I am seriously considering buying a latex mattress but am a little reluctant based on comments I have read that some people actually feel backaches after starting to sleep on a latex mattress. I know that Phoenix has remarked that it can take a while to get used to sleeping on latex and that you have to give it time for your back to adjust. My concern is: I am getting a new mattress because my back is hurting from my old mattress. I really don’t want to buy a mattress that makes my back hurt more than it does now. I am wondering if people who have had the experience of not loving their latex mattress immediately (i.e. their body ached) could comment on whether (1) they got used to the latex mattress, (2) they had to return or exchange the mattress or (3) the mattress softened up and became more comfortable.
Phoenix - how common is it that people feel sore after starting to sleep on a latex mattress?
Everyone will be different, but I too was worried about this. You can read about my experience here. I think that my overall impression is that latex is a bit more “fiddly” to find your perfect configuration. But now that I’m finding mine I’m really happy. I think the fiddly nature is because it is more immediately apparent if what you have isn’t perfect for you. With innerspring/pillowtops I think it is easier to feel immediately comfortable because they all feel kind of the same at first - fairly overstuffed with fluff. And maybe you find out that it isn’t quite right for you after your exhange/return period has expired. My old innerspring pillowtop was built when they were still made well. I got 15 years of very comfortable use out of it. When I started looking for a replacement and found this forum, I learned that many innerspring mattresses are not made as well anymore. I checked out the local manufacturers who still build quality innersprings, but none of them were quite right for me. If I had found a perfect match, I would have gone with it. But since I didn’t find my ideal fit, I decided to give latex a try since it is so configurable. I’m very glad I did. I think that even if you adapt slowly to latex, the generous 90 day return policy of the better online vendors means that if you don’t adapt, you’ll know it before your return period expires. I’ve had mine for less than 2 weeks, and while I’m still working on the fine tuning, I’m confident it is going to work for me. And not just work - but likely be able to be tuned to be perfect for me!
Hi starfish 9 (and awoods),
It’s not the latex that causes back issues (or any other material for that matter) but the design of a mattress and whether it’s a good match for you or not in terms of PPP. There are hundreds of different latex mattresses and one may be “perfect” for someone while another one may be completely unsuitable for them to sleep on. Any combination of materials or any mattress design can work well for some people and not for others. There is no material that is “better for backs” than another because it always depends on whether the mattress is keeping your spine in neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions although having said that … latex does have an unusual combination of properties that gives it the ability to contour very well (which is important for good support) and it also has a higher compression modulus so that even softer latex can be more “supportive” than other types of foam materials. There is more about what I call primary support and secondary support and their relationship to pressure relief in post #6 here and in post #7 here.
The break in and adjustment period is part of any new mattress purchase that is different from the mattress you are used to sleeping on and would be part of any new mattress purchase … latex or otherwise (see post #3 here). Latex will soften and “break in” less than other types of foam materials.
The most effective way to see whether a mattress is a good “match” for you in terms of PPP is based on your own personal testing or sleeping experience but when you can’t test a mattress in person then the options you have after a purchase to either exchange a mattress or individual layers or return a mattress would normally become a more important part of each person’s personal value equation.
Hopefully some of the other members will see your question and share their experience but I would be very cautious about using anyone else’s experience as an indication of your own because each person can be very different and one person’s experience may be very different from someone else. In general terms though … there are many examples of members that have thought that their mattress wasn’t a good “match” for them at first but after 30 days or so were sleeping very well and this is common throughout the industry with any type of mattress or material.
Can you please post what make and model mattress you bought?