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One year on, mattress success has turned to failure. The 5.3lb, 3" memory foam topper from foamorder.com has turned to mush. I have lost about ten pounds and am just below 200, but I now sink much deeper into the memory foam than when it was new last year and it does not seem to have any memory effect at all. I sleep on my stomach and my back has started to bother me.
Even though it is nearly 10 years old, the 4" firm Talalay latex base layer seems to be in great shape with no signs of sagging or loss of support. Because the latex has been so durable, I am thinking of replacing the comfort layer with a medium firmness latex. Right now I am looking at Pure Green from Sleep on Latex in the same 3" thickness as the memory foam. My only concern is pressure relief. I sometimes wake up with sore elbows when traveling if I sleep on a firm spring mattress with no topper. We do use a fleece mattress cover and that has mainly had the advantage of keeping our memory foam from feeling hot. Any thoughts?
I’m sorry to learn you’re not enjoying the feel of your memory foam topper. As we discussed in one of my replies to you a little over a year ago, it is typical that memory foam will soften over time under the heavier parts of the body especially (virtual impressions) more than sag (visible impressions) and will also lose some of its "memory".
Assuming the latex core is still in good shape (you can place it directly upon the floor and lie back upon it without the memory foam topper on it) and there is no sag in your foundation, choosing to go with a latex upper 3” topper can be a good alternative, although it will have a different feel from the memory foam that your wife really seems to enjoy.
Latex has an unusual combination of surface softness and deeper firmness/support that comes from its elasticity, it's point elasticity (ability to conform to the shape of a body) and its compression modulus (the ability to get firmer faster with deeper compression than other types of foam). This means that it can enhance the pressure relieving layers above it because of its surface softness and point elasticity but it is also very supportive and can "stop" the heavier parts of the body from sinking in too deeply. It is also very resilient (it returns a high percentage of the energy of compression instead of absorbing it like memory foam which has very low resilience) so it can enhance the "feel" of the mattress by making it more responsive and more adaptable to different body profiles and sleeping positions rather than the less responsive feeling of memory foam or the stiffer and less adaptable characteristics of polyfoam. Latex is also a very durable material (it's the most durable of all the foam types) so it can add to the durability of a mattress compared to other materials but the deeper layers of a mattress have less effect on mattress durability (a mattress will soften and break down from the top down) and more of an effect on performance and support/alignment so this would be less of a factor in its use.
All memory foam will tend to be in the very plush category (low to mid-teens for IFD). There’s more about selecting a latex topper here , but if you need a fair bit to a lot of extra softness then a 3" topper would probably be the best choice. 19 - 24 ILD in latex would be considered to be in the soft range for "average" body types while very light body types may be OK with an ultra soft 14 ILD and heavier body types would probably do better with 28 ILD and above. If you choose a topper that is “too soft”, you can actually end up “feeling through” it to your latex core, especially when placing your weight on your elbows, so the 19-24 ILD range may be a good place for you to start investigating.
Because of the uncertainty involved with purchasing a topper where you can't test the combination in person ... a good exchange/return policy can also reduce the risk of an online topper purchase so I would also make sure you are comfortable with the options you have available after a purchase to exchange or return the topper and any costs involved just in case a topper you choose also doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.
I went ahead and ordered a 3" medium latex topper from Sleep on Latex with an ILD of 30 to put on top of my existing 4" firm latex foundation. Not sure of the foundation ILD, but it is probably significantly higher than 30. Lying directly on it, it is much too firm to use as a comfort layer. That leaves about an inch of room in the mattress cover in case I need to add 1" of memory foam or soft latex for a final comfort layer.
As for the one year old 5.3lb memory foam from foamorder, it was great when we first got it. Now, I can press my fist into it and go right down to the latex support layer without much force. The Tempurpedic memory foam was about the same density, but didn't start to change until it was well over 10 years old. I plan on cutting down the year old memory foam to put on a dense urethane foundation for a full size guest bed that currently has a 15 year old coil mattress. It was an expensive piece of foam and I would hate to waste it. Thanks for your in depth response.
rvsarch - Sorry to hear about the problem you've encountered with your MF topper from foamorder. According to their website they have an uncommon warranty regarding softening of their 5.3 lb memory foam toppers as detailed below, so you might want to check with them regarding a potential claim. Hope this helps!
5.3-lb Memory Foam mattresses or toppers, EverFlex toppers
These are warranted not to soften more than 10% or form permanent dents for 15 years. If you think yours has softened simply press down on a spot of the foam that doesn't get much use (such as near your head) and compare the resistance with a high-use spot (such as in the middle of where your body normally rests). If you can tell a difference of at least 10% in firmness, you probably have a valid claim. We will pay for any freight charges for mattress failures in the lower 48 United States. You will receive a credit equal to your original purchase price towards currently advertised merchandise. We do not offer refunds. Our foam toppers are competitively priced and therefore are excluded from the free shipping warranty offer. Our Basic (discount) Memory Foam mattress has a 10-year warranty since it uses DuraFlex™ base foam. Mattress warranties are to the original purchaser only—not transferable.
Congratulations on your new topper purchase! I hope it provides the comfort that you desire.
In case you hadn't already investigated it, Sweet Dreams (thanks Sweet Dreams!) did post some information regarding the warranty from Foam Order on their 5.3 lb memory foam toppers.
I received the latex topper from Sleep on Latex in just two days and after three nights sleep, my wife and I are very pleased with the excellent support it provides. 3" of medium latex on top of the 4" firm latex foundation seems just about right for us. My back is already feeling better and it is not so difficult to move around on top of the bed, compared to feeling mired down in the super soft memory foam. The only thing I miss is the pressure relief the memory foam provided at my knees and elbows, but the latex is comfortable enough under our wool fleece mattress cover.
When I removed the memory foam I was surprised that in just one year, the pink color had almost completely faded and the edges were yellowed. Again, the original Tempurpedic memory foam was fine for over a dozen years while the 5.3lb replacement foam softened significantly in less than a year. I get the sense that latex is a much more durable material. Thanks for the link to the warranty info. It might be worth returning the memory foam for a credit instead of trying to reuse it on our guest bed. You have been very helpful. THANKS!
I'm happy that you are sleeping better with your new topper. You are correct that it should be a much more durable product than your memory foam topper, and the latex is much easier to reposition upon than memory foam.
As for the color change, there will be difference in oxidation/UV of a foam depending upon the covering used and the amount of anti-oxidants added to the product. I think, as Sweet Dreams brought up, it's at least worth investigating regarding a credit/replacement for your topper (whatever might be offered if it's found that you qualify for a warranty replacement).