Best Mattress for a Back Issue

I’m new to this site and read the Phoenix review on the Sealy Posturepedic one day after I tested the Sealy Cason Bay Posturepedic Ultrafirm Set on sale at Sears for Approx. $650 ( Around my budget).Also the Phoenix advice to a member with back problems. I hope I can get some of the same help in choosing the best mattress. The specifics are; Male, 6’2", 210lbs., athletic, sleep mostly on side, have back issues live in the Los Angeles area.
My thoughts are getting a continuous spring, border rod, tight top, flippable, Full XL(which Sears has although the posturepedic is not 2 sided ). I would appreciate any help especially regarding Phoenix’s approach via local manufacturers.

Hi Recap … and welcome to the forum

Your budget may be a little on the low side for a quality mattress however here are a few ideas that may help you.

As you probably know from reading this site, a mattress really has two basic functions … these are comfort/pressure relief and support/spinal alignment. When a consumer has some back issues, the spinal alignment part of this is particularly important as sleeping out of alignment can certainly aggravate back issues.

Also as a side sleeper, while it is likely you will need a firm support layer to prevent your hips from sinking down too far, it is important that the comfort layer of your mattress provides the pressure relief you will need while sleeping on your side. A good starting point for a comfort layer in your testing is approximately 3" of a good quality pressure relieving material. As far as an innerspring, I would not worry too much about which type in your price range as long as it has at least a 400 coil count (in a queen) and has a gauge of 14 or better (for a lower coil count). More information about different innersprings can be found here Mattress support cores - Innersprings - The Mattress Underground

I personally believe that memory foam is not a great choice for a comfort layer for someone with back issues as it can soften over time and it will also “creep” during the night which can result in sleeping out of alignment as you sink down deeper over the course of the night. It is also very tricky to “get right”. Latex foam or alternatively a high quality polyurethane foam (HR polyfoam) are in my opinion better choices. Latex in particular has similar pressure relieving qualities to memory foam, will last much longer, and will not change in softness and support with changes in temperature or over the course of the night.

If you are willing to include a polyfoam support core as an option, you will also have more choices than limiting your choices to an innerspring. For example Walmart sells a mattress with a polyfoam support core and 3" of Talalay latex in the comfort layer for $505. While some of these have had issues decompressing after shipping (the support core did not fully expand), they are also returnable with Walmart’s return policy if this happens.

I would also tend to avoid the major mattress manufacturers (Sealy, Simmons, and Serta are some examples) who almost always use lower quality foams and who in my opinion charge too much for their mattresses in comparison with local manufacturers who use higher quality materials and charge less for them. While they do make some good mattresses, they do not usually represent good value when compared to other options.

The Cason Bay for example in the Ultra Firm has over 3" of lower quality foam over the innersprings which is the weakest link in the mattress and the first part of the mattress which will wear out and degrade. This is what leads to loss of comfort and support and body impressions. The less firm models have even more of this foam. Having said that, they are often available for well under $500 (in queen size) at the Sears discount outlets and at that price they may be worth considering if you know from field testing that they are suitable for your comfort and support needs even though they may not last as long as a higher quality mattress.

Flippable mattresses, particularly in a lower priced mattress, are well worth it as having two sides can result in significantly longer life and retention of comfort and support for a longer period of time. In the case of a latex comfort layer, a flippable mattress is not as important as the latex is extremely durable and resilient.

A Full XL is not a “normal” size and it may be wise to look at Queen as there may not be a lot of difference in price in many cases and it will give you more options to look at.

As I mentioned, a $650 budget is on the low end and if you can I would increase it slightly but if that is not possible … I would probably be looking at either latex over polyfoam or latex over innerspring construction in your mattress and if that is not possible then a high quality HR polyfoam over similar support cores.

Some manufacturers or direct outlets in the LA area that may be worth a call or visit to see what they have available are …

Good luck and if you need any further ideas or have questions please feel free to post them


Thank you for your prompt reply.Could you comment on the following issues regarding durability.
Border rods vs Foam encased.
Two sided vs No Flip.
Continuous Coil vs Independent coil.
Box spring vs Foundation

Thanks again.

Hi Recap,

The overall durability of a mattress depends on its weakest link which is usually any polyfoam in the mattress … particularly in the comfort layers. As far as the specific comparisons you are asking about though my thoughts are …

Border rods vs Foam encased.

Usually border rods will last longer than a foam encasement but like so many things in mattresses, the real answer is it depends to some degree on the gauge and type of the border rod, the type of foam encasement, the overall mattress construction, and the use of the mattress.

If a non hinged border rod is bent (by bending the mattress on an adjustable bed or in moving it for example), then it is not usually fixable. Border rods are found in many mattress innersprings as they are part of it’s construction and used to keep the shape of the mattress and as an attachment point for the coils on the edges of the mattress. Foam encasements can also be used to keep the shape of the mattress (in pocket coils for example) but are used more often to “stiffen” the edges so they don’t sink as much when sitting on the edges. Some non innersprings will use both … a border rod to attach to the coils and a foam encasement to stiffen the edges of the mattress. Some mattresses use a hinged border rod so they can be used on an adjustable bed. Some mattresses such as the Simmons natural care elite use a foam encasement made of firmer polyfoam which surrounds a latex foam core which is somewhat of a shame because while it will create a firmer edge of the mattress for some time, the polyfoam encasement will not last as long as the latex foam inside it and the mattress can end up with sagging edges. Overall though, even though their fiunctions do not completely overlap, border rods and innersprings in general will usually last longer than polyfoam materials.

Two sided vs No Flip.

Here there is no question … two sided mattreses will last significantly longer than no flip mattresses (assuming they are actually flipped and rotated). An exception to this may be latex which already is so durable that flipping may not have as obvious benefit in extending its life … although even here it would certainly lengthen its life and help keep its comfort an support properties. One of the saddest events in the industry was the general introduction of one sided mattresses which were promoted as a “benefit” while the reality was they were just cheaper to make.

Continuous coil vs Independent coil

This would also depend on the construction of each type of coil (gauge, number of turns, tempering, number of coils or coil equivalent, method of packing the independent coils, methods of connection the coils, and useage). While there would be a wide variety here and they can both outlast the polyfoam on top of it, I would give the overall nod to high quality independent coils over a continuous coil which tends to have a cheaper construction. Cheap independent coils would probably not last as long as a typical continuous coil.

Box spring vs Foundation

These are not strictly comparable as they have different uses. Box springs are part of the overall performance design of many innerspring mattresses and are part of the “sleep system”. The mattresses which are designed for use with a box spring depend on the boxspring for some of their qualities including durability. Foundations on the other hand are simply a support structure for a mattress and are used for innerspring mattresses that do not require a box spring and for most foam core mattresses (which do not perform well with a box spring) including most memory foam and latex foam mattresses. Overall though, a foundation would generally last longer as there are no moving parts and no springs to wear out. A mattress that is designed for a box spring would last longer with one than with a foundation.

Hope this helps … and thanks for the interesting questions :slight_smile:


Thanks again for your insight. I will do some retooling on my planning and try some field testing. Maybe I’ll have another question or two.

Field testing “with a plan” is one of the best parts of a mattress search … especially if the places you are testing are open about the construction of the mattresses that seem suitable for your needs and aren’t too focused on selling a “story”. If they’re not, then at least that information is usually available elsewhere.

Once you know the materials and construction (layer thickness and ILD etc) that works for you … then it’s just a matter of finding the best value for that type of construction.

Good luck :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

First of all…love the site. Very helpful as we begin to dip our toe into the pool of mattress buying. We live in the LA area so i checked out the links you posted:

They all look like very hi-quality places but don’t seem to be any cheaper than any of the big brands. I was thinking memory foam but you have me thinking more about latex now…although we still need to go test drive the mattress to see what we really like. Are these local places really about better quality and value and not less expensive? Also, you seem ok on costco mattresses. Is that were you get cheaper but not great quality? Like i said, we are new to this and trying to figure it. So far the site has been great.

Thanks again


Hi Chris … and welcome :slight_smile:

You’ve asked some great questions … especially about finding value … so I hope you don’t mind if my reply is a little lengthy.

First about Costco/Sams Club/Walmart type of outlets. In general, I wouldn’t look at most of the mattresses they carry (particularly the “S” brands which as you know I don’t believe have real value) however they do have some mattresses which have great value such as a few that I’ve linked in other posts. The reason I like them … especially in the lower price range … is that they are “no risk” because of their return policy and these few use good quality materials for the prices that they charge (have good value). If you have done some field testing and know the specifics of a mattress construction that is suitable, then a mattress from an online store like these is far less of a risk because you already know what a mattress that is made almost exactly the same way feels like and if you are completely wrong, then you are only out some time if you end up returning it. They also on occasion have higher quality mattresses available with good value and if someone was not able to find a high value manufacturer near them and did not want to order a mattress sight unseen and risk return charges, then these would be a risk free way to purchase a mattress that would not cost you anything to return. My preference in the case of a higher cost mattress would be to do some field testing and then order from an online factory direct outlet such as some of our members as I believe they have greater value yet and offer more flexibility and better advice however they would normally have some charges involved in making an exchange while Costco etc doesn’t.

Some of our members specialize in online purchases an ship across the country and if your field testing gives you a clear idea of the specific construction that works for your needs, then it is a simple matter to duplicate the construction that “works” using the same or very similar materials. Some of these online members also have great return policies if you “get it wrong” and if you are only a “little bit off” they also offer “layer exchanges” to fine tune your mattress to your preferences without having to exchange the whole mattress.

In general terms, there are really two broad parts to finding your perfect mattress …

The first of these is finding the best construction for your needs (which is the first 3 of the “5 steps to your perfect mattress” outlined on this site. This can be done using the information on this site and doing field testing at any store that will tell you what is in every layer of the mattress that works best for you. Once you know the makeup of these layers, then it is easy to duplicate that specific construction with a reasonable certainty that it will feel the same as the one you field tested.

The biggest advantage of doing field testing at local manufacturers is that almost all of them will tell you exactly what is in their mattress. This gives you the chance to do comparison shopping both at local outlets and through online merchants. Not every local manufacturer of course offers great value however as a group the value there is better than other “categories” of outlets and they are great places for field testing. Other stores that will tell you exactly what is in their mattresses (show you cutaways with each layer and describe each layer) are also good places for field testing.

For example if you go here

You will see a mattress that has what looks like some polyfoam and some latex over an innerspring and a very general description of this mattress. If you were to phone them or go there, they would (or at least should) give you much more specific information about the density, thickness, and ILD of all the layers and even compare their polyfoam layers to the polyfoam layers of major manufacturers. You would likely find that the polyfoam they use is higher quality (HD or HR polyfoam) than the major manufacturers which means it would last longer and would probably cost less … and possibly substantially less … than a major manufacturer using the same or almost the same materials. They would (or should) also give you more specific information about the latex they use and how thick the layer is. If for some reason their “equivalent” mattress was the same price as an almost identical mattress made by a major manufacturer, then they would still be good for field testing to find out what construction works for you but I would not buy from them.

If you go here

You would see some all latex mattresses that contain about 9" of latex and then have a natural cotton and wool quilting/ticking and that are about $1999 or slightly more if it is customized to have individual left an right sides. If for example you were to go there and found that they used a 36ILD core and that their soft latex was 22 ILD (and you knew the type of latex they were using either Talalay or Dunlop which they would certainly tell you) then you coul duplicate this at any mattress manufacturer and have a mattress that was close to identical. This way you could make a few calls and see if their specific mattress was the best value available to you. If you look at all latex mattresses by a major manufacturer (or even “mostly latex”) you will find that they will almost always be substantially more than this.

If for example you compare this with the Sealy Embody mattress sold at US-Mattress here … you will find the embody only has 6.5" of latex (almost certainly lower quality latex) over a 5.75" “engineered core” (this means polyfoam which is much much cheaper than latex) and yet this much inferior mattress sells for about $3000 “on sale”.

You could also compare this to any other “mostly latex” or “half latex” mattresses made by a major manufacturer such as the Dr Breus signature elite (the top of the line) here and even though it is nowhere near all latex, it still costs much more.

If you look at Custom Comfort here Natural Mattress | Custom Mattress in Los Angeles | Custom Comfort Mattress you will see a two sided all latex mattress with 10" of latex and quilted on both sides in the same price range as the “major” manufacturers I mentioned but for a much superior mattress. Custom comfort has a good reputation for quality in the industry even though they are a little more than many local manufacturers. They would also be a good place to find the specific construction that works for you.

If you go here knottingham - you will see that they are using high quality materials even though they don’t have their prices. They too would likely be happy to help you find the best construction for your mattress and I suspect would cost much less than an “equivalent” mattress from a major manufacturer.

Flexus comfort too would almost certainly be “materials oriented” and help you find the best construction for your needs and would likely cost less than a major manufacturer.

The second main part of the search is making final decisions on materials that otherwise seem “equal” based on durability and then looking for the best value for the specific construction you have chosen. This final step of looking for the best value could be buying from one of the places you did your field testing or it could be buying from an online outlet. In almost all cases … you will find that a local factory direct outlet will be much greater value than a major manufacturer. While I haven’t talked with every local manufacturer of course … this is certainly the case with most of them and with certainly with The Mattress Underground manufacturer membership which is part of the reason I invited them to become members here.

So to answer your specific question in a shorter version …

Are these local places really about better quality and value and not less expensive? [/quote]

In almost all cases where the same or almost the same materials are compared … yes.

As far as latex vs memory foam … As you may suspect I personally prefer latex as it has far less of the “negatives” of memory foam however there are many people who also prefer memory foam. Some of these may be consumers who have never really compared memory foam to other alternatives and are just happy with “a new mattress”. If you are seriously thinking about memory foam I would certainly include it in your field testing and compare it to about 3" of soft latex in a comfort layer (14-24 ILD) and see how it feels to you. I would also read the article here Memory foam - pros and cons - The Mattress Underground so that you are aware “going in” about the main advantages and disadvantages of memory foam in general.

Hope this helps a bit and thanks for the great questions and comments. If you have more … feel free to post them.


Thanks Phoenix, very helpful.

We did finally end up going to (on your suggestion) RoomandBoard in LA and was very happy with their products. I thought originally memory foam. Then read your site on foam vs latex and thought latex was the better option but after going and laying on the mattresses we actually liked the ultra plush encased coil with 3 1/2" foam. We also thought it was on par with the all latex (not the encased coil and latex) but that bed is 800 more. What are your thoughts on the encased coil? We know the manufacturer is good and we now know that the quality of the products is much nicer than the big brands and this is also a lot cheaper. So, is the encased coil vs latex really a question of personal taste? I would rather spend less and we liked it a lot, but if it will be less comfortable or cause more shoulder pain in the long run, I would rather make the more informed purchase.

Thanks again for your help.


Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delay in answering this. I logged in yesterday and then got called away for the day.

I called RoomandBoard to find out the specs on the mattress and they didn’t know so I called Restwell and they were very helpful.

The 3.5" of foam in the comfort layer is polyfoam with a density of 1.2 lbs and an ILD of 15
The encasement has a density of 1.45 lbs and an ILD of 45.
The foam is made by Carpenter which is a large American polyfoam manufacturer.
The coils are tempered and as the website says have a gauge of 14.5

I don’t know your specific body type (height weight etc) so the first comment I would make is just to confirm that you have tested this mattress for both comfort/pressure relief and for support/alignment. This mattress would be most suitable for a side sleeper as the comfort layer is quite soft and relatively thick and very soft.

The weakest link in this mattress would be the polyfoam comfort layer foam which at a density of 1.2 lbs would IMO be on the low side meaning that it could well develop body impressions over time. 3.5 inches is a lot of lower quality foam to have on the top of a mattress. While it would almost certainly would represent better value than a “similar” mattress made by an “S” brand … I would still be hesitant to buy a mattress with 3.5" of lower quality polyfoam in it … even if it is made by a well known good quality manufacturer (Carpenter). IMO … a polyfoam comfort layer at a minimum should be HD polyfoam (1.8 lbs on a low budget) or better yet HR polyfoam (2,5 lbs or higher on a slightly higher budget).

The other issue with lower quality polyfoam in the comfort layer is that it provides little support to the “recessed” areas of your body like the lumbar area (the innerspring holds up and provides support for the more protuding parts like the hips).

Latex would be much more durable than any type of polyfoam and this is even more true when it is compared to lower density polyfoam. It is also much more supportive as it has a higher support factor even in its softer versions. I personally like a pocket coil innerspring under latex construction for those that are on a slightly lower budget or simply like the feel of an innerspring over a latex core however in this case … I don’t think the materials justify the price.

The good news though is that you have found a construction type you like (assuming you have tested this mattress for support and pressure relief as per the website guidelines). This opens up the possibility of buying a mattress with a similar construction from an online outlet including some of our members.

If you were to call them and tell them the specifics of the mattress you feel is appropriate … you would likely find even higher quality materials in this price range … including latex in a comfort layer. If I was considering latex over pocket coils … and given that you prefer a “softer” feel … I would probably go with an ILD of 19 or lower in a Talalay latex comfort layer … or a higher density polyfoam if you wanted to save a bit of money. Your budget (based on the price of the Restwell mattress) would also put you in the range of a dunlop latex core (a typically firmer and higher density type of latex foam often used in the support layers) with a Talalay latex comfort layer (a less dense and softer more conforming type of latex often preferred in comfort layers).

Some of our members that “specialize” in selling online and give good advice regardless of whether you choose to buy from them or not … may well be worth a call (they will be happy to discuss mattresses they have that are similar to this). All of them offer mattresses that I believe have better quality materials and better value. They include: Specialize in “build your own” latex mattresses. Specialize in “build your own” innerspring mattresses with a latex comfort layer Specialize in “build your own” latex mattresses with a unique zoning method Specialize in 2 sided latex mattresses. Specialize in “build your own” latex mattresses.

Most of these offer “layer exchanges” which means that if your comfort layer is a little too firm or soft you can exchange just that layer of your mattress for just the cost of shipping instead of having to exchange the entire mattress. Mygreenmattress is not “build your own” (but offers a choice of comfort layers) so doesn’t have a layer exchange but offers a reasonable cost comfort exchange.

Hope this helps and if you have any questions or would like some more specific guidelines based on your height/weight or sleeping style … feel free to post.


PS: If you do choose to buy from one of the members of The Mattress Underground … don’t forget to tell them you are a member here so you can receive your additional 5% discount.

wow, i was almost ready to buy, but i’m seeing i can still do better elsewhere. Body types: my wife and i aren’t big people. I’m 5’10" and 155 and she is 5’3 and weighs a lot less than that (I’ve learned i dont need to post or speculate on my wife’s weight). We did test the Restwell beds and like i said, we really liked the ultra plush with individual encased coils and the all latex bed - for whatever reason, we didn’t like the encased coils with a layer of latex. So, based on that info - and i cant believe you took the time to call R&B and Restwell, thank you and way above and beyond by the way, what should i be asking the online shops you suggested for? What i mean is, can you give me a cheat sheet that says i want hr polyfoam that is at least this thick or latex that is this dense etc etc. It think you basically said that in your post but having it spelled out would be really helpful just so i can hunt down the mattress using your numbers. Because we liked both styles, we are leaning toward the encased coils because its cheaper.

Thanks again


wow, i was almost ready to buy, but i’m seeing i can still do better elsewhere. Body types: my wife and i aren’t big people. I’m 5’10" and 155 and she is 5’3 and weighs a lot less than that (I’ve learned i dont need to post or speculate on my wife’s weight). We did test the Restwell beds and like i said, we really liked the ultra plush with individual encased coils and the all latex bed - for whatever reason, we didn’t like the encased coils with a layer of latex. So, based on that info - and i cant believe you took the time to call R&B and Restwell, thank you and way above and beyond by the way, what should i be asking the online shops you suggested for? What i mean is, can you give me a cheat sheet that says i want hr polyfoam that is at least this thick or latex that is this dense etc etc. I think you basically said that in your post but having it spelled out would be really helpful just so i can hunt down the mattress using your numbers. Because we liked both styles, we are leaning toward the encased coils because its cheaper.

Thanks again


I looked at a couple of your recommended sites and i like the idea of eco friendly latex beds. It also looks like if we go the encased coil route, baybeds is probably the way to go. Based on what you know about the Restwell all latex, because we liked the feel of that, what should i be looking for ( soft, medium or firm and inches of latax etc) at these places like and what layers of latex or foam should i be looking for in creating the baybed encased coil. I think price might sway us, so i want to see if i can recreate the feel (while upping the quality) of the two Restwell beds.

thank you.


Hi Chris,

Again in general terms … a rough guideline (starting point) for a comfort layer would be about 3" for side sleepers, 2" for back sleepers, and 1" for stomach sleepers. Smaller body weights or less curvy bodies would tend toward less than this (which seems to describe your situations) while heavier body weights or more curvy bodies would tend towards more than this.

The biggest spinal alignment/support issue with many men who tend towards broader shoulders than women is allowing the shoulders to sink in far enough. The biggest alignment/support issue with many women who tend towards more curvy wider hips than men is stopping the hips from sinking in too far. Materials with a higher “progressive resistance” also called “support factor” (more about this later in the post) can help with both issues. Zonning can also help with firmer parts of the support core under the heavier body parts that tend to sink in too far (hips pelvis) and softer parts of the support core under the body parts that often need to sink in more (especially the shoulders in men) can also help in more difficult situations to ensure better alignment. Most “build your own” mattress manufacturers also offer different constructions on each side of a mattress at no extra cost if a couple has different needs in a mattress because of different body profiles or sleeping positions.

While you didn’t mention your preferred or main sleeping positions I will assume that like a majority of people you are both mainly side sleepers with some time spent on your back. If this is not the case let me know and I can adjust my comments.

From what you have said, it seems that you like a mattress that you sink in a bit. The danger of having a comfort layer that is too thick or soft for your body profile or sleeping position though is that while it will certainly feel comfortable for a while … it may let your heavier parts sink in too far (particularly the hip/pelvic area) and not do as good a job supporting your more recessed areas (such as the small of your back or waist) which can lead to spinal alignment issues. While the pressure relief and initial comfort is what generally attracts people to a mattress initially, over the course of a night “out of alignment” positions that are initially comfortable in terms of pressure relief or overall comfort may lead to back pain in the lower back area especially.

Specific recommendations for an innerspring would be either an offset coil type or a pocket coil type (The restwell is offset coil from what the saleslady told me). With an offset coil which is typically less conforming than a pocket coil … you can use a slightly thicker/softer comfort layer. With a pocket coil which “helps” the comfort layers more in terms of pressure relief, a slightly thinner/firmer comfort layer usually works best.

If you choose latex as a support core … Dunlop latex has a higher support factor than Talalay latex, is generally less expensive than Talalay latex, and works very well for a support core. This “support factor” or “progressive resistance” means that Dunlop gets “firmer faster” as you sink into it than Talalay which means that your heavier parts will not sink in as far into Dunlop even if it has the same softness rating (ILD) as Talalay. One other advantage of latex cores over innersprings is that they transfer less motion between partners than innersprings if that is an issue. Of the innerspring types … pocket coils typically transfer the least motion.

The restwell innerspring encasing is not an “encasement” of individual coils or pocket coils (also called marshall coils) but an encasement of the entire innerspring to create a firmer edge. This is usually for those who like to sit on the edge or their bed without it sagging too much or to prevent a feeling of “rolling off” the edge while you are sleeping however it also means that the edges of the mattress are less durable and more subject to breaking down since the firm polyfoam used is less durable than either latex or a good quality inerspring that goes “right to the edge”. There are better ways of creating a firmer edge as part of the innerspring itself. If foam is used to encase an innerspring as is often the case in a pocket coil (marshall coil) construction … then is should be much higher quality IMO than 1.45 lbs. At a minimum I would use 1.8 lbs and preferable higher although the “firmness” of 45 ILD is about right.

So to get to the specifics … I would tend to a slightly thinner/firmer comfort layer than the Restwell in your case mainly because of your relatively lower weights. An ILD of about 19 in Talalay latex would be considered “soft” and a thickness of about 3" or even slightly less would likely be both soft enough for you but help your “heavier parts” not sink in quite as much as the Restwell. Talalay latex can go as low as 14 ILD (which would be considered super soft) which may also work for you although it is harder to find. Either of these would likely feel roughly equivalent to the softer polyfoam in terms of pressure relief/comfort because latex is a much more “conforming” material (better point elasticity) than polyfoam. 14 ILD would be less “supportive” than 19 ILD latex but much more supportive than the softer polyfoam in the Restwell.

In terms of a support core … If you choose a more conforming innerspring such as a pocket/marshall coil … then I would make the comfort layer a little thinner yet to “compensate” for the fact that this type of coil will “help” the comfort layers more with overall comfort and pressure relief than the typical offset coil type of innerspring. In this case … 2" for a comfort layer may work well. If you choose a slightly less conforming innerspring such as the offset coil in the Restwell, then a slightly thicker comfort layer would work well (say 2.5" to 3").

If you choose a Latex core … then a firmer core (36 ILD or higher … it goes to 44 ILD) would need a slightly thicker comfort layer (about 2.5" - 3" similar to the offset coil innerspring). If you choose a less firm latex core (say 28 - 32 ILD), then a thinner comfort layer would be more appropriate (about 2" - 2.5" like the pocket coil).

If you call the manufacturer and describe the construction of the mattress you liked the best … they will also offer you more specific guidelines to help you “duplicate” it. Again though … my gut feeling is that a 3.5" super soft comfort layer may be a little on the thick side for you for correct alignment … even for a side sleeper … and almost certainly would be too thick if your main sleeping position was on your back. For a stomach sleeper it would almost “guarantee” back issues due to a “swayback” sleeping position.

Given what you liked … I would probably tend towards a firmer core (which is a “safer” construction in terms of getting it right) and a slightly thicker comfort layer. If for some reason you “get it wrong” the “do it yourself” manufacturers you mentioned allow for a “layer exchange” for fine tuning at a very low shipping cost.

I hope this helps … in combination with the advice any of the manufacturers mentioned will be happy to give you. If in reading through this or some of the more detailed guidelines on the site you have any more specific questions … feel free to post them and I’ll be happy to help as much as I can.


PS: I totally understand the dangers of speculating on a wife’s weight :slight_smile:

I think i am starting to get it…thanks again for walking me through the process. I am already telling anyone who will listen how great this site is and how they need to buy a new mattress.

Based on what you said ( we do sleep back and side - certainly not exclusively side sleepers) i think i am liking this one:

Mix and match firmness layers to get the perfect feel. Zippered cotton cover quilted to 1.5 inches pure, natural Joma Wool with Tack and Jump pattern for that ultra plush feel. Firmness layers available in soft, medium, and firm. Each king, queen or full mattress consists of 2 pieces of latex. The 2" Talalay latex topper is super soft (#22 ILD) and lays over the 5.6 inch Talalay core of your choice (soft, medium or firm). Twin and Twin XL are one piece only. These mattresses are designed to ship UPS. Use your existing firm box spring, foundation or platform! Cores are easy to exchange via UPS if you desire a different firmness. 60 day satisfaction guarantee. Returns and exchanges are subject to standard UPS fees! 20 year limited warranty. Assembly is easy, just slip the cores into the zippered cover. You may choose the softer side up or the firmer side up. Mattress is 8.5" thick. Slip covers in matching fabric available for your box springs. Call for pricing. Please select UPS as shipping method when ordering! Check out our KD Wood Foundations if you need to replace your old one.

They also have a cheaper one Eastern King Solid Core Latex Mattress Only, Solid Core 7" Latex Foam Mattress, Latex Mattresses-Talalay and Dunlop, All Products

but i’m wondering if it has enough support? Also on either, I am thinking medium firm for the core and soft for the top? Or firm core and medium top?

Would love to hear your thoughts on these two - would love to put this whole thing to bed – couldn’t resist!

by the way - we are putting the mattress only on a platform bed, if that changes anything at all.

Thanks again


Hi Chris,

Of the two you mentioned … I would likely choose the adjustable ultra plush because the 2" of softer foam on top would provide better pressure relief … especially for side sleeping … while the firmer core would provide the support necessary to keep your heavier parts from sinking in too far. The single layer mattress would not likely be as suitable for both pressure relief and support for a side sleeper.

I would likely choose a medium core and a soft topper as this seems the closest to the feel you like … although it would feel a little firmer or “denser” than the really really soft foam in the restwell. Because latex is better able to form a cradle that contours to your shape than even the softest polyfoam (because of a property called point elasticity) … it would also be more pressure relieving even though it was slightly firmer but you wouldn’t sink in quite as far. The reason for the medium core instead of the firm is that the very top of the core would still be soft enough to help with pressure relief so you had the equivalent of a 2.5" to 3" “pressure relief zone” (the softer initial compression of the core would add a little to the effective thickness of the comfort layer) and then with deeper compression the latex core would provide the support you need because it would get firmer once you were “past” the initial compression. This is what I call on the site a “progressive” construction rather than a “differential” construction which would be say 3" of soft latex over a firmer core (each layer is more clearly “defined” in function and the thicker comfort layer is on top of a much firmer core).

I would personally call 22 ILD latex “soft” rather than “super soft” and this is what both my wife and I liked and used in our own custom mattress design as a comfort layer. I am 6’ 5" and 195 (so tall and slim and evenly proportioned) and my wife is 5’ 7", and also much lighter than me and evenly (IMO beautifully) proportioned. No mention of her weight from me either :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.


thanks again. I think we are going to go to sit n sleep (because its close) and make sure we really like the feel of the latex and if we do, i think i’ll call and buy the adjustable bed. Your advice and insight has been unbelievable and i cant thank you enough. Hopefully i can send some traffic your way as i spread the word about your site.


Hi Chris,

If you go to Sit n sleep … the Aireloom Chiffon here would be closest to what you are looking at. It has 3" of 22 ILD talalay latex in the comfort layer (what they call plush). They have a medium 3" talalay latex middle layer and then a very firm Dunlop latex core (44 ILD). They would be a good comparison with a similar feel to what you are considering.

The Sealy Embody would also be somewhat similar as well although they only have a latex comfort layer (What Sealy calls smartlatex) over a polyfoam core. Their smartlatex comfort layer is a type of Dunlop latex which does not have the same quality as other types of Dunlop or Talalay however it will give you a rough idea of the overall feel of latex as well. If you test this I would choose the insightful model which has 3" of latex over polyfoam (similar comfort layer) … even though the smartlatex would be firmer and be lower quality than either the Chiffon or the DIY you are looking at.

Good luck


thank you sir!


Wanted to let you know that i ordered the adjustable ultra plush - medium talalay core from the Arizona premium mattress company. After going through all the prelim stuff with you, the actual ordering was quick and easy, so thank you again for all your help. Very excited to start sleeping on such a high quality mattress.

And just to let you know, they threw in a pair of pillows at no charge but said (although they knew you and the site) they had never heard of a 5% discount based on your referral. Maybe i miss understood and made up the 5% discount, but i thought that is what i saw? Regardless, i am very happy to be getting a mattress of this quality at this price, so thank you very much for your help and i will do what i can to send more traffic your way.