An adjustable bed base is a good thing to have if you spend time in bed reading, watching TV, or working/playing on a lap top.
For sleeping, it has little to no therapeutic value.
Sleeping flat, which maintains the natural alignment of the spine, is what best relieves back pain.
What’s more, an adjustable bed will cause whatever mattress you chose to go with it to wear quickly. When the head is raised, your body weight shifts from being evenly distributed to a central point just under your butt.
It’s at this point in the mattress that will wear more quickly than it normally would.
You have to understand what you’re up against when shopping at most of today’s mattress stores, which is a sea of mattresses upholstered with memory foam.
Salespeople are poorly trained when it comes to knowing their products.
They are no longer made to understand the components of their mattresses or how they work.
They are, now, no better equipped to advise anyone as to what they need than the man in the moon.
Today’s mattress sales training is focused on how to maximize the dollars of the sale, and how to close the sale.
The mattress industry, on a whole, has gone bad.
Millions of dollars are spent to advertise poor quality products, which you pay dearly for to cover the expense of that advertising.
I wish you luck with all of this.
Keeping your mattress clean and dry will increase its longevity.
We recommend our Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector.
I am a petite woman 5'2", 110 lbs. and my husband is a large man, not fat, 5'10", 210 lbs. We are young, early 30s. He is in perfect health, but I suffer from sciatica.
The pain travels around my hip and down my leg. No matter what mattress we try, the pain won't go away.
The Tempurpedic went back after making the pain worse, as did the Select Comfort bed and the Serta iSeries pillowtop mattress.
They all felt great, at first, but quickly started to became painful.
My old mattress was too firm, but I wish I had it back. After spending hours, last night, reading your incredibly helpful blog posts, I've decided to defer to you.
Your depth of knowledge and expertise is very impressive. I'm going to trust that what you recommend for me will be what I need.
To be honest, I have come to the realization that I just don't know what I'm doing, when it comes to this.
And after being so badly mislead by the salespeople at the stores, I don't trust that they know what they're doing, either.
Thanks in advance, Paulette
Hi Paulette...and thank you. We will get you and your husband all fixed up.
Near the base of your spine is the nerve center for the lower half of your body. To have sciatica, you must also have discs in that area that have worn.
The vertebrae are now pinching a nerve, which creates sciatica and the pain you described.
The best you can do to relieve the nerve from being pinched, is to maintain your spine's natural alignment.
A hard mattress, like the one you had, holds you up too high and doesn't give enough at the hip.
All foam and air mattresses, like the ones you bought, allow your hip to sink too far.
Either way, your body's natural alignment was thrown off...which then pinches the nerve that causes the sciatic pain you're feeling. An innerspring mattress is a must form you.
Of all the innerspring mattresses available, the Simmons Beautyrest, with individually pocketed coils that move independently from one another, does the best job of maintaining your spine's natural alignment. At your size, almost any Beautyrest will do. But, your mattress also has to support a large man.
Your best option is the Simmons Beautyrest Blach Desiree in luxury firm. This will provide contouring support you need, and be strong enough to hold a man the size of your husband.
At your size, the mattress itself will be a little too firm for comfort. Add to that mattress, a 2" soft Talalay latex mattress topper. Latex is the highest quality upholstery material available.
It will do more than just soften the surface of the mattress. It will hold you up and not allow you to sink...giving just enough with your hip and otherwise, provide a zero gravity feel.
Latex lasts for many years and is all natural. Because it is so resilient, it will absorb your husband's body weight, which will add years of life to the mattress.
Your husband will also enjoy the comfort it provides.
What's more, your sciatica pain will be relieved and you'll sleep deeply.
Hi Pete, We could use your expert advice. My husband is 6’1” and 230 lbs. I am 5’3” and 110 lbs.
Currently, we have a firm, non pillow top, king mattress and sleep on a down topper. We are both side sleepers and in good health. For the last several months, my husband has been feeling sore when he wakes in the morning.
And for years now, I wake up throughout the night when my husband turns in his sleep. Lately neither of us have been feeling rested in the morning. That being said, after ten years with this set, we’ve decided to purchase something new. It is our understanding that because of my husband’s size and weight, we should avoid pillow top and have a mattress that we can turn/flip. We had our go-to brands of Stearns and Foster, Beautyrest Recharge, and the Westin Heavenly, per the recommendations of friends. However, now that we are in the process of researching mattresses, and have learned a whole lot about memory foam vs latex, we are unsure of what direction to take. I’ve read many of your posts and I’m now wondering if we should be considering a Wolf or Natura set? Or perhaps something else? Also, in your opinion, is it worth switching from a down topper and pillows to latex? We absolutely love down but do have constant feather dust, despite the use of protectors. And lastly, we are also shopping for a mattress set for our toddler boy.
He is currently in a crib and we will be transitioning him to a queen sized bed this summer.
Again, would the Wolf brand be a top recommendation? Any others you’d recommend? Thank you so much for your time and advice. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts! Warm regards, Eliza
The individually pocketed coils of the Simmons Beautyrest and the Natura Greenspring will help to prevent you from feeling one another move in the mattress.
The motion transfer is greatly reduced with this type of coil system.
If going with a Simmons, you would need the Black Ava, due to your husband's size.
You would also need a latex topper to go with it, to keep it from wearing prematurely.
The better buy is the Natura Greenspring, which uses the same coil system.
The differences are that the coils in the Natura are double tempered, while the coils in the Simmons are not tempered. Tempering steel makes it much more resilient and durable.
Also, the Natura is already upholstered with all natural Talalay latex, while the Simmons is upholstered with chemical based memory and poly foams...which is why it needs the latex topper. Memory and poly foams do not wear well. And, memory foam sleeps hot, while latex sleeps cool.
Latex is, also, far more resilient than memory and poly foams.
Of the Greenspring models, I would recommend the Liberty in Plush.
Hang on to your feather topper for extra surface softness.
Here is a link to that mattress, showing prices and specifications.
In 2011 we purchased a Simmons Beautyrest Raleigh from you.
We have to replace that mattress and would like to get that same one again.
Can you tell me which would be the closest match to that one? Thanks, Ken
Hi Ken...and welcome back, What happened to your Raleigh?
They don't make that anymore. Yours has a layer of latex...and no memory foam. Today, everything Simmons makes is all about the memory foam. Today, we have two recommendations. * Simmons Beautyrest World Class Santorini, in luxury firm. & Ever-Eden 2" soft all natural Talalay Latex mattress topper
Greenspring Liberty Plush Euro Top. Experience deeper, more restorative sleep with the Liberty Plush Euro Mattress. Lush helpings of natural ingredients come together ...
* Natura uses the same coil system as the Simmons Beautyrest, containing a higher coil count than the World Class models. Also, the upholstery layers are all natural Talalay latex, and no memory foam....so there's no need for a separate latex topper.
Either way, there's no charge for the white glove delivery...and there's no sales tax. The only difference in the delivery service is; Simmons will remove the old mattress at no charge.
Natura charges $150 extra for removal.
Thanks for getting back to me.
This mattress is for a summer house, so we do not want to spend more than we spent for the Raleigh.
The World Class is almost twice the price. I would like to find another "Luxury Firm" mattress in the $1,200 range (for a King), preferably a Beautyrest.
I really don't need all the layers of foam that are on the Natura.
Hi Ken, A lower end Beautyrest is more appropriate for a vacation home. You'll still need the latex topper to go with it, to keep it from forming body impressions. The Classic Beautyrest Broadway, in luxury firm will bring the cost down. Shown here:
Interesting process, dealing with Simmons after getting approval of a warranty claim.
I have been instructed to go to retailers (dealers) listed on their website in my area to find a replacement.
The interesting part is letting the store staff know that I'm a "no sale" looky-lou and I'm only their to test out a few models.
I have to find one I like and then report back to corporate with the particulars so that they can have "one of their (our) regional plants (will) manufacture it."
I don't think this will endear me with the retail staff. And I question Simmons performing of one-off manufacture runs. That sounds horribly inefficient. In terms of reporting the price, I apparently HAVE TO use (and pay any overage difference on) list price since I'm not doing a transaction through the store.
And so, there is no opportunity to negotiate at all...so working toward a fair market deal has been taken off the table. Neat trick, ay!? I'm inclined to believe I will be stuck with somebody at their plant grabbing surplus or blemished product, slapping a label on it and sending it to me.
I won't be bothered by cosmetic issues; but the reuse of QC defective stock could be quite problematic regardless of a new warranty that will come with the replacement. It's definitely going to be a struggle to afford the difference on any of the black products. What would you recommend for something just below that price point?
I'm leaning toward a plush or firm with no pillow top. The thought being that I will then try multiple toppers until I find a good overall combination.
I like the flexibility this approach offers. I am primarily a side sleeper. From 2003-2013 I had 8 back surgeries (spine fusion) and I am in chronic pain 24/7.
Maybe I should bite the bullet and go black. I'm hoping there's another product however that will function adequately and thereby allow me to use my last bit of cash to get the nicest topper for my condition.
I'm 6'1, 195lbs.
Thanks kindly, Jason from So.Cal.
If you look at reviews for Simmons, they're horrible. This is mostly due to consumers buying their softer models, focusing on the initial comfort, with no thought to longevity.
First off, you should consider yourself lucky to have prevailed in a warranty claim with Simmons. Most don't.
Second, your flair for the dramatic is misplaced here. Every order is filled with a freshly made mattress. There are no 2nds or blemished mattresses lying around at the factory.
Third, you want to stay away from their plush models. They are made "plush" by using a much thinner gauge wire for the coils....the major source of all the bad reviews.
Pillowtops are also a bad choice, as it will be the pillowtop that loses its shape and comfort first.
The best way to get through this, without having to go through it again, is to start off with a firmer model that uses the heavier gauge wire, and softening the surface with an all natural layer of soft latex.
Latex is and has been thee best upholstery material for the last 100 years...nothing new about it.
Memory foam...the foam in the mattress...has proven itself to be the absolute worst upholstery material ever invented...over the 20 years it's been on the market.
Here is a link from an LA retailer...showing the mattress to ask for from Simmons.
I bought a mattress a little over 6 months ago and the side of the bed that I sleep on is now about 7 inches lower than the middle of the bed.
It is clearly a problem with the mattress and the local store acknowledges this wholeheartedly. I am at a loss as to what mattress I should purchase now. I bought an adjustable bed to reduce the swelling in my ankles and legs and this works. It also helps my lower back pain.
Elevating the head slightly helps my sleep apnea. So my new mattress would need to work on an adjustable bed. I am a 64 year old woman who is very over weight with fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, heart arrhythmia, chronic bronchitis plus the aforementioned edema in my legs and ankles plus sleep apnea. Upon coming home from the hospital in February, I realized how much pain my mattress was causing me because I got more sleep in the hospital. YIKES! Is there a mattress that you would recommend for me? I feel as if I could get some rest, I could reclaim so much of my life that has slowly disappeared. Thank you, KC
If the mattress you have is defective, and the store you bought from is going to exchange it, you will be restricted to a mattress that store carries. Send me a link to their website, and I'll be happy to help you select a replacement. What is your height & weight.
How kind of you. I am 5’8” and weigh xxx (not for public, of course).
The store name is The Mattress Capital in NC. Thank you so, so much. KC
Hi KC, There aren't a lot of good options there. We used to be a Sealy dealer, until Tempupedic bought them, 3 years ago. Since then they added a lot of their crappy memory foam to most of the line. In this case, the more you spend, the worse the results will be. Stick with a "Classic" Posturepedic, which will be among the least expensive of them. They will have a stronger coil unit and no memory foam on top. (The memory foam and pocketed coil unit, is what did you in this time) Neither lasts very long under someone your size, nor on an adjustable bed base. Make sure you get a firm model, which will be needed to support you. Add to that, an Ever-Eden 3" Soft Vytex Dunlop Latex mattress topper. The latex topper is key to long lasting comfort and extra longevity of the mattress. This latex topper provides the surface softness you'll need for your fibro. It will absorb quite a lot of your body weight, so that the mattress does a better job of keeping its shape. Here is a link to the latex toppers.
These toppers are finished like a mattress, in a taped edged cotton/polyester knit cover.Talalay Latex is a more supple material and is Hypo-Allergenic
Hi Pete From reading some of your responses on your web site, you suggested the Simmons Black Alexia for some people my size.
It appeared to me that they are selling this mattress, but it was not priced. Perhaps they would order it? I am showing my ignorance. Any thoughts? I will order the topper and/or any extras from you. Thanks, KC
Hi KC, I don't, normally, recommend that model for people your size. It is, however, the strongest mattress that Simmons makes. You will need the latex topper to go with it, otherwise the upholstery in the mattress will collapse. I didn't see that they offered Simmons. The cheaper Posturepedic Classics are surprisingly strong.
Oh Pete, I am sorry to bother you one more time, but I am a bit puzzled.
Perhaps there is a specific reason that the Simmons is not right for me when it was OK for others I read about.
One last question: If money was not an issue and you were getting it for a member of your family, would you buy the Posturepedic Classic or the Simmons?
(And of course, no one wants to throw away money.) Thanks so much, KC
Exactly right, KC.
The last thing I want to see, is for you to throw your money away. High end mattresses tend to be a total waste of money. I'll recommend an Alexia & latex topper for people between 250 & 300 lbs, but it is a stretch for a pocketed coil to hold your weight. That low end Posturepedic is strong. Don't forget the topper. It's key to your comfort and the value you get from a mattress that lasts longer. Thanks, Pete
An Important Note:
Any kind of moisture, be it from spills, accidents or perspiration causes a mattress to wear prematurely.
Protect your investment with high quality, Waterproof Mattress and Pillow Protectors that sleep cool and won't shrink.
Geoff writes: Hi Pete, I have read a lot about choosing mattress type and firmness based on a person's weight and sleep position. The information is all based on individual sleepers and never addresses any special considerations for couples. My...
Gary writes: Hi Pete, Like many of your blog posts indicate, there are lots of people with my same problem. I have a mattress that is, simply, too firm. Your advice points to adding a Suite Sleep Soft Organic Latex...
Betsy writes: Hi Pete, After reading some of your blog posts, I see you often recommend a latex mattress topper. Your website offers Pure Bliss and Suite Sleep. What's the difference? Why one over the other? And, what about the...