Asked on Aug 24, 2015

Memory foam mattress killing my back!!!!

Rachel Haneline
by Rachel Haneline

I have a "high quality" memory foam mattress similar to tempuredic, I can't remember the brand, its either serta or sealy. I bought it back in 2012 and its slowly gotten soft where my fiance and I sleep. Its a king size and in the middle its nice and supportive where no one sleeps but where we sleep its terrible. I have chronic back pain along with fibromyalgia (I'm a 30 year old female) and this bed leaves me feeling like a block of cement in the morning. I need to do something. I went and tried out the sleep number beds and the one we liked was going to cost around $4100, and that was on sale, without a base!! Does anyone have any advice as to what we can do with the mattress we have, or is there another mattress out there that is good for the problems I have?

  57 answers
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Aug 24, 2015
    Sorry no answer for you, the cheapest mattress in my house is on my bed, very firm, the two guest rooms have high end pillow tops. My back needs the firm support.
    • Michelle Nidever Markman Michelle Nidever Markman on Jul 17, 2018

      i picked out our memory foam tempurpedic mattress. I love it but my busband wakes up in pain every morning. He previously slept on a firm mattress that made my hands go to sleep because it was so hard and I am a side sleeper. He’s misserable on the tempurpedic. I love it. I have chronic pain though so who know if its good for pain. I like it much better than his hard spring mattress. We are trying to figure out what to do for him we are considering selling it amd buying him a firm mattress (we bought a split king)

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 24, 2015
    I too am suffering from fibro and many other illnesses. I put an extra memorary foam matress pad which helps to some degree taking pressure off. Its worth a try.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Aug 24, 2015
    When my husband and I married, he had an expensive memory foam mattress also and I could not get used to it. I don't think it is broken down but I couldn't turn it it very well and generally just did not like it. We bought a regular mattress and put this in the guest room.
  • LenTex LenTex on Aug 24, 2015
    Check Craigslist for used mattresses. I got my king sized sleep number type bed on CL for $300.
  • Linda Hanson Linda Hanson on Aug 24, 2015
    Sometimes high priced mattresses have warrantes or prorated warrantees on them. Since we have them for long periods of time we sometimes forget this. Do you remember with this gentle reminder if there was one on it when you bought it?
  • Deborah M Deborah M on Aug 24, 2015
    get rid of it ...... Think about it "memory foam" it molds itself to the contour of your body. In time your sleeping in a sink hole!!! Worst thing ever for your body. I know it's very hard to find a mattress these days without the foam. We managed to find a Serta mattress at Sam's Club, without foam, and were able to purchase just a single mattress. ** I love it **
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Aug 24, 2015
    Pillow tops are just as bad. I feel like they break down just as bad. Im so confused!!
  • 1388315 1388315 on Aug 24, 2015
    Hi, If you do not have a extra room to put it in, then the answer is yes sale it (yard sale or craig's list.) The BEST thing I ever did was to spend the money for a sleep number, ( around 2900.00,) and if the bed is not an ajustable one use your box spring, DO NOT buy the plastic base ( the only mastake I made :P) 10 year later and no problems what so ever.... best money spend and back and hip problems not gone but now they only hurt during the day when i push to hard... then I can't wait to get back to bed... spend the money it is worth it....
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Aug 24, 2015
    I already have a nice adjustable base so all I need is the mattress. Sleep number offers an in home 100 nights risk free but if I dont like it then I have to pay "fees" to return the stupid thing.
  • Linda Hanson Linda Hanson on Aug 24, 2015
    Wow they certainly know how to twist thing in THEIR favor don't they? LOLOL How close to the 2 " drop is it?
  • Linda Hanson Linda Hanson on Aug 24, 2015
    would buying those cheapie egg crate type mattress toppers and rolling it or folding it and putting it UNDER the memory foam mattress fill the void enough for you to get along just long enough to give the mattress time to sag that 2"s. SO YOU CAN LET THE COMPANY PAY for a new one ! LOLOL
  • Cab2103783 Cab2103783 on Aug 24, 2015
    I had the same problem with memory foam. Definitely a rip-off.!! Try putting plywood under your mattress. Sounds crazy,I know.! Just try it.
  • Z Z on Aug 24, 2015
    @Rachel, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. There are not many things worse than an uncomfortable bed. Especially when you have back problems and Fibro. Unfortunately, at this point I doubt there is any "fix". Any topper is more than likely going to sink where your current mattress is depressed. And as you said, plywood would not help this situation. Other's may not realize, but adjustable bed bases are solid. If your mattress is like ours, it can't be turned over to see if that would help either. Your best bet is probably to buy a new one. Have you asked your doctor what type, not brand, would be the best for you?
    • See 4 previous
    • Michelle Nidever Markman Michelle Nidever Markman on Jul 17, 2018

      We are in your boat my husband turned it over any way. It helped temporarily but he’s in pain again. Refuses to see a doctor or buy another mattress...

  • Kay Ellen Tomlinson Kay Ellen Tomlinson on Aug 25, 2015
    Just an FYI: according to Consumer Reports, comfort-wise, there is no difference between the most expensive and the least expensive Sleep Number beds. Sorry I can't help with the mattress part. When we had this type of problem, we had to buy a new mattress because getting a good night's sleep is very important to one's health.
  • Sue Sanders Sue Sanders on Aug 25, 2015
    Cabdyehicks02 has good idea. Plywood might be the least until you can find a good firm mattress with a pillow top. Plywood works on couches that are sagging so why not a mattress. The memory foam mattresses never looked that good to me as I need a firm mattress that has very little "give".
  • Amanda Amanda on Aug 25, 2015
    My boyfriend has one of those as well...its hell to sleep on...there is like a pit in the middle so i have to go clear to the other side and sleep on the edge...i always wake up through the night....comfort sleeping? I don't think so!! Sorry love...I've been wanting one of those sleep number beds as well....
  • Lorraine Lorraine on Aug 25, 2015
    My husband and I just bought a new pillow top mattress in a medium firm. After "trying out" just about every mattress in two different stores, we knew right away the memory foam wasn't going to work. Like you, the sleep number beds were way out of our price range! Try a medium firm pillow top. It will give you the support you need for your back, but still "give" enough for comfort.
    • Julie Julie on Jul 26, 2019

      I have a sleep number and memory foam both kill my bac and hip. Sleep number constantly looses air since day one. When I called they said their air mattresses what do you expect. I have spent $10k and hate them both.

  • Kim Kim on Aug 25, 2015
    I have a chronic back problem and I purchased a foam mattress many years a go. It did nothing for me. I was truly disappointed in the money I spent. I bought an old fashioned pocket coil bed with a pillow top. It has been good to me for many years. It is finally time to buy another. I will be buying another pocket coil with a pillow top. I like that you can turn the mattress over but as I age it is almost impossible to accomplish this so perhaps a pocket coil with a euro top would be best. Good luck and I hope you find the bed of your dreams.
  • Kim Kim on Aug 25, 2015
    A pillow top mattress has a pillow top on both sides of the mattress. The euro top has this extra cushioning only on one side of the mattress. You do not have to flip the mattress. The euro top mattress usually is deep than a regular mattress and sometimes comes with a small box spring so that your bed is not way up in the air.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 25, 2015
    I have found that more expensive mattresses with ridiculously long warranties and ''frills", do not last longer than the ones with 10-15 year warranties. I have not tried Sleep Number, but had a memory foam one and a pillow top that I could not turn. Although I am not a fan of Sears, the best mattresses we ever bought are from there, as per my chiropractor's suggestion... I waited for a sale. I now only buy mattresses I can turn over and have wrapped pocket coils. I have had the last one for over 10 years and I still like it. Turning them over at least every season really makes a big difference for my back. I personally would never buy a used mattress unless I was buying it from a friend.Good luck! P.S. Here is some basic info:
  • Dorothy Collett Dorothy Collett on Aug 25, 2015
    If you purchased it in 2012 and after 3 years the foam is breaking down then the guarantee should still be effective. Guarantees used to be for 7 to 10 years. Hope you still documentation and can get it replaced or a partial refund from where you purchased it. I have used a sleep number mattress for about 20 years. I decided to purchase it when I realized a coil mattress did not stay comfortable for more than apx. 4 years but was "guaranteed" for 7 years. The sleep number's guarantee was for 25 years. At 3 times the purchase price it was a bargain. It is still just as comfortable as new, I do not have to turn it, it is easy to pack up and move to a new address, and I can change the firmness when the body aches. Down sides are you have to remember to change the battery in the remote and check the pressure regularly.
    • See 1 previous
    • LeeLan LeeLan on Mar 09, 2019

      The same thing has happened to me. My husband and I bought a memory foam mattress and it was fantastic for the first two years thereafter morphing into a torture device. We tried to exercise the warranty, but the 1.5 " "sagging" is the issue. It looks normal with the sheets off, but with the sheets on you can see the distinct indentations. We wake up every morning with our backs screaming in pain and stiff all over and extreme numbness in both arms to the point of pain. Still trying to find a mattress that will work for us.

  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Aug 25, 2015
    Yea but the 25 year warranty on the sleep number I have learned is not just cut and dry. As the years go by on your warranty they pay less and less on things if they break, and from some of the reviews Ive read, the air chambers can malfunction.
    • Dorothy Collett Dorothy Collett on Aug 26, 2015
      @Rachel Haneline As I said I've had mine for apx 20 years with one move to new address and no problems other than the regular readjustment of the pressure which should be expected. Perhaps having two twins pushed together for a king with additional mattress covers make a difference. Any other king size mattress would not have lasted as long. I did have chronic muscles spasms and have a very physical lifestyle so the support was important. As to the the mattress needing to be sunken a visiable 2" without weight: that's baloney! Ask to speak to the store owner or the factory owner for satisfaction. My uncovered 4" foam mattress from the 70's never sank that much after years of use. We still have and use the flip foam couch as a guest room bed and it is still flat to the eye. Only my foam cushions that sank actually turned to powder as they broke down after many years of use. That visiable 2" probably applies to a coil mattress. What Can you do with what you have? It would be work and cost. Buy enough super dense foam to cover the mattress from an upholstery supplies place and a sheet of memory foam (if you Like)and a good mattress cover. Rip the mattress on the underside so you have another fitted cover and remove. Add the upholstery foam to the top side and any usable foam / new memory foam on top of that. Recover with the mattress covers, one on bottom first. You will still have the old mattress. After you figure the cost of this and the labor you might find a new mattress and box springs would be better.
  • Rebecca Marvin Rebecca Marvin on Aug 25, 2015
    You might try a sheet of plywood under the mattress it might give support.
  • Valerie W Valerie W on Aug 25, 2015
    Alas mattresses don't last forever. Mattresses should be turned every 1 to 3 months to prevent the indents. I have a pillow top that cannot be flipped over but can to head to toe reversal. Most mattresses last 10 to 15 years if regularly turned. I purposefully did not buy a memory foam mattress for this reason.
  • Carole Carole on Aug 25, 2015
    We bought a mattress with a 2 inch cushion top and that is supposed to mould to your body too. The mattress now looks worse and is no more comfortable than our old 9 year old mattress that we put in our guest bedroom when we bought this one. I would buy a basic mattress and use it with a bed frame that has wooden slats rather than a divan base. The mattress can be OK but if the divan is old the mattress will sag whatever you do. Replace the whole thing with a normal good quality mattress. Steer clear of memory foam, cushion tops and so on and buy as good quality normal mattress as you can afford with a solid base (rather than a divan base as shown here) so it won't sag going forward. Pillow topped mattresses can only be used on one side.i.e you cannot completely flip them over for even wear. I would not bother with sleep numbers. Go into the store with your partner, kick off your shoes and both lie on the mattress together and take as long as you want to make up your mind if it is comfy for both of you.
  • Darlene Darlene on Aug 25, 2015
    I agree with Dorothy, your mattress should still be under warranty. Go back to the place you purchased it and they probably have record of your purchase. If you are wanting to purchase a new one, start looking for a good sale because they are expensive but worth the money if you can get a good night sleep.
  • While I am not experiencing the same issues you are, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I had a flippable pillow top for 10 years and it was the best. Gained a husband and eventually he didn't like it, insisting we try a Sleep Number for his back as memory foam is awful, IMO. So we did. And only used it for maybe 4 years at best. Pros: adjustable, easily moved. Cons: loses air pressure, his back got worse, I ended up developing back issues, any tiny thing (stain, tear, etc.) voids the warranty, poke a hole and it’s done, and I’m sure there’s more I forgot. Hardly seems worth the price given it’s merely an air mattress on a plastic platform. A waste of money in the end. We went back to a pillow top last year and are very happy. A comment above seems on the right track — ask your doctor, ask several professionals for advice, then test them out at a store. Know at the store it’ll feel firmer when you get a new one though. Best of luck and I hope you find what you need.
    • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Aug 26, 2015
      @Becky at Flipping the Flip Thats what I was afraid of with the sleep number and your experience just told that tale!!
  • Z Z on Aug 25, 2015
    Becky from Chicago makes a couple good points. Try it at store and not just lay on it for a couple minutes, but from my experience, at least fifteen minutes. Since floor models have been "used" they will seem a bit softer than your new mattress will be right away. We had to return our first mattress after barely more than a week. Even though they strongly urge you give it at least a month, I was in so much pain, I would wake up crying. I have a very high tolerance for pain and rarely cry about anything so my hubby knew the mattress was not working. I couldn't even stand up straight when walking into the store and had a hard time getting in and out of beds until I found the "just right one". Had it not been for hubby and the clerk talking I would have slept. I did doze. It cost another couple hundred for the exchange, but worth every penny. A good friend of my hubby talked him out of a sleep number for the same reason Becky said. They lose air.
  • I've had the sleep number for over 5 years. It's actually held up rather well. I like it at 85 and my husband has his at 40! He has a very bad back. You can't put a price on your back and pain. You also get what you pay for. I've heard the same complaint about that mattress you have. They don't last very long. You can try getting a pillow top to stretch it out longer, but I think you should just go w/the sleep number. Check around for deals, or a used one, or maybe they will deal w/you if you pay cash. Ask them to throw in the base! Can't hurt to bargain and ask. Worst they can say is, "no".
    • See 2 previous
    • Linda Linda on Nov 08, 2017

