Anyone experimented with DIY zoning like FloBeds vZone / Obasan / green sleep Europe

Hi all,

Has anyone experimented with duplicating a zoned mattress similar to the vendors in the title?

Obasan creates 3 equally sized zones (per sleeping position) in a middle layer with a solid layer above and below.
http://obasan.ca/products/acadia-3-0/

FloBeds creates a whopping 6 zones (per sleeping position) in a middle layer, with a solid layer below and solid convoluted layer above.
https://www.flobeds.com/products/6499EK

Green Sleep UK creates 3 equally sized zones (per sleeping position) in a middle layer with a solid solid above and below.
http://www.greensleep.com/Europe/Great-Brittain/EN/Popup/12.asp

…so, I have some materials to experiment with and building a new bed. My goal, if I had one, would be to learn how this kind of zoning feels, and see if I could use some duplicate or variation to allow my shoulders a bit more give.

The risk, of course, is cutting a bunch of latex into thirds and making a complicated situation / ‘mess’. I wouldn’t have enough material to experiment solely with the middle layer either which either would mean having zoning with ‘seams’ where 2 pieces are butted up together on the top layer, or having a more restrictive set of choices of latex (and in particular, less soft with which to zone with… The soft being what’s more needed for the shoulders). In theory, worst case is I just keep each layer consistent with the 3 pieces that were originally cut… Though there’s a risk I feel the seams still especially if the top layer has them).

I don’t think the pieces, if cut into thirds, will move anywhere, due to mattress case.

Has anyone tried it? How’d it work out?

I’m generally a fan of simple designs and think they’re almost always ‘better’, and there’s a part of me saying such an idea is anything but simple and will just turn into a mess. On the other hand, it’s not like it’s that complicated either, and many other companies do it. It might provide some interesting tuning opportunities.

Update: in drawing it out, it also appears that each full piece of latex could be split into 2 pieces, instead of 3. One piece being 1/3, the other being 2/3. I wouldn’t see a single layer which would need more than a 1/3 + 2/3 split.

Update2: I can try it without cutting anything, assuming I can fold a plate of latex in half. I love risk free experimenting!

Thanks,

Hi dn,

It will be interesting to see the results of your zoning experiments :slight_smile:

I don’t think so either.

If “allowing” your shoulders are the biggest issue then the 1/3 - 2/3 zoning can work well. A good place for the zoning “cut” would be around the area of the bottom of the rib cage (about a couple of inches above the belly button) but make sure you allow for some space above your head in the mattress as well.

As fate would have it … this post from today is from one of the members that had some good success with the flobeds vZone after first trying their non zoned mattress.

Phoenix

No sooner did I post this thread, but I read that. I’ve been sleeping on a wonderful configuration for about 3 weeks. And just last night made a very subtle change (firm to medium on bottom layer, partly just cause I was curious to see the impact because i never did change the bottom layer, and partly to ease up pressure on shoulders.) I delightfully eliminated hip pain some time ago without sacrificing alignment or comfort, but now I suspect I’m tossing and turning a lot less so shoulders are a bit tender now. I’m not really making any big modifications right now, since it’s still kind of like break in / let body adjust period still.

Plus, I have a whole second mattress I’m making. The materials for it all good too, so it can be a bit more experimental.

I’ll give medium base a go for a while, and then as I said might (not for sure) try zoning without cutting by attempting to fold the latex in half (assuming it will do so and still fit in mattress case).

I’d probably endeavor to cut at exactly 1/3rd, but as you said measure first to see that cut would be at a suitable location. With other big vendors doing 1/3rd, I’m not sure how much I’d want to vary.

Time will tell :slight_smile:

Hi dn,

I have tried zoning in the second layer with a thinner top layer.  Same goal, keep the hips up and let the shoulders drop when side sleeping.  The three zones in the models you linked IMO are not necessary.  I don't think your feet are going to notice a difference in the second layer.  Top layer yes, but not the middle.  Two zones would probably feel the same.

I was able to find very comfortable combinations with lower layer zoning as far as alignment and pressure relief go. Unfortunately for me, I felt like I was too “in” the mattress. Not wallowing by any means, just not “on” the mattress as much as I preferred. Still more comfortable than any non zoned setup I ever tried.

If you can find the right combo, having the continuous top layer is nice. The zoning seams won't appear in the cover.  I have a two zone middle layer and a three zone top layer at the moment, its working very nicely.

Good Luck, brotherloo

Thanks brotherloo.

Did you personally cut your own latex, or have it professionally done?

Also, if you place 2 cut pieces that were originally from the same layer together, can you feel the seam at all (this is my ‘contingency plan’ - I.e. If it doesn’t work out, I can place the layers back together with no consequences.

Appreciate your comments!

I’ve done it before. It’s easy with an electric knife.

Here is a video.

I don’t think you would feel it.

dn,

 Yes, I did cut my own.  They are 3" NR talalay.  Like jankdc said, it is very easy with an electric knife.  Especially if you cut along the pincore holes, they almost act as a guide.

You won't feel the seams.  Sometimes my cover can get kinda pinched in the seam at my waist on the top layer.  Can't notice it while sleeping, but when I get up I just slide my hand over it to smooth out the cover and its all good.

You CAN put the original pieces back together without feeling the seam. I had mine all cut up at one time, the only place they might move around is in the top layer. 1" soft layers on the top might migrate a little too, depends on your cover.

The one inch layers I cut with scissors.

I made a bunch of cuts while “researching.” Once I had a better idea of what direction I wanted to pursue, I glued the cuts I didn’t need in the 3" pieces back to their original form. I used E6000 latex glue. It’s a pump spray, no odor, totally safe. I put it on a sponge and dabbed it liberally on the end of each cut. Pushed together. I let it dry overnight. Some cuts I couldn’t even SEE when it was done. Dries soft just like the talalay.

You can get pretty “experimental” and still get back,

Good luck, brotherloo

Some upholstery shops have foam cutters big enough to cut a slab of latex too. If you call around, just make sure their saw is as wide as your piece of latex to get a smooth cut.

Thanks everyone for the real life experience. I’ll post back if I decide to give it a try.

Hi dn,

Just to add to your list of resources if you ever do cut latex and decide you want to glue it back together again you can buy some glue like this either online or from a local foam or fabric shop.

Phoenix

I’m looking forward to reading the outcome, and might implement zoning in my sleep system too.

I am interested in hearing the results of your DIY zoning dn. Although I am still in the process of mattress shopping one problem I have been having is with my shoulders not sinking enough or my butt sinking too much etc. So this might be something that would work for me. Of course I think I would try something like Sleep EZ or FloBeds first.

Well, the plan is to do this weekend. I’m planning on the following. (I’m using this to document the plan for myself too).

  1. Cut each layer into 2 pieces, such that 1 piece is 1/3rd the length and the other is 2/3rd the length (giving me the flexibility to cut the 2/3 piece in half and have 3 identical 1/3rd pieces if need be).

  2. I have the following layers (each is 3" NR dunlop).
    S = soft
    M = medium
    F = firm
    X = extra firm

I previously had (top down) m / s / x, but went to f on bottom for shoulders.
I currently have (top down): m / s / f
Either of m / s / x and m / s / f were ideal for hips and has eliminated hip pain - it feels wonderful and is great for alignment. Of the two, I suppose I prefer m / s / x at hips.
Legs / feet were fine any combo, including m / m / x.

Shoulders prefer m / s / f, and would do better with even more ability for the shoulders to sink in. Therefore, at shoulder region:

(a) convert m / s / f to s / s / x (and therefor don’t zone the bottom layer in iteration #1 - use Extra firm on bottom)
(b) if still more softness is needed, convert s / s / x to s / s / f (and therefore zone the bottom layer too)
(c) if still more softness is needed, conceptually the bottom could be made softer yet by replacing the f with a m. That seems risky as being too soft.

