Simmons beautyrest firm vs pillowtop for back fusion, latex topper?

Hi there,

I had a spinal fusion, top to bottom done in my early teens, now late 20s. I’ve been having disc degeneration issues in the lumbar area, and suggested to get a firm mattress.
I’ve been going to mattress stores for about a month now. First with the salesperson we settled on a firm memoryfoam, Sealy Soleil. After consulting a few mattress sites, some say that memory foam is not ideal for the problems i’m having. I realize this after that memory foam is hard for me to move and get up on… Since then I’ve changed my order twice, haven’t taken delivery yet.

I believe I’ve narrowed it to two models, budget allowing too…

Both double:

Beautyrest Recharge Elite Essence tight top
13.75 coilgauge
704 coils

1" surface tech foam (silk wood blend fibre)

1/2" posturized geltouch foam
1/2" firm foam.

This one I find i’m supported the most, but I do notice my shoulders have some pain… and might have tingling in the arm. I must say that I’m coming from a soft foam used in cushions… not really any support…

Beautyrest Recharge Elite Wilshire with pillowtop
13.75 coilgauge
704 coils

two layers of 1" surface tech foam (silk wood blend fibre)

1/2" posturized geltouch foam
1/2" firm foam.

The shoulders seemed better, but still had some getting used to it. I do find that I’m sinking more in, I’m guessing due to the extra layers. After lying down on each for about 10 minutes+… spending about 2 hours in the store…

After reading online, I understand that pillowtops might breakdown quicker… but the salesperson said they last longer than toppers.

Looking online, people also say if a mattress is too firm to add a 2" latex topper. I went to another store in the area and tried out a similar bed with their ZedBed Latex/mem foam R2 2" topper, felt good… I managed to try out latex beds with mem foam on top and wasn’t keen on it…
The 2" all latex one from ZedBed is $479 + tx…

Price difference between the Tighttop and Pillowtop is about $200.
I’m debating whether to go for the Tight top… due to reading and some sensitivity I had to sagging… Which would any of you think be the better outcome? I think the firmer one and If I need to soften it there are options…
I currently have a featherbed topper that I hardly fluff due to effort… so looking for something easier…

Thank you very much

Hi npfd,

Just a note about the Simmons from an experience I had with them from a couple of years ago. My wife and I purchased one and my shoulders felt fine when we tried out the bed. When we got home with the bed after about a week I could not sleep in the bed due to the fact that my shoulders hurt so much.

Simmons said it was a comfort issue and they could not do anything for us which I understand in the mattress industry is very common. I found this site on January and if I would of followed the tutorial and asked as many questions I doubt I would of ever bought the Simmons recharge.

The store that sold me the recharge ended up helping us out and then we got a Simmons Comfort Pedic loft memory foam. That bed only last us 1.5 years before the foam softened up to where it was causing me back issues. Again Simmons said that is a comfort issue.

Now I am not saying this to bash Simmons but I will say follow the tutorial at the top of the page. Ask lots of questions and ask lots of questions of Phoenix. Take your time buying your mattress so you don’t end up 1000’s of dollars in the end. If in the end the Simmons is your best choice then I would say go for it, however not without careful testing….

Hi npfd,

Just to reinforce CentralPA’s comments … I would start with the tutorial post (it’s linked in the top right corner of the page and at the bottom of all of my posts) and perhaps reset “how” you look for a mattress.

Outside of the suitability of a mattress for your specific body type type and sleeping positions which you can assess with careful and objective testing for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) … a mattress is only as good as it’s construction and the quality of the materials inside it.

The description you posted says nothing at all about the quality of the materials in the mattress and Simmons and most of the major manufacturers use lower quality and less durable materials in their mattresses (especially the comfort layers which are the first to soften, compress, and break down) than their smaller competitors in the same price ranges.

Without knowing the specifics of the quality of the materials inside your mattress … you would be making a completely blind (and probably very risky) purchase and there is no way to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses. You can’t “feel” the quality of the materials in a mattress.

I would avoid both of the Beautyrest mattresses you are considering.


Thank you both for the input.

