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Do we need a thicker mattress to get proper support? 07 Dec 2015 20:26 #1

Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for all the information. I have visited the site many times and reviewed much of the information. It has been quite helpful.

We have slept on innerspring mattresses for our whole lives. We are ready for something new as our current mattress is pretty tired. My wife and I are in our late 50"s. We are now considering a latex mattress. I am 6" 0" and 220 lb. My wife is 5' 8" and 210 lb. We both sleep on our sides. Sometimes I will shift to sleeping on my back as I do sometimes experience back pain.

Our concern is that an 8" to 10" mattress might not have the proper support. Perhaps we need to focus on something in the 12" or 13" range.

Unfortunately we have not had the opportunity to sample a latex mattress as the closest dealer is 3 hours from our home.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Do we need a thicker mattress to get proper support? 07 Dec 2015 20:44 #2

Hi Fun Billy,

Welcome to the site :)

Our concern is that an 8" to 10" mattress might not have the proper support. Perhaps we need to focus on something in the 12" or 13" range.

Unfortunately we have not had the opportunity to sample a latex mattress as the closest dealer is 3 hours from our home.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


"Support" is often misunderstood because the real goal of a "supportive" mattress is to keep the spine and joints in good alignment and this requires the type of contouring support that allows some parts of the body to sink in more and some parts of the body to sink in less and this will vary on an individual basis. There is more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support/alignment" and "comfort/pressure relief" and "feel" and how they interact together.

While the thickness of a mattress can make a difference ... I would be very cautious about choosing a mattress based on its thickness alone because the thickness of a mattress or any individual layers inside it is really just a side effect of the design and the design goals of a mattress and is also only one of many variables that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress relative to any particular person and by itself isn't particularly meaningful (see post #2 here ). In some cases higher weight ranges will sometimes do better with a mattress that is thicker than lower weight ranges (see post #14 here for more about the effect of thickness) but even this depends more on the specific design and combination of materials in the mattress and on how well your testing or personal experience indicates the mattress "as a whole" matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) than anything else.

You certainly aren't in a weight range that would generally "need" more than about 8" - 9" of latex but depending on the specific combination of materials and components in a mattress you may find you prefer a thicker mattress (although the opposite may also be true and you may also find that you prefer a thinner mattress as well). In other words the specific design and how well it matches your specific needs and preferences is more important than just the thickness so I certainly wouldn't only consider thicker mattresses.

Since you've already been spending time on the site I'm assuming that you've read the mattress shopping tutorial here but 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 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).

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 (although it's certainly possible that there aren't any retailers or manufacturers that sell latex or latex hybrid mattresses that are in a reasonable driving range).

Phoenix
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