Understanding Latex Density In Mattresses
There is no mattress maker or assembler or manufacturer in America who manufactures the latex that is inside of the mattress they sell. For that matter there is no mattress maker that grows their own wool or cotton. So let’s break down organic latex mattresses and what is inside and how they are different. I am only speaking about 100% natural GOLS certified latex
All latex comes from the milk of a rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. The tree is planted in very large plantations throughout Asia. The rubber tree is originally from the Amazon, and not indigenous to Asia. The tree needs a warm humid environed that is why Asia is a good match for growing these trees. The trees are planted on certified organic land, clean and certified for three years prior to planting. Once the tree grows it takes 6 years to produce and then they can be tapped for 28 years thereafter. The sap or milk is a protective agent seeping out of the tree to seal wounds and breaks in the tree’s bark system. A container is attached to the tree, every 2 days one rubber tree yields 2 ounces, or 56 grams of milk.
One rubber tree can only product approximately 19 pounds of milk a year. So to conclude organic latex milk is from the same tree and is equal no matter who is collecting the milk as the process is the same and has been certified by GOLS Global Organic Latex Standard, through The Control Union. So all organic latex milk is equal as it is from the same trees. The process for vulcanizing and steaming and washing the milk to make a hard core of solid latex is next. Only the Dunlop method of processing latex milk is concerned organic as Talalay process uses ammonia in the milk in its transportation process.
The bottom line is ALL ORGANIC LATEX is equal, except for one thing the density and ILD of the latex cores and thickness or the latex cores. Latex feels very different based on the density. It is not just soft medium and firm as most latex manufactures offer. How do you make softer latex? Think about beating egg whites. The more air in the egg white the fluffier it is. The less air the flatter of denser the egg whites are. It is the same with latex milk. Beat the milk longer you get more air in the latex therefore a softer density beat the milk less denser thicker densities. Latex is actually sold 7 different densities. “ILD” Indentation Load Deflection or PCF.
Both ILD and Density are ways of measuring the firmness of natural latex. Also PCF Pounds Per Cubic Foot is the measurement of weight by volume or density. The greater the ILD and the greater the density, or weight, (remember the egg beating scenario) the firmer the natural latex will be because there is less air in the finished product. The only way to really know what type of latex you are getting is to weight it. So for each piece of latex there are 2 standards ILD and density. ILD is not density but both specifics affect firmness. Below are ILD chart.
Here is a quick organic latex mattress comparison shopping guide