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20 Mar 2017 18:19 #1 by Skrell

I am in the midst of a Novosbed Soft trial--almost 60 days in. It has been a bumpy ride for me.

I'm 5'6" and 125, so pretty slim frame. I have had lower back and hip pain over the years, especially after childbirth. I had hoped that a new mattress would help solve these problems (along with physical therapy exercises), especially since our previous foam Dormia mattress is already 8.5 years old. Unfortunately that has not been the case. I even got the Comfort + kit to make it softer, but I toss and turn all night and it wakes me up just about every time. I also purchased a new pillow after trying different height pillows we already had. The pillow at least is better. I'm at a place where I don't want to lay down because it hurts too much. If only we could sleep standing up!

I really don't know what other direction to go, and I don't want to shell out cash and get stuck with something that doesn't work. I don't know if there's even some way I can alter this mattress to make it work for us. Their customer service has been very responsive, so I commend them for that.

Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

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21 Mar 2017 09:59 #2 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

Welcome to the forum! :)

I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time getting comfortable on your new Novosbed mattress. Unfortunately, it's not possible for me to "diagnose" mattress comfort issues on a forum with any certainty because they can be very complex and there are too many unique unknowns, variables, and complexities involved that can affect how each person sleeps on a mattress in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP or any "symptoms" they experience. There is more about the most common symptoms/pains that people may experience when they sleep on a mattress and the most likely (although not the only) reasons for them in post #2 here .

Generally speaking, the most common reason for lower back pain is a mattress that has comfort layers that are too thick/soft or a support core that is too soft, but there is no one firmness level that is "best for backs" in general because it would depend on the body type, pre-existing conditions, sleeping style, and individual preferences of the person. A mattress needs to have deeper layers that are "firm enough" to stop the heavier parts of your body from sinking down too far and make sure you sleep with your spine and joints in good alignment and upper layers that are thick and soft enough to "allow" any pressure points such as the hips and shoulders to sink down far enough to relieve pressure points in all your sleeping positions as well but "firm enough" and "soft enough" can vary widely from person to person.

As you are already on the plush model and then you attempted to make it softer without better results, this could point to a few things, such as potentially the need for a bit of a firmer surface comfort layer relative to what you’re correctly trying, or perhaps comfort layers that are of a different material and a bit more resilient (maybe latex versus memory foam), or perhaps a different style of support unit (springs or latex versus polyfoam). There really is no way for me to make accurate statements and the best I can do is provide this “theory at a distance”.

The other issue is that you already have a history of low back pain, and unfortunately there is no mattress guaranteed to cure that, as back issues can come from a variety of issues (but not limited to), such as flexibility levels, core strength, neural issues, disc issues, or a combination of all. Sleep ergonomic research points to focusing first upon alignment for addressing low back issues, then finding “just enough” surface comfort to work for your preferred sleeping style and preferences. 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" and "pressure relief" and "feel" that can also provide some useful insights into the reasons for pain and/or discomfort on a mattress.

I really don't know what other direction to go, and I don't want to shell out cash and get stuck with something that doesn't work.

The good news is that you chose a product with 120 night trail period, so if the mattress doesn’t work out well you can always return it for a refund.

I don't know if there's even some way I can alter this mattress to make it work for us. Their customer service has been very responsive, so I commend them for that.

In cases like this I always recommend another phone call to the manufacturer (and Novosbed does have a good customer service reputation, as you mentioned) and describe your situation and see if they have any other suggestions. They know their product the best and do want you to be comfortable, so I would contact them and see if they have any other ideas that they might be familiar with for people who have bene in a similar situation to yours.

I’ll look forward to learning about your progress.

Phoenix


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21 Mar 2017 10:26 #3 by Skrell

I guess I should clarify that I don't have back pain unless I am sleeping on my back. I generally aim to sleep on my side, but this often causes hip pain so I find myself on my back in those cases. The main time I hurt is when I lay down, which was why I associated it with whichever mattress I am on. And when I am on my side, my arms also start to fall asleep, which I have not had much difficulty with before.

If my hips hurt laying on the bed, are you saying that would indicate it is too hard? And I don't know if this detail helps, but for whatever reason, it seems harder to prop myself up on my side on the mattress. I feel like I will fall over without pillows holding me up.

Thanks for your response.

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21 Mar 2017 13:39 #4 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

I guess I should clarify that I don't have back pain unless I am sleeping on my back. I generally aim to sleep on my side, but this often causes hip pain so I find myself on my back in those cases. The main time I hurt is when I lay down, which was why I associated it with whichever mattress I am on

As I am of course not a physician :) , but as you’ve had back and hip issues, for years, it may not be that whatever mattress you’re using is causing your pain, but it could simply be the fact that you are supine. And combined with childbirth (as you mentioned) and your level of core fitness and flexibility, it could very well be the change in posture that is causing, or at least a contributor, to you pain.

