Latex Matress Topper for Floor Sleeping

Hello, new here, but decided to make an account after spending the whole weekend researching latex toppers.

I have spondylolysis on the L5 vertebrae so im very picky with beds. Ive slept on a tempurpedic bed for many years but after my inury 3 years ago it only causes back soreness. I think it is mostly from the sagging in the hip area and my injury gets aggrevated with extension, arching of the lumbar area. So for the last 3 years ive been mostly sleeping on 2 inch or 3 inch memory foam toppers on the ground but honestly theyve only been mildly effective. My latest bed has been the tempurpedic 3 inch campus matress topper and while it seems to be slightly better for my low back, i dislike how much my upper back gets cradled and seems the outside of my shoulders are bent forward because of the way memory foam works so now im looking for a latex topper because they dont have that sinking effect.

I went to a natural bedding store earlier this week and tried their 3 inch dunlop toppers in soft medium firm on the ground, sadly i forgot to ask the ILD rating so who knows what levels those really are, but i felt most comfortable with the firm as there really wasnt much sagging whereas the medium would sag a little too much for my taste and i can imagine myself getting soreness if i slept on it for the whole night.

Im looking online as the ones they sell are ridiculously priced at 500 or more and have come across some sites from recommended sellers from the matress underground so ive narrowed my search but would still love to hear some of your opinions for ground sleeping. I will also be traveling with the topper so im leaning more towards a 2 inch rather than 3. At least from my experience in the store, the 3 inch would be heaven to sleep on on the daily but depending on how well it compresses for traveling purposes compared to the 2 inch i might avoid it.

Some toppers im looking at are from sleeponlatex 44 ILD extra firm 2 inch, rockymountain dunlop 33-36 ILD, ebay seller latextoppers 2 inch 100 talalay in extra firm 40 ILD. I havent tried a 2 inch on the floor in firm levels because the store did not have any available, only the 3 inchers so im interested to hear your opinion on how it would differ. Im pretty light, being a male at 5’9 140lbs. But since i do not know the ILD of the firm they had at the store i cannot accurately judge the difference between say, the sleeponlatex 44 ILD vs 33-36 ILD firm. And then there is the talalay which is supposed to be softer, but at 40 ILD how much difference would it make?

Would love to hear your feedback, thanks!

Hi oraora108,

Unfortunately I don’t have any specific suggestions because the first “rule” of mattress shopping (or topper shopping) is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress (or a topper) and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which thickness or firmness for a topper would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a topper will “feel” to you based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

I can tell you that there certainly wouldn’t be very many people that would be comfortable sleeping on a 2" or 3" latex topper by itself on a regular basis.

There shouldn’t be any problem compressing either a 2" or 3" layer and you can see some suggestions for compressing a latex topper in the links in post #3 here.

There is more about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here. Thicker layers will feel softer than thinner layers in the same ILD (see post #14 here for more about the effect of thickness) and of course lower ILD’s will feel softer than higher ILD’s with the same type and blend of latex.

While your own careful testing or personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether a specific topper would be a good “match” for you in terms of comfort and PPP … when you can’t test a topper in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their toppers and their properties, firmness, and "feel"and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses or toppers you have slept on and liked or other toppers you are considering that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific toppers to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other toppers or materials that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

I would make sure that there is a good exchange/return policy as well just in case your choice doesn’t work out as well as you hope for.

The better sources for toppers and mattress components that I’m aware of are listed in the component reference post here.

Latex can oxidize faster with exposure to air and ozone and ultraviolet light along with other substances that can damage it see here so it’s always a good idea for a latex topper to have a dedicated cover to give it the best possible protection and to help maximize it’s useful lifetime. It can also help protect the topper from tearing when you handle it.
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I would also be somewhat cautious about the potential risks of using a topper directly on the floor when there would be no airflow under the topper (see post #10 here).