So I have been searching around the web, looking at local stores and saw some commenters with differing experiences with latex mattresses. Here's what I gather, interested to get feedback:
1. all my local stores that carry latex mattresses are either very $$$ or only carry synthetic latex
2. there's a few sites that seem to carry these natural latex mattresses on web that offer free returns after some amount of time - seem to be small mom and pop manufacturers
3. hard to tell if there is any real difference on off-gassing and feel of synthetic vs. natural latex mattresses - seem to be some differing viewpoints here
4. don't seem to be many brand name all natural latex mattresses that are widely distributed
5. simple seems to be better for many folks with body aches and pains
Am thinking to try one of the mom and pops with free returns, and take chances. I'm never very confident in warranties anyway, though some of the mom and pops say they have long term warranties, not sure how much trust you can have they'll be around.
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Several years ago, we bought a talalay latex mattress (here's an explanation about the difference). We wanted the dunlop kind, but couldn't find what we wanted at the price we could afford. I completely forget where we bought ours, but I'll see if my husband remembers. It was an online store, and they sent us samples of each firmness, so we had at least some idea of what we'd be getting. The mattress is softer than we wanted, but we're happy enough with it. We have three 3-inch pieces that are held together with a zip-around cover; it's not constructed like a standard mattress with a latex core. We have it on an IKEA bed frame with slats. I'm much more comfortable on a latex mattress than on a standard spring mattress, and I don't like Tempurpedic foam because it's too sensitive to ambient temperature (in our house, that means very firm in winter and super soft in the summer; we used to have the pillows, so we know). Our latex mattress feels the same regardless of ambient temperature.
I recommend researching local stores that specialize in foam, to see if they carry latex that you can feel and sit/lay on. It may mean a bit of a drive to check it out, but it would be helpful. Don't automatically believe a company's own description regarding "soft or firm" . . . you need to experience it to know for certain.
Answers to your specific questions . . .
1. We bought ours seven years ago and paid about $750. On average, my husband found that buying the separate foam sections (like we bought) was the most affordable.
2. We were nervous about this, too. That's partly why we went with the company that sent foam samples to us.
3. I have no clue regarding this. I'm sensitive to off-gassing, and I didn't have any problems with ours.
4. Latex mattresses don't seem to be well known in the states, at least not like Tempurpedic.
5. Our mattress still feels great after seven years.
Awesome - how do you like it? Can you squeeze a second person in?
costco all natural latex mattress. also the fire proofing on it isn't from chemicals but how the cover is weaved. get real natural latex or else you are sleeping on a bed of chemicals. (temurpedic is not real latex!)
I found a place local that has 100% natural Talalay - and there prices are not too bad. Will check them out!
We bought ours last year from The Natural Sleep Store. $2500. Not cheap, but they are meant to last 25 years or more...
Love it! We got a King, so my husband & I could customize the firmness. They sell them in 3 layers and you can mix/match to make it as firm or soft as you wish. We got the Savvy Rest Dunlop.
This is our second natural latex mattress (sold our other one when we moved overseas.) and we highly recommend them.
I am wondering too if one buys a 100% natural latex mattress at a given thickness with no other fancy additions to it, that there is not going to be too much different in feel/comfort between different brands?
The key is the firmness you desire. I've "tested" lots of latex mattresses at an organic store in Germany and some part natural ones at IKEA and there are plenty of differences, to be sure.
Type of latex matters. Dunlop method is firmer and I believe, longer-lasting. Talalay is softer and less expensive, in my recollection.
You can get a variety of firmness within each type of latex.