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Mattress comfort layers - latex

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01 Aug 2019 07:15 #121 by Sensei
Hey agm413,

Thanks for the message.

Just a couple of thoughts. Yes, you could exchange for a medium 2" or 3", but it's not guaranteed that one gets relief from back issues going from softer to firmer with the comfort layer. It may work perfectly, you would know better as what may be causing it. Do you happen to know the density of the 2" soft?

My first inclination was to keep the 2" soft and like you suggested get a med or firm to go below the soft and above the bolsa coils. Generally speaking one would get the same or thicker height topper below the soft comfort layer. Sometimes using a 1" med/firm below 2" soft the 1" can get lost a little. I totally understand the cost issue, and again, it's not to say the 1" firmer layer is bad, it's just a general point.

Regarding the coil unit, do you feel it is supportive enough? What is your height and weight, if you don't mind me asking?

Here are a couple of links that explain the layering process for comfort layers; progressive comfort layers and differential construction comfort layers .

Thanks, let me know any other questions or ideas and would be happy to help more.

Sensei

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01 Aug 2019 08:29 #122 by agm413
Thanks for the response Sensei - I actually ordered the 2" medium after speaking with the sleep on latex people a bit. Hoping to see what combination or solo topper will be the best. H/W is 5'10" 215

Since I based it off the Avocado mattress I like when I tested the main thing I overlooked was the different coil setup, the avocado had the zoned support system for firmness under the hips, which the regular bolsa doesn't have. Besides that spot the overall mattress fits well.

I'll hopefully update after some testing with the two different toppers I'll have at my disposal soon.

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03 Aug 2019 09:28 #123 by Sensei
Hey agm413,

Ok, thanks for the update, I like the medium choice 2". Let us know how it works.

Good point about the bolsa and combi zone coil differences re; Avaocado.

Thanks,
Sensei

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22 Aug 2019 12:31 - 22 Aug 2019 12:37 #124 by bobkbed
What would theory predict to be the difference between 2" and 3" of Talalay latex in a comfort layer, all other things being equal?

I asked at a reputable store near me. Their latex mattresses use a 2" comfort layer over a 6" support core (all Talalay). The salesperson wasn't certain, but speculated that 3" would probably be firmer, and that 2" is softer and more responsive to the layers below.

If this is true, then 3" of medium might be just right. Their medium felt a little too soft for me, while the firm was too firm.

They don't offer a 3" comfort layer, though. I'd have to order online.
Last edit: 22 Aug 2019 12:37 by bobkbed.

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23 Aug 2019 21:43 #125 by Phoenix
Hi bobkbed,

Thanks for the post. That is an interesting question, pretty nuanced not easy for a retail sales associate.

"All things being equal" is important and assuming the base 6" is the same , then the same ILD of the comfort layer, same cover, same quilt, etc....just the height of comfort layer is different. The difference between a 2" and a 3" comfort layer can be quite dramatic and it depends on a person's weight, shape, and sleeping positions. Side sleepers will notice it more (they are more likely to go "through" a thinner comfort layer) and feel more of the properties of the layers below it. The thinner a layer is ... the more you will feel the properties of the layers below it.

The salesperson wasn't certain, but speculated that 3" would probably be firmer, and that 2" is softer and more responsive to the layers below.


Again with "all things being equal" ... the thicker comfort layer (which for most bed designs would be lower than the ILD of the support layer(s) at the bottom) the softer the mattress feels which also depends on many other interconnected variables!!!! People of higher BMI will "go through" the softer comfort layer and hit the base core quicker, thus the 2" will "feel" firmer than the 3". But someone else that is very lightweight sleeps on back or stomach, may not notice any difference at all between the two choices.

The salesperson is correct to discuss how the layers work together with the entire mattress, especially how the layer works with the base core. The base core is probably a 32/36/40 range ILD... and to delve a little bit deeper, ILD is not the most reliable indicator of how soft or firm a layer will feel for any particular sleeper. Compression modulus is even more important because very few people actually sink into a layer exactly 25% and compression modulus is the rate at which a foam gets firmer as you compress it more. Latex has a higher compression modulus than polyfoam. In addition to this ... latex is very "point elastic" which means that a smaller area can compress with less effect on or resistance from the surrounding area than polyfoam.

Moreover, latex has a lower hysteresis (how much energy is absorbed) and conversely a higher resilience (how much energy it returns) than polyfoam so there are also factors that can make latex feel firmer than other materials depending on how much a specific layer is compressed in a mattress. Because of its unique qualities and ability to take on the shape of the person on it (point elasticity) it can feel softer and firmer at the same time and some will feel it as one or the other depending on what they are more sensitive to, their body type, sleeping position, and how they sink into the mattress.

You did not note your BMI, but as I mentioned above, someone heavier who used a softer 2" comfort layer ... would feel the firmness of the "stiffer" base foam underneath it more than with a 3" comfort layer. I'd also keep in mind that for someone very light the pressure relief/comfort considering a thicker comfort layer would need to balance comfort with support and alignment because using a thicker slab of low ILD and support factor foam does a great job relieving pressure but the heavier parts may sink in so far that the spine and/or joints would be twisted, bent, or flexed outside of their neutral range this would lead to the pain that goes with misalignment of the spine or joints.

Sometimes I like to confuse consumers before shopping for mattresses this weekend with Labour Day sales !!! :)... Just kidding, let us know if you have any more questions.

Phoenix

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23 Aug 2019 23:16 - 23 Aug 2019 23:18 #126 by bobkbed
Thanks for the reply, Phoenix. You did indeed confuse me a bit, but that just goes with the territory. The physics of mattresses and their interactions with bodies is inherently complex.

I was curious why they (Sleepworks) use 2" comfort layers because it seems common to see 3". Many/most of the DIY vendors do this, as does Nest and Foamorder.com.

Bay Bed uses a 1" Talalay comfort layer over 6" of Dunlop, and when I asked why, they said only that they've found 7" of foam to be sufficient.

I'm 5' 11", about 195 lbs (BMI 27). I sleep mostly on my stomach, but a bit on my side.

I've been sleeping for 18 years (!) on an Ikea single-layer all-latex mattress, which in another thread you said was probably 14 cm thick (almost certainly Dunlop). Though I probably should have replaced it at least three years ago, I think it's still safe to say I like medium to medium-firm mattresses (though I realize those terms are vague).

I ended up ordering from Foam Sweet Foam. Given my info, they recommended this (all layers 3"):

top - Medium Talalay (ILD: 27, Density: 5.0)
middle - Firm Dunlop (ILD: 32, Density: 5.3)
bottom - X-firm Dunlop (ILD: 38, Density: 5.9)

This is what I was already thinking I'd like to try, but nobody in the Bay Area has it.

After reading your post, I'm even more concerned than I already was that the Talalay comfort layer might too soft. However, FSF has a good comfort-exchange policy. One mitigating factor is that the Sleepworks had Talalay support layers, while the FSF will have Dunlop (though I seem to recall reading here that in support layers at higher densities, the difference between Talalay and Dunlop might not be very noticeable - correct?).

On their web site, FSF says "We do not get many people exchanging layers, but when we do, they usually send back a Talalay layer saying it is too soft and too bouncy." They theorize that this is because they're accustomed to sleeping on a packed-down old mattress.

That was exactly my initial reaction to the Talalay comfort layers at Sleepworks - too soft and bouncy, both in all-latex mattresses and in hybrids.

However, I also found that what they say about people getting accustomed to packed-down old mattresses is true. When I first tried the "firm" at Sleepworks (2" N7 Talalay over 6" N8) , I liked it and felt that the "medium" (N6/N8) was too soft. About two weeks later, having tested other mattresses in the interim, I tried them again. While "medium" still seemed a bit soft, the "firm" was definitely too firm. I tried again a few days later, with the same results.

Other data points: At Foam Store of Marin, I tried these two (all layers are 3" of organic Dunlop):

"Firm"
Top: Firm - N31
Middle: X-Firm - N36
Bottom: X-Firm - N36

"Medium"
Top: Medium - N28
Middle: Firm - N31
Bottom: X-Firm - N36

"Firm" was too firm when on my side - too much pressure on my shoulder. "Medium" didn't feel quite right on my shoulders either, but I imagined it was because I was sinking in too far. I ended up ruling these out because 1) I wanted to try Talalay on top and 2) organic latex is out of my price range.

If you have any thoughts on all of this, I'd love to hear 'em!

Bob
Last edit: 23 Aug 2019 23:18 by bobkbed.

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28 Aug 2019 18:22 - 28 Aug 2019 18:29 #127 by Phoenix
Hi bobkbed,

Thanks for the post and great information. Well done with the testing, all the comparisons, and how it reacts to your body. But most of all ...

Congratulations on your new mattress purchase from Foam Sweet Foam! :cheer:

They are certainly a reputable company that put a great deal of thought when designing their mattresses and as you know they are a member of this site which means that I think very highly of them and that I believe they compete well with the best in the mattress industry . Have you received the FSF yet?

Layers of latex are always 1", 2 and 3", one inch is a little less common, but typically the thinner layers are divisible by 2, 3, and 6 as most latex these days come in slabs of 6".

It looks like the mix Med Talalay / Firm Dunlop / XFrim Dunlop may be a nice fit for you. Yes, higher ILD's in the support/base of the mattress, less noticeable difference. Very interesting regarding your trials at Foam Store in Marin:

Other data points: At Foam Store of Marin, I tried these two (all layers are 3" of organic Dunlop):

"Firm"
Top: Firm - N31
Middle: X-Firm - N36
Bottom: X-Firm - N36

"Medium"
Top: Medium - N28
Middle: Firm - N31
Bottom: X-Firm - N36

"Firm" was too firm when on my side - too much pressure on my shoulder. "Medium" didn't feel quite right on my shoulders either, but I imagined it was because I was sinking in too far.


These are truly good data points to have. I'd be interested to know what was the finishing on these mattresses, were they zipper or sewn shut mattresses, or zipper with exchangeable layers?

My instinct says the FSF with Talalay will feel better than the medium, but I will look forward to hearing how they work for you.

As you mentioned it will take a little time for your body to get used to sleeping on latex, so take your time with it. Let us know if there are any other questions you may have, but with your diligence, it looks like you have it quite well figured out.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 28 Aug 2019 18:29 by Phoenix.

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