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Wool zippered mattress case help 27 Jun 2013 13:50 #1

  • Odin2010
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So I have decided to go with a 9" Dunlop latex mattress firm 31-35, medium 26-30, soft 17-27 being the top layer. This might not be perfect but I need to start somewhere or I will be sleeping in my spare bedroom forever. I like the idea of building a bed so I can tinker with it. What I don't understand and need help with is the case. I'm looking at a cotton case quilted with wool but I really have no idea what and where to be looking.

Wool zippered mattress case help 27 Jun 2013 15:40 #2

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Some thoughts... not meant to be conclusive...

Covers/Cases/Encasements usually come with the mattress so finding them loose is not so easy. Plus there is that fire retardant issue. And how to get wool for its unique ventilation properties and in a stretch format... not common. St. Geneve/St. Dormeir manages to put wool in their stretchy pad (recommended) but that construction is not quite cover/case worthy.

Here is a cover to consider ... I have not tried it but I'm thinking about it. The vendor is SleepEZ on eBay. I would call SleepEZ direct first to talk it over.

Dunlop in the support core layers is a good idea... gets firmer faster. But soft Dunlop is suppose to be not so possible... less durable and less produce-able... which might explain why your soft comfort layer is ranging wide from 17-27... 17 is soft but 27 is not, especially if it gets firmer faster. So, you might want to consider Talalay on top... say 19, 24, ... or 28.

3x3" is a common kit build... it's either 3" of comfort on a 6" support core... or it's 3" of comfort on a 3" transition on a 3" support core. The former differential construction can work but is not as customized. The later progressive construction can work, BUT... and this goes against many kit builds... the top 6" could be too deep/gradual a progression for the average shape. Dunlop getting firmer faster can help with this. And then it depends on your shape... but if you are average, I'm beginning to think 2"-3"-3" is a better progressive build... with Dunlop in the core.

Let us know how your DIY build goes.

zzz

Wool zippered mattress case help 27 Jun 2013 18:21 #3

  • phoenix
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Hi Odin2010,

What I don't understand and need help with is the case. I'm looking at a cotton case quilted with wool but I really have no idea what and where to be looking.


Post #4 here has a list of suppliers for various components including several that sell a wide range of mattress covers.

@ Sleeping,

But soft Dunlop is suppose to be not so possible... less durable and less produce-able... which might explain why your soft comfort layer is ranging wide from 17-27


There is certainly legitimately "soft" Dunlop available (and some of the newer continuous pour Dunlop layers made by Latexco and Mountaintop can go as low as the low or mid teens) ... it's just much less commonly seen with molded Dunlop (although some of this is fairly soft in a few instances as well). I wouldn't consider it to be less durable than Talalay in an equivalent ILD though. Some Dunlop pillows also have an ILD of under 10 although you won't usually see this in a topper. I also think that that Odin2010's top "soft" layer has a very wide range though, even for Dunlop, but the chances are that it's just a guess on the part of the supplier to cover a wider range of possible firmness levels and isn't the variance of any particular layer. It would be hard to imagine a supplier selling a Dunlop layer that was 27 ILD in a large part of the surface as being "soft" for most people.

I would also suggest that as soon as you label a specific design as being "better" than another either in terms of the type of material or in terms of layer thickness (rather than simply different) or turn preferences into "better or worse" suggestions ... then those that take this to heart may quickly discover that there is no formula that can be more predictive than someone's personal experience. In many cases they will start to focus more on the specs of a mattress than on their own personal experience. Everything depends on how all the layers interact with each individual person and body type.

Having two 3" Talalay layers for example is also a way to increase the compression modulus of the two base layers compared to a single 6" layer which in some cases can result in a higher compression modulus for the 6" combination than a single Dunlop layer with a single ILD. Different layering combinations changes compression modulus as well as the ILD at certain compression percentages in other words. Besides compression modulus ... the response curve of Dunlop and Talalay are also different and Talalay has more initial resistance because of it's thicker cell walls but then becomes firmer more gradually once the cell walls begin to deform so a lot depends on how much of a layer is compressed and where in the compression range it is. This can become so technical that it's usually "best" to let personal testing and experience or the knowledge and experience of a retailer or manufacturer "cut through" all the technical stuff that can often lead to overanalysis and information overload. As soon as someone starts to question whether a 2" or 3" comfort layer is best for example without taking into account all the other factors involved there are so many "it depends on" in any answer that it becomes impossible to really know for certain with all the other interacting influences and can create a perception and analytical problem that can't be solved by anything but personal experience.

Encouraging people to follow a formula can often be counterproductive because it becomes too easy to use theory rather than personal experience or the guidance and experience of a manufacturer with thousands of customers (and even then they can only go by averages and there isn't any certainty that any design will match a specific person).

