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18 May 2019 13:59
Replied by Phoenix on topic Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi androiddd,

Thanks for the post, ... this is the best place for your post as it is easy to follow your previous history and experience with rebuilding your beds.

Good point about rotating these the foams especially for couples that have a larger weight differential (See post #2 here ~ which also has more information about this)

What could I replace the older 2 inch 5 pound memory foam with? Ideally it would be a little bit stiffer foam, and ideally also a gel based foam so it would sleep a little bit cooler. I've only bought foam online from Foam by Mail, so would be curious if there are other sources for a good quality four or 5 pound memory foam with gel. FBM sells a 4 pound blue memory foam and a 5 pound pink memory foam but neither has gel.


Your first question is one of the most common questions on the forum (ie. which material type or firmness level would be better for me?) Sometimes getting the right mattress/topper combo could be as difficult as getting a new mattress. As you probably know from your previous readings ...while it’s not really possible to make specific suggestions because of all the many variables involved that are unique to each person and your own experience is the only way to know for certain whether any mattress/topper combination will be a good "match" for you in terms of PPP, replacing the memory foam with soft latex which is still supportive could take care of your issue. While being supportive because of the push back it would also give the extra cushioning needed and provide the air flow for a more temperature neutral environment.

There is more information about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market) can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success.

Regarding the “gel memory foam” typically this type of gel foam conducts heat from the body (like putting your hand on a marble countertop) and is "thermally conductive". It transports heat directly away from the body and releases it into the surrounding atmosphere (as long as it is cooler than the gel) without needing something to "carry" the heat away.

FYI, this type of gel memory foam will cool at first for a while until the temperatures equalize and then the foam would once again become an insulator and trap heat. It may provide an extra cooling effect when you are first going to sleep and the foam will feel cooler to the touch but neither of the gel technologies provides as long-lasting cooling benefits as moisture wicking, storage, and ventilation. The higher the percentage of gel the more effective and longer lasting the effects of the gel will be.

Again recommendations for replacing that top layer of 5-pound memory foam would be great. Should we reduce it to 2 inches, and with what? Or consider using two foams of different stiffness and splitting them so that my side is stiffer and her side is softer.?


Aside from the “not rotating” the comfort layer, your memory foam toppers only lasted 2 to 3 years. This is one of the issues with recommendations from Amazon or FBM and one of the reasons why we wholeheartedly recommend our trusted members who meet a set of rigorous criteria for their products, and services before we include them on our site. Many times when buying from unknown sources, you're never really given all the specs that would allow for an informed decision. In this case, you don't know the ILD (firmness), only the density. Many of our members use a soft/firm choice for each side of the bed, but most of the time this is done with latex foam, primarily with Talalay latex, as Talalay has more firmness ranges than memory foam and other latex foams. If you like the feel of latex, of course, you have many options that are much more durable and have better temperature regulating qualities than gel or any of “temperature enhanced “memory foams.

While at first glance this may not be quite the answer you're looking for I’d first make sure that you do not end up with a top foam layer that will break down rather quickly as you can easily find yourself in the same place 2 to 3 years later.

Once you have a chance to read through the links I provided let us know if that generates any new approach to your bed rebuilt and questions.

Phoenix
17 May 2019 17:08
Replied by androiddd on topic Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi guys,

Couldn't figure out how to post a new post so am posting in my old post.

Sadly enough, after several years, much of the memory foam failed in my DIY bed. Some of it was older, some of it was 3 pound memory foam, but it got too mushy. Part of the problem was that I weigh 200 and my girlfriend weighs 110, and we never rotated any of the foam so it failed on my side. Note to self, rotate every few months.

I need help tuning up both beds.

Bed One: from bottom to top, 5 inches of HD 36 support foam, 3 inches of a soft to medium Dunlop Sleep on Latex topper, and currently 2 inches of a high density 5 pound but older memory foam, and a 1 inch piece of blue gel convoluted foam on the very top.

The memory foam layers feel too soft, and I sink through them and then hit the latex layer, which pushes back. So simultaneously it feels a little bit too soft and too firm. It's not terrible, but not as supportive as I would ideally like. And since the foam is pretty old it's probably time to replace the 2 inch memory foam layer.

What could I replace the older 2 inch 5 pound memory foam with? Ideally it would be a little bit stiffer foam, and ideally also a gel based foam so it would sleep a little bit cooler. I've only bought foam online from Foam by Mail, so would be curious if there are other sources for a good quality four or 5 pound memory foam with gel. FBM sells a 4 pound blue memory foam and a 5 pound pink memory foam but neither has gel.

A source on Amazon that has two day shipping would be great, since I'd like to get this fixed as soon as possible and FBM takes two weeks.

Also, would it make sense to perhaps split the comfort layer, with a slightly stiffer 4 pound memory foam on my side (200 pounds) and a softer 5 pound memory foam on her side (hundred and 10 pounds)?

BED TWO: the other bed has a rock hard very firm latex mattress as the base, and then the same 3 inch latex topper which is a soft to medium Dunlop latex, and then the 5 pound pink memory foam from FBM. That memory foam has gotten pretty mushy and on top of 3 inches of latex really feels mushy. Although my girlfriend who weighs under 120 doesn't mind it, I sink so far in that it hurts my low back.

Again recommendations for replacing that top layer of 5 pound memory foam would be great. Should we reduce it to 2 inches, and with what? Or consider using two foams of different stiffness and splitting them so that my side is stiffer and her side is softer.?

Thank you in advance for all of the help!
19 Mar 2019 11:45
Replied by Phoenix on topic Mattress makers in Toronto

Mattress makers in Toronto

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi diamondshopper,

Nice to live close to the border and have the ability to get products without paying large international shipping fees. :)

It is difficult to find specific foam blocks like that. More people use the 31 ILD for transition layers, I suspect. Offhand I know that some, like Luma Sleep, uses Qualux layers, not sure if its the 2.8lb 41ILD Qualux. Qualux is a "family" of polyfoam made by Carpenter with high resiliency characteristics (low hysteresis or energy loss) and can range from 1.5 lbs to over 3 lbs. Qualux Ultra is an actual HR polyfoam with similarities to latex in terms of performance. Do you know if you are looking for Ultra or regular Qualux? As far as the Lux-HQ Foam product from FBM you mention they list it as 2.8 density at 50 ILD (@ 25% compression) see the product Physical Datasheet here .

I would be a little cautious about Foam by mail (FBM), as many people on this forum have commented about in the past, probably some level of risk not “exact product” you are looking for. Most comments were about the US branch of FBM but I would read through this thread and this thread , and some of the associated links and place a phone call to ensure accuracy.

If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Phoenix
04 Mar 2019 14:07
Replied by Sensei on topic Foam Factory

Foam Factory

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi onepeachymama,

I did not see the link for the product you are asking about, but I checked Certipur and did see the that FBM is listed and I looked at the website and saw that it has the Certipur label for the 5lb memory foam topper. It is really a question of whether you trust this information, not whether I trust this information. We at TMU continually give the best most transparent information possible. The issues have been documented about FBM, and that they have said one thing and sold another.

This is part of the research process, and many companies have certifications, that are legit.....it still does not guarantee that they are selling that particular "certified" product.

Thank you for your question, and please message if you have any other questions.

Thanks
13 Jun 2018 00:40
Replied by Phoenix on topic Mattress support cores - polyurethane

Mattress support cores - polyurethane

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi St3v3k4hn.

Assuming I want real HR foam, would you recommend any of these? And if so, what firmness do you think would work best?


Rebuilding your own mattress involves a lot more knowledge of how different materials, layers, and components interact than many people suspect. Unfortunately it's not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components that might be suitable for you because the first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see  post #2 here  ). Posts 15 - 17 here may be worth reading and I would normally recommend working closely with a manufacturer who will be able to give good advice about all the different components.

As far as the foam suppliers you are considering... based on my conversations with Foamonline a while ago, I have no reason to doubt their polyfoam specs and assuming that the specs are correct then their HR polyfoam would be a good quality product yes.
The Foam Order foam descriptions are here and you can see that the Everflex V 24 is 2.6 lb (HR range) and has an ILD of 24. and V34 an ILD of 34. They consider this to be a very high-quality foam that can last 15 years.
Foam Factory (AKA FBM or any of their other URL's such as Foambymail, mattressbymail, usafoam, foamdistributing etc) is not a business I would personally recommend or support. They are "cheap" ... and for some people, this may be more important than knowing what they are actually buying ... and reason enough to buy from them. Post #2 here talks about some of the reasons why and a f orum search on FBM (you can just click this) will bring up more comments about them.

Phoenix
23 May 2018 14:20
Replied by Phoenix on topic Mattress Construction

Mattress Construction

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi hank1212.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

Hoping I could get some expert advice. I was looking at putting together a diy mattress with the following layers:
Linenspa 6 Inch Innerspring Mattress (Amazon)
Foam Factory 6 inch 29 ild Dunlop latex core
DIY Natural Bedding 3 inch Wool topper
Does this sound like it might work? I'm 6'2 200 lb back/side sleeper.


If you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components and a separate cover then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project ... the best approach to a DIY mattress is a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

There is also more 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" that may be useful as well.

For those who decide to take on the challenge then I would either use the specs (if they are available) of a mattress that you have tested and confirmed is a good match for you in terms of PPP as a reference point or blueprint and try and "match" every layer and component in your reference mattress as closely as possible or use a "bottom up" approach (see post #2 here ).

You are looking at a13”-15” mattress (including the wool topper) 13” + after the initial break in of the topper so the appropriate encasement is also a consideration. Regarding component suppliers, while not inclusive, there are some options listed  here  , with a few Canadian sources  here  .
Diynaturalbedding is a good and reliable source of products, Deborah at DIY has taken the time to provide some great advice to our consumer members and she is very knowledgeable and helpful (you can read her posts here ). I certainly wouldn't hesitate to deal with her company. The tufted wool in the topper has great moisture and temperature regulating properties. I would keep in mind that the wool batting will have a more on the medium to medium-firm feel, especially after some use, breaking in and compressing. (It is listed on their site that it will compress about 2/3 of its original height). In the first few months, during the compression period it is also recommended that you rotate it, flip it, and sleep in different spots to compress it evenly.

As far as the Foam Factory goes.. I would need to trust that they are providing correct specifications about each of the products. They don’t say where they get their 100% Dunlop, but I am guessing that it is Arpico (see post #1 here ) which would a good quality/value and durable component. Foam Factory (aka Foambymail or FBM and other names as well) have been previously discussed on our site and consumers raised several issues with them so you may wish to read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) if considering anything else from them and some of the information and sources of their foam products.

As far as Linenspa spring unit I am not sure who makes their spring coils to comment upon the quality but generally the spring system would not be the weak link in a mattress, but I would still want to find some more specifics about it.

Overall ... I would be very cautious with these and make sure you get more information ... including about their return costs and method of return if it isn't suitable (because you can't ship them back compressed the way you received them which means that return shipping would have to be with much more expensive truck freight). They are also a one size fits all choice which means they are much more "risky" in terms of suitability than a mattress that you can choose your own comfort level.

As I think you’re already aware, I can’t predict what might feel “best” to you, but only comment upon the ideas you’re considering. In the end, as I think you’ve already discovered, only your own personal testing will be able to determine if what you’ve constructed will meet with your personal comfort preferences, so hopefully some of my comments here have been helpful to you.

Phoenix
26 Feb 2018 19:34
Replied by Twoods196 on topic My DIY Latex Journey + Your Help :)

My DIY Latex Journey + Your Help :)

Category: Latex Mattress Factory / LATEX, DIY, MATTRESSES FOR HIGHER WEIGHT RANGES, & TOPPERS

Thanks for the heads up. I have seen multiple negative reviews about FBM. Do you by chance know if a good alternative that still has decent prices? Thanks!
31 Jan 2018 08:16
Replied by MattressToGo on topic DIY latex mattress help ( budget )

DIY latex mattress help ( budget )

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Without having your foam core in front of me I wouldn't be able to offer advice if what you're experiencing is a normal softening in the area of use, or excessive "impressioning". Also, I forgot what you are using as a foundation and if this could be contributing to what you are experiencing. And I know you've already read some of the comments offered on the forum about FBM.

4" for a support core is a little thinner than what is commonly used for polyurethane foam (6" is closer to "normal"), but that doesn't mean that it can't work. Selecting a true HR polyurethane foam (minimum 2.5 lb density and 2.4 compression modulus) in a firmer IFD can help with consistency and durability. If you choose to go to 4" of latex, you may wish to consider Dunlop, as in the smaller thickness it will tend to firm up a bit more as weight is applied than a similar piece of Talalay. Although at a higher ILD/density both would be "firm" and at 140 pounds you're not doing considerable damage to either item.

Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator
Beducation /Mattress To Go
12 Oct 2017 14:05 - 07 Oct 2018 11:48
Replied by Phoenix on topic Extra thick Latex comfort layer

Extra thick Latex comfort layer

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi AJohnson and forlongris,

I’m happy you had a positive previous experience with FBM. For those considering Foam By Mail (aka Foam Factory or FBM and other names as well) you may wish to read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee)for some commentary and information about them, and sources of their foam products.


Hi forlongris,

I appreciate your insight about my desire for more plushness. That does seem to be what I'm wishing for. The good news is that SleepOnLatex has a great return/exchange policy, so I when the time comes I can try adding another layer without much trepidation.


You’re welcome. Good luck with your choices, should you move in that direction.

I am pretty skeptical of all that proprietary stuff.


You’re correct that sometimes adding a “special name” to a foam can be more marketing to differentiate it than anything else (common with many of the larger “name-brand” mattresses), but often some of these foams, especially some of the newer breeds of the higher density high performance polyfoams, do have a makeup that is quite unique. Of course, you’d still want in find out the density and IFD of the material, as many of these foams can be offered in varying levels of quality/durability.

I am no Phoenix but I will offer advice anyway. I believe that most people weighing less than 300 pounds can successfully sleep on a HD-36 core (4-6") with 2-4" of (15-30 ILD) latex or high-density memory foam on top.


While you certainly don’t have to be “me” to give advice ;) , I’d caution anyone about making such a large blanket statement, as what you’re suggesting doesn’t take into account the many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved in choosing a mattress. While the quality of materials you mentioned is certainly good, I’d avoid attempting to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for such a large group in terms of "comfort", firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and one’s own Personal preferences) based on specifications. In the end, nothing can replace one’s own personal testing. Of course, this doesn’t discount your own experience and what has worked well for you personally.

Phoenix
12 Oct 2017 10:47
Replied by Phoenix on topic foam density

foam density

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi alasearwax,

(got your name right this time!)

I am replacing the foam in a daybed that also is used as a sofa, am buying the foam from foam factory. I am a bit confused what foam would work best..I would like it comfortable for sleep but it will be used more as a couch. I am not sure what my old foam stats are, I would like it to be of medium firmness, do not want to sink in deep or have it hard with no give.


You may find these two articles from the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) useful. Specifically, section 4.2.2 about IFDs in this article , and this article about polyfoam density. There is some discussion there about common IFDs for different cushions and sleep surfaces.


If you are considering Foam Factory (aka Foambymail or FBM and other names as well) you may wish to read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee)for some commentary and information about them, and sources of their foam products.

Also, if your daybed is using a polydeck or link spring unit, you may wish to reinforce it with a plywood deck or a binkie board, or something similar, as some of those units can allow for quite a bit of sag.

Phoenix
14 Sep 2017 16:53
Replied by Phoenix on topic Building a Mattress: Have a few questions

Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi androiddd,

I have a Ph.D. in psychology but I think Phoenix, you should be awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Mattressology! What a thoughtful and deep reply.


Thank you for the kind words!

What is high resilience foam and where does one buy it?


High resilience polyfoam is technically polyfoam with a density of 2.5 lb or above, with a compression modulus of 2.4 or above. It’s discussed in more detail here in this article . Some better sources of which I am aware for polyfoam are listed in the component supplier post here .

I read your other article about progressive layers, and it sounds like since we are both side sleepers at least part of the time, we would need a comfort layer on top of 2 inches, and then an intermediate layer of 2 to 3 inches. Perhaps a 2 inch 5 pound memory foam on top, followed by a 3 inch layer of Dunlop latex in a medium firmness. The memory foam tends to have an ILD of 14 or so so I'm wondering if the Dunlop should be 20 or more like 29 ILD as the progressive layer?


A 2” + 2” or 2” + 3” combination certainly could work well. The 20 ILD Dunlop would be closer in plushness to the memory foam, but might be more of an abrupt transition to the polyfoam base (depending upon which you choose). The 29 ILD Dunlop might “bend into” either polyfoam core better, but it could be a bit more of an “abrupt” transition between that and the upper memory foam layer. It all depends upon your personal preference. Remember that all of the layers work together to provide overall comfort, but the uppermost layers will have the greatest impact upon comfort perception.

If I don't want to spend the money on the Dunlop latex, which costs about $100 per inch and a queen size, what kind of poly foam would you recommend for that intermediate layer? Should be flat foam or convoluted foam? Should it be high resilience foam? Particularly on the guest bed that I'm rebuilding, I want to keep the price down.


If you want to keep the price down for the guest room mattress, for the transition you may want to consider 1.8-2.0 lb polyfoam. I personally would choose a solid sheet versus convoluted.

I see what you mean about not splitting the comfort layer between 5 pound and 4 pound memory foam as they probably both feel pretty similar. I do wonder if it would make sense to split the bottom support layer into ILD 29 and ILD 50 pieces, perhaps 3 inches thick for each? I would assume the 29 firmness should go on top. But they could be swapped later if necessary. I may be overthinking this


You certainly could do this, and yes normally the 50 ILD would be on the bottom with the 29 ILD on top. This would provide a more “gradual transition” to the deepest support layer. And if you do this, it would impact what you would choose for your upper transition layer. I always recommend a “bottom up” approach when analyzing these scenarios.

Not a question just a comment. I have used Foam by Mail before and other than slow shipping I haven't had problems. As far as I can tell their prices for memory foam are much lower than anywhere else, but if there's another vendor that has similar prices but better quality I would certainly be interested in knowing their name. For latex they seem to be more in the same ballpark as other vendors, with costs for Dunlop being about $100 per inch of thickness and the queen size. (Of course there are very high-priced latex vendors too, which almost double those prices.) Most of the complaints that I read on your site seem to be about confusion between Dunlop and Talalay latex, but FBM no longer even sells any Talalay latex.


If you read through all of the comments on the forum about them, you’ll see that there was more than what you mentioned. What I believe to be Dunlop represented as Talalay, evasiveness with specifications, uncertainty about sources, repetitiveness of support factor numbers (questionable specifications)...(from one of my previous posts) There is more but I think you catch my drift. I won't support a business which I believe follows less than ethical (by my standards) business practices and they have a long way to go and a lost reputation to make up for before I would consider buying any of the latex foam they sell or suggesting anyone else does. There are many who "love" them ... but I believe that is only because they don't really know what they actually purchased. There are also many more who don't ... and with good reason. If you choose to deal with them that’s certainly your prerogative, but I’ve been pretty clear regarding my position for the reasons stated here and elsewhere on the forum.

And to repeat what I posted earlier, some better sources of which I am aware for latex and polyfoam are listed in the component supplier post here .

Anyway, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a smart response and this will greatly help me in planning this bed build. I'll be ordering the components over the next few days, and building the bed in about two weeks. I'll update on success or failure.


I’ll look forward to your updates. And there are no failures…just steps along the learning curve.

Phoenix
14 Sep 2017 13:52
Replied by androiddd on topic Building a Mattress: Have a few questions

Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Category: General Mattresses Questions

I have a Ph.D. in psychology but I think Phoenix, you should be awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Mattressology! What a thoughtful and deep reply.

I have a few questions.

1. What is high resilience foam and where does one buy it?
2. I read your other article about progressive layers, and it sounds like since we are both side sleepers at least part of the time, we would need a comfort layer on top of 2 inches, and then an intermediate layer of 2 to 3 inches. Perhaps a 2 inch 5 pound memory foam on top, followed by a 3 inch layer of Dunlop latex in a medium firmness. The memory foam tends to have an ILD of 14 or so so I'm wondering if the Dunlop should be 20 or more like 29 ILD as the progressive layer?

3. If I don't want to spend the money on the Dunlop latex, which costs about $100 per inch and a queen size, what kind of poly foam would you recommend for that intermediate layer? Should be flat foam or convoluted foam? Should it be high resilience foam? Particularly on the guest bed that I'm rebuilding, I want to keep the price down.

3.5 I see what you mean about not splitting the comfort layer between 5 pound and 4 pound memory foam as they probably both feel pretty similar. I do wonder if it would make sense to split the bottom support layer into ILD 29 and ILD 50 pieces, perhaps 3 inches thick for each? I would assume the 29 firmness should go on top. But they could be swapped later if necessary. I may be overthinking this :-)

4. Not a question just a comment. I have used Foam by Mail before and other than slow shipping I haven't had problems. As far as I can tell their prices for memory foam are much lower than anywhere else, but if there's another vendor that has similar prices but better quality I would certainly be interested in knowing their name. For latex they seem to be more in the same ballpark as other vendors, with costs for Dunlop being about $100 per inch of thickness and the queen size. (Of course there are very high-priced latex vendors too, which almost double those prices.)

Most of the complaints that I read on your site seem to be about confusion between Dunlop and Talalay latex, but FBM no longer even sells any Talalay latex.

Anyway, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a smart response and this will greatly help me in planning this bed build. I'll be ordering the components over the next few days, and building the bed in about two weeks. I'll update on success or failure.
13 Sep 2017 13:11 - 24 Oct 2018 11:21
Replied by Phoenix on topic topper to fix 4-year-old latex/inner spring mattress

topper to fix 4-year-old latex/inner spring mattress

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi androiddd,

Thanks for your reply to jctam!

Regarding your advice for Foam By Mail, I’m going to include a similar comment to what I made in your other thread…if considering Foam Factory (aka Foambymail or FBM and other names as well) you may want to read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee)for some commentary and information about them, and sources of their foam products.

Phoenix
13 Sep 2017 12:38 - 05 Oct 2018 08:41
Replied by Phoenix on topic Building a Mattress: Have a few questions

Rebuilding a Mattress: Have a few questions (UPDATED 5/17/19)

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi androiddd,

I've been reading this forum for a long time, but this is my first post.


Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :) I’m glad you’ve found us and have taken the time to contribute.

I'm in the process of designing and building a new mattress, and also trying to improve a formerly built DIY mattress. We are both back and (sometimes) side sleepers.


I’m not sure if you’ve found it yet, but some of the better comments and links I have for designing a DIY mattress are listed after Option #3 in this post . Even if you were extremely knowledgeable about foams and mattress design, there is quite a bit or trial and error that can go into designing your own mattress, but some people (such as yourself) enjoy “tinkering” and derive satisfaction from your own personal creation.

Here's my question: although I am sure that buying the softer support foam would hopefully fix the feeling of a hard bottom to the mattress, it means tossing out a perfectly good piece of support foam and spending more money. I'm curious if anyone has any good ideas about an intermediate layer of foam which would sit between the 3" 5-pound memory foam on top and the very firm support foam on the bottom


I wouldn’t be able to tell what material might work best for you, but it does make sense that you are “feeling through” the 3” of memory foam and then the 2” of “soft” (you didn’t mention the ILD) Talalay latex to the firm polyfoam core. I would expect that in this combination you’re going to “feel through” to just about anything placed underneath, as memory foam itself isn’t a very supportive material nor does it show much resilience (rebound). Keeping the firmer polyfoam core and then the upper 3” of memory foam, a more progressive construction using a more “medium” latex (such as the Dunlop you mentioned) or a good density (1.8 lb minimum) polyfoam in the “medium” range could work as a better transition layer, better matching the compressed feel of the memory foam on top instead of being closer to it in feel than the plush Talalay latex was. There’s more detail about typical “progressive” construction you should read in this article . There’s certainly no reason that using the firmer polyfoam support core wouldn’t work for you, but I think that even if you chose the softer polyfoam core that you’d still want to consider a more “medium” transition layer as you described, so logically you may wish to begin with this and then perhaps decide if you wish to change to a different support core.

The main bed build will also source most of the components from the Foam Factory. It would start with a 5 inch layer of medium firm poly support foam, the HD 36 HQ foam with an ILD of 35.


If the “main bed” is also a queen like the guest bed, why wouldn’t you buy this polyfoam core at the same time as the transition foam for the guest bed and then have all of that to play with? Just a thought.

The challenge for this mattress is that it needs to work for a 205 pound 5 foot nine man as well as 115 lb. 5 foot three woman. So it might involve some split layers.


That’s easy enough to do with an electric meat carving knife after the fact, should you desire to customize the transition and uppermost foam layers within the mattress. That’s one of the nice things about an all-foam DIY project.

The transition layer might be 1 or 2 inches of medium firm Dunlop latex, with an ILD Of 29. This should allow the heavier one of us not to bottom out against the support foam. Input as to whether one or 2 inches would be preferable would be great. I'm not sure that 1 inch would be enough of an intermediate layer to stop me from bottoming out.


While I understand what you “mean” by “bottom out”, I want to comment that you won’t be compressing the foam to it’s minimum thickness. All of the foam layers of a mattress work together, not individually or sequentially, so you’re desiring something in the transition layer that matches better with the “compressed ILD” of the uppermost layer so that this transition from the comfort layers to the base foam isn’t so abrupt, if I understand this correctly. You’re correct that only 1” of latex probably won’t have as much impact as at least 2” of the “medium” Dunlop that you are considering in this case, and something like this is certainly a common choice used by many mattress manufacturers.

The top comfort layer could either be a simple 3-inch layer of 5 pound Visco memory foam, or could be two individual 2" layers of 5lb and 4lb Visco memory foam. The advantage I see of splitting the comfort layer into two layers is that they could be swapped from up and down to change the firmness slightly.


I think in these scenarios, if splitting, I would consider splitting the memory foam layer(s) as well as the Dunlop latex “transition” layer. This could give you options for moving the latex up or down in the order of comfort layers, as well as allowing you to place different ILDs of latex on each side.

In the scenario using two different 2” memory foam layers over the latex transition layer, this of course would allow for more comfort “tinkering” by moving the latex layer up within the ordering. But rearranging the two memory foam layers (4 lb and 5 lb) on top of each other in the #1 and #2 positions won’t have as much of a noticeable difference in comfort, especially once your body temperature has impacted the viscous nature of the memory foam after 10-15 minutes. All memory foam is relatively soft (in the low to mid-teens for ILD), and while there are subtle differences in feel, responsiveness to heat, rebound and speed of viscosity change, it would be minor in perception as compared to different ILDs in latex or poly foam.

As I think you’re already aware, I can’t predict what might feel “best” to you, but only comment upon the ideas you’re considering. In the end, as I think you’ve already discovered, only your own personal testing will be able to determine if what you’ve constructed will meet with your personal comfort preferences, so hopefully some of my comments here have bene helpful.

And while I know you’ve been dealing with Foam Factory (aka Foambymail or FBM and other names as well) you may still want to read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) if considering anything else from them and some of the information and sources of their foam products.

Phoenix
28 Apr 2017 13:14 - 11 Nov 2018 19:38
Replied by Phoenix on topic Are there any places online that sell sheets of super soft polyfoam?

Are there any places online that sell sheets of super soft polyfoam?

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi zexpress,

The 1" might fit too but wouldn't want to try and get that much foam under this cover plus I don't want to lose too much of the memory foam properties either. Any ideas where to look would be appreciated.


If you look under the polyfoam section of the component thread here , you’ll see some good options of which I am aware for polyfoam. I went to a few of their sites and it allowed me to enter thicknesses of .5”, but I would advise a phone call to any company you might be considering, as you are requesting a very thin piece of foam.

If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

Phoenix
28 Apr 2017 12:39
Are there any places online that sell sheets of super soft polyfoam? was created by zexpress

Are there any places online that sell sheets of super soft polyfoam?

Category: General Mattresses Questions

I am a couple weeks into my trial of the Novosbed although I wouldn't mind a little bit more softness. I know Novosbed has their comfort+ kit but I realized the current cover is stretchy enough that I can probably fit a 1/2" sheet of foam under the cover and still close it. I see FoambyMail sells super soft polyfoam in a 1" thickness but I can't find anyone that does 1/2". FBM offered to cut it for me but the cost would have ended up being over $70. The 1" might fit too but wouldn't want to try and get that much foam under this cover plus I don't want to lose too much of the memory foam properties either. Any ideas where to look would be appreciated.
08 Mar 2017 11:12 - 14 Nov 2018 22:13
Replied by Phoenix on topic DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh*

DIY Latex Mattress help - because forget going the easy way! *sigh*

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi Silverrowan,

Well, that's somewhat irritating then! Silly latex not being comparable

Latex is actually one of the easier items to approximate from one model to another (as compared to polyfoam, as an example), but you still need to know the type (Dunlop or Talalay), the blend (NR, SBR or SBR/NR), and then the ILDs. And even with that information, you’d still want to know the supplier, as different formulations and fillers can be used to change the feel/properties of latex. So while you can get something “in the ballpark”, exact matches are more difficult to create. And it’s even more difficult when you’re dealing with a complex zoning system. Many mattress stores are also well aware that some of their customers may just be "showrooming" their mattresses and may be intending to purchase a similar mattress or combinations of layers and components online, so they can be reluctant to disclose ILD/IFD information to a potential customer.

Any idea of the quality of latex from: Sleep on Latex, Foam Factory, & Foamorder,com?

All latex is generally a good quality and durable material, and you’d be interested in 100% NR Dunlop for the sake of your project. I think highly of Sleep on Latex (a site member here), and Foamorder.com is also listed as one of the component suppliers on the site.

If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

The structure of the Obisan is:
2" thick Soft top
4" thick of 1/6th mattress sized interchangeable zones of soft, medium, hard (r/l and roughly torso/hips/feet division)
4" thick firm bottom

This would be the Acadia 3.0. Besides the information I’ve previously provided about zoning and come manufacturers I’m familiar with who make zoned mattresses (FloBeds V-Zone would be the most similar off the top of my head), if you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components that are purchased from one or several different sources then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project ... the best approach to a DIY mattress is a "spirit of adventure" where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

Phoenix
24 Dec 2016 07:23
Replied by Phoenix on topic Getting closer to diy mattress build, need some advice please

Getting closer to diy mattress build, need some advice please

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi alpharalpha,

As I'm wanting a double sided mattress I'd be going with 2 pieces of 2" talalay, for a side sleeper that's 200 lbs would you think the soft 20 ild or med 30 ild would be best?

My answer here would be the same as I’ve provided to you in the past where it wouldn’t be possible for me to tell what might be comfortable to you in a custom mattress that you’re making for yourself. Even foam experts in the mattress industry are often surprised at what a mattress feels like in “real life” versus their theoretical design, and many of them have performed this for a living for decades.

With a support core of 3.0 lb hr poly, again would the 34 density or 44 density be best for support core.

I’m guessing you mean an ILD/IFD of 34 or 44. I know you were trying to approximate the feel in a couch cushion you’ve slept on before, and to assist you in that endeavor, the Polyurethane Foam Association lists common IFD of a mattress polyfoam core and firmer seat cushions in the 30-36 range, and firm mattress cores and thin seat cushions in the 36-45 range.

but you are correct about foambymail, I checked their specs, their hq foam's support factor's 1.9 while foamonline's hr foam's support factor's 2.5 so seems worth the extra price.

If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

I would consider foamonline to be a reliable supplier and they are included as one of the better online options for polyfoam I'm aware of in the component post here .

Phoenix
04 May 2016 11:25 - 08 Dec 2018 04:29
Replied by Phoenix on topic latex brands and stuff

latex brands and stuff

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi pennies,

Is there really a big difference between organic gols latex, regular unblended latex and green latex?
Im so so very confused.


The choice between different types and blends of latex is more of a preference and budget choice rather than a "better/worse" choice and any type or blend of latex is a durable material relative to other types of foam materials. There is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here and more about how Dunlop compares to Talalay in general in post #7 here but the best way to know which type or blend of latex you tend to prefer will be based on your own testing and/or your own personal experience.

Im just wondering if there is a big difference in materials used to make them...they all have the oekotex papers. Of course I don't want a mattress made with dangerous chemicals but I also wonder, is all unblended latex not natural anyway?


All the latex you are likely to encounter (either Dunlop or Talalay that is made with either natural or synthetic rubber or a blend of both) will have a reliable certification such as Oeko-Tex, Eco-Institut, Greenguard Gold, or C2C and based on actual testing I would consider any type or blend of latex to be a very "safe" material in terms of harmful substances and VOC's.

Most people that are looking for an "organic" mattress are usually concerned more with "safety" than whether the materials have an actual organic certification. There is more information about the three different levels of organic certifications in post #2 here and some of the benefits of an organic certification in post #3 here and there is more about the different types of organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and more about some of the differences between organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and there are some comments in post #42 here that can help you decide whether an organic certification is important to you for environmental, social, or personal reasons or whether a "safety" certification is enough.

Both Talalay and Dunlop come in 100% natural versions but 100% natural Dunlop is more common than 100% natural Talalay. I would also keep in mind that 100% natural latex means that all the rubber used in the latex foam compounding formulation is natural rubber (vs synthetic rubber) but there are also small amounts of other substances used in the formulation to foam and manufacturer the latex. There is more about 100% natural latex in post #18 here ).

I was also looking into the latex from foambymail, it is a better price with shipping for me but I have concerns with it as they say they cant tell me where it is made, only that it is made in Europe. Maybe someone here has some info on them for me.


If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

If you are looking for latex layers rather than a complete mattress then the better online sources I'm aware of for mattress materials and components (including latex) are listed in post #4 here .

Any advice would be great.


I'm not sure what you've read since you found the site but just in case you haven't read it yet ... the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice ... and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

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 (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) 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 you will sleep), durability (how long you 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.

Outside of any local options that may be available to you ... the mattress shopping tutorial includes this link to a list of the members here that sell mattresses online (which is one of several links to different online lists in the optional online step in the tutorial) and many of them also sell latex and latex hybrid mattresses that use different types and blends of latex (including organic latex) that have a wide range of different designs, options, features, return and exchange policies, and prices that would be worth considering. Post #3 here also includes a list of online manufacturers that sell component latex mattresses online as well.

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.

If you are also considering local choices then if you let me know your city or zip code I'd be happy to let you know about the better options or possibilities I'm aware of in your area.

Phoenix
10 Mar 2016 20:57 - 10 Dec 2018 20:40
Replied by Phoenix on topic Foam Factory Inc?

Foam Factory Inc?

Category: General Mattresses Questions

Hi Patropolis,

Has anyone ever purchased latex cores or mattresses from this company out of Chicago?
www.foambymail.com
These are the best prices I have come across but see no mention of them on this site.


A forum search on foambymail brings up over 170 posts that mention them and a forum search on FBM brings up over 220 posts that mention them as well.

If you are considering ordering from Foambymail (AKA FBM or Foam Factory and other names as well) then I would read this post and this post and this topic (about their polyfoam and sources) and this post (presumably from a past employee) before buying anything or considering them as a reliable supplier that provides accurate information about their foam products.

Phoenix
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