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Searched for: Ultimate Dreams
20 Jan 2022 13:09
Hi chrisisinclair,

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

I have been looking for a nice protector or pad for my all latex foam mattress for awhile now but the manufacturer always advises me specifically to NEVER use any type of waterproof / membrane type protector. They claim that the latex foam needs lots of airflow and that with a waterproof protector it is extremely likely that the mattress will mold or that the life of the latex will be significantly reduced.

Generally, it's best to follow the mattress manufacturer's care. this said I oftentimes find in my research many conflicting opinions about just about every issue that concerns mattresses. Some of them are coming from people in the Mattress Industry that have decades of experience and I respect and consult often. Trying to resolve conflicting information from different sources can become a vast and difficult task. The best approach I found is a “blend” of science and intuition as usually both left and right-brained thinking by themselves can end up being misleading.

It is generally accepted that Latex breathes more than other foams and that natural latex also has an inherent resistance to mold and mildew and would have less likelihood of developing mold and mildew for these reasons. It's also true though that the development of mold and mildew would depend on a combination of several factors coming together. One of the most important of these is moisture (from the environment or the person on the mattress), one is the types of mold or mildew spores that are in the environment, and one is a food source (cellulose is one of these). For example, the temperature difference between a mattress and a solid surface foundation can play a role in condensation which would increase the odds that mold or mildew could develop. A cover or better yet an insulated cover on a foundation could help with this temperature differential vs just having a mattress on wood or metal.
How much of its beneficial qualities of cover and latex layer under the protector are “canceled out” depends on the type and fiber that is being used in the ticking or mattress protector.

A mattress breaths from all sides and you may want to consider a PU protector with breathable sidewalls or pads that have no walls at all, or as you mention … there is nothing wrong with cutting the side panels and sowing some sort of elastic band if you find just the right protector.

1. Has anyone used any of the membrane type protectors for extended periods of time (years) on a latex foam mattress and can comment on the condition of the foam? Did any of it mold or did any of it (especially the top layer of foam) start to turn a darker color or harden or flake?

….
I used a protector for more than a decade for my child’s all-latex mattress and I did not observe any development of mold/mildew. The latex layers were still in great condition even though I live in a humid area. (uppermost layer was 30/70 blended Talalay)
There are thousands of protectors with various cubic feet per minute (CFM) to assess the air permeability and also various Moisture Vapor Transfer Rates per day (MVTRs per 24 hours)
This is itself would great search criteria for protectors, product and material comparisons if anyone has time to get into it. Here is a good article with basics from Blister labs

. 3. Are there any PU membrane protectors (air permeable type) that ONLY go over the top of the mattress?

Protectors are typically 5 or even 6 faced but quite thin whereas pads can be a little ticker and can alter the mattress comfort and feel Post #10 here has more information about mattress pads, protectors and the difference between them. Halfway through post #89 here there’s more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors for those who want (or don’t) to affect the feel and performance of their mattress. You may wish to check out some of our members here who have good pads/protectors that they recommend to use. Also have a look at different types of mattress protectors here and here .

5. Has anyone ever seen a water resistant but not waterproof mattress pad that still allows high airflow but is not a thick wool type cover?

….

There are types of synthetic fibers (such as coolmax ) that are specifically designed to draw moisture away from the skin and disperse it to the rest of the layer which can be effective as well.

As you are “concerned with issues related to water resistance and making sure the foam in this mattress has as much longevity as possible - body oils, light stains, mites, etc” you may want to consider natural fibers in your pad or protector. When you make your selection, I’d keep in mind that natural fibers are the most effective in terms of wicking and or storing moisture because synthetic fibers generally absorb moisture into the spaces, not the fiber itself. Artificial or "semi-synthetic" fibers (in between natural and synthetic) such as various types of cellulosic or rayon fibers (made from dissolved plant cellulose) are closer to natural fibers and do a good job of wicking moisture away from the body and ventilating. If you are considering placing the pad or protector between the latex and the pillowtop then the qualities of natural fibers are waisted as the layer is further away from the skin.

Generally, the materials, layers, and components of a sleeping system that are closer to the skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than materials, layers, and components that are further away from the skin. Also, you may want to keep in mind that some synthetic protectors may emit higher levels of VOCs. That being said there are many types of protectors... There are quite a few tradeoffs involved between how breathable they are ... how much they will affect the feel of the mattress, the importance of natural materials, and of course cost. There is more about the choices and trade-offs involved and the amount of "protection" that may be important in post #2 here ) and in post #5 here ). Even though the post has some links to older products all other considerations still stand.

Phoenix
04 Jan 2022 21:06
Hi Gooning@Night

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :) Quite a mouthful of questions. ;)

What is the tangible difference between 'natural' and organic latex?

100% Natural Latex has is made with sap harvested from the rubber tree and has no Synthetic (SBR) latex content in it. Many companies are marketing latex as natural even though it may have some percentage of SBR in it. In today's market, unless you deal with a trusted retailer/manufacturer that describes its products accurately "natural" can mean almost anything to the point where by itself it has little meaning at all. When looking at natural rubber, you’d want to know both the type of latex they are using and the specific blend percentage of NR (natural rubber) and SBR (synthetic rubber) in the latex.
In addition to being made with 100% Natural latex, the Organic Latex is organically certified by a recognized entity such as Control Union which has the GOLS standards and certification. Such a certification ensures that not only the raw materials are organic but the methods of growing the rubber trees are organic, the raw materials/ingredients are of organic origin, the latex is processed in an organic production facility.

Here is an excerpt from the product requirement standards they provide on their site:
"The product shall contain a minimum of 95% certified natural rubber latex of its total weight of polymer content. A maximum of 5% of processing chemicals and/or filler content can be found in the final product, not including approved additional materials/accessories. The product shall not contain synthetic latex and/or non-organic natural rubber latex. The status of the polymer and filler percentage must be verified via content analysis test(s)"
2022 from documents Control Union site


Generally, many people that are looking for "organic" materials are often just looking for materials that they can have confidence are "safe". An organic certification has little to nothing to do with the quality or performance of a product (it's virtually identical to the same material that doesn't have an organic certification) even though it adds to the cost of a product.

What is the tangible difference between dunlop and talay latex?

The choice between different types and blends of latex is more of a preference and budget choice rather than a "better/worse" choice. Any type or blend of latex is a durable material relative to other types of foam materials.
• Talalay in the same ILD as Dunlop will be less dense (will weigh less than Dunlop per cubic foot of material) because it has more air in it. This is the basis for the angel food cake vs the pound cake analogy.
• Talalay is also more open-celled than Dunlop and would be more breathable.
• Both Talalay and Dunlop are highly resilient but Talalay has greater resilience (a ball will bounce higher) and springs back more powerfully while Dunlop has less hysteresis (it absorbs less energy overall but it doesn't decompress as strongly).
• The biggest difference between them is what is called compression modulus. This is a measure of how quickly a foam gets firmer as it is compressed more. ILD is generally (but not always) a measure of how much weight it takes to compress a foam by 25% of its thickness. At compression depths less than this Dunlop will be softer (compress more with the same weight) while at compression depths more than this Dunlop will be firmer (compress less with the same weight). They have a different response curve in other words and since Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay ... even though the different response curves may cross at the 25% compression level ... beyond this Dunlop will not compress as much as Talalay which is why it is generally considered more supportive or "firmer". Another way to say this is that Dunlop starts off softer and then ends up (at compression levels more than 25%) firmer than Talalay.
• This is also part of the reason that Talalay is considered to be more "springy" or "lively" than Dunlop because you will generally sink in deeper which means there is more up and down "movement" or "ride" with Talalay and it springs back more strongly and quickly. This creates a different "feel" between the two materials and is also why Talalay is often considered to be more pressure relieving than Dunlop because it allows for a deeper cradle in the same ILD ... while Dunlop is considered to be more supportive because it doesn't compress as deeply with greater weight ... all else (including ILD) being equal of course. Some people will prefer the feel of one over another and because each has different firmness levels available ... one is not "necessarily" better than another in either pressure relief or support layers if the right layering or ILD is chosen for each ... but you may need to choose a softer ILD with Dunlop than with Talalay to get similar pressure relief in the comfort layers or a firmer Talalay vs Dunlop to get similar levels of support in the support layers. A "one-step" difference in ILD which would be about 4 - 5 ILD would be "in the range" for most people where they felt similar.

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.

. What is the best depth mattress for average build adults? 9 or 10inch?

The thickness of a mattress or the number of layers or the thickness of any individual layers inside it is really just a side effect of the design and the design goals of a mattress and is also only one of many variables that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress relative to any particular person and by itself isn't particularly meaningful. Both a 9” and a 10” can be suitable for a couple with the stats you provided.

. looking at ARIZONA MATTRESS COMPANY and SLEEP EZ... Are there any others I should consider? Is the price premium for organic latex 'worth it'? Is the price premium at sleep ez worth the extra few hundred dollars -- are we comparing apples to apples with each company?

Yes, there is always a premium to be paid on all the organically certified products as the companies providing them have to go through a costly and rigorous process of certification. Most people that are looking for a “heavily-certified” or an "organic" mattress or materials are usually concerned more with "safety" than whether the materials have an actual organic certification but they have come to believe that "organic" latex is somehow "safer" than latex that doesn't have an organic certification. Much of this can be based on some aggressive marketing about "organic" latex which implies that it's somehow "better" than non-organic latex. There is more information about the three different levels of organic certifications in post #2 here and some of the benefits of organic certification in post #3 here and there is more about the different types of organic and safety certifications such as Oeko-tex, Eco-Institut, Greenguard Gold, C2C, and CertiPUR-US in post #2 here and more about some of the differences between organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and there are also some comments in post #42 here that can help you decide whether organic certifications are important to you for environmental, social, or personal reasons or whether a "safety" certification is enough.

. Is there a real difference in durability or feel with the approach of 3 separate layers with SLEEP EZ vs the AMP approach of one thinner layer and one larger bottom and middle layer??

To give a more detailed answer I’d need to know the construction of each of the mattresses you are considering, but generally, in terms of durability for an all latex mattress I would focus on the uppermost layer that undergoes the most mechanical stress that can become an issue of concern for higher BMI individuals. Other than this Latex is certainly a very durable material but I would also keep in mind that there are also other factors involved in the durability or useful life of a mattress outside of just the material itself (see post #4 here ) so while it's not realistic to expect every latex mattress to last 40 years for any specific person and it will depend on the specifics of the mattress, as a group they will certainly be more durable than any other foam materials.

. which company has the best experience post-sale? which company has higher quality latex or mattress cover?

Both companies you are considering are Trusted members of our site and also TMU mattress experts with their own dedicated forums[/url] where you can reach out directly to them. Both Arizona Premium Mattress and Sleep EZ provide an invaluable service to the TMU followers and hold their standards both in terms of quality/value products and service to consumers (before and after purchase). You’d need to run your finalist by criteria in your personal value equation to help you with your finalist.

Either way, you are in good hands with either of them.

Phoenix
30 Oct 2021 20:31
Hi taylor310.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

I was able to try several combos of latex mattress builds yesterday seemed to like a build of 2 inches soft, 4 medium and 4 firm talalay latex. I also liked a build of 3 soft 3 medium and 7 firm. How would these builds hold up for a 5'10 230 pound sleeper that currently losing weight? Hoping to be around 200 in 5 months or so.

Losing weight complicates things a bit. To start off… 30 lbs weight loss would put you in a lower BMI range which would not present issues in terms of mattress longevity for the two mattress configurations you tried. (Moving toward a combination that you’ve already tested with positive results is always a good idea.)

Some things to keep in mind as you move through your DIY and losing weight journeys.
~ Losing that much weight would also make a difference in how firm a mattress feels (foam mattresses will feel softer for those that are in higher weight ranges than the same mattress will feel for those that are lighter). A significant weight loss may change your needs and preferences in a mattress quite significantly. Again, a DIY is ideal as you’ll be able to open the zippered cover and change the internal design at a lower cost rather than replacing the whole mattress,

~ While you lose weight and depending on the time it takes you to reach your target weight, the foams will go through a bit of stress as the higher the mass placed upon those foams, especially the uppermost layers, the higher the mechanical stress. There is more about the varied factors involved in mattress durability in post #2 here . Higher BMIs ranges (over 30 kg/m2), have special challenges both in terms of the useful life of the mattress and getting the right balance of comfort/support for their various sleeping positions and body weight. Durability issues would start to show up faster than for normal BMIs especially in the uppermost layers of softer foams.

This said, Latex is one of the most durable materials and generally the higher the Latex ILD and density (there is a linear relationship between density & ILD) the more firm, supportive and durable the layer is. At your present 33 kg/m2 BMI, no materials will last as long as with lower weights and a soft latex comfort layer will wear and tear faster than it would for your target lower BMI but again a DIY construction with a zippered cover will give you the option of changing any compromised layer if it shows signs of breaking down over time

~ I’d also keep in mind that the overall feel of your final DIY construction might feel quite different from what you tried in the shop as feel depends on multiple factors e.g. type of latex (NR, SBR, Blended) used, the way the mattress you tried was finished, etc

All in all the same basic principles apply to heavier people as anyone else except that if you maintain your present weight for a while you’ll need to put a special emphasis on more durable materials and constructions and probably on mattresses that have firmer comfort and support layers (firmer materials feel softer for heavier people and firmer support layers are usually important to for good alignment for higher weights). I would especially make sure you read post #4 here about the factors that can affect durability and the useful life of a mattress. Post #2 here has some generic guidelines for different body types and sleeping positions, the first part of post #2 here also has more information about couples that have a larger weight differential and post #14 here has more about the benefits of thicker comfort layers and thicker mattresses (most of these are in the tutorial post but I thought I'd highlight them here as well)

The two Talalay constructions you are looking at… (10”) ~ 2” S + 4”M + 4” F … vs … (13”) ~ 3”S +3”M + 7”F

Although there is no way to tell this for sure, theoretically the 10” DIY would be better for your target weight and the 13” for your present weight. A higher BMI individual can go through the softer comfort/transition layers very quickly and feel the firmness of the layer(s) below. With a 13" mattress ... the firmness would need to go up (than what you had for a 10” mattress) on average because thicker mattresses will "act" softer for most people. Generally, if you make changes to one of the specs (such as the layer thickness of the top layer) ... then you may also need to make other changes to the other layers to compensate.

Do you have a particular reason to go with a Talalay core vs Dunlop core? Or … are you going by default with the Talalay constructions you tried? I am asking because you may want to consider replacing the Talalay core with a Dunlop core which would be less expensive and it is superior when a higher compression modulus is desirable. As the support layer is further away from the surface it will not have a large impact on the overall feel but would be a little more supportive.

I hope this gives you some food for thought as you move through your DIY and losing weight journeys.

Phoenix
12 Oct 2021 18:16
Hi albertmills.

Are you opposed to considering a softer latex topper to add to your mattress?

To take some words from Phoenix...Natural fibers like wool though won't be as soft as softer foams and will compress about 30% over time (this is a natural process with fibers and not a defect) which creates a tendency to become firmer over time rather than become softer like foam layers. At first the compression may result in impressions but by sleeping on different parts of the topper over time it can even out the compression of the wool (see post #3 here ). Overall and in the right circumstances they can make a very good choice and some people prefer to sleep on a thicker wool topper vs any other material. There is more about wool toppers in posts #3 and #6 here and there is also a list of good wool topper and mattress pad choices and sources in post #3 here and the links to other posts with other options. Most of them were very helpful and informative when I talked with them on the phone.

A topper with silk batting (such as the smart silk here ) is another natural fiber which may be well worth considering for those who are looking for a natural fiber topper.

A down/feather topper or featherbed or a fiberbed is more "fluffy" than resilient and while it can provide some degree of localized pressure relief under pressure points ... it is much less resilient than a foam topper and won't redistribute your body weight as effectively or provide the same degree of pressure relief as a foam topper. It will also pack down and compress more, requires more maintenance and regular "fluffing", and with your weight it also won't be as durable as a good quality foam topper. There is a little more information about featherbeds and "down alternative" fiberbeds in post #10 here and in post #6 here and in this topic about featherbeds.

There is also more about the different types of softness in post #15 here but a featherbed or fiberbed is more of a "feel" product than a "pressure relief" product and unless you are just looking for a little localized pressure relief under pressure points or a different "feel" for your sleeping system they probably wouldn't be your best choice.

I hope some of the above information proves useful to you.

NikkiTMU
07 Oct 2021 22:09
Hi bghouse.

Glad to be of assistance!

The latex mattress I had before in my old RV was custom cut and made by Mattress Makers in San Diego. It had a 6" Dunlop Core with a 30 ILD and a 3" Talalay comfort layer with an 18 ILD. I would like to recreate this.

This should not be very difficult to put together and if you get the same type of Dunlop (SBR, NR, or blended) it has the chance to approximate quite closely the feel of your old RV mattress. If you chose to buy it again from Mattress Makers most likely are aware that is one of the Trusted members of our site and I am sure they’ll be pleased to assist you once again with a new RV or custom mattress. They have the Coronado lineup that matches exactly what you are looking to get. Mattress Makers are now selling online, roll packs their mattress or layers, and ship it compressed anywhere in the US. Just make sure to mention The Mattress Underground to get your discount.

If I were to do this is layers in a DIY config, so that the layers can ship compressed and I can get it over the border - do I need to have these in 6" and 3" slabs? Or could the core be two 3" layers? Would that compromise the support in the core?

There should not be any problem with compromising the latex especially if it is rolled (folding may result in the forming of creases and the layer may not come back to the original state if kept compressed for too long) Generally latex is very resilient and springs back to its original shape but I would aim to open it within 30 days. Talalay latex is very durable and will hold up very well to compression over even much longer periods of time than a month so while there may be a slight reduction in firmness (which would also be the case with shorter-term compression as well) I would have no concerns in terms of durability or the integrity of the latex

There would be little if any practical difference between two 3" comfort layers vs a single 6" core layer if they were all the same type and blend of latex and the same ILD (in this case 30) and were inside a tight-fitting cover. Two 3" layers would respond a little more independently and because the elasticity of the top 3" wouldn't be connected and "pulling back" on the bottom 3" when it compresses and "in theory" it may act a little bit softer but in practical and real-life terms most people wouldn't notice any difference in terms of performance or firmness.

Also in "theory only" ... two 3" layers that were exactly the same ILD as a single 6" layer could be less durable over the course of a long lifetime because they will act more independently and abrade each other slightly but I don't think that any difference would be significant or even measurable in "real life" terms and the other factors that affect durability (see post #4 here ) such as the firmness of the layers would play a much bigger role. It certainly wouldn't be a concern of mine.

Phoenix
11 Sep 2021 18:15
Hi aalbert77.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

You may be surprised to know that cool + soft mattresses are not as difficult to find as you might think, and don't really contradict each other at all. All foam configurations can be as firm or firmer than innerspring mattresses/hybrids. As you mentioned, all foam configurations are less breathable and sleep a bit hotter than an innerspring model.

I've never heard of pocket coils being a culprit in the reduced air flow in a mattress. That's an interesting piece of information. Where did you learn that?

1) Where can I buy a Leggett & Pratt Coolflow innerspring? They have the softness of pocket coils with better airflow.


To clarify, just the spring unit? Or the spring unit already encased in a mattress?

2) How much hotter is the combi-zone than the CoolFlow?


This, like much of what contributes to sleeping hot or cool on a mattress, is not something I can quantify as we are two people with different definitions of what hot/cool sleep on a mattress feels like and, of course, I haven't slept on either of these units so I would be making pure assumptions. There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that you may be interested in perusing.

3) Which one is softer?


Coils aren't so much "soft" as they are "bouncy." Coil gauge by itself wouldn't be a reliable indicator of the firmness of the innerspring, although if all the other variables in two innersprings are identical such as coil number, coil shape, coil height, number of turns, coil diameter, coil arrangement, type of innerspring (linked or pocket coils), then a lower gauge innerspring with thicker wire will be firmer. The type and thickness of any padding above and below the innerspring and the specifics of the cover will also have a significant effect on how firm a mattress feels as well, and the innerspring is rarely the “weak link” within a mattress. You can read more about innersprings in this article here , and learn about the many variations and differences in the main types of innerspring units.

Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science. In other words ... the only reliable way to know whether a mattress will be "firm enough" or "soft enough" for you will be based on your own careful testing or your own personal experience.

A cool, soft mattress could take the form of a latex + innerspring hybrid, or an innerspring mattress using other natural fibers in the comfort layer. If sleeping hot is something you wish to avoid, I'd suggest steering clear of polyfoams, memory foam (even gel foam), and synthetic materials both in the comfort layers and mattress cover/encasement.

I hope this helps.
NikkiTMU
11 Sep 2021 02:19
Hi albertmills.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground Forum! :)

Hi, how comparable do you think these two mattresses are and is the premium for the silk and snow mattress worth it? The major difference i see is in the coil count - the Berkeley mattress has twice as many coils as the silk and snow and the latex - the silk and snow uses Dunlop, while the Berkeley uses Talalay.

Dunlop has a different "feel" and performance than Talalay and is less lively or springy. You may want to read a bit more about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here .
but your own experience is really the only way to know which one you prefer with any certainty. Some people would notice more of a difference but you will "feel" more of the upper layers than the deeper layers ... at least when you first lie on a mattress.

At a glance, neither of the mattresses would raise a red flag in terms of durability as both use good quality materials that should “last at least a decade” if your BMI is not over 30. S&S is thicker uses Dunlop in the comfort layer, cheaper, but the cover is not removable. Malmo is thinner uses Talalay and the cover is removable for those that might want to exchange or replace layers down the road.

Silk & Snow has diversified their offerings since they started in 2017 and they seem to be holding the line. They now offer 3 mattresses and RV and customized constructions.

(12") S&S Organic Mattress you are looking at the following construction:
Cotton Cover (Organic GOTS Certified ) not zippered
1" Quilt Jooma Wool
0 3/4" Dunlop Latex (D 65 / 14-19 ILD, soft) Organic (sourced from Arpico Latex in Sri Lanka)
1 3/4” Dunlop Latex (D 65 / 14-19 ILD, soft)
8" Pocket coil zoned with edge support (coil count 800 in Queen & 992 in King size)
Firmness: medium firm
Not customizable, Made in Canada
Less expensive

(8”) Berkeley’s Malmö Hybrid Mattress
Cotton cover (Organic) Zippered, removable, quilted with Plain-air French wool
2’ Natural Talalay Latex (18 ILD/soft) (sourced from Radium in the Netherlands)
6” pocket coil unit (15 gauge coil count 1,484 in Queen & 1,908 in Kingsize)
Can open the cover to replace/exchange the upper layer. Made in the USA
Firmness: medium firm
More expensive

You can see some past comments about Malmo in Post #13 here . Other threads about the Berkeley Ergonomics Malmo vs Oslo where consumers comment about this particular model and about the company itself.

Hopefully, someone who tested or has experience with both mattresses see your post and chime in with their perspective. I’d look again at the personal value equation and what is important to you to make the final choice. My personal experience is that I spent more time comparing my finalists than narrowing down my options.

I look forward to hearing what are the decisive factors in selecting your winner.
Phoenix
08 Sep 2021 13:30
It would also appear that the Natural Latex Hybrid has 2" of natural dunlop latex transition layer underneath the 2" or 3" latex pillow top, while the Hybrid Slumber System uses 2" HD NRG Foam transition layer underneath the 3" latex pillow top. Not sure if one would be superior to the other (HD NRG vs Natural Latex for transition layer)? Both appear to use 1" HD Base Foam underneath the coiled support layer, however no mention of the density of this foam.
08 Sep 2021 13:14

Hi bobby2478.

For good back support, back sleeping position, and if you also decide to on a zoned support core it would make sense to select a less thickness. This configuration would also fit well your girlfriend which is lighter and a side sleeper. The lighter person would sink into the top layer and the top part of the medium layer and this could be soft enough for their pressure relief needs. The middle "transition" layer would be partly to add to the pressure-relieving qualities of the softer thinner 2" layer and partly be for support (lighter people don't need the same firmness level to "hold up" their heavier parts). On the other hand the heavier person would mostly "go through" the top 2" layer and use most of the next 2" layer for pressure relief (heavier people generally need thicker firmer comfort layers to achieve the same softness as a lighter person experiences on softer foam) and then the much firmer support layer (that wasn't being utilized nearly as much by the lighter person) would be their support layer. This is to say that ... different layers in a mattress can perform different functions for different people.

This said it is good to remember that thickness and softness are interdependent and work together and because thicker layers (or mattresses) can have a greater range of compression and are more "adaptable" ... it's also possible to use firmer top layers in a thicker mattress construction and still have good pressure relief because of the greater range of compression of the thicker mattress which can create a mattress with a firmer "surface feel" but that still provides good pressure relief and adapts well to the body contours.

Phoenix

I'm seriously considering the Luma Sleep brand as they appear to have solid value, and am considering either the Natural Latex Hybrid or the Hybrid Slumber System. The Natural Latex Hybrid has the option of either 2" or 3" topper (of either dunlop or talalay), while the Hybrid Slumber System appears to only have the 3" option in either dunlop or talalay. The Natural Latex Hybrid has the 8" QE Bolsa coil while the Hybrid Slumber System has the 8" QE Zoned Coil (which I assume is L&P Combi Zone).

Is there a specific setup you'd suggest for me for those 2 options? Would 3" be detrimental to me and should I go with the 2" topper option (which basically limits my selection to the Natural Latex Hybrid)?
31 Aug 2021 22:35
Hi bobby2478.

I'm an athletic build with broad shoulders, and was reading that in situations similar to mine (slim waist, wide shoulders) when sleeping on back then a "zoned" setup may be beneficial by allowing shoulders to sink in a little more (less support) while stiffening support under pelvis to stop hips from sinking in too far and thus throwing off alignment (this is what is happening on my current memory foam resulting in back soreness/stiffness and why we are shopping for a new mattress). Based on this and my BMI (which while it's 25 and technically "overweight", …

Higher BMIs aren’t necessarily accurate at classifying as “overweight”, especially in athletic individuals, but it’s more a useful tool as a weight concentration of kg/m2, regardless of “labels".
You’re correct that being very athletic you are likely carrying more weight in your torso and shoulders so you need a mattress that allows your shoulders to sink-in adequately and to conform to your body shape when sleeping on the side (not necessarily on the back, as you indicated, where the weight is distributed on a larger surface area and you’ll not sink in nearly as much as when sleeping on your side)

due to my athletic build and dense bone structure even normal weight for me will be in the upper end of BMI for my height) would you suggest I strongly consider a setup with perhaps zoned coils (like Avocado or Winkbeds) or would I likely be able to get just as good a setup without it?


Depending on the design a zoned coil unit or even comfort layer can be useful in your case. Different types of innersprings have different properties and response curves and are used for different reasons and purposes in a mattress. Some are designed to contribute more to the comfort of the mattress along with the support (more dual-purpose) while others are used more for the support and the comfort is created through the combination of more specialized materials and foam above the coils.

If I’m going for good back support while sleeping on my back do, I want to look to keep the top layer under a certain thickness? For example, the Luma has the option of either 2" or 3" pillow top, which on top of the 2" comfort layer in the mattress itself gives you 4" - 5" of latex above the hybrid coil support layer. I wasn't sure if I want to keep it under 3" for example or in this case if 4" would be plenty (meaning I wouldn't need to select the 3" pillow top option for example).

For good back support, back sleeping position, and if you also decide to on a zoned support core it would make sense to select a less thickness. This configuration would also fit well your girlfriend which is lighter and a side sleeper. The lighter person would sink into the top layer and the top part of the medium layer and this could be soft enough for their pressure relief needs. The middle "transition" layer would be partly to add to the pressure-relieving qualities of the softer thinner 2" layer and partly be for support (lighter people don't need the same firmness level to "hold up" their heavier parts). On the other hand the heavier person would mostly "go through" the top 2" layer and use most of the next 2" layer for pressure relief (heavier people generally need thicker firmer comfort layers to achieve the same softness as a lighter person experiences on softer foam) and then the much firmer support layer (that wasn't being utilized nearly as much by the lighter person) would be their support layer. This is to say that ... different layers in a mattress can perform different functions for different people.

This said it is good to remember that thickness and softness are interdependent and work together and because thicker layers (or mattresses) can have a greater range of compression and are more "adaptable" ... it's also possible to use firmer top layers in a thicker mattress construction and still have good pressure relief because of the greater range of compression of the thicker mattress which can create a mattress with a firmer "surface feel" but that still provides good pressure relief and adapts well to the body contours.

Phoenix
31 Aug 2021 11:56
This was helpful thanks Phoenix.

A couple of follow up questions. I'm an athletic build with broad shoulders, and was reading that in situations similar to mine (slim waist, wide shoulders) when sleeping on back then a "zoned" setup may be beneficial by allowing shoulders to sink in a little more (less support) while stiffening support under pelvis to stop hips from sinking in too far and thus throwing off alignment (this is what is happening on my current memory foam resulting in back soreness/stiffness and why we are shopping for a new mattress).

Based on this and my BMI (which while it's 25 and technically "overweight", due to my athletic build and dense bone structure even normal weight for me will be in the upper end of BMI for my height) would you suggest I strongly consider a setup with perhaps zoned coils (like Avocado or Winkbeds) or would I likely be able to get just as good a setup without it?

Another question is for the thickness of the "pillow top" or comfort layer. Some setups like Avocado you can avoid the pillow top to start and can add it on later as a separate item if you require more softness. Others such as Luma have the pollow top on top of the comfort layer. If i'm going for good back support while sleeping on my back do I want to look to keep the top layer under a certain thickness? For example, the Luma has the option of either 2" or 3" pillow top, which on top of the 2" comfort layer in the mattress itself gives you 4" - 5" of latex above the hybrid coil support layer. I wasn't sure if I want to keep it under 3" for example or in this case if 4" would be plenty (meaning I wouldn't need to select the 3" pillow top option for example).
31 Aug 2021 11:12
Hi bobby2478.

Thanks for providing the stats and sorry to hear that your previous memory foam mattress has caused you back pain.

In general having Dunlop or Innerspring support layer would bring the cost down and was wondering if there were any real downsides to this approach provided the ILD and firmness of each layer is appropriate for our sleep preferences and BMI?

You are on the right track with selecting beds with good quality and durable componentry. Generally speaking, you can do well with either of the options you listed as there are no “real downsides” to any of them. Everything boils down to the PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal Preferences). There are many complex differences in how they “feel” within each category and the best way to decide is to ensure that your PPP is met. Other than this innersprings are less costly than quality latex and both innersprings and a firmer latex core can be used as a support layer and each has very "different" characteristics but the most important differences are the ones you can feel and that you personally prefer. Both can be softer or firmer depending on design so a pocket coil could be firmer than a latex core or the other way around they could be zoned or not all depending on the specifics of the components you are comparing. There are quite a bit of resources about this in post #10 here and more detailed information about innersprings vs latex support cores in post #2 here and more about the different types and blends of latex in this article and in post #6 here or post #29 here

With the different properties between Dunlop and Talalay I wasn't sure if it really matters whether the support layer is dunlop or talalay or innerspring provided we like the firmness and support the overall setup offers, and once we've tried out and decided whether we have a preference of dunlop or talalay for the comfort layer. My initial thought was to try and target talalay in the comfort layer with dunlop or innerspring in support layers.

Your “initial thought” is good especially as you are both combo (back/side) sleepers. I always suggest to do the due diligence but back it up and trusting your gut feeling in cases like this. Some theory at a distance might help with knowing what to focus on in terms of characteristics and differences between the two or to see if it worth taking a trip to test try one … but generally speaking unless there is something that completely disqualifies a certain mattress type… personal experience is the best way to assess if you like the general feel of it.
In your selection process a few things you may want to keep in mind
• Thinner upper layers will bring the lower layers (such as an innerspring) more into play and may change what works best and is most durable (such as in mattresses where the coils themselves are a big part of pressure relief") but it is the balance and interaction between all the layers that result in the end product and creates the overall durability of the mattress.
• Pressure-relieving qualities (come from the pressure-relieving cradle upper layers form which spreads your weight out over the mattress surface),
• Posture and alignment qualities (which is the ability of a mattress to "allow" your wider lighter areas like shoulders to sink in enough while "stopping" the heavier narrower areas like the pelvis from sinking in too far) which keeps your spine in alignment in all your sleeping positions,
• Preference qualities (are very unique and subjective to each individual and preference-based like breathability, being more "on" or "in" the mattress springiness, energy absorption, the surface or "hand" feel of the mattress, motion isolation, slower or faster response, and others).

Hopefully, this gives you a bit more food for thought and confidence to take your next step
Phoenix
27 Aug 2021 12:28

Hi TheSleeplessCat,

As I understand it, Talalay is an airier latex/foam that goes through a different finishing process than Dunlop which is a denser foam/latex.


This is exactly correct. Talalay in the same ILD as Dunlop will be less dense (will weigh less than Dunlop per cubic foot of material) because it has more air in it. This is the basis for the angel food cake vs the pound cake analogy.

Talalay is also more open celled than Dunlop and would be more breathable.

I understand that this makes Dunlop more resilient which in turn makes it more firm. Does this mean it offers greater support?


Resilience is a measure of how high a steel ball dropped on a material will bounce expressed as a percentage of it's original height. It is somewhat opposite to hysteresis which is how much energy it absorbs (called hysteresis). Both Talalay and Dunlop are highly resilient but Talalay has greater resilience (a ball will bounce higher) and springs back more powerfully while Dunlop has less hysteresis (it absorbs less energy overall but it doesn't decompress as strongly). The biggest difference between them is what is called compression modulus. This is a measure of how quickly a foam gets firmer as it is compressed more. ILD is generally (but not always) a measure of how much weight it takes to compress a foam by 25% of it's thickness. At compression depths less than this Dunlop will be softer (compress more with the same weight) while at compression depths more than this Dunlop will be firmer (compress less with the same weight). They have a different response curve in other words and since Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay ... even though the different response curves may cross at the 25% compression level ... beyond this Dunlop will not compress as much as Talalay which is why it is generally considered more supportive or "firmer". Another way to say this is that Dunlop starts off softer and then ends up (at compression levels more than 25%) firmer than Talalay.

This is also part of the reason that Talalay is considered to be more "springy" or "lively" than Dunlop because you will generally sink in deeper which means there is more up and down "movement" or "ride" with Talalay and it springs back more strongly and quickly. This creates a different "feel" between the two materials and is also why Talalay is often considered to be more pressure relieving than Dunlop because it allows for a deeper cradle in the same ILD ... while Dunlop is considered to be more supportive because it doesn't compress as deeply with greater weight ... all else (including ILD) being equal of course. Some people will prefer the feel of one over another and because each has different firmness levels available ... one is not "necessarily" better than another in either pressure relief or support layers if the right layering or ILD is chosen for each ... but you may need to choose a softer ILD with Dunlop than with Talalay to get similar pressure relief in the comfort layers or a firmer Talalay vs Dunlop to get similar levels of support in the support layers. A "one step" difference in ILD which would be about 4 - 5 ILD would be "in the range" for most people where they felt similar.

This video may also be helpful to give you some visual cues about the difference between them.

There is also more about the different types and blends of latex in this article and in post #6 here .

Don't forget that the layer you are choosing is the comfort layer and that the support layers or "deep support" of both use the same high-density polyfoam. The comfort layers have a primary role of pressure relief and only have a "secondary" support role which is to fill in the gaps in the body profile.

I know it's difficult to describe what is really a subjective preference but hopefully, this will help you "imagine" how each may feel without having direct comparative experience with both.

Phoenix

This was very helpful, thank you!

I'm looking into a few different options for latex mattress (including some trusted members such as flobeds) and had some general questions.

As we work to figure out what ILD we want in the various layers and potentially "zones" for our needs, I had a question in general about Dunlop vs Talalay. As I evaluate options I see there are basically the following:
  • All Dunlop (including Dunlop in top comfort layer)
  • All Talalay (including Talalay in top comfort layer)
  • Dunlop support and core layers with Talalay only in top comfort layer
  • Hybrid innerspring support and core layers with Dunlop only in top comfort layer
  • Hybrid innerspring support and core layers with Talalay only in top comfort layer

We basically need to determine whether we want all Dunlop (which is cheaper), all Talalay (more expensive), or a hybrid option of some sort with innerspring or Dunlop for support layer with Dunlop or Talalay in the comfort layer. In general having Dunlop or Innerspring support layer would bring the cost down and was wondering if there were any real downsides to this approach provided the ILD and firmness of each layer is appropriate for our sleep preferences and BMI?

I'm 6' 185 lbs and wife is 5'6" 120 lbs, I'm a combo side/back sleeper and spend more time on my back, she's a combo side/back sleeper and spends more time on her side. I've been having back pain due to our memory foam mattress didn't last as long as we were hoping and no longer providing proper support so am really placing a premium on proper support without being too firm while also looking at a very durable option that's likely to last 10 years or more (especially if we get into 3k+ price range).

With the different properties between Dunlop and Talalay I wasn't sure if it really matters whether the support layer is dunlop or talalay or innerspring provided we like the firmness and support the overall setup offers, and once we've tried out and decided whether we have a preference of dunlop or talalay for the comfort layer. My initial thought was to try and target talalay in the comfort layer with dunlop or innerspring in support layers.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
16 Aug 2021 23:48
Hi bmcken1829.

Thanks for the additional info. Good to hear you explored a few options on your mattress testing trip.

Unfortunately, no stores around me are willing to be transparent about ILD's in their latex toppers; however, the sales people were really hands off so I felt comfortable exploring my options. They were only able to tell me about the firmness

I understand your “disappointment that you couldn't be provided with the ILD's” but some manufacturers consider the ILD information proprietary. They are probably well aware that the only reason that a potential customer would need ILD information is to "duplicate" the mattress elsewhere because ILD is a "comfort spec" not a "quality spec" and has no bearing on the quality or value of the mattress

While the specs that affect the quality and durability of the layers and components are important to know ... when you are testing a mattress locally then having the number of the "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or even an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components or any specific mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of the individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers may be. The firmness “word ratings” can suffice but there are a few other factors that come into play

This is a bit more that you may want to know but it is worth noting that the ILD rating is never an exact number, and how it is represented in ILD is determined by the foam manufacturer (the ranges they decide to produce) or even how the reseller wants to advertise it. You can see the ILD numbers and the “word ratings” that Talalay Global (who makes the Talatech blended and natural latex) here . Talalay Global calls their softest natural Talalay N1, with a range of 14-19.99 ILD. There can be a bit more slight variation in ILD for a blended versus natural Talalay core, although the range of +/- 2 or so for the ILD is quite standard. Also, Dunlop and Talalay aren't directly comparable in terms of firmness using only ILD numbers because there are several factors that can affect how soft or firm a mattress (or an individual layer) feels besides just the ILD of the material (see post #4 here )

Dunlop and Talalay that are the same thickness and ILD won't feel the same in terms of their firmness for most people because they have a different response curve and compression modulus (how quickly a material becomes firmer as you sink into it more deeply). There is more about the difference between Dunlop and Talalay in post #7 here .

1. Is it wiser to go 2" Talalay 22ILD with 2" Dunlop 34-38 ILD rather than my initial hypothesis of 2" Talalay 19ILD and 2" Dunlop 34 ILD? I cannot find anywhere with Dunlop at 34 ILD.

In the choices you mentioned the 19 ILD Talalay over 34 ILD Dunlop would be softer feeling and plusher than the 22 ILD However, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one you might find more suitable for you as that is subjective. As you already noticed when you are testing a mattress locally ... your own experience is much more meaningful than the ILD numbers that are attached to your experience and there are many people who pay too much attention to ILD numbers (which by themselves say little because other specs such as compression modulus, layer thickness, point elasticity, and others are just as important to how soft or firm a mattress feels than ILD specs alone). There is more about this in post #2 here .

2 . Secondly, unrelated to above, can I just buy a metal wired mattress frame and call it quits? I'm limited with room and want something cheap.

Some of the “cheap” metal grid foundations may not be the best choice for your mattress, but you didn't link to which one you were considering so I can't comment upon that. Some wire grid metal platform bedframes can also work well as the metal is very strong and as long as the surface area is enough and the wires are close enough together to ensure that the mattress doesn't sag through or damage the base. There is a variety of different designs and some use more or less steel of different gauges so here too quality usually determines price.

Next, I was recommended wool / bamboo covers to prevent overheating. Does this seem in line with what you've read?

The amount of “cooling” that the wool cover material would provide is “in line” with temperature regulating products You can read more about phase change materials in post #9 here . There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range. Latex itself is a quite breathable material.

Phoenix
27 Jul 2021 20:53
Hi mattressnewbie123.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

Congratulations on your new home!

Thank you for sharing the details of your preferences and sleep statistics! While soft mattresses certainly can sag, that doesn't have to be the case when you purchase a product that is the correct density for durability - and contrary to popular belief, you *can* find a plush yet high density and durable foam mattress, getting closer to 10 years out of memory foam and up to 20 out of latex.

It's hard for me to make any specific recommendations as firmness/softness is subjective and relative to the perceptions of different people and a mattress that feels soft for one person can feel firm to someone else so the only way to know what feels soft or firm (or "semi-cush") to you will be based on your own testing or personal experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

There are also no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

Can someone throw me some recommendations?


The first place I would 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" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and 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).

While your own careful testing or personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort and PPP or how it compares to another mattress ... when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

I would, of course, suggest starting with our Trusted Members as a launching point.

I hope this helps!
NikkiTMU
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