back pain caused by new mattress and latex, advice needed please!
Jul 6, 2009 2:11 PM
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Points: 3
Howdy.  I just found this site and it appears as if many of you are versed in mattress comfort.  I am 5'5" 128 pounds--a relatively  fit and healthy  person who has never had sleep problems until recently getting rid of an old mattress  and boxspring (traditional boxspring, flippable--my boyfrend and I slept on this  little full size thing for 10 years!--Unfortunately I don't know what kind of mattress it was--i.e. firmness, etc.  although I know it was an S brand). 
Anyhow we purchased a 100% natural latex mattress from a local bedmaker-Mulligan's Mattresses--he claims it was Dunlop (however, I saw some packaging in his store that was Talalay and when I questioned him he was vague--.  We also purchased a platform frame from West Elm. 
Anyhow, my spouse thought this new get-up  was the most comfortable sleep he had ever had (queen sized, medium fimness with softer 2" topper).
While it initially felt comfy when lying down, I woke in extreme agony by 2 am--entire back aching.  Mulligan's had us flip it over to try the firmer side, try towels beneath for lumbar support, gave us a firmer mattress to try, and then a topper--all caused me extreme discomfort.  He was kind enough to provide a full refund.  Then we tried a Simmons BeautyRest, Plush Firm. We both started having low back aches.  Now we are on a Sealy Posterpedic Cushion Firm-- with a thin layer of latex  at the head and foot and memory foam in the middle.  We have this on the platform.  Again, it feels comfy upon lying down but I wake up in extreme agony--mid side aches, upper  and lower back pain...We added a memory foam topper but it hasn't helped.  I am even going to see a back specialist--however, I am certain this is due to the mattress not something else physiological (or psychological!)...I am a stomach and side sleeper and I have tried accomodating positions, pillows between legs, etc. to no avail.

Reading through this forum it appears as if there is a problem that others have also experiences with latex and aching backs. 
Does anyone know more about this issue?
Is it possible that the platform bed frame is the cause of all this discomfort?

At this point I know I need another bed but since I am now going to be losing 900.00 on the mattress exchange from the S brand, I am hesitant to start throwing away more money...

Any advice would be much appreciated.
S in Portland!
Re: back pain caused by new mattress and latex, advice needed please!
Reply #1 Jul 6, 2009 11:36 PM
Joined: Jun 16, 2009
Points: 29
HI S. You can read my experience here:  Sealy Posturepedic Reserve, Firm - Reserve, Queen size, Firm

I had a $500 or so Serta that lasted for seven or so years and served me well. Instead of letting the company of my new bed haul it away, I kept it, and I decided to tear it apart to look inside. From bottom up:

(1) a little over 12 springs/ sq foot.
(2) 1/2" layer of cotton batting
(3) 1/2" layer of polyurethane (PU)
(4) padded quilted cover (probably some PU in it)

Compare with my new firm Sealy Posturepedic Reserve

(1) 25 springs per square foot.
(2) a thin 1/8" sheet of a polyethylene.
(3) 1" layer of egg-crated polyurethane foam (dense.)
(4) a 2.5" layer of egg-crated polyurethane foam (soft) with a strip of Visco memory foam 1/2" x 19.5" x 59" going across the hip section.
(6) There is an edge guard running around the perimeter of polyethylene 2.5" width.
(5) Then the quilted top which feels like it has some fairly dense polyurethane in it.

This was way too much padding for me. I was jack-kniving into it.

The old Serta was comfortable for seven years because the tension of the springs was perfect for comfort and support. From there it only needed a little bit of foam. Conversely the springs on my new bed are firmer, so extra foam was added for comfort. I ended up jack kniving into this foam. So I took out the PU and put in one 1" layer of 32ILD talalay latex and it gave great support. I recently added another 1" layer of 32ILD talalay and it is very comfortable and still good support.

I've heard Dunlop is very good. If he had incentive to lie, he'd have told you Dunlop was Talalay, not vise versa. You need to know the ILD. I would've suggested you simply get a firmer latex topper on your latex bed.

Basically, I believe there is a delicate balance between comfort and support, and it's different for every person. I can only relay you my experience, which is, too much padding caused my lower back pain.

I doubt very seriously that the problem is your bed frame. My sales guy told me that too; I think he just wanted me to go away. They will tell you anything except they sold you a bed that was poorly designed.

This message was modified Jul 7, 2009 by MattFaunce
Re: back pain caused by new mattress and latex, advice needed please!
Reply #2 Jul 7, 2009 2:31 PM
If you are looking for a good night's sleep, proper sleep posture is everything. Your mattress should help you obtain the proper posture for your position.
Location: Orlando, FL
Joined: Sep 3, 2007
Points: 335
Combination side and stomach sleepers usually always have back issues.  This is nothing new.  If your pain is in your lower back, it is because the person ends up in between positions and twisted.  Usually shoulder pressure by too shallow of a comfort layer makes the person want to twist or switch positions to relieve the pressure on their shoulder.   Try a mattress with a  deeper comfort layer.  With your lower bodyweight you will need a lot of depth of comfort and support.  Stay away from the plush firm and firm versions of mattresses.  These sets have hard pads over the coil systems that will create pressure in your shoulders.

If your pain is in between your shoulder blades then your are holding your torso up while you sleep to allow yourself to breath. 

It could be a combination of both.

Re: back pain caused by new mattress and latex, advice needed please!
Reply #3 Jul 7, 2009 10:08 PM
Location: Yosemite area
Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Points: 249
You are not alone.  I have had the same husband can sleep on anything and I just can't.  One time, I returned from a trip to Denver where i slept on a lovely bed that healed my chronic low back pain in two nights.  Heaven!  I came home and refused to sleep on our bed one more night...he asked what I wanted to do, and I told him I was going to cut it open and take out some of the crappy foam!  He was stunned, but he agreed. 
Your old, comfy bed likely was made better...springs, an insulator layer, cotton batting, and minimal foam on top.  Too much foam doesn't sleep well.  I have had no luck with Latex myself...tho my hubby loved the latex topper I brought home once.  Midway through the first night I was ready to heave it.
I found that the minimal padding is the best.  The more foam you have, the more your heavy part sinks, causing low back pain.  I'm 5'6" and 125# so it isn't weight.  Just distribution.  The more ins and outs you have, the more difficult it is to find comfort.
My daughter has a lovely bed...simple, very little foam.  She's a stomach sleeper.
I am intrigued by Miracoil springs by Legget and Platt.  I get an online mattress magazine, read about a mattress by "Silentnight" in the UK, and they use the Miracoil springs.  Legget and Platt are in the US and the coils should be available in other beds here.
Always something new...good luck!

Recent Posts