Foot of mattress to head, top to bottom, the layering is:
Soft / soft / super soft
Soft / super soft / super soft
Firm / firm / firm
I don’t feel the seams where latex meets at all, nor the transitions either which is a nice surprise.
Legs are more than happy with that zone. It’s perfect.
I decided hips prefer the firm on bottom, instead of medium. Good news since right now I have firm on bottom. It’s perfect.
Laying on back feels excellent, and no sense of transitions as I said.
Laying on side was noticeably softer for my shoulders / there was less pressure pain and perhaps no pressure pain. Time will tell. If it needs to be softer, I have a medium section to go on the bottom, (or if really nothing works which I’m doubtful will be the case given where it’s at now, I have polyfoam and talalay I can play with in the shoulder zone too).
I won’t declare it a total victory until I’ve slept some time on it and adjusted - but so far it’s very promising. There’ll be some addition breaking in for the super soft also, since it’s only been a top layer for about a week in the past.
Thanks for the update. It’s nice to see some experimentation going on and some good direction on what worked best for you. Also for the softer latex I was wondering if you tried compressing it at all when you tried cutting it? I would think if it was compressed it might be easier to cut. Kind of like stretching it.
I did try compressing it yes, and in fact that’s why I bought those particular aluminum straight edges (Home Depot)- that way I could press down very firmly. That said, if you can imagine trying to compress the full width of the mattress, it’s not easy. If I had to try it again, I might use 2x4’s clamped on either side … I’ve seen a picture of that done before. The reason I didn’t do that is I imagined that the lumber would bow outwards at the middle, and then you’d get some peculiar cut (since the latex on sides would be fully compressed, but in middle less so). Since I didn’t test it, I don’t know if that’s what would happen.
Updated: also, if I had to do it again, I might go in the middle of a set of pin core holes, rather than between them. Going along a set of holes would mean there was less material to cut, and in my case would have been square.
The best is no doubt to take it to a foam shop with a cutter… I didn’t find one on quick review that was easy for consumers, and taking all that latex around has its own risks for damage and soiling.
The good news is that latex, especially the softer latex, is easily moldable to many shapes. It’s not a perfectly clean cut, but so long as it’s square and within about half an inch, butting it up against another piece of latex or at the end of the mattress squished by the mattress case, it appears makes the issue cosmetic only.
Glad to hear you liked it on your first try. A simple zoning scheme like yours is the perfect answer to the hips/ shoulders dilemma. Thanks for documenting your project. It really shows how simple it is.
I have the same kind of scheme, sort of like yours. Two soft layers under the shoulders, two medium layers under the hips, over a solid firm layer on the bottom. I cut mine at ~33 inches(about where my waist is) so I ended up with 33/33/14 instead of one third / two thirds. I rotate the 33 inch pieces from top to middle to help with wear.
My original plan was to leave the top layer in tact. I even bought a couple 1 inch toppers so I could keep the zoned layers close to the top. But I could not find an arrangement that was soft enough for side sleeping shoulders that would keep my hips up “on” the mattress as much as I liked.
IMHO zoning in the top two layers is a vast improvement comfort wise over the standard 3x3 layering.
I was thinking that if you used a 2x6 you could compress it with clamps and then use your body weight to compress the middle as you cut it. Also I was wondering if a sawzall would work any better or worse. After putting my SleepEZ bed together today and dealing with the latex I can definitely see that there does not need to be overly precision especially if this is under a cotton/wool cover.
[quote]IMHO zoning in the top two layers is a vast improvement comfort wise over the standard 3x3 layering.
My wife and I just received our SleepEZ today 3x3 layering. We also got a mattress pad to give it more plush feel. I am finding the zoning topics interesting as I tend to have wide shoulders and a heavy middle section. If the SleepEZ doesn’t quite work for me in its original configuration or with a comfort exchange, I am quickly realizing that there is still potential with it.
I have a good sawsall, as well as good jigsaw, and considered both. If I had some scrap latex, I’d have tried them out. Great ideas, exact same logic exercise I went through. I’m sure with the right blade they’d work, but (for those that haven’t worked with latex), it’s sort of like cutting through a mesh of semi loose rubber bands… They don’t cut they just sorta stick to the blade and stretch up and down as it moves. If you do give it a go, see if SleepEZ will send you a small sample (they often will) and then you can test different tools and blades. I looked at sawsall blades while at Home Depot, and none seemed like a no brainer for the job.
I’m away on business, so I only got 2 nights in on it before traveling.
I’ll keep reporting, because really it takes some time to really evaluate if it’s going to work.
I am wondering if you used a little vegetable oil or olive oil if this would help cut easier. I am thinking that you don’t want to much because then the latex would get messy, however if you take a cloth with a little oil on it and wipe down the blade that this would help. My thought on why the latex is sticking to the blade is possible heat and friction from the metal blade.
I am wondering if you used a little vegetable oil or olive oil if this would help cut easier. I am thinking that you don’t want to much because then the latex would get messy, however if you take a cloth with a little oil on it and wipe down the blade that this would help. My thought on why the latex is sticking to the blade is possible heat and friction from the metal blade.[/quote]
It didn’t stick to the sides of the blade, it ‘wiggled’ with the cutting edge. I.e. If you rest the blade against the latex, while on, it doesn’t cut… The latex just vibrates with the blade. I’m guessing the dual blade action helps create sheer, which a sawsall wouldn’t do. The blades were cool the entire cut. I felt them a few times, and after each piece had been done.
[quote=“dn” post=32131]Hahah, I can see that you are dying to give this a try. All you need to do is explain to your wife you’re now going to cut the mattress latex into pieces, get some tools, and you’re set
(Thankfully my wife just rolled her eyes when I explained the plan)[/quote]
Yes I can see this going oh so well to just try this with a mattress that just arrived today… You know dear. I think I should just cut apart the latex we just got. I think I would be sleeping on the old Serta Perfect sleeper guest bed that I got from my grandma when she sold her house and I needed a guest mattress……
Dominant layering can have a very different “feel” to a more traditional progressive layering where the softest layers are on top. It provides a firmer sleeping surface and the surface foam compresses less than it would if it was a softer layer and tends to “bend” more into the softer layer below it so it can still provide good pressure relief and “give” under the pressure points (as long as the dominant layer isn’t too thick and prevents the softer layer below it from “coming through” or compressing enough).
It is a good solution for people who prefer a firmer, “crisper”, or less “mushy” surface feel or greater freedom of movement and don’t like the feeling of sinking in directly to the top foam layer as much but still need good pressure relief that comes from underneath.
The “feel” and performance of dominant layering can be “nuanced” or changed a lot depending on the thickness of the dominant layer and it’s firmness relative to the ILD of the layers below it and the thickness of the softer layers underneath. It can reduce the amount that the heavier parts of the body sink down into the softer layers of the mattress (especially if the softer layers underneath aren’t too thick) but still provide good pressure relief under the pressure points (again depending on the thickness of the firmer layer).
In some ways it’s similar to an innerspring that has a variable spring rate that is softer with initial compression and firmer once the soft section of the spring is compressed and that has one or more layers of foam above the spring that are firmer than the softer part of the spring. It would be fair to say that it’s a different kind of softness with firmer overtones.
Some examples of other posts that talk about dominant (or dominating) layers in one form or another are here and here and here.
Though I’m positive there are a myriad of combinations, Phoenix nailed why I am doing it (particularly under hips). I was having pressure point pain in my hips, and I acquired a softer layer of latex. I felt that with the softest on top, my hips were borderline sinking in too far again borderline causing some lower back discomfort. I switched them around and found my hips didn’t sink as far and I fot excellent pressure point relief. That was a 3" layer of soft over a 3" layer of super soft.
I previously, also working on eliminating the hip ache, had a prior favorite which also had a similar design. I had a soft talalay (24 ild, 3") on top, under which I had 3" medium dunlop, under which I had 3" soft dunlop. It was my most favored design, until I got the softer dunlop and did the above.
While I’ve got all 3" layers, they certainly worked for me as Phoenix described. I’m sure you could do fun things with 1", 2", and 3" dominant layers on top, and depending probably 1" to 6" or deeper beneath, depending on how far ild’s are apart.
There really isn’t a specific answer to this because there are so many variables (including body type, sleeping position, the type and characteristics of the material itself, and others). All the layers or components of a mattress will also affect all the others to different degrees so it will also depend on the sensitivity of the person to design changes and where they are inside what I call the “princess and the pea” to “I can sleep on anything” ends of the range.
If I was experimenting with this though I probably wouldn’t go much thicker than a 3" dominant layer but it really does depend on the design goals of your mattress and the outcome or “feel” you are looking for.
Hopefully dn or any of the other forum members that have experimented with zoning will see your post and share their comments as well.
I would keep in mind to be somewhat cautious about using other people’s experiences on a mattress (either positive or negative) or a particular zoning system as a reliable source of information or guidance about how suitable a mattress may be for you and in many cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress or zoning system that may be a perfect choice for one person in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) may be completely unsuitable for someone else with a different body type, sleeping position, or preferences and sensitivities to sleep on (see post #13 here).
There is also more information about zoning in post #11 here and the posts it links to that may be helpful as well.