Dilemma Shopping for Memory Foam Mattress


I’ve been wanting to shop for a memory foam mattress but have been reading mixed reviews for almost every product out there. I have been reading a number of posts in this forum and you gave some of the best advices I have seen on any site or source.

Currently, I am faced with choosing to buy a cheaper mattress assuming that it will only last a year or two (~$300-$400 such as comfort dreams), compared with buying a more mid-ranged mattress may last a little longer (I am specifically looking at rocky mountain mattresses).
I am 5’11, 240 pounds and my gf is 5’5, 120 pounds. I have been on a diet and lost over 30 pounds in the last two month and I plan to reach 185 within the next 6 month. We’re both big time side sleepers. Due to the nature of her work, she only stays 2 out of 7 days each week at home.

I have a couple of concerns:

  1. While the cheaper alternatives often last a year or less, would a midrange mattress really last long enough for it to be worthwhile? Eg. while the comfort dreams mattress only last a year, the rocky mountain mattress (specifically the 10" CoolComfort) may only last a little more than two years and thus be less value for money
  2. The drastic difference in body weight between us, is there a mattress out there (that is not too expensive) that will be suitable for both of us?
  3. If I buy a mattress suitable for my body weight, would my girlfriend feel extremely uncomfortable as the bed might be too "firm’? Would I also begin experiencing the same problem as I continue to lose weight?
  4. Should I even consider switching to other type of mattress (non memory foam) due to my weight?

Thank you.

Does any member have experience purchasing a rocky mountain mattress? It is quite hard to find 2nd hand reviews about RRM and I would really appreciate if anyone who has had their product could please share their experience with me. Thanks!

Hi danliang137,

There is no way to predict exactly how long any mattress will last for any particular person in terms of years … only in relative terms (one mattress lasting longer than another). This means that any assumptions that include a specific number of years may not be accurate because it has as much to do with the person as it does with the mattress. You can read more about the many factors involved in the relative durability of a mattress in post #4 here.

As an example to illustrate the point and using a hypothetical softness/firmness scale of 1 (softest) to 100 (firmest). Each person will have a range of options that would provide them with either the comfort/pressure relief or the support/alignment that would be suitable for them and would have a range of mattresses that work well in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). Some people though have a narrower range than others and are closer to the “princess and the pea” end of the scale than the “I can sleep on anything” end of the scale so they would have a narrower range of suitable mattresses and designs to choose from. Lets say for the sake of this example that your ideal softness range is in between 40 and 60.

If you choose a mattress that is in the middle of your range (50) then you have “room” for the foam to soften before it reaches 40 and is no longer suitable for you. This means that if there is 20% softening in the foam that you would cross your threshhold and the mattress would no longer be suitable for you. With very low quality materials such as the Comfort Dreams … this could sometimes happen within the first 30 - 90 days before you have lost the comfort or support you need and you can develop the symptoms that go with sleeping on an unsuitable mattress. Higher quality materials will soften less both initially and over the course of time.

If a mattress you choose is already on the edge of being too soft when you first purchase it (say 40) … then almost any amount of foam softening may put you over the edge. If you choose a mattress that is in the upper end of your range (say 60) … then you have more “room” for foam softening and for you the mattress would be more durable although even here low quality materials will cross your threshold much more quickly than higher quality and more durable materials that will maintain their original firmness for much longer.

You will go through various stages on a mattress over time from sleeping well to “sleeping OK” to “tolerating a mattress” to having more significant discomfort or pain on the mattress and finally deciding that you need to replace it. Most people would typically decide to replace a mattress when they realize that they have crossed one of the last two thresholds (see post #3 here) but others that are more sensitive may decide to replace it when they are only “sleeping OK” depending on their sensitivity … not because the materials themselves have completely worn out (the same mattress may still be inside an “acceptable” range for someone else).

I personally wouldn’t risk the quality of my sleep even for a year with a mattress that used the low quality of materials that are in the Comfort Dreams … especially with your higher weight which will soften and break down foam and other materials faster than someone who is lighter. It would very much be a roll of the dice.

The most important part of a mattress’ quality and durability is the upper layers and the heavier you are the deeper you will sink into the upper layers which means that the quality of the the middle layers also becomes more important than they would be for someone who was lighter and didn’t compress into the layers as deeply. The minimum I would choose in a mattress is @ 4 lb memory foam … and with weights over 200 lbs or so I would be cautious so that the 4 lb foam was relatively thin (say 2" or less) so that foam softening didn’t play as big a role. I would also make sure that the mattress wasn’t already on the edge of being too soft for you which would mean that it may not take very long at all for it to soften and move outside of your comfort and support range.

There are certainly designs that can work well for two people with very different body types or sleeping styles and preferences yes … but only your own experience can know what they may be. You can read a little more about some of the options that could work for you in the first part of post #2 here but local testing with both of you on the mattress is the best way to know. If this isn’t possible then more detailed phone conversations with knowledgeable and experienced online retailers or manufacturers is the next best way to choose because they can use their experience and the “averages” of their customers that may be similar to help you make better choices which can improve your odds of success if you are inside the averages. The knowledge and experience of who you deal with and their ability to help you make “educated guesses” based on the information you provide them about which of their mattresses may work best for you can be one of the most important parts of making a suitable mattress choice besides the quality and value of the mattress.

This relates to the last question and is certainly a possibility yes. Again … it would be important to choose a design that had better odds of working for both of you and for any changing needs and preferences down the road. A mattress that includes the ability to make changes in the future either with individual layers that can be re-arranged or replaced or from local manufacturer that can make custom adjustments to a mattress at a reasonable cost can both be good options and allow you to make some changes to the mattress rather than replacing the whole mattress. Of course all of this is part of the tradeoffs that are involved with any final decision and which of the many criteria that may be most important to you are the most important parts of your personal value equation.

The materials you choose in your mattress are a personal preference and there is no “should or shouldn’t” involved in these types of choices or any preference choices. Regardless of which type of materials or mattress design you prefer though … all materials have better and worse quality versions (more or less durable) and I would focus on choosing the best quality and most durable materials available inside your budget range.

Post #13 here includes my thoughts about reviews. While it can be useful to use reviews to indicate the level of knowledge,service, and experience of a manufacturer … I would pay little attention to reviews about anyone else’s experience on a mattress because each person’s experience is unique and may not apply to you. A forum search on Rocky Mountain Mattress will bring up more posts and information about them and as you know they are a manufacturing member of this site which means I think highly of them and they are among the best quality/value available.



Thanks for the amazing reply, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on these two mattresses from rocky mountain:

  1. The Sundance 10"
    3.3" of four pound Bayer Softcel Memory Foam
    3" of Bayer Ultracel Convoluted Foam
    3.7" of Bayer Ultracel Support Foam


  1. The CoolComfort 10"
    two 3 inch layers of high-density Reflex foam in the core. One layer is rated at 32 ILD and the other at 40 ILD with options of 28,32,40 ILDs.
    On top of the core is one 2 inch layer of 5lb. Sensus brand memory foam, and on top of that layer is another 2 inch layer of 4lb. Aerus memory foam for a total of 4 full inches of memory foam

You mentioned in the post that the memory foam part of the mattress should be around 2", does that meant that both mattress would not be suitable for me? Or would the interchangeable layer coolcomfort be better since I could switch the layers around? Thank you.

Hi danliang137,

I’m happy to speak to the quality and value of a mattress but as you can see in mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here … comfort choices should always be based on either your own personal testing and experience or more detailed conversations with a manufacturer or retailer who knows their mattresses better than anyone else.

The most important part of a mattress in terms of quality and durability are the comfort layers and the foams used in the Cool Comfort are a little thicker and a little higher quality (4" of a combination of 4 and 5 lb memory foam vs 3.3" of only 4 lb memory foam). It also has options to rearrange or even exchange layers which means it has more flexibility of design and gives you a chance to do some fine tuning after you have slept on the mattress.

I think you may have misunderstood my comment (or I didn’t express it well). I was suggesting that with your weight you may be better off with higher density memory foam (5 lbs or higher) or at least thinner layers of lower density 4 lb memory foam in combination with higher density memory foam because of the higher risk of foam softening having a bigger effect with thicker layers of 4 lb memory foam. The comment wasn’t about the total thickness of the layers, just about the amount of 4 lb memory foam in the mix.

While only your own experience can know for certain … a combination of 4 and 5 lb memory foam may give your girlfriend a couple of inches of softer 4 lb memory foam to sink into for her for her lighter body type before she starts reaching firmer layers and with your higher weight you would sink more deeply into the firmer and higher density / durability 5 lb memory foam which would act like more of a comfort layer for you and would be more “supportive” for her. You would also have the option of putting the 5 lb memory foam over the 4 lb memory foam if you both preferred the feel of that combination and you also would have the choice of re-arranging the support layers to fine tune the support as well. While it’s a little more costly … it would provide you with more options for customizing the mattress after you receive it.

Of course the most important part of making a choice between them would be a more detailed conversation with Rocky Mountain Mattress.



I got the 10" coolmax from rocky mountain mattress and has been sleeping on it for close to 3 weeks. I wake up every morning with a sore in my upper back, around and in between my shoulder blades. Is this because themattress does not have sufficient support for a heavier person (230 pounds) like me or it is purely smth that has to do with my sleep posture? Is it normal for people to experience such sores? its like a numbing and sore feeling, not much pain. Does it usually take a while for people to adjust to memory foam mattress especially if they have been sleeping on firmer spring mattress for all their life? Thanks.

Hi danliang137,

Have you talked with Rocky Mountain for suggestions?

They have three 10" mattresses with a coolmax cover so I don’t know which mattress you ordered but the first step when you have any issues with a new mattress would be a more detailed phone conversation with the manufacturer. They have more experience and are more familiar with their own mattresses and the various options they provide than anyone and with a more detailed phone conversation they may be able to give you some guidance about any changes in configuration that may be helpful.

There is an adjustment period with any new mattress … particularly if it is very different from what you are used to … and the mattress will also have a break in period but 3 weeks is generally long enough to have a good idea of the suitability of your mattress and it would be a good idea to see if you can identify the underlying cause of your symptoms. This can sometimes take some careful analysis, detective work, and some educated guesswork about what may be happening and what type of changes have the best odds of improving your symptoms.

I’d also be happy to share some thoughts but first I would need to know the specifics of the mattress you purchased.

With your heavier weight you would tend to need firmer support layers than someone who was lighter and firmer comfort layers as well so the odds are higher that your symptoms would be connected with either support layers that are too soft or comfort layers that are too thick and soft but this isn’t always the case and it also depends on your body type, your sleeping positions, and how you interact with the specific design of the mattress. To the degree that any symptoms are connected with a mattress … the goal is always to make sure that you have good spine and joint alignment in all your sleeping positions and that the mattress provides you with good pressure relief. The challenge is to track down which symptoms are connected with alignment and which ones are connected with pressure relief so you have the best possible odds of making the type of changes that can help.