Support plus pressure relief; can't find both

Thank you for this website; what a wealth of information. I’m seeking some direction on next steps after many efforts of finding a mattress that works for me. I’m a woman in her 40s, 135 lb, 5’3", with wide hips, short torso, and narrow shoulders. I prefer to side sleep but often seem to flip onto back at night. I’ve had arthritis and SI joint issues in one hip for many years. I can’t find a mattress that gives me both lower back support AND pressure relief for my hips and shoulders. Right now I’m miserable, getting extremely poor sleep and waking up sore, no matter what I try.

History, chronological:

-10-12 years on a “Luxury Firm” innerspring from a mainstream/pre-bed-in-a-box retailer. My hands would often fall asleep/tingle at night. The last couple years of it, my lower back would also hurt.

-Summer 2020: Bought Sleep on Latex, soft model (at their advice). Horrible lower back pain and didn’t like the rubber band-like latex feel; returned after 3 months.

-Fall 2020: Really wanted to stick to the all-natural latex approach, so bought Naturepedic EOS Trilux, which has 3 layers of latex; I switched the layers around in just about every configuration (e.g., from top to bottom: hard-medium-soft; hard-hard-medium; hard-hard-soft). Every configuration resulted in extreme pain and soreness in lower back or hips. Also, latex always felt like it was pushing (painfully) against my joints and so responsive that I wasn’t stable in bed – it felt like my tiniest movement would ricochet me into a different position. It wasn’t relaxing or comfortable. Sometimes I would come out and sit on the couch at 3 a.m. just to give my body some relief. Returned at 3 months and swore to never try latex again.

-Winter 2021: Ordered Casper Nova Hybrid. It was truly a dream for my hips and shoulders and really felt like a cloud…but a nightmare for my lower back (plus, that cloud-like foam was really hot). Returned at 3 months.

-Spring 2021: Ordered Helix Midnight Luxe (their medium version, for side-sleepers). Opposite of Casper Nova, it was a dream for my lower back – the best I’d felt in many months or even years! – but painful for my shoulders and hips. The general feel was “hard,” not comfortable or relaxing. I would have ordered a topper, but it was already a really tall mattress, so instead I…(see below).

-Summer 2021: Switched to Helix Sunset Luxe (their softest version, for side-sleepers). This is similar to Casper Nova Hybrid (although not quite as soft); lower back pain but more comfortable for hips (not so great for shoulders). I feel like my midsection is sagging into the mattress, and my whole body feels contorted at night.

The mattresses I’ve been ordering online have all been on a platform bed with 3" gaps between the slots and a center support (running horizontally, and a center leg).

I have no idea what to do next. Trying out mattresses in person is challenging with the pandemic (we’re very cautious with Delta variant). I’ve read up on purple but wasn’t impressed by their seat cushion and worry a mattress would be too “latex-like” for me. The rare times I get a full night’s sleep, I feel like a different person, but generally I wake up multiple times during the night, with either lower back pain or hip pain (sometimes both), plus tingling hands on firmer mattresses. I feel like I’m catnapping all night, like the sleep you get on an airplane…and then am in a haze during the day. And I’m concerned about my long-term disease risk (cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s, etc.) from this chronic poor sleep.

Thank for you bearing with this long narrative. Any direction – brands, types of mattresses, etc. - that you can throw my way would be so deeply appreciated. Thank you!!

Hey FullNightsSleep,

Welcome to The Mattress Underground :slight_smile: ! You’ve provided a beautifully documented essay of your mattress shopping journey. Thanks for sharing your sleep history, personal stats, and detailed list of the mattresses that you’ve tried this past year. Your shopping frustration comes across loud and clear; you understandably sound disappointed in the amount of lost sleep and rest that you’ve endured while trying to replace your older mattress.

I am sorry to learn of your ongoing arthritis and SI hip joint issues; those must be quite trying on their own without the challenge of finding optimal back support and pressure relief for your curvier side-sleeping position. As this is your first time posting on the forum, I recommend a couple of Phoenix articles for your review to help you with more ways to research shopping for mattresses. The first that comes to mind is"Different Types and Categories of Mattresses", a recap of the types of mattresses and their constructions that are widely available. "Your Sleeping Style: Overview"explains the roles that your personal stats and preferences play when choosing a particular type of mattress. For example, curvier profiles generally need thicker comfort layers for optimal pressure relief. As an average weight side sleeper, a 3" comfort layer should work well. Finally, "Five Steps to Your Perfect Mattress"organizes the mattress shopping process into a series of steps, leading up to the decision making process.

History, chronological:

-10-12 years on a “Luxury Firm” innerspring from a mainstream/pre-bed-in-a-box retailer. My hands would often fall asleep/tingle at night. The last couple years of it, my lower back would also hurt.[/quote]

As the mattress ages during regular use, its original comfort and support feel can change over time in response to changes the user(s) go through themselves, potentially leading to some of the issues you describe. You don’t say, but it seems that up until the point that you began experiencing hand circulation/ lower back problems, you seemed to enjoy your Luxury Firm innerspring mattress. Have you considered replacing it with a mattress of a similar construction? Our bodies also change as we age, and what once was an ideal comfort and support feel may take more of to get the same (or better) feeling results. What qualities did you like about the innerspring mattress? Which ones would you change? For brevity and clarity, I won’t quote/ comment on each of the previous unsatisfactory experiences other than to note that you seemed to have ruled out all latex mattresses, as well as memory foam/ memory foam hybrids, and also have ruled out store visits. Unfortunately, there are limits to what advice can be given from an online forum perspective, especially if you have received recommendations from the manufacturers before purchase without success. I do urge you to review the above articles as they will help you develop a better strategy for mattress shopping. Meanwhile, if there is a particular mattress or two ( but please, not five, lol :wink: ) that you have questions regarding durability potential, let us know and we can help out with that. Good luck with your research and thanks.