Mattress Suggestions for difficult couple

Hi Mattress Underground!

I am 5’11" about 175 lbs and my partner is 5’8" about 125. We are both difficult sleepers - I struggle with falling and staying asleep and she struggles with low back pain and sleeping hot. I am primarily a stomach sleeper and she is primarily a back sleeper. I know this is goes against the grain for stomach sleepers but I prefer softer mattresses while she prefers more toward medium. We’ve felt just about every major brand in a department store available around us and have failed to find a mattress that feels comfortable to both of us - not to mention, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and now refuse to buy a low quality mattress from a major manufacturer!

We both prefer the feel of innerspring mattresses as opposed to all foam or latex. Neither of us like the feel of thick memory foam. We have only felt relatively firm latex mattresses and therefore have not liked them - I know there are lower ILD latexes as blended talalay, just not sure where we can feel them. The closest we have come to both liking beds were the King Koil Natural Jasmine Medium (which was too firm for both of us), the King Koil Natural Orchid Plush (which was not sufficiently supportive for her), the BeutyRest Black Plush (too firm for me), and most recently the Grand Rapids Bedding Lyon (which was too soft for her).

We are located in Ann Arbor, MI and are willing to drive up to a few hours to test beds or talk to experts! Our optimal budget would be $1600 but would be willing to go up to $2000 for the best solution. Mattress experts - please point us in a good direction!! We have exhausted the traditional options and would love suggestions for potential companies (including online), retailers, or manufacturers. Not opposed to DIY if it’s the best answer. Hoping to get some help!


Hi Brian, welcome to the MattressUnderGround. We are happy to add you as a MUGster to the TMU family.

It sounds like you and your partner have very specific needs when it comes to a mattress, which can certainly make the search challenging.

It’s important to prioritize your unique comfort needs as a couple rather than conforming to standard practices. While general guidelines can provide a starting point, they shouldn’t dictate your final decision if they don’t align with what feels best for both of you.

Everyone’s sleeping preferences and physical needs vary widely. Finding a mattress that accommodates both partners may require exploration and flexibility.

It would be very easy to go the route of a split internal comfort mattress such as @DLX Premier Hybrid, which is an awesome mattress and offers 3 levels of firmness or @EngineeredSleep Duo Lift which uses no foams, and adding a plush topper. Mattresses such as these two will offer a bit of flexibility in the construction and utilizing a matching topper will bring the feel to the level of plushness you need.

In your situation, collaborating closely with experienced mattress professionals is crucial. These are individuals who work with mattresses daily and have a deep understanding of how each layer of construction impacts overall comfort and support.

While you and your partner may find mattresses that initially feel comfortable in a generic retail showroom, the challenge lies in predicting their performance over the midterm and long term. A mattress may feel one way in a showroom setting, but its true performance hinges on its construction and engineering once you bring it home.

Most retail mattresses are designed with little or no modifications available, except to move to another model from the same series that is slightly different in feel one way or the other.

When working directly with a manufacturer who builds their mattresses to your specifications, and build mattresses day in and day out and know how they will likely perform based on the size, weight, sleep position and personal preferences of the sleeper/s.

If we look back half a century ago, it’s true that innerspring mattresses with genuine functioning box springs were indeed the standard choice. Many people found these mattresses comfortable, and longevity was generally less of an issue with higher-quality models. Even some budget mattresses held up relatively well without significant issues.

Over the past fifty years, advancements in mattress materials and construction have led to a broader range of options beyond traditional innerspring mattresses. Memory foam, latex, hybrid designs, and innovations in support systems have expanded choices and improved overall durability and comfort for many consumers. There are those whose body’s still yearn for the mattresses of that time period. Particularly those who used natural fibers in combination with springs and and true box springs.

Although consumer preferences and expectations regarding comfort, support, and durability have evolved significantly, modern consumers now prioritize factors such as pressure relief, motion isolation, and temperature regulation, which were not as prominent concerns fifty years ago.

However, there are still individuals who greatly value and benefit from the traditional legacy of mattress construction and feel, similar to the dilemma you and your partner may currently face. Given your unique preferences, this historical approach could offer a promising direction in your search for the ideal mattress.

If you watch the video below, Shovlin Mattress stands out as a Trusted Member of TMU. They meet all the stringent requirements for this designation, ensuring high standards and transparency in their mattress construction. Shovlin Mattress not only adheres to these requirements but also builds mattresses with traditional craftsmanship that can be customized to match your exact comfort preferences.

While other independent manufacturers, such as @foxmattress in Florida, also excel in this category, exploring this customized approach may lead you to discover your perfect mattress.

@ShovlinMattress Shovlin Mattress Video

This perspective in no way diminishes the value or effectiveness of other mattress companies or modern mattress styles. Innovative techniques, material combinations, and construction advancements in creating high-quality “modern” mattresses have indeed revolutionized sleep comfort for individuals and couples across generations. These advancements have introduced new levels of comfort and luxury, offering diverse options to cater to varying sleep preferences and needs.

What I’m getting at is that sometimes, products, techniques, and theories from the past remain relevant today. This comes from personal experience, as a couple of years ago, I switched back to using Prell shampoo in its original formula (surprisingly, they still sell it), and I sleep on a horsehair pillow (not easy to find these days). I also continue to enjoy the sound of my vintage stereo system from the 1970/80’s, complete with a traditional hi end turntable, stereo receiver, and powerful house shaking three-way speakers. In my opinion, that nostalgic sound is hard to beat.

In many ways some traditional mattresses can be viewed in the same way these vintage products can be viewed. If you look in that direction, you just may find your jewel in a heap of choices.

I would also contend that when collaborating with a true independent legacy mattress manufacturer, they may be the most likely choice to get you where your comfort needs to be.

Sorry for the long rant, but I hope this helps.


1 Like

Hi @b.ross - thank for sharing all of that info with everyone here. I feel confident someone can provide you with a good solution!

Honestly - after reading your post and reading @Maverick’s post the phrase “keep it simple” comes to mind.

Sometimes we can make mattress shopping too complicated and I think for you and your partner it might be a good option to try something traditional/simple. I would recommend our Classic Hybrid 10" Medium-Firm Mattress. Now - most likely it will be slightly too firm for you, but in your situation I think it will provide the support you are looking for, which in my mind is Step 1. Step 2 would be to dial in the comfort, which can be done in 100’s of different ways.

If that mattress did end up being too firm we have Top of Mattress options, as well as many other suppliers out there.

This mattress is well within your budget and leaves room to purchase comfort options from us or someone else if needed. It could end up working out without adding anything, but I wanted to build out my complete thoughts for you.

Mattress Specs:
1" Organic Cotton Quilted Panel with 1.8lb SuperSoft Quilt Foam (10-12 ILD)
1.5" of 1.8lb High Resiliency Foam (28ILD)
6" 14.75 Gauge Pocketed Coil (13.5 Gauge Edge Support)
1.5" of 1.8lb High Resiliency Foam (28ILD)
1" Organic Cotton Panel on each side with 1.8lb SuperSoft Quilt Foam (10-12 ILD)

Good luck and happy to be a resource in any way I can!