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Zenhaven Con'd (But more general latex question...) 16 Mar 2019 10:28 #101

  • sweetandsourkiwi
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In trying to figure out next steps, I once again added the second topper to the Zenhaven...so, two 14-ild NR Talalay rubber toppers at 1.5" = 3" total 14 on top of the mattress. (I usually use one.)

Curiously, this made my pressure points feel WORSE. It also made my arm totally fall asleep. The arm thing kind of makes sense, maybe it was just more enclosed by all the extra floof, but *why would adding softer layers make things feel even harder under my hip and shoulder?*

I got such nasty low back pain from this arrangement I put it back to one topper after an hour, which feels pretty good except for hard pressure under my shoulder. Interestingly, it felt less hard than with 2 toppers...but no toppers at all also feels harder on the shoulder.

I'm a bit boggled on how to solve the shoulder pressure issue with a tweak to this mattress or an all new design given this unexpected result. At 135lbs, I don't sink into the bed adequately without a topper, which could be a result of the ILDs or the zoning. (If I scooch down so the "lumbar support" is under my waist in a side sleeping position, my shoulder feels a little better and my hip dips down and feels unsupported, insta back pain.)

I can remove shoulder pressure by using a "too high" pillow but this seems fraught with other pitfalls.

I am wondering if solving the shoulder issue is a bit of a lost cause...it seemed every store bed I tried had some pressure, even if it wasn't quite as much as the ZH with topper.

I am curious if using a slightly firmer, thinner topper might actually disperse pressure better—like 1 or 2" of 19 instead of the 14. I am also wondering if the thicker-softer comfort layers prescribed for side sleeping only work well (for me) if the mattress is of a firmer configuration. I'm perplexed by the phenomenon of the lighter latex making things feel harder on contact with pressure. Does this have a name? Is there some way to conceptualize this phenomenon?

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Zenhaven Con'd (But more general latex question...) 16 Mar 2019 19:25 #102

  • lotus14
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Hi sweetandsourkiwi,

The arm falling asleep thing *could* be random - I've had it off and on for years on different mattresses. But I find the added soft layer causing the mattress to feel harder as bizarre as you do. Hopefully someone will respond with a possible explanation.

A 2" 19 ILD topper did help my shoulder with the Zenhaven but not enough. A 3" (24 ILD?) might've helped more by getting me farther away from the extra shoulder support the Zenhaven has. But I really couldn't justify continuing to try to "fix" a $2,000 mattress that had extra firmness where I really didn't want it.

Wish I could be of more help since we're similar in weight and seem to have some of the same problems. I'll let you know when I find a DIY that works well for me. And I'm sure you know there are several manufacturers that offer tri-layer setups that allow you to switch out a couple of layers until you find one that works for you.

Please let us know how things are working out for you.

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Zenhaven Con'd (But more general latex question...) 17 Mar 2019 10:34 #103

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Thanks Lotus! I'm glad I'm not just crazy. ;) I was wondering if since I pretty much go through the topper, if all the material just "bunches up" under there and at full compression feels too firm. Or maybe instead of interacting with the lower latex, it's fighting against that wool cover so it's compressed from two sides. You know you're getting obsessive when you want to cut the darn thing open to see if it makes a difference...

I was able to lie on a solid block of dunlop (At least I think that's what it was...the base of a Posh + Lavish mattress, sans topper) and was surprised at how pressure relieving it was, even though it was firm. I wonder if the search for softness has perversely made it harder for me to find the right bed...the beds that felt kindest to my body in store were much firmer and simpler than I thought I was looking for. There is a big difference between firmness and hardness. Something can be too soft and too hard at the same time. And really firm but not pressuring!

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Zenhaven Con'd (But more general latex question...) 17 Mar 2019 19:20 #104

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Or maybe we're both crazy! lol

For my first effort at DIY I foolishly chose an off-brand called Vytex. Supposed to be great for people with latex allergies so I thought it would be good given my previous latex smell issues. It IS very low odor but not very good latex IMHO. Softened a lot after just one night.

Even though the Vytex ILDs are about the same as the layers in the Sleeping Organic I'm returning, sitting well onto the bed and when lying down it feels much softer. Yet my shoulder pain doubled! Sound familiar?

As for tryouts in a store, personally I've never laid on a piece of latex that didn't feel good. Add a cover and sleep on it all night and it's been a different story.

Have you considered getting a mattress from one of the companies that let you choose the firmness of each layer and getting a split configuration for the top or perhaps the center layer as well? You could give each side a thorough test drive and then do an exchange or 2 to give you what works best for you on both sides.

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 10:29 #105

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Thanks Lotus! I did consider doing a split config that way; the holdup was I wasn't super sold on any of the cover options from the component companies that offered the easiest returns/swaps. I'd also really like to avoid having to ship a bunch of layers around (or risk it) but at a certain point I may just have to go that route.

In another part of this thead, I discussed the failing Zenhaven foundation. Last night I pulled the mattress off the foundation and onto a flat surface, just to see. I assumed it wouldn't be a big change from the foundation, which is supposed to be rigid and flat. Holy cow. It made a huge difference! I'm not sure if I like it. I slept like crap, which is par for the course on any change for me. But it dampened the shoulder pressure. It kinda dampened everything—the bed feels less bouncy, less lively, less firm (!). It's more flat-feeling (both alignment wise and in character) but also significantly softer overall, which makes almost no sense. The foundation had more slats under the hips than the rest of the bed (or, read another way, few slats anywhere BUT the hips), which I misinterpreted as the zoning in the bed. I can still feel the zoning but it's not nearly as noticeable...I think what I was feeling was the slats more than anything. And maybe those slats lifted my hip enough to dump my shoulder deeper into the bed.

I *REALLY* wish I had done this sooner, if for no other reason than to try it out longer. I am down to the wire on sorting things out. I had NO IDEA it would make such a dramatic difference. It feels like a totally different bed.

It also gave me the opportunity to confirm the foundation is failing, albeit slightly (less than half an inch using a broomstick to check). Using a level I can see that the slats inside have bowed, although it's slight. If I lay on the foundation, they bow more (enough to be seen on a level, not really felt), and of course the ones I really sleep on vs. the foot and head are more affected, which fit with my feeling of the bed slightly cratering.

The foundation itself is on a metal bed frame with center support. Now that I know the whole thing has a slight flex to it, I wonder how it might feel directly on the floor, or if it might have held up that way. For the record, I weigh about as much as the bed (135) which hardly seems excessive for the system.

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 11:00 #106

  • Sweet Dreams
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@sweetandsourkiwi - In response to your statement that you wish you tried the ZH mattress without their foundation sooner since you're down to the wire in having to make your decision, I have a suggestion. Especially since the foundation is failing you might try to call ZH directly to inform them of your current situation and they're likely to give you an extended return period on the mattress. I've heard of them doing this before in similar situations, as they really have nothing to lose since if they give you some additional time you might end up keeping the mattress instead of a certain return. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 17:16 #107

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Excellent idea Sweet Dreams!

Hi sweetandsourkiwi,

A sagging foundation would certainly ruin the feel of any mattress. If the mattress feels less bouncy, then I'd say the slats in the ZH foundation were just not strong enough to begin with. Personally I wouldn't exchange it, I'd get something else.

I could feel exactly where the zoning in the top layer of the Zenhaven was by walking barefoot on it. The extra shoulder support was right where I didn't want it so I returned after 3 weeks. You have much more fortitude than I do!

As for a component mattress, I can understand not wanting to deal with it. Assembling the mattress was easy. Putting exchange/return layers back into their boxes was quite challenging until I realized the easy way was to put the layer on the floor and use my knees to compress the layer as I rolled it up.

I can totally relate to your wanting the right cover. Makes a huge difference to how a mattress feels. That's the only reason I'm sending my Sleeping Organic mattress back. Just not going to pay that much money for something I'm not happy with.

The component companies like SO are basically selling their cover and a choice of 2 or 3 layers. I decided to DIY so I could pick the cover I wanted and still choose the layers. Of course DIY can be intimidating, but it doesn't seem to me to be that different from ordering from a component company if you know what you're looking for. I'm learning ^.~

However, DIY wouldn't (as far as I know) give you the split configuration option.

Really hope you get the Zenhaven to work, or find something else that works well for you after all you've been through. At least, like me, you've learned a lot about mattresses so you can narrow down what your next step should be.

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 17:29 #108

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Thanks Sweet Dreams. I am considering reaching out to them but feel like such a PITA customer at this point...we'll see. If another night or two makes me think this is a winning situation I'll be in touch!

Thanks Lotus. Not so much fortitude...more getting overwhelmed by shopping and not finding anything that made me immediately go, oh that's it! I have severe chronic pain so it can be very hard to tell what's coming from the mattress and what's coming from me. Plus, there's little I can try in real life in our small town.

I definitely have too much shoulder pressure for side sleeping at 135lbs, but with the topper now that it's on the floor, it's less. Did you have the foundation? I noted that one of the (few) slats in the foundation was right under the shoulder, and I'm wondering if that was part of it. I honestly can't tell if the cover is not stretching enough or if the 24 ILD layer my shoulder digs into is too firm.

I also could feel the zoning walking around on the bed (to break it in a bit) but it's much, much less pronounced off the foundation.

I am sorely tempted by DIY, but just not sure I'm up to the challenge, especially since trial periods and returns are shorter/more expensive/to nonexistent...a little risky! But I'm getting to the point where I might snap into it.

Do you feel you got your layers all set, minus the smells, and just need to get the right cover now?

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 18:59 #109

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Hi sweetandsourkiwi,

I can relate to the overwhelm. After a couple of failed efforts at new mattress buying it feels like Mattress Mania has taken over my life! But then why shouldn't I make sure I've got the right mattress for me when it's such a big purchase (for me anyway) and something I'm (hopefully) going to live with for a long time. Very grateful for this forum!

I'm sure Zenhaven would rather extend your trial rather than absorb the cost of a return. Especially since their foundation is obviously defective and part of the problem. Not you being a PITA at all, them selling you a bad foundation. And no, I didn't buy theirs. I already have a very sturdy adjustable base.

Trying in real life is important but that's why they have trial periods. There's only one latex mattress store in my town. One of their mattresses had a thin cotton cover on it that felt great which is partly why I gave up on the Sleeping Organic. I didn't buy from the local store because their prices were very high compared to almost anything online.

DIY Bedding sent me 3 samples of their covers. The double layered organic cotton knit ticking seems very strong, fairly thin, and just stretchy enough. I'm putting a layer of their wool batting underneath for protection and a thermal barrier. They tell me that since the wool so sorta loose under there and not quilted between two layers of fabric it won't interfere with the give of the fabric. Should be here later this week or first of next.

The best thing about trying the Sleeping Organic was I found out that the Zenhaven's zoned support WAS causing extra pain and it was too firm for me (BMI 22.4). More importantly, after one layer exchange I was able to find the ILDs that should work best for me in my DIY, something you haven't been able to do yet. So I understand your apprehension.

Haven't gotten my new latex yet, waiting on a shipping notice. Ordered 4 layers from Mayer's Bedding. I'll have 30 days to shuffle them around and pick 3. $80 to return the one I don't keep. Including the ticking and wool totals about $1460. A lot less than the Zenhaven and many other "bed kit" options. So for me the DIY route doesn't feel any riskier than just buying another mattress. Less so in fact.

While some companies offer a longer trial period, be aware that they may have and not publish a limit on layer exchanges. Mayer's and Sleep On Latex only allow one exchange/return. So if you exchange a layer you can't then return it! Robert at Mayer's waived this policy and agreed to take back all 4 layers if I wanted to. I pray I don't!

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Zenhaven Foundation 18 Mar 2019 19:04 #110

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Almost forgot. Pretty funny this thread still shows up as 'Stinky Latex.' After I removed the cover from the Sleeping Organic mattress I noticed that the talalay layer that was so offensive no longer had the chemical smell. It had a very slightly stronger latex odor than the dunlop but nothing offensive. The experts were definitely right about that one.

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