The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Nov 17, 2009 6:48 PM
Location: L.A. area
Joined: Jan 18, 2008
Points: 1160
Okay, maybe we can't be sensitive enough to feel a pea under 12 mattresses, or  however it went in "The Princess and the Pea" story... but I now believe that some of us can definitely have our mattress "ruined" by just  the wrong 1/2" layer...

As you know, I did mattress surgery on my Englander and it was immediately like 300% better than the pure foam I had been sleeping on ... and much better than the Englander as it came (with 3" of cheap foam on top of the springs).

But being that I have back and neck and shoulder issues, I was always trying different things - change a layer here and there, just to try to get it "perfect".

Well, about a month or so ago I started using my 2" wool topper. I love the feel of it and when I lay on it, the 2" shrinks down to about 1/2" under my body weight, and it felt very cozy and comfortable.

After a week or two, I started waking up with a sore back again, like when I used to sleep on pure foam (no springs). I had also changed a couple things, like zoning the middle layer to be firmer, and so on, but in the past this never caused me to wake up with pain, it would only make it a little less or more comfortable. So I kept tweaking the mattress - no major changes, just little things like adding a 1/2" of memory foam on top or under the top 3/4" latex layer, things like that.

But my back started hurting BAD about a week ago, and the only thing I could think of was that maybe I had just tweaked my back out of shape carrying some heavy things recently or doing a lot of bending or something.

I then tried making some more major changes to my mattress: I put a 1/2" layer of ultra firm HR foam on the very bottom next to the springs. ... Then when that didn't work, I tried changing the HR 1" layer above that to Very Firm... No matter what I did, my back kept hurting... and it seemed that all the changes made it WORSE, not better.

Then finally, 2 nights ago, I said, "Well, I'm going to put it all back EXACTLY the way it was when it last worked for me.
I did that, and it was better, but it STILL hurt my back somewhat.

It was then that I said, "Wait! COULD IT BE that the 2" (1/2" really) wool topper is what caused all this??"

I took it off.

Slept.

Now I woke up this morning with no back pain, and I am pretty sure that the whole problem with my mattress began shortly after I started using the wool topper, and that taking it off is what has made the difference!

In support of the truth of this ultra-sensitivity is that in the past I also noticed that the CuddleBed - which is only about 1/2" thick when you lay on it, also seemed to throw off the comfort of my mattress and so I quit using that. I was skeptical at the time and thought maybe it was just my imagination and that's why I did try the wool topper as well, knowing full well that it also was about 1/2" of non-supportive material. It's still hard for me to believe that 1/2" of anything could cause me to wake up with a very sore back, but it sure seems like this is the case. Which is why I am posting this for others to consider, who may also have high sensitivity to the support or non-support of their mattress! When tweaking make SMALL changes, not big ones! And even if it feels okay at first, after a week or two it may start to bother you. The thing to look at first is the latest change you've made! It's most likely the culprit. I have found, for example, that memory foam may feel fine for a week or two, and then break down and cause back pain.

So I am back to my original configuration:
from the top, down:
3/4" latex (maybe 20-24ILD)
1" Venus foam
1" zoned HR foam (medium at shoulders, Firm in the mid-section  feet/legs section doesn't matter)
Englander Springs

DISCLAIMER: This all could be coincidence. Maybe my back got bent out of shape and it just so happened that it self-healed about the same time that I took the wool topper off. But I doubt that...
Also: This whole ultra-sensitivity thing is probably not something most people have. I think when one has chronic pain when laying in bed, one tends to focus on what is causing the discomfort and that can lead to one being more sensitive to changes in one's mattress. My guess is that some of us here have come to be ultra-sensitive to our mattress due to chronic pain from an injury or disease.)
This message was modified Nov 17, 2009 by jimsocal
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #18 Nov 28, 2009 2:15 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I'm about to talk about some of the highest quality brands i've found. 
Pros:  Hastens seems to have excellent stuffing some of the best I've seen.   Cons:   But I question the springs spacing and quality plus the fact that they are not honeycombed pockets so they can move around  over time That being said for all i know they may be the best.  Pros: Vi spring seems to have good springs on first impressions from there website.  I am going to lay on them in the next week   Cons:   But they seemed to have watered down there horsehair with other materials mohair,  wool... 

ex..  this is off there website 

"1,200 gsm of hand-teased loose long-stranded black horsehair, lambswool"


but they don't say how much is actually horsehair and how much is actually lambswool


and lambswool is dirtcheap compared to horsehair.   and in the vispring video you can see the springs are probably better than hastens but that the horsehair is mixed alot with other hairs so the quality is diminished.  Hastens and Vi-spring both seem find one aspect of the bed and excell and give a decent attempt in everything else.  But they both don't use any memory and latex foam so It shows they care more about your sleep then alot of other companies.    Basically all mattress companies care more there customers money then they d about there sleep so its are job as consumers to support the one mattress company who care slightly more then the rest and just hope to god it sets off a chain reation.


relyon and somnus might be also worth looking into, the ones that don't have foam and latex.  My advice is to not wast to much time on the internet because for every one person who loses 2000$ on a mattress and post his opinion theres someone else who is paid 15$ an hour to post 10 messages of garbage.   I think to find a good mattress you need to try a couple quality brands out and you might have to drive a far distant.  If you do find one thats comfortable spend MINIMUM 4 hours lying on it(seriosly).

other notable mentions are somnus, and relyon  (the ones without latex and foam).   If you buy a mattress regarless if its good or bad tell your friends and family exactly what you think of it and even let them sleep in it so they can make better judgement. 
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #19 Nov 28, 2009 2:19 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I woudn't recommened dux or hipnos.   But duxana is the worst of the 2.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #20 Nov 28, 2009 2:47 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
if your back is in pain all the time its nerves become more and more sensitive.   If you wake up in the morning and your back it sore and it slowly gets better throughout the day and you don't have a increased pain when  lifting things then i'd say you have a bad bed.   chiropractors are not your answer.   They will pop your back into place but that is only a temporary fix because a bad bed will always bring it back.   Also the more your pop a back into place the easier the back will pop back out of place after a night of sleep,  so its almost counter productive.  A better alternative but still poinless is A physiotherapist who might still pop your back into place but will focus on stenghening your muscles to support your bones better but in conclusion the only way to fix the pain is by fixing the source of the problem which is the bed.   You may have read this  before but don't fall for the 50% off mattress pitch,  its the oldest trick in the book.  Base a bed by how it feels after laying on it for 6 hours or better yet sleeping on it not how much its discounted.   Also ask if you can sleep on the mattress overnight in the store and work around there schedual to make it happen even pay them 50-250$ if thats what it takes.   It may sound a little cheap to the salesman that you take such a precaution in spending your money but just remember the reason this is happening is because mattress companies lost consumer trust by penny pinching on the fabrication of their mattresses.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #21 Nov 28, 2009 3:28 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I'm well aware of my spelling.   And you may think your fussy because you neighbor can sleep on foam and latex.   Well my advice to that is that there are people who can sleep on anything and there are alot people who can't.    I've never met anyone who've had a horsehair mattress and traded it in for a foam or latex mattress and got a restful night sleep.  A good mattress consist of good stuffings and springs.  
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #22 Nov 28, 2009 3:31 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
good springs
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #23 Nov 28, 2009 3:50 AM
Location: L.A. area
Joined: Jan 18, 2008
Points: 1160
eagle2 wrote:
JIm:  I was watching television the other day and they came on with an add for one of those flip type lay down stretching devices. And I thought of you.

You might want to look into something like that. The concept is pretty simple. You lay down on this platform like device that is attached to a frame and tilt yourself upside down. Your feet are secured to the bottom of the platform. Gravity does the rest.

With my bad back I have thought of something like this many times before. But I have never ventured forth and spent my money.

You might want to look into it.

Thanks eagle2. But I've "been there, done that". It didn't help. I think it may help some people but I used one for about 2 months and it didn't help me.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #24 Nov 29, 2009 1:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2, 2009
Points: 26
Yep it's definitely true, I went through a couple combos with my foam only bed until I found the sweet spot. I had a 1 inch of soft tal latex on top with a cuddlebed which was hurting my back. First, I took off the cuddlebed and it was a little better but still pain. Next, I put the 1 inch soft in the middle and 4 inches of medium (32ILD) on top and voila. I've been sleeping great for months. 1/2 to 1 inch can really make a difference, it's true.
This message was modified Nov 29, 2009 by Vaphils
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #25 Nov 29, 2009 2:50 PM
Location: Yosemite area
Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Points: 249
To dodo;
I have no idea why horsehair would be a good idea in a bed...just because it used to be plentiful and cheap doesn't mean it is a better padding.  Horse hair is used in old saddle pads, too, but it packs hard over time.
I think that cotton batting is good, tho.  It is super soft and has a wonderful feel.
Kait
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #26 Nov 30, 2009 2:14 PM
Location: L.A. area
Joined: Jan 18, 2008
Points: 1160
Vaphils wrote:
Yep it's definitely true, I went through a couple combos with my foam only bed until I found the sweet spot. I had a 1 inch of soft tal latex on top with a cuddlebed which was hurting my back. First, I took off the cuddlebed and it was a little better but still pain. Next, I put the 1 inch soft in the middle and 4 inches of medium (32ILD) on top and voila. I've been sleeping great for months. 1/2 to 1 inch can really make a difference, it's true.

Thanks Vaphils, it helps to know I'm not the only one who notices small differences in my mattress in a big way.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #27 Dec 1, 2009 3:14 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
All I can say to anyone who has bad sleep is that any material is better than latex and memory foam.  animal hair has been used for 1000's of years and I will not say anything I do not strongly belive to be true.   I do not know which is the best type of animal hair is the best.    Probably animal hair and plant fibre (coton) in combination are are the best combination for a mattress.  I think animal hair would be more supportive and provider better cushioning  between you and your mattress springs, and the coton could very well be the softess matterial to sleep on sleep on.  As far as Plants fibre vs animal fir I do not know truely which one would be better so I do will not partake in that argument.  l but There used to be a lot more horses in the past and now it is more expensive to buy a animal hair mattress but it was never cheap compared to other beds.   Foam was and always is the cheapest to produce and before foam a straw bed (horse food)would be the cheapest.   There is a far more labor intensive process in properly raising healthy horses with think healthy mane, properly tying, washing,wrapping and squeeze drying there hair to assure it is complely sanitary,  and spreading apart the twisted dried hair hair for it to be considered cheap.  But I do admit labor and horses were cheaper in the past but that is irrelevant.  It does compact and must be refluft every couple of weeks to uptane its springyness and will last much longer than foam.  Anyone who has problems with a foam mattress and lost days of sleep would have tears of joy coming down there face if fluffing there mattres topper was the answer to there problem.  It is easy to sell a foam mattress because It is the most comfortable for the first 5-15 minutes, its cheap to produce,  it can be drastically lighter than other matterials,  theres is no maintanance and no turning but in my opinion its like giving gatorade to plants because If it dosn't do its job well then it dosn't do its job. 

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