You’ve brought up quite a few points (some of them perhaps unkowingly) and I’ll try to deal with them one by one.
The easiest one is adjustable beds. If the massage feature is not important … then the lower cost models without the bells and whistles or with a wired remote would do just as well (Ergomotion 100, Reverie Essential, or the L&P ProMotion or Shipshape along with others). One feature that may be important to make sure it has is the “wallhugger” feature which keeps you close to a bedside table when you are raising the head of the bed.
The next issue is more complex and this has to do with “organic” latex vs natural vs blended.
The USDA “organic” certification is a certification that has to do with the the agricultural raw latex used in a latex core. For the raw latex to be certified as organic … the plantation has to be free of pesticide use for a number of years (in the surrounding area as well) and they have to follow organic farming methods. While natural latex may use the same methods … the organic certification process is very stringent and expensive so a product that uses it will be more expensive just because of the costs involved in certification not necessarily because the ingredients in the latex are any different.
This is just about the raw materials though and not about the actual latex mattress core. At the moment … there are only four companies that produce certified raw latex which is CoCo latex, Latex Green, Arpico, and Eco-Latex. Having the raw material certified though doesn’t mean the latex core that uses this certified raw material is certified organic. For this to happen then the factory and methods of foaming and production also have to be certified organic. Until recently this didn’t yet exist (only the raw latex was certified as an organic agricultural product). Latex green however was the first certified organic latex core rather than just being a latex core that uses certified organic latex. Each step of “certification” involves a cost both at the factory (which has to separate non certified materials and production runs from certified ones and follow certain other procedures) and with the certification process itself. Since this time there are now other GOLS certified producers (currently 4 in total) and if you register on the Control Union site you can see the list with a search here. You can also read more about organic latex certifications in post #2 here and in post #2 here.
There are also two factories in the US which are certified as following organic methods of manufacturing latex mattresses (OMI and Naturepedic). Both of these make some latex mattresses using GOLS certified latex cores (but only with their Dunlop latex mattresses). They both also produce non latex mattresses that are certified organic (all the materials are organic and the mattress itself has also been certified). NOTE ADDED: Soaring Heart also now makes mattresses that are certified organic as a complete mattress as well.
All of this is to say that “certified organic” can mean a more expensive product that may not have a significant benefit in terms of performance, safety, or even “purity” over 100% natural latex. There are a large number of consumers however who will willingly pay for the “certified organic” label because they prefer to support more organic and sustainable farming methods (see post #3 here).
So it’s up to each person to decide whether the “organic” label is worth any premium it may have over an equivalent but non certified material and this would be a personal and lifestyle choice. Wool can be the same and some of the best and cleanest, most “natural” wool made from the “happiest sheep” in the country and using all organic farming methods is not certified organic because of the expense of the certification process itself.
I personally would lean towards 100% natural Dunlop without the certification as being better value (it is usually a lower cost) but that’s just my own “personal value equation” and there is also a good argument that the extra cost of “certified organic” materials is worth the peace of mind that the certification brings with it.
There is no organic Talalay latex (or even Talalay that uses organic raw latex) although all the Talalay you will find in both blended and 100% natural has passed some very stringent testing for harmful chemicals and offgassing so it certainly wouldn’t be less safe than any other latex material. Blended Talalay in lower ILD’s may be more durable than the equivalent 100% natural Talalay but in firmer ILD’s (low/mid 20’s and higher) then this difference would probably “disappear”. Because they are so similar in performance … most people would consider blended Talalay to be better value than 100% natural talalay unless having an all natural latex content was important for other reasons.
100% natural Dunlop on the other hand is a denser material and even in lower ILD’s it would be very durable but because of the greater elasticity and performance of all natural Dunlop many people consider it to be better “value” than a synthetic or blended Dunlop for those who are willing to pay the premium although blended or synthetic Dunlop can also be a very good material that has many similarities to natural Dunlop and is also a very durable material.
Blended Dunlop is the lowest cost of the latex family and the more synthetic latex it contains the less it should cost. In a 50/50 blend or higher it can provide good cost benefits and still retain many of the benefits and properties of 100% natural Dunlop. There are also some new developments in continuous pour blended Dunlop (made on a belt instead of in a mold) that can also be very good value even in completely synthetic latex formulations. All of these would be a higher quality material IMO than most of the polyfoam that is used in mattresses.
So to recap … my personal preference would lean towards blended Talalay or 100% natural Dunlop as being the better value but of course preferences always depend on the person and the criteria that are most important to them…
Finally is the issue of firmness. All the different types of latex … organic Dunlop, 100% natural Dunlop, blended Dunlop, 100% natural Talalay, and blended Talalay and even mostly synthetic Dunlop (often 85% synthetic and 15% or less natural latex such as is used by Sealy or some of the Ikea Dunlop mattresses) all come in a wide range of softness/firmness levels so while different versions of Talalay and Dunlop have different feels and are also different in how quickly they get firmer with deeper compression … different layers of different firmness levels can be used in any of these materials to make mattresses with soft or firm comfort layers, soft or firm support layers and everything in between. In other words … the material or type of latex has little to do with the firmness of the mattress because different layering of the different types and firmness levels of the different types of latex can make either a softer or firmer mattress in either the comfort or support layers with any of them.
So the reason for all of this is so that you can decide on which material may be best for your “personal value equation” even if it is different from someone else. All of these types of latex can make a great mattress compared to other lower quality materials.
If you are looking for a way to lower your budget below the cost of an all latex mattress then a latex comfort layer over either an innerspring or polyfoam can make sense. The upper layers of a mattress are the the most important part of durability because they are the most subject to repeated compression and mechanical stress and for most people (but not all) … they contribute more to the overall “feel” of the mattress as well. In these cases (where the different types of latex aren’t enough to bring an “all latex” mattress into the budget range that is suitable or just as a matter of preference), then a latex/polyfoam or latex/innerspring hybrid can also have very good performance and value.
There is some very good value at SleepWorld on their website in both Talalay and even blended Dunlop and the trick would be to find the layering and firmness level in the comfort and support layers in the materials and thickness that put the mattress into your preferred budget range.
Thanks too for the great feedback about your experience at SleepWorld. I see you like “direct” as much as I do
Hope this helps.