If you're looking to upgrade your bed with an eco-friendly option, but don't want to replace the mattress, a natural latex topper might just be the ticket.
Considering that we spend about a third of our lives in bed, we really should pay close attention to the surface we're sleeping on, not only for comfort's sake, but also for the impact that our choices can have on the natural world.
Having a comfortable mattress can be one key to restful sleep, which is an essential part of staying healthy, and while there are a bazillion choices on the market, ranging from bare-bones mattresses to high-end adjustable models, it's not always necessary to replace the entire mattress in order to refresh our beds. Sometimes, a mattress topper is all that's required to bring a whole new level of comfort and support to our nightly slumber, and if you'd like a more eco-friendly option than the uber-popular 'memory foam' toppers, one great choice is a 100% natural latex topper.I'm not going to debate the safety and health issues with memory foam toppers and mattresses here, as it seems to be a contentious topic for those who notice no VOC off-gassing or other adverse effects from their synthetic foam mattress. We've covered the topic before, and there are plenty of resources on the web for finding out about the potentially toxic ingredients in conventional mattresses, so it really comes down to personal preference (and the individual's level of chemical sensitivity) as to the choice between 'natural' mattresses and synthetic ones.
We've always chosen to sleep on a futon rather than a standard mattress, for a variety of reasons (lower price, less potentially toxic materials, firmer support), and it's been a few decades since I've had a conventional mattress, so I'm a bit biased when it comes to bedding. However, one weak point of futons is their tendency to get compacted over time, and what starts out as a soft surface can end up being rather firm after a few years, so when Sleep On Latex asked if I'd be willing to try out one of its Pure Green 100% natural latex mattress toppers, I jumped at the chance.
A few weeks ago, the UPS truck rolled up to my house with a rather small box, which I had a hard time believing contained a queen-sized mattress topper. After opening the box and unwrapping the tightly rolled topper, which quickly expanded to full size, I stripped the sheets off the bed, put the topper on, and re-made it. A quick laying-in session confirmed that indeed, this topper showed promise, but it wasn't until sleeping on it for a few nights that I came to appreciate the comfort and support of this mattress addition.
What was previously a very firm futon that we were considering replacing instantly became a wonderfully soft and supportive mattress again, and one with absolutely no sketchy ingredients. And considering that we co-sleep with our kids when they are young, and that we currently have a little one in bed with us, that was a really important distinction for us.
The Sleep On Latex toppers are made with 100% natural latex, sourced from rubber tree plantations in Sri Lanka, which is then processed into latex foam using the Dunlop process. The latex foam in the company's toppers, mattresses, pillows, and other products is certified by both Eco Institut as well as the Oeko-Tex Association, which indicates that the products are free from known harmful ingredients and that consumers can be assured of their safety. According to the company, its 100% natural latex products contain no synthetic latex, fire retardants, fillers, or other additives, which can be an issue with some other companies' "100% latex" products.
That said, for those who have a latex allergy, these certifications and standards don't matter, as contact with latex can cause a range of symptoms in those allergic to it. None of my family are allergic to latex, so that isn't a concern for us.
After a few weeks of sleeping on a 2"-thick 100% natural latex mattress topper from Sleep On Latex, I'm sold on it as an option for those looking to refresh their bedding. It's like having a brand new bed, and at a price that won't break the bank. The 2"-thick queen-sized topper is currently priced at $199 (sale price, plus free shipping), which is a bargain when considering how hard it is to put a price on a good night's sleep. Sleep On Latex offers the 100% natural latex mattress toppers in sizes ranging from twin to California King, in thicknesses of 1, 2, or 3", and either soft, medium, or firm (we chose the medium, which feels soft enough to sink into, yet firm enough for full support).
If you're interested in exploring the world of 100% natural latex bedding products, see the Sleep On Latex website.
[Disclosure: Sleep On Latex sent me a topper for review purposes, but all opinions, errors, or omissions in this post are mine alone.]