need advice on latex mattresses

Thanks for such a great forum. This is a wealth of information! Here’s my question:

I live in northern MN and am looking for a new mattress. I am fairly certain I want latex, although I have never had a latex sleeping experience. Because of the long drive and my 2 year old, a trip to a mattress store to try out your recommended mattress tests just isn’t going to happen. But I have read many of your other threads, and your overviews, and I feel latex is the way to go.

We currently sleep on a queen size, organic innerspring mattress. When I purchased this mattress (by phone), the most important thing to me was organic. However, 7 years later, and after a long night in bed with a sick child, I realized this mattress is terribly uncomfortable. I am a side sleeper, 5’6" and about 125lbs, and I wake up with numb and sore hips and occasionally shoulders, depending on my position. My husband, 6’1" and about 165lbs, varies between back and side sleeping, and often wakes up groaning in pain in the middle of the night, and is stiff and sore in the morning. After reading here, I think that we have no comfort layer. I don’t sink in. At all.

Organic is still important - I don’t want to breathe toxic chemicals all night long. But I need to sleep well too. I have been looking at the Sleep EZ 10000 after seeing it mentioned in several posts, and I like the sound of their exchange policy, especially since I cannot try out the bed first. I haven’t contacted them yet. I wanted to know if you know of another good company closer to MN you recommend. And, having never tried latex, I am also wondering if it will be too cool for our long, cold MN winters. It sounds like latex sleeps cooler than some other mattresses - is that true and of concern? Also, can I put a wool or down topper on a latex bed without affecting support?

I am expecting my husband and I to customize our individual sides. I need more cushioning than I have now. He needs good support for lower back/S-I joint issues, but I think he needs more cushioning too. Do you have tips for configuring the mattress layers, or should we wait to talk to the company we work with?

Thank you for such a great site, and thanks for any help you can give!

Oops, already need to amend. Sounds like I was wrong about latex sleeping cool. Also, we have a queen-size platform bed that we will be keeping. I want a Calif King for best fit on this bed, and we will be building our own slatted platform for the mattress as we don’t have room for a full box spring. I think we can find the proper dimensions, but is there anything we should know that doesn’t seem obvious?

Hi a2b,

As a category, latex is the most breathable and ventilating of all the foam materials (latex, memory foam, polyfoam are the main types) which means that it helps with humidity control in the mattress and tends to help those who sleep hot on other types of foam. It contributes to the sleeping microclimate in terms of humidity and temperature control but since all foams are insulating materials to some degree it would not sleep “cold”. It’s usually described as sleeping cooler because many people have issues with sleeping hot … especially on less breathable materials like some types of memory foam, but it would probably be fairer to say it is the most temperature neutral of the foam materials.

Wool is a more extreme example of this because it is used in cold climates as an insulator (for warmth because of its ability to trap air which is an insulator) and in warm climates such as the desert (in thinner layers) because of it’s ability to store moisture away from the skin and encourage gradual release of the moisture to the environment and regulate body temperature.

You’ve probably seen this but some of the better options in the Minneapolis area are listed in post #2 here. There are some good quality/value choices in the area including latex mattresses but it seems that these are not so close to you.

If you are near Grand Rapids or Duluth then post #2 here may have some possibilities.

If you are in another city or area … if you let me know where I’d be happy to look and see if there are any possibilities in the area that show up with some searching but as you mention you may be best served with an online purchase. It would probably be helpful though if there was something you could test locally if possible (at any price) to get some sense of the “feel” of latex.

In any case … post #21 here includes the members of this site that specialize in online (or better yet on the phone) sales which of course includes SleepEz.

There are some general guidelines relating to body weight here and different sleeping positions here along with how different types of constructions and layering can affect your choices here but these are more helpful to get a sense of how different layering choices work in general and because of the many variations of materials, components, layering, and design that can be used by each manufacturer and because they know more about the specifics of their own mattresses than anyone else … it’s much better and more effective to work with them directly to decide on which of the options each one offers that may work best for your individual needs and preferences. They are the “experts” about their own mattresses and choosing between the different options that they offer.

As long as there is center support to the floor to prevent any sagging in the middle and the slats are supported on a mid beam with gaps of no more than 3" (and preferably less) you should be fine.

You’re very welcome … and I’m looking forward to hearing about what you end up choosing … or of course any questions you may have along the way.


Haha, mattress desert! We’re there too. We are two hours north of Duluth. The closest store is a Slumberland, and I don’t see any latex mattress choices on their website, which means at least a trip to Duluth. I just don’t see that in our near future.

Thanks for your answers and direction. I like the sound of the Custom Sleep Design store/website too. I am guessing their prices are much higher than Sleep EZ, which for what they are offering, seem to pretty darn good. At this point, I guess I just need to start making some phone calls and connect with a real person. I will let you know what we end up with. Thanks again!

Hi a2b,

Yes … CSD is a completely different mattress with a more customized design and where each individual zone can be exchanged until the mattress is “right”. While I consider both of them to be great value … SleepEz is certainly a lower cost and also has a great deal of flexibility in its design where each layer can be re-arranged and a layer can also be exchanged.

I don’t think that any amount of “analysis” on paper can replace the information and confidence that can come from a person to person conversation. It will certainly go a long way to helping you know which is best for you.

I’m looking forward to hearing about your final choice :slight_smile:


I talked with both Custom Sleep and SleepEz today. Really like the idea of complete custom design, but wow, what a price difference! Is it really worth twice as much?

Also, I feel like I read somewhere in this forum your preference in ratio of natural latex to synthetic in blended Talalay. The SleepEz ratio is 60/40 syn/nat, and I don’t know yet what Custom Sleep is. I was quite sure you recommended having a higher percentage of natural latex in the blend, but I can’t find that post, and I can’t remember why. Thoughs?


Hi a2b,

This is really a question that can only be answered by each person on an individual basis. It would be like asking if a custom fitted suit or custom made shoes were worth it and the answer would depend on how each person measured “value”. For some some the answer would be yes and for others the answer would be no. Both are good value in different ways and I would choose either over any mainstream mattress but they are also very different choices. Most people would do fine with a less customized (but still very configurable) mattress but for those who want finer levels of customization or are more difficult to “fit” … then having the ability to buy a mattress and then exchange layers or zones until it was right (at no cost) may well be worth the price difference.

I don’t think I have ever made a distinction between the two versions of blended Talalay. There are two different Talalay latex manufacturers. Radium uses a 40/60 blend (natural to synthetic) and Latex International uses a 30/70 blend (again natural to synthetic) and they are both quite equivalent to each other. For manufacturers who offer both … I would choose the one that they recommend (they will know about any differences in quality between the two based on their current shipments). Both are good quality and value materials. Custom Sleep Design uses Latex international (30/70) while SleepEz has both available.

This article along with post #6 here and post #6 here talk about the different versions of latex, the differences between them, and their “relative” value based on what is most important to different people.


Thanks, as always, Phoenix, for the timely, informative reply.

“It would be like asking if a custom fitted suit or custom made shoes were worth it and the answer would depend on how each person measured “value”. For some some the answer would be yes and for others the answer would be no.”

Good point. At this point I am very impressed with Custom Sleep Design’s customer service, attention to detail, and follow-up. Still don’t know if we can swing the price, but it is a very informative process to go through regardless.

More soon…

Am leaning toward Sleep EZ because of price. Any significant benefit to having 4 layers of latex over 3? Just comparing their 10.000 to the 13,000. I think 3 is probably fine, but what are your thoughts?

Hi a2b,

I would probably talk with SleepEz about your specific circumstances to see whether it may have a specific benefit for you but my general thoughts about thicker mattresses or more layers are in post #14 here.

You certainly wouldn’t be anywhere close to a weight category that “needs” it.


Thanks, I did talk to Shawn at Sleep EZ. He said their main reason for the 13" is for people who want a higher profile mattress.

I will be calling to place my order today for a Sleep EZ 10,000 mattress, going with Soft, Medium, Firm layers, all in Talalay blend per his recommendation. Thanks for all you do! I so appreciate all the help you’ve given me! B)

Hi a2b,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I think you’ve made a great choice and I hope you have the chance to give us your feedback once you’ve had the chance to sleep on it.


Hi Phoenix,
Finally reporting back after sleeping on our Sleep EZ Talalay blend Latex mattress for 2+ months. We both love it! :cheer: It did take a few weeks to adjust. At first, I felt the mattress was too soft (after sleeping on a very firm/uncomfortable mattress for so many years), but that didn’t last long. Now it feels just right. My husband and I both are sleeping on Soft/Med/Firm layers. We did split the mattress because I thought we might prefer different arrangements, but now I am grateful for the split if for no other reason than the fact that it makes the mattress that much easier to break down and move if necessary.

And I am happy to report that my husband no longer wakes up in the middle of the night groaning in pain! It didn’t cure every back pain issue he has, but no mattress could do that. This is such a huge improvement!

Thanks again for such a great forum and for sharing freely your extensive knowledge. I hope I never have to ask another question of you, but I am grateful you are here just in case!

Very satisfied,
Andrea B)

Hi a2b (andrea),

I’m thrilled that both of you and your mattress are such a great match :slight_smile:

I appreciate your update … and it’s especially great to hear because it’s after the initial adjustment and break in period of the mattress so it is a good indication of what your long term experience will be like as well!

Thanks again for taking the time to share your feedback … and I’m glad the site could help you.