new bed to arrive - the first 2 nights on just the mattress (way too firm), the last 2 nights with the costco 3" latex topper I had bought earlier to try with my old mattress (better but still not comfortable). My new bed arrived today, which I put together intending to use the Ikea Luroy slatted bed base with it. I've attached a picture for you to see because I now realize this is not going to work! What am I missing? :unsure:

Attachments:

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23 Aug 2013 22:17 - 23 Aug 2013 22:28 #7 by Phoenix
Hi jwind,

The Ikea slatted bases are designed to fit the Ikea beds which have side rails and a center beam (see the documentation here ). I think you can buy a center beam from Ikea but I'm not sure and you would need to make sure it fits.

To use it you would need to measure to make sure it would fit on your siderails and add a center beam to your bed.

The support system on your bed doesn't look very strong to me and if you use it with a foundation I would probably add a couple more slats and make sure that there was support to the floor under the middle slat or use something like the bedbeam slats here .

Phoenix

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Last edit: 23 Aug 2013 22:28 by Phoenix.

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23 Aug 2013 23:34 #8 by jwind55
Thanks for your quick response Phoenix. (I find it ironic that you're a mattress expert, yet it seems you never sleep! lol)

The center slat also has a middle support leg like the other two. But I do agree it's not strong enough the way it is. I wanted to use the Luroy slats to see if the flexibility would help the mattress to be more comfortable. I guess I was under the (wrong) impression that the ikea slats did not require an ikea bed.

If Ikea does sell the parts required to modify my bed in order to use the slats, do you think this would be sufficient?

I'm not stuck on the ikea slats at all, but want to pick the best thing for my situation. I have read the foundation threads but I'll have to re-read them. In the meantime, what would you suggest considering my weight (220 lbs, 5'6") and the Edsele so far is too firm?

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24 Aug 2013 00:00 - 24 Aug 2013 00:02 #9 by Phoenix
Hi jwind,

I think I would probably consider a couple of things if you planned to use the Luroy slatted base.

First it will give you a very low sleeping surface because your bed seems more designed to add a foundation which will raise the height of your sleeping surface by 8" to 9" to a level that is comfortable for most people. If you just use the Luroy your mattress will only come up above the sides of your bed by a few inches and you will have quite a low sleeping surface.

If you do decide to use the Luroy then I would consider adding the Ikea metal side rails (your side rails are wood and seem quite thin) and the center beam but I would measure carefully to make sure that the Luroy will fit snugly without shifting because your bed may not be the same size as the Ikea beds.

Your mattress is thin enough that the Luroy will add some "give" under the mattress that you will probably feel which may make a difference but the sleeping surface itself will be the same and quite firm so it depends on which type of "too firm" you are looking to "correct" (see post #15 here ).

It may work well if you are a back sleeper but if you are a side sleeper and you need more pressure relief you may prefer some extra softness on top of the mattress rather than under it (depending on the actual "symptoms" you are experiencing and where they are).

(I find it ironic that you're a mattress expert, yet it seems you never sleep! lol)


I (and my family) laugh at the same thing ... but at least when I do sleep I sleep very well :)

Phoenix

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Last edit: 24 Aug 2013 00:02 by Phoenix.

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26 Aug 2013 14:08 #10 by jwind55

Phoenix wrote: I think I would probably consider a couple of things if you planned to use the Luroy slatted base.

First it will give you a very low sleeping surface because your bed seems more designed to add a foundation which will raise the height of your sleeping surface by 8" to 9" to a level that is comfortable for most people. If you just use the Luroy your mattress will only come up above the sides of your bed by a few inches and you will have quite a low sleeping surface.

If you do decide to use the Luroy then I would consider adding the Ikea metal side rails (your side rails are wood and seem quite thin) and the center beam but I would measure carefully to make sure that the Luroy will fit snugly without shifting because your bed may not be the same size as the Ikea beds.

I realize now that the Luroy and Lade slatted bases are not really appropriate options for my bed. Thx.

Your mattress is thin enough that the Luroy will add some "give" under the mattress that you will probably feel which may make a difference but the sleeping surface itself will be the same and quite firm so it depends on which type of "too firm" you are looking to "correct" (see post #15 here ).

It may work well if you are a back sleeper but if you are a side sleeper and you need more pressure relief you may prefer some extra softness on top of the mattress rather than under it (depending on the actual "symptoms" you are experiencing and where they are).

I hope I'm going to describe this correctly... Side sleeping, I'm not getting pressure relief in my hips and shoulders; and there's not enough support under my waist to be properly aligned. Back sleeping, there's not enough support under my lower back to be properly aligned. I was thinking that the right base or foundation could possibly improve some of these issues, and then I would work on finding the right topper. Please advise if this doesn't make sense.

Phoenix wrote: A unique foundation carried by www.usboxspring.com/metal.htm was brought to my attention by someone that I trust and respect and I thought it was great value and would bring it to the attention of the forum.

It has a solid steel base (which will probably last decades) and in the original design had flexible slats similar to many European designs. The slats though were too flexible though and didn't provide the kind of solid base that was necessary for a heavy latex mattress so they added flat slats in between the flexible slats to create a very solid non flexing surface.

The beauty of this design with the added slats is that you can add or remove any of the solid slats as necessary to provide some extra flex under certain parts of the mattress to allow it to sink in more (such as under the shoulders) similar to many tension adjustable foundations. This would be particularly useful for thinner all latex mattresses. You can also remove the flexible slats and replace them with solid slats available at any lumber store.

It also is a KD (knock down) design similar to others that you can put together yourself at home in about 15 minutes so it can be shipped anywhere by UPS. It also has a thin fabric (unquilted) cover.

The prices exclude shipping and are a great value for those who want the best of a strong slatted foundation and a flexible slat base that can be customized for where it is firm and where it is softer.

Since I have an Ikea matttress, would the Ikea Atloy foundation likely be the best to try first? Or is the usboxspring product above a better choice? (Including delivery, they are very similar in price; however I can return to Ikea but not usboxspring.) Or would you recommend something else completely?

Also just a note - when I originally tried the Edsele mattress, I didn't think to notice what was under it at the time. When I went back to purchase it, the Queen floor model was gone and they were going to replace it with a King - and I didn't think to ask what the previous model had been on.

If I use a foundation, will I still need to "shore up" my bedframe with more slats? If so, should they be less than 3" apart? (I think this is where I've been confused between bases and slats and frames and foundations.) Does the bedframe itself have any effect on feel or support? For example, hypothetically, if the foundation was directly on the floor versus being on the bed frame.

Hope you can decipher what I'm trying to say! :unsure: Thank you!

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