I had an inner spring mattress that wasn’t super comfortable. It was a hand-me-down and my spouse decided to surprise me with a new bed. Well, he bought a Tempurpedic in winter even though I warned him not to because I anticipated offgassing. The seller balked when we wanted to return it, because they wanted us to keep it for a long time.
The offgassing made me really sick and we were finally able to return the beds but they didn't want to refund our money. So, we got inner spring beds. The one I got seemed very comfortable (thick foam plush top) in the showroom but I have had to sleep on a comforter that's folded in half (to double it). Otherwise, it is too firm. I have had several episodes of severe lower back pain which are probably related to the spinal curvatures I have (kyphosis, lordosis, and scoliosis). I went to doctors who gave me bad advice and ended up becoming injured due to a combination of weight lifting and tennis. The bed I have sinks in because of the foam which seems to be leading to lower back pain. However, I also get back pain from a bed that doesn't sink. Firm beds are impossible for me. For instance, the latex bed (85/15 blend) at Ikea was much much too firm even with the pillowtop. Just being on it for a short time caused my back to hurt. The other bed they sell, which is marked firmer, was like laying on a brick. My lower back seems to be irritated by both firmness and softness—but especially firmness. One oddity is that I went to a Best Western and slept on a firm bed on top of pillows. I used nine of their pillows, both to sleep on and to use behind and in front of me (I mostly sleep on my side). Although I tossed and turned and it felt uncomfortably firm, I didn't have pain the next day. I am 6' 2" and weigh 160-165 lbs. I used to weigh ten pounds less, so I'm thinking of trying to lose some weight to put less stress on my back, but I'm concerned that I will then have less padding when sleeping. When I was in Japan for a month in 2010, I slept on two futons and a blanket on top of a tatami floor and didn't have back pain, although I did have numbness in my hands from circulation issues from my arm being pressed. I had tried a room next door that had a Western innerspring bed and it was impossible because of the hardness and pressure points. I had another bout of severe lower back pain recently, after a badminton match. I couldn't stand up for almost six days. I also have to sit on a stack of Tempurpedic pillows in order to use a car. I even have to have pillows when I sit on a booth at a restaurant. If I don't use the pillows, I end up with pinching pain (probably from swollen discs). If I sit in the plastic chairs in one of my classes I end up having trouble walking and standing sometimes. So, it's clear that my body needs a lot of softness to avoid making the discs swell, especially when I'm sitting. I think some of my back pain may be from inflammation from allergies. My house has bamboo flooring and I think it is still off-gassing after all these years, although not nearly as much as it did when it was fresh. Every time I would come home from being away I'd smell what was probably formaldehyde (a sort of burnt paint odor). This brings me to my next problem. I am apparently allergic to latex and I just bought a bed from Savvy Rest. I had no idea I was allergic to latex, because the only thing that happened to me in the past was a strange dry feeling on my skin after touching it, with just slight itching. I touched raw latex at a showroom and the skin thing was all that happened. I didn't get a headache or anything. Since the bed was delivered and unpacked, I have had headaches, dizziness, nausea (no vomiting), itchy skin (no welts or redness), scratchy throat, a feeling of lethargy, overheating/sweating, itchy/burning eyes, and dark circles under my eyes when I wake up. There is an very [b]powerful[/b] (not mild at all like most people have said online) odor of cake batter from the latex layers, even when they're in the wool/cotton enclosure and covered with sheets and two feather comforters. As soon as a I walk into the living room, where I put the latex pillow I bought, I get an instant headache. That is not an exaggeration. I had tried a synthetic blend at Original Mattress factory and I couldn't tolerate the odor, especially the pillows, but since their stuff has a lot of synthetic (60% I think), I assumed, based on all the comments about natural rubber only having a gentle mild hypoallergenic odor that I would be OK with 100% natural. The smell of the synthetic blend was different from what I recall. It didn't smell like cake batter. It was overpowering to say the least. I don't know how anyone could use one of those pillows, and those were out in the showroom not fresh. I played a tennis match (I still play, although I try to be careful) the day after having sleep in the same room where the new bed was and I couldn't move well and kept missing routine shots. It was like I had donated a lot of blood and had no energy. It was also hard to focus and see the ball. It was as if the ball was not where I expected it to be. I am concerned that my allergy is going to result in brain damage from swelling or something. I tried taking an allergy pill (generic Zyrtec), but it didn't seem to have any effect. I've never used that stuff before. My headaches go away as soon as I'm away from the latex, but just stepping into the room and smelling the odor causes them. In fact, I'm in my bedroom (the mattress was moved out of the house into the garage) and I'm getting a headache (more mild, but still annoying) just from the residual odor plus the pillow that's downstairs. Of course, there is the new pine foundation in my room which doesn't have nearly as strong an odor, but pine can be allergenic—especially to a former artist like myself who used turpentine. I know the foundation isn't the bulk of the problem, though, because I had the latex layers in my room before I had the foundation. I have already lost money because of the Tempurpedic deal (I think I got a bad deal on the innerspring replacements, particularly since mine was a floor model that was supposed to have been heavily discounted but may not have been). I'm losing money by replacing a bed that's only three years old. Now, I have a very expensive latex bed that I probably won't be able to use. I really don't know what to do. It's essential that I get a decent amount of sleep because if I don't my lower back will get bad and I won't be able to function. I'm a graduate student and I simply can't afford to become an invalid. It's hard to focus on my schoolwork with a headache. The other problem is that the firm-med-soft bed I got is too hard, even with two feather comforters folded lengthwise (I have a twin xl). I knew it would be too firm because I tested at a showroom. But, I couldn't afford the talalay topper. I have found a very inexpensive 3" soft dunlop layer that should take care of the firmness, but with my apparent latex allergy it looks like I'm out of luck. I've read that even natural rubber can be processed with ammonia, toluene, "sulfur" (I assume it's a sulfur compound not the element alone), and can have fillers like ash and clay. But the bed doesn't smell like ammonia (Windex). It smells like cake batter. I am really frustrated. I was hoping I'd finally be able to have bed without pressure points that wouldn't make me sick like memory foam.