Heavy Sidesleeper looking at the Ultimate Dreams Latex

Wow, great site!! I needed you years ago! I’m 5’6’', 240 lb powerlifter with wide shoulders and heavy hips. I use three pillows to align my head with my shoulder size, and my hips/thighs (most of my weight) sinks throwing me out of alignment. Three hours into sleep I start tossing and turning trying to relieve the pressure (more on my shoulders than my hips). Will this affordable mattress work? Has anyone had any positive experience with this mattress? Will it work with my weight and being a sidesleeper? After reading many posts sidesleepers are looking for the same relief. I will call Brooklyn Bedding (Ultimate Dreams) after Xmas and see what they recommend. Currently sleeping on a 5yr old Sealy Plush Pillow Top w/box springs. Looking at a solid Platform Bed with an Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress.

Thank you for any recommendations on this heavy matter,

MikeV Los Angeles, Ca

Hi MVincent,

There is no way to know this for sure without a reference point of a mattress that you have tried that has known layering and that can act as a model to “approximate” but I can tell you (and I’m sure you already know) that your circumstances and body type is somewhat challenging.

As an athlete that is “outside the averages” of most other people … a mattress can be as difficult to “fit” for you as a suit where your shoulder width and upper torso relative to your waist and hips is out of proportion to “normal” sizing.

One of the keys to “mattress success” is how far each area sinks in relative to the others which is not just dependent on the weight of certain parts of your body but the surface area of that part that comes into contact with the mattress as well (force per unit of surface area). Higher weights spread out over a larger surface area will sink in less while the same weight spread out over a smaller surface area will sink in more. Because the body is not a flat surface and it’s contours and surface area changes as you sink in deeper and because of the many variations in sleeping positions which present different body surface areas and weight concentrations to the mattress … this is very difficult to predict for any individual. Preferences also play a role here because some people prefer a firmer or softer surface feel than others.

Side sleepers generally need a thicker comfort layer and The Ultimate Dreams Latex Ultra Plush (I’m assuming this is the mattress you are considering) is certainly “in the range” with 1.5" of softer quilting and 3" of latex (with your choice of firmness with a goal to “allow” your shoulders to sink in enough) for a total of 4.5" that will accommodate your shoulders in the side sleeping profile. The key would be to choose a softness level that will allow your shoulders to sink in as far as they need to until your torso comes into contact with the mattress. Once your shoulders have sunk into the mattress enough, your upper torso will reach the mattress and the surface area starts to increase significantly which means that the amount of further sinking in with the upper body will slow down. If your shoulders are “allowed” to sink in enough … you may be able to get away with less pillows.

The challenge though is that the same softness and thickness that allows your shoulders to sink in enough may also allow your heavier hips/thighs to sink in even more but because they also have a greater surface area than your shoulders (on your side) the weight is probably distributed over a larger surface area than your more pointy shoulders. The key is to have a comfort layer that is just thick and soft enough to allow your shoulders to sink in as far as they need to (and you can choose this in consultation with Chuck) while having a firm enough support layer that will “stop” the heavier pelvis from sinking in further than it should once it “goes through” the comfort layer (and if the comfort layer is soft enough for your shoulders it will generally allow your hips to sink in even more easily until they reach the support layer). In other words you will likely need a firm enough support layer and I would ask Chuck about this specifically (the support layer firmness) because you would probably do well with a “firmer than average” support layer regardless of the comfort layer you choose. Of course if you are looking at their all latex mattress then you can choose the firmness of the support layer as well.

Your circumstances may also warrant some center zoning where the firmness under your hips/thighs is firmer than the rest of the support layer because this will “stop” the hips sooner and still allow for the use of softer materials under your shoulders to allow them to sink in more so you would be sinking into the mattress more evenly.

Quite frankly, I would be tempted to do some local testing on latex to get a more clear sense of what layering combination would work best for you. There are some very good quality/value possibilities in the Los Angeles area in post #2 here and with your more challenging circumstances (a more difficult than normal balance of “allowing” your shoulders and “stopping” your hips so that you are sinking in evenly), I would suggest that some personal testing on local mattresses could be very worthwhile. You may find a mattress that is perfect and has good quality and value which would avoid the risk of an online purchase or in the worst case you would gain some valuable experience that you could use as a reference point for an online purchase.


