Question on foam core in a latex hybrid

I recently got off the phone with Brooklynbedding. The salesperson mentioned that their 2.17 lb support foam in the Bamboo Bliss is much firmer than the 1.5lb foam in the Cotton Camille, or the beds they sell on Amazon. Something about compressing 0.5" vs 1.5" when you put your body weight on it.

That got me wonder, what was the point of having a big 8" chunk of foam if it is going to only compress that little? And then I was worried if it would create the sensation that you only get 3" (+ quilting) worth of “suspension travel” from the top latex layer before you hit something hard.

BTW, I am only 150 lbs, so I am not really worried about crushing thru the top 3" layer, but I imagine that one of the things that makes an all-latex mattress nicer was that you can continue to have compression beyond the first few inches. Would the cheaper 1.5 foam actually feel closer to all latex?

Hi beanbag,

The thickness of a foam layer has as much effect on how it compresses as the firmness or softness (ILD) of the layer as well as some of the other foam specs including compression modulus and point elasticity. All the layers of a mattress and all the parts of each layer compress simultaneously and not independently of each other. Each layer and each part of a layer will compress proportionately and not just sequentially. Foam gets firmer as you sink into it more deeply depending on the type and thickness of the foam and on some of its other properties or specs and thicker layers get firmer more slowly and have a greater range of compression from softer to firmer before they bottom out (can’t go any firmer) than thinner layers. You can read more here about the effect of thicker layers in post #14 here and there is also more information in post #4 here about some of the different foam specs that affect the perception of softness, how deeply you sink into a mattress, and how a mattress will feel and perform under different body types. All of this is part of the art and science of mattress construction. If you used a 2" polyfoam base layer under memory foam of the same firmness as an 8" layer of the same material it would be much less adaptive and feel much firmer even if the memory foam layers are the same.

No … some higher density polyfoam called HR polyfoam (which is in the range of 2.5 lbs and higher, has a compression modulus of 2.4 or higher, and has about 60% resiliency or higher) will have some of the feel and response of latex but density is mostly about the relative durability of a foam and any density of polyfoam can be made in a wide range of firmness levels from very soft to very firm.

While polyfoam is also a fast response material like latex … they are quite different in how they feel and perform. There is more in post #2 here about some of the differences between a latex hybrid and an all latex mattress.


Thanks for this post. I was in the market for a Latex mattress as well and I decided to pay a little more and get the higher quality bamboo line.

Hi stong2,

Congratulations on your new mattress … you certainly made good quality / value choice and I would also lean towards higher quality materials whenever your budget makes it possible :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive it.



Well, the difference in price btw the Bamboo bliss and Cotton Camille is $300. The main difference is the support core foam and cover material. Will a relatively light person like myself even notice the difference in support foam? And if I am going to put a mattress cover on anyway, will there still be a noticeable difference between the 1" foam vs 1" foam +wool?

Hi beanbag,

You would probably notice a difference in feel if you were to lie on them side by side because of the difference in the firmness or response of the two different types of foam but if you are in a lighter weight range you probably wouldn’t notice much difference in terms of durability or longevity.

The difference in the covers would be more significant both in terms of the different quilting materials and because of the temperature regulating properties of the wool. The Bamboo Bliss also has more firmness choices for the latex than the Cotton Camille so it can be customized to your needs and preferences a little more closely.


Thanks for the explanation regarding foam compression.

What would be your estimation of the compression of just the 2.17 lb PU foam layer by itself if I put a 3" latex slab on top and then lay on it? The BB guy made it sound like that layer compresses a total of 1/2". That’s seems really small.

My current bed, although a bit on the soft side, will compress maybe 5" or more if I put my palms on the bed and really lean on it. I think I kind of like it this way because it seems to take pressure off my shoulder when I sleep on my side. Maybe a latex-on-top-of-springs would be better for me?

Hi beanbag,

The softness/firmness of a foam is rated by the amount of force it takes to compress a 50 sq inch compressor foot into a 4" foam layer that is 20" x 20" by 25% of its thickness. Any density of foam can be make in a very wide range of firmness levels.

How much a support foam compresses would depend on the specific materials that were above it, on some of the other foam specs such as compression modulus, and it would also vary depending on the weight concentration in different areas of your body and on variations in your sleeping positions that changed the surface area of each part of your body that was in contact with the mattress. It probably wouldn’t be particularly relevant anyway. These types of questions would take a lab to measure with any kind of accuracy.

I personally would have no idea how much any particular area of your body would compress the support core underneath any particular comfort layer it but if you call them they could probably tell you the ILD of the foam although that may not be particularly meaningful to you either unless you have specific reference points and experience with different mattress constructions.

The choice of materials and components in a mattress is really a matter of preference rather than a “better / worse” choice because all components (including foam and innersprings) come in a range of softness and firmness levels and have other specifications that can have a significant effect how they feel and perform.

You may be trying to analyze something that is much more complex than you suspect and may not be the best reference point for a mattress choice anyway.


Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Hello this is my first time on your site but boy would I have loved to have found this about 6 months ago! Still luckily it’s not too late as we are yet to purchase our new mattress! Great info on here, thank you!

I live in Quebec and was about to purchase a Sealy Optimum Aster but was worried about the durability of a foam mattress. Our bed for the last 14years was a reasonably priced firm pocket coil but it has eventually started to suffer from some indentations and has no real comfort layer so I have been suffering from some pressure point problems.

Anyway I was all set to buy the Aster when a friend of ours recommended a local manufacturer, Matelas Prestige. We have been to visit them and we are really impressed with their approach.

Basically they are mainly producing poly core mattresses and they suggest 2.2 lbs per foot for standard weights like my husband & I (175 & 120lbs respectively) with the possibility of paying more for 2.6lbs for those who are a bit heavier. Each core is available in 4 firmness levels. Then they basically have a whole panoply of comfort layers with different combinations possible.

But what we really thought was great is that their mattresses come in a zippered enclosure and their core is divided into 3 sections. The idea behind this being that if you ever get some kind of sagging in the middle section where most of your weight is concentrated you can swap this out to one of the ends. Also if one of the comfort layers becomes compressed and no longer functions they are happy for you to remove it, pay a small fee to purchase another and replace it. Of course they still offer a guarantee comparable to big manufacturers (1.5 ") but from what I have gleaned from forums like this is that only really protects you from major defects, not normal usage.

I am attracted by this approach because we can see exactly what’s in the mattress and have some control about keeping up it’s condition.

I am posting here because we are pretty much settled on getting the 6.5" 2.2 poly core with a 3" 4lb latex layer and a 2.5" “egg-carton” (sorry don’t know the proper terminology) 2.6 poly foam topper with a bamboo cover. The "egg-carton topper is a sculpted foam and is their standard foam to play and is extremely comfortable. We really liked the combination of the latex and this sculpted foam layer. It seemed cool, comfortable enough for pressure points but firm enough to satisfy us, a feeling I didn’t get so much with some of the models we tried with memory foam comfort layers. I am afraid I don’t know what type of latex, after reading your site I will definitely ask them.

I have 2 questions for you before I go ahead and purchase it. Firstly what to you think about the spec of the mattress and the idea of swapping the core sections? Do you think this is a useful feature?

Secondly we are hesitating between a firm or a semi-firm core. As I said, we like firm mattresses but as we get older perhaps a little less so and we found that the latex made the mattress feel a bit firmer, so we were tempted by the semi-firm in the shop. However I don’t know how much softening we should expect with this hybrid mattress. What do you think?

Thanks again for such a great site.

Hi Quirkybec,

I’m glad you found us :).

I switched your post to a new thread so it’s easier to keep track of each person’s questions.

Just in case you haven’t read it yet … the first place to start your research is the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices.

There are avery wide range of foam mattresses and their durability would depend on the type and quality of the foam that was inside the mattress. Latex for example is one of the most durable materials in the industry and high density polyfoam is also a very durable material. If you have a mattress that uses lower quality foam in the upper layers then durability can be a significant issue because the comfort layers of a mattress are generally the weak link of a mattress (innerspring or otherwise) and lower quality polyfoam is one of the most common materials used in the comfort layers of many mainstream mattresses and these will soften and break down much faster than higher quality materials. The loss of comfort or support that comes from this isn’t generally covered by any warranty unless you are one of the few that has visible impressions in your mattress (when you are off the mattress) that are deeper than the warranty exclusion.

