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Avoiding body impressions 24 Aug 2015 14:56 #1

Is one type of latex better than the other as far as resisting the formation of body impressions over time?

My husband and I have had a few bad experiences with mattresses forming distinct body impressions within a short time period (~6 months in 2 separate cases). My husband is 6'5" & 240. I'm 5'8" & 135. It's not too surprising it happens with him, but it happens for me also, if to a lesser extent. And we both hate it... In both cases it has very quickly compromised our ability to sleep comfortably.

Our current mattress is a very cheap Amazon purchase (Lucid 10" foam), which we bought because we had been burned by paying $1500 for an innerspring mattress which developed body impressions as described above (and which the manufacturer wouldn't cover under warranty because you couldn't actually measure them with a ruler... you could just FEEL them, crystal clear, upon getting on the bed). We didn't feel like risking another $1000+ for another disappointment (we'd rather knowingly buy crap & pay an appropriate price rather than spend a lot of money for crap!). We're willing to pay $$$ this time, if we are reasonably confident we won't have the same bad experience again. and are actually getting a mattress that will remain comfortable & supportive for several years.

While I've read in many places that all-latex mattresses are the most durable option out there, I also read on 1 site (I can't remember whether it was this one, sorry, been on information overload!) that roughly 10% of latex mattress users report the development of body impressions, which is of some concern to me.

I have read conflicting information about whether Dunlop or Talalay is more prone to this phenomenon. I'd love advice on whether there are specific qualities we can look for that would make a mattress less likely to do this.

We're on a Cal King, if that makes any difference.... Like, are split mattresses better/worse in this regard, potentially?

Thank you!

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Avoiding body impressions 24 Aug 2015 23:58 #2

Hi Sekhmet,

Is one type of latex better than the other as far as resisting the formation of body impressions over time?


There is more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here but with the possible exception of 100% natural Talalay latex that is in lower ILD's I would treat all the types and blends of latex as being comparable in terms of durability although they can certainly have different properties that can affect how they "feel. The type and blend of latex is more of a preference and budget choice than a "better/worse" choice.

Our current mattress is a very cheap Amazon purchase (Lucid 10" foam), which we bought because we had been burned by paying $1500 for an innerspring mattress which developed body impressions as described above (and which the manufacturer wouldn't cover under warranty because you couldn't actually measure them with a ruler... you could just FEEL them, crystal clear, upon getting on the bed). We didn't feel like risking another $1000+ for another disappointment (we'd rather knowingly buy crap & pay an appropriate price rather than spend a lot of money for crap!). We're willing to pay $$$ this time, if we are reasonably confident we won't have the same bad experience again. and are actually getting a mattress that will remain comfortable & supportive for several years.


There is more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase in post #13 here which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists (based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

Outside of PPP ... the most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability and the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label so I would always make sure that a retailer or manufacturer you are considering making a purchase from is willing and able to provide you with the information you need to to compare the quality of the materials and components in the mattress to the quality/durability guidelines before making any purchase.

Premature foam softening from lower quality/density materials (with or without visible impressions) is a very common cause for the loss of comfort and support and is the most common reason for needing to purchase a new mattress much too quickly relative to the price you pay and unfortunately these "virtual impressions" that you can only feel when you sleep on the mattress but can't see when you aren't on the mattress aren't covered by mattress warranties (see post #174 here ).

While I've read in many places that all-latex mattresses are the most durable option out there, I also read on 1 site (I can't remember whether it was this one, sorry, been on information overload!) that roughly 10% of latex mattress users report the development of body impressions, which is of some concern to me.


There are many "so called" latex mattresses that only use relatively small amounts of latex mixed in with other less durable materials or that use thicker layers of less durable materials (usually lower density polyfoam) on top of the latex and these are materials that can soften or break down prematurely which leads to some people thinking that the latex is the issue when it's actually the lower quality materials in the mattress. While it's possible for any foam material (including latex) to be defective ... this would only be a much lower percentage (much less than 10%) and in most cases any sagging issues with latex mattresses are the result of the other materials in the mattress and this is the reason why it's so important to make sure you find out all the information listed here before purchasing any mattress so that you can confirm that there aren't any lower quality or "unknown" materials that would be a "weak link" in the mattress.

I have read conflicting information about whether Dunlop or Talalay is more prone to this phenomenon. I'd love advice on whether there are specific qualities we can look for that would make a mattress less likely to do this.


Latex is generally the most durable of all the foam materials and I would treat them as being closely comparable in practical terms but you may prefer the feel and response of one type of latex over another.

We're on a Cal King, if that makes any difference.... Like, are split mattresses better/worse in this regard, potentially?


There is more about the pros and cons of a side to side "split firmness" mattress in post #2 here .

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Avoiding body impressions 25 Aug 2015 20:24 #3

Phoenix, thank you SO much for your insightful and helpful reply.

I think I like the more "cushy" feel of talalay and had begun to worry that it may not hold up as well, so that is very good news that it shouldn't be an issue as long as we stay away from lower ILDs.

The post you linked regarding a split mattress was extremely informative. Ideally we'd like to get an adjustable foundation, so we will not be able to have a common layer or topper on the top. We do sometimes cuddle, so I've been a little worried about how the split will feel... but generally we like our own space when sleeping and keep to our respective sides of the mattress (hence the twin "ditches" in our current mattress).

While a split mattress allows us to very easily customize our sides, honestly I feel intimidated by the sites that ask me to pick the firmness/type of each layer for each side. Also I am a little concerned about receiving a "bag of layers" that I have to assemble on my own. Whenever possible I like to "keep it simple, stupid." For these reasons I generally feel more attracted to the all-in-one mattress styles that are sold as a single mattress without separable layers.

I have been considering (all in split Cal King):
  1. Habitat Furnishings 9" Sky Bed + S Cape adjustable bed
  2. Plush Beds 9" Botanical Bliss + Reverie 8Q adjustable bed
  3. SleepEZ Select Sleep 13" or 10" + Reverie 8Q adjustable bed

Regarding #1, I have read that you feel that while they offer a high-quality product, they are more expensive than comparable products. However, I'm actually very attracted by the 365-day, no-hassle return policy purely because I am jaded from past bad experiences where a mattress went bad within a year... My husband & I both find the idea of having a year to make sure it's not a ripoff extremely reassuring. I can get this combo for under $5k.

Regarding #2, it is over budget for us. I really want to stay under $5k (the farther under, the better!). But man I LOVE the sound of that Reverie 8Q, especially the "alarm" feature that will raise the head of the bed... Mornings are absolute torture for me, and I need stuff like this to make my life a little easier. ;) The 100-day no-hassle returns is pretty good, better than many places offer.

Regarding #3, this gives me a way to get the Reverie bed + mattress for closer to $5k than option #2 does (with the 10" option), but SleepEZ doesn't have that great of a return policy. The thought of packing up & shipping a split Cal King is extremely unattractive. They support limited swapping of layers within 90 days, but again, you have to do all the packing/shipping yourself + pay some fees.

I've also looked at buying the adjustable base separately, such as from Wayfair or DealBeds.com - I could possibly save some $$ that way.

As you can see, return policy is extremely important to me. It needs to be easy + cheap or free. We are in St. Louis and don't have a ton of options for trying out latex beds in stores. - so I am going with my gut regarding what we would like... Plus limited testing on a couple of Stearns & Foster latex mattresses I encountered in The Back Store (who knew Stearns & Foster made latex mattresses?? I think they were 100% latex...). I am familiar with STL Beds, which I should make a visit to just to try out whatever selection they have on their floor (limited to Savvy Rest & Latex Bliss), although they're not convenient to me so I haven't yet.

In addition to any opinions you might have on choosing among the above options, if you have any guidance on buying an adjustable bed, I would love to hear it.

Thank you again!

EDIT: Here's the S&F one that we liked the feel of in the store: bedroomsolutions.com/Details.asp?Product=1055 I am not seriously considering this mattress, but I liked the softness/firmness levels. I did lie on it for maybe 10 minutes (in spite of the salesperson's incessant interference).
ADMIN NOTE: Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: bedroomsolutions.com/Details.asp?Product=1055

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Avoiding body impressions 25 Aug 2015 22:44 #4

Hi Sekhmet,

The post you linked regarding a split mattress was extremely informative. Ideally we'd like to get an adjustable foundation, so we will not be able to have a common layer or topper on the top. We do sometimes cuddle, so I've been a little worried about how the split will feel... but generally we like our own space when sleeping and keep to our respective sides of the mattress (hence the twin "ditches" in our current mattress).


The post I linked was about a single mattress with separate layering on each side of the mattress (called side to side split layering) but all the layers would be inside a single cover. If you are also interested in considering a split mattress that uses two twin XL mattresses side by side to make a king size mattress that would allow you to adjust each side of an adjustable bed independently then there is more about the pros and cons of having two separate twin XL mattresses that are placed together and used as an Eastern King size in post #8 here and in this topic .

While a split mattress allows us to very easily customize our sides, honestly I feel intimidated by the sites that ask me to pick the firmness/type of each layer for each side. Also I am a little concerned about receiving a "bag of layers" that I have to assemble on my own. Whenever possible I like to "keep it simple, stupid." For these reasons I generally feel more attracted to the all-in-one mattress styles that are sold as a single mattress without separable layers.


Each person can have very different criteria about what is most important to them so my role is to help you recognize the pros and cons of all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you so that you can make more meaningful comparisons and more informed choices outside of marketing claims that are more about "selling" than about "educating".

Most people wouldn't have the knowledge or experience to choose the firmness of their layers on their own so it's probably not a good idea to choose them based on just your own knowledge or based on online information without some good guidance. There is more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of comfort and PPP in post #2 here that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for once you actually sleep on your mattress in "real life" but when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart (which would include Brooklyn Bedding) who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept well on and liked that they are familiar with, any special considerations you may have, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about helping you to "match" their specific mattress designs or firmness options to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences or even to other mattresses that they are familiar with than anyone else (including me) so that in combination with your own personal testing you can make the "best possible" choice with the highest chance of success.

The assembly of a component latex mattress is a fairly simple job for two people. You can get a sense of what is involved in assembling a component latex mattress in the videos that are linked in post #12 here .

There is more about "finished mattresses" that have glued layers vs component mattresses with unglued layers and zip covers in post #15 here and post #2 here . One certainly isn't "better" than the other and there are pros and cons to every mattress design.

if you have any guidance on buying an adjustable bed, I would love to hear it.


I would treat the purchase of an adjustable bed and a mattress as two separate purchases so you can choose which one of each you prefer and make apples to apples comparisons with each of them instead of being locked in to a combination where you may prefer either the mattress or the adjustable but not both (unless of course you would purchase the same mattress and adjustable from the same store if you were buying them separately anyway or you are receiving a discount for buying both that would make purchasing the combination purchase worthwhile for you). The same mattress will "work" just as well on any adjustable bed.

There is more information about choosing an adjustable bed in post #3 here and the main adjustable bed topic that it links to that can help you choose an adjustable bed based on price vs features comparisons and also includes some retailers that you can use as good sources of information about the features of the adjustable beds they carry and as pricing references as well (in post #6 in the main adjustable bed topic). Of course there are many other sources as well and prices can change on a regular basis so I would also include some internet searching in your research. I would also keep in mind that online advertised prices are often price controlled so make sure you call the stores you are considering to find out their best prices rather than just looking at websites.

Habitat Furnishings 9" Sky Bed + S Cape adjustable bed

Regarding #1, I have read that you feel that while they offer a high-quality product, they are more expensive than comparable products. However, I'm actually very attracted by the 365-day, no-hassle return policy purely because I am jaded from past bad experiences where a mattress went bad within a year... My husband & I both find the idea of having a year to make sure it's not a ripoff extremely reassuring. I can get this combo for under $5k.


A trial period is to help you decide whether a mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and a 365 day trial period is more about marketing than anything else. It would be very uncommon for someone not to know whether a mattress was a good match for them in terms of PPP in the first 90 days and it would be almost unheard of not to know within 90 days.

Once you know that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP then anything beyond that would be a durability issue and unless you have a mattress that uses really low quality materials a year wouldn't be nearly long enough to tell you anything about the durability of the mattress so a 365 day trial period would have very little value in terms of telling you anything meaningful about durability.

Again ... this is just marketing that is designed to attract those who have very low expectations about the durability of a mattress (probably because they are used to buying mattresses that soften or break down much too quickly).

You would looking at a substantial premium compared to other similar mattresses that use the same design with the same type and blend of latex layers in a similar thickness with a similar cover and I would make sure that the "real life" benefits benefits are "enough" to justify the substantially higher price.

Plush Beds 9" Botanical Bliss + Reverie 8Q adjustable bed
SleepEZ Select Sleep 13" or 10" + Reverie 8Q adjustable bed

Regarding #2, it is over budget for us. I really want to stay under $5k (the farther under, the better!). But man I LOVE the sound of that Reverie 8Q, especially the "alarm" feature that will raise the head of the bed... Mornings are absolute torture for me, and I need stuff like this to make my life a little easier. ;) The 100-day no-hassle returns is pretty good, better than many places offer.

Regarding #3, this gives me a way to get the Reverie bed + mattress for closer to $5k than option #2 does (with the 10" option), but SleepEZ doesn't have that great of a return policy. The thought of packing up & shipping a split Cal King is extremely unattractive. They support limited swapping of layers within 90 days, but again, you have to do all the packing/shipping yourself + pay some fees.


Again I would make "mattress only" to "mattress only" comparisons (unless you would also purchase the adjustable bed from the same retailer if that was all you were purchasing).

Both of these are component latex mattresses so the return process would be very similar with both mattresses although it may be a little easier to box up 3" layers than a thicker 6" layer with the Plushbeds.

The price for a return with SleepEZ would be $99 and for Plushbeds would either be free or $99 depending on whether you opened any of the accessories that come with the mattress.

There is more about how Plushbeds compares to SleepEZ in this topic and in post #2 here and a forum search on " Plushbeds SleepEZ " will bring up much more information and feedback about how they compare as well.

Plushbeds uses good quality and durable materials in their mattresses (natural or organic Dunlop and Talalay latex) and they would certainly be a "better than average" choice compared to most of the mainstream mattresses that most people end up buying. They do a lot of internet advertising so they do attract a lot of online attention for those that are looking for a latex mattress. They are also in a higher budget range than many other similar mattresses so I would make some careful "value comparisons" with some of the other component latex options that are available to you.

SleepEz offers many more options in terms of material choices and layering possibilities, has more ways to customize their mattresses, has better exchange options, has a lower cost, has great customer support and service and for most people would be better "value". They are also a member of this site which means I think very highly of them and I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency, and of course the 5% discount for the members of the forum is an added bonus.

EDIT: Here's the S&F one that we liked the feel of in the store: www.bedroomsolutions.com/Details.asp?Product=1055 I am not seriously considering this mattress, but I liked the softness/firmness levels. I did lie on it for maybe 10 minutes (in spite of the salesperson's incessant interference).


This is an example of a "latex mattress" that I mentioned in my last reply because of the 2" of "unknown quality/density foam above the latex which I would avoid and would likely be a weak link in this mattress. It's also in a very high budget range for a mattress that contains about 9" of "mostly synthetic" latex.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Avoiding body impressions 27 Aug 2015 07:47 #5

Again, thank you!!

Phoenix wrote: The post I linked was about a single mattress with separate layering on each side of the mattress (called side to side split layering) but all the layers would be inside a single cover. If you are also interested in considering a split mattress that uses two twin XL mattresses side by side to make a king size mattress that would allow you to adjust each side of an adjustable bed independently then there is more about the pros and cons of having two separate twin XL mattresses that are placed together and used as an Eastern King size in post #8 here and in this topic .

Thanks so much. So actually because we have a California King, it won't be 2 Twin XLs... it would be more like Twin XXLs, if there were such a thing. :) It occurs to me that this has some drawbacks particularly in the area of buying sheets, mattress protectors, etc; there are not a lot of options out there, because 36x84 is a rare/specialty size. I did some googling just to make sure they're out there, and of course they are, but it will limit my ability to comparison shop & choose exactly what I want. Luckily I prefer simple white sheets!

SleepEz offers many more options in terms of material choices and layering possibilities, has more ways to customize their mattresses, has better exchange options, has a lower cost, has great customer support and service and for most people would be better "value". They are also a member of this site which means I think very highly of them and I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency, and of course the 5% discount for the members of the forum is an added bonus.

So focusing on SleepEZ for the moment.... specifically these:
Natural Select Sleep 10", $2080
Natural Select Sleep 13", $2650
Organic Select Sleep 10", $2331
Organic Select Sleep 13", $2871

I have 2 questions for you:
  1. All things being equal, as in the above choices, is there any palpable advantage to a 13" mattress versus a 10" mattress other than aesthetics?
  2. Again, all things being equal, is there any real advantage to the use of organic cotton over non-organic? I buy organic in general, certainly with food but only rarely with things like clothing. Organic cotton should be more eco-friendly to produce, which I certainly appreciate. But does it actually affect the quality of the mattress in any way?.

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Last edit: by Sekhmet.

Avoiding body impressions 27 Aug 2015 11:57 #6

Hi Sekhmet,

All things being equal, as in the above choices, is there any palpable advantage to a 13" mattress versus a 10" mattress other than aesthetics?


There is more about the effect of layer or mattress thickness relative to different body types and sleeping positions in post #14 here and this is certainly something that I would include in your discussions with them.

Again, all things being equal, is there any real advantage to the use of organic cotton over non-organic? I buy organic in general, certainly with food but only rarely with things like clothing. Organic cotton should be more eco-friendly to produce, which I certainly appreciate. But does it actually affect the quality of the mattress in any way?.


There is more about the benefits of an organic certification in post #3 here and there is more about the different levels of organic certifications in post #2 here and about organic and safety certifications in general in post #2 here . If the type and quality of the cotton was the same then an organic certification wouldn't make any difference in the quality or durability of the cotton and would be a choice that was based more on personal or lifestyle preferences.

Phoenix
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Avoiding body impressions 27 Aug 2015 14:53 #7

Thanks again! So I called SleepEZ (twice actually) and had extremely helpful conversations with the gentleman there. On both points (thickness & (in)organic), he actually ultimately steered me toward the cheaper option, which is usually a good sign of a business with integrity. It is always refreshing when that happens. :)

He made one really good and important point: The 10" mattress will perform far better on an adjustable base than the 13". The 13" will resist the adjustment much more and simply will not work nearly as well for this purpose.

Regarding organic or not, I realized that with SleepEZ's lineup this also means choosing between 100% natural talalay & blended talalay. I did some more reading here on the forum, then called him back to get his take, which agreed with the advice here; the blended is believed to be more durable. While I try to be as eco-friendly as I can, at this point after our bad experiences I am going for durability everywhere I can.

All of which happily coincide to lead me to the cheapest option:
Natural Select Sleep 10", $2080

Based on our body sizes & sleeping positions, he recommended soft/med/firm for me & med/med/firm for my husband. Despite his back sleeper habits and need for support I've noticed that my husband really appreciates the feel of "sleeping on a cloud," so I am thinking I should go with blended talalay for all 3 layers... Or is there any reason to keep it Dunlop on the very bottom?

I think I will place my order tonight. Thank you!

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Avoiding body impressions 27 Aug 2015 15:46 #8

Hi Sekhmet,

He made one really good and important point: The 10" mattress will perform far better on an adjustable base than the 13". The 13" will resist the adjustment much more and simply will not work nearly as well for this purpose.


Not surprisingly ... I would agree with this as well. While a 13" latex mattress will 'work" ... it won't work "as well" and you may find that the cover bunches up more as well when you raise the head and foot of the mattress.

Based on our body sizes & sleeping positions, he recommended soft/med/firm for me & med/med/firm for my husband. Despite his back sleeper habits and need for support I've noticed that my husband really appreciates the feel of "sleeping on a cloud," so I am thinking I should go with blended talalay for all 3 layers... Or is there any reason to keep it Dunlop on the very bottom?


There is more about the differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here . The main reason to choose 100% natural Dunlop vs Talalay (or the other way around) for the bottom layers would be your own personal preferences and if you don't have a compelling reason to choose one over the other or if you are unsure I would stick with their suggestions.

You are certainly looking at a great quality/value choice and assuming that you pull the trigger tonight ... congratulations on your new mattress :)

I'm looking forward to your comments and feedback when you receive it.

Phoenix
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Avoiding body impressions 28 Aug 2015 19:28 #9

I did pull the trigger! And today I got a UPS shipping notification - looks like it should arrive Thursday. I'm thrilled.

I ended up going with blended Talalay for all 3 layers (soft/med/firm for me & med/med/firm for him). I'm a little nervous about that decision, to use Talalay throughout; I am pretty sure I will like it, but I'm not as sure about my large, back sleeping husband. Fingers crossed!

Also, in doing lots of comparison shopping on both the S-Cape Performance & the 8Q, I ended up calling SleepEz back and they price-matched with another online seller and are giving me a killer deal on the 8Q, which is the one I really wanted. I've been very impressed by them. Very friendly, accommodating, and efficient.

The bed is drop-shipped directly from Reverie, so there is a good chance it may not be here in time for my husband's hernia surgery on Sep 14th, which is unfortunate. An adjustable bed would be fantastic for that recovery since his abs will be super sore & healing. But there's a chance it will make it, and if it doesn't, we'll survive.

As a side note, in comparing those 2 beds, it had occurred to me that for a split mattress, the guards that hold the mattress in position may be especially important, and even moreso when the mattresses are all Talalay so lighter weight... The S-Cape only has guards at head & foot, while the 8Q has guards at the corners. I imagine corner guards will be more effective at preventing the 2 mattresses from getting pushed apart from each other. I hope. :)

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Avoiding body impressions 28 Aug 2015 20:14 #10

Hi Sekhmet,


Now that you've officially pulled the trigger ... congratulations once again on your new mattress and adjustable :)

As a side note, in comparing those 2 beds, it had occurred to me that for a split mattress, the guards that hold the mattress in position may be especially important, and even moreso when the mattresses are all Talalay so lighter weight... The S-Cape only has guards at head & foot, while the 8Q has guards at the corners. I imagine corner guards will be more effective at preventing the 2 mattresses from getting pushed apart from each other. I hope. :)


If you have a split king or split cal king adjustable then Reverie sells an optional retainer bar kit that replaces the inside corner guards that allows each side to be positioned close together (see posts #10 - #12 here ).

Phoenix
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