analysis paralysis-help appreciated

I’ve searched this site and others and feel that I understand more about mattresses now. I’m grateful to those who put this site together. I’d like to go the DIY route because I like the idea of customization and feel that I can choose better quality components than what’s available off the shelf without spending a fortune. My spouse is against this after a recent fiasco where I ordered a memory foam topper to try to make our current mattress more comfortable. We received the wrong size and it was a pain to roll up such a huge, floppy piece of foam so I could take it to UPS to be returned. And I had to spend $23 on a box since it wouldn’t fit in the box it came in, which just added insult to injury! My spouse is reluctant to buy anything that we can’t try in person, but I’m more open to that option.

Our current mattress is a Serta Trump mattress that’s ~10 years old. We initially liked the comfortable pillow top combined with the support provided by the coils. I think the coils are still supportive but the comfort layer is shot and has body impressions, so it’s worsening my hip pain and causing my spouse shoulder pain. Partly because I hate the thought of the whole thing ending up in a landfill, I’d like to try deconstructing it, saving the coils and adding new comfort layers and a new cover, but would consider purchasing a new coil unit as well. There is a mattress recycler in our area so that’s an option to make me feel less guilty. At our second home we have a Parklane (now-defunct local Pacific NW company) mattress that is ~8-9 years old; it has a foam core with a latex top. While it’s more comfortable than the Serta, it’s like sleeping on a giant sponge (kind of like the Purple mattress we tried), feels like it’s bottoming out, and has no edge support. It’s ok for the time being as we only sleep on it 1-2 times a week, but the Serta Trump mattress needs to be replaced ASAP.

Our stats: me: early 60s, F, 5’6", 200#, hips wider than shoulders, sleep almost exclusively on my side, have arthritis and trochanteric bursitis in both hips, which has required steroid injections. Spouse: early 70s, M, 6’1", 185#, narrow shoulders, sleeps mostly on his side, has shoulder pain from the Serta Trump mattress. We both tend to sleep hot.

We have tried mattresses in local stores but there wasn’t anything I loved. My spouse was ready to drop over $5k on a Tempurpedic LuxeAdapt Soft with an adjustable base. I think this will sleep too hot and I didn’t feel supported enough (felt a gap between my shoulder and hip when lying on my side). While the Luxebreeze initially felt cooler, that feeling dissipated quickly and I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost. I don’t think we need an adjustable base since we mainly sleep on our sides, but feel like we’d have to buy an overpriced Tempurpedic base to be eligible for their warranty. I actually prefer the support of the ProAdapt medium hybrid, though I think I’d need to add a topper to make it softer/provide better pressure relief. The salesperson insisted that Tempurpedic’s hybrid coil system was better than other brands but couldn’t back that up with data. As far as other brands we’ve tried, I’m reluctant to buy anything plush (which I feel I need) as the salespeople don’t seem to be able to tell me anything about foam density, so I have doubts about longevity (and consequently potential guilt about the environmental impact).

I feel that the best mattress for us would be a hybrid with coils and latex (and perhaps a separate memory foam topper) or a 100% latex mattress (again possibly with a separate memory foam topper to provide additional pressure relief). I think all memory foam will be too hot. I’d like to stay under $4500 for a king size, but would consider spending more for the right mattress.

While I don’t expect anyone to be able to resolve the conflict between my spouse and me, if any of the experts on this site have suggestions for a commercially available mattress that would suit our needs, I’d appreciate the input. I’m also interested in hearing suggested DIY configurations in case I can convince my spouse to go that route.

Thank you!

Hi ljc.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :slight_smile: You’ve jotted down quite a few astute and perceptive observations!

If you want to forge ahead with a DIY and you have time and patience to do it, you may end up with a superior less costly product. I would recommend working closely with a manufacturer who will be able to give good advice about all the different components over using your own knowledge and separate sources to build your mattress.
Sorry for your memory foam topper fiasco! The good part about getting the “wrong topper size” was more of a blessing in disguise and a good reason to return it before finding out that you can’t really fix a sagging and broken down foam mattress by adding a topper that won’t fix the support and alignment issues.

Thanks for providing your stats and history with previous and test mattresses you had a chance to try. Unfortunately, you are not alone amongst those that own a mattress with thick layers of lower quality foams in the upper layers such as in a pillowtop … which initially were inside the “range” that was acceptable for you in terms of spinal alignment … and over time with the softening and breaking down of foams it put you “over the line” and the mattress is no longer be suitable for you.

Testing mattresses made by major manufacturers can end up doing more to confuse than to help because no matter how they feel in a showroom … you are making a blind purchase and since you can’t feel quality or durability all that happens is that you waste a lot of time testing mattresses that aren’t worth buying but also can’t be used as a reference point or compared to other mattresses. This is the reason for the first guideline in this article which suggests avoiding them completely (and the chain stores that sell them) The only exception I would consider is if I knew the quality of all the materials and layers and they were good quality materials and value which unfortunately you aren’t likely to find.

I am glad you decided against a memory foam mattress for the reasons you stated which include the durability concerns where you could not find the density and layer thickness. Either way, you certainly hit the nail on the head with your observations about the memory foam beds you tried as typically memory foam tends to change with pressure, trapped heat, and humidity from your body, and tend to soften over the course of the night thus making it difficult to control how far you sink into the layer. What started out as correct spinal alignment could turn into a “hammock” position and a backache by morning. Additionally, the deeper in a mattress someone sleeps, the more likely someone is to have issues with “sleeping hot”. This of course is a quality of all foams where you “sink in” to some degree but it is compounded by the makeup of memory foams in general which allow a greater degree of sinking in and are typically less breathable (allow for less evaporation) than other foams. Even the newer generation memory foams which are more breathable (and usually a little “quicker”) tend to be less so than other foams that are readily available.

I tend to agree that a hybrid coils/latex construction can work well both for you and your husband. As we age, we all need some extra cushioning for comfort and the conforming qualities of the coils and the unusual combination of surface softness and the deeper support of latex seem to meet all your criteria. At your higher BMI of 32.3 kg/m[sup]2[/sup] you’d also need to make sure that anything you chose for the 4-6 inches of comfort/transition layer(s) meet the mattress durability guidelines here. Also Post #3 here has more information and suggestions about heavier weights that is worth reading.

We have quite a few experts that are Trusted members of our site that would be glad to answer any questions you may have. Latex Mattress Factory is specializing in mattresses for higher weight ranges. Whether you chose to go the finished mattress or DIY route they have both options available. LMF are not the only ones that provide multiple solutions so you may wish to peruse the Trusted member directory linked above for other options.

Your thoughts of preventing the “whole thing ending up in a landfill” are surely commendable and the “deconstructing, saving the coils and adding new comfort layers and a new cover” can have a good chance of success if you are ready to take the time and some of the risks that come with building your own DIY. You can certainly salvage the coils, which most likely are still in good condition after 10 years. I am not sure what coils your current Serta mattress uses but generally, coils are rarely the weak link in a mattress) Whether you’re considering an all-foam product or one using an innerspring unit, I would still start your DIY research by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you know what is involved make sure that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial, and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process.
As I said, if you want to forge ahead and you have some time and patience to do it, you may end up with a superior product. I would recommend working closely with a manufacturer who will be able to give good advice about all the different components over using your own knowledge and separate sources to build your mattress