Is our S&F with 2'' Memory Foam topper a good choice?

Hi bbb_63,

Part of the problem as well is that all the S&F are low value mattresses regardless of model and they mostly use too much lower quality materials that are subject to early softening and breakdown. Those that don’t are horrendously overpriced.

The list I linked to in the other thread has some much better options in the Detroit area IMO.

This is the “classic” dilemma where a couple has very different needs and preferences that have to be incorporated into the same mattress. There are several approaches that can help with this and this is where the skill and knowledge of an experienced manufacturer or salesperson can help a lot.

One of the things that can help is zoning which can increase support in the lumbar/pelvis area which allows for softer materials in the shoulder area of the mattress. Two to three zones is generally the most effective approach here. A second approach could be considered “vertical” zoning which takes into account that each of you will sink into the mattress to a different depth and that a “comfort” layer for one can be a “transition” or “support” layer for another. A third approach (which flobeds offers) is a side to side split which can layer the mattress differently on each side.

One of the “keys” with zoning is that it is “beneficial” zoning rather than “detrimental” zoning and this can depend on the person and the design of the mattress. There is zoning which “stops” the pelvis and prevents it from rotating and sinking in deeper than the lighter/wider parts of the body and there is zoning which allows the hips to sink in a little more which shifts some of the pressure to the more recessed curve of the lumbar. While this increases “support” in the lumbar curve … the extra pressure there can also be uncomfortable for many people and this is one of the “symptoms” that some people call “pushback”. This is what I call “reverse zoning” and IMO is most beneficial only in certain specific circumstances or with certain body types. As you can see here and in this vZone video where they talk about “dropping” the hips for a back sleeper … this is the “standard” zoning that flobeds uses (although the zones can be changed).

Because the vZone is usually the second layer down and there is only a very soft 2" convoluted layer on top, this is in effect a “comfort layer” zoning system (used for pressure relief) and used primarily to “fine tune” the comfort layers of the mattress. With a design that has a thicker 5" comfort layer though (the 2" top layer and the 3" vZone layer) there is a more pronounced secondary effect on alignment and a risk of dropping the hips too far … especially for back and side sleepers … and causing misalignment and/or adding too much pressure to the lumbar curve.

The phenomena of “pushback” is really a misnomer because once all the forces have come into equilibrium, there is no “direction” of force any more … only surface pressure in various areas of the body. Each material distributes pressure differently and latex (like all materials) has it’s own unique properties including high resilience and the “encouragement” of movement vs the “restriction” of movement of materials like memory foam. Some of these properties can also be “translated” or perceived as pushback which can be a “feeling” connected to how latex moves, how it compresses, or how it distributes pressure. There is a discussion in post #2 here about how for some people certain latex layerings can lead to more pressure (support) in the area of the lumbar curve than they are used to or comfortable with. For others … pushback is more about the “feel” or latex and how it compresses and responds.

Sometimes … an increase or decrease in thickness or firmness levels in certain layers or a quilting or topper material such as wool, memory foam, or even supersoft polyfoam can fine tune pressure distribution and the “response” of the mattress in a way that the “symptom” that they feel as pushback is dampened or no longer there. In other cases, different types of materials with a different type of response in either the support layers or the comfort layers can be the answer. One of the challenges and of mattress construction and design is how different everyone can be in their needs, preferences, and subjective perceptions of “comfort” :slight_smile: