Paraplegic, advice needed (long)

(Edited b/c I’m too wordy)

The basics:
— I’m F, 45, 5’ 6", 240# and losing steadily, paraplegic, 90% side sleeper
— Looking for Twin XL for my 1/2 of split king, shared some mornings with giant dog.
— Current mattress is a much-despised Casper Original Hybrid that feels like sleeping in quicksand.

My needs/wants, hopefully the smarter version:
– Latex (NR, but no need for organic) because I can’t push up/scoot/roll myself to change position on squishy memory foam or pillowtop.
– Durable edge support since I rely on the edge of the bed to transfer from my wheelchair. I would consider going all latex except this keeps bringing me back to hybrid options.
– Medium-firm range so I have the leeway to cozy up the top as I please. I’d be happy with a soft top layer for pressure relief but don’t want to compromise the support layers. I might actually prefer a separate topper, possibly sheepskin.
– With a comfortable topper I think I’d be happy with a quality latex hybrid BiB. Setup/returns would be easier to manage than returning individual mattress layers if a DIY build needed modification.


  1. What latex specifications might provide (a) the springiness I need for position changes and (b) my preference for a softer top without the entrapment of memory foam?
  2. Which pocketed coil setup has the best edge support?
  3. Is there anything about my condition that makes a DIY setup preferable to a BiB? Given the logistical inconveniences I’m not yet sold.
  4. Is it even possible to give a medium-firm mattress a plush feel with a topper? Would that require a layer of foam in the topper or can alternate materials (wool, sheepskin, kapok, etc.) do the same thing?

Thanks in advance for your advice,

Hi ParaNeedsMattress.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing your details and your must-haves. I’m going to do my best to address each of your questions/points! Sorry about your quicksand Casper. That does sound uncomfortable!

This is certainly true. It can be a bit difficult to return DIY layers, whereas a full mattress will allow for a complete return, exchange, or easier layer exchanges if you find that the comfort layer is too soft/firm, etc.

The good news is even it its softest form, you’re never going to have that “trapped in quicksand” sinking feeling with latex that you get with memory foam. But, given your sleeping profile, I’d agree with your medium/firm preference.

Leggett and Platt Quantum Edge coils are a popular option for enhanced edge support. The Flexus Quadra Flex uses this system, as does Sleep EZ’s flippable Select Sleep Hybrid.

The Nest Bedding Natural Hybrid Latex uses a reinforced edge coil support system as well.

Not particularly, that I can detect from what you’ve shared unless you have very specific support needs requiring zoning, or a particular mattress height that makes a DIY a more suitable option, or if you just feel like doing a DIY to tailor each and every aspect of your mattress.

You absolutely can. You had mentioned sheepskin - that would certainly add some plushness. I think one thing to consider is what you want from that topper. Do you want to sink into it or do you just want a slightly softer feel? If you’re looking to sink, you may be most satisfied with a softer latex, but if you’re just looking for a little extra cushion, a wool, down, etc. topper can absolutely do that for you.

There is more information about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market) can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success. A good exchange/return policy can also reduce the risk of an online topper purchase so I would make sure you are comfortable with the options you have available after a purchase just in case the topper you choose doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.


Thank you!

The decision fatigue is killing me so I’ve narrowed my search to the Sleep EZ 360 hybrid… unless someone convinces me otherwise!

What I can’t decide is which latex type and firmness are most appropriate. My newbie thoughts say Dunlop in medium-firm since my priorities are something like 60% support and 40% pressure relief. I’m guessing that due to my current weight I’ll still get a fair amount of pressure relief from that setup.

Am I on the right track?! Any feedback would be welcome.

Obviously I’ll have to decide on the topper specifications once I have the new mattress. I have a matted down old faux sheepskin that I still adore, so in theory I think 1-2" of soft Talalay with a sheepy overlay would be wonderful.

I’m still amazed that there’s a resource out there with knowledgeable experts and not just compensated yahoos. Thanks for what you all do.

Hi ParaNeedsMattress.

Things get muddled when the primary goal becomes earning a commission through a sale. While we certainly have our “favorites” in the industry, our ultimate goal is to make sure consumers are equipped with the knowledge to purchase whatever mattress they ultimately feel is best for them.

It’s hard for me to say a definite yes or no here, since everyone has a different definition of soft/firm (I have a medium mattress that feels like a rock to me!) but I’m going to wager that your assessment is likely correct. If you get the chance to chat with someone at SleepEZ and share your sleeping stats with them, they can also guide you in terms of firmness.


Based on TMU feedback (and Ken’s quick response!) last night I bought an APM Ultimate Hybrid with a medium Talalay comfort layer.

In the end I decided against SleepEZ because I didn’t want to take up 2" of height with the latex on the bottom. I’d rather play with the top 3" of latex and use that 2" for a topper if truly needed. Getting myself into bed is hard enough as it is!

Thanks again for the help!

Hi ParaNeedsMattress.

Ken is a wonderful resource and true expert. I believe you’ll be very happy with your mattress and look forward to hearing how it goes and how you feel once your mattress has arrived and you’re able to sleep on it through the break in period.