replacing cotton futon setup

Need Help! I have been reading this forum for at least a year trying to figure out what would be a similar feel in terms of replacing a cotton futon with poly “cloud” topper that is well used(28 years). We really want to go organic/no chemicals as the cloud was so comfy but I am sure full of petrochemicals. We have been testing natural latex mattress and topper for 4 nights with no sleep. This seems too firm and does not give at all or feel as though we are in the bed-only on it. The salesman said it was the softest ILD topper Michigan Mattress makes but firmest lower mattress(trying to mimick our current bed. IT DID NOT. We are lost, do not know what our next option is as Northern Michigan does not have many options in the natural/organic mattress category. Our original futon came from Ann Arbor but even there futons without fake foam are tough to find. Other than risky online ordering do you have any ideas for us? We now know trying a mattress is so important. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi jackback,

The only thing I know that would “feel” like a cotton futon would be another cotton futon.

I don’t know the details of your poly “cloud” topper so without more information it would be very difficult to approximate it. Do you have any more information about it (thickness, foam density, ILD/IFD etc)?

When you are trying to duplicate another material it will usually involve some trial and error because “feel” is so subjective and individual. From the sounds of it the latex topper is softer than your old topper or it could be a different thickness as well. If you are using the softest latex and you are more “in” the topper than you prefer then you may need firmer latex or a thinner topper.

If you are using a latex base layer then it will also “feel” different from a cotton futon which has very little give at all … especially when it has compressed.

Trying to “duplicate” a mattress or sleeping system using different materials is a serious challenge and would take a lot of trial and error based on your own subjective perceptions.

If I was in your shoes I would look for a mattress locally that had the feel and performance you were looking for in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and once you know the specifics of what is in it then you could either purchase that exact mattress or you would be in a better position to approximate it online using the materials and design that was as close as possible.

There are a few sources of futon mattresses in post #2 here and some of these may carry cotton futons and then all you would have to do is figure out how to approximate the topper.

I’m not sure where you are in Northern Michigan but post #3 here has some of the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the NW Michigan / Traverse City area.


Thanks for the info Phoenix.
We are currently testing the latex mattress from TC Bedrooms and thus the 4 nites of poor sleep and pinched nerve in my arm. It was supposedly the firmest ILD mattress with the softest ILD topper but that topper does not give us anything similar to our old polyfill cloud. As it is 28 years old, I have no info on it but now it is aprox. 3inches thick but I’m sure it was at least 5 or 6 when new and was tied in various areas-somewhat like tufting but crude. It seems to me it is like poyfill batting/fluff not a foam . Would a wool topper come at all close to this? We will continue with TC bedrooms perhaps with a medium ILD mattress and put our old topper on to test the feel. Believe me, if there were more organic options in Traverse City we would try them. My feeling is that the feel of latex is too “springy” for those of us who are use to a cotton futon as you have alluded to. Will also try Green Island here in TC but other than that are there any options in Ann Arbor or surrounding area that would carry organic cotton or wool futons? as we visit there often. I have seen online a company called Down To Earth Home that seems to carry White Lotus mattresses and they say they are in Farmington Hills which at least we could feel a mattress but I cannot get ahold of anyone to make sure they exist. (never a good sign). Thanks again

Hi jackback,

It probably is their firmest ILD with the softest topper they have available but it’s not surprising at all that it feels very different to you because they are very different materials and combinations and different combinations of materials often don’t “translate” into another material or combination. I would focus on your own personal testing when you are considering any material that you haven’t tried in person because “theory at a distance” may not be particularly accurate because firmness and softness and how any material “feels” is very subjective and individual and in the end only your own experience can really know how any combination will feel with any certainty.

It sounds to me as well like your topper may have fibers inside (polyester or wool etc) rather than polyfoam as well. Without knowing what is inside it though the only way to get any sense of how a different topper may feel even on the same base mattress (your futon) would be your own personal experience and on a different mattress completely the variables become even more difficult to predict except in the most general sense (which is what they did because they at least recognized that you had some type of soft material over a very firm sleeping system).

I would agree with this that no latex will have a similar “feel” to a cotton futon even if they were both a similar firmness because of the natural resilience of latex. If you were to buy a cotton futon even online though it would likely be quite similar to your futon when it was new.

I haven’t searched the area for futons but the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Ann Arbor area are included in post #3 here and at least one of them appears to carry futons.

A quick google search of “futon, Ann Arbor, MI” turned up a couple of other futon possibilities that may be worth calling and there may be more further into the search results.