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DIY with Memory Foam

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14 Oct 2019 12:15 #1 by Mia12345
Hi,
Thanks for all the support and knowledge being shared on TMU. It's easy to feel alone out there struggling to sleep each night on an uncomfortable bed and it can be helpful to know there are others trying to figure out the complexities of mattresses.

I have been on a long journey for a new comfortable bed (1.5 years) after my beloved Simmons Comforpedic Advanced Rest/Luxury Firm memory foam mattress died. I've embarked on DIY out of necessity, after failed attempts with store and online bought mattresses and a realization that I'm particularly sensitive to even the smallest changes in the bed. Customization seems to be the answer, but my hope that I could recreate my past bed as a starting point was dashed by not enough specs being shared by the company (I've copied previous intel from TMU below). Through experimentation, I've gotten closer and closer, but still am not quite there as I still have aches, pain, and nerve compression. I've settled on memory foam as that's the feel that I've liked best in the past, I hate the pushiness of springs, and even latex feels too pushy. I enjoyed being held and sleeping "in" the bed, but can't find the goldilocks sweet spot (in general, I'm either comfortably soft but sinking in too far in butt which hurts lo-back, or not sinking in but too firm/hard on butt/tail bones which hurts/bruises).

I'd love some guidance as I try to figure out where to turn for both comfort and transition layers next. I'm feel like I'm just collecting foam as they're often not returnable!
Are there TMU trusted members in the US who sell memory foam layers? I'd love to speak with someone. It seems that most folks here focus on latex, which I've ruled out through testing. 

Or are there types of stores where you can try out memory foam toppers/layers? It would be great to feel the layers first. Regular box stores don't carry higher quality or density MF toppers. Purchasing online without guidance hasn't been very successful, where density might be listed, but not the ILD.

In the meantime, I've been working with:
-comfort: 3 inches or so MF (trying various combos, such as 1.5 inch 3 lb from Costco or similar box store, 1 inch 4.5 lb from foamorder, 2 inch 5lb by MFS from Amazon)
-transition: 2 inch Dunlop latex and two 1 inch polyfoams labeled "16" or "23"
-core: 5 inch DuraFlex™ D30 Firm foam from foamorder

My past Comforpedic features: • 9.5” High • 9.5” CPA Zippered Bucket • 9.5” CPA Core • 1” 4.0 AirCool Memory Foam with TruTemp Gel • 1” Firm Comfort Foam • 2” 4.5 LB AirCool Memory Foam • 2” Independent Support Technology • 3.5” AirCool Transflexion Core• 1.65 LB 45 ILD AirCool Edge Support

Any thoughts appreciated! I'm at the phase where speaking with someone knowledgeable about memory foam diy construction would really help because I'm stumped and exhausted. Thank you!

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16 Oct 2019 19:02 #2 by Phoenix
Replied by Phoenix on topic DIY with Memory Foam
Hi Mia12345

my hope that I could recreate my past bed as a starting point was dashed by not enough specs being shared by the company (I've copied previous intel from TMU below)


I very much agree with you.. you‘ve clearly done your due diligence and research… While you may have enjoyed your "beloved Simmons Comforpedic", you are correct that the major brands such as Sealy/Stearns & Foster, Simmons, and Serta, tend to use lower quality and less durable materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors. Those lower quality material(s)/components used in their mattresses will tend to soften or break down prematurely which is why I’d avoid duplicating this mattress based on specs. While there are some more durable components being used there is little to no information about "2” Independent Support Technology", and the "3.5” AirCool Transflexion Core". The perimeter support of 1.65lbs is a much lower density than I would advise for an area of the mattress which is subject to greater mechanical stress. (see the guidelines here )

I've gotten closer and closer, but still am not quite there as I still have aches, pain, and nerve compression. I've settled on memory foam as that's the feel that I've liked best in the past, I hate the pushiness of springs, and even latex feels too pushy


There's nothing "wrong" with liking the feel of memory foam and with mixing memory foam and latex or any other materials because the type of materials that each person likes best in a mattress is really a matter of personal preference. A combination of memory foam on top of latex is a preference choice that some people like a lot but again you are correct that only your own experience will tell if it works well for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). everything is a matter of tradeoffs even buying a lower density memory foam for the sake of either price or "feel" as long as you realize that you would be giving up durability and don't "buy into" misleading comparisons. There is more about the different ways one mattress can match another one in post #9 here .

Or are there types of stores where you can try out memory foam toppers/layers? It would be great to feel the layers first.


I don't know of any stores that have a larger selection of toppers in your area but trying them "in vitro" may not be that helpful by itself. Every individual layer and component in a mattress or mattress/topper combo (including the cover, FR barrier, any quilting material, and of course all foam layers) will affect the feel and response of every other layer and component both above and below it and the mattress "as a whole". In the end, the “in-home” feel would greatly depend on the mattress or DIY that you will place it on.

Purchasing online without guidance hasn't been very successful, where density might be listed, but not the ILD. ..
Any thoughts appreciated! I'm at the phase where speaking with someone knowledgeable about memory foam diy construction would really help because I'm stumped and exhausted.