Now I’m stumped again :wink: . I’ve been struggling for a month to find a mattress to get as the current one doesn’t support much anymore. I’ve been visiting the mattresse stores about 2x a week, and spending an hour + at times. I’ve been trying to keep the idea that the spine needs to be straight when lying on my side… and on my back, I’m trying to find something that supports it well… without feeling sagging… cause some of these mattresses like the Soleil, and Kingsdown, I felt some sag already… and something that might just get worse over time… I understand that the mattress needs to conform to me too, but maybe I’m getting thrown off in that area. The sales person did mention that it will take about a month to get used to a mattress.

I’ve also contacted some of the manufacturers, for some info at some point in time for info, like the Kingsdown luxury firm.

@CentralPA, thank you for the input about the Simmons… should it be something to avoid? The pillowtop model does concern me a bit, its just more wool and fibre. The salesperson said its good.

@Phoenix, thank you for the input I have looked at the posts and read the tutorials on your site over the last few weeks too, and just revisited now… .
I understand that not knowing the materials of… I don’t know this… and I know the sales person is suggesting I try something out soon, as I have gone back and forth between models many times…

Other beds that were suggested was the Kingsdown Rockwell, with 14.5 gauge, 768 coils, from Kingsdown they say its twice tempered the coils. 9" coils, 19% more coils in the center… Kingsdown rep said that they have the lowest defect rate… Layering is about 3", gel 22 ounces, 1/2" foam gel (unknown densities, did not inquire, more focused on the coils). This one seemed good, but I did feel like the hip area was not supported enough. I’m comparing this more to when I injure myself then I need to go on a carpeted floor to relieve the pain. This is another reason why I might be aiming for something with lots of support instead of full comfort… Cause if I start hammocking a year down the road it won’t be good, and as CentralPA mentioned… have to be careful…
I’ve read some user reviews online about the Kingsdown sagging after a month, padding, some experts find that Kingsdown is limited distribution and should not to be considered… etc… another orthopedic model they have has a coil gauge of 15, but more coils…
These both Kingsdown have foam separator in the middle that stops a few inches before the top… and I’m single, told by rep and salesperson they never had a issue about it…
But if a mattress does sag less than 1.5" within a year how does one go about that?

Memory foam, foam cores, is one I couldn’t find enough support for.

Store #2 I went to… has a brand called Mat Tech, from the salesperson said they supply the hospitals… their coils are compressed by a few inches… here also learned that a 13 range gauge coil is something to look for in a pocket coil.

When I tried out the Essence Simmons, I found myself going back to the Kingsdown Rockwell quilting, presentation of the mattress looks very nice i have to admit… and , I will also admit I did not feel pressure like I did with the Essence. The Wilshire feels better, as the pressure points are more relieved… another thing if I find myself hammocking a year down the road I will be very displeased with my choice, and have more back issues and their warranty is 1.5"

The initial idea I had, was finding a mattress with firm enough support to make me feel like I’m on the carpeted floor, for the disc issues… but also something I could potentially add layers, if needed be, and when I have a bit more cash for it.

I really don’t know what else to do at this point… was told by pros to look for something with firm support for my back and disc issues. and experts online say look for 13 gauge coils and if needed add a latex topper 2" which might be looking way out of my budget… what do you think?

Thank you

Hi npfd,

The only suggestion I can make is to repeat my earlier suggestion which is to follow the steps in the tutorial post which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices and how to avoid the worst ones (including most of the ones you are considering). I would also make sure you also read the links that are included there as well as it seems that you may have missed many of them. It will also help you know which retailers or manufacturers are worth dealing with and which ones to avoid.

There is little point in testing mattresses where you know ahead of time you won’t be able to find out the information you need to make an informed choice or make meaningful comparisons.

You will also find a link there about the risks of using reviews as a way to make a mattress choice.

I would also take these kind of “marketing stories” with a big grain of salt. I have no idea why supplying hospitals has anything to do with why a mattress may be suitable for you.

Once you get to step 3 if you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know of any of the options or “possibilities” I’m aware of in your area.


I am not saying the Simmons is good or bad. As I have found out from the MU each mattress will affect a person differently so one review of a mattress could be totally different than someone else’s review. I was just bringing to light my experience with Simmons and if you said you had some pressure in your shoulder it sounds like it may not fit you in terms of your PPP. Like I said Simmons did nothing for me for a comfort issue and I was not real happy with their customer service. So I just didn’t want you to fall into the same trap I did. However if after careful testing and evaluation you think the Simmons is the best fit for you in terms of PPP then it would be your decision if you want to buy that specific mattress.

I will share my other experience after finding this site. My wife and I did a lot of mattress testing. We drove 1.5 hours to different stores to get to find some beds that seemed to have been better constructed and fit me in terms of my PPP. After careful evaluation we ended up purchasing a bed online. So far I still am searching for the perfect comfort for myself. My wife has already found hers.

The nice option for me is that I can adjust the layers to try to fit my PPP better. That manufacturer also has a 90 day return policy. Just some different things for you to consider. However I would not say go out and order a bed online until you have looked at local resources a little closer as that helped my wife and I.

I hope this helps you out.

Thank you Pheonix and CentralPA!

@Pheonix, I have read the guides again and I am located in Montreal, Canada, thank you again for the input.

@CentralPA, thank you for your input.
I do admit getting in touch with manufacturers was really hard… managed to get in touch with someone at Kingsdown, they provided the info required in terms of coils… info I asked. I’m surprised Simmons didn’t do more than that… which kind of bed did you get?
As for online ordering I’m a bit skeptical and feel more comfortable in person…

Or i go the Simmons route, knowing that I ‘think’ i’m getting a solid coil construction that should not sag for several years… and if it really gets too hard to deal with get a latex topper…

Or I try out the Kingsdown route, and if sag does occur that bothers me is there any way around it? and the 13.75 vs 14.5 coil gauge, and similar number of coils a big deal in terms of durability?

Thank you both again

Hi npfd,

If you’ve read the tutorial post it’s probably pretty predictable what I would say about both a Simmons and a Kingsdown mattress.

It’s unlikely that you will be able to find out the quality of the materials in either mattress (which are most likely in the lower end of the quality/durability range) and without this information (in the comfort layers especially) you would be making a very risky purchase with either one.

The innersprings aren’t normally the weak link in a mattress or the most important part of the durability of a mattress (a mattress will soften, compress, and break down from the top down) and which one would be “best” for you depends on which one your testing indicates is the most suitable choice in terms of PPP. Any “sagging” in a mattress is almost always from lower quality foam layers and materials above the springs which is why it’s so important to know their type and quality. Even worse than visible impressions are virtual impressions where the foam has softened without losing height (which is more common than visible sagging) and you end up losing comfort and support and need to replace the mattress and a warranty doesn’t cover the loss of comfort and support. In some cases, if the mattress is on the edge of already being too soft for you, this can happen quite quickly in a matter of months.

You can read more about innersprings in this article and in post #10 here.

As I mentioned in my previous replies … I would avoid both Kingsdown and Simmons or any other mattress where you aren’t able to find out the quality of the materials inside it.


Hi npfd,

[quote]@CentralPA, thank you for your input.
I do admit getting in touch with manufacturers was really hard… managed to get in touch with someone at Kingsdown, they provided the info required in terms of coils… info I asked. I’m surprised Simmons didn’t do more than that… which kind of bed did you get?
As for online ordering I’m a bit skeptical and feel more comfortable in person…[/quote]

I believe it was the Simmons Recharge Sarah… but I am not a 100% sure. Simmons uses a bunch of different names for the same bed so it makes it hard to compare between stores. I found this to be a particular annoying practice of all the major bed manufacturers.

I will say my wife and I went the online route after careful testing locally. We found that this seemed to be the best option for us. However we did try out some latex beds specificially the Pure Latex Bliss and Savvy Rest.

I would think in the Montreal area there should be some quality sleep shops. There is a reference list that Phoenix compiled for Montreal here

I would also echo Phoenix’s point as if someone is not willing to tell you all the layers in a bed then it is probable a good idea to stay away from them. I mean if you have nothing to hide then why don’t you disclose the information to your consumers.

Of course I found this out the hard way…

thank you both again… I did have a look at the store list, thank you CentralPA for that…

I’m still thinking about all this…

Hi npfd,

I should also reinforce that the list that CentralPA linked (thanks CentralPA :)) includes the better options I’m aware of in the Montreal area and would certainly be the options I would focus on.

You are fortunate to have so many good choices in the area.


No problem npfd. I wish I had some guidance the first time my wife and I went mattress shopping. Hopefully you don’t fall into the same trap that we did.

Phoenix your welcome!