What can I learn from the mattresses I have bought and didn't like?

Hello all,

My husband and I are american and have lived in england for the last 20 years. For some reason, we tend to often buy mattresses that we don’t like, and I am trying to figure out what the patterns are so that we have a better chance of making a good next choice.

We’re both quite tall - husband is 6 foot 5 and I am 5 foot 11. He weighs about 230 pounds, and with the extra 20 I gained during lockdown I am now 180 (but declining slowly). So we are not light. And we like to sleep spooned up - so we are usually two not-light people in the centre of the mattress together.

When we first got together we bought a dux 7007. We loved that bed, except that there were difficulties with the spring cartridges near the top (microspring cartridges) - they were held in very well, and slid apart and caused pain in those places. Dux replaced them for us for newer ones with velcro, but they still felt like they moved and caused discomfort after some time, and eventually we gave up and decided it was too much trouble and expense to keep replacing the top springs.

The Dux felt soft and since we loved that - we bough a Vi spring herald supreme (a lower midrange vi spring) and we wanted to order soft, but they recommended medium based on our size, and told us if we ordered medium and we didn’t like it they would remake it for us in soft. Well, we didn’t like the medium at all, so we got the soft one, and we liked it okay for awhile but never loved it. After a couple of months I bought a 5 in memory foam topper for it and we liked it more but it was never great.

We bought a sealy symphony from Costco which was sprung but with a thickish pad of memory foam on the top. Comfortable for 1.75 years, then horrible.

Then we got a Casper, which was fine for a couple of months, but we started having bad backs after that. Then we tried a Casper which nearly crippled me after ten days (saw the osteopath a couple of times and that didn’t fix it).

Now we are trying to work out what to do. We like soft feeling mattresses, but I wonder (after reading around in this forum and the buying guide) if we actually need firmer springs and a very soft surface? Instead we have been saying we like soft and getting soft springs which don’t last long and aren’t terribly comfortable, really.

I feel like we still get on better with sprung mattresses but I am not sure if that is because we didn’t get the right non-sprung ones and because the memory foam at the top of the ones we looked at weren’t thick and soft enough for us and we were feeling hard foam right underneath the shallow comfort layer.

We are going to look at a place that makes their own latex mattresses and toppers on Saturday. We wonder if non sprung will be enough support for the two of us in the middle? We don’t want to buy another expensive mattress and have to replace it again in a year.

We still have the medium vi sprung stashed in the spare room as they didn’t want to take it when they delivered the soft one. It’s 12 years old, but was only used for two weeks or so. We wonder if a thick soft latex pad would make that bed acceptable to us.

Are we just big enough that we will need to replace our mattresses more frequently?

Does anyone else see any patterns in this to help guide?

Many thanks - I wish I had found this website years ago!

Hi Lisa2020.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :slight_smile: And all the way from England!

It looks like you have a bit of mystery on your hands! You’ve definitely come to the right place to equip yourself with the knowledge to make a good next choice.

Based on what you’ve shared, BMI wise, you both are well within the normal weight ranges, and typically the weight is distributed on the entire contact surface quite evenly with some exceptions for people with heavier “areas” or who are more “active” on a mattress that can wear out materials a little faster than lighter, That being said there are a few factors that may have thrown a wrench in the works all along.
You are both sleeping spooned together in the middle of the mattress so I assume that you are both side sleepers which means added weight with less contact surface with the mattress and the concentrated weight in the center section which will result in “sinking in” deeper than if you would sleep apart. This sleep configuration will acct more or less as one+ heavier person on the mattress and for all practical purposes, you would need firmer and thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers than if you would sleep apart most of the time. You’ll both go through the softer comfort layer very quickly and feel the firmness of the next layer underneath.

The concentrated weight coupled with foams that don’t meet decent durability guidelines is most likely the cause of the breakdown of the foams in the failed Casper, Sealy units, and the micro springs in Dux. The level of activity on the mattress and how often you both change positions is also a factor when considering how long a mattress would last and why it is important to use high-quality durable materials that will maintain their feel and performance for longer periods of time When assessing any product, also be sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the mattress durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

You’ve already been through a number of mattresses in the last few years. I am unsure of the specifications of the Dux 7007. but Sealy Symphony appears to be a budget mattress specific to the UK with memory & polyfoam layers of unknown densities which is most of the time an indicator of lower quality foams being used.(“soft foam” followed by memory foam and then 7 zone foam).

For a one-sided mattress, (if you sleep apart) make sure that any memory foam has a foam density of at least 4 lb per cubic foot and any polyfoam (like “soft foam”) should have a foam density of at least 1.8 lb per cubic foot or higher. If you sleep spooned most of the time then I’d apply the guidelines for the 30+ BMI ranges (5lbs min density for memory foam and 2lbs minimum for polyfoam). You can read more about what components may affect the useful life of your mattress by reading our Mattress Durability Guidelines here.

The first 1.5" of foam in the Casper original have a foam density of 3.5 lb, is falling below what we would consider acceptable for a normal BMI sleeper (the spoon sleeping adds concentrated weight and I’d recommend at least 5lbs). Foam that is closest to your body will break down the quickest, so it’s no surprise that you started experiencing pain and foam breakdown relatively quickly. The other Casper models also all range below or right at the lowest acceptable foam density we would recommend. Here’s another resource you may have already come across about the different needs for different sleeping profiles.

That’s great to hear! An all-latex mattress can definitely be as supportive as a hybrid/innerspring mattress! In fact, they are often easier to zone and customize, and if you speak with the manufacturer about your concerns, preferences, and needs, they’d be able to recommend a configuration that makes the most sense for your use. It’s much easier to customize an all-foam or all latex mattress, which is a great benefit.

Latex is also wonderfully resilient, supportive, and even in the softer versions, it is more durable than any other type of foam and will both keep its desirable qualities for longer than other foams and is not nearly as prone to body impressions and premature breakdown.

Provided that the support layer is firm enough for your added weight adding a topper will increase the comfort layer thickness and can be a good solution. If you do end up making a suitable topper choice and the mattress/topper combination turns out to be a good “match” for you in terms of PPP then it also has the advantage of being able to replace just the topper without replacing the entire mattress if it softens or breaks down before the upper foam layers in the mattress (the upper layers or a sleeping system tend to soften or break down before the deeper layers) or if your needs or preferences change over time and a topper can also help extend the useful life of the mattress underneath it as well.

It’s not your size or weight the culprit here but the lower quality materials used in specific mattresses! Especially because you require more support from your mattress as “heavier” side sleepers, you should steer clear of companies that refuse to disclose the foam densities in their mattress. The only “pattern” you have is one of purchasing less than quality mattresses that are advertised as a great fit for all.

You live across the pond, so our Trusted Member listing isn’t much good to you as far as browsing for a quality mattress you could reasonably purchase, but looking at the specifications on some of their mattresses may be a useful exercise for you.

Also, as you’ll be testing mattresses on Saturday, I would recommend you read our Mattress Shopping Tutorial so you feel fully prepared to test the latex mattresses and ask the right questions. But, as this is a smaller manufacturer, you’re already in better hands.

If this place doesn’t pan out, I’d also suggest you read our resource for finding a great mattress outlet to help you find something local that’s going to take your needs and preferences into account and not just try to make a sale.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about your recent mattress experiences, and gives you tips and resources moving forward. Please keep us posted on how things go on Saturday!


Hi Pheonix

Thanks for your very helpful reply.

The Dux 7007 was Duxiana’s top of the line mattress at the time we bought it - we are still using the king split box springs 20 years later and they seem perfect (we have checked them to see if there is any visible sign of wear using info we have gathered from several websites. That bed had a specific problem of the microcoil units spreading apart - the bed was otherwise fantastic. At the time it was the most expensive bed we had ever seen!

We got the Sealy thinking maybe we were going the wrong way with bed choices and that instead of getting a very expensive bed expecting it to last for 15 years or more, maybe we should buy a cheap bed and expect to replace it every two years or so, but it didn’t last that long!

The latex place we visited (latex sense co uk) has great trustpilot ratings, and lists all the details of all their products/components/weights on their website, which was reassuring. We laid on the pure latex mattresses only (they didn’t have any latex sprung units on the floor) and tried the toppers.

I was surprised that I didn’t love the all latex mattresses. The softest topped one had 8 cm of soft talalay on top, but still there was a soft yet firm underneath feeling that I wasn’t crazy about. I tend to find the right weights of foam feel simultaneously soft and hard to me - if that makes any sense. In particular I find it feels hard on my upper back, underneath my shoulders. I didn’t talk to the people in the showroom about customising a latex bed - as we went in hoping to try a topper and see how that affects things for us.

I am starting to think I am going to like a firm sprung mattress best, provided it has the right amount/kind of comfort layers on top. I would like to try the Latex Sense sprung mattresses in the future. They also do some with coconut coir in them - I had never heard of this in a mattress (and here in England it is easy to find mattresses with horse hair and wool - the old traditional manufacturers use natural materials a lot).

We did decide to buy a 5 cm soft talalay topper (they had 5 cm and 8 cm), which arrived yesterday. We liked the 8cm as well, but my husband seems to like less-plush than I do, and we can exchange it for the 8 cm within 30 days, so we thought it made sense to start there.

We put it on top of the almost-unused medium vi spring mattress we have. It feels really nice, and I felt I slept well on my back on it. I liked it less for sleeping on my side, but then it was just the first night and it takes awhile to get used to a new item on the bed, so we shall see how we get on. We thought we could also try it on top of the Casper mattress just to see what that was like.

My sleep tracking device that I wear showed that I had better sleep than I did on the vi spring without the topper, and better than the old, spent memory foam topper that we had. But, as I said, it is early days, and one day’s worth of data doesn’t say much, so we shall see how it goes from here.