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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 30 Apr 2020 12:05 #1

Hello, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this (if this isn't it please tell me and I'll redirect my question).

I am a late 20's male 5'11 between 170/185lbs depending on the season (in the gym 3-4 days a week when the world isn't in lockdown) that hasn't known a comfortable mattress for as long as I can remember. I am a natural side sleeper, as it seems I really can't fall asleep in any other position (I occasionally wake up on my back, but falling asleep must be on my side it seems), however ever mattress I've used gives me mattress side hip pain/pressure which causes me to toss and turn all night.

I am currently on a latex/coil hybrid which, while comfortable on my back, feels like it doesn't sink in enough when I'm on my side. Before this I tried pillowtop/coil (medium), memory foam (medium, medium soft), memory foam/coil (medium), and 2"/3" memory foam toppers, and one alternative down topper. The most relief I seemed to have had lately was when I pulled the couch cushions off the couch and slept on those, but the relief didn't last.

Ultimately, the memory foam options felt the comfiest for roughly 2 weeks before they became "flat" feeling, and the pressure points started to become worse. I can count the number of mornings I've woken up feeling "refreshed" in the past 10 years on two hands.

Can someone please help me sleep? I've had rare nights where the discomfort was negligible and I slept like the dead (as I used to as a child) so I know it isn't a sleep based issue, it's discomfort.

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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 30 Apr 2020 13:08 #2

sidesleepy:

I’ll do my best to provide some general guidance. I’m limited in being too specific without visiting with you in person, but hopefully this information will prove to be useful.

The first thing to understand is that there is no one product that is best in general for pressure points. There is incredible variability among individuals as related to localized ischemia. Your level of sensitivity and tolerance of discomfort come into play. Your somatotype is important. For the hips, your level of flexibility of your outward rotators and IT band can have a great impact upon sleeping comfort. Even pillow thickness can impact low back/hips sensitivity.

Ideally, you want something to help maintain a relatively neutral alignment while assisting to distribute mass over a wider area. Too soft or minimal surface padding materials can cause one to “feel through” those layers to the deeper support unit, and this is why often mattresses that feel soft to the touch can end up sleeping “hard”. If the padding material “comfort cradle” is too deep, it can feel comfortable on top, but alignment can be negatively impacted, which will cause greater issues long term. The key is finding just enough padding material of higher quality and combine that with a support unit in a manner where they “blend together” and feel to work in unison as a complete unit (little "abrupt" transitions between layers).

A mattress using fabric encased springs with latex on top can be a very comfortable and supportive product. You don’t mention the specifics (thickness/density/ILD of materials on your current mattress), so I’ll make some general statements. A common configuration is 3" of latex atop an innerspring unit. If the latex is too soft, this can result in “feeling” more of the innerspring unit. If the waist/hip dimensional difference is great, it could be that a bit thicker comfort cradle would be needed. If a more substantial comfort cradle would be desired, latex in a higher ILD could be used, or increasing the thickness could help. Multiple layers, using latex on top and then something that feels a bit more dense, such as a higher quality memory foam or a good high density poly foam beneath the latex, could also help. For some people, they don’t like the feel of an innerspring unit for a support core and instead choose a high density poly foam support core or a latex support core. These can contour more “finely” to body contours.

And to note: high density poly foam doesn't mean it feels "hard". Density and poly foam softness are not mutually inclusive. Density would be more related to durability (higher mass per unit volume will be a more durable poly foam generally), and ILD / IFD would be the softness of the foam, which can be independent of the density. You can have a high density poly foam that is hard or soft. But with latex, density and hardness ARE related. Higher density latex is almost always a firmner feeling material.

As for memory foam, again you weren’t specific about layerings, so I’ll make some general statements. Memory foam isn’t a very supportive material. It’s imperative that for durability a higher density memory foam be used, and beneath the upper layer of memory foam, quality layer(s) of high density polyfoam be used as transition between the upper memory foam layer and the support core (poly foam or innerspring). Your comments of an old memory foam mattress “feeling flat” after a few weeks speak to the new foam losing some of its “false firmness” when new, and can represent that this product wasn’t substantial enough in quantity of material or quality of material in the deeper support layers (higher density foams). It could be that you’d like something contouring but more supportive on top, which again could be something like latex with memory foam underneath, and perhaps a little poly foam under that on top of a support core.

One of my favorite beds of yore used 2” of Talalay latex on top, and under that were 2 – 2” layers of 5# memory foam. Under that was a 1” piece of HD poly foam, and that was all on top of an HD poly foam core. What does that mean as it applies to you? Probably absolutely nothing. What I like and you like can be very different things. I just wanted to point out that the type, layering order, thickness, quality and total material amount can vary greatly, and sometimes it’s just the ordering to achieve the comfort you desire. There’s a reason mattress and foam engineers are highly skilled individuals. This stuff can take you down a rabbit hole to China.

If your pressure point relief needs are extreme, there are some very high quality true zoned latex mattress systems out there, with some extremely knowledgeable people that can help guide you through that process (the FloBeds vZone comes to mind). I don’t recommend attempting to design one of those beds on your own.

I know the information I provided is generalized and I really covered a ton of ground with some broad stokes, but without a more specific starting point this is the best I can do. Hopefully this is useful to you, and perhaps some other site members can chime in with a few other suggestions for you as well.

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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Last edit: by MattressToGo. Reason: spelling

Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 30 Apr 2020 13:20 #3

Wow this is a lot of information, thank you for your response! It sounds like I am looking for something soft, but supportive essentially. I cannot recall the specs on the ILD for my latex or memory foams, I'll have to search later. So if I were to look at adding a latex topper to my current set up, I would want to look at trying something with a higher ILD rating perhaps? I wish I could go to a mattress store or builder and try to figure things out there, but with the COVID shut downs it's not really an option.

Also, is it common enough for some people to not find any mattress in a store comfortable? I feel like I've never laid down on a mattress in store and went "Yupp this is it", some mattresses feel comfy, but not totally relieving. It's almost like I'm not sure what a mattress that suits you is supposed to feel like. No pressure anywhere? Some pressure? I've only ever known "comfyish".

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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 01 May 2020 08:43 #4

sidesleepy:

Wow this is a lot of information, thank you for your response! It sounds like I am looking for something soft, but supportive essentially.


You're welcome. I'm guessing you need contouring but still substantial/adequate in quantity of comfort materials.

So if I were to look at adding a latex topper to my current set up, I would want to look at trying something with a higher ILD rating perhaps?


I don't know that, as I don't have an idea of what you're placing the topper upon. For example, if your mattress was fabric encased springs with 3" of 19 ILD Talalay latex, most likely from your previous descriptions something in the mid 20s ILD 2"-3" could be more appropriate, creating a more "dominant" top layer effect. If your current setup uses 3" of a firmer Talalay latex, let's say 32 ILD, then perhaps 2"-3" of something in the 19-26 ILD could work, taking the "edge" off of the harder latex underneath. These are just guesses as I don't know your current configuration.

I wish I could go to a mattress store or builder and try to figure things out there, but with the COVID shut downs it's not really an option.


There are some extremely experienced latex companies that are members here on the forum and they can offer some excellent advice from afar regarding products they offer that tend to work well with people in your situation. And many offer configurable products with exchange policies should you need to customize.

Also, is it common enough for some people to not find any mattress in a store comfortable?


It's been my experience that it's extremely rare to find an individual that I can't accommodate in my store. An educated, experienced comfort consultant in a store offering higher quality componentry can usually find something that is appropriate for your specific needs. But what works for "most" people doesn't really matter - it's what works for YOU.

I feel like I've never laid down on a mattress in store and went "Yupp this is it", some mattresses feel comfy, but not totally relieving. It's almost like I'm not sure what a mattress that suits you is supposed to feel like. No pressure anywhere? Some pressure? I've only ever known "comfyish".


Realize that there is no "perfect" mattress. And even if you try something in a store and it feels great, you can't feel quality and durability. It's a combination of appropriate materials, as well and components that are of high quality (durable for consistent comfort). You'll want to deal with a company or consultant able to offer both these things. Throwing a dart at the wall and choosing online products based upon ratings or going to the "typical" furniture stores offering fare of questionable quality populated by salespeople parroting talking points can tend to lead to frustration. Regarding pressure, we are in a gravity environment, so you'll always have that. Your level of sensitivity and other personal environmental factors that I mentioned in my previous reply will have an impact on that, and you can find materials to deal with those issues, but they unfortunately won't cure them.

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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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 04 May 2020 12:49 #5

Hi Jeff,

What do you think is going to be more pressure relieving for a topper, the high performance non memory foams or something like a 5 pound memory foam? I can get a 2.5 pound foam topper from one of the big name bed in a box companies( I won't reveal the company but it starts with L) or I can get a 5.3 pound memory foam topper, for 20 dollars less. Which would be better value, durability, comfort? This is a 2 inch layer.

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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 04 May 2020 14:30 #6

Those are all questions I can't answer, as much of it is subjective and also depends upon what it is placed, and also depends upon the ILD and compression modulus of the poly foam topper.

I can state that generally a 5.3# memory foam will tend to be a good density, and generally would be softer (most memory foam for mattresses would be in the mid-teens or so ILD). The poly foam you mentioned could be a durable product if it is one of the newer generations of higher density polyfoams, but at a really low ILD might not be as durable or substantial.

At 2", a memory foam topper won't be quite as noticeable as the 3" or 4" that tend to be more popular.

I hope that helps.
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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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 05 May 2020 17:46 #7

Hello from Australia.

I am mostly a side sleeper and have a similar issue. I recently purchased a new mattress (this one: https://naptime.com.au/products/spring-foam-mattresshttps://naptime.com.au/products/spring-foam-mattress )

Ever since i've been waking up with mid-upper back pain. I sleep fine during the night but wake up with soreness. What's strange is that i've never had these issues before and all of last year i spent the year travelling. So i slept on hundreds of different mattresses (some pretty bad ones too!) and never had an issue. I'm not sure what my mattress was beforehand but it would have been some sort of innerspring with a thin foam layer. This new mattress seems to feel firm (i can't really tell to be honest) but the foam in the comfort layer does seem to give enough to sink a little. I do notice some pressure on my rib cage in the morning. Aside from that i'm at a loss. I actually spent one night on my old couch and woke up with no pain from that. I've had this mattress for close to two months now and the pain doesn't seem to be getting better (its not getting worse either).

Any ideas?

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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 06 May 2020 08:43 #8

ozmatela:

Asking someone to diagnose why you are having pain while sleeping via an online forum is usually a recipe for disaster :) . Let me provide some general comments based upon the limited information you provided and you can see if that helps.

Ever since i've been waking up with mid-upper back pain. I sleep fine during the night but wake up with soreness.


With side sleeping, waking with pain that takes a while to work its way out in your lower cervical and upper thoracic region can quite often be pillow related, and this is often a problem when a new mattress is purchased and the pillow isn't reevaluated in combination with the new mattress. Upper to mid thoracic issues can also be related to the pillow, and also can be alignment related. This can often be due to too deep of a comfort cradle (padding layers), layers that aren't substantial enough, or perhaps a support core that isn't strong enough (generally not as common with adult support innerspring units and those of a more "mid" BMI). Height/weight, pre-existing health conditions, female/male, somatotype, or what your mattress is placed upon can all influence componentry to choose.

What's strange is that i've never had these issues before and all of last year i spent the year travelling. So i slept on hundreds of different mattresses (some pretty bad ones too!) and never had an issue.


You probably didn't spend two months on the same mattress if you traveled a lot, so the comparisons to your current mattress may not be the best way to relate one model to another. Something that you slept upon for 3-4 weeks at a time would start to be a better time frame to use as a comparison.

I'm not sure what my mattress was beforehand but it would have been some sort of innerspring with a thin foam layer.


