Mattress hunt in Ottawa


My wife and I live in Ottawa, Canada and are looking for a new mattress.

So far we checked several local dealers/manufacturers, this post describes our process and ends with a couple questions:

I am 5 feet and 9 inches tall and weigh about 210 pounds, my wife if 5 feet and 7 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds.
We both are stomach sleepers my wife sometimes also sleeps on her side.

Our current mattress is a queen sized Serta inner coil mattress with polyfoam and a pillowtop. I assume that the polyfoam has lost its support, since we both feel a severe dip on both sides of the mattress now. We wake up with back pain.

After I did some online research I would like to give a full latex mattress a chance, since they are durable and seem to have other advantages as well.

Here are the local options that we checked so far for a queen sized mattress:

Matelas Lapensee:
We checked their showroom and they did not have a full latex mattress on the floor. I think they specialise on coil mattresses. However, they offered to make a full latex mattress for us, but that would be considered a special order with no return options. If we go in that direction, I’d rather work with a more experienced online retailer, that offers exchange options.
This company had two different latex mattresses in the showroom.

  1. 6" natural talalay: Firmness: 40 ILD, price: $1395 CAD
  2. 6" natural talalay (40 ILD) with 2" natural talalay (20 ILD) comfort layer, price: $1699 CAD
    Both options were too hard for us.

This company offers 9" of natural talalay latex. 6" core with 36-38ILD and a 3"comfort layer with 36-38ILD as well. So both layers have the same firmness.
The price for this mattress is $1699 CAD. This mattress was also rather hard and we would like something that has some sort of comfort layer.
We visited the showroom and tried the MORGONGĂ…VA mattress (price: $899 CAD). This mattress was way too soft for our liking.
In their showroom we were able to test 2 latex mattresses.

  1. 6" of latex, too hard, no idea what ILD was used, probably something from 36 to 40. $1399 CAD
  2. The second mattress was according to staff one 8" dunlop latex slab of medium firmness for $1699 CAD. However, after examining it a little further, we figured out, that it is a mattress that can be used from both sides and that had 3 layers bonded together. I assume a 4" layer in the middle with 2" on each side. The staff told me that the ILD for this mattress is 75 ??? And that their latex mattresses range from 70 to 95 ILD.
    After my experience there, I am not too sure about their knowledge about latex mattresses, they also tried to steer us towards memory foam.
I could not find or reach that company. I don’t think they are still in business…

This company has two mattresses that felt fairly good.

  1. Tatami (7"dunlop latex, 1" of their whatever memory foam) for $2280 CAD.
  2. Classic 8 (6"dunlop latex, 2" of their whatever memory foam) for $2779 CAD
    I learned from other posts in this forum that there is no proof for their all latex memory foam and tend to think that these mattresses are overpriced. I am also worried about sleeping too warm in these mattresses, since I tend to sweat a lot at night and memory foam could be a heat trap.
They have really nice all natural dunlop latex mattresses. Their most economic versions start at $3299 CAD and are 8" thick. 2" firm base, 4" zoned middle part and a 2"comfort layer. However, these mattresses are out of our price range.

From our shopping experience I think that we like the following:

  • We prefer dunlop over talalay (Obasan vs. other stores)
  • We do want a comfort layer and not only a firm core (7futon, dauphin, hardymattress)
  • my wife likes a pillow top or something else very comforting (like memory foam) on top of the mattress.

Yesterday we went back to Obasan. They actually had a medium-firm 6" dunlop mattress on clearance for $999 CAD. Of course this is way too hard. But at that price we could easily add a mattress topper. So we tested the mattress in combination with a 2" 20-22 ILD Dunlop mattress topper in a stretchy material. And yes, we liked how it felt. This way we will get all the items from our list above. We also tried two 2" dunlop toppers (ILD 20-22) (for a total of 4") on top of each other and liked that setup as well. I am actually thinking about switching to side sleeping, since it seems to be much healthier

Now, the 2" Dunlop mattress topper from Obasan is another $618 CAD and in my opinion a little expensive. So we only bought the mattress and are now looking for a topper online. And since my wife didn’t feel comfortable buying a complete mattress online, buying the topper online seems like a good compromise.

