Pillow top or not

I’m going to visit Shovlin Mattress and wondered if I need firm, but comfortable, is it better to skip the pillow top option? They also offer a removable pillow top option, or the plain mattress. My problem is with 1.5 inch body impressions that other mattress companies consider normal. Would I have less deep body impressions without a pillow top? My husband and I are both normal weight, but I have back problems that cause me to really notice any impressions or sagging. Any advice before I take the trip to NJ?

I am not a big pillowtop fan. Although, my mattress prior to my current new one i got last year was a sealy posturepedic ultra-firm pillowtop, lol. Go figure, had it 11 years. If you are traveling to NJ, you may want to head down the parkway and make it a full day affair and check out https://mycustombedding.com/
These guys have been in business since 1900 or so and still make horsehair mattresses and pillows. It doesn’t get any better or more comfortable than that. They still make old fashioned innerspring and boxsprings too. They are exit 135 on the gs parkway.
I would go for a tight top and use a topper. Body impressions are normal, deep depressions are not. But some natural materials will just be subject to impressions. Horsehair is very resilient and bounces back and is super cool. Doesn’t retain heat at all. They make great toppers too.

Shovlin has a natural horse hair mattress, so I’ll try it when I’m there. I didn’t get any quotes for them, but read that a king is about $10,000. I watched a few Hastens videos, and they look nice. I can’t spend that much, considering I wasted money on a Stearns and Foster estate less than two years ago and the 1.5” depressions it developed the second month or so were torturous on my back. We have an old spring mattress with cotton batting in our guest room that is still comfortable, but only a full size. It would be perfect if it was a king with a little more padding. My husband is getting tired of my mattress issues, and when I go to NJ, my mom is probably going with me, unless I can convince husbandy to drive. So I don’t think I’ll try to find the other place on GS. Thanks. I really appreciate your advice.

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Hi Cheri,

There are a few factors in whether you will enjoy a pillowtop style mattress or not; if you are a higher-BMI sleeper, depending on the thickness of the pillowtop layer and what’s it’s made from you can ‘sink’ too far, bottoming out on the firmer layer(s) below, which can cause aches pains and even alignment issues over time. Any ideal mattress will be based on your Stats (height, BMI, sleeping position(s) and any underlying health conditions) and your PPP (Posture & alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

I would pay close attention to how the pillowtop feels when you try it in person; the ‘1.5 inch body impressions other companies consider normal’ is really based on the size of the sleeper and the material in the comfort layer. A medium firm or firm latex layer would not have a deep ‘body impression’ for a lighter sleeper, but a ‘plush’ layer of a few inches would of course sink in more noticeably.

I will also say that Trusted Member of the site [Shovlin Mattress] have a great deal of experience in matching sleepers with their ideal mattress, so let them know your concerns and the feel you are looking for and the can guide you in finding suitable options. I do wish you success in finding your next great mattress!

Hi Basilio. I have spinal fusion from a car accident that fractured L1. It’s fused with three other vertebrae, and also developed arthritis above and below. I’m 5’3” and stay under 130lbs, so not that big. We tried an all foam mattress, and I can’t stand the sinking feeling. We have a two week old Saatva luxury firm that we’re sending back. It’s not supportive enough, yet feels hard, and causes pressure point pain. Both my husband and I sleep on our backs or sides, never stomach. We’re going to Shovlin on Saturday, and I want to try their classic tri zone first, and then compare with the other two in that line. Do you have any recommendations with their mattresses? Thanks!

Hi Cheri,

Wow, I am sorry to hear that! I would say to try a few different firmnesses and types of mattresses…have you considered or tried latex for example? You might want to consider a medium firm latex comfort layer, for example. Remember only you can determine if a mattress is suitable for you - especially considering your spinal fusion. I believe the folks at Shovlin should be able to help recommend a few mattress types that may be suitable. Lett us know how the visit goes!

~ Basilio

Thank you. I’ll let you know! I think after my experience with Lull Mattress and sinking in way too much, S&F’s deep impressions, and Saatva not working, I would be afraid to try any mattress that could be classified as soft or plush. I joke sometimes that I should throw a sleeping bag in the garage or basement, but I think a bit of padding is more comfortable. I think the density has a lot to do with the feel and firmness of the foam. After talking to Dani at Shovlin, I’m confident they’ll be able to find a good match for us.

Our trip to NJ was worth the drive. Dani at Shovlin Mattress Factory was so helpful and explained all the different mattresses. We tried all of them. The horse hair mattress was fun to try and very comfortable, but the best one for my back was the classic tri zone. After trying the non pillow top, we ordered it with pillow top on both sides because we aren’t getting any younger, and we need some padding for pressure relief. My husband was falling asleep on the tri zone, and said he thinks that’s what I need to support my back. We could see and feel the quality, value, and care they put into each mattress. Dani was great! She answered all our questions and made us feel so welcome. A huge plus was the 5% discount for be a Mattress Underground forum member, and the shipping to PA was so much less than I thought it would be, so we splurged on a set of Dreamfit sheets. Dani said they would start building our mattress on Tuesday, and she scheduled delivery for 9/27. It’s nice that they’re that organized that they can give you exact dates the same day you order. If anyone is wondering about their mattresses and lives close enough to get there, go for it. There’s no comparison to anything you’ll find in mainstream mattress stores.