DIY Latex Configuration Help

Hi there Phoenix. First off, thank you for all of the info you have put together on this site. It has been such a help for me in trying to configure my DIY latex mattress. I’m getting close to pulling the trigger but had a couple of questions.

I’ll start by saying that I am 5’ 11" 165 lbs, wife is 5’ 7" 110 lbs, both side sleepers for the most part. I sometimes sleep on my back. We have a king mattress (spring) that has to be 15 years + old. I have lower back pains when I sleep, usually they start to occur around 4 AM after having slept for a while. I also wake up at times with an arm being asleep or a shoulder hurting. The bottom line is when I wake up, I never feel like I had a good night’s sleep. I’m hoping switching to a customized latex mattress will really help solve this problem.

Now onto what I have tested. There is really only one brand, Pure Latex Bliss, that I have tested (several times). Here is what I feel with the different models.

Pamper - Too hard by itself but when a 2" topper was added, it felt extremely comfortable. With the 3" topper, it started to feel a little too soft but still very close to the 2" feel.

Nature - By itself it felt a little too soft but felt close to being just right

Nutrition - By itself it felt very good, but when the 2" topper was added it felt too soft

I have been looking at two different DIY options to try and replicate the feel of the Pamper with a 2" topper. One being Foam By Mail and the second being SleepEZ. Do you happen to know the specific ILD’s of pure bliss models? I didn’t feel like the salesman really knew the details. He told me the 6" base core was a 28" ILD on all of the PB modes. That seemed very, very soft to me so I didn’t really trust what he was telling me.

Cost is a big factor for me. I’d really like to stay in the $1,500-$2,000 range (foundation included). In reading some of your posts I realize that you are not a big fan of FBM but their cost makes them so tempting.

I would really like to hear any thoughts you may have.

Thank you,

Hi Lee,

You’re right that I do have some “issues” with FBM (Foam by Mail) based on many things I have seen with people who have ordered from them over the years and from research on their website and other places online and offline. As food for thought … here are some of the reasons why.

I don’t believe that what they are selling as Talalay most of the time is actually Talalay. Their specs on the site are wrong (for Talalay) first of all and the latex that they picture on their site and that people have received certainly in most cases doesn’t look like Radium Talalay. Because most people can’t tell the difference … they seem to get away with it (see post #2 here)

I don’t believe that the rated ILD they are selling is correct. They appear to believe that if you cut a piece of firmer latex in half that it somehow turns into a softer ILD. Here again … most people can’t tell the difference when they look at it or press on it but it performs very differently when it is used in a layering scheme and then people wonder why it isn’t “working” the way its supposed to and sometimes begin an endless round of adjustments trying to work around “unknown foam”. They have no frame of reference to really know what they received or what it really should feel like.

They are very evasive about what they sell and refuse to let people know exactly what they are selling. Their reps are constantly changing their stories. If they were legitimate and were actually selling a high quality talalay like Radium … they would let the world know about it because what they said could be confirmed. They thrive in uncertainty … and their customers knowingly or unknowingly pay the price.

I believe they are operating illegally by skirting the fire regulations and I seriously doubt that they have prototyped the mattresses they are selling. While they (and others) try to skirt the regulations by claiming they are only selling parts of a mattress … the way they are doing this (by “de facto” selling mattresses) is also against the law. While I am not a fan of the fire regulations … I also don’t advocate a company who operates illegally as they do damage to the entire legitimate industry and those who put the law aside for the sake of short term gain or greed are short sighted at best.

The information on their site about their polyurethane foam is also very misleading. One example of this is that they seem to think that all polyfoam of all grades has a support factor of 1.9 (they are all listed as this). This makes no sense as the support factor is higher for higher quality foams. While they carry a very limited range of polyfoam which has questionable specs … this is the only thing I would consider buying from them if the actual quality of the foam didn’t matter much.

Either their knowledge of foams is limited or they are purposely being evasive and they just don’t give straight answers to direct questions.

If you do some google searches using some of their specs and wording … you will come across other sites (other than their own sites) with similar foam names and specs (who are also very evasive about what they are selling) but some give a little more information about what they are really selling such as this 80% SBR/ 20% NR Dunlop.

