New Sealy mattress - return of back pain, advice needed

Hi, I’m hoping some knowledgeable people here might be able to help with a mattress quandary I have. I thought I’d done my research but it seems maybe not, and reading lots of websites is just steering me towards the mattress I bought, which doesn’t help!

We’ve just emigrated from Scotland to Canada, bringing with us my old (7yrs) super basic cheap mattress. When we arrived we stayed at a furnished holiday cottage for a month. I have back issues (more on this in a minute) so I was a bit worried about sleeping on a cottage mattress for a month, but lo and behold it was lovely! It was a different ‘species’ of mattress than I was used to, with a squishy layer on top of a firmer surface, which worried me at first but turned out to be great. (The mattresses I’d seen in the UK had never had this foam+spring combination).

So we move into our permanent home, our belongings arrive, and I am thinking ‘ahhh, my own bed’! But my back is not so impressed, and I find the old mattress uncomfortable. It was on its last legs really - getting a bit lumpy, not offering much support - and after sleeping on a different style of mattress for 4 weeks I realised that my own old mattress was useless, and perhaps adding to my back pain. So it was time to invest in a new mattress.

A bit about me… I’m about 5’5", female, and weigh about 140lbs. I have had lower back problems for over 10 years now, linked to my sacroiliac area. Every few years it seems to flare up and I go to physio / osteopath for treatment. I’ve recently had about 4 months osteopath treatment which improved things a lot. My general symptoms tend to be a very stiff lower back, and sore hips. I’m a side sleeper, but this can thensometimes lead to hip pain when I wake up. When things are going well I can be symptom-free, or I can have mild symptoms as at the moment where my back can be stiff and my hips sore in the morning, or it can be bad and I have trouble walking, sitting or doing anything.

So I started looking into mattresses and my partner and I went to various shops. I eventually settled on a local store with a good reputation, and bought a Sealy posturepedic cashmere ‘Silver Moss’ cushion top. This is a medium/firm mattress with layers of different foams, a supportive middle section to reduce sagging, and pocket coils (I’d post a link but their website is conveniently not working properly right now!). We also got a boxspring to go with it as we didn’t have one.

I went with this mattress because it was not super soft (despite loving the feeling of lying on a marshmallow I didn’t think that would be good with my back, not providing as much support) but it was also not firm - being a side sleeper I was trying to avoid pressure points on my hips.

The first night the bed felt a bit firmer than I remembered in the shop, but I had a good nights sleep, waking up with no pain. But unfortunately it didn’t last. Every night since I have woken with some degree of stiffness in my lower back, and some degree of ache in my hips - generally the one I sleep on. I would say I’m ‘sinking in’ to the mattress more now, and it does feel like it contours to my shape, but there must be something going wrong somewhere. I’m really frustrated - I’ve never owned an expensive mattress and I’ve also only really had pain issues when waking on my old worn mattress so I was expecting a new mattress to make me never want to get out of bed.
We have 90 days to exchange the mattress (we’ve had it for almost a week) but we only get one exchange, and the shop we bought it from doesn’t have the biggest range available. Now I wish we’d bought from the biggest store I could find, but I really didn’t expect a problem.

So I’m really hoping for some advice… is the situation likely to improve over the next week or 2? If I exchange the mattress what type should I be looking for? If I exchange it again and end up with a worse mattress then I’ll be really stuck.

Oh, the mattress I slept on at the cottage is a Simmons Beauty Rest ‘Tradition’ Wool, Contour Flex, Pocket Coil Construction. I googled that and couldn’t find it, so perhaps it’s an older model. Unfortunately the shop we bought from doesn’t carry Simmons :frowning:

Thanks in advance for any help :slight_smile:

Hi izzi81,

It’s unfortunate that you didn’t find us before you made your purchase because some of the information here would likely have kept you away from any of the major brand mattresses or most of the stores that sell them. While I don’t think the issues you are currently facing are from the low quality materials because your mattress is so new … the materials are low enough quality that you would likely have had issues down the road anyway because lower quality foams in the comfort layers of your mattress will soften and break down much more quickly than higher quality materials and the loss of comfort and support that this leads to isn’t covered by a warranty.

