We’ve all seen the photo of the memory foam mattress leaving an impression of a hand that remains after it is removed. Amazing, right? Don’t be so sure. What does this image prove exactly? Well, quite simply, it leaves an impression, but the impression is only possible through the use of polyurethane & petrochemicals — no matter how much natural soy or castor oil you blend with it. Even the so-called “natural” memory foam mattresses contain a large majority of petrochemical in the foam. That’s the only way it holds the impression without bouncing back to its normal shape more quickly like a 100% natural latex alternative does. This alternative (and yes, this is a cost comparable alternative) is made from the “sap” of the rubber tree, lined with organic wool and cotton, and manufactured right here in California.
While memory foam feels nice to the touch, its inability to react afterward can actually cause stress on your body. The foam essentially encompasses your body, so, if you do move during your sleep, your body will have to exert itself to create a new imprint. This foam is much less resilient than natural latex, and because memory foam is heat and weight sensitive, heavier weight and higher heat will cause a larger imprint. Natural botanical latex has the similar sink-in feel (think: rubber) of memory foam without the substantial give. Like memory foam, natural latex conforms and adjusts to your natural body shape for a comfortable sleep, but, unlike memory foam, it bounces back instantly and adjusts to any body position you take during sleep. It is said that the average person changes sleep positions at least ten times during a natural sleep cycle. Memory foam imprints and holds you into the position you fall asleep in and as you try to naturally move during sleep – your body is actually prevented from doing so – stuck in its own body impression. Natural botanical latex instantly adjusts to any movement and aligns to your body for comfortable sleep. You are free to move your legs or arms or even turn to your other side without substantial strain. There is no mummification process with natural botanical latex. Further, the substance from the rubber tree is 100% natural and sustainable, it is air whipped and baked, providing a similar plush, elastic feel to the memory foam without the added petrochemicals and without the extra work exerted on your body. After all, when you body is at rest, it should be resting.
This being said, there is no scientific proof that a memory foam mattress is more or less comfortable than a natural latex one – it is a subjective science, after all. However, beyond comfort, there are facts: an organic latex mattress is chemical free. The compounds of the 100% botanical latex are as natural as the air we breathe and the flame retardant wool wrap around the latex acts as a natural barrier against things commonly found in synthetic beds like dust mites, bacterial growth, mold and mildew. Synthetic brands tend to use chemicals to combat these problems and make them fire-safe, while other latex beds will “blend” natural latex with synthetic latex in order to decrease production cost. In fact, synthetics and memory foam actually emit a chemical gas that can often be smelled by users known as “off gassing.” While most sources say the off gassing will dissipate, some reports say that the off gassing continues throughout the life of the mattress. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions that will disrupt your sleep or, even worse, could be linked to SIDS (see http://www.prevent-sids.org/toxic-gas-theory.htm for more on this). Although this information can be scary, and will generally be disputed by your local memory foam retailer, we have seen countless customers who started with the memory foam and made the switch to natural latex because of issues they’ve had with sleep on their memory foam mattress – even the so-called “natural” memory foams. (see consumer reviews here http://www.chem-tox.com/guest/guestbook.html).
Other people make the switch because the purchase feels better, not only physically, but also emotionally. Earthsake organic latex mattresses were the first of its kind in the country. No chemical fire-retardants – no toxic blends – just holistic natural and organic ingredients throughout. The latex mattress making process is completely sustainable from start to finish. The rubber trees that are tapped to produce the latex are not harmed. When the tree is eventually cut down it is used for furniture and another tree is planted in its place. The wool in the mattress comes from “happy sheep” grazing on organic pastures that are a part of California’s Pure Grow Wool program (see http://www.earthsake.com/puregrow.html). Completely chemical-free from start to finish, the PureGrow Wool™ is not carbonized like other organic wools. Lastly, the organic cotton that lines each mattress is cultivated from farms that are certified organic in the United States.
Your mattress is an investment. Not only is an organic latex mattress a smart investment, as it will provide a chemical-free, comfortable and resilient sleep experience, but it is also a happy investment — for the environment and for our community.
For more information on latex, memory foam and the process of producing organic latex mattresses go to: