Great Site. Looking for advice.. Back pain from sleeping in my bed.

Wow, what a site… I am absolutely overwhelmed with how much information you have on this site and that you have. I never knew there was so much to mattresses.

I have a king size bed and about a month ago, I started waking up with lower back pain. I have never had lower back pain in my life.

About 5 years ago, we bought my daughter a bed from Original Mattress Factory. My daughter lived with her mom and is now in college, so her bed was not used every night. The bed is as close to new as a 5 year old mattress can be.

I say all of this because when I sleep in my daughter’s bed, my back does not hurt.

I have some questions about the type of bed I should get.

I am 6’, 210 pounds, 43 years old, a side sleeper and live in Charlotte, NC. I have lots of trouble sleeping and really struggle with a comfortable pillow. I can only use old, flat, very firm pillows. They have to be so firm that they will wake up me due to the pain in my ears. I also need a thin, but very firm pillow.

To buy my daughter’s bed, we simply went to the factory outlet store and laid down on all the beds until we found the one we liked.

I noticed that there are latex beds, spring and memory foam. My son has a foam type bed and I like it. I am just not sure if I could sleep on that type of bed.

I have tried to sort through this site and the Internet. There is no site that has the information of this site, so I know this is the place to be.

I saw the list of stores you recommend in the Charlotte area, but was hoping you could suggest what I need.

Based on what I posted, do you have a recommendation for me?

Should I get a coil spring, memory foam or latex? I think of latex beds as the ones in the hospital. Why get a topper if the mattress is good?

I am thinking it boils down to me simply going to these recommended stores and trying out the beds.


Hi ccualumni,

Unfortunately there is no “formula” that can determine the best mattress for you out of the many thousands that are available because of all the variables and personal preferences involved.

The first place I would start though is post #1 here along with the links to information it contains. The information it links to also has some general guidelines for different body types and different sleeping positions but these are just general guidelines subject to your own personal preferences and testing. The information there will also help you eliminate the worst choices and focus on the better ones.

Once you have the basic information you need to go mattress shopping … then it’s time to visit some of the better manufacturers or retailers that are close to you. Don’t forget that the most important thing is to make sure that you are given the details of every layer of a mattress that you are considering so you can make sure there are no weak links in the mattress. If you’re not sure (and a better retailer will be able to tell you this) you can always post the specs here on the forum. The ability and willingness to provide you with this information is one of the signs of a better retailer.

While personal preferences play a big role in pillows of course … typical side sleepers need a thicker pillow (than back or stomach sleepers) that help hold their head and neck in alignment with the rest of their body. The thickness of a pillow that you need can vary with the type of mattress you have because you will sink in more or less with your shoulders with different mattresses but the wrong pillow/mattress combination can often lead to shoulder, neck, or upper back issues.

This is all about personal preference and is like asking someone should I eat strawberry or blueberry jam. The key though is that no matter what you choose that you make sure that the upper layers of the mattress especially uses good quality materials because all materials have better and worse quality versions. Again the overviews that are linked in the first post I mentioned along with personal testing will help you decide.

A topper can help to soften a mattress that is too firm and can be a good way to do some fine tuning but it won’t “fix” a mattress that is too soft or has developed dips or soft spots because the topper will just follow the dips in the mattress. If a mattress has a firm even surface and is just too firm then a topper can be a good idea.

latex is a premium foam and one of the best quality materials for mattresses (whether it is over an innerspring, polyfoam, or a latex support core) but you will rarely see latex mattresses in a hospital. With a cover around the mattress you wouldn’t even see the latex but it looks somewhat similar to other types of foam (although the three different types of foam … latex, polyfoam, and memory foam … feel and perform differently). Latex is usually used in premium mattresses because it is also a more costly material but there are good value latex mattresses and others that are not good value at all. A mattress is basically a firmer support core (an innerspring is an example of this) that is primarily responsible for support and spinal alignment when you lie on your mattress and comfort layers over that (often one or more of the different types of foam) which are primarily responsible for pressure relief. Which type of support core you choose and which type of comfort layer materials you choose over it are a matter again of preference.

Yes … your own personal testing but “armed” with the basic knowledge in the post I linked is the key. Perhaps Original Mattress Factory and testing your daughters mattress is a good place to start. You have some great options in the Charlotte area including one of the members of this site who is about an hour away.


Thank you so much for the response. I really appreciate it.