Comfort: 3” or so MF (trying various combos, such as
 1.5” 3 lb from Costco or similar box store,
 1” 4.5 lb from foamorder
 2” 5lb by MFS from Amazon
transition: 2” Dunlop latex and two 1” polyfoams labeled "16" or "23"
Core: 5” DuraFlex™ D30 Firm foam from foamorder


From your description, you are a (12”) of different foam combinations. I don’t see any red flag in terms of durability if you keep at around an inch or so of lower density MF in the comfort layer. I would phone Foamorder and explain to them your proposed configuration and the issue that you are still experiencing with it to ask for their advice. Again, you are on the right track and you seem to be in the fine-tuning phase of your DIY I would recommend a phone call, not an email, and going over details of potential configurations, as you can provide more accurate information in real-time and get a higher volume of information in a much shorter period of time. I’d still keep in mind that there are many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to chose somethings for you or "theorize at a distance” but you can get some more specific recommendations based on the data that you’ve accumulated. Many of our trusted members here have extended experience with and carry/manufacture good quality/value Memory Foam products. Even if you go the DIY route, they would not hesitate to guide you. You may wish to reach out to some of them and find if they carry something that may be a close match. At a quick glance here is a shortlist.
You’ve often mentioned that you are in the “princess on the pea” rage of sensitivity but with your thorough and methodical approach, I have no doubt that you will find the “sweet spot”. As you have experienced, it usually takes a bit of trial and error and a bit of time to get things just right.

I hope this gives you a few more avenues to explore. Please let us know how it goes when you have a chance.

Phoenix

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18 Nov 2019 12:55 #3 by Mia12345
Replied by Mia12345 on topic DIY with Memory Foam
Hi Phoenix,
Thanks again for the response! So far, I did get some advice from Foamorder, looked at the websites of everyone you suggested to see who carries MF layers, and am still planning to reach out to others.

As mentioned, I loved the feeling of sleeping "in" my previous bed and being held in place. But, this seems to go against current trend given that I see a lot of advertising for other qualities, like quicker response. In my testing, I like softness in the top comfort layers, but then am sinking right through and bottoming out on the transition layers. I haven't found a MF layers that "hold" me as much as my old Comforpedic did. I'm wondering if a higher ILD MF is one item I'm lacking in my current build and could maybe be my second layer to help with this issue? Everything I have for comfort layers is either unlabeled, "soft," or <11.

It's also confusing that some MF sellers offer ILD while understanding that it's hard to interpret ILD for something temperature-sensitive. So, it's hard to tell how much stock to put into those ILD numbers online. And, in searching around, I'm not seeing many 4lbs+ and higher/mid-teens ILD MF layers for sale.

Regarding your comment about places to shop for MF layers or mattress/DIY experts to see in person near where I live, I also spend a good amount of time in Westchester, NY & NYC. So, getting mattress components or toppers there is very feasible, if you have favorite folks out that way.

As always, thanks again for being supportive and making a good night's sleep seem a little less daunting.

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20 Nov 2019 00:55 #4 by Phoenix
Replied by Phoenix on topic DIY with Memory Foam
Hi Mia12345.

I am glad you reached out to Foamorder and other companies. and you are absolutely correct that Memory foam has very low resilience, has a more "in the mattress" feel to it. It is a matter of preference (even if it goes against the "current trend") Yout other observations are also correct as over the course of the night the MF would change its feel and response with pressure, temperature, humidity, and length of time it is subject to compression forces. It can feel firm in some conditions or circumstances and soft under the different condition detailed in this article about the pros and cons of memory foam

It's also confusing that some MF sellers offer ILD while understanding that it's hard to interpret ILD for something temperature-sensitive. So, it's hard to tell how much stock to put into those ILD numbers online.


I totally agree … measuring ILD accurately in visco-elastic memory foam is not that straight forward as it is with other foams. MFs ILDs can vary dramatically with the foam formulation by the foam’s rate sensitivity (recovery rate after compression), temperature sensitivity and humidity sensitivity. Sample conditions would need to be highly standardized. It’s safest to state that the memory foam commonly used for comfort layers in a mattress and toppers are all quite plush, and generally in the upper single-digit to the upper teen ILD range.

The relief of pressure that you are you are liking with memory foam is connected to both softness (ILD/IFD) and density because higher density foams can "melt" into shapes that more closely fit the body which means they distribute weight better and lower the pressure around pressure points. They can take more time to "melt" which means that with initial compression or with the movement they can feel much firmer. Also, density and plushness aren’t necessarily correlated with memory foam as they are with Latex. This is why companies like Tempurpedic refer to a 7 lb foam as most "conforming" even though a 4 lb foam is the "softest" (gives more with initial pressure). Which is why MF is a preferred material for many hospital applications or with highly sensitive people.

In my testing, I like softness in the top comfort layers, but then am sinking right through and bottoming out on the transition layers. I haven't found a MF layers that "hold" me as much as my old Comforpedic did. I'm wondering if a higher ILD MF is one item I'm lacking in my current build and could maybe be my second layer to help with this issue?


“Holding” has more to do with support and preventing you from bottoming out but MF lacks supportive qualities and has low progressive resistance as it is compressed because of its ability to keep softening under heat & pressure which may allow heavier parts of the body to sink more deeply into layers that use it. It would probably not make much difference in a 1” second layer and if anything for the reasons described earlier I’d be more tempted to go with a higher density of similar ILD (assuming that your are correctly aligned and you like the plushness)

I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you if this would help., but because of your particular spine curvature and your sensitivities, I would just be just guessing and probably adding one more layer to the pile. You have been doing great research and are quite “in touch” with your body so I’d go with your gut feeling about this.

Another thought that came to mind is some sort of zoning of the 2” transition layer under the tailbone area where you experience bottoming out…. but again, this needs to be done under some guidance. FloBeds and are one of TMU’s Experts in zoning so you may want to place a phone call as it may be more efficient.

Let us know what you decided and of course, any updates that you might have

Phoenix

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