At least you are having issues with your mattress early so that a comfort exchange can help you choose a mattress that is more suitable initially and also uses higher quality materials or design so you have less risk of developing similar issues in a relatively short period of time when any exchange period is over. The not so good news is that there may be few if any “good quality/value” mattresses sold at store where you made your purchase and in most if not all cases you won’t be able to find out the quality of the materials inside them and may be making a blind purchase. Without a refund policy and the ability to start over again you are locked in to a choice between mattresses that if you were starting from scratch I would probably suggest avoiding completely.

If you can let me know where you purchased it I can take a look and see if they carry any mattresses that are in a better quality /value range.

From the little research I did (Leons which I would also avoid) to find some details about your mattress … the Silver Moss is a relatively lower budget mattress ($599 quenn mattress only) so your budget range will not allow for the best quality and most durable materials but the best available in your budget is the goal. Your mattress has over 5" of low quality foam in the upper layers which are a recipe for early foam softening and breakdown because a mattress will usually soften and break down from the top down. The quality of the comfort layer materials is almost always the key to durability and longevity.

I would start of with some reading so you can gather some of the basic knowledge and information that will be helpful. Post #1 here is the best place to start.

The next step would be post #2 here which includes links to other threads with some suggestions to members here who were in a similar difficult position where they were locked in to choosing between lower quality/value mattresses.

Outside of durability and quality though you have a more immediate issue which is the suitability of a mattress. The durability of a mattress determines how long the mattress will remain suitable for you to sleep on but in your case it appears that your mattress may not be the best choice in the first place regardless of how long it may take to soften and break down (beyond the initial break in period where covers will stretch and foam materials will soften a little more rapidly). You can read a little more about durability in post #4 here.

So the immediate problem is to find a mattress that is both suitable for your immediate needs and preferences and durable enough to stay that way for a reasonable length of time. While your specific health conditions make things much more difficult because no mattress can correct a medical condition and no “formula” that can specifically predict which type of mattress you may do best with … testing carefully and objectively for what I call PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) following the testing guidelines in the first post I linked will give you the best odds of making the most suitable choice. The goal is always to first make sure you have good spinal and joint alignment and then just enough good quality comfort materials on top to relieve pressure points.

You have some reading to do but you will be much better prepared to make the best out of a difficult situation where your options are much more restricted.


Hi Phoenix, thanks very much for your reply. You are right that it would have been better to find this forum before we purchased, a lot is not applicable to me now we are tied to a particular store. We live in a small town area of Nova Scotia and there is not a lot of choice without driving for over an hour to Halifax. As there are a few stores here that sell mattresses I didn’t think there would be a need to go to a bigger store… probably my first mistake.
Back in Scotland (where we’re from) I have not purchased many mattresses, and never really had problems. The last mattress I bought, 7 years ago, cost about $250, and I paid no attention to brand, only cost and comfort, when I bought it. Which is why $599, plus $250 for a boxspring, plus tax, seems expensive to me! We have recently emigrated and as yet have no income so it was bad enough spending $1000, we couldn’t really afford to spend any more, or make several trips to Halifax to browse. Having slept quite comfortably for a month on an old Simmons mattress in the cottage I didn’t think it would be that big of a concern, which to choose, as long as it was comfortable when we tested it in store - and I did test them by lying as I would when asleep. It never occurred to me to check whether I could get a refund, I didn’t think there would be any issues. The problem of course is that we can’t afford to ‘throw away’ $650 on a mattress.

Unfortunately we purchased from Leons, which you say we should avoid. Too late now :frowning:
They don’t carry that many brands; I recall seeing Sealy, Serta and Kingsdown.

What are the chances of my sleep improving after a little while with this mattress? I’ve read that a lot, but I don’t know if it’s just more sales talk…

Hi issi81,

You are somewhat fortunate because you still have lots of time before you need to make a decision. While I certainly understand that “the sooner the better” so you can get some good sleep … it’s better to take the time you need first to learn how to make the most effective choice so you can sleep better over the next decade or so (hopefully) that you own your mattress instead of making a rushed decision that may feel good in a showroom but won’t feel so good in a few months or years down the road.

Unfortunately that’s true … but most of it would still be very relevant in helping you make the best possible choice. The posts I linked about making a comfort exchange would also be directly relevant and have some very useful information for those that are in your circumstances.

Keep in mind that you are looking at several criteria that are important for any successful mattress purchase (or exchange).

The first is testing carefully and objectively for support/alignment.

The second is testing carefully and objectively for pressure reliev/comfort

The third is making sure you know all the details about the quality of the materials in your mattress … especially the comfort layers … because this is the biggest factor in durability and how long the mattress will last. You can’f “feel” durability in a showroom because low quality and high quality materials can feel the same. If you aren’t able to find out the specifics of what is in your mattress (which is much less likely in a chain store) … then minimizing the use of suspect or questionable materials is the best you can do.

That depends on the underlying cause behind why you aren’t sleeping well and whether they are connected to alignment issues (typically pain or discomfort in your back or joints), pressure points (typically tingling or numbness in the limbs or issues related to pressure on joints), or something else (temperature regulation, motion isolation and many others including health conditions).

A mattress will go through an initial break in period where the foam lose their initial “false loft” or softness, the materials settle, fibers will compress, and the mattress cover will loosen and stretch. This can make a significant difference in how the mattress feels and performs and in general you can expect it to get softer. You will also go through a initial adjustment period with any new sleeping surface as the body loses it’s “sleeping memory” and gets used to the feel and performance of a new mattress. This can happen whether the mattress is better or worse than your old one and there can be some discomfort during the break in and adjustment period. As you go through both of these your mattress or “symptoms” will either tend to get worse or better until they stabilize. If they get worse then of course the mattress isn’t suitable for you because even after the initial break in period it will continue to soften … just as a slower rate (depending on the quality of the materials). If symptoms get better then you are going in the right direction and the initial break in period is working in your favor. In this case it would depend on how it was when it stabilizes. In most cases … this initial adjustment and break in period will take up to 90 days but it is usually under 30 and in some cases can even be less. There are some suggestions in post #2 here that can help during this time as well to eliminate any other potential causes that are contributing to any discomfort.

Post #11 here may also be worth reading to give some insights into body alignment on a mattress which along with pressure relief are the two most important functions of a mattress.

In your case your lower back symptoms tend to indicate firmer support relative to your weight to control pelvic tilt and your joint and pressure issues tend to indicate a comfort layer that is soft and thick enough to relieve pressure without being so soft and thick that your pelvis will sink in too far and tilt before it is “stopped” by the firmer support layers. With pressure relief and comfort … just enough but no more has less risk for alignment.


Phoenix, thanks so much for the help and advice, it’s great that you take the time to help people like me out! :slight_smile:

You’re right about my having time to play with. I think at the moment I’m just very disappointed that what I hoped was going to be a great sleeping experience has turned out not to be, but hopefully with some research it can be rectified.

I’ve been looking through the posts you linked to - lots of reading - and there is a lot of interesting stuff to digest.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to find out about the materials in the mattresses I’m choosing from, which then makes me wonder if I should go for a firmer mattress and add a topper if I need one. This also seems to go along with your advice re. ‘cheaper’ mattresses, which is to cut out as much of the cheaper materials as possible - the padding on the top. Also the fact that I slept best the first night, when I presume the foam was at its stiffest, might indicate a firmer mattress might be better.

I’ve tried a bit of alignment testing with our current mattress, to the extent of having my boyfriend put dots down my spine to see what the alignment is doing when I lie on my side. I was surprised to find that my lower back actually looks quite level, and it’s my shoulders where there is a curve. (I have broad shoulders, slim waist and wide hips so I’m probably a nightmare for mattress fitting!) I was really expecting my hips to curving in one direction or the other.

My hips are definitely not sinking to the extent that they’re reaching the firm lower level, which I thought could be why my hips were aching, so that’s a bit confusing - the hip pain I’ve experienced before really started when our old mattress started to get lumpy.

I’ll keep sleeping on this mattress to see whether it is just an adjustment issue but I’ll also get going on the reading and research so I can find out more if things don’t improve.

Out of interest is there anything in Leons that you would recommend over the others?

I’ll also add… Sealy have been less than helpful, I don’t know who mans their email support but they’re useless!

Hi issz81,

Yes … and even some of the “basic information” represents such a complete change in thinking about mattresses that it can come as somewhat of a shock. In most cases just reading the information as you would a good book rather than studying it as you would a textbook for a class you were taking is enough to “absorb” the basic ideas and will give you more meaningful knowledge than 90% of the salespeople who sell mattresses in the mainstream industry.

You are learning quickly :slight_smile:

How much information is available about any specific mattress will vary by manufacturer and mattress by mattress. In many cases you may find information about some of the layers (such as memory foam or latex) but not about others (such as polyfoam which is more difficult to find out and is often the cause of issues with lower density). Information sometimes can (and should) come from a retailer and sometimes from a search of the forum or with online searches if you are OK with the frustration involved with doing what a salesperson should be doing for you (and with some manufacturers coming up with dead ends anyway).

You already have the basic concepts which are either know what is in a mattress so you can make sure it has no weak links, or test a mattress that “fits” in terms of PPP and minimizes questionable materials (which are most likely to be lower quality), or choose a mattress with the least possible questionable materials (which is firmer with less padding) and then adding your own comfort layer as a topper that you know is good quality and durable. It’s a little more difficult to go the topper route because choosing a topper can be somewhat uncertain much like choosing a mattress (because the topper and mattress act together in terms of performance and feel) unless you can specifically test the combination together but a topper also has the advantage that you can change it if your needs and preferences change or if it wears out faster than the mattress below it without having to buy a whole new mattress. This type of modular sleeping system has many advantages even though finding the best combination can be a little difficult. Once you know the best combination then it’s easy to replace it for the same type down the road and a topper will also increase the durability of the mattress below it because it will absorb much of the mechanical forces that soften and break down materials over time. If you sleep on a mattress then you can use your sleeping experience to help guide you with the choice of topper along the lines of post #2 here and some of the posts it links to … but that’s probably getting ahead of the game for now.

This usually means that the softness/thickness of the comfort layers aren’t quite enough to “allow” the shoulders to sink in enough which can lead to shoulder pressure or alignment issues either in the upper body or sometimes in other areas as well. It can also lead to “twisting” away from pressure which can twist the spine in the area of the twist (such as forward leaning side sleeping or side sleeping where the lower body is more forward). It’s always the balance between the softness/thickness of the comfort layers and firmness in the support layers that leads to good pressure relief, alignment, and deeper healthy sleep. It can be complicated because the surface area of each part of the body relative to the weight of that part of the body and the changing surface area as you sink in deeper is very complex. For example the shoulders are lighter and often wider than the hips so they will sink in more easily into softer foam until the torso comes into firmer contact with the mattress and the surface area increases and further sinking in is “stopped”. It’s usually best to use your testing and concepts as a guideline rather than specific theory which can be very complex.

Hip pain can come from pressure points if they are resting on a surface that is too firm (like the floor) or it can come from sinking down too far which overextends the hip joint and stresses the tissues that are connected because they are no longer in a neutral position and it can even come from twisting of the hips. Any doctor will tell you that there are usually multiple causes for the same symptoms … especially when it comes to backs. If a mattress at one time was good and then you begin to develop symptoms then it’s usually either from foam softening or from the compression of fibers that have become firmer.

I can really only speak to quality/value and this depends on knowing the specifics of each layer which they don’t tend to list. In general no because most of the manufacturers they list don’t disclose the specifics of their layers. Suitability can really only be known by testing (or the knowledge and/or the knowledge and experience of a manufacturer or retailer) because theory is to complex and the information is too limited to use “theory” to make any specific recommendations for a mattress. In some cases Kingsdown is more open in Canada than they are in the States (where they would be on the “avoid” list) but you could test this by asking for the spec sheets for one or two kingsdown mattresses to see if they provide the information. In general there is nothing there that obviously stands out in terms of quality (mostly because information is missing). In some cases if a mattress has materials like latex there will still be differences in the type and blend of the latex and different quality levels but if there is a layer of latex in a mattress it would be better quality than other materials even if they don’t say what type it is … although latex in a mattress is probably outside of your budget range because it is a more costly material. It may be worth considering as a topper though depending on your budget and on whether you are able to test what it feels like somewhere and know you like it.

