Night 2 on a 12" - Perfection 16 mattress and I'm hooked! For the first time in over a year, I've slept for more than 3 or 4 hours. Night 1, I slept 11 hours; night 2, I out-did it and slept 12 hours! I can feel my injured body healing.

The service you are providing to your customers is not just a good night's sleep, but a therapy for pain and suffering. This is the second day in a row that I didn't wake up and grab for my bottle of pain pills. THANK YOU! My doctors did the best thing they could have done for me in prescribing your product!

Diane Folz, Blacksburg, VA
Hi Lee,

Here it is. Feel free to cut it down if it's too long. You can include my email address if you need to (in case anyone wants to contact me) Thanks for your help.


My tongue hurts. It's kind of itchy...sort of tingly, and definitely "not right." And it's not just my tongue that hurts - my lips feel prickly and swollen, and the back of my throat has blisters on it.

My mouth problems began about four months ago when my husband and I treated ourselves to one of those super-cushy mattress toppers. When we unwrapped the foam pad portion of the mattress cover it had a very, very strong chemical smell. But because the paperwork explained that a strong odor upon opening was normal, we didn't worry too much about it. We spread the foam pad on the floor of our living room and left it to "off-gas" for 24 hours as directed.

My mouth issues began the very first evening of off-gassing. During the night our home began to fill with the noxious fumes coming from the mattress cover. As night turned to morning I could actually feel the chemicals on my tongue, down my throat, and in my lungs. I was nauseous and headachy most of the next day, and my husband and I discussed whether we should go forward with our plans for a new mattress cover. In the end we decided to put it on our bed and hope for the best.

Okay...yes, in hindsight that decision does seem rather lame, but we honestly believed that the "smell would completely subside within a few days," as the paperwork indicated. And actually the chemical smell did eventually go away, but my mouth issues had only just begun. We eventually decided to return the mattress topper to Costco, and getting it off the bed and out of our house helped my health issues considerably. It's now been approximately six months and for the most part my symptoms have diminshed, with occasional reoccurrences.

I was appalled to discover (by researching this issue online) that others had experienced similar, and some much worse, health problems - and it seemed to me that the common denominator was the fire retardant found in mattresses and mattress tippers. Others have suffered irritated and swollen eyes, dizziness, headaches, throat pustules, bronchial irritations, strange taste on tongue, and sinus problems after sleeping on foam mattress toppers and pillow-top mattresses.

Paula Friedrichsen, Unknown
We are VERY happy with the mattress and pillow that we bought for our young son. Around the age of three, he started having intermittent (3 - 4 times a month) and mysterious bouts of vomiting in the mornings after he got up. It wasn't like the flu, because he didn't have a fever, and he was usually completely recovered by early afternoon. But it was still troubling. It wasn't until he slept on an air mattress at a friend's house (when he was 5 or so) and got very sick the next morning, that we put two and two together and realized that perhaps he had some kind of allergy to whatever chemicals were in the air mattress, and those chemicals were making him sick. We realized that the mornings that he had been throwing up at home were the same mornings that we found him asleep on his carpeted floor. So we told him to stop falling asleep on the floor and sleep in his bed. But the problem persisted, and we realized that this time around, when he woke up sick, it was because he had slept with his face right on the mattress. So his own mattress had similar chemicals, too! But it took us a while to figure out that one, too! Needless to say, finding Sleep Essentials was a godsend! The 100% latex mattress we bought for our son has completely ended this problem for him. And we recently bought the 100% latex pillow to replace his old cotton one (that had not given him trouble, and had fallen apart). The only time he has had a recurrence of this problem is when he slept with his bathrobe on, and lo and behold, his bathrobe is made with flame-retardant fleece. So that's been thrown out, too! It's very scary to think that all the chemicals in the old mattress were doing that to him. Hopefully there has been no long-term damage to his health. The mattress has probably saved him in more ways than one. So, thank you, Lee! He loves that mattress, and is so pleased with his pillow, too.