Post #26 here and post #2 here can give some idea of the complexities involved in using a formula or math rather than someone's personal experience. "Theory at a distance" can be useful as a starting point or for gaining some insights into how layers interact with each other in many different ways but IMO it's the least effective way to choose a mattress design (personal experience is the most effective followed by the help and guidance of a manufacturer who knows more than anyone about how their specific mattresses interact with different body types and sleeping styles ... at least based on "averages"). In my experience ... focusing on design or comfort specs (ILD, layer thickness etc) can often be counterproductive without specific reference points of someone's personal experience.

Don't forget ... that in most cases on a forum you don't hear from 90% or so of people where a "standard" layering design works very well and their first choice is their best one.

Phoenix
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Wool zippered mattress case help 28 Jun 2013 06:18 #4

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Hey Phoenix,

The OP wants to tinker with his DIY project. I was sharing my personal DIY experience, saying that I am beginning to think that 2"-3" is a better firmness progression than 3"-3" for the average shape. Various retail and kit builders such as PLB and CSD use 2" on top, so I'd call that a standard formula. And your own article suggests average gaps of 1", 2", and 3"; and that the comfort layer thickness in a progressive build should be thinner than the target gap since the transition support layer will assist the comfort layer. So as I see it, I'm a DIYer with some personal experience coming round to a progressive layering standard used by some retail builders and suggested in your own article... 2" comfort on top with a transition support layer below. Fortunately, the DIYer can tinker while the typical kit builder pretty much ships the same formula out the door... 3-3-3 m-f-xf or 3-3-3-3 s-m-f-xf, give or take a firmer layer if you are not of average shape.

zzz

Wool zippered mattress case help 28 Jun 2013 18:52 #5

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Hi sleeping,

First of all I should preface this rather long post with a few comments so that you don't in any way see it as being critical ... which it certainly isn't. Your comments do provide a chance though to share some thoughts as "food for thought".

It's also clear to me from your posts that you have some good experience with various layering combinations and a good analytical mind so your posts are certainly helpful, informative, and insightful ... and of course very welcome :)

Just to clarify my "approach" and some of the background intent of the site though ... especially as it regards complete DIY constructions (which I generally tend to discourage unless someone has realistic expectations of what may be involved) ... some comments about the underlying goals of the site and forum may be helpful.

One of the initial goals of this forum ... and one of the things that was intended to make it different from say WTB where I also used to post frequently or other forums or review sites ... is that I wanted to emphasize more accurate, factual, and educational information that put more of an emphasis on "connecting with experts" with years of learning and experience rather than a forum where dozens of conflicting opinions by a well meaning group of consumers made it difficult to differentiate who had the knowledge and experience to really help people and who was just posting opinions which were presented as fact (which were often either factually incorrect or misleading although of good intent). I used to see long threads in other forums with a mishmash of conflicting advice which tended to do more to confuse people than help, and would often make it difficult to differentiate between knowledgeable members who could truly be considered "experts" and those who were just presenting or passing on strongly held opinions based on a few weeks of research or experience and which often contained ideas that they had "heard" and come to believe (rightly or wrongly) and that often had little relevance for the majority of people.

This was especially true in the case of some of the DIY threads where I used to cringe at the type of advice that was often presented as factual which often overwhelmed or "confused" the advice that was given by some of the more knowledgeable members because it seemed to have equal "weight" or legitimacy. In some cases (as is very common in the industry) there was also conflicting advice provided by members who were even in the "expert" group who would all make good points but the advice would sometimes be completely contradictory. This would often lead to complete confusion and the member who was seeking advice taking a very scattered and non systematic approach that jumped from one suggestion to another or from one extreme to another with no progressive testing and "learning" pattern. I would see layering changes that were "correcting" the wrong thing completely (such as people adding firmer top layers trying to improve "support") and in some cases it was obvious from the beginning that they would have little chance of succeeding in their design goal because their basic assumptions were just not correct.

I would also often see people becoming too fixed on certain ideas that they were excited about because it worked for them and turning basic guidelines into "rules" and where you would see statements like "Talalay is better than Dunlop" written by someone who preferred Talalay or where Talalay worked for them and that had no information about "better in what way" or "better in what circumstances". Other examples were along the lines of "this type of construction" is better than "that type of construction" written by someone where the type of construction they were "suggesting" worked well for them ... even though it may not have worked at all for someone else. All of these can sometimes lead to someone jumping to a conclusion that is not appropriate for them.

