Latex mattress configuration

I’ve been told by Shawn at Sleepez that he would recommend a configuration of medium over firm over extra firm for me for the Select Sleep 10,000 mattress. (I am 6’1", 190, stomach sleeper to start the night.) I’m worried that would be too firm, which seems to be the biggest complaint of Sleepez customers, according to Sleep Like the Dead. I do often wake up with a stiff lower back from our present innerspring mattress. I want good support but I’d like as plush of a feel as I could get away with. What would you suggest? Thanks.

Hi bobkat83,

I would tend to agree with Shawn because stomach sleepers generally do better with a firmer sleeping surface to prevent the alignment issues of sleeping in a swayback position. Part of this also depends on how much time you typically spend on your stomach and what your other sleeping positions are.

If it is a little too firm for comfort … you can always add a thin topper for a little extra surface softness and this would be much less risky than using a softer latex layer. Too firm is usually a much better choice than too soft and because latex is so “point elastic” (meaning it conforms very closely to your body shape) even firmer layers can have good pressure relief. There is also of course the possibility of layer exchanges if it really is too firm but I would start with firmer rather than softer because “averages” says it would be a better choice.

It may also be worthwhile considering the 9000 model which has an inch less of latex in the top layer and may be better for a stomach sleeper if you don’t need the extra thickness for side sleeping. It may be a little safer to go slightly softer with a thinner layer as long as the extra thickness isn’t needed for your other sleeping positions.


Thank you for your reply. I think Shawn recommended the Select Sleep 10.000 over the 9,000 because my wife is a side sleeper and sometimes wakes up with pain in her hips. He had recommended a soft over medium over firm for her (5’10", 150 lbs.)

This week I contacted a couple other mattress sellers who recommended different configurations for me: one, for example, was a 3"medium over 3" medium over 3" firm. Another recommended a soft top layer for both of us. I don’t know why their recommendation would be so different than Shawn’s. It’s hard to know what to believe. Any suggestions on how to figure this out since I want to make a decision within the next few days? Thanks.

Hi bobkat83,

This would make sense because the thickness of each side needs to be the same and a firmer 3" layer would work better for you and would be a “safer” construction.

When you are dealing with online manufacturers or retailers … their suggestions will be based on the construction, layering, and materials of their specific mattresses including the foams, the specific types or variations of foam, the thickness of the layers, and the type of ticking and quilting. All of these work together to create the feel and performance of a mattress and there is much more than just the firmness of individual layers involved. They will make suggestions based on “averages” that are specific to their mattresses and based on feedback from their customer base and on their preferences and what they believe is the most likely construction that would work for you out of what they offer. Without knowing the details of each of the mattresses you are looking at and the exact materials … it’s difficult to speculate why their recommendations would be different but this isn’t unusual at all. Sometimes it can just be different ideas of what they believe would work best based on your conversation because mattress construction is far from an exact science. This is particularly true when you are “designing” a mattress based on specs rather than by local testing where you can test the mattress for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) and know it “works” before you buy it.

So there can be several pathways or combinations of layering and materials that can work well for a particular person and in these cases the more detailed the information you can provide and the more information you can give them about similar mattresses that you have tested locally that can act as a guideline the more accurate their suggestions can be.

If they are all reputable and knowledgeable … then you can be reasonably certain that each of them is suggesting a mattress that in their experience would work well for you based on “averages” and on the feedback from their customer base about their specific mattresses (and of course your information as well). As much as everyone wishes that there was a “formula” for choosing the best mattress or a certain way to know for sure what was “best” … the truth is that there are too many variables of body types, sleeping positions, and personal preferences to completely eliminate the risk of an online purchase. This is why it’s usually a good idea to factor in any exchange policy or some of the other benefits of an online purchase as part of your “value equation” to offset the increased risk vs a local purchase.