We‘ve been checking out various websites that offer latex mattresses, including several of your members. The SleepEZ Organic Latex Mattress 10000 Queen seems like a good value compared to the likes of Savvy Rest and PLB.
I am 6‘3“, 210 lb. and mostly a side sleeper, some elevated back. My wife is 5‘6“, 130 lb. and mostly a back sleeper, some side. Any thoughts on a possible layer configuration using Dunlop latex?
Does not seem to be any info regarding ILD on their site, just soft, med, firm etc. Seems like we would need a split configuration. We haven’t called them for a phone consult yet, wanted to get your initial thoughts.
I imagine you’ve probably seen this but just in case the members of the site that specialize in phone or online orders are listed in post #21 here with a brief description of each. While Savvy Rest and PLB are also high quality choices … I certainly agree with your comments about their relative value.
On the page here, the SleepEz ILD’s are listed. soft is 22-24, medium is 30-32, firm is 36-40 and X-firm (not shown) is 44. Of course ILD’s are never exact although Talalay is more “accurate” and consistent across the surface than Dunlop.
While suggestions based on height, weight, body shape, and sleeping positions are never as accurate as personal testing because there isn’t really a point of reference as to how you perceive different layering patterns, and Shawn has much more experience with his specific mattresses than I have with thousands of customer’s feedback about different layering (which is also true with the specific mattresses made by the other manufacturing members here), my guess would be for you (top to bottom) Medium/Firm/X-Firm and for your wife one step down in each layer so Soft/ Medium/ Firm. This would also give you a variety of layers to re-arrange to test any fine tuning that was needed. Because you are primarily a side sleeper (and based on preference as well) … you may also prefer a soft layer on top to allow your shoulders to sink in more (this for example would be my personal preference as a side sleeper who is a “fan” of softer over firmer and is 6’5" and 195 lbs) while keeping the firmer layer underneath to keep the support. The mix of layers would allow you to test this by “borrowing” your wife’s soft layer while she could test the medium on top to see if she preferred it for her back sleeping which doesn’t need the same softness/thickness as side sleeping.
Like the others here … they are great with phone consultations and a conversation can better take into account the nuances, mattresses you know you have liked, and known preferences or issues you have had with other mattresses rather than just the “basics”.
We got a chance to do some testing on a latex mattress - first time on latex for both of us and we liked the feel very much. Found a mattress store that sells PLB and spent a good hour trying out the 4 models on display.
We both ended up liking the Nature model mad from “natural“ Talalay - 2” on top, 1” middle and 7” base. Someone posted these specs for the Nature model in the comments section on the PLB site -
2" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD.
1" Natural Talalay Latex 28 ILD.
6" Natural Talalay Latex 36 ILD.
1" Support Stabilization Base Foam 1.8oz.
Do you concur with these numbers?
The PLB website claims “All our beds are made with Natural Talalay Latex Rubber” and “Talalay Latex rubber is a natural material derived from the Hevea tree”. I think it’s been well established that the Latex Int. natural Talalay is actually a blend. Is the ratio 70% synthetic and 30% natural rubber? Wouldn’t it be better with more natural rubber in the mix? I’d like something with less synthetic, but the actual all-natural model is almost twice the price.
Prices were less than listed on the PLB website and my wife wants me to stop researching and get something already. Thinking of just going ahead and getting the Nature model.
Their “natural” talalay actually uses the Latex International blended latex.
The numbers are correct except for the 1" base layer which has been replaced with very firm (50 ILD) talalay latex. the complete specs of the 4 models you tried are in a few places on the forum including here.
Both types of talalay latex (blended and 100% natural) whether made by Radium or Latex International are very high quality materials and while one is not “better” than another they are different. The blend (LI and Radium are both about 70/30 SBR/NR) are formulations that give the best combination of price, durability, and performance. There are advantages and disadvantages to each but in general the blended is more durable, has a wider range of firmness levels, is more consistent across the surface, and more pressure relieving and costs less. The 100% natural is more natural and denser (which makes it a little more supportive with comparative ILD’s). Both are OekoTex standard 100 certified for offgassing and safety.
To know if a change in formulation would make talalay latex “better” would depend on knowing exactly what quality you were focusing on changing and of course would also require the material science knowledge to be able to predict if this “desireable quality” would actually be enhanced with a different formula. Latex formulations are amazingly complex and “guarded secrets” amongst different manufacturers although the generalities are known. They will also make different formulations for different commercial customers who do volume which justifies it and are willing to pay for it.
If having less synthetic in talalay latex is important to someone for it’s own sake (and not because of performance or safety) then paying extra for the 100% natural would be worth it. If I was choosing Dunlop … then 100% natural would be my clear choice over synthetic. There is more here about the various choices and some detailed forum posts as well including post #2 here.
Which is better depends on what is more important to each person.
I believe that there is no other home or furniture item you can purchase that will have a bigger effect on your overall health and wellbeing over the next decade or more than a mattress and rushing or lack of research or especially testing is one of the biggest reasons for choices that people come to regret. In other cases … they may never realize the difference a better choice could have made.
I personally would take the time to “do it right”. There is a limit to the amount of research that can be valuable though and my own preference would be to work with someone who already knows what I would otherwise need to learn (such as a local manufacturer or better sleep shop). Personal testing for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and preferences) is also more accurate that “spec based” research and would be my main focus once I knew the materials I wanted. Research into similar choices can give you significant savings and better quality/value but there is also a point of diminishing returns where more research will only save you less than the time it takes to research every fine detail (and in most cases this leads more to confusion than it helps). The quality and value of a mattress is less important than it’s suitability for a person or couple IMO.
All of this can be different for each person depending on their own personal “value equation”. While I would never begrudge a few hundred dollars to save me some time … I would never knowingly make the mistake of choosing a mattress based on price alone and would always put most of my focus on it’s suitability for my needs and preferences. Once you know the basics of what you need and prefer … then value comparisons are much easier and a good last step.