Latex in So Cal


I have an old full innerspring & I want to “upgrade” to a queen 100% natural latex mattress. I’m 5’7" & 110 lbs. My cat is 21" & 10 lbs. We’re both 94% side / 6% back. I like a medium to medium-soft bed, but I don’t want too soft. I want to be able to turn w/o much effort that would wake me. Occasionally I have lower back & neck pain. Do you have input as to these Southern California retailers: They say their Dunlop is organic, but I read that no governing body has certified Dunlop as organic (I suppose it could still be organic, just not “certified”). They charge more for Dunlop than Talalay, which is weird, because I think everyone else charges more for Talalay. I guess they’re charging more for the “organic” label? Their beds are 2, 3, or 4 unglued layers of S M F XF. I don’t know if the bed base they sell is suitable for latex: It looks like a bed could slide off. It looks like latex could protrude thru the grid. Would this base be supportive? Does there need to be any barrier or protection between this base & the mattress pad, like a Bunkie board? If so, what extra element does a Bunkie board add? Would this base rust thru or eat through fabric or latex? What IS the best bed base for latex? They basically have Silhouette Sleep Solutions (Talalay; dual firmness; no turn or flip), Savvy Rest Serenity (Dunlop; Talalay is addl $; 3 unglued layers of S M F; optional topper), & Natura. The salesguy didn’t know the ILD & downplayed its importance (should that be a warning sign?). They recommend a slat suspension bed base. They don’t use wool & they say the sheep are treated poorly (?). I suppose they use some other flame retardant.

Abe’s Mattress in Riverside, Calif – They quoted me $3,400 for a queen 100% natural Talalay from England. It’s foam-encased (“racetrack”) because they said I will roll off the bed otherwise (?). They said blended latex lasts longer (?). They said natural latex needs some synthetics to hold it together & provide durability. 100% natural Talalay. They said you must turn & flip the mattress because it’s 2-sided, & also be sure to lay on all parts of the mattress so it wears evenly (this sounds high-maintenance). Are 2-sided latex mattresses good or bad? They say you get double the use out of it, but it sounds like a pain. Is this archaic? On the other hand, if you get a 1-sided mattress, you should probably still turn it (?). They said blended latex lasts longer (?).

I live in Riverside, Calif, so I’m looking for stores in the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, & L.A., if you know of any. I’d prefer to lay on the bed before buying it.

Are glued layers or unglued layers better? Are unglued layers hard to rearrange in the cover? Do individual layers need to be turned & flipped? Do Dunlop & Talalay soften over time? I heard Dunlop yields inconsistent results (?). Is Dunlop sturdier as a core & Talalay softer as a top layer? Are body impressions more likely to occur w/a soft layer than a med/firm/extra firm layer?

Thank you!

Hi godmoney,

There are currently two companies which have certified their latex raw material as organic. These are Latex Green and CoCo latex. Both of these have separate plantations which don’t use pesticides in their production cycle and have met the organic certification standards for their raw materials. This is an expensive and time consuming process so the latex that is made from materials that comes from these certified plantations is more expensive. I personally don’t believe it is a genuinely superior product to “natural” latex and I personally would have trouble justifying the price difference but for those who prefer organic materials as much as possible and are willing to pay for Dunlop latex which uses organic latex as the raw material then it is available. It should also be noted that the certification to my knowledge is for the raw materials only and not the finished core or the processing facilities so while it is more “organic” than “natural” latex … it is not technically an organic finished product. In other words the final product is not certified by NOP (USDA’s National Organic Program) and also not by any other certifying agency that I am aware of. In the US … only finished products that are certified by the NOP can be labelled “USDA certified organic” with the USDA seal and products that are certified by GOTS can be labelled “organic” but not “USDA certified” organic.

As to the outlets you mentioned … I like their products and they also have good value for those that are looking for organic Dunlop or 100% natural Talalay. I have talked with them on many occasions and they have always been informative, knowledgeable, and helpful and they are also a member of this site. They are a good choice for a “choose your own layer” component mattress. is one of the Berkeley Ergonomics line which are a high quality line of latex and latex/innerspring hybrid mattresses that are also customizable. They are sold through a small group of independent outlets across the country and depending on the prices charged can also be good value IMO. You can see the full lineup here including prices. I personally would tend to avoid the adjustable base with the pocket coil mattresses. You can read more information about them from one of our members Sleepless in Dallas who purchased one of these after a long saga with unsuccessful mattresses (who actually returned the adjustable base for a flat slatted base). A forum search on Berkeley Ergonomics will bring up lots more information. I would tend to avoid this company. There’s lots more about them starting with post #2 in this thread including a conversation with the company itself who never fully answered the questions I asked. I believe their mattresses are mislabeled and misadvertised and very expensive.

Abe’s Mattress in Riverside, Calif Website expired and some other warning signals from their previous site (which is still partly available in google cache and also from the wayback machine here). Their prices seem high although I don’t know the construction that is the basis of the quote and to say that their Talalay comes from England is a little strange considering the company that used to make Talalay in England has long ago gone bankrupt and much of their equipment was purchased by Latex international. There is another talalay manufacturer called Radium but they are in Holland. I am also sometimes suspicious of manufactureers who specialize in RV mattresses but which often are a way to make mattresses for the home without complying with the fire code although I don’t know if they fall into this category. There seems to be too many warning signs to to go here with so many better options in the area IMO. They are a larger regional factory direct outlet which makes some very high quality mattress, do things right, use good materials, some hand building construction methods, and have a good reputation for quality even among other manufacturers. They also carry higher prices than similar mattresses made by other independent manufacturers though and I would make some careful “value” comparisons here. they are also good people and the outlets I have talked with have been very open and helpful about their mattresses but I find their websites very confusing. They specialize in adjustable beds though and while they do have some very nice mattresses (they have been adding to their choices lately) they are not quite in the same value range as some of the local manufacturers in your area. they also carry Pure Latex Bliss talalay latex mattresses which are a high quality lineup of mattresses made by a subsidiary of latex international but again their pricing is higher than most local manufacturers because they don’t want to undercut their own customers that buy their latex. They would be well worth including in your research if you are close by. They are correct IMO about the blended talalay latex which tends to be more durable in the lower ILD’s. With dunlop latex the 100% natural would be my strong preference. There is more information about this here and in post #2 here. I notice that they have changed their website recently so I’m not as familiar with what they are currently offering although when a manufacturer also offers some higher priced brands in the mix it is often an indication that their own mattresses are also higher priced than average.

There are quite a few other options in the general LA area listed in post #2 here but I woud definitely include a phone call to in your todo list. Henry is a member of the site and is very knowledgeable and helpful and makes some excellent value mattresses that would be well worth a drive if your phone call and the distance warrants it.

The steel grid base you mentioned in connection with foam sweet foam is becoming very popular as a low cost but strong foundation option. At first I was somewhat skeptical for the reasons you mentioned but the feedback i have received from the manufacturers who use them has been good. There are quite a few variations of this type of foundation which are being used by several manufacturers. My own preference is the version with 11 strands of wire because the grid is more closely spaced. There is more information about them in the foundation thread here.

There’s lots of information here and in the LA thread to go through so I hope this helps.


Thank you for your input!

I emailed Foam Sweet Foam a lot of questions, but they didn’t respond, so I’ll probably nix them. They probably figure it’s not worth it to answer my questions. Nobody wants to try these days!

I was already suspicious of Essentia based on their claims & prices. Best Organic Mattress - Beyond LatexTM Foam | Essentia Mattress says, “Organic latex does not exist. Since certification is required to label anything organic and there are no organizations certifying latex foam as organic, claims of organic latex cannot be proven.” Maybe they’re talking about the finished product, not the raw materials, like you mentioned. Also, they say, “Considering a mattress with non organic wool? You’d be amazed to find out what these poor sheep go through.” I think they use Kevlar for the fire code, which I read has chemicals (sigh).

Abe’s Mattress was shady because they couldn’t give me the specs.

I agree that is haphazard! That site needs an overhaul. also couldn’t give me the specs on the spot.

I’ll check out the other places you listed. I actually considered Diamond Mattress sometime ago for their CoolTouch memory foam bed until I realized I wanted latex. I just saw their “Ethos” line, which is the Organic Nurture, Natural Eco-Rest, & Natural Peace. The Organic says “100% Talalay latex.” The Natural says “Natural Talalay latex and eco-flex core” w/no description. I emailed them for clarification, but I bet the “100% Talalay latex” is blended, & the “Natural Talalay latex and eco-flex core” is x% natural + polyurethane core. Oh, what a game!

The reason I asked about the steel grid base is because Habitat Furnishings said that base would void the warranty on their latex beds. I like the base because it’s minimal, lightweight, portable, etc.

Are there any discussions here from consumers that address pros & cons of 1-sided vs 2-sided & glued layers vs unglued layers?

Thank you!

Hi godmoney,

In my experience … it’s not unusual at for small local manufacturers to shy away from complex email questions because a single email can sometimes take several hours to do what a phone conversation could do in 15 minutes and even then email leads to more unanswered questions than it answers. Because of this it sometimes goes to the end of the line and sometimes if the questions are more complex there is just not enough time available in what is usually a very busy day. With local manufacturers or smaller outlets I usually recommend that a phone call is by far the best approach unless the email can be answered in a single sentence or so and has no “grey areas” in any possible answer.

I completely agree with you about the information on the Essentia website.

I think the better wire grid bases seem to be fine according to various outlets I have asked about them and their experiences with them underneath latex mattresses. I would tend to go with the 11 wire versions though such as the ones listed here or here because the grid spacing is smaller and there is less chance of the latex sinking through the gaps.


Thanks for all the info on this website. I was going to buy a mainline matters and then stumbled on this site. Am somewhat skeptical about smaller manufacturers, but am heading to Flexus to check out their latex mattresses to see what they have to offer. Will report back on my rImpressions. Regards…

Hi Supremo,

The bigger manufacturers and outlets in the industry have done a very good job of cultivating this “skepticism” unfortunately through massive advertising and misleading or incomplete information about the mattresses they make and sell and their use of terms like “off brands” or claims of “proprietary” materials which imply that many smaller manufactures have lower quality or value than what they make when the exact opposite is true.

I think if you compare the materials in the mattress and your overall experience which will be more “educational” than “sales pressure” oriented you will be pleasantly surprised :slight_smile: Make sure you let them know you are a member here if you buy a mattress there because it entitles you to a 5 percent discount on any mattress purchase.

I’m looking forward to your feedback


I like the 11-wire grid bases you linked me to better than the one I linked you to from Hollywood Bed Frame which only has 7 wires & huge gaps! Unfortunately, I talked to a few retailers who offer the 7-wire grid & they said if I used the 11-wire grid it would void their warranty! Even though the 11-wire grid is much better all around! I don’t get it. So now I’m stuck between a rock & a hard place. I want a good value mattress from a small retailer but I don’t trust those huge gaps! Sigh! Do you know what their reasoning is for this, other than they get the 7-wire bases at a huge discount which they then inflate to the customer?

Hi godmoney,

Quite frankly … I don’t “get it” either.

Of course there’s always the possibility that they may know something about the foundations that I linked to that I don’t know in which case I’d be happy to learn the reasons behind what they are saying. Most warranties (although not all) require a “suitable” foundation rather than a specific one that is being sold with the mattress.

In the absence of a reasonable answer to “why” (and these types of questions will often make some people very uncomfortable) … I would make the same assumption as you are (they get the 7-wire bases at a huge discount which they then inflate to the customer?).


Hi supremo and godmoney,

 If you haven't had a chance to speak to henry at flexus yet, I would STONGLY recommend doing so.  My wife and I went there this past friday.  We spent over an hour in there testing the mattresses and discussing all aspects of the purchase.  We were so impressed with his knowledge and attention to detail.

He is helping us with our search for adjustable beds also. He is making us an all talalay latex mattress with a 6" support core and 3" comfort level in a cal king split. I am sure if you get the chance to visit there you will come away as impressed as we were.

Good luck in your shopping.