Manufacturers - do it yourself online

Information About DIY Manufacturers

The final category of manufacturers are the “do it yourself” manufacturers. Most of these are found online however some brick and mortar outlets make these available as well. They are growing in popularity and are very representative of the spirit of The Mattress Underground. These are a newer category of manufacturers and are often either smaller local and regional manufacturers who wish to broaden their market and have developed effective ways to custom build and ship their mattresses, or mattress manufacturers who are primarily online and more exclusively specialized in these mattresses. The online version in particular is growing in popularity as they can be ordered and easily shipped from any area of North America to any other.

They usually have several layers of material … often latex or memory foam … that can be put together in varying combinations and enclosed inside a zippered cover. They will often include wool quilting to comply with fire regulations or use more natural alternate methods. These layers and the cover can usually be shipped through UPS, Fedex, or other courier companies at a much lower cost than it would cost to ship a complete mattress with truck freight. They also usually offer the ability to make a “layer exchange” after a purchase where a single layer can be returned and exchanged for another to adjust the feel and qualities of the mattress and make it perfect for your needs. The length of time allowed and the costs involved in doing this vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but are almost always far less than more typical “comfort exchanges” with their restrictive conditions and higher costs that are available through larger mass market outlets.

Advantages to the DIY approach.

There are genuine advantages to this approach including quality of materials and the ability to custom build your mattress to a greater degree than a finished mattress from a store. They are typically very transparent in describing the exact materials that are in your mattress in terms of both the materials themselves and the specific qualities and “feel” of the materials you have chosen. They are usually very helpful and knowledgeable on the phone as well and offer differing … but usually higher levels of service than many larger outlets since most of their customer interaction is online or on the phone.

The concept of layer exchanges can significantly reduce the cost of “making a mistake” whether it is from a store with restrictive exchange policies which represent a profit center for them or from a local manufacturer of a “complete mattress” purchased from out of your area where the entire mattress would need to be returned. These “do it yourself” constructions are particularly suitable for those who have done some reading and research in materials, quality, and methods of construction as well as some “field testing” in local stores, to get a clear sense of the mattress style and layer combinations that are appropriate for their needs. In these cases any “mistakes” in a choice of mattress will generally be small and easily addressed with a single layer exchange.

The Difficulties with DIY.

There are however a few disadvantages as well that you should be aware of all of which can easily be overcome with a little knowledge and field testing. The first of these is connected to their more “standardized” layering and in the lack of knowledge or understanding of many consumers who purchase them. Their slightly more limited choices of layer thickness and ILD can sometimes mean that these mattresses cannot be customized quite as well as a local manufacturer who has access to any thickness, ILD, and type of layering and may use different methods of construction, quilting, and ticking to produce a finished mattress that can be “customized” more accurately than a more standardized approach. Of course this is only a limitation in cases where the standardized approach, in combination with toppers and different types of quilting, do not include options that may be either important or necessary for a particular person.

A second difficulty with this approach is in the lack of information and knowledge of some consumers who purchase them in the belief that they are “easy to fix if I get it wrong”. While this may often be true if you have done some research and field testing and know exactly what to change and which layer to change, there is sometimes so much confusion surrounding the effect of changing different layers and the effect it will have on the rest of the mattress that some consumers end up with a never ending search for the perfect layering pattern and never quite “get it right”. While these circumstances are also more rare, they are common enough that it is well worth understanding exactly what you need both through some reading and research on this site or others, and through some field testing, before you decide to go in this direction. With the appropriate knowledge and testing though, they can represent tremendous value and have the ability to closely “duplicate” the feel of many if not most of the commercial mattresses that are sold in the “bricks and mortar” stores.

These outlets can make very good high value choices for anyone and are particularly helpful for those who may not have or know of a smaller manufacturer in their local area as they combine many of the benefits of local manufacturers with the benefits of online purchases.

I have never heard of these build-your-own mattresses. I’ve been searching for the perfect mattress for about a month, and so far I’ve struck out. How would I find one of these companies online?

Hi Eric,

Post #21 here includes a list of the members of the site that sell online and many of these sell component or customizable options that are among the better options available I’m aware of.

Each of these offer different benefits, designs, and options as you will see from their sites but as a group offer among the best quality and value mattresses for anyone who does not have a local factory direct manufacturer’s outlet or better sleep shop with similar value in their area. The extra 5% discount available from these manufacturers to members of this site is a small additional bonus on what are already exceptionally high quality/value mattresses.

Several memory foam options with interchangeable layering are (rather than exchangeable layers) mentioned in this post.

There are many others … several of which are mentioned in various threads on this forum … but there are very few with the same combination of reputation, experience, knowledge, materials, service, and value as these.

A few of these “others” (outside of the members here) that you may come across include … (They are now a member here)
Home | FoamSource and (same company)

There are dozens more that offer various combinations of custom choices and differing components or types of latex and exchange policies but this will give you a good idea. Some are more reliable than others or may have better value or options available.

While a local factory direct outlet where you can actually test the mattress you are purchasing is usually the best combination of quality and value, it’s nice to know that there are online options available for those that don’t have one of these nearby.


I bought an “unbonded” memory foam bed in layers understanding they can be totally customized to my preference. However, after receiving a bed from i noticed the bed had a “wobble” to it. We couldn’t stand it after a couple of nights so we sent it back. I spoke with another company that said bonded memory foam mattresses have much longer lifespans as they are sturdier.

Hi Jason,

While it is true that gluing or not gluing can have an effect on the feel of a mattress and how the layers interact … the feeling you are talking about comes more from the materials used and the type of layering or overall thickness of a particular mattress than it does from whether the layers are glued or not. The type of ticking used and its “fit” can also affect how a mattress feels as can the base that is used underneath it.

In terms of durability … this has much more to do with the materials used in most cases than it does with gluing or not. The exception here is with individual toppers which in general will not last as long as a similar layer used inside a mattress ticking … but they are also more easily replaced. Bonding will also slightly reduce the internal abrasion between layers but this will normally have much less of an effect than the inherent durability of the materials themselves.

This seems to me to be one of those cases where something has “some truth” to it but “the rest of the story” (the relative pros and cons of each) has been left out.


We are very unhappy in our experience with! We initiated contact with them on Oct. 30 and were told that prices would be going up by a couple hundred dollars as of Nov. 1. As of today (12/13) there has been no change in price. We were told we would have our mattress by 11/28, it arrived 12/9. We talked with them about what we were looking for in a mattress based on some that we tried locally. The mattress that we received is nothing like what we described and I received the following e-mail from them…“It’s extremely difficult to translate comparisons over the phone because “feel” is subjective. We do the best we can and are very successful at doing so. I am sorry you are disappointed in the feel but like I said, our beds are built to last.” While it may be difficult, they claim they can do it based on what we find locally, but they completely failed for us!

Hi golson22m,

I can certainly understand your frustration. I would suggest though that rather than seeing so many “problems” where they may not exist that the focus is more on solutions. Lets take this step by step …

Fair enough … lets see if we can identify what the problem is and correct it.

I would think this was a good thing. I know that latex prices have gone up at least 3 times in the last year and that many manufacturers have already raised their prices because of this. Many have been holding off as long as they can before doing the same. I’m not sure why the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is a “negative”. If you are thinking that this was told to you as some kind of “sales tactic” … then I can assure you you could not be more wrong. Ken has also told me that he is probably going to need to raise his prices at some point and has been going back and forth about exactly when this may be necessary. I for one am quite happy that it hasn’t happened yet and would be even happier if he was able to find a way to avoid it completely.

I understand that this is frustrating but I really don’t know the circumstances behind the delay or what the cause was so its difficult to comment. I do know that Ken was running behind because of volume however I agree with you that unless there were unusual circumstances, that 11 days … while not horrible for an online order where shipping and events a few weeks into the future can be difficult to predict exactly and can vary … is also longer than the norm and is not so great.

This is one of the most difficult parts of “matching” a mattress and depends to a great degree on the accuracy of your descriptions and how well you know the exact layering of the mattresses you are using as a model. I looked through many of our exchanges on the forum and in all honesty I too would have had some difficulty in trying to determine exactly what you were looking for as there were some “areas of confusion” in terms of some of the feedback you were providing.

