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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 18 May 2015 16:21 #1

Hello,
I am considering purchasing the following All Natural Dunlop latex mattress from Ideal Mattress ( www.idealmattress.com ) in Mississauga, Ontario.
2” (1” + 1”) ILD 12-15 (classified as ‘soft’) - Dunlop
3” ILD 18-22 (classified as ‘medium firm’) - Dunlop
7” ILD 28 – 32 ('firm') – Dunlop

The mattress comes with an organic cotton and quilted wool zippered cover for $3,310.00 Canadian (+ hst and delivery).

The ILD 32 Dunlop core is the firmest Dunlop latex available at Ideal Mattress who use ‘only’ Dunlop foam in all their latex mattresses. I have tested this mattress configuration at the store, I liked it and found it both comfortable and supportive. My concern is that the ILD 32 (actually rated ILD 28-32) seems lower than what my research suggested, which would be ILD 36 or possibly even an ILD 40 core for a person of my weight (I weigh 270 lbs.). My other concern with using ILD 32 for the core would be its durability/longevity as it is my understanding that an higher ILD rating would offer an increase in durability/longevity. Could you comment on this ILD configuration as to whether this seems appropriate for my weight and also as to the durability/longevity of ILD 32 for a core layer?

Thank you so much in Advance!

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Last edit: by baddog. Reason: Changed ILD firmness classifications

About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 18 May 2015 19:59 #2

Hi baddog,

Could you comment on this ILD configuration as to whether this seems appropriate for my weight and also as to the durability/longevity of ILD 32 for a core layer?


You are really the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components would be the best "match" for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing or personal experience ... hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

Having said that ... the mattress you described would be softer overall than most people in your weight range would normally do best with "on average" and in particular the thickness and softness of the top two layers may be more risky in terms of your alignment than firmer layers but your own careful testing and personal experience always "trumps" theory because not everyone fits inside the averages.

Latex is the most durable of all the foam materials (polyfoam, memory foam, latex foam) and it would be more durable than other materials in the same firmness range but it's also true that softer layers will be less durable than firmer layers of the same material (with higher weight ranges especially) because the amount of deflection of a foam layer is what causes it to soften and break down. In very general terms I would be more concerned about the suitability and the durability of the top two layers and with the softness of the mattress overall than I would be concerned with the durability of the bottom layer although most people in your weight range would probably also do better in terms of PPP with a firmer support core as well.

Their ILD ratings also seem to be out of the range that most people would call soft, medium firm, or firm so I'm not sure how accurate their ILD numbers really are or how the ILD was tested (see post #2 here ). If their "word ratings" are more accurate than their ILD numbers then "in theory" the mattress would be more suitable for more people in your weight range based on "averages".

There is more about the many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress in post #4 here and the posts it links to.

Phoenix
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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 20 May 2015 06:26 #3

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Hi baddog,
I'm not sure if you are aware that ALL NATURAL latex does contain some chemicals. Phoenix explains this in detail in this interesting post

www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/general-mattresses/15026-stoked-i-found-this-site-need-help.html#33716

Good luck with you mattress purchase

cheers :)

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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 20 May 2015 21:59 #4

