Latex on a Budget?


My husband and I have read through all the mattress buying overviews on your site and visited a few stores here in the DC Area that were recommended. We found a few that we feel might work for us, but have honestly been quite disappointed by price for quality. Maybe our expectations were out of whack or maybe it’s just the area. Not sure. The prices online seem a bit more reasonable, but we aren’t sure exactly how to match what we have tried in stores with products online.

Anyway - several mattresses that felt good, we have ruled out because of the polyfoam (whose density we couldn’t determine) in the cushion layer. We like some of the latex mattresses - but I need a very soft cushion layer (lower back pain) and some of them were just not providing the pressure relief.

The bed that we liked best is a Gold Bond EcoTouch 9.5 in, blended latex with 3 layers (progressive construction?). The core is a 5" firm layer (36 ILD), the middle layer is a 2" 24 ILD, and the comfort layer is a 2" 19 ILD. We don’t know the exact blend but could probably find out. (Is that important?) The only problem is that it’s several hundred dollars out of our ideal price range ($2400 with delivery fee but that does include the foundation). So we are trying to find some alternatives to all latex (like a foam core?) and/or shopping online (like the Adjustable Plush at

I think we essentially have 2 main questions.

  1. If we like latex, but want to spend a little less, what are our options and what exactly are we “sacrificing” with each of those?
  2. If we buy online, do you have any tips to try and “match” the mattress(es) we liked in the stores? I did stumble one a post about this, but lost it and now can’t find it - sorry to ask again.

Thanks much for your help!

Hi chopeb,

They use blended Talalay latex (about 30% natural rubber and about 70% synthetic rubber) which is a good quality and durable material. There are no weak links in the mattress but it can be important to know the type of latex if you want to make more “apples to apples” comparisons with other latex mattresses which use different types or blends of latex which are more or less costly. The cover and quilting materials used can also make a significant difference in the cost and performance of a mattress and in this case the EcoTouch uses a bamboo fabric quilted with wool. There is more about the different types of latex in post #6 here. I would also make some careful value comparisons similar mattresses (that use about the same amount of blended Talalay latex but have a different design which may be more or less suitable for you) from other manufacturers may also be available for less as well.

This is too broad a question to answer with any specificity because it would depend on the specific mattress you are considering. In very general terms though you can reduce the cost of a “latex mattress” in several ways outside of the normal price variations between different vendors that are part of deciding which retailer or manufacturer you choose to deal with (see post #14 here). Some of these include …

A mattress that uses a lower cost latex will generally cost less (see the previous link about the different types of latex).

A mattress that uses less latex will cost less. There is more about the pros and cons of thicker or thinner latex mattresses in post #14 here.

A latex hybrid that uses a lower cost support layer or component but has latex in the comfort layers will generally cost less (latex is usually more costly than other types of support layers or components). There is more about latex/polyfoam hybrids vs an all latex mattress in post #2 here and more about an innerspring/latex hybrid vs an all latex mattress in post #2 here.

Mattresses that have more component layers and more options to either rearrange exchange the layers or mattresses that have better return policies (that are built into the price) may be more costly but the options you have available after a purchase may also be an important part of your personal value equation. There is more about the benefits of exchangeable layers and the pros and cons of having more “fine tuning” options available to you in post #2 here.

The tutorial post has more comments about buying online vs buying locally and also includes a link to the members of the site that sell mattresses online and many of these make latex or latex hybrid mattresses with a wide range of designs, options, and budgets that would be well worth considering or using as a “value reference” for a local purchase.

There is more in post #9 here and the other posts it links to about “matching” one mattress to another but the only way that there is any certainty of success is if all the layers and components (including the cover) are exactly the same and it would be very rare that this would be the case (and in some cases you may not be able to find out all the specifics of the mattress you are trying to duplicate). Other than this you would be “approximating” another mattress and this would require some “translation” between different designs which can be difficult and quite subjective as well as being relative to each person. If you are using another mattress as a “target” with an online purchase then a more detailed conversation with the online vendor is generally the most effective way to decide which of the options they have available would have the highest chance of approximating the mattress you are trying to match.

I would also keep in mind that a different mattress with a different design may end up being a better choice in terms of PPP than the mattress you are trying to “copy” so by using one specific mattress as your “target” instead of a common set of criteria that you measure all mattresses against you may be limiting your options to find the “best” mattress for you.