New latex mattress - first impressions

Hey everyone,

I’m new to the forum. First time poster. :slight_smile:

I recently set up my SleepEZ Select Sleep 10,000. Firm Dunlop bottom layer, medium Dunlop middle layer, soft Talalay top layer, with organic cotton cover.

My first impression is that it’s super comfortable, but I have a couple concerns ;

  • I’m already noticing that I’m sleeping a little hotter than I’m used to. If I move to a different part of the bed, it will be nice and cool, but where I’m laying is generally hot. Could this be because my middle layer didn’t have the holes penetrating all the way through? The holes do go all the way through on the other layers .

  • I know that the mattress isn’t toxic or anything, but my bed (and my bedroom) smells like cake frosting. I aired these layers out for about a week prior to putting everything together, but you can smell it as soon as you get into the room, through the cover, through the sheets and everything . And I can smell it on myself after I get out of bed . Will this ever really go away?

Thanks !

Hi soxfan82,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

As you probably know I think you made a great quality/value choice.

It would be normal with any material that it would feel warmer from your body heat under where you are sleeping than it would in areas that you haven’t slept on. This is different however from temperature regulation which is more about whether you are sleeping in a temperature range that is comfortable for you.

The pincores in latex don’t go through the entire molded core. A latex mold has pincores in both the top and bottom of the mold that don’t meet in the middle so unless a layer is slit from a section of the original 6" molded core that only includes the top or bottom pincores the holes will only go part way through the latex and this is normal. The depth of the holes will also depend on where the layer is cut from the original core. You can see some videos of how different types of molded latex is made in post #3 here. You can also see some pictures here of Latex cores which show the top and bottom pincores. The breathability of latex comes from the open cell structure of the latex and not from the pincores themselves.

Wool is among the best temperature regulating materials because of its breathability and its ability to hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture inside the fiber itself without feeling wet so it can maintain a drier microclimate but I would also keep in mind that it regulates temperature in both directions (it’s used in the desert and also in cold climates because of this) so while it may not feel “cool” … it generally doesn’t feel “hot” either. It also helps to regulate moisture (which can trap heat) and will reduce the perception of temperature that comes from higher humidity levels as well (similar to how temperatures feel cooler on less humid days than they do on more humid days).

While it would be unusual for most people to have temperature regulation issues sleeping on wool … there are also other variables that are involved with sleeping temperature as well (particularly the type of mattress protector, the sheets and bedding, and your bedclothes) which can also play a significant role in sleeping temperature … particularly for those that are closer to the “oven” end of the oven to iceberg range. There is more about the many variables that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here that can help you track down the possible reasons for any temperature regulation issues that you may be having.

This is a “normal” smell for Talalay latex and while some people are more sensitive to smells than others and some batches of latex have a stronger smell than others … it will dissipate to levels that most people won’t notice over the course of the first few days or weeks (see post #2 here). There are also some suggestions in post #3 here that may help to reduce the smell a little more quickly.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for your reply, I have a couple follow-ups.

Regarding the holes, thanks for the info on the fact that they don’t go all the way through. question though…is it normal for one side to have holes over 100% of the layer, and then on the other side, the majority of the holes are blocked? I’ve attached a picture so you can see what I’m talking about. The other 2 layers have holes covering 100% of both sides, but this one layer has holes covering 100% of one side, and then the other side only has holes on maybe 30-40% (the picture shows the layer folded over but the entire side looks like that). Is that a defective layer? Should I poke my own holes thru the “film” of latex that appears to be covering them?

Regarding the cover, the cover I received is organic cotton, not wool. Is wool better than cotton?

Regarding the smell, I had some samples that I kept for a few weeks before I bought the mattress. I noticed that the dunlop layers had almost no smell after a few weeks, but the talalay kept the “cake frosting” odor (albeit lessened, but still there). Is dunlop generally less smelly, or was that just a fluke?

Thanks for your time!

Hi soxfan,

Yes .,. it all depends on where the layer was cut from the original 6" core. If the layer was cut close to the part of the core where the pincores don’t penetrate then you would see this where some of the pincores aren’t visible. It’s normal. You don’t need to do anything with them or “poke” the pincores since it won’t make any difference.

The choice between a cover that is quilted with wool and a thinner knit cover that has more stretch is a preference choice and some people would prefer one and some would prefer the other. There is more about the pros and cons of a wool quilted cover vs a thinner knit cover in post #6 here.

The smell of latex can vary between different types of latex, between different batches, and would also depend on the age of the latex and on how long it has had a chance to air out. Different people will also be more sensitive to some smells than others. Your samples would have been much smaller so they wouldn’t have as much smell and they were probably aired out for longer as well. The smell will diminish over time (usually over the first few weeks but occasionally longer) to levels that most people don’t notice any more unless you put your nose right into the latex where you would probably still notice a lighter residual smell.


FYI, I purchased an organic mattress protector that has wool inside, and it does help with temperature regulation. I’m the type of person who always asks “why is it so warm in this room”, and cranks down the thermostat. Yet I’ve been perfectly comfortable on my latex mattress with wool protector, and my mattress is also 10" with 2 Dunlop layers and a Talalay comfort layer. I don’t think you need to worry about pin holes not coming all the way through, either. It’s plenty breathable as is in my opinion.

PS - strange on the smell. My Dunlop and Talalay from didn’t have any odor, but my Z Pillow stunk for quite a while. And as Phoenix has noted in the past, different batches of natural latex can have a different odor level. But always non-toxic.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.

I’ve been sleeping on it for a few nights now, and I’ve noticed a couple more things I have questions about:

It feels like the sides of the mattress are more firm than the center. I feel like that shouldn’t be happening with this type of mattress . I wonder out loud if it’s because of having to stuff the latex in so tightly into the cover? Maybe that makes the outside parts of the mattress more firm? I have it on a brand-new platform bed .

The other thing is my back is pretty darn sore. I’m wondering if it’s because I went from a really firm bed to a softer bed . Do you guys have any experience with doing a complete Dunlop mattress? Right now I have firm Dunlop, then medium Dunlop, then soft Talalay . Perhaps I could replace the soft Talalay with a soft Dunlop? Bonus, a lot of the birthday cake odor would go away. :slight_smile:

Hi soxfan,

When you are first sleeping on a new mattress it’s fairly “normal” to be overly aware of every new sensation that you experience and I would give it things a few weeks so your mattress has a chance to break in and you have the chance to adjust to a new sleeping surface before considering any changes or “fine tuning” of your mattress (see post #3 here).

It’s possible that when you assembled the mattress that the latex wasn’t laying flat and you may need to “wave” the layers into position so they are lying more evenly (see the assembly videos that are linked in post #12 here). It’s also possible that the edge firmness could be the result of some flex in the middle of your platform bed.

Again I would give it a few weeks before making any changes because any initial “symptoms” can be the result of your body needing some time to get used to sleeping on a different mattress that is different (or softer) than the one you you were used to.

If after that you are still experiencing some soreness in your lower back (or other “symptoms”) then the first thing I would suggest is a conversation with SleepEZ to help you decide on the the changes that would be most helpful. The most common reason for lower back issues is a mattress that is too soft and allows the hips/pelvis to sink down too far so you may need some additional firmness or support under your lower back. If this is the case then the first thing I would try would be to put the firm Dunlop layer in the middle and the medium on the bottom to firm up the support under the heavier parts of your body.


I figured I would wait at least a few weeks and then follow up again.

The smell has gone away greatly. It’s still there, and I bet it probably always will be a little bit, but it’s greatly reduced.

I still have problems with the sides of my bed being firmer than the middle. The middle seems much softer and when I lay on the sides, I can feel myself dipping toward the center, The corners of the bed are especially firm.

I checked my platform bed, because the platform bed is brand-new. The slats do have a little bit of give in a couple spots of the center. It’s like the slats there are bent upward just a little bit and give down to become flat like the others . Is that normal? Is something wrong with my platform bed that I should talk to the manufacturer about ?

I have not tried resetting the mattress yet to make sure that it’s flat in the cover , but I guess I’ll need to do that. The mattress was very difficult to zip up within the cover, I can’t believe it even fit. Frankly, it was so tight that I’m not at all surprised that the corners are stuffed in there . I don’t know why they couldn’t just use a cover that’s a little bigger. The pieces of foam are standard queen length, but the ‘queen’ cover its is shorter than a queen length, which I found quite odd. The people at Sleep EZ told me that this is normal and that it would fit, which it did, but I really had to stuff it in there …

Hi soxfan82,

I don’t know the design of your bed so I don’t know what would be “normal” for that design but a latex mattress will do best on a firm, flat, non flexing support surface with slats that are no more than about 3" apart and good center support to the floor to prevent any sagging in the middle.

A very tight fitting cover is normal for component latex mattresses to help the mattress keep its shape and hold the layers together.

Handling latex can be somewhat tricky because it’s so elastic and “floppy” and can be bunched inside the cover and will also tend to “stick” to the layer below it. The trick is to lift the layers and wave or flick them into position and avoid pulling or tugging which can rip the latex and can leave it sitting unevenly in the cover. There are some videos in post #12 here that may be helpful and once you get the hang of it it’s much easier.