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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 15:42 #91

  • Sensei
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Hey lotus14,

Thank you for you great interactions, and the other DIY posts. I am following the back and forth conversation, and just wanted to ask, what was the exchange layer you most recently received from SO that had a smell that didn't agree with you (smell is so personal to every single individual)?

Thank you as always sweetandsourkiwi for you nice and helpful interactions with other consumer members.

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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 16:46 #92

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Actually the exchange layer (another GOLS dunlop) had very little smell, just like the original 2 dunlop layers. A faint, pleasant, vanilla/latex rubber smell.

The original 3" 100% talalay x-soft comfort layer still has an incredible, eye-watering smell. It has been inside their very thick cover for about 2 weeks and the smell hasn't changed.

I would have done so sooner, but now that I have the exchange layer I'm airing it out on a guest bed to see if that helps.

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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 18:57 #93

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Thanks Sensei! Okay, lotus14, if the vanilla smell isn't what's bothering you, my inexpert opinion is that something is way off on the 100% talalay topper. I have two and they both just have that faint cookie odor.

In unrelated news, I returned to the mattress store to do some testing. I was surprised with all the knowledge I have now, how cheaply made the mattresses seemed now to me, going in. I think mostly that's conveyed to the eye and hand by the cover...I didn't realize how high-end the Zenhaven cover feels until I compared it what else is out there—lots of polyester and thin stretch-knit. I don't know how much this influences the actual performance of the bed (seems like warmth would be a factor?), but I noticed the only comparable beds in surface feel were the $5k Naturepedics. (And they felt kinda similar just laying on them too! Guess dunlop doesn't feel so different once it's packed in there.)

I was presented with a lot of very complicated beds that appeared to be made from polyfoams and memory foam of unknown densities, but of course they don't give you details and you can't find anything online.

Crazy how different the experience is once you know something. My bed may not be perfect for me, but I am impressed with how much higher end it feels after visiting a bunch of more expensive but lesser quality mattresses.

(And of course I realize comparing a mattress store to online retailers isn't apples to apples...they have to pay more employees, lease the showroom, etc.)

I also found most mattresses offered some degree of pressure under my shoulder that I found undesirable, even if it's not quite as much as I have now. At a certain point I may just have to concede that it's not negotiable, or at least not worth the tradeoffs for support.

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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 19:44 #94

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Thanks sweetandsourkiwi and Sensei. I suspect you're both right, the offensive talalay I have now has only aired for 24 hrs, but if there's a vanilla cookie smell in there it's completely masked by the chemical smell.

Either the latex was made with some particularly noxious chemicals, or more likely as Sensei pointed out, the latex wasn't properly washed during production.

So, unless I get a config that doesn't involve the talalay, this mattress will be returned and I'll have to diy.

Yes, most mattress stores have awful options that sound and sometimes feel great. My last was a Beautyrest Platinum Hybrid that cost me almost 2K and lasted only 2 years. 2 years of sleeping on a hot plate that is! No more memory foam anything for me, and I don't want a lot of the latest bells and whistles inside a mattress that are probably going to fail sooner rather than later.

The first 3 or so inches of the Beautyrest's comfort layer that allowed my shoulders to sink in collapsed so that the mattress became unbearable. My niece loves it though! But then she was sleeping on a mattress that felt like a pile of old blankets.

The x-plush setup I had with the talalay in it and the 2" topper is MUCH better than anything I'd tried for side sleeping. Yet because of latex's buoyancy, it still felt supportive to my hips and back. So don't give up on finding more pressure relief without sacrificing enough support!

I'm still really hoping I can find a setup that lets me sleep on my back. My whole body thanked me every morning! Except my lower back. Perhaps I didn't give it enough time for my body to adjust. I'm trying a different setup (all dunlop - firm, med, soft) and no topper which I now realize was letting my hips sink and arching my back. It feels quite firm (but without Zenhaven's lumbar support which I hated). So much so that I'm using a firm, thick mattress pad as a comfort layer.

Gotta make the final back or side sleeper decision before I pull the trigger on a diy.

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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 22:13 #95

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I wonder...has the manufacturer stepped in at all? "Eye watering" seems extreme—maybe they would be willing to replace it before you have to start over?

Good to know you were able to get a good setup for side sleeping! I tried two 1.5" layers of 14 ILD talalay, but the 3" total of 14ILD unencased was just TOO floofy...my low back was sore in 3 days. Then again...the separate layers and the fact they were outside the mattress both would contribute to a really soft feel; maybe too soft.

Jury's out on the lumbar support on the Zenhaven for me. It's under the topper for me, so the effect is dampened but...I think I like it? I'm not sure.

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Stinky Latex! 05 Mar 2019 22:59 #96

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Haven't asked SO about it. I'm sure they would say it will subside with time. And it may. Don't notice it when the cover is zipped up and I've aired out the room. But now I know the fumes are slowly leaking out. Grr...

Still not sure I've got the perfect setup for side sleeping but it's better than I've had for a very long time. That's worth a lot. Really need to get motivated to stretch and work out as much as I can.

Have you tried 3" 19-21 ILD? Or even a little firmer? Sleep on Latex will take a topper back no questions asked at no cost. Same deal for blended talalay @ www.mattresstopper.com. Nothing to lose but a sore shoulder ^.~

I'm sure there are others but perhaps you've tried that route already.

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Stinky Latex! 06 Mar 2019 09:58 #97

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Speaking on smell alone, each manufacturer's latex will have a different smell based on their formula. Over the past seven years, whether I have been working with natural or organic latex, I have found that the smell is linked more to the manufacturer than the quality. For example, Arpico's latex has that sweet, vanilla smell, both their organic and their natural. Latex Green's and Innergetic's latex both have more of a cleaning agent smell, no matter whether it is organic or natural.

Are you sensitive to smells? While most people notice the latex's smell faintly, they tend to not be bothered by it or get used to it after a few days. Perhaps there is something amiss with your latex but perhaps your body is playing a part in your reaction too?

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Stinky Latex! 06 Mar 2019 17:55 #98

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Including my exchange layer I've had 4 dunlop layers and 1 talalay from Sleeping Organic. All of the dunlop layers have the faint vanilla cookie smell. The talalay has a definite chemical smell. I also have a topper from Sleep On Latex that has little smell. I don't think it's my nose.

Sleeping Organic's supplier obviously uses a different production line for their talalay and dunlop, else they use a different supplier altogether. The talalay was probably not washed well enough before drying and shipping.

The smell isn't strong enough to bother me as long as it's in their heavy encasement, but I don't like the idea of the fumes slowly leaking into my room and lungs!

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Stinky Latex! 07 Mar 2019 08:46 #99

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Yes, of course, Talalay and Dunlop processed latex use different formulas because they rely on different methods of stabilization. Dunlop needs certain foaming agents and while Talalay needs them too, it relies more on the flash freezing to stabilize the foam.

Sleeping Organic's website lists 3 different countries (Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand, sleepingorganic.com/about-our-natural-organic-latex/see here ) that produce their latex, so it is very likely that your different layers came from multiple locations.

Not to diminish your experience, because I'm sure you know your latex and your body's reactions to it, I think it is wise to use our terms carefully when we speak of fumes. Cars give off fumes, paint thinner gives off fumes, welding gives off fumes, latex does not give off fumes. Fumes are hazardous. Fumes and off-gassing (which latex and honestly, most foams do not do) can be carcignogenic or lung damaging and at least can cause lightheadedness. Latex certainly can have an odor and it can be offensive to some. That offense does not mean the smell is harmful. Some foams and all flame-retardants and silica fire retardant socks degrade to a powder, which is then breathed in through contact with the room dust.

Could breathing in latex be hazardous? Yes, if you have an a type I latex allergy. But that hazard is based on the proteins in the latex rather than the smell.

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Stinky Latex! 07 Mar 2019 10:24 #100

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Hey diynaturalbedding,

Thank you for the expert information added in this thread. You are spot on with your point about "each manufacturer's latex will have a different smell based on their formula". I would add that it is really each manufacturer has a different smell based on their entire "manufacturing process" as all parts of the production, especially the washing and drying effects the smell of the finished product. Which I am sure you know this already with your years of experience and from reading your comments.

And your point about "fumes" is really well said!

Thank you,
Sensei
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