Mattress construction is so individual and often counterintuitive that there is always a risk as soon as someone turns concepts or guidelines into specific recommendations or "better / worse" interpretations that don't include specific reference points of someone's personal experience or preferences. My question in these cases is always "better for who?" or "better why?". In addition to that ... if too many people become involved in the "advice giving" process for the same person ... even if they are all knowledgeable ... or if their advice is conflicting in some ways because each has different experiences or are focusing on different pathways or different elements of the overall design goal, then it often does more harm than good because the person seeking advice can end up "jumping" from one idea to another in a much more haphazard way and never include the whole picture in their thought process and use a slow and incremental or step by step approach to assess and learn enough from each combination to make the most logical and highest probability choice for their next one. In these cases it can become difficult or sometimes impossible to reach an ideal combination except perhaps by a random stroke of luck which may or may not happen. They will often jump right over the most suitable layering going from one extreme to another and end up giving up or settling for a layering choice that never really works well for them. I have always preferred presenting options that outlines the pros and cons of each choice.

In most cases a DIY approach has the best odds of being successful by duplicating a specific design in terms of layering and materials ... including the cover ... that has already been proven to work well for the range of body types and sleeping style that the person falls in. These more "standard" designs (whether they are 6 + 2 or 3x3 or other combinations) have been developed and proven to work over many years for a wide range of people and it's often when people start "tweaking" things in different ways based on incorrect assumptions or information; theory that may not apply to them specifically; lack of knowledge or personal testing experience; not taking the effect of all all the design factors, layers, or components into account; or because they're not familiar with the real life effects of making certain design changes that they run into trouble.

In other words ... the complexity of too many ideas, options, and theories often overwhelms them and they focus on theory more than their own personal experience.

For the minority who are much more sensitive to small variances in design and where standard designs don't work as well for them ... then the most successful way to approach a DIY construction is with personal testing (either in a store or at home sleeping) and using their specific experience on each combination to make small incremental changes in a specific "direction" because the "standard" advice that would work for most people tends not to be as successful for them. They are "outside the averages" in other words and in these cases changes may often need to be "outside the norm". In most cases only their own testing and sleeping experience can really identify what combination will work best for them.

There are many "standard" combinations and designs that use a different pathway to a similar result that may work equally well for people in terms of PPP. For example a 2" layer with a softer 6" base layer may be very comparable to a 3" top layer with firmer 6" base layer underneath it for some people so in cases like this there is no "better" design in terms of layer thickness because it depends on the specifics of what else they are combining it with. Too much emphasis or focus on ILD without enough consideration of layer thickness or compression modulus (or other design or material factors) or too much emphasis on layer thickness without consideration of ILD and other factors can often lead to poor results. Personal experience along with specific feedback targeted on identifying specific symptoms and the most likely underlying cause behind them can often bypass the need for much more complex knowledge about how many interacting factors work together. In many cases "educated intuition" and experience can be more accurate than technical knowledge that tries to take too many interacting details into account.

The guidelines I normally suggest of "about" 1" stomach, 2" back, and 3" side sleeping (all +/- an inch or so and sometimes more depending on the many other factors involved) are also not so much about specific layers but as much to make a point that certain sleeping positions need different designs, depth of cradle or what I call a "critical zone", and a different balance between comfort/pressure relief and support/alignment. They are more starting points in other words meant to give generic insights into mattress constructions and design ideas that may provide the basic knowledge to have more meaningful input into discussions with a retailer or manufacturer than they are specific ending points or recommendations. It's also true for example that a single layer may include the necessary range of comfort and support in a single layer and have say a good 2" pressure relieving cradle and good deep support (because of good compression modulus) in a single layer that has no separate "comfort layer" at all. A mattress that has a 2" separate comfort layer may provide a 4" cradle in some combinations and a mattress that has a 4" comfort layer that was very firm may provide a 2" cradle for some body types and sleeping positions.

So the simple and often most successful version of a DIY mattress is normally to copy a successful design that is proven to work well and is a standard layering of a successful manufacturer for that person's body type and sleeping style regardless of the specifics of the design. Again ... different designs can be different pathways to a similar result. This could be a 6" + 2" design from one manufacturer, a 3x3 design from another, or a single 6" layer with a box spring or flexible slats under it from a third ... all of which may be roughly comparable in many ways and work very well for the same person.

Once you start straying from successful designs ... sometimes in incrementally smaller ways ... the odds of success begin to decline. If someone's sleeping experience on a certain combination that would work well for most people with a similar body type and sleeping style doesn't work well for that person because they are outside "average" ranges ... then the most successful way to complete the DIY at the least possible cost would be to use their own specific sleeping experience and "symptoms" on the "wrong" mattress to one step at a time try to analyze and predict what has the best odds of transform the "wrong" mattress into the "right" one. This may need some careful analysis about why that person may be different from the norm and some very specific and targeted feedback about their symptoms and how and where the mattress needs to change.