Thank You Phoenix and Happy New Year!! I’ve jumped around on a few mattresses in the past to know the ones I really like are out of my price range and the risk of a cheaper mattress without quality materials could be a disaster. This has brought me back to shopping online with great info, resources, and plenty of satisfied customers that have already purchased.

[i][color=#0000bb]The key would be to choose a softness level that will allow your shoulders to sink in as far as they need to until your torso comes into contact with the mattress.

[color=#000000]Makes sense Phoenix, my legs while laying on my side is twice the mass of my shoulders over the surface. This is making me think what ILD would be best in the support layer.
[i][color=#0000bb]The key is to have a comfort layer that is just thick and soft enough to allow your shoulders to sink in as far as they need to (and you can choose this in consultation with Chuck) while having a firm enough support layer that will “stop” the heavier pelvis from sinking in further than it should once it “goes through” the comfort layer (and if the comfort layer is soft enough for your shoulders it will generally allow your hips to sink in even more easily until they reach the support layer).

[color=#000000][i]After talking to Chuck about my size and weight a 28 ILD was recommended. I’m thinking this will be a safe choice instead of too soft an ILD losing long term support. Would a good back-up plan if too firm to add a latex topper? Which is pretty affordable. Any other factors I’m missing? Mattress science can be crazy, so many different body types, sensitivities, health issues, and we can add emotional with the decision process!! lol

I’ll keep you updated as my purchase will be timed with my cal king cast iron bed frame being modified for a custom queen mattress.

Thank You,


Hi MVincent,

There really isn’t a formula that can determine the best ILD or more accurately the exact layering of every layer of a mattress that would work best for a specific person because every layer affects every other layer in a mattress as far as both pressure relief/comfort and alignment/support. The most accurate way would be to either test a mattress in person (the most accurate way to choose a mattress) without regard to ILD information because your body will tell you much more about whether the ILDs of each layer are good for you than any comfort specs. Alternatively … if you are ordering online … then the suggestions of the manufacturer themselves based on “averages” of other people who may be similar to you would have the best odds of success for the specific designs they make or sell.

If you have tested mattresses locally where you know the specific construction of a mattress that you liked (including ILD and layer thickness and combinations) and it uses similar layers and materials … then this can help an online manufacturer if they can “translate” this information into the model they carry that may be the closest to what you have tested. If you don’t have a specific design (including all the specs) that you can use as a reference point … then the most “accurate” way to make an online choice is to go with the “averages” they suggest for your body type and sleeping positions. There are many combinations of layering that can lead to a similar outcome in terms of pressure relief and support so the “translation” would take into account the design of their particular mattresses. Different manufacturers or retailers may make different suggestions based on the specific mattress designs they offer.

The primary support layer of this mattress are the same for everyone (the polyfoam base layer) and the comfort layer choice is primarily about pressure relief along with what I call “secondary support” which is all about “filling in the recessed gaps” in your sleeping profile. Since you are heavier … it makes sense to me to choose a firmer comfort layer because firmer foam feels softer and will allow a heavier person to sink in more than it would for someone who was lighter. If your comfort choice is on the firm side … then yes you can always add a topper to do any fine tuning you may need and a firmer choice is always safer than a choice that is too soft because a topper can make a comfort layer softer but it’s much more difficult to make a comfort layer that is already too soft any firmer without removing t completely. I would try for the best possible choice without a topper and then use a topper as a backup plan as you mentioned.

You’re absolutely correct that mattress design, theory, function, needs, and preferences can be bewildering and is a very complex combination of technical information and intuitive processes that work together. It’s part of the reason why it’s a never ending learning curve and why I enjoy it so much :slight_smile:

I think your choice would have good odds of working well for you (not surprisingly because Chuck knows all the details of their mattresses and is good at what he does).

I’m looking forward to your feedback once you’ve had the chance to sleep on the mattress.


Hello again Phoenix,
Finally, my room is complete and my beautiful bed frame is now a short sexy queen 60 X 70 (custom weld shop) and confirmed with Chuck again for the custom size mattress for my frame (no charge). The 5% forum member discount on Amazon does not apply but you get the free latex pillows (still a great price). 5% is good from their own website. I will choose a firmness of a 3.5 and I’ll tell you why. I’ve been sleeping on a hard cot during my renovation (over a month) and noticed less shoulder and hip discomfort. The cot has no sink, so I’ve noticed my back (or lats) has been keeping me somewhat elevated relieving pressure off my shoulders/hips, which brings me back to what you said about body parts that come into contact with the surface. I would of never known the size of my back (lats) was another factor in pressure relief. My expensive pillow top must of been too soft for support. But it goes to show how everyone is different and selecting a softness level is not easy. One thing I’ve noticed after reading alot of reviews, some don’t give ample time to adjust with a new mattress. If you slept on an older mattress and your body adjusted to the sag or whatever, it will take weeks for your body to re-adjust to another mattress, and during this time will cause discomfort, sleeplessness, and confusion. The firmness level 3.5 and below has a tighter quilt, and number 4 and above has a higher loft (softer). Hope I got that right. I will keep you informed, as my purchase is complete.

Thanks Again,


Hi MVincent,

Yes … they had always offered a “pillow bonus” for their amazon mattresses until just recently when they told me that they would offer the 5% bonus on mattresses on the Brooklyn Bedding site which of course was great news for the members here.

EDIT: To receive the forum discount on their Brooklyn Bedding line make sure you either call, email, or use their chat to get the discount information before your purchase. On their Amazon line (that they fulfill) they just need your username here for the pillow bonus.

Your comments about the differences between people and the need to adjust from something that you were used to before are very accurate and insightful IMO. I don’t think a lot of people realize that any change … even if it’s for the better … can cause some temporary discomfort if what I call the “learned” alignment is different from a “better” alignment on a new mattress.

Post #6 here talks about imagining floating in the air and slowly sinking into the mattress. As each part of the body comes into contact with the mattress it takes up weight and relieves weight on the parts that were initially in firmer contact with the mattress. In your case your larger lats would begin to make contact and take up weight sooner than someone who didn’t have your more muscular build and needed to sink in more to get the same pressure relief.

I think you used your sleeping experience during the renovation wisely!

Thanks for your comments and feedback … and your insights :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to your updates.


Well, this was pretty smooth. If purchasing from Brooklyn Bedding make sure you do your research, as they don’t mess around once you’ve purchased.

  1. Placed order on amazon (in the evening).
  2. Email confirmation from Amazon on purchase (immediately).
  3. 2nd email confirmation (next morning) from Amazon, but through Brooklyn Bedding on firmness choice and anything else of need. If you’re detailed in your email on exactly what you want, your mattress will be sent to production (like mine was). I called to confirm a few hours after my email because of my odd size (60X70 with no room for error) and Chuck already knew from a prior phone call. If you have any doubts in choice, you might want to call before the final email. And if you don’t reply (email) in a certain amount of time after purchase you will get the standard firmness #6. Hope this helps.


Arrived 9am Monday 18 Feb. I need a few days before I open the box and set-up for testing.


Hello Phoenix,

Well, my mattress came on the 18th (five days ahead of me) and finally opened the box. I just peeled off (just like scotch tape) the “shipping plastic” that holds it in a tight roll (once this came off it started to inflate), unrolled with bamboo cover up (lol) leaving the mattress protective plastic on, and in five minutes mattress was full in the protective plastic making it easy to carefully cut around the sides and slide off. Very clean and easy.

It looks awesome in my frame, and the custom size I ordered was dead-on.

I would like to thank you for the bedding links, some great reads on fabrics, thread count…which greatly helped on choosing all my accessories.

I’ll update soon.


HI MVincent,

Thanks for the update … and I’m looking forward to hearing about your sleeping experiences.

It’s great too that your custom size fits perfectly.

I’m glad the bedding resources helped you as well and it would be interesting to know what accessories you chose.


Hi Phoenix,

It’s only been a week and so far it’s perfect! I’ll keep an update as it’s only a week. I’ve slept with just sheets over the mattress and what I’ve noticed is how soft the bamboo cover is and the density of the comfort layer. Didn’t think you could feel the soft cover through the sheets, you can. The 3.5 firmness really holds me level on the mattress and feels like I’m right in the comfort level (no pressure points). I’m glad I tested the mattress this way as I now know this is a very comfortable mattress. My mattress protector arrived so I will update the difference if any. I’ll let you know my bedding accessories as I test. So far this has been a great experience.