An All Natural Mattress?
While you sleep, your immune system recovers and prepares for the day ahead. It replenishes every cell in your body. Low-quality, uncomfortable mattresses have been linked to discomfort and pain, which can prevent quality sleep.
People who struggle with sleep deprivation may suffer from irritability, depression, over-eating — even face a higher risk for Alzheimer’s. If your mattress is filled with chemical toxins, airborne allergens, or worse … your body is doing battle with those things rather than repairing itself.
One of the most significant actions we can take to reduce our exposure to toxins and improve our overall health is to make changes to the one household item that is in direct contact with our bodies for one third of our lives — our mattresses. An all-natural, organic mattress is free of potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, natural materials like natural rubber, wool and cotton are used.
This is your guide to natural, organic and natural rubber mattresses – what they are, why you might consider one, and how to navigate your options to invest in one. It’s our goal to help you not only sleep more soundly, but more naturally as well.
Why Consider Natural & Organic?
Traditional mattresses are generally made from coil springs and polyurethane and synthetic foams. Additionally, many of today’s mattresses are all foam-based using a material commonly referred to as memory foam. Memory foam is a polyurethane-based foam. These typical mattresses made from artificial materials from nonrenewable sources are known to emit potentially harmful gases in your bedroom, a phenomenon known as offgassing.
Every night, we lay down with minimal clothing for a seemingly good night’s sleep. But in reality, while lying on a conventional mattress, we are breathing in and absorbing through our skin a range of chemicals from synthetic materials — chemicals that can disrupt our sleep cycles and negatively impact our health.
These mattresses emit gases from a toxic brew of components used to create them. From the polyurethane foam used in the padding to fire retardants and other additives, conventional mattresses continue to release chemicals in gaseous form long after they roll out of the factory.
Even after they have finished off-gassing, the chemically-based construction of a conventional mattress provides an ideal environment for dust and dust mites, whose excrement is the #1 trigger for asthma attacks.
An all-natural, organic mattress is free of potentially harmful chemicals. instead, natural materials like natural rubber, wool and cotton are used. The good news is, there are more natural mattress options available now than ever before.
I'm Curious About Natural Rubber...What is it
Just like beds can be comprised of coil springs, foam, cotton, and memory foam, beds can be made entirely from natural foam rubber. commonly referred to as latex, natural rubber is a product made from the sap of a rubber tree.
Rubber trees can yield sap for as long as 30 years and when a tree is finished producing sap, it will be taken down to be turned into furniture. A new tree is planted in its place making natural rubber a very sustainable bedding component.
Natural rubber is not a new bedding component; it’s been around for many years. in fact, we regularly will pull old foam rubber beds out of people’s homes that are 20, 30, and 40 plus years old. While it’s not recommended to keep a bed tHAt long, it’s a testament to how long that natural rubber bed was comfortable and supportive for the person who owned it.
The point is, natural rubber is alive and well as a bedding component. More and more of our customers are asking for beds made from natural rubber and investing in them for a better night’s rest. Is a natural rubber mattress a good fit for you? For that, you’ll have to stop in and check them out for yourself.
What Is Natural Rubber Made Of?
There are two main types of natural rubber, dunlop and Talalay which are named after the different manufacturing processes to make them. I’ll explain the processes below, but to be clear – i can say with confidence that neither is superior to the other.
Dunlop tends to be a bit denser than talalay making it firmer overall. Talalay is a bit more pillowy-soft and lighter, making it great for pressure relief. An easy way to visually describe the two is to think of dunlop natural rubber as pound cake and talalay natural rubber as angel food cake. The traditional dunlop process has been used in natural rubber manufacture since 1929. The thick rubber sap, or serum, is whipped into a froth in a centrifuge, poured into a mold, covered, and steam baked. Natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mold. This makes every dunlop layer slightly firmer on its bottom side.
The talalay process adds two steps. After the rubber sap is poured, the mold is sealed and the process is continued in a vacuum chamber. The mold is then flash-frozen before it’s baked. Talalay rubber has a more consistent cell structure from top to bottom and edge to edge. It is also more expensive than dunlop.
What Does Natural Rubber Feel Like?
Natural rubber is both supportive and pressure relieving. Unlike memory foam that envelops your body as you settle into it, natural rubber is more buoyant in its support of your body. A natural rubber mattress is supple enough to contour to your body’s curves while soft enough to reduce harmful pressure points in your shoulder and hips. It actually feels a bit more like a traditional coil bed which is nice if you’re just not into the sunken-in memory foam-type of feel.
A natural rubber mattress can be for any type of sleeper – back, side, or stomach. Typically, a back sleeper will prefer a firmer surface feel and a side or stomach sleeper will prefer a mattress softer on the surface. While these are simply generalizations, a back sleeper might gravitate towards a natural rubber mattress with less rubber or dunlop rubber, while a side and stomach sleeper will prefer a mattress with extra natural rubber (perhaps in the form of a natural rubber topper on top) or all talalay rubber. You’ll need to see for yourself which combination is best for you, but this gives you a good start.
You won’t know from just reading about talalay and dunlop in this guide, so we’d encourage you to stop by and see for yourself to feel for yourself if the natural rubber mattresses we offer are a fit for you.
What Other Materials Are In Natural & Organic Mattresses?
Organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or gmo’s (genetically modified organisms). Organic cotton is a healthier option than chemically treated foams. Cotton can be used as padding on top of the mattress support system or in the cover of the mattress.
Wool is key ingredient in natural and organic bedding. First, it offers a natural fire barrier solution, eliminating the need for fire retardant chemical sprays. Wool wicks away moisture, helping to regulate body temperature - sleep warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Organic wool is harvested from well treated sheep and contains no chemicals in the processing of the wool.
While many natural and organic mattresses are natural rubber, wool and cotton-based, some may have a steel innerspring for support. Steel springs provide heavy duty support without any health or allergy concerns. If the steel innerspring is encased, it typically will be encased with organic cotton.
How Long Will A Natural Mattress Last?
Natural rubber offers extreme durability in a mattress. It simply does not develop an indentation like other foams and fibers will do over time. That’s not to say it will last forever, but our all-rubber beds should provide nearly twenty years of useable life.
While certain other all-foam and luxury mattresses can last quite long as well, natural rubber has the edge. There is no polyurethane foam in an all-rubber mattress. Typically, there are no extra quilt fibers and no unnecessary pillowtops. There is simply far less to go wrong in a natural rubber mattress.
Natural rubber mattresses will not develop a sag in the center so you won’t roll to the middle, and you can lie all the way to the edge of the mattress without feeling like you’re rolling off. Natural rubber deadens movement between sleeping partners so there’s no motion disturbance.
What If I Have Allergies?
The allergy question is the most common one we get about natural rubber (latex) mattresses.
Of course, there are people who are allergic to latex. However, the natural rubber used in our mattresses is very different than the latex people are allergic to.
The difference is natural rubber used in mattresses vs. synthetic rubber used in products like latex gloves and balloons. Most of the time, a latex allergy is triggered by direct contact with the latex itself, sometimes in air particles. But again, it always is in relation to synthetic latex products.
With a natural rubber mattress, you never come in direct contact with the rubber, as it is encased in a zippered cover. The natural rubber cores in our beds are cured and washed at the factory before they are put inside of the cover.
Natural rubber also is great for allergy sufferers as it is naturally mold and mildew resistant. All beds need to be properly protected with a dust mite proof moisture barrier, but the natural rubber itself is great for those who suffer from allergies.
You’ll know with near certainty if you are allergic to latex if you in fact need to wear special under garments that do not have latex rubber in the elastic bands and straps. But, as with anything, consult with your allergist first if you’re concerned.
Are Natural Mattresses Hot To Sleep On?
The myth is that foam beds sleep warm. This is not true of natural and organic mattresses. Natural and organic mattresses are very temperature neutral and not warm to sleep on. In fact, they are very temperature regulating due to utilizing materials such as wool and natural rubber.
Beds using polyurethane-based memory foam can be warmer as the dense cell structure tends to trap body heat or even reflect it. Memory foam is also temperature sensitive in that it can be much firmer in a cold room and softer in a warmer room.
Natural rubber is the opposite. A natural rubber core has holes in it for breathability and does not change feel in different temperature bedrooms. Natural rubber does not retain or reflect warmth.
The wool inside of a natural rubber bed helps to regulate body temperature and can be naturally warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It’s the perfect material to use in a bed!
What If I Have A Platform Bed Or Want To Use My Existing Box Spring?
A natural rubber mattress is all foam, therefore it will take the shape of whatever rests upon.
A platform bed is designed to be used without a box spring or foundation, so it is perfectly ok to use a natural rubber mattress on a platform bed. However, it is not recommended to use an old box spring. Old box springs were designed to flex underneath of the coil spring mattress that used to reside on top of it. Regardless of how they look, old box springs tend to wear out in the middle, creating a sag for anything resting on top of it. Also, using an old box spring under a natural rubber mattress will void the mattress warranty. The foundation that goes with a natural rubber mattress is a fraction of your overall purchase and always recommended, unless of course, you’re putting it on a platform bed.
The same concept applies to putting your natural and organic mattress on a lifestyle adjustable base. With a lifestyle adjustable bed base, you can completely customize the bed position to meet your sleep needs. rather than you conforming to your mattress, here’s a bed that conforms to you. Sleeping flat is no longer something you are forced to do.
First, you can raise the top section of the bed to elevate your head and upper torso (it bends at your hips) to breathe easier and reduce reflux.
When you do this, your airway is opened, greatly reducing snoring. in fact, just a small adjustment to a 7 degree angle will do wonders for someone who snores. raising your head also greatly reduces the effects of acid reflux, gerd and hiatal hernia pain.
Second, a lifestyle foundation does wonders for the back, hips, and lower extremities too.
When the lower half of the bed is raised it actually bends your knees (picture the position you’d be in if you put a pillow under your leg). this movement takes the weight of your legs off the base of the spine and immediately reduces lower back tension and discomfort. For some, this is all they need to understand just how great a lifestyle foundation is. this elevated knee position relaxes the muscles attached to the base of your spine, greatly reducing lower back pain, restless leg and sciatica issues, as well as improving circulation to your lower extremities.
Can I Afford A Natural Or Organic Mattress?
You don’t have to be wealthy to have a mattress that meets your healthy sleep needs. Not even close. While it’s true that some mattress options using premium organic materials can be more of an investment, many options are very affordable. But if you truly consider the benefits of sleep and your health and well-being that is affected by poor sleep, making the right investment is important.