Latex Mattress Help in Washington DC

Hi, After reading another post about places to find decent mattresses in the DC area we drove all over the area today trying mattresses out. We found that the mattress we like best was at Healthy Back. The mattress was the pure latex Elegance model with:

1" Celison Latex
4" Talalay Latex
6" Support Talalay Latex
1" Latex stabilization base

Unfortunately, the mattress was 3500.00 (more than double our budget). I was wondering if this combination could be duplicated elsewhere for a price closer to our budget. I really appreciate all of the information available on this site, it has really opened our eyes to how poorly many mattresses are built and how uninformed we were to mattress construction.

Both my wife and I are side sleepers and both have neck issues from our 6 year old Sealy pillow top.

From the previous post we went and tried out a bed made by Winn as well. The retailer did not have any latex offerings from Winn (does winn have latex mattresses?) we felt the mattress was constructed well, just not near as comfortable as the 100% latex mattress at Healthy Back.

We would appreciate any help possible.


Hi Crandolph,

As far as I know … the Elegance is most similar to the Beautiful in the PLB line except it has the Celsion on top (Celsion is talalay latex with phase change materials added to make it cooler than talalay latex already is).

The Beautiful is …

3" 19 ILD
2" 24 ILD
6" 36 ILD
1" latex stabilization layer.

The Celsion would likely “replace” an inch of the 19 ILD and would likely be the “soft” which is 15 ILD. Celsion also comes in 21 and 27 ILD.

“Duplicating” a mattress is not an exact art because there are many variables but in general … if you can match the materials in terms of layer thickness and layer ILD and the ticking is similar then it would be very close. Part of the difficulty with this is that latex mattresses that are much lower cost usually have standardized layer thicknesses and may not have the exact same ILD layers so this would mean that you can make it “similar” but it wouldn’t be exact.

For most people this would be great but there are always exceptions where small changes can make a big difference in how they feel about a mattress.

I should also mention that there are different “pathways” to get to the same overall feel but this would take some testing and knowledge of how different layering interacts with your body weight, profile, and sleeping positions.

What this is telling me is that you prefer softer comfort layers (which is typical for side sleepers) and with layers that were this thick and soft I would definitely make sure that you had tested this for good alignment as well (no hint of back issues when you are fully relaxed on the mattress which usually means at least 15 minutes like you were going to sleep until you feel yourself “letting go”).

Neck issues that are connected to a sleeping system often have to do with pillows and the thickness/softness of the comfort layers of the mattress and a change in mattress will often do best with a change in pillow as well.

When I talked with them … Winn told me that they make an all latex mattress (Dunlop) called the Dynasty and also a latex/innerspring hybrid called the Berkeley II (which has 1.5" of poly in the quilting layer) but not all of their retailers carry them. They will give you the names of any retailers that carry them with a phone call and are very good that way in my experience.

From the DC area list (which you’ve probably seen) …

Some of the outlets may carry the Spring Air talalay latex mattress but I would call first to make sure because there are many who don’t. also carries the Savvy Rest are a “choose your own layer” latex mattress which are much closer in construction and layer thickness to most of the online manufacturers so a “duplicate” layering to a preference there would be closer. Most Savvy Rest outlets have have both Dunlop and Talalay layers in their choices.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the great reply. I went onto Healthy Back’s website and they show the specs different then in the store. It says the mattress is 5" SS Talalay, 6" S Talalay and 1" support. I guess what I was getting to was, if I were to call up say Arizona Premium Mattress and had them do a custom mattress for me with 5" of Super soft Talalay, 6" of soft Talalay and 1" of support would it likely be very similar? I found a retailer that sells PLB, would it be a good idea to visit them to compare? It is a bit of a trek but I am willing to make it if I come back with more information.