I couldn’t agree more … and they really don’t provide any meaningful information outside of marketing information and “stories” to their retailers either.


Thanks again for the info. While I start to absorb all that information, I have a quick question… is there anything I could do to the current mattress to see whether a firmer one would be better? I was wondering about putting some kind of padding under my hips - even just a towel or something - to see if having them sit a little higher would make it better? (My back woke me up this morning which is a first on the new mattress and something I never like so I’m definitely looking for options…)

Hi izzi81,

You are talking more about zoning rather than actual firmness (firmer under some parts of the body and softer under others) which can certainly have an affect on neutral spine alignment. All mattresses are a combination of firm (deeper layers) and soft (the thickness and softness of the upper layers). Outside of zoning, in some cases a firmer support core can help and in others thinner comfort layers can help. It all depends on how evenly you sink into a mattress. Post #4 here has some ideas along the lines you mentioned about adding a form of zoning in the context of helping a mattress that is sagging or too soft in one way or another (either support layers or comfort layers) that may be helpful.


Well, this new mattress has to go I think. I tried using a folded up wool blanket under the lower 2/3 of me, and it did stop me sinking into the mattress quite as much, but didn’t help with the pain in the morning, which woke me at 6am. It’s getting to the point now where I’m dreading to go to bed, which is not the point of a new mattress!

I’ve been doing some reading about UK mattresses v North American ones, because I’m used to the UK ones, and there is certainly a lot less padding in UK mattresses, and they are also made to be flipped both ways most of the time. There is a hotel chain that I’ve always found comfortable that uses Hypnos mattresses
and that seems to be a firm mattress with no foam layers. So I think that is what I’m going to look for. I doubt I’ll find anything in Leons that totally fits - I think everything they do has foam in there somewhere, and can’t be flipped both ways. I rather wish I’d made this investment in the UK rather than Canada, where I was more familiar… I didn’t realise it would be so different!

You said that the mattress we bought had 5" of foam, but side sleepers only need 2-4", so I think that’s the issue, and it also worries me from the longevity point of view.
I quite like the bounce of springs… something that seems to be very non-North American lol!

OK I’ve been doing research based on the info on the Leons website, looking at firm mattresses in our price range. It looks like I have 3 options…
Kingsdown Carver (2.5" foam)
Simmons Pearl (1.5" foam)
Simmons Wheaton (2 3/8" foam) - this one is a little outside our budget

All of these also mention a ‘pad’ layer but don’t say what this is.
I was really surprised looking at the quantity of foam in mattresses described as ‘firm’, particularly given that the UK mattresses I was looking at don’t really have any foam in them.
Several of the Sealy ones were really surprising - firm mattress but with 9" of foam in it! It does seem likely that over time this foam is going to alter, and 9" is a lot of room for alteration.

I think our current mattress is going back, I just need to go and try out these particular mattresses and see which suits best. If you have any thoughts on any of these I’d gratefully hear them… thanks again for the help so far :slight_smile:

Hi izzi812,

[quote]OK I’ve been doing research based on the info on the Leons website, looking at firm mattresses in our price range. It looks like I have 3 options…
Kingsdown Carver (2.5" foam)
Simmons Pearl (1.5" foam)
Simmons Wheaton (2 3/8" foam) - this one is a little outside our budget

All of these also mention a ‘pad’ layer but don’t say what this is.[/quote]

This is the type of unknown foam (along with any other “suspect” materials) that I would try to minimize. Based on the limited specs you provided … the only one I would consider either by itself or as the base mattress for a topper would be the Pearl but this would depend on the rest of the layers and components that made up the rest of the mattress and/or on your ability to find out the quality/density of the “suspect” foam.


Simmons Pearl:
Product Details:
1" Convoluted Firm Foam Layer

½" Med Firm Foam Layer
1 Simgard Pad Layer
Bottom Upholstery:
1 Simgard Pad Layer

Wrapped Pocketed Coil
360-Degree Foam Encased

Kingsdown Carver:

Product Details:
1" Plus ½" High Density Foam and 22oz. Silk & Hollo Fibre

Comfort Layers:
½" Solid Foam
½" Posturized BluTek Gel
Insulator Pad
Flexaton Pad

Pocket (Twice Tempered) Coil
Concentrated Centre Third

Edge System:
Airflow Surround Foam Encasement

Simmons Wheaton:

Product Details:
⅝" Plush Comfort Foam
1" AirCool® Foam
Cashmere Fibre

Bottom Upholstery:
½" layer of Energy Foam™

Patented Evolution NON-FLIP Pocket Coil

½" GelTouch™ Foam

AirCool® Banded Mesh Border with Breathable Surround

Ventilated AirCool® BeautyEdge® Foam Encasement

I gave up on the new mattress last night and went back to sleeping on the old one. My back was not as sore as before. Definitely not impressed!

Hi izzi81,

The Simmons Pearl also includes a layer of Bountyfil which is a quilting fiber that will also compress and contribute to impressions over time.

The Kingsdown Carver includes 22oz silk and Hollo(fill) fibers which will do the same.

The Simmons Wheaton mentions Cashmere fibers but doesn’t say if there is a tiny amount in the cover fabric or if this is a blend with synthetic fibers used in the quilting. It also has 1/2 of firm foam in addition to what you listed.

The less polyurethane foam or fibers that you can’t identify above the springs the better.


Thanks again for the advice. We’re going to try and go along to Leons either tomorrow or early next week to try out some of those, and see what we think. I’m certainly not going to rush into anything, but unfortunately the selection is a bit limited - our fault for not doing enough research to start with. It has definitely helped finding the forum, and reading your advice. At least I feel a bit more armed with information now.
I just hope we can find something that will work… I did get one good nights sleep from the now-useless new mattress so hopefully a firmer one, with less foam, will work out.

Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Hi izzi81,

I don’t think there is any “fault” in any of this … it’s just the type of choices that so many people make because there are so few sources of meaningful information in the industry … at least that are easy to find in all the “noise” of marketing claims and misleading information. As you mentioned at least you are in a position of being able to make more informed and “best possible” choices even if you are a little more limited in what you have available.

If you choose either a mattress that you know has good quality materials that works well by itself or choose a mattress that has the least possible low quality or unidentified foam (which will likely be too firm) and then add a good quality topper to customize your own comfort layer, then either way you have much higher odds of ending up with a better sleeping system than you would have chosen otherwise and that’s a lot better than the alternative where the same cycle could end up repeating.

If you do choose a “base mattress” that needs a topper (because there are no mattresses available that you can verify that the comfort layers are good quality) then sleeping on it (perhaps uncomfortably) for a short while can help you identify the type of topper that would work best with it using the information in post #2 here and the posts it links to as a guideline.

I think you will be fine not only now but even more so the next time you need a new mattress (or topper) as well :slight_smile:


OK so we went back to Leons, and the woman we spoke to was very friendly and helpful. Downside is we have to keep the mattress for 30 days - that’s how long it might take to adjust, they say, but I’m not sleeping on the mattress any more so it’s a bit meaningless!

They didn’t have either of the low-foam models I wanted to try - though she said their Dartmouth store might have them so we might be taking a trip out there to see. The one we tried that seemed best of what they had was the Kingsdown Alumni (who comes up with these names).

It’s firm, and doesn’t seem too bad for foam layers (given the other options). I don’t know anything about the various layers they mention, but the link to the product is here:

Product Details: Quilting:
¾" High Density Foam and 22oz. Silk & Hollo Fibre

Comfort Layers:

½" Posturized BluTek Gel Visco
1" Solid Firm Foam
Flexatron Support Pad


Pocket Coil (Twice Tempered)
Concentrated Centre Third

Edge System:

Airflow Surround Foam Encasement

I’m still really wary… I wish I could get an old school mattress with no fancy foam in it! But I’m guessing this will be better than what we have? I plan to go back and lie on it for at least half an hour reading a book to see how that goes, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on the various layers, and the brand if you have any knowledge of it? (‘the cadillac of mattresses’ according to the salesperson. I should have told them not to bother with all the sales speak!)

Hi izzi81,

I don’t pay much attention to brand because a mattress is only as good as it’s construction and the quality of the layers inside it but Kingsdown is one of the 15 largest manufacturers in North America so they are a well known brand even though they are not very transparent about the quality of the materials they use and they usually aren’t particularly good value compared to other similar mattresses.

The specs you listed show only the 3/4" of polyfoam and some mostly synthetic fibers (hollo fiber) in the quilting and then another inch of firmer polyfoam and 1/2" of gel memory foam in the comfort layers so in the overall scheme of things this isn’t too bad (it’s still more unknown foam and fiber than I would normally choose but it’s less than you would normally find in most mainstream mattresses). This would probably make a good base mattress for a topper.

The coil isn’t usually the weak link of a mattress but a zoned pocket coil can make a good choice for an innerspring. They also don’t mention the density of the polyfoam they use to surround the innerspring. Overall though this would be the general type of mattress I would be looking for in a situation like yours to minimize the amount of “suspect” materials in the mattress.

That’s probably a good idea and I would also use the testing guidelines to test it in all your sleeping positions. I would keep in mind that when you are looking for a mattress/topper combination (or there’s a good possibility that you may need a topper) that the mattress part would be much firmer than you are comfortable with. The ideal would be to test the mattress and a topper at the same time. If the mattress by itself provides you with good PPP without a topper then that would be a bonus.


Hi Phoenix, thanks so much for the reply. I really appreciate the time you take to help people in their hunt for a good mattress!

The Kingsdown one we looked at seemed like it might be OK without a topper, but I think when I go and lie on it for a longer length of time that’ll give me more info on that. It’s unfortunate it’s not a brand you recommend, but then none of the brands I have to choose from are ones you recommend, so I’m a bit stuck there!
Ideally I’d prefer one with springier springs, but that doesn’t seem to be common here, it’s more the foam that is used to provide cushioning etc.

Thanks again, and if we do need a topper I’ll definitely be back to research them on here :slight_smile:

Hi izzi81,

I actually don’t recommend any specific brands … only mattresses that use good quality materials that are disclosed no matter which manufacturer’s name is on the label. Some manufacturers are better than others though at disclosing the quality of their materials but this also depends on the specifics of the mattress, the store that is selling it, and the knowledge and experience of the retailer more as much as the brand itself.

Unfortunately though (as you mentioned) … if an original purchase is made at a store where none of the manufacturers disclose the quality of the materials in it and you are limited in an exchange to what they have available … then the best you can do is minimize any questionable or unknown materials and then add a topper if that is necessary. Some “cheap” mattresses with a good quality topper can be a much more suitable and better quality and value choice than a much more costly mattress that uses lower quality materials in the comfort layers of the mattress.

I’m looking forward to hearing about what you end up choosing and the forum is always available if you need to do any “fine tuning”.

I would always keep in mind that a choice that is too firm is always easier to correct with a topper than a choice that is too soft which requires the removal or replacement of layers rather than adding something on top of them.


Hi again!
I spent over an hour in Leons today and narrowed things down to 2 options. Both are Kingsdown, one was the firmest they have in stock, the other was a softer one which I thought was softer due to springier coils rather than anything else, but having looked up online I now see it has 4" of foam in its ‘comfort layer’. I guess this is another one to be avoided? I really liked the springier feel, but I guess I’m setting myself up for a fall with that much foam… It’s funny because I did lots of mattress poking and prodding as well as lying on them in the shop and I was sure there wasn’t as much foam as that, and I was also sure that I was sinking down to the springy coils (which was fine with me because they were springy) which is not something I’m doing on our current mattress (the one I’m out to replace).

½" High Density Foam Plus ½" Gel High Density Foam and 22oz. Silk & Hollo Fibre
Comfort Layers:
4" Convoluted Foam
Insulator Pad
Flexatron Support Pad
Pocket Coil (Twice Tempered)

So I may have to go with the firmest option, although I didn’t find it as comfortable. So I’m here to ask a general topper question. I’m not really a big fan of foam, or latex, I prefer more natural materials. Are there any options that might be good to add to a firm mattress to give it a bit more of a comfort feel without the foam sinking issues I was having with the previous mattress? I had read a bit on here about wool toppers, but I don’t know if there are any other fibre options.

And a side note… why are sprung mattresses so often not springy any more? I liked the springy feel lol.