Latex dilemma -Part II

Hi Phoenix,
I tried to reply to your reply under my original topic ‘latex dilemma’ but despite me being logged in, it had me as a ‘guest’. I kept logging in (around 6 times) to no avail so I gave up and decided to just start a new post with the same title and info.

So, thank you for your answer and I guess that the problem identified by you was correct, the 1.5 comfort layer on top of my 6" solid dunlop latex bed (all the same 28 ILD) was not enough comfort and too firm of an ILD. (Major shoulder pain and thoracic pain). I was sleeping on top of my bed, it was not conforming to me at all. (as a refresher, since I can’t post on my original post, it is a 45th street bedding all dunlop latex bed, queen, for $2100; I’m a side sleeper, 5’4, 166 lbs, solo sleeper, and due to my career, :angry: I have 2 herniated discs (L3-5) and a left shoulder with ulnar entrapment.

I am deciding between buying a new mattress (exchange) or buying a topper. I have 2 samples tonight to sleep on --one is not going to work already because it is 3" 19 ILD talalay latex which offers no support for my lower back) the second sample topper is a memory foam 2’ topper, with no mention of it’s density, or type of memory foam. It seems a little thin but if it was 3" it would be better. (I had a 3" memory foam topper from costco and it worked perfectly for almost 3 years).

–my question & dilemma, is should I get a topper or a new mattress? Also, I’m not liking either of the two topper samples (latex one is too thick at 3" 19 ILD and the memory foam is too thin at 2" plus the density and type of foam is not given).

[my attachments would not work, so I can’t send pics of the mattress bios)–frustrating. I’ve included pictures of the mattress I’m considering (2 latex by Restonics & 1 mem foam). They all felt good, with the Orchid and the memory foam being the most comfortable. The brand of the memory foam bed is Leggett & Platt.
I hope you can help me soon, becuase I have to go in tomorrow at noon to figure it out and order the new mattress (if necessary) so I can have it by the following Saturday…I’m in alot of pain, not the usual lower back pain, but now left shoulder pain from the torture chamber woodlawn bed!

Thanks again in advance for your incredibly awesome expertise, patience and professionalism here on your board!

Hi Slumber_lover,

Over the course of the next few days and possibly tonight I am planning to shut the forum down (late at night) to complete the first part of a software migration and upgrade I have been working on for a number of months that will hopefully solve some of the glitches in the forum software that some members have been experiencing. I know it can be frustrating for those that encounter them and there will be more to come but this can all take time because I am not a “techie” and some of this involves a rather steep learning curve for me before they can be implemented and the new issues they can create tested and resolved as well. I believe that this one will at least solve the attachment issue (where you can only post attachments in Explorer) and possibly some of the cache and logging in problems as well … but we’ll see :slight_smile:

In any case … on to your issues …

First I should make clear that there is no way for anyone else to know based on theory alone what layering you will do best on so that you put any comments I make into perspective. Only your own personal testing and experience can really do this with any accuracy.

I would keep in mind as well that the upper layers (such as a 19 ILD topper) are not meant for primary support but for pressure relief and that the primary support that keeps your heavier parts (such as the pelvis) from sinking in too far comes from the deeper layers of your mattress. In addition to their primary role of pressure relief … the upper layers (or a topper) will also provide what I call “secondary” support which is the lighter support that can fill in the gaps in your sleeping profile (such as the lumbar curve or the waist). While 3" of 19 ILD may be OK for you, it may not be ideal in combination with a softer support layer under it. 28 ILD Dunlop would be in the softer range for support but in the firmer range for pressure relief (you may be caught in the middle :)) so its suitability would depend on what was over it and in combination with 3" of 19 ILD it may not provide ideal alignment in the same way that by itself it doesn’t provide ideal pressure relief.

Again … I would use the guidelines I linked about testing mattresses and your best judgement whether you need “just a touch to a little” … “a little to a fair bit” … or “a fair bit to a lot " more pressure relief compared to your mattress alone if you decide to go with a topper. While spending a few days on a mattress / topper combination is certainly the most accurate method of testing … the next best way would be to test each topper using the guidelines I suggested. I would suspect that 3” of either memory foam or latex may be a little too much on the mattress you have although they may both be fine on deeper layers that are firmer. Keep in mind that even if 3" of memory foam worked for you before … all the layers of a mattress affect each other and it was on a different mattress which could make a significant difference.

I think if I was in your shoes … what I would do would depend a lot on your personal testing and how accurately you had tested the mattresses you are considering exchanging for and their construction compared to what you have now and on how they compared to your mattress / topper combinations.

