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Customizing mattress layers and zones 21 Mar 2021 20:54 #1

There’s a ton of information on this site and it’s very much appreciated! I’ve read through the tutorials and tried to educate myself. When I think I’ve done my homework off I go to a few independent mattress stores here in Calgary: Black Sheep, The Mattress and Sleep Co, Halstead, and Sleep Boutique. They all offer very good options. They all make me think, question what I’ve learned and head home to do more reading!

About me:
Female, 5’5”, 230 lbs
Side sleeper and occasional back sleeper
Occasional right shoulder issues, mid back spasms if laying on anything too hard, left hip pain
Current mattress is a Queen serta approx 18 years old, flippable innerspring with comfort layers that are anyone’s guess
I’m more sore on waking and feel better after about 30 mins
Back pain and spasms are so bad at times, I cannot turn while in bed or even turn my head until my back relaxes
Sleep hot

I think I’ve settled on Sleep Boutique because of the customization that’s available at a better price than the others.

I’m considering a customized mattress consisting of:
Stretch cover quilted to wool
3” comfort layer of soft talalay latex
Shoulder area support of
4” of soft HR foam
4” of medium HR foam
Torso area support of
4” of medium HR foam
4” of firm HR foam
Hip area support of
4” of soft HR foam
4” of medium HR foam

Then pop all this on an Ergomotion E4 adjustable base. I’m hoping this will help me sleep on my back more and provide even more relief for my hip and shoulder.

I tried the above configuration in the store as well as one where all the layers were soft. The all soft layers felt better while in the store but that’s only after 20 minutes or so of laying on it and not all night. I’m concerned it won’t provide enough support given my BMI. I mentioned this to the salesperson and he’s convinced I should go with the all soft layers because it felt better after 20 mins. He also said the foam was 2 lb HD. When I questioned this he said it was 3 lb HD and HR. Well, now I don’t know what to believe! He seems a bit inexperienced so I’m finding it difficult to trust his opinion.

I have 120 days to find which configuration works best and change any of the components. I do like the thought that as my body changes or if there are other injuries, I can tweak the mattress if needed.

If, as the salesman suggested, I should get all soft layers then why bother with the customized zones? So, the other option I’m considering is an all latex mattress without the zones.

Am I on the right track? Any advice would be appreciated.

I’m tired, I’m frustrated, and just want a pain free sleep!

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Customizing mattress layers and zones 22 Mar 2021 07:16 #2

I tried the above configuration in the store as well as one where all the layers were soft. The all soft layers felt better while in the store but that’s only after 20 minutes or so of laying on it and not all night. I’m concerned it won’t provide enough support given my BMI. I mentioned this to the salesperson and he’s convinced I should go with the all soft layers because it felt better after 20 mins. He also said the foam was 2 lb HD. When I questioned this he said it was 3 lb HD and HR. Well, now I don’t know what to believe! He seems a bit inexperienced so I’m finding it difficult to trust his opinion.


With a BMI in the 30's like you and I have you need to use higher quality materials or it will come back to bite you in the wallet later. I suggest you listen to your instincts, it sounds like they are using cheaper polyfoam on those custom beds to keep prices lower. The pain you are experiencing (assuming this is not a medical issue and is related to your mattress) is likely from poor support (causing alignment issues and probably shoulder issues as well) on your old bed. I'd suggest that you should be looking at latex options because it resists breakdown better under more strenuous conditions like folks with higher BMIs while still providing good travel to allow for cradling of parts like hips/shoulders. There's lots of options out there but I would be very hesitant to buy from a big chain store because of their money gating policies (ie can't return mattress for a refund if it doesn't work out). I think you'd be better off testing the latex beds you can find locally and then shop members on here to see if you can get one that has a zippered cover solution sent to you more economically. The adjustable base can be bought locally, just make sure it has a solid surface for the mattress to sit on. I think you'll likely need a talalay comfort layer with either talalay or dunlop base to make the mattress work for you. You may need actual zoning later but start with simple designs first then move on from there.

If you were doing a DIY all latex mattress it would probably look something like this:
3" talalay 22ILD
3" talalay 32ILD
3" talalay 36ILD
3" talalay 36ILD

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Customizing mattress layers and zones 22 Mar 2021 07:58 #3

Thank you for the recommendation on the layers for an all latex mattress. It’s a good starting point and more in line with what my instincts were telling me.

I believe the 4 retailers I visited are all very reputable local businesses. While the prices at Sleep Boutique are a bit lower, they’re certainly not cheap and I don’t think they’re using lower quality foam. Unfortunately, I think I just happened on an inexperienced salesperson. How do I remedy that without it being awkward?

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Customizing mattress layers and zones 22 Mar 2021 08:33 #4

I would suggest to always check the return policy first before handing any money over because the mattress business is notorious in this regard. I would also ask to see the datasheets on the foam their are suggesting you use. Don't be surprised if they look at you like you have two heads, the average person doesn't have a clue about this stuff so they would almost never get asked about this in a retail store. If they are knowledgeable then they should be able to get you something that looks like this (see link below) for each of the foams they are using in your mattress. This will tell you both the density (effectively quality/durability) and the ILD rating (effectively how hard it pushes back when deflected) of the foams used. Keep moving up the chain until you find someone what can speak the language and show you what's actually being used in the construction (a little bit of skepticism goes a long way toward getting what you want).

Poly foam TDS (Technical Data Sheet)
www.usafoam.com/tech/HD36-HQTech.html

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Customizing mattress layers and zones 25 Mar 2021 08:41 #5

Hey robsuo,

Welcome to the Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

I believe the 4 retailers I visited are all very reputable local businesses. While the prices at Sleep Boutique are a bit lower, they’re certainly not cheap and I don’t think they’re using lower quality foam. Unfortunately, I think I just happened on an inexperienced salesperson. How do I remedy that without it being awkward?


Good job on the showroom visits, robsuo :) ! It's nice to hear that you have a variety of COVID safe options for testing mattresses locally. From your conversation details in your initial post , it does seem as though your salesperson was either a bit inexperienced or possibly motivated by commissions for selling specific models. Either way, as a consumer you do have the right to ask questions not only of him, but also of more knowledgeable people within his team. Try calling the showroom before your next planned visit, ask who is available to answer your questions, and choose someone other than him for advice. The process should not put you in the position of feeling awkward, nor feeling that you owe him loyalty for your purchase. As a consumer researching an expensive purchase, it is your right to ask direct questions regarding the materials, constructions, densities, policies, warranty, etc., and receive detailed and unbiased answers from an experienced, knowledgeable resource. You may find these Phoenix articles helpful for tailoring your conversations with the showroom teams: "The Basic Functions of a Mattress" ; "Mattress Specifications You Need to Know" ; and "Finding a Great Mattress Outlet" .

And thanks @Mattrebuild for sharing your knowledge and DIY experiences with TMU consumers, you always bring an interesting view point to conversations ;).

Hope this helps robsuo and looking forward to learning more about your research…

Thanks,
Sensei :)
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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Customizing mattress layers and zones 30 Mar 2021 17:47 #6

Thanks Sensei and Mattrebuild for the advice. I do appreciate it and am still working on finding the right mattress for me!

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