Latex Foam Mattresses - Natural, Pressure Relieving, Durable
- Excellent Pressure Relief
- Natural Healthy Material
- No Offgassing
- More Durable than Innerspring Mattresses
- Hard to Find the Right Comfort Level
- High Price
- Synthetic Latex is Less Durable
- People with Latex Allergies Should Avoid This
Latex foam and memory foam are the two highest grade foams used in the mattress industry for pressure relief and durability. The two foams feel distinctly different but both are excellent for durability and pain relief. Memory foam will have a more absorbing, hugging feeling. In contrast latex will feel more resilient and buoyant. For people that do not like the feeling of memory foam, or if they are looking for a natural mattress, latex is a great alternative.
The latex category is not as popular as the memory foam or innerspring categories because it is difficult for manufacturers to produce a comfort level and price point that can appeal to most people over the alternatives. Latex foam is springier or more buoyant than other foams, the feeling is surprising and not quite right to many people. However, with the right combination of densities (firmnesses) of latex foam layers to meet your preferences, a latex mattress can be an ideal sleeping surface.
Latex foam offers some unique advantages that other foams do not. It is more breathable and traps less heat than most other foams. It is eco-friendly because some are made from natural rubber, which is a renewable resource, and many mattress models are biodegradable. Natural latex is excellent for allergy sufferers because it is naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant and antimicrobial, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. Latex does not offgas like polyurethane foams, but it can have a strong new smell.
There are different types and processes of latex foam to choose from. The most expensive is the 100% All Natural. Some claim that 100% All Natural is most durable and most comfortable. Others will claim that 100% Natural Latex tears easily and is more brittle. Natural Latex with a very small percentage of synthetics is the most commonly recommended and popular type of latex used in bedding. The two processes for manufacturing Natural Latex are Dunlop and Talalay (pronounced Tal-a-lay).
Dunlop is the oldest process of making latex foam beginning in 1929. The thick rubber sap from the tree is made into a froth from a centrifuge. Then poured into a mold, covered, and then baked. Natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mold thus making every Dunlop sheet firmer on its bottom side than on the top.
Latex International is the leading manufacturer for Talalay Latex Foam. Their website www.latexinternational.com has a comprehensive library of information about their process. The Talalay process adds two steps. Once the latex is sealed in the mold, the process is continued in a vacuum chamber. The mold is then flash frozen before it is baked providing for a more consistent cell structure all the way through the material. If you compare the same densities of Talalay vs Dunlop, the Talalay typically feels softer, where the Dunlop will feel firmer or denser. Which is better, Talalay or Dunlop Latex? Depends on who you ask and which feel you like better. Often times a combination of Talalay on top of Dunlop is a great solution for extra pressure relief from the Talalay and firmer denser support from the Dunlop beneath. A progressive layering with softer latex on top, then medium in the middle, and firmer (more dense) at the bottom appeals to the widest range of people. Add softness or firmness to your own personal preference.
An important question to ask when shopping for a latex mattress is; “How pure (or natural) is the latex foam?” Most consumers that are interested in latex foam find the natural aspect to be very important. Sealy Embody and Stearns & Foster use a synthetic latex called Smart Latex. Synthetics will not offer near the durability, hypoallergenic, dust mite & mold resistance, or pressure relief as the predominantly natural. Not to mention it is not true green.
Three top brands to look for in the industry are Savvy Rest, Pure Latex Bliss, and Flobeds. However, we are finding very good designs at lower price points from the Refresh line of Southerland who layers Talalay from Latex International over Dunlop for a very comfortable feel, at a fraction of the price of the above brands. With the Refresh line, there is a poly core, but Natural Talalay and Dunlop on top.
Talalay Latex comes in natural, synthetic, or a blend of the two. Natural Latex will have natural impurities and the right mix of natural and synthetic is more durable than the all natural. Latex offers the ability to conform to your body alleviating areas of high pressure that can cause you to toss and turn at night. Latex is also hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, resists dustmites, and breathable
Talalay Latex generally is softer than comparable layers of Dunlop Latex. Dunlop is denser or firmer than comparable layers of talalay. Heavier people often enjoy the substantial support of Dunlop beneath the comfort layers. Lighter people usually prefer more Talalay layers.
Should Your Chemical Mattress? Organic mattress companies wrap their mattresses in wool for a greener, healthier fire retardant barrier. There is no proven health risk from the substances in mattresses, however, mostly because tracking their long-term effects is virtually impossible.
How do you know if latex is what you need?
A) You are extremely allergic to dustmites, molds, and mildews. B) You have very sensitive shoulders, hips, and joints (Fibramyalgia) C) You have tried one and liked the feel D) You do not want to experience the quickly sagging mattress E) You have an adjustable base and need a flexible mattress for it.
Talalay Latex eliminates pinches and pains that disturb a good night’s sleep. By reducing pressure points that cut off circulation that causes tossing and turning and poor sleep, Talalay Latex is the ideal material used in pillows and mattresses. Talalay Latex provides up to 33% more pressure relief than regular poly foam and fiber materials. It’s exceptionally durable, supportive, breathable, and uniquely healthy. Watch the Video under the Our Process page for the 7 step high tech process of making talalay latex foam.
Latex has natural qualities that simply make it the perfect organic mattress material. 100% Natural Latex is the best for comfort and support and peace of mind. Latex is derived from the rubber tree the hevea brasilienis. They recommend 100% Natural over the 30%/70% blend by Latex International, but found that offgassing is not an issue with blended latex.
- 7 questions to ask when buying a latex mattress involve:
- 1) For maximium pressure relief which kind of mattress cover should you be looking for? Answer: Knit
- 2) Which kind of latex offers the best resilience? Answer: Natural Latex
- 3) A mattress core should be dense enough to offer support and prevent sagging. Which kind of latex is more dense, Talalay or Dunlop? Answer- Dunlop
- 4) What are the advantages of Natural Latex over Memory Foam? Answers: Sleeps Cooler, Firmness is not effected by body heat, memory foam is made from chemicals.
- 5) For a comfortable, plush feeling, the comfort (top) layer of a latex mattress should be softerto absorb pressure points. Which kind is better for this Talalay or Dunlop? Answer: Talalay
- 6) Why should you request that latex layers not be glued together? Answers: Non-Glued is healthier, Easier to change a firmness layer down the road, easier to return a layer of latex for a different firmness.
- 7) If 100% all natural latex is out of your price range, what should you consider? Answer: Blended, Hybrid, or Natural Latex Topper.
- 8) What are the advantages of buying a latex mattress from a local store? Answer: Try Before You Buy *From Sweet Dreams you will save money and have even better guarantees too!
- 9) Which latex firmness generates the highest customer satisfaction? Answer: Medium
- 10) What information should you consider when choosing a store to buy from? Answers: Independent reviews from real customers, BBB Complaints, Highest quality within moderate price zones, fair sleep trial with no hidden gotchas.
Latex Mattresses are difficult to shop because of all of the different processes and types of latex foam with limited availability in mattress showrooms. With an overall satisfaction rating higher than innersprings but lower than memory foam, common complaints include excessive firmness and body impressions.
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