Is there a magic brand that exists for chronic pain?

Hi Phoenix,

First, thank you for your time and expertise…I’m truly grateful to get steered into the right direction on our heavenly hunt for comfort. I’ve purchased my share of mattresses and have learned more than I ever wanted to know to the point of becoming a pretty good candidate to be a mattress salesperson. (though I am not!)

I’ve read extensively through your helpful articles relating to the durability components to look for (higher BMI need 1" or less of padding to avoid breakdown) and so forth. Latex runs cooler than memory foam, brands to avoid due to lack of transparency, and know that this is all subjective as every shape and preference and health issue is so different.

I once purchased a firm Beautyrest for my mother…that thing is still going strong. Who knew? I bought it at some random little outlet on Sepulveda Blvd in West LA. I reside in Santa Monica by the way, hence my username. We added a foam topper and this way she can customize it to her likeness and it’s still as comfortable as the day I bought it…wonderful.

My husband and I purchased a Cloud Supreme Tempurpedic 8 years ago. We paid a small fortune for it in an Eastern King size. It’s been fine but it’s time to replace. We do not want another memory foam, however. We miss the ease of movement you get from an innerspring. I find that shopping for a mattress is a lot like “process of elimination” as it helps to know what you don’t want! The bed runs warm and I don’t like the sinking feel and find it very hard to move around.

I should also note that I am a “combo” sleeper. I switch from side to back. My husband is mainly side. He’s a high BMI (big guy!) and I’m average BMI, petite female. But the biggest issue is my chronic body pain I’ve lived with for over 18 years. I have a goodie bag of ailments in my spine, cervical and lumbar both, plus hip pain and overall arthritis, stiff-stiff all the time, achy and tender. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find the “Magic Mattress”. But, I’d be happy with moderate firm to firm and with something that provided a healthy alignment so I could rest deeply.

In a nutshell – we want:
Firm to moderate firm (you mention in a post if you’re undecided between two moderate firm and firm, go for firm.) I think you mention this because the durability will be longer without the extra padding to breakdown over time, correct?

No memory foam – but an innerspring maybe hybrid

King size

Under $2500 (my husband doesn’t want to be “married” to the mattress in case we hate in 5 years.) We’ve kept our Tempurpedic longer than we wanted because of the large investment.

Quality - of course and no online purchase

Sampled a “Monterra” Aireloom King and it felt great. Both in Firm and Firm plush. The plush was nice because of the tufted quilt surface and it felt luxurious. But, would be afraid the plusher one wouldn’t last as long due to my heavy husband. ?
The sales rep told me they have an “Atlantic Dream” in the warehouse that was never sold (still in the bag) and could sell it for 50% off. This is a $4700 mattress he’d give us for $2175 with a 100 day free trial, no restocking fee, we’d just have to spend the “credit” with them if we returned. I’m leaning towards this idea…but wonder, is the Atlantic Dream really like the Monterra model (just a different year, the rep tells me.) We are fearful of accepting a mattress site unseen. What do you think? You mention this is a brand to avoid and I have a photo of the specs but is that not enough info to go by? See attached photo. This photo is of the “plusher” of the two. There’s also an extra firm version of the exact same he could also do for the same price (another unused return). Would you go for the firmer of the two, given my husband is heavy and if after time, I think it’s too stiff, could always put a topper on it?

2nd question:
What’s your opinion on Sleep by Number? They feel ok, nothing like the Aireloom but the duel adjustability is interesting. And they’re pricey. How about Sherwood Lumina?

3rd question:
Is there a magic brand out there and WHAT BRAND DO YOU SLEEP ON? :wink:

Thanks for your time!


Hi santamonicagal,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

You’re very welcome.

I’m not sure exactly where you read this particular piece of data, but that generally wouldn’t be correct. Heavier people in general will need firmer and thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers than those who are lighter and because no materials will last as long with much higher weights the quality and durability of the materials and components is even more important than normal. Post #3 here has more information and suggestions about higher BMIs that is worth reading.

Being able to reposition is a key component of achieving deeper stages of sleep, and many people do find that memory foam “sleeps warmer” for them, so avoiding a product using similar material for your next mattress is probably a good idea based upon your comments.

I’m sorry to hear about your multiple issues. :frowning: Unfortunately, there is no one “magic mattress” that works to address so many issues – I wish there was! The best you can do is find something that tends to not exacerbate your current issues, uses good quality materials, and provides both good support and adequate comfort.

Not necessarily. Everyone’s definition of “firm” and “moderate firm” are of course different, but sleep ergonomic research will generally recommend if you’re “flipping a coin” between two comparable products and one has a slightly firmer surface comfort than the other, then you should lean toward the slightly firmer item, as over time all foams soften a bit and you’d always have the option to choose a plush topper to create more surface comfort. Between support/alignment and surface plushness, they’ll generally recommend to prioritize the former.

If you’re looking to stay local, I’m guessing one of the reasons you’d want to consider something is that ability to be able to sample it in person, so I’d be leery of something sight unseen (and no specifications) that is “similar” to what you tried in person. You stated you’d done quite a bit of reading on the site, so you’re already familiar with the fact that you can’t feel quality or durability and that the only way to objectively evaluate any product is to learn the details of what is on the inside of the product, so make sure that you find out the information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase. Aireloom is unfortunately not generally forthcoming with complete details about their mattresses, but if you’re able to procure that information about the mattresses you’re considering and post it here I’ll do my best to comment upon that information.

Unfortunately, the photo provides little meaningful information about the comfort materials within the product.

I’m not clear how a mattress could be an “unused return”. It doesn’t make sense that someone would purchase a mattress, not sleep upon it, and then return it. I’m not aware of the ability to determine whether or not a mattress would be comfortable by simply looking at it. :huh: But regardless, without knowing the complete specifications of the product, “discounted” or not, I would consider such an item a risky purchase and something to avoid.

You can see some of my general comments about air mattresses here and in this article. While any mattress can be a good match for a specific person because each person’s needs and preferences or the criteria that are most important to them can be very different … in general terms I would tend to avoid them unless there is a very compelling reason that an airbed would be a better choice in “real life” (outside of the many “marketing stories” that you will hear about them) than the many other options or types of mattresses that are available to you.

I sleep upon a latex mattress, although that should have absolutely no bearing on what you (or any other member of the forum) should choose. And no, there is no “magic brand” out there. :wink:


Thank you very much, Phoenix, for your reply and feedback, and please excuse my delay in replying.

You’re right about Aireloom not being very transparent with their product information. I called the company direct and their answer was "we don’t want to give out our “secret recipe”. So disappointing. Then, I had the salesperson at the mattress store contact his Aireloom rep and again, no answer I didn’t already know from what’s on the description card in the showroom.

The mattress is an ultra firm Atlantic Dream that we were considering and it’s been in their distribution center as an unused return because as the salesperson tells me, "it was ordered but never delivered because the customer changed their minds…and this is considered “dead stock” he tells me. I have to imagine that if a salesperson says it’s never been used, that better be true, correct?

It’s a good deal at $2175 if it is indeed brand new. But the catch is, after 100 days if we don’t like it, there are no returns only exchanges so we’d have to commit to finding something in that store and couldn’t go elsewhere.

I noticed Nest beds are on your member list and checked them out. I liked the Alexander Signature firm best. Love that they offer a money back refund if after 100 days we don’t like it. Sounds like there’s very little risk with Nest. Just am unsure about buying a box bed but see reviews are very good so that may be a good option for us before committing to another store.


Hi santamonicagal,

You’re very welcome, and no worries!

Unfortunately this is very common in the mattress industry. While there are certain specifications that I would consider to be legitimately “proprietary” and more comfort specs (ILD, for example), foam density would be one thing that a consumer would need in order to evaluate the durability/quality of componentry of polyfoam or memory foam within a mattress.