      Don't do cheap air mattress, they leak and go soft after a week and auto pump died. I slept on one when I moved it to this apt. Intex did nothing to help me w/replacement ,they laughed at me.

  • Cathy Smith Cathy Smith on Aug 26, 2015
    The best mattress I have every had (and both my husband and I have chronic back problems) was a Restronic. If I could afford another one right now that is exactly what I would purchase. Lost it when we lost our home to a house fire.
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Aug 27, 2015
    omg Im sorry about the house fire. Ive never heard of that brand before.
  • Chisgran Chisgran on Aug 27, 2015
    Rachel, I have a Sleep Number Bed and hate it with a passion. I slept like a baby the first 6 months or so. After that, I don't know why I can't get comfortable. I sleep on the couch...
  • Penny Penny on Sep 02, 2015
    We bought a sleep number bed and hated it. It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer, lord help you if the power goes out like ours always does. Plus we had to replace the air pump several times.
  • Rachel Haneline Rachel Haneline on Sep 03, 2015
    I think Im going to go with a Tempur-Pedic Cloud Supreme Breeze model. They are having a huge sale where I can get 78 months no interest. Also the sales guy told me I can get a prescription written and it will take the sales tax off of the purchase. I hope this will help with my pain and fibromyalgia.
  • Liz Straughn Liz Straughn on Sep 17, 2015
    Ask Tawra at Living on a Dime. She has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I believe, Fibromyaligia. She could probably give you good advice.
  • M. M.. M. M.. on Aug 19, 2016
    What I believe to be the problem with these types of bed is that one sinks in and then doesn't move much during the night. IT can FEEL great while you're falling asleep, but with FMS, you have to keep moving, even while asleep. A firmer bed, with bed springs in BOTH the mattress and the boxspring will help you sleep better and still be able to move during the night. Remember also to leave room for your feet, don't tuck the covers too tightly. Staying in one position, awake or asleep is eventually very painful, keep your movements fluid and smooth with gentle stretching. Sometimes wearing pj's/night clothes that are slippery, like satin or tricot knit help you move without catching on the bedding and wrapping tightly around you!
  • Selbord Selbord on Sep 02, 2016
    Costco has the best Prices, they guarantees your satisfaction and will refund your purchase price with free shipping and returns. They also have a large selection of Adjustable memory foam beds all sizes many brands and firmness, if you sleep on any mattress other them an Adjustable bed you will forever have back & neck issues. I have hardware in my spine and suffer from high cerebral spinal fluid pressure. I have the Sleep Science Ara 13" Split Cal King Memory Foam Mattress with Adjustable Foundation it’s like sleeping on a cloud. I suffered for so long without knowing it was my other mattress, and believe me I tried many with pillow & memory foam tops.
  • Glinda Rutledge Frake Glinda Rutledge Frake on Aug 01, 2018

    Add a sheet pf plywood under the foam for support, also flip your and turn your foam mattress

  • Gracie Gracie on Aug 01, 2018

    Have you tried flipping it?

  • Kristin Kristin on Jan 01, 2019

    Rachel - which one did you end up with?

  • Ella Lauren Ella Lauren on Feb 27, 2019

    Tomorrow mattress is really helpful for the people who have back pain.

  • Harsh Kumar Harsh Kumar on Jul 16, 2019

    I think you should try orthopedic mattress for back pain problem like

  • Lia Bobieo Lia Bobieo on Aug 13, 2019

    Same problems for us. My fiancé and I have back aches with this new mattress and it causes twitching during our sleep. It feels like I’m waking up in a startle to keep myself from falling. Very weird sensation only in this mattress. While traveling the other beds provided restful sleep. No aches in the mornings. Our central nervous systems seem to be aggravated by how much it gives each time you toss or turn. I want to go back to a standard non memory foam that is orthopedic! So tired waking up all night being groggy in the am and feeling totally cramped every morning. I didn’t realize how much I missed good sleep until I traveled and then came home to this bed. 😣. It was in the mid price range and had good reviews from college kids and probably many other people without back issues or fibro

  • Dorothea Mages Dorothea Mages on Apr 13, 2020

    The Emma memory foam mattress I bought is a torture device and as I’m waiting for my new spring coiled mattress I have no choice but to sleep on this Emma mattress. It has caused me to walk bent over like a cripple and I’m in pain all the time. I removed the cover and found not memory foam but normal camping foam.

  • Josh Josh on May 19, 2020

    been working in the bed industry for almost 8 years now and what i have found is the sealy posturepedics are built like they did a long time ago strong, comfortable and highly supportive. The spring system in a way over compensates for most body shapes and weights the problem with a lot of brands or types of beds is they feel amazing in store but can not hold the durability they offer for generally the 10 years a quality bed is warrantied for. In my experience they sealy posturepedics over compensate in durability giving the complaint factor almost zero and the fact they support 225kg's on either side of the bed they support basically its entire life its warrantied and in alot of circumstances even more so. Full Memory foam is such a gamble as there are 100s of inferior products that try to replicate tempurpedic ie: Tempur that are so close to general foam they offer no support as foam is for comfort not support.

