Natural Latex Is the Eco-Friendly Solution
As more and more consumers integrate the eco-conscious decision-making process into their buying habits, one of the areas of the home that is being taken into account is the bedroom. And rightly so – we spend a full one-third of our lives in our bedrooms. Asleep.
On our beds. Those savvy consumers who have already jumped aboard the green movement, and are sleeping on a natural mattress, can attest to the many great benefits of sleeping on the likes of natural latex. Not only is an all-natural latex mattress not made of petrochemicals, and thus healthier, but the cost of a latex mattress made from botanical latex foam is much cheaper than a traditional bed in the long run.
Natural latex comes from rubber tree sap. The trees aren't damaged or cut down during the process, and can continue producing sap for up to 30 years. The latex mattress production process encourages tree growth, and is very sustainable. And, since natural latex is biodegradable, it means it won't be sitting for years in landfills.
Latex is 100% Recyclable
Because many traditional mattresses only have a seven-year lifespan, on average, it's only a matter of time before landfills accumulate old mattresses. Recycling your mattresses means you're doing your part to reduce waste. Because you can recycle each component of a natural latex mattress, it decreases your waste. What’s more, latex mattresses last much longer than traditional innerspring mattresses. Latex mattresses have a life span of 20-25 years on average.
Natural Latex is Certified
While harvesting latex is a sustainable process, this doesn't mean all latex mattresses are responsibly manufactured all the time. Some manufacturers use chemicals in their mattress production that could be harmful to the environment and your health. Natural latex mattresses come with OEKO-TEX Standard 100, GreenGuard Gold, GOLS, and eco-INSTITUT certification that guarantees the mattress is safe to use, and made mainly of natural materials.
Natural Latex is Constructed with Zero PBDEs
A lot of fire retardants consist of an extremely harmful chemical known as polybrominated diphenyl ether, and one scary thing about PBDEs is they don't break down over time. They actually stay active, and continuously contaminate your home's air, which puts you and your family at risk.
PBDEs have been associated with a large range of health issues, including:
- Behavioral changes
- ADHD in kids
- Thyroid disruption
- Liver damage
- Learning impairments
- And more
Natural Latex is a Good Investment
In fact, the purchase of a natural latex foam mattress is a very wise investment in terms of durability and longevity. Generally, a 100% natural latex mattress will run right around $2,000 (depending upon the size); any less and you probably aren’t getting natural latex, but instead a hybrid, blend, or 100% synthetic.
More expensive than that you are probably paying a premium for brand equity, or overhead for the fancy showroom floor. But let’s take a look at the true cost of a natural latex bed based upon, for example, the warranty of the mattress, and the price tag.
We’ll take the round figure of $2,000 that can be had for buying a high-quality organic latex mattress online instead of at a physical establishment, since that is where you’ll end up getting the most for your money. With a round figure of $2,000, and a mattress warranty of 25 years (that’s the high end, most average in the 20-year time frame), the cost per night for sleeping on premium natural latex foam is only about .22 per night! Compare that to a traditional innerspring mattress, for example, that you replace every 5-7 years on average, and you come up with some pretty health savings on top of the health benefits.
Natural Latex Provides Health Benefits
While the money savings is a good perk, sleeping on natural latex is even better. There are many “healthy side-effects” that go with sleeping on natural latex foam.
Pure, organic latex is inherently hypoallergenic because it is not a man-made product, or a derivative of petrochemicals. It’s a botanical product that is made from the sap of a rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). So, 100% natural latex won’t cause allergies, especially because of the way it is processed, and the end product being open-celled. The allergen-causing proteins that some people are allergic to get washed out in the process of producing the end latex foam mattress product.
Dust Mite Free and Antimicrobial
Another health benefit is that these natural beds are antimicrobial, and dust mite-free. The botanical properties and chemistry of the latex don’t allow for the harboring of bacteria or other microbes, and dust mites cannot thrive within the natural latex foam. And because of the solid latex core (usually Dunlop), latex mattresses rarely if ever have problems with bed bugs as do other mattresses that have a lot of open space in the mattress core.
Natural latex also does not off-gas. Because the mattress is not made up of harmful chemicals, there is no off-gassing of noxious fumes. The only “smell” that the owner of a new natural latex mattress may detect is a faint, sweet vanilla-type of smell.
Provides Spinal Alignment
Perhaps one of the very best health benefits that owners of natural latex mattresses report is that your spine is aligned all night long as you sleep. Latex foam contours to your body’s curvature. It offers the perfect combination of comfort and support. And because natural latex is so resilient, you are guaranteed not to get indentations that are common with other mattress types.
Provides Comfort & Support All Night Long
Right along with that, because latex has a nice amount of springiness, or kickback (unlike memory foam), it changes shape as you change sleeping positions. So, all night long you will be able to experience comfort and support, while easing the tension on any pressure points or injuries that you may have along the whole course of your body. Natural latex foam is noted for its excellent pressure point reduction, and back pain relief. In fact, these beds are wonderful for arthritis sufferers, as well as those who have fibromyalgia, other pain-related syndromes, sports injuries, and the like.
Natural Latex is Customizable
Natural latex can be made by one of two processes. One has the consistency of angel food cake, while the other pound cake by comparison. Natural Talalay latex is the lighter, “fluffier” version of latex foam, while Dunlop latex is the heavier, denser version of latex. Most long-lasting natural latex mattresses are constructed with Dunlop latex as the core of the mattress, and have an additional layer or layers of Talalay latex.
The Talalay latex is generally the top comfort layer. The Dunlop layer offers support and stability, while the upper comfort layer offers the pressure-relieving benefits. But the wonderful thing about it is that because the natural latex foam mattress is such a high-end mattress, you can often request it to be customized, should these preferences not be right for your particular situation.
You could have an all Talalay latex mattress, for example. Or you can get a natural mattress as firm as you like it. The ILD of 24-26 is the middle of the bell-curve where most people find the right comfort levels.
Because latex layers have a good “grab”, the various layers need not be glued together (they won’t shift), and can be exchanged by simply unzipping the mattress cover, sending the layer of latex back to the retailer, and receiving a new one to replace it should the comfort layer not be right for your situation.
Natural Latex is Breathable
There's an open-cell structure to natural latex foam that permits constant airflow. Latex's foam layers are also made with pin holes, which enhance breathability. And, chemicals you find in synthetic materials actually retain body heat, but with a natural latex mattress, there are no additives.
Natural Latex is Pain Relieving
The buoyant support and gentle cushioning of latex mattresses are particularly beneficial if you sleep with joint and back pain. Latex foam cradles your heavy body parts softly, like your shoulders and hips. This light contouring offers pressure relief close to your lower back and joints, while the natural elasticity of latex maintains natural spinal alignment because it supports lighter areas gently like your back and neck.
Natural Latex is Durable
A natural latex mattress is best known for its long-term comfort. A high-quality latex mattress has a 20-25 year average lifespan, which is substantially longer than other mattress types. Natural rubber's resilience is often credited for this long life-span. Natural latex mattresses effortlessly bounce back once you remove the pressure, and maintain their original shape for years and years of use.
Natural Latex Provides Motion Isolation
If you've slept in a waterbed before, you have likely experienced how bad it disturbs your sleep when your partner tosses and turns throughout the night, or gets out of bed. This can easily ruin your sleep. The issue with excessive motion isn't limited to waterbeds, either. Motion-related issues are also connected with traditional coil mattresses. Natural latex mattresses, however, provide motion isolation, so you can sleep peacefully even with a partner who moves around a lot during the night.
Mattresses that provide motion isolation, like a 100% natural latex mattress, helps to shield you from the nocturnal motions of a partner, and helps you obtain better sleep at night. Plus, you'll rest easier knowing you won't be disturbing your partner, either, if you get up in the middle of the night, experience restless leg syndrome, or have other sleeping difficulties that cause you to toss and turn a little throughout the night.
Natural Latex is Available in Various Firmness Levels
All natural latex mattresses, like conventional mattresses, come in various firmness levels, but typically, they range from medium to firm. You'll want to check the Impression Load Deflection (ILD) rating provided by the manufacturer for the mattress you're looking to purchase. Firmer mattresses should have a higher ILD score, and softer mattresses will have a lower ILD.
Natural Latex Mattresses Provide Heat Regulation
A natural latex mattress tends to ventilate a lot better than straight polyurethane or memory foam. This provides you with more comfortable sleep because you'll be less likely to overheat. Typically, natural mattresses are covered with wool and cotton, which are breathable materials.
Natural Latex Provides the Best of All Worlds
Having a mattress that is so elastic and is personalized, while being organic and even biodegradable as to lessen your carbon footprint as much as possible, topped off with being a long-term budget-friendly solution, is a win almost any way you look at it. But the best part of a natural latex mattress is the quality of sleep it provides! No more tossing and turning, like sleeping on a cloud with plenty of support at the same time.
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