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.
You work out religiously. Your diet is locked down better than an MMA fighter cutting weight for a fight (or so you think.) Your pants are still too tight. Why? One possible and much overlooked reason is lack of proper sleep. Studies show that when you are tired, your frontal lobe loses some of its ability to control impulse actions and exhibits impaired decision making. Your brain also starts looking for rewards to make you feel better. So maybe you indulge just a bit more than you actually think. That doesn’t tell the whole story though. The impact of hormones on weight control is better understood all the time. Leptin tells you when you are full and Ghrelin tells you when to eat. Studies show that a lack of good sleep causes your Ghrelin levels to increase and Leptin levels to decrease. Couple that with an increase in Cortisol (the stress hormone) telling your body to conserve energy and you have a perfect storm for a little more around the middle. Unfortunately, you can’t use this as an excuse to get a cool 10 hours an night though, a study out of Quebec found that people who sleep 5-6 hours or 9-10 hours where 35% and 25% more likely to experience weight gain than the people who slept 7-8 hours. So get a solid 8 hours of sleep and you will be surprised at the benefits.
Dormio Power Bases
Power Bases, also called adjustable beds, are not just for the elderly and sick anymore. Today’s models have more powerful reliable motors, advanced wireless remotes with programmability and smartphone integration. They are also stylish with furniture grade colour and fabric options, skirts and matching headboards.
There are many health benefits to be gleaned from a powerbase. Most people think of relief for chronic orthopaedic issues but that is just the start. Acute injuries can heal faster since elevation of the injured area is be easier thereby helping to reduce bruising and swelling. Circulatory problems can be improved because the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to move blood quickly. Many people report improved digestion and a reduction in snoring and sleep apnea. A power base will also be an indispensable friend during pregnancy.
Just as important as the health benefits are the lifestyle benefits. In today’s 24/7 work culture more people are finding that work doesn’t go away just because it is bed time. So if you are working why not be comfortable? Working on a laptop or surfing the net on a tablet in bed is so much easier and more enjoyable if you can adjust you position properly. Trying to balance on a pile of pillows or leaning against a hard wall at a 90 degree angle can be a thing of the past. New advanced massage with wave and pulse features, timers and soft awake alarms are other wonderful options.
At Dormio we have several power base options available so we definitely have one for your needs and budget.
Moisture control in mattresses and bedding.
Often overlooked by traditional manufacturers, moisture control in mattresses and bedding is probably the most important factor in creating a successful sleep environment.
When we sleep we perspire. If that moisture remains next to our body we get clammy and hot. Often to alleviate this issue we will throw off the blankets causing the moisture to evaporate quickly and cooling us so fast we get a chill. Then we repeat the process over and over destroying any hope of a decent night sleep.
To ensure the comfort of our mattress and bedding products we use two natural fibres – Wool and Alpaca. I will expand on Alpaca later but first let’s look at why wool is great for moisture control. Wool will continue to feel dry even when it has absorbed 30% – 50% of its weight in moisture. Capillary action (wicking) moves the moisture along the fibres and away from your body. Wool has a very fast drying rate so it releases the moisture that has been drawn away from you into the air keeping you warm and dry; not hot and sweaty. Alpaca’s fibre is hollow and it works like wool but even better with faster drying and better capillary action. It does not contain lanolin which we love for its antibacterial and anti-dust mite properties so we use Alpaca in pillows and duvets, blended with 30% to 50% wool.
In closing, research with tell you there are many synthetic wicking fibres on the market today. They are used in sportswear and some traditional mattresses and show excellent capillary action. Unfortunately tests show they do not offer the quick drying ability of wool and also have the problem of trapping fats and bacteria in the fibre pores resulting in odour. Most of us have purchased these high tech garments and have been stunned by the seemingly impossible to remove smell after just a few workouts. Manufacturers combat this problem by adding even more chemicals to combat the odour – something none of us need in our chemical soaked environment. This is why we have no doubt Wool and Alpaca are the best fibres for moisture control in mattresses and bedding.
Why buy a Dormio Organic Latex Mattress?
This is the third in a series of posts outlining the problems with traditional mattresses, and why we believe Dormio Organic Latex Mattresses are the best sleep solution available today.
Hypoallergenic is a term thrown around a lot today. But what does hypoallergenic mean? From Merriam-Webster:
“having little likelihood of causing an allergic response”
That is what most of us think of when we encounter this word. If we break the word out though, it becomes a little less clear.
1. Under or below
2. Lower / at a lower part
1. Causing allergic sensitization
What I am getting at is most people assume hypoallergenic means a product is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. However, it can just mean less likely to cause an allergic reaction — but less likely than what? Less likely than the extremely allergy inflaming product next to it? Is it 99% less likely or 10% less likely to cause a reaction? This ambiguity allows many products to tout that they are better because they are hypoallergenic but without any back up of why or how they can make that claim. The main allergens encountered in the bedroom are dust mites, mold and pet dander. A previous blog post covered mold in detail: http://dormio.ca/index.php/2014/04/why-buy-a-dormio-organic-mattress-part-2/. Pet dander is tough. Some folks would much rather suffer with allergies than move their fur babies out of the bedroom and we understand because we love our pets too. Dust mites are the worst offenders and something a Dormio organic mattress will virtually eliminate. Dust mites are creepy little guys that are part of the spider family and almost impossible to see with the unaided eye.
They live for one to three months and each female can produce 40 – 100 offspring. If left unchecked, the population in a mattress or pillow can grow to the millions. Traditional mattresses and pillows provide the perfect setting for successful dust mite growth with an abundant food supply of skin flakes from our bodies and lots of trapped moisture to keep them hydrated. They can squirrel themselves away under the ticking and happily munch away at the buffet we inadvertently provide. Of course, along with munching comes elimination and it is their fecal pellets that cause allergic reactions. In the course of a lifetime a dust mite will produce an average of 2000 fecal pellets. Once a dust mite has run her course, she will die and leave behind an exoskeleton which can also cause allergic reactions. Add up the numbers and there is no wonder people are waking up with allergy symptoms. Some of the most often seen reactions are itchy mouth or throat, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, headaches, coughing, sneezing and most disturbing are asthmatic issues such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest pain.
A Dormio organic mattress prevents the dust mite population from growing to unmanageable levels. The first level of protection is the high quality of our organic cotton covers. This helps to prevent skin flakes from getting down into the lower layers to provide a source of food. The second level of prevention is the organic wool. Wool is inhospitable to dust mites for 3 reasons: One, it contains a waxy substance called lanolin which repels dust mites; two, the three dimensional corkscrew nature of the fibers does not create a hospitable place for them to live; three, wool’s dry porous nature eliminates their source of moisture. The last layer of protection is the latex itself. The open cell nature of latex allows huge amounts of air flow keeping the mattress dry and dust mites thirsty. Add it all up and you can sleep on your Dormio Organic Mattress knowing there aren’t a million little friends living with you.
While the dust mites won’t live in the mattress they can still keep a small population on top which is why Dormio offers a large number of natural mattress protectors that can be washed regularly all while maintaining the integrity of your natural sleep solution.
Don’t forget pillows. The dust mite population can explode quickly in pillows. Dormio offers 60 different pillows made from organic wool, washable wool, organic latex, buckwheat and kapok. All these fills are excellent for keeping dust mite population down.
So in closing, Dormio Organic Latex mattresses are: chemical free, mold free and truly hypoallergenic. All that plus they are super comfortable and will offer perfect support for years to come. Comfort will be next week’s blog so please stay tuned and remember: Dormio mattresses are different by design!