Critique My Layer Choice Considerations!

So, I followed the site advice to find reputable local retailers (thank you for the Tampa Bay list!), where I tried latex and memory foam at 3 stores. I decided that latex comfort layers are just too bouncy for my preference and that I would prefer memory foam as the topmost comfort layer. However, I am concerned that I will lose spinal alignment by sinking in too far if the memory foam layer is too thick, as I would like to stop sinking in at some point. I noticed some measurements had been mentioned on the site for how to know how many inches to make a comfort layer. One of the retailers said he could get custom layer materials, so I was thinking of trying to custom order the layer thickness. Here are some options I was considering (we are both about 5’10" 160-180 lbs).

  1.  Support layer: 6-7" dunlop latex     Comfort layer - 2" memory foam
  2.  Support layer: 6-7" HD polyfoam   Comfort layer - 2" memory foam
  3.  Support layer: 6" dunlop latex     Comfort layer 1 - 1 or 2" talalay latex (not sure ILD - suggest one if you like!)  Comfort layer 2 - 2" memory foam

My wife and I both have had back pain so I am really concerned about spinal alignment. I basically want to sink in to feel comfy, but also want to get spine aligned correctly and have a little firm feeling to hold me up, without being too bouncy. So, possibly using 2 sequential comfort layers may help, but I am interested in feedback. One idea I had was to do the last layer as a topper, so I could easily swap 2" for 3" of memory foam (or to another thickness) if necessary, and it also would be easier to replace if the comfort layers wear out first anyways. One more thing is that I have not done the shoulder/chest/hips/waist measurements yet - we are both average size for height/weight if that helps, or let me know if it would help for me to post back here specifics; if you would like to pick hypothetical numbers that would work for me.

As an aside, all 3 stores were fairly surprised at my knowledge when asking about construction of their floor models, with a high-pressure store appearing a bit frustrated that they couldn’t pull sales tactics on me. Frankly I’m only a novice after reading for a few hours on the site, so you guys have to be doing something right with presenting the information so clearly. Thank you!

Did you ever try a softer Dunlop for a comfort layer over a firmer Dunlop support layer?
That’s how my mattress is made, and there’s nothing at all “bouncy” about it to me.

Hi sleepTampa,

Post #2 here includes some links to some of the pages on the site that discuss how different body types and sleeping positions need different designs (including the page you’ve read already) and also has my thoughts about using them as a way to choose a mattress.

They are just generic suggestions that can help people understand some of the theory involved in mattress design and act as a starting point but there are too many unknowns, variables, and individual preferences to use them as a specific guideline for any particular person. Your own personal testing for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) using the testing guidelines in post #1 here as a reference point along with more detailed discussions with a manufacturer if you need to make any custom adjustments (they know more about their mattresses and the materials they use than anyone) is a much more reliable way to choose a mattress that is the best match for your specific needs and preferences.

Of course it’s always important to make sure you know the specifics of all the layers so that you can make sure that a mattress that is a good match for you has no obvious weak links and good quality durable materials and so you can make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses.

If you’ve spent a few hours on the site then it’s quite likely that you know more meaningful information about mattresses and materials than most of the salespeople that sell them … at least in the mainstream part of the industry :slight_smile:


Clawdia, I will consider this approach to Dunlop that you mentioned as I go about selecting my layers, as I wasn’t aware this was an option. Thank you both!