Help choosing latex layers / options

I’ve spent months reading the website and researching; I’ve learned a lot but am still struggling to make a decision; hope you can help. Overview:

  • 5’ 1" and currently 124 lbs (varies from 117-130). Short but with a curvy figure.
  • queen size bed will be just for me (hubby has his own room/bed)
  • Mild scoliosis, have had lower back pain and left side sciatica and piriformis issues in the past. Lower back pain recently returned.
  • I sleep very hot; I’ve removed all my mattress covers/pads and I have cooling sheets. Can’t have soft pillow tops or cotton covers that will get hot.
  • I sleep half way between my side and my stomach, with one knee bent. Have tried many times to switch to side sleeping with a body pillow between the legs for support, but I don’t sleep well that way, and after a few days it hurts my left hip (doesn’t feel like pain from mattress pressure on my hip, but more like piriformis pain from the position itself). Lately I’ve been putting a small towel under my hips/lower belly to try to keep my back in a more neutral position.
  • I’ve been posted overseas for years so have slept on all sorts of beds, but haven’t tried latex. Some mattresses are immediately awful; others feel fine for a month, and then I start having pain; but I can’t always determine why. I think I need a nice firm support layer, but with a comfort layer that will provide some pressure relief and work well with my curves and my weird half-way sleeping position - it really needs to keep my spine supported and keep it from arching too much.
  • Now that I’m returning home, I want to finally find a mattress that’s comfortable. But there are no stores near my home where I can try latex - it’s all the 3 S brands. So I’d prefer a mattress with multiple layers I can customize and exchange, and that has a good exchange and return policy just in case I can’t make it work.
  • Budget: $1000-$1700 range for a queen (not including foundation)
  • current foundation has slats and a center support; we’ll add more slats.

So…if I have to just pull the trigger and make a decision, what configuration should I start with? Based only on online research since I can’t try them, I’m leaning towards a combination of 3 layers Dunlop and Talalay; maybe medium/medium/firm. Does that make sense? I also wonder if a hybrid would be good, though some are too thick/tall for my bed frame and may not give me the flexibility to change multiple layers. Welcome your thoughts and recommendations on what might be the best fit, and what else I should consider in making the initial purchase. Thanks in advance!

Hi LbgMJ,

Thank you for providing your information and experience.

I have a couple of recommendations.

  1. At 5’-1" 124 lbs. be careful not to purchase something that is too firm. In my opinion, a Medium/Firm would be too firm for your profile. It’s important that you get support for your back issues. If the surface is too firm, you won’t compress the top layers and your spine will push down during sleep and cause pain.

  2. I am biased on latex as a sleeping material however that being said, I believe the right combination of latex layers will give you the support you need for your body profile.

  3. Based on the issues you’ve identified, having a mattress that can be modified is critical. It’s difficult enough to recommend a mattress for someone without back issues but it’s even more difficult with someone who does. There may be some trial and error involved.

  4. Based on your budget, a full latex (Dunlop and or Talalay latex) may be above your budget. A hybrid (spring and latex) may be more in line with your financial goal.

I hope this helps.

Hello LbgMJ, and welcome to the Mattress Underground!

A few thoughts here:

  1. Some hybrids allow you to switch layers (Naturepedic does) and they do run sales periodically if they are a little out of your price point. The EOS series is customizable.

  2. I’m wondering if a zoned latex, such as Obasan, would work for you. The price point is a bit out of range, but I’m sure there are others. A zoned mattress could provide firmer support to your back and hips, softer support to your shoulders. If you have breathable bedding and your latex is able to breathe, it can be very comfortable.

Good luck in your search! Katie for TCB

Thanks for reaching out. Based on your info I would go with 3" of Firm Dunlop followed by 3" of Medium Talalay with 3" of Soft Talalay on top. Of course you can shuffle the layers around but even Soft Talalay provides ample support for your weight and sleeping style. I’m 175 and a side sleeper and find the #19 soft Talalay to be perfect in both support and pressure relief. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I’ll review your suggestions and do a bit more research. Thanks!

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I like plush beds botanical bliss in medium. I have multiple genetic issues due to Ehlers Danilo’s syndrome. And I have tried everything from temper pedi to sleep on latex, to sleep ez and dealt and all. I needed support with some cushioning. I found it. I bought the foundation and the 9 inch mattress( I’m back and awkward side sleeper. I m 101 5’3 and the entire set up was 1749. Only caveat. Check sales. Like any other mattress site, you will never pay full price listed, but wait for " big holiday sales. There are a million throughout the year. I hate hyper inflated prices, but mattress companies all seem to do that.