Can't get rid of my pressure points!

Hi! I am so grateful to have such a wealth of information and appreciate all the knowledge here. I started mattress shopping several months ago. I had been sleeping on a very old innerspring mattress with a foam topper. This worked for awhile but my foam topper broke down and it just wasn’t working. I started getting horrible pressure points and pain in my hips. I hadn’t done a ton of research at this point. I went to a traditional mattress store and eveything I liked was out of my price range - IComfort, Tempurpedic Cloud - all the softer non spring options. I ended up going wth Costco’s version of Sterns and Foster. It was $1,000 and I picked up because it was about what I wanted to spend and had faith in Costco’s return policy. Well, I took it home and still had pressure points. I returned it. Then I moved to Costco’s Ara Foam Mattress. This ended up being the worst mattress I have ever slept on - ever! It was so hard and I had the wost pain I had ever had from any mattress. It was horrid! I was hoping foam would fix my pressure points. So after that I started doing research about foam types, etc. I was discouraged and did not know what to do. A friend of mine had a bought a custom made bed from Bill at A Better Bed in Fresno (I noticed he was mentoned in another post!) and loved it. I went to see him and took print outs of the bed that hadn’t worked to give us a reference. Bill was very knowledgable. I laid on a bunch of different things at the warehouse. Based on what was comfortable at the time Bill ordered me a 6 inch 26 IFD foam core with a 3" soft memory foam topper (thats how it stated on the order form - i didn’t ask about the density of the topper - my mistake!). He charged me 1,500 including the foundation. Bill told me it would be ready in 2 weeks but took about three and a half. When I slept on the bed it felt nothing like what it did in the store. Turns out it was the wrong topper. I called him and he brought me the exact one I had laid on at the store. Unfortunately, I am still having the same issues I have had with my prior purchases…pressure points and pain in the hips! I am exhuasted. I called Bill this morning and he seems eager to fix it and make it right. I am nervous because 1,500 is a lot of money for me and while he guarantees the mattress for the life of the mattress and says he will make it right, I don’t think he would just give me my money back but I am not sure. On the phone he said I am actually in a 24 IFD core (unless he forgot what was on the order form) and I probably don’t want to go much softer. He said to fix my pressure points he wants to put 2 inches of memory foam under the core so the core is sitting on something softer and not the hard foundation base. He assured me he knows what he’s doing and wants to make it right and work hard for so I will refer him to my friends and family. Just can’t understand way pressure points are still soooooo bad! Any advice, suggestions, would be helpful. I am praying (literally) I am not out 1,500 for something I don’t love or won’t work. Does putting foam under the core do anything? Does anyone have experience with this? Is probably the foam is cheap or the wrong density and perphaps thats why the pressure is still so bad? Thanks :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention - I am 6’, 220, a side sleeper, and definitely prefer a soft feel on a mattress. Thanks!

Hi stephie426,

When I talked with Bill it was clear to me that he is a “schmoozer” (in a good way) but that he also knows his stuff and I think you are in good hands. He uses good quality materials (such as 5 lb memory foam, high density polyfoam and latex) and has put all his time and energy into eliminating all the things that aren’t necessary so he can put more value into his mattresses. He often adds some soft foam in the bottom of a mattress to provide extra "give’ when he believes it’s necessary and this is certainly a valid construction technique (and of course your own body will be the final judge).

Its also great to see manufacturers who go the extra mile to make sure their customers are happy with their mattress and who put as much effort into what happens after a sale as they do before it.

I also agree with him that 24 ILD (or 26 because both are in the tolerance range of the same foam) in a support core is as soft as you would want to go.

Give your weight and the construction of the mattress … you are certainly outside of the “averages” and it seems that there may be more involved in your pressure issues (some type of unusual sensitivity to pressure) and I would work with him and use his knowledge and experience (and his knowledge of the materials he uses) to work towards the best possible outcome even though your circumstances may be more challenging.

I don’t know his specific return policy but most local manufacturers don’t have a money back guarantee and quite frankly I don’t think they should (online manufacturers are different). It would add too much to the cost of a mattress and only encourages less “accurate” testing and when they can make custom adjustments to the mattress you already have and work with you till its right … there’s no need for a return anyway. I believe that making adjustments when they are necessary at a reasonable cost (or in some cases no cost at all) is a much more effective approach than starting all over again. It also makes sure that the people who don’t return a mattress aren’t paying for the ones who do (a return policy is always a hidden cost in the price of a mattress).

Again I think you are in good hands and he really does know his stuff IMO and I would provide as much specific information and feedback that you can to Bill (as I would with any manufacturer who I was working with) and then let him do what he does best and has been doing for many years (making mattresses and custom adjustments when necessary). He won’t be happy until you are :slight_smile:


Thank you so much for your response and encouragement. It’s been a long process and I am quite frustrated and sleep deprived to the point of inability to focus at work, getting run down, etc. I have been looking at some of the other recommended companies and I think I’m having a case of the grass could have been greener! I will be patient and hope the corrections will work and I will end up with a set up that is finally pain free! Right now I"m finding the current set up less comfortable and having more pressure than my old set up of an innerspring with a foam topper, which was far from ideal. I definitely didn’t like the feel of the innerspring at Bill’s showroom. It all makes zero sense to me. :frowning:

Again I appreciate your time and help so much. I read the article that mentioned buckling column gel for people who need extra pressure relief? Do you think this could be an option for me?

