First of all, thanks for the great insights provided in your mattress forum.
I currently have a Simmons Beautyrest Rogers plush firm king bed. The quilting of the bed has 2" of polyurethane foam (I believe the density is 1.2lb to 1.5lb). The comfort layer has 2" of 1.5 lb polyurethane foam as the first layer, plus 1" of memory foam (I do not know the density or the ILD). The memory foam is underneath the poly.
Although the materials used in the quilting and comfort layers suggest that the bed should have a soft feeling, I find it quite hard. I added a 2" Dunlop latex topper (ILD 18), but my shoulders and hip still get sore and I toss and turn all night.
I believe I need to change the topper so that I have a softer comfort layer to relieve pressure points. I am a 5’ 10" male, 179 lbs, average weight distribution, side sleeper. My wife is 150 lbs, average weight distribution, side sleeper.
The options I am considering are the following:
Remove the dunlop latex topper and replace it with a 2" all-natural Talalay latex topper (approximate ILD 16 to 19). From your mattress forum I have learned that Talalay is better than Dunlop as a comfort layer and may provide better pressure relief.
Remove the dunlop latex topper and replace it with a 3" all-natural Talalay latex topper (approximate ILD 16 to 19). This would not only provide the benefits of Talalay, but also one additional inch of comfort layer. But I am afraid of creating alignment issues by making the comfort layer too thick.
Remove the dunlop latex topper and replace it with a 2" all-natural Talalay latex topper (approximate ILD 16 to 19) plus a 1" Dunlop latex topper (ILD mid-20s) . Having the Dunlop underneath the Talalay would create an intermediate layer. But I am not sure if this would integrate well with the bed quilting and comfort layers.
I would appreciate if you could let me know if these are sensible options and which one you would recommend to soften the bed and relieve pressure points. Thanks very much!
This could be because the polyfoam layers have a higher ILD. Any density foam can come in a wide range or ILD’s (firmness levels) and the cover and quilting can also makea difference in the perceived firmness of a mattress. Since “softness/firmness” is subjective and varies widely in the perceptions of different people with different body types, sleeping styles, and perceptions … if it feels firm to you then it is no matter how it may feel for someone else.
It’s not uncommon that Dunlop toppers that are sold as having an ILD in the high teens are actually much firmer. It is not common at all to have Dunlop that is that soft. Dunlop also feels firmer to most people than the same ILD in Talalay because it gets firmer faster with compression than Talalay. There is also a much wider range of ILD variance across the surface of the layer in Dunlop than there is in Talalay. In other words this may be a firmer layer than 18 ILD.
This could certainly be a reasonable option. There are also some topper guidelines that you can use in post #2 here that may help give you some guidance in terms of thickness and softness based on how firm your mattress feels to you and how much of a change you are looking for. I certainly wouldn’t call Talalay better than Dunlop in any layer because it is a preference choice (my daughter and many others I know for example would argue with you because she prefers Dunlop in all the layers in her mattress :)). The choice is really a matter of preference but it is true that Talalay is a more popular choice in comfort layers because it is more easily available in softer versions than Dunlop.
Again I would use the guidelines to estimate the thickness that may work best for you. Thinner comfort layers (in your mattress combined with the topper) are less risky in terms of alignment.
This may be overly complex and I would tend to go with only one variable at a time which is difficult enough. If necessary you can add an extra inch later (using your actual experience to determine if it was necessary) but I would work with only one layer and variable at a time rather than trying to “overdesign” a topper based on theory with no specific reference points. I don’t know if anyone could predict “in theory” how a mattress with two topper layers and three comfort layers (with unknown ILD’s) would perform in combination with each other no matter how you design the top two layers.
I purchased and placed a soft 2" all-natural Talalay topper (19 ILD) on top of my bed.
The bed is a Simmons Beautyrest Rogers plush firm king bed. These are the specs of the Simmons bed: the quilting has 2" of polyurethane foam (1.2lb to 1.5lb density). The comfort layer has 2" of 1.5 lb polyurethane foam as the first layer, plus 1" of memory foam. The memory foam is underneath the poly. The coils gauge is 13.75 / 13.5.
Even with the Talalay topper, the bed feels too firm and my shoulders and arms hurt and fall asleep after a few hours in bed. I am a 5’ 10" male, 179 lbs, average weight distribution, side sleeper. My wife is 150 lbs, average weight distribution, side sleeper.
I think I need to further improve pressure relief. I am considering either of these two options:
add 2" of very-soft Talalay (ILD 14) on top… the configuration from top to bottom would be: 2" very soft Talalay (ILD 14), 2" soft Talalay (ILD19), bed.
add 2" of medium Talalay (ILD 29) between the topper I am currently using and the bed… the configuration from top to bottom would be: 2" of soft Talalay (ILD 19), 2" of medium Talalay (29 ILD), bed.
Which option would you recommend to improve pressure relief so that my shoulder and arms do not hurt and fall asleep after a few hours in bed?
The Beautyrest specs you listed don’t say anything about the softness or firmness of the foam and softness and firmness is also very subjective and depends on many variables so there is really no way to know outside of your personal experience how a mattress will feel and perform for any individual. In general though the foam layers in their plush firm models are the same as their “plush” models but the innersprings are a lower gauge and firmer.
In “theory” … the mattress itself along with a 2" 19 ILD topper should work well for many people with your body types “on average” but clearly it isn’t working the way you want it to for you. In cases like this when “averages” don’t seem to fit I would tend to go by symptoms and personal experience rather than by theory because there is no certain way to predict how any combination will feel for any individual outside of their actual experience.
I would also make sure you have ruled out any other possibilities other than the mattress and topper itself (see post #2 here) that could be contributing to the firmness of your mattress and whether anything else is contributing to the firmness of your mattress or the pressure points on your shoulders. I would particularly look at your mattress protector or any mattress pads on the mattress and the thickness of your pillow (which can also lead to pressure or discomfort in the shoulder area).
There is also a possibility that your sleeping position (such as sleeping on an arm or a position that restricts circulation) is causing your shoulder issues rather than the actual topper/mattress itself because your mattress/topper doesn’t sound particularly firm to me and again “in theory” wouldn’t normally lead to shoulder pressure points.
If you have ruled out any other factors … then I would use the topper guidelines and your actual experience to add to the thickness of the topper (either as a replacement or as an additional topper layer).
Keeping in mind that neither of the options you listed includes the effect of the top 5" of your mattress (which isn’t known) … as a general rule if you are uncertain and choices appear to be fairly equal I would lean towards slightly firmer rather than softer and slightly thinner vs slightly thicker so that you have less risk of replacing a pressure issue with an alignment issue (which is worse).
In most circumstances I would also tend to avoid latex in the 14 ILD range in combination with what is already fairly thick and soft comfort layers if weights are average and up although it could work well for some people. It may also be worth considering adding another 2" of 19 - 24 ILD as a middle option under your 2" of 19 ILD (and I would probably tend towards 24 because it’s still in the soft range but slightly firmer) which would be firmer and less risky in terms of alignment than your softest option but softer and less risky in terms of pressure relief than your firmest option. My concern would be that you were “jumping over” the layering that may be best for you but again only your own experience and to some degree trial and error can know for sure.