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Searched for: Sleep Science
15 Feb 2022 14:04
Hi joshhp.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

Your build appears to be well researched/thought out and it looks like you've got a very solid starting point to work from. The thing about a DIY as you likely know is that it's a little bit of a science experiment that can be tweaked and tuned as you gather data based on your sleeping experience.

I think the Combi-Zone coils would be more than adequate for your needs and at your weight.

I'm a bit lost on what ILD of the latex I should aim for. Brooklyn support reps told me the Aurora Medium's top two polyfoam layers are 3.5lb 12ILD and 2.5lb 18ILD, which I absolutely cannot believe -- this bed is seriously firm, and 3.5" of those ILDs should be a lot softer. So now I'm thrown off; I was planning on getting 2" Talalay underneath the 2" memory foam as somewhere between 20-28 ILD, but now am thinking I might need something like 14 ILD for adequate pressure relief.


Polyfoam and latex are definitely going to differ in feel and 12 ILD is as soft as foam gets. I agree that if you found 12 ILD atop 18 ILD too firm, that your thought to try 14 ILD is a good direction to go. There are a number of experienced DIYers in the forum who may also have some thoughts or tips for you on this. I hope they chime in!

NikkiTMU
25 Jan 2022 13:27
Hi 70sgirl.

Sorry for the delay in replying! It's been a busy week.

I appreciate you sharing in detail what you're looking for and what you've tried. Being able to test a mattress is so important in terms of data points and it sounds like you know what your body needs in terms of comfort layer thickness.

Are there performance or durability differences between mattresses with a latex base layer and a pocketed coil base layer mattress when they are on an adjustable base?


Durability differences, not so much but in terms of performance you'll find that an innerspring has that traditional "bounce" that an innerspring mattress has while an all-latex reigns supreme in motion isolation.

Are firm coil base layers more firm than firm latex base layers or have I just lot found a firm enough latex base to try?


Coils do tend to offer a firmer base than all latex. I'm not sure of the science behind it, although I'm sure someone has discussed it here in the forum before!

I am trying to look through the member here to see which ones I should call to have a conversation with. My next question is do you have recommendations for places to look for this?


All of our Trusted Members offer quality, durable mattresses but the ones that come immediately to mind for your needs are the Natural Latex Hybrid from Luma which offers up to 5" in the comfort layer, the The Owl Natural Latex mattress from Nest Bedding (which has about 4.5" of comfort material if you include the cover). The Select Sleep hybrid on the 2" side with a 2" topper may also be a good fit.

I hope this helps point you in the right direction! Let me know if you have more questions arise.
NikkiTMU
20 Jan 2022 13:09
Hi chrisisinclair,

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

I have been looking for a nice protector or pad for my all latex foam mattress for awhile now but the manufacturer always advises me specifically to NEVER use any type of waterproof / membrane type protector. They claim that the latex foam needs lots of airflow and that with a waterproof protector it is extremely likely that the mattress will mold or that the life of the latex will be significantly reduced.

Generally, it's best to follow the mattress manufacturer's care. this said I oftentimes find in my research many conflicting opinions about just about every issue that concerns mattresses. Some of them are coming from people in the Mattress Industry that have decades of experience and I respect and consult often. Trying to resolve conflicting information from different sources can become a vast and difficult task. The best approach I found is a “blend” of science and intuition as usually both left and right-brained thinking by themselves can end up being misleading.

It is generally accepted that Latex breathes more than other foams and that natural latex also has an inherent resistance to mold and mildew and would have less likelihood of developing mold and mildew for these reasons. It's also true though that the development of mold and mildew would depend on a combination of several factors coming together. One of the most important of these is moisture (from the environment or the person on the mattress), one is the types of mold or mildew spores that are in the environment, and one is a food source (cellulose is one of these). For example, the temperature difference between a mattress and a solid surface foundation can play a role in condensation which would increase the odds that mold or mildew could develop. A cover or better yet an insulated cover on a foundation could help with this temperature differential vs just having a mattress on wood or metal.
How much of its beneficial qualities of cover and latex layer under the protector are “canceled out” depends on the type and fiber that is being used in the ticking or mattress protector.

A mattress breaths from all sides and you may want to consider a PU protector with breathable sidewalls or pads that have no walls at all, or as you mention … there is nothing wrong with cutting the side panels and sowing some sort of elastic band if you find just the right protector.

1. Has anyone used any of the membrane type protectors for extended periods of time (years) on a latex foam mattress and can comment on the condition of the foam? Did any of it mold or did any of it (especially the top layer of foam) start to turn a darker color or harden or flake?

….
I used a protector for more than a decade for my child’s all-latex mattress and I did not observe any development of mold/mildew. The latex layers were still in great condition even though I live in a humid area. (uppermost layer was 30/70 blended Talalay)
There are thousands of protectors with various cubic feet per minute (CFM) to assess the air permeability and also various Moisture Vapor Transfer Rates per day (MVTRs per 24 hours)
This is itself would great search criteria for protectors, product and material comparisons if anyone has time to get into it. Here is a good article with basics from Blister labs

. 3. Are there any PU membrane protectors (air permeable type) that ONLY go over the top of the mattress?

Protectors are typically 5 or even 6 faced but quite thin whereas pads can be a little ticker and can alter the mattress comfort and feel Post #10 here has more information about mattress pads, protectors and the difference between them. Halfway through post #89 here there’s more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors for those who want (or don’t) to affect the feel and performance of their mattress. You may wish to check out some of our members here who have good pads/protectors that they recommend to use. Also have a look at different types of mattress protectors here and here .

5. Has anyone ever seen a water resistant but not waterproof mattress pad that still allows high airflow but is not a thick wool type cover?

….

There are types of synthetic fibers (such as coolmax ) that are specifically designed to draw moisture away from the skin and disperse it to the rest of the layer which can be effective as well.

As you are “concerned with issues related to water resistance and making sure the foam in this mattress has as much longevity as possible - body oils, light stains, mites, etc” you may want to consider natural fibers in your pad or protector. When you make your selection, I’d keep in mind that natural fibers are the most effective in terms of wicking and or storing moisture because synthetic fibers generally absorb moisture into the spaces, not the fiber itself. Artificial or "semi-synthetic" fibers (in between natural and synthetic) such as various types of cellulosic or rayon fibers (made from dissolved plant cellulose) are closer to natural fibers and do a good job of wicking moisture away from the body and ventilating. If you are considering placing the pad or protector between the latex and the pillowtop then the qualities of natural fibers are waisted as the layer is further away from the skin.

Generally, the materials, layers, and components of a sleeping system that are closer to the skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than materials, layers, and components that are further away from the skin. Also, you may want to keep in mind that some synthetic protectors may emit higher levels of VOCs. That being said there are many types of protectors... There are quite a few tradeoffs involved between how breathable they are ... how much they will affect the feel of the mattress, the importance of natural materials, and of course cost. There is more about the choices and trade-offs involved and the amount of "protection" that may be important in post #2 here ) and in post #5 here ). Even though the post has some links to older products all other considerations still stand.

Phoenix
11 Nov 2021 17:19
Hi learningunderground.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :) and thanks for your kind words of appreciation.

I have been diagnosed with stenosis, disc degen & potentially fibromyalgia, however, following a recent week of travel where I suddenly slept peacefully with significant pain reduction, mattress replacement has become an urgent priority. I think that in my current sleep system, the interconnected springs aren't providing sufficient support while the minimal comfort layer is not providing any pressure relief.

I’m sorry to learn of your pre-existing preexisting medical conditions but as you surmised, it isn't quite as cut-and-dry mainly because finding the best configuration for you will be specific not only to your symptoms but also to your particular alignment, comfort, and sensitivity thresholds. You are at a good starting point as typically people with similar conditions find it difficult to pinpoint if the pains that are mattress-related, medical, or both (and the percentage of each). There is some information about the many different symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some of the most common causes behind them in post #2 here that you may find useful to peruse.

.1) Any thoughts/feedback on the performance of Berkeley Ergonomics' Copenhagen model (2" talalay soft or firm over 6" of 7-zone talalay core in firm: www.berkeleyergo.com/natural-talalay-latex) and the benefit of the euro slats?

Both 8” and 10” Copenhagen are good quality mattresses with no weak links in terms of durability and you can see some basic benefits of euro (arched) slats systems They are typically used under thinner latex mattresses so that the mattress thickness does not negate the effect of the flexible slats. They can be part of the design of a sleeping system or can be used to fine-tune a mattress for better support/comfort match of each individual for reducing pressure points and increasing support in needed areas of the body and can also help with stabilizing the sleep posture if you sleep in one position only. A flexible support system under a mattress can change the feel and response of the mattress compared to a rigid non-flexing support system (which would be a more common choice for a latex mattress) This can be either detrimental or beneficial depending on which combination (your mattress on a flexible slat support system vs a rigid non-flexing support system) is the best match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). When the euro slats are used they become an "active" part of a sleeping system just like any of the other layers or components in the mattress itself that compresses or flex under bodyweight so it can certainly affect the feel and performance of the mattress for better or for worse and while not impossible it can be problematic for combination sleepers to find the golden mean. As you can see on Berkley’s website, they offer flexible slats, flexible-adjustable slats, or plain solid wood foundations. In some cases, if each side of the support system has flex and there is no flex in the middle center support beam (or if you have two twin XL foundations side to side with the firmer edges in the middle) then you may be able to feel the firmer center support through the mattress. You can see some additional comments about flexible slat systems vs rigid non flexing foundations in post #2 here and post #2 here and post #13 here .

In the same vein...you may be interested to look at the CBH Wood’s “Tri-Slat” slat system consisting of latex on wooden slats in conjunction with the supportive latex strips, is placed on a solid wooden frame. This system allows for dynamic adjustments of the support/comfort functions of the bed due to the body’s weight, shape, and various sleeping positions, thus promoting adequate spinal and joint alignment. The system’s design has the capacity to accommodate a wider range of individual sleeping positions and needs. Here is what one of CBH wood customers with complex medical conditions reports about the Balancer system

Zoned latex cores seem relatively uncommon and I wonder if this would lead to uneven material/support breakdown over time (either felt throughout an individual night or over the years). Are there any additional considerations I should take into account?


As far as zoning goes ... it can certainly be helpful in more unusual circumstances. With latex, zoning may not be as necessary because of the nature of latex itself and its higher compression modulus than other foams (particularly with Dunlop) but even here it can have some benefits and allow for the use of softer foam under wider/lighter shoulders than may otherwise be possible. There's more about zoning and some of my thoughts about it in this article .
Zoning in a latex slab is achieved using different size pins to increase or decrease the amount of material in a section of the rubber which in effect alters the amount of material in that particular section which will change its overall density. Depending of the pin size used in a specific section of the slab results in a softer or firmer feel. Berkley uses “gentle zoning” with small differences in pin size between zoning sections. (e.g. the smallest pin size in their picture is around the edge of the slab which creates firmer perimeter support. The impact on durability is negligible. In addition to this, there is a 2” un-zoned softer comfort layer “buffer” and further away from direct mechanical stress. At your 21.5 BMI, I would not have any durability concerns or this zoned layer. One of the problems with zoning, however, is that people have different body configurations and heights and this zoning might not work for everyone as the zoning does not adjust to the size of the people.

Could you recommend any SleepEZ/SOL/APM/LMF/Flobeds or DIY combinations that I could explore that would feel similar? I'm not sure how the feel of the BE Copenhagen firm 7-zone latex core (I believe 6" of ~36 ILD talalay, with greater pressure relief at shoulders and hips) would be translated into solid latex layers, and the BE Copenhagen comfort layer could use some tweaking for my goldilocks solution:

I would certainly reach out to FloBeds ( our Trusted Members here ) as they offer a very competitive zoned system and I would use their advice picking out layers, as this has a little more science behind it and can get very complicated. You can reach them by phone or through FloBeds dedicated forum with the main area of expertise around latex and zoning and are very familiar with Berkley’s lineups and most likely the best to approximate the feel you like with the BE models.

I hope some of this information helps you out with your eventual decisions

Phoenix
04 Nov 2021 19:25
Hi Byronsleeps.

It's still surprising to me how much of a science it is when it comes to figuring out a pain point on a mattress. Some nights, my bed feels like the most comfortable bed in the world, and other nights I'm wondering why my back hurts and if my knee pain is mattress related.

I am hopeful the 3" soft topper will help resolve your back pain. If not, and you decide to go for the DIY, we're certainly here to help you through it!

NikkiTMU
11 Sep 2021 18:15
Hi aalbert77.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

You may be surprised to know that cool + soft mattresses are not as difficult to find as you might think, and don't really contradict each other at all. All foam configurations can be as firm or firmer than innerspring mattresses/hybrids. As you mentioned, all foam configurations are less breathable and sleep a bit hotter than an innerspring model.

I've never heard of pocket coils being a culprit in the reduced air flow in a mattress. That's an interesting piece of information. Where did you learn that?

1) Where can I buy a Leggett & Pratt Coolflow innerspring? They have the softness of pocket coils with better airflow.


To clarify, just the spring unit? Or the spring unit already encased in a mattress?

2) How much hotter is the combi-zone than the CoolFlow?


This, like much of what contributes to sleeping hot or cool on a mattress, is not something I can quantify as we are two people with different definitions of what hot/cool sleep on a mattress feels like and, of course, I haven't slept on either of these units so I would be making pure assumptions. There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that you may be interested in perusing.

3) Which one is softer?


Coils aren't so much "soft" as they are "bouncy." Coil gauge by itself wouldn't be a reliable indicator of the firmness of the innerspring, although if all the other variables in two innersprings are identical such as coil number, coil shape, coil height, number of turns, coil diameter, coil arrangement, type of innerspring (linked or pocket coils), then a lower gauge innerspring with thicker wire will be firmer. The type and thickness of any padding above and below the innerspring and the specifics of the cover will also have a significant effect on how firm a mattress feels as well, and the innerspring is rarely the “weak link” within a mattress. You can read more about innersprings in this article here , and learn about the many variations and differences in the main types of innerspring units.

Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science. In other words ... the only reliable way to know whether a mattress will be "firm enough" or "soft enough" for you will be based on your own careful testing or your own personal experience.

A cool, soft mattress could take the form of a latex + innerspring hybrid, or an innerspring mattress using other natural fibers in the comfort layer. If sleeping hot is something you wish to avoid, I'd suggest steering clear of polyfoams, memory foam (even gel foam), and synthetic materials both in the comfort layers and mattress cover/encasement.

I hope this helps.
NikkiTMU
07 Sep 2021 14:03
Hi Fallguy007.

Of course, as you might guess the amount of the “depression of springs” depends on the Latex ILD on top of the coils. The higher the ILD (directly proportional with ILD in the case of latex) the higher the depression. One other factor is the surface area, the weight of the latex layer(s) is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the coil unit which would result in lower pressure per spring and minimal depression for a certain latex density. (e.g. 6” L&P Q Edge Elite Bolsa has 1041 coils in a Queen size and each spring will share the load)

Instead of putting my science hat on, I called Ken at Arizona Premium who sells the Quantum Edge Elite Bolsa to ask about the amount of spring depression under the weight of several latex layers. He said that when they place a 3” medium firmness (28 ILD) Talalay topper they get almost no visible depression of the spring unit. In his experience, even multiple layers of higher density latex will not depress the spring unit more than 1/2“(if that much).

Generally, all the layers of a mattress 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 move or change sleep positions). Springs have a linear response to compression as opposed to latex that has a non-linear response to compression. Latex becomes firmer with compression increase and has the ability to allow for increased compression (allowing it to better conform to various body shapes and weights) as a result of the material’s open cell structure where each cell behaves like a micro-spring. Every layer of a mattress affects and is affected by every other layer in the mattress to different degrees. If you scroll down a bit more on this page you can read the Talalay Comfort Zone article by Ph.D. John Lean explains it in more detail, including this a picture of the linear spring response vs non-linear latex response with force applied.

Hope this helps with your decision
Phoenix
27 Aug 2021 08:01
Thank you, Phoenix, for your insights!

