DIY All Latex Mattress Config Question


As the title says, I’m looking to gather some additional input from the experts here regarding a DIY all latex mattress config, any help and suggestion would be much appreciated!

I’m looking to DIY a king size all latex mattress for myself and my wife. I’m 5’7", weigh around 175lbs, and is mostly a back sleeper with little side sleeping. My wife is 5’0", weigh 120lbs and about 50/50 between back and side sleeping.

We tried some different dunlop latex configurations belonging to a brand called naturepedic in a local mattress store(which based on my research the brand seems to only carry the dunlop type of latex, so no talalay at all.) that had three different configs from top to bottom:

  1. medium, medium, firm
  2. medium, firm, firm
  3. firm, firm, firm

I only tried #1 and #2, and the difference was minimal to me, though I do think I would prefer something a bit softer if possible, without affecting my actual comfort and support? but I don’t know what’s good for me to be honest, and I didn’t lay on them long enough to really tell I think. My wife tried all three options. She thinks #1 is a little too soft for her, and wasn’t too sure between #2 and #3. She says she likes a firm mattress, but I’m not sure if her actual sleep profile supports that idea, or if it’s just a bias from the “myth” that floats around which says that firmer mattress are better for you. As she only laid on the mattress for a minute or two at most, and if things would be different after sleeping on it for like a couple weeks/months.

We also tried a hybrid mattress but didn’t really like the feel of springs, they felt more rigid, so we are interested in an all latex mattresses.

Based on the above, so far what I’ve decided on is a split king latex mattress from Latex Mattress Factory. With my side being 3 layers of 3" latex (should the top comfort layer be 2" instead?, not sure if i should have 2" 3" and 3", or 3"x3, (from top to bottom) medium talalay, firm talalay and firm talalay, and my wife’s side being medium dunlop, firm dunlop and firm dunlop. I explained to her that based on my research (correct me if I’m wrong), dunlop is not as bouncy/soft as an equivalent level dunlop latex, and since she would like a firmer mattress, she wanted all dunlop.

Was also looking at some mattress cover options, which I was leaning towards stretched cotton covers, from some websites like “Sleep Like a Bear” or “Sleep On Latex”, but not sure if there are any better alternative websites/manufacturers, or any other cover options that I should be looking for instead? Read that quilted covers are not only expensive, but thicker, which changes the feel of the mattress, and also does not allow as much conformity to the mattresses as stretched unquilted covers would?

If anyone have any actual experience or knowledge regarding our sleep profile and which latex mattress configuration we should try first, and which cover/from where we should look for, that’ll be awesome and super helpful!

Thank you all in advance!

Hi lambskewer.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :slight_smile:

We have a number of well-season DIYers here who pop in from time to time, so hopefully one (or all) jump in with their own experience!

Back sleeping is the second most common position and has a slightly less curvy profile than side sleeping. The “gap” that needs to be filled in with the comfort layer for pressure relief is generally the small of the back (the lumbar area) and because the “gaps” in your profile are not quite as deep as in side sleeping, a slightly thinner top layer will generally work a little better. In back sleeping in other words a slightly shallower cradle is needed (so a firmer mattress can be totally reasonable here). Also, preference for feel is important! If firm feels most comfortable for her, then that’s what matters most.

A good starting point for a back sleeper is 2" of softer material on top of your mattress and then increasing or decreasing from there depending on other factors like weight, preferences, or other sleeping positions. Without knowing exactly what it is you feel on a mattress, it’s hard for me to say for sure whether 2" or 3" would be the better option for you, but because you do also sleep on your side, I’m wagering that 3" is going to be perfectly fine.

You’re not wrong. Talalay is often described as or compared to spongy, soft angel food cake where Dunlop is generally compared to dense pound cake.

It’s true that any bedding you use is going to impact the feel of the mattress in some way/shape. I know a lot of manufacturers sell wool, wool + bamboo, cotton, and cotton + wool covers/encasements. I do have to say that I don’t believe a manufacturer would sell a cover/encasement that dramatically changes the feel of the latex, but a stretch cover is a great way to closely enjoy the qualities of your mattress. Latex Mattress Factory also has their own stretch cotton cover for sale.

Other options you may wish to look at are this cotton cover by Arizona Premium, these options from DIY Natural Bedding, and these Sleep EZ covers.

I hope this helps in some way!

Thank you!

HI, I’ve purchased and currently use 3 different all latex beds with three configurations. I’m 5’6" and 125 pounds, side and stomach sleeper. My husband is 5’10 and 200 pounds. He gets sore shoulders with a firm mattress, but a sore lower back with a soft mattress. I like firm mattresses because I like sleeping on my stomach, yet a firm latex mattress is too hard for side sleeping and getting the combo just right makes it supportive enough and soft enough.

Regarding talalay vs dunlop. Yes the dunlop is firmer and springier, but it is still what you want for all your support layers. So I think you should both have Dunlop for your support cores. I firmly believe from my own experience having to exchange latex mattresses that were too soft, you need a minimum of 4" of firm dunlop for support.

When it comes to comfort layer, nothing beats the feel of the talalay against your skin. And that’s why for mattress covers, I have also chosen the thinest covers, like just a tensel or bamboo cover, or organic cotton cover, but even those quilted almost take away from the amazing comfort of the talalay. My mattress at my city house is 12" of latex because we had to add a 2"in talalay topper to an all dunlop bed for true comfort. I have the all dunlop bed in a mattress cover and then the talalay all by itself with just a sheet over it.

Configuration of my 12" is: 4" firm dunlop, 4" med dunlop, 2" soft dunlop, 2"talalay topper. I wonder if we had gotten 4" firm, 2" med, 4 inch soft dunlop if we might not have needed the topper. It turns out that my husband and I both love at least 4" of soft latex for comfort layers, even though I tend to love a firmer mattress.

The 10" configuration in our cabin is: 6" firm dunlop, 2" soft dunlop, 2" soft talalay. My husband thinks it’s WAY too firm. It is firm, but it’s the best most comfortable firm I’ve ever had. We took the talalay layer out of the quilted organic cotton cover and laid in on top, just like at our city house, so that my husband could be a little closer to the softness. It helped a bit, but he still wants another topper.

When you just sit on one in a store or try one out briefly, it feels soft enough, but my experience is that after a whole night that dunlop keeps pushing back up against you and it’s actually way firmer than you first realize.

So the moral of the story, from my experience, is that if you have 4" - 6" of firm dunlop for your core, you can get more soft comfort layers than you think and still have a very supportive mattress.

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