First post! Customizing latex layers (sleepez)

First of all, thank you Phoenix for the wealth of information and the excellent resources. You may have cost me more money but it will be worth it in the long run. I guess that’s what I get for being better-informed!

My wife (5’ 4" 130lbs side-sleeper) and I (5’ 9" 220 lbs stomach/side/back - usually in that order - sleeper) are looking to get an all latex queen size mattress. We live in Lynchburg, VA 24503. The 3 layer custom 10,000 model at sleepez is appealing, especially since we can do it by side. Right now I’m thinking this:

Her side: My Side:
soft soft
medium (medium or firm?)
firm extra-firm

Now, several questions:

  1. Do these look like good configurations considering our stats and position? I know it’s all subjective but I still want your ideas. What about my middle layer?
  2. If I select talalay for this, does that make all layers talalay? Wouldn’t natural dunlop be better for the firm and extra-firm layers, and not just because of price?

I’m sure I’ll have more questions. Thank you for the help in the meantime.

Hi Chimpskyx,

I generally leave the specific suggestions about mattress layering to the manufacturers (or retailers) themselves because they know much more about their mattresses and how every component and layer interacts together and with different people and they also have the benefit of a large database of customers which can act as a reference point. They also know about the smaller details of their mattresses and foam sources and the ILD’s of the materials they are currently using which can change from time to time.

There is no “formula” that can translate height/weight and seeping position stats into the most suitable layering because there are so many variables involved besides just the foam ILD itself (which is not exact). There are some general guidelines about different types of layering here, different heights and weights here, and different sleeping positions here but my goal is to provide more general guidelines and information that can help people have more meaningful conversations with the people who make and sell specific mattresses rather than to design a mattress based on specs alone … especially without a reference point of specific mattress that they have tested. For me to make specific recommendations on a mattress would involve knowing every detail of the foam sources that I was using, the type of ticking and quilting I was using in the mattress and how it performed with the layers under it, and a longer conversation on a phone call that would involve more information than just “stats” and latex ILD’s.

Having said that … S/M/F would be a “standard” recommendation for your wife and in the same 3x3 layering your side would probably be medium on top and then F/XF or something similar.

100% natural Dunlop is the same price as blended Talalay and you can mix the layers as you choose. If they were mixed … then generally the Talalay would be the top layer and the dunlop would be on the middle and bottom layers. It would be more of a preference of feel but you are correct that Dunlop has a higher compression modulus which means that it gets firmer faster with compression than Talalay and would feel firmer in the same ILD (although Dunlop even more than Talalay doesn’t come in “exact” ILD’s). This could be a benefit for those who either preferred the feel of Dunlop or who wanted a little extra support. The thickness of blended Talalay layers and Dunlop layers are slightly different so you would need the same type of layering on each side for the height on each side of the mattress to be the same.

The better options I’m aware of in the Central Virginia Charlottesville/Lynchburg/Waynesboro area are in post #3 here and there is a list centered around the Roanoke/Christiansburg area in post #5 here. These may not be in the same “value range” as what you are looking at so it would be up to each person and their personal “value equation” whether any better value available online and any options they provide for layer exchanges etc would “offset” the higher cost of a local purchase in your area. My general thoughts are that a 20% or so difference would be 'break even" in terms of the lower risk and “in person” service of a local manufacturer vs the possible better value and options (and of course good service as well) of a purchase from a better online manufacturer.



In the Charlottesville area, Atlantic Organic Natural Sleep shop sells two kinds of pure Latex Bliss mattresses.


Thanks for the info. I had it narrowed down to sleepez or aka sleep essentials. I’m meeting with the guy at on Sunday to test drive some mattresses. The place ginger mentioned has what sounds like a great deal on the Eco-Sanctuary dual display model (halfway down page) since it seems appropriate for our differences. So I may have to drive up there before making a final decision. How good/weird are dual/split mattresses? It’s not like anyone is 100% on their exact half all the time…

Hi Chimpskyx,

They can be a great solution for couples whose needs are very different and in most cases people sleep mostly on one side … even if you are a “sprawler”. The quilting in the cover will also even out the split so it won’t be an abrupt change that would be obvious and for couples that need it, it’s a great option to have. You can test the Natura to see how it feels for you although the advantage of a custom layered split mattress vs the Natura is that you can customize any of the layers on each side rather than just have a basic firm and soft side.

It’s a fairly popular option for the manufacturers that offer it and I think that most people that choose it are glad they have did to solve the “compromise” that could otherwise be necessary


Thanks for all the help getting us much closer to a good understanding of our needs.

Another question, though, if you have any insight on it:
How does the latex foam quality from sleepez compare to the latex quality of I’m very interested in the customizability from the sleepez progressive mattresses vs the differential perfection 16 or 20, but if the foam from sleepez isn’t that good then it might not be worth it.

Edit: I’m very interested in the deal on that natura ecosanctuary dual that I linked to… I wonder just how convoluted the 1" top layer is. (this mattress for ~$2200)

Hi Chimpskyx,

You can read more about the types and differences between different types of latex in this article.

SleepEz sells 100% natural Dunlop, organic Dunlop, Blended Talalay, and 100% natural Talalay from several sources and all of them are good quality.

The Naturalux from Perfect Latex Mattress is 100% natural Dunlop from Latexco which is one of SleepEz’s sources as well for their 100% natural Dunlop (which comes from Latex Green and is distributed through Latexco) so the quality of the material is the same.

