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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 06 Oct 2020 09:34 #1

hello there, i am getting lost in all the detailed info on this fabulous site, but sooo glad i found it, and have been reading for hours over the last few days.
i am getting ready to buy a new mattress, after sleeping on a firm foam only for about twenty years.

i am female, 5'8, 155 pounds, side and stomach sleeper. have pain in lumbar region and neck/shoulders. sleeping on side is best for my neck , but hurts my lower back. sleeping on my stomach, with an arm under it for extra support, feels best for my back but obv. hurts my neck and shoulders.

i think my mattress is too soft for stomach sleeping, yet too firm for side sleeping?
how can i balance that better by a new mattress?
i am considering latex hybrid or all latex, would like/need to stay under $2000, not sure if firm core, transitional ild30 2" and then top soft 2" would be a reasonably good choice or possibly one with even more layers, so that i could switch them around if needed?
i live in Vancouver, Canada, and have checked out the Nature's embrace website and MFC site, and they both have those options.
i am planning to look at real-life Nature's Embrace today, and understand they make MFC's matresses also.
i am quite convinced that other than "too soft", i will be unable to tell just from lying on it if one of the mattresses would be a good fit for me in the long run.
what else should i be looking at/considering?

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 06 Oct 2020 11:47 #2

Oh!
More questions:
I am 65, btw, so i want this to be the only mattress left for me to decide about:-)
If i were to omit a trans layer and went for a 6" core and soft 2" top layer, is that likely too little comfort for side sleeping?
And what about the option of buying a lumbar support separayely (Dream Designs in Vancouver sells such a thing)...would that fill the gap at my waist when on my side as well as give extra lift for sleeping on stomach, which i use my arm for now?

And question re top-quilted wool/org cotton, which is for comfort only? But as an integral part of the mattress ii would be stuck with it when it compresses after a drcade or so?
In general, is it a better idea to just get the latex layers and buy a separate topper?

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 07 Oct 2020 20:26 #3

Hi again,
Maybe i posted in the wrong place, or maybe i am too impatient; new to this forum and really would appreciate any help with this.
Thank you.

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 11 Oct 2020 09:53 #4

Hey Margit,

Welcome to the Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

hello there, i am getting lost in all the detailed info on this fabulous site, but sooo glad i found it, and have been reading for hours over the last few days. i am getting ready to buy a new mattress, after sleeping on a firm foam only for about twenty years.

Congrats on your new mattress shopping journey :) ! Thanks for your kind words on the site, Margit and for your patience. The forum has been super-busy with activity this past week and my apologies for response time being a little off on my end. Let's break down your questions, shall we?

i am female, 5'8, 155 pounds, side and stomach sleeper. have pain in lumbar region and neck/shoulders. sleeping on side is best for my neck , but hurts my lower back. sleeping on my stomach, with an arm under it for extra support, feels best for my back but obv. hurts my neck and shoulders. i think my mattress is too soft for stomach sleeping, yet too firm for side sleeping? how can i balance that better by a new mattress?

It sounds like you have a good understanding of your sleep preferences which will go a long way towards researching your new mattress choices. For others following your post, Phoenix's article, "Determining Your Personal Statistics" discusses the importance in understanding how individual sleep styles, body shape/ weight and preferences for materials all play key roles in deciding the best mattress for you. Also consider that after twenty years of faithful service, your foam bed has probably reached the end of its useful life in terms of durability. Your lower back pain while side sleeping, as well as neck and shoulder pain while stomach sleeping could likely reflect this.

i am considering latex hybrid or all latex, would like/need to stay under $2000, not sure if firm core, transitional ild30 2" and then top soft 2" would be a reasonably good choice or possibly one with even more layers, so that i could switch them around if needed?
i live in Vancouver, Canada, and have checked out the Nature's embrace website and MFC site, and they both have those options. i am planning to look at real-life Nature's Embrace today, and understand they make MFC's matresses also. i am quite convinced that other than "too soft", i will be unable to tell just from lying on it if one of the mattresses would be a good fit for me in the long run.
what else should i be looking at/considering?

Did you know that MFC is an expert trusted member of the Mattress Underground? You may ask @Mario questions directly on MFC's "Ask an Expert" forum, he would be happy to guide you through suggested product specs and layering best suited for your individual preferences. In terms of other considerations, Phoenix articles, "Mattress Specifications You Need to Know" , "Mattress Shopping Guidelines" and "Mattress Durability Guidelines" discuss valuable details for outlining next steps in your research, and article "Finding a Great Mattress Outlet" offers a checklist of questions to prospective manufacturers that will help outline your personal preferences for their reference.

More questions:
I am 65, btw, so i want this to be the only mattress left for me to decide about:-)
If i were to omit a trans layer and went for a 6" core and soft 2" top layer, is that likely too little comfort for side sleeping?

Either a latex hybrid or all latex mattress would certainly be a good choice in terms of durability/ longevity. As for the layering you propose, that would depend on which latex foam is used either in the comfort or support layers. You can learn more about latex's natural pressure relieving properties and the differences in dunlop vs talalay latex in Phoenix articles, "Mattress Comfort Layers- Latex" , "Mattress Support Layers- Latex" , and "Latex: Pros and Cons" .

And what about the option of buying a lumbar support separayely (Dream Designs in Vancouver sells such a thing)...would that fill the gap at my waist when on my side as well as give extra lift for sleeping on stomach, which i use my arm for now?


Would the addition of a lumbar support be for your current firm foam bed? If you work directly with a manufacturer and use their expertise and knowledge for suggesting layering, materials, and construction best-suited for your preferences, you probably wouldn't need a separate lumbar support, that seems more of a "band-aid" solution for your current mattress.

And question re top-quilted wool/org cotton, which is for comfort only? But as an integral part of the mattress ii would be stuck with it when it compresses after a drcade or so?

Are you speaking of the mattress cover here or of a wool/ organic cotton topper? Natural fibers have little elasticity/ resilience and rely on construction methods to give them these qualities. Tufting or "bunching" of the natural material and attaching it to deeper layers of a mattress can help ease the tendency of all-natural fibers to compress and become firmer. Phoenix's article "Mattress Comfort Layers: Natural Fibers" discusses inherent traits of natural fibers when used in the mattress layers.
You may also find a site search on this topic interesting as there is a lot of consumer conversation of natural fibers used either in a quilted cover or as a natural topper. In general, compression of natural materials overtime can be eased with regular fluffing, flipping or rotating of the comfort layer.

In general, is it a better idea to just get the latex layers and buy a separate topper?


That is a matter of preference, Margit. Many manufacturers sell separate comfort layers, giving consumers the ability to rearrange layers or replace layers in the future to extend the useful life of the mattress. Whether considering a DIY route or a hybrid mattress/ all-latex mattress, familiarize yourself carefully with the manufacturers' comfort exchange/ return policies and understand the product warranty offered as well. For example in some cases, if the use of a particular base or foundation compromises the mattress's performance in some way, the warranty is voided leaving you no further remedy if needed.

Looking forward to hearing your updates ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 12 Oct 2020 18:51 #5

thank you so much for your reply, suggestions and links to further material.
i have read them all now:)
and no, none of my questions were intended to relate to somehow band-aiding my old mattress; that is done with.
yes, i realize MFC is part of your Expert forum and i will proceed to direct some questions there, so thanks for pointing to them. i have reluctance to ask people who also sell a product to help me with deciding on what product to buy from which seller, as they don’t all have the same product.
MFC, for example, sells Nature’s Embrace mattresses that are specifically made for them, so i would not expect they would suggest a product or configuration they don’t sell themselves...i don’t mean to offend. i am a skeptical consumer. compare lots. take my time, which can lead at times to analysis paralysis. so i thought it was better to check my considerations in the general forum, and i appreciate your input.
i also would much welcome input from others with their experiences of being a stomach and side sleeper and how they/you negotiated the layers of latex and how that worked out.

thanks for all you do here.
Margit

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 16 Oct 2020 06:57 #6

Hey Margit,

Thanks for your response and please accept my apologies for the delayed reply :) .

yes, i realize MFC is part of your Expert forum and i will proceed to direct some questions there, so thanks for pointing to them. i have reluctance to ask people who also sell a product to help me with deciding on what product to buy from which seller, as they don’t all have the same product.
MFC, for example, sells Nature’s Embrace mattresses that are specifically made for them, so i would not expect they would suggest a product or configuration they don’t sell themselves...i don’t mean to offend. i am a skeptical consumer. compare lots. take my time, which can lead at times to analysis paralysis. so i thought it was better to check my considerations in the general forum, and i appreciate your input.

