memory foam layer over latex layer


Thanks so much for the Mattress Underground site! I’ve learned so much, and while this has made my mattress shopping a much more drawn out and intensive process, I’m confident that it will end in a much better mattress than I would have bought without all this information.

In trying many mattresses, I seem to have shifted from the ultra firm I’ve always liked and currently have to a somewhat soft top 2" , with something firmer below. In trying every mattress that I can find locally, I’ve discovered that my favorites seem to be memory foam over a latex layer, or at least over something resilient. However, they are either questionable quality, or more expensive than I’d like. I’m wondering if you are aware of a mattress with a memory foam layer over latex layer that is good quality and value.

The memory foam over latex which is my favorite is the REM Sleep Solutions Paradise. It might be good quality (I’m not sure of specs) but it’s pricey.

Other mattresses I’ve really like in the showroom are Tempurpedic Weightless Select and Cloud Select, Comforpedic Silver Strand (Macys), Serta Iseries Pergola, Serta Iseries Haydon, Icomfort Inception. These all have a lighter memory foam layer that seems more resilient in itself, and a resilient layer below that is not latex. But I’m worried about the durability of those lighter foams, even though they feel good to me. And sales people are not very helpful with finding out the specs.

Can you suggest anything, given these preferences? And are you aware of any memory foam over latex mattresses that are a good value? I’d rather not buy on-line, but I haven’t completely ruled it out either.

To make my shopping more complex, I also like latex in the top layer, and have tried PureLatexBliss and European Sleep Design. Those are very nice, but I find I like the firm feeling memory foam gives once I’ve sunken in over the softer feeling of those with latex top layers.

I hope you make a suggestion of mattresses to consider. First choice memory foam over latex, but also perhaps more resilient memory foam in a thin layer, with a preference to being able to try it in person, rather than on-line order.

Thanks huge!

Me, again. I decided I should add more information about myself, to aid those offering advice.

I’m 5’6", and 125 lbs. I’m mostly a stomach sleeper, and sometimes my side. And my initial relaxation period, upon going to bed, is on my back, however I don’t sleep on my back due to sleep apnea – the first inability to draw breath is what prompts me to rotate.

I’ve always had an ultra firm innerspring mattress. The current one is 10 years old, and has body impression at the shoulders, but strangely not the hip. I suspect there is zoned firmer foam at the hip, to prevent this heavier part of me from causing an impression. But this performance has made me very hesitant about getting other than very high quality foam.

I’ve tried a lot of memory foam mattresses at various stores, and I almost always sink too far at the hips. I also don’t like the feeling of sinking too far into foam in general. But, as I mentioned in my original post, I do like the feeling of firmness after I finish sinking into the memory foam. Also, I like the less dense and more springy memory foams in a top layer, but I worry about quality as they seem to be lower density.

Due to reading this site and forum, I’ve sought smaller mattress companies who are more likely to admit to the quality of their components, especially foam, and be better value. Here in northern California, I’ve tried Diamond. I liked their Caress supreme and Mirror firm hybrid. But the Caress felt hot, and I worry about hybrids (including the Iseries I mentioned earlier) because the warranties seem to be the 1.5" of springs rather than 0.75" of only memory foam. And Diamond seems to be using only 1.5 lb polyfoam, which they advertise as very dense, but I thought was pretty marginal.

I’ve only recently discovered I really like the R.E.M Paradise 3" memory foam over 2" latex, but it’s expensive, and I don’t know the specs. I’ve also liked some mattresses with latex on top. The PLB mattresses that I like are the Nature 3-layer mattress, and the Balance firm hybrid mattress (their hybrid has a polyfoam core, rather than springs, and differs from their others in that it’s not latex). The Balance is a price I’m OK with, but I can’t get specs on the quality of the core material. And I’m finding latex on top is comfortable, but I don’t love the final softness even thought the performance for me is good.

I’ve recently experimented with memory foam by adding a 2" memory foam topper to my current mattress, and I like it. It initially felt too soft, but either I’ve gotten used to it, or the colder weather has made it firmer. However, I’ve several times woken up with a numb arm, which never happened before adding the topper.

That’s all I can think to add right now about my own specs. I hope this helps.

Thanks in advance to Phoenix, and any others who reply.

Hi beth620,

Your mattress testing shows an interesting “theme” or pattern which is that you appear to like thinner layers of faster responding memory foam combined with some type of more resilient material. It also seems that the type of resilient material doesn’t appear to matter as much as he resilience itself in combination with a layer or memory foam that is thin enough to feel it.

Some examples of mattress you have tested …

R.E.M Paradise: 3" of memory foam (slow response low resilience) over a 2" latex transition layer (fast response high resilience) over a firmer support layer (polyfoam)

Tempurpedic Weightless Select: Relatively thin layer of 4 lb memory foam (slow response low resilience) over a high density polyfoam transition layer (fast response higher resilience) over a firmer support polyfoam support core.

Comforpedic Silver Strand: Several layers of memory foam (slow response low resilience) over a layer of “independent support technology” transition layer (fast response higher resilience) over a firmer polyfoam support core.

Serta Iseries Pergola: 2" of gel memory foam (slow response low resilience) over the softer part of the Duet Spring as a transition area (fast response high resilience) over the firmer part of the innerspring as the support layer.

Serta Iseries Haydon: gel memory foam (slow response low resilience) over a polyfoam transition layer (fast response higher resilience) over the two stage innerspring (both fast response high resilience)

Icomfort Inception: Gfx memory foam (slow respnse low resilience) over polyfoam (faster response higher resilience) over gel memory foam (slow response low resilience) over pods activated support layer (fast response higher resilience) over a firmer polyfoam support core.

Some of these don’t include the specifics of each layer in terms of thickness or the density of the memory foam but they all fall in a similar group in very general terms.

The exceptions to your experience are the Cloud Select (which uses two layers of slow response low resilience memory foam directly over the polyfoam support layer with no fast response transition layers) and the Balance (which uses 2" of Talalay which is a very high resilience fast response material) over the firmer polyfoam rebond core (90 % polyfoam and 10% latex).

There are many of these in different designs (just like the ones I listed are all in a similar category or group but different in the specifics of their design) but the “value” of each would depend on the specifics of the mattress, the store you purchased from, what else is available to you and the “finalists” you are comparing, and on your personal value equation. Restonic’s Healthrest line, Therapedic’s Ecogel line, and the King Koil XL line, Symbol, and Eclipse are some examples or larger manufacturers that come to mind off the top of my head that include some mattresses that used “mixed” comfort/transition layers but they are also made by many other manufacturers (large and small) in one version or another. I don’t keep a list of specific mattress constructions (that would be an impossible job to keep up with) so you would need to call stores or manufacturers in your area to tell them your specific criteria (thinner layers of memory foam over faster response transition layers over a firmer support layer) to see if they had any mattresses that used this type of combination. You could also ask if they carried any mattresses that used both memory foam and latex in the comfort layers to make the question simpler for them to understand. Many manufacturers (online or local) could also custom build a mattress like this.

There are many people who like this “hybrid” comfort / transition layer combination (including me) but like any category of mattress there are many variations that may be available in each area of the country or online and it will take some calls (and probably a knowledgeable sales person that doesn’t go “huh” to your questions) once you have identified your general preference for this type of combination.

This is a similar “mix” of faster response and more resilient layers combined with slower response less resilient layers but it’s a little more difficult to find with the more resilient layers on top. It happens to be my own personal preference in mixed layers compared to having the slower response materials on top (I like a more resilient sleeping surface) but this is always personal preference.

If you let me know the city or zip where you live I can take a very quick scan of what may be available in the area to see if anything similar jumps out at me but other than that it would take more detailed “preliminary” phone calls with the retailers or manufacturers in your area to identify mattresses that fit your criteria that you could go and test.


Hi Phoenix!

Thank you so much for taking the time to find the common thread in my mattress preferences. I really appreciate your effort. It’s good to realize that it doesn’t specifically need to be latex under the memory foam, but just a resilient material of some kind, paired with a thinner fast-responding memory foam layer. But another question about faster-responding memory foam: it seems less dense which makes me wonder if it’s poor quality and won’t last. What do you think?

I forgot to mention trying BedInABox in a local store and noting their foam is similarly fast less dense. Their website claims that their low density foam is a new formulation that is still durable. Do you think this is true, or just advertising? I’ve found most of the statements of mattress companies strike me as completely bogus, but this isn’t from one of the big ones…

Remaining literal about the memory foam over latex idea for a moment, I’ve wondered about putting a memory foam topper over a mattress with a latex top layer. There are 2 challenges: (1) finding a faster-responding memory foam topper (are there any?), and (2) knowing what ILD latex to choose to match REM Paradise. Even when mattress companies admit to foam density, they seem to withhold the ILD to prevent copying… But I guess this idea would lose the benefit of the nice mattress covers on the latex mattresses.

Before I drop the REM Paradise, do you have an opinion of that company and mattress? While it’s pricey for me, I’d consider it if there were another option at the same store in case I’m wrong and need to exchange, or if it were highly recommended.

Sorry to keep on going here, but I can never organize all my questions / concerns in the first try! I didn’t mention the heat issue, but I’ve also been seeking memory foam that’s only pressure sensitive and not heat sensitive. As a secondary benefit, I hoped it would be a kind I don’t sink as far into, but maybe that will be solved by having just a thinner layer with a resilient layer below.

You asked about location: I live near Sacramento, CA. I’ve looked at a past thread in which you recommended local manufacturers and small retailers, but noted while there are many around Sacramento, there’s little in it. I went to the close ones, including the Mattress Factory. I would consider them to get good quality polyfoam if I wanted to go the DIY route, but they weren’t interested in customizing anything for me. If you have any updated suggestions, I’ll check them out. I haven’t gone to the Bay Area yet, but perhaps it’s worth the drive.

Thanks for the suggestions including Restonic and Therapedic. The Restonic website doesn’t have much, but they mention some retailers nearby. Therapedic website has more, and has ones that look right for me. But they don’t seem to have a presence in California :frowning: I’ll continue to explore the others.

Before I realized I could edit a my original post, I responded to it with more info about myself. I wonder if I should read anything into my memory foam topper experiment:

I raise this concern again because my mattress preferences are based on spending maybe 15 minutes on each mattress, and not a whole night, and they’ve evolved (over the last 4 weeks of shopping) to be quite different than my current mattress. I’m worried that maybe I’m completely wrong. I hoped to learn something from trying the topper, and I think I’m sleeping better, but the numbness is worrying. An additional detail is that I attempted to fill in the body impression at my shoulder with 2 layers of 1/2 inch foam from the local fabric store. The numb arm is right above this… Should I infer anything from all this?

By the way, I don’t have any aches and pains or back trouble. But I do have severe insomnia and hoped a new mattress would help. That, plus the body impression, is why I’m shopping for a new one.

Thanks again for your help and discussion,

Hi beth620,

You can read more about the factors that contribute to durability and the useful life of a mattress in post #4 here. I would tend to use memory foam in the 4 lb and higher range in most cases and I would lean towards 5 lbs and higher and start to reduce the amount of 4 lb memory foam once you go over about 200 lbs or so. 5 lb memory foam would be more durable than 4 lb but it may also not have the “feel” that many people are looking for … especially in lighter weight ranges.

I believe this is misinformation and you can see more of my thoughts about Bedinabox’s claims in post #2 here.

I’ve talked with Randy there and he is knowledgeable and uses good quality materials in his mattresses but they are in a more premium budget range than other mattresses that use similar materials so I would make some careful value comparisons based on your own personal value equation before buying one. I agree that they are quite pricey.

All memory foam is heat sensitive … just to different degrees. There is more about the factors that can contribute to sleeping temperature in post #2 here.

This is probably the post you saw but just in case the Sacramento list is in post #5 here. I would do as much of your research on the phone as possible before making any trips.

Most larger manufacturers websites don’t include most of the mattresses they make and it varies in different areas of the country depending on the licensee factory that makes them. You would probably be better off calling stores to identify the general types of mattresses you are looking for based on general descriptions than trying to find specific manufacturers based on specific designs. These were just a very few off the top of my head that make similar mattresses.

I would need much more specific information about you and all the layers in the mattress / topper combination to make any meaningful comments. In general … accurate and objective testing using the testing guidelines will be fairly close to predicting your longer term experience in most cases and for most people within a reasonable margin of error that is close enough to use fairly minor fine tuning.

It’s possible that the foam you used to fill in the impressions is either too firm or is interfering with the response and compression of the layers underneath it. Numbness is generally an indicator of pressure issues in the area of numbness.


Hi Phoenix!

I wasn’t clear enough in my question about fast-responding memory foam. It seems to be to be less dense, is that just the few I’ve experienced? Are there some that are not less dense, and so not lower quality? Since I like it, I’d like to find a fast-responding memory foam that is good quality. Am I out of luck?

