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Questions from MN 28 Jul 2013 19:02 #1

  • carmutt
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Dear Phoenix,

Happily stumbled across your site. It's just too bad we didn't find it 8 years ago before we purchased our Select Comfort 7000 bed. That was certainly a mistake and has led to lower back problems for my wife and shoulder pain for me. Plus my wife has difficulty sleeping in it at all. So we are searching for a new bed. She is 5" and 110 lbs. and I am 6'2" and 195 lbs. We are both side sleepers. Hope we can find something that will work for both of us (that is what originally drew us to the SC beds).

We read your "first steps article" and found your recommendation for local locations to visit...thanks. But there is so much information here, it can be confusing and daunting, so had a few questions for you or anyone else that can offer advice. We have already been to OMF here to test some of their beds. We were aware of OMF as we previously purchased beds for other family members from them. Have been happy with the purchases.

Overall first impressions are that many of the memory form beds are too "hard" (like Serenity from OMF, Anatomic Global Altus and many of the Tempurpedic beds) for our taste as we seem to prefer a softer "comfort" layer. The Latex beds seem too "spongy?" at OMF and we did not find any other latex beds in our first search. My wife liked the Orthopedic EuroTop at OMF the best because of the "softness" of the top layer, but still felt it offered good support and PPP. The concern I have is that the pillow top layers of foam will break down too soon in that bed, cause depressions and sagging over a short period of time. Wondering if the non-pillow top Orthopedic versions are a better choice from OMF and then add a topper?

We also visited Mattress Firm and found the icomfort Serta Savant and the Simmon Beautyrest East Hampton as good options for PPP, but understand those beds do not have the same quality or value as others. Similarly, we liked the feel of the Tempurpedic Cloud-Lux, but will not pay $4000. We also checked out some of the Restonic beds, but found then too "springy".

Since you recommended Restwell, we will try there as well.

Are there quality innerspring beds made that offer the Talalay latex as the comfort layer as that seems it would be a better choice for durability, right? Based on our comments here and what we think we like the feel of, do you have any recommendations? Appreciate your advice and thanks for sharing your wealth of information with us.

Questions from MN 28 Jul 2013 22:08 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi carmutt,

Overall first impressions are that many of the memory form beds are too "hard" (like Serenity from OMF, Anatomic Global Altus and many of the Tempurpedic beds) for our taste as we seem to prefer a softer "comfort" layer. The Latex beds seem too "spongy?" at OMF and we did not find any other latex beds in our first search.


Most mattress categories have a wide range of different designs that range from very soft to very firm so I would tend to try several different examples of a particular category before you decide to eliminate it from contention just to make sure it's the material you don't like rather than just a specific design of that material. For example the icomfort savant is a memory foam mattress which you appear to like and there may be others as well. The same holds true for different designs of latex which may be much softer or firmer than the one you tried and less "mushy" depending on the design. The OMF Latex Supreme mattresses is fairly soft and they are also displayed on box springs instead of the more normal firm non flexible foundation so these together may have played a role in how they felt to you. You may need a firmer support core with no flex underneath and then a soft comfort layer opr some other variation to be happy with the "feel" of latex ... or you may discover that you don't like it at all in any variation.

My wife liked the Orthopedic EuroTop at OMF the best because of the "softness" of the top layer, but still felt it offered good support and PPP. The concern I have is that the pillow top layers of foam will break down too soon in that bed, cause depressions and sagging over a short period of time.


This is the reason that you need to find out the quality/density of all the layers in the mattress so you can make a reasonable assessment of it's durability. Pillowtops aren't an issue if it uses high quality foam and OMF does tend to use higher quality polyfoam in most of their mattresses. You are right that even more durable materials in very soft versions or thicker layers will be less durable but if the quality of the material is good then there is much less risk of these types of issues. If you find out the quality of the materials (and they do provide this) and you need some help assessing it then feel free to post the details here and I'd be happy to give you my thoughts.

We also visited Mattress Firm and found the icomfort Serta Savant and the Simmon Beautyrest East Hampton as good options for PPP, but understand those beds do not have the same quality or value as others. Similarly, we liked the feel of the Tempurpedic Cloud-Lux, but will not pay $4000. We also checked out some of the Restonic beds, but found then too "springy".


The Savant uses 2" of 5 lb memory foam over 2.75" of 4 lb gel memory foam over 1" of low density polyfoam over a 1.5 lb base layer of polyfoam. Overall the quality of the comfort layers is good (4 and 5 lb memory foam are medium and high quality materials) and the thin 1" layer of polyfoam is inside the thickness guidelines I would normally consider acceptable of "around an inch or so" of lower quality materials in the upper layers of the mattress. The base layer is lower quality 1.5 lb polyfoam but this is not as big a factor in durability (although you would normally see this in lower budget mattresses). While the design and the order of the layers is different ... these materials are very close to the same as the Dreamfoam mattress here (which has 3" of gel memory foam over 2" of 5 lb memory foam over an 8" 1.5 lb polyfoam base layer and 1.5" of polyfoam quilting) so the quality of the Savant is reasonable but the value is not so good.

I can't make any meaningful comments about the Restonic you tried because I don't know the specific details of the mattress and Restonic like many other manufacturers makes a very wide range of mattresses with a very different "feels".

Are there quality innerspring beds made that offer the Talalay latex as the comfort layer as that seems it would be a better choice for durability, right? Based on our comments here and what we think we like the feel of, do you have any recommendations? Appreciate your advice and thanks for sharing your wealth of information with us.


Yes ... there are quite a few of these but I don't keep a record of the specific mattresses that each retailer carries (it would be impossible to keep up with) so you would need to call them and ask if they have any latex/innerspring hybrids available for you to test. It may also be worth testing some latex/polyfoam hybrids as well if there are any available. Pure latex bliss also has a retailer in your area and they make a range of Talalay latex mattresses that you may want to test to see if some different latex designs feel better to you. RoomandBoard also has some Dunlop latex mattresses and Dunlop latex/innerspring hybrids so they may be worth visiting as well.

Unfortunately ... "feel" is so subjective and there are so many variations of each category of mattresses that your own testing is really the best way to decide which type of mattresses you prefer. I would also make sure that you talk with each retailer or manufacturer on the phone before you visit them to get a sense of their level of knowledge and transparency and to make sure they are willing and able to tell you the specifics of what is in their mattresses.

If you follow the steps one by one, make sure you only test mattresses where the details of what is in them is available to you, and narrow down your options in each store down to a single mattress (as if you had no other options and had to purchase a mattress there that was inside your budget) you will end up with some good final choices.

Then the last step would be to decide if you want to make a local purchase between your "final choices" or if you want to include any online manufacturers or retailers that sell mattresses that are similar to any of your final choices as part of the options you want to consider.

Phoenix
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Questions from MN (updated) 11 Aug 2013 08:22 #3

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Hi Phoenix,

Not sure why your quotes did not show up in the greyed out boxes...I must have not done the "Quote Reply" correctly, so I put your comments in italics from the previous post.

This is the reason that you need to find out the quality/density of all the layers in the mattress so you can make a reasonable assessment of it's durability. Pillowtops aren't an issue if it uses high quality foam and OMF does tend to use higher quality polyfoam in most of their mattresses. If you find out the quality of the materials (and they do provide this) and you need some help assessing it then feel free to post the details here and I'd be happy to give you my thoughts.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this info. We were told the OMF Orthopedic Pillow Top ($1149 Queen) contains 3 layers of HD polyfoam...two 1" layers of 1.5 density supersoft foam (one that is flat and one that is convoluted which is actually stitched into the cover), with a sandwich of 2 1/4" form of yet unknown density (they are supposed to call me with that information tomorrow). I think they also have a small 1/4" 1.2 density foam in the cover. Total ILD is about 12-18. Since the two layers of 1.5 density foam seems to be on the lowest end of quality HD foam, we have some concerns about breakdown and depressions over time. Hoping the 2 1/4" form has a higher density. Does the fact that these mattresses are flippable really make them last longer (if you flip them every 4 months)? Support is from 486 6 turn offset coils using the highest thickness in the industry (they say).

so the quality of the Savant is reasonable but the value is not so good.

We have ruled out all memory foam beds. All the ones we have tried just seem too firm for us.

so you would need to call them and ask if they have any latex/innerspring hybrids available for you to test.

We went to Rest Assured Mattress yesterday. Very nice people. Overall, we liked the 704 Body Print Pocketed Coil support layer(Cirrus line) over the firmer 918 and 1575 pocketed coil versions. He had the Cirrus beds with both a Marshall Micro Coil Pillow top with a Bamboo Cover ($1499) or a 2" Talalay latex 32 ILD Pillow Top with a Bamboo Cover ($1699). These both felt nice, but seem on the low side for thickness of the comfort layer for side sleepers. And the ILD of the latex seemed higher for a comfort layer than what seems to be "recommended". Perhaps the combination of the less firm support coils with the micro coils or the higher ILD latex provided for an overall "softer" feel of the bed. He did have a 14 ILD Talalay latex on top of the 704 coils, but that was too soft. Wonder if the 14 ILD Talalay on top of the 918 coils would be perfect? Well, I guess it is still only 2", so perhaps not enough thickness? I am also concered that this bed is not flippable. Since it uses innerspring, I would think you would get longer life out of them if they were flippable. True or not true? Also, do Legget & Platt offset coils last longer than Legget & Platt pocket coils (like on the Body Print line?) Appreciate your thoughts.

It may also be worth testing some latex/polyfoam hybrids as well if there are any available. Pure latex bliss also has a retailer in your area and they make a range of Talalay latex mattresses that you may want to test to see if some different latex designs feel better to you.

We went to Gabberts and tried the Pure Bliss Latex beds. Liked the "World's Best Bed", but did not like the price ($3699 on sale). Also, tried and liked the Aireloom Larkspur bed, but again did not like the price ($3599 on sale). While the Aireloom had a fantastic comfort layer, again the fact that you could not flip to get longer life seems to dissuade me from going this hybrid route since the support still comes from springs.

Did not care for the Restwell beds as my wife did not feel they were not soft enough in the comfort layer and were too "springy" and felt more motion in them.

One update since my first post. We laid on a OMF Latex Supreme at a different OMF store after laying on the "World's Best Bed". While we initially felt it was too soft, we did not think so this time and it seems to be a pretty darn good value. 6" 32-34 ILD Talalay for the support layer with a 2" convoluted Talalay (ILD 15) on top of the support layer followed by the foam inside the cover. At $1699, this might be the one. My wife thinks she could sleep on either this or the Orthopedic Eurotop I discussed above. Of course there is $450 difference, but both seem to be nice beds. Think we will try them out one more time and really spend some time on both and see which way we go. If we like the feel of both, is there one that will likely last longer or provide greater support/comfort over the long haul?

Then the last step would be to decide if you want to make a local purchase between your "final choices" or if you want to include any online manufacturers or retailers that sell mattresses that are similar to any of your final choices as part of the options you want to consider.

We are leery about buying a bed we cannot try out personally even if the value is better for seemingly the same materials/feel. Would have to consider "shipping return cost" of a bed we do not like, so we would have to weight the overall value and time spent.

Thanks again for your help/insights.

Dave

Questions from MN 11 Aug 2013 16:29 #4

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Hi carmutt,

Would appreciate your thoughts on this info. We were told the OMF Orthopedic Pillow Top ($1149 Queen) contains 3 layers of HD polyfoam...two 1" layers of 1.5 density supersoft foam, with a sandwich of 3" of 3.0 density Advantage supersoft foam. Total ILD is about 12-15. From the reading on your site, 5" of comfort layer seems like a lot even for side sleepers like both my wife and I are, and the 3" layer seems thicker than what you recommend. But perhaps the 3.0 density of the 3" foam makes up for that fact? Also, the two 1.5 density foam seems to be on the lowest end of quality HD foam. Overall, we have concerns about depressions over time, but perhaps that these mattresses are flippable makes this less of an issue?


Are you sure this is the Orthopedic Pillowtop (which lists for $849 queen set) and not the Orthopedic Eurotop (which lists for $1149 queen set)?

Density and softness are very different and only have a very loose connection with polyfoam materials. Any density of foam can be made in a wide range of softness levels. Higher density polyfoam will be more durable so it will tend to maintain its softness level and height much longer than lower density polyfoam of the sasme softness/firmness level. In general, once there are about 2" or more of lower density polyfoam in the upper layers of a mattress (1.5 lbs or less) I would be a little cautious because foam softening will have a greater effect on the feel and performance of the mattress and if a mattress is already on the soft side then the initial foam softening of all foam materials or the more rapid foam softening of lower density materials could easily put you "over the edge" of your pressure relief and alignment "needs". This would be more true in a one sided mattress than with a two sided mattress. You can see a little more about how this can happen in post #2 here and you can read a little more about the factors that can affect the relative durability or longevity of a mattress in post #4 here .

If a foam is deeper in a mattress then the layers above it will absorb some of the compression forces in a mattress so a 1.5 lb polyfoam layer that has 4" of foam above it will be more durable than the same layer used closer to the top or on top of a mattress with less or no foam above it. Firmer foams won't compress as much as softer foams so they will tend to be more durable as well. The 3.0 lb polyfoam is a very high quality material and has good durability (although all foam will soften over time just at different rates). A two sided mattress will also give the foam layers time to rest and recover and they will soften more evenly. Normally I would consider around an inch or so of lower density or quality materials in the upper layers to be acceptable in a one sided mattress and be cautious once the total thickness reaches 2" or more. In this case there is 2" but one inch of this has 4" of foam above it and it is two sided so it would be more durable than if the mattress one one sided.

With a mattress like this ... I would be more concerned with it's suitability for your needs and preferences. Even though it is probably fine in terms of the durability of the comfort layers (both because of the design and because it is two sided) ... there is enough softer material in the top layers that I would have some concern that even a slower rate of foam softening (both initially and over time) could result in the loss of comfort and support because it may already be at the softer end of what would work well for you in your actual experience when you sleep on it. Don't forget that comfort is generally what you feel when you first lie on a mattress but alignment and support is what you will feel when you wake up in the morning and needs more careful testing. There is also a lot of soft foam on the bottom of the mattress which could also affect alignment in a two sided mattress and I would be cautious and test carefully with comfort layers that are more than about 3" thick in a two sided mattress.

It would also be reasonable to expect that there would be some degree of impressions in the mattress over time although to a lesser degree than pillowtop mattresses that used lower quality materials (which includes most of them) and probably not to the degree that it would have an impression deep enough to be considered a defect and become a warranty issue. The biggest concern with a mattress like this would be foam softening and the likelihood that the loss of comfort and support along with having thicker layers of soft material on the bottom of the mattress could would take you over the edge and be somewhat risky in terms of alignment. I would even have the same caution about the risk of alignment issues with a mattress that used thick layers of soft latex in the comfort layers (which is an even higher quality material). Your careful and objective testing though is the best way to test for alignment and I would go no softer than you need to in any mattress choice regardless of material because it's much easier to add softness to a mattress than it is to make a mattress that is too soft any firmer because this would generally require an exchange or the removal and replacement of layers 9adding a firm topper over layers that are too soft or thick is not effective).

