Cheap mattress needed with specific need
May 2, 2021 4:44 PM   Subscribe

I waited for a deal and got an expensive Simmons mattress and my partner's main (and frequently repeated) complaint is that they feel like they aren't supported and sink/roll towards the middle of the bed, and that their hips hurt. I was wondering if someone could recommend an affordable mattress for side sleepers that is firm, not painful, and won't make her feel like this. Online reviews are untrustworthy and all over the place. Thank you!
posted by ftm to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Quick check: Is your bedframe sturdy with appropriate crossbracing? This can make a huge difference in how a mattress feels, even when using a box spring. This happened to me and i would find myself clinging to the edge of the mattress in the middle of the night, as if adrift.
posted by mochapickle at 4:48 PM on May 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Potentially cheaper than a mattress, you could try a platform frame and a firm 3” topper.
posted by Kriesa at 5:21 PM on May 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m a side sleeper and when I needed a new mattress, the recommendation was to get a softer mattress, not a firm one.

If your Simmons is less than ten years old, you can theoretically salvage the coils and just add new layers of latex or memory foam on top because it’s the cushiony layers that wear out. You can then buy a new mattress cover to enclose it. Here is the video that explains this.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:41 PM on May 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

My partner and I are both side-sleepers and the Leesa has been really great. I end up on my back a lot but always start out on my side, and he sleeps on his side and front, and we're both happy with the sleep we get.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:06 PM on May 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I also am a side sleeper, and I love my Leesa.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 6:12 PM on May 2, 2021

Side sleeper here. I suffered for about five years sleeping on a poorly chosen and overly firm mattress before moving last summer and leaving it behind. The mattress at the new place was even worse. I made it through a few weeks of increasing back pain before breaking down and buying one of the very many mattresses in a box online.

The Nolah mattress that I got has been perfectly comfortable, and the back paid went away almost immediately. I got the basic 10” queen-sized mattress for $800 (there’s a free trial period that you can forego to knock $100 off the price, I decided to take the gamble), which is a decent amount of money for me, and seven months later I consider it money very well spent. There were even two pretty nice pillows as a free add-on to the purchase that have become my regular pillows. This side sleeper would recommend it, and is not using the ‘get $100 if you refer a friend’ referral link they email out every month.
posted by Jawn at 8:37 PM on May 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thanks to the side-sleepers here.
posted by SPrintF at 8:47 PM on May 2, 2021

I use a tall bedframe myself as I never liked box springs and I can use the storage space underneath. If you look on Amazon, you can often pick up a used one for less than $100 depending on the size.

I also use a mattress topper as my existing mattress is probably over a decade old. Depending on your specific needs, you can probably get a memory foam topper that's a couple inches thick. Those are under $100 as well. And some of these can be returned if it didn't work out. THEN try the expensive mattress solutions.
posted by kschang at 11:18 PM on May 2, 2021

If there's a moderate to significant weight difference between you and your partner, this can be a difficult challenge to fix, IME. My partner weighs probably about 80+lbs more than me and as soon as a mattress starts breaking down (often long before the purported 8-10 year lifespan) I start getting the problems your partner states - feeling like I'm being sucked into the middle, back and hip pain from fighting that force all night, etc. We're both side sleepers though I also like to sleep on my back for some of the night. A mattress topper will NOT fix this issue.

We had a Tuft&Needle mattress that worked well for about 6-7 years, and really loved it until the foam started breaking down and I was back to fighting gravity. But it saved me from some pretty terrible back pain (we're talking waking up in the middle of the night, moving to the couch and sobbing from lack of sleep) after a high-end Stearns and Foster innerspring gave up the ghost. Pretty affordable, no springs, it's a good mattress; you just might not get as many years as you'd like out of it.

Just recently we got a Wink mattress, which is a hybrid (pocketed coils and foam) and I like it a lot. It doesn't feel as firm as the T&N was when new, but as I get older I appreciate a bit more give. It's less affordable, but not exorbitant (IMO), but one of the real game changers for us was upgrading to King size. That, of course, requires upgrading the bedframe and bedding and etc so the cost can really add up, but I mention it in case you can make that work because having that extra room really helps with the sinking into my partner's gravity well issue.

Overall I find foam mattresses to be better than innerspring on the issue of being pulled toward the heavier partner, so it might be worth trying one of those relatively affordable internet mattresses with a good try-and-return policy. I don't think there's that much of a difference between them. If you want to get really researchy about it, there's a forum called Mattress Underground where people discuss this stuff to death (and that sometimes has coupon codes/referral discounts for a lot of the internet mattresses.)
posted by misskaz at 4:32 AM on May 3, 2021

Oh, one thing that can help temporarily while you research this is getting your partner a body pillow. Mine really helps me feel more properly aligned and give me just the right amount of lean to stay out of the partner black hole.
posted by misskaz at 4:38 AM on May 3, 2021

I find a memory foam topper keeps me from rolling towards a partner and greatly reduces my hip pain.
posted by metasarah at 5:51 AM on May 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Disclaimer: I have had this mattress for only 3 months or so, but it's been decent so far.

Side sleeper, single. I recommend Nectar, they're one of those seemingly ubiquitous mattress-in-a-box but it works for me so far. Feels solid to sleep on; firm, but not too firm. Worth a try. I also paired the (queen-sized) mattress with a Zinus frame from Amazon that was quite easy to assemble. No issues so far, but again, it's been about 3 months, so take that for what it's worth.

Nectar offers an 1-year return period, so if next year, you're unhappy with the mattress, just return it (they'll take it and donate it, then give you a refund).
posted by dubious_dude at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I had that happen and it turned out that the center beam of the platform bed had sunk. It was an easy fix. Body pillow also helps even on a flat mattress.
posted by sepviva at 2:44 PM on May 3, 2021

Side sleeper who loves both a Casper and an Emma which are affordable second hand or on offer.
posted by turkeyphant at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2021

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