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Warnings & Wisdom on Buying a Latex Mattress - by an Ex-Mattress Salesperson

Mattress Comfort Materials - Polyfoam, Memory Foam and Latex.

Mattress Comfort Materials - Polyfoam, Memory Foam and Latex.

I had a mattress shopping consulting business where I went along with mattress consumers in the Seattle area to help them find that hard-to-find, elusive 'best mattress' for them. Sorry, I shut it down because I ended up with far more long email exchanges with people who didn't want to pay for such a seemingly-ridiculous service. And, these articles will tell you most everything you need to know about buying a new mattress. All you have to do is read them. ;)

My first few clients were interested in latex, so I had opportunities to actually see for myself what other mattress sales people in the area are saying to customers; and how they are selling these beds - as opposed to simply hearing feedback about their sales tactics.

Selling latex mattresses has become quite the slippery slope... What is the truth about the different types of latex? Is it a safe material to be used in mattresses? What makes latex so special to sleep on? How can you tell the difference between a good latex mattress and a painful waste of hard-earned money?

Please note that this information is based on my knowledge of selling all kinds of different mattresses for five years - and writing about them since then. There are many latex articles out there filled with 'facts' and statistics. This isn't one of them - although you will find much validation surrounding many facts you've probably come across if you've already done some research.

Latex Closeup

Latex Closeup

The History of Latex Mattresses

One of the problems I have with the way latex salespeople try to sell latex mattresses today is that so many of them are trying to sell latex as if it is a NEW material that has recently been discovered as an 'eco-friendly' option for the green mattress movement.

As a result, salespeople seem ignorant about the history of latex, how long it has been around, and what the experience of latex is like for the average sleeper. This makes it easier for them to ramp up the issues surrounding what is 'good' latex and what is 'bad' latex for unsuspecting, eco-contentious consumers.

Yes, latex just happens to be an environmentally-sustainable & non-toxic material produced from the rubber tree. But did you know... Solid Core Latex Mattresses (that have no innerspring) have been around longer than Polyfoam mattresses?

Latex was invented during WWI (and has ancient history before that), but Scientists perfected it in WWII. It was widely used before Polyfoam was invented in mattresses, seat cushions and couches, etc. After Polyfoam was invented as a cheaper material - it replaced latex as the comfort material of choice to use in mattresses & furniture.

Dunlop Latex mattresses came first and continues to be used the most, still today. Once purchased, people had to remove the cover that the latex was wrapped in about every five years or so, depending - and took them back to the place it was purchased from for a 'refill' at a lesser cost.

It used to be a normal thing to do.

Also, many of our Grandparents and Great-Grandparents still have their original Talalay Latex mattress from DECADES ago; and really lose heart when they have to replace them - because they aren't typically made as well anymore and these types of Latex Mattresses are hard to find.

Because, unlike Polyfoam, once a Latex Mattress 'dies' - it becomes almost completely useless fast, losing resiliency or the ability to support or 'bounce back'. It has to be replaced - even if you're 80 years old and you're sure you're not going to live long enough to wear out a new one. (Come on, how do you expect a mattress salesperson to respond to that, ha!)

Honestly, even though most of the time customers didn't want to fork out that kind of money for another one that late in life - older customers often made the leap.

Yeah, they are that worth it.

But, this is what I have been hearing over and over again from Seattle's various mattress stores: "This latex has petroleum in it - this other latex is much better for you because it doesn't contain petrol (or not as much)."

This kind of sales tactic seems to be the only way for them to differentiate themselves from each other. Saying 'the right things' about latex will hopefully make you want to buy a latex mattress from their store as opposed to another one.

But, they all pretty much sell the same latex - there are not many companies that produce latex around the world; and mattress manufacturers (especially in the United States) pretty much all get it from the same place through various distributors - just like polyfoams, coils and other mattress-manufacturing materials.

Liquid Rubber being collected.

Liquid Rubber being collected.

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The Difference Between Good Natural Latex & Bad Latex

Good latex is made from rubber trees by tapping the trees for their milky white liquid rubber - similar to collecting maple sap for maple syrup from Maple trees. Most latex sold in the United States comes from Latex International which has a good reputation for producing good quality latex materials.

If you're buying latex that is almost entirely synthetic - that's bad latex. Purchase a mattress from a REAL mattress store in order to ensure that you're getting real ingredients. Lower-end department stores, big box chains and some places online can sometimes be a source of 'lesser' quality latex mattress options.

I heard this a couple times while I've been out shopping for latex mattresses with clients: "There are only three companies in the world that make Talalay Latex - that should tell you something." (Mattress salespeople often visit-spy on each other to get information - and sometimes steal each other's sales tactics. ;)

This statement is being made in order to ramp up Dunlop Latex - which is what is used in most latex mattresses, today. But, the only thing this information tells me is that Talalay Latex is much more expensive to produce - not because it isn't as good as Dunlop.

This simply is not true - TALALAY is the preferred latex because of its reliable consistency and long-lasting benefits. Dunlop is a more dense latex rubber - which makes it more susceptible to forming impressions with the weight of a body on top of it over time.

Pure, All-Natural, Talalay Latex Exists!!

From Latex International - Information on how they manufacture their latex and the different versions of latex that they make using both Dunlop & Talalay processes. Apologies, this link is no longer active as of 2015; and I have yet to find a replacement link.

However, as of January 2016 - I have had confirmation from my *ahem* 'contacts' that LI does still make it.

CONSUMER HEADS UP: The thing about solid latex mattresses in the Seattle area is - some people have seriously begun to wonder if their mattresses were actually the cheaper blend; instead of the more expensive 'all-natural', NR Talalay solid Latex mattress that they intended to purchase... It is a really good question.

Seattle suspicions abound... If you have purchased a solid talalay latex mattress in the Seattle area (this could happen in any city, actually); you might want to see if there is a way to verify the expensive contents.

IF the NR Talalay Latex has been exchanged with the cheaper blend - that would leave a much bigger profit margin for any dishonest mattress store to claim.

Natural Rubber Talalay Latex DOES EXIST Beyond the Synthetic Blend

Talalay or Dunlop Latex refers to which manufacturing process was used - we'll get into that. But, the ingredients between the two ways of processing are relatively the same; and they can BOTH be made with very little (and some claim no) petroleum and are referred to as 'natural' latex or NR which stands for Natural Rubber.

Many mattress sales people are trying to convince their customers that Dunlop Latex is the only all-natural Latex. It certainly is cheaper. But Latex International started making an all-natural version of Talalay in 2005 when consumers in the green movement wanted a mattress that was less dependent on petroleum. YES, they did and DO make it.

Btw... Our grandparents were sleeping on the natural-synthetic blend. There wasn't as much talk about mattresses being toxic back then; and the new, all-natural, man-made synthetic formula that had been invented in WWII to improve on latex worked well. Why mess with a good thing?

Very few people were aware of the issues of offgassing 'back in the day', ha!

The reason why natural rubber is not as widely marketed or sold is because it IS more complicated to manufacture an all-natural rubber foam - whether we're talking about Dunlop or Talalay. You almost always have to request NR Talalay - although there are a few mattress makers around the country who consistently use it.

