Must Duplicate Perfect Sleeper's No-Low-Back-Pain Effect On Me Somehow !

I do not have low back pain unless I sleep on a too-soft mattress. The trick is to find a firm one that doesn’t hurt everything else, like knees or head, or keep you awake all night. As all of us here know!

I seem to do best on innerspring, no-pillowtop, not-too-plush, such as a previous mattress I had, or some better hotel beds. But when I sleep well on a hotel mattress (i.e. wake up without back pain or other pain), I don’t think it’s just because “it’s new and different”, as I have often read here, because I have experienced lots of new-and-different that didn’t work!

So, would you happen to have any idea why a Serta Perfect Sleeper Concierge Firm, in a hotel (mfg. in 2008 in Beloit, WI), provided my most pain-free night in years? I have read here that Serta is not a good choice, nor its good qualities durable, but do you know if it’s “temporarily” great quality is due to its spring construction or its topping? (I’m calling them tomorrow, but who knows what they’ll say.)

I am trying to master your information about mattress construction, but there still seems to be a lot of magic to it. It seems to be the angle of where-the-spine-meets-the glutes and whether the abs are stretched wider than the muscles in back, or are in exact balance. Why can’t doctors explain this? (I know, “it’s all individual”.)

I have tried about 4 toppers over a too-firm, but mainly because of temp sensitivity none have worked, although I did take my current mattress apart stitch by stitch and am putting in different things under the cover - the covers that come on mattresses seem to be good temp regulators. But my current ($1700 Verlo) mattress’s problem seems to be in sinky springs. (Very disappointed, at that price.)

I’m not just a complainer - honest - I slept well for 40 years, I go to chiropractors, I exercise and do yoga, I’m losing weight. (Down to 155 from 178.) I don’t think I’d do well with a Tempurpedic, since the only cool ones are overly firm, plus I don’t have that much money any more. And they seem horribly unpleasant in the store, tho I’d be willing to give one a try in a store that takes returns.

It should be fairly obvious, but even with thorough testing I have failed 4 times to find my right (or livable) mattress - I just know it’s out there! I am delving into the huge mystery of how to match the construction info to actual mattresses I try. Everyone is after the holy grail of not letting the heavy parts sink or the high parts go unsupported, so why is it still just a thousands-of-dollars crapshoot for some of us?

(Have a lot of experience, since Verlo does adjustments (rebuilds them, kindly, but only with extremely firm or soft stuff, or memory foam); and have had 4 (expensive) mattresses in 15 years (2 too soft). Plus 5 attempts at mattress toppers :including 2 cool-gel-foams that weren’t cool, and memory foam that did not support. I had a 100-choices sleep number bed, air topped with memory foam, but anything firm enough for the lumbar was too firm. That air mainly gives in the middle.

I’m thinking individual coils have got to be good, though your explanation shows it’s not that simple.)

I see you have years worth of info on your site which I am ecstatic to find, but I’d like to speed the process -

Thanks for any help!

Hi Marin,

Unfortunately Serta doesn’t provide any meaningful specs about their mattresses (or their hotel mattresses) so the only way to compare one of their mattresses to another mattress would be based on side by side testing or your own sleeping experience. You can read a little more about “matching” one mattress to another in post #9 here but if you don’t know the specific information about your “target” then you would be working completely blind. In most cases it’s better to us

I would also take into account that if you are buying a mattress that doesn’t provide the information you need about the quality of the materials that the odds are very high that they are lower quality and less durable. This means that foam softening and breakdown is much more likely and the more rapid loss of comfort and/or support that goes along with this isn’t covered by a warranty. No matter how a mattress feels and performs when it’s reasonably new … if the materials aren’t high quality (especially in the comfort layers) then it won’t stay that way for nearly as long as a mattress that used higher quality materials.

You can also read more about hotel mattresses in post #3 here and the other posts it links to.

There are too many unknowns, variables, and individual circumstances and preferences for anyone to be able to suggest which specific mattress will work for someone else out of all the thousands of designs that are available on the market with any degree of certainty and for the most part you won’t be able to find out any meaningful information about what is inside many mainstream mattresses anyway but post #1 here has much more about all the basic information, steps, and guidelines you will need to help you with “how” find the “holy grail” of your perfect mattress :slight_smile:

In most cases the knowledge and experience of the manufacturer or retailer you are dealing and the options they provide can be one of the most important parts of a successful choice.

If you let me know the zip code or city where you live I’d be happy to let you know of any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.


Hey, Thanks for your response (which I have to read again later, falling asleep)! I am in 53083. Our “local” alternative to the big boxes is Verlo, but my overpriced nightmare with them has been so bad that I was about ready to give up on independents and go Sealy. I think The next nearest one is Beloit Mattress, a member, but they don’t deliver here - 4 hours away - I called them once but can’t remember if they ship and it would involve a big (for me) trip or two to test. I was hoping to avoid that, although the more I read of your site, the less it looks like ANY big name is worth buying.

Although I’ve never had a Sealy break down, myself - I’ve had two - one was my pre-marriage Queen, which I loved and was in great health on, and one was too firm to be comfortable (an over-reaction to the previous too-soft), but not really pain-causing - had it probably 10 years and never changed at all. Sorry to hear they’re so bad, have they gone downhill lately?

Bought a $1700 S&F for my daughter, and what they delivered was not remotely like the floor model - we sunk about 4 inches down from level - the day of delivery. They (WG&R, a furniture big box here) exchanged it, but the exchange wasn’t that much better. Needless to say, I love/hate the mattress world like used cars and appreciate this site no end!

Probably won’t be jumping on the Boston Store 70% off sale this weekend, though.

The only good thing about the chain stores is they exchange, but I suppose exchanging one cheapo for another isn’t much of a benefit.

Say, speaking of this area, are you familiar with the Future Foam company of Middleton,(WI) Dallas, Orlando, and wherever? Good product or no? Some of each?

Just from plain old curiosity, have you ever tried out a latex bed, either Talalay or Dunlop? I recently tossed an expensive soft sided waterbed out of my life and bought a Dunlop latex mattress - for me, it was the perfect choice, although I’m certain it wouldn’t be the same for everyone; still, if you’ve never tried out a latex bed, it might be worth the bother just to see how it feels to you.

Hi marin,

There are a few other manufacturers that are a little closer than Beloit (although they would be a great choice). They are listed in post #2 here.

I would say they have continuously gone downlhill in the last 15 years or so (particularly since the introduction of one sided mattresses in 2000 and since pillowtops became more popular).

Many smaller stores exchange as well (and many smaller manufacturers will also change out a layer if you need to have your mattress adjusted) but in the case of many of the chain stores a mattress exchange is built into the price of their mattresses so you pay for it when you buy a mattress. In many cases a mattress exchange is also a new profit center because they will usually not allow you to trade down and you will often be given credit on a sale price and then have to exchange at a regular price … and there are also fees involved in many cases. The “trick” is if they can close you based on the idea that you can exchange the mattress then most people won’t take as much care in choosing their mattress and if they succeed in convincing you to buy “anything” (under the assumption that if it doesn’t work you can exchange it) they have locked you in to a sale at a store where there is usually very little in the way of good quality and value. This leads to a sales environment where they don’t particularly care what they sell you … as long as they sell you something to lock you in.

Yes … Future Foam is a foam manufacturer that is CertiPur certified* and makes a wide range of foam products including polyfoam, memory foam, and gel memory foam. I have heard some manufacturers that speak highly of the foams they produce although like any foam manufacturer they make foams in many different quality/density levels.

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Thanks, Clawdia, not sure - is it an all-foam bed? I have tried lots of foam beds, and I think at least one was a latex, but I don’t know for sure, so I’ll have to think of it as a NO, and try one or a few out! I am horribly temperature-sensitive, so it will have to be cool, somehow.

I’ll have to delve into the info again - are these mainly to be found at member stores, or everywhere? I’m thinking I’ve “tested” one at a big-box, for about $4000. I’m thinking I liked the one I tried so far, but couldn’t afford. It had an adjustable base though, and possibly a vibrator - I don’t suppose they are all that involved.

If you have time to give me the short version about them, esp. vs. other all-foam beds, if that’s what they are, please do!


I’m sure Phoenix could come up with better answers, but I’ll try . . . I think it’s safe to say that all latex is foam, but not all foam is latex. I too am very temperature sensitive and sleep hot, but since I bought a Dunlop latex bed a few weeks ago I really don’t sleep hot on it at all. It’s not been a problem in the slightest.

Good latex beds can be hard to find locally, although lots are talked about here on this site. I was lucky and Phoenix was able to point me towards a store only an hour away that turned out to have just what I wanted, which was a very soft Dunlop mattress with two layers - a 6" soft core with a 3" even softer comfort layer on top, both enclosed in a very soft bamboo zip cover. I’ve had more good nights sleep in the past two weeks than in the past two years.

Some latex beds can indeed run up to the $4000+ range, but you don’t have to spend that much to get a good one. I paid $1800 out the door for my queen sized mattress, and that was including free delivery and set up. My mattress has no fire retardant chemicals and no wool in it, and I had to have a doctor’s prescription to buy it (because of fire retardant laws, but that script made the mattress tax free and tax deductible).

I find latex mattresses to be nothing like Tempurpedic, no off-gassing smells (some latex has a slight smell that dissipates quickly, but it’s not offensive and not harmful), latex isn’t difficult to move around on like memory foam, and in my experience it doesn’t sleep hot.

There are two types of latex (well, more, really, if you count blends - but I was looking for all latex) - Talalay and Dunlop. The common analogy is that Talalay is more like angel food cake in texture, while Dunlop is more like pound cake. My father bought one of the old Sears Dunlop mattresses back in the 1960s and used it until he died in 1999, so Dunlop was what I had fond memories of and what I knew I liked. Some people like the feel of one, some like the feel of the other - I believe Phoenix likes Talalay but has a daughter who prefers Dunlop.

I just thought I’d ask you about latex, since from your post it seems you’ve been miserable for a while and have tried lots of options. I hope you can find something that will let you get a good night’s sleep soon - it sure can make a difference in how you feel!

If you have any questions I could help with, I’d be glad to try - I think most people disappear once they buy a mattress, but I’m still hanging around because I find the topic interesting, and now I’m into looking at mattress protectors and other accessories for my new bed - which I must say is my most favorite bed of all time, and I’m 62 years old, so I’ve slept in quite a few beds in my life. I expect this bed will last me the rest of my life, because latex is very durable.

I just checked the list of stores in your area that Phoenix referenced - looks like your Verlo store is the only one that says “latex mattresses”, altho there was one store that carries the Pure Latex Bliss brand, which is rather expensive but uses Talalay latex, so it would at least give you a chance to see how you like the feel of Talalay. I decided against even looking at the Bliss models, since they were out of my price range and aren’t quite as “all natural” as I wanted.

I’m that odd shopper who actually visited only one store, found a mattress that felt wonderful to me, waited a week and went back and tried it again, and then bought it.
I was over-the-moon happy with it (still am, obviously), and decided the price was right and I’d be an idiot to run myself ragged on the off-chance I’d find something I liked better, feeling if I did it would probably cost twice as much but not make me twice as happy!

Hi Marin,

Outside of Clawdia’s great comments … there is more information about latex (and the other materials most commonly used in mattresses) is in the links in the “guideline” post I linked earlier.

As Clawdia also mentioned … latex mattresses are widely available across the country although they are not nearly as common in the chain stores or mass market retailers as they are with some of the smaller manufacturers or sleep shops. All of the manufacturers in the earlier post I linked carry some latex or latex hybrid mattresses.