Hi stephie426,

Buckling column gel is a very good quality material and in the right combination with other materials can be very useful and effective (and pressure relieving) yes but each person is different and it can have somewhat of an “unusual” feel for some people. As with all mattresses and materials … its suitability for you would depend on the combination of layers in the mattress not just on a single material or layer. In a perfect world … you would be able to test the specific mattress that used it but at the very least I would want to test the material itself in person (even if it wasn’t in the exact combination that was best for you) before considering it so you would know how it felt for you (which may be very different than than how it feels or even performs for someone else).


I have back problems and I have found that I get pain from a bed that’s too firm and a bed that’s too soft. The firmer beds tend to cause pain immediately and the softer beds feel deceptively good, but the pain comes later, usually after I get up and try to go about the day.

My advice is to try a bed that’s firmer than is comfortable (but only a bit). You’ll feel less comfort when you try to sleep and may toss and turn a bit more but it’s likely you’ll feel better the next day than you would with the too soft bed. Now, that doesn’t mean you can get away with a hard bed. But, I’ve found that a small discomfort from firmness is actually a sign that the bed will probably lead to less overall pain. If the bed is too firm, though, it will cause significant aching just from lying in it.

I can also suggest making sure you get enough protein and enough sleep. Make sure you don’t have any lights (LEDs are a problem, often) in your sleeping area and that you don’t have your room too hot or too cold. It’s better to be warmer than cooler for pain, though. Keeping my protein intake up helps me to avoid back pain.

Thanks for the tips :slight_smile:

Help! I am still struggling with my mattress. Since my original purchase, Bill has added 2 inches of soft foam to the foundation my mattress sits on, and given me an additional 1.5 in 4LB memory foam topper. Neither options helped. Finally, after waiting over a month, Bill changed out the core to something much softer (a sofer, squisher foam, but I forgot to ask about the specific IFD). And while it is a little better, my pressure points are not gone and I can not lay on my side without getting pain in my hips (pressure and pain start in less than 5 minutes). I am soooo frustrated and have no idea what to do. I know Bill is frustrated too. The combination of materials just isn’t working for my body and I have no idea why. I try sleeping on my back because I don’t have pressure points, but I can’t fall asleep what way. I am laying on a really soft foam core, with an additonal 3" pad of 1.5 memory foam and 1.5 soft foam and the additional 1.5" 4 LB foam. People have suggested there could be something wrong with my body to induce the pressure/pain in the hips but I don’t know what it could be. My hips don’t hurt during the day, ever (unless they are sore from the night before), I recently lost 50 pounds, I eat right, workout, see a chiropractor, etc. I spent $1,500 on a bed that is unsleepable. I don’t know what to even try or suggest to Bill at this point. I know Bill is probably at his wits end as well. I lay awake almost all night. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have googled the column buckling gel toppers and even those pressure relieving beds used in hospitals, etc. I am exhausted and my quality of life is taken a major nosedive from the lack of sleepl. Please help. Thank you so much!!


Lots of good advice there. I too feel the pain of a too firm mattress quickly and too soft I feel in the morning just like described.

I think a heavier person needs more of a medium density latex top layer and may well need this layer to be relatively “deep”

In my case I went medium over soft and then firm core. The PLB Nutrition model seems to be somewhat obscure, but this model turned me on to this concept and at 6’1" 220# It’s working for me.

I couldn’t help noticing something. You were sleeping on an older innerspring with a foam topper, which was fine until it broke down (which means it got softer). Now you’re sleeping on various layers of foam (probably a softer bed) and in pain. Mr. Logic says is it possible this bed is too soft rather than too hard? Are you positive what you’re feeling is pressure points and not lack of alignment? Both cause pain. I think the first thing I would do is go back to some (quality) mattress dealers and lay on a bunch of beds, innerspring, memory foam, and latex. If you truly can’t get comfortable on any mattress, then maybe you do have some kind of physical issue that needs treatment. But if you find something comfortable, find out exactly what’s in it and give Bill a chance to match it. Make sure someone checks your alignment when you’re shopping; and you should probably have a friend check it on this bed too. I wish you luck!

Hi Stephie426,

I think Sleepy1’s suggestion is a good one especially because you mentioned that you can feel the pain in about 5 minutes which means that some local testing would give you a very good idea of what worked for you and then as she mentioned you could try to match it.

I believe the comfort layer of your mattress is 5 lb memory foam (and you could confirm this) which should be fine especially with a layer of 4 lb over it but the layers underneath this seem to me to be very soft for your body type. If you are sinking down too far with your hips with either comfort layers that are too thick or support layers that are too soft then they may be out of their neutral alignment (overextended) and this can cause pain in the same general area as you would feel with pressure points so it may not even be pressure points you are feeling at all. It would be something like sleeping on an adjustable bed on your side with the head and foot raised somewhat (you could even try this in a store to see if the pain is similar). Given your feedback I would suspect this may be what is happening and you could test this with various memory foam mattress in the local stores if you spend enough time on them to cause the pain if they aren’t right for you. Just make sure you test memory foam mattresses such as Tempurpedic where the layering is known so it can be used as a guideline.

I would also keep in mind that the same issues have happened with 4 mattresses (your old one, the two you bought before this one, and the one you have now) so there may be other issues involved as well.

Although I don’t know the specific layering of your mattress it seems to me that with your body weight the first thing I would suspect is the need for a firmer support core.