Latex mattress advice for one who sleeps very warm

Phoenix … thanks for such an informative website, but I’ve read too much and have information overload. My goal is to give good advice to my son who is in grad school and in the middle of a move with limited time right now to wade through the decision points. SleepEZ will stack the website 5% off plus their current 5% memorial day sale if an order is placed today, but will hold order for several weeks so that final configuration is determined. Not committed to them nor absolutely ordering today to lock in the extra 5% off, but is appealing and from reading here and one brief phone call to them and their website they seem to offer a great value with excellent service.

Solution likely will be queen bed with his/her adjustments; on new wooden slat base; and I expect separate wool topper for added temperature control (especially excess heat). Solution also needs flexibility for future changes at a reasonable cost. Cover and any separate wool (or otherwise) topper will be organic. Trying to narrow down the variables.

His
5’ 11" #225 back sleeper sleeps very warm (on current older pillow top coil spring mattress, but the very warm has always been true).
Large framed and muscular and intends to loose at least 30# but not while dealing with grad school.
No injuries or unusual spinal or other health issues that would impact mattress choice.

Hers
This is an unknown but intended future direction.
Planning for this upfront is part of the need for flexibility.
The firmness choices for this side will allow easier experimentation for his side without the need to necessarily replace core pieces during the inexpensive swapping grace period offered by SleepEZ and others.

I have a 6" natural Talalay from Soaring Heart with separate purchase of memory foam topper so have some direct experience, but from reading here realize I can tweak things even more for even better comfort.

My son has done some field testing but those retail bed stores are too expensive and not a good value. Also due to high sales tax where he is the online option has an immediate cost advantage. However Flobeds in California despite the sales tax penalty has appeal for the cost effective flexibility they offer. They allow one to keep any cores that are exchanged; over the 20 year life of the bed they allow you to purchase/exchange up to 4 cores (meaning half-side of a queen). I read with great interest your very respectful and clarifying interchange with Flobeds on the thread (https://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/flobeds-vs-sleepezlimitstart=0) comparing SleepEZ with Flobeds.

A bit more info and then initial questions:
1) From his field testing and description it seems my son likes at least moderate sinking in feeling. Given his size/weight and personal preference would it be correct in saying that his bed should use the progressive approach (rather than differential)?

2) Temperature control: From what I have read it seems that in addition to what ever wool is already built in to the cover, that he will benefit greatly from an additional wool topper. I have spoken with Holy Lamb Organics as well as Sleep and Beyond about their wool toppers. Since the reason for this topper would be temperature control 1.5" will accomplish that as far as I can tell (versus 3" models); and while the wool topper will alter the experience of the mattress below; the 1.5" would seem to have less impact on this. In addition, and unfortunately a separate wool topper over the course of several years of use will get firmer, but it seems to me that the amount of change will be even greater for the 3" over time. For some manufacturers the difference in cost between 1.5" and 3" is quite small while for others the cost jump is enormous. Not ruling out 3" but would be nice to rule out that out to reduce the variables and decision points. Finally from limited field testing there is some preference for Talalay, and I believe this might be somewhat better temperature advantage than Dunlop (but since any Dunlop would be the lowest layer in stack) the possible advantage of Talalay as regards temp control would be minimal as the temp control aspect would probably be most impacted by materials and layers closest to body (as well as what kind of blanket and room temp/humidity for sleeping). Appreciate your thoughts on the temperature control aspect?

3) Next steps: My son will go today to place that carries Savvy Rest and do some field testing. Their Savvy separate wool topper is 2" and its construction is going to be somewhat different than the likely choice that he would purchase, but it seems that testing any mattress is best done with any separate topper that one is planning on using. (Unfortunately it has been a challenge to find a shop that has the 1.5" wool topper available AND has ability to demo various mattress layer configurations.)
In addition, the tentative plan is that below the normal fitted sheet would be a thin organic washable cotton pad and this too should be used in testing. A cotton pad seems needed for moisture absorption and easy washing; I don’t think an additional fitted flannel sheet in lieu of the cotton pad would be sufficient, but perhaps you think that’d be worthwhile. It’d seem that a flannel fitted sheet would alter the feeling of the mattress less.
He will take current pillow with him for field testing in part because it is familiar, but with new mattress it is extremely like that new pillows and some pillow experimentation will be essential (after breaking in; tweaking; and getting used to a new mattress).

FYI, seems like mattress might end up being 3 x 3" latex layers with organic cover with integrated wool; then separate 1.5" wool topper; and very thin cotton pad; and finally normal fitted sheet. My son is as detailed and discerning as I can be and has actually done some mock ups of furniture design so appreciates the research I’m doing for him which he will fine tune.

Sorry for such a long post and thanks for steering us in the right direction.

Hi lite1,

I think you may be overthinking things somewhat and the most common outcome of this is information overload and “paralysis by analysis” and in many cases outcomes that may not be what you expected. There are really only two ways to choose a mattress that has the best chance of being the best match for someone in terms of PPP. One of these is local testing and the other is a more detailed conversation on the phone with a knowledgeable and experienced online manufacturer/retailer (such as SleepEz) that has your best interests at heart and will know more about their own mattresses than anyone else (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). Of course a combination of the two is also a good idea when you are working with an online manufacturer. When you can’t test a specific mattress in person they will always be the best source of guidance about the mattresses they sell and the options they have available. There really are far to many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved to try and choose a mattress based on specs (either for a person or a mattress) or on “theory at a distance” without specific reference points based on personal experience.

I wouldn’t worry at all about whether a mattress is “progressive” or “differential” unless you are a mattress designer and even there these are just concepts and there is no clear “line” between one or the other and the real test is personal experience. Again I think this is too “theoretical” and technical to use as a guideline or basis for a choice. Either one can work well depending on the overall design of the mattress.

You’ve probably read this already but post #2 here has more information about the many factors that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress. For almost all people … a latex mattress with a wool quilted cover, a mattress protector made from natural fibers (such as wool and/or cotton), and cooler sheets (such as various viscose fabrics, cotton, or linen) will easily be “temperature regulating enough”. If you do decide to go in the direction of thicker layers of wool then I certainly agree that it can be a good idea to add them as a topper (which can be replaced without replacing the entire mattress) and there are many people who prefer to sleep on thicker layers of wool compared to any other type of sleeping surface or material but this is a personal preference and there are also tradeoffs involved because thicker wool layers will also affect the feel and performance of the latex underneath it. I would normally suggest starting with just the mattress and then deciding whether any additional toppers are necessary for temperature regulation or for preference reasons unless they have personal experience with a thicker wool topper over latex and know that they prefer how it feels and performs compared to sleeping closer to the latex itself.

I think that this would be a good plan and it will definitely provide a reference point for him to decide on his general preferences and whether he likes latex wool combinations better than just the wool quilting layer itself but I would keep in mind that any differences in the combinations you test vs the combination of materials that you end up purchasing can have unpredictable results. There are also differences between different types of wool toppers such as the type or breed of wool used, the amount of wool in the topper (oz/sq yd), how compressed the wool batting is, and how it is constructed and tufted, so one wool topper may not be exactly the same as the next even in the same thickness although it would certainly provide a good reference point for the combination of materials he prefers in general terms.

IMO … the “best” direction is a combination of personal testing that you can use as a reference point in combination with more detailed conversations with knowledgeable and experienced manufacturers or retailers that already know what you would otherwise have to learn. I would tend to avoid trying to “predesign” the “best” mattress or combination of materials. Even the “best” and most knowledgeable and experienced mattress designers are often surprised by the difference between what a particular combination of materials and components was “supposed” to feel like compared to how it feels in “real life”.

If after personal testing and more detailed conversations with the manufacturers or retailers of the mattress you are considering (such as SleepEz) you find you are still uncertain then the options you have after a purchase to change the comfort or support of the mattress, fine tune the design, or add additional materials or components would probably be a more effective approach and for most people would probably be a more important part of your personal value equation than trying to predict how a certain combination of materials may feel “in theory”.

Phoenix

Thanks Phoenix, this was very helpful, but unfortunately due to my internet being down part of the day didn’t get to read it until after a decision was made to order Organic 9" latex mattress from SleepEZ and in time to get 10% off with the stacked discounts. Fortunately the day unfolded with following much of what you suggested i.e. some additional personal field testing of Savy Rest and another brand all in several combinations, followed by a helpful phone call from my son with Sean. Will post at a later time how things unfold, and what tweaks might take place after direct experience with the mattress itself and initial break in and getting used to a new mattress. After reading more here on threads about temperature regulation it seems likely that the choice will be for a thinner wool/cotton pad rather than the 1.5" wool/cotton topper that originally seemed like a necessity. For this component it seems like less might actually be more effective and also would have less impact on the feel of things, be more consistent over time as there is less wool to get compacted, and less expense when it might need replacement. Time will tell.

Again thanks for the detailed response and for the great website.

P.S. And likely too much info for most … so be forewarned!! For those who think of ordering from SleepEZ and who plan to do some local comparison with Savy Rest. While both offer cores in Talalay and/or Dunlop the former has 4 densitites, and the latter offers only 3. In addition, using Savy to “predict” what might work for you at SleepEZ has an additional factor, meaning that for example the soft at SleepEZ has ILD of 19-20 (a tightly controlled range), but for Savy the soft could be 15.1 - 20 in Talalay or 22 - 30 in Dunlop. The person at Savy customer service indicated that the ILDs are approximate as the manufacturer (Coco or Radium/Netherlands) did their testing on 6" latex but Savvy uses 3" latex. Fortunately Sean could take the personal experience with Savy and make clear suggestions for what is likely to be a good match, so as Phoenix suggested the combination of local testing with detailed phone call with a customer oriented online seller can work very well.

Hi lite1,

As you mentioned … it sounds like you ended up doing what I suggested anyway so all is well!

I think you certainly made a great choice for your son … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I think he will likely be fine in terms of temperature regulation as well but of course there are always options if he is the exception.

Just to clarify … the ILD of latex is measured on the original 6" core and then all the layers that are cut from that same core are rated as the same ILD as the original core regardless of their thickness (although of course the thickness of a layer will also affect how soft it feels). They are right though that latex ILD’s are approximate (there is more in post #6 here about latex ILD’s)

The tolerances of the latex that Savvy Rest uses would be about the same as SleepEz (and in the case of the Talalay would be the same because they both use Radium) but Savvy Rest publishes a wider variance so that people focus more on what they feel in the store instead of the ILD of the latex which can be misleading because ILD is only one of the factors that contributes to the softness of a foam. Since they are local and can be tested in person, ILD is much less important and they tend to discourage ILD comparisons in favor of what their customers “feel”. With an online manufacturer ILD’s can be more important if you (or the person you are dealing with) know the specs of mattresses you have tested and are trying to “approximate”.

Now that the research is behind you and you’ve made your choice I’m looking forward to finding out about your son’s feedback once he’s had the chance to sleep on it.

Phoenix

[quote=“Phoenix” post=37517]Hi lite1,

[quote]excerpted by lite1

Just to clarify … the ILD of latex is measured on the original 6" core and then all the layers that are cut from that same core are rated as the same ILD as the original core regardless of their thickness (although of course the thickness of a layer will also affect how soft it feels). They are right though that latex ILD’s are approximate (there is more in post #6 here about latex ILD’s)

The tolerances of the latex that Savvy Rest uses would be about the same as SleepEz (and in the case of the Talalay would be the same because they both use Radium) but Savvy Rest publishes a wider variance so that people focus more on what they feel in the store instead of the ILD of the latex which can be misleading because ILD is only one of the factors that contributes to the softness of a foam. Since they are local and can be tested in person, ILD is much less important and they tend to discourage ILD comparisons in favor of what their customers “feel”. With an online manufacturer ILD’s can be more important if you (or the person you are dealing with) know the specs of mattresses you have tested and are trying to “approximate”.

Phoenix[/quote]

Thanks Phoenix and as is true of many of your posts you clarify and correct mis-information which helps you fulfill one of your core missions with this website - well done. Your post (to me) gives more accurate information about ILD as was told to me by the Savvy customer service person as they had no response when I registered some surprise that the ILD was such a broad range for their cores whereas one of their “competitors” indicated a very narrow range. My implication was that perhaps Savvy had a challenge with consistency/quality control, but your explanation puts things in a different light, so thank you.

It is clear that even fairly knowledgeable sales and customer service people can give a potential customer an incorrect picture by being incomplete or vague in response to an inquiry. Obviously there is a great deal to know in all aspects of the mattress area, and glad you know and share so much.