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Accurate information regarding latex mattresses, hybrid mattresses, adjustable bases, latex pillows, etc. Industry professional of over 40 years expertise in the mattress field currently using suppliers Talalay Global, Latexco, Radium Foam, Latex Green and Leggett & Platt.
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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 10:06 #1

We have purchased a nine-inch Sleep on Latex medium mattress (six inches Dunlop medium, two inches Dunlop soft, one inch cover), plus three toppers from SOL (Dunlop medium three inch, Dunlop soft three-inch, Dunlop soft two-inch).

The mattress sits on top of a plywood bunkie board. That sits on a Zinus base.

This is our first latex bed purchase. Both of us really like how latex feels, compared to memory foam. Previously, we have used innerspring mattresses. My wife likes those a lot, and probably would have been satisfied with a Serta-something. I am indifferent about innerspring.

I will number our SOL experiments below, to make it easy for anyone to respond. Currently, we do not have covers on our toppers. I directed this post to Arizona Premium mattress, with the pocket-coil and Talalay questions in mind. I trust their honesty and expertise, whether it results in turning to them for product help or not.

1. Both of us have found the SOL mattress, by itself, to be overly firm. I wake up with lower back pain, though it resolves quickly. I do not have a history of back pain, except when caused by mattresses LOL.

2. With a three-inch Dunlop soft topper on top of the core mattress, my wife still believes she is ‘feeling the base’ more than she wants. Is that perception physically reasonable? Is it relevant, here, that SOL glues their two-inch core soft layer to the six-inch core medium layer? I am pretty satisfied with this configuration, but not in dreamland.

3. She felt great with the three-inch soft topper removed/replaced with a two-inch Dunlop soft topper that we folded-in-two on her side. She attributes it to the springiness of the folded topper. I tried it and noticed the springiness; enjoyed it, but not a must-have for me.

4. I thought 3 above might have been due to the added softness (four inches of soft with the folded topper on the core mattress), and not the springiness. Alas, with both the three inch and two inch soft toppers on top of the mattress (neither folded, so five inches of softness on top, instead of four), she felt the bed was ‘too soft’. I didn’t, but I agreed with her that it felt ‘different’ than either 2 or 3 above. But this leads me to wonder if it wasn’t extra ‘softness’ that bothered, but the now-lost springiness she felt with the folded two-inch topper. She is not sure, but agrees this is possible.

My wife is a 66 year-old side-sleeper. I am mainly a side-sleeper, who flops all over the bed. We are both short, weight 155-170. The SOL mattress minimizes her nightmarish experiences with my sleep patterns, without producing the even-creepier sense that we are not in the same bed at all. High marks there.

Hoping this clarifies, we could keep the core mattress, providing we figure out how to adjust the ‘feeling’ by wise use of toppers (a); we could return the core mattress and put together our own from a set of toppers (perhaps one Dunlop medium three-inch, one Dunlop soft three-inch and one Dunlop soft two-inch (b); we could return the core mattress, purchase a pocket-coil inner spring base, keeping-using our Dunlop toppers with it as needed (c).

I suspect we will return either the base mattress or the Dunlop medium topper, but we have other possible uses, explaining why we purchased a ‘collection’.

I have read some who opine that Talalay is springier than Dunlop. We like Dunlop, but could give a Talalay topper a try. Given the understandable subjectivity of experiences, including ours, and some counter-arguments, I am not sure we would notice a difference between Dunlop and Talalay. For that matter, I suspect that, even with good quality-control, individual mattresses/toppers will give somewhat different ‘feels’.

Believe it or not, neither of us is super-picky, though we are careful consumers. We look forward (soon) to not thinking about our latex bed for years to come; simply enjoying it.

I hope the length of this post was not frustrating. I tried to provide enough details to avoid needless reposts. We will be grateful for questions, thoughts and advice from anyone reading here, expert and otherwise.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 10:26 #2

Thank you for the in depth explanation of your experiences. I'm a Talalay guy myself for my personal use. As a latex specialist I find that Talalay is better suited for those under 200 lbs. especially for side sleepers. Dunlop works best as a base layer but for most a talalay topper will compliment the bed better than dunlop. Talalay, without a doubt, has more spring than Dunlop. Dunlop is more dense and talalay has more air which equates to the extra springy feel of the product. I believe a 3" soft Talalay over the mattress you have now would be the best fit. Sounds to me like you have extra soft dunlop which is why she went through the 3" and felt the firmer base mattress and also why the 5" was perhaps a little too soft. If you know the ILD's of the soft dunlop it would help me make a better recommendation.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 10:35 #3

I would think that the 3" and 2" toppers together would be fine and just take a little getting used to. If that doesn't work it seems that maybe 4" of soft Dunlap topper might be the sweet spot for your wife. You could always get a 1" topper from SOL to add to your 3" topper. I really doubt that the folding of the layer made a difference. What I did for a twin mattress on top of a medium firm poly base was add 2 two inch wavy toppers from mattresses.net and then topped that with a 3" soft topper from SOL. That seems to be perfect. It seem that the slightly firmer wavy layers under the soft Dunlop give a progressive firming before hitting the core.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 11:17 #4

SOL Soft toppers: 20 ILD.
SOL Medium toppers: 30 ILD.
SOL Medium core mattress layer, 6 inches medium: 34 ILD
SOL Medium core mattress layer, 2 inches soft: 20 ILD

I gather you do not consider a pocket coil foundation to be especially relevant; certainly not a first go-to at this stage?

Given our collection ;-), do you believe our 3 inch Dunlop medium topper, our 3 inch Dunlop soft topper, and a 3 inch Talalay topper would work? On balance, returning the core mattress would be a help here, given the added cost of the Talalay. However, if you feel the structure of the core mattress is advantageous, so be it.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 11:20 #5

Interesting. Since both my wife and myself experienced a striking 'springiness' from folding the topper, seemingly beyond a subjective 'margin of error', I wonder ... but we certainly have considered, and will consider, the 1" topper idea. Thanks!

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 27 Feb 2019 14:52 #6

I think the core mattress plus the talalay will work best. I'm afraid the other way will be too soft.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 28 Feb 2019 08:58 #7

Re: our folded topper experiment. The fold acts like a spring, as though the topper wants to return to its original position. This is not subjective. If anything, it's way too springy and, of course, we would never consider this as some sort of solution.

Ken, to your reply:

On your DIY Mattress site, I notice some ILD comparisons between Talalay and Dunlop.

This suggests that our core mattress's Dunlop 34 ILD resembles a Talalay 38 ILD. That seems pretty darn firm, which corresponds to many customer reviews, even positive ones, of Sleep on Latex mattresses.

If we bought an additional 3 inch Dunlop 30 ILD topper for a DIY bed, wouldn't that answer your concern about a base and allow us to return the core mattress, which we have indeed found too firm? Hiding that firmness with toppers seems foolish so long as we are within the return window. In addition, we would purchase the 3 inch Talalay you suggest.

We will still have other toppers in hand as well, suitable for future needs, guests and/or to carry on multiple trips in parallel or leave in readiness at kids's houses. We are net helpers to SOL's bottom line, and have been pleased by their product quality and service to-date.

Next, are our soft Dunlop 20 ILD toppers so very soft that they explain my wife's perceived experience of feeling the base ... which I attribute, increasingly, to springiness, not over-softness?

In any case, we are mainly pushing the gap between mostly decent sleep as-is and great sleep: the current mattress with the 3 inch soft Dunlop topper is 'not bad', though we feel forced into it by the firmness of the base. Sleeping on just the base again, I do experience some pain; none with toppers. When senior citizens say 'not bad', this can be interpreted as 'pretty good'.

So, finally, to springiness. Might a great night's sleep into our 80s come about by a combination of a Caliber Edge or Combi-Zone base, with the Talalay topper or-with one of our Dunlop toppers plus a Talalay topper? Would this provide overall springiness while still giving us a true latex sleep?

Or would this foundation just give an imaginary feeling because it is 'inner-spring' that has nothing to do with how the body reacts to the physics of it all? In other words, assuming a moderately firm base (Dunlop ILD 30?), will the Talalay topper be the entire ballgame? We would prefer DIY-ing our own Dunlop base plus Talalay topper and cover than going Combi-Zone, unless this would give springiness without negative trade-offs.

Finally, we noticed that a decent waterproof mattress cover - not needed, used for a pregnant guest - seemed to make the entire bed feel firmer than otherwise. Without going down some for-now irrelevant rabbit hole, could minor future adjustments (years from now) come from a cover choice-replacement? Any expert tips here?

.... Goes without saying that, wherever we end up, we aren't trying to make you responsible for our choices. Your help and, again, that of others, super-helpful.

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Last edit: by ripvanvinkle.

Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 28 Feb 2019 09:59 #8

Dunlop latex does not nor ever will come in a specific ILD. For example, the 20 ILD soft you have is actually somewhere between an 18 and 22. 20 is the mid point for the spec. There is a noticeable difference between a topper that ranges in the 18 vs one that ranges at the higher end 22. Sounds to me like the one you have is at the lower end which is why it feels so soft.

I don't believe a spring is the answer, I would just add a Talalay to your collection and see if you can't figure out a combination that works. I agree that returning the core mattress is a good idea. I didn't realize the ILD was so high, I thought it was in the 30 range.

Covers are also a very personal choice. I like to be as close to the latex as possible and our organic cotton cover does that for me however most people prefer our plush bamboo cover in store. For me the absolute best feel comes from having a topper in a non quilted cover sitting separately on top of the mattress. The thin stretchy topper cover does not take anything away from the feel of the latex. Mattresses today have to be fire proof and the best way to maintain the natural aspect of the bed is to use wool in the quilted cover. The downside is that the wool can take away some of the feel of the latex which is why I like the topper separate. Toppers don't have the same regulations as a finished mattress.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 28 Feb 2019 10:10 #9

Thanks much, and most happy to be helped by other responses yet-to-come. Otherwise, I think this is more than enough. I will report back on results, once we have decided/acted on specific modifications.

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Understanding our latex mattress and topper experiences 28 Feb 2019 13:19 #10

Glad to help

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