Finally Checked out a Talalay Topper

We went to a store today that had a Pure Latex Bliss Talalay topper - salesman knew nothing, as in he knew even less than I did before finding this forum, which was pretty pathetic.

The topper was the 2" topper, and all I could learn about it is that the law tag read “100% natural Talalay latex”. What I learned from lying on it - I had the salesman put it on the firmest of the PLB beds to try - is that I sank right thru those 2". I suspect the topper was either 14-15 ILD - everything I’ve read says PLB makes only very soft toppers. I don’t know if 3" in that low an ILD would be better, or just a little more different. They had a fairly good price on it - he said he could order a queen 3" topper for around $450 - but I’m certainly not convinced at this point that it would be the answer I’m seeking to obtain a bit more cushy feel and more pressure relief.

Before I spend any more $$, I’m going to have my husband bring up my old featherbed and sleep on it on the Dunlop mattress for a few nights, just to see what effect that has on the pain I’m having.

What surprised me was that the topper didn’t feel any better than it did. I expected to be more impressed than I was. I certainly wasn’t pulling out a checkbook and asking him to order a queen size 3" topper, although on the other hand I’ve not ruled it out.

I did try out three of the beds in the PLB line, and I was right - if I’d seen them first, it would have been the Beautiful model I liked best. I didn’t like it twice as much as the bed I bought, altho the price was nearly twice as much as I paid. I thought the Talalay latex felt a little different from my Dunlop mattress, but not as much different as I would have thought it would feel.

So I guess mission accomplished in that now I’ve at least laid on a piece of Talalay latex. But as far as helping me figure out a good solution to hip pain and shoulders not sinking in enough, I’m about as clueless as I was before making the trip.

Sometimes I find it hard to know when to start a new thread here and when to add to an existing one - I saw a thread titled about a PLB topper, but it had veered off in another direction, so I started this thread - if I’m doing this wrong, Phoenix, feel free to move me around. I feel like this is your “house”, in a sense, and we’re visitors.

How frustrating that the salesperson knew so little! I’m becoming somewhat of a mattress “snob” :wink:

Hang in there! I’ll report back next week when I get my 20 ILD dunlop topper…

Thanks for sharing your store experience with the PLB topper. I was thinking about a 2" 15ILD, so I’m grateful for your first hand account.

Looking forward to the 20 ILD dunlop topper review also.

I’m interested in the review of the Dunlop topper, too, since my mattress is supposed to be softer than that, according to the ILD from where it was sold. I’ve turned into a bit of a skeptic, merely because everyone hearing the reported ILD of my mattress (16-18) says that must be sooooooo soft, and yet to me, after nearly a couple of months, it doesn’t seem as soft as I thought it was initially, and I’ve started to develop pains in my hips that I think are pressure point related.

The real question I was trying to get at in my earlier post that never seemed to quite get there, I realized, is . . . if I feel as though I sink all the way thru the topper - I could slide my hand under my hips and plainly feel that they’d sunk all the way thru the topper to the mattress that was below it - then would it do any good as far as comfort and/or pressure point relief if it were actually on my mattress and I slept on it overnight? I did note that my spinal alignment still looked and felt fine, and my shoulder, while lying on my side, did feel as though it sunk farther into the topper than it does into my mattress.

So - I know those things happened when I tried out the topper - but I don’t really understand how to interpret those things as far as whether they’d help with the problems I’m having.

And, lastly, I don’t know what the law tag reading “100% natural Talalay latex” means, since I know there’s natural, and then there’s all natural . . .so other than knowing what the tag said, and that the salesman was not well informed . . . I don’t even know exactly what it was I was trying out, other than what it said there, and that it was a 2" PLB topper.

Hi Clawdia,

It would mean that the topper was 100% natural Talalay latex vs blended talalay. It would be an N1 in terms of firmness which would be in the mid to upper teens in terms of ILD.


So if were PLB’s blend, the tag would have read “100% Talalay latex”, and that would still have been a correct labeling? PLB confuses me . . .

I slept on the featherbed on top of the Dunlop mattress last night. I did not like the feel - missed the feel of latex - but woke up today for the first time in a week with no hip pain. I could tell the 5" of 50/50 down/feathers wasn’t as good for my back alignment, but my shoulders and hips do feel better today.

But the real question I had - if I feel like I was sinking all the way thru a topper, would it be possible for it to do any good as far as pressure point relief if it were actually on my mattress and I slept on it regularly? I think the lack of hip pain today (and I’m going to try it for another few nights to be sure it’s not a fluke) is an indication that I do need something on top of the Dunlop, leaving me still unsure as to whether a topper thru which I sank all the way thru could be the answer, or if that sinking means I’d need something different.

Hi Clawdia,

It could either say 100% latex or 100% talalay latex and both would be correct (because the material is latex and also Talalay latex) but the “natural” would be missing because it would only be about 30% natural.

Yes … it would provide some “padding” under your pressure points so it would reduce pressure points under specific parts of your body (the “padding” would increase the surface area under the hips which spreads weight over a wider area and reduces pressure) but it can also reduce the amount you sink into the latex itself and is less resilient than latex so the weight would be redistributed over a smaller area than with latex. Both wool and down will also create less shear forces on the skin (the elasticity of latex can “pull or stretch” the skin in some cases) which can make for a more “relaxed” sleeping surface with less 'tension".


Perhaps I’m phrasing this question incorrectly.

Do other people sink all the way thru a soft Talalay topper (or even ‘comfort layer’), or is it just me, or just because the 2" very soft PLB topper I tried was too soft even for me? Should one be able to feel the top layer of the mattress thru a topper?

I actually didn’t expect to run across anything I thought could be considered “too soft”, so therefore I don’t know how to correctly extrapolate what benefit might be gained from a topper that allows one’s hips to sink thru to the next layer - I’m so confused at this point that I don’t know but what that’s the way things are supposed to work.

My hips still don’t hurt today - my back is a different matter, but as I said, I’m sure that it was throwing my alignment off somewhat, so I’ll not be trying this combination but another few nights, long enough to see if the hip pain stays gone.

At this point, I am really leaning towards getting a 3" low (but perhaps not lowest) ILD Talalay topper. I can’t afford but one major (as in, $$$ major) tweak to this mattress, so I have to get it right the first time. Guess I’ll start searching for the least expensive version of what I think I need.

Can people feel the difference between blended Talalay and all natural Talalay? I’d love to know if anyone had tried both in the same ILD, and what comparison could be offered.

I’m thinking about trying to call Shaun at SleepEZ to see what he recommends, and if he can answer this last set of questions about Talalay. If anyone has a suggestion about a different vendor with whom I should speak, I’m open to suggestions.

Hey Phoenix - looks like we were typing at the same time!

When I said “topper”, I was meaning a Talalay topper, so that might change your answer about me “sinking into the latex”, etc., since it would all be latex were I to add a Talalay topper. I think I’ve narrowed my preferred choice down to a Talalay topper since I didn’t like the feel of the featherbed last night, and if I have to choose only one place to throw money, it’s far more likely to be at Talalay latex than at wool.

Hi Clawdia,

A Talalay latex topper would provide pressure relief over a wider surface area than either wool or down because it will re-distribute weight over a larger percentage of the body surface.

Softer latex is generally more pressure relieving than firmer latex until the maximum weight re-distribution is achieved and beyond this more softness or thickness may have little benefit. Of course thicker and softer comfort layers can also have more risk in terms of alignment issues because the heavier parts of your body can sometimes sink down too far before being “stopped” by the firmer support layers.

Most people wouldn’t notice much difference between a single layer of 100% natural Talalay and blended Talalay but in the same ILD … the 100% natural is denser and has a higher compression modulus so would be more “supportive” while the blended Talalay is less dense and has a lower compression modulus and would be more pressure relieving … at least in most cases. The blended will also be more durable in lower ILD’s. Both of them have the same OekoTex certification for “safety” and offgassing.


Does that translate (roughly, no guarantees implied) that for someone like me, who is seemingly ultra-sensitive to softness and desirous of a bit of “sinking in” feel, the blended might conceivably be perceived as feeling softer than the all natural?

I know blends are Okeo-Tex certified - does that mean there aren’t petroleum products used in the blend, or just that they’re considered “safe”?

If the PLB ultra soft is something that I sank straight thru the 2", that to me says I should go to a 19 ILD. Would you think that a reasonable conclusion?

So many vendors give a range of ILD - is SleepEZ a good starting place to try to talk to someone about all this, and a vendor that might be able to provide a 19 ILD Talalay topper? I don’t want to go into the 20s for ILD on a topper, since I’m buying without being able to test and I certainly don’t want to end up with a topper that feels any firmer than the theoretical low ILD of the Dunlop mattress itself.

I’m giving SleepEZ top consideration at the moment simply because of their return policy for a topper. I think I saw somewhere that Brooklyn Bedding also had a return policy, but they only sell the blend - but if the blend might be perceived by this pseudo-princess feeling too many peas as “softer”, then perhaps I should give them more consideration.

I’ve had no contact with either other than a brief online chat with Mario at BB when I was thinking 2" would suffice, and found his answers to be a bit abrupt and not very helpful at the time (everybody has bad days, I know that). Is there someone else at BB with whom I could ask to speak, or is he “The Man” at BB?

Phoenix, if I’ve not mentioned lately how very much I appreciate your abundance of knowledge and willingness to be helpful, I’ve been remiss. It’s much appreciated!

I have the same question Clawdia. Ideally, how far into a topper should you sink? If one would draw a side elevation sketch of a person on a topper, that’s on a mattress, (given that the mattress gives decent alignment), should the person’s heaviest hip area sink all the way through to the mattress or say, halfway through the topper? I know you want to choose the thinnest topper that does the job… I"m guessing that you don’t want your hips to sink too fast and hard through to the core mattress. I’m thinking maybe a 2" 19 or 22ILD now. I think that maybe blended talalay will feel less bouncy with less of the feeling of the hard "push back of natural talalay.
I don’t know if this is true, but it is an inference I’ve made after much reading. I hope someone can give some advice as to far one should ideally sink into a soft topper for pressure relief from a firm mattress.

Hi Clawdia,

If the ILD was the same (or lower) and you noticed a difference at all then yes it would most likely feel softer. The lowest ILD of the blended is also lower at 14 than the lowest ILD of 100% natural (which is N1 and is in the range of mid - upper teens).

Radium has similar ILD ranges.

Synthetic latex is made from Styrene and Butadiene which are both petrochemicals (although they can be made from other sources as well). They are “safe” and are tested to the same standards as 100% natural talalay but not made from the latex rubber that comes from rubber trees.

Don’t forget that all the layers of a sleeping system compress together so what is underneath the topper will also affect how deeply you sink in. If you have a 2" topper then if you sink in more than 2" you aren’t “sinking through” the topper so much as sinking into all the layers together which would each be compressing different amounts. Layers closer to the surface and softer layers will compress more and contribute more to how much you sink in overall than layers that are deeper in the mattress or firmer. In other words … all the layers compress simultaneously and not “one after another”.

SleepEz has a return policy and I believe Brooklyn Bedding has an exchange policy for their toppers.

I would consider any of the members of this site to be knowledgeable and helpful and well worth talking to.


Hi Diane,

It really makes no difference how much you sink into any individual layer … only how much each part of your body sinks into the mattress as a whole and that you are in good alignment. The layers all compress together to different degrees no matter how soft or firm they are. There is more in post #6 here which may help you visualize this.


If it makes no difference how far one sinks into an individual layer, then that goes a long way towards what I’ve been trying to figure out. The fact that I sank what I’ve been calling “all the way thru” the 2" PLB topper doesn’t necessarily mean that in combination with my mattress, a 3" PLB topper would be too soft. So, I keep it in the “I’m thinking about it” category, because the 2" did feel good, it just didn’t feel quite enough in some way, and I was worried that being able to feel the mattress beneath my hips just had to be a bad thing.

Doesn’t sound like that’s necessarily true.
My alignment did still seem to be fine when lying on the 2" PLB topper, and I don’t think that topper being 3" would change the alignment for me - it didn’t seem borderline.

I think a lot of this is beginning to be above my pay grade, as the saying goes. If that PLB topper was truly an N1, and in the mid-upper teens, then it’d seem as though it had to be close to equivalent of SleepEZ’s next to softest, since they don’t recommend or stock their very softest Talalay, as I understand it.

I’m pretty convinced after a day of doing little other than thinking about this that what I do need is a low ILD Talalay topper - and since I’m doing my best to stay away from petrochemical things, it sounds as though I choose the all natural Talalay. With me, it’s a medical thing combined of multiple allergies and an apparently undiagnosable connective tissue disease - they know I’m sick, but don’t know exactly what’s making me sick. In cases like that, the less “crap” one is exposed to, the better, just on general principles.

Diane, you said, "I think that maybe blended talalay will feel less bouncy with less of the feeling of the hard “push back of natural talalay.”

I’d love to know if others have gotten any sense of that same feeling, or thought it a good description of the difference between the two. I’ve never tried blended Talalay, and the PLB 2" topper was so soft there was no sensation of push-back, so I’m not even sure I know exactly what you mean.

I’d like to get into bed at and have it feel so good I just sank right down into the mattress and smiled as I closed my eyes and snuggled in for the night. I can’t quite get there right now.

