(Note added in March 2012: Gave up on the old mattress & bought a new one. Added to this thread for continuity.)
(Note added in Jan. 2012: The topper-search saga turned into a mattress-surgery saga. Mattress surgery details are farther down in the thread.)
I'm looking for opinions on the next way to tweak my toppers. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Here's the current setup:
Stats: 50-year-old woman, about 5'6", 120-125 pounds; side and back sleeper, but mostly side. A little joint pain in the hips now and then, but no serious illnesses or injuries to work around (knock on wood).
(The 2" 32ILD topper is a new purchase. I read some old forum threads that I'd saved on my PC; waffled between 32ILD and 28ILD; thought about getting an inch of each; but that was more expensive, and I was most worried about getting something that would turn out to be too soft, like my previous attempts, so I went with the 32ILD.)
With just those 3" of latex, I think my hips & back are OK, but my shoulders still get too crunched and I wake up with some arm numbness.
When I add my 1"-thick polyfill fiberbed on top of the latex, my shoulders are good, but my hips sink down a little too far -- because this fiberbed is several years old and has flattened in just the hip area -- so I wake up with some low back pain. (The rest of the fiberbed is still in great shape.)
One option: I thought about getting a 1" 20ILD layer from FoamByMail and adding it on top of the 3" of latex I already have. Recent posts seem to imply that FBM's quality has gotten better and more reliable than when I was here on the forums 2 years ago. But: Since I pretty much bottom out on the 24ILD layer, I'm skeptical that a 20ILD layer would help or would balance things out.
(If I put the 1" 24ILD layer on the floor, my bony hips & shoulders go right down to the floor. If I fold that topper in half and lie on that, I still go right down to the floor. That makes me wonder about all the posts I see about 19ILD and even 14ILD layers -- I can't quite fathom how those would be useful, so I'm curious about that.)
Another option: Get scrap foam and add some just in the hip area, under the part of the fiberbed that has flattened. SLAB sells some scrap latex of various sizes and ILDs. Maybe something like a 28ILD scrap under the hips would work?
Another option: A 1" 28ILD layer (or equivalent in 100% natural latex) between the 24 and the 32?
I'd like to avoid memory foam for now, because of the off-gassing issue, but won't completely rule it out.
Thoughts? Other ideas?
Edited to add:
1) A thing called "Oodles" that had latex "noodles" in it -- great idea but poor execution. It would have been terrific if it had had at least twice as many baffles in it to prevent the noodles from shifting around within each baffled section. I half-heartedly attempted to hand-sew in more baffles but didn't know what I was doing and the thing is big & awkward, so that didn't work. (I used it on top of the 24ILD topper.)
2) Below the 1" 24ILD topper -- a 2" Dunlop latex topper from Overstock.com, unknown ILD & manufacturer. Wonderful for a while... but then it cratered in the hip area. Did not think latex was supposed to do that, but it did. [Edited to add: this was medium-firm synthetic, or mostly synthetic, Dunlop. Natural stuff would hold up much better, I'm sure.]
Yesterday I finally got to visit my friends who had said they wanted to sell an old but barely used innerspring mattress. We had a lovely visit, but I didn't get a good look at the mattress; and for various reasons, they seem not to be ready to part with it after all. So that's out, and I'm back to square one.
Did some mattress shopping on Saturday, but nothing knocked my socks off. Tried various memory-foam mattresses; hated them. Found the continuous-coil Sertas to be quite uncomfortable (hard on the shoulders). Didn't find anything really comfortable at Jamestown Mattress. Nor at City Mattress -- although I didn't spend much time on any given mattress there, and had a salesman talking at me the whole time I was there. He seemed a bit sad about the decline of Stearns & Foster (after it got bought by Sealy's) and of Sealy's (after it got bought by a private equity firm). He seemed to think that Simmons mattresses are still built OK. (And he thinks Stearns & Foster are still the best, but are not what they used to be.)
I might have to go to a different City Mattress store and spend some time on the PranaSleep latex mattresses (without someone talking at me) to see how those feel.
As far as coils go, I didn't like the continuous-coil mattresses I tried, so I'm still thinking that pocket coils might be supportive enough if they're around 13 gauge (not the 15-gauge lightweight ones); or maybe offset coils would work in a low gauge (Original Mattress Factory's Orthopedic line uses 12.75-gauge knotted offset coils). I don't think I want to drive 4.5 to 5 hours to an Original Mattress Factory store, though.
Might have to get some high-density poly foam from FBM after all.... (Or maybe not, since I read a few posts here saying that the PU foam had a horrible smell -- presumably, the lovely petrochemical offgassing.)
I confess that I am still wondering if I could latex zoning right, if I had a couple inches of 20-22 ILD Talalay to work with. Argh.
i remember reading a bunch of this thread back in the days when I was active here. Sorry you are struggling so. Re your zoning issue, have you tried laying fabric or cardboard or anything under the latex where you want more support? Even a towel makes a pretty big difference. Although so far I haven't found anything "magic" this way...
Thanks for your comments in the other thread. Good luck!
Right now, I'm using a 5mm yoga mat, 2" down in the stack, and a piece of luan 3" below that (both going across the middle third of the bed, for the hip area). They might be helping, but I'm not there yet.
I'm adding one more piece of luan, in the same spot as the first piece; we'll see if that helps any or just makes pressure points worse.
So, I went mattress shopping again today.
I hate to say it, but I'm thinking about buying an S-brand mattress: a firm Sealy Posturepedic with the DSi pocket coils. Has a 560 coil count for a queen; don't know the count for a full size; don't know the gauge. Seems like a low coil count, actually, but hard to tell without knowing the gauge. The top panel uses some sort of stretchy knit fabric. [Edited to add: The Simmons Beautyrest Classic firm pocket-coil mattresses have 617 coils in a full-size mattress, with 13-gauge coils. So that makes the coil count for this Sealy seem really low -- maybe even ridiculously low -- even if the coils are a low gauge. Hmmm....]
Sale price for that Sealy (the stores are all having President's Day sales this weekend) was $650 for the set; $539 for just the full-size mattress (or $499 online). The mattress did feel substantial, and was among the least-padded ones there (11" height). For that price, if the mattress lasted a couple of years, it might be worth it. It has a foam encasement around the coils, so I'd think that would hold the thing together if I had to do surgery on it.
The salesman at the furniture store was useless -- said he'd check on specs for me but then came back without them... twice. (Youngish guy; probably new at sales; not very confident.) There's a 30-day comfort exchange; the salesman said he thinks returns are allowed, but he didn't sound very sure, so I'd have to check on that.
I'd like to try the Sealys with the interlocked coils, but so far, I haven't seen any of them here. The furniture store I was in doesn't carry them; City Mattress doesn't seem to carry them (they have mostly Simmons & Prana). Forgot to check Sears while I was at the mall today. The Macys stores in my town don't carry mattresses at all, as far as I know.
Didn't like a single Serta mattress; Serta's VertiCoil continuous-coil mattresses are incredibly bouncy.
Tried a variety of memory foam mattresses just to see if I could give them a fair chance. Which I did. But I still don't like them. I know that slpngoc loves his Tempurpedic Cloud, but I just can't get used to those things. I'm a lightweight, and those memory foam mattresses still feel like they're grabbing me and not letting go; yech.
Tried the various Prana latex mattresses at City Mattress, and didn't really like the feel of them -- but that might be because they have thick, quilted & sort-of-tufted tops: very uneven.
I'll have to venture out again sometime soon and have another go at this.
I don't like the idea of buying an S-brand, but there aren't many options if I want coils and want to buy locally. I don't like the 14.5 gauge LuraFlex offset coils at Jamestown Mattress (they're the ones that gave out on me). Not sure I trust the 15 and 15.5 gauge pocket coils there, either (seem too light weight), but the heavier gauge (15) is used in the center third, which is where I'd need it, and the full size has 713 coils, so I dunno... maybe that would be OK. (The other spring mattresses there use VertiCoil or Bonnell springs, and they're both too bouncy.)
Here's something weird: try finding anything about the DSi coils on Sealy's website -- and good luck with that. Their in-store marketing materials make a big deal out of these coils, but I could not find a single reference to the DSi pocket coils on sealy.com. Yeah, that inspires confidence.... Not. If I want pocket coils, maybe I'll go with Simmons or Jamestown.
Back from another round of mattress shopping.
I've come to my senses, at least partially, and ruled out the Sealy I was considering yesterday (a firm Posturepedic with the DSi pocket coils). The coil count seems way too low for the mattress to hold up for any reasonable length of time.
Today, someone at a different branch of the furniture store I visited yesterday tried to find specs for me, and it appears that Sealy doesn't publish them even for their retailers (not for the DSi coils anyway). That can't be a good sign. And the in-store marketing materials from Sealy describe their "power-packed" "CoreSupport system" as having a 1" layer of memory foam and a 2" layer of Supersoft Sealyfoam. Um... not my idea of support.
I did like some of the firmer Simmons mattresses, including an extra firm Beautyrest Elite that is similar to this one at us-mattress.com (13 gauge "Smart Response" pocket coils, 726 coils for full size [900 queen]). For an extra firm, this mattress still had a surprising amount of give, and would probably be fine with my toppers.
The one at this local store has a sale price of about $1240 (around $1330 with tax). The comparable one at us-mattress.com, with a Presidents Day sale price of $974, is still several hundred bucks more than I'd like to spend right now, on a mattress that might get turned into a guest bed in a year or so if I can ever get my act together and move house.
Also went to another Jamestown Mattress store and tried out the pocket-coil mattress they call "ultra firm" ($739 for a full-size set). It was sort of OK. I think I like the 13-gauge ones (Simmons) better.
This store had 5- or 6-inch square blocks of Dunlop from Latex Green, labeled D75, D85, and D95, sitting out for people to see; that was quite useful. I had wondered if the 16-18 ILD Dunlop (D75) would be OK for a top layer for me, and I think now that it would not be; pretty sure my shoulders would get crunched. The D95 stuff (36-38 ILD) is seriously firm. That'd make one heck of a core for anyone wanting a firm latex mattress.
Anyway... no mattress purchase yet. Gonna have to think about how much I'm willing to spend. There's quite a price difference between the Beautyrest Classic lines (regular pocket coils) and Beautyrest Elite lines ("Smart Response" 2-stage pocket coils). I could go with a Classic, like this one, for less dough and still get 13 gauge coils, and maybe that'd be fine for a while.
Some days I wake up really sore and think I must make a decision and buy a mattress very soon; other days, it's not so bad and I think I can make do for a while longer with my weird collection of latex foam.
Yeah, the Sealy coil count seems a bit low, especially with the issues you have had with your current mattress. At one point I was tempted to get the top of the line extra-firm Simmons. I liked it, but thought it too firm. The plush one seemed too soft, so I could not get quite comfortable with either. I am not sure what the coil count was. At the time they had 3 tiers, and this was in the top tier. When I tried one in the mid tier, I noticed a material drop off in support.
I wonder if the drop-off was because of a change in coil count, coil gauge, or both.
The past few mornings, I've woken up quite sore, and this morning I'm really a hurtin' puppy -- probably a combo of putting the soft latex back on the top of my stack and getting all twisted around somehow. So I'm thisclose to pulling the trigger on the Simmons BR Classic Tomahawk Firm at us-mattress.com. It's not even in the mid-tier line, but with 617 13-gauge coils for the full size, I'm thinking it's worth taking a chance on.
It seems pretty similar to one I tried at the furniture store. And you can't beat the price, at $529 for the set -- nothing local can even come close. And with all the dough I've spent on latex recently, I'm not willing to spend $1K+ for a mid-tier or top-tier mattress. (I might in a couple of years, but not right now -- not unless I absolutely have to.)
And... I must have hit the Edit button in my previous post to Sandman, when I meant to hit Quote in Sandman's post, because my earlier response to Sandman's post is now gone, and this one is here instead. D'oh!
Edited (again) to add:
At this point, if the mattress works for me now and lasts 2 years, I'll be happy with it.
Hi Catherine, I love that you have taken the surgery on, but whew what a wrestling match. I'm not about to attempt surgery, but have the issues with hips and shoulders just not being right.
I am also obsessed with finding the right mattress, but have a few comments;
Do not put a solid piece of plywood under your mattress - it won't breathe and can mold.
I would try the old foundation, but make certain the slats are spaced and secure.
by the way, i've been thinking, even though this probably isn't a flippable mattress, if you are just wanting to put a topper on springs, why not flip it? Then you don't have any of their cheap topper materials between you and the springs. Just a thought...
Thanks; I am soooo ready for this mattress to arrive. No word yet on the delivery date, but I knew when I ordered it that it would take a few weeks.
The mattress isn't designed to be flippable, but you might have a good idea there. The only question is whether the half-inch of Simmons "EnergyFoam" that's on the bottom of the mattress would interfere with the spring action too much. It's described as "Heavy grade polyurethane foam" with "High ILD for firmness." And "Utilized below the coil unit to help create a supportive, durable foundation for the No-Flip mattress design." No actual specs, though, so who knows?
Can't hurt to try flipping the mattress, ifI don't like it right-side up, but I'll try it right-side up first.
I hope you find a mattress you like, Steve; keep us posted.
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