Latex Mattress

I am trying to research the best mattress for myself and my husband. I really appreciate your site because I never realized that there are still local manufacturers. I also never heard of latex mattresses. We originally had a pillow top mattress and had so much pain in the mornings we realized that we would have to remove or spines in order to sleep on this bed. So now we are sleeping on a very firm mattress (switched out our guest room) and it is giving me hip pressure. We went to a local mattress store and wanted to lay on the foam mattresses but it seemed like I was trapped when I would lie down on them. Does the latex give me a happy medium? We would like something semi firm. We both tend to sleep on our sides. I am 5’7" 145lbs and my husband is 5’11" about 200lbs. Do you have any recommendations. I did see a local manufacturer called Green Mattress that you had a link to and we live south of that area so that would be somewhere we could go try them out. What is your opinion of them?

Hello Jeannelukac, … and welcome.

Latex foam has many different levels of softness/firmness and different layers in a mattress can be thicker or thinner so the feel of a latex mattress can be tailored to anything someone may wish. I’m not sure what type of foam you were testing out but it sounds like it was memory foam which is a “slow response” foam which creates the feeling for many people of sleeping in sand or being “trapped”. Latex offers the same pressure relief in its softer versions but it is more lively and springs back so it doesn’t have the same feeling of sinking into the mattress as much and it responds to movement right away without taking time to reform itself around you. Latex is also more durable than innersprings and much more durable than other types of foam such as memory foam and polyurethane foam.

You are fortunate that one of our members is so close. My Green Mattress makes latex mattresses in a variety of different feels and constructions … and they also make 2 sided mattresses which is uncommon these days (2 sided mattresses will last longer than one sided mattresses … even in latex).

I invited the manufacturers that are members here to become members because I consider them to be among the highest quality manufacturers in North America in terms of service, quality, and value (and I have almost 1000 mattress manufacturers in my database). I have talked with all of them at length about how they make their mattresses and come to know that they are all “mattress people” as opposed to the “money machines” that are so common in the industry today. It would be well worth your while to pay them a visit and talk with Tim (the owner). I have no doubt that he could help you choose a mattress that was perfect for your needs at substantially less cost than anything comparable that was available at other local stores.

For side sleeping a mattress would typically have a thicker softer top layer or “comfort layer” for pressure relief than other sleeping positions. Usually for side sleeping a comfort layer in the range of 3" is a good starting point but this could be more or less depending on the other layers and the specific body shape and weight. A firmer middle and/or bottom layer is under this to keep your spine in alignment while you are sleeping. 2 sided mattresses have a comfort layer on both sides and the support core is in the middle.

I could probably give you more specific advice but I know that Tim is good at tailoring a mattress to each customer and being there in person and testing various combinations in the store would be more accurate than any general advice I could give you here. He is also relaxed and you will not feel “pressured” to buy if you are not yet ready or have not yet decided what is perfect for you.

Feel free to post if you have any questions along the way … and good luck.


I appreciate your information and advice on the amazingly complicated and expensive topic of mattresses. I am not wanting to have to sell a kidney to afford a new mattress set, but I also appreciate the importance of one’s mattress. I live downstate from My Green Mattress and am contemplating ordering one over the phone/internet from them after reading these posts and going to their website. Do you think they can help me pick out the right mattress for me without my driving 6 hours north to try them out for myself? I sleep on my side mostly - or stomach - which is probably a bad combination. I always start out on my side. I prefer something firmer - having never been very happy with my Pillowtop that is now 13 years old and beating me up every night and giving me back pain that lasts all day. I dread going to bed at night. I am 5’3" and weight about 135. I looked at Furniture King today, where they had everything from relatively low priced Campbell beds that are made in southeast MO to the Serta Icomfort Latex to the usual Sealy’s, etc. The salesman was pushing Stearns and Foster that were pretty pricey while trash talking the Campbell beds (cheaper, though I know someone who has one that seems good) and Tempur-pedics. The saleswomen kept claiming the Serta Icomfort is made from natural latex, which I do not think is the case. Do you know? Frankly, I don’t think they know the difference. I would appreciate any advice or direction you can give. I notice My Green Mattress has the natural latex as well as a low cost conventional but organic mattress. I am desperate to not be in pain every day from sleeping on my bed.

