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depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 15:03 #1

Ok, so I know I've been all over the place hunting for a new bed. I wasn't even initially considering latex as an option (it's all your fault folks lol) and was riding the fence about it once feeling the sample from FBM. A few days later some samples for me to compare to came in from Savvyrest. Wow, huge difference. The 'talalay' FBM sent felt ok, not bad but it's supposed to be 100% natural and so were the dunlop and talalay from Savvy - not sure what FBM has, it's finer than savvy's dunlop, but nothing like their talalay - so maybe 'mystery meat'?

I like the feel of both slow conforming memory foam and the plushness of the talalay. Sadly I can't have 2 simultaneous surfaces (unless it's slow gl and then I'm just dreaming). To me, the talalay is the closest plushness of any single material to that of a pillowtop and I've realized no matter how I layer sheets of poly it'll never give the same feel since pillowtops achieve that through precompressing the foam quilting it. Many have mentioned using latex over memory foam, getting both the visco cradling and enjoying the initial plushness of the latex on the surface. At what point in the layering is this achievable?

Hopefully it's not too subjective or vague, but say a few inches (2-3) of memory foam I would guess are needed to get the conforming properties. An inch of talalay could be added to improve initial feel. What about 2 or 3"? I guess what I'm trying to get at is, how thick can the latex be before the feel of memory foam under it becomes moot and may as well be poly or something else? By the time I get to 3" of talalay, is it highly likely I won't feel the slow sinking of the memory foam at all and instead just feel the cushion of the latex by itself? Brooklyn Bedding has talalay toppers (with cover) for a reasonable price but they only offer 3". Cover hunting for toppers or anything else is a nightmare on a tight budget so the fact it comes with what looks to be a decent cover is a plus.

I'd also considered the option instead of 3" latex going with 2-3" of memory foam and trying to pick up a 1" topper in a talalay blend (since it was mentioned in thinner forms especially, natural isn't as durable) to cushion the top for surface feel. My only worry about this is even a 1" talalay topper is decent money considering it's so thin. Trying to word this as carefully as I can - some "activities" can lead to high strain on a mattress, like a hand or knee being pressed harshly onto the surface. Creating a pressure point focused in one place that far exceeds a person simply lying spread over the mattress. Is this likely to tear such a thin layer of soft talalay? Latex seems great for load support but quite fragile to tugging, pulling and tearing forces. Especially in thinner layers. (if 3-6" layers pose a risk of tearing while positioning them, I would think 1" would be quite delicate).

Getting the memory foam reaction with the plush feel of latex would be perfect, but maybe I'm better off with just the 3" BB topper and call it done. I don't have the budget to frequently replace layers and toppers and I'd hate to forget all about any quirks of thinner layers, treat my bed like a 'bed' and next thing I know there's tears in a layer that costs $120-150 to replace. Hopefully someone here has experience with this and can shed some light on whether such a thin layer of latex holds up well or not over memory foam or if they indeed found out being directly in the top layer was too much stress for it to last.

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depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 16:51 #2

Hi Brass,

Most of your questions have some significant "it depends" in the answers and they will vary widely on an individual level depending on the specifics of the materials you use and the body type, sleeping positions, and sensitivity of the person. There would be no "general" answer that would be accurate for any of them and your own trial and error will really be the only way you will know how your different ideas will feel for you.

If you are considering using other materials over memory foam I probably wouldn't go over 3" or you may not feel much of the effect of the memory foam underneath and I would probably lean towards 1" - 2". I would probably use a minimum of 2" of memory foam underneath or as you mentioned the "feel" of the memory foam may not be as apparent. The thickness, softness, and type of material over the memory foam, as well as your body type, weight distribution, and sleeping position will all affect how deeply you compress the comfort layers which will affect how much of the "feel" of the memory foam underneath comes through the upper layers. It will also depend on the softness and temperature sensitivity of the specific memory foam you are using (which can vary widely) and on how much heat goes through the top layer and reaches the memory foam. As a general rule ... thinner layers over memory foam will allow the "feel" of the memory foam to come through and modify the feel of the mattress more than thicker layers.

