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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 20 Nov 2017 02:30 #1

Hello. I'm trying to find a solution for DDD and Fibromalgia. I Need pressure relief and support. I moved away from pocket sprung after inheriting a cheap mattress (bonnel). It was too firm, not enough comfort, and hadn't yet found out about Latex. I'm sure the solution could have been to keep that mattress and add a latex topper. My mother has a new Hypnos, which although is great quality pocket sprung, doesn't provide enough pressure relief.

I also bought a Relaxsans Optimal Support Back Care Foam mattress (hot and terrible!) and now realise now that foam (poly) is not the way to go! I'm now faced with two choices - latex, which appeals (but concerned about support) or revert to a good pocket sprung, which i'm concerned might not offer enough pressure relief!

At this point, i'm confused and unsure which way to go. I have never slept on latex before, and I'm concerned it might not provide enough support even in Firm tension with a comfort layer. Does anyone have experience of that? Does anyone have any good advice? I realise we're all different - and I have seen that innerspring (pockets) and latex combo is advised for DDD - but has anyone tried pure latex with DDD, and found relief or just exacerbation?

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Last edit: by EliFreeman.

Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 20 Nov 2017 13:29 #2

Hi EliFreeman,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

I’m sorry to learn of your degenerative disc disease and your fibromyalgia, as well as your multiple issues attempting to find a mattress that meets your specific needs. :(

I'm now faced with two choices - to go full latex, which appeals (but concerned about support) or revert to a good pocket sprung, which i'm concerned might not offer enough pressure relief!


An all-latex mattress is certainly quite capable of providing good deep support and alignment, providing the arrangement of the layers (density) is appropriate, and pocketed coil mattresses can also be quite good at pressure point relief, provided that the comfort material on top is adequate in amount, quality and plushness for your specific needs.


We only have 1 latex supplier in UK (LatexSense).

While this site focuses primarily on North America, I was able quite quickly to find multiple latex mattress fabricators and manufactures in the UK so you have other sources for latex mattresses besides Latex Sense.

I have tried their Opulence Latex - it has a 7"Dunlop core with 2" Talalay + 2cm Tencel cover - all in all 9" deep. I am 1201bs. I am a side sleeper, back, then stomach and although I tried this with a firm Dunlop core my only concern is that it might not be supportive enough for stomach sleeping, which actually i noticed I do a little less of these days, but still a factor.


There’s certainly no reason that this item, especially in their firm configuration (they offer soft and medium as well but are not clear as to what layers are changed to the different densities they list), wouldn’t provide enough support for a 120 lb individual. The key would be finding something that met with your particular needs and sleeping positions .

The other latex option is The Superior Latex - 6" Dunlop core and 1" Talalay.


This item would also use good quality materials, as the Opulence, and it is available in soft, medium or firm, but overall it would probably tend to feel a bit less contouring than the Opulence at a similar comfort rating, as there is less material overall as compared to the Opulence.

They also do a 2000 pocket spring (reflex foam over the spring unit topped with 2" Dunlop and 1" Talalay.) Would such a small amount of latex over the springs be enough i wonder?


The only way for you to determine this would be through your own personal testing. 10 cm of comfort material can be quite accommodating for many individuals.

At this point, i'm confused and unsure which way to go. I've tested instore, but the proof is always in the sleeping pudding!


Unfortunately, there is no specific configuration or type of mattress that is "good for fibromyalgia or DDD" in general because each person is unique, and a mattress that works well for one person with a specific condition such as fibromyalgia may be completely unsuitable for someone else with the same conditions to sleep on. In very general terms, softer and more pressure relieving materials that provide a more "relaxed" sleeping surface will tend to work better than firmer materials because for most people with fibromyalgia or DDD a softer more pressure relieving sleeping surface is a more important priority, but I know that this does vary with individuals, as well as varying day to day. Latex and wool have been popular combinations mentioned over time here on the forum, but again everyone is different.

A forum search on fibromyalgia (you can just click the link) will also bring up more comments and feedback from others that are in similar circumstances that may be helpful (but it will also confirm that there isn't a single "best" combination of materials that will work for everyone with arthritis or fibromyalgia).

Nothing can replace your own personal testing, especially with specific health considerations. You’d obviously want to consider something that allows for enough surface comfort while sleeping upon your side and back, and also assists with pressure point relief, while still overall being resilient enough and provide enough support while sleeping. Overall, the two basic functions of a mattress are to support and to provide comfort (you can read more about that here if you like), with alignment being the first priority and then comfort coming second.

As you’re going through your readings, be sure to take a few minutes and browse through the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice.

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 (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) 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).

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 the 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 the end, especially with your very specific conditions, I wouldn’t draw on any else’s results, as they won’t be a reliable indicator of possible success for yourself. I would instead stick to looking at quality materials (latex certainly is one of them to consider) that are good at providing both support and pressure point relief, and I would focus upon becoming informed of any potential return/exchange policies should your mattress unfortunately not turn out as well as you had expected. I wouldn’t have as much of a concern regarding latex for support, as much of what you may be experiencing is the point elasticity of latex, which could be higher than what you are used to with the older coil mattresses you’ve previously tested.

Overall, the information on how to select a mattress, combined with the links to information about pressure relief and fibromyalgia, are the best “leaping off points" I can provide. I hope that information is helpful to you.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 06:59 #3

Dear Phoenix. Happy New Year to you, and a very belated thanks and appreciation for taking time to reply with a wealth of information.

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Last edit: by EliFreeman.

Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 07:20 #4

sorry that last bit "to find a mattress' was surplus! just any feedback you could give would be of great help. thank you !

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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 07:57 #5

I just wanted to jump in briefly to add that I am not surprised at 5'2" you were struggling with zoning. I'm 5'5", short in the waist and long in the leg, and had trouble on a zoned mattress trying to "fit" within the zones.

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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 07:59 #6

gosh thanks Magpie, i'm pleased you jumped in with that little nugget of info. What zones did you try? These here in UK are 7 zones. The issue is without the zones the mattress might come up firmer apparently. May I ask what you did to resolve this for yourself? (ps i'm long in the waist and short in the leg!)

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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 08:01 #7

and also what trouble did you find with the zones in trying to fit? Did they exacerbate any areas of discomfort for you ? Curious to know as much info as you're able to give...

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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 08:34 #8

It was a 5 zone. I found my hips were pushed up too high resulting in lower back pain in the morning. When the bed was brand new I ended up sleeping on it sideways to sleep on only one zone. I kept the mattress because in shopping for a replacement I could never find one that had the soft surface feel that this one has. I too have fibromyalgia so surface feel is critical - even 14 ILD latex pushed against my skin too much. As the mattress has aged the springs seem to have softened and concurrently I gained 8 lbs, mostly in the lower body, (I am now a whopping 106 lbs) so I have found that sleeping somewhat diagonally across the mattress seems to work. The comfort layer has developed impressions that fit my body so I just automatically slide into the right place on the mattress. The impressions developed from my low body weight are minor enough that they are actually an advantage. I'm sure they will eventually deepen to the point that the mattress will need to be replaced but for now it's still fine.
So obviously my approach is highly personal and not a path to follow! I posted originally just to let you know that zones are built for the average body type which neither you nor I have :-).

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Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 08:41 #9

thanks Magpie, this is actually really useful.

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Last edit: by EliFreeman.

Desperately Seeking Pain Relief! Confused about mattresses and which type! 02 Jan 2018 09:54 #10

The current mattress is a Serta; the spring system is a flex hinge, i.e. the springs flex from one hinge so somewhat mimics the conformity of a pocket coil while still being continuous - this probably makes no sense but I do not know any other way to describe it. The comfort layer is a combination of poly foams and "mystery" fibres. It is a two-sided flippable and is now 12 years old. It was obviously made before all the S-brands went the way of using non-durable foams because other than the slight body impressions where I constantly sleep, the bed looks brand new. As an experiment, we flipped it a few weeks ago with the idea of extending the life of this mattress, but I found I couldn't sleep on the "new" side (yes, we had never flipped it in all 12 years) because again, I couldn't find a sweet spot on the zones and the comfort layer felt too firm. We flipped it back after just one night. Once I get into my "groove", I sleep solidly for up to 7 hours and rarely wake with any pain. Also my fibromyalgia symptoms have decreased since retiring and my life is less stressful, so this probably helps.
When the mattress was new and I was having my issue with its zoning thus looking for a replacement, I tried latex with total lack of success. Please keep in mind that I am totally the "odd duck" here when it comes to my experience with latex. Rather than repeat my whole "latex-failure" story here, just do a forum search for my name and you will find my previous posts. As much as I am drawn to all the many advantages of a latex bed, I think I will always need to have a spring-based one. I am envious of all those who find that latex works for them.

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