Hello JStevens,

A couple of quick comments first…

I’m not sure why the sales person was “trashing” the Campbell mattress but they are as you say a local manufacturer in MO which probably makes mattresses that are comparable to the “S” companies brands at a lower cost. Looking at Campbell’s website, they do tend to have a lot of softer polyfoam (like the major national brands) which I tend to avoid unless the lower cost justifies buying a mattress which will not last as long as one with more durable materials. I would be fairly certain though that their mattresses that were “equivalent” to national brands in terms of construction and quality would be much less. I would guess that the trashing may be partly because of this (the polyfoam) and partly (probably more so) because retailers do not make nearly the same profit on “off brands” as they do on national brands … even if the quality is similar.

Second … the iComfort is not a latex mattress in any way shape or form. One of the models (the Prodigy) does have a thin layer of “slow recovery” latex in it but it is still a memory foam (and polyfoam) mattress. Give that they were “trash talking” their own budget mattresses (which are probably similar quality to the Sealys and possibly the S&F’s) and also completely misinforming you about the iComfort … I would be really wary about believing anything else they said.

Most of the Stearns and Fosters (a Sealy brand) … while more expensive than other Sealy brands … also have way too much soft polyfoam in them and I would certainly avoid them as well. They are poor value and a very high profit source with lower quality materials than their price would warrant (although they do have a good innerspring).

What I would suggest is testing latex mattresses in a local store (price no object testing since you are only testing for the construction and layering which works for you) which are comparable in construction to the My Green Mattress latex models (and they really are latex mattresses) and then when you have found a model that works for you, then this would be the “baseline” that would give My Green Mattress the information they would need to help you choose the best model for your needs.

If you let me know where in South Illinois you are I may be able to give you a few ideas for mattresses and outlets to use for testing in your area.

Because you sleep on your side and stomach … and you’re right this is the most “difficult” combination … I would use the thinnest firmest comfort layer that you could get away with to give you the pressure relief you need on your side. Normally a side sleeper will need “in the range” of a 3" comfort layer but in your case I would tend to less than this if you can. Stomach sleepers tend to sleep in a swayback position when their heavier hip area sinks too far into the mattress … especially if the comfort layer is too thick … and this can often lead to back issues.

So If you let me know what city you are in or near … I’ll be happy to give you a few more specific suggestions.


Honestly, I think the salesman was doing the salespeople thing and trying to upsell - hence his focus on the more expensive beds. I have heard good things about Campbell and have slept on one myself that I liked. So yes, I think they are going for the most profit, which backfired in this case. I wonder if they don’t get special incentives from the brands they push as well. He was quite negative about Sleep Number too, saying people had complained a lot about their mattresses losing air and the number going down by the time they woke up. I know someone with this mattress on Facebook, and they love it. So…it all makes shopping for a mattress a complicated process if you aren’t impulse shopping.

I am in Carbondale, Illinois. Since I am desperate at this point, I am considering ordering the non-latex bed that My Green Mattress sells and continuing to research the latex. I so appreciate your help! It is possible I could take a trip to Chicago, but I am just as close to Knoxville, TN as I am to Chicago - and closer to Nashville and Memphis, TN and only about 95 miles southeast of St. Louis.

I am definitely primarily a side-sleeper. I probably end up on my stomach trying to escape from my mattress!

Hi JStevens,

If your stomach sleeping is a “reaction” to a buildup of pressure or discomfort caused by your current mattress rather than a “natural” sleeping position for you then it would certainly make things easier in choosing your mattress construction.

There is a local manufacturer in St Louis which may be worth a visit. They make latex mattresses.

There is also a local manufacturer in Herrin and I confirmed in a call this morning that they also make latex mattresses even though they are not listed on their website.

These (and any more local stores that carry latex mattresses such as Pure Latex Bliss, Restonic, or Simmons natural care elite) should give you a good idea of the variety of different feels and layering combinations that are available in latex. Then you would have a basis for comparison and a good idea of the layering combination that would work for you.

This would put you in a good position to decide on the best value that was available to you either through an in store purchase or by ordering a similar construction online or over the phone.

I would personally avoid air mattresses such as sleep number as well as I believe there are much better and lower cost ways to achieve better support without the many disadvantages (and the exorbitant prices) of most air mattresses. There is an article about them here

Hope this helps and let me know if you need any more help or suggestions after you have tested a few mattresses.


Thanks so much! I will go by the store in Herrin, which is very close. I had no idea there was a mattress manufacturer in this area!

I’d love to hear how you make out with your testing.

Good luck


I, too, have been looking at a latex mattress. Recently visited a local company, Murmaid Mattress, in the Chattanooga-Cleveland, TN area. We found a pretty nice mid-range set that the salesperson said was 100% Talaly latex. Problem was that the tag on the mattress said it was 100% polyurethane. Salesperson said this was a mistake–that they have carried this model for several years and it has always been 100% latex. Now I’m not sure what to believe. Is there any way to verify the actual materials used in the construction of the mattress. I’ve already looked at their website and the info there is very general.


Hi Lynn,

It certainly does appear that Murmaid mattress makes latex mattresses and that they use Talalay latex from Latex International … however you were wise to check the law tag since this would tell you if the model you were looking at was made of latex. Congratulations for having the “wisdom” to look at the law tag :slight_smile:

I would tend to believe that the law tag was correct and that the mattress you were looking at was polyurethane rather than latex. There are two possibilities here though. Either the law tag was wrong or the salesperson was wrong. A good salesperson would immediately find out which it was and be able and take it upon themselves to “prove” to you (to your complete satisfaction) which one had happened.

If the label was indeed a mistake … and since it is against the law to have an incorrect law tag … I would assume that they would take this possibility as a serious issue and refuse to sell you a mattress until they could show you that other mattresses of the same model had correct law tags and then only sold you one with the correct law tag. If it turned out that they were the one that was “wrong” and they either had the wrong model or that the model they “believed” was all latex really wasn’t (no matter how long they had “believed” it was) … they would immediately let you know that they were completely wrong and make sure that they never again “misrepresented” the mattress to any customer. They would never try to “convince” you that it was “just a mistake” without being able to “prove” the mistake to you.

The only way to validate it for sure would be to remove the cover and look at the foam inside as latex has a distinctive look (with the pincore holes in it) and feel and there would likely be a label on the foam inside as well (although this is not always the case as the full 6" latex slabs are cut into thinner layers). In either case though … they should take either possibility (either an incorrect label or misrepresentation of a mattress) as a serious issue and make sure that you were completely satisfied where the error really was. Just the fact that this “mistake” was taken seriously and that their main priority was in finding out the truth rather than just selling a mattress would lead to trust that was justified. Everyone can make a mistake. I personally would not “trust” someone who was not able to prove to you where the mistake really was or who wanted to sell you a mattress before the “mistake” was explained and rectified though.

Murmaid has 7 outlets so it is possible that you encountered a salesperson who wanted to sell you a mattress more than they wanted to give you correct information or find out the “truth”. I would certainly not “judge” the whole company based on what a single salesperson told you and I would think a quick phone call to their head office would find someone who would take this “mistake” very seriously and quickly “get to the bottom” of what you were being “incorrectly” told.

Congratulations again on having the foresight to check the claims that were being made against the law tag. I wish more people did this :slight_smile: