Need guidance on firmness layers and thickness for a Latex mattress

I am wanting an all natural Latex Mattress - doesn’t have to be organic, just no blend. I am a 145lbs 5’ 3" female and my husband is 5’ 10" and 150 lbs. I have herniated discs in both my neck and lower back so I need something with both support and pressure relief. My husband has no back issues and he is happy on almost anything unless it way too firm. We do not want a split. First question is - should I go with a 10" or 13"? From my research, it seems a 10" would be perfectly adequate for both our our BMI’s, but I feel there is more flexibility in customization with the 13" and I do not want to have to use a topper. They always seem to feel too jiggly to me. So in theory, the 13" seems like a safer option, but I also don’t want to run the risk of my mattress being too plush. I made that mistake with my current mattress which completely lacks the support I need (but it’s a memory foam so I guess it isn’t even comparable). Other than spending more money, is there any downside with going a 13" mattress? Or will I really be fine with a 10"?

The other question of course is what firmness layers should we go with? For mattresses I have tried in store our favorite was the Prana Organics Hatha which is described as a gentle firm and they show as a 5 on the firmness scale. Second runners up were the Prana Sleep Om Guru and the Posh and Lavish Reveal. Of course all of these are out of my price range, which brings me here. And that being said, I really want a mattress that I can replace individual layers on over time for long lasting durability. I searched to find out what their actual specifications on their mattresses are, but of course they won’t advise of what they are.

Any advice/thoughts on the overall thickness and the firmness of the layers would be appreciated. I have read many posts from your forums and searched on many mattress websites and am just extremely overwhelmed at this point.


Apologies for not replying sooner!

Thank you for sharing your sleep stats and some of your history and preferences with us. t sounds like you’ve done some testing and research and have a good idea of what you like and need in terms of support.

To quote Phoenix…The thickness of a mattress is just a side effect of the design and by itself isn’t particularly meaningful because whether a thicker or thinner mattress would be better or worse for any particular person will depend on the specifics of the latex (type, firmness, layers, etc.), your preferred sleeping position and your own somatotype and mass. Thickness is only one of many specs that are used to make different mattresses that perform and feel differently and that makes a mattress suitable for one person and not another.

There is more about the effect of thickness in post #14 here. For a latex mattress, 8"-9" is usually more than enough for most sleepers and positions, depending upon ability to customize layers, but ranges of 6" to 12" are quite common.

Regardless of how thick or thin a mattress may be … the most important part of the “value” of a mattress is how suitable it is “as a whole” for your particular body type, sleeping positions, and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) regardless of how thick it may be.

I also went looking for specifications on these mattresses but yielded nothing. I did find some forum mentions of “gentle firm” latex referring to a Zenhaven model, and the ILD for that was 30 - 35. For reference, the firmest latex out there has an ILD of 50, where the softest is an ILD of 12.

A number of our Trusted Members sell all latex builds and any one of them would be able to help you find that “gentle firm” you’re looking for. Ken Hightower with Arizona Premium Mattress could be a great resource for you here.

I hope this helps you move in the right direction towards finding your perfect mattress!