finding best value in 3" of talalay

After much shopping and researching online have decided abandon my coil mattress/box springs for natural latex and like the feel of talalay especially. Local bed store has their own design of 3" talalay covered with 1" each side of wool, full size at $750. I am petite, exclusively side sleeper no back problems and want max softness/cushioning and hoping to find a slightly lower price. Is that possible? I am not averse to ordering online as long as product advertised matches product shipped. Any suggestions will be appreciated!

Hi sam in seattle,

Were you thinking about this as an actual mattress or as a topper for the mattress you have?

If it’s for a mattress then this would be very thin and would be very firm with a significant risk that you would bottom out on the latex. A mattress this thick also wouldn’t have “max softness/cushioning”. Generally the thinnest that would be used for a mattress would be 6".

Wool is a costly material and can add a fair amount to the cost of a latex topper vs latex alone with a stretch knit cover … although it also has some great benefits.

Some of the better options in Seattle (and some will carry latex toppers) are in post #2 here.

There is also a list in post #21 here of the manufacturers that are members of the site (meaning I consider them to be among the best in the country) and sell online and many of these also sell latex toppers (and of course mattresses).


Hi Phoenix
WOW you and your site are really something else in terms of INFORMATIVE and HELPFUL!

Yes, I was considering the 5" wool/talalay topper as a mattress to get softness and quality of material to fit my budget. This was actually offered by Blake at Bedrooms & More as a viable option and had me test it just that way in the store. Of course 5 or 10 min is not the same as all night or night after night but said he had a family member (young cousin I think) who has the 5" on platform same as my plan.

Reading between your lines it seems that wool may not offer the most bang for the buck. I want to sleep on a cloud pouf and thought after 4 stores evolving my focus from coil to memory foam to latex to specifically talalay I was getting close. But if 5’’ won’t do it then I shall search some more as I really want to spend less than $1000 for full size.

I have copied all the links offered (again, you are a very impressive guy) in post #2 and #21 and will spend the time to check them out before purchasing.

A new question, I found some nice looking and inexpensive feather toppers on overstock so thought maybe I could combine with the 5" for cloud effect I seek. I have only ever used feather pillows, my first set were hand made by grandmother from her geese! Amazingly they held up for a long time which gives some faith that a feather topper might work.

Thanks again for all your help! This is quite a service to the bed-buying-public - I hope you are well compensated!!
sam in seattle

Hi sam in seattle,

Your own personal experience counts for a lot and if you have tested this in all your sleeping positions for both pressure relief and alignment and it “works” for you then this should “trump” what I call “theory at a distance”.

There are many places around the world where for either cultural or practical reasons or because the population tends to be more fit or tends towards smaller sizes that thinner futons or even thinner shikibutons are the norm and nobody can tell these billions of people that they are sleeping on the “wrong” surface. For them they’re not :slight_smile: Even in Europe thinner mattresses are more “normal” but not to quite the same degree. Part of this would depend too on what was under the mattress and a more flexible support surface (vs a firm non flexible base) could add to the comfort of a thinner mattress.

Here in North America though … most people would be far more comfortable with a thicker mattress that could combine different materials to optimize pressure relief and support. The key is whether it’s comfortable and performs well for your own unique needs and preferences.

Those who are lighter or thinner are more likely to do well with something like you are suggesting than those who are heavier and need a thicker material to achieve both the pressure relief and support they need.

Actually … while wool is certainly not the lowest cost material … it’s one of the most effective if it’s used appropriately and I’m a fan of wool. There are many different types of wool, different mattress uses, and degrees of density and amounts of wool filling that are available either in either a wool topper or in a latex topper that is surrounded by wool. It can also be used in thinner densified layers as a natural mattress fire retardant or in thicker quilted layers as a way to change the feel and performance of a mattress. Like all materials it has advantages and disadvantages but it can be excellent for adding breathability and localized pressure relief in the appropriate amounts. It is also self cleansing in the sun and dust mite resistant and is naturally water resistant and can absorb up to 30% of its weight without feeling clammy and then slowly release the moisture into the atmosphere. This makes it a great way to create a dry microclimate and regulate temperature. It is also a very durable material and while it will compress and become firmer over time under weight … it can be re-carded and reused (as long as it hasn’t felted).

While “on average” this would likely be too thin for most people … each person’s needs preferences and experience is unique and I would be the last one to discourage someone from using something that worked for them … regardless of whether it worked for anyone else.

Feathers and down are a whole different thing and like all materials has it’s own set of different advantages and disadvantages. There are different types of feathers (such as flight feathers or body feathers) as well as different types of down and all of these will feel and perform differently. Body feathers and down are more breathable and how resilient they are and how long they last will depend on the quality of the material, upkeep and care, and on the fill power, amount of filling, and on the construction and baffling in the product. While featherbeds can feel very nice and as you say “pomfy” … IMO they are not as resilient or effective as a wool topper and aren’t as effective with weight on top of them as they are when used as a bedding material. Higher quality is also much more expensive (and lower quality materials won’t last or be nearly as comfortable in a topper or featherbed in the long term) and they are also much more susceptible to moisture damage and “unwanted” visitors (like dust mites) and hygiene issues. Better quality will be more breathable and not cause heat issues for most people but lower quality can make the mattress sleep hotter.

Thanks for the kind words. While the “compensation” isn’t anywhere close to where it needs to be to support 16 hour days 365 days a year yet … I’m hopeful that the time when this will happen is on the horizon and in view. Hopefully it’s not just over the rainbow :).


Again, thanks for all the info! I know you hear it all the time but this mattress selection thing is stressful.

I checked out all of the links you sent me and noticed most sites don’t specify the ILD or if they do 22 ILD is considered soft and from testing I really want 19.

I was coming to the conclusion that my best bet would be the store in Kent, WA or On most of 3" talalay toppers are raw but then I discovered a 3" talalay covered topper called RejuveNite. Their full is $349 and they stated they did not necessarily have the lowest price (wow, what honesty) so that got me to thinking and searching. Best price is a Buy It Now eBay seller (Daddy’s Good Night Sleep Gallery, NJ) sells full for $299.99 plus $22 shipping - directly from Latex Int’l in TX. Although the eBay listing is all about “Pillow for the Body” but am assuming it is the same product.

Tell me if I am nuts but I really think I should buy two which will give me 6" of plush 19 ILD on a platform base. I could get a ‘Protect A Bed’ mattress cover (unless there is a better brand) to loop them together and call it a day. I only weigh 110# and want soft, soft, soft!

Please do tell me if I am completely around the bend!
cheers, sam in seattle

Hi sam in seattle,

The approach you are taking can certainly be very stressful and it’s usually much simpler to work with someone who already has the skills and knowledge that it could take you a long time to learn either through research and study or through many mistakes with trial and error.

In many cases taking the less expensive route without help can end up costing a lot more than working with a manufacturer or someone who already has the knowledge you need to increase your odds of getting right much more quickly. Of course the challenge can also be a lot of fun but if it gets too frustrating then it can be too easy to make quick decisions that end up being way off just to “get it over with”.

The ILD’s tht are listed on the sites of many manufacturers are approximations and a phone call wil tell you what all the options they have available are. Almost all of them have or can order more than their website lists and the website is just meant to give a general idea. Minor ILD differences that can’t really be felt anyway are not that important so the 22 is just a way of saying “soft” and not an exact spec. Latex doesn’t come in that degree of “exactness” anyway. If you tested 19 it cold have been 21 or it could have been 17 and one part of the layer could have been about 4 ILD different from another part of the layer. The IDL is an average of 9 measurements and then this is “rated” as the closest to the average ILD. None of this is an exact science and if you find yourself getting too exact you are probably thinking about things that you wouldn’t even feel. It’s better to think in terms of ranges … not exact numbers.

The eBay listing is for the same product … it’s strange though that their other sizes are priced at more normal prices while their full size is less. It would make me wonder if it had been returned and was being re-sold … although if it did come direct from the factory then this wouldn’t be the case. In any case … it seems to be good value.

OK … your nuts :slight_smile:

Seriously though this wouldn’t fit any mattress construction theory I know about but if it works then who’s to argue. You would need a better cover though because the cover you are thinking about would guarantee to shorten the life of the latex significantly.

If you are going to go this thin anyway … why not go with what seemed to work for you in real life which was the 5" wool talalay topper? I would think that 6" of “plush” (the level below “soft”) would be risky in terms of alignment. At only 110 lbs the thinner latex with the wool might just work for you.