Natural versus Synthetic Latex


Many people are perplexed to learn that not all latex is created equal. There is a natural form of latex and synthetic.  As a matter of fact, there is a world of difference between natural latex and synthetic latex.

Natural latex is manufactured from sap tapped from rubber trees, then it is either vulcanized (Dunlop method) or frozen, then vulcanized (Talalay method.) I don’t want to get too involved in which method is better, because it’s hugely dependent upon the processing facility and a number of other factors.

The point is, natural latex is an incredibly resilient and durable, clean and supportive material. It is resistant to dust mites, anti-microbial, antifungal, and hypo-allergenic.

The important thing to remember when considering a product made of natural latex is purity – what is the percentage of pure natural latex vs fillers or synthetic material. Look for certification by an independent laboratory such as Oeko-Tex, which tests for chemicals and toxins in the finished product. The Oeko-Tex stamp of approval will attest to the cleanliness and purity of the product.

Some manufacturers add fillers (most commonly clays, calcium oxide, or titanium dioxide) to the natural latex to make it go further (imagine taking one gallon of milk and diluting it with water to create two gallons of milk). While the finished product will be less expensive, the addition of fillers ultimately makes the latex less durable and more apt to rapid breakdown. Here’s where the consumer needs to be very vigilant…the fact is that natural latex with additives such as those listed above can technically still be called “natural latex”.

Synthetic latex (aka polyurethane foam/memory foam) is made of petroleum by-products, sometimes actually mixed with natural latex.

Again, that’s where you have to be careful. There are many manufacturers who tout their product as “natural latex”, when in fact it’s actually a blend of natural AND synthetic. Interestingly, Dunlop and Talalay latex can be either natural or synthetic. Needless to say, Caveat emptor — do your research.

Synthetic latex, being chemically based, has a tendency to break down more quickly than natural latex. If you’ve ever had a warranty issue with a mattress, you’ll understand immediately. Have you ever had a body impression in your mattress measured by your friendly local mattress salesman and told that it’s “normal wear and tear?”

Savvy Rest Mattress Promotion October 2017

Throughout the month of October, customers will have the option to choose one of three unique promotions:


(1) Receive four shredded latex pillows (any size^) free with the purchase of a mattress*. If you don’t need four pillows, this may be a great opportunity for gift giving in the upcoming holiday season.
(2) Purchase a mattress* and receive a 50% discount on a Vitality topper (matching size).
(3) Purchase a mattress* and receive a 50% discount on an Afton platform bed (matching size).
^Body pillows excluded
*Savvy Baby excluded

Is it better to sleep on your back?

Is It Better To Sleep On Your Back?

Cute kitten sleeping on its back

It’s Up To Your Body

Generally speaking, lying on your back creates the most consistent support for your spine. Your muscles and tissues can relax evenly in all directions. Like a baby, or a kitten napping on its back, you can just lie flat and your musculoskeletal system will be all lined up for restful sleep.

Except when that’s not true. If you have a wonky back, a sore hip, shoulder pain, breathing problems, or other bodily quirks (or you are pregnant), flat-on-back may not be the best sleeping position for you.

People sleep with themselves for a lifetime, and most have figured out what position works best. If you used to sleep happily on your back, however, and now find yourself contorted into a new, uncomfortable position or using multiple strategically-placed pillows, it could be your body has been searching for a way to compensate for a mattress that is no longer supporting you.

Not Sleeping Well?

If you miss a time when back sleeping was sound and comfortable, first consider replacing your mattress. You may need something firmer than you thought, for solid back support. You may need a more forgiving surface, or denser support and a softer surface. An optional topper can offer extra cushioning that relieves surface pressure without compromising the stability you need for your spine. If you have nerve-related back pain, choose a shallower topper. The 2″ Savvy Woolsy creates a cozy, comforting surface without letting you “sink” so much that back support is undermined. If you’re petite or lean and have no serious back problems, you may love the deeper softness of the 4″ Harmony topper.

Over the years, it’s not unusual to find that you prefer a different sleeping position than when you were younger. The most common change is to shift from the back to sleeping on your side. On your side, your rib cage prevents compression of the lungs, allowing freer, easier breathing. For some larger people, sleeping on the back can contribute to pressure in the chest, restricting the flow of breath.

Potential Problems

One condition that can develop with age, or excess weight, is obstructive sleep apnea. Tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, blocking the airway. It’s a serious issue that, untreated, can lead to elevated blood pressure and other harmful consequences. (Central sleep apnea is triggered in the brain, not in the throat, so it’s important to see your doctor for a correct diagnosis.) Heavy snoring or gasping during sleep are clues to apnea. Many people with obstructive apnea breathe better on their sides. Those who sleep wearing a CPAP (controlled positive airway pressure) device, however, may need to sleep on their backs with the head of the bed slightly elevated.

Folks with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), too, can benefit from sleeping on the back with the head of the entire bed elevated. A common mistake is to use a pile of pillows under the sleeper’s head — this just puts an additional kink in the diaphragm and can worsen GERD symptoms. Two four- to six-inch blocks placed under the legs at the head of the bed create a complete incline that helps gravity keep stomach acids where they belong.

If you are fit, limber, and of normal weight, you can likely sleep happily on your back – or in just about any position you like. If your body’s asking for a change, try your side or a partial-side position. Use a body pillow at your back or front to stabilize your trunk until you’re used to the change.

The one sleeping position most experts “tsk” about is on the stomach, particularly while using a pillow. The pillow creates strain on the cervical spine from a kinked-back neck, and the spine is tilted upward from the pelvis. Over time, stomach sleeping will stress the lower back.

Once you have the right mattress and have experimented with position, surface softness and perhaps new pillows, you’ll find it easier to recognize which way of arranging yourself gives you sound, refreshing sleep. Sleep well!

The Neglected Resolution

The Neglected Resolution