I went out and bought an IKEA mattress. They have latex mattresses and foam - both of which felt EXACTLY like what we slept on in Italy. I hope this helps! P.S...the price is right as well!
What's the story on European mattresses? - Page 3
Also I went to Europe and by day 2 my chronic back pain was gone.
This led me to Ikea to check out European mattresses. The sales woman was very informative and was convinced it was not my foam mattress but the underlying support. She convinced me to keep my foam and buy slats. 90$ and an hour of put together time later the slats were in, and my mattress is now PERFECT. 1 week in, zero back pain. And if the slats don't work for you easier return than buying a new mattress...worth a shot.
I slept on a 9-inch thick urethane foam mattress through my entire teen years and into my early 20s, then on a 9-inch thick innerspring coil mattress since then, but the mattresses have never, ever been on box springs. They've been on a plywood sheet or on a solid-surface captain's bed. I can't stand mattresses that are on box springs or any kind of substrate that yields, as it allows the mattress to sag, inducing curvature of the spine, and the result is a painful, non-restful sleep and feeling like crap the next morning.
The American love affair with box springs and "fattresses", i.e. mattresses that are 10, 12, or even 14 inches thick baffles me. Nowadays, one needs a stepladder to get into and out of bed. Heaven help you if you happen to toss and turn at night and fall out of bed; the prospect of being carted off on a stretcher becomes quite real! The mattress should be firm enough so as to not allow the heaviest part of the body to compress it more than about 2 inches, maybe 3 inches maximum, to prevent spine distortion. That being said, there's no reason for a mattress on a solid surface to be more than 3 or 4 inches thick, as long as no part of the body causes it to bottom out in any sleeping position during the night. For decades, mattresses in the United States were standardized at about 8 to 9 inch thickness, and it was easy to get fitted sheets for them, but that started changing sometime in the late 1970s as innerspring mattresses in retail stores started getting thicker and thicker and coil count kept going down. My guess is that it allowed manufacturers to save costs by reducing the wire thickness in the coils, with resultant spring rate decreasing, which, in turn, required the mattresses to become thicker as the weaker coils would compress more for a given body weight. Also, over the last 30-40 years the average weight of Americans has been trending upward, so that probably figures into the design equation as well.
About 5-8 years ago i began searching for a replacement for a traditional 9-inch thick innerspring mattress with 500 coils for a Twin size. They aren't made anymore, as far as I was able to determine. The best one will find is mattresses with about 380 coils for the same area. To find a 9-inch innerspring mattress of any kind, one must seek out a supplier to the hospital, hotel and motel trades, as such mattresses aren't offered to the public through retail stores. Given the difficulty of eventually finding a replacement for my innerspring mattress, I'm likely go to a foam shop and have them build my next mattress to order. As for sheets, fortunately the ever-thicker consumer grade mattresses require more fabric, so, although it is a hassle, one can trim the bedding for a 14-inch thick mattress down to fit an 8- to 9-inch thick mattress without too much difficulty.
I lived in Europe for 12 years. The important difference is that the bed has slats on the bottom that are engineered with a little flexibility so that they effectively replace the box spring in US beds. The slatted beds in the US are not as well made, in my opinion, and if you don't have slats you might as well put the mattress on the floor, which won't be comfortable.