Help translating a foam and latex mattress to all latex

I am looking for a Latex mattress. I am mostly a side sleeper and weigh about 240 and have pretty broad shoulders (58") and a 38" waist. Despite this I generally prefer a firmer mattress.

All we have locally for all latex is Lebeda and that one is thin and really soft.

I went to Denver Mattress last night and tried out their iChoice latex/foam bed ($1899 floor model with foundation) which has the following specs:

Separate removable 3" topper 19 ILD talalay ADDED: you can see the specs here (thanks djarchow) and the topper is 14 ILD.
Thin quilting with little to no padding
2" 24 ILD talalay
1" 1.35 lb foam
4" 32 ILD talalay
3" 1.8" foam

The mattress felt OK without the topper, though not quite as firm down deep as my current innerspring pillowtop. With the topper it felt really soft on the top and much softer than my current bed.

I also tried a Natural Response (King Koil) latex bed ($1725 with foundation) which had the following specs:

Quilt layer 1" of heavy density soft quilt foam and 1" plush convoluted quilt foam
2" of 19I ILD latex
7" of 28 ILD latex
1" firm poly foam

I didn’t get to spend as much time on this one but it felt slightly less soft on the top than the iChoice with the topper.

I am considering building a mattress somewhat like the ichoice but want to go somewhat firmer but am not sure how to translate the latex/foam combination over to all latex. Her is what I am thinking of

2"-3" 22 ild
3" 28 ild
6" 36 ild (I could also do 2 3" layers)
1" 50 ild (this is just a base layer so something like a firm poly foam would work too)

How do you think this would compare to the other two? For the base layer, should I skip the 50 ild latex and just use a dense foam or should I skip this layer altogether?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Kind regards,


Hi djarchow,

There are too many unknowns and variables, the mattresses you listed are too different in design, and there are too many missing pieces of information to make any meaningful comparisons in terms of firmness or softness or PPP between them. It would also depend on who was comparing them because different people can feel and experience the same mattress very differently.

Having said that, as a wild guess only because they all have some missing information, and based on the top 6" of each mattress which is the part that you would “feel” the most … I would guess that the KK would be the softest, your mattress would be next and the iChoice without the topper would be the firmest. With the topper the iChoice would probably be the softest.

If you are considering building your own mattress I would make sure you read post #15 here first so you have realistic expectations of success and you are comfortable with the trial and error and possible additional costs that may be involved in a DIY design, and that a “spirit of adventure” and what you learn along the way is more important to you than any cost savings that you may or may not realize.

I don’t think you would feel much if any difference between the latex and a firm polyfoam layer of the same thickness.

All of this is as much an art as a science and there isn’t a formula that you can use to translate one mattress design into another with all the many variables involved in both the mattress and the person. There is more about “matching” one mattress to another one in post #9 here and there is more about some of the specs that can affect how different materials can feel or perform or work together in post #2 here.



Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it!. I have been doing a lot of research here and elsewhere and have read most of the posts you suggested. Great material. I also understand the challenges of building my own mattress. The biggest problem I have is the Lebeda and the iChoice are the only latex mattresses I can find within 120 miles of here so building seems like a good option.

I muddied the waters by bringing my own innerspring mattress into the mix. Let me ask this a slightly different way. Is it possible to compare the softness of the various non latex foams used in the iChoice to latex or is there too much missing information about the properties of the foam?

I realize it would only be an educated guess, but do you think that the layers I am proposing would feel firmer/more supportive than the other latex mattresses I tried while not being too much firmer?

Will that 1" very firm layer I had at the bottom of my cores add any value or could I just get rid of it completely?

Thanks again for all of your help and kind regards.


Hi djarchow,

You may already know all the options in your area but if you let me know your city or zip I’d be happy to let you know of any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area. A component latex mattress would also likely be a less risky option than a DIY construction.

The specs they list don’t include the IFD of the polyfoam and polyfoam IFD also isn’t comparable to latex ILD anyway (they are measured in different ways). The layer thickness, compression modulus, and point elasticity of foams also have a significant effect on how soft or firm they feel outside of just ILD (see post #4 here).

I “ranked” them based on a “best guess” in my last reply in terms of softness. I have no way to know how any of them would be in terms of support/alignment (which depends on your body type, weight distribution, sleeping position, and how evenly you sink into a mattress) and you would be in a better position to tell me about your alignment on a mattress than the other way around.

It probably wouldn’t have much if any effect.


What challenges? It’s easy and fun, although you might hit densities that don’t quite work out for you but most vendors will exchange the foam for you (you pay shipping costs). Chances are very high you will hit it right. I’ll speak for myself (recommend a Forum Search on my posts too) - I built my own and hit it out of the ballpark plus saved a lot of money - (3) 3" slabs of talatech latex zipped up into a cotton stretchy encasement placed on a solid top box. Firm on the bottom, 36ILD, medium over that, 28Ild, plush topper, 19ILD. Got a 2" 14 ILD coming in today to really kick it up a notch. :slight_smile:
Pix -


Thanks again for the reply. I appreciate it. I am in the north east part of Iowa and about 2.5 hours from the Quad Cities or Des Moines.

Regarding the support and how it works with my own body, I understand your point. It is mostly my own language usage getting me in trouble. When I said more supportive, I really just meant firmer, not how well that combination would actually support/align me.

The supplier I am considering buying from does do layer exchanges but the layers they stock don’t include a 22. So I am now considering:

2" 19 ild blended talalay
3" 28 ild blended talalay
6"36 ild blended talalay
with one of the cotton or bamboo and wool covers

or to go firmer

2" 24 ild blended talalay
3" 32 ild blended talalay
6"36 ild blended talalay
with one of the cotton or bamboo and wool covers

Thanks again for all of your help.

Hi djarchow,

Some of the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Cedar Rapids / Dubuque area are listed in post #4 here and for the area in and around La Crosse, WI are listed in post #3 here just in case any of these are closer to you.

Most people wouldn’t notice much if any difference with an ILD difference of 2 or 3 (and the ILD variance of a latex layer is in that range anyway) but if a mattress is a little too firm you can always add a topper but if a mattress is too soft then you would need to remove or replace layers rather than adding to them. At your weight, and unless your testing indicated otherwise, I would tend to lean towards a little firmer rather than a little softer.



Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

I have been trying a number of latex beds at area stores but it is hard to translate that into what I will order as most end up having a plush cover with an inch or two soft polyfoam in it. So I am going to rely on the expertise of the dealer I order from.

I have narrowed my search down to two online dealers, both who are mattress underground members. The price is close due to a sale that one is having. That dealer has been responsive to emails and questions. The other dealer was responsive for a couple questions but hasn’t responded in over a week.

As a reminder, I am a side sleeper, about 240 and have pretty broad shoulders (about 10" wider than my chest) I like my mattresses fairly firm but with enough cushion on top for my shoulders etc. Here are their two recommendations:

This is the dealer I am leaning toward due to their responsiveness but I am not sure about the dunlop. They will let me make one layer exchange.
3" 22 or 24 ild talalay
3" 31 ild dunlop (they said I could substitute talalay but I think it would have to be 28 or 29 ild)
3" 35 ild dunlop
3" 40 ild dunlop

This is the other dealer who has been less responsive. Their price is slightly less and they implied I could make more than one layer change if I paid shipping, though this is different than what was mentioned here on the forum.
3" 22 ild talalay
3" 28 ild talalay
6" 36 talalay

This will be a significant purchase not to mention it will be sight unseen/un-felt, Any suggestions?

Thanks again!


Hi djarchow,

The best suggestion I would have is to encourage you to have these types of conversations interactively preferably on a phone call but at the very least on a live chat. Email is great for questions that have a quick one sentence answer but not for more “nuanced” or detailed conversations or for questions that have any “it depends” in the answer (which is almost every question that involves mattress choices) that need to be more interactive in “real time”.



I did talk on the phone to one of the dealers. He was very helpful. I just keep second guessing myself, for example the 2 3" core layers of 35 and 40 (which you mention is harder to get right) vs one 6".

Thanks again!


Hi djarchow,

I’m not so sure that two 3" core layers are harder to get right than a single 6" core layer when you are purchasing either one online. More layers gives you more options to customize the mattress after a purchase than less layers but whether it would be “better” or “more difficult” to get right or “worth it” to have more layers would depend on the specifics of each mattress you are considering and on how close they are to the PPP that is most suitable for you.


Here is an update. I have ordered a 13" latex mattress from Flexus Comfort. Henry Ortiz, the owner, was great about answering my questions both via email and on the phone. I got a great price which included shipping, and the mattress should ship within 4-5 days. I ended up with the following layers:

22 ild talalay
31 ild dunlop
35 ild dunlop
40 ild dunlop
all in an organic cotton and wool cover

I will stop back in once I get the mattress and give more feedback. Thanks Phoenix for all your help, this great site and for your list of member manufacturers that led me to Flexus Comfort.

Hi djarchow,

Thanks for the update … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

As you know I think highly of Flexus and I think you made a great choice.

I’m glad the site was able to help you and I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive it.