When I got the email through offering me the opportunity to receive the N:Rem sleep system comfort changing mattress topper (https://nremsleepsystem.co.uk/topper/) to review, I was intrigued. It's an interesting product and concept, and not one I'd come across previously.
It's a mattress topper but comes in pieces/tablets with differing levels of softness, so you can put these together in an order that suits you. Each piece is made of reflex foam of varying densities. You get 2 super soft, 1 soft, 1 medium, and 1 firm (easily identified by their colour), which together will cover the length of the bed. The idea is that you can use the softer ones for painful areas, and firmer ones for areas needing greater support. You can re-order them whenever you need to (if a different area becomes particularly painful), and if you share your bed, a partner can have their own set on their side of the bed, with an order that suits them and their body. It gives you options and flexibility. With chronic pain, things change, and it can be a case of trial and error to find what works for you, so this flexibility appealed.
I get a lot of hip and rib pain in particular, so this was an idea that really appealed to me. The thought that I might be able to reduce pressure on body parts that are particularly painful was enticing. Anyone who deals with chronic pain will know that getting comfortable in bed is a huge struggle. Painsomnia (inability to sleep due to pain) is a problem many of us face on a regular basis. My hopes were therefore high, although, having lived with pain for many years, I knew I also needed to remain realistic.
When I opened the box, the smell of foam was quite strong (as you'd expect), so I left them to air for a while before use. This did go after a few days.
You place the different density tablets on top of your existing mattress. For those of you who are fellow wheelchair users, it's worth considering the fact that this obviously raises the height of the bed, so could affect transfers- it's 12cm deep, so not a huge change, but enough to notice- this could obviously be a help or a hindrance, depending on individual situation, just felt it was worth noting.
My mum put them on my bed, with a single fitted sheet around them- this did tend to make them buckle and pop up to begin with, but once she'd managed to get them flat, they did stay flat, and they've not moved at all since then. It's worth considering the fact that the extra height may cause issues with your usual bedding due to the added depth, but there are ways around it. I believe when you actually buy the product, you get a cover to place the foam tablets within too.
My bed was comfortable before, but I can certainly feel the difference. It's much squidgier (for want of a better word!). I have them ordered (from head to toe): firm, super soft, super soft, medium, soft. I get a lot of horrendous pain in my hips and ribs in particular, and this order has suited me really well. I haven't tried other orders (yet), because I haven't felt the need.
I have been feeling more comfortable, and although I do still sit up with my light on for a while when I go to bed each night (until my meds kick in), I don't think I've been kept awake specifically by pain, or certainly only rarely, since having the topper on! The very disturbed nights I have had (because of sleep reversal type problems or anxiety etc), I've been quite comfortable lying in bed. I turn the light off once I feel sleepy, and fairly soon fall to sleep, which is particularly helpful given that lying with my light off, waiting to fall asleep, can be a difficult time for me for various reasons. The shorter that time is, the better!!
When I wake in the morning, I do still sometimes have some joints I need to pop back into position, as has been the case for a long time, and I am still in pain, but my pain isn't through the roof. I can wake up and lie in the same position for a while without my pain getting too awful. That's a big thing for me. It's really nice to start the day without my pain already continuously at an unbearable level.
The extra height has made wheelchair-bed transfers more difficult for me, but I've found the topper beneficial enough that it won't be coming back off!
Is it the cure for my chronic pain? No- it was never going to be. But it DOES mean I can now sleep quite restfully without aggravating my pain, and feel fairly comfortable lying in bed in the morning, which is fabulous!
For further information about the product, please see their website: https://nremsleepsystem.co.uk/topper/ It's not a cheap product, but you can get a free trial to see whether it suits you, and there's the option of a £1 per night payment plan too. I'd say it's definitely worth a look and taking up the free trial if pain or discomfort is causing you real difficulties with your sleep!
If you have a product you'd like me to review, please contact me on Jess.firstname.lastname@example.org - I'll only ever provide a full and honest review, but if it's a good product, that's nothing to fear 😉