About a year ago I purchased a Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams latex mattress. I’m a 5’10" 155 pound side sleeper who prefers a softer feel, so I chose the 8 comfort level (3" of 19 ILD latex foam over the base polyfoam layer, iirc). The mattress was perhaps a bit too soft feeling initially, but I got used to it within a week and proceeded to sleep comfortably…for about six months.
After about six months, the mattress no longer provided sufficient pressure relief to my shoulder. Sometimes everything would feel fine when I first lay down, but within a few minutes the area of the mattress underneath my shoulder would firm up and I’d start to feel pain. Sometimes the firmness was more readily apparent.
Since then I’ve tried using different spots on my mattress to sleep in the hopes that I had broken down only a small section of the mattress during my first six months of use. Unfortunately, any comfortable area I found would begin to cause the same kind of shoulder pain within only 2-3 days of use. I’m still using this mattress now, a full year after buying it, and if I’m lucky I can find a comfortable spot to sleep every other night, since the different areas of the mattress seem to temporarily “refresh” themselves after a few days without use.
What’s the most likely cause of this failure? I’ve finally got enough money on hand that I can afford to address this problem, but I’d like to avoid another issue like this if at all possible. For the record, my current considerations are the following:
Purchase a latex mattress topper for my current mattress in the hopes that this will bolster the cushioning beneath my shoulder. However, I’m concerned that this will create support/alignment issues for my back and pelvis, since this would make the rest of the mattress softer as well.
An Arizona Premium Mattress adjustable latex mattress with the 2" 22 ILD topper and the 6" 28 ILD core. Obviously this solution is much more expensive than the topper approach, but it would be a purchase that I expect to last a long time.
I don’t think your mattress has “failed” and your experience sounds more like you made a firmness choice that was “on the edge” of being too soft for you and that the relatively small amount of foam softening that can happen in the first months of sleeping on a mattress that is normal for any mattress or material was enough to put you “over the edge” and outside the firmness range that is suitable for you (see post #2 here).
Sometimes when the comfort layers are a little softer than your ideal then you can “go through” the comfort layers and feel more of the firmness of the deeper layers underneath them than you are comfortable with so as paradoxical as it may seem … sometimes a comfort layer that is too soft can lead to a mattress that “feels” too firm.
In other words … this seems to be an issue with the suitability of your firmness choice not an issue with the durability of the mattress or the mattress “failing”.
If the pressure you are feeling is coming from the deeper layers then a 1" or 2" topper could certainly add to the pressure relief and comfort of the mattress and could be an effective solution. The key is to choose the thickness and firmness that would be “just enough” to isolate you from the firmness of the layers you are feeling but no more so that there is less risk for alignment. If you do decide to go in this direction then post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point to choose the thickness and firmness that would have the best chance of success.
While this is certainly a high quality and good value mattress, if I was in your shoes I would probably consider trying a topper first since your mattress would still be in good condition (the latex comfort layers in your mattress are a very durable material). The odds are good that you only need some fine tuning and I would only tend to consider a new mattress if a topper turns out not to be an effective solution for you.
Thank you Phoenix! I hadn’t really considered that my mattress might simply be too soft, but that actually makes a lot of sense.
I’m looking into toppers a bit more optimistically now. I’m thinking of maybe a 2" topper of 22-24 ILD latex, with the goal being to increase the overall thickness of my comfort layer and to make it slightly firmer. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?
It certainly sounds reasonable yes although of course only your own experience will be able to tell you whether a specific thickness and firmness will be a good “match” for both you and the mattress you are using it on. The choice between 1" and 2" would depend on whether you are looking for “a touch to a little” or “a little to a fair bit” of additional pressure relief. The choice of firmness will also depend on whether you would prefer a little firmer “surface feel” on your sleeping surface.
There is also some information in post #2 here that may be helpful because issues with pressure points in the shoulders can also be the result of a pillow that isn’t the right thickness or firmness or from the type of mattress protector that you are using so it may be worth some experimenting to see if either of these make any difference before adding a topper.
I would also make sure that you are rotating your mattress on a regular basis (see post #2 here) so that any softening will be more gradual and even across the sleeping surface.
Thanks for the input. I’ve looked around a bit at topper options and I think I’ve figured out a good plan. I’ll order a 2" 22 ILD talalay latex topper from Arizona Premium Mattresses. Hopefully this solves my problem.
If this doesn’t resolve my issues, or if I feel like “upgrading” in the future, then I can consider spending the money to order the other components of the adjustable latex mattress I mentioned in my first post - specifically, the 6" latex core and the mattress cover. Arizona Premium Mattresses appears to sell these components individually for little to no mark-up compared to the price of their adjustable latex mattress package offer.
Seems like a win/win to me. I think I’ll try to report on my experiences with the topper in this thread once I get it and have had a chance to use it for a week or two.