I bought it on the web. I could pinch it in between my two fingers. No support at all. I bottomed out the minute I lay down on it. Is this REALLY 4 lbs of density?
I have a simple question: As a side and stomach sleeper, what is the best mattress topper for my very firm bed? Does anyone have a simple answer?
|Thanks. That helps. What is HR Polyfoam? Is there another name for it so I can buy it? I wish the internet was better at giving local, in-store locations for some of this stuff so I can try it or at least feel it before purchasing and dealing with return policies. Also, what is YMMV?|
There are basically 3 types of foam that you will find in mattresses. They each come in different qualities but I'll describe the 3 main quality levels of polyfoam and mention the other 2 more generically.
1. Memory foam. This is a kind of foam that "melts" with body heat and pressure and will form a "cradle" under you. It is a type of polyfoam that has some additional chemicals in it to make it melt and turn into a semi solid material when you lay on it. It is good for relieving pressure points but not so good at "holding you up" because of the "melting". It lets you sink into it more than other foams and this can cause problems for some people who either don't like sleeping "in" their mattress or who sink in too far and sleep out of alignment (when your spine is not aligned when you sleep it can cause back pain). Because it doesn't "hold you up", it is only used in the top few inches of a mattress so that other types of foam or innersprings under it can hold your heavier parts up and stop them from sinking in too far. In the case of stomach/side sleeping it's not so good an idea to use this because on your side you need a thicker layer to cushion your bony parts and if this layer is thick enough to help when you sleep on your side, then it would be too thick on your stomach and could allow your pelvis to sink in too far and hyperextend your back causing back pain. If you do use this at all with side/stomach sleeping it would be wise to use a very thin layer and combine it with another type of cushioning foam and not use it as the complete cushioning layer (no more than say an inch).
2. Polyfoam. This is the most common type of foam you will see in mattresses and almost all mattresses made by the major manufacturers or sold in larger outlets have either some or a lot of this in them. It will compress instead of melt under you and it is more supportive than memory foam since it will also spring back and doesn't have a memory. It comes in 3 basic grades and the lower grades don't spring back nearly as well (they are less resilient) as the higher grades. All he grades can be made in "softer" or "firmer" versions so "softness" or "firmness" is not an indicator of quality.
A. Regular polyfoam. This is the lowest grade of polyfoam and weighs less than 1.8 lbs per cubic foot. It is the least expensive and is not really suitable for use in a mattress at all ... either as a soft comfort layer or as a support material ... unless the mattress is for occasional use or is meant to last a very short time. It is easier and less expensive to make it soft though so it is almost always used in the top comfort layers of mattresses (even though it shouldn't be used at all). Because a mattress needs something soft on top of the support layers ... and this is the cheapest way to do it ... you will mostly see this low grade soft polyfoam in almost all mattresses made by major companies or sold in larger stores. This is why mattresses sold today almost all have problems with depressions long before they should. When mattresses were 2 sided, at least each side had a chance to rest and didn't break down quite as fast but with one sided mattresses combined with low grade soft polyfoam ... you quickly have depressions in a mattress. They are sometimes used as a topper that can be replaced in a few months/years because they are very inexpensive (and you don't have o throw away the whole mattress this way). Because they are a lower grade and less resilient, they can also let your heavier parts sink in too much if you have too thick a layer.
B. High Density polyfoam (HD). This is polyfoam that weighs 1.8 lbs per cubic foot or more. It is sometimes difficult to find this in a softer version but the firmer versions are suitable for a support layer in a mattress under memory foam or under a softer top layer of foam. It lasts longer than regular polyfoam but not as long as higher grades of polyfoam or latex foam. It is also not as resilient (doesn't hold you up as well) as the highest grade of polyfoam or latex. You will often see this grade of foam in the support (deeper) layers of a mattress and occasionaly you will find it in a soft enough version to use on the top of a mattress.
C. High Resiliency polyfoam (HR). This is the highest grade and weighs 2.5 lbs per cubic foot or more. Because it is make with a different combination of chemicals than the other two grades, it can be made from very soft to very firm so it can be used anywhere in a mattress. It is more expensive than the lower grades though so you rarely see soft HR foam in the top parts of a mattress except in mattresses made by smaller companies like Gardiner (the major manufacturers use mostly the regular grade polyfoam when they use soft foam to save money). The best of these come close to latex and are very good quality, have good resilience, and will last for many years.
3. Latex foam. This is made from rubber (either natural rubber, synthetic rubber, or a blend) and is the highest quality of all. Blended latex and natural rubber latex are better than 100% synthetic latex which can break down more quickly and doesn't have the same desireable qualities of durability and resilience. It will last for many years (over 20 is not uncommon) without breaking down or forming depressions and can be made from very soft to very firm. In the softer versions it is as good as memory foam at relieving pressure but because it doesn't melt and "pushes back", it does a much better job of holding your heavier parts up. The deeper you sink in the more it "pushes back" so you are more "on" the mattress with latex than you are "in" the mattress with memory foam. It is more expensive than other foams but because of it's high quality, resilience, and durability and also because it can both relieve pressure and help support you ... it is better value than other foams in the long term.
So those are your foam choices to put on top of your mattress. Latex in softer versions is widely available as a topper. A few sources where you can buy it are here http://www.whatsthebest-mattress.com/forum/latex-toppers/16314-0-1.html. HR poly in a softer version is a little harder to find but some local foam shops will often carry them. Some of these though will sell you regular or HD polyfoam and try to tell you it is HR so it is important to get the "specs" of what you are buying. For something that's in almost every mattress in every store ... it's amazing that there are so few good sources to buy it in the quality and firmness that is needed for those who are attracted to it's lower cost.
A few places you can buy polyfoam are...
http://www.foamforyou.com/Foam_Specs.htm#Open%20Cell%20Foam%20Specs They sell a range of polyfoam. Their HD23 is actually a HR foam and is available in soft. Has convoluted
http://www.foam-futon.com/ Has a wide range of regular, HD and HR poly available. Also sells convoluted
http://www.rochfordsupply.com/shop/Foam/Foam_Sheets/Foam_Extra_Soft_HR_1118/index.html Sells a range of polyfoam by the board foot.
http://www.newenglandfoam.com/polyether.html Sells a wide range of polyfoam.Minimum order $150 and few prices on website.
http://www.foamonline.com/mattress.php?cartID=65aaed94afab30e9fbe771f62437dcb3 Have a wide range of ILD's and density available including convoluted. Probably the best choices available.
http://www.foambymail.com Mostly a range of medium and firm poly. Has convoluted
http://www.foamproducts.net/html/products2.html Limited range of regular and HD poly
http://www.foamorder.com/conventional.php Mostly medium and firm poly. Has convoluted
To make a long story short ... because buying polyfoam can be very complicated ... you would probably be better off buying an inch or two of latex in a density around 20 ILD (the lower the ILD the softer it is). Even though it's a little more ... it will last longer and it's a more "predictable" material.
YMMV means "your mileage may vary" meaning that your own experience may be different from someone else's experience or opinions.
Wow. Thanks for that, Phoenix. By the way, in my previous post I wanted to ask not "where I can buy" the foam, but what it is. You covered it all very well.
I envision the perfect solution to be a foam that will allow me to sleep on my side without bottoming onto my very firm mattress. I stomach sleep a lot less. I am going to read over your post again when i am less tired and make a decision.
Phoenix, when I took apart my Sealy it had a 1.5" piece of poly foam (queen size) that weighed 5lbs. I calculated a density of 1.2 lbs / cubic foot! Shows you the low quality stuff they are putting in the S brand mattresses.
I envision the perfect solution to be a foam that will allow me to sleep on my side without bottoming onto my very firm mattress.
Exactly. You already have 2" of latex on the pocket coils which is probably "on the softer side" but probably a little too firm and not quite thick enough. Since you don't weigh very much, foam will feel firmer to you than others who weigh more since you don't sink in as far. You probably don't need much in terms of thickness to add to what is already there and I would suggest that around 20 ILD or less would probably work. It may be worth a call to Gardiner to ask them what the ILD of the 2" you already have is as that could make a difference in how thick and how soft a topper would need to be and what you choose. It would also really help to tell what felt "firm" to you.
Yeah ... it's pretty bad when you look at a lot of the mass merchandising stores that carry mostly "S" brands and you know without even going there that none of them are worth buying. It's kind of sad that so few people end up on a forum like this before they start looking and spend most of their time and research testing polyfoam (oh ... and "counting coils" of course lol) and end up choosing between bad and worse :).
Sandman and Phoenix: The whole industry really ought to be prosecuted.
Gardner says I have 2" of 28 ILD talalay. They sell a 3" topper of 20ILD from Latex Int'l (Rejuvenate Line) for $440!
I will be looking for a local store, even factory, to get a latex blend topper because I'd like to feel it first. If there's nothing in-store locally, do you have any suggestions for on-line purchasing?
Thanks much, and Happy new Year.
The whole industry really ought to be prosecuted.
You sure won't get much argurment from most of the people on this forum. You were fortunate though because you at least had the "wisdom" to buy your mattress from a good manufacturer and avoided the pitfalls of the major manufacturers. You have a very nice mattress and with a little "softness" on the top it should be great and will certainly last you for a long time.
28 ILD is probably a little on the firm side for someone of your height and weight although there are some who would probably like it. I am thinking that you won't need 3" (it would probably be good for you on top of "bare coils") and my "gut" is saying 2" of soft latex would probably be good (there's even a possibility that 1" may be enough). It's a good idea to test this out first though as you are thinking.
I have a pretty large list of places where latex is available around the country so if you can tell me what city you live in I may be able to make some suggestions for a good place to go.
I'm in Boston. I'd like to find a place that sells either or both latex and HR poly. A few questions, if I may:
- You think a blend of natural and synthetic latex is best? I know to look for a low ILD.
- Would HR in a softer version be worth the money savings? I don't care if it only last me a year - I can always buy another one and just want a good night's sleep.
- I am guessing you suggest HR poly or blended latex because I won't "bottom out" on my very firm mattress? (My original question and concern.)
- What is "convoluted"?
You think a blend of natural and synthetic latex is best? I know to look for a low ILD.
Latex is generally made in one of two ways. One is the Talalay method and one is the Dunlop method. In your case I would choose Talalay as it comes in softer ILD's than Dunlop. Talalay latex comes in blended versions and natural versions. It's unlikely you would feel any difference between them in terms of how they feel in the same ILD. Natural is more expensive than blended and the blended may also last a little longer than the natural in the softer ILD's (even though blended is less expensive). In other words I would probably choose blended talalay latex in your position.
Would HR in a softer version be worth the money savings? I don't care if it only last me a year - I can always buy another one and just want a good night's sleep.
HR poly is the most expensive (and durable) poly and is getting close to latex in price and longevity. If it was substantially less and price was my main issue then I may choose it but between these two I would choose latex as I believe that the price difference is worth it in comfort as well as durability. If I was looking strictly at price alone and it didn't matter if something wasn't as supportive or didn't last a long time then I would consider a lower grade of poly as it is substantially less. In doing this though you would also be giving up the other qualities of a latex topper besides durability which is it's ability to be comfortable/pressure relieving and supportive at the same time. So whether it is worth it would depend on the individual. With a mattress as nice as yours though I would personally choose latex even at the higher cost and put my efforts into finding the best value latex.
I believe that given your height and weight, and that you have 2" of medium latex over pocket coils, it is unlikely that you are "bottoming out" although I understand that it may feel like this. I am thinking that it is more that it is just too firm overall and that a softer layer on top will solve the problem and the medium and pocket coils underneath this will keep you in proper alignment (support). In other words you have a great mattress that just needs a little more "cush" on top.
Convoluted is a type of foam that looks like an "egg crate" with bumps on top. They do this to make it softer (less material). I mentioned it because there are sometimes people who look for this that may read this thread and it can someimes be difficult to find. I would stick with "non convoluted" in your case.
There is a list of outlets (retail and manufacturers) that are close to boston in reply #1 here.
What is underneath your topper will make a big difference in how it feels so I would test any topper you are trying on a "medium" latex mattress. Since gardiner would likely have your exact mattress to try a topper on It would be the best place to "test" a 2" and 3" topper (assuming they have both). If they don't have a 2" topper to test over "medium" latex, then some of the other outlets or manufacturers in the list probably would. Once you know what ILD and thickness works for you (I am guessing that 2" or less of 20 ILD or less) then there are many good places to order them online if the price is too high where you are doing your testing (the 19 ILD rejuvenite for example is available online for less than gardiner is charging).
You may want to try here if you want to test polyfoam of different grades but again make sure it is on top of something similar to your mattress as what is under it will make a big difference. Some of the manufacturers on the Boston list that use polyfoam in some of their mattresses may also sell polyfoam toppers.
PS: your "simple" question may not have been quite so simple after all but at least we are "back to the point" where you have clear and fairly simple choices in what is next :)
|Generally, you will be able to get lower ILD latex in the blended. They have 14 and 19 ILDs (15 in Celsion). I just noticed that Latex International also is selling 17 ILD 100% naturual talalay. I think that is new, because I don't recall seeing that before. However, I am not sure who is selling it. I don't see it listed on the sleeplikeabear website. It is possible they could order it though.|
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