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Re: The best foundations or base for a latex or all foam mattress 08 Dec 2012 14:36 #1

Hello. I recently purchased a natural talalay 6" all latex mattress in firm and wanted to try it on the floor before deciding on a foundation. After one night, there's no doubt that it's definitely going to be too firm for a solid foundation, so now I'm trying to decide between a box spring and a flexible slatted foundation. I tried solid latex over a box spring at Escondido Mattress and it felt wonderful! I didn't purchase that particular sleep system because it couldn't be made vegan and because I've read that a box spring isn't ideal for latex life and performance. It also seems to defeat the purpose of solid latex because I would think that it would add pressure points. So, I'm guessing that the flexible slatted foundation may be an option that's closer to the ideal foundation for latex but I'm hoping that someone can tell me if they feel at all similar to a box spring. I'm defninitely open to the box spring idea if I'm wrong in my thinking about them. My only other concern at that point would be that my mattress is really just latex inside a zipper cover, so there would be fairly direct contact between the latex and the springs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much for this wonderful resource!!!

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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 08 Dec 2012 22:20 #2

Hi Debbielc21,

This would depend a lot on knowing more information about you (height, weight, sleeping position, preferences), more about the different firmness levels of the latex mattress at Escondido and the one you have, and a more complete description of the "symptoms" you are experiencing, where they are, and the best you can do to "quantify" or describe how much more softness or give you need under your mattress (this is difficult because it is so subjective).

There are also two different design theories at work here. Some manufacturers (such as Escondido Mattress Factory ) will use a thinner mattress and put it on a flexing foundation to provide any extra "give" you may need under your pressure points (which would be reduced just like you experienced at Escondido rather than increase them). This results on a firmer sleeping surface that 'bends" more into the box spring under the thinner mattress (typically 6"). Original Mattress Factory is another manufacturer that uses "active" box springs under their mattresses (and in their case they use it under all their mattresses even the thicker ones).

The other design theory is using a few inches of softer latex (or even other materials) as a separate comfort layer in the mattress. This would provide a softer surface that would tend to be more pressure relieving and have a softer surface feel and you would sink more into the material itself. This is by far a more common approach. Which is "better" depends on your preferences because they have a different feel. The active box spring wouldn't lower the durability of the latex but it would change the feel and performance of the mattress (which of course is the goal).

A flexible slatted foundation would be similar to a boxspring in its performance and would provide more give under your thinner mattress. Again though ... how well this would work would depend on the firmness of the latex (if it was too firm the box springs or flexible slats may not be enough). Some flexible slat systems can even be adjusted for specific parts of the body (such as making it softer under the shoulders or hips).

So the first step is deciding on which approach you prefer (firmer surface with box springs or flexible slatted foundation or a softer topper) and then with more information deciding on which foundation or topper would do the best job for you and best match your preferences.

Phoenix
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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 09 Dec 2012 19:24 #3

Hi Phoenix. Thanks so much for your response. The different options make a lot more sense now. My specs: I'm 5'1" and 110 pounds and I tend to sleep on my side. I'm not sure about the ILD on my mattress or the one that I tried at Escondido but they're both firm. Mine is the 100% natural talalay from FoamOrder.com (they say they special order their talalay but didn't seem to want to say where from and I didn't push it) and the salesman at Escondido told me that they mostly use Sleep Comp natural talalay. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to layer different firmnesses because of the special order rules, so I chose firm vs. medium because I generally like a firmer mattress and don't like the sinking in feeling. I'm hoping that I didn't make a mistake because with it on the floor, there doesn't seem to be any give at all. The pressure on my shoulders is even making my arms fall asleep and I'm waking up with a bit of a stiff back. Plus, it's difficult to get in a comfortable position to fall asleep. I'd say it feels only slightly softer than actually sleeping on the floor.

After reading what you wrote about the different theories behind comfort options, I think I'm probably most interested in the different foundation types; mostly because I did like the way the Escondido Mattress Factory system felt and because I need a foundation anyway. Adding a topper would not be something I could do right away for cost reasons but I'm open to it down the road if it seems to be the best solution. If I understood you correctly, both box springs and flexible slatted foundations have a similar feel? If this is the case, I guess I should just go with the less expensive of the two? If not, cost will not be the deciding factor because I want to get whatever will be best, since I plan to keep it for a long time. My only other considerations will be adding some height since the mattress is only 6" and it will need to work on a metal bed frame that has a standard Ikea wood slat removable base, although I wouldn't mind switching the slats out if necessary.

On a side note, are you familiar with a product called FireGard ( www.firegard.com/ )? My latex was put inside this FireGard "sock" under the zipper cover in order to be fire compliant. The salesman wouldn't come right out and say whether it was made of anything toxic, just that it is a fire resistant fiber and that it wasn't dipped in fire retardant chemicals. I'm asking because it can be easily cut off if it is toxic but if not, I feel like I might as well leave it. I found it difficult to get a clear idea of what it really is when I looked at their website.

I look forward to any advice that you may have. Thanks again for your help and your awesome website. Not sure what I would have ended up with without it :)

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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 10 Dec 2012 04:05 #4

Hi Debbilc21,

It's always a good idea to talk with the manufacturer of your mattress about any fine tuning you may want to do. This is particularly true if they are knowledgeable which Alan at foam order certainly is. They would have good experience in fine tuning their specific mattresses after a sale based on the feedback of their customers.

I don't have a reference point of the specifics of your mattress or the Escondido mattress or box spring you liked so it's not really possible for me to make a specific suggestions because your mattress may be different from the Escondido mattress and you may not be able to find the boxspring they used. While a flexible slat system will provide some extra give under your mattress ... it may not be the same as the Escondido combination.

My tendency though would be towards the topper because you may not be able to find the combination that matched the Escondido mattress and box spring and the cost of most flexible foundations or adjustable slatted foundations would not be much different from a firm foundation and a topper and this would be much easier to estimate more accurately. This is also because your mattress may still be too firm even with a flexible foundation or box spring.

A good general suggestion for a topper that would apply to many people with a firm 6" latex mattress would be about 2-3" of softer latex. Your weight may do well with about 19 ILD and I would probably tend towards 2" because of your preference for a firmer mattress.

If you do decide on a flexible slat base or tension adjustable base ... there are some sources of tension adjustable slatted foundations in the foundation thread here . This one may be a good choice because it is fairly low cost and can be used as a flexible slatted base under certain parts of the body but can also be used a a solid base if that doesn't work for you. The Idea options are also low cost but they need a base to go under them (such as an Ikea bed).

On a side note, are you familiar with a product called FireGard ( www.firegard.com/ )? My latex was put inside this FireGard "sock" under the zipper cover in order to be fire compliant. The salesman wouldn't come right out and say whether it was made of anything toxic, just that it is a fire resistant fiber and that it wasn't dipped in fire retardant chemicals.


I don't have any specific information outside of what is on the website no.

Phoenix
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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 11 Dec 2012 11:36 #5

Thank you!

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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 20 Dec 2012 00:50 #6

Hi Phoenix. I'm going with your suggestion of the 2" 19 ILD topper. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding that ILD in a 100% natural Talalay. It seems that Latex International only goes down to 22 (at least that's what one retailer told me). Are there specific suppliers/online retailers that you can point me towards? Thanks.
-Debbie

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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 20 Dec 2012 02:18 #7

Hi Debbielc21,

19 ILD is one of the ILD ratings for Latex Internationals blended Talalay. Their 100% natural Talalay is rated on a different scale from N1 to N5 and each rating could be a range of ILD's. Most suppliers don't carry the N1 and their softest version is the N2 which is in the "range" of 22 ILD.

If you are committed to 100% natural Talalay ... then Sleep Like a Bear has all the products and ILD's that are made by Latex International in a range of thicknesses including the N1 even though they are a little more expensive than some other suppliers. As you can see here , the N1 is between 14 and 19.99 ILD and the N2 is between 20 and 24.99 ILD (with a nominal ILD of 22).

Several of the suppliers listed in post #4 here carry 100% natural Talalay made by both Radium and LI (including SleepEz and Mattresses.net) and it may be worth calling them to find out the softest version they have because they often have layers that aren't listed on their site although I don't think they carry the softest 100% natural Talalay layers because of potential durability issues with softer ILD's in 100% natural Talalay.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 20 Dec 2012 03:19 #8

Thank you! That would have taken me a month to figure out on my own :)

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Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 20 Dec 2012 19:54 #9

Hi Debbielc21,

You're very welcome :)

I hope you have the chance to let us know about your choice and how it works out.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Choosing a topper or a box spring to soften a 6" all latex mattres 10 Jan 2013 02:51 #10

Hi Phoenix. I was hoping to report that the soft 2" topper was the solution and that I was sleeping great. Unfortunately, it only provided minimal relief from the overly firm latex that I chose. If it was you, would you exchange it for a 3" soft topper or add flexible slats? The pressure on my shoulders is the main thing that hurts. I do use a flat, cervical pillow, so I'm thinking maybe I need a lot of give under my shoulders since they don't get much elevation from the pillow? Thanks again.

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