Thanks for your quick reply. I had to make a trip to Toronto yesterday to pick up some parts for what will eventually be a foundation bed for the mattress once I make my selection.
I understand as you stated that ‘there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components would be the best "match".
Perhaps a little history may help to clarify the advice I am seeking:
The bed I am replacing is a 10” latex mattress from Sears (I believe it has 6” of latex with a polyurethane core). I also added a 3” memory foam topper in addition on top of the mattress to provide an extra level of softness. When this mattress was new it was a joy to sleep on and I was immediately overjoyed with my purchase. Over a relative short period of time however this 3k$ mattress developed a significant ‘sink hole’ and after only a few years it needed to be replaced. I love the softness of the memory foam topper and I am trying to reproduce that ‘somewhat’ with the 2” of ILD 12-15 on the mattress I tried at the store. I don’t sink into the latex the same as with the memory foam but I’m trying to produce the feeling of being wrapped up in a cloud so to speak, hopefully without the heat of the memory foam. So although I enjoyed this mattress while it was new, I am hoping to avoid a reoccurrence of this short life span with my new mattress.
Where I live, in a Canadian border town adjacent to Michigan, there are literally no retailers or manufacturers where I can try different configurations, I had to travel a 6 hour round trip from my home to Ideal Mattress Ltd in Toronto, and as I have a significant back disability it is extremely difficult to make the trip. I found the mattress configuration (above) I tried at the store to be comfortable while also being supportive, but as they did not have any firmer latex for me to test I do not currently know how that may affect my comfort but my guess is that increasing the core from 32 ILD to ILD 36 or ILD 40 should not affect my comfort as I should not be sinking down onto the core anyway. I spoke with another Canadian manufacturer of Dunlop latex on the phone who also stated that he was unable to procure ILD 40 Dunlop latex. Although this would obviously be due to these company’s individual suppliers, I am having a difficult time finding a retailer or manufacturer selling natural latex rubber mattresses at a reasonable price (reasonable being under $4,000.00 inclusive).
To my surprise I liked the feeling of mattress quoted in my post. I have only been to one store but they did allow me to try various configurations of soft, medium, and firm latex only they did not have an ILD 40 or even an ILD 36 latex but all the other ILD’s of Dunlop latex were available to mix and match. The mattress above provided the softness that I like but also seemed to provide support at the same time, which was why I was surprised as my research seemed to suggest I require a denser core for a man of my weight. I tried softer configurations which were quite comfortable but they did not provide the support I know that I require. I tried firmer configurations (same core, firmer comfort layers) which did not provide the comfort I’m looking for.
What I am asking for advice on specifically is with the ‘core layer’ (7” of ILD 32). I am hoping that with proper selection on my part, the core layer will provide a foundation that can be relied upon to last for many years. I can live with and I actually anticipate that the comfort layers will have to be replaced within a few years. I would like to know if a ‘core’ using 7” ILD 32 is likely provide similar durability and longevity as a core using ILD 36 or ILD 40? I am looking to design a mattress where the ‘core’ will outlast one or more changes of the comfort layer(s). What would be the longevity of an ILD 32 core in comparison with a core using ILD 36 or ILD 40?
Also, is a core using ILD32 Dunlop (combined with 3” of ILD 18-22 as I tried at the store) likely to give me the support I need over time, or is the entire mattress likely to develop either a sink hole like my current mattress, or fail to provide support to my body over the years? As I stated, I anticipate having to replace the comfort layer over time, but I would like to select a core (and possibly the middle 3” layer also) that will hold up to my 270lb’s over time. I would expect that as latex increases in density it also increases in durability and longevity. Is this correct, and if so how much of a difference in durability and longevity should I expect as I increase the density from 32 ILD to 36 and 40 ILD?
My apologies for writing a book. I sincerely appreciate any advice.

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Last edit: by Phoenix. Reason: edit for search terms

About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 20 May 2015 23:35 #5

Hi baddog,

I don’t sink into the latex the same as with the memory foam but I’m trying to produce the feeling of being wrapped up in a cloud so to speak, hopefully without the heat of the memory foam.


There is more about the differences between memory foam and latex in post #2 here but the "feel" of being "wrapped up in a cloud" may be from the memory foam and it may not be possible to duplicate with latex because they are very different materials with a completely different subjective feel and response. Perhaps the closest you could come would be with very soft Talalay in the range of 14 - 19 ILD but it would still have a more "on the mattress" feel than memory foam and latex (or any material) that is that soft isn't likely to hold up well for someone in your weight range. If you are considering materials that are that soft I would probably make sure that they were either component layers or a topper so that they can be easily replaced without replacing the whole mattress.

There is more about the different ways that one mattress can "match" another one in post #9 here but the only reliable way to do this based on "specs" would be to duplicate the type, firmness, and thickness of all the layers and components in a mattress because every layer in a mattress will have some effect on the feel and performance of all the other layers and the mattress as a whole although the top 5" or 6" or so would have a bigger effect on what you feel when you lie on a mattress than the deeper layers. Other than duplicating the specs of your previous mattress you may need to actually test mattresses until you find one that has a similar "feel" based on your actual experience in the showroom.

Where I live, in a Canadian border town adjacent to Michigan, there are literally no retailers or manufacturers where I can try different configurations, I had to travel a 6 hour round trip from my home to Ideal Mattress Ltd in Toronto, and as I have a significant back disability it is extremely difficult to make the trip.


If you let me know your city or zip code I'd be happy to let you know about any options or possibilities I'm aware of in your area.

I found the mattress configuration (above) I tried at the store to be comfortable while also being supportive, but as they did not have any firmer latex for me to test I do not currently know how that may affect my comfort but my guess is that increasing the core from 32 ILD to ILD 36 or ILD 40 should not affect my comfort as I should not be sinking down onto the core anyway.


I would keep in mind that all the layers in a mattress will have "some" effect on all the other layers. They will all compress to some degree although the softer layers and the layers that are closer to the surface will compress more than firmer layers or layers that are deeper in the mattress and the upper layers will have more effect on how a mattress "feels" than the deeper layers. Depending on how sensitive you are to smaller changes though ... some people will notice even relatively small changes in a mattress in any layer while others may not notice them at all.

I spoke with another Canadian manufacturer of Dunlop latex on the phone who also stated that he was unable to procure ILD 40 Dunlop latex. Although this would obviously be due to these company’s individual suppliers, I am having a difficult time finding a retailer or manufacturer selling natural latex rubber mattresses at a reasonable price (reasonable being under $4,000.00 inclusive).


It may be more difficult to find 40 ILD latex in Toronto (I know that other forum members in Toronto have had some difficulty finding it as well) but I don't know the specifics of the mattresses that all the retailers on the Toronto list carry so you will need to either check their websites and/or talk to them on the phone to find out if any of them carry any mattreses that include 40 ILD latex in the support layers. It may be worth trying Dormio (who is a member of this site) or Soma Sleep although some of the others may also have it available as well.

Unless you have a great deal of experience in the industry and on a wide variety of latex mattresses with different combinations of latex I would concentrate more on your testing than on using specs (which may not always be accurate) and which are much more difficult to "translate" into your real life experience.

What I am asking for advice on specifically is with the ‘core layer’ (7” of ILD 32). I am hoping that with proper selection on my part, the core layer will provide a foundation that can be relied upon to last for many years. I can live with and I actually anticipate that the comfort layers will have to be replaced within a few years. I would like to know if a ‘core’ using 7” ILD 32 is likely provide similar durability and longevity as a core using ILD 36 or ILD 40? I am looking to design a mattress where the ‘core’ will outlast one or more changes of the comfort layer(s). What would be the longevity of an ILD 32 core in comparison with a core using ILD 36 or ILD 40?


There really is no way to quantify how long any mattress or combination of layers will maintain its comfort and support for any specific person but the previous post I linked in my last reply has much more detailed information about how all of the many variables involved can affect durability and the useful life of a mattress relative to different people. Since firmness is a durability factor as well it would be reasonable to expect firmer ILD's to last longer than softer ILD's if all the other layers and components of the mattress were the same so a firmer support core (probably in the range of 36 ILD or higher) with suitable layering on top of it (as firm as you are comfortable with) would probably be a good choice considering your weight.

Also, is a core using ILD32 Dunlop (combined with 3” of ILD 18-22 as I tried at the store) likely to give me the support I need over time, or is the entire mattress likely to develop either a sink hole like my current mattress, or fail to provide support to my body over the years? As I stated, I anticipate having to replace the comfort layer over time, but I would like to select a core (and possibly the middle 3” layer also) that will hold up to my 270lb’s over time. I would expect that as latex increases in density it also increases in durability and longevity. Is this correct, and if so how much of a difference in durability and longevity should I expect as I increase the density from 32 ILD to 36 and 40 ILD?


Again you are asking questions that don't have a quantifiable answer except in relative terms in comparison to other mattresses (firmer will be more durable than softer etc) because it will vary from person to person even if they are in the same weight range. Your own testing or personal experience will be the only way to know whether any mattress keeps you in good alignment in all your sleeping positions. In terms of durability ... firmer layers will last longer than softer layers so I would choose the firmest layers that you are comfortable with and that provides you with good PPP.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 26 May 2015 19:47 #6

Thank you so much Phoenix for your detailed post, I really do appreciate the time you have spent and the information in your post(s). I fully understand your reluctance to state specific ILD recommendations and it certainly is true that PPP is going to be different for every individual.
I have reconsidered my original decision to purchase locally as I am unable to obtain an appropriately firm Dunlop core (ILD 40) which appears to be required for a person of my weight. I think my best choice at this point will be a DIY most likely from Arizona Mattress ( www.mattresses.net ). Although I understand that you are not able to give me specific ILD’s I am considering the following purchase:
6” ILD 36 – ILD 40 Dunlop (core)
3” ILD 22 Dunlop (intermediate layer or comfort layer)
I am considering starting with only these two layers and see how they feel after sleeping on them for a while with the goal of adding an additional 3” or more afterwards.
Question: If I am unable to source 40 ILD Dunlop Core would you think that a 36 ILD Core would be sufficient for my 270lbs or would you advise me to keep looking for ILD 40 ?
Secondly, my logic in purchasing the 3” of ILD 22 Dunlop is that if it is too firm for a topper I can add a topper to it or if it is too soft for an intermediate layer I can use it as a topper. Does this sound reasonable?

Thanks so much, I appreciate your input.

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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 26 May 2015 20:14 #7

Hi baddog,

I think my best choice at this point will be a DIY most likely from Arizona Mattress ( www.mattresses.net ). Although I understand that you are not able to give me specific ILD’s I am considering the following purchase:
6” ILD 36 – ILD 40 Dunlop (core)
3” ILD 22 Dunlop (intermediate layer or comfort layer)


You are certainly looking in a good direction if you are comfortable with an online purchase.

There is also more information in post #2 here about the different ways to choose a mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for that are involved in each of them but when you can't test a mattress in person (or at least a design that is very similar) then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer who has your best interests at heart that can help "talk you through" the options they have available based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences and which of the firmness and layering options they have available will have the best chance of success than anyone else.

