Looking for Advice - Latex Mattress or Topper

Hi Clawdia,

A featherbed or down topper is not a “supportive” material and has little resistance or resilience so it’s best use is to help relieve local pressure points such as hips or shoulders or to create a “feel” that some people like of being “enveloped” in a very soft material (see post #6 here). In some cases it can even interfere with the ability of layers below it to adapt to the shape of the body and relieve pressure along the entire body surface. It is a material that would be more for “feel” than for “pressure relief” (see more about the different types of softness in post #15 here).

In the 60’s many of the thinner latex mattresses were Dunlop and then in the 70’s the blended Talalay became more common and both of them often lasted for decades. Both types of latex are very durable … especially in slightly firmer versions.

In theory a 2" - 3" topper could work well to provide additional pressure relief. As with any topper though it would depend on the choice of topper and how it interacts with the specific materials and layers in your waterbed. Post #2 here has some guidelines for choosing a topper.

I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use your current waterbed foundation for a latex mattress and it would certainly hold the weight. The only other consideration I would have is that a solid surface wouldn’t be as breathable as a slatted surface but that’s not likely to be an issue unless there are other risk factors for the buildup of moisture and humidity (see post #10 here).

A softer latex topper (19 ILD or even lower) would probably provide more of the “feel” you are looking for than a firmer latex topper … especially with your weight. With a little thicker topper you will also sink in more however there is also an increased risk of alignment issues with thicker and softer layers on top of your sleeping system.

You would sink in a little more than you are now because of the extra softness on top but I really don’t know if it would be “too much” for you and your own experience is probably the only way to know for certain. If your back was supported and all your weight wasn’t concentrated in sitting without any other support and there was enough firmness in your mattress it would probably be OK.

If you do decide to go in the direction of a new mattress instead of a new topper then I would start with post #1 here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices. Some of the online manufacturers may even agree to sell you the topper and then if you decide to switch to a complete mattress sell you the rest of the mattress minus the topper.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Roanoke area are listed in post #5 here and in the Greensboro area are listed in post #2 here.