So I purchased a mattress at SleepEZ (absolutely amazing might I say). The combination I got was the 10000 line, firm, medium, soft.
I have been sleeping on it for about 3 weeks so far, and it is wonderful. Although, I wonder if my top layer is too soft and maybe I should switch to a medium. I know the importance of spinal alignment, and I think my spine may be misaligned because it is too soft (thus causing me problems down the road)
I attached pictures of me laying on my side (how I sleep).
The first picture is without a pillow in between my legs, the second is with (how I sleep).
To me it looks like my spine takes a dip towards my hips, but if anyone has any input I would appreciate it!
Are you having any “symptoms” on the mattress such as tension, muscle aches, or pain?
I can see the same “dip” as you do although more in your sleeping position in the second picture than in your sleeping position in the first. The second position is also more “twisted” (upper body forward and lower body more vertical). Is one more typical than the other?
Sometimes its difficult to know for sure because how much time we spend in each position variation and the amount of time that you may be “out of alignment” in any position can play a role.
You appear to have very wide shoulders and layer thickness may also play a role here … but I would look at symptoms in addition to any visual cues. You could also test the mattress with (top to bottom) M/F/S as well as M/S/F to see if things look better in all the positions you normally sleep.
I don’t really have any symptoms right now, other than I can “feel” my hip sinking in the mattress. I would say I do sleep a little twisted, with my upper body forward a little (though not knowingly until now). Thanks for the suggestions, I am definitely going to try the different layer combination as you suggested and I will see what my results might be.
Phoenix, I realize I am just learning about this, but it seems to me that a spinal curve like that would indicate a mattress that is too firm: hips and shoulders high, with a dip in the spine? At least on the second picture. Isn’t that what Sleepy1 described when she lay on the two firm layers of her mattress? Lew
It can certainly be deceptive!
When the hips sink in too far they can “tilt” or rotate anteriorly (top sinks in more than the bottom) and pelvic tilt controls and changes the curve of the spine. With the legs up … the bottom of the pelvis would have more support and this could be accentuated. In the picture and with mayday295’s size and perceptions (“feels like hips are sinking in”) it’s clear that the mattress is not too firm (there is clearly some sinking in going on and there don’t appear t be any “gaps” in the recessed areas) so the pointers are towards “too soft” rather than 'too firm" although it does depend on all the position variations that can happen over the course of the night which is why I also look for symptoms because we all make many larger and smaller position changes through the night.
You are right though … that a similar “sag” can happen with a mattress that is too firm but the overall shape is different and it has a different “look” with less sinking in. If you look at this diagram and this diagram and this diagram and you can see a bit of what I mean (with the pelvis tilted).
mayday295’s pictures are also a little bit deceptive because the higher view makes the curve look like more than it is (if you tilt your head a bit to the right and look at the first picture a little lower for example the spine will appear to be straighter). It’s a good idea when you are “eyeballing” someone to crouch down to the level of the spine rather than a higher view.
Man you are good-and patient as I have seen on some of these threads. I am glad I asked.
These alignment discussions remind me of threads on a skiers website I used to frequent a few years ago when I still skied. This is very technical. Lew
There are some people I know that are really good at this. They have so much experience that they can often tell within seconds if a mattress will work for someone and they just have the “feel” for it. They really are treasures and it makes the search a whole lot easier when you can connect with one of them.
But don’t get me talking about skiing … my technical expertise there is limited to say the least as you can see here
I spent part of the 70"s living in Steamboat Springs. What are the three most dangerous words in Steamboat? “Follow me Dad.”
So I swapped the soft layer on top for the medium layer in the middle (now F, S, M) and it looks like I am much better off this way. I will see how I sleep on it tonight!
Thanks for the continuing feedback and pictures It’s really helpful for people to be able to see alignment in “real life”.
I’ll be interested to see the difference it makes.
Your head could perhaps use a bit more support as well.