Once done, my plan is (kind of drawn out, foot of bed on left)

|…m…|…s…|
|…m…|…s…|
|…x…|…f…|

  1. I may skip the zoning of the f and x, and see how it goes without the bottom layer zoned. However, I have confirmed I am able to feel the difference between x and f on the bottom.

One last question - Are there any special pens or markers people use to write on the latex? Obviously, I want to mark the cut piece with what it is. I’d gather a regular non-toxic permanent market.

Thanks,

Hi dn,

I don’t know of any special pens or markers and I would use the non toxic marker as well or a piece of sticky paper tape.

Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and insights and I’m looking forward to hearing about the results of your weekend’s experiments. It’s interesting too that you seem to prefer the feel of medium over soft dominant layering regardless of what is underneath it.

Phoenix

Hi dn,

Your plan sounds good. I bet you’ll really like the two soft layers under your shoulders.

Sharpies work good on latex.

Looking forward to your review.

Good luck,

brotherloo

Hi dn,

I should also add that there are some interesting “nuances” as a result of the dominant layering you are using that would affect the proportionate support under different parts of the body (such as under the lumbar curve) and I’ll be interested in the results you report.

I think this is already part of your plan but I would start with zoning the top two layers before adding any zoning in the bottom layers.

I’m really looking forward to hearing your feedback :slight_smile:

Phoenix

3 layers cut so far. Since I’ve got all my tools and straight edges out, I’m cutting all 4 layers.

I will say, cutting latex isn’t nearly as precise as I originally planned (though accurate enought to satisfy my perfectionist side). The firm was much easier to cut than the soft… Doing softest now.

I’ll take some pictures when done.

Post for photos and details.

Phoenix, could you please attach them? I’ve emailed to you. Update: thank you for attaching the pictures.

Pictures include:

  • the tools I used (electric knife I got today at walmart for $15, 2 straight edges, and a razor utility knife)
  • pictures of a piece pre cut and post cut
  • pictures of the edges aligned for the smaller ‘1/3’ pieces
  • pictures of the bed layered together

Notes:

  • It took me about 4 hours start to finish.

  • the softer the foam, the harder it was to cut and the less precise the cut.

  • you do get small latex ‘saw dust’ all over… Don’t do it if you’re allergic to latex.

  • my latex has an organic cotton outer cover, which I used a razor to cut through the top of before cutting the latex, and then cut through the bottom of after cutting through the latex.

  • latex is hard to get a true square cut, since it’s stretchy and hard to get into it’s ‘neutral’ position. I’d planned how I was going to cut it ultra precisely - my plan didn’t work at all, latex is not a rigid material. Therefore, I’d wave the latex until I felt it was in a neutral position (I.e. Not stretched in any particular direction), and then I measured, and used my straight edge. As luck would have it, each piece of latex (all from same vendor) had a series of holes that I could also use as a reference. So I measured, used straight edge, and aligned based on holes in the latex.

  • cutting, even along the straight edge, was hardly perfect. The firm was best, the softest hardest. The soft, you need to really pull the knife until the latex firms up enough to cut. As a result, when it springs back to shape post cut, it’s about 0.5" away from the straight edge. I took this into account when cutting a bit. Also, as you know in the bedding insustry +/- 0.5" is acceptable tolerances, and the soft latex can easily be stretched to make up 0.5" if needed.

FYI the layers are labeled different than I previously posts. Basically, each layer became 1 softer compared to the prior labels. It is as follows
Super soft (ss) - previously labeled as S
Soft - previously labeled as M
Med - previously labeled as F
Firm - previously labeled as X

I’m ready to try it tonight. Besides zoning, no other changes made. Foot to head (in equal thirds), top to bottom, zoning (using the new labels) is:
Soft / soft / super soft
Soft / super soft / super soft
Firm / firm / firm

[quote=“brotherloo” post=31970]Hi dn,
Your plan sounds good. I bet you’ll really like the two soft layers under your shoulders.
Looking forward to your review.
Good luck,
brotherloo[/quote]

Thanks brotherloo, I did use your info to help.

dn