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Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 04 Jul 2016 08:54 #1

  • onethinline
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Hello everybody. I'm hoping I can get some help, as my mattress shopping experience is becoming frustrating pretty quickly.

Based on research I decided I wanted to go for a latex or latex hybrid mattress, for the durability and cool-sleeping factors, and because foam still hasn't felt right to me. I also decided to go with a independent local company, and found The Natural Mattress Store based here in the Bay Area. To their credit, they've been very helpful and not pushy at all so far.

I'm a side-and-stomach sleeper transitioning to just sleeping on my side (which is going well). I'm about 195 pounds and my shoulder seems to be the pressure point that needs the most relief. After testing a bunch of their mattresses, none of the all-latex versions seemed to provide quite the full-body support that felt right. What felt best was their Enlightenment Hybrid, with firm coils, 2 inches of medium Talalay latex, and 3 inches of extra soft Talalay over that.

Since the showroom only had that combination with medium coils, the sales assistant put a 3-inch extra soft Talalay topper on another hybrid mattress with coils and a 2-inch medium latex top, basically recreating exactly the same layers: firm coils, 2" medium, 3" soft. This easily felt best of everything I tried, so I ordered the integrated version (all one cover).

Sadly, the first night on it was rough to say the least. I didn't feel the sink-in and comfort I'd felt in the store. I called the next day and after checking with the owner they said the reason is likely a new brand of pocketed coils which are an inch taller than the cover was designed for, so that middle layer of latex is being compressed and losing some of its softness. As an interim fix, she suggested I unzip the cover around that layer, allowing it to spring up. This has helped a bit, but several more nights we still don't have the feeling we had in the store.

The owners (a father and son) have each offered a different resolution, and here's where I'm torn. The first suggestion is to swap the coils out for the type they used previously, which are an inch shorter and will allow the middle latex layer the room it's supposed to have in the cover. The second suggestion is to use two covers to convert the coils and first layer into the other hybrid mattress, then cover the top extra-soft layer making it a topper: this basically reproduces the jerry-rigged setup I tried and liked in the store.

Obviously, the latter seems like the surer bet, but I would prefer one integrated cover to make a single-piece mattress. I'm also still wondering whether somehow the top layer isn't actually extra soft, since even after unzipping and de-compressing the middle layer, I'm still getting pressure on my shoulder throughout the night.

The set-up I tried in the store really did feel good so I don't want to give up. If I have them switch to the shorter coils, I'm taking some risk in how it will feel, but I like the idea of switching to the design intended for the integrated cover. On the other hand, the mattress-plus-topper configuration should be exactly what I liked, but feels like a compromise somehow. Any thoughts?

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Last edit: by onethinline.

Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 04 Jul 2016 09:45 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi onethinline,

While I know it's not quite the way you want it yet ... you certainly made a high quality and very durable choice ... and congratulations on your new mattress :)

Sadly, the first night on it was rough to say the least. I didn't feel the sink-in and comfort I'd felt in the store. I called the next day and after checking with the owner they said the reason is likely a new brand of pocketed coils which are an inch taller than the cover was designed for, so that middle layer of latex is being compressed and losing some of its softness. As an interim fix, she suggested I unzip the cover around that layer, allowing it to spring up. This has helped a bit, but several more nights we still don't have the feeling we had in the store.


I would keep in mind that there will be a break in and adjustment period for any new mattress or sleeping system as the mattress loses any of it's "false firmness" and the cover stretches and loosens a little and the materials settle and your body gets used to a sleeping surface that is different from what it is used to (see post #3 here and post #2 here ). This would typically be a few weeks but it can be shorter or longer depending on the specifics of the person and the mattress (higher density materials can take longer) and it can be surprising to many people how much their sleeping experience can change over the course of the first month or so. I would generally suggest sleeping on any new mattress for a few weeks at a minimum (preferably a month or so) whenever possible before deciding on whether it's a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP and/or deciding to make any changes or additions to your mattress.

As they mentioned ... if the pocket coil is thicker than their previous model then it can pre compress the latex layers so it certainly wouldn't be unusual that it would feel firmer. Unzipping the cover should also make "some" difference in terms of softness although it seems that it may not be enough (although the break in period may be partly responsible for that as well).

The owners (a father and son) have each offered a different resolution, and here's where I'm torn. The first suggestion is to swap the coils out for the type they used previously, which are an inch shorter and will allow the middle latex layer the room it's supposed to have in the cover. The second suggestion is to use two covers to convert the coils and first layer into the other hybrid mattress, then cover the top extra-soft layer making it a topper: this basically reproduces the jerry-rigged setup I tried and liked in the store.

Obviously, the latter seems like the surer bet, but I would prefer one integrated cover to make a single-piece mattress. I'm also still wondering whether somehow the top layer isn't actually extra soft, since even after unzipping and de-compressing the middle layer, I'm still getting pressure on my shoulder throughout the night.

The set-up I tried in the store really did feel good so I don't want to give up. If I have them switch to the shorter coils, I'm taking some risk in how it will feel, but I like the idea of switching to the design intended for the integrated cover. On the other hand, the mattress-plus-topper configuration should be exactly what I liked, but feels like a compromise somehow. Any thoughts?


Both options would likely result in a softer "feel" but if I was in your shoes I would tend to lean towards the mattress/topper combination. I certainly wouldn't consider this to be a "compromise" at all and there are many people that choose to sleep on a mattress/topper combination and prefer it vs a mattress that contains all the same layers inside the mattress cover because a separate topper can "act" a little more independently and "feel" a little softer outside a cover than it will by having the same layer inside the cover (see posts #3 and #4 here and the first page of posts in this topic ). This could also be part of the reason for the difference you feel as well and it would make sense to use the same design for your "sleeping system" as you tested and preferred in the showroom.

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

Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 04 Jul 2016 10:07 #3

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Thanks so much for the quick reply! This, plus the threads you linked to, is very helpful and gives me a lot of reassurance that the mattress-plus-topper is the way to go, as well as helping explain why it felt best out of all the mattresses I tried. I remember exactly that feeling of extra sinking in and cushioning, but combined with the firmer support I like. Come to think of it, when I was testing national-brand mattresses at Macy's, the ones I liked best were more in the pillow-top category, so this makes sense.

One thing that still puzzles me: since I unzipped the area holding the middle layer of latex down, the mattress overall got a bit softer (thank goodness), and the top layer doesn't seem particularly "taut" in its section, and yet the whole effect is not as soft and comforting as the same components put into the mattress-plus-topper configuration in the store. Why would this be? It's left me wondering if the top layer is a firmer grade of latex by mistake (though I realize this is fairly unlikely). I suppose the extra layers of quilting in the topper set-up are part of it? I'm just concerned that the components I have at home now will indeed create what I felt in the store once they switch the covers to the mattress-plus-topper configuration.

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Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 04 Jul 2016 10:37 #4

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Hi onethinline,

One thing that still puzzles me: since I unzipped the area holding the middle layer of latex down, the mattress overall got a bit softer (thank goodness), and the top layer doesn't seem particularly "taut" in its section, and yet the whole effect is not as soft and comforting as the same components put into the mattress-plus-topper configuration in the store. Why would this be? It's left me wondering if the top layer is a firmer grade of latex by mistake (though I realize this is fairly unlikely). I suppose the extra layers of quilting in the topper set-up are part of it? I'm just concerned that the components I have at home now will indeed create what I felt in the store once they switch the covers to the mattress-plus-topper configuration.


There isn't any way for me to know this and I wouldn't "overthink" it too much but the latex would still be enclosed to some degree by the sides of the mattress cover which could still make "some" difference and it could also be the quilting or it could also be that the mattress in the store was broken in more than yours.

It could also be that human memory for softness, firmness, and "feel" is very short term, subjective, and relative to more recent experience and is often unreliable. A mattress that feels different to what someone "remembers" a mattress feels like may end up being more similar than they remember (or vice versa) if they were to compare them side by side in "real time". Most people have had the experience of testing mattresses say in the morning and then testing mattresses somewhere else and then going back to test the first mattresses again later in the day and finding they feel different from what they remember because their frame of reference has changed with the other mattresses they have tested.

Phoenix
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Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 05 Jul 2016 16:58 #5

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Thanks again for the help, Phoenix. I ended up going back to the store yesterday just to make sure of what I wanted. A different woman was working, and she was particularly helpful in talking through how to relieve pressure on my shoulder while keeping good alignment. First, I learned that medium coils do better for me with pressure relief, but unfortunately lack full-body support. I tried their Enlightenment ultra-plush all-latex mattress again, and nearly drifted off to sleep right in the store. Shoulders felt good, I liked the sink-in feeling, I just wasn't sure if I was aligned. The clincher came when the friend I was with confirmed my spine looked nice and straight on that mattress, whereas when I went back to the topper-over-coils combination I'd preferred previously, he noticed that right away I was contorting my shoulder and my hips were too high.

I went with the all-latex Enlightenment. Of course real nights' sleep will tell, but I think the reason I was earlier preferring the topper on firm coils is I've only ever known a firm mattress, despite contorting my body and having pressure point issues.

So, why does the four-layer ultra-plush all-latex seem to keep me aligned whereas any medium coils with a soft top don't? My guess is coils don't offer the same contouring push-back that latex does, even in this plush layered configuration. (The Enlightenment, btw, is four three-inch layers: extra soft, soft, and medium Talalay on a firm Dunlop base.) I think the reason I didn't go with the Enlightenment in the first place was because the sensation of being in good alignment (assuming my friend was right) was unfamiliar to me, and I was too afraid that comfortably soft necessarily meant a curved spine!

I'm a little nervous both because this is far from an inexpensive mattress (it's their priciest model), but also because I'm so eager to be done with all these trials and just start getting a great night's sleep. Here's hoping it works.

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Last edit: by onethinline. Reason: clarification

Help with latex/coil hybrid configuration 05 Jul 2016 17:18 #6

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Hi onethinline,

Thanks for the update and for letting us know what you ended up doing.

So, why does the four-layer ultra-plush all-latex seem to keep me aligned whereas any medium coils with a soft top don't? My guess is coils don't offer the same contouring push-back that latex does, even in this plush layered configuration.


Innersprings have a different and more linear compression curve than latex which has a compression curve that is more "S" shaped (see post #28 here ). The specific reasons why one may work better for some people than the other in terms of spinal alignment would be far too complex to be able to analyze outside of a lab with sophisticated measuring equipment but the most important thing is that your testing indicates that it does which is all that really matters.

I'm looking forward to any additional updates you have the chance to share once you've had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.

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