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All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 26 Nov 2012 22:25 #1

Does Dunlop only come in 100% natural Latex? How can I find Mattresses where the Dunlop comes from reputable maunfacturers? I am looking for Mattresses which do not contain any Synthetics (no foams.) Since I am chemically sensitive I am concerned about the Blended Talalay and the synthetic vanillan scent it may have (a year ago the company confirmed they used it- not sure if they still do.) I am also concerned about the long term impressions using Talalay All Natural Rubber, so I am leaning towards Dunlop if I can assure it is "good" Dunlop- prefer US made. Suggestions?

Thanks for your integrity, hard work, and willingness to share.

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 26 Nov 2012 23:32 #2

OH, I live in Massachusetts on the Connecticut border. I am open to online but prefer a place I can drive to. I did see Restopedic do you know if they use the Natural Rubber Talalay, who should I talk to there?

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 27 Nov 2012 02:25 #3

Hi Holistically Yours,

Does Dunlop only come in 100% natural Latex?


Both manufacturing processes can use either synthetic rubber (SBR) or natural rubber(NR) or any combination or blend in their manufacturing. You can read more about the different types of latex in this article and in post #6 here along with post #6 here .

I am also concerned about the long term impressions using Talalay All Natural Rubber, so I am leaning towards Dunlop if I can assure it is "good" Dunlop- prefer US made. Suggestions?]I am also concerned about the long term impressions using Talalay All Natural Rubber, so I am leaning towards Dunlop if I can assure it is "good" Dunlop- prefer US made. Suggestions?


The best way to ensure you are getting what you want is to deal with reliable and reputable manufacturers and/or retailers that will tell you exactly what they use in their mattresses and the type and blend of any latex they use. There are only two primary manufacturers of Talalay (Latex international and Radium) but there are many good quality manufacturers of Dunlop latex and a reputable manufacturer will make sure that the materials they use has the best quality and value available to them and will tell you exactly what they are using. Some of the Dunlop manufacturers that you will often see includes Latex Green, CoCo Latex, Latexco, Arpico, Latex Systems Co, Thaitex, and New Zealand Foam Latex but there are many other good quality Dunlop manufacturers.

There are only two manufacturers of Dunlop in the US which are Sapsa (made by Sealy under license and who used to own them) which produces mostly synthetic Dunlop and Latexco which pours some of their softer Dunlop topper materials called Puralux in the US. None of the 6" 100% natural Dunlop cores you will see are poured in the US and most are from Asia.

OH, I live in Massachusetts on the Connecticut border. I am open to online but prefer a place I can drive to. I did see Restopedic do you know if they use the Natural Rubber Talalay, who should I talk to there?


Posts #2 and #4 here have the Connecticut and Connecticut/Massachusetts border (Springfield) choices.

The Boston list is in Post #2 here .

That should cover most of the region around you.

I did see Restopedic do you know if they use the Natural Rubber Talalay, who should I talk to there?


They could probably use either type of Talalay latex that you choose (they would have access to anything that Latex International makes) but I would call them for any specifics about what they have on their floor or what they could make with a special order. Anyone there can help you.

Hope this helps

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 03 Dec 2012 13:54 #4

Good Morning, I have spent a week reading your amazing website and things are becoming clear. Now for the foggy details.

My husband did stop at Restopedic and tried an all Latex however they do not have a huge selection so he was limited to firm. He did not have the time for them to put other ILDs on top but he was wondering if one could get a good sense doing it that way. They are not close enough for me to go to unless we know exactly what we want. But they seem very honest, nice, and accomodating. I think we are out of their delivery range too, but will keep it an option.

I am 5'3" and 112 pounds, my husband is 6'2" 185 pounds. We are thinking of buying 2 separate mattresses as our schedules vary dramatically. If we were to go with a split top would this affect the integrity of the strength of the latex? I am thinking I should get a mattress to suit me that would not kill him for the few times he will use it!

I visited the place in Northampton MA to look at Berkeley Ergonomics and Latex International's line of Pure Latex Bliss. With the Berkeley I liked the Alpine with the 2 different sized coils, however felt that the top layer of latex 2" was not thick enough. The firm side felt good- the soft side felt too soft, but this may be a function of me coming from sleeping on a "rock" of a mattress where I wake in pain everyday.

My husband feels if you are getting a mattress with latex then why get coils go with all latex- any thoughts?
Based on your recommendations, I should be on a low ILD like a 19? He was saying I was on 38 ILD firm 24 soft side on the Alpine and my alignment was pretty good- this made me highly suspicious of the ILD numbers he was giving, why would anyone put 38 on top?

Would you have the ILD info on the all latex Berkeley MEDIUM firm Mattress?

What I couldn't believe is how different each of these felt- you were right you really have to try them out. I guess I agree with my husband the 100% all natural latex really felt the best. My concern is the condition of the sample mattresses- they were 5 years old and showed wear, tears in the covers at the quilting stiches and even stains- YUCK.

The nice thing about Berkeley is the Chemical Freeness but I can't find info on whose Latex they use.

At the end of the day I am undecided on All Natural versus the synthetic blend, although I believe they are both Oeko-Tex 100 certified. I do want something that is safe but I don't want to shortchange myself buying something that is 50% more that won't last as long which is just as safe as the alternative.

Secondly, I need to determine the best ILDs and without a new mattress to sample or legitimate ILDs to go by I am stuck in the mud! Afterall, it is 51 degrees here today! :) If this helps, I did like the Beautiful 12" by Pure Latex Bliss but am uncerain about the covering which passes the fire standards. I would prefer organic cotton which will burn to something that will melt to me and the fumes will kill me in a fire!

Could I use these specs to figure out what I need? Just want to get clarity on the Berkeley medium specs to make sure it jives. Does the Bliss use all natural latex NR? Is the Paladan layer Oeko-Tex Certified?
PLB - Beautiful
LatexBLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric
LatexBLISS Milliken?s Paladin Fire Resistant Barrier
3" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD
2" Natural Talalay Latex 24 ILD
6" Natural Talalay Latex 36 ILD
1" Support Stabilization Base @50 ILD Firm Talalay latex
12" Mattress Height
9" Steel Foundation
21" Overall Mattress & Foundation
20 Years Limited Warranty 10/10

I know there is a lot here- the clean green health aspect and the ILD decision aspect! Thanks so much- you are the best!

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 03 Dec 2012 21:51 #5

Hi HolisticallyYours,

My husband did stop at Restopedic and tried an all Latex however they do not have a huge selection so he was limited to firm. He did not have the time for them to put other ILDs on top but he was wondering if one could get a good sense doing it that way. They are not close enough for me to go to unless we know exactly what we want. But they seem very honest, nice, and accomodating. I think we are out of their delivery range too, but will keep it an option.


Yes ... this can give you a good sense of different layer combinations although the ticking/quilting fabric will also make a difference. As you say they are good people.

I am 5'3" and 112 pounds, my husband is 6'2" 185 pounds. We are thinking of buying 2 separate mattresses as our schedules vary dramatically. If we were to go with a split top would this affect the integrity of the strength of the latex? I am thinking I should get a mattress to suit me that would not kill him for the few times he will use it!


No ... a split top doesn't compromise durability but it does usually require some kind of layer over it (either in the quilting or in the comfort layer) so you won't feel the split (athough you will of course still feel the different firmness levels on each side).

It can also be surprising to some people that certain layering combinations can accommodate different weights/heights in the same mattress. For example ... a middle transition layer can act as more of a support layer for the person with the lighter weight while it can act as more of a comfort layer for the person with a heavier weight. In some cases ... people that have very similar body types and sleeping positions may prefer different layering while couples that are very different in body type and sleeping positions sometimes prefer the same layering. Sometimes all the many variables involved converge together and can lead to the same layering for different people ... even though it doesn't seem "logical". This is part of the reason that personal testing can be much more accurate than designing a mattress based on "specs" which often only cover a few of the many variables involved in what makes a mattress more suitable for a particular person. In other words there is no "formula" where you can plug in specs (either of the person or the mattress) and come up with the "best" mattress although they can help with fitting people into "averages" that many will do well with.

I visited the place in Northampton MA to look at Berkeley Ergonomics and Latex International's line of Pure Latex Bliss. With the Berkeley I liked the Alpine with the 2 different sized coils, however felt that the top layer of latex 2" was not thick enough. The firm side felt good- the soft side felt too soft, but this may be a function of me coming from sleeping on a "rock" of a mattress where I wake in pain everyday.


They can alter both the support components (different innersprings or latex) and the comfort components (microcoils or latex) of the mattress so that you can have the best possible combination of both. Was the firm side the one you thought the comfort layer was too thin? There are some counter intuitive processes at work sometimes in a mattress where for example a softer thin top layer can allow you to "go though" it more and feel the firmness of the support layers while a firmer comfort layer can isolate you more from the support components and feel softer. Thickness and softness of the comfort layers and how much they "isolate" you from the firmness of the support layers (or in some cases how much the qualities of the support layers "contribute" to the comfort layers) are all part of creating the balance between pressure relief and support/alignment. The "critical zone" or "comfort zone" of a mattress (the depth of the pressure relieving cradle that you need) may be partly formed by the upper layers and partly formed by the softer part of the support layers below it so where the "boundary" between the layers may be can be misleading.

My husband feels if you are getting a mattress with latex then why get coils go with all latex- any thoughts?


The choice between a latex support system and an innerspring support system is really a matter of preference. One is not necessarily "better" than the other. Innersprings have a more linear response (which can be changed with different spring designs) while the response curve of latex is more bananna shaped and innersprings also have a higher resilience (they return more energy without absorbing it) than latex. In addition to this some innersprings have variable spring rates (similar in a way to say a 6" firm layer of latex with a softer 1" or 2" layer on top which is then used as the base for the comfort layers above it) which acts differently again and there are many other variables between the two. Some people may just do better with or prefer one over the other and each type of response may work better for some people.

Some people that can't make any combination of latex layering work for some reason may do well with latex over an innerspring for example while others that don't seem to "match" any type of innerspring may do well with an all latex mattress. I do think it's true that those who prefer all latex would probably not go back to an innerspring but there are some who just don't do as well with all latex.

Based on your recommendations, I should be on a low ILD like a 19? He was saying I was on 38 ILD firm 24 soft side on the Alpine and my alignment was pretty good- this made me highly suspicious of the ILD numbers he was giving, why would anyone put 38 on top?


Just to be clear ... I don't make recommendations but just provide guidelines that can be used as a reference point for working with a manufacturer or for local testing. There are just too many variables between body types, sleeping positions, preferences, and how all the specific components of a mattress work together (besides just the ILD of the latex) to make any kind of meaningful recommendations based on any formula or what I call "theory at a distance". It would generally take me several hours of much more detailed conversations that try to take into account many factors to try to design a mattress for someone based on specs and even then the ideal design as often as not wouldn't be available anyway and in some cases individual preferences and details that hadn't been considered could lead to different choices once they'd slept on the mattress anyway. Theory is an approximation based on averages at best.

The more specific recommendations I leave for discussions between manufacturers or retailers and their customers because they have much more detailed knowledge of the finer details of all the materials and components in their mattresses and perhaps more important, what they have available to choose from (they usually have a set of standard layers and components that they use). They also have a customer base that they can use as a reference point for the specific mattresses, materials, and components that they use.

The more specific "suggestions" I do make are usually limited to situations where there is a specific reference point of a complete mattress and a single layer needs to be changed or symptoms need to be resolved based on a more detailed description of the "symptoms" involved or on various choices of toppers that may need to be used for fine tuning. Without this reference point of a specific mattress that someone has tested or slept on that produces certain "symptoms" then I limit the information I provide to explanations about how each different layering or combination may affect certain people so that they have a better idea of all the "moving parts" that are involved. For example .. there are many manufacturers that don't even offer 19 ILD in latex because they believe it is too soft and their softest "standard" materials may be in the range of 24. Most of these could probably special order 19 ILD (they certainly have access to it) if necessary but they tend to design around slightly firmer comfort layers.

I would trust the information BE or any of their retailers give you. They (and most of their retailers) are among the most knowledgeable and open manufacturers in the country. There are many instances where the use of firmer latex may be appropriate either by itself or as part of layering arrangement that involved "dominating layers" (firmer layers over softer layers or innersprings). While I personally and I think most other people would have trouble with a latex comfort layer that was all 38 ILD (and didn't have other layers or components as part of the comfort layers), there are some who wouldn't have it any other way. Personal experience and trusting your body over any specs is always the key.

Would you have the ILD info on the all latex Berkeley MEDIUM firm Mattress?


I don't know for sure but I believe their soft latex is @ 25 ILD, their firm topper is @ 37 ILD, and their base latex layers are @38 ILD. the firm topper would be softer on an innerspring than on their firm latex base layer (which is the firmest mattress they have).

What I couldn't believe is how different each of these felt- you were right you really have to try them out. I guess I agree with my husband the 100% all natural latex really felt the best. My concern is the condition of the sample mattresses- they were 5 years old and showed wear, tears in the covers at the quilting stiches and even stains- YUCK.


Different combinations of materials and components ... and sometimes what seems like minor changes ... can certainly make big differences in the feel and performance of a mattress. When someone is testing mattresses in person ... I would tend to completely ignore ILD information and go by what I was feeling. A focus on specs can get in the way of accurate testing IMO when you are lying on mattresses. If they are a curiosity then I would first choose the "best" mattress and then find the comfort specs out afterwards as a matter of interest. The "comfort specs" are really only important in an online purchase where they have to replace personal experience and even then the final test is when you sleep on the mattress.

The nice thing about Berkeley is the Chemical Freeness but I can't find info on whose Latex they use.


They use Radium as far as I know.

At the end of the day I am undecided on All Natural versus the synthetic blend, although I believe they are both Oeko-Tex 100 certified. I do want something that is safe but I don't want to shortchange myself buying something that is 50% more that won't last as long which is just as safe as the alternative.


This article along with post #6 here and post #2 here and post #6 here may help you choose between them.

Secondly, I need to determine the best ILDs and without a new mattress to sample or legitimate ILDs to go by I am stuck in the mud! Afterall, it is 51 degrees here today! If this helps, I did like the Beautiful 12" by Pure Latex Bliss but am uncerain about the covering which passes the fire standards. I would prefer organic cotton which will burn to something that will melt to me and the fumes will kill me in a fire!


Again when you are testing locally ...I would ignore ILD's and only find out after you had decided which mattress worked best for you if the ILD's were a matter of curiosity.

PLB uses a fire barrier which uses Viscose (Rayon made from wood fibers) and Silica which are both safe materials IMO and either this or wool would be my choice of fire barrier because they don't use chemicals. You can see more about fire barriers at the end of this article and post #2 here .

Could I use these specs to figure out what I need? Just want to get clarity on the Berkeley medium specs to make sure it jives. Does the Bliss use all natural latex NR? Is the Paladan layer Oeko-Tex Certified?
PLB - Beautiful
LatexBLISS uses 450-480 Gram Weight fabric
LatexBLISS Milliken?s Paladin Fire Resistant Barrier
3" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD
2" Natural Talalay Latex 24 ILD
6" Natural Talalay Latex 36 ILD
1" Support Stabilization Base @50 ILD Firm Talalay latex

Pure Latex Bliss has two separate lines of all Talalay latex mattresses. Their natural line uses blended Talalay. Their "all natural" line uses 100% natural talalay. The specs you listed are from their previous blended Talalay line before the recent change which removed the bottom 1" layer and added it to the second layer from the top in all the models except in the Pamper where it was added to the top layer and which also replaced the blended Talalay top layer with Active Fusion Fast Response Talalay (which used to be called Celsion and is called Talalay GL fast response by Latex International which makes their Talalay latex). Hows that for some confusing terminology? :)

You could use this as a reference point in your discussions with a manufacturer yes (along with all the other things that would help them to help you make a good choice) to let them know that this layering was "perfect" (assuming you had tested for both alignment and pressure relief on it) but since a manufacturer may not have the same thickness and ILD's of layers available or the same cover or the same fire barrier or even the same latex supplier (there would be some differences between suppliers) ... they may have to "translate" these specs into a combination they have available and the closest "match" may be an approximation. It would be helpful to them (and you) though as a guideline.

In looking on the Oeko-Tex site ... Milliken is listed (who makes the Paladin fire barrier) listed but only for labels. I also found Sateri listed (which makes Visil which is also a cellulosic/silica inherent fabric) but only for their fibers. Spaldin uses Visil and their entire mattress is Oeko-Tex certified. Either way I would consider both of them safe.

Hope this helps ... and I would strongly urge you to focus less on specs with local testing (except as a curiosity) which can be much more complex than you may realize and can easily lead to "paralysis by analysis".

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 04 Dec 2012 15:03 #6

To clarify we tried 3 Innerspring Mattresses by Berkeley Ergonomics in 3 models with inndersprings as the core and latex on top as comfot layer. The latex on each mattress was split- one side soft one side firm- the specs on the one I liked are soft 24 ILD & the other side firm 38 ILD.

Phoenix: Was the firm side the one you thought the comfort layer was too thin?

I thought the 2" layer of Latex was too thin on all of the innerspring models. The first 2 had a bottoming out feeling, and the third was better for laying down but when I hopped onto the mattress in the middle I felt something hard under me (the center of one side, not the mattress edge.) It would probably be adequate for sleeping but it makes one wonder what the long term varied use would yield. The all Natural All Latex felt so much better than the ones with coils that we have ruled out the innerspring at this time, but I did like the innerspring with the 2 differnt sized coils the best.

I was able to get ahold of a lovely Customer Service Rep at Berkeley yesterday and Confirmed that the All Natural All Latex Medium Mattress is 6" of ILD 28 Latex International Natural Rubber Latex as the core (bottom) and 2" of 20 ILD NR Radium on top. The layers are not glued. I believe you can order this in a split top. What I like about Berkeley is they offer a 10 year non prorated warrantee with no indentation requirement and the ability to switch out layers. Customers just have to pay freight to California, which could be hefty from the East Coast. THIS IS A REALLY "CLEAN / chemical free" MATTRESS option and we already own an organic kids mattress from this company and have loved it. I have confidence in this company and the employees I have dealth with are extremely helpful and professional.

One drawback is that my spouse and I are sidesleepers with curvy/athletic builds, so I feel as though I need more thickness in the comfort layer in order to get my side or back flush with the mattress. Am I greedy to want more than 8" in my bed?

Because I am sleeping on something so hard now, I may find that as my body gets accustomed to the latex (Muscle memory) I will want to go softer. Maybe a topper would be a fix down the road?

Phoenix: ... a middle transition layer can act as more of a support layer for the person with the lighter weight while it can act as more of a comfort layer for the person with a heavier weight.

This seems to be the case for my husband and I, he also liked the BE All Latex 8" 20 over 28. We both like the Latex International Pure Latex Bliss with 12" of Latex 19/24/36 as well. Who said more isn't better? At $2,400 this is the cadillac of matresses and maybe over budget.

Still trying to find out if Latex International's Blended Latex is also Oeko-Tex certified!

What is IMO? Does this have to do with fire safety?

Can you tell me how to test for both alignment and pressure relief on a mattress? At the store they were alluding to the fact that my hips and knees should align? I was trying to see if my nose was aligned with my belly button. I have read that side sleepers should sleep with a pillow in between their knees to maintain alignment. Should I put a pillow between my knees when testing mattresses?

My ILD obsession is based on reading this website too much, plus if I need to make changes in the future I will have a sense of what works and what doesn't. I TOTALLY agree that the answer lies in how the mattress feels but so many people have said that changes over time- how does one deal with that?

