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I understand that many pillow tops will eventually leave craters in the area that is slept on, and lose their softness over time. Is there another type of mattress that will still give the same overall support with a medium firm style, but is not a pillow top?

asked Oct 30 '13
Ed C's gravatar image
Ed C from Burnaby, BC
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Hi Ed, The pillowtop/body impression issue has been going on ever since mattresses went one-sided. And, for most of that time, we have been able to successfully fix the problem. You would buy a mattress without a pillowtop, one firmer than you like. Add to that a 2" layer of soft Talalay latex. Latex is, by far, superior to the poly foam used in the pillowtops and exceedingly superior to the memory foam layers you can add. The comfort from a 2" layer of soft latex is better than the pillowtop and lasts for many years without developing a body impression. Latex is made of natural foam rubber and is extremely resilient. Your body is buoyed by it...relieving pressure points and relaxing your muscles for a depth of sleep you can't get with any other foam. And, because latex is so resilient, it will absorb much of your body weight, relieving the stress on the mattress...adding years of extra life to the mattress that you wouldn't get without it. You should read the testimonials from customers who have this combination sleep system. The reports of diminishing to disappearing pain is astounding.

answered Oct 30 '13
Peter Cancelli's gravatar image
Peter Cancelli ♦
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You are correct, but the term you are looking for is ANY... as in ANY pillow top will take a body impression over time. The only type of cover that will not take that impression is something that does not have any quilting material in it like a stretch cover, and that is because it is nothing more than a thin sheet of fabric.

The other option would be a plush or tight top. In general, a plush top has the same quilting material, but instead of that plushy look, the fabric or ticking on the top of the panel is stitched directly into the zipper or border panel, pulling the materials tight on top of the bed. This give you a slightly firmer feel, and some people say, lowers the chance of body impressions.

Tight tops are generally a bit less money, but still add a little cushioning to the bed, unlike a stretch cover that will put you directly on the springs/foam encasement/latex/waterbed bladder/whatever else you can think of to sleep on, instead of having that extra layer of cushion.

answered Oct 30 '13
Anton Hochschild's gravatar image
Anton Hochsc... ♦
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Waterbeds are also very good for back-support, relieving pressure points, etc... and generally cost less than a latex bed. Modern Waterbeds do not have much motion to them, they are heated with state of the art, solid state heaters, which relax muscles. A good waterbed can last 10-20 years if properly cared for and will still feel just as good as the day you brought it home because there is no foam or springs to wear out.

Proper care = one 8oz bottle of water conditioner each year.

The only drawback is they can leak, but like every other bed type, they have a warranty.

Innersprings are not bad if the springs are tempered and held under tension. They are not as likely to take a permanent impression, but be prepared to spend a bit more for the tempered springs.

(Oct 30 '13) Anton Hochsc... ♦ Anton Hochschild's gravatar image

I have to disagree. Water and air mattresses rely on displacement and provide zero push back support. If you have a bad back, they will make it worse. If you don't have a bad back, prolonged use of these types of beds will give it to you. Memory foam is similar, also providing poor spinal support. An all-latex mattress is an excellent choice for good support and minimal to no body impression. However, an all-latex mattress is expensive to buy. It's expensively made. Not everyone can afford an all-latex mattress. If your means are modest, a good quality, firm innerspring can run you in the hundreds of dollars. The latex topper is only $350 in queen and $450 in king. It's a great way to benefit from the attributes of latex without spending more than you have.

(Oct 30 '13) Peter Cancelli ♦ Peter Cancelli's gravatar image

Actually we have been making Waterbeds for over 25 years. Water displacement is actually better than air displacement. In any case, a well-built waterbed uses fiber and foam layers to provide the back support keeping the spine properly aligned. This is different from the foam used in pillowtops.

I agree with you on memory foam. No matter how they remake it - gel, original, whatever - it is a good marketing gimmick, but that is about it.

(Oct 30 '13) Anton Hochsc... ♦ Anton Hochschild's gravatar image

Have you considered a latex mattress without any polyurethane foam in it? It's the polyurethane foam in mattresses and springs that break down.

answered Oct 30 '13
Joyce Walker Robertson's gravatar image
Joyce Walker... ♦
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After 30 years selling mattresses, the best solution, in my opinion, is going with a firm-med firm mattress and adding either a natural rubber latex or plant-based memory foam topper. The firmer beds tend to last longer. By adding your choice of comfort layer (topper) you truly get a customized comfort to enjoy for many years. Then, in a few years, if your topper has worn, simply replace it and keep the same supportive mattress awhile longer. I have no objection to plant-based memory foam..great comfort choices (find one with Oeko-Tex certification), but natural rubber latex is the "cleanest" foam as far as toxins. Best of luck on your search!

answered Nov 04 '13
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Karen Woods ♦
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Asked: Oct 30 '13

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Last updated: Nov 04 '13

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