Latex Beds by Selectabed
The First Latex Mattresses
Latex (then called “foam rubber”) was used in mattresses before memory foam mattresses were invented:
- In 1931, Dunlop Tyre and Rubber Company sold the first latex mattress, made with the firm’s Dunlopillo® foam rubber.
- In 1935, latex mattresses were made and sold to Sears, Roebuck & Co. by Ansil Talalay and Joseph Leon, who later developed the Talalay process.
- In the 1950s, the Foamex division of Firestone advertised its foam rubber mattress. This may have been made of synthetic (styrene-butadiene) rubber, which had been developed just before World War II.
While foam rubber was often used in upholstery in the 1930s, foam rubber mattresses were not wildly popular. Before World War II, natural latex was too expensive for most – this was during the Great Depression. Cotton mattresses were the norm, but innerspring mattresses were becoming more common, and after the war they dominated the bed market. Foam, whether latex or polyurethane, was more expensive than steel springs. The amount of foam rubber or polyurethane foam used in an all-foam mattress is many times more than in a chair or sofa, which made it more common in furniture than on beds.
The Space-Age Material
Then came memory foam. In the 1960s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) commissioned development of a material to better cushion astronauts against G-forces during launch. In the 1980s, NASA released this heat-sensitive “temper” material for commercialization. The first Tempur Mattress was sold in 1991. Since “tempur” had been trademarked by Tempur-Pedic, other manufacturers called their material “memory foam” or “visco”/“visco-elastic” foam.
The pressure-relieving conformity of memory foam made memory foam mattresses popular. This in turn, after a few years, brought latex foam back into the spotlight, with increased sales of latex mattresses.
Chiropractor Dr. Rick Swartzburg, who used a Tempur-Pedic mattress, decided to make a better mattress, one with a quicker initial response and less heat build-up. He designed the Tri-Pedic with two memory foam layers – 4-lb/ft³ density over 5- lb/ft³ – atop the foam support core, and began making and selling them through the Selectabed division of Relief-Mart (his family’s business). The success of this mattress resulted in Tempur-Pedic adopting the concept of staged memory foam.
Memory Foam-Latex Hybrids
The 9” high Fibro-Pedic is a 3-layer mattress. Each layer is 3” high.
The top layer of the Fibro-Pedic is soft 4-lb. memory foam to ease pressure on sensitive areas (“muscle pressure points”) of a fibromyalgia sufferer’s body. It yields to body weight more quickly than 5-lb. memory foam, which does not yield until it warms up. Since the lesser density memory foam does not accumulate heat as much as the denser foam, it is also cooler.
The middle layer is composite (blended natural and synthetic) Talalay latex. The firmness in this layer is zoned – firmer in the middle, softer at the ends – to provide more support to the heavier part of the body and softer support to the lighter areas. This is to keep the heaviest area from pulling the back out of line (see illustration below).
The 3” base of the Fibro-Pedic is very firm high-resiliency polyurethane foam. Its role is to keep the sleeper from bottoming out with the softer foams above.
As in the Fibro-Pedic, the top layer is 4-lb. memory foam, but this layer is only 2” high. This provides a quick initial response and also allows the shoulder to sink in. It is also cooler than 5-lb. memory foam.
The next layer is also 2” of memory foam, but here it has a 5-lb. density. This denser foam is more heat-sensitive, which means it is more conforming (has more “memory”). This is important to side sleepers, since it supports the lumbar for better spinal alignment.
The latex layer in the Soft-Pedic is the same as in the Fibro-Pedic: 3” high and tri-zoned.
The support core in the Soft-Pedic has the same very firm HR polyurethane foam as in the Fibro-Pedic. However, it is 4” high.
Selectabed also had an all-latex mattress, the Taluxe, which has since been discontinued.
Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic mattresses are made to order. For example, the heights of the layers can be adjusted to the user’s individual needs.
Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic mattresses are covered with Selectabed’s patented Kool–Flow fabric. A blend of rayon from bamboo (43%), polyester (56.4%), and lycra (0.6%), this is the same cover which is on the top-rated Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Memory Foam Body Pillow, Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, and Snuggle-Pedic Mattress.
Kool–Flow is a conforming knit with knitted-in Micro Vents to let more air flow through. This is a feature of the patented Airflow Transfer System (see below), which is an option for Selectabed mattresses and a standard feature of the Snuggle-Pedic mattress.
Airflow Transfer System
This option for Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic mattresses is standard in Tempflow and Snuggle-Pedic mattresses. Although open-cell memory foam is now the standard for most memory foam mattresses and pillows (the original memory foam was closed-cell foam), better airflow is needed for efficient cooling. Airflow is also the key to cooling with gel, since it otherwise becomes heat-saturated and no longer able to siphon off heat.
How It Works
The visible component of the Airflow Transfer System is the Kool–Flow cover, which lets air freely enter and exit the mattress. Internal structure lets air flow through. The upper layers are vertically ventilated with numerous perforations. Horizontal channels are cut into the top surface of the base layer. This lets heated air flow down and out, and cool air in and up, as seen in this video.
Airflow not only cools the mattress, it also controls moisture, inhibiting the growth of mold and bacteria.
Sleep Trial and Warranty
The sleep trial for Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic mattresses is 120-days, longer than for most other memory foam and/or latex mattresses. For instance, most traditional brands have 90-day sleep trials; Tuft & Needle and CasperSleep have 100 nights, and Yogabed 101. Meanwhile, the sleep trial from Brooklyn Bedding (another pre-boxed bed manufacturer) is the same as Selectabed’s 120-days.
Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic are covered by a 20-year warranty, twice the now-standard 10 years for most other memory foam mattress and latex mattress manufacturers, including Tempur-Pedic and Casper Sleep.
We calculate our ratings in accordance to our Verified Review Policy.
The Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic latex-memory foam mattresses are sold only in the Selectabed store and online from Selectabed’s website. This limits the availability of customer reviews. Then too, these are mattresses made for specific conditions.
Five potential sources of reviews and ratings by customers are Viewpoints, Reseller Ratings, Yelp, Beds.Org, and Goodbed. Among these sources, only Reseller Ratings has customer reviews which name these two models. Beds.Org has a staff review of each model, but no customer reviews. The other three sites have reviews of Selectabed mattresses, but not of these two.
Another rating source is Sleep Like the Dead. However, it summarizes online reviews and comments by mattress owners rather than posting individual reviews. Among Selectabed mattresses, Air-Pedic is covered, but not these two models.
Other sources of potential reviews are independent bed tester/reviewers and writers who happen to own or have tried the mattress in question. For Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic, there are a few of these.
Out of the 91 reviews on Reseller Ratings of the Selectabed store, only four named either the Fibro-Pedic or the Soft-Pedic. One reviewed the customer service and was waiting for delivery of the mattress, while the other three rated their mattresses. The two ratings for the Soft-Pedic and the one for the Fibro-Pedic are all 5 stars for a 5.0 average rating. However, such a small sample is only indicative at best.
Other evaluative sources
The Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama has furnished its diagnostic sleep rooms with Selectabed mattresses, half with the Tri-Pedic and half with the Fibro-Pedic. This was after researching and testing several brands and models. They have had a good response from their patients. A conservative estimate of their rating would be 4.6.
A New Life Outlook article, Choosing a Mattress for Fibromyalgia, recommends Tempur-Pedic, Fibro-Pedic, and Sleep Number. The remarks cite Tempur-Pedic’s variety of firmnesses to choose from, Sleep Number’s adjustability, and Fibro-Pedic being specially designed for fibromyalgia sufferers. One was not rated above the others, even though the special design seems to give Fibro-Pedic an edge. A conservative rating would be 4.5.
On the blog ButYouDontLookSick, Christine Miserandino writes not as a reviewer who test mattresses, but as someone with fibromyalgia who actually uses the mattress. After it has helped her to get restorative sleep with relief from pain, he highly recommends consideration of the Fibro-Pedic. Even without a number, this is written like a 5-Star review.
Pros & Cons
Owners commented that the Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic mattresses provided both the soft surface and the underlying support they needed. Owners included an 87-year old who was “able to rest and sleep comfortably” on the Fibro-Pedic, and an obstetrics doctor who “felt immediate pressure reduction on my hips and was able to sleep better than ever!” on the Soft-Pedic. No cons were stated for either of these models.
Averaging these yields an average rating of 4.8 stars (96%).
Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic$1,400
Reseller Ratings [Soft-Pedic]10.0/10
Reseller Ratings [Fibro-Pedic]10.0/10
Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama9.2/10
New Life Outlook (for fibromyalgia)9.0/10
- provides both soft surface and underlying support
- ble to rest and sleep comfortably
- immediate pressure reduction
- cool, does not get hot