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Review: Habitat All Natural Latex Mattress

October 22, 2009

(carried over from my old blog to my new. Any updates will be posted to this post from now on)

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.
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)
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    December 5, 2011 9:48 pm

    Hi! It’s been just over 2 years from your last post about the bed. Was looking to make the same purchase and wanted to ask how the bed was still holding up for you. Thanks and look forward to hearing your reply!

    • December 30, 2011 10:35 pm

      Still love it! It’s not sagged at all. The best mattress I’ve had, seriously. Get one!

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