In comparison to crib shopping, choosing a crib mattress turned out to be a bit of a no-brainer for me, probably because we just recently bought a new mattress for our own bed (read: I had already spent hours obsessively researching).
When we bought our mattress, I knew that we wanted one made out of 100% natural latex (100% is key because many manufacturers sell “natural latex” mattresses that have foam or other chemicals mixed in) with a wool cover for several reasons:
1. No off-gassing of toxic chemicals from polyurethane foam or fire retardant sprays. A wool cover is naturally flame-retardant.
2. Comfort – No pressure points, sagging, or depressions that occur over time with spring mattresses and memory foam. Even Consumer Reports said that owners of latex mattresses were most satisfied when it came to comfort.
3. Durability – Latex rubber mattresses should last for at least 20 years, which helps to off-set the somewhat high initial price.
The tricky part was finding one that we could afford. If price were no object, I probably would have gone with a Savvy Rest or a Bella Serra, but with each ringing in at well over $3000 for a 3-layer mattress plus a foundation (this is basically a box-spring only sturdier to support the weight of the latex), this put them out of our price range.
hours days weeks of scouring the internet for information about dunlop vs. talalay processed latex, firmness levels, and latex manufacturers, I decided to go with a 3-layer talalay latex mattress from a company called Sleep EZ. I was a little skeptical at first, because the website looks a little less, let’s say, polished than the websites of the companies that I mentioned above, giving it a bit of a used-car salesman feel. Also, they sell some mattresses that have a blend of natural and synthetic latex and some that are made out of memory foam (the ultimate off-gaser), which was a little unsettling for a green momma like me. But the price was reasonable enough (around $2000 for a 3-layer 100% natural talalay latex mattress with an organic wool/cotton cover, plus a foundation) to keep me interested.
I found nothing but positive reviews from Sleep EZ customers (I made sure to look at forums and sources other than the company website for these testimonials), and they had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which made me feel better about ordering online. Shipping was free, and they have a 90 layer exchange program so that you can adjust the firmness of your mattress if you aren’t happy. I was also able to find information on their latex suppliers right on the Sleep EZ website, which made me feel much more confident in the quality of the materials that I was purchasing.
We lurv lurv lurv it! The best part, as a preggo lady, is that we can rearrange all of the different layers to customize the firmness (I’m usually a back sleeper, but I’m currently sleeping on my side). The guy at Sleep EZ recommended that we get split layers, so we started with extra firm, firm, and medium layers on my husband’s side and firm, medium, and soft layers on my side – but we swapped them back and forth until we were both happy. The Sleep EZ guy promised me that we wouldn’t feel any separation in the middle due to the split layers – I was skeptical- but he was right.
A natural latex crib mattress is a lot simpler because you don’t have to worry about different layers (you basically want 6 inches of fairly firm latex). Sleep EZ makes a crib mattress that has 6 inches of 100% natural dunlop latex covered in an organic cotton/wool for $295. This is the best price I can find by far, and trust me, I’ve looked.
Done and done!
I’ll be sure to post a picture when it arrives…
PS- If you are nervous about latex allergies, I also found this organic mattress (inner springs, cotton, wool) that is similarly priced. I did some research and it seems like latex allergies aren’t really an issue with natural rubber mattresses because of the processing and the fact that they are covered, but you should look into this yourself.