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Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 01:53 #1

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First I would like to thank you for a wonderfully informative site, and for the guidance in the potentially complex process of purchasing a new bed.

That said, I was wondering if you are at all familiar with the "Lady Americana (made by Diamond Mattress) Sweda Bliss" Talalay latex bed. I am having trouble finding much information on it and was hoping you might offer your thoughts/knowledge. When I am out looking at beds I have made a habit of reading the tags, however most list percentages which doesnt really tell you much about the layers or where they are located, or what type/grade of polyurethane is in them. Thanks for your help.

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Re: Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 16:58 #2

Hi Anonymous,

I like the Sweda mattresses and depending on the price of course they can also be good value. I also like what Diamond is doing with their other brands as well like the Ethos and while they don't have Lady Americana/Sweda information on their website, they do have good information about their other mattresses.

Like any mattress of course ... their value depends on what is in them. There is some limited information here along with pricing about the different models (and you are right there aren't a lot of places which show their specs). In the case of the Bliss it has 6" of Talalay latex over a zoned polyfoam core. I would want to know a few more details such as the density of the polyfoam support core (which determines its quality), the ILD (softness/firmness) of the latex layering, and whether there is any polyfoam over the latex (which I don't think there is but I would want to confirm this), but overall it seems to me to be good value.

I also agree with you that the law tags are a little difficult to "translate". They are certainly useful to find out about the presence of different materials but because they are listed by weight rather than thickness ... they can't really tell you much about the thickness of the layers, the quality of some of the materials, or the order of the layers.

In terms of the quality, the good news is that there isn't any "bad" Talalay latex and all of it is a high quality material. While there are different versions that can be made from blended latex (SBR/NR mix) or all natural latex (NR) and can be sourced from either Latex International or Radium (the two manufacturers of talalay latex that is in almost all North American mattresses), any of these are a very high quality material. Of course as you mentioned it says nothing about the Polyurethane or the ordering of the layers.

IMO ... these would be well worth testing to make sure they are suitable for your weight, body shape, sleeping positions, and preferences and with a little extra information from the retail outlet (or even Diamond mattress if needed) I would certainly consider them as a good option.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 17:45 #3

Hi Phoenix,

I was the one who made the original post, I thought I was logged in at the time. Thank you for the reply. I actually came across the Sweda Bliss mattress while looking for a Diamond mattress as recommended on the site. I am actually replacing a bed that is not that old (6-7 years-Stearns and Foster Kildwick) which I have really liked but am starting to think it no longer provides the firmness/support I need (lower back issues that may have started in the past year or two). It's a very plush euro pillow top and when I first get in it, it feels extremely comfortable, but it seems my hips sink pretty deep into it, and possibly even deeper after a nights sleep. I read the tags on it and it says 91% polyurethane foam. Do you think its safe to assume that foam may have lost some resiliancy in 6-7 years and no longer is offering the support it should? I dont see any visible sagging in the mattress. I'm 6'2", around 200lbs. Like I said, it is still extremely comfortable when you first get in, like a "cloud", it's really only the support that is my concern. I really hate replacing that bed as I spent quite a lot on it when I bought it and dont feel I got the years out of it I should have. However, when I bought it I was nowhere near as educated on the topic as I am now thanks to your site, and I was a bit younger, and didnt have a lower back problem.

What are your thoughts on mattress toppers. I think I've heard you say that you really shouldnt need one if you found the right bed, which makes sense, but what about extending the life of an older bed? It's seems logical that you could add a latex topper and get more of cushy, "cloud" type feel but how does that affect support? Is it possible to add a topper that would give an older/softer bed more support (seems to go against logic)? Thanks again.

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Re: Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 20:13 #4

Hi sndslpr,

Your post is a great chance to expand on some of the most common frustrations (at least for me and I know many others) in the mattress industry and one of the reasons I make some of the suggestions that I do.

There are really 3 stages or processes of foam "breakdown". The first stage is often referred to as the break in period. This is the initial 90 days or so when most polyfoam or memory foam will soften more rapidly. The lower the quality of foam (measured by density) ... the more this will happen.

The second stage of foam breakdown is the more gradual softening that happens after this. Once again ... the lower the quality of the foam the faster this will happen.

The last stage of foam breakdown is when it actually starts to form deeper impressions and starts to break down and degrade. Once again .... the lower the quality of foam (or the higher the weight of the people on the mattress) the faster this will happen even though this is a longer term process.

Warranties don't cover the first two because they have what are called "exclusions" and a warranty claim will only be honored if the actual impression when someone is off the mattress is deeper than the exclusion (in many cases 1.5" but sometimes .75" with better quality memory foam or latex). Polyfoam and memory foam will still have enough resiliency left to come back "close to level" long after the softening process (stage 1 and 2) has made the mattress unsuitable for sleeping.

This is also one of the reasons I like good quality latex because the initial softening is much less than other foams, the more gradual softening process takes much longer, and the breakdown takes even longer yet. While all foam that is used in the upper layers of a mattress will go through these three processes .... good quality latex will last much longer for every stage (although all foam materials have higher quality more durable versions and lower quality less durable versions).

Almost all of the major manufacturers use several inches of lower density soft polyfoam (or a fiber that will compress) in their mattress and the thicker these layers are and the closer to the top of the mattress they are ... the more they are likely to become the weak link of the mattress. A mattress with say 2" of low quality/density foam or more near the top will greatly increase the odds that the mattress will lose the properties that make it suitable for a particular individual even though all the rest of the foam and the innersprings are still in good shape. In those few cases where these major manufacturers don't have the lower quality foam in their mattress ... the prices are often much higher than a similar quality mattress bought from a local manufacturer.

When a foam softens ... if you put a high quality topper on top of it ... the softened layers become the support layers for the topper over it and the topper will follow the soft spots or any sagging in the mattress when there is weight on it which is why it is much more difficult to try and "fix" a mattress that has softened in a particular area (usually the heavier areas of the body such as the hips and pelvic area) or where the comfort layers were too soft or thick initially by adding a topper. At best a firmer topper may provide a partial or temporary solution and at worst it could make things worse (it could make the top layer you are sleeping on too firm in terms of "comfort" and pressure relief and the layers underneath it may still be too soft to provide good support/alignment under the topper). Support comes primarily from the deeper layers of the mattress and while adding a topper can help with pressure relief and "fix" a mattress that is too firm ... it will only have a minimal to small and likely temporary effect on the support properties of the mattress (see post #4 here as well)

Turning a mattress (more often in the beginning and then less frequently) or even better yet flipping it as well (for a 2 sided mattress which most major manufacturers don't make any more) can significantly delay these processes but won't stop them. This is often another advantage to buying a mattress from a local manufacturer because many of them will fix an issue like this if it becomes necessary by replacing the problem layer for a very reasonable charge.

6-7 years is well within the range where any lower quality foam will have softened enough to cause the types of issues you are having with your mattress ... and it's often much less. This is called "built in obsolescence", is done by intent IMO, and is not covered by warranty because of the exclusions I mentioned earlier in this post. The heavier a person is and the more mechanical stress that their sleeping habits create on the upper layers of a mattress ... the faster these processes will occur.

Some of the options to check or that may help if a mattress becomes less supportive because of the softening or breakdown of materials (or was too soft originally) include ...

1. Check the foundation of your mattress to make sure the loss or lack of support is in the mattress itself and not in the foundation (where the mattress is following a dip in the foundation or innerspring under the mattress). The same holds true for the bed or frame that the foundation is resting on. You can test this by putting the mattress on the floor as well to see if it has the same issues.

2. A product such as the Mattress Remedy or the Mattress Helper (check google for best pricing) or zzzboard placed under the mattress in the area of the sag may provide some help. This is not a perfect solution and can have varying degrees of success depending on circumstances but if it works to provide the extra support you need in the area you need it, it can at least allow you to keep your mattress for a while longer. EDIT: The mattress remedy is no longer available as they have "lost the patent" but they may be working on something similar so I've left it here so that those who read this can check.

3. Thick folded blankets, layers of felted carpet padding, or layers of firmer foam placed under the middle third of your mattress in the area of the sag may give you enough "extra" support in the areas that are sagging similar to #2 to extend the life of your mattress. 1x3" or 1x4" wooden slats placed over your current slats or foundation under the area of the body that needs extra support or to be "lifted" (typically under the pelvis, the lumbar arch, or both) can also provide some extra support under specific areas of the body that may be sinking down or sagging too much and help with alignment You can see an example from one of the members here with some pictures in post #9 here and there are also some suggestions in post #11 here about zoning that may be helpful as well.

4. A product such as a night roll described in the video here may help to provide better support for the recessed areas of the body (such as the waist or small of the back) and may provide better spinal alignment on a mattress that is either too soft or that has developed soft spots or visible impressions and would be well worth a try.

5. Even though the bottom of a one sided mattress isn't really designed for sleeping on and is meant to provide very firm support over a foundation ... it may be worth trying to turn the mattress over and using a topper to add a comfort layer on top of the firmer bottom side. This may or may not work depending on the thickness and softness of the layers that are now on the bottom and whether they are too thick and soft to provide good alignment and support but it would probably be worth risking the price of a good quality topper (and there is less risk if the topper can be returned or exchanged for a different firmness level) instead of replacing the mattress. If you choose to go in this direction there is more information in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to in post #8 here that would be helpful. Since there is usually little give or contouring on the bottom of a mattress to act as a transition layer between the softer top layer (topper) and the firmer support layer of the mattress I would probably lean towards a topper in the 3" - 4" range.

6. If you have a memory foam mattress then adding a topper or a "zoning material" on top of the mattress can reduce the amount of body heat that reaches the memory foam and can help keep it firmer or slow down the time it takes to become softer over the course of the night which can have some effect on improving the firmness and support of the memory foam under the heavier parts of the body which may be "just enough" to make a difference ... at least for a while (see this topic )

7. Turning down the thermostat in your bedroom so you have a cooler sleeping environment may firm up memory foam somewhat or once again slow down the length of time it takes to become softer over the course of the night.

8. Rebuilding your mattress. This would be possible if there is a local manufacturer near you that is willing to do this and can replace any failing layers or layers that are too thick or soft with better quality materials or build a more suitable design using some of the old layers or components and then close up the mattress again so in effect you have an "almost new" mattress with a professional "finished" appearance at a much lower cost than replacing the whole mattress. In the case of a component mattress with a zip cover of course then you could replace individual layers.

9. Mattress Surgery. This can be a last resort when there are no other reasonable options. This involves cutting open the mattress ... removing the layers of foam inside that either are or will cause problems ... and then replacing them with higher quality foam over the innersprings or other mattress support layers (which will almost certainly still be fine). The current mattress ticking can either be re-used (either re-sewn or velcroed back together) or a zipper mattress ticking that fits the thickness of your "new" mattress can be used. While this can certainly be fun, it can also be intimidating and challenging (and can be difficult to remove foam in some mattresses if the layers are glued together) and would involve some research into what foams you would use to replace the ones you have. There is more about mattress surgery in post #2 here .

So outside of removing and replacing layers that are either sagging or are too soft there are really no great options to fix a sagging mattress, a mattress that was too soft initially, or a mattress that has developed soft spots but there are at least lower cost ways that might be worth trying that may help enough to extend the life of what you have. The real issue is that these types of mattresses are so common in the industry today ... even in the higher budget "premium" mattresses ... and that so many people are facing the same issues as you are, many of them after even less time than yours.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 23:18 #5

Thanks again for your time and effort in answering my questions. This really helps me a lot.

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Re: Sweda - Bliss 02 Jan 2012 23:45 #6

Hi sndslpr,

I just realized I forgot the link for the "mattress remedy" in option #2 in my last post. It's now fixed :)

Phoenix
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Re: Sweda - Bliss 05 Jan 2012 02:00 #7

Hi Phoenix,

I was able to get this from Diamond, I uploaded in case it will help you, or others. I am still working on getting some more details, but it does say "Hi Density Support Foam" so I would take that as a good sign. I was also told it has "eco-flex orthopedic foam support base".
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Re: Sweda - Bliss 05 Jan 2012 04:29 #8

Hi sndslpr,

Thanks for sharing that information. I really appreciate it when the members of the forum share some of the information they are given so I can add to my "collection" :)

I took a look and the information is unfortunately not quite as detailed as I would hope was available and similar to what is posted on several retailer websites. What is missing is the more specific layering information and the density of any polyfoam and/or memory foam they are using. While Diamond is very open about their own brands (although they have some missing information as well) ... more detailed Lady Americana information is more difficult to find.

HD (High Density) polyfoam for example can be anywhere from 1.8 lbs density (some manufacturers even call 1.5 lb High Density) all the way up to 2.4 lbs density and the higher densities are both better quality and more expensive. Talalay latex is almost always "good" since there are only 2 main sources used and they both make high quality Talalay latex in both their blended and natural versions. Dunlop has a wide variety of different qualities and in this case I like to make sure that it is 100% natural as this is usually better quality than blended or synthetic Dunlop. I have no doubt that Lady Americana is using at least 1.8 lb polyfoam and possibly even higher ... but it would be nice to know for sure (Tempurpedic for example uses 2.3 lb polyfoam under their memory foam).

The grade of polyfoam above HD is normally called HR (High Resilience) and is made from different and better quality materials. It starts from 2.5 lbs density and goes up from there. There are also higher quality polyfoams available that are less than 2.5 lbs so can't technically be called HR but are often referred to as "high performance" foams. They use "high performance polyols" in their manufacturing. Orthopedic is usually a general term meaning "firm and supporting" for the musculoskeletal system which is not really an indicator of the quality of the foam. Eco-flex is a brand name and the eco part means that they are probably using plant based polyols to replace part of the petrochemicals used in the manufacture of the polyfoam. Eco and other green sounding names are a common naming convention and a growing trend with many polyfoam and memory foam manufacturers these days as a way of trying to create the perception that polyfoam that uses some plant based ingredients is a "green" material (when of course its a step in the right direction but it's anything but green). To their credit the percentage of plant based polyols that are being used to replace petrochemical polyols is gradually increasing as the technology becomes better.

I have been hoping to have a longer conversation with the people at Diamond who actually manufacture their mattresses because most of the questions I tend to ask often can't be answered by the people who answer the phone but so far we haven't managed to connect. Even without knowing some of the more technical information about what types of foam they are using in either their own or the Lady Americana mattresses ... I am impressed with the information they do provide and they are among the better wholesale manufacturers in terms of the quality of information that is available on their website (even though the Lady Americana information is missing).

So thanks again for sharing what you found ... and if you do find out the information about the density of the foams they are using before I do, I'd love to know.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Sweda - Bliss 07 Feb 2012 03:00 #9

Got a little more info from Diamond;
Talalay Latex: 4" 19ild, 2" 24ild = total of 6"
Base foam: 1.8lb

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Re: Sweda - Bliss 08 Feb 2012 08:11 #10

Hi sndslpr,

Thanks for this :)

Phoenix
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