Latex Mattress Depth & Upper Layer

Hi, all. My wife and I are making the switch from memory foam to latex.

We’ve narrowed our choice to three Trusted Members of TMU, and I’ve spoken with all of them. I’m hung up on three questions before making a decision, one of which–about the FloBeds vZone layer–I posted about separately. The other two are mattress depth and the nature of the top layer.

Mattress depth: One of the shops suggested that, because my wife and I are both about 150# (I’m 5’9" and she’s 5’6") 9 inches of latex in the mattress should be more than sufficient. A second suggested that a 9- or 10-inch mattress would be best for someone who likes a firmer mattress (we don’t), and that a 12- or 13-inch would be for someone who likes a mattress more “cushy and comfortable” (I do; my wife says she could go either way). The third responded sort of in-between, based on some of my personal info, which I shared with all three companies, as follows:

We both are primarily back sleepers who also spend time on our sides. (Our massage therapist insists back sleeping is the best for our various aches and pains.) We’ve both taken a couple of in-store diagnostic tests that seem to agree our bodies “need” a medium level of support and a slightly softer than medium amount of comfort. (If I’m on my side, one of the tests said I need a really plush comfort layer.) That matches what we’ve experienced in stores and with the mattresses we’ve tried at home. When I, in particular, am on my side, my shoulders are square enough on my slight frame that there’s a lot of pressure and some pain unless the mattress provides sufficient give. But I also need sufficient deep support to keep my lumbar from collapsing when I’m on my back.

Of the latex mattresses we’ve tried in stores, I’ve especially liked four: Nest Bedding’s Q3 All Latex Mattress with a 3" soft Talalay topper, 3" medium in the middle and 6" firm on the bottom–total 13"; Serenity from Savvy Rest, with 3 layers, soft Talalay/medium Dunlop/firm Dunlop–total 10"; SleepTek’s Kama Flex Plush, with 3 4" layers, soft/firm/firm–total 12"; and my favorite, Natura’s Eco Sanctuary Plush, which had 1" convoluted soft Talalay/2" soft Talalay/2" medium Talalay as a topper and 6" Dunlop (firmness not specified_ as a base–total 11.5". All were way above our price range, unless we got the Nest Q3 in blended Talalay, which we have decided not to do.

So, based on my experience, that third vendor suggested I would probably find the 9- or 10-inch mattress insufficiently comfortable. It was also interesting to me that two of my favorites had the first layer as a separately covered topper. I don’t know if that was coincidence, or if it really added to the comfort. I also wonder how much the convoluted Talalay in the Natura mattress contributed to my liking it the best. (I keep saying “I” and “my” because my wife is less particular about the feel of the mattress.)

This boils down to three questions: 1. 10 inches or 12/13 inches for us? 2. Try to duplicate the convoluted layer from the Natura mattress?? 3. Consider the top layer as a separately covered topper, to duplicate the Nest and the Natura?? Or, regarding #2 and #3, is a good soft Talalay upper layer as normally packaged just fine?

Thanks for your attention, and looking forward to some advice from TMU.

Hello Kmikey

Thank you for your inquiry, as well as all of the info you have provided. To answer your question as to whether 9" or 10" of latex is sufficient for you, absolutely. At 150lbs, three layers of latex is more than enough to achieve gradual contour and support all in one mattress. The basic overall configuration that you seem to prefer is exactly what I would recommend for both you and your wife, which is soft over medium over firm. If you both sleep on either your sides or backs, this configuration is the ideal to get that contour to gradual support that you will need.
If you prefer the soft topper feel on top, I would recommend ordering a 9" mattress (three 3" layers), but set it up with the soft layer on top as a separate topper. I would recommend this topper to be Talalay. Talalay will provide a more plush feel compared to Dunlop latex. The 6" mattress below would consist of two 3" layers, medium over firm (your choice of Talalay or Dunlop…Dunlop being a bit more supportive). This configuration will give you that nice plush topper feel that you prefer, while still providing support below.

I recommend ordering this mattress from a company that offers a layer exchange policy. This will ensure that if your initial purchase is too soft or too firm, you have the ability to exchange layers to change the overall feel of your mattress.

Please keep us posted. Let us know if you have more questions. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply. Re: the mattress depth, I wonder if it’s significant that of my “favorite” mattresses listed early, my least favorite of those happened to be the 10-inch mattress in the soft T/med D/firm D configuration??

Re: the topper idea, I’m not certain whether I can say that I actually prefer the topper feel, or if it was coincidental that my very favorite had a topper configuration. Is there a practical reason why that feel would be different and cushier? How would the topper be covered–just cotton, or with wool padding, or . . . ?

I appreciate the assistance, since you guys are on my short list of two vendors (down from three)!

In response to your first question:

Our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate and an even lower return rate) so there’s a 90% chance that our recommendation works perfectly for you.

Please keep in mind that even if you lay on a mattress for hours in a showroom, you still won’t know if it’s right for you until you actually sleep on it and allow your body time to adjust. I’m concerned that you may be putting too much emphasis on the initial feel of something as opposed to how your body adjusts to it, and that information is something you can only get from time spent sleeping on a mattress. As such, the best thing you can do is pick the setup that has the best chance to be successful for you and adjust from there (if needed). If you try that set up and find that it’s too firm or too soft, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the layers or request a layer exchange to adjust accordingly and get the mattress fine-tuned for your specific preferences & needs. This is one reason why our mattresses have such a low return rate.

In response to your second question (I also put this in my email response to you earlier):

The only way to replicate the feel of a mattress with a free-floating topper is to purchase a mattress with a free-floating topper. Having a top layer that is not encased with the rest of the mattress allows that top layer enough spatial freedom to move upwards when you lay on it since it’s not being restricted by the cover along with the rest of your layers. This makes such a difference because the top layer will curl upwards and curl around your body, making for a very plush and enveloping feel. For some people, this also helps to fill whatever gaps may remain between their body and the mattress. This is called “secondary support,” and it doesn’t strictly apply to measurable gaps but also to areas where you’re making light contact with the mattress, such as the area between beneath your ribs (for side sleepers) or the small of your back (for back sleepers). For some, this secondary support plays an important role in keeping their muscles from having to strain to maintain proper spinal alignment, but that is certainly not the norm and having a free-floating topper is not normally required to maintain proper spinal alignment. There are some real and tangible advantages to having a top layer that is not encased with the rest of the mattress, but whether these advantages apply to you is not a question I can answer with certainty given the information you’ve provided.

Please keep in mind that you're not really tying your hands either way. If you start with a 7" mattress with 3" topper and find that you want only a 10" mattress, you can send us the 7" cover and we will alter to a 10" cover for only the cost for shipping, and this option would be available at any time during the lifetime of the mattress. Conversely, if you want to change from a 10" mattress to 7" mattress with 3" topper, you have the same option for just the cost of shipping.

Thank you very much for the tip!

“Our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate and an even lower return rate) so there’s a 90% chance that our recommendation works perfectly for you.”

I’ll take your word for it. :slight_smile:

Thank you GordyJean! Please keep us posted! Let us know if there is any questions we can answer for you.