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Eco-friendly and organic mattresses are growing in popularity

Latex foam mattresses conform to the body nearly as well as memory-foam types, but are much easier to move around on and less likely to produce an unpleasant odor when new. Owners also find them slightly better for lovemaking, although not quite as good at isolating motion. Some sources describe natural latex as more breathable than memory foam and, therefore, less likely to retain heat. However, SleepLikeTheDead.com reports that memory foam and latex foam are equally likely to be described as "sleeping hot" in owner reviews.

Latex beds aren't as widely available in mattress showrooms as other types of mattresses, and there aren't as many online reviews. The only brand of latex mattress that gets a significant number of strong reviews is our Best Reviewed pick, the Ikea line (Est. $550 to $1,000, queen mattress) ; Ikea doesn't generally market its mattresses with foundations, since many are designed to go on platform beds.

At SleepLikeTheDead.com, ratings for Ikea latex models earn an overall satisfaction rating of 80 percent, although it's unclear how many users contributed to this figure. SleepLikeTheDead.com also reports that about 15 percent of Ikea latex mattress owners report problems with body impressions. Some models in the Ikea line are named Ikea Sultan, and these get an 80 percent owner-satisfaction rating in a survey of 3,500 mattress owners conducted by Australia's Choice magazine. In addition, New York Magazine's Sarah Bernard tests an Ikea Sultan latex mattress and calls it "quite satisfactory" and "appealingly slim."

One challenge in analyzing Ikea latex reviews is that it's not always clear whether reviewers are commenting about mattresses using all-natural latex, synthetic latex, or a combination of latex and springs. Editors at SleepLikeTheDead.com note that one of the reasons Ikea's latex offerings are relatively inexpensive is that "less expensive dunlop-processed latex and synthetic latex are often used as opposed to more expensive talalay-processed and natural latex."

For those looking for a "greener" mattress, reviewers recommend the Organic Mattresses Inc. OMI mattress line (Est. $2,900 to $10,100, queen set) , which earns our Best Reviewed organic mattress designation. These eco-friendly mattresses feature all-natural, sustainably sourced materials, including 100 percent natural rubber latex, organic cotton, and the company's own version of wool, called Ecowool.

New York Magazine's Bernard picks OMI's David mattress, which has latex layers that owners can customize to suit their firmness preferences, as her favorite find in a test of 100 mattresses. While this model has been discontinued, OMI offers other models that similarly offer the ability to customize firmness. In addition, Oprah magazine's Laura Fraser applauds the line's "rigorously green" philosophy, although she notes that OMI mattresses are pricey.

For those looking for a green mattress with the feel of memory foam, reviewers praise the Magniflex line (Est. $1,300 to $2,200, queen mattress) . The company does not directly market mattresses with foundations. Magniflex, an Italian company, offers plant-based memory foam in its mattresses and also incorporates other natural materials, such as linen, organic cotton and bamboo.

A Magniflex Geoethic model that uses plant-based memory foam gets a nod from New York Magazine's Bernard, who says that the mattress makes her feel "supported but not swallowed." She also likes that the manufacturer cuts channels into its foam, to promote air circulation. In addition, Oprah magazine's Fraser chooses a Magniflex mattress with memory foam that's "30 percent plant oils," which she says is one of the highest percentages available. Neither writer has any negative comments about these mattresses.

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