All Latex vs. Latex/Innerspring Hybrid

Hi Phoenix,

I am in the research stages of purchasing a new mattress. I haven’t actually tested out any mattresses yet, but after some preliminary research, I am leaning towards all latex or a latex/innerspring (pocket coil) hybrid. However, I’m not sure which would be better suited for my husband and I. What are the pros and cons for each when comparing the two? We are both back/side sleepers. We currently have a memory foam topper over an innerspring. While I do love the motion isolation benefits of the memory foam (a quality I would like to have with the new mattress purchase), I do find that for us we slept much too hot. I know switching to latex will allow us to sleep much cooler, but how well does latex or latex/innerspring hybrid perform with regard to motion isolation? We also have a slat bed frame and would not be using a foundation. Would this be fine to use for both types of mattresses?

As far as cost, in general which would be the more pricey option?

I am in the San Jose area and noticed that Bay Bed & Mattress comes highly recommended by you and they manufacture customized hybrid latex/innerspring beds, so I will probably check them out.

Do you have any opinions about California Mattress in Campbell?

I still have not had a response on my thread. Anxiously awaiting a response, please, any would be much appreciated.

Before any responses, I would like to mention that I am now looking into all latex or latex/memory foam options. I decided that since latex already has some quick response properties, an innerspring core might be too “bouncy”. Does the latter exist and if so, can you provide manufacturers/retailers near San Jose that have these options available?

Thank you!

Hi gellibelly,

The mattresses section of the site (particularly the comfort layers section and the support layers section) has a lot of information about the different materials that are used in the comfort and support layers of a mattress but the information may be more in depth than you want to “study” or even be able to really make sense of or “translate” without personal experience on the materials or components themselves so I would just scan the overviews for some basic information and to help you ask better questions when you are testing mattresses and then use your mattress testing and the guidance of the people at some of the better outlets near you to give you a better sense in “real life” of the pros and cons of different materials that are important to you. It is more about preferences than better or worse in other words. I would make your personal experiences more important than the “specs” because both innersprings and latex cores are very durable but the more important differences are the ones you can feel. The weak link of a mattress will normally be he comfort layers anyway and this is where it is the most important to use high quality and durable materials regardless of the type of support layer you choose for either performance reasons or budget reasons.

Latex is generally considered to be among the best options in terms of motion isolation in either comfort or support layers but there are a few people who can feel “vibrations” through the mattress in certain constructions or layering (generally softer). It is very “point elastic” which means that when it is compressed it has little effect on the area around it (like memory foam). Having said that … it is not quite as good as memory foam which is an energy absorbing material rather than latex which is a resilient material and returns energy rather than absorbs it. Your own testing once again will help you “translate” this into your own experience and perceptions.

A slatted bed frame with closely spaced slats would be well suited for a foam core mattress but most spring mattresses that are designed to be used on a rigid foundation or semi-flex foundation will be fine with them as well. If there is any doubt … each manufacturer will be able to tell you whether any particular base would be suitable for the mattress they make and how it would affect the warranty (there are many different warranty conditions between manufacturers). In most cases though, a foundation would be optional for height reasons with a platform bed.

While there is a wide range of prices between the many variations of each material and components … in general latex is the most expensive support layer. Polyfoam as a rule is the least and springs are in the middle although there is a wide range of quality, types, and cost in each category.

As you know … I think very highly of Dan at BayBed. His component innerspring designs with latex comfort layers are customizable, unique, and have great quality and value and are well worth including in your research. Some of the better options in the San Jose area are in Post #2 here.

I know nothing about them other than the brands their website indicates they carry. Pure Latex Bliss mattresses are an all Talalay latex mattress which is better quality/value than most mainstream brands but not usually in the same value range as mattresses made by many local manufacturers. Diamond Mattress are made in California and are also a better than average quality/value choice compared to many other manufacturers and are doing some good things IMO. The OMI they also carry are high quality but I believe they are overpriced and cater to the “organic” market which is often willing to pay more for a mattress than the materials would seem to justify or compared to other mattresses that use similar materials and components.


Thank you so much for your reply, Phoenix. My husband and I actually stopped by California Mattress this evening and were finally able to test out the Pure Latex Bliss line for the very first time. I just wanted to let you know that the owner, Steve, and his wife, Ann, were very helpful and quite knowledgable about mattress (moreso than the average salesperson). He has worked at retail chain mattress stores and so witnessed a lot of the “shadiness” going on there. He was driven to open a mattress store that was honest to customers and provided higher quality products. They typically close at 8pm on weekdays but they were willing to stay open later once I mentioned we would like to drop in close to closing time. We stayed about an hour after closing and they were very patient and helpful the entire time.

It wasn’t surprising that I liked a more plush mattress and my husband liked one that was more firm (this has always been the case). I have also decided that I definitely want to go the all latex route. The motion isolation was an issue for me but after testing I thought the PLB mattresses handled the motion isolation very well. My intention was to get an idea for what latex mattresses would feel like (prior to this I had never tried one) and use this as a reference point in customizing one of our own. Based on our testing, this is what we liked:

  • I liked the 100% Natural PLB Beautiful (husband felt this was too soft)
  • We both seemed to like the Pamper with a 3" or 4" topper (plush for me but enough support for husband) - I really didn’t want to have to buy a topper… I just hoped to find a mattress that suited both of us “as is”
  • Nature and Nutrition (this was a nice medium for both of us, a "compromise). It was hard for me to feel the difference between the two but Ann and Steve mentioned that the Nature was only on the floor for two weeks so it probably is still in its break-in period.

I have read in other posts that PLB tends to be softer than other latex mattresses. Now that we have tested PLB out, should we then go firmer on the ILDs in customizing a mattress from say, SleepEZ, based on the old ILD specs of PLB mattresses that we like (I’m aware the new ILD specs are not readily available for PLB)? I’m deathly afraid of custom ordering a mattress online and then realizing what we thought we wanted isn’t really what we wanted.

In addition, other than SleepEZ, what other good local or online all latex retailers/manufacturers would you recommend that provide good quality and value?

Hi Phoenix,

Sorry for the back to back posts but after some discussion with the husband, I think we are going to go the more affordable route and purchase a King latex/polyfoam hybrid from Brooklyn Bedding.

Given the feedback I have provided on our testing with PLB, what comfort level do you think will suit us best? I am not really sure how our trials on an all latex mattress will translate to a latex/polyfoam hybrid. A little more about us:

ME: 5’6", 120lb, side and back sleeper
HIM: 5’9", 135, side and back sleeper

Thanks again!

Hi gellibelly,

The best source for an individual recommendation for a specific mattresses would always be a phone conversation with the manufacturer themselves where you can provide your “statistics” and some feedback about your testing directly to them. They know the more detailed specifics of every layer and component of their mattress and how they all interact together and with different types of people and preferences. They also have a large customer base which they can use as a reference point for each mattress and option they make. With high quality and knowledgeable manufacturers like the members of the site … their recommendation would always be more accurate than what I call “theory at a distance” or the more general height/weight, sleeping position, or layering guidelines in the mattresses section of the site.


Thank you Phoenix. I will try to contact Chuck directly. In the meantime, are there other latex/polyfoam hybrid brands you can recommend I try that might be closer in feel to an Ultimate Dreams bed as opposed to all latex?

Hi gellibelly,

There are many brands that make this type of general construction (a few inches of latex over polyfoam with or without some type of quilting layer) but this general construction also has a very wide range of “feel” and performance depending on the specifics of the type of latex used, the ILD (softness/firmness) of the latex, the type and firmness of the polyfoam base layer, the thickness of each layer, and the type and construction of the quilting/ticking layer. All the different layers interact with each other and even in this general “category” of mattress (latex polyfoam hybrid) there is a very wide range of possibilities.

There are so many variables that local testing can give you a general sense of various materials and components but not the specific feel and performance of a particular combination of materials unless they are exactly the same.

