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Arthritis and topper for a polyurethane foam mattress 12 Feb 2017 06:53 #1

Hi Phoenix,
I’ve been reading many of your very thorough posts, thank you.

I have a mattress that I bought several years ago. It is a block of foam – the tag says 100% polyurethane foam. When I bought it, it was called memory foam, but I have no idea if it really is, it wasn’t a speciality mattress vendor. It has always been a great support and I sank in enough to be comfortable. It remains very firm. I developed arthritis in a few places over the past year. Now it hurts my hips and knee (although I sleep with a pillow between my knees). From what I’ve read a topper would help, but am not sure what kind of topper would be best over that kind of mattress. I’d like to avoid feather, and likely couldn’t sleep directly on wool.

I am a woman and a side sleeper. When I don't have pain I tend not to move around a lot. I also have fibromyalgia but that is mainly under control with medication, which unfortunately doesn't help with the arthritis. I live in Montreal, Canada, so if you have suggestions for where to shop here those would be appreciated as well.

Thanks,
Sharin

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Arthritis and topper for a polyurethane foam mattress 12 Feb 2017 09:49 #2

Hi Sharin,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

I’ve been reading many of your very thorough posts, thank you.

You’re very welcome.

I have a mattress that I bought several years ago. It is a block of foam – the tag says 100% polyurethane foam. When I bought it, it was called memory foam, but I have no idea if it really is, it wasn’t a speciality mattress vendor.

Technically speaking, memory foam can be classified as a slow-recovery type of polyurethane foam, so I wouldn’t be able to say what was in your mattress without performing “mattress surgery”. If it was sold to you as a memory foam mattress, typically those mattresses would have a base core of polyfoam, then maybe a little more polyfoam on top of that (perhaps a bit softer) and then maybe some memory foam on top. So, just as an example, you could have a 10” “memory foam” mattress. It might have a 6” dense and firm polyfoam core, then maybe a 2” “transition” layer of a bit softer (lower IFD/ILD) polyfoam, and then on top of that 2” of visco-elastic memory foam. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that your mattress could be multiple layers or even a solid block of polyfoam.

It has always been a great support and I sank in enough to be comfortable. It remains very firm. I developed arthritis in a few places over the past year. Now it hurts my hips and knee (although I sleep with a pillow between my knees).

I’m sorry to hear about your arthritis. Keeping the pillow between your knees certainly can assist with the stresses on the Iliotibial band and hip flexors on your hip that is not being slept upon, and also help with tenderness where the two knees would usually touch, but as you’re aware it won’t assist with pressure point relief on the hip that is in contact with the mattress. It is common when developing arthritis that you would desire a bit more surface plushness.

From what I’ve read a topper would help, but am not sure what kind of topper would be best over that kind of mattress. I’d like to avoid feather, and likely couldn’t sleep directly on wool.

The good news is that there is a topper thread here that discusses the various toppers available, and there is also a link there for online retailers of these toppers. The key would be to make sure that your base mattress is not sagging and is still providing good alignment, which you seem to indicate it is.

I am a woman and a side sleeper. When I don't have pain I tend not to move around a lot. I also have fibromyalgia but that is mainly under control with medication, which unfortunately doesn't help with the arthritis. I live in Montreal, Canada, so if you have suggestions for where to shop here those would be appreciated as well.

Subject to first confirming that any retailer or manufacturer on the list that you wish to visit is completely transparent ( see this article ) and to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here ... the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Montreal area are listed in post #276 here . I can’t keep track of the inventory in each store, so you’ll have to do some phoning to find out which stores currently might currently offer toppers for you to sample.

Hopefully the information in the topper thread (more than likely focusing upon latex or memory foam based upon you wish to avoid wool and down), and any local retailers you visit, will be assistive in getting you some pressure point relief. And as a topper will perform differently on your mattress at home as opposed to a showroom mattress you might try, you’ll also want to investigate any potential return/exchange polices of any business you visit in the unfortunate circumstance where things don’t turn out as well as you had expected.

Good luck!

Phoenix
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