I am so excited to get my new mattress I think mine hurts more now that I know I am getting something awesome very soon! Consider yourself Santa this year! Your help will bring me so much joy and happiness!

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 04 Dec 2012 20:46 #7

Hi HolisticallyYours,

I thought the 2" layer of Latex was too thin on all of the innerspring models. The first 2 had a bottoming out feeling, and the third was better for laying down but when I hopped onto the mattress in the middle I felt something hard under me (the center of one side, not the mattress edge.) It would probably be adequate for sleeping but it makes one wonder what the long term varied use would yield. The all Natural All Latex felt so much better than the ones with coils that we have ruled out the innerspring at this time, but I did like the innerspring with the 2 different sized coils the best.


This is exactly the goal of testing :). What you feel in a showroom can often be more noticeable in ongoing or longer term use.

One drawback is that my spouse and I are sidesleepers with curvy/athletic builds, so I feel as though I need more thickness in the comfort layer in order to get my side or back flush with the mattress. Am I greedy to want more than 8" in my bed?


Not in my opinon no!

The mattress you choose will be part of your ongoing experience and wellbeing for a long time and getting it right is not "greed" but very practical and important. A mattress willl have more to do with how you feel over the next decade or so than almost any other purchase you make. There is no right or wrong ... only the mattresses that best fit your needs and preferences with the best possible quality and value. Some mattresses that have different layering may be fine with 8" while others may not. It all depends on the specifics of each mattress and how they interact with each person or couple.

Because I am sleeping on something so hard now, I may find that as my body gets accustomed to the latex (Muscle memory) I will want to go softer. Maybe a topper would be a fix down the road?


This is very true. Spending at least 15 minutes on a mattress you are seriously considering (fully relaxed) if you haven't already will most closely approximate your long term experience but if you are not used to latex there is often an adjustment period (sometimes instant and sometimes weeks) but a topper or a layer exchange always remains a "fine tuning" option and is part of the process and options that are available to end up with your final "sleeping system" ... especially from better merchants or manufacturers. I would always expect some initial softening and break in period of the mattress and some adjustment period to any new sleeping surface and a choice of slightly firmer is usually "safer" than a choice of softer that ends up being too soft for good support and alignment (which is much more difficult to "fix".

Phoenix: ... a middle transition layer can act as more of a support layer for the person with the lighter weight while it can act as more of a comfort layer for the person with a heavier weight.

This seems to be the case for my husband and I, he also liked the BE All Latex 8" 20 over 28. We both like the Latex International Pure Latex Bliss with 12" of Latex 19/24/36 as well. Who said more isn't better? At $2,400 this is the cadillac of matresses and maybe over budget.


More can certainly be better if the design or circumstances require it or if there is a specific benefit that justifies the higher price. It's not "better" for it's own sake or for those who wouldn't benefit from the "why" behind the "more" but in the right circumstances it can certainly include layering that has advantages over a thinner version that doesn't have the same flexibility or performance for both of you. At the end ... it just leaves you with some tough tradeoffs and a difficult final "elimination" process but by this stage you are choosing between "good and good" and in value terms there are no "bad" choices anymore. When your final choices are the toughest part because it's so difficult to eliminate some very good choices ... this is the best place to be :)

Still trying to find out if Latex International's Blended Latex is also Oeko-Tex certified!


All the Talalay latex you will find both from Latex International and from Radium is all Oeko-Tex certified (blended and 100% natural).

What is IMO? Does this have to do with fire safety?


It means "in my opinion".

Can you tell me how to test for both alignment and pressure relief on a mattress? At the store they were alluding to the fact that my hips and knees should align? I was trying to see if my nose was aligned with my belly button. I have read that side sleepers should sleep with a pillow in between their knees to maintain alignment. Should I put a pillow between my knees when testing mattresses?


For testing comfort/pressure relief this article will help.

For testing alignment/support (which is more difficult) this article and post #11 here (which is a little more "feel based") should help.

The "key" is to make sure you test for long enough, that you are completely relaxed, and that you pay attention to more subtle cues as well as the obvious ones so that the mattress rather than tense muscles are doing the work and that you replicate your normal sleeping environment (including pillows between your legs if that's what you normally do and of course using a suitable pillow as well because this is a big part of your overall alignment on a mattress). If you test accurately ... your odds of making the most suitable choice are dramatically increased and if anything and in the vast majority of cases ... there may only be some fine tuning involved based on your long term experience on the mattress.

My ILD obsession is based on reading this website too much, plus if I need to make changes in the future I will have a sense of what works and what doesn't. I TOTALLY agree that the answer lies in how the mattress feels but so many people have said that changes over time- how does one deal with that?


When I started this site I knew that the overwhelming amount of more technical information (and some of my more detailed replies like this one) carried risks but the thought behind it was that it could provide a reference point so that consumers would know who was providing accurate information and who wasn't and how many preference choices there really were (rather than "better/worse" choices). The line between focusing on more detailed information and on more experiential information is always shifting depending on the person. For some ... the tendency is to become too technical and the balance needs to shift in one direction. For others ... the balance has become too experiential and subjective and they will often need more technical information to prevent buying a mattress based on the "showroom feel" alone without regard to what is in the mattress. For me ... the concept of "balance" is to have more of each end of the spectrum rather than having less (like adding weight to the ends of a teeter totter rather than moving towards the middle.

I wanted to make sure that the information here could accommodate both and that the focus was always on "connecting" people with the best possible resources of information, people and merchants (and knowing how to tell the difference) rather than "encouraging" each person to become their own "mattress designer" without fully really realizing the amount of both technical and intuitive information and knowledge that may be involved. The "line" is always individual and depends on where in the "range" between the experiential and intuitive side and the technical and detailed side they may be. Both can play an equally important role and the line is always shifting and being "re-defined".

The information available here can be overwhelming but this is where "connecting with experts" can replace the tendency to "become an expert" (which the detail on the site can sometimes encourage). Having just enough information to know who you are dealing with and linking people to sources of quality, value, knowledge, and service prevents me from being the "bottleneck" of the information flow and ending up designing a mattress for every forum member (which would be impossible anyway) or providing only a limited amount of information that wouldn't be nearly as useful. It's a constant process of learning and growth (both personal and of the site itself).

While it's true that changes over time can certainly happen (both in the mattress and the person) ... choosing wisely can give you a "base" that is close enough that any changes can be accommodated without having to replace a mattress in most cases. In many cases ... changing needs can be a matter of having a manufacturer change out a layer, or adding a topper or other alterations that are "less than" the cost of a new mattress. If testing is done well and as "objectively" as possible ... the odds are great that only the small minority will end up with a mattress that is too far away from their ideal and even they can still have options depending on their choice of manufacturer or retailer.

Overall ... it's all about shifting the odds as much as possible in favor of consumers, transparency, and better choices and to be truthful ... even if the results are less than 100% (which they always will be) ... almost anything can be a huge improvement over what is happening in the mainstream industry today and compared to the type and quality of mattresses that most people end up buying.

I am so excited to get my new mattress I think mine hurts more now that I know I am getting something awesome very soon! Consider yourself Santa this year! Your help will bring me so much joy and happiness!


I'm looking forward to hearing about your final choice and any more feedback you provide along the way and afterwards. Every contribution by forum members and their experiences and choices and especially about the "why" behind them can help others who are (or will soon be) swimming in a sea of misinformation, confusion, and frustration and every successful new mattress purchase is one more small step in the direction of helping people make the best possible choices and hopefully helping the industry to change for the better along the way :)

Thanks for your comments and questions !

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 06 Dec 2012 00:43 #8

Just so you don't think I'm an airhead The SP Technical Insitute of Sweeden has this on their website: "IMO Resolution A.688(17):1991
Fire tests of bedding components.
Standard Fire test procedures for ignitability of bedding components." I guess I better work on my Chat Acronyms! How ironic that googling it with the word Mattress produced this info!

