Overweight Husband and Latex Mattress

I am in the market for a talalay latex mattress to replace my Simmons Beautyrest Black. My husband is very large. I am not sure of his weight but he wears a 2x to 3x and size 48 pants. I am 5’4:, 185 lbs.
We liked the Pure Latex Bliss BEAUTIFUL and found an online store where we could purchase for $2200., mattress only. He suggested to keep our foundation because he did not like their foundation. I also have the option of having a local mattress company build me a 12" latex mattress using the same talalay latex. at wholesale cost of $1025. I can get this deal because I work in the furniture industry. It would be a 6" 36 ILD core, 2" of 24 ILD, another 2" of 24 ILD, and 2" of 19 ILD. It is the same mattress he built for himself and his wife. My question is will this have a similiar feel like the BEAUTIFUL with the 15 ILD top? My husband is a back sleeper and I am a side sleeper. I just don’t want to make a mistake in getting something that will break down and not offer support in a short period of time. I have no problem adding a 3: inch latex topper to the mattress I could have built if need be, providing if 15: isn’t too high. What are your thoughts. By the way, the salesman said I was in alignment on the Beautiful.

Hi judiray, have you had a look here? Unless the specs have changed, this link has the layering of several plb mattresses including the beautiful model.


Some of your layering looks different, instead of 1" of extra firm latex at the bottom yours places the 36 ild 6" core at the bottom. Your suggested construction also takes away an inch of 19ild on the top but adds 2" of 24ild in addition to the beautiful’s 2" layer. Being further away from the 36ild base ‘may’ make your version a little softer in terms of compression while the thinner 19ild may make the surface feel a little firmer. Subtle differences and no way to really guess accurately. It could come close or may not feel the same at all to you.

If there’s a way for the local place to make a mockup using that layering for you to try before building it might be the best option to make sure. Latex reacts in odd ways sometimes at least when I was trying them out in the store. Amazing how much difference a few inches of softer latex clear at the bottom beneath the entire mattress can have on the whole works. Maybe another option if possible, if they could do a zippered ticking giving you the option to remove layers and rearrange them at home?

Wow! Thank you Phoenix for the quick reply! The specs they have me on the Beautiful were 6" of 36, 3" of 24 ILD, and 3" of 15. What concerns me is the mattress I can get wholesale has both the inner layer and the top layer being a little firmer. I don’t know how much difference there is in the feel between 15 and 19 ILD. With those specs, do you think there would be much difference. It would be cheaper for me to get that mattress and pay retail for a 3 inch 15 ILD topper and have a 15’’ mattress.

Also, do you know if there is any truth to the boxspring of the Pure Latex Bliss not being as good. I worry if I don’t get the set it will void the warranty but then we all know warrantys are a joke!!
Is my husbands weight going to be a factor on either of these mattresses? I worry about premature breakdown. There is a part of me that says to get the Nature with the firmer specs. They gave me 6" of 36, 2:“of 28, and 2” of 21 and then a 3" 15 ILD topper.

Any thoughts on my husbands weight and latex?

Thank you so much for all you do to help all of us.

One mnore thing! He puts a quilted cover on his bed. I didn’t want a quilted cover because I want as little as possible between me and the latex. He said he can put the same kind of cover as Tempurpedic. Will that be hot?

Hi Judiray,

Outside of the information in the mattress shopping tutorial (which is the first place I would begin your research) … there is also more information and guidelines for those that are in higher weight ranges in post #3 here and the posts it links to that will be helpful. The process of choosing a mattress for higher weight ranges would be exactly the same as for anyone else except those that are in higher weight ranges will generally need firmer mattresses and more durable materials than those that are in lighter weight ranges.

The Beautiful is one of the softest mattresses in the PLB line and I would be very cautious choosing it for someone that was in much higher weight ranges. A mattress as soft as this would greatly increase their chances of sleeping out of alignment (especially for back sleepers) and the lower back pain and discomfort that can go with it and thicker layers of softer latex also won’t hold up nearly as well over time as firmer latex layers that would have a much better chance of being a more suitable choice for your husband.

You can see some of the guidelines I would suggest for a foundation that is suitable for an all latex mattress in the foundation post here. I would agree that the PLB foundation isn’t a particularly good choice for a latex mattress and if your foundation is still in good condition and meets the suggested guidelines (a slatted foundation with no more than 3" in between the slats and has no sagging across the surface) then it would be fine to keep it.

Just for clarification … the link that brass provided with the PLB specs was for a previous version of the PLB mattresses and the current specs are listed in post #2 here.

There is more about the different ways that one mattress can “match” another one in post #9 here but the only reliable way to know that one mattress will match another one is if all the layers and components in both mattresses are virtually the same. The layering you suggested has many differences compared to the Beautiful (different layer thicknesses, different ILD’s, and possibly a different cover and fire barrier as well) and each of the differences can affect how the mattress feels and performs and interacts with different people in unpredictable ways that will vary from person to person. The only way to reliably know how it would compare for you (regardless of how it would compare for anyone else) will be based on your own personal testing and experience.

For most people the differences would be significant enough that they would make a noticeable difference in how they feel yes. As I mentioned earlier though I would be very cautious about going this soft (with either the Beautiful or your suggested design) for a heavy back sleeper.

If his testing and experience indicates that he would prefer a softer layer on top in spite of the additional alignment and durability risks then at the very least I would add it as a topper (or as brass suggested in a mattress with a zip cover and individual components) so it can be easily removed and replaced without having to replace the entire mattress.

Latex in general is the most breathable and temperature regulating of the different types of foam materials (polyfoam, memory foam, latex foam) but there are also many other variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress besides just the type of foam that is used inside it or the type of cover and quilting in a mattress including the mattress protector or mattress pad you use, your sheets and bedding, and where you are in the “oven to iceberg” range that can all interact together and have a significant effect on sleeping temperature. There is more about the many variables that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here that can help you choose the type of materials that will have the best chance of keeping you in a temperature range that you are comfortable with.

While there is no way to know for certain whether a particular person will be in a comfortable temperature range on any specific mattress because there are so many interacting variables involved that can affect temperature … most people wouldn’t have any issues with temperature regulation even if they were sleeping more directly on latex although there may be a few that do with any softer foam material including latex. There is more about the pros and cons of a quilted cover vs a thinner stretch knit cover in post #12 here.


Sorry about that, I didn’t realize how old that post was. I remember there being posts and threads regarding the plb models and thought that was the correct one. If they changed the specs yet again they do appear to have gone even softer. Thanks for the more current specs Phoenix.

Thank you Phoenix. This has all been quite a learning experience. I think I have made the decision to keep my mattress another year and add a topper. This will give me a little relief that I need and keep the mattress my huisband loves. Should I get a 2" dunlop latex topper so he doesn’t feel like he is sleeping on something too soft? I would prefer the 3" talalay mattress topper for the ultimate comfort but I know he would hate it because of the 15 ILD rating. and the fact that he is a back sleeper. There also is the option of the 24 ILD talalay. topper. Do you have any suggestions? Next year I think I will replace the whole mattress and still be able to use my topper!!
I just don’t want the pressure of making a decision within a week because a sale ends! I am sure they will run another sale again!

Hi Judiray,

If your mattress is too firm and is still in good condition and doesn’t have any soft spots or impressions that have developed and you just need some extra softness and pressure relief then a topper can be a good idea. If the mattress does have soft spots or impressions and you are hoping to use a topper to “fix” it then your results may be disappointing and at best may only provide temporary or partial results and at worst can make some issues worse.

If you do decide to go in this direction then post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline for choosing the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success and also includes a link to a list of some of the better sources for toppers I’m aware of as well.

Both Dunlop and Talalay come in a range of firmness levels so the choice between them would be a preference choice rather than a better/worse choice. There is more about the differences between them in post #7 here.

In general terms it’s usually best to choose a topper that is “just enough” in terms of thickness and softness/firmness to relieve any pressure issues you are experiencing and no more so you can maintain a good balance between comfort/pressure relief and support/alignment and there is less risk of the alignment issues that can come from having too much thickness/softness in the upper layers of a sleeping system.

It may also be worth considering a split firmness level with softer on your side and firmer on his side inside the same cover (if your mattress is a king size then this would be the same as two twin XL toppers).