Topic: Natural Materials

Moisture Control in Mattresses and Bedding

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.

We Use Pure Organic Wool to Create the Dormio Organic Latex Mattress


Wool is the perfect fibre for mattress padding, which is the reason we use wool whenever possible in our Dormio organic mattresses, organic wool pillows and organic wool toppers. It’s a natural, safe and mildew resistant fibre that science cannot imitate for its versatility, practicability, fire retardency and breathability. Wool keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter so it’s the ideal material for organic mattresses. Wool can absorb one third of its weight in moisture before feeling wet, yet water evaporates quickly due to its air channels between the fibres. Its excellent wicking action is perfect for keeping us dry when sleeping. We produce about a pint of water vapour during an eight hour sleeping cycle. Wool keeps a sleepers skin dry instead of wet and clammy.

Wool is renewable and is harvested without slaughtering the sheep. Organic wool is produced on farms where the sheep are raised organically; they are fed and cared for without the use of chemicals. The sheep do not go through routine chemical treatments such as drenching, dipping for parasites, antibiotics, vaccines, or growth hormones. Sheep that are raised organically graze on organic fields and are fed organic food. Only hot water and biodegradable soaps are used to wash organic wool and no sulfuric acid solution is ever used. The wool is then hand selected for carding.

Not only is organic wool the most breathable and insulating natural fibre on the planet, when used properly on an organic mattress, but  it’s also a great substitute for fire retardants, as wool is a natural fire retardant. Organic wool lets us produce a chemical free mattress for clients looking for a safer and healthier sleep.

Now you may be wondering how our organic wool is exactly utilized in the creation of our organic mattresses. There are 3 components which go into our organic mattress.

  • Natural Latex is used as the core of the mattress.
  • Organic Cotton used to cover the entire mattress (also known as the ticking)
  • Organic Wool is used as the padding for the mattress

The organic wool is an essential part in adding to the comfort of the natural latex which is used as the core. Due to the natural latex, organic mattresses are sometimes referred to as organic latex mattress or natural latex mattress.

At Dormio we just love wool and use it generously on most of our products. Our organic latex mattresses use wool, we have the largest selection of Organic wool duvets you’ve seen anywhere. We even use wool in our Organic Alpaca duvets, a 30/70 blend works wonderfully and then of course we have the largest selection of organic wool pillows available anywhere in Toronto and GTA. Visit us today and browse our large range of organic latex mattresses, organic pillows, sheet and duvets. We are sure you will find something to help you get a healthier sleep. You can even call us for more information or continue browsing our site. You will find a list of products at


SAMINA has enjoyed much success both in Austria and internationally, with SAMINA products now available in a number of countries including Belgium, Germany, France, India, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the USA, and Australia.

SAMINA healthy sleep products are made by hand from carefully selected, natural raw materials at the SAMINA headquarters in Frastanz, amidst the glorious Vorarlberg countryside in Austria.

The SAMINA system is designed to ‘actively’ support the spine during sleep.

Every SAMINA product is unique; crafted with great care from the highest quality natural materials to provide you with everything you need for optimum regeneration and a truly healthy sleep. When natural materials are treated with care their integrity is preserved and their natural properties are retained.

SAMINA quality products pass through many hands. Careful processing by hand guarantees that SAMINA sleepers get the full benefits of the natural materials used. It is this careful processing of beautiful natural materials that SAMINA is renowned for.

The SAMINA bed is made up of three layers; the flexible slat frame forms the basis of the system providing support for the whole body, the natural rubber mattress for cushioning and comfort, and the pure sheep’s wool pad for a perfectly dry and warm bed climate.

SAMINA slat frame

Support in any sleeping position

The SAMINA slat frame forms the basis of the SAMINA system. This flexible slat frame is built from Ash wood slats and natural rubber beams running lengthways. This flexible construction is what enables the system to ‘actively’ support the body and emulate the correct curvature of the spine. The slat frame interacts with the sleeper so movement during sleep is easy. Independent slat frames for each sleeper eliminates partner disturbance.

SAMINA natural rubber mattress

Comfortable and hygienic

The SAMINA certified organic mattress is made from 100% natural rubber to provide optimum comfort. The flexible nature of the slat frame eliminates the need for thick and heavy certified organic mattresses. Instead the SAMINA natural rubber mattress is thin, lightweight, and easy to move. The high quality natural rubber optimises moisture and temperature conditions, is anti-bacterial and mould and dust mite resistant creating an hygienic sleep environment.

SAMINA wool pad

Perfectly warm or cool all year round

The SAMINA sheep’s wool pad is the uppermost layer of the three part SAMINA sleeping system. It is filled with 100% organic virgin sheep’s wool and covered in pure, skin-friendly, twisted certified organic cotton. The virgin sheep’s wool is highly absorbent, creating a luxuriously dry warmth and inducing a deep comforting sleep. The wool fleece is carefully stitched in place by hand to ensure even warmth.

Come see this medically endorsed sleep system… appointment only!

Latex History

latex mattress

Rubber, the most fascinating natural material, is also known by the Maya name caoutchouc. Knowledge of the elastic properties of rubber was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus, who observed inhabitants of Haiti playing with bouncing balls. Considerably later, in 1615, a Spanish explorer reported how milk (latex) gathered from incisions made on specific tropical trees was brushed on cloaks, rendering them waterproof after drying, or on earthern , bottle shaped moulds to produce containers. It was not until 1735 that the French geographical expedition identified caoutchouc sap of the hevea brasiliensis tree, today called the rubber tree, because rubber has the capability to erase pencil marks. Hevea trees only grow ten degrees north or south or the equator, and need heavy annual rainfalls of about 250 cm and tropical climate. The rubber tree is presently cultivated in Malaysia, Ceylon, south-east Asia and West Africa. Wild rubber is still harvested in Brazil and Peru.

Latex is only workable when freshly tapped from the rubber tree, thus Europeans struggled considerably to find solvents for caoutchouc to make it spreadable after it arrived in Europe in its dried state. Efforts utilizing ether, turpentine or naphtha (a waste from coal-gas plants) were only partially successful since the water proof items, produced from rubber remained sticky particularly when warm, and turned to dust in the hot summers.  Moreover, these rubber items were odorous, perishable and became brittle and even cracked upon the use during extreme cold winters.

Nevertheless, a large number of products were manufactured in the early 1800s such as air mattresses, portable bathtubs, waterproof mail bags and boots. In the 1820as a machine was built to rapidly cut rubber into small pieces which generated heat and thus facilitating the fusing of rubber scraps into blocks.

Riding on the rubber boom of the 1830s, Charles Goodyear after considerable experimentation discovered the curing process during heating. The new substance did not melt.  It was durable and retained pliability and elasticity when cold. This technique of vulcanization is still used today.

In 1860 John B Dunlop patented and developed a pneumatic rubber tire based on Goodyear’s invention, which eventually made the bicycle popular and had an impact on the auto industry several decades later.

Dormio Organic Beds….naturally better

Best selection of natural and organic quality mattresses and bedding in the Toronto area!



Where Does Rubber Come From?

Most of the world’s rubber comes from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka

These countries are all located in South-east Asia.

Brazil provided the world with the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, but Brazil no longer plays any significant part in the natural rubber trade. Seeds were exported from the lower Amazon area of Brazil to London UK by Henry Wickham, a local planter acting for the British Government in 1876.

The seeds were germinated at the Tropical Herbarium in Kew Gardens, London later that year. From there seedlings were exported to Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka). In 1877, 22 seedlings were sent from Ceylon to Singapore, where they grew strongly, and the technique of tapping was developed.

Prior to this, the trees had to be felled before the latex could be extracted.

By 1900, most of the techniques and agricultural practices required to establish large plantations had been developed. One key technique was bud grafting. This is essentially a cloning technique which ensures that genetically identical trees can be produced in unlimited numbers.

The rubber industry often talks about high-yielding clones, or other types of clone; and this is the basis of that terminology.

Over the next 40 years or so, the British in Malaysia and the Dutch in Indonesia cleared large areas of rainforest to create rubber plantations.

Simultaneously, local farmers saw the opportunities of rubber cultivation, and planted small groves of trees to supplement their own income.

This gives rise to two types of rubber plantations in most producing countries: the plantations and the smallholdings.

Smallholdings tend to produce solid rubber, while plantations are essentially large-scale farms, with professional management. Most latex comes from professionally managed plantations.

Is Latex Made From Sap?

The answer is No

Latex is often described as the sap of the Hevea tree. This is not an accurate description. The sap runs deeper inside the tree, beneath the cambium. Latex runs in the latex ducts which are in a layer immediately outside the cambium. This highlights the skill of the tapper. If the cambium is cut, then the tree is damaged, because the cambium is where all the growth takes place. Too much damage to the cambium and the tree stops growing and stops making latex.

Methods of Latex Rubber Tapping

All natural rubber originates in the Hevea tree, and it starts its journey when the tree is tapped. Trees are rarely tapped more often than once every two days.

A tapper starts the trek around the plantation before dawn. At each tree a sharp knife is used to shave off the thinnest possible layer from the intact section of bark. The cut must be neither too deep, nor too thick. Either will reduce the productive life of the tree. This starts the latex flowing, and the tapper leaves a small cup underneath the cut.

In ordinary circumstances, this latex will normally coagulate into a lump in the bottom of the cup, called ‘cup lump.’ If the plantation manager wants to make latex, then the tapper must add a stabilizing agent to the cup. Usually this is ammonia, which prevents the latex from coagulating.

The tapper returns a few hours later and collects the stuff in the cup — either cup lump or latex. The double round trip usually finishes at about 2 pm.

Processing of Latex – Cup Lump or Liquid Concentrate

If solid rubber is required, the cup lump, together with tree lace (the remnants of the latex flow from the cut down to the cup) and other bits and pieces are collected together and processed. That processing involves quite a lot of heat, which destroys many of the proteins. It ends up as solid rubber. Depending on the method of processing and the final purity of the material, the industry refers to it as sheet rubber. This rubber is often used to make mattress cores.

When latex is required the material is gathered on the tapper’s return journey, poured into containers and delivered to a processing station where it is strained and concentrated. At no stage in the process is the latex heated. This means most of the proteins remain in the latex.

More stabilizer is added and the latex goes into a centrifuge to remove some of the water, and increase the rubber content of the latex. After centrifuging, the material is known as latex concentrate, and contains roughly 60 percent solid rubber and 40 percent other stuff (water, proteins etc.).

This is what is used in the dipping process when making gloves.

Dormio Organic Beds….naturally better

Best selection of natural and organic quality mattresses and bedding in the Toronto area!