my simple home: why i chose a latex mattress

Posted on March 28th, 2013

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!)….

 

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  • Cheryl

    Thanks Sarah, do sooo appreciate your wonderfully thorough research and honest approach!
    One thing about the recycling of old mattresses. I too, stress about the waste, I can’t figure out why we chuck the old mattress to landfill. Do we think when we stay at hotels & motels than we are using virgin mattresses? Surely, they could get sanitized( enviro friendly style) & given to shelters, Salvos etc. Enlighten me if you know.

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  • denise

    How much does it cost, IE slats and mattress?

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  • Lil

    My Dad tried the switch to latex a while back, starting out with pillows but they had a terrible smell. After being put outside to air out they disintergrated. Not sure what the brand was but I’ve been put off because I’m sensitive to smells & was worried about how long they would last. Are there any tips for caring for latex bedding?

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    mel Reply:

    That may not have been natural latex but rather a synthetic kind. It’s a lot less expensive than the natural stuff.

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  • Bec

    Great post, I have been looking mattresses for a while now.
    Your link for landsavers doesn’t seem to be working though.

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    JessB Reply:

    The link didn’t work for me either, but I found Landsavers online here:
    http://www.landsavers.com.au/

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    JessB Reply:

    Landsavers are Sydney only, but I found these guys, Bed Collect, who look after Melbourne, and who also donate refurbished mattresses to charity:
    http://www.bedcollect.com.au/about-us/

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  • http://thatsgoodeatin.wordpress.com Kristy

    For the gardening-minded, old coil mattresses can be recycled and used in the garden. The springed frames (once the padding is removed) make excellent structures for peas, passionfruits or anything climbing to grow through. You can use them to make a living wall or divider in your garden, or the edge of a chicken enclosure. The padding can often be composted or used as a base layer in mulching to suppress grass and weeds.

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    Sara Reply:

    Wow. Ingenious!

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  • Jemima

    We love our latex mattress – best buy ever & super comfy! :)

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  • Emma

    Places like these recycle or refurbish mattresses, either for charity or to collect and distribute the individual components: http://www.softlanding.com.au/
    Some councils (like mine) also offer this service – so google your area and you’ll no doubt find a service like this near you.

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  • Mia

    I’m with you on the not throwing things out. I thought of this series yesterday, when I decided to glue my old Ikea chest of drawers back together (again!) that have moved house with me at least four times. Instead of buying new drawers. Being a tightarse also helps.

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  • Kate

    My husband and I bought a very expensive latex mattress about three years ago and it is sooo hot. Made even worse by the fact that my husband is a very hot sleeper – he wakes up covered in sweat. In saying that though, the mattress has never been smelly, though I do worry about dampness collecting in the top layers.
    Maybe we need to fork out on a good slatted base… I have also read about cooling gel mat overlays for the mattress? Does anyone have any experience of these?
    Otherwise, I guess we’ll stick it out until we get a bigger place and can use this one as a guest/spare bed.

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    Di Reply:

    My husband and I also bought an expensive latex mattress and we found it far too hot as well. So after a couple of years “cooking”, no matter which season, we bought a Tempur mattress. It has similar qualities to latex but is not nearly so hot! Very happy with it now.

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    Kylie Reply:

    Do the matresses have pillow tops on them? I’ve heard (from a friend who sells beds) that they put crap filling in the pillow top section, which doesn’t breath, making a pillow top a bad idea for all the hotties out there. :)

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    Lu Reply:

    Try a wool underlay, that worked really well for me. The Wool breathes… you may also need a slat base, but the underlay could be a good start.

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    Geri Reply:

    Do not waste your money on a cooling mattress pad. Did not help me at all. I’m cold all the time and all these mattresses did for me is make me sweat. Next time I’m going for a completely natural material mattress with lots of cotton, horse hair etc. They sounds wonderful. Like the mattress I grew up with.

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    evie Reply:

    Geri – just wondering if you know where I could look at buying a cotton, horse hair mattress? Thanks.

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    Emma Reply:

    Hi Kate, I was just wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about your latex mattress. I am trying to figure out what mattress to buy for my allergy suffering 4yo daughter, and was hoping latex might be the answer. However I am concerned about it being too hot (she is definitely a hot sleeper). You mentioned you didn’t have slat bed base. Do you know whether your mattress was natural or synthetic latex? Did it have pin holes? Did it have a pillow top or was any foam used in the construction? Any info would be great. Thanks

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  • Nicky

    Actually Sarah in my experience the latex beds do get hot. Very hot. So hot blooded people be warned.

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    Emma Reply:

    Hi Nicky. Could you tell me a little bit more about your latex mattress. I am trying to figure out what mattress to buy for my allergy suffering 4yo daughter, and was hoping latex might be the answer. However I am concerned about it being too hot (she is definitely a hot sleeper). Do you know whether your mattress was natural or synthetic latex? Was it 100% latex or was it constructed with other materials, foam, wool etc. Did it have pin holes? Did it have a pillow top? Did you have it on a slat base. Any info would be great. Thanks

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  • http://www.oneflewover-oneflewover.com Kate

    I have been on a latex mattress for the last 5 years and it has transformed my sleep experience.

    The latex pillows take a bit of getting used to but my husband and I hate sleeping on anything else.

    Enjoy your rest tonight!

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  • Dee

    We bought a cooling mattress pad for our latex mattress from http://www.drinights.com. It’s excellent, no more sweating and it feels nice and ‘refreshing’ when you hop into bed. We also bought our bed from The Comfort Shop – a fold-down wall bed that we’ve put in our living room so our kids can have a room each until they are old enough to share (we have a 3 year old, and a 10 month old). We live in a two bedroom apartment and space/storage is a premium, but it means that we just don’t buy stuff. It works for us because we live close to the city, have excellent amenities nearby and we can walk everywhere. Sometimes we feel societal pressure to move further out, to get a bigger house, a backyard and a second car, but for us the extra cost involved, environmental impact and loss of family time (due to increased commute time) just doesn’t make sense.

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    Libby Reply:

    Did you buy your cooling mattress pad from Drinights online and then pay for shipping form US…as just bought a top quality latex mattress and burning up at night no matter how cool the evenings are…so wanted to buy one of these pads if you think it really did help. But not sure if I can get the same thing here in Australia (seem harder to find).
    Thanks

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  • grace b

    Once I learned about the ramifications of “traditional” mattress these days I was adamant that I would hold out until I could afford one. So for about six months my boyfriend and I slept on either a crummy air mattress or on a VERY thin/unstable sleeper sofa (the only reason we bought the secondhand sofa in the first place!). My boyfriend is quite tall so he was miserable on the sofa and the air mattress deflated through the night so I hated it. Plus we had a back room that was just begging to be a bedroom and not a dumping ground for our things!

    About a month ago some generous family members gifted us a mattress and bed! My mom came to visit us and went shopping. I decided to go the natural mattress store (a local one and absolutely fabulous, amazing customer service) just to have a look-see. Turns out there were unadvertised beds in our price range! They are a soy/wool blend, no chemical fire retardents, with a pillow top. So not latex, but I am still deliriously happy about it. I picked out a very mature rubberwood platform bed (with slats on the bottom!) that I love. We got a box spring a bit late and actually prefer it without so we may ask to return it. I’d really love to use some store credit to get a new pillow because while I had splurged on pillows for the both of us I used a different company and I HATE my buckwheat pillow. My boyfriend’s is wool or I’d like to try bamboo.

    I love reading about your experience with these eco-mattresses and beds Sarah. I’m so glad I didn’t have to compromise and love having a bedroom (we painted and put up some artwork–we sleep next to the water heater basically (ugh) but having our own bedroom space is crucial!) that gives us privacy and a more comfortable space.

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  • T

    My husband and I bought an expensive top of the range latex mattress thinking the same as you – it’s green,lasts forever etc but after 3 nights of sleeping on it (in winter mind you) we both woke up covered in sweat! Worst sleep ever….
    I thought I was in early menopause!
    Luckily we had an understanding shop Assistant and we were able to swap it for a conventional mattress no questions asked- never again. Latex ( rubber) is best kept for inner soles!

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    Jodie Reply:

    We have had the same problem. I’m usually a cold sleeper but wake up so hot (since we went latex ). Looking forward to giving it away!!

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    Emma Reply:

    Hi Jody and T, I was just wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about your latex mattress. I am trying to figure out what mattress to buy for my allergy suffering 4yo daughter, and was hoping latex might be the answer. However I am concerned about it being too hot (she is definitely a hot sleeper). Do you know whether your mattress was made entirely from latex or were other materials used in its construction (eg foam, wool etc). Was it made using natural or synthetic latex? Did it have pin holes? Did it have a pillow top over the latex? Did you use a slat base or solid base? Any info would be great. Thanks

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    Kell Reply:

    Hi Emma,
    Irrespective of the mattress you choose, I suggest you buy dust mite covers for her mattress, pillow and doona. Allersearch is one brand out there. There are also a variety of measures you can take to reduce allergens in the home- the biggest one being no carpet, others include hot washing doona covers regularly and wet dusting/vacuuming regularly. Cheers, Kell

  • Peta Walker

    Hi Sarah, a great big THANK YOU for your research into beds and for passing it on to us. We are going to buy a new bed very shortly so I’ll take this into account. Have a Happy Easter! Cheers,
    Peta :)

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  • Irene

    I’m latex sensitive and have to avoid or limit food that is related to the rubber tree. I have Hashimoto. I replaced my coiled mattress with latex free mattress – the best buy I’ve ever made. I couldn’t believe a mattress could make so much difference. I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as a latex free mattress but I mentioned this to Myer assistant and they stocked them. From memory it cost ~$800.

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    Sharon Blackman Reply:

    To the latex sensitive folk, I just located information explaining that, as with any true food allergy, the allergic immune response is a reaction to the protein element of a compound. This bedding website states:
    “Those suffering from latex allergies must understand that it’s the proteins in the latex that cause the allergy. When the latex in a latex mattress goes through a process of vulcanization (exposure to high heat), the proteins experience denaturation. The denaturation results in the loss of secondary and tertiary structure thereby altering its characteristics. An example of this process can be seen when cooking egg whites. The reason they solidify and become firm (rather than slimy) is because the proteins that exist in the egg whites are denatured.”
    This, unfortunately, for all the dairy lovers still out there is what occurs when milk proteins are denatured by the high temperatures used in pasteurisation – “trans proteins” perhaps? Sharon, Naturopath, Pure Health, WA

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  • Heather

    Thanks for this informative article Sarah. Not ready for a new mattress just yet, but had never, ever considered a latex mattress – I have a mild latex sensitivity having worked in a latex environment for many years, and so would not have considered it. On researching (quickly and briefly) since reading your article I found that there are certain production methods that minimise the risk. Just woundering on anyone’s thoughts on the latex mattress and latex allergy, as some sufferers would collapse on the sniff of a rubber band. I’m guessing different products and treatments, different amounts of rubber / sap….
    Loving your work here, Heather.

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  • http://Yoginime.wordpress.com Michelle

    The Salvos sometimes take old mattresses if they’re still in pretty good nick. I think they either use them in their hostels or give them to people setting up homes, which is a great way to recycle them – giving them to people who really need them.

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  • LizzieB

    My husband and I have had a latex mattress for a few years. I am a hot sleeper, so I often end up on the lounge….I can’t sleep when my back becomes so hot. For people who sleep warm, latex is not for you!! I can’t justify getting a new mattress yet…but am looking forward to the cold weather coming so I can spend some nights back in bed!

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  • DeniseB

    My partner and I bought a latex mattress about 4 years ago. I have AI thyroid and have suffered with insomnia for more years than I can remember. I thought the new mattress was blissfully comfortable, BUT it is way too hot. It absorbs all my extra-inflamed body-heat and keeps it there. There’s nowhere where I can roll over to a cool spot. It is hot, hot, hot, regardless of the season, I’m afraid.
    I’ve tried thick cotton mattress protectors, which do help a little, but I have a problem there too! Many mattress toppers are cotton and polyester, and of course the polyester is hot. I know someone who sleeps on a cool gel mat over the latex mattress to try and keep cool.
    So, despite the considerable financial investment in the latex mattress, we are giving serious thought to buying a new bed and mattress as soon as we can afford it.
    I hope your experience with the latex mattress is better than mine!

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  • Linley

    Love the interesting subjects & info ,especially love the extension of info from open forum comments :)

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  • Melissa

    Arrrghhh …
    I am in the midst of replacing our bed & like Sarah I’ve researched health vs comfort vs support etc etc …
    I never wanted to sleep on a coil mattress again due to them being EMF conductors (Dr Joseph Mercola has a great article on this)! However …
    I have chronic pain & over the years through doing the Feldenkrais Method my body & it’s needs have changed. My skeleton is now doing the work that muscles thought was their job (they’ve discovered they aren’t the skeleton & they are not my foundation!) I have changed! It’s not so much comfort I need now but support, support so that my muscles are not over-engaging when turning/rolling etc during sleep & my skeleton is supported where it needs to be.
    We have a good & very expensive latex mattress (incl. pin holes for breathability), purchased after many months of research & article reading. We’ve had it for about 7 years (after being told it would definitely last 15-20 years). I can no longer sleep on it as I get pain as soon as I do. It has changed shape over the years, it has a hump in the middle (which they are not supposed to do) & it does sag a bit. I have been sleeping on my young sons medium/firm inner spring with latex & bamboo covering…. my pain levels at night & early morning are down – way down! Since I’ve been in it I have not had a pain flare up which has ended with me in the horizontal position for days (difficult with 2 small children)!
    My dilemma … I know it’s not good to be sleeping on coil/inner spring but it’s also not good to be suffering pain & the distress that comes with being on the latex.
    Change to another latex? Not at their price, we can’t afford that it may be as bad as our current one (king size)! I’ve found a new bed that is coil but has a latex & bamboo cover, am I 100% happy about the coil … NO … but I’m restricted in my choices :(
    Sometimes health is a balance & when you’re restricted whether it be by finances or otherwise, you just have to make the best choice given the current circumstances.
    I wish I had more choice :(
    M

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    Geri Reply:

    Try going to an all natural material mattress.. Cotton, wool, horsehair etc. Look up on line. They are very expensive but will worth it. Popular in Europe.

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  • Nat

    I got my mattress from a company online. I called then before purchasing and enquired about a mattress that is similar to theirs that I may be able to test out at one of the major retailers close to my home.

    Fast forward to today- had the mattress for over a year, still excellent, paid less than $1000, great sleep.

    Latex mattresses are brilliant- I’ll never go back to spring, even if I got one for free!

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  • Erin

    We have also recently purchased a new mattress so we all now have a Wool Mattress & topper, on raw wood slatted base (which we have oiled with Livos).
    We purchased these through a QLD company, Blessed Earth. Such a huge investment but oh so worth it!!!
    I would highly recommend them.

    Erin

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  • http://the-labyrinth.com Michellina Van Loder

    HI Sarah

    I have problems with foam mattresses, and through testing, was found to be sensitive to the polyurethane (the foam). All the latex mattresses i looked at stunk of petrochemicals. I bought a cotton mattress that made me incredibly ill; then I found that an organic cotton mattress made all the difference. I bought mine from Organature http://www.organature.com.au/innerspring-mattresses The man who manufactures them was made ill from working in an ordinary mattress factory. He now makes them himself and has become quite popular among people sensitive to chemicals. He has the hard wood bases, and the type of mattress without the innerspring. He even aired my last one out for me, which was so nice because usually, it takes me about a month before I can have anything new in the house. (Now there’s a way to stop buying new stuff: develop sensitivities to chemicals! :) )

    Cheers

    Good luck with your new sleeping arrangements! It makes the world of difference!

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  • Lu

    I agree Latex is the best. I have a lovely Design Mobel bed with a latex mattress, which has very similar slat system to the one in your picture. Additionally those type of slat systems are great when you move… they are much lighter and slot easily into place, as well as being adjustable.

    For the warmth issue, I bought a Wool underlay, which is reversible. Wool side down in summer and up in winter. However I recently took the underlay off to clean it and Wow, the mattress by itself is super snuggly :-)

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  • http://www.invigocollection.com/myinvigo/ natural mattress toppers

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  • Michelle

    Yes I do know the latex can create a sense of over heating in the warmer months. But it is usually what is in the topper pad That creates this.The 100% pure latex does have the holes in but the toppers have foam and memory foam which have chemicals in them and that is what creates the heat as it is very dense. Foam does not have holes in it and does not breath. But in general I have slept on both, spring with a topper and latex with a topper. I have found both to be the same . Both created heat in summer . No differance. I do know my friend has a latex with a wool topper I have slept on this in summer and found it to be allot cooler. Hope this helps.

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  • http://Carlyfindlay.blogspot.com Carly Findlay

    How can you claim latex is hypoallergenic when there are people with proven latex allergies?

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  • Insomniac

    Years ago, I bought a very thick Zentai futon (Byron Bay), the best one they had at the time, and I still absolutely love it. I also bought the slat bed to go with it, from Zentai. Natural cotton fibres and covering with latex in the middle (can’t see it or feel it). Never slept better, and its not hot like some latex can be. Not bouncy either and my back stopped hurting from sleeping on a traditional mattress. When this one is past its use-by, I’ll buy another in a heartbeat.

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  • Melissa

    Hi Imsomniac- i was looking at buying a mattress from Zentai -how is your futon one? is it hot to sleep on? is it 100% latex or a mix of foam and latex? thanks

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    Insomniac Reply:

    Hi Melissa, No it’s not really hot to sleep on, especially if you have all cotton sheets and the proper slatted base. There’s latex, or foam in the middle (I can’t remember) in the middle of the mattress, but a heap of cotton around it – like inches thick. I once bought a memory foam mattress topper and it was crazy hot. I tend to be hot when I sleep, year round, so a mattress adding heat would really bother me. I can’t vouch for how Zentai are making their mattresses these days. I bought mine quite a few years ago.

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  • Melissa

    thanks- it’s a big decision since Latex isn’t cheap and Zentai are based in Qld and we are in NSW so can’t test them out.
    I think we will probably go with Zentai though since they seem to have a lot of happy customers and reviews :)
    Have a good weekend :)

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    lukey Reply:

    Hi Melissa, I’m the head mattress maker at Zentai Living & Natural Bedding. There are a few simple rules to purchasing a natural latex mattress….you can find this info in the Natural Parenting forum titled “does anyone know much about latex?”…I have been manufacturing natural futons & latex mattresses for over 17years now & the misinformation in the general public (ie forums, customers, negative/misinformed posts etc) is astounding, but given that most consumers purchase from retail chains rather than manufacturers, it’s somewhat understandable…good info on natural latex bedding seems rarer than hen’s teeth..ok here it goes,
    * Is the latex rubber ECO certified? This certification is the consumers tool to weeding out the synthetic & blended, from the natural….ECO certifications are conducted in Cologne Germany by ECO Umwelt Institute & they test for 100% natural latex purity, over 250 harmful chemicals & compounds (many of them VOC’s), & indicate that the latex is also free of flame retarders, dyes, & perfumes (all fat soluble, ie absorbable through skin).

    *Is latex rubber the only material used internally? ie does it have PU foam comfort layers, or firm PU foam base layers, is it combined with PU memory foam?…Latex when it is molded from a tree sap to a natural rubber, is molded with open air channels called “pincoring” which travel 40-65% the depth of the latex core, meaning that when compression is applied air will be forced out of the channels & inturn ventilate the sleeping surface PROVIDED THERE ARE NO STIFLING PU FOAM LAYERS BUILT OVER THE TOP OF THE LATEX- FOAM IS THE HOTTEST MATERIAL IN BEDDING!!!! sorry about the capitals, but it is a very important point.

    *Is the quilting or casing (ie outer fabric/fibre material) 100% natural & breathable? Many companies blend wool with dacron, some simply use polyester fibres when quilting, both of these mattress types will accumulate bodyheat due to their synthetic, closed cell natural….also the outer fabric, polyester? cotton? bamboo?…stick with 100% natural when possible, it will braeth 100 times better & maintain itself much better in our hot/humid climate.

    *Is the latex LGA tested?…LGA tests are a compression/durability test to determine the longevity of the product…when a company sets a warranty period, it is due to the info from this test…Latex generally will have a 10yr warranty, but funnily enough it has a lifespan of 20-25 yrs under these testing procedures….just ask the salesman for cert’s etc.

    If you follow these simple guidelines, you will have the most healthy, sustainable, & comfortable mattress made in the market…purer to the body than any other bedding material.
    Please also keep in mind that latex will be density set….ie firm options for heavy bodyweights & lovers of firm…medium for the average Joe or Jo, Soft for younguns…couples often benefit from a dual density construction, ie Firm supportive base layer, topped with a medium or soft density comfort layer, this mattress type has HUGE appeal to couples of DIFFERING BODYWEIGHT as the heavier gets the required postural support, whilst the lighter indiviual gets the plush contouring comfort their weight dictates…also fantastic for side sleepers…
    any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at info@zentai.com.au.
    Thanks, LukeyDC

    [Reply]

    lukey Reply:

    Hi all, I’m LukeyDC the head mattress maker at Zentai Living & Natural Bedding. There are a few simple rules to purchasing a natural latex mattress….you can find this info in the Natural Parenting forum titled “does anyone know much about latex?”…I have been manufacturing natural futons & latex mattresses for over 17years now & the misinformation in the general public (ie forums, customers, negative/misinformed posts etc) is astounding, but given that most consumers purchase from retail chains rather than manufacturers, it’s somewhat understandable…good info on natural latex bedding seems rarer than hen’s teeth..ok here it goes,
    * Is the latex rubber ECO certified? This certification is the consumers tool to weeding out the synthetic & blended, from the natural….ECO certifications are conducted in Cologne Germany by ECO Umwelt Institute & they test for 100% natural latex purity, over 250 harmful chemicals & compounds (many of them VOC’s), & indicate that the latex is also free of flame retarders, dyes, & perfumes (all fat soluble, ie absorbable through skin).

    *Is latex rubber the only material used internally? ie does it have PU foam comfort layers, or firm PU foam base layers, is it combined with PU memory foam?…Latex when it is molded from a tree sap to a natural rubber, is molded with open air channels called “pincoring” which travel 40-65% the depth of the latex core, meaning that when compression is applied air will be forced out of the channels & inturn ventilate the sleeping surface PROVIDED THERE ARE NO STIFLING PU FOAM LAYERS BUILT OVER THE TOP OF THE LATEX- FOAM IS THE HOTTEST MATERIAL IN BEDDING!!!! sorry about the capitals, but it is a very important point.

    *Is the quilting or casing (ie outer fabric/fibre material) 100% natural & breathable? Many companies blend wool with dacron, some simply use polyester fibres when quilting, both of these mattress types will accumulate bodyheat due to their synthetic, closed cell natural….also the outer fabric, polyester? cotton? bamboo?…stick with 100% natural when possible, it will braeth 100 times better & maintain itself much better in our hot/humid climate.

    *Is the latex LGA tested?…LGA tests are a compression/durability test to determine the longevity of the product…when a company sets a warranty period, it is due to the info from this test…Latex generally will have a 10yr warranty, but funnily enough it has a lifespan of 20-25 yrs under these testing procedures….just ask the salesman for cert’s etc.

    If you follow these simple guidelines, you will have the most healthy, sustainable, & comfortable mattress made in the market…purer to the body than any other bedding material.
    Please also keep in mind that latex will be density set….ie firm options for heavy bodyweights & lovers of firm…medium for the average Joe or Jo, Soft for younguns…couples often benefit from a dual density construction, ie Firm supportive base layer, topped with a medium or soft density comfort layer, this mattress type has HUGE appeal to couples of DIFFERING BODYWEIGHT as the heavier gets the required postural support, whilst the lighter indiviual gets the plush contouring comfort their weight dictates…also fantastic for side sleepers…
    any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at info@zentai.com.au.
    Thanks, LukeyDC

    [Reply]

    Denise Reply:

    I can certainly attest to the quality of Zentai’s products and their customer service… after doing loads of searching online for the most natural latex mattress available we purchased through Zentai. They shipped our mattress to SA and couln’t be happier with the mattress or the service we received. And no, this is not a paid post – just an honest customer opinion that I hope will help other health-conscious consumers. :)

    [Reply]

  • Insomniac

    They’re in Byron Bay if that’s any help!

    [Reply]

  • Kelly

    Dear Sarah

    Thanks so much for the information provided above.
    Do you have any suggestions regarding BED LINEN – sheets (material, thread count or particular brands) and QUILTS (cotton/poly/wool/duck down/feather).
    What are the softest and kindest to the skin you have come across and use yourself?
    I would appreciate any thoughts you have.

    Thanks Sarah

    Best Wishes
    Kelly

    [Reply]

  • http://www.littleeconest.com.au/blog Pippa Buxton

    Thanks for your passion Lukey. I believe as you say that this is not a topic that you can form an opinion with simply using online research and I have taken this approach. You address a few aspects of the points considered in my research but I respect that you are speaking from our own promotion point and acknowledge that potential for bias.. There are a few elements of your feedback that contradict other information that I have first hand from the extensive research presented to me not only from The Comfort Shop but others. The Comfort Shop demonstrated a complex understanding of their product to me and a transparency and willingness to respond to inquiry that endeared me to their option. When you read my post you will see that there are no additional ‘layers’ to my chosen mattress. I believe you are referring to initial latex production considerations where, though I took that into consideration, in my post I refer to import of complete product spraying, however regardless I am confident that The Comfort Shop offer a great choice in the context of what is available in the Australian market. I respect the right of every person to decide what is right for them and theirs and if they so wish, to share that decision in a public space. Peace to you and yours.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au Ben

    The Comfort Shop would like to correct the misinformation which “LukeyDC” is promoting on this blog.
    To be clear:
    1: The Comfort Shop does NOT purchase mattresses from Dorsal – our mattresses are purchased exclusively from Italian manufacturer Stella Rubino
    2: We purchase our Posture Slat Bed Bases only from Dorsal
    3: As Sarah has correctly stated, Stella Rubino do NOT use the Talalay process – rather they use the Dunlop method to produce their Latex Mattresses
    4: Stella Rubino mattresses all meet the highest European standards and guidelines – including Oeko-Tex, HygCen, Certipur – more info can be found on our website: http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au/mattresses_pillows/mattresses_latex_questions.php
    Ben Cavanagh – Managing Director – The Comfort Shop

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au Ben

    The Comfort Shop would like to correct the misinformation which “LukeyDC” is promoting on this blog.
    To be clear:
    1: The Comfort Shop does NOT purchase mattresses from Dorsal – our mattresses are purchased exclusively from Italian manufacturer Stella Rubino
    2: We purchase our Posture Slat Bed Bases only from Dorsal
    3: As Sarah has correctly stated, Stella Rubino do NOT use the Talalay process – rather they use the Dunlop method to produce their Latex Mattresses
    4: Stella Rubino mattresses all meet the highest European standards and guidelines – including Oeko-Tex, HygCen, Certipur – more info can be found on our website: http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au/mattresses_pillows/mattresses_latex_questions.php
    Ben Cavanagh – Managing Director – The Comfort Shop

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au Ben

    The Comfort Shop would like to correct the misinformation which “LukeyDC” is promoting on this blog.
    To be clear:
    1: The Comfort Shop does NOT purchase mattresses from Dorsal – our mattresses are purchased exclusively from Italian manufacturer Stella Rubino
    2: We purchase our Posture Slat Bed Bases only from Dorsal
    3: As Sarah has correctly stated, Stella Rubino do NOT use the Talalay process – rather they use the Dunlop method to produce their Latex Mattresses
    4: Stella Rubino mattresses all meet the highest European standards and guidelines – including Oeko-Tex, HygCen, Certipur – more info can be found on our website: http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au/mattresses_pillows/mattresses_latex_questions.php
    Ben Cavanagh – Managing Director – The Comfort Shop

    [Reply]

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