One of the questions we get asked most by our customers is whether or not latex is actually natural and what makes it natural. The confusion often stems from the vast amounts of information (good and bad) that is gained by Internet searches or through conversations with sales associates at traditional retail mattress and department stores. We are going to provide some information to help in understanding latex in mattresses.
Latex – If you are told that a mattress contains “latex”, this statement means nothing. The word latex is used for various combinations of latex and polyurethane foam. Some latex is even synthetic which means it is polyurethane foam with added chemicals to make it react like latex. Consumers should take time to understand exactly the type and contents of the latex in a mattress they are considering.
Blended Latex – This material does contain some latex but it also contains chemicals. As little as 30% or less of actual latex can be in the product leaving 70% or more chemical additives. This material will contain chemicals that are not identified on any tags.
Natural Latex (sometimes referred to as 100% Natural Latex) – This wording is very confusing to consumers. It looks like the material is all latex but words can be deceiving. Natural latex may or may not be blended latex, which contains petroleum bases chemicals. Using this terminology is a way for retail sales associates to exaggerate the natural portion of blended latex. It is unfair and deceptive but if you understand the terms and know what to look for you will not be fooled.
All-Natural Latex – This is what you are looking for if you want a truly natural product. When you see a mattress labeled as “All-Natural Latex”, the mattress will be made from only the drip from the rubber tree with the exception of the very small percentage of vulcanization agent needed to keep the latex softer and conforming. All-Natural latex does not contain the harmful chemicals found in polyurethane foam and no chemicals are added to make it react differently than its natural properties.
Certified Organic Latex – When all-natural latex is certified by a 3rd party organization such as the Global Organic Latex Standards (GOLS) it means that the entire production process has gone through a rigorous process when each step is certified from beginning to end. If this is important to you, we have mattresses that contain only certified organic all-natural latex.
Dunlop Latex – Dunlop refers to the process in which latex is manufactured. Dunlop is the original method for processing latex and within Dunlop latex you will find all-natural and certified all-natural as well as some blended and synthetic versions. Dunlop latex is known for great support and longevity.
Talalay Latex – Talalay also refers to a manufacturing process and not materials. Most talalay latex on the market is synthetic or blended (natural). The Organic Bedroom specializes in only carrying all-natural talalay latex so you will not find blended or synthetic talalay latex in our store. At this time there is no organic certification process in place for talalay latex so the best you can get is all-natural. Talalay latex is known for its pressure relief properties as well as its consistent feel.
When choosing your new latex mattress be sure to ask if the mattress is made with 100% all-natural latex, especially if you are looking to reduce the amount of chemicals in your mattress. Because many of our customers come in armed with knowledge gained through Internet searches and conversations with retail sales associates, we often have to spend some time “busting” myths before we get down to business.
These are some common myths that we’ve “busted” for you:
- All-Natural Latex Mattresses don’t last a long time – this is not true, all of our mattresses come with at least a 10 year full warranty while many manufacturers add an additional pro-rated warranty to include a warranty of up to 20 years. We’ve seen old all-natural latex mattresses from the 1970s still in use.
- All-Natural Latex Mattresses are expensive – while all-natural mattresses do not compete directly with the promotional mattresses that are advertised in holiday circulars and on the sides of buildings – they are very competitively priced when compared to higher quality mattresses. All Natural and organic products in general tend to cost more than synthetic products but the higher quality is well worth the extra money.
We hope this information helps. If you need more information, feel free to contact us.