For example … if you go to Ergo Sleep Systems here … you will find a de Courcy and Company polyfoam/latex hybrid which has a similar construction but the cover is different, there is no polyfoam quilting layer, the latex is Dunlop and may have a different ILD (firmness level) than any of the options you may choose from Dreamfoam, and the ILD and type of polyfoam in the base layer is unknown. In other words … while this may give you a general sense of the “overall feel” of this type of construction and it may even “match” your needs and preferences … it won’t “match” the specific pressure relief, alignment, and preferences that you may experience in another mattress that uses very similar materials in different versions or firmness levels. With more information about the specifics used in the de Courcy mattress … it could provide a general guideline but it still wouldn’t be a “target” to be “duplicated” which wouldn’t be possible with the different types of materials and components in each mattress even if they are in the same “category”. This is where the knowledge and experience of a manufacturer can come in handy to help you “translate” one type of construction (if you have all the specific details) into another.

Some of the Diamond mattresses also are in this general category of latex/polyfoam mattress (for example the Ethos peace) but again the differences would result in two mattresses that could be very different even though they were “roughly” similar.

Even PLB and (dozens of other manufacturers) has a latex/polyfoam hybrid which is similar (the PLB hybrid 3.0 Harmony has 3’ of talalay latex over a polyfoam core) but it has no quilting layer and the specific details or the “comfort specs” of each layer (such as ILD) are not known.

So to find a mattress in any particular area that was similar (and many of the “brands” that make a mattress like this such as Restonic or Therapedic … which are groups of independent licensee factories that use the same name … can make mattresses differently in each area) would require calling different retail outlets and asking …

and hope that they knew enough about the mattresses they carried to make a suggestion that was accurate. The brand wouldn’t matter (there are dozens who make something similar) … only the construction. The more you know about the details of your local testing … the more valuable it may be as a guideline. The most important information would be the ILD of the comfort layer and the type of latex as these would be two of the most important “comfort specs” and many won’t even know the ILD of the mattresses they carry because it is not a factor in the quality of the mattress. There would also be little reason for them to find out or give them to you when the comfort and support of a mattress can be tested for without knowing these “comfort specs”.

So I would tend to use local testing as a guideline but not as a specific “blueprint” and then you would need to “trust” the guidance of the manufacturer and their ability to help you make the best possible “comfort” decisions based on a combination of your feedback, their knowledge, and the “averages” of their customer base that may have a similar body type or sleeping position to you.

[quote] have read in other posts that PLB tends to be softer than other latex mattresses. Now that we have tested PLB out, should we then go firmer on the ILDs in customizing a mattress from say, SleepEZ, based on the old ILD specs of PLB mattresses that we like (I’m aware the new ILD specs are not readily available for PLB)? I’m deathly afraid of custom ordering a mattress online and then realizing what we thought we wanted isn’t really what we wanted.

In addition, other than SleepEZ, what other good local or online all latex retailers/manufacturers would you recommend that provide good quality and value? [/quote]

The old “specs” of the PLB are in this thread and as you can see they tend to use various layers of 19 ILD on top. The toppers (they are usually 2" and 3") are in the 14 - 15 ILD range. One of the advantages of some of the online manufacturers is that they allow for a layer exchange which means that you can make changes to a specific layer if it doesn’t quite “fit” what you are looking for. Bear in mind too that the 19 ILD latex in the PLB is a bit softer than the “standard” soft layers of many online manufacturers such as SleepEz and also that layer thickness and the layers that are over and under every other layer will affect how the mattress feels and performs. In other words you can’t “isolate” each layer and “duplicate” it without taking into account how every other layer and component affects it. The fact that you liked the PLB Beautiful says you like soft latex and you can take this into account but the Beautiful may also not provide you with the best alignment (unless you specifically tested for this as well and not just “comfort” which is subjective).

The bottom line is that there is really no way to remove the “risk” of an online purchase completely and trying to make it as “safe” as a local purchase just isn’t possible. You can reduce the risk however through seeing “patterns” in your local testing (and many may not have enough time or energy to do local testing that is so extensive and requires a lot of effort to find out specs from many places that may not have them or be willing to provide them) and through the return or exchange policies of various manufacturers that provide recourse after a purchase. These policies and options are all “built in” in varying degrees into the mattress purchase and price of the mattress.

Of course the “benefit” of online manufacturers … especially the better ones … are that they provide a source of quality and value (however each person defines value) to areas of the country where the same type of value may not exist locally. While there is no way to know with absolute certainty how an online mattress may feel and perform (unless you have tested the exact same mattress locally) … the goal is to tilt the odds in your favor of making the best possible choice so that an online purchase is within your own personal “risk tolerance”.

Post #21 here has a list of many of the best online and “on the phone” manufacturers that I know of. All of them are members of this site which means that I think very highly of the quality and value of the mattresses they make and sell along with their knowledge, service, options, and guiidance. There is a wide range of different options, prices, features, and benefits in the list but all of them are among the “best of the best” IMO (which of course is why I invited them to become members).


Thank you once again, Phoenix, for your prompt and thoughtful response. I took the liberty of going to Famous Mattress and testing out the Ethos Natural Peace since it was close by. Surprisingly, I ended up loving the feel of this bed more than any of the Pure Latex Bliss mattresses that I tried (Nature and Nutrition)! The Ethos Natural Peace Firmness Level I liked was their Medium, which is considered a 6 on their firmness scale of 1-10, with 10 being the plushest and 1 being the firmest. It provided nice, solid support for my back as well as on my side, but had the right amount of “sinking in”. It felt as near to perfection for me as I have found yet, but it also cost $2199, so it is hard for me to justify the price when I can get go with the Ultimate Dreams bed for much much less with high quality materials even if it is a little riskier.I was especially surprised considering the Ethos Natural only has a 2" comfort layer as opposed to PLBs 3" comfort layer. I guess this goes to show that you really do have to consider all components to determine what the right feel is for you. I do understand that this will only provide a “rough” basis for what the kind of firmness I want in the Ultimate Dreams bed since not all components are equal in both of these mattresses, but perhaps this feedback will assist Chuck in honing in on the right firmness for us.

I was wondering if you had any information on the specs of the Ethos Natural Peace (ILDs for each layer, type of polyfoam, type of quilting/ticking)? So far I only know that it has a 2" Talalay comfort layer (I’m assuming this is a blend since their website says “2” Talalay latex Eco-Flex Plant Based Comfort Layers), Eco-Flex plant based support system, and Orthopedic Eco-Flex Plant-Based Base Layer. Is the orthopedic Eco-Flex Base Layer different from the “support system” or does that just mean it’s another support layer with just a higher ILD on the bottom?

I don’t really know how the cover influences how the mattress will feel/breathe (I haven’t done as much research in this area), but the cover they use on this mattress is Organic Cotton 4-Way Super-Stretch Knit Cover, which felt great for me.

Thanks again, and as always, your feedback is very much appreciated.

  • Gelli

I forgot to mention that the Ethos Natural Peace Firmness Level I liked was their Medium, which is considered a 6 on their firmness scale of 1-10, with 10 being the plushest and 1 being the firmest. It provided nice, solid support for my back as well as on my side, but had the right amount of “sinking in”. It felt as near to perfection for me as I have found yet, but it also cost $2199, so it is hard for me to justify the price when I can get go with the Ultimate Dreams bed for much much less with high quality materials even if it is a little riskier.

Hi gellibelly,

Unfortunately I don’t. I have tried to talk with them on many occasions to talk about there mattresses (and others have as well) but they have never returned my calls. while I like some of the things they are doing and they have better than average value (depending on the retail outlet that sells them) … they are not very responsive to consumer phone calls when the retailers don’t have answers to questions. They could do a lot better in this area.

The Peace comes in 3 firmness levels as you know and each has a comfort layer made up of 2" of latex along with various layers of softer polyfoam (they change these layers in each model to change the feel) and then they have a firmer polyfoam base layer (for support) as well. The middle polyfoam layers are partly for pressure relief (they work with the latex) and partly as a transition between the softer comfort layers and the firmer support layer. Eco-Flex is just polyfoam that has replaced a small percentage of the petrochemical polyols (one of the two main chemicals used to make polyfoam and memory foam) with a plant oil based substitute. It is basically another name for polyfoam but most manufacturers exaggerate how “green” this is to attract those who want more natural materials in their mattress and don’t realize that it is still primarily a petrochemical based foam. It’s called “greenwashing” :).

Because the specs aren’t available … perhaps the two most important things that you can use from this is that you like the feel of having some latex on top of your mattress and that an “in the middle” feel works well for you. Their “rating system” goes from one to ten and so does Dreamfoam so while they won’t be the same and the layering is different in each mattress … it can at least give you a rough guideline as to the firmness level you prefer.

4 way stretch cotton is a very good quality and breathable (temperature regulating) cover. It also puts you right on top of the latex so the latex feel comes through more. The quilting in the Dreamfoam would slightly reduce the feeling of the latex and make a slightly softer and less resilient surface feel (which some people actually prefer while some prefer the feel of being right on top of the latex).

Temperature regulation and ventilation in a mattress comes from a combination of several different components and layers including the breathability of the foam in the upper layers, the breathability of the quilting and ticking in the mattress (natural fibers are best here), the mattress protector, and the sheets and bedding. All of these work together to either enhance or reduce temperature regulation and allow for ventilation and humidity control. there is more about temperature regulation in post #2 here.


One of my biggest concerns is about the 1.5 inches of super soft reflex foam on incorporated into the quilted bamboo cover. Since the Ethos Natural Peace did not have additional foam on top, other than the stretch knit cover we were lying directly on the latex and I happened to really like this feel. But then again it was also only 2" paired with what seemed to be a support base with two levels of ILD. If I’m not mistaken the Ultimate Dreams bed is 3" latex + the 1.5" reflex foam with a polyfoam base that has the same ILD throughout. So maybe the reflex foam and additional 1" of latex will “offset” the fact that the base does not have a transitional layer like in the Ethos Natural Peace? Am I correct in making the comparisons here? Sorry if I am not making sense here, I’m trying to describe this as best as I can.

Also, what is your opinion about having this 1.5" reflex foam on top of the latex? What kind of quality foam is this and should we be concerned about any lumps/indentations/sag issues in the future since we won’t be lying directly on the latex itself?

Hi gellibelli,

You are right in your thinking but the two “combinations” will have a different feel to them.

When there is latex over soft polyfoam … then the surface feel will be more resilient but will be modified by the softness and feel of the thicker layers of polyfoam underneath.

With the Dreamfoam … the quilting layer will add a little bit less resilience and a softer hand feel to the latex but it is soft enough that most of the latex feel will “come through”.

The 1.5" quilting layer is actually less “risky” than having thicker layers of polyfoam under the latex because the quilting layer is already soft (by design so the latex comes through more) and further softening will allow even more of the latex feel. It is a high quality quilting foam which is breathable and specifically made for this purpose. With thicker layers of polyfoam under the latex … then any foam softening of the polyfoam will affect the feel and performance of the overall mattress more than a thinner quilting layer.

So one has a little more of the latex “surface feel” but is a little bit of a riskier construction in terms of how it will feel a year down the road and with deeper compression as you sink down more it will be more affected by the polyfoam layers. The other has a little less of the latex surface feel (mostly latex but not completely) but will keep the feel longer and the deeper compression will be more of the latex response. You are right that the polyfoam under the latex in the Dreamfoam is all one type and is a very high qualty 2.35 lb polyfoam which is very durable and likely higher quality than the base layers in the Diamond Peace (and most other polyfoam core mattresses for that matter).

Hopefully this can help you “imagine” what the differences between them may be in feel and long term performance and of course with the Dreamfoam you get to choose the firmness of the comfort layer as well based on your “stats” and also to the degree possible on your testing experiences. Based on the feedback on the forum and elsewhere (and on my knowledge and conversations with them) … they are very good at making good suggestions

Your comments made perfect sense to me and hopefully mine made as much sense to you :slight_smile: