Question: I’m considering a natural latex mattress, but am concerned about heat. I was planning to put it on a wooden platform bed that I built.
1. Does the natural latex have a layer of cotton or wool that will help with the heat? And how thick is that layer
Answer: Sarah, Ours does but they don’t have to. I am not sure what you have read concerning latex and heat, but I can tell you if there are any issues with latex rubber, heat is rarely if ever one of those issues.
The reason for cotton and wool being used on latex is a multi-functional purpose. Cover breathability is something you did not mention in your question and can cause many of the heat issues we experience when sleeping. It sounds as though you are under the impression the wool is there to assist the breathability of the latex? The fact is the latex does a great job on its own. Most mattresses that contain all latex inside of them do so for its sustainability, eco friendly or the more organic aspect.
Cotton used in mattress covers can be grown organically, traditionally or transitionally. In the end as you would expect it is very breathable, durable, and of course sustainable. Wool is only now being used much more widely and liberally in mattress quilting construction. The main purpose of wool being added to mattress quilting in today’s beds is again the eco friendly or no toxic chemicals aspect it can provide. This is especially true if organic or certified organic wool is quilted into the top mattress cover panel. By doing this, most companies who want to get around necessary fire retardant chemicals can do so, rather than being added to the mattress components. These chemical fire retardants are controversial but it does allow them to legally comply with recent fire safety laws.
Question: How thick is the wool or cotton layer?
Usually a thick layer of the wool is compressed and when finished isn’t much thicker than an inch or so but this does vary from brand to brand. Savvyrest, Land and Sky are the brands that we chose and I like them a lot. There are other good companies that do the same or similar quilting like Natura, OMI, Green Sleep or Sleeptek
2. Or would a mattress with coils be cooler/better? (I’m used to futons with foam in the middle, so not sure I’ll like springs.
Answer: The answer comes down to you test resting mattresses honestly. As far is which is cooler I don’t believe coils or latex would make a difference. Durability wise I prefer latex rubber, but latex over coils could offer some cost saving.
As far as putting the mattress on a platform bed I would say half of the beds we install are doing just that. The biggest issue with platform beds is spacing of the slats if you have a platform bed of this design. They need to be spaced two inches or less for proper mattress support.
Thanks Sarah for the great questions hope this will not only help you but assist others with the same questions.