more research and yet more questions

Phoenix and other mattress obsessors:

So I went to a local store that makes their own mattresses after checking their website and seeing they had latex - I thought GREAT! I can try another one out.

It was not customizable or adjustable between sides. It was pretty firm - 100 percent ‘natural’ talalay no blend. 36 ILD for the core and then 1-2" (can’t remember already) of 24 ILD. I would definitely need a topper which he recommended as the way to go to combat the compression of the foam…which leads to:

So after some conversation on why latex, what am I after in a mattress I was left with this. The salesman said most definitely with latex you WILL feel where you sleep fairly quickly no doubt about it even though most of what you read on the web says no body impression at least not for a long while. Anyone have experience with this either way? It seems that most of us on here are in the search phase and not so much the tried and true phase. He was really trying to stear me toward inner spring with a more durable foam and it could be latex if I wanted since I was pretty sure I wouldn’t want polyfoam again. There are different ratings of polyfoam and our old one probably wasn’t as quality…etc etc. He also said they can do separate inner spring to avoid the motion issue. And of course still add a topper for a comfort layer.

Side note - they did have a quilted wool topper that was really quite nice and comfortable. I have never seen one of those before.

Scary note - not sure who their mfg. of Talalay is but he said they lilke the product but have to ‘check each shipment’ to make sure it is how it should be. Sort of like the quality can be shoddy and they aren’t all the same with each order of a certain firmness???

He wasn’t trying to just sell me hard and I think to a certain extent he knew what he was talking about but he clearly preferred a flipable inner spring to any kind of foam.

My thoughts are still this:
If we go with a SleepEZ configuration we have the ultimate customizability to get the firmness that each of us needs for comfort which we cannot do with innerspring unless we get 2 separate toppers and I think that would be weird to have outside of the mattress.

Even If it does compress lets say at the same rate as our inner spring did (less than 10 years) we still would only have to unzip it and replace just the comfort layer. So I think we’d still be ahead of the game. Is it the comfort layer only (the softest one) that would compress? I am assuming that the firmer core layers would be sound.

Also - is it logical to assume that if you have a split king - you really won’t have a hump because they are separate? I am thinking that would make complete sense because the surface area is more in line with your body instead of a huge mattress with 2 people not sleeping in the middle.

He didn’t say much at all about Dunlop period. I am still leaning heavily toward Dunlop for core and Talalay for comfort layer. I actually think it’s a positive that the dunlop isn’t as uniform so I can flip it if I need something a touch softer/firmer.

Are my thoughts making sense?

I guess my last rambling comment would be what do you do about overriding what the brain says to what the body says? Everything thing I lay on I prefer softer but my mind keeps saying firmer is better, firmer is better…ack. Where I get that from I do not know but I keep thinking don’t go too soft you’ll regret it…

Please anyone chime in. I appreciate any and all feedback.

Thanks for your ear(s).

Hi Theodore,

While it’s true that all foams will soften over time (and softer foams or layers that are closer to the top more than deeper firmer layers) … latex will do so less than any other foam … assuming that the quality of the latex is good. In manycases the type of latex that one person will be talking about may be different from the type of latex that is being talked about by another person and they have used their thoughts about the type of latex they are familiar with to cover latex of all kinds. I am especially wary when this type of information (which is usually only partly true) is used to steer you in a direction that that outlet tends to prefer to sell (in this case an innerspring).

An innerspring is a support component and is no more durable than a good quality latex support layer and in many cased less so. It is the comfort layers that are normally the “weak link” in a mattress regardless of whether it has an innerspring of foam support layer.

There are certainly different types of polyfoam which is why it’s so important to know the density of any polyfoam used in a mattress. More about this is here.

In the same way … there are many differet types of innersprings in terms of both performance, suitability for any individual person, and quality. I think what he was referring to was a pocket coil (or marshal coil) which are individual coils that don’t use helical wires to attach the coils together and can act more independently. They are likely to be less durable than other types of innersprings or high quality support foam but can be very comfortable because they can “help” the comfort layers with pressure relief more than other types of innersprings. More about innersprings is here.

Of course one other possibility is that he could have ordered a batch of latex that was not up to quality standards at one point and when it developed impression or softening issues … he believed that this was the norm" for all latex. He may also have used very soft natural talalay latex which can develop impressions sooner than othe types of latex. There is more about the different types of latex here.

So to say that a good quality and appropriate latex support layer is less durable than an innerspring is just not the case. They have a different feel and properties and as a matter of preference someone may choose one over the other (and either can make a good choice).

Wool can be a good choice either in a quilting layer, a mattress pad, or a topper however it has strengths and weaknesses as well. It is very breathable and can help cushion pressure points but it will also compress and become firmer over time and it can also change the feeling and properties of any foam layers below it. It is great at regulating temperature and can absorb 30 percent of it’s weight in moisture without feeling wet or clammy or losing it’s ability to insulate and will release this moisture gradually into the atmosphere over time. There are some very nice wool mattress protectors, mattress pads, and toppers available.

There have been some occasional issues with some latex shipments that came from Latex International and this scared several manufacturers because it ws sporadic. From recent feedback I have heard … they seem to have gone back to their more consistent quality. Of course any foam manufacturer may have quality issues from time to time although this is never a good thing and this is the type of thing that would normally be covered under a warranty.

I can certainly understand that this may have been his preference and many manufacturers have different preferences … but to mistake a “preference” for something that is “better” doesn’t do anyone any favors. They are simply preferences based on the different experiences of each manufacturer and in some cases based on the preferences of a local clientele.

A “hump” in the middle of a mattress is more common in a king size and can be from several different reasons. One of course is that a foam is used where the part that is used on each side compresses and the middle doesn’t because it isn’t used as much. this is usually a sign of inferior materials. The shifting of materials in a mattress can also contribute to a “hump” and in this case … especially if the mattress has a ziop cover … the layers can be “shifted” back. The ticking and quilting can also affect the hump in the middle because quilting layers are often fiber and the fiber that is used will com[ress more than the fiber in the middle. A ticking (cover) that is too loose can also contribute to a hump in the middle. So overall there are many contributing factors to a middle hump in a mattress … but the one you most want to avoid is the hump that comes from impressions or softening of the foam because of inferior materials. Good quality latex is not one of these “inferior” materials. I doubt that the split itself would really affect this one way or another.

The choice of Talalay or Dunlop is really one of preference because both are very high quality materials although they both have some different properties. Talalay tends to have a more consistent ILD over the surface of the mattress in addition to being more consistent from top to bottom. I wouldn’t use the different firmness levels of the top and bottom of a Dunlop layer as part of a built in advantage with thinner layers because you may not be able to tell which is which. The difference would be more noticeable with a 6" layer. this is getting to a level of detail which may create more issues through overanalysis than it solves.

Trust your body … and do the most accurate local testing that you can. Everything is about PPP (pressure relief, posture and alignment, and preferences) and these are about how your body reacts to a mattress for the most part (with a few subjective preferences added in for good measure). The mind will relax much more easily when the body is not experiencing pressure or alignment issues and the muscles can relax. Try as much as possible to use theory as a guideline to help you understand what is happening on a mattress and how it may need to be adjusted to be “perfect” but it is your body that will tell you what is “right” in the end. Overanalysis can be one of the biggest hurdles to choosing the best mattress for “you”.