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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 12:51 #1

I'd like to add a "little bit of softness" to my current very firm setup, which is this:
  • 3" bottom layer: 45 ILD foam
  • 3" middle layer: 36 ILD talalay latex
  • 3" middle layer: 36 ILD talalay latex
I love the support, but if I'm being really real with myself, it's just a little too hard to be really comfortable. I sleep on side, stomach, and back at different times (in that order of frequency). When I'm on my side, it's tough on the hips and shoulders. On my stomach and back, it's pretty good.

When I first bought the mattress, I tried substituting the top 3" 36 ILD layer with a 3" 28 ILD layer. That was too soft. I still want the mattress to feel very firm. I also don't want to make the mattress so thick that it's hard to fit a fitted sheet on it, and I don't want to go too much deeper in general.

Adding a topper definitely seems like a good option to add the little bit of softness I'm looking for. I'm having trouble deciding whether to go with latex, memory foam, or wool. And within each choice, there are more choices!

Latex: at the place I ordered my original latex from , they offer thicknesses of .9 and 1.8 inches for a topper. I'd have to pick a thickness and an ILD..

Memory foam: 4 lb seems like the right density, but I'm not sure whether 1 or 2 inches is the right depth.

Wool: Phoenix has a pretty great post on wool toppers (post #3 in this thread) . I'm looking at the thinner of the two options at Holy Lamb organics as a good option, but there are so many other options I'm not sure at all if this is a sound choice!

I'm leaning toward the wool because it seems like the option that "least alters" my underlying bed structure. But that might be wrong. A thin layer of latex or foam might actually do a better job meeting my needs.

I'm confused! Looking for any advice or info that can help me decide between latex, foam, and wool topper (and then once that's decided, I need help picking the right specific options).

Thanks in advance!

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Last edit: by tbmh. Reason: added link

Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 13:27 #2

Hello- Just wrote a review for My Green Mattress / Quality Sleep Shop where we took a "too soft" latex mattress and reconfigured it for parents who had back problems because of the poor support. They now have a bed we built by hand that's mostly firm or very firm latex like yours. Based on what worked for them after trial and error it seems a 1-2" soft topper on top of the bed (not in the mattress) might work for you. To know how thick and how soft you'd need to probably provide more specification about your height and weight. You already mentioned you sleep on your side so probably need enough cushion for hip and shoulder support, but not too many inches so that your lumbar support sags, like theirs did. Initially we had some folks recommend a 3" topper for them, but they are < 5'7" and weigh less than 150lbs so that would have been too much softness and sinking for them. It may be right for you if you are > 150 lbs. But if you are on the smaller side you probably just need 1-2" of something softer atop your firm mattress which will stop you from sinking and ruining your back.

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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 13:30 #3

I'm 6'0 and 160 lbs for what it's worth

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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 14:21 #4

Hi tbmh,

I'm confused! Looking for any advice or info that can help me decide between latex, foam, and wool topper (and then once that's decided, I need help picking the right specific options).


Post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to has more information that can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point to choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the best chance of success.

There is also some information about wool toppers compared to softer foam toppers in post #8 here .

The choice of material would be a preference choice not a "better/worse" choice based on the properties of each type of material that you tend to prefer. There is also more about how latex and memory foam compare in post #2 here but the most reliable way to know which type of material you tend to prefer sleeping on is based on your own personal experience.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 16:34 #5

Thanks Phoenix. Believe it or not I've read all these links! And the OP is where it all kind of led me..

It seems that all that's left for me to do is try things personally, but I only really want to try things on my very specific mattress configuration. That means I can't try different options at a store. I actually have to buy stuff. This is where return policies get important I suppose

So supposing I can eliminate memory foam from contention (in my experience I just prefer the feel of latex) and I want to try 1" 28ILD latex topper and a 1.5-2" highest quality wool topper (after compression), what would be my best bet for a source that has a return policy that actually lets you try these things out?

(Also, I am basing my choice of 1" or 28 ILD based on the fact that 3" of 28 ILD felt too soft. Maybe I should do 1 inch of 21 ILD instead if what I'm looking for is to soften up the feel of the 36 ILD but maintain the support. Or maybe 2 inches of 28 ILD, but I worry that it's too close to the original configuration of 3 inch layers of 45/36/28 that I felt was too soft)

The places I've checked out have decent enough sounding return policies, but also say that if you take the thing out of the original package you can't return it (see Holy Lamb for example). That certainly restricts one's ability to actually unroll the thing and try it out

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Last edit: by tbmh.

Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 17:13 #6

Hi tbmh,

It seems that all that's left for me to do is try things personally, but I only really want to try things on my very specific mattress configuration. That means I can't try different options at a store. I actually have to buy stuff. This is where return policies get important I suppose


Yes ... if you aren't familiar with the general properties of a material or if you haven't tested a mattress/topper combination in person or you don't have reasonable confidence that a certain topper would make a suitable choice for you based on conversations with different suppliers then the exchange or return policy can be one of the most important parts of the "value" of a topper purchase.

So supposing I can eliminate memory foam from contention (in my experience I just prefer the feel of latex) and I want to try 1" 28ILD latex topper and a 1.5-2" highest quality wool topper (after compression), what would be my best bet for a source that has a return policy that actually lets you try these things out?


The topper guidelines includes this link to a list of the better online topper sources I'm aware of and this link to a list of some of the foam topper suppliers (including latex) that have a return/exchange policy (although I would make sure you check for the costs involved because they can vary).

The previous post you linked includes the better sources for wool toppers I'm aware of and the only one I'm aware of that has a return policy for a wool topper that has been opened and used is St Peters Woolen Mill . Big box stores such as Costco or Sams Club or Walmart also have good return policies and some of the Amazon stores (but not all of them) and Amazon itself (for the products they fulfill directly) also have a return policy and would be worth considering if they sell a topper that you are interested in trying.

Phoenix
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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 20:08 #7

Thanks! Just one last question (I hope)..

I currently have a cotton cover that fits snugly around my 9 inches of latex layers (ie, it couldn't fit more). If I add a 1 or 2 inch latex topper, it seems like I'll need a separate cover for that - is that right?

What about a wool topper like this one from St Peter's Woolen Mill ? Does that require an additional cover, or do I just put a sheet directly over it?

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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 25 Feb 2015 21:43 #8

After doing some more research I think I'm going to go with --

1) a Lanoodle from Cozypure
2) a wool topper from Cozypure

-- and see which one suits me better

Question: between the 1.5 inch and the 3 inch wool topper, which is more comparable to the Lanoodle?

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Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 26 Feb 2015 00:07 #9

Hi tbmh,

I currently have a cotton cover that fits snugly around my 9 inches of latex layers (ie, it couldn't fit more). If I add a 1 or 2 inch latex topper, it seems like I'll need a separate cover for that - is that right?


Most covers have enough room in them to fit an additional inch of latex but if you start adding more than that then it would depend on the tightness of the cover and how the compression of the latex would affect the feel of the mattress. You can also use the topper on top of your mattress as well but I would add a dedicated cover for the topper rather than bare latex if you did this (see post #2 here ).

What about a wool topper like this one from St Peter's Woolen Mill? Does that require an additional cover, or do I just put a sheet directly over it?


This would already have a cover around the wool so you can just use your mattress protector and your sheets on top of the wool topper. Some people may even use their mattress protector under it if they want to maximize the feel of the wool topper.

1) a Lanoodle from Cozypure
2) a wool topper from Cozypure

-- and see which one suits me better

Question: between the 1.5 inch and the 3 inch wool topper, which is more comparable to the Lanoodle?


Neither one would feel the same as the lanoodles but the lanoodles is closer to "about" 1 1/2" thick on average (it's thicker in some places than others depending on how the lanoodles are distributed).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Choosing a topper to add to a very firm latex mattress 27 Feb 2015 09:31 #10

I just spoke with someone at Cozy Pure who was very helpful

Here's a summary of what she said:

1) She gave a very strong opinion about the Lanoodle being awesome. People come into the showroom and are like "Oh my Goooood, what is this, I need to have this! So comfortable!"

2) Wool could be a great option too, but since it nests and compresses over time, using a 1.5" wool topper will provide initial comfort, but will compress over time to the point where it just doesn't make much of a difference. She recommended the 3" wool if I'm going to go with wool, but I wasn't totally persuaded.

3) She says you don't need a protector over a Lanoodle or a wool topper, and that most people just put a sheet directly over them.

Between the Lanoodle and the wool, it's a very tough call! I'm not trying to drastically modify my situation - I'm just looking for a little bit of cushiness over the top of my extra firm support and comfort latex layers. All in all, seems like trying the Lanoodle first is my best bet.

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