Side by Side Layering Versus Solid Latex Layer

Has anyone had the chance to try both laying on a side by side layering versus a solid latex layer? I have only tried the latter, which worked well for me but the wife would prefer a different firmness on her side. I was wondering if the seam in the middle from the layers would cause any sink in feeling or separation if laying in the middle of the bed (like a sandwich cut in half), and thus would be better to go with a solid layer.

I like the options with layering that SleepEz provides both in terms of side by side and 3 stacked layers but so far have only experienced a 6", 2" combination in a local retailer. Would hate to find out that less is more and having too many options is actually a bad thing.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Rob G,

There are probably two directions you could go to answer this. One of course is any individual experiences that others have had. Talking to manufacturers such as SleepEz and others though who actually make mattresses with split layering will probably be the best source of the whole range of opinions that many different people would have about split layering. Their focus is much more on informing people than it is “selling” people so they would have a large “database” of feedback all along the spectrum of opinion and individual “reactions” to split layering and what they tell you can be trusted and would give you a much wider range of responses and possibilities that may affect you.

While I don’t have lots of personal experience with the many different possible types of split layering … I do have lots of feedback from different people and manufacturers so I can give you some of the variables that will help to account for the wide range of different opinions people have about this so you can see where in the range you may fit.

If the layering on each side is the same and there is a suitable quilted cover … most people would not feel the split in even the top layer or be able to tell the difference between a split layer and a solid layer unless they were unusually sensitive and sleeping in the exact right position to make it the most obvious (right on the edge of their side) and/or the cover was a type that didn’t “even out” the split as well. In practical terms it would not be an issue for most people with an appropriate tight fitting quilted cover. Latex is so “squishy” and “sticky” that the actual split in the layers inside a suitable good quality tight quilted cover won’t be felt and also wouldn’t be an issue with shifting or durability.

The bigger the difference between the sides though … the more noticeable the transition area in the middle will be not so much because of the split itself but because of the difference in firmness levels. Of course this also depends on where on the mattress each person sleeps.

The quilting/ticking will also make a difference. More stretchy covers that are unquilted will allow someone to feel more of the foam underneath than a quilted cover which will “even out” the split layer. The quilting and type of cover used will even out the differences or at least make the transition between them more gradual. With a thin stretchy unquilted cover it would be a good idea to have an unsplit layer of latex on the top.

A layer of solid latex on top will also make a difference and of course the thicker this layer is the more it will moderate the feeling of the different firmness levels of each side below it. Some manufacturers will use an inch or two of foam for this purpose while a comfort layer that is unsplit and several inches thick would moderate any differences or the transition between the split layers even more. In other words a split construction can be used to provide different levels of “comfort/pressure relief” in the top layers, different levels of “support alignment” in the deeper layers, or a combination of both depending on the design and the individual preferences of each couple.

Where and how a couple sleeps can also make a difference and different people are also more or less sensitive to any variance between the sides. I do know from my own personal experience though that some people sleep sprawled all over a mattress while some tend to stay in “their own” narrow area that is “left over” :). Couples who sleep “cuddled” very close together in the middle of the mattress would probably notice a bigger difference in the transition area than those who sleep more on their own side.

For a minority of people and depending on weight and sleeping positions … the “edge effect” of foam layers can result in the split layers feeling a little softer in the middle of the mattress if you are in higher weight ranges relative to the firmness of your layers or if a couple sleeps in a “spoon” position very close together right in the middle of the mattress and there are also a few people have mentioned that in these cases they can experience “roll together” in the middle of the mattress.

Overall … a side to side split can have significant benefits for some couples that have different needs and preferences because each side of the mattress can have a different design and firmness level but with all things “mattresses” it also has a tradeoff and each person may choose what is best for them in different ways and with different preferences.

In practical terms though … and based on the large majority of feedback I’ve had from manufacturers and consumers … most people who choose split layers that are not “radically different” from each other would likely tell you that it was well worth it and any slight difference between sides was not an issue and that they don’t feel the actual split at all with an appropriate tight fitting cover that is designed for it.

Hope this helps



Thanks for the well written, informative response. After discovering this site and delving through the wealth of information, I feel like the 1 inch quilted wool has been removed from my eyes. I almost haphazardly jumped into impulse buying an iComfort until I tested a second one that was the same model but was on the showroom floor for over 6 months and it had a completely different feel and lost its firmness. Hence, with the internet and google, I found this site and it’s been 3 weeks of research and discovering the wonderful latex options (and reading all about the iComforts).

Now I’m at the 90% point and flip flopping on pulling the trigger between the RMM 6" Natural Dunlop + 2" Natural Talalay or doing a 3" + 3" + 2" SleepEz side split. I tested a few 100% Natural Talalay options in a local NYC retailer ( and did like the 6" + 2" medium and the 6"+ 2" medium + 2" soft but found the 6" + 3" soft + 2" medium to have too much of a sunk in feeling without enough support. The nyc place did not list their ILDs and their prices are more than my budget. My wife and I (both side & back alt sleepers) do like a firm feel so now I’m at a crossroads of whether to get blended Talalay all the way through with SleepEz (xfirm, firm, medium) since it will be close to what I tested on one side and a Dunlop, Dunlop, Talalay (firm, medium, soft) one the other side. If I like the firmer Dunlop feel, then would make sense to go with RMM as I would save $200 but too late at that point.