In most cases more extended and interactive voice communications that can pick up on the nuances or finer details that can make a difference may be necessary (assuming that's available). It may often also need "organized" trial and error with the "expectation" of mistakes because "averages" are no longer applicable and this is the stage where complete DIY can become costly if the "averages" don't work for someone or frustration begins to creep into the picture which tends to lead to hasty conclusions in an attempt to "get it over with". If you have purchased from a foam supplier where what you purchased was "cheap" but can't be returned or a return involves significant costs ... a complete DIY can become an expensive lesson in mattress design as it applies to a specific person.

DIY can certainly be a great approach that has some unique challenges and rewards but I think that in most cases and for most people the goal of complete DIY is not so much to "tinker" or create a unique design as it is to find a cheaper way to accomplish the same thing as a kit produces. Once you need to return a single layer (if returns are possible) and/or pay for shipping or restocking fees or incur other costs, the main benefit of a full DIY approach may be lost. Tinkering can become very costly for those who don't get it right the first time which in most cases defeats the main reason that people choose a complete DIY construction in the first place. For those who don't mind the cost of multiple mistakes and their goal is more of a learning process vs a lower cost way to build a mattress then of course this wouldn't apply.

In the case of this particular OP ... they are already starting off with a disadvantage compared to "kit" designs because they are using toppers stacked on top of each other rather than layers enclosed in a single tight fitting cover which is already a design change that can affect how specific layers perform individually compared to the same ILD's inside a mattress cover. Even the choice of a soft layer with such a wide range indicates the potential for trouble depending on which end of the range the 17 to 27 topper may be because it doesn't provide a narrow enough reference point for any changes that may be necessary.

Some other examples are that Dunlop in a core is only a good idea for someone who prefers Dunlop. It's not a good idea for someone who prefers Talalay or even someone where Talalay may provide specific benefits that for them would be better than Dunlop in their specific application so the qualifier becomes important. This puts the onus and responsibility on the person to make sure they choose wisely and have tested both rather than putting the focus on the "theory" that one is better than another in any specific circumstances when it may not be ... they're just different. A lower compression modulus can be useful in some circumstances. I also believe that it's also important that a person that is working with a complete DIY feels some "uncertainty" about making the best possible choices so that they keep their expectations realistic and they have realistically assessed their risk tolerance. Those who are too confident about DIY success or who become too confident that certain theories may be successful for them can make decisions that are not as carefully thought through or elevate theory over their own personal experience. Overconfidence can lead to some of the worst "mistakes" and a good dose uncertainty and a realization that they are working with odds rather than certainty is an important part of success and realistic expectations IMO.

So there are certainly guidelines that are very useful and ideas that can be extremely helpful but as soon as these cross the line from "pros and cons" into "better worse" so that people realize that every benefit has an opposing tradeoff then they may be taking the first step along the path of disappointment and frustration. My goal has always been more to help people with "how" to choose rather than "what" to choose.

So hopefully this has provided some insights into some of the thoughts and ideas behind the site and the forum that have developed over a learning curve that has been very steep and challenging and continues to progress just as rapidly over time.

So thanks again for your thoughts, insights, and posts so far ... and I'm grateful for your ongoing contributions to the forum community :)

Phoenix

PS: Just as a point of clarification ...

The vendor is SleepEZ on eBay. I would call SleepEZ direct first to talk it over.


The mattress cover is from SleepEz but the vendor is not SleepEz and is an independent retailer.
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Wool zippered mattress case help 28 Jun 2013 19:25 #6

  • Odin2010
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Ok now I'm completely lost, I think I will be sleeping in the spare bedroom for awhile.

Wool zippered mattress case help 28 Jun 2013 22:09 #7

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Hi Odin2010,

Ok now I'm completely lost, I think I will be sleeping in the spare bedroom for awhile.



I think we (or I) hijacked your thread and went off topic. I would go back to your original post ...

So I have decided to go with a 9" Dunlop latex mattress firm 31-35, medium 26-30, soft 17-27 being the top layer. This might not be perfect but I need to start somewhere or I will be sleeping in my spare bedroom forever. I like the idea of building a bed so I can tinker with it. What I don't understand and need help with is the case. I'm looking at a cotton case quilted with wool but I really have no idea what and where to be looking.


And if you are in a weight range where soft / medium / firm Dunlop works for you based on your own specific testing or on a conversation with a manufacturer that suggests it as a standard layering for your body type and sleeping position then I would continue along the lines you are going and of course order a cover that is as close to the original recommendation as possible.

The only thing I would suggest is that you try to get a top layer that is in a little more narrow ILD range because if you need to change it for a softer or firmer version of latex then that big an ILD range won't give you a reference point to know what to change it to.

Phoenix
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