I would take them at their word, unless you had a specific reason to doubt them. It very well could be a cancelled order. The only thing that we can conclude about this mattress is that it uses a pocketed innerspring unit (which is rarely the weak link within a mattress), it uses a layer of blended latex from Talalay Global (but we don’t know the thickness of that layer - but it would be a good quality material), and that it is tufted, which can be good for helping to increase durability.

While the price may be reduced compared to their usual selling price, I’d still advise caution when you’re purchasing something without knowing the makeup of the materials within the mattress.

Yes, Nest Bedding it a site member here, which means that I think highly of them. Like many (primarily) online companies, they do offer good options for returns/exchanges. And while I know there are many reviews online for these various brands, I’ll recommend that you focus primarily upon the componentry within the mattress (using the links I provided in my previous reply), as that will give you a better chance at choosing something that can provide you a durable comfort life (combined with a detailed phone conversation with any manufacturer you’re considering to assist you in selecting an appropriate product), more than someone else’s review that would have very little meaningful relevance as to what may or may not be appropriate for you personally. Were you considering the Alexander Signature Hybrid (the one with the springs in it) or the Alexander Signature Series (the one that uses a polyfoam core)?


Those two models were my favorite after sampling them all, but lean towards the signature for its slightly more firmer, solid feel. Still need to get my husband in there to see them. Even though we don’t care for a memory foam feel (such as our current cloud supreme Temurpedic) I feel the polyfoam on the signature model offers more ease of movement and firmness.

Are there retailers in Santa Monica or Los Angeles that make your list or is it brand specific? I think a latex-individual coil hybrid might be a great fit (which I believe is the Aireloom) but am not sure what others to compare. I’m gonna give your list another look.

By the way, the salesperson answered 3lb density when trying to answer my question re density on the Aireloom but I was so confused with all the jibber jabber, I have no idea if that answer had any merit.

Thanks Phoenix.

Hi santamonicalgal,

I’m happy that you were able to go test out some of those Nest mattresses in person. Be sure to drag your husband in there!

I have discontinued the provision of listings of potential retailers in various geographic regions (unless they are already approved site members), because of the difficulty in maintaining such lists in a retail landscape that is constantly changing, and most importantly the confusion it was creating with the consumer members who incorrectly assumed that these businesses had indeed gone through the strict vetting and qualification process that is part of becoming an approved member of The Mattress Underground. Such an assumption is unfair to both the consumers seeking assistance, as well as the very businesses and manufacturers who have indeed qualified the be members here of The Mattress Underground.

You can perform a forum search on Los Angeles or Santa Monica and see what other businesses have been discussed in that region which may be helpful to you. There are quite a few retailers in your area.

Whatever business you’re considering, remember to always confirm that any retailer or manufacturer that you wish to visit is completely transparent (see this article) and also make sure that any mattress that you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here.

If you have any questions about specifications or certain products you discover, feel free to post back on the forum and I’ll do my best to be assistive.

The mattress has a layer of memory foam in it, maybe that’s what they were referencing (which would be a lower quality memory foam than what I would recommend), but without specifics we can’t be sure so I don’t want to assume.


Well, decision made!!! I’ve ordered us a mattress today! And surprisingly, I took an entirely different direction at Nest. Sunday night I got my husband in to sample a few. I had him try my favorite three: Alexander hybrid, Alexander Signature, and Latex Hybrid. He liked the Alexander Signature in firm like I did. Except…while sampling them again, I changed my mind on my favorite and ended up preferring the Latex Hybrid. Q3 too soft for us. Alex hybrid, too springy.

The Latex Hybrid seemed to me, the perfect combination of wool/cotton, Dunlop Latex, individual pocketed coils, and bottom foam. At first I found it too soft and liked the firm signature model, but ultimately decided Signature firm may be a hair TOO firm and decided the Latex may give us the sweet spot and trifecta of comfort, support, and better durability in the end.

The beauty is that we can try it without risk. The Aireloom was nice but I didn’t want to get stuck with one retailer should we end up not liking it. And when I went back yesterday to give the Aireloom a final try, I repeated my questions which the salesperson still couldn’t answer. It didn’t leave me with much confidence.

I’m relieved we made a decision and look frwd to our new Nest next week!


Hi santamonicagal,

Congratulations on your new mattress purchase! :cheer: I’m happy that you and your husband were able to find a combination that you both liked in the Next Hybrid Latex. It certainly uses good quality materials, and you of course have the ability to change the upper comfort layer with this design.

It’s interesting to note that many people in the industry with whom I have contact, and can sleep on anything they desire, prefer the feel of latex on top of pocketed springs.

Yes, that would give me pause as well.

I hope you’ll be able to provide feedback on how your mattress is performing for you once you’ve received it and have had a chance to adjust to it and sleep upon it for a while.


Thank you, Phoenix, will do.

Btw, I found that tidbit very interesting and satisfying – regarding your comment on those in the industry who can sleep on anything preferring coil/Latex combo, made my day. If that isn’t the best testimony and peace of mind for my choice, I don’t know what is!

Appreciate your guidance very much.


Hi sanatamonicagal,

You’re welcome!


Hi Phoenix,

I need some advice please, as it’s been six weeks into my Nest trial. 12/1 we bought the ultra firm Latex Hybrid. There’s some great qualities about this bed I like but after some time, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a bit too firm for me.

So, here’s my question: is it best to add topper to a very firm mattress OR go for the medium version?

If people buy very firm mattresses only to mask them with toppers, then why not buy the cheapest firm mattress and then add a topper? Or does having the firmer of the two provide better support and therefore it’s best to add a topper? I’ll assume the topper is memory foam so then by adding foam, I’d be getting away from the Latex feel…I’m confused as to what to do.

I know with an extra firm mattress, one can always soften it as opposed to starting out with a softer feel. I have until March to figure this out and keep what we keep so I need to make an adjustment now in order to test it till now…please advise.

Thank you!

Hi santamonicagal.

I am sorry that your choice did not work as well as you have hoped for, but the good news is that you do have some good options to find find the right comfort/support combination for you and your husband.

I would agree with you that although commonly used to fix a mattress it is good to avoid adding to your firmer mattress a separate topper afterwards unless there is no other reasonable alternative or unless you have a chance to do some careful and objective testing for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) on the specific combination in person using the testing guidelines in the mattress shopping tutorial . Deciding on a topper that would be a good match for both you and the mattress (the specifics of the mattress can make a significant difference in which topper would work best for you) can be almost as challenging as buying a new mattress in the first place.

It’s also important to know that any topper (or top layer) will interact with all the other layers in the mattress you have and the same topper can feel quite different on different mattresses. Your own body type, sleeping style, preferences, and sensitivities to different foam properties will also change what one person feels on a material compared to someone else. I would recommend that before you decide to go one way or another you revisit Nest showroom and test the medium version of the Next Latex hybrid and discuss your options. They are extremely Knowlegeable and offer great customer support and after purchase options.

Having said all that … if your mattress is still too firm and going with the medium version of Nest hybrid would not meet your support requirements for proper alignment and you only need some extra pressure relief then a topper can be a good choice to improve your existing system and the topper guidelines in post #8 here and the posts it links to. A good quality topper can certainly be an effective way to add some additional softness, “comfort” and pressure relief to your sleeping system but the only way to know for certain whether a specific mattress/topper combination is a good “match” for both of you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP is based on your own careful testing or personal experience on the combination. If you can’t test the combination in person then there will always be always some risk and uncertainty involved in adding a topper because the specifics of the mattress itself along with your own body type, sleeping position, and preferences can affect which specific topper would be a suitable choice on any specific mattress.

There is more information about choosing a topper and a link to the better online sources I’m aware of in post #2 here which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market) can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success. A good exchange/return policy can also reduce the risk of an online topper purchase so I would make sure you are comfortable with the options you have available after a purchase just in case the topper you choose doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.

Nest also has a good 1.8 lb Polyurethane topper that is designed to work in combination with their systems in case extra plushness is needed. (it is not latex as you would like but it is a good quality topper that is worth checking) I suggest that you call Nest and have detailed conversation with them about your options. (before engaging in purchasing a topper as a way to fix your mattress)

This assumption is incorrect as there as toppers can be latex as well as other types of materryals (poly, micorcoil, memory foam, wool….) As you like the feeling of latex then I would trust the feeling that your are familiar with and look for a latex topper option.
Keeping in mind that most of the toppers being offered are coming in 2"- 4" thickness, here are some of our trusted members who offer latex toppers that could fit your criteria.

Sleep EZ has 2" or 3" NR Talalay & Dunlop toppers
Arizona Premium 2" or 3" Talalay & Dunlop toppers
Flexus Comfort has 2 and 3" toppers
Foam Sweet Foam Has 3" toppers both Talalay and Dunlop
Latex Mattress Factory 2" or 3" toppers
Luma Sleep has 2" topper and 3" Talalay comfort layer (3 firmness options)
My Green Mattress Dunlop topper
Sedona Sleep a 3" Talalay blended Latex topper with zippered bamboo cover
Sleep on Latex Dunlop topers
Sleeping Organic 2" – 3" 100% NR Latex (Talalay or Dunlop)+ a Wool quilted Mattress Topper

I hope this gives you enough information to help you weigh your options and perhaps return here to let us know.


Thanks for your prompt reply, Phoenix. I spoke to the sales rep at the SM location at Nest last night and I don’t need know if you’re aware of this or not, but they’ve recently redesigned their Latex Hybrids using Talayay and have moved away from using Dunlop which is what my current mattress has. She said that the Talalay has given the mattresses a softer feel overall.

I’m going in today to test them out but here’s the thing, is Dunlop superior material than Talalay? If so, maybe I want to stick to what I have? I asked about the complimentary topper they told me they offered at the time I bought the mattress last month and she said “as of today, that’s no longer being offered…”. When I reminded her that I was told that would’ve been an option at the time of purchase she said she’ll double check because maybe that’ll still be valid since I’m within my trial period and only applicable for new customers.

Still, I don’t like the rules being changed halfway through the game…so hopefully I’ll have options once I visit later today.

I’m afraid the Talalay might have been a cost decision and if so, I’d rather stick with the superior material. But I will research the difference which could very well be that Dunlop is just slightly stiffer in feel.

I will post again with further development. Thank you again for your help and feedback. From your answer as to whether a topper is best of switching out the model, it sounds like as long as the medium still offers adequate support, that it’s best to get the overall mattered right as opposed to sticking a “fix it” on top. From what the sales rep says, both medium and firm provide the same support, it’s just a difference of feel.


Hi santamonicagal .

You are welcome! :slight_smile:

Nest is using both Talalay and Dunlop in their hybrid systems, and use them interchangeably to accommodate different customer needs and preferences. You can see Nest’s reply regarding the “change” in materials in Post #2 here

[quote] I’m going in today to test them out but here’s the thing, is Dunlop superior material than Talalay? If so, maybe I want to stick to what I have? … I’m afraid the Talalay might have been a cost decision and if so, I’d rather stick with the superior material. But I will research the difference which could very well be that Dunlop is just slightly stiffer in feel.

Nest is putting a great deal of time and effort into carrying mattresses that are good quality and value. I have also talked with Joe the owner on many occasions and he is passionate about what he is doing. In the past they left a larger manufacturer that had a somewhat exaggerated focus on “green” mattresses to form his own company because he wanted to “do it right”

While there are many websites that maybe trying to portray Dunlop as being more durable than Talalay or the other way around … I treat them as equivalents and as a preference choice rather than a better/worse choice in terms of durability and in a suitable design and firmness level both have a very long history that shows that in some cases they can last for decades (see the video here for an example)

The most “popular” choices in terms of a combination of foam characteristics that most people seem to prefer in terms of performance and price (value) is Talalay in the comfort layers and either NR Dunlop or Talalay in the support layers although any type of latex can be used in any layer and some people have much different preferences than others so I would make sure you have tested both to see which one you prefer. Your own experience and preferences are always the most important factor in choosing between them. In some cases (depending on the many factors that play a role in durability ) latex mattresses with firmer layers can last over 20 years.