If I am unable to source 40 ILD Dunlop Core would you think that a 36 ILD Core would be sufficient for my 270lbs or would you advise me to keep looking for ILD 40 ?


There is little difference between a 40 ILD Dunlop core and a 36 ILD Dunlop core and a 4 ILD difference would be inside the range that a Dunlop core can vary anyway (you can get a sense of the range for each firmness level of 100% natural Dunlop here ). Which one was "better" for you would also depend on the layers that are on top of the core as well because in some designs you may need a firmer core and in some designs you may need to focus more on the transition between the layers.

Your own personal testing or a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable manufacturer that can give you suggestions that are specific to the mattress you are considering and the materials and options they have available are the two most reliable ways to choose. While I would "lean" towards a firmer support core at your weight ... it may not always be the best choice for you depending on the thickness and firmness of all the other layers and how they interact together and with you on the mattress.

Secondly, my logic in purchasing the 3” of ILD 22 Dunlop is that if it is too firm for a topper I can add a topper to it or if it is too soft for an intermediate layer I can use it as a topper. Does this sound reasonable?


I would tend to choose firmer layers if I was in your shoes because 22 ILD may be on the soft side for most people in your weight range either as a top layer or as an intermediate layer but once again the only way to know this for certain would be based on your own personal experience so the exchange options you have after a purchase would also be an important part of the "value" of your purchase. I would also keep in mind that there will be some cost involved in exchanging a topper across the border so if the top layer is too firm (which is very unlikely with a 22 ILD layer) then you can always add a topper to add some additional softness and pressure relief but if the top layer is too soft then the only effective solution to firm up the mattress would be to replace it with a firmer layer.

Phoenix
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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 26 May 2015 23:36 #8

Thanks Phoenix, I feel like I'm at least headed in the right direction. Excuse my ignorance but I'm not quite sure I understood the following statement.

Which one was "better" for you would also depend on the layers that are on top of the core as well because in some designs you may need a firmer core and in some designs you may need to focus more on the transition between the layers.

... it may not always be the best choice for you depending on the thickness and firmness of all the other layers and how they interact together and with you on the mattress.

So would a softer core (36 ILD) be more appropriate if the other layers are not quite so dense, as in a 22 ILD layer or vise versa? Could you please elaborate please Phoenix?
Thanks.

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About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 27 May 2015 00:22 #9

Hi baddog,

Both of these comments were just a way of saying "it depends" on the specific design and combination of materials in a mattress.

For example if you have a thinner comfort layer on top of a support core then you may need a lower ILD support core because you could "go through" the comfort layer and compress the deeper layers below it more and with a thinner comfort layer and a larger differential between the ILD's you may feel too much of the firmness of the support core below it for you to be comfortable on the mattress.

The ILD of a latex core is measured by the force it takes to compress a 50 sq inch round compressor plate 1.5" into the core so the ILD only measures the firmness at 1.5" of compression on a 6" core. All foam materials become firmer as you sink into them more deeply so it would take more force to compress the foam more deeply than 1.5" (the rate that a foam material becomes firmer with deeper compression is called the compression modulus of the foam) so if you had a thinner comfort layer then you would be compressing the support core more deeply and it would "act" firmer and be more "supportive" than if you had a thicker comfort layer on top of the same support core.

Different types and blends of latex also have a different compression modulus and the ILD of different types and blends of latex may not be directly comparable to each other as well (see post #6 here )

There are also many other "specs" that combine together as part of the design of a mattress that makes one mattress suitable for one person and not another and ILD by itself can be somewhat misleading because it isn't the only specification that determines the feel and performance of a mattress or how "supportive" a support core may be (see post #2 here ).

Unless you have a great deal of knowledge and experience with different types of mattress materials and specs and different layering combinations and how they combine together and can translate them into your own "real life" experience ... I would tend to avoid using ILD numbers or other complex specs to try and predict how a mattress will feel for you and focus more on your own actual testing and experience or if you can't test a mattress in person then a more detailed phone conversation with an online manufacturer or retailer. If you try to become an "expert" in mattress theory and design it could take you years to learn enough to design your own mattress using specs that can be more complex than you may realize and I would focus more on your own testing which "bypasses" the need to know anything about specs at all or alternatively talking to knowledgeable and experienced manufacturers or retailers who already know what you would otherwise need to learn before you would be able to choose a mattress.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

About to Purchase: Need Help with ILD for All Natural Dunlop Mattress 27 May 2015 21:31 #10

That makes sense Thanks Phoenix.
Would a 'split' core (Two Twin XL's to make a 'King Size' instead of a single piece of latex) make any difference? I see others splitting the comfort layers but I couldn't find anything on the consequences having a split core. I'm not talking about different firmness levels, it seems some online DIY's are splitting the their 6" king size core's into two twin xl's for shipping reasons I assume?

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