Best to you,


Cece, Salem, VA
Dear Lee,

My wife and I want to thank you for introducing us to the latex mattress. We both agree that it is the best mattress we have ever slept on! We have had many matresses in the past, but nothing has compared to this one. We slept wonderfully the first night and it has been the same ever since.

We would recommend this mattress to anyone who wants a good night sleep without any neck or back pains. The latex mattress has worked wonders for us!

Thanks again! Regards, Greg & Mary Day

Greg, Roanoke, Virginia
Hi Lee Carter,

The latex mattress which I purchased from you is tops. It holds its shape without fail. Ir is very comfortable and best of all, I don't arise in the morning with the back pain I once experienced each morning. The firm support makes all the difference in the world.

You have another satisfied customer. The mattress is worth every penny paid.

Dave, Virginia
I purchased the medium Latex Mattress after reviewing Lees you Tube Videos. I had bad Luck with Serta,Stern and Fosters and after spending a whole bunch of Money we decided to try the Latex and oh boy, I love the Mattress. I am sleeping better and my back pain is gone.

Thanks Lee.

Gaby, Bedford, VA

I am sorry that I am so late in furnishing you with information about what happened to my wife and I when we purchased two single beds with Tempur Pedic mattresses from a Roanoke furniture company. The sales person who sold them to us did not tell us they had been treated with fire-retardants. Had we known about this beforehand we probably would not have purchased these beds.

After the furniture company delivered the beds to our home and setup in our master bedroom, I had only walked through the room a few times before I became nauseous and I had a headache. After just a few hous, my headache and nausea continued to rise to the point that my wife and I had to sleep in another bedroom and we stuffed clothes under the door where the new beds were to keep any of the vapors from coming out into our other room.

The next day, I called the furniture company and told them the problems and that we had not even slept in the beds nore could we stand to be in the same room with them, let alone sleep in them. We requested that they pick up their beds immediately. It took them one whole week to pick up the beds and we had to suffer through another week to misery. To add insult to injury, we lost $200 of our down payment for returning the beds even though we had never slept on them. Naturally, we will never purchase anything else from this furniture company.

After they picked up the beds, it was several days before we could move back in our master bedroom. I had to open the doors and windows and use a floor fan to blow out the chemical odors.

We understand from you that the fire-retardants used in the treatment of these mattresses are formaldehyde, melamine, and boric acid which I understand is a rat poison. It is appalling that the mattress companies would do this without telling the consumers. We worry about all the fire-retardant mattresses that will be sold to families all over the country and many of the families could possibly have the same serious side effects that we have experienced.

After all the time that has passed since our horrific experience we had with these mattresses, I cannot, to this day, walk through a furniture store where the mattresses are exhibited without feeling the same effects as mentioned above.


P.S. By the way, I have found out that I am deathly allergic to formaldehyde.

R. F. Poole, Roanoke, VA
When we moved into our house in February, 1969 we bought a king size latex mattress from Sears. It has been a very comfortable mattress for 41 years. it has lasted through 3 sons, and several dogs and cats.

Our old mattress was a 5 inch thick latex and it was comfortable until the end. We kept it for so long because we never found a good replacement until this year when we bought a new latex mattress from Sleep Essentials.

John and Marylin Sites, Bedford, VA
Here's my testimony on my bed allergy Lee. Please do not use my last name, or my email address when putting this on your web-site. But you are welcome to use it. I sincerely hope this keeps someone else from getting as sick as I did.

My testimony: I purchased a mattress from a major bedding manufacturer two months ago in the fall of 2008. It was a wonderfully comfortable plush top. I loved the comfort of it. However, the first night, I was so sick from the off-gassing that I woke up in the middle of the night, horribly nauseated, coughing up a lot of "material" out of my lungs. This happened the second night too. After that, the chemical odor didn't go away, but it became less, and was only really noticeable if I put my head under the covers and inhaled. I decided not to do that, because the off-gassing was so unpleasant. But I thought I'd just get used to it and eventually it would go away. It didn't go away completely however. Six weeks later, I woke up one night to find my bare feet burning and itching. So I got up at 2AM and rinsed them off with cold water, put on some socks and went back to bed.

The next night, the bottoms of my feet, my back, and the back of my head started to burn and itch (I sleep on my back). So I got up, showered off, and went back to bed. The third night into the 6th week, my whole body started burning and itching. I showered, and then thought, let's just do an experiment here.

So I got a plastic drop cloth, doubled it, and put it over the bed all the way to the floor. It completely covered the bedding. I then put a sleeping bag on top and slept on the bed. Lo and behold, all my itching and burning stopped. At this point, I had no doubt it was my new mattress and possibly the box spring as well.

This plastic drop cloth worked for another 7 days. On the 8th day, the burning and itching started up again. I realized, the off-gassing was either coming through the plastic somehow, or currents in the air from my forced air gas furnace were circulating the off-gassing out from underneath the plastic. (One health web-site I went to says one of the new flame retardants being used actually leaches through plastic.)

At that point, I called the bedding store and asked for my money back. I told them they would have to remove the offending mattress and box-spring as soon as possible, as it was making me sick. They stated if I got a prescription from my doctor saying I was allergic to the flame-retardants (which are at a greater concentration since bedding manufacturers have had to comply with the new July 2007 Federal Flame Retardant Regulations), that they would take the mattress and box spring back. I found out the new regulation is "16 CFR Part 1633" by the way, and no consumer ever voted it in. I also found out that these toxic flame retardants are cumulative, and supposedly are not something you can flush out of your body once you absorbed them. Not comforting. I did however try to sweat out the toxins with Epsom salt baths. That seemed to help.

I went to my doctor, who said he has been seeing incidents of allergic responses to the newer mattresses with the increased flame retardants in them. He readily gave me the prescription saying I am allergic to the flame retardants and the foams (as polyurethane foams have a lot of those retardants in them). To the bedding store's credit, I got my money back, the bedding was removed, and my symptoms have disappeared completely.

Cheryl, Unknown
Dear Lee,

I want you to know how much we are enjoying our new latex mattresses! Both of us sleep beautifully. My wife was reluctant to give up her Temperpedic as her side was less body impressed. I have been a chiropractor for 25 years of practice and always concerned about sleeping posture and environmental health. I was concerned about the chemicals that still might be in the mattress and I did not sleep well on it.

The latex mattress is not cold and lumpy starting out on cold nights and not hot on warm nights. There was never any oder and the set up was easy.

We are entirely grateful to you, your knowledge, and to the natural latex.


Posie and David, Blowing Rock, NC
Dear Lee,
You may post this hoping it may help someone.

In response to your questions regarding my children's allergic reaction to mattresses:

My children had an immediate skin reaction in a furniture store while we were looking at mattresses, standing next to (and not touching) the small, layers/core sample showing what a Tempur-Pedic mattress is made of. The salesman said the children must be allergic to the latex in it. After having my children skin tested for latex and finding no reaction to latex, we had yet to find the cause. We now know, thanks to you, it may be the flame retardant chemicals in mattresses that was the cause of their skin reactions.

Knowing that these chemicals are in something which we are in contact with for so much time is very disturbing. We are looking forward to sleeping well on your chemical free mattresses!


Lisa DeMatteo, RI
For years I spent many nights tossing and turning. I would sleep, but awaken without feeling rested. Since my husband and I bought our new mattress I find myself more rested. The mattress has also helped by giving the support necessary to alleviate my back problems. We are very pleased with our new mattress.
Sherri Kelly, Roanoke, VA
Lee, I really do LOVE my bed. People are often making fun of the fact that I spent so much on a bed but won't even buy a set of plates. But this was important for me- my ability to get up in the morning has improved, all my sleep has improved. Even my shoulder pain along with back etc has decreased....i LOVE this bed and just think more people should know about it.
Laurel Marburg, Blacksburg, Virginia
Hi Lee,

