I've been having trouble with my lower back and hips lately, and I think it's because of our mattress. We bought this mattress after we moved to the Air Force Academy, back in 2000, so it's 11 years old. I guess I don't think of that as terribly old, as far as mattresses go, but it certainly seems to be showing its age! We didn't get a pillow-top, so we do flip it, and I thought it would last longer.
Neither of us really want to spend a lot of money on a new mattress right now, so when I was in Walmart last week, I decided to buy a memory foam mattress topper on a whim. An anniversary present for us! It was 4 inches think, and I did absolutely no research on it at all. Thankfully I did start looking into mattress toppers before opening up the huge box, because if we had taken that thing out, we would never have gotten it back in there! So now we know more about mattress toppers that I ever wanted to. It turns out that the 4 inch mattress topper is only 1 inch of memory foam, and 3 inshes of just regular foam. The foam isn't very dense either (2.5 pound density, which is low--you want at least 3 if not 4), which means it would quickly get all squashed down. Also, most people complain about the memory foam toppers being really hot. I am definitely a "hot" sleeper, so I was thinking that didn't sound so good.
We did more research and discovered that now they are making "gel" memory foam toppers. The gel is supposed to help wick away the body heat so you don't get as hot. That sounded good. Also, it doesn't seem like a good thing to get a topper that is too high--then it is really hard to turn over or even get up from. Considering how much time I have spent pregnant, I don't need anything to make it more difficult to get out of bed!
We looked at a bunch on Amazon (since they qualify for free shipping), and we read a gazillion reviews. Most people love them, even if they do conced that they are hot, but some people didn't like them. One lady, who is a side-sleeper like me, said that her hips and back felt better after sleeping on it, but now her neck is having problems, and she feels like she just exchanged one set of problems for another.
Once we hit upon these gel memory foam toppers, a lot of people mentioned that they got similar ones a lot cheaper at Costco. We looked online at their website, and what we found sounded great-- a 2.5 inch thick topper with gel that comes with a cover, for around $130 less than a similar one on Amazon. We went to Costco Saturday afternoon (it was a total zoo of people), joined, and came home with the topper, which was $10 cheaper than the website's price! (And also a bag of dark-chocolate covered acai/blue berries--YUM! Those are seriously addicting, and now the bag is gone . . . but I digress . . .) A lot of people had also complaimed about the smell of these things, so we brought it straight down to the basement, unrolled it, and let it air out and puff up in the bedroom down there.
By nighttime, the odor was hardly noticeable, so we hauled the thing upstairs with Nathan and Luke's help (it actually wasn't that heavy or anything), put it in the cover, and set it up on the bed. I was so ready to just effortlessly fall into a deep sleep and wake up so refreshed! That didn't really happen though. It was definitely hotter than just our normal mattress. I didn't wake up sweating, like if there was a plastic mattress protector on or anything, but it was noticeable. I guess we'll never need our flannel sheets again!
I also wasn't totally in love with the sensation of sinking down into it either--good thing we didn't get an even thicker one! Elizabeth had said she used one and liked it when she was pregnant with Theodore, and she felt like it was hugging her gently, and she slept really well on it. I'm not really liking the hugging though--touch isn't my love language, and I already have a ton of little people all over me all through the day, so I guess I want my mattress to leave me alone, LOL.
So we've slept on it for all of 2 nights now, and my hips and back are actually feeling better, which is good. But my neck and shoulders are worse, and I woke up this morning with my arm asleep. I really struggled with that all during this last pregnancy, but after I had Micah, I stopped having that problem. I don't want it to start again! And although all the write-ups talk about how you will sleep deeply and not toss and turn, I was consciously awake several times during the night, and I had a hard time getting comfortable. Finally I laid on my back, with my knees bent, and that was very comfortable--but I don't really want to sleep like that, LOL. I like sleeping on my side!
So I'm not sold on the thing yet. One thing in its favor, however, is that Bob seems to snore less on it. Hmmmm. That might make it worthwhile. And really, how could we ever take it back?! There's no possible way to compress it enough to get it back in the box!