The Joy of a Latex Mattress for an Aching Back

Recently we both started experiencing some significant back pain, bad enough that we’d wake up with it every morning. We tried managing the pain with ibuprofen, Salonpas, and Icy Hot. And we went through the usual analysis in our heads: Are we dealing with compression? Another back problem? An issue related to prior surgery? After many months of torment, the Aha! moment was anti-climactic: our mattress was killing our backs.

Mattress Shopping Fun, or Lack Of

If there’s one shopping experience that’s significantly painful, and intentionally made so by the manufacturers and retailers, it’s looking for a new mattress. Just like with carpet, the big-S manufacturers (Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Spring-Air, Stearns & Foster) do not sell the same mattress model to more than one retailer. They do this specifically to prevent the end consumer from doing any sort of legitimate comparison test, and moreover it allows the mattress retailers to set their own completely arbitrary price. They have quite a racket going. It’s so difficult that even Consumer Reports basically refuses to compare and rate mattresses.

Choices in Mattress Materials

Mattresses are manufactured with basically a few options.

Innerspring Mattresses

The most common mattresses sold are innerspring mattresses. If you were to rip open a common mattress purchased at a big-box store, you’d probably be shocked by what you’re paying big bucks for. It has a bunch of rather uncomfortable springs, egg crate foam, maybe some other fillers, and a lot of expensive air. No wonder the stores never show a cross section of what they’re selling you. The difference between a $300 spring mattress and a $1,000 spring mattress will be based upon the number of coils, whether they are wrapped in some thin fabric, how pretty the outer cover is (which gets covered up by your sheets anyways), and how magical and extensive the marketing budget was to sell it to you. None of our LP friends we have polled have found innerspring mattreses to be comfortable for our bodies or provide adequate support for our backs (whether one might be experiencing kyphosis, lordosis, scoliosis, or just a sore back).

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are very popular right now and are filled with polyurethane (synthetic) memory foam. Some of the higher-end innerspring mattresses will include a layer of memory foam. Unfortunately usually this layer is the very top layer and the manufacturer will use a very thin/cheap layer which wears out and sags, pretty much negating the added value of the memory foam and possibly decreasing your comfort level. Many of our LP and AH friends rave about their memory foam mattresses. It helps that they are very affordable and also available in toppers for innerspring mattresses.

Specialty Mattresses

High-End (special) mattresses are associated with a huge advertising budget and similar prices. Some of these brands include the Sleep Number Bed and Tempurpedic. Many people are extremely happy with these beds (including a family member who raves about their Tempurpedic), but we’ve researched them and based upon trying them in the store, we just don’t get the appeal for the price. Dwarf Dad has slept on a Sleep Number Bed in a hotel and it felt like a big  AeroBed or something you’d sleep on during a sleepover at a friend’s house. And it sounded like one too since when you increase/decrease your Sleep Number, you are adding or removing air from the mattress. The Tempurpedic mattresses, especially the high-end ones, seem nice to lay in but they are massively expensive and can range as high as $6,000.

DreamFoam Bedding 10' Ultimate Dreams Medium Comoft Latex Mattress, Queen

Latex Mattress Review

Latex Mattresses have been used since the 1920’s but fell out of favor due to the low cost of innerspring mattresess. The word Latex is commonly used to refer to natural latex rubber, which can be produced by extracting the sap from the rubber tree (Dwarf Dad has witnessed this during a tour in Malaysia). It also can be made synthetically which is how latex is commonly made for gloves, condoms, balloons, and other uses. Latex is poured into mattresesses using one of two techniques: Dunlop and Talalay.  The Dunlop process creates a more dense, heavier product. A Talalay mattress is created by pouring less latex into a mold which is then sealed into a vacuum chamber where all air is removed, then it’s flash frozen and baked.  A good analogy we’ve seen is that Talalay is like angel food cake while Dunlop is like pound cake. You can definitely feel the difference by laying on both types of mattresses. Many of the online gurus will recommend a dunlop core with a talalay upper comfort layer, but we’ve been happy with a pure Talalay core.

Latex Mattress Density

When you purchase a Latex Mattress, you will be given a choice of density (firmness) for your mattress. Latex mattresses come in a range of firmness (called ILD or Indentation Load Deflection, which is the standard numbering system for rating firmness of foam) ranging from 14 (Super Plush/Soft) to 44 (Super Firm/Hard). Latex International’s Talalay cores come in 7 separate ILD’s. So we suggest you try laying on them in the store for as long as possible (at least 5 minutes) to get a true feeling for their comfort level.

Latex Mattresses and Latex Allergies

There is some concern over the choice of Latex for mattresses due to latex allergies. From what we’ve read, there have been only a few allergic reactions to latex throughout history and this is usually where a pure latex product made with a “cold-dipped” method  is applied directly to the skin such as with surgical gloves. With a latex mattress, you’re never sleeping directly on the mattress as it will always be covered with the mattress cover, along with your sheets, blankets, etc. Moreover, latex mattresses go through a five-stage washing process at the factory which should remove any proteins that can cause an allergic reaction. We have not been able to find a single report of an allergic reaction to latex mattresses or pillows online.

The Best Mattress for a Bad Back

After visiting one too many mattress stores (along with Macy’s and other local furniture retailers), we came to a shared conclusion: innerspring mattresses are not good for sensitive backs or backs needing firm support. It’s simple enough to say that the springs just hurt the back and there’s no way around having painful pressure points from the springs, no matter how expensive a cover you put on the mattress. Eventually the upper layer will wear down and you’ll be bearing down with your shoulder blade right on top of a spring all night long. Also, it doesn’t seem to help LP’s with lordosis or scoliosis. By going back and forth laying on spring and non-spring mattresses, it was obvious that a solid mattress would be a much better choice. So the decision had to come down to memory foam or latex. Tempurpedic was out due to the exorbitant cost, so we were left looking at Tempurpedic knock-offs and other similar options. Memory Foam does not have to be expensive! You can buy a highly-rated LUCID by LinenSpa 10 Memory Foam Mattress on Amazon with a 20-Year Warranty for around $300. This makes you wonder why Tempurpedic can cost 10 times as much, right? Costco also has some memory foam alternatives, such as the Sleep Science Latex Comfort. But the LUCID by LinenSpa is much cheaper and seems to be better reviewed. We decided to go with latex due to a subtle feel difference: latex will immediately provide a nice, cushiony feeling, whereas memory foam needs time to ”warm up’ and soften to mold around your body. We’ve also read about people waking up in the middle of the night and being boxed into their body cavity by a memory foam mattress that they had to crawl out of to go pee. Not too fun for LP’s with who have short limbs! Latex will immediately provide that give and also spring back when you get out. There are also a few other reasons we went with latex, which are important:

  • Latex is hypoallergenic,  will not harbor dust mites and is naturally resistant to mold and mildew. This is very important for our family which suffers with many types of allergies.
  • Latex is pierced with holes which allows for the material to breathe. Memory Foam is associated with becoming very hot overnight (which is why the big retailers are coming out with gel-infused memory foam) and latex traditionally does not have this problem.
  • A natural latex mattress (especially made with the Talalay process) can be flipped (and is light enough to do so, even for two dwarf parents) to help even out the wear. Many of the modern mattresses are one-sided and not able to be flipped, so all the wear is on one side. And the memory foam mattresses are so big and unwieldy, there’s no possible way an achon and pseudo will be flipping that mattress!
  • Latex generally prevents motion transfer (as can be seen in the Tempurpedic commercial with the wife walking on the bed and not spilling the glass of wine).
  • A latex mattress should last 20-30 years!
  • Sleeping on the latex mattress (and even just laying on it) just feels darn good. Try one out , and we think you’ll agree. Try going back and forth between an innerspring mattress and a latex mattress in the store, then see if you want to buy the innerspring one!
  • You can get a 100% latex mattress core that is only 6 inches high, and that is now the height of our mattress. This is obviously very useful for short people to get in and out of the bed.

Latex Mattress Shopping

There is one difficulty with shopping for a latex mattress, and that’s dealing with the local retailers. Due to their relatively higher price point (we paid $1,300 for a 6″ Talalay queen core wrapped in bamboo), your local Mattress Discounters, Sleep Train, or other store will not flood their showroom floor with latex. When we originally started shopping, we almost purchased a Vera Wang latex mattress at Sleep Train until we did some research and found out it was only partially latex. Don’t be surprised if the retailer is not fully honest or forthcoming with you regarding this point: the salesperson will tell you it’s a latex mattress, and the sign will say latex mattress, but most likely it’s an innerspring mattress with a couple inches of latex on top, and then some cheap memory foam on top of the latex. We eventually found message boards where the owners of the Vera Wang mattress were fuming at how their high-priced mattress wore out early. To add insult to injury, Sleep Train no longer carries the partial-latex mattresses.

Based upon our research, we decided it made sense to get a mattress with 100% latex. After all, why would you want to taint your nice solid core of latex with memory foam, springs, or other fillers? But good luck finding many options for a solid latex mattress. For example, the most expensive latex mattress online at Macy’s (iComfort by Serta), which lists for $9,000, is made of the following comfort layers:  Gel Memory  Foam, Gel Memory Foam, Gel Energy Latex Foam, and Memory Foam (this doesn’t include the base!). A very expensive Aireloom mattress has memory foam, memory foam, latex, latex, memory foam, memory foam foam, and then springs. One resource we found helpful in our search is The Mattress Underground. In addition to their helpful articles, they have a message board where you can find local retailers that sell latex mattresses. In our case, we ended up with a mom-and-pop shop that has been in business for over 50 years. Their product is very simple: they order a 6″ latex core from Latex International and wrap it in a beautiful bamboo cover. The end product is very simplistic and feels great. Since we have a platform bed, we added a bunky board for support (they sell those too) and we have an amazingly comfortable mattress that is only 6 inches high plus the bunky board. And the best result: no more back pain! If we haven’t convinced you, consider trying out a Latex Pillow. After all with Amazon you have 30 days to return it if you don’t like it. A Talalay latex pillow will give you a good idea of a how the bed will feel. But for those of you who might have cervical spinal stenosis, you may be better off with an old, flattened pillow. Dwarf Mama tried a latex pillow and felt it inflamed her cervical compression, possibly due to how thick and supportive it was (causing extended flexion of the neck while sleeping), was while her old foam pillow is worn out and flat. Another option would be to try out a latex mattress topper. This won’t completely give you the feel of a latex bed, but if your old sagging innerspring mattress is hurting your back, a new solid latex topper might provide a world of relief.

Latex Mattress Disadvantages

To be fair, there are some downsides to latex mattresses we should let you know about. First, they are still relatively heavy (especially those made with a Dunlop core) compared to an innerspring mattress. You can definitely find an innerspring mattress cheaper than a solid latex mattress. And lastly, a Talalay latex mattress will have glued-together sections (a queen Talalay mattress has 2 sections). We have never noticed the seam in our latex mattress. And we can’t forget the most important disadvantage of a latex mattress: ever since we purchased our new mattress, our son won’t stop coming into our bed in the middle of the night! He says his mattress is not soft like ours, so now we have to buy yet another latex mattress for him as well. To his credit, we can’t stand the thought of sleeping on his organic cotton orthopedic mattress, either.

A hybrid solution?

If you’re still torn between the various options, check out the DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams Mattress. At around $600 for a Queen, it’s a combination of Talalay Latex and High Density Base Foam, made in the USA, and fully customizable. Good luck with mattress shopping! Have you found a great mattress resource? Let us know!

Best-Selling Latex Mattresses at Amazon

Here’s the current top-selling latex mattresses at Amazon to give you some shopping ideas:

Bestseller No. 1
LUCID 12 Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress - Memory Foam - Responsive Latex - Steel Coils - Firm Feel - Temperature Neutral
  • Your purchase includes One LUCID 12-Inch Latex Hybrid Mattress - Twin XL
  • Product dimensions: 39" W x 80" L x 12" H
  • Compatible with Box Spring, platform, metal grid, slatted and adjustable bed bases
  • Temperature-regulating gel memory foam dissipates body heat and provides pressure point relief to create a cool and comfortable sleep environment
  • This 12-inch mattress is made to support any reasonable amount of weight and there is no weight limit as it pertains to the 10-year warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Amazon Basics Cooling Gel Infused Firm Support Latex-Feel Mattress, CertiPUR-US Certified - Queen Size, 12 inch
  • Three-layer hypoallergenic memory foam mattress with cooling gel-infused alternative-latex top layer, breathable support-foam middle layer and durable foam base
  • Queen-size mattress measures 80 x 60 x 12 inches (LxWxH)
  • Responsive LURAcor alternative-latex foam top layer offers more bouncy rebound and less “sink” compared to traditional memory foam
  • Firm-feel mattress helps keep spine in alignment and provide relief to shoulders, hips, and other pressure points; promotes a restful night's sleep for any body type and sleeping position (front, side, or back)
  • CertiPUR-US certified and made in the USA of domestic and imported parts; luxurious quilted cover for extra softness
Bestseller No. 3
Pure Green Organic Latex Mattress - Firm - Queen
  • Firm - Very Supportive and Strong with Just Enough Give to Help Alleviate Pressure Points
  • Filled with 8” Organic Latex Foam (GOLS Certified) - Quilted Cover Made of Organic Cotton and Organic Wool
  • Designed, Quilted, Sewn, Assembled and Packaged in our Chicago Factory
  • GOTS Certified Organic - GOLS Certified Organic - Fair For Life Fair Trade Certified - Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified
  • No Assembly Required - Roll Compressed & Wrapped in Paper (not Plastic) - Unroll the Paper Wrap, and your Mattress Will Spring to Life!
Bestseller No. 4
Pure Green Organic Latex Mattress - Medium Firmness - Queen
  • Medium Firmness - Great for Side Sleepers, Back Sleepers and Couples
  • Filled with 8” Organic Latex Foam (GOLS Certified) - Quilted Cover Made of Organic Cotton and Organic Wool
  • Designed, Quilted, Sewn, Assembled and Packaged in our Chicago Factory
  • GOTS Certified Organic - GOLS Certified Organic - Fair For Life Fair Trade Certified - Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified
  • No Assembly Required - Roll Compressed & Wrapped in Paper (not Plastic) - Unroll the Paper Wrap, and your Mattress Will Spring to Life!
Bestseller No. 5
Sunrising Bedding 10 inch Natural Latex Queen Hybrid Mattress, Gel Memory Foam Mattress with Pocket Coil, Medium Firm, Sleep Cooling, CertiPUR-US Certified, 120 Night Trial, 20 Years Warranty
  • The 100% Natural Latex top layer adopts Talalay Latex technology, a healthier manufacturing process without gellation reagents in its formula. Made from the sap extracted from Malaysia rubber tree, bears NO formaldehyde, toxins, heavy metals, bad odor or allergens, hence no need to wait days for your mattress to “air out”. Queen Size Dimension: 80"X60"X10"
  • The Advanced Air Memory Foam layer and gel memory foam create the most airflow channels for hot sleepers. Excellent air circulation system removes body heat and cools down the temperature quickly. Study shows that lower temperature helps faster fall asleep.
  • The combination of three layers of conforming materials creates a medium comfort sleeping feel, alleviates more aches and pains for sleepers via providing comfortable cushioning and close conforming. These layers cushion the sleeper’s body and conform very closely to help align the spine and alleviate pressure points in their most sensitive areas, such as the neck, shoulders, and hips.
  • The Classic Independent Pocket Spring support layer is made of tempered steel coils(1.8mm diameter in the middle and 2 lines of 2.2 diameter on the edge), providing optimal performance by resisting spring sagging and sinking. Altogether 852 Premium pocket coils work independently to provide localized bounce in different zones and keep motion isolated, meaning you and your partner won’t disturb each other when either of you moves.
  • Risk-Free, all Sunrising Bedding mattresses have a 120-night in-home trial backed up by a no-hassle, full refund policy. 
Bestseller No. 6
King Mattress,Jacia House 12 Inch Pillow-Top Pocket Spring Hybrid Mattress - Bed in a Bag - 100% Natural Latex Double Hybrid Firm Mattress King
  • Jacia House 12 Inch Hybrid Mattress Is Made With 1-inch Euro Top Layer, 3.2-inch Deluxe Support Foam Plus Quality Egg Foam Layer And 7.8-inch Individually Wrapped Coil Innerspring Layer. KING SIZE:76'' W x 80''L x 11.8''H/193CM x 203CM x30CM
  • SAFE HEALTH SUPPORT: Jacia House Euro Pillow Top Mattress Meets Federal Flammability Standard 16 CFR 1633.Providing You With Safety When You Are Asleep And Suddenly Encounter A Fire.The Deluxe Support Foam And Quality Egg Foam Mattress Are Made Of Low VOC Foam, Free Of PBDEs, TDCPP Or TCEP ("Tris") Flame Retardants, Ozone Depletes, Mercury, Formaldehyde, Lead And Heavy Metals. Individually Inner Spring Mattress Work Deliver Enhanced Comfort Outstanding Support And Provide An Equal Weight Dist
  • The Pillow Top Is A Combination Of 100% Pure Natural Latex Layer with Super Ventilation,Premium Knitted Fabric And Fireproof Cotton Felt That Offers Slip into a deep/restful sleep on the queen size mattress. the Adaptive mattress gives you medium firm feeling, Keeping body properly aligned, pressure point relief .Helps those suffer from back pain, tossing & turning, partner’s movement.
  • The Mattress Is Shipped Compressed, Rolled And Sealed In Oxford Cloth To Arrive At Your Door Step.The Box Spring Is Not Included. Please Allow Up To 48-72 Hours For The Mattress To Fully Expand And For Any Potential Odor To Dissipate. Some Other Factors, Such As Cold Weather, Will Affect The Decompression Time. It May Take Up To A Week To Expand Under These Circumstances.Please Pull The Ends Of The Mattress And Clap It To Let The Air Easily Get In.
  • 15-Year Limited Warranty. If You Have Any Problems On The Mattress,Please Contact Us First And We Will Try To Solve For You. We Are Also Welcome Any Return Or Exchange If Needs.
Bestseller No. 7
Latex for Less 9 inch Queen Natural Latex Mattress | 2 Sided Mattress w/Organic Cotton & Pure Natural Wool
  • THE COMFORT DIFFERENCE | 6 inches of 100% natural dunlop latex in firm (85 density), 2 inches of 100% natural talalay latex in medium (N2 density), ½ inch 100% natural wool
  • 100% ALL-NATURAL LATEX | Our 100% all-natural latex mattress is a pure, botanical product that is sustainably harvested from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree - It contains no harsh chemicals and provides a buoyant, cloud-like sensation for the ultimate sleep experience
  • TWO (SIDED) FIRMNESS OPTIONS | With its unique 2-in-1 design, the Latex for Less Latex Mattress has both a medium side and a firm side, making it the perfect mattress for every body - Simply flip the mattress to the side that feels best and say goodbye to restless nights
  • 100% NATURAL WOOL FIRE BARRIER | Our California wool is all-natural and breathes better than synthetic substitutes - It helps regulate your body temperature throughout the night and provides a natural flame-resistant fire barrier without synthetic chemicals
  • HANDCRAFTED IN THE USA | Our expert craftsmen are second to none - By keeping jobs at home, we make products of impeccable quality while helping the economy - We also reduce emissions by making our natural mattresses locally, which means a healthier planet
Bestseller No. 8
GhostBed Classic 11 Inch Cool Gel Memory Foam & Latex Mattress - Medium-Firm Feel, Made in The USA, Queen
  • 4 LAYERS OF COMFORT - Crafted from high-quality cooling gel memory foam, high-density support foam and aerated latex, the 11” GhostBed Classic merges luxury and durability to help you get amazing sleep
  • WAKE UP FEELING REFRESHED - High-density foam core supports spinal alignment, alleviates hip and back pain, and relieves stiffness; it’s soft, supportive and springy - but with minimal motion transfer
  • PERFECT FOR ALL SLEEPERS - With its balanced, medium-firm feel, the GhostBed Classic is a great option for sleepers of all types: stomach, back, side and combo
  • CERTI-PUR US CERTIFIED - Sleep soundly knowing you’re snoozing on CertiPUR-US certified materials
  • MADE IN THE USA - All GhostBed mattresses, including the GhostBed Classic, are made in the USA with the highest quality materials
SaleBestseller No. 9
TUFT & NEEDLE 2020 Mint King Mattress - Extra Cooling Adaptive Foam with Ceramic Cooling Gel and Edge Support - Antimicrobial Protection Powered by HEIQ - CertiPUR-US - 100 Night Trial
  • Restful Comfort - We added a third layer, the Mint layer, to help reduce motion transfer and provide pressure relief and softness.
  • Progressive Support - Reinforced edges provide support for edge-of-bed sleepers and make it easier to get in and out of bed.
  • Luxurious, Cooling Comfort - With two layers of T&N Adaptive foam, the Mint provides personalized softness, support, and heat regulation with cooling ceramic gel and heat-conducting graphite.
  • Versatility - Made to work for you and your bedroom, we designed the Mint to work with most bed frames and foundations including: box springs, traditional frames, slatted frames, platform frames, bunky boards, and adjustable frames.
  • HeiQ HyProTecht guards against degradation from microorganisms and inhibits the growth of bacterial odors. This product does not protect users or others against bacteria, viruses, germs, or other disease organisms
SaleBestseller No. 10
King Mattress, Avenco King Size Mattress, 12 Inch Hybrid King Memory Foam Mattress, Cool Touch Feeling Fabric, Medium Firm Motion Isolation Individual Pocket Innerspring, CertiPUR-US Comfort Foam
  • WAKE UP FEELING REFRESHED: This Avenco king foam mattress designs with skin-friendly Tencel fabric for cool touch feeling, and the open cell latex foam for better airflow and breathability. The memory foam mattress king keeps cool while you sleep, and the moisture absorption fabric keeps dry and refreshed
  • ODOR-FREE AND NOISE-ABSORPTION: The mattress king size has 3 layers of high-density foam that can absorb the noise while you sleep. 0.39 inch of bamboo charcoal foam can prevent odors, regulates temperature, and prevents overheating when you sleep on this king size memory foam mattress
  • MOTION ISOLATION AND SUPPORT: Individual pocket springs keeps motion isolation that you won’t be disturbed by your partner. Each spring in this king memory foam mattress works independently so don’t worry about sagging. You can enjoy a peaceful night with our hybrid mattress king
  • PRESSURE RELIEF AND COMFORT: This king mattress in a box will shape into a natural shape of your body, conforms to your curves and spinal alignment, relieve pressure points. The king size mattress is suitable for all sleeping positions, you will feel relax and sleep comfortably
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE: Our king mattress is compressed and smartly delivered in a box for a convenient setup. The firm king mattress needs 24-72 hours to fully expand. Sizes are subject to ±0.5 Inches. Ordering our Avenco mattress king will come with 100 nights sleep trial and 10-year manufacturer support

