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Latex mattresses have gained quite a reputation in the market as being one of the most durable and comfortable mattresses to sleep on. This is not surprising given that latex can conform to the shape of your body much better compared to memory foam with the ability to bounce back to its original shape once you remove your weight from it.
If you are planning on replacing your innerspring mattress with something better, you will need to do a bit of research on your end. Here we will be taking a closer look at what latex mattress, what it is made of, and why it has gathered quite a following over the years.
Latex actually came from nature, specifically from the sap of the tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, commonly known as the rubber tree, which gives this type of mattress the elasticity it is known for. Like it was mentioned before, this mattress is known for its elasticity helps to make this bed sleep-friendly for stomach sleepers, side sleepers, or back sleepers. This type of mattress can help to keep your spine in its natural position which may help reduce the certain pressure points on your body.
A Latex mattress is often considered a natural mattress since it can be made from organic materials from harvesting to processing. There are two methods used to create a natural latex foam, and these are the Dunlop and Talalay process. Here’s how they work:
The Dunlop process is how latex mattresses are traditionally made. During this process, the sap is harvested from the rubber trees then whipped to create a frothy foam. This will continue until the desired consistency is reached. Afterward, the foam will then be poured into a specific mold then baked afterward. Mattresses made from Dunlop latex are denser.
If you are going to take a look at the molds used, they may look like a huge waffle iron that has pins in the center. The pins are the ones responsible for ensuring that heat is spread throughout the mold evenly while giving the mattress its unique look. Throughout the baking process, the sediment that is present will fall into the bottom to create a firm foundation. The steps involved in the Dunlop process are straightforward and that not many either.
Just like in Dunlop, latex is harvested from the rubber tree first. The sap will then be combined with air before it is whipped into a foam mixture. Once the consistency is reached, it will be poured into the same mold that was used in the Dunlop process. The mold will then be covered and sealed, with the air being vacuumed off. The goal here is to help distribute the latex into the mold properly. Afterward, the mold and the foam will be frozen to prevent settling from happening. The freezing temperature for the Talalay is set at 20 degrees below zero. To create the natural Talalay latex mattress itself, it will then be baked at 200 degrees. Mattresses made from Talalay latex are light and breathable, and typically softer than Dunlop latex.
What’s great about these two latex methods is that you can get a natural mattress known for its comfort and durability, and perfectly customized based on your needs. For example, since Talalay latex foam is usually softer compared to Dunlop, it can be used as the comfort layer of the mattress, with the Dunlop foam used as the base of the mattress for added support.
However, when you are looking for an organic mattress, you must know exactly how environment-friendly it really is. Determining whether a mattress is truly chemical free can be a challenge since there are so many different certification seals or labels per manufacturer. There are mattresses that contain a very low percentage of organic ingredients, yet are advertised as 100 percent eco-friendly. According to the USDA organic seal, in order for a mattress to be deemed organic, it must be processed without potentially harmful chemicals, and use 95 percent certified organic materials. Among the certifications, you can trust, is the CertiPUR-US seal and the Greenguard seal to name a few.
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You might be wondering why latex mattresses are getting plenty of attention in the market, even though they are quite expensive. Well, there are many potential benefits associated with this mattress that makes up for its high price. Here’s what you can get out of this type of mattress.
For those who are shopping for a new mattress, comfort is most likely in the top of your list on what to look for in a new bed. Well, this is exactly what you can get from an organic latex mattress. You can even get choose the kind of comfort you prefer between Talalay or Dunlop latex foam for your mattress. You see, natural latex comes in varying degrees of firmness, so you can test which one works better for you. Although many memory foam beds are said to offer good comfort at a lower cost because of the use of polyurethane foam, you shouldn’t dismiss natural latex as not only does mold to your body’s shape but has the bounce that is common in mattresses that have pocketed coils; something that memory foam tends to lack.
With regards to the purity of the materials used in a latex mattress, you’ll find that you can get a mattress that is made from 95% or higher of pure rubber which is derived from the rubber tree’s sap. Compared to other types of latex mattresses such as synthetic latex or even blended latex, that usually comes with fillers, an organic latex bed is free from most common fillers or chemical laden foam.
Another benefit of purchasing a natural mattress is that it is made from sustainable materials, from natural latex to organic wool to organic cotton. Also, since rubber trees can last for 30 years or more, there will always be a source for latex sap. And since there are no chemicals used, such as in the case of flame retardants, there are no harmful substances being released into the air.
The beauty of an all-natural mattress such as the latex mattress is that it is one of the most durable beds in the market. A real or organic latex mattress can last longer than other types of mattresses, remaining comfortable, without losing its original shape. Some may even go beyond their 20-year guarantee which is saying something. You’ll find that investing in natural latex does give your money its value, and because there are now several designs to choose from, you can opt for the customizable design where you can replace the latex layers when you want a different feel for your bed.
Another benefit that you can get from sleeping on an organic mattress is that you will the mattress has great support to help promote a good night’s sleep. A supportive mattress can mean the difference between tossing and turning at night or experiencing comfort as you lie in bed.
Most mattresses contain flame retardants which are made from PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ether. Although this protects your mattress from fire, the problem is that it doesn’t break down as the years pass by. What this means is that they are constantly contaminating the very air that you are breathing. Constant exposure to this chemical has been linked to health problems such as behavioral changes, and even ADHD in children to name a few. Authentic organic mattresses, on the other hand, don’t generally have this kind of problem as the materials used in them are all-natural. Natural latex mattresses are made from pure latex; that is why you should look for latex beds that are labeled organic and bear GreenGuard Gold certification and others.
Sleeping on an all-natural latex mattress can provide pressure relief due to its responsive surface. Your bed will give adequate support especially on areas such as shoulders and hips. If you want to experience pressure relief, this type of mattress may be the right fit for you.
Off-gassing is typical in latex hybrid mattress, synthetic latex mattress, memory foam, and others due to the chemical compounds that they contain. If you are wondering what off-gassing is, this is the chemical smell that you will notice when you lie on your new bed. Some sleepers find the scent irritating to their nose and throat and may trigger allergies too. With eco-friendly mattresses, you should not have to deal with off-gassing. If your natural mattress has a smell, it is most likely due to the newness of the latex.
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After several years of using your mattress, you will find the need to dispose and replace. Many people have trouble disposing of their old mattress when it is time for them to purchase a replacement. Some mattress companies will offer to haul away your old mattress. If they don’t, you may discard it at the dump site; however, if it is non-biodegradable, it can cause harm to the environment.
Inquire about the technology used in the manufacturing of the mattress. Like mentioned earlier, some mattresses are labeled as ‘eco-friendly’ when in truth, they are not. This is similar to memory foams. The very nature of memory foam mattresses usually includes the use of harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process. Otherwise, it won’t end up becoming a true and authentic memory foam mattress.
Probably the most popular eco friendly mattress today is the natural latex mattress. These mattresses do not bear VOC’s or other potentially harmful chemicals. It is purely made out of the sap extract of the rubber tree. It underwent a stringent manufacturing process to ensure its durability and strength.
Even if they are manufactured from all organic materials, the natural resources can later become depleted. The mattress must not create a substantial risk to the environment. As rubber trees are cultured very easily, natural latex mattresses are highly sustainable.
When discarded, the mattress should be able to decompose on its own. This is one thing to consider with your mattress. It must be biodegradable, such that it can be easily disposed of without causing potential harm to our environment.
With all the pollutants the earth seems to be enduring environmentally, many people want to work towards reducing their own carbon footprint. Not only that, but an eco friendly mattress can also benefit the user in more ways that one!