Help me understand progressive

I have read the guides explaining the purpose of the different designs and layers - thank you for writing them! Now I’m thinking about how they apply to me and would like some help. I’m female, 5’6", 135lb, and sleep only on my stomach. My husband is 6’, 190lb, broad shouldered, and sleeps on his side. Our current bed is an innerspring with a pillow top. As the pillow top is showing wear, I feel less comfortable when I get in bed, but no aches and pains getting up. After reading your guides, this seems reasonable, as there is probably still the one inch of cushion needed for a stomach sleeper, and the springs are still in reasonable condition. My husband however is waking up with shoulder pain, which again makes since as using your measurement tip, he needs 3-4" of comfort layer for side sleeping, and our bed certainly does not have that now, and likely when new still did not have enough.

So how to find a bed for us both? I’m wondering if a progressive design might be the answer, something that has a thin very soft top layer for stomach sleeping, a medium middle layer that would give my back support, but also give my husband the extra depth needed for side sleeping, then a firm bottom layer. Does this sound sensible? If so, then I am next considering if the bottom layer should be a spring design, or latex? Or can both work for this sort of need? I am not interested in poly foam or memory foam due to chemical sensitivity, so I’m thinking latex for the middle and top layers would be best for me regardless of the material of the bottom support layer.

Or am I thinking about it too much and some form of 2 layer design might be able to handle our needs? If so, what might that be like?

Any guidance would be appreciated. My husband hates the “this one or that one” process, but I know he’ll appreciate a good choice, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can about what might suit us before I go to the stores to look and play the “this or that” testing game.



Hi awoods,

I would avoid trying to use specs to decide on a mattress that is the best match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) unless you have a great deal of knowledge about mattress design and theory or experience with many different mattress materials and components and different designs. Even the most experienced mattress designers will often be surprised at how a mattress was “supposed” to feel for any specific person and how it “actually” feels in real life and there are far to many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved to use specs (either yours or a mattress) to choose a mattress based on “theory at a distance”. The only reliable way to choose a mattress is either based on your own careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post or if you can’t test a mattress in person then a more detailed conversation with an online retailer or manufacturer that can help “talk you through” the options they have available that would be most likely to be suitable match for you based on “averages” (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here)

I simple terms … a progressive design uses several layers of materials and components (more than two) that use firmer materials on the bottom and then progressively softer materials as you move towards the top of a mattress. A “differential” design would typically be a more simple two layer design with a firmer support core and then a single softer layer on top of it that has a bigger “differential” between the firmness of the layers but these are just generic concepts and not specific guidelines that can be used to choose a mattress for any particular person.

The first part of post #2 here has more information about the different ways that a mattress or sleeping system can be designed to be suitable for a couple that has different needs and preferences. Again though … your own personal testing or if you can’t test a mattress in person then the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced online retailer or manufacturer would be the most reliable way to choose.

Yes … I think you may be thinking about it or “studying” it too much which can lead to “information overwhelm” and “paralysis by analysis”. In general it’s best to let your body and your testing decide on suitability (PPP) issues (or a more detailed conversation that includes information about your body types, sleeping positions, preferences, any unique health or other circumstances that you need to take into account, and mattresses you have tested or slept on that worked well for you if you are considering an online choice) and then use your mind and “specs” to decide on durability issues (by making sure you know the quality/durability of the materials inside a mattress).

Outside of any specific questions you may have … my “best” suggestions would be to follow all the steps and guidelines in the tutorial post one at a time without missing any and this will give you the highest possible chance of making the most suitable, durable, and “best value” choice based on the preferences and criteria that are most important to you.

One of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase is the knowledge, experience, and transparency of the retailer or manufacturer you choose to deal with and if you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know about any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.


Thank you very much for the helpful response. The posts you linked to were very relevant. I’m an engineer - I like to think about stuff and read details:) In another post you already pointed me to locations in my area (Orlando) - thanks! I plan to go visit Fox mattress, but as it is far enough away to make multiple trips a little less convenient, I’m trying to collect my thoughts before going there, and at least know what issues I want my new bed to address, so I can ask good questions and get the most out of visiting. Original mattress factory is a bit closer, so I think I’ll try to go there first to see how a latex comfort layer feels to me. I personally really like your mattress testing procedure, but the hubby isn’t going to be real excited about making multiple trips. So I’m trying to get myself focused so I can at least minimize trip length to make the process as easy as I can for him. What got me thinking about how to choose layers was actually from looking at the latex offerings from Sleepingorganic in SC (an area I usually visit at least once a year). They have some very nice customizable layer models, which got me thinking about how to know what kind of layers I’d want…

So to sum up, I think that I’ve got enough info now to go out and do some informed testing. I’ve narrowed in on the materials that meet my allergy requirements, and better understand the possible solutions to my husband and I’s comfort/support needs.

One further question. I currently use a dust mite encasement. Are there any mattress cover fabrics that use the tight weave fabric that doesn’t let dust mites through? It would be very nice not to need a separate encasement.



Hi awoods,

It may be a good idea to talk with them first after some of your local testing so you can tell them a little more about you and your preferences and do a little bit of narrowing down about the mattresses they have on their floor that you may want to test. If you also try and meet with the same person you were talking to when you actually visit you would already have finished some of the “preliminaries” and you would probably be able to make much more effective use of your time when you were there.

Hopefully if you do some of the “work” on the phone then one trip will be enough to narrow things down to a “finalist” there but I think it’s very important for a couple to test mattresses together because having two people on a mattress can feel different and can identify some possible issues (such as motion isolation or “roll together”) that you wouldn’t notice if only one of you was testing the mattress.

Online manufacturers that sell component mattresses generally have “standardized” designs and firmness options that they use as a baseline to help their customers make choices that would have a high chance of success based on “averages” but I would keep in mind that as soon as a mattress you are considering has any significant differences (such as in the type, thickness, or firmness of the layers or the type of cover) then translating one design into another can be difficult and in some cases seemingly small differences between two mattresses can make a surprising difference in how they feel and perform in terms of PPP. If you test a local mattress that has the same type of materials or components in the same thickness and firmness levels and the same type of cover as an online mattress then they will generally be a close approximation but if there are differences then it’s as much an art as a science to try and predict how the differences will play out in “real life” for any particular person. In the case of component mattresses though … they often have the advantage of being able to rearrange or exchange layers so you can do some fine tuning after a purchase if your initial layer combinations don’t work out as well as you hoped.

Not that I’m aware of no (or at least none that are breathable because some mattresses do have completely impermeable or waterproof covers but these are usually more institutional or industrial mattresses or are made for children). You may have seen this already but there is more about mattress encasements in post #2 here.


Thanks a lot for the very helpful advise! Good to know that there are no “built in” dust mite encasements, one less variable to think about while shopping for the mattress.

Today I went to Original Mattress Factory and did the “flop about” test. The top 3 that I liked were the Serenity latex model with a Poly foam core, and two of the Orthopedic Line innerspring mattresses, the Super Pillow Top and the Ultra Plush. I liked that they had little cross sections of each bed next to the bed, so I could see what is inside. What I learned about my preferences

  • Like a springy feeling mattress - I was surprised how springy the latex really is and quite liked it
  • Like a medium softness to the comfort layer.
  • Like to feel like I’m “on” the bed rather than “in” it. My hubby likes to sink in a bit more than I do.
    It was interesting that the two innerspring models I liked best had the exact same comfort layers, and the difference was purely in the construction, a European boxy pillowtop vs a plush tight top. My old mattress is a pillowtop, but it was a different kind of pillowtopy - rather than a side to the pillow top that has depth like the European one, it is a side with no depth, but still a separate pillow on the mattress top. Is there a name for that? I’m wondering if they are still made. I found that I prefer that style to either of the two I looked at today. I didn’t really care for the high in the center feel of the plush, but I found that I sink into the boxy style pillowtop a bit more than I liked.

I also noticed that Original Mattress Factory uses a cotton pad inside their innerspring models. I remember in the Fox video on their website that they indicated this is a poor choice for the humidity of FL because it can trap moisture and cause mildew issues. Do you have any opinion on this? I definitely have issues with dust mites and mold, so I want to choose something that is not prone to either.

Thanks for the good description of the online seller configuration strategy. I do like the idea of being able to modify a layer if the original choice isn’t quite perfect. I doubt I could buy something without trying first - that seems too difficult, but if I’m in SC any time soon, I will make a point to stop by their showroom and test some.

I like your calling guide very much - thanks for helping with “what to ask”. I will think over what I’ve learned today and then plan a trip out to Fox to hopefully try out a couple more kinds of latex mattresses. The place today only had one model, so it would be nice to get to compare a couple different latex firmnesses.

Hi awoods,

If the mattress looks something like this (like a separate pillow with recessed edges sewed to the mattress) then it’s a pillow top. If the mattress has flush edges like this with a “box” on top … then it’s a Eurotop or a box top. Post #2 here has more about the differences between them.

While it would depend on the specifics of the design and what was over the cotton and how well the mattress can breathe, having cotton deeper inside a mattress can make some difference and have a higher risk for mold or mildew in more humid environments yes. This doesn’t mean it would be an issue … only that the risk would be higher.

I’m looking forward to your feedback after your visit and of course any comments or questions you may have along the way.


Yes, pillowtop is what my old mattress is - thanks!

Thanks for the opinion on the cotton layer - I could see the cut away when I was there, and it was the insulator used right above the wire mesh on top of the box springs - so I think for me this might be an eliminating factor for this model. One of my goals with my new mattress is to reduce allergy possibilities.

After thinking about the feel of the latex mattress, I think that overall I like the material best so far in the intangibles, but from a comfort perspective it was a bit too firm. I want to try a latex model that feels “softer”. The construction of the comfort layer on each side is

  • 1" of Talalay latex blend (60/40), 16-22ILD 2.75-3.25lb density
  • 2" of Talalay latex blend (60/40), 21-27ILD 3-3.5lb density
    And the core:
  • 4" HD FoamCore - 26-34 ILD, 2.5lb density
    I understand from your excellent guides that ILD helps describe softness so I would want to try some lower ILD numbers I think to compare. What does the ILD given as a range mean? When I was there in person, there were no options to choose, so it wasn’t that I could pick 16 or 22 for example for the top layer. Could you also describe if density has an impact on comfort? I think I’ve understood density to have an impact on durability, with higher numbers being of better quality. Does density also have an impact on comfort or support?

Hi awoods,

ILD’s are never exact with latex (or any material for that matter) and they are always in a range. There is more about this in post #6 here. Many retailers or manufacturers will specify a single number which is usually just the “target” ILD or the midpoint of the range. ILD variances in the range of about 2 or 3 ILD or sometimes even more would be undetectable for most people.

I would tend to avoid using comfort specs to choose a mattress since most consumers don’t have the knowledge or experience to really know how to translate them into meaningful terms and with careful testing your body will tell you more about whether a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP than comfort specs. ILD is also only one of many factors that can affect the softness of a material or a mattress and by itself can be as misleading as helpful (see post #4 here).

Comfort is a very subjective term and involves a combination of pressure relief, alignment, the surface feel of a mattress, the overall feel of a mattress, and other aspects that affect how “comfortable” someone may be sleeping on a mattress such as motion isolation, motion restriction, and temperature regulation so it really doesn’t have any specific meaning.

Having said that … with polyfoam and memory foam density is mostly related to the quality/durability of a material and with these two types of foam any density can be manufactured in a wide range of firmness levels (and with other properties besides firmness). Density does have some relationship to compression modulus though (higher density polyfoams and memory foams tend to have a higher compression modulus) and since compression modulus is also one of the factors that can affect the softness of a foam material it can have “some effect” on how soft or firm a foam feels when you sink into it more deeply.

With latex on the other hand … density is a comfort spec not a quality spec and is directly related to ILD so firmer latex will have a higher density than softer latex of the same type and blend. I would also keep in mind that because ILD is only one factor in the firmness of latex (or any foam material) and because ILD is sometimes tested using different methods or thicknesses of test material that different types and blends of latex that have the same ILD rating may not be the same softness/firmness, different types and blends of latex that have the same density almost certainly won’t be the same ILD, and even different types or blends of latex that are tested in exactly the same way and have the same ILD may not feel like they are the same softness because of the differences in some of the other specs involved with how firm or soft a foam feels to someone.

I would also keep in mind that support isn’t only about firmness or softness because the goal of a mattress is good alignment in all your sleeping positions and a mattress that is too firm can be just as non supportive as a mattress that is too soft depending on which part of the body needs to be supported. There is more about primary and secondary support and their relationship to pressure relief in post #2 here.

If you begin to focus on specs (other that the “quality specs” that you need to know that you can’t feel when you test a mattress) then you may quickly reach a point of “information overwhelm” and “paralysis by analysis” and still be no further ahead in being able to decide which mattress is the best match for you in terms of PPP because your body will be much more effective at knowing this than your mind.


Thanks a lot for the great descriptions! I understand what the numbers mean much better now. I’m trying to figure out what questions to ask Fox over the phone in preparation for a visit. My goal for the visit are

  1. Find the comfort level of latex I like best - softness feel
  2. explore the support core types available that can be combined with that type of comfort layer feel I like and test them for appropriate support for me
  3. compare the result to the feel of to a pillowtop innerspring model to decide for sure if I want to go with latex

So would describing those goals and conveying then stats on the one latex mattress I have tried along with my impression that it felt supportive, bit a bit too firm be a good away to have them help me find models that I might like? What else should I discuss on the phone to try to make my in person visit efficient?



Hi awoods,

There really isn’t a lot of prior work you will need to do because you already know they are knowledgeable and transparent and most of the testing will be done when you go there.

My standard opening “line” when I call a retailer or manufacturer is “can I talk with someone about your mattresses?” I would then tell them you are traveling a fair distance and wanted to maximize the time that you had available there so could you give them a little bit of information about you and the mattresses you have tested and liked so that they can help you narrow things down a little bit before you visit them. I would then tell them what you are looking for (along the lines of what you posted here) and see if you can set a time to go there that the person you talked with will be on the floor so you can deal with them when you are there (and not have to start at the beginning again).

I would keep things very general and leave the specifics for when you go there.


Thanks very much for the advise on what to discuss over the phone! I will figure out a time I can visit, then give them a call.

I was able to go out to Fox yesterday to try in person. They really are great to work with! Very informed and attentive to what I was looking for, but did not rush us as we tested. Their showroom is big! They had approx 60 different models available for testing! I got overwhelmed before I tested as many as I’d like, but thanks to Trina’s guidance, I think we tested the ones that were most inline with our goals. It is great that they are so willing to educate you on what they have!

Some of the things I learned were:

  1. A doctor’s note provided to them will allow them to omit the fire barrier. They use boric acid, and I really do not want that in my mattress. So if I make my purchase there, I will absolutely go to my doctor and get a note.
  2. I really like the feel of a small amount of polyfoam in the quilting layer over the latex. They use 1 1/2" in the quilting layer. I still feel the latex has good spring and conforms well, but it smooths out the bouncyness just enough to eliminate that “bouncy castle” sort of feel so that motion transfer isn’t as noticeable.
  3. The quilting pattern is important to me. Hadn’t realized that before. But as I’m a stomach sleeper, I realized that since I use a very thin, or no pillow, I don’t want a quilting pattern that will place one of the quilting low spots right under my face.

We selected an innerspring model and a latex model we liked best. I would give the edge to the latex model, but my husband would give the edge to the innerspring. There is a 2K price difference between them, so it will be important for us to think carefully about it.

The two we liked were

100% Natural latex model

  • Quilting layer with 1.5" polyfoam
  • 2" 24 ILD, 4lb Talalay comfort layer
  • 6" 38-41 ILD, 4.8lb Talalay core

Innerpring model
2" soy based foam
1 1/2" latex (I think the 24 ILD, but this was the last bed we tried and I was on overload)
Fabric encased Pocket coils with a polyfoam border on the edges of the bed (like on their website video)

I think the one thing I was bit disappointed about with my visit is that they had no 3 layer latex models, and there were not any options to customize the level of softness of the latex in the all latex model. That is the only configuration it comes in. I was really hoping to learn a bit more about my preferences for different latex firmness options and how they interact.

For me, I think I might have preferred the comfort layer to be just a bit softer so I sink in just a little more, but this was very close, and I got good support. For my husband, he said he was comfortable on his side but looking at his alignment, I think his spine would be better aligned if it sank in another inch (as it was on various polyfoam pillowtop models we tried that were far to soft for me, but which he preferred). I wonder if on the all latex he might have been bottoming out on the comfort layer and hitting the firm support layer with his shoulder similar to what Halifax (who sounds of similar build) was experiencing in post #11.

He said that the pocket-coil mattress felt softer to him, and looking at his alignment on his side, I think his shoulder sank in a bit better than on the all latex model. So although the pocket coil model had the same thickness of comfort layer, maybe he was able to “borrow” comfort from the support layer a bit better. Does that seem reasonable?

So brings me back to the opening question of this thread on progressive models. I would love to have tested an all latex 3 layer model that had soft/med/firm layers to see if that configuration is better for his shoulder.

I’m also interested in your assessment of why Fox uses a 2" comfort layer instead of a 3" layer? I know that cost would be one reason, but it seems like offering a 3" comfort layer option would be nice. I suspect that if the model we tried had a 3" comfort layer, my husband would have liked it more. When I asked about customization, Trina indicated the only thing they could customize on the latex model was omission of the fire barrier, and selection of the quilting pattern. This is disappointing, as part of what attracts me to a local manufacturer is what I had hoped would be the ability to slightly tweak a model that is “almost” until it is “perfect” for the individual. I’m very hesitant to go with the pocket coil mattress, as I don’t want that much polyfoam (that outer surround) and the pocket coil fabric gives dust mites an additional place to live. But I would hate to pay so much for the all latex version, only to find out the comfort layer is too thin, or too firm. While adding an additional latex topper could help either of those issues, a lot of what I like about this model is the quilting layer on top of the latex, which would no longer be on the surface if I added a topper. So close…but not perfect, so the price tag makes me quite hesitant. If I decide this is my top choice, I will definitely go back and lay on it for 15-20 minutes again before I decide for sure.

Doing a bit more reading of others posts here, I learned today that there is a Savvy Rest dealer in Winter Park that is only a few miles from me. I think my next step will be to go there so I can experience a 3 layer latex model and spend some time figuring out what combination I like best, then compare that to the latex model that Fox offers.

Thanks again for all the wonderful knowledge this site brings together to help people on their individual journeys!

Hi awoods,

Thanks for taking the time to share some great feedback and comments about your experience at Fox Mattress … I appreciate it :slight_smile:

You are certainly doing some good testing and research which is good to see. It’s interesting to see some of the things that you discovered such as your preference for covers that are quilted with polyfoam or that one of you prefers an innerspring support core because there are many people that share the same preferences but in some cases they would look right past them because they start their research with preconceived ideas about what is “best for them” regardless of what their testing may tell them and personal experience always “trumps” theory.

This certainly sounds possible or even probable but that also doesn’t mean that someone else with a similar body type or sleeping positions will have the same experience because weight distribution and relatively small differences in body shape or the surface area of each part of the body that comes into contact with a mattress can be just as important as weight and make a surprising difference and there are also hundreds of variations in sleeping positions that can result in one person having a very different experience on the same mattress than someone else that “seems” to be very similar based on height and weight. I tend to take a more “bottom line” approach based on actual experience because there can be so many unknowns and variables involved in trying to explain “why” someone has a certain experience or feels what they feel on a mattress that it can be a never ending process to narrow down the “why behind the what” and it can become so complex that it leads to information overwhelm or “paralysis by analysis”.

You would need to ask them this but in most cases a manufacturer will carry a range of mattress designs that they believe would provide the range of options and choices that would be suitable for the majority of customers in their market and wouldn’t tend to make designs that they believe wouldn’t sell as well, that they believe would be a design flaw, that would increase the cost of the mattress outside of the target budget range, or would only be suitable for a smaller percentage of their customers. A mattress that uses a 2" comfort layer can be “functionally similar” to a mattress that uses a 3" comfort layer depending on how it interacts with the other layers and components in the mattress (including the cover) so there is no “magic” in having a specific thickness in one of the layers in a mattress because it’s the specifics of the design of the mattress as a whole that makes the difference.

I’m looking forward to hearing about the rest of your research and of course finding out what you end up deciding.


I’m happy to help contribute to the site - I’ve learned so much from others experience sharing. I’ll post again with impressions after my next round of testing.

I agree that one person’s experience is not necessarily a good predictor. What caught my eye about Halifax’s issue was that he loved his mattress to start, but then over a longer period of time started having shoulder issues. I am already concerned that the comfort layers on that specific mattress are not thick enough for my husband’s shoulder, so I’m very interested if Halifax resolved his issue. Hopefully he’ll post an update.

Thanks for your assessment of my guess about why the pocket coils felt better to my husband. With pocket coils, there are 2 things that might not work so well for me. One is possible increased offgassing from the polyfoam surround and pocket coil glues, since I know I’m sensitive to offgassing. The other is the possible increase in dustmites due to the pocket fabric. Do you have opinions on either of these? Have you had anyone experience increased offgassing and/or dustmite issues with pocketcoils vs other types of innersprings? I think next time I talk with Fox I need to ask if they have a model that has the same comfort layers, but uses a non-pocket type of innerspring so we can test it for comfort.

And I will wait to ask Fox about the comfort layer thickness until after I do some further local testing of latex to find out if a thicker comfort layer feels better to us.

Hi awoods,

While it may turn out to be true that you need a thicker comfort layer … the “comfort zone” or what I have sometimes called the “critical zone” isn’t the same thing as the thickness of the layers on top of the mattress and will have more to do with the relative firmness of the top few inches of your mattress combined (regardless of the thickness of any individual layers). There is more about this in post #4 here. If it did turn out that your shoulders don’t sink in enough to provide good pressure relief then this would be a case where adding a topper can provide any “fine tuning” that would be necessary if you don’t have any other “fine tuning options” such as a thicker top layer, a softer top layer, a different quilting pattern in the mattress cover, or other options such as a different pillow or a different mattress protector that can improve the pressure relief under the shoulders.

There is more about dust mites in post #2 here but in order for dust mites to multiply and thrive they need a source of food and a source of moisture. Their food comes primarily from skin flakes and a mattress protector (or in some cases a mattress encasement for those that are much more sensitive and/or have known dust mite allergies) would greatly reduce the amount of skin flakes that enter your mattress and “feed” the dust mites. The other is a source of water which they “drink” by absorbing moisture from the air or environment around them. Since coils are more breathable and have higher airflow than foam and ventilate well … they would be less likely to retain the moisture levels that are needed by any dust mites in the mattress. Although it’s true that pocket coils that have fabric pockets will have less ventilation than innersprings that don’t use fabric pockets … it’s unlikely that ventilation would be an issue with any type of innerspring (see post #2 here).

In terms VOC’s and offgassing of the foam surround … the large majority of people would be fine with polyfoam that was either made in North America and/or was CertiPur certified. For the very small minority that were more sensitive to any specific VOC’s than CertiPur tests for (you can see the testing limits here*) because of unusual sensitivities such as MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) or other health conditions … then they would probably also be sensitive to polyfoam used in their furniture as well and may be better off to avoid polyfoam altogether.

ADMIN NOTE:*Always check CertiPur site for the latest guidelines available

That’s a good idea but again … I would keep in mind that the “critical zone” and the depth of a pressure relieving cradle will also depend on the type, firmness, and thickness of the comfort layer along with the softness of the next few inches of materials or components underneath it. If a mattress you test has a thicker or softer comfort layer but uses firmer layers or components underneath it then it may not be a good reference point for comparison because it could still feel firmer to you than a mattress that uses a thinner comfort layer.


Thanks for the input on comfort layer thickness. I definitely agree that many other complex factors are interacting. I

I already use a full encasement for my mattress, box springs and pillow, and wash all bedding with bleach weekly. That keeps my dust mite allergy under control on most days, but not all. so I may lean away from pocket coils just to try and gain any slim advantage I can, since I know I need it.

Very interesting to read through the certipur test details. So many variables there! But I think I will look for a model that holds a certification for any polyfoam in it.

Hi awoods,

You can see the foam manufacturers that are CertiPur certified here*. All the major US foam manufacturers are CertiPur certified so if the foam in a mattress is made in the US it would almost certainly be CertiPur certified.

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint:


Today we went to a local Savvy Rest dealer to try out the Serenity latex. Having the middle transition layer makes a big difference for us in terms of comfort and support. To recap, I’m 5’6", 130lb and a stomach sleeper. My husband is 6’, 190 and a side sleeper with broad shoulders. We tried out several configurations, and we both liked the same one best!

Both our favorite is:
Soft Talalay
Med Dunlop
Firm Dunlop
It is great for his shoulder to sink in enough, and I think (but very hard to tell from 15 min) that it has enough support for me. No obvious support issue with an in store test.

Other configurations we tried were

2nd favorite (definitely enough support for me, but a bit too firm for him)
Soft Talalay
Firm Dunlop
Firm Dunlop

I thought this would be my first choice “by the numbers”, but it turned out to be too soft for either of us.
Soft Talaly
Medium Talalay
Firm Dunlop

We also tried changing the top layer to a medium, and we both found this configuration too firm.
Med Talalay
Med Dunlop
Firm Dunlop

It was great to be able to try out Dunlop to find we liked the feel of it. And I learned that I like the feel of the cotton quilting layer better than either the thin knit stretch types or a polyfoam quilted layer that we tried at other places.

So we’ve decided we want a 3 layer latex, now I’m considering Savvy Rest against online models. I am leaning toward the sleeping organic leaf. I will call tomorrow to get their advice on the closest match to the Savvy Rest model we liked. While price is a consideration, my main reasons for buying on line are that Savvy Rest doesn’t allow returns. I have a lot of allergies, and on the off chance I have a sensitivity to latex that I find out after the fact, I will feel better if I know that a return is possible. I am also allergic to wool, and I really liked the feel of the Savvy Rest quilted layer from a comfort standpoint, but it was slightly itchy to me. I think I still want to try out a cotton/wool cover, hopefully the wool will be sufficiently covered by dust mite encasement, sheets etc. But again if that turns out to be an allergy problem, I like that sleeping organic offers a cotton alternative, whereas Savvy Rest does not.

So I have 2 questions:
1 - Any comments on the similarity/differences between the latex Savvy Rest uses vs what Sleeping Organic uses? Do you know if the latex manufacterers are the same?
2 - Any comments on the quality/style of the sleeping organic mattress cover compared to the Savvy Rest? Does it have a similar feel? Does it fit nice and tight like the Savvy Rest?

Hi awoods,

Savvy Rest uses either GOLS certified organic Dunlop made by CoCo latex or 100% natural Talalay made by Radium in their mattresses.

Sleeping organic uses either 100% natural Dunlop or GOLS certified organic Dunlop (the 100% natural is the default and the organic is available as an upgrade) or 100% natural Talalay. Their Dunlop comes from Sri Lanka so it would likely be made either by Arpico or by Latex Green (both of which are in Sri Lanka) and both of these are very comparable to each other and to CoCo latex in terms of quality. I’m not sure who makes their Talalay (if I had to guess I would say Radium) but it would also be either closely comparable or the same as Savvy Rest in the same ILD range.

If you are comparing molded 100% natural Dunlop made by different manufacturers and they are the same density then they would be closely comparable in terms of firmness as well. There is also more about the differences between organic Dunlop and 100% natural Dunlop in post #6 here but the main difference is the certification itself … not the feel or performance (again if both are the same density/firmness).

They both use organic cotton and wool but I don’t have any personal experience with either one of them so you would need to talk with them about the more detailed specifics of each of their covers (type and thickness of cotton, type of zipper, type and amount of wool, how the bottom and top of the cover are finished etc). You can see a few comments about the Savvy Rest cover here and here. They would both be relatively “tight fitting” but I don’t know if one would be any tighter than the other.


My search is going slowly as other aspects of my life take priority…anyhow…thanks a lot for the great information!

I called Sleeping Organic, and talked with Chris. He was very helpful - knowledgeable and patient answering questions without any high pressure sales techniques. A very enjoyable conversation.

I learned that their Dunlop is made by Latex Green and their Talalay is made by Radium. I asked him for a specific recommendation based on our in person experience trying the Savvy Rest. He had specific ILD numbers on hand that Savvy Rest uses, and mentioned that he keeps samples of the Coco latex they use around for accurate comparisons. How great is that! He said that the soft Talalay they use might be slightly firmer than the one Savvy Rest uses, but overall a configuration of Soft Talalay/Med Dunlop/Firm Dunlop in their model should be very comparable to the SR I tried in person. After describing the two SR configurations we like best, he recommended we go with Soft/Med/Firm rather than Soft/Firm/Firm. He didn’t think that at my weight the Med middle layer would be problematic for stomach sleeping, and he said that most of the layer exchanges he sees are from people returning firmer layers for softer ones.

He also had great information about their covers, and could compare them specifically to the SR. He said that SR uses 1.5lb of wool per yard, and he uses 2.2 lb per yard - so a bit more. They have sourced a 100% organic cotton knit to use as the ticking, and are changing over from a 80/20 blend with polyester. They are also changing to using metal zippers instead of plastic. With those changes, he felt the cover would be very similar to the Savvy Rest, and its level of snugness should be similar. I also asked about the possibility of a non-wool cover, as I have allergies to wool. He said that the wool is very rarely an issue, and if I wanted to order the wool cover and it turns out I do have an allergic reaction, they can do a cover exchange for an all cotton version.

So I think that I am going to order from them. I am also considering SleepEZ. SleepEZ’s price is a bit lower, but I think that the ability to get a quilted non-wool cover if I need it as well as the location of Sleeping Organic are going to tip the balance for me. I expect I will be in the Charleston area over the holidays this year, so if I order prior to the holidays and have some time to evaluate the configuration of my initial order, if it turns out I think I’ll need a layer exchange, I would be able to go by their showroom in person over the holidays to try out a variety of configurations to inform my exchange choice. Those two “peace of mind” features are worth the slightly higher price for me.

I have ordered the West Elm Boerum bed frame, and am waiting for it to arrive. Once it does I will place my mattress order - very exciting!