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Mattress comfort layers - Memory foam

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17 Feb 2018 15:15 #11 by beda
My husband and I have been sleeping on a full-size Tempurpedic mattress for over 10 years and are looking to buy a King-size mattress. I've been trying to read as much as I can on your very informative website, but still a little confused.

We visited The Original Mattress Factory (Cincinnati) today and looked at their 2 memory foam mattresses, as well as their latex mattress. The latex seemed too "bouncy" and not as firm as one of the memory foam, but it seems like you promote the latex over the memory foam? We're used to the memory foam now, but were hoping that the newer models wouldn't heat up as much with our body heat (sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night and the mattress would be so hot where my body touched).
The latex mattress also seemed to transfer our body movement to the other person a little more.

Just in the last couple of years, I've also found that, as a side sleeper, I wake up with hip/leg pain that I hadn't experienced before, and I have to turn onto my back or stomach for relief before returning again to my side.

My last question is about return policies and what we should expect... when we visited TOMF today, they informed us that they don't allow returns at all, except for a 25% fee to change to a different comfort level. It seems like other posters on this site talk about returning mattresses with no fee.

Thank you so much for any info :)

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18 Feb 2018 14:18 #12 by Phoenix
H ibeda.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

The latex seemed too "bouncy" and not as firm as one of the memory foam, but it seems like you promote the latex over the memory foam? We're used to the memory foam now,.


Although I do personally like the feel and properties of latex, the choice of materials is a personal preference and there are many people that prefer a Memory Foam feel and are “used” to it to such a degree that any change to a different material may be perceived as very uncomfortable. There is absolutely nothing wrong using Memory Foam in a mattress.. provided that it meets durability guidelines here . My cautions on the site are related to most of the brand names who use less durable materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors, or some of the many online companies who ship compressed “bed in a box” mattresses that are using lower quality materials in their products, which would compromise the durability and useful life of a mattress. Of course part of your perception maybe also that memory foam itself has a unique feel and is a more polarizing choice (people tend to really like or dislike it). When it comes to Memory Foam in fact many of our Trusted Members here (that I think very highly of and I believe that they compete well with best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, knowledge, and transparency) carry high quality memory foam products.

If you like the feel of Memory Foam, then choosing the "best possible" mattress for you would come down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell. When assessing any product, also be sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

We're used to the memory foam now, but were hoping that the newer models wouldn't heat up as much with our body heat (sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night and the mattress would be so hot where my body touched). The latex mattress also seemed to transfer our body movement to the other person a little more.


While Memory foam does a very good job at minimizing motions transfer, it will generally be the least breathable and most insulating of the foam comfort materials, so as you noted temperature can be an issue and you’d want to make sure that you don’t choose something with too much memory foam on top that you sink in too deeply as the more you sink into it the more will sleep hot.

It's difficult to quantify with any accuracy the sleeping temperature of a mattress for any particular person because there are too many variables involved including the type of mattress protector and the sheets and bedding that you use . But of course I would guess that t the main culprit is the Memory foam in the comfort layers of your mattress and how deep of a cradle this forms around your body. You can read more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range. In very general terms ... the materials, layers, and components of a sleeping system that are closer to your skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than materials, layers, and components that are further away from your skin and softer mattresses or foam toppers will tend to be more "insulating" and for some people can sleep warmer than firmer versions of the same material.

There are the new generation of gel memory foams with different types and chemical formulations that may be sleeping somewhat cooler and also can have a faster response time than others but all memory foam has a very low resilience (springiness). Some types of memory foam are also more breathable than others and have less effect on sleeping temperature but memory foam, in general, tends to sleep warmer for some people than other types of foam materials (latex foam or polyfoam). There is more about the different properties that can be formulated into memory foam in post #9 here and post #8 here .

In addition to the information above, this post ... post #29 here has more information about temperature regulation and the microclimate on a mattress.

The latex mattress also seemed to transfer our body movement to the other person a little more.


Memory Foam is very good at isolating movement between sleeping partners because of its ability to respond to pressure in a very local area. It shares this quality with latex and to a lesser degree some higher quality polyfoam. Keep in mind that sometimes what people perceive as motion transfer may be due to the deeper layers within the mattress that respond to the movements from the layers above. For example ... memory foam is a much more energy absorbing material and is also very point elastic (conforms to the shape of the body more exactly .. at least if it's good memory foam) and would typically be the "best" at motion isolation. But if you put memory foam on top of an innerspring that has helicals then you would still feel the stronger or faster movements that went "through" the memory foam and compressed the springs. In the same way, if you had a memory foam comfort layer and then had a quilted cover that didn't have any stretch you may feel smaller movements more because the cover would "pull" when you moved ... especially if someone was heavier.

Just in the last couple of years, I've also found that, as a side sleeper, I wake up with hip/leg pain that I hadn't experienced before, and I have to turn onto my back or stomach for relief before returning again to my side.


There is also more information in post #2 here that talks about the various symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some of the reasons that can cause them that can help with the detective work or trial and error that may be necessary to identify the types of changes that may be helpful.

. My last question is about return policies and what we should expect... when we visited TOMF today, they informed us that they don't allow returns at all, except for a 25% fee to change to a different comfort level. It seems like other posters on this site talk about returning mattresses with no fee.


It is up to the manufacturer themselves to decide whether they include in the price of their mattresses the cost of any future returns. The trend now, especially with the online eCommerce is to offer free return/free exchanges for an average period of 90/100 days and allow for in-home trial and ensure suitability of the system with sleeper.

So-called "free" shipping or "free" exchanges could be also just about marketing because the cost of returning or exchanging a mattress or individual layers are all built in to the purchase price of a product that offers "free shipping" or "free returns" so the majority of people who don't return or exchange a mattress are the ones who pay for the minority that do. You can read more about exchange and return policies in post #25 here . Some manufacturers or retailers include the "real" return and/or exchange costs into the cost of their product and some manufacturers or retailers prefer to have them as a separate cost so only the people that return or exchange a mattress or a layer pay for it.

I hope this gives you a good start in the search for “your” mattress and I or any other Expert Member of the site would be glad assist you with any questions that you may have.

Phoenix

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18 Feb 2018 17:36 #13 by beda
Thank you soooo much for your in-depth input and advice.... you are an amazing source and we will use the info in our decision :)

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18 Feb 2018 23:08 #14 by Phoenix
Hi beda.

You are welcome! I am glad that we can help. :)

Phoenix

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15 Aug 2018 14:54 #15 by m00se
I'm looking for a new mattress and have been reading extensively through the site. I've narrowed my search mostly to latex mattresses, for a variety of reasons. First, I want something that will last for a long time and would rather pay more for a durable product that less for something replaceable. Second, the research on Latex mattresses support + comfort that is explained on this site is very compelling. Third, I have enjoyed sleeping on high-quality memory foam mattresses like Tempur-Pedic in the past; the pressure relief is noticable and the feel is comfortable. But I don't want to pay $4k for Tempurpedic, and I also have problems with "sleeping hot."

I prefer a firm-ish feel, yet am light (5'8", 130), often sleep on my side, and have lower-back issues.

I live in the NYC area and am planning to try out some latex mattresses at Scott Jordan, Nest, and Clean BR. Then I plan to look at SleepEZ and CozyPure based on price, quality, and options. CozyPure's "zoned" construction sounds appealing based on side sleep + back issues, though I'm not sure I'll need it.

My question is this: is there anywhere in the NYC area to try out a mattress with a latex support base, memory foam comfort layer, and latex top? Nest, Helix, and Casper have NYC showrooms and have "Hybrid" models, but these seem to be either latex+innerspring or memory foam+PU foam, not latex + memory foam.

I'm curious whether this combination might combine what I like about memory foam ("cradling" support, pressure relief) with what sound appealing about latex (durability, support, coolness). I was thinking that if I like it, I could "build" a bed using a combination of a 2-part latex bed, including zipcase, from CozyPure or SleepEz, plus a layer of memory foam.

I'm also curious if, in that case, a 6-inch latex base is really needed given my weight (my partner is similar), or if 3" latex base + 2-3" memory foam + 2" latex top would be sufficient.

Is it too difficult to predict the firmness of memory foam to DIY this combination with other companies' materials if, on trying a combination using these materials, I decide I like it?


I hope this isn't thread-jacking, but I couldn't find any more appropriate place to post my questions.

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15 Aug 2018 16:56 #16 by Ari
Essentia is in NYC, I am not sure what the specs are other then they use high density memory foam.

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16 Aug 2018 18:14 #17 by m00se
Looks like they only have latex bases topped with their "natural" memory foam. But might be a good opportunity to get a feel for memory foam on top of latex.

Does anyone else have thoughts on memory foam sandwhiched between latex?

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16 Aug 2018 22:37 #18 by Phoenix
Hi m00se.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

I've narrowed my search mostly to latex mattresses, for a variety of reasons. First, I want something that will last for a long time and would rather pay more for a durable product that less for something replaceable.


You've got the right ideas... you are correct that latex, in general, is the most durable of all the foam materials (latex foam, memory foam, polyfoam) regardless of whether it is Dunlop or Talalay or is made from natural rubber, synthetic rubber, or a blend of both.

Looks like they only have latex bases topped with their "natural" memory foam. But might be a good opportunity to get a feel for memory foam on top of latex.
Does anyone else have thoughts on memory foam sandwiched between latex?


"Sandwiching" the memory foam between two layers of latex certainly is a viable alternative that many people find comfortable. Speaking personally, I find a layer of latex on top of memory foam to be more comfortable than the other way around but that is my own personal opinion. Having Latex on top can add to the durability of a mattress compared to other materials. The deeper layers of a mattress also have an effect on mattress durability but to a lesser degree (a mattress will soften and break down from the top down) and will have more of an effect on performance and support/alignment. Whether or not you would like the feel of a latex on top ... or ... a latex topper on an existing memory foam mattress, of course, would ultimately come down to your own personal testing because while latex and memory foam can be equally "pressure relieving" they are very different materials with very different properties. There is more about some of the differences between memory foam and latex in post #2 here .

I have enjoyed sleeping on high-quality memory foam mattresses like Tempur-Pedic in the past; the pressure relief is noticable and the feel is comfortable. But I don't want to pay $4k for Tempurpedic, and I also have problems with "sleeping hot."


“Sleeping hot” along with the difficulty to reposition tend to be characteristic of memory foam that most people complain about. Latex, it is the most breathable of the foam materials and it is a great choice for temperature regulation. Generally, the layers that are closer to the top sleeping surface will have the greatest impact upon comfort/pressure relief and sleeping temperature (including your mattress pad, sheets, and linen). There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here .

Price as well is part of each person's personal value equation and I certainly understand why you wouldn’t want to pay a premium for a Tempur bed, For the most part, they use good quality and durable materials but for most people they wouldn't be in a particularly good value range compared to many other memory foam mattresses that use similar or better quality materials that would be just as durable. I personally would have a great deal of difficulty justifying a Tempurpedic purchase unless for some reason my needs and preferences were so unusual that there were no other alternatives available that would be just as suitable and "comfortable" in terms of PPP and used materials that were the same or better quality that would be just as durable as the Tempurpedic line ... and this would be very unlikely.

My question is this: is there anywhere in the NYC area to try out a mattress with a latex support base, memory foam comfort layer, and latex top? Nest, Helix, and Casper have NYC showrooms and have "Hybrid" models, but these seem to be either latex+innerspring or memory foam+PU foam, not latex + memory foam.


While it is more unusual that you’d find a mattress that has a latex core and memory foam comfort layers…. FloBeds one of our expert members here used to have a hybrid and memory foam/latex and you could ask them a fee more specific questions about it. Depending of how much of the feel of the memory foam you’d like to bleed through the latex layer on top you can chose different layer thickness. Again personally I’d chose relatively thin layers of latex over relatively thin layers of memory foam because it can provide a more resilient and "movement friendly" surface feel and performance to the mattress while at the same time you can feel yourself more slowly sinking into the softer memory foam underneath. The latex would isolate the memory from your body heat to some extent so it would respond more slowly and/or be firmer than if you were sleeping directly on the memory foam. This can create a very interesting "feel" that some people like.

I prefer a firm-ish feel, yet am light (5'8", 130), often sleep on my side, and have lower-back issues. I'm also curious if, in that case, a 6-inch latex base is really needed given my weight (my partner is similar), or if 3" latex base + 2-3" memory foam + 2" latex top would be sufficient.


Allt the layers in a mattress work togheter and generally ... 8" - 9" of latex is a good mattress thickness that can include the combination softer layers (or sometimes sections) for pressure relief and firmer layers for support that most people of average or even higher weights would need. In some cases ... lighter weights or people that sleep in "flatter" sleeping positions, have slimmer less curvy body types, or who prefer a firmer mattress will do well with even 6". These are all good questions to ask the manufacturer or retailer of any mattress you are considering so they can discuss the differences between the different options they have available in terms that are more specific to the layers they use or options they provide. A 7to 8’ layering arrangement as you describe could work well provided that you select a suitable firmness/softness for your particular needs and preferences.

If you do decide to move forward with a 3” latex core , I’d be very interested in hearing what you found and how that works out for you.

Phoenix

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22 Aug 2018 14:26 #19 by m00se
Thanks, Phoenix, for your very guidance. I was able to spend some time at The Clean Bedroom today which was very helpful in zeroing in on what I'm looking for.

I realized my preference for "firmness" has to do with a top layer that doesn't feel "squishy" or too pillowy. Of mattresses with a "soft" comfort layer, I liked the "feel" of the ones with 2" comfort tops over ones with 3" comfort tops. In Savvy Rest, they had Firm/Med/Soft and Firm/Firm/Soft; the first felt too soft, while the second felt both too firm and too "squishy." They had 2 different Obasan mattresses, both of which I prefered to the Savvy Rest. One had a 4" medium support layer + 4" zoned support + 2 soft comfort top (called the Acadia 3.0), another a 2" firm support layer " 4" zoned support + 2" comfort top (Acadia 2.0). I couldn't really decide re the zoning (which makes me think I should avoid it), but preferred the 2.0 with the firm support base. I also felt like their mattress cover was better because it was stretchier and allowed the responsiveness of the mattress to come through better—firm but responsive, without being "bouncy," if that makes sense. (This made me realize, too, that Dunlop as the top layer seems right—I liked that it wasn't too "bouncy" and so was uninterested in trying out Talalay).

This helped me zero in on what I want. I think the Obasan zoning is probably too complicated, and the price is either way too high. My takeaway is that I like a firm "feel" but also some pressure relief, especially since I usually sleep on my side (I could tell that the firm/firm/soft Savvy Rest, as well as a monolayer "Firm" Royal-Pedic, was too firm).

I've zeroed on in Sleep-ez because of the flexibility with exchanging layers, the split sides (am sharing with a partner who is similar size and similar preferences, but mostly back sleeper), and the 2" comfort layer. The two possibilities I'm working with now are:

--S/M/F in their 9" mattress. This seems like the most common set-up, and seems like it would likely be appealing given my experience with the Obesan and Savvy Rest. Advantage is that this can be re-arranged, e.g. to try a M/S/F, which could provide a firmer feel but also some support.

--M/F or S/F (possibly split, in order to try out) in their 7" mattress, plus a 2", 5.3lb memory foam layer from Foamorder. I'm still interested in this for a couple of reasons. My sense from trying out the Obesan and Savvy Rest is that a comfort layer with a firmer "feel," then a "contouring" layer below for pressure relief, would be the best option. And my experience on good memory foam (eg Tempurpedic) has given the best sense of "pressure relief," so combining that with the top-layer feel that I like would seem to be the best of both worlds. This would also be $200 cheaper than the 9" Sleepez, while still leaving open the possibility of returning the memory foam, and then adding in another layer from Sleepez, if it doesn't work out.

My question is, from reading the various posts and Overviews about mattress construction (both progressive and "dominant" construction), it sounds like I'd want the top latex layer to be 2" rather than 3," especially given that both my partner and I have low BMI (~5'8" and 130), to allow the properties of the memory foam layer to come through. (Especially with a "medium"-firmness layer on top, 3" would seem to be too thick). Does this thinking sound right? And does anyone know if its possible to order a 3+2(+1 cover) mattress from Sleepez? On their website, they only seem to have either 3+3+2 or 3+2.

Thanks again Phoenix for your advice so far! This site is truly an impressive resource.

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23 Aug 2018 16:24 #20 by Phoenix
Hi m00se.

Thanks, Phoenix, for your very guidance. I was able to spend some time at The Clean Bedroom today which was very helpful in zeroing in on what I'm looking for. … Thanks again Phoenix for your advice so far! This site is truly an impressive resource.


Thank you for your words of appreciation for the site. You're certainly doing a great deal of research & learning and seem to apply it very well in your testing :) From what you’ve described throughout your post it seems that you get good feedback and are well-tuned with your body.

I realized my preference for "firmness" has to do with a top layer that doesn't feel "squishy" or too pillowy. Of mattresses with a "soft" comfort layer, I liked the "feel" of the ones with 2" comfort tops over ones with 3" comfort tops.


All layers work together and the thickness and softness are interdependent and it may be that the feeling of "squishiness" that you are experiencing may be connected with the firmness/softness of the layer underneath rather than being “squishy” by itself, but you are correct that the difference between a 2" and a 3" comfort layer can be quite dramatic and it also depends on a person's weight, shape, and sleeping positions. The thinner a layer is ... the more you’ll feel the properties of the layers below it. As you are a side sleeper you will notice this more (the surface area in contact with the mattress is smaller and you’d be more likely to go "through" a thinner comfort layer) and feel more of the properties of the layers below it.

(This made me realize, too, that Dunlop as the top layer seems right—I liked that it wasn't too "bouncy" and so was uninterested in trying out Talalay).


The Serenity mattress is designed with the ability to fine tune it to a wide range of needs and preferences and just to make sure that you did not leave any stone unturned and got all clues you'd need… have you also tried Dunlop on top of a Talalay layer? … As you already discovered Talalay on top would feel lighter and “livelier” than Dunlop (which may equate with the feel of "squishiness " and "bounciness" that you’re trying to get away from) ... but you might like the feel of a thinner layer of Dunlop on top of Talalay. The cover too can be a significant part of the performance of the mattress so you'd need to take that into account as well.

I've zeroed on in Sleep-EZ because of the flexibility with exchanging layers, the split sides (am sharing with a partner who is a similar size and similar preferences, but mostly back sleeper), and the 2" comfort layer. The two possibilities I'm working with now are:
--S/M/F in their 9" mattress. This seems like the most common set-up, and seems like it would likely be appealing given my experience with the Obesan and Savvy Rest. Advantage is that this can be re-arranged, e.g. to try a M/S/F, which could provide a firmer feel but also some support.
--M/F or S/F (possibly split, in order to try out) in their 7" mattress, plus a 2", 5.3lb memory foam layer from Foamorder. I'm still interested in this for a couple of reasons.
My sense from trying out the Obesan and Savvy Rest is that a comfort layer with a firmer "feel," then a "contouring" layer below for pressure relief, would be the best option. And my experience on good memory foam (eg Tempurpedic) has given the best sense of "pressure relief," so combining that with the top-layer feel that I like would seem to be the best of both worlds. This would also be $200 cheaper than the 9" Sleepez, while still leaving open the possibility of returning the memory foam, and then adding in another layer from Sleepez if it doesn't work out.

My question is, from reading the various posts and Overviews about mattress construction (both progressive and "dominant" construction), it sounds like I'd want the top latex layer to be 2" rather than 3," especially given that both my partner and I have low BMI (~5'8" and 130), to allow the properties of the memory foam layer to come through. (Especially with a "medium"-firmness layer on top, 3" would seem to be too thick). Does this thinking sound right? And does anyone know if its possible to order a 3+2(+1 cover) mattress from Sleepez? On their website, they only seem to have either 3+3+2 or 3+2.


You are correct that at your BMI there would not be any reason to go with a thicker mattress and you can do very well with both the 9” or the 7” + 2” (or with the customized 6” + 2”) but again if you change the thickness this will also have an impact on the overall comfort/support of the mattress. If I understand you correctly it seems that you are more inclined towards a “dominant layering” which can work well for some people. Generally, a medium over soft would "stop" the hips a little faster but would result in a little firmer support under the recessed waist and would result in a firmer/"crisper" sleeping surface … that you seem to like. Generally, it is unusual to use a soft layer of Memory Foam under a firmer layer of latex as in some cases it can have a negative effect on whether the deeper layers are firm enough to keep your spine in good alignment over the course of the night but any arrangement that is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP would be OK. Sometimes there are multiple pathways to similar goals but the key is always to look carefully at the effects of each change to see the "patterns" they produce and as much as possible to keep it as simple as possible ... and always work towards identifying "patterns". The strength of multiple layering is the degree of fine-tuning that can be done. in some cases, though it can also be surprising what effects certain changes can produce because of "unknowns" that are more difficult to identify. As far as pressure relief memory foam is generally considered to have the ability to distribute and relieve pressure. This does not mean however that it is dramatically better than the best of other materials as there are other types of foam like latex or high-quality polyfoam that in their softer versions through compression alone are very close to memory foam in their ability to distribute pressure to levels below personal detection for most people.

You seem to have a very good grasp of the feel you wish to achieve and at this stage, I think a good conversation with Shawn at SleepEZ would be the best way to move forward. As a manufacturer, SleepEZ would be able to make all the adjustments that you’ve mentioned. When I spoke with Rodger a few days ago he mentioned that they’ll always go above and beyond to accommodate customers coming from TMU as working with an informed and educated customer that is able to accurately describe their needs and testing history helps them zero in on their suggestions.

You are certainly considering a good quality/value mattress from SleepEZ and as you already know they are one of the manufacturing Trusted Members of this site and like all the members here I think very highly of and consider them to compete well with "the best" in the industry. They are very knowledgeable and very skilled in guiding their customers to make the best possible choices out of the many options they have available.

I hope that the information provided helps you out. I’ll look forward to learning about your progress and the results of your discussion with SleepEZ and of course any other questions you might have along the way.

Phoenix

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