Very often people call and tell us they can find latex mattresses for half the prices of ours. Well, do you want to sleep on synthetic latex made from petrochemicals and breathe the same fumes your car does every night for 8 hours a night for the rest of your life to save a few hundred dollars? If so, then don’t bother reading on. But if you are truly interested in the health of your family including yourself then please read on…
Let’s take the SULTAN ELSFJORD from IKEA for $350. OK, great price right? According to their web site, here’s what you’re getting:
Comfort material: Synthetic latex, Polyester/viscose (rayon) fiber wadding, Polyester wadding
Protective fabric: Non-woven polypropylene
Fire-retardant interliner: 100 % cotton
Need we say more? While they make no claim this is a natural latex mattress on their web site, the customer reported this: “…but the salesman said it was 80% natural and 20% synthetic and they used lambswool and eco-cotton”…what is “eco-cotton”? This is what we call “greenwashing”. Cotton is either certified organic or it’s not! There is no such thing as “eco-cotton”. There is no mention of anything “natural” in their product description or mention of “lambswool”. In fact all we see is lots of polyester. Maybe the salesperson was new and wasn’t quite aware of what he was selling?…maybe…but then again, that’s the difference between shopping at a big department store and specialty shop. They do claim to carry other models that are 85% natural and 15% synthetic but again, what’s the point if 15% of your mattress is made from petrochemicals and the cotton is not certified organic but full of pesticides instead?
It’s no secret latex mattresses are becoming the new craze but please do you homework, ask lots of questions, ask for certifications. If you are on a budget, and we understand that, and you are ok with buying synthetic, please do so knowing that you are buying synthetic. That’s all we’re saying.
Here’s a little info we took straight from the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) www.rma.org
THE TWO TYPES OF RUBBER
What are the two types of rubber?
The two types of rubber in common use today are natural and synthetic. Natural rubber comes from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). When a tree matures at the age of six or seven years, the latex is collected from a diagonal incision in the tree trunk. The tapping process does not affect the health of the tree and the tree wound later heals itself. Synthetic rubber is made by man from petrochemical feedstocks. Crude oil is the principal raw material.
Where is natural rubber produced?
Today more than 90% of the natural rubber supply comes from Southeast Asia. As rubber trees require a hot, damp climate, they grow only in the “Rubber Belt,” an equatorial zone that stretches around the world. In 1876, the English, in recognition of the difficulties of securing quality rubber from the jungle, hit upon the idea of growing rubber on plantations. From their efforts, the cultivated rubber tree plantations of Southeast Asia and Africa have developed.
How is synthetic rubber produced?
General purpose synthetic rubber has its origin in two gases: butadiene, a by-product of petroleum refining, and styrene, captured either in the coking process or as a petroleum refining by-product. When the two are mixed in the presence of soapsuds in a reactor, liquid latex results. The dry rubber in this milky liquid is then coagulated into crumbs, washed, dried, and baled ready for shipment.