*I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. *
Many of you will know that I’ve been suffering from joint and muscle pain for a while now. While I haven’t been given a formal diagnosis yet, an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Fibromyalgia is looking likely. As part of such conditions, widespread pain is a common symptom, and I’ve been suffering from lower back pain in particular. I wake up incredibly stiff every morning, and my coccyx often feels tender. The guys at N:rem kindly sent me their mattress toppers to try for 30 days.
First of all, these toppers turned up super quickly. In fact, so fast was the delivery that I missed the courier’s first attempt, and had no idea what could be arriving. So kudos on the quick delivery.
Having checked the accompanying leaflet, I set the toppers up in the formation recommended for lower back pain (above). I laid them out as directed, and my cat Nala promptly settled himself on them. Needless to say, they get the cat seal of approval!
My partner didn’t relish the idea of being allotted less than his half of the bed, as the foam toppers are actually just over half the size of a standard double bed, but he’s tiny, and is used to squeezing in around one human and two cats, all of which are partial to flinging their limbs around in sleep.
I found them pretty comfortable, and so I fell asleep without much issue. I woke up with my back feeling better than it had done for a while – still stiff, but less so. Alas, after a few nights, I woke up with the most excruciating pain I’d ever felt in my lower back, and decided that this combination probably wasn’t working.
The super soft was right beneath my lower back, which felt like it was being dragged down into the abyss. I felt like I needed something firmer underneath, so, for the second week, I swapped the super soft for the medium. At once I felt more supported.
Since the above combination was largely working for me, I hadn’t bothered to change it. But, as many of you know, our pain can move around, and flare up in different places. On the weekend of the third week, I had a horrible flare on the right side of my back. It felt severely bruised, as if someone had bashed me with a hammer, and it even hurt to breathe. On top of a deep tissue massage, Deep Heat and painkillers, I decided to try moving the toppers around a bit, to see if that helped at all. While I don’t think the mattress toppers were the sole reason for my flare not lasting as long as usual, they certainly helped.
I decided to change things up completely and put the soft under my pillows, medium, then firm, and shove the super soft ones down the end. I felt like I needed more support for my back, and wanted to give this a try. It’s completely different to any of the suggested combinations, but to each their own.
I like how the toppers are individual, so you can change them around to suit your needs, which is particularly good for someone like me, whose body and tender points change pretty regularly. I think I’ll continue using them, but changing the combination to suit whatever hurts the most at the time.
N:rem’s website declares that “94% of our customers felt a positive improvement after waking the next day”. I don’t disagree – I felt better on the first few days. But during that first week, things changed. I’m not sure if it was mostly down to my condition, which is likely, or if the toppers weren’t laid out right for me, but the pain I felt after a few days of feeling better was like a crushing disappointment.
The toppers do tend to move around a bit underneath the sheet, despite the promise of them locking together. Perhaps grooves should be cut into each topper, so they can slot into the next one.
This may seem like a small thing, but it could easily be overlooked. Over the course of this trial, I found that you need a huge sheet that tucks under every end of the mattress with material to spare, else you won’t have enough to cover the mattress and the toppers.
My pain level hasn’t changed during the course of the trial, although I suspect this is more to do with a lack of treatment than the fault of the toppers.
I definitely feel as if I’ve slept better since getting them. I don’t wake up as often throughout the night, and I generally fall asleep quicker. All of the toppers are more supportive than my mattress, and getting into bed is now a more comfortable experience.
I love the fact that the toppers are individual, so you can change it up to suit your personal needs.
Overall, I think these have made some difference to me. Bearing in mind that I’m having no treatment, and haven’t even been prescribed effective painkillers yet, nobody can expect a mattress topper to miraculously cure anything. But does this product provide some relief? Yes, I believe it does.