Choices for latex mattress thickness

I believe I have narrowed down the choices after weeks of gathering information from this forum (thank you all!) but I really want to make better sense of the thickness in layering in order to feel more confident in the investment we are about to make. We are attempting to decide between the purchase of a (less costly) 6” dunlop core with a 2” natural talalay comfort layer with a cotton cover or the (more costly) 3” layering with one natural talalay comfort layer and two 3” layers of dunlop underneath and a 1” cotton/wool cover. We are (mostly) side sleepers at 5’4” 115 lbs and 6’1” 180lbs. On the 10” option, we have been advised to go with soft, medium, firm, and possibly medium, medium, firm for the larger of us. We were able to test out a 10” option (three 3” layers) in person and were happy with both levels suggested, so we are wondering what combination of layers we might be comfortable with (since we are unable to try) in the 8” option if we decide to go that route for whatever reason. What might be advantages or disadvantages with choosing one configuration over the other. We would most likely be purchasing one of the EZSleep Foundations to use under the latex since it seems like the budget friendly choice. We currently have a bed frame consisting of a headboard and footboard therefore, we need a substitution for the box springs (I believe).

I seem to recall reading somewhere here that 3” layering is best for side sleeping but I’m not certain of my memory. If this is so, could you please elaborate?

Also, what would be the normal care instructions of a cotton and wool casing/cover and would it be necessary (or acceptable) to add an additional wool mattress protector or would the layering of both be problematic? I would prefer to keep the casing as stain free as possible and permanent staining that can occur with body oils over time concerns me. I noticed one manufacturer (Savvy Rest) seems to use a sturdier zipper on their casing and it is made to allow the top portion to zip completely off and their website suggests periodically airing it out in the sun to “freshen" it. This sounds beneficial and even though the mattress is much pricier than another online of the same likeness that we are seriously considering (SleepEz), it seems like a great option to have in the interest of caring for the wool mattress cover. If there is a great benefit to this, one might consider paying a higher price for the convenience since the casing which unzips on three sides only would make this task seem daunting.

With the stretch cotton covers, I would assume they are easy maintenance and machine washable and we would also want to add the St.Dormeir washable wool mattress protector for added protection and all of the additional benefits of having a wool layer.

Last but not least, thank you for your extremely helpful website and for all of your work. It has been such a tremendous resource for us in so many ways. Your guidance is much appreciated.

Hi SeekingSoundSleep,

In “theory” two unglued 3" layers of the same ILD would “act” a little bit more independently and softer than a single 6" layer of the same material with the same ILD but with a comfort layer of several inches on top of them there would be little if any difference in real life. If one of both of the 3" layers were a different firmness than the single 6" layer then this would make a difference in the feel and performance of the mattress. Multiple layers also have some benefit in terms of the ability to customize the mattress after a purchase by rearranging or exchanging layers. In a mattress that has the same or equivalent deeper layers (a single 6" layer vs two 3" layers that are the same type and blend of latex and the same ILD) … then the difference in thickness of the top layer would certainly make a noticeable difference even if it was the same type and ILD of latex.

There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved to use specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” to choose the design of a mattress that would work best for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). Every layer and component of a mattress will have some effect on every other layer and component and the only way to know whether a specific mattress is a good match for you with any certainty is your own personal testing and experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). Even the most experienced mattress designers can be surprised at the difference between how a mattress “should have felt” for someone based on theory and how it actually felt in “real life”.

When you can’t test a mattress in person or a local mattress that is virtually identical then a more detailed conversation on the phone with a knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer where they can help “talk you through” the options that are best for you based on “averages” for your body type and sleeping style and the information you provide is the most effective approach. I would avoid using “theory” to predict which design would be best unless your own knowledge and personal experience on different mattress designs is enough to give you confidence in your choice. If you have tested a local mattress with a certain design and it’s a good match for you in terms of PPP then I would keep in mind that every difference in the specs of a mattress you order online (type of material, firmness of each layer, thickness of each layer, type of cover etc) can have a somewhat surprising effect on how they compare for the better or for the worse.

Again … every layer of a mattress will affect every other layer to different degrees based on many variables so I would generally avoid trying to decide on which mattress is best based on theory or a single spec (such as the thickness of a top layer). Just to give one example … a thinner top layer with a slightly softer layer underneath it can be functionally equivalent to a thicker top layer of the same ILD with a slightly firmer layer below it. The cover can also have a significant effect on the feel and performance of a mattress. Post #2 here and the more detailed post it links to may also be worth reading to show the difference between the thickness of a top layer and the depth of a pressure relieving cradle. It’s true that side sleepers generally need more thickness/softness in the upper part of a mattress but this doesn’t only come from a single layer and it’s always how all the layers interact and compress together that determines which mattress is the best for you in terms of PPP. The main difference between a thinner top layer and thicker top layer is that you will feel more of the properties of what is below the top layer with a thinner layer than with a thicker layer.

This can vary depending on the specifics of the cover and the type and processing of the wool. In most cases it would be dry clean only but I would always go by the care instructions of the specific cover because they can be different.

It’s always a good idea to use a mattress protector on any mattress to protect against stains and accidental spills (which can void a warranty) and to protect the mattress from the normal body fluids and oils that we release each night and from skin particles that can contribute to dust mite populations (they feed on skin particles). Having a protector that can easily be removed and washed will help keep your sleeping surface in a clean and hygienic condition. There are several different types of protectors including the type you mentioned and each of them have their own pros and cons so which protector is best would depend on the criteria that are most important and the preferences of each person. There is more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors in post #89 here.

Sunlight can “refresh” wool and activate it’s natural self cleansing and deodorizing properties (from the lanolin) so this can certainly be a good idea from time to time but it also wouldn’t be a replacement for a mattress protector. These types of pros and cons between different mattresses would be part of each person’s personal value equation and along with all the other factors that may be important to some people (including price and exchange/return options) would be part of the reason that some people would choose one mattress over another one. These would all be preference choices.

Again I wouldn’t make any assumptions about any cover and would make sure you are clear on the care instructions for any removable cover because they can be different from each other and it would be important to make sure that they aren’t damaged or shrunk if you clean them. There is also more about the pros and cons of a wool quilted cover vs a stretch knit cover in post #6 here. I would also keep in mind that a wool mattress cover will have more wool than the St Dormier (which only has so a mattress protector wouldn’t be a “replacement” for a wool quilted cover.


Thank you for the helpful information Phoenix.

We have decided to go with the 10,000 organic SleepEz over the Savvy Rest because of the enormous savings for essentially the same mattress and for the generous exchange/return policy they have in place. I do not expect to have to use the return policy however, things do happen and it is very comforting to have this piece of mind with any purchase.

Another very important consideration to us was how much it would cost a few years down the road when it comes time to purchase a new layer of latex once this one has lived out its life. We really aren’t sure of the lifespan since we will be choosing 100% talalay for the top layer. Currently, the replacement cost for a queen 3" 100% talalay full latex sheet is $495 with SleepEz versus $899 (unsure if dunlop or talalay, which usually costs more) with Savvy Rest. If for some reason we needed a new mattress cover at some point, it would cost $395 versus $949 at Savvy. At this point, even though I consider Savvy’s completely removable top cover an very useful and enticing feature, I no longer feel it is worth the price difference (of approximately $1,000) and the extremely higher overall cost that can occur during the ownership of our mattress. I feel the substantial savings will be worth the extra steps in mattress cover care which will require complete disassembly of the bed once or twice per year to expose the wool cover to the recommended sunshine and air. We live in a humid tropical climate so we may only need to do this once per year during the drier season.

We have also decided to purchase the SleepEz 8" specials along with the 10,000 since we need a second mattress for ourselves and this combination will save us some money and still meet our needs and wants. However, I am still unclear as to how to order the 6" + 2" layering to match up as closely as possible to the 10,000 layering of soft talalay, medium dunlop, firm dunlop that we both like. Unfortunately, we are unable to personally try out a combination such as this locally.

After thinking about the care of wool, I’m now wondering if we should reconsidered it as a mattress casing for our mattress in Florida. I am worried about the humidity affecting it during the times our air conditioner isn’t in use. I believe the Fox Mattress manufacturer here in Florida used to use wool covers but now use a 100% cotton cover instead. While inquiring about their mattress specs during my research early on, I was told by an employee that they stopped using it because “wool can be a bit warm”. I dismissed the comment at the time because of reading otherwise, but possibly there were additional reasons not mentioned and maybe it’s a humidity thing as well. I wouldn’t be worried about the St.Dormeir wool mattress protector that I still plan to use since it can be machine washed and dried.

Hi SeekingSoundSleep,

I think that you made a great choice and there are many other forum members that made the same choice for many of the same reasons as you. Most importantly … congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

The SleepEZ special is a different mattress so there really isn’t an “equivalent” layering because there is an inch less Talalay in the top layer (which would make it a little firmer) and it also has a stretch knit cover vs a wool quilted cover (so it will be a little more contouring but have less of the “feel” of the wool) and both of these will make a difference in the feel and performance of the mattress. SleepEZ would be in the best position to tell you how they compare because they are much more familiar with their mattresses than I am but I would think that the closest equivalent would be using the same firmness in all the layers which would mean 3" Firm Dunlop on the bottom, 3" Medium Dunlop in the middle, and 2" Soft Talalay on top.

I’m looking forward to your feedback once you’ve received everything and have had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.


Thank you! I didn’t realize the 8" special was three layers (like the 10") with the only difference being the top thickness. I was thinking there was a 6" core with 2" top layer.

A last minute question if anyone is available to help…

We made the decision to head off on a long road trip today and stop at the Ikea store for a queen bed frame so we are prepared when the mattress arrives. I was going to purchase the needed foundations through SleepEz but was wondering if any of the three Ikea Sultan (Luroy, Laxeby, Lade) slatted wood bed bases would work just as well. If so, it would definately be convenient to grab one while we are already there today and it would certainly save us an extra amount of money which would be a huge plus.

Any other thoughts on the best choice for a budget friendly, sturdy foundation for solid latex mattresses are much appreciated :slight_smile:

Hi SeekingSoundSleep,

All three of these would provide suitable and even support under a latex mattress but you will need a bedframe that is the right height for you with good center support to the floor and that will fit them because they aren’t stand alone products. While Ikea has bedframes that fit them … they have a metal bar in the center but no center support leg underneath them so I would be cautious using them with a heavy latex mattress. The Luroy and the Laxeby are both flexible slat foundations that can change how your mattress feels and performs so in actual experience they may work better or not as well as a rigid slatted foundation depending on how the combination works for you but the recommendations for your layers would be based on a non flexing support system. If you sleep in the middle of your mattress where there isn’t any flex in the Laxeby or the Luroy then this part of your sleeping surface may feel firmer for some people than each side. The Lade is just a set of wooden slats that would also need to be used on a suitable bedframe but it would be closest to the feel of a slatted non flexing foundation. I don’t know the strength of the wood they use (they don’t say what type of wood it is) so I don’t know its bending strength but I believe it has 15 1" x 3" slats (which would be .75" x 2.5") and this would mean that the gaps between the slats would be less than 3" so it would be fine.

There is more information about foundations and other types of support systems for different types of mattresses with some specific suggestions for which types would be suitable for an all latex mattress in the foundation post here.


Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the quick response and great information Phoenix. Nice to know they are worth a look while we are there.

According to ikea’s website, the queen size Sultan Lade is specified as “solid wood pine”. Is this too soft to be use safely with the 8" special? This would have been our first option but we may have to consider the Luroy instead if it’s stronger.

Hi SeekingSoundSleep,

I don’t know the specific type of pine it uses or its bending strength or stiffness (there is more here about the bending strength and stiffness of different types of wood and different species of pine) but with 15 slats on a bedframe where they fit securely without shifting and with good center support I would think they would be fine for most people yes.


Just wanted to pass the information on that Ikea discontinued the Sultan Lade so we ended up going with the Leroy for the new Ikea bed frame and 8"Special. We will be using the SleepEz foundation for our 10,000.

Thanks again for taking the time to help us out last minute. Can hardly wait and really looking forward to the day when the new mattresses arrive.

Hi SeekingSoundSleep,

Thanks for the heads up … I didn’t realize that it had been discontinued and they still have it listed on their site. That’s too bad since they were an inexpensive source for wooden slats.

Congratulations again on all your purchases :slight_smile: