After receiving several calls regarding organic and natural latex mattresses, I wanted to post some valuable information to help customers understand the truth about this subject.
Dunlop or Talalay Latex only signifies what manufacturing process is used to turn latex milk into a final product. There is absolutely no difference in the latex milk from which the mattresses are produced. The Dunlop method is the oldest method of producing latex mattress cores and toppers. Talalay or soft latex is a newer method of producing mattress cores and toppers. Talalay goes through several more steps in the manufacturing process than Dunlop and costs more because of it. The Dunlop process gives you get a denser, firmer product. The Talalay process gives you get a softer final product. Latex foam is made through a process of heating liquid rubber with sulphur. This process, called vulcanization, creates a foam core with outstanding elasticity that is ideal for use in mattresses. All Dunlop and Talalay latex mattress cores are put through several washings as part of the manufacturing process. The washing process removes soaps, ammonia, and anything water soluble which has served their purpose and are no longer required or desirable. The washing process entails the cores going through a series of compressions and rinse cycles just like a sponge that results in a pure product that chemically safe, non-toxic and healthy. As far as outgassing, both blended and natural latex are completely safe. Sometimes latex has a smell to it, but it generally dissipates quickly and is not harmful. There is no such thing as a certified organic latex mattress. There are a small number of plantations that claim organic plantation status for their rubber trees, so yes, there is organically certified latex milk. However, it is impossible to make latex foam out of this raw material without the use of a number of non-organic additives (soap, sulphur, gelling agents, etc.). So you see, there is no such thing as a certified organic latex mattress. Only the sap from plantations with “organic plantation status” can be considered truly organic. If you see any organic logo used to represent any latex mattresses, it is a falsehood and it is not sanctioned by the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA). It is being misrepresented to apply to the organic latex mattress core, rather that truthfully stating that it applies to the rubber-tree crop only. The USDA currently has no approved manufacturing standard for latex sap. Accordingly, no possible USDA certification can be obtained for a mattress core or for the mattress itself. Ask the seller to send you a copy (or post one online) of the USDA certification for their finished product or latex core. They will not be able to do so. Price and quality are the most important variables to any consumer. Latex is expensive and generally out of many people’s price range. That is why the hybrid latex mattress is important. Latex mattresses that are constructed with regular foam cores and or springs overlaid with real latex are considered hybrid latex mattresses. This doesn’t mean they aren’t good because they are. The question is how much latex do you really need in a mattress to properly support you and feel good to you? Price is a major factor when buying any latex mattress. It all boils down to how much money the customer has to spend. Most consumers do not have several thousands of dollars more to spend on an all latex mattress. It’s just overkill and really will not perform any better. Latex is expensive and even wealthy folks want to save money.
One thing is for sure when buying a mattress: One size does not fit all!
The online mattress companies usually offer 2 or 3 models and you will read their information about how great they are along with great reviews. They may be good on paper however that is not the best way to purchase a mattress. A better way is to actually get out and test different mattresses at several different mattress stores. The locally owned mattress stores usually offer something that national chains do not.
Why do the national chain store mattresses always carry the same few brand names when there are actually hundreds of mattress manufacturers? One answer is that the brand names are able to set up several manufacturing facilities across the country and offer the same mattress at each location. Another answer is that 99% of mattress shoppers know zero about mattresses. They rely on advertising for their information. That’s why the seven brand names that you know and see advertised spend millions of dollars every week branding.
The problem in the mattress industry is shipping. Mattresses are shipped to the retailer by the truckload. The manufacturer can only truck the mattress so far before the economies of scale outweigh going any further. You can’t have a manufacturer on the West Coast truck mattresses to the East Coast and do it economically. That’s where the local manufacturer will have the advantage. This is why you will see a brand name on one part of the country and a different name in another.
Where do mattress manufacturers get their raw material or components? The spring systems are made by just a few companies with Leggett and Platt being the largest. The foam usually comes from the Carpenter company in Richmond Virginia while some foams comes from China or Turkey. That is why you should be asking the question, where is this mattress manufactured and where do the components come from. One of the only mattress companies that manufacture their own foam is Tempur-pedic, which is one reason why they cost a little more. There are small local manufacturers across the Country if you look around such as Thomasville Bedding in Thomasville Georgia which makes a great mattress however shipping outside of that area makes the mattress somewhat cost prohibited.
A good mattress can improve your life in many ways, such as helping you get the rest you need and proper body alignment so that you can begin your day renewed and refreshed. A mattress that does not offer good support or traps body heat so that your body is overheated will likely not allow restful sleep and even have you waking up worse than when you were the night before.
For those who’d like to know what type of mattress or which mattress to buy, here are a few things to know:
What to look for when trying a mattress?
When purchasing or trying a mattress you do not want the “hammock effect”. You do not want to sink in the middle. When laying on the mattress think about: Does this mattress support me in the center of my body or is it sinking and lacking proper support.
Which mattress fits or is right for me?
