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Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 29 Jan 2015 14:40 #1

I recently purchased a Dreamfoam 12-in-1, all HD polyurethane mattress, to replace a 17 year old pillow top spring core mattress that was not longer comfortable to sleep in. Unfortunately, I am finding that this mattress is not more comfortable than my old mattress, and I'm likely going to be returning it, and getting another mattress.

The issue seems to be one of lumbar support. I have minor back issues, and having a mattress that can provide some support to my lower back seems to make a large difference in comfort. I thought I would be able to find comfort with some configuration of the 12-in-1, but I'm not finding it.

I notice in your discussion of comfort layers you say "The only soft polyurethane foam that is really suitable for use in a comfort layer is the highest grade called HR (High Resilience 2.5 lbs or higher) polyfoam." I guess I should have payed more attention to that given that the 12-in-1 only has 2.0lb HD foam layers.

In contrast, I have recently tried sleeping on a friends FloBeds all-natural latex bed and I find it remarkably comfortable, and it seems to provide good lumbar support despite being a soft mattress. I can feel the difference in pressure between the two mattresses when I place my hand below my lower back when lying down.

Granted, this is not a fair comparison. The FlowBeds mattress was a $2000 mattress, and the 12-in-1 is only $400.

I'm wondering if the quality I'm looking for is "resilience". If heard it described as "the ability to push back and hold the more recessed parts of you up" (by this site), but I've also read in several other places that it's the speed at which the foam returns back to it's original form after removing pressure. These seem unrelated. Which is it?

And more practically, is it's likely I can find this kind of lumbar support with a mattress that has a 3" latex comfort layer, and the rest is HD polyfoam? I'd love to have a $2000 mattress but unfortunately I cannot afford that right now. It seems though there are lots of options in the $600-1000 range with latex comfort layers (including several from Dreamfoam).

Thanks for any guidance.

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Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 29 Jan 2015 16:01 #2

Hi mark_in_sf,

Thanks for the update and feedback and I'm sorry to hear that the Dreamfoam 12 in 1 customizable isn't working out for you.

I notice in your discussion of comfort layers you say "The only soft polyurethane foam that is really suitable for use in a comfort layer is the highest grade called HR (High Resilience 2.5 lbs or higher) polyfoam." I guess I should have payed more attention to that given that the 12-in-1 only has 2.0lb HD foam layers.


Thanks for bring this page to my attention since it had some information that wasn't accurate at all and contradicted some of the other pages and guidelines on the site. I've re-written it so that it is more in line with the information about polyfoam comfort layers here and in the foam quality guidelines here and it now also includes some information about some of the newer versions of high performance polyfoam that are available in the market.

This particular page was written over 4 years ago when I was first writing the initial articles for the site (before the site was online) and was written with an eye to identifying more "premium" higher quality materials that were more comparable to latex and memory foam and suitable for use in higher budget mattresses and also didn't take into account the budget range of the mattress. It was never edited over time (unlike most of the other pages of the site) as the scope and focus of the site was broadened or new types of foam were developed. I'm amazed that you were the first one to mention it and appreciate that you brought the inaccuracies and discrepancies in it to my attention.

2.0 lb polyfoam is a high quality and durable material that would be suitable for higher weight ranges as well and the information you read was certainly misleading.

I'm wondering if the quality I'm looking for is "resilience". If heard it described as "the ability to push back and hold the more recessed parts of you up" (by this site), but I've also read in several other places that it's the speed at which the foam returns back to it's original form after removing pressure. These seem unrelated. Which is it?


Resilience is a measure of how much energy a foam stores rather than dissipates and is measured by the percentage of the original height that a ball will bounce when it is dropped on a material. It has very little to do with "support" which has more to do with firmness and compression modulus because even lower density or softer materials can have a higher resilience (be more springy) and slow response materials like memory foam have no resilience at all. It is also closely connected to the freedom of movement on a mattress (low resilience materials are more "motion restricting").

In any case ... the Dreamfoam 12 in 1 mattress certainly uses high quality materials and there are no "weak links" in its design and it is a particulary good quality choice in it's budget range and would be suitable for higher weight ranges as well although that doesn't mean that it would be a good match for any particular person in terms of PPP (although with 12 different configurations it would be unusual that someone didn't find a configuration that was suitable for them).

And more practically, is it's likely I can find this kind of lumbar support with a mattress that has a 3" latex comfort layer, and the rest is HD polyfoam? I'd love to have a $2000 mattress but unfortunately I cannot afford that right now. It seems though there are lots of options in the $600-1000 range with latex comfort layers (including several from Dreamfoam).


The only way to know whether any mattress would be a good match for you in terms of PPP would be by your own testing or personal sleeping experience but there is more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between the two types of "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel" and why some mattresses are suitable for some people but not for others that have a different body type, sleeping position, or preferences or sensitivities.

There is also more about the different ways to choose a mattress that can help you identify and minimize the risks involved with each of them in post #2 here but in the end it the only way to know for with absolute certainty whether any mattress is a good match for you is when you actually sleep on it.

Thanks again for the update and your feedback ... and especially for bringing a page that had some misleading or outdated information to my attention so I could correct it ... I appreciate it :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 30 Jan 2015 10:20 #3

Thanks.

I decided to retry a layer arrangement that I'd quickly discounted before, and found it pretty comfortable last night - certainly better than my old mattress, so maybe I'll be keeping the 12-in-one after all. Those posts you mentioned were helpful in understanding how mattress work to keep proper alignment.

I've arranged to sleep on my friend's five year old $2000 FlowBed again this weekend so I can really compare to what a full latex mattress feels like. If it's a whole lot better I may end up returning the 12-in-1, taking the $99 restocking/shipping hit, and spend the money to get a mattress I'll be really happy with.

I'll post later for the benefit of future mattress purchasers.

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Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 30 Jan 2015 11:07 #4

Hi mark_in_sf,

I decided to retry a layer arrangement that I'd quickly discounted before, and found it pretty comfortable last night - certainly better than my old mattress, so maybe I'll be keeping the 12-in-one after all. Those posts you mentioned were helpful in understanding how mattress work to keep proper alignment.


I hope you find a layering arrangement that works well for you. Although polyfoam will never "feel" like latex, it's also in a much lower budget range and for many people it can make a very good choice.

I've arranged to sleep on my friend's five year old $2000 FlowBed again this weekend so I can really compare to what a full latex mattress feels like. If it's a whole lot better I may end up returning the 12-in-1, taking the $99 restocking/shipping hit, and spend the money to get a mattress I'll be really happy with.


One of the advantages of a component mattress is also that you can replace individual layers and it may also be worth considering a 3" latex topper and replacing the top layer of the 12 in 1 with latex so you have more of the "feel" of a latex sleeping surface (although of course it still wouldn't be the same as an "all latex" mattress like Flobeds).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 30 Jan 2015 13:23 #5

Yeah, I may just do that. I really do like having a zip up mattress cover, and a lot of control over the layers. Looks like a 3" latex toppers run around $300+, so that would only be around $200 out of my pocket when taking into account the potential restocking fees :)

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Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 30 Jan 2015 15:45 #6

Hi mark_in_sf,

If you do decide to go in the direction of a topper then post #3 here and the topper guidelines it links to includes more information about choosing a topper and also links to a list of the better online sources for latex toppers I'm aware of as well.

Phoenix
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Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 31 Jan 2015 09:01 #7

I did an experiment taking on of my friend's 3" latex support layers and putting it in the middle of my 12-in-1 with the soft polyfoam layer on top. It did like the added support it gave, and the feel. I'm not sure how firm that latex layer is, but it seemed on the firmer side.

I'm really leaning toward getting a latex 3" layer. But I'm not sure what firmness to get. It seems to me a "soft" (~20 ild) would be best as a top layer, so that I get the most out of the latex support properties and "feel". I'd still have a lot of control over the firmness of the mid and lower layers with the polyfoam that came with the 12-in-1. And from my experience, the firmness of the middle layer had a large impact on the perceived softness of the top layer, and pressure point relief.

Then again maybe something a little firmer (~28) and I can make the mid layer softer?

I know you can't know my softness preference, but any thoughts on what might be an appropriate firmness level to upgrade a Dreamfoam 12-in-1?

(Just to add some more info. What I found worked best for me with the 12-in-1 was the "medium" firmness that from bottom to top is firm, soft, medium. I'm also about 5'10" 180lbs.)

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Last edit: by mark_in_sf. Reason: More info

Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 31 Jan 2015 11:07 #8

Hi mark_in_sf,

Unfortunately there are far too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for me to make any specific firmness suggestions and some trial and error will be necessary to find the configuration that works best for you because different people can be very different from each other even if they have a similar body type.

The first thing I would decide though is whether you would prefer to use latex as the top layer in your mattress (which would give you more of the "feel" of latex) or whether you would prefer it in the transition layer (which would have more of the "feel" of the top polyfoam layer but would be "modified" by the latex underneath it) because this will affect your firmness choice.

The best suggestion I can provide would be to make sure that the latex topper you purchase has a good return or exchange option so that you can use your own personal experience to decide whether you made the most suitable choice and if you choose a firmness level that isn't ideal for you in combination with your other layering options that you can exchange it for a different firmness level.

(Just to add some more info. What I found worked best for me with the 12-in-1 was the "medium" firmness that from bottom to top is firm, soft, medium. I'm also about 5'10" 180lbs.)


This is what is called a "dominating layer" where a softer layer is used under a firmer layer. You can see some comments about this type of design in post #33 here and the posts it links to and if this is a "feel" that you like then it may be worthwhile using a medium latex layer (in the range of 28 - 32 ILD or so) as a starting point which you can try either over the same bottom layers or use as a transition layer under the soft or medium polyfoam.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 31 Jan 2015 11:35 #9

OK, thanks a lot. You've been a great help.

I think I'd be happy with my 12-in-1 mattress as it is today, but I think having some latex in the mix is going to make me even happier, and worth the couple hundred extra dollars.

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Last edit: by mark_in_sf.

Confusion about "resilience" + Not likeing HD Polyfoam support layer 07 Feb 2015 11:17 #10

Just to follow up, DreamFoam sent me a 3" 24 ILD talalay layer (blended I assume) made by Latex International.

I slept on it in this confuration:

24 LI latex
Med Polyfoam
Firm Polyfoam

It was certainly an improvement. My 12-in-1 went from being OK to pretty good. I'm sold on latex as being a great material for a mattress. This configuration is still a tad too soft for me. I tried flipping the hard/med polyfoam and that was too firm. I still have access to my generous friend's all natural rubber latex FlowBed, so also have access to 32 ILD and 36 ILD 3" layers.

Just for an experiment I tried this:

24 LI latex
36 FB latex
Firm polyfoam

I like this as well, but this seemed a bit to firm, and didn't seem to let my lower body sink in enough. Then I tried this:

24 LI latex
32 FB latex
Firm polyfoam

And this seemed to be the sweet spot for lying on my back or side, and seemed to cradle my lumber region just right when on my back. Amazing how such a small change can make a difference. I may try sleeping on that tonight for a real test. If I like it I may end up getting a 32 IDL layer. So basically...my initial 12-in-1 purchase has become a DIY bed, which isn't a bad thing I guess :cheer:

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