Frequently Asked Questions


by Eoin Hudson March 27, 2013 4 Comments

Buying a new mattress can be confusing. There are so many options in the mattress and bedding world it can be overwhelming. Every day we answer a huge variety of questions via email, over the phone, and in the store. We decided to make this a more interactive process, where people can see other customers' questions as well as their own.  We will continuously post more frequently asked questions, but please comment with any further or different questions you may have and we will be happy to answer them.

The more questions asked, the more informed everyone will be and the more confident you will be in your purchase.


How are your Organic Mattresses different from other brands?

In a few ways: first, our organic mattresses, organic futons, organic shikibutons, and organic bedding are all handcrafted. Each and every stitch is handmade by our team of skillful artisan-mattress builders using techniques honed over thirty years in the industry. This takes time and we don't rush it. Each mattress has had roughly 100 hours of labor put into it by the time it reaches your door.

Secondly, organic isn't just a moniker we use to sell more beds; it's an ethic. We use the highest quality materials available. No substitutes, no shortcuts. Our wool comes from small family farms along the California and Oregon coasts; our latex is completely synthetic free and made to the highest standards in the industry, the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS); and our long-fiber organic cotton is grown exclusively by the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.

We could sell you a cheap mattress made from subpar wool, cotton, and latex using inferior manufacturing standards such as glued cores and chemical fire retardants and call it "organic," but Soaring Heart doesn't want to give you a "great deal" on a mattress you're going to have to replace in five or ten years.  We want to give you a great value that will last you twenty to thirty years. If you want a mattress that stands the test of time, you need to make it with time-tested materials, using time-honored techniques.

Does the law require fire retardants?

No! This is one of the most common questions we get. The state doesn't require fire retardants—especially chemical ones— it requires that a mattress pass two tests.  16 C.F.R. 1632. (C.F.R stands for “code of federal regulations”) C.F.R 1632 requires mattresses made and sold in the US to pass a “cigarette test”. Burning cigarettes are literally thrown on the mattress and can only smolder a certain radius from the origin of flame in order to pass. In 2007 the federal government made these regulations more strict with the passing of CFR 1633. The requirements to meet CFR 1633 are the:

  • The mattress must be sent to a third party burn facility and withstand 70 seconds of open flame emitted from a blow torch that sits about a foot from the mattress.
  • The mattress manufacturer must keep files on the premises to show said tests have been passed as there are surprise audits to make sure you are in compliance.
  • In order to sell a mattress that does NOT pass the flame test, the customer must produce a prescription from a medical professional that states the patient requires a bed free of whatever materials are used to pass the flame test.

NOWHERE does it state that chemicals must be used to pass these tests. All of our mattress pass both of these tests using absolutely no synthetic or chemical flame retardants. Period.

What is Organic Latex?

Organic latex is rubber. Latex in its natural form is a milky substance from the Hevea rubber tree that flows in ducts just outside of where the sap runs. The tapper harvests latex by scoring the bark of the tree with a knife just deep enough to reach the latex ducts. The dripping latex is collected and mixed with thinning agents such as formic acid and ammonia that keep it in liquid form until it is ready to be processed.

We are proud that our latex mattresses are made with the only Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certified latex in the world. The Dunlop process, used to make our organic latex, is relatively straightforward: compressed air is mixed with the latex and the mixture is whipped like a cake batter. Then the mixture of latex and air is poured into a mold and baked until it is firm. The firmness of the final product depends on the ratio of air to latex.

Is latex different from memory foam?

YES! Latex, when naturally made, is synthetic free rubber made from the sap of the Hevea rubber tree. Memory foam is a petroleum product made entirely of synthetic materials.

Latex is what's called an instant response material. This means that it conforms using your body's weight and returns to normal as soon as the weight is removed. Memory foam uses body weight as well as heat to conform to the body. This means that the cool areas of the mattress don't contour as you move around in the bed and the mattress heats up.

What's the difference between a latex mattress and a Futon?

There are three main differences: maintenance, longevity, and feel. Futons and shikibutons are hand-tufted beds made from organic fibers. Latex mattresses are made from solid latex cores capped with mattress toppers--a fluffy pillow-top.


Fibers compress over time, therefore futons and shikibutons require regular flipping (once every two weeks) in order to insure even wear and reduced body impressions.  

Organic latex is a much more resilient material. It doesn't compress and shouldn't get body impressions. This means it only requires flipping every 3 - 6 months and this is mostly for aeration.


A well-maintained futon or shikibuton should last between 10 and 15 years. An organic latex mattress will last 20 to 30 years.


A futon or shikibuton is a firm, yet supportive sleeping surface. The body will sink into the futon, but minimally. There is a range of futon types and range of firmness levels, from the very firm Organic Cotton Futon to the much softer, suppler, Organic Cotton, Latex, and Eco-Wool Futon. If you love the traditional feel of a futon or shikibuton, there is no alternative.

Organic latex mattresses offer a very different form of support. Latex contours to the shape of the body, holding you in proper alignment. You sink into a latex mattress, especially our more plush models like the Linden or Madrona, but your spine is held in supportive alignment. Many have likened it to sleeping in a cloud.

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping a mattress or bedding order over $300.00 is completely free. If your order is under $300.00, there is a $12.50 shipping charge. All furniture and frames (except nightstands, bed slats, and under-bed drawers) require Frame Shipping. Frame Shipping is $150.00 and insures the frames against dings, scrapes, and breaks while taking into account their weight and bulk. We don't like charging to ship frames and furniture, but it is the only way we can be sure they'll arrive safely.

Should I go with a soft or firm mattress?

This is a tough question and also a very personal one. There is no right answer here. What we can say, is there's no better set-up for your body. For some, a soft and plush mattress not only feels better, but is better for them. For others, the opposite is true. We recommend discussing with a health professional and going with what feels best to you. Your body rarely lies.

Why do your mattresses come with separate mattress toppers?

Most mattress companies sew the mattress topper, or pillow top, onto the mattress in order to sell it as a unit. The mattress topper will compress and become less comfortable at a faster rate than the mattress core, making your mattress feel uncomfortable sooner. By separating the two pieces, it allows you to flip the pieces individually, which increases both life spans. It also allows you to replace the mattress topper when it has reached the end of its life without replacing the entire mattress.

Essentially, it saves you money.


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Eoin Hudson
Eoin Hudson


4 Responses


June 04, 2013

Natasha, organic Latex shikibutons are more resilient than the organic cotton or wool versions, thanks to the latex. Latex doesn’t compress the way wool and cotton does, so the shikibuton should last 15 – 20 years, perhaps more. You do, however, need to flip it about once a month. This isn’t to prevent dipping—latex doesn’t dip—but to make sure the mattress is getting proper air circulation. Thanks for your question.


May 30, 2013

What about the latex shikibuton? What’s it’s thickness? What’s it’s longevity compared to a normal a latex mattress? Does it still need to be aired out (folded, put away, hung outside, etc)? What about rotation?


April 02, 2013

We only sell organic and natural latex. All of our mattresses, futons, and shikibutons are organic and our pillows are a mixture of natural and organic.


March 29, 2013

Do you sell only organic latex or do you carry synthetic as well?


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