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.


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

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