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Help with layering combinations 27 Jan 2014 14:20 #21

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Hi Diane37,

Not sure what to do next without making another purchase... I don't think that I should try to add either of the other 2 materials that I have to this mix. The wool topper has a stiff poly backing that interferes with cushioning of the topper. I guess I should try the mattress pad on top but I think it alters the feel of the latex, not in a good way. I always used this mattress pad on top for protection and softness, but I think it does not work for me. Therefore, I feel like I may need to rethink my support layer combos with just this combo as my comfort layer:


If you make changes out of a specific sequence that is "one step at a time" then it could be more random than I can follow and would really be going back to trial and error in the hopes that "something" will work without having a specific plan.

There are many combinations yet to try in the "learning curve" and the overall process that will hopefully lead to the best possible end result but if you choose combinations out of a specific sequence that can "isolate" the effects of certain combinations or specific layers then it's really not possible to learn enough from each combination to be able to make the most meaningful assessments.

This may take some time and patience and a one step at a time approach.

After combination #1 the next step I would have tried would have been the same as #1 except with the convoluted under the Dunlop. The combination you ended up trying was the convoluted Omalon under the Dunlop without the mattress pad so there are two changes here (the addition of the convoluted layer and the removal of the mattress pad) which already makes it more difficult to know which layer is having what effect.

The next combination I would try in a more "logical" process that can help isolate the effects of a single change would be what I originally suggested as combination 2 (which will now be combination 3) which would be from bottom to top N3, N5, N4, Convoluted Omalon (points up), 14 ILD Dunlop, Mattress pad.

If you can try one more night on combination #2 it would be helpful but if not I would move to combination #3

Phoenix
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Help with layering combinations 28 Jan 2014 05:49 #22

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As advised, slept on this last night:

bottom to top N3, N5, N4, Convoluted Omalon (points up), 14 ILD Dunlop, Mattress pad.

Overall, it felt a little softer.... better for hips and legs, but in the morning The area between my shoulder blades to my neck is pretty sore with some spine tingling, still some leg stiffness. The mattress pad is fairly thick with poly. and support seems to be less when used.


I cut off the very stiff, thick mattress cover a few weeks ago and cover the top of the talalay layers with the St. Dormier pad. I do want to try at some point to go back to N3 at the top, with either N4, then N5 or N5, then N4. When I slept on just N3 over N4 without a cover when I was waiting for my layer exchange, it was too hard, but I did not try any toppers on it except for my wool fleece. Maybe a topper combo on this configuration could work. My body type and weight are fairly normal, and I have no health issues. I don't know why a more conventional layering system wouldn't work for me. My experience early on with this mattress was with the mattress cover intact. The latex is totally different without the cover.

Do you have an opinion of my 2" dunlop topper ild? Was this not a good choice for a topper and should I consider a different one?

As always, thanks for your time and effort.

Help with layering combinations 28 Jan 2014 11:28 #23

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Hi Diane37,

Thanks for the feedback on combination 3.

If you can sleep on this for 2 - 3 nights then we can decide on the next iteration based on your symptoms and how they compare to the other two combinations you've tried. Each step is part of the process of learning how the different layers react in various combinations.

It seems to me that the support on this combination may have been OK (no lower back issues). It may also be worth trying a different pillow because as the layers change the height of your pillow may also need to be adjusted to compensate for the different amounts you are sinking in to the mattress. If you sink in more deeply into a mattress then the distance in between your head and the mattress can also change which can affect upper body alignment and symptoms.

Once there is a baseline for different combinations that begin to show a pattern (hopefully) then it's easier to know which combination would have the highest odds of reducing the symptoms you are experiencing and would be worth trying next (once again with "small step" changes).

Phoenix
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Help with layering combinations 30 Jan 2014 17:02 #24

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Phoenix,

Do mid to upper back pains that are a result from a mattress indicate anything specific, such as too soft or too firm? I've never had this type of back pain before. I am also experiencing sore hips at the joint areas. (exclusive side sleeper)

Diane

Help with layering combinations 30 Jan 2014 23:33 #25

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Hi Diane37,

Do mid to upper back pains that are a result from a mattress indicate anything specific, such as too soft or too firm? I've never had this type of back pain before. I am also experiencing sore hips at the joint areas. (exclusive side sleeper)


Unfortunately this could be from many causes. Too firm could cause them from excess pressure, too soft could cause them from creating a more "hunched" position when you are sleeping, and it could also be a pillow issue. Post #2 here has more about some of the more common symptoms on a mattress and some of the possible causes but it can take some trial and error to isolate the cause. Is there a specific layering out of the three you've tried in this thread that seems to produce the symptoms more than the other two (that might provide a clue)?

Phoenix
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Help with layering combinations 05 Feb 2014 14:42 #26

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After visiting Croydon Mattress Co., trying out their latex mattresses and speaking with Ron, (who was really great), I decided to make changes to my layers. I had a day to experiment so that's what I did. I tried to simplify my configuration, eliminating materials that I felt were not working. My wool topper, bamboo/poly fiber mattress pad, and 1 1/2 omalon foam (which is really too firm for pressure relief) have been put away. Tried to keep it simple as dn suggested. This is where I am currently from top to bottom:

2" Dunlop topper 14ild
3" N3
3" N5
3" N4

This provides good support for us, and pretty good pressure relief. It is the best configuration to date, yet I still need a touch more pressure relief, for hips, shoulders, really my entire body. So, I am thinking that either i need an inch of something soft on top or beneath my topper or change out my dunlop topper for maybe a rejuvenite 3" topper? After trying mattesses at Croydon, I found that the quilted covers with some soft foam in the quilting gives the latex a softer feel for your bones. I'm not sure if I like being directly on the latex or not.

Is there a soft foam, not latex, that might work well on the very top in a 1" layer? I could then place everything in a 4 way stretch cover from Sleepez. Or perhaps just purchase a 3" soft talalay topper to switch with my 2" dunlop topper. Everyone seems to choose talalay for toppers, maybe one would feel softer for me.

I'm also looking at where I could find a quilted, with foam, zippered cover for all my current layers. I feel this is risky though. Not sure how everything would feel under this type of case.

I feel like I almost there...

Help with layering combinations 05 Feb 2014 15:07 #27

Hi Diane,

I don't know how close you are or not, however assuming you're reasonably close there's a couple possibilities.. Again, I'd consider them first and also see Phoenix's advice, since he has the tracking post on the go. I'm glad a 'simpler' approach is yielding results for you.

1. If you're really really close, and depending on how much break in time each layer has had, then the Dunlop + n3 might soften up perfectly and you adjust with use. In which case, leave it alone, don't flip or rotate it until you see if that happens.

2. If you're really close, adding the n4 above the n5 will give a touch more give. Again, if you do that, and you get closer, you might be at #1.

3. If you find ticking (mattress case) you like, I'd inquire if you can buy it... In my own work, I found the ticking the hardest. Latex is (more or less) a commodity. You can get any type of talalay you want at competitive prices from multiple vendors, and dunlop only slightly more difficult since there are more varieties. Quality ticking that I felt I'd like, on the other hand, I found was the very hardest. Also, if you're planning on changing the ticking, it absolutely can change the feel. But I agree, it gives a nice finished look to the mattress :)

I did not encounter any zip covers with quilted foam, however I wasn't looking for that at all either.

As another consideration, I know you have a husband involved. If he's been satisfied with any of the combinations, you might consider DIY split zoning. That way, you're only meddling with your side and not disturbing him. As a side benefit, and assuming you're game for such an approach, you'll pay roughly half if you decide to buy more latex (probably buy twinxl size and get it cut to be narrower, or cut yourself).

Thanks,

Help with layering combinations 05 Feb 2014 16:21 #28

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Thanks dn,

It is hard to guess what step to take next. I did try the N4 above the N5. I did not like the feel as much. I think with N5 in the middle, N3 on top compresses more? and feels softer to me. I have been on this latex for at least 3 months. How long does it take to break in?

What ticking do you have? I do like the Sleepez 4 way stretch or something similar, but I believe I need more pressure relief either directly under it or under my dunlop topper.

In your experience, have you compared blended soft dunlop to blended soft talalay? As a side sleeper, I am thinking that I need 3" topper instead of 2", and perhaps talalay is softer like I have read.

As far as being close, I still have general stiffness in the morning which I never had before, and I still feel the "hardness" of the mattress through the night. My husband doesn't even know when I make a change in the mattress... he works hard and is tired and can sleep on just about anything. I have tried to not go too soft though, as he sleeps on his back and stomach at times. As far as zoning is concerned, my pressure point soreness seems about equal for all of my body areas with this setup.

The toughest issue with latex for me has been that even though I sink into it and it feels soft to sit on and feel, when I recline and sleep on it, it feels hard. When you look at my configuration, does it seem too firm for my height/weight (5'5" - 125 lbs.)

Thanks,
Diane

Help with layering combinations 05 Feb 2014 16:45 #29

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Hi Diane37,

Your results are fairly promising :)

This provides good support for us, and pretty good pressure relief. It is the best configuration to date, yet I still need a touch more pressure relief, for hips, shoulders, really my entire body. So, I am thinking that either i need an inch of something soft on top or beneath my topper or change out my dunlop topper for maybe a rejuvenite 3" topper? After trying mattesses at Croydon, I found that the quilted covers with some soft foam in the quilting gives the latex a softer feel for your bones. I'm not sure if I like being directly on the latex or not.

Is there a soft foam, not latex, that might work well on the very top in a 1" layer? I could then place everything in a 4 way stretch cover from Sleepez. Or perhaps just purchase a 3" soft talalay topper to switch with my 2" dunlop topper. Everyone seems to choose talalay for toppers, maybe one would feel softer for me.


The "feel" of a non latex top layer is what I suspected you may prefer and what I was "targeting" in some of the combinations I was suggesting earlier. There are some people who don't like the higher resilience or "feel" of sleeping directly on latex and for them a less resilient quilting layer or a top layer of another type of foam or fiber is their preference. You may be one of these (which is why I was "experimenting" with some of the polyfoam and fiber layers you had on hand).

The foam that Croydon uses in their quilting layers is polyfoam but they don't provide the specifics and the quilting will also affect how it feels and performs so this only provides generic information that is useful but you wouldn't be able to use it to make a specific choice of the type, thickness, or firmness of the polyfoam that would approximate it. They also don't provide the specifics of the layers under the quilting layers which will also have a significant effect on how the quilting layers feel.

Since you appear to be close and seem to like the feel of "non latex" materials in the top layer of your sleeping surface you could buy a soft egg crate polyfoam layer or even a higher quality softer solid polyfoam layer (not convoluted) at almost any foam supplier that is fairly inexpensive and may be worth considering or experimenting with. You could start with 1" and then decide if you wanted something thicker, softer, or firmer.

The multiple changes you've made since the last configuration are too different from the other combinations for me to identify exactly why your current combination is working better for you but in very general terms is has firmer support layers (the N5 closer to the top) and softer comfort layers (the N3 under the 2" 14 ILD dunlop) but it's likely that "a touch to a little bit" of extra softness may be closer to what you are looking for. I suspect that the N4 under the N5 would be a good base to build on.

It's too bad that we don't know the ILD of the convoluted Omalon you have because this could be a useful reference point if you were to use it on top of your current combination and see how it affected things.

I've updated the reference post (#16) with your current layering and feedback as "Combination #3".

In your experience, have you compared blended soft dunlop to blended soft talalay? As a side sleeper, I am thinking that I need 3" topper instead of 2", and perhaps talalay is softer like I have read.


I think that your comment about needing an extra inch (of latex or polyfoam) may be accurate because you may be feeling the firmness of the N3 layer more than you want to and some additional thickness will isolate you a little more from this but the softness of either Talalay or Dunlop and how they compared would depend on how the "actual" ILD's compared. Both materials come in softer or firmer versions so Talalay wouldn't intrinsically be softer than Dunlop unless the ILD's were the same (using the same method of measuring ILD which isn't always the case) in which case the Dunlop would likely feel a bit firmer.

Comparing ILD's between different materials can be quite misleading because there are so many differences between how ILD is measured and in the other specs of each type of foam that can also affect how soft it feels just as much as the ILD.

Phoenix
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Help with layering combinations 05 Feb 2014 17:19 #30

Hi Diane,

I see Phoenix has already offered some wonderful advise, so no need me comment on those things.

Regarding the zoning idea I mentioned, I was referring to a side-to-side zoning where you basically make a stack for your husbands side, and one for yours. The idea started because for me, I'm usually experimenting on a twinxl bed, which is less costly for materials and less work than swapping queen or king layers. I also have a king which way harder to experiment wih. As an idea, it has some limitations mind you. That's assuming you have a queen or traditional king (not California king).

I have a cotton 4-way stretch knit 100% organic cotton (from Sleepys.ca), as well as one with wool quilted in a cotton cover (green sleep). They both behave differently and have different pros and cons (and like everything else, you'd need to test to see what you like).

I have both soft dunlop and soft talalay, and they both are soft and it really depends on what you prefer. I personally suspect that the Dunlop you have is a touch too soft for your liking (or the n3 a touch too firm) and allowing you more direct access to the n3 below and isn't as progressive a transition as you'd like, and that's a complete *guess* only. My basic thinking being "14 ild" of your dunlop is meant to mean the softest dunlop whoever sold it has, and n3 is the 3rd softest talalay LI has in their all natural range, so in completely inaccurate and error prone estimation, there's a larger hop in the middle between the 2.

In my experience, it's easier to buy talalay and predict if it will be softer than, equal to, or firmer than what you have because you can just use ild (or N1-N5) to order as it's coming from one of two fairly standardized vendors with standardized measurements.. Dunlop, if you cannot feel it, is a bit more variable since they don't really use ild as much, and there are more companies with variation between them, so one companies soft might be softer/firmer than another company, etc. With talalay, you pretty much know that n2 will be softer than n3, and n1 will be softer than n2, by example using 100% natural latex talalay from LI. With dunlop, if you look at only a single vendor, then it's basically that easy too... But you'll only usually get 3-4 options (soft / med / firm), and it's near impossible to tell if soft from vendor X is softer than, equal to, or firmer than soft from vendor Y.

As Phoenix wrote, it's a great question if you even like sleeping on latex or prefer a different feel between you and latex.

I guess the only additional idea I'll contribute here is have you considered going back to the tutorial and shopping again, this time with your senses tuned to those very specific sensations you like and dislike. It sounds like you may be, given you trying other mattresses. It would allow you to fine tune trends with cheaper access to some possibilities. I know when I was doing some of the modifications I was doing, I went back to a bed store to try some of the models paying particular attention to those feelings i wanted to modify for my own bed. It only works well to do that if you can get exact specs on what you're trying, which in my case wasn't a problem (thanks to tmasc.ca) :)
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