Pure Latex, no Bliss

Was hoping for some more input from this wonderful forum (thank you Phoenix).

We purchased a PLB mattress from Healthy Back – their “Serenity” model which I believe is the same as the “Pamper”. I know the mattress is 8" total and it has Celsion so I believe it is the “new” Pamper, 6" + 2" rather than the older model with three layers.

We had to send the first one back because it was not flat (see my previous posthttps://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/issue-with-new-latex-mattress).

The replacement, same model, felt much firmer to us and so we added the 2" PLB topper.

All was well, for about 8 months…then both my husband and I started to be uncomfortable again. We tried rotating mattress & topper 180 degrees, but now it is worse than ever - especially for me.

Trying to figure out exactly what is going on and how to fix. I don’t understand how the mattress could be good for several months, and then suddenly no longer work for us. PLB says the following on their website:
Will my new mattress be perfectly flat after I sleep on it for 6 months?

No. A mattress is very much like shoes in this regard. A slight amount of indentation is normal just like where the heel of your foot sits in your shoes. Mattresses are supposed to be pressure relieving, which means that your mattress will naturally follow the shape of your body over time. You do not want your body conforming to your mattress; that would create pressure causing you to toss and turn and fragmenting your sleep.[/i]

However, from the above I would still not expect the mattress to change to the extent that it is no longer the same sleeping experience – I thought latex was supposed to be durable?

As to what we are experiencing now, I had started developing neck pain before we rotated the mattress (tried a series of pillows to try to rule that out). Once we rotated the mattress, now it is more lower back pain for me. We are both primarily side sleepers, and I have noticed that instead of sleeping with my knees stacked directly on top of each other, I tend to twist and end up with the top knee down on the mattress in front of the other knee. I am 5’1, 120 lbs and my husband is 5’11, 180 maybe.

Reading some other postings about this mattress (see links below), in retrospect it makes sense that us side-sleepers needed a topper for the Serenity/Pamper since it is a firmer mattress (although I can’t explain why the first mattress that we kept for a few weeks seemed plush enough).

I guess my questions are, does this sound like the problem may be the mattress is too firm despite the topper? Or any suggestions how to pinpoint the problem/ remedy the issue? We are hoping that the mattress itself is OK and that we can make it work with another/ additional topper…

Thanks for “listening”!




Hi crl2,

They could probably confirm the layering for you but their mattress could be similar to the version 2 mattresses (with one layer on the bottom and one on the top) except they use Celsion (now called Talalay GL or Active Fusion by PLB) on the top instead of the regular Talalay. Regardless of the specific construction though … the issue would still need to be resolved.

Latex is the most durable of all foam materials but softer latex (or any foam material) will be less durable than firmer latex (or a firmer version of any material) and the topper you have is at the very bottom end of the softness scale. There are many factors involved in the durability of a mattress (see post #4 here).

In addition to this … durability is relative to the person because even relatively small amounts of foam softening can lead to the loss of “enough” comfort or support that would take some people “over the edge” if the mattress was “on the edge” of being too thick or soft for you in the comfort layers when you first purchased it (see post #2 here) even if it would still be fine for someone with a different body type or sleeping position where their original choice was more in the middle of the range of comfort and support that was “neutral” or more suitable for them. Your husband is also a little larger so his side may be softening a little more under some parts of his body which could change the symptoms for you when you rotate the topper.

There are also other possibilities that could lead to changes in how you sleep on a mattress including changes in the person themselves, sleeping positions, or changes in other parts of your sleeping system (such as a foundation, mattress pads, pillows, or anything else that is between you and the floor).

As you already suspected … upper body and neck issues are often connected to a pillow and the alignment of the head and neck. Lower back issues are often connected to a mattress where your pelvis is sinking in too far relative to the rest of your body and affecting the alignment of the lumbar. Rotational alignment is also just as important though and if you are out of rotational alignment (the spine is twisting) it can also take some time to develop “symptoms” (just like some things are OK in the short term but can cause “symptoms” if they are repeated over the longer term). From your description and the fact that you are a side sleeper it seems that your sleeping position may be “rotating” your lower body which can also lead to stress on the lower back which can develop over time. I would probably experiment with a fairly thick pillow under your upper leg to lift it up to see if that helps with the rotational alignment issues that may be causing your “symptoms”.

It’s also possible that you may need a slightly firmer topper which may reduce the amount your upper leg is sinking into the mattress and twisting the spine (if that turns out to be the cause) but I would start with trying a pillow under your knee.


Thank you Phoenix!

That’s funny you mentioned using a pillow under the knee, my husband actually has been doing that for months. I thought it was more that his bony knees touching each other was causing pressure, and never thought to try it myself as an alignment aid.

Anyway I tried the pillow last night and I had a lot less tossing and turning/ changing positions. Still woke up with lower back pain, but that’s probably not something that will either develop or go away overnight.

I still think we need a more permanent solution but glad to have something easy that I can use while we try to figure this out. Thank you!

I also like your idea of a firmer topper – I do suspect that the Serenity/ Pamper on its own is too firm for us, and that we are just “going through” the 2" topper because it is just too soft. Even with the topper, the overall feel of the bed is that it is firm.

We are now past the return period so will be troubleshooting to make this work as best we can. My next step is to try out a 4 lb, 2" memory foam topper that I have, either in place of or in addition to the PLB topper.

We remain concerned about our experiences with PLB mattresses – I noticed that another poster also felt that the Serenity/ Pamper mattress he tried out in the Rockville MD store felt more plush that that in another store. This was our experience too; the in-store as well as the first model we had did not feel as firm as our current model. I am going to touch base with the Rockville store about this.

But between that and our experience with the first mattress not being level, I wonder is there is more variability going on than would be expected for different mattresses even of the same model. In retrospect, the specs for the Serenity/ Pamper should have clued us in that it would probably be too firm for us side-sleepers, but the store model and the first mattress we received just did not feel that way. It was a bummer to have to waste our warranty swap on some weird problem, only to then discover that our mattress choice was off.

Thank you again for all of your wisdom!

Hi crl2,

That’s often the case and one of the paradoxes of mattress design is that a softer topper (or comfort layer) can often feel firmer if it “allows” more of the firmness of the deeper support layers to “come through”. I hope the pillow helps. A body pillow can also help with rotational alignment because it can help prevent side sleepers from twisting part of their body away from pressure points too much and causing alignment issues.

It would be interesting to hear there feedback or if other customers have had similar experiences. In most cases talalay latex is very consistent in its firmness level (ILD) so there would be little variation between mattresses (outside of the normal break in period which would cause some difference between newer and older mattresses) but there is always the chance that a batch of mattresses were made with the incorrect ILD of latex.

If it’s a matter of the mattress breaking in then your mattress would eventually soften to a similar level to the floor model in the store (which may have been there for a while). There are also differences between different versions of the PLB Pamper (version 1, 2, and 3) Version 2 of the PLB specs are here and Version 3 are here. The Healthy Back models may be slightly different from both.