No offense taken, Margit; you are simply being responsible with due diligence in your research and that is perfectly acceptable. You may rest assured that any
trusted member of the TMU
will answer your questions thoughtfully and with full regard to your best interests, as their unbiased suggestions are part of their responsibility on the forum. None of them mind answering product knowledge questions of any mattress brand, as long as they are familiar with the components, construction and materials, and the question is directed to a manufacturer's specialty; in your case, with your preference for latex and a specific mattress that MFC likely has an understanding of, it is fine (if you choose) to ask a question of them without concern a purchase of their similar product is expected in return. And if a manufacturer is uncomfortable with commenting for any reason, he/ she will say so and say why; transparency in all forms is part of what makes the Mattress Underground experience special.

BTW, with regards to your research: have you been able to test Nature's Embrace on site yet and if so, what were your thoughts? Looking forward to your updates and thanks ;) .

Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

sleep position dilemma for new mattress 16 Oct 2020 18:19 #7

hi Sensei,
yes, thanks for asking, i have tried out a couple of Nature’s Embrace’s mattresses at a general furniture store.
i tested an 8 inch all-organic Dunlop, which had a 6” 40ild core, a 2” 20ild top layer and the cover had wool in it.
it was delicious when lying on my back, but: i don’t sleep on my back.
it felt good when on my side, which is how i sleep part of the time. the mattress cover (not a topper) on the ild 20 layer together are much more cushiony than my dense, firm foam mattress, and while that felt great at the moment, i am unable to tell if it would feel okay in the long term.
i tried on my stomach, and my sense is that i sink in too much. but i am not certain if that is so, or only so in comparison to what i have had for the last twenty years.
but since i already put one of my arms under my tummy when sleeping that way, i think that is a telltale sign i need something i don’t sink into.
also, when on my side on this mattress, i cannot tell if my spine is straight.
it was very comfy while on my side, and i wondered if a mattress like that might enable me to get away from stomach-sleeping altogether, which would be fantastic.

i then tried a 6” 40ild, which felt very familiar, as it is the most similar to what i am on now.

then, i came across a rather different Nature’s Embrace that had 4 layers, alternating dunlop latex 2” with coconut fibre layers and a tencel cover.
this one felt fantastic, but was not available in the size i need, and the salesperson said it was a leftover from a previous line, and so i contacted NE and was told no, they do not make it anymore as they cannot get the coir required.

the salesperson suggested i might want to try a 6” 40ild with a 2” 30 ild. that sounds like a good idea, but so far i have not found anything like that to test.

in the meantime, i also wonder about the organic cotton/wool cover, which felt very nice, but i am unsure that the claim of temperature-regulating and helping to keep cool in the summer is factual. i do not want to take a chance on being too hot in the summer.

also, i am confused now about how, in general, layers are combined.
some mattresses have the layers glued together, others are totally separate. i appreciate the idea of being able to replace a top layer at some point in time, but depending on who i talk to, some people (i went to another store to get more input, and tested a hybrid with talalay) tell me it is much preferable to have them attached to each other. what to believe?

so yes, have taken some action but really am not much closer to a decision.

any and all input appreciated:-)

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 18 Oct 2020 12:32 #8

Hey Margit,

Thanks for your updates :) .

i have tried out a couple of Nature’s Embrace’s mattresses at a general furniture store.
i tested an 8 inch all-organic Dunlop, which had a 6” 40ild core, a 2” 20ild top layer and the cover had wool in it.
it was delicious when lying on my back, but: i don’t sleep on my back.
it felt good when on my side, which is how i sleep part of the time. the mattress cover (not a topper) on the ild 20 layer together are much more cushiony than my dense, firm foam mattress, and while that felt great at the moment, i am unable to tell if it would feel okay in the long term.
i tried on my stomach, and my sense is that i sink in too much. but i am not certain if that is so, or only so in comparison to what i have had for the last twenty years.
but since i already put one of my arms under my tummy when sleeping that way, i think that is a telltale sign i need something i don’t sink into.
also, when on my side on this mattress, i cannot tell if my spine is straight.
it was very comfy while on my side, and i wondered if a mattress like that might enable me to get away from stomach-sleeping altogether, which would be fantastic.


