Shopping for a latex mattress can be a confusing challenge. It is frustrating to try and wade through so much information available on the internet especially when some of it is accurate and some is not. Here are some major key points to help you zero in on reaching your goal of making the right purchase that gives you confidence in your final selection and the best comfort match to meet your needs.

Did you know?

**Latex mattresses are more and more becoming the preferred choice in a mattress for a number of important reasons. Latex foam takes center stage due to its unique qualities. It is highly praised because it provides outstanding comfort, complete body support, gives relief from pressure points due to its ability to contour to the body, is hypoallergenic, resistant to mold and dust mites, sleeps cooler in summer, warmer in winter and outlasts innerspring coil mattresses by years.

**Latex foam is processed using one of two methods the Dunlop process (resulting in a dense feel) or the Talalay process (resulting in a livelier feel). Latex comes in layers usually 3″ or 6″ that are combined to make a mattress a given height which is usually 10″ or 13″ including the mattress cover. Since all retailers have different names for each mattress it is an uphill battle to compare mattress models from one company to the next. You need to know what’s inside the mattress.

**The yard stick to use in comparison shopping for the latex firmness in a mattress is called an ILD rating. You want softer layers on the top of a mattress (lower ILD) in your comfort layer and then graduate to the firmest layer on the bottom (higher ILD). The range of latex ILD’s for mattresses is generally from 18 to 44. A soft or medium or firm can vary from store to store depending on various models. Knowing the ILD ratings of the latex in a mattress allows you to make a better comparison of apples to apples from store to store.

**This is a big one! His and hers latex mattresses are available with some retailers. This means if hubby is a big guy and the wife isn’t you can choose a latex mattress where his side of the mattress is designed for his height and weight and yours is designed for the lighter weight person. No longer does a petite wife have to suffer sleeping on a hard mattress nor does the husband suffer with lack of support because the wife wants a super soft mattress.

**Latex is not memory foam even though people often think the two are similar. Memory foam is a man-made product that is one hundred percent synthetic. It can never be considered as a natural product. It doesn’t have the qualities of latex foam. If you’re shopping for a horse in a lineup of ten and you see that there is a rabbit in line that’s memory foam—it’s a different animal entirely. So don’t confuse the two.

**Sleeping in a hotel and then making your mattress selection based on that experience is a big mistake. More soft toppers are sold to people who spent good money on a brand new mattress using that hotel mattress as their model to match only to find the new mattress is too hard for them. What happened in reality is the person stayed in a hotel for a few nights and slept pretty good on a firm mattress. The body most likely experienced a good supportive rest by finally getting off the bed at home that perhaps was too soft and worn out. That doesn’t mean that a person will find that hotel mattress their actual “comfort match” on a long-term basis.

**There are many latex mattresses to choose from in stores or on the internet-some are all latex and some are a hybrid which is one or more layers of latex on top of a non-latex polyfoam base. Read descriptions carefully so you know what you’re looking at. Marketing representations can sometimes be misleading. “We use 100% Talalay latex in our mattress” might lead you to believe the mattress is 100% latex-when in actuality the amount of latex used in the mattress is indeed 100% Talalay processed but the mattress isn’t all latex. In other words the statement didn’t say the mattress was 100% latex-it said the part that we use of latex is 100% Talalay processed. There isn’t anything wrong with purchasing a hybrid mattress if that’s what your budget dictates. The point here is just read carefully and know what you’re buying.

**Ask lots of questions. You’re entitled to know exactly what you’re buying as this is a major purchase you’re investing in. If the answers aren’t forthcoming that in itself may be a signal to move on.

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