First want to thank you for the incredibly informative resource you’ve created here. Based on things I’ve learned on your site, I decided to try an all latex mattress. Was able to try several models at an independent local manufacturer that has been spoken of highly here, and found them to be very friendly, patient, and helpful.
Wife and I tried out several of their own models, which we really liked, but got distracted by the PLB line-up. After conducting some lengthy try-outs, we bought the new PLB Nature with active fusion from the Natural (and not all Natural) line.
We’ve been sleeping on the bed for about 2 weeks now, and it just hasn’t felt nearly the same to us as the store mode. Ours seems much firmer. I know that’s hardly unheard of, and have read lots of posts here about similar experiences.
I’m close to 6 feet tall and 190 pounds. Wife 2 inches shorter and 60 pounds lighter. Main problem for me is that, on this mattress, my hips seem to tilt at an angle that creates an exagerrated lumbar curve when on my back. As a result, I wake up to a very sore lower back every morning.
Previous mattress was a softer pillow top Spring Air. That mattress, even though much softer, seems to somehow support my back better. I wanted to get your opinion as to whether a latex topper might help this particular situation. The top layer of latex in the Nature is 21 IDL and the PLB toppers seem much softer than that. Would you think the 7comfort latex topper/pad I’ve seen you discuss might help?
Thanks again for the site, and I appreciate any thoughts you might be able to provide.
i was quoted a very attractive price for “nature” and in the end i didn’t take it precisely for that reason - too firm, and also because they said they wouldn’t take it back in case what.
if you read Phoenix’s articles on this site you will know firmness does not equal good support. there is no contradiction whatsoever with a softer mattress providing better support.
consider going back to the store and trying “nature” back to back with thicker PLB beds. if they solve your problem then a firm topper might help. i agree that PLB topper is too soft to be very useful for adjusting alignment - it is more for just the feel of it - although of course it will have effect on alignment as well.
i definitely think a latex topper might solve your problem but only if you get it with the right thickness and ILD and what is right in this case nobody can possibly know until you try it. you could try to estimate however by experimenting with the thicker PLB beds as i said.
Thanks, '81, for the reply. It’s appreciated. The next model up is the Beautiful which, at the time of testing, seemed too soft for both of us. We’ll have to try to the topper approach. Recognizing that each individual will have their own comfort and support preferences, is there a general guideline regarding where to start? For instance, if the top Active Fusion comfort layer of the Nature is 21ILD would one normally start at toppers that are equal to or less firm than that?
Are you only a back sleeper or do you sleep in other positions as well? What is your experience in the other positions you sleep as far as pressure relief and alignment?
As C1981c memtioned … there is “primary” support which is the support that comes from the deeper layers which “stops” your hips and pelvis from sinking in too far and there is the “secondary” support which comes primarily from the upper layers of the mattress and fills in and helps maintain the recessed gaps in the spine. This may be lacking in your mattress although 4" for a back sleeper (2" 21 ILD and 2" 28 ILD) is usually fine so it may also be an adjustment period from what you were used to sleeping on. You may actually be getting “better” secondary support (your lumbar curve as more resistance under it) and your body needs some time to get used to it.
Post #2 here has some suggestions that may be helpful. I would first tend to wait for 30 days or so (especially if your mattress still feels firmer than the one in the store) and you could even try walking evenly across the surface to speed up the initial break in period. Once it’s clear that your experience is likely to be the same in the long term … then a topper could help if the issue and “symptoms” point to a comfort layer that needs a little extra thickness and softness.
That sounds like a reasonable approach. Primarily back sleeper, but do spend some time on my sides as well. My problem seems to be when I’m on my back. I was surprised to find immediate relief when i went back to the old Spring Air for a test. Just seemed that my hips were in a “flatter” position and my lower back was better supported. Maybe the advice should be go back to your old mattress!
In any event, ive got to figure this out as the back pain has been lasting longer into each day and I’m convinced its attributable to the mattress. I’ll try the walking suggestion and hope it works. Not sure I can make it 30 days!
We’d narrowed it down to this model and the store manufactured model with a solid latex core with two sided quilting (less than the 1 inch you recommend). Sure wishing now we went for the store made mattress!
Thanks again for your help. If you think it would help others, I’ll provide updates which -hopefully-will include a happy resolution.
I think one of the challenges with finding your best spinal alignment is that each person may have variations which for them are “normal” and if these people sleep with the “neutral” spinal curve that would be “healthy” for others they can actually end up in pain because it’s not normal for them. Some people naturally have more curve in their spine and some have less curve. It appears you are in the second group. I was reading here recently about back pain in triathletes and using an MRI to help diagnose low back pain and as you can see it’s not recommended because they would show up so many “abnormalities” that are not issues that could actually be misleading.
“In theory” … the nature probably has better lower back support than your old mattress but may actually have too much for you because it may not allow your back to become as 'flat" as it “likes” to be. This could be from differences in your learned posture over the years or in your natural physiology. Lower back pain can come from both an alignment is too flat or too curved … both of which are affected by pelvic tilt. It may also be helpful to compare the design of your old mattress to your new one as a “pointer” if that information is available.
I also wouldn’t torture yourself for 30 days and if it just doesn’t seem reasonable to wait that long I would look at making changes sooner.
I think the other reason for the wait though is to help confirm that the issue really is one of your mattress being too firm (pelvis not sinking in far enough). One other thing that may be worth trying is one or two pillows under your knees which will also help to flatten the back.
The challenge with low back, support, and alignment issues is that each of us can have a very different natural physiology … even if we may appear to be similar in terms of body type and sleeping positions … so “theory”, eyeballs, and the feedback from your body when you are testing mattresses can all play an important role in deciding what is “best” for each person. This of course also means that there is no “formula” that can get it right without your active participation and feedback.
That would be great. I think that every successful outcome can play a role in helping others.
I’ve ordered the 7 comforts topper after reading some of your comments about it. If nothing else, hopefully the Nature will make nice base for either this topper or another.
If not, I’ll return to the store and try to exchange for one of their factory-made latex model which are sided with a layer of quilted foam on each side. Pretty sure that layer is 1 inch or under, and high quality. The store is Worley Mattress in Mass and I’ve been impressed with their approach and service so far. I’ve been in contact with an owner who helped me originally in the store…she immediately responded to my email expressing concern re my experience with the Nature and suggested I come back in. And that’s what I’ll do if the 7 comfort doesnt help.
I’ll report back re the topper and any exchange attempt.
I hope the Seven comforts feels and works as well for you as well as it has for me and others and some of the other forum members. It can certainly add some softness and pressure relief and has lower resilience than a solid topper so “in theory” it may work well for you.
I also think highly of the people at Worley and I know they will work with their customers to the degree possible to get things right.
I’m looking forward to your feedback both on the topper and any other steps that may be necessary.
This site has been such a valuable resource for me that I wanted to provide a brief update. Hopefully, someone will find it helpful.
First, I received the 7 comforts topper. It was well packaged and in apparently good shape. Having now spent a few nights on it, I can report my experience is similar to that of Phoenix and Coventry, who spoke so highly of the topper. The 7 comforts fits on the PLB Nature just about perfectly and provides just a bit more pressure relief. And that has made all the difference.
Turns out the Nature, with its stretch cover and lack of quilted top, makes (for us) a perfect base layer which, when combined, with the 7 comforts topper, has been working out really well.
We may lose any benefit the Active Fusion claims to provide, but the trade off is more than worth it. So…a good result without having to return the mattress for some comfort exchange and absorb the restocking and delivery costs. All for $99 cost of the 7 comforts (queen). Thanks again for your advice.