Latex help in San Diego. Sorry if repost.

Hi everyone, I’ve been lurking this forum for a few days now and still having a little trouble finding a few answers that I’m looking for, mostly due to my inability to navigate forums.

I’ve read some amazing answers to questions from Phoenix and I was hoping to get some help myself.

First off, I need clarity on whether a mattress needs to be flipped or not. I was pretty much sold on the Habitat Frunishings with medium firmness that is a 6"dunlop core with a 2" Talalay topper until I found that the topper is glued on which from my understanding is bad? Then I found the 8" Botanical Bliss that is medium firmness that has a 6" dunlop core with a 2" talalay topper that isn’t glued but has a wool padding on top of the topper. I tried an ethos and sweda at AlDavis furniture (not sure what type of core they had) and I just didn’t like the feel of that wool topper very much. given that both these beds have a base and a topper I’m under the assumption that they can’t ever be flipped.

Escondido Mattress sells a Natural Talalay 6" mattress and the elderly gentleman on the phone told me, “a mattress has to be flipped, that’s what this younger generation doesn’t understand.” haha. This gentleman also notified me that the mattress comes with a cover and no wool, that the wool isn’t necessary but he could add it in if I wanted and it would cost more. This contradicts everything all the other salesmen had told me about it being a regulatory law for these mattresses to have a flame retardant padding of wool or something else.

Thus far in my search the mattress I liked the most was a medium firmness Pure Latex Bliss at The Healthy Back in Hillcrest. This bed however came with a 1" base and a 1" topper to what was a 6" Talalay core. I can’t remember if it’s natural latex and I’m pretty sure the “base” layer differs from the “topper” layer making this a one sided mattress as well but I’m not certain. I would have bought this bed if it didn’t cost 2800 with a 15% discount and I hadn’t learned about dunlop cores.

the next obstacle is that I haven’t been able to find a place in San Diego that sells dunlop cores so I can’t lay on one to see the difference between dunlop and talalay. Does anyone know of a place in San Diego that sells dunlop cores?

Lastly, in my search I’ve been hearing, and finding, that medium firmness is most likely best for me. I’m a very active athlete and I’ve always got some sports injury that I’m nursing back to health. Is there a different way of finding out what firmness is best for me aside from laying on the mattress and seeing what feels right. Like will a firm mattress be better for me in the long run and I just need to break it in. I tend to sleep on my back and side about 50-50 each.

Thanks for all your help and support and I apologize for the long post.
P.S. How can I find out who is a Mattress Underground member?

Hi browngerman,

A mattress that is designed to be flipped should be flipped because it will last longer which is its benefit. The down side to a flippable mattress is that it can limit the design and layering that is possible because thick layers of softer material on the bottom of the mattress can affect support so there is a little less flexibility of design. Materials like latex are very durable though so having a two sided design is not as important for durability as when a mattress uses less durable materials where the ability to flip a mattress can extend the life of a mattress considerably which otherwise may not last that long. A two sided mattress is “finished” the same on both sides (generally has the same comfort layers and quilting and cover meant for sleeping on the top and bottom) and the support core will be in the middle. With one sided mattresses … the firmer layers or support core will be on the bottom (which is usually too firm for sleeping on) and the upper pressure relieving layers will be on one side only. With mattresses … everything is a tradeoff and every type of design will generally have a positive and a negative. One sided latex mattresses are more common than two sided although you will find both.

Its the same with gluing layers. You lose the flexibility of being able to change a layer but the mattress layers are less subject to shifting. Glued layers will be more affected by the layers above and below them than if they aren’t glued and act more independently which can modify how they perform to some degree. Unglued layers may also be a little softer so for example 3 x 1" layers of latex will be a bit softer if they are unglued than if they are glued. For those who have a mattress with a zip cover and have the option of changing a layer instead of a whole mattress … unglued layers gives you extra options to replace layers. For a “finished” mattress where you can’t access the layers without cutting open the cover … then glued layers are the norm.

The type of quilting and ticking (cover) is a matter of preference. Wool is very popular because it is so breathable and temperature regulating and can also be used as the fire barrier but it will also affect the feel of the latex (or other materials) below it more than unquilted layers. For those who want the maximum latex feel … then unquilted layers would be the most common choice (the Pure Latex Bliss mattresses are like this). There is not better or worse here … only preference. With a separate topper … you can flip and rotate the topper which would extend it’s life and it would also allow it to be replaced without having to change the entire mattress (the upper layers of a mattress will generally soften and wear out faster than the deeper layers).

This would be a more common two sided construction (a 6" core with some quilting foam and a cover on both sides) and it can certainly be flipped to extend its life (even though latex is already a very durable material) but it would also not have a separate comfort layer so some people may not find it as pressure relieving and/or supportive as a one sided mattress that had progressively firmer layers. Anyone who tells you arbitrarily that “this is always better” is usually only telling you part of the story.

All mattresses need to have a fire retardant layer or method to pass the 1633 fire code but wool is only one method of doing this. There are other fire retardant materials as well and they would be part of the mattress unless you order it with a doctors or health professional’s prescription in which case it can be built without including fire barrier.

This is their firmest mattress and the 1" layer on the bottom is not a “comfort layer” and is meant as a stabilization layer. This is a one sided mattress with no quilting (and uses a viscose fire barrier). They make it in both a blended Talalay latex version (which they call “natural”) and in a 100% natural Talalay latex version (which they call “all natural”). the new models which just came out don’t have the firmer layer on the bottom and have 2" layer on top of “active fusion” Talalay instead. They are better than average value compared to many mainstream mattresses but not in the same value range as many smaller manufacturers (unless a retailer gives you a substantial discount from what would be normal).

Dunlop and Talalay can both make good support cores and this too is a matter of preference not one being “better” than another. There is more about the different types of latex in this article.

You’ve probabaly seen this but there is a list of some of the better San Diego options in post #2 here and several on this list may carry Dunlop (a few calls will find out) but I know for certain that Pure Rest does.

Unfortunately … words like medium aren’t really specific and one person’s medium is another persons soft or firm. in addition to this there is no single “rating” for a mattress because the firmness of the support zone or layers always works in combination with the softness of the comfort zone or layers and these two interact together. It’s always more accurate to use personal testing when possible to check for pressure relief (mainly the softness/thickness of the upper layers) and spinal alignment (mainly from the firmness of the deeper layers). Once you have a reference point of a specific mattress where you know all the details of what is in it and have a specific set of “symptoms” or feedback about how it performed and felt … then you would at least have a reference point that could tell what changes may be needed to adjust the layering towards your specific needs and preferences but without this reference point and detailed feedback then personal testing is the only way to really know for sure.

There are some height/weight guidelines here and some sleeping position guidelines here and this section about putting the layers together can give you a sense of how different types of layering and construction can affect both of these guidelines but this can be very complex (manufacturers that have been building mattresses for decades will tell you they are still learning how all the different variables interact together with the other layers and with different people) so its much simpler to use personal testing … especially with the assistance of someone who has the knowledge and experience to help you make good choices.

The manufacturing and retailer members of the site are here.