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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 05:31 #1

My wife and I (210 lbs.) have been on a memory foam bed now for 7 years. I built it using a JC Penney 5" extra firm base (38ILD 1.45 foam is quite firm on the edges only at this point) and a 3" Sensus topper. We loved the bed but it has lost it's firmness over the years so I got a new 3" Sensus topper but was sent the incorrect base. I calculated the base they sent as a 1.67 lb, most likely a 1.8, but it was a joke to us. It was way too easy to compress. It is to be corrected but I may have a choice of 2 base ILD's in 2.8lb HR 4" foam.

We like a very firm bed and are trying to decide between the 50 ILD or should we try the 60 ILD?
Great web site by the way! :)

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Last edit: by cbb.

Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 10:16 #2

Hi cbb,

The density of a foam is connected to its durability but not to it's softness or firmness so any density of foam can be made in a very wide range of firmness levels.

If the foam you are looking at is 2.8 lb density then it would be a high quality and durable material.

Both 50 ILD and 60 ILD are considerably firmer than you would normally find in a mattress support core and would be in the "ultra firm" range. I would think that 50 ILD would be more than firm enough and probably too firm for most people.

Phoenix
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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 12:04 #3

As a bit of history we were not happy with spring beds and shopped for all types including the sleep number type and ended up falling in love with the original Tempur Pedic. The fancier Tempur Pedic models up the line were just too soft the higher the price. That is when I looked into making my own original version for less...

Yes, we like it solid. Also I am 210 lbs. Do you think we would tell much of a difference between the 50 vs. 60 ILD?
Also wondering if the 60 may be more durable and give us longer life as well.

Thank you for your insight!

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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 15:25 #4

Hi cbb,

Yes, we like it solid. Also I am 210 lbs. Do you think we would tell much of a difference between the 50 vs. 60 ILD?
Also wondering if the 60 may be more durable and give us longer life as well.


The biggest factor in the durability of a foam is the density ... not the ILD. The "weak link" of a mattress will usually be in the top layers ... not in the deeper layers and the type, quality, and thickness of the comfort layer(s) will be a bigger factor in the durability and useful life of the mattress than the deeper layers. The more that you compress the deeper layers in the mattress "through" the top layers when you sleep on it the more wear and tear they will be subject to and the more the quality/density of the deeper layers of a mattress will play a secondary role in its durability and useful life but you will always compress the upper layers more than the deeper layers which is why a mattress will tend to soften and break down from the top down.

Yes, we like it solid. Also I am 210 lbs. Do you think we would tell much of a difference between the 50 vs. 60 ILD?


This would also depend on the layers above it along with the body type, sleeping style, and sensitivities and preferences of each person. Some people that were more sensitive would probably feel some difference and others that were less sensitive probably wouldn't notice any difference at all since they would both feel "very firm".

Phoenix
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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 17:47 #5

So at this point looking at our 7 year old JC Penney 5 " extra firm base and the 3" Sensus top, I thought they were both shot. My sons Aerus was done and had to be thrown out. His base foam looked good and was nearly as firm in the middle as the edges. So we cut our 7 year old Sensus to fit his twin bed and it is pretty darn nice. My son is thrilled and I could sleep on it and be happy for a while. In the mean time our new queen 3" Sensus came in with the wrong base, to be swapped out for the correct HR 2.8 foam. We knew what came in was wrong right away as I calculated its' density.

We put the new Sensus topper on the 7 year worn extra firm base and it made some difference. So it would seem that the base wore out first and the topper had more life in it. Bought the high-end base foam to see if we can extend the life of the bed as a whole, maybe out to 9-10 years this time.

Just wanted to give some idea of the life expectations and our experience.

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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 18:38 #6

Hi cbb,

Your experience is interesting and really goes to show that the person on the mattress and how well a certain combination of layers works for a particular person can be just as big a part of the useful life of a mattress as the mattress materials themselves (see post #2 here ).

If I'm understanding you correctly your old Sensus topper on your son's extra firm base works well for him (he's thrilled) so the combination would still have some life left in it if he is the one sleeping on it.

On the other hand ... the same mattress doesn't work quite as well for you (although you "could" sleep on it) but if you replace the old Sensus with the new Sensus on the same base foam then it there is "some improvement" for you which seems to indicate that the difference between your old Sensus and your new Sensus is the main reason for the improvement since they are both on the same base foam.

Thanks for the feedback ... and I'll be interested to see how the new base foam works for you.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 18:59 #7

Well what I was trying to say is that our old Sensus topper on his JCPenney base, which is in good shape as he is much lighter, is almost like our bed felt at about the 3 year mark. If he had somewhere else to sleep I would be comfortable on it. It leads me to believe that our base foam wore faster then the topper. I will add to this thread after we get our new base and give our impressions.

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Base foam choice 22 Jun 2014 19:13 #8

Hi cbb,

It leads me to believe that our base foam wore faster then the topper.


That's certainly possible in some cases depending on the person, the thickness of the topper, and on the quality/density of the topper relative to the quality/density of the base foam (although the comfort layers are much more commonly the weak link of a mattress).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Base foam choice 07 Sep 2014 10:28 #9

So this set up with the 3" Sensus and 2.8lb HR 4" foam 60 ILD has turned out to be too firm. As a test, I placed our son's used base foam (of approximately 32 ILD) 5" as a middle layer and the magic is there but it is now too soft. (Also tried a cheap 1 1/2"egg crate type layer, just laying around the house, as the middle but it was too soft overall as well) I was thinking of adding a new 2.8lb HR 40 ILD as a middle layer hoping this would be soft enough but still have support.

Would a 2" layer in the 40 ILD be thick enough to accomplish our goal or would a 3" inch layer be needed?
Looking at a1foamandfabrics.com.

Thank you.

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Last edit: by cbb.

Base foam choice 07 Sep 2014 12:28 #10

Hi cbb,

So this set up with the 3" Sensus and 2.8lb HR 4" foam 60 ILD has turned out to be too firm.


I'm not particularly surprised because a 60 ILD base layer is significantly firmer than you would usually find in a mattress and with only 3" of memory foam on top of it then the odds are much higher that you would "feel" the firmness of the base layer through the memory foam.

Would a 2" layer in the 40 ILD be thick enough to accomplish our goal or would a 3" inch layer be needed?


There are too many unknowns and variables involved to be able to predict this based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory" and the only way to know would be to sleep on the mattress but thinner layers will "act" firmer because they will go from soft to firm within a much narrower range of compression and there would be a higher risk of your mattress bottoming out (reaching it's maximum compression and firmness) than with a thicker base layer (see post #14 here ).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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