Help with layer configuration of latex mattress

Me: 5’9" - 126lbs (18.6 BMI)
Him: 6’3" - 190lbs (23.7 BMI)

We are in our 30s.

I am a very light sleeper and one of those people who cannot just fall asleep anywhere. I exclusively sleep on my side but have issues with the right side of my body, possibly stemming from a bad mattress, and have a lot of pain and numbness in my hip and leg when on that side. I have always preferred a somewhat softer mattress but I do not like feeling like I sink deep into the mattress, especially because I like to read and spend time on the computer in bed. I also have some lower back pain from my current mattress (cheapo foam) but it is hard to figure out what setup would be best for me since this mattress is absolutely terrible with significant indentations and a firmer, center hump. When I do rest on the mattress alone I try to go towards the center where the foam is less degraded and supportive and so that makes me wonder if I need more of a medium-feel mattress, rather than a soft one. I have used latex pillows all my life and love them, and so that, plus wanting a more natural bed, has me looking at an all-latex mattress.

I am not sure what configuration to get - even after months of research, I still feel uncertain. I don’t really have the option to test any mattresses in person so I must rely on what I read. Obviously not ideal. I thought maybe a soft talalay layer, medium talalay layer, firm dunlop layer might be the way to go but I am not sure. Will the middle medium layer in talalay feel supportive, yet soft enough? Or would it be better in dunlop?

I don’t really want to go much higher than 9" for the mattress height as my current mattress is only 8" and sort of ideal for my bedroom setup (nightstand height, bed frame height, etc). I also want to have some wiggle room in the event that I did end up needing a topper.

As for my husband, he is mostly a side sleeper but will occasionally fall asleep on his back. He has fewer issues with pressure points, but our current mattress is so sunken on his side that he has back pain and tosses and turns all night. He says he is not picky and just wants a new mattress, but I think he actually would prefer something more suited to him. I don’t know if we should get a mattress with split latex, or if it’s usually better to have it be a solid layer across the width of the mattress. I really don’t want to have a weird lump form in the middle, nor a crevice where the split is, but maybe a soft talalay layer would be too soft for him and break down quickly?

I’ve looked at so many different mattresses at this point, and have had numerous moments where I thought I had figured it out, but then find real reviews of terrible customer service experiences, or the wrong product was sent, or it takes months for the mattress to show up. Also, many of the mattresses that I liked the look of I think would be way too firm for me.

I think I have mostly settled on getting a SleepEZ Organic Latex Mattress in a Queen, for the company’s reputability, the option for both talalay and dunlop latex and a variety of firmnesses, and for the price. I just feel really uncertain about the layering configuration. I also am really trying to avoid testing out layers and having to do returns because I live in a walk-up apartment in NYC and don’t drive. Getting a heavy, bulky package to the post office seems like a hassle I don’t want to put myself through. Basically, I just need help with understanding how soft “soft” is, and maybe info on what a common setup for someone with our sleeping preferences and weights would be. Thanks!

Hello meatball and welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out! First, please keep in mind that the 10" mattress is definitely our most popular, which has three 3" layers and one inch of wool in the cover. The 9" mattress has two 3" layers and a top layer that is 2" thick, then an inch in the cover. The top layer in the mattress is normally the softest layer, so the 9" mattress is firmer and more supportive than the 10" mattress. In your mattress, for example, you would only get 2" of soft Talalay and 2" of medium Talalay in the 9" whereas the 10" would get you 3" of soft and 3" of medium, making for a softer feel than the 9". The 9" mattress can be more difficult to do layer exchanges for because we would need to know in advance what layer you want to replace because we would need to know if we’re sending you a 2" or 3" layer. In the 10" mattress, by contrast, we know we’re going to send you a 3" layer no matter what and you can try tons of different combinations with the 3" layers to try different firmnesses and get the mattress dialed in. I always urge customers to go with the 10" mattress, not because we work on commission or because it would benefit me in any way. However, this is absolutely your mattress and however you’d like to order is completely up to you.

I would definitely recommend either soft Talalay over medium Dunlop over firm Dunlop OR soft Talalay over medium Talalay over firm Dunlop, and that would be for both sides of the mattress. The top soft Talalay layer should provide all the contour and pressure relief needed to avoid any pressure point issues and will add secondary support to the mattress. The bottom two (medium and firm Dunlop) layers will provide all the support needed to maintain proper spinal alignment and avoid back pain. The configuration with 2 Dunlop layers would probably be better for your back, and the configuration with 2 Talalay layers will be better at pressure relief on your hips and shoulders. For your husband’s side of the mattress, I would definitely recommend soft Talalay over medium Dunlop over firm Dunlop.

Please keep in mind that even if you lay on a mattress for hours in a showroom, you still won’t know if it’s right for you until you actually sleep on it and allow your body time to adjust. I’m concerned that you may be putting too much emphasis on the initial feel of something as opposed to how your body adjusts to it, and that information is something you can only get from time spent sleeping on a mattress. Our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate) so there’s a 90% chance that our recommendation works perfectly for you. But, most importantly, if you try that set up and find that it’s too firm or too soft, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the layers or request a layer exchange to adjust accordingly and get the mattress fine-tuned for your specific preferences & needs. As such, the best thing you can do is pick the setup that has the best chance to be successful for you and adjust from there (if needed).

Aside from that, about 95% of our mattresses go out with all split layers from top to bottom, and we get zero complaints on being able to feel the split and we get zero complaints about the layers shifting or anything like that. If all of your layers are split, you will always be able to adjust your side without affecting your partner’s side and vice versa, and you’ll have that option for the entire 20 year lifespan of the mattress. Additionally, the mattress will be easier to assemble, easier to move if needed, easier to do any layers exchanges if needed, and easier to return if needed. There really are no downsides to having all split layers. Additionally, if all of your layers are split and you decide you want to try (just for example) soft Talalay over firm Dunlop over firm Dunlop, you can borrow a firm Dunlop layer from the other side of the mattress for a night and actually try it in your home. By borrowing different layers between the 2 sides, you can actually try tons of different combinations to find out what your perfect setup is.