If you are aware of the layers within your old mattress and it was thinly padded and you had no issues, then it may well be that this current mattress uses a bit too much comfort material or it's a bit softer than what you prefer. I can't tell from the information provided on the website you linked to what the thickness and ILDs of the foam layers used might be to get an idea of how hard or soft overall the product might be designed to feel.

This new mattress seems to feel firm (i can't really tell to be honest) but the foam in the comfort layer does seem to give enough to sink a little.


One thing I recommend is to separate the feel of the surface comfort of the mattress ("hard" or "soft") and separate that from the deep support (mostly provided by the innerspring unit where people refer to a bed as "firm"). The comfort layers within a mattress are usually the weak link. Based upon the more basic information on the website, it appears that the innerspring unit would be adequate for those within a more "mid" BMI range. The surface comfort of this appears to lean more toward a bit of a "plush" combination, but I wouldn't be able to tell without the product in front of me. The odd thing is that sometimes a mattress that is designed to feel "plush" can actually start to feel "hard" to people, as the padding layers are so soft that the person can "feel through" to the support unit, and the mattress can actually feel "harder". This depends of course upon a person's sensitivity to localized ischemia and pressure points, mass, strength, flexibility, among other things.

I do notice some pressure on my rib cage in the morning.


If you were sinking in too deeply with an "excessive" lateral curvature, this could be from the comfort layers being "too soft' or "too deep" for you, or from the support characteristics of the mattress (mostly the innerspring) being inadequate (this could be the case if you have a higher BMI). We are in an environment with gravity, so we will always have pressure points, and if a mattress feels "too hard" it might not contour well and be poor at pressure point distribution. I don't think this is the case based upon the feedback you provided, but again that is a (slightly) educated guess ;) .

I see the mattress you bought has a 100 day return policy, so hopefully if you think it's not the mattress for you it can be exchanged or returned.

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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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 06 May 2020 11:39 #9

Wanted to say thank you again for your advice. I stacked comfort layers as much as I had in the house the last couple nights and am finally experiencing relief for the first time. It's not perfect yet, but I found myself finally drifting off not feeling any discomfort in my hips, and it suprised me. Another question if you don't mind... I'm currently using a Gel Microfiber Down Alternative Poly topper folded in half lengthwise, with two pillows stacked inbetween them, all acting as my comfort layer on top of my mattress. This is not the perfect solution but it provides the comfort that works. What product or material might be equivalent to this feeling? Would a 3" soft Latex topper be considered a comfort layer? Memory foam toppers just end up sinking on me, and I'm uncertain if you can find 3-4" of down of pillowtop toppers that provide comfort at all.

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Side sleeper with mattress side hip pressure looking for relief, please help! 06 May 2020 13:06 #10

sidesleepy:

I'm currently using a Gel Microfiber Down Alternative Poly topper folded in half lengthwise, with two pillows stacked inbetween them, all acting as my comfort layer on top of my mattress. This is not the perfect solution but it provides the comfort that works. What product or material might be equivalent to this feeling?


The only thing that would be equivalent would be something using the exact same materials. Different materials in different combinations compress and support differently, so even a single layer change will modify feel and performance. Effectively it seems you've made a fiber-fill topper (assuming the pillows are also fiber-fill as well), with the center area probably being a more dense fiber-fill than the outer fiber-fill chamber. So to find something similar to this it would most likely be a thicker fiber-fill topper unit using some sort of interior core of densified polyester fiber or perhaps some sort of a foam core. A thicker wool topper can also provide a fiber-like feel, but it will have a firmer feel than gelled microfiber.

Would a 3" soft Latex topper be considered a comfort layer?


Yes, any material you place on top of the mattress would be considered a comfort layer. 3" latex toppers are very popular as methods to add additional comfort. For ease, you can classify them into ultra plush (mid to upper teens ILD), medium plush (mid-twenties ILD), and medium firm (upper twenties to low thirties ILD).

I'm uncertain if you can find 3-4" of down of pillowtop toppers that provide comfort at all.


Yes, you can find higher quality toppers using these materials. I believe there are some resources for these on the site you can use as a leaping off point.
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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