Which to Choose?


Dear Phoenix & others,

I too have spent hours researching your site and looking into the myriad of options available in the world of mattresses. My husband and I are knee deep in the search for a new mattress. Like many, we have had a ‘hand-me-down’ inner spring mattress for years and it’s ready to go. Most importantly, however, we want to commit to a non-chemical lifestyle and we think the best place to start is with our mattress. So here goes:

1.) We would like a Dunlop Latex 100% natural (Not organic, right? Because I think I read that there is no organic certification for latex just yet) mattress (Not Talalay, because I think I read that Talalay often is made up of 25% natural latex and 75% synthetic and we do not want any petrochemicals in our bed…).

2.) We would like the mattress to be made in the USA (and we want most of the counterparts to be sourced from the US as well if possible, i.e. organic cotton & organic wool).

3.) We would like the mattress to be firm, but conforming and 8" thick or greater.

4.) We would like to spend less than $3,000 but would prefer to spend around $2,000 if possible (of course! :wink: ).

5.) We want it to be double-sided, constructed well and made to last (as well as comfortable, of course!)

6.) Finally, there can be no chemicals or kevlar or rayon wrappings (or whatever else) which make the mattress flame-retardant. It should purely pass the CA test based on the wool wrapping around the mattress. It needs to be truly chemical free.

So. Are we asking for too much? Are we destined to spend 5K on a mattress? The companies I have researched and have come to trust are listed below (still pending a couple of emails from foam sweet foam and soaring heart) . Maybe you can help us determine if these companies are “green-washing” or are truly organic, and if they in fact can sell a bed that fits our somewhat lofty standards (based on your research I removed Essentia from our list, as well as Flexus Comfort-was I right to do so?).

-http://soaringheart.com (a tad out of our price range)
-www.spindlemattress.com (is it really such an awful thing to have to put your bed together yourself???)
-https://www.foamsweetfoam.com (with Dunlop only)

Thanks for any and all help from this lovely mattress expert community!


Hi KathrynP,

Welcome … and I’m glad you found us :).

I’m assuming that you’ve read the mattress shopping tutorial which has all the basic information,steps, and guidelines you will need to make the best possible choices … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

It may also be worth reading post #2 here which talks about the differences between organic, natural, safe, chemical free, and green materials and mattresses that may help you decide on the type of materials that you are comfortable having in your mattress and help you answer the question of “how safe is safe enough for me?”.

There is more about the different levels of organic certifications in post #2 here but certified organic Dunlop that is certified by GOLS (which stands for Global Organic Latex Standard) and is similar to GOTS certification for fabrics is certainly available for those who would prefer it.

Choosing latex that is only made in the US would limit your options considerably because most of the 100% natural Dunlop latex you will find (except for Mountaintop Foam) and all of the organic Dunlop will be manufactured outside of the US. Latex International has 100% natural Talalay that is made in the US but Radium is the other major Talalay manufacturer and also makes 100% natural Talalay but is made in Holland. None of the raw latex itself would come from anywhere in North America and most of it is from Asia or Africa.

There is no consistent definition or standard for a firm mattress between different manufacturers and different people will also have very different definitions or perceptions of what firm feels like to them so your own testing or experience will be the most reliable way to know whether a mattress feels firm to you.

What is available in your budget range would depend on the size of your mattress, the types of materials you are comfortable with, whether your budget is for a “mattress only” or includes any accessories you need in addition to your mattress (such as a foundation or bedframe), and on what is available locally or whether you are also comfortable including online manufacturers or retailers in your research.

Choosing a double sided mattress will reduce the number of latex options and the number of designs and features that are available for you to choose from. There is more about the pros and cons of two sided mattresses in post #3 here.

There are certainly mattresses available that only use wool to pass the fire regulations although as you probably know wool is a more costly material. There are also some manufacturers that will make a mattress with no fire barrier at all (wool or otherwise) with a prescription from a licensed health professional. I would keep in mind though that even organic latex has some chemicals in the formulation that are used to foam and manufacture the latex (the GOLS organic certification allows for 5% of “other” ingredients besides just the natural rubber used to manufacture the foamed latex core). All latex is tested for safety using the same certifications (either Oeko-Tex or Eco-Institut) and by most people’s standards would be completely “safe” regardless of whether it is Dunlop or Talalay or made with natural or synthetic rubber or a blend of both but it’s not “chemical free”.

All of these manufacturers use high quality materials and would have no weak links in their design but not all of them use organic latex (if that’s important to you) and some of them may not use organic wool (which again may or may not be important to you based on the information I linked previously). There are certainly advantages to component mattresses because they provide options to customize the mattress both before a purchase (by choosing different firmness levels for the layers) or after a purchase (by rearranging layers or exchanging them) but they also aren’t two sided if that’s an important criteria for you. The tutorial post also includes a list of the members here that sell mattresses online (which includes all of your choices except one) and many of them sell latex mattresses that use different types of latex (including organic) and have a wide range of designs (including two sided), options, features and prices that may also be worth considering … again depending on which of your criteria are most important to you.


thanks for the great info! :slight_smile: