The other day I read the results of a poll posted by sleeplikethedead.com and it claimed that memory foam and airbeds had slightly better durability than a latex bed. Having carried all these products in my store I was very disturbed with their finding and could not disagree their poll results more.
For over 3 years having sold mattresses made entirely of 100% latex mattresses in my family business we have yet to have one bad piece of latex rubber be returned back to the store with a problem. On the other hand having carried Comfort Air a highly recognized and popular brand of airbed in addition to 2 other brands we had nothing but problems. With high percentages of warranty claims and problems we were forced into the position of not offering airbeds as an option for our customers due to their short comings.
Memory foam has impressed us and for twelve years we have had few problems and complaints and even fewer warranty issues. Knowing memory foam is not for everyone we qualify our customers well and choose quality brands that perform not only to our rigorous standards but also our customers.
Several years ago before the current all rubber mattress models we now carry, STL Beds sold what is called a hybrid latex mattresses. We define these crossbreed mattresses as hybrids because of their 10-14 inch overall thickness the mattress only contains 1-4 inches of latex while the remainder of the mattress consists of low quality inexpensive polyurethane foam layers, synthetic fibers or some other thick layers which are typically highly compressible. Interestingly our first experience with this type of bed was not a good one. We were surprised and caught off guard after buying into the latex propaganda that was ingrained into our heads during sales training. The fact was we were recieveing customer complaints of massive body indentations sometimes 2 inches deep. These mattresses often ranged in thickness from 11″ -14″ thick and were by title called a latex bed, but by their content fell short of what we consider to be a true “latex bed”. Having processed the warranty claim on various models we cut open on several occasions to find what had failed was not the latex but the low grade synthetic latex, fluffy fibers, or polyurethane foam layers.
Sadly latex mattresses in general get the blame by those who are not fully educated about them and their construction make up. The truth is when a 14 inch thick mattress that only contains latex layers ranging from 2 – 4 inches we should expect the weaker layers to fail and confusion on the part of consumers when retailers and manufacturers call them latex beds; except when they fail recognize the differences. Hybrid latex mattresses commonly breakdown or “break in” as the industry calls it within weeks or months while on the other hand real all rubber latex mattresses commonly last 20 years and in many cases longer
One last thing that was mentioned by sleeplikethedead.com is that airbeds can last longer because various parts like the air pumps can be replaced while not having to replace the whole mattress, what they failed to mention is that same can be done with many latex beds like Land and Sky and Savvy Rest, or OMI all of which are sold with zippered covers which allow for part replacement as well as the individual layers of rubber to be repositioned to adjust firmness something that was said to be a major advantage of the airbed. Yet they failed to mention that air beds must hold air and weak seams, rubber, and yes even vinyl eventually fail and are all vulcanized or welded together.
The fact is know what you’re buying before you buy it.