[quote]Yes, I imagine that 1" alone won’t do much which is why I’d like to buy at least 2. As someone who is unfamiliar with latex, I think it’d be smartest to get multiple 1" layers to:
- Gauge how soft or firm any given ILD number feels for me
- Feel the difference between 2 ILDs to better determine what to order next
- Offer flexibility in swapping layers around to create a more desirable feel
- Determine what a 2" layer would feel like by simply folding it over[/quote]
In theory this has merit but there are also variables that will come into play that could confuse things a little. The thickness of a layer will have as much effect on the softness you feel as the softness of the material itself and if you only have an inch on top of a mattress what you “feel” will be affected as much by that materials underneath it that “come through” a 1" topper as it will the topper itself. It can be difficult to differentiate how much of what you “feel” comes from the thickness of the layer and how much comes fro the softness of the layer.
Multiple loose layers will also “act” a little softer than the same thickness of a solid layer although they will be similar.
With only an inch it would be more difficult to “feel” a difference in firmness levels that were close to each other because so much of what you feel would be the layers below it and if the firmness levels are close it’s difficult to estimate relative firmness just by pressing down on a relatively thin layer of the material. Having said that … you would be able to tell the difference between 14 ILD and 22 ILD by pressing down with your hand although this wouldn’t give you much sense of what it would feel like when you lie down on it. With both 14 and 22 you would “go through” the layer and feel more of the characteristics of the layers below … just to different degrees.
There would also be less difference by swapping thin layers around than there would if the layers were thicker unless they were quite different in terms of ILD because with an inch you feel so much of the characteristics of the layer below it that the distinctiveness of the different combinations would be less … although it will still have a different “feel”.
Latex is also quite prone to tearing and 1" layers will be more subject to damage with handling unless you are very careful.
Probably the best reason of the ones you mentioned would be the ability to test a 1" layer and compare it to a 2" layer of the same ILD (within the differences of loose vs solid layers) and how each interacts with your mattress underneath it to see which one was closer to the thickness you need in that ILD. Slightly thicker or slightly firmer layers would both isolate you from the “feel” of the layers below to a greater degree although the firmer one will have a firmer sleeping surface where you sink in sightly less and the other will allow you to sink in more.
A pillowtop can have a very wide range of different “feels” depending on the materials or components in the pillowtop and it’s thickness so outside of a general common “softness” which may be shared with some non pillowtop mattresses … a “pillowtop” feel is very subjective and varies widely from pillowtop to pillowtop.
I think guessing at how other ILD’s (or thicknesses) of the same material will feel based on your experience on a 2" layer will probably be just as accurate as playing with 1" layers. The only “risk” of a 2" layer is if for some reason a 1" layer would be better for your specific needs because you can’t split a 2" layer into 1" layers without special equipment.
If you can find a PLB dealer near you (see here) would would be able to test 2" and 3" toppers to get a good sense of what the softest Talalay latex feels like in different thicknesses on various mattresses. The top layers of their mattresses are also usually 21 ILD (you can see the specs here) so you would also be able to get a sense of what different combinations that all include different thicknesses of 21 ILD latex feels like as well. this may be less costly than experimenting with layers that you purchase and give you a better sense of how different combinations and thickness levels work together.
There may also be other retailers or manufacturers near you that can allow you to test different thicknesses and combinations of Talalay latex as well.