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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 18:47 #1

I purchased a Pure Bliss Pamper latex mattress almost a year ago. I also purchased a two inch 14 ild topper. I am having trouble getting comfortable on this mattress. I have read you can fix a mattress that is too firm. I need some suggestions on how to do this.

I had written to you several months ago and we discussed removing the mattress pad, which I did. This helped some. I wrote to the company and they sent me a 3 inch topper. I tried this for awhile but my upper back still hurt. I tried putting both of the toppers on the bed. This caused me to have terrible low back pain. I removed the 2 inch topper.

My upper back feels like I sleep on the floor. Both my shoulders hurt. My lower back bothers me also, like there is no support. I called one of the places listed here on the forum, they suggested I try a 3 inch 19 ild topper and if that doesn't work to try the 3 inch 24 ild.

The cover that came with the 2" topper is only one sided so I removed it also. I switched to a thinner pillow, this did not help. Below is the pamper model that I have:

1" 19 ILD plush Talalay comfort layer
6" 40 ILD super firm Talalay support layer
1" 50 ILD super firm Talalay base layer

I am 5'6 1/2" tall and I weigh 160 lbs. My husband is 6'2" and he weighs 190 lbs. We have a king size bed. He says he has no problems at all. Can you offer some suggestions to help me? If anyone else reads this that has had this problem and fixed the situation, please let me know what you did. Thank you Ginger

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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 19:09 #2

Hi Ginger,

Do you sleep on your back, side, stomach?

Do your shoulders hurt from pressure sleeping on your side? Does it hurt when you're laying there, or when you wake up?

By what you describe, it looks like the advice you got was based on the mattress is too firm, causing your shoulders not to sink in enough and getting pressure pain, but then when you softened it with 5" your hips sunk too far causing lower back pain. I'd guess they're trying to find the happy medium by having 3" of comfort material getting progressively firmer to find the balance where your shoulders are comfortable without compromising the alignment for your lower back. Of course, that's just my assumption from what you've written.

Does your lower back ever feel good? Can you run your hand under the small of your back, waist, while laying in bed?

I'd guess with 7" of super firm latex, you have plenty of support. That would definitely feel firm.

To soften is relatively easy.. To soften and make yourself comfortable will be harder. To soften, just add toppers with a low idl (14-25 if latex), or memory foam, polyfoam, etc. As you e already done this, and experienced more pain, the trick is going to be to find the right toppers which give you suitable pressure relief and posture (2 of the P's in Phoenix's PPP).

If you've not already, you will want to read the post on how to evaluate a mattress for yourself:

www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/general-mattresses/8240-how-to-look-for-and-find-the-best-mattress-for-you-read-first.html

It will probably be important, since this sounds like you have a few things going on.

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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 19:34 #3

I sleep on my side and my back. My shoulders hurt when I try to sleep on my side. Yes, it hurts while I'm laying there. My upper back hurts when I lay on my back. I think my lower back may hurt more since I removed the topper cover. I will see if I can place my hand under the small of my back.

Will a firmer topper help keep me away from the firmness of the mattress? Thank you.

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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 19:55 #4

Well your shoulder pain is likely because the mattress has insufficient comfort layering to let them sink in. I.e. There's not a deep enough soft layer, which isn't entirely surprising since you've got only 1". It would be common to need 3-4" of softer layer to let your shoulders and hips sink in. That's likely why people are recommending a softer topper (the lower the number, with ild, the softer the latex).

Did your shoulders hurt less when you had the 2" 14 ild or the 3" unknown ild, or both?

The back pain is more tricky, since that can sort of go either way, and indeed might have from what you describe. If you have too deep of give in the comfort material, your hips sink in too deep and tilt your spine out of alignment, which will cause pain. It'd be a guess that might be what hurt when you had 5" of topper. If you have too little give in the comfort material, your hips can hurt and or it can cause you to twist your hips into a more comfortable position, also causing your back to come out of alignment and hurting, which is my guess for what's happening with 1" of topper.

As for upper back, I'd guess pillow height. If your pillow is to low or too high, that'll cause your back/neck to be out of alignment. Your pillow should be high enough to keep your neck /spine straight, and this will change depending on how deep you sink into your mattress (I.e. the gap between your head and the mattress).

The point of the mattress overall, is to provide pressure relief and keep you in alignment/ good posture. My guess is you have sufficient support, but insufficient softer layering of the right firmness. You may also need to adjust your pillow as you adjust comfort layering.

Have you tried the 3" topper only, without the 2" 14 ild? What ild is the 3" they sent to you? When you used the 3", did your pillow feel too low/high?

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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 20:18 #5

The 3 inch topper is 14 ild also. When I had both toppers on the bed my only problem was low back pain which was really bad. I have upper back pain with the 2 and the 3 inch when they were on the bed separately.

When I took the topper cover off as it is now, I think my lower back pain maybe worse and a lower pillow made my lower back pain worse. I started with a thick latex pillow. I switched to a memory foam pillow for a few nights. It didn't seem to help so I switched back to my latex pillow, tried to flatten it some and I think this was better for my neck but not for my lower back.

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Advice, suggestions, please 25 Oct 2013 20:37 #6

So to confirm..

There's 1" of 19 ild latex in the bed, and you also have 2 separate toppers. Both toppers are 14 ild, one is 2", and one is 3". On both toppers you just have the bare latex, not in the cover.

Which of the toppers are you presently using? I'd assumed neither based on the description of your mattress, but in re reading your information it sounds like you have the 3" one on and are using that regularly?

Overall, it sounds to me like the comfort layer isn't doing what you need. Your mattress is very firm in the base, and then very soft on top, and there's not much of a transition 'medium' firmness. Phoenix often writes that you want just enough topper to provide pressure relief. I'm sort of thinking the 14 ild is so soft, your heavier places just sink right through. 6" of very soft latex (5" of 14, 1" of 19) is quite a bit of comfort material... But if it's so soft you just land at the firm, with your body out of alignment in the lighter areas, it'd explain some of the pains.

I think it's be important to start a bit at step #1 and try to find a mattress that gets to the pressure relief and posture that's right, with the link I first posted. Doing some in store experimenting may be easier/faster/cheaper. If all the latex toppers you have are yours and you're not returning them, it might be worth trying a medium firmness one. Then try:

Your existing mattress + 3" medium,
Your existing mattress + 3" medium + 2" soft
Your existing mattress + 3" medium + 3" soft

Ideally, if you can move the 1" of 19 ild, putting that above the medium firmness.

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Last edit: by dn.

Advice, suggestions, please 26 Oct 2013 02:14 #7

Hi Ginger,

A few thoughts to add to the mix ...

First a few posts that may provide some insights into what may be happening.

Post #2 here has some information that may be helpful in assessing some of the symptoms you are experiencing

Post #8 here has some information about choosing a topper.

I think that part of the problem may be that the PLB toppers are too soft for you. This means that if you use a topper that is too thin that you may feel pressure on your side because you are feeling too much of the firmer layers in the deeper part of the mattress but if you use a topper that is thick enough to isolate you from the firmness of the deeper layers you can have alignment issues because your hips and pelvis can sink down too far relative to the other parts of your body. A mattress that is too firm can lead to upper back issues as well but if you add a topper that is too thick and soft it can also lead to upper back issues on your back because you can end up sleeping in a hunched position which can tense the muscles when they try to compensate and lead to upper back pain or discomfort. The goal is always "just enough" thickness and softness over your support layers.

I think you would do better with a little firmer topper in the 19 - 24 ILD range as was suggested to you and in the range of 2" - 3". If you decide to go thicker (3") then I would consider using the firmer end of the range to compensate for the extra thickness. A 2" or 3" topper plus the 1" 19 ILD comfort layer on top of your mattress would give you 3" to 4" of softer latex which would be more in the normal range for side sleepers.

The goal is to use the thinnest and firmest possible topper that will relieve pressure on your side so that there is a lower risk of alignment issues on your back.

If you feel pressure on your shoulders when you are on your side I would make sure your pillow is thick enough because a pillow that is too thin can increase shoulder pressure. You can also try putting a pillow under your bottom arm from your elbow to your hand as this may also help relieve shoulder pressure.

Phoenix
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Advice, suggestions, please 26 Oct 2013 06:20 #8

Last night I added the 2" topper again to the bed on top of the 3" topper because my shoulders were hurting so bad. This seemed to help my shoulders but of course now the lower back pain comes in to play.

Dn - You ask if i could place my hand in the lower part of my back while laying in the bed and the answer is a definite yes. What do I do to make sure I get support for my lower back? How do I do this?


Phoenix - Would a 2' inch topper of a firmer ild possibly be thick enough to keep my shoulders from hurting and allow me not to have upper back pain? Is there that much difference between a 2" 14 ild and a 2" 19 ild? As much pain as I have had I it is hard for me to think this would help, but I really do not know as I have no experience with it.

Is it possible for me to find a happy medium with my existing mattress?

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Advice, suggestions, please 26 Oct 2013 08:32 #9

Hi Ginger,

In terms of getting to a solution, it's really going to be trial and error on your part to find what your body says. Your symptoms are often associated with both too firm of a mattress and/or too deep of a comfort layer. Your mattress design is essentially a thick layer of very firm under a thick layer of very soft, and the thinking being the soft layer is too soft causing you to feel the firm layer underneath, or make the soft layer deeper causing you back pain as you come out of alignment.

Ultimately, all of the advice is about making sure the top softer layer isn't too thick, but still doesn't let you feel the firm layer below. So will 19 ild do that, or 24, or a level up, is really about your testing. Your firm layers are definitely firm, and 14 ild is about the very softest you can buy... So your bed basically has 2 extremes, very firm and very soft, which as I said appears to be behaving for you as very firm and too soft.

In my prior post, I wrote I'd try several variations with a more medium firmness 3" layer. So maybe try 3" 24 ild, in the layer combinations in my prior post. But it's trial and error for you and what your body responds to. 2" of 19 ild might be better, or it might not be. I'm trying to see if a mattress design closer to firm/medium/soft works better for you than firm/very soft (which is what you have now).

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Advice, suggestions, please 26 Oct 2013 12:45 #10

Hi Ginger,

Phoenix - Would a 2' inch topper of a firmer ild possibly be thick enough to keep my shoulders from hurting and allow me not to have upper back pain? Is there that much difference between a 2" 14 ild and a 2" 19 ild? As much pain as I have had I it is hard for me to think this would help, but I really do not know as I have no experience with it.


The only way to know this for certain would be your own personal experience because each person's body shape, sleeping position variations, preferences, and sensitivities are unique.

The difference between 19 ILD and 24 ILD would be small (it's a one step difference) but noticeable for most people.

The post with topper suggestions I linked has some guidelines about weight and body type that can help you decide on the thickness and ILD that have the best odds of success but in the end it will be your own experience that is the only way to know for certain so your ability to either return or exchange a topper and the costs involved may be an important part of your purchase decision to reduce the risk of making a "less than ideal" choice.

3" of soft latex (a 2" topper and the inch in your mattress) in the right ILD over a firm support core would work well for some people in terms of PPP and not as well for others even if they had a similar height/ weight and sleeping positions. It would be less pressure relieving than a 3" topper but would also be less risky in terms of alignment in your less curvy sleeping positions. If you needed a little more pressure relief then you could exchange it for a thicker topper or add another inch on top.

Overall though I would tend to be very cautious with 14 ILD over firmer support cores unless you were in a very light weight range

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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