Is latex best?

After making some calls to local businesses to see what brands they carry & if they have all latex beds (both in support layer & comfort layer) I am getting comments that I don’t believe are true. One place said they used to carry all latex beds but found out they sleep hotter & are the first to get body impressions so they no longer carry all latex beds just mattresses with latex in the comfort layer. Another place said that latex is too soft to be in the support layer. From what I have read here I would think that maybe these people are not fully knowledgeable?

We were originally looking at foam mattresses until I read the information on this site and believed that an all latex (in comfort & support layers) would be better as in lasting longer, etc. than any other foam mattress. I am now wondering if I need to re-think this.

My next question is we laid on a Jamison mattress and really liked it. It is the Comfort Choice. My only concern with this mattress is one side is firm and the other side is soft. We preferred the soft side. This type of mattress seems really strange to me and is it still something to consider purchasing when we will only use the one side. I know many mattresses these days are not flippable just rotate them so with that in mind maybe it doesn’t matter. I guess I am wondering if it effects the mattress differently and how that will sleep in the long run. What are your thoughts on this Jamison Comfort Choice mattress that has 2 different sides? We also liked the Jamison EQ Latex but this is latex in comfort layer only and found it not as comfortable as the Comfort Choice.

Here are our statistics if you could make recommendations for us. I am 5’5", 170 lbs and a side sleeper. My husband is 6’, 230 lbs and a back sleeper.

Hi tcpurple,

This seems a little odd to me considering that the comfort layers are the layers that most affect sleeping temperature and that latex is generally the most breathable of the three types of foam (polyfoam, memory foam, and latex foam). Perhaps their “all latex” mattresses had less breathable and less durable layers besides the latex in the comfort layers so their comments are based on the specifics of the mattresses they sold. I have also seen many retail outlets confuse latex and memory foam and when I ask about latex they will immediately start talking about their memory foam mattresses. Of course this is a quick indication about how knowledgeable they really are.

Good quality latex is the most durable of all the foam materials although there are differences between different types of latex. You can read more about this here.

I suspect that their choice to carry only latex hybrids is more about cost than the performance of latex itself but of course without knowing the specifics of their mattresses and the other components and the basis of their comments I don’t know for sure why they would give you what seems to be inaccurate information.

Considering that latex comes in a very wide range of firmness levels in both Talalay and Dunlop … this is completely ridiculous. They are either confusing latex with memory foam or they have no clue what latex is.

I would personally hesitate to buy a two sided mattress with different firmness levels on the top and bottom. While some people may want to sleep on a different surface from time to time … my own thoughts are that if I get it right with one side … then why would I want to change except for “exceptional” reasons. If I was looking at a two sided mattress … I would choose one where both sides were the same and “matched” my testing unless there were some unusual or compelling reasons to do otherwise. I just don’t see any real advantage to this considering the extra cost of finishing a mattress on both sides because it would prevent most people from flipping the mattress which is the main advantage of a two sided construction.

I don’t make specific layering recommendations for individual people because every component and layer of a mattress interacts with every other layer and each person also has different needs and preferences that are not connected to body type or sleeping position. There are too many variables involved to do this in any meaningful way without an extended telephone conversation.

The most accurate way to “match” different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences to a mattress are either personal testing in a store with the help of someone with knowledge and experience (the most accurate) or to work with an online manufacturer who knows the specific details of every component of their mattresses (not just the foam) and has a large enough customer base which can be “matched” to your most likely needs and preferences through a more extended telephone conversation based on “averages” and any specific experiences and feedback you can provide from local testing. Many of these also have some form of exchange policy which can allow you to make changes after your purchase if you don’t make the best choice the first time (although only a minority generally need to use this).

There are however some general guidelines that can act as a starting point based on body type here … on sleeping position here … and also here on how different types of layering and construction can affect and change both of these two guidelines. In other words there are many interacting elements that will affect your choices so I would use these as starting points only and then once you are actually testing mattresses or working with an online manufacturer … I would leave the guidelines behind in favor of either the specific recommendations of the person you are working with based on in store testing (for a local purchase) or “on the phone” advice based on more detailed knowledge of your needs, preferences, and experiences combined with their knowledge of the specific components and options of the mattresses they make and how they have worked for the many different types of people in their customer base.