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I'm looking for a good mattress, as I have deteriorating disks and arthritis. I really like a soft mattress but then I wake in excruciating pain, so I think I need one with medium firmness / feel. Any suggestions?

asked Nov 21 '13
Anonymous739's gravatar image

Hi, Having sold mattresses for 15 plus years and having met people like yourself many times, what I would recommend would be a memory foam mattress. While I design and make latex mattresses, the problem with latex is that it is rubber, and rubber deflects energy. Simply put, it bounces. Your body weight on latex will be pushing back and causing pressure.

I recommend Bed in a Box memory foam mattresses. They are certified non-toxic, do not use a toxic chemical fire barrier and are a 3lb memory foam. Why is that important? The density of the foam can affect the amount of pressure. For example, a 5 lb foam is dense and does not give as easily. A 3 lb foam has more air space and thus gives more easily. The foam absorbs energy. If you take a bowling ball and drop it on a latex bed it will bounce back up. On the memory foam bed it just plops and does not spring back up.

That pressure absorbing element of memory foam will allow you to get support without pressure, and it will not exacerbate your ailments.

As for liking a softer mattress, you can still get softness and support. Firmness and support are not necessarily inclusive. I would recommend considering the Silk Elegance from Bed in a Box.

Good luck!

answered Nov 21 '13
Joe Alexander's gravatar image
Joe Alexander ♦
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Nov 21 '13

Having been in the mattress business for more than 30 years, I can tell you that memory foam is the worst choice you can make. It's a temperature sensitive material that sinks as it warms from your body heat. Once it collapses, you'll hit the harder poly foam under it and you'll end up being most uncomfortable. Not only that, memory foam consists of 61 chemicals, some of which are toxic. You have a duality of problems with each needing to be addressed separately. Your spine requires firm support that pushes back against you. Your arthritis requires softness that won't collapse as memory foam will. The poly and memory foams used in mattresses will not keep their shape or comfort more than a couple of years and I'm sure you would like a more permanent solution to your problem. The duality of your interior and one exterior, requires a solution with the same duality...starting with a firm mattress that will support your spine and a comfortable sleeping surface that won't collapse on you. I recommend a luxury firm Simmons Beautyrest mattress, providing firm contouring support that will maintain your spine's natural alignment. Add to that 2" of soft talalay latex for extraordinary comfort that will relieve your pressure points and relax your muscles. Together, they provide support for your spine and comfort for your arthritis that will last for many years.

answered Nov 21 '13
Peter Cancelli's gravatar image
Peter Cancelli ♦
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Hello -- The experts may have some more specific recommendations for your particular case, but in the meantime there is some discussion you may find useful in another question about the best mattresses for people with osteoarthritis.

answered Nov 21 '13
GoodBed Help's gravatar image
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Our mattresses are customizable so if you get it home and it's too firm or soft you can change the feel around by moving your layers around. I recommend our organic fleece on top of a 3 layer custom made organic latex mattress made from our Dunlop latex. It just feels really good and support unlike other latex that feels more like polyurethane foam.

answered Nov 21 '13
Joyce Walker Robertson's gravatar image
Joyce Walker... ♦
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The key is to find a mattress that places your body in a good posture position. Spring mattresses can do that, but what you need would be pretty expensive. Other technologies can help support posture, which means taking the strain off the individual disks in your back. As an example, over 80% of people experience pain reduction on air chambered beds. There are several brands available, but be careful of the "imitators" as I call them. They are generally only available on sites like EBay, and there is no opportunity to try them out first. They like to compare themselves to Sleep Number, but they are cheaper. They achieve that by cheapening the components, you will get what you pay for. Sleep Number is the biggest in air, followed by Comfortaire, and then Innomax comes in at a distant third.

Air chamber beds are the ultimate in customizable sleep surfaces, and if you have a sleep partner, they can have a different level of support. You may also choose the comfort materials that you prefer, whether it is latex, memory foam, or none.

You might also want to consider an adjustable foundation. To sleep with a slight incline, or zero g, can help even more to attain that posture, and some additional pain relief.

Based on what you said please be aware that there is probably not a solution that will remove all your pain, but reduce it to hopefully more manageable levels.

Sleep Well!

answered Nov 21 '13
Tom Heller's gravatar image
Tom Heller ♦
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A medium firmness with great support can work, particularly with a topper. Wool toppers add great comfort. A soft latex topper might also work, but the wool seems to benefit those with pressure points even more. My 85 year old mom has found some relief from a 2" wool topper, so I feel confident recommending this as a potential solution!

answered Nov 24 '13
Karen Woods's gravatar image
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There is a lot of good information here in the responses.

For the best pressure relief and back support, stick with foam. Whether it's latex or memory foam is determined by what you feel is comfortable. You will want to try both though.

Air mattresses are also a good alternative but you have to keep in mind there may some maintenance required to keep it working and sleeping great. Air mattresses can be made a little softer or a little firmer depending on what you need. I have yet to see an air mattress company get over the maintenance hump though. So if you like hassle free, stick to foam.

answered Dec 02 '13
Andrew Schlesser's gravatar image
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Asked: Nov 21 '13

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Last updated: Dec 02 '13

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