I have a medium mattress which is too hard and giving me hip pain. I am a side sleeper. Has anyone exchanged for the soft and what is your experience? Did it help with your issues and how would you describe the difference?
Having said that … while other people’s comments about the knowledge and service of a particular store or business can certainly be very helpful … I would always keep in mind that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress so I would be very cautious about about using anyone else’s suggestions, experiences or reviews on a specific mattress or firmness level (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable a mattress may be for you. In many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range). In other words … reviews or other people’s experiences in general will tell you about their own experience on a mattress or different firmness levels but won’t tell you much if anything about whether a specific mattress will be suitable for you because their experience may be very different from your own (see post #13 here).
I would also keep in mind that there are no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.
The only thing that anyone can say for certain is that the soft will have a similar “feel” because the materials and components in the mattress are the same but it will be softer and provide more pressure relief than the medium so if the medium is too firm for you the odds would be higher that the soft would be a better choice but the only way to know for certain whether the soft will be a suitable choice for you (regardless of anyone else’s experience) will be based on your own personal experience.
“Risk management” is a big part of any mattress purchase decision that you can’t test before a purchase (or an exchange) but like anything else that involves risk there is no way to know or quantify what the specific risk would be with any specific choice without the benefit of hindsight. A good analogy would be playing poker where you ask someone “will I win” if you have AA in the hole and the answer would be “the odds are in your favor” and if you have 2-7 offsuit in the hole the answer would be “the odds are against you” but anyone that has ever played poker will know that even though the odds will always even out based on the “averages” of many hands (or in this case customers) … there will always be some especially frustrating exceptions and the final outcome may not always be what the odds “point to” for any specific hand (or customer).
Since you can only return one mattress … as I mentioned in my earlier reply what you decide will really depend on the level of risk you are comfortable with.