After doing a fair amount of research, I pulled the trigger on the Ultimate Dreams Total Latex mattress via Amazon (link) with their standard firmness rating of 6. I figured “why not?”, the last time I ordered a bed online, it was the best bed I had ever slept on, although now I realize that I didn’t understand quite why I liked it so much.
Having slept on this new bed a few times now, I am having alignment issues - my mid section sinks it too far while my shoulders don’t sink in to the same level. I am 6’3" at 215lbs and I generally sleep on my stomach or side. It is especially uncomfortable while sleeping on my stomach.
My last bed was a very firm memory foam mattress, which I put a simple 2" egg carton foam on top. It has been an amazing bed.
So my question is, do you think I can swap out the top layer of the bed for something firmer and fix my alignment issues? I explained Chuck’s 1-10 firmness ratings to my wife and she thinks we should jump to a #3. Is this something that can be “fixed” in just the top layer?
I’m currently thinking of doing this, then adding my 2" egg carton foam to the top of it.
What do you guys think?
As you probably know … combination stomach side sleepers can be a particularly challenging combination because they have completely different requirements and it can be more difficult to accommodate both. Side sleepers need thicker and softer comfort layers to provide pressure relief while stomach sleepers have a higher risk of sleeping in a “hammock” position which can cause back issues and need a thinner firmer comfort layer.
It will also depend on how much time you spend in each position because the more time you spend in any one position over the course of the night (and this can be difficult to accurately assess) … the more the mattress will need to accommodate that position at the possible expense of the other. In general though … the “rule” would be to choose a comfort layer that is “just barely enough” in terms of thickness and softness for pressure relief on your side (which is usually the position that most people spend the most time in) which would have the least possible negative effect on alignment when you are on your stomach.
Layer firmness and thickness have a similar or synergistic effect and a softer thinner layer can act in similar ways to a firmer thicker layer although this will also depend on the effect of all the other layers and components as well.
Since you can’t reduce the thickness … then choosing a firmer comfort layer as you are mentioning would have the highest odds of providing the most effective results. I would choose the absolute firmest comfort layer that you believed would provide you with the minimal pressure relief you need and if anything err on the side of firmness because as you also mentioned you can always add a thin topper to make a comfort layer softer but making a mattress firmer is much more difficult and usually involves replacing or exchanging layers rather than adding to them.
Your wife’s “suggestion” of going a fair bit firmer in other words seems to me to be a good one
Thank you Phoenix! Your input is very much appreciated. How did you get to be so passionate about mattresses anyway?
I think I’ll give Chuck a call and make it happen. I’ll report back to this thread once I am able to compare the two.
The short version is that I have always been attracted to fields or projects that have a very technical side and a very intuitive side because one or the other by itself isn’t nearly as satisfying or interesting to me.
Originally I was looking for a mattress with money that was given to us so in order to make the best use of it I was determined to find the “best quality/value in the country” for us. I already had some background knowledge from previous mattress purchases which I had researched but I started talking with many smaller manufacturers who were kind enough to spend many hours on the phone with me and sharing their knowledge in response to my questions and interest in what they were doing. I was amazed at the time they were willing to spend and the years or in some cases decades or generations of knowledge they were willing to share. The more I learned and the better questions I could ask the more it seemed that many of them were willing to talk to someone that had some knowledge of what they did, some technical knowledge to understand their answers, and a genuine interest in what they were doing and making This was combined with lots of research into materials and how they were made and the advantages of each. At the time I was the most frequent poster in another forum and putting links based on my discoveries to many smaller manufacturers and better retailers across the country. I would also share what I had learned with others who were asking questions.
Once I purchased my mattress I just kept the research and conversations and learning curve going because much to my surprise I discovered that it was very interesting to me and there were some great people in the industry that I was getting to know and another project I was involved in had ended so I was looking for something to do that I was interested in as well. I kept building my “list” until I knew about 95% or more of the smaller manufacturers in the country.
They eventually banned me in the other forum because of some of the vested interests and advertisers that I believe were behind the forum and I suspect that they didn’t really appreciate me posting links to every small manufacturer across the country. At one point when I disclosed that I was considering doing something on a more professional level in some way on an ongoing basis or as a new project of some kind (because it seemed to me that it was sorely needed and nobody else was doing anything else like this site which hadn’t been conceived yet) they actually wanted me to “report” to them the details of every conversation I had with any manufacturer or retailer that sold mattresses and when I said that “I don’t think so” they told me that my account was now “deactivated”. This is what led to the creation of The Mattress Underground (once I figured out what I wanted to do and how to build a website which was something completely new to me and I had written the original articles for the site). The name came from one of my posts I wrote on a Christmas Eve when someone asked me “how I knew so much” (which you can see here) which is the “alternative version” of how this site got started.
So I guess you could say that my research took on a life of its own and ultimately led to this site through thousands of hours of conversations with some great people and thousands more of technical research and hundreds of hours of testing mattresses to “translate” the information I was learning into experience and the impetus of needing a venue if I wanted to be able to share what I was learning (and continue to learn) with other people … all of which happened through an organic process that just seemed to take on a life of its own past the purchase of my own mattress.
Synchronicity in action