>

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
The first place to start your research is the Mattress Shopping Tutorial
Select the Search Forum tab below to gain access to answers to many mattress related questions.
Select the Ask An Expert tab below to reach out to any of our Expert Members for guidance and advice.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC:

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 10 Feb 2014 15:44 #1

  • feeblewitz
  • feeblewitz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 6
I am reaching the point of information overload, shopping for a new bed. What I do know is that our current bed isn't cutting it!

We bought a Gold Bond, 'eco-touch' latex bed a little over a year ago. A friend had one and we laid on theirs for about an hour and it seemed pretty good. But once we owned this bed, both of our back and hip pain got worse instead of better and my spouse developed shoulder pain. Currently the floor with padding is more comfortable! A firmer surface seems to be what we need. I've read the 'read this first' shopping guide and am verging on overwhelm. Tips for finding a better mattress fit for us?

A few details:

We're average weight - 150 and 180, both seemed to have developed hip bursitis from our current bed. I have ongoing lower back issues that are usually kept at bay with stretching, good rest, and not sitting too much but with this bed I wake up with back pain.

Our current bed is the Gold Bond 930. It has: One 2" Layer of Super-soft Talalay Latex (19 ILD) atop a 2" Layer of Soft Talalay Latex (24 ILD), on top of a 5" Layer of Talalay Latex (36 ILD)

We also slept a few nights on a friend's WJ Southard and weren't sold on it. www.wjsouthard.com/collections/natural-latex-mattresses/products/natural-latex-mattress-pillowtop-cazenovian They don't list ILD #s but it seems to be all talalay.

Since talalay doesn't seem to be good for us and dunlop should be firmer, I am considering Habitat's 6in single layer mattress, but it has only a 26ILD and I wonder if it will be firm enough? The main appeal of Habitat is their return policy (considering we're currently stuck with our Gold Bond!) and price.

Another option is something like sleeponlatex.com/collections/latex-mattress-cores-toppers/products/natural-6-latex-mattress-core where we could basically make our own mattress, with a 44 ILD core.

We have a 3 inch wool topper that we'd like to use. We are thinking it will be enough of a cushion on top of a firmer mattress. We also prefer the latex beds since they don't have fire retardants.

Any thoughts on these brands or what ILD levels could work? I know it's a matter of trying it out but we're running out of local options and when we have tried out beds, it lead us to this bed that's currently driving us nuts.

Many many thanks! This site is very helpful!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 10 Feb 2014 17:43 #2

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31963
Hi feebewitz,

Tips for finding a better mattress fit for us?


There are only two ways I know of to choose a mattress that is "right" for you in terms of PPP. The first is your own careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post and the second would be more detailed conversations with an online retailer or manufacturer (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here which you may have already read).

If you aren't confident in your ability to make a suitable choice that is "close enough" with either of these then the options you have available after a purchase to fine tune the mattress or to exchang the mattress or exchange or replace individual layers or the return policy of the retailer or manufacturer you are dealing with (and the costs involved with any of these) would become more important and I would make sure you factor this in as part of your personal value equation .

Since talalay doesn't seem to be good for us and dunlop should be firmer, I am considering Habitat's 6in single layer mattress, but it has only a 26ILD and I wonder if it will be firm enough? The main appeal of Habitat is their return policy (considering we're currently stuck with our Gold Bond!) and price.


Dunlop only feels firmer if you are comparing the same ILD and layer thickness to each other and you sink into the material more than 25% of its thickness. Both Dunlop and Talalay come in a wide range of firmness levels so either one can be firmer than the other depending on the specifics of each layer and on the rest of the mattress that it's part of.

You can read more of my thoughts about Habitat and their return policy in post #3 here and a forum search on Habitat (you can just click this) will bring up more information and feedback about them as well.

Another option is something like sleeponlatex.com/collections/latex-mattr...-latex-mattress-core where we could basically make our own mattress, with a 44 ILD core.


I think highly of Sleeponlatex but before you consider designing and building your own mattress and purchasing all the layers separately rather than as a component kit I would read post #15 here and the posts it links to.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by phoenix.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 19 Feb 2014 21:29 #3

  • feeblewitz
  • feeblewitz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 6
Thank you for the info, Phoenix! We're going to see what local retailers we can visit to get an in-person assessment of what works for us. We live in the DC area though where options are oddly limited. I've been reading your helpful sections on assessing support, pressure relief, etc.

I'm wondering if you have a thought on this though - it looks as though my hips and shoulders come up too high, so my lower back sinks down, making a U shape and this is what's bothering me. So is the problem that this bed isn't soft enough on the surface to have pressure point areas sink down into it? Or is the core not supportive enough? Or both?

And are there chemical-free alternatives to the latex bed? Not having chemicals, esp fire retardants, in the bed is important to us. But I'm questioning whether latex works for us. Maybe it will always be too springy for us on the surface.

Thanks for your insight!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 19 Feb 2014 21:54 #4

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31963
Hi feeblewitz,

I'm wondering if you have a thought on this though - it looks as though my hips and shoulders come up too high, so my lower back sinks down, making a U shape and this is what's bothering me. So is the problem that this bed isn't soft enough on the surface to have pressure point areas sink down into it? Or is the core not supportive enough? Or both?


This would often indicate that the comfort layers may be too thin or too firm to allow the hips or shoulders to sink into the mattress far enough to fill in the lumbar curve or the waist. This is what I call secondary support (see post #4 here ). The support layers themselves may still need to be firmer to "stop" the heavier pelvis from sinking down too much (primary support). Zoning can also help with more difficult situations or body types because they can be softer under the shoulders which are lighter and need to sink in more but still provide firmer support under the heavier pelvis (see post #11 here ).

I would be a little cautious though about getting too involved in mattress theory and design which can sometimes lead to information overload and all that's really important is careful and objective testing for PPP where your body will tell you which mattress is the best "match" for you much more effectively than specs or theory.

And are there chemical-free alternatives to the latex bed? Not having chemicals, esp fire retardants, in the bed is important to us. But I'm questioning whether latex works for us. Maybe it will always be too springy for us on the surface.


There are hundreds or even thousands of different designs of latex mattresses or latex hybrids that will each have a different feel and perform differently but it may be worthwhile testing some Dunlop latex which is less springy and different types of quilting layers can also reduce the surface resilience of a latex mattress.

There are certainly other alternatives to latex in comfort layers but if "chemical free" is important to you rather than just "safety" then natural fibers (cotton and wool) may be worth considering although they can be firmer than foam and innerspring/natural fiber mattresses can be quite costly. The issues surrounding "chemical free", safety, natural, synthetic, organic, green, fir retardants, and all the other related issues can be very complex and confusing and the industry is filled with misinformation about all of these but a good starting point that can help each person answer the question of "how safe is safe enough for me?" on an individual level is post #2 here and the other posts and sources of information it links to. I would be forewarned though because this is a very complex and confusing issue where there are often no clear answers available and there are many opinions that are more about selling mattresses than they are about providing accurate information to consumers.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by phoenix.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 24 Feb 2014 16:48 #5

  • feeblewitz
  • feeblewitz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 6
Thanks, Phoenix. We tested some mattresses this weekend and found one that felt comfortable - the Stearns and Foster Trisha Euro Pillowtop Plush. I hesitate to buy a conventional bed, and we couldn't get much specific info about what makes up the layers of this bed from the salesperson. Buying conventional just feels wrong to me - I have worked in toxics and health and am aware of how disruptive fire retardants are to humans and the environment. If we get a non-latex bed we would fully encase it in a plastic barrier to keep the fire retardants that attach to foam as it disintegrates in the casing. So I'd much prefer a latex bed. But latex just doesn't seem cushy enough on top. We tried a Pure Bliss that this same store had and it wasn't as comfy as the Sterns and Foster.

Unfortunately, the local retailers recommended in the forum for the DC area and most accessible to us (american foam center and mattress traditions) don't keep normal business hours and other options like Urban Mattress and Savvy Rest are just out of our price range. Are we being unrealistic trying to find a latex be, king sized, that is comfortable for us, under 2k? The Sterns and Foster isn't cheap (1400, after many discounts from the salesman) and I doubt would last as long but we can't fork out over 2k.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 24 Feb 2014 17:52 #6

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31963
Hi feeblewitz,

We tested some mattresses this weekend and found one that felt comfortable - the Stearns and Foster Trisha Euro Pillowtop Plush. I hesitate to buy a conventional bed, and we couldn't get much specific info about what makes up the layers of this bed from the salesperson. Buying conventional just feels wrong to me - I have worked in toxics and health and am aware of how disruptive fire retardants are to humans and the environment.


I think you are wise to avoid Stearns & Foster or any of the major brands not just because of fire retardant issues (which may or may not be an issue of safety depending on the specific type they use) but because you won't be able to find out the quality of the materials inside it (there is much more about this and other mattresses to avoid in the tutorial post ). The major brands tend to use lower quality materials in the comfort layers than I would be comfortable with and they don't disclose the information you would need to make an informed choice so they would be a very risky purchase. There are many instances on the forum of members who have purchased them and within a relatively short time need to replace their mattress because of foam softening and breakdown of the comfort layers and there is no warranty coverage because the visible impressions aren't deep enough and the loss of comfort and support isn't covered by warranties.

Are we being unrealistic trying to find a latex be, king sized, that is comfortable for us, under 2k?


Probably for a local purchase but not for an online purchase. The tutorial post includes a link to some of the members here that sell latex mattresses online with a wide range of features, options, designs, price ranges, and return or exchange options and some of these would be in your budget.

The Sterns and Foster isn't cheap (1400, after many discounts from the salesman) and I doubt would last as long but we can't fork out over 2k.


I would personally never consider a mattress where the information you need to make an informed choice about the quality of the mattress and the materials inside it isn't available to you. It is one of the most common causes of buyers remorse or in many cases mattress surgery within a very few years.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 24 Feb 2014 17:53 #7

  • jankdc
  • jankdc's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 70
I know that Phoenix will disagree, but if I were in your shoes, I'd do some mattress surgery. You have a latex bed and you are interested in another latex bed (I'd avoid the sterns and foster). I think at the very least you have a base layer that would work for you. I would take the top two layers and with an electric knife cut it in half lengthwise. Then play with the layers that you have and find what is most comfortable for each of you. I'd then call some companies like ktt or spindle and get layers of dunlop or latex that would help mimic that feel or help guide you on what you need. Even if you don't get it right the first time and need to order another layer, it can't be as expensive as buying a whole new bed. This is one of the few cases I would consider building your own. Plus you would be able to customize it for both you and your husband.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 24 Feb 2014 18:33 #8

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31963
Hi jankdc,

I know that Phoenix will disagree, but if I were in your shoes, I'd do some mattress surgery. You have a latex bed and you are interested in another latex bed (I'd avoid the sterns and foster). I think at the very least you have a base layer that would work for you.


I'm not so sure I would disagree and when there are no other options and there are layers that are worth saving then mattress surgery can be a good choice if it goes with a "spirit of adventure" and expectations are realistic.

It would also depend on which version of the Ecotouch they have because some of them use a polyfoam (acellaflex) base layer and some use a latex base layer and there may be some challenge involved in removing the latex if the layers are glued but I think your suggestion is a good one and would certainly be a good option with little "down side" if the only other choice is disposing of the mattress.

Thanks for suggesting it :)

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by phoenix.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 27 Feb 2014 14:21 #9

  • feeblewitz
  • feeblewitz's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 6
Thank you both for this idea of mattress surgery! It was like a head smacking 'doh!' moment for me. At the very least, I thought I should open up the mattress and check it out and see what the goods are. I'm attaching a picture. The mattress cases just zipper so it doesn't require any major surgery to open it up.

We have the 9.5 inch 930 Ecotouch which has the latex base. And It does look like a real latex base. The top layer also looks like real latex. The middle layer seems different. The bed description says that the bottom layer is firm talalay (36ILD), then soft talalay (24ILD), then super soft talalay (19ILD). I got the ILDs from an ebay description so take with a grain of salt.





Both my husband and I tested out the bed without the cases and thought it seemed more comfortable than in the casing. Could the cases be constraining it, making it more like a trampoline than something to sink in to? So we left the cases off, put sheets on, and slept on it that way last night. It was more comfortable, though I still woke with back pain and my hips and shoulders hurt through the night. He said it was ok - much less hip pain but still not super comfy. In the spirit of scientific inquiry, we are putting our big butts on the line and took pics of us laying on the mattress. If an expert eye might be able to tell what's going wrong for us, we'd appreciate it. Maybe we can add another level on top of the whole thing for pressure point relief? Maybe it needs some zone treatment, putting a different ILD in the pelvis/hip area and shoulders?








I can't seem to attach photos so I'm including a link to them.

The layers are glued together so before I start slicing, possibly quite awkwardly, maybe I can figure out what I need to replace or add.

Thanks again!
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by phoenix.

Woman on the verge of latex bed overwhelm! 27 Feb 2014 17:38 #10

  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 31963
Hi feeblewitz,

Some browsers seem to have some issues with attaching photos ( see here ) so I downloaded them and attached them to your post ... I hope that's OK (and I'll switch it back to the links if you prefer them).

Both my husband and I tested out the bed without the cases and thought it seemed more comfortable than in the casing. Could the cases be constraining it, making it more like a trampoline than something to sink in to?


Yes ... the type of cover on a mattress can have a significant effect on a mattress (for better or for worse). Yours has wool in the quilting which can help with temperature regulation and the surface "feel" of the mattress but it can also have an effect on the contouring of soft latex.

We have the 9.5 inch 930 Ecotouch which has the latex base. And It does look like a real latex base. The top layer also looks like real latex. The middle layer seems different. The bed description says that the bottom layer is firm talalay (36ILD), then soft talalay (24ILD), then super soft talalay (19ILD). I got the ILDs from an ebay description so take with a grain of salt.


I believe your specs are probably accurate and the middle layer would also be blended Talalay latex (not all latex layers look the same but you can see the pincores).

In the spirit of scientific inquiry, we are putting our big butts on the line and took pics of us laying on the mattress. If an expert eye might be able to tell what's going wrong for us, we'd appreciate it. Maybe we can add another level on top of the whole thing for pressure point relief? Maybe it needs some zone treatment, putting a different ILD in the pelvis/hip area and shoulders?


I certainly don't have an "expert eye" and there are many people who sell mattresses every day (which I don't) that have much more experience and are much better than I am at assessing alignment. It's also difficult at best to assess alignment just from a single picture without being there in person (you can only see one "snapshot" and one angle and rotational alignment is also difficult to assess) and having more reference points (such as something that can help show the line of the spine to see how it's bending or feeling under the lumbar curve) is also helpful. Assessing alignment is also partly based on visual cues and partly from "feel" and the ability of your muscles to "let go" and completely relax (which usually takes some time).

Your specific "symptoms" are also an important part of assessing alignment (see post #2 here ). Not everyone sleeps free of pain or discomfort if they are in a "theoretical" best alignment because their body may not be used to it.

Having said that ... from the point of view of a "non expert" ... it looks to me like there is some sagging happening for both of you. In his case it looks like his pelvis is tilted and in your case it looks like your hips/pelvis is being held up too high although I can't really tell for sure from just one picture. There may also be other members who have more day to day experience than I do that see this and will hopefully share their thoughts as well.

In looking back at your posts you mentioned ...

We're average weight - 150 and 180, both seemed to have developed hip bursitis from our current bed. I have ongoing lower back issues that are usually kept at bay with stretching, good rest, and not sitting too much but with this bed I wake up with back pain.


Lower back issues are most commonly from comfort layers that are too thick/soft or from support layers that are too soft. If your hips/pelvis is out of alignment either from sinking in too far or not enough then this can also cause "hip symptoms" or aggravate issues that already exist.

my spouse developed shoulder pain.


This is usually from comfort layers that are too thin/firm or from sleeping with a pillow that isn't suitable in combination with the mattress. It's more common with men who have wider shoulders that need to sink in more or that need a thicker pillow (on their side) to maintain support under their head and neck.

Currently the floor with padding is more comfortable! A firmer surface seems to be what we need.


This seems to "point to" comfort layers that are a little thinner and that bring you closer to the support layers (although this can also cause pressure points ... especially with a pillow that is too thin for side sleeping.

So we left the cases off, put sheets on, and slept on it that way last night. It was more comfortable, though I still woke with back pain and my hips and shoulders hurt through the night. He said it was ok - much less hip pain but still not super comfy.


I would give any change you make at least a few nights (more than 2) so you can see if things are an improvement or worse than the previous version. One nights experience is really not enough to make a good assessment of whether a different combination is better or worse.

I would first sleep on the mattress without the cover for a few days and assess the "direction" of any changes you experience (how and where are they better or worse than before). Depending on the outcome I think that the next thing I would probably try is to "carefully" remove the top latex layer (and this can be difficult and will take time and involve carefully lifting up and pulling back on the top layer as you cut in small strokes in between them with a sharp blade). Depending on whether it is only partly glued or glued all across the surface some areas may be more difficult than others and you will have some tearing in the latex and lots of "crumbles" but this won't make much difference to performance if you are careful and avoid pulling on the latex too firmly which can tear it..

If you are OK with removing a layer then I would test sleeping on just a single comfort layer to see how your experience changes as the difference between this and your double comfort layer will provide some useful feedback and "pointers" about whether thinner/firmer comfort layers will help.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by phoenix.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
The Mattress UndergroundCopyright © 2022 The Mattress Underground
TheMattressUndergounf
TMU
TheMattressUndergounf