It’s important IMO before you “jump” from one end of the spectrum to its opposite (from excited to really unhappy) … that you have a good idea of what is truly realistic. An online purchase can only be as accurate as the information you give them and when this is over the phone … it becomes more difficult. Even a mattress that is “perfect” in terms of pressure relief and support may not have a “feel” that is the same as a specific mattress made using different materials or layering. This is why some manufacturers build in the possibility of layer exchanges so that you can “fix” any issues after your mattress arrives. You have only had your mattress for 4 days … which is certainly not enough time to evaluate how it may be working for you … and already you have jumped from one end of the emotional spectrum to another. I would suggest giving things some time and trying to identify as closely as you can exactly what changes you are looking for. “It doesn’t feel the same” is not a good basis for making accurate corrections.

This is actually true as your reading on the forum about the many variables involved hopefully has made clear. They … like other reputable manufacturers … do the best they can within the limitations that any online purchase involves. The accuracy of the information they are given, their ability to “translate” subjective perceptions into objective descriptions, and in many cases customers who unknowingly use ambiguous descriptions of what they are looking for has a great deal to do with how well they can duplicate any mattress or meet a customers expectations.

This again is an exaggeration IMO and based on what I consider is an unrealistic expectation. How can a manufacturer “completely fail” when you still have a layer exchange available to you. How after 4 days can you even know how close you came to what you need and prefer? Your rather extreme position makes little sense to me as it is more focused on laying blame that it is on sharing the responsibility for your choices and solving any problems.

Rather than expressing yourself in absolutes and overreactions … and I’m sorry to be so blunt but it is what I am seeing … why not focus on solutions rather than problems which are “solveable”?

I’d also be happy to help if you can share as much information as you can. What were the models that you were using as a guideline? What type of comfort layers did they have and what type of support cores did they have? What was the feel you were looking for? Exactly what are the issues that you are having now? You do understand that the feel of every mattress is different and that what you were testing locally is a guideline not something that can be exactly duplicated in every way? An online purchase is designed to give you the pressure relief and the support that you need using materials that will give you many of the preferences that you prefer as well (breathability, durability, motion transfer etc).

It would be far more helpful to be very specific in exactly what you were trying for and exactly how what you received differs than it would to paint with such a broad brush that is far more reactive than it is constructive.

It’s been 4 days … and your “relationship” with the manufacturer is not over. I know they would be more than happy to help you solve any issues that you may have … as long as your assessments and expectations are both accurate and reasonable.

The only real issue I can see here in all honesty (to this point) is that the mattress took longer than you and they expected it to get to you (by 11 days) when you ordered it at the end of October. If you do end up needing a layer exchange after evaluating your mattress for a bit longer … then I would be happy that this is available to you as part of the process. Hopefully this was included in your expectations as a possibility when you made the purchase.

I just don’t understand the rather extreme reaction when you are still in the middle of the process.

Why alienate people who are on your side and whose best interest is in your best interest ?


Hi Phoenix,

There are two issues: customer relations and feeling they were not honest with us, and then our unhappiness with the mattress.

Customer relations: I agree with you that a price not going up is a good thing, however when during each conversation we are being told it will go up in a day or two and then t doesn’t…it certainly makes one feel like we were told this just to pressure us to buy. If that was the case, shame on us for falling prey to that pressure, but that does not exactly build our confidence in the company. The late arrival by itself was not a huge deal, however when compounded with the previous issue, it too diminishes our confidence in this company.

As for the mattress itself…I spent a good deal of time trying to describe what we were looking for. I used the “Sensation” mattress as a comp in my conversations with Greg. I asked several times (I kept good notes) if the mattress we were buying would have that same feel that you described… “So overall it looks like you are going for some firmness on top without a “mushy” or “trapped” feeling but with enough sinking in and cradling that you get pressure relief and with enough “energy absorption” that motion is isolated” As much as I emphasized having “enough sinking in and cradling”, there is absolutely none with this mattress.

I am also “confused” by this from their web site and something that Greg mentioned when we spoke… “In addition the cover has 1.5 inches of pure natural Joma Wool for added comfort and natural components.” I have no idea where this 1.5 inches is as the bamboo cover is very thin (1/8"?).

While I recognize that it is a challenge to match a mattress over the phone, I gave the descriptions above, mentioned the mattress we liked but I don’t see how anyone could think this is even close to what we were after…except for being quality latex.

We certainly plan on giving it some more time, but for 7 nights now I have slept poorly and find there to be too much pressure on my hips and shoulder.