Thanks for the clarification on Bedinabox’s foam. I’m sad, because I was hoping it was true. But I’m not surprised.

On the other hand, I’m glad to hear REM is good quality.

Thanks for the reminder that I should make phone calls before driving too far to mattress stores. I recall you advising that if they answer questions over the phone, they’ll be able to do so in person, and if they won’t, they won’t! So far, I’ve not had many good experiences talking to mattress salespeople, with Cathy at the Mattress Factory and Wayne at Healthy Bed Store as notable exceptions. Others have tried to snow me, and gotten annoyed when I seemed to know more than them about the mattresses and foams in general. (Your site has educated me well, as I’ve spent a over a dozen of hours reading the articles and forum). Well, to be fair, some were pleasantly surprised and offered me a job. But most have been annoyed. I’ve done better by browsing the mattresses and lying on them, then searching for specs online. But I’ll give the Bay Area stores a chance on the phone!

Beth said:

[quote]I’ve recently experimented with memory foam by adding a 2" memory foam topper to my current mattress, and I like it. It initially felt too soft, but either I’ve gotten used to it, or the colder weather has made it firmer. However, I’ve several times woken up with a numb arm, which never happened before adding the topper.

I raise this concern again because my mattress preferences are based on spending maybe 15 minutes on each mattress, and not a whole night, and they’ve evolved (over the last 4 weeks of shopping) to be quite different than my current mattress. I’m worried that maybe I’m completely wrong. I hoped to learn something from trying the topper, and I think I’m sleeping better, but the numbness is worrying. An additional detail is that I attempted to fill in the body impression at my shoulder with 2 layers of 1/2 inch foam from the local fabric store. The numb arm is right above this… Should I infer anything from all this?[/quote][/quote]

Phoenix said:

Info about me: 5’5" woman, 125 lbs. Rather dense. Mostly stomach sleeper, some side. I think I’m doing well with PPP, however I’m not completely confident in being correct using those tools, I guess, when my preference is apparently so different from my history of ultra firm. I’m planning to risk going with my new ideal, though.

My current mattress is a Beautyrest Andover Extra Firm from 2003. I don’t know the specs, other than innerspring with not much foam. And I am guessing firmer foam in the middle third, since I only have a body impression at the shoulders and not the hips – on both sides as a result of rotating it.

The new topper is 2" gel memory foam that was quite soft until it got colder, and now is rather firm. The extra foam under it is 2 layers of 1/2" cheap green foam from a fabric store. The layers are tapered, with 2 only in the deepest part of the dip I’m filling. I don’t feel it below the topper as I lay on it.

Phoenix said:

Hmm. It’s pretty cheap foam. I’ll remove it and see if anything changes. Another speculation I had was that I’m more comfortable and so staying in the same position much longer than I previously did, before the topper. But the numbness should make me move, right?

By the way, sorry for the clumsy quoting of previous text. I can’t figure out how to do it properly…

Thanks for the advice!

Hi beth620,

There is more about the different properties of memory foam that can be changed with different foam chemistry (regardless of density) in post #9 here and in post #8 here but in very general terms lower density memory foam tends to respond more quickly and be less temperature sensitive than higher density memory foam.

All memory foam will change (to differing degrees) with changes in temperature, humidity, and the length of time it is compressed (memory foam gets softer when it is compressed for longer periods of time regardless of temperature). With memory foam it’s usually a good idea to keep the bedroom at a consistent temperature (some more than others). Of course lower density memory foam will soften much more quickly than higher density memory foams in the areas that are compressed the most. If there is a dip or soft spot in a mattress then a topper or something on top of it can still follow the dip (see post #4 here).

It’s possible and hopefully it would … but it would depend on whether the numbness triggered a change in position when you were asleep (in a perfect world it would but this doesn’t mean that it would happen for everyone).


Hi Phoenix,

It seems impossible, but after over a month of shopping, I’ve finally made a decision on a mattress. I drove to San Francisco to’s location, after calling and finding out they’d work with me on trial&error for picking mattress layers. I chose the following, top to bottom:

3" 5.3 lb/ft3 memory foam
2.8" medium softness latex (solid Natural Sense)
4" of ILD 34 foam with density 2.6 lb/ft3 (called EverFlex)

All this in a cotton cover, and topped by a wool mattress pad.

They also had 4.0 lb/ft3 memory foam, but they warrantee it for 3 years instead of the 15 years for 5.3 lb/ft3, so I didn’t even try it, to avoid liking it too much. Speaking of warrantees, they also cover softening of the foam, not just sag! He (Steve) even told me that memory foam would not sag, and would remain flat even if it softened. I’ve said exactly that to so many mattress salesmen who tried to impress me with their 20 year 3/4" sag warrantees, and here was someone finally saying it to me! Yay! And so cool that they warrantee softening.

I’m excited to get such a good quality mattress that feels perfect to me, and relieved to be done shopping after so many weeks. It will be ready in about 2 weeks, and I’ll have 90 days to make any substitutions I need to. I think if I consider exchanging, I’ll go back to the store to experiment again, rather than guess. I’m very lucky to have that option.

I have to say, the experience in the San Francisco store couldn’t have been better. Steve swapped out the layers for me at least 12 times (they have a great system in which all the thickness and firmnesses of each type of foam are right there, labeled clearly), and somehow managed to stay and chat with me the whole time in a way that wasn’t at all intrusive. We had a great 2 hour chat as we experimented. I’m extremely happy to buy my mattress there, and would recommend it to anyone. They also do a completely online ordering process of all those layers for those who already know what they want. Shipping is free, for a high enough total (maybe over $900, not sure).

Thanks very much for answering my questions, Phoenix. It helped me rule out some poor quality options that I had been reluctant to let go of.

If there’s interest, I’ll come back and give a report after the mattress comes in 2 weeks, and after sleeping on it for a while.


Hi beth620,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I’m thrilled that you were able to find exactly what you wanted and you made a well researched and good choice.

I hope you do have the chance to come back and share your feedback when you’ve had the chance to sleep on it for a while.


Hi Phoenix,

After ordering my mattress (well, foam layers and cover) from, I belatedly looked for more information about them on the site. I saw it was mentioned that their memory foam is from China and not Certipur certified.

This worried me, and so I emailed foamorder a question about this issue, and my email was forwarded to Alan. He responded that he wasn’t sure but would ask the buyer. He got back to me this morning (only 12 hours later) saying his supplier said the foam had passed the Certipur certification test. He has requested the documentation for their records, and I asked that it also be sent to me.

So, this looks like good news if it’s accurate. I didn’t ask where the foam was manufactured, because although that is also relevant to me, the certification was more important. I should have asked both questions at once!

Another note: after placing the order, I immediately got 4 emails from foamorder.
- One was a summary of the order.
- One told me the normal window was 1 day to 2 weeks, and offered to rush my order upon request.
- One warned me to inspect my order upon delivery, before signing for it, and
- One said the cotton cover wasn’t washable without shrinking, but if I wanted they could pre-wash it before construction for a $45 fee.

I had questions about whether pre-washing the cover would then make it safely washable (it will) and whether there’s a fee for rush (there isn’t), and my emails were answered within an hour or 2, as were the responses to some further questions.

I think this is very good customer service. has really bad Yelp reviews, mostly from several years ago. They’ve obviously put some effort into this area! So I wanted to include this info on your mattress forum, and I plan to leave a Yelp review with my positive experience, after the mattress arrives and I see how exchange of layers goes (assuming I need to) within the first 90 days.

Thanks again for providing this site as such a great resource to us mattress shoppers!

Hi beth620,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with Foamorder and especially for letting us know that their foam is now CertiPur certified … that’s good news :slight_smile:

I also think highly of them and their knowledge and service (based on my conversations with Alan especially) and I think you made a good quality/value choice.

I’m also looking forward to your feedback when you receive it as well.


After about a month we ordered a very similar mattress from foamorder in SF (the site and this thread were particularly helpful). We visited the store twice, and tried several arrangements (over, and over again) and we’re very confident in what we ended up with.

We will be receiving an eastern king (2 Twin Longs with slightly different configurations):

My configuration:

2" soft 25 ILD Natural Sense latex
2.8" medium 31 ILD softness Natural Sense latex
5" 44 ILD lb/ft3 EverFlex polyfoam

My wife’s configuration:

2.8" soft 25 ILD Natural Sense latex
2.8" medium 31 ILD Natural Sense latex
4" 44 ILD 2.8 lb/ft3 EverFlex polyfoam

Hi itsgabriel,

It sounds like you did some great research and testing and ended up making a very good choice.

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I hope you have the chance to share your feedback when you receive it.