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Do body oils really degrade mattress foam?

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Do body oils really degrade mattress foam?

Old 02-25-13, 10:30 AM
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himespau 
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Do body oils really degrade mattress foam?

The wife and I have a pillow top mattress that we've only had for 6-7 years and we've developed rather significant dents in the top of it (been there for a few years now). I'd always put it down to us not being able to flip it, but, whatever the reason, I've got it into my head that the divots in the mattress are aggravating my bad back and blame them some mornings when I get up and can hardly walk (yeah, part of it is also that I'm overweight and don't do my physio exercises as often as I should). Was in a mattress store yesterday (not the best source of unbiased information) picking up a bunkie board for my daughter's first bed, and told the guy how I'd be looking for a new bed because of the dents due to the pillow top being compressed under us all the time because we couldn't flip it (the springs seem fine), and he said no, no, no, it's not the compression that's causing it, but your body oils seeping into the padding and degrades the foam and it was our fault for using a mattress pad instead of a mattress protector. Anybody heard of that before? Does it make sense or was the guy just feeding me some line of bull? I don't know what he could have gotten out of it, but it didn't really make sense to me.
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Old 02-25-13, 12:18 PM
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Is the pillow top made of memory foam/latex or is it quilted? Those quilted pillow tops compress and get dents after a few years. For your next mattress get something firm & no padding and then buy a ~$100 pillow topper. This can be replaced when necessary. My wife and I also use a mattress cover (it completely zips around the mattress) to protect against stains and allergens.

I have not heard that line about body oils breaking down the mattress pad before.
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Old 02-25-13, 12:44 PM
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It's a memory foam/latex/whatever top cushion. Unfortunately, it's already a very tall mattress, or I'd consider getting something to go on top of it (assuming I could find one firm enough and that it'd smooth out some of the dents) which is what I'm assuming the pillow topper you describe is, but I doubt we'd ever find any sheets to fit on the mattress. He wasn't claiming it broke down the mattress pad, but whatever foam they'd used in the pillow top. Just sort of annoyed because we'd shelled out the extra cash for what was supposedly a rather nice 20 year mattress and I'm hating it after 7. My wife on the other hand sort of likes it. The dent fits her body so why complain is her thought.

Last edited by himespau; 02-25-13 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-25-13, 12:45 PM
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To be honest, I'd never heard of pillow toppers before (other than those old foam egg crate things). Do they work well?
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Old 02-25-13, 12:54 PM
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Sounds like BS to me.

If you have that much oil dripping off of your body, then you need to throw a sheet of plastic over the bed before you and the missus get all kinky with the scented oils.
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Old 02-25-13, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Sounds like BS to me.

If you have that much oil dripping off of your body, then you need to throw a sheet of plastic over the bed before you and the missus get all kinky with the scented oils.
True. That was sort of my thought on it. I am liking the idea of mattress toppers (just looked into them briefly) and sheets with deeper corners as a temporary fix. I wonder how well those would do to fill in the dents, or if they'd just amplify the effects. I've seen 3-4" thick 4 lb density foam for a rather reasonable price. Well compared with the cost of a new bed anyway. On the other hand, if it didn't work, that's just money sunk for no real purpose.
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Old 02-25-13, 02:40 PM
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I have a bed with a topper on it and to it added a 4" memory form pad. My bed now is nice and plush. But as you noted the bed it high and it sometimes takes some doing to get on top of it.

That said not certain that's the answer to your problem. If the bed really has "dents" and "divots" a form pad may not even that out.

Top beds last only 10 years as it is... sound like your bed maybe approaching its lifetime and you need another mattress. I can't imagine body "oils" have corroded the topper... do you all sweat alot through your mattress pad? It is possible, I'm sure for body fluids to cause a problem... if nothing else think dust mites, mildew, mold etc. I have several thick blankets between me and my mattress pad (plus a sheet) to protect the topper... blankets can easily be washed... the topper cannot.
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Old 02-25-13, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
To be honest, I'd never heard of pillow toppers before (other than those old foam egg crate things). Do they work well?
I would never buy a bed with a pillow topper again... that said I will always purchase a nice 4" memory form topper to go on the mattress. The memory form was $200. If after a while it gets funky, I can throw it away...
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Old 02-25-13, 07:19 PM
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It is probably BS, but also most matress companies excuse to void the warranty. Simmons, Serta, Sealy, S&F all currently require the protector (which I find very noisy) while Tempurpedic doesn't in their written warranty. What was required 6-7 years ago, I don't know. At any rate, on warranty, they don't replace a mattress that is no longer in production (or even if is in production) but credit back and your choice of what you want to replace it with.

I am going through "the new matress" right now, and yours may be covered by warranty as back then they were probably 10 years, now 20 to 25 years with at least 10 years at 100% - but varies by company. I find it amazing, wr have two queens in the other bedrooms, 22 as 14 years old - flipable innersprings and no sagging.

Am now on the second mattress. First was a Serta iComfort "Insight" which came with a 120 day 'comfort' guarantee - which they want you to use all 120 days. It didn't last that long as around 90 days it became a warranty issue - sagging in excess of 3/4 inch, plus it felt like the foam was deteriorating to pebble like and notably sinking in the center causing back ache. here are pictures I took.



Actually, that fabric is quiet as you scratch your fingernails across it...and you hear nothing as lying on the mattress in the store. Pull that protector over and scratch, and very noisy...and you hear all night as you move about




Current on a Stears and Foster pillowtop that doesn't have a "comfort trial" like the memory foam mattresses. You buy it, you got it. Absolutely despise it in the 3 or 4 months I have had it, as having the deterioration - compacting of the pillowtop causing the sleeping trench and within the past few weeks , I will wake up and feel those individual independent coils poking into my ribs. Can't wait for it to be a warranty issue...but pillowtops have a 1 1/2" drop, and I am not there yet. Currently around 3/4" but give it a few more months. And I am not that heavy at 6' and around 205.
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Old 02-25-13, 08:14 PM
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Unfortunately, we didn't use a mattress pad for the first 6 or so months (my wife had never used one before and didn't see why we should spend the money), so there are some small stains on the mattress. Not enough to be gross, but enough to probably void the warranty if we still had the receipt. We have however moved 3-4 times since buying it and now live 8 or so hours away from where we bought it and it was made by a local company where we bought it so I'm pretty sure we're SOL on the warranty. Might give one of those memory foam toppers a try to see if it can be saved; we'll just have to see. You know, I think we still have the same amount of denting we had 3-4 years ago, just my back has progressively gotten worse (party because I've gotten older, partly because I've gotten more out of shape - I'm 6'3 and 230 -but also just due to repeated injuries) so I notice it more. I wonder if it compressed as far as it could go and that's it. Just trying to figure out if a topper will smooth some of that out (don't even need it completely gone just less), or compress in the same spots and make the body imprint worse.
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Old 02-26-13, 12:09 PM
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I have a memory form topper and love it. It doesn't so much as smooth things out but instead conforms to and cradles your body. It's wonderful for a bad back (and other sore and hurty parts of which I have many). They aren't that expensive. It would be worth trying one. I got my at Costco - so if you don't like it you can bring it back...
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Old 02-26-13, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
I have a memory form topper and love it. It doesn't so much as smooth things out but instead conforms to and cradles your body. It's wonderful for a bad back (and other sore and hurty parts of which I have many). They aren't that expensive. It would be worth trying one. I got my at Costco - so if you don't like it you can bring it back...
I'm more of an amazon guy than a visiting stores person, so that makes returns more difficult, but I think you're right that it might be worth trying. If it does work, then onto the next problem of finding fitted sheets with deep enough corners (it's already hard because our mattress is like 18" tall as it is - add a topper and you're looking at 20+ inches).
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