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Dreamfoam Aloe Alexis latex inconsistencies 03 May 2016 17:18 #1

  • jcstiltz
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Hey Everyone, I just purchased a dreamfoam aloe alexis california king mattress in a level 8. This is my first experience with a latex mattress, I have never slept on anything this comfortable.

Some background info...... I am a 6'7" 220 pound side sleeper. My previous mattress was Dormia queen memory foam mattress. The foam broke down on me after about 6 years of use, and I began experiencing lower back pain and shoulder pain. After sleeping on the Aloe Alexis in a level 8 (19ild/24ild) for about a month, my shoulders felt great, but I did still have some back pain, and felt like I was sinking in too far. I decided to exchange the 24ild layer with a 32 ild layer for a firmer transitional layer. But I have not yet returned the 24ild layer because I am unsure if I want to go with 19ild over 32 ild or 24 ild over 32 ild. My only only concern is this:

I now have 3 sets of latex layers (32 ild, 24 ild and 19 ild) in my home. As I'm sure most of you are aware, for a California King the layers are split in half. While assembling the layers I noticed one half in each of the three layers measures 2.8 inches thick give or take an eighth of an inch, and the other half of each layer is about 3.2 inches thick give or take.. Also, the thickness in each half-layer varies slightly from head to toe and/or one side to the other. When assembling the latex layers I have to make sure I put the the thinner comfort layer over the thicker transition layer on one side and the reverse on the other side just to get a level sleeping surface. Is this inconsistency in the latex layers a quality issue? Not sure if this is accurate, but I think the latex layers are created using a mold of some sort. Is it possible the mold Dreamfoam is using for their Cali King layers is not calibrated correctly? Will a thicker comfort layer over a thinner transitional layer have a different feel or firmness than the other side of the bed with a thinner comfort layer over a thicker transitional layer? Maybe this is a non-issue and the differences are ultimately negligible. I just want to be sure I'm getting the type of quality this mattress company is known for. I have not yet spoken to Chuck about this specific issue. But so far, the customer service has been great. Anyone out there have any experience with a similar issue?

Thanks

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Dreamfoam Aloe Alexis latex inconsistencies 03 May 2016 19:12 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi jcstiltz,

Thanks for letting us know what you ended up deciding ... and congratulations on your new mattress. :)

Some background info...... I am a 6'7" 220 pound side sleeper. My previous mattress was Dormia queen memory foam mattress. The foam broke down on me after about 6 years of use, and I began experiencing lower back pain and shoulder pain. After sleeping on the Aloe Alexis in a level 8 (19ild/24ild) for about a month, my shoulders felt great, but I did still have some back pain, and felt like I was sinking in too far. I decided to exchange the 24ild layer with a 32 ild layer for a firmer transitional layer. But I have not yet returned the 24ild layer because I am unsure if I want to go with 19ild over 32 ild or 24 ild over 32 ild.


As you probably know the most common reason for lower back pain is a mattress that is too soft and it's not all that surprising that a 19 over 24 ILD was too soft for someone in your weight range but now that you have a third layer you have several different options available to test and find out which layering combination works best for you before you decide on which layer to return. I would also keep in mind that it's also possible that a firmer layer over a softer layer may also end up being a combination that works well for you so you don't need to limit your testing to layering combinations that use the softest layer on top.

I now have 3 sets of latex layers (32 ild, 24 ild and 19 ild) in my home. As I'm sure most of you are aware, for a California King the layers are split in half. While assembling the layers I noticed one half in each of the three layers measures 2.8 inches thick give or take an eighth of an inch, and the other half of each layer is about 3.2 inches thick give or take.. Also, the thickness in each half-layer varies slightly from head to toe and/or one side to the other. When assembling the latex layers I have to make sure I put the the thinner comfort layer over the thicker transition layer on one side and the reverse on the other side just to get a level sleeping surface. Is this inconsistency in the latex layers a quality issue?


Latex is very flexible and elastic/stretchy so it's not unusual that there are slight inconsistencies in the thickness of two thinner layers that have been slit from a single 6" molded core core either in different parts of the layer itself or compared to the other layer that comes from the same core but the differences you are mentioning are a little more than you would normally see. If you arrange the layers so that each side has a thicker and thinner half on each side then it's very unlikely that you would feel any noticeable difference between them and it certainly wouldn't affect the quality or durability of the mattress but if you have any concerns then I would certainly talk with them about the difference in the thickness of each side to see what they suggest.

If you haven't done so already ... I would also lay the layers side by side on the floor (on a sheet so that the latex doesn't pick up any dirt or hairs) just to confirm that your measurements are accurate and not the result of something else in the mattress that makes one side appear to be thicker than the other.

While it's unlikely that it would make a difference now ... if you decide at some point in the future to replace an individual layer with new layers that are 3" thick on both sides then with almost half an inch difference between each side it could make some difference at that time even though with a tight fitting cover it's unlikely that you would see much difference once the cover is zipped up.

Not sure if this is accurate, but I think the latex layers are created using a mold of some sort. Is it possible the mold Dreamfoam is using for their Cali King layers is not calibrated correctly?


Talalay latex is made in a 6" mold but Dreamfoam/Brooklyn Bedding doesn't actually make the latex (it's made by Talalay Global) ... they would only slit the molded 6" core into individual layers so any difference in thickness between different layers or sides would be a result of the process of slitting the molds into thinner layers. While it wouldn't be common ... it's possible that some of their layers were cut on a slitter with an incorrect setting.

I'm looking forward to an update with your comments once you've had the chance to talk with them.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Dreamfoam Aloe Alexis latex inconsistencies 26 May 2016 13:16 #3

  • jcstiltz
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Thanks for your response Phoenix. Your knowledge on this subject is invaluable. I did chat with Chuck online about the inconsistencies in the thickness of the latex layers. He said latex is very hard to cut perfectly straight so it is not uncommon for a slight variance in size.

I mentioned that one of the 19 ild layers is exceptionally thin and asked them if they'd take a look at it if I do return it. He said they would.

My big dilemma here is that I have already made one layer exchange with dreamfoam and I am only allowed one more. I've still been experiencing some random lower back pain with the 24 ild over the 32 ild. When I sleep in the middle of the bed it seems to irritate my lower back more then when i sleep in one side or the other. Maybe the middle is slightly weaker because the the latex is split down the middle? Or maybe its the slight difference in thickness between the two sides is throwing off my alignment when my body (side sleeper, semi-fetal position) is zigzagging the two sides

While I was waiting for the 32 ild layer to arrive in the mail, my lower back pain was so bad I decided to just sleep with only one layer of latex, the 24 ild layer, over the polyfoam base. My lower back did respond well to this. This makes me think I need something even firmer than the 32 ild transition layer. Maybe the the firmest ild they offer would work best for me as a transitional layer? Not sure how a 36 ild layer (the firmest Dreamfoam offers i believe) would compare in firmness to the polyfoam base. Perhaps the 36 ild would still be quite a bit softer than the polyfoam base......

I'm really lost here. I am very reluctant to go with anything firmer than 24 ild in the top comfort layer because I know anything firmer will likely irritate my shoulders. Is it possible that the top layer is just too soft and/or thick for my lower back to get the proper support?? Maybe I just need to suck it up and sacrifice my shoulder comfort for the sake of my lower back? Its easier to live with the shoulder discomfort than daily lower back pain that lasts throughout the day?

I mentioned this issue to Chuck. As you will see below, he gave me an honest answer which I really do appreciate. I know if I were at a big mattress retailer they'd probably feed me a b.s. answer.
____________________________________

Chuck 06:49:57 pm

We can definitely take a look at it when it comes in. The thickness should not make a huge difference on the comfort, but I am not sure without taking a look at it.

Client 06:53:50 pm

okay. what i am getting at here, and maybe a phone call would be easier to discuss this.... I love the softeness of the 19 ild as a top layer for my shoulders, but i was having some back pain with the 19 over 24. Still had some back soreness with 19 over 32. Even with the 24 over 32 i am still having a slight back soreness in the morning and throughout the day

when i was waiting for the 32 layer to arrive, I actually just slept with one layer.... the 24 over the polyfoam base.
i had no back pain with that.
this is making me think i need to go with a really firm midde layer for my back. More firm than the 32
question is could I still keep the either the 19 or 24 over a firm middle layer for my shoulders sake.

I am trying to figure out how to make this work for both my back and my shoulders.......

Chuck 06:58:15 pm

Yes, you can keep the layers. I don't think going firmer than the 32 ILD is going to make a big difference.
I really am not sure what type of advice to give you on the comfort level.
sorry I know that is a terrible answer.

Client 07:00:16 pm

haha no, i appreciate the honest answer
i am really confused myself at this point.
i need to figure out how to eliminate the back pain
______________________________________________________________

So, I only have one exchange left. Do I risk keeping the 19ild or 24ild comfort layer and exchange the 32 ild transition layer for the 36 ild? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Dreamfoam Aloe Alexis latex inconsistencies 26 May 2016 14:00 #4

  • phoenix
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Hi jctiltz,

He said latex is very hard to cut perfectly straight so it is not uncommon for a slight variance in size.


This is certainly correct and slight variations aren't uncommon.

While I was waiting for the 32 ild layer to arrive in the mail, my lower back pain was so bad I decided to just sleep with only one layer of latex, the 24 ild layer, over the polyfoam base. My lower back did respond well to this. This makes me think I need something even firmer than the 32 ild transition layer. Maybe the the firmest ild they offer would work best for me as a transitional layer? Not sure how a 36 ild layer (the firmest Dreamfoam offers i believe) would compare in firmness to the polyfoam base. Perhaps the 36 ild would still be quite a bit softer than the polyfoam base......


Unfortunately it's not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because 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. There are just 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", firmness, 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, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable 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 ).

Firmness suggestions from a manufacturer are generally based on the "averages" of other people that are in a similar weight range and have a similar sleeping style to yours but there are also some people that are outside the averages of other people and in these cases the only way to know for certain whether any layering combination will work well for you will be based on your own actual experience.

I don't know the ILD of the polyfoam base layer but ILD for polyfoam and for latex aren't directly comparable anyway (they are measured in different ways so the ILD numbers don't correspond to each other). ILD is also only one of several factors or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer will feel to different people and can often be more misleading than helpful when it comes to assessing a mattress "as a whole" (see post #4 here ).

Having said that ... based on your comments and your experience on the single layer (although it was only for a very short time) your thought process certainly makes sense to me. I'm not sure how long you have slept on the 24 ILD over the 32 ILD but I would make sure that it's been for more than just a few days so you can identify any consistent patterns in your experience rather than just assessing your experience over the course of just a day or two which could be an anomaly or the result of adjusting to the change itself. I'm also not sure how this combination affected your shoulders.

The firmest layering combination that would currently be possible with the layers you have would be the 32 ILD layer over the 24 ILD layer so it may be worth trying that combination for a few days to see how it affects your back as well.

If you have tried all the different combinations that are currently possible and decide to do an exchange I would probably try exchanging for a 36 ILD layer and this will give you 4 layers to work with so you could experiment with different layering combinations (such as the 19 ILD over the 36 ILD or the 24 ILD over the 36 ILD) and then you could decide on which layer to return and which to keep based on your actual experience on different combinations.

I would also prioritize alignment and lower back pain over pressure relief (although of course having both is ideal) because outside of certain medical conditions alignment is the single most important factor in how well you sleep at night and your body's ability to rest and recover over the course of the night.

Phoenix
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