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Mattress Too Firm or Too Soft?

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01 Jul 2019 17:24 #1 by sideshow_steve
Hi,

I recently bought my first latex bed. Prior to this I have primarily slept on spring beds of what I would call medium firmness. I chose to change to latex because from what I understand they last longer and don't sag as much over time.

The bed that I bought is 10" of Firm, Firm, Medium, Medium, Soft layers.

The bed is super comfortable to fall asleep in. In fact, I can't remember the last time I felt so comfortable falling asleep. However, I have been waking up in the middle with pretty bad back pain in what I would call my middle to middle lower back. The pain often lingers throughout the day. It is around where my lower rib is.

I sleep on my back and generally prefer a medium firm mattress. I typically sleep well at hotels like the Westin, etc. which from what I understand have a medium firm mattress.

I have the option of swapping one of the layers out at no cost, but I can't even figure out if the pain is being caused by the mattress being too firm or too tight since except for the pain it is super comfortable. Do you know what pain in the middle back is typically a sign of?

Thanks so much!

Cheers,

Steve

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01 Jul 2019 18:02 - 02 Jul 2019 04:10 #2 by Sweet Dreams
Steve,

Typically pain in the lower back as you're describing is caused by either a lack of sufficient support in the base layers or too soft or thick of a comfort layer on the top of the mattress allowing your back to hammock. To help diagnose your specific problem you might try removing either the top soft layer or one of the medium layers if you can temporarily sleep on it like that. If you need to keep all the layers to use the mattress then you could try moving the soft layer either in between the two medium layers or under them which would provide a firmer sleeping surface. Not sure who you purchased from, but I'd strongly suggest discussing this further directly with them as they would be best qualified to address your problem with their product. Hope this helps! :)

- Bill
Last edit: 02 Jul 2019 04:10 by Sweet Dreams.

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02 Jul 2019 12:21 #3 by Phoenix
Hi sidesshow_steve,

Welcome to the mattress forum :).

Congratulations on your latex mattress! :) and yes you are correct that latex is a very durable and can keep its qualities for decades.

Do you know what pain in the middle back is typically a sign of?


Sorry about the back pain….coupled with it being really comfortable when you first fall asleep. As Bill was pointing out ... In general, issues with “pain” earlier in the night tend to be surface comfort-related, but issues with “pain” in the morning tend to be more alignment (deep support) related, There will be a break-in and adjustment period for any new mattress or sleeping system as the mattress loses any of it's "false firmness" and the cover stretches and loosens a little and also .... the materials settle and your body gets used to a new sleeping surface that is different from what it is used to (see 
post #3 here
) and I'd be curious to know for how long you slept on the new mattress and your history with the previous one. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to pinpoint and give you any specific answers that would apply to specifically to you because there are too many interconnected variables and ... "it depends" ... suggestions that can help one person or even many people may be completely unsuitable for someone else because each person and set of circumstances are very different. There are some general guidelines as to what tends to cause back pain in post #2 here that you may find helpful.

“The bed that I bought is 10" of Firm, Firm, Medium, Medium, Soft layers.”


A couple of questions, what latex mattress did you buy? Do you have any other information about the layers - height, formula, process, brand? And it’s 5 layers? This is important to give you any guidance on switching any of the layers, and how it may affect your support/pressure relief needs.
Post #2 here I mentioned above has some good information about the many different symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some of the most common causes behind them.

Hope this helps a bit and once you provide a bit more information I'll be happy to go into more detail.
Phoenix

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19 Jul 2019 15:53 #4 by sideshow_steve
This was super helpful thanks for your help!
In the end the store recommended that we go Firm, Firm, Medium, Firm, Soft. I brought this home and switched it after one night to Firm, Firm, Medium, Soft, Firm and it is the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on.
Thanks again.

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19 Jul 2019 15:58 #5 by Latex Mattress Factory.
That's excellent news, I'm glad to hear you were able to get the mattress dialed in! If there's anything else we can do please don't hesitate to ask.

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30 Jul 2019 20:02 #6 by stmslpr
I'm having the same issue with my new mattress (6" firm talalay core with 2" soft talalay topper). It's been fairly comfortable but it's significantly worsened my back issues. Been sleeping stomach, side and back with it.

It's been about a week and a half. At first i thought it's too soft.... then i thought maybe it's too firm..... then i flipped the mattress over and slept on the 6" firm core which is now squishing the 2" soft layer at the bottom. I think it's somewhat helped my back issues to a degree (still have it). Thus i think it was too soft. I will try a 2" firm on top of the 6" firm core when i get a chance to exchange.

I've been researching a bit more and i think maybe i should have maybe went Dunlop latex instead of talalay. I can see what people mean by talalay being less dense (even though it's firm) than Dunlop now. i think i really need something dense (more like a dense hearty cornbread rather than a light fluffy cupcake). I think the sinkage is subtle but it really affects me and my bad back. also i feel like i may sink just millimeters more throughout the night than if maybe it was something more dense than talalay?

Can someone give me advice on how to proceed now that i am starting to figure out i need not only firm but maybe something more dense? Foam mattress? Dunlop? Coil? Hybrid? I will continue to test out my talalay mattress but i'm just getting ahead of the game in case it doesn't work out.
thanks!

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31 Jul 2019 14:31 #7 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Hi stmslpr,

Based on the information you’ve provided, I would definitely recommend exchanging your Talalay layer for a Dunlop layer. At your weight of 165-170lbs, a soft Talalay layer is almost always going to be too soft for a stomach sleeper. We always recommend medium firmness at your weight and sleeping preference. Of course you’re welcome to start with a firm top layer to see if that works for you, but you may want to consider choosing between a medium Dunlop and a firm Talalay layer for the top of the mattress.

I wouldn’t be able to say if a foam mattress, Dunlop mattress, coil mattress, or hybrid mattress would be the best choice for you, that’s something you would have to decide for yourself and you may have better success asking that question in the general forum to get responses and opinions from as many different people as possible.

Latex Mattress Factory
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01 Aug 2019 23:16 #8 by stmslpr
Thanks! I'm starting to find out that it may be a combination of the mattress being too firm in one sense and to "soft" in another if this makes sense. By that i mean that for some reason, even the firm core side i've been sleeping on for the last few night (i flipped it over so the 2" soft topper is on the bottom and i'm sleeping on the 6" firm core) has me sinking in a bit too much putting my pelvis and spine out of alignment.

On my stomach, my torso sinks in and the rest just stays stiff leaving me my back over extended. On my back, my butt sinks in but the rest of me generally doesn't and again my back is extended. On my side i also, sink in around the pelvis and gets me out of alignment. YET it's almost like to a certain point it's "firm" enough to make me sore and i think maybe mess up my ribs.

It's almost like the Talalay is a weird mix of not being able to prevent my heavier parts from sinking in too deep (heck i don't even sink in as deep on my cheap "softer" couch cushion) yet firm enough to make my ribs and joints hurt.

I feel like i need something plush enough for pressure relief but a very dense dense plushness, if that makes sense, so i sink less (especially the heavy parts) and more evenly throughout. I'm just not sure what direction to head. Maybe i could get the 2" firm on the 6" core and add some sort of densely plush topper on top of all that? I don't know. Maybe i need to go back to coils or something else? Problem is this mattress was expensive and i doubt i can return it.

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02 Aug 2019 17:14 #9 by Latex Mattress Factory.
It sounds like the mattress you have now doesn’t have enough options for adjusting the mattress to get it dialed in for your specific needs and preferences. This is one of the main reasons I urge customers to choose two 3” layers over a 6” core, because it gives you many more options to exchange layers or rearrange layers to get the mattress adjusted. You may want to contact the company you bought the mattress from to discuss your return options.

Latex Mattress Factory
Please read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members.

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11 Aug 2019 09:37 #10 by stmslpr
Thanks, actually I think it's the new boxspring suspension slat that's the issue. It's like a slatted foundation that's not completely flat (kind of convexed slats of wood) and is adjustable in tension. Last week, i took the mattress off the foundation and put it on the floor and it was a night and day difference. Something about the foundation almost had a weird mixture of sinkage and pushing up against me and mangling my ribs/spine. Hard to explain. I'm glad though that it may not be the mattress. Though i did also put a cheap foam topper on top TWO weeks ago that may have also helped. But it didn't REALLY feel better though until, like i said took the mattress off the foundation (ONE week ago) and onto the ground. Next step is to see how it feels without the cheap foam topper while the mattress is on the ground.

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