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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 02 Mar 2017 22:52 #1

My ideal situation would be to create a mattress where both me and my partner are comfortable and supported as we each best need, and that can be changed if our physical situation does.

Must Haves:
- alterable for minimal investment down the line; ideally of the just open up and swap foam variety.
- under $2000 total to start.
- - - we need a new mattress a month ago as our old one has crapped out, and is getting worse fast. As long as the initial cost is under $2000, I am up for a cost that may reach above this in the long run in order to perfect the mattress if I can alter it easily (plus, once our old one is replaced I can try ripping out the springs and support system and see what that does *whistle*)
- provide proper support to two people of very different body types and sleeping habits (thinking split here; detailed at the bottom of this post)
- - - currently both of us are experiencing back pain. (in physio for it, but the mattress is decidedly not helping matters any)
- - - my weight can also fluctuate dramatically depending on various factors - though I'm likely to stay in the lower end of my range, and possibly drop that lower thanks to current medications.
- pain-free
- highly durability (High durability of overall mattress; upgrading some initially low-cost parts is not out of the question)
- shipping to Canada (we live in Toronto)

High Priorities
- latex. Because apparently we're both princesses and they're the only ones we've liked so far.
- lower on that $2000 scale! Possibility of upgrading parts down the line to help spread out the cost is not out of the question.
- no in the middle of the split crater to fall into
- cool feel (our apartment heaters are not controlled by us and it is a sweat-box in the summer, and even sometimes in the winter; ac can't go in the bedroom directly)

Nice to have, not really a priority
- unified surface feel (and unsplit surface layer to help even things out?)
- for me firmer *feel* for him, plusher *feel*; while I seem to need a softer surface and him a firmer one! :lol:
- - - yes, I know the above two wants contradict each other

Mattresses we have tried & quite liked:
Essentia: Their "soft" wavy latex (3") over not-wavy latex (2") mattress over more wavy latex (3") ("Bionda"). Interestingly, he thought it was the firmer of the two non-memory foam latex mattresses. I suspect this means he was getting better support. 3" contoured latex (domes) over 6" latex. all dunlop. Would not give any firmness specs beyond mattress feel of soft/firm. We both found this decent. "nothing to get excited about though"
- him, pain free on side, discomfort on back.
- me: back: hips sunk in, torso floating. decent support of lumbar area on back. none of neck.
- me: side: torso noticeably elevated compared to abdomen and pelvis

- we also both kind of liked their memory foam on the "Dormeuse" and "Beausommet" but not on the other line. (I liked the mouse (softer) and he liked beau(firmer)) Interestingly, these lines have an extra layer of mem foam (2" of 6.25 over 2" of 5.25 instead of just 2" or 3" of 5.25lb) This was supposedly a latex memory foam-not sure how it differs from a more regular memory foam. It was definitely fast-responding.

Foamite: two we really liked. Both latex of course. Loathed the feel of their memory foam!
Foamite latex in both mattresses is 100% natural dunlop of "ILD" 26 and density ungiven

The one I liked more was simply 3" of latex layered on 4" HR foam ("koosh" at ild26) on another 3" of latex (flippable design). For him the version with an ild 41 core was a close second to the "swiss sensational"
- however, this did not fill the gap behind my neck present when on my back, I think my hips were sinking in a bit too much as well. need to re-test here.

The one he liked more was a little more complicated! (Swiss Sensational: www.foamite.com/mattress/swiss-sensal/). He described this as the only mattress he's tried so far as being without pain when on his back. We cannot afford this mattress as is, and I worry any modifications may change the feel. So, hopefully your expert advice can help me determine which layers are the most critical to his support etc, and how to go about approximating those.
- 3" latex 26ild
- 1 1/2" ifoam - ??? ild - supposedly antimicrobial & temperature regulating HD foam
- 4" contoured HR foam (koosh at ild=41)
- 3ish inches iFoam memory foam - ??? ild - I admit to being somewhat confused on this layer. Both website and sale associate say its iFoam memory foam, but I cant find such a foam on any other page?
- 2ish inches gel memory foam ("Koosh"), 10 ild(!?)
- 1/4"ish gel layer
yet somehow its 10"... the thicknesses are definitely off. Going to try and get the specs again from a different sales associate.

Thoughts & Questions
- as I seem to consistently have a gap under my neck and my torso not sinking down, I'm wondering If I should try a zoned mattress or just go with softer latex. Or if I'm reading too much into things and a gap under the neck is ok? I know the torso not being aligned with the rest is not.
- - - any other ideas on how to try and manage this? what kind of zoning? what is a good starting point in terms of difference in ild, what thickness is good for the zoned layer? (I will not be zoning until after at least a few different arrangements however.

- how much are those different layers of foam and the contouring in the swiss sensational affecting the feel? Should my partner's mattress have a layer of memory foam burried in it, or is this so low that it being *memory* foam is overkill, and a softer base may help replicate the feel?

- the two most likely suppliers for the foam I've found are:
- - - Latex Mattress Factory (who will ship to Canada despite being in California, I believe) though I'm worried about the shipping cost. Thier foams are also significantly cheaper than other options right now.
- - - matresses.net: not sure where they are located, but they have talalay latex, which is supposed to be softer, and LMF doesn't carry. I have not been able to try out Talalay latex yet though.

- given that I seem to be best with a more basic slab o latex or latex over HR foam, and its likely going to become a case of zoning hips vs. elsewhere in the end for me, but I'd like to try and mimic some of the swiss sen. feel for him, which ordering plan seems most viable? (we also have a single guest/snoring too loud bed the remainder can be used for)

-my current plan is to buy a 9" cover, and order the latex from LMF while its on sale, ordering;
3" of: 2xFirm (38ild), 1xMed(28ild), 1xsoft(19ild); get those cut down the middle (or do it myself. is that a thing that will be too difficult to do?)
and start off with med over firm over firm for him and soft over med over firm for me and see where it goes from there, hopefully without having to buy more latex too soon.
- - - or in your opinion, would it be better to bite the bullet and grab a second copy of another 3" layer or 2,
- - - or experiment with additional total thickness? I'd like to try to keep it to one overall thickness because I don't want to have to order multiple covers.
- - - or more layers for variation but thinner: 2" of: 2xfirm, 2xmed, 1xsoft order and something like
med:firm:firm:soft for him, soft:med:med:firm for me to start
- - - or just suck it up and spend the 3.5K on the one that he can lie on without any pain despite the one side being not directly useable, and less well liked by me (buuuut, probably good enough? alignment still not ideal...)

Notes on Sleeping Considerations/Body Types
Him:
- 210lbs, 5"4,
- - - weight gain/loss to the gut.
- - - quite broad "linebacker" shoulders and broad hips for a man, rectangle body type (to somewhat ovoid). "a little big guy" to quote his old gym trainer: build of a linebacker that has been vertically shrunk.
- Useless at testing mattresses :lol: :pinch:
- Sleep Apnea Machine to consider.
- Lower back and hip problems including some nerve damage. Lot of pain.
- Predominately side/back sleeper.
- - - Back is true preference, side is more common because of pain.

Me:
- of unknown weight (slender or "elf") and height around 5'6" or 6"?
- - - This summer bmi was dangerously close to the "too low" range, so definitely lightweight! :silly:
- - - Triangle or Pear body-shape depending on choice of chest measure - ribcage size is small enough I have to take in my bra-bands to fit them properly, bust alters the measure enough to be a pear shape instead of triangle.
- - - Weight gain and loss is *completely" in the hips and butt. Fluctuations in weight can be fairly dramatic, in the last year and a half I have dropped from a size 12 to a 2 in pants and back up to a 4. (side note: I'm thinking I should maybe buy a scale, but I have nowhere to put it! :dry: )
- - - - - - - this fluctuation is one of the reasons I'm particularly keen on an adjustable mattress. That and my physio is noticeably affecting my posture in just a few months so far.
- upper back and neck problems
- stomach sleeper (yes, I know, its hard on the neck, trying to change it), secondarily back sleeper.
- - - lots of movement when sleeping though.
- - - when testing mattresses so far, hips sink in, I think too much? And torso barely does to doesn't at all.
- - - - - - - on stomach my hips still sink in, but somehow seem to cause my lower back to arc (thighs not sinking in as much causing it?),
- - - - - - - Even on soft mattresses on my stomach there is not much support to the neck. None when on my back, but adding a pillow lifts my head uncomfortably, even a thin one that still doesn't give me neck support!

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Last edit: by Silverrowan.

DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 03 Mar 2017 13:42 #2

Hi Silverrowan,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

Thank you for the detailed information about your mattress search process. Unfortunately, much of what you’re asking is predictive, and even making predictions upon potential changes to configurations that you haven’t yet tested, so I’m somewhat limited to the good objective advice that I can provide you. With that being said, I’ll do my best to address as much of what you asked and hopefully that information will be assistive to you.

First, the basics…
While I can certainly help with "how" to choose, it's just not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations with any reliable accuracy for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of components, because the first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress. There are too many unique and individual unknowns, variables, and preferences involved to create an algorithm or to be able to make specific suggestions or recommendation about which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences). Trying to predict how a mattress will "feel" to you as compared to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" will never be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial ), or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I would start by reading and using the mattress shopping tutorial here as a good reference. Two of the most important links in the tutorial are post #2 here , which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP. This can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you had hoped. Post #13 here has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase. This can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price and the options you have available to you after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you had hoped).

Outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability, which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel", and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials used inside. I would always make sure that you find out the information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern before making any purchase.

When you can't test a mattress in person (like some of the online options you mentioned), the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them (such as any local testing you have done, mattresses you have slept on and liked), and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else, and they can also speak to any policies that they might offer for returns/exchanges should your purchase not turn out as well as you would have hoped.

