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Torn between two latex mattress Manufacturers (Zenhaven vs Foam Sweet Foam)

09 Sep 2018 22:32 #21 by sweetandsourkiwi
Thanks to everyone who weighed in. I'm in the final weeks of deciding on the Zenhaven. (When they send you a topper they extend your trial, so I've now had it for almost 6 months.) This was generous, but honestly with summer travel and fluctuations in health, I've needed it!

I suffer from many health problems so it can be hard to tell where the mattress factors in—am I stiff from raging fibromyalgia or a bad fitting mattress? Sleep issues from health stuff, or the bed? It's so hard to say!

But, on a good night I conk out quickly and sleep on through 'til morning. I don't think I'm tossing and turning from the bed...when I do have a toss and turn night, it's from my pain, which varies from night to night. I am often in a lot more pain when I first wake up, lessening after 15-30 minutes of getting up, but I'm not sure if that's the mattress or the chronic pain issues.

I do not relish hanging out in the bed once I'm awake, even with the topper, because it's just not that comfortable to me as a side sleeper. I wonder if the kind of bed you want to cozy up in for hours and "can't get out of" might not actually be supportive enough. Maybe that's just what I tell myself because I still haven't found a great alternative.

I never think, I love this bed. I often grumble that I want to ditch it. But honestly, I'm in a lot of pain and the only bed that felt comfortable to me out shopping was a $4k Bliss bed (which I cannot afford, and am not really sure would be supportive enough.)

I agree with the poster above that once you learn more, it would be more fun to just go the component route! But as I've looked around for replacement alternatives, it seems the Zenhaven is priced well (taking the ripoff box spring out of the equation, which I now which I'd researched as much as the bed!) and I'm in a similar boat...I don't want to return it and wind up with something worse.

I do think I chose well for myself with the information I had at the time—100% talalay latex, soft and low pressure and supportive, and as natural/non-toxic as possible for under $2k was and still is my goal. I have wondered if I should switch teams, but I don't care for the feel of memory foam (although I could probably get used to it) and the environmental/health concerns freak me out. Foam seems like to some degree it would have similar issues.

I do wish I could have gone with our local latex manufacturer. I simply did not find their beds comfortable (as they felt too simple and only carried two foam densities for all the layers), and they were 2x as expensive as the Zenhaven with similar materials. I almost went with FSF, but my hesitation is the return (if needed)—rolling and boxing something heavy up is impossible for me with my health issues and I'm already deep into medical bills. If I return the Zenhaven, they (well, their contracted company) literally come and get it (and I'm out $99 for the non-refundable delivery fee it came with.) I say this to let manufacturers know this risk might be one thing that sways out-of-town shoppers over to "bigger brand" manufacturers.

I have three routes at this point: exchange the bed for something else in the natural latex category for around $2k, replace the bed with something less "prestige" in the $1k category because for this level of "meh" I could at least have $1k back (and maybe add a good latex topper?), or decide to keep the Zenhaven, but ask they replace the topper. (I know. Customer-zilla. But I can still only sleep on one side of my bed.)

Anyway, that's my update!

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11 Sep 2018 10:40 #22 by sweetandsourkiwi
I have decided not to settle. This bed will last 10+ years and while I do seem to get the support I need to not wake up in pain, I want to also have comfort, too. I am hoping it is possible to have both. I am starting over and doing this the Mattress Underground way instead of the emotional, sleep deprived way I did this last time. Whether this means simply getting a different topper for the Zenhaven or a new mattress altogether, I am not yet sure. Amassing PPP and other data currently.

There isn't much to test in town, so as my own experiment today, I hacked the backing off the free topper Zenhaven gave me. It is not stretchy and I felt that maybe it was interfering with the feel of the bed. After all, my main problem is it feels harder than I would like under my shoulder and hip, and not supportive under my waist.

In case anyone else is tempted, don't do it! It didn't make a difference. And now my admittedly iffy topper is not encased.

Step two, I folded the now backless 1.5" topper over to get a feel for what a 3" low-ILD comfort topper might feel like. Way plusher! Softer under my hip and shoulder and starting to support my middle. But, my low back immediately let me know it wasn't sure about this. It's really narrow, but I may try to sleep on it to see if that gives me any sort of idea for if that is a good direction to go.

With this thicker version, I could also see what people meant by talalay being springy. It felt a bit like Jello. I do wish we had some Dunlop in town as I would like to see the difference. My current preference is a Talalay top due to the fact I like the topper and what I've read about it, but I do wonder why so many of the manufacturers, especially on the affordable end, choose a dunlop top.

