Americans spend in the region of $13billion a year on mattresses . I’m sure you agree sleep is paramount and we all have our preference when it comes to the firmness, size and thickness of our beds. Have you ever taken into consideration the composition of the mattress itself. As it’s something you spend 8 hours a day, day after day, year after year, surely you want to be proximate to something that isn’t going to cause you any harm? What if I told you that the substances used in traditional mattresses can be damaging to your health over long periods of time.
How does latex differ?
True organic latex is made from rubber trees, indigenous to the tropics. It is made by tapping the sap (called milk) of the common rubber tree that grows within 700 miles of the equator. The sap is then whipped up into latex foam. This truly sustainable resource is a very green option as the sap can be harvested 180 days each year, and after being tapped, the rubber tree can heal itself within one hour.
What Are The Differences Between Organic Latex Mattresses?
Many of the organic latex mattresses are actually not completely organic. In fact, they contain a mixture of both natural and synthetic latex. Because of labeling standards, only 70% of the material has to be natural latex. That means that up to 30% may be synthetic latex. So, it is important to read the label to see exactly how much organic latex the mattress contains.
Also, organic latex is made through two different processes: Dunlop and Talalay. In the Dunlop process, the latex is whipped, heated, poured and then washed only once. This means that the particles in the Dunlop process have a tendency to settle. This will lead to inconsistent cell size and the firmness will vary even in the same piece of material. This all leads to a reduced resiliency and durability.
The Talalay process, on the other hand is quite more extensive. The latex is whipped, then poured into a vacuum-sealed mold. It is then flash frozen, heated and washed five times. This all leads to a consistent cell size and firmness throughout. This makes it easier to regulate during manufacturing and yields a much more durable and resilient mattress.
For the best mattress, look for latex made with the Talalay process or at least with the outer layers made with it.
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Truly Organic Latex Mattress
There are many health benefits to having a truly organic mattress. First we will discuss how an organic latex mattress is better for your health and then how a combination organic/synthetic latex mattress can be harmful.
Organic latex mattresses have several health benefits that we really should consider as we are looking for that perfect sleep. These include:
- Comfort. When we have a comfortable sleep, we get more rest. More rest means better health. The Organic latex mattress have a higher satisfaction rate than others, with it being 82-86% satisfaction compared to 79-82% for memory foam mattresses and 65-70% for innerspring types.
Latex mattresses breathe and they don’t retain or even react to body heat. It also reduces pressure on your body even better than memory foam and gives you the best spinal alignment, which gives you a more comfortable sleep.
- Health. Natural latex mattresses do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are gases that are emitted from certain liquids and solids. These VOCs are found in many chemicals in our house, even in our mattresses and can cause a wide range of health problems.
Because all natural latex is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it is mold and mildew proof. Not only that, but there are no spaces for dust mites to live in. Ordinary mattresses have spaces in which dust mites live and breed. It is estimated that a mattress can double in weight in 10 years. Added to the fact that dust mites can trigger allergies, it is best that we try to avoid them if possible.
- Environment. Because it is made from natural latex, which is harvested from trees that are plantation grown and only uses the sap, it is a renewable source. It also lasts three times as long as memory foam, which means you don’t have to replace your mattress as often.
The other part is that for truly organic latex mattresses, the manufacturers do not require harmful solvents or chemicals used in the processing. This means that there are no chemicals or by-products released to harm the world around us.
When comes to truly organic and labeled organic that are actually a combination of synthetic and natural rubber, the differences are huge and so is the health benefits. These include:
- The combination mattresses can offgas, which is a gas that is emitted especially during chemical processes, fumes that are unhealthy and may cause allergies.
- Many combination mattresses use chemicals that have been linked to health hazards such as muscle weakness and memory loss.
When considering buying an organic latex mattress for your health, you need to read the label to make sure there are little to no chemicals used. This guide to the health benefits of an organic latex mattress will help you to know which are truly organic.