Latex Mattress Advice

First I want to thank you for this site - I’m very glad I found it while doing my mattress shopping homework.
I’ve decided on a latex mattress, and am hoping for some guidance. The mattress will be for myself, male, 190lbs, back sleeper. I like a “cushioned” feel to the comfort layer, neither too soft or firm. I loved the feel of the Tempurpedic Cloud but decided against memory foam.

I’m considering 1. - Either the Sealy Embody Meditation or the Gold Bond EcoTouch Latex, either of which I can purchase at a small, local furniture store that I like and trust. I have considerations there that will take about $200 off anything I buy. I see though that both of these mattresses use some kind of natural/synthetic latex blend. The Sealy is 4" latex over a polyfoam core, and the Gold Bond is 2" 19ILD over 2" 24ILD over 5" 36ILD.

Or, 2. - Purchasing online from a site such as Habitat Furnishings or Astrabeds. Both of these are all natural latex 2" 19ILD over 6" 26ILD. (Even though I can recite these numbers, that doesn’t mean I fully understand it).

My questions are - would I notice the difference between the all natural latex and the blends? Would there be a difference in performance or longevity? And, is the natural latex worth the added cost?

A related question is whether or not it is advisable to get the foundation that comes with these mattresses, or are there cheaper or even do it yourself alternatives? I’d be about up to my budget limit just for the all natural latex mattress alone.

I’d greatly appreciate any insights or recommendations


Where are you located? There might be some suggestions above and beyond the two mattresses that you mention at local manufacturers. The poly foam in any of the the S brand beds scares many more knowledgeable away from any of their products.

Hi alariv,

The Sealy Embody is a latex hybrid which uses a polyfoam base with various different thicknesses of blended mostly synthetic latex in the top latex layers. This is the least expensive and lowest quality latex. More information about the different types of latex is here. As you can see … the raw materials used in latex foam is either natural from the rubber tree (NR), Synthetic (SBR) or a combination of the two. It is also made using two different processes, Dunlop or Talalay. Blended Dunlop is the lowest quality and least expensive of these although still better than other types of foam. It is not as durable or elastic as natural Dunlop or blended and natural Talalay. More about the difference between blended and natural is in post #2 here. In spite of this … like all of the major brands … it is significantly overpriced and more expensive than many mattresses that use higher quality latex in the comfort layers and in many cases the support layers as well. Smartlatex is made by Sapsa (which Sealy used to own) and uses a form of zoning “inserts” which can include non latex materials to make it “smart”.

The Goldbond Ecotouch (and the specs you have are the same as the ones I have) uses a higher quality blended talalay latex in every layer including the support core and even if was a higher price it would be a significantly better value IMO. It would work very well for many people but particularly side sleepers (because it has about 4" of softer latex on top).

A search on “Habitat” (without the quotes) will bring up a few results and some comparisons of their mattresses to other alternatives. In essence they use high quality materials but also are much higher priced than many other outlets that use the same or better quality materials and sell them at much lower prices.

Astrabeds (and their partner site ) are lower priced but I have a few “issues” with them. They use a 26 ILD support core which is quite soft for most people (and this ILD isn’t listed on the Latex International site), are also more expensive than other online options available (including some of the members of this site) although better than others including Habitat, but most important they are not so knowledgeable about the materials they use in their mattress and tend towards “high pressure”. When I originally talked with them a long time ago … they were very high pressure. Much later I had a conversation with another of their “partner” sites and they seemed much more reasonable and assured me that the “high pressure guy” was gone. I used the chat on their site today to see how their customer service was at this point and I was not impressed at all. They seem to be the same “style” as they were when I first talked with them and very much in a hurry to make the sale rather than educate their customers. A log of my online conversation is posted at the end of this post … and is quite funny at times when he talks about “chewing gum”. I would pass them by at this point for value and service reasons.

Our membership list here lists the members that specialize in online sales or sales or shipping across the country and post #21 here will give a few details of each. The value here is better than either of the outlets you have mentioned.

