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normal What's wrong with the IKEA natural latex mattress?

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14 Aug 2013 23:29 #1 by steven_sharma

Hello,

First of all, thanks Phoenix for such a helpful website. I've learned a lot, although it has just increased my inability to make a decision! :unsure:

I've been looking and talking to various manufacturers including some who sell blended. Since a lot of these are online, I'm a little nervous about buying online. My wife and I tried out the IKEA Sultan Edsele for quite a while and we actually liked how it felt! We tried some other mattresses at some local stores and while they all felt good, we couldn't tell an appreciable difference between the Edsele and the others.

The Edsele is 85% natural latex and 15% synthetic latex. It looks like the density is 70 kg/m3, but they don't publish any ILD numbers. I've asked 3 different manufacturers to compare their mattresses to the Edsele and two of them were quite condescending and just said "IKEA doesn't even compare", but they couldn't tell me WHY. One of these had a blended mattress that seemed to have pretty good reviews, but it was 40-50% natural latex. I'm not expecting them to praise a competitor's product, especially when it's made by a "low quality" store like IKEA, but I just want to be educated on why their product is so much better than the Edsele.

Any thoughts? Is it a longevity issue, or a latex quality issue?

Thanks for any help!

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15 Aug 2013 12:24 - 11 Jun 2014 12:42 #2 by Phoenix

Hi steven_sharma,

The Edsele is 85% natural latex and 15% synthetic latex. It looks like the density is 70 kg/m3, but they don't publish any ILD numbers. I've asked 3 different manufacturers to compare their mattresses to the Edsele and two of them were quite condescending and just said "IKEA doesn't even compare", but they couldn't tell me WHY. One of these had a blended mattress that seemed to have pretty good reviews, but it was 40-50% natural latex. I'm not expecting them to praise a competitor's product, especially when it's made by a "low quality" store like IKEA, but I just want to be educated on why their product is so much better than the Edsele.


The latex that is used in the Ikea mattresses is a continuous pour Dunlop manufactured by Mountaintop Foam . They use a continuous pour system manufactured on a belt instead of a mold which can result in a little bit better consistency throughout the core in terms of ILD because the latex particles don't settle as much. To answer your question directly ... it's not "worse" than other types of latex and like all latex they are a good quality product. I would probably lean slightly towards 100% natural Dunlop made in a mold because it would be slightly better quality (natural latex is generally more resilient and durable and has better overall performance qualities than synthetic latex) but the difference would be slight with an 85% natural blend. It is also OekoTex certified. I would pay a slight premium for 100% natural Dunlop but not a significant one. You can see some of my thoughts about the Ikea mattresses in post #3 here .

As far as I know ... the Edsele is C3 in terms of firmness (they have a range from C0 - C5) which by their ILD measurement would be in the mid 20's which means it would be somewhat "softer" with initial compression on top but would get firmer as you sink in more (Dunlop has a high compression modulus which means it gets firmer more quickly as you sink in more deeply). Their ILD's can't be compared to other latex ILD's though because I believe they use a different method of testing for ILD than other latex manufacturers (there are many differences between ILD testing used around the world) and their 24 ILD would be a firmer ILD compared to other manufacturers.

The best question you can ever ask is "why" and it's great to see that's just what you are doing :)

Phoenix


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Last edit: 11 Jun 2014 12:42 by Phoenix.

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15 Aug 2013 21:46 #3 by steven_sharma

Phoenix,

Thanks so much for that information!

I'll add some more info here in case anyone else is interested. I contacted Mountaintop Foam and was able to speak to their sales director. He gave me a bit more information about the Sultan Edsele. IKEA states that they are made in Mexico. It looks like Mountaintop makes it in PA and the mattress is assembled in Mexico. The synthetic portion of the latex is made in their PA facility.

They claim that they don't add fillers for the synthetic portion of the latex and he confirmed the OekoTex certification.

Thanks again for your help and all the good info you provide on this site!

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15 Aug 2013 23:20 - 15 Aug 2013 23:20 #4 by Phoenix

Hi steven_sharma,

When I talked with them they were very open and informative about the specifics of what they were making and several manufacturers I know have found the same thing as well. They operate semi independently of Tempurpedic/Sealy which owns them and they are "good people".

Phoenix


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Last edit: 15 Aug 2013 23:20 by Phoenix.

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16 Aug 2013 04:30 #5 by suffolk

Another company that uses Mountaintop latex is Spindle Mattress. i want to call them today, they have a really good deal on a 10" all dunlop mattress for 699 delivered for a queen, which i would think is comparable to the ikea mattress, but ikea has a great return policy.

www.spindlemattress.com/collections/late...cts/latex-mattress-8

thanks

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16 Aug 2013 18:24 - 15 May 2014 23:55 #6 by Phoenix

Hi suffolk,

Spindle has been on my radar for a while and they are quite new as a company but the people behind it certainly aren't. Since you mentioned them I thought it would be a good chance to pick up the phone and talk with them and after a two hour conversation I have to say I was impressed (NOTE: They have since become a member of this site).

I talked with Neal the owner who has a long history in the industry (he's 4th generation and has been involved with mattress manufacturing since he was 12) and clearly knows his stuff. He is also one of the first to market with latex made entirely with Mountaintop latex and they offer their customers a choice between 100% synthetic and 100% natural latex using Mountaintop's continuous pour process in either a two or a three x 3" layer mattress with a zip cover quilted with 3/4" of polyfoam (Note: Spindle is now only using 100% natural continuous pour Dunlop and wool quilting in their mattresses). They provide options that can customize firmness levels with a purchase and also offer one layer exchange within the first year. For those who live within reasonable driving distance of Acton, MA they also have a showroom where people can test their mattress in person. They are also a good option to include in your research for those who are looking at online choices, are what I call "mattress people", and are well worth talking to.

Phoenix


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Last edit: 15 May 2014 23:55 by Phoenix.

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17 Aug 2013 07:55 #7 by zoomer

Thank you suffolk for bringing this option up, and Phoenix for making the call. This is an option that's local to me, and very interesting since for about $150 more, I could have a full latex mattress instead of a good quality hybrid, AND be able to test it in person.

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03 Sep 2013 12:06 - 03 Sep 2013 12:09 #8 by Clawdia

I was wondering if zoomer went and checked out the mattresses at Spindle. I just looked at their website and their prices are certainly lower than elsewhere.

I was wondering if that top layer of polyfoam would be a negative feature when it comes to how a latex mattress is made. Phoenix, I'd really appreciate your input on this.

Last edit: 03 Sep 2013 12:09 by Clawdia.

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03 Sep 2013 20:38 #9 by Phoenix

Hi Clawdia,

Post #12 here has more information about quilting layers.

It's really a personal preference and as long as any lower density polyfoam use in quilting layers is reasonably thin (I use a guideline of "around an inch or so") it can be used to change the surface feel of the mattress and it's really a matter of preference between sleeping directly on the latex or sleeping on latex that has a quilting layer of polyfoam or natural or synthetic fibers above it.

As long as the quilting materials are not too thick then they won't have any meaningful affect on the durability of the mattress.

Phoenix


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