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- Putting the layers together - overview
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Putting the layers together - overview
How do I create a supportive mattress out of latex ? I tend to like firm support with a little cushy top.
Like all other components in a mattress, latex too comes in higher ILDs that would make it an ideal supportive layer within a mattress (Firm, Xfirm between 32 to 44 ILD would be a good application of it). The goal is to determine the best layering configuration for you ... but from the description of your current setup, you are clearly missing the support (base layer) that would ensure that you have enough primary support to keep your spine in neutral alignment, the 3” of medium Dunlop would help with some of the secondary support needed but it would not be enough to provide adequate primary support. There is also more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to 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 may be useful as well as you go through this process.
It seems I almost have an all latex ,just missing the suppotiveness to get rid of lower back pain. My hips drop down so alignment is off. I have posted before nut don't think I was very clear with what I was asking.
I was not able to find your previous posting detailing this but generally, I’d keep in mind that the different layers in a mattress are usually designed in such a way that the complete mattress will have both supportive qualities and pressure relieving qualities. The core of the mattress which is the middle and bottom parts (usually innersprings, latex, or higher quality polyfoam) is the part that is primarily responsible for supporting the heavier parts of your body and keeping them from sinking in too far.
I can certainly understand your frustration ... not having a supportive sleeping surface is usually the main reason for lower back pains and this is also the main difference between sinking in and sinking down I've been using in the hammock example. If you lie on a hammock your middle parts will sink "DOWN" further than the upper and lower parts of your body even though you are not sinking "IN" to the surface of the hammock at all. Sinking "IN is all about the depth or your pressure relieving cradle while sinking DOWN is all about whether one part is "traveling" too far relative to the others.
The first step is to try to work out a way to determine if the heavier parts of your body are sinking in too far and add an appropriate base layer. You did not mention your BMI and sleeping position which also are important in assuring that yoiu do not have too thick/soft comfort layer for your needs. Ultimately only you can feel what you feel on the mattress because we are all built differently and have different needs and preferences which makes it a bit of a trial and error process. This is all part of the 'art and science" of mattress design and is part of the reason why working with an "expert" can be so valuable. Your "job" is to describe the symptoms as accurately and specifically as you can ... their role is to use their knowledge and experience to the best of their ability to help you decide on the types of changes that have the best odds of solving the issues you are facing with your DIY project.
Your post #10 here (which I just moved in this thread to help keep all your details in one place and make it easier to assist you) clarifies my previous dilemma regarding your DIY and missing a base/support layer salvaged from your previous mattress and are currently reusing under the two new latex layers. I am glad to hear that with the new configuration the hip pain was alleviated but it seems that you still have a bit of legwork to do to dial in on the right combination.
I don’t know for how long you’ve had the previous mattress but I’d first check on the integrity of the pocket coil you rescued and make sure that there are no sagging or soft spots which may be part of the issues you are experiencing. I’d also check that the foundation is not sagging under the weight of the mattress and people sleeping on it. Depending on your primary sleeping position the information I previously provided in the other a thread should help determine if your alignment is correct. Side sleepers can do well with thicker softer comfort layers but again only you’d be able to tell if this combination of softens/firmness is right for you ... as I previously mentioned in general, you want firm enough deep support and then comfort layers that are "just enough" in terms of thickness and softness to "fill in" and support the more recessed parts of your sleeping profile and relieve pressure in your most pressure prone sleeping position so that there is less risk to alignment in your other sleeping positions.
Does this make any sense? That's why confused if too soft or firm. Would a 2" be better than a 3" now that I am working more with comfort layers where before was using the 30ILD as base.
Provided that the pocket spring is in good condition then adding + 24 ILD + 19 ILD as Sensei suggested will certainly help with pressure point relief in the hip area. Depending on the results of your experiments you’d be able to tell soon enough if a 2” would work better than 3” in 24 ILD but before deciding I’d give your body a chance to readjust to any of the new changes.
To keep all your details are in one place and make it easier to assist you I will be moving your posts in the present thread here.
Best of luck and keep us posted on your progress.
From responses to my previous posts it sounds like I still need a supportive base. Am considering getting either foam or innerspring for base. Using 2" -30ild dunlop(exchanging for current 3") hoping to reduce hips sinking down/the feel of a rolling pin under lumbar. Then find a gel infused memory foam(hopefully one that works & not hold heat) would this work in your opinion? Or should I keep 3" D. It seems to work as lower layer but feel 2" would allow more flexibility as I attempt to find what is right fit.
It is difficult to dial in all these factors, especially as you decide whether you will get an innerspring or foam support base. All of the materials you currently have will work differently together on different bases. I would not recommend you change from 3" to 2" or buy a gel memory foam until have tried your existing layers on your base mattress. Once this is decided then it would be best to dial in the transition and comfort layers. 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.
The choice between an innerspring support core and a good quality polyfoam support core is really a matter of personal preference and not a "better-worse" choice. The weak link of a mattress is generally in the comfort layers above the innerspring and not in the innerspring itself. You can read more about foam base vs innerspring base in post #28 here and post #2 here
On another note, I am not aware of any science that has proven a "gel infused memory" will help someone sleep cooler than regular memory foam. Gel may feel "cooler" to touch, to begin with just as a metal spoon feels cooler than a plastic spoon, but it is not related to how "hot" a mattress will feel during the course of the night...you can read more about gel foams halfway through post #26 here .
