Selecting memory foam with different body size and sleep positions

We are replacing a horrible spring mattress. We have decided to go with memory foam, and have done a lot of research (maybe too much because now I think we have too many options and are confused). My husband has had back surgery, he is 5’10" and 220 lbs, a side or belly sleeper, and usually prefers a med to firm bed. I am 5’4" and 120 lbs, side or back sleeper, and want something soft but supportive. I also have a sever latex allergy. I have looked into latex mattresses also, and while the manufacturers say they are safe for those with a latex allergy I just don’t trust it. The American latex allergy association says there have been documented allergies in other countries, so its a risk I’m not willing to take.

We have tried a few of the Tempurpedic beds in the showroom, but don’t have any experience sleeping on memory foam and have not spent much time trying them out at the store. Is it really worth it to continue to try more in the store? Is it really going to give a realistic idea of the mattress we would order online from another manufacturer?

After reading some of the other posts on this forum Rocky Mountain mattress caught our eye. Do you have thoughts on any of their mattresses working for us? I did notice that some of their mattresses have latex layers. The other mattresses that do not list a latex layer should be latex free, correct? What is the difference (pros/cons) to their mattresses that have many small layers vs. the models with fewer larger layers (tamarack vs Brighton)?

Any help/ recommendations would be appreciated. We would like to keep price around $2000 or less would be great.

Hi MJClem,

While it may still not be a a direction you want to go … post #2 here has more information about the two types of latex allergies. Type IV is not as big an issue while with type 1 it would be much more important to avoid any contact with latex at all (including for example eating in restaurants where the cooks use rubber gloves).

If you are considering an online purchase … the first thing I would do is to talk with the manufacturer or retailer in more detail about your specific needs and preferences. Because they know the most about the specific details of their mattresses, they will have a much better idea of which of their mattresses people with different body types and sleeping positions and preferences tend to need and prefer … at least on average. Because the Tempurpedics are so widely available … many of them will also have a good idea of which of the Tempurpedic models their mattresses would be closest to so that you could test a mattress that was “roughly” comparable to get a sense of how close you are to the “averages” they would otherwise use for their suggestions.

The other direction you could go would be to test local mattresses where the specifics of each layer of the mattress (density and thickness of all the memory foam and polyfoam layers they use) is available from the retailer or manufacturer. This way when you talk with them you can let them know which mattresses you tried that were the best “match” in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) and this would also help them to help you more effectively by approximating the mattress designs you have tried and liked. This of course depends on the ability and willingness of the local merchant to provide you with the information you need (and I would focus on the ones where this information is available anyway).

The more you know about mattresses you have tested locally … the more you will be able to help them to help you with the best possible guidance and suggestions. Averages are fine for people whose needs and preferences are inside “average” ranges for their body type and sleeping style but there are also many people who don’t fit an “average” profile or who are more sensitive to smaller differences between mattresses so the more local testing you do on mattresses where you know the all details of the layers … the better.

I would especially make sure you are comfortable with memory foam materials as a group and have spend enough time on them to make sure this is a material that you like (as opposed to fast response materials) and are also somewhat familiar with the various versions of memory foam that are available because some of them have a faster response than others and variations in how they feel and respond to pressure and temperature. The more you know about which types of memory foam (or any material) you prefer then once again the better an online manufacturer or retailer can “match” you to the mattress that they believe most closely resembles what you have tested and liked both in terms of memory foam type and also in the design and layering that works best for you.

They have a wide variety of designs and will also make custom builds so it would be very unusual that one of them wouldn’t match both your needs and preferences in a memory foam mattress. As you know I think very highly of them and the guidance they provide and when you have a manufacturer that has the knowledge and experience to help you make good choices … it’s always best to talk directly with them for any suggestions that are specific to a particular person. They know much more about their own mattresses, materials, and designs and which ones tend to be preferred by people with different body types and sleeping styles than anyone else. There is more generic information in the mattresses section of the site which can help you understand the “theory” behind different designs which can help you work with them more effectively (and I would strongly suggest reading the overviews there as part of the “basic information” suggested in post #1 here which is the most important post on the forum) but their guidance is the best way to make more specific choices.

Yes … they would just have memory foam and polyfoam.

Different layers, varieties, and combinations of foam (such as a mix of lower and higher density memory foams) can provide different levels of pressure relief, support/alignment, and “feel” which is how mattress designers make different mattresses that are suitable for different types of people. One isn’t “better” than another … they are simply different designs that can help different people find a mattress that is the most suitable for their needs and preferences. For example a couple of inches of 4 lb memory foam over a couple of inches of 5 lb memory foam would feel and respond differently from a 4" layer of either type of memory foam by itself (4 lb memory foam is usually a little faster responding and feels a little softer than 5 lb memory foam) so if two types of foam were mixed together they would have a feel and response that is in between the two. In the same way … variations of different types of support layers would affect how well a mattress kept you in alignment. Many people like some softer foam in their comfort layer even though lower density foams will be a little less durable. The pros and cons would be about how well each design matched the needs and preferences of each person and which of the many “tradeoffs” between different materials and designs were most important to them (such as feel, durability, pressure relief, support and alignment etc).

Your budget is plenty for a “great” mattress :slight_smile: