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Posted on by Alex Wood
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.
Investing in Latex
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 or 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 the 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.
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.
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.
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. And 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 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.
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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