There is more but I think you catch my drift. I won’t support a business which I believe follows less than ethical (by my standards) business practices and they have a long way to go and a lost reputation to make up for before I would consider buying any of the latex foam they sell or suggesting anyone else does. There are many who “love” them … but I believe that is only because they don’t really know what they actually purchased. There are also many more who don’t … and with good reason.

On to your layering questions :slight_smile:

The specs on the PLB mattresses you tried are as follows …

Specifications Nutrition

Latex BLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric
Latex BLISS Milliken's Paladin Fire Resistant Barrier
2" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD
2" Natural Talalay Latex 28 ILD
6" Natural Talalay Latex 36 ILD

Specifications Nature

Latex BLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric
Latex BLISS Milliken's Paladin Fire Resistant Barrier
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

Specifications Pamper

Latex BLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric
Latex BLISS Milliken's Paladin Fire Resistant Barrier
1" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD
6" Natural Talalay Latex 40 ILD
1" Support Stabilization Base Foam 1.8oz

The base foam on all of these now uses high ILD latex rather than polyfoam.

The topper is 14 ILD Talalay.

So in effect your “best” fit was 2" of 14 ILD over 1" of 19 ILD over 6" of 40 ILD Talalay. Because a DIY doesn’t have the option of having 2 ILD layers in the top … I would recommend 3" of 19 ILD (confirmed by the Nature being “close”) as I tend towards slightly firmer when in doubt. The base underneath this could be … firm/X firm in 2 x 3" layers … or firm Dunlop (which is a denser and less “active” feel than Talalay but also gets firmer faster than Talalay as you sink in to it more). All of these would be similar in terms of pressure relief and support.

Bear in mind too that the ticking makes a difference and with the PLB it is a stretchy knit which is unquilted so I would tend to use the same in a DIY … even if it had to be specially requested. This means that a fire barrier would be needed instead of the wool being used for fire retardancy purposes. This would let you sleep more on top of the latex without the wool changing the feel of your mattress. Having said that … the wool is nice to sleep on even if it does slightly change the feel of the mattress.

Because a 3 x 3" SleepEz in king size would be just under $2000 without foundation less your 5% member discount, if you choose to go with a 6" + 2" SleepEz special for the sake of cost, then a softer Dunlop under 2" of 19 - 20 ILD talalay would add to the softness/thickness of the 2" talalay comfort layer and would also get firmer as you sank in further. A medium Dunlop under the 2" of Talalay would add less softness/thickness to the comfort layer but would be firmer and more “aligning” or supportive. This construction (soft Talalay over medium/firm Dunlop) would be similar to the Nutrition and Nature … but closer to the Nature which “should” feel firmer to most people than the Nutrition. Medium Dunlop would be firmer and more supportive than 28 ILD talalay however. Of course you could do a side by side split with soft talalay over medium and firm dunlop on one side and over soft and firm dunlop on the other which would let you test the two configurations at home and give you a good idea of the difference if a layer exchange was needed. The soft Dunlop middle layer may work better for your wife who weighs less than you while the medium may work better on your side.

One other option worth considering is that if there is a local manufacturer near you … you may be able to get the best of both worlds by actually being able to test a mattress locally at a local manufacturer and having the value available that it wouldn’t need to be “duplicated”. If you let me know the city you live in I’d be happy to take a look to see if I know of any if it hasn’t already been mentioned on the forum.


Thank you so much for the detailed response…very, very helpful. Your points about FBM are very eye opening! I did not realize they operated in this fashion.

Your info about SleepEZ was very helpful. I did not realize they have a monthly special!!! After looking at their specials I am very intrigued by their 8" “special” mattress (2 layers of 3" dunlop and 1 layer of 2" talalay) for $1,495 before foundation and discount. What type of setup would you recommend based on what I mentioned regarding PLB testing in my first post? Would it be best to go with bottom 3" dunlop at firm, 2nd 3" dunlop layer at medium, and top 2" talalay at soft? Do you feel that an 8" thick mattress is enough to ensure a good quality mattress or do you think 10" is a minimum?

I am located 20 miles west of St. Louis if you have any recommendations.


Hi Laterno,

The SleepEz special has been ongoing for a long time but its easy to miss on their site :slight_smile:

With the sleepez 8" special … I would lean towards the suggestions in the second to last paragraph of the last post …

2" of 19 ILD soft Talalay (this would need to be requested as their normal soft is 22-24) over medium dunlop on one side (yours) and soft dunlop on the other (your wifes) over firm dunlop both sides. The rationale for the different middle layers is that your wife is lighter and this would give her some extra softness on the top of the mattress while the medium for you would still give some extra softness but better support. You could also each try the opposite side of the mattress to see which you liked best in case you wanted to do a layer exchange. With a 2" comfort layer … you would likely want a little extra softness in the middle layer to make up for the slightly thinner comfort layer so it would be thinner on top than the Pamper plus topper with the 3" of soft latex and slightly less firm with initial compression underneath than the Pamper (which has 40 ILD talalay underneath) but the dunlop would “catch up” quickly to the firmness of the 40 ILD talalay in the Pamper because it gets firmer faster than talalay. I believe he may offer the same mattress in Talalay support layers as well in which case I would likely go with medium talalay in the middle on both sides and firm on the bottom.

Another option would be to order the 6" special with firm layers and then put a 3" 19 ILD talalay topper on top. Ken at Arizona premium has a good price on a 3" topper made by Latex International. This would put you very close to the Pamper plus topper construction (3" soft over a firm 6" core).

Arizona premium also offers 6" + 2" latex mattresses in either Talalay or Dunlop but they come with 6" cores (also side to side split) rather than 2 x 3" cores and you would also need to specify a stretch knit ticking rather than the wool quilted ticking if you wanted to go in that direction.

Some of the manufacturers near you include … Local factory direct manufacturer in Maplewood. They may only carry the 11" two sided Dunlop latex mattress that is on their site so I would call them first to see what they carry.

Directory of Verlo Mattress Locations. Find a Verlo Mattress store in your town. Regional factory direct manufacturer which also carries a range of latex mattresses with good value including a mattress with 2" of Talalay over a firmer poly core which would give you a chance to try a 2" comfort layer.

All in all … you have some great choices no matter which way you decide to go :slight_smile:


hi–we just got a 6" latex international 100% natural talalay core with an ild of 40 and a 3" latex international 100% talalay soft topper…i do not know the ild…we got them from dixie foam in nyc…we have had it two weeks and are uncomfortable, but can’t figure out why…it seems like we sink too much…the core and the topper are individually wrapped in a thin cotton cover, they are not wrapped together…we have tried sleeping on the latex core with an old 2.5" memory foam topper and it seems better, but not great…when we were using the latex topper we sank in too much and woke up with weak backs

we are both side sleepers, thin and tall, 6’4" 165 lbs and 5’9" 145 lbs…our lower backs have been bothering us with this new mattress…in the past we slept on firm carbomate foam with a memory foam topper and even an airmattress with a memory foam topper…

dixie foam has a 6"blended dunlop,(60% natural, 40% synthetic) tr-zone 34-36 ild…they have been great and will work with us, but we don’t know whether to change the core or the topper or both.

please advise ASAP…thanks

Hi Gkmaya,

It seems to me that the issue here is likely the ILD of the 3" topper. This would be especially important with your tall thin frames. With men … the shoulders are often wider than with women and even though most men are broader in the shoulders … the hips weigh much more. With women … they will usually carry more weight in the hip area and have relatively narrower and lighter shoulders (although they are still wider than the hips) so they too tend to need soft enough comfort layers to allow the shoulders to sink in enough for pressure relief and alignment. It is very common in women and men that an ILD in a comfort layer (and even in the layers below) that allows the hips to sink in may not also be soft enough to allow the shoulders to sink in enough. This of course is most common in side sleepers. This can lead to misalignment and in more extreme cases a “shifting” of part of the body which can also twist the spine and lead to back issues.

It is important that the shoulders and the hips sink in enough relative to each other. If the topper is firmer … then the hips may sink in enough (and would be “stopped” by the 40 ILD underneath it) but that same firmness in the upper layers may be “holding up the shoulders” and not allowing them to sink in far enough. With lighter body weights … then the ILD of the topper generally needs to be softer than with heavier body weights. If as well as being thin … you are more of a straighter build (not so curvy), then a thinner topper may also be of benefit because the gaps that need to be filled in are not as deep. In this case the thinner layer would help “hold up” the hips more. The trick is to make sure that the comfort layer is BOTH thick and soft enough without making it so thick that it affects alignment.

The fact that the 2.5" of memory foam seems to “go in the right direction” seems to confirm this because memory foam is softer than most latex that is used in toppers. It may also be soft enough to go through it so you would be feeling some of the firmness of the support layer which may be why the memory foam isn’t quite enough. This would depend to some degree on what type of memory foam you were using (what density).

So it is often not so much about how far you may be sinking in but how “equally” you are sinking in. I suspect that the latex on top may be too firm … and possibly even a little too thick for your weight distribution. I doubt that the 40 ILD talalay is the issue (it is very firm).

The tri zone Dunlop may make a slight difference but the zoning is so “mild” that the difference if any would be very small. A zoning difference of only 2 ILD would be much less than even the natural ILD variance on the surface of a unizone layer of latex. Variances in the range of 4 ILD in Talalay and even more in Dunlop are normal and are not perceptible for most people.

One person’s “soft” is another persons “medium” and another person’s “firm”. Commonly what is called a “soft” talalay latex topper is in the range of 24 ILD … but this may be too firm to allow your shoulders to sink in enough. I would suspect that 19 ILD would be the maximum that may work for you with a support core that was that firm. It would be important to find out what the ILD of the talalay topper is though so that you have a frame of reference.


hi Phoenix–we just called Dixie Foam in NYC where we got our latex and he said that the 3" topper has an ILD of 19…we did our measurements from shoulder to chest and hip to waist as suggested on the section of the site called tips and I have a difference of 2" and my wife of 1 and 3/4 inches…so maybe a 2" topper?

since we sleep in a queen sized bed we sleep on our sides, pretty straight,with both the latex topper and the memory foam over this 6" talalay core my hips go in further than my shoulders and my lower back and upper leg have not felt good. I thought that the core was too soft, and that i have been sinking in too far…my wife doesn’t sink in as much but says that the 3" latex did not give enough pressure relief to her shoulders and has been tossing and turning and waking up with weak back and numbness…

also the 6" core is wrapped in very light thin cotton…should we have him wrap it in a firmer material?

should we try a different topper first on this core?

should we switch the core for the dunlop, we tired it out and int the store and it feels slightly “harder”, and thought that we would not sink in so much…

we do need advice on our next step as Dixie Foam is willing to accommodate needs…thanks…

Hi Gkmaya,

Was this the difference between the 2 measurements or the largest of the two? I read the tip that you mentioned and realized it could have been misleading. I changed the last part to read …

Your measurements were smaller than most which is what made me suspect they were the difference between the two measurements rather than the largest of the two.

The “tossing and turning” and the numbness (assuming it is in the shoulders/arms and correct me if I’m wrong here) of your wife points to a need for softer than what you have in the comfort layer (19 ILD). It seems to me that rather than “sinking down” too much (in the hips) that the problem may be that she may not be “sinking in” enough (in the shoulders). A slightly softer layer underneath could also accomplish some of this but not to the same degree as a softer comfort layer. Note that sinking in is about how deep someone sinks into the top layer of the mattress (the depth of the cradle) which is about pressure relief. “Sinking down” is about how far each part sinks into the mattress as a whole (which is about alignment).

The Dunlop may a good alternative worth trying because it is slightly softer on top (which could add to the pressure relief) but it would get firmer as it was compressed which in combination with its very slight zoning may also lead to better alignment. Of course only testing can know that for certain.

As far as the wrapping around the core … it should be thick enough to protect the latex from ozone and ultraviolet light which will degrade latex faster than normal. The latex itself though should have the support rather than the cover because the “support” of a tight cover will be temporary as the cover stretches while the support of the latex will be ongoing. A natural fiber such as wool can also be used in the ticking around the core to “firm it up” but I think focusing on getting the core layer right would be better than adjusting it using materials around it.


okay–so we remeasured and it is 2 and 3/4 for my wife and 2 and 1/2 for me…the numbness has been in her legs…the talalay core does not seem firm to us, but we were sleeping on hi resilience carbomate for years and most recently on a blow up air mattress with memory foam…we were on the blow up aerobed with the memory foam for three months during apt painting etc and it was comfortable…so what’s up with that? really, .the latex 3 inch latex topper seems to sink in all the way when we are cuddled together on the talaly and on the iar mattress and more under my hips than mywife’s…thanks for all your help…

Hi Gkmaya,

OK … that is helpful but I think I should clarify a few of your previous comments first before we get mired in unclear information or understandings. This thread is also very interesting as it also goes to show the limitations of “theory at a distance” as the descriptions of the symptoms or perceptions people experience can be so easily misinterpreted or misunderstood and this of course can lead to completely opposing “solutions”.

Your measurements “point to” the comfort layer being thick enough. The numbness being in her legs also points to a different issue than numbness in the shoulders and arms which is usually a pressure and thickness of comfort layer issue. Numbness in the legs can easily come from misalignment as the nerves in the spine are compressed or “pinched” from the alignment rather than from surface pressure. Both of these “point to” the issue being in the support layer.

The fact that the carbamate was hi resilience would make it more like latex however it doesn’t indicate its firmness as they offer the carbamate in both medium firm and super firm. Should I assume (perhaps wrongly again) that you were using the super firm version? I am also guessing that you werent sleeping on the carbamate itself but on something on top of it (perhaps the 2.5" memory foam?) This in combination with the fact that the 40 ILD talalay seems soft to you (and perhaps not 40 ILD which is quite firm) indicates that the zoned Dunlop may be better … not so much because it is firmer with 25% compression (which it may be if the talalay is “misrated”) but because it will get firmer with more than 25% compression than the Talalay.

I’m not sure whether “comfortable” means the pressure relief was good or the alignment was good but I will assume (there we go again :)) that the air mattress was inflated to firm and that this created good alignment. The only suitable setting for most air mattresses is as firm as they will go (no compression) as this is really the only way they will hold up the hips so with this setting at least (if that’s what you used) then the memory foam on top seems to have provided adequate pressure relief. Most of the pressure relief in this layering would be coming from the memory foam layer with the air mattress under it being the equivalent of very very firm foam which allowed little compression. The fact that it was an air mattress means much less than how firm it was under the memory foam.

I need to ask about this (from an earlier post) as well. Was this an every night thing or just something that you tried once. If this is your normal layering … then your comfort layer is likely much too thick and it would explain the misalignment. Can you clarify if we are talking about issues with 2.5" of memory foam over 3" of 19 ILD latex over the 40 ILD latex core or if the issues we have been talking about are describing what happens with only the 19 ILD latex over the 40 ILD latex (without any memory foam).

I should probably wait with more comments until some of this can be clarified since the memory foam in combination with the latex could well be the issue.


Just to clarify my last post … and starting all over again for the sake of my clarity … here is the progression as far as I can see it …

For many years you slept on a mattress with a carbamate core (firmness unknown) with memory foam on top of it (either 2.5" or 3" with unknown density) and this was comfortable.

You also slept on an air mattress (firmness unknown) with 2.5" of memory foam on top (density and age unknown) which was also comfortable.

Either your needs changed or the mattress changed (causing some “symptoms”) which was what prompted you to buy a new mattress from Dixie Foam.

This new mattress was 6" of natural talalay latex 40 ILD (are you sure this wasn’t blended since the “natural” latex international talalay only comes in a firmness rating up to N5 which is roughly 38 while the blended comes in 40 and even 44) and there was 3" of 19 ILD blended talalay on top of this (19 ILD is a blended rating).

This new mattress was causing all the symptoms you have been describing. You did try adding the 2.5" old memory foam topper on top of the 6" core (without the 19 ILD latex) for one or two nights (is this correct?) and this seemed better but not great. You also tried adding the same memory foam topper over the latex core and latex topper for one or two nights (is this correct?) but for you this caused your hips to sink in too far (not surprisingly). Did this affect your wife as well and if so what was the effect?

The tri zoned Dunlop feels firmer to you but this is a subjective impression as you haven’t actually had a chance to lie on it with the topper over it yet?

Your wife believes she is not getting adequate pressure relief in her shoulders with the latex topper over the latex core (no symptoms mentioned which would typically be shoulder numbness or arms falling asleep). The numbness she has mentioned though is in her legs and she is also tossing and turning (usually indicating alignment issues rather than shoulder pressure issues).

Is this “recap” accurate?

I seem to be having a somewhat “dense” day where I don’t seem to be connecting the correct symptoms with the correct layering :unsure:


hi pretty correct, except we never used tthe memory foam over the latex topper and core…

the carbomate was super firm for years, then we added the 2.5 inch memory foam from novafoam(coscto) and used that for about eight years…up until there was a fire in the building and so had to get rid of the smoky smelling mattress and then we slept on a futon with the 2.5 inch memory foam topper and then the pretty firm aerobed with the 2.5 inch memory foam…the memory foam is a few years old…

we got this latex core and topper about three weeks ago and the first few days we slept on the core alone because the topper hadn’t come in yet and my wife couldn’t take the surface fee…i don; remember anything else about aches or pains

we wn put the latex topper on and after two nights we both had lower back weakness and i had thigh pain and my wife had middle back pain

we then tried the memory foam topper instead of the latex topper, added a bed board on top of our platform slats and it has felt more comfortable on the surface, but l still feel like it is too soft and the numbness in y wifes legs and my lower back continues.

with either topper we have noticed that we sink into the core, under the topper, and the core seems to go down too much.

dixie foam said that the talalay was from Latex International, 100% natural and 40 ild. You indicate that that is not true. He asso said that he finds that there is more variation in the firmness feel in talalay than in the dunlop which he carries. The Dunlop is a 60/40 blend that he said is from Latexco and made in canada. When I looked up latexco i saw that it made dunlpp but in the US, so who knows?

we laid down on the dunlop last week in the store and it seemed a bit firmer than the talalay he had in the store, but not much

one night we did put the latex topper on the aerobed but it didn’t seem good either…but out bodies are out of whack, so how can we really tell?

this is confusing and disheartening …ithanks for your help…

fyi we are both 60, in good shape except for these current bed symptoms…hanks

we are going no topper tonight, just the 6 " latex mattress to see if our backs and legs feel better…will put a light cotton quilt on top of it for little fluff…will let you know

hi phoenix–well, we slept on the talalayy core without anything except for a cotton quilt on top of it because we reverted back to the belief that some firmness alone would help or backs…i slept basically okay, but my hips hurt this morning, so i know that i need some kind of pressure relief…i still feel like the talaly is too soft, even though i can’t explain why…it does feel like the firmness of medium firm carbomate, but bouncier…my wife had some shoulder pain as well and says that she found herself on her back at times and so she woke with a curve of your back discomfort…the leg numbness is still there…so this experiment has let us know that returning to a firmish foam, whether it be medium firm or super firm, alone will not do it…and I am convinced now that i too need pressure relief, not just my wife…

so the question is what combination

Hi gkmaya,

OK … that also helps a lot :slight_smile:

I thought from your previous comment that you used both together but I understand now that it was either one or the other and that with either of them over the 40 ILD talalay core that you felt that you were sinking in too far with your hips.

I understand this feeling too … but in the end it will turn out fine. It’s just a matter of getting to the best layering for both of you … and understanding the “why” behind your symptoms and the layers that are “causing it”. Part of this is to make sure that the “specs” of what you were using are understood so that the “direction” of any necessary changes can be better.

I have just a couple more questions to help me clarify what has been comfortable (and uncomfortable) for you in the past as this can play an important role in what may be your best choices now.

My understanding is that the carbamate mattress you liked previously was the DreamBed which is a single slab of superfirm carbamate and not the DreamBed Deluxe which has 2.25" of supersoft foam on top of the carbamate.

This single slab of carbamate was what you put the Novaform memory foam topper on top of which was comfortable for many years.

If this is correct … then what you are experiencing begins to make sense.

The carbamate super firm has an ILD of 45 … which over time would have softened a bit. This is much firmer than almost all side sleepers would be comfortable on as there is not enough softness on top to provide pressure relief for the hips and shoulders. This would be a more typical choice for a back or stomach sleeper and even then they would likely need a softer layer on top for pressure relief.

This firmness was probably the reason why you added the memory foam topper. The Novaform topper is very very soft as it is only 2.5" of low density memory foam. It would also become even softer very quickly as this is the type of memory foam which breaks down quite quickly. At this point it is probably even less than the equivalent of 10 ILD. With a layer of very soft memory foam that was only 2.5" thick … you would “go through it” and feel the much firmer carbamate underneath it. This would be considered a “very firm” mattress with little cushioning. Because this also seemed to work when it was put on top of the Aeorbed … this indicates to me that you prefer a thin and ultra soft comfort layer on top of a very firm support layer.

While the 3" of 19 ILD latex would be considered by almost everyone as being very soft … because you are used to something even softer and thinner on top … you are feeling this as being too firm which may be the reason your wife is feeling pressure in her shoulders. This would be softer than most people would use but it is firmer than you are used to.

In addition to this … it is also thicker than you are used to so your hips would be sinking down into the mattress more than with the 2.5" of memory foam on top of the firm carbamate. The 19 ILD is firm enough to “hold up” your shoulders because of your lighter weight (which you don’t want) and yet cause pressure on the shoulders because it is firmer than the memory foam you are used to. It is also too thick to keep your hips up as high as you are used to (your hips are sinking through 3" before being “stopped” rather than the thinner memory foam layer you are used to).

I confirmed that the 40 ILD talalay is the blended talalay and this would be only slightly softer than the “softened” carbamate. Even though it is only slightly softer … you are likely very sensitive to any increased sinking in of your hips so for you this may seem to be softer than it really is. For most side sleepers, both the Talalay and the carbamate would be far too firm for most side sleepers to sleep on directly or even with a very soft and thin memory foam or super soft polyfoam on top (which let them feel the firmer foam underneath) and they would need a thicker comfort layer to “isolate them” from its firmness (like the 3" of 19 ILD talalay you are using now) even though a thinner softer comfort layer seems to work well for you.

Finally … in addition to this … because you are used to sleeping on a very firm mattress with only a thin and very soft comfort layer … your body has likely become used to this feeling and alignment. Even if this alignment was not totally “correct” and a new mattress was supporting your spine in a more natural “S” curve … this new “S” curve could easily cause discomfort because the spine has grown accustomed to a certain position. This would lead to your perception that your hips are sinking in too far and for you … they probably are. You would also not be used to the feeling of a firmer foam “filling in” and supporting the lumbar gap and this too may be uncomfortable and lead to some of the issues you are experiencing.

So what this is all telling me is that you need a thinner AND a softer comfort layer which would more closely resemble the 5.5" of carbamate with the Novaform on top. Latex only comes in an ILD as low as 14 and most outlets don’t carry this although they could likely order it. Even this “ultra soft” talalay would be firmer than the Novaform memory foam … although it would be the closest “match”. Because it would be more supportive than memory foam and would “hold up your hips” slightly higher … then 2" of this ultra soft latex would likely approximate the 2.5" of memory foam the closest. This would allow your shoulders to sink in to the comfort layers more and still allow the very firm 40 ILD talalay latex to “stop” your hips from sinking down further than you were used to. If this was still not right for you … then the alternative would be to use either memory foam or a polyfoam topper such as the DreamBed Deluxe to approximate what you had before (and because both of these would have a lower ILD than the latex … they would probably need to be a little thicker than 2".

I believe that it may also be a good idea to try the tri-zone Dunlop even though its ILD rating is softer than the Talalay. The reason for this is that while it may be softer with only 25% compression (25% is how it is rated) … it will be firmer when it compressed more than this (because Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay).

So I believe that your “feedback” points to a softer thinner comfort layer over either the current Talalay or perhaps even better the tri zone Dunlop. The Dunlop may also work better for your wife and the pressure in her shoulders because it is slightly softer than the Talalay when it is compressed a little bit (helping pressure relief) while it is slightly firmer when it is compressed more deeply (helping both of you with alignment). If 14 ILD is not available … then a memory foam or supersoft foam comfort layer would probably be your next best choice.

Since what both you and your body is used to a layering that is a little “outside the norm” … then all of this should be confirmed with actually lying on a mattress and confirming that the pressure relief and alignment worked for both of you. In cases like yours … actual experience is far more important than a “theory” which may be “perfect” for most “average” people but not for any particular individual.

Your experience sleeping directly on the 40 ILD talalay will also be very helpful.

Hope this helps … and we’ll get there :slight_smile:


PS: just saw your last post while I was posting this so comments coming …

Hi gkmaya,

You are correct that talalay latex is more resilient or what some people call “bouncy” or “springy” than polyfoam like the carbamate. This may also point to the blended Dunlop being a better choice … at least in terms of matching what you are more used to … as it feels “less bouncy” than talalay.

I agree that you need more pressure relief than a 40 ILD layer would provide and it would literally shock me if this gave you the pressure relief you needed. There are some people who are OK with a much firmer comfort layer than most … and there would be more tall and thin people in this category than other body types … but even here 40 ILD would be very firm.

It seems to me as well that you both need additional pressure relief but as mentioned in my last post that it should be both thinner and softer than 3" of 19 ILD talalay.

So the signs seem to be pointing to the Dunlop as a base (even if its is rated or even actually softer than the Talalay at 25% compression) with either an ultra soft 2" talalay comfort layer or slightly thicker memory foam or ultra soft polyfoam. All of this of course should be confirmed with some time spent in the store to check these combinations for pressure relief and alignment (now that you are “sensitized” to the feelings that are “wrong” you should be able to come very close to telling what feels “right” with some experimenting in the store even though you won’t be sleeping on them all night).


you’re comments have been very helpful and so we are thinking of changing the talalay for the dunlop…BUT, according to dixie foam the dunlop is 60/40 blended, natural/synthetic…and they said it is made by latexo form canada…i looked up latexco, with a “c” and tey are in the USA and latexo, without the “c” seems to have something to do with indi…do you ave any way of finding out about the dixie foam dunlop mattress…the reason i went wit the talalay to start wit was that i knew it was made by Latex international in Conn and that they have a good reputation …

if the dunlop dixie has seems to check out then we will do the dunlop. Dixie is ope to 5 today so we will go and deal wit this topper but need to know about he dunlop

you have been extremely helpful and i would like to show all this info to the owner of Dixie foam if you do not mind…thanks again and I am anxious to know if you know who or where their dunlop is made…

Hi gkmaya,

Latexco is a latex manufacturer based in Belgium. They do make Dunlop latex toppers in the US but their Dunlop Cores are made in Belgium and then shipped to the US where they are distributed.

They make good quality latex although blended Dunlop (called Durolux) is the least expensive of their mattress core lineup. It would be a good choice for a mattress with a latex core in a lower budget range (for latex) such as what you are looking at. It is not as expensive as Talalay latex even though it is more (and better quality IMO) than polyfoam when used as a support core.

I talked with Dixie foam today but unfortunately they had customers in the store so we didn’t get a chance to finish our conversation. They seemed very open and helpful to me and know about this website and forum. This is how I knew that the extra firm carbamate was 45 ILD (the medium firm is 36 ILD). Hopefully we will get a chance to finish our conversation later today.

The Latexco they order is sourced from Canada but actually poured in Belgium which is why they said what they said. I finished our conversation since the last paragraph and I have confidence that they are giving you good information including information about how something feels in a showroom and how that compares to how it may feel when you actually sleep on it initially and over the course of a few weeks. I also told them about my “suggestions” and the “why” behind them and they are thinking the same as I am for circumstances like yours. The 2.25" soft polyfoam topper that they use in the Deluxe is 1.8 lb density and will feel firmer at first but will soften into supersoft within a few weeks. They don’t carry the 14 ILD talalay in stock but can order it if you decide to go in that direction. Their memory foam is also 5 lb and so much higher quality than the memory foam you are using now and this too may feel a little firmer at first but will soften in the first few weeks of use (and won’t wear out nearly as fast as the much cheaper Novaform which by now would likely be very very soft).

Hopefully this will help you get to your best final configuration.


Phoenix–the amount of info and time yo have given this is wonderful and admirable…thank o…i am happy to hear about your conversation with Dixie Foam…i think that we may try the 14 ild latex topper…on a dunlop core…hopeflly that is enough pressure relief and not too hard for my wife…will let you know the results…thanks again.