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Sciatica, All-Natural Dunlop & Talalay Latex Foam Mattress.

Cheryl writes:

My husband and I have a five-year-old king a Serta Perfect Sleeper Super Pillowtop mattress with a memory foam topper which has compressed so that it has two "troughes" and a hill in the middle.  My husband has sporadic back issues and the bed is so uncomfortable for him that he sleeps on one of our guest beds (innerspring).  While the bed isn't comfortable, it hasn't been so bad that I can't sleep on it thus far.  I'm 5'3", 140 lbs., 55 and a side/back sleeper. My husband is 5'10", 190 lbs, 65 and a side/stomach/back sleeper.

I've obsessively read your blog and have narrowed our mattress purchase down to two options: a flippable Therapedic mattress with one or two latex toppers or a latex mattress, which I've always wanted. If we go the latex route, which one to purchase and which density? I've found no retailers within 100 miles where we can test one. Buying online without testing makes my husband nervous (it didn't help us last time!). This may be the last time in our lives when we can afford latex. Would a king-size latex be too heavy to rotate and move ourselves (we're both pretty strong)?

His diagnosis is intermittent lower back sciatica. He found a helpful chiropractor who he used to see regularly. Now that he maintains a regular walking regimen, he's had no further problems.

When I attempt to join my husband on the non-pillow-top firm innerspring, inevitably, in the middle of the night, I am not sleeping well so return to my uncomfortable yet familiar cocoon. The innerspring is too firm for my preferences but I could likely adjust to anything. 

What is your recommendation?  Thank you very much for this informational site.

Cheryl Miller

Hi Cheryl,

I advocate avoiding memory foam for more reasons than sleeping hot.
A bad back and a foam mattress is an iffy thing. Severity of the back problem and the weight of the individual are factors in determining if an all foam mattress will work.
In your husband's case, neither of those factors are much of an issue. Still, you must be very careful not to get too soft a mattress. I'm talking, of course, about latex.
The sciatica comes from a pinched nerve in the small of the back. He must have a worn disc there for that to happen. The key to minimizing that is proper spinal alignment.
The memory foam helped with that initially, but now that it has lost its support, it makes it worse because he is no longer properly aligned.
There are several types of latex. The best is all natural with no fillers and no synthetics. Of those, there are 2 types…Talalay and Dunlop. Dunlop was the original latex foam rubber, which was discovered in the 1880s and first used as a mattress in the 1920s. Of the two, Dunlop is more dense and more durable. The Talalay process is about 60 years old. The end result is a more supple product. And while both claim to be the best, the Dunlop is better for support and the Talalay is better for comfort….(pressure point relief and muscular relaxation).
We carry 3 lines of latex mattresses. The Natura brand, we carry expressly for delivery throughout Canada….a Toronto based company. It's very good, but not the best choice for your husband.
The pureLatexBLISS brand is all Talalay latex and I worry about the suppleness of the Talalay being to deep for your husband's back. At 190 lbs, he borders on being too heavy for that depth of softness. That leaves the Ever-Eden brand. You'll find that the Ever-Eden models are not quite as pricey. The UPS delivery of these helps keep the price down…which begs the question, "Can the two of you manage taking it in?". It's shrink wrapped and not hard to handle. We have one at home in queen and I was able to bring it in alone. I was 61 at the time.
There are 3 models…a 6" all Dunlop core, which I'm sure will be fine for your husband, but not soft enough at the surface for you.
I have the 8" model at home, which I find perfectly comfortable…but not the female guests who have used it. (It's a guest room bed).
The 9" is the one that people like the most. It has 3" of soft Talalay latex on top of the 6" Dunlop core. This is the one that will work best for the both of you.
The soft Talalay surface does not negate the underlying firm support of the Dunlop…which, at your weight, you wouldn't even feel.
That would be my recommendation for an all latex mattress. If you cannot handle bringing it in, then we should go with an innerspring and latex topper.
All of our other mattresses come with White Glove Delivery. Only the Ever-Eden arrives UPS.
Here's the link to that mattress.


Evereden Latex Mattress

Evereden Latex Mattress








Thanks, Pete

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