  • Josh Josh on May 19, 2020

    tempur was an example of the best memory foam you can buy not as an example of whats bad my apologies for the i.e typed out fast in between sales

  • Josh Josh on May 19, 2020

    and kumar the mattress you are advising equivalent and theres 1000s of them is basically a $1500 nzd mattress and have never in my life seen a mattress with only those simple constructs not to mention the reduced warranty for 4 to 5x its retail price

  • Moazzem Hossain Moazzem Hossain on Jun 24, 2020

    A memory foam mattress is more comfortable than traditional spring mattress. But sometimes, it may cause body aches, lower back pain, etc. Due to over sinking property, it can harm your spine and creates back pain. To learn more about memory foam mattress and back pain, you can read this helpful article here

    Best of Luck,


  • Kim Kim on Jul 01, 2020

    I found memory foam mattresses EXTREMELY HARD and HOT and cannot sleep on them. I tried a temperpedic brand and got rid of it the next morning, I've since tried a zinus elite 12" from Sam's and now I am stuck on Serta SleepToGo from a box because of covid there is no white glove delivery. I'm 50 now and bedroom is upstairs. Last night I fell asleep on my back (I'm a side sleeper) and woke 2.5 hours into night with my tailbone feeling broken. I already had been talking to Sam's about the Serta being rock hard and I'm trying to figure out if a plush spring mattress could be delivered and set up. Thus is why I'm here today, searching for why I can't find a decent mattress. I have back problems and a rod implanted in 1993. I since slept on an approved waveless softside waterbed by my orthopedic surgeon until February 2020. Because of my 2story and small staircase, I can't move a traditional mattress up and I'll probably have to deal only with queen or even full 😮now. This is why (and COVID) I went with mattresses in a box. They are like sleeping on a counter, not to mention hot! I'm convinced from reading here they don't last (sagging). I only hope covid ends and I can get Sam's to white glove delivery and haul away this treacherous inflatable life raft of a rock stab this mattress industry considers a mattress and get some traditional coil bed. Btw, bought 2 different toppers, and they don't fix hard! It really sucks to dread going to bed and not sleeping good so I wish I had the answer.

  • Channyn Channyn on Jul 17, 2020

    Bought one from amazon to go with the adjustable base. Worst decision ever for my back&body. This thing makes me feel like I'm a 90 years old woman that has fallen, fell asleep and woke up where I fell! I will never buy another memory foam mattress. As soon as I can afford to replace it , I will donate it to a dog or animal shelter. I mean, its comfortable to lay on or sleep on for a nap or 1 or 2 nights, but most definitely not for long term use.

  • Josh Josh on Oct 13, 2020

    You should try zinus mattress they are affordable and comfortable as well you will really like these mattress as i am using it myself from last 2 years. check best zinus mattress reviews.

  • Rocco Rocco on Apr 09, 2021

    We are looking for new comfortable mattresses. The choice seems to be a sandwich of memory foam 3 or 5 cm thick over a medium or medium/hard foam; or a single layer of cool-something foam without the memory bit; or maybe latex (we are doing much research though the informative resources like ). I'm sure pocket springs are comfy but I reckon they'd be too heavy to keep lifting for the sail bins? Overall we think 15cm thickness would suffice. Neither of us is heavy, so about 10 or 11 stone per person.

  • Em Em on Apr 10, 2021

    If you bought it in 2012 it is time for a new mattress. Mine is doing the same and am waiting for time to go try out a new one. They are all SO different and no longer can get the brand I bought or I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 10, 2021

    Hello there,

    Turn the bed over, then put the bottom to the top. That should help for a while, otherwise, move into the middle of the bed, or buy a new mattress.

  • Almost 10 years old, time to replace.

  • Cj Cj on May 17, 2021

    i would tell you to do a trial on the mattress they have them like 30 days ?and i do not like foam myself .Had one years ago and they break down and they smell.Do a google on best mattress on the market.

  • MattressBuzz MattressBuzz on Feb 18, 2022

    The new Memory Foam mattress from Saatva is excellent. I am not a big fan of memory foam mattresses, but I suggest you read this article about memory foam mattress pros and cons, short but very informative. I hope I have helped.