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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 19 Nov 2016 10:54 #1

  • Pspa123
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I am sure this has been discussed many times before and I may even have asked a while back myself but I am unable to find the right posts. I know each case is unique, but in general terms, what are the considerations in deciding how best to address a latex mattress that feels a bit too firm, as between swapping out a core for a lower ILD, or instead adding a topper?

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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 19 Nov 2016 11:17 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi Pspa123,

I think you’re referring to this information:

There is also more about primary or "deep" support and secondary or "surface" support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the "roles" of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between "support" and "pressure relief" and "feel" that may be useful as well.

Generally, the layers closest to your body will have the most dramatic impact upon comfort. If you have the ability to use a bit of a “softer” upper layer in a component system, this would be more noticeable than changing out a deeper layer. While all of the layers combined (including the covering) will impact overall comfort, changes “deeper down” in the mattress will have less of an impact in surface comfort, and changing out a core to one that is too soft could potentially impact your support, and then alignment. Using a topper or swapping out an upper layer is usually the more common way to increase surface comfort.

I hope that was the information you were trying to find. If not, let me know. B)

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

How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 19 Nov 2016 12:09 #3

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Thank you that makes sense. I have an extra firm core right now that was recommended due to my weight, together with a medium comfort layer, but the mattress still feels very firm. A topper seems less drastic than changing the core, so I'll see how that goes.

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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 19 Nov 2016 12:25 #4

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Hi Pspa123,

Thank you that makes sense. I have an extra firm core right now that was recommended due to my weight, together with a medium comfort layer, but the mattress still feels very firm.


If you’re in a higher BMI range, that makes sense to keep that firmer core in place.

A topper seems less drastic than changing the core, so I'll see how that goes.


If you purchased a component system from a trusted retailer, you may wish to contact them and seek their advice for your particular configuration.

If that isn’t the case, you may wish to reach out to the different vendors in the component post here about their topper offerings and seek their advice for your BMI and mattress configuration, and also at that time explore any potential return/exchange policies that they might have just in case your topper purchase doesn’t turn out as successfully as you might hope.

I’ll be interested to learn about your results.

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

How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 08:40 #5

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At my height and weight, 5 11 255 or so, some people say a 36 ILD core is OK others say I need 44. Not surprisingly the online calculators one sees yield different results too, I guess I am right on the cusp. So I do wonder if my issue is that my core is too firm.

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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 12:12 #6

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Hi Pspa123,

At my height and weight, 5 11 255 or so, some people say a 36 ILD core is OK others say I need 44. Not surprisingly the online calculators one sees yield different results too,


You’re correct that different online calculators will offer different suggestions, based upon the componentry that any particular manufacturer is offering. With a BMI above 30, I would caution against using a support core that was "too soft". There are brands that use latex cores of 36 ILD across their entire line, firm to plush; others will vary the ILD of their cores across their line. There is no one “perfect” algorithm that can predict what is best for any individual person, as there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved in choosing a mattress for someone else to make specific suggestions based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or theory at a distance that can possible be more accurate than your own careful and objective testing which is always the most reliable way to predict which mattress will be the best match for you in terms of PPP.

Since I don’t have any information about your current mattress (overall layer thickness, type of latex, blends, ILDS…) I can’t make any more specific suggestions for you, as you were asking for general terms about what is the best way to address a mattress that is too firm. Feel free to provide your specifications if you desire more of a specific “theory at a distance” about your particular mattress.

Phoenix
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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 12:57 #7

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Thank you, and glad to provide more information.
My side of a queen size mattress: 44 ILD natural Dunlop 6 inch core, plus 32 ILD natural Talalay 3 inch comfort layer, inside a mattress cover sold by mattresses.net. It looks like my BMI is well over 30, about 36 by my calculation. Side/back sleeper. And again, am wondering if best to achieve a little more of a soft feel by going to a firm instead of extra firm core), or by adding a topper. Thanks.

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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 13:01 #8

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Hi Pspa123,

What is the configuration on the other side of your queen mattress?

Phoenix
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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 13:27 #9

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My wife has 32 ILD 6 inch Dunlop core and 21 ILD 3 inch Talalay comfort layer (it's a split topper as well as twin cores).

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How best to soften the feel of a latex mattress: add topper or change core? 21 Nov 2016 14:30 #10

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Hi Pspa123,

Thanks for that information.

The good news is that you have components available that can be assistive in pointing you in the right direction. :cheer:

Test #1 - If you’re thinking of potentially adding a topper, take the 3” 21 ILD Talalay layer from your wife’s side, wrap it in a sheet, and place that on top of your side of the mattress (with the cover zippered back over the original 9” mattress). Here you’re approximating a medium plush topper, which would probably be in the range/type that you might consider. Take a nap and see how this feels to you, and try to gauge if it points you in the right direction. If you’re able to spend a night trying this out that would be even better, but of course it would mean that your wife wouldn’t be able to sleep in the same mattress for that evening.

Test #2 – If you’re not thinking of using a topper but instead potentially swapping out the upper layer of your side of the mattress, exchange your top 3” layer of 32 ILD Talalay for your wife’s 3” 21 ILD Talalay and zipper up the mattress and take a nap, or better yet, try sleeping on that for the evening, and again see if this feels better for you. A 21 ILD might be a little softer than you would normally go for this upper layer in a 9” mattress, but again it will give you a really good idea if you’re going in the correct direction.

Adding to or manipulating the upper layer of your mattress will have the most dramatic effect on comfort. But if you try both of these configurations and you still feel that the mattress is too hard (more than likely you would feel a good surface contouring but then when you felt the deep down support it felt as if it was too “abrupt” of a transition), you could then move on to trying a softer core.

Test #3 – Keeping the mattress configured as you left it after Test #2, roll over to the other side (6” 32 ILD Dunlop core with 3” 32 ILD Talalay top piece) and try sleeping on that. While the core may be a bit softer than what would normally be recommended for your BMI, it will again give you an idea if a softer core swap would be your preferred step in a different direction. While the Dunlop and Talalay layers would both be the same ILD in this sampling, they are different styles of latex and the layers will feel different.

While these are not perhaps the exact configurations you’d be desiring, they will all be very useful in helping point you in the correct direction. The fortunate thing is that you have all of these materials already on hand and can, with just a little effort, create these test mattress configurations. The unfortunate thing is that you are sacrificing your wife’s comfort by manipulating her side of the mattress. :S

If you don’t desire to go through this process, my next suggestion would be to contact Arizona Premium Mattress Company where you purchased your mattress and talk to them about your current dilemma and have them offer up to you their best suggestions.

I’m interested to learn about your progress.

Phoenix
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