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HELP!- DIY build for healthcare workers in constant pain and sleeping poorly 12 May 2022 11:58 #1

  • yloc88
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Hello,

Thanks for helping me and my wife, we are in frequent pain and never feel well rested after sleep
Me: 5'"10" 155lbs (75% Back/25% Side Sleeper), RN who alternates working days/nights with frequent sciatica and lower back pain

Wife: 5'7" 125lbs (10% Back/90% Side Sleeper), RDH, with frequent neck and shoulder flare ups, often needing a neck brace due to medical issues.

We currently sleep on a Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress, Split King style (Medium and Plush), this after having tried them in store. They were fine for the first 1-2 years, but since have been causing more and more issues.

We are looking to try DIY to truly customize our mattress to our bodies and modify it as our bodies continue to age/change over time. We are leaning towards a split king again. I would like to go 100% ALL natural talalay latex with every layer, while my wife is nervous about that thought and prefers to stick to a coil base.

This is the build we have brainstormed so far with our research and discussion together:

(top to bottom) in 16" Organic Cotton and Wool Latex Mattress cover from Flobeds

Me:
1" Wool layer in mattress cover (Flobeds)
2" Convoluted Talalay (28 ILD, but feels like 14ILD- Flobeds)
3" vZone (Medium- Flobeds)
3" vZone (Extra Firm- Flobeds)

Wife:
1" Wool layer in mattress cover (Flobeds)
2" Convoluted Talalay (28 ILD, but feels like 14ILD- Flobeds)
3" vZone (Plush - Flobeds)
3" vZone (Firm- Flobeds)

What we really need help with at this time is determining the rest of the bed. We would like to have a thick mattress since our bedframe is kind of low. We are pretty sure about the top 9" comfort layers above, unless someone else has any suggestions/input. For the support layers we are deciding between:
1. 7" HD foam
2. 7" of stacked latex layers, either (6"+1") or (2"+2"+3") I would like all talalay, but don't really understand if there is any real benefit to that in our support layers under our preferred comfort layers
3. My wife has only ever slept coils and prefers that because she is afraid she will not like an all latex bed, but I have only found 8" and that wouldn't fit in the mattress cover

Anyone else have any other ideas/input for our support layers/overall build? Thanks so much!

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Last edit: by yloc88.

HELP!- DIY build for healthcare workers in constant pain and sleeping poorly 14 May 2022 20:04 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi yloc88.
Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

we are in frequent pain and never feel well rested after sleep
We currently sleep on a Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Hybrid Mattress, Split King style (Medium and Plush), this after having tried them in store. They were fine for the first 1-2 years, but since have been causing more and more issues.

I am sorry to hear that you are losing the ability to get a restful and restorative night's sleep. As a learning point to move forward from it would be wise to determine any of the overlapping causes that cause lower back pains to you and shoulder and neck pains for your wife. From what you describe it sounds like you both have some preexisting conditions which you'd need to take into account when putting together your DIY mattress. As health care workers you've most likely determined if the current mattress is also contributing to your pains. Telltales signs of this could be ...pains attenuating during the day; pains persistent during the night and the point when and if they increase in intensity. If you are not sure you could do a visual assessment for each other to see if your spinal alignment is “neutral” when you lie down in your primary sleeping positions?

What we really need help with at this time is determining the rest of the bed. We would like to have a thick mattress since our bedframe is kind of low. We are pretty sure about the top 9" comfort layers above, unless someone else has any suggestions/input. For the support layers we are deciding between:
1. 7" HD foam
2. 7" of stacked latex layers, either (6"+1") or (2"+2"+3") I would like all talalay, but don't really understand if there is any real benefit to that in our support layers under our preferred comfort layers

It looks like you gave it a great deal of thought to your DIY but here is some more food for thought
I question the need to have a 16” mattress. I understand you’d like the mattress to be higher off the floor but there are better ways of achieving this without paying a premium price for expensive foams or latex to play the role of elevating the bed. For example, you may consider placing another module on your existing bed frame, unless you have esthetic considerations as well.

You both have normal BMIs so not much thickness is necessary to achieve optimum comfort and support. You can read about the effect of thickness in post #14 here >

The main benefit of a thicker latex mattress (or any mattress that uses similar materials) is that it can be more adaptable for heavier weights and multiple sleeping positions. It will compress from softer to firmer more gradually which means that there is more "range" of compression without the mattress becoming too firm for heavier weights (or parts of the body). A thicker mattress can also be part of a specific design that requires it such as some types of zoning or layering that needs more layers to accomplish the design goal of the mattress. It can even just be a matter of preference rather than "need".

Thickness and softness work together and because thicker layers (or mattresses) can have a greater range of compression and are more "adaptable" ... it's also possible to use firmer top layers in a thicker mattress and still have good pressure relief because of the greater range of compression of the thicker mattress which can create a mattress with a firmer "surface feel" but that still provides good pressure relief and adapts well to the body contours.