Thanks again for your help,

Hi Crandolph,

The specs on the Healthy Back website are not accurate enough to “duplicate their mattresses” and the actual layering of their mattresses are a little more sophisticated than the more general descriptions they provide. A quick forum search will provide more accurate specs on the PLB line (or search on one of the models such as “Beautiful” or “nutrition”). To accurately duplicate a mattress … you would need to know the specific ILD and layer thickness of every layer in a mattress and also to come very close in terms of the ticking used and any other variations in construction (such as gluing layers vs loose layers and a similar foundation or base). If you were able to duplicate all of these then the results would be very close yes.

The main difference between most of the Healthy Back mattresses and the “regular” PLB to my knowledge would be the use of Celsion latex in the top which is a cooler version of talalay latex and comes in slightly different firmness levels than regular blended Talalay and is also more expensive. Other than that … they would have an equivalent model in the regular PLB line.

If you change the layer thicknesses of the more “standardized” choose your own layer" mattresses that are available from some online manufacturers, or build a mattress outside the design of their regular models, you may also be giving up layer exchange privileges if your choices turn out to be not as accurate as your testing indicated (sometimes testing in a showroom is not the same as long term experience in a bedroom if the normal sleeping environment hasn’t been duplicated and/or a mattress has been tested more subjectively based on feel).

In general what most people do is to use their testing to get a sense of the general thickness and softness of the comfort layers they need and prefer and the general firmness of the support layers they need and build a mattress to “pressure relief” and “alignment” standards using their testing to get a more accurate sense of layer thickness and softness of the layering “on top” or “below” rather than building to “exactly duplicate” the “feel” of another mattress. Feel can be very misleading. PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences) are the most important functions of a mattress and the “goal” of mattress design when it comes to each individual. The more specifically you can define each on objective terms … the more “accurate” and “perfect” the mattress will be for any individual. Most people can use the standardized layering and ILD choices available from better online manufacturers to build a high quality mattress that provided good PPP the vast majority ofthe time.

So while this wouldn’t duplicate the mattresses they were using as a model, it would lead to choices which provided the best possible pressure relief, alignment, and suited their preferences even though the overall “feel” may be somewhat different (which could also mean "better). The more closely you can identify the more objective reasons “why” the beautiful is your best choice … and the more knowledge you have about how differences in construction can “translate” into more objective differences … the more accurately you can “predict” how slight differences may change how a mattresses interacts with your unique body shape, weight, sleeping style, tolerances, and perceptions.

80 - 90% duplication (based on either averages or your own knowledge and experiences or a combination of both) usually leads to choices that are much superior to what almost all people would normally choose that were going by more subjective criteria or testing in the more “perception managed” environment of most mainstream outlets. How much of the remaining 10-20% you may want or even need to achieve will make a big difference in the price of your mattress and the difficulty of designing it.


Thanks again for your help.

After looking at the complexity of building a custom mattress, my wife and I are discussing purchasing either a PLB from a retailer I found or the Healthy back Elegance. Is the ~$3500.00 price tag on a King Size in either of these models actually a good value? How long can we expect a mattress of this quality to last? I hate to drop this money on a mattress but I am concerned that I won’t be able to accurately match or even come close to matching the feel we are looking for on a site unseen mattress.

We will be visiting the retailer who has the PLB beautiful on the floor later this week and hopefully will find out if we like that line as much as the Healthy Back line.

Thanks again,

Hi Crandolph,

I think that most of the complexity is when the target is to “duplicate” a mattress rather than building to pressure relief and alignment needs and preferences. This becomes somewhat of a quandry when there is a particular mattress that is very close to what we want and it seems that an alternate feel just won’t do the trick. This is one of the reasons why I personally put a premium on a local purchase when someone finds a mattress that is “just right”.

Having said that … for the great majority of people an online purchase that takes into account height, weight, sleeping positions, preferences and any local testing can lead to a very high quality and value mattress that works well for the large majority of people but it’s the minority who are either outside of “averages” or who are looking for a particular feel where a local purchase can make more sense … even at a significantly higher price

What I would normally do in a case like this it to make as objective a comparison as possible between what you are considering against the alternatives and any risk involved vs the savings.

