I recently bought an inner spring mattress made of all natural materials (made by WJ Southard). I like that there are no toxic chemicals in the materials, but the mattress has proved to be too firm. I’m hoping a latex topper will make it more comfortable. I want to find a topper that is also non-toxic, and all the jargon out there is a little confusing (natural, 100% natural, pure, etc). Ideally, I want something that is just latex (from a tree) and organic cotton. Is that available? Or do other components have to be added (fire retardants, etc.)?
All the latex you are likely to encounter (whether it’s Dunlop or Talalay or synthetic, natural, or a blend of the two) are non toxic and safe. They are all tested by either OekoTex or EcoInstitut for harmful substances and VOC’s so there would be no safety or toxicity issues with any of them.
Of course there are many people who prefer 100% natural latex (either Talalay or Dunlop) for reasons other than safety (or in some cases they may believe that they are a “safer” choice) and these are also good choices even if they aren’t any less toxic than other types or blends of latex.
You won’t generally find fire retardants added to latex mattresses (which generally use either wool or an inherent fire barrier rather than chemicals) but toppers aren’t required to pass the fire regulations that apply to mattresses so fire retardants are not an issue with latex toppers.
Jeremy, there is no such thing as “all natural” or “100% green organic” . That is a sales pitch to those who wish to embrace the “natural” philosophy, or religion if you will. The rubber, whether it be tree latex milk/sap or synthetic has to be vulcanized somehow and that can only be done via the addition of chemicals, vulcanizing agents, sulfur, fillers. Like Phoenix said, you’ll be fine. Here are the facts: http://www.latexfoam.com/latex-material/technical-blog
After 6 weeks of research I’ve come to the conclusion that Talatech combines the best of both worlds - synthetic and natural latex. Talatech is Latex International’s 70/30 blend of synthetic and tree latex sap. I’ve got three 3" sheets coming to make my own.
Thank you for the info. I just tried a 2" topper at a local store made by Pure LatexBliss. After going to the Pure LatexBliss website, I’m curious what the differences are between their different toppers. They offer “Natural” vs “All Natural,” and “Slow Response ActiveFUSION” vs. “Fast Response ActiveFUSION.” Do you know what the differences are between these different toppers with regard to material make-up, comfort, durability, etc.? And what is ActiveFUSION?
All of them are different forms of Talalay latex.
The “Natural” is made with a blend of 30% natural and 70% synthetic rubber.
The “All Natural” is made with natural rubber only and doesn’t use any synthetic rubber in the formula. Post #2 here has more about the difference between 100% natural and blended talalay latex.
Active Fusion is what Latex International calls Talalay GL (and used to be called Celsion) and is blended Talalay with some phase change gel microparticles added to the formula to help with temperature regulation. It comes in a fast and slow response version (NOTE: they are no longer making the slow response version). While Talalay latex is already among the most breathable and temperature regulating of all the foam materials … the phase change gel can add a slight benefit for those who feel they may need it (see post #2 here).
The fast response is very similar to the blended Talalay in a similar ILD.
The slow response is also a blended Talalay but is made to have some of the delayed response and “feel” of memory foam and if you compress it the material leaves a hand print for a few seconds. (NOTE: this has now been discontinued).
Which one would be more comfortable would be a completely subjective choice.
Thank you again. So, I thought the Pure LatexBliss topper I tried was comfortable. If I wanted to order something with a similar feel, but with Dunlop latex instead of Talalay (partly for cost reasons), would I just want to compare the ILDs of different toppers? And do you know what the ILD of that topper is? Or would Pure LatexBliss tell me? I believe their product name is just “2” All Natural Topper." Thanks.
Unfortunately … Dunlop and Talalay firmness ratings don’t compare all that well because of the differences between the two types of latex (see post #7 here) and differences in how ILD is tested (see post #6 here). If you want the “feel” of Talalay then it would need to be Talalay although there are lower cost sources of either 100% natural Talalay or blended Talalay than a PLB topper in the component post I linked earlier (including the two sources mentioned here).
While a Dunlop topper won’t have the “feel” or resilience of a Talalay topper (some people may prefer one over the other because of the differences between them) … 100% natural Dunlop in the 60 kg/m3 or lower would be somewhat “in the range” of the same softness level and some of the continuous pour Dunlop toppers (either synthetic which is less costly or 100% natural) would also be in a somewhat similar softness range. It’s generally much more difficult to find Dunlop that is as soft as the softest Talalay.
I don’t know of any sources for molded Dunlop that is as soft as the Talalay you are looking at but a couple of sources for continuous pour Dunlop toppers that may be “in the range” that would be worth talking to include here (3" toppers in 100% natural continuous pour Dunlop made by Mountaintop foam) and here (1" and 2" and 3" toppers in a mostly synthetic Dunlop blend made by Latexco).
Are there any companies out there with return policies or “trial periods” that would allow you to return a topper if it ended up not being comfortable?
Return or exchange policies for toppers are not that common because they are considered a personal item but some of the sources on the component list that have return or exchange policies I’m aware of are listed in post #4 here but it may not be complete (policies can change) and make sure you confirm the details or the costs involved before a purchase.
Hi - so I tried to find out the ILD rating of the Pure Latex Bliss topper that I tried at a store and liked, and this is what PLB said: “Our products are not presented in terms of ILD, they are presented in terms of plushness. The 3” all natural plushness is a higher level than the 2”. The Talalay Latex is the same in both builds, size is the only difference, and the added depth provides additional plushness.”
So if I wanted to try to find a Talalay topper online with a similar feel (but less expensive), is there any way to know what ILD range to look for? Thanks.
It depends to some degree on which of the PLB toppers you are considering but if it’s the blended Talalay then it would be about 14 ILD, if it’s the 100% natural Talalay then it would be their N1 which is about 14 - 19 ILD and if it’s their Talalay GL fast response (that PLB calls Active Fusion fast response) it would be about 15 ILD. As they mentioned … a thicker topper will feel softer than a thinner one but a Talalay topper somewhere in the mid teens would be in the ballpark.