Thanks for sharing information @ mattresses - you seem to know alot! I honestly do not know what exactly I have been reacting to in the new mattress, but it is certainly severe and leaves me unable to breathe without medication. From the first night of moving into the spare bedroom recently (an ancient mattress), I could breathe again and have not had the bronchitis, allergy symptoms or sinus infection which had become the norm for me for the past 2 months. I have been able to run again and get through classes at the gym without an inhaler! My youngest daughter has suffered severe hives after exposure to polyurethane foam, so I have kept her away from the new mattress, but my 13-year-old did sleep in the bed with me for a couple of weeks and she suffered severe breathing difficulties as a result. This memory foam mattress has urethane in it & I thought I was reacting to that, but I don't really know what compound we're reacting to. I will not buy another mattress w/o a lot of research first; I also like your idea of a note from my doctor - thanks! I definitely don't want to sleep on formaldehyde or any other chemicals!

I don't think the mattress I bought is lethal and in fact I've seen tons of memory foam stuff in stores lately (so someone's sleeping on memory foam successfully), I just think that whatever is in the foam is not good for me or my girls to be around - and maybe for anyone to be around, but we were just "lucky" enough to react severely and so we can't sleep on the "solidified gas" memory foam!

Have a great week!

Brenda, Unknown
Hello Lee, if you decide to use the photo of my mattress label, I thought you might want to add the postscript below. I suppose it would be alright to use my P.S. anyway. I really don't like bashing a company, but then I remembered how we drove 3 hours to the nearest showroom that carried Englander 'latex' mattresses only to discover they weren't solid latex. The showroom had clear plastic cubes filled with (2) 3" thick solid latex layers that were placed beside the mattresses, which led us to believe that this is what the inside of the mattresses looked like. My hunsband even asked if they glued the two layers of latex together and was told, "Yes." But fortunately when we picked up one of the mattresses to see how Englander is only finishing one side of their mattresses now, we were surprised to discover how light the 'latex' mattress was. We asked, "Why?" We were then told that the Englander "latex" mattress only contained a core layer of latex that was encased with foam.

We enjoyed our latex mattress for 35 years! I've included the label which has a diagram of our box 'springs' foundation, and the text that describes the "6-inch luxurious foam latex mattress" that set on top of the foundation. I hope you will share my latex mattress experience with your prospective customers.

While growing up, I'd babysat the children next door. When their mother heard I'd gotten engaged, she wanted me to see her latex mattress and pointed out how well it had held up after I wish I could remember how many years. I do remember that even though my latex mattress cost about twice what an average spring mattress was selling for back then, I was so impressed withher latex mattress that I had a furniture company special order one for me from the same mattress manufacturer without even seeing it! (At that time I could not find a latex mattress anywhere locally.)

We used our latex mattress for 35 years! About the 33rd year we noticed that the cover was wearing out in a few spots, so we simply encased it with a zippered cover. This worked well up until the 34th year, when we noticed it beginning to sag slightly, but we still slept comfortably during the 35th year while we searched for a replacement. (Our original mattress manufacturer had closed their business.)

I've wondered if the good health we enjoyed could be attributed to our 35-year old latex mattress. We live pain-free, take NO medications, and have been told we look younger than we actually are. We visited our daughter after she had been married about a year. During our stay, both her and her husband complained of aches and pains especially in the morning. We thought, how can this be? They're both so young! We asked about the mattress they used and suggested they purchase a new one. After they did, their symptoms disappeared.

Our latex mattress has been well worth the investment. My younger brother married about 24 years ago. He's had three mattresses while we were still using the first latex mattress I'd purchased. You do the math!

P.S. I just did a search and found that Englander is making a spring mattress named "Tension Ease Foam Latex" and do not want folks to confuse my 6" solid latex mattress that lasted 35 years with Englander's "Tension Ease" spring mattress. (The Englander name was bought out by 7 manufacturers throughout the US who are using its name.) I've seen cutaways of the Englander mattresses and learned that its difficult to find a solid latex Englander mattress. The Englander latex mattresses I found only contained a small core of latex with cheaper foam used to encase the core to cut manufacturing costs. Be sure to "see" and know what's inside your mattress before you purchase it.

Diane "Goldilocks" Wilson, South Carolina