Thanks for the question, you do have a nice 9" of Talalay (what are the exact ild's of these layers?), and I do totally agree that the 1.5" gel memory foam takes away from the story. Of course, with an unlimited budget for consumers, this could be easy. It's a little tricky as you want more of the sinking feeling on top but bit more bounce on hips.
A couple of different thoughts:
If it was just the cloud like sinking feeling on top I would say to put a 2" soft talalay topper instead of the 1.5in memory foam, (which I assume is 19ild you have for top 3"). You may want to see how this works first. If this was close, then my only other suggestion would be to trade out the medium middle 3" for another 3" firm layer. This would give you 6" firm as the base.
Another thought is a medium 2" topper layer like a 24 or 28 ild as a topper....over the existing 9" you have. A Bit counter-intuitive, but not unheard of. Just a thought, I think you are close to getting your right balance.
Good luck, and thanks.
I think main reason suppot low because of the temporary foam from old mattress is beginning to loose recilency.
You are correct about some of your old components “losing resiliency” and a general feeling of losing support over time. That makes sense; they will break down over time, as you well know.
Questions: would a 4 to 5 inch poly foam support core give enough firm support without the hips sinking like with the latex? I am looking toward poly foam as less expensive and if doesn't work, not out as much money. The combo coil system has caught my attention on mattress.net but seems risky because of no return policy, otherwise, this would be my first choice.I have found a Simmons bed and a serta bed that feel good in the store but not in pocket book and not if they start sagging way before their time. Is an inexpensive innerspring with my toppers about same thing as combo coils?
I do not belive that the latex is the cause of the lack of support and sinking hips that you've been experiancing. Most components and materials, including latex, come in firmer or softer versions suitable for different comfort/support applications or personal needs. A 30 ILD medium latex support core would not offer the aprropriate support for most people. A polyfoam core can certainly give enough support, but again it does depend on a number of factors such as the ILD specification mentioned above and the density of the layer which will tell you how durable this wil be. Please take a look some of our polyfoam articles this article about durability , and this article about polyfoam support cores. Also, make sure you check your BMI to use it when you check your durability guidelines here .
Is an inexpensive innerspring with my toppers about same thing as combo coils?
Most likely not, as it is very hard to compare two very general technologies. I'd recommend that you first read about innerspring support and also some basic information on microcoils . You are correct that generally ... a pocket spring core costs slightly more than polyfoam or traditional innersprings because they require a more complex construction. Bear in mind too that a foam core usually does best with a solid foundation while a pocket spring will usually do best with a box spring (which can be more expensive).
There is more about the different types of innersprings in post #10 here and in post #16 here . I would pay the most attention to your own careful and objective testing which will tell you how the innerspring performs in combination with the other layers and materials in a mattress (versus using a latex core) and to the quality of the materials above the innerspring which is normally the weakest link in a mattress. You certainly can find a comfortable combination using springs or polyfoam (or even latex if the budget allows).
Nice work not making rash decisions, some people can get carried away trying too many things. Thanks for the post.
I get where they are coming from but I don't feel qualified! Fortunately, layers can be swapped and covers can be altered. Still, I'd like feedback...all that shipping costs everyone.
As everyone and their dog now knows, I'm a 135-138lb side sleeper on a Zenhaven with a 1.5" raw unblended 14ILD topper. It's taken a few experiments and cutting the cover off the topper, but my body has adjusted and this feels like a B+ solution to me. Unfortunately, the boxspring is officially caving in again along with some more minor quality control issues in the mattress, so I'm considering starting over.
I am not sure if it's too firm or too soft...with the topper, it feels more like it's just a bit too much pressure on my shoulder from the unstretchy cover on the mattress. Alignment seems pretty good though, which I've confirmed with pictures. Maybe just a little sag in the waist area. But I don't really want my hip to sink in more, I don't think.
I'm now considering "rebuilding" the Zenhaven as:
my current raw topper 1.5" 14 ILD
2" 19 ILD (to approximate the zoned 14 ILD latex)
3" 28 ILD (same)
3" 32 ILD (same)
There would be no bottom 1.5" of N2 as in the ZH but I don't think it's actually doing anything down there (right?)
This is one of the builds recommended, minus a top inch of 19. I have two 1.5" layers of 14ILD to play with if needed, and I do want to continue using one of them as a protective and cushy top layer.
I've considered if I needed to swap a layer, the 32 could move up into the middle support and I could get a 38-40 ILD base layer. This would make it almost their initial off the cuff recommendation of 3" 19, 3" 32, 3" 40, which I was concerned would be too fluffy on top and too firm on the bottom.
I had originally leaned to a thinner stretch cover, but realized when testing out a pile of raw latex locally that totally uncovered feels a little too unstable and jiggly. There may be a reason most people encase it in wool and cotton, and I still have the topper for a bit of that raw latex feel.
Any red flags here? I am getting samples of materials soon. Thanks in advance for any input!