As you can see these types of assessments are partly a science and partly an intuitive art but they can provide a guideline of what to look for and where caution may be necessary.

I think we have ruled out the OMF Orthopedic Premier Pillow Top ($949 Queen) as that only contains two 1" 1.5 density foam which is on the low end of recommended thickness of comfort layer for side sleepers as well as low end of HD foam density. Even though the IDL is the same at about 15, we could tell the difference...it was not as soft. Both beds sit on 486 offset coils for main support.


The Orthopedic Premier Pillowtop is 15" thick (and the Orthopedic Pillowtop is 12.5") so there would be more foam on either side of this one than just 2" of 1.5 lb density polyfoam. Are you sure that the specs you have are referring to the right mattress? In a two sided mattress that uses around 3" or less of 1.5 lb polyfoam it can be a durable material (if you regularly turn and flip the mattress to give each side a chance to rest and recover and soften more evenly) but if there is more than this I would be very cautious in terms of alignment and in terms of durability ... even in a two sided mattress. "Just enough" softness to relieve pressure in all your sleeping positions is usually the least risky in terms of alignment.

We have ruled out the Savant iComfort bed due to value. Not sure if we are that interested in memory foam at all since it seems to be "harder to roll over" and seems to sleep "hotter" although I know there are these gel options which seems to make it cooler. Still have not ruled this out, but have not been able to try one out that provides comfort and value.


You can read a little more about the benefits of the various types of gel and gel foam materials (including gel memory foam) in post #2 here . The cooling benefits of gel tend to be temporary and can help when you are going to sleep but not so much over the course of the night. A bigger benefit of gel when it is added to memory foam is that it can improve the support qualities of the memory foam and decrease its tendency to get softer over the course of the night (called "foam creep").

We went to Rest Assured Mattress yesterday. Very nice people. Overall, we liked the 704 Body Print Pocketed Coil support layer(Cirrus line) over the firmer 918 and 1575 pocketed coil versions. He had the Cirrus beds with both a Marshall Micro Coil Pillow top with a Bamboo Cover ($1499) or a 2" Talalay latex 32 ILD Pillow Top with a Bamboo Cover ($1699). These both felt nice, but again seem on the low side for thickness of the comfort layer for side sleepers. And the ILD of the latex seemed higher for a comfort layer than what seems to be "recommended". Perhaps the combination of the less firm support coils with the micro coils or the higher ILD latex provided for an overall "softer" feel of the bed. He did have a 14 ILD Talalay latex on top of the 704 coils, but that was too soft. Wonder if the 14 ILD Talalay on top of the 918 coils would be perfect? Well, I guess it is still only 2", so perhaps not enough thickness? Appreciate your thoughts.


I would keep in mind that there are no "recommendations" for a mattress design anywhere on the site or even basic generic guidelines that can possibly be more accurate than your own experience. There are some guidelines and information that can give you some insights into some of the "art and science" behind mattress design theory that can be a useful starting point but ILD or "comfort" information is not really relevant when you are testing a mattress locally. Mattress design and theory is very complex and all the layers and components interact with and affect every other layer to different degrees and each person can be very different in terms of their needs and preferences.

I would completely avoid any reliance on "comfort specs" or design when you are testing a mattress locally (because 99% of consumers would not have the knowledge to take all the related information they would need to make the comfort specs relevant) and focus on accurate and objective personal testing along with identifying any potential "weak links" in a mattress and knowing the quality specs that can affect durability and the things you can't test for. When you focus on comfort specs with local testing you are generally heading into a "no mans land" of an art and a science that may take years to understand well enough to make any kind of mattress choice based on them and for most people too much information of the wrong type will lead to just as many poor choices as too little information and can lead to "paralysis by analysis". Connecting with experts that already know what you would otherwise need to learn and using their knowledge and experience is much more effective than trying to "design" an ideal mattress based on specs that may take years to become meaningful to you. For comfort and support I would use careful and objective testing and then use specs to be able to identify potential risks that you can test for, potential weak links in a mattress in terms of durability, and to make meaningful comparisons in terms of quality and value (not comfort or support). Chuck at Rest Assured (and his staff) would certainly be in the "expert" category and I think very highly of them.

We are leery about buying a bed we cannot try out personally even if the value is better for seemingly the same materials/feel. Would have to consider "shipping return cost" of a bed we do not like, so we would have to weight the overall value and time spent.


While there are many good online options that have less risk because of the ease of returning layers or the mattress itself ... there are many people who like you are also very hesitant about the greater risk of buying something as important as a mattress online and will only buy locally. Local purchases are probably about 80% or perhaps more of all mattress purchases. In this case the best "local value" becomes important but each person may have different criteria for their personal value equation and make different choices once they have eliminated all the worst options and are at the point of making final choices between "good and good". "Value" is always the combination of all the objective, subjective, and intangible factors involved with every mattress purchase that are most important to each person.

Phoenix
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Questions from MN 11 Aug 2013 18:08 #5

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Hi Phoenix,

I must have been updating/editing my last post at the same time you were responding to me, so you responded to "old" information before I updated the post to based on the shopping we did today. I also was given some incorrect information on the OMF Eurotop (and you are correct that I named the wrong one initially). If you have the time to check back on that updated thread, I had some additional questions I posed.

