firming up a mattress

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for this wondrous site! :slight_smile: It has made a big difference in our confidence level in the major decision of a latex mattress. My girlfriend and I live in northern Virginia, and would welcome any pointers to new companies in the area, but from your previous posts I think we’ve pretty much covered the territory.

We’ve been using a medium or medium firm foam mattress, which worked fairly well except that it’s too old and is breaking down. I’m typically a side sleeper, occasionally on a back sleeper, and have a rotator cuff problem that for the past few months has prevented me from sleeping on my right side. In the Savvy Rest store, I was very comfortable on the firm, medium, and soft talalay mattress.

My girlfriend likes a pretty firm mattress, to support her back, as she’s mostly a back sleeper, occasionally on her side. She liked best the Savvy Rests with firm and medium dunlop and then soft talalay or dunlop on the top.

Shawn at Sleep EZ told me that their 10000 cover has 2" of wool compressed into 1", which seems awfully thick and makes me quite hesitant about that mattress. Wouldn’t that negate much of the compressibility of the top layer? I really want as little pressure on my shoulder as possible. I want to like that mattress, but I really don’t get the concept.

I’ve talked to Bob at Custom Sleep Design, too, thanks!, he and his product are very impressive. His profiling algorithm came up with firm, medium firm and medium talalay for my girlfriend’s hips and lower zone. We will probably go with him, or Savvy Rest, if necessary, but money is very tight.

So, the big question right now is about a used mattress. Locally a 1 year old PureLatexBliss is for sale that we tried out yesterday: Home - Talalay Global purely the best
and it comes with a 2" topper: Home - Talalay Global purely the best

I think the combination is just great, but my girlfriend doesn’t feel there’s enough support for her back. We’re wondering if it would be worth trying removing half of the topper’s talalay and replacing it with 2" of medium or firm dunlop, say.

Or, perhaps there’s something thin and yet elastic and yet resistant enough that we could put under the topper that would firm it up enough for her, perhaps something like the rubbery yoga mat we have. On the topper, she tried putting the low profile Pure talalay pillow under her hips, and that seemed to do the trick for the few minutes she tried it.

The PureLatexBliss site doesn’t tell much about the mattress construction. I did find in a post from Jeff Gollnick that states:

"You need more information on this site about your mattresses’ construction. Specifically, the percentage of latex in the mattresses and what the ILD numbers are. This was difficult for me to find, but I finally found some of it on a different site. Here’s an excerpt from what I found re: the Natural, which is the model I bought and have not taken delivery on yet…

•LatexBLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric.
•LatexBLISS 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.
•10" Mattress Height.
•9" Steel Foundation.
•19" Overall Mattress & Foundation.
•20 Years Limited Warranty 10/10."

If you have any better information than this, it would be most welcome! I looked inside the mattress cover, and there is another layer of tan fabric (that may or may not have a zipper) and the latex is within that. Would you know if that inner layer has a zipper, and if the latex inside it is glued together or loose?

Lastly, how does one most easily move a latex mattress?! Is folding it over a pole perhaps best, and it that going to hurt anything?

Thanks again for this great site, and for any thoughts you (or anyone else) might have.

Hi Andrew,

The Northern Virginia thread has the better choices or possibilities that I’m aware of (I’m guessing you’ve seen this one).

The wool is used as a fire retardant and without it the mattress would need a different type of fire retardant material. Their cover would be similar to the Savvy Rest which also uses enough densified wool to pass the fire regulations. Wool will “modify” the feel of the latex in different ways and to different degrees (which some prefer) and has it’s own advantages as well including temperature regulation and breathability and there are also studies which indicate it can help achieve deeper levels of sleep.

SleepEz also has a thick stretch knit unquilted cover without the wool which you can see here (although it’s much lighter than the picture shows). This would be similar to the PLB but those who have compared it say it’s nicer and is available for those who prefer their cover more stretchy and without the wool.

CSD does have a unique algorithm and method of zoning and customization which is very attractive to some people because of the degree of customization which is possible.

Savvy Rest and SleepEz use similar quality components and are very comparable although they use different Dunlop suppliers (both of which are very high quality). SleepEz though offers more choices of material and and design and also offers a better layer exchange policy (shipping is capped) and a better return policy and of course they have a significantly lower price and better “value”.

[quote]So, the big question right now is about a used mattress. Locally a 1 year old PureLatexBliss is for sale that we tried out yesterday: Home - Talalay Global purely the best
and it comes with a 2" topper: Home - Talalay Global purely the best

You can see the specs for most of the PLB mattresses here including the Pamper. The 1" poly stabilization layer they used to use has been replaced with very high ILD talalay latex. It has only an inch of 19 ILD over a very firm support core and with this thin a layer the firmness of the core would “come through” enough that most people would find this very firm.

The PLB topper is 14 ILD (15 for the Celsion) which is very soft. This is probably what your girlfriend is feeling (the upper 3" would be a combination of 1" 19 and 2" 14 ILD over a very firm layer so the softer latex wouldn’t provide as much support to the recessed area in the small of her back. There may also be a risk that with movement or over time the firmness of the lower layer may be much more apparent than the “medium” middle layer in the Savvyrest or equivalent SleepEz models because the softer latex on top wouldn’t isolate you as much from the support layers. The “transition” between the two would be more abrupt.

You could certainly cut the topper in half and replace it with firmer latex (either Talalay or Dunlop) however you would probably be safer with firmer latex in the whole layer. 14 ILD is very soft … particularly over 40 ILD but of course your own personal experience on the mattress (assuming that you tested it for long enough… at least 15 minutes … being completely relaxed and in all your sleeping positions both lying still and with movement) is always more accurate than theory.

I wouldn’t recommend going in this direction at all because the yoga mat has completely different qualities to latex foam. It may well neutralize many of the benefits of the support layers and would interact very differently. It is not a “mattress material” and is also not breathable. If anything you could add a wool topper to firm up the latex somewhat without risking alignment. this would help reduce the compression of the latex to a degree and also provide some localized pressur relief. Firming up a mattress is much more difficult than softening it but this would have some effect in the “firming” direction. Thicker wool would have more of an effect. Based on your pillow test … the top layer of this mattress is likely too thick/soft for her back sleeping which is likely why the pillow helped (raised up her pelvic area which was sinking in too deeply compared to other parts of her body).

This would be the fire retardant material and is not removeable. The layers are glued using a latex based non toxic glue.

Latex is very heavy and also tears fairly easily when stretched so I would not recommend carrying it on a pole. I would carry it very carefully using at least two people and preferably 3 people in a edgewise position with one on each end and one in the middle helping with the sagging in the middle. It will also be very floppy. It can be carefully folded over in half for transportation. You could also wrap it in thick mil polyethelene which would also protect it and help a little with the floppiness. Wrapping it in cardboard will help even more and make handling easier. The key is not to let it “stretch” during transportation.