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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 20 May 2014 22:11 #1

  • SeanD
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First off, to save some of Phoenix's time, I'd like to point out that i have been reading this site for about a month now, have read nearly every single post related to DYI and mattress 'theory' (literally every search hit for terms such as "DYI," "cover," "latex", etc.), read all of the standard posts recommended by Phoenix, such as those related to DYI (e.g., "realistic expectations of success and any cost savings"), PPP, personal value equation, all stickied posts, etc. and going with a DYI construction is what i feel is best given my situation.

To start things off, i would like to mention that i have put together a sharable Google document with every Latex vendor I've seen mentioned and/or recommended on this site with their prices and ILD information for what they carry. I did this mainly so i could find which vendors had the best price for the ILD's and latex type i was interested in. All prices are for 3" thick, full size latex layers unless otherwise stated in the mouse-over-note (the little black triangle in the top-right corner of a cell), if the price is variable based on firmness i used a medium (med-soft to med-firm) layer for the base-price in the spreadsheet. Did i miss any other vendors worth including?

Now for some more personal assistance. I'm looking to build a full-size, 100% latex mattress. Natural vs. synthetic is not a huge concern of mine, neither is organic vs. nonorganic, I'm mainly interested in just building the best quality mattress (in terms of function and longevity) for the least cost possible.

My personal stats:
5'10", 180Lbs
60% side-sleeper, 30% back-sleeper, 10% front-sleeper (mainly because my current mattress has such poor pressure relief I'm forced to sleep on my front sometimes, but it's not my preference).
Pretty standard male weight distribution and body shape: 42" circumference around shoulders, 34" around waist, 42" around hips; slightly more weight towards my hip/thigh area than my stomach compared to most other men.
I do get shoulder pain often and some numbness in the arm i'm sleeping on (again, mainly because of my current mattress' poor pressure relief), so I'm probably pretty sensitive to pressure issues.
I don't seem to be overly sensitive to alignment problems, for example i rarely have lower-back pain despite having a pretty 'old' mattress with impressions that throw off my spinal alignment.
I do prefer to sleep slightly 'in' a mattress opposed to 'on' it.

The only latex mattresses i was able to test locally were the Paramount Nature's Spa line, specifically Remedy Luxe, Calm Luxe and 'Something' Luxe (the firmer version, i forget the name). The firmer version was definitely too 'firm' (not enough pressure relief), the medium was very close to ideal (1" of wool over 3" of 17 ILD over an undisclosed core layer), and the soft definitely compromised my alignment (1" of wool over 4" of 17 ILD in the comfort layer i believe). I really wish i had more information about these mattresses but unfortunately Paramount's website doesn't have the information and i couldn't find it anywhere else. So the only information i have is what the guy at the store told me, which wasn't very much (only the thickness of the comfort layer and the ILD). I emailed Paramount 2 months ago and never heard back from them (no surprise there). Pheonix, do you happen to know anything more about these mattresses?

Based on my stats and what little testing i did get to do, mattress design 'theory' would suggest that a ~3" comfort layer would be ideal. I do think i would spend about 80% of my sleeping time on my side if i could get away with it though (i.e., if my mattress had the pressure relief to allow it). So I'm leaning more towards a 3" than a 2" combined comfort layer, and going with a slightly 'firmer' comfort layer, such at 19ILD instead of 14ILD, just to be on the safe side (since i haven't tested a 14 ILD before).

Even though i haven't tested any of the Pure Latex Bliss mattresses personally, based on what I've read here (looking at other peoples' preferences based on their stats), i feel like a PLB Nutrition would be very close to the design i would need/prefer. So I'm leaning towards 3" 19 ILD over 3" 28 ILD over 3" 36 ILD construction (assuming full talalay latex for these ILD numbers, though i may not go with full talalay, see below). I realize this isn't identical to the Nutrition, but does this sound like a 'safe' design (i.e., "In the zone") given my stats? Is the 36 ILD layer too firm? Would i be better off with a ~32 ILD?

Now, for the specifics of what i would buy, i have some additional questions. Is there a place where i can buy synthetic, continuous pour, dunlop layers in the higher ILDs at a good price? I can only seem to find these layers in very low ILDs (only 18-22 ILD from Spindle Mattress and 14-32 ILD from Nest Bedding, though Nest Bedding's Cont. Pour Dunlop is the same price as most vendor's molded Dunlop). The cost-savings of going with a continuous pour, synthetic dunlop layer is enormous (about 2/3rds the price of even synthetic dunlop made in the traditional mold method, compare Spindle's 20 ILD layer for $169 to molded synthetic dunlops for ~$220), so i really wanted to use a core layer of synthetic continuous pour dunlop in the ~36 ILD range to save money. So in short, is there a way to get a 3" thick, full size, continuous pour, synthetic, dunlop layer in ~36 ILD for under $200? Perhaps 32.5 ILD would be firm enough actually. What would the equivalent ILD for talalay be for a 32.5 ILD, synthetic, continuous pour dunlop? I've seen dunlop ILD converted to an approximate talalaly ILD before, but i don't think i've seen continuous pour converted to talalay, which is why i ask.

Assuming I can't find a well-priced continuous pour dunlop layer for the support core, i'd probably just go with a blended talalay latex core (38-40 ILD) from Mattresses247 (an ebay seller) for $255 shipped or a NR dunlop core (30-34 ILD, which should 'feel' similar in terms of the firmness alone as ~36 ILD talalay) from Brooklyn Bedding for $304 shipped or a blended talalay core (~36 ILD) form Brooklyn Bedding for $324 shipped. I'm somewhat worried that the 38-40 ILD layer from Matresses247 would be too firm, but it is $69 (21%) less than the blended talalay from Brooklyn Bedding. Is there anyway i can make the 38-40 ILD layer 'work' by altering other layers slightly to approximate the feel of my proposed design (19-28-36)? Mattress247 also carries 30-32 ILD layers as well for the same price, would 2, 3" layers of 30-32 ILD feel similar to 1, 3" layer of 28 ILD over 1, 3" layer of 36 ILD? Am i correct in assuming that the 30-34 ILD NR dunlop from BB would feel similar to a ~36 ILD talalay layer (since in theory dunlop is 'firmer' because of the difference in the compression modulus)?

For the middle/transition layer I'm planning to go with a 100% natural talalaly latex layer (28 ILD) from Select Foam for $309 shipped. This is definitely the cheapest source of 100% natural talalay that I've found, but the catch is they only sell one firmness level (28 ILD). Luckily, 28 ILD is perfect for a transition layer. Is this ILD high enough that i won't notice a slight decrease in longevity for going with a 100% natural layer compared to a blended talalay layer? I'm trying to be sure I eliminate any potential weak-links in my design, which is why i ask.

For the top/comfort layer i'm planning to go with either a synthetic, continuous pour, dunlop layer (18-22 ILD) from Spindle Mattress for $160 shipped OR a blended talalay layer (19 ILD) from Brooklyn Bedding for $324 shipped. How would these two products compare in terms of feel and longevity? Spending twice the money for something that might be very similar is not something i'd be willing to do given my personal valuation equation.

In Summary:

The cheapest option, utilizing a differential construction, would be:
3" synthetic, continuous pour dunlop, 18-22 ILD, from Spindle Mattress for $160
3" blended talalay, 30-32 ILD, from Mattress247 for $255
3" blended talalay, 30-32 ILD, from Mattress247 for $255
Total: $670 shipped

Vs.

The closest replication of the PLB Nutrition, using a progressive construction, with a 3" comfort layer instead of 2":
3" blended talalay, 19 ILD, from Brooklyn Bedding for $324
3" 100% natural talalay, 28 ILD, from Select Foam for $309
3" blended talalay, 36 ILD, from Brooklyn Bedding for $324
Total: $957 shipped, or $793 if i simply swapped the 19 ILD talalay layer for the Spindle layer

As for covers, i do want a stretch-knit cover. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of options here. The Non Quilted, 4 Way Stretch Zipper Cover from SleepEZ seems to be the only stretchy cover option available that I've found. All of the other options from other vendors are quilted or have a non-stretch rayon backing. Am i wrong here? Are there other stretchy cover options? The $49 shipping fee on the SleepEZ cover does push the price up quite a bit, so i'd be looking for something comparable in the 150-220 range. Assuming there's no other stretchy options other than this SleepEZ model, and assuming i don't want to spend ~$200 on a cover, would i be making a mistake and/or compromising the useful lifespan of my mattress by going with a 'cheap' jacquard velour cover such as this one here ? I do plan on putting a very light-weight wool mattress pad over my cover at some point, most likely a product similar to the St. Dormeir offering, so that should also aid in protecting the mattress and might let me get away with using a cheaper cover as well.

I think i've covered all my bases for now. Looking forward to your response and i'd also like to take this moment to thank you for all the wonderful work you do here and for providing this terrific resource for free. And on the note, i do plan to donate to your website once i've finalized everything; it's the very least i could do to show my appreciation.

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Last edit: by SeanD.

DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 21 May 2014 00:53 #2

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Hi SeanD,

If you are designing your own DIY mattress then you would either need to try and "duplicate" a mattress that you have tested locally where you know the type, firmness, and thickness of all the latex layers and the details of the cover (assuming you have access to the same materials in the same thickness and firmness levels and a similar cover), duplicate a "standard" design that is suggested by an online manufacturer or retailer, or you will need to go through the trial and error process to find the design that works best for you. I think the posts you've already read should have all the "theory" you will need to decide on your initial layering but as you know there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for me to make comfort suggestions or to use a formula to predict the specific layering that may work best for any particular person (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ) so I leave comfort choices to each member's own testing and/or experience or more detailed conversations with the retailers or manufacturers they are dealing with. Even the most experienced mattress designers are often surprised at the difference between how a mattress was "supposed" to feel and how it actually feels when they put all the layers and components together.

Of course once you have put your initial combination together and can provide some feedback and a reference point for how well a specific combination works for you then I'd be happy to make some general comments that may help you decide on any design changes you think may be necessary based on your actual experience or any "symptoms" you are experiencing on your mattress.

I would also take into account that ILD comparisons between different types and blends of latex may not be particularly accurate and ILD is only one of several specs that will determine the feel and performance of latex (see post #2 here ).

Pheonix, do you happen to know anything more about these mattresses?


No ... unfortunately Paramount isn't particularly transparent about the specifics of the materials in their mattresses.

based on what I've read here (looking at other peoples' preferences based on their stats), i feel like a PLB Nutrition would be very close to the design i would need/prefer. So I'm leaning towards 3" 19 ILD over 3" 28 ILD over 3" 36 ILD construction


While this would probably be "in the ballpark" of a combination that could work for you ... they aren't the same as the Nutrition. You can see the specs of the Nutrition here and they are a little different from what you listed (the top layer is Talalay GL fast response and is firmer than the second layer and the base layer is 6" thick not 3").

Is there a place where i can buy synthetic, continuous pour, dunlop layers in the higher ILDs at a good price? I can only seem to find these layers in very low ILDs (only 18-22 ILD from Spindle Mattress and 14-32 ILD from Nest Bedding, though Nest Bedding's Cont. Pour Dunlop is the same price as most vendor's molded Dunlop).


The only other place I've seen that sells the firmer Mountaintop synthetic Dunlop is Brooklyn Bedding which uses 4" zoned convoluted layers that are available in firmer versions but I'm not sure if they sell them separately other than as part of their Tri-Comfort mattress and the zoned convoluting would also change the feel and performance of the layers compared to a non convoluted layer. I would also take into account that the Mountaintop foam 25% ILD ratings may not compare well to other types of latex (either molded Dunlop or Talalay). I would also consider that 100% natural Dunlop has a higher compression modulus than synthetic latex which means it would be a more "supportive" material that may be more appropriate for support layers than the synthetic in some cases.

For the middle/transition layer I'm planning to go with a 100% natural talalaly latex layer (28 ILD) from Select Foam for $309 shipped.


I'm not so sure that their latex is 100% natural Talalay and I would confirm this and find out it's actual firmness rating. If it's rated as 28 ILD then it would almost certainly be blended Talalay (the rough equivalent in 100% natural Talalay would be Latex International's N3 which would be somewhere in a range from 25 - 29 ILD).

As for covers, i do want a stretch-knit cover. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of options here. The Non Quilted, 4 Way Stretch Zipper Cover from SleepEZ seems to be the only stretchy cover option available that I've found. All of the other options from other vendors are quilted or have a non-stretch rayon backing. Am i wrong here?


I haven't talked recently with the different vendors in the component post here about all the cover options they currently have available (websites are often not up to date) but the SleepEz cover would certainly be among the better options. Most of the others also carry unquilted covers as well as far as I know.

Thanks too for the spreadsheet although a quick scan indicated that there may be a few mistakes (I'll have to check more carefully as I have the time available) and I also wouldn't include some of the vendors you listed as reliable sources (Foam By Mail for example doesn't sell Talalay latex even though they say they do and I also don't believe that Foamforyou sells it either). I would also include the specifics of any exchange or return policy and whether they include a cover if I was making comparisons between different sources since that can be a significant part of the "value" of a purchase. The "value" of a purchase would also include the accuracy of the information and guidance you receive when you talk with each merchant and the selection they have available so I tend to avoid encouraging comparisons that are based on price alone and look more at the overall value of a purchase based on the parts of each person's personal value equation that are most important to them (although of course price is always an important part of value).

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up choosing and of course your feedback about how well your design works for you once you sleep on it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 21 May 2014 02:41 #3

  • SeanD
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I'm not so sure that their latex is 100% natural Talalay and I would confirm this and find out it's actual firmness rating. If it's rated as 28 ILD then it would almost certainly be blended Talalay (the rough equivalent in 100% natural Talalay would be Latex International's N3 which would be somewhere in a range from 25 - 29 ILD).


Their site mentions specifically that it's "100% Natural Talalay Latex" and that it is "not made with any fillers or synthetic materials." Now obviously websites can be incorrect but since you've spoken so highly of Select Foam in the past i didn't really view their information very skeptically. I will definitely contact them and get some clarification, so thanks for pointing that out.

Most of the others also carry unquilted covers as well as far as I know.

Non-quilted, sure, but what about any other stretchy-type covers? Do you know of any other stretchy cover examples off hand? I'm failing to see any aside from simple terry cloth covers, which are non-quilted, but not really stretchy in the same way that a stretch-knit cover would be.

I also wouldn't include some of the vendors you listed as reliable sources (Foam By Mail for example doesn't sell Talalay latex even though they say they do and I also don't believe that Foamforyou sells it either).


It's not necessarily a list of reliable sources, just a list of any vendor mentioned at some point by you as an option. I included some of your comments about each vendor, and for Foam By Mail the comment i have set is: "Among the lowest cost for latex however there have been reports that what you receive may not be what you ordered. Included for their price alone," and my personal comment in regards to their 'Talalay': "Warning -- probably not labeled correctly, be careful with this dealer." Foamforyou claims that they sell 6" talalay cores, whether or not that is true i have no idea. Either way, i made the spreadsheet for personal use and only posted it because i figured someone else might find it partially useful.


Hopefully this isn't an inappropriate request, but can i re-ask a couple of my questions from my original post that went unanswered?
  1. What would be the approximate equivalent ILD for talalay be for a 32.5 ILD, synthetic, continuous pour dunlop? Reworded for clarity: If i was trying to mimic the firmness (and only the firmness, not the point elasticity or any other property) of a 32.5 ILD, synthetic, continuous pour dunlop layer using talalay, what would an equivalent ILD be?
  2. Is there anyway i can make a 38-40 ILD layer 'work' in place of the 36 ILD layer by altering other layers slightly to approximate the feel of my proposed design (3, 3" layers: 19-28-36)?
  3. Would two, 3" layers of 30-32 ILD Talalay feel similar to one, 3" layer of 28 ILD over one, 3" layer of 36 ILD Talalay? Obviously the compression modulus would be different for both arrangements, so they aren't truly going to feel the 'same', but if i was to test them blinded, could i realistically tell the two apart?
  4. Am i correct in assuming that the 30-34 ILD NR dunlop would feel similar to a ~36 ILD talalay layer (since, in theory at least, dunlop is 'firmer' because of the difference in the compression modulus)? I know you've answered a question very similar to this one in the past. I spent a good 30 minutes searching through bookmarks trying to find this post of yours but had no luck. Basically, if i was trying to find a rough equivalent of 36 ILD talalay in dunlop, what would it be?
  5. For the top/comfort layer i'm planning to go with either a synthetic, continuous pour, dunlop layer (18-22 ILD) from Spindle Mattress or a blended talalay layer (19 ILD) from Brooklyn Bedding for $324 shipped. How would these two products compare in terms of feel and longevity?
  6. Would i be making a mistake and/or compromising the useful lifespan of my mattress by going with a 'cheap' jacquard velour cover such as this one here instead of a one similar to the SleepEZ Stretch-knit?

Feel free to skip any of these if you feel they are too time consuming to answer. And i do apologize, because i do know you've specifically answered a few these in previous posts (i remember reading the answers, i just forgot the particulars), but since they're such niche questions i'm having a very hard time finding the answers again.

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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 21 May 2014 09:54 #4

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Hi SeanD,

Non-quilted, sure, but what about any other stretchy-type covers? Do you know of any other stretchy cover examples off hand? I'm failing to see any aside from simple terry cloth covers, which are non-quilted, but not really stretchy in the same way that a stretch-knit cover would be.


I don't know for certain because I haven't talked with them about the specifics of their covers but outside of SleepEz's cover a few other options for more stretchy knit covers include ...

www.mattresses.net/quorcozimaco.html
sleeplikeabear.com/topper_covers
sleeplikeabear.com/mattress_cover
tmu.best/ckxwt/product/expandable-knit-ticking/
sleeponlatex.com/products/organic-cotton-cover-1
www.foamorder.com/mattress-cover.html
stores.ebay.com/mattresses247/

There may be others as well.

Foamforyou claims that they sell 6" talalay cores, whether or not that is true i have no idea


Based on my conversations with them I don't believe it's true.

What would be the approximate equivalent ILD for talalay be for a 32.5 ILD, synthetic, continuous pour dunlop? Reworded for clarity: If i was trying to mimic the firmness (and only the firmness, not the point elasticity or any other property) of a 32.5 ILD, synthetic, continuous pour dunlop layer using talalay, what would an equivalent ILD be?


ILD is only tested at 25% or 40% compression and is usually tested on a 6" core but in some cases the testing may be on a core with a different thickness ... all of which will affect the ILD rating. In addition to this ... it would be very unlikely that you would sink into a material exactly 25% with every part of your body and if the percentage compression is different then the firmness at that percentage compression would be different as well even if the ILD was the same. In addition to this ... several companies have told me that for whatever reason their ILD testing doesn't "match" the ILD testing of other companies so if they are supplying customers that are using another company's latex that is considering switching suppliers they need to first find out how closely their ILD's match and then supply the product that seems to be the closest ... even if the ILD's aren't the same. I don't think you can make meaningful comparisons between different types of latex based on ILD alone and it would be much more accurate to go by the experience of a manufacturer or retailer who can "ballpark" the comparison based on their personal experience. Neal is more familiar with the synthetic Dunlop than I am and is also very familiar with Talalay and should be able to tell you how they compare (NOTE ADDED: Spindle now only sells the 100% natural continuous pour Dunlop).

Is there anyway i can make a 38-40 ILD layer 'work' in place of the 36 ILD layer by altering other layers slightly to approximate the feel of my proposed design (3, 3" layers: 19-28-36)?


They both may "work" already (depending on what you mean by work) but in general any change you make to a mattress compared to a reference mattress will have some effect depending on how it interacts with all the other layers and components and with a specific person. Some people will be more sensitive to some types of changes and some may not feel them at all. The difference between 36 ILD and 38 ILD in deeper layers of the same type, blend, and thickness of latex would be undetectable to most people and would be inside the range of the ILD variance of a material. This is the part where you will need to use trial and error to decide on whether any specific design works well for you in terms of PPP and which changes you can feel. Getting this involved in specs will generally lead to surprising outcomes ... especially if you don't have the experience or specific reference points that you have tested. I would always keep in mind that latex doesn't come in specific ILD's that are exact and there is always a range of firmness levels across the surface (see post #6 here and post #26 here ).

Would two, 3" layers of 30-32 ILD Talalay feel similar to one, 3" layer of 28 ILD over one, 3" layer of 36 ILD Talalay? Obviously the compression modulus would be different for both arrangements, so they aren't truly going to feel the 'same', but if i was to test them blinded, could i realistically tell the two apart?


This would probably depend on where they were in the design and what was on top of them and it would also depend on the person. Some people would say that it made a significant difference and others would say they don't feel any difference at all.

Am i correct in assuming that the 30-34 ILD NR dunlop would feel similar to a ~36 ILD talalay layer (since, in theory at least, dunlop is 'firmer' because of the difference in the compression modulus)?


I wouldn't try to use ILD to compare different types of latex ... only to make comparisons between the same type and blend. They will have a different "feel" that different people will "translate" differently. In a comfort layer it would probably be fair to say that 100% natural Dunlop will probably "feel" one step firmer to most people than the same ILD in Talalay (assuming that the ILD is listed correctly) but once you are looking at deeper layers then there are must too many variables to really know how they may compare for any particular person (outside of their general characteristics).

For the top/comfort layer i'm planning to go with either a synthetic, continuous pour, dunlop layer (18-22 ILD) from Spindle Mattress or a blended talalay layer (19 ILD) from Brooklyn Bedding for $324 shipped. How would these two products compare in terms of feel and longevity?


Mountaintop's testing indicates that their softer synthetic continuous pour Dunlop should be a very durable material so I am keeping an open mind and am curious to see how this plays out over the years so I would say it's promising but it will be some time before I will feel fully confident about how it compares to other types of latex in terms of durability based on "real life" performance. I am more optimistic about how their softer synthetic Dunlop will hold up over time relative to other types of latex in a similar softness level than I am about the firmest versions of their synthetic latex.

Based on conversations with Neal and on some samples I have ... they are very soft and possibly even softer than Talalay but they are not as resilient or "lively".

Would i be making a mistake and/or compromising the useful lifespan of my mattress by going with a 'cheap' jacquard velour cover such as this one here instead of a one similar to the SleepEZ Stretch-knit?


I'm not familiar with the cover you linked so I really don't know how it would affect the feel or durability of the latex and they don't mention the material in the description. In cases like this the most reliable answer would be looking back years down the road to see how it affected the latex. I would hesitate to use a "cheap" cover with premium materials and I would personally tend to put more weight on the reliability, knowledge, and experience of the supplier when I was making choices like this where you are looking for an answer that really isn't possible to know with any certainty.

Overall ... I think you may be crossing the threshold into a level of complexity that can work against you and you may be getting overly analytical, trying to make choices based on specs that won't really tell you what you want to know, and without having enough "real life" reference points to really know how they will "translate" into your own personal experience. I think that the only way to find answers with the degree of specificity that you are looking for will be your own personal experience.

I would keep things much more simple, use a "standard" combination as your frame of reference, and then use your own personal experience as the reference point to make any further changes from there.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 26 May 2014 17:13 #5

  • SeanD
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I'm not so sure that their [Select Foam] latex is 100% natural Talalay and I would confirm this and find out it's actual firmness rating. If it's rated as 28 ILD then it would almost certainly be blended Talalay (the rough equivalent in 100% natural Talalay would be Latex International's N3 which would be somewhere in a range from 25 - 29 ILD).


I contacted Juan Quintero from Select Foam and he confirmed that their toppers are 100% natural talalay from Latex International. I was very specific with my question just to be sure; i asked if their topper was actually "100% natural latex that contained absolutely NO amount of styrene or butadiene" and he confirmed that to be the case. He said that their account representative from LI told them that their N3 topper had an approximate 28 ILD and that is what they put on their site, but he confirmed to me that it's actually a range of 25-29, and that they probably should update/change their website to indicate that.

Neal is more familiar with the synthetic Dunlop than I am and is also very familiar with Talalay and should be able to tell you how they compare.


I contacted Neal from Spindle Mattress per your suggestion and he was able to help me out. He provided me with the compression set and impact test results for the Mountaintop synthetic dunlop in the 18-22 firmness range:

Impact Test:
ILD Loss @ 25% Compression: 5.60%
Height Loss after 10,000 cycles: 0.57%

Compression Set Test:
Height Loss: 3%

I obviously don't have the experience to know how this translates to real-world performance, but those specs seem 'better' than LI blended latex from what i can tell. LI Talatech had a 6% loss in ILD in the impact test and a 3.3% height loss in the compression set test according to SleepLikeaBear's FAQ (though they didn't state what ILD/density this was for, so i can't really compare the test results between the two). Do you happen to have the impact and compression set test numbers for LI's talatech in 19 ILD?

Unfortunately though, since Spindle Mattress doesn't have a layer exchange option for their toppers (and they only carry one ILD range for the full synthetic topper anyways), i don't think i want to take the risk on this product without feeling it in person first, even though it does seem very comparable to blended talalay.

I'm not familiar with the cover you linked so I really don't know how it would affect the feel or durability of the latex and they don't mention the material in the description.


It's 80% Cotton and 20% Polyester (there's a picture of the law tag too). It does seem to pretty decently constructed based on the other photos of it there. Wish i could find someone that has first-hand experience with this cover, search results on these forums (using the terms "VELOUR" or "memoryfoamlatex") didn't turn up anything. I'm still not sure if i should gamble on this item, especially given memoryfoamlatex's history with improperly labeled items and their very poor return policy (buyer pays shipping both ways and 20% restocking fee), though Ebay does seem to honor their money back guarantee with this vendor (so if i did receive an item that wasn't as described i could get a refund through Ebay).

I definitely don't want to risk my $1000 worth of latex degrading prematurely because i decide to go with a cheap cover. Might be worth the extra $100 to go with the SleepEZ cover.

I would keep things much more simple, use a "standard" combination as your frame of reference, and then use your own personal experience as the reference point to make any further changes from there.


Yes, that's what i'm going to do. I decided to go with vendors that have excellent return policies and comfort/layer exchanges. Luckily, Brooklyn Bedding and Select Foam are outstanding in this department and also happen to have some of the cheapest prices on latex too (Select Foam being the absolute cheapest for 100% natural talalay; BB being the second cheapest for blended, after Mattress247). This way i can start off with a 'safe' design and fine-tune things with a layer exchange or two (or three).

So I'm going to start off with what i mentioned earlier:
3" blended talalay, 19 ILD, from Brooklyn Bedding for $324
3" 100% natural talalay, 25-29 ILD (LI N3), from Select Foam for $309
3" blended talalay, 36 ILD, from Brooklyn Bedding for $324
Total: $957 shipped for the latex

With either the Velour cover from Memoryfoamlatex for $54 or the SleepEZ 4-way stretch cover for $155.

If need be i can send the Select Foam layer back for free (they even pay return shipping) and then get another BB layer to replace it. All of the BB layers have a one-time, 'free' ($50 return shipping fee), firmness exchange, so i can swap those if needed to fix any problems. Overall, i think this is a pretty 'safe' design plan, worst case scenario i lose $150 on layer exchanges but at least get to fix any problems in my original design.

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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 26 May 2014 19:46 #6

  • phoenix
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Hi SeanD,

I contacted Juan Quintero from Select Foam and he confirmed that their toppers are 100% natural talalay from Latex International. I was very specific with my question just to be sure; i asked if their topper was actually "100% natural latex that contained absolutely NO amount of styrene or butadiene" and he confirmed that to be the case. He said that their account representative from LI told them that their N3 topper had an approximate 28 ILD and that is what they put on their site, but he confirmed to me that it's actually a range of 25-29, and that they probably should update/change their website to indicate that.


I'm glad you confirmed that it was their N3 which is LI's 100% natural Talalay. Thanks for letting us know.

I obviously don't have the experience to know how this translates to real-world performance, but those specs seem 'better' than LI blended latex from what i can tell. LI Talatech had a 6% loss in ILD in the impact test and a 3.3% height loss in the compression set test according to SleepLikeaBear's FAQ (though they didn't state what ILD/density this was for, so i can't really compare the test results between the two). Do you happen to have the impact and compression set test numbers for LI's talatech in 19 ILD?


There are a few numbers for LI Talalay here (click on #4) but the testing protocols may not be "apples to apples" or using the same firmness levels. The differences in any of these numbers are not meaningful or significant enough that I would make durability an issue with any of them. Both Dunlop and Talalay have a long history of lasting decades in real life use ... at least in firmer versions (see post #2 here )

It's 80% Cotton and 20% Polyester (there's a picture of the law tag too). It does seem to pretty decently constructed based on the other photos of it there. Wish i could find someone that has first-hand experience with this cover, search results on these forums (using the terms "VELOUR" or "memoryfoamlatex") didn't turn up anything. I'm still not sure if i should gamble on this item, especially given memoryfoamlatex's history with improperly labeled items and their very poor return policy (buyer pays shipping both ways and 20% restocking fee), though Ebay does seem to honor their money back guarantee with this vendor (so if i did receive an item that wasn't as described i could get a refund through Ebay).


Their history of mislisting some of their products is part of the risk of dealing with them. They also mention in the description that the cover you are looking at is yellow so it's not the same cover as the picture and they have sold other covers in the past that were misdescribed. Some of the other names they have used include Latexusa and happy2EZ and 2ezMemTex and memoryfoamlatex and memoryfoamproducts and memoryfoam4you (you can just click the ones that are linked to see some forum search results) and probably some others as well.

Phoenix
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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 11 Jul 2014 14:59 #7

  • SeanD
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So i ran into a small issue: The 2 layers I ordered from Brooklyn Bedding aren't the size mentioned on their website and not the same size as the layer I ordered from Select Foam. BB specifically states that their product should measure 54x74 and Select Foam gives you the option to choose 'full' as the size. The Layers from BB don't actually measure 54x74 though, they measure 51x73, and the layer from Select Foam is exactly the size it should be at 54x74. So the BB layers are 3" less wide than they 'should' be and they don't properly fill the cover i purchased. I contacted BB about this and i was told that 51" is within specifications as the layers can vary 1-2". However, this doesn't really make sense because a 3" difference greatly exceeds the 1-2" variance that they said is considered within spec. Did I receive an item that wasn't as advertised or is this considered to be 'within spec' as I was told?

So i'm not entirely sure what i should do at this point. The BB layers being smaller than advertised doesn't really affect the performance of the mattress at all, but it does make the cover fit improperly and the mattress is much wider in the center (height-wise) than the top and bottom. Should i buy some cheap polyfoam and cut it to fill in the gaps on the sides? Should i just cut the larger Select Foam latex layer and then tailor the cover to fit snugly around the smaller layers? Should i just leave it as it is?

And a note for anyone else building their own mattress: Be sure to ask the vendor for the EXACT dimensions of the layers before you purchase them. I didn't do this because BB was/is on The Mattress Underground's membership list so i assumed they would be selling a product as advertised. Don't make any assumptions, even when dealing with 'reputable' and highly-recommended vendors.

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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 11 Jul 2014 18:11 #8

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Hi SeanD,

However, this doesn't really make sense because a 3" difference greatly exceeds the 1-2" variance that they said is considered within spec. Did I receive an item that wasn't as advertised or is this considered to be 'within spec' as I was told?


Latex is very stretchy, compressible, and elastic so it's not uncommon at all to measure the length or width of a latex layer and have it be one measurement and then pick it up and lay it down again or squish or stretch it slightly inside a cover or even on the floor and have it measure another measurement. I have seen many cases where someone was putting a layer in a latex mattress and it didn't seem to fit (either too large or too small) and with some "waving", squishing or stretching (carefully) it fits perfectly. In other words your layer may have been "squished" a bit when you measured it or put it inside the cover.

While a 1" to 2" variance would be normal with a topper from different batches or sources, if it really is more than that and you are measuring it accurately (and being out of spec by 3" would be unlikely but possible) ... and you aren't happy with it I would call them to ask if you can exchange it or return it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 11 Jul 2014 18:30 #9

Hi SeanD, I'm curious if you ended up using the velour cover you mentioned from ebay. I haven't seen it myself, others have said it's pretty thin by most standards. Which can be good for feeling the latex, but might want something thicker for better protection. Even the thinner covers like PLB I believe are more than just a single layer, possibly a double layer of fabric with some thin wool to add protection and body making their 'thin' cover a bit more substantial.

From what I understand, latex is hard to cut to close tolerances. Even places that offer custom cuts warn of tolerances just because it's so springy. It would make sense that there's some variation between brands/suppliers and most places will mention a size tolerance. Even taking for granted 'standard' mattress sizes of traditional innerspring S brands, those will fluctuate some in overall finish size as well by an inch of two. I'm not sure if it's the talalay or dunlop topper from BB you got, far as I know they come pre-covered and 'raw' pieces have had the cover removed. This might explain some of the variation, the covers add a little to the dimensions and the rolled seam/edge would as well. To make a 'finished' topper without being oversized to the standard bed sizes, the latex may be cut slightly smaller.

Good info to know though, I was considering the BB toppers as well. Another thing to try might be to re-arrange the latex - 'flick' it back out, they make it look easy in videos or with people who have experience doing this. It's been mentioned that sometimes just due to how soft latex is, it can 'bunch' a little. Not enough to create an issue of being wadded up, but might make the latex seem shorter than it really is. Just would advise against gripping and 'pulling' to try and stretch it tighter since it's prone to tearing under that kind of stress.

For the other solution ideas you mentioned, if it were myself - I wouldn't stuff pieces of foam in random spots to fill the gap. I'd leave it as is for awhile til I was certain I was happy with it (other than the finish), then if it was that bothersome I'd trim the larger latex to 'even' it up. Just have a feeling that random pieces of poly foam is going to make a mess of things. Odd feeling spots near the edge, prone to falling away from the body of the real layers (especially with a soft stretchy cover), shifting under any pressure. To give a for instance, my current innerspring has a foam border "edge support" around the spring unit. When new it looked great, now that some of the hogrings attaching that edge support foam to the coil unit have let loose those foam 'edges' are falling away (no longer integral to the rest of the mattress) inside the ticking - and it shows. Especially under pressure, the foam 'falls' away from the body of the mattress and leans out pushing the ticking out and looks horrible. The very edges of your latex layers aren't going to be 'strong' necessarily (compared to being more on the surface) but they're tied into the entire layer because it's all one piece. Odd foam pieces placed around loose won't be part of the main layers at all and have no structure to maintain the boundary of their shape (basically rolling around loose).

Sounds like some of the headaches I've encountered trying to figure my own DIY approach. Proof of the convenience (and extra cost) of a premade mattress since all these minor details are taken care of by someone else for us, such as uniformly matching the layers and a proper fitting cover that provides the fit/finish of a more professional mattress. Maybe others will have suggestions that will help you further with the final fit but glad that the most important part (its feel) is turning out well for you.

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DYI finalizing, including googledoc with all recommended Latex vendors with prices 12 Jul 2014 06:52 #10

  • jkozlow3
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So i ran into a small issue: The 2 layers I ordered from Brooklyn Bedding aren't the size mentioned on their website and not the same size as the layer I ordered from Select Foam. BB specifically states that their product should measure 54x74 and Select Foam gives you the option to choose 'full' as the size. The Layers from BB don't actually measure 54x74 though, they measure 51x73, and the layer from Select Foam is exactly the size it should be at 54x74. So the BB layers are 3" less wide than they 'should' be and they don't properly fill the cover i purchased. I contacted BB about this and i was told that 51" is within specifications as the layers can vary 1-2". However, this doesn't really make sense because a 3" difference greatly exceeds the 1-2" variance that they said is considered within spec. Did I receive an item that wasn't as advertised or is this considered to be 'within spec' as I was told?

So i'm not entirely sure what i should do at this point. The BB layers being smaller than advertised doesn't really affect the performance of the mattress at all, but it does make the cover fit improperly and the mattress is much wider in the center (height-wise) than the top and bottom. Should i buy some cheap polyfoam and cut it to fill in the gaps on the sides? Should i just cut the larger Select Foam latex layer and then tailor the cover to fit snugly around the smaller layers? Should i just leave it as it is?

And a note for anyone else building their own mattress: Be sure to ask the vendor for the EXACT dimensions of the layers before you purchase them. I didn't do this because BB was/is on The Mattress Underground's membership list so i assumed they would be selling a product as advertised. Don't make any assumptions, even when dealing with 'reputable' and highly-recommended vendors.


Hi SeanD,

I wouldn't be surprised if all of the toppers from BB were intentionally cut small. I ordered one awhile back (many months ago) and it too was shorter than I wanted for both the length and width - about 2"-3" short in the length and width. It went back.

I have no idea why they do this since the latex arrives from the manufacturer untrimmed (i.e. 60x80 for a Queen). Personally, I don't think they're being upfront about the dimensions being within tolerance. I believe they are intentionally trimming them. Why, I'm not exactly sure. I have some suspicions which I'll keep to myself.

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Last edit: by jkozlow3.
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