Looking for Comfort/support

I am so glad I found your website before being rushed into buying a Prana Latex bed!!!
We are in the market for a new bed that helps us with our hip/lower back and neck/shoulder issues. I am 5’3" and 180 with the neck/should and lower back issues. My husband has hip/lower back issues. We are both side sleepers.

  1. Should we have different mattresses?
  2. What is available in our area 34997?
  3. Our price range is $2,000-$3,000
  4. What ILD range should we look for?
    Any guidelines you could give us would be much appreciated.

Hi kitchenguru,

I’m glad you found us as well … especially before buying a very expensive Prana. They are good quality … but that’s where the “benefits” end and there are many choices with better value IMO :slight_smile:

This is more of a personal preference issue and not so much a better worse type of issue. It would depend on whether you found a mattress that “worked” equally well for both of you, whether you want to use an adjustable base where one of you may want to use the base in a raised position while the other is sleeping in the flat position, how important the “middle part” and it’s use is to you (many couples have one person who uses more of the mattress than the other and the “gap” may affect the comfort of the mattress and many use the middle of a mattress more than others). An alternative option is a side to side split (where each side of the same mattress is layered differently).

It can also be surprising that certain types of layering and constructions can provide good pressure relief and support for two very different people because one person may “come to rest” on a deeper layer of the mattress and the other may be affected much more by the upper layers. What is a “supportive” layer for one may be part of the “comfort layer” for another and good mattress design and different components can take a fairly wide range of differences into account.

It’s clear though from your description that both of you need good quality and probably firmer support layers to keep you in good alignment. In cases like this … you can test and choose mattresses from the “bottom up” meaning that you only test mattresses with firm support layers and then test different comfort layer choices to make sure you have the pressure relief you need. Others who are more focused on pressure relief may build a mattress from the top down which means that the comfort layers are the most important and they would use different firmness levels of the support layers to “match” their needs and preferences. Bottom up design is usually “safer” because pressure relief can always be adjusted but a mattress that is too soft to provide good support and alignment is very difficult to “fix”. Of course this isn’t quite so “black and white” because all the layers of a mattress interact and affect each other and will also interact differently with different types of weight/height/body shapes and sleeping positions but it give a general sense of priorities. People with a history of alignment issues would tend to be “bottom up” type of people while those with more history of pressure issues and perhaps more flexibility and less sensitivity to fine variances of alignment will be more “top down” people.

Some of the better options within about 100 miles or so of the Stuart, FL area include …

http://schraderbeds.com/ West Palm Beach. Local factory direct manufacturer that makes a full range of quality mattresses using latex, memory foam, and traditional innerspring/polyfoam mattresses. Are open about the materials they use.

http://www.comfortcustombedding.com/ Plantation. Local factory direct manufacturer that also makes a full range of quality mattresses using latex, memory foam, innersprings etc. with good value.

http://www.starbeddingmfg.com/ Hiahleah. I have talked to Gabriel (the son of the owner) and they specialize in wholesale manufacturing to retail outlets in their area and hotels but they also have a local showroom that sells factory direct. They mostly make innerspring/polyfoam mattresses that are better quality and value in low to mid budget ranges. Very knowledgeable and open about their mattresses.

http://www.zenomattress.com/ Ft Lauderdale. Local factory direct manufacturer. I talked with Jim (employee that has been with them for over a decade) and they are 3rd generation manufacturers who custom build using any material including memory foam, latex, and innersprings/polyfoam. Are open about their materials, and have good quality/value and have a range of mattresses on the floor for testing.

http://www.floridaorganicmattress.com/ Plantation. Retailer that carries Savvy Rest, Royal-Pedic, OMI mattress, and WJ Southard latex and latex/innerspring hybrid mattresses including some that are certified organic. These are all high quality mattresses that would be of interest to consumers where organic certifications are more important. They are good for testing different types and combinations or latex but they also carry more premium prices so make some good value comparisons here.

http://www.mattressmarket.org/ Jensen Beach/Stuart, Vero Beach, Sebastian, FL. Carries Pure Talalay Bliss and Posh & Lavish latex mattresses which may be possibilities here.

Post #2 here also has a list for the Ft Lauderdale area which is mostly duplicate but includes some options in the Miami area as well.

This would depend on the construction of the mattress, the thickness of the various layers, the types of materials used, and your own personal preferences and sensitivity to pressure issues but there are some general guidelines here for different height/weight/body shapes and some here for different sleeping positions. A good “average” starting point for a latex comfort layer for side sleeping for example would be in the range of 3-4" and in the ILD range of 19 - 24 but many will go thinner and firmer and some (generally those who are lighter) may even go softer. Different types of latex can also play a role here.

Once you are actually testing mattresses … your body will give you much more accurate information than ILD specs. With some materials such as memory foam … ILD is not nearly as meaningful and the other properties of the memory foam (response rate, breathability, temperature sensitivity etc) are much more meaningful than ILD. The key with comfort layers is thinner/firmer is generally better (more supportive for the heavier parts of your body) and the goal is always “just enough” pressure relief. Besides the ILD and thickness of the comfort layers … there are also “other pathways” to creating a firmer/softer pressure relieving layer such as the ticking/quilting, the overall mattress thickness, the type of support system in the mattress, and the type of foundation that is under the mattress. All of these work together in how a mattress performs in terms of pressure relief and support and how they interact with each individual.

Hope this helps.