Dominick: When your back hurts, everything hurts—walking, sitting, lifting, and sleeping. Choosing the right mattress can go a long way to making your back happy again. It isn’t magic, but it can sure feel that way.
When we’re advising customers as to what latex layers to use inside their mattress we’d like to understand what back pain you are experiencing. And at Savvy Rest we tend to think of back pain in three general ways.
Judy: Most intense pain often comes from pressure on a nerve in the spine such as from a diagnosed disk problem or an old injury. If you have this kind of pain you may experience sciatica—when a sharp pain moves down the leg.
If a spinal nerve problem is the main cause, we recommend you avoid the soft top layer and probably skip the latex topper as well.
Dominick: Everybody is individual though, so you might enjoy a soft layer on the top. But for many people with nerve related back pain, firm and medium layers work best. So you might want to try in an all-Dunlop mattress in this configuration: Medium, Medium, and Firm.
You can also change the top layer or the top two layers to Medium Talalay if this feels good to you.
Talalay does feel a little softer than Dunlop, but because its cell structure distributes weight so well, it does provide excellent back support.
Or, if your back responds best to the very firmest bed we recommend using only Dunlop: Medium, Firm, Firm. Remember, if you’d like to fine-tune the feel you can turn any layer upside down because the bottom side of Dunlop feels a little bit denser than the top side.
Now keep in mind that three firm Dunlop layers is going to feel too firm to all but a tiny minority of people—even those suffering from back pain. Support is good, but just plain hard will hurt.
In some cases, people with nerve-related back pain can enjoy extra comfort by adding a Savvy Woolsy topper. The Savvy Woolsy is filled with springy, responsive wool fiber that provides moderate cushioning without compromising back support. It also helps prevent heat buildup.
Judy: Another kind of back pain we often hear about is caused by simple but painful muscle spasms—not disk problems. You may experience this kind of pain after you’ve exercised too hard or after waking in the morning on a mattress that’s no longer supporting you well.
Dominick: A good way to determine this is to notice if your back pain goes away after you’ve moved around for a while and your body has warmed up a bit. And in that case, even if you’re suffering from temporary muscle spasms, you can enjoy as much softness as you like.
Some softer options would include [Soft Dunlop or Talalay, Soft Dunlop, and Firm Dunlop or Talalay.]
Judy: A third kind of back pain is discomfort from pressure points caused by a hard, unyielding mattress. For back sleepers, this is often noticed in the tailbone area at the base of the spine. You also may notice an uncomfortable pressure in your shoulders or hips when lying on your side. Fortunately, the fix for this is simply to create a softer, more yielding comfort.
Dominick: Your pressure-relieving mattress could be configured in this way: Soft Talalay, Medium Dunlop or Talalay, and then Firm [Dunlop] on the bottom. Or to make it even more pressure-relieving you could go with Soft Talalay, Soft Dunlop, and then Medium Dunlop or Firm Dunlop.
If you crave a super-cushy mattress surface you could choose Soft Talalay and a Harmony topper, and if your budget allows, and you really want over-the-top softness, you could add a Savvy Woolsy on top of the latex topper. A little crazy perhaps, and definitely an unusual choice, but some people love it. A more common super-plush configuration would be a Soft Talalay Topper, and then Soft Talalay, Medium Talalay, and a Firm Dunlop on the bottom.
Now if you’re over 200 pounds we generally recommend that you limit your Soft layers to just one. But you can always top it off with a Savvy Woolsy for that extra-soft feel.
Judy: As you can tell, there are many ways you can configure your Savvy Rest. The best thing to do is to try different combinations at your nearest Savvy Rest dealer.
Dominick: And if there’s no store close by, give us a call. We’ve had a lot of practice helping people with back pain, even over the phone!
Now remember that no matter which layers you choose you have three months after receiving your Savvy Rest to order a latex exchange if you need to adjust the firmness.
Be patient with yourself, and with the process. With a little luck and a little “back savvy” -- your new mattress will make a real difference to your back and to all the rest of you.