In your case … you could buy a standard layered or a “customized” mattress that had either 4 layers that were each 3" each or used other layerings that included about the same amount of material (12" of layered latex like the Elegance or the Beautiful) which for King Size would cost you under $2400 or less from several of the manufacturers on the site.

This would be compared to the King Healthy Back Elegance 12" latex for $3060 or the PLB Beautiful elsewhere which generally retails for @ $3800 (Which makes the Healthy Back an even more attractive option because it includes the Celsion talalay, the same amount of materials … and is less).

So the question becomes … Is the Elegance worth an extra $600 (or more with some of your online options) plus any taxes or delivery charges you may pay (with the regular price of the Beautiful it would be over $1300). I normally use a 20% difference (assuming similar materials) as a rough guideline for a local purchase over an online purchase (this of course is just an arbitrary number but it takes into account the unknowns involved with designing your own mattress) but a local purchase may have more or less value for any particular individual. Online purchases will often offer layer exchanges at a nominal cost which can give you the chance to sleep on the online mattress and then use the expertise of the manufacturer to make any adjustments that are needed based on your longer term experience after you’ve slept on it a while. In the worst case an online outlet usually offers a refund as well but these usually involve a shipping cost.

In the end, these are questions that only each individual can answer for themselves based on the “risks” of an online purchase and the likelihood they will be happy with their purchase vs the savings for mattresses with similar materials and quality and which parts of their “value equation” are the most important. Part of this is also based on how important it would be to “duplicate” your local choice or would a mattress with similar pressure relief, alignment, and that also took into account your overall preferences but felt quite different be OK. Either way your choices are far better than anything comparable that would be available to you at the majority of mainstream outlets or larger brands.

In terms of durability … this will depend on the use of the mattress and the weight, movement, and sleeping habits of the people who use it. Latex is the most durable of all foam materials so you can expect your mattress to outlast any other type of foam. There is an additional advantage to mattresses which have loose layers and a zip cover though which is that with any material … the layers in the top of a mattress will soften faster than the layers that are deeper. If an upper layer wears out before the others (or if your needs change) … then it’s a simple matter to simply buy a new layer of the same thickness and replace the old layer without having to replace the whole mattress. For most people … a reasonable expectation would be for the top layer to last at least 15 years with a wide range of more or less depending on circumstances. There are people who have been happily sleeping on an old single layer latex mattress for 40 - 50 years (see some pictures and video here) and only replaced them because the cover wore out (although these were typically a single slab of firmer latex and didn’t have a softer latex comfort layer on the top).

Hope this helps


Thanks so much for your help. After much research and deliberation with very good information from you, today we were able to land a deal with Healthy Back on a Elegance mattress in King. We also bought new Dr Scholl’s Technogel pillows to go along with our mattress. The folks at Healthy Back were very helpful and friendly and helped us decide on pillows by showing us how to fit them properly and looking at how our neck and spines were aligned on each pillow they showed us.

I will start a new post with a review of the mattress and pillows after we get them in a couple weeks.

Thanks again,

Hi Crandolph,

Congratulations on your new mattress. I’m always thrilled when someone makes good choices based on really knowing all their options :slight_smile:

I have to admit I’m also somewhat jealous because one of the pillows I most want to try is the Technogel but it’s not available anywhere near me to test. It seems like a great pillow choice.

I’d love it of course if you could post your feedback on the mattress when you have a chance to sleep on it for a while but I’d also love it if you could post your impressions about the Technogel pillow in the pillow thread here including why you chose it and how it felt in your testing compared to other pillows.


Hi - in northern va and just looked at latex bliss at healthy back. How are you liking your mattress? Really eager to hear from someone who has used for a few weeks. Thanks so much. Gotta say the techno gel mattress tempting but sooooooooo much money!

I brought the split King latex Bliss Beautiful model in April and have the ergo motion 400 adjustable base and Im moving from memory foam. Latex is the way to go. I pay 5000 total for split king and bases at a purbliss dealer with 10% off in Oklahoma City area.