Goodbye Latex Mattress - moving on

Hi Dreamer,

I’m sorry to hear that your mattress isn’t working out as well for you as you hoped for. While there are too many unknowns and variables involved for me to make specific suggestions based on “specs” (either yours or a mattress) … hopefully some of the information here can help you make a choice that is a better “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

There is more detailed information about the most common symptoms that people may experience when they sleep on a mattress and the most likely (although not the only) reasons for them in post #2 here.

There is more about primary or “deep” support and secondary or “surface” support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the “roles” of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between “support” and “pressure relief” and “feel”.

These posts are the “tools” that can help with the analysis, detective work, or trial and error that may be necessary to help you learn your body’s language and “translate” what your body is trying to tell you so you can make the types of changes or additions to your mattress that have the best chance of reducing or eliminating any “symptoms” you are experiencing.

I would be very cautious about directly relating firmness to support and it’s possible that your mattress is both too firm (in the upper layers) and too soft (in the support layers) although unless you are in a much higher than average weight range it would be unlikely that a mattress that uses 36 ILD as a support core and only has 2" of 24 ILD latex as a comfort layer would be too soft based on “averages”.

Having said that … personal experience always “trumps” theory.

Latex isn’t temperature sensitive so it’s unlikely that temperature would make a difference in the firmness/ softness of your mattress. While anecdotally I have heard similar subjective feedback from a few people and higher humidity levels may make a small difference that some people seem to notice … it’s also possible that there are other issues involved that aren’t connected with the mattress.

Post #2 here has more about the different ways to choose a mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for that are involved in each of them.

There is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses.

As you probably know Beloit is one of the members here which means that I think very highly of them and I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency.

If you are attracted to the idea of designing and building your own DIY mattress out of separate components and a separate cover then the first place I would start is by reading option 3 in post #15 here and the posts it links to (and option #1 and #2 as well) so that you have more realistic expectations and that you are comfortable with the learning curve, uncertainty, trial and error, or in some cases the higher costs that may be involved in the DIY process. While it can certainly be a rewarding project … the best approach to a DIY mattress is a “spirit of adventure” where what you learn and the satisfaction that comes from the process itself is more important than any cost savings you may realize (which may or may not happen).

If you decide to take on the challenge then I would either use the specs (if they are available) of a mattress that you have tested and confirmed is a good match for you in terms of PPP as a reference point (the same type and blend of latex in the same thickness and firmness levels and a very similar cover which can also make a significant difference to the feel and performance of a mattress) or use a “bottom up” approach (see post #2 here).

The thickness of the different layers or the mattress as a whole is just one of the specs that can make a difference in the overall feel and performance of a mattress. There is more about the effect of thickness in post #14 here and there is more about some of the other specs that can make a difference in whether a mattress is a good match for a particular person in post #2 here but trying to guess how all the different design elements and specs of the materials in a mattress will work together is very complex and can easily lead to information overwhelm or “paralysis by analysis” and the only practical way to know whether any mattress or combination of layers will work well for you with any certainty (particularly if you are outside of the “averages” that would work well for most people) will be based on your own personal experience.

There is more about the differences between Dunlop and Talalay in post #7 here. Both of them come in a wide range of firmness levels but in very general terms Talalay is more resilient and Dunlop has a higher compression modulus (the rate that a material becomes firmer with deeper compression). The choice between them is really a preference choice more than a “better/worse” choice.

Based on “averages” and depending on your weight, body type, and sleeping positions … I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that you need a firmer or thinner base layer and I would keep in mind that “sagging” can also be the result of a mattress that is too firm and that doesn’t provide the secondary support that you may need to fill in the more recessed gaps in your sleeping profile and it could be the unsupported parts of your body that are “sagging” rather than the mattress. Having said that … your experience with the Thermarest and with futons seems to point in the other direction and your body may just be used to a firmer and thinner mattress and it may be a more suitable choice regardless of whether it would be the best choice for others that are similar to you in terms of body type and sleeping positions.

If your mattress is a component mattress it may also be worth trying just the 6" layer of 36 ILD latex inside the cover to see how it feels for you.

Post #2 here also has more information about futons and includes a list of some sources for futon mattresses that may be worth considering as well … some of which include latex, wool, and cotton in the design.