So, we are now looking online for a topper that will complete out mattress. Here are the questions:

  1. We found a 2" dunlop topper (ILD22) at that will pretty much be what we tested in the store (hopefully). also offers a 3" dunlop topper (ILD25) for only a little more money. Can anyone guess if a setup with a slightly firmer 3" dunlop topper (ILD25) would feel about the same or if there is a chance that it feels completely different? We liked the two-topper setup with ILD 20-22 at obasan as well.

  2. Would the 3" setup be more durable than the 2" setup?

  3. If we get a mattress protector that encases the complete setup (topper+mattress) would you guys recommend a separate cover for the topper or could the cover be “naked” under the protector?

  4. How important is the rotation and flipping of latex mattresses, and what frequency is recommended? Would we have to flip/rotate both parts of our mattress or only the topper?

  5. Are there any other sources for dunlop toppers?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Morning Person

Hi Morning Person,

Thanks for all the great feedback from Ottawa … I appreciate it :slight_smile:

It’s surprising to me that there are so many firm latex mattresses and so few with softer comfort layers.

That would probably be a wise idea if you can’t test it first in person unless you are completely confident in what you wanted.

The numbers you were given are the density of the latex which would indicate that they are Dunlop. If they are 100% natural Dunlop then you can see the approximate ILD’s that would correspond to the densities in post #2 here. If they are 100% natural Dunlop they would be a good quality material and a two sided mattress would be a bonus in terms of durability as well (although latex is already the most durable foam material) but some careful testing for will tell you more about whether they are suitable for you than the ILD. While the layers themselves would have an ILD … the mattress as a whole wouldn’t (ILD only applies to foam layers not a complete mattress).

They are still showing up on Google searches so this must have been fairly recent. Thanks for the heads up and I’ve removed them from the Ottawa list.

Latex isn’t made in exact ILD’s and most Dunlop has a variance in their ILD’s across the surface and from top to bottom so a Dunlop layer that is rated as a specific ILD wouldn’t be exact (see post #6 here). An ILD difference of 3 would be fairly insignificant and most people wouldn’t notice it and it would probably be less than the normal ILD variance of a Dunlop layer across the surface. Most (but not all) people wouldn’t notice much if any difference with a 3 ILD variance but they would probably notice a difference between a 2" topper and a 3" layer in roughly the same ILD. The 3" Dunlop topper also has “pillows” on the surface which would make it functionally softer than the same ILD topper without the “pillows”.

No … if it’s the same material there would be no significant difference in Durability.

While you may be able to “get away with” just a protector and probably wouldn’t notice much difference for a number of years … I would cover any bare latex layer with it’s own cover to help protect it from damage and substances that can degrade the latex (see here) and prevent premature oxidation which can shorten the life of the latex.

Latex is the most durable of all the foam materials so flipping and rotating is less necessary but “necessary” or not … I would flip and rotate any two sided mattress (if the materials are the same on both sides) or rotate any one sided mattress (if the materials are symmetrical from head to foot) because it can extend the life of any mattress (see post #2 here).

Post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to have some suggestions about choosing a topper using your sleeping experience as a reference point and also links to this post which has some of the better component or topper sources I’m aware of including Dunlop latex.


Thank you very much Phoenix, your response is really helpful.

I have one more question with regards to your comment:

I did not really pay attention to these “pillows” until now. Does that mean that this is a molded piece of Dunlop? What is the motivation to create those pillows? I assume it only makes sense to create a cast for such a pillow design, if you want to produce a lot of them. How do these “pillows” make the piece feel softer?

Thanks again

Hi Morning Person,

Yes … it’s molded Dunlop but also has surface modifications.

They would work in a similar way to convoluted latex but with a slightly lesser effect (convoluted foam usually has more and deeper peaks and valleys). There is less material in the top part of the layer (making it softer) and then it would get firmer faster as you started sinking into the more solid part of the layer. There is more about how convoluted or surface modified layers work in post #2 here and post #2 here (in reply to question 4).



Wanted to say that I am from Ottawa too, and have been on the same journey as yourself.

I just find it interesting, as looking at your body types, and preferences.

At Hardy’s I remember finding the Medium 100% dunlop 8 inch mattress ok, my spine was in alignment, but I would have preferred something a little firmer.

I then thought that the 6 inch firm 100% dunlop was actually very comfortable, but would be perfect with 2-3 inches of softer dunlop on top (but I would have been able to sleep on it for sure).

I’m 6ft and 155 lbs, and I’m a side sleeper.