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Experimenting in Tennessee. Tips? Suggestions? Recommendations? 03 Jan 2016 18:30 #1

  • Osborn
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Hello fellow sleep nerds. I've been agonizing somewhat over my lack of quality sleep for sometime. My wife and I are sleeping on a Serta pillow-top mattress that I've had since 1999. Over the past several years, I've gone back and forth trying to understand why I feel like garbage on most days. I have tried to examine my diet, exercise, stress levels, sleep, spirituality, and other things. I came to the realization over the past couple of years that without sleep I really struggle in all of the other areas. Over the past couple of months, I've discovered that the time I spend in bed has less impact than the quality of the sleep I get when I am in bed (I believe they are both important, but it doesn't matter how long I am in bed if I'm not actually sleeping). In other words, no matter how long I am in bed, I am not sleeping well. I have been wanting to replace the old mattress for a while now, but have pushed it aside, mainly for financial reasons. Also, my wife doesn't seem to have any issues sleeping on the Serta despite its age (probably because she weighs much less than I do at 135 lbs. with a height of 5' 5"), which has probably caused me to re-examine all of the other areas, and push the sleep thing to the bottom of the list. Through my research, I've come to the conclusion that latex is the way I want to go. First, it was Savvy Rest (I still think they are probably a great company, and tried out two configurations of their Serenity for the first time this afternoon for reference, but the price of latex is relatively high even factory direct, so $3,000 plus ain't gonna happen), then it was Essentia (until I read that there is a lot of controversy surrounding their marketing and the actual materials being used to make their mattresses, especially considering their astronomical pricing). Regardless of what I've liked, price has always been an issue, until I recently read about the possibility of building my own latex mattress. I've read the tutorials on this forum, understand the risks, and though I'm no expert, and have very little experience with different mattress configurations, I've decided to purchase "toppers" from mattresses247 on eBay for experimentation. I would like to share my plan with you, and get any feedback and advice that you are willing to offer to make my experiment successful, hopefully resulting in the perfect bed for us, and hopefully for far less money.

For starters, I weigh around 215 lbs. with a height of 6' 2.5". Because it seems that everybody's body is different, with different shapes, weight distribution and preferred sleeping positions, I really want to be able to experiment with as many different layer configurations as is necessary to find the right combination for me, but without spending a ton. As I mentioned, I tried out a Savvy Rest Serenity model this afternoon, one bed with two halves in the following two configurations from top layer to bottom: 1) soft talalay, medium dunlop, firm dunlop; and 2) medium dunlop, medium dunlop, firm dunlop. I am primarily a back and side sleeper, starting with my back, but with most of the night spent on my side, and an occasional stomach session (I wonder if I'd ever feel the need to go side or stomach if I was comfortable on my back) I greatly preferred the first configuration, as the second felt too firm for my liking, with not nearly enough cradling, and possible pressure points in my shoulder blades. However, as I was laying on the preferred configuration, I couldn't help feeling like the transition from soft talalay to medium dunlop wasn't as smooth as it could have been. Although I liked the cushioning of the the soft layer, it felt like I was bottoming out on the medium layer, like there could've been more soft, or a soft dunlop transition between the soft talalay and medium dunlop, or something with an ILD between. This is all speculation based on what I think I felt, base on what I think I understand from reading, but not based on past experience; and I was only lying on the mattress for a few minutes.

The configuration of layers I am considering purchasing from mattresses247, from BOTTOM to TOP, starts with 3" of firm dunlop (38-40 ILD) for the support layer (bottom). Next come 6 layers, to be interchanged for experimenting as a 3" transition layer, consisting of single 1", 2" and 3" layers each of both soft and medium dunlop (20 or 22-24 ILD and 30-32 ILD, respectively). The final layer (top) would be 3" of soft talalay at 22-24 ILD. If I can find it, I am considering an even softer top layer. I have sent a message to them, as there is some discrepancy with their stated ILDs, that could make the soft talalay firmer than the soft dunlop...not sure if that would work for the top two layers or not. Anyways, it's getting late, and I could probably write a lot more, but hopefully this is enough info to get some quality feedback. Thanks.

Also, thank you, Phoenix, for such a well-informed and trustworthy site. I've learned a ton in a very short time frame.

Dan

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Experimenting in Tennessee. Tips? Suggestions? Recommendations? 03 Jan 2016 19:55 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi Osborn,

If you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components and a separate cover then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project ... the best approach to a DIY mattress is a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

If you decide to take on the challenge then I would either use the specs (if they are available) of a mattress that you have tested and confirmed is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) as a reference point or blueprint and try and "match" every layer and component in your reference mattress as closely as possible or use a "bottom up" approach (see post #2 here ).

There is also more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel" that may be useful as well.

The configuration of layers I am considering purchasing from mattresses247, from BOTTOM to TOP, starts with 3" of firm dunlop (38-40 ILD) for the support layer (bottom). Next come 6 layers, to be interchanged for experimenting as a 3" transition layer, consisting of single 1", 2" and 3" layers each of both soft and medium dunlop (20 or 22-24 ILD and 30-32 ILD, respectively). The final layer (top) would be 3" of soft talalay at 22-24 ILD. If I can find it, I am considering an even softer top layer. I have sent a message to them, as there is some discrepancy with their stated ILDs, that could make the soft talalay firmer than the soft dunlop...not sure if that would work for the top two layers or not. Anyways, it's getting late, and I could probably write a lot more, but hopefully this is enough info to get some quality feedback. Thanks.


The first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" or PPP or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

When you can't test a mattress in person (and if you are buying all your layers from a single source) then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart (which would include Val) and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their different combinations and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific combinations and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

If you are interested in ordering other types and blends of latex or ILD's other than what they carry then the better online sources for latex layers I'm aware of are listed in the component list here .

Good luck ... and I'm looking forward to finding out about the layering combination that you end up deciding on.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Experimenting in Tennessee. Tips? Suggestions? Recommendations? 04 Jan 2016 18:23 #3

  • Osborn
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Thanks for the advice, Phoenix. I spoke with Val this afternoon, and I think I have a good idea where to start. She didn't really answer my question about experimenting with splitting the middle layer between one or two inches of soft and medium, and she seemed to believe that people spend way too much time researching and making it more complicated than it really is, Anyway, I was in a hurry to get back to work, so I didn't re-address it. Do you think that it would be a colossal waste of time to even pursue the idea, or would it be a worthwhile investment? Could it dial things in to "just right", or not make any difference at all?

Val recommended either soft talalay, medium dunlop and firm dunlop (which is the same configuration of the Savvy Rest I tried yesterday, though she speculated that their soft talalay may have an ILD in the teens, versus hers, which is a 22-24...if that is the case, it could make the difference in me "bottoming out" or not), or medium talalay, medium dunlop and firm dunlop for me. I am curious how a soft talalay, medium talalay and firm dunlop would suit me. Also, I know that Savvy Rest doesn't disclose their ILDs, but do you have any information or speculation about them that you would like to share?

I'm wondering if I should talk to more dealers, or if I should just stick with Val's recommendation. If I stick with her, I'm considering experimenting with my side first, ordering four 3" layers - soft talalay, medium talalay, medium dunlop, and firm dunlop. I'm hopeful this will give me enough options to find a configuration that suits me, and there may be a configuration in there for my wife; and maybe the layer that's left over could be used for her side. If you think the split middle layers thing is worthwhile, I will likely pursue it.

I look forward to your reply, as I'm ready to pull the trigger, but I want to make sure I'm doing this to the best of my ability. By the way, I live in Ethridge, TN, about an hour and a half south of Nashville, and the store I went to yesterday in Nashville only had the one Savvy Rest with two sides to try. I don't know of any other latex mattress dealers in the Nashville, TN, or Huntsville, AL area, but if you know of anything, I would certainly like to try out more configurations before ordering. Thanks again for taking the time.

Dan

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Experimenting in Tennessee. Tips? Suggestions? Recommendations? 04 Jan 2016 20:36 #4

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Hi Osborn,

She didn't really answer my question about experimenting with splitting the middle layer between one or two inches of soft and medium, and she seemed to believe that people spend way too much time researching and making it more complicated than it really is,


I would agree with this. I would tend to avoid having too many possible combinations because it can become overwhelming or in some cases too tempting to make continuous changes to your mattress that may not make any meaningful improvement. For the large majority of people the "standard" layering combinations that a good retailer or manufacturer suggests will likely be inside the range that would be a good "match" in terms of PPP and for a smaller percentage where it isn't then either rearranging layers or exchanging a layer and testing one or two alternative combinations would generally be "enough" to find a combination that will work well.

Of course having said that there will always be a much smaller minority of people that are very much "outside the averages" where nothing they try with the layers they have available seems to work and with this small percentage of people it can be very difficult to "diagnose" the reasons why and in some cases they may not be able to find a suitable combination or may give up before they do. In some cases it can involve issues that aren't even related to the mattress itself (such as health or physiological issues or pillow issues for example) or it could be that they are much more sensitive to very small changes and would do best on combinations that aren't possible with the layer thicknesses and firmnesses that they have available ... but these would be the exceptions.

Also, I know that Savvy Rest doesn't disclose their ILDs, but do you have any information or speculation about them that you would like to share?


As you mentioned they don't disclose their ILD numbers so I'm not sure how accurate or current they are (this was from when they were using Latex International Talalay) and in the case of their Dunlop the ranges would cover several different firmness levels but the ILD ranges in post #2 here may be helpful.

I'm wondering if I should talk to more dealers, or if I should just stick with Val's recommendation.


Which retailers or manufacturers you wish to talk with or which combinations you wish to have available to try would be completely up to you but I think highly of Val and she is certainly knowledgeable about suggesting combinations that would work well for most people based on her experience and the "averages" of other customers that would be similar to you. Having too many combinations available can become overwhelming and can often lead to "information overwhelm" or "paralysis by analysis".

By the way, I live in Ethridge, TN, about an hour and a half south of Nashville, and the store I went to yesterday in Nashville only had the one Savvy Rest with two sides to try. I don't know of any other latex mattress dealers in the Nashville, TN, or Huntsville, AL area, but if you know of anything, I would certainly like to try out more configurations before ordering. Thanks again for taking the time.


The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Nashville area (subject to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here ) are listed in post #7 here . There is also a forum list for Huntsville, AL in post #2 here .

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

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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status
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