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Curious about durability between latex/spring hybrid and all latex/DIY model 06 Jun 2021 14:55 #1

Hi -

I am shopping for a new mattress as we want to upgrade to a cal king and our existing Room and Board foam/coil hybrid is significantly no longer comfortable after only 5 years. At any rate, I am just about settled on a DIY all latex model (narrowed down to Flobeds, Sleeping Organic, Plushbeds, and SleepEZ), but have also been looking at several latex hybrids (Avocado, Plush Beds, Wink, Awara, etc.). I of course want something first and foremost that is comfortable, but also something that will be comfortable for a long period of time both for cost and environmental reasons. I'm wondering what thoughts are about relative durability between 1) a latex hybrid, 2) a layered DIY all latex model, and 3) thoughts on durability of all latex Talalay vs. Dunlop vs. some combination of both.

For reference, my husband is 6'2", 170 lbs, tall and skinny and generally sleeps on his back by preference except when I bug him to roll on his side because of his snoring. My sense is that he would benefit from a firmer mattress.
I am 5'7", 150lbs and always start out on my side, ending up on my back about 30% of the time. I would say by general preference I am a side sleeper. I have significant issues with hip, shoulder, and knee pressure points, and sleep with a pillow between my knees to address the latter. I think my preference is for a softer comfort layer with enough support underneath to maintain spine/neck alignment. Probably ultimately something in the medium range and am interested in FloBeds primarily due to their vzone option and convoluted comfort layer, as they are significantly more expensive than Sleeping Organic and SleepEZ.

All thoughts, suggestions, and experience, and insight welcome. Thank you!

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Curious about durability between latex/spring hybrid and all latex/DIY model 08 Jun 2021 18:15 #2

Hi mhornbein,

Welcome to our Mattress Forum! :)

Thanks for providing your stats and a brief history with your current mattress. Sorry to hear that your “existing Room and Board foam/coil hybrid is significantly no longer comfortable after only 5 years”. At your and your husband’s BMI’s a good quality mattress with durable components should last past 10 years. On the positive side, it looks like you did your due diligence and it is great to see your resolve to ensure both longevity and comfort for your next matters.

You are correct that your husband would benefit from a firmer sleeping surface as a primarily back sleeper and that you as a side sleeper would do better with something of a softer construction (medium firmness may be quite appropriate) to mitigate the several pressure point pains that you are experiencing in several areas of your body.

I of course want something first and foremost that is comfortable, but also something that will be comfortable for a long period of time both for cost and environmental reasons. I'm wondering what thoughts are about relative durability between 1) a latex hybrid, 2) a layered DIY all latex model, and 3) thoughts on durability of all latex Talalay vs. Dunlop vs. some combination of both.


Latex is certainly a very durable material but there are various factors involved in the durability or useful life of a mattress outside of just the material itself (see post #4 here ) The "weakest link" in a mattress in terms of durability is normally in the upper layers (the top 3" - 6" of the mattress) that are compressed more deeply when you sleep on it and not generally in the deeper support layers so the firmer bottom layers of a mattress will have more effect on feel and performance than they will on durability for most people.
Some of the other factors involved in durability are
~ Softness/Firmness:(Softer is less durable)
~ Position of the foam layer within the mattress)
~ Layers above of below a particular foam
~ One-sided vs two-sided or rotating layers
~ Thickness
~ Person using the mattress (Higher BMI ranges and more active people will wear out the mattress sooner)

Some latex mattresses can last for decades but it will depend on the specifics of the mattress … as a group, they will certainly be more durable than any other foam materials. For those who prefer latex over other materials (or some type of latex hybrid), there is really nothing else that will do. If you are considering a hybrid innerspring mattress it is good to know that an innerspring isn't normally the weak link in a mattress in terms of durability. Always find out the type and quality/durability of the materials inside a mattress according to the mattress durability guidelines here . You may also want to have a look at post #3 here . and post #12 here . and post #404 here .).

Latex Dunlop vs Talalay durability is an ongoing discussion in various places on the internet for many years ... The actual durability of any latex will depend a great deal more on how it is used and how it is protected as it will break down with exposure to ozone and ultraviolet and certain solvents and some other substances. To complicate things even more it also depends of the type of Dunlop or Talalay used (Natural/NR, SBR/Synthetic, Blended)

Blended Talalay, NR Talalay, and NR Dunlop are likely to be about equal in the higher ILDs (Firmer comfort levels). In practical terms, this means that used in a mattress core they are likely to be close to equal.

As the densities ILDs (Softer comfort levels). go down ... 100% NR Talalay may start to fall behind the other two ... assuming the materials being compared are of the same ILD. In practical terms this means that in a comfort layer the lower the ILD the durability advantage may go to the NR Dunlop and blended Talalay ... even though Dunlop is not usually seen in ILD's that are as soft as Talalay so an "apples to apples" comparison cannot really be made for the lowest ILD NR Talalay.

There are also some types of Dunlop being made now that use a continuous pour process from either Latexco or Mountaintop in various blends (including synthetic Dunlop from Mountaintop) that are comparable to Talalay in terms of ILD and consistency and are also proving to be very durable materials.

IMO ... neither can accurately be called better than another as it entirely depends on the use they are being put to. In certain applications ... Dunlop is clearly superior when a higher compression modulus is desirable. In other applications ... Talalay is superior when softer more consistent foam is desired. Some of the newer continuous pour Dunlop materials are somewhat in between the two in that they are available in softer ILD's and can be more consistent in terms of ILD variances across the surface and from top to bottom than molded Dunlop (see post #6 here ).

Since all latex is more durable than most other materials and other types of foam ... I would make choices based on which had the more desirable qualities in the application it was being used for, on budget considerations, or on individual criteria and preferences rather than a "better worse" comparison.

I think my preference is for a softer comfort layer with enough support underneath to maintain spine/neck alignment. Probably ultimately something in the medium range and am interested in FloBeds primarily due to their vzone option and convoluted comfort layer, as they are significantly more expensive than Sleeping Organic and SleepEZ.


In your case zoning systems such as the Vzone offered by FloBeds could be very useful and well worth considering. Zoning, in general, is suitable for people that have more difficulty finding a mattress with the right "balance" between comfort/pressure relief (under the shoulders especially) and support/alignment (under the hips/pelvis especially) or who have more challenging circumstances or sensitivities, body types that are more difficult to "match" to a mattress, more complex medical issues, or who have a history of having more difficulty in finding a mattress that works well for them. There is more about zoning in
this article
and in
post #11 here
and the additional posts it links to but the only way to know whether any specific mattress (zoned or otherwise) will be a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP will be based on careful testing or a detailed conversation with the trusted manufacturer that has your interests at heart.

You may have already considered the option of a split left/right configuration mattress or DIY which could prove useful in getting the right comfort/support match for a couple with different needs and preferences that need to be designed in the same sleeping system. The "side to side split" is an effective approach where each side of a mattress is layered differently to take different needs and preferences into account. In effect, you would have two different mattresses on each side combined into one cover (or in some cases a different topper on each side of the same mattress) and each side would feel and perform differently. You can read more about this in post #2 here

I hope this adds a bit more clarification to the good research you’ve done thus far…let us know if you have additional questions.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Curious about durability between latex/spring hybrid and all latex/DIY model 09 Jun 2021 09:18 #3

Phoenix - this is wonderful. Thank you SO MUCH for all the great information. I'm going to dive back into research mode for a bit but will likely chime in with more questions as I go and definitely will follow up once we make a purchase. I do have one additional question now: how can I figure out which dunlop processing method a given manufacturer uses, specifically those which use the continuous pour method you referenced below? I had never seen a reference to it before, but it sounds intriguing. I know Spindle's latex uses this method, and I am really drawn to their no-nonsense marketing and simplicity, but they unfortunately don't make a cal-king size, which we're pretty convinced is what we want.

Thanks again for all the great info. This place is a goldmine for mattress shoppers. I was feeling so overwhelmed and confused before I found Mattress Underground! Now I am still overwhelmed but at least know way more about how and where to look for reliable information, and most importantly, know that there is a great source of reliable information!

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Curious about durability between latex/spring hybrid and all latex/DIY model 10 Jun 2021 09:16 #4

I don't mean to butt in here, but I guess I am....I'm not sure that Spindle does have the continuous pour method anymore. I spoke with them recently and I believe that Kim told me they are no longer working with that company. You might give him a call though. He's a very nice person and also very helpful and eager to educate you rather than to sell you a mattress. He will tell you right away if he doesn't think what he has will work for you. Good luck!

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