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Any suggestions of Brand...excellent alignment support needed, bad lower back, but I'm used to a pillow top! 01 Aug 2015 14:34 #1

Help, I need some suggestions of 2-3 mattresses to look at. I currently have a regular Cal King Beautyrest Exceptional Cape Strode Visco/Latex Super Pillow Top high end 8 year old mattress with that expensive fancy plush top that makes my bed 18" deep. Long story short, there are permanent sunken in indents where my husband and I sleep, and as a result I have a tremendous back problem. It is like there is no lumbar support and when I lay on my back, I have to now place a rolled up towel under me for support to avoid pain. I am a 50/50 back and side sleeper. When on my side, I pull away the towel. So...I am shopping for a new mattress. I obviously now need one that has excellent alignment , because bad alignment as I am learning on this site, has destroyed my back. And I want one that's comfort level will not permanently sink down so that I am sleeping in canoe like I am now. Can anyone suggest what someone with my problem may have success with...I don't go if I go in a new direction like Loom & Leaf, Sleep Number or Posturpedic, or go back the traditional spring mattress route. I just want to not wake up with a stiff back and pain in the morning. Would love any advice or suggestions of brands or models that can help me.

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Any suggestions of Brand...excellent alignment support needed, bad lower back, but I'm used to a pillow top! 01 Aug 2015 14:55 #2

Hi melknee,

Help, I need some suggestions of 2-3 mattresses to look at. I currently have a regular Cal King Beautyrest Exceptional Cape Strode Visco/Latex Super Pillow Top high end 8 year old mattress with that expensive fancy plush top that makes my bed 18" deep. Long story short, there are permanent sunken in indents where my husband and I sleep, and as a result I have a tremendous back problem. It is like there is no lumbar support and when I lay on my back,


Unfortunately your experience is very common for consumers that purchase major brand mattresses which tend to use lower quality and less durable materials (in the upper comfort layers especially which are generally the weakest link of a mattress) and which are much more likely to soften and break down than mattresses that use higher quality and more durable materials (see the guidelines here ).

The first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice ... and more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones (including major brands or any mattress that uses lower quality and less durable materials or where you aren't able to find out the quality and durability of the materials inside it).

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists (based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

Can anyone suggest what someone with my problem may have success with...I don't go if I go in a new direction like Loom & Leaf, Sleep Number or Posturpedic, or go back the traditional spring mattress route. I just want to not wake up with a stiff back and pain in the morning.


I don't make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or materials because the first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" or PPP or how a mattress will "feel" to you based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I can certainly help you to narrow down your options, help you focus on better quality/value choices that are available to you either locally or online, help you identify any lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you may be considering, act as a fact check, answer any specific questions you may have along the way that I am able to help with, and help with "how" to choose but only you can decide which specific mattress is the best match for you based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

The choice between different materials or components or different types of mattresses is a preference choice and not a "better/worse" choice (as long as they all use good quality and durable versions of the materials you prefer) so it's always a good idea to do some local testing to find out which types of mattresses you tend to prefer (see this article ).

I would also be very cautious about brand shopping because you are buying a specific mattress not the brand and all manufacturers have access to the same or similar components and materials. Most of the more heavily advertised and most commonly available brands that you would recognize are the ones I would avoid anyway and many of the better manufacturers are smaller and are only available locally or regionally (or online). The name of the manufacturer on the label also won't tell you anything about whether a specific mattress would be a suitable choice for you in terms of PPP or whether there are any lower quality materials or weak links in the design that would affect the durability and useful life of the mattress. There is more about the risks of brand shopping in post #5 here and post #12 here . Outside of careful testing for PPP (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) or a more detailed conversation with a manufacturer or retailer about whether a mattress would be suitable for you if you can't test a mattress in person ... I would focus much more on the type and quality/durability of the materials inside a mattress (which are important to know anyway) than I would on the name of the manufacturer on the label.

The tutorial post includes several links to lists of the better online options I'm aware of (in the optional online step) that includes a very wide range of mattresses in a wide range of prices as well.

If you let me know your city or zip code I'd also be happy to let you know about the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in your area as well.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Any suggestions of Brand...excellent alignment support needed, bad lower back, but I'm used to a pillow top! 03 Aug 2015 17:40 #3

Thank you so much for your fabulous reply. I did read through your tutorial and well as lots of other links you mention before I emailed you, so yes, thank you, they are super helpful!

What I gleamed is that I need really good alignment support, but some comfort too because I am a side sleeper. Not a super thick comfort support, middle level, because I need to reach the alignment support core in order to preserve my back, and not sleep scooped! Yes?

Here is some additional information so you can advise me more.

First off, to answer your question, I am located in Santa Monica, Calif for suggestions about options.

I did go into a few shops this weekend and this is what I took away. I think I would like to try the memory foam route rather than traditional latex pillow tops etc., It felt like I was getting more alignment support with memory foam, and I don't want that same sunk in problem.

So I think we liked the Tempurpedic Tempur Cloud Supreme line, in particular the one with the 3" memory foam top. (it is the middle one - not too much top layer) I believe 3" of memory foam. We also sort of liked the Sleep Number bed M7, which is the model with the memory foam comfort level. I believe 5" of memory foam. However, I preferred the tempurpedic and my husband the sleep number. Would love to know what you think of sleep number, felt a little like a gimmick to me, and I felt like I was a little on an inner tube or air bed, unless I was on their memory foam model. Is Sleep Numbers core base quality?

The only problem I have with both of the above, is they are crazy expensive. I already spent $4000 on a mattress that is junk as i described in my first email, so I don't want to do that again. I would love to spend $1500, $2000 max, but really $1500. So, then I was looking at Loom & Leaf's Relaxed Firm as an alternative. How does is materials stand up to tempurpedia in terms of my alignment support, and the quality of the memory foam? So if I liked the Tempupedic Tempur Cloud Supreme with 3" memory foam, but want a cheaper option, what mattress would be good to look at as a more affordable option?

I feel like I definitely need to sleep on a mattress a month to make a good call since I have never slept on memory foam, so I guess a good refund policy is important too.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

ps - what do you think of any of the Ikea mattresses? I was going to go there and check out their memory foam options. Are they junk?

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Last edit: by melknee.

Any suggestions of Brand...excellent alignment support needed, bad lower back, but I'm used to a pillow top! 03 Aug 2015 18:16 #4

I am in the process of ordering from Novosbed. They are a little behind on orders right now due to a redesign in their mattresses to improve Air Flow, but they have a middle one, the Aria, that is comparable to the Tempurpedic Tempur Cloud Supreme. They also have a new model,Classic II, coming out that is supposed to be similar to the Tempurpedic Tempur Cloud Prima. The Classic II is not up on their website yet since they are waiting for enough stock for orders.

Even though my order has been delayed till the end of the third week of August (they did give me a little discount for the inconvenience) I am still looking forward to trying their bed.

Novosbed isn't currently a member of this site, but according to the Mattress tutorial they are using quality materials and Phoenix has stated that he doesn't see a weak link in their mattresses. One of the reasons I have chosen them is their 120 day trial period with free return and full refund if I am not happy. I think four months will be plenty of time to figure out if I am happy. And since I am a memory foam virgin, I feel more comfortable knowing I have a long trial period to decide if I am happy switching to memory foam.

As for Sleep Number, I personally do not have experience with them, but our Office Manager has one. I do not know which model, but I know that both she and her husband are very happy with the bed. They like being able to set their sides of the bed to different firmness levels. She also told me that they sleep very well.

Now with all of this said, I may not be happy with Novosbed once I try their mattress, but I figure I can't lose for trying with a full-refund, no return cost 120 day trial. If I am not happy I will probably look at a hybrid next.

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Any suggestions of Brand...excellent alignment support needed, bad lower back, but I'm used to a pillow top! 03 Aug 2015 19:08 #5

Hi melknee,

What I gleamed is that I need really good alignment support, but some comfort too because I am a side sleeper. Not a super thick comfort support, middle level, because I need to reach the alignment support core in order to preserve my back, and not sleep scooped! Yes?


Yes ... the two main functions of a mattress are that it keeps your spine and joints in good alignment in all your sleeping positions over the course of the night and that it also relieves pressure points as well. Everything else that you can "feel" is more of a preference than a "necessity" (see post #4 here and post #2 here ). Of course what you "feel" has little to do with the quality and durability of the materials inside the mattress because lower quality and less durable materials can feel the same as higher quality and more durable materials ... at least for a short while until the lower quality materials begin to soften and break down prematurely.

First off, to answer your question, I am located in Santa Monica, Calif for suggestions about options.


The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Santa Monica area (subject to making sure that any specific mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines I linked previously) are listed in the list for the Greater Los Angeles region in post #2 here .

So I think we liked the Tempurpedic Tempur Cloud Supreme line, in particular the one with the 3" memory foam top. (it is the middle one - not too much top layer) I believe 3" of memory foam. We also sort of liked the Sleep Number bed M7, which is the model with the memory foam comfort level. I believe 5" of memory foam. However, I preferred the tempurpedic and my husband the sleep number. Would love to know what you think of sleep number, felt a little like a gimmick to me, and I felt like I was a little on an inner tube or air bed, unless I was on their memory foam model. Is Sleep Numbers core base quality?


As you probably know from the tutorial I would tend to avoid the major brands including Tempurpedic. While Tempurpedic does use good quality materials ... they are certainly in a much higher budget range than many other memory foam mattresses that use similar quality materials that are made by many smaller manufacturers.

You can see my thoughts about airbeds in general this article . While any mattress can be a good match for a specific person because each person's needs and preferences or the criteria that are most important to them can be very different ... in general terms I would tend to avoid them unless there is a very compelling reason that an airbed would be a better choice for you in "real life" (outside of the many "marketing stories" that you will hear about them) than the many other options or types of mattresses that are available to you.

If for some reason you are committed to an airbed and you are convinced that there are no other types of mattresses that will meet your criteria then there are some other airbed options available to you that are listed in post #3 here that may be in a much better quality/value range than the Sleep Number you are considering.

So if I liked the Tempupedic Tempur Cloud Supreme with 3" memory foam, but want a cheaper option, what mattress would be good to look at as a more affordable option?


There is more about the different ways that one mattress can "match" or "approximate" another one in post #9 here . If you are considering an online purchase then the tutorial includes a link to a list of some of the better online memory foam options I'm aware of (in the optional online step) and several of these make mattresses that are designed to approximate the tempurpedic line (including the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme) and are in lower budget ranges. There may also be some local options that feel similar to you as well (even if they don't have exactly the same layers and components in their design) but you would need to test them in person to see how closely they compare for you in terms of comfort and PPP and you would also need to make sure that they use good quality/density materials as well to confirm that there aren't any lower quality materials or weak links in the design.

I would love to spend $1500, $2000 max, but really $1500. So, then I was looking at Loom & Leaf's Relaxed Firm as an alternative. How does is materials stand up to tempurpedia in terms of my alignment support, and the quality of the memory foam?


As I mentioned in my last reply the only way to know whether any mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort and PPP is based on your own careful testing or personal experience ... not on specs or theory.

There is more information about the quality of the materials in the Loom & Leaf in post #2 here (along with some of the other "simplified choice" mattresses) and a forum search on Loom Leaf (you can just click the link) will bring up more comments and feedback about it as well.

I feel like I definitely need to sleep on a mattress a month to make a good call since I have never slept on memory foam, so I guess a good refund policy is important too.


I would agree that if you are considering a mattress that you haven't tried in person then a good return/exchange policy would be much more important for most people ... particularly if you haven't slept on a similar type of mattress as well.

ps - what do you think of any of the Ikea mattresses? I was going to go there and check out their memory foam options. Are they junk?


While I can't speak to the "comfort" of any mattress or whether any mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP because your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or personal experience is the only reliable way to know ... outside of PPP the most important part of the value of a mattress is it's durability and a mattress is only as good as its construction and the type and quality/durability of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label.

There are some comments about the Ikea mattresses in post #3 here and the posts it links to. While they do have some good quality/value choices ... I would avoid their memory foam mattresses because as far as I know they all use 3 lb memory foam which is a lower density than I would suggest considering (see the quality/durability guidelines here ).

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Phoenix.
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