Latex is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, and dust mites cannot live in it. It will hold up for 10-20 years. After all, it’s rubber.
- Rubber trees grow only within about 10 degrees of the equator. They grow best on hilly slopes.
- The trees are sliced at an angle, and a small amount of the serum is collected daily.
- The trees can be sliced about 180 days per year, except during the rainy season and during summer. The cut is about three feet long, and the serum flows for about an hour. Then the tree heals and the serum stops flowing.
- Latex was originally cultivated in Brazil, but today the only rubber trees in Brazil are wild. Almost all latex nowadays comes from the far East.
- When the serum is harvested, it is about 2/3 water.
- Latex serum in its pure state is fairly thick, and needs to be processed. (It’s different from maple syrup making, in which thin sap is boiled down to make thicker syrup.)
- All but one company we have asked has told us that a small amount of ammonia is added to the serum so it will not coagulate before processing. Ammonia is a naturally occurring product that is washed out later in processing.
- From here the latex needs to be expanded and concentrated. This is done by adding ingredients and whipping or frothing the material in a centrifuge.
- Latex contains natural proteins to which some people are allergic. Everyone says that their process, whatever it is, washes out the proteins, and our testing verifies this. The general incidence of latex allergy is low, less than 1% of the U.S. population (workers who wear latex gloves most of the day have a risk of less than 10%). We offer free samples so anyone who needs to check for reactions can.
What if I want 100% pure, natural latex?
In order to turn the latex from a liquid into a foam, natural fillers and ingredients (such as soda ash and zinc oxide) need to be added. You are going to find at most 96% natural latex in a foam mattress. If someone tells you that they have 100% natural latex in their finished product, they are misinformed. That material does not exist as a foam. The additional 5% of materials in the latex foam are natural and non-toxic fillers that are used to turn the latex from a liquid to a foam. All of the latex in our foam is natural, there is absolutely no synthetic latex added. We feel that the purity of the end product is what matters most.
The Outside of the Mattress?
The outside of the mattress is made using certified organic wool fiber quilted to certified organic cotton fabric. The quilting is made by a quilter who sews certified organic wool fiber between two layers of organic cotton fabric.
For the Savvy Rest Earthspring, all 4 sides of the mattress are made with quilting.
For the Organic Serenity, the bottom of the casing (or fabric box) is organic cotton fabric. The four sides of the casing are made of quilting. We use bias tape around the edges so it has a finished look, and we zipper the quilted top to the bottom 5 sides of the casing. The top of the “box” zips off. Once you insert your chosen layers of latex and zip the cover back on, you have a mattress that is comfortable, beautiful, durable, organic, and hygienic. The casing is removable and closes with a beautiful brass zipper (but please do NOT wash or dry clean this casing).
Organic Wool and Cotton
Some companies try to mislead customers into thinking they are buying organic materials, but the terms “pure” and “natural” or “eco” or “all natural” or “100% natural” do not mean organic, although they may sound just as good. Unless materials are certified “organic”, they can still be processed with harsh chemicals, dyes and pesticides.
Another trick of the trade to watch out for is a mattress label that says “organic cotton and wool”. Phrased this way, it implies that the mattress contains organic cotton and organic wool. However, if a mattress containing cotton and wool is completely organic, the most honest (and clearest) way to describe it is “organic cotton and organic wool.”
Organic wool means that the wool is free of all synthetic chemicals throughout the processing. The sheep are fed in organic pasture, the wool cleaning process involves no bleach or solvents of any kind, and the garneting and carding processes are done without chemical additives. Of all materials used to make mattress quilting, or casings, organic wool is by far the best. It is also the most expensive to produce. At Savvy Rest, we use only organic
Why wool? Wool is comforting and comfortable to lie on. It is also a wonderful insulator, so your body can more naturally regulate your temperature during the night. You’ll sleep warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and you won’t feel hot or cold spots, so you’ll shift and turn less while you sleep. Wool is plush without “poofiness”, so even a light layer keeps you comfortable.
Each strand of wool has a coating of lanolin, which naturally repels dust mites. And microscopic scales on each strand create an arid environment that dust mites can’t live in. Some manufacturers say that sleeping on wool lowers a sleeper’s heart rate, but the research we’ve read does not support that claim, other than to indicate that most synthetics collect heat and sweat, which might elevate pulse.
Cotton Fiber vs. Cotton Fabric
It’s crucial to understand the difference between cotton fiber and cotton fabric because it will help you make an informed decision. Fibers are strands of material made from cotton, polyester, wool, or silk. Cotton fiber is used extensively in mattresses because cotton is very cheap to produce. Strands of fiber trap air (this is called loft), which can give a mattress a comfy feeling-at first.
But fiber always compresses over time. Ever sat down on an old futon? Mattresses containing cotton fiber, whether it’s grown organically or with pesticides, eventually become lumpy and hard. It’s not long before the mattress takes a body impression and you’re lying in a gully. That’s because the fiber attracts moisture, which causes it to pack down. It also attracts dust mites, mold, mildew and fungi-all of which promote allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems. The bottom line is that cotton fiber has no redeeming quality in a mattress.
Cotton fabric, on the other hand, is simply a “sheet” of material that is woven or knitted from spun cotton thread (not fiber). Fabric does not compress at all, so organic cotton fabric is a very appropriate material for the outer layer of mattress casings and for bedding. It’s also soft, breathable and comfortable next to your skin.
Our quilted mattress casing is composed of 100% organic wool fiber quilted to 100% organic cotton fabric.