Louisville, Ky couple need a new King

We are in the market for a new mattress and feel fortunate to have discovered this site!

We purchased a King size Stearns and Foster double pillow top about 10 years ago. We spent an arm and a leg and anticipated it would last a while. I have learned that I have unrealistic expectations :slight_smile: This mattress has been a nightmare for the past 3 or four years. Sunken in on each side with a nice comfy hump in the middle. Presently we have pillows lined up on the box springs in an effort to “push up” the sunken sides. It helps some, but we’re still sore as can be. I had an Ikea Sultan Florvag on my side of the bed in hopes that it would help me out, but it hasn’t. (Hubby called it my “throne” since I was so high on the bed). I even took that Ikea mattress on the floor and slept on it, but it was not good. So, that is our history to present.

Hubby is about 6’1" and 225, I am 5’7" and 200. (Wow, hate admitting that). He is a back and stomach sleeper, mostly stomach, I am a back and side sleeper.

We will be stuck on our mattress while we save for a new mattress (Dave Ramsey plan), so a budget friendly mattress is a must!

Question: Do ALL King size mattresses have a tendency to have sunken sides and humped middle? If so, I have even considered 2 twins, but $$$.

My only experience with memory foam is toppers. My in-laws have memory foam toppers on all of their beds and love them. I sleep well on their guest bed, but it is probably a decent mattress too. I bought a topper for my daughter’s bed and HATED it.

I am not sure about memory foam, but Lucid by LinenSpa (through Amazon) did catch my eye. But, Ultimate Dreams (also on Amazon) is looking better to me.

I wouldn’t mind visiting some stores to test memory foam and latex, but I am guessing that I’ll have to pay my other arm and leg to purchase from a store, outlet or chain. Is it safe to say that Ultimate Dreams is the most affordable for its quality out there??

Hi Heatherly30,

Unfortunately you are experiencing the symptoms of a “typical” pillowtop which uses lower density polyfoam and thicker layers of fiber which will soften and compress. Unfortunately … this is fairly typical of major brand mattresses which often use lower quality materials even in their higher end mattresses. Smaller manufacturers tend to use much higher quality materials and sell them for much less but of course the “label” doesn’t have a heavily marketed name so many consumers are led to believe that these “off brands” are lower quality and value while in most cases the opposite is true.

King size mattresses have more of this problem because the area in the middle is much less used and will stay more lofted while the areas that are used … if they use thicker layers of fiber or lower quality foams … will compress more creating the hills and valleys that are so common. Higher quality materials and foams that are less subject to early softening and compression will help alleviate this. This is why it’s so importantto know the quality and density of all the layers in a mattress and of course the larger manufacturers are more focused on marketing stories than they are in providing meaningful information about what is actually in their mattress. The largest national brands are all best avoided if you are looking for higher quality and better durability in any particular budget range. This article will give you some guidelines that will help you avoid most of the worst choices when you are shopping for a new mattress.

As you have also discovered … a topper on a mattress that has softened will just follow the dips in the mattress and while it may offer some improvement for a while … it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

With heavier weights … the durability of the materials in your mattress become especially important. This is especially true in the upper quilting and comfort layers whch are the “weak link” of most mattresses and soften and degrade the fastest. Most innersprings and support layers will long outlast the comfort layers in a mattress.

Memory foam can be attractive to many people but it is also a very “tricky” material to get right and it’s important to use high quality memory foam for durability. Memory foam is usually best used in fairly thin layers which can offset the risk of sinking in too far with the heavier parts of the body causing misalignment and possible back issues. It is also very soft (even though some types can feel firmer initially because they take “time” to get softer with body heat and seem firmer than they really are with movement). They are not supportive enough to be used in a support layer which is why all memory foam mattresses use a more supportive material in the support core(either high density polyfoam, an innerspring, or latex). You can see some of the different types of materials that are used in comfort layers here (for pressure relief and comfort) and support layers here (for support and alignment).

A more detailed article about memory foam is here and latex is here (another high quality specialty foam).

Before you consider the Lucid … I would read post #10 here. It is a poor choice for most people except as a temporary “throwaway” mattress but it would be an even worse choice for a couple that was heavier. The memory foam it uses is very low density/quality.

The Ultimate dreams is a completely different story. The manufacturer is a member of this site (meaning that forum members receive the shredded latex pillow with their purchase as a bonus if you let them know your username here) and uses very high quality materials including talalay latex in the comfort layers and high quality polyfoam as the support base. They also allow you to choose the firmness of the latex in the mattress. This is a very high quality and value choice.

There is always some risk however with an online purchase however (especially when there are no returns) because you aren’t able to test the mattress for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and your Preferences) before you buy it so some local testing to get a sense of the material and the firmness level that you may do best with is a good idea. It is also less risky to buy a mattress that you have personally tested and know “works” for your needs and preferences. While I would certainly pay a premium to some degree for a local purchase … if the “premium” for a similar local mattress is too big a difference then an online purchase can be very attractive even with the additional risk.

Heavier stomach sleepers also run the risk of “hammocking” on a mattress which can cause lower back issues. It is the riskiest sleping position and generally requires thinner and firmer comfort and support layers. Side sleeping on the other hand ia a sleeping position that has more pressure points and generally needs softer and thicker comfort layers to provide good pressure relief. In cases where needs “conflict” … either between a couple or between different sleeping positions … it’s generally best to choose on the firm side rather than the soft side. Firmer mattresses can be easily softened for better pressure relief but mattresses that are too soft for good support and alignment are difficult or impossible to correct.

In general … there are really two approaches to buying a mattress. The first involves learning enough about mattress materials and specs and construction along with analyzing the specs of every mattress as part of your research and decision. This takes a significant amount of knowledge time and effert (especially to find out the quality information that can be very difficult to get). The second is to find a better local factory direct manufacturer or sleep shop that carries alternative brands that is more open about their materials and already has this knowledge so all you have to do is know enough basic information to ask better questions. These are the types of outlets that can be your best friend and are more likely to provide the information about what is in their mattresses so you can make more meaningful comparisons and decisions. The more they know, the less you have to know.

Some of the better choices in the Louisville area are in post #3 here.

Hopefully this has given you a place to start but if you have more questions along the way feel free to post.


I know it’s late, but, thanks for both posts. We are in a similar situation in Louisville, we’ll check out some of the stores but also the Ultimate Dreams on amazon. Thanks again.

Hi jwolf02,

Welcome … and I’m glad you found the Louisville list :slight_smile:

There is also a tutorial post here which may also be helpful


Thanks Phoenix, question for you if and when you have time…

We like the feel of an innerspring mattress but most reading I’ve done aren’t high on the longevity of an innerspring vs foam. With a better quality brand like Ultimate Dreams, would you recommend one of their innerspring hybrids with latex?

Hi jwolf02,

Innersprings are a support component and the support layers of a mattress are not usually the weak link of a mattress. The reason that innerspring mattresses have a “reputation” of being less durable is because innerspring mattresses made by the major manufacturers that so many people end up buying (they dominate the industry) use lower quality less durable materials in the comfort layers which is usually the weak link of a mattress (a mattress will tend to soften and break down from the top down).

If an innerspring mattress uses good quality and durable materials in the comfort layers they can be a very durable choice and some of the most knowledgeable people I know that could sleep on anything they wanted sleep on an innerspring (often with latex comfort layers) although of course each person has their own preferences.

The choice between an innerspring and other types of support layers is more a matter of preference, performance, or budget rather than a more or less durable choice.

Outside of how well a mattress matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP … a mattress is only as good as its construction and the quality of all the materials inside it and while it’s always important to make sure you know the quality of all the materials and components in a mattress, it’s most important of all to know the quality of the comfort layers which will generally be the first to break down.

There is more about the factors that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress relative to each person in post #4 here and the posts it links to.

Post #2 here has more about a latex/polyfoam hybrid vs an all latex mattress (which would normally be a budget choice).

Post #28 here and Post #2 here has more about the differences between an innerspring and a latex support core (which would normally be a preference choice.

There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to recommend any specific mattress for someone else (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here) although I’m always happy to help with “how” to make the choice that is best for you.