Know Your Bed Styles.
Shopping for an organic mattress is not like looking at hybrid cars. You cannot lift up the top to see what’s inside. So how do you know that what you read in manufacturer literature or what the mattress salesperson tells you is true? You can't, but our style guide breaks down bed styles into eight easy-to-understand categories. That way, you can feel comfortable with any natural latex or organic mattress on any showroom floor— or on the market for that matter.
A latex mattress offers superior pressure relief because it contours to your body in response to your body weight. Latex is dustmite and mold resistant, making it an excellent choice for seasonal and perpetual allergy and asthma sufferers. Latex mattresses can last up to 20 years without losing their resilience.
Memory Foam Mattress
Made from polyurethane, petro-based chemicals and containing flame retardants, a memory foam mattress dramatically conforms to the body to align the spine and relieve pressure points. Sleepers with back pain or osteoarthritis love the memory foam because it supports the entire body at all the pressure points as though you’re floating. Most memory foam mattresses, such as the Tempurpedic mattress, are made from petroleum-based chemicals. If you are looking for a mattress without potentially harmful chemicals, like the feel of a memory foam mattress, and want something that’s healthier, WJ Southard’s natural latex mattresses using natural latex, organic cotton and wool is an excellent choice for you.
Many sleepers have a hard time adjusting to the feel of an all memory foam mattress. If you want the benefits of TempurPedic, try a traditional innerspring with a latex mattress like The Archetype Pillowtop Mattress.
Traditional mattresses use open metal springs in between layers of padding. The innerspring is one of the most unchanged bed designs since beds were first invented. The design has withstood the test of time. Simmons, Sealy and Serta (The three S’s) rule the market in this category. The more expensive innerspring mattresses include pillow tops, and extra layers of padding within the mattress. The three S’s also tout a firmer coil gauge and higher coil count in their more expensive models. Avoid judging a mattress on coil count alone—as two mattresses with the same count can have completely different feels. Mattress shoppers who like the idea of a memory foam mattress, but think it feels too much like sleeping in quicksand, should opt for an innerspring. Since an innerspring unit can be padded with foam or latex, sleepers can get the benefits of foam in a mattress that has a more traditional feel. (Because last time we checked, sleeping in quicksand is no walk on the beach.)
Individually Wrapped Coil Mattress
Each coil is individually wrapped, where each coil moves and adjusts independently. An individually wrapped coil unit looks like a honeycomb. Simmons (one of the three S’s) coined the term “Pocketed Coil.” Individually wrapped coil units and pocketed coil units are one in the same. This type of mattress is great for partners, because as each sleeper shifts, the unit absorbs the impact and the other partner is left undisturbed. You’ll sleep like you did when you were single.
Adjustable air chambers serve as the primary method of support. A mattress like this gives you great flexibility, because you can adjust your sleeping surface at any time. And partners can customize their side to the level of firmness they prefer. The most popular type of air mattress on the market is the Sleep Number Bed.
The mattress is filled with long tubes of water, which conform to the body. Osteoarthritis sufferers love the waterbed for its lack of pressure points. You may have slept on a waterbed back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when they were most popular. Partners usually dumped their waterbeds because of the high rate of disturbance from shifting. We’re happy to report that the technology has changed since these beds were first introduced. And partners no longer need to worry about experiencing sea sickness.