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Choosing the right Mattress 25 Jan 2017 12:00 #1

I'm looking for guidance. 2 years ago, my wiffe and I bought a Serta icomfort semi firm mattress from a big mattress store. Right away, we noticed the heat difference between a coilsprung and memory/ latex mattress, 6 months in, we were noticing indentions (troughs) where we slept were forming. After a year we flipped the mattress to get more support but withing a few months the troughs started forming again. So, is this trend an inherant issue with memory foam/ latex? My assumption was that after about 20 minutes, the mattress should return to a neutral density/ softness. JAlso, the softness (sinking in) is causing my wife a lot of discomfort and wants to get rid of the mattress. ust some background - my wife and I are on the heavier/ tall side. (+200 ea, +6ft tall) and my wife has degenerative disc disease. What would your recommendations be toward our next mattress? Things to look for/ gain knowledge on?
Thanks
Ken

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Choosing the right Mattress 25 Jan 2017 15:15 #2

Hi Kencan,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

I'm looking for guidance. 2 years ago, my wiffe and I bought a Serta icomfort semi firm mattress from a big mattress store. Right away, we noticed the heat difference between a coilsprung and memory/ latex mattress, 6 months in, we were noticing indentions (troughs) where we slept were forming. After a year we flipped the mattress to get more support but withing a few months the troughs started forming again. So, is this trend an inherant issue with memory foam/ latex?

I’m sorry your Serta mattress isn’t performing well for you, but unfortunately items using lower quality foams like the major “S” brands will have short comfort lives and tend to develop deeper body impressions sooner in the life of the mattress. You didn’t list the exact model and foam layers within the mattress you purchased, so I can’t comment directly upon your mattress, but I can tell you that higher density polyfoams and memory foams, and latex in general, will last a longer time and maintain more of their compression modulus than lower density foams (like what is contained in your product). I wish you had found this forum earlier, as we hopefully could have assisted you in avoiding a product like this, but at least you’ve found us now and I’ll do my best to assist you in selecting a new product.;)

My assumption was that after about 20 minutes, the mattress should return to a neutral density/ softness. JAlso, the softness (sinking in) is causing my wife a lot of discomfort and wants to get rid of the mattress.

Memory foam has a viscous and elastic nature, and the viscous nature is “activated” by your body heat. The rate of return (temperature sensitivity) can be changed by the foam manufacturer by manipulating the foam formulation, so how quickly your mattress returned to a “neutral softness” would depend upon the specific formulation of the different memory foam layers within your mattress, the amount of your body’s heat “loaded” in the foam and the ambient temperature of the bedroom. Latex doesn’t have a viscous nature like memory foam (except for a specialized type of latex that is specifically made to have some of the slow recovery properties of memory foam) and it has an immediate rebound.

What would your recommendations be toward our next mattress? Things to look for/ gain knowledge on?

I would first start by reading the mattress shopping tutorial here . 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 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 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.

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.

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.

Just some background - my wife and I are on the heavier/ tall side. (+200 ea, +6ft tall) and my wife has degenerative disc disease.

I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s condition.

A high BMI presents special challenges and generally requires firmer materials (in the support layers especially). This could be firmer latex or innersprings (the type of support component would be a personal preference and in the right design either could be suitable) or even a zoned construction. The same overall guidelines apply with higher weights though that PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) along with using high quality durable materials that will maintain their feel and performance for longer periods of time are the way to make the best choices. Heavier people in general will need firmer and thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers than those who are lighter and because no materials will last as long with much higher weights the quality and durability of the materials and components is even more important than normal. I wouldn't "rule out" any types of mattress and base your choices on your own personal testing. Post #3 here has more information and suggestions about heavier weights that is worth reading.

I know I’ve provided quite a bit of information here, but take some time and read through it, more like a good book as opposed to studying and trying to memorize things. This will give you a good start on your process of replacing your current mattress. And of course I’ll do my best to answer any future questions for you.

Phoenix
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