Back issues - need a new mattress

Hi there,
I need some serious advice! My husband and I both have back issues, he has had some lower back spinal disc movement type-issues in the past which continue to be bothersome, and I have just started to feel the pain in my loser back the last few months. We had purchased a pillowtop King Koil mattress a year and a bit ago thinking it was going to last yes a good ten years - well we sold it for less than half of what we paid just to get rid of it. My husband thought it was too soft, too hot and overall was killing his back to the point he preferred the couch. I didn’t mind it at first, however now I’m finding I’m waking up to lower back pain.

He generally sleeps on his side or back, and I on my side mostly. He is 175lbs and 6 feet and I 125lbs and 5’6…we really need help as we are thinking of going with a mattress from a chain department store and are afraid that it may be a mistake. Would you be so kind as to perhaps recommend a few mattresses to us?

Thanks in advance,

Hello … and welcome,

I would probably start here The basic functions of a mattress - Overview - The Mattress Underground which will give you an overview of the most important functions of a mattress.

After this some information about the different comfort layer materials can be found here Mattress comfort layers - Overview - The Mattress Underground

Information about the different types of support cores underneath the comfort layers can be found here Mattress support cores - Overview - The Mattress Underground

Your own preferences and circumstances are also important of course and information about these can be found here Your sleeping style, preferences, and statistics - Overview - The Mattress Underground . Particularly important as well is how your sleeping positions Your sleeping style, preferences, and statistics - Your sleep positions - The Mattress Underground and your own unique body weight and shape Your sleeping style, preferences, and statistics - Your statistics - The Mattress Underground can affect your choices.

In terms of value … reply #6 in this thread will give you a few guidelines to help you avoid most of the traps, pitfalls, and misleading sales techniques that you will encounter.

Most side sleepers would do well starting off their mattress testing with about 3" comfort layers over firmer support cores and adjusting from there according to what your testing shows you.

Hopefully after reading the links I suggested … especially the guidelines that will help with the traps and pitfalls … You will be a little less tempted to buy any “name brand” mattress or any mattress from a chain or department store and be looking more to smaller independent factory direct manufacturers where the quality, value, and service is so much better :).

If you let me know the city you live in … I’d be happy to look and see if I know of any which may be near you.


Hi there, thank you for pointing out the relative articles that I need to read through. I imagine once I do, the options and inner mechanics of mattresses will be much clearer.

We reside in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Hi Lowerpain,

There are a couple of manufacturers and one of our members in Saskatchewan that that would be good places to visit if you are anywhere near either Regina or Saskatoon. They are a local manufacturer with a factory direct store and a factory in Saskatoon. I have had several great conversations with Barbara Hodges the president and she is somewhat of a maverick in the industry (a good thing :)) and determined to stay independent and build good value for the consumer. Local retailer in Saskatoon that carries a range of Sleeptek latex matttresses which are very high quality but are also in more premium price ranges. Another local manufacturer in Regina who sells factory direct. They make a variety of mattresses (incl Talalay latex) and can custom build as well.

Like most local manufacturers or specialized sleep shops, they will likely be more knowledgeable about their mattresses and the materials they use (and why) and provide much higher quality service, help, an value than most chain store type of outlets. These would be the first places I would visit if you were close to any of them.


Your site is just amazing. I wish I would have known this information when we purchased our last bed.

My husband and I also live in Saskatchewan. We purchased a firm pillow top Sealy 7 years ago. I hate it. DH is 6’3" and just over 200lb and I’m 5’2" and 125 or so when I’m not pregnant. I wake up when DH moves, the groves are ridiculous and the bed tilts then DH gets into bed. The store told us about how continuous coil is “so much better”. It’s not. In fact, I haven’t liked a bed since I stopped using my fouton. :frowning:

Normally, I’m a back sleeper with some time curled on my side.DH is also a back sleeper but I beg for him to go on his side because he snores less.

Now I’m 6 mon pregnant and propped with body pillows and an insert from a pillow under my waist to give more spinal support.

After reading this site, I’m leaning towards a latex bed of some type. I contacted sleepers mattress factory as you had recommended in this thread so we could try out some beds but they don’t have any latex beds in stock. Something to do with a shortage of reliable manufacturers. Do you have any other suggestions for us? DH has been sleeping on the couch because the tilting of the bed is so bad that it puts so much pressure on my back that I start throwing up. He’s threatening to just get the icomfort we tried and that seems like repeating the same poor decision we made 7 years ago.

Thanks for your help.

Hi Miller,

Continuous coils are for the most part the lowest cost version of an innerspring but like with any type of coil there are better and worse versions. The “secret” is often the combination of innerspring and foam that determines the durability of the mattress rather than the innerspring alone.

There are many latex mattress manufacturers in various cities across Canada but there may also be cost issues involved in not producing one (latex is a more costly material).

I also see that the link to Standard bedding wasn’t working so I have updated it to their new website if you are in Regina.

If you let me know which city you’re in … I’ll take a look online and if I can make a few calls as well (tomorrow) to see what other options or at least possibilities may be worthwhile looking at.


You are amazing.

We are in Noeth Battleford so would have to drive to another city I’m guessing.

Is there a latex shortage? If this becomes an impossible option to try out in a store, what do you recommend? Is there an online place that sends to my area with good return policies? is there another option for a try of bed?

