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So Cofused by Manufactuer off this Site Information Natural vs. Blended Latex. 25 Apr 2013 15:06 #1

  • passionate4nature
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Hi Phoenix,

I am so confused by the information a manufacturer/seller from this site gave. I called mattress.net and was told all latex natural or blended is chemical free as they cook out the chemicals during manufacturing. He said the "natural" term is a marketing technique to get you to buy a more expensive mattress and a blended latex mattress will be the same as a natural in the end product as chemicals are baked out. HE then gave a example of how you cook with wine and there is alcohol but after you cook it there is no alcohol in the food. He said he has had his customers touch and rub the latex of blended and natural against their skin and there is no allergy. He also said that natural latex is at a premium as you can only manufacturer it 6 months of the year. When they make it it can only be poured for 4 hours at a time because it coagulates in the tubes and must be cleaned and then they can start again. With blended he said they can go for weeks until the tubes need cleaning cutting down the cost of labor and manufacturing. During the 6 months natural latex can't be harvested it makes the price of blended go up and natural is cheaper than blended during the 6 months they can manufacture it. So is natural worth it? He made me question my desire for natural latex if they are the same thing, one is just more expensive. I know blended can add durability to the latex structure and can cost more as they can chemically alter it.

Where can I find queen size topper covers for 3" foam under $50 bucks I have called all over, any websites?

Is it true that latex must breathe so you have to use a breathable encasement and cover otherwise it will crumble. Also if they rub against each other (the layers) it is better to have a zipper cover to protect them right? What does one do about dust mites if you cant use a poly/membrane cover just use cotton and wool and wash it, how can you get that waterproof?

I found these beds on ebay are they natural if they say 100% latex or blended? How do you tell if your buying a 3" topper off ebay that the material is really natural latex and not poly or something?

www.ebay.com/itm/BEST-SALE-100-TALALAY-LATEX-MATTRESS-9-ALL-SIZES-COTTON-WOOL-COVER-/271170414731?pt=Mattresses&var=&hash=item3f2304288b

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150985516138&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123

www.ebay.com/itm/3-Talalay-Latex-Topper-100-Pure-Natural-Latex-Mattress-Pad-or-Topper-ALL-SIZES-/261203286171?pt=US_Mattress_Pads_and_Feather_Beds&var=&hash=item3cd0edd89b

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So Cofused by Manufactuer off this Site Information Natural vs. Blended Latex. 25 Apr 2013 16:51 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi passionate4nature,

I am so confused by the information a manufacturer/seller from this site gave. I called mattress.net and was told all latex natural or blended is chemical free as they cook out the chemicals during manufacturing. He said the "natural" term is a marketing technique to get you to buy a more expensive mattress and a blended latex mattress will be the same as a natural in the end product as chemicals are baked out. HE then gave a example of how you cook with wine and there is alcohol but after you cook it there is no alcohol in the food. He said he has had his customers touch and rub the latex of blended and natural against their skin and there is no allergy. He also said that natural latex is at a premium as you can only manufacturer it 6 months of the year. When they make it it can only be poured for 4 hours at a time because it coagulates in the tubes and must be cleaned and then they can start again. With blended he said they can go for weeks until the tubes need cleaning cutting down the cost of labor and manufacturing. During the 6 months natural latex can't be harvested it makes the price of blended go up and natural is cheaper than blended during the 6 months they can manufacture it. So is natural worth it? He made me question my desire for natural latex if they are the same thing, one is just more expensive. I know blended can add durability to the latex structure and can cost more as they can chemically alter it.


Both synthetic latex and natural latex are equally "rubber" or "latex" except natural latex is primarily isoprene rubber that comes from a tree (which can also be synthesized) and synthetic latex in the case of latex mattresses is made from Styrene Butadiene rubber (or SBR). Both natural and synthetic rubber are stable and inert materials when they are cured. This is similar to tires which also uses various blends of synthetic and natural rubber depending on the specific qualities that the tire manufacturer is looking for. Both natural and synthetic rubber used in mattresses ... unlike tires ... is foamed rubber which means that there are several other compounds that are needed in addition to the rubber to make the foamed latex core. These include curing agents, gelling agents, antioxidants, mold release agents, and other compounds that are used to make both natural and synthetic foamed rubber. These also become inert when the latex is cured or in some cases are washed out when the latex is washed after manufacturing (which also removes the excess proteins that can be a cause of latex allergies in 100% natural latex) which is why both 100% natural and blended latex will both pass the same safety testing for VOC's and harmful ingredients. In the case of Talalay latex ... this testing is Oeko-Tex standard 100 class 1 (safe for babies).

So blended Talalay latex still contains synthetic latex before and after manufacturing and natural latex still contains natural latex before and after manufacturing but all the other ingredients in both have either become inert or are removed by the manufacturing process.

The rest of what he is mentioning is correct and in most cases people who choose all natural Talalay do so mostly because they believe that it is somehow "better" or "safer" simply because it is natural when this is not necessarily the case. It may also not have the specific performance benefit that they believe it has (other than being natural) although there are differences between them that may lead some people to choose one over the other. You can read more about the difference between 100% natural Talalay and blended Talalay in post #2 here .

The rest of what he is saying is also part of the reason why 100% natural Talalay is more costly than blended Talalay.

Where can I find queen size topper covers for 3" foam under $50 bucks I have called all over, any websites?


While I don't know all the prices ... the better sources I'm aware of for covers are listed in post #4 here . It may be difficult to find a cover that is suitable for latex and will adequately protect it from ozone, ultraviolet light, and the other things that will lead to early breakdown of the latex which is under $50.

Is it true that latex must breathe so you have to use a breathable encasement and cover otherwise it will crumble. Also if they rub against each other (the layers) it is better to have a zipper cover to protect them right? What does one do about dust mites if you cant use a poly/membrane cover just use cotton and wool and wash it, how can you get that waterproof?


Latex is already the most breathable of the foam materials (although all foams are insulators and don't breathe as well as natural fibers) but the main reason for a cover is to protect the latex from the things that will cause it to break down prematurely. If the cover also uses a natural fabric or even a semi synthetic fabric or artificial fabric like bamboo or other types of rayon materials ... then it can also help with the overall ventilation and moisture wicking properties of your sleeping surface which is part of what controls the temperature regulation of your mattress. You can see the many factors that are part of temperature regulation in post #2 here .

A zip cover would allow you to remove and wash the cover or to change the latex inside the cover without having to buy a new one.

Most people would protect against dust mites with one of the types of mattress protectors that are discussed in post #89 here . If you are particularly sensitive and believe that you need a full mattress encasement (which in most cases is not necessary) then these are available as well. You can't get a wool protector to be waterproof (which would also reduce breathability and temperature regulation) but it is water resistant which for most people is easily enough. Wool is also naturally resistant to dust mites because of its ability to reduce humidity and moisture.

I found these beds on ebay are they natural if they say 100% latex or blended? How do you tell if your buying a 3" topper off ebay that the material is really natural latex and not poly or something?


You would be completely dependent on the reputation and integrity of the merchant you buy from and on the accuracy of their description. There are many ebay sellers who misrepresent their product and many who describe them accurately and you would need to use your best judgement and your knowledge of the seller to decide which was which.

Of the three you mentioned ... two of them are listed in the component list I linked earlier with some information about what they are selling. LatexUSA sells latex that come from Latexco. Mattresses 24/7 sells a mix of Radium and Latex International. I don't know anything about latextoppers.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

So Cofused by Manufactuer off this Site Information Natural vs. Blended Latex. 26 Apr 2013 00:46 #3

  • passionate4nature
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Thanks Phoenix I found this on a ebay posting... This further confuses the subject about chemicals and their effects and if any mattress is truly healthy.

The DUNLOP METHOD: After the milk of the Hevea Brasiliensis (rubber) tree, which contains an antibacterial substance that is a natural dust-mite repellent, is harvested, air, soda ash, zinc and natural soap are whipped into the milk and it is poured into a mold with hollow pins and baked. It then goes through a thorough washing to remove all proteins that could possibly cause an allergic reaction. This is truly a sustainable resource because sap can be collected from the trees up to 180 days per year and the tree heals within an hour.

Those who use the more straightforward technique in the Dunlop method like the more elastic, springier feeling it creates and Dunlop has a solid history behind it: It turns out Sears sold an all natural Dunlop method latex mattress back in the 50's called the "Harvest House" bed, and many are still in homes even to this day.

Although seemingly simple, it is a very costly procedure, so use caution when purchasing from large manufacturers looking to cut costs substituting petrol chemical products for the real thing and charging less money.

THE TALALAY METHOD: There is a second type of Latex known as Talalay, a word you'll hear often. Talalay, is a softer, more fragile latex, has added freezing steps, which will destabilize if synthetic chemicals are not added. Talalay Latex does contain petroleum and artificial vanillin. This contains dimethyl sulfate and is considered toxic. Talalay contains a preservative in order to transport it to the US, and also uses sulphur and benzene as accelerators during processing..

Then there is a third type. 40% Natural Latex that has been blended with 60% synthetic latex. This is a cheaper mixture containing clays, glues, and other materials causing your mattress to become toxic, break down faster and become uncomfortable; giving truly natural latex a bad reputation. It's a little known fact that about 80% of latex used in the manufacture of so-called "latex beds" is made of "latex" that is a blend of synthetic latex and natural latex - with synthetic latex often making up 75% to 80% of this "latex" blend. Unlike natural latex, synthetic latex is made from petroleum products ... and synthetic latex is stiffer, coarse in texture, not as soft and inviting, and does NOT have the antibacterial, antifungal, and hypoallergenic qualities that natural latex provides. Since Natural Latex is inherently more costly, most large scale bedding manufacturers don't even offer it.

And some companies boast “perimeter support”. That means they use cheaper materials, usually polyurethane foam, around the outside of the latex to make the edge of the bed stiffer for sitting on. It also reduces the sleeping surface by up to 20%.

Don't let the words confuse you: "latex mattress," "natural rubber mattress," and "natural mattress" can all be used to describe products that are far from all-natural. Most so-called "natural rubber" mattresses are actually a blend of natural rubber and synthetic latex (styrene-butadiene rubber, or "SBR"), which can offgas unhealthful fumes. In fact, the latex for mattresses made by THE leading latex manufacturer contains some chemicals.

It gets even more confusing…some products that claim to use 100% natural latex do have SOME chemical-free latex in their product…just not all of it, or all of the mattress components. A perfect example is very popular brand of “organic latex” mattresses that uses a toxic glue between the layers of latex, and adds boric acid as a flame retardant. Another brand with latex imported from China claims to use "organic latex", but their test results show up to 30% benzene in their product! Others seal their "organic" mattresses in a polyethylene coating to make it waterproof. Truly chemical-free Latex is naturally water repellant, and an organic wool mattress cover can always be added for extra protection, if desired.

Further, many “natural latex” mattresses are labeled with a “GREEN” certification, which does NOT mean chemical free – This “GREEN” certification allows for pre-set standards of allowable maximum emission level for several chemicals, as regulated by the government, using standards established by the U.S. EPA and OSHA, as well as other state and federal agencies.
The majority of mattresses today are made using a variety of petroleum-based chemicals, foams, plastics and controversial flame-retardants. Research and personal accounts suggest people can in fact become ill by repeated and continuous exposure to the low level of chemicals continuously emitted during the sleep process. The situation is dramatically compounded by the fact that sleeping on a bed places the individual in extremely close proximity to the chemical source (inches compared to feet for most other chemical exposures). This direct contact means that concentrations of chemicals are many, many times higher than they would be if the source was at a greater distance. Research is now available showing that chemicals used in bed manufacturing are in fact evaporating and entering into the air (off-gassing). Some of these are documented carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds.

Autoimmune disorders have also been linked with exposure to petroleum-based chemicals and have been found to be the underlying etiology of many common health problems today (soft tissue damage, arthritis, etc).

Conventional mattresses contain polyurethane foam, which constantly breaks down and releases chemicals. This process is called “off-gassing”. Polyurethane foam is made from chemicals that are known carcinogens.

Other toxic chemicals that can be found in conventional mattresses are PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and/or boric acid. These are used in mattresses as a flame retardant in order to meet the flame retardant codes. Animal studies show that PBDE’s cause liver, thyroid, and neurological damage in lab rats. Health experts worry about most PBDE’s potential harm to fetuses and children under 6, but studies on human toxicity have only just begun. They are believed to be so toxic that Europe is phasing out the use of them completely! Boric acid: this chemical is also quite toxic, and is in fact used as a roach killer. The Environmental Protection Agency and Center for Disease Control warn of reproductive, developmental, and neurological damage. It has many known health risks just due to inhalation, a few of which are: inflammation of the upper respiratory tract (including dry throat and cough), eye irritation, and reproductive damage in men (including low sperm count).

These NAOMI standards were developed after it was discovered that many manufacturers were not disclosing all ingredients used. They use Greenguard or Oeko Tex as their standard and these are not pure standards in the eyes of a consumer who desires a mattress that is free of toxic or unproven chemicals.

Secrets of the organic manufacturing industry:

In order to be certified organic, the item must be 95% organic, the other 5% can be chemical or other fibers. Ours are tested for 100% purity!

Most companies do not test their raw materials for any toxins. Our mattresses ARE tested!

Many manufacurers believe that Oeko Tex is an organic standard. They use this as proof that their mattresses are chemical free. This is not correct.

Talalay Latex does contain petroleum and artificial vanillin. This contains dimethyl sulfate and is considered toxic. We do NOT use Talalay as it contains a preservative in order to transport it to the US and also uses sulphur and benzene as accelerators during processing.

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So Cofused by Manufactuer off this Site Information Natural vs. Blended Latex. 26 Apr 2013 01:17 #4

  • phoenix
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Hi passionate4nature,

You could go crazy if you believed most of the biased misinformation that was posted all over the web by various manufacturers or retailers of latex mattresses and articles like these that contain so much misinformation and are mostly meant to sell a particular type of mattress are one of the main reasons I started this site.

This particular article is written by a source whose livelihood depends on selling Dunlop latex mattresses. This type of "information" helps them sell them (at somewhat higher prices than others that use the same materials) at the expense of providing accurate information. If you look at the only member of NAOMI in its 5 year history (which is not a recognized testing agency at all and was just created out of thin air as a marketing tool to help them sell mattresses) you will see who created this misleading article. There is too much misinformation there to even begin to address all of it except to say it certainly isn't based in fact.

They are also missing reference sources for their claims. I personally would put a lot more faith in neutral testing agencies like Oeko-tex (you can see what they test for here ) than an article that is written to sell a specific line of mattresses.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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