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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 30 Aug 2020 08:05 #1

Hello, and thank you so much for all your time and effort put into creating and maintaining this invaluable resource! :)

I've got a dilemma here. Shopping for mattresses in a pandemic goes without saying, but it's only part of the issue.

I have a connective tissue disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and this basically means that my tendons and ligaments are lax and don't do a decent job holding me together. I have arthritis all throughout my spine, especially my neck, and my nerves can get pinched there. The effect while sleeping is that my spine can neither support itself well nor resist pressure. So…even more so than the average side-sleeper, I need a mattress that allows me to sink in so that I have no pressure points, yet keeps my spine supported and aligned.

We have been sleeping on a Purple Hybrid Premier 4 since July 15th. Purple had a lot of recommendations from other EDS sufferers, and buckling column gel looked very promising indeed. (Tempur-Pedic and Sleep Number were also highly recommended). We liked the feel of the Purple when trying it out in person. However, it didn't take long at home to become apparent that it is actually not soft enough for us. From the responses I got on my reddit post, I know this seems pretty out there, but it's true. And yes, we are using Purple's own proprietary mattress pad and stretchy sheets!

My shoulder cannot sink in far enough and the surface actually feels resistant to the point that it can impinge my circulation in my arm. I've started having trouble with my shoulder joints and nerve pinching again. It seems that those parts of my body don't weigh enough to sink in. My husband also finds that his hips sink down more than his shoulders sink in and he doesn't feel his lower back is supported. The mattress also appears to be unevenly soft across its surface.

We've tried everything we can to make it more tolerable--turning it around, loosening the fitted sheet, taking off the mattress protector, taking off the sheet--and we've just plain determined it's not going to work out. The effect is only getting more disturbing with time, not better.

We live in Georgia, but there aren't many local options for field-testing materials…just Mattress Firm, pretty much. Due to the pandemic, we haven't been traveling. We might have to take another chance with a mattress just because of the times. In store, we did try a couple of Intellibeds (husband said they "felt weird"), several Tempur-Pedics (we liked the softest LuxeAdapt best, and it's softer than the Purple we have), and some S-brand hybrids with memory foam tops (ok to good, but we're concerned with durability).

My only experience with latex bedding is the Purple Harmony pillow that I now have. This consists of a sleeve of buckling column gel with a Talalay latex core. It would be most ideal if it were a tiny bit thinner (I got the thinner of the two heights offered), but it's still the best pillow I've ever had. It is yielding and squishy, but never loses its support through the night like down, poly-fill, or memory foam always did to me. Sometimes, it does feel too firm, but maybe that's the thickness issue; I have small shoulders.

Some specs:
  • Our foundation is a good adjustable queen.
  • I am 5'5", ~127 lbs, strictly a side-sleeper. I sleep with a pillow between my knees to keep my hips from hurting and to support the arm/shoulder I'm not lying on.
  • My husband is 5'10", ~143 lbs, side/back-sleeper.
  • Both of us prefer a mattress with a soft, deeply conforming feel that keeps the spine evenly aligned. We will sacrifice cooling if necessary in order to achieve a good cradle, but cooling is still something we value. We also would prefer a mattress cover that would protect from, oh, say, a cat throwing up on the bed. Mattress thickness/height is not a particular concern, so long as we get the comfort and durability we need and the bedding fits.
  • Both of us can sometimes overheat at night. No latex allergies. We do have dust mite allergies. Synthetic materials are fine when their performance is specifically desired/superior. Same deal for natural materials; we would favor organic in this category simply for the benefit to the environment. (In other words, we're not primarily concerned about chemicals from synthetics if they're not perceptible.)
  • Budget: Anything under the $3,500+ price of the Tempur-Pedic LuxeAdapt is a win. We would of course like to save as much money as possible, but not to sacrifice comfort and durability.

After all that blathering, our main questions are:
  • Are there any mattresses that you think would fit the bill that would be absolutely worth ordering?
Or--
  • Are there specific combinations of components (and sources for these, if possible) that would be a great bet in terms of a DIY mattress?

For instance, I am attracted to the idea of a thick, durable memory foam comfort layer over a Talalay transitional layer over a firmer latex (Dunlop?) base. I don't know if this is an odd combination. A good pocket coil base would also be fine…would it ventilate more or just let dust mites in? If this would work, what would my ideal thicknesses be? 4" memory foam? 4" Talalay? (and how firm?) How firm and which latex for the base? I understand that over 5 lb per square foot density memory foam is ideal and would seek this out.

Basically, can anyone suggest what we should do?

Thank you so much for your help in advance. Getting rid of our old mattress* and trying the Purple was certainly a step in the right direction, but my shoulders really are hurting now!
*For a shock or a laugh, here's what were we sleeping on before: a full-sized Stearns & Foster "Northwood" innerspring mattress and matching box spring that were at least 36 years old…older than me! Without the 2-inch memory foam topper we had on it, it was actually impossible to fall asleep. I'd like to thank the cat we were fostering for peeing all over it so it could finally go to mattress hell.

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 01 Sep 2020 09:47 #2

Hello, I just wanted to check (and apologize, if applicable) if I did something wrong in posting here. There's a phone icon showing next to my post in the message board, which looks different from all the other posts. I really do need help and I have read all of your starting guides, including the rules for this message board. I realize that nobody can tell me how a mattress will feel for me, but without being able to try anything firsthand, I do rely on expert advice.

Any response is appreciated! Thank you.

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 01 Sep 2020 18:09 #3

Hello DuckytheLoon.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :) I am happy to hear you’ve found the forum and other resources on the site useful thus far!
You have not infringed any forum rules, just that sometimes iThe phone icon is just showing us that there's a new post needing an answer.

I've got a dilemma here. Shopping for mattresses in a pandemic goes without saying, but it's only part of the issue.


Shopping during a covid restriction presents quite a number of challenges on its own, without having to consider other special factors! Hopefully, we can help you with your mattress shopping journey!

I have a connective tissue disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and this basically means that my tendons and ligaments are lax and don't do a decent job holding me together. I have arthritis all throughout my spine, especially my neck, and my nerves can get pinched there. The effect while sleeping is that my spine can neither support itself well nor resist pressure. So…even more so than the average side-sleeper, I need a mattress that allows me to sink in so that I have no pressure points, yet keeps my spine supported and aligned.


Thanks for sharing all the info about EDS and what it entails for you (not an easy challenge), but it’s good to see that you are taking a due diligence approach to moving forward with your next mattress. I can see why your condition makes it more difficult than the norm to achieve neutral alignment of the spine and joints, and why you would have a lower rate of tolerance to any slight misalignments then most… so it would be especially important to make sure that the comfort layers are soft and thick enough to provide good pressure relief but not so thick that the heavier parts of your body are too far away from the support layers of your mattress that they sink down too far and put you out of good or neutral alignment. I can see from your post that you are well aware of the need to find a good balance between the conflicting needs of good pressure relief (which requires enough softness and thickness in the comfort layers) and good support/alignment (which requires a firm enough support layer and a comfort layer that isn't too soft and thick).

We have been sleeping on a Purple Hybrid Premier 4 since July 15th. Purple had a lot of recommendations from other EDS sufferers, and buckling column gel looked very promising indeed. (Tempur-Pedic and Sleep Number were also highly recommended). We liked the feel of the Purple when trying it out in person. However, it didn't take long at home to become apparent that it is actually not soft enough for us.


I’m sorry to hear the Purple Hybrid hasn’t been a good fit. It looks like you haven’t had the mattress very long – hopefully, it's still under warranty/the sleep nights trial test so that you can return it.
That is one of the tricky things about reviews and recommendations. What works wonderfully for one person may be a disaster for another, even with similarities in weight/height/needs and even the same chronic medical conditions. There are far too many interrelated variables that come into play especially for someone on the more sensitive side. One of the common "downsides" to buckling column gels is that they all come with different "collapse" thresholds and the firmer ones (usually the hexagonal shaped versions) may be too firm for some people. It sounds like this may be the case for you.

My shoulder cannot sink in far enough and the surface actually feels resistant to the point that it can impinge my circulation in my arm. I've started having trouble with my shoulder joints and nerve pinching again. It seems that those parts of my body don't weigh enough to sink in. My husband also finds that his hips sink down more than his shoulders sink in and he doesn't feel his lower back is supported. The mattress also appears to be unevenly soft across its surface.


You’re not alone when it comes to shoulder/arm circulation pains and pinching problems that occur when sleeping on a Purple mattress. Another lightweight side sleeper also reported pressure in their shoulders on the same Purple mattress. This is a bit like tossing the coin as it is hard to know for sure if you are on the threshold of buckling gel collapsing under heavier and less contact surface of various body areas….which I am guessing is where the feeling of unevenness comes from.

We live in Georgia, but there aren't many local options for field-testing materials…just Mattress Firm, pretty much. Due to the pandemic, we haven't been traveling. We might have to take another chance with a mattress just because of the times. In store, we did try a couple of Intellibeds (husband said they "felt weird"), several Tempur-Pedics (we liked the softest LuxeAdapt best, and it's softer than the Purple we have), and some S-brand hybrids with memory foam tops (ok to good, but we're concerned with durability).


In times like these (if you’re unable to do mattress testing), 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. When choosing something online, it’s even more important to deal with an experienced, knowledgeable retailer/manufacturer who takes into consideration your specific circumstances and helps you find something that they honestly think will serve you well.

In general, the least transparent and least helpful manufacturers are likely to be bigger name brands who are likely to tell what they think you want to hear vs what you would need to know to make an informed purchase. In most cases, the end goal is the sale – not your comfort. That’s not to say these brands can’t or won’t work for you(at least for a while), but it is something to take into account when considering a purchase online.
Given you’ve had only limited experience with sleeping on latex, I’d first make sure you like the feel of it.… Latex is a great option to consider as a comfort/support layer and it is roughly equivalent to the memory foam pressure relief properties. Memory foam can be an excellent choice for pressure relief and it has some unusual qualities which lead to both its strengths and its weaknesses. If you’re considering staying with some sort of memory foam product, there are some guidelines for purchasing memory foam in post #10 here . There are some other memory foam brand options in post #12 here
As you’ve already noted from your experience with your pillow, latex has this natural ability to form a pressure-relieving “cradle” without totally collapsing. It’s possible the “firmness” you’re experiencing with your pillow is a layer thickness issue. Perhaps a softer ILD of latex in the pillow would meet your needs a little better. Latex can range from very soft to very firm, and makes customizing a mattress to fit your needs much easier!

You and your husband both have lower BMIs and similar sleep profiles which should make finding a mattress that meets both of your personal preferences and needs easier, especially as you both prefer a similar mattress feel.

You mentioned that you both have a tendency to overheat, and I’m sure you’ve done your research on this already and probably read that one of the weaknesses of memory foam is that it sleeps hot– I’ll go ahead and mention the mattress protector you choose along with your sheets and other bedding and what you wear when you sleep will also have a significant effect on temperature regulation because they can either add to the insulating effect or to the ventilating and moisture-wicking effect of your mattress. You can see more about the effect of different mattress protectors in post #89 here . Bedding made from natural fibers or viscose materials (like latex) will also tend to be cooler than synthetic fibers and linen sheets along with silk are probably the coolest of all the natural fibers for those where sleeping temperature is a main priority. There is more about sheets and bedding in post #7 here . In many cases changing the mattress protector, sheets, or bedding to cooler versions can make "enough" of a difference for many people who would otherwise sleep hot on a mattress.

Your $3,500 budget is generous enough and I’m sure you’ll have no problems finding something high quality and durable below that price point without “sacrificing comfort and durability” and you also have some very good purchasing criteria as far as I can see. If you like the feel of latex you will not need to sacrifice the “cooling” effect you desire.

• Are there any mattresses that you think would fit the bill that would be absolutely worth ordering?
Or--
• Are there specific combinations of components (and sources for these, if possible) that would be a great bet in terms of a DIY mattress?
For instance, I am attracted to the idea of a thick, durable memory foam comfort layer over a Talalay transitional layer over a firmer latex (Dunlop?) base. I don't know if this is an odd combination. A good pocket coil base would also be fine…would it ventilate more or just let dust mites in? If this would work, what would my ideal thicknesses be? 4" memory foam? 4" Talalay? (and how firm?) How firm and which latex for the base? I understand that over 5 lb per square foot density memory foam is ideal and would seek this out.
Basically, can anyone suggest what we should do?


With a few exceptions you have well-defined mattress purchasing criteria, but you still need to do a bit more leg work. After you considered some of the things, I pointed in this long post then you will be in a position to narrow things and even possibly have a few finalists. At this stage, your field of search is still too wide and anyone trying to chime in and help may send you on a tangent. You are a step ahead than most that you are well aware now that generally, nobody can recommend a specific mattress, as they cannot speak to how any specific mattress will "feel" for someone else or whether it will be a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only ones that can feel what you feel on a mattress.

I venture to say that memory foam may not be your best fit, as it sleeps hotter than all other mattress foams, and offers less support than latex foam. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading our articles on the pros and cons of memory foam .

I’d also recommend that along with the suggested reading you browse the mattresses offered by our Trusted Members , all of whom I think very highly of and consider to be among the best in the industry. Each one of them will be open and transparent about their mattresses as they'll take into account your specific needs especially as it comes to the support you need with regards to EDS.

If you’d like a “build your own” option under supervision, then I’d suggest you take a look at Sleep EZ’s organic latex mattress which lets you customize it right on their website. They also have a dedicated forum where they’d gladly work with you to ensure suitability for any of their products (you’ll find many of our members have dedicated forums – definitely feel free to ask them questions!)

Arizona Premium allows you to choose your preferred firmness on their queen Naturalux mattress, and also offers DIY components. They are an excellent resource should you need specific fine-tuning and can answer all your questions in their forum here . Other great resources for DIY components and questions are DIY Natural Bedding , as well as Latex Mattress Factory (customization or DIY components and a
dedicated forum
) and Memory Foam Comfort …who also has a
dedicated forum
.

Others off the top of my head who will work with you for a custom option or let you build one on their website are:
Shovlin Mattress Factory
Sleeping Organic
Texas Mattress Makers

I have given you quite a lot of information here, so let me know if anything needs clarification. And, of course, definitely keep us posted on your mattress shopping journey!

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 05 Sep 2020 10:51 #4

Thank you so, so, so much for your very considered and helpful reply!

I chose Purple because the buckling column gel was supposed to sleep cool, I was able to try one locally, and the return policy was easy should it not work out. Actually, the mattress is being picked up today for the return. We'll have to sleep on an inflatable mattress for a bit, but I'm glad to be still getting things taken care of!

I reached out directly to each of the manufacturers you listed. The Texas company does not ship outside the Houston area, and Shovlin also appears to be regional. I am waiting on a reply from Arizona Premium Mattress; their rep is traveling this weekend.

I got two very different recommendations from the rep for Sleep EZ and Latex Mattress Factory (same person for both) and from the rep for Sleeping Organic. They both sound quite good, and I'm wondering if an outside opinion (such as yours) might help me.

Sleep EZ/Latex Mattress Factory:
  • The gentleman recommended I order a 10" latex mattress, but specify that it actually be 7" (medium Dunlop above firm Dunlop) and with a separate 3" topper of soft Talalay. That way, there is no mattress encasement (with batting) in between me and the soft Talalay, which would enhance its softness. I could still cover the entire kit and caboodle with a waterproof cover (free).

  • If desired, I could split the middle and bottom layers so I could get, say, two medium Dunlops on one side to experiment with firmness, and then I'd only have to send back one half-layer rather than the whole thing if I decided I preferred the other configuration.

  • He also said that a thicker mattress with more layers would be unnecessary unless I simply needed more height, which I do not.

  • I don't yet know the ILDs for the Sleep EZ layers, but the company is very similar to Latex Mattress Factory, and they list theirs: Soft Talalay (19 ILD), medium Dunlop (28 ILD), firm Dunlop (38 ILD).

  • Sleep EZ includes tax, shipping, the waterproof covering, and two pillows with Labor Day and TMU discounts for a total of $1661.55.

  • I'm not yet sure exactly what the price and inclusions would be for the same order from Latex Mattress Factory.

Sleeping Organic:
  • The rep recommended their 4-layer 13" latex mattress, with the layers as follow from top to bottom: extra-soft Talalay (14-18 ILD), soft Dunlop (18-22 ILD), medium Dunlop (26-32 ILD), and firm Dunlop (36-40 ILD).

  • They include shipping and two pillows with Labor Day and TMU discounts for a total of $2,450.55.

  • Mattress protector is a separate purchase.

Would the lack of encasement over a soft Talalay topper really make more of a difference than having an "extra soft" Talalay over an additional soft Dunlop layer? Any other thoughts or considerations to suggest?

I am forever grateful for your generous help!

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 05 Sep 2020 10:59 #5

Ah, wait. $2,450.55 is the cost from Sleeping Organic with only TMU discount; they can't both be applied.
The cost (WITH the separate mattress protector) with only Labor Day discounts is $2,081.55.

I knew that wasn't right!

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 08 Sep 2020 23:08 #6

Hi DuckytheLoon.

Thank you for your appreciation :)
I am glad that the return process with Purple was straight forward and that you have that inflatable to “fall back on” while you decide on your best match mattress.

I am waiting on a reply from Arizona Premium Mattress; their rep is traveling this weekend.


All the options you are looking at are good quality/value so I look forward to learning if the Arizona Premium Mattress also makes it into your list of finalists.

I got two very different recommendations from the rep for Sleep EZ and Latex Mattress Factory (same person for both) and from the rep for Sleeping Organic. They both sound quite good, and I'm wondering if an outside opinion (such as yours) might help me.


Both recommendations you received are based on the different mattress constructions, and I agree that both seem sound and good. SleepEZ is correct that you don’t need more layers and thickness as you can get excellent balance support/comfort with the layering they suggested and options you would have available if some finetuning is needed...

I don't yet know the ILDs for the Sleep EZ layers, but the company is very similar to Latex Mattress Factory, and they list theirs: Soft Talalay (19 ILD), medium Dunlop (28 ILD), firm Dunlop (38 ILD).


The latex firmness is sufficiently described by either ILD ranges e.g. Dunlop (26-32 ILD), Or ILD midpoint of range e.g. Dunlop (28 ILD), or name denominations e.g. medium Dunlop. Either of these specs in the case of latex are sufficient to give a very clear idea of the support/comfort levels. LMF and SleepEZ are sister companies and very likely that the materials used in the componentry are similar.

Would the lack of encasement over a soft Talalay topper really make more of a difference than having an "extra soft" Talalay over an additional soft Dunlop layer? Any other thoughts or considerations to suggest?


A missing encasement or batting between you and the Talalay will certainly affect your sleeping experience. As far as the overall experience with both mattresses goes, there are many interconnected variables that come into play. The added thickness with an extra layer of Talalay, in the case of SO, the source of latex (even different batches of latex from the same manufacture can slightly vary from each other), the cover and quilting are also coming into play when comparing two mattresses from different manufactures. All in all, I’d say that the Sleeping Organic will be softer than the other options offered by Sleep EZ ... in the end, it all comes down to your comfort/support needs and personal preferences as only you can feel what you feel on a mattress. Again, softness and firmness and the "feel" of a mattress is very subjective and varies with each person's weight and body type, sleeping positions, preferences, and individual perceptions. I would suggest narrowing it down based on other features: is the ability to exchange half layers especially important? Are you more interested in an extra-soft comfort vs soft Talalay? Is the budget an issue? I'd have another look at your own personal value equation and what is most important to you.

Thanks for doing the math for the SleepEZ Labor Day/TMU and Sleeping Organic’s Labor Day Sale TMU discounts! I am sure other consumers will find it very helpful.

Looking forward to hearing about your final decision and of course any other questions you may have.!

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 25 Oct 2020 10:33 #7

Hello, Phoenix!

Thank you so much again for the time spent on helping me and others. I apologize for how long it took for me to follow up--the thing is, I was waiting on my new mattress to be delivered! I ordered from Sleeping Organic on Labor Day and finally received my order on October 20th; they said that some components had been back-ordered. I ultimately chose them because they had a softer topper available.

In the meantime, I had been sleeping on an air mattress with an old memory foam topper, and my husband had been sleeping on the sofa. It absolutely does make a difference what you sleep on. In this time, I experienced inflammation of my rotator cuff that was so serious, the orthopedist and I thought I had torn it, despite not having engaged in heavy activity. The too-firm mattress was absolutely a factor in this; when I tried switching to my other side to spare my bad shoulder, I started experiencing similar pain in that one! Yikes. (My shoulder's still not quite recovered, but thank goodness for steroid shots!)

That brings me to my new mattress setup. From top to bottom, including current bedding:
i. 100% cotton Bates matelassé bedspread
ii. 100% cotton percale Riley flat sheet
iii. SoftStretch fitted sheet by Purple (67% rayon from bamboo viscose/23% polyester/10% Spandex)
iv. Mattress protector by Purple (100% TPU layer + 85% polyester/15% Spandex layer)
v. Sleeping Organic latex topper: 3" Talalay extra-soft (14-18 ILD)
vi. Sleeping Organic wool mattress encasement (holds two bottom layers)
vii. Split. Husband's side: 3" Dunlop medium (26-32 ILD); my side: Talalay medium (ILD 24-28)
viii. Split. Husband's side: 3" Dunlop firm; my side: Dunlop firm (36-40 ILD)
ix. Adjustable bed foundation (DynastyMattress DM9000S)

My husband is pleased with the support being more adequate than the Purple, and we both agree that the topper is softer than the Purple. There has also been no noxious offgassing and the entire setup was easier to handle because it wasn't anywhere near as heavy!

…however, it is still not soft enough for me. Can you believe it? Argh. My ridiculous diva body!! I know we've only had it for 5 days, but at this point in my mattress experience, I'm confident I can tell that it's the same problem. It is softer than the Purple, but not dramatically. I am still experiencing too much push-back overall and definitely too much pressure (not enough sinking in) on my shoulder. Sigh. I was careful to arrange my layers so that the side with the larger holes was up, too.

It seems that I do need to add a memory foam topper. I am reluctant to mess with any of the latex support layers unless necessary…the hassle and risk of losing proper support wouldn't be worth it. They seem to be doing a good job as it is.

My questions:
1. What thickness of memory foam would be appropriate? Would 4" be excessive or just right? I want enough depth to accommodate my shoulder (not that I have large shoulders).
2. What would be an ideal density for my purposes? How far under or over 4lb density should I go? I understand that higher density memory foam is more durable, but I have seen conflicting information about how it might impact its "softness." For reference, Tempurpedic memory foam beds were not nearly soft enough, especially their models purported to be "cooling."
3. On cooling: have any gel memory foams or other strategies for cooling advanced enough at this point to consider them? We tend to be cold when we first get in bed, and get hot later in the night. I've even found the latex to be a bit hot. This leads me to my next two questions…
4. Mattress protector: what would be most appropriate, with an emphasis on cooling/sweat-wicking, waterproofing, and allowing the softness of the topper to be felt? The Purple protector we have at the moment is stretchy, thin and noiseless, but I don't know if it might be contributing to heat problems. I see wool cited a lot as a good material. Are there any particular models/merchants that would be satisfactory? This is another jungle to me…so many are quilted or padded on top, and my concern is that padding/lack of stretch would interfere with the topper feel.
5. Fitted sheet: Similarly to the question above, do you think it is necessary to have a "stretchy" sheet to experience the softness of the topper? Normally, I prefer cotton (percale or flannel, not sateen) and linen, but these are decidedly not elastic. Trying to weigh cooling vs. stretching benefits. Honestly, if the topper is soft enough, it might not matter if nothing else is elastic, just as long as there's enough slack to allow sinking in. I might be getting paranoid, haha.

Anything you might be able to tell me would be appreciated (as always!). I want to solve the issue ASAP so my shoulder doesn't, I don't know, explode or fall off. Who knows at this point? ;-)

By the way: the return of the Purple was ridiculously simple. I really appreciated all the different options, the efficiency, and the complete lack of rigmarole. We chose to have a service that coordinates with charities come by and pick it up, because it can be tricky to find a charity that will directly accept mattresses. Contact was swift and simple. They came by, carried it out for us, wrapped it up, and gave us a receipt. I took a picture of the receipt, emailed it to Purple, and they immediately processed my complete refund on the mattress. It was easier than returning an item to Amazon. Such a relief we didn't have to carry that back-breaking beast back out. The charity folks cheerfully declined our offers of help...they made it look so easy! They already had another donated mattress in the back of their truck, so I guess practice makes perfect. I wish I was that tough!

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 25 Oct 2020 13:50 #8

Maybe try a soft guage 1-3" microcoil under that top layer of talalay. For me personally it (3" microcoil) softened my mattress up quite a bit.

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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 28 Oct 2020 00:45 #9

Hi DuckytheLoon.

You are welcome! Congratulations on your new Sleeping Organic purchase. Glad to hear it was a positive shopping, shipping, and set up experience.
Thanks for sharing your current sleep configuration as well.

…however, it is still not soft enough for me. Can you believe it? Argh. My ridiculous diva body!! I know we've only had it for 5 days, but at this point in my mattress experience, I'm confident I can tell that it's the same problem. It is softer than the Purple, but not dramatically. I am still experiencing too much push-back overall and definitely too much pressure (not enough sinking in) on my shoulder. Sigh. I was careful to arrange my layers so that the side with the larger holes was up, too.


In your situation, I’d recommend a bit of experimenting. Firstly suggest removing the mattress protector, and the fitted sheet. You would be very surprised at how often the bedding is the culprit in creating a too-firm sleeping experience. If that helps even slightly, I’d take into account the adjustment period for any new mattress and I would sleep on it like that (without the protector and fitted sheet) for 30 nights to allow for your body to adjust to the new mattress and for the mattress to adjust to you.

1. What thickness of memory foam would be appropriate? Would 4" be excessive or just right? I want enough depth to accommodate my shoulder (not that I have large shoulders).


To find the Mattress/Topper combo that best matches your needs and preferences can be as complicated as selecting the right mattresses. It is impossible to predict what’s going to be your perfect fit, as it comes down to personal preference and your specific needs.
Based on your set up, you’re currently sleeping on:9” of latex
3” Talalay extra soft topper
3” Talalay medium
3” Dunlop firm

Would you be removing the 3” extra soft topper to replace it with the 4” memory foam? It can be problematic if you use both topers.as this adds up to 7” comfort thickness and causes you to sink in too much and compromise your support and alignment which will most likely result in back pains over time. The second issue you may experience is memory foam that it is generally the least breathable and most insulating of the foam comfort materials, so temperature can be an issue. If you do choose memory foam, you’d want to make sure that you don’t choose something with so much memory foam on top that you sink in too deeply.

2. What would be an ideal density for my purposes? How far under or over 4lb density should I go? I understand that higher density memory foam is more durable, but I have seen conflicting information about how it might impact its "softness."


Density and plushness (ILD) aren’t necessarily correlated with memory foam. You can choose a higher density memory foam that is more durable and that feels very soft.

3. On cooling: have any gel memory foams or other strategies for cooling advanced enough at this point to consider them?


In general terms, gel foams will tend to have a temporary effect on temperature while you are first going to sleep until temperatures equalize but have less effect on temperature regulation throughout the course of the night (which sounds like your experience).

As far as temperature sleeping microclimate goes... keep in mind that the topper will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than other materials, layers, and components that are further away from your skin.
There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of mattresses/sleeping systems in post #2 here that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range. When you lie on a memory foam mattress, it will soften with heat and pressure and become semi-solid. It is also less open-celled than other foams so the air inside the foam takes more time to both moves away from pressure and also to come back "on the rebound". This transformation from elastic behavior to viscous (liquid) behavior and back again in combination with the more closed-cell structure of the foam results in a slower response to changing pressure and shape and is why it is often called "slow response foam".

Some of the factors involved in how warm a mattress sleeps are how closely the foam conforms to your body (the more closely it conforms around you the more insulating it is), how soft or thick the foam in the comfort layers are (the softer/thicker it is the deeper you will sink into the more insulating materials), the type of quilting used in the mattress (natural fibers allow for more airflow and humidity control which translates into better temperature regulation), the type of ticking (cover) used (natural or more breathable fibers such as cotton or viscose or even some of the more breathable synthetics will wick away moisture and ventilate better and humidity control is a key part of temperature control), and on any cooling technologies used in the mattress such as ventilating and moisture wicking materials, heat conductive materials, or phase change materials (you can read more about these in post #9 here and at the end of post #4 here ) and you can read more about the various different types of gel foams in post #2 here .

You may also be interested in the information in post #29 about temperature regulation and mattress microclimate.

4. Mattress protector: what would be most appropriate, with an emphasis on cooling/sweat-wicking, waterproofing, and allowing the softness of the topper to be felt? The Purple protector we have at the moment is stretchy, thin, and noiseless, but I don't know if it might be contributing to heat problems. I see wool cited a lot as a good material. Are there any particular models/merchants that would be satisfactory? This is another jungle to me…so many are quilted or padded on top, and my concern is that padding/lack of stretch would interfere with the topper feel.


While mattress protectors are not the focus of the forum, there are quite a few topics that could be useful to you…Post #89 on the pros and cons of different zippered mattress protectors
Post addressing breathability and functionality of mattress protectors .Post summarizes different materials used in mattress protectors , and ultimately how the material of the protector you choose will boil down to personal preference.

5. Fitted sheet: Similarly to the question above, do you think it is necessary to have a "stretchy" sheet to experience the softness of the topper? Normally, I prefer cotton (percale or flannel, not sateen) and linen, but these are decidedly not elastic. Trying to weigh cooling vs. stretching benefits. Honestly, if the topper is soft enough, it might not matter if nothing else is elastic, just as long as there's enough slack to allow sinking in. I might be getting paranoid, haha.


It may be the combination of your protector and the fitted sheet being very taut that prevents you from getting more softness you desire so yes; I do think the fitted sheet can affect to a certain degree the experience you have with “softness” on a mattress.

