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Back Pain on a Pillowtop Mattress – Too Soft for a Stomach Sleeper.

Holly writes:
Hello Peter,

I was wondering if you could give me some advice please?
I recently changed my mattress. Before, I was using an orthopedic mattress for the past 8 years.
I didn’t have any issues until recently, due to back ache. 
I thought maybe it was time to change my mattress so I went to a furniture store.
They sold the idea of a pillow top mattress to me. 
I’ve had the mattress for 2 months now, and my back is still sore every morning when I wake up. 
I sleep, predominantly, on my stomach and I hate anything that’s too soft. 
Should I be using a different type of mattress at all?
Kind regards, Holly
Hi Holly,

Before you do anything else, flip your mattress over.
A stomach sleeper sleeps better on a firm mattress.
The flip side of whatever you bought is sure to be much firmer.
This should help relieve your back pain until you can get the right mattress.
What you bought is entirely inappropriate.
Can you return the mattress you bought?
If so, send me a link to that retailer so I can help you reselect from what they offer.
What is your size, (height and weight)?
If someone else is sleeping with you, what is their size?

Thanks, Pete

I’m not too sure if I can send it back as I bought it on finance and still paying for it. 
The store I bought it from doesn’t have a website either.  
I can actually put it in the spare room and I can then buy a different mattress that’s not a problem. 
I live in Ireland, so if you could help me that would be great.

I am 5 ft. 4 in. and weigh 9 stone 5 pounds and I sleep alone. 
I thought about flipping the mattress, but you can actually feel the coils when you flip it. 
Is that normal? 
I knew I should have gone for an orthopedic type mattress again. 
I never had any issues previously with them but I was told the pillow top was a medium – firm. 
The back pain I’m having is mid to lower back.
I presume that’s because I’m trying to sleep on my stomach but putting too much pressure on my back?
Thank you, Holly  
Hi Holly,

That’s exactly what’s happening.
Your torso is sinking into the soft foam, causing your back to arch to much, which is causing pain.
Do you own a comforter or something to lay on top after you flip it.
That would help you to not feel the coils.
I can’t ship a mattress to you, so any help I provide will be indirectly.
Shop for a firm mattress and avoid any mattress upholstered with memory foam.
(Aka, Visco foam)

Thanks, Pete

That’s brilliant, Peter, thank you
Do you think I should go for an orthopedic mattress again?
Would it matter as long as it’s firm but not foam?

Kind regards, Holly

“Orthopedic” is a medical term, not used to describe mattresses here, in the US.

Most all mattresses are made with some sort of foam, with latex foam being the best and memory foam being the worst.
Memory foam is the only foam that causes you to sink into it.
A firm coiled mattress that has just enough upholstery on top to make you comfortable is what’s called for, here.
Just as long as that upholstery material is not memory foam.

Thanks, Pete

That’s great, Peter, thank you so much for all your help.

Best wishes, Holly

Happy to have been of help, Holly

Thanks, Pete
Keeping your mattress clean and dry will increase its longevity.
We recommend our Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector. 

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