If my hips hurt laying on the bed, are you saying that would indicate it is too hard?

It could be from a mattress that is either to hard or too soft. From the post I linked to in my earlier reply about common causes of pain while sleeping on a mattress:
Hip issues for side sleepers especially can be caused by a comfort layer that is too firm or too thin where you can feel the firmness of either the sleeping surface itself or the support layers "through" the comfort layers. These are pressure point issues. In some cases though another reason for hip pain may be a mattress that is too soft which can cause your hips to be out of their neutral alignment and sink down too far which can hyperextend the hip joint and can lead to a burning feeling or pain from joints, muscles, and ligaments that are stretched beyond their neutral alignment. This would more of an alignment issue except instead of spinal alignment it's about joint alignment.

And I don't know if this detail helps, but for whatever reason, it seems harder to prop myself up on my side on the mattress. I feel like I will fall over without pillows holding me up.

This is indicative of a mattress using materials on top that are not as resilient, or a product that is too soft (perhaps having too deep of a comfort cradle) or has too many comfort layers, making repositioning difficult. This would “tend” to support my earlier supposition that you may desire a bit more resilient material in the upper comfort layers of your mattress.

Phoenix


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24 Mar 2017 04:44 #5 by Skrell

So I took the comfort + layer out due to your suggestion it may be too soft, and have continued physical therapy exercises in earnest. I don't feel like I'm falling over so much, but I would definitely say the hip pain is taken up a level. I understand what you are saying that it could be too hard or too soft, but is there any way you could suggest something as an alternative? I know it could just be my body, and while I don't claim to be "crossfit" fit, I have exercised regularly on an elliptical for some time and done the physical therapy exercises. Working on that route too though.

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24 Mar 2017 14:28 #6 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

Thanks for the update.

Unfortunately, I can’t “feel what you feel”, and when you describe hip pain being “taken up a notch” I can’t tell if that is an alignment/support issue, a surface comfort issue, or a combination of both. But I’ll do my best to make some general suggestions.

If by removing the Comfort+ layer your alignment felt better, but your hip pain (more from pressure point issues) was worse, this would tend to point toward avoiding too much plushness in your comfort layers (layers too thick or too soft, or both), and perhaps what comfort layers you use being more resilient, or at least the upper layer being a bit more resilient. As you are going through PT, alignment would seem to be key. So in a situation like this, if you were going to keep your current mattress, you may wish to try a slightly firmer/more resilient dominant upper comfort layer, such as a mid 20’s ILD Talalay latex topper. As you are not sure if you’re going to keep your current mattress, you might want to look for a topper with a return policy. I do know that mattresstopper.com just started offering a 30 day trial on their latex toppers and they do offer a medium Talalay (there may be others out there who offer similar returns on a topper, but it is more difficult to find this), so that might be a way to test out having a more dominant layer on top of your current mattress.

It could be that your mattress overall might be too plush for you in the upper layers, and at that point there really isn’t a way to change the comfort layers within your mattress (those layers are not configurable), so at that point you might have to consider a return and start your process over, looking for something that perhaps provides good comfort but is a bit more resilient/supportive in the upper comfort layers.

It doesn’t sound from your descriptions that the product needs to be softer (adding additional comfort layers), and adding additional layers on top of your Comfort+ kit could negatively impact your alignment even more.

From a distance, this is some of the more generalized guidance I can come up with.

Phoenix


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31 Mar 2017 11:49 #7 by Skrell

I am considering your suggestion of the latex topper. I also wanted to ask you what you thought about the Brooklyn Bedding mattress in soft as an alternative, or if that would likely be more of the same (since it's the soft version). I saw you spoke highly of their mattress, and someone else had also recommended it to me.

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31 Mar 2017 18:56 #8 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

I am considering your suggestion of the latex topper. I also wanted to ask you what you thought about the Brooklyn Bedding mattress in soft as an alternative, or if that would likely be more of the same (since it's the soft version). I saw you spoke highly of their mattress, and someone else had also recommended it to me.

The Brooklyn Bedding Best Mattress Ever (BME) is a different construction than the Novosbed. It uses two latex layers on top of a polyfoam core, where your Novosbed uses high performance polyfoam and memory foam on top of a polyfoam core. The BME will be a bit more resilient feeling on top than your current mattress, as it uses latex in the upper layers, even for the soft version. The soft BME uses 2” of 30 ILD Dunlop latex under 2” of 19 ILD Talalay latex, with both of these layers on top of a 6” 2 lb polyfoam core. The Medium BME uses the same polyfoam core, but the 2” of Dunlop latex is 32 ILD and the 2” of Talalay latex on top is 28 ILD. The polyfoam core is a bit more dense than your Novosbed as well.

Placing a latex topper over your Novosbed will increase surface resilience, but it will still have a different feel than the BME. If you’re considering testing out a topper still during your trial period with the Novosbed, you may wish to look at some of these online mattress toppers that can be returned. If you find out this works well, then you are all set. If you find that it doesn’t work, you could have the option of returning the topper or the Novosbed and then perhaps trying out the BME as you suggested. If you do decide on the BME, I would place a phone call with them before placing an order and ask for their guidance as to whether the Soft or Medium would be recommended for you based upon your experiences with the Novosbed, as they would be in the best position to suggest what they think will be most appropriate for your needs. My concern is that you ma choose too soft because of your lower back and hip pain and you’d want to make sure that you had good alignment.

Phoenix


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01 Apr 2017 16:47 #9 by Skrell

Thank you so much for the info. A question about the topper--is there also a particular thickness you recommend?

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02 Apr 2017 09:51 #10 by Phoenix

Hi skrell,

Thank you so much for the info. A question about the topper--is there also a particular thickness you recommend?

There are some general guidelines on how to select a topper in post #8 here .

Generally:

If the mattress needs just a "touch to a little" extra softness or a softer "surface feel" ... then a 1" topper is usually enough.

If you need a little to a fair bit of extra softness and pressure relief ... then a 2" topper would be in the average range.

If you need a fair bit to a lot of extra softness then a 3" topper would probably be the best choice.

Heavier weights generally do better with firmer and thicker toppers.

Lighter weights generally do best with softer and thinner toppers.

Phoenix


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20 Apr 2017 16:56 #11 by Skrell

It looks like I'm going to be sending the Novosbed and topper back. One interesting thing--the only way I can sleep on the Novosbed is if I leave my bed made with my comforter underneath me. Somehow it seems to support my hips better. I regret not getting the medium because I now wonder if that would have suited better. I don't want to chance getting it and it not working though since then I'd be stuck with it.

I also found the latex topper to be too bouncy for me, and I don't know if this is a thing with latex, but it has a funky smell. So back to the drawing board for me, and I guess I'll be sleeping on an air mattress until then! Yikes!

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20 Apr 2017 17:01 #12 by Skrell

Also, one other thing I tried was putting a yoga mat under the iComfort layer and sleeping on that. Unfortunately was unsuccessful too.

I was thinking back to my previous mattress experience, and I slept better on my current mattress when we first had it (It's a dormia--no longer available). It's pretty much at the end of its life, which is what led to the current mattress purchase. I'm guessing where I went wrong though was in thinking it was too hard and therefore buying a mattress which was too soft.

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21 Apr 2017 09:44 #13 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

It looks like I'm going to be sending the Novosbed and topper back.


I’m sorry to hear that your Novosbed didn’t work out for you :( , but at least you gave it a good try, and they do offer a good return program.

One interesting thing--the only way I can sleep on the Novosbed is if I leave my bed made with my comforter underneath me. Somehow it seems to support my hips better. I regret not getting the medium because I now wonder if that would have suited better.


This tends to reinforce some of my earlier suppositions and dovetails with your previous experiences that you desire a bit more surface firmness/resilience, especially with your low back pains. Having the extra material (comforter) upon the mattress will increase surface firmness and allow for a bit less “sinking in”.

I also found the latex topper to be too bouncy for me, and I don't know if this is a thing with latex, but it has a funky smell.


Latex, being vulcanized foamed rubber, will have a buoyant feel to it – that is correct. The smell normally described for latex is “semi-sweetish” or “vanilla-like”, but it tends to dissipate quickly. But like many things being so subjective, this may not be agreeable to you, like some people with memory foam or wool.

Also, one other thing I tried was putting a yoga mat under the iComfort layer and sleeping on that. Unfortunately was unsuccessful too.


Did you mean the “Comfort+” layer? From what you’ve described, I wouldn’t have expected that to work (but that was a good experiment!), as it seems you need the surface resilience as close to your body as possible. While not necessarily a permanent solution, the yoga matt on top of your mattress, then covered with your sheets and comforter, might be a better “feel” for you until you return your mattress. As you move forward, you may wish to look at something with good quality polyfoam in the quilt (memory foam seems to not be resilient enough for your needs and you don’t like the buoyant feel of latex), and based upon your comments about your comforter, you may even wish to investigate a wool mattress pad to thin wool topper, as it can provide a bit of surface resilience and comfort. But I wouldn’t necessarily be suggesting looking to buy a new mattress with the topper in mind immediately, unless you were able to test something locally and really enjoy the combination up front.

Phoenix


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21 Apr 2017 10:10 #14 by Skrell

Yup, the comfort+ layer. It was something Novosbed suggested. Thanks for all the information. There's no chance I would have been able to decipher what was wrong without it!

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21 Apr 2017 11:58 #15 by Phoenix

Hi Skrell,

Thanks for the confirmation - I figured that was what you meant, but I don't like to assume too much ;) .

I'm glad the information here has been useful to you as you go through this process. Most importantly, you're leaning about what does and doesn't work for you.

I'm hoping for good results "down the road" for you.

Phoenix


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