Hi Clawdia,

It would be a little softer than the SleepEz soft (SleepEz generally uses Radium Talalay which has a different firmness range compared to Latex International although they can use either on request).

I really wouldn’t worry about the technicalities because they can become very complex and meaningless past a certain point and I think you may be well on your way to “information overload” and focusing on some very complex information that may not be particularly relevant.

The effect of layering different ILD’s on top of each other in different thickness levels (in a mattress or with toppers) is that you can choose the degree of surface softness and pressure relief and then control the support characteristics of the mattress by changing the overall compression modulus of the mattress. When that makes sense to you then specs would have more meaning. If it doesn’t (which is what I’m guessing is the case) … then I would focus on the basics, what you want to change, and PPP instead of detailed specs that may take years or learning and experience before they have any real meaning.

In the end, if you are adding a topper it’s a matter of deciding on exactly what you are looking to accomplish and then recognizing that only your own experience will tell you if you are successful. The goal is to raise the odds of making a good choice but you won’t be able to remove the risk of making the “wrong” choice completely. You also have some complex health issues with your fibromyalgia etc and this means that every choice you make is more complex because you are outside the averages that may work for others that don’t have the same issues and some trial and error may be necessary because it may not be possible to accurately predict how you will do on any combination outside of your personal experience.

To bring things back to the more simple basics … if I understand correctly the two main issues are that you are looking for are better temperature regulation (more warmth) and you hope to add some pressure relief under your hips when you are sleeping on your side. Are these the main issues or “symptoms” you are hoping to correct or are there others as well?


I have a PLB all natural pillow and a PLB blended pillow and the all natural one is much softer. I am not sure if that helps. The all natural one has a lot more give to it. I use the firmer one on the bottom and the softer one on top. I would never go back to a down pillow. I was looking for pet beds and found these toppers for cheap.

The larger issue to me is the hip pain - and after a 2nd night sleeping on the featherbed on the Dunlop mattress, the hip pain is now gone completely. That makes me absolutely sure that something needs to be done to “fix” the mattress so it does more good than harm.

The other issue, that of temperature regulation, concerns me right now in that I don’t know if feeling cold while sleeping could be contributing to the hip pain.

I think the hip pain is a result of too firm a sleeping surface, but I’d like your opinion as to whether feeling cold could be a factor with the hip pain as well as needing pressure relief in that area.

The pain had gotten to the point that I was on the verge of seeing a doctor and requesting hip x-rays, and I’m one who stays away from doctors whenever possible, so you can gather from that the pain had gotten pretty bad.

I didn’t notice the hip pain the first month I had the mattress. The only thing I did notice was that I was sometimes finding myself sleeping on my back when I woke up, which is very atypical for me since I’m almost always on my side. At first, I thought it was because the mattress was so comfortable that I was even happy sleeping on my back; in retrospect, I’m thinking that perhaps I was becoming so uncomfortable while sleeping on my side that I moved to a back sleeping position while I was asleep, in search of relief from hip pressure.

Right now, I’ll confess to being frustrated and depressed - the last thing I wanted to do when choosing a new mattress was to pick something that increased my pain level, since I’m already a chronic pain patient due to the fibro and a connective tissue disease much like lupus. One reason I chose the bed I did was that Lee at Sleep Essentials advertised that this bed was the perfect choice for people with these exact problems.

Lee doesn’t sell anything other than Dunlop, and I have the softest he sells. With no return option on the bed (that didn’t exist after a day, much less after almost two months), there’s no help to be had from him, so I’m on my own here with the exception of help from you and this forum.

I also have hip pain and upper body pain from my mattress… I also had some hip pain on my old mattress of 20 years, hence my new mattress. I did not have it though on a few other mattresses I’ve slept on recently. I am frustrated as well, but hopeful that the right 3 inches at the top of the mattress will solve my issues. I have serious doubts about latex for certain builds. I don’t know about others, but, I think that for a light weight slightly curvier female, latex is tricky. As I’m debating in my head about what topper to add, the thought of going to a non latex topper keeps coming up. I know that I’d rather have all natural, but I need to be comfortable. There are different foams, which would have bad smells that could affect me, but maybe more comfortable. I just don’t know if the feel of latex will ever feel great for me. Even an expensive soft savvy rest 3" talalay felt “hard” on my body. My wool fleece topper will stay put under my jersey sheets, that I know. These are a few of the options I’ve found that I’m considering… thought I’d share the links in case you haven"t seen these.

  1. Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Latex Mattress Topper, Foam Mattress Topper

    In particular, the EverFlex™ 3-inch Soft Egg Crate Topper and the Natural Sense 100% natural latex Egg Crate Foam Topper.
    The company told me this is about the natural sense:80% natural dunlop 20% syn. and this: The firmness is rated lower due to the egg crate effect, these are cut from our n28 (Med) , and should still be fine for your application and weights. 125lbs. and 150lbs.

    and same one here: Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree

    The company told me this is 80% natural dunlop 20% and 14-15 ILD. Overstock has some reviews of it. It is returnable I believe.

  3. Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree

    This one has polyfoam and latex.

  4. Spindle Mattress

This is mostly synthetic and a little natural dunlop.


    This is Puralux dunlop. I think around 80% syn. and around 55K density.

I’m afraid of the synthetic blends because I’m sensitive to smells, but I have been told that the softer synthetic dunlop might have a
better, less bouncy, feel as a topper.

Even though I am in pain at night and for an hour or two in the morning, I still can’t decide on a topper. I just may buy an INVIGO because of the return policy. I am still trying to find a store within an hour and a half to try some other toppers.

I may start to look at more expensive wool wrapped latex toppers.

Hi Diane -
I’m sorry you’re having problems, too. I’ll admit there’s some slight comfort in knowing it’s not just me, but I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone.

I had slept on Dunlop before - my father had one of the old Sears Dunlop mattresses bought in the 1960s, and it was still a fine sleeping bed when he died in 1999. For years I begged him to let me have his bed when I went home for an overnight visit, because it was the most comfortable bed I’d ever slept in. So it was natural that I’d think Dunlop would be the answer for me. My mattress is the softest Dunlop I could find - a 19-23 ILD six inch core with three inches of 16-18 ILD natural latex as a comfort layer, and specifically advertised for those with fibromyalgia or lupus or similar pain problems. There’s been some talk here on the forum about some Dunlop density not seeming to be as low an ILD as advertised, but since that’s all a big unknown, all I do know is that anything I try in the way of latex has to be Talalay at this point.

That’s interesting that you thought the soft Savvy Rest was still too firm - what I found with the soft PLB 2" topper was that it was so soft I was going right through it. Of course, it wasn’t on my mattress, so it’s hard to know how adding a 3" very soft topper would end up making the sleep system as a whole feel.

With my medical problems, I really want to stay from any petrochemicals. I know a featherbed will alleviate the pain, but it isn’t as good for my alignment, and completely hides the feel of latex. I used egg crate foam pads in the past, and didn’t like the way they felt. Of course, that was years ago, and I’d hope they would be better these days.

Since I don’t know if a Talalay topper is really going to be the answer for me, I feel restricted to ordering a Talalay topper from SleepEZ, simply because they do, according to Phoenix, offer a return policy. I can’t afford to pay another $500 for something that proves not to work, and be stuck with it. After trying that ultra soft PLB topper over the weekend, and realizing I was sinking right thru it, I don’t know what ILD to try from SleepEZ. In spite of my telephone-phobia, I’m going to have to call them and hope Shaun can offer an educated opinion on what he thinks I should try.

The only thing I know will work is a featherbed - which to me would mean I just wasted $1800 on the Dunlop mattress - but at least I know there’s one way to be more comfortable even if it’s something I don’t want to do. I’d have to buy a new one of those if I have to go that route, too, because the one I have isn’t in great shape. A really good one of those runs about $500, too.

If you run across a wool wrapped Talalay topper, I’d like to know where - the temperature regulation isn’t my biggest problem right now (unless sleeping cold is contributing to the hip pain, which I don’t have a clue about), but for someone who has always slept hot, it’s more of an adjustment than I’d expected.

I haven’t noticed pain at night, while sleeping (at least, not enough pain to wake me up), but without the featherbed the hip pain was increasing on a daily basis and lasting all day - to the point where just walking across the room was painful.

I think what’s bothering me the most is that I tried very hard to find the “right” mattress, and now after not quite two months it’s obviously not right the way it is. But when I chose it, it felt good lying on it for hours (and even for the first few weeks), and seemed to have been a good choice. It’s only in the last month that the pain issues have become so problematic that it’s obvious I have to do something, and I’m disheartened to know I have to spend more money to try to make the mattress something I can live with.

I just know I have to figure out something relatively soon, because I can’t keep on the way things are. One thing I learned - never buy a mattress from a store that doesn’t have a return policy that runs at least 60-90 days. Just an exchange policy wouldn’t have done me any good since I already bought the softest latex this store sells.

Life’s little learning experiences sure do come with a high price tag. Keep me posted on how your search for comfort progresses!