Slight back pain in morning

My mattress is 2" 22ILD talalay over a zoned dunlop core (I think it is 31-35-31, but not sure)

IT feels fine at first, but I wake up in the mornings with a slight pain in the arch or small of my lower back. (when sleeping on my back) It feels as though something is causing my lower back to arch, or at least the pain is exacerbated if I arch it more on purpose. The slight pain seems lessened if I put a pillow under my knees. That seems to flatten out my lower back. I’m guessing this sounds like the bed is too soft and my hips are sinking in too much, but I am not sure about that conclusion.

With this setup, my shoulder feels ok side sleeping, but I usually don’t wake up on my side, so I don’t know if there are any long term consequences.

If it means anything, I also find it a bit more comfortable to sleep tilted over a little instead of flat on my back.

If the hips are sinking in too much, and the bed needs to be made firmer, what possibilities are there to tweak the top layer?

  1. Go to a foam shop and have them slice 1" off the 2" topper
    1b) then add a 1" firmer layer if this puts me too close to the core
  2. replace the whole 2" with a slightly firmer foam, either Dunlop or Talalay
  3. ???


Hi beanbag,

  1. If the pain is only slight, and I believe this is a new mattress, you should make sure to give it a bit. It can take some time for you to adjust, and the bed will break in also. Making changes now might not be as helpful as desired since both you and the mattress will change. Different people say different times to adjust but especially if the pain isn’t serious then a month would be good. I have a similar thing going on with some mattress materials I’m trying, and likewise giving it some time to see if/how I adjust so I’m doing this very step myself.

  2. If you cannot tolerate the situation and need to try something, you could try removing the top 2" altogether temporarily. See what impact that has.

  3. If you get into the realm of wanting a 1" topper instead of 2", and if you already have a preferred foam store, verify they’ll cut a 22 ild talalay down to 1". A few I’ve spoken to asking the same thing wouldn’t cut smaller than 2" because they felt their tools not able to cut to such a thin profile with a soft latex material.

Hi beanbag,

I would “echo” dn’s comments.

I would also keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean the mattress is too soft and it could even be connected to the zoning which may be “holding up” the small of your back more than your body is used to which may be an adjustment issue or an actual alignment issue.

It would also be helpful to know if you had the same pain when you slept directly on your zoned core with the “soft” side up.


The surface feel is much too hard if I lay on the bare core (plus cover), so I never bothered to sleep that way.

Waiting for the bed to break in a bit makes some sense on one hand, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure it’s only going to get softer. Also, I’m not sure I buy the notion that my body needs to get “used to it”. Maybe that is the case, but if you hit the optimal configuration, shouldn’t it work out right away?

I checked again, and this store claims that they can slice it in half.

I don’t think it’d be true to say if you hit your ideal, then it should work right away. It should be close.

I didn’t think I bought into the body adjusting thing either, but I do more now. You’re changing the position(s) your body will have while unconscious, and your body will react. How it reacts and what you feel in the morning will change as your body/you find subtle different ways to adjust to accommodate pressure. Some things might be ‘good’ alignment, but feel very foreign even. Some things may go away… Some may not.

Hi beanbag,

You can read more about adjusting to a new mattress in post #45 here and in post #7 here.

While each person’s adjustment period is different depending on the many factors that can be involved (and a new mattress will also go through an initial break in period as well) … there is no doubt that there is an adjustment period with any new sleeping surface to some degree.


I gave it a few more days, and the pain was exactly the same each time. Then I simply removed the topper and slept on the core. The pain was exactly the same. Then I tried the standard trick of putting a pillow under my knees, but the pain was exactly the same. Namely, I can fall asleep just fine, but I will wake up a few hours later, or in the morning, with lower back pain. Once I get up and stretch a little, the pain goes right away.

My current theory is that either some of my back muscles have gotten too weak from lack of exercise, or that I just don’t move around enough at night. If the bed is too soft (this is when I have my topper on), then I kind of just settle in one spot the whole time. In fact, I have noticed that this bed seems to develop “temporary soft spots”, in that there is an uphill sensation if I roll out of this indentation, onto a cooler, higher, firmer spot. My guess is that warmth + moisture temporarily softens the latex. When I roll back to the original spot an hour later, it seems fine.

If the bed is too firm (using the core only), then I am stuck flat on my back in the same spot also.

Maybe I need just enough firmness to promote movement during the night.