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 #28 Dec 1, 2009 3:16 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
And people Who ride horses all day long don't use memory foam
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #29 Dec 1, 2009 3:49 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
(I corrected some of the spelling)  
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.   I do not know which is the best type of animal hair.   Animal hair and plant fiber (cotton) in combination are probably  best.  Animal hair would be more supportive and provider better cushioning  between you and your mattress springs, and the cotton could very well be the softest material to sleep on.  As far as Plants fiber/spring mattress vs animal fir /spring mattress I do not truly know which would be better so I will not  partake in that argument.  There used to be a lot more horses in the past so obviously its more expensive to buy animal hair mattress's but it was never a cheap bed to make.  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 many thick healthy manes, properly tying the hair, washing,wrapping and squeeze drying the hair to assure it is completely sanitary,  spreading apart the twisted dried hair.  Labor and horses were cheaper in the past but that is irrelevant.  It does compact and must be refluft every couple of weeks to obtain its springiness 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 mattress 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 material,  there is no maintenance and no turning in a foam or latex mattress but in my opinion its like giving gatorade to plants because If it does not do its job well then it does not do its job.   I will not say anything I don't belive to be true
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #30 Dec 1, 2009 4:13 AM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I've lived my entire life without once seeing a person with a black hart change to be good.  Once a company purposely misleads you in the quality of there product never trust them again.    That rule holds true for all the fast food companies who claim they now care about your health.  all the mattress stores who sold you crap fillings.  all the the car companies who sold you lemons.   When a company sells you a great product never forget them and always spread there name to people who you want to prosper.


my ben-hur deep freezer is probably 70 years old and had no problems.
the running room sells great running shoes (a little pricey)  I like their "new  balance" shoes
I think capers whole food market has an excellent produce department  (also pricey)
I've heard nothing but good things about the toyota prius

trust should be regarded as highly as knowledge
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #31 Dec 1, 2009 6:42 AM
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
Points: 93
dodo2 wrote:
Sleep country is an exellent example of the mattress industry.  There a household name and they offer an exchange if your not happy. they'll even beat any price by 5% and they carry name brands and to top it all off they'll great you with a smile.   In reality they carry mattresses that cost maybe 150 bucks to make ( or less).  There already expecting to be unhappy with them and say   "the mattress i bought from you hurts my hips and back I want an exchange",  they'll give you the exchange because  they've already  factored that into there mattress price so they can still make a huge profit (compared to doing things the honest way).  They give every mattress there own name ex. ( Simmons ------> (beautysleep)   <-------- ).   The benefit for sleepcountry is that if you find an awsome mattress for a great deal at a different mattress store they'll beat that deal by matching you up with there shitty "equivilant model"   which will feel nice at first because of the nasa approved  memory or latex  foam and hurt your back later on.   By the way in rank from worst to better (but still bad ) i'd rate the companies in this order:   Serta's  then simmons then sealy/sterns and foster (Donald trump's mattress line, he just wants your money).   In stuffing quality memory foam is wost followed by latex then (coton and wool) which is in every mattress because of its flame retardent properties high aswell as low quality,  followed by (hogs hair and mohair) and the best I belive would be horse hair but don't quote me on it.   Its funny too because if you were to put these materials in order of price it would be exactly the same.


dodo2, for how much stuff you're i.m.o. unfairly throwing out here (e.g. i do beleive many posters here ARE real people who have found good sleep on foam blocks, if some for just short stretches at a time)- i cannot deny i strongly suspect a ridiculous markup especially in latex/M.F. lines.  You're right- all the instant price matching, when you call to cxl an order or even ask questions or have doubts, and they immediately offer to drop the price by significant %'s to keep your order, that alone makes you nervous/skeptical, granted.  And yes re: the returns- one company in particular doesn't even recieve the mattress back when they refund you!  You just prove that you donated it to the Salvation Army & they refund all but $75 (i guess for their shipping to you).  So obviously all that loss has to be covered somewhere, and the profit margins are likely HUGE if they can instantly deduct from the price like that. That is a burn, but at the very least, it's no LESS deceitful than sealy/serta/s&f's different names of identical product, & not even telling us what ratings THEIR OWN foams are (don't forget conventional mattresses have foam in them too)!

but at the end of the day, i'm worried MUCH less about how much money they are making off me over their production costs, & trying to just stay focused purely on if it's worth the money for a good night's sleep- LONG TERM (i can find conventional mattresses that work for me for a few years, my idea is finding solid latex that will hold up for a decade or mre).  but if it works it works, if that's their business model- hey you'd want to get as much money as you could for your product too- that's capitalism.  so as convenient as it is that raw foam blocks just happen to mirror the price structure of conventional mattresses- i just don't care.  if i'm going to spend a thousand+ on innerspring mattresses, i don't have a problem spending it on latex & not worrying about how much went to profit & how much went to cover returns etc.

but it's looking like the best of both worlds are what these mattress surgeons have going on.  You get the support of traditional spring mattresses, but  specify the exact comfort layers between you & the springs, since that is what gives first on them anyway, and they will last longer hopefully.  or can replace yourself again.  the ideal solution i've decided so far is to find the highest guage, best tempered coils, before you start paying for more expensive embroidering & comfort layers. 

so what do YOU sleep on b.t.w? horse hair?  I won't knock it until i try it, but realistically, i don't ever see myself going there.  i like to try before i buy, which is my problem with alot of the latex in the first place.

Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #32 Dec 14, 2009 2:42 PM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I agree many of the people on this is site are real people who have no intentions of misleading.  Maybe I didn't explain in detail how I feel.  I hope companies who make better quality products make money and stay in business.   They provide a valuable service.  I believe the price of a good night sleep is worth a lot just like you do.  It is shocking on how much these luxury mattress can cost but If these are the only mattresses that helps you sleep then get on your knees and thank the cosmos.  The one thing I hate is companies that give false claims and mislead.   Just like wendy's song saying "you know when its real"  where you might speculate they are using only real ingredients and not shit loads preservatives and taste enhancing god knows what.  I believe the foam and latex companies are guilty of misleading.  You say your mattress lasted 2 years I think thats disgusting and I also speculate how much of your  ruined sleep was from foam breaking down and how much of your ruined sleep was the accumulative muscle/bone pain of sleeping on a foam mattress for 2 years.  I was like you and belived the answer in sleep was latex.  My friend my advice is to save your money and not take that path.  Now as for the Comfort You cannot sleep on a bed of springs alone, It would be like sleeping on small rocks. thats why I beleive the inside stuffing of a mattress is just as important as its springs.   If you grabbed a clump natural hair or fiber and squeezed it with your hands into the smallest ball you could the horse hair would compress less then all the other natural fibers (I am unaware of a fiber/hair that is better).  That's because each hair is sapposably like a spring and so they give the most support for those rocky springs.  Now horsehair  clumps up over time Its moreso the springy hairs getting so tangled that they can't bounce back to there original shape because they never lose there springyness.  But fluffing it like a pillow every so often solves that problem and untangles the springs.  I've been told humane hair is vertually indestructible from nature and many chemicals I guess most hairs are like that (look it up online).     I also beleive pocket coils are better then conventional springs.   Oh ya I think it might be worth checking out lavital mattresses aswell.  They have everything I like to see in a mattress except for the horsehair not being hand teased and being produced more like a blanket (I don't know how much of a difference that really makes) and they seem very reasonably priced compared to other matterss of similar fillings.  i've never laid on one, if you can find one in your area (please post what you think of them in this chat room),  I find laying on mattresses with vertically longer springs that are also wider in diameter feel way more comfortable then the smaller springs.   Also I just tried out vi spring and It gives support no doubt and its a lot cheaper then hastens but I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be.   The smaller diameter springs arn't that comfortable and I could feel them in my ribs especially when i rolled around.  it really does seem like vispring only sprinkles their mattress with horse hair and load it with the cheaper fibers as they had on display a vispring cut out of their mattress.

also when you said
"the ideal solution i've decided so far is to find the highest guage, best tempered coils, before you start paying for more expensive embroidering & comfort layers"

Kudoos to you for buying looking at the inner constructions of a mattress but I belive it is still easy for mattress companies to mislead.  They will willingly tell you the gauge number and the number of springs and maybe even the if coils are tempered.  But you will never truely know the quality of the steel.  Alot are spring cheaply mixed recycled metals.   You might even get melted down pennies for springs j/k.  So brand name is something you have to somewhat rely on.  But I do not recommend sealy serta simmons, stern and foster, spring air, duxianna, (and the list goes on). 
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #33 Dec 14, 2009 2:47 PM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
and As you requested what mattress I sleep on I just bought a horse hair mattress but I'm not going to give my opinion of it until I've slept on it for a couple weeks.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #34 Dec 15, 2009 5:09 PM
Joined: Dec 15, 2009
Points: 10
wow you got a horsehair mattress? Awesome! I heard this incredible story... a friend of mine's grandfather still sleeps on the mattress his grandfather slept on. I'm not kidding, and its all horsehair.

From what I've been reading horsehair is the end all be all of stuffing, in that its animal hair, at 230 micron. Its not just stuffed, but rolled into coils, and the coils laid down in a particular fashion. Now.. a fiber from animal hair has more loft and memory than a plant fiber, because the scales of the hair tend to lock together.

The $10000+ beds I've seen online all feature horsehair, and latex rubber cores. Sometimes coconut fibers (which were used after horsehair), and a variety of other fibers. Whatever it takes to make the $10000 pricetag seem reasonable.

Where did you get your horsehair bed? I was trying to source a place for horsehair, but its gotta be imported unless you want to pay $40 a lb... and you'd need 10-15 lbs to make a 3in layer.
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #35 Dec 15, 2009 6:34 PM
Joined: Aug 30, 2007
Points: 191
One of the better know Horsehair mattresses (as well as better value) was the CH Beckley Bristol mattress-

http://www.chbeckley.com/prod_mattresses_bristol.html

On the old Mattress Forum (which I miss dearly), several of the members had that very same mattress and while it was a very well made product, it is a mattress that needed some sort of topper as most everyone said it was extremely firm .Also, while the horsehair was a great mattress surface in terms of longevity,it needed to be "fluffed" up as several poster said it would pack down.

I almost took the trip to New York to try it out along with the Lambwool mattress before I bought my current mattress.

Still would like to try it out in person...

Jeff

Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #36 Dec 15, 2009 7:08 PM
Joined: Aug 17, 2009
Points: 542
JCturboT wrote:
One of the better know Horsehair mattresses (as well as better value) was the CH Beckley Bristol mattress-

http://www.chbeckley.com/prod_mattresses_bristol.html

On the old Mattress Forum (which I miss dearly), several of the members had that very same mattress and while it was a very well made product, it is a mattress that needed some sort of topper as most everyone said it was extremely firm .Also, while the horsehair was a great mattress surface in terms of longevity,it needed to be "fluffed" up as several poster said it would pack down.

I almost took the trip to New York to try it out along with the Lambwool mattress before I bought my current mattress.

Still would like to try it out in person...

Jeff


Thanks for the link JC. Very interesting company. Sometimes simpler is better....... if it's well done!

Jeff: I just concluded reading your thread in the old forum on your SleepEZ 13000 adventure. Very informative, and quite interesting. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post all the information.

My experience with my FlowBeds has been similar to your experience regarding firmness layers. I am 6' 2" and 210 pounds, so I have found that the firmer layers of latex are essential. I purchased the all natural Talalay as you did.  My experiences is listed in the thread, "Just bought a new FlowBeds."

I tried to find a forum member by a the name of "MVPinLA" who was communicating with you in that thread about his purchase of a SleepEZ 10000 bed to see how his experience worked out for him. I was not able to locate him and his thread in the new forum or in the old. Do you know how his experience worked out?
This message was modified Dec 15, 2009 by eagle2
Re: The Prince and the Pea... yes, we really can be that sensitive!
Reply #37 Dec 16, 2009 5:47 PM
Joined: Nov 27, 2009
Points: 21
I am definitly not the first  to try to warn people of the mattress industry and all its inferiorness inacurateness and untruthfulness, and in all, like many before me I will probably fail .  I imagine it is routine for these snake oil mattress companies on how to deal with my messages.  But I will not back down no matter how pointless and inevitable my mission of warning is.   Eagle2 I will not vouch for your suggestions of the sleepEZ13000 and Flowbeds as for what I can see online they are latex and natural talalay latex dosn't mean much too me. Older messages from the "mattress form"   are for whatever reason gone.  They where moved or deleted (hopefully not to conceal information), but still I spectulate.  I can almost forsee a storm of scrutiney (lol).  

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