Sealy Othimum inspiratin

I just bought a sealy Othimum Inspiration and slept on it for two nights and my lower back hurts. The sales person said this was a firm yet soft bed. Do you think the destiny or radiance would be better for lower back pain issues? Also what is the deal with the 120 day garantee ?

Hi Mindsey93,

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a mattress that relieves lower back pain except on an individual basis which has nothing to do with the type or materials used in the mattress but on how well it keeps your spine in alignment in all your sleeping positions. The most common cause of lower back pain is a mattress that either has comfort layers that are too thick and soft or support layers that are too soft and allow your heavier hips/pelvis area to sink down to far before they are “stopped” by firmer layers in your mattress.

The two basic functions of a mattress is that it relieves pressure and keeps your spine in its neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions and different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences meansthat a mattress that may help one person with lower back discomfort and pain (to the degree that any mattress can) may actually make it worse for another person with a different body type and sleeping style.

Depending on the store that offers them … these are often a way that the salespeople don’t have to put much effort into helping you find a mattress that is most suitable for your individual needs and preferences. All they have to do is get you to buy a mattress … any mattress … and they have locked in their profit because you generally need to exchange your mattress for another one that has the same or greater cost so the exchange can actually be another profit center for them. As long as they can sell your original mattress to a discounter or sell it as a floor model then an exchange for another mattress of the same or higher price and any fees involved can provide them with a little extra profit.

In other cases it is a “hidden cost” built into the mattress where people who don’t use the exchange policy (who test the mattresses they are considering more “accurately”) are paying the price to subsidize the people who do use the exchange policy.

While I understand the perceptual “value” of these policies … they are mostly used as a marketing tool (in combination with other marketing tools that help to create a sense of urgency) to convince consumers to buy something while they are in the store so that the store can “lock in” a profit before you go somewhere else and find something better. The only time that these policies have any real value is if they include an option for a refund (and even these are a hidden cost built into the mattress) and even then there are often fees and costs involved as well as many “pressures” to convince you to exchange the mattress instead of refunding it.

In many cases … the stores that offer these don’t have any mattresses that have the quality and value that I would consider buying or exchanging for in the first place (including the Optimum lineup). You can see the site’s mattress shopping guidelines here including the first one which suggests to avoid major brands completely.

For those who are looking for the best way to find a mattress that is not only suitable for your body type, sleeping style, and preferences but has the best possible quality and value … post #1 here has a series of steps and links to information that can greatly improve your odds of finding the perfect mattress … for you.

If you have the option for a complete refund at little cost … then that is probably the best options you have so you can start over again and find a mattress that has much better quality and value. If that’s not possible … then hopefully you can exchange for any other mattress in the store and some of these are more suitable for your needs and preferences.

If you have to exchange for another Optimum model (and you can see my thoughts and analysis of the lineup in post #48 here) … then the next model down (the Radiance) has a thinner comfort layer but it also has a lower quality and softer support core (and you may not be able to exchange for a lower cost mattress). Overall it would be a little firmer. The Destiny is another step down and has the thinnest comfort layers of all (and is the firmest of the lineup) so it would probably be the “best” in terms of alignment but perhaps not as good in terms of pressure relief (and again you may not be able to trade down depending on the details of the policy at the store). The next model up (the Vibrant) has the same higher quality support core as the Inspiration but uses thicker layers of memory foam in the comfort layer. These thicker layers are also firmer though so this would also be slightly firmer (for different reasons) which may also help with better alignment. both would b somewhat “risky” choices and again you would be locked in to the poor value of the Optimum lineup.

In a perfect world … and if that was possible … I would choose a refund and start all over again with better quality and value mattresses.