A mattress is only as good as its construction and the materials inside it so to assess a mattress you need to know the specifics of all the layers. This is especially important in the case of the upper layers which are the most important part of durability and the useful life of a mattress. It’s always great to see a manufacturer that provides all this information to their customers.

From the bottom up …

2.2 lb polyfoam in the base layer is a good quality material

Latex in any version is also a high quality material although as you mentioned I would want to know the type and blend of the latex (either Dunlop or Talalay and whether it is 100% natural or blended).

2.6 lb polyfoam is also a very high quality material (most likely HR grade) and has many “latex like” properties.

Bamboo is also a very popular cover material and has a great “feel”

Overall there are no obvious weak links in the mattress and all the materials are good quality durable materials that I wouldn’t hesitate to use in a high quality mattress.

There are an increasing number of manufacturers that use individual layers inside a zip cover and this provides some great options to easily make changes or fine tune the mattress after a purchase in terms of PPP which I think is a valuable feature. It also allows you to re-arrange or replace individual layers (or in this case sections) down the road if your needs or preferences change or if one layer of your mattress softens or degrades before the others so you don’t have to replace the entire mattress. I think it’s a very useful design with many benefits.

Your own careful and objective testing for PPP using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post and the guidance of the salesperson you are dealing with would be the best way to answer this because I can’t feel what you feel or see you on the mattress. I would keep in mind to test and assess pressure relief (mainly from the upper layers) and support/alignment (which comes mostly from the deeper layers and secondarily from the thickness and softness of the upper layers) separately and not just to test a mattress based on more subjective perceptions of “comfort”. It two options are very close and both are very similar in terms of PPP then I would generally choose one that was slightly firmer so that when it softens you will still be “inside the range” that works best for you. These are all high quality and durable materials so once you are past the initial break in period (of about 90 days or less) then foam softening will be very slow and gradual.


Thank you vey much for your reply. We have experimented with foam mattress toppers in the past so I am conscious of pressure relief versus too much compression leading to spinal misalignment. The showroom of the manufacturer is very well set up with all sorts of comfort layer combinations and both my husband and I were happiest with the one I described. The difference between firm and semi-firm was slight but we definitely preferred the semi-firm. However being firm mattress afficionados it would probably be better to go with the firm. I think the manufacturer gives you 30 days to exchange if if ever we would want to change.

Thank you for your excellent advice, I thoroughly beliebe in the service you are providing. I am sure we will be pleased with our new mattress and I will encourage all our friends an colleagues to rethink their approach to big box names in the future.

Hi Quirkybec,

Thanks for the kind words … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

You did some good research and made a good quality choice which is the most important goal of the site. I hope you have the chance to let us know your feedback when you’ve had the chance to sleep on it.


Hello again,

I tried out a few latex mattresses locally, and think I have a few preferences.

  1. I like the very top layer of the mattress to feel a tiny bit damped and not springy or bouncy. It seems that a cover that is stuffed with wool (only) helps with this. (I liked the surface feel of all the wool beds.) Would I notice a difference between Talalay and Dunlop latex in this regard also?

  2. Even though I don’t think I will blow thru a 3" latex layer while sleeping, I did notice on all the 3" latex beds I tried that if I sit up or move around or bounce around that I can feel the transition to the next layer below, and it bothers me a bit. Part of it I am sure is psychological, like “you paid this much and only got 3” of latex?!?!"

I asked regarding the firmness of the support core in a Bamboo Bliss, and was told it was approx equivalent to 38 ILD Dunlop. Wouldn’t that be a big jump in stiffness if I got the 24 ILD layer above it? Again, I was told that for somebody of my weight I wouldn’t notice while sleeping, but would notice if I sat or bounced around on purpose.

The next bed up from Brooklyn is the Aloe bed, except I think there are two main faults:
a) not much wool and foam instead in the cover layer
b) the bed is too dang tall at 14"

For reference, the best mattress I have tried so far is an Organicpedic Lago Nouveau, which has a top layer approx 3" latex on top of a 6" core of latex. And wool in the cover. But it costs too much.

Do you have any other suggestions (like I am theorizing too much?) or other beds to look at? The closest / cheapest I found was something like SleepEz, where to a certain extent you can customize a bed. They have a default bed with wool cover, 3+3" of latex, and then I suppose I can ask them to add a layer of PU foam under on purpose. Or maybe to save a few bucks, get a bed with 3+2" worth of latex? I have no idea as to the quality of their PU foam, but I imagine that the more latex I have, the less the PU foam matters.

Speaking of PU foam, do you know anything about’s Everflex foam? They have one that is 2.8lbs /ft3, ILD 40. I figure I could use a few inches of that as the bottom layer.

Thanks again for your insights.

Hi beanbag,

Most people would notice a difference yes because Dunlop is less resilient or “springy” than Talalay (see post #7 here).

[quote]2. Even though I don’t think I will blow thru a 3" latex layer while sleeping, I did notice on all the 3" latex beds I tried that if I sit up or move around or bounce around that I can feel the transition to the next layer below, and it bothers me a bit. Part of it I am sure is psychological, like “you paid this much and only got 3” of latex?!?!"

I asked regarding the firmness of the support core in a Bamboo Bliss, and was told it was approx equivalent to 38 ILD Dunlop. Wouldn’t that be a big jump in stiffness if I got the 24 ILD layer above it? Again, I was told that for somebody of my weight I wouldn’t notice while sleeping, but would notice if I sat or bounced around on purpose.[/quote]

What you feel when you are sitting is much different from what you feel when you are lying down because the weight distribution is different and much more concentrated when sitting but slight bouncing when you are lying down is one of the parts of mattress testing that I would suggest because it can help you identify the “feel” of the transition between layers. It would depend on the relative firmness of the polyfoam and the latex. Latex gets firmer as you compress it (like all foam materials) and all the layers compress together to different degrees not sequentially so when the top layer is compressed more than 25% it is firmer than it’s ILD would indicate (ILD is usually tested at 25% compression) and when the layer below is compressed less than 25% then it’s softer than the ILD would indicate so the two layers interact in “real time” with different degrees of compression rather than one after the other. You could have the same feeling of transition if the differential between a latex core and a comfort layer were more than someone was comfortable with. In iother words this is relative to the body type and sleeping positions and weight distribution of each person.

[quote]The next bed up from Brooklyn is the Aloe bed, except I think there are two main faults:
a) not much wool and foam instead in the cover layer
b) the bed is too dang tall at 14"

For reference, the best mattress I have tried so far is an Organicpedic Lago Nouveau, which has a top layer approx 3" latex on top of a 6" core of latex. And wool in the cover. But it costs too much.[/quote]

This is not so much a fault or even a benefit but a personal preference. Some people like the surface “feel” of more wool while others would like the feel of polyfoam in the quilting layers and others yet may like a quilting layer of memory foam. Polyfoam also has a lower resilience than latex but more than wool. These are all preference issues.

Height is also a preference issue and in most cases it’s a side effect of the design goals, materials, and “feel” that was designed into the mattress.

If you have a specific preference for a certain material then I would call that a real preference rather than theory but if you are speculating about something that you don’t have personal experience with then theory can often somewhat misleading without a reference point based on actual experience. SleepEz doesn’t offer polyfoam in their mattresses to my knowledge, only latex layers (or memory foam for those that prefer it in the top layer) but they do have a mattress that has a 3" + 3" + 2" construction (the SleepEz 9000). They also have mattresses that uses only two 3" layers but this would be firmer and less adaptive than the same two layers on top of a third layer of latex. They only mattresses they currently offer with polyfoam are only available locally. You can read more about the differences between an all latex mattress and a latex/polyfoam hybid in post #2 here. The tutorial post also has a link to the members here that sell mattresses (including latex) online and there is a wide range of options in terms of design and options for customizing a mattress. In many cases local manufacturers can also customize the design of their mattresses (within certain limits).

2.8 lb polyfoam is a very high quality polyfoam regardless of which foam manufacturer pours the foam. it’s a very good quality material although it’s still not the “equivalent” of latex in terms of feel or performance … or durability … but in a bottom support layer neither one would be a weak link in a mattress.