I do not know the ILD of the topper and the sales guy didn't either. I think he hazarded a guess of 7 but I'm not sure that's even a thing. He did tell me it's lighter than what's in the bed. Since I won't be hacking into my mattress, I'm not sure!

More to come. I've made a list of the online latex mattress manufacturers and resellers with decent return policies recommended by TMU and narrowed out the ones I can afford (around $2k or less), so that's where I'm starting from now.

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11 Sep 2018 12:49 #23 by sweetandsourkiwi
I will share my PPP in case that is helpful to anyone else in a similar boat.

135lb single female
side sleeper
severe chronic pain/fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome
currently on a Zenhaven but finding it a little too supportive and not comfortable, even with a 1.5 talalay topper

In a nutshell, I would like to find a mostly organic/natural talalay mattress (and possibly topper since I love the fluff!) in a soft, supportive, side sleeper-friendly construction for $2k or less with good return options if needed and really helpful customer service.

What you prefer:

Microclimate, breathability and temperature control 
Lots of breathability, neutral to slightly cool temperature

Slow or fast response materials and where in the range you prefer
Fast. Instant preferred.

Sleeping "on" vs "in" the mattress
Bit of both, like to feel sunk in enough to be stable on my side and well contoured, a little fluff to snuggle into.

Motion isolation with small and large movements
Single so don’t really care, but some might be nice for the future.

The ease of movement or movement restriction on the mattress for changing position and "other activities"
I want to be able to move and change positions quite easily.

Edge support for those who sit or sleep on the edge of a mattress
I have iffy edge support on my Zenhaven and am used to it now. I don’t want to feel like I’m rolling out of bed, but I don’t use the edge of the mattress much.

"Roll together" for those who sleep close together in the center of a mattress
Single! But feeling sucked into another part of the bed drives me nuts. I already feel like I roll a little to the middle of my Zenhaven.

Overall "feel" (such as the difference between combinations that include the "feel" of innersprings and/or different types of foam in the comfort or support layers)
I just don’t like memory foam. I want a low to no pressure feel. I like a layer of airy fluff on top of the bed.

Durability of materials in the mattress
Longevity would be nice although I imagine my needs will change over time. What’s more important to me is that the foams aren’t degrading and being breathed in.

Durability of construction (such as one or two sided)
Important but not a deciding factor.

Quality and performance of materials and construction
I want the highest quality I can afford.

Ability to open the mattress and exchange layers or make changes after purchase
I think this would be a nice to have but also could be fixed with a topper.

Warranty and warranty exclusions (which are often more important then the warranty itself). You can read more about mattress warranties here .

I like that my Zenhaven has a half-inch indentation policy. An inch and a half is more standard, that seems like a lot!

Budget limitations and range
Up to ~$2,200, needs to include base and topper. Probably not less than $1k and my preferences seem to put me above $1500.

Price vs quality and "commodity" value of materials
Obviously I’d like the highest quality for the lowest price available, but I definitely make considerations for cut corners. I don’t want to save because returned mattresses are thrown in a landfill, for example.

Mattress only or foundation included (and the type)
Prefer foundation available from same company but it’s not a deal breaker.

Natural materials vs synthetic
As much natural and more importantly organic as possible. This IS very important to me.

The type of cover and quilting (if any) you prefer
Organic natural

Your choice of retailer or manufacturer:
I don’t care for our limited local options, so sells online and willing to work with me!

The different "value added" options that go with the mattress (delivery, financing, bonuses like pillows or a protector etc).
Delivery and especially assisted delivery is really helpful but at the end of the day, icing.

Options after purchase 
Free return with assistance moving the mattress is best, return available with some loss and packing required is acceptable but not ideal. I will not consider a mattress I can’t return. Layer exchanges are helpful, especially when free. Minimum 30 day trial or I won’t consider it.

The knowledge and service of the outlet you buy from 
I want someone that really knows their stuff and performs attentive, thorough customer service

The importance of supporting a particular retailer or manufacturer 
I am swayed by retailers that take sustainability seriously, and have quick clear communication

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11 Sep 2018 13:44 - 11 Sep 2018 15:07 #24 by NestHaven
Hi Sweet,

I would try Nest Bedding, especially if you have a store location near you, as they've been great to deal with. My partner has similar stats as you, and we've been doing well with their Hybrid Latex. While we have the former Talalay version, their redesigned Dunlop version is even softer/more conforming, and might provide a better overall fit for you. You might be able to work with them on switching to Talalay, too.

Another option would be Arizona Premium Mattress. We have not purchased from them, but they make similar quality products, and Ken (the owner) is very knowledgeable and responsive.

Either Nest Bedding or Arizona Premium Mattress might be good fits for you. Those are the two brands that I recommend to people looking for a solid latex mattress from companies who care about their products. And based on the vetting that Phoenix (site administrator) does, any of the Trusted Members on this site would be worth a look as well.

Hope that helps, and all the best with your search! We went through 9 mattress brands over the last year or so (Sealy, Serta, Saatva, Brentwood Home, Leesa, Casper, Aireloom, etc.), and are finally satisfied with our Nest Bedding mattress. We definitely wish we had started our mattress search here first, so there certainly is a wealth of information on this site....
Last edit: 11 Sep 2018 15:07 by NestHaven.

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11 Sep 2018 17:54 #25 by sweetandsourkiwi
Thank so much for your input. NINE over the past year!! Wow, you really went through the ringer. I think I am done trying to sort through the millennial disruptor beds and am really only looking at manufacturers from TMU.

I did look at Arizona and didn't see an easy return...and Nest definitely caught my eye too. They seemed a bit pricier than similarly constructed "off brands", but they're still on my list.

I have also thought of a third option—simply buying a new topper for the Zenhaven. Maybe I'm closer than I realize and more in the tweaking stage? But, it's more tempting to start from scratch with a manufacturer who can really help me choose or build to spec, knowing how it will all work together, and also buying myself more time to return if I really need it.

Thanks for your help! Glad you found your bed!

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12 Sep 2018 08:03 - 12 Sep 2018 08:25 #26 by sweetandsourkiwi
I take it back—cutting the unstretchy, canvas/tarplike material off the back of the topper DID make a difference. I felt less pressure under my hip and shoulder and like the layers were "interacting" more, creating a more responsive bed and more sink overall. This was the first time I felt the material to rise up under my waist.

I'm still not decided on what I'll do, but it was a powerful testament to how minor materials can really change the feel of the bed. Now it makes sense to me why a bed with the exact same build and ILD could feel totally different.

I also tried out the "doubled" layer to get a feel for 3 inches of light talalay. I could see what folks meant when they said they got a zero gravity sensation from latex. The pressure disappeared. I kinda liked it, but I also kinda felt like I was getting eaten a bit by the bed. It was a struggle to get up or flip over. Granted, I was on a narrow piece of folded latex, so a full bed might be different. But I think that layer of fluff might actually be too much. Looks like my sweet spot is somewhere in between.

Anyway...I slept over 9 hours straight! But more time is needed to come to a plan.
Last edit: 12 Sep 2018 08:25 by sweetandsourkiwi.

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13 Sep 2018 20:26 #27 by sweetandsourkiwi
I had a friend take some pictures of me on the bed to confirm what I appears with or without a pillow, my hip and shoulder aren't sinking in enough to allow my spine to straighten, causing me to capsize at the waist.

It seems the pillow worsens it but my shoulder would be really jammed in there without it.

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14 Sep 2018 08:01 #28 by sweetandsourkiwi
I saw something that said talalay from South America is higher quality than Sri this true?

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14 Sep 2018 14:30 #29 by sweetandsourkiwi
I decided to start over with Foam Sweet Foam.

I just heard back from them that they think their product would be too similar to the Zenhaven for me. It looks like they are semi-custom and don't do toppers at all so they don't have an option to make it softer. Shoot!

I have emailed SleepEZ and SleepingOrganic next in hopes of getting a dialed recommendation for what to build. I chose them due to their availability of talalay and decent return policies but am really hopeful to hear back from SleepEZ since they've been in business the longest, are participating members here, and have a better return policy (should I need it which I really hope I don't!) But, only Sleeping Organic has the extra-soft Talalay which may be what I need...

to be continued!

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14 Sep 2018 14:56 #30 by Sweet Dreams
According to this post as well as what I've read elsewhere it appears that Sri Lanka only sources Dunlop processed latex. The Talalay process is more involved which results in its generally higher cost and it is produced in fewer facilities. It's entirely possible that there have been changes in latex manufacturing facilities since that post, and I'm sure someone will correct me if it's no longer accurate.

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