We want to live more naturally, without exposure to everyday carcinogens.

Join us as we research and source healthier and sustainably made products for the home.


Top Organic Mattress related Questions asked by our Customers

Is natural rubber the same as latex?


1) Is natural rubber the same as latex?


Latex is the raw material, the white protective sap of the rubber tree.
The sap consists of a white dispersion of rubber, water, proteins, sugar, ash, dirt and other impurities.
Natural Rubber (NR) is a component of the latex sap.
Rubber is the product which remains after the latex dried out.
However, most of us use the words "latex" and "rubber" interchangeably thus the confusion.
2) My daughter has severe eczema and we are never sure the cause and I am worried about potential allergic reaction to latex/ wool in mattresses. What are your thoughts on this? At the same time, I want to get her a natural mattress.


If you are concerned with wool / latex related allergies, one option is to consider Naturepedic's 2 for 1 Ultra mattresses - made with innerspring coils and with organic cotton, they are Greenguard certified but contain food grade polyethylene to provide waterproof layer - if you want a completely organic option, try our Organic Lifestyle Exclusive mattresses - they do contain organic wool (as it acts as a natural fire retardant) - however, we could provide test natural rubber with organic cotton samples that your daughter could place under her arm and sleep with overnight to gauge her sensitivity to the mattress itself.
There are pros and cons with the 3 types of mattresses we carry.
Here is a link to a comparison chart that might be useful to see the differences and allowing you to make a decision based on what is important to you.
3) If we buy the foundation with the mattress, does it need to be elevated above the ground or is the foundation on the ground ok? What about if I have a PLATFORM bed??


It depends on the mattress. If it's the natural rubber mattress, then you will need to ensure that the rubber mattress is elevated from the ground and thus, can properly ventilate to reduce the mildew / air stagnation with the open rubber cells. We recommend a slat foundation (each slat about 2" apart) on top of the bedframe or on the floor, so that the mattress could breath thro' the side of the foundation.  If you have a platform bed, you can drill holes the size of a loonie to ensure ventilation.  Standard is 7" slat foundation but 4" foundation is available upon request.
If it's innerspring mattress, ventilation of the foundation is not required. However, we recommend that you rotate the mattress per care instructions and monitor for any potential development of mildew.
Path of least worry (zero/reduced potential exposure to latex/wool allergy) and not concerned about potential off-gassing of food-grade waterproof plastic - Recommend Naturepedic

If concerned over plastic in the bed - go with Organic Lifestyle's innerspring mattress.

If you have dust-mite allergy concerns - consider rubber mattress; you can always buy a shredded rubber pillow first if really concerned about potential reaction.

4) What's the difference between the twin and twin XL sizes? Does one size fit better with twin beds in general?


Twin XL is 5" longer than twin mattresses.
  • Twin XL is 39" x 80"
  • Twin is 39" x 75"

 Customers typically by one or the other depending on their existing bedframes eg., bunk beds, crib / toddler converter beds etc.

We sell bed linens for both Twin and Twin XL. However, Twin sizes are much more easily available.


What is a mattress topper and can I use it with my existing mattress?


A topper (aka pillowtop) is made out of the same material as our mattresses. [Details]. The main difference is that the topper is 2-4" thick versus the mattress is 6" thick.


Some reasons why Customers buy a topper:
1. To provide additional comfort to the mattress, making it feel even softer - eg., the wool topper and natural rubber mattress combination has been described by many as "sleeping on a cloud". BTW in this combination, you are sleeping on approx 8" of "cloud"
2. Adds height - helps to relieve pressure points and align the spine by allowing your shoulders and hips to sink in = ideal sleeping position


3. To essentially provide an organic barrier between themselves and their existing (typically non-organic) mattress - they can rest assured at night knowing that they are sleeping directly on an organic topper. This is also a cost effective option.


4. If you're already purchased a topper and ready to upgrade to a new organic mattress, you can always use your topper as a spare bed for the cottage, camping or on top of your new mattress (see #1).
PBDE's are likely not found in mattresses manufactured after 2005 - so why get an organic mattress?
Question you need to ask is - what they are replacing PBDEs with?
Usually, they are replacing PBDEs with another chemical based fire retardants that are part of the same chemical grouping where little/ no long term studies exist to say whether it's harmful or not. Keep in mind, it's much cheaper to use a chemical base fire retardant than it is use the natural fire retardant properties of wool or organic cotton (like we do)

Which fire standards (USA) apply to any mattress (organic, non-organic) used by consumers?
Residential mattresses are subject to two federal flammability standards administered by the CPSC. These standards are codified in the code of federal regulations at 16 C.F.R. Parts 1632 and 1633, and are commonly called Parts 1632 and 1633

How do US mattress manufacturers meet these standards?
The largest amount of fuel in most mattresses is the upholstery material inside a mattress which provides the consumer with comfort and support. The upholstery material is typically made of natural or synthetic fibers, latex foam and polyurethane foam, or various combinations of those different materials, all of which can burn. The upholstery materials also often contain steel innersprings, which are not combustible.

To meet these standards, manufacturers protect the combustible upholstery materials from being ignited.

In the case of Part 1632, manufacturers enclose the interior upholstery materials with materials that do not allow smoldering cigarettes to burn through the finished mattress surface to the interior materials. Most U.S. mattress manufacturers meet the standard by using an outer fabric made from various conventional fibers (for example, polyester, polyolefin, wool, silk) that will resist ignition from a smoldering cigarette.

To meet the more demanding requirements of Part 1633, the mattress industry urged CPSC to adopt performance criteria that would not require manufacturers to use fire-retardant foam. As a result, manufacturers meet the performance requirements using fabric or fiber barriers to protect the interior foam and other material from igniting. The barriers are designed to block either heat, oxygen or both from reaching the upholstery material that the barriers encase. 

These barriers may be in the form of woven or knit fabrics, or non-woven fiber pads. They may either be sewn into the mattress between the ticking cover and the interior upholstery material, or be part of the outer fabric cover. The barriers are made from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers that have been tested extensively and used safely for decades in a variety of fire protection and other applications. 
At Organic Lifestyle, we use natural wool or organic cotton based outer fabrics
What is Certi-PUR? eg., We are considering a new Tempur-pedic Rhapsody foam mattress which has this certificatiom which claims there are no PBDE's, no formaldehyde, low VOC emissions, no prohibited phthalates , etc. I have noticed that the Certi-PUR certification is provided by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam so there may be an inherent bias in their certification process.
I think you answered your own question :) But it comes down to synthetic vs organic mattress - why would you spend the same money or more on something synthetic when you can get something certified organic and have peace of mind knowing its as toxic free?

Go back to Organic Mattress section
Color IColor IIColor IIIColor IVColor VColor VI