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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 09 Feb 2013 22:41 #31

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Hi Brick,

The choice of mattress protector is really a matter of preference and which of the different types offers the performance and qualities that are most important to you. Post #89 here has a description of some of the different types and the tradeoffs between their effect on the mattress, their effect on sleeping temperature,and the degree or water resistance that are involved. If sleeping temperature is the biggest issue ... then a more breathable topper may be beter than the thinner types that have a "semi breathable" membrane that in some cases can raise sleeping temperature (see post #2 here for all the different factors that can affect sleeping temperature).

If you are choosing something thicker than a mattress protector (such as a mattress pad or topper) then personal preference as well as the specific type of "fine tuning" you are looking for would be the way to decide between them.

The choice of blankets and bedding that is over you is strictly a matter of temperature regulation and the type and thickness of material you are most comfortable with. Because they are over the body ... they won't affect the "feel" of the mattress (except to a degree with memory foam which is temperature sensitive) and would be more of a matter of how warm or cold you want to be, humidity control, the room conditions, your comfort level with natural vs synthetic materials, the weight of the blankets (some like heavier and some like lighter) and other personal preferences.

I found the Sealy padded type of mattress pad to be a bit bumpy. I have seen silk sets that include mattress protector, pillow covers, and duvet but they are quite expensive and I wonder if they are worth it?


A mattress pad or a topper is more about fine tuning the feel and performance of a mattress and would really only be necessary if you wanted to fine tune the mattress in some way or wanted to change the "surface feel" of the mattress. Post #10 here talks about some of the options for mattress pads.

I would tend to use a thinner protector rather than a thicker mattress pad or topper unless you were clear that you wanted to fine tune the mattress in a specific way. I wouldn't introduce a second variable until you have made all your final choices with your mattress.

Phoenix
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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 10 Feb 2013 20:35 #32

Hi Phoenix,

Your site sure has a lot of information on bedding as well. I think we will stay with the Protect-A-Bed for now. My wife finds our Kirkland Goose Down Duvet too hot so we are considering ordering a wool one. I think the silk type might be too cool. Any thoughts on this?

I flipped our base mattress over yesterday. Last night was better. I awoke with only slight back pain so we will stick with this for a few more nights and see what happens. My wife thought she may have a bit of back pain which makes sense as she slept on my side, only flipped over. The other idea that I have is to order a 3" tallalay topper from Costco. It is 85% natural and 15% synthetic latex and has an ILD of 28. We could try it as a topper on what we have or as a middle layer. It might give us a better idea of what to do when faced with our one switch. The other thing about it is if it works with what we have, we would keep it as it would give us more height. (Our bed seems quite low after going from a 15 or 17" mattress down to 9". ) If not, we can always return it but it may at least help diagnose our mattress problem. What do you think?

Brick

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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 10 Feb 2013 21:54 #33

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Hi Brick,

Your site sure has a lot of information on bedding as well. I think we will stay with the Protect-A-Bed for now. My wife finds our Kirkland Goose Down Duvet too hot so we are considering ordering a wool one. I think the silk type might be too cool. Any thoughts on this?


I am not as knowledgeable about bedding as some of the members of the forum that post here from time to time and specialize more in bedding but IMO silk is an amazing material that has both insulating properties and is highly breathable and durable as well. One of the things that is often forgotten about temperature regulation is the role that is played by humidity control. If you go outside on a hot day with high humidity it will feel much warmer than if you go outside on a day with the same temperature where the humidity is much lower. Natural fibers like silk and wool have the ability to control humidity and "regulate" temperature in both directions. When I was a long distance cyclist I had a balaclava that was made of thin silk and I was amazed at it's ability to keep my face warm with such a thin and light layer without overheating. Silk is a great material (and there are more resources for those that want to research it more in the links I provided earlier) but of course like all the many choices that are available it's a matter of preference and tradeoff ... including the different cost of each different type of material. I even know people who like a silk balaclava as a way to keep their face warm and their bedroom cold.

The other idea that I have is to order a 3" tallalay topper from Costco. It is 85% natural and 15% synthetic latex and has an ILD of 28.


I think this is a very good idea as well (if its necessary) and you're fortunate that it's available in Canada (they don't carry it in the US). Costco's return policy and reasonable price for a quality product makes it a low risk way to do some "fine tuning" or "experimenting" and as you mentioned to give you a reference point that can help you get closer to your "ideal" construction.

Phoenix
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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 23 Feb 2013 23:24 #34

Hi Phoenix,

Well, I was still having mid back pain so we got the Costco latex topper. We now have a 3" x-soft dunlop top layer, 3" tallalay ILD 28 middle layer and a 6" dunlop firm base.

This improved things quite noticeably the first night, ie. I never woke up with severe mid-lower back spasms. This also seems more comfy but my wife now says that she has a bit of a sore shoulder. I also notice that I get some numbness and tingling in my arms and have had some upper back pain. We are experimenting with different pillows now to hopefully alleviate that. Also, my lower flanks seem sore on awakening as if I had a workout without having one if you know what I mean. When we squeeze the top and middle layers to see what feels softer, it seems like the dunlop topper is, which is why we layered the mattresses the way that we did.

We're not sure if we should do our one switch and change our base to medium as our current setup is softer but still seems firm, in some ways, if that makes any sense?

We'll also have to eventually decide whether or not to keep the Costco layer. I do like the extra height and it does seem to be good quality. www.costco.ca/Mattress-Topper-100%25-Latex-Talalay.product.10340593.html?catalogId=11201&keyword=latex+topper&langId=-24&storeId=10302

I am also wondering whether or not we have too thick/many layers?

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Last edit: by Brick. Reason: Completion

Mattresses in Victoria, BC 24 Feb 2013 05:46 #35

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Hi Brick,

Well, I was still having mid back pain so we got the Costco latex topper. We now have a 3" x-soft dunlop top layer, 3" tallalay ILD 28 middle layer and a 6" dunlop firm base.


Outside of the Costco Topper ... I'm still not exactly clear on what the ILD or the density of your layers are and I also don't know anything about your height/weight or body type which would play an important role as well.

Trying to "diagnose" exactly what may be causing various issues unless they are very simple and easily solved when I can't feel exactly what you are feeling, see you in person on the mattress, know your height/weight and body type, have more detailed information about the firmness of your mattress layers, or have a more detailed and "nuanced" conversation on the phone that could include much more information is much like a doctor trying to use a forum to diagnose a back issue or a mechanic trying to diagnose an issue with a car without being able to see and test what may be happening in person, and without enough information to really even know what may have the best odds of success. I just don't have enough information to be able to "visualize" what may be happening.

The best I can do on a forum is to either suggest that you work with the retailer, provide some suggestions that may help in more simple cases or link you to information that can help you to determine what may be happening so that you can make choices based on your own "educated" intuition. In many cases ... adding a topper can be a matter of trial and error because there is no formula that can take into account all the many variables or the many different causes for similar issues ... especially when things seem more complex and may not have a single cause.

The simplest and often most effective option is usually to work with the odds and to look under the area where you are having the symptoms. If your arm for example is falling asleep this will usually indicate either a pillow issue or that the layers are too firm under the shoulders and cutting off circulation. Since you are still on the same top layer (although the Talalay layer underneath would soften it) this could still be the case. Of course there could be other more complex causes as well but these are outside the scope of a forum.

The 3" Talalay topper is certainly good quality but I don't know if 28 ILD is firmer or softer than your old topper. Is there a reason you put this under your current topper instead of on top. Have you tried it on top?

I think that most of the suggestions I could make and ideas I could share that could help are already earlier in this thread. Toppers will often take some trial and error because there is no formula that can be used to choose them. They are used to add thickness/softness to the comfort layers and post #8 here has some generic guidelines that can help in most "simple" cases. If things are more complex and these don't solve things ... then either working with someone that can actually see you on the mattress and/or has the experience and knowledge to make other suggestions is the best way to go. The alternative is trial and error.

I also think that it may be worth considering the medium support core (based on your testing) although this too is just a shot in the dark because I don't know if this may be a suitable choice without knowing more about the core density/ILD of the layers or about you as well.

My tendency would be to have a long conversation with John along with some extensive testing of other layers, tell him all the "symptoms" you are dealing with and that you are not happy with the mattress as it is ... and then ask him for his best suggestions about what is possible to change in the mattress and which changes he thinks have the best odds of success ... and why.

Overall it sounds to me like you need more "softness" in the mattress (in either the comfort layer or support layer or even both) but again this is just a guess because I really don't have enough information about whether going softer in one or both layers would be suitable for your weight and body type.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Mattresses in Victoria, BC 01 Mar 2013 04:23 #36

Hi Phoenix,

In reply to your last entries, I am writing a few responses for your consideration:

Outside of the Costco Topper ... I'm still not exactly clear on what the ILD or the density of your layers are and I also don't know anything about your height/weight or body type which would play an important role as well.

As you know, the Costco 3" topper is tallalay 28 ILD. I believe that the 3" dunlop topper is 65 kg/m3 and the dunlop base is 95 kg/m3.
I am 5'9", 195 lbs. (side and back sleeper) and my wife is 5' 2", 180 lbs. (side sleeper)

The 3" Talalay topper is certainly good quality but I don't know if 28 ILD is firmer or softer than your old topper. Is there a reason you put this under your current topper instead of on top. Have you tried it on top?

We tried the Costco one on top and it was much firmer than the dunlop one and made things worse, so we put it back in the middle.

My tendency would be to have a long conversation with John along with some extensive testing of other layers, tell him all the "symptoms" you are dealing with and that you are not happy with the mattress as it is ... and then ask him for his best suggestions about what is possible to change in the mattress and which changes he thinks have the best odds of success ... and why.

I will do this. He had said that our best option might be to make our one change into a medium/firm split on the base. I may also ask him if he can drop off a medium base and leave the firm one here. Then we can try it and choose between them, having them pick up the one that is least desirable for us. Their floor models have either a medium base or a firm base with the xsoft topper. The only problem with this is that my wife was fine with the firm/xsoft originally but she says that she liked the feel of the medium base best in the store and would take her chances going with that one. When I think about it, though, if one works better for her and the other for me, we should still be able to have them pick up both bases afterwards and then make a split, if that works best. They do make regular trips up here to our town.

Overall it sounds to me like you need more "softness" in the mattress (in either the comfort layer or support layer or even both) but again this is just a guess because I really don't have enough information about whether going softer in one or both layers would be suitable for your weight and body type.

I was thinking the same way. I've provided you with more information, above, if that helps.

We really appreciate your help and suggestions.

Brick

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Last edit: by Brick.

Mattresses in Victoria, BC 01 Mar 2013 17:14 #37

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Hi Brick,

OK ... that's helpful as a reference.

In looking over the thread it is somewhat confusing and complex to me. While I'm happy to make simple suggestions that have good odds of working, if simple more generic suggestions aren't successful and you are in a more complex or "lower odds" situation, then voice communication becomes necessary and your best odds are to work with them directly. Forum suggestions or "theory at a distance" is by its very nature limited to dealing with simple solutions that are more "black and white" and providing insights into what may be happening but more than this requires requires more extended voice communication and more careful analysis that is not possible with complex written communications that can't be "nuanced" or where the dots can't always be connected together.

While time prevents me from doing a more detailed analysis of each person's issues ... I did go through this thread to see what I could gather and to see if there are any indications that can help.

If your soft Dunlop layer is 65 kg/m3 then it would probably be in the range of the high teens in terms of ILD and would be quite soft.
If your support layer is 95 kg/m3 then this would probably be in the range of the 40's and would be very firm.

The first thing I would do is confirm this. They should be able to tell you for certain.

When you have very soft over very firm then what can happen is that you may "go through" the softer layer and feel the firmness of the layer below it. This can be particularly true if your weight distribution is more concentrated in one area of your body. In the end though ... your own sense of what may be happening and your personal experience would be the most accurate way to know.

So here is the progression as I understand it.



On the original mattress ... 6" firm Dunlop layer with a separate 3" soft topper:

Your wife was "mostly OK" (not sure what if any parts weren't OK)
You were waking up with back spasms and a sore neck.

The highest odds would be to look at the pillow for the neck issues and at the firmness of the support layer for the back spasms. It could be that the combination of the softness of the comfort layers and the firmness of the support layers and the differential between them are the issue here.

There was also some question about the possibility that the two sides were different but this was not confirmed.

In the next post you also mentioned that you not only had back spasms but also lumbar back pain. For lumbar pain the first place I would look is either a mattress that is allowing your pelvis to sink in too much or not enough so that your lower back is out of alignment. This could be connected with the thickness/softness of the softer comfort layers (either allowing your pelvis to sink in too far or "stopping" them from sinking in enough because either way can create alignment issues. Typically this is the first but there are some indications with you that it could also be the second (support layer that is too firm).

So at this point it appears we are dealing with 3 separate but possibly connected issues. Back spasms, lower back pain, and neck pain.



You then slept on the mattress without the topper:

It appears that this made your back spasms worse but I don't know what happened with the other two symptoms (lower back and neck) but since it seemed to make the spasms worse it would indicate that you clearly need more "softness" and could be pointing to your soft layer not isolating you from the firmness of the support layer enough. This could indicate that a softer support layer with less of a transition could be helpful. It could also indicate a pillow issue because you wouldn't be sinking in as much which could change the gap between your mattress and your head and neck.


It also seems from the same post that you were using two mattress protectors. One was the 1. Protect-A-Bed’s Premium Mattress Protector and the other was the 2. Sealy mattress pad, 300TC cotton w/light padding.

These two together (especially the Sealy) would tend to make the comfort layer firmer and reduce the ability of the latex to conform to your body (you would have to "go through" the padding of the mattress pad to get to the latex). The two together would do this more than one protector. The only way to know what effect these are having is to remove them and test them one at a time and use your own experience to see how they are affecting things.

When you tried the protect-a-bed by itself you could feel more of the mattress but it seems that you still had the back pain and the spasms but I don't know if these were better or worse, only that they continued at some level. The back pain would point to alignment and the upper body spasms seems to once again point to a firmness or a pillow issue.

You also mentioned in this post that you would try the wall bed but I haven't heard any results of this. If this was better for you then you could compare the layering of the wallbed with what you have and it could provide some insights.

In addition to this you also mentioned that John's son indicated that he thought you may need a firmer mattress but I'm not clear if he meant the support layers (which I understand is already as firm as they have so I don't know how you could make it firmer) or the comfort layer (which is the softest they have) and what his rationale was behind his suggestions. Perhaps your conversation with him indicated something that could be a clue.


In the next post you flipped the mattress over and slept on this with the topper:

For you this seemed to help and you had less back pain. The other side of a Dunlop core will be either softer or firmer but I don't know which one you were sleeping on. It also appears that you switched sides and your wife had back pain so there are now two variables to deal with at the same time (flipping to the other firmer/softer side of the core and also switching sides which you previously indicated may be different from yours) so I don't know how to interpret this.


The next thing you did was adding the 3" 28 ILD topper:

This at least gave you a reference point for your topper because you were clear that it was softer than the 28 ILD Talalay.

This seemed to relieve your back spasms which points to the need for a softer layer below your topper and seems to validate that you need a softer sleeping surface (or at least a little softer and a less dramatic transition between the comfort and support layer). You also indicated that this produced some arm tingling and numbness which is odd because you made the mattress softer which would usually relieve this type of symptom. This could point to other reasons for the arm tingling and numbness such as lateral alignment and sleeping in a "slouched" or "hunched" position with the softer top layers or to a pillow issue as well (the softer top layers could be allowing your midback to sink in more and forcing your head forward on your back).

For your wife this seemed to lead to a sore shoulder which is also odd to me because with the 28 ILD topper in the middle the mattress would be softer.

Shoulder issues can also be affected by your pillow.


We're not sure if we should do our one switch and change our base to medium as our current setup is softer but still seems firm, in some ways, if that makes any sense?


As you can see .... all the many influences and changes are more complex and subtle than I can follow or "unravel" the effect of any one of them and I haven't been able to identify from your feedback the relative effect or "degree" of change in any one of them with any accuracy. There are more changing variables than I can follow on a forum in other words. The only thing that seems clear to me is that adding the 28 ILD topper in between seemed to help with the spasms and this could point to a softer support layer for you.

So my "gut" says that you need a softer layer below the top layer (the improvement of the middle 28 ILD layer also points to this). This without the 28 ILD Talalay topper may be your closest solution.

For your wife ... my understanding is that she was OK with the original configuration and that none of the changes were any better for her.

So this seems to point to the split layering as being the solution with the best possible odds but again there are so many competing issues, so many simultaneous multiple changes at the same time, and so many unanswered questions about the specific "degree" of of change in symptoms with a single (not multiple) change in layering (rather than just whether the symptoms were still there or not) that I can't possibly know for sure.

So I know that this may not be the most satisfying answer but I don't think a forum is the best way (or even possible) to deal with these more complex and nuanced issues. I would confirm what you have exactly so there is no speculation about what it might be, sleep on the murphy bed for a while and then compare both your symptoms and the layering to what you have, and if I had to make a guess (and that's all it would be) I would guess that the split layering (medium under you and firm under her) would have the best odds of being the "base mattress" where some further fine tuning could deal with any further symptoms that you experience with it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Mattresses in Victoria, BC 02 Mar 2013 22:49 #38

Hi Phoenix,

Thank you very much for your lengthy response. I paid attention to every word.

I called John and he is ordering us in a medium base to replace our firm base. Hopefully, this will solve our problem, either with our Costco layer or without. If that doesn't work, I will ask if we can switch out the topper, maybe from xsoft to a soft or medium, depending on what happens.

Best regards,

Brick

P.S. Thanks again and I will let you know what happens.

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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 02 Mar 2013 23:30 #39

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Hi Brick,

I'm looking forward to your feedback after the switch. I have a sense (and of course hope) that it will move things in the right direction and if that's the case then smaller changes if necessary will likely get you the rest of the way :)

Phoenix
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Mattresses in Victoria, BC 06 Jun 2014 18:24 #40

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Cool thread - I'm in Victoria too.

I'm definitely going to look into a couple of those places in Phoenix's post on the first page. Just called the John guy in Nanaimo and he ranted for about 10 minutes which was really interesting. Apparently he just started exclusively carrying Latex International's natural, non-synthetic, Talalay latex. Price quoted was $1,300 for a 6" queen, or 2,000 for a 6" queen with a 3" topper (all latex).

I'll try to post future updates in this post/thread for other people in the area.

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