Battered by Beds

In November of 2013, I purchased 2 queen sized Serta Serene Breeze mattresses from Macy’s. I have shoulder injuries and a spinal fusion in my neck and I believed I was buying good, supportive beds. One was for my teenage daughter.

It didn’t take long before I would experience a marked increase in pain at night. It would become severe, radiating from my lower back into my legs. I was hospitalized several times, as I would become near paralyzed with weakness, unable to even lift a sheet off my body. They couldn’t figure out why. My skin would burn with pain.

I would adapt a sleeping position with a pillow next to each hip and switch off bending each leg, resting my knee on the pillow. By the end of January 2016, it was so bad, I requested my doctor order me a hospital bed. Somehow, I believed that would help the pain. I sent him the following in an email;

“I have realized that I wake up in excruciating pain, most of which subsides by the time I am ready to go to sleep again, only to come on just as strong again. It is a constant, never ending cycle.”

I then gave my Serta Serene Breeze to a friend for their guest room, but the hospital bed wasn’t my answer either. While my friend offered the bed back, I would instead purchase another bed from Macy’s. This one was a full size, Serta Genisle, and I received it on March 3, 2016. The pain subsided for a very short time but before long, it ramped up again. Another excruciating painful year would pass and in February, 2017, I would discover my Genisle mattress was caving in at the head and shoulders. Contacting Macy’s, they would send out a technician, who deemed the mattress defective. They returned my money, in full.

I would order another bed from Macy’s, this time spending $200 more, as the sales person suggested I needed more springs. This bed was a full sized, Simmons Beautyrest Santa Rosa Plush and I received it on March 3, 2017.

My severe pain continued, but I blamed it on my shoulders. My bed was brand new, how could it be causing me pain? Who buys 2 defective beds in a row?

I would visit my doctor in July with severe pain and I had developed pressure sores on my ear. I thought my pillow was bad, as it sort of caved in the center and my ear would rub against it, creating a sore.

By now, I had become proficient in meditation and had found a sleep teacher online who could practically put me in a coma, no matter how bad my pain was. I can’t take medications and I’ve lost a great deal of immunity thanks to pharmaceuticals, so I have no other choice but to seek out natural pain relief.

In late August, 2017, I would go out of town for 12 days, sleeping in 2 different beds. Miraculously, I had no shoulder or leg pain in the morning and was able to walk better than I had in a long time. I blamed it on the sun.

Returning home in early September brought a startling discovery. After only one night sleeping in my Simmons Beautyrest Santa Rosa Plush, I woke up with the same raging shoulder and leg pain I had prior to going out of town.

I couldn’t fathom another defective bed. It was literally 6 months old. How was that possible? It must be me. Still, I stripped the mattress and there it was. A gaping crater from the head of the bed to the center. Once again I called Macy’s, who sent out a technician, who deemed the mattress defective. They returned my money, in full.

At this point, I don’t know what to do. I made the decision to sleep in my daughters bed, the other Serta Serene Breeze, as she was now away at college. I continued to be in pain, but I blamed my shoulders. That, and that doctors kept telling me I just needed more biologic drugs. Maybe my pain was just severe because I wasn’t on biologic drugs anymore? Or, because I couldn’t take pain pills? Was this what my body naturally feels like, sans these drugs?

By the spring of 2018, the pain was the most severe it had ever been. I had an episode that would have taken me to the hospital in the past, with throbbing pain in my back and legs all night long, and literally losing control of my bladder when I was finally able to stand up. I could barely walk for several months after and would see my Mayo Clinic doctors about it in May, getting an MRI of my spine.

By then, my daughter was coming home for the summer and I purchased a memory foam mattress for myself. Around the same time, I was introduced to a Meditation app called Insight Timer by my sleep teacher, Jennifer Piercy. I took her sleep course which was $5, cheaper than a bottle of Ambien. Even though I’m quite proficient at meditation, I learned a great deal and she reinforced much of what I already knew. I also discovered Vidyamala Burch, who teaches pain relief meditation using breathing techniques and body scans. I took her pain relief course on Insight Timer as well, also $5. Significantly less than a bottle of Norco.

I would learn ways to reduce my pain a great deal.

Moving into my new bed was a pleasure, except for the unfortunate heat the memory foam mattress created. I managed to deal with it and enjoyed a good summer of deep sleep and little pain. I blamed it on Jennifer and Vidyamala, who now had me sleeping like a baby in nearly no pain at all.

Summer ended and my daughter was off to college at the end of August. Sweaty and restless the night she left, I decided to sleep in her room, on her Serta Serene Breeze.

Within an hour of getting in that bed, I was in pain. My legs were throbbing and going numb. I would put on a guided body scan meditation with Vidyamala. It must be what I needed. As I went deeper, I could feel every nerve ending. She says “feel the earth beneath you and release your body to gravity,” and I do. I realize my body is not as flat as when on my memory foam mattress. She works her way down the spine and then says “feel your sacrum, the V shaped bone at the base of your spine.” Not only do I feel it, but I can feel it being crushed down into the mattress, and I realized, it was causing the pain and numbness in my legs. I also instantaneously realized, this too was a defective mattress.

Again, I called Macy’s, who sent out a technician, who deemed the mattress defective. They returned my money, in full.

If this hadn’t happened to me, I’d find it hard to believe. How was it possible to buy 3 certifiably defective mattresses in a row? I have to keep reminding myself, It was Macy’s technicians who deemed the mattresses defective. Not to mention the crippling pain I suffered night in and night out for nearly 5 years.

This brings me to the other Serta Serene, still sitting in my friends guest room, mostly not used. Given the pain I suffered in it, not to mention the numerous hospitalizations, I believe with every painful bone in my body that it too is defective.

Serta, Simmons, Beautyrest, I have a great idea. Let’s get together and hire an independent 3rd party to inspect this fourth mattress. Maybe someone from Dateline, 20/20 or 60 Minutes? I think my story is one that everyone who sleeps on a mattress should hear. We can cut it open and see what’s inside to find out the real issues, instead of sending it to the defective mattress graveyard in the sky. Where is that exactly? Maybe it would teach all of us something. I’m hard pressed to believe I’m the only one who has suffered and has faced these issues.

You in?



I was contacted by Macy’s corporate earlier this week, offering a refund for fourth and final defective mattress. I accepted.

They did not require the return of the bed, which remains in my friends guest room. My above offer still stands.