Looking for latex in Lexington

I don’t know if finding this site was a good thing or not. Without it I probably would have already purchased an overpriced Serta Perfect Day without thinking to ask what was inside. I have asked now and can’t get a meaningful answer. I also strongly resist buying anything with MAP pricing directives from the manufacturer. By finding this site (thanks, by the way) I now have more questions and uncertainty than answers.
This site seems to favor latex mattresses enough that it leaves me at least wanting more info. As many know, this is a difficult subject to research. First, I can’t find a mattress store in the Lexington Ky area that sells anything latex other than the partial latex mattresses made by the larger manufacturers. I won’t list models as they change by retailer anyway but all have left me wanting more information. Many have also stated that no one makes an all latex mattress and that anything other than a synthetic blend is available.
I see a lot of good advice offered here by Phoenix and a lot said as to the VALUE of a mattress. What constitutes exceptional value in a latex mattress? In the simplest terms, is 100% natural latex really that? I have seen info to the contrary on other web sites, stating that you can’t get 100% latex.
The self assembled mattresses from the Arizona Premium Mattress Co. look as competitively priced as any others I have seen. What is the durability like on their bamboo covers? Is 9" a sufficient thickness for a mattress? I’m struggling with the concept of purchasing an item of this cost sight unseen from half a continent away and any further information based on other customer’s experience, not testimonials on a company web site, would be greatly appreciated. Are there any other latex mattresses in the same price range? Are the more expensive ones really any better?

Hi kwinky,

I think the choice between various mattress materials and components is mostly one of preference but latex is certainly one of the highest quality and most durable materials used in mattresses. More even than latex itself though, I think it’s important to choose the highest possible quality that is available in a particular budget range no matter what material someone may prefer. Every material has low and high quality versions and knowing how to tell the difference between them (or dealing only with knowledgeable manufacturers or retailers who will tell you) can be one of the most important parts of mattress shopping. Who you buy from (and who you exclude) can be just as important as what you buy.

I also think the people you have been talking to are sadly misinformed … or worse yet presenting the mattresses they sell as being all that is available in the marketplace. This article and post #6 here has more information about the various different types of latex that you may encounter. There are certainly many “all latex” mattresses of various types available in most areas of the country. Some of the better options and possibilities in the Lexington area are listed in post #3 here.

Latex is either natural rubber (NR) or synthetic rubber (SBR). When a latex foam is manufactured there are other compounds used in the formula in order to turn the raw latex milk into a foamed material so if by 100% latex someone means a material that only contains rubber and nothing else then this would be correct. Most latex cores or layers contain about 90% - 95% or more latex and the rest of the “ingredients” would be the other compounds that are used to make the latex. When most people talk about 100% natural latex (NR) though what they mean is that there is no synthetic rubber used in manufacturing and that all the latex used is natural rubber (NR). From this perspective there are many manufacturers who make 100% natural latex.

Value has many different components (see post #46 here) but from a “commodity” perspective it could be defined as a mattress that is lower priced than other mattresses that use the same or very similar materials and components. So if you were comparing a mattress that had 9" of blended Talalay latex that sold for $1400 in queen (mattress only) and compared it to a mattress that had the same 9" of blended Talalay latex but sold for $2000 and they both had similar ticking and quilting materials then you would have an “apples to apples” comparison and the lower priced mattress would be significantly better value from a commodity perspective. The lower priced mattress may use layering though that was softer or firmer or have a different design and construction that didn’t provide you with the pressure relief and alignment you needed so while it may be better value … it may not be as suitable for your body type and sleeping position so the suitability of a mattress for your body type and sleeping position is just as important as its “commodity value”.

I tend to use the online manufacturers that are members of this site listed in post #21 here as a “value reference”. If a local mattress (in an "apples to apples comparison) has a premium in the range of 20% - 25% of these prices I would consider them to be good value (online purchases can be more risky than a local purchase because you can’t test them first) but each person can decide on the degree of difference that would be “equivalent” value for them based on their own risk tolerance and on any of the other benefits provided with dealing with a particular manufacturer or retailer either online or locally.

The list I linked earlier has many latex mattresses with different designs and in many price ranges and each had different benefits that may be more or less attractive to each person. I would consider all of them to be great value for different reasons. For most people 8" - 9" of latex is fine but there are some who may need less (lighter weights, firmer preferences, or “flatter” sleeping positions) and some that are much heavier or have different preferences may do better with more than this (in the range of 11" - 12"). Post #14 here talks about some of the benefits of thicker mattresses that may be important for some people.

Good quality covers would not be the weak link of any of these mattresses but the cover and quilting can be a significant part of the price of the mattress. Good quality fabrics and quilting materials (such as wool) can be more costly than lower cost fabrics and quilting layers. The quality and suitability of a mattress has little relationship to its price because there are very high priced mattresses that are significantly overpriced (most major manufacturers have mattresses in this category) and much lower priced mattresses that are made up of the same components that are much lower priced. Arizona Premium is certainly in the “best in country” value range.

I would consider all the members of this site to be among the best quality/value in the country and other manufacturers that compared favorably to these in an “apples to apples” comparison (based on their mattresses and their knowledge, service, and the options they provided to their customers) would be in this range as well. They are well worth talking with on the phone because they are more focused on “educating” their customers about their mattresses than they are on “selling” them whatever they will buy.

Hope this helps.


Thanks, Phoenix, for all of the wonderful information. As far as thickness required, I am 6’3" and weigh 300 lbs. My wife is about 5’4" and 170lbs. We are both side sleepers. I think maybe a 9" mattress would not be as effective as a 12" or even 14" but in latex that seems to require some additional research.

Previous discussions of natural vs blended have also left me confused of what the terminology used really means. The Ebay seller mattresses247 has listings for 100% talalay latex but states deeper in the post that it is a synthetic blend, ratio not stated. Do I take this mean that they use 100% real latex in their blend? Seems kind of misleading to me. Other posts here indicate that 247 uses seconds from Sleepez? I thought Sleepez used all natural 100% latex?

Another Ebay seller, latexusa, claims to use 100% natural talaly latex, refered to as “Talulux”. Does the branding indicate a synthetic blend?

I really don’t know if I want to go down the path of building my own mattress, at least from buying a zippered cover and layers of latex, and from what my small amount of research has shown, doing this may not be any cheaper.

Any additional thoughts as to thickness I would need, availability of something like that, and member suppliers that would use 100% natural latex, meaning from my understanding, no synthetic added materials? Not necessarily “organic” but at least all real from a rubber tree material? Will I need to find something with a base layer of high quality polyfoam?

Hi kwinky,

The Ebay seller mattresses247 has listings for 100% talalay latex but states deeper in the post that it is a synthetic blend, ratio not stated. Do I take this mean that they use 100% real latex in their blend? Seems kind of misleading to me. Other posts here indicate that 247 uses seconds from Sleepez? I thought Sleepez used all natural 100% latex?

SleepEz sells 100% natural and blended talalay and 100% natural Dunlop (all of which are equally “latex”). Mattresses 24/7 buys from wherever they can and not necessarily from SleepEz or any other specific manufacturer (they buy factory seconds, returns, closeouts, and rejects etc so their suppliers may change over time)

The links in the last post talks about the two different types of latex (Dunlop and Talalay) and the different types of blends.

The word “latex” can mean either synthetic or natural and just means rubber (without differentiating between the type).

So all latex … synthetic, blended, or 100% natural is equally “real latex”.

Blended Talalay contains latex rubber that is about a 30%/70% blend (NR/SBR) from either Latex International or from Radium.

This is the trade name for Radium Talalay and could mean either 100% natural or blended. You would need to confirm with them which it is. Radium is not made in the US (they produce their Talalay latex in Holland).

If you have the knowledge and experience to know exactly what you need and prefer in every component of your mattress … then a complete DIY can be a good idea. If you are in any way unsure then you would probably do much better to work with a specific manufacturer (or more than one) so that they can provide you with some guidance and help with your choices. I personally believe that the help of a knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer is a significant part of the value of any mattress purchase. There is more about the different ways to buy a mattress and my thoughts about them in post #15 here. No matter what the quality of the materials in a mattress … if it isn’t suitable for your needs and preferences then it would have little value to you and in this case, the ease and cost of exchanging layers and knowing what to exchange for would become very important. I agree with you that buying separate components can sometimes be more expensive in the end than working with a knowledgeable manufacturer and you would also be “rolling the dice” in terms of how well the mattress meetsw your needs and preferences.

While you would probably be “OK” with 8 - 9" of latex… the odds are that you would probably be better off with a mattress that was more in the range of 11" to 12" of latex. As to the specific layering … I would work with each individual manufacturer for their specific suggestions based on their experience with their own design and the components they use. As I mentioned in the linked posts as well … I would also tend towards blended Talalay (which in softer ILD’s is more durable than 100% natural as well as lower priced) or 100% natural Dunlop (which is more supportive than Talalay in the same ILD because it gets firmer faster with deeper compression) unless there was a particularly compelling reason for you to choose otherwise based on your own personal preferences and experience.

What you use for a base layer depends on your budget and preferences (there is more about the differences between them in post #2 here). A matress with a high quality polyfoam base layer will of course be less costly but will also not have the same feel and performance as a latex base layer.