Hay Pheonix. Would appreciate your input on my 3-layer Latex build.

Hi Pheonix,

First, I’d like to thank you for the time you take to completely answer peoples questions on this very informative forum, you offer up some great -and thorough- advise…

I’ve done quite a bit of reading here and as a result I have decided to go with Latex this go-round instead of a spring mattress, mostly because of all the positive things you are saying about them.
I’m 6’5", 220 Lbs and have a history of lower back pain. I tend to fall asleep on my side and wake up on my stomach.

At this point I’m pretty sure that I’m going to try out the SleepEZ 10,000 Mattress.
And if I did my reading here correctly I’m guessing that you might recommend NR Dunlop X-firm on the bottom, Dunlop Firm in the middle and Medium Talalay 60/40 blend on the top for it’s better consistency and longer wear, does this sound about right?

But, to help complicate things, I find myself sitting up in bed at night to read and I have concerns that my 220 Lbs of body weight -all concentrated on my butt while I’m sitting up- might make me sink in too deep into the Latex and wind up being uncomfortable, or possibly upset my lower back. So, I was also wondering what you might think about a Dunlop X-Firm, X-Firm & “Soft” Talalay 60/40 on top combination to help offset this?

Also, SleepEZ offers two types of covers for the 10,000. Bedsides one being organic and the other not is there any other difference? …Might one cover offer different qualities over the other in terms of comfort? …Is one more plush, firm, soft or offer better wear than the other, and how might the differences -if any- affect the overall feel of the complete mattress?

Thank you for your input!, T.

Hi Petschauer,

Without a reference point of actual mattresses you have tested … it’s difficult to know the exact layering which may work best for you because of the many variables involved because of variations in body shape, sleeping positions, and preferences. In cases like this where I don’t have some actual mattresses you’ve tested as a reference point … then any recommendations would be based more on “averages” than on your more “unique” needs and preferences. It’s usually very helpful to do a bit of testing first on mattresses with known layering so that any adjustments or recommendations can be based on a known quantity and then adjusted either up or down rather than on an “averages”.

In general though … the “average” recommendation for someone who was heavier would be (from bottom to top) something like Xfirm, Firm, medium. While Dunlop in the lower and middle layers would be more supportive (not compress as far as Talalay), it may also not have the “feel” that someone may prefer and Talalay in the middle and lower layers would also make a good choice in slightly firmer versions than Dunlop. Some people may also prefer a firmer innerspring such as a heavier gauge pocket coil or an offset coil to get to their preferred feel.

Because you are a combination side and stomach sleeper … if I was to go with a 3" top layer … my tendency with your weight would be towards firmer rather than softer. Firmer latex feels softer for most people that are heavier (heavier weight sinks into firmer layers more easily) and it would also be better for stomach sleeping to help prevent hammocking while on your stomach. Your alternative softer layering would hold your torso up higher (because the weight would be spread out over the larger surface area of your chest and upper body) but still allow your pelvis to sink in further (because of its greater weight) and may aggravate any hammocking (and back pain) on your stomach, especially with a 3" top layer.

With combination side/stomach sleeping … I would normally recommend the firmest thinnest top layer that does a good job of relieving pressure on your shoulder area when you are side sleeping so that your alignment and the support on your stomach is better. For side sleepers 3-4" on top would be a typical thickness and in the case of those who also sleep on their stomach then thinner would be better than thicker. Firmer would also be better than softer. The thickness of the top layer can also be “helped” with a slightly softer lower layer which gets firmer faster with compression so even 2" on top with a slightly softer layer underneath it that acts both as part of your comfort zone (helping with pressure relief) and your support zone (helping with support as you sink in further) can often work well with combination sleepers.

The goal is for the “comfort zone” (the top few inches of the mattress) to allow your shoulders to sink in far enough so that enough weight is distributed onto the torso to relieve pressure and secondarily to fill in the gaps in the lumbar area. The goal for the lower layers below the comfort zone is to be firm enough to “stop” the natural tendency of the heavier pelvic area to sink in further than the lighter shoulders so that any further sinking in beyond the needs of the shoulders is “stopped” and encourages better alignment. This is especially important in stomach sleeping because in this position the upper body weight is spread out over a larger area (chest) than it is in side sleeping (where the more “pointy” shoulders have less surface area until the sinking in reaches the torso).

Zoning can also help if it is necessary (where it is difficult to find a compromise between stomach and side sleeping needs) where the materials under the pelvis are firmer than under the shoulders. The softer shoulder zone can “allow” the shoulders to sink in more on the side but still “stop” the heavier pelvic area from sinking in too deeply on the stomach.

So if I was in your shoes … I would try to do some local testing to help you determine the thickness and firmness of comfort layers that worked for your side sleeping needs and then make the layers underneath this as firm as possible to help with the support needs of your stomach sleeping.

I would also choose blended Talalay over natural talalay in your case unless you had a significant preference either for the slight difference in feel between the two or for a more natural material for other reasons.

SleepEz actually offers 3 different covers. There are the two quilted options (quilted with wool) and also their non quilted cover (a picture is in post #76 here except it’s more off white than the lighting in the picture shows) which would allow you to sleep closer to the latex without the wool fibers in between (although this cover looks like it is quilted, it’s not). The difference between the “organic” and the “non organic” quilted versions would be smaller but the non quilted is a knit rather than a weave and would be more “stretchy” and conform slightly better to the latex underneath. Shawn could certainly give you more specific details about any differences between the amount of wool or the fabric used in each version of the quilted covers or any other differences between them in terms of their ability to stretch and conform to the latex underneath. In general woven covers are less stretchy than knitted covers and wool quilting will create a little firmer feel than a more stretchy unquilted cover.

Hope this helps