Latex Configuration Help


Great site! So glad I found it!

We currently have a Simmons King innerspring bed, which is 4+ years old and we are in need up an upgrade. My wife has lower back pain and neck pain and I often wake up feeling worse than when I went to sleep. We recently vacationed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and felt like we’d had a better nights rest than at home. We started our adventure by looking at the Bellagio line of mattresses by Serta. We liked the mattresses and spent a few hours trying them out, but after getting home and doing some research I decided to try some other options and ended up really liking latex.

I’m 5’ 11’’, 180 lbs and my wife is 5’ 5", 130 lbs – both are back and side sleepers.
I seem to fit the Princess and The Pea mold more than my wife. She does not have much of an opinion on most beds we try out. She thinks she likes a firm bed:)

Bed’s we’ve looked at so far:

The Bedroom Store
We were looking for memory foam when we walked in, but really liked the feel of the latex sleep metrics #2 bed. I was concerned, like you, when they would not disclose what the layers were made of, so I started doing some more research, which lead me to your site.

Tried both the PLB Pamper and Nature and the Savvy Rest Organic.
PLB Nature – We thought it was a touch too firm.
PLB Pamper - A 3"14 ILD topper was added to the top and we thought it was a little too soft. Doug, who is the owner’s son, suggested ordering the 3" 19 ILD topper to give us the perfect feel. Unfortunately, they did not have one for us to try, so we’d have to take a chance. He said he would take the topper back because we were going off of his recommendation, but I would still be stuck with the bed.
Savvy Rest Organic customizable – The setup in the store was Firm/Med/Soft and Firm/Med/Med Dunlop. The Soft Dunlop on top felt a bit too firm for us. They had a 3" Savvy Rest Soft Organic Talalay Topper on hand, so we traded out the 3" Dunlop top layer with the 3" Talalay topper, which we really liked. I believe the topper was around 22 ILD.

So, in conclusion, our favorite mattress to date was the Savvy Rest Organic Dunlop Firm/Dunlop Medium/Talalay Soft, but felt the Savvy Rest was too steep in price. The second option is the PLB Pamper with a 3" Talalay 19 ILD Topper. I’m concerned this setup lacks a medium firmness, since is would be 6" of really firm Talalay (40 ILD), then 4" of really soft Talalay (19 ILD). Does this setup make sense? Even if we went with only the 2" 19 ILD topper instead of the 3" topper? The Third option would be ordering the 10 inch online from Sleep EZ. Their prices are hard to beat! Since my wife and I both liked the Dunlop Firm/Dunlop Medium/Talalay Soft, would you recommend the same from Sleep EZ? I was thinking about getting king size layers since we both liked the same setup instead of customizing the sides. At the very least, I think we’d like the full king layer on top to avoid feeling the seam. I know you usually recommend her side a little softer when there is a 50 lb difference.

I’m starting to get overloaded with information, so I’m reaching out for some advice.


Hi r_letch,

[quote]The Bedroom Store
We were looking for memory foam when we walked in, but really liked the feel of the latex sleep metrics #2 bed. I was concerned, like you, when they would not disclose what the layers were made of, so I started doing some more research, which lead me to your site.[/quote]

You were wise to do some research. The Sleep Metrics mattresses are made by Boyd and the “engineered latex” they use in many of their lower end mattresses is actually polyfoam that has been fabricated to have a similar feel to latex and is not latex at all. They are part of the Sleep Metrics system which uses a computerized system to “point to” one of the 4 mattresses in combination with a pillow. It’s a sales tool that is being used by other manufacturers as well such as the Kingsdown MySide to help the retailers sell their mattresses (it only points to mattresses made by that manufacturer).

I think the fact that this was your favorite would bypass the other testing you did because it’s also the easiest layering to “duplicate” almost exactly with the sleepEz 10000 with a similar choice in layering.

Both of these make sense but like you I would think the 19 ILD would be less “risky”. A very soft 4" comfort layer (3" of 14 ILD and 1" of the 19 ILD that is on top of the pamper) over the very firm is what I call a “differential construction” and would need a thicker comfort layer to isolate you from the firmness of the very firm core. The alternative type of layering which I call “progressive construction” could use a transition layer or a softer support layer and would not require as thick a comfort layer. Both methods can work well but require different layer thicknesses and layer ILD’s. It would have been interesting to try the 2" PLB topper but I suspect you would have felt too much of the firmness of the core 'through" it.

All of this is somewhat moot though because as I mentioned the SavvyRest worked better anyway and it’s much easier to “duplicate”. The Talalay topper would have been in the range of 22 ILD and would be the same material that SleepEz uses (they both use the same Talalay supplier). The comparable equivalent in the less expensive blended Talalay would be @24 ILD. Medium and Firm Dunlop would be closely equivalent even though they use different Dunlop suppliers.

There are lower cost ways to go of course but they may not be the same as the SavvyRest which is your model and I would personally stick with the closest duplicate to the testing that worked best for you (which in this case is a 3x3 layering using the same or similar materials and firmness levels and a similar cover). This would make the two directly comparable and wouldn’t require any “translating” of different layer combinations or thicknesses to be comparable. I would also not argue with testing results no matter what the weight difference because personal testing always trumps “theory at a distance” which is based on averages not on individual needs and preferences. None of us is ever really “average” :slight_smile:

Talking with the manufacturer (in this case Shawn) can also give you any additional insights you may need that are specific to the mattresses they make.


I also tried Savvy Rest and wound up buying a similar setup from SleepEZ about a month ago - we have been very happy with our decision so far, and I feel that since the insides of both mattresses are basically the same, and the only real difference is the service, price and the mattress cover - SleepEZ beats Savvy Rest on each of those points. The Savvy Rest cover feels like burlap compared to the SleepEZ organic cotton+wool cover.

SleepEZ also offers blended talalay as an option, which in the top layer, with a lower ILD, may offer better quality, comfort and durability at a lower price, if you are not dead-set on a 100% natural product . We chose blended talalay for our top layer, and it was the cleanest, most consistent piece of latex we were shipped.


Thanks for your help! I think the Sleep Ez route seems like the best solution for us:)


Thanks for the post! We are not dead set on an all organic mattress. That was only what we tried in the store and would like to duplicate the feel. I’m a bit confused by the Organic vs Natural mattress choices at Sleep EZ. Is the only difference the cover and the choice of 100% Talalay in the organic price? Do you think we could get the Dunlop firm/Dunlop Med/Blended Talalay 22 ILD with the organic cotton+wool cover for $2000?



Thanks for the help! Our original goal was not the 100% organic route, but wanted to try and duplicate what we had liked locally. I would rather go with the blended latex, if we could get the same comfort and feel. I’m assuming you went with the blended latex in both the Dunlop and Talalay. Is this correct? If so, does the blended Sleep EZ feel similar to the organic Savvy Rest? Also, you mentioned the a lower ILD Talalay for the top layer. Are you saying we have a choice to get a blended Talalay top layer from Sleep EZ, which is equivalent to the 22 ILD Savvy Rest we tried?


Have you spoken to Shawn at SleepEZ yet?
He is very happy to take calls with questions about his products and configurations. He is a better resource than I.

That being said, here’s my two cents until you call him: I don’t think SleepEZ has a blended Dunlop option, and I don’t think this is something you would want, anyway (Shawn or Phoenix can confirm this for you).

Here is my understanding of their selection:
They offer 100% natural Dunlop and organic Dunlop.
Their Talalay options are blended Talalay and 100% natural Talalay.
If you go with their “Natural” line, you will have a choice or combination of 100% natural Dunlop and blended Talalay.
If you go with their “Organic” line, you will have a choice or combination of organic Dunlop and 100% natural Talalay.

Unfortunately, I do not have any personal experience to base my comments on their soft layer and compare it to Savvy Rest, as we chose a medium ILD for our top layer, so I am not personally aware of how the SleepEZ soft layer feels. Again, don’t hesitate to call Shawn. If you go to and click on “mattress lines” then “mattress components” you will see that the ILD of their soft Talalays are in the 22-24 range. Most of the latex mattress builders and Phoenix will confirm that blended Talalay is the highest “quality” material, will last the longest, and is probably more comfortable than 100% natural Talalay in a similar ILD. So if is not equivalent to the Savvy Rest layer, it’s because it may be better.

FYI, I spoke to Shawn 3 or 4 times on the phone before actually placing my order.

Hopefully I answered all your questions.

Hi LAsleeper and r_letch,

This is correct and as you outlined he has a choice between “organic” and 100% natural Dunlop and blended or 100% natural Talalay. While blended Dunlop is a higher quality material than many other types of foam … in the “latex world” it is the least desirable in terms of quality and performance. If price alone is the only or most important factor, it may still be a better choice than other foam options but I personally would stick with 100% natural or “organic” Dunlop or either type of Talalay.

They also have a choice of suppliers which may have some differences in their ILD so I would talk with them about the ILD specifics of their choices.

Other than that … LAsleeper did a great job of outlining the options they offer and I agree that blended talalay is usually considered better “value” than the 100% natural because of better durability and pressure relieving qualities, especially in the softer versions, than 100% natural Talalay. Of course it’s also a lower cost material which is an added bonus.

As LAsleeper also mentioned … Shawn is also very knowledgeable, helpful, patient, and informative and is well worth talking to in terms of finding out the specifics of what they offer and the many options available to you. The “horses mouth” is usually the best source of more specific information (sorry Shawn … I’m really not calling you a horse :))


Phoenix and LASleeper,

Thanks for the clarification! I was confused on the Dunlop options.
I called Shawn and ordered the Natural 10,000 - Natural Dunlop Firm/Natural Dunlop Medium/Blended Talalay soft split layers, so we could swap some if needed.


I have one more question. Can we re-use or old mattress protector or do you advise purchasing a new one? Our current Mattress protector is 4 years old.


Hi r_letch,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

This would probably depend on the type of protector but if it’s still in good condition and doing what you want it to do … then there should be no problem. Depending on the type of protector though … it may or may not have the best (for you) combination of qualities (effect on the mattress layers, breathability and temperature control, and water resistance) that you would otherwise want with a new latex mattress. If it has the combination of these three qualities that you prefer though … then I see no reason not to use it if it’s still in good shape.



I totally disagree with Phoenix (OMG has this ever been said on this site???!!!)
You just spent $1900 or so on a beautiful, brand-new mattress with many natural, and all non-toxic materials.

Why would you want to put a 4-year-old protector that has been absorbing the off-gassing of your last mattress, your body sweat and oils, and put it as the closest layer to you, except for your sheets? Hopefully, you’ve been washing it from time to time, but who knows what’s still left in the protector? It’s kind of like washing your feet, then putting on dirty socks.

Sure there is no “problem” in using it, but why not take the $99 you saved with your “The Mattress Underground” discount and treat yourselves and your new mattress to a brand-new protector?


Yes, I agree. I think Phoenix would agree too:) I probably should have asked the question differently. Do you have any suggestions for a new Mattress Protector?


I think a lot of people like the St. Dormeir wool cover - it will run you like $200 for a king size cover.

Both Phoenix and I actually have the Natura Protect Deluxe cover - it retails for $300, but I lucked out and randomly found it on sale last month at for $176 with tax & shipping. It is nice, well-made, and has about a half inch of wool padding in it, but I don’t think I would put my name on it, so to speak. I thought I would like more wool between me and the latex, but now I think I actually prefer less. Natura has some other products that are worthy of a look, as well.

If you like the one you have now, maybe just get a new one?

The protect-a-bed line is simple and decent, especially if you don’t want much between you and the latex.

I also have experience with the CleanRest Ultra - it is a total encasement that has an good top layer, but the sides and bottom are made of a plasticy material that kind of reminds me of Tyvek. But you don’t really come in contact with those surfaces, anyway. CleanRest is not a bad choice for those who are concerned about bedbugs and dust mites and want some extra peace of mind (even though latex is supposed to be the best material to prevent dust mites).

FYI, when you get your mattress pieces, they come with absolutely no paperwork or instructions. My best advice to you is: 1) make sure the floor is completely clean in your bedroom before you take out the components to assemble your mattress, or else whatever is on the floor will wind up inside your mattress; 2) handle the latex layers very carefully (they can tear easily) 3) you need to carefully shake them out a bit to fit properly in the cover (some may seem too big, but they’re just a little stretched out from the packing process); and 4) when you zip up the cover, try to pull the cover away from the latex as you go, because it is very easy to zip the edge of the latex into the zipper, especially the first time, as your cover will fit quite tightly.

