We are often asked why we sometimes enclose the latex layers in a sock while other times choose not to. There is a lot of misinformation about why the sock is used and we want to clear this issue up for the consumer. The comment we hear most often from shoppers is that someone has told them the sock makes the latex last longer. If you look at the design of the sock itself and the coverings used to make the mattress, this is not only counter-intuitive but completely inaccurate. We have researched this nauseam with experts in the field and there is no evidence to back this claim up. Even the manufacturers that use the sock make no such claims.
At Dormio we have mattresses both with the sock and without. The use or absence of the sock is for very distinct reasons.
Why we use the sock.
The sock has two main purposes. On the manufacturing end, it makes handling of the latex layers much easier since moving the latex cores is eased by the slippery surface provided by the sock – latex without the sock tends to stick together. Unfortunately this ease of movement is a detriment in some mattress designs, such as those with multiple 2 to 6 inch latex layers encased within one cover. The other real reason to use the sock is to change the feel of the bed. Latex mattresses are generally made of the same materials – latex, wool and cotton. In order to ensure a broad selection of comfort levels that appeal to all consumers, various methods are used to adjust the feel and support of the mattress. One of these methods is to put the latex in a sock. This will firm up the mattress in those models where it is desirable and there is no concern about internal layers slipping. Our Premium and Premium Plus lines both use the sock since we are looking to achieve a firmer mattress style overall in those lines. The modular nature of the mattresses removes any worry of internal layer slippage.
The Ashton Mattress design shown is a perfect example of a mattress that works well with the latex sock. Each layer of the mattress is separate within its own cover and our aim is to have a firmer core that is offset by the softer topper layers on top.
Why we don’t use the sock.
As I mentioned above, the sock presents a problem in mattresses featuring multiple layers all contained within one cover. This is often referred to as a tight top design. Here, if we used the sock, the internal layers of latex will be prone to slippage through day to day movement on the mattress. This is a particular problem with dual sided designs and designs where multiple pieces are used within the same layer. Like tectonic plates, the layers can move around and sometimes slide underneath one another leaving lumps in the centre or gaps in the centre with lumps around the side of the mattress. To avoid this problem, our mattresses that have multiple layers enclosed within a single cover are left without the sock allowing the natural adhesion between the latex layers to hold the pieces all together. This ensures a nice even sleep surface throughout the life of the mattress. We can readily demonstrate this action at the store when you come by.
The Stratus Mattress pictured is an excellent example of when the sock is not a good idea. First the great flexibility in comfort levels precludes the need for the sock to firm up the mattress. Second, the number of layers would not hold together properly if the sock was used.
Is a latex mattress made with the sock better or worse?
The answer is that you have to know when to use the sock and when not to. The sock doesn’t reflect better quality and if used incorrectly (such as in a multi layered unit within one cover) then the sock becomes a problem because of the shifting. This is multiplied several times over when as many as 6 pieces of latex tiles are used to form one layer. One has to look at the overall design of the mattress to see what works best.