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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 18 Jan 2014 18:05 #1

Hi there,

First of all, I just want to say this site has been immensely helpful. What a wonderful resource Phoenix et all have created here. Thanks for all of your efforts to help people get a decent night's sleep.

I am hoping to be one of those people!

The first time around, about a year and a half ago, I very much did not do my research adequately, walked into a Sleepy's and walked out with a mattress that felt like a cloud in the showroom and for a month or 2...and then realized it has the back support of a cloud too. And my lower back has been pretty much a mess as I've been bowed like a hammock for a a long time now.

I'm finally getting around to buying a new bed despite the bad taste in my mouth of paying so much for a new bed so relatively close to the last one. But is what it is.

So my main concerns in this order are:
1) getting some back support
2) as there are a lot of health concerns in my family, avoiding any potential harmful materials
3) price

From the research I've done, I'd like to steer away from foam if possible (though mayyyybe as a base) even if Certi-pur certified and it seems latex is as good as it gets for both pressure relief/support and in avoiding toxins (even in its blended/SBR forms) despite the higher cost. I've laid on latex locally and it's a strange new bouncy sensations to me, but my back felt great and I feel like I could get accustomed to that.

Now, I was thinking at first latex was going to be out of my price range probably, but one of your recommended sites (mattresses.net) is having a clearance right now of a ton of extra latex they got from Latex International (www.mattresses.net/sabigwidiyla.html). They are selling blended "extra extra firm 6" (46-50 ILD) talalay latex bases" for $450 which very much puts latex back in play as financially possible...

...if I can find the right topper/support layer for such a hard base.

Honestly, I've seen virtually nothing in my research here or elsewhere about dealing with latex of that high an ILD so wanted to ask for some opinions. How thick and what ILD would I need on that to have a supportive, comfortable bed do you think?

mattresses.net is saying "For a side sleeper you will need at least 4" of "soft" #19 to #22 over these cores. I recommend two 2" #22 toppers. For what I consider to be a "medium" feel I would just add a 3" #19 topper or a 3" #28 topper for a firm feel."

I'd probably need a medium-firm feel for my back. That's what's felt best in stores trying things out. I'm 6'0" and 160-170lbs. I realize there's plenty of subjectivity involved but any idea on what the "least risky", as Phoenix says, options might be? (I think I've liked talalay better, but haven't ruled out dunlop necessarily.)

I might buy a topper from them mattresses.net, or perhaps a topper from Dixiefoam in New York where I live locally since that would probably be easier to exchange if it ended up being too hard/too soft.

Thanks so much everybody. Looking forward to getting some pain free sleep soon-ish!

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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 18 Jan 2014 20:14 #2

Hi Eddie Bedder,

Honestly, I've seen virtually nothing in my research here or elsewhere about dealing with latex of that high an ILD so wanted to ask for some opinions. How thick and what ILD would I need on that to have a supportive, comfortable bed do you think?


There are too many unknowns, variables, and individual preferences involved to be able to use a formula or "theory at a distance" to choose the combination of layers that may be best for you but when you can't test a specific mattress or combination of layers in person then your best odds of success would be based on more detailed conversations with either a manufacturer or a supplier of a material that is familiar with how it feels and performs in combination with other options they have because they are more familiar with it than anyone (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

You would certainly have a "supportive" mattress no matter what you put on top of it but the biggest issue will be choosing a suitable comfort layer that provides you with good pressure relief.

mattresses.net is saying "For a side sleeper you will need at least 4" of "soft" #19 to #22 over these cores. I recommend two 2" #22 toppers. For what I consider to be a "medium" feel I would just add a 3" #19 topper or a 3" #28 topper for a firm feel."


Given Ken's experience with the material and based on "averages" ... I would say (not surprisingly) that his suggestions are good ones and I would use them as your guideline.

I'd probably need a medium-firm feel for my back. That's what's felt best in stores trying things out.


I would keep in mind that there is no specific definition for "medium firm" and that one retailer's or manufacturer's rating may be very different from the next and it may also vary from person to person. If you found out the specifics of a "medium firm" mattresses that felt best for you then it may provide some reference points but "medium firm" is really too subjective and vague to be of any specific use.

I realize there's plenty of subjectivity involved but any idea on what the "least risky", as Phoenix says, options might be? (I think I've liked talalay better, but haven't ruled out dunlop necessarily.)


The choice between Talalay and Dunlop is really a matter of personal preference so there wouldn't be any better or worse. The "least risky" option IMO wouldn't be a matter of ILD (the suggestions you already have seem very reasonable to me) but one where you have exchange options after a purchase so you can use "best judgement" to make an initial choice to use as your reference point and then you can use your actual sleeping experience to change it if your initial combination turns out to be less than ideal.

I would also consider that the cover will make a difference in how the combination feels and performs.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 18 Jan 2014 21:11 #3

I bought a set of those bases I called it extra firm in my desc but guess its extra extra :)

www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/general-mattresses/14576-aloha-and-mahalos-we-finally-bought-a-custom-latex-bed.html

even have a pic of it with two 3 inch layers on there base

I like super firm bases and softer tops with some support wife and I both like that solid feeling rather than the sinky feeling of beds ? but this is like describing pizza or lasagna :) hard to describe :)

I can say this we liked it over the other ones we tried obviously :) cause we bought it
but we did try it with just one 3 inch layer and no way would I do that for me it was bottoming out to quick but a soft bottom out
two 2 inch were close in price so we just jumped to two 3 inch


also trying a standard bed they sell which is 9 inches latex and 1 inch wool or something like that the latex layers are a 6 inch base with a 28 or 19 top was nice but I found the 3 layer setup of the super firm sale bases has a nice sink in comfort top level feel and the support for me still is there and that super firm base kinda gives you a feel of no jiggle as my wife says :) as I say it stops you from sinking to deep into it I hate that banana feel of to soft beds that don't have that support and only comfort layer

I think Phoenix wrote somewhere about 3 layers compared to two layers ? and not sure if the word is transition that 3 layers has or what the word was but they do seem to kinda work better both my wife and I are happy where some of the other thinner 2 layer beds kinda are to firm or two soft to quickly ? hard to describe for me :)

I guess trying a 3 layered bed with a 38 base layer (I keep forgetting if its 38 or 39) but going to the super firm did not make as much difference as I thought it would ?
again 3 layers

now a two layer 38 base and a 19 top or 28 top for me was easy to feell the difference !
where the 3 layers its harder to feel the differences but they are there just more subtle ?
and a two layer super firm base would just be to firm unless you went with two more layers a comfit layer and a extra base layer for support making that super firm more a super support layer :)

maybe the best way to describe it is a progressive curve ? not sure if you are into any kinda sport with suspension but its for sure like a progressive rate spring setup soft at first for the little bumps but the last bit firms up really quick to absorb the bigger bumps and you never feel bottomed out :)

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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 11:02 #4

Thanks for your input Phoenix and CKMaui,

Good to be in touch with someone who has worked with this company and these bases before, CKMaui.

I'm a little confused about your post though CKMaui. So is your base the same super super hard one I was talking about here which is the 44-50ILD one? (www.mattresses.net/sabigwidiyla.html) Or you were saying you now have a 38-39ILD base?

And are you saying you found you were bottoming out into that hard base with only one topper? And that you felt the extra 3 inch topper to make a progressive mattress really helped with that? I'm definitely concerned about bottoming out on the 3" topper since the website says that 44-50ILD base is like sleeping on the floor. Would you mind letting me know how tall you are an how much you weigh? If we're close and you were bottoming out, then that could be a good guideline for me if I'd sink too hard into that "floor"like base layer.

I'm a side sleeper as well so very interested in your experiences here. Thanks so much! Not sure I'd be able to afford two toppers so hopefully there's something that works with just one! Very much appreciated! Glad yours has worked out so well for you. I Hhpe I feel that good when this is all over too!

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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 15:05 #5

sorry for confusion :) I have the sale base 44-50 one at home I bought :)

6 foot 220 - 240lbs think big stocky build squat 1000 lbs kinda guy now in my 50s I sit in a office chair my armpits are to the edge of the chair :) XXL Gloves size 12 shoe XXXX wide I was that guy in Highscool that had the beard and was 6 foot 190-200 lbs high school guy so for sure way bigger than you funny I did not play football and the coaches were always begging me to do it ! I raced MX instead ! but you can imagine having this huge dude who refused to play ball :) hahahahah


my wife is about 5,7 160 she also bottomed out and found it really really firm with just one layer
and wife and I like the same kinda beds lucky for us :) firm with softer top we hate soft beds !!!!!
so using her more as a gauge to you :) she bottomed out and found it way to firm

in relation when we looked at normal beds say serta and stuff she like me liked extra firm even some of the firm pillow top serta were to soft feeling for her and we both hated the medium kinda regular beds so her idea of a regular bed is a extra firm just to kinda get a idea :)


