Bed Frames: Latex and Wool Mattresses

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NOTE: Wool toppers are not discussed here, only depths thick enough and solid enough to be a mattress.

Q. Can you use a power base (or adjustable bed frame) with the latex? Will it harm the latex?

A. Yes, you can use a power base with latex. Latex is a very flexible foam, so it will not mind constant bending. However, it is worth noting, that when one is sitting up, one puts a lot more pressure and use on the surface then one does when lying down. That top layer of latex will wear out sooner than the other layers. Of course, that is the nice thing about a layered latex mattress. When one piece wears out, you can simply replace the one piece instead of the entire mattress.

Q. We may be interested in possibly putting the mattress on the floor for a Montessori bed.

A. If you do, especially if your house is not climate controlled, make sure to air out your latex or wool mattress frequently, maybe only seasonally if you have air conditioning. If you can’t flip the entire mattress over to let any accumulated body moisture evaporate, flip half of it up for a day and the other half of it down the next day. While latex and wool are both natural antimicrobial and I have never had any customers with any issues, common sense says that heat and bacteria mingled for long enough in the right conditions could lead to mold.

Q. I am hesitant to use my box spring as I know they are generally treated with flame retardants but I don’t want to loose the height it provides. Do you have another suggestion?

A. The most common supporting systems are slats as they let the latex be a little more flexible than a flat surface like a board or the floor. Some make their own slats of 1” x 4”s, stable them to a ribbon and tie them down to the top and bottom of their metal frame or nail them to their wood frame. Slats are usually spaced 3″-5″ apart, much farther and the latex will sag through them.

A foundation is a strip of slats on top of usually an 8” wooden frame. Sometimes the foundation will come covered in fabric which you may want to check for flame retardants. Your current box spring may be slats instead of springs which can be reused keeping in mind the slat distance and the need for letting the latex breathe occasionally. I have had customers upcycle pallets as ready made foundations. The foundation is where you will get your height.

7 thoughts on “Bed Frames: Latex and Wool Mattresses

  1. Hi, I am looking for a non toxic mattress for myself. Sometimes I have guests stay at my home. They are a couple and would sleep on this bed also. The heaviest person that might sleep on this is 6’1″ and weighs around 180 pounds. I am 5’2″ and weigh around 130 pounds. I can make my own bed. Most companies have covers made out of wool and cotton. I believe you have cotton covers. I saw that you also make the toppers. What do you suggest that I get? Maybe two firm or medium layers of latex with a topper on the top? I like the mixture of the cotton and the wool. Please advise.

    1. Your suggested combination sounds comfortable and the depth is also one common choice for the weights and heights you listed. It sounds like to read The Banana Test. Firm will feel firm to most Americans and medium will feel more typical. A wool topper will also be a medium sort of feel, not squishy, but still soft. We have both cotton covers called Knit Ticking, Expandable Ticking and Twill Ticking and a combo wool and cotton cover called Quilted Ticking. Follow their links to read more about them. Let me know if you have any more specific questions at

  2. I need a comfortable supportive bed. I am a short person who weighs to much. Lately my foam and memory foam bed feels like concrete. What combination would you suggest for mostly a side sleeper? HELP!!

    1. There are very few of us who could sleep comfortably on concrete! I suggest you start by reading The Banana Test to get an idea of how to configure a latex combo. This blog post also gives some great combination ideas and would be worth a look at.

  3. I’m curious about if your system will work with a sofa-converting futon. I need to replace my futon mattress, and I’m interested in wool both for temperature control and dust-mite resistance.

    1. Yes! Latex does work for futons and sofa-converting futons. While The Banana Test is a good place to start to understand latex firmness, there are two additional notes when making a futon mattress. 1. Use a solid 6″ piece of foam, not two 3″ layers. If you use two layers, when the couch is folded, the top layer will bulge out of the case. 2. Choose a firmness based on which use the surface will be used for predominately. If the couch is used as a bed, err on the softer side; if it is used as a couch, err on the firmer side.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply–this is exciting! I live about 30 minutes from Lafayette, and I’ll definitely be in touch about arranging a time to visit!

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