In its simplest form, choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in, that are in a budget range you are comfortable with, and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses. And then ...

1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattresses.

3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

And for more specifics…

Must Haves:
- alterable for minimal investment down the line; ideally of the just open up and swap foam variety.
- under $2000 total to start.

A component-style mattress system should easily fit your needs in this situation. You don’t mention the size you are considering. You can also see some comments about the pros and cons of a component mattress with a zip cover where you can choose the type and firmness of each layer vs a "finished mattresses" that has glued layers in post #15 here and post #2 here .

- provide proper support to two people of very different body types and sleeping habits (thinking split here; detailed at the bottom of this post)

Yes, this is easily done with most component style systems.

- - - currently both of us are experiencing back pain. (in physio for it, but the mattress is decidedly not helping matters any)

Unfortunately, there is no one best mattress for back pain. The key will be finding something using componentry that allows for more neutral alignment and hopefully doesn’t exacerbate your existing conditions too much. There is a bit more about common back “issues” when sleeping upon a mattress, and how to address those issues, and the most likely (although not the only) reasons for them in post #2 here .

- - - my weight can also fluctuate dramatically depending on various factors - though I'm likely to stay in the lower end of my range, and possibly drop that lower thanks to current medications.

Having the component-style system would be convenient for this, or you could also investigate the use (potentially) of a topper down the road should your weight fluctuate to the extent that this was necessary. But I would focus on finding a comfort that works for you in a mattress without a topper bases upon your current weight.

- pain-free

This goes along with the back pain issue, as there is not mattress that can be guaranteed to provide you a pain-free night’s sleep. But deferring first to alignment, and then to comfort, can hopefully assist you in getting you the best sleep possible.

- highly durability (High durability of overall mattress; upgrading some initially low-cost parts is not out of the question)

Latex will certainly suit your needs here, and it is common to find component systems using all latex configurations.

- shipping to Canada (we live in Toronto)

You can start looking online and you may wish to use the expertise of the members listed in post #21 here who are all very experienced and knowledgeable and specialize in providing the type of help and guidance on the phone that can help you make good choices. There are a wide range of latex options included in the choices there and I believe that all of them compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency. Many of them ship to Canada. There is also another list of online mattress sources for Canadians in post #21 here .

I know you’ve already been looking at some stores in your area, but subject to first confirming that any retailer or manufacturer on the list that you wish to visit is completely transparent ( see this article ) and to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here ... some of the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around Toronto are listed here .

High Priorities
- latex. Because apparently we're both princesses and they're the only ones we've liked so far.
- lower on that $2000 scale! Possibility of upgrading parts down the line to help spread out the cost is not out of the question.
- no in the middle of the split crater to fall into
- cool feel (our apartment heaters are not controlled by us and it is a sweat-box in the summer, and even sometimes in the winter; ac can't go in the bedroom directly)

Latex will “tick off” quite a few of the boxes on your “wish list”. It is very good at point elasticity, support and pressure point relief. You can also find latex component systems within the price range you specified. Splitting latex layers, provided you’re not going to extremes in differences of ILDs combined with styles of latex, will not result in feeling the split in the middle of the product. as for coolness, while all foams are insulators to an extent, latex (and Talalay specifically) is generally the most breathable of all foams. In very general terms ... the materials, layers, and components of a sleeping system that are closer to your skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than materials, layers, and components that are further away from your skin and softer mattresses or foam toppers will tend to be more "insulating" and for some people can sleep warmer than firmer versions of the same material. There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that will discuss the “microclimate” of your mattress and complete sleep system in more detail

Nice to have, not really a priority
- unified surface feel (and unsplit surface layer to help even things out?)
- for me firmer *feel* for him, plusher *feel*; while I seem to need a softer surface and him a firmer one!

Many component systems will allow for a single layer for the top layer of the mattress if you desire, and even if you do this you can still have differing feels on each side of the mattress through changes of the deeper foam layers (although comfort changes will be most dramatically felt in the upper layers of the mattress). Even with splitting the entire mattress, the middle section where the foam layers meet is usually not noticeable.

Mattresses we have tried & quite liked:
Essentia: Their "soft" wavy latex (3") over not-wavy latex (2") mattress over more wavy latex (3") ("Bionda"). Interestingly, he thought it was the firmer of the two non-memory foam latex mattresses.

There’s not too much here that you’ll be able to relate to online systems, as Essentia doesn’t provide either the density/ILD of their Dunlop, and they also use a unique domed top layer on two of the pieces in the mattress you tried. The memory foam is of course an entirely different type of material ad construction. I don’t think you’re interested in actually purchasing one of their mattresses, but you can do a forum search on Essentia if you desire more information about them.

Foamite: two we really liked. Both latex of course. Loathed the feel of their memory foam!
Foamite latex in both mattresses is 100% natural dunlop of "ILD" 26 and density ungiven

None of the mattresses you mentioned are component style systems, and are using quite a few different types of componentry, so just like the Essentia, the testing you did here can’t be related to any component-style system that is all-latex that you might consider purchasing online. The only thing you can relate would be exactly how you felt on these specific items.

There is more information in post #9 here about the different ways that one mattress can "match" or "approximate" another one. Every layer and component in a mattress (including the cover and any quilting materials) will affect the feel and performance of every other layer and component and the mattress "as a whole" so unless you are able to find another mattress that uses exactly the same type of materials, components, cover and quilting, layer thicknesses, layer firmnesses, and overall design (which would be fairly unlikely) then there really isn't a reliable way to match one mattress to another one in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) based on the specifications of the mattresses (even assuming that you can find out all the specifications you would need for both mattresses you are comparing in the first place).

You’re not going to find another mattress that uses the same elements as the Swiss Sensal, so unless you’re considering purchasing that exact item, getting the data about the foams won’t be of much use comparing to other mattresses.

- as I seem to consistently have a gap under my neck and my torso not sinking down, I'm wondering If I should try a zoned mattress or just go with softer latex. Or if I'm reading too much into things and a gap under the neck is ok? I know the torso not being aligned with the rest is not.

Having a slight gap under the lower cervical region is normal, as there is usually a slight lordotic curve in that region, and is the main job of the pillow to accommodate.

While everyone’s comfort preference is different, sinking in too greatly in this region can quite often be a sign of too much surface plushness. But this is a general statement. If you’re specifically interested in zoning, there is more information in this article and in post #11 here . Also in post #2 here and post #7 here (latex monozone unique properties).

There are hundreds of zoned mattresses in the market in many different mattress categories (including "all latex" mattresses) most of which use "fixed" zones but there are a few that use customizable zones as well. Some of the ones that use customizable zones include Flobeds and the Reverie Dream Mattresses (although they aren't "zoned" in the more traditional sense of the word because they have cylinders that can be rearranged to provide different levels of firmness and feel). Some of the Sleeptek/Obasan mattresses also have separate zoned sections that can be changed and Nxtbed also has custom zoned mattresses and Elements of Rest in Atlanta also have mattresses that have customizable zoning (although they aren't all latex). There are probably others as well that don't immediately come to mind.

- how much are those different layers of foam and the contouring in the swiss sensational affecting the feel? Should my partner's mattress have a layer of memory foam burried in it, or is this so low that it being *memory* foam is overkill, and a softer base may help replicate the feel?

All of the layers of foam work together in a completed mattress, and there would be no way for me to tell how each layer of foam is impacting the comfort that you feel, as only you can feel that, and unless you were extremely knowledgeable about mattress engineering and construction (which would be a very small percentage of the population), I’d avoid getting too deep down into a “rabbit hole” of mattress construction and I would tend to avoid using complex combinations of specifications to try and predict how a mattress will feel or perform for you. When you try and choose a mattress based on complex combinations of specs that are difficult to fully understand or only based on specs for single layers or components that may not be as relevant or meaningful as you believe they are then the most common outcome is "information overload" and "paralysis by analysis". I would focus more on learning about the quality of the materials present in any mattress you are considering.

- the two most likely suppliers for the foam I've found are:
- - - Latex Mattress Factory (who will ship to Canada despite being in California, I believe) though I'm worried about the shipping cost. Their foams are also significantly cheaper than other options right now.
- - - matresses.net: not sure where they are located, but they have talalay latex, which is supposed to be softer, and LMF doesn't carry. I have not been able to try out Talalay latex yet though.

Take a look at the options I listed in the online link earlier in this reply – there are many that offer the component-style latex mattress systems you desire, and you can phone them to check into shipping rates to Canada. The Latex Mattress Factory offering isn’t a component mattress, which is what you specified you desired, but you may wish to check out their other company, SleepEZ. Mattresses.net is in Arizona and they offer latex component-style systems.

- given that I seem to be best with a more basic slab o latex or latex over HR foam, and its likely going to become a case of zoning hips vs. elsewhere in the end for me,

How have you made the determination that you need zoning already? Have you tried a specific zone system and had a good experience with it? And what I see that you’ve tried was latex over a polyfoam core over another piece of latex, which would be a different feel than a piece of latex upon a polyfoam core alone.

but I'd like to try and mimic some of the swiss sen. feel for him, which ordering plan seems most viable? (we also have a single guest/snoring too loud bed the remainder can be used for)

You can read my comments earlier in this reply about trying to approximate a specific feel, especially in a complex combination of materials like the mattress you’re mentioning.

-my current plan is to buy a 9" cover, and order the latex from LMF while its on sale, ordering;
3" of: 2xFirm (38ild), 1xMed(28ild), 1xsoft(19ild); get those cut down the middle (or do it myself. is that a thing that will be too difficult to do?)
and start off with med over firm over firm for him and soft over med over firm for me and see where it goes from there, hopefully without having to buy more latex too soon.
- - - or in your opinion, would it be better to bite the bullet and grab a second copy of another 3" layer or 2,
- - - or experiment with additional total thickness? I'd like to try to keep it to one overall thickness because I don't want to have to order multiple covers.
- - - or more layers for variation but thinner: 2" of: 2xfirm, 2xmed, 1xsoft order and something like
med:firm:firm:soft for him, soft:med:med:firm for me to start
- - - or just suck it up and spend the 3.5K on the one that he can lie on without any pain despite the one side being not directly useable, and less well liked by me (buuuut, probably good enough? alignment still not ideal...)

I really think you’re getting way ahead of yourself with possibilities based upon possibilities when you haven’t even tested out a configuration similar to what you’re considering ordering.

I would suggest that you take a big step back and refer back to your “wants’ in the early part of your post and put those on a legal pad and stick to those things. Most of what you seem to desire can be found (objectively) in a latex-style component system.

You might then with to look closer to home, or use the listing I linked to earlier for the Toronto area, and see if you can find retailers locally who have systems like what you are desiring. I would avoid anything that is not an all-latex system, as that is what you are desiring to purchase. You may end up finding something locally that you like and make a purchase at that time. If you find an all-latex mattress that is not configurable and like it, at least it will give you a good idea of the types of layerings that might work well for you, and this is more easily comparable to online versions.

If you decide to look online, again refer back to some of the links I provided earlier in this post and check for component style systems, You may then wish to investigate about shipping to Canada, and then if you find that is available and affordable, I would have a detailed phone conversation with any company/manufacturer in which you have an interest, and use their expertise of assisting thousands of customers with similar needs, somatotypes and sleeping styles to come up with a combination of materials that they think might best suit you. You’d also want to inquire about any potential return/exchange policies at that time as well. Then, based upon your own careful personal testing, you’ll be able to see if you like the configuration/material you chose, or if you might need to make adjustments.

I know I’ve provided quite a bit of information here, but I think if you take a step back and drill down through the real needs you desire in a mattress and stick to products that speak to those needs, it will simplify your process and ultimately result in you finding a product most appropriate for your expressed preferences.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 03 Mar 2017 17:27 #3

Thank you for your wonderfully detailed (and quick) response! I really appreciate it.

Hi Silverrowan,
Unfortunately, much of what you’re asking is predictive, and even making predictions upon potential changes to configurations that you haven’t yet tested, so I’m somewhat limited to the good objective advice that I can provide you.

The idea I'm trying to ask here, if it is even possible to guesstimate an answer, what pieces am I most likely to be able to get use out of w/ testing. I was hoping there was enough information for a direction. Or, at least to know if it is not - I think I got the latter answer!

Oh and to answer a question you asked somewhere in the post: I'm looking for a Queen size mattress.

Trying to predict how a mattress will "feel" ... your own careful testing ...
I would start by reading and using the mattress shopping tutorial here as a good reference. Two of the most important links in the tutorial are post #2 here , which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP. This can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you had hoped.
...
I really think you’re getting way ahead of yourself with possibilities

I was worried you'd say that last part! :pinch: Definitely did the researching part and used what I could. Its how I knew to get the specs I did, and how I know I've been out of alignment on pretty much everything. I'm trying to get my partner to read/adhere to the ideas but he really wants to just go in, find one he likes, grab it and leave (or let my try and make a copy of it). Getting him even to the two places we did go to was difficult, despite them being quite close by. We do not have a car, and so are TTC and foot dependent, and lots of these places are pretty far from the main arteries, or quite small. I found another location that might work well for testing: Soma, but its still a fair treck to get there and I have no idea how many beds there will be to try out / what configurations until I get there. On the other hand "ideal matress canada" seems like it might be a good place to start trying things out, and isn't actually that far by car, but its near impossible for me to get to without sinking in multiple hours each way.

When you can't test a mattress in person (like some of the online options you mentioned), the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them (such as any local testing you have done, mattresses you have slept on and liked), and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else, and they can also speak to any policies that they might offer for returns/exchanges should your purchase not turn out as well as you would have hoped.

I really should do this. I guess I'd just rather look like an unprepared fool on the internet then over the phone, lol.

And for more specifics…

Must Haves:
- alterable for minimal investment down the line; ideally of the just open up and swap foam variety.
- under $2000 total to start.

A component-style mattress system should easily fit your needs in this situation. You don’t mention the size you are considering. You can also see some comments about the pros and cons of a component mattress with a zip cover where you can choose the type and firmness of each layer vs a "finished mattresses" that has glued layers in post #15 here and post #2 here .

- provide proper support to two people of very different body types and sleeping habits (thinking split here; detailed at the bottom of this post)

Yes, this is easily done with most component style systems.
...
Having the component-style system would be convenient for this, or you could also investigate the use (potentially) of a topper down the road should your weight fluctuate to the extent that this was necessary. But I would focus on finding a comfort that works for you in a mattress without a topper bases upon your current weight.
...

- highly durability (High durability of overall mattress; upgrading some initially low-cost parts is not out of the question)

Latex will certainly suit your needs here, and it is common to find component systems using all latex configurations.

That is good to hear, and thank you for the specific links - It definitely sounds like the upsides of this style outweigh the downsides for me. And yes, I plan to find something that works now, not in some nebulous future. I'd just like the ability in said nebulous future to have something that works then too without buying a completely new mattress.

- - - currently both of us are experiencing back pain. (in physio for it, but the mattress is decidedly not helping matters any)

Unfortunately, there is no one best mattress for back pain. The key will be finding something using componentry that allows for more neutral alignment and hopefully doesn’t exacerbate your existing conditions too much. There is a bit more about common back “issues” when sleeping upon a mattress, and how to address those issues, and the most likely (although not the only) reasons for them in post #2 here .

- pain-free

This goes along with the back pain issue, as there is not mattress that can be guaranteed to provide you a pain-free night’s sleep. But deferring first to alignment, and then to comfort, can hopefully assist you in getting you the best sleep possible.

I know, I don't want the mattress to fix our back problems, I just want it to not make them worse!
by "pain free" I meant pain caused by said mattress or worsened by it - I should have been clearer. I know its not a magic foam bullet.
Part of *my* particular is that my posture is pretty freaking bad, period. That negative shoulder pushing effect you describe for back sleeping may actually be *beneficial* for me sleeping on my stomach, as my shoulders are so far forward its messing things up. I figure going "too" soft may have problems elsewhere though.

- shipping to Canada (we live in Toronto)

You can start looking online and you may wish to use the expertise of the members listed in post #21 here who are all very experienced and knowledgeable and specialize in providing the type of help and guidance on the phone that can help you make good choices. There are a wide range of latex options included in the choices there and I believe that all of them compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency. Many of them ship to Canada. There is also another list of online mattress sources for Canadians in post #21 here .

I like the fact that this list has more description than the general stores thread! Thank you.
and oh my, the Reverie springs Idea sounds really appealing, but oof, the price. 3K for their cheapest non-memfoam one (Queen) and only the cells reconfigurable...

some of the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around Toronto are listed here .

Great list! Thank you! Sadly, of the members/factory direct and retailers list that are in Toronto (Scarborough and North York included because they *may* be accessible to me) the only websites that are still active from that list are for: Quality Foam and mattress, Quality Mattress Factory Inc, and TonFurniture.com. The links for Diamond Bedding Inc is a yelp-like page, whereas the one for Globe Foam looks more like someone else has thrown a blurb for them up on a business marketing site & might disappear at any moment. Interesting quirk: for some reason, TorFurniature seems to be hiding its location, beyond "North York" on its website. Considering that is a region that wraps around the north and east sides of Toronto, theres a pretty big difference in location depending on where in there it is!

Latex will “tick off” quite a few of the boxes on your “wish list”....
...
Even with splitting the entire mattress, the middle section where the foam layers meet is usually not noticeable.

sweet!

None of the mattresses you mentioned are component style systems, and are using quite a few different types of componentry, so just like the Essentia, the testing you did here can’t be related to any component-style system that is all-latex that you might consider purchasing online. The only thing you can relate would be exactly how you felt on these specific items.

poop. ugh. ok, so I'm gonna have to haul my partner out to a store with component systems. *joy* :dry:

- as I seem to consistently have a gap under my neck and my torso not sinking down, I'm wondering If I should try a zoned mattress or just go with softer latex. Or if I'm reading too much into things and a gap under the neck is ok? I know the torso not being aligned with the rest is not.

Having a slight gap under the lower cervical region is normal, as there is usually a slight lordotic curve in that region, and is the main job of the pillow to accommodate.

While everyone’s comfort preference is different, sinking in too greatly in this region can quite often be a sign of too much surface plushness. But this is a general statement. If you’re specifically interested in zoning, there is more information in ....

good to know if I end up going there; really, I'm hoping I don't have to.

...foam suppliers...

Take a look at the options I listed in the online link earlier in this reply – there are many that offer the component-style latex mattress systems you desire, and you can phone them to check into shipping rates to Canada. The Latex Mattress Factory offering isn’t a component mattress, which is what you specified you desired, but you may wish to check out their other company, SleepEZ. Mattresses.net is in Arizona and they offer latex component-style systems.

The Latex Mattress Factory has a section where its foam cores, 2" & 3" layers, and covers (even pocketed innersprings too!). Other than not having pre-selected layers in the set-up, how does this differ from a component system? (because right now, it looks like the price difference is *massive* for very similar materials)

- given that I seem to be best with a more basic slab o latex or latex over HR foam, and its likely going to become a case of zoning hips vs. elsewhere in the end for me,

How have you made the determination that you need zoning already? Have you tried a specific zone system and had a good experience with it? And what I see that you’ve tried was latex over a polyfoam core over another piece of latex, which would be a different feel than a piece of latex upon a polyfoam core alone.

I have not decided anything - I'm thinking its probable as I'm dealing with my hips sinking enough or too much, and my ribcage floating, and the fact that I move a lot in my sleep, so want to accommodate more than one position. I don't do still well when I'm awake either ;) I have not been able to find a component system to try out yet, and it is definitely not my first step, hence future tense and probability language. I'm hoping to avoid it, honestly. Seems more complicated than I want to deal with if I don't have to.

... plan... ideas..... component questions....{/quote]
I really think you’re getting way ahead of yourself with possibilities based upon possibilities when you haven’t even tested out a configuration similar to what you’re considering ordering.

I would suggest that you take a big step back and refer back to your “wants’ in the early part of your post and put those on a legal pad and stick to those things. Most of what you seem to desire can be found (objectively) in a latex-style component system.

OK.
To some extent I was trying to bring the trial process home in an educated guess/limited manner because my partner is impossible to drag to these places. To be fair, though, he does have absolutely no free time, between a masters degree, internship and the bloody extended interview process in the field he's getting into.


(why does preview not work?... :( )

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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 04 Mar 2017 10:29 #4

Hi Silverrowan,

Thank you for your wonderfully detailed (and quick) response! I really appreciate it.

You’re welcome.

The idea I'm trying to ask here, if it is even possible to guesstimate an answer, what pieces am I most likely to be able to get use out of w/ testing. I was hoping there was enough information for a direction. Or, at least to know if it is not - I think I got the latter answer!

When you’re mixing different components, it’s a bit of a futile process, as every layer works together in a mattress, and when you’re mixing multiple layers of latex, polyfoam and memory foam, you can’t then reliably take that information where maybe you’d have a few inches of latex in a mattress and then extrapolate that to predict what you’d like in a complete latex component system. It’s difficult enough when you’re comparing two all-latex mattresses to approximate feels, but at least in those situations you can usually create something that’s “in the ballpark” as compared to what you’ve tested. Otherwise, unless you’re testing all-latex products for comparison, the only reason for you to go out an test would be if you were considering purchasing the actual product you were testing in a showroom, which of course could end up being a possibility if you found something that fits everything on your list of needs.

Oh and to answer a question you asked somewhere in the post: I'm looking for a Queen size mattress.

Thank you. That’s better for your budget than a king!

I really should do this. I guess I'd just rather look like an unprepared fool on the internet then over the phone, lol.

You won’t look foolish. Just spending a few hours researching here on this site puts you in rare air as far as product knowledge. There’s never anything wrong with asking questions.

Part of *my* particular is that my posture is pretty freaking bad, period. That negative shoulder pushing effect you describe for back sleeping may actually be *beneficial* for me sleeping on my stomach, as my shoulders are so far forward its messing things up. I figure going "too" soft may have problems elsewhere though.

Having specific alignment issues of course presents its own set of challenges. As you mentioned, sleeping upon your stomach with a mattress that is too soft will tend to accentuate your low back (lumbar) lordotic curvature, which is something you’d want to avoid.

And thanks for your updates of some of the Toronto links – I’ve made changes to that page and updated a few other things.

ok, so I'm gonna have to haul my partner out to a store with component systems. *joy*

It would be advisable, yes.

The Latex Mattress Factory has a section where its foam cores, 2" & 3" layers, and covers (even pocketed innersprings too!). Other than not having pre-selected layers in the set-up, how does this differ from a component system? (because right now, it looks like the price difference is *massive* for very similar materials)

There’s really nothing different in choosing to purchase your own individual components and mattress covering separately, if you decide to go that route. You can find similar products from different brands, and sometime even from the same company. The largest variation you would usually find would be in the potential return/exchange policy, which is usually more favourable if you’re purchasing a component-style system as a whole, instead of individual layers from various sources.

I have not been able to find a component system to try out yet, and it is definitely not my first step, hence future tense and probability language. I'm hoping to avoid it, honestly. Seems more complicated than I want to deal with if I don't have to.

Being a “must have” on your list was the ability to open up and swap out foam variety, so perhaps you’re now moving this down on your list of importance, which is part of the whole evaluation process :) . If you do decide to go this route, using the advice of a knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer and the configurations they recommend would be a very good starting point

(why does preview not work?... )

The web site is undergoing some renovations, so I’m sorry that the preview won’t be operational until all of the updates have been applied. I miss having it as well!

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 07 Mar 2017 05:05 #5

Hi Silverrowan,

I have not been able to find a component system to try out yet, and it is definitely not my first step, hence future tense and probability language. I'm hoping to avoid it, honestly. Seems more complicated than I want to deal with if I don't have to.

Being a “must have” on your list was the ability to open up and swap out foam variety, so perhaps you’re now moving this down on your list of importance, which is part of the whole evaluation process :) . If you do decide to go this route, using the advice of a knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer and the configurations they recommend would be a very good starting point
{/quote]
This is me mixing up terminology - I meant zoned, but easy is always better :lol:

Do you have any idea what the ILD for idealmatress's latex and Soma's Obsidian mattress latex is? searching for either of these terms gets a lot of non-related threads. Neither provided me with these values.

