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Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 04 Aug 2021 07:02 #1

Greetings...
I have been on my mattress search for 3 frustrating years. I just can't seem to find the right bed. I feel like Goldilocks. I prefer a soft bed as I'm a side sleeper that occasionally rolls onto my back. On most beds I wake up with a sore lower back that usually goes away after about 5 minutes of being out of bed. The firmer the bed the sorer my back feels, softness seems to help but that is not a guarantee. I'm running out of beds to try. A little info about me, I'm 5'9" with a muscular build from years of weightlifting but have also accumulated a layer of fat over those muscles from sitting in front of the TV too much. I'm ~225 lbs and 63 years old. My wife is 5'4" and about 120 and can sleep on anything.
Here's what I've tried out so far, all tried for at least 30 days and returned during the comfort trial.
Sleep on Latex - too firm
Brooklyn Beds Signature Hybrid - okay but sore back
Casper - too firm
Nolah - too firm
Nest Alexander Signature Hybrid Plush - almost a keeper. Very comfortable but gave me some back soreness
Layla - comfortable but sore back
Wink Beds - too firm
Saatva Plush Soft - too firm
Helix Sunset - uncomfortable
Propel - uncomfortable
Bear - uncomfortable
Luma - very comfortable but sore back
Amerisleep AS5h - uncomfortable
SleepEZ Latex - uncomfortable
Rubix by Brooklyn Beds - soft but sore back
Layla Hybrid - somewhat soft but sore back
Nolah Hybrid Evolution (current bed) - could be softer but sore back is nearly gone

The Nolah Evolution almost checks all the boxes but it is not quite soft enough. I bought a 2" Dunlop soft (20 ild) topper but that doesn't make me any more comfortable. Do you think a soft Talalay topper might make a difference? Maybe 3" thick? Or maybe something other than a latex topper? I appreciate any insight anyone can offer. Thanks!

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Last edit: by peteinno.

Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 06 Aug 2021 21:29 #2

Hi peteinno.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

It sounds like you've been on quite the mattress searching adventure, and I'm sorry to hear that thus far, you've not been able to find that perfect match. We've had sleepers on the forum similar to you affectionately refer to themselves as "princess and the pea" sleepers.

I'd like to start by saying that our bodies can take up to 3 months to get use to a new mattress and for the break in period to be over. During this period, we sometimes experience discomfort as our bodies adjust to a new, better sleeping posture. This is just one thing to keep in mind.

For the beds you felt were too firm, what sort of sleep and pain experience did you have in comparison with the beds you felt were too soft?

In any of these cases, did you speak to the manufacturer about your experience and ways to possibly reduce your discomfort? If so, what advice did you receive (if you remember)?

Sorry for the many questions, I'm just trying to get a better idea of your overall experience testing these mattresses and what, if any, advice you've already been given as to not give you any irrelevant insights.

The Nolah Evolution almost checks all the boxes but it is not quite soft enough. I bought a 2" Dunlop soft (20 ild) topper but that doesn't make me any more comfortable. Do you think a soft Talalay topper might make a difference? Maybe 3" thick? Or maybe something other than a latex topper?


I took a look at the Nolah and it looks like a solid mattress! It does already have about 4" in the comfort layer, and as you suffer from lower back pain and you are primarily a side sleeper, I’d hesitate to use 3:additional inches (via a topper) of comfort layers. Some cushiness will be also borrowed (secondary comfort/softness) from the 2” high resilience foam layer within the mattress as well. Given your chronic lower back pains, you need adequate support to maintain neutral spinal alignment, while also meeting your comfort needs. In general, a good starting point for a basic comfort layer for a side sleeper is 3". Then depending on weight, body shape, preferences, and the firmness of the support layers, go up or down from there. Most side sleepers will fall in the range of from 2" -4".

2" of talalay is going to be softer than 2" of dunlop - the analogy is often made that dunlop is like pound cake, where talalay is more like angel cake. You could certainly try swapping that topper out to see if it makes a difference where comfort is concerned.

Thanks for working through all of these points with me!
NikkiTMU
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Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 28 Aug 2021 08:46 #3

WOW! I thought I was the only one who could not make up their mind (LOL). You have tried EVERY bed that I have tried and then some. I applaud your tenacity! I received my L/F Nolah 15 last week and thought I finally nailed it too, but after one week, my shoulders still hurt. I don't have any hip pain (my main issue) with the mattress. The pillow top is kinda strange cuz it's very slippery, AND I find that it sleeps warmer than advertised. I was thinking of trying there Plush version but Nolah does not offer an additional 30 day trial (only 1 return per customer). So, I'm gonna revert back to my latex mattress and return the Nolah in 30 days. Another bed that I have to put up against the wall in my dining room waiting for the 30 day clock to end (tic tic...).

Now, regarding your topper question, Nolah does offer a topper (Plush or L/F).
Here's the link -> www.nolahmattress.com/products/nolah-mattress-topper
However, as with their mattresses, there are no returns!

One of the beds you tries was the Rubix. I bought this for my guest room since I can configure it soft, medium, etc. What I did with it was put a 2" talalay layer along with the Energex layer soft foam and it sleeps pretty comfortable. I am using the Energex middle firmness (ILD 28) layer as a topper for my latex mattress and it works pretty well! The caveat? You can only buy an “Energex” topper (soft) from Allswell (allswellhome.com/products/2-energex-memory-foam-mattress-topper-infused-with-graphite) - or Walmart ($20 bucks cheaper for the same topper). I wish they would sell different firmness’s.

Hope I could help with some topper suggestions. Which Nola firmness did you purchase?

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Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 28 Aug 2021 18:01 #4

Thanks for the input folks. It looks like I have to keep the Nolah. Most companies have a policy of one mattress exchange per person per year. I didn't read the fine print (or they changed the policy). Their policy is one mattress exchange per person for life. Since I previously had a Nolah they wouldn't exchange it. I told the Nolah rep that I understood and would have to find a topper for it to make it more comfortable. She shipped out one of their plush toppers to me for free! Thanks for your input Nikki, I think I've got it where I like it now although I may be tempted by a soft layer of Talalay in the future.
I'm actually pretty happy with the Nolah & topper. The Nolah relieves me of most of my back pain and I can actually stay in bed up to 10 hours with minimal pain. Some of the other beds I couldn't last past 6 hours. My shoulders don't get sore like they do on the firmer beds. I just wish it was as plush and comfy as the Luma but I can live with it. Out of all the beds I've tried this reaches a happy medium for comfort and back pain relief.
Spoonman, I had to laugh when you mentioned having a mattress against the wall. I've had my Tempurpedic leaning against the wall for almost 3 years now as I've been testing out all these mattresses. I guess it's time to get rid of it. Like you I used a 2" layer of latex in my Rubix, it was soft (19 ild) Dunlop though. I kept playing around with the layering on the Rubix but I couldn't get it to feel right. I don't really care for the Energex foam. All the layers felt the same to me. For some reason I have a left over layer of Energex foam. I tried it as a topper for the Nolah but didn't like it. To answer your question, I have the plush Nolah Evolution. One of the only mattresses I didn't try was the Purple. Did you happen to check it out?

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Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 28 Aug 2021 18:44 #5

Thank you very much for your replies!

Yes, I have the Nolah Evolution Luxury/Firm (day 18). Is that the model you have? On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate the plush Nolah topper improvement with your shoulder pain? My shoulders are my main problem with the mattress. My lumbar is good, and my hips are good. The only other things I don't like are that it still sleeps fairly warm, and the pillow top is slippery. BTW: I am 6'3" 230lbs with broad shoulders.

Oh yes, tried the purple 2 years ago. it felt creepy and it slept to cool because of it's construction. I could feel a draft throughout the mattress. Purple and memory foam mattresses are not for me. :-)

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Can't Find That 'Just Right' Bed 28 Aug 2021 19:38 #6

I have the Nolah Evolution plush. Without the topper I would rate it a 7 - 8 for the shoulders, with the topper I'd give it a 8 - 9. I would really like a 9 - 10 and think maybe 2" or 3" of Talalay latex may do the trick. I really like the feel of Talalay. The problem is that the bed is already pretty big at 15", with the topper it's huge at 17". I'm not as tall as you so I have to jump up into bed. I don't have a problem with sleeping hot so I haven't noticed one way or the other. I also haven't noticed the slippery pillow top.
Since Nolah sent me the topper for free I'll try it out for a while but if I was to buy one I'd probably go with Talalay.

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