Our Tempurpedic is a (very expensive) torture device!
September 19, 2010 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Finally got a Tempurpedic, a really nice expensive thick one. Every morning I wake up with excruciating back pain. I sleep on my side or stomach. My wife says it hurts her back too, although not as badly as mine. We already got rid of our old mattress. Any thoughts on how we can salvage the situation? If not, I might be forced to go to the hardware store tonight to buy a piece of plywood to throw on top of the torture-device-of-softness.
posted by zachawry to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
How long have you had it?
posted by purpletangerine at 8:57 PM on September 19, 2010

A lot of stores have 30 day return policies, but you can't otherwise "fix" a mattress.
posted by mhoye at 8:58 PM on September 19, 2010

Most mattresses have a limited-time return policy. Mine was 60 nights, but we managed to accidentally stain the mattress in that time, so that was voided... It took at least that long for us to get used to it, and now I love my mattress, although next time will be on the lookout for something firmer.

Call the retailer you bought it from and see if they have such a return policy... and in the meantime use a proper mattress cover to protect it, so you don't have the same problem I did!
posted by sunshinesky at 8:59 PM on September 19, 2010

It could be pillow-related.

What's weird is that I have the same problem no matter what bed I sleep on. My body wants to sleep on the side, for some reason, but I always find it painful in the morning. If I force myself to go to sleep on my back, I sleep better and feel great. So maybe try that.
posted by jrockway at 9:13 PM on September 19, 2010

nthing maybe a pillow problem. My new Ikea mattress had me in agonies until I replaced my cheap pillows with good down pillows. I still have the mattress and love it.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:17 PM on September 19, 2010

We have a memory foam mattress that I imagine is similar to a Tempurpedic, but a different brand (it's from Costco). We actually found it to be too firm for us. We put a padded topper from Cuddledown on it to soften it up a bit. It might be possible to find a topper that would make it firmer, but it seems like it would be tricky.

FWIW, we had a very expensive traditional mattress that we basically tossed out (we gave it to someone) when it was less than two years old because it was hurting my wife's back. We were completely out several thousand dollars and had to buy a new mattress. So I definitely feel your pain. But you need to have a comfortable place to sleep, even if it forces you to spend money you'd rather not spend...
posted by sharding at 9:21 PM on September 19, 2010

I'll go ahead and nth the pillow problem as well. We have a hybrid mattress (it has coils but they're surrounded in memory foam) and I was having all kinds of neck and back problems until we replaced our pillows. Now I wake up all refreshed and ache-free every day.

That said, if the mattress is really that bad, I'd call the place where you purchased it and ask to return it, then get a different mattress. But the pillow change is a cheap thing to try first.
posted by bedhead at 9:43 PM on September 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses. I will try pillow adjustments.

Unfortunately, cannot bring the thing back, since we bought it at an outlet.
posted by zachawry at 9:50 PM on September 19, 2010

If I sleep on a mattress that's firmer or less firm than my normal one, I'm usually in awful pain for a few days until my body adjusts. If you haven't had the mattress very long, you may eventually get used to it.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:53 PM on September 19, 2010

I, too, bought an unreturnable tempurpedic and it took me about 4 months to not hate it. Now I pretty much like it and don't have the same pain as I did when it was new.

Make sure you use it on a solid platform (we made one from wood to use on my normal slatted bedframe). That helped.
posted by tristeza at 10:06 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

We've had our unreturnable (dammit) Tempurpedic for just about a year now. We still hate it.

nthing getting good pillows. We found that the flatter memory foam pillows and good squishy down pillows work best. I think because they aren't so high once we sink down into the bed.

The other thing that helped was a good quality (read: freaking expensive) down and feather mattress on top. Seems counter-intuitive, but we sink into the foam less, or at least more evenly. I hypothesize that the heat from our bodies is more evenly distributed and thus there is less pressure point sinkage.

I feel for you, I really, really do. We are also out several thousand and now are terrified of buying a new mattress. The Tempurpedic felt so good in the store and so horrible at home. I'm glad I'm not the only one in this situation. I was starting to think Mr. Porcine and I were the only ones who hated this thing.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:42 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Its really hard to sleep on your front on a foam mattress. I switched to foam (not memory foam) four years ago and have gotten used to sleeping on my back as trying to fall asleep on my front resulted in terrible backaches.
posted by Ness at 2:06 AM on September 20, 2010

I remain firmly convinced that mattresses with springs in them are indeed expensive torture devices, and that it's hard to go past a nice foam+wool core futon on slats. But you really do have to roll it up every day.
posted by flabdablet at 3:15 AM on September 20, 2010

why do you have to roll it up every day?
posted by felix at 8:15 AM on September 20, 2010

We bought a memory foam mattress on Overstock and it did hurt the first four days or so, but now we love it. I understand there's an adjustment period, so try to stick it out for a while. Not sure if Tempurpedic behaves significantly differently to our knockoff.
posted by Dragonness at 8:48 AM on September 20, 2010

Regarding pillows (and good pillows DEFINITELY matter a great deal) I have a pair of natural latex pillows that are the best thing I've ever put my head on, seriously. I have this brand, but I imagine any natural latex pillow will be similar. They are a little pricey, but are completely hypo-allergenic and last quite a while (had mine two years now, so can't say forever, but after two years they are still as great as when first purchased).
posted by LooseFilter at 8:51 AM on September 20, 2010

The colder the room, the firmer the Tempurpedic, if that helps at all. You can also prevent yourself from sinking in as far by double-sheeting the mattress, and using a crisp, tight, woven style of sheet instead of a loose or knit sheet.

Are you waking up in the same position in which you fell asleep? If you are used to mitigating side-sleep pain by semi-waking and turning several times in the night, you may find that you aren't doing it on the Tempurpedic mattress. I don't know how you can fix that, but I fixed it by letting the cat come in (jump up, semi-wake me, I turn over, voila).

I also recommend a flat, soft pillow. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to mine, but I love it.
posted by Sallyfur at 9:10 AM on September 20, 2010

You'll put lumps and depressions into it as your body squishes the filling out of the way. Rolling it up squishes it back (to a certain extent).

This is less of an issue with smaller sleepers and/or thicker futons. Also, two futons are better than one - stacking one atop the other is super comfy. Just trade off which one goes on top frequently.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:12 AM on September 20, 2010

I was in the same boat as you. Bought a Tempurpedic for my back, made things worse. Couldn't return. So I put in on ebay, and got about 1/3 of the cost back.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:44 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's definitely worth experimenting with (and without) pillows: 5+ years ago I switched from a standard mattress+box springs to a tube-waterbed with memory foam topper (5-6 in. thick?) and went from using pillows to not using any (while sleeping on either side or back). The few times I've use a pillow with this setup, the next morning's pain would make me regret it profoundly.
posted by knobby_berry at 6:21 PM on September 20, 2010

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