Latex Mattress Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a page where I can see all the various videos you have on your latex mattresses, foundations, and adjustable bed options?
Because people have asked to have a page with all our videos about the latex mattresses and its support options (foundation or adjustable base), we put together a page where you can find all this information.
What is latex and what makes it different from other materials used in bedding?
Latex rubber is an all natural material derived from the sap of the Rubber Tree, Hevea brasiliensis. The trees are a renewable and sustainable resource, found plentifully in places such as South America (in similar environments where premium coffee beans are grown) India, and parts of southeast Asia, typically in tropical climates where there is a rainy season and a sunny, dry season. We work only with plantations and growers that implement robust renewable resource techniques and policies, which insure responsible management so that as latex trees no longer produce latex, they can be harvested for their lumber, and another sapling is planted directly in the spot where the mature tree was removed.
Liquid latex rubber, harvested by hand from hundreds of thousands of trees on a typical plantation, is solidified into jiggly, elastic rubber cores about 6″ thick, using a process called vulcanization, in giant “Belgian Waffle” like steam ovens. Once solidified, the “cores” are rinsed and squeezed multiple times to remove latex proteins and particulate matter, and then are wrapped and shipped to our facilities. Once there, the cores are cut to US standard sizes, the end result being a resilient and unique sleep surface which is naturally antimicrobial, resists mold and mildew, is antifungal, and is not tolerated by dust mites and other allergens. It offers a perfect sleep surface for allergy sufferers and people with respiratory issues. It does not settle or pack down over time, and sleeps cool in summer and warm in winter because of its inherent breathability and open cell structure.
It is extremely durable, unlike petroleum based foams which tend to degrade,discolor,and even collapse within a few years.Often used as “filler” layers in expensive mattresses, these cheap and often smelly (due to continuous off-gassing) foam layers mash down and are often the root cause of mattress failure- you just never see it. But, Natural Latex has a lifespan of up to 40 years as a useful mattress, with virtually no deterioration over long spans of time. Also, there is a distinction to be made between natural latex rubber, and the man made synthetic version, which is a petroleum based product. Some people claim that the synthetic version can produce “off-gassing” of petroleum based chemicals.
Why would I purchase a latex bed instead of a memory foam bed, air bed, or coil mattress?
Natural Latex has unique properties that make it different from other sleep surfaces. It tends to be more elastic, responds faster to body shifting than many “memory foam” materials, and will not bucket or indent like many coil, or poofy pillow top mattresses, due to body impressions. By pushing upward against the body rather than consuming it, latex provides the most effective support, cradling the body, filling in void areas in your lower back and between shoulder blades, and because it is so elastic, it is far easier to turn on than other sleep surfaces.
Unlike memory foam, pillowtop coil mattresses, and other kinds of mattresses, you don’t have to dig your way out of your bed. Because it is not made from petroleum based materials, and is a naturally derived resource, there is no need for concern about off-gassing or leaching of chemicals from the mattress, either. User satisfaction ratings tend to be much higher because natural latex is so extraordinarily comfortable.
A Pure Natural Latex bed assists in improving circulation by softening pressure points without the “caved-in” or wet sand type feel, and tends to provide a “hovering” kind of sensation rather than a settled in or nestled feeling. There are no metal coils to contend with, no leaking air bladders, and no remote controls.
I see you guys use only pure, botanically derived Dunlop and Talalay latex-is this better than other kinds?
We use only pure latex, both in Dunlop and Talalay, because botanically derived latex has much more elasticity, provides better support, instantly responds to body movements, resists depressions and rutting, and is the most effective material for distributing weight. Most companies will use blended latex which is a mixture of natural and synthetic, is much less expensive, but does not have the durability, elasticity, and “rubbery” feel and responsiveness only plant based latex provides. Typical problems associated with synthetic latex such as crumbling, darkening due to light exposure, rutting and formation of body impressions and dips do not occur with botanical latex. Make sure you ask lots of questions about the source of all latex materials used in the manufacture of your latex mattress, regardless of where you shop.
Why do you only make a 6″, 8″, and 9″ thick natural latex mattress? Why do you think that there’s no need to make a thicker mattress?
It is a common misperception in the mattress industry that the more stuff you build into the mattress, and the thicker it is, the better it must be. We call it the “piling on” phenomenon. When we designed our line of mattresses, we engineered our beds with comfort and support in mind .. each has their own specific kind of feel, providing the optimal amount of natural latex without adding unmanageable weight and materials. It simply is not necessary to build a 12 inch thick latex mattress.
Since the material is so resilient and elastic, even our 6″ model is designed to accommodate the typical adult, without the sensation that you’ve bottomed out because there is not enough support below. The end result is a reasonably priced natural latex mattress made with pure, botanical materials, that is easy to handle and will last the full lifespan for which it was intended.
Why do you not offer a “build your own mattress” selection, or offer the ability to switch out layers?
Many customers who research latex mattresses are very specific about their needs, and find manufacturers and stores that allow you to custom build your own latex mattress by selecting different densities of latex to give you a personalized feel to your bed.Before we designed our three models, our 6″ firmer natural latex mattress, our premium 8″ plusher natural latex model (for sidesleepers), and our sumptuous, body conforming 9″ SkyBed model, we experimented with this option, but soon discovered many problems and unique observations with the idea of “individually customized” latex mattresses. One, latex mattresses that have layers that are not laminated together have shifting problems over time, with various layers bunching and migrating during use.
That is why we use a proprietary non toxic latex based adhesive to laminate our 2 layers together in our premium 8″ model and our 9″ SkyBed model, designed to appeal to people who want good underlying support, but with a plusher finished feel.Our 9″ Skybed was designed for a buoyant, uplifting feel, while offering extra softness for pressure points, like shoulders and hips. With our completely non-toxic adhesives keeping everything together and neatly in place, you won’t have to worry about constantly realigning, restacking, and adjusting the layers in your mattress. When you buy a mattress from us, you don’t buy a bag full of topper pads- you get a finished product.
Remember, the difference between natural latex and other materials, is that you just don’t need to pile on multiple layers of zoned latex, different densities, etc..our research indicated that designing more complicated ( and therefore more expensive) mattresses with too many options and variations, did not necessarily add any benefit whatsoever .. the simpler the mattress, the less likelihood for failure.
I sleep really hot.. Will a latex bed provide some benefit?
Among many of the characteristics of Latex is its ability to effectively dissipate heat. This is due to its open cell structure and the fact that it is less dense than memory foam and other bedding materials, which some people find warmer than other sleep surfaces. In fact, many folks end up researching Latex beds for the sole purpose of finding a bed which does not “sleep hot”. Using moisture repelling materials and technically advanced outer coverings like our 37 Degree® moisture wicking fabric is also a big factor, though. Our advanced covering also maintains consistent body temperature, allowing you to sleep cool in summer, and warm in winter.
If you are using very high thread count sheets, with counts of 500 or higher, this author says “get rid of them”. They provide minimal ventilation, typically are very heavy, are hard to care for in general (they stay wrinkled even after vigorous tumble drying) , and provide no more benefit to a hot sleeper than a nice set of 300 thread count cotton sheets.
What does the term “pincore” mean, and why does latex have all those little holes in them?
All manufactured latex, even pure natural latex, is formed using either a pouring or injection molding process. Within the mold, hundreds of small steel pins point upward, and the latex is poured around these pins. The end result is a mattress with hundreds of small holes which penetrate through the entire surface. These holes provide added flexibility to the material, provide ventilation, and prevent the mattress from tearing if rolled or folded, but they are mainly there to rapidly distribute heat during the solidification process, to prevent the latex from being scorched, like a burnt Belgian waffle. They also affect the feel of the mattress, helping to make the material more pliable and softer.
Shopping for a latex bed seems confusing. What should I be looking for, underneath the fancy outer cover?
Certainly there are many resources for purchasing a latex bed, and in many forms. There are companies who take a “green” approach and offer pure latex like we sell and don’t combine the latex with other materials, yet other companies combine latex with non-natural synthetic materials. If you are purchasing a latex bed for the first time, go for the most pure latex you can find. It will last longer, perform better, provide more elastic and buoyant support, is instantly responsive, and remember..when you add synthetic layers to a latex mattress, you dilute the qualities that only the pure latex can provide.
To save money, one option is to purchase a latex bed which has at least a 6″ slab of latex on top, and a supportive base layer of a good synthetic foam that is free of toxic materials, like the Certi-Pur Foams found in our Hybrid Mattress program, This gives you the benefit of pure latex on top, while offering good support underneath that will feel very close to a natural latex mattress.
What about a pillowtop or mattress pad ? Is that necessary to make a latex bed more comfortable?
We encourage our customers to buy our pure latex mattresses exactly the way we designed them. We have sold thousands of our mattresses in all three models we offer, and they are constantly tweaked and adjusted based on customer feedback..so you’re buying a mattress largely designed by the people who use them. But, you certianly might buy one of our mattresses and have a need for even more cushiness and support, or just a need to make it slightly higher, in which case you could add one of our latex topper pads to build up the sumptuous comfort of your mattress.
Most latex bed manufacturers offer at least a basic cover which is usually a stretch knit material, or a terrycloth type fabric. It is a thinner material which does not add unnecessary “fluffiness” to the bed, but rather allows you to be closer to the latex material underneath. That is our intention, by offering the thinnest coverings we can offer..to keep you close to what you are paying for. Often, most consumers are accustomed to buying the most “luxurious” poofy pillowtops they can find, and although it may add a degree of “sumptuousness” to the bed, you may be spending money on unnecessary embellishments that keep you too far from what’s underneath that provides the benefits that you were after to begin with.
Bottom line, avoid overkill. Latex beds vary greatly in price. A 12″ thick piece of Natural latex in a mattress is probably not going to provide any more benefit than a 6″ piece. But you will certainly pay for it. Get the best materials for your need. But keep it simple in design.
I live in Wisconsin, and have really cold winters-my memory foam bed is like a rock. Will a Latex bed be any different?
Pure, botanically derived Latex is highly elastic, even in cooler climes. Other materials, especially memory foam, since it is temperature reactive because of its higher density, aggressively responds to lower temperatures by becoming much stiffer, the colder it gets. Of course, it reacts equally as fast to a warm body, but in very cold environments, this may take some time. Expect latex bedding to be more reactive and responsive, even during colder times of year, or if you prefer to keep your ambient room temperature a little lower.
Does your company charge for shipping, and how is your product shipped?
We ship totally free of charge to you, via FedEx Ground Shipping for all of our Natural Latex products. There are no hidden freight or shipping charges. Our latex beds are packaged in an innovative vacuum packaging method. When your order is processed for shipping, the mattress is gently rolled (the rolling process will not harm the product in any way, and this method has been field tested and used for many years for a variety of bedding products by our factory), and double bagged using heavy plastic.
A vacuum system is used to remove air to temporarily reduce the thickness of the bed during the shipping process. It is then sleeved into a heavy duty corrugated box, and shipped. When you receive the bed, you may need a second person to bring the box inside your home, as the delivery is handled in the typical “to the front door” manner that FedEx would deliver any other package. We do not require signatures on most of our products, except larger mattresses that are shipped via FedEx freight, like our 9″ SkyBed King and California King models.
The FedEx driver is not permitted due to insurance regulations, in helping you setup or install your new Latex bed. It is very easy to do, and there is absolutely no assembly required. Bring the package to your bedroom, and CAREFULLY remove the outer box by peeling it off by hand. Do not use knives, boxcutters, or any sharp objects. Tear open the plastic bag and remove by unsleeving it from the mattress. The bed will immediately start to return to its original shape.
This process takes about an hour before it is complete. Place the mattress onto your existing boxspring, foundation, or platform. Have another person get on the opposite side of the bed. Grab the mattress and “plop it” up and down several times to help shift the covering into the desired position if it needs straightening up a bit. The mattress is ready for use immediately.
What if I don’t like it and want to return it?
If for any reason, our Latex beds are not what you expected them to be, you may return it within 365 days of the date of purchase for a full refund, less a modest $75 return ship charge, no questions asked. Because we package our latex mattresses using a unique and proprietary vacuum packaging system, you will not be able to repackage your mattress back into the original container. You would only be required to fold your mattress in half, (like a hot dog bun), wrap in sheet or drop cloth plastic (available at Home Depot or Lowes, in the paint department) and tape up. We use a nation wide removal service that will pick up your mattress.
Simply call us at 1-800-313-2591 to arrange for removal and we will handle the details for you. Once your mattress is picked up, make sure to collect a receipt from the removal service and fax it to us at (985) 727-3099 or email your scanned receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org . A rebate check for the full amount less a $75 return ship charge, will be issued within 10 days after we receive documentation.
Why do you offer only 3 models? I see some companies that offer over 15 models-how do I know which one is right for me?
We have been in the bedding business for over 21 years, and we have sold many different kinds of beds from futon mattresses to memory foam, and have researched even more, including air beds, water beds, and hybrid beds with every imaginable kind of specialized foam and advanced fiber in the industry, and one thing has clearly stuck out to us. Most consumers start out enthusiastically searching for a bed for one basic reason..they want something comfortable that is reasonably priced. The bedding industry is so highly competitive these days, however, that most manufacturers are forced to add endless features (we call them “bells and whistles”) and new models which only makes choosing a mattress more confusing, and turns the experience of buying a new mattress into what amounts to a trip to a used car lot…how do you choose from so many options. That’s why we keep it simple and streamlined.
Read through our Natural Latex page and you’ll find hundreds of reviews on our three model lineup, all written by customers who own them. Each model offers unique features, and after selling thousands of our mattresses, we’ve carefully tweaked and adjusted-in very small ways- our various layers and densities, even our plantation sources to create the perfect recipe for each model. Carefully calibrating our lineup so that literally anyone can find the perfect bed…in a nutshell, though, here’s a brief overview of what most of our customers tell us about each model.
- 6″ Habitat Latex Mattress– provides a firmer, more resilient feel. Best for back sleepers, but provides enough “cushiness” for side sleeping. Excellent if you’ve had back or neck surgery, have lower back problems or spine issue in general.
- 8″ Habitat Latex Mattress- most popular model- provides same supportive feel without bucketing or collapsing into the mattress (just like the 6″ prevents) but with added 2″ softer layer, so excellent shoulder and hip support for side sleepers, and allows for some immersion into the mattress, which gives it a comfy, yet buoyant feel..easy to turn on, since you don’t get “stuck” in the mattress, best for restless sleepers, belly sleepers.
- 9″ Habitat Sky Bed® Latex Mattress- highly popular, offers softest, most sumptuous feel…for folks used to softer mattress or wanting a cushier, higher level of immersion, yet still buoyantly supportive. Excellent for back and belly sleepers, and those with shoulder or hip injuries, back surgeries, fused vertebrae, offers a kind of “built in pillow top” effect. Tip- Most Habitat employees own this mattress!
Is it really necessary to have an 18″ tall mattress?
We talked about this in the previous question, but, how much of the “good stuff” (in our case, natural Latex material) is required to make a comfortable bed? The answer is not an easy one. Our first task was to determine what people wanted from a Latex Bed. We knew lots of people were looking for them, and lots of people were aware of the unique properties they have. Over the last couple of years, we reviewed dozens of retailers product lines, looked at many different beds with many combinations of latex with different densities and thicknesses at shows, and talked to industry reps about their opinions.
We test drove a variety of Natural Latex mattress configurations, and we have evaluated and worked with every kind of pure latex that is available today. That is why we chose 100% Natural Dunlop and Talalay Latex for our layers, and designed our three model lineup using highly proprietary densities and thicknesses of these high quality materials. Finally, we simply distilled everything down to what we thought would be a simplistic lineup that offered generous comfort at a reasonable price, with the benefits of Latex being the primary consideration. You don’t get all the unnecessary “piling on” of layer upon layer of frilly outer coverings and mysterious ingredients, that simply separate you from the wonderful qualities of natural latex, which is what you are buying to deliver the best benefits possible that help you sleep and rest better.
We offer 3 very simplistically designed models, and that’s it. The price you pay includes free shipping and an unheard of 365 night trial period. We think they provide a good range of comfort choices and maximize the benefits of Latex, with some functional features built in.
What kind of warranty do I get with my Latex bed?
We offer a 20 Year Factory Warranty with every bed we sell. This means that the warranty covers you for a full 20 years, with full replacement coverage for the first 10 years, and after that,the warranty is pro-rated, meaning the amount the warranty covers at the beginning of year 11 is 50% of the original purchase price, and this decreases by 5% every year until the end of the 20 year period. The warranty is comprehensive, and specifically covers any manufacturers defect, and also specifically addresses body impressions and rutting, something which does not happen with Natural Latex, but customers want to feel comfortable about having this addressed in a warranty. Liquid spillage or stains of any kind voids the warranty (we highly recommend using our waterproof mattress protector, which is an add on product we carry that you can add to your order).
How long will my Natural Latex bed last?
We’ve seen Natural Latex beds which date from the 1970’s, still pliable, flexible, a little worn from use, but amazingly intact, after being visibly torn open to reveal the latex and the dated bedding tag from that era. When treated with proper care and used in a typical household environment, it can be reasonably expected to last 20-30 years, especially if you use a protective water proof barrier on top of the mattress.
Will standard sheets fit my Latex bed, or do I need to buy new sheets?
Standard fitted sheets will work well with our 6″ and our 8″ All Natural Latex Mattress, though some may be a little loose on our mattresses. we do offer a low profile sheet set that is designed to fit our mattress program. You can check them out here. There’s no need to buy deep fitting sheets, as most sheets these days are cut to fit mattresses 8-15 inches in depth. Our advice is to wait until you get your bed, try the sheets you already have, and if they don’t work, purchase sheets. Remember to avoid really high thread count sheets, such as 500 or 1000 thread count. They sleep hotter, are heavier, and require extra care such as ironing. Get a good 300 thread count sheet, and you will be very happy.
I have heard of a product which combines memory foam and latex into the same material.do you sell that?
We evaluated a material called NuForm, which is a homogenized blend of latex and memory foam, and were not impressed with its characteristics. It seemed to feel spongy and crusty, and did not seem to favor good qualities of either memory foam or Latex, so we decided not to include it in our line. Because people have the option to choose from a vast selection of memory foam beds and a more limited selection of Pure Latex beds, we believe them to be different in their characteristics, and we prefer to keep our line distinctively Latex oriented.
Where are your beds made?
Our beds are manufactured and assembled in our facilities in Tampa, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts. Our Natural Latex layers and in some cases, raw latex liquid, are shipped from our plantations around the world to our facilities where we trim them to US standard sizes, laminate our layers together using s non-toxic, non VOC adhesive to insure that your bed will not shift or migrate (unlike other dealers who use scams like the “exchange your layer” scheme to justify lower prices). Other components such as our outer coverings are also made in the U.S.A., and our water based adhesives are derived locally as well. When you call and speak to us, our offices our based in New Orleans, Louisiana, where our Habitat Furnishings sales center was founded.
How tall is the EZ Sleep Foundation, and what makes it specifically designed for use with your Natural Latex Mattresses?
The EZ Sleep Foundation system is 8″ tall when finished. It is very simple to setup, requiring no tools. It uses a slat system to support the mattress, which provides effective passive ventilation underneath. Since it is assembled in the room where you are going to use the bed, you don’t have to drag, turn, wedge, or mash a foundation piece up stairs, around corners, and down hallways to get it into your room. We also offer two other foundations for our Natural Latex mattress program, including our Euro Base platform, which has 12″ of storage space underneath the deck, and our L&P S-Cape Adjustable Base System. Click Here to Go to Our Main Latex Mattress Information and Ordering Page
Why do you sell both an Air Bed line and a Natural Latex line of mattresses?
A few couples are unable to sleep on the same mattress, since their individual needs are highly polarized..one may need a firmer, more resilient surface, and others require softer, less resilient surfaces to relieve pressure points more effectively. These customers consider our Air Bed System, though many couples who are seeking both pressure point reduction, weight distribution and good spine alignment, can choose between the 3 models of Natural Latex mattresses we offer and generally find one that will work for both.
What is your return rate, over the full length of your 365 Night Trial period for your beds?
Our return rate on both our Natural Latex Mattress program and our Air Beds is very low, especially because of our 365 Night Trial period. Typically, it is about 7% all across the board for our toppers and Latex Mattresses .
If I return my bed, how do I get my money back?
Unlike retail stores, which typically only allow in store credit if you return a mattress, Habitat provides a full refund on mattress purchases, with a return charge of only $75. This fee is the only out of pocket expense you will incur for trying one of our mattresses. Reimbursement is paid by rebate check, and once you return the mattress, it usually takes 10 business days to receive your check.
How effective is Natural Latex at reducing back pain, pressure points, and helping with my sleep problems?
You can watch our informative videos to get in depth information on how our natural latex mattresses improve both sleep patterns, and offer appropriate spine alignment and pressure point reduction..without sacrificing support. Natural Latex is elastic and giving, providing buoyant support that keeps you on top of the bed, rather than the feeling that your mattress is consuming you. This makes it easy to turn effortlessly, improving sleep hygiene.
I have an allergy to Natural Latex..should I order one of your beds?
If you have a known severe allergic responsive, causing respiratory issues, we probably would advise against it.however, many folks with contact dermatitis, usually caused by latex proteins on latex gloves, etc, do fine. This is largely due to the fact that during the manufacturing process, the mattresses are rinsed and squeezed (“wrung out”) 3 times with potable (drinkable) water to wash away all latex proteins. Also, using our mattress protector (which can be added to your mattress purchase)will eliminate transfer of latex proteins to the surface of the mattress.