The latex liquid has to be at a certain density in order for it to successfully be processed into rubber. This is harder to achieve without using synthetic ingredients; and each batch of latex is adjusted accordingly depending on the original quality of the liquid rubber due to environmental factors while it was in the growing phase.

This is also why it is more expensive than synthetically-blended Talalay Latex - however, it is not as expensive to do with Dunlop Latex; so the manufacturer produces more all-natural latex through this process than Talalay.

Image Capture of an old Latex International marketing poster.

Image Capture of an old Latex International marketing poster.

What's the Deal with Synthetically Blended Latex?

You can get some bad latex... I've already said that.

But, there is also Talalay latex that is blended with natural liquid rubber and a man-made synthetic chemical called SBR (Styrene Butadiene). This type of blended Talalay Latex is often found in the US (and also produced by Latex International) as "Talatech" Latex - which is simply their name to identify it as being 'blended' as opposed to all-natural. (Petroleum is not dumped in as part of the recipe - some NATURAL petroleum by-products are separated from the petrol and used to create synthetic rubber.)

The BEST latex for any latex mattress is NR Talalay - and only ONE company in the world makes it, Latex International. Yes, they make TWO different types of Talalay - blended and all-natural. NR Talalay is more difficult to find, but not impossible, especially in the Seattle area - and most other cities, I would imagine. I have also seen it available online.

Some places WILL try to pass blended Talatech Latex off as all-natural Latex - because it is also considered to be all-natural from a manufacturing perspective. Yes, you need to be aware of that.

But, it IS possible to acquire all-natural Talalay if you are an uber-granola who wants that kind of 'pure', natural mattress. Insist on it - most places can get it for you with a little extra effort. (Probably not the big name brands because many of them have their own 'blends' that they acquire from pre-established sources - but maybe, ask.)

How can you tell if you're getting all-natural Talalay or 'blended' Latex?

Where is the latex in the mattress sourced from? If it is from anywhere other than Latex International - its not all-natural Talalay, it WILL be a blend. However, some of these 'blends' are very high-quality. If you can help it, don't dismiss them.

Unfortunately, there is no 'certificate' that is given along with the bed so that you can validate a source claim. My advice is to shop at a reputable mattress store that is less-likely to be dishonest to their customers. Most of these types of stores WILL be willing to put it into writing themselves for you if you want that kind of assurance and insist on it. (Only request this if you are the hopelessly untrusting sort. You might get some strange or hesitant responses just because it isn't a 'normal' thing for them to do - not necessarily because it's not the real deal. ;)

Despite the fact that Talatech Latex is blended - it is cheaper and lasts just as long if not longer (because of the extra man-made ingredients) with the same 'non-toxic' characteristics. Choosing between these two different kinds of latex is a consumer decision: do you want a mattress that is more or less natural? How much does this matter to you if they both give you the same kind of sleep surface?

For some mattress consumers, the difference is a very big deal - to others, it doesn't matter as much.

BOTH types of Talalay are considered to be 'natural' because of the way they use natural ingredients - whether some of those ingredients are synthetically-incorporated or not. Reminder: Petroleum is a natural, organic product.

Both types of Talalay mattresses WILL eventually die out after a decades-long life at which point you can throw it into a landfill so that it can decompose as naturally as any other organic thing - leaving little or no effect on the environment.

Because of this, both types of Talalay Latex mattresses are good; and Talatech or 'blended' latex can be a SMART way to use petroleum - if it is good quality - for our over-indulging planet.

  • Talalay Latex vs Dunlop Latex
    Which lasts longer? Which is more comfortable? We found some latex cores that had been stored compressed for years. We opened them up... even we were surprised.

Why is Talalay Processed Latex Better than the Dunlop Process for Mattresses?

The difference is like pound cake vs. angel food cake.

Dunlop Latex 'batter' is poured into molds and allowed to dry naturally - as opposed to Talalay batter that is poured into molds, air is removed, then the rubber foam is flash-frozen to hold its shape. This ensures that the batter is evenly-distributed throughout the mold.

Because of the way the drying phases affect liquid rubber - Dunlop turns into a more dense foam similar to pound cake; while Talalay has a more airy consistency like angel food cake.

Because it is more dense, this can cause Dunlop to lose its resiliency or 'bounce back' benefits earlier; and a body impression can form into it, eventually - especially for heavier bodies. Dunlop is still better than regular polyfoam, however - so it CAN still be a good option for people who need to save money on a good mattress.

But, Dunlop Latex can also 'accidentally' dry with air gaps because of the way it is processed - and many times you won't notice any irregularities until you've been sleeping on it for a few years. Talalay Latex has all the air removed to prevent this from happening. This is what makes Talalay Latex a more consistent rubber foam both in feel and quality.

This is ALSO why you often find a layer of Talalay Latex on top of Dunlop Latex in so many mattresses, today - because it provides a consistent feel and it may help the Dunlop Latex below last longer.

While this type of mattress may be a good way to save money - don't expect it to last for the full 20+ year warranty that many are claiming. Even cheaper ways to produce a 'latex' mattress is to put a few layers on top of an innerspring or regular polyfoam as a 'solid foam' bed. If the latex layers on top are thick enough, that might work for awhile, too.

Because on the flip side... It isn't necessarily important for a mattress to last that long. Sometimes you don't mind paying less for something that you will have to replace in five to fifteen years as long as you are getting a good night's sleep.

How much did your laptop cost? How often do you think you will replace it?

So yeah... Layered Dunlop/Talalay Latex mattresses and innerspring latex hybrids are still a good option for many mattress consumers.

Here are some things to watch out for when trying to weed out the best latex mattress options as you are shopping for them:

Solid Latex Mattresses & Latex Innerspring Hybrids

If you want the least-bouncy sleep experience with a latex mattress - get a solid core. Because it doesn't have innersprings inside of it, there is naturally less bounce. (This is true for any all-foam bed.)

A solid core Talalay Latex mattress will also give you the longest life. They should easily have at least a 20-year, non-prorated warranty - and they will often last a decade or two (or even three) beyond that.

I sleep on a solid Talalay Latex mattress and have for years... And I heard this last week from a salesperson... "Latex will get softer where you sleep just like polyfoam will."

This is true, but it is NOT 'the same kind' of deteriorating, 'dip-forming' impression as with what happens with polyfoam. A new latex mattress is like a new pair of jeans - it will loosen up and soften a bit, but it will only go 'so far'.

It's rubber. According to my former Latex International rep - it is IMPOSSIBLE for good Talalay Latex to form body impressions or get much softer than its ILD. There are exceptions with extreme use, of course (much more abuse than a body sleeping on it every night); and every once in a while they will get a batch of bad foam. In this case, the latex will fail almost IMMEDIATELY (I've seen this happen) - within days/weeks. The mattress is simply replaced and the problem is corrected.

But, after you've been on it for awhile it will not continue to get softer and softer UNTIL it starts to die. Then - as I said earlier - the support in the mattress goes fast as it loses its resiliency.

Decades of people sleeping on these mattresses DO NOT LIE. I am not making this up, folks... Ask your grandparents if they have had a latex mattress and try it out if they are lucky enough to still have it.

Also, Latex NEEDS to be a certain thickness in order for it to support a body. Latex comes in slabs 6" thick - which is an ideal thickness of support for most people.

The thicker latex is, the more supportive it is. The thinner it is, the less-supportive it becomes. For instance, 4" of ILD 28 Talalay Latex will feel more soft like an ILD 19 (which is the softest ILD you want. Anything less is 'pillow-soft' and too soft for a mattress.)

This makes a 4" Talalay Latex Topper in ILD 28 a good option - because it is a little softer than a full 6" core. 6" of ILD 28 might feel too firm as a topper - but 4" of it can be ideal. (ILD 19 is also a very popular choice for latex toppers.)

Talalay Latex comes in ILDs 19, 28, 32, 36, 40 & 44. 44 is the most firm with 40 not being that much softer. The firmest ILDs are NOT recommended for a mattress unless you are putting a softer topper on top because they are too firm. They are made for things like seat cushions to support more concentrated weight.

For these thicker/thinner reasons... When you come across a plush or pillowtop mattress with layers of latex mixed in with other polyfoams - if the latex is too thin - those other layers of polyfoam WILL start to form an indent where you sleep. Because latex that is too thin can't keep the other foams from compressing.

Just because there is latex in a mattress doesn't mean it will last longer - but you can bet mattress salespeople are all over that selling point if they can see you are interested in the mattress for that reason.

There is one popular mattress manufacturer that is consistently-faced with consumer complaints about their latex mattresses - I used to hear feedback about them all the time. I hesitate to name names, because there are other brand names out there guilty of this that are less popular.

Just watch out for these kind of latex mattresses...

What happens is... the latex is too thin and the polyfoams underneath start to form a dip. But a customer NEEDS to be able to send in an image of the 'indent' to prove to the manufacturer that the comfort layers are failing.

But the customer CAN'T take a good image of the foam that has failed UNDERNEATH the latex rubber foam because the latex keeps 'bouncing back up' into place. And since you can't use anything to help you take the picture - like a weight to hold down the latex so you can get a good image of the dip - you can't prove that the mattress has failed.

And some of these mattresses are very expensive - too bad for you.

Latex should be at least 3" thick within the comfort layers of a mattress - but 4" is ideal, and hard to find. A SOLID 4" - not 2" or this and then another 2" of that mixed in with other polyfoam layers.

It is even hard to find 4" latex toppers - but you can find them.

Sometimes latex can be a little more thin depending on the construction of the bed. I saw a good one this weekend that was really comfortable and seemed like it would hold up well - with only 2" of Talalay Latex on top.

But, there wasn't any other polyfoams and it was on an individual pocketed coil for extra room for the parts of your body that stick out to conform to the mattress.

I liked it.

What Makes Latex Mattresses So Great to Sleep on?

1) Latex LASTS! Have I already said that? Even Dunlop Latex will last you a good five to ten plus years - Talalay is made to last 40ish years and can last longer. (I've seen a couple solid Talalay Latex mattresses fifty PLUS years old still in good condition.)

2) Latex adjusts to your weight to keep your body & back properly aligned.

It is a material that literally 'pushes back' up against your skin like rubber - because it is rubber. It both supports curves while allowing for pressure point relief for the parts of your body that sink deepest into the mattress.

Polyfoam doesn't do this as well and Memory Foam does this AFTER you get up off of it.

Correct Back & Body Alignment includes the best of both worlds - good support & soft comfort layers for pressure point relief.

Correct Back & Body Alignment includes the best of both worlds - good support & soft comfort layers for pressure point relief.

So, if you are considering an Innerspring Latex Hybrid Mattress - you would be getting back support not only from the Innerspring in the mattress, but ALSO from the Latex comfort layer(s), itself (if they are thick enough).

But latex doesn't NEED an innerspring to be a good support system. That's why solid core latex mattresses are also a good option.

It does not matter what you and/or your partner weigh - the two of you could be on two different ends of the scale. A Latex mattress will support you both equally by adjusting to whatever your weight is.

The main difference between a lighter person and a heavier person - is that the density will feel different to each body type. For this reason, latex can turn out to be a great compromise mattress for couples who want two different 'feels'.

The most recommended ILD combination for a good 'generic' solid core latex bed is an ILD 32 base mattress (usually 6-8" of latex) with 2-4" of softer ILD 28 + 2" of ILD 19 for the top comfort layer. You can also just choose 4" of one of the softer ILDs for the top layer - but, if you're a side sleeper, thicker is usually better. (Heavier people might prefer an ILD 36 base, but not necessarily. The best advice is to find a place where you can test them out.)

If you can find a mattress that has the comfort layer as a separate topper - then you have the option to replace / refresh that bed with a new topper in a decade or so if you ever get tired of it. The mattress underneath will be about as supportive as the day you bought it.

3) Latex BREATHES. Many people get Latex confused with Memory Foam because those two materials often get combined together within mattress comfort layers like salt & pepper. But, they are two entirely different things. GOOD Latex is a natural, open-celled material with all kinds of holes permeating through it from the mold for additional airflow.

That does not mean that latex will not 'heat up' like any other kind of foam - it's not like it sleeps cooler than regular polyfoam.

If you are a naturally hot sleeper - there are probably not many mattresses out there that will not sleep warm for you. There are many cooling sleep products out there on the market - look around for a good fix that will work. You'll probably sleep much better if you do.

4) It is naturally hypoallergenic - dust mites and mold, mildew don't like latex. It is also non-toxic for breathing into your lungs. Really, my NR Talalay Latex mattress is going on 10 years old - it has a VERY faint, sweet rubber smell, not 'industrial' smelling at all. It smells fresh to me.

I can only barely smell this odor when I put my nose into it. I do not smell it when I'm laying down on it at all. It is practically odorless. Older latex mattresses that we had removed from people's homes did not have a smell at all - completely odorless, I checked because I was curious, ha!

Latex Rubber Bands are different.

Latex Rubber Bands are different.

What About Latex Allergies?

Most people who are allergic to latex are allergic to things like rubber bands and rubber gloves, etc. This is because it is processed differently and the proteins in this kind of latex can cause a reaction.

However, most people who can't handle rubber gloves CAN handle natural Talalay or Dunlop latex without having an issue - many places have samples, give them a feel if you're brave. I've had many latex-sensitive customers do this with surprise and glee.

Plus, since the latex layers are covered in a mattress ticking, you're not in direct contact with it. I have never had a problem with a customer having a reaction to a latex mattress. However, I have had customers decline to give it a test-feel because they were sure it wouldn't make a difference. You know your body best. You might not want to try it if you are prone to extreme allergic reactions.

What About the Industrial Smell that Fresh Latex Gives Off?

I've already told you that I sleep on a latex mattress... I SWEAR to you that I cannot smell it at all anymore (except. like I said - sticking my nose into it, it has a fresh, clean sweet-rubber scent that is not at all 'industrial').

Some latex mattresses won't smell when you get them and some will really reek - mine did for about three days. That seems to be the experience of most latex mattress customers that I have interacted with.

Be patient and it will go away... It stinks because it's fresh. Things like sulfur are used to help cure the latex; but it is all thoroughly washed out in a five-stage process that makes sure it is clean - if not a little stinky at first.

I know that some rubber items never lose their smell... If your mattress continues to smell, I would question whether or not it is a good latex mattress to begin with.

All-Natural, NR Latex, especially - will not continue to smell for extended periods of time. There may be more of an issue with blended Talatech Talalay - I know that some of the pillows in our store were blends and we received some complaints.

But, I have also purchased some of those same pillows for myself and not had an issue with them.

The fumes are not considered to be toxic even though they stink; and they usually also die away almost completely for most people not to be bothered by them. I recommend letting the latex air out well with windows open in a room, if you need to - even if it's just a pillow. Hang it out on the clothesline for awhile.

This is not a 'fact'... But in my experience, I truly believe that it depends on how sensitive the individual is who is sleeping on the mattress. Some people are simply more sensitive to the smell than others.

A local, reputable mattress store should have what you're looking for.

A local, reputable mattress store should have what you're looking for.

Where Can You Find a Good Latex Mattress?

Hopefully there are some reputable mattress stores in your area - but many mattress consumers complain that a good latex mattress is hard to find. I think options are improving out there. I also know that some smaller reputable mattress manufacturers will send you a new mattress even if they don't have a store online.

If you're having a hard time finding a good latex mattress... Do a search in your area for small, custom mattress manufacturers or a generic foam store. Sometimes a foam store will wrap a core of latex up in fabric like a bed for you. Be aware that it is not specifically being sold 'as a mattress' at that point because of the fire-regulations and certifications surrounding mattresses in the US, today.

But, latex isn't a flammable thing - it smolders. Many latex mattresses do not have any added fire-retardants incorporated into them for that reason - although the mattress ticking may have some.

I do highly-recommend finding a place where you can test them out, first. Finding the right 'feel' for you and/or your sleep partner is worth the extra effort if you have that capability where you live. Supporting a local business is also a good thing. :)

Good luck and feel free to ask questions. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find out for you.

My Favorite Pillow - Thinner than most latex pillows and the best of two worlds.

Other Mattress Buying Articles from this Author


Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 26, 2017:

This is the best place to buy a latex mattress in Seattle: I have no idea if they will ship their mattresses out of state. Look for local custom mattress manufacturers in your area if they do not.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 22, 2017:

I've been asked about brands many times. I purchased one from a local company here in Seattle. Again - most large cities have custom mattress manufacturers who will usually make them if you can't find one in a normal mattress store. There is no 'one good brand' - just keep the parameters I talked about above in mind; and you should be able to find a good choice. Good luck.

jpatota on August 22, 2017:

This was an excellent article, Thank you so much for posting this. There is so much disingenuous info to sort through out there. It's a shame I had to search 7 Google pages back in order to locate yours (since yours has been, by far, the most informative and honest).

My two questions are:

Which brand of Talalay NR mattress did you buy?

What is your opinion of the Saatva Zenhaven Talalay mattress?

(the Zenhaven seems to be at an excellent price point compared to most other complete Talalay NR mattresses).

I am very close to making a buying decision.

LauraT on August 14, 2017:

Hello Catherine, I am so happy I came across this article. I have been trying to find an article online or youtube that could

answer my questions in more detail. I could not find any article to say how many inches of latex was best for support and or the topper softness on top. The has been a pleasant and informative article for me. Please continue to state the facts. We need this type of article. I look forward to reading other articles from your forum. Thank you so much!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 27, 2017:

I don't usually do this, but here is a good example if you are forced to purchase a latex mattress online; and it seems like a fair price for what they have advertised:

You can choose Talalay ILD 36 or 32 - I recommend 32 unless you are a heavy person who likes a firm bed. ILD 32 is just as supportive, just not as 'hard'. Over 80% of the ILD 36 cores that we sold needed to be replaced with ILD 32 (even if the person claimed to want a firm mattress) - so we always tried to steer people toward that density.

If you go with this company, it sounds like they have options for firmer or softer comfort layers. I would ask what is contained within their comfort layers. It sounds like its all latex, but make sure. If they give you the option to choose an ILD for the comfort layers, start with ILD 19. Less is usually too soft (more for pillows) and more is almost always too hard (again, based on customer returns).

Good luck!

Sarah on June 27, 2017:

Hello. I've looked at all the stores in my area and am unable to find a latex matress. Can you recommend stores or even better mattress models?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 17, 2017:

I really can't tell you if you received the mattress you ordered. I can tell you that talalay & dunlop are usually layered together. If your son is that big, you want talalay over dunlop since it is the choice less-likely to form a body impression in it and will last longer. The polyfoam inside will cause it to wear down faster, but since you are hoping to get only 5-10 years out of it - I think you did just fine for $400. Good luck. :)

Debbie Davis on June 16, 2017:

I have a question please. I ordered​ an 11 in Eden, supposed to be 8 in polyurethane foam topped with 3 in 100% Dunlop latex. My son is 6.4 and weighs 225 which is why I chose Dunlop. My 1st partial latex without springs. His current bed has a huge crater in center. On a tight budget so shopped till I dropped memorial day weekend. Figured some latex better than none. First mattress shipped was a different model name and in parentheses said "Talalay". It was picked up and the correct mattress arrived today, but it correct? The label has correct model name, Eden. However, in parentheses "In -House", I expected to see "Dunlop". How do I know if it is a Dunlop? Or should I assume it's not, rather a blended version and they ate hoping I don't know any better? For me, $400 is a big chunk of money to spend, I want it to last at least 5-10 years. Warranty listed on order page is 25 years. But again, do I actually have the mattress I ordered. No paperwork in the box! Thanks!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on April 17, 2017:

If it is a solid dunlop mattress, putting a 15 year warranty on it is pretty much hopeful thinking on the manufacturer's part - but, the reason why they can take the risk is because it isn't unheard of for dunlop mattresses to last that long; and they often put a layer of talalay on top which is meant to help make the dunlop underneath last longer. So, we're talking about a fine line... If it has the potential to last that long, they can claim it can last that long. I'd definitely take advantage of the warranty. Think of it as getting a free refill, especially if you like the mattress. :)

Kate Nordin on April 17, 2017:

Hi Catherine, thanks for a great article! I'm interested in what you say about Dunlop process mattress lasting around the 5 year mark. We bought a latex mattress 4 1/2 years ago now, and we've loved it, although very recently both my husband and I have begun to experience back problems and can now feel the mid-bar down the middle of the bed through the mattress. My natural thought was the mattress had possibly started to 'wear' and softened. The shop we bought it from says these mattresses come with a 15 year guarantee, which is curious if the lifespan of such mattresses is less (and historically a refill was offered). Would this be a unrealistic guarantee to offer on a product that states that the latex technology of this mattress is: Natural Latex made by the Dunlop process?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on February 27, 2017:

No, the mattress will not release more chemicals as it gets older... it will lose resilency or 'wear out'. It won't start to break down until later - usually after it becomes exposed to lots of sun & air such as in a landfill.

The ILD combinations 'sound' about right, but as I've said - you won't know if the feel is right for you until you try it out and/or sleep on it. I would just make sure that I could return/exchange it if I couldn't. Also, that regular foam core should considerabley lower the cost. If it still costs about the same as a full latex mattress, you might find something like it cheaper elsewhere.

Good luck. :)

Suzanoozan on February 27, 2017:

Thank you so much for your article - it was so informative.

I am looking at purchasing from a company called LevelSleep - they are fairly new - a little over a year old. They use 7" polyurethane (from Carpenter) for the core, and then 3 different zones for the top Talalay layer (they said it was synthetic so probably Talatech). The top layer is only 3" though. The softest shoulder region is ILD 15, the middle back support region is ILD 24, and the hip region is ILD 18. Does this sound ok for support? I am mainly looking at it for back support, and low chemical/VOCs. Does the mattress release more chemicals as it degrades over time?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on September 21, 2016:

You won't find me advising you to buy a mattress from a place like Sam's Club - unless it is for a guest room or something like that. You bought a mattress online where you couldn't try it out - and even if you could have tried it, it still might not have worked. Mattresses not working out the first time (or even the 2nd or 3rd if you're really picky) is fairly normal.

I have always advised making purchases from local stores where you can really test mattresses; but so many people complain that they are only going to get ripped off.

I honestly don't know what to say about that. I can't change how mattresses are sold or make salespeople care about their customers enough to put effort into helping people find what they need. I really wish I could, ha!

It might not be the coils so much as the latex - some people really do not like the feel of it. Latex will be 'a little softer' after you sleep on it for a while - its like a pair of jeans, it needs to loosen up. But, if it has gotten really soft - it wasn't very good latex to begin with.

At least find a place where you can try out a similar perfect sleeper and be able to compare it to an individual pocket coil bed. Pocket coils are 'the most like' latex without actually being latex. Try not to get one with too much fluff on top. Good luck.

Hernan on September 20, 2016:

Ok I'm back. 10 months after dealing with a dreamfoambedding latex pillow top king mattress with coils. So this thing is feeling soft now and its getting uncomfortable. My wife has never really liked it and I'm trying to replace this quickly within the next weeks. I have come to the conclusion that mattresses are a lottery and a rip off since most of them are garbage and don't really solve any problems. I decided not to use furniture stores and I was looking at a Serta perfect sleeper Castleview Firm King size from Sam's club at $800. Coil count is 928 and mattress is about 13" high

Just wanted your thoughts on this item. Thanks

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on September 04, 2016:

7 years sounds about right for a pillowtop - give or take a couple of years, ha! If you happen to have the tools to take on that endeavor - good luck. It is probably doable, but I've never heard of anyone doing it.

You can try a latex topper on top to see if that works, first. I would try at least 4" of ILD 19. However, your shoulder might be digging into the coils with only 4".

If you need more comfort, add 2-3 inches of ILD 28 on the bottom; and then 4" of ILD 19 on top of that - but, that can get pricey. You can also substitute regular polyfoam for the ILD 28 underneath, if you want to cut that cost.

Good Luck! :)

DmanBman on September 04, 2016:

Hi there Misfit Chick, thank you for all your information. Fantastic to find real unbiased information about mattress buying. Can I ask some advice? My wife and I purchased a Simmons Sanctuary pocket coil Beautyrest 7 yrs ago. According to the label it has silk and viscoelastic material (memory foam?) in the "high loft pillowtop" and it is starting to get the humps and valleys you mentioned in one of your postings. We flipped it over and I tested the springs with hand pressure from the bottom and they all seemed to push back about the same, which to me tells me the springs are still fine and it's the pillowtop that is starting to get worn (just like you said in one of your posts). I was thinking of perhaps unstitching the pillow top part from the mattress and adding a new talalay latex topper. What thickness and ILD would your recommend or would you even recommend that, perhaps just put a new talay latex topper on top? I'm 6'4" weigh about 220 and my wife is 5'2" and weighs about 115. I'm a side sleeper and my wife is a side and back sleeper. Thanks so much for your awesome information!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 23, 2016:

Hi Nicolette, I always recommend testing mattresses out. If you have tried one that feels good to you - it might be 'the one'. I go into the details between Talalay & Dunlop processes above; and what the differences are between them. I also talk about the smell of latex mattresses... If you get a good one that smells at first, it should wear off.

Nicolette on August 23, 2016:

Hi there. You seem to know your latex mattresses. Thank you for this article. I like latex. I hate memory foam & want to stay away from inner spring anything. I am having a hard time discerning between tallalay & dunlop, as a personal feel. It must be a matter of preference. Problem is, there are not enough stores with these items to compare them. I don't like a firm mattress, but I did try an organic heveapur dunlop 9" mattress at Denver mattress. I liked the feel very much. Big question is: does tallalay have more sink than dunlop? I don't like to sink too far. I like resistance, but again, not firm. Zen has an all tallalay pure latex (they say) that comes from Latex International. Do you have the spare time to peruse their website? They have info under "specs" that you as a pro, will be able to unravel. Thank you in advance. I am crazy & need sleep on a good, new mattress. PS - I hate chemical smell. I would love any point blank recommendations on where to buy a good latex mattress! Thank you again ; ) Nicolette

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 22, 2016:

Neither one seems to cost very much - latex mattresses in the US are often $3000 to $5000 or more; and with much longer warranties. I have no idea why the pricing or warranties are so low. At that point, I would simply choose the one that is the most comfortable.

andreas on August 22, 2016:

for a 7 zone 85% natural latex sold by a well known company in Greece i should pay 900 euros. The solid 100% talalay of Dunlopillo is for 1300 euros. On the other hand for a Dunlopillo which consists of 12cm latex and 8 cm coir the price is 950... I am rather between the second and the third one. In the later case i am thinking of maybe adding a talalay latex topper of 6cm for 400+ euros!

As for the warranties , i believe most of the companies claim to have 10 years , but if you ask them it turns out that it is actually 5+5 or sth like that...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 22, 2016:

Testing periods are always good... Do the prices seem outrageous compared to those warranties?

How does the pricing between Dunlopillo's 'solid' latex mattress and the zoned latex mattresses compare? Are the warranties the same, also?

andreas on August 22, 2016:

thanks! Warranty is another issue... They all, even with 100% natural talalay, tend to give a 10 year warranty of which just the 5 are non prorated! Only good thing is that Dunlopillo gives you a 30 days testing period ...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 22, 2016:

'Zoned' Latex is relatively new, so I'm not at sure about it; and it does not have the same test of time behind it. However, if they still have good warranties they are probably a good option to try. If they don't hold up, you can take advantage of a warranty.

andreas on August 22, 2016:

Hello again :-) . I am still in doubt about the purchase... Just a quick one.. Most of latex mattresses i find in various companies claim that their mattresses have 5 or 7 different zones of comfort. Dunlopillo which is i believe the most prestigious company for latex (at least here in Greece) does not have those different zones. On the contrary Dunlopillo in other countries does create and sell such mattresses. So, do you think that there is a point and a usefullness in those different zones ( i think that there is different density of latex depending on the part of the body...) or it is rather sth companies claim just to sell easier their mattresses?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 13, 2016:

If you sleep on your stomach, then you probably would not need a very thick topper (if at all) - although even a thin topper would help with that 'springy' feel. Latex feels more springy because it is pushing back up against your body - it contains its own support.

Like I said, it depends on how thick the latex layers are in a layered mattress as to 'how good' it is. However, if you were more comfortable in the layered mattress - that might be a good choice. Not every mattress has to last four decades.

No bother, ask away. :)

andreas on August 13, 2016:

thanks for your reply! Unfortunatelly i sleep on my stomach... And since i have some issues with back pain i thought that the latex matress should be the best for me. However (and since all my life i sleep on innerspring mattresses) the pure latex that i was going for ( 8'' a single piece with the same density throughout) feels to me rather elastic ( it is like i bounce on it). I might get used to it but as an alternative i tried one with latex as the main material and two layers of coco which gives the mattress a sense of stability. My main worry is whether (since it is not 100% latex) i miss the benefits of a pure latex mattress.

As for the topper , reading your article , i got the impressiong that it is preferable if you can add a topper instead of having just the mattress, especially since Dunlopillo mattresses do not consist of layers of different density.

Thanks and sorry if i bother you too much.... I really am indecisive...

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on August 12, 2016:

I believe that Dunlopillo was one of the original latex companies (and if I remember correctly, they were the first) - yeah, they have a good reputation comparable to Latex International. As far as being natural - it depends on how they define it. I can only guess that their latex is as comparable to their reputation.

If you're thinking about buying a layered latex mattress, just make sure the latex layers are at least 3" thick - 4" is better. Other than that, it is mostly just a comfort issue.

If you are a sidesleeper, you will probably want a medium firm (not more firm) base with a nice, cozy topper. It depends on how you sleep - test them out if you can. You should not make the mattress underneath more firm just because you are putting a topper on it. A topper only goes so far; and then when your shoulder hits 'hard' - it will fall asleep.

andreas on August 12, 2016:

hello. I am looking these days for a matress and i am leaning towards latex. So i must admit that your article is totally enlighting for me. Big thanks! May i ask you couple of questions since it seems that you really have knowledge on the matter! First of, i live in Greece so i do not have the choices that you have in U.S.A. I am thinking therefore to purchase the matress from Dunlopillo which is a reputable company in Europe and a pioneer in latex. They say that they use natural talalay latex. What is your opinion about that company? Secondly , what do you think about a matress that is based on talalay latex but also has got two layers of cocosheet between the latex layers? I tried it and it seems more stable and not so "fluffy". Finally, do you think that it would be better to purchase a mattress of let's say 23cm medium firmness talalay or a mattress of 17cm of a firmer talalay plus a softer talalay toper of 6cm? Thnaks a lot...

TimberMaster LTD from Rugby on August 03, 2016:

Nice post, Thanks for sharing :)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on July 06, 2016:

I don't think Latex International really has showrooms - they sell latex to manufacturers who use it. My recommendation is to shop at a mattress store that has a generally-good reputation for honesty and caring about their customers. Of course, every single one will tell you that they do that... I do not recommend buying any mattress online unless you have to because you have no other options available to you. Most generic mattress stores will carry some good latex mattresses - and if they don't, it is because they have not received the message about them, yet. In that case, ask them if they will make inquiries to their manufacturer's. Many manufacturers already make them, but stores are not aware of their increased demand, yet. Let them know - and, they may be able to help either get you some good options; or point you in the direction of some good options. They'll eventually get the hint. :)

Lina on June 27, 2016:

Thank you for your article. It's so difficult shopping for latex mattresses. I live in NJ and wanted to know if Latex International has a showroom in CT. I have been searching online and was going to order from either Sleeponlatex or Habitat Furnishings. Sleeponlatex has a better price, but a little hesitant because its a fairly new company based out in Chicago. Any input on these companies would be really appreciated.

Thank you!

Lacroze on June 07, 2016:

Will do that. Thank you so much.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 07, 2016:

Yes, I know, and I'm sorry... I have had many long, winding exhanges with people about this subject. Usually, it was via email; but check out the person in the same mattress-buying boat in the comments of my memory foam mattress article. I swore that was the last time I would jump in on a situation like that. I can give you all the information I have, but I can't walk you through it. I don't have the time nor energy. That's why I wrote these articles, so people could use the info for themselves.

Everyone finds it difficult, that is why they end up in places like this. My advice is to read through this string of articles; then go to local mattress stores and do some testing. Maybe you don't need latex - maybe you do.

I've given my 'basic' latex recommendations of various latex mattress options above; as well as other kinds of mattresses within the other articles. I know they are long. Just take them one word/line/paragraph at a time. There is much good info within them. :)

Lacroze on June 07, 2016:

Thank you but based on what you said about me being set on latex or not I thought you meant you may have a favorite that wasn't latex.

As you can see I am struggling! As mentioned my favorite is the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe but thought latex could be more affordable and a good quality but still searching!!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 07, 2016:

I can't really tell you that without more details... I would use their customer service suggestion form or whatever that was. Most online mattress places have them - a 'how to choose' ap or something. They know what their mattresses 'feel' like; and if you've read these articles then you know how you want it to be constructed. Good luck. :)

Lacroze on June 07, 2016:

Thank you very much for your response. Unfortunately there is from what I can see only one choice of latex where I am located and it is Dunlop and they told me it is a mixture so not all natural. I am not sold on latex it just appears to be perhaps a good choice from what I am reading.

So that only leaves me Saatva and perhaps PlushBeds if I go with latex from look of it. Can I ask what mattress you recommend?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on June 07, 2016:

Wow, they are certainly ramping up the 'American made' sales pitch at the moment, aren't they? LoL! Saatva is getting their latex from the same original source that most every other latex mattress manufacturer in the US does - Latex International, which is headquartered in Connecticut where Saatva just happenes to be based. Neat!

Getting your latex a couple days earlier than another manufacturer on the opposite coast only makes it that much 'fresher' - which is no big deal at all, given how long it lasts. For the record, LI DOES NOT actually manufacture any latex here in the US - they own sustainable rubber tree plantations in a few places around the world - such as Malasia. Latex (both dunlop and talalay) is then produced 'on site' or close by while it is still fresh - Liquid latex is not imported into the US to be turned into Talalay. The absense of rubber tree plantations in the US sort of shoots holes in their storyline, ha!

However, Saatva should certainly be able to acquire NR (natural rubber) talalay latex if that is the high-end kind that you are seeking - you might need to pay a little more for it. Most manufacturers refer to both types of latex - NR & Taltech - as 'all natural'; and they are not differentiating the difference anywhere that I can find on their site. That usually means they are using the 'normal' all-natural, blend of Taltech - ask if you want clarification.

Aside from that, I always recommend trying beds out instead of buying them online - simply because your body can't try them, first. However, Saatva seems to have some options in place in case the bed doesn't work for you. That's a good. If you have no other latex options close by; and you are sure that you want latex - it might be worth a try. :)

Lacroze on June 07, 2016:

Wow thank you so much, what a wonderful write up of latex!

I ran across your article while trying to research buying a mattress. I have fallen in love with the Tempurpedic cloud luxe but have read bad reviews as well as good in addition to it sadly being out of my budget.

Can you say what your thought are on the online Zenhaven latex mattress by Saatva?

Unfortunately the only latex mattress I can find in my area in made of a synthetic blend of Dunlop latex.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on March 24, 2016:

Thank you. It is very difficult to find a mattress that does not have some fire retardants at least in the mattress ticking. Unless you are very sensitive to them, I highly-recommend 'a little' fire retardant - although yeah, Latex doesn't NEED it. But, there are REASONS WHY fire retardants are in mattresses; and it does not have anything to do with consumer conspiracy theories. Please read my article about that if you haven't, yet. :)

Still, even though latex doesn't need a fire protection; most manufacturer's do not go out of their way to buy mattress ticking that is free of a layer of fire retardants. However, a custom manufacturer may be able to help you with that.

Just do a search - in your own city, first - on custom mattress manufacturers. Because the one in Seattle that I was talking about may have questionable morals that bring them higher profits by switching out NR latex for blended latex (I write about that in my latex article if you haven't read that yet, also). Good luck!! :)

LeeAnn on March 24, 2016:

Hi there. I have just read about every article on your site! Thank you! We have a newer memory foam mattress and it is killing my bad back. I thought it was nice at first but I toss and turn alot at night. This leaves valleys that take a while to bounce back and in the mean time it creates a lot of sway in my low back. Killer!! I am really interested in latex now. I read that you know of a company that will wrap them in the Seattle area? I would love this as I'm not interested in flame retardants and am budget conscience. Can you give me their name? Thank you thank you!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on February 14, 2016:

For a topper, dunlop or talalay latex is okay - dunlop is better than polyfoam when you are on a fixed income. Since it is dunlop he is probably telling you the truth about it being 'natural' because it is easier to make it that way.

I can certainly confirm that the smell of 'good latex' will go away; but I cannot guarantee that it will go away 'enough for you'. Just like your memory foam topper, the smell may linger in your brain even after it diminishes or is gone. Some people claim to never get past the smell no matter how natural it is, or no matter that no one else can smell it anymore. Hopefully you will be able to return it if it doesn't work out.

BTDT13 on February 13, 2016:

I just went through a month long nightmare with a memory foam topper. My problem was the smell, which was overwhelming.

It was so bad that after a month of tolerating it I just couldn't take it anymore.

It subsided somewhat over the month I had it but the odor had made me feel so ill initially, that even the slightest whiff now makes me want to gag. Fortunately, with great persistence I received a refund .

I am now very leery about buying a much needed replacement. As I'm on a fixed income with no transportation, I have to buy online with delivery. Getting to a store is a near impossibility so is virtually out of the question.

There is an online store with the initials MFC that sells Dunlop latex toppers.

They claim they are natural latex and go into great detail on the site to describe and explain the differences. Their information is much the same as what you have provided here. The problem is that they do not have Talalay latex toppers for sale, just Dunlop.

The owner seems honest and deals with the customer directly. He has a sale running until Feb. 14-16.

I see you described the smell of organic latex as faint to non existent with time.

Does good Dunlop latex smell stronger than the Talalay type or are they similar in their odor (or lack of) intensity and duration?

The $400 Dunlop topper (twin) is on for $259 for a couple more days and I do not want to miss the sale.

I have a sensitive olfactory sense and don't want to make another mistake; this time with no chance of return/exchange/refund!

Hoping for a reply!

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 05, 2015:

By the way, don't blame the latex for your aching shoulder/back... Your body is used to your original bed. It is highly unlikely that you would sleep as comfortably on anything else until you've slept on something different for a few weeks to get used to it. Just an fyi. :)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on December 05, 2015:

Good idea. Some people have found even putting a comforter between them and the mattress is enough. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

drew on December 04, 2015:

Thanks. My son has a latex mattress so i swapped with him for a few days. It does sleep cooler than the tempur and although it got warm it was never uncomfortable.

Unfortunately it was nowhere near as comfortable as the tempur and after 2 days my shoulder/upper back started to complain. So its back to the tempur.

I guess ill just have to live with a little heat. Other things ill try are thin sheets and open some windows to cool the ambient temperature.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 30, 2015:

It depends, Latex does not sleep 'hot' but it does not sleep cool, either - it is about the same as regular polyfoam as far as heat transference goes. However, if you are a naturally hot sleeper - even polyfoam and latex will be a hot sleep for you. The only way to really diminish heat on a memory foam mattress is to add a topper (even a thin one can help) between you and the mattress - and even then, some people end up experimenting for a while until they can sleep better. There are lots of varying cooling sleep products on the market. Good luck. :)

drew on November 30, 2015:

I have a tempurpedic mattress and it gets hot. I love the feel of it and sleep really well except for the sweating. Would latex be any better?

Hernan on November 26, 2015:

I agree with you you are correct. The only difference between a physical company such as the thieves from RTG, City Furniture, etc are the deals you get to find online. But you lose somehow. I have not been able to win one with buying a mattress

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 26, 2015:

Mattress tags have laws surrounding them. Sounds to me like a very dishonest company. You need to go to a real mattress store, Hernan. You live in an urban area, you should have options. This would not have happened if you had taken my advice in the first place. I'm just sayin... ;)

Hernan on November 25, 2015:

The guy checked the order and said it was a mistake from whoever developed the law tag; maybe the person thought he was tagging a foam mattress. True or not, I do not trust that tag and if that is the case, then the person developing the tag should be more cautious because this mistake does not inspire any confidence. I got a reply saying to donate mattress and email copy of slip for refund so I donated it a few hours ago. I slept on this pillowtop one night and eventhough I returned it, I have itchy face, arms and legs. Not my lucky month.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 24, 2015:

The foam may or may not be toxic. The green movement has things a bit ramped up, sometimes. Again, it is the same stuff in your couch, your car seats and your yoga mat - everything around you, etc. However, it is not latex so it will break down faster. And, if that's what you were looking for and thought you were buying; then there is something wrong on their end in not completely informing their customers of the materials in the mattress. Good luck, Hernan. :)

Hernan on November 24, 2015:

I already wrote Chuck who deals with the customers at dreamfoambedding. If I would have read urethane foam anywhere in the description then at least I was warned in advance but I actually got something that I did not want in this mix and the situation is misleading. I will see how they respond to this, because if that material would have been posted then at least I would've went ahead and picked something else to sleep on. This urethane foam is toxic as hell or so I have read.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 24, 2015:

Yeah, it's not cool at all, Hernan. I'm really sorry. It might stink even if it was just the talalay blend. All foam stinks for a while - and it is the same stuff in your couch, your car seats, your yoga mat, etc. But it can really stink for a while until it airs out - especially the really cheap stuff. Sometimes that doesn't quite air out all the way, depending. I'd definitly leave a bad review or something.

Hernan on November 24, 2015:

I just checked the description of the item on amazon and it mentions nothing about urethane foam. I really don't get why I got a 65% urethane foam mattress when this ingredient which makes up more than half of the unit is not even mentioned.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 24, 2015:

Wow, that is some misleading advertising. Glad you are comfy, though. You might want to take the mattress out of the encasement for a few days if you're having a hard time breathing - to air it out while you're at work or something. The smell should wear off, depending.

I think I would complain or something. But, I get not wanting to deal with stuff, anymore. That is why I kept suggesting that you not buy a mattress online - you really do not know what you are getting unless you look at it and lay on it.

Hernan on November 24, 2015:

Ok just got the mattress and struggled with it going upstairs since it was pretty heavy. Unpacked it out the plastic, started expanding, started smelling funky as well. Put it inside the mattress encasement since it allows the mattress to breathe. Couple things I notices...mattress is about 1.5 inches shorter in width and length compared to the bed itself. Also reading the tag it says materials and I see a 65% urethane and 35% talalay latex which I wasn't expecting since my understanding according to what I read and asked was that this was latex over coils; foam was never in the mix at any point. With my EX mattress which was memory foam, my whole family was sick on and off for an entire month including myself. Other than that the mattress feels comfy but I wasn't expecting the urethane.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 17, 2015:

Pillows are very important, and everyone likes a different kind. I honestly do not have a recommendation for one, and I have tried LOTS of different kinds, ha! I prefer a down pillow that I can beat into whatever shape I want since I'm such a tosser. It depends on your sleep style and how much cush is on your mattress to begin with. You don't have to read the whole article, but scroll down probably a little over half way until you see the heading 'The Importance of Pillows'. You'll find an easy-to-read chart as to what kind of pillow you need for how you sleep. :)

Hernan on November 17, 2015:

Seemed that way with many of the representatives I dealt with. There were certain moments when I felt that I knew more than this people. Do you recommend getting a mattress encasement against bed bugs, allergens, etc? Are there any pillows you recommend? We have a king size bed but find the king size pillows a bit too huge to sleep with, so we are good with queen. We have memory foam pillows but I had given this same type of pillow to some relatives as gifts and at some point they developed really bad stiffness in the cervical/neck area. My wife complains about pain in that are as well, and I get it sometimes as well. What pillows do you recommend? Encasement for pillows as well?

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 16, 2015:

He's ignorant about the subject. Many sales people are. Good luck, Hernan. Let us know how it goes if you can. :)

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 16, 2015:

Talatech is the latex blend and it is okay to sleep on for most people - that's what everyone's grandparents have been sleeping comfortably on for decades. Really. For the record however, NR 'natural rubber' Talalay is ideal for those who are looking for an uber-organic latex mattress.

If it is an independent coil, that is maybe a median quality system at 1000+ coils; however, you and your wife are not very heavy as I recall - it might be just the right thing for you. :)

Hernan on November 16, 2015:

Hey. The guys says its Talatech on the pillow top over the coils. 1000 plus coils. I was planning on getting this inexpensive deal and in a few months aim for a latex mattress if possible. Ten year warranty and no shipping back since it gets donated if there is a warranty claim. 5 year full replacement, 5 years credit.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 16, 2015:

Good, I like pocketed coils, but you'll want to check out the 'ultra plush' part - for such a cheap mattress; I would wonder about the quality of the foam they are using on top. But other than that, it looks like an inexpensive deal.

Hernan on November 15, 2015:

I also found this on amazon from dreamfoambedding but I did not find it on their site. DreamFoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams Pocketed Coil Ultra Plush Pillow Top Mattress with Latex, King for $700

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 15, 2015:

It sounds to me like your main issue is money. Were you able to sell your old mattress?

Dunlop latex is okay - it is cheaper and won't last as long, but it is better than polyfoam as far as wearing dip & valleys into it. Also, one of the options in dreamfoambedding had polyfoam as the core with latex on top of that for less expense.

Other options are: watching Craigslist for someone who is selling one; or visiting a regular foam store. Have you tried that? Foam stores usually have less expensive latex. I have suggested that in this article if you are having a hard time finding one.

I don't know about every foam store, but there is one in Seattle that will wrap latex cores up for you so that it seems like a 'real' mattress. They will not have the fire-regulation on them, etc. You can also get a regular, less expensive 'plush' mattress (not hard but not soft) at a regular store; and then 4" of ILD 19 talalay (from a foam store) for a topper.

Hernan on November 14, 2015:

Hey thanks for your info it's always greatly valued. Well to start off, I do not have the entire amount to drop on a latex mattress so I only count with $1000 to put up and it's either something around that budget or finance it. Flobeds customer service is really good and I applied but got turned down by their financing third party, so that pretty much knocks them out the list. Astrabeds even though it is dunlop that they deal with seems really neat all around but do not finance. Arizona Premium takes almost a month to deliver the product and do not finance. I know your position on online purchasing these items, but honestly I can't find anybody here in Miami that deals with these types of mattress at a reasonable price like the ones stated online. Everyone goes over $3000 and if they do carry let's say Savvy Rest or so, they are very costly. As you noticed I have been looking at some latex over coil such as Wolf and I will ask about their materials because I agree with you on the sourcing part. I also found to be good at first glance and they do finance and the mattress is about 9 or 10 inches and approx $1500. Got to check into that. Other than this I have seen several spring mattresses and I look for a count over 500 coils at least and try to find out as much as possible about the coil type and if they are treated or not and also the gauge. So as of now I'm still looking. To top it off, I had a Rooms to Go tech come to the house today to fix some issues on the living room furniture and dining table that are warranty claims, which he handled neatly and fixed everything and I asked him about his experience with RTG mattresses and he tells me he does inspections as well for warranty claims and that they are all a gamble. He has seen $600 mattresses go bad in two weeks all the way to $5000 mattresses do the same, and he can't really recommend any of them. Only tip he had was do not get a pillow top and stay away from all plush. So yeah Catherine I'm here looking still and with no clue.

Catherine Mostly (author) from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on November 14, 2015:

Hello Hernan :) I looked up this company, and I suppose they look okay - certainly the 'since 1873' sounds good. But first, this is another company that doesn't really say where they source materials from or go into much detail about their manufacturing processes; and second, I don't know how you would choose a bed - I guess you would just guess? Those four 'split' layers look like they would flop around, but maybe not.

Remember what I said about companies and reviews? Please don't get too hung up on that stuff - it will be very difficult to find one with a spotless record. Same with mattress reviews - for every 'bad' one that you read; there may be hundreds of people who purchased the mattress and were happy with it.

What happened to that other latex mattress company? They seemed to have some pretty good alternative price options. Flobeds looks okay, too - if you must purchase a mattress online. You know I am against that. :)

Hernan on November 14, 2015:

Hey Catherine hope all is well with you. I have been looking still before actually purchasing a mattress. I found this Wolf Corporation company and they have been around since the late 1800's. They seem to have innerspring and hybrids as well with latex over coil and some foam as well. They are on the certipur company list and some of their mattresses have latex layers. I was wondering what your professional opinion is on this company and if any of the previous products catch your attention perhaps.

Reginald Thomas from Connecticut on August 14, 2015:

Hello Catherine,

I enjoyed reading this article. You gave great information for the consumer. I like the fact that you are a mattress buying consultant for people. Great article. I look forward to reading more from you.

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