So far my first night with this new layer combination I slept great, no pain at all. I could notice this time when I laid down in my bed I could feel more pressure (in a good way) on my hips, whereas before it just felt like they where hanging off an edge.
And in that picture I just didn’t have a pillow, but I definitely have head/neck support!
I thought as much based on the previous pictures but I thought I better make sure
You are providing a great example of “real life” adjustments with visual and experiential feedback which is great … and I appreciate it!
Mayday, You make a good case for mattresses with swapable layers. And you didn’t have to ship anything back! Lew
Hey everyone, just wanted to give yet another update here to help anyone else out who is trying to decide about firmness etc.
So after about 70 days of testing, I thought my most previous result was a winner, but it was not. The soft layer on the bottom proved too soft, and provided no support, so my lower back would feel strained in the morning, or my hips depending on how I slept (back, or side). I put my firm mattress layer directly on the floor, and my medium on top of that and have been testing it out for about a week now; it turned out to be pretty great, although a little firm because no third layer. Because it is almost…just…right, I am going to have my soft layer exchanged for a firm layer this week. (super happy for sleepez’s policy, only $30 to exchange for new layer, and on top of this I was offered an extra 30 days to test out the exchanged layer before sending my old one back in case I indeed needed it to be softer!!)
…worst case scenario, I need it to be somewhat softer, which means I always have room for toppers and more layers, but I feel support is more important, and it is easier to go firm to soft than the other way around.
Just to give everyone a background too, I am 150lb 5’11’’ with wide shoulders. I thought I did my research and from the looks of it I believed I needed a plush type mattress (firm medium soft, in this case) and now I am going to (firm firm medium), and as I get there it feels better and better each time I sleep! I am not sure what their density rating is, but firm and medium are both a lot softer than what I had expected of a “firm, and medium” type mattress.
So if you are unsure of what to get, I would recommend you start firmer than what you think you need (especially if you are ordering from sleepEZ because of their awesome layer-exchange program!).
I hope this helps everyone with their decision when mattress shopping!!
Thanks again for some terrific feedback
I think more than anything your experiences go to show how different people can be … and also the value of a latex mattress that can be re-arranged and customized.
I also think that when your “ideal” layering ends up with a soft layer on the bottom that it would be a good idea to exchange it for a firmer one (and I know that SleepEz suggests this as well and don’t think it’s a great idea to have a soft layer on the bottom except during testing).
It also goes to show some of the differences between latex and other types of foam. Because of the way the latex is tested for ILD (on a 6" layer instead of 4") … the ILD ratings of latex are actually softer than the IFD equivalent in polyfoam. They are also more “point elastic” (which means that it conforms more exactly to body shape than polyfoam so each area of compression is less affected or “held back” by the foam around it and feels softer). On the other side … it has a higher compression modulus than polyfoam which means that when you sink into it past the 25% point … it gets firmer faster than polyfoam. These are the main reasons that softer latex can be more supportive and that firmer latex can be more pressure relieving than polyfoam.
It’s great that you found the configuration that works best for you … and I also agree with you that sometimes firmer choices with latex can be less “risky” although there are also others that find that even soft latex feels firmer than they are used to. I think a lot of this depends on what people are used to sleeping on and to some degree their weight distribution, physiology, and the individual sensitivities of different people.
In any case … your ongoing feedback has been great and I think it will be very helpful for many people as a guideline of the types of layering options that are available inside a single mattress.
Well back again 4 months later, just wanted to provide one last update to my purchase. I have slept amazingly well and I would definitely say that this mattress and the combination I ended up sticking with(F F M) has undoubtedly given me the best sleep I have had in my life! I no longer have the shoulder pain I was always experiencing with my old mattress, and I actually feel well rested and comfortable sleeping now. If any of you have doubts about whether or not $2k or more is worth a mattress, I would say in my case it was not only well worth it but to me it was a bargain for what I got out of it. Happy mattress shopping to you all!
Thanks once again for the “months later” update and it’s great to see when some of the members here provide a little longer term feedback.
I’m thrilled that you found the combination that works so well for you