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Is Latex the way to go?

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12 Jun 2019 22:47 #1 by stmslpr
Hi, just wondering if latex is the new "great thing" in bedding now? Has it surpassed foam in comfort and stability and spine health etc? Is it basically Foam 2.0?

I'm a 5'9" 165-170lbs stomach sleeper with low back soreness trying to decide between latex and foam. I think i'm definitely leaning towards latex though. Any thoughts on small store brands like Berkeley Ergonomics Copenhagen or Amsterdam beds? How about Obasan Essential mattresses? Or Naturepedic or Organicpedic mattresses? Are all these organic mattresses worth their high price tags? Are they no better than something like a Zenhaven for much cheaper (or is Zenhaven's latex not the same quality as the above brands?)?

What would be a good layering combo for me? (ie 3 inch medium, 3"inch firm, 2" inch soft etc). Would Talalay or Dunlop make a difference?

cheers!

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13 Jun 2019 05:33 #2 by TimothyCole
Replied by TimothyCole on topic Is Latex the way to go?
Now, I am confused too.

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13 Jun 2019 15:44 #3 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Thank you for the inquiry and thanks for reaching out! Latex isn't new by any means, but it is growing more and more popular as people search for a natural, non-toxic mattress that lasts 20 years (in fact some people have kept their latex mattress for over 40 years). There are many differences between latex and foam or latex and memory foam and I'd be happy to outline a few for you. Latex is a natural product that is certified against harmful chemicals and off gassing and is available with organic certifications as well. Again, latex mattress typically last 20 years (sometimes 30-40 years) whereas memory foam mattresses typically last 5-8 years. Latex is an open-celled product that is naturally breathable and sleeps cooler, whereas memory foam is close-celled and traps body heat, causing it to sleep hot. Memory foam gets softer as you sleep on it whereas latex does not change its feel over the night. The best way I can describe the difference in feel is that you sleep on top of a latex mattress, and you sleep inside of a memory foam mattress since you sink over the course of the night. Aside from that, our DIY mattresses normally go out with three 3" layers of different densities - normally the softest layer (or the cushion & contour layer) is on top and the supportive layers are on the bottom. This helps ensure our customers get the right balance of contour for their hips and shoulders but also support for their lower back. Furthermore, if you start with a certain setup and find that it's too soft, you can unzip the cover and rearrange the layers to get a firmer feel out of the mattress, or you can exchange a layer to make it softer. Additionally, in 5 or 10 or 15 years you decide you want a softer or firmer mattress you would only have to buy a new layer instead of an entirely new mattress. There are no memory foam mattresses on the market that allow this level of adjustability.

When comparing latex mattress companies, please keep in mind that there are only 2 manufacturers of Talalay latex in the world and only a handful of Dunlop manufacturers in the world. As such, we're all (more or less) getting our latex from the same few places. When comparing companies, warranty and return policy is important, customer service reputation is important, and number of years in business is important as well. When comparing mattresses, ours stand out because they are tailored to every person's individual needs and preferences. They are easily and fully adjustable because of our layered design coupled with our zippered removable cover. Our mattresses are also available with a "his & hers" setup so that your side of the mattress can be dialed in to your specific needs and preferences and your partner's side will be dialed in to their specific needs and preferences.

When comparing natural latex to organic latex, that's normally a matter of preference. If you had the two side by side you wouldn't be able to tell them apart. They feel the same, sleep the same, breath the same, are both hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, dust mite resistant, etc. Organic latex mattresses normally appeal to people that want their mattress to be as "green" and environmentally friendly as possible. If this doesn't sound like you, then I would save some money and go with a natural latex mattress.

Based on the information you've provided I would absolutely recommend medium Talalay (28 ILD) over medium Dunlop (28 ILD) over firm Dunlop (38 ILD). I would not recommend a soft layer because you sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleepers generally need a firmer sleeping surface to prevent lower back pain caused by insufficient support. Talalay is bouncier and springier and is generally better at contour and pressure relief on your hips and shoulders. Dunlop is denser and firmer and is generally better at support and maintaining proper spinal alignment, so our most common configuration is Talalay for the top layer and Dunlop for the bottom 2 layers. We will recommend Talalay for two or more layers for customers that have things like fibromyalgia, shingles, chronic hip pain, chronic shoulder pain, or anything where they're sensitive to pressure, or for customers that just prefer a bouncier / springier feel. Outside of those circumstances, a combination of Talalay and Dunlop offers the best chance to be successful for the average person.

If you have any additional questions or if I can clarify further please just let me know!

Latex Mattress Factory
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14 Jun 2019 13:37 #4 by stmslpr
Replied by stmslpr on topic Is Latex the way to go?
Thanks for the reply and all the info! I’m definitely leaning heavily towards latex because of all those factors (breathability, durability, less toxicity and not sinking in).

It would be great to be able to have my own set up as far as layers but I think the main latex mattress store I’m looking at (The Mattress and Sleep Company—seems like this site thinks they’re solid) sells as is with maybe a swap of the top comfort layer within a few months. For example, one specific mattress I’m looking at is called The Copenhagen by Berkeley Ergonomics and is structured as 2” firm Natural Talalay, 6” 7 Zone firm natural Talalay middle layer and 2” super soft natural talalay topper. I think they use Vita Talalay Pure Natural Latex. It didn’t sound like I could have Dunlop layers inserted in from my conversations with the retailer. Obasan mattress uses Dunlop latex. Which brand name is more reliable if you have heard of them? I like the firmness of Obasan but Berkeley felt more comfortable. The Berkeley mattress would cost over $5000 with the slat. The Obasan probably about 3500 with the slat if 8” mattress. Both Queen size.

Also do you know if the size of the mattress can affect the firmness or durability of the firmness? Like would a Queen sized mattress be more prone to lose its firmness and sag because of the extra surface area compared to a Double Size mattress?

As well, I’m trying to decipher how important the box spring or slats are? The “basic” box spring they sell with the mattress is cheaper than this slat boxspring they upsell. Wondering if it’s worth the upgrade?

And how does the thickness of the mattress affect things? Ie 8” vs 9” vs 10”?

Having a hard time deciding because it's such an expensive purchase. I'd like to get it right. :)

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14 Jun 2019 17:57 #5 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Hi again stmslpr,
Although I am familiar with the companies you’ve referenced, I am not sure which is the most reliable. I’m not aware of larger / wider mattresses being any more or less durable than narrower ones, and I’m not aware of larger / wider mattresses being any softer or firmer than narrower ones.

Regarding foundation types, anything solid and sturdy will work just fine. The only types of foundations you want to avoid are slatted foundations where the gaps are more than 3" apart or box springs (with actual springs in them) that are 8 years old or more. Latex foam is a naturally breathable, open celled product and a slatted foundation is not necessary for the mattress to sleep cool. A slatted foundation will enhance the breathability but certainly isn't necessary because the mattress will breath on all exposed sides. The primary differences between a solid or slatted foundation and a box spring is that box springs will cause the mattress to feel a bit softer than if it were on a solid foundation, and a box spring will have a bit more motion transfer than a solid foundation.

The average height for latex mattresses is between 8” and 10” thick, and the best rule of thumb is that thinner mattresses feel firmer than taller mattresses because you’re closer to the very firm surface that the mattress is resting on. Please also note that the thickness of your comfort layer will affect the firmness of the mattress as well.

Latex Mattress Factory
Please read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members.

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16 Jun 2019 14:17 #6 by stmslpr
Replied by stmslpr on topic Is Latex the way to go?
Thanks again! I wonder then if i can forego the foundation and just put the latex mattress on the floor? Are there issues with that? I'm guessing so otherwise why even get a foundation.

Such a tough decision. Support, comfort, durability, cost, vendor reliability and other logistics make it a tough purchase decision to make!

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17 Jun 2019 14:24 #7 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Anything solid and sturdy will work just fine. The only types of foundations you want to avoid are slatted foundations where the gaps are more than 3" apart or box springs (with actual springs in them) that are 8 years old or more. Latex foam is a naturally breathable, open celled product and a slatted foundation is not necessary for the mattress to sleep cool. A slatted foundation will enhance the breathability but certainly isn't necessary because the mattress will breath on all exposed sides.

Latex Mattress Factory
Please read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members.

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19 Jun 2019 17:18 #8 by stmslpr
Replied by stmslpr on topic Is Latex the way to go?
Thanks! I'm about to pull the trigger on a Berkeley Talalay Latex Mattress. Just trying to decide whether i want the 8" (6" of firm core with 2" of soft topper latex on top) or 10" (2" firm bottom layer, 6" firm core layer and 2" soft topper latex on top).

Based on what you said about the thickness I assume the extra 2" firm layer on the bottom will only have the effect on "softening" the overall feel because the extra 2" of firm latex puts you further away from the hard slates or foundation? Am i interpreting that properly?

My concern, being a stomach sleeper is that i want the firmest most supportive mattress possible. If that means the extra 2" of firm (in the 10" mattress) is the way to go i might have to consider it but if not and if the 8" mattress is actually firmer and more supportive then that's good because I would save ~$1000.

Also i think i'm going with a suspension foundation as opposed to slats. Suspension seems to have more of a feel of rebounding back up and feeling like i'm floating more than sinking in with a slat.

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19 Jun 2019 18:23 #9 by stmslpr
Replied by stmslpr on topic Is Latex the way to go?
Hm, I've been searching online and it seems for stomach sleepers I'd want to go with a thicker 10" mattress? Ah so confusing. One article even said 8" mattress is too thin for an average person and only good for really light weight people? I'm 5'9" 170lbs with more of an athletic build.

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20 Jun 2019 13:34 #10 by Latex Mattress Factory.
Hi again,

You are correct, the closer you get to the foundation the firmer the mattress will feel, and the farther you get away from the mattress the softer it will feel. Stomach sleepers normally need a firmer / more supportive mattress to keep their spine from curving downward, which normally leads to back aches. As such, the 8” mattress would probably do better for you than the 10”.

Latex Mattress Factory
Please read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Trusted Members.

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