Hi LAsleeper and r_letch,

@LA Sleeper

I sometimes (ok … maybe occasionally or rarely) wish this would happen more often … it’s the only way to “check” on things (or me :)) sometimes and makes sure that research keeps going. It’s happened more than a few times though that people weren’t so happy with my opinions. I actually like differing opinions and much of the research I’ve done was the result of differing opinions held by people who I respected and my curiosity about how such widely different opinions could be equally valid led to a lot of research into the “whys” behind the “whats”.

I personally agree with you and I would also use a new protector in most cases but this would also depend on the condition and type of the protector I had. If it was a high quality wool protector or pad or one that I had washed regularly and I thought it was still in good condition (including hygenic condition) then I would consider keeping it and my reading of the question was more towards “was it OK” rather than “is it the best idea”.

Your comments about putting the mattress together are also great. There is also a customer step by step with pictures on their website here. They also used to have a video (which I remember watching) but they are in the process of changing their site and it has temporarily disappeared (NOTE ADDED: The video is here). FairfaxMom also mentioned the lack of instructions in post #2 here and I mentioned I’d ask about it when I talked with him next which I did today. They are working on a new website which will include videos and lots of updated pictures and information :).

I lucked out too when I bought this on sale at Costco. Mine is still in good condition although the wool has flattened a bit in some areas (it was thin to begin with). It’s still doing what it’s supposed to do. If I had to choose again though … I’d probably choose the Dormeir because it doesn’t have the waterproof/breathable membrane and in retrospect I’d probably choose a little more breathability and “water resistant” over a protector that was fully waterproof. I’ve never used it but I think the Dormeir may also be a little bit more stretchy.

@ r_letch

As to any other protector suggestions the three main functions (besides an encasement that is meant to protect against bedbugs) that represent the tradeoffs involved are water resistence/waterproofing, breathability/ventilation/temperature regulation, and the effect it has on the “feel” of the mattress.

My personal choice if it was just about the feel and absorbing basic moisture and body oils when you are sleeping (and water resistant or waterproof wasn’t important) would be a stretch cotton protector such as this (and there are others that are similar but this one is particularly nice although it’s expensive). This would have a great combination of breathability, soft feel, and would stretch with the compression of the mattress but it lacks water resistance or waterproof qualities.

My next personal choice would be a thin wool protector such as the St Dormeir or the Natura. This has more of an effect on the mattress but it is breathable (the Dormeir more than the Natura which has a waterproof membrane). There are other types made with wool as well such as felted “puddlepads” which don’t have cotton around the wool (cotton can improve moisture transport).

The thin cotton protectors with a waterproof/breathable membrane are also a really popular “compromise” choice and they are generally good for having less of an effect on the mattress (although some have reported that it can create a “drum effect” and they didn’t like it as much because of this) but it’s less breathable than either cotton or wool without a membrane. I would choose a cotton or viscose fabric rather than a synthetic fabric bonded to the membrane.

Gotcha Covered has an organic cotton stretch knit protector here.

Naturepedic also sells one that is organic for those where this is desirable.

Protect-A-Bed makes a stretch knit Tencel (Eucalyptus) protector here.

SafeRest also makes the Perlux stretchy Tencel protector here.

I haven’t slept on enough of these to really know the differences between them from personal experience but Protectabed and Luna protectors seem to be good choices. The Protect-A-bed protectors are Oeko_Tex certified.

A few other options (of the breathable/waterproof membrane type) for comparison purposes include …

Recovery Mattress Protector Made with Celliant which can help promote circulation (see post #1 here)

There’s lots more and some good price research in post #1 here but that should be enough for reference.



Thank you so much for all of your help!! Our current Mattress protector is the bed bug encasement type, which we never have washed:( I think we will go with a new one, which is removable:)
Another big thanks for the setup instructions! I will be sure to reference them when I receive my new bed next week:)


Thanks again for the thorough response! Buying a new mattress can be exhausting:)
I’m thinking about going with either the Protectabed or the Luna protectors.