YES we bottomed out with one 3 inch layer on that sale base !
we tried both 19 single on the 44-50 base and took that off put on a single 28 on that 44-50 base
both setups were way to firm for both wife and I

also we go camping we use a Nemo 3 inch backpack pad and sleeping bags so we are still the kind used to things like that and we find those quite nice I go camping in my kids room some time I think the memo pads on a padded carpet might be a toss with that 44-50 with single layer to give you a idea so again I am saying its FIRM with one layer :) hahaha

www.nemoequipment.com/product/?p=Cosmo+Air+%26+Pillowtop+1P+SE


I do think the numbers only relate to there beds and Phoenix would agree the numbers mean little if you go elsewhere so when I quote the numbers its only for there store benefit to know or compare


hope that helps more :) can always answer what I can about what I got :)


if they did not have those sale bases I would have done this www.mattresses.net/ultra-plush-latex-bed.html
with a 3 inch rejuvenate topper in 19 a bit down the road when I could afford it both wife and I liked that one next in line ?
again its tough cause I am a lot bigger than ya :wife is more in line weight wise but I carry it very even across me so distribution wise I would say I am normal that way
but sure you know what is one persons firm or soft is tough :)

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Last edit: by CKMaui.

DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 15:52 #6

Very helpful CKMaui. Thank you!

That's unfortunate to hear someone close to my size was bottoming out with one topper. I can't afford two toppers. Certainly not the actual bed here you mentioned: www.mattresses.net/ultra-plush-latex-bed.html

Also, I didn't realize those topper numbers were specific only to the mattresses.net. I thought those were the ILD numbers! Good catch. I'll have to ask them about that.

Sigh. Oh well. I'll talk to them come the work week, but not too hopeful now for this to work out now to get a latex bed in my budget. I'll keep you updated with how it goes!

Thanks so much for your input about your experience.

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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 16:15 #7

Hi CKMaui and Eddie Bedder,

I do think the numbers only relate to there beds and Phoenix would agree the numbers mean little if you go elsewhere so when I quote the numbers its only for there store benefit to know or compare


The Talalay ILD numbers are "assigned" by Latex International so they would be consistent between anyone who carried them and can be compared with ILD numbers for other Talalay products to compare firmness levels.

Phoenix
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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 16:23 #8

yeah but the nice two layer is also very comfy
yeah the 3 layer might have a touch more depth to it or whatever ya call it plushness etc..

to me I would have also been happy with the base two layer like I said so I would not get to bummed :) sure you will find what you like in budget

also we got ours without a cover the zip thing otherwise
we like the raw feel anyway so that option might be something to think about raw base of something 32 or 36 and 19 or so topper and get the zip cover when ya can swing it later on :) or that 3rd layer in a year when ya can swing it :)

we also looked at this building a E king
www.mattresses.net/5-5--twin-xl-talalay-processed-blended-latex-core-x-2-equals-standard-king-size.html
so two for $1000
and a topper for $350 to $450
then do the zip cover thing later you get 9 inch of latex :)



Phoenix thanks for clearing up that ILD number thing :)


on the budget talk to em tell em what your budget is :) that is how I worked it out I cam with in $7 :) happy camper :)

I know talking to the owners reading on here and feeling the difference of blended vs non blended I was OK with blended :) IMHO its like some things being organic that might be more a marketing thing and considering you hear the blended is the tougher stuff last longer anyway :) I am all for tougher and last longer :)

its like going to a pizza place ;) do you like more or less cheese more or less sauce :) lots of options and they can make it anyway you want it :)

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Last edit: by CKMaui.

DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 17:35 #9

Thanks guys,

I guess I'll call them and ask about exactly how these Latex International assigned numbers stack up in reference to ILDs. And good to hear they'll work with you on budget. Glad to hear you still thought the one topper on top of the one base layer was comfortable despite "bottoming out". Hopefully they instill me with some confidence that only one topper might indeed suffice!

Will update when I'm able to speak with them!

Phoenix, I bet I'll be coming close up to your 12132 comments shortly haha.

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DIY Latex Mattress Help - SUPER firm base layer 19 Jan 2014 18:17 #10

Hi Eddie Bedder,

The Latex International numbers are the ILD's of their layers. You can see the scale here and as you can see these are firmer than the firmest ILD layers they normally make.

Phoenix, I bet I'll be coming close up to your 12132 comments shortly haha.


It only took a little under 3 years ... and lots of typing mistakes ... to get there :)

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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