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Benefit of multi layered latex vs. single slab? 25 May 2017 16:36 #1

Hello! Thank you for your fantastic site. Your site led me to visit a local mattress manufacturer today to discuss the purchase of a latex mattress. As a custom shop they could do anything I could ever imagine which of course made me balk at information overload!

The shop suggested that instead of layering to get to a 12" thick mattress (which is what is needed to work properly with our platform bed) to try a single thick slab of latex (talalay) in the ILD of choice. Since this seemed to conflict with the way all mattresses I've researched are created, and what this site suggests, I was a bit wary of the idea. Is there a benefit to going with a single slab vs. layering, or is it better to go with a support and comfort layer(s)?

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Last edit: by jwytt.

Benefit of multi layered latex vs. single slab? 25 May 2017 17:05 #2

Hi jwytt,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

The shop suggested that instead of layering to get to a 12" thick mattress (which is what is needed to work properly with our platform bed) to try a single thick slab of latex (talalay) in the ILD of choice. Since this seemed to conflict with the way all mattresses I've researched are created, and what this site suggests, I was a bit wary of the idea. Is there a benefit to going with a single slab vs. layering, or is it better to go with a support and comfort layer(s)?


The terms “support” and “comfort” layers are more descriptors to help identify different sections/functions of a mattress, and as such a mattress doesn’t need to contain specially designated layers. This is explained a bit more here .

However, there would be no one solid 12” poured layer of Talalay latex. Talalay is poured in 6” cores. Perhaps they were suggesting laminating two 6” cores together?

There would be little if any practical difference between two 3" support layers and a single 6" support layer if they were all the same type and blend of latex and the same ILD and were inside a tight fitting cover with 3" inches of latex of the same ILD on top of them. Two 3" layers would respond a little more independently and because the elasticity of the top 3" wouldn't be connected and "pulling back" on the bottom 3" when it compresses and "in theory" it may act a little bit softer but in practical and real life terms most people wouldn't notice any difference in terms of performance or firmness. If a single 6" core with a 3" comfort layer was a good match for you in terms of PPP then there would be little benefit in having multiple 3" layers that were the equivalent ILD.

Also in "theory only" ... two 3" layers that were exactly the same ILD as a single 6" layer could be less durable over the course of a long lifetime because they will act more independently and abrade each other slightly but I don't think that any difference would be significant or even measurable in "real life" terms and the other factors that affect durability (see post #4 here ) such as the firmness of the layers would play a much bigger role. It certainly wouldn't be a concern of mine.

Multiple layers would indeed have more options for fine tuning though both before and after a purchase because for example a support core with a medium over firm layer would be a little firmer than a medium layer and a little softer than a firm layer (closer to the medium) and you would also have the option to rearrange the layers to firm over medium which would still be in between a medium and firm 6" layer but closer to the firm. You could also use the softer top layer in the middle to create a firmer feel compared to having the soft on top. The main advantage of having more layers in other words is that for those who need it can provide more options to customize the layer combinations either before a purchase or by rearranging or exchanging layers after a purchase. While this is attractive to some people ... it can also add some complexity that may not be necessary or may not justify any extra costs involved in having more layers for others.

Outside of a mattress with more layers having more options to customize the mattress, if a mattress is a good match for you, then one isn't inherently any better than the other.

There really is no formula that can predict with any certainty what type of layering you may do best with that can possibly be more accurate than your own personal experience and without this the next best way to decide on the design of a mattress is to use the "averages" of a manufacturer for people of your weight range, body type, sleeping style, and personal preferences. These "averages" may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on the specific designs and options that they have available (including all the components such as the cover or quilting layers which can also have a significant effect on how the mattress feels and performs not just the latex or foam layers).

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

Benefit of multi layered latex vs. single slab? 26 May 2017 07:19 #3

As Phoenix said, get layers to be able to customize the mattress. I can't stress this enough!
Having just purchased a latex mattress from SleepEZ, even though it was my best "educated" guess for what would work (based on research, trying comparable beds locally, and talking with company) it was too soft. With layers I can easily exchange and customize both sides. I would also consider the return policy, as some companies only allow for exchange or credit. The reason I went with online purchase was to save money while still getting high quality mattress. I would not have done this if it couldn't tailored to my subjective preferences which only really come out after sleeping on the mattress.

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