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Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 01 May 2021 11:39 #1

  • LN2009
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Thank you to all the experts and lay-people who so generously help others out here! I've been casually reading here for well over a year, trying to decide on a mattress. I've upped my search intensity in recent weeks due to the significant pain I'm in on my current mattress. I'm desperate to buy something ASAP and have read the buying guides etc but am still confused.

I had previously narrowed my search down to all latex and really loved a Savvyrest tallalay mattress I tried (I believe it was just a basic soft, medium, firm top to bottom configuration) BUT I also thought I loved my current mattress (Queen innerspring with 5" foam top layer from Denver Mattress Co) when I tried it in the showroom. It only lasted a few months before I started to be uncomfortable on it so I was hesitant to commit. Plus the price was well above what I could convince DH to spend. Even getting a similar configuration from SleepEZ, while much less, was still more than he wants. He wants to keep at or very close to $1k, which will be even tougher now with Covid price increases.

I am 5'7 and 119lbs, mostly side sleeper(90%), occasionally back. DH is 5'11 and 185, about evenly split between side and back. He doesn't seem to mind our current bed so much but I am miserable! I have so much low back and hip pain and definite pressure points on my shoulder and hip (my arm goes numb many nights). I believe the issue for me is my spine dips down at my waist when I lay on my side, hence the back pain, because I'm not sinking into the deeper layers of the mattress. Husband sinks deeper so while he still gets pressure points, his spine is in alignment when side sleeping. . My problem is I can't figure out what mattress would work for both of us given the difference in weight / BMI and since a fully customizable split is well outside my budget.

We both like a plush feel but still need back support. Given my budget I am assuming I will have to do some sort of "bed in a box" latex hybrid option and maybe put a latex 2-3" topper on eventually. Also considering a DIY build,perhaps with a less expensive foam base support layer or pocket coil base and latex middle and top layers, but am so confused about what levels of firmness / ILD I should even be looking at in that case! I know comfort is subjective, but from a more objective scientific standpoint can anyone help me understand what ILD I should be looking at for the layers to give each of us lower back support/spine alignment without awful pressure points?
Thank you so much!

Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 05 May 2021 08:18 #2

  • Sensei
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Hey LN2009,

Welcome to The Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

Thank you to all the experts and lay-people who so generously help others out here! I've been casually reading here for well over a year, trying to decide on a mattress. I've upped my search intensity in recent weeks due to the significant pain I'm in on my current mattress. I'm desperate to buy something ASAP and have read the buying guides etc but am still confused.


Thanks LN for your kind words on the site :) . Wow, happy to hear that you've been following TMU for over a year now! I am sorry to learn that you're experiencing increasingly significant pain recently with your current mattress, as that must be a frustrating development for you. Let's see if we can help you sort through the confusion of mattress shopping.

I had previously narrowed my search down to all latex and really loved a Savvyrest tallalay mattress I tried (I believe it was just a basic soft, medium, firm top to bottom configuration) BUT I also thought I loved my current mattress (Queen innerspring with 5" foam top layer from Denver Mattress Co) when I tried it in the showroom. It only lasted a few months before I started to be uncomfortable on it so I was hesitant to commit. Plus the price was well above what I could convince DH to spend. Even getting a similar configuration from SleepEZ, while much less, was still more than he wants. He wants to keep at or very close to $1k, which will be even tougher now with Covid price increases.


Could you please share more details about your current Queen innerspring from Denver Mattress Co? Which model is it and how old is it? It would be interesting to know what its ingredients are and their specs to better understand the source of its discomfort to you. A $1k budget for a queen size latex hybrid mattress is pretty close but possible; an all-latex queen mattress is more in the +$1,300 range. And to your point, the COVID price increase trend will continue, as manufacturers struggle to compete for allocated raw materials and new sources of quality components.

I am 5'7 and 119lbs, mostly side sleeper(90%), occasionally back. DH is 5'11 and 185, about evenly split between side and back. He doesn't seem to mind our current bed so much but I am miserable! I have so much low back and hip pain and definite pressure points on my shoulder and hip (my arm goes numb many nights). I believe the issue for me is my spine dips down at my waist when I lay on my side, hence the back pain, because I'm not sinking into the deeper layers of the mattress.


You may this exercise helpful for providing a visual reference of what you are experiencing: while lying on the mattress in your preferred side sleeping position, have your husband snap a couple of pics of your back view, so that you can see how your neck, shoulders and hips engage the mattress.

Husband sinks deeper so while he still gets pressure points, his spine is in alignment when side sleeping. . My problem is I can't figure out what mattress would work for both of us given the difference in weight / BMI and since a fully customizable split is well outside my budget.


A split comfort design could be a good way to go, given the differences in your BMIs and comfort/ support needs. You may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable a split customizable setup is. These TMU Trusted Members offer split latex configurations, and they would also be happy to answer any of your questions as well:


We both like a plush feel but still need back support. Given my budget I am assuming I will have to do some sort of "bed in a box" latex hybrid option and maybe put a latex 2-3" topper on eventually.


A Bed in a Box latex hybrid option could be a good way to go, LN. There are a wide variety of models out there, and latex toppers for future purchase are widely available as well. The "Bed in a Box"/ BIAB concept is of a roll-packed mattress designed to be compressed to a degree that it is shippable in 1 or more smaller boxes. Upon opening by the consumer, the mattress decompresses and returns to its normal state for use. This relatively new breed of hybrid mattresses are increasingly more luxurious in design and have evolved quite a bit since the early popularity of Casper's "one firmness fits most" approach took the mattress industry by storm. The fact that these mattresses are compressible doesn't necessarily make them a cheaper alternative, as the costs are determined by the materials used. Many BIAB latex hybrid models for example, use more expensive latex foams such as Dunlop and Talalay latex, as well as Leggett & Platt coil units and natural materials in their covers. In other words, consider a BIAB mattress as one that arrives at your door in a compact state and ready to assemble, not necessarily a budget item.

Also considering a DIY build,perhaps with a less expensive foam base support layer or pocket coil base and latex middle and top layers, but am so confused about what levels of firmness / ILD I should even be looking at in that case! I know comfort is subjective, but from a more objective scientific standpoint can anyone help me understand what ILD I should be looking at for the layers to give each of us lower back support/spine alignment without awful pressure points?


There is an entire exciting and mysterious DIY world lurking here among the TMU forum, LN2009 :) . You may enjoy a TMU site search using "DIY mattress" keywords, as well as review these Trusted members specializing in the DIY category. It's been a couple of days since your last post, how it your research going? Any new developments? Good luck and looking forward to hearing your updates.

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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

Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 01 Jun 2021 19:40 #3

  • LN2009
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Thank you so much for your kind reply and my apologies for the delay in my response. Life was very crazy and I was getting increasingly frustrated with the mattress search so I set it aside until a less hectic time. I've just picked it back up since I have some time to search and am getting nowhere. First to answer your questions:

Could you please share more details about your current Queen innerspring from Denver Mattress Co? Which model is it and how old is it? It would be interesting to know what its ingredients are and their specs to better understand the source of its discomfort to you. A $1k budget for a queen size latex hybrid mattress is pretty close but possible; an all-latex queen mattress is more in the +$1,300 range. And to your point, the COVID price increase trend will continue, as manufacturers struggle to compete for allocated raw materials and new sources of quality components.


I wish I could tell you more, but I have little information. The model is called the Lincoln extra plush but I have no other info. It was discontinued shortly after we purchased. All I know is it was not inexpensive (well above $1500) and it's been awful for me. It's about 10 years old.

You may this exercise helpful for providing a visual reference of what you are experiencing: while lying on the mattress in your preferred side sleeping position, have your husband snap a couple of pics of your back view, so that you can see how your neck, shoulders and hips engage the mattress.

I did this a while ago and it showed that my shoulders and hips don't sink in at all so my waist area dips way down making my spine curve heavily at the core and again at the neck, depending what pillow I use. Husband's spine is relatively straight.

The sad thing for me is I know exactly what I want, I just can't get my budget even close to making it work. I have tested Savvyrest a few times over the years and keep coming back to the same model - 100% Talalay Serenity with F/M/S configuration (bottom up). I could probably even go softer (either medium base layer for M/M/S, or 2 soft layers for F/S/S but they didn't have that configuration set up and I didn't want to impose on the store since I knew I could not purchase the mattress from them.) I brought husband with and he claims to also like the FMS talalay configuration. The most affordable talalay option I've found is Sleepez but even that is well above my budget. (Actually, scratch that, the Sleepez looks to only offer talalay as the uppermost layer and the lower layers are dunlop so even that isn't an exact match.)

I've started looking at DIY builds to attempt to approximate the feel of this mattress configuration at a more affordable cost. I was considering using poly foam of some sort at my base layer with 2 layers of latex toppers on top, figuring I can upgrade the base layer to latex down the line. Was looking at these foams www.thefoamfactory.com/mattress/conventional.html with 2 layers of latex toppers but also considered their 6" Dunlop mattress (medium) with a talalay 3" topper. I went back to the shop with Savvyrest this weekend to see if I liked the feel of dunlop. THey have all their beds set up as a split with one half talalay and the other the same set up in dumlop. The difference was so stark and I didn't like even their softest Dunlop setup so now I'm not sure I want to mess with any Dunlop layers, and the inability to try out the foams I linked above is putting me off to that option, as well. So now I'm back to being frustrated and ready to give up.

Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 07 Jun 2021 09:11 #4

  • Sensei
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Hey LN2009,

Welcome back to the forum :) ! Thanks for your updates and my apologies to you for the late reply.

The sad thing for me is I know exactly what I want, I just can't get my budget even close to making it work. I have tested Savvyrest a few times over the years and keep coming back to the same model - 100% Talalay Serenity with F/M/S configuration (bottom up). I could probably even go softer (either medium base layer for M/M/S, or 2 soft layers for F/S/S but they didn't have that configuration set up and I didn't want to impose on the store since I knew I could not purchase the mattress from them.) I brought husband with and he claims to also like the FMS talalay configuration. The most affordable talalay option I've found is Sleepez but even that is well above my budget. (Actually, scratch that, the Sleepez looks to only offer talalay as the uppermost layer and the lower layers are dunlop so even that isn't an exact match.)


Good work on the two of you making showroom visits and testing mattresses :) . An all Talalay latex mattress is an expensive proposition, LN2009. The one way to bring the cost down somewhat is to use a different base foam material (as you are describing below). The beauty of Talalay latex is that having those Talalay layers closer to you as comfort materials pair well with the use of other foams as support cores. While a Dunlop latex support core is firmer than a Talalay one, it is definitely not the stark experience you had with the all-Dunlop latex mattress at SavvyRest, but a nice blend of both latex worlds when combining with Talalay latex comfort layers.

I've started looking at DIY builds to attempt to approximate the feel of this mattress configuration at a more affordable cost. I was considering using poly foam of some sort at my base layer with 2 layers of latex toppers on top, figuring I can upgrade the base layer to latex down the line. Was looking at these foams www.thefoamfactory.com/mattress/conventional.html with 2 layers of latex toppers but also considered their 6" Dunlop mattress (medium) with a talalay 3" topper.


That could be a good DIY start and would certainly be more affordable way to go. You mention trusted member Sleep EZ; does that mean you had a chance to review the trusted member DIY category list from the earlier post response? Any of TMU's trusted members would be happy to answer specific technical questions about your build ideas.

I went back to the shop with Savvyrest this weekend to see if I liked the feel of dunlop. THey have all their beds set up as a split with one half talalay and the other the same set up in dumlop. The difference was so stark and I didn't like even their softest Dunlop setup so now I'm not sure I want to mess with any Dunlop layers, and the inability to try out the foams I linked above is putting me off to that option, as well. So now I'm back to being frustrated and ready to give up.


I do hear your frustration LN2009 and totally get what you're going through. When working with components sight unseen, choose manufacturers who allow exchanges of product to help you get the layers adjusted to your preferences. Some offer foam samples for a small purchase price; you may want to contact The Foam Factory directly to find what their policies are in that regard and whether they offer samples to customers. It's been awhile since your last check in; have you made any further decisions? Hang in there and keep moving forward with your research ;) . You may want to follow some of the other DIY conversations on the forum and see what sorts of experiments are happening…

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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

Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 08 Jun 2021 11:38 #5

  • LN2009
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Thank you! My research and contemplation continues and I have a few more questions. With regard to having Talalay as just the comfort layer(s), is it "enough" to just have a 3" talalay top layer, or should I really have the top and middle layers talalay and only the bottom base support layer as either dunlop or a poly foam? Reading a few different descriptions for talalay toppers they seem to insinuate that a 3" talalay layer will really transform the feel of whatever is underneath it, but they are also trying to sell me a mattress topper so I take it with a dose of salt. ;) (Wish I could remember which website said this!)

Also, is blended talalay significantly different in feel from 100% natural talalay? I've been looking at latex payers from Arizona Premium and they are more affordable but am wondering about the practical difference in feel of the blended.

Finally, If we wanted to have the ability to switch around configurations for either side I know some places offer "split" mattresses in queen and king but it appears for DIY that isn't an option when purchasing layers. The only way I've seen to do it is purchase twin XL layers and thus switch the overall mattress build to a king. Is there a good way to be able to cut 3" later layers "cleanly" so if we needed to swap around the layers between the two of us we could do that without it being so jagged that it won't meet up well in the middle?

What I'm considering right now is the topmost layer as 3" either natural or blended talalay in soft (19-ish, ILD based on what I've been able to find about the aprox specs for what we tested from Savvyrest). Middle layer maybe blended talalay or dunlop in medium firmness (28-ish ILD?), and base layer either dunlop (firm or maybe medium since it will have a much firmer feel than the firm talalay in the bed we loved??) or a polyfoam. The 6" dunlop core from foam factory is still a possibility but I thing 2 separate layers of latex will off more versatility should we need it down the line.

Thanks for fielding all my questions!

Help me understand layers as they relate to BMI, please? 12 Jun 2021 14:16 #6

  • Sensei
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Hey LN2009,

Thanks for your reply :) .

Thank you! My research and contemplation continues and I have a few more questions. With regard to having Talalay as just the comfort layer(s), is it "enough" to just have a 3" talalay top layer, or should I really have the top and middle layers talalay and only the bottom base support layer as either dunlop or a poly foam? Reading a few different descriptions for talalay toppers they seem to insinuate that a 3" talalay layer will really transform the feel of whatever is underneath it, but they are also trying to sell me a mattress topper so I take it with a dose of salt. (Wish I could remember which website said this!)


Given you and your husband's lower/ normal BMI ranges, a 3" Talalay comfort layer should provide a comfy, conforming pressure-relieving material for your side and back sleeping positions. If you prefer the feel of Talalay, a 3" comfort layer over a 2" transition layer, paired with a Dunlop support core makes a lovely all-latex mattress of long-lasting/ highly durable materials. The foam that you are closest to will be the one that you "feel" the most and why Talalay latex is often the uppermost comfort layer used for those seeking pressure-point relief. Dunlop latex makes an excellent support material due to its higher density and firmer feel; it is ideal for maintaining proper spinal alignment and support. If you do choose a more economical polyfoam support core, make sure that you go with either an HD or HR polyfoam within the recommended 1.5- 1.8 lb. cu. ft. density range for a longer lasting, more durable foam.

Also, is blended talalay significantly different in feel from 100% natural talalay? I've been looking at latex payers from Arizona Premium and they are more affordable but am wondering about the practical difference in feel of the blended.


That is a good question and one on many consumers' minds, LN. There is no discernable difference in the "feel" between 100% natural Talalay and blended Talalay latex. Blended Talalay is a bit more durable due to additives used that stabilize the latex during the vulcanization process. It is also slightly less expensive than 100% natural Talalay. In other words, if you had both foams side by side for comparison, their feel and response would be the same; only their composition would have some ingredient differences.

Finally, If we wanted to have the ability to switch around configurations for either side I know some places offer "split" mattresses in queen and king but it appears for DIY that isn't an option when purchasing layers. The only way I've seen to do it is purchase twin XL layers and thus switch the overall mattress build to a king. Is there a good way to be able to cut 3" later layers "cleanly" so if we needed to swap around the layers between the two of us we could do that without it being so jagged that it won't meet up well in the middle?


Arizona Premium offers split King (and Queen) adjustable firmness cores ; you may find Ken Hightower's Talalay Latex Mattress Demo interesting to see those assembled. The use of twin XL components is also popular. In case I haven't offered this before, here is a list of TMU's trusted members offering DIY components:


What I'm considering right now is the topmost layer as 3" either natural or blended talalay in soft (19-ish, ILD based on what I've been able to find about the aprox specs for what we tested from Savvyrest). Middle layer maybe blended talalay or dunlop in medium firmness (28-ish ILD?), and base layer either dunlop (firm or maybe medium since it will have a much firmer feel than the firm talalay in the bed we loved??) or a polyfoam. The 6" dunlop core from foam factory is still a possibility but I thing 2 separate layers of latex will off more versatility should we need it down the line.


This build sounds like a good starting point, LN2009. As you are considering a purchase from Arizona Premium Mattress, you may considering checking in with Ken Hightower regarding your ideas, he is deeply experienced in both the latex category and DIY builds. You can post your questions on AZ Premium's forum directly and he will be happy to offer you counsel. It's been awhile since your last post, are there any new developments? Good luck with your research and let us know how things go ;) .

Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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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