As a scientist (chemist with a moderate knowledge of materials), I became very intrigued by how SleepOnLatex can have Dunlop latex at a 34 ILD with a rather low density of 4.7 pounds per cubic foot. I've read in some of the other posts that SOL latex is a little Talalay-like in feel (a little more springy). Talalay is less dense than Dunlop of a similar ILD. My hypothesis is that their Earthfoam process, even though the factory may be Latex Green, is indeed different from Latex Green's "regular" process. Latex Green may have a "regular" production line and an Earthfoam line. If the Earthfoam has some air injected into it, which would have the effect of increasing cell size, then it would be less dense than "regular" Dunlop while maintaining a relatively high ILD. The cells may not be as large as those of Talalay, but the increased size is enough make the final product sufficiently different.

To support my hypothesis and convince myself that I wasn't crazy, I did a literature search and found this article, which shows that the cell size can be increased by what they call the "Bubbling process": www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167577X19315484https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167577X19315484

If the addition of air is what SOL does, then it supports the Talalay-like observation of others as well as the claims made by SOL:

Using an enhanced version of the Dunlop Process, Earthfoam natural latex foam combines the best elements of Dunlop and Talalay latex foam. It has a more lively and consistent feel than other Dunlop latex foam without the "bouncy" feel of Talalay Foam.

This would also explain the discrepancy between the SOL and NN latex, both of which are from Latex Green. Just because they're made by the same company doesn't mean they're made the same way.

Of course, this is only a hypothesis and only SOL knows exactly what they're doing. :)
31 Jul 2021 10:08
Hi hurtscience:

I'll do my best to address your concerns, and also help others in similar situations.

I'm a first time mattress buyer. I've been really busy lately, so I haven't had much time to research. Bought a mattress today and didn't feel great about it after the fact. I feel like I wasn't informed enough to make a decision and was under a lot of pressure to get a new mattress before moving.


The biggest mistake you made was not taking enough time to learn how to properly assess and shop for a mattress. It's your job to become an informed consumer. The Mattress Shopping Tutorial on this site is a great place to start. It helps you learn about what questions to ask and how to find products using better quality materials, and to assess if a retailer is knowledgeable about such products. When you shop in a hurry and are uninformed, you're then at the mercy of the store/salesperson you choose to visit, and at that point you're "rolling the dice" to see if you landed at a place with better quality materials and educated salespeople.

It seemed really comfortable and to my taste of firmness, but I feel like it's hard to make a decision after only laying on it for a few minutes.


You can't feel quality or durability when testing out a mattress in person - all you can judge is comfort. Hopefully the salesperson there was able to place you into something that was appropriate for your body type and sleeping style.

I also have no idea how to judge mattress quality and don't know how well this thing will hold up over time.


That is determined by the quality of componentry within the mattress, primarily the density of the padding materials being used. This is described in more detail in the Mattress Shopping Tutorial I linked to earlier.

The mattress was $425 after the discount, before taxes. I tried to haggle with the salesman more, but he didn't seem interested in going any lower. They also threw in free delivery, setup, and a bed bug/oil/moisture liner.


There's certainly nothing wrong with asking for an extra discount, as many stores are set up this way, expecting the customers to argue about pricing and then bringing the price down a bit to provide the perception of a "deal". Other stores will offer you their best price right away to take away the stigma of having to arm wrestle to get what you think might be a good "deal". Maybe it was a good deal, maybe not. It really comes down more to value - how well the product will serve you for its intended purpose. It seems like you got a few extra things included, such as delivery, which is nice. I always advise to pay attention to the final price you pay, regardless of how you got there. I discuss this in a bit of detail in my Beducation video - The Truth Behind 50% Off Sales.

Here's the link to the mattress: www.sitnsleep.com/products/sit-n-sleep-sherlock-pillow-top - I got it in full size with a bed frame. Did I get a good deal? Did I get a good quality product?


Unfortunately, there isn't any meaningful information on the Sit 'n Sleep website speaking to the quality (density) of the padding materials used, or even an entire listing of the layers used in that mattress. The spring unit, a VertiCoil 460FE, is one of the more basic spring units in the industry, and while the spring unit isn't usually the weak link within a mattress, this is a unit primarily targeted at mattresses for children, guest rooms, and entry-level adult use. While I can't be too accurate with a comfort life estimation, as I don't have the particulars of the comfort materials used within the mattress or your body type/dimensions/mass, something like this (price point, spring unit, where it falls in the company's lineup), you can probably expect a comfort life under 5 years. I think that would be a reasonable expectation. You don't tend to see companies producing quality mattresses using higher-density polyfoams atop a VertiCoil 460FE spring unit.

Be sure to use the mattress protector you were provided (BTW, unless it's a completely zippered encasement with a special zipper, it's not bed bug proof), rotate your mattress monthly, place it upon a flat and firm surface, use a bed frame with a center support, and you'll be able to get the maximum use out of this product.

Did I get totally ripped off?


Unless you were delivered a mattress that was different from what you ordered, you didn't get ripped off. It's the consumer's job to be informed before making a purchase, not the job of the business to do that for them (although it would be nice if more mattress stores were educators and knowledgeable about componentry and ergonomics). The old saying of caveat emptor definitely applies. While I wasn't part of your sales process, I'm guessing that you were looking for something that you could get fast, was in stock, and that keeping a more moderate price were all factors.

I don't know if I did a good job at answering your questions, as I'm limited by the information available, but overall I think your post here can be a useful example to others to take a few minutes to learn a bit about mattress componentry before visiting a store and making a purchase.
27 Jul 2021 20:53
Hi mattressnewbie123.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

Congratulations on your new home!

Thank you for sharing the details of your preferences and sleep statistics! While soft mattresses certainly can sag, that doesn't have to be the case when you purchase a product that is the correct density for durability - and contrary to popular belief, you *can* find a plush yet high density and durable foam mattress, getting closer to 10 years out of memory foam and up to 20 out of latex.

It's hard for me to make any specific recommendations as firmness/softness is subjective and relative to the perceptions of different people and a mattress that feels soft for one person can feel firm to someone else so the only way to know what feels soft or firm (or "semi-cush") to you will be based on your own testing or personal experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

There are also no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

Can someone throw me some recommendations?


The first place I would start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice ... and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists (based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

While your own careful testing or personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort and PPP or how it compares to another mattress ... when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

I would, of course, suggest starting with our Trusted Members as a launching point.

I hope this helps!
NikkiTMU
27 Apr 2021 13:45
Hi elektrobank.

So sorry to hear of your bad bed-in-a-box experience, but it's great that you've got a topper you love!

We won't be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience.

And, without knowing more about your sleeping stats, it's hard to make any specific suggestions with regards to a DIY, but a DIY can be extremely rewarding when approached with patience and a sense of adventure.

Is 3 inches going to be enough of a comfort layer or will I need a transition layer too? If so, what should I use for a transition layer?


Without knowing your sleeping position or BMI, I am going to venture to say that 3" is likely enough of a comfort layer. A lighter sleeper will sink into the top layer and this could be soft enough for their pressure relief needs. Having a middle "transition" layer would be partly to add to the pressure relieving qualities of the softer thinner layer and partly be for support (lighter people don't need the same firmness level to "hold up" their heavier parts). On the other hand, a heavier person will mostly "go through" the comfort layer and use most of the next layer for pressure relief (heavier people generally need thicker firmer comfort layers to achieve the same softness as a lighter person experiences on softer foam) and then the much firmer support layer (that wasn't being utilized nearly as much by the lighter person) would be their support layer. In other words ... different layers in a mattress can perform different functions for different people.

Am I going to be able to get a similar enough feel to the full tempurpedic or is it not going to be even close?


Every layer and component in a mattress (including the cover and any quilting materials) will affect the feel and performance of every other layer and component and the mattress "as a whole" so unless you are able to find another mattress that uses exactly the same type of materials, components, cover and quilting, layer thicknesses, layer firmnesses, and overall design (which would be fairly unlikely) then there really isn't a reliable way to match one mattress to another one in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) based on the specifications of the mattresses (even assuming that you can find out all the specifications you would need for both mattresses you are comparing in the first place).

Because there are so many objective and subjective elements involved in matching one mattress to another and because different materials or components can have the same quality in terms of density and durability and even the same design in terms of layer thickness but still have different performance properties or "subjective feel" ... matching one mattress to another from the perspective of a mattress designer and from the perspective of a consumer can be as much an art as a science.

I would suggest instead on focusing on getting the best support and comfort you can with your DIY, and worrying less about how similar or different it is to the tempurpedic mattress.

If you're pretty convinced by the tempurpedic, we can talk more in depth about that, too!

Thanks!
NikkiTMU
20 Mar 2021 15:17
Update: I finally have my new coils and latex layer. Just put everything together. My first impression is that it is comfortable. I'm happy.

But 1 question. I attached some images. In the name of science and the pursuit of good sleep, I put dots on my back, and took pictures laying on the mattress. If you look at the image 'newSide' below, you will see the alignment of my spine. It is MUCH better than my old mattress. But could I do better? should I try? It feels pretty comfortable.

I also added a pic of my layers. I have a slat bed, and I stretched a very thick blanket tight with twine over the slats (it is a sound blanket that weighs about 10-15 lbs). That way the 8" combi zone coils have a fairly even base. On top of the coils are two 2" blended talalay layers, a 28 IDL and on top of that a 24 IDL.

I will probably get the zippered mattress cover eventually. For now I have a thick padded cotton mattress cover. The mattress is comfy, and I really like the extra support the firm center springs give me. I'm wondering if my shoulder should be sinking in a bit more to line up my spine, but I do like the feel of the mattress. I also know that my pillow affects my spine alignment, but I like the one I have, and I tend to bundle it under my neck. I also sleep with a knee pillow.

If there are any comments about how my set up looks, and if there is room for improvement, please let me know. WAY better than my old mattress, but hey, might as well try for perfection.
27 Feb 2021 17:01
Hi iluves2fish.

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation for TMU and our wonderful team. Great to hear of your daughter's experience on TMU and that she is passing the word around in trying to inform others. Hope your surgery turned out well and you are well on your way to recovery. Yes, a good sleeping setup would definitely help.

“Ditto” to Emily’s response, our Trusted Member , DIY Natural Bedding is located in Lafayette, Indiana and may be an option you wish to look into and consider. You can call for an appointment and I am sure Deborah will try to accommodate it so that you can try this before purchasing the topper.

Nice to see that EBS has also given you the steps to do a forum search using keywords to pull up more information that may be useful to you. And if you did not do so perhaps skim over this article on how to identify a quality mattress retailer if you want to visit a retailer that is not on our Trusted Members board.

Latex is a good choice of a topper material as it has unique properties that would certainly fit your criteria. If you are used to the memory foam feel and depending of how high your sensitivity threshold around pressure points is (especially after the surgery) you may wish to consider a slow recovery Dunlop latex variant which has similar responsiveness to that of memory foam and is a softer version of the softest Dunlop. A slow recovery Dunlop latex topper can be successfully combined with a mattress that is in good shape and not sagging.. This Slow Recovery Latex Foam is produced in the U.S. by Latexco in their Georgia plant. Because of the nature of this product it only comes in "Plush" but I do not know who carries it in your area. I’d avoid the use of memory foam in an RV due to the temperature changes and the possibility of forming mildew and dust mites. Latex is naturally antimicrobial and mildew resistant.

Finally, because I am not very sure how much you’ve read since finding our site I’d make sure that before visiting any local shop you peruse some of our website resources I’ll list below with the following in mind.
• the RV topper is not the only part of the equation when it comes to a best match sleeping environment. A topper generally is selected for a particular surface feel and for adding pressure point relief to an existing mattress or foam layers that are too firm. Because every layer and component in a mattress can affect the feel and performance of every other layer and the mattress "as a whole" ... the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) will be based on your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) or your actual sleeping experience.

• I’d try to capitalize on the advantage that you are able to drive your RV to the shop and if you prearrange it (by making a phone call in advance) perhaps the rep would agree to let you try the mattress/topper combo directly in the RV. Choosing an appropriate topper/mattress combo is as much a science as an art as all layers, components, and features work together and each person's body type and sleeping position are an important part of how each person interacts with a mattress. As you may have noticed throughout the site, there are many other interrelated variables as well and this is why I am glad that you are doing a bit of research to understand your own needs and preferences and reach out selectively to a retailer/manufacturer that knows about mattress construction. This can save much time, energy, and frustration.

• Pressure points and pains while sleeping on your side can come from a mattress that is too firm and puts direct pressure on the shoulders, and/or hips that can also result in soreness or numbness and tingling in the arms or can come from postural issues as well. There is a bit more information about sleeping positions and posture in this article here and post #10 here [/url]also include a list with links to many of the forum posts that talk about different symptoms and fine-tuning a mattress that may also provide more insights and be helpful in identifying some of the underlying causes behind different types of discomfort or pain in a sleeping system (the first one links to this post).

• There is more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to the firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel" that can also provide some useful insights into the reasons for pain and/or discomfort on a mattress.

Looking forward to any updates or questions you may have.

Phoenix
06 Feb 2021 07:32

So My Green Mattress had offered the topper but didn’t seem to have anymore suggestions /solutions beyond that. I did think that the alignment was good so I hadn’t presented the issue correctly, and yesterday talked to someone else. I think the only way the natural escape mgm could serve me would be if I were to do some serious mattress surgery: replacing the shoulder area of 22-24 Dunlop with a softer talalay. The reason why I would want to do that is because my lumbar region has had no back pain on it, which is rare for me in a side sleeping position. Other ideas would be to add a 3” talalay topper, however I’m unsure if that would work well, because adding softness seems to create more other issues. Another idea would be a slatted base, which mgm has not suggested.. mh
I thought about if the grace mattress of the quality sleep shop which is associated with mgm and has the same coil system plus microcoils on top could be a start. Unfortunately it has memoryfoam, which i could then either just live with since i believe it’s not in the top area, or again would have to do surgery. Would microcoils be a better option for my issues?
It does feel weird to cut open a mattress that’s not zippable/made for that.
Flobed has been my next solution I’ve been looking at, basically I’m wondering now about hybrids with coils versus all latex, and just feeling the attachment to the mgm zone coil system which seems to work so well for my lumbar region. The avocado btw gives my tingling in my hands as well unless i have 4” of topper on it, which makes me think that 3” on the mgm would be enough, this their coils plus 6” of latex
So much for now would love to hear what you think and will respond again more later


I know this is addressed to Phoenix but I had a few comments which you may find helpful. First, I think you are beginning to understand why a mattress does/doesn't work for someone (especially spine alignment in this case), this is key to solving your own issues. Second, it sounds like you also are beginning to understand what needs to be done to a mattress to make it work if indeed you believe the fit is close enough to try and achieve what you want from it (obviously there are limits to this, just look at my own build thread and you'll see what I mean). Lastly, if you look at your photos again, I have tried to fit straight lines to your spine in each case.

Here's where I drew the additional lines for you to see: i.imgur.com/cn2xdfi.png

What you'll see if that the MGM photo (with no topper at all) shows that your lower back is the most straight and parallel with the bed. This explains perfectly why you "feel" that one gives you no lower back pain at all (I wanted to point out there is some science behind what your feeling). You can also clearly see why in the other photos just adding more soft toppers does not fix the problem and in fact it makes things worse. To see where this mattress has an issue conforming to your weight and body shape all you need to do is look at the angle of the line that follows your upper spine. Just like you pointed out the dunlop comfort layers don't allow the give needed for your shoulder to protrude into the mattress properly. In order to make the MGM bed work you would need to somehow also straighten out the upper portion of your spine (effectively your shoulders would need to be able to sink into the bed several inches to be able to accomplish this). Making this happen would likely require exactly as you suggested to modify the comfort layers to create a zone to accommodate your shoulders. Obviously this would require cutting open a brand new mattress and modifying it which is why both Phoenix and I had suggested maybe going with a design where the cover was already zippable (making any further changes very easy for you to do). I understand why you might be worried that since you are close with this mattress you don't want to give that up but sometimes you need to assess how much work it is to take something that's close and make it perfect versus designing your own in DIY fashion. A DIY hybrid latex bed is perfectly doable since you already know what the layer specs look like inside the MGM. You also mentioned flexible slat style bases (swiss bed) and those may work too (I highly suggest trying one in store if possible) but again whatever you chose may need some amount of tuning to make it work perfectly for you. Anyway I'm not here to sway you towards DIY vs manufactured, but hopefully this helps you understand the thought process you need to be able to accomplish your goal.
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