Need Assistance Choosing a Latex Mattress


My DH and I have been trying mattresses and would just like some opinions before we make our final purchase. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I am 5’2", weight about 130lb and a side sleeper.
My DH is 5’10", weigh about 220-230 and a stomach/side sleeper.

We both prefer a firmer feeling bed with a thin soft top layer, but we do not like the feeling of sinking into the bed like we got with the TempurPedic. We are both 30 years old.

We have tried out some mattresses and have decided on latex. The biggest problem we are having is deciding on what to purchase since we enjoyed almost all of the latex mattresses that we tried in the stores. (The only ones we did not like had a thicker pillow top or were too soft).

Due to this, we are leaning towards going with SleepEz due to the ability to exchange layers and the prices that they offer. They currently have a special for 100% Natural 8" Latex Mattress (2" talalay and two 3" of dunlop) which we are leaning towards due to the price.

Would it be safer to go with the Select Sleep 9000 Mattress instead so we can switch out the dunlop for talaly for the bottom layers just in case?

Also, the 9000 appears to come with an upgraded quilted wool cover. The special that SleepEz is offering only comes with a cotton cover. Would the latex bed get too hot without the wool cover?

We also tried the European Slat System when we visited the European Sleep Design in Sacramento. We really enjoyed the latex beds they had, but we are not sure if it was due to the latex or the slat foundation.

Is there any info on if the Euro Slat System will make a difference over a regular slat foundation?

Thank you for your time and advice!

Hi seigga22,

The best suggestion I could make would be to test a few mattresses in the Sacramento area that have known layerings (both in thickness and ILD) to get a more clear sense of the layering that would work best for both of you. Because of your weight differential … you would also likely be a good candidate for a split construction where each side of the mattress has a different ILD and it would be a good idea for each of you to find the layering that worked best. European Sleep Design would be a good place to do this testing because they have different options for both the comfort layers and the support layers in each mattress and they are open about the layers in each of their mattresses.

Post #5 here would also give you some good places to do some testing so you can get as close as you can to the optimal layering for each of you either for an actual purchase or as a prototype for an online purchase. Bear in mind that local testing (done correctly) is always more accurate than “theory at a distance”.

Your lower weight would normally suggest a softer latex on the top for good pressure relief on your side. Your DH’s higher weight would normally suggest the need for a slightly firmer comfort layer because heavier people will sink in further into firmer form so it will feel softer to them. He also spends time on his stomach so this would also be another reason to go a little firmer if the pressure relief was still good for him.

Given your preference for thinner softer top layer … then a 2" comfort layer would seem to be a good option but I would make sure I had tested this type of layering to make sure it provided good pressure relief (at least 15 minutes on the mattress … fully relaxed on your side … and sensing for any pressure in either the hips or shoulders). The firmness of the layer below a 2" comfort layer will also make a difference in its pressure relieving qualities.

Latex in general is the coolest of all the foams because it has a more “on” rather than the more “in” the mattress feel of memory foam and it doesn’t wrap you as tightly as memory foam. It also has a more open cell structure which allows air to circulate more freely. Most people do fine either with or without wool in the quilting but of course this can vary greatly on an individual basis depending on how hot a person usually sleeps. Wool is more breathable than foam but it can also affect the feel and performance of any foam underneath it. You can read about some of the tradeoffs involved in choosing a quilted or unquilted ticking in this article and in post #16 here.

As far as the pros and cons of a tension adjustable slatted base … it would vary depending on the thickness of the mattress and the types of materials that were in it. In general though a slatted base (like all layers that are near the bottom of your sleeping system) will have a primary effect on spinal alignment and a lesser secondary effect on pressure relief. Because “comfort” is partly both of these in combination with the individual preferences of each person … it would be fair to say that it will affect the feel of the mattress but more in the alignment part than the pressure relief part. They are a great way to fine tune a mattress if necessary (by letting the shoulders sink down more or holding up the hips higher) as long as it’s not too thick for the adjustable base to have a noticeable effect. The most effective way to know how it will affect any mattress would be to test the mattress on a firm base (or even the floor) and then again on the adjustable base to see how the difference felt for you. Most of the feeling you would have felt from the Sleep Designs mattress would have been from the mattress but some of it could also have been from the base.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for the information. The links and the information is really helpful!

Hi Phoenix,

I went forward with buying the mattress from SleepEz, in the S/M/F for myself and the S/F/XF for DH. The Soft is Talalay latex, the other layers are Dunlop.

DH is loving his side, but I am having shoulder pressure when sleeping on my side. I purchased a wool mattress topper from Overstock (about 3/4" wool), and this help relieve some of the shoulder pressure, but I still find myself tossing at night when sleeping on my shoulders for too long. Sleeping on my back feels great, although I tend to go back to my side since that is the position I am most used to.

Do you have any suggestions on what I should do to relieve shoulder pressure from a too-firm bed? Should I switch out the Medium for a Soft dunlop layer? I have no other pain so I am afraid that the soft layer might make the mattress too soft for my back and hips?

Should I purchase a 1" soft topper (i.e. 14 IDL latex toper, or a soft HR foam topper)? Or would a higher pillow help with shoulder pressure? I am currently using the free shredded latex pillow, which feels great initially but I find the pillow becomes flatter in the morning.

Thank you for all your help!

Hi Seigga22,

My guess is that the comfort layer on the SleepEz special may be a little bit on the thin and firm side for your side sleeping (side sleepers typically need the equivalent of about 3" of latex that is soft enough for their weight). The 22-24 ILD in combination with the firm latex underneath feels soft enough to your husband but the medium layer would likely feel firmer to you than the firm does to him. Your shoulders would likely also be lighter than his which means that softer latex could also help.

The two options you have would be to exchange the medium for a soft which would add to the effective thickness of the comfort layer (the very top part of the middle layer would be softer) or to use a softer 2" layer. the first option would likely still give you good support because Dunlop gets firmer more quickly so once you went past the “softer” top part of the soft middle layer it would firm up quickly and give you good support.

The “risk” with this is that the top layer would still be a little on the firm side for your weight (and the weight of your shoulders) which means that even if the effective thickness was enough the foam itself may still be on the firm side to allow your shoulders to sink in as far as they need to. Softness and thickness work together in other words and while this would improve the shoulder pressure relief … it may or may not be quite enough.

A wool layer will provide extra cushioning to the surface of the shoulders but will also lessen how deeply they will sink into the latex so it may provide a benefit to the shoulder surface … but it may make your shoulders feel more “scrunched” because they are not sinking into the mattress quite as much so that your torso can take some of the weight off your shoulders.

The advantage of making a correction in the mattress is that you won’t have a topper on one side of the mattress only (because adding it to his side may move him away from his ideal). If I did add a topper though I would tend towards what you are thinking (soft talalay or HR foam).

So I would first give it a few days to a week to adjust to the new mattress so that any “fix” isn’t fixing more than it should and can also take into account any changes in your pillow. How you feel after this would provide the best clue to which change would be best although I suspect that a change to a soft middle layer will work well (increasing the effective thickness of your comfort layer). If it doesn’t then there is still the option of either making the top layer on your side a little softer or adding a soft thin topper for the final adjustment to get to “perfect”.

As you mentioned … I would also make sure that your pillow was thick enough to support your head and neck in good alignment over the course of the night … especially because you may be sleeping a little higher on this mattress which means the “gap” between your head and the mattress may be more than before. If your head is resting too low … then this can also increase the pressure on your shoulder so I would eliminate this possibility as well and see how it affects things before making any mattress adjustments.