Any other short and skinny people who prefer EXTRA FIRM mattresses?

I am 5’8" and 138 lbs, yet I prefer very firm mattresses. I currently sleep on the floor on a comforter over a thick piece of cardboard over berber carpeting and sleep well. When I had a mattress, I hard a rock hard one and liked it. Since I prefer very firm mattresses would it be a good or bad idea to go with a latex mattress with one of the three following setups:

Setup one:

  • top: 3" Dunlop 35 ILD

  • mddle: 3" Dunlop 40 ILD

  • bottom: 3" Dunlop 44 ILD

Setup two:

  • top: 2" Dunlop 36 ILD

  • bottom 6" Dunlop 44 ILD

Setup three:

  • top: 3: Dunlop 36 ILD

  • bottom 6 o 9 inch very firm innerspring mattress

Maybe I think I like something that’s actually bad for my pressure points and alignment? Maybe I’m fine now but in a few years I’ll develop a very bad back due to using a very firm mattress for my height and weight?

Hi jmattress,

There are many people with a thinner body build that much prefer firmer mattresses. In Asia where body types tend to be smaller, the most common mattress is a futon type which is very firm and some companies in North America specialize in making mattress for the Asian market because it can be difficult to find a mattress that is firm enough for those who are used to a very firm mattress. they certainly don’t develop bad backs.

Most people need fairly firmer support layer but the thickness and softness of the comfort layer is really dependent on body type, sleeping positions, and preferences. If the mattress provides you with good alignment in all your sleeping positions and you have the pressure relief you need and have no pressure point symptoms … then beyond this the choice of materials and construction is a matter of individual preference. Latex certainly has the benefits of being highly resilient, durable, point elastic, and very supportive.

The choice between a latex support core and an innerspring is also a matter of preference. Both can provide good support that keeps you in good alignment but they feel and respond differently.

There are so many variables in terms of what each person needs and prefers that best suggestion is to test different material combinations in stores (as much as possible) rather than trying to build a mattress based on specs that you have never tested in person. Your body will tell you much more than any specs about the type of mattress that suits you best.

If you prefer a firm mattress then a 6" layer of Dunlop with a good cover (perhaps even quilted with wool for temperature regulation and ventilation) may be all you need. Dunlop in particular has a higher sag factor which means that it can be a little softer on top (for a touch of softness and pressure relief) but gets firmer more quickly than talalay. There are often mattresses like this available locally that you could test and this would tell you how well any layering may work for you.

With your weight and preference for a firm mattress I’d probably go with a single 6" Dunlop core in the firmness level that you prefer. The alternative would be a two layer mattress with a little firmer layer underneath and a little softer on top (but still relatively firm) which can be made a little firmer yet than a single 6" layer. This way the support would be firmer than if you used the softer (say mid 30’s ILD) layer all the way through even though with your weight the natural ability of Dunlop to get firmer as it compresses may mean that a single layer in the mid 30’s may be all you need.

The only way to know for sure how you may feel about any particular Dunlop ILD would be to test it in person.

If you let me know your city or zip I’d be happy to let you know if there are any options available locally that I’m aware of.


I live in 96813, but I am willing to travel anywhere on the island of Oahu or other islands in Hawaii. Is it true that talalay is springy? I remember sampling a talalay latex pillow and noticed how springy the pillow was and the amount of pushback tension the pillow provided; the high tension painfully crushed my skull. I didn’t like how the pillow felt like hard jello.

Hi jmattress,


That must have been some hard latex pillow! I know that not everyone likes the feeling of solid latex in their pillow (some liken it to sleeping on a balloon) but I don’t think I’ve every heard it described as “skull crushing” :slight_smile:

The better options I’m aware of in Honolulu are in the post I linked in the other thread.