Sleeping Organic bed help

Hi Phoenix,

Need help with new SO bed I’ve had almost 100 days. 68 yo F 5’7" 126 lbs. Shoulders, back, ribs, are thin. Hips maybe slightly wider. Back/side sleeper.

I tried the quilted cotton/canvas wool-filled cover for the first 45 days on a MD/SD/ST config. Back and side rib pressure pain never alleviated (and the bed never seemed to lay flat).

SO suggested I remove the zip-off top of the cover and put it under the ST. The bed lay flatter which I really liked, but sleeping on it caused terrible back rib pressure pain and shoulder pain. (MD/SD/QUILTED LAYER/ST). I tried that too long–I was waking up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep or get comfortable.

I removed the quilted layer and now I’m sleeping on latex covered only by my sheet. MD/SD/ST is ok. SD/MD/ST is even better (little to no pain, good sleep). Both are quite soft.
I may only have time for 1 layer exchange and I know what I have now is on the soft side. If I stay with 3 layers S/M/M is probably too firm so my choice would have to be ST/SD/FD? The woman who helped me in-store (younger, similar build, a little lighter) originally recommended I get a 4th layer FD like she has (FD/MD/SD/ST I believe), because she was afraid I would ‘bottom out.’ I could possibly afford that if it were THE answer but I have understood from reading on MU that 3 layers should be plenty for my BMI (but I’ve also read on MU to consult the seller)… If what I have now is on “the edge” of being too soft would the 4th layer improve that situation? Do you see it contributing to durability/longevity/continuing comfort? Of course the holy grail would be that completely restful and restorative night of sleep.
Any and all thoughts and insights will be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.

Hi browser,

[quote]I removed the quilted layer and now I’m sleeping on latex covered only by my sheet. MD/SD/ST is ok. SD/MD/ST is even better (little to no pain, good sleep). Both are quite soft.
I may only have time for 1 layer exchange and I know what I have now is on the soft side. If I stay with 3 layers S/M/M is probably too firm so my choice would have to be ST/SD/FD?[/quote]

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible via an online forum for me to “feel what you feel”. However, I’ll do my best to decipher from your results of personal testing plus your comments from your previous posts on the forum and see if I can provide some options for you to try.

From the bottom up (no quilted covering), you said Md/Sd/St is OK (I’m assuming the layering order you’ve provided is from the bottom up, left to right). You said moving the firmer layer up and sleeping upon Sd/Md/St felt better, which leads toward the possibility that you might desire a bit more support closer to the upper comfort layer. With what you have, I would next test this configuration, from the bottom up, St/Md/Sd. The soft Dunlop should be a little firmer feeling that the soft Talalay. If this configuration feels better than the Sd/Md/St, then use it as the benchmark and decide if you can live with that. If you still have a concern that what you have will be too soft down the road and you want to perform a layer swap, then the next logical option I would suggest to consider could be either Md/Mt/St or Md/Mt/Sd. Using the medium Talalay as a transition layer will provide a bit firmer deeper support and also contribute a bit to the surface support, but being Talalay it will be a bit “gentler” than using Dunlop in the center. The choice of St or Sd in the upper layer would be your personal preference of which type of latex you prefer. I recall in one of your earlier posts that you really enjoyed a Md/Md/St combination. Then whatever system you decide upon I would cover with a proper stretch-knit encasement, as you don’t seem to like the current one that you have.

You certainly could consider adding a fourth layer, but in effect you will be starting over again without the ability to make further exchanges, so you’d have to take that into account with your own personal risk management. Having extra layers will allow the forces to be distributed over a wider area. Adding a firmer layer deep down would provide a bit more deep down support and would provide less noticeable difference in feel in your surface comfort. It could also allow you to have more options for configurations.

While three 3" layers of latex are generally enough for most people to provide enough comfort and support, it depends upon the type/style/ILD of latex being combined and the individual. And as I stated in one of my earlier replies to you, you are correct that some of the most reliable guidance is from an experienced and knowledgeable retailer, as they will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else. I would trust any opinions the Sleeping Organic would offer up to you based upon your current results, and certainly put those recommendations on your list of options to consider.

I’d start by testing out the St/Md/Sd configuration and see how you like that, and those results will help point you in a proper direction. From there, I would contact Sleeping Organic with your data and together with them come up a plan that both of you will have the best chance at success.

I’m looking forward to learning of your results and changes, if any, you decide to make.


Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for feedback. I tried ST/MD/SD as you suggested but felt upper back pressure within 30 minutes. Also there seemed to be a slight jello/jiggle feeling–the soft talalay on the bottom?

Back on SD/MD/ST. Tried rotating ST from foot to head but the side (‘wall side’) that I used exclusively for 45 days (MD/SD/ST/cover) trying to break in the quilted canvas cover gave me restless sleep, upper back pain toward morning, some low back discomfort when I got up. The other side (‘window side’) was not much better the next night.

So rotated back to SD/MD/ST (original) and slept on the ‘window side’ looking forward to that better sleep I had been getting but had a restless night and found myself moving to the edge and to the center for better support. I had lower back discomfort when I got up.

I’m discouraged and tired too often. I wonder if some people (myself) might not be suited to latex–my upper back reactivity/sensitivity might limit me? I agree with you about trying MD/MT/ST for my one exchange but I do fear pressure pain (eggcrate topper?). Also I’m concerned that after 100 days this latex is about as dippy as my last innerspring after 10 years.

As a side note, I went to the Sleeping Organic showroom–a 3-day trip–to try mattresses in person. I told them the configurations I was interested in trying and had an appointment. They showed me the 3 setups which I tried, but they were not encased in the mattress cover. I have to say looking back that was malpractice–and a cautionary tale. After trying for 45 days to sleep on the cover it has not noticeably softened, but the latex inside has.

Thank you for your time and help, Phoenix.

Hi browser,

Yes, that is possible. The switch to soft Dunlop on top versus soft Talalay (which you seem to prefer) helps point you in that direction for a softer upper material. So that is helpful should you decide to keep this mattress.

It is possible that with your issues (pre-existing upper back issues, need for pain/anti-inflammatory medications and sensitivities to covers) that what you have right now may not be personally appropriate for your particular needs.

Based upon your previous comments (Locally have tried savvy rest and just trying store configurations found ST/MD/MD and ST/ST/FT both to be kind of heavenly) that would seem logical if you kept this mattress. But of course that’s no guarantee of success. While latex will soften a bit, it would not be normal at all for it to depress much, especially within 100 days or so, so one thing I don’t think that you’ve mentioned before is what you’re using for a foundation under your mattress. I’m curious about that now.

It was nice that they took the time to schedule you and had your three specific configurations reading for you upon your visit. I’m not sure of their availability of covers when arranging this many custom configurations, but it is common for the layers to be left outside of the coverings when someone is visiting and there is the potential for multiple layer changes to be made. However, before making a final decision it certainly is advisable to test your final choice(s) in their actual state, being zippered in their cover, especially with your sensitivities and previous posts about questions with covers and being able to feel wrinkles. That makes sense. But calling it malpractice – I think that’s a bit extreme and not something I would agree with – but your point is a good one to note. Regarding your cover, while note as noticeable, it too will have changed a bit over time, but it is more along the lines of like a new pair of jeans. If you had a brand new covering next to it most people would be able to feel the difference after 45 days, but this cover is never going to feel like some of the “stretchier” covers we’ve discussed in previous threads.

I’m interested in learning what you decide to do.


Hi Phoenix,

Re foundation I bought the SO 5" slatted foundation (with its own cover) which my handy husband put together carefully. The bare latex rests directly on this.

Re SD/MD/ST I have to add info. It is most comfortable configuration but only on the side that is less broken in (window side). The wall side is more broken in and is not working. Window side is soft and supportive although I find myself moving more toward the center to find the best feel lately. When I switched to the wall side this morning before getting up, upper back pressure pain started gradually but quickly and so did lower back discomfort (within 15-30 minutes).

Does any of this make any difference in your recommendation? Any other insights/thoughts/ideas? Your help on this is very much appreciated! Thank you.

Hi browser,

Thank you so much for the update on the foundation. I was worried that potentially there was some sagging from that which could be complicating your issues, but as you confirmed that is not the case and you have a very appropriate foundation.

Based upon your feedback, and as the mattress losses some of it’s initial “false firmness” and you don’t respond to that as well, the thought of keeping the soft Talalay on top and trying medium Talalay and then medium Dunlop would be a logical choice, as once the product would “break-in” it wouldn’t be as soft as your current configuration, but would still generally contour quite well and still provide good support. With everything you’ve tested and your responses, this would seem to be a logical choice if you decide to keep the mattress and stick with the three-layer combination. However, this is only my “theory-at-a-distance” and with your specific sensitivities I wish I could be more sure with my recommendations, but in this case I’m just trying to make the next “logical” suggestion in configuration without suggesting something that might feel too hard for you.

While I know this isn’t an exact answer, I hope it is helpful to you.


Hi Phoenix,

I called SO this morning planning to arrange layer exchange SD for MT (does seem logical to me too). I tried to explain what was going on with me and mattress which was not easy because I literally got up on the wrong side of the bed…

She recommends that she send FD that I could use as a 4th layer or any combo of 3 or 4 layers that I can try out for a while and either keep or swap. She says she thinks FD 4th layer will work out well for me (costs $400 more).

She does not recommend their MT because she feels it won’t give enough support (ILDs: ST 19-23, MT 24-28, FT 32-35; SD 18-22, MD 26-32, FD 36-40) and it costs $100 more.

I said I just could not understand how another Dunlop layer could help with my pressure pain. All she said was she could send MT or FT and we left it there till tomorrow. She seemed to feel quite reluctant about exchange for Talalay vs enthusiasm for FD layer.

Hi browser,

In situations like this, I tend to defer to the advice of the manufacturers and retailers of the products, as they have the most experience with their own products and how they react with different somatotypes, BMIs, sleeping styles, and responses to previous configurations, and they do have your best interest at heart and truly want you to be comfortable.

All of the layers of a mattress work together, and your thought of replacing the soft Dunlop with the medium Talalay would create a firmer overall feel (not letting you sink in quite as much deep down), which seems to be what you’re after based upon your previous comments. Adding a firm Dunlop (or Talalay) layer in a four layer configuration would also do that. Obviously, the manner in which it is accomplished is different and only your own personal testing will be able to determine if this works out well for you. Adding the fourth layer will also give you the possibility of testing a few different three piece configurations.

In the end, I would make sure that you’re fully aware of any potential returns/exchanges of the layers if you do decide to consider a fourth layer so you’re fully able to manage your ability, if any, to customize down the road.