The Best Organic Latex Mattress

Our home currently has four organic latex mattresses. But before I tell you anything about an organic mattress, let me tell you why we had to get one: It was all due to a scare with our top dollar memory foam mattress.

Memory Foam: Good or Bad?

It was around 2010. My wife’s back was the collateral damage of a worn out mattress. We decided to go memory foam, and purchased the most recognized brand on the market. Due to what I’m about to tell you, I’ll not say their name here.

What Are They Made Of?

After sleeping on the memory foam mattress for three years, I discovered scary reports about the materials used to make them.

My wife was also experiencing odd issues that we’d spoken to her doctor about. The doctor had her switch to all cotton clothing. We made other changes. The only common denominator was our memory foam mattress as we’d even moved to California during the process.

So I called the company. What happened next was quite surprising.

The Company Rep Didn’t Know

The memory foam representative answered and I asked her what the mattresses were made of. She couldn’t tell me, as she wasn’t even allowed to know. But “All of her grandkids sleep on them and they’re safe.”

So you don’t know what’s in them, but they’re good for your grandkids?

Yeah okay, whatever floats your boat lady.

I then proceeded to tell her we’d been to our doctor about my wife’s situation, and the only thing we hadn’t changed was the mattress. When I said that, she sent me a form to sign that basically said, “You promise not to sue us for any health issues and we’ll come get your mattress and issue a full refund.”

When I said that, she sent me a form to sign that basically said, “You promise not to sue us for any health issues and we’ll come get your mattress and issue a full refund.”

So wait… They had that legal form on file?

I ran it by an attorney who was also very surprised. The attorney asked if my wife had cancer or anything major. I said no. He then said there wasn’t anything really to do. So we signed the paperwork. A few days later the company picked up the king sized mattress and gave us a full refund! We’d been sleeping on it for 3 years.

Time For A Change

After his we were going organic for our bedding material. We decided to try organic latex, and we’ve been sleeping well for several years now. When some people hear “latex” they might think they’re allergic. Don’t worry. Organic latex is not the chemically laden stuff you’re used to seeing in disposable gloves.

The Benefits of True Organic Latex

Natural rubber latex is 30% better at relieving pressure points than memory foam. It’s bed bug resistant, mold resistant, it’s quiet and has zero chemicals hitting your body. That is if you’re using a company who uses true organic materials. The company we chose builds your mattress to order. They don’t want mattresses sitting stored anywhere that would taint the materials.

Chemical Off-Gassing: You might be thinking that memory foam and the like are okay after off-gassing has completed. I used to think this way too. But as foam deteriorates with use, more chemicals are released as the chemicals are permeated throughout the foam. Some toxic flame retardant chemicals take 7 tears to exit your body.

The Company of Choice

Our first organic latex mattress was an OrganicPedic┬« from OMI. Super comfortable. We took it from California to Kauai and back again. If there’s any place something can mold, it’s on the north shore of Kauai. Our OrganicPedic did just fine.

Eventually we purchased a home with a couple guest rooms. I decided to try the sister company of OMI called Lifekind┬«. What’s the difference? OMI has retail stores while Lifekind is sold only online. They have different models, but are made in the same facility. Like OMI, a Lifekind mattress is built once ordered.

The Lifekind® Trio

The Trio is one of the finest latex mattresses you’ll encounter. It’s comprised of three layers of various firmness. This not only allows for you to customize the comfort of your mattress (they let you pick the firmness for each layer), but makes moving it way easier than a latex mattress made of a single layer — Trust me on that!

Putting It Together

The mattress will show up in 3 boxes. Three layers of organic rubber latex and a thick, organic wool casing (wool is naturally flame retardant).

When you unbox each layer you’ll notice holes which allow the mattress to breath.

Fun Tip: Bend over and take a deep whiff — Wow! Zero chemical smell. Organic rubber latex smells so freaking good. Kind of like cookie dough or something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s now one of my favorite scents.

Handling Tip: Take care in handling the layers. The thin casing is not made to support the weight of the layer. Use open hands to lift and move — Don’t grab and pull. Make sense? Once you stack the mattress layers into the mattress case you simply zip it up, and you’re ready to go!

Layer Exchange

LifeKind allows for a free layer exchange after you try it out. Well, at least they offered this when we purchased the Trio in 2018. We ordered the default configuration of firm, medium and soft. This creates a mattress that is mildly firm and mildly soft. If we had it to do again, I’d probably swap the bottom firm for a medium and see if that made it slightly softer without going too soft. Don’t get me wrong, the default Trio is not too firm, but our OMI mattress is ever so slightly softer, and that’s what we were used to.

OMI or LifeKind?

Overall, we’ve loved both the LifeKind and OMI mattresses. In fact, we ordered two more LifeKind mattresses for our daughter’s toddler and full beds. The companies offer different models, so it’s not an exact label change. If you can go to an OMI show room, that’s obviously the best route to take. However, the LifeKind phone reps are very knowledgeable.

Buying Tip: We tried the Euro at medium firm and it’s just too firm for some guests. We fixed with a latex topper that is soft, but if we had that to redo, we’d have just ordered the Trio again for the full bed in the guest room. It’s worth the extra dinero.

Learn From Our Mistake

If you’re looking at a new bed, don’t go with something made from chemicals — It just isn’t worth it. I hope you give OMI or LifeKind a try. As always on my site, none of the links on this page are affiliate links. I get nothing from recommending these brands except sending you on your way to a better night’s sleep!

Sweet dreams…

Torin 4 vs Torin Escalante

I’m definitely an Altra fanboy. For years I ran in Asics. Then after a mild knee irritation, switched to Hoka One One. Most of my running was on sidewalks, and I was a heel striker. Not a good combination.

The Altra Difference

I discovered Altra on a random runners blog. Decided to try them out, and at the same time, set my mind to begin running right — No more heel strikes!

My achilles and calf muscles screamed at me as I rapidly made the switch. My first Altra’s were the Torin 2.0, and I was in love. For years I crammed my feet into an unnatural toe box — Those days were instantly gone. Check out my Torin 2.0 compared to my Hoka One One Clifton… See the difference?

Hoka One One Clifton vs Altra Torin 2.0

When Altra released the Torin 2.5 I made the jump. Then they released the 3.x models and, well… Call me shallow, but they just looked to weird and clunky. I dug the more stream-lined look of the Escalante, and decided to make the switch. The new shoes was nice, but the difference in cushion caught up with me a little.

Altra Torin 4 Plush vs Escalante 1.5

When the introduction of the Torin 4’s, Altra created two models: The Torin 4 and the Torin 4 Plush. I’m not really a super cushy shoe fan, but after reading a few reviews on the 4 Plush, I decided my on-pavement-sprints might appreciate this model. When they showed up I strapped them on and went for a short run.

Here’s the main things that stood out to me:

Escalante 1.5, Torin 2.5 & Torin 4 Plush

The Fit – Length and Width

The Torin 4 feels slightly longer (especially than the Torin 2.5). This change was a good change for me, as size 9 in the Torin 2.5 could have been a 1/4″ longer and fit me better. Either way, this change is so small it shouldn’t force anyone to a different size.

The width of the 4 Plush feels a tad more snug at the mid-foot area. But we’re talking just a little. Might just be that I’m used to the super soft mesh of the Escalante. Either way, it feels fine. Just noticeable.

The Fit – Heel Lock

Altra has been weak on the heel lock. Both the Torin’s and the Escalante’s had these thick, bulky heel areas. That was my biggest gripe when moving from Hoka One One to Altra. The good news? Problem gone with the Torin 4. BOOYAH!

The Torin 4 (left) has a better heel lock compared to the Torin 2.5 and Escalante 1.5

As a side note, something I loved about the Torin Escalante was the toe room without the bulk. Past Torin’s just seemed bulky to me. The Torin 4 not only slims up the heel, but the front of the show looks less exaggerated.

The Support – Side to Side

The mesh top of the Escalante is comfy, no doubt. But IMHO you sacrifice major side to side support. Example, if you’re doing straight sprints, the Escalante is fine. But if you’re running, and need to make turns at high speeds, heck no. The Escalante will make you feel as if you’re about to slide off the sole.

The Torin 4 combines the mesh look and feel with the support required to make those turns at higher speeds. So much better.

The Support – Forefoot Real Estate

The Torin 4 gives a tad more foundational real estate in the forefoot area than the Escalante. I never felt robbed of space in the Escalante. But wearing them side by side, the Torin 4 offers a little more for my pinky toe to land on.

Torin 4 Plush and the Escalante 1.5

The Support – Cushioning

Massive difference in the cushioning between the Torin 4 Plush and the Escalante 1.5. But here’s the thing: The Torin doesn’t feel to cushy. Like, I’m really wondering now what the straight up Torin 4 feels like. To me, the plush model is perfect for pounding the streets.

The Escalante has so little between you and the ground, that if you’re running on uneven/rocky ground, it’s gonna work areas of your foot that you’re not used to working. And if you’re not in your 20’s or a consistent runner, the lack of cushion in the Escalante might encourage an injury.

Final Summary

Personally, I really dig the improvements to the Torin 4. They support my feet more than the Escalante, they secure my feet better for turns, and they just look a lot better than Torin’s of the past. At this time, I simply don’t have a good reason to use the Escalante’s any more. My mid-life feet enjoy a little more support.

If you think the plush would be too cushy — I really don’t think they are — Then I’d go for the straight up Torin 4 over the Escalante 1.5. I think Altra really has their mission dialed in with this newest model.

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