Thank you in advance for your help. I live in Miami. I purchased a cheap mattress, and it is not under warranty and totally deformed in under 3 years.

We (my wife and I) are looking for a new mattress. Our concerns are comfort, my lower back pain and longevity.

We want a bed that we will sleep comfortable and one that will relive my pain. I do not mind if we need to buy a new mattress in 8-10 years, but 3 is too short.

Most mattress stores are filled with idiot sales people.

I want to talk to someone I can trust about what kind of bed to get (spring, air, latex, foam)

We liked sleep number which we saw yesterday, but I was reading on your site about it, and am now a little turned off by the way it supports, considering we only laid on it on our backs.

Also, we want a bed that we can put on a platform bed, I think.

Important: I want to add that we are both overweight. But we have both lost a significant amount of weight and we are continuing to lose weight. I do not see this stopping. Right now we are both over 225 pounds but less than 260 pounds . I do not know if that makes a difference in your recommendation, thank you. We should be between 140 pounds and 180 pounds in between a year and a year and a half. Therefore, I am worried about how the bed will change as our weight decreases.

Hi legalpanther,

The first step for any mattress research (in case you haven’t read it already) is post #1 here. This will give you the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best and most suitable choices based on your personal criteria and preferences.

As you will read in the previous link … your personal testing for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) are among the most important parts of any mattress search. If your spine is supported in its neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions you will have the best odds of helping your spine to relax, decompress, and rehydrate each night and lower your odds of waking up with back pain or discomfort. Of course no mattress can heal back pain that is caused by a medical issue but it can provide a better environment so that at least your mattress doesn’t become the cause of back issues or worsen those that already exist. The mattress design that helps with this will be different for each person (we all have a unique body type, physiology, and sleeping style that a mattress needs to “match”) but the common goal for everyone is to keep your spine in neutral alignment. When you are heavier one of the most important parts of neutral alignment is to make sure that the deeper support layers are firm enough to “stop” your heavier pelvis from sinking down too far which is the most common cause of alignment issues. You will likely need firmer support than someone who is lighter.

The comfort and “feel” of a mattress is very subjective and is most commonly connected to the upper layers of the mattress which redistribute and relieve pressure and are what most people feel as “comfort”. Again … each person will have different needs but in general heavier bodies will need firmer and possibly thicker comfort layers (depending again on your body type and sleeping style).

Durability is also relative to weight because heavier people will compress a mattress more and all materials will soften and break down faster under greater pressure and compression than they will for someone who is lighter. The upper layers of a mattress are the “weak link” of most mattresses and are the ones that are most subject to softening and breaking down so this is where it becomes very important that no matter what type of material you prefer that you use the best possible quality of that type of material. All materials have lower and higher quality versions that can feel the same in a showroom (you can’t “feel” the quality or durability of a material) but lower quality versions of any material will soften and break down faster. You can read more about the factors that can affect the durability of a mattress in post #4 here.

The type of components that you prefer (innersprings, memory foam, polyfoam, latex etc) is a matter of personal preferences which you will discover based on your own testing. Again … it’s not the type of material as much as the quality and durability of the specific version of that material that is most important.

Most foam mattresses (memory foam, polyfoam, latex) will be fine on a platform bed and most pocket springs and many other types of innerspring mattresses will be as well. There can be some exceptions though so make sure you let the manufacturer or retailer of your mattress know the base you plan to use for the mattress so they can make sure that it is suitable for a platform bed and meets the terms and conditions of the manufacturer’s warranty.

As you can see in mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here … there are too many unknowns and variables for anyone to recommend a specific mattress for someone else that can possibly be more accurate than your own personal experience although you may find some of the information it links to be useful in generic terms. If you plan to lose a significant amount of weight though, then it may change your needs and preferences in a mattress quite significantly so it may be worth considering a mattress that can accommodate the changes either by buying from a manufacturer who can open the cover and change the internal design at a lower cost than replacing the whole mattress, choosing a mattress that would be suitable for adding a topper if you need some extra softness after your weight loss, choosing a mattress that would be suitable for a wide range of weights, or choosing a mattress design that has a zip cover where individual layers can be replaced without replacing the whole mattress. It may also be worth considering buying a lower cost mattress that will be suitable and last you for a year or two and then buying a mattress that is better for the long term at your new weights once your weight loss is completed because predicting how your needs and preferences may change as your weight changes can be difficult.

Finally … who you buy from and their level of knowledge, experience, and service and the guidance they provide can be one of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase. The better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Miami area are listed in post #2 here.

Once you have some basic information under your belt (step one and two in the guidelines) then the next step would be to talk to the ones that interest you on the phone about your specific criteria and then visit the ones that you are most comfortable with, that seem to “connect” with you on the phone, and that carry mattresses you would be interested in trying.

Once you have narrowed down the list of manufacturers or retailers that you are interested in dealing with … then it’s time to begin testing mattresses and narrowing down your choices to the one that will be 'best" for you.