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27 Jul 2019 14:02 #21 by Phoenix
Hi zachbaker,

Welcome to our mattress forum :).

Thank you for the great detail. it always makes it easy to add a few general comments and some thoughts. Thank you DIYnaturalbedding for chiming in ... much appreciated! (DIY has a great level of expertise with many of these latex designs) @mattress4life thanks for adding your experience, always appreciated and helpful to hear from other consumers.

As an aside, I noticed that you only reference Dunlop, which is the latex process that is most widely produced, but it is good to know that the Talalay latex provides many of the same benefits, if not better benefits in some cases depending on preferences.

I've seen several refernences to other Canadian all latex mattresses, but I just haven't come across a cost-effective (high value) option that is zoned and configurable quite like the Obasan. Ideally I'd find something that is half the price or less, same quality latex, and allowed you to swap zoned layers around to get it right. Basically I'm looking for affordable yet quality zoned DIY layers. Obasan, AFAICT, is unique in three ways:
1- zoned, reconfigurable layers
2- 4" layers rather than 3
3- can use a "soft" dunlop option


There are not many mattress companies using the type of latex zoning that Obason uses, is separating the layers and breaking up the density into 1/3's. I can see why this would be more expensive. While I am not trying to talk you out of repurposing your Obassan... I would still try to find ways to sleep on other all latex mattresses made the traditional way, with 9, 10, or 12 inches of latex to see how it matches your personal needs and preferences. There are numerous latex experts listed in our mattress membership listing that have different layer configurations that may work out well for you.

DIY Natural bedding or any of our Mattress Expert members would be happy to share their many years of knowledge and experience. So let us know if you need any other info, or have any other questions.

Phoenix

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21 Sep 2019 17:53 #22 by Rpk38tn
I just purchased a 4 layer latex (13"), soft, med. med firm, med firm (split) latex botanical bliss from plush beds in the medium set up, and my wife loves her side but I'm a heavier person and need more support since I push right through the top soft layer. They are suggesting the 2nd med layer, be pulled and get an extra firm layer and make that my 3rd layer......I am concerned that having a extra firm on top of the med firm wouldnt make much sense? Shouldn't I have the denser layer on the bottom? I am mainly a back sleeper and sometimes on my side.....

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21 Sep 2019 18:26 #23 by diynaturalbedding
Adding the extra firm in any position is a good idea. What iy does is bring more support. It sounds like your body is using your current set up as primarily comfort layers and is sinking through them too quickly. The extra firm would slow down your sinking and give your something to lean against. The medium then on the bottom would be fairly evenly compressed so that it would be supporting you more than if it were on top.

Even if you start with the extra firm on the bottom, with a zippered case, ypu can reareange your layers all you want. Bring the layers to the top that suit you best and bury the others. Remember to keep at least one softish layer on top of comfort followed by at least one firmer layer for support.

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25 Sep 2019 20:59 #24 by Phoenix
Hi rpk38tn,

Welcome to the forum :).

Congratulations on the new Plushbeds Botanical Bliss mattress! :lol: Glad to hear that your wife enjoys her medium-firm mattress build. I'd be interested to know if your side in the construction suggested by the manufacturer is now working out for your larger BMI split.

Expanding a bit on DIY Natural Bedding excellent advice (thank you @diynaturalbedding)

I just purchased a 4 layer latex (13"), soft, med. med firm, med firm (split) latex botanical bliss from plush beds in the medium set up, and my wife loves her side but I'm a heavier person and need more support since I push right through the top soft layer.


I am assuming that you were referring to the Botanical Bliss 12" model, which is 4-layer mattress 3”, 3”, 3 + 2" top layer. Did you purchase the split king or the Calking? I’d also be curious to know what your BMI is.

They are suggesting the 2nd med layer, be pulled and get an extra firm layer and make that my 3rd layer......I am concerned that having an extra firm on top of the med firm wouldn't make much sense? Shouldn't I have the denser layer on the bottom? I am mainly a back sleeper and sometimes on my side.....


You are correct the majority of the time, mattress makers design the layers in a progressive construction , but it is not unheard of to have layers switched to get a "feel" that is slightly firmer(or plusher). Depending on the construction, sometimes is not a bad idea to do this, and in your case, you are not sacrificing durability or adding a weak link … you can always switch them depending on your needs and preferences as DIY suggests.

I find interesting that on the Plushbeds website which shows the Medium and the Medium firm "versions" or build differently than they advised (as in the picture below). Did they say why they did not offer to exchange the soft for the extra-firm?... then you could have the med/med-firm/med-firm/x-firm as the design of the Medium Firm build shown in the picture? Did you discuss this with them? Do you feel this may be too firm?



Last but not least… did they let you know the ILD/density of each layer?
Arpico is a well-known latex manufacturer. With latex, there is a straight-line relationship between density & ILD/IFD. and as the Dunlop latex 3” layers are cut from 6” cores and the latex particles in Dunlop settle more in manufacturing, a 3" Dunlop layer that is cut from the bottom half of a 6" Dunlop core can be firmer than a 3" layer cut from the top half and the top would be softer than the bottom of the layer while with Talalay it's more consistent from top to bottom. So as Dunlop is not as consistent from top to bottom it would be interesting if they happen to know the approx. densities of the different firmnesses. Dunlop ILD ratings are also often a "guess" and at best are only the midpoint of a range so depending on their precision level you have a few variables to work with.

Thanks again and if you have a chance let us know how the new arrangement is working out for you.

Phoenix.

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07 Oct 2019 15:50 #25 by Turquoise
I’m trying to better understand the concept of comfort and support layering, especially in regards to use of latex.

I get that a firmer support layer is important to ensure alignment and that a softer comfort layer provides the cushioning needed to allow heavier parts of the body to sink in.

What I don’t really grasp is the logic behind various recommendations for types of dunlop and layering.

It seems that there are two popular “builds” I see over and over again (so I am guessing that they work for most of the people most of the time):

1. A three- layer along the lines of 3” firm, 3” medium, and 3” soft — often I see the recommendation for the two bottom layers (firm and medium) to be dunlop and the soft layer to be talalay. Then people wind up moving the layers around to achieve the right combination of comfort and support for their personal needs.

2. A two-layer usually along the lines of 6” support and 2” comfort. Often I see a firm dunlop with either a soft dunlop comfort layer or a soft talalay comfort layer. Not as much room to maneuver the layers as with the three-layer build; seems like what people do to fine-tune is experiment with toppers.

Why create a two-layer versus a three-layer, however?

And why mix the talalay with the dunlop? What would the difference be if it was all talalay or all dunlop? Or, on a three layer, if the bottom layer only was a firm dunlop and the subsequent two layers were medium and soft talalay respectively?

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11 Oct 2019 10:07 #26 by Phoenix
Hi Turquoise.

Good questions! ;)

What I don’t really grasp is the logic behind various recommendations for types of dunlop and layering.


When it comes to layering and type of foam or component being used in any particular mattress, the same general concepts apply to all different foams and where they are used in a mattress as comfort, transition, or support. This is more of an in-depth discussion and you’ can learn a little more about comfort (pressure-relief) and support, mattress primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support in post #2 here and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support", "pressure relief", "feel" and mattress design.

It seems that there are two popular “builds” I see over and over again (so I am guessing that they work for most of the people most of the time) …. Why create a two-layer versus a three-layer, however?


You are very observant … More individual layers would also give you more options to customize the "feel" and performance of the mattress either before or after a purchase which can be a benefit for some people that need to do some fine-tuning of their mattress. I’d add that there is much more to this than 2 vs 3 mattress layering when it comes to creating a new bed. There are many variables and criteria that manufacturers have to work with when designing new products some of which are more intangible in nature … such as "averages" of consumer’s personal perceptions or what we call PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences)

With the emerging e-commerce brands, the increasing trend is to allow for more flexibility in fine-tuning a mattress to cover a wider range of needs and preferences. The long terms success of any new model (that has a wide enough consumer reach) will depend on the manufacturer's experience, knowledge, and "educated intuition", on how well consumers fit into consumer “averages” and even on the accuracy of interpreting the consumer feedback with the mattress or similar designs. Nobody has a “crystal ball” but some manufacturers are better than others and can better predict the outcome within a range of consumer needs.

You may wish to look at this step by step process of finding your "ideal" mattress in Post #10 here that can dramatically increase your odds that has better quality and value than anything you are likely to find with a major brand or typical mass-market outlet.

And why mix the talalay with the dunlop? What would the difference be if it was all talalay or all dunlop?


Yes, the latex used in each all latex mattress can often be a combination of either Talalay or Dunlop in organic, natural, blended, or synthetic, each having a different feel and price and most likely sourced from different suppliers. This again is connected with both the mattress design and pricing. Dunlop has a different "feel" and performance than Talalay and is less lively or springy. Some people prefer it to Talalay in the comfort layer. The support layer(s) being further away from your body contributes less to the general "feel" of the mattress and using Dunlop in the support core of the mattress where it has less impact and would not subtract much from the feel of someone wanting Tallaly, Dunlop is also less expensive. You can see a Dunlop / Talalay comparison in post #7 here but your own experience is really the only way to know which one you prefer with any certainty. Some people would notice more of a difference than others with transition or support layers that used each material if the top layers were the same type of latex because you will "feel" more of the upper layers than the deeper layers ... at least when you first lie on a mattress. To this, you can also add the cost/price factor than the efficacy, performance and feels of the material used.
There are some videos linked in post #3 here that show the different production processes and again there is more about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here

It is important that you look closely at those variables and decide what is most important to you.
Hope this clarifies some of the differences and helps you move forward with your mattress selection. Looking forward to hearing back on your decision
Phoenix

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28 Oct 2019 15:33 #27 by Turquoise
Thanks for your thoughtful response, Phoenix. I wanted to report back on how this additional information helped me select a mattress.

My first latex mattress didn’t work out so well — although the two-layer dunlop configuration was considered “soft”, it was too firm for me and caused back and shoulder pain. Adding a 3” talalay topper just made me feel like I was lying on a (firm) bed of jello, so I wound up returning everything and going back to the drawing board.

I spent an entire weekend visiting ALL the mattress stores in my area. I went in with the idea of not deciding in advance what I wanted to try, but instead trying everything and seeing how it felt. I then ended the weekend comparing notes and seeing what jumped out at me.

Discounting the $8,000 Vispring mattress I loved ;-), I was surprised to see that my favorites, in terms of comfort, were latex. I was not expecting that after my mattress return. BUT, the difference was that, of the latex beds I tried, it was those made entirely of talalay that felt the best to me. The dunlop beds all required a wool mattress topper to feel comfortable. So the process recommended here on TMU of going out and testing mattresses for comfort definitely helped me figure out what worked and what didn’t — for me personally.

There were three mattresses I really liked — two were virtually identical in their configuration (Three 3” layers, medium/medium/soft) and the third differed only in having a much softer comfort layer. I called several of the trusted members and got recommendations for replicating the mattress I liked based on the ILDs I had obtained. I then ordered a mattress which I’ve been sleeping on now for almost 3 weeks.

I can’t tell you what a difference all talalay versus all dunlop or a dunlop/talalay mix made for me. The first night (after wrestling with unpacking and assembling the mattress for an hour and a half) I was in a lot of pain. But, I woke up the next morning pain-free! Not a single ache! It’s been very comfortable since — one or two nights were I wasn’t as comfortable, but that was usually attributable to my having overdone it physically during the day. Somebody’s got to do the yard work, after all!

I am so thrilled to have a mattress now that is not only supportive but really cushions my body. Especially when I’m laying on my back I can feel it cradling me — a wonderful sensation!

So thank you for this website and for the great steps to take to find a good mattress — and for continually stressing the value of experimentation and PPP — it really works!

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20 Nov 2019 01:14 #28 by Phoenix
Hi Turquoise,

You're very welcome ... and thanks for the kind comments ... I appreciate it.
Sorry, your post skipped my attention up to now when responding and moving some posts from here to another topic.

Congratulations on research well done and your perseverance. It is thrilling and most of all energizing when to get many nights of good sleep. :lol:

Thanks for taking the time to share such detailed and helpful comment
Phoenix

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20 Nov 2019 06:22 #29 by Marshmallowforme
Turquoise,
Could you describe in more detail what configuration you ended up with, and who built it? Also does it have a latex smell?

My husband is a big fan of our old all talalay latex mattress but I am tired of the latex smell (15 yrs later) so am looking to replace it.

Thanks!

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20 Nov 2019 07:55 #30 by Turquoise
The mattress has three 3" layers, from bottom to top: medium/medium/soft talalay blend from Talalay Global (Radium is also available). The ILDs are Soft 19-20 and Medium 30-32. The mattress cover is 1" wool quilted to cotton so the total height is 10". It's a SleepEZ Natural Latex mattress.

I didn't notice a smell from the mattress itself; in fact the shredded latex pillows that came with the order seemed to have more of an odor than the mattress, maybe because the mattress is encased in the cotton/wool. I don't mind the smell of latex, however, so I probably would have quickly discounted it if it was noticeable.

I can't say enough good things about Sleep EZ -- they are very customer service oriented and helpful, both before and after sale. I'm very pleased with the entire process and would recommend them to help answer questions you might have as well as consult on a particular configuration.

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