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How to Remedy Too Firm/Hard Pocket-Coil Mattress Purchase? 03 Feb 2021 13:02 #1

Hello:
First of all, thank you for setting up this helpful forum. I'm hoping I can find some advice on remedying our mattress situation.

We bought an expensive tight-top firm pocket-coil Marshall mattress way too quickly (did not shop around, research or test enough due to Covid), and find it unbearable to sleep on. (It is currently on the floor in another room until we figure out what to do with it. ) I am wondering if a mattress topper might remedy the situation, and if so what type? (The description from Marshall of the bed is found at the bottom of this post).

In the past, we’ve had two Marshalls and were very happy: 1) two-sided tight top, which offered great support and even comfort despite it being a tight top. It lasted for ages, is about 15 years old, and is still being used by a relative. 2) one-sided pillow-top, which we used for 10-plus years. We liked it at first, but it has scrunched in places in the pillow top, and it now has big uncomfortable dips/valleys.

The first two Marshalls were in the medium-high price-point range, made in Canada. This new one is from their luxury-highest end range, made in Pennsylvania, a house-brand type, “exclusive” to the high-end retailer we purchased it at in Canada. We thought given our past good experiences with Marshall we could not go wrong with a higher end model and chose a firm as it seemed the most comfortable after testing it too briefly (wearing masks and being rushed) at the store.

I tried sleeping on it for two nights and found it unbearable for the following reasons:
-too hard on pressure points (even when putting a feather duvet under me)
-no “give”, i.e. body did not seem to sink in at all
-no softness/comfort
-felt like I could feel the springs and the “buttons” that were holding it together digging into my body, particularly ribs, despite putting both a polyester and wool mattress cover and sheets on top.

The questions I have are the following:
1) Could a mattress topper help? Or is mattress simply too firm for us?
2) If a mattress topper can transform the mattress sufficiently, what kind? (I’ve been looking at wool, wool with latex as I want something natural, and think a feather is likely insufficient). We do not like the feel of memory foam, so I am not sure if latex would work for us, but maybe if it were covered with another material like wool it might work?
Any leads regarding companies that make the kind that would be good for our situation? (One that I had my eye on was: HOLY LAMB ORGANICS
3" Premium Eco Wool™/Latex Mattress Topper
Is three inch enough? Does this seem like a good option?
3) What should I be looking for in a mattress topper to remedy our mattress situation?
4) This new mattress is *extremely* unbelievably heavy. I can barely move it. Two male family members could not get it up the stairs. We had to hire guys with lots of muscle to come and help. Given that this mattress is so heavy, is our box spring sufficient? (We have a split one as a large one will not fit up our stairs.) Given its weight, is there something else I need to be mindful of?

Just to add a bit about us, I am mostly a side-sleeper,; the other person is generally a side sleeper but sometimes varies. We are both fairly average (or slightly under) weight for our height/age.

Thank you in advance for any help!
Mitzi

Here is the description of the mattress I “think” -- as it is a Marshall, but branded by the retailer, as it's their "exclusive" product, but I’m assuming it’s pretty much the same as the other Marshalls in that range..
The Curated Series Charlevoix Tight Top is a firm two-sided handcrafted mattress that is outer tufted for a fully supportive and restful sleep. Featuring Marshall Mattress’ patented pocket coil construction with edge-to-edge pocket coils that adapt to your body’s needs. Layers of breathable coconut fibre, copper fibre, GOTS-certified latex, eucalyptus and Alpaca wool provide the ultimate in luxury comfort and ensure you will wake up refreshed but never wanting to leave your mattress.

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Last edit: by Mitzi.

How to Remedy Too Firm/Hard Pocket-Coil Mattress Purchase? 04 Feb 2021 21:24 #2

Hi Mitzi.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :) Thank you for sharing the details surrounding your experience with your new mattress. Sorry to hear you find it over-firm but I am glad that you reached out. It is easier to fix a firmer good quality mattress than a softer or sagging mattress.

1) Could a mattress topper help? Or is mattress simply too firm for us?


Yes…. a good quality topper can certainly be an effective way to add some additional softness. Toppers are designed to add comfort to a mattress that does not sag but is too firm and needs some pressure relief qualities. When you use a topper over a mattress the topper will compress and in combination with the layers below it will take on the shape of your body profile. Softer toppers will compress more than firmer toppers. This "cradle" formed by the upper layers re-distributes weight away from the pressure points of the body.

Sometimes choosing a topper can be as difficult as choosing a mattress as it takes a bit of trial and error to dial in and find the exact combo of support/comfort best for your needs. The good news is that if you do end up making a suitable topper choice and the mattress/topper combination turns out to be a good "match" for you in terms of PPP then it also has the advantage of being able to replace just the topper without replacing the entire mattress if it softens or breaks down before the upper foam layers in the mattress (the upper layers or a sleeping system tend to soften or break down before the deeper layers) or if your needs or preferences change over time and a topper can also help extend the useful life of the mattress underneath it as well.

2) If a mattress topper can transform the mattress sufficiently, what kind? (I’ve been looking at wool, wool with latex as I want something natural, and think a feather is likely insufficient). We do not like the feel of memory foam, so I am not sure if latex would work for us, but maybe if it were covered with another material like wool it might work?


I would be cautious going wool only topper direction as it tends to compress over time and to form a permanent cradle of compressed fiber.

You are correct about s down/feather topper or featherbed or a fiberbed is more "fluffy" than resilient and while it can provide some degree of localized pressure relief under pressure points ... it is much less resilient than a foam topper and won't redistribute your body weight as effectively or provide the same degree of pressure relief as a foam topper. It will also pack down and compress more, requires more maintenance and regular "fluffing", and with your weight, it also won't be as durable as a good quality foam topper. There is a little more information about featherbeds and "down alternative" fiberbeds in post #10 here and in post #6 here and in this topic about featherbeds.

A latex topper seems to be the best option for you as can be a comfortable choice to provide a bit of extra plushness, but also something that provides a bit of support. Latex has an unusual combination of surface softness and deeper firmness/support that comes from its elasticity, its point elasticity (ability to conform to the shape of a body), and its compression modulus (the ability to get firmer faster with deeper compression than other types of foam). This means that it can enhance the pressure-relieving layers above it because of its surface softness and point elasticity but it is also very supportive and can "stop" the heavier parts of the body from sinking in too deeply. You'll ultimately end up with firm on firm and you won't get the pressure relief you are looking for. You mentioned that both you and your partner are on the low end of the BMI range, and side sleepers.

As far as instructions for selecting a topper, there is more information about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to, which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market), can help

In general, a good starting point for a good comfort layer for a side sleeper is 3" and then depending on weight, body shape, preferences, and the firmness of the support layers, to go up or down from there. Most side sleepers will fall in the range of from 2" - 4".

-too hard on pressure points (even when putting a feather duvet under me)
-no “give”, i.e. body did not seem to sink in at all
-no softness/comfort
-felt like I could feel the springs and the “buttons” that were holding it together digging into my body, particularly ribs, despite putting both a polyester and wool mattress cover and sheets on top.


Side sleepers with inadequate comfort layer(s) will experience all the things you listed and more.
And as you are both low weight sleepers, you may need a softer layer that allows you to sink down enough to receive the comfort and support you need and desire.

3) What should I be looking for in a mattress topper to remedy our mattress situation?


I’d start by keeping in mind that toppers, like mattresses, are a comfort choice , so your preferences for components, fabrications, thickness, etc. will all factor into your selection.

I would review the information in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to (including detailed posts about wool, featherbeds, and latex toppers)that can help you use your actual sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline for choosing the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that will have the best chance of success.

That all said, as you have a preference for natural components and need something that will soften your current sleeping experience, I would suggest looking at latex toppers.

We also have topper guidelines you may wish to review - but the short version is:

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. Given that you are both lighter this may prove to be a good option for you.
If you need a fair bit to a lot of extra softness then a 3" topper would probably be a good start for higher BMI sleepers or those experiencing numbness, tingling, or arms falling asleep.
Generally Heavier weights generally do better with firmer and thicker toppers. Lighter weights generally do best with softer and thinner toppers.

Once you get a chance to peruse the information and links mentioned above I’d make sure to check out our Trusted Members here Most have good quality toppers and I have no doubt that they will not hesitate to help you find the best combo and thickness/softness they have available that works for you. As you’ve already gathered, It usually takes a bit of trial and error and a bit of time spent on the mattress to ensure that you dialed in the best mattress/topper combo for you. I’d make sure that whatever you chose has a good exchange policy as you won’t be able to take your new mattress with you to a shop :) to test the mattress/topper combination as they do not work in isolation.

I look forward to any progress updates or questions you may have moving forward.

Phoenix
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How to Remedy Too Firm/Hard Pocket-Coil Mattress Purchase? 29 Apr 2021 10:06 #3

Phoenix:
Thank you so much for your reply. We reviewed all your information, and have narrowed our topper choice down to a latex. We are looking at the Savvyrest Harmony, which has three inches of latex -- either Dunlop or Talalay -- wrapped in wool. And, there are three options for each type of latex, soft, medium, firm.

We were debating between the Talalay, soft or medium, or possibly the Dunlop soft. Our innerspring mattress is way too firm, which is the reason for getting a topper -- and we are both low BMI, and mostly side sleepers, though move around, and sometimes end up on our backs, very rarely stomach.

We are tending the most forwards the Talalay soft, but I hope we are not going from one extreme to the other, i.e. because the innerspring feels so hard, I might be tending towards the opposite extreme.

Do you have any thoughts on the above? Has anyone had a soft Talalay topper, and if so, how did they find it?

Thanks again, and best wishes,

Mitzi

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How to Remedy Too Firm/Hard Pocket-Coil Mattress Purchase? 30 Apr 2021 12:23 #4

Hi Mitzi.

You are most welcome! :)
Good to see that you gained a bit more clarity and that you narrow it down to a quality topper to add a bit more softens to your tight-top firm pocket-coil marshall mattress and mitigate the pressure points that you and your husband experience.

It seems that are heading in the right direction and asking the right questions. Since every layer and component in a mattress can affect the feel and performance of every other layer and the mattress "as a whole" and how you perceive and interact with it, now that you decided on the best surface comfort material you do best with it may be helpful to find out a little more about your current mattress.
I was trying to find out what is the overall height of your existing mattress, the Dunlop latex ILD/firmness, and the height of each of the individual component used in their mattress from marshals site but their product “Specs” tab does not function. You may want to reach out to them to find out information listed here so that you can better assess what combo has the best chance to work for you and your husband’s given you. You did not list your specific stats but in your first post you’ve mentioned that you are “fairly average (or slightly under) weight for our height/age” so depending on your existing mattress comfort layer you can go both directions. Typically low BMIs generally do best with softer and thinner toppers and higher BMIs do best with thicker and firmer.

In terms of Talalay vs Dunlop selection, it depends on how much the layer gets compressed under your weight when sleeping on your mattress. Generally, Dunlop starts off softer and (at compression levels past 25%) ends up firmer than Talalay. Generally, as most sleepers will compress a topper past 25% and Dunlop tends to feel firmer than Talalay of the same ILD for most sleepers. There is more detail about this and about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here .

I hope this information pushes you a notch further into selecting the right topper material for your particular needs.

Phoenix
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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