This depends on a few factors: How much do you weigh? A lightweight person generally needs a little more give and softness than a heavier person. They still need good support however don’t want the mattress to be so firm that they lay right on the top and not sink into the mattress. The lightweight person has every available mattress option open to them and should try them all to see which feels best while still supporting their weight.
A heavier person is more limited on the type of mattress they choose. They should not choose a mattress that allows them to sink at their midsection. They must be supported by a stronger mattress, well-built and durable. The heavier you are the more you should focus on mattress construction. I personally don’t recommend pocket coils for heavy people. I think a good foam core or heavier spring system is a better option and will last longer.
‘What is the best mattress?’
It’s important to consider that there is no single mattress will work best for everyone. The best thing to do is do some online searching in your area, make a few notes on the stores that you want to visit and then take the time to see what options are available. A quick 10 minute visit should provide you with enough information to decide if you want to keep shopping at a particular store. If a store does not offer you specific information with regard to mattress construction and some details, move on to the next store. Shop the name brands however remember to also look for regional brands which may provide a better price at a better value.
Summary: Best Mattress to buy
No matter which mattress you select, if you take time to try several styles and understand some of these specifics, you can get the well-deserved, great sleep that you are seeking. Happy mattress shopping and my dream for you is:
We never put our mattresses outside in the sun and heat. Heat and ultraviolet rays damage the foam. Whenever you see a mattress store putting their mattresses outside (all day), find another store. They don’t care about the quality of their mattresses!
I’ve written about bamboo mattresses before in this blog. It was years ago and has moved pretty far from sight.
There are no “bamboo” mattresses! When you see the word “bamboo” or a symbol on a mattress indicating bamboo, what they are talking about is the cover.
Yes a bamboo cover is a good thing but it does not mean that the entire mattress is made from bamboo.
The covers on mattresses have to be made from something just like your clothes. They are either: (Wool, Cotton, Cashmere, bamboo or synthetic).
While a bamboo cover is a good thing, the foam below the cover will consist of polyurethane and sometimes latex. Very few mattresses offer anything other than those two components.
I sometimes see a store suggesting that their mattress is made from bamboo. Mlily mattress for example is made in China and vacuum sealed in a box. They make a point to advertise ‘Bamboo”. Meanwhile their questionable, polyurethane foam never stops off gassing. So don’t be fooled by a mattress cover. The real question is what is the quality of the foam padding?
Small one owner mattress store beats all other mattress store when it comes to price, quality and service!
ONLINE Mattress Store: Ship lightweight mattresses (many of our mattresses are much too heavy to ship) (That’s why many of ours will last 20 years while the online mattress store’s mattress will last 2-4 years (if you’re lucky).
Big retail Mattress Store: (Owned by big corporation which is probably in South Africa) Has huge overhead: Expensive store, expensive advertising, owner needs to get paid, managers and staff need to get paid, salespeople need to get paid. Therefore the mattress prices are high for decent quality or sell low quality in order to get prices low.
NO BULL types of Mattress Store: Have higher overhead due to expensive advertising. Owner has to get paid and salesperson has to get paid. Prices are higher than Charleston Bedding.
WAREHOUSE: You usually cannot try them out. These mattresses are not the quality that you will find at Charleston Bedding! They are lighter weight and are not focused on quality.
Charleston Bedding: ONE Owner / salesperson (Making sure that we offer the very best quality at the lowest prices you will find) Low overhead allows us to pass the savings onto our customer for better value!
Anyone that knows me or has visited my store / blog knows that I have been a big proponent of latex mattresses. 10 years ago I slept on Tempur-pedic and switched to latex. I found that the latex slept much cooler than Tempurpedic. I sold and believed in latex for the past 10 years. After speaking with some colleagues who also own mattress stores, I decided to give Tempur-pedic another look. I started looking at the quality and improvements that Tempur-pedic has recently made. The more that I looked, the better I liked them. I put Tempur-pedic in my store. Then I started testing them. I found them to sleep extremely cool. Now I’ve taken one home and replaced my latex. I have to admit hands down that I am sleeping incredibly better. I’m waking up feeling much better. (I honestly can’t believe how cool my new mattress sleeps). Keep in mind that the latex mattress I recently replaced slept great and I loved it. I just happen to be in the position of being able to fine tune my personal mattress. I am now convinced that currently Tempur-pedic has the very best product on the market. The mattress industry is constantly changing. Something will sooner or later come along that is another improvement but for right now, Tempur-pedic is the best!
First of all, we keep our prices low. (We don’t mark the price of our mattresses up as much as our competition because we don’t have to).
Second, we don’t sell the poor quality stuff that costs us less. All of our mattresses are made in the U.S.A. and have been well tested. (We only use top quality material in the construction of our mattresses).
We take pride in being the best! While customer satisfaction is around 50/50 on online mattresses and certain other stores, we make sure that all of our customers are 100% happy!
Those are some of the reasons why we are “Charleston’s most trusted mattress store”.