I tried both the PLB Beautiful and Healthy Back “Elegance” models today. The Healthy Back Elegance model is supposed to be the equivalent to the Beautiful.
PLB Beautiful is comprised of:
3" of 21 ILD Celsion (aka ActiveFusion)
3" of 24 ILD
6" of 36 ILD
Healthy Back Elegance is comprised of:
1" Celsion (ILD not stated - I assume 15 or 21?)
4" of Talalay (ILD not stated - I assume 24?)
6" of 36 ILD
1" of firm support foam (I assume ILD of 50)
Interestingly, the store where I tried the PLB Beautiful had it on a split foundation. 1 side consisted of a PLB “latex” foundation ($$$) which I was told contained 4" of 14 ILD latex on top. The other half of the foundation was rock solid and flat - no slats.
The side on top of the latex foundation was significantly more plush and comfortable for me as a side sleeper (I spent an hour laying on the bed all total trying each side). I didn’t really notice any alignment issues from the mattress being too plush or anything (I’m 5’11", 160lbs). I didn’t really care for the side on top of the solid foundation. It just felt a little too firm which seemed odd to me considering how soft the Beautiful is supposed to be. The salesman gave me some of the PLB toppers to try for the firmer side and I hated them all! I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply do not like toppers for whatever reason (I’ve tried a million of them on my bed at home recently including various latex and memory foam models). Next, we placed a 3" PLB latex topper UNDER the mattress on top of the flat foundation. To both of our surprise, this made the mattress more comfortable and made the 2 halves feel very similar (the other half being the side with the 4" PLB latex foundation). He laughed and joked about inventing a new term just then “pillow bottom”.
What gives? I wasn’t expecting that putting a soft latex topper under a 12" thick bed would even be noticeable, but it definitely was. I MUCH preferred the feel of the topper on the bottom vs. the top! Apparently PLB knows that there is some benefit to this approach since they are selling very expensive foundations with 4" of soft latex built into the top of them! Of course, it’s cheaper to just buy and add a topper to your foundation yourself vs. buying a latex foundation from PLB (I think it’s over $1k for the foundation).
On my way home I stopped by the Healthy Back store since they are also listed as a PLB retailer. The Healthy Back Elegance is supposed to be the equivalent of the PLB Beautiful, but as you can see above, the specs are a bit different. The Elegance was on a solid foundation without slats (no split foundation this time so no latex foundation to test). I laid on the Elegance for awhile and to me it seemed slightly more comfortable on the solid foundation than the Beautiful did. It’s hard to say for sure though, as the beds were in different stores, 20 minutes apart.
I’ve decided I want a latex bed. I’m tired of trying to make my Simmons innerspring mattress more comfortable and I’ve tried multiple toppers without success (despite what I posted a week or two ago about the Aerus topper - I need to recant that statement as I found that it was causing serious alignment issues and making my hip pain worse after a few days of use).
Now I just need to decide whether I should go with a model like I tried today or if I should try to build a configuration at Flobeds that’s similar (but not necessarily identical). Flobeds uses their soft convoluted topper on top and has recommended that I use a Medium (28 ILD) comfort layer over Firm (32 ILD) and XFirm (36 ILD) as my base layers. I’m wondering if this might provide me with the little bit of extra softness I might not be getting in the 6" 36 ILD base layer of the PLB beds? Phoenix - thoughts? I still find it crazy that a soft 3-4" piece of latex UNDER the PLB Beautiful bed made such a noticeable difference!
Additionally, both retailers told me that I needed to use a SOLID foundation and that my slats wouldn’t support the latex over time (it would find it’s way in-between the slats). They weren’t necessarily trying to sell me a foundation, as they even suggested I simply have Home Depot cut me some plywood to put over the slats in my platform bed to make it solid. The slats on my platform bed are spaced 2.25" apart. I don’t mind getting plywood, although I’m worried about it making the new bed even firmer after testing mattresses on solid foundations today. I’m also guessing that I’d want to drill a bunch of small holes throughout the entire sheet of plywood to allow for ventilation or something (they didn’t mention this). Thoughts?
What to do, what to do. I’m 5’11", 160 lbs and a side sleeper. Been having horrible hip pain and our innerspring just feels way too firm for both me and my wife lately (purchased less than a year ago and this was not the case initially, so way to go Simmons!). My wife is about 110 lbs and also a side sleeper. We’re both having the exact same pain in our hips and the bed feels like a rock. I guess one of the benefits of going with a split configuration such as Flobeds is that we can configure each side separately if needed. I’m not positive that this is necessary though. Flobeds recommended a Soft (19 ILD) over Medium (28 ILD) over Firm (32 ILD) for my wife which should in theory be a lot softer than the PLB Beautiful which uses 6" of 36 ILD for the base, although I’m not sure she needs her side to be softer than mine.
Appreciate any thoughts Phoenix or anyone else can offer!