Need help badly- bad back & bad bed!

Two weeks ago I woke up with back pain that was so bad, I couldn’t stand up straight…literally! I’m 37…this is ridiculous! I go to my Dr and he says I have degenerative disc disease. I KNOW it’s my bed that’s causing this. He orders a MRI, which i had two days ago. I’m waiting on the results, but I’ve slept on the couch for the last three days and the difference in my back is amazing. My husband hates me sleeping on the couch so I’ve been researching this at every opportunity. We were going to get the Tempurpedic, before I started researching, but now that I’ve done the research, I’m so glad I didn’t. I don’t have $4K to shell out right now anyway. This website has helped me more than ANY other site, including Consumer Reports. I see that going directly to a local manufacturer is a good idea, but my research only shows The Original Mattress Factory as an option. I’m in middle Georgia, 30 minutes below Macon, GA. Did I miss a manufacturer in my research?

Hi Veritas,

While I’m not a medical professional and I wouldn’t want to speculate as to the causes of your back issues … I can say for certain that a mattress can certainly have an effect on the symptoms you may have. I also know there is a lot of misinformation about mattresses and their relationship to back pain that is all over the internet.

One of the more helpful sites about back pain and it’s relationship to mattresses that I came across a little while ago is here. There is a great deal of good information there.

I’ve included a link to the local manufacturers and better outlets that I’m aware of in my reply to your other post. Perhaps we can continue in either this one or the other one just to keep any posts and replies continuous and more “organized” for the benefit of others in the same area or with similar circumstances.

In essence though … the best approach with back pain is to make sure that you have a mattress core that provides the best possible alignment and then add comfort layers on top of this that are the minimum required to relieve any pressure issues. The best choices for this kind of support would be latex or a high quality innerspring … possibly with zoning in the middle depending on your overall weight, body shape, and sleeping positions.

Memory foam can be very tricky with back issues and while it can be effective for some … it’s especially important when using a material which encourages “sinking in” that you use the minimum amount possible to keep you as close to the support layers as possible but not so thin that you lose the pressure relief you need. The firmness of the layer under the memory foam can also play a big role in this.

Memory foam can be quite variable in its response depending on many factors including the room temperature and humidity, the other layers over and under it, and the person sleeping on it. Like all viscoelastic materials … it also has a tendency to “creep” which is actually a technical term which means that it can “relax” over the course of the night and gradually allow you to sink in deeper which means that you could start off the night in good alignment but over the course of the night as it relaxes internally it can put you over your threshold for best alignment by the time you wake up in the morning.

I hope this helps and if you have questions along the way don’t hesitate to post them here.



Thank you so very much for the wealth of information. I’m actually looking at the Serenity memory foam mattress and the Latex mattresses at Original Mattress Factory. I was at one of there stores this weekend. I spent about almost two hours there trying out and looking at there brands and I was impressed. Based on what you know about their latex and one memory foam, what would you lean more toward? I’m going to test again this evening.

Thank you again!


Hi Veritas,

Both of these mattresses use high quality materials and have great value so I would make my choices based on the relative ability of each to provide PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) that “work” the best for you.

My own personal preferences lean towards latex because I like it’s feel and its durability but that doesn’t mean that any latex mattress would work for me because it would also need to provide me with PPP that was unique to my own needs and preferences. There are also many other layering schemes and materials that in certain combinations I also like a lot but again these are personal needs and preferences that probably wouldn’t apply to someone else.

If both seem equal to you in terms of Pressure relief and Posture … then I would make my choice based on personal preference between the benefits and “feel” of latex and the benefits and “feel” of memory foam. Both are very high quality and good value choices. The Serenity uses memory foam that is similar in density/quality to the memory foam used in the Tempurpedic HD collection just to give you a reference point.

So I would tend to lean towards latex all other factors being equal based on personal preference and because I like the feel and qualities of latex … but this doesn’t mean that anyone else should make the same choice.