New latex mattress hurts my back

I just got a new latex mattress the sleep science one from Costco."-Natural-Latex-Queen-Mattress.product.100039446.html
It has 2 layers of latex the bottom 6" listed at 32IDL and the top 3" is 19IDL. All latex (but I’m no sure which method).

I’ve only had it 2 nights so far. Both nights I wake up sore and stiff and it isn’t going away. At night I feel like my back is over arched. I can only fall a sleep if I turn onto my side.

My last mattress sagged and hurt my back from the lack of support that cause my back to curve in at night, but the stiffness would wear off after moving around. I would constantly toss and turn even when sleeping on my side. This new mattress I can stay asleep if I’m on my side, but I wake up shortly if I’m turn (half asleep) to my back.

I expected a slight adjustment period, but not to be waking up stiffer than my old mattress. Costco has great return policies, which is why I purchased from there. I’m looking for advice from others who may have experienced similar transitions. Do I need more of a topper?

I’ve tried a towel under my lower back that sort of helps, but only temporarily. I’ve tried walking on it to softness it up, but I do not notice a difference in feel.

Hi Shelly,

The Sleep Science mattress has 9" of latex which they say is Talalay. If they specified the ILD as 19 and 32 (which isn’t on the Costco listing) then it would likely be blended Talalay (you can see the different firmness ratings of Note: Footprint to Retired Webpage: . Their 100% natural doesn’t have specific firmness ratings (they use N1 - N5 to rate the firmness). did you get the ILD’s from Costco/Sleep Science?

2 nights experience isn’t really long enough to evaluate a mattress and I would give it at least a couple of weeks and preferably a month if possible so that the mattress has a chance to break in and you have a chance to adjust to a new sleeping surface. Of course, if the mattress is just a very poor “fit” for your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) then sleeping on it for this long may not be possible. There is more about some of your options if the mattress is too firm in post #2 here but if the mattress is too soft then with a mattress where the layers can’t be adjusted or fine-tuned then your only option would be either turning the mattress upside down and trying to sleep on the firmer side (which would likely be too firm for most people) or returning it. A topper would only be effective if your mattress is too firm and isn’t an effective solution for a mattress where the comfort layers are already too thick or too soft (which generally indicates that the softer layers need to be replaced rather than using softer material on top).

I don’t have enough information about your body type, sleeping positions or more specific descriptions of your symptoms or what parts of your body you are experiencing them to make any meaningful comments but the first step is always to determine whether your “symptoms” are from pressure issues, alignment issues, or “feel” issues … all of which could have different solutions.

Some of the forum posts that talk about fine-tuning a mattress and may help you recognize or “diagnose” the underlying cause of different types of “symptoms”, pain, or discomfort that may be connected to a mattress include … post #2 (this is the primary reference post for different “symptoms” that people may experience when they sleep on a mattress) Post #45 (this is particularly worth reading as well) Post #2 post #6 post #6 Post #4 Post #7 Post #7 Post #18

If I had to guess and based on your comment that the problem seems to be limited to your back sleeping then I would guess that the comfort layer is a little too thick or soft for back sleeping and if this turns out to be the case it means that a topper wouldn’t likely be effective.


Thanks for your reply. I’ve read a fair amount on here before purchasing and in the last couple days about latex.

The specs were on a sheet that came with the mattress. It’s also in the video on costco. (I made a correction to my original post after double checking, the bottom is 32IDL, not 36)

As for more about me, I’m 5’5’', 160lbs and rotate throughout the night from back sleeping to side sleeping. The pain is in my mid back. It makes is painful to bend over during the day, even a little bit. The discomfort is enough that putting up with it for 30 days is ridiculous. If the pain gets better in a week, I’ll keep with it.

It may seem silly but i cannot tell if it is too firm or too soft. It feels very firm. I only have my old interspring to compare to. Not the best I know. I don’t feel like I’m sinking in much at all. However, it’s soft enough that there is no gap between my mid back and bed. Also, when side sleeping, I am pretty comfortable.

I need help to figure out what is causing it. If the mattress is too soft, then I need to return it (because the layers cannot be exchanged). If the firmness is causing the problem, then I’ll get a softer topper.

Hi Sheelly,

With the 32 ILD core the mattress would be a little softer yet and while it’s not possible to know for sure because I can’t see you on the mattress or feel what you feel … it sounds to me like the mattress may not be keeping you in good alignment because it’s too soft for your back sleeping and your spine is curved too much and this may be causing your muscles to work too hard to keep your back in alignment. I would also agree with you that if the pain isn’t showing some signs of improving over the first week or two then I probably wouldn’t keep it for the full month.

That would be unfortunate because the materials are good quality even though it’s not the best value latex mattress that may be available to you and the design may not be the right one for you. At least a purchase from Costco allows you to take a chance on one of their mattresses and roll the dice for free because of their return policy which is about the only reason I would consider making a purchase from Costco (see post #4 here).

Of course all of this is “theory at a distance” but with the ILD’s you mentioned it’s very doubtful that the layers are too firm based on “averages”.


So I thought I’d update how this all worked out for me in case anyone has a similar issue and reads this.

I flipped the mattress over (which was not an easy task alone). The bottom is 32ILD, so this was the fastest and cheapest way for me to test if firm is what I needed and it was! I slept much better that way. It did leave me wanting a tad bit of plushness on it though.

I thought about keeping it and using it upside down, but the cover in the bottom was super thin and removing the cover seemed more difficult that it was worth. For $2000, (I had gotten it on sale) It was not something I was going to just settle with or have to buy extra mattress pads for.

I bought this from Costco because of their great return policy, they even picked it up for free (took 2 weeks though). This peace of mind to be able to return was the reason I bought from Costco (bonus it’s the only big box store I feel good about supporting because it treats employees well).

Since costco does not currently offer any other all latex mattresses, I’m looking into piecing together one of my own. I’ve gotten a cheap latex mattress for Ikea (5" synthetic) and intend to use that as the base and then buy a talalay topper elsewhere. This way is not going to make a top of the line mattress, but it will save me money upfront but still allow me to upgrade later. If either part wears out or my preferences change I can replace one without throwing out the other. Plus it will make my mattress be a 2-parter, which will be much easier to pick up to move or rotate by myself when needed.

Hi Shelly,

Thanks for the update … and it’s good to see that you were able to identify the cause of your back issues so you can use your experience as a reference point for your next purchase :slight_smile: