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Is a Talalay latex topper best on a medium or firm innerspring mattress 18 Feb 2021 18:30 #1

Before considering an all latex mattress for our master, I’m trying to ease in by experimenting in the guest bedroom. I’d like to try a latex topper on a two sided innerspring mattress from Original Mattress Factory. Does it matter if I buy a firm or medium mattress? I’m considering OMF’s Orthopedic Luxury Firm which they give a 55 feel rating out of 100. It has 2.5 inches of foam on each side as the comfort layer. This would give me more versatility to also use without the topper as it may become a mattress for a kid in a couple of years.

The other model I’m considering is OMF”s Extra Firm. They give that a 95 out of 100 and it’s VERY FIRM. Too firm to sleep on without a topper. Would this be a better base to put the latex topper on or would it not matter?

I’m 6’6”, 220lbs with a very athletic build like a basketball player. Thin with almost no hips but broad shoulders. Side sleeper.

Also, would a medium or firm talalay topper be best for me?

Thank you for your help. Your site is very helpful.

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Is a Talalay latex topper best on a medium or firm innerspring mattress 19 Feb 2021 05:23 #2

I'm sure others will be along to comment as well but I figured I might add a few myself which you may find helpful. First, with your build and given you're a side sleeper, the shoulder area will absolutely be the hardest part to deal with. People that are very tall with a mid to lower BMI (like a swimmer or basketball player) usually have broad but bonier shoulders that need lots of travel and cushioning in the mattress. I would suggest the medium bed with a softer topper (like in the 20-22ILD range, preferably talalay). This should be somewhat comfortable to you (your shoulders probably still won't travel as much as you'd like) but since it's going in a guest bedroom it should also be okay for others with different body types than yours. If this bed were strictly just for you (as you mentioned you might do later) I would definitely suggest going right to an all latex zippable type mattress because you will almost assuredly need some sort of zoning in the shoulder area to feel completely comfortable and get proper alignment (hips and waist will not likely be much less of an issue because of the longer torso). A very firm bed is usually better for either back sleepers (with little spinal curve and no butt) or stomach sleepers, I seriously doubt it would be comfortable for you side sleeping at all.

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Is a Talalay latex topper best on a medium or firm innerspring mattress 20 Feb 2021 14:03 #3

Hi Gdub42.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :) To jump right into your questions...

Does it matter if I buy a firm or medium mattress?

There are a few factors at play here and it is good to see you are considering experimenting in view of an all latex mattress purchase. As the “experiment” OMF mattress will not be yours in the long term, there are different factors to consider. First off, the 2 very different support systems (knotted offset coil vs all latex) will respond very differently so the coil unit experiments cannot be used as a baseline for purchasing an all latex mattress. Being very athletic you are likely are carrying more weight in your torso and shoulders so you need a mattress that allows your shoulders to sink-in adequately and to conform to your body shape when sleeping on the side.

• One area of concern is that the innerspring in the Orthopedic has a more specialized design (along with the other layers above it) and any experiments on this unit would not be relevant to an all latex mattress. The coil is a lower gauge (stronger) and is knotted rather than free arm (or the more responsive Pocket coil) so overall it would be a more solid, stronger, and firmer support core. In addition to this ... different types of innersprings have different properties and response curves and are used for different reasons and purposes in a mattress. Some are designed to contribute more to the comfort of the mattress along with the support (more dual-purpose) while others are used more for the support and the comfort is created through the combination of more specialized materials and foam above the coils. For example, ... a very firm foam may be suitable for a mattress base layer but would be less conforming than a softer base foam so would need a different combination of materials and foams above it. A support core such as latex or pocket coil, that is softer and more conforming would need less foam on top to create a similar feel and would be less specialized in each layer. So, the coil in the Orthopedic line is more "specialized" to provide higher levels of support and the combination of layers above it are where the feel and pressure relief of the mattress is designed into it.

• The (12.5”) luxury firm version OMF you are considering has 2.5" of foam (density and IFD unknown) on each side of the 8” knotted offset coil innerspring unit. While it is impossible to predict how this will work for you in terms of needed support/comfort and preferences, this unit would certainly better accommodate a side sleeper provided that you zero in on an appropriate thickness and ILD of latex topper. However, your large width differential “with almost no hips but broad shoulders” may still present some challenges. In terms of “versatility” to use without a topper for a child, this depends of the age of the child and some other factors I’ll outline below in my response.

• The (10.5”) luxury extra-firm version OMF you are considering has just 1.0" (density and IFD unknown) on each side of the 8” knotted offset coil innerspring unit. This bed is certainly designed with stomach & back sleepers and very young children in mind. What you feel on the mattress in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) would be more important than the specific differences in design.

Children have much different needs than adults because their body shape in not yet as curvy and they tend to do better with a firmer surface. I personally would focus on finding the appropriate comfort/support balance for you whether you decide to go with a customizable mattress or mattress/topper combo. One of the advantages of getting a multi-layered component style system mattress is that you can add or exchange layers as your child grows. If and when they need a softer comfort layer in their "sleeping system” you can also add a softer topper to any firmer child' mattress when they get older and develop more adult proportions. Generally, a child won’t need more than 6” or so of latex, so you can certainly use the lower/firmer layers for a child’s bed as they are very adaptable at a younger age and can sleep almost on anything.

Generally, for growing children, you want something more in the “medium” to “medium-firm” range, due to their epiphyseal plate and postural formation.
Post #2 here includes links to most of the better forum posts and topics about mattresses and children and includes some suggestions and guidelines and links to some good quality/value options as well. This mattress uses good quality materials but I would tend to choose a firmer top layer because children tend to do

To address your question of whether a firm or extra firm mattress would be a better candidate for a topper. Adding a topper to soften a too-firm mattress is very common way to fine-tune a mattress when done properly. The opposite is generally not true and you cannot fix a too soft or sagging mattress by adding a firmer topper.

Also, would a medium or firm talalay topper be best for me?


Side sleepers have more gaps to "fill in” ... additionally your “board shouldered” profile requires a mattress that is more conforming than that of back and stomach sleepers. The medium Talalay would be a better option for this application (but the firmness choice also depends on the topper thickness and the support/comfort layers under it) The benefit of latex is that even in the softer versions, it has a higher resilience and is more "supportive" than other foams, and will both allow more sinking-in and help support the more recessed areas of your body, such as the cervical and lumbar, that need "filling in" and are not in close contact with the firmer support layers underneath.

I'd keep in mind that how far the shoulders and hips “sink-in” has to do with how much weight it carries and the surface area that carries the weight, Thin or narrow shoulders will sink in deeper than thicker wider shoulders at the point of contact when on the side. But how deep it sinks will also depend on the BMI in that particular area. In the same way …narrow more pointed hips will sink in deeper on the side than when lying on the back on a larger surface area. This is part of the reason that weight and body shape are so important and that they are matched to a mattress. Typically, it’s very unusual for the shoulders to sink in too far and the hips or pelvis not enough ... but in your case, this could certainly be possible so you may need to consider having a softer zoned under the shoulders and firmer under the hips.

While no one can tell exactly what firmness would be most appropriate for you (as only you can feel what you feel on a topper/mattress combo), I would agree that something on the medium to softer side will be more comfortable and appropriate in your case than something firm. Broad-shouldered and thin hipped, also need to find the right combo of comfort softness and pillow height to allow the shoulders to sink into the mattress enough to keep them into alignment with the hips without “cranking” the neck.

Once you've had a chance to consider the additional variables I pointed to, let us know of additional questions or any new updates as you move forward.

Phoenix
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Is a Talalay latex topper best on a medium or firm innerspring mattress 27 Feb 2021 20:06 #4

Thank you both very much for your thorough replies. You are both helpful. I’ve made a little progress and have another question or two.

First, I have on order a 3” medium talalay topper from Sleep EZ. I’m going to try this on my current mattress in the master bedroom. This mattress is an Orthopedic Pillow Top from Original Mattress Factory. The mattress is still supportive, but the pillow top has flattened out and the feel has become more firm than I’d like.

As far as the guest bedroom mattress, I’m considering the Luxury Firm from OMF with a latex topper. I’m thinking of trying a 2” topper on that one to just soften it up a bit on the pressure points and still having a nice versatile mattress for our guests. I sleep there about 20% of the time and will sleep there more at first to try it out.

I realize comfort is a personal preference, but am I on the right track? Does this seem like a reasonable experiment?

Mattrebuild suggested a soft topper with an ILD of 20-22. This would equate to the “Soft” from Sleep EZ. Sleep EZ suggested the medium which has an ILD of 30-32. Based on my stats in my original post, which do you think is best and why? Should I stick with talalay or consider dunlop?

There is really only one latex mattress company near me and their showroom is closed due to Covid so I don’t have a way to really try these out ahead of time. I’m trying to get this right so I don’t have to deal with a return or get stuck with something I don’t like.

Thanks again for your help.

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Is a Talalay latex topper best on a medium or firm innerspring mattress 02 Mar 2021 15:51 #5

Hi Gdub42.

Congratulations on your purchase from SleepEZ. :) I am interested to hear how the topper/OMF current mattress combo works out for you.

Mattrebuild suggested a soft topper with an ILD of 20-22. This would equate to the “Soft” from Sleep EZ. Sleep EZ suggested the medium which has an ILD of 30-32. Based on my stats in my original post, which do you think is best and why? Should I stick with talalay or consider dunlop?


A topper in a guest bedroom is going to need to accommodate multiple BMIs and sleeping positions.

Something on the medium - softer side is going to be more comfortable. Dunlop does make a better sitting surface and Talalay is a better and "livelier" sleeping surface so that's a tough call on which way to go.Talalay is also going to be a better option for adding comfort to the mattress in your guest bedroom. Dunlop has a different "feel" and performance than Talalay and is less lively or springy. You can see a comparison between them in post #7 here but your own experience is really the only way to know which one you prefer with any certainty. Some people would notice more of a difference than others with transition or support layers that used each material if the top layers were the same type of latex because you will "feel" more of the upper layers than the deeper layers ... at least when you first lie on a mattress

You may wish to make your decision on what softness to buy based on your own sleeping experience once your new topper from SleepEz arrives. You’ll have a few more data points at that time and it would be easier to fine-tune your purchase based on real-life experience.

Keep us posted.

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.
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