Mattress Layering

I have read your informative topics about mattress functions, construction and sleeping styles. I have been looking at the PLB “Nutrition” model and have a question.

While most of the specs I have seen for this model appear to fit the “progressive” construction description, the folks at PLB have told confirmed on more than one occasion that the ILD’s for this model are as follows:

Top 3" 27
Mid 2" 19
Bottom 6" 36

Assuming this is correct, would you have any idea of the reasoning or thought process that went behind layering a bed with the top layer being somewhat firmer than the middle layer? I’ve tried the bed out and it seems very comfortable…not as soft as the Beautiful but actually a little more supportive. They tout it as being more of a European feel. Not sure what that means.

As always, your insight and commentary is appreciated.


Hi Toni,

There is an interesting story behind your comment.

When PLB first came out … they had a series of educational and very funny videos about “looking for secret information” and they were great … and very informative. In one of the videos they had someone at a chalkboard making notes and one of the layering schemes they drew was what I call a “dominating layer” with firmer over softer latex. I thought at the time that their layering was very sophisticated and I even wrote about this in another forum before I started this one (see reply #16 here for example).

Fast forward a bit and the specs for the PLB natural line started appearing on the web and the Nutrition was listed as having the softer latex on top so these were the specs that started spreading around the internet. On the other hand … on the PLB website they list the Nutrition as being firmer than the Nature which has thinner layers of soft and medium latex (which would normally indicate a firmer mattress).

For some reason I never thought more about this until recently actually when I connected the dots about the Nutrition’s rating on their plushness scale and the layering information which seemed to contradict this but I hadn’t confirmed he information either way.

Your contacts seem to be very up to date because your layering also reflects the layering and ILD’s of the current models (with the Talalay GL fast response or what PLB calls “active fusion fast response”) which have recently been introduced … and its great to have more accurate specs than are listed around the web (including in several places in the forum)

Dominating layers do have a different feel to them and for lack of a better word could be called “crisper”. The firmer latex on top allows for less sinking in so you have a little less cradling from the top layer itself but then the softer layer below sinks in under this but it does so to a lesser extent (more supportive) because the top layer absorbs some of the forces before they reach the softer layer and it doesn’t conform to the body shape quite as closely, leaving you with a feeling of being “on” the mattress a little more but with underlying softness instead sinking “in” to the plushness on the surface.

Overall the depth of cradle is a little less and it has less of a sinking in feeling to it as the latex doesn’t wrap itself around you quite as much. In a sense it would be similar to an innerspring that had two different spring rates with the top part being softer and the lower part being stiffer and then a layer over this that was firmer than the soft part of the springs. Of course would be deeper in the mattress and with the Nutrition the dominating layer is closer to the top but the idea is the same. Quilting layers are sometimes used that are firmer for this reason as well.

In any case … thanks for being the “trigger” that connects some old “dots” and resolving the mystery of the listed specs of the Nutrition vs. the number on the plushness scale that was attached to it :slight_smile: