What to Avoid When Shopping for Latex Mattresses
Shopping for latex mattresses can be an ordeal; what type? what firmness? what features? After going through the tedious task of finding which type of mattress is the right one, there is still the task of filtering through the brands and models. Fortunately there are a few key things, widely understood as undesirable, to avoid whether you are buying a mattress online or in a store.
Top Features to Avoid in Latex Mattresses
1) Chemical Flame Retardants
The number one thing to avoid is the use of chemical flame retardants. These chemicals were intending to keep consumers safer by minimizing the risk of the mattress burning while asleep. However, the truth is that these harsh chemicals represent a series of health hazards that are often not known to the consumer. These include:
- Respiratory irritation
- Affects asthma sufferers
- Affects individuals with other respiratory conditions including emphysema.
- May irritate skin directly exposed to it
Avoid Latex mattresses that use chemicals like formaldehydes and carcinogens. Opt for natural wool instead; which offers natural flame resistance. There are a few ways to tell if latex mattresses include such chemicals.
- If the mattress clearly labels it
- If the retailer does not know what the mattress contains, it’s probably chemical based
- If the retailer bounces around the question, it is probably chemical based.
2) Synthetic Latex & Blends
You should also avoid Synthetic blends, as these are not natural and introduce added chemicals. If you are shelling out the money for latex bed, its best to opt for an all natural latex mattress. Petroleum fillers would have to arguably be one of the most used products in mattresses today. These are not natural and can be highly combustible (introducing the need to strong chemical retardants). Petroleum fillers are often found in synthetic foams, blended latex mattresses, and mattresses that have latex only on the top layer, with the bottom layer being poly foam. See the chart below, in which BestMattress-Brand.org shows results a survey of consumer latex mattress reviews comparing the two types.
Reviews: All-Latex vs Latex & Foam
|100% Natural Latex||Latex Blend over Foam|
|Back Pain Relief||A||D|
|Avg. Queen Price||$2,500||$1,500|
Customers have graded the options between these two and overall the natural standard received an A for each category. Starting with the overall customer satisfaction, All natural brands received an A, while blended versions ranked low with a C.
One of the biggest complaints about latex mattresses and foam mattresses, are their heat retention problems. Fortunately all-natural latex models were graded by consumers with an A while the blended models fell behind with a C, suggesting that they hold an extreme amount of body heat making sleep uncomfortable. The lowest grading category for blended latex mattresses was the off-gassing effect caused by the internal chemicals of the mattresses. All-natural graded with an A while blended versions had a D. This would conclude that all natural latex mattresses do not emit the unbearable smells, since they do not contain the harsh chemicals.
3) Unnatural or Inorganic Covers
The fabrics of latex mattress should also be accounted for when screening for the best mattress. Cottons that are treated with pesticides are not organic fabrics, and therefore can not be grouped into the all-natural standard. Make sure anything classified as organic has the certifications to back it up.
4) Glued Layers
As part of the chemical screening process, also avoid the use of glues. Harsh chemicals such as glues add chemicals that can be hazardous to ones health, and at the very least smell bad. Also, the use of glues eradicates the possibility of customizing the layers of the mattress, or replacing them selectively.
5) Beds without Warranties or Trials
Quality latex beds tend to have some of the best warranties in the industry. If it has less than 20 years, this is a bad sign. Remember also to avoid non-refundable beds, or beds that do not come with a trial period. If you are new to this mattress type, you find you need to exchange for a different firmness after testing it out.
The lifespan of a mattress is important as consumers will be using and abusing it everyday. Therefore it is important that the purchased latex mattresses be long lasting. Between natural and blended versions, the differed slightly in this category as natural received yet another A while the blended brands ranked with B.
A Comparison of Latex Mattresses by Brand
|Brand||Latex Type||Adjustable Layers||Glue||Cover||Organic Certifications||Flame Retardant||Warranty||Return Policy||Website Usability||Verified Reviews||Base Price|
|Astrabeds||Natural Talalay||Yes||No||Organic Quilted Cotton||Yes||Wool||25 yrs||90 days||A||Yes||$999|
|Flobeds||Natural Talalay||Yes||No||Organic Quilted Cotton||Yes||Wool||20 yrs||100 days||C||No||$1999|
|Habitat Furnishings||Blended Talalay/Dunlop||No||Yes||Cotton||No||Wool||20 yrs||365 days||D||Yes||$1199|
|Life Kind||Natural Talalay||Yes||No||Organic Quilted Cotton||Yes||Wool||20 yrs||NA||B||No||$1595|
|Plush Beds||Natural Talalay/Dunlop||No||No||Organic Quilted Cotton||Yes||Wool||20 yrs||100 days||B||Yes||$1299|
|Sleep EZ||Blended Talalay||Yes||No||Cotton||No||Rayon||20 yrs||120 days||D||No||$995|
Astrabeds feature products that are certifiably made in the United States of America, which is much more than can be said of other top name brands. Astrabeds natural latex mattresses in particular, meet the Oeko-Tex© Standard 100, which is an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials that tests for any harmful substances. Astrabeds can be trusted to provide wool flame retardants instead of chemical based ones, and as an added bonus the brand has an open customer rating system that allows consumers to transparently see the satisfaction they provide.
Natural latex mattresses beat the competition every time, across all factors. While they may be more expensive initially, the investment in durability and health outweigh the cost for most shoppers. Plus, online retailers offer lower prices than showrooms, putting them well within the affordable range. Consumers are more aware, now than ever, about the benefits of purchasing all natural products. The durability, comfort levels, and environmental impact of natural latex mattresses prove favorable to shoppers, and reduces the dependence on synthetic products.
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