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help: half way toward building a mattress 02 Apr 2013 01:22 #1

Hi,

First off, wonderful forum -- thank you for all of the great tips!

I am trying to build a 100% natural latex mattress for my wife and I need help! We are both small people (I am 5'6", 140lbs, my wife is 5', 100lbs), so we don't need a lot of support. But we are also both terrible sleepers, and we've had enough of sleepless nights. This mattress building project is part of a larger effort to reform our sleeping habits so that we can get some rest.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to begin with a 6" thick medium density 100% natural Talalay core (purchased at www.nestbedding.com, and manufactured, I think, by latexco - its their talalux product, at least according to NestBedding's owner, Joe Alexander). My plan was that we would eventually add a firmer 2" thick base layer and a softer 1" top layer, and end up with a layered 9" thick mattress with gradual density.

We received the 6" Talalay medium density core the other day, and I was surprised at how soft and bouncy it was. We've spent a few nights trying to sleep directly on this 6" core, and its absolutely awful! Its way too soft and bouncy. Our butts and shoulders just sink right to the bottom, and I end up in a twisted and uncomfortable mess when I try to sleep my side. Every bodily movement causes the whole thing to jiggle.

What should I do? Will adding a firmer base layer (of firm Dunlop?) underneath the core help 'stabilize' the Talalay core? Should I add firm Dunlop on top of the core? It seems strange to add a dense layer on top of a less dense core (shouldn't density decrease as you move up to the top?).

This core was expensive (>$700), so I am loathe to just toss it... But I wish I had purchased a firmer core (perhaps medium Dunlop or firm Talalay).

Thank you for your advice!

Sleepless (in the city that never sleeps).

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help: half way toward building a mattress 02 Apr 2013 05:22 #2

Hi sleeplexxinNYC,

This is one of the reasons that i don't recommend trying to design your own mattress or using any material that you haven't tried in person so how it feels and performs isn't a surprise. Trying to build your own can be a very costly exercise both in terms of money and quality of sleep unless it is based on specific testing or what you are buying comes with exchange possibilities.

I don't know the ILD of your 6" layer and I also don't have any reference points of mattresses you have tested that worked well for you and I also don't know the type of cover you are using (which will also make a difference) so unfortunately I am not in a good position to help without some specific testing and feedback on mattresses you have tried. What I call "theory at a distance" is not a great way to design a mattress. It would take much more information than what you have provided to even begin to guess at what should come next.

It's difficult to imagine though that you are "going through" the latex at your weights. If this was true then something would be very strange indeed because latex in ILD's usually used in support layers wouldn't allow you to "go through" them the way you are describing. Again though ... part of the issue could be the lack of a cover so the latex is as "loose" as it can possibly be or of course it could also be connected to the firmness of the latex.

IMO ... Step 1 is always to talk with the manufacturer you are dealing with. They can provide you with more information about the layer you have and what options you have available.

Step 2 would be to test latex mattresses so that you had a reference point of latex mattresses that tested reasonably well for you.

Step 3 would be to "approximate" this as closely as the layers you either have or have access to would allow.

Your own personal testing and feedback is the most important part of this.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

help: half way toward building a mattress 02 Apr 2013 13:22 #3

Dear Phoenix,

Thank you for your reply -- it must take a lot of time for your to respond to each of these questions... Your response is very much appreciated.

We did try a few mattresses in person before attempting to build our own. We liked a 3-tiered latex OMI mattress that we tried at the ABC Home department store near our apartment in NYC. And we were trying to replicate that. To be honest, the retail prices are so outrageously high, that I was trying to save money by building my own. Unfortunately, I didn't read your advice soon enough (that building your own can be *more* and not less expensive than buying retail). And now I am stuck sort of half way.

I also have a general aversion to all of the marketing that goes into mattress sales (with the same product being called by different names depending on who is selling it, and a general lack of information about what is inside the mattress). So I was also motivated by a desire to circumvent the salesmanship.

So, now that I've spent >$700 from NestBedding on this 6" Talalay core, I really don't know what to do.

I know you can't give too much help from 'afar', but let me describe our precise feelings and experiences with this core a bit more, and hopefully you'll be able to give me a few pointers about what to do now (unfortunately, ditching this core and buying a new mattress is not an economically feasible option at this point).

You are right, we don't sink all the way through. Our butts and shoulders don't actually touch the wood slats underneath. But we sink down a lot. I feel like my body ends up curving in awkward ways as a result. If I am lying on my back, then my butt sinks, not to the bottom, but enough so that there is an arch in my lower back. If I lie on my side, then my hips sink, not quite to the bottom, but so much so that I need a larger pillow to support my head (if that makes any sense). I don't necessarily like a 'firm' mattress (we had a Shiffman plush pillowtop before), but this amount of 'give' is crazy.

I emailed with Joe Alexander of Nest Bedding to tell him that I was not liking this core very much. He seems like a super nice and knowledgeable guy, and he was trying to help us. He won't take the core back, but he advised putting a firmer layer on top of this 6" medium Talalay core. In other words, he advised me to buy another layer from him! So, thats when I realized that I needed independent advice.

Does it make any sense to put a firm layer of Dunlop on top of a medium layer of Talalay, as Joe is recommending? This defeats the purpose of progressive density, right? I can't imagine this would work.

Regarding the cover, Joe sold us a simple organic cotton cover. It fit snuggly, and because it compressed the foam slightly, it made the core more bouncy. We've been slightly more happy with the core once we removed the cover. I am thinking of buying another cover that is a bit roomier in order to protect the mattress without compressing it. (btw, do you have a good link on where to buy covers?)

I know it is hard to advise at a distance, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you!

Sleepless.

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help: half way toward building a mattress 03 Apr 2013 03:13 #4

Hi sleeplessNYC,

I think that to provide some help we would need to be on the same page and some of your feedback is somewhat confusing to me.

You are right, we don't sink all the way through. Our butts and shoulders don't actually touch the wood slats underneath. But we sink down a lot. I feel like my body ends up curving in awkward ways as a result. If I am lying on my back, then my butt sinks, not to the bottom, but enough so that there is an arch in my lower back. If I lie on my side, then my hips sink, not quite to the bottom, but so much so that I need a larger pillow to support my head (if that makes any sense). I don't necessarily like a 'firm' mattress (we had a Shiffman plush pillowtop before), but this amount of 'give' is crazy.


I think I would need to see you on the mattress because your experience doesn't "match" my experience of latex. It's almost inconceivable to me that with your weights you would be anywhere close to going though 6" of "medium" latex lying on your back and if anything it would be your pelvis that was sinking in not your upper back and shoulders (which are much lighter). On your side I can understand that your hips are sinking but not to the degree you are mentioning and your hips sinking wouldn't affect the thickness of your pillow which would be controlled by how much your shoulders are sinking in (not your pelvis) and the gap between your head and mattress. In addition ... if the pelvis is sinking in too far when you are on your back ... it typically results in the pelvis tilting backwards which flattens the spine (unlike stomach sleeping where a mattress that is too soft results in the forward tilt of the spine which leads to a swayback position or hyperextension of the spine)

So I think we somehow need to be on the same page because I'm just not sure I have any understanding what is happening with you that seems to fit what you are describing.

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to do some extensive testing on local mattresses and then dig up the exact specs of the ones that seem to work for you. I know for example that OMI will provide them for you (I think they are mentioned on the forum as well and some searching may pull them up). Once your local testing seems to point to a range of layering that you seem to do well with ... then it would be easier to see how your current core fits into that layering or how it could be used.

I should also mention that a cover with some type of quilting could make things a little better because it would lower the surface resilience of the latex and make it feel less resilient but your experience here is a little unusual as well because a cover seems to make things worse for you. Latex is very resilient so it won't really be possible to change its nature but you could modify it to some extent with different types of quilting or ticking or even different types of mattress pads or toppers.

So first some testing, and some detective work digging up some detailed specs of what you have tested and liked, and verifying the ILD range of what you have would be a good start and help to "bypass" or at least clarify your experiences and feedback so far which I just don't fully understand.

Phoenix
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help: half way toward building a mattress 06 Apr 2013 01:15 #5

Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for your advice. I spent most of today running around NYC testing as many latex mattresses as I could. My wife wasn't able to join me, but we have similar tastes, though she is smaller and lighter (but growing... she is three months pregnant).

My favorite was the OMI Due mattress. I tried it at ABC dept store, and it was listed under a different name, and was said to be made 'exclusively for ABC", but the design matches the one on OMI's webpage. The mattress that I tried consisted of three 3" layers of Talalay (firm, medium, and then soft), inside of a cotton cover with wool batting. It felt soft enough to relieve pressure, and I felt like it supported my spine in a fairly neutral position, without my butt/pelvis sinking into too much (i.e., without creating an arched back and anterior pelvic tilt, as I have been experiencing sleeping on the 6" Talalay core that I have now).

I want to build something that feels as close to this mattress using the 6" soft Talalay core that I already have. What was surprising to me is that even though the OMI mattress has a 'soft' top layer, it felt much firmer and more supportive than the core that I have now.

I emailed with Joe Alexander of Nest Bedding, and found out that the core that I bought is 29 ILD and is all natural Talalay (he had to call Latexco to find out).

Joe recommended buying a dense 2" layer of Dunlop and putting it on top of the medium Talalay. But I don't think I like that suggestion. I like the idea of having a soft layer on top.

I have a few ideas of what I may try next. I would love your feedback.

1) Firm bottom layer. As strange as this seems, I suspect adding a 2" thick firm layer underneath the 6" medium core that I already have will provide more support. Even though I am not passing all the way through the 6" core, I am going pretty far into it. If there is something on the other side, the 6" core won't be so tightly compressed. Perhaps giving the whole thing a firmer feel? (again, I don't want to put the firm layer on top).

2) Wool surround. One of the things that I think I have discovered is that the mattress cover has a huge impact on the feel of the latex. I bought a 6" all cotton cover from Nest Bedding when I purchased the Talalay core. It fit *very* tightly (I think they accidentally shrunk it before shipping it to me b/c I could barely get the latex inside before zipping it up). The effect of the cover squeezing the latex was to make the whole thing a very good conductor of vibrations. It felt awful. I have removed the cover and placed several wool blankets on top of the core, and I have found that the wool dampens the vibrations considerably. I am thinking that I need to buy looser-fitting cover, and I would like to try dampen the vibrations with wool. There are two ways that I can think of using wool here. The simplest (and more expensive) way would be to buy a cotton cover with wool batting (which run about $500 on Nest Bedding). This would be most similar to the OMI mattress that I liked so much. Or, I could buy a simple all-cotton cover (for much less $$) and add a layer of wool batting on the top. So my question is which approach would you recommend? The more expensive wool/cotton covers essential have wool on all sides of the mattress (not just the top). Do you think that this has an impact on the feel of the mattress?

3) Start over. The third option would be to try to sell or otherwise unload this $700 core that I bought from Nest Bedding and try all over again. I would probably use Sleepez as a vendor, and by three 3" layers of Talalay, soft, medium, and firm. I try to replicate exactly what is inside of the OMI mattress.

Many thanks.

(still)Sleepless

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help: half way toward building a mattress 06 Apr 2013 15:48 #6

Hi sleeplessNYC,

My favorite was the OMI Due mattress. I tried it at ABC dept store, and it was listed under a different name, and was said to be made 'exclusively for ABC", but the design matches the one on OMI's webpage. The mattress that I tried consisted of three 3" layers of Talalay (firm, medium, and then soft), inside of a cotton cover with wool batting. It felt soft enough to relieve pressure, and I felt like it supported my spine in a fairly neutral position, without my butt/pelvis sinking into too much (i.e., without creating an arched back and anterior pelvic tilt, as I have been experiencing sleeping on the 6" Talalay core that I have now).


This is a little confusing to me. An anterior pelvic tilt usually is the result of a mattress that is too firm not too soft or a mattress that is too soft when someone sleeps on their stomach and the lumbar is hyperextended. It seems to me though that if anything your 6" layer is too soft not too firm which would normally have the opposite issue and the lumbar curve would be "collapsing" m ore than hyperextending on your back..

Regardless of that though ... it seems to me you are somewhat "caught in the middle".

29 ILD is more in the range of a middle transition layer and not often used as a support layer although it is often soft enough to be used as a comfort layer for many people and in some cases can be used as a support layer as well.

I don't think there is any way you could use it to "approximate" the OMI Duo which would probably be N2, N3, N4 layers.in its standard configuration but it would also help if you found out the specs of the OMI (they will probably give them to you as N1, N2, N3 etc because they use 100% natural Talalay from latex International which has firmness ratings from N1 to N5 ). You can see the ILD range for each of the ratings here . as you can see your 6" layer would be in the N3 range.

Overall though ... I think I would probably take a different approach from the one you are using. Rather than trying to "force" your layer to fit into another type or design of mattress where it really doesn't "fit" ... I think I would test mattresses that used 6" of "medium" natural talalay in their construction with various layers either over or under it to see whether any variation works for you. This way you don't have to go by "theory".

In the case of the Duo ... this would mean testing versions that used two layers of N3 (medium in the same ILD range as your layer) with either firmer latex underneath it or softer latex over it to see how well it worked for you.

You could also test a Savvy Rest with two layers of "medium" natural Talalay in the construction (I would confirm it is N3 if possible) with either a softer 3" layer over it or a firmer layer under it.

Both of these could give you an idea whether 6" of medium will work for you in any variation with various layers over or under it. Both of these also have a wool quilted cover which would help reduce the surface feel of sleeping just on the latex.

One other possibility is something like this which is a 6" natural Talalay support layer (available in "soft" which is 28 ILD) but only 2" of softer latex on top of it. The thinner top layer will make it a bit firmer than a 3" "soft" top layer. If you thought this was a possibility that your testing showed had good odds of working for you then you could just order the cover and the 2" topper and combine it with the layer you have. It would be well worth talking to them to gain some insights into whether this would be a good possibility to try. the good news is that both of you are very light which increases the odds that softer latex will work for you.

You can also see some of the better sources of components and toppers in post #4 here.

So rather than finding the mattress that works the best regardless of layering which wouldn't make it possible to incorporate what you have into a similar design because it is too different ... I would focus on testing mattresses that used 6" of latex that were similar to what you have to see if there is a variation that works for you.

If you do end up finding a construction that is promising in your testing in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment,and Personal preferences) ... I would agree that a wool quilted cover would probably be a good idea to reduce the liveliness or bounce of the latex and provide the benefits of sleeping on wool. I wouldn't make it so loose that it because too loose when the cover stretched and covers need to be fairly tight to help the mattress keep its shape and then you can use quilting such as wool (or even a wool or other type of topper) to reduce the surface resilience.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

help: half way toward building a mattress 10 Apr 2013 02:51 #7

Hi Phoenix,

This is a little confusing to me. An anterior pelvic tilt usually is the result of a mattress that is too firm not too soft or a mattress that is too soft when someone sleeps on their stomach and the lumbar is hyperextended. It seems to me though that if anything your 6" layer is too soft not too firm which would normally have the opposite issue and the lumbar curve would be "collapsing" more than hyperextending on your back.


Yup, you are correct! I find Posture to be the most difficult 'P' to get straight (no pun intended). I normally have an anterior pelvic tilt (sitting at my desk all day, tight glutes), and when I felt uncomfortable lying on my black, I wrongly assumed it was my back arching. My wife took photos, and while my pelvis definitely sinks in a lot, you are correct, my lumbar region is actually very flat. And I feel very little pressure on my lower legs and feet (feel feel like they are even off the mattress a little).

It would be very helpful if you could post pictures somewhere on this site of the various postural problems that can result from an incorrect interaction between body type and mattress support.

Also, how does pillow selection factor into this? I've seen very little motion on your site of the role of pillow size, shape, density, etc.

You could also test a Savvy Rest with two layers of "medium" natural Talalay in the construction (I would confirm it is N3 if possible) with either a softer 3" layer over it or a firmer layer under it.


So, I followed your advice and spent some time at The Clean Bedroom on 5th Ave. I tested a 9" mattress that consisted of two 3" layers of medium Dunlop (which should be somewhat close to my 6" medium Talalay) and one 3" layer of soft talalay on the top. And it was great!! They actually let me take a (much needed) nap in the store and I was very happy when the salesman woke me up! The mattress felt soft and forgiving, yet supportive (I didn't sink in too much, and it didn't jiggle around terribly).

I know that Talalay has a different feel than Dunlop, but is it really that different? I mean, if anything, this should have been softer than what I have now, but it felt firmer.

I currently have a 6" 29 ILD core. Its too soft, but we are slowly growing accustomed to it. I am tempted to buy a 3" firm Dunlop layer to go underneath the 6" medium Talalay core:

sleeplikeabear.com/natural_latex_international_latex-mattress_toppers

and a 9" wool cover to put the whole thing in:

sleeplikeabear.com/zippered-unbleached-100-cotton-quilted-with-18-oz-natural-wool-mattress-cover

My thinking is that it won't be perfect, but eventually, we can swap out the 6" medium Talalay core that we have now, and replace it with a 3" medium (Dunlop) and a 3" soft (perhaps Talalay, or perhaps wool), and replicate something like the OMI Duo that we like so much. Does this sound reasonable?

Also, a few additional points/questions:

1) Phoenix, you were absolutely right, the DIY approach is definitely riskier and more time consuming. But it can be way less costly. Even with my error in purchasing the 6" medium core, its way less than purchasing a prefab. I wish we had just found what we liked beforehand and tried to replicate that.

2) It is insane to purchase a latex core from a place that doesn't have an exchange policy. Nest Bedding may be a good place and Joe Alexander seems like a perfectly nice guy, but I regret purchasing from him because he wouldn't do an exchange (I asked) and because he didn't publish the IDL densities on his webpage (and I didn't ask beforehand...my bad).

3) I noticed in your description of your personal mattress, you used a two sided design, with soft at the bottom, medium in the middle, and soft at the top. Why two-sided? Do you flip it? What role does soft play in the bottom layer?

I have no idea how you have the time or energy to write so much every day, but I really enjoy reading your posts every day! Wish I had only found this earlier, before I purchased anything!

Thank you,

(still) SleeplessNYC

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help: half way toward building a mattress 10 Apr 2013 18:39 #8

Hi sleeplessinNYC,

It would be very helpful if you could post pictures somewhere on this site of the various postural problems that can result from an incorrect interaction between body type and mattress support.


This is a good diagram I have often linked in the forum but it's difficult to actually see every curve of the spine so I usually use a more combination approach that looks at "symptoms", and "eyballing" the overall look of the body profile along with general information about the mattress and the person to get a better sense of what type of changes have the highest probability of success. Once you are past the more simple and higher probability solutions though ... things can get incredibly complex for the minority of people where simple solutions are not successful because each person has a different natural curvature and a different physiology so getting too exact with the actual curvature of the spine can sometimes be counterproductive when their natural alignment isn't in the "normal" range. In these cases it becomes more of a medical issue or body structure / physiology issue than a mattress issue and starts to go outside what is possible to help with on a forum without more professional help.

Also, how does pillow selection factor into this? I've seen very little motion on your site of the role of pillow size, shape, density, etc.


Pillows are an important part of overall alignment on a sleeping system... and they particularly affect upper body issues like the upper back, neck, and shoulders. There is more information and links to some good resources in the pillow thread here . Like mattresses ... there are some basic "needs" with pillows based on body type and sleeping positions but personal preference plays a much larger role with pillows than it does with mattresses and the overall "feel" of a pillow can be much more important because it is in such close contact with a very sensitive part of the body (the head and face).

So, I followed your advice and spent some time at The Clean Bedroom on 5th Ave. I tested a 9" mattress that consisted of two 3" layers of medium Dunlop (which should be somewhat close to my 6" medium Talalay) and one 3" layer of soft talalay on the top. And it was great!! They actually let me take a (much needed) nap in the store and I was very happy when the salesman woke me up! The mattress felt soft and forgiving, yet supportive (I didn't sink in too much, and it didn't jiggle around terribly).

I know that Talalay has a different feel than Dunlop, but is it really that different? I mean, if anything, this should have been softer than what I have now, but it felt firmer.


Yes ... Dunlop and Talalay will respond and feel quite differently ... particularly if the layers are thicker. Dunlop has a higher support factor (gets firmer faster) than Talalay which can change how the mattress responds significantly. If the two layers of "medium" Dunlop were the same ILD as your 6" of Talalay then they would tend to feel firmer for most people and would also be more supportive in terms of how well they held up your pelvis. The "medium" Dunlop probably has a higher average ILD than your Talalay as well. 6" of medium Dunlop with 3" of "soft" Talalay is a fairly common construction that many people do well with.

When you have a thinner layer of softer foam on top and then a firmer layer underneath that ... what you feel is a combination of both layers because the firmer layer underneath will "come through". If you were to use an even softer top layer for example it could feel even firmer because you will sink into it and "go through it" more and feel even more of the firmer layers below it. This is just one place where mattress design can be so counter intuitive. Layer thickness plays just as big a role as layer softness designing a mattress. It also depends on which type of "softness" people are more sensitive to and they feel the most (see post #15 here ).

I currently have a 6" 29 ILD core. Its too soft, but we are slowly growing accustomed to it. I am tempted to buy a 3" firm Dunlop layer to go underneath the 6" medium Talalay core:


I would be very careful with this. I assume your mattress is probably on the floor or on some type of non fleing surface and if you add even firm dunlop underneath it it will have more "give" than the surface your t" of talalay is currently sitting on and make the overall mattress even softer (the Dunlop is softer than the floor). I would think what you probably need is a firmer layer closer to your body (say 3" deep in the mattress) which isn't really possible with a 6" layer on top. Again the thickness of your layer and the position of your layer is the difficulty you are facing. If you only had 3" of 28 ILD it would be easier to use firmer layers underneath it to improve support/alignment because your mattress would get firmer faster as you sank into it but the layers on the bottom have the least effect and won't stop the top 6" (which is where the majority of the mattress' performance comes from) from being too soft.

Perhaps the option with the highest odds of being a "possible" fix would be to use an inch (or two at most) of firmer latex on top (thin enough that some of the softness of the 28 ILD Talalay still comes through but thick enough that it reduces the amount your pelvis is sinking in). The other side of this though is that it may introduce pressure issues even if it helps with alignment because it would also reduce the amount your shoulders are sinking in and you would be on top of a firmer layer. I would even be tempted to use an inch of firmer latex (which will help reduce the amount your pelvis is sinking in and may still be thin enough for your shoulders to "go through" it into the softer layers below) and then put a wool quilted stretch knit cover around this (the wool will also firm up the surface compression a bit as well) but all of this would be a lower probability solution than a progressive design with a thinner comfort layer and firmer latex underneath. I would even consider using a thicker wool topper on top of this to further reduce the compression (the wool will "pad" your pelvis area and increase its surface area which would reduce compression). In all of this though I would keep in mind that you would be spending your money on untested combinations that may surprise you in how they interact with your body type.

1) Phoenix, you were absolutely right, the DIY approach is definitely riskier and more time consuming. But it can be way less costly. Even with my error in purchasing the 6" medium core, its way less than purchasing a prefab. I wish we had just found what we liked beforehand and tried to replicate that.


It's usually only less costly if you make every choice of layer correctly. As soon as you buy a layer that doesn't work in your design and can't return it, it generally becomes a more costly method than working directly with a manufacturer where you can choose your own components and exchange the ones that don't work for a minimal cost.

2) It is insane to purchase a latex core from a place that doesn't have an exchange policy. Nest Bedding may be a good place and Joe Alexander seems like a perfectly nice guy, but I regret purchasing from him because he wouldn't do an exchange (I asked) and because he didn't publish the IDL densities on his webpage (and I didn't ask beforehand...my bad).


If you are buying something that you haven't tried in person ... then it's important to always ask "what options do I have if I make the wrong choice?". This is a big part of "value" in an online purchase. if you are local and you can test layers before buying them , then it's different because you can have a good idea of how it will perform before you buy it.

3) I noticed in your description of your personal mattress, you used a two sided design, with soft at the bottom, medium in the middle, and soft at the top. Why two-sided? Do you flip it? What role does soft play in the bottom layer?


Two sided mattresses are more durable and can last longer ... and yes we flip and/or rotate it (usually every 3 months but sometimes longer). The soft on the bottom is more of a liability than a benefit and needs to be taken into account in terms of how it interacts with the rest of the mattress and the people on it. It's just a side effect of a two sided design where there will always be a softer "comfort layer" on the bottom and is just one of the tradeoffs involved in every mattress design.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

help: half way toward building a mattress 11 Apr 2013 01:53 #9

Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for your reply! I think I am getting close to the realization that we are going to ultimately need to toss this 6" natural Talalay core that we purchased from Nest Bedding (that's a $700+shipping failed experiment), but I don't have the heart (or the finances) to let it go just yet.

Whatever I buy now to try to deal with this problem, I want it to be compatible with a mattress design that we know works (for example, the three-layered OMI Duo). So I am reluctant to purchase a 1" firm Dunlop layer (which would have no place in a Duo-like progressive system). Another possibility...You mentioned that a soft and thin top layer can make the mattress feel firmer:

If you were to use an even softer top layer for example it could feel even firmer because you will sink into it and "go through it" more and feel even more of the firmer layers below it. This is just one place where mattress design can be so counter intuitive.


Perhaps I should try a 2" soft top layer? Is there any chance that could make the mattress feel a bit firmer?

I should mention that we are both getting accustomed to the postural aspects of this medium density core. We sink way deep into it, but since you pointed out some of the things to look for, I think we aren't too bad in terms of alignment (it just took some getting used to the feeling of having my pelvis sort of sunken). That figure you linked to was very helpful. Thankfully, we aren't very big or curvy, and neither of us are stomach sleepers.

So, one possible solution that I am now pondering is to buy:
1) the 9" wool/cotton mattress cover
2) a 2" soft (N2) Talalay core for top
3) 1" worth of wool batting to go on top of the soft core (but inside the mattress). I am thinking of buying raw batting (www.shepherdsdream.com/p-40-eco-wool-batting.aspx) and just putting it on top of the latex, though I am afraid it would slide around too much.

Ultimately, I would toss our current 6" core, and buy two 3" Dunlop cores (medium and firm).

This sort of sounds half-baked (buying more 'soft' when it already feels too soft), but I am tempted to try! If we buy from sleeplikeabear.com, I think we can exchange the soft core for the firm that you suggested, so we'll have a backup plan if the experiment doesn't work. (all the more reason NOT to buy from Nest Bedding again...sorry, Joe).

Any input would be most appreciated. Otherwise, I'll go ahead and report back in a couple of weeks...

Thank you

-SleeplessNYC

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help: half way toward building a mattress 11 Apr 2013 03:49 #10

Hi sleeplessNYC,

Another possibility...You mentioned that a soft and thin top layer can make the mattress feel firmer:


Only if it's on top of a firmer layer so you would 'go through" it more and feel the firmer layer underneath it.

Perhaps I should try a 2" soft top layer? Is there any chance that could make the mattress feel a bit firmer?


No. Adding more soft foam would make it softer.


The other options you are thinking about would be experimental and you would need to sleep on them to know how they work for you but adding another 2" of soft foam would certainly make your mattress softer.

If you are "getting used" to your 6" 28 ILD layer you may find it is OK after you adjust to it so perhaps the best idea for the moment is to give it more time to see how things go and how your initial adjustment period turns out and then decide on what to do next after you have completed your adjustment period and things have "stabilized" in terms of how you are sleeping on your current layer.

Some people do better than others with softer support layers.

If you are sinking in fairly evenly ... softer layers can provide good alignment in some cases even though you are sinking in more deeply overall.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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