So, my case is a little bit different than many users on here, but at the end of the day I’m looking for a mattress that will allow me to sleep better! I grew up sleeping on a mattress that basically felt like a board. As a result, I learned to sleep on my side in a bent L shape with my head/neck propped up on pillows to make room for my shoulders… totally not the recommended position.
Whenever I sleep on even a medium firm mattress, my hips sink in and I end up with leg pains, tingling toes, and nightmares; a generally crappy experience. The problem with a firm mattress is that I also end up rolling around a lot at night to avoid pressure point pains. So the question that I have is, can I ever learn to sleep on a normal mattress? Should I get a latex/foam mattress? Or am I stuck buying the firmest coil mattresses (usually the cheapest and requiring frequent replacement) in the store for the rest of my life?
Unfortunately that’s not possible for me to know. It would be something like me asking whether I will ever come like the taste of turnips which I really don’t like but I eat them anyway because they are “good for me” (although in some recipes I dislike them less than others). I would say that over some period of time you could probably get used to a “normal” mattress (although there really isn’t a definition for “normal”) but I really don’t know how long it may take or whether it would happen at all.
It may be worth trying a body pillow which can help many people with pressure points when they sleep on their side.
Again there are no “shoulds” when it comes to personal preferences because only you can decide on the types of material or mattresses you do best with or tend to prefer. Some people love latex and some don’t like it at all.
It may be worth trying an innerspring mattress with just a little bit softer comfort layer than you are used to to see how it affects you although I would always make sure that there are no weak links in the mattress. There are certainly some very good quality “firm” innerspring mattresses available in the market.
Most importantly of all though I would make sure you’ve read the mattress shopping tutorial here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.
There is also more about the different ways to choose a mattress (either locally or online) that can help you identify and minimize the risks of each of them in post #2 here and there is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses. A good exchange or return policy will lower the risk of trying a mattress that is different from what you are used to purchasing.
I would always keep in mind that nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved in choosing a mattress for anyone to know which specific mattress would be a good match for someone else based either on specs (yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). I’m certainly happy to help with how to choose but only you can know which specific mattress is best for you based on your own personal testing and experience and the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.