i have tried to review as much info here as possible over a short period of time. Very helpful but I do have a neurological condition that does impair my total comprehension. I do have fibromyalgia and need a mattress to help ease pressure points. Did research on latex mattresses and decided on the PLB Nature. I am in MS so limited on manufacturer any where close to me. Found a dealer about 60 miles from here who quoted me a good price on a king size and went to purchase on Saturday evening knowing that after we tested it we would have to drive another 40 minutes to get the king size. Dealer suggested I try the pamper to see if it would work. I could indeed tell some difference in the two, the pamper being more firm. Both were tested with 3" topper. Because he already had the pamper at that location, we decided to go with it. (I knew my husband was not crazy about driving further and we both thought the pamper felt good in the store.) First night on it last night! Oh my! I hurt like crazy especially my hips all night! I am more sensitive and thought i might have to give it more break-in time. However, my husband hurt all night as well both his shoulder and hips. Now what to do? Do we try to swap for the nature or is latex not for us? I had previously tested the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme and loved it in the store. But then I began thinking latex might be the way to go. I want to call the dealer as soon as they open and try to see what our options are. We both dont think we can sleep another night on this mattress. I am 250lbs and my husband is 230lbs. I am scheduled for weight loss surgery in a couple of months so I will be losing weight. Any insight you can give me will be greatly appreciated!
From what I have learned researching I’d say you may want to try and tough it out for a few more nights to let your body adjust. My Sealy Latex crapped out plus my partner was sick so I went back to my old tried and true Restonic and had all kinds of trouble sleeping.
The body needs to learn to relax and adjust to the new sleeping position or so I am told. This is why the layer exchange/adjust periods are relatively long.
Thanks TD! I did expect some adjustment but not this much. We are both truly hurting a lot! We were sleeping on memory foam previously and it has bottomed out and we were hurting but not this much. Still wondering if we should get a softer latex, the next one up is the Nature, or just stay with memory foam but get a Tempurpedic. I know that there are other memory foams that are better value, but I will probably have to do an exchange with the same dealer.
I can’t say, I’m far from an expert just opinionated. What I can say is that you went from sleeping in quicksand to sleeping on a supportive surface.
I can’t stand the memory foam mush and truly think they’ll be gone in a few years. The consumer is learning that they are not the answer.
I’m in limbo myself. What I read and insticnt tell me latex, but I have yet to find one that I lay down in and say Oooh. Unfortunately teh best feel that I have found is a Stearns that I know will not last. Personally, I find that I need 4-6" of decent compliance on top of a very firm core. 3" latex on air doesn’t do it for me.
My go to bed (cheap) for backup (and they suck for couples due to motion/pressure transfer is this:
I’ve owned a similar model for several years now and use it for travel. I get up pain free at the cabin, BUT bear in mind I do need to get up occasionally to fire up so that may make a difference versus trying to sleep straight through. I recently upgraded the cabin sleeping to a Flexsteel hide a bed with the Majestic Air 2 setup. It’s a 3" mattress with a 3" air chamber on top and inside a mattress quilt. Believe it or not it works.
Just talked to dealer and he suggested that we exchange for the plb nature and use it with the 3" topper. He also sells tempur-pedic and I asked about exchanging for that but he says he really likes the latex better. He has slept on the plb nature for three years and thinks that will work for us. I think that is what we will do. Can’t exchange until Wed. or Thurs. anyway. Give us some time to think it over. Don’t really won’t to sleep on this one again but maybe it will help us get use to the latex feel.
I also tested the Stearns and Foster latex and liked its feel. It was at a clearance store for a really good price. However, reviews indicated that it did not hold up well.
Also, if you look at PLB mattresses do not let the retail price turn you away. Some dealers will negotiate better than others. I feel that we got a fairly good deal on ours.
The Tempurpedic and the Stearns and Foster are both mattresses I would completely avoid … although for different reasons.
Most (but not all) of the Tempurpedics use high quality materials but are not good value compared to other mattresses that use similar quality materials and sell for much less. This is not an issue with good quality memory foam as much as an issue with the value of Tempurpedic’s versions of it which IMO is poor.
Stearns and Foster doesn’t have what I would call a true latex mattress. They all use layers of polyfoam above the latex which quickly become the weak link of the mattress and yet most people who buy them aren’t told that they are sleeping mostly on polyfoam with the latex layers deeper in the mattress. Some use less of this than others (the extra firm models) but they would not be among my choices unless there were no other options available (for example an exchange where I could only choose among mattresses offered by a particular store and there was little else available) and then I would use a better quality topper with them. They also use the lowest cost and quality of latex available (synthetic Dunlop) and yet charge prices of much higher quality materials. Even worse when they develop issues in 3 or 4 years (or less) … most people think it’s latex which is the problem.
The PLB pamper is a good base mattress to use with a topper because it has a very firm support layer with only 1" or 2" of softer latex on top (depending on whether you have the newer version with the active fusion and blue cover or the old model with the white cover). There are many people who have done very well with this by adding a latex toper (usually not the PLB versions which are very soft and more costly). The issue with the PLB topper however is that they are all very soft and with your heavier weights they would easily “allow” you to “go through” them and still feel the firmness of the layers underneath them. IMO as well … their toppers are not really suitable for your weights because they are too soft and you would need such a thick combination of the comfort layer in the mattress itself (which is also quite soft) plus a soft PLB topper to isolate you from the firmness of the support layers that you would have a real risk of alignment issues. In addition to this … with your weights a topper that soft and thick could have durability issues … even with latex.
If you do decide to go with the Nature … it is a step up in the softness of the comfort layer over the Pamper but I would still hesitate to use a 3" PLB topper over this because the change may be too large for you unless you have specifically tested this combination both for pressure relief and for support/alignment and have complete confidence that it is “perfect” for your needs and preferences. Without this confidence … I would start with the Nature itself and then use your experience in sleeping on it to decide on what type and thickness of topper would “fine tune” it the way you wish and would probably tend to use a slightly firmer topper which would isolate you better from the firmer layers below and paradoxically may feel softer to you (because less of the firm layers are “coming through”). Of course you could do the same with the Pamper by adding a firmer latex topper as well (say 3" of 19 ID latex which would give you a total of 5" of soft latex on top … assuming you have the new version of the Pamper) but this may still be on the soft and thick side for good alignment. Don’t forget that comfort and pressure relief is easy to feel but if you also don’t take alignment and support into account (and make choices based on pressure relief alone) you could end up with the issues that are connected with poor sleeping alignment which includes back issues (especially with back or stomach sleeping) and issues that could come from hyper extension of the joints (for example sleeping on your side but sinking in too far with your hips so your hip joint is out of neutral alignment). The goal is always “just enough” thickness and softness in the comfort layers (including any toppers) and no more to provide good pressure relief in all your sleeping positions (and make sure you test specifically for this in the store) so that you also have the best possible alignment. Mattresses that are too firm can always be fine tuned for extra softness with a topper but mattresses that are too thick and soft on top or that don’t provide the correct support are much more difficult to “fix”.
When you are making changes … I would make them slowly and I would also be very hesitant to make changes based on a single night or even a few nights experience although in your case is seems clear that the combination you have is not going to get much better. I would also be as accurate as possible with your testing in the store so that your initial choices are already closer to what you need and prefer so that if you do need to make any changes afterwards that they are much smaller and less dramatic. Any mattress itself will have an initial break-in period and there is also an adjustment period involved in any new sleeping surface that is significantly different from what you are used to so if anything it will become slightly softer over the first few weeks and I would take this into account as well. If you make changes too quickly or in too large steps you may not give your body time to catch up to the changes and getting to your version of “perfect” will become much more difficult as you “fix” one issue only to discover another one has taken its place.
I suspect that this is not so much an issue of latex itself as it is in getting the combination right and it seems clear to me that what you have probably isn’t right at all (and I wouldn’t buy anything where your in store testing causes any doubts or indicates that it may not fit your needs and preferences because it may cause more “convenience” and “time” issues than the ones you are trying to avoid). You may also have other options in the area besides just the specific PLB models you are looking at as well (if you let me know where you are I’d be happy to point you to any other options I’m aware of) although you may already be limited to what the specific store you purchased from has available which could make things more difficult.
As you mentioned … there is a wide variety of prices with the PLB lineup … especially with dealers who are still looking to clear out their old models. Some of the forum members here have done very well with them. At their regular prices or with smaller discounts they are “better than average” value compared to many other mainstream mattresses but are not a good “value comparison” to many all latex mattresses offered by many smaller manufacturers unless the discount is significantly larger. As with all matttresses though … making choices for reasons that don’t take into account your specific needs andpreferences ina a mattress can lead to difficulties and frustration down the road
In your cases though I would try to come closer to a PLB model that worked well without a topper at all (perhaps just slightly firmer than you are comfortable with) or perhaps use toppers that were more suitable for your weights and needs (and are less costly) than the PLB versions which I think are much too soft for you (which as I mentioned can make the mattress feel too firm).
Thanks for all your insight. I do have a couple of questions. Since I have fibromyalgia I hurt most all the time. Lots of trigger point pain. So when I am trying out mattresses it is hard to discern what is really comfortable while laying there for 30 minutes or so. When I tried the Tempur-pedic cloud supreme on an adjustable bed I felt like I was in heaven for those 30 minutes. But the price was so high! Continued looking at others such as icomfort. None of the local stores carried latex. I live in southwest Mississippi and to my knowledge no manufacturers close by. I did go to a clearance store in New Orleans last week while I was visiting there. I believe it was one you had referred to previously on this site. Cannot remember the exact name right now. That is where I tried the Stearns and Foster latex. Then read that they do not last long. Read about plb and thought that might work. Closest dealer is 1 1/2 hours away. Quoted me a really good price over the phone for the plb nature which is what I went to try knowing that he did not have that model at that store to buy. After I tried it we were going to have to travel another forty minutes to pick up at another location. However, he did have the plb pamper in stock there. I could tell a difference but did not think it was significant. Must have been more significant than I thought! However, neither of the plb’s had the initial heavenly feel of the tempurpedic cloud, but I can move better on the latex than the foam. Also, the pamper was the blue top with the 3"topper.
How do I discern the pressure relief and support/alignment? This seems really difficult for me. After sleeping on the pamper with topper for two nights I have pain in my hip area after laying there for awhile and continue to hurt thru the night. My hubbie has hip and shoulder pain. Should I know this immediately upon laying down?
Could you recommend a particular brand name topper that we could consider with the plb? I do believe that at this point, we will be able to exchange only with the dealer. I think plb is the only latex he carries. He also carries Tempurpedic. He personally prefers the latex rather than foam.
Thanks for all you do on this site to help educate everyone on mattress purchases!
First to the part of your question about mattress testing. The goal is always to test specifically for pressure relief (which is generally easier) and for alignment completely relaxed in all your sleeping positions (for at least 15 minutes). Each sleeping position can have different “issues” (for example side sleeping may have pressure issues and back or stomach sleeping may have alignment issues) and each needs to be tested separately. The most important part of this is to listen to the more subtle cues from your body because any discomfort you feel in a showroom can get worse over the course of the night because time can make both pressure issues and alignment issues worse. There are some guidelines for testing for pressure relief here and for testing for alignment here and in post #11 here. Listen carefully to what your body is telling you and how relaxed and how well you can completely “let go” with no muscle tension on the mattress rather than focusing only on a subjective and less meaningful sense of “comfort”.
When you test mattresses with the specific intent of identifying pressure relief and posture/alignment … it will be much more accurate than just testing for more subjective ideas of comfort and if you tend to err on the side of firmness (bearing in mind that all mattresses will soften to differing degrees in the first few weeks) it increases the odds greatly of making a good choice and that any “fine tuning” will be less and involve making the comfort layer softer which can be done with a mattress pad, protector, or topper without having to exchange the mattress itself.
Rather than a brand … it’s usually a better idea to identify a material and the thickness and softness of that material that has the best odds of matching your needs (pressure relief and posture/alignment) and preferences. Prices will vary between manufacturers and “brands” but the material itself is what is really important so if you know what you want from a material point of view then you can make meaningful comparisons between brands. Post #4 here has some of the better sources of different toppers I’m aware of although of course it is by no means a complete list.
When a mattress is too firm and you are looking to make it softer … it can be very difficult to make specific suggestions for someone else because they can’t feel exactly what you are feeling on the mattress and there are many variables involved in terms of the thickness and softness that may work best for any particular person. An example is your own circumstances where a topper that is too soft can feel too firm while for someone else it could be the opposite issue where the upper layers themselves are too firm. Some rough guidelines for what topper may work best for different people are in post #8 here.
In your case … you already have a comfort layer that is 4" (the 1" in the mattress and the additional 3" topper) which means that it is already on the thick side and the issue is not so much that it is too firm but that it’s too soft which is “allowing” some of the underlying firmness to come through because your heavier weights are sinking through the top layers more easily… Because it is already quite thick … it would be more important to choose the thinnest possible topper if you were considering using it in addition to what you have already.
If you were replacing the topper you have … my tendency would be to try a 3" layer in the range of about 24 ILD which would allow you to sink through it less than the 14 ILD you currently have and has better odds of isolating you from the firmness of the layers below. Even this would be on the soft side for your weights but I think this could be a good idea with fibromyalgia. The very lowest I would go is 19 ILD but this may also have some risk of allowing you to “go through it” more.
If you want to keep your current topper … then it would be a matter of deciding how much more you need to isolate you from the support layers (a touch to a little … a little to a fair bit … or a fair bit to a lot). I certainly wouldn’t go more than 2" (probably in the 24 - 28 ILD range) and I would put this underneath your current topper so you have the same “very soft” 3" surface layer and then an additional 2" underneath this (to help with the transition between the soft topper and the firm support layer) all over the extra 1" of 19 ILD. In effect you would be building a “nest” with different layers
If you think that “just a touch to a little” would be enough for you and taking into account that thinner is better for alignment … then I would choose an additional 1" and also put it under the current topper. Once you are good with what you have … then you can always buy a new topper cover to keep them both together if you don’t want two separate toppers.
I know this is not an exact science but hopefully this can give you a good sense of which may work best for you and some of the tradeoffs involved (choosing between softness and thickness and the risk of alignment issues).
Thank you so much! You are such a wealth of information! The links you suggested helped me understand so much more. I really like the visual diagram of correct alignment.
At this point, I believe that I will exchange the plb pamper for the plb nature. I do not think I can exchange the plb 3" topper. So we could add another 1" - 2" topper of 24-28 ILD. Could I possibly use the cuddleewe topper instead of the additional topper? Also, do you believe the plb beautiful would be too soft for us?
I f we go with the nature combination, should our bodies be able to continue to acclimate as we lose weight? I do expect to be at least 80 lbs. lighter by this time next year and my husband 30 lbs. lighter.
If you do decide to go with the Nature … I wouldn’t add another topper because the Nature already has an additional 2" of latex in the comfort layers compared to the Pamper and the slightly firmer latex is below the softer latex as well which would be a little better order for the layers than having to add the slightly firmer latex topper on top of softer latex. In effect … the Nature already has the topper we were discussing inside it so if you go in this direction I would try the Nature with your current topper and nothing else and then do any further fine tuning that may be necessary after you had slept on this for a few weeks.
I would take one smaller step at a time and if you exchange for the nature I wouldn’t add anything else until you have evaluated it.
While only your own personal testing can know this for sure … I would think so yes and it’s not the direction I would go in. It would almost certainly be much too soft with the additional topper.
Yes … the advantage of the Nature/Topper combination is that you could change the topper instead of the whole mattress if your needs change as you lose weight.
I wouldn’t add another topper because the Nature already has an additional 2" of latex in the comfort layers compared to the Pamper and the slightly firmer latex is below the softer latex as well which would be a little better order for the layers than having to add the slightly firmer latex topper on top of softer latex. In effect … the Nature already has the topper we were discussing inside it so if you go in this direction I would try the Nature with your current topper and nothing else and then do any further fine tuning that may be necessary after you had slept on this for a few weeks.
Where does one find the layer specs for teh PLB mattresses?
Thank you again so much. One more question…Is the adjustable bed worth the extra money? I saw where you had the Reverie Deluxe I believe? I can get the king from the same dealer for $2100.00 including setup when they exchange mattresses. With the mattress and adjustable bed, this will be quite an investment. These beds look wonderful but is it really worth the extra? I was wondering if the zero gravity setting would relieve pressure points. Also, since I am a side sleeper would this limit its use?
Wish I could tell you exactly where I saw it! It was on one of the sites that actually sells them. I am sure that Phoenix will know what they are. Maybe google layer specs for the particular mattress. I may have done that as well. Sorry, but I have looked at so much and did not write it down thinking I would remember. However, my fibro fog has prevented that! lol I am definitely going with the nature, that I can remember!
The Talalay GL fast response used in the new versions replaces the 19 ILD Talalay used in the old versions and it would be reasonable to guess that they use 21 ILD (it comes in 15, 21, and 27 ILD). The other layers would likely be the same.
Yes … we do have the Reverie Deluxe. I think post #3 here has my thoughts about whether or not it’s worth it or any particular person but in essence it’s a preference that each person would need to decide for themselves. It also has some links for pricing references and comparisons.
The zero gravity can relieve pressure points and tension when you are on your back but it wouldn’t be suitable in the most pressure prone position which is on your side. It would be similar to using a pillow under your knees if you are a back sleeper. It helps to tilt the pelvis which in turn flattens the lumbar curve and relieves lumbar stress but if you are a side sleeper then it would be best to use it flat when you are sleeping.