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Searched for: alexander
26 Jun 2022 00:38
  • Jaceinwinter
  • Jaceinwinter's Avatar
Update: I bought a Sparrow plush (aka. Alexander hybrid) from Nest bedding. Bed was hard as rock, with significantly more off-gassing than the As5. Still searching. Advice appreciated.
14 May 2022 20:04
  • phoenix
  • phoenix's Avatar
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
12 May 2022 11:58
  • yloc88
  • yloc88's Avatar
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!
01 Jan 2022 08:53
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar
It's hard to know what will work perfectly for you until you try it but I'd say your design looks like a good starting point and should give you plenty of adjustability if you need to tweak it a bit. The key is to make sure the lower two layers are firm enough to give you the support you need, then after that you can tweak the design as needed (including zoning if necessary). You can move layers up or down in the design as well to slightly change the feel/support (keeping in mind it will affect both). Lower back pain from a mattress is usually from poor alignment so having good support while still allowing travel in the lower back area will be important for your design (again this is why I suggested talalay for the support layers as well).
31 Dec 2021 16:36
  • Byronsleeps
  • Byronsleeps's Avatar
I was thinking of going with the softer ILD for my side:

2" Talalay 19 ILD (no split)
3" Talalay 28
3" Talalay 32
3" Talalay 36

My thinking is that I could go firmer by moving the firmer layers up. If I go with the firmer ILD’s, it feels like I can’t make it softer if it’s too firm. Is right idea or am I missing anything?
16 Dec 2021 04:50
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Sweet Dreams's Avatar
Just a point regarding availability of very firm latex, Sleep EZ offers 44ILD Dunlop latex as Extra Firm and Sleep On Latex offers 46ILD Dunlop in their Firm classification. Both are regularly stocked not requiring a special order. I have layers of both and they're great quality, excelling as support layers for heavier sleepers.

- Bill
15 Dec 2021 13:08
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar

Thanks for the breakdown. That helps a lot.

I haven't really seen some of those ILD on the different latex websites. Usually it's 19, 28, 38 ILD or a range of 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34 ILD. I haven't seen a 44 ILD either. Do I just have to call them and request it?

I noticed you're suggesting all Talalay, but I see a lot of builds recommend dunlop for support. Is it more of a feel preference or is there a some other thing I'm not aware of?

Also, Would having 3 layers of 2" soft/ 3" med/ 3" firm work or is that just not enough support?


All latex foam is spec'd in ranges for the ILD. If you see a single number then they have either taken the average or sometimes they spec the high/low number from the range (depending on what their marketing folks wanted). Also keep in mind there are really only 2 talalay manufacturers (really just one since Radium is having trouble getting product over from Europe) while there are lots more dunlop manufacturers. Also latex foams have both natural and blended types to chose from and both will also create different firmness ranges. So if you see a firmness range of 20-24 ILD then assume the rating will be roughly a 22 ILD or if you see 30-34 ILD then assume that's a 32 ILD. The 44 ILD is super firm and it's definitely special order (not commonly stocked) so it will not usually be on anyone's website.

Talalay is the most conforming of the latex foams while dunlop is very firm and provides great support. You were complaining about your lower back which to me is likely due to a lack of travel in the bum area so talalay will work best there. Your wife is also a side sleeper so that's another area where talalay really excels over dunlop. Feel free to experiment with dunlop as well since you're the only one that can tell what is the most comfortable.

You might get away with that height mattress but I suspect that in the end you'll find you just don't have enough travel to feel comfortable and adding that last support layer will give you the missing piece. You can always just order the comfort and top 2 support layers first and then order the additional layers after as needed. I would definitely get split layers because then if you don't get things right on the first go you can easily substitute for different layers without affecting both sides of the bed at once.
15 Dec 2021 09:43
  • Byronsleeps
  • Byronsleeps's Avatar

Yes, top comfort layer is the same for both sides (not split) then you only adjust the bottom layers (split).

This is what I'd suggest given your preferences and BMIs (there may be some further adjustment needed if either have curvy or bony body types)

Your side:
2" Talalay 19 ILD (no split)
3" Talalay 28 or 32 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 32 or 36 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 36 or 44 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)

Her side:
2" Talalay 19 ILD (no split, same as your side above)
3" Talalay 22 ILD
3" Talalay 28 ILD
3" Talalay 32 ILD


Thanks for the breakdown. That helps a lot.

I haven't really seen some of those ILD on the different latex websites. Usually it's 19, 28, 38 ILD or a range of 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34 ILD. I haven't seen a 44 ILD either. Do I just have to call them and request it?

I noticed you're suggesting all Talalay, but I see a lot of builds recommend dunlop for support. Is it more of a feel preference or is there a some other thing I'm not aware of?

Also, Would having 3 layers of 2" soft/ 3" med/ 3" firm work or is that just not enough support?
15 Dec 2021 05:45
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar

I like the idea of customization. Would you just adjust the bottom 3 layers and leave the 2" on top? Would it be okay to get split layers for every layer or just for the top layers?

I'm trying to slowly ease myself into this type of build, so maybe I'll do it step by step. Trying to minimize cost if possible.

My wife is mostly a side sleeper, but sleeps in all positions. She's 5'3" and about 120lbs.

Thanks for all your help!


Yes, top comfort layer is the same for both sides (not split) then you only adjust the bottom layers (split).

This is what I'd suggest given your preferences and BMIs (there may be some further adjustment needed if either have curvy or bony body types)

Your side:
2" Talalay 19 ILD (no split)
3" Talalay 28 or 32 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 32 or 36 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 36 or 44 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)

Her side:
2" Talalay 19 ILD (no split, same as your side above)
3" Talalay 22 ILD
3" Talalay 28 ILD
3" Talalay 32 ILD
14 Dec 2021 14:49
  • Byronsleeps
  • Byronsleeps's Avatar


The most basic design for a DIY latex mattress is the all 3" layer S/M/F setup. It's good for most people but may not be ideal since the comfort layer is 3" and you only get 6" of support layers below. Of course everything works together in tandem but it's easier to conceptualize it this way. Now another design is to use a 2" comfort layer then add 3" support layers to better tailor your comfort and support as needed. Again this allows a bit more adjustment than the simpler design and as such it's likely to work better for a wider range of folks since you have more adjustment.

Basic:
3" Talalay 19 ILD
3" Talalay 28 ILD
3" Talalay 36 ILD

Better: (your side only, need your wife's height/weight to do her side)
2" Talalay 19 ILD
3" Talalay 28 or 32 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 32 or 36 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 36 or 44 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)


I like the idea of customization. Would you just adjust the bottom 3 layers and leave the 2" on top? Would it be okay to get split layers for every layer or just for the top layers?

I'm trying to slowly ease myself into this type of build, so maybe I'll do it step by step. Trying to minimize cost if possible.

My wife is mostly a side sleeper, but sleeps in all positions. She's 5'3" and about 120lbs.

Thanks for all your help!
14 Dec 2021 14:01
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar

I'm trying to remedy the situation without spending too much money up front. I was thinking I could buy the 3" medium Talalay for my side and if that doesn't work, I could do a 3" firm/3" med/3"soft latex build since I would already have 2 split 3" med and 1 split 3" tal soft. Are you suggesting the 3"firm/3"med/2"soft would be a better way to go for a diy build?

One other note is that I sleep on my side about 20% (probably because my back hurts). So I guess I'll need a bit more softness for that as well.


The most basic design for a DIY latex mattress is the all 3" layer S/M/F setup. It's good for most people but may not be ideal since the comfort layer is 3" and you only get 6" of support layers below. Of course everything works together in tandem but it's easier to conceptualize it this way. Now another design is to use a 2" comfort layer then add 3" support layers to better tailor your comfort and support as needed. Again this allows a bit more adjustment than the simpler design and as such it's likely to work better for a wider range of folks since you have more adjustment.

Basic:
3" Talalay 19 ILD
3" Talalay 28 ILD
3" Talalay 36 ILD

Better: (your side only, need your wife's height/weight to do her side)
2" Talalay 19 ILD
3" Talalay 28 or 32 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 32 or 36 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
3" Talalay 36 or 44 ILD (back sleeping use the firmer option, side softer)
14 Dec 2021 12:02
  • Byronsleeps
  • Byronsleeps's Avatar

The 3" medium talalay is likely going to work better than just adding another 2" soft topper to everything you already have. If you wanted to give yourself the best chance of solving it I would get both a 3" medium (28 ILD) and a 3" firm (32 ILD) then also get the 2" soft (19 ILD) talalay to put on top. Doing it this way you can simply reuse those layers again in a full DIY latex mattress build for you and your wife if this fix doesn't work. Also you can then test if zoning with 28/32 ILD creates more relief in your lower back and the upper comfort layer will also help with giving you more travel where you need it.


I'm trying to remedy the situation without spending too much money up front. I was thinking I could buy the 3" medium Talalay for my side and if that doesn't work, I could do a 3" firm/3" med/3"soft latex build since I would already have 2 split 3" med and 1 split 3" tal soft. Are you suggesting the 3"firm/3"med/2"soft would be a better way to go for a diy build?

One other note is that I sleep on my side about 20% (probably because my back hurts). So I guess I'll need a bit more softness for that as well.
14 Dec 2021 11:06
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar

I guess I should have gone with the Talalay medium instead of Dunlop. I can't exchange the latex again as Latex Mattress Factory only allows for one exchange. I am considering buying The Talalay medium and trying that out. I feel like I'm slowly making my way to a DIY latex mattress anyway...

The other considering would be to get a 2" talalay soft topper. I don't think my wife would mind going softer anyway. Only issue with that, is I'm not sure what I would do with it if it didn't work out.

If I wanted to zone my side, how difficult is it to cut latex?


The 3" medium talalay is likely going to work better than just adding another 2" soft topper to everything you already have. If you wanted to give yourself the best chance of solving it I would get both a 3" medium (28 ILD) and a 3" firm (32 ILD) then also get the 2" soft (19 ILD) talalay to put on top. Doing it this way you can simply reuse those layers again in a full DIY latex mattress build for you and your wife if this fix doesn't work. Also you can then test if zoning with 28/32 ILD creates more relief in your lower back and the upper comfort layer will also help with giving you more travel where you need it.

Zoning: Don't cut any latex sheets until you've decided it works for you (always test them in place first prior to cutting so you know it feels good and where the cut lines should be for any zoning). Once you've decided on zoning then you can cut the latex with an electric carving knife (try to keep your cuts as straight/perpendicular as possible so the edges fit together well). You may find just the talalay medium or firm layer along with the softer comfort makes a big enough difference it solves your issue (remember simple designs are always better) but at least you have options if it doesn't work perfectly the first time.
14 Dec 2021 10:01
  • Byronsleeps
  • Byronsleeps's Avatar
I guess I should have gone with the Talalay medium instead of Dunlop. I can't exchange the latex again as Latex Mattress Factory only allows for one exchange. I am considering buying The Talalay medium and trying that out. I feel like I'm slowly making my way to a DIY latex mattress anyway...

The other considering would be to get a 2" talalay soft topper. I don't think my wife would mind going softer anyway. Only issue with that, is I'm not sure what I would do with it if it didn't work out.

If I wanted to zone my side, how difficult is it to cut latex?
14 Dec 2021 07:22
  • Mattrebuild
  • Mattrebuild's Avatar

Thanks for all the help Nikki.

I returned the 3" Queen Talalay soft for split 3" Talalay soft and split 3" Dunlop medium. My wife loves the soft, so I didn't want to mess with her side. At least she's much happier with our bed now. After 2 nights I feel the tension on my lower back again as I did previously. I'm going to adjust my pillow and see if that can help any.

I'm wondering if adding a 1" or 2" latex soft topper would be of any help. I feel like the rest of my body likes the slightly firmer feel, but my lower back just doesn't get enough support. Or maybe adding small pillow under my lower back would help? I've tried adding rolled up towels before, but it seems to cause pressure on my middle back. Are there any recommended lumbar pillows?

The other alternative would be to scrap the coils and make an all latex bed, but I'm not convinced that would solve my problems. It feels like my upper and lower body has different needs.

Any insights greatly appreciated.


Here's what's inside your mattress:



It's basically appears to be several layers of memory/poly foam. So that's why it would feel better on your upper back when switching to medium dunlop (much firmer, less travel) on the comfort layer but for the same reason this is also why it hurts your lower back (dunlop allows less travel than talalay which can be a problem when the bum doesn't travel into the mattress enough so the lower back is supported). While you could try swapping the dunlop medium for a talalay medium or perhaps even zone the layer with a soft/medium talalay from the waist down. I'm not totally sure this would fix your issue since your really creating a Band-Aid to fix the mattress itself (however it's worth trying because it would be the simplest fix and your wife is already happy with her side). Not to create a DIY project out of this but a final option is you could reuse the insides (foams/coils) and get a new cover that would allow you to make adjustments to both your side and your wife's separately. This is the most custom option and it can be expensive while also taking a while to perfect but it's also the most likely to give you exactly what you're looking for. Some things to think about anyway.
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