Yet again I’ve left you with a lot to think and read through! Hopefully, you find it helpful in working through your softness and temperature issues. Please let me know if you have additional questions as you sift through all of these resources!

Phoenix
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Purple 4 too firm! Alternatives or DIY specifics? 21 Nov 2020 07:34 #10

Phoenix wrote:
In your situation, I’d recommend a bit of experimenting. Firstly suggest removing the mattress protector, and the fitted sheet. You would be very surprised at how often the bedding is the culprit in creating a too-firm sleeping experience. If that helps even slightly, I’d take into account the adjustment period for any new mattress and I would sleep on it like that (without the protector and fitted sheet) for 30 nights to allow for your body to adjust to the new mattress and for the mattress to adjust to you.


Hello, I'm back. We tried the mattress for longer, as was suggested. We did not remove the thin, stretchy sheet and protector because this would have had us sleeping on the bare latex, and if we cannot use any bedding, then this setup would obviously not be working out. As the Purple sheet and the protector are stretchy and specially designed for preventing a "drum" effect, I don't know what else we could do with that, so we stayed with it.

Nothing has changed for me; I continue to have pain especially in my shoulder. I have a lot of difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, and it is very clearly because I have too much pressure on my shoulder. My husband seemed pleased with the mattress at first, but after a week, said that it only felt comfortable when he slept on his back. Otherwise, he was waking up sore. He believed it was from pressure points, much as it is with me. I guess it's a good thing that his softness requirements aren't dramatically different from mine!

We also think that since he--the one who is normally more prone to overheating--isn't having any problems and I am, no matter what I do…that it might be another medical problem with me. I'll have to investigate that separately and disregard my temperature concerns about the bed going forward, as the only thing I can really address now is mattress feel. Besides, it doesn't really matter if I get hot late in the night if I can't sleep much at all. We will try using the bed fan we have.

So, I'm still thinking that I may need a memory foam topper…

Would you be removing the 3” extra soft topper to replace it with the 4” memory foam? It can be problematic if you use both topers.as this adds up to 7” comfort thickness and causes you to sink in too much and compromise your support and alignment which will most likely result in back pains over time. The second issue you may experience is memory foam that it is generally the least breathable and most insulating of the foam comfort materials, so temperature can be an issue. If you do choose memory foam, you’d want to make sure that you don’t choose something with so much memory foam on top that you sink in too deeply.


I had hoped that I could add some thickness of memory foam to the overall top and was asking if 4" was too much. Evidently, it would. Would 2" be too much? Or do you think I really would be more comfortable if I got thicker memory foam and swapped out the Talalay topper for it, thus placing the memory foam directly on the medium ILD latex? My concern was that with my particular orthopedic issues (as detailed in my first post), taking the Talalay extra-soft out would be removing what acts as a transitional layer for me and I would then be sinking through the memory foam comfort layer into a too-hard support layer. I know it might be too much comfort layer for most people, but given how what should have worked is still too firm…is there a possibility that this would be effective? I know that no one can predict what might work for me, but I hope eventually to provide enough data per what I have tried to form better-educated guesses.

Density and plushness (ILD) aren’t necessarily correlated with memory foam. You can choose a higher density memory foam that is more durable and that feels very soft.



That's mostly what I read, yes. But what brand of memory foam, etc.? There's so much overpriced, substandard stuff out there, it makes my head swim. I saw lots of mentions of Aerex. I looked into it, and it appears that the manufacturer (FXI) doesn't sell directly to consumers. I haven't found any mention of their foams on non-wholesale sites; I have only seen what might be their foams listed in products offered by Walmart. I would love to find a trusted source (that delivers to the USA) that has a decent option in the needed criteria…durable, soft, and appropriate thickness, at the very least.

It may be the combination of your protector and the fitted sheet being very taut that prevents you from getting more softness you desire so yes; I do think the fitted sheet can affect to a certain degree the experience you have with “softness” on a mattress.


My apologies for not being clear; I was speaking of wool or otherwise "cooling" mattress protectors that I might get in the future to mitigate heat-trapping effects of a memory foam topper. The sheet and the protector I have now are not taut, and are very stretchy. When I had the Purple, I did try taking them off, and the difference was not great enough to make the mattress work for me.

Thank you again for your generous help. I apologize if I sound weary…it really is just because I haven't slept well. In addition, my mother (who is elderly and also has EDS) is asking me for help with her mattress...I wish I could, but I'm definitely not qualified yet!

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