I think rather than trying to find out the specs of the convoluting (which is measured from peak to valley) which may not be possible … I would focus on how it felt to you. The wool over the convoluted layer will even out any feeling of “bumps” and I doubt you would notice it. Convoluting creates a layer that has a greater range from soft to firm than a solid layer (the top convoluted part is softer but the lower part which is solid has the regular firmness of the layer’s ILD). In essence the Natura is an 11" latex mattress with a thicker wool layer on top and is a good price. Many retailers are selling their old stock of Natura or their floor models since Natura’s bankruptcy and purchase by Spring Air and taking a wait and see attitude about whether they want to carry them any longer which is why they are often being sold now at a better price.


Tried the Natura EcoSanctuary Dual today. My first time trying a latex mattress. It was very comfortable and my wife likes it a lot too. The wool quilting seems very thick on top and it was hard to feel the latexy bounceback I was (wrongly?) expecting. The knitting was very flexible and soft. This seems like a very high quality mattress and is very comfy. Now the value factor:
Mattress + pillows + delivery + tax = $2,555.95

I’ll hold off on a decision until trying the mattresses this weekend and until I hear back about the following questions regarding SleepEZ:

  1. How does the SleepEZ quilting and knitting compare in quality to that on the ecosanctuary? Quilting and knitting are my biggest remaining concerns about sleepez because you can’t try it first and you can’t swap out for better quilting and knitting like you can different ILD latex…
  2. How important is having a moisture barrier between the support core and the comfort layer for long term durability?
  3. How much less durable is 100% natural talalay than dunlop or talalay blend?
  4. Do the ratios of talalay to Dunlop vary greatly in blends?

I feel like I can ask all these questions because it seems like Phoenix is an omniscient mattress deity. (Translation: thanks for all the fabulous help and advice!)

Hi Chimpskyx,

The Natura would be somewhat “in between” the SleepEz regular and organic line in terms of materials. The lower 6" uses 100% natural Dunlop which is a option in their regular line and the upper 5" uses 100% natural Talalay which is an option in the organic line.

The Natura also uses more wool in the quilting than SleepEZ which for some is an advantage (those who like wool and don’t mind that a thicker wool layer may compress more and affect the feel of the latex more as well in exchange for the benefits of wool including moisture and temperature regulation and the “feel” of a thicker wool layer).

Wool is a fairly costly material but you would need to call SleepEz to find out the exact amount of wool in their quilted cover (it’s enough to at least pass the fire regulations). The SleepEz cover is high quality and probably more stretchy than the Natura (which will allow the feel of the latex to come through more) but if Shawn has seen or felt the Natura he can probably give you a more accurate comparison. If not you would have to approximate it by the different weights of the wool (although Natura doesn’t say what size the 4.3 lbs applies to). I do know that SleepEZ has been making mattresses for decades (they are 3rd generation manufacturers) and they are constantly testing new materials for both “feel” and durability as new sources and materials become available and that they take a very “conservative” approach to quality/durability. Both Shawn and his father (who like a lot of the old timers seems to know everyone in the industry) are invaluable sources of good information.

Some people who prefer more wool on top use a wool topper which can be replaced when the wool compresses too much for their preference without replacing the cover.

With latex it wouldn’t be an issue for me and I see no reason that it would affect durability.

There is really no way to quantify this because there are so many variables with durability (see post #2 here) not least of which is the person on the mattress and how much softening they can tolerate before they lose the support that is necessary for them. I also believe that the durability difference between natural Talalay and blended talalay starts to diminish once the ILD is firmer (say low/mid 20’s and higher). Latex international has a 10 year warranty on the all natural and a 20 year warranty on the blend but I also don’t think this “translates” into relative durability either. So the answer would probably be somewhere between half as durable (which I think overstates it) and just as durable (which I believe only applies to higher ILD’s).

Talalay blended latex is usually either 70/30 (synthetic SBR latex / natural rubber) or 60/40 (SBR/NR) depending on the manufacturer although they do have the ability to custom pour. Dunlop can vary from all synthetic (usually 85/15 SBR/NR is the highest though) to 100% natural with no SBR latex at all.

Thanks … I think :slight_smile:

Once you start researching “mattress stuff” … you quickly find out that what you don’t know is a much bigger piece of the pie than what you think you know (or will probably ever know) and the learning curve keeps getting steeper! That’s especially true once you start getting into the more technical specs that are much more difficult to get black and white accurate information or in some cases to even understand without a degree in materials science and chemistry :slight_smile:


How do I contact Shawn? Would he pick up on the live help on the SleepEZ site? Please private message me if it’s not something you want to broadcast.

Hi Chimpskyx,

The number to call them is listed at the top of their webpage (888-707-7533). No need to PM because it’s public information. Shawn is the one who answers the phone most of the time.


Just ordered organic 13,000 queen from SleepEZ. Spoke with Shawn today. Very matter of fact and knowledgeable.

“Member of themattressunderground. username chimpskyx. 5% off, please. Everything split. Firm and extra firm layers in 100% natural Dunlop. Soft and medium layers in 100% natural talalay. Pillows: one queen shredded latex, one queen solid 100% natural talalay.”

Hi Chimpskyx,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

As you discovered … Shawn is one of the most informative and easy going people you would want to meet. I think you made a great choice!