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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 20 Feb 2021 10:55 #1

Thanks so much for the wealth of knowledge on mattresses shared on this site! I've spent weeks searching for a suitable mattress, and after reading countless reviews, I still don't know which exact one to try (with the pandemic, it's harder to try them out in person). I was wondering if I could get some recommendations/suggestions/advice here.

I am 5'4", 170 lbs, 35 years old, and a combination sleeper (most of the time, I sleep similarly to the person pictured in the cover picture of this site, kind of between back and stomach sleeper, and often with my arm under the pillow for extra support around the neck. I should get new pillows too). I have chronic back pain, especially at lower back. I have a slight tendency to sleep hot. My SO and I prefer to sleep on separate beds, so motion isolation is not a big concern. I prefer very very firm mattresses, and I like to be able to move freely when I sleep (I don't like the feeling of being stuck in my mattress). I prefer the feeling of being push up, rather sinking in, if that makes any sense. I have moved and traveled a lot and slept on all kinds of mattresses, but seldom found ones that I slept completely comfortably on. Luxury hotel mattresses usually feel too soft to me, and the most comfortable mattress I slept on in the recent years was actually a super thin foam mattress at an Airbnb (I doubt that it even had any layers, the whole mattress was probably just acting as the comfort layer, and the bed frame below it the support layer).

After reading all the mattress information on this site, I think a mattress with firm pocket coils in the support layer, and a natural fiber (such as wool) comfort layer would probably be the most suitable for me? Any recommendations on specific mattresses or manufacturers to look into?

I also have a few additional preferences:
- I prefer natural materials whenever it makes sense to use them (but not when they do a far worse job than synthetic materials and cost way more).
- I don't like the idea of zoned construction (although I've never tried it) - it sounds kind of one size fits all but people have different height, shape, etc., and I sometimes like to sit on my bed and read, so I like the head/shoulder "zone" just as firm and supportive as the lumber zone.
- I prefer companies with good return policy, since it's hard to try the mattress out in person before purchasing it during the pandemic.

So far, I've only come across the Joybed XL that sounds like a good option to try, but I'm a bit wary about the absolutely claims on foam vs. natural fibers (they called the "truth") on the company's website. Any insights on this?

My back pain has been killing me these days, and I can't wait to sleep on a mattress that helps alleviate it rather than worsen it. Any advice or pointers would be much appreciated!

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 21 Feb 2021 13:36 #2

Hey sleepyamy,

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

Thanks so much for the wealth of knowledge on mattresses shared on this site! I've spent weeks searching for a suitable mattress, and after reading countless reviews, I still don't know which exact one to try (with the pandemic, it's harder to try them out in person). I was wondering if I could get some recommendations/suggestions/advice here.


Thanks for your kind words on the site, Amy; they are much appreciated :) . There are many types and categories of mattresses available for consideration and while review sites can be helpful for understanding things such as customer service support and user experience, they do leave much to be desired in terms of advice on how a mattress's comfort and support feel may apply to you and your personal preferences. Phoenix's many years of thorough research and investigation have resulted in the treasure trove of deep-dive articles available here for consumer use, and we will help guide you with your research as best we can.

I am 5'4", 170 lbs, 35 years old, and a combination sleeper (most of the time, I sleep similarly to the person pictured in the cover picture of this site, kind of between back and stomach sleeper, and often with my arm under the pillow for extra support around the neck. I should get new pillows too). I have chronic back pain, especially at lower back. I have a slight tendency to sleep hot. My SO and I prefer to sleep on separate beds, so motion isolation is not a big concern.


Thanks for including details on your personal stats , they provide helpful clues to the manufacturer or showroom regarding what materials and construction would best serve your comfort and support needs. I'm sorry to hear of your chronic back pain, that must be quite frustrating to endure regularly. Your combination of stomach and back sleeping make for something of a comfort/ support challenge. Back sleeping has a slightly less curvy profile than side sleeping and stomach sleeping is the flattest sleep profile position; the combination of your sleep positions, as well as your slightly higher BMI suggests a firm mattress construction may be better suited for you. It's good to hear that you're considering updating your pillows as well as they too compress over time and can have an effect on proper spinal alignment, especially in their extra support use you describe.

I prefer very very firm mattresses, and I like to be able to move freely when I sleep (I don't like the feeling of being stuck in my mattress). I prefer the feeling of being push up, rather sinking in, if that makes any sense. I have moved and traveled a lot and slept on all kinds of mattresses, but seldom found ones that I slept completely comfortably on. Luxury hotel mattresses usually feel too soft to me, and the most comfortable mattress I slept on in the recent years was actually a super thin foam mattress at an Airbnb (I doubt that it even had any layers, the whole mattress was probably just acting as the comfort layer, and the bed frame below it the support layer).


Here are some questions for you, Amy: what brand and type mattress are you currently using? How old is it? What size mattress do you plan to purchase? What is your purchase budget? If you like a "very very firm" mattress, a hybrid mattress with a lower gauge pocketed coil support core might be a good choice. If you chose latex as the comfort material, this type construction would provide comfort feel of "being pushed up rather than sinking in". A lower gauge pocketed coil support core would offer the "very very firm mattress" support feel you describe, as well as the responsiveness for "moving freely/ not being stuck in the mattress". You may also consider an all-dunlop latex mattress for achieving a super-firm comfort and support feel. Both latex and pocket coils provide excellent air circulation, avoiding your "sleeping hot" concerns.

After reading all the mattress information on this site, I think a mattress with firm pocket coils in the support layer, and a natural fiber (such as wool) comfort layer would probably be the most suitable for me? Any recommendations on specific mattresses or manufacturers to look into?


A wool comfort layer could be an interesting choice, Amy. You may want to check out Phoenix's "Wool mattress pads and toppers" post response, there is an extensive list of resources that you may find useful. Keep in mind that wool components require regular maintenance for providing an optimal useful life, you may find trusted member's Shepherd's Dream's Wool Mattress Care tips a helpful guide. Feel free to reach out to them with questions as well, the Shepherd's Dream team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in the wool category.

I also have a few additional preferences:
- I prefer natural materials whenever it makes sense to use them (but not when they do a far worse job than synthetic materials and cost way more).


You have a responsible/ sustainable point in your preference for natural materials, as well as a practical point to durability and cost, Amy. Good job on your research, you seem to have a good understanding of how brand marketing can use a "natural" story to influence pricier choices when equally sustainable, durable, and higher value options exist. For others following your research with similar questions, an understanding of product certifications will help explain differences in certifications and help determine whether the mattress materials have been tested for "green concerns".

- I don't like the idea of zoned construction (although I've never tried it) - it sounds kind of one size fits all but people have different height, shape, etc., and I sometimes like to sit on my bed and read, so I like the head/shoulder "zone" just as firm and supportive as the lumber zone.


Zoned support constructions uses different materials or levels of firmness in different parts or "zones" of a mattress support layer. There are a number of mattress zoning options, and depending on the support core materials used (dunlop latex for example), the zoning is completely customizable, making it far from a "one size fits all" support core. To your point however, if you prefer to have the mattress of a uniform firmness that would only be achieved with a single firmness across the support core. Also be mindful that regular use of the bed for sitting activities, such as reading, TV watching, etc. will at some point contribute to compression issues as a mattress is designed for sleeping and not for prolonged/ regular sitting. Furniture uses completely different types and grades of foam and materials geared for regular seated use.

- I prefer companies with good return policy, since it's hard to try the mattress out in person before purchasing it during the pandemic.


A return policy that meets your needs is an important consideration before purchase, as well as a product warranty that clearly states recourse the consumer has should there be problems on down the road. Do plan to have conversations with the manufacturers you're considering (this article will help you with conversation talking points) and research specific questions regarding their mattresses (this article will help you with spec details of interest). If you don't feel safe to make showroom visits during these pandemic times, phone calls are a must for guidance on selecting your mattress, a reputable manufacturer will want to provide as much help as possible to get things right for your comfort and support needs.

So far, I've only come across the Joybed XL that sounds like a good option to try, but I'm a bit wary about the absolutely claims on foam vs. natural fibers (they called the "truth") on the company's website. Any insights on this?


I'm not comfortable speculating on a particular manufacturer's marketing view, but what I have found is that manufacturers promoting a natural/ green story tend to be quite passionate about their mission. It's great that people are concerned about sustainably manufactured mattress brands, but whether one chooses to pay for that price difference is a function of that consumer's loyalty to their preferred sleeping history . It's true that the cost of using polyfoam components is less expensive than that of natural fibers/ materials and its safe to say that 90% of manufactured mattresses will have some type of foam within the mattress construction (usually in a lower level support area), as using more natural fibers and materials are much more expensive (adding to your final cost), as well as adding no value as a support material choice. Examples of these include higher quality polyfoams such as HR/High Resiliency and HD/ High Density in densities of +1.5 lbs. cu. ft. that are often used to provide stability to a mattress's coil support array and generally carry either one or a combination of these testing standards for safety: Oeko-Tex, eco-INSTITUT, Greenguard Gold, CertiPUR-US. You will find product certifications listed prominently on most manufacturers web sites, as well as listed on the consumer law label attached to the mattress. It's important to remember too that different individuals have different sensitivities to chemical emissions and while these certifications prove that testing standards for a given material have been met, there is no way to guarantee that someone with extreme sensitivities would not necessarily experience some type of reaction from exposure.

My back pain has been killing me these days, and I can't wait to sleep on a mattress that helps alleviate it rather than worsen it. Any advice or pointers would be much appreciated!


I'm sorry to hear that your back pain is causing you much suffering, Amy. Hopefully you will soon be on the path to a better night's sleep, once you begin narrowing choices down. My sole suggestion would be to consider one of our trusted members for a possible purchase, once you have a better idea of potential type mattress candidates. Remember too that they are available for fielding your questions via the "Ask an Expert" forum, each has their own component specialties and unique expertise/ points of view. You may, for example, reach out to expert trusted member CozyPure with natural fiber s & materials questions as that green design is their focus. Good luck with your research and let us know how things go ;) .

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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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 22 Feb 2021 00:49 #3

Wow! Thank you so much, Sensei, for the super detailed and extremely knowledgeable reply! I will read through all the resources linked in your reply, and try to narrow it down a bit.

Here are some questions for you, Amy: what brand and type mattress are you currently using? How old is it? What size mattress do you plan to purchase? What is your purchase budget?


I currently sleep on a foam mattress from Nest Bedding. It's called the "Love Bed" (I was trying to find the details of the layers on the company's website, but it seemed to have been discontinued), and I got the firm version, queen size. I've had this mattress for over 5 years now, and the area I sleep on has become softer and less supportive. I think I will get a twin or twin XL size for my next mattress. I don't have a fixed budget in mind and just want to purchase the most comfortable mattress possible without unnecessary bells and whistles. Up to $2,000 for a twin size, I think?

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 23 Feb 2021 05:06 #4

sleepyamy wrote: Wow! Thank you so much, Sensei, for the super detailed and extremely knowledgeable reply! I will read through all the resources linked in your reply, and try to narrow it down a bit.

Here are some questions for you, Amy: what brand and type mattress are you currently using? How old is it? What size mattress do you plan to purchase? What is your purchase budget?


I currently sleep on a foam mattress from Nest Bedding. It's called the "Love Bed" (I was trying to find the details of the layers on the company's website, but it seemed to have been discontinued), and I got the firm version, queen size. I've had this mattress for over 5 years now, and the area I sleep on has become softer and less supportive. I think I will get a twin or twin XL size for my next mattress. I don't have a fixed budget in mind and just want to purchase the most comfortable mattress possible without unnecessary bells and whistles. Up to $2,000 for a twin size, I think?


Since Nest has a lifetime warranty, are you able to contact them about the issue you're experiencing with the Love Bed?

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 23 Feb 2021 08:16 #5

Since Nest has a lifetime warranty, are you able to contact them about the issue you're experiencing with the Love Bed?


Yes, I have contacted their customer service, and they were super responsive. I will need to take a set of pictures of the mattress for their warranty assessment.

I'm not sure which mattress it would be replaced with though, if it does meet the warranty criteria, so I'm still researching about suitable mattresses.

