Latex bed - felt great at first, now ???

Several months ago I purchased a latex bed from Sleep EZ. So far for the most part I have been extremely happy with the experience. Sleep EZ was great to deal with. The bed has been very soft and comfortable. I don’t see any indication of the bed forming the little indentations that we had with our old bed. Our old bed was very hard and I woke up each morning with back pain. I would hobble around for awhile after getting out of bed until I loosened up and the pain went away. It was bad enough that it drove me out of bed early each morning. When we got our new latex bed, the pain went away. It took a little to get used to the softness, but the pain was gone. Now, about 3 months later, I’m starting with the back pain again. I don’t have it when I get out of bed early for work, but on the weekends when I sleep in, I wake up with pain in the middle of my back. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m on my back or side. It’s not as bad as it was with my old bed, and I don’t have the trouble straightening it out when I get out of bed, but I’m disappointed that the pain is back. My layers from top to bottom are 2" soft, 3" medium, 3" firm. I just swapped the bottom two layers to put the firm over medium just to see if that makes any difference, but what could cause it when the pain was gone for a few months? Is it the bed or just me? And why does it only show up when I sleep in? Maybe my body’s telling me to stop being so lazy?!

Hi Aimee,

There are many possibilities that could account for this ranging from needing a slight adjustment in the mattress, being part of the normal adjustment and break in period, to something that has more to do with your specific physiology or circumstances. With all the many variables involved … it’s not really possible to “diagnose” the reasons behind specific symptoms outside of trial and error or working with adjustments that have the highest odds of success … assuming that the mattress is at least part of the cause and can be changed in a way that helps.

When you get a new mattress there is generally a few months of both an adjustment period as well as an initial break in period for the mattress. Sometimes this means that there can be some initial symptoms that go away and sometimes it can mean that it takes a few months for some symptoms to appear.

Your symptoms seem to be connected to how long you are on the mattress and sometimes this is just the body’s way of saying that staying in the same position for too long is not good for the body (the joints can become stiff if they stay immobile for too long). Sometimes it can also indicate a need for very slight fine tuning because symptoms can be time related and what is OK for the body for a shorter period of time may not be OK for a longer period of time. It could also be that you were just “on the edge” of experiencing these symptoms when the mattress was new and that the slight softening of the mattress in the initial few weeks could have made a difference.

Given that symptoms that show up in the morning are usually related to alignment issues … I would have tried the same thing as you and exchanged the bottom two layers to increase the firmness of the support layers. Another possibility that could be worth trying is to flip and rotate the top layer of the mattress to see if anything changes (to see if sleeping on parts of the layer that haven’t broken in yet makes a difference).

Other possibilities that could also be connected to the feel and performance of your mattress include your mattress protector, your sheets and bedding, any toppers or mattress pad you may be using, and making sure that the foundation under the mattress is firm and evenly supportive and doesn’t have any “give” under the heavier parts of the body.


Thank you for the reply. You make some good points. I’m pretty sure the foundation is sufficient- it’s on wood slats that are about 2" apart. We have sheets over a St. Dormier mattress protector (the protector is so soft and luxurious, I’m tempted to sleep on it all by itself!) over the thin cover that came with the mattress. The pain still persists after I switched the medium and firm layers. I’ll try flipping and rotating the top soft layer to see if that helps. I had also thought of putting the medium back on top of the firm and removing the top 2" soft layer altogether. However, it’s a queen sized bed and although the bottom layers are split, the top is one solid piece. I don’t quite know how I’ll remove the top layer from my side without removing it from the other!

Hi Aimee,

Yes … this sounds like it is firm and even and would be suitable for your mattress. Unless for some reason there was a broken slat this wouldn’t be the issue.

These don’t sound like an issue either although there will be some initial stretching of material as you use both the mattress and the protector which can have a slight effect. The Dormeir is certainly a great protector and all the more knowledgeable people I know speak very highly of it.

I would take things very slowly and carefully and give each change enough time for your body to “catch up” with the change. Sometimes the effect of making a change can’t really be felt for a while so I would give each change at least a week or so whenever possible. The goal is also to try and identify the effect of each change (every change will have an effect of some type) so you can see if you are moving in the right direction rather than just “worked or didn’t work” assessments. It’s the degree and direction of the change that can be the most helpful.

I would also take changes one at a time and base each adjustment on the results of the last one (rather than the original configuration) rather than speculating about a change that may be 2 steps ahead.

The goal is always to use the results and your experience with each change to help you try and identify the underlying cause behind any symptoms you are experiencing so that the next change can be based on the best odds of success or at least move in the right direction.

I would also make sure that you are working closely with SleepEz whose help and insights would also be particularly helpful because they have more experience than anyone with their own mattresses (and they are happy to provide help and suggestions to their customers at any time … even years … after a mattress purchase).

Once you have spent a little more time on your current combination and then the next one (flipping the top layer) then would be the best time to decide what further changes if any may be necessary.


Hey Aimee,

My layers from top to bottom are 2" soft, 3" medium, 3" firm.

That could be nominally:

2" 23 ILD
3" 31 ILD
3" 39 ILD

Seems a bit firm despite your observation of it being soft. I’m curious to know your shape… height and weight? Back pain suggests an alignment issue.

Have you tried sleeping on his much firmer side? I’d guess that’s immediately not as comfortable and no better for your alignment.


Thanks again for your advice. I’ll hold off with flipping/rotating the top for another week to give my new set up a chance. You’re right, I need to take it a little at a time- I know I’m quick to say “no, that doesn’t work!”

Hi Sleeping,

I think it’s soft probably because our old bed was very firm- only slightly softer than sleeping on a rock. Pretty much anything we tried when we were bed shopping felt very soft and I was amazed at how much I sank in! I’m 5’3", 140 lbs. I did lay on the firmer side and it didn’t feel much different in the way of comfort, but I haven’t slept on it a whole night. My experiment with putting the firm over the medium hasn’t helped so far, but it’s only been a couple of nights. I’m going to take Phoenix’s advice and give it a little longer before I try something else. I wish I knew why I wake up uncomfortable.

Also, can you tell me what the 23, 31, 39 ILD in
2" 23 ILD
3" 31 ILD
3" 39 ILD

Also, can you tell me what the 23, 31, 39 ILD means?

Foam firmness grading (Indentation Load Deflection)… how much weight it takes to depress a fixed area a percentage of the height. For instance, 23 lbs. to depress 8 sq. in. 25% of a 4" layer or 1". It is used to quantify the firmness of foam before they simply label it soft, medium, firm, or extra firm. Note that a layer tested in 9 places can vary firmer and softer than its nominal grading by several points/pounds (blended Latex) or more (100% natural Latex).

ILD grading is less subjective than one’s idea of soft, medium, firm, and extra firm; but it is subject to variations in the testing across sources AND it does not quantify how one foam can compress firmer faster than another… have a different compression-firmness curve. For instance, given a 3" 22 ILD Dunlop layer and a 3" 22 ILD Talalay layer, they may feel the same at first touch, but the Dunlop being a denser foam and possibly denser toward its bottom, will compress firmer sooner, be more supportive, take more total weight before bottoming out. Hence, Talalay can be preferred in the top comfort layer for it’s persistent softness (flatter curve), and Dunlop in the support core layer for it’s insistent firmness/support (steeper curve).

ILD grading can be useful if you know it for the foam you are working with and are familiar with how that foam behaves… a relatively accurate point of reference… a bit better than soft, medium, firm, extra firm, although for the source vendor, they become one and the same.

It’s been posted that SleepEz’s blended Latex is:

22-24 (23) soft
30-32 (31) medium
38-40 (39) firm
44 extra firm

You have reasonable 1-zone layers for your shape.


Thank you for the explanation.