mattress warehouse: Is their digital diagnostic mattress selector useful? Real? It suggested for me a Serta Applause II plush queen and a Cheswick M

Mattress Warehouse’s digital mattress selector picked a Serta Applause II Plush Queen and a “house” brand, Cheswick Manor Huntington Oueen mattresses. I’m 5’2" 250#, side sleeper. I ordered a Novaform (I think) all-foam mattress that was way too firm. When I arose from sleep my lower back hurt enough that I lay over the top of a dresser until my back quieted enough to shuffle walk. I slept like a dream for years on a waterbed and only removed it as it was difficult for me to get out of.
HELP? Suggestions?

Hi oneidafarm,

I noticed that you registered with your email as your username which means that automated spambots will be able to harvest your email and add you to their spam lists. If you’d like I can remove the @ and the domain after it and change your username to just oneidafarm (or any username you wish).

While it’s certainly a “real” machine … based on the mattresses they are selecting I wouldn’t call it useful at all no because I wouldn’t consider purchasing either of the mattresses that it suggested.

While I can certainly help with “how” to choose … It’s not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

I’m not sure what you’ve read since you found the site but just in case you haven’t read it yet … the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well he will sleep), durability (how long he will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for).

While again nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will “feel” for someone else or whether it will be a good “match” in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress … outside of PPP (which is the most important part of “value”), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can’t see or “feel” and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

The major brands such as Sealy/Stearns & Foster, Simmons, and Serta all tend to use lower quality and less durable materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors that will tend to soften or break down prematurely relative to the price you pay which is why I would generally suggest avoiding all of them completely (and the major retailers that focus on them as well) regardless of how they may feel in a showroom along with avoiding any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the type and quality/durability of the materials inside it (see the guidelines here along with post #3 here and post #12 here and post #404 here).

If a retailer or manufacturer isn’t able to provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice or if they do and the materials and components in a mattress don’t meet the durability guidelines (which would be the case with both of the mattresses they suggested) I would avoid the mattress completely.

Your BMI is over 30 so there is also more information in post #3 here and the posts it links to that would be helpful for those that are in higher weight ranges or have a higher BMI and you would need to make sure that the materials and components in your mattress meet the durability guidelines I linked earlier in this reply relative to your BMI range.

While the process of how to choose a mattress would involve the same steps that are listed in the mattress shopping tutorial … most people in higher weight ranges or that have a higher BMI will generally need or prefer firmer mattresses (firmer materials will feel softer because you will sink into them more) and materials and components that are higher quality and more durable than those that are in lower weight or BMI ranges (the materials and components in a mattress will soften and break down faster for those in higher weight ranges than they will for someone that is in a lower weight range that doesn’t compress the mattress as much). I would be particularly cautious about mattresses that use more than “about an inch or so” of memory foam that is less than about 5 lb density or polyfoam that is less than about 2 lb density … particularly in the upper layers of the mattress (which are usually the weakest link in terms of the durability and useful life of a mattress).

If you let me know your city or zip code I’d also be happy to let you know about the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area as well.

In its simplest form choosing the “best possible” mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then …

  1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or “fine tune” the mattress and any costs involved if you can’t test a mattress in person or aren’t confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

  2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

  3. Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.