sorta bit the bullet

So, I’ve been lurking this forum for months and finally joined. We were long time owners of T pedic for the past almost twelve years. The first five years were great.Then the hammocking started to set in. We got older and fatter and this year I put my foot down and said the mattress must change. I bolstered my hammocking enough to be a temp fix. Earlier this spring we got the aerus from same and it was heavenly for two weeks.Then it started to sink too fast. We are both very heavy, both over 250, both side sleepers, females 67" male75", both broad shouldered. In other words a mattress nightmare. We were able to return theaerus with absolutely no problem. We are four hours from the closest member mattress place (cozypure). Latex looked like our best bet for durability. We were able to test out savvy rest locally ,but cannot afford the system. At that time, we ,oddly, agreed on the soft talalay pillow top over soft/med/firm Dunlop. It gave a feeling of cushy but supportive. So, not having the money and still very scared to pull the trigger, BC of cost and latex allergies, we ordered the Sams organic mattress/ innomax white night. After some ridiculous shipping issues, lost mattress found days later, the mattress arrived. Of course, phoenix is dead right it feels firm.however, not as firm as I feared. We’re on day four of breaking it in. The firmness is throwing out both of us on the hips and shoulders, thus lower back pain. I know, duh. My thought is to take the risk of adding a topper of soft 3" talalay. Oddly, I’m enamored with the latex even though I’m still not sure my allergies are being affected. I’m waking up stuffy. Can’t be sure, its cold season , ya know. The fact that my 1700+ dollars can’t be lost because of Sam’s policies is still a huge reason for me to work with this mattres.So should I wait the break in 30 days to see how much this will soften or start thinking topper? If so what are some suggestions?

Hi Redneckrecycler,

You can see some suggestions for fine tuning a mattress that is too firm in post #2 here and if you do decide to go in the direction of a topper there are some topper guidelines in post #2 here and the posts it links to but I would tend to wait for a while (the minimum I would suggest is about 2 weeks if possible) before making any changes.

If after 2 weeks or even a little longer if possible you are still experiencing “symptoms” I would also make sure that you assess the underlying cause of any symptoms you are experiencing very carefully because the most common cause of lower back pain is that your pelvis may be sinking in too far (even if your shoulders aren’t sinking in enough) and if you were to add too much thickness or softness on top of a mattress where this is the case it could make things worse.


So, I’ve given the mattress a couple of weeks to soften and to get used to the newness.
I think I’m out of alignment when sleeping on my side. I seem less supported and have less pressure relief on this new mattress than I was on my 12 yo Tpedic with the towels under it to compensate for the hammocking.

The best way I can explain it is that, on my side, my spine is like a tilted smile. My hip is definitely down in the mattress by about three inches of depth. My shoulder is sinking about 1.5". My waist is in a gradual curve between them. I don’t know if the comfort layers are just too soft to support heavy me, I do sink way in at the hip and the waist is left with little support. I am an apple shaped heavy person. I can barely get a hand between my hip and the mattress, but can really easily get a hand in at the waist. I feel hard pressures on my hip and upper thigh after the first half hour of laying down, where I sink the most, so I’m flipping from side to side often. I’d bet they’re resting on the support layer. Upon rising, my back hurts from my shoulder to below my shoulder blade on whichever side was last touching the mattress and just above my waist down to my tail bone and across both hips in the back. This pain goes away after I hobble into my hot shower in the morning. I’ve started laying on my back for a little while before rising to relax the muscles before I get up which does help. However, I cannot sleep on my back for various reasons and it is definitely not my preferred position.
I tried putting my old shred filled Tpedic pillow (2.5-3 inch center height at 68 degrees with no weight) under my waist/ribs and achieved almost perfect alignment and little pressure on shoulder or hip, but it’s very annoying to shove a pillow under my waist/ribs and have to stay put on top of it when turning over. Squished under me, the pillow is taking up about 1.5" of very firmed up space.
I took the cover off to see if the layers were swapable, but the whole thing is wrapped in felted wool under the mattress cover. Nice, but not helpful. I was going to double the top 3" to see if that would solve the alignment without having to blindly order a topper, but can’t get to them.
I don’t know if the top three inches are just too soft to support heavy me, I do sink way in at the hip but the waist is left with no support. I have a very slight drum affect with my sheets, but it’s so slight, I don’t think it’s creating the problem. I tried laying in the same position with the sheets off and my spine is in almost the same position, but I can feel the mattress meeting around me a bit more snugly than with the sheets on.
I tried laying on the whole thing gently folded on itself, laying directly on the bottom of the base layer and my alignment was actually a little better, but not great. But it was a brief lay and I think desperation is setting in. ( It was folded b/c my husband thinks I’m “overthinking” and was not helping. I can’t flip the whole thing by myself.)
On my husband’s side, his lower back looks straight to me when he’s laying on his side, but his spine starts to tilt up starting at his shoulder blades and on, just like my upper body feel like it’s doing. I caught him sleeping almost on his face a couple of times, which he hasn’t done in a long time and is bad for his back, he has two ruptured and one bulging disk in his lower lumbar. He seems to like the Latex in theory and is unwilling to go back to memory foam even as a topper b/c of perceptions of the lack of durability, which I can understand.
Unfortunately, my spouse is giving me diddly for constructive verbal feedback so I can get this right. All I’m getting is," it’s better than the Tpedic, but my lower back is still stiff when I get up". The one time he is not being picky and detail oriented and it can affect this health. AAArgh!
I read the posts about toppers and am still confused. If I felt my waist would be supported in the right topper, I’d guess I’d need a 3" based on the different between my ribs and outside shoulder and my waist to my outside hip. I noted the caution to not add more softness as my hip might sink too far. I’m afraid my waist will sink too.
What I think I need given this mattresses current configuration, theoretically, is for my hip and shoulder to sink an inch or so each and my waist to be supported at baseline and for his shoulder to sink probably an inch and a half. So are my current comfort layers just too soft to begin with or what?
Man, I wish I lived closer to one of the member manufacturers. I also sort wish I was younger and thinner and could practically sleep on a rock without noticing. (tee hee)
So do I send it back and start over? Add a memory foam 2.5 inch 4lbs topper for $99 to tweak/test? Specifically compensate for the waist hip ratio under a lanoodle so as not to throw off hubby and give both our shoulders a touchy more wiggle room?
I apologize for babbling ,but I’m a little sleep deprived.
To rip off Stars Wars…" Help me Mattress Undergrounders, you’re my only hope."

Hi Redneckrecycler,

You are going down a complex path that may involve some trial and error with no guarantee of success.

If the issue with your mattress is that your comfort layers are too thin or firm then adding a topper would help but if they are already thick/soft enough or if the issue with your mattress is that the support layers are too soft then it’s very unlikely that toppers will help. It’s also quite possible that both the thickness/softness of your comfort layers and the firmness of your support layers (which are fairly soft at 28 - 32 ILD) could both be an issue.

If you are committed to trying to “make your mattress work” then I would focus on a more symptomatic and visual approach (along the lines of the testing guidelines) that focused on your spinal alignment and the actual symptoms that you “feel” instead of trying to figure out how many inches you are sinking in or going by “theory” which can be far to complex and not nearly as relevant as your actual experience on the mattress. Post #2 here and the other posts it links to talk about the more common causes for different types of symptoms you may experience on a mattress and may help you identify what is happening but these are only general guidelines and only your own experience can really know whether a mattress or a mattress/topper combination will “work” for you or not.

Your mattress also isn’t designed to make changes to the support layers and if this is the underlying issue (which is quite possible) then a topper would only be a temporary or partial solution at best and at worst could make your symptoms worse.

[quote]So do I send it back and start over? Add a memory foam 2.5 inch 4lbs topper for $99 to tweak/test? Specifically compensate for the waist hip ratio under a lanoodle so as not to throw off hubby and give both our shoulders a touchy more wiggle room?
I apologize for babbling ,but I’m a little sleep deprived.[/quote]

This is of course up to you but if I was in your shoes I would be tempted to return the mattress rather than going down the road of toppers that can involve a lot of trial and error (and cost if there are no return policies) with no guarantee of success. If you do choose to experiment with a few toppers just to see if they make a difference then I would at least make sure that there is a good return policy that you are comfortable with (and they will often involve shipping costs as well) so you can return them if they don’t work out well for you on your mattress. The type of material you choose as a topper would be a preference issue.

I don’t know where you live but there may be some good quality/value mattresses available to you locally (if you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know of any better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area) and it may also be worth considering one of the online manufacturers listed in post #21 here that sell component latex mattresses that are designed to allow you to customize the support and/or comfort layers (depending on the design) both before and after a purchase (similar to Savvy Rest) and also have a good return policy “just in case”.


I am near Lynchburg ,Va. Thank you so much for your reply.

Hi Redneckrecycler,

The better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Charlottesville/Lynchburg/Waynesboro area are listed in post #3 here.