Help me make my bed more comfortable

Last year, I bought myself a brand new, queen-sized Simmons mattress because my back was killing me. This bed was designed to be firm and help alleviate the back aches I was having due to rheumatoid arthritis, but it hasn’t worked out that way. In time (after the money-back return policy expired, of course), I realized that this bed was not comfortable to me. I have tried different pillows, no pillow, and laying on a body pillow, but nothing seems to help.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to make my bed more comfortable in a way that won’t hurt my back? I’m pretty much stuck with this bed, since it was expensive and I won’t be able to afford another one for the foreseeable future. It was an improvement over the concrete futon I had before, but not enough, and it’s pissing me off. I have a love-hate relationship with sleep as it is, so I need to figure out a way to enjoy this bed somehow.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Well, you could try adding a PERSON to it :slight_smile:

Try this:
A far more inexpensive alternative to a TempurPedic bed. It’s a “topper” for your mattress.


But seriously…

Featherbed. You can get them for a reasonable price if you shop around and they are great for distributing weight without being too soft. Eggcrate foam is good too, and cheaper. I disagree with that whole rock hard bed = less back pain equation that seems to be universally accepted as gospel. I have a couple of herniated discs and used to be crippled up for half the day after rolling out of one of those purgatorial procrustean nightmares. I have a nice pillow top Englander queen size that is firmish but soft–it yields to my contours but supports my back, and I haven’t had much of anything in the way of back pain for two years.

Also, don’t skimp on the bedding. 100% cotton high thread count sheets are kind to your skin and help you relax and sleep soundly. Flannel sheets or knitted jersey for winter, smooth cotton for summer. Down pillows are a must, because they conform to you and support your neck better than that icky hollofill crapola.

Better than or as good as the memory foam? I notice they’re more expensive than the foam top.

I had a couple of doctors tell me not to get a soft mattress, so I believed them. I don’t anymore. I think this is one of those myths, because my back, mostly my neck and sacroiliu, are freakin’ killing me. I was also told in no uncertain terms that any pillowtop is a bad idea, but at this point, I don’t give a damn. I’m willing to try anything within reason.

I only sleep on 100% cotton sheets, so I totally agree on this.

my rents have one of these. 'tis nice. i recommend it.

i was also going to mention a featherbed and egg crates, but someone else got it already.

I don’t have back problems, so I don’t know if I’m one to give any advice, but i do have an uncomfortable bed.

I made it more comfortable by getting a gigantic fluffy comforter, three giant pillows, a body pillow, two regular pillows, a reading pillow, and three little throw pillows and just making a nest out of them. My bones rub against each other and the bed, so everything has to be spaced and padded- a pillow between my knees, one between my ankles, one at my back, one under my shoulder, one under my hip, etc.

I’m prejudiced toward the featherbed in spite of the cost because foam makes me overheat, especially now that the perimenopause is in full swing. I’ve seen them for as little as 129.00 US (Queen size) at Ross and Bed, Bath and Beyond, you just have to scout the sales assiduously.

I don’t like a soft bed, and water beds are disastrous for those of us with back issues. No, mine is one of those really neutral ones that you can jump up and down on without spilling the wine glass balanced on the other side, just like the commercials! :wink: The pillowtop is only about 2-3 inches high, not those gigantic monstrosities I’ve seen that I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get a sheet wrapped around. It’s low to the ground, too, just the mattress and box spring (why do we still call them that? They’re usually just a plywood box covered with fabric) on the floor. Englander is a local company, which was a big selling point because I can throw the thing into the back of a truck and return it to the factory for replacement if it wears out during the ten year warranty period. Gotta love that kind of a casual attitude toward product support! Best part–cost me 300.00 out the door, incredibly cheap for the comfort it gives.

As for the neck pain, I tell you three times–DOWN PILLOW! They can be bunched up to support the neck in whatever shape gives you the most ease and they return to the original shape when you fluff them. I found these bomb down/feather queen size pillows with mildew retardant treatment and 360 thread per inch cotton covers at Burlington Outlet for 14.00 each. Stone deal, I love them!

I’ve also found that using a pillow to support my upper leg from hip to knee when I sleep on my side really helps a lot–it keeps that straight line spine thing going.

Sheepskin - I have one from Costco that cost about $40. It helps regulate temperature and really helps whit the uncomfortable achiness from osteoarthritis that I have sometimes. It’s only half my size, but I put it under my legs when my knees ache, and under my body when my hips and shoulders ache.

In my experience a good mattress-pillowcombiantion is more a matter of fit then of expenses. I’d recommend you try out a few different top mattresses and pillows. These ones from Ikea are inexpensive enough to give them a try.

You could ask friends and relatives; quite likely one of them has several pillows/mattresses in the attic or in the guest room that weren’t quite right for them, but may be perfect for someone else. I’ve always thought someone ought to organize a “pillow-swap”.

The down-alternative pillows are quite good, also. I find them slightly springier than real down, which I like.

Also, I find that the fewer covers I have on top of me, the better I sleep because it makes it easier to turn over without losing anything. In the winter I sleep under a down duvet, in the summer just under a sheet, possibly with a blanket over my feet.

I would like to chime in with the “generic Tempur-Pedic” crowd. We’ve got a nice mattress and box spring (it’s either a Simmons or a Sealy), but that $125 slab of foam makes all the difference in the world. I sleep on my side, so I need that first couple of inches of bed to give underneath my shoulder and still have the support of the mattress beneath that. I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant, and I’m still sleeping very soundly (other than the 2-4 potty trips per night). We got ours at Sam’s Club. We also have the generic memory foam pillows. Actually, I have the “real” $100 Tempur-Pedic pillow and it’s been relegated to under-the-bed storage because I prefer the generic one.

You spend far too much time in a bed to have it be uncomfortable. I personally cannot stand firm beds. I was stuck with one when I was pregnant because it came with the furnished apartment. An eggcrate topper did help a bit, as did the right pillows (I recommend king sized Hotel collection pillows with alternative down).

Honestly, though, I’d strongly consider trying to sell the mattress and getting another one. I realize they are very expensive but you spend 1/3 of your life in it. If there’s one thing to splurge on, it’s a decent mattress. They always run those 24-month-same-as-cash deals but I’ve found very decent mattresses at Costco for far less.

good luck.

I have a pillow top on my mattress. I also have a body pillow and an extralong pillow for various support.
Linens n Things may be expensive, but they have an excellent variety of mattress padding. If you find something you like, you can look around to see if it’s available cheaper somewhere.

Try posting your mattress on craigslist. You never know what people are looking for…

I would like to add this - when we bought our set, it had a retail value of about $1000, but we got it at a discount place for less than half that (including tax). We spent close to 45 minutes going back and forth between different mattresses, and were never pressured or steered toward anything in particular. We couldn’t have it delivered (they would only deliver 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday :rolleyes: ), so the very competent sales clerk strapped the queen-sized set to the roof of my Saturn, and we drove home very slowly and carefully. I say this because you surely won’t get full price if you choose to sell the set you have now, but you might be able to find a good one cheap, so long as you’re in a major metropolitan area.