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Issues finding the right mattress 20 Feb 2018 17:59 #1

Hello!
For the last few months I have been struggling trying to figure out the best mattress for me. It has been a journey. I am not sure what I am doing wrong or but I think I might have to get started again. Phoenix has been super helpful with information. I was wondering if any of the expert members could offer some advice. Since it’s been a long journey, I wanted to summarize what I have tried and the issues I had:

My information:
Mostly side sleeper but I tend to sleep on my back as well
BMI 17
Weight 96 Lbs
Issues with lower back and hip pain
Mattress I had for about 10 years before: Sealy BacksaverX (the unit was made in 2005 but it sat on my guest room without being used regularly for about 3 years or so). The “box spring” I used was a three-fold torsion modular system.

First attempt was the Encased Coil Firm Mattress from Room & Board.
Manufacturer: Restwell
Specs: Comfort Layers - 0.5" CertiPUR-US® certified soft foam and 2" CertiPUR-US® certified convoluted super-soft foam (ILD is 1.5 Lb for both foams). Support System - Encased coil system; 14.5 gauge high-tensile tempered wire.
How it felt: It was too firm. My back was in terrible pain so I was able to exchange after 30 days. Never checked if my alignment was proper on this mattress. I purchased before finding this website and other information on mattress shopping. I tried using a 2” memory foam topper (from Lucid via Amazon) and it actually made my back hurt more. I also used a 1” polyester topper from Land’s End but didn’t help much. This is going to sound weird, but I wanted to put this here because it will become important for the next 2 mattresses I tried: I had no stomach pain.
Verdict: EXCHANGED.

Second attempt was the Encase Coil Soft Mattress from Room and Board – Also acquired new “box spring”
Manufacturer: Restwell
Specs: Comfort Layers - 0.75" CertiPUR-US® certified super-soft foam; 2.5" CertiPUR-US® certified convoluted super-soft foam (ILD is 1.5 Lb for both foams). Support System - Encased coil system; 14.5 gauge high-tensile tempered wire.
New “box spring” or base specs: Rigid-metal wire grid network or semi-flex base manufactured by Restwell.
How it felt: The exchanged from the firm to the soft mattress was done while I was still in the process of reading information about mattresses and reading this site. My alignment was off in this mattress, I sink a little bit more than I should. I had hip pain when sleeping on my side. The hip pain eventually sort of went away with physical therapy, but my lower back would still bother me. While sleeping on my back on this mattress, I feel like I was sinking too much and I would wake up due to stomach pain. Not lower back pain, but severe stomach pain. Stomach pain was avoided is sleeping on the side. I slept on this mattress for about 2-3 months (and the couch when it was just absolutely painful, which was more comfortable at times, no stomach pain, no hip pain, no back pain). I was uncomfortable with this mattress.
Verdict: DIDN’T WORK, but KEPT for my guest bedroom.

Third and current attempt is The Uptown from Urban Mattress: I went with a softer version than I ever had tried before because I thought this would help me with pressure points as this seemed to be the issue with the previous mattress.
Manufacturer: Urban Mattress
Specs: Comfort layers - two 1.5″ layers of 2.1 lb. quilt, one 2.5″ layer of 1353 microcoil, one 2″ layer of 3 lb. memory foam. Support System - 884-count 6″ pocketed coils
Same “box spring” or base as second attempt: Rigid-metal wire grid network or semi-flex base manufactured by Restwell.
Pillow: Tri-Core Cervical Pillow Firm from Core Products.
How it felt: Alignment on this mattress is excellent when sleeping on my side. My friend came with me to check at the store where I tried it and after it was delivered and placed on my “box spring”. My back feels good in this mattress, I was able to sleep on my right side for almost the entire night. For the first week of sleeping on this mattress consistently, I was waking up to neck pain. I have been using the same pillow as I have for about a year now and which has been very comfortable in any of the mattresses I have tried and even on the couch. During the second and third weeks, I started to feel a lot of pain on my right shoulder, arm and shoulder blade to the point I couldn’t even sleep on my left side as the right shoulder would hurt. I went to the doctor and he said I had bursitis on my right arm so I had to get some anti-inflammatories and went back to sleep on the second attempt mattress (which I had kept in my guest room) until the arm felt better, which it took about a week. I started sleeping on the Urban Mattress Uptown again about 2 weeks ago and it’s not going well. I tried the toppers I mentioned on previously and my shoulder (both right or left) still hurts, so I started sleeping on my back a couple of days ago in order to prevent the shoulder and arm to get hurt and the stomach pain came back. If I sleep on my couch and on my back, there’s no stomach pain. The stomach pain doesn’t happen right away, but it wakes me up after a few hours of sleep. I have the feeling that I am sinking too much when I sleep on my back, when I wake up, I feel like I am sucked into the mattress a little. I have tried a few other pillows as suggested by Phoenix and nothing is working. Also, my shoulder blades still hurt a little even when sleeping on my back.
Verdict: DON’T know what to do. I am getting close to my end of my exchange period (the store only takes exchanges, no refunds) so I need to make a decision.

