Hi Stackybe,

While I can certainly help with “how” to choose … I don’t make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists (based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

Assuming that the materials in a mattress you are considering are durable enough for your body type and meet the quality/durability guidelines here … the choice between different types and combinations of materials and components or different types of mattresses are more of a preference and a budget choice than a “better/worse” choice (see this article). There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of different mattresses in each category and there are very high quality and durable mattresses in each of the different categories so I would be cautious about excluding any type of mattress based on “theory” or assuming that one type of mattress or combination of materials will be better for you than another unless you have tried a broad range of different types of mattresses and confirmed that you tend to prefer them based on your own personal experience on a wide range of different mattresses.

Zoning systems can sometimes be useful and worth considering for people in situations such as yours that have difficulty finding a mattress with the right “balance” between comfort/pressure relief (under the shoulders especially) and support/alignment (under the hips/pelvis especially) or who have more challenging circumstances or sensitivities, body types that are more difficult to “match” to a mattress, more complex medical issues, or who have a history of having more difficulty in finding a mattress that works well for them. There is more about zoning in this article and in post #11 here and the additional posts it links to.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in and around the Atlanta area (subject to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets your criteria and the quality/value guidelines I linked earlier in this reply) are listed in post #2 here.

You can read more about Pranasleep in general and the previous versions (up to version 4) of Pranasleep mattresses in post #3 here and in post #2 here and in post #3 here and in posts #1 and #2 here and a forum search on Prana (you can just click this) will also bring up more information and feedback about them as well.

The good news is that they changed the design in version 5 and the top layers of polyfoam are now higher quality/density and are no longer what I would consider to be a weak link in the mattress in terms of durability. Having said that they are still in a significantly higher budget range than other similar mattresses and the top layers are still polyfoam so you would still be feeling and sleeping on polyfoam as much as latex but this could also be a “feel” that you prefer compared to sleeping more directly on latex . There is more about the new version 5 in post #19 here but I would certainly make some very careful “value” comparisons with other latex mattresses that use similar materials and are in a lower budget range before considering one of their mattresses to be the “best value” choice available to you.

I would keep in mind that all foam materials (including latex) have “some” offgassing and VOC’s so it’s really a question of knowing whether any harmful VOC’s are at “safe” levels (which they would be with any type or blend of latex). The only reliable way to to assess the “safety” of different materials in more general terms is based on lab tests and the certifications they have for harmful substances and VOC’s so that you have some assurance than the VOC’s are below the testing limits for the certification (see post #2 here for more information about some of the more reliable “safety” certifications). If the materials in a mattress or the mattress itself has a reliable “safety” certification then for most people they would certainly be “safe enough”.

While it may be more information than you are looking for … there is a lot more information in post #2 here and the more detailed posts and information it links to about safe, natural, organic, “chemical free”, and “green” mattresses and mattress materials that can help sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you differentiate between them and answer “how safe is safe enough for me” that can help each person decide on the types of materials they are most comfortable having in their mattress or on the certifications that may be important to them. These types of issues are complex and are generally specific to each person and their individual sensitivities, circumstances, criteria, beliefs, and lifestyle choices.

I would consider the choice between Talalay and Dunlop to be a preference choice rather than a better/worse choice regardless of which layers they are being used in a mattress. There is more about the differences between them in post #7 here.

As you probably know both SleepEZ and Cozy Pure are members of this site which means that I think very highly of both of them and I believe that they both compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, knowledge, and transparency … but I would always keep in mind that the only way to know for certain whether any mattress will be a good “match” for you in terms of PPP will be based on your own careful testing or your own personal sleeping experience so the options you have after a purchase to “fine tune” a mattress either by rearranging or exchanging layers or adding additional layers or components to a mattress can be among the more important parts of the “value” of an online purchase. Both companies have good options available for “fine tuning” their mattresses although the methods they use are different.