I struggle with sleep. It’s elusive stuff. It’s largely related to my auto-immune disease (although sometimes I wonder what comes first…). I’ve written about my insomnia here, and I’ve shared a bunch of sleep solutions you all sent in here. But at some point I had to look at my bed.

bed-bedroom-bike-flowers-Favim.com-626707
Image via Favim.com

I’ve been sleeping on a coil spring ensemble for 11 years. I’ve previously been told they ain’t great for you, especially for AI folk – they’re essentially EMF conductors. But I’m vocally and stridently against chucking stuff out just because a product no longer suits my principles or whatever. Thus, for many years it’s been a dilemma – replace or stay and burn?

But this is where I have arrived: my old bed is 11 years old and it’s generally advised you should replace a coil spring mattress after ten. Plus, I need a guest bed (my coil-y one will move into my spare room). All of which- now that I’ve weighed up the various factors – has given me a green light to get myself a new bed.

Please note: In this My Simple Home series I implore you to weigh up your own predicament at every turn as I have above. Please don’t chuck stuff out other than as a carefully considered last option.

I have researched my options for several months now and the Big Fat Conclusion I’ve arrived at is that…

a latex mattress with a wooden slatted base is best.

 

Me, personally, I’ve chosen the Bio Latex mattress from The Comfort Shop, and I’ll explain why.

And just so you know, this is a sponsored post, but opinions are all my own and I researched the topic and approached The Comfort Shop myself. You’ll find my position on sponsored posts and advertising here.

So why latex?

It’s 100% natural. Latex – despite the scientific-y name – comes from latex vessels under the bark of the rubber tree. Which means…

It’s best for your health. Latex is hypoallergenic so it’s great for allergy sufferers or for people who suffer from hay fever, asthma and respiratory problems.

Oh, and it’s also anti-microbial. Rubber trees have a protective anti-microbial “milk” to protect it from damage. The milk forms a protective layer to

prevent infection which means that fungus, bacteria and dust mites simply can’t survive inside a latex mattress.

It’s sustainable… In that it lasts longer than other mattresses – about 20-30 years. Latex is elastic, which helps to eliminate sagging and loss of firmness in the mattress. You sit on it and get up and it bounces right back to it’s original position as soon as the pressure is removed.

And why not talaley?

Talaley is not always 100% natural. Talaley is often a blend of natural latex (called Dunlop latex) and synthetic, petroleum-based latex, the latter being cheaper to produce. Talaley is gelled together with carbon dioxide gas to lock everything in place. And so it’s far from being a natural product. No carbon dioxide is used in the manufacturing process of the Dunlop latex mattresses.

And why The Comfort Shop?

It’s a small Australian company… And I like to support such things. Plus, their latex mattresses come from Italy, not through Asia. Why does this matter? Because mattresses passing through Asia get sprayed with a bunch of hazardous fumigants. Which kinda ruins the whole clean sleeping vibe.

Some extra bits…

TCS_Ergo-Bed-Base

Can I just use any old bed base? 

You’ll need to use a slatted base, or at least a base with some holes in it to allow for air to flow naturally through the base and the mattress.

I went with the Ergo Bed Base from The Comfort Shop. It’s made from European Beech Timber (clean, sustainable) and ticks off a bunch of European standards and certifications for safety. The Euros are world leaders in all this toxin-free stuff. I sleep more soundly going with their stuff.

There are two sides to my base, so that each person (should I happen upon a bed mate!) can control their own bed. Plus partner disturbances are minimised. Two things: there’s a manual adjustable head and back rest, which moves to 6 different incline positions. And the rigidity adjusters – yes, that’s their name – vary the tension on the slats, so that each side can be made firmer or softer. The posture slats are designed to work with your mattress in absorbing your body weight and movement, which reduces pressure on your body.

And electric blankets?

Yes, if you really want to use one, electric blankets don’t harm latex mattresses. But it is best to choose an electric blanket with thin wires. I, however, have to add that I don’t advise using electric blankets in general – TERRIBLE EMF stuff going on, again, defeating the clean sleeping vibe. Just so you know.

And don’t they get hot?

Not so much. I looked into this, even though I tend to sleep cold. There are MANY forums devoted to people debating this topic. Check them out if you’re curious. The concern is that latex is a closed cell material, so it doesn’t allow the air to circulate as much. But good brands overcome this with carefully placed pin core holes studded throughout. The holes go all the way through, so that the mattress can breathe. My mattress also has a ventilation band, which allows for extra breathing, and keeping a neutral temperature. This was a big part of why I chose this mattress… trust me, I tested a few!

TCS_Bio Latex Mattress

My verdict:

I’ve tested out my Bio Latex mattress for 6 weeks now. The experience is a unique one: while it’s a lovely firm feel, at the same time it has a “snuggliness” that makes you feel like the mattress is hugging you. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s complete support. I also invested in The Comfort Shops latex pillows – which are lovely and firm, too. I have neck issues…the combo – of the snuggly-but-firm mattress and the pillows – seems to be helping this. The bed certainly doesn’t get hot and, despite REALLY hot nights of late, I’ve been waking up with the general feel that the bed hasn’t got “sweaty”. Do you know what I mean? The whole experience feels clean and airy.

Am I sleeping better? I am. I’m actually sleeping all the way through the night (most nights). It only occurred to me the other day that this had been a consistent thing for a good few weeks now. There are a number of factors contributing to my insomnia, but having something snuggly-but-firm to collapse into each night is certainly making a difference.

PS: Don’t throw away your old mattress. Recycle it!

If you are in the market for a new mattress, consider what you do with the old one. There are a number of restrictions on getting rid of mattresses because most people don’t want to sleep on yours. Surprisingly! Waste centres won’t usually take them because of the bulk, or charge a higher fee. For a cost effective removal of your old mattresses and bases, check out Landsavers.

Feel free to post questions below…and please add your own Simple Home ideas and tips…I’ll be updating posts and creating new ones with the information I find (and will be sure to link back to you!)….

Posts on sarahwilson.com may contain links to sponsors and affiliates with the capacity to receive monetary compensation, which helps to support the growth and development of this site. Giveaways are sponsored promotions and will always be stated as such on the post. Books, eBooks and other products that align with my site and ethos may potentially be accepted for review, but please respect my desire not to clutter my life with “stuff” before you send your wonderful product or press release. I am not a medical professional; rather, a wellness advocate, therefore anything written by myself on this site is my own (researched) opinion and not advice from a trained doctor. Here is a full breakdown of my position on sponsored posts and advertising.

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Erwan

    Hi,
    It seems you ve done a fair bit of research and reading about your perfectionism this choice cannot have been a light one.
    Have you considered Zentai latex mattresses (manufactured in Australia), in your research? If so, any comments?

  • mic holt

    I just got an new wool mattress from Mercola.com and have been very happy with it. My allergies are better and it seems to have helped my wife with her arthritic hip. Our mattress arrived within a week of ordering it and I very happy with it. I also recommend the all natural wool pillows and comforters from mercola.com

  • I loved it. I bought it. It fit great in my living-room.

    more info mattress….http://www.slumberzone.co.nz/

  • Perry Westley

    I agree with all the points you mentioned. I too love to use organic cot mattress. My family members are allergic to synthetic, so it is one the reasons why I prefer to use natural cot mattress. I suggest purchasing from online store; please have a look at this online store.

    http://www.latexcotmattress.com.au/cot-mattresses/

  • Cindy

    Thanks for the great post, Sarah. I have a coil ensemble that is coming to the end of its life (past it, probably) and also thought of a natural latex mattress. However, I had one years ago, and found it too hard. I think it probably wasn’t as good as the new ones. Certainly not snuggly.

    On recycling – the Assistant from the shop where I bought my ensemble bought my latex mattress and bed from me for her guest bedroom, which was great. And the bed before that was bought by the delivery guy who delivered my latex bed. Lifeline, etc also will come and collect beds that are still in good condition (and any other furniture you may have). Some people simply cannot afford new stuff, and rely heavily on donated goods…

  • Snooper

    Has anyone purchased from the Natural Bedding Company in Stanmore? They hand make latex mattresses to order (as well as bed bases from Australian hardwood) using pure latex, wool and hemp. I am hoping to try their beds when I’m next in Sydney with a view to purchasing a latex mattress and am surprised they haven’t yet rated a mention here as they seem to have a lot of positive reviews.
    I don’t make this decision lightly as I have had a bad experience with a ‘pure latex’ bed from a major retailer in the past. I went to sleep on something that felt like a cloud and woke in a hard ditch that did not immediately bounce back when I moved (as I thought latex should).
    I have since struggled on with a bad spring mattress but it’s time to make a decision about a new one.
    I have returned to looking at latex despite my experience as research seems to have shown that it is the latex quality, and the foams that the latex is boxed up with, that create problems like I had and that there are much better options from the Natural Bedding Company (and other stores with similar principles).
    Would appreciate any replies to assist with making a decision.

  • Cindylou

    you guys are buying “expensive synthetic latex” instead of “natural rubber” huge difference.
    most are synthetic latex, those high end tempur-somethings and such, are NOT rubber.

    I had to return the dreadful sweating saggy Latex and buy Rubber instead

  • Sascha Gnasher Basher

    our sentiments exactly too when we made the decision to replace our old inner spring mattress with a locally made (Adelaide) natural latex mattress! The only drawback is that they are incredibly heavy! Also, now that we’ve had it 4 or so years, & I’ve pushed out a few babies, I’m finding it too firm. Any suggestions on how to alleviate this Sarah? We were considering a woollen mattress topper or a foam topper.

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much Sarah for this info – huge help! I recently made an impulse (i know, unwise) purchase of a reportedly great latex mattress. I would like to get one of the ergo bases you mention, however, I will need to save up for it. Do you think I should keep the current ensemble base until I get the ergo or put the mattress on the floor until then?

  • Marty Girl

    Is there anyone who has purchased a Dunlop natural latex mattress? I want to know if this kind of mattress is still hot at night. I have found one with bamboo covering with coils but do not want to buy it if it is “hot” when I sleep. I also must purchased a brand new bedroom set and it has slats but not the kind that are shown above. How do I combine a “bed base” with my new bedroom set? Can I just remove the ones on the bed now and set this one in the frame? will it work that way?

  • Randall Miles

    Thanks for that info, Evie – finally a review of Natural Sleep online! For some reason they are few and far between. I am on the verge of purchasing a latex mattress from them and like you will go with just a plain cover, but in my case that will be 100% natural cotton. I am leaning towards them for all the reasons you outline – it’s reassuring to hear you’ve had a good experience with them.

  • Elena

    Hi, just wondering where you got the info about mattresses going through Asia being spayed? I’ve been looking at one with latex from Sri Lanka. It’s cheaper than European latex but I don’t want to get it if it’s been fumigated, especially since my baby often lies on it with me.

  • Kyle

    Hi Sarah. Thanks for this information. We are interested in a bed from the Comfort Shop and wanted to know if your mattress has softened up and how you have found the quality of the ergo bed frame. Have the slats got soft or broken and how is the frame holding up with its construction – is it still solid??

  • Viv

    Hi, Our latex mattress was much hotter than our original innerspring. It is now about 5 years old and causing us much grief with the sagging towards the centre and the heat buildup although it was quite comfortable..

    1. – sagging problem solved by placing an old thin blanket down the middle of the bed under the mattress. We now have our own valleys and the mound between is barely noticeable.

    2. Heat Build-up solved by a drastic measure – I slit the sides of the mattress with scissors- – this allows the heat to dissipate.

    I thought that I was buying a good latex mattress but it was unfortunately a bodgy natural one, plus they used excessive amount of foam padding in the cushioning areas – it was a double sided mattress. The foam was the problem. The company went broke a couple of years ago and I figured I had nothing to loose by cutting the sides. We now sleep comfortably even on 35 degree nights – with the window and door open. The latex now is still comfortable, can do its job in supporting us and the heat does not build up and it breathes.

  • Duong

    Well that depends entirely on the size your looking for.
    Queen size NATURAL latex mattresses should be around $1300 – $2000.
    Beware of synthetic or blended latex which contain polyurethane foam and toxic chemicals (e.g. fire retardants). Make sure to look inside the mattress and ask for certifications.
    Slats beds, not too sure about, but you can build your own or just use recycled wooden pallets (see youtube).

    I purchase my mattress from Zaanta for $1,370.

  • Kelly

    Interesting article. Definitely agree that latex is the best material for sleeping on. I love mine. However, there are a couple of points in thus article that I would query.

    1. Dunlop and talalay are not different types of latex and talalay is not necessarily a blend of natural and synthetic latex. They are different manufacturing processes that can be used with natural or synthetic latex. Each have their pros and cons and it depends on preference. I personally prefer the Dunlop method outcome which is less bouncier.

    2. Latex is sourced in south east Asia (sometimes from South America or Africa, not Europe.) the Stella Rubino website clearly states that they import their latex. It doesn’t come from Italy. Stella Rubino supplies The Comfort Shop.

    Whether you choose talalay or Dunlop natural latex you will never have a better night’s sleep!! Just check that it is 100%. It’s not cheap but worth it.

  • That’s really a very informative and helpful article Sarah. I appreciate the research and unbiased opinions you have shared. As you have mentioned, latex mattresses are 100% natural and organic. Sleeping on a latex mattress, gives a cooling sensation for the body. This is one reason why I actually love latex mattresses. Also, they are good for the lower back and health as well. But when I googled on the reviews, users were very much impressed with the memory foam mattresses, as they provided comfort and support. Some even say that latex mattresses after a few days, had terrible smell. I was confused to choose between memory foam and latex. but now, I am pretty confident to choose the right mattress. Thank you Sarah.

  • That’s really a very informative and helpful article Sarah. I appreciate the research and unbiased opinions you have shared. As you have mentioned, latex mattresses are 100% natural and organic. Sleeping on a latex mattress, gives a cooling sensation for the body. This is one reason why I actually love latex mattresses. Also, they are good for the lower back and health as well. But when I googled on the reviews, users were very much impressed with the memory foam mattresses, as they provided comfort and support. Some even say that latex mattresses after a few days, had terrible smell. I was confused to choose between memory foam and latex. but now, I am pretty confident to choose the right mattress. Thank you Sarah.

  • That’s really a very informative and helpful article Sarah. I appreciate the research and unbiased opinions you have shared. As you have mentioned, latex mattresses are 100% natural and organic. Sleeping on a latex mattress, gives a cooling sensation for the body. This is one reason why I actually love latex mattresses. Also, they are good for the lower back and health as well. But when I googled on the reviews, users were very much impressed with the memory foam mattresses, as they provided comfort and support. Some even say that latex mattresses after a few days, had terrible smell. I was confused to choose between memory foam and latex. but now, I am pretty confident to choose the right mattress. Thank you Sarah.

  • Murray Thompson

    Wonderful information, and great research!!