This is the ultimate unbiased mattress review comparing coil spring mattresses, memory foam, and latex mattresses.
I promised myself that I would wait 6 months before I wrote this post. Now that it’s been 6 months since my family’s been sleeping on our Sleep EZ mattresses, I’m ready to give you the low-down on what we think about them and how we came to the decision to buy an organic latex mattress.
Here’s a sneak peek at my review. Barbara and I bought one mattress for us and one for each of our children who are still living at home. The conclusion from 5 very reliable sources is that the mattress is awesome and everyone is enjoying an excellent night’s sleep.
How did we choose the Sleep EZ mattress?
You’ve probably seen all the different mattress commercials on TV and know all the brands.
There’s the Leesa, the Purple mattress, Casper, Sealy Posturepedic, and the Serta Perfect Sleeper. The list goes on and on. I wonder if we’ll soon see Mike Lindell partnering his My Pillow to a My Mattress.
Buying a new mattress isn’t an easy task. If you’ve done it recently, you know it’s probably the most difficult household item to decide upon. It’s a big decision cost-wise and also health-wise.
After all, you’re going to spend about 2500 hours a year sleeping on that mattress. That means that it will intimately affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. The right decision concerning your mattress really matters.
Let me tell you why Barbara and I decided to choose Sleep EZ mattresses for our whole family.
Ditching the old mattress and thinking about a new one
Last August, we moved to beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. During our move, we decided to ditch our old coil spring mattresses and get new ones when we settled in Raleigh.
We spent our first month here living at the Hampton Inn in downtown Raleigh. That month gave us the opportunity to really investigate the area and find a suitable house to rent. It also gave us time to research what kind of mattresses to buy.
As we read more and more about mattresses, we settled on three requirements we wanted our mattresses to have.
Our primary mattress requirements
First, they had to be free of toxins, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and all that jazz.
Now, this makes sense right? We spend a lot of time trying to live a healthy lifestyle. We follow a low-carb healthy fat diet and get a good amount of protein. We try to eliminate toxins in our diet and environment as much as possible. We weight train and walk often.
But what good is living a healthy lifestyle if every night we’re going to put our noses and mouths next to a mattress that is off-gassing noxious fumes? It kind of defeats the purpose, right?
Therefore, our first requirement was that we wanted a mattress that was 100% natural and free of toxins.
Ahhh, the comfort
Second, we wanted a mattress that was comfortable. After all, who wants to spend 2500 hours a year on a mattress that makes you miserable?
During sleep, your body is recovering from the mental and physical stresses of the day. If you don’t sleep well because of an uncomfortable mattress, you won’t recover well from those stresses.
You don’t want your mattress robbing you of deep quality sleep. You want it to be a means to a good night’s sleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready to go.
Our third requirement in a mattress was how much was it going to cost us. Wow, these things can be really expensive. It’s like if you want to buy a really good mattress for your whole family, you have to take out a second mortgage. But, I mean, $5000 for a mattress. Really?!
So, we were cost conscious. The goal was to search until we got the mattress we wanted at the right price.
Now, with these parameters in mind, let’s see how our process evolved.
Eliminating the mattresses we didn’t want
We began the process of finding the perfect mattress by eliminating the types of mattresses we didn’t want. The first ones we eliminated were coil spring mattresses.
Why we didn’t want a coil spring mattress
We eliminated coil spring mattresses right off the bat because of three main reasons.
1. We Didn’t Want EMF Antennas In Our Mattresses.
Did you know that large coiled springs in a mattress can actually amplify the broadcast FM/TV radiation around your bed?
This is from an article in Scientific American,
Thus, as we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation. Asleep on these antennas, our bodies are exposed to the amplified electromagnetic radiation for a third of our life spans. As we slumber on a metal coil-spring mattress, a wave of electromagnetic radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body’s left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.
Now, if you sleep with your TV, iPhone, or iPad on at night, your coil mattress will act like a giant antenna attracting the EMFs radiating from those devices to your body. It’s probably a good idea to put your cell phone on airplane mode at night.
While the evidence concerning the effects of rf EMF radiation is limited, there is some evidence that links rf EMFs to cancer. See here.
See the World Health Organization’s report on EMFs here.
EMFs do have an effect on your body. To what extent they cause damage is not clear. So if they can be avoided, it’s probably better to do so. We wanted to avoid them.
2. We didn’t want creepy stuff in our mattress
Envision the inside of your coil spring mattress. It’s dark and damp. It’s the perfect incubator for all kinds of nasty things to live and thrive. You might have dust mites, fungus, mold, mildew, dust, and who knows what else growing in there.
Is that what you want next to your face for 8 hours a day? I didn’t think so. When we were throwing out our old mattresses, we couldn’t figure out why they were so heavy compared to when we bought them. Now, we know why. They absorb stuff.
3. We didn’t want dangerous toxins in our mattress
I remember a big caution my mom used to give me when I was young. Don’t ever smoke in bed. You might fall asleep smoking and burn up like one of those famous actors. My response to that sage advice was “Mom, I don’t plan on smoking so don’t scare me!”
“Well, just in case” was her reply.
Someone took my mom’s caution seriously because on July 1, 2007, all U.S. mattresses were required to be highly flame retardant to the extent that they won’t catch on fire if exposed to a blowtorch. Wow, what’s someone doing with a blowtorch in bed?
Anyway, you guessed what happened. In order to make mattresses flame retardant, manufacturers have to use chemicals.
In the past, chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs were used as a flame-retardant. Do they sound like something you want to be inhaling all night?
As you can expect, after a while someone discovered that these chemicals are highly toxic, and, thus, they were subsequently banned.
Mattress manufacturers have not used these chemicals for about 15 years.
But they have to use some kind of flame retardant.
Mattress flame retardation today
Mattress manufacturers are extremely secretive about what they use as flame retardants. There is no regulation that forces them to expose what chemicals they use.
For example, the Serta website states,
Our FireBlocker system is a proprietary blend of natural and synthetic fibers that help isolate the impact of a fire and limit its spread. All Serta products comply with all applicable safety, health, and environmental regulations.
That sounds reassuring, but we don’t really know what they use as a fire retardant.
They may, however, be using some combination of the three following processes,
…barriers made from mainly cotton that has been bonded with boric acid; barriers made of rayon that has been extruded with silica (tiny fragments of glass or clay); and barriers made from rayon that has been treated with ammonium polyphosphate.
This is certainly a better option than PBDEs but the problem here is that no one knows what their personal tolerance threshold will be to any of these chemicals.
So, after considering these three negatives, we decided that coil mattresses from the big companies were just not an option for us.
The next type of mattress we investigated were memory foam mattresses.
Memory foam mattresses
You’ve probably seen the commercials for Leesa and Casper mattresses. These are memory foam mattresses.
They are constructed of a certain type of “memory foam”. I say type because the mattresses use different types of foam for different layers of the mattress. However, all the particular type of memory foam they use is made from polyurethane.
There are positives and negatives to this type of mattress. I’ll give you the positives first.
Positives to polyurethane memory foam mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are generally considered to be excellent for comfort and back support. Memory foam molds to your body’s contours providing good spine alignment. Anecdotally, people with back problems report less back pain after sleeping on a memory foam mattresses.
Also, because the mattress forms to your exact shape, pressure points that may cause an uncomfortable sleep are minimized. This is an extremely important function in a good mattress.
Often, to eliminate painful pressure your body will subconsciously turn. This turning may have the effect of causing you to be taken out of a deep sleep cycle. It’s during these deep cycles that your body is being repaired and restored. You don’t want these cycles disrupted. See my post on sleep cycles here.
Lastly, memory foam mattresses are supposed to be much more durable than a coil spring mattress. Remember when you had to reverse your coil mattress every so often so that you could reduce the sag.
Negatives to polyurethane memory foam mattresses
Memory foam mattresses tend to run hot. That means that they are not good diffusers of your body’s heat. Another thing that can disrupt your sleep cycles is a hot environment.
Some of the mattress companies have developed a different foam that is supposed to deal with this problem.
Second, memory foam mattresses are supposed to be more expensive than a coil mattress. I haven’t checked all the prices so I can’t validate that.
The third negative is the one that tipped the balance against memory foam mattresses for us. Can you guess what it was?
What’s memory foam made out of?
Memory foam is made from synthetic polyurethane. Mattress companies try to ensure that this product is completely safe. They say that they are CertiPUR-US® certified.
CertiPUR-US is a not-for-profit certification program developed by the flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) industry. Hmmm…developed by the FPF for the FPF. Okay.
According to CertiPUR-US, Leesa and Casper mattresses are made without:
- Ozone depleters
- PBDE flame retardants
- Mercury, lead, and other heavy metals
- Phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
And they are made with:
- Low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions for indoor air quality (< 0.5 parts per million)
That’s somewhat reassuring. But what exactly are they made of? We really don’t know. But I assume it’s some kind of synthetic chemicals.
That means we don’t really know what we’ll be breathing in if we sleep on this mattress.
When it comes to memory foam, we really liked the comfort, back support, and durability the mattresses offered. But because they were made of polyurethane, we felt we had to look elsewhere.
Let’s take a breath and see where we’re at so far in our journey to the perfect mattress.
So far we’ve eliminated mattresses that:
- Act as EMF antennas and a playground for bugs and mold
- Release toxic chemicals
We still want a mattress that is:
- 100% natural and chemical free
- Spine and body supportive
Wow, there are a lot of things to consider here. It’s like a list of things you’d be considering in a marriage partner. Okay, it’s not the same but getting a good mattress is serious business.
Considering that since you have to sleep on it for 7-8 hours a day, if you pick a bad one it can ruin your life. So you have to be careful.
Okay, so where did we turn. Lo and behold, there is a memory foam mattress that is not made from polyurethane.
Latex foam mattresses
Latex is a natural product made from the sap of the rubber tree. In order to obtain the sap, the trees are tapped. This means that the trees don’t have to be harvested. Thus, it’s an ecologically sustainable practice.
The sap then undergoes a mechanical process whereby the final product, latex, is biodegradable and hypoallergenic.
An important caveat here is that I’m talking about 100% natural latex. Not the ones that are blends or synthetic.
Hallelujah. It seems that we have come to the end of our mattress search.
We have found a foam mattress that is 100% natural that has all the advantages of a memory foam mattress.
Well, we’re not quite at the end of our search yet.
There are some variations in 100% latex foam mattresses. I told you this was a complicated procedure.
100% natural or 100% natural organic latex mattress
Yes, 100% Natural latex mattresses can come in two forms. One that is just 100% natural or one that is 100% natural and organic. The organic form bears a certification from Global Organic Latex Standards (or GOLS for short).
The GOLS certificate states that the latex is made with at least 95% of organic latex.
There you have it. The most back friendly, toxic free, comfortable mattress is the 100% natural organic latex mattress.
I was so excited that I had finally found the perfect mattress. Now the job was to find out which was the best one.
Hold it. Barbara warned, “Don’t you think we ought to try it out first?”
I have such a smart wife. She’s always stopping me from making huge mistakes.
There was an organic bedroom store not far from us so we were off in a flash.
Shopping for a latex mattress
We spent about two hours in this particular store trying out all the beds and getting all the details on why 100% organic latex mattresses are the best.
We found out that a latex mattress is composed of different layers of foam which are usually of different density. The reason for this is that because people sleep differently (side, back, stomach), different latex densities provide different support and comfort levels.
On a king or queen mattress, the latex can also be customized on the right and left side. That means if your partner has a different sleeping style, the mattress can be customized to their style.
To ensure the organic nature of the mattress, the latex is enclosed in a 100% organic cotton and wool sock.
We tried all the beds of the two main manufacturers, and they both appeared to be very comfortable.
Everything was going well until we got the price!
Sticker shock – you want how much for this mattress?
When we got the price for one queen mattress and three full mattresses, we were like, “Are you kidding?”
In addition to the mattress, you have to buy a foundation for the mattress, which can be a platform bed or a foundation made for the mattress. The foundation is a wood platform that supports the mattress and allows air to flow underneath it.
You then have to buy a metal frame to support this. Remember that if you buy a platform or foundation that is not organic, you sort of defeat the purpose of a natural mattress.
Additionally, you have to assemble the mattress yourself!
The total cost was well over $12,000. Um…not doing that. We thanked the owner and told him we would think about it. I felt kind of bad because I really picked his brains. However, after considering his price, I didn’t feel as bad.
Now it was back to the internet to search out the best 100% organic latex mattress for the best price.
Finding SleepEZ mattresses
As Providence would have it, we signed a new lease on a beautiful house in North Raleigh. We were to move in two weeks. That meant we needed mattresses ASAP.
After spending a few furious days searching the internet for the best price on the type of mattress we wanted, we found Sleep EZ. This company’s mattress had everything we wanted in a latex mattress for the best price.
Sleep EZ is a third generation owned, factory direct seller. This is why their prices are so reasonable.
When I called the company, I was fortunate to get Jim to help me. After “picking his brains” for quite a while, we decided to order our mattresses from Sleep EZ.
He asked us our height and weight and what kind of sleepers we were. After giving him this information, he showed us how to order the proper mattress online.
However, Jim advised us to make one small adjustment to our mattresses!!!
Dunlop latex or talalay latex
As I already discussed, we wanted to go with 100% organic latex. Jim said that’s fine, but he would make one suggestion. He said because we were side sleepers, it might be a better idea that we choose 100% natural Talalay latex for our top layer.
Wow… here came another curveball. “Why is that?” I asked, feeling I was back at square one.
Here was his reason. Dunlop latex is extremely firm and most people find it uncomfortable as a top layer and do much better with Talalay.
I had read a blog post on this issue already. One well-known wellness blogger wrote that she had one of those $5000 all organic mattresses, and her husband found it very uncomfortable. The blogger didn’t say, but since the bed was 100% organic, I assume it was Dunlop latex.
So Jim’s suggestion made sense.
However, here’s the catch. Talalay latex is not certified 100% organic by GOLS. So the bottom two layers would be organic but the top layer 100% natural.
Jim assured me that most people went this way with their mattress.
Wow…so the top layer of my mattress was not organic. Now what?
Dunlop latex vs. talalay latex
The primary difference between Dunlop and Talalay latex is in the way they are manufactured.
However, at this time there is no organic certification for Talalay latex, though the one used by Sleep EZ is 100% natural. See here for their certifications that show their products are free from volatile organic compounds and other dangerous compounds.
As I mentioned before, the mattresses are wrapped in an organic cotton sock. However, the inner wool flame retarder is made from eco-friendly wool.
We decided to take Jim’s advice and couldn’t have been happier.
The Sleep EZ mattress is also hand made in the USA and has a ten to twenty-year warranty depending on the mattress. They also offer a ninety-day sleep trial and exchange period. Shipping is free.
We decided to forgo a platform bed because we couldn’t find one reasonably priced that didn’t use chemicals or engineered wood.
So we went with Sleep EZ’s 8” natural wood glueless foundation. It comes with an organic cover.
We bought our bed frames from amazon.com.
Our mattresses came with two latex pillows each. After all, if you are sleeping on a healthy mattress, you want to sleep on a healthy pillow.
Our mattresses are delivered
After confirming everything with our salesperson our beds arrived in 5 days, just in time for our move-in date.
These mattresses don’t arrive like your old mattresses. Probably two big guys brought the mattresses up to your house and set it all up for you. With these, you have to put in a little work.
Each layer of the mattress came sealed in plastic in a box. The hardest part of the job was opening the boxes. They were sealed extremely well.
The foundations came in their own separate boxes. Our metal frames from Amazon arrived in the always timely Amazon manner.
Our 20-year-old son, Peter, was charged with setting up the beds. My job was to remove everything from the boxes and provide moral support.
Peter set up the frame first and then tackled the foundation. These two phases took about 30 minutes. You’ll need a drill with a Phillips bit to assemble the foundation.
As I said, the hardest thing was opening the mattress boxes. Make sure you have a pair of pliers handy to pry the staples off of the box. Each box was clearly marked as to which level of latex foam it contained.
Each layer was then placed into the cotton cover while on the foundation. Between unboxing and laying the foam layers, the set-up took about an hour.
The foam boxes were a tad heavy so if you’re going upstairs with them it’s a lot easier if you have someone helping you.
So that’s it. One person could probably assemble the whole mattress in about two hours. Peter did four of them in one day!
People who are concerned with the smell from foam need not worry with this mattress. There was only a slight smell of latex that quickly went away after a few days.
Organic sheets for our new organic beds
Barbara made the bed with some nice new organic sheets and, voilà, a brand new eco-friendly, healthy bed to sleep on.
The most comfortable bed I’ve slept on
Have you ever bought something and said, “Boy, that was a good purchase.” Well, this mattress was one of our best.
After 6 months of sleeping on this mattress, I have to say it’s the most comfortable I’ve ever had.
And everyone here confirms it. Even my son Michael, who always complained of his mattress in New York, loves his new mattress.
My other son Peter loves his so much, it’s hard to get him to leave it in the morning. LOL.
We got these mattresses in August while it was still pretty hot down here in NC, but the mattress didn’t retain heat from our body temperature.
The bottom line
So if you’re looking for the healthiest, most comfortable, the most economical mattress, look no further than Sleep EZ.
That’s it for this week. I’m glad you stopped by. If you have any questions about the Sleep EZ mattress, please leave a comment. We’re an affiliate for the Sleep EZ company (though this post was in no way sponsored by them) and if you decide to buy a bed through our affiliate link, we will receive a small commission. That helps us pay the bills and keep this website running. God bless and have a great week.
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