I really don’t feel like they listened to me and that they just recommended their standard “stock” mattress. Perhaps this works great for many people and that is why it is a featured mattress, but it is just not the feel we were after. I hope that changes, but I am pretty discouraged right now.

Thank you, Glenn

Hi Golson22m,

Lets see if we can sort some of this out somewhat …

This would have created somewhat of a “translation” problem because the Sensation is a memory foam mattress while the one you purchased is a latex mattress. It has 3" of memory foam over 2" of 5 zone blended Talalay over 4" of Dunlop latex with a thick wool quilted cover. They would have a very different feel and there is really no way to compare the two in terms of feel. No latex mattress will have the same feel as a memory foam mattress like the Sensation even though it can provide the same pressure relief and support. This means that at best the vendor would be guessing as to what you like and how your own specific body type and perceptions of your “prototype” will compare to what you are buying. Was there a reason that you were using a memory foam mattress as your preferred model but then bought a latex mattress instead?

Before I make more comments or possible suggestions though … can you tell me exactly what mattress you purchased (was the core soft medium or firm) and did you buy a “split” construction or are both sides of your mattress the same?

Did you buy the upgraded natural talalay upgrade or did you get the blended talalay mattress?

Does your cover have wool quilting or did you get the non quilted cover (which would be available on request)?

This would help me to at least make a very rough guess (which is the best anyone could do when you are using a prototype which is so different from the one you are purchasing) as to what choices would at least come closest to your model even though none of them would feel even close to the same.

I really doubt that the intent of being told about the price increase was an “inducement to buy” as much as making you aware of the real possibility of a price increase. It was probably more about Greg believing that the prices would go up at the time based on conversations he had with Ken (the owner) who would make the actual decision.

The amount of sinking in and cradling is very different with memory foam and latex. Softer latex would sink in more relative to firmer latex but no latex will sink in as much as memory foam so if the reference point to be “duplicated” was memory foam rather than latex … then this would almost certainly lead to issues. If someone says “enough sinking in and cradling” this would have very different meanings depending on whether someone was talking about memory foam and latex. Memory foam is an “in the mattress” material while latex is an “on the mattress” material although there is certainly a wide variety of differences possible in each one depending on the type of memory foam or latex being used … the firmness of any latex … and the other layers of the mattress and the ticking/quilting.

The Joma wool is quilted down and compressed so it would normally be in the range of about .5" once it was quilted into the ticking. It’s possible of course that you either asked for or received a cover without the quilting since the quilted cover would certainly be more than 1/8" and would have wool in it.

Given the almost impossible job of matching any latex mattress to any memory foam mattress in terms of feel … I would probably tend to focus more on getting the best pressure relief and alignment rather than trying to match the feel of a completely different mattress.

But if you let me know exactly what you ordered … I’d be happy to make a few more comments.



Here is what we ordered:

1 E.King A.U.P. mattress-firmness is Soft/Med. $1395.00.
6"core is 28&33 ILD Soft/Med.and 2" topper is 22 ILD soft.
Bamboo custom mattress cover,all latex is Talalay blend…
2 Queen 100% Talalay latex pillows n/c.
1 Ground shipping $158.40.

We did not request the non-quilted cover. In fact, as mentioned earlier that is what I kept questioning. I made it very clear that we were after some good pressure relief, using the description that you gave previously. I am sure that this is good quality and is providing good alignment, but that does not eliminate the pain I am waking up with, or the fact that I am waking up during the night.

Ken mentioned that we could go softer, but I do not want to lose the alignment.


Hi Golson22m,

Let me try an analogy to give you an example of what I mean.

If someone chose to eat something that contains protein … they could choose eggs or they could choose meat (among many other choices of course). While they would certainly be consuming protein with either one … they would clearly taste different and someone may love the taste of eggs but absolutely dislike the taste of meat … or vice versa.

You have probably seen me mention the idea of PPP on the forum in many posts. This stands for Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences. The pressure relief and posture would be like the protein … they are more objective and have specific symptoms when they are missing (like certain nutrients). The preferences are more subjective (like the taste of a food) and connected to what we like rather than what we “need”.

In the same way … memory foam will never feel like latex even if they both offer the same degree of pressure relief and postural alignment. Feel is always subjective and subject to individual preferences, likes, and dislikes. In the same way an innerspring mattress will feel much different from a mattress with a latex core … but both can provide good alignment in the right layering.

This is why it’s usually a good idea to decide on what material you like first (especially in the comfort layers) before you begin to test the layering of that material that provides good pressure relief and alignment. Once this is done, then it’s easier to decide on layering combinations using that material (or the material combination you prefer) without having to “translate” the effects of one material into another.

Normally side sleepers can use about 3" in their comfort layer. Heavier weights may go thicker and/or firmer while lighter weights may go thinner/softer. For a combination sleeper … then the thinnest and/or firmest comfort layer that provides good pressure relief on your side is usually the best choice as this will help with alignment in the other sleeping positions … especially the stomach which is more prone to hammocking.

If you have discovered in your testing that a 3" soft comfort layer works well for you … then choosing a 2" comfort layer means you would need to compensate for the thinner layer by making the layer underneath it softer. Without this … the top 3" of your mattress may be too firm for you. For example … while it is very misleading to compare ILD between memory foam and latex … the ILD of most memory foams are in the range of 15 or less (once it warms up and with slow gradual pressure). “Soft” in latex is usually around 19 - 24. The mattress you have has a 22 ILD top two inches and then a firmer layer underneath it. These are very different both in feel and in ILD. While 22 ILD for many or even most people is soft enough to evenly distribute pressure … the thickness would play an important role. For some who have a different preference of “feel” or who want to sink in more, they may choose a 3" layer of much softer latex which will “sink in” more (but still be nothing like memory foam in how it feels).

In your case, since you chose a mattress with a 2" comfort layer, perhaps choosing a softer support layer may have been better. This would result in the top 2" and the top part of the support layer being softer (the top 3" would be softer) but because latex gets firmer with deeper compression … you could still have the support you needed (you would just sink in more to get it). You could test this by sleeping on your wife’s side which if I understand correctly has a softer core than your side.

This is the basis behind a progressive construction (where the middle or lower layers “help” the comfort layer) and a differential construction (where the comfort layer is thick enough already and doesn’t need pressure relieving “help” from the layers underneath it).

Your ticking will also make a difference as well. If there is wool in your ticking then it would certainly be thicker than 1/8" even after it was quilted. Don’t forget though that the type of ticking will also make a difference in how much the latex conforms to your body shape and relieves pressure. You could test this by rolling back the top part of your zip cover and try lying on the latex itself (with a soft stretchy cover or blanket to protect it) and seeing how this affected pressure relief and alignment.

The goal of testing each side … with and without the quilted ticking would be to see which one was “better or worse” and what the differences were between them. With just a “good or bad” analysis it becomes more difficult to evaluate the direction of any changes you may need.

So it seems to me that there are 2 issues here … one is pressure relief and the other is feel. The feel can’t really be resolved as you have latex rather than memory foam and only memory foam feels like memory foam (even though softer latex will allow you to sink in more). The pressure relief however … if that is the issue you are facing … may be resolved by testing a softer support layer so that your comfort layer is effectively thicker.

Just to further illustrate this in a more “technical” way … a 6" layer of latex (assuming talalay here with a compression modulus of about 3) that is measured at 32 ILD (on a 6" layer) would take 32 lbs for a 50 sq inch circular area to compress it 1.5". With a 6" layer of 24 ILD latex … it would compress about 2" with this same weight. This means that sinking in 1.5" in the firmer latex would have the same degree of support (for a 50 sq inch area of your body) as you would have by sinking in 2" to the softer layer. This extra “sinking in” would allow the softer latex to “help” the comfort layer to relieve pressure better (you’d sink in more which spreads your weight out more) but once it had gone the extra 1/2 an inch it would be about the same firmness as the firmer latex. Of course if the average ILD of the comfort layers (top 3" or so) was even lower you would sink in even more (further relieving pressure by spreading weight out over an even larger surface area).

So the next step would be to evaluate your mattress in the specific terms of pressure relief and alignment and test each side with and without the quilted ticking over the (covered) latex to see which was closer to what you are looking for.

This would give you a better idea of the direction of any changes or choices you need to make. If you post your testing results on the forum … I’d be happy to share my thoughts about what they might be “pointing to”.



This is my first post at this forum. After reading it and educating myself for the last two weeks, I would like to say:

  • I feel fortunate to be referred to your site and this forum by Mr. Google. Not always, but sometimes his suggestions turn out to be very valuable.

  • The extensive knowledge you have on the subject matter and your willingness to share it with people who come here for advice are impressive.

  • Even more impressive is the cordial attitude, patience and attention to detail you demonstrate over and over again, especially with people who do not necessarily agree with you, do not share your personal preferences and who openly challenge your expertise. iComfort post (memory vs latex) is one perfect example.

This topic seems to be an appropriate place to post my questions, since DIY is the first choice for me.

As many others who have already found the answers here, I would like to ask you for some directions and recommendations. I value your time, and if you find any part of my story too personal or irrelevant, please skip right through to the part where you feel you can give me tips. I do realize there is nothing unique in my situation. In fact, I have found very similar requests here at the forum which have helped me to narrow down the choices.

Part 1.

After three years of long-distance relationship my girlfriend and I decided that flying transatlantic once a month is no longer working for us. Proposed and accepted solution: a) we are getting married b) I am closing a deal on our new home in Seattle c) she is moving in d) all other remodeling and improvements aside, the first investment for us will be a good bed.

My girlfriend is 39 years old, 5.5 feet tall and weighs 115lb.

Her favorite and almost exclusive sleeping position - left side on the right side of the bed. On rare occasions she sleeps on her stomach and I suspect this is just an unconscious way to relieve pressure on her back. For the last few years she has been sleeping on a mattress which is obviously too “firm” for her. I stand corrected, - it does not provide the right combination of comfort and support. I do not know the make, but it is not a “bad” bed. I personally do not have any major issues sleeping in it, but I would certainly like to get higher quality setup for the person I care about. While this does not seem to be a chronic or a constant problem, she does have some back pain flares and she had a pinched nerve a month ago she is still working on with physical therapy and prescription drugs. I do not want to jump to quick conclusions and immediately have her current bed executed (it is destined to be abandoned soon anyway), but it is obvious my wife can benefit from a better sleeping arrangement.

I am 50, 5.5 feet short and weigh too much (not just IMO, this is what my personal trainer says) - 175lb.

I sleep on a $2000 extra firm S&F which I purchased at Sears three years ago because I “liked” it. This was not an educated decision and I do not want to make the same mistake again. It is no longer working for me and it will certainly not work for my significant other.

I sleep on my stomach. I may not like “soft”, but certain changes are due because of my recent blood circulation problems. Arms under the pillow get asleep and numb. I wake at night to rearrange my position which involves turning head to another side and changing arms positions (one under pillow, the other alongside the body). I have recently done a sleep study both at home (abbreviated version) and at the sleep center (all nine yards). The study was done for medical reasons not necessarily relevant here, but among other things it showed that I woke very often in my own bed without even becoming fully conscious.

End of problem description and complaining part.

Part 2. Narrowing down and solicitation of expert advice.

  • After some field testing we both decided that memory foam is not for us and we should get a latex mattress.

  • Because of different sleep preferences, we need a split mattress.

  • We will decide whether to do it locally or online.

Phoenix, to simplify my request for you, let’s say I am purchasing a mattress from SleepEZ - this is certainly one option which I will be pursuing.

Given the personal data above minus all the whining plus your knowledge of the SleepEZ product line, can you advise on:

  1. Number of layers
  2. Thickness of layers
  3. ILD of layers (range)
  4. Dunlop and/or Talalay
  5. Since we are both quite “compact”, queen size bed feels like plenty of room for us. But I am more than willing to order a custom size bed if it helps to improve the quality of sleep for both of us. Does size matter in this regard?

I am actually excited to do some experimenting with the layers until I get it right and post my testing results here. I do not plan to ship back any layers less than 100% perfect. All other rooms in the house are empty, after all.

Local factories/manufacturers will also be considered. If you know any in and around Seattle WA, please share.

Thank you in advance for your time and advice.

Hi Arsen,

Thank you for all the kind words. It is always encouraging when I can see that the site is making a difference for people :slight_smile:

Congratulations too on your engagement and your other recent decisions. Having come from a “long distance relationship” of my own that made the shift from constant coming and going to being together I can appreciate some of the challenges and how good it feels to finally put all of that behind you.

