Natural latex mattresses are constructed using natural latex, which is the milky sap from the rubber tree (hevea brasiliensis). These trees are cultivated on plantations in South Asia, South America, Africa, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, providing jobs for numerous indigenous people.
Latex is a sustainable material, derived from a carefully maintained renewable resource.
Latex is produced by frothing the rubber sap, pouring it into a mold, which is vulcanized to create 6" "buns", which are used for mattress cores, or cut into 2" or 3" toppers.
On top of being Eco-friendly and biodegradable, a latex mattress supplies a superb sleeping surface, relieving pressure points with outstanding, gently conforming support.
A latex mattress provides consistent support that alleviates the pressure points and sagging common to coil inner-spring mattresses. The natural latex mattress is clearly a wonderful choice for the consumer and for the environment.
Latex is considered to be the most durable mattress or topper material, with most latex mattresses having warranties of up to 20 years.
A great starting point to experience the benefits of latex is the latex topper. A latex mattress topper fits easily on top of your existing mattress to provide a wonderfully conforming sleeping surface that relieves pressure points. As many mattresses contain toxic fire-retardants, a latex mattress topper provides a safer, chemical free layer on the top of any type of mattress.
The average person will spend 25 years of their lifetime sleeping. That is a long time to spend on a uncomfortable mattress. Maybe you've thought, I can sleep on anything, or my mattress is a simple necessity, that I replace when it has become too uncomfortable. Wouldn't a better choice be a mattress that sends you off for a busy day refreshed, relaxed and enjoying all the benefits of sleeping soundly!
OK...clearly you've thought about your mattress enough to begin investigating a latex mattress, so you're already on a path that can lead led you to a mattress that will change you're definition of a good night's sleep! If you're already sleeping on a latex mattress, you might be thinking about upgrading to a 100% natural Talalay latex mattress, using 100% natural Talalay latex, first introduced by Latex International back in 2003. Oh, how are we so familiar with that time frame? FoamSource was one one of the first 5 companies chosen by Latex International to begin marketing this new product, the most desirable natural latex material, and still very limited in availability.
Sleep problems have become an epidemic in the high stress, workaday, modern world. Sleeping less disrupts your ability to function optimally in both your personal and professional relationships, and is tied to a myriad of others problems, including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
At FoamSource, we want to let you know that your mattress, unless you are already sleeping on latex, can be so comfortable that you will actually look forward to slipping under your covers for many years to come. Why not enjoy the luxury of a beautiful addition to your bedroom? Natural latex mattresses are dust-mite resistant, hypo-allergenic, relieve pressure points, and will serve you well for up to 20 years. We truly "want your family to sleep as well as ours".
We've devoted yourselves to creating online resources that will guide you -
Who are the most reputable latex manufacturers.
What you must know when reading an Oeko-Tex Certificate.
Choosing the perfect firmness, including split firmness for couples.
How to properly design support layers, particularly important for both for lighter and heavier than normal sleepers.
Provides support where it is needed most. How? Contouring to the body's natural contours, relieving pressure points, particularly at the shoulders and hips.
Reduces motion transfer, allowing two people to comfortably share the same bed without disrupting each other. How? The independent cell construction of latex foam
His and Her sided beds are easy to construct. How? Latex will respond differently depending on body size and weight. Many couples prefer a different firmness in their ideal mattress.
Removes excess heat and moisture that can prevent a good night's sleep. How? Integrating an open cell structure with a pin core design allows the mattress to breathe
No more allergies! How? latex mattresses present a safe haven as they are naturally hypoallergenic, and anti-microbial.
Easily customized for all sizes. How? Latex foam provides a material for bedding that can easily be used in custom mattresses, perfect for boats and RVs.
Durable. How? Renowned for their durability, often with warranties of 20 years.
Need to Know Terms
ILD vs Foam Density - ILD refers to Impression Load Deflection, which is a combination of weight and deflection, determined in a simple test, to let you know the firmness the foam. Density is the weight of the foam, and is is guideline for durability, as well as comfort, with HD (High Density) foam offering enhanced durability and comfort.
Latex - Latex originally referred to natural rubber latex, derived from the milky white sap of the rubber trees. However, latex has become a generic term for latex that has been created from natural, synthetic, and most often, a blend of synthetic with some content of natural latex added to provide the feel of natural latex.
Hevea Brasiliensis - Rubber trees, the sap of which is used for natural rubber latex, created by one of two processes.
Dunlop - The original process where latex is formed by first frothing the latex mix, pouring the latex into a mold, and vulcanizing the latex, forming a "bun" of 6" which can also be cut to produce latex toppers.
Talalay - A more modern process, with two additional steps added. The latex is frothed, poured, and when in the mold CO2 is injected and the latex is frozen before it is vulcanized. This process more evenly distributes the latex, while creating a uniform cell structure, creating a more conforming latex.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certification - Europe's highest standard for non-toxic materials. Please note that while 100% natural latex latex will pass the Standard 100, some high content blended latex will also pass.
Oeko-Tex "article tested" - The article tested will determine whether the latex is 100% natural rubber, or a standard latex, which means it is blended latex. Particularly important for Talalay latex! While Talalay Global does manufacture a limited amount of a 100% natural rubber "Specialty Talalay" latex, the majority (well over 90%) of Talalay latex from Talalay Global (Latex International) is blended latex.
Remember, the primary expense in a natural latex mattress is the latex. Sounds obvious, right? However, much of the information from online sellers in under the "let the buyer beware" headline. Spend your money wisely, be very precise in discovering the type of latex and, most importantly the manufacturer of the latex.
Don't be fooled, we recommend choosing 100% natural latex from two vendors. For Talalay latex, Talalay Global (previously Latex International) sets the standard. They produce a limited amount of 100% natural rubber "Specialty Talalay," manufactured in the US. For Dunlop latex, we suggest Latex Green, manufactured in Sri Lanka, and distributed from California.
Protect your investment and learn how to understand an Oeko-Tex certificate, which specifically lists the "tested article". The "tested article" on the Oeko-Tex certificate is critical, when you are purchasing a natural latex mattress or topper, as it clearly states the material tested.
This is particularly true with Talalay Global. Most of the "Talatech" rubber foam, their name for Talalay latex, is "Standard Talatech latex rubber foam", a very high quality blend of synthetic and natural latex.
Talalay Global makes a small quantity of "Specialty Talalay, 100% natural Talatech latex rubber foam, which first became available in the last 10 years. The 100% natural Talalay is more difficult to make, increasing its cost.
Latex Green makes 100% natural, as well as organic Dunlop latex, so you don't need to study the Oeko-Tex certificate as closely as the certificate from Talalay Global. Latex Green also has the distinction of producing the ONLY latex that is produced from rubber trees that are certified as grown organically.
Oeko-Tex Test Criteria
The internationally binding test catalogue according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is based on scientifically proven parameters and is revised annually in line with the latest legislation and research.
It includes testing for:
1) Illegal substances such as carcinogenic colourants.
2) Legally regulated substances such as formaldehyde, plasticizers, heavy metals or pentachlorophenol.
3) Substances which according to current knowledge are harmful to health, but which are not yet regulated or prohibited by law such as pesticides, allergenic dyes or tin-organic compounds.
4) Parameters such as colour fastness and a skin-friendly pH-value, which are precautionary measures to safeguard consumer health.
Overall the test criteria clearly exceed existing legislation and often have a pioneering function regarding legal regulations – such as the exclusion of carcinogenic azo dyes, the strict limit values for formaldehyde as well as the ban on allergenic dyes.
Two distinct processes are used to create latex for mattresses...
The Talalay latex process...
Most agree that the plushest and most comfortable natural latex is the Talalay process because of its consistency and feel, both in the core and the topper layer.
First, the raw liquid latex is whipped with curing agents and additives into a froth. Next, the appropriate amount of latex froth is injected into the mold. All of the air is then vacuumed out causing the latex to expand and perfectly distribute itself throughout the mold.
The latex is then flash frozen to -20F to prevent any settling that may occur. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is then introduced to cause the mixture to gel. Finally, the latex is vulcanized at a temperature of 220F until it has cured.
The Dunlop latex process...
The Dunlop process is the original latex process. The latex is frothed and the mold is filled to the brim, without the vacuum or freezing stage, used in the Talalay process. The Dunlop process can create a firmer feeling, denser product, with a somewhat less even distribution of latex. although the frothing process has been much improved in recent years.
As the Dunlop process as been refined, a Dunlop latex mattress provides all of the benefits of 100% natural latex, at a lower cost, while still providing the unequaled comfort that has made the latex mattress so popular.
The cover is equally important in a premium all natural latex mattress...
A high quality organic cover will improve both the feel and performance of a premium natural latex mattress. Organic cotton breaths well and is very environmentally friendly.
Natural wool, such as Eco Wool, presents a naturally breathable and anti-microbial medium. When quilted to organic cotton covers, in the best natural latex mattresses, it is a natural fire-retardant, meaning no chemicals in your mattress cover!
Wool is unmatched in its ability to control body temperature by removing slight body moisture, present when we sleep. By removing this moisture, we sleep cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, simply a perfect micro-climate. Look for the highest quality natural wool when purchasing a natural latex m
How Can a Natural Latex Mattress Provide a Healthier Environment for My Family
Recent remarks by the new head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate the problems created by toxic fire-retardants in foam and mattresses mandated by the 2007 Mattress Flammability Standards. Kaye, the safety commission chairman, said the goal should be laws and regulations that push industry toward safer alternatives.
"There is something inherently wrong when kids can't play near a couch without parents worrying about them developing chronic illnesses because they are exposed to toxic chemicals," Kaye said. "As a parent, you are desperate to do whatever you can to ensure they are safe. We should be able to come as close as possible to giving them certainty and guidance. Otherwise I don't know if we've helped them."