SleepEZ configuration based on our local experimentation - input wanted! (mattress cover too)

First I must say that finding this site has completely changed my mattress shopping perspective and experience, so thanks for all the work you do. I try to do my homework on any major or minor purchase, but mattress shopping had me a little stumped since personal preference is such a big factor and you can’t just go with what has the best reviews and expect it to work for you.

I’m posting to seek feedback on our purchase decision.

Our specs:

Current Bed: Currently sleeping on 15 year old innerspring mattress from one of the “S” brands that was probably never right for us, even at the start - honestly we didn’t connect poor sleep to the bed at the time because I was pregnant and not sleeping well when we bought it and then we had a colicky baby a few months later so sleep problems went with the territory. At age 30 we felt we preferred a medium firm mattress. Our aging bodies, especially mine, don’t feel that way any more. We’ve also changed sleep positions over the years.

Me: female - mid 40s, 5’6" 155 lbs., mostly side sleeper, occasionally back, mostly when I first get in bed or when I need to shift during the night to relieve pressure. My body is hourglass shaped, with a narrow waist and wider hips and shoulders, which often causes pressure point and support issues. I’m currently having a LOT of pain on the old innerspring mattress - hip soreness every day and often shoulder pain, sometimes severe. I can only sleep on my right side because I am susceptible to a type of vertigo when I sleep on my left side, not sure why, but it means I can’t just flip to my left side when my right side pressure points are causing discomfort. The hip and shoulder pain have gotten bad enough in recent weeks that I end up sleeping in the guest room on an old but much softer mattress. I also have a significant dust mite allergy so an allergy encasing will be a required purchase, and I need to consider how that might affect the feel of the bed (more on that below).

Spouse: male - mid 40s, 6’4", 230 lbs. (weight relatively evenly distributed), mostly side sleeper
For years he has had a LOT of trouble getting a good night’s sleep (falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, tosses and turns a lot). Most likely some of the difficulty is related to the bed, though his mother and brother have very similar sleep issues so it is not clear that a new bed would solve the problem. He often gets mild back pain from sleeping and from just daily life due to his height and sometimes he also gets shoulder or neck pain from sleeping. Despite our mattress being old/worn, he usually sleeps even more poorly when traveling and sleeping on better/newer beds, so I’m nervous about finding something that will work well for him. He is very sensitive to light and sound, though, so that might be the major problem with hotels and guest bedrooms - we keep our bedroom very dark at night, and our neighborhood is quiet. Even after trying dozens of beds, he’s still not confident about what he likes, but seems to prefer a somewhat firmer bed than I do. I don’t think he’s had a truly good night’s sleep in years, unfortunately, so it makes the stakes higher.

So…based on experimentation and on our different stats/preferences, I think we need to buy from a vendor or shop with a good return or bed and/or layer exchange policy and with our different bodies and preferences I think a bed that can be customized to suit both of us will probably be a good choice.

What we’ve tried:

Originally we were looking at memory foam, and I think I might have been happy with that choice, comfort wise, but I sleep hot and given my age I will likely suffer from hot flashes at times during the lifespan of this new bed. My husband wasn’t convinced about memory foam, and he wasn’t sure he could get used to the feeling of sinking in. After stumbling onto this forum, I decided I didn’t want to buy anything until I had at least TRIED a latex mattress since there were so many raves here. I finally found some latex options in Northern Virginia after digging around here in this forum.

Healthy Back Store: They were the closest store with latex and we tried their “Essence” bed and we both decided we really liked the feel of latex—it had the soft but supportive qualities i liked in memory foam and supported my curves, but we didn’t get that sinking in feeling. I understand the bed we tried is made by PLB and similar to their Nature model, and it was pricey, over our current budget (no sale at the time). Up to that point the Essence came the closest to a bed we both could agree on, but I decided to try to locate other latex mattresses in town and save up some money and hope for a good sale if we couldn’t find something else we liked. At the time I was still nervous about the idea of ordering online.

Urban Mattress: We tried all of their latex and felt they were OK but none felt as good as the one at HB (at least as far as we could remember a few weeks later). In retrospect I believe this might be due to the thick quilted wool cover on the mattress. Price was a little better, though. Nice and helpful people, at the store, though.

Savvy Rest: We felt like we learned the most there and we appreciated being able to try various combinations, and that visit confirmed that I prefer a much softer bed than my husband does. My husband’s favorite of the ones we tried was the mixed latex with Firm Dunlop/Medium Dunlop/Soft Talalay, but I don’t think we had him try any firmer combos in either Talalay or Dunlop, which seem to be often recommended for bigger/heavier people (I didn’t know that at the time or would have asked to try that). I’m not sure that I found my perfect bed, but the closest were an all Talalay Firm/Med/Soft, which was not quite soft enough, and a mixed latex Firm Dunlop/Soft Dunlop/Soft Talalay, but I’m not sure if two soft layers would be as durable. Price is high, but we were told they will have a 20% off Black Friday sale on SR products. Again, in retrospect I think the Talalay Firm/Med/Soft might have felt a little firm may have been due to the quilted wool cover.

Pure Latex bliss:
My husband has not tried these yet, but I tried the Pamper (definitely too firm), the Nature (close to the Healthy Back Essence) which was close, but still a little bit too firm for me, and the Beautiful, which felt very dreamy (I almost fell asleep in it) but I’m certain that it will be too soft for my husband and may be a too soft for me in the long run, too, based on the comments Phoenix has made here about that much soft foam in the top layers. Still, I felt like the Beautiful hugged all my curves where I needed it to and I felt no pressure, even though my hip was quite sore from our current bed on the day I tried it. It filled in all the gaps. There is a local dealer that offers a good price on the PLBs, but again, I’m pretty sure sure my husband’s and my preferences will not match.

Where we are now… I think we will probably order from SleepEZ, either the 10" or 13", trying to duplicate what we’ve liked best, though I understand that is inexact. I like their prices, of course, and their refund/exchange policy because I’m still terrified of making a mistake with our choice that we’ll have to live with for years.

Specific SleepEZ questions:

[ul][li]Does anyone know if SleepEZ typically has sales or specials for Black Friday? Not sure if I want to wait, but it may take me that long to make a choice. [/li]
[li]Does SleepEZ allow you to mix Dunlop and Talalay layers? [/li]
[li]If my husband had 2 Dunlop layers and one Talalay and I had 3 Talalay would there be a height difference in the 2 sides?[/li]
[li]I assume I should get the stretchy/thin cover option instead of wool to get something more similar to the feel of the PLB/HB covers?[/li]
[li]Though the 10" model is probably adequate I am considering the 13" model because it would allow more layering options and it might also be good since my husband is a big guy. Is there likely to be a real benefit to doing this? For example, would a firm/medium/medium/soft be worth considering for me to create something that feels a little softer than the standard firm/med/soft? Or xfirm/firm/medium/soft or xfirm/firm/medium/medium or something even firmer for him?[/li]
[li]pillows: If I get the two free pillows from SleepEZ, do you get a choice of pillows? what are the main differences in the natural latex vs. shredded latex? Is the ability to scrunch the pillow into various positions the main advantage to the shredded? What would be best for a side sleeper (my current pillow isn’t working for me)[/li][/ul]

I do plan to call Sleep EZ to ask for personalized advice, but I wanted to post all my questions here first so I can ask better questions and make the most of my conversation with SleepEZ. Based on what they recommend for my husband I will probably send him back to Savvy Rest to try something comparable if they recommend something firmer than he has tried so far.

Mattress protection/encasing: As I said, I have a dust mite allergy that causes rhinitis and mild asthma symptoms. I know latex is less likely to collect dust mites, but I still will need an allergy encasing and will most likely need to purchase a new one because my old bed was not as thick and will not fit a 10" or thicker mattress. After all of our testing I’ve realized that I much prefer the stretchy thin coverings like on the PLB’s to the thicker quilted coverings like Savvy Rest or Urban Mattress had, and I prefer that feeling of being closer to the latex. I assume I should get the thin/stretchy Sleep EZ cover, but when I purchase a new mattress protector, should I try to get one that has an extra couple of inches of room so it doesn’t compress so much e.g. a 12" thick encasing for a 10" mattress, or a 13" for a 12" mattress? Some vendors make them for beds in a variety of thicknesses. My allergist had originally recommended an encasing that zips and completely covers the mattress, so I bought the recommended one (Pristine by Allergy Control Products) that is what I’ve used for years, and it’s nice, but I don’t think it offers waterproof protection and I’m not sure how it would affect the feel of the latex. It’s pretty tight and drum-like on our current mattress. I will pay a premium for the right cover if necessary. I saw a thread where you recommended the Protect-A-Bed Elite for those who want a very thin cover that won’t affect the feel of latex as much, and it does offer some dust mite protection but I am not sure the “fitted sheet” type stretch covers will offer the same level of protection from dust mites that the full zip types will offer. Thoughts? Any other covers to consider?

Thanks for all you do to educate consumers and thanks in advance for any specific advice for us.

Hi anemone,

You’ve clearly done some good research and have some good reference points although the exact ILD’s of all the mattresses you tested may not be available which would also be helpful in “translating” one design into another that is different.

I certainly understand the “fear” of any online choice but in the large majority of cases the first layer combination provides the options that are very close to ideal without needing any layer exchanges but of course it’s nice to know that an exchange is always an option. Of course you also have the return policy as backup so by the end of your first 90 days (when by far the huge majority of people have decided on their final configuration) you still won’t have to live with it if you are one of the very rare instances where no combination seems to work for you.

No … they have their “best price” every day and don’t have sales (at least that I’ve ever seen).

They certainly “allow” it (they will build whatever a customer wants) but they will strongly discourage it because it will have a very different “feel” on each side of the mattress because of the differences between how Dunlop and Talalay feel and respond. It won’t be an issue with layer thickness (all their layers are 3") but with the transition between the two sides. They also don’t recommend that the top layer is split without a quilted cover than can even out the transition between the two sides so a stretch knit cover may not be the best choice with a split top layer and a single top layer would generally work better (with any split layers underneath).

A thicker mattress with more layers can certainly provide more options (and in some cases more complexity) and will also change how the mattress feels and responds because thicker layers or a thicker mattress can be more adaptable to different body types and sleeping positions. There is more about some of the potential benefits of a thicker mattress and more layers in post #14 here and in post #2 here.

As you mentioned … the main difference between shredded latex and solid latex would be that the shredded latex can be “scrunched” more to accommodate different sleeping positions. For people that can sew it can also be opened to change the amount of the fill and then re-sewn if necessary. I don’t know the specifics of the pillows they offer (that would be better to ask them).

There is more about the tradeoffs involved in the different types of mattress protectors in post #89 here.

For most people … a protector is fine but for those that have more severe allergies then a complete encasement would do a better job controlling dust mites (and I would also focus on your pillow which can be a bigger source of dust mite issues than your mattress because it’s closer to your mouth and nose). There is more about controlling dust mites in post #2 here and more about mattress encasements for allergies in post #2 here. I would choose an encasement that was the same thickness or a little larger than the mattress (not thinner) or stretchy enough so the encasement doesn’t compress the mattress and create a “drum effect” or change the feel of the mattress.

There is always a tradeoff between waterproof and ventilation because anything waterproof will reduce the airflow and ventilation of the mattress which can lead to an increase in sleeping temperature for some people. With a cotton or synthetic “allergy” mattress encasement (without q waterproof membrane), many people would choose to use a separate protector on top of it to add the degree of “waterproofing” or “water resistance” they were comfortable with and that could be removed for cleaning but of course the more layers or bedding on top of the mattress the more it can affect the feel of the mattress. All of this is always a matter of tradeoffs between one “benefit” and another.


Hi anemone!

We bought this mattress encasement in king and have decided not to keep it because of the barrier (too hot). We don’t really have severe issues that warrant this type of cover. It seems nice and reasonably priced though. And it’s washable.

I’m open to giving it away, if you like it and need a king~


Thanks for the kind offer, but we’re looking at Queen not King size, and if it’s too hot for you it probably would be too hot for me, too. Thanks anyway.

Hi Phoenix,

The shredded latex pillows from SleepEZ have a zipper - you don’t need to be able to sew to adjust the filling. At least the ones I got in July did. (But look out if you open them - they’re very full, and the latex shreds go everywhere).

Hi eek,

I didn’t realize they had a zipper but that’s great to know :slight_smile:

Thanks for letting us know.


I needed to take a little bit of time to process your post, Phoenix, but thanks for the feedback!

Yeah, I’ve gotten past the fear of buying online now, especially since the worst case scenario is being out about a $100 to ship it back, and if we bought locally and didn’t like it, we’d still have an exchange/redelivery fee and a much more limited selection to pick from if we didn’t like our original choice. The big savings of buying a latex mattress online vs. locally also mitigate that risk. We have to buy something soon given how bad our current mattress situation is. I’m just trying to (hopefully) get it right the first time, or close enough that only fine tuning is required.

This is good to know. I strongly prefer Talalay but a standard firm/med/soft configuration in Talalay seems to be too soft for my husband (at least, that was his opinion of Savvy Rests firm/med/soft Talalay), though, so he may just need a firmer setup. I’ve read here that the vast majority of people do fine with a standard firm/med/soft 3 layer setup, but at what size/weight threshold is it usually recommended to step up to something firmer than a standard configuration?

I hadn’t thought about a thin cover being a problem with a split mattress, but it makes sense, so that’s something I’ll have to think about if we decide my husband needs something other than soft in the top layer.

You’re right about the complexity issue. Since my husband, in particular, isn’t really confident about WHAT he wants or even what feels good to him, the complexity of figuring out WHY a configuration isn’t quite right and how it might be improved could be a problem. I’ll have to see what SleepEZ thinks. Helpful links, too. Based on our testing it appears that I prefer something a little softer than average and he prefers or needs something a little firmer than average. The good news is that pretty much anything will be a vast improvement over what we have now.

I can sew, so that’s good to know, though if there is a zipper, even better. My husband, especially, is sensitive to the amount of fluff in a pillow. I’ll definitely ask about pillows.

Every pillow in my house has a dust-mite proof encasing, so that’s covered. I agree it’s important. I guess there is probably no ideal cover for me. I probably can’t get full dust mite protection AND a thin stretchy cover AND something waterproof. The dust mite protection is the most important, since that’s health related and I can’t sleep if I’m coughing and wheezing anyway, so I’ll start by prioritizing that one. We don’t have a waterproof covering on our bed now and we don’t have pets or small children… I assume that the need for a waterproof cover would mostly be to protect the warranty if we went that route?

Hi anemone,

There are many possible variables here and outside of personal testing that you use as a reference point I would make the choice based on more detailed conversations with the manufacturer who has more experience with their mattresses than anyone else. There wouldn’t be a specific threshold or “formula” because it would depend on the specifics of each situation.

Based on the post here … the SleepEz shredded latex pillows have a zipper (which I didn’t realize).

You can get dust mite protection, a thin stretchy cover, and waterproof in a membrane type encasement. The tradeoff is that it’s less breathable and may affect sleeping temperature. I think the issue of waterproof (such as the membrane types) vs water resistant (such as the wool types) vs moisture absorbing (such as the stretch cotton types) is really a matter of personal preference based on each person’s knowledge of their own circumstances and habits and the likelihood of “accidents” that reach the mattress (from eating or drinking in bed, sickness, or other types of accidents).


Hi Anemone,

Could you provide your review on your bed up to this date? I live in NoVA and am embarking on a similar search and wanted to know your thoughts on SleepEZ. So far the F dunlop/ M dunlop/ S talalay at Savvy rest is the best for me.


Hi doshspy!

It took us a while to get around to actually ordering our bed, primarily because I couldn’t decide whether or not to keep our current bed frame and order the SleepEZ foundation or to purchase a new platform bed to go with the mattress. We ended up keeping our old bed frame/headboard/footboard.

We’ve had the bed for about a week and a half now, and I absolutely love it. No more sore hip and shoulder. My husband is still getting used to it (was out of town plus he has had some unrelated insomnia issues lately) but he thinks he likes it. We got an all Talalay 10" model with the configuration Sean recommended for us. Due to the split configuration we stuck with all Talalay.

my side: Soft/Medium/Firm
his side: Medium/Firm/XFirm
cover: standard quilted
+SleepEZ foundation
+free pillows (I ordered one shredded and one solid latex)

I had been a little concerned about 2 things: First I was afraid that this configuration might not quite be soft enough for me since I liked the PLB Beautiful and since the Savvy Rest SMF didn’t seem quite soft enough. However, I think SleepEZ’s SMF is actually perfect for me and I wouldn’t want it any softer. It’s been a while since I tried Savvy Rest but I think it feels similar but a little bit softer than their Soft/Medium/Firm Talalay combo, perhaps due to differences in the cover or layer ILD, I’m not sure. It’s pretty similar in feel to the Pure Latex Bliss Nature and the Healthy Back Store Essence, both of which have a thinner stretch cover. I also had been concerned that SleepEZ’s quilted cover would be a little thick and that I wouldn’t get the same feel of being close to the latex like I did with the HB/PLB model. I still got the quilted cover because we got a split configuration. I don’t feel like the quilted cover takes much away from the latex feel at all, which is good.

I was very impressed with the packaging, the quality of the zippered mattress cover, the labeling, etc. The hardest thing about assembly was getting the foundation cover on the foundation because it’s a tight fit. The only other issue I had was UPS had weather trouble during the polar vortex while my boxes were en route and delivery was delayed a couple days, but that’s not anyone’s fault. I like the shredded pillow, though I plan to unzip it and take out a bit of the latex to make it a bit less plump. My husband likes the solid latex pillow. He prefers a thinner pillow.

I see that your preferred Savvy Rest combo is the same as the one my husband liked. I’ll have to come back and update once he has a chance to spend more time sleeping on the bed. My teenage son loves my side of the bed and wants a bed just like it. His current mattress is not in good shape, so that may be our next purchase.

My new dust mite proof mattress encasing came yesterday but I haven’t put it on yet. I went with a 12" cotton Allersoft cover since 9" would be too tight.

We are pleased with our purchase and think we made a good choice. I hope that’s helpful!

Hi anemone,

Thanks for taking the time to share such a detailed update … I appreciate it :slight_smile: