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Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 04:43 #1

Continuous pour Dunlop natural latex:

I believe I am experiencing lower left back pain because my hips are sinking in too far where the pincores are larger at the hip area. I sleep on my right side, and my hips are being "pulled down" into this softer area of the latex leaving my lower left back "curved" down too much. It feels like sciatic-type pain. I've never had sciatica problems so something is definitely wrong.

My mattress configuration is F,M,F. I'm 48 years old, 128 lbs and 5' 3" tall.

I've already tried putting the Medium layer on top and the back pain is much worse.

The owner where I bought the mattress says people have different preferences about zoned latex. Mine is that I wish the latex piece was the same all the way down the mattress.

I am reading a bit here today about how to remedy this as I don't want to deal with a mattress exchange. Some people in other threads talked about cutting the latex. Has anyone ever tried to make the holes a little larger to match the larger ones at the hip area?

I am considering that perhaps I am just "getting used to" sleeping on latex and perhaps it is actually aligning my spine correctly but I don't think so.

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Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 06:10 #2

I think the title of my post is an accurate instinct that I want to offset the current zoning of my layers.
After reading more here today I am going to look at my layers when I get home to see if the holes at the shoulders are perhaps a bit smaller than then ones at the hip area in which case I could turn 1 or 2 layers around so it's all more supportive and firmer at my hips. It would then of course be softer at the shoulders but that's ok, actually better anyway as it's a bit too firm right now for my shoulders anyway.

I believe this is Mountaintop's 7-zone natural latex. My assumption is the holes are equal in size at the shoulder and hip area. In which case what I just said won't work.

I could also buy 1 layer of NON-ZONED natural latex somewhere for the top layer in which case given my problems with the current zoning AND firmness factor I might keep the 2 firm zoned layers I have, get rid of the Medium zoned top layer and choose a non-zoned medium layer of only 1" or 2" - probably 2".

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Last edit: by LookingNow.

Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 07:27 #3

Hi LookingNow,

Usually, the zoning is to be firmer at the hip area, not softer. Of course, it's possible your piece is different than this. Sometimes, the pincore holes are different on either side of the latex too.

I find it interesting that you have a firmer mattress with f/m/f, and are relatively light..you'd be the best judge, but are you sure it's too soft and not too firm? Too firm can cause your lower back to come out of alignment also. Of course, there are no standards to naming latex so I don't know how firm it actually is.

I zoned my mattress fairly extensively by cutting and arranging different firmnesses. I doubt you'd be able to usefully adjust the pincore sizes. You would be able to cut the latex to some extent to shift the zones around, but my approach if applied to your situation, was to make there be f/f/f under hips, and f/m/m under shoulders, kind of thing.

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Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 07:45 #4

Hi dn
Thanks for your response

The seller said the same thing - it's probably pushback on my hips, not that the other way around as I though (sinking).
I laid on the bed just now and looked and my hips rest mostly on the smaller pinholes but also a little bit on the area where the pinholes get larger.

Seller is going to order 2 pieces of monozoned natural latex (F and M). It will take a little while for it to come in so in the meantime he has asked me to sleep sideways on my bed all night to see if a monozoned feel is better for me, before I take home any monozoned pieces he buys. Luckily, I'm short :)

When sleeping on M,F,F I ended up in lying across the bed anyway by morning...my body was craving no zoning! I also awoke exhausted with a lot of lower back pain from lying in the normal direction (down the bed) most of the night. The F,M,F was a little better though than the M,F,F.

My feeling is that with these 2 new monozoned pieces I will really have something much better to play around with regarding general firmnesses.

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Last edit: by LookingNow.

Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 09:10 #5

Hi LookingNow,

One of the "challenges" of zoning schemes that have a larger number of zones with shorter people can be that the zoning may not align with their body and doesn't work the way it is designed to work for most people (see post #18 here ).

It's great to see that Neal is going "above and beyond" to order a unizone layer for you. That kind of service is one of the advantages of dealing with a good manufacturer :)

Phoenix
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Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 09:39 #6

Yes. Neal actually opened up an account with the latex maker he thought would make the best product for my needs. He said we would figure something out. He asked me what beds I had in the past that worked for me to get an idea of how to match my latex needs to it since I cannot use MF anymore due to my allergies. By the way, what felt great to me before I switched to latex was a strong coiled Gardner mattress with 3" of moderately dense MF. No zoning. Good for stomach and side sleeping both.

One question here if I may...in the link you just offered did I correctly read that you suggest a monozoned latex layer can give the support and comfort some people need if it's a good product?

Neal said this new natural latex will be coming from Sri Lanka. I believe from Arpico.

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Last edit: by LookingNow.

Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 11:39 #7

LookingNow,

One question here if I may...in the link you just offered did I correctly read that you suggest a monozoned latex layer can give the support and comfort some people need if it's a good product?


Yes .... latex is a somewhat unusual material because it is very point elastic (can adapt very well to different body shapes and redistribute pressure without being "held back" by the material next to the compression) and has a high compression modulus (how quickly a material becomes firmer as you sink into it more deeply). This means that even with soft latex or latex layers that aren't zoned it can become firmer more quickly under the heavier parts of the body (such as the pelvis) as they sink in more deeply which can "stop" them from sinking in too far and keep the spine in better alignment. This is the reason for zoning in the first place to "hold up" some parts of the body while "allowing" others (such as the shoulders) to sink in more deeply to maintain good spinal alignment.

Monozone latex layers have been used successfully for decades because the unique properties of latex (or some other high quality materials) allow it to adapt to different body types and weight distributions and maintain alignment more effectively and in a way they have a form of "built in" zoning because of their specific properties which means that zoning isn't as "necessary" as it would be with other types of materials that don't have the same properties or response. While zoning can certainly be helpful in some cases even with latex ... this isn't necessarily true in all cases and the key with any mattress design or zoning scheme is that it is a good "match" for the unique needs and preferences of a particular person in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and what works well for some or even many may not work at all for others.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 12:18 #8

Thank you for those explanations.

My only other question before these 2 new monozoned layers are ordered is this: I will be keeping the bottom Firm 3" zoned layer of latex. What do you think of my asking Neal if he can order two 2" layers of monozoned latex rather than two 3" layers?

I ask this because the 3" M layer was too soft and the 3" F layer was a bit too hard. I don't want to start playing around with ILDs sight unseen or at all frankly, nor do I believe this type of Dunlop even comes in anything other than S,M and F.

I would still have 5" of Firm core plus 2" of (what feels to me to be soft) M. Something about too much latex in this situation feels as though I would have less "breathing space" and too cumbersome for this comfort situation on some way. In the past I have liked a firm spring mattress with 3" of fairly dense MF.

Or would I feel touch of that zoned F bottom layer through only 4" additional on top of it? (I could feel just the right amount actually, though.)

Also the 3" layers are heavy in a full-size...I can't carry them up my stairs and they're difficult to move around if I try to switch them around to play with different combinations.

Maybe doing two 2" layers is dangerous...not sure if you have any insight on this.

Once again thanks for all your knowledge and help.

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Last edit: by LookingNow.

Offsetting Zoned Latex - DIY? 12 Mar 2014 12:40 #9

Hi LookingNow,

I consider Neal to be an "expert" in latex and in mattress design and theory in general and the materials and components he carries or has access to specifically and your conversations with him would be a much more reliable source of specific guidance and insight than the much more generic information that I can provide on a forum.

I would base any specific decisions on your conversations with him in combination with "best judgement".

Phoenix
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