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Putting the layers together - overview

12 Feb 2019 10:54 #21 by diynaturalbedding
Your prospective build is a very common build, in part because of its gradual progression. To put it in terms instead of ILD's:
2" Extra Soft
2" Soft
3" Medium
3" Firm

You're right, you probably won't feel a fifth layer at the bottom. It depends on your weight and how it is dispersed throughout your body. In other words, short and squat people have larger pressure points than the same weight of person who is long and lean. Usually I find that excepting pregnancy, the 10" depth (firmness is more individual) you have is comfortable for most sleepers up to 250+ lbs.

Yes, your 14 ILD topper and even the 19 ILD layer many consider jiggly or too squishy for their liking. Others love the cradling effect those soft layers give.

I think it goes without saying that if your box spring is caving in, given latex's flexibility, you will feel its bent, no matter how may layers you have on top of it.

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12 Feb 2019 21:56 - 12 Feb 2019 22:05 #22 by sweetandsourkiwi
Thank you for this response! Yes, I will definitely be replacing the box spring...I am not trying to build a bed to mask the worsening curve!

I am 5'4", 135lbs, and have a 40 inch hip circumference. I do sometimes wonder if men side sleepers are different from females, since we females tend to be a bit hippy-er.

The topper is a 1.5", not 2" (very minor difference!) so it would actually be:
1.5" Extra Soft (14ILD) removable topper
(wool or cotton layer)
2" Soft (19ILD)
3" Soft Medium (28 ILD)
3" Medium (32 ILD)

(Using this particular manufacturers nomenclature. I've noticed other manufacturers consider a "medium" as 24-29 and firm as 32.)

They had also recommended (just based off my status as a person under 180lbs and no other info):
3" Soft (19)
3" Medium (32)
3" Firm (40)

The mattress would be 9" but the topper would add (optionally) 1.5" a total of 10.5" of latex in the equation of my build, and 9-10.5" in the "standard" build for a person under 180lbs.

Thanks for the help!
Last edit: 12 Feb 2019 22:05 by sweetandsourkiwi.

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13 Feb 2019 10:15 #23 by gardenguy

I have been building component mattresses for a couple of years in many combinations with many materials. For what it is worth, if that build still doesn't relieve the pressure in the way you wanted, I have had good results with a 2 inch layer of 5 pound memory foam in the comfort layers, under a 1-2 inch soft or super soft talalay latex. So for me it ended up being 6 inches 35 ILD Talalay support, 2 inches 28 Talalay"transition" layer, 2 inches 5 pound memory foam, one inch 15 Talalay. It feels soft but supportive, and without the slightly stuck feeling that all memory foam might give to some. There was something about all latex that I could never get to work for my arms falling asleep at night, and I tried every ILD they make in the comfort layer( top 4 inches), 14-28. There was something about having the memory foam in there that took away the pressure. I don't know if point elasticity was working against me personally or what. I know it flies in the face of reason but there it is. Take that with a grain of salt, and good luck.

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13 Feb 2019 12:29 #24 by NestHaven
For what it's worth, we've been having great success with Nest Bedding's Hybrid Natural Latex mattress ( ).

It worked right out of the box, no need to swap out latex layers, etc. We've had great sleep since. It's a great combination of pressure relief (no more sore shoulders or hips), while still providing plenty of support (no more achy backs). My wife deals with fibromyalgia, and was in constant pain with every other mattress we tried. She's been fine on the Nest Bedding Hybrid Natural Latex mattress ever since. It's the first mattress we've come across where we don't want to get out of bed in the morning because it's so comfortable. We can't recommend it highly enough. As soon as we tried it out in the store, we knew that this was a special mattress.

We went through at least 10 different mattresses over a year and half period. We tossed and turned, couldn't get the pressure relief or back support right, and woke up most mornings in pain and exhausted. We also finally explored the latex option (thanks to this site), and had similar experiences with having to swap out latex layers, having issues with firm wool covers, etc. We got to the point where we almost gave up - and just assumed we wouldn't be able to get a comfortable, decent night's sleep again.

We're lightweight side/combo sleepers, and have been using the Nest Bedding mattress for about 3 months now. No issues at all. We were a little hesitant at first about the EcoFlex quilting layer (Would it give out? Would it be too warm?), but it's worked out really well. The owner has a post in another thread where he explains why he went with this particular design - given that the traditional latex/wool cover design can often be too firm for some sleepers - and our experience matches his approach. The foam quilting and stretch cover provide great pressure relief, while the Dunlop latex provides excellent support without being too firm, either. Again, it's a great combination. The nice thing, too, is Nest Bedding's warranty. Should anything go wrong, the coverage is there. That said, it's such a well-made product that it's not really a concern.

