LATEX, a few concerns

Okay, I thought I was ready to order a mattress but I kept reading and researching more and more… now I am too nervous to actually pull the trigger! I talked to Ken at Arizona Mattress Co. and was advised to consider the all natural Talalay with Bamboo cover. He thought that because my husband and I are somewhat small light, we should go with a 6" medium core with the 22ILD topper. I have not really seen or felt a latex mattress in person. These are my remaining concerns:

  1. I read that someone had issues with the edges of their latex mattress and had sensations of falling off and rolling. This is due to edge softness and a tight cover (that should relax with time). I like to sleep on the edge of my bed and I am concerned about this.

  2. I know that the core is exchangeable, but of course, I’d like to get it right the first time. A medium all natural Talalay 6 " core with 22 Ild 2" topper is what was recommended to us. We are used to a very firm bed, but Ken told me to go softer for our size, weight, and back issues . Does anyone have this mattress in this configuration?

  3. All Natural talalay core vs. a blended talalay core. Read on this forum that a blended core that is med. or soft will be more durable than an all natural talalay core. I wanted the natural talalay because I wanted to avoid additional chemicals and petroleum products. Is a natural Talalay medium core equal to a blended medium latex core in firmness?

I would very much appreciate any advice.


As you know I bought the Aloe Alexis Firm… I have always used a firm Mattress and am very happy with my choice.
I had the opportunity to try a soft Latex and a medium soft in a local Store - I hated the soft and did not care for the medium soft.

Maybe it will be worth your while to go somewhere and try a softer vs. firmer latex mattress even if you do not buy from the local store.

Also, sleeping near the edge was a trick I tried to gain extra support from my old Mattress! Simply put, I no longer need to do that.

Best Wishes,

Hi Diane37,

For most people edge support isn’t an issue with foam mattresses (memory foam or latex) but some people who do sleep with their body on the very edge of the mattress (or partly off the mattress) or who want very firm edges for sitting may well prefer a firmer edge. Post #33 here and post #2 here has more about the pros and cons of edge support. The firmness of the latex core and the thickness and softness of the latex comfort layers relative to your weight along with the normal break in of the mattress where the covers stretch a bit and the latex softens a bit will also make a difference. I know that I certainly don’t feel like I am “rolling off” my latex mattress when I sleep on the edge (which I sometimes do) but other people may have different perceptions from me. I have a two sided mattress which by most people’s standards would be very soft and it has a 28 ILD middle support layer and 3" of 22 ILD on each side and I am 6’ 5" and my DH is 5’ 7" and about 130 lbs. These types of issues are all very subjective and individual and while they are not normally a concern with a latex mattress … you can always test a local mattress that is similar to see if this would be an issue for you.

Post #2 here has more of the “theory” behind different designs but these are more generic and there are too many variables and unknowns to use them or make suggestions on an individual basis based on “theory at a distance” without a reference point of mattresses you have tested. Outside of your own personal testing on similar mattresses (if there are any available locally), the best way to make your design choice is the guidance of a manufacturer or retailer that you are buying from that has the experience and knowledge to help you make the best possible choices based on the averages of their customers that have similar body types, sleeping styles, and preferences as you. All good manufacturers (and Arizona Premium is certainly one of these) will make suggestions based on the information you provide when you talk with them on the phone that they believe have the best odds of success for your specific circumstances. If you ask 10 people on a forum you may get 10 different answers because most people only know what works for them and not for other people. A manufacturer will know which of their options will tend to work for “most” people in your circumstances as long as you provide them with enough specific information on a phone call.

Softer layers will feel firmer to people who are lighter than they will to someone who is heavier because they don’t have the weight to sink in as much.

A 100% natural talalay layer on top of your mattress in the lowest ILD’s will generally be less durable than a blend although all types of latex are more durable than other materials in the same softness level. Once you are in the mid 20’s or so then the difference in durability would probably even out. This may also depend on the manufacturer because Latex International says that their all natural is less durable but Radium says that both types should be equivalent even in lower ILD’s because they use a different curing paste that creates a more dense product in their all natural latex in lower ILD’s. A good manufacturer such as Ken will have the long term experience to be able to tell you how they compare in “real life” instead of just based on theory or the claims of a particular manufacturer. A “soft” core in your support layer is still “medium” (it’s only “soft” relative to other support cores) and only the upper layer would actually be soft but 22 ILD is close to the point where they would even out if there was a difference or the difference would be small (or perhaps non existent with Radium).

I would keep in mind though that all latex is a durable material regardless of its type and these are only comparisons relative to other types of latex not to other materials. The benefit of all natural is that it is more resilient and has a higher compression modulus so while it may not feel quite as “soft” as blended in the same ILD, it is more supportive (gets firmer faster as you sink in more).


Thanks for your replies. I was able to test some configurations of Savvy Rest mattress nearby. They only had Dunlop at this store, so this is the configuration that I liked best from bottom to top:

3" firm Dunlop latex
3" medium Dunlop latex
3" soft Dunlop latex

(This Dunlop smelled to me. My hands retained the smell until I washed them at home. It was not a pleasant smell.)

They had no idea of the ILD’s so this is all I can go on. I want to buy from Ken at He thinks that a similar feel will be achieved with this configuration, bottom to top:

6" medium core around 32 ILD natural Tanalay
2" soft around 22ILD natural Tanalay
Bamboo cover/wool

I thought that Dunlop is more firm in general than Talalay. I know Ken has plenty experience so I do trust him.
Does anyone have an opinion about this comparison and if the two would have a similar feel?
I can also go for a more expensive mattress with a Medium 32ILD blended talalay core and a 22ILD talalay top and bottom for two sided usage.

Any thoughts?


Hi Diane 37,

Dunlop has a “rubber smell” which is not as “pleasant” as the sweeter smell of Talalay but it’s temporary and not harmful.

Dunlop doesn’t have an exact ILD … only a range and ILD isn’t a “quality” spec so with local testing knowing the ILD isn’t important (your body will tell you everything you need to know). You can see the approximate range of Savvy Rest ILD’s in post #2 here. Qith Dunlop it’s often more accurte th think in terms of soft, medium, firm than to go by ILD numbers. The most accurate way to compare Dunlop in most cases is the density of the latex but this information usually isn’t available.

In the same layer thickness and the same ILD then Dunlop has a higher compression modulus than talalay so it will get firmer faster than Talalay. Every layer interacts with every other layer in a mattress so layer thickness, foam type, point elasticity will all contribute to how firm or soft a mattress feels to any particular person and how it compares to another mattress. This is as much an art as a science and educated guesses are the norm when you are “translating” one design into another (see post #9 here about matching one mattress design to another).