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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 16 Oct 2016 13:41 #1

HI everyone,

I have a new Leesa, and I'm having lower back aches.

I've had the Leesa for about three weeks ago, and I had the same back aches with my old memory foam mattress (14 years old). I started having lower back aches a few months ago, and I figured it was because my mattress was so old. I started sleeping on an air mattress, and I'd been doing fine with that. BTW, 220lb, 5'8".

It basically feels like the small of my back isn't getting enough support in bed, as if my body is doing the supporting, and after a time of that it starts to ache. It doesn't feel too bad when I get into bed, but I notice the lack of support. After a few hours of that it wakes me up. I noticed that if I'm at the edge of the bed it feels better.

I'm going to return the Leesa. What should I try next? Should I try the Sleep Number? One of the other online mattresses?

Thanks!

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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 16 Oct 2016 19:06 #2

Hi windedaorta:

I’m sorry that your Leesa mattress isn’t working out for you. The good news is that you picked a product that allows you to return it and you can start your search again.

While I can certainly help with "how" to choose a mattress, it's not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components 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 or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, or PPP or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience ( see post #2 here ).

Since you’re new to the forum, I don’t know if 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", firmness, 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 (as with your Leesa purchase) 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 (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

While again nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will "feel" for someone else or whether it will be a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress ... outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

You asked about online sources, so when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

In its simplest form ... choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then ...

1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress (see the durability guidelines here ).

3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

With all that being said, the first thing I’d want to be sure of is the state of your foundation. You didn’t mention upon what you are placing your mattress, so you want to be sure it is a firm, flat and no-flexing surface.

It basically feels like the small of my back isn't getting enough support in bed, as if my body is doing the supporting, and after a time of that it starts to ache.


It is entirely possible that a product with a polyurethane foam core isn’t the most suitable to your somatotype/BMI/mass, individual needs. The Leesa mattress includes 2" of 3.75 lb high performance "latex like" polyfoam over 2" of 3 lb memory foam over a 6" 1.8 lb polyfoam support core. I would be cautious because of the 2" of 3 lb memory foam in the comfort layers which could be a weak link in the mattress in terms of durability, as well as the 1.8 lb. polyurethane foam base which is a little less in density than I would recommend for someone of your mass. People usually have a good idea of the shortcomings of their mattress and if you feel the product isn’t providing enough support, you’re probably accurate.

Should I try the Sleep Number? One of the other online mattresses?


Please see my comments above regarding the steps I recommend you follow in selecting a new mattress – “resetting” how you go about selecting a product.

You can see some of my general comments about air mattresses here and in 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 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. For those that are committed to an airbed and are convinced that there are no other types of mattresses that will meet their criteria then there are some other airbed options that are listed in post #3 here that may be much better quality/value choices than Sleep Number/Select Comfort.

I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Phoenix
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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 07 Mar 2018 22:36 #3

I’m a brand-new member. I actually want to start a new topic… but I don’t know how. :blink: I have had back pain issues since the summer, and have finally decided it’s time to get a new mattress. I am super glad I have come upon this site — I’ve read through lots of stuff, including the tutorials, "How to look for and find the best mattress ... for YOU!”, "Five steps to your perfect mattress - Support and spinal alignment”, “Comfort and Pressure Relief”, etc. I now understand more re: quality of materials in terms of density lbs/inch.

First, about me: I am only 4’11” (used to be 5’0”, but am apparently shrinking!), 60 years young, weigh @ 135 lbs with a BMI of 27 (ideally, I should be between @ 19 and 25), and am single. I am primarily a back sleeper, but also sleep on my side for a while. Sleeping hot has never been an issue with me (although I’ve never had a memory foam mattress). I have a slat system: there are 15 slats, 3 1/4” apart, surrounded by a metal frame and with a metal support in the middle. Because of my height (or rather, lack of it), I do not want a mattress deeper than 11”. I have slept on comfortable beds at a bed-and-breakfast and an Air-bnb… but getting up onto these beds were quite a struggle! My back pain sometimes changes a bit, but is both my lower back and middle back and sometimes under my shoulders.

My current mattress, which is roughly 6 years old, was never great for me. {edited: It was made by Natura, a “Boreas” model they no longer make. The label says it has 2” medium soy polyfoam, 5” medium soy polyfoam, 1” 40% natural soft Talalay latex, and 10 oz / yd Natural wool & 45 % cotton knit ticking.} I purchased it when I purchased my Queen bed frame, along with the slats. It was the firmest of the 3 models, but even in the store, did not feel that firm to me and I seemed to sink in it and it wouldn’t spring back up or hold me up. (The furniture store no longer sells any mattresses). I did not return it, because it was such a hassle getting it in the first place: it came more than a month after the promised date, and I had already gotten rid of my previous boxspring mattress and had to sleep on the couch for a month! This mattress seems to have a huge dip in the centre, and is noticeably higher on both sides. I realize I must not be in alignment, because I can feel the side of my body closer to the dip slant towards it!

When I went to look at mattresses this past Saturday (before I came upon this site), several salespeople told me that because of my back issues, I should not look for a firm mattress (even though I believe I have been most comfortable on them), but rather a medium or soft mattress so it can relieve the pressure more. Is this true??? What I seem to get from the info on this site is that comfort is entirely subjective. Does this hold true, even for people with back pain like me?

I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. There is only one local manufacturer, Restmore (on your approved list), that I haven’t yet checked out. I would prefer to purchase either locally, or Canadian online or Canadian manufacturer. I cannot afford much more than @ $1200 Cdn. Perhaps you can advise me?

So far, I really like the online Novosbed mattress, which is on your approved list, and I really love that they have a “comfort adjustment” layer they send for free if the firmness/softness doesn’t meet my needs. Since I cannot test it out beforehand, would it be safer to get the firm? I believe I’ve read here that it is easier to make a firm bed softer with a layer than vice versa…

I considered the “Purple”, but they don’t ship to Canada. Two other online mattresses I am considering (their sites don’t have more specs: I’d have to phone) are the Chirofoam Memory Foam with 8” high-density bio-foam, 2” foam, 2” gel 4 lbs/ft memory foam or the Springwall “Whisper” with 8” support bio-foam, 1” gel latex, 1” visco gel memory foam.

I am hoping to lose 15 to 20 pounds. Should I lose that weight, would the mattress I choose still work for me?

Considering that I cannot afford much more than $1200, is latex generally more expensive than memory foam? So far, I’ve only tested memory foam and memory foam / hybrids with the coils. I’m not aware of any latex mattresses that I could test locally, to see which I would prefer…

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Last edit: by Hyla. Reason: found info on my current mattress

Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 09 Mar 2018 03:53 #4

Hi Hyla.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

Yes…. education is key and I am glad that you started with reading the mattress shopping tutorial and all the links provided in it. Good thing that this time around you did not decide to dispose of your old mattress and sleep on the sofa before you find something suitable. :)

Because of my height (or rather, lack of it), I do not want a mattress deeper than 11”


I certainly don’t think that at your height and BMI you would be needing anything higher than 11” and depending on your preferences you could do well even with a 7” mattress thickness.

When I went to look at mattresses this past Saturday (before I came upon this site), several salespeople told me that because of my back issues, I should not look for a firm mattress (even though I believe I have been most comfortable on them), but rather a medium or soft mattress so it can relieve the pressure more. Is this true??? What I seem to get from the info on this site is that comfort is entirely subjective. Does this hold true, even for people with back pain like me?


You seem to be on the right track and have good understanding of what your needs and of course … while it is not possible to “diagnose” mattress comfort issues via an online forum, your back pains (lower, middle, and sometimes between your shoulders), especially if the pains appear to be more morning related, coupled with your dip in your 6 years old Boreas mattress … all seem to point to a lack of proper alignment which usually is due to improper deep down support. A surface comfort issue, too firm or too soft, would tend to appear earlier in the night and be centered around pressure points and “surface support” but of course this is a generalization and you are correct that you would be the only one that can assess this with certainty through your careful testing of all the factors that may contribute to the back pain you are experiencing. One thing that I would add in the mix is that you may also need to assess your pillow in combination with your sleeping position as if this is too high and if your neck is bent forward towards your stomach then the upper body ends up in a forward hunched position which can bend the upper spine and create tension and pain in the mid and upper back. This can also happen if the upper layers are too thick and too soft.

In general, you want firm enough deep support and then comfort layers that are "just enough" in terms of thickness and softness to "fill in" and support the more recessed parts of your sleeping profile and relieve pressure (usually side sleeping) so that there is less risk to alignment in your other sleeping positions, but again as you have an unique weight distribution and different surface area in each part of the body that contacts the mattress it is only you that with personal testing will be able to tell if a mattress as the support needed for proper alignment in all the sleeping position.

I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. There is only one local manufacturer, Restmore (on your approved list), that I haven’t yet checked out. I would prefer to purchase either locally, or Canadian online or Canadian manufacturer. I cannot afford much more than @ $1200 Cdn. Perhaps you can advise me?


Restmore bedding would certainly have good value/quality products that would fall in your budget range. They have a wide range of mattresses Memory foam, Latex, Pocket coil, Gel foam, High density foam that you can try side by side and see if you like the feel of them. As you noticed they are a vetted member of our site and they are extremely knowledgeable about all types of mattresses and different configurations, and I would not hesitate to recommend them for your consideration. I just checked and their site seems to be off line for some reason but in case you are planning to visit them soon here is their phone number and email address so that you can contact them directly. (204) 942-4701 info (at) restmorewinnipeg (dot) com.

So far, I really like the online Novosbed mattress, which is on your approved list, and I really love that they have a “comfort adjustment” layer they send for free if the firmness/softness doesn’t meet my needs. Since I cannot test it out beforehand, would it be safer to get the firm? I believe I’ve read here that it is easier to make a firm bed softer with a layer than vice versa…


Your understanding is correct that it is easier to make a mattress more comfortable by adding some surface plushness than to make a mattress meet your alignment needs once it is too soft. This is part of the reason why choosing a mattress based on the cushy kind of "comfort" that people are attracted to in a showroom can often lead to back issues over time.
  • Comfort is what you feel when you first lie on a mattress ... and is mostly about pressure relief.
  • Support is what you feel when you wake up in the morning ... either with or without back pain or discomfort ... and is mostly about alignment.
  • Durability is what you will feel over the years as the foams and other components begin to soften and degrade and this is all about how long a mattress maintains the comfort and support qualities that you need.
Novosbed is another Trusted Member of our site with good quality choice for a memory foam mattress that would fall right into your budget range. The comfort kit is certainly appealing in making sure this would be a good fit for you and also returning the mattress is it is not as good as you hoped for is another advantage as you can give it an in-home trial for this matters

Two other online mattresses I am considering (their sites don’t have more specs: I’d have to phone) are the
Chirofoam Memory Foam with 8” high-density bio-foam, 2” foam, 2” gel 4 lbs/ft memory foam or the
Springwall “Whisper” with 8” support bio-foam, 1” gel latex, 1” visco gel memory foam.


Chirofoam is another new bed in a box 12” memory foam mattress introduced in 2016 This is higher than your 11” maximum criteria for the height of your mattress. I am also not familiar with this mattress and I would consider risky anything without knowing the foam densities. Note that: Initially this mattress was advertised as having Natural Organic Latex but this is not any longer clearly stated on their site and it may be the case that the design was modified, but I cannot say this for sure.
• 2″ Cool Gel Infused 4lb Visco Memory Foam
• 2″ Firm Support Chirofoam (density unknown)
• 8″ High Density Bio-Foam (density unknown)
Springwall “Whisper” (total height 10”) last time I spoke with them confirmed that they would disclose the specifics of their mattresses and components which means that you can make meaningful quality/value comparisons with other mattresses. Their specs listed on their site at the moment are.
1” Natural Gel infused Latex (ILD unknown)
1” PE Visco Gel (density unknown)
8” Bio Foam core (density unknown)

There is more information about post #2 here where I describe in more detail the use plant-based polyols in polyfoam. If you are considering any of these two mattresses I would strongly advise that you find out specifics of the mattress as outlines in this this article before any purchase that you may consider.

I am hoping to lose 15 to 20 pounds. Should I lose that weight, would the mattress I choose still work for me?


Losing weight would also make a difference in how firm a mattress feels as well (foam mattresses will feel softer for those that are in higher weight ranges than the same mattress will feel for those that are lighter).

It's certainly possible that if you lose a significant amount of weight that your needs and preferences in a mattress could change but you can always add a topper if you need some additional softness and pressure relief and there are also component mattresses available with replaceable layers and components that allow you to adjust the comfort and support of a mattress after a purchase by rearranging or replacing layers without having to replace your entire mattress if your needs and preferences change after a purchase.

Considering that I cannot afford much more than $1200, is latex generally more expensive than memory foam? So far, I’ve only tested memory foam and memory foam/hybrids with the coils. I’m not aware of any latex mattresses that I could test locally, to see which I would prefer…


Latex foam would be generally more expensive than any other types of foams of the same ILD/IFD. But that does not mean that you cannot find a latex mattress that would be within your budget range. The price point would obviously be another part of your personal value equation . While durability may be for a shorter time, you’ll still want to make sure that whatever you choose uses good quality and durable materials. The guidelines I would suggest to make sure there are no lower quality materials or "weak links" in a mattress you are considering are in this article and there is more detailed information yet about the many factors that can affect durability and the useful life of a mattress relative to different people in post #4 here and the posts it links to., This is because you’ll want as consistent of a comfortable life during the time you’ll be using the mattress, and there are many lower-quality materials that can initially feel good but only have a comfortable life of just a few years.

It may be a worthwhile idea to try the feel of latex and go to Restmore Bedding and try side by side different types of mattresses. They have latex mattresses that would meet your price range and you would be able to have a detail conversation with them about all your options.

Deepening on your level of comfort with purchasing an online mattress and the return or exchange policies they have which can lower the risk and provide you with options if you make a less than suitable choice, there are other Trusted Members our site that carry latex and Memory foam mattresses that you may wish to consider. At a quick glance …
Memory Foam Comfort Canadian retailer that carries value/quality Latex and Memory foam products with free shipping across Canada.
Dormio Canadian Manufacturer specializing in organic/natural latex mattresses with options that fit all budget ranges.
Sleep Boutique Canadian Manufacturer with a large array of mattress choices latex/ pocket coil, hybrid, springs. They are based in Calgary, Alberta but you can place an order over the phone.
Nest Bedding US based manufacturer that ships to Canada(free shipping).
Sleep EZ US based manufacturer who ships to Canada, shipping charges may apply
Sleep On Latex US based manufacturer, who ships to Canada).

I hope that after doing some testing you’ll be able to narrow things down and get a clearer idea of what option is more desirable for you. I would be interested great to hear back from you to learn what you decided and I or any other Expert Member of the site would be glad assist you with any questions that you may have.

Phoenix
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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 09 Mar 2018 14:36 #5

Thank you so much, Phoenix, for your very thorough reply! I’ve just called Restmore (their website is also working now) and they are open Monday to Friday until 5:00 p.m., so I will have to go there during the week rather than Saturday. The gentleman told me they have all the different types of mattresses in their showroom.

From what you’ve told me, with my current mattress, I am not getting the right pressure relief, because it takes me ages to fall asleep and I find it hard to get comfortable or relaxed whether on my back or my side and feel pain from when I first lay on the mattress… which leads to me only having a deep sleep far into the night. However, there are also support issues, because I sometimes wake up with a back ache.

From your good advice, upon reconsidering, I don’t think the Chirofoam (what great marketing, though!) or the Springwall are what I need.

Novosbed is still high on my list. I would likely get the firm. Of the other mattress companies you’ve mentioned, I really, really like Memory Foam Comfort and I love how transparent they are about the layers that go into their mattresses.

Memory Foam Comfort has two models that sound really great to me, both are 10":
The ‘Presto’ model is currently on a great sale, regularly $1850 but now for $1395… a bit higher than what I wanted to spend, but not by much.

Presto has 4” HD foam 2 lbs/ft, 2” foam 3 lbs/ft, 2” latex 5 lbs/ft, 2” memory foam 4 lbs/ft
. Those sound like great densities, to me. They also offer a * free* 2” layer of high density foam @ 2 lbs/ft, which is similar to Novosbed’s ‘comfort guarantee’. One other great thing about this model is that all the mattress layers are customizable (customer can switch them around at home) to personalize support & for optimal maintenance.

The ‘Cumulus’ model is a bit cheaper, at $1189. It has 2” foam 2 lbs/ft, 5” foam 2.5 lbs/ft, 3” memory foam 5 lbs/ft, which also sounds like good densities. It is described as " firm, w med. firm pillow top”. I think this one also has the * free* 2” layer of high density foam.

fwiw, the only latex model from Memory Foam Comfort that I can afford, at $1299, is the ‘Maoli’. They describe it as their "entry level latex mattress". It is only 6” tall and has Dunlop latex 5lb/ft density, 40 ILD. If, after testing, I prefer the feel of latex to memory foam, would this model, at only 6”, and with no other layers, be ok in terms of durability? From your site, I understand that in general, Dunlop feels firmer than Talalay, and I prefer a firmer feel. 


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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 11 Mar 2018 03:01 #6

Hi Hyla.

Great to see you are making progress, and that you got in touch with Restmore. I think that it is worth visiting and doing some testing as this will clarify many things and set you on a straight course as far as your needs and preferences.

fwiw, the only latex model from Memory Foam Comfort that I can afford, at $1299, is the ‘Maoli’. They describe it as their "entry level latex mattress". It is only 6” tall and has Dunlop latex 5lb/ft density, 40 ILD. If, after testing, I prefer the feel of latex to memory foam, would this model, at only 6”, and with no other layers, be ok in terms of durability? From your site, I understand that in general, Dunlop feels firmer than Talalay, and I prefer a firmer feel.


Latex in general is the most durable of all the foam materials (latex foam, memory foam, polyfoam) regardless of whether it is Dunlop or Talalay or is made from natural rubber, synthetic rubber, or a blend of both and I would not have any durability concerns at 40ILD in your weight range and the slab thickness will not affect its longevity. As far as appropriateness the thickness of a mattress is just a side effect of the design and by itself isn't particularly meaningful because whether a thicker or thinner mattress would be better or worse for any particular person will depend on the specifics of the materials (type, firmness, etc.) and on all the other layers in the mattress.

Thickness is only one of many specs that are used to make different mattresses that perform and feel differently and that makes a mattress suitable for one person and not another. There is more about the effect of thickness in post #14 here . Regardless of how thick or thin a mattress may be, the most important part of the "value" of a mattress is how suitable it is "as a whole" for your particular body type, sleeping positions, and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) regardless of how thick it may be.

In some cases ... lighter weights or people that sleep in "flatter" sleeping positions, have slimmer less curvy body types, or who prefer a firmer mattress such as you will do well with even 6" even though there is less "room" to design in different layers in the mattress. People that have much higher body weights or larger body types may choose more than the "average" thickness and may prefer the feel and extra adaptability of say 12" of latex.

The main benefit of a thicker latex mattress is that it can be more adaptable for heavier weights and multiple sleeping positions. It will compress from softer to firmer more gradually which means that there is more "range" of compression without the mattress becoming too firm for heavier weights (or parts of the body). It can even just be a matter of preference rather than "need".

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding after your visit.

Phoenix
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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 11 Mar 2018 18:13 #7

Thanks again! Will do. I, too, am interested in whether I prefer the feel of latex or memory foam, among the other variables.

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Back sleeper aches with new Leesa 12 Mar 2018 08:58 #8

Hello Hyla,

Perhaps you have already made your decision and if so, no problem. I did want to mention that Novosbed high-density, traditional foam layers are particularly effective for those dealing with back pain, such as yourself. Proper spinal alignment is critical and it's why proper individual density layers become so imperative.

Our firm mattress option , for example, features 3 layers at specific densities:

1st layer features a 2" Premium Airflow Memory Foam at a density of 4 lbs/ft3
The 2nd layer is a 2" Premium Memory Foam Transition Layer at 5 lbs/ft3
The final 3rd layer contains 7" Premium Support Foam at 1.8 lbs/ft3

I think this mattress option might be of interest to you and I am happy to answer any other questions you might have.

All my best,

Mark
Novosbed
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