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 24 Feb 2021 02:37 #6

I would recommend a Perfect Sleeper by Serta. My wife and I purchased one for her back pain and she loves it! I love it! Mattress feels fantastic ! We have had it about a week and this was a fantastic mattress from day 1! Although it is a medium plush I would call it very firm compared to our 40 yr old mattress we decided to throw out. It was a great under $1,000 mattress which included box spring, setup, mattress protector and frame with it. A lady who does our tax returns every year for us from her Accounting office mentioned she got a Serta Perfect Sleeper from Mattress Firm a few months ago and she has loved it from day 1. A co-worker I work said he thought the Perfect Sleepers were great mattresses, a friend of his got one 3 years ago and absolutely loves it. They are budget mattresses that don't have the best reviews compared to more expensive ones online... but my wife and I personally fell in love with this Serta Perfect Sleeper on day 1 and by word of mouth everywhere I go a lot of people tell me they like the Serta Perfect sleepers.


I must be getting confused I thought I replied earlier to this post, but I don't see my reply so I must be confused with a different post.

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 25 Feb 2021 08:34 #7

Thank you, littleGizmo! The Perfect Sleeper sounds awesome! I'll look into it.

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 28 Feb 2021 03:15 #8

If you like a "very very firm" mattress, a hybrid mattress with a lower gauge pocketed coil support core might be a good choice. If you chose latex as the comfort material, this type construction would provide comfort feel of "being pushed up rather than sinking in". A lower gauge pocketed coil support core would offer the "very very firm mattress" support feel you describe, as well as the responsiveness for "moving freely/ not being stuck in the mattress". You may also consider an all-dunlop latex mattress for achieving a super-firm comfort and support feel. Both latex and pocket coils provide excellent air circulation, avoiding your "sleeping hot" concerns.


I'm starting to lean more towards an all latex mattress, and wondering whether I should look into all-Dunlop latex only or consider Talalay latex as well?

Are there any advantages that an innerspring support core offers over latex, besides the cost?

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Looking for mattress recommedations/suggestions 28 Feb 2021 11:58 #9

Hey sleepyamy,

Thanks for your updates and for your question :) .

I'm starting to lean more towards an all latex mattress, and wondering whether I should look into all-Dunlop latex only or consider Talalay latex as well?


An all-latex mattress can provide consistent pressure point relief, high resiliency, and excellent support for all sleeping positions. The choice of all Dunlop vs a combination of Dunlop and Talalay is strictly one of personal preference, as each has its own unique feel in the upper comfort layers . Some prefer the lighter, more responsive feel of Talalay latex, while others prefer Dunlop latex's slightly firmer, less lively nature. When used as a support core , both Dunlop and Talalay latex offer high durability and a high support factor, as well as natural breathability and motion isolation.

Are there any advantages that an innerspring support core offers over latex, besides the cost?


Innerspring mattresses continue to be the among the best selling and most popular of mattress designs, and their somewhat lower production costs as compared to an all latex mattress is definitely a factor in that statistic. Innersprings, like all support layers, are meant to control how deeply your heavier parts sink down into a mattress and help the comfort layers hold up your more recessed parts when necessary. Depending on the type spring, they also have a roughly equivalent degree of resilience or "pushback" to firmer foams and tend to be a bit "springier" than latex or polyfoam (for those who like that feel). Since pocket coils and offset coils have the greatest shape conforming abilities, they usually make the best choices in more progressive mattress constructions with thinner comfort layers above them. You may enjoy Phoenix's article, "Different Types and Categories of Mattresses" for a detailed discussion of the various mattress types and constructions, as well as thoughts relative to durability.

You may find a latex hybrid an interesting choice as it combines the option of either type latex as a comfort layer(s), as well a pocketed spring coil support array for those who like that support feel. An all-latex mattress would be more expensive, as the latex manufacturing process is quite costly (Talalay even more so than Dunlop) to yield this highly durable, long-lasting material.TheseTMU trusted members offer Innerspring and Hybrid mattresses , and these trusted members offer Latex and All-Latex mattresses .

I noticed online that NB's Love Bed mattress prior to 2016 had a 2" latex comfort layer, so you do have previous experience with latex's feel in an all-foam mattress. Are there any manufacturers/ showrooms in your area that offer COVID safe mattress testing by appointment? It would be helpful if you spend some time trying different latex hybrids for better understanding their comfort and support properties, as only you can "feel" what you feel on a given mattress. BTW, have you any more updates on your research?

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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