I'd also considered the option instead of 3" latex going with 2-3" of memory foam and trying to pick up a 1" topper in a talalay blend (since it was mentioned in thinner forms especially, natural isn't as durable)


I think you may be confusing natural Talalay possibly being less durable in softer ILD's rather than in thinner layers. With a thin layer, the foam may soften more (it may compress to a greater percentage of its thickness) but foam softening itself will have less of an effect on the mattress as a whole with thinner layers because even if it softens considerably under the heavier parts of the body it isn't thick enough to make much difference in how far you would sink into the mattress before the layers below it come into effect and take up the compression. This is why "around an inch or so or less" of lower quality/density quilting layers won't have a significant effect on the useful life of a mattress in most cases.

Trying to word this as carefully as I can - some "activities" can lead to high strain on a mattress, like a hand or knee being pressed harshly onto the surface. Creating a pressure point focused in one place that far exceeds a person simply lying spread over the mattress. Is this likely to tear such a thin layer of soft talalay? Latex seems great for load support but quite fragile to tugging, pulling and tearing forces. Especially in thinner layers. (if 3-6" layers pose a risk of tearing while positioning them, I would think 1" would be quite delicate).


This would depend on whether the 1" layer was inside or outside the mattress cover or if it was being used as a topper as well as the quality and type of cover and how tightly it fit. If there were just compression forces compressing the latex (such as an elbow or knee pressing in) then it would probably be fine but if there were shear forces stretching the latex apart (or if you were to grab a handful and pull) then it would be more susceptible to tearing ... especially with a separate topper that acts more independently.

Even if the latex does tear though it generally won't affect it's feel or performance as long as it's covered in a tight fitting cover.

I have often set up 1" and 2" latex toppers over other relatively thin layers of latex or other materials on the floor when my kids were staying over with their partners for a while (we only have one spare bed) and there has been no damage or tears at all. They have also been used for some fairly vigorous roughhousing with no problem. Grabbing and pulling latex is really the biggest issue in tearing it much more than concentrated compression forces or "activity" when it's lying flat on something else.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 17:24 #3

Phoenix, thanks for the insight. I wasn't really concerned with the durability in terms of softness, even if the 1" soft (18-20ild) were to soften over 2-3" memory foam, the memory foam would be there under it. I was just worried about the possibility of it tearing. A small tear wouldn't bother me, more worried that several significant tears would form and it would go downhill from there.

Someone here was kind enough to mention the new addition of the crazy quilt foam mattresses at BB. I had looked at their options, but most were way out of my budget. Once I saw how affordable the crazy quilt was, it left me more leeway to look at adding something to improve on the plain poly mattress. I hadn't planned on a full 3" of talalay, maybe an inch over a few inches of the memory foam. Had to factor in that would need a cover too of some sort. I price shopped several different latex options, from 1-3" and factoring in the free shipping and the fact BB's comes with a cover of it's own already on it, kinda hard to beat that. Plus it would be a simpler process, both parts of the mattress coming from the same place and both with their own cover. As simple as tossing the topper on top of the crazy quilt, using it like a covered foam base. The only drawback I can find is that the CQ foam is 1.5 density, a little less than I'd hoped. Also no ild/ifd rating for it. I chatted with Jacob from BB and best he could tell me was it was medium firm, likely 28-32. Told him my body type/weight and my plans to use the topper with it and he didn't express any concerns so I'm guessing it's firm enough to use as a base.

I just have a feeling if I go with their 3" covered latex topper, I wouldn't gain much benefit placing any memory foam between the base mattress and topper due to the thickness of the latex at the 28ild he recommended for me. You mentioned how much wear the 1" topper would get would depend on covered/uncovered - if I went with 1" over a couple inches of memory foam, I'd try to cover them both together with one of the inexpensive covers off amazon or ebay (3 sided zippered velour jacquard/bamboo whatever they are) and place on top of the foam base. That way, either route (precovered topper/base or memory foam + 1" latex) would be covered as a topper unit. Over the entire setup, regardless, would be another cover. Either skirted or an encasement as a waterproof layer over everything. Nothing like a SLAB style ticking, but hopefully the zippered covers inside and the waterproof cover over everything would add a little more protection for the latex. Nothing would be left bare or directly exposed or singled out. The bulk of any covering would be in the velour cover or factory bamboo cover from BB, the waterproof layer I think would be thin and not add to the bulk/feel of things. Something like a MattressSafe Sofcover, Malouf 5side or one of those.

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depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 19:52 #4

The only drawback I can find is that the CQ foam is 1.5 density, a little less than I'd hoped.

You may want to consider the Tuft and Needle mattress as a base. They use 2lb foam for their mattress.

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Last edit: by jankdc.

depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 20:30 #5

Thanks jankdc - I had considered them, and since your comment went to look again. Seems they just added a 10" variation. I swear the bedding industry updates nearly as fast as the computer industry. That would be a better option if it didn't push me over budget. Their 5" would be $350, the new 10" is $450. If I were to add a topper like I was considering, it would put me at around $800 for a full size. Was hoping to stick around the $500 or under if I could. Which is why I considered the crazy quilt 7" or 9" for $160 I think it is. Adding Brooklyn Bedding's 3" talalay topper to their crazy quilt as a base would give me a 10" mattress, 3" talalay over poly foam for around $485. Compared to BB's 10" Cotton Camilla - 1" reflex foam over 3" talalay over 6" poly (also 1.5lbs density) for $799 in a full. Almost the identical mattress, slightly different cover for over $300 less makes it feasible.

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depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 20:55 #6

There is also Brooklyn Beddings new 9" Tri-Comfort which would run around 699.99 - 5% (35.00) for being a member here bringing you to a total of 665.00 plus two free latex pillows valued at about 80.00. That's less then 600 for the mattress. :woohoo:

Honestly if I were to do it all over again, I would be strongly be considering this mattress (over the Aloe Alexis), or its second cousin from Spindle. I don't know much about the PPP of this mattress or spindles for that matter. But it appears everyone who buys one or speaks to the owner at spindle is instantly pleased.

Don't get me wrong I have no regrets with my purchase, and considering I was going at it somewhat blind. I am extremely pleased and think its a perfect fit now that I am past the break in / adjustment stage. Its just that the Tricomfort seems to have a slight edge on value in my opinion.

Just saying!!!! :silly:

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Last edit: by phoenix.

depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 21:49 #7

TandL, I think you're most definitely right. I know I'm fighting with it, obviously I won't get a true latex bed. Budget is what's kinda killing me. Other than the 1.5lb density foam in the 'base', I really couldn't ask for more though. Plus looking at exchanges, for some reason a comfort exchange on the Camilla is $75 return (though they give a longer 120 day trial I believe). For a comfort exchange on the same 3" of talalay it's only $50 to return the topper. No idea why, you'd think bare latex or covered, 3" is 3". I would be more suited to a tuft and needle (better foam) for my budget range, but it's also kind of limited - not much tailoring to comfort. Considering the price difference of talalay vs 5lb memory foam I was surprised that for almost the same configuration/layering - for around $50 more, I had the option of considering latex by mixing/matching with BB over another mf mattress I was strongly considering elsewhere. Am I wrong looking at it from the perspective that the comfort topper is of good quality and if the base were to wear prematurely - a better 'base' layer could be had for less than half the cost of the topper?

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depth of layering and feel 08 Mar 2014 21:58 #8

Budget's been my biggest foe during the whole process. I don't down any of the manufacturers or outlets referenced on this site. Unfortunately, I'm on a ramen budget and a mercedes can look great to me all day long. Would be SO much easier to pick and choose and be like ok, I want a layer of this, a layer of that, add a fantastic high quality ticking and call it a day. I've got maybe $700 overall to work with, which to me for a bed is a lot. More than I'm used to. Chances are any of these beds will be much nicer than I'm used to as well. But out of that budget I'm also having to factor in a bed frame which I don't have. My current queen is on a cruddy foundation (wide spaced thin slats) and the whole shebang is on the floor. I'm opting to build a wooden bed, something sturdier than a premade metal frame. It'll run me around 100-150 and most full bed frames, even cheapos with low weight limits will run me $200 min. So it's another way I can save. That $700 for mattress and frame is being optimistic, closer to $600 would be better..so if I can keep the mattress to around $500, that leaves me with the $100 I need to build the framework to place it on. (plus my design gives me a good 12" space under the bed I don't currently have, which is a bonus in a small room).

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depth of layering and feel 09 Mar 2014 08:03 #9

TandL, I think you're most definitely right. I know I'm fighting with it, obviously I won't get a true latex bed. Budget is what's kinda killing me. Other than the 1.5lb density foam in the 'base', I really couldn't ask for more though. Plus looking at exchanges, for some reason a comfort exchange on the Camilla is $75 return (though they give a longer 120 day trial I believe).


Not sure if you realize it or not but the tri-comfort is a all latex (Dunlop) mattress unlike the Cotton Camilla I believe they use the same latex in their mattress that spindle uses in his. They also sell a metal hi rise foundation for about a 100.00.

Im not trying to convince you on a sale, or even direct you to a specific mattress. I just think you trying to mix and match and buying toppers to put on new mattresses is probably not the best value to be had, but then again its all about your PPP value equation not mine.

To me it just doesn't make sense for you to go out buy a crazy quilt and throw a talalay topper on top or mix and match with various foams on such a strict budget. When you shop with reputable companies like the ones suggested here on this site you will get what you pay for and then some. For example the cotton Camilla though it has a 1.5lb base and a bit lower then what phoenix would suggest is high quality my assumption is that you will get plenty of mattress for your money.

My guess is your reaching the verge of analysis paralysis ... we all go through it ... maybe a break from research and then go at it again and things may become a bit clearer. This is tough stuff I know especially now with your new level of knowledge. But if I were you " but im not" I probably would be looking in the line of Dunlop blends I think your best values in the quality can be found for the budget range your in.

hopefully im not overstepping here .... and hopefully im helping...it is my only intention.

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Last edit: by phoenix.

depth of layering and feel 09 Mar 2014 14:37 #10

TandL, no of course not. You definitely give good advice and I respect many people's opinions on here along with Phoenix, yours and other's. My concerns of the low density base in the crazy quilt were based on information many people here have given, but I considered the crazy quilt since it's BB, same as the Camilla and likely the same quality/value. Just in a separate cover, rather than directly under the latex. I'm just trying to find comfort and as decent quality as I can for my dollars. The talalay has a more plush feel that I prefer compared to dunlop, so if I was going to go with latex I'd rather the talalay.

The foundation you mentioned looks to be the wire grid top. They list theirs as a 'genius', I don't know if that's a brand or just an inhouse name. It appears to be the same as a lot of others I'd looked at before from companies like SpaSensations and some others found all over Amazon. Originally that was the one I was going to go with since it sounded really sturdy (2400lbs support) it sounded bullet proof. Reading some of the reviews, a number of people happened to mention sitting on the edge of the bed and the metal tube frame of it bending. Saying they just 'bent' it back into shape. I know sitting on the edge of the bed is one of the big no-no's for pretty much any mattress. I tend to do it a lot to put on shoes and stuff like that. Because my room is cramped, the only real way I can orient my bed places it up against the corner of two adjoining walls and part of the foot of the bed is up against the end of my desk. (This is no BHG setup lol). Some of the things I have to take into consideration is that my other half is a bit.. 'fluffy'. That wire grid frame would be infinitely easier to set up, but due to the location of my bed it forces anyone getting in and out of bed to do so on just the one side and any sitting on the edge of the bed would be done on one side only. For the same $100 I'd spend on that metal frame, I can build one with 2x8 wood sides that I know won't bend/break. I'd even considered other assemble from a box bed frames, but each and every one I came across said they had a 500lb weight limit which just wouldn't work for me. Maybe it's a technicality to make sure any breakage wouldn't be blamed on them, but if the weight limit of a frame is 500lbs - minus around 100 for the mattress, another 200 for myself - it's below the support limit I would be comfortable with. I'm only saving a little money building it myself compared to the low support limits of most wooden beds and in the case of that metal frame I think a solid wooden frame will be much sturdier for my situation for the same $100.

Far as I could tell, even with it's low density in the crazy quilt foam - being the exact same as the BB Camilla base foam, the crazy quilt with separate 3" topper (available in different firmness options) would allow me to purchase a 1 piece $800 for $450 in 2 pieces. I'm sure technically it wouldn't be 'identical' but as close as could be obtained - same materials, same densities, same company, for nearly half the price. That's why it seemed a good value. Far as I could tell, the only drawback would be reducing my comfort 'trial' from 120 days to 30. I wouldn't be losing my ability to swap out the comfort layer, the same 3" of latex, and in fact would only cost me 2/3 the price of return shipping exchanging the talalay on the stacked setup vs sending back the 3" latex from the Camilla. This has been the closest I've been able to get to comparing apples to apples, comparing the same 1.5 density poly base matched with 3" of talalay. It's not two different base foam densities or talalay vs dunlop or LI latex vs FBM.

You mentioned mixing and matching toppers being potentially problematic - does anyone have any input regarding the same exact latex (3" LI talalay) being used as a comfort layer in the top 3" of a one piece mattress vs being used as the top 3" comfort layer as a topper over the same base foam? Maybe it's not the quality I was thinking it was, but since the low cost crazy quilt is Brooklyn Bedding's product and the same density as their Camilla and using the same latex they have to offer I thought I'd be getting decent quality from a company suggested here. I'm not trying to nitpick or be combative at all - just confused.

Originally trying to save money, I inquired about going the diy route with a place like FBM to save a few bucks. Everyone said they're shaky, you might not get the quality you think you are. Better to stick with a reputable company like one listed among the vendors here on TMU. I keep researching and come up with a combination of materials made by a referred company here, and people seem to think it's a poor choice or not the best value or below average quality to what I could find from a vendor listed here. When it's exactly the product of someone listed here (Dreamfoam/BB). Just confused that's all. Heck I thought I was ahead of the game, putting together for all intents and purposes an $800 mattress for half the price with the same quality materials of the same brand. :P I have a tendency to be thick headed sometimes, and I could clearly see where I went wrong if I were considering a 1.5 density poly base under 3" of 'engineered latex' trying to save a few dollars compared to the same amount of 3lb density poly foam under 3" premium latex. That would make sense to me, well yea I'm saving a little but in turn I'm getting 'what i paid for'. This isn't the case though. Since the tri-comfort is an all latex, even if better value, it's out of my price point and it's not apples to apples the way the crazy quilt is to the Camilla. I was trying to compare apples to apples and not 2 different constructions, that's why I mentioned the Camilla. It's the closest all inclusive 1 piece mattress offered that resembles essentially what I'd be accomplishing using the CQ with the topper at half the cost. Again I might be crazy and I'm not in a position to comment on any of BB's mattresses since I'm not familiar with them - but if I'd be making a questionable choice using BB's CQ with topper for $450, wouldn't it suggest being an outright bad choice to consider the Camilla (a quality product by a reputable company) for $800? Not sure where I'm going wrong.

To comment on your suggestion of dunlop, yes it's definitely better priced latex and I don't think it's a bad material. Especially for a base material. If I were able to afford an all latex mattress I'm quite confident I would choose 3-6" of dunlop with a comfort layer of talalay over it. I would even prefer the dunlop for the middle and bottom layers due to its' denser feel. Right now, I can only consider a thinner comfort layer of latex and this isn't something where I would want to go with dunlop in either an all latex or hybrid construction so I leaned towards the talalay topper. The tri-zone is a 9" all latex mattress (save for the top 1" being poly) - but is made of (2) 4" layers of dunlop. It doesn't offer a talalay comfort layer (unless this is something custom BB would do for an additional price and would push the $700 tri-comfort even further out of reach for me cost wise.

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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