advice on composition and durability of online latex mattresses

I am looking for assistance in deciding on a mattress. I am looking to get a latex mattress, as they really do seem the best option for me. I am looking for a queen or king in the max $1500 range. I weigh about 140 and am 5’3", and my husband is about 5’10" and weighs about 160. He is a hard sleeper and will sleep on most anything, he mostly sleeps in his side and stomach. I am a very light sleeper and have lower back pain issues,( I have had herniated disks), I mostly sleep on my back and sometimes side. He is also a very active sleeper and since, I am a light sleeper, motion isolation is very important as well, he keeps me up! We both like a firmer mattress, when we were mattress shopping, the only mattresses that we considered, when trying them out in show rooms, were the most firm mattresses that each line/manufacturer had to offer. We do not like the memory foam feeling of “sinking in” to a mattress and softer mattresses tend to really aggravate my back. And here is the kicker…we live in Tok, Alaska a very small rural community, no mattress stores around. We have gone into Fairbanks (the biggest city around) to do some mattress testing, but no one in town carried a full latex bed for us to even try out. So, we are stuck with getting something online without ever even having tried out the different kinds and layers of latex.

I have been trying to do alot of research, but of course it is very confusing and overwhelming. I am not entirely sure whether Talalay or Dunlop, or a mixture of both, would be the best option for us. It seems that Dunlop may be firmer? I have been looking at mattresses that have a Dunlop core and a Talalay topper, but not sure if this is the best combination or not. I am EXTREMELY concerned about longevity and not getting something that will develop depressions over time, I want this mattress to last a long time. Obviously our location throws another level of concern, the extra shipping charges are going to be a consideration, as is the ease of the possible return or exchange. Obviously since we will be buying it sight unseen, I want a generous exchange/return policy since we may not get it right the first time, but return shipping fees can be extensive from Alaska. For these reasons, I was leaning toward a custom layered mattress that I would only need to return certain layers instead of the whole thing. However I have also been reading that these might not provide as much support or may not last as long as a thicker solid core and a mattress that is all fused together. I have also been reading that completely natural latex, as opposed to a blend of natural and synthetic, may be more durable in the long run, though I am having a hard time wading through these companies websites and deciphering what they actually offer and what is in each layer -(it seems that there are many different definitions of “natural”) :S

I would really like advice on what type of latex, how thick of a mattress, and what composition of layers, you would recommend for someone with our sleep profiles. And then of course which manufacture you would recommend that can give us the best durability and quality for value with generous exchange/return and shipping policies.

The places I have been looking include:

Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!!

Hi nicoleak,

The first place I would start your research is the tutorial post here and in your case the optional step 6 which includes a link to the members here that sell latex mattresses online that include a wide range of options, designs, materials, and prices. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from any of them if they were a good match for the parts of your personal value equation that were most important to you (types of latex and mattress designs they have available, options available to customize a mattress both before and after a purchase, return or exchange policies, price, etc).

There is more about the different types and blends of latex in this article and post #6 here. Which type of latex you choose is really a matter of personal preference and your budget and not so much a “better /worse” choice (all the latex you will encounter would be a good quality material).

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Fairbanks area are listed in post #2 here.

The best source of guidance and information about which mattress would be best for you would always be a more detailed phone conversation with the online retailer or manufacturer themselves who will know more about their own mattresses and be in the best position to give you good guidance about which of the options they have available would have the best chance of being the best match for you in terms of PPP (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).


Hi Nicoleak,

I’m thinking of ordering the 9" Dunlop Roma mattress from Sleep EZ. It’s firm on one side and medium on the other. You can put which ever side up that you like best. They’re on sale right now. Sleep EZ’s 3" soft blended talalay toppers are also on sale till May 1st, and I’m thinking of ordering one of those to go on top of the Dunlop. It ought to be a good bed at a great price. I haven’t done it yet because it’s so hard for me to order something so important like a bed online. I’m sure it would be a royal pain to send it back to Sleep EZ!

Hi soreshoulders,

The Roma is certainly a great quality/value choice and is well worth considering and if you need or prefer a softer sleeping surface then an additional topper could also be a good idea.

I would just make sure you talk with them first if you are planning on adding a topper so that they can give you some guidance about how the combination may work for you … at least based on “averages”. In most cases where someone is considering a mattress / topper combination I would suggest that they try the mattress first and then add a topper using the topper guidelines here and their sleeping experience on the mattress as a reference but if your conversation with them clearly indicates that you would likely be better off starting with a softer surface then adding the topper at the same time may be a good option.

The Roma would certainly be costly to return because it would need to be shipped truck freight but it could also be a very good base for a topper and returning or exchanging the topper would be much easier and less costly because it can be shipped by courier (although it would still be more costly from Alaska).


Thanks, Phoenix, for your advice!

I talked with Shawn at Sleep EZ today about my concerns with the difficulty of sending the Roma mattress back if it doesn’t work out. He told me they would have us donate it to the Salvation Army and then would credit our money back minus $99 when we sent them a copy of the donation slip. I should ask Salvation Army if they take donated mattresses. I’m pretty sure the mattress would be fine for us, but I’m covering my bases, just in case.

Maybe I should take a trip to Arizona and check them out in person! :slight_smile:

Hi soreshoulders,

That’s great to know and it would certainly reduce the risk or your purchase. Thanks for letting us know :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for all your great info. I have been doing alot more research and I have my choices narrowed down to two different mattresses. One is from Sleep EZ, they have a special right now on an 8" mattress with 2- 3" layers of Dunlop and one 2" layer of Talalay . This seems like a great mattress in my price range and lots of options for firmness layering. I like a firm bed so I am thinking of a medium or firm 2" Talalay layer with a firm, then extra firm 3" Dunlop layer. The guy at Sleep EZ originally recommended a softer mattress based on my BMI and sleep position, but I am worried about getting something too soft and the pain and cost of having to send it back.

The other option I am looking at is at They have some DIY components that would put a nice mattress in my price range. It would be an extra firm 6" core of blended Talalay (46-50 ILD) with a 3" topper of blended Talalay. The guy there recommended a super plush topper since the core was so hard. Save Big with DIY Latex Mattress Components, Latex Mattresses-Talalay and Dunlop, All Products, . Because of the firmness of this core, he said that this option would last a REALLY long time since it is so solid. That is definitely appealing to me because I am very concerned about longevity and the mattress compressing and breaking down over time, I want this purchase to last awhile. One thing I am concerned about is the fact that it is a blend instead of all natural latex. Everything I have read so far has said that all natural will last longer and is a better product overall. I am also slightly concerned that it might be a tad too firm. There is also less option for exchanging as it is only 2 layers instead of three.

What is your opinion on these two beds and what do you think would serve me better in the long run. Price wise they are about the same when you factor in the different shipping costs to get them to AK.

Thanks so much again!

Hi nicoleak,

I would keep in mind that most mattresses will tend to soften or break down from the top down so the the upper comfort layers will usually be the limiting factor in the useful life of a mattress and not so much the deeper support layers.

I don’t know where you read this but there is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here. While latex in general is a more durable material relative to other types of foam … blended Talalay (at least in softer versions) will likely be more durable (in the case of Latex International) or in about the same durability range (in the case of Radium) as the 100% natural made by each manufacturer. Some of the other factors that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress are in post #4 here.

While there are too many variables and unknowns for me (or anyone) to know which mattress would be a better match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) until you have slept on it (which is the most important part of the “value” of a mattress purchase) … I can tell you that both of them use high quality materials and there are no obvious weak links in either one in terms of quality and durability. Which one is best for you would depend on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you but when there isn’t a clear “winner” between two finalists then post #2 here may help you when you are making final choices between “good and good”.

Both SleepEz and Arizona Premium Mattress are members here which means I think highly of both of them and I believe they both compete well with the best in the industry. It would be difficult to make a “mistake” in terms of quality or value if you are making a purchase from either one of them.