New to Latex

We recently ordered a “Natural” (relative term) talalay Latex Bliss mattress (Beautiful). The bed that arrived, however, was their updated version with “active fusion”. We’ve slept on it only a few nights and it feels like it holds our body impressions longer than what I expected from an all talalay latex mattress according to things I’ve read. I’m not a fan of memory foam and this seems kind of like it, though not to the same extent. Having never slept on latex before, I’m not sure if this is normal. I thought maybe it has something to do with this “active fusion”??? I don’t know if exchanging this mattress for the older model (if I can even get it) will feel any different. I thought latex was supposed to feel bouyant and uplifting, without a sinking feeling. Please, could someone who sleeps on latex describe to me what it should feel like? So much money and so much hassle to do an exchange, but I’m just really disappointed in the feel.

Hi pennykay,

Pure Latex Bliss makes a few lines of mattresses including the Natural (blended Talalay), the All Natural (100% natural Talalay), and the Hybrid 3.0 lines (which uses a hybrid latex/polyfoam support core instead of latex). The Natural and all Natural use Talalay GL fast response in the top layers which is Talalay latex which has phase change gel added for temperature regulation and is fast response just like regular Talalay. Their Hybrid 3.0 line uses both Talalay GL fast response and Talalay GL slow response latex in various models (slow response has a slower recovery time similar to memory foam) so it’s possible that somehow you received one of the slow response Hybrid 3.0 mattresses. The law tag should tell you which you received. The PLB name for Talalay GL is Active Fusion fast response and slow response.

The “feel” of latex is very different from memory foam but in soft versions you will still sink into the mattress. If you press your hand into the mattress surface and the take it away it should spring right back and there should be no residual impression that takes a few seconds to come back.

Active Fusion is just a trade name that relates to the gel they add for temperature control and it’s the type of latex in your mattress that determines whether it’s fast or slow response.

Did you test the Beautiful in the store and if you did how does the mattress you have compare to the one you tested? If you didn’t then I would go to a store that carries the Beautiful (there is a retail finder on the site here) to see how it compares to the one you have.

The older models will feel very similar although the layering is slightly different and the top layer is regular Talalay instead of Talalay GL fast response. The old specs are here and the new specs are here.


It was good to see those specs, as the salesperson didn’t seem to really know exactly. I layed on the old model Beautiful at the store and it felt springier than the one they sent me with this active fusion. I think it may have felt that way since it had no cover/sheets on it. I liked the softness of the Beautiful because I am having a lot of pain in my shoulders/upper arms and hips at night. But now I’m thinking maybe the softness is counter productive, as my hips definitely sink much more than my shoulders. (something I didn’t notice in the short time I layed on the mattress at the store). I am “stuck” with only an option of exchanging this mattress at this store. They didn’t have the other models such as Nutrition, Nature, etc. but I’ll ask if they can order different ones. I’m 5’7", 150 lbs. My husband is 6’, 200 lbs. (He can sleep on anything) Do you have a recomendation as to what may be a better fit in the Latex Bliss brand? I really appreciate your help.

Hi pennykay,

That’s very possible depending on the type of protector and sheets you have. Anything that is in between you and the mattress (or for that matter you and the floor) can certainly affect how a mattress feels and performs. What Kind of sheets and mattress protector are you using?

Unfortunately there isn’t a “formula” that can turn very limited personal information (such as height/weight and sleeping position information) into a mattress suggestion except in very generic and non specific ways (such as the height/weight information here and the sleeping position information here and the layering information here). There are just too many variables and personal preferences involved. Your sleeping positions would also make a big difference in which of the other two remaining PLB options may work best for you.

Having said that … if you do decide to make an exchange … in the PLB line you only have the realistic choice of two other mattresses which at least means that your exchange options are down to two (unless they also have other mattresses that you would be able to exchange for).

The first thing I would suggest though is to clearly and as accurately as possible identify the cause of any symptoms you are experiencing. Without this there is no way to know what may need changing and you could end up changing things in the wrong direction.

First step is to identify every layer in your sleeping system in between you and the floor. This includes your foundation and your protector and sheets. This way all the other variables that can be involved can be eliminated as a potential cause of any “symptoms”.

Next is to make sure that you have given any new mattress enough time to adjust to a new sleeping system and identify any longer term “patterns” of symptoms or discomfort that you are experiencing and how they change in the first few weeks. This initial adjustment period can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks (most manufacturers and retailers will suggest a minimum of 30 days) depending on what you were used to sleeping on before, how different it was from your new mattress, how long you slept on it, how much and how “rigidly” your body has “adapted” to your old mattress, and any breaking in period of the new mattress itself.

Next is to identify the specific “symptoms” you are looking to correct. As you mentioned the Beautiful is very soft. Has it solved the shoulder pain and hip pain you were experiencing before? When you are mentioning that your hips are sinking more than your shoulders … this would not be an unusual “feeling” when someone changes their sleeping system to something softer and may just be the difference between what your body “remembers” on the old mattress and your new one. It may “feel like” your hips are sinking in further because they are and this may feel “odd” at first. It could also be of course that they really are sinking down too far for neutral spine or joint alignment but this will generally produce actual symptoms that can be identified. The key here is to identify the specific symptoms of pain or discomfort that you are experiencing and describe them as accurately as any “somewhat subjective descriptions” will allow. This includes any information about the sleeping positions that seem to make them worse or better, when they happen, and the areas of your body where you experience the discomfort or symptoms. This is the type of information that can “point to” the types of changes that may be indicated.

So I would take this one step at a time … first identify all the layers and components you are sleeping on and then identify the specific symptoms you are experiencing and how they change (for better or for worse) as you go through the adjustment period that is part of any new sleeping system. This along with perhaps some careful testing of the other two PLB options (there may be other stores around you that carry them) will greatly improve your odds of long term success.


Hello Phoenix,
Thank you for all the time you put in to try and help people figure out this difficult process. Honestly, I have been waking up with less pain these last couple of nights, so maybe it is taking a little while for this latex mattress and I to learn how to get along, but I’m still thinking it’s not exactly what I need. I think reading the info about layering, height/weight,etc. was helpful. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find some other PLB mattresses to lay on soon. The only other option I thought, was to get a firm spring mattress and just add a latex topper to it. But then I’ll still have to figure out the right thickness/softness for the topper. Ugh.

Hi pennykay,

As you go through the initial adjustment period … the most important part is always to pay attention to the actual symptoms you may experience and how they are changing with time (getting better or worse). Your body will tell you much more than your mind :slight_smile:

There are many people who will tell you that they were originally very uncomfortable with their choice and 90 days later wouldn’t change it for anything. This is especially true with materials that are different from what people are used to (such as latex and memory foam).

The “worst” case is that longer term experience will give you much more accurate information about what if anything needs to change so that your next step is as close as possible to your ideal instead of making changes faster than your body can keep up with them. It seems that your experience is changing to some degree so even if it doesn’t reach the level of your best possible experience … it will give you a much more accurate reference point than changes or assessments that happen too quickly.


Thanks, Phoenix.
I do believe it takes much longer to get to know how a mattress will work for you than in the short time you spend on it at the store. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people don’t get it right the first time around. I imagine it can be just as frustrating to the dealer to have to do exchanges, and I hate taking a mattress back, but in the end it’s not only a lot of money, but physical comfort that’s at stake. I’m not expecting perfection, I just want to get close enough to it to sleep comfortably. I’ll give you an update if I do (or don’t) change the mattress, once I’ve given a little more time to get adjusted to it. Sleep tight. :slight_smile:

Hi pennykay,

This is a commonly held belief which in some places has even been encouraged and has led to the widespread use of “comfort exchanges” as a selling tool in many of the mass market stores. This in turn becomes a new profit center for many stores and raises the price of mattresses. It really depends on how objective the testing was in the store and on the knowledge and experience of the salesperson that you are working with. Of course nothing is 100% but with careful and more objective testing (and some good help and guidance) in a store that takes at least 15 minutes fully relaxed and that tests specifically for pressure relief and for alignment (rather than the more subjective “comfort” testing which is what most stores will have their customers focus on) … the odds improve dramatically of making a very suitable choice that is at least close enough that only minor “fine tuning” is needed in the majority of cases. There are many retailers and manufacturers that are very good at helping their customers do this.

Of course this doesn’t eliminate any adjustment period because even if a mattress is “perfect” … if your last mattress wasn’t (and most mattresses that are being replaced are far from “perfect”) … sleeping on a new mattress over the course of the night can still means that your body may need to adjust to a new sleeping surface that is different but at least in this case you would be “adjusting” to a mattress that has very good odds of being suitable in the long term because of the type of testing you did in the store.

I couldn’t agree more. Your long term comfort and the suitability of a mattress is part of what you are paying for when you buy a mattress. How the dealer feels shouldn’t be an issue at all IMO. The cost of a comfort exchange is built into the prices of mattresses in stores that offer them and while I would much rather make the best possible choice in the first place … if that doesn’t happen for any reason then I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to exchange the mattress if that is possible or necessary. In most cases you can only do this once though so it still makes sense to spend as long as possible on the new mattress so that you have more experience and a better reference point so that the next choice is more likely to be the 'right" one.


PennyKay - I’m very glad to have found this website and thread whereas my experience was very close to yours: tried a Pure Latexbliss Natural Nature Queen sized mattress in MA and really loved it. It was apparently the older version without the active fushion. Ordered it. Active Fusion showed up at my door. Feels different; less supportive, less springy. Store will allegedly take it back and have PLB make me the “older style” of the mattress and I’m making up my mind on whether I want to do that or not now during the trial period. Leaning towards sending it back given the blatant oversight. But now store is telling me they can get me the version I want/bought while PLB is telling me they don’t make non-AF mattresses anymore. Not sure who to believe at this point.

Phoenix, I cannot get a straight answer on the real utility of active fusion. Both the bed company and PLB tell me the same story in the AF helps regulate body temperature but I’m left concluding this is a marketing gig to ride the wave of all the other blue “cooling” layers being added to memory foam mattresses all over. Bottom line is latex shouldn’t need it given it breaths much better than memory foam and other alternatives. And it certainly changes the feel of the mattress. I wonder if the company’s margins are healthier by adding more synthetic material to their product (the active fushion wax/gel) that may replace the more expensive latex material.

Secondly, I continued to research this mattress and was disappointed to learn from PLB directly that the “Natural” mattress is only 40% botanical or all-natural latex while 60% is synthetic. I knew there was a blend in the Natural versus the all-Natural but I naively assumed the ratio would be majority of botanical or all-natural and a smaller percent of the fake stuff. So now I’m thinking of returning this thing and get the all-natural without AF (if still available that is). Lastly Phoenix, you’ve mentioned on other links that all-natural or botanical latex (assuming those terms are synonymous) breaks down faster over time and/or more readily allows body impressions versus the Natural blends. True? Other sites claim the opposite and that botanical latex lasts the longest over any other version of latex blend or synthetic. Of course you pay for that because its more expensive. Any further opinion of this or recommendation?

Hi wowthisindustryiswack,

I like your username :slight_smile:

As far as I know one of their manufacturers is still making the old style. There may be others as well but most areas of the country seem to have made the switch.

I personally think it’s a bit of both. The latex (and the cover) contains microcapsules which contain a phase change gel (similar to materials like outlast). Different materials have a different temperature range where they change phase from liquid into solid. When the gel warms up it becomes liquid (at temperatures below body temperature) and absorbs heat. When it cools down and becomes more solid it releases heat.

As you mention … latex and especially Talalay latex … is already the most breathable category of foam but all foam is also an insulator and there are many other factors involved in the sleeping temperature and microclimate of a mattress besides just the foam that is used (see post #2 here and post #29 here).

So the gel has an effect to some degree in regulating temperature in both directions (rather than just cooling) but having said that I think the biggest reason for the change is to compete with all the other “gel materials” that are on showroom floors everywhere. Latex International has made Celsion latex for years (since 2008) for those that sleep particularly warm and need every extra benefit they can get. Now though Celsion has been re-named toTalalay GL fast response (there is also a slow response version) and Pure Latex Bliss calls it Active Fusion fast response.

So the material does have some temperature regulating benefits but I think the emphasis on it is more about marketing and market conditions.

My understanding is that the blend is actually 30/70 SBR/NR but this could have changed. Either way it’s in the same range with approximately a 1 - 2 ratio and they may even vary the blend to some degree to create a more consistent product.

Yes and no. As a broad statement and comparison between NR and SBR the way you’ve phrased it then it’s not accurate. If you are only talking about a comparison between 100% natural Talalay and blended Talalay in lower ILD’s then it would be accurate in this specific instance. You can read more about this in post #2 here and post #2 here but in general terms NR is more durable than SBR by most definitions of durability (depending on which property of latex you are measuring) but the natural version of Talalay latex in low ILD’s is likely to be less durable in real life than the blend.

Hope that helps.



Ha, your username is so true. Sorry to hear you are going through a similar experience. Hopefully you’ll end up with a comfortable bed in the end. As for me, I finally ended up with the PLB Nature AF with an added 3" ILD15 AF topper. I like the idea of having to replace the topper down the road instead of the whole mattress. I knew it was a blended talalay, but my research showed it does not get the body impressions as much. Durability is a big deal for me with all the $$$ it costs for latex, and after all, every previous mattress we’ve owned were definitely not made of “all natural” materials. So I guess it’s how much “all natural” matters to you. (It does seem a bit close to “false advertising” to call it “natural”, minus the “all”) As for the AF, not sure if it helps or not, all I know is that this mattress does not seem to sleep hot. As far as the “old” Nature feeling different, that’s because it is. The top two layers are different either in " or in ILD. Scroll down through my conversation with Phoenix and find his links to “old and new specs”. Very helpful. Good luck!


Just want to thank you for all your help and information. The PLB AF Nature I ended up with, with an added 3" ILD 15 AF topper seems to be that magical combination that works for both me and my husband. The topper gives that extra softness I needed for my pressure points, but unlike the PLB Beautiful, the Nature is more supportive. I don’t feel like I keep sinking, just softness on top of support. Lovely. What a relief. Finally.

Hi pennykay,

That’s great news :slight_smile:

I can see how this could work better for you with the thinner firmer layers of the Nature for better support along with the topper for additional pressure relief and the “plush” feeling you like.

Congratulations on your new … new mattress :slight_smile: