latex layers help

Hi Phoenix
I bought a latex mattress from Sleep Ez about 4 weeks ago and I’m still having a problem getting the layers perfect. I have a king size split Talalay 9,000. (they were happy to give me the discount-Thanks! ) I’m 5’5" and 165 lbs, I let them know I sleep on my side and they said that soft(2") medium(3") firm(3") would be OK. When I first set it up, I did as you advise and didn’t rush the process of switching layers. This would all be very easy if I slept on my back because the support is great and the 2" soft layer is perfect. Unfortunately I sleep on my side most of the time and would wake up with pain in my hips and shoulders and sometimes some numbness in my arms. I called Sleep EZ for advice and they said to try soft/ soft/ firm but warned me that the soft layers wouldn’t last as long that way and basically there was no real fix to eliminate this problem(for me anyway). I ended up sleeping much better on soft/soft/medium but since the soft layers are only 2" each, my mattress ends up being 7" on one side and 9" on the other. lol. I’m not sure what to do. Do you think that a zoned mattress would have been a better choice?
Thanks for any advice you can give.

Hi novapbs,

Is there a reason you chose the 9000 instead of the 10000? The 10000 has a thicker top layer so having 3" of soft latex may have been enough to provide the softness and pressure relief that you need.

I think he meant doing a layer exchange and replacing the medium layer with a soft layer.

There is no way to know this based on “theory” and the only way to know whether any particular zoning configuration would work well for you would be based on your own personal experience.


Hi Phoenix- Thanks for the answer. I ordered the 9,000 because I had tried out a 9" mattress and that thickness seemed fine ,but sadly no store try out can equal sleeping on it at home. I think a 3" soft layer would be too soft, my hips would sink in too much and I’d get some lower back pain, especially since the latex has softened up some after 4 weeks of use. ( Is that normal?)
The Sleep Ez folks said to try an extra pillow between my knees for the hip pain and it fixed that problem. My next layer option of medium/soft /medium might work because that way my shoulder will sink into a softer layer . It seems logical anyway. I also just bought a thicker mattress protector. I think that you’ve said that they firm up the latex but I hope the the thicker padding in it will offset that and I really need a barrier over the mattress cover because of the wool odor. It would be helpful if Sleep Ez would add a pamphlet with possible solutions for certain issues, or put up more videos on that subject. If you have any suggestions it would be great. I really appreciate all the information you provide on this site and I’ve had some really funny experiences with some mattress sales people during this process.

Hi novapbs,

The thickness of a mattress is just a “side effect” of the internal layering and isn’t particularly meaningful and isn’t an effective way to to compare two mattresses. The specifics of the internal layering and components would be a much more effective way to compare them.

Based on “averages” and based on your symptoms as well … it’s very likely that a 3" top layer would work better for someone that was primarily a side sleeper.

All mattresses will go through an initial break in period over the first few weeks and it can also take a few weeks to adjust to the feel of a new mattress as well (see post #3 here). This is completely normal.

Putting the soft layer in the middle would actually result in a firmer sleeping surface than medium/medium/soft. A different pillow may also be worth trying (possibly thicker) and a different pillow can often help upper
body issues.

Your own experience will be the only way to know how this will turn out for you but as you mentioned a thicker mattress protector can reduce the ability of the latex underneath it to contour to the shape of your body so it can provide a softer surface feel but be firmer overall.

This probably wouldn’t be particularly practical because each set of circumstances or symptoms can be somewhat unique and a more detailed conversation with a manufacturer would generally be a much more effective approach than trying to use a “formula” on a video.

Outside of exchanging the medium 3" layer for a soft layer (which could be somewhat risky because of the thickness of the soft layers you would end up with), you could also add a topper in the range of 1" to 2" to your mattress as well to provide the additional softness and pressure relief that it sounds like you may need.


Hi Phoenix.
The larger pillow did make a difference so thanks for that idea.
I’m rethinking the mattress protector after reading your prior post on the subject. The first one I bought was very thin and hot, I haven’t used the new one yet but it’s cotton, a bonus for air flow even though it has a “waterproof polyurethane laminate” on the back . The organic cotton mattress cover from Sleep EZ has a strange type of material on the bottom that doesn’t seem to me like it can breath, so, even though they sell a waterproof mattress protector on their website, I’m wondering about ventilation after encasing the latex.
Thanks for your help Phoenix.

Hi novapbs,

It’s good to hear that the pillow helped.

The bottom of the SleepEZ cover is an organic cotton woven fabric which is breathable but isn’t the same type of fabric as the top surface and doesn’t contain any quilting because it isn’t meant to sleep on. There are some comments about it here and here.

You can read more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors in post #89 here. They sell a thinner membrane type protector made by Leggett & Platt and a wool quilted mattress protector made by Sleep and Beyond which also has a membrane. Both of them fit on the mattress like a fitted sheet and don’t cover the bottom of the mattress. The Sleep & Beyond would be more temperature regulating because of the wool quilting.