As SRugs mentioned … there are many other options besides the ones you mentioned. It is usually preferable if possible to test a mattress locally and there are many local factory direct manufacturers which make great quality and value mattresses all around the country and there may be one or even several near you depending on where you live. These factory direct outlets or local sleep shops that sell smaller alternative brands (like the gold Bond and that are often made locally as well) are usually the source of the best quality and value. Online ordering can be a great option if you happen to be in an area where similar quality and value are not available.

Hope this helps … and the log of my conversation with Astrabeds follows.


Live Help

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me

→Can any of the layers be customized for ILD besides the Sonoma?

Astrabeds: Yes, Harmony.

Astrabeds: You can tweak it to perfection.

→ All 3 layers?

Astrabeds: Yes, 3 layers. Rarely does that happen because it’s been time tested for comfort.

→So I could choose a firmer base (26 is on the low side) and also adjust the top two layers if I wanted to?


Astrabeds: It’s 19, 24 and core is 26. Can you give your height and weight. We mainly sell beds based on statistical information from beds sold. We are usually right on.

→ht 6’5" and weight 195 … but I already know I prefer a higher ILD base core

Astrabeds: The serenity would be the perfect match, plenty firm at 26 ILD with the 19 ILD cushion layer. We won’t change the core, sorry.

Astrabeds: I"m basing this on beds sold that fit your profile. Do you have any medical or mobility issues?

→What type of latex is in the core. I can’t find 26 ILD latex on the latex International site either blended or all natural talalay?

Astrabeds: It’s 100% Talalay, it’s there under features.

→Is it talalay made by latex international … and both their blended and natural are 100% talalay (which is a process not a material)

Astrabeds: It’s Latex internation. 70 30 for excellent durability. Virtually indestructible.

→OK … so it’s the blend … but the closest of their blended talalay (see ) is 28 ILD … is that the one?

Astrabeds: Styrene Buteadiene. 30% without it the material would crumble.

Astrabeds: Manmade natural synthetic. they put in chewing gum.

→OK … you have the numbers reversed … it’s actually 70% SBR … but I like their blended better anyway. But this aside … you can’t use a fimer blended talalay core? (I’ve done some testing on other talalay latex mattresses and know I want a firmer core)

→HuH??? … chewing gum?

Astrabeds: It’s not backwards, you are misinformed.

Astrabeds: Do some more research, do you want to buy a bed?

→OK… I’ve already talked to Latex International to confirm their blend … but thank you anyway … you may want to call them yourself … they will talk to anyone who wants to know.

Astrabeds: Alot of misinformation out there so good luck.

→You are contributing to the misinformation unfortunately. Make the call yourself to the source of the latex and you will see. Thanks for your help

Hi SRugs,

I forgot to mention that - I’m in Eastern Mass. Thanks for your reply


Hi Phoenix,

Wow, that salesperson at Astrabeds met their match, and then some! Thanks for all the helpful info and advice, and for including that chat log. A real eyeopener!. I see I’ve got some more homework to do. As I replied to SRugs, I’m in eastern Mass, and like the idea of supporting the smaller and local companies. Also, I’d feel more comfortable actually seeing and trying the mattress, as opposed to ordering sight unseen online. The online companies I mentioned did seem a little pricy to me.

I appreciate your help and will continue my research,

Thanks, alariv

Hi alariv,

Assuming that Eastern Mass. = close to boston … there are some very good choices in post#2 here.


PS: I should mention too that he told me he had a “perfect match” without even asking the positions I sleep in … which is one of the major factors in choosing a mattress.

Hi Phoenix,
Thanks for that - plan to do some field testing soon


Gardner Mattress is worth the visit I recommend the Salem store as it is the flagship store with very good staff. I did spend a few minutes lying on their latex mattress with my little girls and it was very nice but full latex is not supportive enough for my sleeping needs. Also do not forget to haggle. I purchased my mattress set with them and got a discount plus frame and nice mattress cover thrown in.

Depending on where you are in E Mass and if you want to take a field trip to Maine. I will also recommend Portland Mattress Makers and Daly Bros (Maiden Maine) located in Biddeford. Both are right off the highway and only 15 minutes apart. Again I did field testing their and they have comfortable latex beds and make high quality products.

I will say that the New England made mattresses at Jordan’s are nice but not the quality of material, at least on the outside, that these others have.

Good Luck.


Thanks for that info - appreciate your help


Hi Phoenix,

I did some field testing and wanted to follow up with you.

The Gold Bond EcoTouch Latex is a really nice mattress - you can tell it is high quality, but too soft for me (6’4",195).

I also saw the Natura Serene Firm, which felt great. There is a 1" foam layer above the latex - what are your thoughts on this? Also, the one I saw is a a 2011 model, which is drastically discounted. It’s a floor model - also would appreciate your thoughts. I’m a bit hesitant to purchase a set that has been around awhile and laid on by who knows how many people. It also seems to have a little distortion on the corners. By this I mean instead of being completely vertical at the corner, a couple of corners seem to bend in off the vertical, towards the mattress. I wasn’t able to get the ILD on this one.

I visited Worley Beds in New Bedford MA. I would highly recommend this to anyone in the SE Mass area. The owner was friendly, helpful, took me back into the construction room, and gave me a great deal of information on mattress construction, latex, etc. They have two-sided latex mattresses that are 100% natural talalay in either soft or firm, at about $1600-1800 for the set. I liked the firm one - 35ILD. The foundations are a box spring type, hand made by them.

That’s what I have for now, I’d be interested in your feedback, thanks.

Hi alariv,

The Gold bond ecotouch is 2" 19 ILD over 2" 24 ILD over 5" of 36 so I can understand it being on the soft side for you.

The Natura Serene firm is firmer and while they don’t say the ILD’s of the layers I would imagine it’s in the range of 28 or more. As you say it ham an inch of polyfoam on top (which is in the range that I usually think is OK) and then the 4" of talalay and it also has 5" of polyfoam as a base layer so it’s really a latex/polyfoam hybrid. It also has a thicker layer of wool which is nice but it will also compress and get firmer over time.

I personally have mixed feelings about a floor model but it would never be an option for me because my other half’s feelings aren’t mixed at all (she would never go there … and I would be hearing YUCK for days afterwards if I even bought the idea up :)). I guess it would depend on how you felt about it and also on the price. A quick look around shows them available at around $1200 (queen) ranging up to about $1700 so it would have to be considerably less than that I would think. As a reference point … this is “somewhat” similar (3" of latex instead of 4" with your choice of ILD, 1.5" of polyfoam in the quilting, and 5.5" of high quality polyfoam in the base but missing the wool) for less than half the price.

I like Worley beds and in my quick conversation with them he seemed to be a great guy and they are the kind of local manufacturer that I really like. They have very good quality and value and their mattresses are also 2 sided (to my knowledge) and the price is for the set which are both a very nice bonus and makes their value even better. I can see you like firm although with the boxspring that would add to the comfort and this would be one of those cases where a boxspring designed as part of the sleeping system would be a good idea. It would imagine it has an “on the mattress” feeling with of course added pressure relief with the boxspring and some liveliness to it as well :slight_smile:

While I can’t answer for what is best for you or your “value equation” … I know that I would probably be leaning in the direction of Worley if it was in my budget.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for your helpful input. I’ve decided not purchase the floor model (was leaning there anyway) - it was $995.

The Ultimate Dreams Latex seems to be a great buy and due to budget may be the way I’ll go. The company has excellent reviews. What would you estimate the life expectancy of this mattress to be? Do you think a simple metal or wood foundation frame, such as available on amazon would work well with this? If so, I could have a new latex set for less than half what I expected to pay. Thanks for showing me this!


Hi alariv,

You can add my own recommendations to their reviews. I have known John the owner since long before he was making these and had some great conversations with him. He has his own factory, is what I call “mattress people”, and will also be a member here as soon as he updates his website to reflect what he is currently making. The amazon offerings are available at some rather remarkable “introductory” prices in the meantime.

My next door neighbor also bought one (on my recommendation for a limited budget) and is very happy with it.


Hi Phoenix,

This sounds good and is the way I’ll proceed. I’ll get back to you with feedback on it.

I really appreciate your willingness to share your time and knowledge with people looking for a good value and a good nights sleep - many thanks