So I am pretty sure the next big thing in beds and sleeping accessories is latex. More of a gradual progression into the limelight than the quickly in and out memory foam fad. For one, memory foam is somewhat a “design to fail” product that breaks down after a few years of use because of the open cell design of the foam. Secondly, it must be made with some pretty nasty chemicals that can take several weeks to dissipate and still end up soaking into your mattress and sheets, ultimately being absorbed by your skin. No bueno. Mother natures cure to mankind’s design? Nature of course. How about foam rubber latex?
Latex is great because… well, let me rephrase, 100% NATURAL latex is great because it is naturally anti-microbial, naturally flame retardant, and… well, natural. It requires no chemical catalysts to foam the latex nor to cure it. Truly natural latex is cured by mechanical and environmental processes that do well to maintain consistency in the foam and leave the foam almost completely odorless and chemical free. Latex comes in all densities and has an almost springy feel. I have just a 3″ pad on my pillow-top mattress and the comfort I experience cannot be put into words, it can only be experienced. One must be careful, however, not to fall into the retail world of misinformation and knowledge blindfold some like to pull over the eyes of potential consumers. Just because a company uses the term “Talalay” latex doesn’t mean it is 100% natural. Talalay is a process, not a type of foam. Please keep that in mind while shopping and don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding this process and what it means.
The only problem is the expensive nature of latex beds. Toppers work quite well but if you are really looking to go the whole nine yards, you’ll end up spending lots of money to do so. A great alternative? How about a DIY latex bed you can buy online? Essentially, you will be able to by a “kit” that allows you to stack several latex toppers (100% natural latex made using the Talalay process) and place them in a zippered cover to make your own mattress. Best part is they are economical and sleep just as good if not better than the synthetic latex mattress you would end up paying thousands for.
Another great thing about this DIY bed is that you don’t have to worry about all the chemicals that go into the new federal fire-retardant standards. Since this new regulation hit this past July, companies have had to spend lots… and I mean LOTS of money getting all their beds tested to pass the new regulation. As consumers, of course, that additional cost is reflected in the price we pay at the store. So, not only are we having to pay more for a bed, we get to have all those nasty chemicals absorbing into our skin every night. With a DIY latex bed, the toppers are naturally flame-retardant, the zipper cover is 100% cotton or bamboo (both chemical free), and you pay a fraction of what you would normally pay for a comparable latex bed. Great deal I think… but it’s just my $.02.