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normal Zenhaven Mattress

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01 Jun 2016 13:20 #1 by Manimal

Hi Phoenix,

It's been a little while and I still haven't decided on a "finished" mattress but have been looking to speed things up a bit. I was getting close to pulling the trigger on one of a couple 'hybrid' options but then came across the Zenhaven mattress (by Saatva) this past weekend.

It has a great design and appears to be a great value, especially considering the quality of the materials and that it's two-sided. They also offer full delivery/ setup/ removal options for reasonable fees. I'm turned-off by component mattresses at this point for a variety of reasons and haven't really seen anything that competes with the Zenhaven either locally or online when it comes to overall value (on a finished mattress with all-natural Talalay).

This brings me to a pet-peeve (or a few under a general theme)- the foundation. A little while back I purchased a foundation from a local place... it's solid (had them add extra slats) and well-constructed, and I liked the border fabric/color. It wasn't until after it was delivered (and paid for) that I realized the aesthetic element was 'off'. Instead of the border fabric wrapping over the top edges and going into the surface a couple inches before connecting to the non-skid material, the non-skid material (which is somewhat of an unattractive beige /off-white) actually comes out over the edges slightly... pretty much the opposite of how I think most people would agree it should be. I realize that many people wouldn't care about this (or possibly even notice) and that some will use a bed-skirt or place the foundation within a frame, etc., but I was pretty detailed and didn't think this is something that should even need to be mentioned (didn't even occur to me at the time).

One thing I knew going in is that cardboard was used in the foundation... most manufacturers are doing this now (with corrugated cardboard or MDF) in complete disregard or ignorance of the fact that it inhibits airflow. The exception would be the more expensive "natural' foundations that use additional wood slats with or without wool (and/or cotton) padding. If the slats are close enough together (about 2" on my foundation), I would think the fiber pad (which it also has) is sufficient and will also allow for a little air to pass through so the mattress can breathe a bit. Regardless, I relented on the cardboard and accepted that, but get annoyed every time I notice the edges of the foundation I paid good money for (which is often).

Due to my frustration with the foundation, I've been looking for an opportunity to replace it, which is admittedly a shame since it's functionally sound. I found another local place that really listens and can construct a very good quality foundation at a reasonable cost (about half of my current one). However, since I'm probably going to get the Zenhaven at this point, I figured it would be easiest to go with their foundation (which they of course recommend) since everything can be delivered and setup in one shot. It's reasonably priced but after asking them about the construction, here we go again...

It has only six 2.75" cross-slats (.75" thick), covered with some cardboard or MDF which is covered with a little of their polyfoam. I don't care what any of these manufacturers say... this is crap. Using cardboard/MDF to compensate for wide gaps between the slats doesn't work... I've done my own testing with two of these types of foundations (with a latex mattress on top) and found the mattress will easily depress the cardboard/MDF in between the slats if they're a few inches or more apart. In my opinion, many of these companies don't really understand or care about what makes a good foundation for a latex mattress and their own foundations are made to appear adequate while costs are being cut on the quality. This implies they do have some idea that as long as it's just adequate enough, the foundation is usually going to be overlooked with respect to most warranty/performance claims related to the mattress itself (and prevent returns within a trial period if offered).

Overall, I really wish that even some smaller companies would learn to "listen" a little more and pay more attention to (or even acknowledge) certain details instead of just assuming you're going to (or should) just "take their word for it". That said, I don't want to get outside the scope of this post and was wondering what your thoughts are on the above and the Zenhaven foundation (and mattress!)

Thanks,
Manimal

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01 Jun 2016 14:30 #2 by Phoenix

Hi Manimal,

It's been a little while and I still haven't decided on a "finished" mattress but have been looking to speed things up a bit. I was getting close to pulling the trigger on one of a couple 'hybrid' options but then came across the Zenhaven mattress (by Saatva) this past weekend.

It has a great design and appears to be a great value, especially considering the quality of the materials and that it's two-sided. They also offer full delivery/ setup/ removal options for reasonable fees. I'm turned-off by component mattresses at this point for a variety of reasons and haven't really seen anything that competes with the Zenhaven either locally or online when it comes to overall value (on a finished mattress with all-natural Talalay).

That said, I don't want to get outside the scope of this post and was wondering what your thoughts are on the above and the Zenhaven foundation (and mattress!)


While I can't speak to whether one of the two sides would be a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) because the only way to know for certain will be based on your own experience ... the Saatva Zenhaven mattress uses high quality materials (100% natural Talalay and a cotton cover quilted to organic wool) and there are no lower quality materials or weak links in the mattress that would be a cause for concern in terms of the durability or useful life of the mattress.

If you are confident that one of the two sides would be a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (or you are comfortable with the return policy and the costs involved) and if it also compares well to any of your other finalists including the DIY options you have been considering based on all the other parts of your personal value equation that are important to you ... then it would certainly be well worth considering.

While it is a two sided mattress ... I would keep in mind that the two sides are a different firmness level so once you have decided on which of the two sides you sleep best on it would effectively be a one sided mattress since most people would only sleep on the side that they prefer.

I'm not sure why you are "turned off" by component mattresses but if for some reason you don't like loose layers then once you have decided on the configuration that works best for you then you can always glue the layers together. Of course you would lose the advantages that go with a component mattress including the ability to rearrange the layers or to replace a single layer instead of the whole mattress if one of the layers softens or breaks down before the others (which is likely) or if your needs and preferences change down the road.

I also agree with most of your thoughts about foundations.

An all latex mattress will generally do best with a firm, flat, and evenly supportive support surface underneath it that has minimal to no flex under the mattress and for larger sizes with at least one center support beam that has good support to the floor to prevent any sagging in the middle of the mattress. The components need to be strong and durable and stable enough to support the weight of the mattress and the people sleeping on it without some of the parts bending, sagging, or breaking over time. The support surface under the mattress should have enough surface area to prevent the mattress from sagging through any gaps or spaces in the support surface over time but still allow some airflow under the mattress. I would suggest that in a slatted support system (either a foundation on a steel or wooden bedframe or a platform bed with a slatted support surface) that any gaps between the slats are no more than 3" (with 1 x 3 slats) although less than that would be better yet.

IMO ... there are certainly better quality and more suitable foundations available in a similar price range that would be a better choice for an all latex mattress.

Phoenix


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07 Aug 2017 10:42 - 07 Aug 2017 10:46 #3 by sunyata

Hi Phoenix,

First off I have really enjoyed reading your site. It is very generous of you to be so thorough and informative, not to mention all the individual attention you give people. Very rare in this world and I can only assume that what drives you is a fairly single-focused fascination with mattresses, essentially making it a hobby.

I was also very refreshed to see you break down the "millennial mattress" craze. The online review sites made me even more frustrated than mattress salesman. Not to mention the idea of reviewing a mattress is ridiculous. I went to a large mattress store a few days in a row, and my opinions changed about 3-4 times, and each time I left without knowing which type of mattress I wanted, or even which mattress was my favorite within each type. I finally decided I do like a foamy feel, but that I could easily get used to basic any type so long as it was supportive-enough and soft. I don't think I slept on expensive mattresses growing up, so I don't see why all of a sudden my brain thinks this is all so vitally important.

In any case, enough of my own personal take on this all. I was wondering what you thought about the Floyd foundation. I recently purchased it (I have not gotten it yet) but it looks very, very sturdy (is close to 100 lbs). I am thinking about the Zenhaven, but am first going to try out latex mattresses at some of the stores you recommended here in the Denver area, and talk with the people there as well.

I also e-mailed Winkbeds about your "slight concern" about the 1.5# poly-foam. I was particularly concerned since their softer Winkbed essentially just adds another inch of foam to the comfort layer, making it 3", when you said anything over 1" is questionable.00 They said that although this site raises a lot of legitimate issues with mattress quality, your concern is hypothetical and they selected the poly-foam mix in question precisely because of it's durability.

Last Edit: 07 Aug 2017 10:46 by sunyata.

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07 Aug 2017 15:57 #4 by Phoenix

Hi sunyata,

First off I have really enjoyed reading your site. It is very generous of you to be so thorough and informative, not to mention all the individual attention you give people. Very rare in this world and I can only assume that what drives you is a fairly single-focused fascination with mattresses, essentially making it a hobby.


Thank you for your kind words. And what may have started as a hobby is now my full-time job.

I was wondering what you thought about the Floyd foundation. I recently purchased it (I have not gotten it yet) but it looks very, very sturdy (is close to 100 lbs).


I’m not personally familiar with the Floyd platform bed, but everything they do seems to be focused on the minimalist component-style concept using birch laminated layers with a honeycomb core. They list a conservative estimate at 600 pounds for the weight capacity. If you decide to get one feel free to post your thoughts here.

I am thinking about the Zenhaven, but am first going to try out latex mattresses at some of the stores you recommended here in the Denver area, and talk with the people there as well.


Your personal testing we be a very good indicator if latex is “for you”, and be sure to get specifics on the materials used in any mattress you test to help you classify your preferences.

I also e-mailed Winkbeds about your "slight concern" about the 1.5# poly-foam. I was particularly concerned since their softer Winkbed essentially just adds another inch of foam to the comfort layer, making it 3", when you said anything over 1" is questionable.00 They said that although this site raises a lot of legitimate issues with mattress quality, your concern is hypothetical and they selected the poly-foam mix in question precisely because of it's durability.


My normal recommendation would be a product using 1.8 lb polyfoam (see this article and this article ). The guidance I offer is based upon thousands of hours of research, information from the Polyurethane Foam Association , and most importantly talks with foam pourers and experienced fabricators with decades of experience whose advice and feedback I trust.

Regarding Winkbeds, you can read more about them in the Simplified Choice category in post #2 here . My comments specifically from that thread:

Slight caution because of the top 2" of 1.5 lb polyfoam which is "not bad" but is more than the guidelines I would normally suggest. Winkbeds is one of the few innerspring or "coil on coil" mattresses in this category. My only caution here is that they use 2" of 1.5 lb polyfoam in the top layers of the mattress and while this is "not bad" and is better than most of the mainstream mattresses in the industry which tend to use thicker layers of the same or even lower quality/density polyfoam ... it is also "on the edge" of the guidelines that I would normally suggest which is "no more than about an inch or so of lower quality and less durable materials in the upper layers of the mattress" so I would add a "slight" caution here relative to durability. There is also more about them in this topic . They also offer a unique coolControl base that may be used with their mattress that circulates air into the mattress and can adjust the temperature in a 12 degree range, and can be adjusted differently on the left and right side of the mattress.

Of course, there are many variable involved in predicting the durability of a mattress, as outlined in much more detail in post #2 here . But in the end, density is the greatest tool to help consumers gauge the durability of the materials contained within any mattress.

Phoenix


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27 Aug 2018 12:09 #5 by Pspa123

I couldn't figure out how to start a new thread under the new system so am bringing up an old one to note that apparently the firmest layer in this mattress is 30-34 ILD, and the softer side is 19 ILD on the top layer, but they claim that even people over 250 lbs. can use either side. This seems contrary to everything I have read about ILDs and weight. Also I can't figure out why except for nifty marketing this would be better than a less expensive component mattress?

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27 Aug 2018 12:23 #6 by Cloud999

I too would be very skeptical "that even people over 250 lbs. can use either side", if that is their claim. I weigh about 200 pounds and am getting low back pain after sleeping on the softer side .The firmer side feels more supportive, but the top comfort layer does not seem to be thick enough (at only 1.5") to provide effective pressure relief under my hips and shoulders. Your Mileage May Vary ... but I think it is unrealistic to expect even the best mattress to work well for every body type even in such varying configurations.

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27 Aug 2018 12:48 #7 by Pspa123

That all makes sense. And good point about the thin comfort layer. It seems DIY is a better option.

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26 Sep 2018 20:53 #8 by sweetandsourkiwi

I have sagging/bowing in my Zenhaven but I think it's coming from the matching foundation. (I am not strong enough to drag it onto the floor to see for sure, but the edge of the foundation is higher than all the slats, so makes sense.

I was looking into replacing the foundation altogether and have discovered that using a slat foundation voids the warranty! They demand a "solid surface." It seems a bit counterintuitive as this foundation is essentially a widely-spaced slat foundation with some cardboard or flimsy material underneath the slats, but worth noting.

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27 Sep 2018 05:46 #9 by Cloud999

I too noticed the Zenhaven warranty policy regarding slats and found it odd. Some other latex bed sellers actually encourage slats (as long as the spacing doesn't exceed some maximum) and discourage solid surfaces. It seems to me that strong, closely spaced slats encourage some air flow, reduce heat and moisture build-up, discourage mold/mildew, and allow for a small amount of "give". Maybe Zenhaven's requirement has something to do with the zoned design of the top/bottom comfort layers?

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27 Sep 2018 08:01 #10 by sweetandsourkiwi

Yep, I think they are trying to preserve the "other side" in this instance.

But, the way the foundation is constructed, there ARE slats, just some sort of solid material UNDER the slats.

Cloud999, you have a ZH too, right? Did you notice your foundation made the bed bow/sag in the middle? Mine is doing so and I think the way the foundation is constructed, with higher edges and the slats hammered underneath, is causing this.

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