My last mattress (Sealy Posturepedic Montreaux – Firm?) lasted me about 11 years with no problems. Little did I know how much mattresses had changed and that more research would have been beneficial before my recent purchase.
When the one mentioned above began uncomfortably sagging, I began my search with Sealy Posturepedic since it had served me well in the past. I went to Sleep Train (a primary mattress retailer in the SF Bay Area) and tried a number of their options – spent quite a bit of time on each one with a very patient, helpful salesperson. Without knowing what each was when I lay on it, I found I liked the firm best, even as a side sleeper. It felt as if my lower body was better supported. (Though, in hindsight, this may have more to do with memory foam than not being firm enough…?) We narrowed it down to 2 different price range options (the Bellezza and the next price up…can’t remember the name right now). I loved the higher price option, but also felt the Bellezza was comfortable enough, so I went with that (for about half the price at just over $700), knowing I could always exchange it for the more expensive one. (Thankfully, I’ve now read this forum and will never exchange – only return.) Both are inner spring mattresses that have a “CoreSupport Center with Memory Foam” in the center third of the mattress.
I also tried a similar Simmons, but didn’t like it as much. I knew I didn’t want Tempur-Pedic (didn’t really like a boyfriend’s years ago) and would prefer not to spend as much as a Stearns & Foster (though that may change now). So I looked around a bit, though I’ll admit I was partial to Sealy Posturepedic from previous experience and hadn’t done a lot of homework on newer options.
The Bellezza felt great for a few days, then my lower back started hurting. And, though 42 years old, I never have lower back pain - only if I've lifted something really heavy. I knew it could take some time to adjust to a new mattress, so I kept waiting. (Sleep Train suggests 60 days…rotating after 30, which I did.) I also figured not having slept on memory foam before, that I needed to get used to that. Well, it’s been about 2 months, and the back pain has just gotten worse and is no longer limited to my lower back. I also realized that, in general, the mattress feels too firm. My shoulder isn’t dropping down as much as I’d like. I’ve also felt a little numbness in my arm a couple of mornings. I also found it exhausting to roll over whenever I tossed and turned – felt as though it took too much work because my body wasn’t springing up very easily. I’ve ended up adding 3 blankets (folded over a couple of times) on top - only thing on hand, and that’s made sleeping much more comfortable, but still not great.
I’ve read much here about the limitations of memory foam. Is it all memory foam, though, or just “cheap” memory foam? If it’s a matter of quality, how do I know which this mattress has (and what it “should” be)?
I’ve read a number of times the suggestion to go with a firm mattress and some sort of topper for the comfort level. So I’m not sure at this point whether to return the mattress or add onto it. (Seems my adding blankets is already a makeshift firm mattress/softer comfort “topper”.) I’ve also seen zoning recommended for side sleepers, but the thought of DIY or mattress surgery really seems overwhelming and time-consuming. I've just started to look at Custom Sleep Design's website, but I fear they're quite expensive. (I'm also about to look at Flobeds.)
It seems my options are:
I’d love any words of wisdom – about side sleeper options, purchasing vs. DIY, how to know when to return and when to add a topper, minimum price folks think is necessary for a “good” mattress, etc. I know every person’s body and preferences are different, but I’d appreciate hearing others’ thoughts. Thanks!
Also, how can I figure out what the Bellezza is called at other stores? Since Sleep Train only allows one return, if I return this, I’ll need to shop elsewhere. (Retailer recommendations in the Bay Area also welcome.)
Oh, I’d also love recommendations on pillows for side sleepers. I’ve never been terribly satisfied with various choices in the past and purchased a side sleeper pillow while at Sleep Train. It was the one I used while testing mattresses, and I absolutely loved it at the store, but the one I got seems too thick/high. Receipt says “Align Side Sleeper.” Tag on pillow says www.bedgear.com.
Thank you! While a little overwhelmed by all the information and process, I'm really grateful to have found this forum.
I'm sorry I don't have much advice to give you -- I'm still trying to figure out what to sleep on, myself -- but I sympathize.
Is this "CoreSupport Center with Memory Foam" composed of some sort of other foam PLUS memory foam, or is it composed ONLY of memory foam? Memory foam is generally used as a comfort layer; it is not known for providing support. So if Sealy is suggesting that memory foam will be supportive, I'd question that.
I have not used memory foam, but some members here have found the 5.3 lb memory foam to be the most durable or least squishy, for lack of a better word. The lower-density stuff seems to crater sooner.
I tried the "get the firmest mattress you can find and add a topper" approach, which seemed logical at the time, and that did not work for me past the first year of owning the mattress (a locally made one). So I think I'd aim for getting something that you can live with now, that has decent springs (if you can figure out what those are), and then possibly be prepared to do mattress surgery when the low-density poly foam in the mattress gives out.
Mattress surgery is not a guarantee -- mine did not work for me because I found the springs (14.5 gauge Lura-Flex offset coils; 522 in a full-size mattress) to be neither supportive enough nor conforming enough -- but some people here have done it successfully (their springs worked well enough for them).
Latex mattresses -- already built or in kits -- are another alternative. Some people love them, and some people try and try and try and just cannot get the comfort and/or support they want from latex alone; unfortunately, you won't know until you try it. And that can get time-consuming; there's no way around that unless you're one of the lucky ones who gets it "right" on the first try.
Not much comfort, I know.
Found this useless description of the "Core Support Center" at US-Mattress.com (the description might have come straight from Sealy): "The center third of the mattress (the area that gets the most use) is power-packed to enhance support and resist body impressions so your mattress feels as good after ten years as it did the day you brought it home." Power-packed? With what? Did they put a bunch of miniature Power Rangers in there? Talk about marketing hype....
Thanks so much for your reply. I hope you're having some luck in figuring out a comfortable mattress for yourself!
I've found it difficult to get detailed information on Sealy's "CoreSupport Center with Memory Foam". I, too, think it's a little suspicious that memory foam would be used as part of the support, as opposed to just a comfort layer. (And I love your image of miniature Power Rangers inside the mattress. Gotta love the promotional hype!)
I'm still undecided but am now leaning toward a plush (possibly pillowtop) Simmons at Macy's. My current purchase was definitely too firm, and while the Simmons has memory foam, it's only part of the comfort layer. Macy's versions also have additional lumbar support that Sleep Train's don't, so I'm hoping that will help with the lower back pain I was experiencing. And since Macy's has a fairly decent return policy, I'm hoping if my next choice doesn't work, I'll be able to land on something fairly soon.
Good luck with your own process!
|The only advice I can give is not to buy a pillowtop. You'll soon find yourself sleeping in a pit that's hard to get out of in the morning.|
I would strongly suggest that you do a lot more research re: finding a decent mattress! (I also agree about avoiding the pillowtops - they get squishy quickly and you sink into the "valley"...it will really aggravate your back then). I bought a firm Serta several years ago and w/in 2 months it was sagging. I exchanged two times and each mattress began sagging very quickly. I have since learned (via all of these forums) to avoid the "3 S's" (I guess that means Serta, Simmons and Sealy plus a lot of folks are not gung ho on Stearns and Foster). My latest purchase was a sleep by numbers bed since our daugher & son-in-law have them and their guest room mattress was very comfortable. Another mistake (and $1,200 down the drain). I'm always having to pump air into it (if you want to pay $159 they'll send someone out to check the mattress but that someone will be the delivery man). Soooo...this time I'm really being cautious and reading up on Shifman's all cotton mattress (and maybe a royapedic...not sure). But these mattresses are expensive so I need to be super cautious! Good luck finding a firm, supporting mattress (but do expect to pay a lot more than $700!!).
If you are already "hammocking" in bed, any topper you buy will just make it worse. I your lower back is hurting you first have to determine if your mattress is too stiff, or not supportive enough. If it is too stiff your hips will cock at an angle to let you midriff touch the mattress. If you don't have enough support your butt sinks lower and your whole spine takes a curve. Have somebody look at your back while resting on your side. Your shoulders and hips should be square to the bed and your spine at your butt almost level with the spine at your shoulder. Once you find mattresses that are close to that ideal, choose the most comfortable one. The most common mistake is that people find a soft mattress that lets their hips sink too far. This feels comfortable for a short time but causes lower back pain after a full night's sleep. The next most common proplem is that you find good hip support but your shoulder is crunched and can't sink into the bed. This can be helped with the correct pillow but the mattress that provides hip support and allows your shoulder to sink in is what you pay the big bucks for with Duxiana, Carpe Diem, Hastings, and VI Spring. If you can find the correct hip-shoulder support combination in a lower end mattress you are getting a good fit and a good deal.
The prices for mattresses have more than doubled in the last decade. My wife bought a top of the line Beautyrest for $28OO twelve years ago. Today Beautyrest does not even make an equivalent quality mattress. The closest we can find is an Aireloom for $8000. The $2000 matresses are all junk. It seems like a quality mattress goes for at least $4000 today. Some of the latex bed makers like Foam Sweet Foam or Flobeds offer the best deals in long lasting mattresses as you can't beat Talalay latex for durability. The problem is you have to like latex foam mattresses. Some people do, some people don't. I personally liked the feel and support of Sleep Number beds but my wife hated them.
My caveat is that that if you find you like memory foam mattresses there are a lot of manufacturers claiming to sell memory foam that is really just foam. There is no memory in it at all. Beware of memory foam that claims to spring back quickly or does not react to room temperature. Most (all?) of the time this is just open cell poly foam.
As a side sleeper, the best pillow I have found is a contoured pillow from Holy Lamb Organics called the Orthopedic Neck Pillow. Buying any pillow online is a risky business.
I spent a Sunday looking at ridiculously expensive beds at a store in Los Angeles with a large selection of mattresses called HD Buttercup. I spent about six hours in the store and noticed that EVERYBODY loved the Carpe Diem beds. They seem to have universal appeal. With the exception of their cheapest mattress called the Koster, all of the Carpe Diem beds felt very similar so the second cheapest mattress was dang near the same as the most expensive. You might want to check out a Carpe Diem dealer and see what the fuss is about. You can then compare that to other mattresses and know what feel you are looking for.
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