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DIY latex mattress
I should have answered this question earlier: I sleep with my "arm out in front" rather than "on my arm". I will try putting a pillow under my lower arm (under the elbow to the hand), with my arm bent at the elbow in about the 1 or 2 o'clock position. I will also experiment a bit more with pillows. It will take a few days to get some reliable data points.
Just for clarity ... the hand would be at the 1 or 2 o'clock position (the head is 12 o'clock and the feet are 6 o'clock) just to make sure you're not trying to point your elbow at 1 o'clock
Since you are experiencing shoulder pressure with 4" of 21 ILD it's also likely that you will experience this with 3" so you may need 3" of softer latex where the pelvis will still be "stopped" by the firmer layer below it but the shoulders will be "allowed" to sink in more.
Not sure I understand this one properly. 3" of 21 ILD is probable for the hips, but not for the shoulders. Does this suggest that 3" of latex with ILD < 21 could work better for hips / shoulders?
Thickness and softness work together so I was theorizing here about the combination of thickness and softness that may work best for both the shoulders and the pelvis (without zoning). Since 4" of 21 ILD don't appear to be "allowing" your shoulders to sink in enough to relieve pressure (and assuming that's not a pillow issue) that suggests that the issue may be the ILD of the latex under the shoulders not the thickness of the comfort layers (4" would be enough thickness for most people). If you were to use a lower ILD it may "allow" your shoulders to sink in more even if the layer was thinner (thinner layers generally "act" firmer). This way you may be able to "allow" the shoulders to sink in more because the comfort layer was softer but it would still "stop" the pelvis at about the same depth for alignment because you would still be 3" away from the support layer so the pelvis would sink down or "travel" about the same amount.
All of them would be softer than the 21 ILD that you currently have which would be softer for your shoulders but I don't know how "probable" they would be. My biggest uncertainty is not knowing why 4" of 21 ILD isn't soft enough for you and causing the issues in your shoulder. Since this would be soft enough for many people I would want to rule out other causes for the shoulder issues before concluding that the ILD is too firm for you.
If you have ruled out other causes for the shoulder issues (odd sleeping positions or pillow issues) then I would lean towards either your option #2 or #3 depending on how much softer your "best judgement" indicates you need.
Just wanted to give you an update on my mattress. I have tried multiple combinations and now have something that works really well for me.
My current configuration is as follows (from top to bottom):
2" Talalay N2 (estimated average ILD 21)
2" Talalay zoned - the zones are described later
6" Talalay 32 ILD
This is the description of the 2" zoned layer.... The layer is 80" long (for example, a twin xl mattress is 80" long and 36" wide). The first 23" are Talalay 21 ILD (this is the head and shoulders area). The remaining 57" are Talalay ILD 28.
Every person is different. But this configuration works very well for me. The hip area is well supported, while there is less pressure on the shoulders. I am sleeping better than I have in many years.
Thank you very much for all your kind advice and the great information in this forum, which allowed me to get to the current design.
Now that I have gotten the bug of experimentation, I will likely try a few more things.... but not for a few months.
When I get the urge to experiment again, I will probably try a 3" zoned layer (instead of the current 2"), which will probably require a 36 ILD core to compensate for the additional inch of "softer" latex in the zoned layer.
Thanks for the feedback and it's great to see you have a combination that's working well for you
As you know I think the type of zoning you are using can be very effective.
Did you buy the zoned topper as it is or did you cut it to size yourself?
I have to say I've been impressed with your posts and your understanding of some of the "theory" behind layering combinations and how to "compensate" for changes and adjustments in different layers and it's not surprising that you've found a combination that works well for you.
I cut it to size myself.
Thanks for letting us know ... and way to go