I bought a latex zoned bed from Custom Sleep Design which is not working out. Though the complete mattress left me feeling like I had been run over by a truck (every muscle sore when I woke up and feeling weighted down for most of the day), I found that if I took the 2" top layer off and put it on a futon mattress that we happen to have, I slept a lot better. That in mind, I bought a 3" topper from the Healthy Back Store, which has yet to arrive, and am wondering what kind of mattress I should get to go along with it. I am small framed, have chronic body pain and hyper-mobility. While the futon set up felt better, I feel there could be a better solution, since my shoulder, which has permanent pain, seemed to still be crunched a bit. This may be relieved with the 3" topper.I suspect that the soreness and weighed down feeling is from the latex bed, though the comfort layer seems to be fine. I could go with another futon mattress, but was wondering if you have any better suggestions. I would greatly appreciate any help as my bed buying experience thus far has been extremely disappointing. Thanks!
Since your futon would probably be quite firm with little “give” to it … this is probably a good “clue” that you would do best on firmer support layers with a minimal amount of soft materials in the comfort layer. In some cases the “symptoms” you are describing can be from a mattress that is too soft and doesn’t keep the back and joints in good alignment or can allow for sleeping in a “hunched” position where the joints, spine, muscles, or ligaments are “stretched” too much. This would likely be aggravated by the hypermobility.
Your own experience is likely much more “predictive” than any “theory at a distance” because each person is very different in terms of body type, sleeping style, and preferences so with all the unknowns and health condition involved and I would tend to approximate what has worked for you previously. This would mean a very firm mattress with very little thickness or flex in the comfort layers so that you are as close as possible to your “futon/topper” combination as possible. The goal is always to have “just enough” comfort to relieve pressure but to make sure that the support underneath this is as close to your body as possible so there is less room to “sink down” into the mattress before your heavier areas are “stopped” by the firmer layers underneath them before they “travel” too far. Your lighter weight would indicate the need for softer than average comfort layers and I think that going with 3" given that your shoulders were feeling “scrunched” on 2" with a firm futon underneath it makes sense to me.
Other options besides a futon would include a firm polyfoam support core under the topper (either enclosed in a single cover with the latex or as a finished mattress with the topper on top) or a very firm mattress with little to no padding in the comfort layer and a firm support system. These are usually less costly than a mattress that uses thicker layers of soft foam.
Based on your experience though and based on budget … another futon similar to what you had would seem to me to be a reasonable choice for a base layer for your topper. I rarely argue with what works for someone … especially when circumstances are more challenging and your needs and preferences may be outside the norm