Latex mattresses are made in one of two ways. They are either made using the Dunlop method of latex mattress construction or the Talalay method of latex mattress construction. Either method offers distinctive benefits depending on what type of mattress you’re most interested in purchasing.
When you go into a store or online and purchase a mattress, any mattress, one of the things you worry about is how long it will be before the mattress begins to sag. They aren’t generally designed to last forever, after all. Over time, most mattresses do, in fact, begin to break down and lose their form.
However, latex mattresses are birds of different feathers. They are able to retain their shape and form for 20 years or more depending on the construction of the mattress. In fact, the longevity of a latex mattress is just one of the many benefits of a 100% natural latex mattress that sets them apart from traditional innerspring mattresses.
There’s no denying that latex mattresses are investments. Most things you buy with a 20-year shelf life are. Some people don’t even buy houses expecting to live in them for 20 years or longer. Even today’s cars generally last a few years before being traded in for a newer, shinier model. But, when you’re making the investment in a natural latex mattress, the best mattress for the money is the reward of a good night’s sleep for the next twenty years or more.
Density Affects the Feel of Your Mattress
Many factors affect the way natural latex mattresses feel. The textiles used in creating the encasement of the mattress, the amount of wool used when making the mattress, and even the tightness of the encasement all play a role in the overall feel of the mattress. Just like the latex mattress core contributes to the shape, form and definition, the density of the mattress is also a huge factor in the way it feels to an individual user. It’s definitely a factor worth a little more of an in-depth explanation.
ILD of Natural Latex
While ILD can stand for the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Interstitial Lung Disease, International Labor Defense, and Injection Laser Diode, in terms of mattresses, ILD stands for Indentation Load Deflection. It’s a measurement process, which was standardized in Great Britain. It’s used to determine the firmness of materials such as mattresses.
How does it accomplish this lofty goal? By measuring the amount of pressure required to compress, or indent, the foam to 25 percent of its original thickness. Firmer foam mattresses require greater force to indent, while softer mattresses require less force. Natural latex mattresses typically have an ILD range between 20 ILD for the softest mattresses and 45 ILD for the firmest mattresses.
Measuring the Actual Density of a Mattress
Another indicator of the density of a mattress is its actual density. Don’t worry; this isn’t a trick of the eye. Density is a scientific unit of measurement. It determines the mass per unit volume of the mattress. It is expressed as kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3). The densities vary among natural latex mattresses with lower numbers, such as 60 kg/m3 as the softest densities, and higher numbers like 95 kg/m3 representing the firmest densities.
Many people are surprised to discover that two mattresses, despite having the same density, or ILD, can feel completely different. As mentioned above, other mitigating factors help determine how dense or firm a mattress is once it leaves the “showroom” floor. If you’re looking for a specific density or firmness to the mattress, it’s a good idea to purchase a natural latex mattress from a retailer that offers a 90-day or longer period to try out the mattress and make sure it’s a good fit for you.
However, there is one other option worth considering. You could buy factory direct from a latex mattress manufacturer. The benefits of sleeping on a 100% natural latex mattress go far beyond a warranty that’s generally better than the standard for retail outlets. The real benefit is that you get maximum customization when you choose this option. You can even purchase a latex mattress that is denser on one side than on the other side. You get the benefits of a sleep number type bed without the potential drawbacks because you can customize each side to the desired (or required) firmness of each occupant.
Finding the right mattress with the right density for your sleep needs and comfort — and doesn’t leave you feeling sleep deprived — doesn’t have to be a scavenger hunt, especially when you can test out a mattress without a long-term commitment to make sure it’s the right choice for your sleep needs. That’s one of the reasons natural latex is such a great option for so many people.
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The core of the latex mattress is what gives the mattress form, shape, and definition. Without a proper core, there is no latex mattress. Currently there are two manufacturing techniques used for making latex mattress cores. They are Talalay and Dunlop. Dunlop mattresses are firmer and denser than Talalay mattresses, while the Talalay mattresses are softer and not quite as supportive. These differences are the direct results of the mattresses’ manufacturing by latex mattress manufacturers.
As you compare buying options when latex mattress shopping, you’re likely to face the decision about latex mattress types: whether or not to purchase a synthetic or blended latex mattress vs. purchasing a natural latex mattress. On the surface, it may appear as though you’re getting a better bargain by going the synthetic or blended route. However, once you factor in the chemicals in synthetic latex mattresses, you may find that a natural mattress is a true game changer worthy of a second look.
Latex allergies received a great deal of recognition between the years of 1988 and 1992 when 15 deaths came about, along with over 1,000 other reports of adverse health effects due to exposure to latex. Current estimates, according to the United States Department of Labor: Occupational Health and Safety Administration (otherwise known as OSHA), are that 8 to 12 percent of healthcare workers suffer from some degree of latex sensitivity.
Latex mattresses are not as mainstream or widely recognized as other popular mattress styles such as adjustable air or memory foam mattresses. This leaves many people with unanswered questions about latex mattresses and what they have to offer. These are a few of the most commonly asked questions and answers so that you can buy with confidence that you know what you’re getting.
If you sleep in contact lenses that are not specifically indicated to be worn overnight, you probably received an earful from your optometrist warning you against sleeping in them. Sleeping with contact lens may cause all sorts of havoc on the health of your eyes, including eye scrapes, eye infections, and bacteria causing eye conditions. In medical speak, possible eye conditions you could develop by sleeping with contacts include corneal ulcer, conjunctivitis, and keratitis.