Our name is becoming more popular it seems

I had a chuckle today when I noticed that the previous forum I posted at … what’s the best mattress forum … decided that they needed a new web page called “The Mattress Underground” in their buying guide section. Of course the page is not about this site or any of the concepts of this site … it talks about buying “cheap” mattresses and being wary of whether or not they are really new … but their decision to take advantage of the growing presence of this website and use its name for their benefit is quite a compliment in a strange kind of way.

If you do a google search for “The Mattress Underground”, you will see the link listed after several from this site. I guess that the idea is that if they become the first link for this search term, then people might mistake their site for this one and come to believe that the name is connected to their site. That would be unfortunate as unwary consumers looking for information would not be able to take advantage of the discounts available from our manufacturing members or come to know about the information on this site and the many places that offer such amazing value in mattresses.

They have a great forum and there is lots of great information there including 809 posts under “phoenix” from when I was posting there. Unfortunately, their business practices do not quite measure up to the same “great” standards. Sad in a way when all of the “informational sites” out there should be about helping consumers rather than trying to “capture” an informational market for financial reasons. There really is a real difference between “money machines” and “mattress people” in all areas of the industry.

These kinds of practices of “the big guys” trying to suppress smaller “competitors” and many others that are so common in all areas of this industry are exactly the reason why The Mattress Underground was founded and it is gratifying to me to see the response from so many high quality local manufacturers who truly support the vision and ideals of what we are doing.

One Step at a Time

One step at a time, genuine quality purchased from outlets that really care about what you are buying can once again become the “norm” in this industry as real information replaces “stories” in the selling of mattresses. While there is a long way to go before this happens, I believe that real value and the truth will always come out ahead and that consumers and the manufacturers who produce this value will once again become the focus of the mattress industry.


Great information Pheonix.
I loved the feel of icomfort genius but have decided to purchase a latex mattress. Any suggestions for which ones to check out for a similar feel and good value, I’ll be happy if it lasts 10 years.Thanks.

Hello, and welcome!

While latex and memory foam have a different feel, latex in its softer versions provides an equivalent degree of pressure relief but is much more supportive. With memory foam … you sleep more “in” the mattress than with latex where you sleep more “on” the mattress even though it too forms a pressure relieving cradle. Latex also responds more quickly to changing sleeping positions. It is more “springy” than memory foam but not as “springy” as an innerspring. It is also more supportive as it does not “melt” underneath you and so can both relieve pressure (because of its ability to form a pressure relieving cradle that contours to your body) and support you at the same time. Because if has a different feel from other foams (it is closer to polyfoam than memory foam in “feel”) … it is a good idea to include a variety of latex mattresses (latex comfort layers over an innerspring or foam core or “all latex” mattresses) in your field testing to make sure it feels “right” for you.

I’d be happy to give some recommendations as to the type of construction that may be suitable for you but it would help if I knew your approximate height/weight, body shape, and usual sleeping positions.

In general terms though I always recommend buying a mattress based on its construction and materials rather than its brand. Once you know the general construction type that suits your needs (through using the guidelines on this site in the “mattress” section and through field testing), then it is simply a matter of choosing the most durable materials in your budget and finding the best place to buy a mattress with the overall construction that you know works for you.

Again in general terms … I believe that independent local mattress manufacturers are by far the best value and provide the best service, information, and help. If you let me know where you live, I may also be able to help with this as well. A great alternative if you know the general construction type you prefer is a DIY (do it yourself) mattress that specializes in selling and shipping the layers you prefer and the zippered encasement or ticking anywhere in the country

The independent mattress manufacturers that are part of The Mattress Underground are manufacturers that I know and respect through my conversations with them and my knowledge of their service, products and value. While there are many others as well and the list of members will continue to grow over time … the members so far IMO are among the best value manufacturers in North America (which is why I invited them to become members). They have also agreed to provide any consumer members of this site who have registered here and made at least one post on the forum with an additional 5% off their already good prices which of course is a nice bonus.

Hope this helps a bit and I’d be happy to give some more detailed guidelines if you can let me know the details that would help me.


Hi, Thanks for posting a great article. I have seen your post! There are a lot of important topics. I have found some important topic about Mattress. Also thanks for the blog.
Tom Bell

Hi. We are in the process of looking at king size beds and came across your blog. We were leaning toward purchasing the iComfort bed, but having read this now we are confused and frustrated. We like the feel of the iComfort, but the price is a bit scary. We are hoping that you can lead us in the right direction We are both side sleepers and belly sleepers. I prefer a firmer bed and he doesn’t really know which he prefers, but knows he wants something that helps to support his back. We both like the idea of not feeling the other moving through the night. We would prefer a mattress that remains cool throughout the night. So here are our stats…

He: 6’2", 165lbs.
Me: 5’5", 125llbs.

What do you suggest for local dealers in Phoenix?


I can certainly understand the confusion and frustration involved in looking for a mattress. Unfortunately much of the industry revolves around both creating and then taking advantage of that confusion and frustration both in terms of providing misleading information and advertising and in terms of selling low value mattresses for inflated prices based on “stories” that are only partly true at best.

The easiest way to “cut through” the confusion is to find a local factory direct manufacturer who produces high quality and value mattresses and who knows the different materials used in mattresses and will give you accurate and truthful information about the different materials and constructions of a mattress. A local sleep shop who does the same and sells mattresses produced by smaller and often local mattress manufacturers is another good source.

Post #4 here and post # 73 here should be helpful regarding local factory direct manufacturers in or near Phoenix. Two of our members are there and they offer exceptional quality and value in their mattresses and are very knowledgeable about mattress materials and are happy to share their knowledge with their prospective customers (which is the reason I invited them to become members of this site).

Post #6 in this thread should help you avoid most of the common traps and pitfalls in mattress shopping.

Failing that … the best “ammunition” you will have is your own research into the different materials used in mattresses and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Knowing the materials in a mattress is a far more accurate way to determine value and durability than the “brand” label that is attached to a mattress.

The 6 overviews in the mattresses section of the website … starting with this one … would be very helpful (and after reading them you will know more than many mattress salespeople). Knowing all of this is less important though if you have a local outlet that you know you can trust to give you accurate and unbiased information.

The first step I would take is to lay on a several mattresses that use different varieties of memory foam in their mattresses and several mattresses with a variety of different softnesses and types of latex in the comfort layers to see which of these two comfort layer materials you prefer. Make sure that any mattress that a salesperson says is latex has no more than an inch of polyfoam in the comfort layers according to the spec sheet of a mattress as many mattresses that are promoted as “latex” in many of the “mass market” outlets and chain stores have polyfoam over the latex so you would not be feeling the latex as much as the cheap and soft polyfoam over top of it. If they can’t or won’t show you the layer by layer specs of a mattress … either pass it by or ask on the forum. You can read about the pros and cons of memory foam here and the pros and cons of latex here to help you with a decision.

Post #4 here will give you some general guidelines about the layer thickness of the comfort layers.

I would completely avoid any mattress with more than an inch of polyfoam in the comfort layers unless your budget is extremely limited and you are looking for a “throwaway” mattress (a mattress you paid so little for that you are OK with throwing it away when the polyfoam wears out in a very few years and sometimes months). Even then I would only buy this from a local manufacturer or sleep shop that was very knowledgeable about the different grades of polyfoam.

This should give you a place to start … and since you are lucky enough to live in Phoenix you can even skip much of the research as you have experts near you that know their stuff and that can be trusted help you find a suitable and quality mattress with great value.


Hi Phoenix:

I just found your cite and would like to thank you for the high quality non biased information that it contains.
My wife and I have developed similar body aches which I know are related to our mattress. Shoulder pain, lumbar pain, and hip pain. Prior to understanding the concepts of pressure relief and support, I thought that memory foam would be the solution to our problem. Three mattresses, described as plush, have aggravated our situation since the beginning of this year. I have also found that the odor of memory foam has caused me both eye and respiratory irritation. I have visited every mattress dealer in my region and experienced the misinformation and low quality products they have to offer.

I believe that a latex mattress might be the solution. I am also committed to obtaining a product that is as chemical free as possible. I have already fallen prey to the green washing tactics of certain companies this year and need to ensure that this does not happen again.

We are 175 lbs and 120lbs respectively; very active and therefore fit bodies, fourty five years of age. Our sleep profile is 75% side and 25% back. I have tried OMI Terra and Savy Rest(?) which are the only organic brands available in South Florida.
I was not initially impressed because I was inadvertently looking for plush before I totally understood the mattress concept.
I was also interested in trying Green Sleep but it has yet to arrive here.
Based upon our body statistics, could you please give us some recommendations? Is there a mathematical analysis of body type that might help? Cost is not an issue and I am willing to go custom if necessary. Chemical sensitivity is very important therefore I an looking for a mattress that is as green as possible.
Thank you for your time and consideration.


Hi Rob,

Thanks for the kind words :slight_smile:

While I am not a particularly “sensitive” person … I have also experienced the results of memory foam offgassing and it certainly isn’t pleasant and in some cases can be quite frightening for those who are more sensitive or affected more than most. In my own case, in addition to the symptoms you describe it also led to muscle fatigue. The mattress industry today is filled with misinformation and I personally believe that the “best” first step is to find an outlet that has the knowledge and can be trusted to give good information and guidance. These are generally factory direct outlets or better sleep shops that carry local or alternative brands. There are still quite a few in most areas of the country but they tend to get drowned out in the noise of advertising and misleading and contradictory claims. Post #2 here should give you some better options in the South Florida area to include in your research (and I would start with a phone conversation to make sure they made or carried mattresses that fit your criteria) in case some of these haven’t shown up on your radar.

If you are in a different part of South Florida … let me know and I’ll take a look to see if there are other that are near you that I may know of.

There are some weight/height/body shape guidelines here and some guidelines for different sleeping positions here but I am a big believer in local testing because there are so many variables in what makes a particular mattress work well for some but not for others who may otherwise be very similar that these are only guidelines rather than recommendations. These variables may be slight differences in body shape, sleeping positions and also the many variables in the materials and construction of different mattresses which can make a significant difference in how a mattress feels and performs for any particular person.

Once you have a reference point … then if there is not good value locally it also can make an online purchase much more accurate for those who choose to go in that direction. Some of the members of the site that make good quality and value mattresses and who have the skill and knowledge to provide great guidance over the phone for those who choose to go in this direction are in post #21 here. They are also a good “value” reference point for a local purchase and many of them use either natural or organic materials in their mattresses. One is probably the greenest mattress manufacturer in the country and they actually have zero energy bills using solar, geothermal and wind power that they generate.

As you know, there is also quite a difference between “organic”, “natural” and “green” and there are many outlets that take full advantage of all the confusion about these terms. All the manufacturers you listed (OMI, Savvy Rest, and GreenSleep) make high quality and natural products (there are no actual organic latex mattresses although many manufacturers use either organic or natural materials in the different component parts of their mattresses). All of these though carry a significant premium for their “organic” focus in spite of their quality when you compare them to similar mattresses that also use similar or even the same natural or organic materials but have much better value (including several on the online list I mentioned). The key is to make sure that the ingredients that are in the mattresses you are considering are natural (or organic if that is your preference) and that the manufacturer is open about the materials they use. In many cases the word “organic” can mean “more expensive” than other manufacturers who use the same materials but don’t have the same focus on the organic market and just use these materials because they believe they are better quality.

The only “mathematical analysis” or algorithm that I know of is a proprietary one that is used by Custom Sleep Design that they are using quite successfully to make recommendations (also on the online list). For the most part … manufacturers use a set of standard guidelines similar to the ones I mentioned (or their own) and then use their experience, knowledge, and intuition and your feedback with local testing to make any adjustments that may work better for you. Each will also have their preferences of design and ideas as well that they are more comfortable working with as well. In the end … it’s all about PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences) and there are usually several pathways in terms of materials, layering, and design to get to the same or a similar outcome.

The first thing I would do is to decide if the reason you are looking at organic is more about safety or if it is about a philosophical preference. If it is more about safety … then this opens up possibilities of materials that are “safe” but not as natural or organic. If it is about a preference for natural or organic for it’s own sake … then this too would help you eliminate “non natural” choices and focus on the ones that are natural or organic only. Either way you have some good choices.

Hope this helps but if I’ve missed anything feel free to post with more questions.


Hi Phoenix:

Thank you for your prompt and thorough reply. My interest in natural products is based upon safety; I do not have a philosophical mandate that forces me to choose organic. I want to ensure that I purchase a mattress that has the appropriate comfort and support features, that is a quality product, that won’t make either my wife or I sick. The last " bio green" mattress that I purchased through a website fell short on every claim; it was a complete scam! Obviously I do not want to make that mistake again.
Would it be possible, based upon both your experience, and your readers input, to provide your top two choices in post 2 and 21 that would meet my criteria? Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.


Hi Rob,

I think these types of value judgements are best left to each person individually based on their own research because “best” is just too subjective and a “ranking” like this would do more harm than good. Each manufacturer may also make a great quality mattress using one material or type of construction but choose not to make a mattress using a different material or construction that are equally “safe” so my focus tends to be on materials and what is in the mattress rather than a particular manufacturer. Once I have helped people to find the better choices in their area … and they have a good idea of the materials they are looking for in their mattress and how to determine better quality (based on the information in the mattresses section and any other research they have done) … the rest is based on personal preferences and each person’s “value equation” can be very different. This article though can give you some ideas of the types of questions to ask in a “phone interview” to help you determine which may be most worth a visit and which may best match your criteria and be the most willing to give you the type of information you are looking for in your preliminary research on the phone.

The members of this forum and the research they have done (and will do) is also part of how I decide who to talk with more extensively and who to invite as members (the ones who have consistently good quality, value, and service in all the products and parts of their business).

This would be even more true about the members of the site that are listed in post #21 (the current full list is here). There are just too many variables for me to provide a ranking of what I already consider to be among the best manufacturers and outlets in the country and the only ones that I “officially” recommend. This is just too much of a personal decision based on the many individual parameters that makes each person choose different features and outlets. Sometimes this is just based on how well someone “connects” with a particular manufacturer when everything else on balance may be equal. It would be like trying to name the best “best” type of vehicle when each person’s needs and preferences can be very different.

All the manufacturers and outlets that are part of The Mattress Underground were invited to be members (and chose to be members as well based on common values) and the invitation is based on the fact that I believe they are all among the “best of the best” mattress manufacturers and outlets in North America. While the list is certainly not complete and there are many other manufacturers I have named in the forum (such as in post #2 in the south florida area … often with my comments about what I know about them) and some of these may also become members over the coming months and years as we get to know each other better … to differentiate between them based on one person’s opinions would not do anyone any favors. Any differentiation needs to be based on individual factors and research rather than naming one or two as “best”. My job is to help people get to a place where all their choices are good ones and how to get there. Once this is done … then each person can decide which of their “good” options is best for them.

My goal in other words is to help people focus on the best parts of the industry and to help consumers know how to determine better quality and value for themselves. If I was to favor just a few manufacturers based on very subjective personal criteria (for example telling people to only buy mattresses that used latex from a particular latex manufacturer because this was the “best”) … this site would quickly degenerate into just another “pseudo expert site” that are so rampant on the internet and which are really just an excuse to promote the products of one or a few manufacturers or to sell advertising. I would quickly lose credibility and any sense of being unbiased and “fact based” that can only come from removing my personal biases from people’s choices. I would do much more harm than good if I was to do this.

So my best suggestion would be to browse the websites (for those that have websites with good information) and call the ones that you are considering (including those that don’t put all the information on their sites) and talk to them along the lines of the article I linked and find out what they would recommend based on your criteria. If you are unsure of the accuracy of their answers you can certainly post them here if you need some feedback about what they say or are unsure of the accuracy of what they are telling you. This will give you a sense of which ones are best for you to visit based on your own personal criteria. It will also add to the value of the information on the forum and lead to better choices for each person that reads about your research and experience.

As a guideline … innersprings and quality latex (any Talalay or natural Dunlop) are two ingredients that are almost always considered “safe” and have little issues with chemical toxins or offgassing (although latex does have a smell which varies between different types of latex). Pure gel materials (not gel memory foam which is still mainly memory foam) such as here and buckling column gel along with natural resilient fibers such as wool and horsehair are also generally considered to be among the safest of ingredients. Polyfoam and memory foam have more issues with toxins and offgassing because of the nature of the chemicals that are used in their manufacture and if safety was a concern and I wanted to use these materials for the sake of budget or preference … I would make sure that it was at least CertiPur certified or had been tested by another agency for toxins or offgassing by another reputable agency such as OekoTex. In terms of fabrics … natural or organic fibers are usually considered to be the safest and have the best performance. If I was to choose “non natural” fabrics in a mattress cover … it would likely be the rayon or cellulose types of fabrics (blended with cotton) such as bamboo which are more “artificial” than natural but are also not synthetic.

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint: certipur.us/pages/

All of this of course is a long and complex subject but hopefully this will give you a sense of the types of materials I would be looking at and any manufacturer (preferably local) that included them in their mattresses at a reasonable price would be the ones that I would focus on testing regardless of the name on the label.


Hi Phoneix

I had the opportunity to visit most of the South Florida facilities that you mentioned in post #2. All were accommodating, however Schrader Bedding in West Palm Beach was truly outstanding. The owner, Dianne Schrader, is totally committed to ensuring complete customer satisfaction. I was very specific with my desires and she was the only one that was patient enough to deliver exactly what I wanted. I would highly recommend that your South Florida readers start at Schrader.

We constructed a Natural Latex bed with a 6 inch core of #32 latex and two 2 inch pieces of #28 latex on top to yield a total of ten inches. I desired this height for aesthetic reasons. Organic cotton ticking was used and the bed was made chemical free by prescription. Ms. Schrader isolated the components for two weeks prior to their assembly to avoid Any potential cross contact allergy or irritant issues.

The components felt great prior to assembly. I have had the mattress for one week. The construction is fantastic; no smells, allergy, or sleeping hot. There is a bit more pressure on my shoulder than I would like and I am having some pretty significant back pain. My previous mattress purchased on line was far to firm and this back pain is reminiscent of that feeling. I do have the opportunity to make changes and will need to do so quickly since the back issue is pretty bad. The #32 is the softest of the natural latex cores so I will need to change the top. Could you please provide some recommendations? I sleep side and back 75% and 25# respectively.
Thank you very much.


Hi Rob,

I switched your post to the South Florida thread so people that were reading it could see your comments as well.

28 ILD is on the firm side for many people unless they are heavier and 19 - 24 would be more in the “average” range. This could be the reason for the shoulder issue. I’m not sure where the back pain is located and would need more details about the location but it could also be connected to the firmness of the mattress and it could also be connected to the thickness of the comfort layers (the top 4").

It could also be a normal adjustment because it can take a while to adjust to a new sleeping surface, especially if it is different from what you were used to and your body has developed a “sleeping memory” on the old mattress. From the sounds of it though … the people at Schrader are very knowledgeable and would also likely have some good suggestions that can take into account some of the details of the mattress’ construction that I don’t know. They also have the benefit of knowing the response of many people on that specific mattress and the types of adjustments that have helped other customers with similar circumstances.

Depending on the cause and location of your back pain … it could mean firmer support layers are needed (which is a typical solution for lower back pain) or softer comfort layers (which can affect pressure relief and also allow the shoulders to sink in more which can also improve alignment and a source of back pain).

How does your DH feel about the layering?


Hi Phoenix:

Thank you for your quick response. My wife also feels discomfort in her shoulders and back. I apologize about not being more specific about the location of my back pain. It is in the lower back, the bilateral Quadratus Lumborum area, with extension into the bilateral central buttock area. I have difficult flexing and extending at the waist after I arise from
sleeping. I have read all of the information in your cite and realize that the 4 inches of comfort layer is above average for an average sized individual. Would one inch of additional comfort layer, over the recommended 3 inches really make that big a difference?
I tried the 24 comfort layer over the 32 core but felt that the spinal alignment was lacking. Perhaps it would not be once the ticking was in place. I was considering two inches of the 24 over two inches of the 28 and keeping the six inch 32 core.
What do you think would be the best combination based upon this specific type of back pain and the shoulder discomfort?


Hi Rob,

You have the “classic” dilemma it seems which is preventing the heavier narrower lower parts of the body from sinking down too far while at the same time allowing the wider lighter upper parts of the body to sink in far enough.

While I’m certainly not a doctor or back specialist and because this has been part of your experience with several mattresses there may be other issues involved … the area of low back pain you are experiencing is often a result of pelvic rotation which leads to the spine being out of alignment. Part of the difficulty too is that pain that originates in one area can radiate to other areas making it more difficult to identify the cause.

As it relates to a mattress though … the “most probable” cause of this may either be comfort layers that are too soft/thick or support layers that are are not firm enough. Both of these may allow the heavier pelvis to sink down into the mattress too far relative to the other parts of the body to keep your spine in alignment. Because your comfort layer is on the firm side … thickness is more likely to be part of the issue.

In addition to this … the support layer is also on the low side (although both of these are in “normal” range).

The 3-4" comfort layer reference is just a guideline for primary side sleepers and you are still within the “average” range here as well. There are so many variations in mattress materials and construction and in people themselves though that any guideline can only work for groups rather than individuals.

In your case … with 75% / 25% side / back sleeping I may have been tempted to go a little thinner and/or chosen a firmer support layer that would put you in closer contact a firmer support layer and “stop” your heavier areas from sinking down past what is allowed by the comfort layers a little faster … but of course your testing experience may have indicated otherwise.

In addition to this … the shoulder pressure also indicates that your shoulders may need a softer comfort layer to sink in a bit more to achieve good pressure relief. Firmer/thicker comfort layers may hold up the lighter upper body areas and shoulders more while they still allow the heavier areas to sink in too far which could also contribute to uneven sinking in and spinal alignment.

So the "directions of change " I would be looking at that would seem to have the best odds of success (and there are several “pathways” to the same outcome that are often possible) would be to soften up the pressure relieving layers with softer material (to better allow the shoulders to sink in) and firming up the support and creating better alignment by firming up the base layers or using thinner comfort layers that allow you to be closer to the mattress support. If you go softer on top but also go too thin though … then your shoulders may “go through” and feel too much of the support layers and this could also cause pressure issues on your side … even though it may solve the lower back issues.

Your wife’s lighter weight would also be less likely to sink in to firmer layers because lighter people don’t compress a certain ILD as much so what is soft or firm for her may not be soft or firm for you. This means she may be less affected by the firmness of the support layers than you but more affected by the firmness of the comfort layers. The 28 though seems to be a little high in terms of firmness for both of you and possibly a little thick. If you use a softer comfort layer of the same thickness … then it may be even more important to firm up the support layers.

All of these are only “theory at a distance” of course and the experience and knowledge of Schrader Bedding may be much more helpful because they know every detail of all the components and materials in the mattress and how they may interact and also can work with you and see what is happening on various different types of mattress constructions in real time and with their eyesight rather than their mind. They may also have or suggest a different “pathway” to solve the same issues.

Hope this helps


Hi Phoenix

I’m jumping into this post because of a very similar back pain pattern as Rob listed. I’m 6ft1" tall and 140lbs. Side sleeper. Shoulders slightly wider than hips.

I have a 8" firm Talalay mattress. It was much too firm for my shoulders and hip pressure points. So I bought a 2" 19ILD Talalay topper. I found the topper extremely hot, terrible motion control when my partner moves around- but better for my shoulders and hip. However- I still have pain in my Quadratus lumborum and SI joints.

I think I may be bottoming out the topper because 2" doesn’t seem too thick. I’m considering returning the 2" 19ILD topper and trying a 3" medium Talalay topper. However- I’m concerned that my spine won’t like it.

I’ve tried tons of beds of friends and family and weirdly enough The closest I’ve gotten to slight comfort while sleeping was on a very old continuous coil mattress with a brand new cotton filled quilted topper ( though I slept on this alone).

My question is- is getting a 3" medium firm Talalay topper for my 8" firm Talalay mattress a good idea? I’ve also read about zoned Talalay mattresses toppers in 3" wherein the hip region would be medium firm and the shoulder region would be 19ILD.

I only have one shot left to get my mattress right due to where I live and financial constraints.


Hi Gail_B,

I’m jumping into this post because of a very similar back pain pattern as Rob listed. I’m 6ft1" tall and 140 lbs. Side sleeper. Shoulders slightly wider than hips.
I have a 8" firm Talalay mattress. It was much too firm for my shoulders and hip pressure points. So I bought a 2" 19ILD Talalay topper. I found the topper extremely hot, terrible motion control when my partner moves around- but better for my shoulders and hip. However- I still have pain in my Quadratus lumborum and SI joints.
I think I may be bottoming out the topper because 2" doesn’t seem too thick.

Yes, it does look like you are in need of fine-tuning your existing build … from what you describe, you are quite right, you are going right through the 19 ILD Talalay topper and ‘bottoming out’ on the firm 8" Talalay below. This not only causes the shoulder and hip pressure points you are experiencing when sleeping on your side, but because you ‘sink into’ the top layer, you’ll trap more body heat and have some motion transfer issues.

In very general terms, the materials, layers, and components of a sleeping system that are closer to your skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture transport, and temperature regulation than materials, layers, and components that are further away from your skin. Such as your case is … softer mattresses or foam toppers will tend to be more “insulating” and many people will tend to sleep warmer on the soft version than on the firmer versions of the same material. If you are interested, there is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range.

Talalay latex toppers and the same goes for Dunlop latex are the best of all foam materials for temperature regulation as both are open-cell and extremely breathable. These are good choices for someone who is temperature sensitive.

Again the 19 ILD soft Talalay may be partly responsible for the motion issues you are experiencing. While there are some people who do talk about a “jello” feeling with latex when they refer to motion transfer but this is more a result of certain constructions where a person sinks in too deeply into the mattress because of the way that latex (or any highly resilient and elastic material) returns the energy when they move. This also depends on your level of sensitivity to motion transfer. Memory foam with its “dead sand feeling” is the best at motion isolation. Latex, like memory foam, is very point elastic which means that it compresses at millions of specific points across the surface to take on the shape of the body profile with much less effect on the area around the point of compression but it is also highly resilient which means it absorbs much less energy than memory foam (which has little to no resilience at all). If you throw a ball at memory foam attached to a wall it will just drop to the floor while if you throw a ball against a wall with latex it will bounce back.

If there is motion transfer in a latex mattress … then it is usually coming from what is either under or over the latex. The first place I would look at is what is under it.

What the mattress is sitting on from the “floor” upwards? A latex mattress needs a firm non-flexing and solid foundation.

Putting the mattress directly on the floor will help confirm where the motion transference is coming from. I am guessing there is some “rocking” or movement coming from what the mattress is sitting on.
Releasing some of the tension from the cover could very well solve the motion transfer issue so you may want to check on that as well.

I’m considering returning the 2" 19ILD topper and trying a 3" medium Talalay topper. However- I’m concerned that my spine won’t like it.
My question is- is getting a 3" medium firm Talalay topper for my 8" firm Talalay mattress a good idea? I’ve also read about zoned Talalay mattresses toppers in 3" wherein the hip region would be medium firm and the shoulder region would be 19ILD.
I only have one shot left to get my mattress right due to where I live and financial constraints.

Thanks for providing your stats! – even though you have a low BMI, you’ll still sink right through the 2" soft 19 ILD with your bonny parts (shoulder and hips) bottoming out into a firmer latex comfort layer. As I mentioned you are heading in a good direction by thinking to replace the 2" soft topper with one that is thicker and firmer.

Is your 8" firm Talalay encased? And if you can open the cover is it made of two separate layers or 2 laminated layers. (Talalay Latex is produced in 6" slabs) If you can access the layers and they are separate then you’d have more options for fine-tuning.

At your weight, you can do well even on a 7" thick mattress, but one thing to remember is that thickness and softness are interdependent. A thicker mattress of similar materials and layer thickness proportions will act softer for most people. The more you increase the height the firmer the replacement layer should be to get a similar support/comfort balance. You clearly need to be more on the mattress and need more secondary support for the recessed parts of your body so increasing both the firmness and thickness of the topper might be just what you need.

This said, only by checking this new layering for comfort/support balance you’ll find for sure if it’s matching your particular body type and stats. In theory, replacing the top layer with the 3" of medium Talalay can certainly fit the bill, It would keep you more on the mattress and mitigate the overheating issue. As your shoulders are “slightly wider than the hips” you may also do well with zoning. As you say that you have ‘one shot to get things right due to location and finance" I’d do a bit more leg work. The most certain way to know this is to find a way to sleep-test first your proposed 11" construction before you proceed with the topper exchange or before you purchase a new layer.

I’d consider getting in touch with one of our trusted members that specialize in zoning and adjusting a construction according to your body type and health needs. You can reach out to Bob Zukovski from Custom, Sleep Technology (CST). His company specializes in customizing mattresses and has a well-designed questionnaire to determine if you’d need any zoning. By utilizing the body measurements of each individual sleeper, CST determines the required ILD/IFD (softness) and foam densities of each layer and segment on each side of the mattress and/or mattress topper to minimize pressure points and place the spine in a natural and stress-free position. CST can also address specific physical issues that customer experience. You can also reach out to Flobeds and speak with Dave or Dewey as their Areas of Expertise are LATEX, ZONING & MATTRESS MATCHING and would be happy to assist you.

I’d try to take out any of the trial and error that comes with building a DIY and instead leverage the knowledge and expertise of those who spent decades designing beds and guide you according to your stats (height, BMI, sleeping position(s) and any underlying health issues) and your PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). Talalay latex has a very different feel from Dunlop latex; it’s ‘bouncier’ and a Dunlop latex topper of the same ILD may feel firmer than the Talalay.

As far as motion transfer for highly sensitive individuals there are some tried and tested solutions that you may want to consider. You didn’t mention your partner’s stats or bed size but putting more distance between the two of you (King vs Queen size) or splitting the layers for his and her side, or even considering 2 side-by-side frame beds can reduce the motion transfer.

You may also want to have a look at a zoned latex topper, such as This One – or a convoluted latex topper like This 2" topper from [Trusted member] FloBeds may further alleviate motion transfer issues, and a firmer even 2" topper will prevent you from ‘sinking in’ and will better support the recessed areas of your body to maintain a neutral/natural position of your spine without the fascia muscles having to tense and compensate for any sagging or spinal misalignment. If your SI Joint and Quadratus Lumborum pains disappear in the morning then the symptoms are most likely caused by spinal misalignment.)

I hope this gives you a bit more food for thought while you consider all your options. I’d be interested to learn of your progress.


Hello Phoenix

I very much appreciate your answers and questions

Motion transfer- I think this is due to the topper not being attached to the bed so when it sinks in the middle due to motion, the edges kick up on the edges and the other person feels it. I have corner straps on my topper and it’s under a mattress protector and a fitted sheet. Still I feel it.

My firm mattress is on a Zinus metal frame from Amazon. The sales person from the Latex mattress store where we got our base king recommended it as an affordable and safe option for latex.

We supposedly have this mattress but ours doesn’t look flippable and we weren’t told about any additional layers apart from Talalay latex. No way to know unless we cut it open (which I have been tempted to do).

Since I live in Canada there are limited options for latex. The store where I got my 2" Talalay topper Doesn’t sell zoned toppers and I’m at the end of my comfort guarantee.

Now that I’ve read through all the help and info files- I know I should have gotten a 3" topper to start. I already contacted CST and they suggested a zoned topper with 19ILD around the shoulder and medium for the other part
Of the topper. That was before I learned that I only could exchange my purchased topper and not simply return it for a refund. That’s why I’m trying to figure out the best option for a non zoned topper.

I’m Considering a 3" medium Talalay or a 1" 19ILD layered ontop a 2" medium Talalay topper. Not sure which is better there.

I can’t trial any of these due to where I live- though I’d love to compare Dunlop versus Talalay.

If this doesn’t work out- I’m in deep trouble with the my husband who wants me to join a mattress complaining support group so he doesn’t have to continuously hear about how I can’t sleep anywhere we stay due to pain. I don’t have an underlying medical condition - it’s all postural and muscular issues compounded by no good sleep for 5 years.


Hi Gail_B,

Glad to see you pinpointed the cause of the motion transfer issue!

My firm mattress is on a Zinus metal frame from Amazon. The sales person from the Latex mattress store where we got our base king recommended it as an affordable and safe option for latex.
We supposedly have this mattress but ours doesn’t look flippable and we weren’t told about any additional layers apart from Talalay latex. No way to know unless we cut it open (which I have been tempted to do).

The flippable (12") Welwatta ‘Street Firm’ Latex is a well-built firm mattress made with good quality materials (2 bonded 6" latex layers, natural wool layer on each side that also serves as a fire barrier that has temperature regulation, and covered with organic cotton. This is a good support layer to use in combination with a topper of the right ILD and firmness for your particular needs.

Zinus sells a variety of metal bed frames on Amazon, and some of them are not very sturdy and with too much space between wire grids that can cut into the mattress and damage it over time. As long as the metal frame is sturdy and has good central support to the floor and as long as the retailer checked on the particular model you own and confirms that compatible, (Though you should try to get that in writing!), it should not void its warranty.

I’m Considering a 3" medium Talalay or a 1" 19ILD layered on top a 2" medium Talalay topper. Not sure which is better there.
If this doesn’t work out- I’m in deep trouble with the my husband who wants me to join a mattress complaining support group so he doesn’t have to continuously hear about how I can’t sleep anywhere we stay due to painIf this doesn’t work out- I’m in deep trouble with the my husband who wants me to join a mattress complaining support group so he doesn’t have to continuously hear about how I can’t sleep anywhere we stay due to pain

The question of whether to use a 1" soft latex topper on a 2" medium firm Talalay, or a 3" medium firm Talalay, is unfortunately where we come to the limits of objectivity…
Here is some food for thought
A) With the 3" topper (1" soft + 2" medium) option
• You will likely still sink in a little on the 19 ILD but in combination with the medium ILD you should not bottom out anywhere near what you previously experienced.
• The advantage is that you can flip the topper and have 2 comfort options: soft way down or soft way. Which is another way of fine-tuning for comfort
• If you still think you need more comfort adjustment AND if the topper can be unzipped AND if the 1" and 2" layers are not laminated, you can do some DIY zooming by cutting the 2 layers horizontally and doing some permutations as suggested by Bob @CST. This will offer you many more options to fine-tune your system.

B) With a 3" medium firm topper, you made an educated ques that has a good chance to address all issues, but still, there is some incertitude about it as only you can feel what you feel on a mattress topper combination and nobody else can tell you for sure…. Hopefully, the thickness and softness adjustments are just what you need but as you say you’d have only one go at it.

At this point, only you can decide which way to go. It does sound like you are getting very close to a solution - I wouldn’t rent a space for your ‘mattress complaint support group’ just yet!