Comments 12

  1. Wow we actually tore our innerspring mattress apart to make smaller pieces we could gradually put un the trash 🙂 Anyhow you described it to a tee; fancy covering, barely 2 inches of cheap feeling memory foam, egg carton foam and hundreds of unbelievably cheap looking springs wrapped in thin material. And yes I was shocked! But then again we were never comfortable on it other than when we laid on it in the store… Many nights I felt like it was beating me up. I tossed and turned relentlessly and woke up sore. We bought a memory foam mattress on EBay for about half the price ($599) free shipping. Couldn’t test it out, but we figured it couldn’t be worse. Only one night on it, but no fighting while trying to sleep. So far it’s heaven. As a side note, they call it “open cell” memory foam. So far didn’t feel like I was overheating either. Happy camper 🙂

  2. You forgot to mention how toxic memory foam mattresses are. You can quickly detect it by the smell they produce, which is petroleum by-product off gassing. Latex, at least the 100% natural kind, is toxin free.
    Never put a child in a memory foam bed.

  3. I feel you are right on the money about latex mattresses. I had one once and it was the best mattress I have slept upon. It was too heavy to turn with even 2 people. If you tried to rotate it by its cloth handles, they tore from the grommets. When memory foam came out and became such a rage, I gave my neighbor the latex and bought 2 of those memory foam mattresses—a king and queen. Both of them became “bowls” around your body and you couldn’t roll to the middle for you life! I had about $5500 in those awful things and hated them. Man, did I ever regret giving that wonderful latex mattress away, which gave me greatest rest I’ve ever had. It’s only fault was being heavy. After three years, I gave the king size away and made another BIG MISTAKE. I bought the top of the line Sleep Number bed and have regretted that, also. I still can’t roll to the middle! It too, has memory foam and is”hilly” down the middle. I felt it was trying to dump me on the floor and I was constantly fighting a downhill battle and losing. It is the I-10 with the adjustable base, costing $6000! Folks either hate them or love them and nothing in-between. The ONLY thing I like about it is being able to elevate the head and feejt. I could kick myself for not doing more research and getting sucked in by those frequent t.v. adds. If I can ever afford another mattress (I am now retired) in my remaining lifetime, it will DEFINITELY BE LATEX.

  4. Dear Dwarf Parents,
    Thanks for this mattress review – I have been reading a LOT about non-innerspring beds, but cannot find any place to try them out, except IKEA. They make very firm beds! The internet is full of natural latex and other foam mattress sized blocks and layers and configurations. Although we don’t share the same body size, what ILD of Talalay Latex did you choose for your mattress? And now that you are sleeping on it, are you having less back pain? I am short, light weight, older and have moderate scoliosis. Your observations may be of help to me in choosing a new bed (water-bed is no longer what I need after 30 years of blissful but wavy sleep) .

    1. Post


      Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately our local retailer did not specify ILD in the normal manner it’s quoted for latex, but we went with what’s considered “medium”. We definitely have less back pain after switching to the latex mattress. We’ve seen other comments from people who purchased a “firm” and they were also happy with their choice, especially after switching from a big-box pillow-top ‘cloud’ mattress.

      What is the Best Mattress for a Bad Back? For now we’re happy with latex. But if we were shopping again on a tight budget, we’d check out the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress.

      Good luck!

      – Dwarf Parents

  5. What an excellent article, I am sharing this with everyone I know.
    I completely messed up recently by adding a memory foam topper to an old sagging mattress.
    On top of it all I added an egg crate pad.
    I have a genetic issue called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. My joints can easily pop out.
    I managed to give myself the worst back pain ever.
    I have been googling what caused it and was brought to your site.
    Definitely will get a new latex mattress someday soon. I used to have a great one a few years ago and never had back pain then.

    1. I have EDS also, and have been through too many beds. Just bought a bery expensive tempurpedic bed with adjustable firmness thinking this will be perfect. The memory foam is horrible shoulders dislocate by just rolling over in my sleep. I recently bought a latex pillow which is the best thing ever! Now looking into a latex bed.

  6. Kia ora from New Zealand!

    Thank you for your helpful analysis and discussion around the pros and cons. We’re about to buy a latex mattress having bought a memory foam and spring one only four years ago and struggling with roll-together, and the difficulty in turning over in bed etc. I struggle to get a good sleep at night which is a worry given that I’m in remission for cancer and desperately need my sleep! Your article was sensible, considered and non-emotive, yet still with opinion which like like!

    Thank you again and all the best


  7. Try IKEA for latex mattresses, a queen is $999 and comes with a 25 year warranty. I bought mine 10 years ago and it is still firm and holding up, and no back pain 🙂 I love it!!

  8. My wife and I are researching mattresses to replace our Sleep Number and we think we are going to try Latex. Extremely informative and helpful article. Thank you!

  9. I have read lots about latex mattresses and appreciate you info, but just wandered if your 6 inch mattress was soft,medium or firm. I weigh120-135 lbs. and about 5 ft. short. I slept on a waterbed forever but it had to go. Got a Linen Spa 8″ that was rated medium firm and its way too firm and hurting my back,hips & other joints,therefore not much sleep. I made this purchase mistake but now have to find a latex I can afford that is soft and can mimic my waterbed feel. I wonder how much difference there is between 14 and 19 ild. If it’s Dunlop or Talalay it doesn’t matter as long as a 6 inch can work as a mattress set on a plywood base. I noticed a twinxl Dunlop core 19ild from The Mattress Factory,I can afford. But I worry it won’t be soft enough. Their site is the only one that said a 6″ can be a stand alone mattress. In my waterbed my body sunk down about 21/2-3″ butt to upper back. I had a couple pillows for head /neck support and back never hurt like now. I can call Mattress Factory but looking for any latex owner feedback.

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