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Memory Foam Mattress Warnings

Memory Foam molds to the body like a snuggle.

Memory Foam molds to the body like a snuggle.

Tempur-Pedic, Memory Foam, and the New Gel Memory Foam Mattresses

Tempur-Pedic and memory foam mattresses are the hottest sellers on the mattress market today. And because of all the hype and recommendations about them, so many people are sure they want one.

At least half of the customers who walked into my mattress store would announce, "I want to look at your memory foam mattresses. I've been reading up on them, my sister has one and loves it, my kid's teacher told me about hers, my doctor recommended it, etc."

Memory foam was our biggest selling mattress - and the most likely to be returned. This information was originally written a few years ago based on my experience as a mattress sales person - along with responses and feedback from real, buying customers during that time.

Since then, with over 200 comments and counting, this article has validated its own message through responses like this: "I got up this morning determined to get some truths around these mattresses and happened upon this site. I am so unsurprised to see all the comments on here and feel somewhat relieved it is not just me."

However, there are also many people who swear by their memory foam mattress. There are reasons for that - its just that memory foam isn't for everyone. That is why this article is here: because a memory foam mattress just might be the thing you need, too - or not.

This is one of the most important things you need to pay attention to before you decide to keep a new memory foam mattress: Are you moving more or less after your body has gotten used to sleeping on it..?

Polyfoam vs. Memory Foam vs. Latex

Polyfoam vs. Memory Foam vs. Latex

Return and Exchange Policies

Before you buy a new Memory Foam mattress, you should know that one of the main reasons why people get frustrated with trying to return or exchange them; is that they are often so expensive compared to other types of beds. And since most mattress stores offer credits rather than refunds if you are unhappy with it - that means that if you start out with Memory Foam and then try to exchange it for a less expensive one, later; there will be a huge credit that lingers in the store (as opposed to you receiving cash back).

The risk is yours - do make sure you understand the exchange/return policy of your mattress store before you complete the sale.

Highlights from Wikipedia

Memory Foam is polyurethane with additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. It is often referred to as "visco-elastic" polyurethane foam, or low-resilience polyurethane foam. (Low-resilience = low 'push back' support)

  • Higher-density memory foam softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to a warm body in a few minutes. A lower-density memory foam is pressure-sensitive and molds quickly to the shape of a body pressing against it, returning to its original shape once the pressure is removed.
  • Created by feeding gas into a polymer matrix, the foam has an open-cell solid structure that matches pressure against it, yet slowly springs back to its original shape.
  • Was commonly utilized in cases where the patient was required to lie immobile in their bed on a firm mattress for an unhealthy period of time. The pressure over some of their body regions decreased or stopped the blood flow to the region causing pressure sores or gangrene. Memory foam mattresses significantly decreased such events.

Memory Foam Mattresses are Very Well Marketed

Memory foam was invented by NASA back in the day... Did you know NASA never used it? Tempur-Pedic was founded by a marketing executive. We can all certainly agree that Tempur-Pedic does a good job of marketing their Space-Age, State of the Art materials.

Some of the most trusted Doctors, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists in this country have recommended these products based on this marketing - which includes lots of impressive research to help make things seem so credible.

I'm not saying its not - just that its all really good marketing.

Memory foam mattresses are especially notorious for their HOT sleep and initially strong chemical smell and offgassing issues.

Memory foam basically contains the same ingredients as regular polyfoam - it's just manufactured differently. Essentially, gas is infused into a foam matrix to give it those neat body-molding and shape-remembering characteristics. This is why it can be so much stinkier than regular foam.

I talk about issues with offgassing - along with the details surrounding Federal Fire-Retardant alternatives and Regulations that are used in mattresses, in this previous article if you are concerned about those things.

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Example of a plush but firm mattress - ideal for adding additional comfort with any topper. Image Copyright: Misfit Chick

Example of a plush but firm mattress - ideal for adding additional comfort with any topper. Image Copyright: Misfit Chick

What's RIGHT with Memory Foam in Mattresses?

There are good uses for memory foam. It is especially nice for those light, bed-ridden elderly folks who need to be kept comfortable.

Memory foam feels great mixed in with other foam layers on top of a traditional innerspring mattress - and can really make a difference in the luxurious feel between them.

A memory foam topper can be the ideal thing for adding comfort to a mattress. In fact, a memory foam topper on a supportive, plush mattress (firm, but still with some cushion on top, as in the image above) can be a great sleep system - and a comfortable alternative for people who love the feel of memory foam; but for whom a full-on mattress does not work for their body and/or sleep type.

Also, if you have circulation problems and want to sleep warmer - get something with memory foam in it.

An Example of a Good Memory Foam Topper

Comments below have requested a good example. This is one that I would buy because:

1) I like the gel infused into it - gels really do work to help give a little more support; and do a good job of diffusing heat for most people.

2) I like the thicker 4" toppers because they give you the most cozy memory foam sleep experience without being a full memory foam mattress. If you're going to spring for memory foam (or latex) - always make it a good one. Half-way won't feel nearly as luxurious.

Sex on a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam Mattresses Feel Strange for Many Sleepers

But, memory foam mattresses are some of the most exchanged/returned mattresses - and that's only one of the reasons why they are so expensive.

They almost always feel really good when you first lay down on them... I always told people, "Its a great nap mattress."

But, what if you are a tosser/turner at night? Lay down for a minute on any memory foam mattress and then try to roll over. Its like you're sunk into wet sand - good luck. I've had older people return their memory foam mattress for this reason: "You don't understand, I HAVE to be able to get out of it easy in the middle of the night!"

This also plays into sex... what will sex be like on a memory foam mattress? It comes down to personal choice. Some people really like having sex on them - but, many others don't like it as well as a traditional 'bouncy' bed. ;)

The flip side to the 'can't move as easily' point is that your body supposedly won't want to toss and turn as much as it does after you get used to sleeping on it.

That may be, I've never slept on one long enough to know what its like after my body has gotten used to it. All I can tell you for SURE is that so many come back to the store just because it is such a different kind of mattress to sleep on every night.

Also, it is a HEALTHY thing for your body to move during sleep - ask your doctor. You don't want to sleep motionless, your joints need a little movement.

Memory foam slowly 'remembers' to restore itself to its original shape.

Memory foam slowly 'remembers' to restore itself to its original shape.

Memory Foam Mattresses are NOT Good for Many Sleepers for Bad Back Pain or for Relieving Pressure Points

Memory foam is a dense foam - this is why it is so hot to sleep on. Even without the pressure of a body on top compressing the foam - just lying there - it can't breathe very well.

And of course, when you lay on it - the foam compresses to an even tighter foam that breathes even less.

Also, when memory foam is compressed as when a body is laying on it - the foam that IS relieving the pressure points when you first get on that mattress is getting MORE FIRM (as in hard, 'wet sand' firm) underneath that shoulder or hip, etc., as you continue to sink into the mattress - especially if you don't do much moving (which we talked about, memory foam can diminish body movement during sleep).

GOOD POINT: Memory foam IS a good 'pressure-point-reliever' for sleepers who manage to remain tossers & turners. I'm sure it would be a good pressure point reliever for me for that reason - I doubt it would cure *my* restless sleeping habits. (I'm known for being a kicker. ;)

Pay Attention to Your Back, Spine & Neck

This is one of the important things that you need to pay attention to if you decide to keep a new memory foam mattress: Are you moving more or less after your body gets used to sleeping on it? Are there aches developing in your back, shoulder, neck, etc., that weren't there before? Sometimes you almost don't notice them at first; but you might more later as the situation continues.

Memory foam is also affected by the heat from your body, which can cause the foam in the mattress where you NEED horizontal support - like your back - to sag too much the warmer it gets - especially if the weight of your body is concentrated in your middle and/or hip zones.

There is NOTHING that is 'pushing back up' to support your back and keep your spine correctly aligned once memory foam turns into cozy, warm mush. This is why I recommended the plush/firm spring mattress with a memory foam topper, above - the bed beneath the topper should keep your body correctly aligned. The topper is just meant for cozy comfort.

Many memory foam mattress customers complain of shoulder/neck pain and/or backaches after sleeping on their mattresses for a few years or even just after a few months, sometimes.

Photo by Ambro

Photo by Ambro

This is why - memory foam actually gets MORE FIRM beneath pressure points if you don't move around much; OR you're not supported in the same way throughout the entire night on that mattress as you were when you tried it out in the store - because of the foam heating up and getting too soft where you need support.

And, this misalignment can be difficult to notice at first... During the night, your body just barely sinks out of alignment as your back starts to sway; especially those tricky back, neck and pelvic areas on your body.

If you have been sleeping on a memory foam mattress for awhile; and any part of your body is having problems - get off of it, at least for awhile to experiment. You could be doing slow-developing, long-term damage to parts of your body without realizing it - only because you don't realize it, not necessarily because there is anything wrong with the mattress.

About Latex & Polyfoam Mattress Toppers

If money is an issue, get a regular 2-4 inch polyfoam topper and replace it every once in a while when you need to. Some organic toppers can even be washed and/or 'refluffed'.

An ideal latex topper is 4" thick Talalay Latex with an ILD of 19 (most popular) to 34 - lesser ILDs are for pillows and are usually too soft (with the possible exception of Fibromyalgia sufferers).

The thicker latex is, the more supportive it is. Two inches will do practically nothing; and even three inches is not quite strong enough to support a body - although for a memory foam mattress, you might get away with a 3" Talalay latex topper if the memory foam isn't too firm. This is good since it is hard to find 4" latex toppers. They often have to be custom ordered and are expensive.

If you're going to spring for latex, I recommend Talalay processed latex for a topper instead of the Dunlop process - because Dunlop is more dense with less resilience; and will form a body impression sooner almost like polyfoam.

Memory Foam Mattress Potential Fixes

Adding a topper to a memory foam mattress helps many people, especially when it is too firm or too hot. If a new topper alone doesn't do enough to help you sleep more comfortably; there are cooling sleep products available - as well as ideas from other people who have dealt with that issue with semi-success. I suggest doing a general search for something that might work for you.

Its funny... I was starting to notice a developing trend shortly before I quit my job in March. Mattress customers were coming in who had purchased a memory foam mattress from other stores; and they were complaining that they were too hard. (I've had a few requests in the comments for Natural & Latex Topper recommendations for this reason - so I added these examples.)

These customers were often either looking for a topper to add to the mattress for comfort; or they were looking for a different mattress, entirely. I was beginning to wonder if memory foam mattress manufacturers haven't started making them more firm for the reasons I explained, above.

If they are, its not helping much.

A topper will not correct any structural issues that may be going on - like too much sway where you are heaviest. They do have the capability to add cushion if your mattress is too hard, or to cool it down if it is too hot.

Do yourself a favor and MAKE SURE it is the right mattress for you before your time runs out to exchange it.

Memory Foam Customer Experiences in the Comments Below

Thank you so much to the many readers who have shared their memory foam mattress experiences and asked more questions in the comments, below. This article continues with them; and is turning out to be a good online resource on the subject.

It is not an exhaustive resource, however. This is just a stop on your research trail about these popular mattresses.


Update: Good Memory Foam Mattress Alternatives

One last thing... You should know that many Doctors, Chiropractors and Therapists are beginning to recommend latex over memory foam as the mattress of choice. I talk about that why that is more in the comments, below. In fact, when you start browsing the web about this subject, many of them have 'invented' their own latex mattress brands.

A latex mattress is a really good alternative to a memory foam mattress because they both 'mold' around you like a glove - allowing for pressure point relief; BUT latex also gives support where memory foam does not. There are also other reasons to consider a latex mattress.

Another potentially-good alternative to a typical memory foam mattress for people who really like the feel; is a pocket-coil innerspring with memory foam on top. I'll talk more about why they might work in the comments; and you'll also see a couple links.

Mattress shopping hints: Please try not to get too hung up on brand names until you decide 'what kind of mattress' you want - then it is easier to weed through which brand might be best to buy.

I also highly-recommend going to mattress stores to test mattresses out - that is the only way your body will get a good feel for them. Here is some good, general advice while shopping for a new mattress - including how to test them to know which ones will work best for you and/or your partner's best sleep.

© 2013 Catherine Mostly


David Mack on October 04, 2018:

So it's 4 AM, and the only thing I can sit on is my office chair. I have a dose of sciatica like you wouldn't believe!

Bought my $2500 memory foam mattress (one of the leading names) about a year ago. Loved the feel of it right off the bat, but would periodically have pain in lower back and thighs on waking. Found it a bit hard, so put a softer topper on it. I guess I was fooled by the 'luxury' feel of it all.

Now, I have had sciatica before, and I am not a young man (62). But this past week I developed a case that is the worst ever! I blamed it on being on a ladder painting the house the previous weekend.

So as part of trying to get comfortable resting/recovering on anything else in the house, I find the leather couch best so far, and with a little help from the drug store's otc pain section, got to the point, after 5 days of agony, that I felt good enough to get back into my own bed.

Well, as I said, here it is in the middle of the night, and the agony has returned. So I guess the process of elimination has rendered my very expensive foam mattress to be the culprit. I do have a decent spring type in a basement bedroom (too far from the bathroom for an old guy!) but once a little more stable will give it a spin....that could take a few days though. It's too big for my bedroom, but if it turns out well...and I fully expect it will..... I will go out and buy a new pillow top spring, firm.

I do think the marketing of these memory foam things is done very very well. I stuck with mine for so long, probably on the power of the marketing , more than how I actually experienced the thing.

My spine should heal in a few days..... but this big block of expensive foam is going to the dump. I see no value in trying to recover it with a topper.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 26, 2017:

6" Natural Talalay Latex ILD 32 with a 3" ILD 19 Topper (both are covered with mattress ticking, so they are actually thicker). I did not get mine at this place, but I wish I would have - drum roll - this is the best place to buy a latex mattress in Seattle: I have no idea if they will ship their mattresses out of state. Look for local custom mattress manufacturers in your area if they do not.

Jimmy Pearson on December 26, 2017:

What latex mattress do you have?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 25, 2017:

Is the topper also made of memory foam? That would be my first suggestion - get a topper made out of something different, even if it is just a cheaper regular polyfoam material. I would start with that as the cheapest option to see if it makes a difference. Good luck.

Nodscene on December 25, 2017:

I'm really hoping you can help me. I'm now on disability due to chronic pain in my back and neck and spend a lot of time in bed unfortunately. After much research (at least I thought so) I purchased a memory foam mattress from one of the larger online retailers.

I ordered the soft version but still had issues with the mattress so I got the extra topper (soft as well) from the company for free.

The issue I'm having now is that I'm getting pressure point pain on my hips and thighs due to the bed. I do tend to lay in one spot for extended periods of time so your article makes a lot of sense. I was hoping that getting a memory foam would solve or at least help but it's causing more problems.

Due to my very limited budget I cannot afford a new bed and I've passed the return period so that option is closed to me as well.

Do you have any ideas on what I can do to make this bed more comfortable due to long periods of being mostly bedridden?

I'm only 45, 5"11 and about 170lbs. Also, I live in Canada which may make a difference.

Thank you and really hope you can help. I deal with more than enough pain every day without my bed causing more.


Laura on October 14, 2017:

Hate the memory foam mattress! I slept on my 40 year old son's (babysitting his dogs) and wake up with a terrible backache! I'm not heavy, 140 pounds and 5'7", it feels comfortable but when I wake up-omg. I'd rather sleep on the sofa.

saqibhussain on October 07, 2017:

Good Work with impressive presentation..:)

Goodnews Edet Bassey from Nigeria on August 18, 2017:

I enjoyed your article, i believe this article will help me a lot. thanks

Reginald Thomas from Connecticut on August 17, 2017:

Hi Catherine

I enjoyed your article! Lots of great information and advice. I look forward to reading other articles in the future.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on July 18, 2017:

6" of latex is pretty much a mattress, and it is the thickness that latex usually comes in. A special machine is needed to cut it into thinner slabs. I know 4" is hard to find, and like I said above - you can often get away with 3 inches if your memory foam isn't already too firm (2" will do practically nothing). Here's a 3" Talalay Latex topper that is a good example: You want Talalay for a topper instead of Dunlop Latex - because Dunlop will form a body impression sooner almost like regular polyfoam will.

The thicker the latex is, the more support it has (the more it will keep you from sinking into the memory foam). If you can find some samples to play with, you would be able to see that - hard to find, I know. If you're close to a foam store, they should have samples - although they won't necessarily have them in the different thicknesses.

Good luck.

Margaret Kronberg on July 17, 2017:

Thanks so much for your informative article. I've read most of the questions/replies but honestly there's too many to go through. I bought a $3500 hybrid memory foam/memory foam coil bed (Black Ice?) and can't return it because we've already returned 2 others. My lower back hurts after about 1 hour in the bed. It's very painful. I've read your advice on latex toppers (4 " minimum) but can't find one online. The mattress is brand new and doesn't sway (I don't think) but my lower half sinks in after a while and this is when the pain comes. When you said a 3" will not be enough support- how do you know this? I found a 6" but its close to $800 which it too much. thanks

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 05, 2017:

Sorry you've had such a horrible experience. My main reason for quitting my semi-lucrative job as a mattress sales person was because I got really tired of having to talk people into the most expensive thing I could - or lose my job. There are quotas to make, you know - and they are so very important. Plus, guess who gets the brunt of the heat if/when a mattress fails for whatever reason (which, as you know - is pretty common). I stand by my latex mattress, I love it still after almost 10 years - and yet, not every person who has purchased one would agree. Better luck next time. :)

Alyssa Joy on June 05, 2017:

Obviously we've all had some kind of experience with these mattresses I personally have decided in all my reading and research that the ENTIRE mattress industry is a SCAM! I will NEVER buy a mattress ever again. I was 20 years old and decided I was tired of sleeping on an old hand me down mattress so I saved my money up for almost a year and went out on the quest... found a Serra "hybrid" mattress and it was the worst purchase experience I've ever had. After two months the damn thing sunk in the middle! $1400 and my mattress sunk in after two months?! Well surely this a a defect and will be covered under "warranty" NOPE. The warranty was a LIE! I will spare you the detail but that $1400 mattress I saved up for for a year now sits in the dump. I have a $200 IKEA mattress now as a temporary "that's all I can afford" mattress. If you truly want to eliminate back pains research earth beds and "homemade mattresses." Humans weren't meant to sleep on mattresses.... this mattresses cost $50-$100 top to manufacture! That's fact, google it. I'm telling you this mattress industry is a marketing scam. When I move into my "forever" home I will be making my own bed.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on April 04, 2017:

I don't see how thick that topper is, but I may be blind, ha! I also don't see many bad reviews for that topper, so I'd guess it is as good as any other 'good' one - sounds like it is really good for relieving heat. Honestly, it doesn't take much to find something that is an improvement for memory foam if your body is not getting along with it. Good luck. :)

Jewls72 on April 04, 2017:

Hi, I'm glad I happened upon this hub, as I have been researching memory foam and shoulder pain, which I have had for the last year now and have not been able to figure out why. I've had two memory foam mattress pads or toppers, and the last one I got was a good inch thicker than my last one, and has caused my shoulder to have incredible spasms and pain every night. It's gotten so bad, that I couldn't even switch back to hook my bra or to pull up my pants. I'm thinking the memory foam is way too firm, because I went on a trip with my husband and daughter to San Francisco a couple weeks ago and we stayed in a hotel for three nights, and my shoulder pain was about 50 to 60% better.

My question, if you were still following this hub's comments is this: I just bought a new topper that is not memory foam and is much more soft and not as thick. Its called Zen Bamboo Ultra Soft Mattress Topper, and just wondering if you have heard of it?

It was way cheaper then the memory foam and it has an average rating on Amazon of five stars, so was just wanting to get your opinion of it. I am sleeping on a regular innerspring mattress, but it's way too firm so I got memory foam topper to make it softer, but I have a 2 1/2 inch right now and it is absolutely killing my shoulder.

Whitney on March 18, 2017:

I have a 4 inch memory foam topper on my bed. It's only been about two months, but it's so hot, and my neck, full back, and hips hurt every morning. I'm only 28. I definitely believe this article! I think I'm going to take it off tomorrow and see if I feel better. I had some pressure points that were hurting me before if I slept too long, but now I'm waking up at 3 am every day sore, so that's worse than having to turn over.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on February 21, 2017:

The memory foam is likely warming up too much while you sleep, making your hip sink too much. It is a common problem that a lot of people have. I've included links on how to test & choose a mattress for individuals & couples at the end of this article. I know its a lot of reading, but bodies are unique. If you want to find the right mattress for yourself - you unfortunately have to put in research. Good luck. :)

FrancesJ on February 21, 2017:

I have been living with back and hip pain at night for years. We bought our expensive memory foam mattress to try to address this. It didn't change anything. Recently when we took turns sleeping in our spare rooms (due to colds and flu) my husband and I both discovered that the 40 year old box spring mattress he used as a teenager and the cheap foam slab on our kid's bed are WAY more comfortable. Neither of us woke up with any back pain after sleeping on these cheaper beds.

Since figuring this out I have been experimenting. I found that if I fold up a towel to raise my hips up an inch while sleeping on the memory foam, my back and hip pain almost completely disappear. Clearly my hips sink down too much on the memory foam bed. Does anyone else have a similar experience? Any ideas on how to find a mattress that will work for us?

mapol on February 17, 2017:

Nowadays, they have many more different types of mattresses that are made with totally different materials than they used to be made with. Some are harder or softer than others, while some are sort of in-between, as some people would put it. I have found that a mattress that's either too hard or too soft is way too tough to sleep on. I waited almost 20 years before I replaced my old mattress, and I'm sorry I didn't replace it sooner. My present mattress is 10 years old, and it, too, should be replaced, soon, I think.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on January 18, 2017:

Add a topper. If you liked the feel of memory foam, it may be the way to go - plus, you can often return/exchange it if it doesn't work. Even a regular foam topper would help cushion those shoulders & hips. Good luck! :)

Maria on January 17, 2017:

Thanks for writing this article, I wish I saw it earlier, though I did manage to return my memory foam in time.

It was just a torture for about a month and a half, so I couldn't handle it and had to go back to inner spring. I was so worried about it that I decided to take a firm innerspring. The pain immediately stopped the next morning.

Only wishing that I bought a pillow top which would be same as my old bed.

Innerspring with pillowtop is the way to go.

I'd like to try latex top but honestly, after this experience with memory foam, everything that even looks like it scares me.

I would like to get some kind of a pillowtop even though really- no complaints, this innerspring is just heaven after memory foam experience even if it's a bit hard.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on January 17, 2017:

Interesting hub. I had a memory foam pillow once but I found it uncomfortable, so I went back to using my other ones. I've never tried the mattresses though.

GreenMind Guides from USA on December 30, 2016:

Good hub on an important subject -- thanks for your work on Hubpages!

Iri on December 23, 2016:

I had a memory foam mattress three years ago and had to giveit away due to it causing low back pain within the year of purchase. Went back to my spring supported that I had placed in the guest bedroom.

I don't understand why people are complain about not enough research on this subject matter. If research is done they would need subjects to test this theory wouldn't they?

On the subject of pillows. I bought two pillows from a chiropractor many years ago called ChiroFlow. The center of the pillow you fill with water using a funnel; filling it to your comfort level. I love it and they have lasted for over 8 years. The only two drawbacks is that they can get heavy due to the water and they are expensive about $50+. Ask your chiropractor about them.

Experimentation on December 17, 2016:

Okay, well, it's been eight days now... The pain component of the sciatica is all but gone, and though I am still limping a bit while walking and have some residual numbness in the front of my lower left leg, I have to attribute at least part of my recovery to putting away that memory foam topper.... Though I do miss it's "comfy" factor! The futon is pretty hard, and has neither springs nor foam, but for what it's worth, I can sit up in the morning again and stand without help (did I mention I am 47? And that 47 seems like too soon to be disabled with sciatica?). Honestly, part of me wishes there were no correlation, and that I could justify returning to the memory foam topper. But given the improvement I've felt so far, and despite your wisdom that the problem could be a still-too-firm futon, I really can't complain (except that I miss the memory foam feel). What strikes me as weird is that I now feel like I am sleeping with all the "bad posture" positions that the memory foam was supposed to help alleviate. How this can be better for me I cannot imagine. But I like being able to stand up in the morning, and that suggests, after 8 days, that perhaps memory foam had something to do with it.

If the sciatica ever returns, I will have some very different commentary to leave (and will be sure to do so!). For now, I am counting my blessings and am learning to sleep like the Japanese, though it grieves my heart.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 10, 2016:

I don't know where you live, but if you're really having a hard time finding just a block of foam for a mattress - try a 'just foam' store. Seattle has one, and most big cities do, too (maybe even online, I don't know). Foam stores will often 'wrap' a piece of foam up like a mattress for you - although it is not being sold 'as a mattress' at that point because of mattress testing & labeling requirements, etc. Good luck, and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Gaby on December 10, 2016:

Hi! I was looking up about 7 zone mattresses and found out on memory foam. I am glad this post is still alive.

I am a stomach sleeper and nothing but a firm block of foam feels good. For some 5 years I have been buying and fighting mattresses. Latex was not an option because of course my hips and stomach sink in and my lower back hurts. We have a memory foam, and i can't use it. My body sinks and I can't get my head in a confortable position because if it gets confortable my nose is stuck inside the mattress. Then I try side and back but does not work. I am from the still sleepers, I could sneak out in the morning without having to make the bed!

It is very difficult to find any advice for belly sleepers besides "sleep on your side".

And not surprisingly it seems impossible to find an old fashioned block mattress!

Thanks for so good amd straight forward information on mattresses!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 08, 2016:

I would be really surprised if just taking your memory foam topper off, helps - the futon mattress may very well be too firm; and that is why you may be having the experience you are.

Since you're only on top of 4" of memory foam and not a full mattress, your shoulders/hips, etc. are sinking into the probably-too-firm futon mattress - which is essentially causing the same problem as a full memory foam mattress can, so I can see why it 'seems to be the topper' to you.

If you like the feel of memory foam, try putting your topper on a plush (not as firm as a futon) spring mattress - you might find that to work well, especially since you know you sleep better on guest beds.

Have fun experimenting; and hope you're feeling better soon. :)

Experimentation on December 08, 2016:

We are about to have a little test...

I have been a big fan of memory foam, in theory, for many years. I have also, for about the same period of time, had various forms of lower back pain. I recently developed sciatica in my left leg that has left me bedridden for the better part of three weeks now. Morning back pain remains a standard feature of life these days. I sleep on a futon mattress with a 4" memory foam topper.

I have also noticed that when I go to visit family and sleep in guest rooms or in hotels, I don't seem to wake up feeling like this. I am, as of this morning, going to try pointing the finger at my mattress topper. I always thought the futon was too much like a slab of stone for anyone to consider it a legitimate sleeping surface, which is why I was eager to cushion it with several inches of the thickest, densest memory foam I could find. And here I lie, years later, plagued with regular back pain and now leg pain.

Today, with some help, I am going to remove the memory foam. I am going to try to start sleeping straight on the futon. I haven't done this is forever. As I am typing this message, my back is aching and the pain in my hip/ leg is starting to act up again. So we are going to see what happens when I— gasp!--remove the memory foam. Since this is a one-off case study, it will not have any statistical significance. But won't it be interesting if I write back to this page in a week or two and report significant improvement in my lower back? Or maybe things will get much worse... Who knows? I can report that, too! But the pain— the sciatica— has just been so excruciating, that I have to try something besides regular stretching. I think the problem may be in the foam. So expect to hear back from me before the year is out to hear how I have fared, and know beforehand that I have always loved the idea of memory foam sleeping... For me, the idea and the reality may be about to split (or they may not, but we are going to find out). The fact that these problems seem to vanish when I sleep away from my "cozy" memory foam bed has made me wonder. Today I am going to start finding out the answer to at least THIS part of the question.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 01, 2016:

Thank you. I think, LoL!

Allen C on December 01, 2016:

Thanks so much for your detail thoughts Misfit Chick. You rock! You're a mattress Superchick. :)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 01, 2016:

Well, I'm not so sure that your husband would be able to feel the memory foam underneath the futon mattress. You could try it, I would imagine that it would have to be pretty thin. However, you might sleep better with it on your side (which would make you 'uneven' - but people have been known to do this as a fix).

People who sleep well on memory foam often have a hard time giving it up. Is your husband willing to do some experimenting?

Most couples end up with 1) an entirely different bed that they can both sleep on; 2) a topper that works for one or both of you; 3) just deal with the bed and continue to use it 'as is'; or 4) end up with two different XL Twin beds side by side (the least favorite option, I think).

I wish I had a better answer for you, sorry. Good luck. :)

Allen C on December 01, 2016:

Thanks for this informative article. I have had an extra firm tempurpedic for 2 years and have my back pains have gotten worse. I get better sleep on my yoga mat on the floor. I'm finally having the sense to try something different.

@misfit chick: If I want something more firm, do you think it works to add a Japanese futon mattress on top of the memory foam? (The reason I'm looking to keep the memory foam is for my husband who loves the memory foam)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 29, 2016:

Thanks for the lecture from the perspective of someone who obviously knows-it-all. I'm sorry, was that inappropriate? ;)

Again, not ONE time have I said (perhaps you didn't actually read the article - that happens) that a memory foam mattress is 'bad' for everyone; and in fact, have flat-out said that people like you who LOVE their memory foam mattress, exist.

This article is for everyone else - and really? You felt it was your place to 'set me straight' about my attitude? I'll chalk it up to you probably having a bad day - and deciding that I seemed like an easy target for you to vent at. Hope you feel better, now. Sleep tight. :)

Lena on November 29, 2016:

Just agreeing with Dave. This article has no scientific backing. I love my memory foam mattress and it has helped me through so much back pain. It amazes me how snippy you have gotten with commentors. This article caught my eye because of the fact that I swear by memory foam. I'm sure you won't publish this comment, and thats okay. You just need to know some of your comments and replies were extremely unprofessional.

Cheryl on November 14, 2016:

Wow. I have been in horrible pain (back, neck and both shoulders) ever since by husband and I got married and I moved into his place. We sleep on his Tempur-pedic mattress that he swears by. We travel a lot for work and when I'm not home on that mattress my symptoms start to clear up. He wasn't buying into it being the mattress. So happy I found this site and your comments. I'm a tall fit person that works out and usually feels great! But omg lately it's getting so bad. We will def be changing our mattress. Thanks for the article and thanks to everyone commenting their experiences.

brdwyguy on November 03, 2016:

we purchased a TempurCloud Allura (with a pillow top) and spent $4800 - it is now sitting in our spare bedroom. I have degerative disks and thought 'oh good, i'm purchasing a good supporting, firm mattress, with a pillow top" Well was extremely difficult to turn over at night - so i either 'threw' myself over into another position or i stayed in one position all night long - this flaired up my sciatic nerve pain and it basically got to the point that I i had to move our old mattress back into the room. Memory Foam is NOT, I repeat, NOT the answer for people with back problems. AVOID AVOID. I recently have purchased a top of the line Beautyrest Black Hybrid - which is a innerspring with some memory foam --- this seems to be working much much better and if far more comfortable.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on October 31, 2016:

That can certainly happen. I don't know what brand of topper you have, but the more reputable brands of memory foam (such as Tempur-pedic) are supposed to hold up well. I know that 'cheap' memory foam toppers often have more problems with things like profound offgassing and breaking down, faster. But yeah, a topper should probably be 'flipped' every once in a while to even out wear.

AC on October 31, 2016:

I started out with a memory foam pillow and thought it was the best, most comfortable thing ever, until 6 months or so later when I started getting unbelievable neck pains. I believed the foam compacted after a time and was now too hard and stiff, so I returned to a regular pillow and everything was fine. Then I bought memory foam mattress toppers for a little luxury. I splurged on a 3" and loved it right away. I have back problems, and it just molded to my body perfectly. I did notice sleeping hotter, and lots of ribcage pains, and it WAS hard and a little painful waking up and rolling out of bed every morning even though I slept great. Eventually, rolling out of bed got easier, even though ribcage pains persisted, and probably actually got worse for a while. After 3 years on this topper, all of a sudden I'm waking up with incredible searing pain in my neck and shoulders, if I can even fall asleep at all. Again, I figure the foam has compacted and is causing problems. Last night was the worst yet, so I moved to the other side of my mattress (which no one sleeps on) and slept with absolutely no problems. I'd say this gives a little validity to the fact that it's not necessarily that "memory foam isn't for everyone". It's that there is actually some sort of breakdown in the material happening over a period of time or usage that makes this product's longevity extremely questionable. Because of how quickly I've found this product to break down, the prices are way too high.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on October 29, 2016:

I'm so sorry that it has made your vacation less fun, what a bummer! It really is kind of a toss-up. The people who sleep well on these mattresses certainly don't want to give them up. I've said this before and I'll say it again: someone needs to do a decent study to find out what is actually going on with these mattresses and how/why people respond to them the way they do.

Wendy on October 29, 2016:

KRYPTONITE for me!! I had to google this, this bed should be illegal. Staying at a hotel with these seemingly plush mattresses. Tired from a traveling day I happily fell into this bed and quickly fell asleep.I knew the first night the mattress was the culprit, I could not even roll over and get the alarm, in so much pain. My rib age hurt whenever I moved. Definitely a hazard if I would have needed to get out of the room quickly. Took about 15 minutes of working to get out of bed. I toured the city we were in all day still hobbled up. Day 2 I was just tired and went to bed, same results. Angry with myself the next morning for doing it again, and very irritable with my family. I went to bed dreading the sleep experience. I usually fall asleep quickly and sleep about 4 hours and roll over and sleep another 3-4. I am in so much pain trying to just roll over. Breathing, ribs, shoulders, hips. It is like my bones are brittle going to just shatter. I have never felt anything like this before. I am wondering if this is what severe arthritis feels like? I am 48, 5'6" and 150lbs. I would normally say I am in excellent health. I camp frequently and can sleep on the ground w/o padding and do pretty well. This is ridiculous. My husband does not like the beds, but has not complained like I have. I will be sleeping on the little love seat tonight and if it is too cramped then I'll be on top of the cushions on the floor...never again. While it would be unfair to say these beds have ruined our trip, they certainly have impacted it, as we can't seem to get moving in the morning. If the hotel asks on departure, I will tell them we had a poor experience with the beds. What surprised me was so many posts indicated these people had a long term decline in sleeping and finally came to a conclusion it was the bed. Mine was less than 4 hours and I was immobile each time. A mini torture chamber...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on October 22, 2016:

It always helps to find out you're not crazy, ha! Good luck. :)

Bill on October 22, 2016:

My wife and I bought a tempura cloud about eight months ago and I have recently started to suffer really painful hips and back which is keeping me awake for most of the night.

I actually resorted to making up the spare room bed settee around 3 AM this morning as I was becoming more and more irritated and obviously tired.

I got up this morning determined to get some truths around these mattresses and happened upon this site. I am so unsurprised to see all the comments on here and feel somewhat relieved it is not just me.

Looks like I will have to cut my loses and have the blasted thing replaced with a good old fashioned sprung mattress.

Thans Missfit for raising this issue and bringing some unbiased views to the table.

Helen on October 17, 2016:

This is a real post. We spent over $5,000 for our king size mattress. My husband loves it and I loathe it!!! If you like sleeping on overheated marshmallows in quicksand and are celibate, then this is the mattress for you.

My back slowly started aching after a few months, and I discussed my suspicions with him about the mattress- it must be a guy thing to deny everything your wife suspects, even when she is right. NOT just anecdotal evidence. The smoking industry said the same thing for decades- Where is the proof, right? Now we know more, and have evidence. "My proof/personal opinion" (not evidence) is that every time I go away for more than a week or two and sleep on other beds, my backpain subsides. I was away all summer sleeping in all sorts of crappy beds, with relatives and not in posh hotels... and was amazed that my backpain was eliminated...Unfortunately, upon my return (and my guard up about the bed )after about a couple of weeks, the backpain had crept in again. I have slept on the couch and sometimes on my daughter's bed for a month and have milder lower back issues. Now I see this webpage and think there is a lot more to the story!!!BTW, we know how bad non-stick T-Fal is , but it was originally promoted as the perfect product and is still on the market, VW is just recently admitting to their product failures. Just saying...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on October 16, 2016:

Sorry, I don't think TempurPedic does returns, especially after six years. Good luck. :)

MamaDeb on October 12, 2016:

We have had our TempurPedic Cloud for about 6 years. About a year ago my husband stated complaining about his shoulder and we figured that it was due to his job. Recently I would wake up with my left shoulder being very painful so I started sleeping on my right side. Well, now my right shoulder hurts as well. I also have started noticing that my hip bone areas are very sore when I wake up.

After Googling shoulder and hip pain I came across many articles that have me rethinking about my mattress.

I will try a topper and hope for the best.

Does TempurPedic ever do returns? I remember that there was a guarantee.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 29, 2016:

Is it still possible to exchange your current latex mattress for a softer one? Many people make the 'noob' mistake of buying latex too firm; but latex doesn't need to be 'firm' to also be supportive - even if you are putting a topper on, sometimes - because a shoulder is often still digging a bit into the harder surface, beneath. Any topper that you find comfortable will work. You often have to 'fluff up' a wool topper, but many people like them.

Dr Gator on August 28, 2016:

Great article, a good read. You are expressing your opinion based on what you've seen while working in the industry, don't know why some ppl just don't get it.

Anyway, I just bought full latex mattresses for the wife and I a week ago. So much for the kids inheritance! I've had memory foam topper on a firm sprung mattress, worked well for me, but wife didn't like it. So got rid of the wife. Just kidding. So, latex was the compromise. But for me, I find it quite firm, too firm. Tried it for a week to "work myself into it", but keep waking up with a sore back. So tonight I've put the old memory foam topper on it to see if it "softens" it up. Will keep ya posted. Question - based on your opinion, what else should I try? I was thinking of a wool topper, you have an opinion on those?


Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on July 25, 2016:

I know, whatever it takes, right? A body pillow might help. Also, pay attention to your head and the position it is in when you go to sleep - is it 'bending' toward the mattress or do things feel relatively aligned all the way down through your hips?

Do things still feel aligned the same way when you wake up? Is your pillow memory foam, too? Sometimes a 'regular' pillow works better.

If you're feeling supported correctly on the mattress and things are still uncomfortable for you throughout the day - 1) try sleeping on something else for a few nights in a row to make sure that it is the mattress since you seem to wake up feeling good; and 2) if it is the mattress, it may be that you need to 'move around' on it more during the night. Sometimes people get a little too cozy in them and don't move around as much. The joints & muscles of your body like to move a bit.

Good luck! :)

Hersheykiss47 on July 25, 2016:

I bought a memory foam mattress about a month ago. It has eliminated a lot of my hip pain, hand numbness and constant tossing/turning, but I have chronic upper back (muscle) and neck pain ever since. I just bought a slim sleeper pillow and that is helping the neck. In fact when I wake up, my neck feels the best and then goes downhill through the day. I am struggling to get rid of the upper back knots and hope there is a perfect pillow somewhere for me because I really love the feel of this mattress. I sleep on my right side and I have an issue with my left arm, as in I don't know what to do with it and believe that is the culprit. On a firm mattress, it kind of just goes into position, but this one makes me my arm go too far forward into the mattress. So....I am trying a small body pillow to rest my left arm on. Such work to try to go to sleep!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on July 23, 2016:

Depending on how broad his shoulders are - he could need either more room to sink for that shoulder; or he may simply need to 'move around' more when he sleeps.

A topper might help - either latex or mini coil could work since they have some 'spring' in them. However, if the mattress is already a little soft - a topper might also create less support where needed in the middle if it is too thick.