Other mattresses I tried but that weren’t for me:
Memory foam: Felt like I was sinking in too much. I tried a couple of the Urban Mattress options as well as Tempurpedic. I have some issues in terms of sensitivities to memory foam, but I was trying to be open to options, but I just don’t like it.
Latex: I have an allergy to latex (I work in a lab so I realized I was allergic when I was wearing latex gloves). However, I was trying to be open to options. It felt too hard and uncomfortable.

So since I need to find another mattress from Urban Mattress since they only do exchanges, I am trying to figure out what the options are. I think that the softer versions are not a good option for me. Clearly, I never experienced the stomach pain before in my life (no IBS, no endometriosis, no acid reflux) while sleeping until now. I used to be a stomach sleeper for years but when I was diagnosed with asthma I was told that was a bad position for me. So I switched to being a side sleeper. Because of sleeping on my stomach in the past, I always had a firm mattress so I’m not sure if a softer bed is causing all these issues. I am thinking about getting the following mattress which I tried in the store and really liked but then when I started talking to the store guy about pressure points, he suggested the Uptown which is the one I ended up getting. Here’s the specs for the mattress I, thinking about getting next and hopefully for the last time urbanmattress.com/product/highland-medium-firm-mattress/
It is supposed to be more of a medium firm feel to it which is what I liked from the beginning. Any suggestions or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any advice
FridaDC

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Last edit: by fridadc.

Issues finding the right mattress 21 Feb 2018 15:13 #2

I'm sorry you're having so many issues, but I don't know that there is too much that anyone here on the forum can advise you. Frankly, I think you have some health issues with your back that have little if anything to do with the mattress, so I don't know how much of an improvement the mattress will make, but I can offer up a few things that you may find helpful. I'm not going to get into too much minutiae, as I think you are doing that to a degree to yourself and I don't know that it is being that useful.

I can't speak to the specific mattresses you've tried as I don't carry them, and the information you've provided doesn't mention ILD (you are listing the density as the ILD, which is not the same - density and softness are not necessarily related in polyurethane foam), and even if you did list the ILDs of the foam it doesn't tell of the overall plushness and compression modulus of the finished mattress. This isn't necessarily information you'd have access to, and even if you did it wouldn't be more important that your own personal testing and feedback.

You seem to keep going to products that are more plush with poorer results. When choosing a mattress defer first toward good alignment (friends can't really tell this from looking at you unless you're really sinking in quite deeply - trust your own judgement), then find something with just enough padding material to get the job done. Everything you've tried out would have more than enough support for someone your size. Some lighter people prefer the more contouring feel of a marshall spring unit (and at your mass one that is a bit more basic); others respond better to more traditional LFK spring units. Generally you probably wouldn't want something that is too stiff. Your old mattress wasn't even something I would rate as a good "adult support" mattress, but it seemed to have worked well for you, hence my advice of not using an innerspring unit that is too hard. Even a good polyurethane foam support core might do the trick.

I think most of your issue is with finding comfort layers that do the job for you. Adding extra plushness seems to have caused you issues. But again the combinations you tried aren't provided with specifications that allow me to make more meaningful insights, and without being familiar with the mattresses in question I can't be too specific. You seemed to sleep better (initially) with the mattress using microcoils in the comfort layers, which again leans toward avoidance of something too plush. I'm not a physician, but I would doubt that your bursitis in your shoulder was caused by sleeping on your side for a few weeks on the UM. This would tend to be more environmental and part of your overall health/flexibility/pre-existing issues. It could be that you were sleeping more soundly on this new UM and in doing so you felt more pressure through the night on your shoulder and it exposed an issue you have there. Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate this pressure as we live in an environment with gravity, so you would have options to sleep upon your back, add extra padding (which you tried and again the extra plushness didn't work for you), or you could go with something like the MedCline, which can help people with very sensitive shoulders.

Overall I think it is the difficulty of finding that sweet spot with just enough that works for you, but I don't know that there is any one item that will address the myriad of issues you've mentioned. Your neck issues are most likely pillow related in having the appropriate alignment and support for the mattress you've chosen, and when you are changing the mattress or the comfort layers on a regular basis, this would also generally necessitate the reassessment of your pillow, or at least some sort of a pillow that is configurable.

As for your stomach issues, you seem to be describing something internal and not muscular in the abdominal wall (at least that's what it seems to be from your descriptions). If you are sinking in a bit when on your back, this effectively takes some of the stress off of the hip flexor group, which in turn tends to take some stress off of the low back. It also generally doesn't place additional stress on the musculature of the anterior abdominal wall to maintain alignment, but you also have pre-existing lower back issues, so again I don't know how much might be related to what you already have going on in that area. Quite often people with such issues find relief by sleeping in postures that sleep ergonomic research wouldn't generally consider "optimal", but it works for them. Not to be alarmist, but if you think that by being in too much hip flexion and forward torso flexion it is causing your stomach issues, it may be worth a trip to see a health care professional, as perhaps this forward flexion is compressing something within your abdominal cavity.

It would be interesting to experiment with some combinations of materials for you in a mattress manufacturing facility, as I'd be curious as to how you'd respond to something using a bit of latex on top of some memory foam on top of an innerspring unit. This would temper the sinking in that you don't like with memory foam, but not be too resilient. It would be an interesting experiment, but I don't know that you have such a place near you. I don't know what you tried before with latex, but if you found it too firm then the combination of materials, layers and ILDs simply weren't to your liking, as there is latex that is quite plush. And what you're describing that you have is a latex sensitivity, not an allergy, in which case sleeping upon a mattress using foamed latex rubber generally isn't an issue.

I also keep going back to what worked for you previously. While our bodies are of course constantly evolving, it may be that you would respond best to something with a more basic innerspring unit (maybe like a VertiCoil 504 LFK) and more simple polyurethane foam construction like your old BackSaver. Sometimes eschewing the advice of "best materials" and finding what works best can be useful. I'm not familiar with the feels of the UM line, but as you keep going to softer beds, it seems that something with comfort materials that aren't too voluminous but not too hard would be in order. I can't tell if what you're describing with your pains are pressure issues or alignment issues (it's often confusing as to what is causing what), and without you here in front of my frankly I'm throwing spitballs in the dark with some of this advice, as I'm making so many assumptions and you have these other pre-existing issues. Which probably makes all of what I've typed here as clear as mud. :) But maybe a bit of it will be useful to you.

Good luck!
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
Researching for a mattress?... read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members

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Issues finding the right mattress 21 Feb 2018 16:18 #3

Hi Jeff:

Thank you so much for your reply.

In terms of the shoulder issues, I had problems in the past, but this just recently happened again. I did not have the issues in the other mattresses I tried before the current one (that's the one with the microcoils and a combination of foam and memory foam for the comfort layers).

The stomach issues only occur when I have been sleeping on my back (which didn't happen in the past with my old mattress or other mattresses I slept on and even my current couch). I went to the doctor and a physical therapist and they do not think there's anything wrong besides the issues I had with the lower back (I had an MRI done recently in lower and upper back and they saw nothing wrong).
In hindsight, I think the issues I was having with the second mattress were due to bad alignment. When I had my friend take photos of me on the mattress while laying on the side, I could tell I was sinking in too much, which I could feel even before he showed me the photos. At the time, I wasn't as aware of alignment and how important it was for me, I was just trying to find something comfortable and softer. The third (and current mattress) doesn't give me those pressure point issues. While more plush than the second mattress, this new mattress was the one that gave me the issues with the shoulder and like I said, I have tried so additional pillows. But the shoulder and shoulder blades still hurt.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time because my comfort warranty with Urban Mattress is coming to an end soon (a couple of more weeks) and they won't refund my money, I can only exchange. I don't see anything with an innerspring system so that's why I thought about going with another option that had less plush/soft layers. Like you mentioned before, the more comfort layers I add or purchase in a mattress, the more issues I seem to have.
Here's the specs for the mattress I am thinking about getting:
Support Layer Pocketed Coil
Comfort Layer Foam
Construction 1057-count 8″ Quantum Edge pocketed coil and two 1.5" layers of 2.1 lb. quilt foam

It is pocketed coil. As for innerspring, where would I even get it? Are there still options out there? I am in the DC area.

Thank you for your advice
FridaDC

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Issues finding the right mattress 21 Feb 2018 16:58 #4

In terms of the shoulder issues, I had problems in the past, but this just recently happened again. I did not have the issues in the other mattresses I tried before the current one (that's the one with the microcoils and a combination of foam and memory foam for the comfort layers).


As you have a pre-existing condition, it doesn't necessarily mean that the mattress is causing the issue, but it could be from the reason I listed previously of less repositioning causing more pressure in this area, or the comfort could not be to your liking, or you could have done something else bringing the issue to the forefront. It's difficult to know and you'd have to trust your own experience in such a matter.

The stomach issues only occur when I have been sleeping on my back (which didn't happen in the past with my old mattress or other mattresses I slept on and even my current couch). I went to the doctor and a physical therapist and they do not think there's anything wrong besides the issues I had with the lower back (I had an MRI done recently in lower and upper back and they saw nothing wrong)

.

The stomach isn't the back, so it may be that your description of the problem area isn't quite accurate relating the exact origination of the issue (I know it can be difficult describing things via online), and it may be that this is actually some sort of different sensory manifestation of the same issues your having in your low back area. I unfortunately can't provide much help when the physicians can't find any issues with your back.

I don't see anything with an innerspring system


What you have and are currently trying out all have a innerspring units.

Support Layer Pocketed Coil
Comfort Layer Foam
Construction 1057-count 8″ Quantum Edge pocketed coil and two 1.5" layers of 2.1 lb. quilt foam


This would most likely have a firmer overall comfort than your current product, as from your description it doesn't have the microcoil unit and the memory foam layer. I don't know the softness of the upper quilt layers as compared to your current mattress, so you'd want to compare the models in person. While "pressure" issues are usually helped with some extra plushness on top, this has been the opposite for you, so perhaps this configuration will work out better. Or maybe the quilt panels used in the UM lineup don't meet with your desires. Again, I'm not familiar with these products, so I can't relate comforts comparatively for you. Trust your own testing in that area.
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
Researching for a mattress?... read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members

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