If you can email me the specs of the mattresses you are considering or post them here (with Explorer or just listing them by hand) it may be helpful in giving you more meaningful suggestions but I would put my first priority in going with something (either a mattress or a mattress / topper combination) I had tested and confirmed worked well in person using the testing guidelines for pressure relief and alignment rather than any theory which may not apply to any specific person. While this may not be perfect (and the longer and more objectively you can test each the better) … careful objective testing will usually get you close enough that in most cases you will only need some fine tuning rather than a major change.

So for now you have two mattress / topper combinations to test that you can then compare to the exchange mattresses you are considering in the store … and if you can provide the details of the two mattresses you are considering I’ll add some comments about them as well that hopefully will help at least somewhat.


Hi Slumber_lover,

I added the images you sent to your post … but unfortunately only one of them provides any meaningful information and it’s the one you already have and know (The Woodlawn Plush).

Both of the Restonics only have very generic information (like asking for a recipe and being told "it has some potatoes and some vegetables in it without any specifics).

The Avail is made by Anatomic Global (which is owned by Foamex/FXI which makes polyfoam and memory foam). At least it has the the layering thickness information but doesn’t provide any density information about the foam but a quick online search shows the layers are as follows …

2″ of 4.5lb soft Eco Soy Based Memory Foam
2″ of 3.5lb soft Eco Soy Based Memory Foam
2″ of 1.5lb High Density transition layer foam.
3″ of High Density Soy Based Firm foundation layer.

The 4.5 lb foam is in the mid range of quality/density although at least the best quality material is on top where it will shield the lower quality layers to some degree. The 3.5 lb memory foam is in the low range of memory foam quality/density and the 1.5 lb polyfoam underneath this is in the low/mid range of quality density and the bottom layer is unknown (probably 1.5 lb as well). Overall this may be a good fit in terms of how it feels and performs (your testing will tell you this) but the materials are on the low side in terms of quality and durability so what you feel in a showroom may not last as long as it would if the materials were higher quality and density. You can see a pricing comparison here (I didn’t look extensively for the best price available so this was just a quick search).
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint:®-Mattress/1642/

The type of information you need to make any meaningful assessments or comparisons of the Restonic mattresses would be similar and includes the type, quality/density, and thickness of all the layers in the mattress.

So your own careful testing is the best way to know which of the mattresses or combinations has the best PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) but this won’t tell you about the quality of the materials or how durable they ma be. I would spend at least half an hour with both of the toppers you have on top of your mattress and then when you go to the store I would carefully test the mattresses they have available that are your exchange candidates and decide on the ones that have the best balance between the pressure relief and support / alignment you need. I would then make sure that you are provided with the details of all the layers and the memory foam topper so you can make a meaningful assessment of the quality and durability of the layers and materials. This is the job of the retailer to provide this for you so you don’t have to search the internet (probably unsuccessfully) or phone the factory to find out what you need to know.

Once you have tested all your “candidates” (the two mattress/topper combinations at home and the mattresses in the store) and have been given the information you need … then you will be in a position to decide on your best option and once you have the meaningful quality information you will need you are welcome to post it here for any comments as well.


Hi Phoenix and users,
Thank you again for all your help Phoenix. I was also having problems logging in here, perhaps due to having a mac? My user name and password just wouldn’t work.

Anyway, for anyone interested, I ended up with the Orchid, by Restonic. I could not find out the density of the soy/poly foam used in the layers of this bed, so this is a wild card. What I know: a layer of 2" 14 IDL blended latex, another layer of 24 IDL blended latex and a final layer of 14 IDL blended latex. I don’t know how this bed will hold up. It was $800.00 less than the Woodlawn. I have slept on it 1 night (last night) and I have no pain today, which is lovely. Also, no tossing and turning last night. I am worried however, that once the ‘break in’ period is over, my body impressions will make this bed less supportive and I will be back in pain with a too soft bed. Only time will tell but I really hope not.
I tested this bed using your recommendations and spoke with the owner of the store who said that these Orchids are very popular and without exhanges. The Woodlawn that I bought had 1 exchange with a complaint of ‘too firm’. The owner said he thought the Woodlawn would be too firm for my back and shoulders, which as it turns out, it was. I am hoping this bed will be fine for at least 5-7 years, since it is not flippable.
Wish me luck!
Many thanks to you,

Hi Slumber_lover,

I just logged in with a mac using both safari and firefox with a test account I use so I’m not sure what was happening to you. I did complete the software migration I was working less than a week ago which after a few glitches and a server crash seems to have resolved most of the issues I knew about on the forum. Were you getting an error message or could you explain when you were having the issue and what was happening that was keeping you from logging in so I can see if I can replicate it? I’m glad at least that you were able to log in now.

The 14 ILD latex in your mattress is a good quality material but is also very soft which means that it may be subject to softening initially and over time (not so much impressions) more than firmer latex but the effect of this on your comfort and support will depend on how much “room” you have in the pressure relief and support “range” that works for you. It certainly seems like it is a good match initially. It would also be more durable than the equivalent ILD in lower quality materials. The ILD of the third layer down may also be inaccurate because using 14 ILD deeper in a mattress would be very unusual. The base layer is likely to be 1.8 lb polyfoam although as you know the Restonic specs can vary in different areas of the country.

In any case … I wish you luck and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

If you have the chance I’d love to hear how the mattress is working for you once you are past ther initial break in period and further down the road.


Hi Phoenix,
I was getting some kind of red error messages, can’t remember what specifically they said. Seems to be working for now though, which is good. If it happens again, I’ll take a screen shot and send it to you if I can log on, if not, I’ll send it to your email.

Just after feeling better about my exchange of mattresses, I just found a TON of negative reviews on restonic. Most of them were the comfortcare line, with springs and/or coils but they all mentioned the poor customer service (run arounds) and that warranties were not being honored and/or they were getting around honoring them by nit picking their customers. One of them was ‘restonic mattress @ pissed consumer’. Just a quick google search showed tons of bad reviews from all different sites, not just them…yikes.

Again, all I can do is hope. If this bed does not last, I’m out of $1300, plus the $200 restocking fee, so a total of $1500.00. Pain is my ultimate fear, even more than being broke…although that is a problem too! Also, I’m a tad worried about the 14 IDL placements in the bed (where are those layers and why so low?). When I spoke with the owner, he said ignore the IDL ratings and go with what feels good…so I did. I hope this doesn’t backfire. I notice that the restonic is not made as well as the 45th street bedding Woodlawn was so that’s scary…but it was a good deal cheaper so that may be the only reason as to why. Time will tell…

I’ve already decided that if this restonic latex bed sucks, I’ll again buy the ‘Woodlawn Plush’ (45th street bedding) and find and buy a topper for it…even if it takes 2 or 3 topper failures to get the right one. Lots of money and time but it has to be right and right now, I’m pretty scared about my new restonic.

Anyway, I will keep you posted (as long as I can log in). I think it’s important for people to have a place to honestly review their mattresses in an industry that is right up there with used car salesmen!

Many thanks,

Hi slumber_lover,

I personally pay little attention to reviews as far as determining the quality or durability of a mattress (as you can see in post #13 here) and much more on the quality of the materials in the mattress. Very few consumers who write reviews know what a good quality material is or what is in the mattress they are reviewing. Of course reviews can give an indication of the type of service provided by a retailer or manufacturer and have some value for this but this also has nothing to do with the quality of a mattress or how long any particular mattress may last. Keep in mind too that all manufacturers make lower and higher quality mattresses. Any mattress that uses lower quality materials won’t last as long as higher quality materials no matter which manufacturers label is on the mattress. In the case of Restonic … they are a licensee group and while most national brands are less responsive to warranty claims and customer service issues than local manufacturers … it would also depend a great deal on which of the licensee factories made the mattress and was dealing with a warranty claim or customer service issue.

I’m looking forward to any ongoing reports you have the chance to provide.


Hi Phoenix,
It’s harder to express in writing what is in one’ brain~

On the final night of sleeping on the Woodlawn, it finally felt good–guess it broke in. It was too late to call off the next morning delivery truck with the Restonic exchange bed. When I stripped the bed to make it ready, I saw some indentation of where I slept for 3.5 weeks. It had ‘broke in’ but was too late. That’s part of my post-exchange panic.

The second part of the panic was that I couldn’t get the actual contents of the whole mattress from the owner or the soy/poly foam densities. Also, the14 ILD’s (as you say, probably used on top of the 24 ILD layer) did seem too soft and I feared that I did the unthinkable (lol) and went from the too firm to the too soft…knowing full well that if one is to err, it should be on the side of ‘too firm’, which can be remedied with the correct topper (though that can be a significant added expense).

So, after reading your last post, I’m just going to breathe deeply, many times and suck it up! If it turns out too soft, I have to cross that bridge when I get there. :whistle:

I will keep you posted, so you can educate your users here.

Much gratitude,

Hi Slumber_lover,

[quote]So, after reading your last post, I’m just going to breathe deeply, many times and suck it up! If it turns out too soft, I have to cross that bridge when I get there. :whistle:

I will keep you posted, so you can educate your users here.[/quote]

The initial break in period of a mattress is generally in the range of 30 days or so (although some materials can take a little longer in some cases up to about 90 days) and once you are past this you will have more of an idea of the longer term feel and performance of the mattress. This is one of the reasons why knowing the quality specs of the comfort layers can be so important because they are the biggest part of determining the quality of the material … especially in the top layers.

I’m looking forward to your next report and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that everything works out well in the meantime :slight_smile: