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Latex Mattress in Miami 04 Jun 2013 06:13 #1

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Hi! Thank you for your comprehensive site and the difference you make in so many people's lives by providing such great information.
My husband and I had researched our next mattress ad nauseam. From trying chain stores for the feel to going to specialty stores/manufacturers you provided in this list post#1 We had no luck either because they do not carry latex (Brickell mattress) or have bad hours and generally not as interested in individual customers (smaller manufacturers on your list).
So we decided to order online. We came across Habitat Furnishings and Plush Beds and were about to make the purchase of 6'+2' Dunlop + Talalay , when I saw your recommended online list post#2
They do provide better value, but not in all cases it is clear whether or not they are using 100% botanically derived latex like Habitat. Can their natural claims also mean 10% botanical and the rest petroleum based materials? Can you recommend someone in that list whose materials closely resemble Habitat but at a better value? Who in the list gets best reviews (for customer service/exchanges etc) from your experience?

My husband and I are in pretty similar weight category (130&160) and both are side sleepers and like a bit firmer mattress. So I don't think we would require customization.

Thank you for your help!

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Latex Mattress Online 04 Jun 2013 20:29 #2

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Hi Vic,

They do provide better value, but not in all cases it is clear whether or not they are using 100% botanically derived latex like Habitat.


Many of them offer their customers a choice of the type of latex they would prefer in their mattress so you aren't restricted to only a single choice (Habitat for example uses 100% natural Dunlop in their base layers and blended Talalay in their top layers). You can read a little more about the different types of latex in this article along with post #6 here and post #6 here and some of the differences between natural and synthetic rubber in post #2 here . In general the types of latex you would normally choose between are organic Dunlop, 100% natural Dunlop, blended Dunlop, 100% natural Talalay and blended Talalay. Each of these has their own pros and cons.

Most of them also offer a choice of firmness for the base support layer as well as the comfort layers.

Many of them are also component mattresses where the mattress is made up of layers that can be rearranged or even exchanged for a softer or firmer choice without having to exchange the whole mattress so you can fine tune your choice after a purchase. Different manufacturers on the list have different degrees of ability to customize their mattress.

Two of them (FloBeds and Custom Sleep Design) also offer customized zoning options.

There is also a wide range of prices and designs.

What they all have in common is that each of them in their own way is among the best value in the country and beyond that I don't differentiate between them in terms of "value". They are all very experienced and knowledgeable and have good service.

All of them are also very open and transparent about their materials and mattresses and are happy to spend time on the phone with you explaining their options and how they may benefit you. I would encourage you to talk directly with the ones that interest you the most because they know more about their mattresses and the options they offer than anyone else (and in some cases all of their options aren't on their websites because some of them offer customized choices as well).

A forum search on Plushbeds (you can just click this) will bring up many comments about them and some comparisons with some of the other manufacturers on the list.

A forum search on Habitat (you can just click this as well) will also bring up many posts and some comparisons with them as well.

I'm happy to help the members here with "how" to choose but the specifics of what to choose and your own final choices will always depend on your personal value equation and which of the objective, subjective, and even intangible differences between them are most important to you.

Any of them would make a great choice but as you narrow them down based on your own criteria and conversations one of them will end up being the best choice for you :)

Phoenix
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Latex Mattress Online 05 Jun 2013 19:23 #3

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Phoenix,
Homework done. :)
Now I have questions.

1. Natural Talalay is less durable in softer ILDs in a comfort layer than the blend. At which point there is diminishing durability becomes obvious? 19ILD? 21ILD? And do you work the blend % into this formula? I am asking because we like a bit firmer surface, so I want to see if we should go with a blend or NR (see, I am using abbreviations now ;) )
2. Is SBR chemical safe? Any smell? Toxic? What is it made from?
3. ILD can be confusing from one web site to another. Some refer to individual layer ILDs, while others indicate the ILD for the "total feel". Is there a way to compare? For example 6' Dunlap 26ILD + 2' Talalay 19ILD = ? "total feel" 28? 32?
4. I am surprised you mentioned Habitat uses blend Talalay... their website says "2" layer of softer Talalay Natural Latex"... or they differentiate between Bontanically derived and Natural? How misleading if that's the case. :unsure:
5. Is there an updated list for smaller independent manufacturers of latex mattresses in Miami? Your post #2 here is over 1.5 years old, so I was not sure if you have any updates. After reading my homework I decided to make more effort to try and get my mattress locally.

I really appreciate your dedication to this website. Your attention to my question makes me feel special. I feel I have come a long way from the moment I first came across this site. And while my lower back is still killing me every morning, learning so much is making me more confident that I will make the right choice and enjoy restful sleep for many years to come. :cheer:

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Latex Mattress Online 06 Jun 2013 01:03 #4

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Hi Vic,

1. Natural Talalay is less durable in softer ILDs in a comfort layer than the blend. At which point there is diminishing durability becomes obvious? 19ILD? 21ILD? And do you work the blend % into this formula? I am asking because we like a bit firmer surface, so I want to see if we should go with a blend or NR (see, I am using abbreviations now ;) )


No ... all the blended Talalay you will find is made by either Radium or Latex International and both of them use a 30% natural / 70% synthetic blend. I don't think anyone knows the actual cut off point or at least I haven't seen any comparative research but I would guess they would equal out somewhere in the mid 20's. If you are in the range of mid to high 20's as your preference for a comfort layer then the natural would be fine IMO.

2. Is SBR chemical safe? Any smell? Toxic? What is it made from?


Synthetic latex is made primarily from a combination of Styrene and Butadiene which have a very similar chemical structure to natural rubber (which is mainly Isoprene rubber) and become very stable when they are polymerized together. There are many sources for both Styrene and Butadiene but the most common source is from petrochemicals.

All Talalay latex in North America (natural and blended) is tested and certified by Oeko-Tex standard 100 class 1 (safe for babies) as being free from harmful compounds and VOCs. The smell of Talalay has often been described as being "sweet" or similar to sugar cookies or vanilla with perhaps a hint of cinnamon or butter (depending on the sample or the blend). The smell of dunlop is much more "rubbery" and in most cases stronger although most of the Dunlop latex has also been certified either by Oeko-Tex or other similar certifying agencies.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: oeko-tex.com/media/downloads/Factsheet_OETS_100_EN.pdf

3. ILD can be confusing from one web site to another. Some refer to individual layer ILDs, while others indicate the ILD for the "total feel". Is there a way to compare? For example 6' Dunlap 26ILD + 2' Talalay 19ILD = ? "total feel" 28? 32?


ILD can be very misleading because there are many factors that combine together that determine how soft or firm a layer (or a mattress) feels such as compression modulus, layer thickness, and "point elasticity" and ILD is only one of them. There are also different ways that ILD is tested (see post #6 here ) so the same ILD may not be comparable if you are comparing different materials or using different layer thicknesses. In all cases though .... ILD applies only to a single layer that comes from a core that has been tested and there is no measurement that would apply to the ILD of a mattress as a unit ... only the foam layers that are in it. It can be somewhat misleading to compare ILD between different materials because of differences in the response curve of different types of foam and differences in how ILD is tested with different materials or in different areas of the world. ILD is only a measurement of how much weight it takes to compress a layer by 25% of its thickness and in real life layers are compressed more or less than 25% and have other layers either above or below them that affect their compression.

The only time that ILD may be useful is if you test a local mattress that seems to be suitable for your needs and preferences and you are looking to match all the layers (in terms of type of material, the thickness of each layer, and the ILD of each layer) with an online purchase. it can sometimes be very difficult to get accurate ILD information about local mattresses and it's much more common that you would be given more subjective firmness ratings like soft, medium, or firm.

4. I am surprised you mentioned Habitat uses blend Talalay... their website says "2" layer of softer Talalay Natural Latex"...


Latex International calls their blended latex "natural" and their 100% natural talalay "all natural". You can see an example of this with Pure Latex Bliss mattresses here (which they own) where their "all natural" line uses 100% natural Talalay and their "natural" line uses blended Talalay. The "all natural" doesn't have specific ILD's (it only comes in a range of ILD's which are rated from N1 to N5) and 19 ILD is a firmness rating for their Talatech blended Talalay. You can see the different types of latex they make and their firmness ratings here.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint 1: latexbliss.com/shop/mattresses/natural | Archived Footprint 2: latexfoam.com/latex-material/components

I agree that latex terminology can be very misleading which is why it's a good idea to deal with retailers or manufacturers that are completely transparent about what is in their mattresses and will readily give you accurate information.

The Miami list is up to date (as far as manufacturers or retailers I'm aware of) and was last edited on May 13 of this year.

I really appreciate your dedication to this website. Your attention to my question makes me feel special. I feel I have come a long way from the moment I first came across this site. And while my lower back is still killing me every morning, learning so much is making me more confident that I will make the right choice and enjoy restful sleep for many years to come.


I'm glad the site could help and I'm looking forward to your feedback and any questions you may have along the way.

Phoenix
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Latex Mattress Online 06 Jun 2013 17:59 #5

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Thank you for all the info! Here is my update in pursuit of a local mattress. :)

I spoke to most of the providers on the list you provided on the phone.

I started with De Mattress Inc.
www.demattressinc.com/307169.html Miami
I spoke to a very nice lady Iliana and she informed me that they only carry 100% all natural Talalay in 6-inch layers. If a higher mattress is desired, they can cut the 6-inch layer into 1-inch increments. They get a shipment once every 3 months, but happen to have 30 ILD in stock right now. 6-inch layer for queen would sell for $900 with each additional inch at $150 per inch. They only have one type of natural fiber cotton cover with bamboo quilting. She invited us to test the mattresses with an option to deliver the same day.

Then I called Comfort Custom Bedding
www.comfortcustombedding.com/ Ft Lauderdale
I spoke to a very knowledgeable Don. They also only carry Talalay but in various ILDs (28,32,36,40). Their Talalay is a blend (70%/30%). He said that 98% of Latex customers use that blend. When I mentioned that De Mattress carries 100% natural Talalay, he was surprised and said that he knew that they purchase latex from the same source and it is all a blend. This statement made me feel a bit wary of De Mattresses' claims... Don gave me a price of $1,495 for Queen size mattress consisting of 6-inch 36ILD + 2-inch 28-inch Talalay. The lead time is excellent as well: 1-2 days. They offer various options for the cover from 100% natural bamboo to stretch, thin velour that would make latex come out in its all beauty :)

Next up was Zeno Mattresses
www.zenomattress.com/ Ft Lauderdale
Jim was very curt. He was polite, but did not seem too eager to answer all my questions. The company only offers Talalay blend in 40ILD. They quoted me a price of $1,494 for 6-inch Queen Talalay blend mattress with cotton polyester cover (the only cover they have). Lead time 1-3 weeks.

My final call was Biscayne Bedding
www.biscaynebedding.com/ Miami
They offer Dunlop and Talalay in various ILDs (19,24,32,40). Jan was a bit unsure about whether the materials were blend or 100% natural. He said he would have to check with their supplier in Europe (any idea?). He offered queen bed with 6-inch Dunlop and 2-inch Talalay for $1,342. The company uses knitted fabric that complements latex materials. The lead time is 4-5 days. They do not offer delivery, so we would have to make our own arrangements. (ADDED by Admin: They no longer sell factory direct to consumers).

So here is my thought process... I would love any input.
I am eliminating Zeno mattresses and De Mattresses for the lack of options and not favorable cover materials. I am left with Biscayne Bedding and Comfort Custom Bedding. I am going to visit both, but here are my concerns.

Biscayne Bedding
-concern about not knowing the materials (hopefully we will find out soon)
- no delivery service - more headache to find someone to deliver
- difficulties to test desirable configuration. They only have a few latex models on the floor for testing.

Comfort Custom Bedding
-Talalay blend not as durable as Dunlop core would be
-I was set on 100% pure material (at least for the core)... and they offer blend with synthetic only. I am still not sold on synthetic - I don't like the idea of sleeping on petrochemicals. I am green like that. :sick: :)

As a side note, after talking to several providers I totally see your comment about ILD being very misleading. They all measure them so differently and the same ILD can mean soft for one provider and firm for another. Overwhelming.

Thank you!!!

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Latex Mattress Online 07 Jun 2013 01:12 #6

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hi Vic,

Thanks for the great "South Florida "feedback :)

Just to clarify a few things ...

When I mentioned that De Mattress carries 100% natural Talalay, he was surprised and said that he knew that they purchase latex from the same source and it is all a blend.


Latex international makes both blended Talalay (70% synthetic/30% natural) and 100% natural Talalay latex. The blend is more commonly seen and is less costly but all Talalay is certainly not blended. You can read more about the difference between blended and natural Talalay in post #2 here .

They offer Dunlop and Talalay in various ILDs (19,24,32,40). John was a bit unsure about whether the materials were blend or 100% natural. He said he would have to check with their supplier in Europe (any idea?).


If their supplier is in Europe then it would be Radium (which along with Latex international is one of the two main worldwide manufacturers of Talalay latex) which also makes Talalay in a 70% / 30% blend and in 100% natural versions. I don't know which of the two they are using but they should certainly be able to find out.

I am eliminating Zeno mattresses and De Mattresses for the lack of options and not favorable cover materials.


I understand about the cotton polyester cover if you are more interested in natural fibers but is there a reason you are eliminating the cotton/bamboo cover (which is a good quality material that is very comfortable and can perform very well)? If DeMattress is using 100% natural Talalay then this is also a more costly material than blended Talalay. I would go by how you feel on a mattress in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) before eliminating it because the comfort specs of the material is not as important as how it feels and performs for you and even with less options they may make a mattress that works very well for you. Of course if their mattresses or the options they have available don't provide you with good PPP then I would pass them by as well but only after testing them.

-Talalay blend not as durable as Dunlop core would be


I'm not sure where you received this information but I certainly wouldn't agree with it. You can read more about the different types of latex and their relative durability in post #2 here .

-I was set on 100% pure material (at least for the core)... and they offer blend with synthetic only. I am still not sold on synthetic - I don't like the idea of sleeping on petrochemicals. I am green like that. :sick: :)


This is certainly a matter of preference and some people just prefer more natural materials based on principle alone but natural is not necessarily better than a blend in terms of feel, performance, or durability (depending again on the type of latex) and they are both tested for "safety" to the same standards.

As a side note, after talking to several providers I totally see your comment about ILD being very misleading. They all measure them so differently and the same ILD can mean soft for one provider and firm for another. Overwhelming.


The ILD of Talalay latex is fairly consistent between manufacturers so this would probably be an accurate comparison as far as it goes but ILD itself is only one of several factors (including the thickness of the layers) that determine how soft or firm a mattress feels. When you are comparing ILD between Talalay and Dunlop however then ILD comparisons can be more misleading because ILD is only measured at a specific compression (25%) and if you sink into a material more or less than this then any ILD comparison between them wouldn't be accurate because Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay with deeper compression.

The key is to let your body tell you whether a mattress is suitable for you rather than going by the ILD numbers.

Of course the quality specs of each mattress (the type and blend of the latex) as well as the amount of latex in each mattress are also important for making meaningful quality and value comparisons between mattresses but ILD is not part of the information you really need.

Phoenix
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Latex Mattress Online 07 Jun 2013 07:19 #7

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We visited De Mattress and Biscayne Bedding this morning.

De Mattress had only one type of Latex on display (Talalay in 30ILD) and did not have the cover on it, only plastic. So it was a bit difficult to tell how it would really feel in the finished form. Iliana told me they will be getting a shipment next week and we may come back and test various ILDs then. In the meantime, she said she will confirm that their Talalay is 100% natural.

Biscayne Bedding had an actual showroom that looked like a mattress store. We tested two latex models they had. One was too soft (Dunlop 40ILD core + 2-inch Talalay 19ILD), the other was too firm. Jan offered to modify the soft configuration by removing 1-inch of 19ILD and inserting 1-inch 24ILD to make it a bit firmer. Since it is not a store and returns would not be possible, to eliminate the risk of us not liking it, he offered to wait until they actually produce that exact mattress for another order and test it before they ship it out. That was very nice of him!
He also mentioned that even all natural Talalay are not always 100%, "just like in a cake you add some additional ingredients, you have to do so here". So it could be 95-99% natural. In any case, he said he will find out and get back to us on this.

What are your thoughts?

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Latex Mattress Online 07 Jun 2013 11:07 #8

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Hi Vic,

He also mentioned that even all natural Talalay are not always 100%, "just like in a cake you add some additional ingredients, you have to do so here". So it could be 95-99% natural. In any case, he said he will find out and get back to us on this.

.

All latex foam manufacturers use a compounding formula which is usually about 90% to 95% rubber or in some cases slightly higher (but not 99%) and the other ingredients include foaming agents, gelling agents, curing agents, mold release agents, antioxidants, and possibly fillers in some cases. Without these it wouldn't be possible to turn the rubber into a foam that was suitable for a mattress. 100% natural generally refers to latex cores where the rubber used in the foamed core is 100% natural rubber ... not that the only ingredient in the foam is rubber. Blended Talalay also has the same compounding ingredients but the difference is that the rubber that is used is about 70% synthetic (Styrene Butadiene or SBR for short) and 30% natural rubber (NR).

I would make sure that you test the mattresses you are considering very carefully for PPP (for at least 15 minutes after you are completely relaxed) because a latex mattress with a 40 ILD support layer and that only has 2" of softer latex on top would feel quite firm for many people (depending on your body type, sleeping positions, and personal preferences) because 2" of softer latex may not be enough to isolate you from the firmness of the 40 ILD support layer below it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Latex Mattress Online 07 Jun 2013 17:45 #9

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Aha, now it all makes sense. Thanks for explaining the other 5-10%.

Phoenix, we actually tested 36 ILD Dunlop, not 40. There are so many ILD's to remember, I made a mistake! Sorry. Would 36 make more sense? And be more suitable with 2-inch softer Talalay as a comfort layer?

Jon confirmed his Talalay latex has all natural rubber, he now needs to double check about Dunlop. What kinds of Dunlop does Radium produce?

Since the Talalay is all natural, would 19ILD comfort layer be ok? Should I be concerned about the durability of such soft natural Talalay?

It is so difficult to figure out PPP during the test time. There are so many factors that may influence the perception when you are not at home... It's almost like meditation - you have to isolate everything around you and pretend you are at home falling asleep... Not an easy task.

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Latex Mattress Online 07 Jun 2013 18:48 #10

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Hi Vic,

Phoenix, we actually tested 36 ILD Dunlop, not 40. There are so many ILD's to remember, I made a mistake! Sorry. Would 36 make more sense? And be more suitable with 2-inch softer Talalay as a comfort layer?


36 is still a firm layer and not much softer than 40 and many people (particularly side sleepers) may still find a mattress to be quite firm with only a 2" comfort layer of softer latex on top of it. Having said that though ... there are also people who find that even sleeping directly on 40 ILD latex is too soft for them (as rare as this may be) so only your own experience or testing can know whether a mattress is suitable for you. It would also depend on the type of cover and quilting in the mattress which is also an important part of how a mattress feels and performs. The bottom line is always your own experience and what your body tells you ... the ILD numbers are not important when you are testing a mattress in person.

Jon confirmed his Talalay latex has all natural rubber, he now needs to double check about Dunlop. What kinds of Dunlop does Radium produce?


Radium only produces Talalay not Dunlop. If they get their Dunlop from Latexco (which is also a supplier of Radium Talalay in the US) then their Dunlop is probably either from Latex Green which is 100% natural or their own Puralux Dunlop which is a blend.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: latexco.com/usa/our-products/

Since the Talalay is all natural, would 19ILD comfort layer be ok? Should I be concerned about the durability of such soft natural Talalay?


This would be up to you to decide. All latex is a high quality material relative to other types of foam but as you read in the previous posts that compared 100% natural Talalay to blended Talalay the 100% natural is likely to be a little less durable in the lower ILD's than the blend but it is also more elastic and responsive and more "supportive" than the blended talalay. This is just part of the tradeoffs involved when you are choosing the materials in a mattress.

It is so difficult to figure out PPP during the test time. There are so many factors that may influence the perception when you are not at home... It's almost like meditation - you have to isolate everything around you and pretend you are at home falling asleep... Not an easy task.


Accurate and specific testing is certainly more difficult than just "checking for comfort" and lying on a mattress for a few minutes to see how it feels (which is the reason that so many people make unsuitable mattress choices) but it's also one of the most important parts of choosing a mattress.

I agree it's not easy ... but it's well worth the time and effort involved since you will be sleeping on your mattress for many years and it will have a bigger effect on how you feel and your overall well being than almost anything else you buy in that time.

Phoenix
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