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Spindle Natural Latex Mattress Review
If asked which type of mattress you would consider when shopping, most people would respond with either “Innerspring” or “Memory Foam”.
In recent years natural latex mattresses, such as the Spindle, have become a popular choice and for a number of reasons.
Unlike viscoelastic polyurethane memory foam mattresses, which are made by mixing together several chemicals to create a reaction, natural latex foam is produced from the sap of the rubber tree and is 100% natural.
Natural latex isolates motion just as well as memory foam yet is four times more breathable.
In addition, natural latex “bounces” back faster than memory foam and can maintain it’s elasticity for many years.
This means a cooler, more responsive mattress that sags less over time.
In the past, I’ve slept on several viscoelastic memory foam mattress as well as coil spring mattresses. The Spindle mattress will be the first natural latex mattress that I’ve reviewed, so I’m really looking forward to it.
I’m going to spend the next two weeks trying out this mattress and putting it through a series of tests to demonstrate properties such as firmness, heat retention, and motion isolation.
Arrival, Unpacking, Assembly
Arrival And Unpacking
When ordering, I chose the queen size “medium” firmness mattress based on the tool available on their website as well as personal preference.
My Spindle mattress was shipped from Acton, MA via UPS ground and arrived quickly in three boxes.
The larger box measured 16″ x 16″ x 36″ and weighed 55 lbs. It had a sticker attached that read “open first” and contained the mattress zipper cover as well as a 3″ slab of medium latex foam.
The two smaller boxes measured 16″ x 16″ x 24″. One box weighed 39lbs and contained another 3″ slab of medium latex while the other weighed 48lbs and contained a 3″ layer of firm latex. It made sense that the firm latex weighted 11lbs more than the medium because it’s a denser foam.
Combined, the three boxes had a total shipping weight of 142 lbs. Breaking the mattress down into three parts made moving it manageable, especially with two people.
Once I had all three boxes in my bedroom, I removed the contents of each and disposed of the boxes to make room for assembly.
The Spindle mattress is roll-packed which reduces shipping volume and shipping costs for the manufacturer.
Before putting this mattress together, you must cut and remove the plastic from each layer of latex as well as the zipper cover to allow it to expand.
Using a very sharp pair of scissors, I opened each item being careful not to cut the latex. A sharp pair of scissors will glide through the plastic and make this process easy.
I read over the assembly instructions that came with the mattress and watched the assembly video on their website before moving forward.
Keep in mind, this bed weighs a bit more than the standard coil spring mattress, so having a foundation that provides proper support is essential. Spindle recommends a frame that has a head-to-toe center support that touches the ground and 3/4″ solid wood slats that are spaced no more than 3″ apart. My platform bed met these requirements, so I was ready to go.
Since I had ordered a medium mattress, the assembly configuration for this firmness level was one firm layer followed by two medium layers.
Before I started putting this mattress together, I had concerns that the latex would shift or bunch up because the layers would not glue together. Once I handled the latex, it was clear that the layers of latex were not going anywhere.
The smooth surface of each piece of latex causes each piece to stick to each other. It’s impossible to drag each layer into place. You must grab the latex with two hands and sort of shake it into place using a wave action. The process of lining up each layer of latex is easiest with one person on each side of the foam slab.
I began by unzipping the mattress cover and laying it out on the platform. I laid down the first slab of latex, which in my case was firm, being careful not to rip the material. I spent a little extra time lining up with corners and edges of this layer because this was the base in which the other two layers of latex laid on top.
Spindle does an excellent job labeling each piece of latex with “medium” or “firm” as well as a tag indicating which side goes up. Honestly, it would be fairly difficult to mess up the assembly process if you read the tags that are attached to each piece of foam.
The next two layers of medium latex took a couple minutes to line up perfectly.
Within a few minutes, all three layers were in place and lined up. The final step was to tuck in the topper and slowly zipper it shut.
In the end, all of the foam fit nicely inside the cover and the finished product was a nice looking bed.
I must admit, at first I was a bit intimidated by the idea of putting together a mattress but in the end I found the process to be very straightforward and simple. After unpacking and reading over the instructions, the setup took about 20 minutes. Not bad.
The Smell Test
Before getting started, I always give the mattress the sniff text.
There’s nothing scientific about the smell test. I simply give it a whiff and describe to you what I smell.
Some polyurethane foam mattress give off a strong chemical smell when first opened. This is caused by off-gassing where volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are released into the air which can sometimes cause irritation to the sinuses and airway. In some cases, off-gassing can cause headaches, nausea, or airway discomfort.
Fortunately, Spindle is made from a 100% natural latex material so you will not experience any issues with off-gassing.
However, natural latex does have a scent that can be described as “sweet” which is especially noticeable when assembling the bed. After a few days, the smell will disappear.
I would describe the smell of this mattress as vanilla-like. When unpacking, my wife walked into the room and commented that it smelled like fresh baked cookies.
However you describe it, the smell of the natural latex is not at all offensive and gradually goes away.
Heat Dissipation Test
It’s a fact – our body is designed to sleep on the cooler side rather than warmer. As we fall into a deep sleep, our body temperature drops as much as 2 degrees. As you can see, sleeping on a hot mattress can be counterproductive to what your body is trying to accomplish.
Even the most comfortable mattresses can trap heat and cause you to lose sleep. Memory foam mattresses are notorious for trapping body heat. Many foam mattress manufacturers add graphite or cooling gel to their memory foam to help dissipate heat.
But what about latex?
Because of the nature of latex, it naturally has an open cell structure which allows air to easily pass through. Also, during the manufacturing process, thousands of pinholes (about 1/4″ of an inch in diameter) are placed throughout the material which helps it to bake evenly. Conveniently, these holes also assist with airflow.
The Spindle mattress cover contains a thin layer of wool, which has moisture wicking properties that will help to remove any moisture from the surface of your skin.
When sleeping on the Spindle, I did not experience any issues overheating. My skin remained cool and dry throughout the night.
To show how well the Spindle handles body heat, I conducted a heat dissipation test that shows just how quickly this mattress cools down.
The test begins by heating a 3lb rice bag in the microwave for 2 minutes and then placing it on top of the mattress for 10 minutes which causes the surface to heat up to around 115° F.
I then removed the rice bag and used an infrared thermometer and stopwatch to measure and track heat dissipation over a 2 minute period. The results are then placed into a graph to give you a visual representation of the heat loss.
As you can see from the above chart, heat loss was most rapid during the first 30 seconds, dropping from 115° F to 98° F or 17° F.
Over the next 30 seconds, the Spindle lost 4.8° F.
Between 60-90 seconds the temperature dropped an additional 3.3° F.
Finally, during the last 30 seconds, the temperature fell another 2.1° F.
The temperature of the Spindle Mattress dropped 27.2° over the course of 2 minutes. In other words, the Spindle mattress cooled quite well.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to the firmness level of their mattress. The firmness of a mattress can range from very soft to very firm, although the majority of people prefer a medium or medium-firm mattress.
The firmness level that you choose depends greatly on the position that you typically sleep in. For instance, a side sleeper who enjoys the feeling of sleeping buried inside a mattress may decide to go with a soft mattress.
Spindle can be configured into 4 different firmness levels by alternating the layer configuration with a “medium” and “firm” latex.
I decided to go with the medium firmness Spindle which featured a firm layer at the bottom and two medium layers above.
Before offering my opinion, you should keep in mind that the firmness of a mattress can be somewhat subjective. That being said, I agree that Spindle medium is, in fact, a medium firmness mattress.
On a 1-10 scale (10 being extra-firm), I would rate this mattress at a 6.
As with every mattress that I test, I placed a bucket filled with 42lbs of concrete and measured how far the bucket sinks into the mattress.
Altering The Firmness Of The Spindle
While the mattress that I ordered contained two layers of “medium” latex and one layer of “firm” latex to create a medium feel, I experimented with the firmness level of the mattress by altering the configuration of the three layers.
The instructions that came with the mattress showed the firm layer as being at the bottom followed by two medium layers above. With all three layers, the holes were facing down.
In an attempt to make the mattress firmer, I arranged the latex in the following configuration, starting at the bottom – medium with holes facing up, firm with holes facing up, and medium with holes facing down. I zipped the mattress back up and laid on it in order to get a feel for how it compared to the original configuration.
With this arrangement, I would describe the feel as slightly firmer, perhaps a point lower than the original configuration. As for a rating, I would now give it a 5/10.
I placed the 42 lb weight back on top of the mattress and measured a drop of 2.25″, which is a 1/4″ less than before.
To take it a step further and create a feel that’s even firmer, I rearranged the three layers of latex once again.
This time, I started with a base layer of medium latex followed by a medium layer at the middle and a firm at the top. All three layer of foam faced up.
In this configuration, the layers are arranged completely opposite from the original configuration.
Once again, I zipped up the mattress and laid down to get a feel.
This time, there was a noticeable difference in the level of firmness. Compared to the original configuration, the mattress felt much firmer.
I placed the weight on top and measured a drop of only 1.75″ which was 3/4″ less than the when originally tested. When arranged in this configuration, I would rate the firmness of this mattress somewhere around a 3/10.
Below is a summary of the three configurations that I tried and the results of each.
|Medium, Holes Down
|Medium, Holes Down
|Firm, Holes Up
|Medium, Holes Down
|Firm, Holes Up
|Medium, Holes Up
|Frim, Holes Down
|Medium, Holes Up
|Medium, Holes Up
|Firmness Test Sinkage
|Firmness Rating 1-10
Body support is often overlooked by those who shop for a mattress.
Remember, body support and mattress firmness are completely different, so each should be considered independently.
It’s easy to assume that a soft mattress provides less support in comparison to a firm mattress. The truth is that there are plenty of ultra soft mattresses which are very supportive.
Support comes from the layers below the comfort layers. With innerspring mattresses, support is provided by the coils. With a foam mattress, a denser foam is often used below the comfort layer to provide proper support.
In the case of the medium spindle, the mattresses firmness comes from the firm bottom layer of latex, although the other two layers also contribute to support.
The best way to determine if a mattress is supportive is to lay down in your normal sleeping position and allow someone to observe your spinal alignment.
If your body is bent into a U shape, the mattress does not provide enough support.
My wife and I observed each other’s body alignment as we laid on the Spindle. We both concluded that the Spindle provided good support and pressure point relief. The latex does an excellent job supporting heavier areas such as the upper back and buttocks.
Recovery time refers to the amount of time that a mattress takes to “bounce back” when weight is removed.
While some viscoelastic foams have a moderately fast recovery time, many are quite slow to respond.
This is an area where the Spindle mattress excels.
Due to the nature of a 100% natural latex material, the recovery time is very fast. As you can see in the video above, this latex mattress bounces back immediately when you press down on it. The action is spring-like and there is absolutely no delay.
This fast response makes latex a unique product in comparison to petroleum-based foams which simply can not compete.
The Spindle is not going to leave you feeling stuck inside of the mattress. The super responsive nature of the mattress allows you to roll over without much effort.
Motion Isolation Test
Motion isolation or motion transfer refers to how well a mattress absorbs motion. In other words, are you going to feel your partner toss and turn throughout the night?
Certain types of mattresses isolate motion better than others.
For instance, coil spring mattresses such as the Bonnell spring system contain hundreds of springs that are wired together. As you can imagine, when one partner moves, the entire mattress moves.
Individually encased pocked coils were eventually introduced which offer much better motion isolation.
Viscoelastic and latex foam mattresses are known to have superior motion isolation because they contain no springs. When one person moves, their partner experiences very little disturbance.
In order to demonstrate motion transfer of the Spindle, I used the following method:
- On one side of the bed, I placed a wine glass that was half filled with water. Nearby, I also placed a smartphone which ran a vibration meter app.
- On the opposite side of the bed, I dropped an 18 lb kettle ball from a distance of 12″.
- This test was repeated three times.
You can see in the video above that the Spindle mattress transfers very little motion. The glass experiences some movement but didn’t come close to tipping over.
As for the vibration meter, it showed a mean MMI reading of 2.7 and a max reading of 6.3.
The Spindle mattress isolated motion as well as most viscoelastic foam mattresses that I’ve tried.
When sleeping on the mattress, neither my partner nor I experienced any issues with each others movement.
This is one mattress that I would not be concerned about when it comes to motion transfer.
Edge support is something that you will want to consider, especially if you are sharing your bed with a partner.
With some foam mattresses, you may experience the feeling of being tossed from the bed as you lay close to the edge because the foam compresses. Higher density foams are sometimes used near the edge to combat this issue.
The spindle contains three layers of natural latex with a high ILD rating. While the edge of the mattress does compress some as you move towards the edge, I was still able to lay securely in bed without the feeling of being ejected.
This mattress doesn’t have a super firm edge, but sleeps well across the entire surface area. Perhaps your partner has a tendency to take up most of the bed, leaving you only a small area towards the edge. With the Spindle, this is not going to be an issue.
Visit Spindle Website
Neal Van Patten founded Spindle in 2013. He comes from a family that has been in the mattress manufacturing industry for four generations.
Prior to forming Spindle, Van Patten had worked for his families’ Syracuse, NY-based mattress company which was founded in 1915. He also spent four years working as a project leader and quality manager for two very large mattress companies.
Van Patten took notice of the underserved and overpriced latex mattress industry. While most mattress-in-a-box companies use viscoelastic polyurethane foam in their mattresses, he decided to go a different route by choosing latex – a 100% natural product that’s more breathable and offers a different feel in comparison to the memory foam.
With the help of a marketing director and an operations manager, Van Patten currently operates the company out a 6,000 sqft warehouse in Acton, Massachusets.
The company prides itself on delivering a premium quality latex mattress that cost thousands of dollars less than what you would find at a mattress store.
They are able to offer such a large discount because they cut out the middleman. Their approach is to buy their materials directly from suppliers and complete the final assembly of each mattress in-house before selling direct-to-consumer.
The Spindle mattress is 10″ thick and is made from four different layers of material – 3 layers of latex topped by a cotton zipper cover that’s filled with Ecowool.
Spindle seems to be very mindful of quality and safety when sourcing the materials that are used in their mattresses. When possible, most of the components that go into their mattresses are sourced domestically and assembly of the final product occurs in Acton, Massachusetts. They seem to be very transparent with where they source their materials.
Starting from the bottom, you will find 3 slabs of 3″ thick natural latex. The firmness of each layer will vary depending on the overall firmness level that you choose when ordering. For instance, with the “soft” mattress, all three layers will have a medium density while a “firm” mattress will contain 2 firm layers followed by one medium layer on top.
Some latex manufacturers create a blend where natural latex is mixed with a synthetic material. Often times, these blends are only 30% actual latex to 70% synthetic. Spindle uses 100% real latex in their foam.
Technically speaking, the latex is 95% raw latex sap and a 5% curing package which is necessary to convert the liquid sap into a solid sheet.
The process of making latex starts by collecting sap from the Hevea Brasiliensis rubber tree, which is grown and harvested in the Asian Pacific as well as Guatemala.
The sap is shipped to Mountain Top Foam, based out of Mountaintop Pennsylvania, where it’s transformed into latex foam that’s used in the Spindle mattress. Their factory uses the continuous pour Dunlop method to manufacture its foam.
Continuous pour Dunlop latex is created by combining the milky latex sap with soap and then adding a vulcanizing accelerator before pouring the mixture over a slowly moving conveyor belt.
After being poured, molds that contain “pins” are dropped on top of the latex. These pins ensure that the material is evenly heated throughout as the latex passes through an infrared heat source to cure it. This process is known as Vulcanization.
After curing, the latex foam is washed three times to remove any residual proteins and then dried.
In order to create a soft cloud-like feel, approximately 1″ (20oz per square yard) of EcoWool is added to the top of each Spindle mattress.
EcoWool is 100% real wool that comes from sheep that are raised in Oregon and Northern California. The cool, damp weather in this area creates ideal grazing conditions for sheep.
EcoWool is similar to organic wool but without the certification. Growers are required to not use chemical pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or herbicides around their sheep.
Growers of EcoWool are able to offer a product that’s identical to organic wool without having to pay the high cost of being certified organic.
Once collected, the wool is then “carded”, or cleaned and detangled at Woolgatherer Carding in Montague, California.
One advantage of wool is that it’s naturally flame retardant. Most petroleum-based polyurethane mattresses are highly flammable, so they are treated with fire retardant chemicals such as Decabromodiphyenyl Oxide, Antimony, and Boric Acid. These controversial chemicals have been linked to a number of different health issues.
Another advantage of natural wool is its moisture wicking properties which helps to draw moisture created by sweat away from the body, keeping the mattress cool and dry.
The sleeping surface of the mattress is made from woven organic cotton grown in New Mexico, Texas, or India and does not contain pigments, bleach or pesticides. Spindle prefers to source their cotton from the United States depending on the season.
The cotton is woven in a South Carolina cotton mill before being shipped to New England for final assembly.
The latex foam that’s used in the Spindle mattress is OEKO-TEX certified, meaning that it has met the human-ecological requirements of the STANDARD 100.
OEKO-Tex is an organization that was founded in 1992. In order to be labeled as STANDARD 100, the material must undergo lab testing to detect harmful substances which must remain below the strict limits that are established by the organization.
The Spindle website posts their foam factories certification, which I verified by visiting the OEKO-Tex website.
While most mattress-in-a-box companies only offer one option for firmness that they consider to be “universal” Spindle offers a soft, medium, firm, and extra firm.
Each firmness level can be created by swapping out the three layers of latex using either a medium latex or firm latex. By simply altering the layers of foam, you can achieve several different firmness levels. Depending on which firmness level that you choose, Spindle will send the correct configuration of latex foam slabs that will be used to build your mattress. It’s up to you to place them in the correct order.
The chart below shows the configuration of the four different firmness levels.
What’s the difference between the Medium and Firm latex material?
The medium latex has a 25% Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating of 17.5-20.5 and a density of 4.6 lbs while their firm latex has an ILD rating of 29.5-32.5 and a density of 5.6 lbs
ILD refers to how many pounds it takes to compress a 4″ slab of foam by one inch or 25%. The higher the number, the firmer the foam.
The density of a foam is simply how much one cubic foot of foam weights. A denser foam will weigh more.
As you can see, their “firm” foam has a much higher ILD and density rating in comparison to their medium foam.
Spindle does offer a tool which can help you choose an ideal firmness level for their mattress. On their website, you can enter your height, weight, sleep position, and desired firmness and it will generate a firmness level for you.
You can also use your BMI to help decide which firmness level to choose.
Those with a BMI less than 19 may choose a soft. If your BMI is between 19-25, a medium may work. A firm is suitable for those with a BMI between 26-31. This mattress may not work for those with a BMI greater than 31.
Don’t know your BMI? Just google “BMI calculator” and you will find several calculators to choose from.
You should also consider your sleeping position. Soft mattresses are better suited for side sleepers while a medium mattress will work for both side and back sleepers. Frim can be a good choice for all three sleeping positions.
What If I Choose The Wrong Firmness?
One nice feature that you will find with this mattress is that if you find it to be uncomfortable the way that you ordered it, you can contact their customer service who seems eager to help.
For instance, if you order a medium mattress and find that it’s too soft, they may ask you to rearrange the layers of latex as I did in the section above. By doing so, you can significantly increase the firmness of your mattress without having to request new layers.
In other cases, additional layers may be required in order to reconfigure their mattress.
Perhaps you order a medium and find it to be too firm. They may send an additional layer of medium latex to make your mattress softer.
As you can see, this mattress is quite versatile and the company wants to ensure that you are satisfied with your purchase.
Spindle offers a 10-year limited warranty on their mattresses, which is a fairly standard warranty period in the mattress industry.
One unique attribute of this mattress, as compared to memory foam, is that it tends to last longer because latex doesn’t compress as easily as polyurethane memory form.
Most foam mattress manufacturers will replace a mattress that sags more than 1.5″ during the 10 year warranty period. Spindle lowers the threshold to .75″. They will replace any defective material, free of charge, within 10 years from the date of purchase.
Other limitations listed within warranty information seem fairly standard such as:
- Normal wear and tear, body impressions, comfort preference
- Damage, abuse, misuse, stains, burns, unsanitary conditions, etc.
- Improperly supported mattresses
- Removal of law tag
25-year Comfort Life Program
In addition, they also offer a 25-year comfort life program which allows you to replace any layer at a 30% discount. For instance, if the top layer of latex wears out after 17 years, you can purchase one layer for say $360.00 minus a 30% discount or $252.00.
Instead of replacing the entire mattress, you can rejuvenate it and save money in the long run.
Depending on which size you choose, the price range of a Spindle mattress is between $1099.9 and $1,849.99. While slightly more expensive than a run-of-the-mill polyurethane mattress, the cost is significantly less than comparable latex mattresses that can be found in brick and mortar showrooms.
Spindle has offered our readers $200 off their order. Simply click the button below or enter “SMG5” at checkout.
Payment options include:
- Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc)
- Amazon Pay
- Personal check
Spindle offers free shipping on all orders. Massachusetts residents are required to pay sales tax on purchases.
Spindle offers a very generous 365-night satisfaction guarantee.
Their approach is a bit different than most online mattress retailers who offer a “free trial”.
Their goal is to ensure that you find the right firmness level and they seem to be more than willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this, including sending additional foam slabs at no additional cost to you.
The vast majority of their customers are satisfied with the comfort level that they choose. The few who find their mattress to be too firm or too soft may be offered additional foam so that they can swap out the layers and alter the firmness.
Spindle does ask that you allow your body to adjust to the mattress for 1-2 months prior to contacting customer support to troubleshoot firmness issues. Every mattress has a break in period and our bodies need to adjust to sleeping on a new mattress.
In the event that they are unable to get you comfortable in your mattress, they will refund 100% of your money. You will be required to remove all identifying tags and submit proof that the mattress was donated in order to receive a refund.
It seems as though Spindle is genuinely interested in helping those who want a quality latex mattress and not those who are “mattress-hopping” from one free trial mattress to another.
Prior to trying the Spindle mattress, I have never slept on a latex mattress. Now that I’ve experienced latex, I can see why people rave about it.
While this mattress does require a more supportive frame and some assembly, the responsive feel of latex is well worth it. If you are an active sleeper that frequently changes positions throughout the night, you will definitely enjoy this mattress.
The Dunlop latex is 100% natural and does not produce any unpleasant odors. The latex is Oeko-Tex certified and manufactured in the United States. Also, the wool on top is a natural flame retardant, meaning that their mattresses are not sprayed with harmful chemicals.
Spindle comes with a 10-year limited warranty and a 25-year prorated warranty. Because it’s latex, you can expect it to last for a long time.
Pricewise, your going to pay a little more for a latex mattress in comparison to a memory foam mattress simply because latex is not a cheap commodity.
When you compare the Spindle mattress to similar latex mattress at a brick and mortar store, you will find the price of the Spindle to be $1,000 or so less. They are able to do so by cutting out the middleman and selling directly to the consumer.
Spindle does offer excellent customer support and seems willing to work with you to ensure that you are satisfied with your purchase.
Overall, the Spindle mattress sleeps cool, comfortable, and provides great support.
My recommendation: if this mattress is within your budget, go to your a local mattress store and get a feel for natural latex. Avoid taking up the salesperson’s time as most are commission based. Simply feel the mattress and move along.
If you like the feel of the latex, go home and order the Spindle. You will receive a high-quality mattress for several hundred dollars less.
Save $200 by using promo code “SMG5”.