3-4 parts or 2 parts, that is the question......

Phoenix, I do have one quick question. I looked this evening and found an 11" Dunlop Natural Latex bed at a reasonable price of $2399 with a poly top/latex top (only a $100 difference). The question I have, is that it comes in 2 5.5" pieces to make the 11". Everywhere else I look I see that a 9-12" mattress is constructed of 3 different latex layers of 3" at a time(Sleep EZ) or even 2" and then 5", etc. (My Green Mattress). Is there a major difference in getting 10-12" of natural Dunlop Latex in 3 parts or in two parts while they still equal the same overall number? This is the only thing confusing me before I purchase.

Your help is appreciated.

Hi Kimmer5,

The goal of a mattress is to provide you with what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) and there are many different types of layering and different designs that can do this. If you have tested the mattress carefully and it matches your needs and preferences … then the layering that goes into it is not nearly as important as the quality of the materials themselves. Different types of layering are just part of different designs in other words. There are some manufacturers for example who rather than using thinner layers of softer latex in their comfort layers will add thicker layers of firmer latex to reach a similar end result (in many cases they prefer firmer latex for durability reasons).

If the mattress you are considering has 11" of latex then I would compare it to other mattresses that used a similar amount of latex in “apples to apples” comparisons in terms of the “cost of materials”.

I would also want to know the type and blend of latex they were using though and if it does have any polyfoam in the comfort layers I would make sure that it wasn’t more than an inch or so. If you are comparing to other mattresses … I would also make sure you considered any differences in the ticking and quilting used in each because these can play a significant part in both the feel and performance of the mattress and in the cost of the materials that go into it (and the price you pay of course).

Hope this helps



I should clarify. The mattress qualities are identical. Both are Dunlop latex. Both will be top layered medium. Only difference is middle layer of medium on one (because of 3" piece verus 5.5"). Can you tell me any benefits of having a 2 5.5" core pieces of 100% Dunlop latex (medium, firm) versus 3 3" core pieces of 100% Dunmlop latex (medium, medium, firm)? They feel the same to me and that is the issue. The long term durability and reliability between a large piece versus smaller piece of latex is I guess the more specific question. PPP is out the equation at this stage because they feel identical to me but the cores are different.


Hi Kimmer5,

Strictly in terms of durability … the most important factor would be the quality of the material. In this case they are the same so from this perspective they would be the same.

The next factor in durability would be the firmness of the layers. Softer layers would be less durable than firmer materials of the same type. If I understand you correctly … the first mattress would be (top to bottom)…

5.5" Medium Dunlop
5.5" Firm Dunlop

and the second would be (again top to bottom)

3" medium Dunlop
3" Medium Dunlop
3" Firm Dunlop

Since both of these would have the same top 6" or so I would also call this a wash.

Some other smaller factors would include that 2 separate layers tend to be a bit softer and react more individually than a single layer of the same thickness which are unglued so in theory the single layer may be a bit more durable although how much practical difference this actually may have would be difficult to quantify in real life.

Finally there is a difference in overall thickness and a slightly thicker mattress may have a bit of a durability advantage over a thinner mattress because the compression forces are being distributed over a greater thickness but once again while this may be true in theory … it would be difficult to quantify in real life.

Besides any theoretical difference in durability, the three layered mattress would have the advantage of being able to customize its feel and performance to finer degrees (through changing or exchanging layers) or replacing the top 3" only if necessary than a mattress that only had two layers for those where this may be important.

So they would be very close in my opinion in terms of durability (at least in practical terms) but if I had to choose one over the other that “in theory” may be more durable it would be the one with the two layers and greater overall thickness even though this may not translate into a difference that can be accurately measured in real life.