Look at how 'straight' his back looks from behind while he is laying on the mattress on his side... Is his body already 'swaying'? If not - give a topper a try. If it is... maybe try a thin topper, to start - doesn't have to be latex or coils. Maybe he just needs 'a tish more' cush on top of the memory foam. :)

Eva on July 20, 2016:

Catherine! Great article and I wish I read before! After trying 578876 beds we bought a Keetsa Tea Leaf Dream from their showroom. It's a hybrid of regular coil with memory foam. It was a floor model so we can't return (baaaaaaad idea).

It's not considered a firm bed, it's actually quite plush on top. But my husband is a side sleeper and is having the shoulder pain thing.

Do you think a topper may help? Seems weird since the bed is already so soft and sinks quite a bit when you lay on it! How thick a topper if the bed is plush to begin with? Latex or mini coil topper? Any suggestions will be appreciated! Thanks!!

Ced Yong from Asia on July 05, 2016:

This is good information to know! Thanks for sharing. Was recently thinking of splurging on one.

Jacko on July 04, 2016:

How to install a memory foam mattress: Immediately after receiving it throw it in a dumpster or throw it on a bonfire.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 28, 2016:

Wow, four feet apart is quite a ways for supports - they should be no more than 4-8" apart. If that was the original base that came with it - I would complain. Unfortunately, not all support systems are created equal.

Shirley Urso-Farmer from Michigan on June 28, 2016:

I bought a popular brand-name memory foam mattress (not Tempurpedic.) Within a couple of months it was sagging like a hammock hung between supports that were only four feet apart. It was unusable after six months. Never again...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 27, 2016:

If your friend has a memory foam topper on a regular innerspring mattress - then it makes sense that it does not feel like wet sand. That is one of the 'fixes' for a memory foam mattress, a regular bed with a memory foam topper (one of my suggestions above). It is a way to keep the memory foam 'feel' if you really like it - without having to actually give it up if an entire mattress doesn't work for you.

If you've got a split King base - your options for fixes are:

1) Get a more springy topper. Any other foam aside from memory foam will help (if you can find a mattress store to try toppers out, that is ideal) - latex works the best, because it also 'pushes up against' your body and almost helps push you out.

I don't think a down comforter (or wool) would work as well (although it might be enough) - or any kind of 'solid' topper, aside from adding a barrier. They almost constantly need to be 'fluffed up'; and can feel as hard as memory foam when they are not.

2) Replace his mattress with either a solid latex mattress OR an individual pocket coil mattress and put a memory foam topper on it (sometimes, either type of mattress can already have memory foam in it). Individual pocket coils are one coiled mattress that will work on adjustable bases. They used to be the only kind, I would imagine they still are.

This might be a little tricky, just take good measurments - you can 'get things close' in height. Hope this helps. :)

Kristi Cobb from Prosper, TX on June 27, 2016:

Our bed is an adjustable split King and we just bought it a couple of months ago. The only issue my husband is having is the sinking from the quicksand feel when he's trying to get out of the bed....other than that the tempurPedic has worked well for him. I was thinking that perhaps a down or down alternative topper would give him a bit more "grip" or "moveability" when getting out of bed and being able to shift a little more during the night. So many toppers on the market these days are foam of one variety or another. Will all types of foam toppers give that "sink in" feel? I have a friend with a memory foam topper on her bed and you don't get that pudding or quicksand feeling problem at all. Thanks for the suggestions!!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 26, 2016:

Something 'springy' will help - as thick of a piece of latex the mattress can handle; or sometimes you can find toppers with individual pocket coils. Either will be pricey - regular polyfoam will help a little, although you will probably have to replace it more often. However, they are cheaper than latex or pocket coils.

It also depends on how heavy your husband is... Sometimes a topper is not enough to fix a structural issue like that for a heavier person. Another 'fix' sometimes - is to get an adjustable base so that you can tilt the mattress a bit, but that is a pricey, non-guaranteed option. Sometimes you need to replace the bed, entirely.

I've seen couples come in to either - 1) get another 'regular' bed then add a memory foam topper because they both liked the feel, originally; or 2) get two Twin XL beds that they can put side to side. One wants memory foam while the other can't sleep on it. There are ways to adjust heights to be the same; and reduce the 'ridge' between the two beds.

Good luck! :)

Kristi Cobb from Prosper, TX on June 26, 2016:

We bought a tempurPedic a few months ago. What would be the best type of topper to buy to help eliminate or reduce the "pudding/quicksand" feel of the tempurPedic? My husband has mobility issues from a spinal cord injury and while the Matress is comfortable once he's in bed, getting out of bed is a big problem for him due to the tempurPedic feel.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on June 22, 2016:

You've explained a lot about memory foam mattresses and the detail you gave is extremely useful for anyone planning to buy one.

It's true that many people trust the opinion of friends. But as you said, it all depends on the individual and how they sleep.

Your opinion is the most trusted since you actually sell these in your store. I applaud you for your honesty.

Meliss on June 05, 2016:

I am so disgusted with Tempurpepic ... We bought a tempur-crapic 2 years ago and after 4 months started hating it . We wanted to return it before the 90 day trial was up and they told us it wasn't broken in yet give it more time . Wish I never believed that lie !!! Three months ago we started trying to get the company to do something about this hunk of junk that we paid 3,000.00 for . They replaced it with the same model and I hate it more than the first one . My husband is 230 lbs and was complaining about his arms going numb at night waking him up and getting up in the morning with back pain we are in our early 40's . More and more the pain is getting worse and I also wake every day with terrible pain in my back . I wish we researched more before buying this terrible bed . The company has a lot of bad reviews . I wish we never bought this bed . Now we are in the market again for another bed which I am furious about . This bed should have lasted at least 7 years or so . We are side sleepers and have been to 15 different stores looking at beds this weekend . They don't make beds like they did even 15 years ago . I had a symbol mattress for 14 years it was the best bed I ever owned wish I could find another one . I don't know what we will do at this point but we need a new bed and this tempur has to go . Good luck to everyone else out there in this situation. And thank you for writing this information . Don't believe the hype about Tempurpedic it's garbage ... What a waste of money !! I guess all you can say is live and learn

Never again tempur crapic !!!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 05, 2016:

I don't think suing for injury will work since the mattress does work just fine for many people. Good luck. :)

SadSleeper on June 05, 2016:

Right, I would have sold the foam one, had I realized it was the problem. I was wondering about it, but when I read your article and the comments, it all added up. Especially one commenter who wrote about their extreme neck and shoulder issues, and being a side sleeper. I'm going to try to contact the place I bought it from and threaten to sue due to injury. Lol. Ill be nice first. But seriously, I hope they work with me. Thanks again!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 05, 2016:

Too bad you just sold your other mattress - it would have been a good alternative sleep spot for you. So sorry you're in pain. If you can help it, don't go back on it for a while; and good luck fixing your sleep situation.

SadSleeper on June 05, 2016:

Thanks for your article, expertise, and findings. I'm literally sitting in a chair right now because I can't get comfortable in my bed. Bought my foam mattress about 6 months ago. Got 2 pillows as well. Almost immediately my fiance and I noticed the pillows were killing our necks and stopped using them. I have some previous issues with my shoulder due to work but my shoulder and neck has been in so much extra pain the past couple of months. Like go the ER pain. I was planning to go tomorrow. But tonight my back is killing me. No matter what position I get in, its painful. I am literally almost in tears. It's 2am. I wish I had done some research before my purchase. I had an excellent firm, but soft mattress that I had for 10 years, that never gave me a problem. I sold it yesterday, as it was in excellent condition still. Now I'm regretful and standing next to my bed because I cannot lay down on this bullshit ass mattress. I think sitting in the bed is probably the most detrimental. The only thing that sinks is the heaviest part of your body, eaving everything else unbalanced and out of wack.

David Firester from New Jersey on June 02, 2016:

Very helpful! Thank you!

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on May 23, 2016:

Hello Catherine glad to be following you. Your hub on the mattresses is so detailed and filled with excellent and informative content. You covered so many concerns that a potential buyer would have. Nice meeting you. Look forward to reading many more of your wonderful hubs. Linda

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on May 23, 2016:

How long ago did you buy this set? Does it seem either too soft or too firm? Without more information, the description of your pain could be the result of either. Do you feel like you are falling into a hole when you get into it? Are you relatively height/weight proportionate or are you heavier in the middle or hips? Do you share this bed with someone? Did the squeaking stop after the boxspring was replaced? Is there still time to exchange it? I might be able to help a little better with these answers. :)

Mallory on May 23, 2016:

We bought a new bed frame,box spring, and mattress( Serta perfect sleeper) box spring started making creaking noises.(box spring has been replaced)has seemed to maybe solved one problem- not completely sure.Their is still an issue with the mattress.Have severe lower back pain,shoulder and some neck pain with pain that radiates down the leg.It is torture going to bed every evening and waking up every morning in such pain. The pain has worsen since we bought this new set. It has been a night mare for us. Talked to the company we bought it from. Their response was Unbelievable(was told it might be a comfort issue)

Maurice Glaude from Mobile on May 09, 2016:

I've never liked foam mattresses. I like to be cooler and feel a more plush texture under my body like sleeping or lots of pillows.

Sharon on April 26, 2016:

We've had a Tempur mattress for several years now and my back has been steadily getting worse since having one. I am in constant pain with my back, I have a compressed disc, bony spurs etc. I am nowing getting shoulder pain as I tend to favour one side more than the other and am also getting knee and elbow pain and I'm only 44 years old.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on March 16, 2016:

I totally agree and you're welcome. :)

Al on March 16, 2016:

We need commentry like this on any and every thing on the net. Thank you.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on March 15, 2016:

Sorry to hear it, Kim. At least it sounds like your therapist is informed about memory foam. Too bad it was too late. Good luck on finding a new mattress. :)

Kim on March 15, 2016:

Dear Misfit Chick,

I found your article while searching for a remedy to help with my memory foam mattress pain issues. I wish i had seen your articles earlier. I am heavier, esp at my bottom. I purchased a memory foam mattress at a mattress store. Initially, during the exchange period, my lower back killed me when i woke up in the mornings. After talking over with the sales associate, the recommendation was to purchase the frame since my old mattress' frame was spring. That worked but then (and now) my upper back started to hurt and still hurts. In a discussion with my Physical Therapist, we discovered that my upper back was being curved due to my lower half weight; the PT told me that memory foams were no longer the best/recommended mattress, rather a mixture of coils and foam to ensure support. the down side is that i got this info after i could return the mattress. i was hoping that i could fix the issue, but based on your examples, this doesn't seem plausible, so l'll be in the market soon to buy a new one.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on March 11, 2016:

LoL! Thank you, Maria. People don't have to take my word for it, anymore. Thanks for leaving the comment. :)

And Barb... If your mattress is only two years old, isn't it still under warranty? If you got it at a 'lower-quality' place like Costco - many times they will take those returns back despite a warranty because 'the customer always comes first'.

My advice on mattress shopping is to keep an open mind; and test them out to find which mattress will work best for your body and sleep type. Here is more info about that:

Good luck. :)

Maria on March 11, 2016:

Misfit Chick...I just wanted to commend you for how you've answered these people that are giving you such a hard time about writing an article based on your experience. I find it incredibly helpful as I am on this site because I'm in agony over a memory foam mattress. It's a posturepedic, one that my chiropractor DOES NOT recommend. I wake up sweating, my back and neck are killing me and it feels like I blew out a rib. I am not a heavy person, but clearly the memory foam is not for me. There, now if only the individuals who found that they WERE for them would read your article and move on! Thank you for confirming what I believed to be true. Thank you for your experience, your complete honesty, and especially for telling everyone to bite you :)

Barb on March 11, 2016:

I have a memory foam mattress that has Alzheimer's. There are two deep dips with a crest in the middle that do not bounce back. My mattress is about two years old and this has been a problem right along. There is no "memory" in this mattress. My first mattress 47 years ago lasted over 20 years until we though it became a little uncomfortable. Wish I still had it. So much expensive junk out there. Going shopping today but not sure what to buy. Spring mattress sounds good to me, if I can find one.

Vicky on March 09, 2016:

Thanks for the reply! Μy bad, it's actually 5 inches of dense foam plus 2 inches of softer foam on top but still, I tried it last night and I woke up pain free after days of suffering. I will keep it for a while and report back =)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on March 08, 2016:

At 4 inches, it almost sounds like a topper instead of a mattress to begin with. It might work very well - assuming the innerspring is in supportive shape. It's worth a try. :)

Vicky on March 08, 2016:

Do you think a generic innerspring mattress placed underneath a 4 inch memory foam mattress would help? Or is it better to buy a topper?

Debra Hargrove from North Carolina on February 24, 2016:

I tell you if you are sleeping on the wrong mattress you will know it when you get out of bed. I experienced sleeping on the wrong mattress and boy I know how important it is to make sure you have the right mattress. Your article talks about back, neck and spine concerns. It is not fun after hours of sleep waking up with pain. The right mattress will not cause pain after waking up.

gcol on February 06, 2016:

Have had a tempur mattress for just over 18 months and am thinking about going back to a regular pocket spung mattress now. Pretty much had enough of sinking into a hollow and having to fling myself out of it in a morning. I'd also like to point out that its absolutely rubbish for fooling around in - yes, I do mean that. There's no bounce back!

Both the wife and I are suffering with lower back pain, though to be fair I had mine prior.

£1700 is a lot to pay for a mattress but I've had enough now. No more.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 21, 2015:

It is very possible... Try sleeping somewhere else for a few days to see if your sleep improves. :)

Jenni on November 20, 2015:

I've had a natures sleep gel memory foam bed for 5 weeks and have developed low back pain as well as thoracic pain. Is this common?

Is it really true it could be my bed?

Fay from Cornwall, UK on November 16, 2015:

Great article, I have researched memory foam before but still learnt a few new things here. I love the toppers. I don't think the super thin ones give you enough "mush" and really deep ones do curve around you making you warm. But I love them. about 2-3 inches in depth is idea for me. They relieve the pain of my back.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 11, 2015:

PLEASE no more latex questions in here, Hernan - take them into my latex article if you have more.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 11, 2015:

I'll make it simple: If you want the best latex mattress that lasts for decades, you want NR (natural rubber) Talalay - a solid 6" ILD 32 core with at least 4" of ILD 19 of top of that for comfort. My mattress was made locally in Seattle. If you can't find a good latex mattress, look for a local manufacturer no matter how small. Yes, you can also get Taltec 'blended' Latex - both are good, it's just that one is better.

Dunlop Latex is more dense (not 'supportive') because of the different way it is processed; which makes it more suseptible to a body impression forming in it just like polyfoam, over time. Dunlop is still BETTER than regular polyfoam; but it is just a way for manufacturers and/or consumers to save money. You should still get a good 5-10 years out of a dunlop mattress.

Hernan on November 10, 2015:

I have bad retentive. I read that article like 9 times already and I can't keep up with most of it. You mentioned you sleep in all natural talalay, which brand is your mattress if you don't mind me asking. At this point I have come to realize that most of this companies make every layer of different materials. And if you pay attention to their agents you're in for a ride of confusion since at the end they just want to sell.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 10, 2015:

Again, Hernan... I have a latex article that explains all this stuff in detail. You want all Talalay if you are looking for the best latex bed. Dunlop is not more supportive - at all. You can read all about why that is in the article. :)

Hernan on November 10, 2015:

Well I'm just trying to make up my mind and see what I buy. Astrabeds seems really neat but they only use Dunlop. Plushbeds uses only comfort talalay layer and the core is dunlop "because it is more supportive" said the agent, flobeds seems like they do all talalay I believe. So this is the dilemma. I would like to get something organic with no chemicals. Almost at the end of the tunnel with a bunch of exits.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 07, 2015:

Yeah, go with what you can afford. It looked to me like these mattresses all have 10 year warranties - keep the paperwork in case you need it for a warranty, later.

LI's latex blend is considered to be an all-natural product; but some people do not like that Talatec is a blend of natural latex liquid and natural petroleum by-products. Also, some people are more sensitive to the smell than others. There isn't as much of a problem with that when you 're using natural rubber latex.

Again, they are BOTH okay to sleep on and one is harder to find and more expensive than the other. But you don't need a bed to last forever. If it gives you a good 10 years of sleep (or close); you did a good job finding one.

I cover all kinds of your latex questions in my articles, Hernan... I may actually go back and delete some of our conversation in here because it has turned into such a latex conversation. Let's go into the latex article if you want to talk more about it, okay? :)

Hernan on November 07, 2015:

Those are the details someone like me will never know or might miss. They seem pretty similar when it comes to price but the Total Latex has 3 inches of latex on top layer and the Arizona Premium is 2 inches, when switched to 3 price goes up. The shipping process seems better with dreamfoam bedding since it's free and takes a week to seven days, while Arizona Premium takes around a month. I have noticed other options like flobeds and astrabeds and sleep ez but their prices go far beyond what I can afford. All these companies claim they use all natural etc etc so apparently everybody agreed to preach the same way. Hopefully all they bring is good quality and nothing toxic. That is in reality my true wish. I do not know any other online seller near Miami that carries this latex mattresses, so dreamfoambedding and arizona premium are what I can afford, unless you happen to recommend any other one to consider them before reaching a decision. My wife has mentioned me she is allergic to latex gloves, I have read it is the proteins used what causes the reaction and not the latex. Will this be an issue? Another thing is memory foam wife's neck has been suffering pain for a while and it happens that I had given family members a couple of those pillows as random gifts and they had neck issues at some point. Is there any pillows you would recommend or any guidelines?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 07, 2015:

There are a few online companies that sell similar mattresses; but using the ones that are closest to you is a good idea. The blended Talatec Talalay Latex from LI that he is talking about is Okay. It's not entirely 'all natural'; but it is considered to be close enough from a manufacturing perspective. They do make natural rubber (NR) Talalay (that's what I sleep on); but it is more expensive so many mattress makers don't use it. Talatec is cheaper than all-natural. However, this may not be a very big deal to you. Both are okay to sleep on with relatively the same results. :)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 07, 2015:

I could not find anything about their latex from that site, but maybe I'm blind - does it say where it is from? Things can be certified by any company and doesn't it sound good? I think I saw that their polyfoam was certipur certified - which is good.

If you haven't found a bunch of complaints about this mattress stinking with the smell never going away - it's probably good latex.

I would recommend an ILD 32 core with an ILD 19 comfort layer. You could also go for an ILD 28 comfort layer; but those are often exchanged for being 'too hard'. In fact, we tried to push people toward 19 as often as we could because that seemed to be the more successful choice. Also, people who would exchange the ILD 19 because they initially thought it felt too soft; often requested to 'change back' after trying ILD 28. If you want the least-likely return hastles, start there. :)

The 1.5" gap on your foundation isn't so much an issue (no wider than that) as the curved slats that do not go all the way to the edge. Then again, the mattress might fit perfect inside of it... You're probably going to want a foundation that goes to the edge, I don't know.

Perhaps that is something you can get after you see how it works on your current foundation? A few nights on something like that won't hurt it, but long term might. Is the mattress going to be under warranty if you put it on a different foundation? Some places won't cover it if it is not on 'theirs'.

I said what I said about some places ramping up the foundation above; because some of them are really expensive compared to their wholesale costs - it is a place to convince people to give them more money. But, if you need a new one and they will only cover a warranty on 'one of theirs' - sometimes you need to buy one from them.

Hernan on November 07, 2015:

Well I found this mattress actually on Wayfair or Overstock don't remember exactly. I went to the manufacturer and asked if they had anything all latex and the person pointed me to their "sister" company My wife laid down on the latex mattress and she says it feels awesome but the one we tried was Stearns & Foster for about $3500 and only the topping was talalay latex, so I started looking online for something all latex and found this. I don't know if you were able to check for the types of latex on the topping and support section, but I did notice they have certifications. I just don't want to buy ten inches of toxic latex if this is the case. The trial period is 45 nights and you can return if not satisfied and also firmness is adjustable but there is a fee for that. At least they warn on that. They work on you on the support firmness of the latex. My wife and I are varied sleepers but she's more of a side sleeper and me back sleeper and when we tried the medium to firm in other mattresses it feels good. I just want to sleep really comfortable and deeply. Which thickness should we aim for when it comes to ILD, since I know you had told me about this previously. This mattress is about $1700 king size. One more thing, I have an Ikea king bed with metal beam support and all, and we have slats that go from each side to the middle where the beam is at. They do not go side to side completely. This slats are kinda curved up towards the sleeper and there is a 1.5 inch gap between them. I was wondering if I should just get 3/4 inch plywood boards that run from side to side for better support for the mattress. I'm about 200 lbs and my wife 170 lbs. Just trying to see if this is a viable latex option for us.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 06, 2015:

Yes, Talalay Latex is what you want; although I can't tell where it is sourced from - you probably want it to be from Latex International.

They have different pricing levels so that almost anyone can financially obtain one. Here is a link to them so that it is handy; but this information applies to any latex mattress you come across:

1) Ultimate Dreams starting at $399 would be a good option if you are tight on cash, need a good night's sleep 'now', and don't care that it probably won't last as long. It comes with a 10 year warranty; but if you are a heavier person - expect the HD Polyfoam core to eventually form a dip where you sleep most often. Flip this mattress every season and rotate every other season to wear the polyfoam core evenly. It is possible to get 10 years out of it or longer, depending.

2) Euro Top: Has the same amount of latex with a thicker core of polyfoam

3) Aloe Alexis: 6" latex with a polyfoam core - more latex is better.

4) Total Latex: both core and comfort layers are talalay latex. This is basically what I sleep on and if it is good latex; should last longer than the 10 year warranty they have on it.

Get what you can afford. Latex doesn't need a fancy foundation; it just needs to breathe reasonably - just like a regular mattress - so that mold does not grow on the COVER. Some places make a really big deal about the foundation. Just make sure that it is a good, supportive one. It can go on a regular box foundation or even on the floor if you put a blanket underneath and flip it once in a while.

Hernan on November 06, 2015:

Finally found a latex. Great feeling. Is the ultimate dreams total latex mattress from dreamfoambedding a good option?

Hernan on November 05, 2015:

Ok I finally found the latex mattress after digging up the internet and unwinding some stress. Macy's has a few Stearns & Fosters so I will go and at least get the feel of them since they are $4000 and up. On the other hand I found a guy here in Miami named Alex who runs this place called Miami Discount Mattress and he contacted me after I emailed him and I might go this weekend and try what he has to offer. He recommended me some mattresses from a company called International Bedding which happen to be double sided. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or if I will need a box spring with this but it doesn't sound too appealing to me. The product models are Corsicana bedding from IB and this guys site is Also I had noticed the misinformation the sales people from RTG provide since one of them told me the mattress warranty is dealt with directly with the manufacturer of the mattress and then the same day at a different store another sales person tells me the warranty of the mattress is dealt with directly with RTG, and then I contact Serta by email and they respond me that the warranty is dealt with the furniture store (RTG) for the first year and after that it is handled by the manufacturer (SERTA) from the second year on, unless you pay for RTG extended warranty. They require me to save purchase proof and "law tags" for warranty issues. But then again this is just with Serta products, so the misinformation still remains for other brands. Basically RTG sales people don't even know what the hell they are selling and how warranty works. Scary.

I have a foundation question. I have an IKEA king size platform bed which has come out to be pretty good. Now that I have an air mattress until I figure out this proper mattress dilemma, I notice the slats underneath the mattress itself. I have a metal beam the runs head to toes down the middle with angular supports. On top of this I have like a square wood frame and over this frame I have slats with about one inch gap in between each. These slats are kinda curved up and I wonder if it is better to replace these slats with 3/4 inch plywood board for support, or perhaps even put these boards over the slats. Just wondering about support and good foundation.

I'm much more motivated to get this bedding dilemma solved properly from the foundation to the right mattress. Frankly, I also think the cracking of the spine when I go to the chiro is actually not helping me and more likely it is harming me.

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