>

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
The first place to start your research is the Mattress Shopping Tutorial
Select the Search Forum tab below to gain access to answers to many mattress related questions.
Select the Ask An Expert tab below to reach out to any of our Expert Members for guidance and advice.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC:

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 05 Dec 2021 00:52 #1

For medical reasons, I'm trying to get used to sleeping on my side. I always was a front/back sleeper, so the process is pretty slow. I'm still not sure of all my needs for side sleeping.
I want to get a new mattress that would make side sleeping more comfortable, as well as not cause back pain if I revert to stomach or back during the night. I had back pain issues with 2 of my previous mattresses.
I'm tall and lean (5.8 and just over 100lbs) so I figured I would need something soft to sink in comfortably. I went to try some 100% latex mattresses and also experimented putting toppers to see if any combination would feel great. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that would feel both comfortable and supportive. The softest combo I tried was 3in extra soft (18 ild) on top of 3in soft (24 ild) on top of medium base (30 ild), but even with that combination my shoulder didn't feel 100% comfortable. Also, no combination would give me support under my waist to keep my spine straight, I would always "bend" toward the mattress. Is it even reasonable to expect that a mattress can support the waist region to keep the spine in perfect aliment?
I enjoyed the overall softness of that combination, but I'm not sure if I could stomach sleep like this without pain.
Any suggestions what combination of layers I should look for?

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

Last edit: by skyisred.

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 05 Dec 2021 05:15 #2

This is one of those situations that will likely to be hard to match for anything off the shelf at a big box store since your BMI (15.2) is very low and you likely have somewhat of a bony physique as a result. Your latest experiences with mattress shopping also seem to confirm this as well. I'd suggest this is likely a situation where zoning will help you find what you're looking for (soft in shoulder area with firm support in the torso area to keep the spine in alignment). I would suggest sticking to all talalay layers (due to bony physique) if you are going the latex bed route. If you are going to DIY then plan on experimenting with cutting layers to create the zoning you need or if you want to go off the shelf then companies like Flobeds do have offerings as well.

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 05 Dec 2021 12:39 #3

Thank you for reply, Mattrebuild!
I don't at all mind a DIY project (provided I can find materials where I am in Canada). If I do go for a zoned construction with a firmer strip under my waist, can this make other sleeping positions uncomfortable? I still revert to back or stomach sleeping in the middle of the night.

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 05 Dec 2021 15:04 #4

I tried finding threads by people of similar build to me, but couldn't locate any. If you know of any good posts to read, could you kindly link those for me?

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 06 Dec 2021 09:21 #5

Thank you for reply, Mattrebuild!
I don't at all mind a DIY project (provided I can find materials where I am in Canada). If I do go for a zoned construction with a firmer strip under my waist, can this make other sleeping positions uncomfortable? I still revert to back or stomach sleeping in the middle of the night.


The short answer is it's extremely difficult to make a mattress that does everything well. So once you start saying you want it to be able to handle every sleeping position then you are going to have some compromises to be made (ie it may be good but not great with all sleeping positions depending on your BMI and body shape). Each sleeping position creates issues unique to the person. Side sleeping typically creates issues with the shoulder area while back/stomach is usually in the hips and lower back area. Creating zoning to help with one issue can cause other problems to arise with different sleeping positions. So as long as you have a relatively flat rear and very little waist/hip definition then you can do this fairly effectively. In that case you really only need to zone the mattress in the shoulder area and the rest of the mattress should be fairly firm support with a limited comfort layer (2-3" max) to maintain alignment. If you do need to zone in the pelvic area as well then there will be some compromise since allowing more travel helps with back/side sleeping but is not helpful when stomach sleeping (since hips will sink into the mattress and may create a backward bend situation).

I would try something like this at first then make adjustments as needed:

2-3" talalay 19-22ILD - comfort layer
3" dunlop 28ILD - support layer
3" dunlop 32ILD - support layer

Then you'll need one extra 3" talalay 19-22ILD layer that will be cut to create your shoulder zoning (trim the upper support layer right below the armpit and replace with same size soft talalay foam).

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 07 Dec 2021 18:53 #6

Thank you for suggestions Mattrebuild!
Would 20 ild dunlop be comparable to 19-22ILD talalay?

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 08 Dec 2021 06:05 #7

Thank you for suggestions Mattrebuild!
Would 20 ild dunlop be comparable to 19-22ILD talalay?


Contrary to what most people believe at lower pressures Dunlop actually has more travel than talalay but at higher pressures (such as higher BMI or curvy areas like hips/shoulders) this relationship inverts. So even though you have a very low BMI (which should translate to lower pressures overall) I still think you'd benefit from talalay since the area causing you trouble is the shoulders (which is likely a relatively higher pressure area). I would stay on the lower end of the ILDs since you do have very low BMI. Hope this makes sense.

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 08 Dec 2021 12:57 #8

Hi Mattrebuild, thank you for explaining!
I just realized that I forgot to specify that both soft and extra soft toppers I tried were talalay. The ild relayed to me over the email was 18 ild for the extra soft, but on their website it says 15 ild, not sure which it really is. It did feel a little 'flimsy'.
I also experimented with moving my lower arm during the night and found a position that isn't as painful (by putting my arm and shoulder forward) so I think I might be ok on that extra-soft talalay pressure-wise.
This still leaves the question of my mid-section not being supported and bending towards that mattress. Can anything be done to help with that?

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

Trying to switch to side sleeping, need help figuring layers out. 09 Dec 2021 06:18 #9

Hi Mattrebuild, thank you for explaining! I just realized that I forgot to specify that both soft and extra soft toppers I tried were talalay. The ild relayed to me over the email was 18 ild for the extra soft, but on their website it says 15 ild, not sure which it really is. It did feel a little 'flimsy'. I also experimented with moving my lower arm during the night and found a position that isn't as painful (by putting my arm and shoulder forward) so I think I might be ok on that extra-soft talalay pressure-wise. This still leaves the question of my mid-section not being supported and bending towards that mattress. Can anything be done to help with that?


Latex foam ILD is given in ranges (usually +/- 2ILD) so most places just give the average number when stating ILDs. I suspect from what you're saying (flimsy) that the extra soft was a 15ILD which is very soft versus a soft which is usually around 19-20ILD. The problem you will have with using that setup you have is exactly as you pointed out, you need to support the torso and pelvis areas while allowing the shoulders to dig into the mattress to relieve pressure. You can find work arounds and band-aids to help in the interim but ideally your mattress will conform to your preferences not the other way around. So if those soft and extra soft layers you have already are talalay then I would just buy two more talalay layers to test things out.

2-3" talalay 19ILD - comfort layer (buy this, use 2" if you sleep hot or prefer to be more on top of the mattress)
3" dunlop or talalay 28ILD - support layer (buy this, then trim the layer at the armpit level and use a same sized piece of your extra soft layer to create the zoning for the shoulder/head area)
reuse your medium base here

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

  • Page:
  • 1
The Mattress UndergroundCopyright © 2022 The Mattress Underground
TheMattressUndergounf
TMU
TheMattressUndergounf