We're definitely relieved to no longer be in the mattress searching loop. Hope this helps - good luck!

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13 Feb 2019 15:49 - 13 Feb 2019 15:51 #25 by Phoenix
Hi sweetandsourkiwi.

Great to see that you've got so many helpful perspectives and good guidance.

gardenguy is quite right about different people liking different materials and feels... It all is very personal, there are a few more thoughts about the different specs that can affect how soft or firm a foam feels in  post #4 here you may wish to peruse. The two most important of these would be the ILD and the compression modulus although there are also other foam properties that will affect the "feel" of a foam material as well outside of just its softness/firmness that are more subjective.

@ diynaturalbedding for chiming with helpful guidance. As always I appreciate your expertise :)

@ NestHaven.
Thanks for your update and your helpful contributions. :)
I am happy that you are still sleeping Heavenly on your Nest mattress and that you are out of the "mattress searching loop"


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Last edit: 13 Feb 2019 15:51 by Phoenix.

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15 Feb 2019 14:00 #26 by sweetandsourkiwi
Thank you Phoenix! I've received a super helpful box of samples as well, of several different ILDs in both Dunlop and Talalay. Honestly, nothing beats being able to touch the materials to really feel the difference! I now "get" what people are saying when they say Talalay is bouncy but Dunlop is springy, or that it has a more "refined" feel, or the poundcake/angelfood cake's just hard to picture until you can really touch it.

Even with the samples though, it is daunting to guess how they'd work together in a full size mattress. When I started this journey I thought, okay, three different layers, how tricky can this really be? Once you add in the different cover materials, different options for thickness of the layers, dunlop vs. talalay, the fact there are really more like 5 "firmness" levels available in! It is much more complex than it seems on the surface. My hat is off to those who attempt the DIY method. And my brain is thinking there is a bigger market for simplified choice zip-off latex models like Spindle and Nest.

Thank you @GardenGuy...I can certainly see where you're coming from. I have not had this dreaded arm-falling-asleep problem on my all talalay bed yet, but my shoulders are narrower than my hips...maybe that's it. I will also say to your point, I thought getting maximum point elasticity and zero pressure was the answer but honestly? I don't actually like the weightless feel! My body feels like it tenses up because it doesn't feel supported even if it is. (Maybe like sleeping in space?) So it doesn't seem counterintuitive to me that you wound up needing to dial it back.

And I'll also say there's just something to be said for getting used to a mattress...I've never loved my mattress but I've found it feels more comfortable to me over time. I don't toss and turn or have pain problems. For a long time I couldn't "linger" in bed when I wanted to and even that's changed now. Part of why I still haven't replaced it even though it's not quite right—for anyone/everyone who has followed this saga and is just like GOOD GRIEF LADY WHY DO YOU STILL HAVE THE DANG BED?? ;)

(I would include myself in that group.)

Thank you DIY Bedding and NestHaven as well! I've seen your posts on the hybrid latex and they are really compelling...and the idea of being out of thinking about mattresses for 10 or so years is too! (No offense to anyone here or working in the industry...just ready to get on with other life things!)

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17 Feb 2019 11:25 #27 by Phoenix
Hi sweetandsourkiwi.

You are so right about being able to touch and feel the Talalay and Dunlop latex and the samples vs sleeping on it for a while.... it has always been a difficult marketing dilemma for the committed latex brands and producers to tell this story. Also, the point about getting used to a new mattress is very important, it does take a little time for our body (and minds) to adjust to the mattress and the mattress to you and to get used to sleeping on a new surface.

Thanks for all of your updates. and keep us posted when you have a chance.


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24 Jul 2019 02:28 #28 by BoyoAmsterdam
I have a question regarding layers. This is my configuration from SleepEZ.
Natural Latex Mattress
Queen / 9"
Top: Blended Talalay - Soft
2nd: Blended Talalay - Firm
Bottom: Blended Talalay - Firm

My wife and I have been sleeping on this since November. She is thinking she needs the bed to be firmer because she has not been sleeping through the night.
Would it be possible to put the 2" soft layer in between the two 3" firm layers? Would help to firm up the bed and not destroy the 2" layer?


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