If I read your reply correctly, it seems you have a concern that the "softness" of the comfort layers we have been checking out will cause us to have "potential alignment" issues. I realize you can have differential and progressive systems, but I thought the "support" layer was more responsible for the alignment than the comfort layer?

Dave

Questions from MN 12 Aug 2013 00:15 #6

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Hi carmutt,

If I read your reply correctly, it seems you have a concern that the "softness" of the comfort layers we have been checking out will cause us to have "potential alignment" issues. I realize you can have differential and progressive systems, but I thought the "support" layer was more responsible for the alignment than the comfort layer?


Yes ... I would be concerned about alignment with any mattress that used comfort layers that were too thick and soft and make sure you do some careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines. Differential and progressive designs aren't really important once you are testing mattresses because everything will boil down to PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

Primary support is the job of the deeper and firmer support layers. Secondary support and pressure relief are the job of the comfort layers above them. Both work together to produce alignment. You can read a little more about these in post #4 here . Once you are testing though ... I would forget about theory and focus strictly on testing for PPP and think in terms of posture/alignment and pressure relief and any other specific preferences that are important along with knowing all the materials in your mattress so that you can make sure there are no weak links in the mattress in terms of durability.

While the Aireloom had a fantastic comfort layer, again the fact that you could not flip to get longer life seems to dissuade me from going this hybrid route since the support still comes from springs.


Unless you are confident that you can find out all the specs of the Aireloom ... I probably wouldn't spend any time testing it because if you like it you may be faced with making a blind choice with no way to identify any weak link in the mattress or know the real quality of the mattress. Price is often not an indication of quality (and in the mainstream market perhaps rarely).

If we like the feel of both, is there one that will likely last longer or provide greater support/comfort over the long haul?


You can read more about all the factors involved in durability in post #4 here but in general terms latex is more durable and will soften more slowly than even good quality polyfoam. In other words it will stay closer to its original specs for longer than other materials.

That's all the additional questions I saw in quickly reading your revised post (I am reading quickly today and working on catching up to a busy day) but if I missed any let me know :)

Phoenix
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Questions from MN 12 Aug 2013 07:28 #7

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How you keep up with all the posts in this forum is beyond me. You do a fantastic job and I appreciate it. No hurry to reply.

I did go back and re-read the post about latex durability and realize it does tend to outlast other foams. However, I am sure that it is made to various specifications for each company that buys it from latex International so it can fit into the market they want to hit. The Talalay Latex at OMF "may be" less quality from what it is the World's Best Bed (and I know there is less of it in the OMF bed). Overall, it seems any of the OMF Orthopedic Line of Pillow top beds use the 1.5 density foam for the comfort layer, and you have stated that is not quite up to pair, so perhaps we need to eliminate those. It just seems like we do not have many options left (didn't like the Restwell, didn't like the Restonic, Aireloom and World's Best Bed from Pure Bliss are too expensive.

So this brings us back to Rest Assured Mattress. Overall, we liked the 704 Body Print Pocketed Coil support layer(Cirrus line) over the firmer 918 and 1575 pocketed coil versions. He had the Cirrus beds with both a Marshall Micro Coil Pillow top with a Bamboo Cover ($1499) or a 2" Talalay latex 32 ILD Pillow Top with a Bamboo Cover ($1699). If both of these were equal, which would outlast the other? Is it a concern that these innerspring beds are not flipable which brings us right back to how all the "S" companies build innerspring mattresses? Since it uses innerspring, I would think you would get longer life out of them if they were flippable. True or not true? Do Legget & Platt offset coils last longer or provide better support (like on the OMF beds) than Legget & Platt pocket coils (like on the Rest Assured Body Print line?) Appreciate your thoughts.

Regarding alignment, I do not think my wife has laid on any beds that line up her spine from the neck to the tailbone when she is on her side (and she is a side sleeper...5" and 110 lbs. Her neck is always high than her tailbone even with different pillows. Her shoulders do not seem to "sink in" far enough and that is why she thinks she wants a softer comfort layer to help with that. Just struggling to make her happy, but that is the focus here as she is the one that really is having difficulty with our bed now.

I have read all your overviews and detailed informational pages along with your tips and direction on how to pick a quality bed. I will agree I tend to get too technical when the tech specs are available instead of just focusing on PPP, but I want to make a good choice. I already got burned by spending $3000 on a Select Comfort bed, so I want to make sure I do not make the same mistake again.

As always, thanks!

Questions from MN 12 Aug 2013 13:34 #8

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Hi carmutt,

The Talalay Latex at OMF "may be" less quality from what it is the World's Best Bed (and I know there is less of it in the OMF bed).


They would be exactly the same material in terms of type and quality. The blended Talalay they supply to other manufacturers is exactly the same as they use in their own PLB mattresses and they come off the same production lines. Of course as you mentioned there is more latex in the World's best bed and the ILD's (softness firmness levels) and design of each mattress would be different.

Overall, it seems any of the OMF Orthopedic Line of Pillow top beds use the 1.5 density foam for the comfort layer, and you have stated that is not quite up to pair, so perhaps we need to eliminate those.


In a one sided mattress I would be cautious but with a 2 sided mattress this would be a more durable material (a 2 sided mattress would be about 60% to 70% more durable) but there are also other risks to this mattress and all mattresses with that much soft foam will soften and impress to some degree. I have a friend who is a local manufacturer that makes a two sided mattress with a high quality offset coil that uses 2" - 3" of 1.5 lb polyfoam on each side. He stretches the polyfoam over the border wire and hog rings it to the springs (one per coil) which increased durability and prevents shifting and uses a good quality insulator pad to make sure that the foam doesn't work its way into the coils and these will typically last 10 or 12 years and have no issues with durability if they are regularly flipped. With a two sided mattress though he won't go above about 3" because of the additional risks of foam softening and alignment issues. For those who like a very soft mattress then the OMF could make a good choice ... especially relative to other similar one sided mattresses ... but the expectations of foam softening would need to be reasonable.

So this brings us back to Rest Assured Mattress. Overall, we liked the 704 Body Print Pocketed Coil support layer(Cirrus line) over the firmer 918 and 1575 pocketed coil versions. He had the Cirrus beds with both a Marshall Micro Coil Pillow top with a Bamboo Cover ($1499) or a 2" Talalay latex 32 ILD Pillow Top with a Bamboo Cover ($1699). If both of these were equal, which would outlast the other?


Both of these are very durable components and wouldn't be a "weak link" in the mattress. There is no way to quantify durability because of all the variables involved and how the specifics of each layer and component of each mattress interacts with each person and all the other layers and it's more of an art than a science but I would put them both in the range of "very durable" comfort materials. In most cases durability is connected to how quickly the loss of comfort and support goes over the line for the range of needs and preferences that are suitable for each person not because the materials actually wear out so a mattress that is "on the edge" of being too soft for someone will be less durable for that person than a mattress that is more in the middle of their range and has more "room" for the softening of the materials and components before the gradual loss of comfort and support puts them over their line. Latex and microcoils and higher density polyfoam and memory foam are all durable materials in a one sided mattress abnd making a mattress one sided allows for the use of thicker or more sophisticated comfort layers that don't risk alignment when they are on the bottom of the mattress.

Do Legget & Platt offset coils last longer or provide better support (like on the OMF beds) than Legget & Platt pocket coils (like on the Rest Assured Body Print line?) Appreciate your thoughts.

.

This depends entirely on the specifics of the coil and innerspring design and on the design of the mattress and of the components above the coil and on the person using the mattress. In almost all cases (with a very few exceptions) an innerspring is not the weak link of a mattress and within reason (assuming that the coils aren't very poor quality which they don't use) the choice of innerspring is a matter of preference. In theory a pocket coil will be less durable than an offset coil or other types of coil that uses helical wire to join the coils together which can then share the load but in practice it will almost always be the upper layers that are the weak link of a mattress. For someone that was very heavy for instance most manufacturers would recommend an innerspring that used helicals rather than a pocket coil.

You can read a little more about the different types of innersprings in this article and in post #10 here but the best source of information about relative durability when you are dealing with a knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer is the manufacturer themselves because they can tell you what the "theory" translates into in real life and the better ones like Chuck at Rest Assured will give you accurate information because they put your satisfaction above their desire to make the sale.

I have read all your overviews and detailed informational pages along with your tips and direction on how to pick a quality bed. I will agree I tend to get too technical when the tech specs are available instead of just focusing on PPP, but I want to make a good choice. I already got burned by spending $3000 on a Select Comfort bed, so I want to make sure I do not make the same mistake again.


You certainly aren't likely to make a mistake in terms of quality and value if you are testing carefully and are dealing with an experienced and knowledgeable local manufacturer that sells higher quality and better value mattresses and will give you accurate and meaningful information about every mattress they sell.

Phoenix
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Questions from MN 14 Aug 2013 16:24 #9

  • carmutt
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Strange...I did a quick reply yesterday, but it seem to not have taken, so I will start over.

Thanks for all your updated advice/insight Phoenix. I think I am finally "getting it", but want to validate with a few questions:

1. You mention that 2"-4" of comfort layer is recommended for side sleepers, but that it is a personal preference thing and one should try to get by with the smallest height in the comfort layer they can to attempt to ensure the bed is not "too soft" or causing potential alignment issues. When you state that, does it make a difference if there are 2"-4" on each side of the mattress? Could that much on both sides of the mattress potentially cause even more issues than on a single sided mattress?

2. Overall, the 2"-4" of comfort layer needs to be of HR foam (2.5 lbs), 1.8 density or higher polyfoam, latex, or microcoils to really stand up to wear. While this is always the weak link in the bed, it is worse with lower density foams as foam will break down and cause softening of the bed even further, which may cause it to be "too soft" or "over the edge" soft which can also lead to alignment issues.

3. Lower ILD Talalay (i.e. 14) will break down quicker than 24 ILD Talalay, so even softer version of Talalay can cause issues sooner when in the comfort layer. This is why you caution people on getting "too soft" a comfort layer even with latex (i.e. Worlds Best Bed from PLB). You can never firm up a bed, but you can always "soften" it with a topper or something else.

Based on that, it would seen the OMF Latex Supreme may fit into this "too soft" category since it has about 1.5" of convoluted 15-17 ILD Talalay on each side of the mattress, plus some low density foam in the cove over the 32 ILD core. So the question I raised about (two sided vs. one sided comfort layer) still stands here. Thoughts on this bed or feedback from others who have purchased?

That seems to leave two options for us...the Rest Assured Innerspring beds or perhaps the Brooklyn Bedding latex that we can build with maybe a 19 or 24 ILD top layer over the 32 ILD core. Probably not recommended to go down to the 14 ILD on the comfort layer based on statement above, right? Two totally different beds I understand, but the Memory Foam is out for us and the other Innerspring beds we have seen (OMF, Restwell, Restonic) do not seem to be good options for various reasons both you have pointed out and based on our own testing. I guess this is what this site it is all about...eliminating the poor choice and winding up a few good ones.

The one other items I would like you to comment on is this. Regarding alignment, I do not think my wife has laid on any beds that line up her spine from the neck to the tailbone when she is on her side (and she is a side sleeper...5" and 110 lbs). Her neck is always high than her tailbone even with different pillows. Her shoulders do not seem to "sink in" far enough and that is why she thinks she wants a softer comfort layer to help with that. Just struggling to make her happy, but that is the focus here as she is the one that really is having difficulty with our bed now. Appreciate your input.

So, am I finally "getting it"?

Dave

Questions from MN 14 Aug 2013 17:30 #10

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Hi carmutt,

1. You mention that 2"-4" of comfort layer is recommended for side sleepers, but that it is a personal preference thing and one should try to get by with the smallest height in the comfort layer they can to attempt to ensure the bed is not "too soft" or causing potential alignment issues. When you state that, does it make a difference if there are 2"-4" on each side of the mattress? Could that much on both sides of the mattress potentially cause even more issues than on a single sided mattress?


Generally it would be in the 3" to 4" range but it's only a guideline and would also depend on the specific construction of the mattress and the layers below it. It would probably be more accurate to say that the typical depth of cradle or what I call the "critical zone" would be in this range regardless of the thickness of any specific layers. Guidelines can be useful as a starting point or to gain an understanding of concepts but not as a specific recommendation for any person.

If for example you have a 6" layer of Dunlop latex, the ILD is tested at 25% compression which is 1.5". If it is under another layer and was only compressed by an inch ... it would "act" softer than its ILD would indicate and the top 1" could be part of the "critical zone" or comfort layers even though it isn't a separate layer. If it was compressed by 2" it would "act" firmer from that point on and the top 2" would be part of the "critical zone" and from from that point onwards could be part of the support system. In other words all the layers compress at the same time and interact together and affect each other regardless of the thickness and softness of every individual layer..

If you put soft foam on both sides of a mattress then the foam underneath would have an affect on the support/alignment of the mattress yes which is why two sided mattresses are more limited in how they can be designed (it's usually a good idea to limit softer comfort layers to around 3" or less in a two sided mattress and they would typically have a firm middle support component and then softer foam on each side rather than a more progressively firm design that is possible with a one sided mattress).

2. Overall, the 2"-4" of comfort layer needs to be of HR foam (2.5 lbs), 1.8 density or higher polyfoam, latex, or microcoils to really stand up to wear. While this is always the weak link in the bed, it is worse with lower density foams as foam will break down and cause softening of the bed even further, which may cause it to be "too soft" or "over the edge" soft which can also lead to alignment issues.


Yes this is correct. Softer foams of any kind will be less durable than firmer foams and thicker layers of less durable foams will have more softening than thinner layers mixed in with higher quality foams. 1.8 polyfoam in thicker layers on a one sided mattress could still have some softening under the heavier areas of the body. The softening under specific parts of the body (particularly the pelvis and to a lesser degree theshoulders) is the biggest issue. If a less durable soft layer is thinner then foam softening can lead to "going through" the layer more easily with the hips or shoulders and feeling more of the firmness of the layers below it and cause pressure issues even though the support layers are still "stopping" that part of the body and there are no alignment issues. If less durable soft foams are thicker ... then even with foam softening under the pelvis or hips they may still be thick enough to isolate you from the firmness of the support layers but your pelvis or hips will "travel" deeper into the mattress leading to pelvic tilt and alignment issues (and a sore back). In other words ... foam softening under specific parts of the body can lead to the loss of comfort or support depending on the design of the mattress, the relative quality of the layers, and how much "room" you have for foam softening before you are out of your range in terms of pressure relief or alignment.

3. Lower ILD Talalay (i.e. 14) will break down quicker than 24 ILD Talalay, so even softer version of Talalay can cause issues sooner when in the comfort layer. This is why you caution people on getting "too soft" a comfort layer even with latex (i.e. Worlds Best Bed from PLB). You can never firm up a bed, but you can always "soften" it with a topper or something else.


Yes ... all materials including latex will be less durable in softer versions even though latex would be more durable than other materials with a similar softness. This and the fact that thick soft layers can be risky even without foam softening (they can allow the heavier pelvis to "travel" too far before it is stopped by the support layers while at the same time "holding up" the lighter parts of the body such as the upper back). part of the problem here is that few people test for alignment carefully in a showroom because much of what they feel is comfort and feel so when they end up sleeping on a mattress that felt great in a showroom ... they could end up waking up with a sore back because the alignment issue didn't show up in the showroom because they weren't on the mattress for long enough. Comfort/pressure relief is generally what you feel when you go to sleep at night and alignment/support is generally what you feel when you wake up in the morning. Some people who tend to have a much more even weight distribution and a more proportionate body type can do well on softer layers because they sink in more evenly (and are still in alignment because every part of their body is deeper in the mattress) but this is less common and for most people comfort layers that are very thick and soft are more risky. You need to remove layers and make them thinner or firmer if they are too soft because if you put a firmer layer over it it will just tend to "bend" into the softer foam underneath and will only have a temporary or partial effect on alignment issues.

Based on that, it would seen the OMF Latex Supreme may fit into this "too soft" category since it has about 1.5" of convoluted 15-17 ILD Talalay on each side of the mattress, plus some low density foam in the cove over the 32 ILD core. So the question I raised about (two sided vs. one sided comfort layer) still stands here. Thoughts on this bed or feedback from others who have purchased?


The material quality is good and the inch of polyfoam is quilted (which pre-compresses it and adds to durability). The convoluted Talalay is only 1.5" so with the polyfoam quilting the "comfort layers" are only about 2.5" which means that the top part of the 32 ILD core would be part of the "critical zone" for most people and then deeper than this would perform it's support functions. It would be in the softer range but the fairly thin and soft comfort layer means that you will be using some of the support layer as your critical zone which would firm up the actual support below this. Layer thickness and layer softness all play a role along with compression modulus (how fast a foam gets firmer with deeper compression) to determine the softness of the upper layers that are the actual critical zone. When you are dealing with such complex numbers (and the shape of the egg crate also affects the compression modulus of the layer) then personal testing is really the only way to know whether you are in good alignment. If this mattress "fits" in terms of PPP I would rate it as having good quality/value.

That seems to leave two options for us...the Rest Assured Innerspring beds or perhaps the Brooklyn Bedding latex that we can build with maybe a 19 or 24 ILD top layer over the 32 ILD core. Probably not recommended to go down to the 14 ILD on the comfort layer based on statement above, right? Two totally different beds I understand, but the Memory Foam is out for us and the other Innerspring beds we have seen (OMF, Restwell, Restonic) do not seem to be good options for various reasons both you have pointed out and based on our own testing. I guess this is what this site it is all about...eliminating the poor choice and winding up a few good ones.


I would certainly be cautious in most cases with 14 ILD and even with 19 ILD and tend to use these in thinner layers but this is also relative to body weight. 14 may be suitable for very light people who don't compress the layers as much or for those where durability is less important than "comfort". I would also keep in mind that a manufacturer will usually have the experience to know how all their layers interact together with different people so their customers don't have to analyze the effect of every layer, the quilting materials, and the cover in relationship to their body type which is probably outside of the ability of almost all people. You are right that more than anything the site is about the "how" of making a choice because there are so many variables that the "what" can only really be decided on an individual basis based on all the criteria that are most important to each person.

The one other items I would like you to comment on is this. Regarding alignment, I do not think my wife has laid on any beds that line up her spine from the neck to the tailbone when she is on her side (and she is a side sleeper...5" and 110 lbs). Her neck is always high than her tailbone even with different pillows. Her shoulders do not seem to "sink in" far enough and that is why she thinks she wants a softer comfort layer to help with that. Just struggling to make her happy, but that is the focus here as she is the one that really is having difficulty with our bed now. Appreciate your input.


In this case the comfort layers need to be thick and soft enough to "allow" her shoulders to sink in enough ... but "just barely". she may be in the range where 14 ILD may be a good choice. Without going too deeply into specs that can be more easily tested in person (and are very complex) ... the compression modulus of a foam is important here because it can be soft in the upper part of a layer but gets firmer quickly as you sink in more so it can be both soft and pressure relieving and supportive at the same time even in a softer material. With foams that have a higher compression modulus then you can still "allow" the shoulders until they sink in enough for the greater surface area of the torso to take up the weight but still "stop" the heavier pelvis from sinking in too far because it gets firmer faster as you go deeper. A higher compression modulus is the benefit of latex and HR polyfoams and some types of higher density memory foam. Beyond this type of "vertical zoning" that is a side effect of foams that have a higher compression modulus ... actual zoning that targets different areas of the body with firmer or softer zones are also very effective. The 3 main "zones" that are the most important are under the shoulders, under the recessed curve of the lumbar, and under the pelvis. Relatively firmer under the pelvis (either through higher compression modulus or through zoning), the same or a little firmer yet under the recessed curve of the lumbar (firmer is more important with more curvy body types or for people who have relatively wider hips or shoulders) and then softer under the shoulders.

For most people zoning is not necessary with latex because of its higher compression modulus (and Dunlop has a higher compression modulus than Talalay so softer Dunlop can provide the equivalent support with deeper compression as firmer Talalay) but with more challenging body types or circumstances or as a preference then zoning under specific areas can be very effective even with latex.

So, am I finally "getting it"?


Based on your comments and questions I would say a resounding yes :)

Phoenix
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