Please help me narrow the search

Hi all.

I’ve been poking around the forum on and off for the past few months, reading your various notes and suggestions. I have plenty to learn still, but my mattress buying timeline has been accelerated due to recent painful sleep. To that end, I’m turning to the experts and I’d be grateful for your assistance. I’ve included details about myself, my sleeping situation, and my current line of thinking.

About Me:

  • 6’3, 280lb former athlete
  • Sleep alone
  • Frequent tosser/turner
  • Side sleeper

Current Bed:

I’m coming from a 10+ year old latex hybrid in a Thuma wood frame. The mattress has served me well, but I’m currently waking up with hip and mid-back pain just about every day, so it’s time to move on.

More Detail:

  • I’m drawn towards latex or hybrid mattresses, due to my previous positive experiences, but by no means is that a constraint.

  • I’m in SoCal and I do tend to sleep hot, especially in the summer months.

  • I don’t have any particular budgetary constraints, other than needing to feel that the value is equal to the cost.

  • Although I’m open to buying a brand mattress, I’m drawn to the value of DIY, as well as the ability to change and optimize layers for continued comfort. Additionally, I’d be more keen to replace individual layers than an entire brand mattress.

  • In reading other posts on this forum, I’ve gleaned that, if I do go DIY, I might benefit from a thicker and firmer comfort layer paired with a support layer.

That’s all the info I can think to provide. I’m hoping you experts can help me close in on the right mattress, or at least give me more to consider.

Thank you kindly.

Im in Los Angeles too

Go to Sit N Sleep to check out King Koil Pure Bliss Latex Brook (Firm) or Genesis (Soft). 100% talalay. Not Adjustable though

Flobeds VZone. Adjustable layers and adjustable VZone

Go to Ortho Mattress
Aireloom Chester in Firm/Plush is Aireloom M1
Aireloom Westchester in Firm/Plush is Aireloom M2
4 mattresses
They even have a latex mattress cover to make any mattress more plush



Hey there Joshua,

Welcome to the Mattress UnderGround and your first post as a new MUGster. We are happy you are here.

John has made some solid suggestions for local trial. Trying several updated mattresses is a good way to get some sense of what direction your preferences lead you.

It appears like you’ve had great success with your previous latex hybrid. You seem to have a good understanding of your preferences and needs. Given your height, weight, and sleeping style, finding a mattress that provides adequate support and pressure relief is crucial for improving your sleep quality and alleviating your hip and mid-back pain.

As a former athlete myself, I can sympathize with the aches and pains that come with years of beating up on the body, even though when we were young, it seemed like we were invincible. Years of playing baseball to beyond the college level certainly took its toll.

I guess now your body is looking for that “check” that years of past physical activity on your body has come to “cash” now that the physical activity is probably not as demanding as it once was .

Over time, the strain and stress from years of activity can accumulate, leading to changes in comfort and mobility. It’s important to acknowledge these changes and take proactive steps to support your body’s needs, whether through adjustments in lifestyle, prioritizing rest, or investing in products like a supportive mattress.

Considering your success with a latex/ hybrid mattress and your preference for sleeping cool, I’d recommend staying the course with that genre of sleep system.

The Thuma wood frames tend to be extremely well built and long lasting, unless you have noticed some abnormality with it, you might be just as happy keeping it, unless you feel it is time for a new look or design for aesthetic reasons.

Here are a few key points to consider when selecting a mattress, that no doubt are familiar with:

  1. Support: Given your weight and tendency to toss and turn, a mattress with a strong support core is essential to prevent sagging and maintain spinal alignment. Look for mattresses with high-density foam or pocketed coils for robust support.
  2. Comfort: Opt for a mattress with a thicker latex comfort layer to provide ample cushioning and pressure relief, especially for your hips and shoulders as a side sleeper. A medium to medium-firm comfort level should offer a good balance of support and plushness.
  3. Temperature Regulation: Since you sleep hot, choose a mattress with breathable materials. Latex naturally sleeps cooler than memory foam, but you can also look for features like microcoils (in place of foams) or breathable cover fabrics to enhance airflow.
  4. Durability: Given your desire for long-term value, prioritize mattresses with high-quality materials and construction. Latex and durable support cores like pocketed coils tend to offer excellent longevity.
  5. Customization: Since you are not opposed to the DIY approach, assembling your mattress allows for greater customization and flexibility. You can adjust the firmness and thickness of each layer to suit your preferences and potentially replace individual layers over time as needed.

I always caution when attempting to create a DIY. There are nuances that need to be considered when DIY. Quality manufacturers engineer their mattresses to create a specific targeted result for the intended sleeper. Although you can save on the costs, and have some flexibility with layering, you would be best working in collaboration with TM’s such as @Arizona_Premium; @Sleep_EZ; @TPS (in combination with someone like @Latex_Mattress_Fact1 ) as these folks are excellent and excel in DIY building.

Fortunately the variety of customized pre-constructed has made it easier to design a mattress based off of a quality, thought out and thoughtfully engineered design.

For example @DLX has expanded their already successful Premier Hybrid line to include a customizable, split comfort and swappable latex comfort layer available in 4 firmness options and a 3" 4lb memoryfoam option.

@EngineeredSleep offers designs, such as their Duo Hybrid line, where you can flip the core layer of the mattress on the fly in you home to adjust the feel of the entire mattress system, with customizable comfort layers to pinpoint sleeping preferences.

I am not a big advocate on zoning, unless your body profile and comfort needs call for that style of layering.

Keep in mind that is not only your mattress that can affect your temperature regulation when you sleep, even in southern California. 100% Cotton sheets are my go to, although there are some newer material combinations that claim to keep you from heating up when you sleep, but my preferences lean toward natural fibers, cotton, linen, silk and so on.

I know there is a lot to take in here. My suspicions are that the impact of past athletic activities is the main source of your current aches and pains. Years of physical strain and repetitive movements can certainly contribute to wear and tear on the body, potentially leading to discomfort and reduced mobility over time.

Hopefully, this will give you some food for thought, with a couple of suggestions thrown in the mix.

We are always here to help and our TMs are the best in the business.



Hi @SleepyGiant,

Thank you for all the info. That is always helpful when trying to make good recommendations.

There are a lot of great options out there and a lot of great companies in this forum.

Based on what you’ve provided here is our hybrid latex mattress that would fit your needs:

DUO Latex Mattress
It is made in 2 pieces so you can swap out or refresh the latex comfort layers at any point.

The DUO Support Specs:
8" @TPS QuadCoil (14.75 gauge body coil / 13.5 gauge edge support)
1.5" HR Foam that is 2.65lb and 10-12 ILD (this allows you to flip your support for a slightly softer or slightly firmer feel)

DUO Latex Comfort Options
2" of Dunlop Latex; 19-21 ILD
4" of Dunlop Latex; 19-21 ILD
3" of Talalay Latex; 15-19 ILD
We can combine 1" of Dunlop and 3" of Talalay
All of these options are finished with Organic Cotton quilted with .75" 1.8lb foam.

Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way. My email is [email protected].


Hi SleepyGiant and welcome to the forums! You might want to consider the 10" organic latex mattress by Sleep EZ -

The organic and natural mattresses (the Select Sleep mattresses) are our flagship products. They’re fully customizable, meaning you can order the mattress to be as soft or as firm as you’d like. They’re also fully adjustable, meaning you can change the softness, firmness, back support, pressure relief, etc. AFTER you get the mattress in your home. To be more specific, the 10” is our most popular, and these mattresses normally go out with three 3" layers of different firmnesses - normally the softest layer (or the cushion & contour layer) is on top and the supportive layers are on the bottom. This helps ensure our customers get the right balance of contour for their hips and shoulders but also support for their lower back. If you start with a certain setup and find that it’s too soft, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the layers to get a firmer feel out of the mattress, or you can exchange a layer to make it softer. Additionally, latex mattresses typically last 20 years. If, in 5 or 10 or 15 years you decide you want a softer or firmer mattress you would only have to buy a new layer instead of an entirely new mattress. Lastly, if the mattress starts to break down in 15 – 20 years, it’s normally the top layer that breaks down first, and at that point you can likely just buy a new top layer of latex instead of a whole new mattress and get an additional 8-10 years out of the mattress.

Furthermore, queen, king, and cal king mattresses are available with what we call “split layers,” which means you can have us cut the layers down the middle (from head to foot) so that you can have a different feel / firmness on your side versus your partner’s side, and you can adjust each side independently over the 20 year lifetime of the mattress. About 95% of our mattresses go out with all split layers from top to bottom, and we get zero complaints on being able to feel the split and we get zero complaints about the layers shifting or anything like that, even if you sleep right on the middle of the mattress.

If you’re wondering how to pick the layers for this mattress, you can go to the natural or organic mattress page, click the green button that says “Build Your Mattress Now,” then click the gray oval that says “Personalized,” and you’ll be able to enter your information. The website will then make a personalized recommendation based on your information (the layers in the mattress diagram will reflect the recommendation after you click the “Apply” button. Please note that our initial recommendations have a 90% success rate (we only have a 10% layer exchange rate) so there’s a 90% chance that the recommendation turns out to be your perfect setup!

Although it’s not likely that you’ll need to rearrange layers or exchange layers, you certainly have the option to adjust the mattress according to you and your partner’s specific needs and preferences, both in the short-term and long-term. We have a 90 day exchange and return period, so you can exchange a layer within the first 90 days for a flat-rate $30 fee for the first exchange and the full cost of shipping for any subsequent exchanges. We will ship your layers first, and we will ship them with extra plastic that you can use to package your current layers, and we will ship it with a pre-paid Fed Ex return label. Also, if you will please call us when you are ready to ship your layers back we will schedule a free Fed Ex pick up for you. You will have 30 days after its arrival to return a layer of your choosing, so you’ll have plenty of time to try a few different combinations with the layers you have and the layer we will be sending you so that you can get your comfort and support levels just right.

Based on the information you’ve provided, we would recommend the 10" organic with medium Talalay over firm Dunlop over extra firm Dunlop, just FYI.


Thanks for the recommendations and the tremendous amount of detail here. I genuinely appreciate you all reading my info, considering it, and offering some very detailed feedback.

There’s a ton for me to chew on here, so bear with me while I perform my due diligence. In the meantime, if anyone has local recommendations in the San Diego area, I’m actually quite a bit further south than Los Angeles. That said, a trip to LA is certainly not out of the question.

Thanks again!

Have you checked out mattress makers in San Diego?