Please help with formatting latex mattress

We are in the market for a new mattress- our old one is 12 years old and softening. Based on reviews and research I think a latex mattress is the way to go. I have contacted Scott at Foam Sweet Foam and really like his advice and demeanor and the phone. There a a myriad of questions, issues, though, and any further advice is appreciated.

  1. I live in san Angelo, Texas and do not have the ability to try a latex mattress locally. We travelled to San Antonio for spring break with the kids and there is a family owned store called Cantwell’s that has a line of latex mattresses. He uses Latexco as his supplier and a VERY soft comfort layer of blended talalay (puralex) with ILD 15 over an ILD 28 support layer. It felt great. I am 6’2", 235# with a fairly athletic build- or used to be-with broad chest.

My ‘planned’ Foam sweet Foam version would have been hybrid organic Dunlop/talalay with 3 layers Dunlop at VF / F / M and talalay top layer at soft or medium. Scott said he would split the top layer in a King so that I could have medium and my wife who is 5’3", 140 could have soft. Now I think I would like soft. They rate their soft as ILD 20.

Now I know from reading that the blended versions may be more durable, especially at softer ILDs. But I didn’t expect anything as low as 15 to feel so supportive. Is that a characteristic of his configuration or can I reproduce that, somewhat, by my planned purchase?

  1. We purchased adjustable beds that are twin xl’s. Mr. Cantwell feels that latex will not define a seam between 2 twin xl mattresses as much as other types. We prefer to use the beds separately but are worried that the 2 beds will be too noticeable. Any thoughts on buying 2 twin xl’s and using the units individually or buying a king and using them as 1 unit?

Again, any input/advice is appreciated!!


Hi Texasjoe,

There are far too many variables and it would take much more detailed conversations on the phone than I would possibly have the time for to design a mattress for someone else out of all the thousands of layering combinations that are theoretically possible. You can read more about why I don’t do this in post #2 here and post #2 here. My role is to connect the members here with the “experts” that do this every day and have a narrower range of specific options they have available rather than become the source of mattress designs for individual forum members. There is a great deal of information in the mattresses section of the site and on the forum (including in the posts I linked) that can provide more generic guidelines and give you some insights into a design that may be most appropriate for you but specific choices always need to be discussed with manufacturers or retailers that sell specific mattresses. My role is to help people find the “experts” that design and sell mattresses every day.

Latex can be “supportive” in all its versions. There are also two different types of support which I call “primary” support which is what “stops” the heavier areas from sinking in too far and is mainly about the deeper layers and also “secondary” support which is the support that helps to fill in all the gaps in the sleeping profile and provides lighter support for the more recessed curves of the spine or areas of the body. Latex also has a high compressions modulus or “support factor” which means that it gets firmer faster with deeper compression than other types of foam so even softer latex layers can be more “supportive” if you compress them to the point where they become firmer and “stop” your heavier areas from sinking in too much. “Too much” or “not enough” is relative to each person. The Puralux (and probably their base layer as well) is also Dunlop latex which has an even higher support factor than Talalay latex. It is also denser than soft Talalay at the same ILD.

Every layer of a mattress interacts with every other layer so the ILD of the top layer alone is only one of the many factors (layer thickness for example is just as important) that provides the support … or more accurately the spinal alignment of a mattress. The “goal” of support is is to make sure that your spine is in good alignment in all your sleeping positions and a mattress that is softer can provide just as good alignment as a firmer mattress depending on how evenly your body weight is distributed, which parts of your body tend to sink in more or less, and the relative surface area, shape, and mass of each part of your body. If you are sinking in evenly in all your sleeping positions then you would be in good alignment and then the overall softness or firmness would be more about how much you are “in” the mattress when your body comes to rest in each position and this would be a matter of personal preference rather than whether you are in good alignment. This would be a softer overall construction than would typically be used for your body type but this doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you. There are also many possible layering combinations that can produce good pressure relief and alignment along with the preferences for most people.

There are only 3 ways to “duplicate” a mattress that are discussed in the first part of post #2 here. Of these … the most likely would be if you were dealing with a manufacturer that had the same materials available in the same layer thicknesses and the same type of quilting and ticking. Other than this … different layers or materials would need to be 'translated" in terms of how close they may be overall to a layering or design that is different.

I would agree with “less noticeable than other materials” but it would still be noticeable IMO. Different people would have different perceptions about whether this was fine or if it was too much. I would definitely suggest trying the combination in person to see whether it would be acceptable to you. This concept would be similar to whether or not someone would feel a mattress that had a split layering (see post #2 here) but to a larger degree. It would depend on the tradeoffs that are most important to you … and possibly on how much you used the center of the mattress either for sleeping or other activities.

This thread mentions Denver Mattress in San Angelo, TX which up until a few days ago carried two mostly latex mattresses that may also act as a reference point if they still have any available.

Post #2 here also has some “possibilities” in the Midland/Odessa area but if may take a few calls to see if any of them carry any all latex mattresses.

Hope this helps … and one day I or someone else may develop a “formula” that will be able to provide specific suggestions for each person that is more accurate than personal testing or the knowledge and experience of a manufacturer that makes specific mattresses (and I know some that are working on it) but it has never been accomplished I doubt that this will happen any time soon :slight_smile:



As always the reply is expansive and appreciated!!

I was able to stay in San Antonio today and went to Optirest and met with the owner Geoff Smith. You had mentioned that you thought the owner was ethical and interested in customer education- rather than salesmanship in a post I searched regarding San Antonio. I certainly found this to be true. He carries the PurelatexBliss line and seems to offer exceptional price points. He observed my initial preferred sleep position - side- on all models, with and without toppers. He also observed other positions including back. The best feeling (to me) and looking ( to him) was the combination of Nature with a 3 inch soft ( 15 ILD) topper. The Beautiful alone put strain on the back and I felt like I was in a poorly supported hammock. The pamper with a 2 inch and even 3 inch topper put my bottom shoulder in a poor position. The mentioned combo SEEMED to even everything out. I’m REALLY top heavy and it just allowed me to even out. He priced 2 twin xl’s with the respective toppers for 3k. These are the blended versions but still nothing I see on the web comes close. He solved the problem of the adjustable beds because if it doesn’t work I just need to order a king topper- some extra expense but manageable- and certainly less than a completely new mattress.

I mention this as a testament to the power of previous posts (finding Optirest); the necessity of direct trial experience; and the value of a reputable dealer.

I realize that several minutes in a showroom cannot replicate a night’s sleep or especially many year’s sleep. Based on 2 samplings though, I am headed for a purchase that I could have never even closely anticipated by purchasing online. There is no way i could have thought that a seemingly plush level of softness would provide perceived/observed support. Food for thought.

I’ll let you know how things turn out if it matters.



Hi Tesasjoe,

Thanks for taking the time to give us your detailed and insightful feedback.

Like you … I am a big fan of “connecting with experts” who will take the time to do things right and help you find your best options. These are what I call “mattress people”. I believe that who you buy from can be just as important as what you buy and are a big part of someones value equation.

Local testing with the help and guidance of an “expert” is always the most effective and “accurate” way to buy a mattress and when you are fortunate enough to have one available locally it can make a big difference and turn mattress shopping from a frustrating “chore” into a great experience.

I’m grateful for your feedback and I think it will help many others in the area. I’d also love to hear about your experience when you’ve had the chance to sleep on your new mattress for a bit.

Congratulations on your new mattress … or at least the mattress it appears that you are about to buy :slight_smile:


Thanks Phoenix.

Well I 'slept on ’ the decision and I am still holding out. My main concern is durability. Again, I can’t say enough about Geoff at Optirest in San Antonio but to be fair I was there a short time. We had an irritable daughter who was going home from spring break vacation in the car so it was a QUICK tour.

I searched pure latex bliss on the site and know that they have consistent and more than adequate materials and that they are owned by LI. There seems to be a concern about the softness and durability on the low ILD talalay, though- and that has been mentioned in almost every thread.

I’m large and that’s may main concern. I now realize that blended latex is a good thing. So would a call to sleep ez to discuss a potentially more durable configuration, based on my size, with potentially a topper if needed be a better way to go? I am going to answer may own question and at least call. It seems that the fairly consistent theme in this process is to drive yourself crazy! : :silly:

Hi Texasjoe,

I think that the concern is “relative” to firmer latex or firmer comfort layers in general. No matter what ILD latex may be it will be more durable than other types of foam but a combination of heavier weights along with thicker layers of low ILD foam (or latex) can indicate caution both in terms of alignment and durability (durability in the sense of loss of comfort and support not in the sense of the breakdown of the material).

The bottom line is that very thick and soft comfort layers are more “risky” in general (in several ways) but at least with latex it’s less risky than the same thickness and softness that uses other materials.

If you are large then I would tend to use real caution with thick and very soft layers in any material including latex. If you do go in this direction though because it’s “exactly” what you want … then either a latex topper or a mattress where latex layers can be replaced means that if the top layer needs replacing that it would be just a layer and not the whole mattress.

I think that it’s always tough to find the balance between not enough information (which is the case with most consumers) and too much information (which can sometimes be the case here). The “shortcut” that can bypass information overload is to talk with good people that have the knowledge and experience with the materials in question so you have the confidence you are getting good information and that you know where in the range of risk you are (very few things have absolute or “black and white” answers). While they may not all agree on every issue … you will have a much better idea of all sides of each issue that may be a concern to you and “educated intuition” and your own informed “gut feel” along with good objective testing will put the “odds” of success very much in your favor.

Hope this helps.


Well this (self imposed) saga came to a culmination this evening as I FINALLY ordered a mattress

When I met with Geoff Smith at Optirest in San Antonio I called him the mattress Yoda. I can’t say enough about his patience and professionalism. I wished I had more time to meet with him and, especially, a longer time to trial his products. Ultimately the downside of ordering through a brick and mortar shop was distance. If there was a satisfaction issue there was no easy avenue for return. The latex bliss is a set mattress and not changeable if there are any comfort/support issues after several months. IF I were in San Antonio the PureLatex Bliss from Optirest would be my choice, though.

However, I live 220 miles away and servicing would be difficult/unrealistic.

Tonight I spoke with Shawn at sleep EZ and he was just as approachable and interactive as most posters say he is. We spoke about Purelatex Bliss Nature with a 3 inch topper; my size; my wife’s size, our respective sleeping positions; my sore shoulders and adjustable beds. He thought that the Latex Bliss with the 15 ILD topper and 19 ILD comfort layer would ultimately be too soft, over time for someone at 240# and that was my main concern.

Sleep EZ offered great versatility. I ordered the 10 inch blended talalay twin xl’s with 2 twin xl 3 inch soft toppers. My twin xl will be xfirm, firm, med; and my wife’s firm, med, soft. We ordered the quilted cover for the mattresses and the four way stretch for the topper for better latex feel close to the body. The soft topper is to comfort and support the shoulder- and it is a given that it will have to be changed in several years at least on my side. It will also help protect the mattress -given my size. If we decide to go with a king unit rather than individual twin xl’s on the adjustable bed we can order a king topper with or without their king cover. We also have the option of switching layers to optimize support/comfort, and we have time, with a return guarantee that is workable. Including the mattress underground discount we also saved over $550.

With all the listed positives the thing still has to feel right and that unfortunately is the unknown variable. It seems, though, that the variables are in our favor and I think that is what Phoenix preaches.

It turns out there were several ‘Mattress Yodas’ that helped guide our ultimate decision. Thanks so much to Phoenix and Shawn! We’ll see how this all turns out. :woohoo:


Hi Texasjoe,

You did some good research, connected with “professionals”, eliminated all the worst options, and ended up choosing between “good and good” based on your circumstances and your own personal value equation. I’d say that’s a very good definition of “success”!

Thanks for all your feedback along the way and most of all … congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

You made a great choice and I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive it.