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Final stages of researching latex mattresses 13 Apr 2017 20:07 #1

Hi TMU
I was one of the "must buy from a physical mattress store" type of person until my friend turned me on to shopping for mattresses online. My first buy (a Novosbed memory foam mattress for my daughter) has worked out pretty well so far. Now it's time to upgrade our (wife and I) bed. I narrowed it down to either going with Novosbed again, or with a latex mattress. I'm leaning more towards latex because of durability/longevity, the fact that they can be customized by rearranging the cores, they have bounce, and I THINK I read that they may not retain as much heat as memory foam. There are some things I'm not 100% sure of that may be deal-breakers for me. So I hope I can get some additional guidance.....

Oxidation - I understand that exposure to UV light, ozone, and certain chemicals can accelerate the oxidation process with latex, causing it to dry out/flake/crack and get discolored. The use of a good mattress cover (I intend to go with a quilted cotton/wool cover) should help slow down the oxidation process. Is my understanding correct? A concern of mine is that our bedroom isn't big, so there's only one good spot to place the bed, and that's between two ~3x4' windows. I do have cheapy vinyl blinds and cloth curtains on each window that always remain closed, but I'm not sure if that's enough protection from UV light. Also, I think the window seals are weathered and letting outside air seep into the bedroom. Considering the placement of the bed, window coverings, and window seal problem, would the mattress be at risk of oxidizing quicker than normal even with the good quality mattress cover?

Mildew/Mold - I understand that latex is resistant to mold and mildew. However, it is possible to have mold/mildew grow between the core layers. Is this where a good mattress protector comes into play? I do sweat a lot when i sleep. I read in the forum that the wool protectors help with body oils, sweat, and temp regulation (I'm considering the St. Dormeir). I would think that would help keep the mattress dry and from having any moisture build up, unless you actually have a large spill on the bed. Should the window seal issue from above be a concern for mildew/mold growth? I live in Houston, which is pretty much hot and humid year-round. Inside our house is also humid at times, it could be an A/C problem or window seals, or both. I'm not sure if latex is a poor choice for a humid environment.

Sorry if these questions have already been answered elsewhere in the forum.

Thank you!

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Final stages of researching latex mattresses 14 Apr 2017 11:28 #2

Hi nels,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

I'm leaning more towards latex because of durability/longevity, the fact that they can be customized by rearranging the cores, they have bounce, and I THINK I read that they may not retain as much heat as memory foam

.

Yes, you are correct that there are many customizable latex mattress systems (either with all of the layers being exchangeable, or just the upper layers being customizable), and latex is a quite resilient (buoyant) material. It is also the most breathable of the foams, specifically Talalay latex.

Oxidation - I understand that exposure to UV light, ozone, and certain chemicals can accelerate the oxidation process with latex, causing it to dry out/flake/crack and get discolored.


You are correct that latex, like all foam, are subject to oxidation over time, along with mechanical stresses and UV and other things (see post #2 here ), which is one of the reasons that antioxidants are added during the foaming process.

The use of a good mattress cover (I intend to go with a quilted cotton/wool cover) should help slow down the oxidation process. Is my understanding correct?


Yes, you’d want a good mattress cover for protection from wear and “the elements”. DIYNaturalBedding had some interesting comments a few years ago about some of their latex samples and noted that the latex using a double wool batting and cotton cover showed the least amount of discoloration, followed by their latex using a single layer of wool with a cotton cover. Both showed minimal discoloration (some of which of course is normal). Of course your mattress will also have a mattress pad, fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket and comforter upon it during the day as well.

Considering the placement of the bed, window coverings, and window seal problem, would the mattress be at risk of oxidizing quicker than normal even with the good quality mattress cover?


I wouldn’t be able to comment upon the exact level of oxidation or UV rays over time that your mattress would be subject to, as there are entirely too many variables involved, but with a good cover and sheets and keeping your shades drawn you can help to minimize some of this. UVA rays will pass through some fabrics, glass and even some sunscreens. UVB does not significantly penetrate most fabric or glass. There are UV resistant shades available if you have a concern. Having enough covering on top of the mattress to block visible light is generally a good guide that much of the UV has been blocked. Post #6 here speaks to this a bit as well.

Mildew/Mold - I understand that latex is resistant to mold and mildew. However, it is possible to have mold/mildew grow between the core layers. Is this where a good mattress protector comes into play? I do sweat a lot when i sleep. I read in the forum that the wool protectors help with body oils, sweat, and temp regulation (I'm considering the St. Dormeir). I would think that would help keep the mattress dry and from having any moisture build up, unless you actually have a large spill on the bed. Should the window seal issue from above be a concern for mildew/mold growth? I live in Houston, which is pretty much hot and humid year-round. Inside our house is also humid at times, it could be an A/C problem or window seals, or both. I'm not sure if latex is a poor choice for a humid environment.


If the conditions are right, mold and mildew can form almost anywhere. Environmental conditions and degrees of humidity play a role. The degree of moisture in the wood of a platform bed or a foundation could be an issue. The fabric used in the mattress ticking and the quilting could also increase or decrease the likelihood of moisture retention and mold. A bedroom in a basement would be more likely to have issues than one on the third floor. A mattress on a floor would also be at greater risk than one that was higher up in the air which was warmer and could come to room temperature more quickly, even in the same room. The degree of moisture that each person releases over the course of the night would play a role. There are many more factors that could be involved and there is usually a combination of factors that leads to mold or mildew or many other "issues". Mold and mildew is also not the only issue involved because the airflow through a mattress can also affect the dust mite population (which depends on humidity in their surroundings to absorb the moisture that they need to survive) and can also affect the durability of a mattress (higher humidity can reduce the useful life of many mattress materials).

The key thing would be to keep relative humidity levels lower your wool mattress pad is a good start, along with the wool used in the mattress cover you’re considering, as that is good at absorbing and releasing moisture). Keeping organic material out of your mattress is also key and a good mattress pad assists with this as well. Making sure that there is airflow around your mattress (not placed upon a solid deck) is important. Overall, keeping things from getting into your mattress is key (minimizing the food source for mold), keeping your bedroom environment cool (mold grows best in the upper 70s-low 80s), and keeping the relative humidity lower are your best bets.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Final stages of researching latex mattresses 16 Apr 2017 17:57 #3

Phoenix, thank you very much for your input! I appreciate your detailed response, here and in all of the other posts!

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Final stages of researching latex mattresses 16 Apr 2017 18:17 #4

Hi nels,

You're very welcome. I know it can be a complicated subject, but I hope the information I provided simplified things a bit for you.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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