Using SleepEz firmness ratings (soft = 22 - 24 ILD, medium = 28-32 ILD, and firm = 38-40 ILD).

While actual testing on one or two mattresses with known constructions is usually a better reference point because even people with similar height and weight can “react” to the same mattress differently, height and weight measurements can certainly provide a good starting point and can often get very close for most people. I would certainly recommend some local testing though just to confirm that you fall inside the “averages” that work well for most people with your profile.

For your girlfriend… because of her much lighter weight and side sleeping position I think that a good starting point for testing would be a comfort layer in the range of 3" and softer than “normal” which would be in the area of 19 ILD Talalay (or perhaps even 14 ILD). The softer ILD’s would need to be specially requested as they are outside the “norm” for the SleepEz layering. If she has a more curvy profile then this would normally work well. If her profile is not as curvy (less spaces to fill in) then moving towards 2" could also work well. So the main issue to be “resolved” with testing for her would be whether a 2" comfort layer would be thick enough for her. A 3" top layer would mean the 10000 SleepEz model while a 2" top layer would be the SleepEz special. They also have a different quilting/ticking with the 10000 having a quilted cover (which can make softer latex less conforming) while the SleepEz special has a stretchy non quilted cover so this would need to be taken into account as well.

Generally lighter bodies can use thinner/softer than heavier bodies and the “curviness” makes a difference in the thickness that works best. The support layers underneath this would normally be 3" medium and 3" firm in a 3 layer construction or 6" of medium in a 2 layer construction. The choice between Talalay or Dunlop would be primarily based on feel because with her weight both can provide good support although Dunlop has an edge here because it gets firmer faster with deeper compression. Because Dunlop and Talalay have a different “feel”, this would also make a difference in the 'best" choice for an individual.

For you … because of your stomach sleeping … I would tend towards a thinner/firmer comfort layer and firmer support layers. Most stomach sleepers end up as combination sleepers and spend quite a bit of time in other positions as well but it seems that you spend more time on your stomach than the norm. Normally I would recommend a thinner top layer in cases like yours starting with about 2" and in the upper range of “normal” firmness which would be about 24 with firmer layers underneath it (firm/X-Firm) for better support however in a split mattress the layers would be need to be the same thickness so 3" may be more appropriate. In this case I would make the top layers a little firmer in the range of about 28 with firm and extra firm layers underneath it.

Zoning with the middle layers could also make a difference with the middle section firmer to hold up the pelvic area (which is the issue with stomach sleeping) which can allow for a softer shoulder area. I would also do some pillow experimenting to see if this can help resolve the arm numbness although this may also be a result of the position of your arms while you are sleeping. Having a pillow under the pelvis can also make a difference in alignment for stomach sleepers.

So to recap … my thinking is that the “best choice” for the two of you would be a 2" comfort layer IF testing showed that this was enough for your girlfriend. If it was … then this would be better for your stomach sleeping position. If testing shows that your girlfriend needs a 3" comfort layer … then I would “compensate” for this on your side by choosing a firmer comfort layer for your side. I would tend towards “medium” support for your girlfriend and “firm” support for you.

There are some very good local choices available for the Seattle area and they are listed in post #2 here. I would especially recommend a visit to the first one in the Seattle/Tacoma list if Marysville is close enough for you as I think very highly of them.



Thank you for your thoughts and recommendations. Very much appreciated.

I will:

  1. Visit the in Maryswille today.
  2. Talk to SleepEZ
  3. With your permission, post the relevant info in a separate topic.



Hi Arsen,

Sounds like a good plan to me :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

I did try sleeping on my wife’s side, but it was too soft and I felt like it was “rolling downhill” from my (firmer) side.

What is “Taletech” latex? If we went to a 3" comfort core, would you suggest we stay with the same firmness level?

Thank you, Glenn

Hi Glenn,

When you slept on your wife’s side … how was the pressure relief for your hips and shoulders? Sometimes it’s difficult to “translate” whether “too soft” means a subjective perception, an alignment issue, or is based on the “rolling downhill” feeling.

If your wife’s side solved the pressure issue that you were mentioning before (hips and shoulders) then if both sides were the same it would likely solve both your pressure issue and the difference in firmness that is behind the “rolling downhill” feeling you are mentioning (especially in the center part where the firmness level changes).

Talatech latex is a trade name for blended Talalay latex made by latex international

It appears to me that the biggest issue (besides “feel”) is having a comfort zone that is soft enough to allow your shoulders to sink in enough and relieve pressure. This could be a 2" top layer with a softer core underneath it (to help the comfort layer) or a 3" top layer that didn’t need as much “help” and then would likely be OK with a firmer support core underneath it (although testing a similar construction would help to confirm this).

Your own testing of course on a mattress with similar layering would be the only way to know for certain but in theory if you went with a thicker top layer of the same ILD, then your current support core firmness would likely be OK (it wouldn’t need to “help” the upper layer as much with pressure relief). If you stayed with a 2" top layer then a softer support core would give you better pressure relief (it would let you sink “in” more and help create a deeper pressure relieving cradle) but it would also give you good support (it would become firmer once you had sunk in to the top of the support layer). In essence … this is the difference between a “differential” construction and a more “progressive” construction.

So the key issue for now is to determine how well your wife’s side relieves pressure and how well it keeps you in alignment. If you can confirm that it does both … then doing a layer exchange so that your side is the same as hers would probably solve the issue as long as it also “felt” good for you (the third “P” of “preference” which is more about subjective issues).

If the “feel” just isn’t right even if the pressure relief and alignment is good … and you are looking more for a memory foam feeling … then I would suggest a refund rather than a layer exchange because of course even very soft latex will feel different from memory foam. In the end I think it will boil down to whether or not the “feel” of latex in any version is what you want because as you know now, it is very different from the “feeling” of memory foam.



I am going to try my wife’s side again. What we were really hoping to find was latex with a pillow-top feel to it. Unfortunately, all we have found around here is latex with a soy-based top (i.e. the Englander and one of the Natura mattresses). We thought we were getting that with what we have based on the description of the quilting. But th quilting is no more than what we would get from a mattress pad. Are we looking for something that simply does not exist with real latex?

Thank you, Glenn

Hi Golson22m,

A pillowtop can have many different feels to it. What is usually meant by “pillowtop” is a few extra inches of soft foam that is surrounded by fabric and attached to a plush mattress (which already has several inches of foam in it). How it feels will depend on what type of foam is in the pillowtop. Quilting on the other hand is a thinner layer of fiber or foam which is sewn or quilted to the actual mattress ticking and a backing fabric on the other side like a sandwich using various quilting patterns which are either closer together (making a firmer surface feel) or farther apart (making a softer surface feel). In other words a pillowtop could have memory foam, polyfoam, or latex in it and could use firmer or softer foam and different quilting materials and quilting patterns … all of which will change the feel of the mattress.

Most pillowtops use softer polyfoam which is subject to breakdown and body impressions and pillowtops as a rule are better avoided as a construction method … at least when they use the type of materials which are usually used in mainstream mattresses or mattresses that are often found in most chain stores. It can indicate though a subjective preference for a certain “feel” of being more “in” a mattress than “on” a mattress. This feeling can be achieved with or without an actual pillowtop through the use of thicker layers of softer foam or memory foam. The pillowtop “feel” often comes from a thicker softer layer over a much firmer layer or innerspring where the top few inches of a mattress is much softer than the layers underneath it (what I call a differential construction). In Europe … it is quite common to have a pillowtop that uses a separate foam topper that can be added to a firmer mattress and replaced when it breaks down or becomes too soft without replacing the whole mattress.

So with latex … a “pillowtop feel” would be closer to several inches of very soft latex (14 - 19 ILD) over a support core of much firmer latex (in the mid 30’s or higher) … with a ticking that was stretchy and “loose” enough to to allow a person to sink into the soft latex on top. It would be a combination of very soft over very firm rather than a more gradual transition between layers (what I call a progressive construction). It could also be several inches of soft polyfoam (not recommended) or memory foam over a firmer support system.

Pillowtops or an equivalent feel (with or without an actual pillowtop construction) can be great … as long as the materials used are durable and not prone to breakdown and early failure leading to body impressions and hills and valley’s in the mattress.



You stated previously that you could not find any manufacturers in Vermont, do you know if we could find any in the Glens Falls, NY, Hanover, NH or Holyock, MA areas?

We would really like to find somewhere to test the softer comfort layer over a firmer core before spending money shipping new layers back and forth.

Thank you