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Down the rabbit hole...or how I think i'm now reasonably informed to ask one important question 23 Oct 2016 09:35 #1

Certain objective facts that should be established:

1. Have been sleeping on a king Sealy Spring Free "Garden Vine" 100% latex core mattress for 10 plus years

2. The mattress has "developed" holes where the body weight is concentrated and although the support layer MAY be holding up, it is obvious the comfort layer is compressed from time and not working. I am an exclusively side sleeper with a body pillow that is primarily there for knee to knee comfort. I wake up in the morning NOT feeling rested with sore shoulders often and occasionally sore hips and almost always with an aching lower back. I am in my early 60's and weigh 235 and am somewhat active...played tennis regularly up to a couple of years ago when my wife decided we needed the worst oxymoron ever...a "retirement job." I did have very successful back surgery in my 30's and my back stops aching after I have been up awhile and moving around...and this is my biggest clue that i probably have a mattress issue.

3. My wife and I used to share the bed but advancing age, snoring and bedtime sleep habits have left us in separate rooms that ultimately make for much more pleasant mornings when we meet in the kitchen. I mention my wife because her original complaints about the mattress were exactly the same as mine.

4. We bought the mattress from a local 50 year family owned small business appliance and "sleep center" vendor with a relatively large sleep showroom and a varied selection of mattresses albeit big name suppliers only. They today maintain that same status but they enjoy the benefit of knowing that mattress warranties are absolute BS as there is no way I am going to get that magic one and a half inch measurement that would put me in warranty status...thus making it necessary to look elsewhere.

Now for the subjective facts:

When we got the mattress we were both very satisfied with the comfort (read "support" comfort.) We don't have any special accolades or superlatives about the comfort other than it was comfortable. We were not burdened by all the knowledge and information and education that I have gleaned from this website...(well it turns out she still isn't burdened)...and therefore we just thought it was comfortable and by that I mean only with regard to support.

On the other hand it had another problem for both of us...it was hot...no i meant Hot...sorry I meant HOT!!!

I would wake up with a damp shirt and a damp pillow where my upper body had absorbed and dissipated the body heat. My wife sleeps "cooler" than me but she was still complaining and she had never had that problem. Even today she likes the weight of a comforter on her but she was down to just a sheet with a ceiling fan running and still waking up hot. "I" was way beyond that...i would just wake up to a literally sweating head and damp shirt. We attempted ALL the suggestions of the vendor that mostly revolved around exchanging various mattress pads and them avoiding their "comfortability" promise. Over several months we ultimately gave up and maybe became inured to the "hotness" of the mattress and she ultimately "left me" so to speak. OK...OK she probably won't come rushing back when I find a super duper new comfortable "cool" mattress...but you never know.

So I have slept on it for the last few years without a chronic "hot" complaint but it should be noted that the house is at 70 at night during the summer and as low as 66 during the winter and I still sleep with a ceiling fan and one bed sheet. Incidentally, I sleep on a buckwheat hull pillow as I have for the last 20 or more years.

But I wake up with a back ache and it's time for it to go away. So here's one other interesting note before I do the "big ask."

I decided to "turn" the bed "sideways" just to see if that would make a difference. So I am basically sleeping across what was generally the "foot" of the bed. I tried to pick the end with the least "weight holes" and it seemed somewhat successful. I could tell the difference in the support and it was comfortable and it seemed to ease the morning back pain as I had moved out of the "hole" and found a new area of comfort layer...that new thing I didn't know existed before i joined this website. BUT...I kid you not...I wake up in the middle of the night...every night...after about 3 or 4 hours sleep and have to change my shirt and turn my pillow over from the damp side. I do NOT know what the comfort layer of that particular mattress is but I can again confirm that it is HOT.

The "ask"

Is there a style or manufacturer of a mattress that has the combination of comfort, support and breathability on the market? I mean that damn thing has to dissipate heat...not "use" it! I generate my own heat...I need something that moves it away from me. I want to go to sleep on cool sheets and wake up on cool sheets. There has to be some combination of these attributes that emulate the old "flippable" pillow top mattresses from decades ago that can be purchased inside of a couple of thousand dollars. He said...hopefully.

My sincerest apologies for the verbosity...but we are talking an important decision/purchase here and I am open to all suggestions.

Thanks.

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Down the rabbit hole...or how I think i'm now reasonably informed to ask one important question 23 Oct 2016 18:31 #2

Hi narnikid,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :cheer:

I really appreciate all of the detailed information you provided and certainly understand your question. You are correct that it is possible to “go down the rabbit hole” and realize that the more you know, the less you know (I run into this myself all of the time!).

You mention quite a few things in your post, but to help avoid getting too much off topic (and diving down too many other rabbit holes), I’ll focus on your main question, which centers upon mattresses and temperature.

In addition to the information in this post ... post #29 here has more information about temperature regulation and the microclimate on a mattress.

There are many factors which control the sleeping temperature of a mattress and only one of these is the foam that is used in the mattress ... particularly in the upper layers. I don’t know what the Sealy Spring Free mattress used in the upper layers form 10 years ago.

There are 3 main types of foam which is memory foam, polyfoam, and latex. Of these three ... memory foam tends to be the most insulating and least breathable followed by polyfoam and latex is the most breathable. Talalay tends to be more breathable than Dunlop. There are also variations in each category and less dense foams tend to be more breathable than denser foams while firmer foams tend to allow less sinking in which can mean there is less insulating foam material against your body.

All foams are insulators (rather than heat conductors) so to some degree they will all be warmer than mattresses that contain no foam at all (such as mattresses that only have an innerspring and layers of natural fibers on top) but these tend to be premium or super premium mattresses and for the most part almost all mattresses have some type of foam in the comfort layers.

Some of the other factors involved in how warm a mattress sleeps are how closely the foam conforms to your body (the more closely it conforms around you the more insulating it is, plus the less area of your body that is exposed for heat exchange to the open air), how soft or thick the foam in the comfort layers are (the softer/thicker it is the deeper you will sink into the more insulating materials), the type of quilting used in the mattress (natural fibers allow for more airflow and humidity control which translates into better temperature regulation), the type of ticking (cover) used (natural or more breathable fibers such as cotton or viscose or even some of the more breathable synthetics will wick away moisture and ventilate better and humidity control is a key part of temperature control), and on any cooling technologies used in the mattress such as ventilating and moisture wicking materials, heat conductive materials, or phase change materials (you can read more about these in post #9 here and at the end of post #4 here ) and you can read more about the various different types of gel foams in post #2 here . In general terms gel foams will tend to have a temporary effect on temperature while you are first going to sleep until temperatures equalize but have less effect on temperature regulation throughout the course of the night.

While the upper layers of a mattress are the most significant part of temperature and moisture regulation ... deeper support components that allow more airflow can also have an effect and so innersprings will also tend to sleep cooler than foam support cores as long as the air can ventilate to the outside of the mattress.

In addition to this ... the mattress protector you choose along with your sheets and other bedding and what you wear when you sleep will also have a significant effect on temperature regulation because they can either add to the insulating effect or to the ventilating and moisture wicking effect of your mattress. You can see more about the effect of different mattress protectors in post #89 here . Bedding made from natural fibers or viscose materials (like bamboo) will also tend to be cooler than synthetic fibers and linen sheets along with silk are probably the coolest of all the natural fibers for those where sleeping temperature is a main priority. There is more about sheets and bedding in post #7 here . In many cases changing the mattress protector, sheets, or bedding to cooler versions can make "enough" of a difference for many people who would otherwise sleep hot on a mattress.

All of this of course is separate from any environmental conditions in the bedroom (temperature and humidity levels with higher humidity adding to the perception of heat), on the physiology and tendency of the person themselves to sleep warmer or cooler and where they are in the "oven to iceberg" range, and on their weight and body type which will affect how deeply they sink into the foam layers of the mattress.

In other words...it's always a combination of several interacting factors that determines the sleeping temperature of a mattress in combination with a specific person and environment.

Overall ... if you are looking at a mattress that contains foam of some type ... then latex with natural fibers in the quilting (such as wool) and fabrics that can wick away moisture and help it evaporate more rapidly are the coolest sleeping or more accurately the most temperature regulating mattresses and firmer will tend to be cooler than softer.

Mattresses that don't use any foam at all and only use an innerspring with natural fiber comfort layers will tend to be cooler and more temperature regulating than any type of foam including latex.

All types of latex come in firmer and softer versions which along with the layering (especially the thickness of the comfort layers) will determine how supportive the mattress is and how well it keeps you in alignment in all your sleeping positions. Different types of layering can be more or less suitable for different weights and sleeping positions to balance the competing needs of pressure relief and support/alignment. While Dunlop has a higher compression modulus and will be firmer than Talalay in the same ILD (which is why Dunlop is often used in support layers and Talalay in comfort layers) ... both of them can make good choices both in terms of pressure relief and support in appropriate layerings and the choice between them is generally one of preference (they feel and respond differently). This article and post #6 here has more about the different types and blends of latex.

I know this is a lot of information, but I felt that from the information presented in your post that you wanted a detailed reply. I hope this is helpful!

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

Down the rabbit hole...or how I think i'm now reasonably informed to ask one important question 26 Oct 2016 16:50 #3

Thanks for the detail. I have not read all the links yet but I did want to respond to let you know I was slowly digesting the information...much of what I admit is intuitive after lurking around this website now for several months. Sometimes outside input tends to shine a light on the things you already know or at least remind you of things you should have remembered.. I am leaning toward the SleepEZ 3 tiered mattress with their natural fiber mattress cover and whatever else they advise before I order. I like that they have been around awhile and that they are associated with this website.

I DO find it interesting that there have been over 60 "reads" and no one else has responded or made any suggestions. I may be somewhat of an anomaly.

I am off to read the links now and see what additional illumination awaits. I'll keep you apprised.

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Last edit: by narnikid.

Down the rabbit hole...or how I think i'm now reasonably informed to ask one important question 27 Oct 2016 10:00 #4

HI narnikid,

Thanks for the detail. I have not read all the links yet but I did want to respond to let you know I was slowly digesting the information


Thanks for your update. I’m glad you’re in the process of reading the information I provided. It certainly is a lot to digest.

As you are already aware, SleepEZ is a member of this site and I think that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of knowledge, quality, componentry and experience. You mentioned seeking advice from them before a potential order, and that is often the best way to acquire accurate information about a particular product, as they can relate their expertise and apply it within the scope of the products they offer to your particular situation.

I DO find it interesting that there have been over 60 "reads" and no one else has responded or made any suggestions. I may be somewhat of an anomaly.


Many people use this site as a reference (including many retailers and even manufacturers), and while they may not have the desire, time or knowledge to reply to any one person’s particular comments, they still enjoy reading and learning from the questions posed here. Everyone’s experiences help to provide for others, both now and in the future, so I appreciate you posting! :cheer:

I am off to read the links now and see what additional illumination awaits. I'll keep you apprised.


I look forward to learning about your decision. :)

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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