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Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 14 Sep 2016 17:29 #1

Getting close to pulling the trigger on a latex mattress. My wife and I found a popular named brand latex mattresses at a natural bedding store that we really liked. Price was $3400 plus 6% sales tax for a total cost of $3600. Although the company would not provide ILD numbers, they do divulge the type of latex being used, the manufacturer who makes the latex, along with a basic firmness rating of Soft, Medium or Firm. Given this information I did some additional research and have come up with the a DIY design that I believe will come very close to the mattress in the store.
Store Design Mattress:
3" Support Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Coco Latex or Latex Green in firm
3" Middle Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Coco Latex or Latex Green in medium
3" Comfort Layer - 100% natural Talalay by Radium in medium

The design I came up with that I hope matches:
3" Support Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Latex Green ILD 38
3" Middle Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Latex Green ILD 28 - 31 or
100% natural Dunlop continuous pour by Mountain Top Foam ILD 32
3" Comfort Layer - 100% natural Talalay by Radium ILD 28 or
100% blended Talalay by Latex International/Talalay Global ILD 28

Mattress cover - zippered natural cotton cover quilted to wool

Total cost delivered will be between $1,158 and $1,237. I've been going over my numbers and have called the various online places to verify the prices and feel confident this price is accurate. I'm just having a hard time believing the price difference between my DYI mattress and the local store. The downside to a DYI mattress is that I won't be able to return anything, Worse case is I have to buy another top layer to try for about $320 - $340. I'm pretty confident the two bottom layers will be fine.

I'll provide an update when we finalize our decision.

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Last edit: by dsw61. Reason: spelling

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 14 Sep 2016 18:25 #2

Hi dsw61,

Although the company would not provide ILD numbers, they do divulge the type of latex being used, the manufacturer who makes the latex, along with a basic firmness rating of Soft, Medium or Firm.


When you are testing a mattress locally then disclosing "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components are a good "match" for you relative to the mattress "as a whole" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of any individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers may. In other words ... I would consider ILD/IFD information to be a legitimate part of what many manufacturers consider to be "proprietary" information.

They are probably also well aware that many of their customers may just be "showrooming" their mattresses and may be intending to purchase a similar mattress or combinations of layers and components online so they would have no reason to disclose ILD/IFD information to a potential customer. ILD/IFD itself is also only one of several factors or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm a layer or a mattress will feel to different people and can sometimes be more misleading than helpful (see post #4 here ).

For most people though that aren't particularly sensitive then "word ratings" would probably be "close enough" to approximate another mattress as long as the type and blend of latex and the thickness of each layer was the same and the cover (which can also have a significant effect on the feel and performance of a mattress) was also very similar. Having said that ... for those that are more sensitive to smaller differences between two mattresses and are closer to the "princess and the pea" than the "I can sleep on anything" end of the sensitivity range then they may need to "match" each layer and component more closely.

The design I came up with that I hope matches:
3" Support Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Latex Green ILD 38
3" Middle Layer - 100% natural Dunlop by Latex Green ILD 28 - 31 or
100% natural Dunlop continuous pour by Mountain Top Foam ILD 32
3" Comfort Layer - 100% natural Talalay by Radium ILD 28 or
100% blended Talalay by Latex International/Talalay Global ILD 28


These certainly sound like reasonable approximations although I would be a little bit careful with the Continuous Pour latex from Mountaintop foam because their ILD ratings may not match the ILD ratings of molded Dunlop (see post #8 here ) and they also have a different "feel" that is somewhat in between Dunlop and Talalay as well.

Total cost delivered will be between $1,158 and $1,237. I've been going over my numbers and have called the various online places to verify the prices and feel confident this price is accurate. I'm just having a hard time believing the price difference between my DYI mattress and the local store. The downside to a DYI mattress is that I won't be able to return anything, Worse case is I have to buy another top layer to try for about $320 - $340. I'm pretty confident the two bottom layers will be fine.

I'll provide an update when we finalize our decision.


I'm looking forward to an update with your comments and feedback once you've finalized everything and have had a chance to sleep on your DIY mattress. Hopefully your initial choices will be a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness,and PPP without needing to make any additions or replacements :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 18 Sep 2016 08:22 #3

The latex mattress industry is definitely convoluted. Lets say a consumer wants a bed with a configuration that has 3 - 3" layers; which is fairly common. The first two layers will be Medium over Firm natural Dunlop from Latex Green. You call five different companies and here's what you're are likely going to be told:
Company 1: Medium 25- 28 ILD Firm 29 - 32 ILD
Company 2: Medium 30 - 32 ILD Firm 38 - 40 ILD
Company 3:: Medium 26 - 30 ILD Firm 31 - 35 ILD
Company 4 : Medium 31 ILD Firm 35 ILD
Company 5: Medium 28 ILD Firm 38 ILD

Makes it really hard to try and duplicate a mattress sold at a retail store on your first attempt. I was prepared to buy the first layers from "company 5" because they had the best prices; but now I'm not so sure. Have to decide something soon though.

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Last edit: by dsw61. Reason: spelling

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 18 Sep 2016 10:07 #4

Hi dsw61,

The latex mattress industry is definitely convoluted.


It's not just the latex part of the industry that doesn't have standardized firmness ratings. There are no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings in the whole industry and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

I would also keep in mind that ILD is only one of several variables or "specs" that will determine how soft or firm an individual layer or a mattress "as a whole" will feel to different people (see post #4 here ). In addition to this the ILD of different materials or different types and blends of latex also aren't always directly comparable to each other (see post #6 here ) so using the ILD of a particular layer or combination of layers as a reliable indication of how firm a mattress may feel to you compared to another mattress with a different combination of layers can sometimes be more misleading than helpful.

Some manufacturers that make molded 100% natural Dunlop don't test their cores for ILD and use density as a firmness rating instead and using density may be a more reliable way to approximate the firmness of one 100% natural Dunlop layer vs another (assuming they are both 100% natural Dunlop made in a mold and are the same thickness). The "word ratings" they use aren't nearly as important as the actual firmness of the layers they have available.

You can get a sense of how the density of 100% natural Dunlop made by Latex Green relates to ILD in post #2 here and other manufacturers would be in a similar range although they may use different word ratings for the same density or ILD.

Makes it really hard to try and duplicate a mattress sold at a retail store on your first attempt. I was prepared to buy the first layers from "company 5" because they had the best prices; but now I'm not so sure. Have to decide something soon though.


When you are testing a mattress locally then disclosing "comfort specs" such as ILD/IFD isn't really necessary or an important part of transparency because with careful testing your body will tell you much more about whether any specific combination of layers or components are a good "match" for you relative to the mattress "as a whole" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) than knowing the ILD/IFD of any individual layers regardless of what the actual numbers or word ratings may be. In other words ... I would consider ILD/IFD information to be a legitimate part of what many manufacturers consider to be "proprietary" information.

Many brick and mortar stores that sell component latex mattresses are also well aware that many of their customers may just be "showrooming" their mattresses and may be intending to purchase a similar mattress or combinations of layers and components online so they would have little reason to disclose ILD/IFD information to a potential customer when it won't help them decide which mattress would be the best "match" for them anyway.

When you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) 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 on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences or to other mattresses that they are familiar with than anyone else.

While they may not all have the same opinions for many different reasons ... a good online retailer or manufacturer will generally make suggestions that they honestly believe have the best chance of success based on the information you provide them when you talk to them on the phone because this is in both your own and their best interests (mattress returns are very costly for a retailer or manufacturer) but at the end of the day the only way to know for certain whether any specific mattress or combination of layers is a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience so if you can't test a specific mattress in person then the options you have available after a purchase to either exchange the mattress or individual layers or components or return the mattress for a refund (and any costs involved) would generally become a more important part of your personal value equation just in case (and in spite of the "best efforts" of everyone involved) a mattress you purchase doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 19 Sep 2016 15:48 #5

All the components for my DIY latex mattress will come from three companies listed in the "Members List" on this site. I hope they are all still in good standing. :) I won't be returning anything so as long as they ship what's advertised on their websites, I should be good.

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Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 19 Sep 2016 15:54 #6

Hi dsw61,

The members list is always up to date and they are all in "good standing".

I'm looking forward to finding out the specifics of your DIY design and of course how you like it once you've received everything and put it all together.

I also hope you "get it right" the first time without needing to return or exchange anything :)

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 20 Sep 2016 10:13 #7

Looks like my first layer is going to be Latex Green ILD 38. The comfort layer will be Radium Talalay 28 ILD. Trying to decide between Latex Green Dunlop 28 ILD or 31 ILD for the middle layer. All layers are 3 inches. The consensus from talking to the on-line mattress companies is most people can't tell the difference of a couple of ILD, which I believe is accurate.. Just trying to decide if I should err towards being marginally softer or firmer. Some Savvy Rest info I stumbled on makes me think their medium Dunlop that I'm trying to match is on the medium firm side; with an ILD range that starts at 31.. Any thoughts would be appreciated..

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Last edit: by dsw61. Reason: wording

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 20 Sep 2016 10:26 #8

Hi dsw61,

Trying to decide between Latex Green Dunlop 28 ILD or 31 ILD for the middle layer. All layers are 3 inches.


Latex Green 100% natural Dunlop that has a density of about 80 kg/m3 would be a medium firm layer and would have an ILD range of somewhere between 28 - 33 ILD ( see here ). The ILD would also vary from the top to the bottom and and at different points across the surface as well so a 28 ILD layer and a 31 ILD layer may both be the same firmness anyway. Latex doesn't come in exact ILD's (only ranges) and I would also agree that most people wouldn't feel any difference between 2 layers that are only 3 ILD apart even if it was the top layer (which is the one you would tend to "feel" the most) and in deeper layers it would be even less likely that you would feel any difference.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 20 Sep 2016 12:12 #9

Thanks Phoenix. I asked "Savvy rest" for the weight of their queen 3" Dunlop medium and firm, and they came back with 51 and 54 lbs; which when I do the calculations seems way off to me, unless I'm calculating it wrong.

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Coming down the home stretch on a latex mattress purchase 20 Sep 2016 12:28 #10

Hi dsw61,

They seem off to me as well if they are referring to the total weight of a layer that is 60" x 80" x 3".

It's possible that they mean 5.1 lbs/ft3 and 5.4 lbs/ft3 which would "translate" into 81.7 kg/m3 and 86.5 kg/m3 repectively but of course I don't know.

I would also keep in mind that Savvy Rest uses CoCo latex for their Dunlop and if you are comparing 100% natural Dunlop made by different manufacturers the same density may not be exactly the same firmness because of differences in their formulations. Because of variations in ILD with Dunlop (it only comes in ranges and not in exact ILD's) and because of variations between different manufacturers the best you will be able to do is make reasonable approximations that for most people would be close enough and it will be a waste of time trying to make "exact" comparisons.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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