Bought Brooklyn Bedding Total Latex - Need Advice

Hi Phoenix,

Let me start by thanking you for all the work you’ve put into this site - it’s proved an invaluable resource, and serves as a repository for knowledge in an industry that tends to be anything but transparent.

My research on this site and others led me to select a king size latex mattress from Brooklyn Bedding (their Total Latex model) in my recent mattress search. Though this post is not intended as a review per se, I will take a moment to comment on my experience thus far. As seems to be the norm, I have nothing but good things to say about Mario, Chuck, and the rest of the team at BB. They are courteous, informative, and not at all pushy as one goes about the rather challenging process of selecting and purchasing a mattress sight-unseen. Once the order was placed, the mattress shipped quickly, arrived on time, and unpacked without issue. The care that went into the selection of its materials and the quality utilized in its construction are obvious (even to a mattress-buying neophyte like myself). As others have said, handles would be a nice addition to the cover, but it’s hardly even worth mentioning. The mattress is easily the equal of mattresses costing many times more - and I have tested quite a few!

After trying out several latex mattresses locally (Savvy Rest, Pure Latex Bliss, Natura World, Pranasleep, etc.), scouring the internet for information, and consulting with the good folks at BB, I felt pretty confident in selecting the mattress’ firmness when I placed the order. I went with a “hybrid” setup, using the default 32 ILD base in talalay (as is used on most of their standard mattress builds), and splitting the top comfort layer between 19 ILD talalay for my girlfriend and 24 ILD talalay for myself. I’m 6’, 180 lbs, a side sleeper, and typically like a soft topped-mattress with firmer support underneath. She’s 5’5", 110 lbs, a side sleeper, and likes the mattress to be as soft as possible (and then some). I figured the arrangement I purchased would suit us both very well. I was half right…

She loves her side, comparing it to sleeping on a cloud! Being of a slight build, however, I feel like she probably never really sinks much past the top comfort layer. All she’s feeling is the 19 ILD, and that’s perfect. I was kind of assuming that would be the case when I selected the materials.

My side, however, is a different story. I want to preface this next part, though, by saying that I don’t mean for this to reflect negatively on BB at all! They make a great product - I just need to rethink my density/material choices, and this is what has brought me to the forum seeking advice. I have no doubt BB will be willing to work with me to get this bed comfortable, but I feel I need some more info before I even know what to tell them.

Here’s my issue: When I lie on the mattress, I feel like I’m out of alignment (I’m assuming that’s my spine I feel…). I also feel a pinching sensation above my pelvis on the opposite side on which I’m laying. So, if I’m lying on my right side, it’s my left side that hurts. Not only is this uncomfortable, but I’ve been waking up very tired, and it results in soreness that I feel the entire next day. At first, I felt that perhaps my hips were sinking in too much, and I simply needed a firmer comfort layer, but then I stumbled on this post (#4). This seems to sum up my experience exactly!

"Same thing can happen with the hips if there is too much pressure there and the body tries to “twist” (move the top leg forward) to relieve pressure. All of these are more common with people who tend to “shift” towards the stomach position rather than the back position. This can be aggravated if the ILD of the mattress under the hips isn’t firm enough to “hold them up” and they are sinking in too far which can aggravate the twist. This can result in a half stomach half side sleeping position which is twisted in some fashion. The odd thing is that this can mean the mattress is both too firm on top (for pressure relief) and too soft (usually under the hips in the deeper layers for best alignment)."

That got me thinking that maybe it isn’t the comfort layer, but rather the support layers that aren’t supportive enough. To help test this (and after speaking with Chuck) I’ve removed the comfort layer and will be sleeping directly on the base 6" of 32 ILD to see how that feels for a couple of nights. First impressions of this have not been comfortable, though. I feel like I went from person #2 to person #3 in the below diagram:

As an aside, I’ve also tried the mattress directly on the floor as well as in the bed (with Ikea Laxeby slatted base). The bed proved more comfortable, but only after the hip slats were adjusted to increase firmness in relation to the rest of the bed. It’s still not pain-free, but it’s better.

So, my question is this: what would you recommend I try next? Based on your above post, I’m almost thinking I may need to swap out the base layer(s) of the mattress (I realize this isn’t a feature of the Total Latex, but let’s ignore that for the moment). Go firmer? Switch to dunlop? Maybe a 24T/32D/40D or 24T/36T/40D arrangement, or something to that effect? What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this lengthy post and for any advice you might be able to offer!

  • Patrick

Hi deirai,

I would tell them exactly what you have posted here. They are much more familiar than I am with the options they have available and the changes they have made with other customers in a similar situation and a voice conversation can cover a lot more ground than a more “linear” forum exchange but I’m happy to make a few comments that may be helpful.

I normally don’t rely on what your alignment “feels like” because this is often just the adjustment to a new material. It’s usually more effective to go by specific symptoms on each combination you try and then it’s easier to try and imagine what could be causing a symptom in that specific area. It’s partly educated guesswork and speculation, and partly intuition and imagination.

The first thing I would suggest is that you may be going through both the adjustment period and the initial break in period of the mattress and these will both make a difference so your issue could be self correcting. How long have you been sleeping on the mattress?

The second suggestion is to sleep on each change you make for at least a few days (more than 2) so that your experience can be more predictive of a longer term solution rather than just an anomaly based on the circumstances of a day or two. Each new change can use the experience of the one before it and build on it to test a “theory” about why you are experiencing what you are.

I would also try and describe the specific symptoms on every combination you try and relate any new symptoms on each one and try and quantify any changes in the symptom you are trying to correct (rather than just “this didn’t work”). Every combination you try may provide a clue even if it’s uncomfortable for a different reason.

Your symptom is on the opposite side from where you are in contact with the mattress so this indicates that it could be some kind of “twisting” as you suggested. It’s unlikely that the top 24 ILD layer is too firm for you in combination with the 32 ILD support layer (which is certainly in the range of what would normally be suitable for a side sleeper of your weight and height) so I doubt that you are “twisting” away from excess pressure (although anything is possible because each person can be unique).

It would also be helpful to describe exactly where the “pinching” feeling is coming from (I’m not sure where you mean by “above the pelvis”).

This is probably too firm so it wouldn’t be “comfortable” but it would be useful to know if it made any difference in your original symptoms (the pinching) even if it caused new symptoms (which it would help to describe a little more specifically). “Uncomfortable” is too subjective and vague to really derive any meaning from and it would help to know specifically how and why it was uncomfortable. I would treat each configuration as part of a learning process rather than a potential solution so that everything you do is part of identifying the cause behind your original symptom. How long did you sleep on just the base layer and what happened to your original symptom? Was there any change and was it better or worse?

Again … how long did you try it on the floor (at least several days with every test is a good idea) and what were the specific changes that you noticed (in your original symptoms and any new ones). It’s also promising that the hip adjustment seemed to help. How long have you slept on this configuration (with the firmer pelvic zone)? I’m also assuming that you sleep exclusively on your side is this correct?

I would take things one step at a time and use the specific changes and symptoms you notice with each step to gather the information you will need that can identify the issue that needs correcting. This is the “detective work” part of the process which can hopefully be translated into the “solution” part of the process.

Some other possibilities that may be worth testing include …

It may be helpful to put a pillow between your knees to see if this helps keep your top leg higher or changes what you are feeling in case this is part of the problem.

Removing the top cover and sleeping more directly on the top latex to see how this affects things.

Some of the zoning suggestions in post #11 here may also be useful (using something in between the layers or under the mattress that can help “lift up” the pelvis along with the laxeby)

Keep in mind that none of these are meant to “be” solutions (although they may end up becoming one) … they are meant to help “identify” solutions … even if they are uncomfortable and wouldn’t be the final choice.

I think it’s way to early to try and speculate about specific solutions because I have no clarity about the underlying cause. The first step is to find out what helps and what doesn’t and the degree of change that you notice on each one using the options you have available and then to try and “translate” the ones that helped into a solution.