Same problem with new and old mattress

I am a 70 year old combination sleeper (mostly side) with shoulder issues. I was sleeping on a very firm mattress over 30 years old. After I gained at least 40 lbs. I noticed that after sleeping on m side and rolling onto my back I could feel a depression where my stomach had been and also a thin raided area next to it. The ridge was very uncomfortable on my back. I tried toppers. First a 3” latex topper, then a 3” memory foam topper. The memory foam helped the most but I still felt it. Thinking I just needed a new mattress I bought one (medium plush). I have sleeping on the new mattress for over a month. It is still very hard and my shoulders still hurt so I put a total of 4” talalay latex topper on it. It helped somewhat but I can still feel the depression and ridge when I roll onto my back like I did with the old mattress. Additionally, I have trouble repositioning myself on the mattress. I am thinking this may be caused by being 50 lbs. Overweight. Whether it is an old hard as a rock firm mattress or a new medium plush one the same thing happens. Also, I thought a softer mattress would alleviate the pressure points on my shoulders but it does not. I am going to return the new mattress but don’t know what I really need. I don’t know if it’s my weight, the mattress or both. Do you know what is causing this and what kind of mattress I should buy?

Hi gregtames,

I am a 70 year old combination sleeper (mostly side) with shoulder issues. I was sleeping on a very firm mattress over 30 years old.
After I gained at least 40 lbs. I noticed that after sleeping on m side and rolling onto my back I could feel a depression where my stomach had been and also a thin raided area next to it. The ridge was very uncomfortable on my back. I tried toppers. First a 3” latex topper, then a 3” memory foam topper. The memory foam helped the most but I still felt it.

While it’s understandable that your 30 year old mattress would break down over time, causing ‘divots’ or ‘ridge’ areas, that certainly should not be the case with a new mattress, since any mattress you choose will be unique to you based on your Stats (height, BMI, sleeping position(s) and any underlying health conditions) and your PPP (Posture & alignment, Pressure relief and Personal preferences). While only you can tell for sure the type of mattress and foam material you like, I can see some red flags in your description so you may want to check on some issues before moving forward. In general terms the most important part is that any new mattress you are considering meets the Mattress Durability Guidelines and that it matches your new BMI.

You also might want to take a look at the Mattress Shopping Tutorial on how to find a good mattress retailer, And the Mattress Specifications You Need To Know to compare them with the Durability Guidelines

Since you have had the same issue with 2 mattresses of different ages and comfort levels, this raises the question of whether the frame or system you have in place under the mattress is sturdy enough, and has a good center support to the floor (this applies to all mattresses over twin size). I would check, if the frame is slatted, that the slats are not bending too much, and that there is a center support and adequate number of legs. It’s possible this is a compounded problem – gaining some weight, plus incorrect comfort level plus not enough support under the mattress and add to that foam breakdown, can equal aches, pains and uncomfortable nights.

and per @Phoenix… “You can test this by placing the mattress on the floor and sleeping on it for a few nights to see if it makes any difference. It may be that the wood slats quality is not adequate and may be compounded by the lack of central support would result in excessive bending under your weight and the weight of the mattress.”

Thinking I just needed a new mattress I bought one (medium plush). I have sleeping on the new mattress for over a month. It is still very hard and my shoulders still hurt so I put a total of 4” talalay latex topper on it. It helped somewhat but I can still feel the depression and ridge when I roll onto my back like I did with the old mattress

If you are still using the Saatva Classic you mentioned in your post a few days ago, since this is a memory foam comfort layer on top of a pocketed coil layer and innerspring. Memory foam (in low densities … less than 4lbs/cuft for normal BMI ranges) is prone to breaking down prematurely leaving ‘ruts’ but it shouldn’t be wearing in that quickly or have the same type of worn areas as your old mattress…you may also want to have your back checked by a healthcare provider to make sure you do not have a misalignment problem or other issues.

It is still very hard and my shoulders still hurt so I put a total of 4” talalay latex topper on it. It helped somewhat but I can still feel the depression and ridge when I roll onto my back like I did with the old mattress.

Depending on your weight, adding a very soft thick topper may not work; if this 4” topper is too soft you will sink down and ‘bottom out’ on the firmer layer below. You need to add a layer that is not so thick and soft that it causes you to sink too much or be out of alignment due to sinking. The top comfort layer needs to have some support for the recessed areas of your body so that your spine does not collapse out of alignment.
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Whether it is an old hard as a rock firm mattress or a new medium plush one the same thing happens. Also, I thought a softer mattress would alleviate the pressure points on my shoulders but it does not. I am going to return the new mattress but don’t know what I really need. I don’t know if it’s my weight, the mattress or both. Do you know what is causing this and what kind of mattress I should buy?
Additionally, I have trouble repositioning myself on the mattress. I am thinking this may be caused by being 50 lbs.

The added weight will cause the body to go out of its habitual comfort zone and have to adapt. Memory foam products are well known for the ‘dead sand’ feeling and issues with repositioning. A very soft layer even for latex will create similar issues but not as much as memory foam. This may also mean that with thicker layers there is little support for the lumbar area which does not come in firm contact with the support layers and will not be held up well by a memory foam that “melts” under pressure. It can also present problems for those who prefer some “assistance” in their movements on a mattress as memory foams responds very slowly to new and changing positions and some have described it as a little like “sleeping in sand”.

You look like you need to do a hard reset, consider the issues above mentioned, and revisit a few mattress 101 basics starting with the tutorial page.

Other things to consider: When you lay on a compatible mattress, the profile of your back from behind should look the same as it would from behind while standing. The comfort layers should allow the ‘pointy bits’ of your body to sink and ‘fill in’ the gaps as between your hips and ribs. Any undue twisting or sinking can cause alignment issues and muscle and joint pain. If it’s possible, the best thing to do would be to visit a local showroom and try a few different types and firmnesses of mattress of differing materials to zero in on what you like. Memory foam, gel foam, polyfoam, latex, latex hybrid…these can all feel very different to a sleeper. A too soft mattress can feel equally painful to a too firm one. You might want to try a medium firm topper, as depending on your BMI, a plusher comfort layer may allow you to sink too far into the mattress. You mentioned the memory foam topper seemed to feel better than the latex, but keep in mind the Mattress Durability Guidelines; latex is by far one of the most durable materials for mattresses. I will say that many of the Trusted Members of the site carry toppers of foam as well as latex, you might want to speak with one of them regarding your comfort issues to see what they suggest.

~ Basilio

Since my post i have read most of the tutorials and it appears Saatva is built of quality materials. I don’t think the plush/soft was the right choice for me. It is on an adjustable base which is thick and strong. I am returning the mattress. Yesterday AI visited a Verlo mattress showroom. They manufacture their own mattresses and don’t compres them in a box. I liked the v9 in FIRM (no pillow top). It was the easiest to move around on with just the right amount of cushioning. It has 1" 4lb. memory foam and 1" latex followed by minicoils and 15 gauge pocketed coils (I’d rather have 14 gauge). My shoulders did not hurt, probably because of the minicoils. . The sales person was unable to answer my specific questions but I may return and be able to talk to someone who knows more. If I do I will try to spend 15 minutes on the mattress. There are a few factory mattress manufacturers that sell directly to consumers in Wisconsin. Verlo is one of them but I have read some bad reviews. Beloit Mattress is the one I like best (one of your members) but it would cost $250 to have a mattress delivered to my location.

The delivery fee is worth it for a quality mattress. My husband and I just drove an hour and a half to Shovlin Mattress Factory in NJ to try their mattresses. Maybe the issue is with the strength of the coils. I think Saatva uses 13.75. Not to bash Saatva, but we have their luxury firm for two weeks and are returning it. It may be defective, but we aren’t heavy weights, and it developed one inch impressions that feel more like sagging by the second night we slept on it. When we got to Shovlin, we tested their classic innerspring first. We could feel the support and quality right away. We tried all of them. The Nirvana is awesome if you want all foam with zero motion transfer. It was very comfortable. Because I have a lot of back problems, we ordered a Classic Tri Zone that has a felt pad across the mattress under the top layer of padding that gives extra support for your back and hips. They use denser foams and 12.75 coils that aren’t prone to deep body impressions. So, depending on where you live, you might be able to find a local manufacturer who has samples to try. I was looking at Beloit also because I trust the manufacturers who Mattress Underground recommends but decided that it was probably better, in my case, to go try them in person.