With a 16” mattress the firmness of the upper layers would need to go up. All the layers of a mattress actually compress simultaneously, not sequentially, and they will each compress to different percentages of their thickness depending on their position on the mattress, the firmness of each layer, the compression modulus of the material, the thickness of each layer, and the compression force that they are exposed to (which depends on the weight of the part of the body in contact with the mattress and the surface area that is bearing that weight which is constantly changing as you sink into the mattress more or change sleep positions). So your body weight will “reach” the bottom layer, but the resulting comfort will only be determined through your own personal testing, which is part of the fun (and for some people part of the “pain”) of a DIY design.

“ #1. 7" HD foam” ~ as a base would be less expensive especially if its role in the DIY build is to use it mainly to elevate the other layers it has the advantage of placing it in the same cover, as long as the IFD is firm enough to not detract from the 9” build you’ve put together thus far.
for latex (quite expensive) only to use it as a support layer, and you’d need to go x-firm with the bottom layer

2. 7" of stacked latex layers, either (6"+1") or (2"+2"+3") I would like all talalay, but don't really understand if there is any real benefit to that in our support layers under our preferred comfort layers

also can work as well (all other considerations still stand) but this has the advantage that multiple layers can be rearranged (or exchanged) is that there are more layering combinations possible for changing and fine-tuning the performance and feel of the mattress but in many cases, this wouldn't be necessary and in some cases can lead to a level of complexity that can make predicting how the layers interact more difficult (see post #2 here )

There is no real benefit in using Talalay in the support layer of your mattress. in fact, the preferred use for a support layer is Dunlop latex as it is denser in the same ILD and more supportive. Talalay process is also more expensive than Dunlop in the same ILD

Your choice of Talalay over Dunlop for your comfort layers is a matter of preference. Talalay is considered to be more "springy" or "lively" than Dunlop because you will generally sink in deeper which means there is more up and down "movement" or "ride" with Talalay and it springs back more strongly and quickly. This creates a different "feel" between the two materials and is also why Talalay is often considered to be more pressure relieving than Dunlop because it allows for a deeper cradle in the same ILD ... while Dunlop is considered to be more supportive because it doesn't compress as deeply with greater weight ... all else (including ILD) being equal of course. it would likely not have a noticeable difference in how the mattress feels as long as you have matched the comfort layers to your specific needs.

To sum it up the overall thickness of a mattress that is either "needed" or "preferred" would depend on the combinations of the layers and components that are needed to achieve the design goal of the mattress and provide the PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) that can best match each person and their unique body type, sleeping positions, and preferences.

My wife has only ever slept coils and prefers that because she is afraid she will not like an all-latex bed, but I have only found 8" and that wouldn't fit in the mattress cover

If your wife wants to stick to the familiar feel of a coil base layer, rather than layered latex….is again a matter of personal preference; an innerspring coil base will generally impart extra cradling, but the deeper within the mattress the coil is the less you’ll be able to notice it and with the zoned latex layers, your wife’s low BMI and the fact you both primarily sleep on your sides, your wife could be equally comfortable with either a coil unit, the layered latex or foam support base.

There are many 6” coil units available that you may want to lock at for example a Leggett & Platt Caliber Edge 6” coil Base which might be suitable for your build if you decide to go that direction. Arizona Premium Mattress also has a Quanutm Edge Elite that comes both in 8” and 6” thickness.

Sounds like you and your wife have done a good amount of research into a replacement mattress. An all-latex DIY build will certainly provide you with long-term durable comfort as you are customizing it to fit both of your needs.

I would certainly contact Dewey at FloBeds and ask them which option they think is best as a support base under the 9” build thus far.

You have made a good choice with the vZone]Talalay latex layers
you are most likely aware that FloBeds are one of the Trusted Members of the site which means that I think highly of and consider them to be among the best in the industry. They have a extensive experience in matching consumers with sleeping solutions, and they also have a dedicated forum page here With their 100 night trial period as well as a 20-year policy to allow you to exchange layers for a discounted rate you are in good hands.

Hope these few considerations help you with the fine-tuning of your DIY.
Good luck and let us know what is your final decision.
Phoenix
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HELP!- DIY build for healthcare workers in constant pain and sleeping poorly 16 May 2022 07:22 #3

  • Mattrebuild
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I definitely agree with Phoenix and considering your BMI's and current medical issues (not sure if they are all mattress related or not) I would probably just spring for the full V-zone mattress from Flobed. The thicker Big & Tall version adds more thickness which helps with larger folks but isn't going to benefit lighter people at all (if you want more height lots of options to do this without increasing the mattress thickness). Also if you do decide to do a full DIY build you'll likely only need one v-zone per side. The v-zone layer allows alot of adjustability so only in very rare circumstances would you need to add a second (ex someone that has Joint hypermobility syndrome and is overly prone to misalignment). I know your wife really likes the coil idea but the issue with that is you can't tune the coil springs response at all (ie it either works well for you or it doesn't). Her neck/shoulder issues could be made much better by proper zoning in the torso/shoulder/head areas which take the stress off at night and help everything heal.

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