Sleep without pain? Hey, a girl can dream.

Is there anything worse than living with a bad purchase?

Five years ago, right after Rex was born, I started having serious back pain. I wasn’t sleeping well, and my lower back routinely felt like someone had taken a sledge hammer to it.

In an attempt to right this painful situation, we went mattress shopping. Keep in mind, we were fresh out of grad school, living in Maryland on a single government salary. There was no money for a new mattress.

I started looking online and found that there are a number of companies that sell memory foam knock-offs; they’re not official, and are routinely hit and miss, but they were sure cheap.

“Please please please?” I begged. “They’re so affordable, and I promise I’ll love it! Anything is better than what we’ve got.”

“Are you sure? Because once you get this, there’s no going back. You’ll have to live with it and I don’t want to hear you complain if it hurts your back.”

“I’d never complain! I’ll love it!”

$300 later our new mattress arrived on the doorstep. We were excited and thrilled and couldn’t wait to try it out. It came with a 30-day return policy, but once we’d popped the little vacuumed package open and watched it miraculously grow nine sized, it was apparent that mattress wasn’t going anywhere.

Then we slept on it.

Have you ever slept on a slab of plywood? Cause that would be preferable to our unforgettable memory foam mattress.

Fast forward five years of living with my decision. In the past few years we’ve learned that I have spondylolisthesis–a break in my lower back that will never heal (which explains why I routinely brag about my broken back)–which has worsened with each pregnancy.

I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve lived in silence with this horrible decision for five years. The bed has got to go.

Last weekend I put my back out so badly I was down for the count. Thanks to a really cool chiropractor out in Clearfield, UT who runs an awesome walk-in clinic, I am back on my feet and getting better every day. His name is Ryan, and last year he traded in his fancy practice for a stress-free, $20 walk-in clinic. He’s absolutely fantastic. (And no, I’m not getting anything for writing about his clinic. I just like to see people who aren’t afraid to trade money for happiness.)

The past week we’ve been hunting through mattress stores and dumpsters in an attempt to find a suitable mattress replacement. Finally, after talking to seventeen different furniture salesmen (and two women), we strapped our find to the top of the car last night and brought it home.

And thanks to my ever-loving (although routinely cheap) husband, last night I slept peacefully (minus the four times children woke me) and rolled over this morning…wait for it…without any pain. That’s right. First night on my new Intelligel Mattress (bought on clearance 70% off and non-returnable) and I can tell you right now, it was worth every penny.



  1. I super hate mattress shopping. I am really hoping that I like the one we bought 3 weeks ago for at least 5 years. I was like you “ANYTHING is better than the mattress we are sleeping on”.

    Glad you got a good night’s rest, minus being woken 4 times by kids, and woke up pain free. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you finally got a good night’s sleep! I had a similar experience — we bought a rock hard mattress. I didn’t realize how bad it was until a few years ago when some friends gave us their old pillow-top when they moved. We just stacked it right on top of the other one and now I sleep like the Princess and the Pea. (Minus the diva who complains about a pea.)

    I go to a cheapo walk-in chiropractor, too, but I definitely get what I pay for. Sock and pop and out I go!

  3. p.s. For some reason, I couldn’t load your blog on my laptop. Something about having reached your bandwidth? It could very possibly be a problem on my end, but I though I’d tell you just in case. Also, when is BLOG going to be a real word?!

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your back. I have similar issues and the intelligel mattress is the best I’ve ever slept on. Worst bed ever? The ones at the Provo Marriott – was like sleeping on the floor. I suppose they’ve probably upgraded them since we were there last, but yeouch.

  5. My husband has a bad back and ten years ago I made the decision to buy him a select comfort mattress. It is the best decision that I ever made. We both sleep good on that one. the bad thing is that we will probably never go back to the old fashioned traditional mattress. Once you find something that works for you, you tend to keep it close!! so glad that you found the type of mattress that brings you peace and lets you sleep pain free. It is so worth it.

  6. Oh, yea, that’s the mattress we have. LOVE IT! The only down side is you never want to get out of bed. Seriously. It’s an issue :).

  7. Thanks for the chiro suggestion. Mine is ALLLLL the way down in Draper, and I need someone here-ish. I’m in Layton, so this works! Awesome!

  8. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! You looked miserable yesterday! And I’m not talking about the time that Junie spilled her drink and the McDonald’s worker swept up her toy or when Rex puked his cheeseburger out his mouth or when he had to poop for ten minutes, either. I’m talking about when you had to bend down to pick up a toy off the floor. THAT’S when you looked miserable 🙁

    I hope this mattress helps you!! Love you tons!

  9. Did you get it in Riverdale?! We need a new mattress sooo badly. Our’s is going on 9 yrs old but it was our first mattress as a married couple so I have some weird attachment to it. I also met the Chiropractors wife at my shop and she was talking about the $20 walk ins! This is one week after I bought two vouchers for one in Bountiful on go deal go. I have to check it out…when I can actually find time.

    • Yes, the Riverdale RC Willey had some good ones on sale…if you’re wanting a queen (we hate king sized beds).

  10. Mattresses definitely can get people talking. So can backs. I broke mine in hs while inner tubing w/ the ym/yw. I can soooo feel your pain! I love our select comfort. I prefer a harder bed (I know, weird for someone who has a broken back – mine still shows up on x-rays after 26 yrs! okay, back to the sentence – hee,hee) but hubby likes soft. Whatever works, eh? Hope all your nights continue to be so blissful.

  11. Glad it’s good! It is scary to buy a mattress! I hate living with the consequences.

  12. Lindsey Bingham says:

    Ha ha you make me laugh Annie! But I can totally relate! A few weeks ago I was begging for a new mattress also because I was waking up every morning with a sore back! We found a great deal on one and it was worth every penny! But mattress shopping is NO fun! How can you really tell your going to like it by laying on it for one minute in the store…

  13. This sounds like you’ve just been miserable!!! Oh my goodness! So relieved to read you finally, FINALLY got a great night of sleep!

    p.s. Your site redesign is GORGEOUS… just like you 🙂

  14. Oh my Oh my Annie,…nothing is worse then a bad back/back pain A good mattress of whatever it takes is worth every penny.
    I…as a rule have had a good back. But hubby #2 has suffered a lot…..TAKE care of it.
    sleep tight sweetie

  15. Hi Annie,
    It’s your American friend in Germany again. Timely post since we’re looking to replace our mattress! You guys up for adding a mattress to your shipment over here? We’d pay ya a lil’ something, have our new one delivered to your door before your pack out date and then we’d come grab it from you when your shipment arrives. (Plus we’d get to meet you and we’d get our American food fix up at the base there.) We’re just so reluctant to buy on the economy with the horrible dollar/euro exchange rate. If this sounds feasible, let me know and we’ll get to work on it. Sleep tight!