Just to clarify a few things regarding latex (rubber) … there are two different types of raw materials that are used to make latex foam. Each of these materials can be used to make a foam using two different foaming processes. The two different methods used to make the foam are the Dunlop process (the original method) and the Talalay process (a newer more high tech method although it has been used for decades).

Dunlop process
The Dunlop process has two main variations and one is made in a mould and the other is made with a continuous pour method on a moving belt.Post #3 here has some videos of the different production processes.

The Dunlop method is simpler and results in a denser foam. Dunlop made in a mold is more difficult to make as soft as the Talalay process. It is also less complex and less costly to make than talalay. While it can be good quality in either a blend or all natural version … it is often preferred in an all-natural version because the greater elasticity can somewhat make up for the fact that it is more difficult to make as soft as Talalay and because the lower cost of production can make up for the higher cost of using more NR latex as a raw material. (It is poured in a mold or on a “belt” and then heated and cured to make the foam. It is most popular in a support layer however there are those who also prefer it in the comfort layers.)

Talalay process
The Talalay method is more complex and results in a less dense foam. It can be made softer and more consistent than Dunlop because of the production method that uses less latex by expanding the latex in a mold using a vacuum and then freezes it so the latex particles don’t have time to settle before it is heated and cured. It is because of the lower density and the method that it can be made more consistent and softer. In spite of having less latex in the foamed core because of the Talalay production method … it has a stronger cell structure with thicker struts so this can make up for the lower amount of latex in the material in terms of durability. Blended Talalay is most often used because it can create a more durable foam … especially in the softer versions or ILD’s. Talalay that uses 100% natural rubber is also available and is more elastic than a blend but may not be as durable as the blend in softer versions (lower ILD’s). There is more about 100% natural and blended Talalay in post #2 here . It is also more difficult to work with to make a consistent firmness so the natural Talalay can be made softer than most Dunlop (except continuous pour Dunlop) but not as soft as blended Talalay. The two different versions of Talalay are very similar in feel and are lighter and more “lively” than Dunlop.

Talalay and Dunlop have often been compared to angel food cake vs pound cake. There is a little more about the differences in “feel” between Dunlop and Talalay in post #7 here.

All of these production methods (Dunlop, Talalay and variations) make a very high quality foam that is more durable than any other types of foam materials (such as memory foam or polyfoam) and also have unique characteristics in terms of their ability to relieve pressure and provide support (get firmer with increased compression). The ability of softer latex to relieve pressure as well as memory foam and also to “hold up” the heavier parts of the body better than any other foam is part of the reason why so many people consider latex to be such a desirable material in a mattress.

Better manufacturers or retailers like Nest bedding are very helpful and I would guess that this change was done to improve the design rather than cost considerations If there is any confusion about they do a great job in providing accurate information and any clarifications. Talalay latex mostly comes from two different companies. One of these is Latex International (which is now called Talalay Global) which is US based and the other is Radium which is based in Europe. Both make very high quality Talalay products. There are many manufacturers of good quality Dunlop around the world.

To recap … Dunlop it is not “superior” or inferior to Talalay and any choice between them is rather a preference choice or what is best for each person, their own personal preferences and cost variations because all latex is a high quality material compared to other types of foam.

Hope this removes your concern and I’ll be interested to learn of your eventual decisions.


You’re the best…thank you! After two months of boot camp training leading material details and mattress quality, I’m now ready for an industry job! :slight_smile:

One question:

36 ILD Talalay vs 36 Dunlop is going to be slightly softer in feel. (Read post #7, very helpful as was your pound cake analogy).

I’m going to exchange my 36 ILD for a firm Talalay. The 28 ILD medium does not offer my spine adequate support. I’m a little nervous that the 36 ILD Talalay might be replacing too similar of a firmness, though it’s very hard for me to tell in the store.

Here’s my question: do you think it would be wise to order the firm Talalay but at a slightly lower ILD to ensure I’m not exchanging an apple for an apple? If so, what’s your recommendation on number? If I split the difference between 28-36, it’s 32. I was thinking 34 may be good…but how many numbers difference is a difference in feel? Is there a slight difference between 36 and 34 or not enough to matter? Again, 28 is too soft and thinking 32-34 may be the right adjustment.

I quote you here but am not sure if this answered my question:

A “one step” difference in ILD which would be about 4 - 5 ILD would be “in the range” for most people where they felt similar.

Thanks Phoenix!! Appreciate this last bit of ILD direction before I exchange.

Hi santamonicagal .

You are welcome! I am glad to be of assistance. :slight_smile:

This is correct!

I am not quite clear what you are looking to exchange… the 36 ILD but I don’t understand where the 28 ILD is coming in and it is also not clear …what you have and what you looking to change. (Dunlop… Talalay?)

At this point I am not very sure the exact configuration that you have right now and I would appreciate if you would restate it more accurately so that I can better assist you.


I currently have the firmest of the firm…I have a 36 ILD Dunlop latex from the Hybrid line at Nest. 36 ILD is the number for their firm. 28 is the ILD number for their “Medium” in the same bed. But according to the rep, when she took a photo, the 28 ILD doesn’t offer me the best support.

If I switch out my 36 ILD Dunlop for a 36 ILD Talalay, it will be slightly softer feel…ok, great!

But, I have an opportunity to “customize” my next order of their firm and instead of ordering it at a 36 ILD, I could dial it down a bit. If 28 is too soft (in Talalay) and 36 (in Dunlop) is too firm, should I go for say, 34 ILD? I’m just afraid if I stay with 36 ild even though it’s Talalay, I’d be switching one apple for another apple.

So, I was thinking since they’ll let me choose my ILD on the firm, maybe to decrease it a hair. If I split it between 29 and 36, it’s 32…but maybe 34 would be a good compromise.

I guess my question is what is the degree of difference in feel between each ILD number?? Can a human feel a difference between 36 and 34 or would it have to go down at least to a 32 to feel any difference? I do think it’s a slightly softer as a 36 compared to my 36 Dunlop at home, but to what degree is very hard to tell when I don’t have them next to each other at the store.

I definitely feel the 36 Dunlop is so firm, it feels “tight as a drum” with no cush whatsoever. Perhaps the 36 Talalay will give me a little more “give” but since I had the option to customize, I’m considering ordering the Talalay somewhere 32-34.

There’s an ILD firmness chart that reads 33 is the start of firm… I just want to know how much difference in feel between each number if it’s at all even possible to describe.

Thank you!

Hi santamonicagal .

Both 36 ILD Dunlop or 36 ILD Talalay will be firm. The 36 ILD Talalay would probably feel “a bit” softer in comparison, but it’s still what most people would call firm. Talalay in the same ILD as Dunlop will be less dense (will weigh less than Dunlop per cubic foot of material) because it has more air in it. This is the basis for the angel food cake vs the pound cake analogy.

If the Talalay is from Talalay Global, the next step down would be a 32 ILD, and that would be your more logical choice if the 28 and it wasn’t supportive enough.

Remember that ILDs are not exact numbers but ranges, and small difference in ILD are not generally perceptible. Nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress and the best I can do is to provide some guidance between different options and how they might relate to each other but only you can decide which of them you are most likely to prefer and which one would feel just right for you.


Perfect, thank you.

I spoke with Global and interestingly enough, they don’t even offer the 34 ILD, only 36, 32, 28…

I’ll try the 32 since that’s the next step down and seems like a good “middle” compromise between 28 and 36. Global tells me that 32 is still in the firm range, too.

So appreciate all your tremendous help in navigating this.

All the best!

Hi santamonicagal .

You are welcome :slight_smile:

Yes you are correct TG blended Talalay comes in target ILD’s of 14, 19, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, & 44.
It looks to me like you are on a good track, hopefully this is the last fine tuning you need to get to your “dream mattress.”

Good luck and I’ll be interested to hear about your progress.