Thanks again!

r_letch -

Yea, 4-year-old unwashed mattress protector = burn dat $#!+

I just found this cushy protector for like 72% off at Amazon - seems nice: Malouf Quilt Tite
waterproof with 600TC cotton cover, free shipping

Phoenix - it is filled with “gelled microfiber” - seems to be their trade name or description a material called something else by other manufacturers…any opinion on this material?

Hi LAsleeper,

This type of mattress pad (a little thicker than just a protector) would “adjust” the feel of the mattress more than just a thin protector. The “gelled microfiber” would likely be a low dernier (a microfiber is less than 1 dernier) polyester fiber of some type which has been siliconized to make it slippery and make it feel like a featherbed (these are often called “down alternatives”). It also has a breathable/waterproof membrane. This would “translate” into the ability to wick moisture more than a cheaper higher dernier polyester but synthetics don’t absorb the moisture as well than a natural fiber so may be warmer (more moisture or humidity against the skin). The membrane would also lower breathability compared to a protector that didn’t have a membrane. The fiber would add some softness to the hand feel of the layers below, and would be “waterproof” rather than water resistant. The better quality polyester fibers are durable and will keep their loft and resilience for some time but will eventually shift or compress and become more “matted” and firmer.

So overall … it would be a good choice for someone looking for a protector/pad that would add some softness, may not regulate temperature as well as other natural fiber options without a membrane, is waterproof, and lower cost than other natural materials.



I received my mattress from Sleep EZ last Thursday and have slept on it for 4 nights. My setup is Natural Dunlop Firm/Natural Dunlop Medium/Blended Talalay Soft, with the Luna mattress protector. Right away it felt too firm and it still does. I’m uncomfortable sleeping on my side and have not been sleeping through the night. When I sleep on my side I feel lots of pressure in my shoulders. The Latex at Sleep EZ may be comparable to Savvy Rest, but it’s not the same. Even the full dunlop setup I tried locally felt softer to me than my current setup. I would say my current setup feels like the LB Pamper without a topper.

What do you think I should try next? To recap, my weight is 175 - 180 and height is 5’ 11’’ and I’m experiencing lots of pressure on my shoulders when sleeping on my side, plus it just does not feel comfortable to me when I lay down, like the latex I tried locally.


Hi r_letch,

There are really two possibilities here. These are any objective differences and any subjective differences so I’ll speak to them separately because both will have an effect on how your mattress feels and performs for you. Of course the protector or bedding or other “non mattress” factors such as the foundation could also play a role in any differences but these can easily be eliminated as possible sources of any differences.


Talalay: Savvy Rest uses 100% natural talalay from Latex International (NOTE: they now use Radium) while SleepEz offers both blended and 100% natural Talalay. In the same material and ILD … they would be identical. Comparing blended to 100% natural Talalay, the two materials are very similar with the blended being a little softer and more pressure relieving in the same ILD. Savvy Rest doesn’t reveal which ILD they assign to “soft” but since they use LI then their soft would almost certainly be N2 which has an ILD in the range of 22 the same as SleepEZ. In other words … this would not likely account for any difference in what you are feeling. The range of ILD variation in the same “rating” is smaller than Dunlop so this would also be unlikely to account for any difference.

Dunlop: SavvyRest uses CoCo latex and SleepEz uses Latex Green. In the same density they would also be very close to the same. Dunlop though has a much wider variability of ILD’s in the same layer (the ILD of the layer varies from place to place) and in different layers that have the same “rating” which is why you normally see it specified as an ILD range rather than a single ILD number. In other words … a “medium” could be on the low end of the ILD range in one instance and then on the high end in another instance even from the same supplier or outlet. This difference could be large enough that some people may feel it even if the Dunlop came from the same Dunlop supplier and the same outlet.

Other: Of course human error also can play a role and either the density or ILD of what you lay on in the store or is in your mattress could have had the wrong “rating” assigned to it. With SleepEz this is very unlikely and it would also be unlikely at most Savvy Rest outlets but the odds are greater that one of the Savvy Rest outlets may have mixed up their layers over time. In this case the difference would be that what you were testing was different from what you are sleeping on due to “human error”.

In all of these … the difference would not be the difference in actual materials but in the ILD of the materials. 100% natural Dunlop in the same density and ILD will be similar between manufacturers. Talalay comparisons of 100% natural in the same ILD will be the same within the ILD tolerance of the manufacturer which would be fairly small. Talalay comparisons between different types of Talalay (100% natural vs blended) in thinner layers (rather than a whole 6" core) would also be very similar in the same ILD’s.

So if what you are feeling is because of an objective difference between what you tested in the store and what is in your mattress … then the goal would be to make an adjustment to make your mattress closer to what was in the store. Since barring human error the top layer would be the same (Savvy Rest soft would be the same as SleepEz soft) … then the difference is most likely to be in the middle or lower layers. If the Savvy Rest top layer was firmer than “soft” then your symptoms of it being softer than the SleepEz wouldn’t match. The only other possibility here is that somehow you have a talalay layer in your mattress which is firmer than “soft” which is also unlikely … but of course possible.


This is where things can get a little tricky. Our impressions and experience of the same materials can vary from day to day and week to week to different degrees. Our experience with sleeping on a mattress overnight or over many nights can also be different from what we experienced in a store. Most people have had the experience for example of testing a mattress one day and “rating” it one way and then testing the very same mattress on another day or week (sometimes even later in the same day) and it felt very different from what we remembered.

The same can hold true of any differences in the “testing” experience vs the “sleeping” experience. Almost everyone has either experienced or knows someone who tested a mattress in a store and it felt a certain way and then when they slept on it, it was completely different. Some of this can be accounted for by the difference between a new mattress that hasn’t “broken in” yet and a floor model that has but much of this is the differences in subjective perceptions and the limitations of our subjective memory which is influenced by many things including environment, context, mood and other factors. In other words … even if the mattress at home was identical to what they tested … some will genuinely feel that it is different at home than it was in the store … and for them they are correct. This is part of why I have often mentioned the “highly managed environment” of many showrooms because a “good” mattress salesman can influence what their customers feel (and thus their choice of mattress) to a degree that would be surprising or even shocking to most people. This is also why it’s important to recognize “patterns” rather than just “impressions” to make sure that what someone is feeling is consistent over time and not just a day’s or week’s anomaly (bearing in mind that the testing could have also been the “anomaly” in which case normal sleeping will never match it).


So now the goal is to move the feel and performance of the mattress in the direction of your ideal. You could do this by “working towards” your memory of your testing experience which would be mostly subjective memory and may not relate to what you need and prefer in your long term sleeping experience. It would be more accurate to work towards the “resolution of symptoms” such as pressure relief or alignment in other words rather than a memory. The more specifically you can identify in objective terms what you are feeling … the more likely that any layer exchange will solve any issues. Since everyone has a “range” of pressure relief and alignment that works (although some are more sensitive than others and have a narrower than average range) … it’s normally a matter of making a change that puts you in your ideal range for the “symptoms” you are experiencing.

So from your description it seems that the general “category” of symptoms you are experiencing is pressure relief and that your shoulders are not being “allowed” to sink in enough. This would normally be because the top 3" is too firm but in your case … outside of human error and actually receiving a layer that was “rated” incorrectly … this doesn’t seem likely (unless of course you would have experienced the same thing with the Savvy Rest once you actually slept on it because this may be a symptom related to time spent on the mattress rather than one that shows up during testing). This means that the most likely possibility would be in the middle layer which would be the one that had the next greatest effect on pressure relief. This would indicate a change to a softer layer or a change in material from Talalay to Dunlop. Of course you could also change the ILD of the top layer as well regardless of whether that would “match” the specs of the Savvy Rest you tested.

Either way though … the most effective guidance would be a more extensive conversation with Shawn who will give you much better guidance with the specifics of the mattresses they make than the more generic “possibilities” than I can suggest. Once you have enough experience on the mattress that a “pattern” is clear, then he will be able to make the best possible suggestions about which layer to adjust or even address the possibility that your top layer is somehow more than the “standard” 22-24 ILD.

Hope this helps.