Will be back in touch after more testing out!

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 06 Dec 2012 05:35 #9

Hi Holistically yours,

That's funny!

If you think you're bad ... you should see the trouble I have sometimes trying to decipher some of the texts or chats I've had. Sometimes they seem like a foreign language :)

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Re: All Natural/Organic/Chemical Free Mattresses 09 Dec 2012 13:14 #10

We narrowed our options to Latex International's Beautiful and a custom ordered mattress. Thanks to your help on how to test a mattress we went to CT Mattress in CT and tried the Beautiful for 15-20 minutes. Due to our althetic shaped bodies we are finding that we need a very soft layer for our shoulders. Although the Beautiful apparently has 19 ILD Natural Rubber on the top it did not work for my husband or myself. Lots of pressure points. The salespeople did not know anything about the mattress regarding how many layers or the ILDs, so I am going off of this info I compiled here:
3" Natural Talalay Latex 19 ILD
3" Natural Talalay Latex 24 ILD
6" Natural Talalay Latex 36 ILD

I really like Shawn at Sleep EZ and the folks at Restopedic. Sleep EZ sent me Latex samples- I highly recommend this for Chemically Sensitive people. Put your nose in it and sniff! Headache- you are sensitive, air outside and try again. I seem to be fine with both the all Naturtal and the Synthetic Blend. I am a highly sensitive person and my reactions are pretty instant. Synthetic fragrances, cigarette smoke, off gassing, plastics, polyurethane, paints, formaldehyde, dry cleaning, etc. Don't need lab testing- I can tell you whether something is botanical/natural or synthetic! I was so worried about this that I have been researching and waiting to make a mattress purchase for several years now. This website has helped me weed through the facts and the fiction- ever so grateful.

SBR=Synthetic Blend Rubber Latex
NR= 100% all natural rubber Latex
T= Talalay (how it's made- the only one we are considering for the mattress)

Earlier in the day I was able to test out 20 (3") SBR over 28 (2") NR (was marked 28 but think it was N2) and found a configuration that would work. My one question is that the 20 was in Blended Talalay (T) and the 28 was in the Talalay Natural Rubber so it was actually N2. I was thinking of getting the T Natural Rubber for the top layer in the 20 (N1), and the 28 in the blended T with an appropriate core in Blended Talalay that we tested.

Do you have an opinion on how different getting the top in the NR versus SBR will feel and switching the 2nd layer to Synthetic? Once the cover is put on the mattress we think the mattress will become firmer, which is a concern as the 20 ILD for us could be even softer to accomodate our shoulders. We want to stay with 28 for the middle as a compromise between his weight 185 and mine 112. If we went down to 24ILD in the second layer not sure if would may a material difference and may not be enough support for our hips. We did test the Berkeley Ergonics mattress in the NR and liked the feel of the Natural Rubber but did not spend enough time on it either, this was 2"-20 NR over 6"- 28 NR, but in the end we felt there was not enough depth in the comfort layer for our shoulders. I think there is an option to order the lowest ILD in Natural (N1) and test it out. Wondering if you think this would be worth it or are we close enough at this point to make a decision and the difference won't be material flipping the Natural to the top? We did like the N2 feel on top although it was only 2".

If we did go with the Natural Rubber on top, could we expect it to get softer over time (how much softer and how much time?) Would it ever get too soft? We are thinking this would be good for us. Latex International indicated that the Natural Rubber is durable and holds up pretty close to the Synthetic Blend. I just love the feel of the Natural Rubber it is so springy and cushy supportive.

There is always the cost factor of the Natural Rubber which we are being told is 40% more. We do plan to order a zippered cover and have the layers unglued except any splits we decide on.

Which companies make a 100% Natural Rubber Latex Pillow? How would the label read? It is so hard to figure out which are the natural rubber. One label said 100% Latex but there are 2 types of Latex Natural Rubber NR and Synthetic Blend SBR.

So far I only see pilllows come in Soft Med Firm, any thoughts on the corresponding ILDS? Brands that poeple like?

Thanks!

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