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Are pillowtops to be avoided? 11 Feb 2021 17:53 #1

Hello all!

I recently purchased a new mattress from Magic Sleeper, a Mattress Underground trusted member. It was a good buying experience, no pressure, and excellent customer service. Unfortunately, the Rome mattress I bought (which I discovered is a Symbol Aria mattress) has not worked out for me. I'm a side sleeper with a BMI of 30. I've had the mattress for a month, and I have been plagued with pain since day 1. As a side sleeper, I have significant shoulder pain which wakes me up. I tried to make myself sleep on my back, but that resulted in pain across my shoulders. Last night I woke up almost every two hours. Tonight, it's back to the guest bedroom and a very old pillowtop mattress! For some reference, here are the specs for the mattress I will be returning:

1 inch Gel Memory Foam quilted directly to the top quilt.
1 inch of 4 LB memory foam quilted directly to the top quilt.
3 inches of high density foam for added back support
1353 mini wrapped coils

I will be able to use Magic Sleeper's Comfort Guarantee and choose from any other model they have. In speaking with the proprietor, she told me they were getting new models in, so they would extend my exchange period so I could try their new mattresses. When I shared my issues with the Rome mattress, she said that it sounded like I needed more pressure relief, and she suggested something with more gel foam in the comfort layers. Looking back on my past mattress purchases, I feel like the mattresses i have been most comfortable on are pillowtops. However, in all the reading I have done, it seems like pillowtops are generally dismissed as lacking durability. My question to folks: how could I replicate a pillowtop feel without the actual pillowtop design? I'm looking for that enveloping soft feel, the metaphorical cloud!

Thanks in advance!
Katie

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Are pillowtops to be avoided? 12 Feb 2021 21:26 #2

Hi ktmusar.

I am glad to hear of your positive shopping experience at Magic Sleeper, sorry to hear of the shoulder pains and restless nights you've since been experiencing and that you are considering returning the mattress.

When I shared my issues with the Rome mattress, she said that it sounded like I needed more pressure relief, and she suggested something with more gel foam in the comfort layers.


Magic Sleeper is quite right. A good starting point for side sleepers is a 2" - 4" comfort layer thickness, but for a higher BMIs, depending on foam firmness, body shape, body type, and where you carry your weight, it's very likely that you need a thicker, softer (or both) comfort layer. I am glad that they offered an exchange and will extend the return period while waiting for the new models. Meanwhile, it would be useful if you could find the IFDs of the 3 layers above the coils to pinpoint if this is a thickness issue, softness, or both and ascertain what layer configuration might be best for your needs.

Looking back on my past mattress purchases, I feel like the mattresses i have been most comfortable on are pillowtops. However, in all the reading I have done, it seems like pillowtops are generally dismissed as lacking durability.


If you have previously found yourself sleeping comfortably on pillowtops, there is no reason why you shouldn't consider one. I would keep in mind that as a heavier sleeper, the components in the mattress are likely to break down faster and it's important to seek a mattress with adequate durability .

My question to folks: how could I replicate a pillowtop feel without the actual pillowtop design? I'm looking for that enveloping soft feel, the metaphorical cloud!


Pillowtop, is just a construction method and not a level of plushness, nor an indicator of quality/durability. Generally, a mattress constructed as a pillowtop using high-quality foams where the pillowtop is affixed properly can have a long comfort life. One that uses lower quality foams or is affixed loosely correspondingly will have a short comfort life. You can certainly achieve a "pillowtop feel" with a foam or latex topper added to your bed. You can also consider a topper containing shredded latex or natural fibers that may compress atop the mattress in a way that feels familiar/similar to what you are used to in your old pillowtop, but it would take a bit of experimenting. The advantage of adding a toper over pillowtop is that you can easily exchange the topper if the overall mattress comfort is not as good as you hoped for and the mattress does not offer enough pressure relief. The ability to exchange the topper comes in handy if the topper you purchased is a lower quality memory foam topper that needs to be changed due to the foam breaking down and sagging after a year or two of use.

If you have any questions moving forward in your exchange and would like me to comment on the Magic Sleeper options you may be considering, I'd be happy to hear back.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Are pillowtops to be avoided? 19 Feb 2021 18:01 #3

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply! I'm heading up to Magic Sleeper tomorrow to see what's available, and I am going to use your message for guidance. I am going to read up some more on foam densities tonight--I feel like I am studying for a test :)

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