What makes me second guess the blended Talalay is reading how some people find it too soft and what makes me second guess the Dunlop is that I read that Talalay has about 5-10% better longevity/durability. I think I will go with SleepEz as it’s the safer bet due to the layer swapping even I though I will feel silly if I end up with the Dunlop, Dunlop, Talalay combination. I’ll call them later and see what they recommend.

Also, have you heard any opinions on the latest model parklane whister (Explore Our Portland Mattress Stores | BedMart) 100% natural talalay mattress. Seems relatively low in price for 10" compared to what I’ve seen in 100% natural talalay mattresses out there and was wondering why.
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Hi Rob G.

Since you are mentioning Healthy Choice … it may also be worth paying a visit to dixiefoam who are very close by.

I personally believe that blended Talalay and 100% natrual Dunlop would be very equivalent in terms of durability and that the variables of use and firmness and in the design of the mattress would probably make a bigger difference in durability than the different materials themselves. Both are very durable. While Talalay in the same firmness will feel a little softer because Dunlop has a higher compression modulus (gets firmer faster), it is also available in different firmness levels and has a wider range of firmnesses than Dunlop. A softness level that is too soft for a particular person or use would generally be an indication of ILD choice rather than the material itself. Talalay can be made in ultra firm all the way down to ultra soft.

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I don’t have any specific feedback on this mattress but I do know that Parklane has very good prices for their latex mattresses. When I bought my last mattress … I actually made the trip to visit them because I wanted to test their latex mattresses out myself because they had some of the best prices in the country. At that time they carried a 9" Talalay latex mattress called the Sawgrass for under $1000 in queen. The one I tried had a Visil fire barrier instead of the more expensive wool (although they did have a compressed wool version as well but they didn’t usually have it on the showroom floor). There are many reasons why a particular manufacturer sells their mattresses at specific prices which includes the components (not just the latex) and their business model as well but regardless of the reasons … their prices are very good which is part of the reason I invited them to be members here. The shipping on the other hand can be very expensive because it can’t be shipped in layers.

You’re in a good place when you are choosing between “good” and “good” and while I know how difficult final details can be, it’s a lot better than the alternative types of choices that most people end up making :slight_smile:


My partner and I are facing the same dilemma. She is a back sleeper and I am a side sleeper. My “plan” is a simple configuration of a 6" latex core (34 ILD) with a 3" latex comfort layer encased in a bamboo and wool quilted mattress cover with a cotton and wool quilted mattress protector on top. The queen-sized mattress will sit on a solid wood base. I would prefer a soft comfort layer (20 ILD) but she would prefer something firmer (30 ILD). We tend to sleep close to each other so I am concerned that over time with a split comfort layer we would end up with a depression down the centre of the bed.

Would it be beneficial or even possible to glue the two halves together to ease the transition? Has anyone tried this?


Great site BTW! Highly informative.

Hi bryan_p,

Latex is the most durable of all the foam materials and will impress less than other types of foam materials over time and a split in the layer doesn’t change the durability of the latex. Any impressions are also much more likely under the areas where body weight is more concentrated on each side of the mattress rather than in the very center of the mattress (which is why you will sometimes see humps in the middle of a mattress if each side develops impressions).

Even if for some reason you were to develop impressions in the middle of the mattress (which is very unlikely) then you could also flip the split layers so that the outside edges were in the middle.

If you were to glue the split layers together you would lose the ability to replace each half of the split layer if you need to or to flip the halves and it wouldn’t change the transition from the firmer half to the softer half anyway.


[quote=“Phoenix” post=53798]Hi bryan_p,

If you were to glue the split layers together you would lose the ability to replace each half of the split layer if you need to or to flip the halves and it wouldn’t change the transition from the firmer half to the softer half anyway.


With all due respect, I disagree with your last statement. If you put a heavy weight on the edge of a piece of foam it will sink deeper than if it was in the centre since the edges do not have adjacent cells to provide support. My only experience, though, is with polyfoam so this may not apply to the same extent with latex. I suppose this is all moot since the tight fitting quilted cover will tend to distribute a compression force evenly across the transition.

I do agree that losing the ability to periodically flip the halves or to change the firmness of each half is an important consideration. I guess I shouldn’t worry about it and just “trust the latex”.


Hi bryan_p,

The “edge effect” you are referring to is certainly real and as you mentioned is the reason that split layers need a tight fitting quilted cover to work effectively to offset the effect. You can also use a thin layer of latex on top of split layers to accomplish the same thing. Latex is also “sticky” and adheres to other latex layers unlike polyfoam. All of this together is the reason that thousands of people have used split latex layers successfully over a period of many years without having the issues you are concerned about.

If you ever decided that you would benefit from gluing the layers together though then it’s certainly not difficult to do.