Hi Miller,

You are in what could legitimately be called a mattress desert.

There are very few options in North Battleford itself and only one of them understands the importance of knowing what is in their mattresses and even then they would need to phone their manufacturer to find out because they don’t have the information on hand. They are …
Logans SleepWorld North Battleford, SK. Talked with her and they carry Serta and Springwall. They will call Springwall to provide any specs but I would avoid the Serta. They carry a Springwall mattress that uses latex (and other materials) in the comfort layers and they should be able to provide you with the layering to see if it worthwhile testing (that you would be on the latex with no more than 1" or so of other foam on top of it in either the quilting or comfort layers).

Other than that … I wouldn’t spend any time at any of the other stores in North Battleford.

I then turned to Saskatoon and the situation there is even worse and I didn’t find a single store that had any real understanding of the importance of knowing what is in their mattress (outside of Sleepers Mattress listed in post #4) or that carried even a latex hybrid where you could legitimately test latex. Some carried mattresses that had a thin layer of latex that was under other foams (such as some of the iComfort models) but you would not have any idea of what latex felt like by trying these and I wouldn’t consider any of these as a potential purchase for quality/value reasons. There was even one retailer that writes an actual advice column that talks about how to find a quality mattress that didn’t have any of the specs about what was in their mattresses. I “suggested” that he phone his manufacturers to see which ones would provide this information so that at least he would have it available for some of his mattresses for those who wanted to know so that quality was more than just a word that had no real meaning. I told him that if he did this and called me back that he could differentiate himself from every other retailer in Saskatoon (except Sleepers) and it will be interesting if they followup with this.

I haven’t had the chance to look at Lloydminster yet.

In any case … the bottom line after my research and phone conversations is that the only place I would consider in the entire area is Sleepers (and they don’t carry latex) along with the one retailer I mentioned (which would depend on whether they can find out all the layers that are in their Springwall mattresses so that you can confirm you are testing a latex comfort layer). NOTE: I have since confirmed that to their credit Springwall will provide all the information a consumer would need about their mattresses … see post #4 here)

There isn’t a shortage of latex and it is widely available in other areas but for some reason that doesn’t seem to be the case in the North Battleford/Saskatoon area. There was a recent disruption with one supplier (Dom Foam) as a result of a law suit but I don’t know if this is connected to any “shortage” in your area.

In any case … there is a list of online manufacturers or retailers in post #21 here that ship across Canada that may be well worth talking with. Many of these offer layer exchanges and trial periods with a refund. Given the lack of good options in your area (for latex and otherwise) … I would seriously consider one of these if I wanted to purchase a latex mattress in your area.

If I find any other local options that I’ve missed (perhaps in Lloydminster which is probably unlikely) … I will add them to this post. Just as a point of reference … there were 4 retailers that I talked to in North Battleford which were Logans Sleep World, Guy’s Furniture, Battleford Furniture, and the Brick. In Saskatoon I looked at or talked to about 15 retailers (to the end of a google search and various other listings) with little success. I may not have found every retailer in the area but I didn’t knowingly miss any.

I wish there were more options in your area but at least you have some good online options and with any exchange or refund policies the risk of an online purchase would be minimized to shipping and/or cross border costs.


Thank you again. No luck so far. Thank you for calling all those places for us. We had gone to visit most of them. Went back to Logan’s but the Springwall had very little latex so couldn’t really feel it under all the cotton batting.

We’re thinking we’ll have to make a trip to Edmonton.

Hi Miller,

You’ve probably seen this but just in case … some of the better options I’m aware of in Edmonton are in post #136 here.

Unfortunately … you’re not in a great area for latex mattresses.


:cheer: We finally purchased a new mattress. No luck in North Battleford or Saskatoon. Standard bedding wasn’t great and the show room was incredibly dirty. We went to Edmonton on the weekend and found tmasc. The bed in the hotel was so horrible that all the beds felt so good. It was hard to make a decision. We went with a Green Sleep mattress with a customizable middle layer. It should arrive in about 4 weeks. Looking forward to my new bed. I did get a chance to meet Daniel. He seems wonderful and spoke highly of you. Thank you and keep up the great work.

Which mattress did you go with? I got a green sleep via tmasc in Calgary (I speak very highly about tmasc, my experiences there have been wonderful). I am really happy with our mattress. Also, if you want some quality beddings, I got many of ours from tmasc and they’re really nice. Their website,, has been a wealth of info for me.

Tmasc recently became a member here, you might be able to get 5% off too by asking Daniel (I suppose depending on when you bought, etc), and you’ve been a member here since last year so should be good.

I’m not sure what the mattress name was by Greensleep but it has three layers. We got the 5% off but then because we are from SK, they added on our tax so could get delivered right to our house from the company in Quebec. We picked up the wool mattress protector too.

I guess I forgot to find out about maintenance and care. Oops

Hi Miller,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

You certainly made a high quality choice and as you know I also think very highly of the knowledge and service of Daniel and the Staff at TMASC.

One of the benefits of being a customer of a retailer like TMASC is that they are always there if you have any questions after the sale or if there is anything else you may need in terms of suggestions. They really are “experts” in all the products they sell.

I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive it.