Different sleeping positions are part of what determines how deep a cradle you need and how thick the comfort layer should be. This also affects the type of support layers that work best. The layers underneath the comfort layer can help with pressure relief for those who change positions and with thinner upper layers or can be primarily focused on preventing your heavier parts from sinking down too far with thicker comfort layers. Stomach sleepers have fewer gaps to fill in and need a thinner, firmer top comfort layer than the other positions. It is especially important for a stomach sleeper to avoid hyperextension of the lumbar area. A good place to start is 1" of softer material so there is enough "softness" to cushion the bony parts of the pelvis. In general, stomach sleepers should choose the thinnest firmest comfort layers that are comfortable as "sinking In too far" can lead to a swayback position and cause back issues. Stomach sleeping is the most prone of all sleeping positions to sinking down too far in the pelvic area. You may find Phoenix's article "Your Sleeping Style: An Overview of Sleeping Positions" helpful in understanding the cause and effect relationship between how and individual's sleep position plays a key role in mattress choices. To better understand whether the mattress is providing correct spinal alignment, if possible, during your next trial/ store visit, have someone take several pics while you are lying on your side on the mattress. Keeping in mind too that the pillow you use will have some impact on the result, but ideally your spine should align in a horizontal line from your neck to your lower back area if the support of the mattress is correct for you (try a google image search using the phrase "correct spinal alignment sleeping" to see many illustrations of how the correct result looks, we will have some on the forum in the days to come).

in the meantime, i also wonder about the organic cotton/wool cover, which felt very nice, but i am unsure that the claim of temperature-regulating and helping to keep cool in the summer is factual. i do not want to take a chance on being too hot in the summer.


I am not personally familiar with Nature's Embrace mattresses, but you will find many consumer conversations on these mattresses, using the forum's site search and search term "nature's embrace mattress" to see what their experiences have been and whether the cover's performance is mentioned. From the Nature's Embrace site, I can see that the wool is within the quilting area of the 100% Organic cotton construction. Natural fibers such as wool are very breathable; they can add to the temperature and moisture regulation properties of a mattress, improving the quality of sleep.

also, i am confused now about how, in general, layers are combined. some mattresses have the layers glued together, others are totally separate. i appreciate the idea of being able to replace a top layer at some point in time, but depending on who i talk to, some people (i went to another store to get more input, and tested a hybrid with talalay) tell me it is much preferable to have them attached to each other. what to believe?

Well, that depends on your expectations as to your point, mattresses now are available with the comfort layers either glued together as a unit or enclosed separately in a zippered cover. With a glued layer construction, you may find the comfort layers to feel more stable as they are attached to each other in a single unit, preventing "shifting" among the individual comfort layers. When the comfort layer(s) are enclosed in a separate zippered case, they can be rearranged to individualize comfort preferences or replaced at some point, increasing the useful life of the mattresses. The choice is up to you and really comes down to what future options you may wish to have.

so yes, have taken some action but really am not much closer to a decision.


Good job on your comparison shopping, Margit. Looking forward to hearing which way you decide as you get closer in your choices ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

sleep position dilemma for new mattress 19 Oct 2020 18:49 #9

thank you, Sensei.
yes, i have read Phoenix’ article on sleep positions a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, along with many other articles here.
and i understand the recommendations re “ A good place to start is 1" of softer material so there is enough "softness" to cushion the bony parts of the pelvis. In general, stomach sleepers should choose the thinnest firmest comfort layers that are comfortable as "sinking In too far" can lead to a swayback position and cause back issues. Stomach sleeping is the most prone of all sleeping positions to sinking down too far in the pelvic area.. “.
however, i sleep on my stomach approximately half the time, and the other half on my side.
the thinnest, firmest comfort layer for tummy sleeping leaves my shoulder pushed forward and shoulder and hip pressure point hurting. i am trying to find a combination that will accommodate both positions, but they are rather opposed in terms of needs.
i do start off on my side each night, and later wake up in order to get off my side.
this makes me wonder if softening things up in the cushion layer could or would lead to better side sleeping, which i think would be better for me all around.

i have done a site search looking for Nature’s Embrace, but only 11 posts come up for me, several of them my own. and i have been unable to find posts regarding the temperature regulating of wool in the cover and whether people find that working for them in hot summers as far as keeping them cool.

if, after testing again in a store, i find still that side-lying on a 6” 40 ild with 2” 20 ild is good but too soft for stomach sleeping, then what would be other options to consider? exchange the 2” 20 ild for a 2” 30 ild(which i cannot find for testing) - is that a good possibility for a middle way, or just likely to accommodate neither of my sleep positions?
what do you think?

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sleep position dilemma for new mattress 23 Oct 2020 06:50 #10

Hey Margit,

Thanks for your reply :) .

In general, stomach sleepers should choose the thinnest firmest comfort layers that are comfortable as "sinking In too far" can lead to a swayback position and cause back issues. Stomach sleeping is the most prone of all sleeping positions to sinking down too far in the pelvic area.. “.however, i sleep on my stomach approximately half the time, and the other half on my side. the thinnest, firmest comfort layer for tummy sleeping leaves my shoulder pushed forward and shoulder and hip pressure point hurting. i am trying to find a combination that will accommodate both positions, but they are rather opposed in terms of needs. i do start off on my side each night, and later wake up in order to get off my side.
this makes me wonder if softening things up in the cushion layer could or would lead to better side sleeping, which i think would be better for me all around.


Body shape and how your weight is distributed is just as important as overall body weight itself in choosing the perfect mattress. The curvier you are in your normal sleeping positions, the deeper a cradle you will need for pressure relief. In curvier sleeping positions and with curvier body profiles, there are more "gaps" to fill in to spread your weight over the mattress which means you will need a softer and thicker comfort layer than someone who sleeps in a flatter position and who does not have as many curves. On the other hand, someone who has a "flatter" body profile and sleeps in a "flatter" position would be better off choosing a slightly firmer and thinner comfort layer. So, those who have "wider areas" (typically hips in women and shoulders in men) will need enough thickness and softness to accommodate these wider areas and relieve pressure. If you need a thicker comfort layer than normal, it should always go with a firmer support layer as well to "balance" the sinking down with the "sinking in".
The general rule here is that you deal with bigger gaps and curvier profiles with the thickness of the comfort layer. You deal with weight by increasing the firmness of the comfort layers and support layers. Average weight distribution and average body shape = average thickness and softness comfort layers and average firmness support layers. Uneven weight distribution and curvier than average body shape= softer/thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers. Even weight distribution and flatter than average body shape = thinner/firmer comfort layers and average support layers. Currently at the TMU, our site developers are working on infographics that will better illustrate the effects that body shape/ weight distribution and sleep styles play in mattress materials and construction needs for individual preferences/ PPP.


i have done a site search looking for Nature’s Embrace, but only 11 posts come up for me, several of them my own. and i have been unable to find posts regarding the temperature regulating of wool in the cover and whether people find that working for them in hot summers as far as keeping them cool.


Understood, Margit; there are thousands of consumer voices chattering here over the past ten years, along with moderator/ expert member commentary, creating a vast knowledge base that can be tricky to sort through. There are conversations about wool and its various uses in a mattress including as a quilting material; as a natural comfort material component; as a natural fire barrier component; as a natural topper material and so forth. Generally speaking, this combination of cotton and wool having natural, breathable properties providing a cover for the Dunlop latex, having its own temperature regulating properties, should provide the temperature regulation you desire. Keep in mind that many other variables will be in play here too, such as what type bed linens are used, type mattress protector (if used), the foundation used, the temperature of your sleeping environment, etc. Proper air circulation of the latex mattress and components overall, not only temperature regulating qualities of the cover, will determine how "cooling" your mattress will be.


if, after testing again in a store, i find still that side-lying on a 6” 40 ild with 2” 20 ild is good but too soft for stomach sleeping, then what would be other options to consider? exchange the 2” 20 ild for a 2” 30 ild(which i cannot find for testing) - is that a good possibility for a middle way, or just likely to accommodate neither of my sleep positions?


In terms of the 2" comfort layer's ILD, 20 is considered a "soft" firmness and 30 is a "medium" firmness. My guess based on your preferences is that a 30 ILD/ medium firmness could be a better way to go for accommodating both sleep positions; however, as only you can "feel" what you feel when laying on a mattress, it would be better for you to test that combination personally. Just curious: as Nature's Embrace Classic 8 Organic mattress is available in a 2" 30 ILD/ 6" 40 ILD option, did the store you visited previously not have a floor model in that firmness available for testing? Looking forward to hearing more as your research progresses… ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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