Thank you

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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 07 Mar 2017 08:57 #6

Hi Silverrowan,

Do you have any idea what the ILD for idealmatress's latex and Soma's Obsidian mattress latex is?

Ideal Latex offers a variety of latex from different sources, some zoned, and in a variety of ILDs. The ILDs used would come down to what was recommended to you after a consult with one of their sleep specialists.

I’m not familiar with an Obsidian mattress offered by Soma. Did you mean Obasan? Because of the wide variety of customization options, your ILDs would be determined after a consultation with one of the consultants from Soma, and like the Ideal Mattress, there would be many potential combinations.

Because of the complexities involved with so many available zoning configurations offered by both brands you mentioned, I would recommend a visit to each showroom where you could take some time personally testing out different configurations, and with the assistance of a trained professional, you may come up with a few final configurations that work well for you.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 07 Mar 2017 09:42 #7

Yes, that is what I meant. Phone and correcting the right spelling!

I did go in to both these places, but other than fim/soft at ideal and soft /med/firm at soma the reps wouldn't give me more info about ild/density of latex.

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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 07 Mar 2017 12:38 #8

Hi Silverrowan,

Yes, that is what I meant. Phone and correcting the right spelling!

Happens to me all the time! :pinch:

I did go in to both these places, but other than fim/soft at ideal and soft /med/firm at soma the reps wouldn't give me more info about ild/density of latex.

All the information you need to know is in this article . While the specs that affect the quality and durability of the layers and components are important to know, when you are testing a latex mattress locally then disclosing "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or even an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components or any specific mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of the individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers may be.

I would also keep in mind that ILD is only one of several variables or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer or a mattress "as a whole" will feel to different people (see post #4 here ). In addition to this the ILD of different materials or different types and blends of latex also aren't always directly comparable to each other (see post #6 here ) so using the ILD of a particular layer or combination of layers as a reliable indication of how firm a mattress may feel to you compared to another mattress with a different combination of layers can sometimes be more misleading than helpful, especially in a zoned mattress.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 07 Mar 2017 18:53 #9

... While the specs that affect the quality and durability of the layers and components are important to know, when you are testing a latex mattress locally then disclosing "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or even an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components or any specific mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of the individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers may be.

I would also keep in mind that ILD is only one of several variables or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer or a mattress "as a whole" will feel to different people (see post #4 here ). In addition to this the ILD of different materials or different types and blends of latex also aren't always directly comparable to each other (see post #6 here ) so using the ILD of a particular layer or combination of layers as a reliable indication of how firm a mattress may feel to you compared to another mattress with a different combination of layers can sometimes be more misleading than helpful, especially in a zoned mattress.


Well, that's somewhat irritating then! Silly latex not being comparable ;)

So, after all that, I'm looking at either:
  • just grabbing the customization all latex mattress from MFC (waiting on their response to some questions I have),
  • or sourcing latex from a variety of places based on price and description.
  • Either way I go, I'm looking at making a mimicry of the structure of the Obisan Mattress from Soma, as both my partner and I were well supported and comfortable on that one.

Any idea of the quality of latex from: Sleep on Latex, Foam Factory, & Foamorder,com?

The structure of the Obisan is:
  • 2" thick Soft top
  • 4" thick of 1/6th mattress sized interchangeable zones of soft, medium, hard (r/l and roughly torso/hips/feet division)
  • 4" thick firm bottom

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DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh* 08 Mar 2017 11:12 #10

Hi Silverrowan,

Well, that's somewhat irritating then! Silly latex not being comparable

Latex is actually one of the easier items to approximate from one model to another (as compared to polyfoam, as an example), but you still need to know the type (Dunlop or Talalay), the blend (NR, SBR or SBR/NR), and then the ILDs. And even with that information, you’d still want to know the supplier, as different formulations and fillers can be used to change the feel/properties of latex. So while you can get something “in the ballpark”, exact matches are more difficult to create. And it’s even more difficult when you’re dealing with a complex zoning system. Many mattress stores are also well aware that some of their customers may just be "showrooming" their mattresses and may be intending to purchase a similar mattress or combinations of layers and components online, so they can be reluctant to disclose ILD/IFD information to a potential customer.

Any idea of the quality of latex from: Sleep on Latex, Foam Factory, & Foamorder,com?

All latex is generally a good quality and durable material, and you’d be interested in 100% NR Dunlop for the sake of your project. I think highly of Sleep on Latex (a site member here), and Foamorder.com is also listed as one of the component suppliers on the site.

If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

The structure of the Obisan is:
2" thick Soft top
4" thick of 1/6th mattress sized interchangeable zones of soft, medium, hard (r/l and roughly torso/hips/feet division)
4" thick firm bottom

This would be the Acadia 3.0. Besides the information I’ve previously provided about zoning and come manufacturers I’m familiar with who make zoned mattresses (FloBeds V-Zone would be the most similar off the top of my head), if you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components that are purchased from one or several different sources then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project ... the best approach to a DIY mattress is a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

Phoenix
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