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Narrowed down to Latex… how to decide on appropriate firmness choice?

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04 Apr 2019 09:24 #1 by doctorx0079
Is there any truth to the rumor that Avocado natural cotton covers actually contain polyester? Michael of Design Sleep told me that, but I have not been able to confirm it. Why would he tell me that if it's not true?

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08 Apr 2019 12:03 #2 by Sensei
Hey doctorx0079,

I do not have any first-hand knowledge regarding this particular cover. . It will say what the construction of the fabric is on their law tag. Avocado does have la lot ofl inks to certifications on their site.

Regarding the GOTS certification, textile products only need to have a minimum of 70%, quote below from the webiste - www.global-standard.org/the-standard.html , so its makes perfect sense that it may have some polyester, it's really hard to get the "stretch" needed on knitted fabric with just cotton.


Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological aspects as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with social criteria. The key criteria of GOTS, its quality assurance system and the principles of the review and revision procedure are summarised in this section.


Thanks.
Sensei

Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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20 Apr 2019 18:51 #3 by doctorx0079
Okay, I'm starting to narrow things down. I wish more stores had latex mattresses. I have had a hard time finding an actual latex mattress I can try out. It seems like most latex mattresses are sold online now. I went into Original Mattress and they only carry one latex mattress, the Serenity. At least I was able to compare it to memory foam and innerspring mattresses at the store. I think I prefer the latex, but Original Mattress only has one and there are no choices for firmness. (I was told that they used to have 5 but now it's down to 1.) Original Mattress also does not take returns at all. I am considering Sleep on Latex and PlushBeds. Both of them offer latex mattresses with several choices for firmness, they take returns up to 90 days, and they arrange pickup of returns, unlike some companies where you have to arrange it with UPS yourself. My question is, how can I decide which level of firmness will be right for me? I am replacing a 10 year old Englander Versailles which has started giving me shoulder pain. I usually sleep on my back and I weight 177 pounds, so I'm guessing that Medium might work for me. I also noticed that PlushBeds has some mattresses that allow you to move around the layers, but how hard is it to do that? Isn't it difficult to get the latex back inside the cover?

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23 Apr 2019 14:04 - 23 Apr 2019 14:12 #4 by Phoenix
Hi doctorx0079,

Welcome back and thanks for the post.

We are very understanding of the difficulty of selecting something appropriate when there are not enough “good” latex mattresses to try out and compare at traditional retail. It is really hard to gauge what would be best, but at least you were able to try the Serenity latex at Original Mattress and compare its feel to different mattresses and materials.

I did take a look at the Original Mattress serenity link, and this is one of there two-sided latex mattress, made with 4.5” poly foam core and 3” of Talalay on top and bottom. They don’t list the ILD of the Talalay on each side, did you happen to ask the sales associate this question?

As you may or may not know, Sleep on Latex is one of our trusted members that I think very highly of and consider them to compete well with the best in the industry. In this way, we are partial to our members based on their quality, value, service, transparency, and use of high-quality materials. Additionally, you can also check out other many members on our site who have many years of latex experience and some offer topper exchange programs. Here is the list of TMU members that sell latex or all-latex mattresses .

“My question is, how can I decide which level of firmness will be right for me?”


I am not sure what you read since you’ve found us but you’d need to understand the difference between pressure relief and support, you can read about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel".
Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read 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 that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well he will sleep), durability (how long he 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 of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

When assessing any product, also be sure that you find out 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 relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

When you can't test a mattress in person then 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 (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness, etc.) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, 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.

I hope this gives you a good start in selecting an appropriate firmness choice for a new latex mattress. I look forward to learning about your decision and any other questions you may have.

Phoenix
Note: I have moved both your posts in this thread to better keep track of your progress.

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Last edit: 23 Apr 2019 14:12 by Phoenix.

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25 Apr 2019 13:19 #5 by doctorx0079
Thanks for your quick and thorough response Phoenix!

I got some additional info about the Serenity by Original Mattress. They have an info card in the store which has information that is not on the website.

Comfort layer: Talalay 16-22 ILD, 3.0 lb with tolerance of +-0.25 lb/ft^3
AND 21-27 ILD 3.25 lb/ft^3 with tolerance of +- 0.25 lb/ft^3

Core: Polyfoam 26-34 ILD 2.5 lb/ft^3 with tolerance of +- 0.1 lb/ft^3

Austin was very helpful as usual and didn't try to pressure me. He did mention that they are testing new natural latex mattresses but no idea whether they will be selling them or when.

I found the mattress pretty comfortable in the store but I was only lying on it for 10 minutes or so. That doesn't give me much of an idea of how well I would really sleep on it. But maybe it is something to go by when I call the other mattress companies.

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26 Apr 2019 07:31 #6 by doctorx0079
I think some experimenting will help me get a better idea of what I need. Last night I tried sleeping on my side with different pillows and I noticed that my shoulder doesn't ache as much. I'm going to try different configurations and see how I feel.

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27 Apr 2019 17:43 #7 by Phoenix
Hi doctorx0079,

Thanks for posting the new info. Original Mattress is a very good factory direct retailer and I am glad that they provided the complete specifications set for the Serenity Latex mattress which is a good product with no weak links. This info can certainly help with finding something comparable that meets your budget. The old latex version that Original sold about 7 or 8 years ago was very similar except that they used 32/36 ILD Talalay latex as their “core” and it was a great seller, hopefully, they bring back a similar version.

You make a very good point about “the pillow” and experimenting with the mattress pillow combination. Finding a suitable pillow can be as hard as finding the best match mattress. The key, of course, is to maintain a more neutral cervical/upper thoracic alignment in all sleeping positions, but not many of us have what many physicians might describe as “normal” curvature in this region.

For sleeping on your side, it is imperative to maintain a pillow of sufficient enough thickness and substantial enough in filling to not collapse and have your head sink too much laterally. When you sleep on your back, one generally wants the pillow to be a bit thinner so that you’re not sleeping with too much forward flexion. That is why “shapeable” pillows (ones with filling that can be moved into different levels of thickness) are popular for people who sleep both on their side and back. Down, shredded foams (latex, polyfoam and memory foam), buckwheat hulls, kapok, wool, silk, synthetic fibers, and flaxseed are just a few of the offerings in this category. Additionally, many of these styles of pillows are available with an inner casing that allows accessibility to the fill to allow removal of the fill material in order to customize thickness. You may wish to check out our newest member DIY Natural Bedding that has more than a dozen DIY pillow and kit offerings and also CozyPure with their newest LaNoodle Latex Pillow custom-fill with zipper . and you'd have the advantage of being able to interface with both of them as both are extremely knowledgeable and experienced with pillow materials and configuration.

One tip for side sleepers is to place a large pillow or body pillow in front of you and rest your free arm on this pillow. This takes some of the stress off of the neck/shoulder complex. Additionally, you may wish to experiment with placing a pillow behind your shoulders when sleeping upon your side. This allows you to lean back slightly against the pillow, effectively abducting your scapula and rolling your shoulder joint forward a bit, and this can also help relieve some stress for you.

In the end, just like you mentioned, it does come down to quite a bit of experimentation, but you’ll want to be sure that you’re considering a product using more durable materials. Pillows are a very personal choice and different people will have very different pillow preferences or different opinions about what they perceive as firm and soft or the general type of pillow that "feels" good to them but some of the information in the  pillow topic here and the posts it links to can help you choose a pillow that is the best "match" for you and the mattress you are sleeping on.

Thanks for the post and I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Phoenix

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02 May 2019 23:18 #8 by Janeway
Hello Phoenix & Sensei,

Thanks for providing such an informative and helpful resource. Being near the end of my research, I'm ready to purchase a latex mattress, but I need to ask questions to help narrow down the pros & cons of each approach I'm considering.

Me:
- BMI 19.5 (tall and thin), with shoulders about 1/2" broader than hips.
- Shoulders have been a pressure point problem.
- Side and occasional back sleeper.
- Will use a 5 panel, adjustable, queen-sized bed, as the foundation.

Here are the 3 choices I'm considering in a queen size:

Mattress #1 (all Talalay)
- 3" split F layer + 3" split M layer + zippered cover (quilted wool)
- 3" S topper (w/stretch case)

Mattress #2 (all Talalay)
- 3" split F layer + 3" split M layer + zippered cover (Stretch)
- 3" S topper (w/stretch case)

Mattress #3 (all Talalay)
- 3" split F layer + 3" split M layer + 3" single S layer + zippered stretch cover

The difference between 1 & 2 is just the case around the 6" mattress. The difference with #3 is all layers would be inside a case.

With a latex mattress, I'm trying to come close to, (or BETTER!), than the plush/firm, Sealy Crown Jewel, double-sided, pillowtop mattress I purchased around 2001, and loved for many years. I never felt the rock hard springs, until the quilted 2" poly(?) foam + 1/2" (?) memory foam, started to go south, (not sure exactly what was in there, do you know?). However, I intend to steer clear of the toxic crap that was used in its construction. Also, I'm going to use an adjustable bed to maximize comfort, so, an all latex mattress seems the way to go.

What i've tried:
- Tempurpedic Deluxe -After many nights the verdict is: I cant stand the wet sand feel. It's waaaaaay too hard, if I dont have the foot and head adjusted properly, it causes pain/numbness in my shoulders with side sleeping and pain in my calves and heels with back sleeping.

- Savvy Rest or was it Nest? - tried in the showroom, but the cover was soooo stiff, (did they use the sails from a boat???), I couldnt feel my body contouring into the latex, so I basically just floated on top of the soft topper+mattress.

- I've used latex pillows, off and on, so I'm familiar with the feel of Talalay latex, as far as pillows are concerned. I prefer the thin stretch cover that JCPenny & Tempurpedic have used on their products. This allows for maximal contouring, which I believe I will prefer for pressure point relief. I'm considering the separate topper in the #1 & #2 mattress configuration's above, to create more freedom for the latex to conform around me (similar to the construction of the pillow top on my Sealy Crown Jewel, that had a 2" indention all the way around the edge, before it was attached to the cover).

Questions:

1. Which of the 3 configurations would work best to give me contouring, but little to no wrinkles & shifting in the layers/case/protector, given that I'm going to use an adjustable bed?

2. Are they all going to breathe about the same, when used with an adjustable base? Or will one be less hot than the others? (I'm in an area with long, hot, summers, but i do run an AC when it's 85+ degrees).
3. Any potential cons to any of the 3 configurations I've listed? Such as, durability? Lousy edge support due to smaller topper size? etc.

4. Lastly, I'm trying to understand the "Talalay is more lively than Dunlop" statement. Is it the same annoyance that I experience with a solid latex pillow when laying on my back? I end up with my head flopping to one side, or the other, as there's no grip to the pillow, to keep my head facing forward. I cant tolerate this, and have to use a shredded latex, or down pillow, to stabilize my head, so my muscles can relax when facing forward. If this same problem is what people are complaining about, when they say Talalay is too lively, then maybe I need something else at the surface of the mattress to create this "grip"? A shredded latex topper, perhaps?

Thanks for any help you can offer! The ball needs to get rolling :)

~Janeway

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06 May 2019 10:48 #9 by Sensei
Hi Janeway,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :), and thank you for the compliments. Let me see if I can offer any help, but just as an overall impression all of the choices listed are very good mattresses with no weak links.

Regarding the Sealy Crown Jewel, I don't have access to this information at this time, and I think it may not be that relevant, but I will do a quick search just to double check anyways. It sounds like it worked out quite well.

Savvy Rest or was it Nest? - tried in the showroom, but the cover was soooo stiff, (did they use the sails from a boat???), I couldnt feel my body contouring into the latex, so I basically just floated on top of the soft topper+mattress.



With some latex mattresses, this can be common for beds that use a "tape edge" sewn cover, creating a feeling that you floated on top...I used to use the analogy to a "parachute" as this cover is pulled tight to sew all four sides...but I also love the "sails from a boat"..very funny. It's really good you noticed this as it happens with a lot of latex mattresses.


1. Which of the 3 configurations would work best to give me contouring, but little to no wrinkles & shifting in the layers/case/protector, given that I'm going to use an adjustable bed?



All three will be very similar regarding the layers shifting, the one with the "quilted" cover may show fewer wrinkles. The ones with the "topper" that is added onto the 6" base mattress, could potentially shift a bit more given the topper is free standing. If you add a mattress protector, this, of course, will give you more "hold" and help keep the layers feeling more snug.

Are they all going to breathe about the same, when used with an adjustable base? Or will one be less hot than the others? (I'm in an area with long, hot, summers, but i do run an AC when it's 85+ degrees).



I think given that all of the covers are stretch knit, and use Talalay latex the will all breath about the same. Technically the wool in the quilted cover could theoretically wick away more moisture, but I can't say it would be incrementally noticeable to an individual. That said, every person's sensitivities to these questions are different, so only you will be able to tell the difference.

Any potential cons to any of the 3 configurations I've listed? Such as, durability? Lousy edge support due to smaller topper size? etc.



No issues with durability, especially given your low BMI. Regarding edge support, if you are using the firm 36 ILD? and then Medium 28ild you will have pretty good edge support, but again, this is something that is personal to people. I can say "no issue" and you can say it's an unbelievable problem...do you find when you tried other mattresses, latex or not, that this issue is noticeable, and is it a high priority for you?

Mattress number 3 will have better edge support as all three layers are in one cover unit, thus this mattress will feel a bit firmer, compared to same ILD's but using a free-standing topper.

Lastly, I'm trying to understand the "Talalay is more lively than Dunlop" statement. Is it the same annoyance that I experience with a solid latex pillow when laying on my back? I end up with my head flopping to one side, or the other, as there's no grip to the pillow, to keep my head facing forward. I cant tolerate this, and have to use a shredded latex, or down pillow, to stabilize my head, so my muscles can relax when facing forward. If this same problem is what people are complaining about, when they say Talalay is too lively, then maybe I need something else at the surface of the mattress to create this "grip"? A shredded latex topper, perhaps?



I sleep on Talalay pillow and talalay latex, and I do not think this is the same issue. One's head and neck are very sensitive to having your head pushed forward...this is a very particular feeling. The part of the talalay being more lively is important to many people.

Latex has an unusual combination of surface softness and deeper firmness/support that comes from it's elasticity, it's point elasticity (ability to conform to the shape of a body) and it's 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, for example, polyfoam.

I see you are asking other questions from our trusted members , they can help also.

Please message any other questions you may have, and let me know if you need any clarification. Thank you so much for your post.

Sensei

Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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03 Jun 2019 10:30 #10 by doctorx0079
Had my Sleep on Latex for a week and a half now. It seems pretty good. My shoulders and lower back are gradually feeling better.

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