Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: Habitat All Natural Latex Mattress

(I have a few blog posts to catch up on. I'll start with this one)

So. As we escaped from Moldville, Terri's doctor confirmed that we needed to get rid of our mattress, and instead get an all-natural latex mattress. First, let me just say that this was not an inexpensive endeavor. However, well... whatever. Not much I could do about it.

So anyway. After shopping around and being completely flabbergasted by how expensive most the latex mattress 'systems' were, we happened upon Habitat Furnishings, a mail-order latex mattress site. They had the best prices by far, and only two choices of mattress (one with a softer top than the other one). This lack of choice was a relief, as every other place had various combinations of layers, wool padding, cotton padding, switcheroo his-and-her mattress sections, etc. It was a relief to just choose between softer or firmer. We chose softer.

Keeping in mind that we have never even TRIED a latex mattress, this was all sort of a leap of faith.

The whole ordering experience was very pleasant. Their website, while wordy, was convincing but not too cheesy. I called to order because I had a couple of questions. They were very friendly, kind, and not at all pushy. I really appreciated this and it made me feel better about ordering this bed sight-unseen. Also, there is a 6-month trial period, which also made it easier.

(I won't go into the week of sleeping on a foam trifold futon on the floor while we waited for the bed to arrive -- that was not too fun)

The pillows arrived first. I had been totally in love with my Tempur-pedic contoured pillow (I have a bad neck) but the latex pillow stole my heart. Soft, springy, but nice and flat, it was even more comfortable than my beloved Tempur-pedic pillow. Sorry, I think you've been replaced. It was like sleeping on a marshmallow, in a good way. The thing about latex is that it holds its shape forever, so I don't have to worry about it getting lumpy. And it was nice and cool, and there was absolutely no smell at all (I was worried about a latex-y smell).

Then, yesterday, our mattress arrived. In a gigantic, 136-pound tube. I had thought that perhaps I would just push the box up the stairs and down the hall to the bedroom, where I would magically elevate it onto the bed frame. However, the UPS guy put a quick end to that fantasy. He had gotten two other drivers to bring it upstairs for me, which was so helpful. After watching three burly guys wrestle it up the stairs and down the hall, I realized there was no way I would have been able to get it up there myself. We tried to tip them but they wouldn't take it. It was a Christmas miracle.

Anyway (I'm so tired, this is really badly written, sorry) -- once we unfurled the bed (it sprang open like those refrigerator biscuits in a tube), then the real fun began.

First, it's nice and low (only 8 inches although it looks flatter to me) so it's not like climbing a mountain to get into bed, and our arthritic kitty can still hop up with (relative) ease. Second, it doesn't have any chemical smell at all. Third, it's really comfy. More on that in a second.

The latex material is very interesting -- it's spongy. It's actually very much like a firm marshmallow. We climbed onto the mattress to try it out and it's like you'd imagine laying on a supportive cloud would be (because I know everyone wonders about this). It's not like a Tempurpedic where you sort of sink in -- instead, it's very 'light' and gently supportive. Rather like, well, a marshmallow.

It's warm and cushy but not like quicksand, where you can barely get out. It sort of bounces you whereever you want to go -- rolling over or hopping out of bed. It's firm but squishy. I can't feel the boards of the platform frame we have. I slept like a rock last night without any back pain or neck pain this morning, and considering all the heavy lifting and assembling of IKEA furniture and contorting to squeeze around boxes and such I've been doing (not to mention stress), that is sort of a miracle. It's another Christmas miracle!

Our only complaint is that you do feel the other person's movements, but it's not too bad. It was very noticeable when we first tried it out, but it must have 'settled' a little since then because it's better now. December 21st: edited to add: The mattress has totally settled out and now we hardly feel any movement from each other at all. It's actually sort of strange, not to feel the other person! But strange in a good way...

I would never have thought that I would enjoy a 'flatter' mattress after years of loving my pillowtop mattresses (I am all about the comfy bed experience) but I do -- I love it. Apparently natural latex is some kind of magic material that repells mold and dustmites, and doesn't pack down or wear out easily. Plus, like I said, it's comfy.

Also great about this company -- free shipping! I can't imagine what shipping on a 136-pound box would be, but probably not cheap.

OK. That's enough about the bed. I'm unbelievably relieved to have a soft, comfy, safe bed for us. We'll see how we like it after a couple of months, but right now, we're very happy with it.

February 1st, edited to add update: So, over a month later, we are still really happy with the mattress. I notice that when it's very cold, it's a little firmer (but not much) and also it's a bit chilly. We have the mattress on an open-slat platform bed frame, so there's a good foot of open (cold) air under the mattress. I'm sure if we had boxsprings or a flat board instead of slats, it would be warmer. And it's not *cold*, it's just a little chilly when you hop in bed (and only on really cold nights). That said, once we put a thick-ish mattress pad (over the waterproof one) and flannel sheets, it's been totally fine. Also, if we turn on the heater in the bedroom, the bed warms up quickly and stays warm.

My arms aren't falling asleep like they used to, I think it's because the mattress is so supportive in all the right places. Also, I never wake up with a backache, and neither does Terri (who had disc surgery a few years ago). The only thing I've had to change is that I went back to the Tempurpedic contoured pillow (instead of the latex pillow) because my neck is extremely sensitive, I can't take very much elevation at all. I still really love the latex pillow, but I use it for reading and then switch to the Tempurpedic to sleep. If I didn't have a super-sensitive neck, I'm sure the latex would be great, because it is extremely comfy and isn't too fluffy or high (just too high for me, and I think I'm an outlier for this stuff).

I really do appreciate the knowledge that we aren't inhaling chemicals all night, and I love the way the mattress is so springy and doesn't dip in the middle (and never will!). We're very happy with the mattress, and so is our arthritic kitty!

September 29th, 2009 edit: Wow, so many people have read and commented on this entry! It's about 10 months later and we still love it. Zero allergy reactions, very comfy (just seems to get comfier) and worry-free. We still love the pillows, too.

The company (Habitat) has said that if you decide to order this mattress after reading this blog post, if you put "Read about product on Daphne's blog," in the comments section of the order form, they will pay me a small finders fee. Since we are still recovering from the economic disaster of chronic illness and mold poisoning, every bit helps! Thank you! And thanks to Habitat for making such a quality bed.

October 22nd, 2010 edit to update: So here we are, about two years later and I wanted to do another update. We've moved again, and the mattress moved with us because I never ever want to be without this mattress again. Seriously. I have been through five or six mattresses, some used, some brand new, some futons, some conventional, some pillowtop, in the past 12 years. We are still very happy with this mattress -- two years later and there isn't any sagging. If anything, it's even more comfortable than when we got it. It seems to have "settled" and any of that ultra-bounciness we noticed when we first got it seems to have settled down. Terri still has to spend almost all day in the bed and she says it's comfortable all day long. The only downside to moving this mattress is the weight -- but you'll get that with any latex or foam mattress. We had movers and they tied it up tight and it moved just fine, no damage, no compression. I really hope that this is the last mattress we have to buy for a really long time, and it looks like that will be the case. (any updates from here on will be at this post: http://nevertravelled.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/review-habitat-all-natural-latex-mattress-2/)

38 comments:

stefanie said...

That was a big leap of faith, buying a mattress sight unseen. I am glad it has worked out so well. You have me thinking I might want to try one of those latex pillows!

Daphne said...

You should! They're kind of amazing.

Jake said...

well, after looking around a bit on google i found your post. this pretty much convinced me to go ahead and try the latex mattress from habitat (the decision was between that or a *much* more expensive hastens bed). so, away we go. thanks for the motivation.

Daphne said...

Yay, Jake! You will like it!

Fred said...

so, over a month later, how's the mattress? Like Jake, I found your site while searching Google to evaluate the Habitat-sight-unseen plunge.

Still effusive for the bed? Thanks!

Daphne said...

Hi Fred-

I'm still effusive for the bed! I'll post an update in the blog above. We're very happy with it; it totally suits what we needed. It's not a smothering-soft bed, but instead, we aren't noticing any aches or pains in the morning (a welcome relief).

Fred said...

Thanks for the update, Daphne! I think you've sold us--maybe Habitat will send you a commission?

Daphne said...

Yes! Please suggest that to them. :)

Anonymous said...

They now have a 9" model with 3" on top with the softer latex. What do you think about that? Too soft?? Nicely Plush??
Thanks.

Kelly said...

Daphne,
Thank you so much for posting this information to your blog! We have been looking at this mattress to purchase but it is a big leap of faith to order a mattress online. You have helped my comfort level. It is almost 6 months later, are you still in love with it? They sell a 9" model now which gives 1 more inch of plush. Would you do that or stay with the 8" one you have? I also wake up with my arm asleep because I tend to sleep on my side so good to hear that may go away with this mattress!

Thanks again!

Daphne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daphne said...

...and no, nobody's paying me to say this! I doubt the company even knows I have this post up!

Daphne said...

Hi Kelly-

I know! It's a total leap of faith. However, we have been so happy with. I don't regret it at all. I would say that if you can afford the 9" model, you might want to go with that simply because there's less chance of 'bottoming out' (if you put the bed on slats or a board -- I doubt it would be a problem even then, but... and if you had box springs, then I really doubt it would be a problem). I never notice this, but a larger person (a big man, for instance) might if they were kneeling on the bed (to make the bed or whatever -- I seriously doubt it would happen with normal bed-use). However, we've never noticed a problem and the 8" is certainly soft and cushy and wonderful. I'm glad we got the one with the cushy topper, so i would say definitely the 8" or 9". I bet the 9" is even softer and cushier. However, like I said, we're entirely happy with 8".

I used to wake up with my arms asleep all the time and I now I rarely, if ever, have this problem. It's also helped my back issues. I do need the Tempurpedic pillow but my partner loves the latex pillow, so it just depends on your neck needs. (I do love the latex pillow for reading).

Best of luck! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. We are really happy with this mattress and feel it's worth the cost.

Kate said...

Hi Daphne,

Great review! It's almost October now...do you still love it? I'm in upstate NY and you have me a little worried about the mattress getting cold.

I think I want one, but my husband is loathe to spend $2300 on a mattress set when we can get a spring mattress set for $1200....

Do you really think it will last 20-30 years like they say? Did you order the box spring they sell, too?

Thanks!

Daphne said...

Hi Kate-

I still love my mattress each and every night. I LOVE it. It's still extremely supportive and there is no sign of that concave dipping that happens with regular mattresses. I didn't get the box spring - we have it just on slats.

I think putting it on box springs would probably make it warmer, but really a thick mattress pad and flannel sheets (plus a cozy hot water bottle!) does the trick just fine. I wouldn't go back to innerspring mattresses now.

I think it's worth the money. There are no chemicals to worry about and the mattress is really comfy. If you are looking for the type of thing where you can NEVER feel your partner move, then you would want to look at Tempur-pedic, because you can still feel a little movement (similar to a regular mattress). It has totally settled down from the first few nights, however, and now I don't notice it at all.

I really love it. I feel safe from icky chemicals and mold and other allergens, my body doesn't ever ache (which it did before) and I'm really TOTALLY pleased with it.

Kate said...

Thanks, Daphne. I STILL can't talk hubby into it sight unseen. Grrr.... I'm calling Habitat tomorrow to see if they have samples of the material they can send out or something....

Serta makes a latex with 10 inches of talalay covered by two inches of foam/latex. It was nice, but it felt like any other mattress....it wasn't the bouyant, springy, firm marshamllow feeling you and others describe. I think the Habitat guy on the video makes so much sense when he says they don't put anything between you and the latex except for the thin covering. If other companies are going to cover all the latex up with fluff and stuff, what's the point of the latex??

Would you say it's at all like lying down on a trampoline and moving around?

Thanks so much! OH, if you had wanted to return it, do you think there was ANY way you could have rolled it back up and put it in the box??? I am wondering HOW to return it because I just know I won't be able to roll it back up small enough....

Daphne said...

Hi Kate-

It's definitely bouyant, marshamallowy. It really is just latex with a simple cover, nothing else. It's not really like a trampoline -- a trampoline is much bouncier. It's like... well, imagine laying on super-comfy foam rubber. Only firm and supportive enough that your whole body can relax. It's bouncy like foam rubber, only firmer. It's not as taut and super-bouncy as a trampoline.

I really don't know HOW I would have returned it, but I assume the Habitat people would have had some magic method. It's very big and very heavy.

I think they can send you a sample of the material. I've been completely happy with it!

Jake said...

i actually ended up not keeping the one i bought last december. i didn't hate it, but i didn't love it either. i instead got a hastens bed, which is the most comfortable thing ever though it has a price to match ... even with a 40% discount for a floor sample.

the return was actually really simple. i don't think they mention it on their site, but instead of sending it back you can donate it to a 503c nonprofit and get a refund. the salvation army picked mine up and i didn't have to do any work at all.

Daphne said...

Hi Jake-

Interesting! I've never tried (or heard of) a Hastings mattress. I am totally in love with our bed, thankfully! Glad to hear that the return was easy.

Kate said...

Interesting Daphne and Jake! I'm also looking at the Sleep EZ latex mattress where you build your own layers of firmness. I just wish I could lay on an actual latex mattress with no fluff and stuff!! I wish I lived near you, Daphne!!!

Daphne said...

You could come on over and give it a try! :)

Anonymous said...

Daphne, I'm wondering if you are still happy with your purchase. Its now April, 2011. We have a tempur-pedic that no longer works for us after about 4 years of use. We are searching for an " air bed" after sleeping on our camper air mattress recently and discovering it is better than our $5000 bed!!! I have health issues and my husband has back problems. I'm just afraid of making another expensive mistake.

Daphne said...

Hi there-
Yes, we are still happy with it. No sagging, it's still extremely comfy. We've never had a problem with offgassing or anything. The bed was expensive but I think it was worth it. We reinforced our bedframe with plywood so the mattress is on a very solid surface and that has made it the perfect combination of firm/supportive and soft/comfy. (we don't have a boxspring) We're very happy with it!

Sherry said...

Hello,

Now that you have had this mattress for a while, how easy is it to get in and out? My husband had polio so a bed that is too soft around the edges, in particular, makes it very difficult. Also, is body temperature held in the mattress or does it escape, allowing for a cooler sleep?

Daphne said...

I have to say that my partner, who has a really bad back, hasn't had any problems. But we have the mattress flat on a board (not a spring set) and have a firm bedframe, so that really helps. She hasn't had any problems with getting in and out. I don't know how it would be if it were on a traditional set of springs. We are very happy with it being just on boards.

Have not noticed any problems with the bed being too hot. It isn't like memory foam, which sort of "holds" the heat. It's fairly breathable (that we can tell).

Anonymous said...

What brand and exact model was the latex mattress you bought?

Mike

Daphne said...

Hi Mike -- it was from Habitat, and we chose the kind that had the 2" layer of softer latex.

Brian said...

Hi Daphne,

I can second your approval of the Habitat latex mattress. I purchased one last September based on faith after doing a lot of research. Still, when you never actually try the mattress you intend to sleep on, there is plenty of faith involved.

Well, my prayers were answered. I also ordered the 8" mattress. And while I was skeptical that this mattress could correct my problems sleeping (waking up in the middle of the night, having to "flip" my body to roll over, arm falling asleep, back aches...yes, it sucked). But ever since I purchased it, those problems have gone away.

I now sleep through the night (a MIRACLE!). I don't wake up with any pain. Yet I find it weird because while the mattress is soft, it's still rather firm too. This is definitely not a pillow top mattress. You don't lie on it when you are awake and think you are seven heaven. Instead, I find myself confused. But when you roll over to the side, it does not impinge your arm...a very big deal for me. It supports your body fully.

Most importantly, I sleep through the night. It was well worth the investment. I feel much better now when I am awake--which to me, is the purpose of getting a good mattress.

Anyway, great blog Daphne. And great post too!

Anubix said...

Hello Daphne,

I finished reading your blog and updates, after spending about 2 hours checking out the Habitat Furnishings website. Your account is the closest I have to reviewing the latex mattress before buying, so I wanted to ask a few...

My partner has back problems, so your account of your partner's experience is very helpful.

I'm a bit worried about the edges buckling due to our weight. My partner is above 250 lbs and I'm 153. Our current spring mattress has buckled on the edges and middle, bed looks like a flat banana.

How does your latex mattress behave around the edges, when you sit up to get get up?

The plan is to get a King size mattress, so foundationa nd support is a big deal. I know you have a platform bed, not a box spring foundation. I'm wondering if you or anyone else reading this have used the foundation that Habitat Furnishings sells. It's shipped in parts and assembled at home and looks kinda flimsy on the website.

Daphne said...

In my experience, the edges will flatten a bit when you sit on them, but then spring back up when you get up. After 3+ years of use there are no discernable dips or flattening -- it's still perfectly square and springy. I have no idea about the foundation, but I also have a King mattress and have a platform bed. I put some flat boards on top of the slats and that really helped firm things up (which was a problem with the cheap bedframe, not the mattress). It's been totally fine ever since (and again, I'm sure if you had a sturdy frame with good slats, it would be fine.)

Anonymous said...

Hello Daphne, I have a question? Do u still enjoy ur bed? I have been looking into a habitat 9" latex bed, but im hesitant in investing so much money for something u can try first. Ia there anything u dislike or Would change on ur bed? N i see u didnt buy the foundation, but if u could , would u?

Anonymous said...

My husband and I purchased a Habitat mattress last April - We are absolutely "in love" with our mattress and especially the pillows. They are like sleeping on a cloud. I used to spend the whole night turning from side to side. I now sleep all night long and feel so rested. The mattresses are costly, but losing a lot of sleep affects your health. The mattresses are absolutely worth the cost.
Lynne in Maine!

d.doub.fly@gmail.com said...

I just purchased the 8" mattress. Again Leap of Faith like many a blog. Our Memory foam mattress is just way too hot. Plus you sink in too far which I believe contributes to the heat build up. So we have the expensive foundations that are adjustable"tempur-pedic), so I am hoping the new Habitat mattress works well with the adjustable bed. My biggest concern though is heat. I sleep hot and am hoping this be does not. What can you tell me about heat and will the bed work with the adjustable box/spring. thx

Daphne said...

Hello! I have no idea about foundations. I have a platform bed and it works great. I don't know if Tempurpedic bases would work, nor do I know if any other would make any difference. I like the firmness of sleeping on the platform. I have not noticed any "hotness" from the latex bed -- it does not seem to retain body heat -- that said, it's not cold, it's just comfy all the time.

Chyra Paxson said...

Hi daphne! Any changes in your opinion yet? Thinking of buying but afraid to spring for that much $! Give me the latest ! Thanks!

Chyra p.

Daphne said...

Hi there-
My last comment was in July, and things haven't changed much! Still love it. I say, go for it! It's been four years and its' still great.

Chyra Paxson said...

Thanks! Do you, or anyone know how this compares to the sleep ez?

Daphne said...

I'm sorry, I don't even know what that is! Maybe someone else does..