Hi, I'm the infamous jimsocal who posted a lot here years ago regarding rebuilding mattresses, using latex etc.
I was living abroad for years so have not been posting here but I wanted to share what I learned from my experience with mattresses that work for a bad back like mine. I was in 3 car accidents, none serious but all of them were not my fault as I was hit from behind while waiting at a light for 2 of them and the 3rd one I was not driving but a back seat passenger.
So for like a solid year I couldn't sleep more than 4 hours a night without waking up with discomfort.
So okay, that's the intro. Here is what I would like to pass on to you:
1) I worked at a mattress store. All the S companies (you know what I mean) have sucky mattresses. Don't waste your time and money.
2) Latex is where it's at, springs or no springs. (I prefer no springs.)
3) EXERCISE! Now, don't freak out. When I say exercise, I developed a routine of stretching that really helps me, with some additional half-push-ups and crunches. It would take a whole post to tell you my exact routine but it involves stretching my legs and arms every morning in bed, doing some crunches (the right way!), some Cobra and Cat and various other stretches. If someone wants to know I can post more about this. All I will say is that these very easy exercises (mostly stretching) really REALLY help issues with the back and shoulders and neck!
4) When I had the worst of my shoulder and neck problems the following supplements helped me: **I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND DO NOT PLAY ONE ON TV NOR ON THE INTERNET SO SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR MEDICAL ADVICE!
So after many many MANY various combinations of foam, springs and etc I settled on pure latex.
Do not buy a latex mattress unless it is 80% or more latex. Many of the "latex mattresses" sold - especially by the big S companies - have about 5-10% latex and yet they are allowed to call them "latex mattresses". I worked for a mattress store where I was supposed to sell these. I refused and was basically on the chopping block to be fired because I would not sell this cr*p!
So those are the tips I can give you:
Now: Latex mattresses:
Here is what I came up with and am using now and have used mostly for the past 10 years:
Here is my bed's composition:
Bottom layer: A 4-6" slab of Dunlop firm latex
So that is what I recommend.
I also will point out that you should try PILLOWS that are much higher than you thought you needed and much softer than what you thought you needed. Pillows are VERY important, and it's weird but I found that a cheap $5 pillow works great for me! I like it not too thick and not too soft , a medium one. YMMV.
I bought my latex on the major online shopping site that begins with an A. I found their prices best and they have a good guarantee / warranty as well. Read the reviews. Get one that is between 4-5 stars.
As an aside, my wife had me buy a mattress for her but she wanted springs.
So after years of experimenting with many many combinations of foams and springs (I originally cut open mattresses and replaced the cr*ppy foam in them with better HR/HD foam and/or latex - see my old post!) this is what I have learned.
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